Monday, March 31, 2014

Style: Spring Shopping

You guys, I still can't handle how gorgeous it was in Minneapolis yesterday. Sunny and 60 degrees? Goodness gracious, I daresay yesterday was the best day of 2014 thus far. While snow is in the forecast again this week (tears will be shed), I can't shake this past weekend from my mind. Sunny and warm, it felt like spring was finally here.

While I'm trying to count my pennies for our upcoming trip to China, my need for new spring clothes got the best of me this weekend. But don't worry - I got great deals on my new purchases, of course!

On Saturday, Jack and I headed to the Lululemon warehouse sale to score some semi-on-sale yoga and running gear. Much to our surprise, we only had to wait around 25 minutes to get in. We each picked up a few odds and ends, but the score of the day was the fantastic spring jacket you see below (a steal for only $49!)

On Sunday, the warm, sunny weather took me and my BFF Becca outside. After strolling through Northeast hitting up some of our favorite locales (Dunn Bros and Rusty Taco), we headed to Parc Boutique, another absolute favorite. After an hour or so of shopping, that cute little denim hat and a sunny summer dress (not pictured) came home with me. Truth be told, my bank account is very, very lucky I exercised some self control that day.

So snow, it's about time you go away - me, my new coat and denim hat do not like you one bit.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life: 100 Happy Days

I've been hearing about the 100 Happy Days challenge for a while now, and thought it was about time I gave it a try. Thank goodness my partner in crime/fellow challenge lover Sarah at Run Shop Eat Repeat was interested in taking on the challenge with me! After the Blog Every Day in May and Blogtember challenges we tackled together, it just wouldn't feel right kicking off another new challenge without her! 

So what is the 100 Happy Days challenge? It's simple - post one thing each day that makes you happy. The goal of the challenge is to slow down, relax and appreciate the everyday happinesses in life. With how crazy and hectic things have been for me lately, this is just what I need.

Each day (or nearly each day) for the next 100 days, I'll be posting a picture of something that makes me happy with the hashtag #100happydays. Since I don't want to completely overwhelm you with a photo each day, I'll give an update on what makes me happy every week or so. If you're feeling like you need a happiness pick-me-up, feel free to join in this challenge with us!

What a difference a day makes. From moody to happy just like that.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Life: Moody Monday

I'm moody this Monday morning. 

You know those weekends that are just so good that the thought of them ending is actually kind of painful? That's how I'm feeling today. After an incredibly relaxing and much-needed weekend in Wisconsin with Jack and my family, I'm desperately wishing today wasn't Monday. Why can't the weekend just be one day longer?

Not to mention, there's more snow in our forecast this week. Monday, I think you should just call it a day and go home.

To try to brighten my mood and lift my attitude, these recent Instagram photos are totally taking me back to a truly wonderful past two weeks. A weekend spent at home lunching with my mom and making our hand-crafted old fashioneds with my dad, spending last weekend in Chicago with my best girls, cooking, drinking, wearing spring clothes and prepping for a new article for Minnesota Bride

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

Monday, you're a rough one, but let's do this.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Travel: China

That's right, we're headed east. Way, way east.

This trip was both a complete surprise and yet, no surprise at all (let me explain). Jack's parents have been planning a trip to China for some time now, and while we were desperately hoping we could tag along, our busy work schedules and a handful of other things made that impossible (or so we thought). A few weeks ago, the fates aligned and our calendars opened up.

So, yes, we're going to China. In 10 weeks. For 10 days. Excitement doesn't even begin to describe it!

Unfortunately, I took nearly three years of Italian in college, so don't know a single word of Mandarin Chinese. Luckily, Jack's mom and brother are conversational in the language, so I'm covered. Not to mention, all of Jack's family members have been to China before (him included), so they know exactly where to go, what to eat, where to stay, what attractions to see etc. I couldn't be going with a more knowledgeable or generally amazing group!

There will be much more to come in the coming weeks regarding our newest adventure (think travel necessities, how to survive 16 hour long flights, packing etc.), so bear with me while we prep for our trip!

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

I'm so excited to head to China with that guy!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beauty: Face Time

It's taken me quite a long time to find a skincare + makeup routine that works for me (remember this confession I had nearly a year ago?). After a lot of trial and error and soul searching, I've finally got this whole "taking care of my skin" thing figured out. 

Before I spill my beauty secrets, a little bit about my skincare and beauty routine - I keep it very, very simple. I have never used a ton of high-end products, nor am I a heavy makeup wearer. I never have been, and truth be told, I don't think I ever will be. Quite the contrary, I feel my most comfortable when my face is covered in sunscreen and lip balm for hot summer days spent at our cabin or on the lake.

But because I can't be outdoors soaking in the sun every day (a girl can dream, right?), most days call for clean skin and minimal makeup.

Let's start with the basics. Each day, I wash my face with Neutrogena's Ultra Gentile Daily Cleanser. As you can tell by my many, many Neutrogena posts, I truly adore this brand. I grew up using my mom's Neutrogena products well before I could have even dreamed of needing them, and have continued using them to this day. I'm prone to allergic reactions of all sorts, so anything that reacts well with my skin while keeping it healthy is A-OK in my book.

After using cleanser and towel drying my face, it's time for makeup primer. I (unfortunately) end up touching my face quite frequently through the day, so using primer is a necessity for me. I'm currently using Smashbox Color Correcting Foundation Primer. It's incredibly lightweight and creates a great foundation for my makeup. 

Next, I apply two very light types of foundation. The first is Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Compact Makeup + Broad Spectrum SPF. Not only does it give my skin the polished, even-toned look I need, but it has SPF 55, which is a godsend for me (I frequently forget sunscreen unless I'm at the lake). Next comes Neutrogena's Mineral Sheers Compact Powder Foundation. Since I use only a light amount of the compact makeup, I finish off my foundation with a hint of light powder, which is perfect for sensitive skin types. It goes on light and expertly matches my skin tone, rather than making me look pale and porcelain.

For blush and bronzer, I use Bare Minerals Warmth and Bare Minerals "The French Kiss." Two absolute favorites of mine that go on light and clean and make me look all sorts of radiant even in the dead of winter. 

When it comes to eye makeup, a bit of natural, plain black mascara is usually where my beauty routine ends (I really like to keep my look simple). For mascara, I swear by Maybelline's Great Lash. My mom has always used this product, and while I've tried other mascaras over the years, I've never found one I've liked as much as great lash. Why fix what isn't broken, right? If I'm dressing my look up a bit, I'll add Covergirl LineExact Liquid Eyeliner and Covergirl Shadow Pencil in Melted Caramel. While they're more than my usual makeup routine calls for, the earthy colors help my eyes pop and tend to match with whatever I'm wearing.

Lastly, no look is complete without a colorful lip. I either use Nyx Extra Creamy Lipstick, or Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm. 

Phew. After all that, I'm ready to start my day (miraculously, it only takes me about 10 minutes!)

After a hard day's work, my nightly routine is all about simplicity (this routine's short and sweet - I promise!) After washing my face (again) with Neutrogena's Ultra Gentile Daily Cleanser, I remove the rest of my makeup using Up & Up Makeup Removing Towelettes from Target. Before heading to bed, I use Neutrogena's Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Night Cream. It keeps my face hydrated all night long, and I swear there's something about that lovely scent that just lulls a girl to sleep...

Do you use any of these products or have others you'd like to share? I'm all ears!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Style: Spring Things

With a new season comes a new wardrobe (or at least a few pieces). While my bank account isn't thrilled about it, I am craving all things earthy + light for spring.

I'm not the typical pastels and skirts kind of gal. Never have been, and {likely} never will be. I am, however, an earthy color loving/stripe wearing/converse sneaker/faux leather/denim everything/throw my hair up in a pony tail and call it a day kind of girl. Spring, I think we're going to get along just fine.

While it's not necessarily warm enough to wear t-shirts and shorts in spring, what I love about spring is the ability to layer and wear different combinations of clothing {my favorite being a long-sleeved tee and shorts, or the classic t-shirt and jeans}. This spring, I'm planning on mixing up those combinations with leather avarcas {buying so many of these for our upcoming summer trips}, converse sneakers, woven hats, satchels and clutches. Pulled together with a spring-y nail polish and a bright colored hair tie, and I'll call it a day.

shorts || dress || tennies || tee || hair ties || nail polish || hat || clutch || sandals || sunnies || shirt || bag

Spring, you are a beautiful thing.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Life: Presently...

Happy Tuesday, gems. 

Making: homemade everything. I love cooking.
Watching: Nashville, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD on Hulu.
Doing: laundry. Lots of laundry.
Thinking: that girls weekend in Chicago is going to be oh so fabulous.
Rocking: new leather heels/boots from Target.
Eating: hummus and kale chips. And dark chocolate everything.
Drinking: lots of red wine.
Missing: summer nights and all that seemed accomplishable due to the late setting sun. So excited to get it back with Daylight Savings.
Planning: our newest adventure (stay tuned for more!)
Working: on getting back into daily morning yoga sessions. My busy schedule has not made this easy.
Reading: this incredible article, Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney
Wanting: new clothes for spring (if it ever arrives).
Enjoying: listening to new music with Jack (we're currently spinning Foxygen, Haim and Iron & Wine).
Writing: blog posts and sappy love notes to Jack because I miss him errrr'day.
Pinning: spring things.
Pondering: new posts for the upcoming week.
Listening: to music for upcoming concerts (Haim and Mogwai).
Liking: weekends spent lounging around our apartment.
Feeling: oh so excited to see my family next weekend.
Knowing: that winter is nearing its cold, bitter end.
Noticing: that the days are getting longer.
Debating: walking to work this week (it's supposed to be warm!)
Marveling: at how much I can accomplish on a Sunday with a good night's sleep and a bit of determination.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Mood: March Feel

Happy Monday, gems.

So, what do you think of the new look and feel of Twentyapolis? A redesign has been in the works for quite some time now, and I'm so excited the updates are finally live! Similar to all previous web designs, I wanted to stay true to Twentyapolis' roots - a simple theme based in black and white with a modern edge. I hope you like what you see!

But in even better news, it's 43+ degrees in Minneapolis today. An end to this winter is in sight! Oh March, I'm liking you already.

This month, Jack and I have a lot of travel and to-do's on our plates. This coming weekend, I'm heading to Chicago for a few days on a girls trip, and the weekend after, we're heading to Wisconsin to spend some much-needed time with my family. And in-between flights and long drives, we're ironing out details for another upcoming trip we're embarking on in June (more to come on that soon!) and are in the midst of planning a cabin weekend with friends in July. Not to mention, this little spurt of warm weather and extra evening sunlight has made me crave new recipes, new outfits, new goals in the yoga studio and new tasks to add to my to-do list. I know you've just begun, but March, I like what I see.

shoes || latte || list || yoga || sprouts

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