Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Style: Writer's Arsenal

OK, I had to take a little (much needed) break from writing. And what better way to prevent writer's block than by blogging? My thoughts exactly. 

Being on deadline to write my next article feels a lot like writing a college paper at the very last minute. I still procrastinate just like I used to and give myself "breaks" every five minutes to check Pinterest and Facebook. Not to mention, I sit on my couch, wrapped in a blanket and try to move from this position as little as possible. Because, if I do, I may never sit back down and finish writing.

But to do all of this, I need my essentials. And yes, each of these is absolutely vital to my writing success. Well, maybe they aren't. Either way, I feel my writing is better when I have some of my favorite things.

Notebook - A given for any writer. Notes/doodles galore.

Minnesota Bride - Having the most recent issue is an absolute necessity. I need to keep on trend with what we're covering, and make sure that I don't write about something we recently featured.

Kashi Cookies - MY FAVORITE. I love Kashi. They taste great, and they're great for you. (Well, maybe not great, but you get the picture.) For a cookie, they're pretty healthy. And I need chocolate. That is that.

Candles - I was given the below candle as a gift for Christmas, and it is my absolute favorite. The scent is French Cade and Lavender (remember how I said lavender is my favorite?) The McCarthys know me so well! This candle seriously puts me in my zen place.

Blanket - I do my writing on the couch. And it's currently March in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, that means it's still cold. Blanket = necessity.

Tea - Currently obsessed with blueberry green tea. OBSESSED. Not to mention, caffeine is always a good thing.

Macbook - I can't get anything done without this little baby.

Mug - Whenever I'm writing, I drink endless cups of coffee/tea/water/juice/ANYTHING. It's probably yet another procrastination tool of mine, to continue filling my mug. Who knows.

Yoga DVD - Even if I tell myself I can't take the time away from my couch and computer to make it to the gym, I can definitely do a bit of yoga in my living room. I just bought this DVD from Amazon and am in love with it. It's a great workout and it gets me off the couch. And helps me procrastinate (a little, in a good way!)

And with that, it's back to writing...See you soon!

 - C

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life: See You Soon, Sweethearts

Happy Sunday! Well, it's that time of the year again (which is the major reason you haven't heard from me in a few days...) I need to lock myself in my apartment, to my desk, hands literally glued to my keyboard in order to write my next piece for Minnesota Bride. It's due in a week, so I have to say ciao until then! A presto, loves!

- C

|| via || 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fit: Good Morning, Sunshine

I'm typically an after work workout kind of gal. Getting up early in the morning (well, earlier than my 5:30 a.m. wakeup call) just is not my thing. If it's not yours either, let's be friends.

While I don't want to run a 5K before getting ready for the day, I do need a little something to kickstart my morning. And with my newfound love of yoga, I have just the exercise - sun salutations.

While I do sun salutations during every yoga class, it never occurred to me to do them in the morning as soon as I woke up. Thank goodness I stumbled across this article on Free People Blog. Such a great graphic and information. I just had to share!

Sun salutations are poses in which you literally salute the sun. The 12 poses will help you start your day strong with a clear mind. 

Do the below 12 poses, linking them together to create a series. Repeat five times, and begin your day!

Below are the 12 poses and their descriptions (thanks to Free People.) Have a great day, loves!

 - C

1: Begin in Mountain – hands clasped together and placed tightly under your chin

2: Raise hands overhead, press pubic bone forward, tighten buttocks and open chest – inhale
3: Forward Fold – tailbone up, hands next to feet – exhale
4: Right foot back to Lunge – press heel of back foot, lengthen spine – inhale
5: Bring left foot back to Plank positions, long spine – hold breath in
6: Drag knees, chin and chest to floor – exhale
7: Sweep forward to Cobra – inhale
8:  Lift tailbone to Downward Dog – exhale
9: Right foot forward to Lunge – inhale
10: Left foot forward to Forward Fold – exhale
11: Lengthen spine, reaching out and up – press pelvic bone forward, opening chest – inhale
12: Exhale and release back to Mountain
|| via ||

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Wow, it feels like forever ago since I posted my last recipe. What has happened to me? I know what it is - I've been eating out and eating Lean Cuisines. Complete opposites, I know. When I turned on my stove today, I seriously couldn't remember the last time I cooked. How pathetic is that? I love to cook - what's wrong with me?

To be completely honest, I haven't been feeling very inspired lately when it comes to food. I've been tired, a little stressed, time-crunched and a bit lazy. So in the past few weeks, I lost my cooking zen.

But then I found this little beauty of a recipe on Pinterest, and simply could not resist. This pin literally made me get off my couch and head straight for the kitchen (it did help that all of this took place at 6 p.m.) Luckily, I had all of the ingredients on hand. 30 minutes later, I was in cooking heaven.

And I got my zen back.

If you're looking for something quick, easy (and delicious) to make this week (and have leftovers for a few more days), you've gotta try this recipe. Seriously. Not to mention, if you like buffalo chicken, this dish was made for you.

Enjoy!

 - C

|| Dinner for two ||

Ingredients - Salad:
Quinoa: 1 cup
Water: 2 cups
Boneless skinless chicken breasts: 1 pound (you can add more or less depending on preference)
Broccoli: 1 cup (add more or less to taste)
Carrots: 1 large shredded

Ingredients - Dressing: 
Extra virgin olive oil: 1/2 cup
Buffalo sauce: 1/2 cup
Seasoning salt

*Note: I added a bit of ranch for dipping - old habits die hard.

Directions:
1. Rinse and drain quinoa. Place in pot and bring quinoa and water to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until water has absorbed. This should take 15-20 minutes.
2. While quinoa is cooking, cook chicken in a skillet. Add seasoning salt to taste.
3. While the quinoa and chicken are cooking, pour olive oil and buffalo sauce into mixing bowl. Add seasoning salt. Stir.
4. At the same time, place broccoli and carrots in a separate skillet. Add seasoning salt (to taste) and a tablespoon of olive oil. Once veggies are crisp, remove from heat.
5. When quinoa, chicken and veggies are cooked, remove from the stove and mix in one bowl. Add sauce and stir.
6. Now eat your dinner (or lunch, or late night snack!)

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Life: Home

In the last few years, "home" has taken on a very different meaning to me. Having lived in five different places since leaving my hometown and going off to college, my "home" has always been rather temporary. Yet, at the same time, my parents' house didn't really feel like my home either, because I only stayed there for a few days at a time. I know I'm one of many people who have gone through this transitional stage. But let me tell you, it's a little strange.

When I moved into my studio apartment and got a full-time job, things started to feel much more "homey." It finally started to sink in that I live in Minneapolis now. I have doctors here, a hair stylist, favorite restaurants, my go-to stores and my drive to and from work all mapped out perfectly. While it's only the beginning, I think this is what making a home in a new place starts to feel like.

But here's the kicker - I knew I would only be in my studio for a short amount of time before Jack and I decided to take the plunge and move in together. Yet another "transition" year. I know, you're probably thinking exactly what I'm thinking..."sheesh, when is this girl going to figure it out and stay in one place?!" Well, while I don't know everything that will happen in my future, I do know one thing - we found our new home.

In July, Jack and I will be moving into Mill & Main Apartments in Minneapolis! After all of our talking about plans, apartments, timing, location, budgets and everything else, we finally found our dream apartment in our dream location. It's amazing how lucky and excited we feel. (And by lucky and excited, we also mean nervous/ecstatic/overwhelmed/giddy and every other emotion you could probably feel when finding the apartment that you'll both move in to together.) We're excited to finally have a home together, and in one of our favorite parts of the Twin Cities. July can't come soon enough!

One of the best parts? Furniture shopping, moving, decorating and living together can only mean one thing - lots of blog posts to come!

 - C

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

Monday, March 18, 2013

Life: The Dreaded To-Do List

Remember how I made a weekend to-do list? Well, it's Monday morning, and it's funny how many things I did not accomplish. Most times, making a to-do list makes me unbelievably productive. Other times, I forget about it completely and just do my own 'thang. Which, if you know me at all, is relatively rare.

However, it's Monday morning and my list is only half complete. But even though my to-do list has very few check marks on it, Jack and I did have a very productive weekend! Seriously, we did. 

On Friday, we left work at 4 p.m. and went to a late-afternoon showing of Silver Linings Playbook at St. Anthony Main Theatre. The result? We LOVED it. So good - needless to say, I'd see it again in a heartbeat. We then caught a quick dinner at our favorite diner and spent the night in with a few beers and a Redbox. On Saturday, we woke up bright and early and went to IKEA to do some furniture shopping. That's right, FURNITURE SHOPPING. Talk about feeling like an adult. A few nightstands, mirrors, shelves and kitchen supplies later (not to mention a 99 cent breakfast at the IKEA restaurant) the whole "moving in together" thing felt real. To end our Saturday, we took a three hour nap (talk about amazing) and headed to St. Paul for a drink with a few friends. The best part? My neon green shirt from Gap (did you shop their friends & family sale this weekend?) On Sunday we grocery shopped, got caffeinated, hit up our favorite vintage store and made lasagna with Jack's mom.

All in all, a great weekend, regardless of my to-do list! Let's see if I can accomplish it next weekend.

What did you do this weekend? How was your St. Paddy's Day?

 - C

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

Friday, March 15, 2013

Life: Weekend

It's Friday! I don't know about you, but I'm so ready for this weekend. What are your plans? Celebrating St. Patrick's Day? Catching up on sleep? Reading a good book?

Here's my weekend to-do list:

 - Go to bed early (sleep has never sounded so great!)
 - Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a few drinks and good friends in St. Paul
-  Head to the YWCA for early morning Body Flow sessions
- Clean Try to clean my apartment
- Bake banana bread
- Buy groceries
- Head to Edina for dinner with the McCarthys
- Start writing my next piece for Minnesota Bride
- Finish my current book club book and buy the next two (The Great Gatsby and Girls in White Dresses!)
- Relax on my couch
- Blog (of course!)

Have a great weekend, loves!

 - C

|| via ||

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fit: The Yogi Life

Remember when I said I was going to get healthy in 2013? Ok, well, it took me a month to mull it over (I joined a gym on January 31...the absolute last day I could register to receive the new year discount. Talk about procrastination.) Well, I've finally started going regularly. Most importantly, I found the PERFECT class for me.

Just a bit of background - I go to the YWCA in Uptown Minneapolis. And I love it. The atmosphere is relaxing and everyone at the gym is excited to work hard and have a great workout. The best part? They have a class that fits my exercising needs to a core.

I've always loved yoga. From hot yoga to hatha yoga, I like yoga all across the board. When looking at classes at the YWCA, I was looking for a class that somehow combined both. Well, I got that. And more.

The class is called Body Flow, and it's a mix of yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. The techniques focus on building flexibility and strength while leaving you feeling centered and calm. Talk about THE perfect class. While it kicks my butt every single time, I'm addicted. I leave the class feeling energized, centered and as though I've gotten a great workout. Combined with my healthy eating (it's a work in progress) I think I'm on the right track!

What workouts do you like doing? Tell me more!

 - C

|| via ||

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Style: Pleasantly Poppy

I'm obsessed, you guys. When Pantone announced poppy red as one of their spring 2013 colors, I almost died of happiness. I'm not a fan of red, but a subtle poppy gets me every time.

As the temperatures have been ranging in the 30s here in Minneapolis lately, I'm finally starting to shed my cable knit sweaters, knit mittens and Ugg boots (ok, maybe not my Uggs). My fingers are crossed that spring really is in the air, and that warmer weather, flowers and sundresses are right around the corner. And as soon as they are, I'm popping out the poppy red.

As Jack and I are currently beginning to look at new furniture and decor for our apartment (moving to our new place this July, fingers crossed!) I can't help but swoon over everything poppy. Seriously, I need to get a grip.

I just can't help it. For me, this spring will be pleasantly poppy.

Are you loving this spring color?

 - C

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Life: A Post About Growing Up

I can't believe it's already Tuesday. Last week flew by so fast - with everything going on, I didn't even have time to blog. Absolute craziness.

It's safe to say that this week solidifies the fact that I'm actually an adult. While I technically graduated almost a year ago, the past ten months have been a lot of trial and error. Between finding my footing in the corporate world, learning how to work a 9-5 job, learning about paid time off, sick days, 401Ks, health insurance, renter's insurance, car insurance, ensuring I'm awake for work on time...well, it's been a year of learning. And all the while, I haven't really felt as though I was an adult.

But then I got to thinking - it's possible I might never feel as though I'm "all grown up." But for now, I feel like I'm making progress. Want to know how?

1. Jack and I toured apartments, and we found one! Pending the application process, we're officially moving to the Mill District area in July!

2. I did my taxes. Wait, let me say that again...I DID MY TAXES. And was reimbursed. What really makes me feel like an adult? I put almost all of it in my savings account. 

3. We found a travel agent and are in the beginning stages of booking our trip to Mexico. Yes, we're taking a couples vacation. Needless to say, we can't wait for November!

4. Grocery shopping and doing my laundry were top Sunday afternoon priorities for me. 

5. Jack and I had a very sophisticated date night in. We went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and watched two Red Box movies with beer and a glass of wine.The kicker? We were in bed by 11 p.m. 

Is this what adulthood is like (see my pics below!)? I guess we'll see! How was your week, loves?

 - C


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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Life: Here and There

The title of this post has honestly never been more true. You guys, I HAD SUCH A BUSY/CRAZY/INCREDIBLE week. Writing in all capitals can't even explain how tiring and exciting it has been.

Let's first start out with why I've been so absent from Twentyapolis. On Sunday morning, I flew to Orlando for a busy few days of tradeshows, media events and a million other things for work. Unfortunately, Twentyapolis had to fall to the wayside for a few days. On a side note, while there, I WENT TO THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER. Seriously. It's very safe to say that being there was one of the most magical (no pun intended) experiences of my entire life (remember, huge Harry Potter fanatic here). I flew home on Thursday evening and have been recovering (trying to get as much sleep as possible) ever since.

In addition to traveling and working, I've been pretty busy lately. I had an Arbonne spa party with a few of my girlfriends at my apartment and ordered a few incredible spa products (more to come on those!) I found my new favorite ring. I also went shopping and found my favorite new bag (see below!) I went to David Yurman and drank champagne...IN DAVID YURMAN. Needless to say I added and crossed that off my bucket list that very day. On Friday, I went to the dentist. Even more impressive? I went to the dentist at 8 a.m. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am on my way to being a full-on adult. I also went grocery shopping. And instead of buying groceries only, I splurged on (very on-sale) pillows for my couch and bed. I also bought matching mugs for Jack and I for our VACATION. Yes, this coming November, we will be Mexico-bound! We really need a vacation. On that thought, we also chose a resort in Mexico. On Saturday, I got all dolled up and attended a Founders' Day brunch for my sorority. I watched three of the Harry Potter films, cleaned my apartment and blogged, finally! 

On Sunday, I hope I sleep.

 - C

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