May 23, 2016

My Last Day as a 30 Year Old

For the entire year I was 29, I checked my 30 Before 30 List daily and worked hard to cross everything off. I was obsessed with completing this list. I had a lot of fun doing it.  The problem was that I also read all the thousands of other articles telling you what you should have accomplished by the age of 30. All of sudden, I felt like I hadn't accomplished anything - no life changing safari, no mind altering yoga retreats and I definitely hadn't cooked my way through a fancy cookbook. Those lists were a bitch.

Truthfully, I thought I would wake up on my 30th birthday feeling totally different. I didn't. I felt the same. Not once in the past year have I had to change a tire, set a fancy table, make my own signature cocktail or write a kick-ass cover letter. But all those articles made me feel like I needed to experience all the wild and crazy things in my twenties AND learn all of the "important" things in life because I was expected to have it all together the day I turned 30. Like I said, they were a bitch.

What I can tell you is that I feel different today than I did a year ago. I grew a little bit the last year. I got burned a few times. I accomplished some stuff I didn't know that I could. I found more awesome people. I learned more about the world. 

I've survived the first year as a 30 something. I feel compelled to write a list of things. My list of things that I learned or experienced in the last year. But really, I want you to ignore this list once you've scrolled through it. Make your own. That's way cooler.

The 2 things I wish I would have started 10 years ago, good skin care and stretching.

Champagne tastes good with all juice, not just orange juice. Thanksgiving morning should involve apple cider + champagne (Thanks Meredith). Plus, it always makes you feel a little fancier. 

Don't keep things because you feel guilty getting rid of them. It's OK to let things go

On that note, don't pass on your junk to your friends & family - most of the time, they will just feel guilty if they don't take it. Donate everything (or have a garage sale.)

I've got a weird thing about flamingos. I love their awkwardness. Apparently, they are a big trend this year. In the past, that would have annoyed me, but now it makes me happy because I see them everyone.

Send mail. I've tried to put more focus on that the last year and it has been a blast.

Handwrite your thank you cards. Keep a list, catch up often and always have a few on hand.

Grind your own coffee beans. The smell, the taste - everything is better.

Invest in a coffee machine that allows you to schedule the next day's brew. I wake up to the smell of fresh coffee - it's incredible. 

Breakfast is the greatest meal. I know they say it's the most important, but I also think it's the best. 

Your parents are human. They aren't unbreakable or invincible. But they are still so awesome and will always be your people.

Unsubscribe to emails. You'll be surprised how much time it takes just to delete all the junk each day.

De-multitask. It annoyed the hell out of me the first time I heard that, but it really does help you get things done quicker. 

Plan vacations with friends. The older we all get, the less time we have for shenanigans with our friends. A vacation gives you some solid bonding time while experiencing new places. Most of the trips we took in the last year were with friends and we had a blast - Montana, the Catskills, Costa Rica, New Orleans and this upcoming weekend, we are celebrating birthdays with friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Plus, you get a good ab workout from the nonstop laughing.

There is trash everywhere. Pick some up.

My place is the mountains. When I need to reset, I find that flannel, coffee, big trees and sweeping views make me happy the quickest. 

Knowing how to evaluate relationships. You should give a lot of love, but you should also be receiving a lot of love.

I love lots of pillows and high thread count sheets and I don't care who thinks that's annoying.

It's good to talk about politics with your friends - as long as you don't act like an asshole. Everyone has an opinion and it can be really awesome to have an intelligent conversation about things happening. You can learn lots of good stuff from your peers. Warning, it's probably more of a coffee chat than a few beers deep chat. 

Last, but not least, learn your stress limits. I've learned the warning signs and I've learned how to reset. I've learned a lot more about me. That has been the most valuable and life has seemed just a little better this year.

Of all the things the internet will tell you that you need to experience or learn, the most important things are the ones you create for yourself. Truth is - you're probably pretty awesome and the sooner you learn that, the sooner you can share some of that with the world.

So make your own list of stuff you want to do, want to learn, want to share. Don't listen to what other people tell you that you should have accomplished. 

I'm thinking about another list of my own. Maybe a 101 in 1001? Maybe a 100 day challenge? Stay tuned... 

May 17, 2016

Life Lately

Things have been happening over here. Lining up summer travels, selling a house, picking up trash, eating pizza, running away and buying an entire pack of stickers that have R Kelly lyrics on them. That has been our last 10 days in a nutshell.

Let's see. What to start with.

Obviously you are all curious about the R Kelly stickers. Sadly, I can't find them on the internet anywhere... which seems like a huge problem, but if you're really interested - I'd be happy to mail you one or two. I thought it was a sticker pack of funny rap lyrics, but it's only R Kelly and I've been having a blast hiding them in happy mail. This game will continue for a while. Best $3.95 I've spent this year.

Next, let's address the running away. Life has been NUTS lately. There was a two week trip back to Minnesota to get the house ready to list. We returned and never stopped for two seconds to just breath. One thing I've learned in my last few years is how to notice the signs of an impending brain explosion (which leads to crying, anger and unpleasantness). When the signs are there, we run away - usually north to the woods. It was a much needed quick weekend retreat without phones, computers or city noise. I can safely say that we are back in action and calmed down again.

Trash and pizza? That was a quick recap of our most recent weekend. We did some beach clean up on Sunday. It was a couple hours with some awesome people cleaning up people's crap from the beach. I can't go into it too much because I'm still so angry at people's ignorance. And then we ate pizza - always pizza.

Last but definitely not least, we found out within 24 hours of our St. Paul house going on the market, that our hard work paid off. We accepted an offer and close in a few weeks. I have to say that selling a house is just as stressful as buying a house and I'm so grateful that we didn't have to ride that roller coaster too long. I'll share some pics soon.

So really, this was like one long preview of some more in detail posts to come. I just had to make sure I remembered my login for the blog... just kidding, it's only been two weeks, but I'm supposed to make a comment like that, right?

Oh and I chopped all my hair off and took this super cute before & after picture. Get jealous of my modeling skills.

Seriously, I will send you R Kelly stickers if you have a friend you want to surprise with some raunchy lyrics. Just comment below.

May 5, 2016

#trendingontwitter - America, Nerds and Margaritas

Back again for another hashtag round up. Twitter is becoming the fastest way for people to get their news, so every once in a while, I grab the trending topics and discuss them here.

#dropouthillary - I guess the tweeps are trying to send a message. This hashtag has been used over 250k times. Yikes.

#dropoutbernie - This one only has 24,000 uses on Twitter. I guess Twitter is a different kind of polling system.

#losewithcruz  - Heehee, that wasn't really a hashtag, but Ted Cruz was all over Twitter this week after dropping out of the race. I always find it interesting that they say that no matter what, they will not give up and then 10 hours later, they are suspending their campaign. I still think the guy looks like a villain, so I'm happy to not see his face every five minutes.

#ripamerica - OK, this is the last political one. I really haven't touched on politics on the blog much. I am definitely not a fan of Trump or Cruz. It's been very interesting watching how much attention this election has received just on social media, but it will interest me even more to see if people actually turn out to the polls. I wish people wouldn't be giving up on this country just because they are upset about the primary elections - there are still months of things to happen and we kind of need people to show up to the polls.

#starwarsin4words - Wednesday was officially Star Wars day and of course, Twitter showed up to celebrate. There were some real gems here but my favorite was "Luke, that's your sister."

#manlybookclubnames - For all you book lovers, I suggest browsing the hilarious options in this hashtag. There were quite a few toilet references, but some people were extremely creative.

#teacherappreciationday - Did you hug a teacher this week or at least send them an awesome message of gratitude? Their jobs are hard. Show some love.

#ManusXMachina - Sorry, I just don't really care that much about these red carpet events. I tried looking at the pictures and Kanye's eyes freaked me out, I'm obviously behind on what's happening in Beyonce's life and the only thing I thought was super cool was that Emma Watson's dress was made out of recycled bottles - she just keeps getting cooler. You can read more on her dress and the story behind it here.

#nothingcompares2u - I haven't really talked about Prince on the blog yet, but radio stations across the country played this song for him this week in unison. I was in Minnesota when he died and it's hard to really explain to anyone not from there. I didn't shed any tears or go into mourning, but he's a legend and has done some really awesome things locally there and it was a sad day. I just read this awesome collection of photos and a deeper explanation of his relationship with Minnesota on one of my favorite blogs - check out Kati Rose to see for yourself.

#RunningManChallenge - If you haven't heard of this, you can see a video about it on my Facebook page by clicking here. Also, I'm probably going to attempt to recreate this on Snapchat this week at some point. I love a new dance move.

Now, today I'm looking forward to pictures of tacos, guac and margaritas. Thank you Twitter for helping me stay on top of what's happening in the world.

May 4, 2016

Rain for Days

I started a post this morning about the rainy weather and how it's completely demolished my motivation and I could barely handle the pathetic nature of it.

This all started a few weeks ago. We went back to Minnesota and spent a week working in the office during the day and then working on our house at night. We are getting ready to sell it and you can't really do much from 1000 miles away. Add in four days in the car with a few work meetings each way and a wedding and sneaking in some family time - you get the idea. We overextended ourselves on this trip and have been struggling to jump back on the awesome bus since then.

So here I was today, writing a post about my low FitBit activity, my sad unused yoga mat, the T25 discs that haven't made it into my DVD player, the videos from our Costa Rica trip and NOLA trip that haven't been touched, books that I haven't dove into, a pile for goodwill, laundry to be done, the remainder of our spring cleaning items and the list goes on... (I was also going to confess how much I love a few Justin Bieber songs, but that was just to lighten the mood.)

Once I saw it all listed out, I annoyed myself. We had a crazy few weeks and a lot is going on and life doesn't always get to be flamingos and unicorns.

Starting today, I'm getting back to celebrating the little things and getting back to my word for the year.

Things I'm grateful for right at this second:

1. The coffee maker that automatically starts brewing each morning when my alarm is going off. The smell of coffee is one of the greatest things to wake up to.

2. My newest Frostbeard candle, Gatsby's Mansion.

3. A cuddly dog that is sitting in my lap right now.

4. The fact that this household hasn't wasted a single scrap of food in 4 days - this is our focus for May.

Already I feel like I'm one or two steps closer to flamingo and unicorn land again. Then I checked the weather and it's four more days of rain here. Maybe a few Bieber songs will help me or exercise. Thanks for letting me work this out on the internet this morning. Happy hump day.

May 2, 2016


May is my favorite month of the whole year. It is the month that both Justin & I celebrate our birthdays as well as some of our awesome friends. We have a few weekend adventures planned this month. The weather is getting warmer. So many happy things.

I'm currently...

Celebrating tiny victories. We spent a lot of time in the month of April working on our house in Saint Paul and it is officially going on the market. I hope we'll be able to celebrate a quick sale soon.

Reading Dragonfly in Amber. All 734 pages of it before it's due back at the library later this week.

Pondering our options for the fall. Our current lease is up in September and we don't think we'll be staying in the same building for now.

Sipping midwest beers. I was able to stock up on a little bit of everything while back in Minnesota and I'm determined to make them last.

Needing a vacation where all I do is eat, read, sleep and hang out with J.

Watching old school Home Improvement. I forgot how much I loved that show. I also can't stop watching all the HGTV shows that are on Netflix now - Tiny Houses are my favorite.

Listening to the new Lumineers album. I love the whole thing and have had it on repeat.

Practicing saving my money. We have just dropped lots of cash money on the updates to our house, so we are going to try and spend a little less this month. We failed miserably this weekend with a day in the city, but it's a new month.

Loving pesto on everything lately. Green is the color of the season.

Focusing on food this month. Our goal this month is to not waste a single piece of food. The more I learn about food, the more important each bite I take has become.

Happy May everyone.

Linking up with these lovely ladies.