My Denver Home X Apt2B

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I’m SO excited to finally share my new little apartment in Denver, CO with you guys! For those that don’t know by now - I was really feeling like I needed a change of scenery and a new adventure to allow myself to grow, so I got a small 450 sq ft studio apartment in Denver. I have always wanted to live near the mountains, and i’m so happy I chose to give Colorado a shot! It is so beautiful and i’m having the best time making new friends and trying new things!

Let’s be real — one of the hardest things about moving is furnishing a new place. It can be really expensive, and most of the time it takes FOREVER to receive large pieces of furniture. Thankfully I came across this awesome site called Apt2B. Their products are made in the USA, and they sell direct-to-consumer so prices are super low for the incredible quality of furniture you get. They have a huge variety of different styles to choose from, so that you can decorate your place to reflect your unique taste! They also offer a 100 day return policy, which definitely eases some of the anxiety that shopping online for such a big investment such as furniture brings. The best part... it only takes about 2-3 weeks for them to build your sofa in their downtown Los Angeles factory!! OH WAIT I lied — it’s gets better: you get FREE in-home delivery with your order!

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The centerpiece of any living room is always going to be the sofa. I wanted something small since I don’t have much room, but let’s be real — I watch a lot of Netflix and I needed a comfy place to camp! I love the vintage vibe this Saxon Sofa has, and the best part is it’s extra deep seat with a plush down filled cushion. I’ve had a couple of friends even crash on it already and say it makes a comfy bed!

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How about this lacquer coffee table?! My mom (the interior design expert that she is) really sold me on mixing such a modern piece with the vintage style sofa. I absolutely love the way it turned out! It was really important to me that the table not cover up too much of this FABULOUS rug (thank you New England Loom) and to make this piece even more great — it’s only about $200!

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These bar stools were the first thing to catch my eye on the Apt2B site. I love the mid-century modern design, but the black on black color gives them a sleek modern twist! I sit here a lot on my computer, and the high back makes it a comfy place to work from!

 
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I wasn’t positive that i’d have room for this amazing accent chair, but I was so desperate to have it that I ordered it anyway. Thankfully, it fits perfectly in this corner and creates a really cozy little nook! I love the contrast of the metal brass and the buttery tan leather. It’s everyone’s favorite place to sit!

 

My apartment is super small, so I didn’t have a ton of space for side tables. Luckily this set of Live Edge Martini Tables was the perfect fit! I really love the rustic touch they add to the space!

 

Pro accessory tip: my favorite way to warm up a space is with cacti and succulents! They always bring a little life to any room, and they’re super low maintenance which is a huge plus for me with how much I travel. The trick is to only water them a little bit every couple of weeks!

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If you’re in the mood to make some quick purchases, Apt2B is having a New Years sale and

EVERYTHING on their site is 19% off!

All photos by the incredibly talented Ashtin Paige

Combat Boots

 

photos by Rebecca Slaughter

Urban Outfitters - AfterPay

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Urban Outfitters has always been one of my go-tos for Fall fashion! I found the perfect pieces to transition from the summer heat to the crisp cool temps that October brings in. I swooped some fun trendy pieces like a super soft teddy jacket and chunky white sneakers to pair with classic denim and neutral basics. You can shop all three looks below, and best of all there’s a new way to pay for your Fall clothing haul!

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Afterpay it!

Shop now, pay over time.

The deets: Buy what you want today and pay for it over time with 4 equal installments billed every 2 weeks (14 days). Use your debit or credit card and get approved instantly. Pay nothing extra when you pay on time. All you need to do is choose ‘afterpay’ as your payment option when you’re ready to buy. When checking out, quickly create an account using an existing debit or credit card. The automatic payments are then scheduled for you. You must be 18 years or older to create an account, and the order value must be between $35.00 and $1,000.00 USD. There is no wait time! Afterpay uses a mobile phone number and a few personal details to create your account in under 2 minutes.

 
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all photos by Ashtin Paige

thanks to Urban Outfitters for sponsoring this post <3

Instapost - Iceland's Rainbow Road

photo by Rachel L’Antingua

photo by Rachel L’Antingua

Instapost - Is It Fall yet??

photo by Ashtin Paige

photo by Ashtin Paige

HONDURAS

   As I type this, i've been home from my week long trip to Honduras for about twelve hours. I keep going back and forth between wanting to really process through all of the emotions running through me before I dive into it all, and getting it all out before the feelings dissipate. I guess I'll start by saying that I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time. A 'mission trip' as I guess you call it, but somehow at thirty years old this was my first. Of the 5 love languages, my primary one is 'acts of service' so the idea of going and serving other people by doing concrete things that will help their well being gets me fired up! (If you don't know what this is but want to CLICK HERE) But, I'm also very practical (sometimes too practical?) and my left-brain dominant mind always wondered if the $1000 I would spend to go on such a trip was better off just being donated directly to the cause. I always questioned if it was selfish of me to want to go over just giving the donation. Regardless, I wanted to do whatever the right thing was to make the biggest difference. 

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Here is one of my biggest takeaways from this trip: I am certain that my time and money was beyond well spent in Honduras. I feel like I could write a novel about all that I saw and experienced, both with the people of Honduras and with the incredible group of human beings that I was with that now feel like family to me. I've been thinking about how to divulge everything from such a full and intense experience, so I've decided to split it up into four lanes and I'm going to try and concisely tell you a little bit about each lane. 


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1. The first lane: learning, observing, and understanding. This trip was unique because for the first three days we got to explore the mountains of Honduras for a project called Generous Coffee. If you watch the Bachelor, you probably know Ben Higgins. (FYI we are now calling him The Generous Coffee guy, NOT the Bachelor guy, so get on board!!!) He led our group through a tough but exhilarating trip up the literal side of a mountain to one of the highest points in the Cordillera de Celaque mountain range to meet a family that owns and operates a coffee farm that Generous is hoping to source from in the near future. You guys. Words truly don't it justice. These people live in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen - however it is utterly remote, albeit impossible to get to and from even in heavy duty trucks, and even then the journey is brutal. Nonetheless, we saw people walking with heavy sacks of coffee barefoot crossing the same path as us, which floored me. They live without running water, without electricity, and they are working their butts off every single day so that we can drink a cup of coffee. The families AND children pick the berries by hand, and then go through a rigorous process to clean, prep and sell them. This process is long and difficult, and with passion and perseverance they carry this out every single day. AND THEY ARE NOT compensated anywhere near fairly enough for their work, or for their high quality product. As someone who has depended on coffee every day since I was nineteen years old, this changed the way I will drink said coffee for the rest of my life.

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Not only is Generous Coffee working to provide fair compensation to this family we visited and others like it (we only got to visit one farm on this trip, but there are several others like it) by purchasing coffee from them, they are building relationships and loving on these individuals along the way. When Ben and I met I could tell he had a special heart, but getting to observe first hand how he is literally changing the lives of these farmers and their families that we met those first few days with this company was something really special. He has a God given leadership quality and a self sacrificing heart. It's such an honor to get to be a very small part of what he's doing!

If you want to learn more about the coffee process and/or what Generous Coffee is doing to improve the lives of these beautiful hardworking people, AND/OR change some lives by buying some coffee then CLICK HERE.

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2. The last three days of this trip we spent in three different villages near El Progresso that Humanity & Hope United Foundation (H&H) has been working with for several years. This is my official happy dance into the second lane - but as for the practical side of H&H: their mission is to create sustainable change within these remote communities by creating new businesses in each village to facilitate job provision. They have found that when the men and women have jobs, they feel empowered because they can provide for their families with their OWN efforts. There has been quite a bit of positive progression, but y'all these villages still need electricity, they need running water, and these people want purpose. They WANT to work, (they even said they want jobs over clean water) and H&H is creating that for them. I got to visit one village that now has power and water for the first time ever, and the others are working towards the same goal. In Remolino, where H&H has been in the longest, I got to witness and learn about the agriculture projects they've created such as pineapple farms and their chicken business. It was incredible to see the physical fruit that has come through love, labor, and fundraising - but the best part was the amount of gratitude these people showed us for helping provide these jobs, and it was earth shattering.

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It's impossible to continue and not mention how moved I am by the heart of Riley Fuller. Riley is the president and co-founder of Humanity & Hope, there aren't words to describe the fullness of his heart. I am truly honored to know him and see how much he loves the people of Honduras, and I admire how hard he works to improve the lives of these people that live a world away. Watching him this week was such a gift, to see God using his heart, his mind and his perseverance to change lives forever and really, REALLY make a difference.


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3. This leads to the third lane of this trip - relationships with the people of Honduras. Something money cannot buy is love. We were welcomed not only into these communities but into their individual homes with open arms. We got to listen to their stories, and learn about every aspect of their daily lives. It was truly the most precious gift. The children especially, who are so full of love and light, were overflowing with joy at the chance to meet new people, play with new friends, and tell us about their hopes and dreams.

I got to watch several people in our group reunite with kids and adults that they have formed friendships with on previous trips, and it is a special thing to see. It's also incredibly moving to see how much love the Hondurans have for their family, for their friends, and for their village. Without the silly distractions we have in America, their favorite way to spend their free time is with each other - laughing and loving and living.                                          It really encouraged me to come home and spend more of my time doing the same.

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My one and only low from this trip was that I wish I knew some Spanish (Rosetta Stone - letz get it) so that I didn't need to rely entirely on a translator to communicate - but one of the highs was experiencing what the language of physical touch can say (this is my secondary love language by the way, lucky me!) A hug, holding hands, carry kids around on my back, sitting with and next to each other - these small things poured light into my life as much as I'm sure it poured light into theirs. 

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4. The final lane of this trip was the group of fourteen human beings I shared this experience with and the beautiful friendships that were born from it. I'll say it again - love, relationship, companionship, fellowship, discipleship - these things you cannot put a price on. In the world I live in, I am constantly moving from one thing to the next. I am constantly pouring out to my family, my friends, my animals, my work, my house, my responsibilities.... and not often enough do I get the opportunity to allow others to pour into me. It was desperately needed, and humbly appreciated. There's nothing quite like a bond created from loving and serving others together. For an entire week we put down our phones, left our laptops and our responsibility at home and spent our time hearing each other's stories, getting to know each other's hopes, passions, dreams, insecurities, struggles, fears, and everything in between. I think it moved each and every one of us to tears at one point or another. (and continues to even though we're now home and spread out all over the U.S.)

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Truly I feel like I could go on and on and on and still wouldn't ever capture the full extent of beauty that happened this week with just words and photos alone. It's something you have to experience for yourself, and right now if you're reading this I'm going to encourage you to do so.

If you want to learn more about Humanity & Hope, the history of the organization and what exactly we're doing and how we're doing it, then CLICK HERE. Join us on a trip, buy a bag of coffee, share on social media - every gesture counts! You can forever change the lives of others as well as your own. 

 

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ALL PHOTOS BY THE INCREDIBLY TALENTED KAYLA BACON

special shoutout to the best Honduras roomie in the world, TIFFANY AU for helping me edit this mess! <3

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