Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Life: Presently

Oh September, where have you gone? You went way too quickly for my liking.

Making: an effort to head to yoga after work each day. While going anywhere but home is difficult, I never, ever regret going.
Watching: very little TV (busy bees over here), but Sons of Anarchy when we can.
Doing: yoga 3-4 times a week. Getting back in the swing of things. 
Thinking: that this 60 degree fall weather is spot on. Welcome, autumn.
Visiting: NYC this weekend for my BFF's 25th. Does it get any better than that?
Rocking: Denim everything. Denim dresses, denim shirts, denim pants, denim hats. Seriously, denim every damn day.
Spending:...more like saving! With a trip to Costa Rica just a few months away, I'm counting my pennies.
Shopping: While I'm saving, I did pick up a pair of jeans at Gap the other day (they're similar to these, but mine were on sale).
Eating: Avocado on toast with salt and pepper. Do it. 
Drinking: Wonderstuff beer at Bauhaus Brew Labs. My favorite place to have a beer and celebrate Oktoberfest. 
Missing: the days where the sun set at 9 p.m. 
Planning: our Costa Rica trip! We're searching AirBnB for rentals and are looking into a few adventure tours when we're there. If you have any recommendations, please share!
Working: my booty off. I went from having a slow August/September to having a KILLER October, November and December. Thank goodness for strong coffee and fun coworkers.
Reading: Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Goldman Gelman. I should be finishing it this week, just in time to read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling on our flight to NYC. 
Wanting: to cuddle up in wool blankets and nap all afternoon. 
Enjoying: reminiscing about our Vegas trip. I can't believe it's over already! Best birthday surprise ever (but maybe I'm biased because I planned it).
Writing: Blog posts and to-do lists.
Pinning: recipes with squash and farro. I just made this on Sunday night for work lunches this week (and it's good).
Cooking: This recipe for quinoa, brussels sprouts and squash. That squash and farro recipe above. And I want to give this quinoa, cauliflower with almond sriracha sauce a recipe a try this week too.
Pondering: What I should be for Halloween. I haven't dressed up the past two years, so I'm going crazy like a little kid.
Listening: to Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe. Surprised? I'm not.
Liking: the cool breeze drifting through our apartment with the windows open. If that doesn't scream fall, I'm not sure what does. 
Feeling: excited to visit my family in Wisconsin a few times this fall. Hey guys, I miss you.
Noticing: that my shoulder's feeling better during and after yoga (yay!)
Going: to bed early tonight. I swear I am this time.
Debating: some new ink (but aren't I always?)
Loving: My first sip of coffee in the morning at work. No better way to start the day.
|| Photo is property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. || 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Style: Wool Weekend

A nearly 80 degree day doesn't seem like the best time in the world to throw down some serious cash on wool, but that's exactly what we did on Saturday morning. In our defense, it is fall. And on this chilly morning, a wool blanket was exactly what I needed.

On Saturday morning, we got up at the crack of dawn (not the easiest feat after a Friday night celebrating Oktoberfest) and headed south to Faribault, MN, home to Faribault Woolen Mill. Faribault Woolen Mill is a historic landmark in Minnesota.  Founded on the banks of the Cannon River nearly 150 years ago, it is a living testament to American craftsmanship. Today, the mill produces beautiful, handcrafted blankets, throws, scarves and wool accessories.

And on Saturday, they were having a tent sale. Need I say more? 

Nearly 60 miles and multiple cups of coffee later, we walked away with enough wool to keep us warm even in the coldest of Minnesota winters. And with the cool fall temperatures today, the trip was well worth it.

While the tent sale is over, Faribault is still having a sale online. Make sure to check it out here!

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Style: Seattle Style

It felt like fall in Seattle when we visited a few weeks ago over Labor Day weekend; temperatures were in the 60s and low 70s, and we thought we were in heaven. Each day called for long sleeved shirts, rain jackets and Birkenstocks. It made my little heart skip a beat or two.

With Minneapolis on the cool-down over the next few weeks (ignoring the 80 degree weekend we're about to have), I can't wait to start dressing for fall. My closet is filled with sweaters, utility pants, booties and scarves, and I can't wait to start wearing them (and sharing them on the blog!)

With that, I'll leave you with my favorite look from our Seattle trip. We had just landed (so excuse the messy hair) and were bright eyed and busy tailed as we left our AirBnB to explore the city. A wonderful, wonderful day (plus, a bright yellow door makes everything better).

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

pants: Gap (similar) || top: Lululemon || shoes: Birkenstock || bag: Lululemon || sunnies: Ray Ban

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Recipe: Quinoa + Butternut Squash + Brussels Sprouts

Happy fall! One thing I love about this season is the food. Some of my absolute favorite foods are harvested and available in the fall - squash, Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, eggplant, kale and raspberries. Not to mention, with the temperatures dropping and the days getting shorter, it's totally acceptable to start cooking some comfort food favorites - bring on the homemade soups and casseroles.

Since we're still transitioning to fall and the temperatures haven't dropped quite yet, I experimented in the kitchen with an "almost fall" recipe. I was craving a dinner dish that had the perfect balance of hearty but light. I absolutely found it with this quinoa, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts dish.

The dish takes less than 40 minutes to make, and it yielded 3-4 days worth of meals. You could easily add a protein to this as well to give it a little more substance, but I promise you, it's good as is too!

|| Photo is property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats. ||


Quinoa: 1 cup
Brussels sprouts: 3 cups chopped (or more if you love 'em like I do)
Butternut squash: 3 cups chopped
Vegetable or chicken broth: 2 cups
Brown sugar: 1 tablespoon
Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
Butter: 2 tablespoons
Pine nuts: 1/4 cup
Parmesan to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Set the oven to 375 degrees. Chop brussels sprouts and arrange on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring in-between.

2. In the meantime, chop butternut squash. Heat butter in pan on the stove. Once the butter is melted, add brown sugar and butternut squash. Stir until caramelized and tender. 

3. During this time, bring the broth to a boil in a separate saucepan. Once the broth is boiling, add rinsed quinoa. Top the saucepan with a lid, and lower the head to simmer until quinoa has absorbed the broth, about 15 minutes.

4. Once the brussels sprouts, squash and quinoa are nearly finished, toast pine nuts in a separate pan, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

5. Once the brussels sprouts, butternut squash, quinoa and pine nuts are cooked, combine in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, and top with parmesan.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fit: Progress + New Adventures

It's been just over three months since I dislocated my shoulder (but in all honesty, it feels like it has been dislocated for much longer). Most days, my progress seems slow, like I'm not getting stronger or back to how I used to be. But then there are days where I'm a little more optimistic.

A few weeks ago, my physical therapist told me I could start doing headstands again. Even though I was pretty positive my shoulder would pop right back out of place the minute I tried (I mean what does he know, the guy with the medical training and years of experience?), I gave it a shot. The first few times I tried? I fell. Hard and without any grace or poise.


But then, one day, I stayed up. And I kept staying up. 

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

If this dumb dislocation has taught me anything, it's that sometimes life throws you lemons. And those lemons don't always equate to lemonade. Sometimes, the money you had saved up needs to go toward medical bills instead of new furniture or a new hobby. Lunch dates turn into physical therapy appointments, and mastering new yoga moves turns into learning how to get dressed with one arm (true story) or relearning how to do downward dog (also a true story).

But in the end, it's also taught me patience and persistence. It's brought me closer with my body and my physical being. It made me realize the beauty in natural beauty and being exactly who I am instead of trying to change myself. It has shown me that we're fragile but strong, and it taught me to be prepared for the unexpected. Most of all, it helped me further realize my passion for health and yoga and taking care of this body of mine. I'm not back to 100% yet (and who knows if I ever will be), but I'm getting there.

With that, let's lighten things up a bit, shall we? On to the GOOD news! Now that I'm finally able to get back into yoga, I realized that I need to start pursuing my yoga goals. While teacher training is out of the question for the distant future while I heal, I've been looking for a yoga retreat to attend. While I love taking classes, I think I'm ready to fully immerse myself into a week-long, healing, spiritual yoga program. And I know just the ladies I want to do it with!

This March, I'll be heading to Costa Rica for nearly 2 weeks with my best girl Caitlin to explore and practice yoga with Rachel Brathen! We're so excited to be attending Rachel's Costa Rica retreat next year and have already started planning our trip. Stay tuned for many, many more travel tips/planning details to come.

To progress and new adventures. Pura vida!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Style: Entering Fall

Yesterday absolutely felt like fall in Minneapolis. Sunny with highs in the mid 60s - if that doesn't feel like fall, I'm not sure what does.

The transition from summer into fall is always a favorite of mine. Trading in tank tops for oversize sweaters and sandals for boots - that's fall in my book. Since we're still in the 70s here in Minneapolis most days, it's all about layering. This fall, I'm looking for the perfect denim vest, a versatile pair of brown leather booties, a new beanie and scarf and some good, good wool socks. Paired with an olive Timex watch? That's the look I'm going for this fall.

Fall means my beauty/health regime also needs to change. It's all about hydration. I drink a lot of water each day, but I've been mixing it up lately with Vertical Water. It's water that comes straight from maple trees and is naturally sweet (and so, so delicious). To hydrate my lips, I'm transitioning from lip gloss to lip balm, and I'm currently craving all of the tinted lip balms from Burt's Bees (so, so good). Because my face has been dry and tight, I recently began using the EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge. Mixed with my daily face wash, it makes my face feel so smooth and healthy. I'm also loving Aveda's Witch Hazel spray (smells so good), and L'Oreal's Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque (especially in that smoky brown color). 

Fall, you're nearly here. Welcome to the party.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Travel: Seattle

Oh Seattle. I always had this idea of Seattle in my mind; a place serene, mildly untouched, calm, collected and with a mind of its own. Truthfully, I think I loved Seattle before we ever touched down at SeaTac. When we left, we were sure we were head over heels. We were in deep.

While four days wasn't quite long enough (we could have spent the rest of our lives exploring the PNW), we're happy we saw what we did, and we already have some of our favorite Seattle haunts. If you're traveling to the Emerald City soon, these locales won't disappoint.

 - Stay somewhere other than Downtown Seattle to explore the local neighborhoods. We recommend an AirBnB, like the location we stayed at in Wallingford (our hosts Brian and Gina were so sweet and welcoming).

 - Go where the locals go. Head to Thai Tom near the University District for unbelievably good (and cheap) Thai Food, and stop by a local pub (especially one that brews their own beer, like Elysian Brewing) and grab a good brew. And get a good read in at Half Price Books.

 - Drink a lot of coffee. Head to the original Starbucks (how can you not?), but spend most of your time at the local shops, like Zoka Coffee.

 - Walk around Pike Place Market, and eat fresh seafood. A lot of it. As much as you can.

 - Go to a Sounders game. GO SOUNDERS!

 - Adventure around your neighborhood. Take in the unique houses, the succulents, foliage, and even say hello to Dave Matthews if you can.

 - Take in the view and enjoy the rain.

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


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fit: Yoga Girl Challenge: Days 16, 17, 18

Day 16: The altar.

This is one of my favorite places in our apartment; a tiny window ledge only inches from the floor. While it doesn't look like your typical altar, everything on this ledge has meaning. the zen garden my mom helped me make, birch candle holders my dad cut from trees at our cabin, the succulents Jack and I bought (both in Minnesota and Wisconsin) and have somehow kept alive for two years. All sitting next to the window that lets in the smallest amount of light. Such a unique, important little place in our home. 

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

Day 17: I love you

What a stud. I captured this picture over our Labor Day vacation in Seattle. It was such an amazing weekend exploring Seattle with that one (more to come about that soon!) You are a true adventurer and I love that about you. You bring out the best in me and make me laugh like no one else can. I'm a lucky girl.

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

Day 18: Mother Nature

While there were three more posts in the Yoga Girl challenge, I ended my challenge right here (Seattle got in the way of the remainder of the challenge in the best way possible). I explored Mother Nature for four glorious days in Seattle with my best friend. Rain, cloudy skies, lush trees and pretty flowers. I loved everything about that rainy little city.

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

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