August 27, 2014

The Return Trip

There is something no one tells you when you move away.  Going home can be extremely tough.

The first time we went home, we tried to give everyone a place to come and meet up with us.  It was so awesome how many people came out, but we felt like we didn't get to talk to anyone.

This time, we tried to do things in smaller groups, but we felt like we were constantly checking the clock and rushing to our next "appointment."

There just isn't an infinite amount of time to see everyone you want to see or do everything you want to do.  I'm a planner, but I don't control anyone else's calendar.  You sometimes have people that are upset that they didn't get to see you.  It's impossible to make everyone happy.

That's my confession this week.  Going home stresses me out.

Now that I've said that, I do want to say that even with the stress, we still have a blast seeing everyone and being back in Minnesota.  I want to share all the awesome parts about our trip home (and my favorite pictures of the weekend.)

Being back on the boat and hanging with the nieces.




Watching my nieces draw portraits of people.




Hanging out with our nephew, Sawyer, who gets so much bigger and blonder between each visit.



Time with the sissies that included laughing, mimosas and a few pictures.



Meeting Molly the Bulldog puppy and her parents (my bro & his GF.)  She is 12 weeks old and I don't know when I will see her next, but I can assure you that I won't be holding her again.



Being in town on my mom's birthday and getting to go to dinner with her and my Grandma... plus getting my Grandma to take her first ever selfie.


Girlfriend time.  A few nights during the workweek after Justin went back east, I got to spend a time laughing and catching up with my girlfriends.  I love getting to just be there with them and here all about their lives and what they are up to.  No pictures here because we were too busy just being together.

Family time with my aunt and uncles was also a great treat.  I missed a family wedding this summer and I was so bummed because I don't see the whole family very often, but they came to my parent's house and hung out for an evening and I got to hug them all.


Hanging with my dad in his beautiful backyard (and that awesome hammock we got him for Father's Day.)


Now I will sit here and pout because I left the day the State Fair started so I didn't get to go this year.  I just keep looking at pictures online and my mouth is watering.  I really need to start planning these trips a little better.

Have you moved away?  Is going home stressful to you?

Linking up with Kathy for my confessions.

August 26, 2014

30 Day Yoga Challenge


Yep, you've heard that before.  Now I'm within a year of my 30th birthday which means things need to get crossed off my 30 before 30 list.  This time is the real deal.  I've got everything I need.  I'm doing everything from home because the thought of a class terrifies me still.

I'm using videos from 3 main people to get me through.  Rodney Yee, Erin Motz and Mandy Ingber.  I'll be throwing in a little Jillian Michaels here and then to really make my muscles hate love me.


My favorite pose to start is anything where I can lay down.  I've learned to double up on my mats on our floor in my first 2 days.  I also realized that I am lightyears from any sort of handstand.  Obviously I needed to test my skills before getting this thing started.  I promise, I won't be trying anything crazy anytime soon without Justin's supervision.


I asked J to take pictures of me this time around (something I don't normally do) because I'm embracing all of it.  I could use some muscle tone and a few less pounds on my body, so I'm going to work towards that.  I'm not going to hide behind it and wait until everything is "perfect."  I'm also going to pretend we planned for the pictures to be a little blurry... yep.  My brand new yoga outfit is from YogaOutlet.com.  The shirt is my new favorite and the pants are EXTREMELY comfortable.


If you want in on the most comfortable outfit in the world, you should head on over to YogaOutlet.com and get 15% off your first order.  They are wrapping up their summer sale and you probably need to take advantage.  Click here to see the sale!!

If you have any questions on my outfit, my routines or you want more blurry pictures of me flexing, just comment below.


**I was given a credit for YogaOutlet.com in exchange for writing this post.  All opinions and words are mine.

August 25, 2014

Marvelous Monday Morning

Good news, Summer hasn't left us after all.  The sun is shining and the temperature is rising.  I'm so damn happy this morning.  When I sat down to think about how that could be possible on a Monday morning, an entire list was formed.  It's nothing huge, just a bunch of little awesomes to start off my week.  Let me share with you:

Fantasy Football draft number 1 was last night.  Yahoo really boned up the entire process, so we made a last minute switch to ESPN and it was fast, easy and still really fun.


Speaking of FF, my husband made the ultimate sacrifice last night.  He doesn't know that I know what he did though.  I had first pick with our Yahoo league, so like a cocky little brat, I went and put on my Adrian Peterson jersey.  When we switched to ESPN, I lost my first pick spot and was moved to 2nd.  Justin went first and even though I know he would have chosen AP in most situations, he left him for me.  It's the little things people.

I participated in the ice bucket challenge over the weekend and even though it was incredibly cold, it felt good to donate to a charity that I had never donated to before... and spend a while reading up on the cause itself.


I've had 3 cups of coffee already.

I had a very active weekend with some real life healthy food and activities... except for the crepe filled with cream cheese that I ate, but it was AH-MAZING.  OK, and the pizza & beer consumed last night during the draft.  We each got a Fitbit last week and then clocked in 23,000 steps on Saturday wandering the city.  I love being called a champ.


I woke up early this morning and got my Monday AM reports done.  They are usually really hard to get through on Mondays because my emails start up at about 8:30.  I was done well before 8:30 today and it made me feel like I was already winning Monday.

Because I got so much work done in the early AM hours, I was able to escape my apartment to run to the pet store and Trader Joe's.  Errands done before noon.  Awesome.

Bought myself flowers and sea salt brownies.


The Emmy's are on tonight which means I will probably discover my next Netflix binge and I get to spend a couple hours loving Seth Meyers more than I already do.

The first thing I read on the internet this morning was Steph's post about Chasing Silver Linings and it was fantastic.

Plus, this week is full of fun.  Our anniversary is on Saturday, my mom is coming to town this weekend, we have a day trip planned to Newport, RI and possible one more to the shore, and I'm finally spending an entire week in my own bed.  Ahhhh.

Tell me, what is awesome in your world this morning?

August 22, 2014

Quick Update

HI FRIENDS.  (Insert weird apology for being a "bad blogger" here)

I'm back on the East Coast after a week of midwest travels.  Long work days, long evenings with friends and family.  I have gotten enough Minnesota Nice to last me at least until the end of September when my friends come to visit.

I have so many things to share.  So many ideas to post about it in the next few weeks.  I have my first fashion blog coming to you (just kidding, it's just yoga pants but it comes with a discount.)  

While I get caught up with home and work, I figured I'd give you a quick update on life lately so you were caught up.

1.  I got The Day Designer.  I ordered one of the ones with a misspelling or other error making it cheaper.  It's overwhelming and interesting and exciting.  

2.  I got to play with Molly this weekend.  She is my brother's new bulldog puppy and she is 12 weeks old.  I'm in love with her.


3.  The Iceland trip is in full planning mode.  We watched the Secret Life of Walter Mitty last night.  I love that movie.  Our goal is to book the tickets by the end of this month and I cannot wait for this adventure.

source


4.  I have the cutest nieces & nephew in the whole world.  Not sure how many of you saw this picture on Instagram (if you don't follow me, you should @stephgregerson) but it was one of my favorite of the whole weekend.  We were out on my father in law's boat with the kids and Justin got stuck in the front of the boat with the two 3 year olds - obviously they were wearing sparkly red high heels.  I don't know what their conversation was about (he looks tired & confused), but that moment just made me happy.


5.  My Fantasy Football draft is Monday and I'm so excited.  I don't want summer to end, but I do love football season.

Alright, I'm off like a prom dress.  I have to make coffee, catch up on Samantha's Nashville trip and get to work.  If you miss me, check out my 2 posts about my road trip last week - PA, WV, MD and OH or OH, IN, IL & IA.  The 3rd and final installment will be live next week along with videos.  Come back soon.

August 15, 2014

Almost Home

We are only one state away now.  Today, we traveled through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and have landed on the eastern edge of Iowa.  We had another great day of adventures.  I will have more pictures to share in the future, but for now, I will share a few more nuggets of wisdom that we learned along the way.

1. Never say no to a 24-hour drive thru donut shop... or ice cream for breakfast if you stay away from gluten.
2. Drink champagne in Champaign, IL.  Why not?
3. Make complete stops when you are in Newtonsville, OH because they are watching.
4. US 50 is a beautiful way to see southern OH.
5. Turns out donuts + sandwiches are a real thing.  I ate one today.
6. Casinos live on boats in Iowa.
7. People in the Midwest really are as nice as the stereotype says.  You run into someone accidentally and they apologize... every time.
8. Turns out you can get just about anything on your license plate. 


Happy Friday to everyone.  I can't wait to be back in the motherland soon.

August 14, 2014

On the Road Again

I am currently somewhere in Eastern Ohio ready to begin day 2 of a road trip back to Minnesota.  One of my best friends drove out to the east coast a few weeks ago to spend some time with her different friends in NYC.  We decided that we would drive back together this week since Justin & I have a wedding and I have some work training to do at our headquarters in Minneapolis.  We set out yesterday and took a southern route through PA, MD and WV and ended day 1 in Ohio.

A few things I learned on day 1 of this trip:

1. Maryland & West Virginia are amazingly beautiful while driving through the hills.
2. The Cumberland Gap is in Tennessee, not Cumberland, MD.
3. Meals are cheaper in this part of the country.
4. Hershey, PA smells like chocolate.
5. Roadside America is the most ridiculous place I've ever visited (most pictures to come.)


Today, we are covering Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  I'll be back to regular programming one of these days.

August 11, 2014

Camping in the Catskills


Growing up, the only family vacations we took were to hockey tournaments in the winter or camping in the Boundary Waters in the summer.  When Justin & I got married, I wanted to continue taking camping trips with my husband, but life happened.  Almost 6 years later, we finally used the tent and sleeping bags we received for our wedding.

We went north to the Catskills for the weekend and set up camp.  Tannersville and Hunter are awesome little mountain towns.  Once we got our campsite set up, we settled in for a quiet evening of veggie hot dogs, campfire Sangria and s'mores.  







Saturday morning, we enjoyed a few bonfire breakfast burritos and then made our way to the Zipline Adventure tour.  If you missed my recap of my Zipline experience, you can read it here.  We celebrated afterwards with a stroll through Tannersville.  There was a margarita involved followed up a face plant into a stream because I'm smooth.






The Catskills are incredible.  We explored such a tiny area and we are working on getting back up north in the fall when the trees are colorful.  We want to hike more and possibly even zip line again.  We will definitely get up there in the winter for a ski day.



Just thinking about the quiet, beautiful mountain air makes me feel a little more relaxed on this Monday morning.

August 8, 2014

A Break from Crazy

Thank you Friday for showing your pretty little face.  I'm not trying to wish time away, but I do need a break from the craziness that has been my work schedule (aka my husband and I in the same state for more than 12 hours.)


This week was a whirlwind brought to you by:

Airplanes - both easy flights and crappy bumpy flights

Football talk in an airport bar with complete strangers

A good new book - Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.  I read it in 3 days this week while traveling.  I couldn't stop.  It wasn't a happy, feel-good story, but it was the kind of book where you just love the characters.  Now that I've finished that up, I'm ready for a new book and open to recommendations.  Thank you Steph for moving this to the top of my to-read pile.

Meetings, meetings, meetings (but one of them had really good cookies)

Mexican food & margarita Monday in ATL

Raspberries & sugar snap peas - my food choices are always interesting when Justin is gone

Coffee & Wine

Awesome mailbox surprises from Yoga Outlet, Stitchfix and Wine Awesomeness

Jersey Belle - yep, I watched this and loved it and don't feel bad about it at all.  Another win Andy Cohen.

Beautiful weather enjoyed in tiny segments when the dogs need to go to the bathroom.

Training sessions for work

This Spotify playlist called I'm a Fly Motherf***er because sometimes you just need to hear that


Now that this week is wrapping up, I am super excited for a semi normal weekend.  Lots of food, dogs, laziness and pajamas.  My routine will be back to normal in about 2.5 weeks and the traveling will slow down a little bit.  In the meantime, I changed my sponsor spots to include a swap ad because I want to find some new bloggers and put some new faces on my sidebar so check it out.  

August 4, 2014

Here for a Good Time: Nashville Weekend


As I packed our bags for our long weekend in Nashville, I decided to catch up on some good old fashioned country music.  As soon as I heard George Strait's Here for a Good Time, I knew that I found our anthem for the weekend.  "I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time."

We only had a few days to explore this new city, celebrate at a friend's wedding and catch up with friends we hadn't seen in a while.  For the first time in our traveling history, we had no agenda of things we wanted to see.  We just went along with the group and we had a blast.


Instead of a full play by play, I'll just share the highlights.  You don't really need to know how many beers I drank, hours I sat by the hotel pool or times I ate fried food, right?

We loved taking a few minutes to chat with the musicians on the sidewalk, learn a little about them and throw them a buck or two.  This man filled us in on his music journey that didn't start until he "retired" at age 47.  He's waiting for his big break.


We spent a few afternoons wandering through the stores around downtown.  You can find any kind of boots, hats or country records.  You can also find a classy collection of t-shirts.  The souvenir shops are pretty frequent, but we stayed away from those for the most part.



We had a road trip on Sunday to one of the most beautiful wedding locations I have ever seen (plus a stop at a very country breakfast buffet spot).  It was a 1853 plantation house with a beautiful open aired reception area in the back.  It was so fun celebrating an old friend and his new wife - even if it was 100 degrees out.  And yes, in case you were wondering, it was complete with a horse and carriage.  Duh.



We went out in the District (which made me feel like I was in the Hunger games.)  We hit the town on Friday night and Sunday night.  Paradise Park, Honky Tonk Central, Tootsies, The Stage.  We had a blast.

I give this area of town a lot of credit.  It was so busy on Friday night - there were people EVERYWHERE, but I never waited in line for a drink or to go to the bathroom, so whatever magic formula they have figured out - I would love if they could spread it to every other city in the country.


Yep, all the pictures were blurry from that night.  Oops.

I would have to say that my favorite part of exploring the city was the live music.  Holy smokes.  Every single performer we saw had incredible talent and they were playing for tips on a little stage.  I don't know how many people make it in that town.  My favorite was the band we saw on Friday night.  I guess the girl was an American Idol finalist, but either way, they were fantastic.


It was an amazing first trip and I'm so glad we have friends there.  Keith, Whitney, Brady, Alec and all the rest of you Nashvillers - we will be back.  Thanks for hanging out with us and showing us the ropes.


Things for next time:  spend more time in East Nashville (including Jeni's ice cream), the Bluebird Cafe, the Grand Ole Opry, take in a football game and get out in the beautiful country surrounding Nashville a little more.  Plus, we will eat WAY MORE at WAY MORE PLACES.

Maybe actually go into the Beaver Bar that I got my picture taken in front of... if we have enough time.



Thanks for the recommendations from those of you that have been there.  I can't wait until our next adventure.