I’m so excited to be staying on board as a Peanuts Brand Ambassador again this year! Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang have and I love being able to share fun happenings + giveaways with you guys from such a wonderful brand!

One of the coolest things to me about Peanuts is how timeless it is. It’s not just comics or TV specials. Everywhere you look, there’s the cutest merch for the brand, from office supplies and collectible figurines, to cards, home decor, and fashion. And is it just me or does the fashion part really seem to be taking off even more lately? I love it!

In fact, my favorite kid’s retailer, Hanna Andersson, has the most adorable line of Peanuts clothing for kids and TODAY ONLY, you can use promo code PEANUTS to get 15% off your entire Hanna Andersson order! I already placed my order for the cutest PJs for my sisters (check them out here and here) – I can’t wait for them to come in!

And speaking of adorable Hanna Andersson PJs, did you know that they created this cute set for the Denver debut of the Snoopy & Belle in Fashion exhibit (which kicks off tomorrow)?!

That’s right, the fashion exhibit is back and better than ever! Last month, I had the opportunity to hop on the phone with Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz’s daughter, Jill, and Peanuts SVP of Marketing, Melissa, to chat about the exciting new Snoopy & Belle in Fashion traveling exhibit! Here’s the scoop.

About the Exhibit

Snoopy & Belle in Fashion is the reimagination of the original Peanuts fashion exhibit, “Snoopy in Fashion” from 1984, which was spearheaded by the head of Peanuts merchandising in Japan, and featured designers like Chanel and Betsey Johnson. Over the years, the fashion exhibit has evolved, growing to 25 designers in 2014, and now, almost 50 sets of dolls from many big names in fashion.

The “Fashionable” Peanuts Founder (As Told By His Daughter)

Ok, maybe Charles Schulz wasn’t “fashionable” himself (Jill laughed at the thought of that), but he was always one to support design and took a great interest in making shows look good (fun fact: he produced an ice show at the local arena for 30+ years)!

Because of this, Jill knows that he’d absolutely love the new exhibit. He didn’t like to travel, and would always say,  “I’ll go anywhere as long as I can be home by noon.” In fact, there were many times he had trips overseas planned and cancelled them at the last minute. So his travels to Paris to see the original exhibit in ’84 at the Louvre were a big deal, but he was eager to see what the designers would do with his characters!

Snoopy & Belle in Fashion Designers

There are SO many designers featured in the Snoopy & Belle in Fashion exhibit, including Hanna Andersson (as you saw earlier in this post), Colleen Atwood, Rachel Zoe, Jenna Dewan Tatum x Danskin, Swarovski, and Calvin Klein!

Many of the dolls actually look like their designers too! There’s complete freedom with the designers (with the exception of not using real animal fur), so this has to be the coolest project they get to work on! Yyou can definitely tell which outfits belong to which designers!

Where to Catch the Exhibit

The exhibit just wrapped up in LA over the weekend, but there are several stops you can catch along the way in the US:

  • Denver, Cherry Creek: March 17-April 11
  • Sarasota, The Mall at University Town Center: April 17-May 13
  • Nashville, The Mall at Green Hills: May 17–June 11
  • Fairfax, Fair Oaks Mall: June 23-July 18
  • New York, Brookfield Place: September 7-October 1

If you’re outside of the US, don’t worry! There are plans to take the exhibit global once this first round of dates is finished. I can’t wait to finally catch the exhibit in person this year to see some of these fab designs in person! Will you be catching the exhibit at one of its stops this year?

P.S. Don’t forget to get your order in with Hanna Andersson! The 15% discount on your order (with code PEANUTS) is only good today!

This post is in partnership with Peanuts.

It’s been a little quieter than usual around these parts lately, but for a very good reason. I know I’ve been holding out on you guys, but I’m excited to announce *drum roll please* I’m officially a homeowner! Ahhhh!

The next big step in adulting. Officially a homeowner!

Let me rewind a little. I’ve been living in the same apartment for the past four and half years, but each year the rent has gone up a bit (including the additional monthly “pet rent”). After about two years, I started looking around at other places for rent in the area, but the big kicker was the non-refundable pet deposit that seemed to be tied to every property for rent, both apartment and townhouse/house. While I could live with the $300 I had to put down in 2012 when I moved in, by 2014, the going rate everywhere had gone up to $500 (non-refundable), which is absolutely crazy to me! I didn’t want to shell that out, so decided to stick it out a little longer since moving would be even more of a hassle.

In April 2016 when I renewed the lease again, I decided that would be the last time. And that it was. I started watching real estate sites to see what kind of houses were going up, how much they were, how long on the market, etc. in the fall, and by early January, began to officially go look at properties. And within a couple weeks, an offer was made and accepted! Next came the mortgage process, inspection, packing, and the move (along with lots of furniture assembly)!

dog-life-furniture-assembly

It’s been quite the whirlwind. And of course, all of this happened in the middle of our busiest time of year at work AND in the midst of a huge surprise birthday party weekend my mom, sisters, and I had been planning for months for my dad’s 50th!

I can’t wait to share more with you on this BIG step in adulting! But for now, bear with me as I get settled into the new digs. I’m hoping to be back in full swing with regular programming here on Small Towns & City Lights soon!

This post is in partnership with the Levi Tourism Board.

I’m SO excited to share this post with you guys today, because it’s hands down the most incredible place I’ve EVER visited. And the time of year we visited (December) made it even more special. Levi, Finland is located north of the Arctic Circle, in a region called Lapland, which also happens to be where Santa calls home!

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

Day 1 // 12:15 – 2:30 p.m.

As we descended into Kittila Airport, we found ourselves in a true winter wonderland. We deplaned ON the tarmac (meaning straight on the runway – not into a gate leading to the inside of the airport), which was a pretty cool experience! Since we had our carry on bags we were able to bypass baggage claim and head straight for the charter bus, which would take us into the main town area.

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

Since check-in at our hotel, Levin Iglut, wasn’t until 4, we dropped our bags in the main resort area and decided to explore the base of the ski mountain, where several restaurants and shops were. We stopped in at a pizza place to fuel up, wandered through a small Christmas market, and even ended up picking up an extra fleece jacket and mittens because we certainly underestimated how cold it would be!

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

Day 1 // 3:30 – 9 p.m.

We couldn’t wait to check into our glass igloo hotel (read all about our stay here), so hopped in a cab to get there as soon as check-in time rolled around! Once we got into our igloo, it was time to relax for a bit, and take in the dark night sky, while waiting (hopefully) for the Northern Lights and enjoying some traditional Finnish Christmas treats we picked up in town.

Staying in a glass igloo is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Read all about it!

Day 1 // 10 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Our first big excursion took place late in the evening, but was one we couldn’t wait for! We made our way back into town to meet our tour guide for the Snowcat Northern Lights excursion. Our guide drove us over to the ski mountain area, and we hopped into the Snowcat and began to make our way up the mountain, in search of the Aurora Borealis.

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

After driving around the mountain for a while and not seeing any more hints of green in the dark night sky, the group collectively decided to call it a night. And while we were bummed the lights hadn’t come out for us again (they’re never guaranteed, but the chances of seeing them in the winter are high), we still had a blast chatting with the Italian family of 4 also on the excursion and our hosts (who brought some delicious Finnish treats for us). Swapping cultural stories and just taking in the beautiful snow-filled scenery was wonderful!

But alas, just as the group piled back into the van to go back into town, a tiny streak of green appeared. And the hosts were kind enough to turn the car around (even though our excursion time had technically ended) and go back up the mountain to chase the lights. I tried to capture video and took SO many pictures, but nothing I did gave what we saw with our eyes any justice. The green streak grew across the sky and some pink/purple coloring appeared as the “lights” LITERALLY danced around in the sky. While it was totally freezing (we hopped out of the car to watch in awe), it was SO worth it, and one of the most incredible things I’ve ever witnessed. It almost seemed like there was a special effects person controlling the sky – too amazing to even recount!

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi! Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

Day 2 // 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

We slept in a bit after our late night hunting for the Northern Lights (and wondering if they’d appear again above us in the igloo), and were surprised to wake up and see that it was around 9, because it seemed more like 6/7 with the lack of sunlight. Such a crazy adjustment!

After grabbing some breakfast in the main lodge, we wandered around the area for a bit, taking in the scenery. We absolutely loved how peaceful it was, and of course, all of the snow. It truly was a winter wonderland!

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi! Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

Day 2 // 1 – 4 p.m.

The next big adventure on our schedule? Snowmobiling to a REINDEER FARM! As many of you know, I’m 110% obsessed with Christmas, so this was next-level excitement for me, being able to see reindeer in real life!

We were a bit concerned about not having extreme winter clothing, but were assured we’d be good to go with the gear the excursion company provided. When we arrived, we were already dressed in thermal leggings, jeans, an undershirt base layer, sweater, and winter coat. In addition to that, we were given a hefty (Michelin Man-style) suit to step into and zip up, thick boots, and a face mask to block the wind. We were good to go!

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

This excursion was family-friendly, so kids were able to be pulled in a sleigh behind our excursion leader’s snowmobile. My mom and I shared a snowmobile and switched off on the driving (me going out, her coming back) and it was quite the adventure! Neither of us had even driven (and I’d never been on a) snowmobile, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but all that was needed was a valid driver’s license. Our guide was incredibly helpful and looked out for us since occasionally we were trailing behind – those things are hard to maneuver!

After snowmobiling for a bit, we came across the cutest little cabin, which happened to be the reindeer farm! Here, the group stopped in to warm up and have some delicious treats and juice, while learning more about reindeer and life on the farm. My mom and I also opted to do a reindeer sled ride, which was SO cool! I wish we weren’t in our jumbo suits when we photographed this memory, but hey, I’m happy to have been able to experience it!

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

Day 2 // 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

After our big afternoon, we popped into a cafe for some food and spent some time wandering around town one last time to pick up some souvenirs to bring home and to explore more of Levi’s resort area before heading back to spend some more time in our incredible glass dome igloo for one last night.

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

Day 3 // 8:30 – 11 a.m.

In terms of adventuring, day two was the end to our dream trip to Levi. But for anyone interested in traveling there (which I absolutely recommend!!), I wanted to include a note about the airport. While the Kittila Airport is small, we experienced it at full capacity when leaving. There were a few tour groups from the UK plus other visitors, so we were SO glad we got to the airport a little over 2 hours in advance, since the lines for the check-in counter and security were incredibly long. I’ve never seen an airport so packed!

Lapland, Finland is the most beautiful place I've ever been! If ever there was a place to add to the bucket list, this is it! See how you can spend 2 days in the town of Levi!

We hated that our magnificent adventure in Levi had to end so soon. There’s just something so magical about the Lapland region of Finland, especially in December when the Christmas magic is in the air! I can’t wait to get out there again one day!