Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Apple Picking Saturdate

We hit the Afton Apple Orchard over the weekend with a couple friends from law school. It was the perfect summer/fall day - sunshine, blue skies, leaves changing. Just lovely. 

P.S. I posted one of my favorite apple recipes on instagram - don't forget to follow me there!

Someone was not happy with my car selfies.



Raspberry fields forever...

K with our 9 lbs of apples!

It was a perfect Saturdate with K, wandering around picking a variety of apples, chatting with friends. Do you have plans to hit the orchard this fall?


Monday, September 22, 2014

This is so worth it.

We saw this over the weekend. I laughed. I cried. It is my new non-holiday version of The Family Stone, which I am obsessed with and watch multiple times a year. It was fantastic and so worth it. Go see it now.


Choose Courage

I've been loving Brene Brown's post on choosing courage. She writes about how we can either choose to respond to life's obstacles with fear or with courage. 

"The courageous choice also does not mean abandoning accountability – it simply means holding ourselves accountable first. If we are people of faith, we hold ourselves accountable for living that faith by practicing grace and bringing healing. If we consider ourselves to be smart and curious, it means seeking greater understanding. If we consider ourselves to be loving, it means acting with compassion." -- Brene Brown

And this line just resonates with me: "That rare mix of courage and compassion is the balm that brings global healing." Read more here.

How will you bring courage and compassion to your life?


Friday, September 19, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

If you read anything today...

If you read anything today, make it this article.

Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return. Don't settle for less. Find a job you enjoy, but don't become a slave to it. You will not have 'I wish I'd worked more' on your headstone. Dance, laugh and eat with your friends. True, honest, strong friendships are an utter blessing and a choice we get to make, rather than have to share a loyalty with because there happens to be link through blood. Choose wisely then treasure them with all the love you can muster. Surround yourself with beautiful things. Life has a lot of grey and sadness - look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inspiration: Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott posted this on her facebook page this spring and man, do I just love it. I added the emphasis because I especially love those parts.

There's a whole chapter on perfectionism in Bird by Bird, because it is the great enemy of the writer, and of life, our sweet messy beautiful screwed up human lives. It is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back, and if you're an artist, it will destroy you.
My pastor said last Sunday that if you don't change directions, you are going to end up where you are headed. Is that okay with you, to end up still desperately trying to achieve more, and to get the world to validate your parking ticket, and to get your possibly dead parents to see how amazing you always were?
This is not going to happen. They are either so dead, like mine are, or they are insatiable, or so relieved that you did not end up divorced--or if you did, then heavily into drugs, like the Woodson girl, or more out of shape than you are, like Esther's son. It's hopeless, and this is the good news.
Putting those tiny pesky parental voices aside, what about, oh, say, the entire rest of the world?
Do you mind even a little that you are still addicted to people-pleasing, and are still putting everyone else's needs and laundry and career ahead of your creative, spiritual life? Giving all your life force away, to "help" and impress. Well, your help is not helpful, and falls short.
Look, I struggle with this. I hate to be criticized. I am just the tiniest bit more sensitive than the average bear. And yet, I'm a writer, so I periodically put my work out there, and sometimes like all writers, I get terrible reviews, so personal in nature that they leave me panting. Even with a Facebook post, like the last one, do you have any idea what it's like to get 500-plus negative attacks, on my character, from truly bizarre strangers.
Really, it's not ideal.
Yet, I get to tell my truth. I get to seek meaning and realization. I get to live fully, wildly, imperfectly. That's why I'm alive. And all I actually have to offer as a writer, is my version of life. Every single thing that has happened to me is mine. As I've said a hundred times, if people wanted me to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better
Is it okay with you that you blow off your writing, or whatever your creative/spiritual calling, because your priority is to go to the gym or do yoga five days a week? Would you give us one of those days back, to play or study poetry? To have an awakening? Have you asked yourself lately, "How alive am I willing to be?" It's all going very quickly. It's mid-May, for God's sake. Who knew. I thought it was late February.
It's time to get serious about joy and fulfillment, work on our books, songs, dances, gardens. But perfectionism is always lurking nearby, like the demonic prowling lion in the Old Testament, waiting to pounce. It will convince you that your work-in-progress is not great, and that you may never get published. (Wait, forget the prowling satanic lion--your parents, living or dead, almost just as loudly either way, and your aunt Beth, and your passive-aggressive friends, whom we all think you should ditch, are going to ask, "Oh, you're writing again? That's nice. Do you have an agent?")
Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen. Repent just means to change direction--and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn't mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.
Here's how to break through the perfectionism: make a LOT of mistakes. Fall on your butt more often. Waste more paper, printing out your shitty first drafts, and maybe send a check to the Sierra Club. Celebrate messes--these are where the goods are. Put something on the calendar that you know you'll be terrible at, like dance lessons, or a meditation retreat, or boot camp. Find a writing partner, who will help you with your work, by reading it for you, and telling you the truth about it, with respect, to help you make it better and better; for whom you will do the same thing. Find someone who wants to steal his or her life back, too. Now; today. One wild and crazy thing: wears shorts out in public if it is hot, even if your legs are milky white or heavy. Go to a poetry slam. Go to open mike,and read the story you wrote about the hilariously god-awful family reunion, with a trusted friend, even though it could be better, and would hurt Uncle Ed's feelings if he read it, which he isn't going to.
Change his name and hair color--he won't even recognize himself.
At work, you begin to fulfill your artistic destiny. Wow! A reviewer may hate your style, or newspapers may neglect you, or 500 people may tell you that you are bitter, delusional and boring.
Let me ask you this: in the big juicy Zorba scheme of things, who fucking cares?

Similarly, Sheryl Sandberg asks, "What would you do if you could not fail?" 

I challenge you to ask yourself, "Who do you aspire to be?" and go out and be that person.

Do something amazing today.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Impromptu Twins Game

Last night we headed to Target Field for an impromptu Twins game with friends. It was a perfect fall evening and I'm so glad we were able to go. Our seats weren't half bad either. Now if only the Twinkies were playing better...


P.S. You know your hometown team is struggling when instead stating "Twins Win!" the local headline reads like this:


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Recent Reads

It's time for another reading list update! Read about my list and the first update. I've read a couple amazing books lately and would highly recommend checking them out if you are looking for a good read. 

* Worth a Read.
** Good Book and Worth Recommending.
*** YES. Must read.

Here we go (books that moved on the list are italicized):

The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook - Gary Vaynerchuk
Daring Greatly - Brene Brown

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown ***
Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt ***
The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont **
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles *
Wild -  Cheryl Strayed ***
South of Superior by Ellen Airgood
The Circle by Dave Eggers *
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed ***
Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore *
Love Does by Bob Goff and Donald Miller **
The House Girl by Tara Conklin **
Sycamore Row by John Grisham **
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes ***
Women Who Don't Wait in Line by Reshma Saujani

The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd **
The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer *
The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion 
Allegiant - Veronica Roth **
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams *
The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, and A Death In Vienna by Daniel Silva *

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Everything Is Perfect When You Are A Liar by Kelly Oxford

Personal History by Katharine Graham
Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Following Jane by Samantha Scordato
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Monuments Men by Robert Edsel
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Until I Say Goodbye by Susan Spencer-Wendel and Bret Witter
The Woman's Room by Marilyn French
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
Hateship, Friendship,Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
Frida by Hayden Herrera
The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
The Woman at the Washington Zoo by Marjorie Williams and Timothy Noah
Last Night I Dreamed of Peace by Dang Thuy Tram
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
Envy by Sandra Brown
I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan
When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Six Years by Harlan Coben
Genesis by Bernard Beckett
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
The Buddha in the Attic by Julia Otsuka
Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
The English Girl by Daniel Silva
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
Backlash by Susan Faludi
Get to Work by Linda Hirshman
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong and Fay Weldon
Big Girls Don't Cry by Rebecca Traister

Read anything good lately?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Paper Flower Inspiration

I've been soaking up Paper Flower Inspiration this year. They are an easy way to keep a little summer in your home as we transition to fall. I'll be making a few of these soon!



Don't you just love these? So pretty!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014


We're working on the house again! This summer, we officially became homeowners together and we're so excited to really start updating our little home.

Our first major project will be finishing the basement this autumn. If you've been reading for a while, you know how exciting that is for me (part 1 and part 2 of the ugly basement saga)! But first, we thought we'd tackle a couple outside projects while the weather is still nice.

We're updating all the exterior lights and after looking at every single exterior light Home Depot and Lowes (and the entire internet it seems like) had to offer, we narrowed to these two:

While I love a good barn/lantern looking light, we decided to give the top one a go because of its size. Our street is terribly dark so our hope is that it will provide some extra light up front. But if it doesn't work, option 2 it is. I'll keep you posted once it arrives! We also managed to pick out lights for our garage and the back entry. Success.

More importantly, the whole house is getting a new coat of paint! Our stucco siding looks like it has never been painted and is in desperate need of a new look. Our biggest decision this Labor Day Weekend was picking out a paint color. It needed to go with the brick and our red doors and just look fabulous.

We're loyal to Sherwin Williams and K could give you the scoop on why but I'll just say, I've never been disappointed with the paint or the service. Using the color fans, we narrowed to three: Sensational Sand, Beach House, and Familiar Beige.

Another trip to the store to grab samples and then we slapped some paint on the wall and started staring.

Alphabetical top to bottom: Beach House, Familiar Beige, Sensational Sand.
Based on the samples, we quickly ruled out Familiar Beige. It just looked blah against our brick. And that's a scientific reason - blah. ;)

To make the final decision, we painted a few larger samples next to the red doors and immediately we knew Beach House was our color!

K and a friend will be painting this house this week (fingers crossed the weather cooperates) and it's going to be such a difference-maker on our house. I can't wait to see the before and after!


P.S. You can follow along our #YoungHomeMakeover on Instagram!
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