Girls' Night In

This past weekend was super laid-back and it felt so good to just recharge for the past couple of days! On Friday evening, Andy and I had originally planned to hit the Science Museum for our date night since we had tickets from attending A+C's wedding, but ended up nixing that idea since it was already getting late and the museum closes at 9pm.

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Instead, we went for a walk by the lake, made enchiladas, and played our favorite card game. We love going out, but sometimes super simple date nights at home are so nice after a busy week! 

On Saturday, I went for a long walk, did a few things around the house, and then headed over to my sister's house for a girl's night in. As soon as I pulled into the driveway and got out of my vehicle, I was greeted by my two-year old niece, Becca, standing on their front steps saying "Hi Lolo! I love you!" with her arms stretched open for a hug! Melt my heart!

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We made homemade pizzas while catching up and playing with the girls in the kitchen. My youngest niece, Chloe, will be turning one next month has been taking a few steps here and there, so it was so fun to watch her on her newest endeavor. 

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My sister also made me a delicious mojito to sip on! It definitely hit the spot! 

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After dinner, we played with the girls for a bit before they went down for bed. We settled in on the couch and rented Orphan off of my Amazon account. I had seen it for the first time last summer and recommended it to my sister so we decided to make a girls' night out of it! It's super creepy and definitely not for the faint of heart, but we both enjoyed it!

On that note, I used to watch scary movies like this all the time but I feel like my tolerance for them has gone down as I've gotten older. Case in point, as I was driving home on a secluded road after midnight, there was a guy randomly walking on the side of the road and it totally freaked me out after watching that suspenseful movie! 

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We also had some gelato and I ended up staying there pretty late just chatting after the movie. I really cherish this season in life where my sister and I live so close to each other -- it's been so fun to be able to spend time together almost weekly! 

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Our Sunday was pretty laid back -- we slept in, did a few loads of laundry, and grabbed a few groceries. Side note, Halloween candy has officially landed on the shelves of our local grocery store, and you'd better believe I scooped some up! 

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I also breezed through the rest of my latest library book before joining Andy for a couple episodes of Quantico. We're trying to finish season two before season three starts up this fall, but at this rate, I'm not sure if that will happen.

P.S. I'm linking up with Meghan & Biana today! <3

Best movie you've seen lately?
What's your favorite genre of movies?
 

Friday Favorites #9

Hello and happy Friday! We currently have no plans on the agenda other than a date night this evening and I'm excited to see what we end up doing! The other day, I mentioned to my sister that we should have a girls' night soon, so I might text her and see if she's up for that on Saturday! 

Having multiple coffee dates and a happy hour with some friends made my heart so happy this week! I also met up with an old friend from when I worked at Duffy and it was so fun to catch up with her! 

I'm planning to do a post about styling short hair, but in the meantime, I recently started using this hairspray, this texturizing dry shampoo (which smells amazing!), and this mousse. All three have made it so easy to style this little bob! 

I've been listening to this podcast, which is a sister podcast of Up & Vanished and so far it's really good! If you love crime mysteries, this podcast is for you! 

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I recently received this beautiful statement necklace in my latest Rocksbox and I've been wearing it non-stop! It literally goes with everything! 

I've been stalking the aisles of Target for any early-releases of pumpkin flavored items whenever I happen to pop in there. So far, I've picked up pumpkin spice coffee creamer and pumpkin spice Life cereal, which I tried for the first time last year and it is so good! I'm also trying to track down this because the flavor sounds amazing! 

What's your favorite coffee creamer?
What jewelry do you wear most often?
For me, it's my wedding rings, initial necklace, and mini diamond studs.

My Starbucks Order

I've had a thing for Starbucks for as long as I can remember; I just love it and never get tired of popping in for a drink. When I first started drinking coffee (aka fru-fru frappuccinos in 7th grade), I was equally loyal to both Starbucks and Caribou Coffee (another major coffee chain around these parts).

However, as I got older and started straying away from the sugary, blended drinks, my tastes changed and Starbucks became my coffee shop of choice. I've been gold card status for as long as I can remember and it's not hard for me to maintain this membership. 

My best friend shares this obsession with me and that might be why I love this coffee company so much! We've had so many heart-to-hearts and giggles while sitting across from each other at a table in Starbucks over the years.

I've gone through phases with which drinks I prefer over the years, but for the past couple of years, I've nailed down my favorites. 

If it's not freezing cold outside, 9 times out of 10 I'll order a venti iced decaf Americano with extra ice and a splash of half and half. I'd say that this is my signature drink since it's the one I almost always order.

I had to work really hard to get my hormones back in order, so I still stick with decaf about 90% of the time and the only time I drink caffeinated drinks is when I randomly forget to order decaf. 

If it's freezing outside and too cold to drink an iced drink, I almost always order a grande caffe latte with 2% milk. 

Unless it's around the holidays, that is! Then it's a pumpkin spice latte or gingerbread latte! As previously mentioned, I'm super quirky and just order one of each of these per season and then I'm good until the next year.

I think Starbucks is more about the experience than anything for me. I just love making a quick stop on the way into work if I know I'm going to have a particularly long or crazy day! 

I also love grabbing coffee with friends as it is an intentional time to connect and share with one another.

From time to time, I enjoy solo trips to sip a drink while reading, working on my laptop, or while walking through the neighborhood.

Once in awhile, I'll order a hot or iced unsweetened passion tea or if I'm feeling fancy, an iced caramel macchiato. I typically don't drink a lot of sugary drinks so this is usually a rare occasion. 

Another random tidbit is that I've never liked mochas; I like chocolate and coffee, just not together. Funny enough, that's Andy's favorite Starbucks drink.

It's an obsession that I don't see going away anytime soon and I'm perfectly okay with that! 

Favorite coffee shop?
What's your signature coffee shop order?

Top Ten Pool Bag Essentials

Living in Minnesota, we literally have three months of summer weather and we always make sure to enjoy them to their full extent. We're a bit crazy up here as it's not uncommon to see people biking in snowstorms, snowboarding while wearing a face mask to protect against frostbite, and people wearing shorts when it hits above 50 degrees. Since we do that for approximately nine months out of the year, once summer hits, everyone is outside all of the time! 

I love going to the beach when I'm visiting in another state that is near the ocean, but when I'm home in Minneapolis, I prefer the pools. We have so many lakes here, but I feel like the sand, water, and overall atmosphere isn't as nice as the ocean. Luckily, a few of my friends have pools and we're also always able to use the nice pools at the club.

Each May, I get so excited for the pool at the club to open Memorial Day weekend -- I typically go one day each weekend and spend the entire day relaxing in the sun, reading a book, and jumping in whenever I need to cool down. I typically keep this weekend pool routine through June and July, and by August I'm usually over it. Kind of weird, but this happens to me almost every year.

I switched over to high-quality swimsuits this year and can definitely tell a difference in the fit and quaility. I have this bikini top (in a merlot color!) and these bottoms. Whenever I head to the pool, I almost always bring the same ten items in my pool bag. Since I'm usually there for the majority of the day, there's a few key items I need! Below are my top ten pool bag essentials:

1. Sunscreen
I typically use a spray sunscreen since it's much easier to apply when I'm at the pool alone. I'd love to switch over to a more natural brand soon, but let's be honest -- most of the time I use this sunscreen. I'm all for living a healthy, organic / natural lifestyle, but in the end, it's all about balance.

2. Snacks
So, I don't know about you but I'm always feeling super snacky when I'm laying by the pool. I always make sure to pack one of these, some fruit or raw veggies, and these for my day at the pool.

3. Headphones
My headphones are always in my pool bag -- making it easy to listen to a summer playlist or catch up on one of my favorite podcasts.

4. A book or two
I like to toss two books in my bag -- just in case I finish one, or if I realize partway through the book that I'm just not a fan. Click here for my past book reviews! 

5. A drink
While being out in the sun, it's super important to stay hydrated! I love bringing some of this in my stainless steel tumbler! 

6. Sunglasses
These are a must for a day at the pool! 

7. A hair tie
There's nothing worse than being stuck without a hair tie, am I right? I love being able to pull my hair up so it's out of my way after jumping in the pool. Even though my hair is short now, I'm still able to pull the top layers up into a sassy little top knot! 

8. A baseball cap
I love sporting a baseball cap while at the pool to shield the sun from my face. This athletic one dries super fast and looks cute and sporty as well! 

9. Lunch
I usually bring some cash to grab lunch at the club's cafe or I pack an easy lunch of an avocado + tomato sandwich on Ezekiel bread. Sometimes I'll bring a salad and use EVOO + balsamic as the dressing so that it doesn't require refrigeration. 

10. Flip flops
Each year, I purchase a new pair of these because they're the perfect pool and shower flip flop! They're so cheap and hold up for the whole summer; I usually toss mine at the end of the season and start fresh with a new pair the following year.

What are some of your pool bag essentials?
Are you more of a beach or a pool person?

Guilty Pleasures

I'm linking up with these two ladies today for Tuesday Talk! This was easily one of the quickest posts to put together -- apparently I have a lot of guilty pleasures! #treatyoself

Sour Candy
I'll choose sour or fruity candy over chocolate any day. These don't stand a chance when they're within my reach! 

Seasonal Drinks at Starbucks
I'm weird in the sense that I only get one of my favorite seasonal drinks each season and then I'm good for another year. I get one Pumpkin Spice Latte right when they come out around Labor Day, and then a couple of months later I order my all-time favorite seasonal drink, a gingerbread latte! I'm not a huge sugary drink person (I don't enjoy pop / soda, etc.) so one of each of these each year satisfies my craving! P.S. This is my favorite statement necklace ever (shown above) -- Kendra Scott jewelry literally goes with everything! 

Whipped Cream on my Coffee
Speaking of hot drinks, one of my favorite little guilty pleasures is to top my morning coffee with a generous dollop of whipped cream. This isn't something I do every morning, but it always makes me so happy whenever I do! 

Binge-Watching a TV Show
There's nothing better than discovering a new show and then binge-watching it until you've seen all of the episodes / seasons. My current show that I'm working through is Riverdale on Netflix! I'm so excited for season two this October! You may read about my other show obsessions here.

Frozen Yogurt
Easily one of my favorite foods -- I love self-serve frozen yogurt because it allows me to put toppings on both the bottom and top of my dollop of yogurt! The toppings I add are almost always rainbow sprinkles, crushed oreos, and shredded coconut.

Pedicures
I enjoy doing my own manicures, but when it comes to my feet, I love sitting back in a massage chair while someone else paints my toes. It's the most relaxing hour ever! 

Fresh Flowers
I like to pick up a fresh bouquet from Trader Joe's regularly in the winter months -- it just helps to add a little life to our living room during those cold and dreary days!

Cheese Boards
Andy and I enjoy making a cheese board to munch on while playing board games or watching a movie during one of our date nights at home. 

Getting Lost in a Book
I have always loved reading and love finding a great thriller to read on a Saturday afternoon at the pool or at a local coffee shop. You may check out my past book reviews here.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?
Favorite seasonal drink at Starbucks / coffee shops?