Walking In Wayzata

Almost every Friday night, Andy and I head out for a date night. Sometimes this is as simple as going for a walk around the lake or watching a movie with homemade popcorn; other times, we head to a local museum, Mall of America, or restaurant. Whatever we end up doing, we always enjoy having that time together to reconnect after a busy week! 

It was nice and cool outside on Friday, so we opted for an outdoor date. We ended up heading to the cute little town of Wayzata to walk around by the lake.

Once we parked, we headed to the main street area for some frozen yogurt! They had Nutella and toasted marshmallow flavors on tap and they were so good! 

Yogurt Lab is definitely one of our favorite froyo spots! 

After our treat, we headed out to explore the area near the lake. We loved checking out some of these old buildings that were covered in vines.

Eventually we ended up down by the lake -- it was fun to walk around the area and see how much more life there was in the summer verses the last time we were there in March

As we approached the Wayzata Historical Society, we came across the cutest little town replica!

It even had a little train track that went through the city! 

I just love this little town! Everything is so quaint and cute! 

We were hoping to browse through Anthropologie once we reached the retail side of the city, but unfortunately they had just closed for the evening! 

As we were heading back to our car, I noticed this cool brick background in the stairwell of the parking area and suggested that we take some pictures! 

On the way home, we decided to swing by Lakewinds, a local food co-op to check it out! My aunt and many of my Life Time friends have recommended this place to me but I always forget to stop in. It reminded us of a small Whole Foods and we ended up leaving with some cheese and crackers to have as a snack once we got home! 

It was a simple date night but we both really enjoyed being outside, walking around, and having a little treat! 

Where are some of your favorite places to visit?
Favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?

Typical Grocery Haul

I'm definitely a person that loves grocery shopping, and there's nothing better than having a fridge stocked with fresh options for meals and snacks! Andy and I typically grocery shop each weekend -- most of the time we go together, but once in awhile we will go separately, depending on what our schedule is like.

I'd say 80% of our groceries come from Costco mainly because we are both creatures of habit and tend to stick to the same meals for weeks at a time before switching things up. The rest of our groceries (mainly random items in smaller quantities) come from either Trader Joe's or Target.

Below is our typical Costco haul:

Weekly Staples:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread (I eat avocado toast almost every day)
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk (for making protein shakes)
  • Berries: Usually strawberries or blueberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 4 Dozen Organic Eggs 
  • Chicken Breasts (for Andy)

Other items we pick up as needed:

  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Random items like a huge jar of kalamata olives, feta cheese, coconut oil, etc.
  • Makeup Remover Wipes (I LOVE these -- especially for after the gym or while traveling)
  • Bars -- protein bars, KIND bars, or Clif Kid Z-Bars for snacks
  • Random toiletries: shaving cream, etc.

Each week, there's also a few things we purchase in smaller quantities -- below are the items we typically pick up from Target / local grocery:

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots + Celery
  • Tomato Soup
  • Oranges or Apples
  • French Baguette
  • Condiments (hot sauce, coffee creamer, sour cream, etc.)

We also purchase supplements each month from Life Time Fitness -- Fast Fuel shakes for Andy, and Grass-fed whey protein + L-Glutamine for me. 

Items such as K-cups for our Keurig are ordered every few months from Starbucks.com (I usually buy the 100 pack whenever they have an online sale).

Once in awhile, we will switch things up, but overall, we tend to stick to our usual grocery haul because it works for us! We both eat fairly clean probably 80-90 percent of the time and have a treat every once in awhile. I love ice cream, popcorn, and cereal and Andy enjoys random snacks like Cheez-Its and tortilla chips every once in awhile. We both enjoy eating healthy in conjunction with our active lifestyles -- this works for us, but everyone's dietary needs are different so be sure to honor your body.

Where do you typically shop for groceries?
What are your weekly staples?

Week Wrap Up

This week has been another full one! I've had a few days off in between freelance projects, so I've been soaking up the downtime on these beautiful summer days! 

On Monday, I met up with my sister and her little girls for a morning walk at the aboretum -- they have a treehouse exhibit up and my toddler niece really enjoyed it! 

Our trip to the arboretum was fairly short, because I had to head to a dental appointment later that morning. Going to the dentist is one of my least-favorite things ever -- the sounds, sensations, and just teeth in general freak me out. I had chipped off a small piece of my tooth twice in one month, so I decided to go back to my former dentist to have it taken care of. Long story short, the outer part of the enamel had worn away in one area, which is why that area was more vulnerable. We switched dentists when we moved to the other side of the cities, but I felt more comfortable going to see the dentist that I knew and trusted. If you're local, Dr. Derrick Veneman is THE VERY BEST; I'd highly recommend him.

After all of the teeth drama, I rewarded myself by eating ice cream for lunch. One of the perks of being an adult. ;) The entire right side of my face was totally numb from the procedure, so eating this was quite an interesting endeavor. I couldn't even breathe out of the right side of my nose -- such a weird sensation! 

Later that afternoon, I worked on a few illustration projects, and then headed out for a walk. After a quick stroll through the neighborhood, I met up with Andy to read by the lake. This was super relaxing and it was so nice to be able to sit so close to the shoreline -- this will definitely be a regular occurance for me this summer! 

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The next morning, my sister picked me up and we headed to the outlet mall for some shopping. She suggested that we swing by Dunkin' Donuts on the way, and of course I can't say no to that! 

We shopped around for a good chunk of the morning / early afternoon before heading back home. I found a pair of Nikes for Andy, since we couldn't find any last weekend, along with a couple basic v-neck tees from Gap. My daily uniform is basically distressed skinny jeans, basic v-neck tees, and a Kendra Scott Rayne necklace. It's simple and is easy to dress up or down depending on the shoes and jewelry. 

Wednesday morning started out with a quick 4.5 mile run on a local trail before heading back home to start my day. I wanted to make a good dent in a few design / illustration projects that I've been working on, so the majority of my day was spent working on those. Originally, I had planned to meet up at the pool over lunch with my friend, Jen, but the afternoon ended up getting away from me. 

Later that afternoon, I headed over to Barnes & Noble to do some research for an upcoming project. B&N will always be one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon! 

Afterwards, I headed over to Kona Grill, which I always want to call "Kona Brew", since that is the name of one of my favorite restaurants in Oahu! I met up with four of my girlfriends for a happy hour and it felt so good to catch up with them since it had been awhile since we've seen each other. My friend, Kacie, brought her 2.5 week old daughter and she is the cutest little thing! 

Once we parted ways, I breezed through Costco to grab some essentials for the week before heading back home to hang out with Andy.

It's a rainy / stormy morning over here -- which is perfect for working on some freelance projects from home! Have a great day!

What's one of your favorite places to spend an afternoon?
Favorite outlet store?
Nike and J.Crew are mine!

June Goals

I'm a little late to the June goals game, but I've been working towards a few goals this past month! First, here's a quick recap of my May goals:

1. Renew my Passport
Done! The paperwork has been filled out and I had a new photo taken -- it feels SO good to have this checked off of my list.

2. Select a few additions to my summer wardrobe
Kind of accomplished! I recently purchased a couple of my favorite tees from Madewell, a pair of jeans, new bikini (top and bottom), and a new pair of wedges for summer. I still need to pick up a few more tees and tanks though! 

3. Establish morning and evening routines
Done! I'll do a post on each of these! 

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4. Create one new illustration
Done! Instead of one illustration, I've been working on lots of tiny illustrations -- check out these little cuties! 

5. Research vegetarian diets
Done! I spent time researching this and also talked to my friend, Jen, who is a long-time vegetarian. I'm feeling good nutrition-wise and am enjoying this new approach.

Below are my goals for the month of June:

1. Purchase more tanks and tees

I know this is still bouncing off of last month's goal of adding items to my summer wardrobe, but my selection in my closet is still limited when it comes to short sleeves. I've got my eye on this tee in navy, this one in golden rose, this tank, and a lightweight tunic.

2. Continue my new running routine 3x per week
I've really been enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would -- I really thought my running days were over, but apparently I still really enjoy hitting the trails for a good run! 

3. Be intentional about scheduling time with others
I've noticed that I feel so much more energized when I've spent time with people -- I'd like to make this more of a regular occurrence rather than just a once or twice a month thing.

4. Commit to my ab routine 1-2x per week
I used to be so diligent about this and then fell off the bandwagon -- I use Kayla Itsines' BBG program for this and love it! 

5. Start implementing new ideas for lunch
I've been eating so many Greek salads lately and am ready for some new meals around the noon hour.

What are some goals that you are working towards?

Sunday Funday + Other Weekend Activities

This weekend was a great combo of both busy and relaxing! We've had some cooler temps in the cities and it has been so refreshing! Temps were in the low 70s all weekend and it felt so amazing to be outside without sweating to death! 

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Friday
Friday morning started out with a quick run down by the lake -- it was a beautiful morning and this always helps me to get my day off to an energizing start! 

We went out for a dinner date on Friday evening and made a list of characteristics we'd like in our new home -- we plan to share this when we meet with a realtor in the upcoming months. Luckily, Andy and I have very similar tastes when it comes to what we desire in our future home, so it made the list writing fairly easy! 

Afterwards, we swung by Redbox to grab Beauty and the Beast for the evening. We saw this movie in the theaters a few months ago, but loved it so much that we wanted to see it again.

Saturday
On Saturday, I headed out for a morning walk and ended up having an hour-long text conversation with my good friend, Hanna! She texted me just as I was heading out to the local trail and we ended up conversing back and forth for a good chunk of my walk. Hanna is one of my friends from Life Time and is an AMAZING athlete -- she runs a million miles a day and regularly competes in triathlons with her boyfriend! When I worked at Life Time, Hanna and I would always run into each other in the break room as we were making our shakes and smoothies for the day. Eventually, we started meeting regularly for lunch dates and found out that we are both very similar (minus the whole triathlon thing, because swimming just isn't my forte). It felt so good to catch up with her -- she's definitely one of my favorites! 

Towards the end of the walk, I swung by our local bakery to grab sprinkle donuts for Andy and I as a Saturday morning treat. Upon arriving home and showering, we both ended up going our separate ways for the day -- Andy was meeting a friend for lunch and I had plans to babysit my nieces for the afternoon.

Also, quick side note -- I made a protein shake before heading out to my sister's house and used this new mocha java powder that I ordered off Amazon. Andy and I both love the "Mocha Madness" shakes from the Life Time cafe, and this mocha java powder is the key! I threw some almond milk, grass-fed whey protein, mocha java powder, L-glutamine, and ice into my mini Ninja blender and this shake tasted just like our favorite from LifeCafe! I'd highly recommend it if you like mocha shakes! 

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I know I say this a million times, but I just love these little squirts so much! We played "princess birthday party" for a good chunk of the day after we decorated their princess castle with homemade party decorations. Every time I look at this picture, it makes me laugh -- it's so funny how little it takes to entertain a toddler.

Eventually it was naptime -- after getting both girls down, I watched tv for a bit and before I knew it, Chloe was up from her very short nap. This allowed both of us to play together for the majority of the afternoon while Becca was still asleep. I think little Chloe enjoyed the one-on-one time! We played with bubbles, read books, and I tried to teach her to color but that didn't go over too well. :)

Later that evening, I met up with Andy at a local park for a walk around the lake -- less than 20 minutes into our walk, it turned into an all-out sprint back to the car to avoid the pouring rain that suddenly broke out on us! We swung by Target on the way home to grab ice cream and a few groceries before heading back to the house to watch the last half of Beauty and the Beast. In standard fashion, I fell asleep halfway through the movie the night before -- I can never stay awake for evening movies! 

Sunday
The next day, we decided on having an impromptu Sunday Funday by taking a mini road trip down to the Nike Clearance store to find some new shoes for Andy. We ended up leaving empty-handed, but the trip wasn't a total wash since we decided to swing by a new Hy-Vee store on the long ride home. I was SO impressed with this grocery store -- they had tons of mini food stations, a Starbucks coffee shop, full beauty department, and even a full restaurant. 

We grabbed a late lunch at their Chipotle-inspired food station and it hit the spot! Afterwards, we strolled through the aisles to browse around. I don't know what it is about new grocery stores, but I just love exploring them -- I probably said "this place is amazing" at least seven times while we scoped the place out.

After our Hy-Vee adventure, I convinced Andy to head to a local park down the street -- one that I used to frequent as a kid. It's a gorgeous paved trail that walks around a lake, park, and camping area. It was so breezy and cool outside -- much different than the previous weekend's weather! 

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing at home -- I recently got sucked into the show, This Is Us, and have been binge-watching it! It's so good! 

What show are you enjoying lately?
Favorite thing to do on a Sunday?

What I've Been Up To Lately

This time of year always brings so many activities; my calendar for the past month has been filled with so many fun items! Here's a quick recap of the past few weeks! 

First things first, the pool opened Memorial Day weekend and I was so excited to get out there with my iced tea and book! I typically hit the pool at least once a week -- it's one of my favorite things to do when it's so hot out! I always leave at the end of the afternoon feeling super relaxed and rejuvenated -- it's like a mini vacation day.

We also celebrated our nephew turning three years old Memorial Day weekend! He had a race car themed party at their house and we enjoyed playing with some of his new toys out in the backyard. We gave him a tennis racket and it was a hit! 

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The following weekend was my cousin's graduation party! It's still so hard for me to believe that she's all grown up! It was SO hot outside this day but we had fun celebrating Marissa's accomplishment -- and the cake was pretty delicious, as well! My little niece was having the best time -- cake, animals, a trampoline, and a swing at the party made her day! 

After the grad party, we headed to a local winery to meet my aunt and uncle (from the other side of the family) for a wine tasting!

It was nice and breezy on the patio of the winery and we had the best time catching up while enjoying wine and apps on our double date! 

I've also been setting aside some time to work on my illustrations! It's been so fun getting back into the groove of creating art just for fun.

I've been in somewhat of a workout rut lately -- whenever I head to the gym to lift, I feel like my heart just isn't into it. Andy suggested picking up running again -- a sport that I loved for so many years but then phased out of it when I started lifting more seriously. I'm on my second week of it and have been loving it so much -- it has felt really refreshing and empowering!

With that, I'm heading out to start my day! Have a great weekend! 

Do you enjoy running?
Ever been to a wine tasting?

May Books

Well, howdy do! It's been a hot minute since I've been on the blog -- May ended up being a crazy month, including starting a new freelance gig that I have been really enjoying!

Between the new job, I've been spending almost every sunny day at the pool, which is my favorite part of summer! 

My work schedule is a little lighter for the rest of this week, so I'm planning to spend the day prepping some blog posts, wrapping up the wedding programs that match these invitations, and working on an identity project that I'm super excited about! There will be another post up on the blog tomorrow, and I'll have my June goals post up next week! Stay tuned! 

I wanted to check in today to review the TEN books that I read in May -- there were a lot of them! You may check out my past book reviews here, here, and here.

The Magnolia Story // Chip & Joanna Gaines
The first book I read was The Magnolia Story, and it was hands down, my favorite book of the month. I rarely watch Fixer Upper, so I wasn't too familiar with Chip and Jo Gaines, but after reading their story, I had SO much respect for this couple. They have literally built their business up from the dirt beneath them and have overcome so many challenges to get to the point where they are today. Such a quick and easy read -- I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to devour an encouraging / inspiring story! 

Do Less: A Minimalist Guide to a Simplified, Organized, and Happy Life // Rachel Jonat
This book's tagline caught my eye since I'm obsessed with simplifying / organizing my life. I breezed through this little paperback in just one day and while a few of the points were helpful, I felt like overall, this book was simply common sense. This book also reminded me a little of Unstuffed by Ruth Soukup, but I felt like Unstuffed was more applicable to my life.

The Best Yes // Lysa TerKeurst
I love Lysa TerKeurst -- her style of writing and quick humor are always entertaining. This book was such a good reminder of how important it is to evaluate our decisions and commitments. Most of the time, the majority of us are so quick to say "yes" to something -- failing to realize that if we say "no", we can say "yes" to things that matter most. Such a good read, and would be great for a small group or book club! 

You know this wouldn't be a monthly book review without a bunch of Francophile books thrown in, right? Below are the French lifestyle books I cruised through last month; there are shorter reviews for these since I understand that not everyone is as obsessed with the French culture as I am. ;)

Forever Chic // Tish Jett
This book was good, but not great -- I felt like Jennifer L. Scott does a better job of portraying the French lifestyle. 

Bringing Up Bebe // Pamela Druckerman
This was definitely a winner! I actually listened this this as an audiobook, so Andy was forced to listen to it whenever we were driving together. ;) I loved hearing about this style of parenting and definitely plan to implement a lot of the techniques once the little Kaupangs join the family. ;)

The Butler Speaks // Charles MacPherson
Not necessarily a French-culture inspired book, but this one was an overview of basic etiquette, which I've always found fascinating to read about. I know, I have a diverse taste in books...

Bonjour Happiness // Jamie Cat Callan
Probably my least favorite book of the month -- I just wasn't a fan of this one and felt like it was the least applicable of all the French culture books I've read.

At Home with Madame Chic // Jennifer L. Scott
I'm always a huge fan of Jennifer L. Scott and this book did not disappoint! I loved learned more about how the French manage and style their homes.

Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide To Finding Her Inner French Girl // Debra Ollivier
Another one that was good, but not great -- felt like I had already read about this information in my other French lifestyle books.

What French Women Know About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind // Debra Ollivier
Not a fan of this book -- I whipped through it quickly, but overall it wasn't great.

There you have it! I've been plowing through a stack of books for the month of June, so I'll be sure to review those for you at the end of the month -- which is already in two weeks! Crazy! 

Have a great day! 

Best book you've read recently?

A Warm Weekend

This past weekend definitely brought a taste of summer with it! The temps were in the low to mid 80s and it felt like summer! 

My weekend began with a quick run to Trader Joe's for some groceries on Friday afternoon! I love shopping at TJ's because they have the prettiest bouquets of flowers for less than $5! It's amazing how much a fresh bouquet of bright tulips can brighten up a living room! 

I found these acai puree packets while browsing the aisles and immediately tossed them into my cart. My love for acai bowls started a few years ago during my first trip to Oahu -- they are so refreshing! 

So naturally, I made one as soon as I arrived home and unloaded all of the groceries. I tossed the packet in the blender along with some apple juice, strawberries, and ice before topping it with bananas, berries, coconut, chia seeds, and honey. It definitely hit the spot! 

Later that evening, we went out for dinner and then headed to a regional park to walk around the lake. Unfortunately, it started sprinkling just as we arrived at the park, so we headed home and played our favorite card game before calling it a night.

The next morning, we woke up to beautiful blue skies and a high of 83! We ran a few errands before coming back home for lunch and then heading out for solo walks! 

I went by myself because I wanted to pick up my books that were on hold at the library and then I had a phone call planned with a friend. I'm not a huge phone person (I prefer face-to-face communication), but when I do talk on the phone, I enjoy going for walks. It was so warm outside and by the time I finished up my phone call, I was more than ready to hang out inside for a bit to cool down! 

After an evening of homemade pizza and salad, we headed back outside to walk down by the lake to catch the sunset. This was the perfect end to the evening! 

Sunday's weather was a repeat of Saturday's, so we took advantage by spending the majority of the day outside again. We played tennis near the lake for a bit before Andy's friend came over to play a few rounds with him. During this time, I headed to another local lake to rollerblade the afternoon away! I was SO ready for a cool shower and a relaxing evening after this excursion! 

Do you play tennis?
Ever had an acai bowl?

Friday Favorites #2

Hello and Happy Friday! The forecast looks absolutely gorgeous for the next few days and I am looking forward to spending the majority of the weekend outside! We're heading out for a date night tonight, but otherwise have zero plans for the weekend! I'm hoping that we can play a game of tennis to take advantage of the spring weather! 

I've got a round of Friday Favorites for you today before we kick off the weekend! These are a few of my favorite items from the week that I'd like to share! Enjoy! 

1. Rollerblading! 
This is one of my favorite warm-weather pastimes and it felt so good to dust off my Rollerblades and take them out for a spin around a local lake. It's always such a great workout and the time flies by as I listen to my favorite tunes.

2. Jay-Bird Wireless Headphones
On that note, I can't mention Rollerblading without sharing my love for my Jay-Bird wireless headphones! Andy and I purchased pairs of these headphones right after Christmas and we have been loving working out without headphone cords! It's so freeing! 

3. Iced Passion Tea Lemonades
Now that warm weather is in full-swing, I've been in full-on summer mode. In the summer months, I love ordering an iced passion tea lemonade from Starbucks, but recently starting making my own at home. Every few days, I brew a large pitcher of Tazo Iced Passion Tea (we use the pitcher packs) and keep it in the fridge. To serve, I simply pour some over ice, add a splash of lemon juice, and stir in one packet of stevia. It's so refreshing and delicious! 

4. Gap Pure Body Joggers
I had to run to Nordstrom the other day, and decided to run to Gap on my way out of the mall. Typically Gap's clothing sizes don't fit me the greatest (I find that they run big and tend to be boxy), but I do love their pajamas! I came across these Pure Body joggers and they are SO cute and comfy! I purchased the "Aloha Stripe Grey" and they're the perfect lightweight pajama pants for the summer months. 

5. Arboretum Visits
Our local arboretum is in full-bloom right now and it is such a joy to spend time there. Oftentimes, my aunt and I will meet there to walk through the beautiful gardens while catching up with one another -- these visits mean so much to me and are always a highlight of my week! 

I'm off to finish this work week off strong before we head out for our dinner date later this evening! Have a great weekend!

Ever been to an arboretum?
Favorite warm-weather activity?

Yard Sale Weekend

This past weekend, my sister hosted a yard sale at her house! This was our first time pulling one off and whew, it was a lot of work! Her friend, Brooke, also pitched in and between the three of us, we pulled off a 2-day yard sale.

Due to my recent decluttering efforts, I contributed a lot of stuff that I was happy to get rid of! It's crazy how much we hold onto over the years and how good it feels to finally get rid of it! 

I was on baby duty for most of the two days while Andrea and Brooke ran the sale. It was so fun to spend extra time with both of my little nieces! 

Becca surprised us with her social butterfly attitude throughout the sale -- normally she is quite shy around strangers but this past weekend, she walked right up to them and started telling them which items to purchase! It was so hilarious and fun to see the customers play along. 

My favorite part was when two little boys pulled up on their mini 4-wheeler -- Becca flocked over to them so quickly and kept following them around. It was so funny to watch her enthralled with these two little boys shopping our sale! 

After our sale ended on Saturday afternoon, I quickly packed up all of my remaining items and rushed over to drop them off at the local donation center before it closed at 6pm. 

Upon arriving home, Andy and I immediately headed out for a walk to enjoy the beautiful evening! 

A relaxing night on the couch sounded perfect after a busy day at the sale, so we walked to our local Redbox to rent "Jackie" -- a movie about the life of Jackie Kennedy. I was so excited about this movie and it ended up being just okay -- the story was good, but overall it was a little slow.

Sunday was spent relaxing around the house, breaking out my rollerblades for the season, and watching a few episodes of How to Get Away with Murder while enjoying the last of the moose tracks ice cream from our freezer.

I'm off to work on a branding project before heading out to grab a few items at the mall! Enjoy the start of this beautiful week! 

Ever hosted a garage / yard sale?
Best movie you've seen lately?

May Goals

Last month, I set some goals for myself to accomplish during the month of April. I'm naturally a very goal-oriented person, and had no problem crossing almost all of these items off of my list! Below is a quick recap before I move onto my goals for the month of May -- those in italics were completed!

Last month's goals:
1. Finish up my bestie's wedding invitations and design her wedding programs (Done! See below)
2. Read five books (I ended up reading 6 last month!)

3. Go on a sister birthday date with Andrea
4. Schedule an appointment to have my vehicle detailed (It feels brand new inside!)
5. Prioritize self care (Did a better job than usual of scheduling downtime a few times per week)

I did an excellent job of accomplishing all of my goals except for going on a sister birthday date! However, I was able to spend time with her and my nieces at least once a week this past month.

My bestie's wedding invitations are going to the printer this week, and the programs are designed and will be printed as the wedding date gets closer. You may view the wedding invitations by clicking here

My goals for the month of May are:

1. Renew my passport! 
I haven't used my passport since I traveled to Rome back in 2008! It expires this fall, and it is still in my maiden name, so I need to update that as well.

2. Select a few additions to my summer wardrobe
We've had some really warm spring days last month, and I came to the conclusion that I don't have many summery clothes for this upcoming season. I plan to remedy this thanks to a J.Crew gift card! 

3. Establish morning and evening routines
I'd love to sit down and solidify intentional routines to both start and end my day.

4. Create one new illustration
I think this is the goal that I'm looking forward to the most! I've been itching to spend an evening listening to music while cranking out a new illustration project.

5. Research vegetarian diets
I've been eating a vegetarian diet since February and have found it to be so much easier than I thought! I'd like to invest a little bit of time researching this a little more to make sure that I'm eating enough protein and nutrients each day.

What's one thing you'd like to accomplish this month?
What does your morning or evening routine look like?

Lost + Found Diamond

Earlier this week, I headed downtown for a client meeting -- it was rainy and unfortunately a lot of the parking ramps in the area were full. I parked a few blocks away from my destination and set out on foot to head to the office. Just as I was about to walk through the revolving door of the building, I straightened my rings because I felt them slipping. I realized that my ring felt weird so I glanced down to find that one of the diamonds was completely gone! 

Luckily it wasn't the main stone, but it was one of the medium-sized diamonds on either side of my princess-cut center stone. Since I had a meeting to attend, there wasn't much time to panic; I texted Andy and my best friend and rushed up the elevator to my meeting. Once the meeting wrapped up, I flew out of there to hurry back to search my vehicle. I gave up on looking on the streets for it because I had covered multiple blocks while commuting on foot just an hour earlier.

There was no sign of the diamond in my vehicle, so I immediately took a detour on the way home and swung by my jeweler's shop. All I can say is, thank goodness for a lifetime warranty, because the missing stone was completely covered! I filled out some paperwork, dropped off my ring, and headed home for the evening. 

Later that night, I tried to relax by watching a show while eating dinner and then headed to bed. However, I was still feeling disappointed that I had lost my original diamond!

The next morning, when I went to go make the bed, I noticed something on my side of the bed. THERE WAS MY DIAMOND, RIGHT ON MY BED SHEET. I couldn't even believe it! I called my jeweler to see if they had started my ring repairs yet and since they hadn't, I dropped the diamond off at the repair shop later that evening.

I'm still in shock that I actually found the missing diamond! Seriously, what are the chances of that?!

Ever lost something important?
Did you ever find it again?

April Books

In case you missed it, you may check out my previous book reviews here and here. This past month, I discovered a new genre of books that has easily become my new obsession. The French culture is so fascinating to me and I'm looking forward to incorporating a lot of their mindsets into my life. Their ability to succeed in mastering the "art of living" was so inspiring to me! 

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Lessons from Madame Chic // Jennifer L. Scott
This book was such a light and easy read -- I breezed through it in just a few short days. The book is a recap of Jennifer's experience while studying abroad in Paris for six months -- covering all of the things she learned about the French lifestyle. This book lit a fire in me because it was so intriguing and most of all -- so simple! I was so surprised to hear that the French typically don't snack between meals, eat on the go, don't wear lounge clothes around the house, and walk to the local markets every few days to keep their groceries fresh. So, so fascinating and well worth reading if you think you'd be interested in this type of lifestyle.

On that note, the second book I read this month was:

Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic // Jennifer L. Scott
This book focused more on the art of living a classy, poised life and it was so fun to read -- mainly because it's so different than how most of us live. I flew through this book in less than 24 hours and noticed myself paying more attention to areas of my life that usually went unnoticed. Things such as posture, being a good guest, proper communication, and more were discussed in this quick little read.

Unstuffed // Ruth Soukup
The third book I read was such an eye-opener and I found myself breezing through this book in just a few short days as well. I came across this little gem at the most perfect time -- as I've been going through many of our closets and drawers lately since my sister is hosting a garage sale early next month. Ruth talks about how clutter literally weighs us down and causes unnecessary stress in our lives. The focus on living a simple life -- one that is free of both physical / mental clutter and unmade decisions was the main takeaway, and this is definitely a book that I plan to refer back to every so often! 

Living Well, Spending Less // Ruth Soukup
After finishing Unstuffed, I immediately picked up this other title by Ruth Soukup. While I felt like Unstuffed met me more where I am in life, this book was well worth reading. I felt that the first half of the book (living well) was more applicable than the second half (spending less), mainly because I feel that I'm already good at managing finances and saving money. I loved how this book talked about the importance of living an authentic, well-balanced life. Definitely something that we all need to be reminded of every now and then! 

The two other books that I read this month started off on a high note, but then I wasn't a huge fan of the rest of the book. These books were The Widow by Fiona Barton and Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. I wouldn't recommend them as they got a little dark by the middle of each book.

What have you read recently?

10 Things I've Learned in my 20s

My aunt once said to me "the twenties are hard," and I couldn't agree more. Fresh out of college, you think you have it all figured out, then you realize how little you know once you're out in the real world. What a humbling moment that is.

Once your mid-twenties hit, you go through so much change and transformation -- trying to figure out how you fit into the world. Learning how to balance working, finances, and figuring out how a 401k works.

As I've recently reached the last year of my 20s, I finally feel like I'm almost to the other side. The upper 20s are spent working to define your personal style, choosing your friends wisely, investing in yourself, and most importantly -- realizing what didn't work for you and how to adjust accordingly.

Below are 10 things that I've learned in my 20s that I wish I would have known 10 years ago! 

  1. Nothing is worth it if you aren't happy. This includes jobs, relationships, and large savings accounts.
  2. Not every minute of your day needs to be productive. I remember when my boss at my first design job told me this after I was getting so antsy after completing projects without having another one to start right away.
  3. Don't chase after people, their effort will reveal their level of interest in you. So much wasted time and effort! My best friend, Allie, and I have maintained our friendship since 8th grade despite living 3,500 miles apart for many of those years.
  4. You don't owe anyone an explanation behind your decisions. At the end of the day, you're the one that has to live with them.
  5. Boundaries are the key to healthy relationships. Set boundaries with yourself, your family, your friendships, and your work.
  6. Invest in quality over quantity. This includes choosing friends, your wardrobe, and the food you consume.
  7. The importance of dressing well. Not only will you feel more confident, but others will take you more seriously.
  8. Be your own advocate and stand up for yourself. You know yourself best and it's important to always have your own back.
  9. Stress affects the whole body. Learn stress-management techniques and make them part of your daily routine.
  10. Accept who you are and embrace it. This is where true confidence comes from.

What's something you've learned about yourself recently?
 

Easter Weekend

This past weekend flew by oh so quickly, but it was a good one! I kicked off the weekend by picking up donuts and heading over to my sister's house to play with the girls for a bit! 

I took the girls for a little walk around their neighborhood and then headed back to their house for lunch before heading out for the day.

I put the girls in these little toy boxes and then scooted them across the rug and they thought it was the best thing ever. So funny how the most random things make kids so happy! Also, can we please acknowledge Chloe's little chef's hat that we put on her head? Haha! Love it.

I worked for a bit that afternoon, and then we headed out for date night! We decided to head to Mall of America since it was raining outside and we wanted to walk around somewhere.

We grabbed dinner at Tucci and then browsed the mall for a bit. It was crazy busy on this particular night -- not sure if it's because of spring break or what the deal was! 

We swung by a few of our favorite stores including PaperSource, the Apple store, Barnes & Noble, and DAVIDsTEA (because I'm obsessed with their packaging!).

I loved playing around with the Apple Pencil in Adobe Sketch on the iPads at the Apple store! These make digital lettering so easy!  

Browsing through Barnes & Noble reminded me how long it's been since I've taken the time to look around there! I'm putting a B&N solo date on my calendar for next week! 

Insert all the heart-eye emotions here at DAVIDsTEA! I just love the gold foil, color combos, and patterns that they incorporate onto all of their packaging. So, so pretty.

Since we celebrated Easter last weekend, the rest of our weekend was pretty laid back! After church, we did some spring cleaning of the hall closets and then headed out for a walk down by the lake. It was a gorgeous Easter Sunday -- 65 degrees and sunny!

There's a little trolley car down by the pier that sells Sebastian Joe's ice cream, and we couldn't pass it up! I swear this Oreo ice cream was the best I've ever had -- so many cookie chunks throughout! In case you haven't picked up on the theme yet, my life can basically be summed up as: I go for a lot of walks and enjoy eating ice cream.

All-in-all, it was a great weekend! I'm really excited that it's Monday today because I'll be working on a design project that involves handlettering -- one of my favorite things! 

Best part of your Easter weekend?
Favorite kind of donut?

Friday Favorites #1

Happy Friday! I feel like this week flew by so quickly -- I can't believe this weekend is already Easter! Today I'd love to share some of my favorite things from the week! 

Spring manicures! It's been so fun using the spring / summer colors of my Essie collection after so many months of winter colors! 

This rock version of Ed Shereen's "Shape of You"

These boyfriend jeans are currently on heavy rotation -- I purchased these on a whim just before we left for our spring break vacation, thinking they'd be perfect for spring / summer. I typically view my denim purchases as investment pieces since I wear it so often -- I'd much rather have a couple pairs of high-quality denim that fit well than many pairs of lesser quality. A quick note -- these run big -- I went with my usual size but easily could have gone down one full size for a more snug fit.

I received these pink Hunter wellies from Andy for my birthday last month and they seriously go with everything! They're super comfy and add a little pop of color to any outfit! 

I love distressed denim, and it's been so fun pairing this light wash with all of my favorite spring tops. Speaking of spring tops, I am loving this mint hoodie (shown in the photo above) that my sister gave me for my birthday! It's so cozy and the perfect color for spring! The mint version is sold out but they have a pretty blue color that's still available online!

Spring temps! It's been a little rainy this week, but other than that, the spring weather has been so welcomed! I've enjoyed having our windows open and wearing my cute spring jackets rather than my puffy North Face winter jacket.

I booked a massage last week and it ended up being such a great idea. Okay, but really, when is a massage ever not a good idea? 

What's been your favorite thing this week?
Favorite manicure color?
Light pink is my favorite! 

Favorite Hair Products

A couple years back, I published a post about my favorite makeup products; while today I'll be sharing my favorite hair products! 

First off, here are a few key facts about my hair:

  1. It is very fine-textured
  2. It is very thick
  3. It doesn't like to do anything other than be in it's natural straight state.

So, in summary, I'm not able to skip a day of showering, it takes forever to dry, and it won't hold a curl. So fun! 

Due to the above factors, it wasn't until I started embracing the hair that I have that my hair started behaving the way I wanted it too. I remember my friend Carly telling me how to "train" my hair to go multiple days without washing it. I tried this for a couple weeks and eventually gave up because to me, there's nothing worse than feeling like my hair is greasy.

In order to get my hair to do what I want it to, I wash it each morning, blow dry it completely, and either style it straight, or use specific products to help it hold a curl.

Since my hair is naturally straight, I can typically push my haircuts out to once every 8-12 weeks. My friend Krista cuts my hair and she is my favorite stylist I've ever had! For the locals, Krista works at the Life Spa inside of the Crosstown Life Time Fitness. I have nothing but good things to say about her! 

I use the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day shampoo and conditioner duo and feel like it leaves my hair cleaner than other brands I've tried in the past. Once in awhile, I'll add in some Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo if my hair needs a little more volume after drying and styling.

After showering, I blot my hair dry with a towel, comb out the tangles, and then apply Kerastase Nectar Thermique heat protectant cream since I always blow dry my hair. Krista recommended this product to me and it smells SO GOOD.

I let my hair air dry for a bit while I apply my makeup, then I blow dry it completely before adding one pump of Moroccan Oil throughout the ends and middle section of my hair.

After this, I either flat iron my hair using my favorite GHD Gold Professional flat iron, or curl it using a wand. I'm currently borrowing my sister's Bed Head Curlipops 1-inch wand and I love the wavy look that it provides. 

Once in awhile I'll use either my half-inch or 1.5 inch curling iron to achieve smaller or larger curls.

Once I'm finished flat ironing my hair, I rub a tiny bit of Aveda Brilliant Humectant Pomade between my palms and then run my hands through my hair -- starting at the ends, and then lightly touching the roots to remove any flyaways. I love this pomade because it gets rid of static and flyaways in the winter, and keeps the humidity from making my hair frizzy in the summer.

On days that I curl my hair, I spray it with hairspray (see below) before, during, and after curling it. For me, this is the key to getting my straight, fine hair to actually hold a curl through the workday.

I top it off with Bumble & Bumble's Spray de Mode finishing spray and then I'm on my way! 

What's your go-to hair product?
Favorite way to style your hair?

A Balanced Weekend

This past weekend was the perfect balance of both being out and about and having some much-needed downtime! 

I kicked off my weekend by meeting up with my friend and life mentor, Jayme, for a long walk!

Since we're both early birds, we met at 7am for a 90 minute walk and it was beautiful outside -- sunny with a crisp breeze in the air! It was so fun to catch up with her -- she's easily one of my favorite people ever! 

Shortly after I arrived home from walking with Jayme, my sister and her two little girls popped over for a walk downtown, playtime at the park, and a quick lunch! 

I just love these little girls so much! It's been so fun watching them grow up and develop little personalities! Becca is definitely the funny + spunky child, while Chloe is always happy / smiley + content.

Later that evening, Andy and I made a quick Easter candy run before watching the last two episodes of the first season of Quantico! I grabbed my two favorites -- Starburst Jelly Beans and Cadbury Mini Eggs! 

The next morning, we swung by my sister's house to drop off some items for her upcoming garage sale.

We enjoyed playing with the girls in the yard for a bit before heading out for the day.

After we left Andrea's, we headed to the lake for a walk before heading to Costco to stock up on a few items for the week. We ended up hitting Costco at the perfect time because they had a million samples to try -- aka the best thing about grocery shopping.

Later that evening, I gave myself a mani + pedi while watching How to Get Away with Murder, at the recommendation of my sister. Oh my goodness, you guys -- I am hooked! I don't know why I waited so long to start this show but it's definitely a new favorite.

The next morning, I was up bright and early so I went for a leisurely walk through our neighborhood before getting ready for the day -- it was such a perfect, sunny morning! 

Around lunchtime, we headed up to my in-law's house to celebrate Easter! We had lunch together, played with our little nephews, and also dug out Andy's old Clue game and enjoyed playing it with my brother and sister-in-law.

It was pouring rain on the drive home -- I kept hoping we would get the thunderstorm that the forecast had predicted, but all we got were some periods of heavy rain. I'm definitely one of those people that loves thunderstorms -- always have, always will!

I was starving on the way home, so we swung by Panera to grab a quick dinner -- I ordered my favorite black bean soup and it hit the spot! The rest of the evening was spent relaxing at home and it felt so good to just chill out with no plans on the agenda.

What are your plans for Easter?
Favorite board game?

Arboretum Adventures

Yesterday morning, I met my Auntie Mary, my sister Andrea, and my two little nieces at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for a walk! There wasn't much in bloom this early in the season, but it was still fun to stroll through the many gardens while catching up with one another.

My little niece, Becca, brings so much joy to my life! Right after I took this picture of her, she said "Lolo sit next to Becca?" She just melts my heart! She's just two years old but she has such a big personality for a little girl! 

She always loves visiting this little playhouse each time we go to the arboretum -- it's just her size! 

This smiling little cutie is Chloe, who will be seven months old next week! Chloe is always in a happy mood and we love her sweet little personality so much! She napped for part of the walk, but later woke up and enjoyed looking around as we walked through the gardens.

After walking throughout the grounds of the arboretum, Andrea and the little girls headed home for naps, while my aunt and I headed to the arboretum cafe to meet my uncle for lunch. They had roasted butternut squash soup on the menu today and I immediately knew that that was what I wanted to order. Nothing like a hot bowl of soup after a chilly walk outside! 

After lunch, my aunt and I headed down the road to the local Starbucks for a coffee date. We tried the new toasted coconut cold brew and I'd have to say it was just okay. I was looking forward to trying this since coconut is my favorite flavor ever, but it tasted a little too sweet for my liking. We chatted girl talk for a couple hours before going our separate ways for the evening.

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By the time I arrived back at home, it was after 5pm and I was starving! I grabbed a handful of Easter candy to munch on while quickly assembling a massive salad for dinner. What is it about seasonal candy that makes it so darn delicious?! 

I had high hopes for this salad and it ended up being just okay -- I ran out of dressing as I was pouring it on top, and what good is a salad without adequate dressing, right? 

It was such a pretty evening, so I ended up going for a quick walk down by the lake before heading back inside to tidy up a bit before relaxing and reading for the remainder of the evening. 

Favorite Easter candy?
Favorite salad topping?
Green olives are my favorite!

April Goals

Don't you just love the fresh start that the beginning of a new month brings? It just feels like a clean slate and I love the feeling of possibility that it brings.

For the month of April, these are the items that I'd love to accomplish:

1. Finish up my bestie's wedding invitations and design her wedding programs
My friend, Allie, is getting married in a few months and I couldn't be more excited! Allie and I have been friends since our middle school days and it has been so rewarding to have gone through so many different seasons of life together. I started her invitations last month and am so excited to apply the design to the wedding programs! 

2. Read five books
Last month, I easily breezed through four books, so I know I can whiz through five this month! The one I'm most excited about is Unstuffed, which I still need to pick up from the bookstore! 

3. Go on a sister birthday date with Andrea
My sister and I both celebrated our birthdays last month, but I had to work on my birthday and her little girls were sick on her birthday! We're planning on have a special sister date that will hopefully include a trip to the large outlet mall just north of the Twin Cities! 

4. Schedule an appointment to have my vehicle detailed
Our winters here are rather harsh and take a toll on our vehicles -- I'd like to have the interior of my car professionally detailed so that it's nice and clean for spring! 

5. Prioritize self care
This is so, so hard for me and I don't even know why! I'm such a do-er and it's so hard for me to slow down and take care of myself. I booked a massage yesterday, so that means I'm starting to get on the right track, right? 

What are two things you'd love to accomplish this month?
Favorite thing about the month of April?
I'm so excited for the spring flowers to start popping up!