Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life: Moving Week

Well friends, it's time that I say adieu...but just a few days! IT'S MOVING WEEK! That being said, I need all hands on deck this week to make sure my move is complete by Sunday!

I get my keys Wednesday evening, and after that, the madness begins! Until then it's packing, packing and more packing - and trying to survive on the few things I've left unpacked.

See you soon in my new place!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dine: Just Call Me Betty {Crocker}

It's a little crazy how much I like to bake. Call me Betty Crocker.

While I love to show people my skills in the kitchen, baking has always been a stress reliever for me. Although I'm not sure whether it's the baking or the eating that I enjoy...

And with a huge apartment move coming up, tonight called for cookie sheets and the oven. And with a camping trip just around the corner, I figured the cookies would go to good use.

And voila! Red velvet chocolate chip cookies. Delicious, if I do say so myself!

Fan of baking? Tell me more!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIY: Chalk it Up

I'm obsessed with this kitchen. And chalkboard paint.

As I'm only days away from moving into my new studio apartment, I've been thinking of little ways to make my old apartment unique. It has tons of classic character - hardwood floors, a clawfoot bathtub, farmhouse sink - and I'd like to add to that.

While I'm not sure my landlord would appreciate an entire painted wall, a chalkboard is a great idea for my studio kitchen. Whenever it is that I own my own home, I'll whip out the chalkboard paint and begin painting the entire wall. One day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life: Living the Lifestyle

I'm a big fan of if that isn't obvious enough! From clothing to bedding, kitchenware and furniture, it's kind of my thing. But in my evolution as a shopper over the past 22 years, I'm more and more drawn to lifestyle brands.

Maybe it's a disastrous faux pas that I'm making, but there's something interesting to me about being able to sell both an item and a lifestyle. While I'm physically paying for merchandise, I'm buying an allusion - a certain way of living, a personality or a culture. As a branding and marketing enthusiast, I'm constantly drawn to this idea of buying into a lifestyle.

That being said, I have my favorites.

Check out some of my favorite lifestyle marketing masterminds. 

Vineyard Vines - Preppy yet casual, the brand is popular at the vineyard, the fraternity house and even the Kentucky Derby. With its logo "Every day should feel this good," it's impossible not to want to buy into the lifestyle.

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Ralph Lauren - The classic, all-American style (and a personal favorite of mine.) From classic plaid to signature polos, if America had royalty, they would wear Ralph Lauren. And with the Olympics in full swing, they basically do.

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Lilly Pulitzer - Colorful, classy and ultra-feminine, the Lilly Pulitzer brand was born in the 1950s and has been popular ever since. The brand modernizes the original 1950s fashion, making it popular with prepsters and sorority girls alike. With flirty dresses and bold prints, the summer never ends at Lilly Pulitzer.

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The North Face - You know you're a successful lifestyle brand when your advertisements don't even need to include products. With its logo "Never Stop Exploring" The North Face makes buyers believe that anything is possible in a North Face jacket and winter boots. Whether climbing Mount Everest or camping in the countryside, The North Face oozes adventure and a life lived outdoors. A personal favorite, I honestly can't get enough.

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 Faribault Woolen Mill - A local Twin Cities favorite of mine, Faribault encompasses the true Minnesotan lifestyle. Made at a local mill in Faribault, Minnesota, the company has a hometown, All-American feel- trusted, durable, stylish made in the good'ole U-S of A. At Faribault, lakeside days and campfire nights emulate why it's good to be Minnesotan. And their blankets don't look half bad either.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Style: My Sunday Routine

You know you're getting old when you have a Sunday routine like mine...and like it. On Sunday afternoons, I grab my purse and sunglasses and hop in the go to the grocery store.

I feel very lame admitting that I like grocery shopping. At 22 years old, I'm not supposed to like grocery shopping. Even at 50, I think liking it is rare.

After carefully analyzing my strange obsession, I think this liking comes from my love of cooking and organization. As a wannabe master chef, I love searching for food and thinking of possible new meals and recipes. As an organization freak, knowing my refrigerator and cupboards are fully stocked makes me feel at ease. And the alone time isn't bad either!

That being said, I always try to do what I can to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. My latest purchase? A re-usable market tote. Here are some of my faves!

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Life: Date Night at the Movies

My favorite part about Fridays? Other than knowing I get to sleep in on Saturday, I love that Friday is date night.

Date night for us doesn't mean an expensive dinner and a night on the town - we're much more low-key than that. Takeout, a casual dinner at our favorite dive or a Redbox movie marathon are some of our favorites. This past Friday, we tried something different - we headed to the drive-in theater.

We packed up the car with pillows and blankets, picked up a pizza and some beverages and headed to the theater. Comfy and cozy laying in the back of the Ford Explorer, I realized I had found my new favorite date night activity. The perfect mix of relaxation and good ole' American nostalgia, we're hooked.

If you haven't been yet, I recommend it before the summer ends!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life: Goings On

It's been a very busy week! (As always, when isn't it?) This week, I went to a photo shoot, reorganized my life, cheered on the Twins, got really mad at a mini-van and ate yogurt, lots and lots of yogurt. I took selfie-pics, visited Minnehaha Falls and had the best crab cake of my life. I watched the boyfriend fall asleep at 7 p.m., found a fabulous cookbook while thrifting and hung out with some cool kids on banana phones.

I can't complain!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life: Old-Fashioned Girls Night

Yes ladies and gents, tonight was the night - after countless hours planning, looking over schedules, deciding on a date, time and location, we finally did it - we booked an old-fashioned girls night.

Unfortunately, for a group of working women, finding a free night on everyone's calendars isn't easy. Between work, family events, work parties, happy hours and time with the significant other, we're busy. Sometimes too busy. But in our group, we always make room in our schedules for a night like this. 

We're a fun group - some of us louder, older, younger, quieter, more or less comedic or sarcastic than one-another, but our group works. As cliche as it is, we literally fit together, and it's very evident when one of us is missing.

In our group, time, space and distance don't change a thing. Whether it's been six minutes since our last text or six months since our last happy hour, we're a tight-knit group, where friendship is based on more than just the minutes we spend together. That's why we're us. A larger version of Sex and the City mixed with a little bit of Friends and a hint of the Bachelorette (obviously), we're a fun crew to be around.

After spending an evening gossiping, sipping drinks, spilling secrets, thoughts, questions and sometimes unwanted answers, I feel rejuvenated. Relationships are important to me, whether it's with my family, my boyfriend, girlfriends or coworkers. But I've realized that, as our schedules and lives begin to fill, it's not as easy to see each-other as it used to be. The trade-off? When we do see each-other, it's better than ever.

While I missed each and every one of these divas, it was worth the wait! Until next time, lovelies!

|| Photo property of Twentyapolis. Do not use or distribute. ||

Monday, July 16, 2012

Life: Model Behavior

Mondays are a great night for a photo shoot.

At least they are for my boyfriend. For the past few years, he's been modeling for a great friend of his, who happens to be a novice in the consumer goods industry.

Here are just a few backstage photos from the set of their sunset shoot!

Style: Summer Style

This week, I found myself committing one of the biggest 'don'ts' of the summer season - amidst the extreme heat and humidity this week, I found myself wishing away summer.

While I'm more than excited for the leaves to start changing colors and for the temperature to drop, there is something special about summer. Warm summer nights, late sunsets and early morning sunrises, summer is a season unlike any other. For just a few months out of the year, it's as though everyone lets their hair down and adopts a free-spirited attitude.

And summer style is just the same. A time for dresses, bold hats, short shorts and stylish sunglasses, I have to say, I know I will miss summer fashion once the season fades away.

So in lieu of the fact that it's already mid-July, I thought it would be only fitting to pay homage to some of my favorite summer looks. With less than two months left, I'll be sad to see summer go...

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Life: Being Passionate

Every so often, I have to remind myself of the quote above. Not only is Julia Child one of the world's cooking greats (I bow down to her), she is also extremely wise. In the fast-paced lives we're leading, I think a lot of us forget to remember what we're passionate about.

Even as a young professional, I can see how it's easy to lose touch - I don't know about you, but my cell phone is always buzzing with work emails, social media updates, texts, calls and everything else. With the busyness of the lives we're leading, it's easy to not take time to sit, relax and make time for our hobbies and interests.

Thankfully, I haven't completely lost sight of my passions. While I admit I have less time for them than I used to, I am no less passionate.

1. Writing - I've always been interested in writing. And by majoring in journalism, I honed that interest. I'm currently a blogger and freelance for Minnesota Bride magazine. One day, I hope to publish a novel (or two....)

2. Cooking - I've always loved cooking. Unfortunately, living in a freshman dorm and sorority house for the past few years idled this interest. Over the past year, however, my love for cooking has been reignited. While I'm no Julia Child yet, hopefully one day, I will be.

3. Traveling - I was very fortunate to have traveled frequently at a young age. At 22, I've been to France, Italy, England and a handfull of places across the U.S. Recently, I've been obsessed with travel destinations across the United States. From Big Sur to Nantucket, I can't wait to plan my next adventure.

And these are just a few - what are you passionate about?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dine: Coffee.

I'm a morning person, especially on weekends (such as today) with an entirely full day ahead of me. One of the reasons I like mornings? Because I love coffee.

At only 22, I've had a long love affair with coffee. At only five years old, my mom would let me have little sips of her coffee with her toast in the morning. I'm not sure whether it was the taste or imitating my mom that I liked, but either way, I was hooked.

17 years later, the love affair is still alive and strong. 

Because of this love affair, I have a little obsession with cafe and coffee photography. Always a classic.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Life: Lovely Little Day

Happy Friday!

In the spirit of the weekend, here are my favorite tips on how to have a lovely day!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Love: Great Loves

I'm a sucker for romance. In movies, songs, photography, anywhere - I love love.

I also love film. So it seems very natural that I am constantly drawn to movies about love of all kinds - tragic, sappy, comical, painful, happy, deep, I love it all. 

Especially these examples of great loves. Even though it's fictional, how can you not fall head over heels?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dine: Summer Spirits

Some of my favorite summer staples include sunny days, outdoor patios, tanned skin, sunglasses, sandals and great company. All of this can be had during happy hour.

The perfect way to celebrate any summer night? With a fresh summer cocktail.

Here are some delicious cocktails that I'm literally drooling over (that blackberry sage cooler, seriously...). It looks like a trip to the liquor store might be in order!

|| blackberry sage cooler - but with champagne ||

Monday, July 9, 2012

Style: Anchors Away

Call it a classic - anchors never go out of style. 

And I'm not just biased because I'm a Delta Gamma - season after season, anchors are a classic summer staple. From clothing to jewelry and even home interiors, anchors are everywhere.

And they're not going anywhere. That's a good thing. The perfect mix of nautical, preppy and vintage, anchors are classic Americana. How can you not be in love? I am!

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