Anti-Climatic Shoe Shopping

Cheers to the start of a new week! This past weekend felt so busy, but it was filled with lots of good things! I've got lots to share with you today so grab some coffee and let's dive in.

Before I recap our weekend adventures, I want to wish my bestie, Allie, a very happy birthday! She lives in Hawaii but is flying home in a week and a half for her WEDDING! I'm SO excited to see her and participate in all of the festivities!

Backing up to Friday, I ended up hitting the gym rather than doing my run outside because it was so muggy out! I haven't been on an elliptical in forever and it was actually pretty nice for a change! Plus, doing cardio on machines means I get to watch Netflix while I work out! 

Later that evening, Andy and I headed out to Mall of America to check out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! My main mission was to find some shoes to wear with my bridesmaid's dress for Allie's wedding and Andy was in search of some button-down shirts! I ended up not finding any shoes I loved at Nordstrom, so we left to check out other stores in the mall. 

Here's the thing -- I love shoes, but pumps / heels aren't really my thing. I'm more of a wedges, booties, slip-on sneakers, and boots kind of girl! We rented our bridesmaids dresses for the wedding and because of this, we can't get them tailored. Since I'm 5'3", I need heels to get the hem of my dress off the floor. :) Speaking of which, I can't wait to show you my dress -- it's so pretty and a gorgeous slate color!

We grabbed some gelato for a quick treat before continuing our search for shoes. Paciugo at the MOA has the BEST flavors -- I chose mint cookies + milk, caramel waffle cone, and wedding cake! It was so delicious! 

Along with shoe shopping, we also browsed through a few other stores along the way. While in Nordstrom Rack, I came across this shower gel and it legit smelled just like Rice Krispie Treats! It was a super random scent, but it smelled amazing! 

We walked around all the floors of the mall and whenever I'd find a shoe that I liked, they either didn't have my size or it didn't fit right. Unfortunately, I inherited my mom's side of the family's narrow feet and skinny ankles, so its hard to find shoes that fit in the width and in the ankle strap. My shoe size is also 5.5 - 6.5 depending on the brand, and a lot of heels don't come in sizes smaller than a 6. I was starting to feel a little discouraged and decided that I would just head to another mall the next day. 

On Saturday, I was originally planning on watching my little nieces, but we ended up switching the day to later this week so I found myself with an open schedule. I decided to hit the pool to spend the morning / early afternoon reading before heading out to the mall. Andy joined me at the pool after his workout -- it was a perfect pool day with clear skies and lots of sunshine! 

After a quick shower at the gym, I headed over to the mall to scope out the shoe selection. I grabbed a snack at my gym's cafe before heading out because I was starving and really enjoyed this protein bar! I love anything that has coconut in it! As I was leaving the club, I saw my friend Krista in the salon -- a quick wave "hello" reminded me that I need to book a hair appointment after Allie's wedding. I'm SO tempted to go back to my little inverted bob haircut!

I came across a few cute pairs of shoes but ended up running into the same issue that I had the night before when it came to sizing and availability. 

Eventually I gave up and decided to swing by Target on my way home because sometimes they have a decent shoe selection. I ended up not seeing anything I liked, but came across these little socks made for heels. I remembered that I had a gold pair of pumps in my closet at home (similar to these) that I never wore much because I felt like they were a little too wide for me. I decided to buy the little socks in hopes that wearing them with the heels would make them fit a bit more snug! 

The verdict? It was a success! Andy and I joked later that evening how we had spent hours searching for the perfect pair of shoes only to buy a cheap pair of socks to go with shoes that were hidden in the back of my closet. 

I woke up super early the next morning so I brewed myself a cup of coffee and did some work on the computer while simultaneously painting my nails. I painted my nails this color and it's the perfect coral color for summer!

Later that day, we headed up to Andy's brother's house for our nephew's birthday party! It's hard to believe this little guy is already five years old! 

He had a Star Wars themed party and was super excited about all of the Star Wars themed gifts that he received! We gave him a bunch of coloring supplies and it was so fun to watch him open everything! 

After the party, we swung by Costco on the way home to pick up a few groceries. I had never been to the Maple Grove location before and was impressed by the newer (aka fancy) exterior.

We picked up some of our usual staples for the week and I was super excited to see that this location had organic unsweetened coconut milk instead of just almond milk! Between the two of us, we drink a lot of protein shakes each week and therefore go through quite a bit of almond milk!

Afterwards, we headed across the street to make a quick pit-stop at Trader Joe's to grab some of my favorite soup along with a few other items (yogurts, apples, etc.) for the week. 

Once we arrived home, we ate dinner and then I headed out for a quick walk down by the lake. I ended up running into our neighbors / friends, Joel and Liza, and it was fun to chat for a few minutes before I headed out.

Running into them and their two little boys reminded me that we need to find some more "couple friends." Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions on how to connect with more couples.

Best way to meet other couples? 
What are your favorite items at Trader Joe's?

Friday Favorites #5

In typical Friday fashion, I'm linking up for some Friday Favorites from the week!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I made pumpkin bread on a whim last Friday night. I've been using this recipe for the last couple years and it is the best! I always add extra pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to mine, and a cup or so of chocolate chips if I'm feeling extra fancy. It makes two loaves so I almost always drop one off at my sister's house to share the love! 

We're still in a major heat / humidity wave so I've been taking advantage of my sister's pool at least once per week!

The Nordstrom Sale opens to the public today and I'm so excited! Andy and I are heading there tonight -- I'm hoping to find some shoes to wear with my bridesmaid dress! I also want to check out some of their new items for fall as well! If you're looking for recommendations, this blogger has an awesome review of a bunch of the items.

I came across these shoes at DSW last night, but they didn't have my size -- I'm hoping to swing by another location this weekend to see if I can track them down. Aren't they just the cutest?

I tossed this ice cream into my Target cart not too long ago and it's THE BEST. Huge chunks of Oreo cookies are swirled into a creamy vanilla ice cream. What's not to love? 

I'm super weird in the fact that receiving gifts is not one of my love languages, but giving gifts to others is. We're headed to my nephew's birthday party this weekend and it was so fun picking out little gifts for him! I also swung by the mall this week to grab a bachelorette party gift for my bestie. I'm getting so excited for her party and wedding -- it's just two weeks away!

I promise I eat healthier than it looks on here -- you guys just see the fun foods. My sister gave me a package of these the other day and they are so good! I'd highly recommend them!

This is my favorite brow product -- I recently tried out another brand when Ulta was out of the shade I needed, but it didn't go on as smoothly as this product does. Definitely check it out if you're in the market for a brow pomade! The shade I use is "taupe."

I'm off to start my day before heading out on our date tonight! Have a great weekend!

Are you planning to shop the Nordstrom sale?
What's your top love language?
Quality time and words of affirmation are mine!

My 5 Favorite Natural Beauty Products

When it comes to beauty products and household items, I love using items with shorter ingredient lists whenever possible. Doing so reduces the number of chemicals in our home and keeps us feeling our best! I'm sharing my top 5 favorite natural beauty products below! 

I used to love an all-natural deodorant at Trader Joe's, but lately they haven't been carrying it. I picked this deodorant up on a whim at Whole Foods last winter and haven't looked back since. It goes on clear, doesn't leave any marks on my clothes, and it smells so good! 

Speaking of good scents, I love this line of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The peppermint scent is so refreshing and leaves your skin feeling so tingly and clean! 

This lotion is a daily favorite -- especially during Minnesota's harsh winter months. The lemongrass scent is so fresh and invigorating when applied after your morning shower.

I have a little collection of these lip balms because I love having them nearby at all times. I keep them in my purse, on my nightstand, and next to my computer.

This common household product has a million uses, but I especially love using it as an eye makeup remover -- it wipes away waterproof mascara effortlessly.

What are some of your tried and true natural beauty products?
What's your favorite store to shop for natural products?

Three Things

I saw this little survey on another blog and thought that it looked like so much fun! Feel free to play along in the comments section -- I'd love to hear some of your answers! 

Three things I'd never give up
Being Active -- especially outside
Sugar, let's be honest

Three favorite vegetables
Brussels Sprouts
Snap Peas

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end
Pretty Little Liars
Private Practice

Three places I want to visit inside the US
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Northern California (winery tours)
Washington D.C.

Three place I want to visit outside the US

Three things I always have with me
My iPhone
A Hair Tie (Love these)
Lip Gloss (My friend Kari got me hooked on these ones

Three things that are always in my car
Antibacterial Gel
Ice Scraper (Minnesotan for life!)

Three most recent calls were from / to
My Sister, Andrea
The Local Library

Three most often used makeup products
Eyeliner (This one is my favorite and I also love this one)
Foundation (I switched to this brand this year and really like the lighter coverage)

Three things that make me laugh
Witty / Sarcastic Humor
My Little Nieces
My Friends

How about you?
Feel free to answer a few below!


Frumpy to Fabulous

Here in Minnesota, our winters are super long, and after the holidays, there isn't much to look forward to for awhile. Last winter, when I found myself feeling frumpy and just "blah" in January, I started brainstorming ideas to remedy this. I eventually decided to make a commitment to get dressed everyday. 

Now, I'm not talking about taking a shower on Saturday morning only to slip back into pajamas afterwards. Repeat after me, pajamas are not an outfit. Neither are sweatpants.

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I also used to live in my gym clothes on the weekends -- I'd meet a friend for coffee while wearing a Nike track jacket, hit the grocery store in my Lululemon crops, and lounge around at home in my favorite gym shorts. Was I comfortable? Most definitely (helloooo, elastic waistbands). Did I feel confident in my appearance? Not exactly.

Work was a different story; I got up each morning and threw on some leggings and a tunic top or whatever was clean, piled my hair into a messy bun, applied foundation + mascara and called it a day. Then I'd arrive at work and just felt frumpy all day because I didn't put any thought into my appearance. Also, any day that I'd decide to forego a shower (and basically try to mask my greasy hair with a pound of dry shampoo) in attempt to get 15 more minutes of sleep would inevitably be the day that I'd be invited to a design consult with the VP. Yikes.

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I decided that I wanted to stop feeling less than fabulous, so I made a change. I started waking up just a little earlier for work so that I wouldn't feel so rushed (aka frazzled running out the door while trying to juggle a purse, laptop bag, gym bag, and protein shake). I added a few new staples to my closet, and I started putting my best self out there.

Taking the time to wash / dry / style my hair, apply makeup, and wear an outfit I felt good in made such a different in my mindset. I started adding in fun accessories and shoes, which made getting dressed in the morning that much more enjoyable. Because let's face it, not many things are enjoyable at 5:37am on a bitterly cold and dark January morning besides sleeping.

I no longer had feelings of dread when I was invited to a last-minute meeting, and felt excited when a friend invited me to a spontaneous happy hour after work because I felt dressed and ready to go! 

On the weekends, I started wearing similar outfits, just a bit more casual. For example, instead of skinny jeans and my favorite Tippi sweater, I'd pull on a comfy pair of boyfriend jeans and a long sleeved top paired with a puffer vest.

When I hit the gym, I put athletic clothes on for my workout and then shower / change before leaving the gym. No more running errands in sweat-soaked socks!

Here's what I love about this new approach:

I'm always ready to go -- whether it be to run out to our neighborhood market to grab a few tomatoes to go with our dinner, or to meet up with a friend that needs to chat.

I take better care of myself -- I tend to stick to my workouts more regularly and eat healthier.  Let's face it, you're less tempted to eat ice cream straight out of the container when you're wearing your skinny jeans that fit like a glove.

I'm more productive -- when I'm dressed and ready to go, I'm more focused. Wearing pajamas just makes me want to lounge around on the couch and binge watch episodes of my latest drama show on Netflix.

Below are a few parts of my routine that really make a difference for me:

  • I paint my nails every single week.
  • I shower (and wash my hair) every single morning.
  • I lay out my clothes for work the evening before.
  • I style my hair everyday.
  • I only purchase clothes that are in alignment with my personal style. (Post on this coming soon).
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Big, baggy hoodies from college, sweatpants that are two sizes too big (but man, were those comfy!), freebie tees with company logos on them, etc. Since I no longer have these comfortable but worn-out clothes to wear, I'm forced to be more intentional about what I choose for outfits.

Dressing for your day is such a simple concept, but often overlooked! I encourage you to give it a try for a week straight to see if you notice a difference! You've got this!

P.S. I'm linking up with some other bloggers for Tuesday Talk today! Click here to check it out! 

Do you enjoy dressing up?
What are some of your favorite stores to shop?