Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life: Hiatus

Hello, my friends, from the world of cough drops, Robitussin, Kleenex and sleepless nights. For the past week (currently on day ten), I've been sick. With a virus. That I can't remember the name of, or pronounce. And no amount of sleep, over the counter drugs or orange juice has kicked it to the curb.

I lasted until the end of February. I thought I had escaped the winter cold altogether. Well, I thought wrong.

But even though I feel like I'm coughing my lungs out, I have done a little more than lay in bed all day.

Over the past few days, I did lay in bed. And I worked from home (in bed). I drank lots of orange juice and ate about 4,000 calories worth of cough drops. I did do all of that (and Jack was quite the handsome little doctor taking care of me whiel I did it!)

But then...when I felt a little better, Jack and I got hooked on our newest addiction, House of Cards. And we watched a lotttt of episodes (we're already on season two, and it's only been a few days). I got my hair cut, visited the cutest Northeast shop, Parc Boutique (and spent more money than I should have using the excuse "I'm sick, I deserve it"), and celebrated a good friend's birthday with local brews and dinner in Northeast Minneapolis (where I danced on a snow bank). We brunched and ate a 1.5 pound donut (yes, that happened), made the hellish Sunday trip to IKEA and redid part of our living room. And it looks amazing. Who knew what a new entertainment center could do to a room! To reward ourselves, we made delicious "carbs don't count/feel better" pasta and ate mounds of ice cream (oopsies, healthy eating plan). Come Monday morning, I worked my booty off at work and walked home from work in the frigid cold to clear my sinuses. To treat myself, I celebrated with a healthy dinner, my favorite pinot noir and an absolutely fantastic movie on Netflix (The Kids Are All Right - a must, must see).

On this Tuesday morning, I'm caffeinating like you wouldn't believe, and hoping this cold is almost done running its course.

Tuesday, you're mine.


|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Please give credit. ||

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Life: Snowy Saturday

We're taking it easy today, you guys. While we didn't do anything crazy for Valentine's Day (let's just say we were asleep by 10:30 p.m.), we're enjoying every second of this relaxing, snowy Saturday. 

Enjoy yours. xo,


 Valentine's Day roses

 Jack made homemade quiche for our breakfast in bed.

Snowy boots. 

Our beyond gorgeous backyard. 

He's a catch. 

Red lips + rosy cheeks. 


The man's got style.  

Iced coffee in February for him. 

Piping hot chai tea latte for her. 

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Please give credit. ||

Friday, February 14, 2014

Holiday: Hugs + Kisses

It's here! Happy Valentine's Day, gems! While I think every day should be about love, generosity and happiness, I still adore this day. Any holiday that encourages people to tell their family, friends and other loved ones how much they mean to them is A-ok in my book. So today, I'm celebrating love. And lots of it.

For us, Valentine's Day has never been about the lovey dovey cards, heart-shaped chocolates or bouquets of red roses. Especially with our busy schedules, spending time together, just the two of us, is more important and special than ever (but I have to say, the kid can write a damn good love love note!)

So, after busy days at work, we'll head home to cook dinner (well, I might do most of the cooking) together in our kitchen (salmon, mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach...mmmm...). Don't worry, lots of red wine and dark chocolate will be involved!

In our comfiest clothes, we'll spend the evening at home, spending time together...quite possibly having an "Apocalypse Marathon." Because that's us. And that's how we celebrate Valentine's Day. With pajamas, dessert and apocalypses.

...and we may or may not be taking a peek at the most recent issue of Minnesota Bride! pssst...you can find me on pages 64-67!

Happy Valentine's Day. Enjoy today, gems.


|| Photos are property of Jackson Faith Photography. Do not use or distribute. ||

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recipe: Hot + Sweet

Another semi-Valentine's Day themed post. Can you tell I'm a little over the moon with this holiday?!

For our Super Bowl party at Jack's parents house a earlier this month, I was at a loss for what to bring for everyone to snack on. I usually choose my go-to recipe of buffalo chicken dip, but Jack was far too quick and beat me to the punch - he wanted to make his famous chicken wings. So, back to the drawing board I went.

After getting lost in cyber space, I stumbled upon Noms for the Poor (a seriously great new favorite food blog of mine). The most recent recipe on her blog at the time was for sriracha caramel corn. I mean come on, how was I supposed to say no to that? So I made it. Almost immediately. Done and done.

What I seriously loved about this recipe was that it's technically a dessert due to its sweetness, but the sriracha really helps bring the heat and pack a punch. While I wasn't planning on making a ton of desserts for Valentine's Day (other than the German chocolate cake Jack requested), I think this dessert is going to have to make another appearance.  Equal parts hot and sweet? If that doesn't sound like the perfect fit for Valentine's Day, I don't know what does. {psssst....I'm making this treat again for Valentine's Day at the office tomorrow!}

Noms for the Poor, you rock.


Recipe: Sriracha Popcorn
Recipe modified from Noms for the Poor

Popcorn: 1 bag popped (we used all-natural, unflavored, lightly buttered/salted popcorn)
Butter: 1/2 cup unsalted
Brown sugar: 1/2 cup
Salt: 1 tsp
Baking soda: 1/4 tsp
Sriracha: 1 tablespoon

1. Pop popcorn and put into a large mixing bowl.
2. Put butter into saucepan and heat until melted.
3. Once butter is melted, add brown sugar and salt to mix. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 4-5 minutes.
4. Remove mixture from heat and stir in baking soda and sriracha.
5. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir (a spatula seemed to work best), coating popcorn with mixture. You can add more sriracha here if you want some more heat!
6. Spread the coated popcorn on baking sheets. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring popcorn every 15 minutes.
7. Let cool before serving or eating, and enjoy!

|| Photo is property of Twentyapolis.  Please give credit. ||

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Style: Under the Weather Grays

Oh winter sickness, you finally caught up with me.

After the quickest bout of the stomach flu ever (less than 8 hours...or maybe it was food poisoning), I headed to work yesterday morning feeling more than a little under the weather. While I dressed nicely for work, I did the quickest wardrobe change ever when I got home from work (leggings + the biggest sweater possible in every shade of gray). Sick days are the worst.

Luckily, that handsome guy of mine knew the way to my heart (which coincidentally is through my stomach), and took me for a quick little date night at Punch Pizza. I ate way more than I thought possible, and loved catching up with my workaholic man while Dean Martin played in the background. Turns out my sad little Tuesday wasn't so bad after all.


|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Please give credit. ||

boots: Coconuts Britain Riding Boot || leggings: Old Navy || purse: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target || top: Gap (similar)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Style: Blue + Black

JT, ladies and gentlemen. JUSTIN. TIMBERLAKE. It rarely happens, but this girl is at an absolute loss when it comes to words to explain his show in St. Paul last night. The man is a genius. Last night, I sang {more like screamed} his songs, nearly had a heart attack when he stood unbelievably close to use on a moving stage {MOVING STAGE}, shook my booty and had an absolutely fantastic time. JT, MSP bows down to you. Please come back soon.

Obviously, no dinner + JT concert is complete with out a good, good outfit to celebrate. As I got dressed last night, I realized nearly everything I was wearing was from Target. I chose blue + black (and a light pink lip) to pull together my wintery look. 

This morning, I'm a little tired and my feet are killing me (not my shoes' fault - I don't think anyone should really be standing and dancing for 3+ hours on concrete), but JT was worth it. Here's to kicking off the week right.


|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Please give credit. ||

pants: Gap (similar) || top: Target (Mossimo) || shoes: Target (Mossimo) || bag: 3.1 Philip Lim for Target || jacket: BB Dakota

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Style: Casual Friday

One of my favorite things about working where I do is casual Fridays. The phrase itself is beyond glorious. Don't get me wrong, I definitely don't wear a suit to work every day {we have a business casual dress code}, but there's something about getting dressed in jeans and comfy shoes on Friday mornings that just starts everything off on the right foot.

Yesterday's outfit was a good one. I snagged that loung-y top the evening before at Forever 21, and kept cozy in my favorite scarf and boots. Plus, my hair cooperated with me {always a good thing}, and I was able to sneak away from my desk for a few minutes for a quick break/photo shoot with my coworker, Kelsey. She is a gem for being my photographer for a day {and maybe more days in the future...if she's OK with that!} A good, good day it was.

Well, I'm off to brunch/farmers market/oil change/errands and a million different things. Enjoy your Saturday, loves.


|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Please give credit. ||

top: Forever 21 || jeans: Ralph Lauren (similar, but mine were from T.J. Maxx) || scarf: Target || boots: Uggs

Friday, February 7, 2014

Style: Valentine's Day Gift Guide || For Him

It's Friday. And Friday is a good day. Probably the best day. So let's celebrate with a Valentine's Day gift guide.

With only a week left until Valentine's Day {goodness gracious, I'm excited}, today calls for a gift guide for him. Darlings, I hope you're treating yourself to a few Valentine's Day gifts as well, but if you have a special Mr. in your life to buy for, this post is for you.

If I'm being honest, I actually bought Jack's Valentine's Day gift a while ago. Like...almost an embarrassingly long time ago. It might have been three weeks ago...or maybe four. Actually five. OKAY OKAY, you got me...I bought his gift after Christmas. But, there was a very good reason for doing so! So let's not be too judge-y here, OK? I love buying gifts and I love this holiday!

Anyway, let's get back to the gift guide. Whatever your guy is into, I'm hoping you can find something for him on this list! Don't worry, all of these items are Jack-approved. Actually, some of the items on this list are his favorites {let's just say it was very, very easy for me to come up with this list, thanks to him!} His favorites? Dollar Shave Club, all day, every day {the guy's obsessed, and his face looks and feels so, so good.} Keen footwear and Nixon watches. Coffee {as much caffeine as he can get} and music. Drinking American spirits with the guys. Good neckwear and Faribault Woolen Mills. Oh, and chocolate {of any kind}.

But in all seriously, while I truly hope these ideas are helpful, sometimes {who am I kidding, every time}, the best gifts are the ones that didn't cost a thing. An evening spent together and a truthful, well-written card are two of the best gifts I have ever gotten, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Happy Valentine's Day, happy Friday, and happy shopping.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fit: Staying Fit With Your Loved One {Run Shop Eat Repeat}

It has been far, far too long since the loveliest of lovelies, Sarah of Run Shop Eat Repeat, has guest posted on Twentyapolis. To celebrate it being almost Friday, and that Valentine's Day is only a week away, she's sharing a few ideas to stay fit with your loved one on Valentine's Day. Thanks, love!



Hello Twentyapolis friends, I am so happy to be back guest blogging for you guys! 

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you know what that means – love is in the air, and candy and chocolate is just about everywhere else. My husband and I have been together for over ten years now and we have plenty of chocolates, homemade cupcakes and four course candlelit dinners under our belts, so we’re celebrating the most romantic day of the year a little differently this year: with a gym date.

Yep, we’re spending Valentine’s Day at the gym… and couldn’t be more excited about it! We’ve committed to helping each other stay on track with our health and fitness goals, and scheduling regular work outs together have become an important component of that plan. Whether you’re splurging or keeping it healthy this Valentine’s Day, all this romantic togetherness provides the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to reassess your health and get active together. We’ve all heard the saying, the couple that plays together stays together, so here are my top five tips for staying active and fit (and have fun doing it) with your loved one this Valentine’s Day:  

Plan a romantic fitness date – The majority of our Friday night “date nights” start with a workout or walk together. If you’re not a gym fan, try doing something active that’s fun like hiking, skiing, swimming or playing tennis. If you’re looking for a challenge, try a new activity like paddle boarding or participating in a local race.

Give a fitness-related gift – If you belong to a gym already, consider treating your partner a session with a personal trainer. If yoga or golf is more along the lines of your partner’s fitness style, then there are plenty of fun accessories that are sure to be a welcome present. Other ideas include a subscription to a health magazine, workout clothes or in-home gym equipment.

Train together – Spring is right around the corner, which means so is race season. Fortunately Minneapolis has some sort of race going on every weekend so there’s never a shortage of events to sign up of. From themed-5k’s to triathlons and the tough mudder, there’s a race for everyone so pick something that interests you both and train for it together!

Join a recreational sport together – There are plenty of co-ed sports leagues during all times of the year. From beach volleyball to indoor bowling to tennis, there are lots of options out there. 

Involve the dog – If you’re itching to get more active but your partner’s resisting, it’s time to enlist the help of your four legged friend. Dogs need exercise too and if your pup is anything like mine, he’ll be pulling both of you down the street in no time. 

You can find me at www.runshopeatrepeat.com or on twitter or Instagram for more fitness tips and ideas. I hope you have a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!

|| Photos are property of Run Shop Eat Repeat. Please give credit. ||

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beauty: Lipstick Sessions

I love a good pink lip.

Especially in the winter, I try to dress up my lips for a few reasons. First, winter begs for a bright lip. Nothing stands out more against the stark white snow than a pop of pink lipstick, especially on the coldest of days. And second, the bright pink against my all-too pale skin makes me feel less like a ghost, if that's at all possible! But my favorite reason? The perfect color lipstick can help pull an entire outfit together like that. And in the dead of winter, I need all of the help I can get

Oh, and Valentine's Day is around the corner, so, just pink. Obviously.

My lipstick revolution really began over the past year. Truth be told, if you would have asked me a year ago if I would own as many lipsticks as I do, I would have told you that you were dreaming. As I was preparing for this post, these weren't even all of the lipsticks I had stashed in my makeup drawer. What a change a year makes. You can officially call me a lipstick lover.

Below are a few of my favorites. The best part is that not one of these lipsticks even remotely broke my bank. I actually think my favorites are the NYX lipsticks, which are a steal for around $4 (not to mention, they last all day).

What are your favorite lipstick brands and shades?


|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Please give credit. ||

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Style: Treat Yourself: Valentine's Day

You guys, IT'S ALMOST VALENTINE'S DAY. Remember how I said Valentine's Day was one of my favorite holidays? Well, the celebrating for this girl starts now (sorry for the red, pink and white holiday decorations, Jack...)

If you're wondering where you've seen this post before, I guest posted on Run Shop Eat Repeat on Saturday! I actually ended up loving this post and the message behind it so much, that I thought I needed to share it again :) 

As I explained last year, having a boyfriend and being in love is not the reason I love Valentine's Day. Quite the contrary - I loved Valentine's Day welllllll before I ever had a special guy to celebrate it with. The holiday really is a combination of my most favorite things - chocolate, jewelry, great food, desserts galore, sweet music and romantic movies. And the best part was, I never, ever felt I needed to have significant other to be able to truly celebrate and enjoy myself on Valentine's Day. The more I think about it, some of my favorite, most memorable Valentine's Days were the days I spent treating myself - whether it was a mani/pedi, chocolate, a new piece of jewelry or a fancy new haircut. While it's nice to have someone to love (I like to celebrate that relationship every day), I think, deep down, the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. And in my opinion, there's no better day than Valentine's Day to celebrate that relationship. So whether you're in a committed relationship or happily single, it's time to treat yourself - you deserve it!

With that, here are a few things I'm swooning over this Valentine's Day (men's Valentine's Day gift guide coming soon!)


Monday, February 3, 2014

Recipe: "Still Winter" Soup

Even though it's February, it's still winter. Yes, the days might be getting longer (more sunshine is always a good thing), spring is on the horizon and love is in the air. But it's still freezing, there are still endless amounts of snow on the ground, and I am wearing no less layers than I was in December. Oh, and that groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter (we live in Minnesota, so obviously).

So yes, unfortunately, it's still winter.

Surprisingly, I've made much less soup this winter than I thought I would. Jack and I love soup - it's so easy to make, is incredibly easy to bring to work for lunches and is the only thing that seems to make us feel any better when it's -10 degrees outside. So yesterday, I was able to sneak in some time to make homemade soup while making our Super Bowl game day treats.

I stumbled upon this recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess and knew immediately that I had to make it. The best part that I had all of the ingredients in our kitchen to make the soup (well, all the ingredients, with a few modifications to the original recipe). Let me tell you, that Gluten-Free Goddess knows her stuff. This soup is incredible. And is exactly what we needed to help us start this chilly week off on the right foot.


Recipe: "Still Winter" Soup
A modified version from Gluten-Free Goddess

Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
Garlic clove: 1, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, depending on preference
Chicken or turkey sausage: 4 total (we used turkey)
Sweet potatoes: 2 medium
Onion: 1/4 chopped
Fire roasted tomatoes, diced: 14-28 ounces with juice, depending on preference
Chicken broth: 32 ounces
Kale: 1 bunch, washed and shredded into 2-3 inch pieces
Salt and pepper

1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Let cook for one minute.
2. Cut sausages into preferred size. Add sausages to soup pot. Let cook for five minutes.
3. Add potatoes, diced tomatoes and broth to soup pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
4. Add washed, shredded kale to soup pot. Cook until kale is tender, around 10 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Remove from heat and enjoy!

|| Photo is property of Twentyapolis.  Please give credit. ||

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mood: February Feel

Oh February, I like how you feel.

While I'm busier than ever at work, this month gets me. February, in only 28 days, you truly know how to get work done and pack a serious punch. Valentine's Day, President's Day (which oddly means the day off work for me), and the beginning signs of spring. Minnesotans know that February is typically the first month that temperatures aren't below zero, the snow seems to lighten up a little bit, and the days begin to get noticeably longer. And just like that, February's 28 days are over, and it's March. And you know what that means - the end of winter is closer than ever, and spring is just around the corner!

In February, I tend to "nest" a little bit. It's basically month four of our winter, so being outdoors has pretty much lost all novelty at this point. Not to mention, Valentine's Day gives me the excuse I need to stay inside all day baking, eating chocolate-covered everything, and watching the sappiest movies all day long while staying in my pajamas for as long as I like. What's not to love?

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

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