Holiday Day Date

On Saturday, Andy and I headed out to do a few holiday-themed activities amidst running errands for the week.

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It was freezing out so we bundled up and I was so excited when it started snowing on our way home later that day! I keep checking the forecast hoping for our first blizzard of the year but so far it’s just been flurries and light dustings. I look like I have no hair in the photo above, but hey, at least I was toasty warm in my hat, scarf, jacket, and gloves!

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After swinging by the library to drop off / pick up books on hold, we headed to Caribou Coffee to check out my contributions to their 2018 holiday collection. We were delighted to find that all of the drinkware I designed + illustrated was on the shelves!

The four mugs above are part of the “value mugs” collection — meant to be purchased and given as gifts. These four are my favorites since they really showcase my illustration skills and they were such a joy to create!

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I also really enjoyed illustrating and handlettering this little winter scene for their kids tumbler and cold cup!

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The two mugs above feature a removable faux leather sleeve that contains a tiny flask on the side — perfect for gifting!

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I typically do the copywriting on the drinkware that I design, but my creative director gave me the idea for this catchy Minnesotan phrase and I thought it was too perfect to pass up!

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I also designed these little coin purses / gift card holders!

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Speaking of gift cards, some of the elements used in my designs made it onto gift cards this year as well!

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This little dude did really well in terms of sales last year, so this year I added an additional sku with him sporting an ugly sweater!

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This stainless steel tumbler features a wintery cabin-inspired pattern.

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A few of my designs made their way onto adorable little ornaments as well!

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After purchasing a handful of mugs from Caribou, we decided to grab some lunch.

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We hadn’t been to Cafe Zupas in what felt like forever, and a warm bowl of soup sounded really inviting on a chilly day!

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After lunch, we headed to a few different stores to check out their Christmas decorations.

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We didn’t end up buying anything but it was fun to look around! I always love looking at stickers when we’re out and about — I’d love to one day have a job designing sheets of them! I thought these ones with the little gingerbread men were the cutest!

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When I was younger, one of our neighbors used to transform her formal living room into a Christmas village filled with tons of these little buildings, people, and accessories to create the cutest little holiday scenes. It was fun to see that they still make these cute little shops and houses!

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Originally, we had planned to see the new Grinch movie and get Starbucks holiday drinks but by the time we got to the theatre, the movie was sold out so we decided to save those two activities for this coming weekend. We wound up at a furniture store to take a look at recliners for the nursery and it ended up being a great choice because they had free cookies and massage chairs. Seriously, a pregnant woman’s dream come true!

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Our last stop of the day was our weekly Costco run — they had so many good samples yesterday with these being my favorite!

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We filled our cart and then headed home! I’m toying with the idea of trying out this recipe this holiday season, hence the massive container of cinnamon.

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Our new Christmas planter rode in the front seat with me to prevent it from tipping over — it’s been so fun to be able to pick out things like this for our new house! We’ve never really lived in a place where we’ve been able to full-on decorate for the holidays / seasons so this has been a treat!

Have you started decorating for the holidays?
What coffee shop is your favorite?

Baby Sale, Errands, and House Projects

I snapped this pic last Thursday and felt like our front porch was looking so bare. However, we’ve been experiencing cooler than usual temps (i.e. highs in the low 50s and I’m not complaining — I’ll take this over 85 degrees and humid any day!), so I’ve kind of made the decision to skip decorating our porch for fall this year and instead will do some sort of holiday decor instead.

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My main reason for this is because I really wanted to get a few pots of mums for our front steps, but with how cold it’s been, I’m worried they’ll freeze in just a couple weeks. My boss said you can throw a towel on them overnight, but I’m not the greatest with plants so I think we’ll hold off for now. We’ve never had a true front porch before so I’m looking forward to scouring Pinterest for some holiday decor ideas as we start to get settled and begin decorating our new home for the seasons!

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On Friday evening, I headed down to our hometown with my sister for a huge baby sale that was going on. My sister has always raved about this semi-annual sale that contains tons of kid and baby items — anything from high chairs to clothes to toys.

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It was a little overwhelming at first, but once I got my lay of the land, I was able to find a few things that will be perfect for our little guy. First up was a bassinet for our bedroom — we plan to have him sleep in our room for the first couple of months since he will be so tiny and not on a regular sleep schedule yet.

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I also found some adorable clothes for him — including this cute little outfit that I put together based on a bunch of items that I found (a lot of the items still had tags on them too — bonus!). Andy was at a friend’s house but I texted him this picture to show him that I had found a navy gingham shirt just like his for our baby!

The next morning, we headed out to take a look at baby travel systems (stroller + carseat combos) and ended up finding one that we loved! It feels so good to have this checked off the list — we just need to purchase a recliner and a dresser for his nursery and then all of the big baby purchases will be done! I’ll be sure to share his nursery once we have it all set up — we are really excited about how it is turning out.

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Afterwards, we contemplated going out for brunch (aka we really wanted waffles / pancakes) but then decided to just power through our errands and head home so Andy could install our new storm door and start painting the fireplace. I returned some books and picked up a few new ones at the library and I must say, it has been so fun picking a few children’s books each week. Since our baby is able to hear outside noises and recognize our voices, we have gotten into the habit of reading a few kid’s books aloud to him throughout the week.

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One quick Costco run and then we headed home for some lunch! I ended up taking a long nap afterwards while Andy worked on the house projects. I’ve been SO exhausted lately and the nap felt so refreshing!

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Later that evening, we made some popcorn and watched tv together — it felt good to have a relaxing night at home after a busy work week.

On Sunday, I was up bright and early so I did our grocery shopping right away and it was so nice to be at the store while it was basically empty. While shopping, I realized it had been far too long since I’ve had some ice cream so this tub of Breyer’s was tossed into the cart at the last minute. I stocked up on our usual haul and then headed home where I spent the majority of the afternoon taking yet another nap and reading.

Later that afternoon, I walked to my sister’s house to drop off a few things for her and stayed to chat for a bit with her and the girls before heading back home — I’ll probably say this a million times over the course of the next few years but it’s SO nice living within walking distance of her!

When I arrived home, Andy was almost done with the primer on the fireplace and it is already looking SO good in white as opposed to the oak color it was before! We can’t wait to see how nice and bright it looks when it adds the actual white paint! I’ll be sure to share some before / afters once the project is complete. 

As usual, it felt like the weekend flew by way too quickly but we’ve got a a few fun things on the calendar over the next week so I’m looking forward to all that is to come as we kick off October 1st today!

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Any porch decorating tips?

Fun Errands on a Fall Day

On Friday evening, I headed over to my sister’s house to watch my nieces while Andrea and her husband attended an event.

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We made popcorn, watched a movie, and then they went down for the night. I took advantage of the easy babysitting job and took a nap on their couch — pregnancy wears you out, that’s for sure!

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The next morning, my small group met virtually to discuss our reading from the week. I read this book earlier this year and didn’t get much out of it, but felt like rereading it during this season of life has been just what I needed. Our group meets virtually once per month and then we meet in person once as well. We chatted about feeling overextended + overwhelmed as well as discussed what we’re doing that actually doesn’t even need to be done. This had me thinking about my current priorities all throughout the rest of my day and I plan to dedicate a blog post about it in the near future.

After meeting with them, I threw some laundry in the wash, finished getting ready for the day, and then headed out to run a bunch of “fun errands.” I call them fun errands because it involved some shopping for new things. :) First task was to mail a bunch of invitations to my baby shower that is coming up next month! Andy dropped the bulk of them off at the post office while I passed out the stack that goes to our neighbors.

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My next stop was Lululemon for a new sports bra — my favorite ones were getting a little too snug so I decided to switch to a Lulu one since I had heard that theirs are great for pregnancy.

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The girl working at the store was SO helpful in finding me a perfect bra for running — I went home with this one and tried it out later that evening on a run through the neighborhoods.

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Afterwards, I headed to the jeweler to get my rings inspected — I try to do this twice a year and in order to make it easier to remember to do so, I typically go around our anniversary (October 15) and my birthday (March 21). I browsed through the jewelry for a bit while I waited to get my rings cleaned and inspected — they have some rings with black sapphires on them and they always catch my eye! I like to stay on top of the inspections because I lost a diamond once and I’d prefer if that never happened again, ha ha.

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Trader Joe’s was my next stop — I really only had to pick up some of their sprouted bread but then realized I was starving so I grabbed a snack, some water, and a mini pumpkin as well. I always get Andy one of these mini pumpkins each year and write a note on it with sharpie — he keeps it on his desk at work in the fall. :)

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Next up was Nordstrom for a regular bra fitting — if you’ve never done a bra fitting at Nordstrom before, I would highly recommend it. Their fit experts are so good at what they do and I always have the best service there. I was in and out in twenty minutes with a new, better-fitting bra for pregnancy.

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While at the mall, I also made a return at Gap — I ordered these running tights and this workout top but the pants were too big and the top felt too thin for running outside in October. I also swung by Williams Sonoma to check out their fall displays because they’re the best!

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Of course I had to take a peek at little boy’s clothes while at the mall, too! Everything is just so cute and tiny!

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On my way out, I picked up a gift card that featured my illustrations on it to add to my portfolio — it’s been so fun to see my artwork on Caribou’s shelves this season!

My last stop of the day was Target for some groceries — I also picked up a few random items like a new hairbrush because I feel like the one I’ve been using just wasn’t working for my thick hair. It just wasn’t easy to comb through all of the layers after showering so I’m hoping this new one does the trick.

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I came home to find Andy setting up to paint our living room — we’re changing it from a medium gray to a lighter gray, painting all of the baseboards and doors a pure white, and painting the fireplace white. I’m so excited to see this room transform — once it’s done we will start shopping around for new furniture since this set was from our early days of marriage and it’s not really our style. Funny what you pick out when you’re 23. ;)

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While Andy was painting, I headed out for a run then headed home to make some lemon poppyseed bread before ending the night with a soak in the tub. It was the perfect end to a full day!

What are your favorite types of errands to run?
Does it feel like fall where you live?

The Return of Summer

Remember how it was all crisp and cool the other week? That all changed this past weekend when it was 90 degrees and humid! We ended up changing some plans around due to the crazy heat but all-in-all, it was a great weekend!

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Last week was really busy so I decided to start implementing one of my monthly goals of using my planner to stay organized. I made little to-do lists for each day and it helped so much — I felt like I got so much accomplished because of this!

Backing up to Friday, is there anything better than coming home to fun packages on your front steps? Upon pulling into our driveway on Friday evening, I saw that my Nordstrom order and our new barstools had arrived — what a great start to the weekend!

After going back and forth on whether or not I loved the color or not, I ended up ordering this cardigan (in the brown spice color) from Nordstrom and I’m obsessed! I can’t wait to wear it to work this week when it cools down again.

I also ordered this little bunting for Little Pang so that he stays all cozy when we’re toting him around town in the bitterly cold winter months! It is so soft and I can’t wait to put him in it!

We ordered these barstools — we had the taller versions and really liked them but the height was just a little too tall for our new center island. We went with the exact same ones in the 24 inch height and they are perfect!

On Saturday morning, we headed out bright and early to run some errands — you know you’re officially a homeowner when trips to Home Depot are a regular occurrence! We swung in there to grab paint brushes and a measuring tape so we can get cracking on painting our living room + dining room this month.

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Afterwards, we ran a few errands and then made a quick stop for lunch before heading out to some Parade of Homes! The mushroom melt with extra pickles at Potbelly’s always hits the spot!

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The first house that we visited was a cute farmhouse style and although that’s not typically our style (we tend to lean more contemporary / slightly modern), it was really nicely done.

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I was also obsessed with this rug that they had in their dining area — I’m hoping to track it down so we can purchase it or find a similar one to put under our table.

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The next house that we stopped at had black doors with gold hardware and I loved them so much! I’m normally an all-white doors + trim kind of person, but these looked so sharp!

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We also toured a few modern homes, which were fun to see — they had so many unique features in them!

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How cool is this staircase right when you walk through the front door?!

We called it a day after a handful of homes mainly because it was just so hot outside — we were sweating just from walking from the car to each house! We relaxed once we got home and after dinner, Andy’s sister and her husband stopped by to see our house and say hi.

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The next morning, I met up with my bestie for a lunch date and then we hit Trader Joe’s for some pumpkin goodies! I left with my favorite pumpkin butter along with the ingredients to make homemade butternut squash soup.

For the soup, I roasted some carrots, onion, and garlic and then whipped them up in the food processor once they cooled down. I added the puree to a big stock pot filled with two cans of organic butternut squash puree, canned coconut milk, and a mix of spices (nutmeg, sea salt, pepper, ginger, and a little bit of chili powder). We enjoyed our soup alongside baked salmon and roasted veggies and it hit the spot!

Ever been to the Parade of Homes?
What’s the temp like where you live?

Garage Sales, Parade of Homes, & A Block Party

This past weekend was filled to the brim and the weather was absolutely gorgeous -- low 70s with clear skies and cool breezes.

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This little cutie turned TWO over the weekend -- it seems like just yesterday that she came home from the hospital! 

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Since I had Friday off, my sister and I hit a bunch of the garage sales in our area and we came home with so great finds! 

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My favorite item of the day was a baby seat in brand-new condition, which is what I was hoping to find! We plan to keep this swing downstairs in the living room and then the baby seat will stay upstairs so we I have a place to put baby in the bathroom / bedroom while I'm getting ready. I also love that it's neutral colored because I'm not a huge fan of brightly-colored baby items; I prefer that they blend in with the home rather than take the center stage in a room.

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After our garage sale adventures, we ate lunch together and then they went home for naps and I headed out to the post office to mail a freelance project to a client and then hit the grocery store. 

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Is it just me or is seeing what people buy for groceries super fascinating? I feel like it helps me get new ideas whenever I'm in a food rut, which is usually quite often since I tend to eat the same foods over and over again.

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After I put away all the groceries, I headed outside to read for a bit before Andy got home from work. I just started this book and it has me hooked! 

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Once Andy arrived home from work, I made up some sub sandwiches and we ate dinner outside on our front porch together before heading out for a walk through the neighborhood. 

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The next morning, I was up bright and early to meet my small group girls for our first meeting of this next year of study! It was so good to see everyone and catch up since I hadn't seen most of them in so long (we take a break from meeting over the summer). 

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Afterwards, I swung by the library to drop off a book and pick up this one and then headed home to eat lunch before heading out for a day date with Andy.

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We were both so excited because it was the first weekend of the fall session of Parade of Homes!

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We were especially looking forward to this round of POH so that we could get ideas for light fixtures, rugs, dining room tables, and paint colors. 

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We also talked about doing some funky wallpaper in our powder bathroom on the main level -- how cool is this back-lit mirror, too?!

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Later that evening, we headed to our neighborhood block party! It was so fun to get to know our neighbors a little better as we ate and hung out on our street. Once it got dark, they set up a bonfire and we all made s'mores, which was actually my first one of the summer! We had such a great time and are really looking forward to doing life alongside these families that live around us! 

Be sure to check back tomorrow because I'll be sharing the gender of our baby on the blog! :)

Best part of your weekend?
What are your thoughts on wallpaper coming back in style?