Armistar Casino and Resort Spa

Surprises, surprises. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? My boyfriend just got his wisdom teeth pulled out, and I wanted to surprise him with a trip. I decided to book a trip to Armistar Casino and Resort Spa in Black Hawk. His reaction? Well, let’s just say both he and I really enjoyed our stay! The rooms are modern and classy, but still give you the Colorado feel. The views are amazing of course. You’re in Colorado! There are mountains everywhere. We literally live in a vacation
every single day. It’s hard to want to travel when you have a dream as your own backyard.

Their casino includes Slots, Table Games, and a Poker room. THIS is an awesome place to get started. Who loves to make more money and enjoy all of the amenities when you’re on vacation?! There are over 1,250 games when you make your way to the slot and video poker area. We may have tried out a few. If you have a penny, you’re in luck because they actually let you use pennies to gamble. Of course, if you have more, go for it!

Bar 8042 is pretty popular here. Best feature, in my opinion? They have a roaring fireplace. Gosh, I love Colorado. How many places have this or frankly need it? It makes it for a cozy, boozy evening. There’s some free entertainment there as well.

Fireside dining. I’m dying. Love fires. Love food. Love my life. They have anything from steak, to salads, to seafood, to a burger. There isn’t too much on the menu to keep you from making up your mind either. Sometimes, there’s so much available, and then I can’t make up my mind! In the evenings (if you’re not getting room service), I’d love to eat next to the fire. Another restaurant I love is Timberline Grill. Same kind of menu with a lot more choices food-wise. If you’ve never made a trip here, you’ve just got to. Can you believe they have a Starbucks? I can! Black Hawk didn’t disappoint us. Let me highlight Club 38 for a minute. You get the ultimate treatment here. It’s for members with mychoice. Highly recommend it.

As icing on the cake, how about a spa day? Aaaaahh…I can feel it now. They have separate men’s/women’s rooms for steaming, saunas, and spas. OR you can get a couple’s massage. Bring. It. On. I wish I could go back. I keep reminding myself that we will! On the flip side, they do have a fitness area for all you “can’t stop, won’t stop-pers.” I may be one of those.

I’ve never been to Ameristar’s in other cities, although I’ve heard there are more. This one has the perfect amenities, dining, and casino. It completely helps that the resort is in Black Hawk. I’m an advocate for hiking, but I’m also an advocate for relaxing. This trip was definite relaxation. Word of advice, in case you’re asking, I would book for this ahead of time because availability is scarce here! It’s
that wonderful.

Hiking Dogs

I’m going to share about one of my obvious loves…hiking. I’ve talked with you about the Ute Trail, but have I told you how much I love the Aspen trails? If you follow my Instagram stories, you’ll see my recent post about my hiking path August 19th. I can’t tell you how much joy has been brought to my life from hiking and strolling around Aspen with my dog, Chanel. There’s a hiking trail log that people can write in publicly to track their hikes. I absolutely love filling this out. It makes me feel like a boss. You can run or hike these trails. They are by the town, yet you feel like you are deep in the forest. You can be hiking for a full day, or you can hike for parts of the day. Whichever you pick, be intentional about it and be safe! I’ve learned to love the sport of hiking when the snow is melted away. With it melted away, trails are revealed on the hiking map. They are ready and waiting to be conquered. Even though Aspen is known as the main key resort for skiing, I’m going to make it a main key resort for hiking. Summer isn’t over yet! There’s still time to get over and log in your hours on the trail log Aspen offers. is probably the best way to see the different trails and how they are rated based on others’ opinions. It gives you the name of a trail, the difficulty level, elevation, distance, and time length. You’ll learn your own soon enough. Remember to be safe! I always take my dog or someone else with you. It’s always good to have a buddy to watch your back. There’s something about climbing a crisp mountain with your favorite dog by your side. Breath in the clean mountain air, feel the terrain beneath your feet, taste determination as you hike upwards.

I’ve referenced before that I’m wearing Smartone. This is one of my favs. You can’t go wrong with ordering off of Smartone. As women, this is important! Have you ever heard of the phrase, you feel the way you dress? It is so true. How you dress can tell your mind how to act. If you have the right workout gear, you can be your best on the exercise field. Don’t be afraid to branch out!

Dogs are life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll be walking somewhere, see a cute dog, and just have to stop and ask about him or her! This shouldn’t be a surprise to some of my awesome fans and followers. When I was in Washington D.C., there were dogs everywhere. I really can’t tell you how often I stopped to say hi or ask to pet someone else’s dog. Who else out there is as obsessed with them as I am? Chanel is special to me; my close companion, and pretty much my child. It’s true what they say. Children and dogs share the same sentiment. Don’t they though?

Sun Basket

If you follow my Instagram, you know that I’m a food lover. Sometimes, it’s hard to find healthy meals for vegetarians/vegans. Most places will have that option these days, but ever so often, you come across places that forget about non-meat eaters. Eating clean takes discipline and it helps to not only have this mindset when you grocery shop, but also for it you use a delivery service.

It’s important to exercise. I’m a hiker, a skier, and a cooker (and…Rose!). Three of my favorite things! It doesn’t just take good exercise, however. It takes clean, good eating. Cooking keeps me sane. I love it because I know exactly what’s going into my body. At restaurants, do we really know what’s in the salad? Or the seasoning used on different foods? You can ask the waiter or ask the chef, but it’s not you cooking! YOU get to decide what goes into your body when you cook. YOU pick how you want to enjoy your day (or not). Foods can lift you and foods can deplete you. It’s your decision. I have decided the path I want to take with food. Now, does that mean I’ll drop a pizza? Don’t worry, I can’t! I think the key is just not overindulging. Above are a few pictures from my feed of different things I’ve made.

Notice a common theme? Besides that these are vegetarian or vegan? There are lots of greens. If you want to dive into clean eating, follow me and save the fresh ideas! There’s a secret to the madness. Sun Basket. The 20-minute meals are LIFESAVERS. They have different options for any type of eater. I personally love tasting and savoring the healthiness in each bite. My meals have been nothing short of excellent. The packaging is pristine, and it really is easier than you might think. When they say 20 minutes, they mean 20 minutes. Some of their menu categories of food consists of Lean and Clean, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Diabetes-Friendly, Quick and Easy, Mediterranean , Gluten-Free, and others. This is the first delivery service I’ve seen to offer so many different eating styles and types. Organic is my heart song. A fan favorite has to be the first one you see above. The Warm Bean and Summer Squash Salad with Couscous is what I get asked about quite a few times.

Let me clear my throat for this one. The pricing. Don’t fret about the pricing because it’s totally doable. It’s $11.99 a serving on average. If it helps, try comparing it to other delivery services like Hello Fresh, Plated, Blue Apron, or Home Chef. Services like these average a bit higher and don’t have the kind of fine dine + healthy selection Sun Basket offers. I give you a $40 gift card to Sun Basket through my Instagram account if you’re interested! If you’re unsure about it, I say try it. You can’t go wrong with a gift card. If you end up liking it, well then, you’re welcome! It’s rated number one of the top ten services out there. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. Sun Basket is number one. I get so excited about my delivery and always can’t wait to put it on display before cracking in! The most recent delivery I obtained was: Salmon Salad, White Bean Flatbread, Mushroom Stroganoff, Lamb Lettuce Cups. I typically order 4 meals a week. Do I dare say…I feel like a health bomb after making (or rather putting together) these fabulous and delicious meals.

Golfing the Aspen

Aspen Golf Club makes me smile, especially with friends and drinks! Who’s with me? It makes it all the more better. All silliness aside, I really love do love the game. It’s the whole thing: mountains, atmosphere, the air, the sound of hitting the golf ball in the right direction. Sometimes, you just know when that ball was hit right. I can tell right away if I didn’t hit it the right way. Golf can bring the best and worst out of person. I’d say, my best is what golfing does for me. Guys and gals, when you have your friends with you and people delivering drinks to you on the golf course, how can your day be so bad? Just the other day, we had cocktails delivered right to us while we played. I love my golf course.

There are so many areas to practice! They have facilities like: Driving Range, Putting Green, Chipping Greens, and Practice Bunkers. Right now, is their peak season. You can look it up on their website as well as their rates. It’s beautiful and worth it. Becoming a member would be worth it considering all of the amenities and benefits offered.

You know what else is pretty awesome, that Aspen Golf Club can claim? They have obtained the award of the Audobon Cooperative Sanctuary. It’s definitely something to be proud of. In case you have no clue, it would mean the course would have to be certified in the following areas: Environmental Planning, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Integrated Pest Management, and Water Quality and Water Conservation. Being somewhat of a health nut, this makes my heart happy. I always love to hear about the cleanliness of society and the good of the world. I just went to the golf course today and had a blast with my friend Julianne. Of course, we may have had a drink of two. Do we still say YOLO these days?

On another note, the golf course opportunities to participate in the women’s league, men’s league, junior golf, and a golf academy. Here’s some more interesting info! The scenery=beautiful. Have I mentioned that already? I can see Aspen Mountain from where I golf. You know, the mountain I hike up all the time. Follow me @checkoutamanda on Instagram to keep up! It’s in the middle of the Rockies and Roaring Folk Valley. If you have no clue where that is, you seriously need to come see it yourself. I love how it challenges me every time I play the 18-hole course. If you’re in the area and want to join in the fun, join the Women’s League. There is an annual admission, but you develop a camaraderie with the other women there. They become more than just acquaintances. What are your goals as we begin to enter fall? It may still feel like summer, but get ready, because Autumn is fast approaching. Make one of your goals to join the Women’s League and be apart of the Aspen Golf Club. Be social and get out with us! Here is their calendar attached in case you’re interested. Can you tell I’m really into this niche? There’s really so much more than just what I’ve said on this post. Follow me for updates in the future!

If the pictures don’t do it justice enough, come and see it for yourself! You won’t regret playing on this golf course.

Hiking the Rio Grande (with tips!)

Today, we walked the Rio Grande Trail. Did you know that Colorado isn’t just all about snow? Please don’t misunderstand me. I absolutely love to ski, the snow=beauty! There is more to this beautiful state than just renting a place to ski in the wintertime. If you follow me on social media, you should know I love to hike. Whenever I can with Chanel, I love to walk, sweat it out, and…views! Can I just say that the view from Aspen Mountain is amazing? I had to stop and take a picture. It was just too incredible to pass up. The crazy thing is, I feel like I should every time I hike. How many people get to experience that where they live? The weather is beautiful, and the land and the skies are endless. At the end of the day, who wants to be bored when they work out? Not this one! Hiking is my fav. As long as I have Chanel with me and don’t mind the sweat, I encourage it. It is definitely a workout. If you keep watching my Instagram stories, it shouldn’t be a surprise that hiking (and maybe food) are perpetually taking over my life!

The Rio Grande Trail is 42 miles of continuous ground near Glenwood Springs, CO. I love being able to log what I’ve hiked. Having it recorded gives me a sense of accomplishment and responsibility because I’m the one who has to do it. According to many reviews, the Rio Grande Trail is rich with minerals and material that make it relatively easy to come down off of the trail and travel up the trail. I will say that the best way for me to travel up and down the mountain is by boot. I feel closer with the land doing so. I also want to add that I appreciate part of the trail being paved AND I’m loving that I don’t have to watch out of motorized vehicles. Yikes!

Let’s talk about etiquette for a minute. You may be asking why that matters. Etiquette is alive and well. You have etiquette in a neighborhood, you have etiquette as a guest somewhere, you have etiquette at the beach, and you have etiquette in public. Having etiquette gives off a positive vibe. Don’t shake that off. Keep it going, because positivity rubs off! I’ve learned living here, the right way! Here are a few:

  • Cyclists should be letting you know with noise when they are passing (This may have been learned the hard way).
  • Pick up your trash (Wouldn’t this be common sense?)
  • No motorized vehicles (Keep the peace!)
  • Pick up your pet’s waste! (This is one of the biggest pet peeves I have!)
  • Respect private property – stay on the trail at all times
  • All dogs must be on a leash (Let’s be honest here…)
  • Everyone must yield to equestrians (This makes me want to ride one on a trail!)
  • Camping, fires and hunting are definitely not allowed
  • The making of excessive or obnoxious noises isn’t allowed.

How many of us agree that some of these are common sense rules? The one I probably don’t follow very well is to keep Chanel on a leash. She’s just so good! Even so, just to know these may at least help some people!

Roaring Fork Club

Summer calls for fun activities with great company. Although summer can be busy, it’s always important to find time to spend it with the ones you love. This summer I’ve had to chance to relax at the fabulous Roaring Fork Club.

The club is located in Basalt, which is only 20 minutes from Aspen. They offered everything I could ask for – from the relaxing spa to the outdoor activities, this place was nothing short from perfect. There are many classes to pick from if sports are your thing, such as tennis, hiking and biking. Personally, I enjoyed the spa and the fitness classes they had to offer.

For those looking to be healthy, the club has personal training classes offered by qualified trainers. This is perfect for anyone looking to improve their health or just to get out of the dreaded routine that a lot of people get stuck on.

If that wasn’t enough, the food here was to die for! The Lodge Restaurant offers fine dining that uses organic ingredients when preparing these plates. It makes it easy to not be super unhealthy while vacationing. There’s nothing worse than gaining unwanted weight during the summer. They offer a variety of healthy snacks and drinks.

Summer is meant to be spent relaxing with loved ones – this place offers just that and then some. If you’re looking to check the club out, they offer a variety of memberships. Being surrounded by a lake is one of the best ways to spend summer!

Rosé Day

It is no secret that I love a good cup of Rosé, so when I was given the chance to attend Rosé Day in Los Angeles I was more than thrilled. This annual event kicks off summer with the help of Rosé and champagne. I picked out the cutest outfit and made my way to this stunning event. Located in Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu it gave everyone who attended the perfect photo op opportunities. Malibu is easily one of my top favorite places to visit whenever I get the chance to make it down to Los Angeles.

The moment I entered the event I was in awe with the setup. The amount of roses and bottles of Rosé were astounding. Everyone was looking their best in some of the cutest summer outfits. It was very obvious that their planner did their best to impress every single guest that attended. The different shades of pink were one of the best features… after all, who doesn’t enjoy wearing pink during the summer?

Aside from having several glasses of Rosé to our disposal, we were surrounded by great tunes from talented headliners. Caroline D’Amore, Zen Freeman and Devin Lucien gave attendees a spin of their talent. Other LA artists were also given the opportunity to show off their tunes. They filled the evening with nothing but good vibes.

We were also treated with delicious gourmet food trucks all picked by Iron Chef Marc Forgione. The food was to die for, and so were the dishes delivered by Chef Marc. All of the dishes complemented the headliners Moet & Chandon. We were also given B.B. Rose, who also hosts Leonardo DiCaprio annual Foundation Gala.

Although it may sounds like it couldn’t get better? It did – the non-profit The Art of Elysium was able to serve as charity for the event. They were able to contribute moments including the charity’s stance on art, fashion and music. The team was able to give all the attendees a great night filled with art, food, wine and a great atmosphere. This LA summer tradition is here to stay.

One of the best parts of this weekend trip was being able to see some of my closest friends. It was great being able to reunite with some of my favorite girls. What more could I ask for? I was surrounded by two of the greatest things: friends and Rose! We spent the evening sipping on fine Rose, jamming out to good tunes and taking pictures with beautiful Malibu as a backdrop.

I can’t wait for next years Rose Day in LA… you know i’ll be there!

Bikini Season

Summer time in Aspen calls for bikini season – although let’s not kid ourselves, every season is bikini season. Even though it can get cold here during the winter, I’ve never been scared to go out for a swim in what others would consider cold weather.

During the summer Aspen can reach a high of 80 and a low of 48, so it’s never too cold to not enjoy some water. You can get a tan during the day and then get cozy during the nights.

Aspen offers many places to get some sun during July. Some great places to visit are the Devil’s Punchbowl (sounds a little crazy, but so worth it), and of course Reudi Reservoir. The Devil’s Punchbowl is located in the roaring Fork River near Hwy 82. It’s a beautiful scene and the water is to die for. Another option is the more laid-back Reudi Reservoir, which offers activities such as sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. This location is fun when I’m looking to do something fun with friends.

If you’re looking for a place to get some cute swim suits check out some of Aspen’s best: rag and bone as well as free people. They offer the cutest and latest bikinis as well as swimwear outfits. Pick out your favorite sunglasses and get ready to hit the water!

There is nothing better than enjoying the view, the water and some rosé. Life in the mountains makes me feel like I’m living in a dream.

Summer Hiking in Aspen

The best times to see Aspen covered in white powder are November through early mid-April, any time after that, you’ll be able to experience a plethora of hiking trails and much more! Despite the snow season ending, there are still many fun activities happening in Aspen! You can ring in the summer by going on a hike or hitting up the local bar to see the nightlife the city has to offer.

There are countless hiking trails for the experienced and not so experienced. Some popular hiking trails are Smuggler Mountain Trail and the popular Rio Grande Trail. Smuggler Mountain Trail is approximately 6 miles, so it is a light hike for those who are looking for a nice stroll – it is also dog friendly, so feel free to bring your pups! Rio Grande Trail is for the more experienced, at 42 miles long. You can either hike or bike this long trail. Bikes can be rented from several rental shops.

If you’re looking for more fun and less of a workout, you can always check out some of the best bars Aspen has to offer.   A more low-key option is Aspen Brewing Company in downtown. Since it is Aspen’s only microbrewery, it might be worth checking off your list!

Regardless of what you decide to do to ring in the summer, Aspen has a lot to offer with or without snow. Come check it out and enjoy the city as much as I do. Summer 2018, I’m ready for you!