Five on Friday | 6.22.2018

ONE // My mom and I finally toured my gorgeous wedding venue on Wednesday! I am so in love with this beautiful place and it has all the natural beauty you could ever need. From the ceremony location under the shady maple trees, to the restored barn adorned with large chandeliers, to even the quaint little farm house my bridal party will be getting ready in - this place truly has it all. I can't wait to watch it come to life next September!

We also checked out where the hotel is that we will be blocking rooms at, and the VRBO my family plans on staying in. 

Oh, and it wouldn't be a trip to Taylors Falls without a stop at the drive-in for a sundae. 

TWO // Has anyone tried the new Mango Passion Fruit Refresher from Starbucks? It's absolutely incredible - especially with a splash of coconut milk! So refreshing and sooooo tasty!

THREE // We had showings for our town home this week so Andy and I took a looong and challenging bike ride to our favorite ice cream spot with Bosco in tow. He wasn't thrilled but his very own pup-cup of vanilla ice cream cancelled that out. 

FOUR // I am making a mandatory Ikea run before we move into our new home and love hearing everyone's favorites from there. On the list currently are some of their super soft bath mats, their large white picture frames (can't find them online for some reason..), and some of their super reasonable planty decorations. Any suggestions on your Ikea favs?

FIVE // Take a look at this adorable mug my friend Lisa had made for me. I've been happily sipping my coffee out of it all week (and I would be lying if I said it didn't increase my outrageous consumption levels already).

Happy weekend!

Coffee Talk

If we were having this chat over a cup of coffee (and a donut or three).. I'd probably tell you

- That I am SICK and TIRED of this nasty weather in Minnesota!! We have YET to have a beautiful summer day. It's either been extremely hot (92 degrees and up) or extremely humid or extremely stormy! What the heck summer?? Also I fully contribute an irritable mood to this weather. It's so hard to be happy and positive when it's pouring down rain outside or the air makes you feel like you're drowning. If the sun doesn't come out soon, you can catch me popping some vitamin D supplements in desperation.

- Tomorrow we get to finally see our wedding venue in person! I have been searching instagram/social media/photography websites to see any pictures of our ceremony/reception venue and I am so thrilled to finally see it in person. I am already envisioning all the gorgeous flowers and decorations it will be covered in!

- Speaking of the wedding, we've been slowly making our way down a to-do list. So far we've asked about 30% of our wedding party. Unfortunately some of our guests are out of state, so we have to wait a few months to ask. But other than that I've already made an appointment to try on dresses, found hair and makeup vendors I will be going with, and made my part of the guest list. 

- We've run into some bumps with our house.. I won't go into too much detail before knowing too much but just keep your fingers crossed for us that everything smooths out and we can still go through with our closing date.

Happy Wednesday!


Previous coffee talks: 5/3/2017, 8/16/2017, 3/6/2018

Ways I Relax

I am at a particularly exciting season in my life. We are in the middle of a big move that consists of us packing up our entire house and moving 30 miles north - not to mention the wedding planning is in full swing and it's also summer which means we have parties, get-togethers, and weekends away filling up our calendar quickly.

All exciting things, but along with them comes increased stress and pressure. There are have been nights where my mind will not stop buzzing with items on my to-do lists. Sometimes, it even interferes with my interactions with others (hello crabby Carlie) and the quality of my sleep at night.

So with this busy season, today I've popped in to share my favorite stress-relieving techniques that have worked for me! These have all helped me manage my personal symptoms of stress and anxiety, and I'm hoping you can take something away from these tips too!

Physical Exercise | Yes, I know this one is so cliche and I always used to hate when someone would give exercise as a tip to combat stress... until I realized that it actually works. Sometimes when my mind is feeling so chaotic and my plate is feeling so full, a work out can do the trick. It can be a simple bike ride, or an intense HIIT workout at the gym. I try to get my blood pumping so hard that the only thing my brain can focus on is controlling my breathing and not falling on my face. And afterwards? I feel great (thanks to those handy endorphins!).

A bubble bath + a good book | I love this tip because nothing feels better than soaking up to your nose in a bubble bath. Plus escaping in a good book can take my mind off just about anything. Added bonus? I can't access my phone from the bathtub which means no social media scrolling and no emails I feel inclined respond to.

Essential Oils | I diffuse lavender and stress away just about every night. I also have a roller ball of Stress Ease that I keep at my work desk. As soon as I start to feel overwhelmed, I roll it onto my wrists, close my eyes, and just take a few breaths in of it. It works wonders.

Scheduling time to worry | I came across this tip on a previous blog, and it couldn't be more genius. It sounds so backwards, picking a chunk of time every day to let your brain run wild. But this strange concept has been incredibly useful to me and keeps me from laying awake at night with my mind running a million miles an hour.

Cleaning | Whether it be giving my car a fresh vacuum, or cleaning out my closet while binging a Netflix show.. freeing up physical space of mess and clutter is the closest thing I can get to clearing my mind of the mess and clutter. Plus getting into a clean and delicious smelling car the next day for work starts my day out on a high note.

At-Home Date Night | 6/2018

Andy and I had the ultimate at-home date night on Friday. We have been trying super hard to save money lately so we can put it into some new home related expenses. This brings us to some creative, but fun, date nights just hanging around the house.

On Friday after a good workout, we chowed down some frozen pizzas, and then moved the party outside for a booze cruise (aka walking Bosco with to-go drinks), and some banana grams.

Speaking of which - Andy picked up some Ketal One Botanical vodka. We got the grapefruit & rose flavor - and it was yum! This stuff has no sugar and is infused with natural flavors. We mixed it with some strawberry kiwi sparkling water and some fresh strawberries to create an (almost) guilt-free cocktail! Coming in at only 70 calories, these are perfect for summer.

We played a few rounds of banana grams in front of our gas firepit, and finished the night with this amazing questionnaire I came across that was posted in an article on the NY Times. You can access it here.

This was so fun and definitely initiated some deep conversations, and I think we both came out of it feeling even more connected with each other. I 100% recommend trying it with your spouse/significant other!

Cheers to a cheap, fun, and yummy date night!

Check out a previous "at-home date nights" here: Winter Date Night

June Goals

One | Clean Patio. We have a tree right off our patio that drops millions of seeds which cover our entire patio. We just bought new furniture and an outdoor rug and they are covered in this junk. It really deters us from sitting outside!

Two | Install new lights in car. When I bought my jeep, it came with these electric blue interior lights that make no sense (because I can't see anything in the dark with them) and are just overall obnoxious. I'm going to change them for some standard yellow bulbs.

Three | PACK and schedule moving truck rental. We have to pack our entire town home up to move first weekend of July.

Four | Wedding related to-do list. I need to finish asking my bridesmaids, get in touch with the catering company, set up our engagement photography session, and sign the makeup contract. Oh, and tour my GORGEOUS venue on the 20th! Hooray!

Five | Purge and throw/donate. And make a list of what items we need for our new place!

Six | Go to Smallcakes. And try one of their cupcake smashes! 50% for the deliciousness, 50% for the picture - let's be real.

Happy Wednesday!

Weekend Review

It finally felt like our first real summer weekend and we 100% soaked it all in. We started the weekend with no plans and it worked in our favor because we found so many last-minute things to do.

Friday // Andy and I kicked off the weekend with two frozen pizzas, beer (for him), and wine (for me). We headed over to Surly Brewing Company with Bosco in tow to enjoy their extra large patio/courtyard and some drinks. Afterwards we topped off the night with ice cream cones from our favorite parlor that we will sadly be far away from once we move. Their raspberry-chocolate is my favorite!

Saturday // It was super rainy and dreary when we woke up. Andy whipped up some phenomenal breakfast sandwiches and we chatted over coffee. We worked out and did some shopping, and then had dinner at Panino's. The clouds had cleared up by the evening so we packed a cooler, picked out some junk food, laid down all the seats in the back of the car for Bosco, and headed to the nearest drive-in movie theater - Vali Hi. We saw Rampage (super good!) and Deadpool 2 (I fell asleep - whoops. But Andy reported it was good). We didn't get home until 2:30am making it a super late night for us.

Sunday // Despite being out way later than a typical weekend night, we were at the St Paul Farmer's Market by 10am. We scoped out the shops, had bagels and coffee, and walked out of there with some blueberry-lemon bread and a delicious chipotle garlic sauce.

Later that afternoon we met our friends Megan and Hunter at Grand Old Days for some greasy fair food and to check out the booths of Minnesota gear.

Burgers for dinner on Sunday night and a long bike-ride to burn off some of the calories. We also watched the documentary Newtown on Netflix about the Sandy Hook Elementary incident and it was extremely powerful and emotional, but good.

Another perfect weekend!

Five on Friday | 6.1.2018

It's finally Friday and I am so pumped to kick off another weekend!

ONE // Andy and I got together with two of our close friends this weekend to ask them both to be in our wedding. They are one of our favorite "couple friends" and we can't wait to have them by our side on our day!

Also, Park Tavern has wowed us again with their phenomenal artichoke dip.

TWO // Our sweet Bosco boy turned ONE on Wednesday and naturally we went all out with a homemade "pup-cake" complete with a candle, a new toy, and party hats. The amount of love and adoration I have for this little guy is immeasurable. We hope this next year brings just as much fun (and a little less house destruction).

THREE // It's no secret anymore that I've been asking my bridesmaids to be in our wedding by giving them a cookie set. A lady from my hometown makes these amazing cookies right out of her home and if you can't already tell from the picture - she does an outstanding job. I messaged her awhile back asking her to make these for me, and just gave her my colors and she magically created the most perfect cookies. They're almost too gorgeous to eat (almost.. they're just so delicious I can't resist!). She even surprised me with a set of my own!

You can check out all of her work at her facebook page here

FOUR // On Thursday nights when Andy works, I'm always looking for a simple dinner recipe. A few weeks ago I picked up Trader Joe's kung pao chicken in the frozen section and finally had it last night. Guys - it was delicious! I paired it with brown rice and it was so satisfying - a good combination of comfort food yet still semi-healthy.

FIVE // It's the first day of JUNE and also national DONUT DAY. I forgot about this holiday until I had already chowed down my english muffin this morning but you can bet we'll be celebrating a day or two late this weekend.

Happy Weekend!
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