Learning to Letter

Whew! It’s been a busy weekend in these parts! I had lunch plans with a friend on Friday but she needed to reschedule for next week so Andy and I ended up meeting up for a quick lunch. Andy’s office recently moved downtown so we are just a few blocks from each other now, which is really convenient!

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This pic is actually from the last time we grabbed lunch because I completely forget to snag a pic on Friday! After our little lunch date, it was back to work where I spent the afternoon designing Christmas ornaments while listening to a new podcast. One of my coworkers and I are listening to a lot of the same podcasts so that we can discuss the episodes afterwards — it’s been fun!

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Since we ended up leaving around the same time at the end of the day, I walked down to his office so that we could ride home together. There was literally no traffic due to it being a sunny Friday afternoon in the summer; since we were ahead of schedule for arriving at home, we made a quick pitstop for froyo at our favorite place!

Upon arriving home, I quickly threw a bag together and hit the road for something I had been looking forward to for the past few weeks — a brush lettering class with Lauren Ibach! I came across Lauren on Instagram many months ago and loved her beautiful lettering style so when I saw that she was offering a class, I jumped on it!

The class was held at Appleberry’s Attic, a craft studio in Anoka, MN. It was fun to drive through Anoka because Andy lived there for the majority of our dating years — it brought back some good memories! Appleberry’s Attic is run by Jen, a gorgeous lady that loves crafting and connecting women so that they can have a break from their daily duties to recharge and relax! She’s one of those people that instantly makes you feel welcome, loved, and valued — aka the best kind of person! I’d highly recommend checking her studio out if you’re in the area — they offer all kinds of craft classes for people of all ages.

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Back to Lauren — her class blew me away! I have a background in handlettering, but it is all self-taught so there are definitely some gaps in my skillset! Her kind spirit, talent, and encouraging personality were so inviting! She answered a million questions for me and also taught me some tricks for lettering on my iPad! It was so fun getting to know her and and the other women at my table — I left feeling so motivated to practice this skill more regularly since it’s something that I love to incorporate into my design and illustration work.

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On Saturday morning, we woke up to the BEST thunderstorm — tons of heavy rain, booming thunder, and lightning. It was so cozy inside our house and fun to wake up to a raging storm outside. Once the rain let up a bit, I ran to Target to grab lunch for Fletcher’s godparents, who were coming over later that afternoon to spend some time with him while we snuck out for a date to see the new Lion King movie! I also grabbed this new flavor of kombucha (cherry, coconut + lemongrass) and it was SO good! I also picked up some candy to take to the theatre!

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Upon arriving home, I put together a quick little lunch spread for them before they arrived.

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We chatted with them for a bit and then said goodbye to Fletcher before we headed out to the theatre! We were a little early so we browsed through Barnes & Noble for a bit. Per usual, I took some pics of books to add to my library request list!

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I also came across the cutest little kids books so I snapped a few pics of those to save as inspiration for my illustrations!

Next, we headed to the theatre for the movie! We purchased our tickets ahead of time after experiencing a movie being totally sold out last fall, and it was so slick! All we had to do was scan Andy’s phone and we were on our way. In the lobby of the theatre was a display for the new Downton Abbey movie and it got me SO excited to see this movie with my bestie this September! I kind of want to rewatch the show before the movie since it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it!

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We LOVED The Lion King so much! The script and music were very aligned to the original cartoon movie (which I totally remember seeing in the theatre with my grandma and my sister when I was about 5 years old!). So, so cute and really well done — I’d highly recommend it!

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After the movie, we swung by Hallmark to grab a card for our nephew, snapped a few pics of some unique cards and things, then headed home to kiss our little baby! We played with Fletcher for a bit and then I ended up taking a nap because I was exhausted after battling more sinus stuff all week!

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On Sunday morning, Fletcher and I played for a bit while Andy caught up on sleep and then we headed out for a walk through the neighborhood.

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It was supposed to be cool outside but it ended up feeling pretty warm by the time we finished our walk. Fletcher was wearing his cute little swim trunks from his friend Colton! :)

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After our walk, I organized a few things in the garage while Fletcher watched me with all smiles! The rest of the day was spent cleaning, doing a Costco run, and getting ready for another busy work week!

What was a highlight from your weekend?
Last movie you saw in theatres?

Fletcher's First 4th of July

We’ve never really been big 4th of July people — which I both love and am kinda bummed about at the same time. For one, it’s really nice to just have an extra summer day off but I also wish we had some patriotic traditions to partake in as well.

Here’s a recap of our 4th of July in 2018 and in 2017 (this post makes me miss my long hair!) if you’re interested!

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This year, we kept it pretty low-key since Fletcher is still so little but I hope to incorporate some festive activities once he gets a little older so that he remembers Independence Day as one filled with lots of celebration and red, white, and blue!

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Earlier in the week, his cousins came over for our first 4th of July photoshoot in matching Old Navy tees! We plan to make this an annual tradition with the cousins!

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We’ve gone to the mall on the 4th in years past, so we decided to have Fletcher join us for his first trip to Mall of America.

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The verdict? He LOVED it!

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He loved the sights, the people, and experiencing things in the shops!

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Some of the highlights were the LEGO store, the Disney store, and of course, Barnes & Noble due to the books!

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We ran out of time to hit Nickelodeon Universe so we will most definitely be heading back so that he can experience that — we think he would really enjoy walking through the park and seeing all of the rides, characters, and kids.

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While we were trying on shoes in Nordstrom, Fletcher added his own little festive flair of fireworks in his stroller! We had already changed him twice due to spitting up so he ended up leaving the mall in a soggy, drool-filled polo and a diaper since we ran out of clothes! Note to self — time to start putting 3+ outfits in his diaper bag when we are heading out for a full day!

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All cleaned up and ready to head home!

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Speaking of Independence Day, I’ve been enjoying using my lettering skills on our driveway! Here’s a patriotic themed one I did recently!

Do you have any special 4th of July traditions?

An On-the-Go Weekend

Whew! It was a busy weekend in the books filled with so many great things! I was all caught up on my work by early afternoon on Friday so I (and the majority of people at work) took advantage of kicking off the weekend a little early!

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Since Fletcher was still at home with his nanny, I decided to swing by the gym on the way home for a workout. I’ve been committing to more regular workouts and it feels SO good to move my body — working out is so much more than the physical aspect for me — I just feel so much better, less stressed, and happier when I’m active! I did a shoulders + triceps workout and ended with ten min on the stair mill. Do you want to know what’s longer than a treadmill minute? A stair mill minute because it’s hard to do anything (read, flip to the next song, etc.) without losing your pace / balance.

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We had a low-key night at home — it was super hot outside and the gnats are still terrible around our neighborhood so we stayed in and caught up on some shows. Fletcher ended up napping on me which is my absolute favorite — there’s just nothing like holding a sweet, sleeping babe on your chest.

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The next morning, we were up bright and early to head out for the day. Since it’s been so hot, this quick breakfast has been on regular rotation over here — organic Greek yogurt + my favorite granola from Costco, and frozen berries.

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Once we were all packed up, we hit the road! I whipped up some protein shakes for Andy and I to take on the road — these cups from Costco work SO well because we just toss them when we arrive at work or wherever we are going that day. No more crusty shake / smoothie cups to deal with!

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Fletcher was channeling his inner celebrity status by keeping his sunglasses on inside once we arrived at our destination.

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Andy’s sister, Jen, invited us over to visit the elderly couple that she cares for — she has been showing them picture updates of Fletcher and they wanted to meet the little guy so we brought him for a visit.

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Our time with them was so rewarding — it was so touching to see them so delighted by Fletcher’s visit. Bob said “you made my whole year by bringing this baby to visit us!” Aww!

They also shared that they have been married for 69 years! How cool is that?!

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They were so sweet with him and Fletcher loved meeting them (he loves people!) and spending time with them. Fletcher kept touching Barb’s cheek and it was the sweetest thing!

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After saying goodbye and promising to visit again soon, we headed over to the mall to shop around for a few things. It was Fletcher’s first trip to a mall and he slept like a little angel the whole time. Andy found some new shorts at Nordstrom, and I picked up these new camo tights and a pair of black crops. My favorite lulu pair are hanging on by a thread so I wanted a new pair of black crops and the camo tights caught my eye on my way into the store.

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We also picked up matching 4th of July tees for Fletcher and his cousins so we can start the tradition of taking pics of them in matching shirts.

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On our way home, we swung by our favorite froyo place to get a treat — Andy ended up getting a burger down the block instead because we were starving at this point! I never say no to froyo! :)

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I hit the gym later that evening for a leg workout and then we had another relaxing night at home.

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Fletcher had fun playing with his toys in his crib while I went through some of his dresser drawers to see if anything from the next size up fit him yet. These cute little fox jammies are a little big but it was fun to see him in them!

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On Sunday morning, we met Andy’s friend, Adam, at church — it was Fletcher’s first time at church and he did so well! Fletcher and I hung out in the baby room during the music since it was kind of loud for his little ears, but then we joined Andy and Adam for the rest of the service.

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We quickly grabbed some lunch after church since we had another errand to run. I wasn’t feeling what Andy ended up choosing, so I ran into Starbucks quick to grab a drink and something to eat. Their spinach + feta wrap was so good — would definitely order this again!

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Next up was a stop at CB2 to look around — we ended up ordering some dining chairs and they should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. These six chairs will go around the sides of our table, and then we will get two “statement chairs” for the heads of the table. We’ll eventually swap these side chairs out with something a little nicer, but wanted something more kid-friendly at this point since there will be sticky fingers and spills happening on the regular over the course of the next few years at our house.

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Fletcher fell asleep on the way home so I ran into Costco to grab some groceries for the week while Andy and Fletcher stayed in the car.

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I was in and out in record time and then we headed home to relax and gear up for another week!

Favorite part of your weekend?

Fletcher's First Memorial Day Weekend

It was a gorgeous MDW over here! Today’s a bit of a washout, but the last two days have been nothing but clear blue skies, tons of sunshine, and 70 degrees.

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On Friday evening, the clouds and rain cleared off to reveal a beautiful evening so we ate dinner outside on the deck and then Andy put out our new American flag that he purchased on the way home from work.

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We made mini pizzas out of these little gems that I picked up from Costco the other night and paired them with salad and watermelon. Side note, the above photo of my trunk was the result of going shopping while super hungry, ha ha!

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We also headed out to the local trail for a walk — it was so refreshing after such a gray, cold, and rainy week!

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We love this trail because it feels like you’re out of the cities and really out in nature.

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The next morning, I headed out to a local garden center to purchase flowers! This activity, paired with the bright sunshine made my heart so happy. Upon arriving, I chatted with one of the gardeners on site to ask about which flowers would be best for my front porch based on sun / shade cover.

After learning some tips and tricks, I walked around and started adding plants to my cart. While shopping, my auntie called me and she ended up joining me at the garden center! It was so fun to catch up for a bit while looking around at the different types of plants!

While I was plant-shopping, Andy and Fletcher headed to the arboretum with my Mother-in-Law and then went out to lunch. Fletcher had so much fun with Grandma!

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Upon arriving home, I immediately started planting. I ended up rearranging the pots a couple times, but am quite pleased with how they turned out.

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Now I just need to keep them alive until the end of the summer. :)

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Later that afternoon, we went on another walk and this time we stopped for an ice cream cone along the way.

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It’s always so fun to see Fletcher’s reaction when we go for walks — he just soaks it all in.

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He got another tooth this weekend so he’s been chewing on all the things lately! Poor little buddy!

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On Sunday, we spent the morning cleaning up around the house before heading out to run some errands and walk around one of our favorite lakes.

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It was Fletcher’s first trip to Home Depot and he slept the whole time! We didn’t really find what we were looking for, so we headed to the lake to walk around.

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On the way to run another errands, we decided to swing by Starbucks for a refreshing drink after our walk!

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Andy ordered their Strawberry Acai Lemonade and it was SO good — literally the perfect summer drink!

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I went with my usual venti iced americano. :)

We stopped at another store to look at their mulch and house numbers selection (we’ve been doing some minor updates to the front of our house since we moved in towards the end of the season last year) but didn’t see anything we loved. I read on the front porch for awhile and then we made dinner before Andy headed out for a bit.

While Andy was out running an errand, Fletcher and I went for a long walk. While Fletcher snoozed in the stroller, I caught up on a podcast.

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Fletcher also got a new seat this weekend and it was all fun and game until he tried to climb out of it. He is constantly surprising us because he just seems so much older than his four months! :)

We’re enjoying a lazy day at home today since it’s pouring rain and we go back to work tomorrow!

What did you do for MDW?
Twist, chocolate, or vanilla cone?

Thanksgiving + Black Friday Weekend

After attending a few meetings, I left work around lunchtime on Wednesday since it was so quiet in the design studio!

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I had some time to kill before an appointment later that afternoon, so I headed to The Galleria to knock out some Christmas shopping and to browse through Barnes & Noble for a bit. I picked up a few things for Andy’s gift and then put my feet up with an iced Americano with a pump of gingerbread syrup at the bookstore. An afternoon at B&N was just what I needed before the holiday weekend and I’m so glad that I made it a priority. I whizzed through this book (would highly recommend it!) and then started this one but plan to head back to the store in the next couple weeks to read more of it as we get closer to baby time!

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Upon arriving home later that evening, I did some of our Thanksgiving prep to make the morning a little smoother. I quickly whipped up a batch of homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and freshly squeezed orange juice), and prepped a pomegranate so that it would be ready for the salad I was making the next day. This was my first time dealing with a pomegranate (I usually buy them pre-seeded), and let’s just say it was a labor of love. I did the whole “peel it in a bowl of water” trick but it was still very time consuming and messy to say the least!

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The next day, we successfully hosted our first Thanksgiving with his side of the family. Andy and I made turkey, ham, lemon-garlic green beans with almonds, cornbread, and a fall salad while his siblings brought a few other sides and dessert to complete the meal.

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Side note — we recently picked up one of these tools and it is seriously the best thing ever! It saves so much time and makes your life a million times easier — would highly recommend picking one up if you don’t already have one in your kitchen drawer.

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I threw together this autumn-inspired salad and really liked how it turned out! It had spinach, fresh cranberries, candied pecans, pomegranate arils, pumpkin seeds, roasted sweet potatoes, red onion, and apples. I tossed it with a homemade dressing that contained pure maple syrup, olive oil, fresh lemon + lime + orange juice, onion powder, black pepper, salt and cinnamon. I’ve been enjoying the leftovers all throughout the weekend and it’s definitely one that I plan to make again!

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Andy’s sister and brother-in-law brought pies and I swear, there’s nothing like pumpkin pie with whipped cream and a cup of coffee! It definitely hit the spot!

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After the family left, Andy and I settled in on the couch to watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It was the perfect ending to Thanksgiving Day.

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The next day, we headed out for a little Black Friday shopping later in the day (mainly to avoid the crowds). We wound up purchasing this little gadget and a new Christmas tree since the one in the photo above is way too tiny for our new living room! I took a nap upon arriving home and then we spent the evening watching Home Alone 2 (we typically watch a holiday movie or two every weekend leading up to Christmas).

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On Saturday morning, my sister and I ran an errand, grabbed coffees, and walked around the indoor track while catching up. We both agreed that this is something that we should do more often since it’s way more fun to walk with someone than by yourself. :) Another nap happened when I got home that afternoon (seriously, story of my life these days), and it felt SO good!

Sunday was spent washing all of our baby’s clothing while Andy painted the dresser for the nursery. I’m hoping to get all of his clothes organized by size this week so that we can start putting his room together in anticipation of his arrival. I also finished all of the thank you cards from our baby shower and worked on a scarf that I’m knitting — it was such a relaxing day!

What was the best part of your Thanksgiving?
Did you do any Black Friday shopping?