Five on Friday | 1.19.2018

Que guilt for getting this blog post up so late in the game. One of my goals for this month (and the rest of the year) was to write my blog posts the day before so they were scheduled to go live the morning of. This just didn't happen this week as it has been a hectic one.

ONE // We dog/house sat at our friend Brian and Alex's on Tuesday-Thursday! They have the sweetest pup and an adorable house. I was completely enamored by all the amazing work they have done in it. I am also in love with their decorating style. They've got that light, airy, and natural look to their place and it's just gorgeous. I can't wait until they can come and redo OUR house now ;)

TWO // Last weekend we tried a newly-popular coffee shop in Saint Paul - Astoria Cafe. After seeing all the Instagram posts about it, I just had to see what all the buzz was about. After waiting in line for 20 minutes and then waiting another 30 minutes for our drinks to be done (ya'll, it was a MAD HOUSE in there) - we finally got to see our beautifully designed lattes. Andy got the 13k gold one, and I got the s'mores one. They were wonderful and now I want to go back and try one of their smoothie bowls. Worth driving to and home in a snow storm - although Andy might say different.

THREE // How have I just discovered Pink Blush? I am obsessed with all of their clothing and I can't get over the free shipping on all orders. I ordered a dress from them on Monday and it was already waiting at our doorstep by Wednesday night. Unfortunately the dress did not fit me well so I have to send it back, but that just means I get to pick something else out! I am so in love with all their pretty floral patterns and colors. Plus their robes are to die for.. even though their technically maternity robes.

FOUR // We got to try another new restaurant last week, Tamarack Tap Room. We decided to try it on a whim while we were out running errands and are so glad we did. Their burgers were fabulous and their drinks were delicious too. Andy had their Whiskey Smoked Gouda burger and I went with their California burger. I also had one of their raspberry lemon drop martinis and I could have had about 4 more.

FIVE // I'll leave you on a "now-sorta-funny-but-was-super-irritating" note. Bosco literally has eaten half of our kitchen flooring. We are replacing it next Sunday but wow - a little puppy can do a lot of damage. Because of this, we came to the conclusion that he is just too young to be out of his kennel during the day while we are away. We decided to try again in another month - fingers crossed this stage will be over SOON.

Happy weekend!

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I have been so pumped to use my new Kitchenaid Mixer these past few weeks and I finally got to break it in this weekend. We had the ultimate lazy morning on Saturday and lounged around in our pajamas until noon, and then devoured seven of these muffins with a pot of coffee. Thank god I was able to make it to the gym on Sunday and work off at least one out of the three muffins I had. 

I saved this recipe and would definitely make it again in a heart beat. Although next time, I would probably use cupcake liners because I think my baking spray altered their look a little. 

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, seperated
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 lemons, zest of, grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or use cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy

Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat well

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppyseeds, and lemon zest

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture slowly while mixing on low. Add buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into batter and mix until blended.

Spoon batter into pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Five on Friday | 1.12.2018

ONE // We tried a new recipe this week - pesto turkey burgers! They turned out super good and were easy to whip up on a week night. I'm working on getting the recipe posted for next week but for now, here's some quick (and poor quality) photos.

TWO // As a birthday present, my mom bought me two new rompers for our vacation! They're both from the Mint Julep Boutique, and I am not-so-patiently waiting for them to arrive at my door step.

Now I'm still on the lookout for another swimsuit cover and a new pair of sandals. I also have a $50 giftcard to Old Navy that's practically screaming to be used so hopefully they a few spring items out soon!

THREE // A girlfriend of mine got me this book for my birthday and I'm obsessed with it. It is categorized by season and has different types of foods that are most fresh during that time, and then explains why they are good for you. It also has recipes for those foods, and other pages of information on how to take care of your body and skin through what you eat and drink. It's a refreshing read for the new year and I've been looking through it each night when I'm winding down.

FOUR // It's no secret that I am in love with Rodan + Fields products. My cousin is a rep for them and always gives me great advice on what I should be using. She graciously gifted me some of my favorite eye cream for Christmas, along with a Rodan + Fields Chapstick, Hand Cream, and their amazing Lash Boost! I've only been using the Lash Boost for a few weeks now and already notice a dramatic difference. I can't wait to post a progress photo after 90 day. These products are honestly life changing.

(For some reason the links just are not working today - I'll try to update this page once the link is actually working)

FIVE // I've officially started vacation prep which includes all the fun things like making hair appointments, nail appointments, spray tan appointments, etc. Another thing I really wanted to do was whiten my teeth, but I hate those little whitening strips with a passion. Recently I heard in an Instagram story that hydrogen peroxide works just as good, so for the past week I have been dipping my toothbrush in a little cap full and brushing with it after I use my toothpaste. And guys. It has made a WORLD of difference. I only do it once a day to avoid completely stripping my enamel (yikes) but they are noticeably whiter and I don't have to deal with those nasty little gummy slimy strips falling off my teeth and making me drool.

I'll just end on this picture of Bosco that I took last night. Poor thing was freaking out over the snow plows going around our neighborhood. We are SO ready for this snow to be GONE!

25th Birthday Weekend

I had the best weekend ringing in my 25th birthday with the people that mean the most to me. I decided to spoil myself and take all of Friday off of work so that I could get some adult stuff done, aka renew my license, grocery shop, etc. On Friday night we had our friends Emily, Chelsea, and Michael (and baby Harper of course) over for nachos, homemade daiquiris, Nadia Cakes Cupcakes, and some What Do You Meme.

On Saturday morning I redeemed my massage gift card. I probably wouldn't recommend going in for a massage at 8:45 in the morning because 3 seconds in I caught myself snoring as my back muscles were being rubbed. How embarrassing! But regardless, it felt wonderful! Afterwards I drove over to The Copper Hen where I met my friend Lisa for brunch. I would highly recommend this adorably chic restaurant - my bloodymary even came with a cupcake on it! We both got the farmers breakfast, which came with rosemary sausage, root vegetable hash, scrambled eggs, and bread pudding french toast with a whipped cinnamon butter. Ya'll... it was one of the best breakfasts I've ever had.

Andy was at a tattoo convention all day Saturday so I spent the rest of the day napping on the couch, taking Bosco for a walk, working my way through my Friday Night Lights DVDs, treating myself to a much needed new phone case (my favorite case ever, I got the rose red one) and some new bikini bottoms for Mexico (I needed some high-waisted ones to cover the fact that I'll be consuming sugary and fizzy cocktails all day every day), and ended the night with takeout from Davani's - a calzone with a large diet rootbeer... YUM.

Sunday morning (my actual birthday) was spent sleeping in and meeting up with my incredible family for brunch, which included my favorite strawberry pancakes from Original Pancake House.

We also soaked in the 30 degree weather (up practically 50 degrees from last week) and took Bosco on a 2 mile walk.

That night, Andy and I ventured over to Dangerous Man Brewing Company for my favorite beer (coming from a gal who doesn't like many beers) - their Peanut Butter Porter.

He had also put in reservations for us at Young Joni. These reservations had to be booked months in advance because it gets so darn busy, and by the end of the night we could see why. Their food is incredible! We split two woodfire pizzas - their Sausage and Onion, and their Amatriciana. Both were to die for. We also had some fabulous cocktails and ended with the most unique dessert I've ever had - the Church Basement Cookie and Bar Plate. And yes, it's exactly what you'd expect. Fresh chocolate chip cookies, some mini carrot cakes, and some mini peanut butter bars came out on a wooden board complete with a little glass of milk and a candle for my birthday.

I am so blessed to ring in 25 happy, healthy, and surrounded by people who mean the most to me.  It was easily the most perfect weekend.


New Year (Same Me) - Hello!

Whether your new to my blog, or you've been a reader of mine since the beginning, I thought a little re-introduction was in order - especially because so much has changed since I started this space back in April 2016! It's no secret that I love the fresh and sparkling feeling of a new year, and what's a fresh start without a little re-acquaintance?

So.. for starters, I'm Carlie. I currently reside in Minnesota where I have lived my entire life. I grew up in a small(er) town northwest of the Twin Cities, moved down to Minneapolis where I attended college at the University of Minnesota for my bachelors, and then attended Concordia University to obtain my master's degree. After living in the cities for 5+ years, myself and my awesome boyfriend, Andy, decided to move up to Shoreview, MN which is close in proximity to the city life but is still a quiet suburb filled with parks, walking trails, and non-chain restaurants. Although temporary and renting, we love it here! I like to say that we've fully embraced the suburb life. We adopted our corgi puppy Bosco back in August, bought some bikes, and can be found sipping cocktails on our patio furniture when weather permits. What's more suburban than that?

Without fear of sounding vain, it really is super easy for me to talk about myself and most times I consider myself an open book. To lessen the length of rant I could go on, I'll mix it up and just share fifteen fun facts about myself. Ready?

ONE // Hosting events, parties, showers, etc. is my absolute passion. I live for the to-do lists, the decorating, the meal-planning - everything that comes with it. It's a dream of mine to transform this into something I could make a living off of, but for now I just like doing it for fun.

TWO // I hate lights. There's nothing more obnoxious, anxiety-inducing, or stressful to me than overhead lights. Don't get me wrong, I am all about natural lights from the sun when they stream in our windows during the day.. but those bright, overhead lights in livingrooms and bedrooms drive me crazy. Don't even get me started on those cool-colored, LED bulbs either. There's a reason why lamps are scattered all over our house.

THREE // I am a sweets fiend. I am one of those people who can't officially be done with dinner until I've had a cookie, piece of chocolate, cupcake, etc. This really causes some hurdles with any healthy-eating plan I start.

FOUR // One of my biggest wonders in life is how people sleep on their stomachs??? This has never looked appealing nor comfortable. I'm a side sleeper all the way.

FIVE // I'm not a morning person. Period.

SIX // Andy and I keep a savings account dedicated to vacations. Nothing else comes out of the fund and it's so fun to watch it grow over the year while we work our way through our traveling bucket list.

SEVEN // I really suck at Instagram captions. I always wish I could be more creative but the words just aren't there. I envy those who can come up with punny quotes and sayings.

EIGHT // I'm super picky about TV shows and if it doesn't catch my interest in the first two episodes I quit. So far my favorites: This is Us, Friday Night Lights, Orange is the New Black, and any sort of raunchy reality game-shows (like the ones on MTV).

NINE // If I had to pick my three areas of knowledge that I could easily ace any trivia questions on, they would be Harry Potter (I'm a nerd), Famous Serial Killers (I literally learned all about them throughout my master's degree), and Women's Health (alright, I haven't had a baby yet but my brother is in the process of becoming an OB-GYN so there's been many conversations regarding the topic which is absolutely and positively fascinating to me - is that weird??).

TEN // I love to read and can get lost in a book for hours.

ELEVEN // I hate hate hate dry skin. I keep bottles of my favorite Hempz lotion everywhere I go and chapstick if my best friend. If my hands are dry it's really hard for my to focus on anything else.

TWELVE // I can often be found at Target buying things I don't need (probably with money I don't have). Same goes for HomeGoods.

THIRTEEN // I love to sing in the shower to my audience (Bosco)

FOURTEEN // My finger nails are always painted, and I'm addicted to gel nails. It's my monthly treat :)

FIFTEEN // I love soda but I will not buy it for myself to keep at home because I know I will plow through it in 2 days. Diet Orange Crush and Diet Root beer are my favs.

That about sums it up! If you're new, welcome! If you've been following along for awhile, thank you! You make blogging all the more worth it.

Five on Friday | 1.5.2018

We have officially made it through the first week of the New Year! Luckily for me, it's a short week as I actually took today off in honor of my birthday weekend. I turn twenty-five on Sunday and it sounds so old but still so young at the same time. I'm taking that as a good thing :)

ONE // Andy surprised me with an early birthday present on Monday - this gorgeous bath tray, along with my favorite bubble bath, bath bombs, and a face mask. They were put to use ASAP and I enjoyed a 45 minute bubble bath while peacefully reading and soaking in the hot water. It was fabulous. I also enjoyed a smoothie in a wine glass... because NYE was a little crazy the night before.

TWO // Speaking of NYE, we had such a fun night! We packed up the car and headed over to our friends' and snacked on appetizers while enjoying the most dangerous and best pomegranate Moscow Mules. We had all bought tickets to Psycho Suzies NYE bash that night, which turned out to be a blast (plus it helped that we got four free drinks with our tickets - helllloooo Mai Tais).

Can't believe I will be HERE in four short weeks!

THREE // Where is a girl supposed to buy tropical vacation clothes in the dead middle of winter?? Am I the only one who struggles with this?? I've been looking at The Mint Julep Boutique but buying clothes online terrifies me. Any suggestions of where to buy some maxi dresses and a romper or two? We leave for Cancun in four weeks and I have nothing that I'm excited to wear - at all.

FOUR // This has been my new favorite diffuser choice lately. Gimme alllll the peace and calming in 2018 :)

FIVE // For all ya'll who have dogs out there, what do you do to combat their boredom when you're gone? Bosco has taken to eating our kitchen floor.. our kitchen cabinets...rugs...anything he can get his paws (and teeth) on. We give him plenty of toys and bones to chew on when we're gone, but he still seems to go crazy with the boredom. I ordered two new toys from last night that are meant to keep dogs busy, but if those don't work we might have to start kenneling again which I really do not want to do. Any tips or tricks out there?? Our kitchen can only take so much more (thankfully we are redoing our floors anyway so that eliminates some of the frustration).

Now, off to partake in some early birthday festivities :) Happy weekend!

Christmas 2017

I'm finally getting our recap up here! We had such a wonderful holiday weekend, and I would even go as far to say that this was the best Christmas I've had since I was a little girl.

My mom, grandma, and I kicked off the holiday weekend by seeing the Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater downtown. It was spectacular.

Knowing we were going to be extremely busy during the Christmas weekend, Andy and I exchanged our gifts on Saturday night. I got him a authentic Packer jersey, some new shoes that he's had his eye on, a decanter set, and some other smaller stocking stuffers including the new Capital Gaines book. I got a new KitchenAid Mixer (!!!), the entire series of Friday Night Lights, a massage giftcard (already set up to be redeemed this weekend), and some other fun things. Bosco also got a stocking this year, filled with three different animal versions of his favorite squeaker toy. He was running around the house with them in pure joy for hours. We then took the party over to our friends Jake and Marcy's where we watched the Vikings vs Packers game.

On Sunday I headed to my parents' house while Andy went into work. I helped my mom prepare the house (and alllllll the food) for the Christmas party they were hosting the next day. That evening we snacked on appetizers and exchanged presents - as requested, I got a ton of new lounge clothes and a diffuser that has already gotten a lot of use. We headed out that night and attended Midnight Mass at the Basilica which is always lovely, despite my mom having to nudge both my brother and I to be quiet when we would get into laughing fits.... some things never change :)

Monday was an extra early wake-up call, and the house was filled with people by 9am. We sat around all day, ate lots of delicious food, exchanged our Secret Santa gifts. There's no doubt that I have eaten my weight in Christmas goodies these past few weeks. When looking in our freezer for ice cubes last night I had to literally rummage through all of the boxes of cookies and desserts - now excuse me while I go do 1000 push ups. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and you are feeling geared up and motivated for the start of a fresh, new year!

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