Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday: The Great Relaxation

For my family, the weekend after Thanksgiving isn't about waking up early and heading to the department stores; quite the contrary, we call the day a success if we've slept in, enjoyed our morning coffee together and spent the day relaxing on the couch, enjoying each-other's company (OK, we might do a little online shopping, too...)

This weekend, I'm planning on spending lots of time on the couch catching up on emails, blogging and watching design shows with my mom (because obviously). In-between naps, coffee and maybe a nighttime old fashioned (more on how to make those here), I'll be on Netflix, catching up on some great documentaries I've been waiting to watch.

I've always loved documentaries. There's something about the mix of emotion and education that draws me in. Thankfully, Netflix has a handful of really great documentaries that you can stream online, and for my lazy weekend on the couch, I'm hoping to watch one or two of them.

Some of the ones on the top of my list? Burt's Buzz, Page One: Inside the New York Times, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Blindsight, Chasing Beauty, Half the Sky and Encounters at the End of the World.

Truthfully? I've already watched two of them. I'm on a roll....

Enjoy your weekend, gems.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Style: Sister Sister

Happy Thanksgiving, loves! Our family started out the day with cooking, coffee and our first annual "Boonie-Boy 5K" (inspired by our lovable pooch!) Now it's time for family time and lots of yummy food.

Remember my post the other day about Thanksgiving style? I couldn't be more comfortable and I'm loving every second of it. It makes me wonder why I tried wearing structured sweaters and dresses all these years! While everyone's style is different, I've finally found my go-to Thanksgiving style, perfect for lots of eating and relaxing.

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is that my sister's home! While our style is rather different, we can agree on one thing; comfort is key when it comes to our Thanksgiving wardrobe. Before we headed out to celebrate Thanksgiving with our extended family, we had to snap a few photos. Mom and Boone joined too!

Have a happy day with you and yours.

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life: Staying Present

Especially when life gets busy, I find it hard to stay focused. Instead of living in the present, I sometimes find myself planning for the future, or pondering things that happened in the past. In doing so, it's hard to be "here."

It's times like this where I really need to step back and relax (and this doesn't always come easy for me!) November flew by, and I'm not sure where I was for most of it. With the holiday season upon us, I'm more aware than ever that I want to be present for it.

While I'm no expert, I have a handful of ways that help me stay grounded and focused on the now.

Read before bed. It's my ritual to check my social media and emails before bed, and then again first thing in the morning. It's not a good way to start or end the day. If you have the same habit, try substituting 20 minutes of reading before bed. I've been doing so over the last few days and it helps calm my busy mind before bed. I actually find that I fall asleep much easier after reading versus interacting with my phone.

Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning with no distraction. I'm most "meditative" in the morning; most mornings, I'm awake for nearly an hour before I've spoken a word. The morning is a great time to let yourself wake up, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and focus on the "now."

Take a bath. I think baths can be the cure for almost anything. Especially when you need to focus on staying present, a bath is a great way to relax both mentally and physically. But the key is having no distractions (i.e. your phone, a good book or even music). Be in silence and just be.

Breathe. Take a moment to sit down and focus on your breathing, taking deep inhales and exhales. Lower your heart rate and be still. The best part is that this can be done anywhere - at work, on the bus, in your apartment, at a restaurant, at the gym; just breathe.

Go on a walk. Nature is magic. Go outside, take a walk, sit on a park bench, go on a bike ride, lay in the grass. Be one with the outdoors.

Grab paper and a pen. Draw, doodle, write, anything. Just you, a pen and paper. Go for it.

Do yoga. This is a no-brainer. The combination of breathing, relaxing your body and focusing on you is the best medicine.

Count your blessings. Especially when life gets chaotic, being thankful gets put on the back burner. Focus on the good things in life, the people that matter to you, the experiences you cherish and your dreams and ambitions.

Relax, be present, be here.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Style: Thanksgiving Threads

Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family, friends and eating good, good food. So while I'm all about having a chic outfit to celebrate in, my ultimate goal is comfort.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of comfortable (yet stylish) apparel. At any given time, there's a 50% chance I'm wearing leggings (in the winter, the chances are pretty good that those leggings are accompanied by an oversized sweater and scarf). I've always preferred looser fitting clothing; something about an oversized silhouette with nice accessories and a good boot just screams "chic" to me. Especially during these cold winter months, I'm drawn to anything that allows me to bundle up and keep warm while still looking stylish.

There's really no better time for loose fitting, comfortable clothing than Thanksgiving, right? In-between snacking, hugging relatives, cooking, bustling around the kitchen and relaxing over a full meal, an elastic waistband and baggy top are a necessity; I'm thinking cable knits, stretchy leggings, fluffy scarves, a warm beanie and a good pair of boots. So for Thanksgiving, I'm channeling these stylish women to stay cozy, comfortable and chic as we carve the turkey.

So tell me, what are you wearing this Thanksgiving?
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Life: Presently

Oh November, you always seem to be the busiest month for me when it comes to work travel. After two weeks on the road, I'm so excited to be spending cozy evenings in our apartment in Minneapolis, followed by a long weekend in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.

...wait, did I just say Thanksgiving? Goodness gracious, the time is just flying by.

Making: a (hopefully) super delicious sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving. Recipe coming soon...
Watching: Begin Again with Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley. I recommend watching with a nice glass of red wine and a cozy blanket.
Doing: yoga after nearly a month of traveling/catching up from being sick. It feels so good!
Thinking: that 2015 is a good time to get my finances in order. I've got some number crunching to do before then...
Visiting: so many places! November has taken me to Kansas City, Portland (and all over the PNW), and finally to Oshkosh for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Rocking: a new beanie and mittens from REI. It's chilly here in Minneapolis!
Spending: more time in usual cuddling in our bed. Leaving those down comforters never gets easier. 
Shopping: online buying lots and lots of Christmas presents. 
Eating: Thai food from our new Minneapolis favorite, Karta Thai.
Drinking: red, red wine.
Missing: pretty fall days, and trying to get used to the snowy winter season.
Planning: Thanksgiving and Christmas plans, and associated time off work. Can't wait to spend time with our friends and family.
Working: my booty off. Q4 is usually the busiest part of the year for us.
Reading: Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Easily one of the best books I've read.
Wanting: a few more hours in each day to sleep. That's possible, right?
Enjoying: coffee in the morning to wake up my sleepy body.
Writing: down things I'd like to accomplish over the next few months. 
Pinning: DIY projects and holiday decorations (obvi).
Cooking: dinner again (finally!) Traveling means eating out for nearly every meal, and I have to tell you, that gets old pretty quickly.
Pondering: new ideas for future blog posts. 
Listening: to slow, folksy music to welcome in winter. But the minute Thanksgiving is over, the holiday music is on!
Liking: anything covered in pomegranate seeds.
Feeling: good about being back in the swing of things. 
Noticing: faint smiles exchanged back and forth between strangers on my walk to and from work. So sweet.
Going: to bars on Saturday mornings to watch college football.
Debating: re-piercing my nose (and after debating, I went for it).
Loving: the holiday season. Best time of the year.

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mood: November Feel

Fall, you are flying by. Can you try and stick around for just a bit longer?

October was a good, good month. I did yoga and spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Jack and I binged on Sons of Anarchy and finally slept in on weekend mornings. I took a long, therapeutic drive home to Wisconsin and spent time with my family (and our handsome black lab). Jack and I went to haunted houses and spent cozy evenings in our (unhaunted) apartment. We spent time with friends eating good food and drinking at great local breweries. We hit up a Minnesota orchard and dressed up for Halloween. 

What else happened in October? I got the first (of what I presume will be many) winter colds. And it has knocked me flat on my booty. Remember those amazing yoga challenges I started in October? Well, sometimes life throws you a curve ball (like a 12-day long cold) and alters everything you have planned.

But then there's November. This month, we're heading to Wisconsin to visit my family and some too-cute baby twins we haven't seen in far too long. I'll also be traveling to the Midwest and possibly the West Coast for work, and will be catching up on blogging and reading while I do it. We'll be wearing extra layers, but hopefully not digging our our winter coats and boots from storage (please, please no). I'll be doing lots of cooking, and Jack presumably will be doing a lot of eating. Speaking of eating, we'll be spending Thanksgiving in Wisconsin (we were in Mexico last year) and will be making up for lost time by doing lots of overeating and giving thanks. Then, let the holidays begin.

November, you're a good, good month. If you can hold off on snowing until December, I'll like you even more.

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