May 31, 2017

The Alps: Recap of the Senses

I'm back in the good old USA. I can't believe our trip is already over. It was an adventure we had been looking forward to for such a long time and it did not disappoint. I'm going to do a quick post today recapping the senses. I've done this in the past with our North Carolina Road Trip and Costa Rica and I like remembering the little things and being able to quickly transport myself back.

I tasted...

Fondue (twice.) Potatoes. The Prince's wine in Liechtenstein. Strudel. The most amazing breakfasts with fruits we've never even tried before. Flammkuchen. Beer. Energy chews. Swiss chocolates in the shape of the Matterhorn. Some of the best tap water ever. And again, so much cheese and beer.

I heard...

Water rushing down from the mountains. Cowbells. So many words we did not understand. Sympathy from people when they realized we were from the US. Birds chirping. Church bells in the little towns. The lack of loud trucks and noise pollution. Clinking glasses. German covers of popular US songs.

I smelled...

Strong coffee. Sausages. Lilacs all over the place. Snow. Cigarettes. Sheep. Clean air. Fondue - that may seem weird, but it definitely has a smell when you walk by a restaurant that is serving it. Bonfires.

I saw...

The Matterhorn. A castle with a real Prince inside. Vineyards on mountainsides. Colorful buildings. Rivers. Cobblestone streets. Medieval structures. Glaciers. Trains. Mountain sunsets. Fields of green and yellow. Monuments of all kinds. The inside of so many tunnels. Views for days.

I felt...

The spray of river surfers in Munich. Stronger sunshine. Cold rocks on the inside of Klein Matterhorn. Glacial ice. Dizziness of snow tubing at 12,000 feet. Driving fast on the Autobahn. Deep admiration for the tolerant European cities we visited. Welcomed.

This trip was so incredible and I can't wait to show you some pictures. While we had some issues with luggage and connecting flights, we will always look back on this as one of our favorite trips and the perfect way to celebrate birthdays.

May 22, 2017

Things I Keep Doing No Matter What Age

Today, I'm wrapping up my three part "series" by sharing with you a list of things that I will probably always love and continue doing no matter what age.

Disney Movies - Any movie with music gets a shot with me, but Disney movies will always have a special spot in my heart. I think Beauty and the Beast is still my favorite and I love the new one, but Princess & the Frog is a close second. Also, all John Hughes movies.

Pizza + Mac & Cheese - These two items will always be my favorite. We have been trying all kinds of different variations of each, but my favorite recently was this Street Corn Pizza from A Beautiful Mess.

Bubble Hockey Champion - I think this was all the hockey tournaments out of town as a child that formed my amazing bubble hockey skills. We found a few places in the city where you can play this and it has reignited my obsession.

Watching Animal Videos - Have you ever gotten completely sucked into the YouTube hole of animal videos? This is a common event in my life. It can be puppies, unlikely animal friends, funniest home videos. I can't get enough. It's what I do if I'm having a bad day - no matter where.

Early Riser - For at least the last decade, I have been a morning person. I'm the annoying person that can get out of bed and be wide awake and ready for the day. I love sunrises, hot coffee and quiet before everyone else is awake. In fact, I'm writing this post at 5:30 on a Friday morning, the coffee is brewing, the sun is coming up and everyone else is sleeping.

Overusing Emojis - I will not apologize for this. I love those tiny little pictures and would prefer to just communicate with those most of the time.

Being a Dog Person - I think this is obvious, but I just wanted to include a picture of Quincy & Lola.

Meatless Diet - I have been a pescatarian for over five years now and I don't really see any reason to ever go back to eating meat. It's rare now that I even eat fish. I haven't missed it at all and have definitely gotten to a healthier place, so it would feel weird to ever go backwards. Has anyone else ever gone back to eating meat? I'm always so curious about that.

Forever Posing Awkwardly in Photos- Thumbs up seems to be my go-to move, but I've had all kinds of awkward poses. I just feel weird getting my picture taken. I've accepted that I will never be part of T Swift's squad because I just don't have a future as a supermodel.

Sending Mail - One of my favorite things is opening the mailbox and seeing something with real people's handwriting on it. Because of this happy feeling, I make sure to send as much mail as possible. One of my best friends from college moved to San Francisco the same year we moved. Because of the time difference and our crazy schedules, we started sending letters in the mail and it's been wonderful. Plus, it's the best way to communicate with my grandma who has no cell phone or answering machine.

While you are reading this, we are somewhere in the Alps celebrating another year of life. Make sure you've entered the giveaway here and follow along on Instagram for updates on the adventures.


May 18, 2017

Things I've Started Since I Turned 30

In case you missed the first post in this series, catch up here. I'm back with another list. This time around, I'm focusing on the things I've brilliantly started doing since I turned 30.

Library Cards - If you don't have one, run now and get one. It's the easiest thing ever and it has saved me a fortune. Plus, our library is awesome.

Secretly Saving Money - I've been using Digit which is an app that is super easy to set up, gains interest and can be managed on my phone. I was able to squirrel away our spending money for Europe without much thought over the last few months because it does the hard part for me - moving money to a special spot so I won't touch it. I also have my bank put $1 in savings every time I use my check card - that adds up too. Accepting that you might never be a great saver is the first step to finding ways to trick yourself.

In Season Fruits & Veggies - We bought some wall decor that hangs in our kitchen that reminds us what produce we should be using in our cooking. It's better for the environment to buy in season items, but they also taste better and save you money. Our banner comes from a little store in Brooklyn, but I just found this awesome Etsy shop that has totes and posters by state and they look awesome.

Composting - Did anyone else get super excited to see the brown bins appear ALL over New York City last week? We bought this little composting bin about a month ago and it's been helping us cut down our garbage by a ton. Once a bag fills, I stick it in the freezer (which is empty except for ice cream anyways) and then twice a week in our neighborhood, you can drop off your "scraps" to be composted in community gardens or farms. It's the little steps people.

Credit Cards with Miles - I don't know about anyone else but the idea of "credit" has always been negative. I'm afraid of having bad credit, I don't know much about credit. We started researching travel cards for points when we started traveling more for work. Now, we are heading to Europe next week for $52 per person thanks to miles. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. You just can't be the person that uses it all the time and doesn't pay it off. That's when credit is BAD.

A Website with my Husband - I haven't shared this on this blog yet, but for the last year, Justin and I have been working on a website, called The Tumbling Nomad, that focuses on the environment and also adventures. It's been really fun to work on together and has given me some awesome experience with Squarespace. We are starting to look for guest posters, so if you're interested - definitely let me know. Or just check it out by clicking here and let me know what you think.

HBO - I never understood why people paid for this channel, even when I loved Entourage. Then Game of Thrones happened to us and there's no going back. We love John Oliver and Big Little Lies. I can't wait to start binge watching Veep on my next rainy day. They have Camp Nowhere available right now. Plus, they have so many awesome documentaries and specials. And you can't forget about the "lorn." haha. I'm hooked.

Reviews Nonstop - I write positive reviews anytime I had a good experience anywhere. It's crazy how often I read reviews when shopping or picking restaurants, so I want to make sure to shout out any awesome places. I keep everything honest, but try to call out people by name. I work in a business that lives and breathes customer service reviews so I know how important it is. Plus, it takes only a minute or two.

Cooking - Turns out, you just have to keep doing it to get better. It's become something that I love doing now and I never thought I'd be able to say that. I'm still working my way through this cookbook and I've learned even more words that I never knew before. If only I could register for my wedding now instead of 9 years ago. My kitchen would be filled with all the perfect tools. That's a post for a different day.

The Dentist - Still hate going, but I make myself do it. I finally found a dentist that I really like and he doesn't freak me out as bad as some have in the past, so I'll call it a win.

Good Skin Care - Turns out this stuff is important and when you start to learn about skincare products (as well as make up and other cosmetics) - you find out there's a lot of bad stuff in many products. I've spent the last few years testing out all kinds of stuff and I landed on Beautycounter for most of my skincare stuff. I'll probably do a round up of the other brands I use regularly at some point too. I liked Beautycounter so much that I joined them as a consultant to help their mission of safer beauty for everyone in the US (and Canada.) You can learn more about it by clicking on the link on the sidebar or just by checking out the giveaway :)


So now that I've shared this stuff with you guys - I want you to have a chance to get on board. I'm doing a little something special for my birthday. I'm going to giveaway one of the Beautycounter+ Spa Sets. There are three to choose from (and clicking on the links will give you more info about each) - No. 1 Brightening Set, No. 2 Plumping Set and No. 3 Balancing Set. Each one comes with a mask, a mist and a face oil. Exciting stuff.

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That's all for today. Happy Thursday!

May 16, 2017

Things I've Given Up Since I Turned 30

It's true, I've been doing this 30 year old thing for almost 2 full years now and that clearly makes me able to speak to the masses about being a 30-something.

Just kidding.

But really, it's my favorite time of life so far. There are definitely less f*cks to give (not enough to not write that word out though because I'll share this with Grandma) and more fun to be had. Also, it's crazy but you get smarter with age. #mymomwasright #mydadtoo

I figured I'd share with you some things that have changed in my life in the last two years. This is the first of a 3 part series I like to call BIRTHDAY WEEK. Embrace it. There's also a giveaway halfway through so just stick with me.

This first edition is the things I have given up since turning 30.

K-Cups  - I have my husband to thank for this because he started drinking coffee with me at home, so we got rid of the Keurig. That thing lasted us for years, but just knowing how much waste was happening with those K-cups. Our Hamilton Beach flex brewer does the trick now. It has a single serve that you can use a K cup or their built in filter for those days you are all by your self. Plus, now we can compost all the grounds and filters and that makes me happy.

Forcing 10,000 steps - Does anyone else have a FitBit? In the beginning, I felt like a failure if I didn't get 10k steps a day, so I would find myself pacing around my apartment like a lunatic at the end of the night. I gave up on that goal. Now I just try to walk the dogs further on nice days and walk instead of taking the subway. I set a goal of walking 1500 miles this year and I'm on track, so I feel pretty good about it. That said, I still love those damn challenges and get insanely competitive.

Coloring my hair
- Oh the money I've saved and the chemicals I've given up. I'm not saying that I would never do it again, but it has been quite liberating to not color my hair.

Hoarding candles and other fun things - I used to have an entire closet dedicated to candles and things I was saving for a "special occasion" and my husband called bullshit. Why wouldn't I burn my favorite candle every day? Because I was sad that once it was gone, it would be gone. Yes, that was my justification. I still do that with books - which is why I still haven't opened Trevor Noah's book. Thankfully, I've stopped doing that for everything but books. The fancy wine glasses have all been used and some broke, but there were no tears shed. Things are meant to be used and enjoyed. I think I can thank Marie Kondo for that push.

Plastic Bags - NYC went backwards on their plastic bag ban. I understand why, but they need to kick it into overdrive to get it dealt with at this point because it's ridiculous that other cities have figured this out. We have used this Flip & Tumble bag and the tote version for years. The space under my sink has thanked me. Was I the only one that just shoved plastic bags under the sink to be used again for something? We have used the final ones we have to pick up garbage in the neighborhood while walking the dogs. At least they have a good final run.

Friends on Facebook - Has anyone else done a big purge of friends on Facebook ever? Man, it feels good. I went through and unfriended all the people that I wouldn't talk to in real life. If I would avoid an awkward conversation in a grocery store, I really don't need to share my vacation photos and thoughts on the last hockey game with you. Although, I definitely see the irony of this with my blog, but let's forget about that for today.

Sugar Drinks from Starbucks - Turns out regular coffee and lattes are amazing without a million pounds of sugar added to them. The only exception I'll make it is my Caramel High Rise from Caribou when I'm back in Minnesota on a cold day. I'll take the sugar high for that one.

Safe Places - For a long time, I was the person that wanted to go to the same place as often as possible because I liked their food or knew the layout. It was comfortable and safe for me. I've learned to appreciate new things all the time now. I think 2015 was big for me because my resolution was to try something new everyday. I wrote a full summary here and just rereading it today, I'm so happy I did that. I never would have enjoyed the cheese tower below...

Bad movies & books - Dumb and Dumber To was the first movie I shut off only 20 minutes in and it was liberating. Since then, we've bailed on Zoolander 2 and countless other shit movies. I have also stopped finishing books when I'm just really not interested. Recently, I have put down Sweetbitter and Modern Lovers and felt pretty good about it.

Those 10 lbs I picked up during my late twenties - Yep, this is a bit of a bragging moment, but since the first of this year, I have gotten back down into the 130's consistently which is a good healthy spot for me. I can thank the sugar detox we did and the things I learned. Also, I've just learned to make better choices.

Having a 5 year plan - I think this is the most freeing. I'm a planner and throughout my twenties, I always had a plan. Then all of a sudden, we were moving to the east coast and things seemed a little scary and also very exciting. That experience taught me to plan a little less and enjoy a lot more. So many things have happened in the last two years that weren't really planned on, but I've learned to embrace it. I can safely say that I have no idea where I'll be living next year at this time and I'm just going with it.

I feel better just rereading through this list. What about you? What have you given up that's made your life better and easier? I love learning things like this. Bring it on!

May 11, 2017

My Single Life

Let me let you in on a little secret. The last few weeks have been long in our household. Justin and I have not been in the same state for more than a few days at a time since early March. We both travel for work, but lately, it's been ramped up quite a bit, plus we've had weekend plans on top of it. I'm pretty excited to have my husband home for the next week.

Since my time as a loner is almost over for a while, I figured I'd fill you in on the ways life is a little different when I am flying solo.

  • I take the dogs for walks separately. They go at such different speeds, so I take them by themselves. Except the night time walk because that's usually the shortest. 
  • I eat really different. There don't seem to be meals when I'm by myself, just a ton of snacks. For example, one day this week, I ate a bagel with cream cheese, a carton of raspberries, 2 Babybel cheeses, celery with peanut butter, an egg muffin with peppers, 3 bites of chocolate ice cream (I pace myself with this ice cream, but it's the best). Last week, when I had all those pineapples, I pretty much just ate pineapple and yogurt all week. I snack all day, but hate making full meals for just myself. If I'm really hungry, I'll order a ridiculous amount of Chinese food or take myself to dinner down the street.

  • My grocery shopping trips are incredibly weird. See above note.
  • I schedule happy hours with all the girls I know in the city. Working from home, I could go days without sitting and having a face to face conversation for more than two minutes. Plus, it's a good excuse to actually shower and get dressed. 
  • I watch all the bad TV shows. Also, movies from my childhood. The latest gems included Sixteen Candles, Camp Nowhere and Parent Trap.
  • I work weird hours. This week, there were a few nights that I stayed on my work computer getting things done until almost 8:00. If I don't have anything to do, I might as well get ahead before vacation.
  • I talk to the dogs nonstop. They usually just stare at me with these faces.

Honestly, we both have rhythms when the other is gone for the week. I've learned how to use this time to recharge my batteries and indulge. That said, I'm real excited to see my husband tomorrow and actually be able to put the suitcase away... for a few days.

May 9, 2017

The Bookshelf: Vol. 12

Another few books finished to share with you today. I'm officially 3 books ahead of my goal and I have two long flights this month to get some more checked off my list. The next one on my list is the official New York City book club selection, Americanah

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple - (Goodreads/Amazon) Let me just say that I loved Where'd You Go, Bernadette. I was super excited to read more from this author. This is the 3rd book I've read and I think I just loved the first one. This one was kind of a dud for me. I gave it just two stars. I probably wouldn't have finished it, but it was a quick read and I was holding out for a great ending... it just didn't show up.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid - (Goodreads/Amazon) I read the description of this book. A woman is married and her husband dies, she grieves and finds love again, gets engaged and then finds out that her husband is still alive. I thought this might be a little too cheesy for me - like I should have waited for the poolside in the summer. After finishing it, I was pleasantly surprised. It's not a book I would rave about, but it was entertaining and there were a couple moments in it that I loved. Definitely a good summer read.

And two that you should definitely read:

A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming - (Goodreads/Amazon) My sister in law recommended this book to me. We've been exchanging lots of ideas, articles and books since we met, but especially since the election. I'll admit, I didn't know too much about the conflict in Syria until late last year. This book is a true story of a Syrian refugee. I definitely recommend it.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman - (Goodreads/Amazon) Deep sigh. I just loved this book. It's weird because there's nothing super crazy or magical about this book. The story is about a cranky, old man named Ove (although not as old as I pictured him.) It's about his daily interactions with his neighbors and how that changed the course of his life. I cried tears at the end and I'm still not sure if they were happy tears, sad tears or both.

My Grandma is my penpal and we send book ideas back and forth. When she wrote back, she told me that the book is just like "real life" but she totally understands why people love it. It made me think of her living by herself and how the everyday interactions could make an impact on her life. This is my favorite book I've read this year. I can't wait to read more by this author.

So tell me, what are you reading? Have you read any refugee stories that you would encourage others to read? Have you fallen in love with Ove?

Linking up with Steph and Jana for my favorite book round up.

May 7, 2017

Wedding in the City

It was just a wonderful weekend. We celebrated the wedding of two of our favorite people. The festivities happened in Little Italy in a fantastic restaurant. There may have been a little rain and some flight issues, but the sun came out Saturday and it was such an amazing celebration.

Andy & Meredith are people who appreciate good food and all I can say about their menu is "wow." We had family style Italian food that included the best pasta I've ever had. I usually leave a wedding wishing I had more food, but that was definitely not the case on Saturday. There were multiple courses and tons of meat free options. I can definitely say that I will not forget that meal for a long time. Plus, we had some pretty great company at our table.

It was a smaller wedding, so we got lots of time with the bride and groom and we really got to know their friends and family over the course of the weekend. It was a weekend full of champagne toasts, dance parties, photo booths and lots of love.

It's crazy to think that we moved out east with very few local friends and in the last three years, we have met some of the best people. I am so grateful that we were lucky enough to find our Sweatpant Squad and that we were able to celebrate with them this weekend. Cheers to the Allegretti's. I can't wait to see all the wedding pictures because it's New York City.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Linking up with this lovely lady because weekends are the best.

May 5, 2017

Three Things

Do you ever see someone post something on their magical space on the internet and then get excited to copy them? That happened to me this week. Kait posted this 3 things survey and it brought me back to those quizzes we used to fill out in middle school on a notebook sheet of paper. Plus, I'm too intimidated to really update me "about me" page with anything recent.

Three things I'd never give up - my library card, pizza and the internet

Three favorite vegetables - Cauliflower (because it can become ANYTHING), Zucchini (see previous explanation) and Carrots (but mostly because I love carrot juice)

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end - How I Met Your Mother, The Office and Seinfeld - I can safely say that I've seen every episode of these three shows at least 2 times. Honorable mentions: Lost (hated the ending so much), 24 (unless you count the weird comebacks)

Three places I want to visit inside the US - the Florida Keys, Pacific Northwest and Grand Canyon

Three places I want to visit outside the US - I'm going to exclude our upcoming trip because you'll read enough about that in the near future. I would say New Zealand, Patagonia and Norway/Sweden.

Three things I always have with me - Metro card, iPhone and headphones

Three things that are always in my car - This is an interesting question because we don't really use the car except for work appointments. I know there's a dog bed, a case of all our old CD's and the EZ pass. If I'm going in the car, I always bring coffee, my water bottle and sunglasses.

Three most recent calls were from/to - This answer is lame because they are all work calls. I did get to catch up with my girlfriend who is having a baby this month on the phone this week and I plotted some US Open plans with my dad who is coming back for a second year and bringing my godfather. I'm not much of a phone talker, so it's rare to have more than two non work conversations in a week.

Three most used makeup products - This mascara has has a built in curler, this eyeliner in multiple colors and this moisturizer that has SPF and a tint that even skin tones while hydrating. When I get really crazy, I'll put on eye shadow and lip gloss. Crazy, I know.

Three things that make me laugh - Trevor Noah and the Daily Show, The Daily Tay and the daily shenanigans of Quincy & Lola. Also, the Skimm when it tells me things like the woman that accidentally named her son Darthvader while on anesthesia.

Three things that make me cry - All weddings (happy tears obviously), any animal videos - happy or sad, really good book endings (this book was the last one that made me cry and I loved it so much.)

Quincy wishes you all a wonderful weekend!

May 3, 2017

Love Letters to NYC: Vol. 2

It's been a month since my last love letters post, so I figured I'd come back around for another blast of love for this magical city.

Happy Hours - You have been showing your face lately in so many awesome neighborhoods. Some people may have heard that this is most expensive in the whole universe, but I think that is only true when looking at rent and certain living expenses. If anyone is local and wants some recommendations, let me know. Maybe we can even meet for HH soon? I'm always looking for more partners in crime.

Every street in my neighborhood - You have been filled with flowers for the last few weeks and although my allergies are now making it hard to keep my eyes open, I can't get enough.

Subway characters - I love all you the weirdos on the train. I usually listen to music or podcasts while on the train, but I love making up stories about all the other people on the train with me. You just never really know what you're going to end up with, but there are so many days I look around the train and just smile to myself. Makes me the total creep on the train, but I just don't care.

Andy Karl - You played Rocky on Broadway and it was cheesy and wonderful. Now you are starring in Groundshog Day and it was even better. I loved this movie and I loved this musical. It might be a bit of a long shot for you to get a Tony, but I'm pulling for you.

Milo, the neighbor cat - You scared the hell out of me last week when you appeared on my balcony. After some investigation, I realized that you just got locked out of next door and you were scared. You came in and waited until your owners got home and my dogs loved you. It's almost strange how much they loved you. Even though I still haven't spoken to the human neighbors (except text messages letting them know you were OK), I feel like you and I are going to be friends.

Adult Scooters - I can't get enough. We had our most recent celebrity spotting and it was Jason Sudeikis riding an adult scooter. I'm not talking about a Vespa, I'm talking about the razor scooters that every kid in NYC owns. Justin passed by him and they exchanged a nod and I was back thinking about whether or not I could cruise around the neighborhood.

And one final picture of our neighborhood. Because it's spring and it's wonderful.

May 1, 2017


Birthday month has arrived. May is one of my favorites. The weather has gotten so nice and there's a nice vacation waiting for us at the end of the month. Things have been nuts here, but that will just make us enjoy some adventure time even more. Since it's the first of the month, here's the usual round of random things happening right now.

Wearing new Toms. I got these colorful ones and I love them. They are so comfortable.

Enjoying our balcony. It's so nice to have a tiny bit of outdoor space. We drink coffee out there in the mornings, I read out there after work, it's been wonderful.

Missing my husband. There has been so much travel for work lately and it is really hard to be apart this much. We have only had one week together in the last few months and it stinks.

Eating well during the week and out of control on the weekends. It's working pretty good for me. The fact that the farmer's markets are picking up steam again makes me so happy. Also, so much Pineapple. If you missed my post last week, I ended up with 4 Pineapples in my Amazon Fresh order accidentally and I'm determined to not let them go to waste.

Watching Girlboss on Netflix. Everyone seems to hate it, but I find it entertaining and I'm going to keep watching it. I'm confused why everyone hates the main character so bad. Did they read #GirlBoss? It's pretty much exactly what I expected.

Listening to this song. It's so very spring to me.

Thinking about Mother's Day. We can't be back in Minnesota to celebrate, so I'm trying to figure out what we can do to make the mamas feel special. Beautycounter just announced this set for Mother's Day and I kind of love it/

What's new with you?