June 26, 2015

Thank You Notes Vol. 9

Thank you S'Mores Oreos for coming in a smaller package than regular Oreos. Seriously, we eat them until they are gone. We've tried hiding them in the cabinets, but there's still one person that knows where they are. I was skeptical at first because I don't really love regular Oreo's, but these are different. I'm glad they are seasonal.

Thank you Old Navy for creating shorts that don't show my ass plus they are super cute and don't look like they are made for grannies. I bought myself three pairs because they were also dirt cheap.

Thank you Barkbox for making me feel like the best dog mom in the world. New toys and treats each month that the pups go bananas over. If you haven't tried it, click here and spoil those pups.

Thank you Lola for having the most adorable tiny white eyelashes. I posted this picture last night, but I had to share it again because I finally captured them. Seriously? How cute are those tiny little hairs?

Thank you Chris Pratt for being alive. I've loved you since your first appearance on Parks & Rec and now I've watched you be a badass in Jurassic World. I didn't think it was possible to love dinosaurs like a 3 year old boy, but you convinced me.

Thank you Grandma Elly who sends me mail as often as she can and it always makes my day. This recent card was actually her way of RSVPing to the wedding shower I'm throwing for my soon to be sister in law in a month. She could've called, but she sent me a Thinking of You card instead.

Thank you 2016 Presidential Race for being the newest and most entertaining reality television show. Just watching how politics work in this country and the people who jump into the ring, it's all a bit entertaining to me at this point in the campaign. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune in a few months.

And like always, thank you Jimmy Fallon for being my hero. Happy Friday!

June 24, 2015

Summertime To-Do List

I completed almost everything on my spring to-do list. The Cherry Blossoms were a little off this year with my timing, so we saw blossoms on our way to the airport to leave for Iceland. Not exactly what I was planning, but it worked out just fine.

Last year, I made a list of requirements for the perfect summer (see that here.) I'm getting a little more specific this year, because I love being able to check things off.

1. Beach days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a big one. We got a new umbrella and Justin has started to focus on his surf skills again. Growing up in southern Cali, he surfed as a kid and now that we are close to a coast again, he's jumping back in. Not me, I sit under the umbrella and observe.

2. Eat Mac & Cheese cupcakes at the Minnesota State Fair. They are on the list of new foods this year and we will be home for weddings, so I'm all over it.

3. Celebrate my little brother's wedding and all the festivities that come with it. Plus we get two friend weddings this fall, so lots of love in the air this year.

4. Get back to Boston. How have we lived here for 20 months and not been back to Boston? It's one of our favorite places and it's an easy weekend trip. It will happen this summer.

5. See at least one more baseball stadium. There's got to be at least one that we can check off the list in our road trips to and from different offices & Minnesota this summer.

6. Visit Governor's Island with a picnic basket. There is a park there with lots of hammocks. I want books, wine, snacks and hammocks for a nice summer afternoon.

7. Explore more of Long Island - it's an easy day trip for us and there's so much to explore. I'm a big fan of the north fork of the island with all the wine, but Montauk has some wonderful places to eat and enjoy as well.

8. Take a photography class and learn to use our camera.

9. Some of the simple things: read 5-6 books, take screen free days, walk the dogs and let them explore new places, yoga, update some blog pages.

10. Enjoy a week in Montana - looking at the stars, hiking in the mountains, fly fishing like a boss and laughing until my face hurts with some of my favorite people in the whole world.

What's on your summer list?

June 23, 2015

Stealin' Time

Stealing time is an interesting concept. I found a definition of this phrase that said "when you grab a chunk of time that would normally be used for something else and you steal it for your own purposes."

Saying life has been a little nuts lately would be putting it lightly. The nice part about getting older is you start to recognize crazy before it smacks you in the face. When schedules are crazy, I always think of the phrase "stealin' time." It is kind of like glorified multitasking - sometimes doing too many things at once makes life more complicated, but this is the opposite. It's impossible for me to explain exactly what it means, but I'll give you a couple examples of my interpretation.

Ditching yoga to walk to the frozen yogurt shop on an 85 degree evening.
Taking a breakfast break to make eggs and sit at the table and read the news.
Using my mindless trips through the aisles of the grocery store to catch up with mom or dad on the phone.
Keeping a book in my purse to make all the mindless "waiting" time interesting by diving in to the latest story.
Take a break from Facebook. I don't know if that really counts, but I feel like I'm taking back time by deactivating my account for a little bit. That might be over today... who knows.
Deciding against the movie in the park in the city and having our own movie night with the dogs at home - no ferry or bus ride or getting their early to hold our spot saves us at least 90 minutes.
Catching up with neighbors while letting the dogs run wild in the park - sometimes even practicing my Spanish skills.

And my newest discovery of planning bus rides with friends & neighbors so you can use those 30 minutes to have a cup of coffee and catch up instead of staring out the window and dreading those dark minutes in the Lincoln Tunnel. It does wonders.

What does that phrase mean to you? Do you have any little secrets to make crazy days seem a little more in your control? I'm begging you to share :)

June 18, 2015

You Probably Don't Know...

You probably don't know where I've been for the last week... or what I've been up to recently. Helene's link up came at a perfect time so I can fill you in on some things that you probably don't know.

You probably don't know that I'm heading to Chicago today. I should be there now but my flight was cancelled and I didn't see that email until I had showered and gotten ready at 4 AM. At least I hadn't left for the airport yet. I was able to sneak in two more hours of zzzzz's.

You probably don't know that we haven't had a weekend in town without guests since April. It's so awesome to have people visiting, but I'm kind of looking forward to this weekend with nothing to do. Let's just hope that my flight makes it back tomorrow evening.

You probably don't know that we recently purged our wardrobes again and got rid of things that we haven't worn and things that no longer fit. Now I feel like I could really use some new work clothes.

You probably don't know that I've recently fallen in love with the NY Mets and decided that in a perfect world, the Mets & the MN Twins would meet in the World Series this year. More on that later.

You probably don't know that I get insanely excited to find out what colors the Empire State Building are going to be each night and the reasons behind it. My favorite is when they add a little green or purple.

You probably don't know that I've been in a crappy mood lately and have not shown up on the blog because I have needed my evening down time to just sit and do nothing. That's what happens when work is super busy and there is a lots of stuff going on behind the scenes in our lives. I'll bounce back.

Now go link up with Helene because she's the best.

Helene in Between

June 10, 2015

Southwest Coast of Iceland: 4 Places You Must Stop


The first part of our second day in Iceland was spent driving the Golden Circle - you can read about it here. I thought there was no way that could be topped. I was wrong. We got back to the Ring Road to head towards Vik and things just kept getting better. The south coast of Iceland is super easy to travel if you have some time.

I'm going to share just a few photos along with the 4 places that you must stop while making this drive.

Seljalandsfoss - This is a beautiful and extremely tall waterfall that you can hike all the way around. You can see it beauty right from Highway 1, but you should definitely stop the car and get out and check it out. There is another waterfall that is equally as cool just a little further in from the road as well, so there is lots to see and discover.




The Hidden Pool - Seljavallalaug - The water trickles down from the volcano and fills up this concrete pool. It's not easy to find and you have to hike a little ways to get to it, but that's why it's so awesome. We didn't swim, but the hike itself was incredible and we spent lots of time just taking in the scenery.

Skogarfoss - Another waterfall, but this one is totally different. There is a giant set of stairs that allows you to climb to the top if you want a bird's eye view and there are a few really cool ledges along the way. My favorite part was the face of the old man that watches over the waterfall. Once we got to the bottom, we enjoyed a double rainbow. I'm telling you - Iceland will make everyone believe in magic.



Reynisfjara Beach - Black sand, waves crashing and signs of trolls everywhere. You've got the incredible sea stacks which legend says are trolls that got caught in the sunlight. There is a little red house with a path that leads to a cave - find it. I was terrified to climb into it, but the view from up there was awesome.

Those are my top four that I recommend. Obviously, there are many other places that are incredible. We easily did these in the afternoon and still had time for an epic dinner in Vik. More on that to come soon.

Which waterfall intrigues you more? Do you believe in trolls?

June 9, 2015

On the Bookshelf Vol. 2

Another few months have gone by and I'm still kicking ass on my reading goal for the year. I'm going to give you my quick thoughts on this round of books.

Here are three that were okay:

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress was a collection of stories written by a woman that is having a mid-life crisis of sorts. It was interesting to learn a little bit about the Mennonite community, but I think I was looking for more of a fluid story.

When We Were the Kennedys was a story about a family in Maine that dealt with losing their father. I finished it, but I really wasn't too impressed. I had heard great things, but I just really wasn't a big fan.

Happier at Home is a follow up to The Happiness Project. It's essentially the same book. I love reading people's lists and celebrating as they accomplish goals. I think that's weird, but it's my own truth. If you loved The Happiness Project, you might find this entertaining.

Next up is a few books that I really liked and would recommend:

Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me made me laugh out loud over and over again. The writer takes a few different celebrities and dissects different parts of their routine and attempts to copy it. I loved it. I got her other book from the library and it's the next one on my list.

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography was another book that made me laugh out loud the whole time. I've always been a big NPH fan, but this book made that love grow huge. I learned a bunch about him that I didn't know before and loved hearing about his relationships with his castmates on How I Met Your Mother. Plus, it's a choose your own adventure - how cool is that?

Shotgun Lovesongs is a good Midwest tale of love, friendship and growing up. It is a wonderful story and I felt the I grew up with the characters. Thank you Steph for recommending this book.

And finally, my two favorites:

I feel like I don't even have the right words to describe either book. These stories made me cry and made me think and inspired me. If you don't know Alan Cumming, you are missing out. Read these books. That's all.

Previous Book Posts:
Volume 1

What are you reading? Go link up with Steph & Jana. I can't wait to add a ton to my library wish list. Come back tomorrow for my next Iceland recap.

June 3, 2015

I Admit

Are confessions still a thing? I have a few tonight, so I'm going to just let them fly.

The big reveal of Caitlyn Jenner was this week and I checked twitter every few minutes to see if she would set the record for fastest growing account. I also thought it was hilarious that she didn't spell her name with a "k" and that she stole the thunder from the South West baby announcement.  Yep, that's where my head went. It gets worse. I watched the 2 episodes of Kardashians where the girls talk to Bruce about his decisions. I don't know what I think of that - mostly because it doesn't concern me and I can't spend energy worrying about it - but I can apparently spend brain power watching their TV show.

Now that I don't have cable, I kind of binge on Bravo when I'm traveling for work. Tonight I've watched three episodes of Million Dollar Listing New York. Can't stop. Also, see Kardashians above.

I ran tonight. Like feet on the pavement moving forward. We did 3 miles in 34 minutes. My legs hurt so bad. I can't even imagine what they will feel like tomorrow. I'm including this in this post so that I will remember this day. According to my MapMyFitness app, it's been 13 months since my last run. Impressive.

I still have my Adrian Peterson jersey hanging in my closet. Did you see his Twitter rant? My issues have nothing to do with the actual message he was trying to put out there - it was the way he so poorly explained himself and his clear lack of knowledge of our beautiful English language (and yes I make typos often but I don't call myself a role model to the future generations.) I would like him to quietly show up at practice, play an amazing season as a Minnesota Viking and count his blessings. Seriously, shut up and be grateful that you are making millions of dollars. I'm keeping the jersey on a hanger for now.

We went to Target in Indianapolis to pick up a few groceries for our week here. I spent 15 minutes in the liquor aisle - I will never get used to that at Target. It was incredible. I bought canned white wine AND a $5.99 bottle of Sangria.

I also need to set aside some time to write some more Iceland posts. I don't want to leave anything out so they take me longer than these rambling random posts to write. This week just isn't leaving me much time. Too much canned wine, intense running and cable. I promise I'll work on it next week.

Also, any ideas of fun places to stop and hang out on the route between Indianapolis and the East Coast? We are headed home on Friday and don't want to make the drive in one day.

June 1, 2015


Summer has arrived (because it starts on Memorial Day - just accept it.) Our relaxing month of June has quickly turned into a whirlwind of travel for work. So much for relaxing at home for a month filled with no plans. Here is a quick snapshot of what's happening in life now.

I'm currently...

Watching the last season of Parenthood on Netflix. Three episodes in and I've cried multiple times already. I'm so glad I started watching this show, but wow does it pull all the heartstrings.

Reading All the Light We Cannot See. The book was due back at the library, I couldn't renew it and I couldn't wait to finish reading it, so I bought it. It's the first book I've purchased this year so it's kind of a big deal.

Missing the girls that we dropped off at the airport a few hours ago. We had a blast this weekend eating and drinking our way through the city. Sunburns, selfie sticks and sangria = a perfect girl's weekend.

Wearing dresses nonstop. I love the changing of seasons because it's like my closet gets a whole new look when I pull out the warm weather stuff. Also, Tom's has flip flops now and they are amazing.

Beginning another 30 day yoga challenge. 10 minutes a day for 30 days.

Proud of my pups. They went to their first winery today in Jersey with the girls and got to hang out inside and they didn't act like nut jobs. We have brought them along on our work trip this week and so far, they have been super easy in the car and at the hotel. Three years ago, all of these things would have been impossible.

Crying a little inside because the Rangers lost game 7. I'm not ready to talk about it.

Celebrating the last decade of hanging out with the coolest person I know. May 31, 2005 was the night of our first date. Life has been so awesome with him. I am so happy (and cheesy.)

How was your weekend?