Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide For Her

I tell myself every year that I'm going to put together a gift guide on my blog and it seems that I forget some years! Below are some fun favorites that would be great for girlfriends, sisters, daughters, etc. Le Labo has an extremely popular scent; Santal 33. It's really beautiful and unique so I'm curious as to how the other scents smell. That Anastasia Beverly Hills palette has been sold out a few times from Sephora this year, but I believe it's currently back in stock. How funny is the pizza sweatshirt though?!

I'm kind of obsessed with dry shampoo and Living Proof products smell sooo good. That luggage tag is so perfect, and the brown weekender bag makes a perfect pair for it. Leather (or pleather) moto jackets are surprisingly a very chic outfit piece right now, I can't believe I don't have one. Snatch those macaron ornaments up, there's still time to add to your tree!

Lastly, a few other gems I found:

Adorable ornament from Anthro

Different shaped gemstone necklaces from etsy

Come on, who wouldn't want to take this to the gym?!

Who else has some recs?! Not like I can buy all these things right now, my bank account is telling me I should be making homemade coupon books for everyone this year. 
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Oops, I said 'Yes to the Dress' Twice

Dress shopping. What a fun experience! (And honestly a little stressful). I grabbed a fun downtown Minneapolis hotel for 2 nights and drove down to the Twin Cities to shop for wedding dresses.

I originally just booked one bridal boutique; a&bé bridal shop, and they allowed up to 4-5 seats. So I had my mom, sisters, and future MIL meet me down there. This was booked two months in advance. The day before I drove down, my mom texted me and said I probably should've booked at least one other place. Duh! So I snuck myself into two other bridal shops last minute; Che Bella Boutique and Posh Bridal. Two other great places.

Adam and Mira came down as well and took the opportunity to do some hotel pool swimming, zoo visiting, and Valley Fair. Mira is obsessed with swimming. She literally woke up at the crack of dawn, opened the drapes, and would say, "it's light out! Wake up! Let's go swimming!".

I'll explain later what I mean by saying "yes to the dress twice", but for now I'll give a little review of each bridal shop.

Saturday morning we started at Che Bella Boutique. I picked that place because I researched some of their designers and they had some really good ones I had been eyeing. I was the first appointment, so it was quiet at the beginning. We were greeted by sweet, friendly young girls with scones and water. My personal stylist let me pick out the dresses I liked and she would take them to my dressing room and stand outside waiting for zipping and unzipping. Once other appointments started coming in it did feel a little crowded, but it was a cool trendy atmosphere. I had good luck there but nothing stopped me in my tracks. I figured I could come back if something really was on my mind. My sisters were both taking pictures the whole time too so I could always review later.

Then it was time for Posh Bridal. It was in a ritsy part of Wayzata (not sure if there are parts in Wayzata that AREN'T ritsy?). I went to the Rack first, which was the sale part of Posh. I had some luck there and most things were half price! Moved on to the actual shop and we were greeted at the door with champagne and other treats. The energy was really high over there and everyone seemed to be having so much fun and so happy to see us. We had a huge part of the shop to ourselves, which was cool. Gorgeous plush white couches and chairs with big windows letting lots of light in. Huge fancy floor mirrors, and awesome wedding themed music playing. The only thing I didn't like was that my personal stylist was IN the dressing room with me the whole time, seeing me naked and all. Not really for me, but hey, at least she was helpful. The dresses I tried on there were all very different from one another, and most weren't really my style. Lots of them were "they are pretty on, but not for me" and definitely some hard no's too. I didn't mind the constant flow of champs coming our way though ;) it felt very celebratory.

Lastly, was a&bé. This one I was most excited about because it was the original one I chose. And I followed this shop on social media and was obsessed with all the designers they had. This place was very big and completely open. There were dressing rooms but otherwise it was all open space. The way I would describe it was it seemed very "New York". The people there were more serious and seemed to be more into the fashion aspect. My mom didn't really love the vibes. I didn't care, they had amazing dresses. My stylist was Olivia, and she was quiet and sweet. She had me walk around the racks and pick dresses with her and she'd write them down. ALL of the dresses I tried on I was in love with. They were a little more unique than the other shops I went to.

One common ground of all these dress shops: I seemed to favor all the Hayley Paige dresses :).

Well, I will spare some details, but little did I know I was going to be driving back down the following weekend because of my indecisive mind. Spoiler: I got a two piece dress. I ended up deciding to only purchase the bottom from a&be, so I went to yet ANOTHER dress shop that next weekend; Bridal Accents Couture (recommended by one of my bridesmaids :)) to look for the top.

Bridal Accents Couture was a very nice, beautiful, clean shop. The dresses were beautiful, and most were different designers from what I had tried on at all the other places. I was on the hunt for a certain Watters top that nobody in Minneapolis seemed to have, but I did find something similar and beautiful. I waited over 24 hours to call them back and say "yes" to it to make sure I was not going to change my mind. So yep, I said yes to the dress at two different places, two different weekends. This basically showcases how picky I am. But now I can say I sort of designed my own dress and can check it off my list!

I will look back and laugh at myself for being so indecisive, but it was such a fun, memorable experience. I'm happy with the way it went!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Engaged! Now What?

I'm so very excited to announce that (finally) I'm engaged! I mean we're engaged! For the last, I don't know, FIVE years (or ever since Pinterest was invented) I have browsed the wedding Pinterest category and made an embarrassing amount of secret wedding boards. I felt like I could have an impromptu wedding at any moment.


Weddings are so much more than pinning 4 carat princess cut rings and flower crowns. There's just so many real life aspects that really make me want to hire a wedding planner. I have emailed the popular venues in town and a couple are already booked for every single Saturday next summer through October. How!? I have browsed 70 million photographers in the area. How do you choose "the one"?!

How many people do we invite? We want it small, but at the same time don't want to leave anyone out. I want to be surrounded by all the people I love and cherish, but once you get over a certain guest number, the prices shoot up. Every single thing seems like a dilemma.

But. Yes, there's a but. It's all fun. This is my forte; planning. Coordinating. I have come to love it. Teenage me wouldn't believe it.

I have to talk myself down, though. I can not give into the pressure of having an over the top wedding. I don't need all the bells and whistles. I don't need to rent a limo. I don't need to have a mini orchestra. I don't need to serve filet minion. Every single wedding website and blog make me feel pressured into having this picture perfect magazine-worthy wedding, when in fact, that's not for me. I want it to be beautiful, but not obnoxious. Something cute, simple, and quaint. And those who know me, I gag at the word traditional anyway.

Any wedding tips are SO welcome, you guys!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Biggest Thing I've Learned in My Twenties Thus Far

A lot of doors close when you're in your twenties. It feels constant; hearing "No" in all its forms. You're not only trying to find yourself, but build a career, build a family, build relationships, and build wealth. Something is always bound to go wrong while you're building, and you just have to push through it. I have failed. Nothing dramatic, but, yes, I have failed. There are thousands of quotes about failure that I basically come across daily on social media outlets. I have ignored every single one of them. I thought they were just words, like they weren't speaking to me. It's like I thought they were only speaking to everyone else in the world BUT me. It has now hit me, though; all the times I've failed at something, I've let it pile up and define me. I've kept a tally of my failures like they were etched on me as a tattoo.

I am not my failures. I've come to the realization that all those quotes about failure, i.e. "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently" were right (I could go on and on with more quotes). Failure is not final. It's inevitable. It's a wrong turn. The only way to avoid it is to live cautiously. But you will also miss out on the chance to succeed as well.

Every time a door shuts, a new one doesn't automatically open. Sometimes you'll spend days, months, or even years stuck in that limbo land trying to unlock or pry open a new door. Sometimes that door is a trap door. Sometimes it's a door meant for someone else. Eventually you find YOUR door. Eventually you walk through the door and look back and wonder how you almost gave up.

THAT's what being in your twenties is all about. Living the exact advice you've previously ignored. The life changing realizations. Ones that leave me sitting here with tears in my eyes not because I'm sad, but excited for what's to come. Excited that I have failed, because it's bringing me closer to new opportunities. I have been taking this long, messy gravel road and though I have taken wrong turns and ended up on beaten paths, I have been able to navigate through it and find a better path. There are no signs telling you where to go, you're essentially feeling in the dark. You bump into things and hurt yourself, but that only means you're finding your way.

I can't believe I'm realizing something now that everyone else has probably already realized. But it feels good to have a wave of optimism and self realization. I want to remember this feeling. I want to share it. 
Monday, May 2, 2016

Worry, As Told By a Mother

As I got to the grocery store parking lot the other day, an old 90's Buick was sitting in the middle of the crosswalk, blocking the way to cars trying to park. I muttered some comment about how old people shouldn't drive. I eventually snuck around the car and peeked over to a short, 5 foot woman getting out of the car with her headscarf on, probably protecting her newly permed hair from the strong winds that day. I looked at the driver and he was a thin upper 80's aged man, whose head was sitting at the top of the window. These were basically my grandparents if they were still alive. I went from mildly annoyed to a quivering swollen face; immediately getting a headache from trying to hold my tears in.

I've lost all of my grandparents before I ever got pregnant. And while I am sad about it, I can accept it. They were old, it was their time, and most of all I don't think they would've really liked our world anymore. I don't think their hearts could've handled it.

When I'm reminded of my grandparents I often get teary-eyed, not just because I miss them. It's because I'm reminded of what I cannot afford to lose. And no offense to them, but that sad feeling I get when I think of them is only a fraction of what I would feel if I would ever lose someone closer to me.

I have this irrational amount of worry. I worry about driving in my car. I worry when I let my daughter play in the front yard. I worry when someone else is babysitting her. I think of all that could happen and multiply it by ten. And now I'm wondering, am I going to be THAT mom that doesn't let her ride her bike to the park or ride in the car with her friend's parents to get ice cream? Or go to sleepovers? This is just the beginning of the lifelong worries. It'll be never ending, I know this. The innocent sleepovers will turn into boys, which will turn into college parties.

I will cross that bridge when we get there. That is all I can say for now. I just wanted to write about my biggest struggle as a mom. I don't know if it's fixable. But I do know that it has been a positive tool as well, imagining disasters. I have the ability to see the worst possible scenario and in-turn, be so incredibly thankful when everything turns out to be okay. I may be a worst case scenarioer, but I am so so so appreciative of what I have every single day. 
Thursday, March 31, 2016

10 April Fools Pranks to Play On Your Spouse

Sometimes we are on the ball with April 1st, but sometimes we forget. There's a chance your significant other might be on the ball and know your tricks right away, but on the off chance they might not remember, here are some ideas!

1. Get a doughnut box (from Dunkin or something) but put fruit and veggies inside and set it on the counter in the morning.

2. Put a ridiculous ad on craigslist and use your spouse's phone number asking for texts only. One year I put an ad on for free tickets to the midnight showing of Twilight and used my boyfriend's roommate's number :D
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

40 Hipster Baby Name Ideas

You guys. I have an obsession with baby names. I have a list on my iphone notepad that keeps on getting longer. Too bad I'll never use 99.9% of them! So I figured I would share the love with you all! My favorite hipster name right now is Pabst. Just kidding :)


1. Zara
2. Eleanora
3. Delilah
4. Prue
5. Cleo
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mira is 3!

Mira turned 3 on Friday and we had a little party at our house for her. She had so much fun, but most of all she got to enjoy tons of sweets. She's obsessed with candy, so we turned it into a birthday week. Lucky. I wish I still got birthday weeks.

Height: 86th percentile
Weight: 32 lbs, 66th percentile
Sleeping: Sleeps through the night, typically from 9PM to 7:30-8AM
Eating: Besides snacking on fruit, pretzels, yogurt, and string cheese, she lives off of chicken, peanut butter sandwiches, and cheese sandwiches. Extremely picky. Sometimes she'll eat spaghetti or mac and cheese, but she has to be in the right "mood".
Bathroom: Has been completely toilet trained for a little over month now and is able to wear underwear to bed because she stays dry. She uses public restrooms, porta potties, stranger's bathrooms, everything. We started this process last August and hit lots of rough patches, but she's finally got it down for good. We're really proud! 
Books: She has too many favorites, but currently loves the little mini board books, ballerina stories (Talulah), and loves to check out new ones from the library. 
Shows: Current favorite is Galaias my Big Big Friend
Play: Loves her cat piano, her ride-on car (she got that for pooping in the public toilet for the first time), anything princess, dancing, painting, coloring with markers, lugging her dolls around in shopping carts and strollers, and her new trike.
Skills: She memorizes books (though some think she might be actually reading them), uses chairs to reach things she wants after we've told her no, have I mentioned her memory is a steel trap? She's a great storyteller, does jigsaw puzzles, draws specific shapes, knows all her colors of course, skips, and gallops!
Monday, February 8, 2016

Reese's Valentine Heart Cookies Recipe

Why should we only make peanut butter blossoms during christmas time? These cookies are so delicious I find every excuse to make them year round. I salivate just thinking about biting into the peanut buttery goodness. 


1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1/2 C butter
1 egg
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C corn starch*
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pkg Reese's hearts
extra granulated sugar in a bowl

*the corn starch makes the cookies extra soft, guys! You can just use 1 1/2 C flour if you don't have any, but I seriously recommend :)


1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the sugars with the butter, egg, and peanut butter in large bowl. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients until dough forms. I added some red food coloring to make a tie-dye effect. 

2. Refrigerate the dough for a half hour. Take out and make one inch balls and lay out on cookie sheet. 

3. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Unwrap the Reese's hearts while you wait. When finished, immediately press the hearts into each cookie. 

4. Move cookies to cooling rack. You might want to even stick them in the refrigerator as well. Those Reese's hearts take forever to cool off!

There you have it! 

Soft, chewy, chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness! :D
Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gently Weaning a Toddler: 5 Tips

I never thought I'd nurse Mira until she was two years old. I remember the extremely accomplishing feeling of making it to 6 months, because those were honestly the hardest months breastfeeding. Then making it to one year, I couldn't believe. By that point I was working and having to pump 3 times a day, though. It sucked. After a few months of pumping at work, I decided to stop. Pumping that is. I just hoped that I was able to produce for Mira in the evening. Which I was! It was the best of both worlds; my production slowed down enough for me not to get engorged, but I had enough for her once I got home.

For a long time she was nursing 3-4 times a day (and getting up in the middle of the night to nurse). When she hit 18 months, she started asking for it herself, which was adorable. "Hummy?" she would say. She was also finally sleeping through the night! 18 months seemed like a significant enough age to start weaning; I just wanted to have my body be completely mine again. So I tried to wean the cold turkey way. Kind of. She would ask for it, and I would turn her down. She didn't take that too well. She'd throw an absolute fit and it broke my heart. For a child who had always nursed on demand, of course this was going to happen. I'd end up giving in within 20 seconds. I tried several times to replace her hummy inquiry with a sippy cup of milk. She was not into that. The worst was when we got home after picking her up from daycare. She wanted to nurse the second we walked in the door; I literally couldn't even take my coat off or go to the bathroom without her having a mental breakdown. She's one hard kid to wean!

After trying a few different things, we eventually cut down to two feedings a day, and after a couple months, once a day. Then towards the end it was once every other day. And as of today, it's been 10 months since she's nursed. All through trial and error. But every child is unique and handles weaning differently, so here are 5 things that worked for us.

1. Have daddy put her to bed. This can be any significant other, babysitter, etc., but not every mama has someone at home with them for bedtime, so I realize this can't work for everyone. Really anything you can do that changes the normal night routine could suffice. This made cutting out our bedtime feeding the easiest one.

2. Replace with a favorite snack or drink. I thought that giving her a sippy cup of milk every time she asked to nurse was the best thing, since it was the closest thing to the boob, but it wasn't. She wanted nothing to do with a sippy cup when it came to nursing. I tried a few other choice snacks and that didn't work either. I figured out it had to be her absolute favorite snack, something that brings her comfort like nursing does. For us, it was puree pouches, like Happy Tot and Plum Organics that got her to forget about nursing. She is definitely food motivated, this is the *key* thing that really helped the weaning process.

3. Do not wear low cut shirts. Out of sight, out of mind. Mira would be just fine crawling all over me like a jungle gym, unless I had cleavage showing. Then her face was all up in the hummy and there was no turning back

4. Set times of day to nurse and stick with them. This is mostly the hardest for weekends when you're not on a schedule. I always made sure to tell Mira "it's not hummy time" if she asked mid-morning or at supper time. I also started the "no nursing in public" rule after she was already a year and didn't rely on it for food. Part of it was that people get judgy (unfortunately), but most of it was just me wanting to keep my boobs to myself.

5. Don't cut out more than one nursing session at a time. Go slowly. Like you can read from above, each time I cut out a session, I would leave it like that for months at a time until deciding to cut out another one. Trying to wean too fast will make your littles feel betrayed and hurt.

So happy for our nursing time together, it was truly a joy :)

Some kids are easier than others. Some are just plain stubborn (like mine)! Take it at their own pace because after all, this is their nourishment, their comfort, and probably their favorite past time that you are taking away, so do not rush them.

Now let's hear from you!
What are some tips or tricks you've learned from weaning?
Thursday, January 14, 2016

5 Parent Clichés that are actually true

You know when you're pregnant and people start telling you all this stuff and you're like yeah ok.... Well they were right about most things. Here are 5 of the most cliché things that you hear that are actually true.

1. You talk about your baby's shit everyday with each other. Sometimes after 2 minutes I have to stop the conversation and bring us back to earth. 

2. You become ultra boring on weekends. If one of you wants to go out, the other will not. No one will be upset about it though, deep down neither of you wants to do anything but sit in front of netflix anyways. 

3. You are a worrier. You side-eye that new day-care room college volunteer as if they aren't fit to be in the presence of your child, you think a 99 degree temp is deserving of an ER visit, if your kid sleeps in one hour longer than normal you go in and check on them seven times just in case. 

4. Parenthood is actually the hardest job out there. I don't even know how to elaborate on this. It just is. It's more mentally exhausting than it is physically though. Especially when you have a toddler who's in that "pushing the limits" stage, whether it's your limits or the blueray player's limits or simply just gravity's limits. Something is always getting wrecked. 

5. Your life completely changes when you become a parent. I didn't really take this fully to heart when people told me that once I got pregnant. I thought, "yeah, I can't go out partying all the time, so what?". But it's more than that. You no longer can be selfish. You hardly do things or buy things for yourself. It's not even because you can't, it's because you don't want to. You don't get to put on headphones and jam out to music while reading a book. You have to wait until your kid is sleeping to do that. Instead of reading those "coming-to-age, 20-something-books" you are reading books about vaccinations and breastfeeding and things like "how to raise a grateful, contributing member of society". You just want to be the best "you" you can be for your kid. 

Let's hear from you!

What was one thing that you did that made you think "this is SO cliché!"

Monday, January 11, 2016

5 of the Most Common Blogging Mistakes

Okay, there are a thousand mistakes we can make while blogging. Trust me, there's not just 5. I'm still always learning, but know that there's naturally going to be growing pains no matter how much you learn. You end up learning many things the hard way. So I'm sharing some of my growing pains in hopes that maybe it'll leave you with less growing pains. 

1. Choosing not to write about topics you really want to
"I'm not expert enough to write about that", "Someone else probably wrote it way better already", "People will judge me for that"
I struggled with this so much. I didn't want to appear like a know it all. For example, this topic, blogging? Yeah, I'm no expert. But I figured I would just write about things I learn and sell it that way. Don't pretend you're an expert, address it like, "hey this is what I've learned so far". Your voice might be exactly what someone wants or needs to hear. So what if you're not an expert, your piece of advice is perfect for someone.

2. Writing in a different way than you speak
Sometimes when you read a blog, it feels stiff and cumbersome. Like you're reading a cold email or someone's research paper. Some people try too hard to sound impressive, or sometimes just don't speak in enough of a conscious stream of thought. It ends up awkward. It ends up wordy. It doesn't have a conversational flow. Come on. Make some jokes, make fun of yourself, use some clever metaphors. Blogging is about telling a story, and if you don't sound conversational, people aren't going to want to read what you have to say. Blogging is just unique in that way. (I promise I'm not trying to rhyme)

3. Not posting enough
You can't post once a month and call it good. Once a week or every other week is ideal, if not more! You gain credibility when you're consistent and that way your readers won't feel abandoned. That being said, there's nothing worse than seeing a fellow blogger with a new post that is literally a paragraph long. Lame! Don't disappoint your readers like that. I will say, though, it totally sucks when you work full time and still have to keep up with weekly/biweekly blog posts. I wrote about it here; hope it helps!

4. Ignoring your readers
It's kinda tacky when you bloggers never reply back to their readers' comments. Some sort of listening service needs to be in place. You will lose readers if you ignore them. That simple.

5. Trying to appeal to everyone
If you decide your audience is everyone, it will be no one. People like to feel special and they like to find blogs that speak to them. You want your readers to feel personally connected. So zoom in on who exactly your blog appeals to. Think of age, gender, interests, values. What kind of magazines do they read? What kinds of food do they cook? What kind of clothes do they wear?

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