Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mood: Lovely Love

Well, I'm glad I prepped you all about my Valentine's Day obsession, because it's safe to say that my Pinterest boards are bursting with pink hearts, red kisses, desserts and all things romance.

Oh yes, ladies and gents, love is in the air!

 - C
one || two || three || four || five || six

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life: Inspired

I love nice people. And trust me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. But the people that are truly, sincerely nice down to their very cores, the people that give you compliments, make you smile, make your day brighter and put a little skip in your step...those people. It's my goal to be one. I hope people think I am.

I saw this quote and it reminds me of the people in my life who go out of their way to make my day. Whether it's a quick text message, a hand-written letter or an unexpected compliment, I think we all know someone like this who gives you those gracious words right when you need them. I like this quote. It inspires me. And I hope it inspires you.

 - C

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recipe: Crispy Quinoa Bake with Chicken

I've recently started cooking with quinoa, and let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. Not really knowing how to cook it or what to cook it with...let's just say I've been struggling.

That is, until I came across quite possibly the most fabulous quinoa recipe ever - Crispy Quinoa Bake. 

I originally found the recipe on The Live-In Kitchen and knew I had to try it out for myself immediately. I made a few updates to make it what I like to call "boyfriend friendly" (which means adding as much meat and cheese as possible) and the result was phenomenal. It got two thumbs up and second helpings from Jack. All in all, I think I did well.

Here it is - enjoy!

 - C

Crispy Quinoa Bake with Chicken


Quinoa: 1 cup
Olive Oil: 2 teaspoons
Chicken Stock: 2 cups
Onion: 1 cup diced
Green Pepper: 1/2 chopped
Garlic: 2 cloves finely chopped (garlic powder works, too)
Zucchini: 1 large or 2 small
Black Beans: 1 can (15 oz) drained
Tomatoes: 1 can (28 oz) drained
Chicken: 2 cups shredded (I used rotisserie chicken)
Frozen Corn: 1 cup
Red Pepper Flakes: 1 teaspoon (more or less to taste)
Oregano: 1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
Shredded Pepperjack Cheese: 2 cups
Salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9x13 dish with cooking spray.

2. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in saucepan. Add quinoa and cook (roughly 1 minute).

3. Add chicken stock to quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil, then let simmer on low for 15 minutes. Then, let sit an extra 5 minutes.

4. In the meantime, in another saucepan, add onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook for 7 minutes.

5. Add garlic and zucchini. Cook for 3 more minutes.

6. Place quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked vegetables, black beans, tomatoes, chicken, frozen corn, red pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir well and place in your baking dish.

7. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove dish from the oven and add cheese. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

|| Pictures are property of Twentyapolis. Do not use or distribute. ||

Monday, January 28, 2013

Style: 15 Valentine's Day Must-Haves

I better just come clean now - I'm obsessed with Valentine's Day. It's true, and I feel like I would be lying to you if I didn't tell you that right away. I've always loved this day because I truly love love. I'm a  romantic to my very core, and the fact that there is a day where I can celebrate this is absolutely fabulous. 

But let's get one thing straight - even before I found that handsome boyfriend of mine, I have always loved Valentine's Day. Sometimes I think my single Valentine's Days were some of my most enjoyable - a mani/pedi, endless amounts of chocolate and macaroons, romantic me, I spoiled myself! 

Whether you're treating yourself to a few new gifts on Valentine's Day or buying a sweet little something for your mom, sister or BFF, these gifts are oh-so adorable and will not break the bank. It's time to treat yourself, ladies!

Be warned, there are many more Valentine's Day-inspired posts in the works. 

 - C

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fit: Winter Workout

Happy Sunday! Yesterday, I was lucky to guest post on Run Shop Eat Repeat (love doing that!) My topic was all about running in the winter. I don't know about you, but it's been painful enough just walking to and from my car each day, let alone going for a full-on run outside. While I've been taking a break from exercising the past few days, I plan on hitting the pavement as soon as the temperature warms up. But in order to do that and not freeze to death, I need a few of the essentials. And with a 5K just a few weeks away, this is as good of an excuse as any to hit up the mall.

Pants - Cold-weather running tights are my must have when I run. They're perfect to run in on their own, but are slim enough to fit underneath a pair of looser pants. And they're right within my budget. I need these now.

Sweatshirt - I love the heather gray look of this pullover fleece from The North Face. It's cute. And warm. Again, I need this. 

Shoes - In the dead of winter, I need a burst of color whenever I can get it, and I'm loving this neon pink. Not only are these shoes are inexpensive, super cute and will keep your summer running shoes from taking a beating from the winter salt and snow.

Socks - I don't know about you, but when it's cold, my feet freeze. These athletic socks are made of wool, so they'll keep your feet warm throughout your entire run.

Gloves - When going for a run in the winter, gloves are an absolute necessity. Trust me, you can't run with your hands in your pockets...I've tried. 

Neck Warmer - I don't currently own one, but I don't think there will ever be a better time to purchase one than when it's -10 outside. 

What are your winter must-haves?

 - C

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fit: Run Shop Eat Repeat || Sweating in Style

Hello Twentyapolis readers! I’m happy to be back again, this time chatting about working out and how you can sweat in style. As you can probably guess from the name of my blog, I write about running (more specifically my journey into half marathon training) shopping and eating/cooking. Well let’s be real, it’s been a little light on the running side lately as I haven’t been exercising nearly as much as I should be.

In my defense – WHO DOES when it’s negative 15 outside?

The temps are rising again (I think we’ll be up to twelve degrees today?) and after ten day break from the gym, I’m getting back at it. One thing that helps motivate me to run and workout is new workout attire and accessories.

Here are some of my top tips for sweating in style.

Legging pants/capris are a must-have workout item right now.
I usually wear tank tops while I work out, racer backs are my fav.
*I stick to black so no one can see sweat stains – they’re not pretty.
Don’t forget your jacket! Nothing is worse than staring at the time on the treadmill, so use your jacket to cover that up and keep you warm post-workout.
Let’s not forget shoes! I’m in love with all things neon, so scoop up some bright, neon colored running shoes!

I like to wear my hair in a high bun or ponytail when I’m running. If you’re good a braiding, a side braid looks adorable too.
Headbands are a necessary part of your workout. Sparkly, pink, black – whatever keeps your hair back and the sweat out of your face!

Towel – Usually available at the gym.
Phone – I’ll occasionally look up workouts on Pinterest.
Music – Aside from people watching, I’m in need of distractions when I work out. It’s simply not possible to run without my headphones and my iPhone. I usually just listen to Pandora.

Let’s face it ladies, it can be hard to get to the gym in the winter when curling up on the couch with a warm drink and a movie sounds a million times better…. So I found this little piece of advice, which I think I might just print out and stick on my refrigerator.

- Sarah

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beauty: Giveaway || John Frieda Product

Happy Friday, loves! To celebrate the end of the week, it's time for a giveaway! 

I love John Frieda hair product and am a very loyal customer. Seriously, have you ever used their Brilliant Brunette products? Ahhh-mazing. That's why I'm so excited to be hosting a product giveaway!

Here it is, ladies and gents - post a comment below or Tweet at @Twentyapolis today for your chance to win your choice of John Frieda Precision Foam Color or John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze. The choice is yours!

|| Products provided by John Frieda.||

Enter now through midnight CST, loves! 

 - C

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beauty: Oh So Ombre

Here is it, ladies and gents, my first ever hair post. I can't believe I just said that. And I can't believe I'm posting about my hair. But I just had to.

I've been blogging about loving the ombre hair color for a while now. And when it comes down to it, I have been too afraid to do it. Luckily, I go to a great salon in Uptown, Minneapolis where my hair stylists told me the truth about how ombre hair color would look on me. (Seriously, The Fox Den, check them out!) Based on my long length, lots of layers and solid brunette base, they said I should do it immediately. But above all, Sica and Adam (my stylist extraordinaires) recommended that I go for the natural route - very subtle coloring that blends in with my natural hue. And just like that, I scheduled my appointment. What can I say, sometimes I need a healthy push in the right direction.

A few hours later, and ta-da! Just the ombre coloring I was looking for. Warm honey tones that blend in perfectly with my brunette roots, making it look like I just came back from a day (or entire summer) at the beach. I'm in love.

Needless to say, I think the look is here to stay. What do you think of the ombre trend?

 - C

|| All pictures are property of Twentyapolis. Do not use or distribute. ||

Also, Twentyapolis is now on Facebook! If you like Twentyapolis, maybe possibly you'll like my Facebook page too? Find it here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Recipe: Banana Nutella Bread

Ok you guys, I think I may have found my favorite bread recipe ever. Ever ever ever. And ever is a big deal when you love bread as much as I do. Big. Huge.

Three words - banana Nutella bread. I found the recipe on Ramshackle Glam and had to make it immediately. I literally started baking about 30 minutes later. The results? Oh my goodness. I don't think I have words. And that's saying something.

I hope you like the recipe as much as I do! And if you don't...well...I've already eaten over half of the loaf I made. So there's that.


 - C

Banana Nutella Bread


All purpose flour (or wheat flour): 2 cups
Baking soda: 3/4 teaspoon
Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
Unsalted butter (or mashed banana): 1/2 cup
Sugar (or applesauce): 1 cup
Eggs: 2 large
Mashed ripe banana: 1 and 1/4 cups
Milk: 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
Nutella: 1/2 cups (use more if you're a chocolate lover)

*Ingredients in parentheses are for a healthier version of the original recipe


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. Stir flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

3. In another bowl, beat sugar and butter. Stir in eggs one by one.

4. Add banana, milk and vanilla to the mixture of sugar, butter and eggs. Stir until blended.

5. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir until blended. 

6. Place Nutella in a dish and warm in the microwave until soft. Add some of your batter (1/2 cup or so) to the Nutella mixture and stir.

7. Begin pouring batter into baking pan. Gradually pour Nutella mixture into the pan, stirring with a knife to achieve a swirl throughout the pan. Continue alternating batter and Nutella.

8. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and turn on a wire rack to cool completely so the loaf won't continue baking in the pan.

9. ENJOY. With milk. Lots and lots of milk.

10. Bake again!

|| All pictures are property of Twentyapolis ||

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Style: Italy

Ever since visiting in 2006, I have been obsessed with Italy. The language, culture, music and cuisine - everything. Which is probably why I am obsessed with Dolce & Gabbana's recent ads. Full of life and laced with classic Italian style, I'm in love. And I have no doubt my spring and summer style will mirror these gorgeous women to a T. Mixed prints and patterns, bright liptstick, sunglasses, leather and most importantly, confidence.

With these looks, it will be una bella primavera, indeed!

 - C

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Mood: Winter Color

Happy Monday, loves! It's been way too long since I shared my latest pins (but make no mistake, I've been pinning like crazy!) 

What have you been pinning lately? Do share!

- C

one || two || three || four || five || six

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Life: Little Black Bag

It's good to be back, loves! After a fabulous day guest posting on Run Shop Eat Repeat, I'm excited to show you what's in my purse! (No idea why I'm this's got to be a Saturday thing.)

This concept of purses being "sacred" has always baffled me. Maybe I don't keep interesting enough keepsakes in my purse. That aside, my purse is practical and is all about the basics - nothing fancy here.  As long as I have the essentials, I'll be prepared wherever I go!

Wallet: Jack gave me my first real, big-girl wallet for my birthday this year. Finally, I'm a grown-up! I love this wallet because it's so large I can fit everything - money, credit cards, change, coupons, everything. And it's unbelievably chic - my favorite part!

Sunglasses: I love my Ray Bans and take them everywhere I go. While I don't get much use out of them in the winter, I like to keep them on hand at all times just in case.

Magazine: I think it's always a good idea to have some light reading material if you have room in your bag. I've sat at way too many hair salons, oil changes and doctor appointments with nothing to help me pass the time. While I usually carry a book, I've been rereading the latest issue of Minnesota Bride while anticipating the new issue (which should be on newsstands soon!)

Ear buds: A necessity! I'm a Pandora addict at work and always seem to misplace the pair I have at the office. These have come in handy on many occasions. 

Pen and journal: I've learned the hard way that I will not always remember everything and need to write it down! While my iPhone is good for almost everything, I prefer a good 'ole pen and paper. And I just couldn't resist that cute little journal at Target. When you see the price, you'll understand.

Mittens and headband: While my mind is dreaming of summer and warmer weather, I'm practical. I live in Minnesota. And it's January. I need these.

Personal items: Just the basics. Chapstick, lotion, body spray, allergy medicine, foundation and lipstick (if I'm feeling classy!) 

And I can't forget my iPhone. I'd be lost without it! What do you keep in  your purse?

 - C

purse || magazine || wallet || headband || mittens: handmade || sunglasses || journal || ear buds || lotion || chapstick ||| pen || lipstick || foundation || perfume || assorted allergy medicines

Friday, January 18, 2013

Life: Guest Post || Run Shop Eat Repeat || A Peek In My Purse

Have you ever heard the saying, “you can tell a lot about a woman by what she carries in her purse?” I’ve heard that once or twice and really I’d have to agree. When Courtney asked me to guest post on
Twentyapolis on the topic of “what’s in my purse,” I was so excited! I thought this was a fun idea and
something that every woman can relate to. 

I carry typically around a Louis Vuitton– yes it’s real. No I didn’t pay $1,000 for it. This baby was a gift for some freelancing work I did a year or so ago. I LOVE this purse because it’s big enough to fit everything from my laptop to a cardigan, all while looking timeless and chic. While the contents of my purse vary, here are some standbys that you’ll always find in there.

iPhone- I don’t go anywhere without my phone! I like to keep it in the side pocket so it’s easy
accessible for checking in at restaurants, instagraming practically everything, tracking my fitness goals, Facebooking… you get the picture.

Wallet- My mom got me a gorg Marc Jacobs wallet for Christmas and it lives in my purse. It’s the perfect size and color!

Mittens- When you live in Minnesota, it’s important to always have a pair of mittens with you. I prefer plain black mittens so they match with whatever I’m wearing.

Epipen- I’m super allergic to bees and even though there are not many bees in Minnesota during the
winter, you can never been too safe. (Plus, it’s slightly less embarrassing to have one on hand than to get whisked away in an ambulance, right?)

Pen and paper- You never know when you’ll need a pen, or when an impromptu meeting or list-making session might arise. Always a must.

Business cards- In my line of work, it’s all about relationships. I like to keep a few business cards handy…you never know who you might meet. 

Lip gloss- One of my biggest pet peeves in life is having dry, chapped lips. So, I always keep a lip gloss or two in my purse.

Hair care- While I’ve stopped carrying around a full size bottle of hairspray and comb (true story), I
always have a handful of bobby pins and hair binders in my purse. Long hair, don’t care.

Random things- I always have a few random things floating around in my purse. Right now it’s Tylenol sinus medicine, a book, sunglasses, gum and my checkbook.

I hope you all enjoyed a peek into my purse! Make sure you come visit my new blog, Run Shop Eat
Repeat, where you’ll see plenty of posts by the lovely Twentyapolis.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blog: Guest Posting!

Hi loves! To kickoff a (hopefully) beautiful weekend, Run Shop Eat Repeat will be guest posting on Twentyapolis tomorrow, where you'll get a sneak peek into her (undeniably fabulous) Louis V. purse! Can't contain your excitement? Me neither.
In the mean time, take a glimpse into my purse on Run Shop Eat Repeat!
- C

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recipe: Healthy Veggie Lasagna

Despite our busy schedules, cooking together is a priority for Jack and me. As soon as we get home from work, we hit the kitchen and scour the fridge. Jack loves looking up new recipes online, while I like to stick to classic family recipes. Tonight, we decided to do a bit of both. Using my mom's famous, decadent lasagna recipe, we changed a few ingredients to make it light and healthy.

The result? YUM. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 - C

Healthy Veggie Lasagna


Spaghetti sauce: One jar
Assorted vegetables: Three cups
 (We used mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onion, red pepper and carrots)
Oven-ready lasagna noodles: One box (less depending on pan size)
Low fat cottage cheese: Two cups
Egg: One
Low fat mozzarella cheese: Two cups
Italian spices: One to two tablespoons
(We used oregano, basil and garlic)


Chop vegetables and place into a skillet with hot oil. Add desired seasoning. Cook until vegetables are tender.

Add pasta sauce. Simmer 5-10 minutes.

Mix cottage cheese and egg in a separate bowl. Add desired seasoning.

Layer ingredients in pan. Start with a layer of sauce, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Then add a layer of cottage cheese mix, followed by a layer of mozzarella cheese. Continue this sequence until the pan is full. Finish with a layer of sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Add desired seasoning.

Cover with tinfoil. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.


... In the mood for garlic bread too? So were we. But a healthy version.

Our fix? We used low-calorie bread with a low fat yogurt butter spread. We topped it off with parmesan garlic seasoning and let it bake in the oven for five minutes. Delish!

|| All pictures are property of Twentyapolis ||

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Style: Turquoise

Warning: the below post will make you want to be on a tropical, white sand beach somewhere...please read on at your own risk.

Well, if you've made it this far, I salute you. To be honest, it's a little hard to write (and read) this post myself! So I'll just get right to it. I've always been a fan of turquoise. Always. My mother's favorite stone, it's been instilled in me to love turquoise with all my heart. Being in the Dominican Republic, surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters made me even more inspired by the color than ever before.  So even though it's snowy and gray in Minneapolis, I'm seeing turquoise.

While perusing the Internet lately, I've been drawn to these items. While my wallet wouldn't be happy with me buying all of them, a little pop of turquoise here and there never hurt anyone.

- C

book || boxes || candle || bracelet || shoes || phone case || chair || tin || nail polish || earrings || candle holder

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life: On Being Busy

And just like that, it's Monday once again. I swear, these weekends just seem to get shorter and shorter. So while we're beginning a new week and our to-do lists are as long as ever (well, at least mine is...) this quote really got me thinking... 

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I consider myself a busy person as I'm sure many of us do. Between work, buying groceries, doing laundry, cleaning my apartment, paying bills, running errands and working out, it's difficult for me to squeeze anything else into each 24-hour day. Being busy is exhausting. And sadly, with these crazy lists I make and by constantly thinking about what I need to accomplish next, I think I glorify it.

Well ladies and gentlemen, this has got to stop.

While I know I'll never be able to give up my habit of list-making (I'm very Type A, as you can tell) I need to relax a little bit. Seriously. Being busy (and making myself busy) stresses me. And do you know what being stressed does? It makes you lose sleep. And it weakens your immune system. And it can give you wrinkles. Wrinkles! And this just scratches the surface. I'm 23, and right now nothing is pressing enough to make me stress that much.

So here's the deal - going forward, I am going to glorify time to myself. Time to blog, light a candle, read a book, finally finish a DIY project, plan a vacation, anything I want. 

And after a night of blogging and the Golden Globes, I'm off to a good start. 

Any tips on how to relax? PLEASE SHARE! 

 - C

P.S. I hope you like the redesign! Twentyapolis will always be a work in progress, but I hope you like what you see!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Style: A {lack of} Color Story

I wish I could say I'm a huge fan of color, but if I did, I would be lying. Black and white are my personal favorites - effortlessly chic and undeniably classic. The best part? Jack digs it too. No color for this couple!

As moving in together is getting closer and closer, I can't stop daydreaming about our future apartment with little accents of black and white. And these black and white interiors make me swoon.

Do you like a lack of color in your life? 

 - C

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Blog: New 'Do.

Hi loves! After a long weekend at the cabin, it's taken me a little while to get my life back in order... my apologies! And with that being said, I have some big news! With the new year comes a brand new look. And in the next week or so, you'll be seeing some big changes on Twentyapolis. Big. Huge. Exciting. Amazing. Wonderful. Hello redesign!

That being said, please bear with me over the next few days as I am mysteriously non-existant and as Twentyapolis begins to change. I'll be hard at work (behind the scenes) prepping for the redesign! 

But I don't want to leave you hanging. Here is a sneak peak of a few posts coming your way soon!

Anatomy of a Coffee Table
How-To: Studio Apartment
Winter Must-Haves
How to Relax
For Him: Valentine's Day
Currently Obsessed

... not to mention more recipes, Instagram photos, my favorite pins and more!

I can't wait to show you what I've been working on!

 - C

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Life: Off to the Cabin.

Hi dears! First of all, how are your resolutions going? So far, I dug up my old Italian textbook, went grocery shopping for super healthy (and yummy) foods, wrote five thank you notes and joined/created a book club with two of my bffs! All in all, I think I'm doing OK so far! 

But I bid you adieu for a few days as I head to a cabin in the woods. Sweaters, leggings and thick wool socks are calling my name, and I just can't resist.

See you soon, loves! Have a great weekend!

 - C

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday: Resolutions.

Happy 2013! I hope you all had a wonderful new year's eve filled with loved ones, friends and lots of champagne.

That being said, it's time to set some resolutions. My first resolution? I resolve to keep my resolutions. It sounds a little silly, but the problem I have every year is keeping my resolutions. By April, they're long gone. So this year, I'm making resolutions that I can (and will) keep.

When thinking of resolutions for 2013, I stumbled across this image from Kate Spade. These resolutions inspired me (and I hope they inspire you)!

In the past, I've made lofty goals like "lose 20 pounds" and "save $XXX amount of money." While these are great goals, they're hard to implement and measure. This year, I'm making goals that are creative, easy to measure and will make my the upcoming year better than ever.

1. Run a 5K and a half marathon
2. Join a gym
3. Write more thank you notes (which I already do! But it's important to me to keep this top-of-mind.)
4. Go on more unconventional dates with Jack (drive-in movie, thrifting dates etc.)
5. Plan a vacation
6. Seriously consider adopting a dog
7. Refresh my Italian language skills (luckily I've kept my textbooks!)
8. Read more books
9. Celebrate the little things
10. Pitch new magazines for freelance opportunities

I know these are a lot of resolutions, and it's typical to only make one. But I'm hoping that I'm able to implement all of these goals year-round. Cheers to 2013!

 - C
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