Monday, September 30, 2013

Travel: The City That Never Sleeps

Happy Monday, loves. I don't know about you, but I could have used a few more hours of sleep last night.

Yesterday morning, we returned home from a few days in the Big Apple. While it was both work and play, we had an amazing time {and got little sleep, hence my sleepy Monday morning post}. What I like about traveling with Jack is that we tend to not do the "touristy" things - we try to stay with friends in the area, get around by walking or taking local transportation and eat at hole-in-the-wall restaurants where the locals go. And that's exactly what we did during the past few days. Our short stay in NYC was fabulous, and I know we're both {secretly} plotting our next trip back.

On that note, I've got quite a bit of catching up to do {extra large coffee, anyone?} 


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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Travel: And Away We Go

Well gems, NYC is calling our names.

I absolutely adored New York City when I visited on a girls trip in June, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go again. Jack has a conference to attend, and luckily my agency has an office in Midtown - the stars aligned and we just couldn't say no to a few days in the Big Apple. 

We're leaving first thing Wednesday and will be busy bees working until Friday morning. On Friday and Saturday, we'll be spending time roaming around Manhattan and Brooklyn, and likely taking as many selfies as humanly possible. What can I say, we're that kind of couple.

While I'm beyond excited for our mini vacation, packing really threw me for a loop. Since we would only be there for five days, I decided I wanted to use a carry-on suitcase to not pay a luggage fee. Let me tell you, while I'm saving $25, I might be losing my sanity. Packing two days of work outfits, as well as outfits for exploring the city and a fancy dinner out (yes, we needed at least one date night!), isn't easy.

After way too much time staring at my closet, I think I have everything I need. The weather will be fluctuating between the high 60s and low/mid 70s, so I needed to pack a bit of everything. It's a gamble whether my suitcase will close, but we'll make it there. (Do you see my fall color scheme I have going on? Bring it on, autumn!)

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

Follow me on Instagram to stroll NYC with us!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Mood: All About Autumn

I'm not a big fan of Mondays, but this one I just can't ignore. The weather in Minneapolis today is beyond gorgeous, and the refreshingly cool upper 60s/low 70s temperatures are making me beyond excited that it's fall.

As you know, fall is my favorite season. Nothing makes this girl happier than sipping hot apple cider on a cool fall day. And since summer seemed to come and go in what seemed like minutes, I'm determined to make this fall better than ever.

This fall, I'm going to...
1. Take in at least one Gopher football game.
2. Head to the apple orchard, and make my first homemade apple pie.
3. Carve a pumpkin and bake the seeds.
4. Consume an almost criminal amount of pumpkin spice lattes.
5. Buy a fall jacket (and not break my bank account).
6. Watch Hocus Pocus multiple times.
7. Dress up for Halloween.
8. Buy flannel sheets.
9. Walk to work and take evening walks to enjoy the cool fall weather.
10. Tie up loose ends before our Mexico vacation - and start planning our next adventure!

What are your plans this fall?


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Style: Ball-ing in Black

I never thought I'd say this - but I spent my Friday night at a ball.

Don't worry, I didn't have to wear a floor-length ball gown or ride to the event in a horse and carriage (which would inevitably turn back into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight). Much better, in fact - I got to wear my newest LBD and hang out in downtown Minneapolis at the "Crash the Ball' event in to support the Minnesota Orchestra. An evening with the most handsome man in the land, desserts of every kind (macaroons and napoleons included) and a few glasses of champagne? Best ball I've been to, that's for sure.

By the way, it's SATURDAY. Weekend, we've missed you. I'm heading to the Gopher game today, rah rah rah for Ski-U-Mah! What are your plans on this lovely fall Saturday?


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

 dress: J. Crew || heels: BCBG || wristlet: Coach || necklace: Forever 21 || earrings: Kate Spade (similar)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Style: Black Leather

I have a black leather obsession.

Every fall, I slip into this dark, cozy, leather-obsessed mood that I just can't let go of. Leather clothes and accessories layered with scarves, cable knit sweaters and dark, skinny jeans - fall, you are my element.

With two new 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target bags (sorry bank account), I'm afraid I'll have to recycle the rest of my leather collection this season and buy a few more pieces next year. But aren't these pieces fantastic? They're giving me goosebumps...or maybe it's the 65 degree weather outside. Hello, fall!

And happy Friday. Should have said that earlier. Have a great day, gems!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Style: Date Night

There's just something about a weekday date night, live music and downtown Minneapolis.

Months ago, Jack and I bought tickets to see Iron & Wine with our good friend Kelsey. After months of anticipation, yesterday was the day! Since our plan was to head to First Ave right after work, I knew I had to choose an outfit that was work appropriate but could easily be revamped for a night on the town. A few classic black elements (+ leather) did the trick. 

The concert? Amazing. And the company? The best.

Pssst...if you're looking for a good song, I highly recommend Grace for Saints and Ramblers. That and coffee is what's getting me through this sleepy morning after a late night!

Oh, and thank you for putting up with me while I'm new to outfit posts! There will be more goofy photos (similar to the last one below) to come, I'm sure.

Have a great day, loves.

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

 top: Target || pants: Gap (similar) || necklace: Forever 21 || shoes: Steve Madden || jacket: Forever 21 (similar) || purse: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Style: Glasses Girl

Today's a day of many firsts. I'm pretty sure today is the first time you've seen me with glasses, and it's also the first time you've seen an outfit post on the blog.

Oofda. Lots of changes, and it's only Wednesday.

Let's start with the facts. The reason I've been wearing my glasses nonstop since Sunday morning? I have a Lasik consultation today, and the consultation requires 4-5 days sans contacts. So here I am, wearing glasses in public. I usually only wear my glasses when I'm getting ready for bed, or when I'm feeling under the weather, so glasses nonstop (or almost nonstop - there's no way to do yoga in glasses) has been a huge change for me. It's making me cross my fingers tighter and tighter that my Lasik dreams come true!

The second fact - this is my first ever outfit post on Twentyapolis. It seems a little crazy that for nearly two years I've been posting content that doesn't include outfit posts. Part of me wants to commend myself on finding things to post about other than what I'm wearing, but the other part of me wants to shake myself for not doing outfit posts sooner!

Yesterday was chilly in Minneapolis, and I definitely did not spring out of bed when my alarm went off at 6:15 a.m. Because I didn't wake up feeling like a million bucks, I wore my new Gap sweater in hopes it would help. Buying this sweater was actually a huge gamble - I didn't try it on before I purchased it, which is one of my very strong fashion don'ts. Luckily, it fit like a glove and I loved the look of the sweater with black cigarette pants and a jeweled necklace. And because it felt like such a quintessential fall day, I had to break out the Minnetonka Moccasins. I've had that pair for five years and they're still in good shape. Great purchase in my opinion, gems. Lastly, I had to pair it with my favorite new purse. That Phillip Lim just gets me, you know?

And with that, I'm off to work. Have a lovely Wednesday.

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Do not use or distribute ||
sweater: Gap || pants: Mossimo || shoes: Minnetonka Moccasins || purse: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target || necklace: Forever 21

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life: Seasonal Switch

I don't know about you, but I'm loving this weather lately. Daily temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s? Talk about perfection. I don't know about you, but I think it's safe to say it's officially fall.

{insert extreme giddiness and an overly enthusiastic smile}

Fall has always been my favorite season. I think it had something to do with growing up in the Wisconsin countryside. There's nothing like fall in the Midwest. Beautiful sunny mornings, brisk, chilly evenings, leaves of every color and the nicest people around. Plus, the season calls for boots, scarves and lots of layers. All of my favorite things wrapped up into one? Yes fall, you've bewitched me, body and soul.

Once a new season comes to town, one of the first things I do is switch purses. I know, it sounds minor and a little cliche, but using a new purse really helps me ring in and celebrate the new season. In the spring and summer, I like to use bags that are made from lighter, brighter fabrics (think pinks, yellows, creams and tans). When fall and winter roll around, I like to use bags with darker colors with heavier accessories (blacks and grays with metal finishes). Sunday, I made the switch - into my new 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target tote (swooning as we speak).

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

Even though I carry a large bag, I like to keep it as empty as possible. Let me tell you, nothing frustrates me more than not being able to find what I need in my bag. But my fall necessities are pretty similar to what I carry in my purse every season - wallet, Ray Bans, ibuprofen and contact solution (which hopefully I won't need in a few weeks! More on that later). I also make sure to carry a bit of cover up, a pen, my phone charger and my current read (right now it's The Green Book). In addition to my necessities, my fall go-to's are my Lululemon Bang Buster Headband, Eos lip balm and a lightweight patterned scarf from Madewell (similar here).

Whenever the seasons change, my lips take a beating (and I HATE chapped lips). And while I'm super excited for fall, I couldn't resist the summery Eos chapsticks. Watermelon is my favorite - it may be fall, but I don't think I can let it go! The scents are wonderful and really help keep my lips smooth and healthy when the temperatures are changing.

 I've also been carrying around my Lululemon headband. It's an absolute necessity for early morning hot yoga sessions, and is honestly one of the best purchases I've made when it comes to yoga. The last thing I want to be worrying about as I'm doing my downward dog is having my bangs in my face.

Last but not least, I've been carrying around that cute scarf from Madewell. It's super lightweight and has a cool, neutral color scheme - perfect for brisk autumn days. I bought it a few months ago after my trip to NYC in June, and can't wait to wear it when I go back next week.

So there you have it, ladies and gents. And with that, I'm off to work on yet another gorgeous fall morning.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Life: Happy at Home

Today's post is beyond overdue. I can't believe we moved into our new apartment almost three months ago, and I haven't shared ANY photos! You know that saying "time flies when you're having fun?" True story.

We decided to tour Mill and Main back in March because of the area - St. Anthony Main is one of our favorite places in all of Minneapolis. We love the restaurants, the Stonearch Bridge, quiet, neighborhood feel and proximity to the Mill District. Not to mention, it's a 1.1 mile walk to work for me, and 1.5 miles for Jack. We were almost sold before we even saw the building.

We took a bit of a gamble signing a lease when we did because the building wasn't even finished! However, we saw the bones of the apartment and renderings of what it would look upon completion. The loft-like feel, high ceilings, dark wood accents and rooftop pool were more than enough reasons to make us sign on the dotted line. 100 (or so) trips to IKEA and four months later, we were completely moved in.
|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Do not use or distribute ||

Life as roomies in our new place? We're off to a fabulous start. Our apartment has a lived-in, relaxed and semi-modern feel, and we feel more at home than ever.

Here are some of my favorite parts of our place. It's a work in progress (and probably will always be), but we finally feel like we have a place of our own.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recipe: Champagne Cosmopolitans

Happy Sunday, gems.

This post is a tad bit overdue (OK, quite a bit overdue). But let's skip to the point. In my opinion, everything is better with a little champagne.

A few weeks ago, Jack and I invited a few friends over for a few drinks to celebrate our new place in St. Anthony Main. And in my opinion, every good party needs a signature drink. For our housewarming party, the drink of choice was the champagne cosmopolitan.

Thankfully, Oddka Vodka sent us a bottle of their newest vodka to help us celebrate (thanks, Oddka!) A few additional ingredients later, and we were sipping champagne cosmos all week long. I typically am not a vodka drinker, but these babies were delicious. Each glass called for one shot Oddka Vodka, 1/2 shot triple sec, 1 shot cranberry juice and a squeezed lime. Champagne and fruit garnishes top off the drink.

All in all? Delicious - and a new fave!


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

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Life: ENFJ

Today's (technically yesterday's) post for the Blogtember challenge is all about the Myers-Briggs test. I've taken this test before at my office, and it's taught me a lot about myself - my personality, strengths and areas I naturally excel in. The best part about the test? There are no weaknesses. The test measures your psychologic preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. 

My type? ENFJ - extraverted, intuitive, feeling, judging.

I took the test about a year and a half ago, and just retook it today for this post. As I had guessed, I'm still as strong of an ENFJ as ever. Here's what ENFJ's (and I) prefer:

Extraversion - ENFJ's feel motivated by their interactions with other people. They tend to enjoy a wide variety of circumstances and acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations. 

INtuition - ENFJ's tend to be more abstract than concrete. They see the big picture rather than the details, on future possibilities rather than immediate realities. They are idealists.

Feeling - ENFJ's tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. In short, they're feelers - full of emotion, they often give more weight to social implications rather than logic.

Judging - ENFJ's tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.

Whenever I take the test, I score very high in the extraversion, feeling and judging categories. I typically score moderate in the intuition category. The more and more I read into these results, the more I believe the Myers-Briggs method. It fits me to a T, and has actually helped me both at work and in my relationships. The best part? I sent my results to Jack, so he can hopefully predict how to deal with me in any situation :) 

As an ENFJ, I'm also in good company. A few famous ENFJ's include Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence. I've gotta say, I like this crew of people.

Below are some of my attributes - like I said, couldn't be more accurate. Have you taken the Myers-Briggs test before? What were your results?


|| ENFJ via OPP || 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Style: Clothing Swap

On Friday night, we swapped tops.

No, it isn't actually as crazy as it sounds, but Jack and I did have a clothing swap party at our apartment! A few weeks ago, Epica Wines reached out to us with the idea of hosting a clothing swap party - something we'd never thought of. The premise? Invite a bunch of friends over for wine and great conversations for a party to trade your gently used (and previously loved) clothing. Clothing, jewelry, shoes, all are welcome at clothing swaps, where you swap clothes for keeps. It's like shopping for free with your best friends (with wine included). Here's how it worked:

Step 1: We went closet diving. On my swap list was a fall dress, cute v-neck top, J. Crew necklace and summery blouse.

Step 2: We grabbed our crew. The BEST crew. Of friends we see all of the time, and those we see a little less often. 

Step 3: We popped corks and started sipping (Epica Red Wine was my drink of choice). And we might have eaten a little pizza too...

Step 4: We swapped. The result? I came home with two dresses and a summer skirt. Not to mention, I was able to get rid of all my swap items. Win-win, I'd say!

Step 5: Supermodel time. Let's just say that a little polaroid camera was involved (and we've got the pics to prove it). 

As I sit here blogging on this very warm Monday morning, I can assure you - our clothing swap party was a success.

I wish I could show you all the polaroid photos, but here are a few of our faves. Thanks again, Epica!


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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Life: Three Month Vaca

Blogtember, you're really killing me today. Asking me what I'd do with a three-month vaca? This is cruel.

If I had three months where I could do anything (and budget wasn't holding me back), I'd still keep things pretty simple. I'd go on a fall camping trip with my family and Jack, and would catch up on all of the books I told myself I'd eventually read. I'd watch Pretty Woman over and over with my mom (it's our favorite movie) and still get teary-eyed during the sappy parts.

After that, I'd head on a 1-2 month vacation to Italy - my favorite place in the entire world. I traveled there seven years ago (oh my goodness that makes me feel old) and am dying to go back. Positano is next on my list.

During my free-time jet-setting around the world, I'd do lots and lots of yoga. It's good to be relaxed on vacation, right?

And with that, I'm off to work - no three- month vaca for me. Have a great Friday, loves!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life: Where I'm From

Well, I think September calls for another blogging challenge, don't you think?

Thank goodness I have Sarah over at Run Shop Eat Repeat - she helped me find the Blogtember challenge from Story of My Life.  I have to say, even though blogging every day kind of kicked my butt, I really enjoyed the Blog Every Day in May challenge. It made me think (and blog) outside the box, and helped me become even more honest on Twentyapolis. So with Blogtember already in full swing, I just can't pass it up.

I'm a few days behind, but I think September will forgive me. So let's start with where I'm from.

I grew up in a small little town in east-central Wisconsin. As far as small towns go, I think the one I grew up in might have been one of the greatest. It's funny, but I didn't quite think it was when I was growing up there.

Omro has a population of around 4,000 people, and honestly has one stop light (to be fair, it's a four-way stop, which means four total lights). The entire town stood still on Friday nights for hometown football games, and the city shut down for every holiday event imaginable. It was the kind of place where everyone knew your name, and you knew every person in your graduating class (mine was about 130 people). I spent winters holed up in our high school doing every sport imaginable, and summers teaching swimming lessons at the local pool. At the time, it wasn't my favorite place in the world. But going back every now and again, I've grown to love it (especially my backyard - one of my favorite places [see below!])

Speaking of going home...Wisconsin is calling my name next month - Packers vs. Lions at Lambeau field!


|| One of my favorite pictures in my backyard. Photo is property of Twentyapolis. Do not use or distribute ||

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fit: Me + My Mat

A little bit of light and a little bit of heavy on the blog on this Wednesday, gems.

Remember a few weeks ago (but only a few posts ago) when I said I was attempting my first half marathon? Well, life got in the way a little bit this time, and my goal of running a half marathon is going to have to hold off a bit longer. With my crazy work schedule, lots of travel and a deep need for rest and relaxation, I couldn't kick off my training schedule in time for the half marathon. I hate to admit this, but when it comes to running and training for my first half, I didn't reach my goal.

But don't worry - there's always a bright side.

Truth be told, in the short amount of time I started training before life came and knocked me on my bum for a few weeks, I found out that running really isn't my thing. Sure, I love sports where running is involved (long-time soccer lover, over here), but running without chasing something just isn't my cup of tea.

When I joined my previous gym in January (as one of my resolutions, of course!), I started getting into yoga again. I had dabbled with it here and there in college, but began seriously practicing early this year. The result? I loved how yoga made me look and feel. It's no secret that I'm naturally a type-A, high-anxiety kind of gal, so finding something that calmed me down, made me relax and helped me stay in shape was a miracle. Yoga made me feel great, made me want to eat better, get more sleep, stand up straighter and go to class after class after class. There was just something about me + my yoga mat. But when we moved to our new apartment and out of my neighborhood by my gym, I had to cancel my membership, and have been yoga-less ever since.

It's taken me a few months to figure it out, but yoga is something I genuinely need - not only for my overall health, but for my sanity. It's quite possibly the one time of day I'm actually relaxed - and for a girl on the go, I just can't give that up.

Thankfully, Corepower Yoga was open on Labor Day and saved me from my exercise and anxiety rut. I've reactivated my membership, and am so excited to begin practicing again. See? A little bit of heavy, and a little bit of light. There's always a silver lining, in my opinion.

(pssst...this is how I began my Wednesday morning - a little sunrise yoga session with my BFF.)


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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Style: Back At It

Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes. I've got to tell you, it's been far too long since my last post. August was hectic, crazy and beyond insane, and my lack of posting definitely shows that. I almost feel guilty saying this, but I am so happy August has come and gone. September, with your cool weather, college football games and autumn activities, you're looking mighty fine to me.

This September, I'm excited for Minnesota Gopher football season, tailgating and going to my first few games as an alumna. And since September unofficially marks the beginning of fall, I'm also looking forward to wearing leather boots and scarves, and welcoming cooler weather.

I'm also obsessing over hot yoga (just reactivated my Corepower Yoga membership) to get in shape before my trip to Mexico this November. I can't wait to get back in the studio. When I'm not in the yoga studio, it's very likely you'll find me at home watching and rewatching episodes of New Girl. I'm beyond excited for the second season to be out on DVD already (October, can you come faster, please?!)

And last but not least, I'm unbelievably excited for our short little New York City getaway later this month. I've got a few surprises for Jack up my sleeve (it's his birthday in less than a week!), and I can already tell this trip will be one for the books.

What are you obsessing over this month?

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