While on my RTW trip I loved posting monthly updates as they’re so much fun to both write and look back on. So I figured why not recap my new life out west too? Read about month 1 here. All these photos are from Instagram, @ashleyabroad– find me there for slices of daily life!

So in Months 2 and 3 I continued to love life in Colorado and adjust to the old 7:30-4. But most importantly in January I got my own place! (After crashing with not one but two family friends- what a mooch.)

As of late I’ve been working, skiing and obsessing about my new apartment. And once in a while I squeeze in a boozy brunch, as pictured below.

Brunch

Highs

My very own bachelorette pad.

I got so lucky with my apartment- not only do I get to bunk up with my college roommate Alyssa (featured in posts such working backstage at NYC Fashion Week and Venetian carnevale), I also get to live in a spacious and beautiful place. Plus, it’s smack-dab in the middle of my favorite hipster neighborhood and we only pay $1750 a month, a steal compared to my San Francisco/Chicago/London friends.

And can I please gush about how glorious it is to have my own apartment after 2.5 years of nomadic living? Maybe this novelty will wear off, but for now I’m relishing every second in my new pad. Though I admittedly spend far too much time fretting about Amazon packages and perusing Etsy. Photos/post soon!

Ski trips galore.

Keystone

My goal this winter was to ski three weekends a month and so far I’m almost meeting it! In the last five weeks I’ve done three ski trips: Winter Park, Keystone and A-Basin.

One huge highlight was renting a gorgeous, 10-bedroom house last weekend with a bunch of my college friends. It was so lovely to see everyone and not even expensive with 15 people.

Question- how many of you would be interested in hearing about ski trips? Because I’d love to write about them.

Dating someone great.

I’m not sure how much I’ll share about this facet of my life, but I’m seeing someone who makes me smile. Sorry for being such a tease, ha.

Continuing to explore Denver.

The_source

While I haven’t spent as much time out and about as I’d like (ski trips and moving don’t allow for much of that), last month I uncovered my favorite Denver discovery so far: The Source. The Source an artisanal food market housed in a former 1880’s brick foundry building. I’ve been twice so far and on both visits enjoyed delicious coffee, tacos and craft cocktails.

Florida for the holidays.

Florida_Beach

While I’m not a huge beach bum, I loved spending the holidays with my fam in Florida. In Florida I just soaked up the sun and attempted to relax: I played tennis, shopped with my siblings, swam in the surf and cooked an enormous leg of lamb for Christmas Eve dinner. Ten days well-spent.

Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Disney

Um, Hogsmeade guys? The best. Over the holidays I dragged my 15-year old sister to Harry Potter World to geek out about butter beer, stroll through Diagon Alley and devour a salted caramel blondie waffle cone at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. Post very soon.

Watching my savings grow.

Call me Scrooge, but one of my favorite parts of working a salaried job is watching my savings grow each month. By 2015 I hope to have saved 20K so please chide my frivolous apartment spending, mmkay?

A business trip this month!

It’s so crazy to me that a year ago I was a beach-bumming blogger and now I’m going on a business trip. More details later but here’s a hint- my company’s sending me to a blogging conference!

Lows

Feeling unhealthy.

Ugh, gone are the days of funemployment when I had time to work out twice a day. Now I wake up at 5:45 a.m. every day and return at 5, so finding the energy to move after such a long day is tough.

So to combat this my roommate and I are pledging to a. not drink alcohol for the next month, b. cook every meal and c. do something active each day.

Not blogging enough.

I’ve accepted that my old schedule of two 1,500-word, carefully photographed posts a week is not going to happen so I’m going to have to be creative. Going forward I will be sharing more collaboration posts and quick ski trip posts. I’m even thinking about doing monthly posts about blogging revenue… would this be of interest to anyone?

The insecurity problem.

Ugh. If I could change one thing about myself it would my eternal insecurity (that or my tendency to lose/forget everything.). But really, I compare myself to others and then feel so stressed I end up in tears. I think I need to get “Comparison is the thief of joy” tattooed somewhere because this is such a problem.

Missing France.

Is this a ridiculous thing to put on my lows list? But seriously- so many people I love live in France and it kills me that I haven’t been in almost a year. Plus, the cheese, bread, yogurt,  etc. suck in the U.S. and frankly I’m over it. I want my 90-cent baguettes on every corner back in my life. #francophileforever

Up next:

Well, nothing too different! In February I foresee lots of ski trips and Denver exploration, and this weekend I’m going to a porter tasting and a reggae concert. (And okay fine, I’m also going to Ikea, the bane of my life.)

Blogging-wise I’ll be writing about ski trips, Harry Pottery World, Florida and Denver. I’d also love to tackle my trip to Malaysia as well as some French recipes and blogging advice.

Announcement- guest posts needed! Please get in touch if you either blog and work OR if you have worked as an au pair. I may have some opportunities for you!

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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