Love You Forever Custom Baby Print

Last week I wrapped up a custom handlettering project that I've been itching to share! This pretty print features a phrase from the well-known children's book and is perfectly fitting for a nursery.

Girl's Day

This past week, I met up with my mom, sister, and adorable little niece for a pre-birthday lunch date. My sister and I's birthdays are two days apart (March 21 and 23) and my mom had offered to take us out to lunch to celebrate a little early. 

My mom came a little earlier than Andrea and Becca so that we could run to a few of her favorite shops in my city. She lives up north so she enjoys swinging by some of the shops that her town doesn't have. Naturally, we had to stop for a Starbucks! My go-to drink lately has been an iced hazelnut latte.

After a quick Trader Joe's run, we met for lunch; Becca was all decked out in her little ballerina outfit and was mesmerized all of the fancy light fixtures in the restaurant. I can't believe that she will already be three months old this week! 

We ate lunch and passed Becca around between the three of us--she's such a good baby! Her newest thing is the fact that she has discovered her hands and enjoys playing with her fingers and holding things.

After lunch, we decided to grab some froyo for dessert--they had a new tiramisu flavor on tap so I paired that with their Nutella flavor and it was absolutely delicious! 

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Once we finished our yogurt, we hit a few more shops while Becca napped in her stroller. It was so nice to be out in the gorgeous spring weather (it's been in the 60's lately!) and spend time with my mom, sister, and favorite little niece. 

So Long, Appendix!

Last weekend, I unexpectedly had an appendectomy due to acute appendicitis. The whole thing was kind of a blur since it happened so quickly, but the good news is that I'm on the mend! 

To be honest, I always thought getting your appendix out would be much more dramatic than my experience was. I had some cramping the week prior and brushed it off as no big deal. That Wednesday, I lifted weights (leg day) and noticed that my hip felt funny the next day. I also felt a little nauseous that evening but assumed I just had an upset stomach from something I ate. I figured I had pulled a hip flexor since the majority of the pain was coming from the front of my right hip--especially when I moved my leg or twisted my abdomen. I googled "appendicitis" just for kicks but was reassured that it wasn't the case when I read the symptoms of "flu like characteristics and sharp, debilitating pain."

As the night went on, I tossed and turned as the pain in my right side became more severe. The next morning, I went to the chiropractor to have her check it out since they're used to all of my sore muscles from lifting weights. My chiropractor expressed concern about it being my appendix and recommended that I go straight to urgent care to get it checked. Upon arriving to urgent care, they immediately brought me back to a room and did an ultrasound and then a CT scan. After waiting for what felt like forever, the doctor came into the room and told me that I had early-onset appendicitis and that they would be doing a direct transfer to the local hospital so that I could be prepped for surgery.

Once I arrived at the hospital around 3:30pm, they immediately brought me to my own room, gave me an IV with antibiotics (in case my appendix burst), and some fluids since I was dehydrated and hadn't eaten anything yet that day. They continued to monitor me before sending me off to surgery around 9pm. The surgery took about one hour from start to finish and once it was complete, they kept me in the recovery room for awhile to make sure everything was okay before moving me back to my room to rest. I remember that my throat hurt from the breathing tube and I was so thirsty--I swear, apple juice has never tasted so good in my life! I was really tired after the procedure and slept fairly well despite being in the hospital. My care team woke me up pretty much every hour to check my vitals and the incisions but thankfully I had no problem falling back asleep each time.

The next morning, I ate breakfast and lunch at the hospital before they discharged me--they wanted to make sure my digestive system was back in order before letting me go. Nothing really sounded good so I choked down some bland foods like toast and applesauce before heading home. The recovery has been a lot easier than I imagined--I took it easy last week to let my body rest and allow my incisions to heal. My appendectomy was done laparoscopically, so I just have three small incisions in the center of my lower abdomen. My appetite is still a little wonky and I feel exhausted anytime I get up and walk around, but I'm slowly starting to feel like myself again and am thankful that everything went well! 

Makeup Essentials

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a product junkie. I love trying out new makeup products, colors, and techniques. In my spare time, I enjoy watching tutorials on YouTube for new ideas on how to apply some of my favorite products.

My everyday face routine is pretty simple; below are the products that I use (and love!) on the regular:

1. Pur Minerals Correcting Primer - This primer goes on super smooth and keeps my foundation in place all day without feeling greasy or dewy. Check it out here.

2. Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup in Golden Medium - After using liquid foundations all my life, I recently switched over to a powdered foundation now that my skin is clearer and requires less coverage. Check it out here.

3. Sonia Kashuk Ultra Luxe Lip Gloss in Fairest Flush - The perfect lip gloss for an everyday look--it's nice and light while adding just the right amount of color. Check it out here.

4. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original - My eyeshadow never used to last past lunchtime until I switched to this eyeshadow primer. This creamy base helps keep my eyeshadow looking fresh all day long. Check it out here.

5. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe - This is easily my favorite product--a smooth pomade that you apply using a small angled brush and a spoolie to even out and fill in your brows for a more defined look. Check it out here.

6. IT Cosmetics No-Tug® Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black - A friend of mine recently recommended this liner to me and I love how it glides on evenly and lasts all day without needing any touch-ups. Check it out here.

7. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara in Blackest Black - Great for getting that long, thick lash look! Check it out here.

8. Urban Decay Naked2 Palette - With its rich, pigmented colors, this is hands-down my favorite brand of eyeshadow. The variety of colors allows you to play around with different looks and create the perfect combination for any occasion from everyday to a fancy evening look. Check it out here.

9. Essie Nail Lacquer in Sand Tropez - I always seem to have my nails painted and this classy neutral is perfect for an everyday look. I love using this color as a base coat as well! Check it out here.

What is your #1 must-have cosmetic item that you use on a regular basis?

Be Here

"Stress is caused by being here
but wanting to be there."
-Eckhart Tolle

I found this quote the other day while browsing on Pinterest--there was just something about it that really resonated with me. Too often, I find myself caught up in the planning, controlling, and analyzing rather than just being present in the moment.

I crafted this simple handlettering project as a reminder of how wonderful it truly is when we finally let go of the to-do lists and running in circles to just simply let ourselves be here, right now--enjoying the moment for what it is.

Cozy Faves for Chilly Days

If you live in an area that involves frigid temps and snowy days, you know how important it is to have the right gear. Over the past few years, our Minnesota winters have been even more brutal than usual (is that even possible?)--I remember last year there was one day in January where the high was -19*--so cold that it literally hurts to be out in the elements for more than a mere second.

Although our temps haven't been that brutally cold yet this winter, we have had a few chilly days that make you want to stay inside curled up underneath a blanket. For the days that I do venture out, I always make sure I'm all bundled up to stay as warm as possible. Some of my favorite winter items include:

1. Nike Pro Hyperwarm Tights. I purchased these a couple years ago right before we went on an anniversary trip up north. Not only are they flattering and comfortable, they're also a great base layer since they have a fleece lining on the inside. They're perfect for lounging around in on a cold day or for layering up before heading outside. Last winter, I accidentally tossed these into my gym bag instead of my regular tights and let's just say that was one sweaty workout--definitely not recommended for indoor training. Check them out here.

2. The North Face Guardian Gloves. Last year I invested in a warmer pair of gloves but they ended up not making the cut on those horribly cold days. This year I purchased the heavy duty waterproof and windproof gloves to keep my hands toasty warm--no more chilly fingers while trying to fill my vehicle with gas! Check them out here

3. Archer Farms Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa. We stocked up on a variety of k-cups in preparation for hosing both family Christmases this year and this ended up being everyone's favorite. Since then, we've purchased multiple boxes of this delicious hot chocolate that has a salty-sweet flavor thanks to the sea salt and caramel/toffee flavors. It's the perfect little treat to enjoy on a winter evening or to fill your travel tumbler with to enjoy during your snowy commute. Check it out here.

4. The North Face Fuzzy Earflap Beanie. This hat is a definite must for me on days when the windchill is terribly cold--it keeps my head and ears toasty warm. Bonus, I can still put my hood up while sporting this cute purple hat. Check it out here.

5. Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots. These are my favorite boots, ever. Waterproof, comfortable, and cute--what more could you want? They keep my toes warm and dry no matter what the conditions are like outside. Perfect for commuting on blizzardy days. Check them out here.

My Essential Apps

We're all pretty much glued to our phones these days, right? Ironically, one of my new year's resolutions of living more intentionally involves less phone time. That being said, there are a handful of useful apps that I use on a daily/weekly basis that make my life a little more streamlined (I swear, that's my word of the year). I'm going to share some of my favorite apps (most aren't automatically installed on the iPhone), and hopefully they are helpful to you as well!*

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Waze: I use this app on a regular basis since I'm a bit directionally-challenged. I used to use the basic maps app that is the iPhone default navigation app but found that it led me to the wrong location on multiple locations. Andy recommended this app to me a couple of years ago and I've been using it ever since. I love how it lets me know when there are any types of delays--construction, stalled vehicles, traffic, etc. so that I can plan my commute accordingly.

Starbucks: This app is used more than I'd like to admit. I love linking my gold card to the app so that I can automatically reload my card, earn bonus drinks, and receive special coupons.

Candy Crush: I downloaded this on a whim a couple years ago and I am hooked. Andy and I are in an on-going competition to see who can reach the highest level. This is such a time-suck, but I love playing whenever we're on a long car trip, if I'm stuck waiting, and while I'm on the treadmill at the gym.

Macros: "Athletes don't diet and exercise, they eat and train." This is the motto that I live my life by and I love using this app to track my macronutrients. Nutrition is 80% of making progress in terms of fitness so this app is helpful to make sure I eat enough protein and other nutrients each day. I've noticed a significant increase in muscle gain since tracking my macros and that is so motivating to me!

Lifetime: My gym's app that lets me view fitness class schedules, check to see how many times I've visited the club that month, and check holiday gym hours.

Spotify: This app has changed my life--seriously. For $10/month, it allows me to have access to SO many great songs, lets me create custom playlists, and listen to songs on repeat (c'mon, we all do it when we find a new favorite). I used to use Pandora but found myself annoyed when an ad would pop up while I was running sprints on the treadmill or when the same overplayed songs kept being played.

Billings Pro: As a freelancer, I often have random expenses such as mileage, ramp parking fees, etc. This handy little app makes it easy to track my expenses based on the date and the client, which is really handy when you have a few reoccurring clients--it keeps me from having to manually enter everything in every time I work in their office.

Evernote: My friend, Bethany, actually turned me on to this app and I use it for both business and personal lists. It keeps all of my ideas, projects, and notes all in one handy place that automatically syncs with my MacBook Pro. All my ideas and notes all in one place all of the time--perfect.

Reminders: This is an app that comes installed on the iPhone and I use it on a daily basis. Andy synced our calendars and reminders lists so that we can add events and to-do items to each other's lists. It's basically the digital version of a honey-do list and it's so nice to be able to see everything without worrying about keeping track of little paper to-do lists all of the time.

iBooks: Another pre-installed app but I've found that I read SO many more books since I can purchase digital versions on my phone. This was especially helpful during my trip to Oahu last spring, since I could bring multiple books without having to lug them all around in my carry-on bag.

Bible: An essential app that makes it easier to read scripture on-the-go. Andy and I made a pact to read through the entire Bible in 2015 so we're both using one of their yearly plans to achieve this goal. I love that I can easily switch back and forth between different versions and translations for clarification and personal preference.

Calm: With my new focus/mindset of "nourish" for 2015, I've been making the attempt to be more intentional about relaxing my mind and body. This app has different guided meditations and relaxing scenes/sounds to listen to that help with sleep, easing tension, creativity, etc. I downloaded it right before the new year and am enjoying starting my day in a peaceful mindset and wrapping up each evening by embracing the theme that "my day is done" and now I can rest and relax.

Netflix: Whenever I can't sleep, sometimes just watching/listening to an episode of one of my favorite shows. I've also been known to watch shows/movies while doing cardio at the gym--it definitely makes the time fly by. Some of my favorite shows include Private Practice, Prison Break, and Pretty Little Liars.

*iPhone wallpaper is from the lovely collection of Emily Ley

A Different Kind of Christmas

This year's Christmas celebrations were a bit different than years' past. First of all, we didn't have any snow--I couldn't even tell you the last time that we didn't have a fluffy covering of snow for the holidays! Sure enough, we got plastered with the white stuff the day after Christmas.

Meeting baby Becca for the first time!

Meeting baby Becca for the first time!

Secondly, our celebrations were a little out of the ordinary since my sister had her baby just before Christmas! Our new little niece, Rebecca "Becca" Lianne was born the week before Christmas and we are just gushing over having a little girl in the family. 

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Since things were up in the air with not knowing when the baby would arrive, we ended up hosting a casual get-together with my immediate family on Christmas Eve. My parents brought wine and Italian takeout and we put out a spread of appetizers for everyone to enjoy throughout the evening. 

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The evening pretty much consisted of an ongoing game of "pass the baby around," which we all truly enjoyed--nothing like holding and snuggling an adorable little newborn baby. I feel like it still hasn't sunk in that my sister is a MOM, but nonetheless, she is super calm and doing an amazing job! 

Andy and I opened our gifts from each other later that evening after my family left--we were originally going to wait until Christmas morning but we decided we couldn't contain our excitement any longer. My favorite gift this year was a bunch of dumbbells so that I can do some of my workouts at home--score! 

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The next day, we hosted the Kaupang Christmas celebration and enjoyed lots of good food, treats, and each other's company. Our little nephews are getting bigger every time we see them and they bring so much joy to our family gatherings. 

I ended up catching the respiratory flu that's been going around, so the remainder of my Christmas break was spent on the couch, reading/watching marathons of tv shows on Netflix, and drinking lots of fluids. 

It's hard to believe that another new year is upon us, but I am so ready for the clean slate of a new year. Bring it on, 2015! 

Hello!

This is my brand new blog!

I've strayed away for quite some time but this little space of mine has always been in the back of my mind as I've gone about my life. I miss the creative outlet of recapping bits and pieces of my day-to-day life and my work and am planning on popping in every now and then with random tidbits and projects.

Enjoy!