April 27, 2015

My Favorite Things

I turn 30 years old in less than a month. I'm over the moon excited to celebrate birthday month for all of May. To kick it off (even though it isn't quite May yet), I'm sharing a list of 30 of my favorite things. Feel free to send one of everything for my birthday.

1. Brunch. Eggs, french toast, bloody mary's, pancakes, mimosas and fresh fruit.
2. Seasons - all four of them for different reasons.
3. Playoff Hockey. GO RANGERS!
4. Starbucks You Are Here mugs.
5. Clean sheets and new pillows.

6. Candles.
7. Skinny jeans - they are comfortable and I'm so glad they are a thing.
8. My library card.
9. Toms shoes - I have multiple pairs but they are so comfortable.
10. Instagram. It's my favorite social media site because I love looking at pictures.
11. Fruity beer. Watermelon, Grapefruit, Strawberry. I love them all. Also, Wine & Sangria.

12. Celery with Peanut Butter.
13. Musicals - movies & Broadway. Newsies will always be my favorite.
14. Dresses. Maxi dresses, sun dresses, fancy dresses.
15. Memoirs. I love reading real stories of other people.
16. Lush Bath Bombs.

17. Green smoothies. I love spinach mixed with fruit every day.
18. Really soft t-shirts. If they have a clever saying on the front, they are even better.
19. The best blanket in the whole world.
20. Pizza. Every damn kind (unless there's meat.)

21. Method cleaning products and soap. I love the smells of all of them.
22. Bravo.
23. Scarves. I can't have enough of them.
24. Mail. I love sending mail and getting mail. Postcards, letters, packages.
25. Netflix. What an amazing creation. How else could I have seen Gilmore Girls from beginning to end?
26. Cheese on everything. All kinds of cheese. Goat cheese is my current favorite.
27. Sunglasses and sunscreen. I couldn't handle the summer without them.

28. Sweatpants and sweatshirts and all things comfortable.
29. Doughnuts. The plain ones, the sprinkled ones and the fancy ones.
30. Planners and lists. They make me productive and happy.

Oh how I love a list. Tell me a few of your favorite things.

April 24, 2015

Thank You Notes Vol. 8 (Plus a $130 Giveaway)

I posted this on Instagram yesterday and it just made me so happy. I'm not a huge fan of overly staged photos and I realize that this looks like one, but it's what was sitting on the corner of my desk yesterday. We are finalizing our Iceland plans for May, starting baseball season and our whole apartment smells like spring with that candle. I turn 30 exactly one month from today and I'm so excited.

Since it's Friday and my mind is bouncing all over the place, I'm going to follow Jimmy Fallon's example and write a few thank you cards.

Thank you Spring for bringing back cold weather and helping me prepare for our upcoming Iceland trip. But really, please be sunny this weekend because I want to play outside all weekend.

Thank you New York sports teams for keeping my life exciting. The Amazing Mets are the greatest team in baseball this year so far and the subway series kicks off this weekend. Also, the Rangers. I just love them so much. And I love playoff season.

Thank you BYOB restaurants. It makes dinner so much cheaper and we can choose whatever wine we want and drink 3 glasses each for the price of one.

Thank you Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki for giving me nonstop Iceland inspiration and for answering some of my ridiculous questions. I may have stalked every single one of your Iceland posts over the last few weeks and I'm not sorry about it.

Thank you Minnesota for saving the snow for after we left town. I don't think I could handle it and if there's anyway I'm ever moving back, that can't happen. Also, I appreciate your bloody mary skills.

Thank you Library card for keeping me stocked with books to read. It's helped keep the TV off and saved my Amazon account a ton of money. How did I not get a card the second I moved out here? I can get all my magazines online through them too. It's just a good business decision. Like 2 for 1 drinks.

Thank you Cherry Blossoms, Brunch, NY Green Expo and Hockey for sponsoring this weekend. Please be sunny and beautiful. I'm begging you.

Now, here is a fantastic giveaway from some awesome ladies and you should enter it.

Need some cash to spruce up your spring wardrobe? How about $130 to Anthropologie!? I've partnered with some fantastic ladies to bring you this giveaway. Enter in the rafflecopter below!

Ashley ~ The Nashvillian // Alanna ~ Alanna & Company // Erica ~ Coming Up Roses
Steph ~ Insert Classy Here // Kaelene ~ Unlocking Kiki // Kerri ~ Cheshire Kat
Brooke ~ Brooke Meagan Jones // Alexandria ~ A Modern Girl's Travels // Helene ~ Helene in Between 

April 23, 2015

Hometown Visit - Back to Minnesota

This picture was 100% necessary because I love the Twins and I love America. But anyways, we spent last weekend back in Minnesota for a wedding. The weather was beautiful and we set up our plans to be spaced out and not overwhelming.

We had a weekend full of good food, bloody mary's, sunshine and the Mississippi River. We had wonderful time with friends, some great family time, lots of puppy kisses and some time just the two of us.

This is my puppy niece, Molly. She is such a rockstar that she has her own Instagram account - follow her here.

Obviously, you must pose with any farm animals you find.

Lunch with dad. I got my first hint of a sunburn sitting on the patio at Sweeney's. Spring has arrived!

Friends night on the patio complete with a selfie stick photo and more sunshine.

Bloody Mary's are so much better in the Midwest than ANYWHERE ELSE.

The wedding was amazing and we got some time in with the girls, plus a stop to see Sawyer before the big event.

We partied like rockstars and made it until 1 AM. My dancing shoes were definitely on, but no one can top my niece's dance moves.

Sunday AM, we went for more bloodies and then with a few hours to kill, we bought $10 tickets to the Twins game.

We finished our trip with a quick drink with Emma for her 30th birthday and then back to the airport to head home. As soon as we got to our gate, the beautiful weather outside was gone and the rain started to fall. I was so glad we got so much sunshine and beautiful weather for our few days home.

It was our best trip home ever. We got to do all the things we wanted to do. We didn't get to see everyone we wanted, but we got in some good family time.

Congrats if you made it to the bottom of this photo dump. Minnesota - we'll be back again soon.

April 22, 2015

8 Simple Ways to Help Our Planet

"Be soft.  Do not let the world make you hard.  Do not let pain make you hate.  Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.  Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."  - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

It is Earth Day today and I love everything about a day that brings a little awareness to the beautiful place we all call home. As I get older, I appreciate some of the basics in life a little more. It upsets me that more people don't care. I'm always a little offended when someone doesn't recycle, litters or drives their car 2 blocks on a nice sunny day.

1. Walk more. If you live in any city or suburb, you are close enough to walk to at least one restaurant, store or park. Trade in your car keys for your tennis shoes. Not only will you only buy what you need (and can carry) but you will also get some good exercise.  Make it fun by using a FitBit or the steps tracker on your iPhone.

2. Buy reusable grocery bags. They are cheap, easy and way less likely to ever break or rip leaving your eggs broken all over the parking lot. Plus, they usually save you a few pennies each trip.

3. Go to your local farmer's markets. It's good to support local businesses, plus you get free samples all the time. While you are shopping, it's also good to know who the socially responsible companies are and support them. Here is one article on this topic.

4. Recycle. Not just things in the blue bins, but recycle your electronics, clothing, household items. So many organizations out there will take you donations. Plus, I've said it a million times on this blog - getting rid of clutter and things is really therapeutic.

5. Use public transportation when you can. It's a great time to read, people watch and maybe even catch one of these magically hilarious moments on the train.

6. Be aware of ingredients. Read what is in the cleaners you use, the food you eat, the makeup you use, the things you buy. Today, there are a few Whole Foods that are asking people to bring in their cleaning products full of chemicals and they will give you the same product from an all-natural brand for free. Check your local store's facebook pages for more information.

7. Be aware of your water usage and avoid buying bottled water when possible. If you love infographics like me, check out this one from the Greatist about why you shouldn't buy bottled water. I'm guilty of buying at the airport sometimes or while we are out in the city, but for the most part, we avoid them.

8. Turn things off. Use power strips that you can power down when you aren't using things. We have one at the desk and when I'm not working, everything gets powered off. We unplug our small appliances and chargers when we aren't using them. We keep our windows open and our lights off as much as possible. Tonight, give yourself an hour with nothing turned on - no music, no TV, no phone, no computer. Open a book, meditate, look through old pictures. You'll save yourself some money on your utility bills at the same time.

So that's enough of my hippie side for today. I'm not going to advise you to hug a tree, but just give a damn. Celebrate Earth. Enjoy beauty around you. (insert peace sign emoji here)

April 18, 2015

Introducing Lauren from Cupcake Thighs

I am off running around my hometown and enjoying a bloody mary, but I have a special treat for you today - Lauren is here to introduce herself to all of you and share a little bit about her blog. She writes a lot about self love and positivity, plus she has a 30 before 30 list just like me.  Show her some love and go visit her blog and say Hello!

My blog is a very freeing space for me. I read blog enteries and articles on Pinterest that say I should find a brand for my blog. Well, I think my brand is just me. I kind of write about whatever I want.

Sometimes I write about my girl crushes including Taylor Swift and Ursula. Sometimes I do reviews, mostly about fashion. I'm trying to work towards more outfit of the day posts as my friends on Instagram seem to like my clothes. It can hard for a bigger girl to find the fashionable items, even these days. I also write lists - things I'm loving, way to destress, my 30 Before 30 list. I also love to share the adventures I have - WichitaMinnesota, the Oklahoma State Fair!

What I seem to write about the most are personal stories and struggles. I figure if it's something I'm thinking about, something me and my friends are talking about, it's worth writing about. I've covered a lot of topics that are awkward to bring up in every day conversation. I do it anyway, but sometimes my blog is a good ice breaker for these topics. When I was trying to explain my job as an ostomy product specialist, I wrote about it to demonstrate the process to my friends and family. I heard on the radio women being dissed for "waiting too long" to have sex and I was outraged - so I wrote about it. I'm part of a community on Instagram that promotes body positivity and self love for ALL - all genders, races, sexual orientations. I love this movement so much, but I still have my struggles with body image. So, you guessed it! I wrote about it. I went to Minnesota with my partner over Christmas and had such anxiousness about his family liking me. It all went well as it's wont to do and then I felt silly for letting this anxiety take over my vacation. So, yup, I wrote about it.

This month, actually on April 18, I'm run/walking a 5K for the YWCA organization. They are a nonprofit that helps victims of domestic and sexual abuse/assault and stalking. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). While I've never been abused, this is an organization that is very near to my heart. I believe that everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home and especially in their body. Being a woman or a child or a whatever else should not make you a target. However much you drink, whatever you wear, wherever you go should not make youmore likely to be a target. The only reason for assault is the assaulter. There's nothing the victim could've or should've done differently. As you probably guessed, I have a lot more to say on this subject. You can read my full blog post HERE. I'm also working on a blog that tears down more specific victim blaming.

Every week, I have someone from my past, present, or a stranger reach out to me about my subject matter. It feels like I'm making a difference. That's why I write my blog. I write to start conversations.

See You Soon,
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