Friday, May 31, 2013

Life: Day 31: Accomplished

Holy moly guys, how is it finally the last day in May? I blogged almost every day in May, and the few days I missed, I made sure I made up. Overall, I'm deeming this venture a success. Thanks for sticking with me through it all! Hooray for us!

Now with that, it's Friday. And I don't know about you, but this girl's got a full day of work and a busy weekend ahead of her (girls' night out and the first wedding of the season)! So with that, I have to bid you farewell for a few days, but I promise to share all the details of my weekend with you soon!

Happy Friday! Xo.

 - C
|| via ||

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Life: Day 30: Letting Go

While Blog Every Day in May is nearing an end, they threw us a curve ball today. My reaction to "letting go?" Just that.

As a 20-something, I feel like I've been doing a lot of holding on rather than letting go. I'm holding on to all of these notions of things I should and need to be doing.  Somewhere along the line, I created this imaginary list of expectations that, as a 20-something, I was expected to do. And let me tell you, I'm not a fan of this list.

Expectations of a 20-Something
1. Get a {good paying} job {with room for growth and a great benefits package}
2. Meet someone special {and be/stay in a serious relationship}
3. Start saving money for a house {in the suburbs} and buy one ASAP
4. Start buying adult things {like heels and stocks}
5. Start saving money {boatloads}
6. Start a 401k {like, right now} 
7. Work hard and put in your time and due diligence in your career path
8. Don't complain {ever} and be perfect at all times.
9. Figure out your entire future {all of it}
10. Did I mention having all your shit together? Because you need to do that, too.

Ummmmmm...are you stressed yet?

I think this imaginary list is the reason for {a portion of} my stress. While I think all of the items on this list are good ideas, I think they are by no means necessary for being deemed "successful" in your twenties. Or at least I hope not. I'm done holding on to this list. Instead, I'm letting go.

In its place, here's my list of important things to do in my 20s.

My Expectations of Myself as a 20-Something
1. Find out what I'm good at in the job market, and find a job I like {for now}
2. Be in love and happy
3. Have an emergency money fund {you know, just in case} and try to start spending money more wisely
4. Buy all the flats I can get my hands on
5. Start a 401k
6. Travel and live out of a suitcase when I can
7. Work hard at my job, and always continue improving
8. Do things for myself, like blogging and relaxing
9. Be healthy
10. Build upon and nurture important relationships with friends and family

There you have it, loves. I'm letting go. And this saying describes it perfectly.

- C

|| via ||

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Listen: Day 29: Music Memories

Music has always had a strong impact on me. Sounds a little cliche, right? Ever since I can remember, music has always brought me back to a certain time, place or feeling. Good or bad, certain songs really are the playlist of my memories.

My best memories? Kept alive by my favorite songs.

Jack introduced me to this song on our first roadtrip home together for a weekend at the cottage with my family. We'd only been together a few months (two to be exact) and he was brave enough to come home with me for a weekend with my entire extended family. He was cool and calm as could be, driving my car down country roads with Ray LaMontagne on the radio. I wish I could tell you I feel head over heals from him when he introduced me to this song...but the truth is, that had happened weeks before :)

*Also, if you love Ray, check out his cover of Crazy by Gnarles Barkley. Unreal.

There's nothing quite like a summer night. Whenever I hear Each Coming Night, I'm taken back to the summer, a setting sun and a humid, evening heat - my favorite place.

Some songs just speak to you. For some reason, this wild little number does just that. Not even the worst mood could keep me from tapping my foot or breaking out into a full-on dance session when I hear this song. I heard it for the first time in college, and it's stuck with me ever since. My favorite time to listen to Break My Stride? Friday mornings on the drive in to work. Total day-maker.

I'm not sure when or why it happened, but this song has always been my family's anthem. Maybe it's because the lyrics are so true, or because the song is so upbeat. Either way, each time I hear this song, I'm taken back to summers at the cottage, with my mom, sister, aunts and cousins, singing this song in our crop tops, shorts and sandals, doing the dishes on yet another perfect summer night.

Oh Italy. Easily my favorite place in the entire world. When I traveled to Italy on a school trip in 2006, I had no idea I would fall in love with the language, the people, the history, the vino and everything else about this charming country. Truth be told, I went on the class trip solely to visit Paris for a few days at the end of the week. But Italy stole my heart, and I have been swooning ever since. This song takes me back to evenings spent on my hotel patio, trying to decipher the most recent Italian newspaper, afternoons speaking broken Italian to the l'uomo serving gelato at the corner cafe and mornings being awoken by the leisurely Italian sun. I miss it, and one day, I'll be back (maybe for good!)

What songs speak to you? I'd love to hear recommendations!

 - C

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Holiday: Day 28: Memorial Day Weekend

Photos only today, gems. 

 - C

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

Life: Day 27: Well Hello There

Well hello there, gems.

Today's post for Blog Every Day in May goes out to all of you. Over the past year, you guys have been my rock. You have listened to me complain about the important things and the not-so important things, babble on about my most recent favorite {insert whatever it is here}, go on and on about my amazing family, handsome boyfriend, studio apartment, job and everything else. You've been there for me on my best days, and my worst. You've put up with me through it all, and I adore you for it. You inspire me to write every day and to put my feelings down on paper (er...on the Internet). You inspire me, guys. And I hope that, even if only a little bit, I've inspired you.  

Thanks again, loves. Xoxo.

 - C

|| via ||

Life: Day 26: Good Read

The other day I stumbled across this article on The New York Times' website. As a 20-something myself, I'm a sucker for any and all articles that shed new light on our generation, specifically the job world. This article really caught my attention, specifically this line: "Ms. McIntyre is just one 20-something - a population historically exploitable as cheap labor - learning that long hours and and low pay go hand in hand with the creative class." How could I not keep reading after a line like that?

OK loves, now it's your turn - thoughts on the article? I'd love to hear your opinions!

 - C

Monday, May 27, 2013

Life: Day 25: Forget Me Not

Something someone told me that I'll never forget...Blog Every Day in May, you're really putting me to the test here! Rather than focus on something negative I remember (I just told you guys my worst traits - we're getting off the negativity train right here) I'm going to share with you one of the wonderful things my parents have told me that I'll never forget.

I'm lucky to have wonderful parents who told me this again and again growing up. While it made me happy to hear it then, it has an even bigger impact now. Knowing that my parents are proud of me and the choices I've made make me feel like I'm succeeding. That even though I'm a recent college graduate who is experiencing everything for the first time and trying my best to figure it out, that I'm doing alright. Better than alright, I'm doing well, and they're proud of me for it.

Thanks Mom and Dad for always being there for me. I love you!

 - C

Life: Day 24: Working On It

Whoa. How is it already Memorial Day? This weekend few way too fast. So fast that I didn't even have time to BLOG. Seriously. I had such a wonderful weekend (more on that later when I'm not making up posts I missed over the past few days) - time flew so quickly! How was your weekend?

For day 24 of Blog Every Day in May, we're talking about my worst traits. That's right, ladies and gents, if you didn't already know I had a few unfortunate quirks to me, you're now getting them in writing.

I have a short temper
This is probably my worst trait. When I'm upset, things don't go well. I either stop talking and will give you the coldest of shoulders, or I'll yell. Neither are good options. Thankfully, Jack is a saint (but don't tell him I told you that) and puts up with all of my antics. He's a keeper!

I am not so easy going
I'm trying to work on this quality of mine, but let's be real - I'm a bit uptight. If my plans change at the last minute, I have a really hard time adjusting. If Jack and I get into a fight and it starts our day off on the wrong foot, I'll be in a funk for at least an hour about how our entire day is ruined. If someone messes up my order at a restaurant, I'll most likely never live it down and probably will never eat there again. It's a work in progress, but I promise you, I'm working on it.

I don't handle stress well
In the workplace, I'm a pro at handling stress and coming off nonchalant. But when I get home, I drown my stress in wine (but not alcoholic-level, I promise), bubble baths, excessive ice cream eating and sometimes stressed conversations with Jack. Thankfully, he knows how to calm me down.

Wow, that wasn't easy. I won't even ask you your worst traits - this post ends right here.

 - C

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life: Day 23: An Education

What I've learned that school won't teach you. I feel like I'm a broken record, but Blog Every Day in May is really making me dig deep and push the boundaries of what I typically write about on Twentyapolis. Life has taught me so many things that school never could. But for all of my education, whether I learned it from my parents, a coworker, a teacher, a friend, in a classroom, at an internship or in a lecture hall, I greateful.
I've learned...
To keep an open mind and to give people a chance. To calm down and take a deep breath when I'm stressed. To put in the extra work when needed, because somehow, someday, it will pay off. To brush my teeth twice a day (at least) to avoid cavities (which are expensive). To set multiple alarms to avoid oversleeping. To do things for myself sometimes (taking a vacation, buying something new or having a day all to myself). To always write thank you cards. ALWAYS. To wear flats whenever I plan on being on my feet for a long time (heels are my enemy). To have a credit card for emergencies and emergencies only. To balance my bank account and pay my bills. To not judge others and treat others how I want to be treated (ok maybe I did learn that in school). To believe in karma. To take care of mysef by exercising, eating right and getting enough sleep (I'm still in the process of learning this). To not take anyone or anything for granted. To say I love you to the people I love often. To travel well and stick to the 3-1-1 airline guidelines. To save my money for things I really want (like that November trip to Mexico with my handsome guy). To smile often, sometimes for no reason at all.
What has life taught you, loves?
 - C
(P.S. I'm leaving on a jet Wisconsin for the weekend! My posts might be a little delayed, but keep an eye out for them!) 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life: Day 22: The Rant

It's all about dislikes on the blog today, friends. As we're dwindling down to the final days of Blog Every Day in May, it appears we're moving from things we adore to things we despise.

Well, this isn't how I thought I'd start out my Wednesday. But here goes nothing.

Not-So Happy Things
1. When my apartment is dirty for no reason at all (i.e. dust, etc.).
2. When I look at my bank account and realize, as a college graduate, I'm still basically poor.
3. Rainy days when you have plans that require beautiful sunny weather.
4. Cold feet (literally and figuratively).
5. Bad hair days.
6. Spending money on things for the sole purpose of throwing them away (paper towels, toilet paper etc.).
7. People who are purposely not eco-friendly.
9. When I order clothing online and it doesn't fit. And then I go to return it at the store and the date I can return it by is long gone.
10. Migraines and canker sores.

OK, that's enough ranting for the day. It's already Wednesday, and we all have a long weekend ahead of us! Enjoy the day!

 - C

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog: Day 21: Twentyapolis Faves

Today's Blog Every Day In May topic was so much fun, you guys - I got to dig into the archives of Twentyapolis to find my favorite posts! Talk about nostalgia. Going through the archives made me realize how personal I've been on Twentyapolis, and it made me a little emotional! From my college graduation to family events and date nights, you guys have been here with me through it all, and I love you for it.

So here it is, ladies and gents, my favorite posts!

Keep On Keeping On - While it terrified me at first, I liked sharing my personal struggles with you guys. Because let's be real, no one is perfect, and it made me feel very human to let you guys in.

Resolutions - The best way to start 2013 was to share my resolutions with you! Not only did it make me think of some real, attainable goals, it's also making me stick to them.

Hello, October - Undeniably my favorite month, I loved thinking about all of the autumn-esque things October would bring. While I'm so excited for summer, reading it just now made me crave cooler weather, apple cider and pumpkin patches (if only for a minute)!

Birthday Boy - I was so giddy for Jack's birthday this year that I couldn't help but blog about it almost a week early. I just adore that boy.

A Simple Love - Quite possibly my favorite quote ever by the great Ernest Hemmingway. I loved sharing it with you and getting a little lovey-dovey on the blog.

Fin - I graduated college! And I was so excited to share every minute with you all.

Time to Celebrate - My first big girl job! 

Rainy Day Woman - I have a secret obsession with rainy days. 

Common Happinesses - It's true what they say about the little things. I loved compiling this list, and re-reading it makes me just as happy!

So happy you've been here with me through it all!

- C

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mood: Day 20: Favorites

I'm changing things up a little bit today, guys. The topic for Blog Every Day in May is supposed to be about something that I'm currently struggling with. But since it's a rather rainy Monday, I think positivity is the name of the game, so today's blog post is going to be about my current favorites.

Lately, I've been crushing on everything healthy + relaxing + calming. Seriously. I'm currently obsessed with:

getting as much sleep as my body needs || long, relaxing baths || avocados, all day every day || the weekend || cooking and baking || yoga, and mastering this move

What are you obsessed with lately?

 - C

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blog: Day 19: Blog Love

Today's Blog Every Day in May post could not be more perfect. On this rainy day in Minneapolis, I'm so excited to share with you the bloggers who are helping make my lazy Sunday less tragic. 

Run Shop Eat Repeat - This is a no-brainer for me. Run Shop Eat Repeat is one of my favorite blogs (see more here). Sarah's blog is honest, up-front and dives into the basics of marathon training, healthy eating and shopping (some of my favorite things). Plus her pup Mac is adorable. 

Back To Her Roots - I recently stumbled across Back To Her Roots, and now the blog is a can't miss for me. Cassie's all about healthy eating and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. At this point in my life, her blog is perfect and exactly what I need to keep me on the healthy lifestyle train I'm on. She is a master recipe maker (see one of my favorites here) and has a wonderful philosophy on food and fitness. Not to mention, I can't wait to make one of her salads in a jar.

Melissa Oholendt Photography - OK you got me, yes Melissa is technically a photographer, but her photography blog is unbelievable. The girl can write. In fact, she writes so well that I seriously can't look away and stop reading (let's just say one day I found myself on page 14 of her blog). Not to mention, she takes absolutely gorgeous photos. 

Happy reading on this rainy Sunday, loves!

 - C

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Life: Day 18: Summer Memories

Sorry today's post is a bit late, loves! This morning Jack and I participated in a 5K for Be The Match, and I had a girls only date with my bffs Kate and Natalie. But now, you have my undivided attention!

It's day 18 of Blog Every Day in May, and that calls for childhood memories. After mulling it over, I decided there is just no way I could tell you only one. With summer on its way, I think it's time I shared with you some of my favorite summer memories.

Weeks at Camp Sinawa
Ever since I was born (seriously, we've been going for 24 years now) my family has rented a cottage on a lake the week of July 4th. My mom's side of the family travels from all over (Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota etc.) for an entire week together. And that's saying something, because our family is huge (she's one of nine)! The week consists of days on the lake, tubing on my uncle's boat, homemade meals and nights spent around the campfire. Don't worry, beer and s'mores always make an appearance. Since graduating, I've tried to make it each year for at least a weekend. It's one of the times I look forward to most every year, and can't wait to be there in just a few short weeks!

Trampoline/sprinkler time
Growing up, my sister and I had a trampoline. Score. Even better, my dad put the sprinkler underneath it in the summertime. Double score. My sister and I would jump around in our swimsuits, getting soaked by sprinkler water on some of the hottest days of the year. We would slide around on the trampoline, laughing the entire time.

Grilling and dinner on the patio
In my family, warm summer nights meant grilling and dinners spent outside on the patio. My dad is a master griller (my mouth is watering just thinking about it) and my mom is an amazing cook. Needless to say, our summer dinners always left me unbelievably full in an entire food coma. Good thing our hammock wasn't far away! We spent our dinners laughing, making jokes and playing with our dog. Perfection.

Backyard soccer
My sister and I started playing soccer almost as soon as we could walk. With nearly hundreds of soccer balls scattered around our garage, cars and backyard, kicking a ball around in the backyard came naturally. Most nights, my dad would jump in and kick the ball around with us. Looking back on it, I miss soccer and those backyard games.

Days at the lake
When I was young, my grandparents built a house on a lake in Oshkosh. That meant endless summer days on the boat and in the water. Needless to say, I felt like the luckiest kid ever. We would spend weekends boating, tubing and jumping off the dock. Days were always followed with popsicles and family meals together. As the sun would begin to set, we'd all meet inside. My grandma and aunts would read magazines and talk about the latest news and happenings. My grandpa and uncles would watch the most recent golf tournament on TV, and my cousins and I would lounge around, sun-kissed and tired after another perfect day on the lake.

Lazy hammock days
I'm pretty sure hammocks are one of the greatest inventions known to mankind. Seriously. Growing up, we always had a hammock in the backyard. Once I learned to master sitting on it without falling over, I don't think I ever left it. I would bring a pillow, blanket and my latest read outside and curl up for hours in the warm summer sun. My favorite days would be when my mom was laying outside in the hammock, and she would let me snuggle up next to her. 

Camping land
My favorite summer memories always happened at the "Camping Land." My family owns over 100 acres of land in central Wisconsin, where my parents are now planning on building their new house. But growing up, it was always known as the "Camping Land." On Fridays, we would pack up our cars and head westward for the weekend, inviting all of the friends and family we had. Once there, the fun began. We slept in tents, sat around the campfire, made s'mores (wow, this seems like a trend) and had an incredible time. As we grew up, my parents built our cabin, which now can house anywhere from 6-15 people at a time. Whenever we have a free weekend, Jack and I still try to make the trip (now east for us) to spend the weekend with my family at the "Camping Land." But now, our activities include sand volleyball, yard games, beer drinking and telling stories by the fire. It just gets better with time, and I can't wait to spend time there this summer.

- C

Friday, May 17, 2013

Life: Day 17: Favorite Photo

Happy Friday! I know I say this most weeks, but this week has felt long. I'm so ready for it to be the weekend, even if the forecast is cloudy and rainy!

Today's task for Blog Every Day in May is to choose a favorite photograph of myself and explain why I like it. As most women tend to be, I'm very critical of myself and tend to dislike most of the photos that I'm in. But if I had to pick a current favorite, I think this one takes the cake.

What I love about this photo is how candid it was, and how much fun we were having when taking it. We were at a cabin on a snowy weekend in January. We were having a great time, surrounded by friends and morning mimosas. Can you say perfect?

Another reason I love this photo is because I wasn't wearing any makeup, and was completely comfortable with it. I don't wear that much makeup to begin with, but sometimes I feel self-conscious going "nude." But a weekend at the cabin called for natural hair and no makeup, and I loved the way it made me look and feel.

Now enough about me. It's Friday, let's celebrate! Happy weekend!

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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Life: Day 16: Keep On Keeping On

OK you guys, Blog Every Day in May is really pushing me to get personal on Twentyapolis. Today's task is to talk about something difficult in my life, and what I'm doing to overcome it. I'll tell you what's difficult - writing this post! :) But in all seriousness, things are about to get personal. When I started Twentyapolis, I made the decision that I wasn't going to sugarcoat anything on this blog. If you guys were taking the time to read what I was writing, I was going to give you the honest to goodness truth. And so far, I think I've done that. And today is going to be no exception.

So here it goes!

It's taking me a bit of time to find a balance between work, play, exercising and managing my day-to-day activities, including laundry, paying bills and keeping my apartment clean. You know the saying "there just aren't enough hours in the day?" That statement has never been truer, my friends. Finding a way to balance my responsibilities with my free-time is an ongoing struggle. While I try so hard to be a perfectionist and get things right, this one's challenging me for a bit. As a "new" adult only a year out of college, I'm still figuring things out.

But my fingers are crossed I get it together soon.

Getting Healthy
I wouldn't consider this a difficulty in my life, but it definitely takes commitment. I've been working hard to eat healthier and exercise more frequently, and already I can tell these changes are starting to pay off. I have more energy throughout the day and I sleep much better at night. I hope that with more hard work and encouragement, I can make these changes permanently and adopt them into my everyday lifestyle. It'll be tough, but I'm up for the challenge.

Up until graduation, I always thought I was great at maintaining a budget. I always had money in my bank account and I very rarely made frivolous impulse purchases. But then I grew up. I began renting my own apartment and started having my own bills and loans to pay. Not to mention keeping my refrigerator and cupboards stocked, my wardrobe updated and having a bit of money left over to have a social life. And begin a savings account, if I was lucky. That's when I realized that the whole "managing my checkbook" thing I was doing before was definitely NOT creating and adhering to a budget. No sir-ee. Creating a budget is definitely my biggest difficulty. As Jack and I move into our own place, our first action item (after unpacking, that is) is to set up a monthly budget that we both have to stick to. Only a month and a half away!

OK, that's enough serious talk for one day. It's Thursday, and it's in the 80s here in Minneapolis! How are you guys spending this warm little Thursday?

 - C

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life: Day 15: Ordinary Day

Oh my goodness, I am so excited it's the middle of the week. One week from today, I'll be packing my bags and getting ready for a long weekend with Jack and my family in Wisconsin. I can't wait!

Today on Blog Every Day in May, I'm giving you a look into my typical day (which is why my post is a little late - sorry about that!) From dawn until dusk, here's at my Wednesday.

I woke up this morning, and that guy below was chipper and smiling. What. It was 6 a.m. Needless to say, I did not feel the same. I had a gorgeous drive to work this morning and immediately caffeinated with coffee (and branded coffee mug) when I arrived. I took a lovely afternoon stroll with some of my favorite coworkers across the Stone Arch Bridge and got a glimpse of our new place. Can't wait to move in! Later I baked chocolate banana bread (I had to only let myself eat two pieces) and rounded out the evening with a run/walk around Lake of the Isles, where I called my mom for a quick chat.

And now? It's 9 p.m. and I'm exhausted! How was your day, loves?

 - C

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Life: Day 14: Being Happy

I'm a pretty happy person. Which is why I absolutely adore today's blog post for Blog Every Day in May. Listing 10 things that make me happy? Absolutely! Actually, I love this post so much, I realized I've written it before! To see my list of 20 things that make me happy from last August, click here!

In the spirit of the blogging challenge, here are 10 more things that make me as happy as a clam.

1. A hot cup of coffee
2. Singing in the shower
3. Baking and cooking in my kitchen
4. Walks around Lake of the Isles
5. Anything having to do with my dog, Boone
6. The first day of a vacation
7. Garage sales all summer long
8. Spending weekends with my family
9. Hand-holding and inside jokes with Jack
10. Being as eco-friendly as possible

 What makes you happiest?

 - C

Monday, May 13, 2013

Life: Day 13: An Apology to Myself

Here it goes, you guys. It's day 13 of Blog Every Day in May, and today, I'm issuing a public myself. It's a big one you guys. So, without further ado, here goes nothing.

Hey you,

I'm sorry I haven't always given 100% when it comes to my health. I know I could give you 100 reasons about why I've put health and fitness on the back burner over the past few years, but there really is no excuse for it.  It's OK that you got off track, but it's time to get back on it.

You've been doing great over the past few months to re-prioritize health and fitness, so keep it up! You know better than anyone that getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising and taking time for yourself are the keys to your happiness. I know it isn't always easy, but your hard work will pay off, and your body will thank you for it.

What you're doing now is a complete lifestyle change, and lady, that's big stuff. It won't happen overnight, and you won't always be perfect when it comes to eating and exercise. Remember - eat food, not too much, mostly plants...but also indulge here and there. Like in chocolate. Be healthy, but never say no to chocolate.

I'm sorry we had it rough over the past few years, but we're on the right track. Let's do this, lady!

 - C

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

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Life: Day 12: Missing "Home"

What a weekend. Somehow, it's already Sunday night and I'm seriously wondering how the heck this weekend flew by so quickly. It feels as though I blinked and this weekend passed right by me. You know the saying "time flies when you're having fun?" Right now, I'm feeling that saying couldn't possibly be more true.

I had a fantastic weekend in Wisconsin with my family. We had so much to celebrate! My sister turned 20, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and today was Mother's Day! While the weekend was short, it was wonderful to spend some quality family time, the best way we know how - with lots of food, drinks and laughter!

For day 12 of Blog Every Day in May, we're discussing something that we miss. For me, it's spending time at my family home in Omro, Wisconsin. I love Minneapolis with all my heart, but I like heading back to where I'm from, if only for a few days at a time. I miss waking up in my bedroom, knowing that my mom has a pot of coffee brewing and that we can have coffee together at the kitchen table. I miss having my dad around to teach me how to take care of my car or fix the latest {insert piece of furniture} that I've broken. And make me laugh at almost anything. I miss being able to take my dog Boone {the most handsome black lab in the entire world} on long walks and cuddling with our cat, Olivia. I miss being only a five minute drive from my grandparents house and family dinners outside on our patio. That's why weekends like this one mean so much to me.

This past weekend, we celebrated Cassie's 20th birthday with cake, presents and lots of laughs. We ate very well {thanks to my darling mom!} and sat our adorable kitchen table decorated with red tulips. We went to dinner as a family {yes, the whole family you see below} and had a few pictures taken to celebrate my grandparents' 50th anniversary! Hats off to you lovebirds! We drank old fashioneds {heaven on earth} and made moustaches all night long. Not to mention, I played outside with Boone and we went on the most peaceful walk this morning. Afterward, I spent some quality time with my mom to celebrate Mother's Day. She really is the most wonderful mom/role model/best friend/confidant a girl could ask for. I'm so lucky to have her, and such a wonderful family! Not to mention, a wonderful boyfriend who spent the weekend with us!

And somehow it's already Sunday night, and is getting close to my bed time. Happy Mother's Day, loves! Talk to you soon!

 - C
|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis and Kim Lotten Photography. Do not use or distribute ||

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Life: Day 11: Sell Yourself

Helloooooo weekend! I'm in Wisconsin for a few days to celebrate a few big time celebrations - my sister's 20th birthday, my grandparents' 50th anniversary and Mother's Day! Talk about a big weekend. So instead of selling myself in 10 words  for Blog Every Day in May today, I'm going to tell you 10 reasons why my baby sister (who is somehow 20 years old today) so ridiculously amazing.

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

1. She tells life as it is, and doesn't have a problem letting anyone know how she feels.

2. She is ridiculously good at doing makeup.

3. She snorts when she laughs and completely owns it.

4. No matter how many days she's gone without washing it, her hair always somehow looks good.

5. She has her own style and doesn't follow the popular trends.

6. She's a great story teller and can make anyone laugh.

7. She loves tattoos and piercings. They're her thing, and she rocks them.

8. She's a phenomenal dancer and can out-dance anyone on the dance floor. 

9. She can quote lines from almost any movie. And commercial.

10. She owns all of her cheesy nicknames we've given her (Squanto, Chester, Baby Kevin and Boo, just to name a few)

There are a million more, but I'm only limiting myself to 10 today, because it's time to celebrate her birthday at dinner! Happy Birthday, Cass! Love you!

 - C

Friday, May 10, 2013

Style: Day 10: Crazy For Cargo

OH MY GOODNESS IT'S FINALLY FRIDAY. Do you have plans for Mother's Day weekend? I do, and can't wait to share them with you next week!

OK, time for the real blog post. While Blog Every Day in May technically calls for an embarrassing moment today, I can't stop thinking that I am letting you guys down when it comes to fashion. Seriously, I've let fashion posts (some of my favorite to write) fall to the wayside over the past few months. Well not today, gems, not today. Today, it's Fashion Friday (hmmm...maybe this will catch on for all future Friday posts?)

This week, I'm seriously craving cargo + olive green. I think it has something to do with the fact that Minneapolis is finally snow free and somehow, BRIGHT GREEN grass has been hiding underneath it. Who knew? I'm feeling very earthy as the temperatures are warming up and the spring rain is tapping on my window. Cargo green, you have my heart and soul.

 - C

one || two || three || four || five || six || seven || eight

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Life: Day 9: A Moment In My Day

Apologies this post is a little late! I was trying to think of the most perfect moment of my day to show you. I was deciding between my first glorious cup of coffee this morning, my gorgeous view from the atrium at my office, my relaxing drive home from work or even the fantastic happy hour and dinner I had with my BFFs this evening. But when I saw THIS on the weather app on my phone, I knew this one took the cake.

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

Are you cringing yet? Don't worry, I did too.

When I checked out my weather app this evening to see what I should wear to work tomorrow, I was absolutely horrified to see that the high for the next day was 46 degrees with a low of 5. EXCUSE ME!?!??! My thoughts exactly. But then I realized that it said tomorrow was Monday. This is when things got fishy. As I looked a little closer, I realized that there was no way this weather forecast was accurate. Surely, the weather app had to be wrong. Because I like drama, I am convinced it was HACKED.

Sure enough, I checked the forecast in Rome (no judging that I have Rome, my favorite city, as a weather setting). The current temperature in Rome? 18 degrees with a high of 72. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is safe to say the weather app is hacked (or maybe it isn't, don't quote me on this).

There you have it, a (slightly horrifying) moment in my day. How was your Thursday, dears?

 - C

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Life: Day 8: Advice From Me to You

My advice for you for day 8 of Blog Every Day in May? Short and sweet...

How do you stay present?

 - C

Monday, May 6, 2013

Life: Day 7: Fears

Fears? Now you guys, this is a big one. Sure, I have semi-irrational fears (spiders ARE scary, you guys!), but sharing what truly frightens me is a big deal. Getting into your deepest, darkest fears is personal, and it's something I've shared with very few people. But, for the sake of Blog Every Day in May, here we go.

Spiders, snakes and sharks
Totally rational, in my opinion. When I have nightmares, that's what they're about. And they're horrifying. Actually, let's add all bugs and reptiles. They all scare me. Every single one of them.

Serial killers
Obviously. Mainly ones that wear masks and look like characters from every horror movie I've ever seen. Or the TV show Criminal Minds.

Leaving my apartment with a lit candle/hot appliance
This is one of my biggest fears. Every time I leave my house, I experience at least 15 seconds of anxiety over whether or not I blew out my candles and turned off every hair tool or appliance possible. I think deep down I'm afraid my negligence will burn down my apartment building. And the thought seriously terrifies me.

Losing control
I know this is broad, but the thought of losing control of anything in my life scares me. Whether it's my job, my finances, or even something as little as having to change plans at the last minute - I don't handle it well. Losing control truly scares me.

Having regrets
I try to be confident in every decision that I make, but sometimes, I can't help but wonder if, one day, I'll regret a decision that I've made. The thought of doing so honestly makes me ache inside. I never want to look back on any part of my life and regret a decision I made, or one I didn't make. While I think I'm doing a pretty good job so far, the thought of having regrets one day scares me. I hope it doesn't happen.

OK, that's a bit of a heavy topic for a Tuesday. OK loves, any fears you want to share?

 - C

Life: {Late} Day 3: Things That Make Me Uncomfortable

Sorry it's a bit late! I finally am getting to this post. Like my BFF at Run Shop Eat Repeat, there aren't many things that make me uncomfortable. While I would classify myself as having a rather uptight personality, I'm rarely uncomfortable in any situation. But there are a few things that stand out to me.

Having dry hands
This is probably my biggest pet peeve. It sounds weird, but I am going to defend myself by saying that my sister has the exact same issue that I do with dry hands. When my hands are dry, it's like my skin is crawling, and I'd honestly do just about anything to have access to lotion. When they're really dry, I don't even like touching things made out of paper or wood (I know, it sounds crazy). On that note, I also don't like holding newspapers. Dry and flimsy with ink that runs onto your fingers? Not my thing.

Sitting next to chatty people on airplanes
I only say this because I've had a few bad experiences on airplanes. It seems that every time I board an airplane, I end up sitting next to the chattiest person on the planet. It's not that I dislike meeting new people. Plane rides are the one time where I have a legitimate excuse to take a nap, listen to music or read a book. But when the person next to me on the airplane is trying to chat with me, it makes it a little difficult. And when I flip the pages of my book mid-conversation? Super uncomfortable.

Being the center of attention
You'd think that someone who has a blog and works in PR wouldn't mind being the center of attention. But for me, this makes me extremely uncomfortable. Trust me, I'm nowhere near cool enough for people to pay sole attention to me. The fact that I'll be getting married one day and everyone's eyes will be on me (plus my handsome groom) seriously make me cringe.

OK, there you have it! What makes you uncomfortable, loves?

 - C

Life: Day 6: What I Do

Today's blog post topic really excites me, you guys. Whenever I meet someone new, it seems that one of the first things they ask me is what I do. While I do work 8-10 hours a day at my job, that is not all that I do! Outside of work, I seem to always be on the go.

I write
Blog posts, freelance articles, to-do lists, everything. Writing feels very natural for me - it always has. 

I drink coffee
Lots of it, every single day. And I enjoy every sip.

I cook
As you know, I love cooking and baking. But due to my work schedule, dinner is the only meal of the day I can really cook. But on the weekends, I make a mean breakfast. 

I travel and explore
Whenever my calendar (and bank account) allow, I love to travel and explore. Whether it's to another country or just exploring Minneapolis, I love going new places and trying new things.

I organize
My life is basically one big list. I organize EVERYTHING. 

I yoga
In the past few months, I have become a huge fan of yoga. It combines my love of exercise and stretching and is the perfect workout for me. I love it!

I love
It's about to get sappy, you guys. That handsome guy I'm always posting pictures of? I adore him. I'm very lucky. What can I say.

On that same note, I love my family, and am I loved by them every single day. We're a close, crazy and tight-knit group, and I love every single one of us goofballs.

What do you do, dears?

 - C

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

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Life: Day 5: Blog Love for Run Shop Eat Repeat

Choosing my favorite blogger for day 5 of Blog Every Day in May? Easy. Sarah DuBois of Run Shop Eat Repeat, of course! 

Sarah and I met two years ago at work. Needless to say, we hit it off right away. Two years and two different jobs later, we're still inseparable. On any given day, you can find us guest-blogging on each-others' blogs, getting sushi and happy hour, planning a girls' night out (always a favorite for us) and meeting up for book club (which generally means dinner and wine). 

What I admire about Sarah's blog, Run Shop Eat Repeat is how honest she is, and how all of her posts give you a look inside her day-to-day life. Like her upcoming marathon, for instance. The girl is inspirational! And makes me feel a little bit bad about skipping my workout today. Her blog also has a multitude of great recipes and workout tips. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should! 

Oh, and I must mention, she is a very fierce bowler. Look out!

 - C

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

Life: Day 4: A Favorite Quote

It's day four of Blog Every Day in May, which calls for my favorite quote. Choosing only one favorite quote wasn't easy for me. But when thinking about where I am in my life, I think this quote sums up the philosophy that I have.

What's your favorite quote?

 - C

|| via ||

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Life: Day 2: What I'm Good At

Let me start off by saying that I have a really hard time talking about things that I'm actually good at. But for the sake of Blog Every Day in May, I'm going to give it a shot.

Cooking - At 23 years old, I think I'm a pretty good cook. I'm keen to try new recipes and have a few in my back pocket that I know by heart. Cooking is somehow therapeutic for me. It calms me down and helps de-stress my day. Not to mention, I love eating! When relaxation and a true love of food are brought together, I think the result is always something delicious. Like I said, I know I'm young and am not Julia Child yet, but I hope to be one day!

Organizing and Planning - I'm pretty sure my middle name should have been organization instead of Jean. Seriously, it's quite possible I'm the most organized person you know. My planner is honestly my bible. At the drop of a hat, I can tell you if I'm free next Thursday and what I'm doing two weekends from now (5K around Lake Harriet). And I have all of my doctor appointments for the next year already scheduled.

While this probably makes me sound a little neurotic, this also makes me a great planner. Do you have a big event coming up? No problem, I'll plan it. I've had so much experience planning sorority events, client events and tradeshows that I seriously dream about planning things. Just thinking about planning my wedding and my sister's wedding someday seriously gives me the goosebumps. So excited.

Talking - Yes, as you know, I'm pretty good at talking. But while it sounds strange, I think it's actually a great skill, and is most-likely something I picked up during my leadership positions within my sorority and through working in PR. Being able to talk to someone and hold a conversation is an incredibly important skill. And if you've ever been part of an awkward, silent conversation, you know how true that is. Through the years, I think this is something that I'm becoming really good at. Granted, there's always room for improvement, but I think I'm on the right track.

Camping - Now, I'm sure this sounds odd, but I'm a great camper.  Maybe I'm just saying this because I really like to camp, but oh well. I love being outdoors, cooking food over an open fire and telling stories. Not to mention, all of my high maintenance qualities go out the window when I'm in the great outdoors. No makeup, jewelry or styled hair - just how I like it. Not to mention, I'm great at yard games, love a good beer by the fire and can make a mean smore.

What are you good at?

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

Life: Day 1: Story of My Life

For Day 1 of the Blog Every Day in May challenge, we're getting to know 250 words or less. Now, as you guys can tell, I'm not really the short-winded kind of gal. So let's see what we can do.

My name is Courtney, and I'm a twenty-something living in Minneapolis. I'm a transplant from the very small town of Omro, Wisconsin. Yes, I did go to parties in the middle of corn fields, but no, I never went cow-tipping. While I loved growing up in a small town, I knew I belonged in the city. At 18, I packed my bags and moved to the Twin Cities to go to school at the U of M with my bff, Kate! Four (almost five years) later with degrees in our hands and endless amounts of sorority memories, we will be golden gophers and Delta Gammas 'till we die. As a brand-new college graduate and working girl, I'm slowly but surely figuring out how to navigate the adult world. When I'm not working at a PR agency or freelancing for a bridal magazine, you are guaranteed to find me with family and friends. GUARANTEED. I am incredibly lucky to have such grounded, wonderful parents and a sister who drives me crazy but is truly my best friend. But I can't forget my funny, fun-loving boyfriend who has put up with me for the past two years, and agreed to move in with me in two short months. It's our next big adventure!

In my spare time, you'll also find me blogging at, cooking, traveling, thrifting, spending time outdoors, reading a good book and doing yoga. And enjoying every happy hour I can!

(Clocked in at 242 words - not bad, huh?)

- C

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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blog: Blog Every Day in May

Hi loves! After a few days in North Carolina, I'm finally back in (very snowy, not so spring-y) Minneapolis. And what better way to celebrate a new month than with a new challenge - like blogging every day in May!

My lovely blogger friend Sarah at Run Shop Eat Repeat introduced me to the Blog Every Day in May challenge featured on the blog Story of My Life. I have yet to do one of these monthly blogging challenges, but really couldn't resist this one. I don't usually have trouble coming up with content for Twentyapolis, but what I do struggle with is time. Some days, it's hard for me to find an hour or two to sit down, relax and write. In my opinion, posting quality content every few days is better than writing mediocre posts every single day.

BUT, with that being said, I think this challenge will be good for me. The topics are fantastic. Let me repeat. Fantastic. I can already tell that they'll prompt me to dig deep and write about things I haven't blogged about before. It will be a great way for you to learn a little bit more about me, and for me to learn more about you!

With that said, as you can see, IT'S MAY 3. I am already failing. Thankfully, I know you all won't judge me for being a few days late due to that work trip!

So here we go - blogging every day in May! 

 - C
|| via ||
Blogging tips