Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: The Little Ones

Babies and little kids need to just STOP IT.  They need to stop it with their cuteness because it is just too much to handle.  I'm assuming the vast majority of you have a cousin, child, sibling, niece or nephew that is somewhere under the age of 7 or so and that is just too. cute.  And guess what their cuteness is going to get them?  Whatever they darn well please for Christmas.

Minnetonka Booties via J. Crew // Zara Coat // Gap Hat // J. Crew Overnighter // Gap Dress
Ikea Bed Canopy // Zara Sweater // Zara Sneakers // Nature Baby Booties via J. Crew 
American Girl Doll // Land of Nod Elephant // Land of Nod Quilt

Thursday, November 29, 2012

On Always Learning

I love to learn. I love learning new things and I think it is so important to constantly expand your knowledge of the world and of yourself. I love learning about architecture, history, other cultures and countries, the list goes on and on. But one thing I am thankful that I am learning right now is the guitar (yes the above photo is how I learn guitar - notecards and youtube). There's something so magical about developing a skill and seeing yourself get better at it (slowly slowly slowly but surely) over time. I started teaching myself to play guitar about a year ago and I am nowhere close to where I would like to be but am constantly improving. I appreciate every tiny little accomplishment because I know those tiny accomplishments all contribute to bigger improvements over time. What are you learning at the moment? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet Edie

J. Crew has done it again.  They've created yet another look that I am just slightly obsessed with in the Edie bag.  And because J. Crew knows we all have different preferences, the Edie comes in small, medium and large sizes and approximately one million different colors.  Good work, J. Crew. Good work.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ten Little Things

This time of year always brings up more and more reasons for me to be thankful.  Here are ten little things that are making me happy lately.

1. Freshly cut hair.  So shiny, so perfectly blown out, so free of split ends.

2. Seeing a movie on opening weekend. Like Lincoln.  It was so good, you guys.

3. Getting a manicure.  There's just something so perfectly girly about it.  I rarely spend the money on manicures but I did splurge on one this weekend and it was so nice.

4. The classics. Like 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' which is playing at the coffee shop I'm at right now.

5. Pumpkin Bars. Like these ones that I made for a Thanksgiving themed work party.  They were just the biggest hit ever, if I do say so myself. 

6. Gangnam Style. Mainly this performance of the song. I was so late to jump on the Gangnam Stye bandwagon, but now that I have I love the song.  How can you not be happy when listening to it?

7. That moment when you finally finish a project. Be it a paper, a design project or something for work, it is so wonderful to finally  be able to cross it off your to-do list.

8. Finding the perfect Christmas present. I love shopping for Christmas presents, but I'm a pretty picky shopper, so when I find the perfect one it's so rewarding.

9. This quote: "An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."

10. Laughter.  It's the very best medicine.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

I had a lovely holiday weekend full of relaxing and seeing friends & family. I had two Thanksgivings to celebrate (one on Thursday and one on Sunday) and took full advantage of the delicious food. I also treated myself to a haircut and manicure, did a bit of work and spent lots of time playing with my parents little puppy.

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Happy Black Friday! In honor of one of the biggest shopping days of the year, here's another gift guide.  This time for him.  Oh, the elusive man.  If any guys read my blog, take note: when it comes to buying presents for you, you are elusive. And confusing. But I'm still taking a stab at this whole 'buying presents for guys' thing. This is what I came up with. Please let me know if you have any suggestions as well!

J. Crew Plaid Top // Ray-Ban Wayfarers // Nike Running Shoes // Lacoste Watch 
Target DVDs // North Face Jacket // Apple iPad // Sperry Top-Siders 
Lands' End Slippers // Jack Spade Wallet // Tickets // J. Crew Sleep Pant

I'm off to see the movie Lincoln with my mom.  Enjoy the rest of this holiday weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Friends & family, a job, a wonderful internship, my health, the list goes on and on. But what I would really like to say here is that I am thankful for this blog and for all of YOU. Seriously. I know it's cliche to say it but I'm going to say it anyway because I mean it. I started this blog right before graduating from college last spring. I had very little direction and no job to speak of and I wanted to find something meaningful to fill my time. Enter blogging. I've learned so much these past few months and I am so grateful that you keep following along. Thank you thank you thank you.

I'm off to my aunt and uncle's house to eat lots and lots of food now. I will be back tomorrow with a Gift Guide for Him if you feel so inclined to stop by. But in the meantime, be thankful and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Image via

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Statement Pants

Statement trousers (or fancy pants, as Erin calls them) are my favorite thing right now.  See, I'm not quite used to this whole 'working 9-5 in an office and not being able to wear jeans anymore' thing. Many of my coworkers are actually quite fashionable which always inspires me to spice up my outfits.  But unlike my coworkers, I haven't had decades to build up a proper working wardrobe.  I've only had a few months.  And here are a few things I've found out in that time:
A) I despise dress pants.  I will never ever feel cute in dress pants.
B) Point A is no longer valid if said dress pants are fancy pants.
These are a few of my favorite fancy pants.

Gap // J. Crew // Zara

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ten Little Things (i'm looking forward to about the holidays)

The holidays are coming up. In fact they're just around the corner. Snow falling, Christmas shopping, holiday parties, baking sessions and other festive activities are coming up oh so soon and I am so. excited. These are a few of the things that make me most excited for the holidays.

1. Decorating the tree. It's your call whether you prefer white lights or colored lights, mismatched or matching ornaments, homemade decorations or store-bought. But either way, decorating the tree is one of my favorite activities of the season.

2. Driving around my hometown to look at Christmas lights and (if I'm lucky), finding the people who hand out free candy canes.

3. Drinking excessive amounts of hot chocolate.

4. Buying holiday gifts. And wrapping them, too. Buying gifts is an art in my mind. The amount of thought that goes into these purchases is borderline ridiculous.

5. Snow days. Maybe? Okay, probably not, but maybe. I now have a 'real person job' so the chances of an impromptu snow day are much lower. But I still have hope that maybe, just maybe, it could happen.

6. Christmas music all day everyday. I have no shame about how early I start listening to festive holiday songs. And the holiday stations on Pandora? Perfection.

7. Baking, baking, baking. Cookies, cookies and more cookies.

8. Annual Christmas parties. My best friends from high school have a Christmas party every year. It's amazing being able to catch up with some of my closest friends who I only see once or twice a year.

9. Getting to see family that I haven't seen in awhile. Even though the vast majority of my family lives in Minnesota, I still don't see any of them very often at all. The holidays are the perfect time to get together and catch up.

10.  A wedding. My brother is getting married three days after Christmas, which means I get to extend the festivity of the season for three extra days this year. I love weddings. Like a lot. And I get to be in this wedding, which is just excessively awesome.

What are you all looking forward to most about the holiday season?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

A movie night. Sleep. Brunch. Birthdays. A suprise party. Noodles. A Christmas tree. Everygirling. The AMAs (please tell me someone else saw the Gangnam Style performance).

That's a little idea of what happened throughout my (lovely) weekend.  I'm not super excited that it's Monday but I am definitely excited that it's almost Thanksgiving. Three more days...

Those are a few snapshots of my weekend.  How was yours?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

We're going there. The holidays. I know some of us (myself included) are more excited about the holidays than others. BUT with Thanksgiving six days away and Black Friday (a holiday in itself) seven days away, I am officially starting a season of holiday posting. Don't worry, not every day. But rest assured that from now on there will be a holiday post (or two) sprinkled into the fun every week. Can you handle it? Awesome. First up: a gift guide.

J. Crew Factory Blouse // Design Darling Bracelet // J. Crew Factory iPhone Case
Gorjana Necklace // BaubleBar Red Stud Wrap // Madewell Flats // J. Crew Factory Purse
Rifle Paper Co. Cards // J. Crew Factory Sequin Tee // Kate Spade Tote
Kate Spade Bow Ring // Illume Heirloom Pumpkin Candle  

Which are your favorites? Do you have any other gift ideas? I'd love to hear them!
Also, it's Friday. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Image via

Sometimes you need a simply drawn diagram to get your point across. And this one fits the bill for me just perfectly (thanks to Miss Kendi for pinning it!). I feel like I'm getting too comfortable in Minneapolis.  Usually when I tell someone this, they will look at me, nod their head and pretend to understand. I know it may sound ridiculous, and I know it's not the same for everyone, but when I get too comfortable I feel like I'm just at a complete standstill in life.

When I'm just far enough outside of my comfort zone, I learn something and I grow. And sometimes I might fail, but at least the experience will have taught me a thing or two along the way. I wasn't exactly comfortable going to Madrid alone for one month to do research. I wasn't initially comfortable flying or staying in hostels by myself. But that experience forced me to meet more people and to rely on myself. And I learned that I am far more capable than I ever thought. Going to Chicago this summer to meet Alaina of The Everygirl was also slightly nervewracking. But guess what?  I got to know her and after a few more emails and a test run on a feature, I got an internship with a website that I admire so much. 

Is this making any sense? I hope that soon I will have another opportunity to step beyond my normal boundaries and to try something new. Life here is just starting to seem a bit stagnant and I am not a girl who likes stagnant. I miss that feeling when I am in a slightly uncomfortable situation but I know all the while in my heart that it will lead to something amazing.  

Just a bit of food for thought. Advice? Comments? You all seem to give wonderful advice and as usual, I would love to hear it. I hope you all have a lovely, wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It's time. It's time to winterize my life. I'm one of those girls who often finds herself dressed completely inappropriately for the weather. Ballet flats when it's below zero? And snowing? Done it. And regretted it. No hat in the middle of the winter? All the time. Somehow my mind always tricks me into thinking that my hair will do the trick. It's like my common sense shuts down in the middle of the winter. But this winter I'd like to be prepared. And maybe, just maybe, if I had an insanely stylish coat in my closet I would be more apt to wear something sensible. Like maybe one of these J. Crew numbers...thoughts?

1 // 2 // 3

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Snowy Days

Yesterday was our very first snowfall of the year in Minneapolis. And it most definitely will not be the last. The snow didn't stay very long but it was just enough to get me thinking.

Do you remember the first snowfall every year as a little kid? It was quite possibly the most magical thing ever. Waking up, looking out your window and seeing big giant snowflakes falling? Best. moment. ever. Because to your childhood self those snowflakes actually meant snow angels and sledding and snow men and (if you were incredibly lucky) snow days. 
But now that I have deadlines and places to be and nice boots that I don't want to ruin, I've become slightly less excited about the first snowfall. When I see snow now I think about delayed commutes and extra hassle.  Slightly less magical, right? So this year I am going to do my best to enjoy the little moments that come with this time of year.  The first snowfall.  Being with family and friends that I haven't seen in awhile. Because don't you think it would be better if every so often we viewed the world through the eyes of a child again?  

Image via

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

So my brother is getting married in December. I can't even explain to you how happy I am about this. I LOVE weddings.  So much. On Friday night I came home to their wedding invitation and an invitation to a holiday party. It made me quite a happy camper. I spent Friday night in relaxing and catching up on my favorite shows, mainly New Girl. Is it sad that sometimes that is my version of a perfect Friday night? I just needed to relax.  And I did.  And it was wonderful.

Saturday night was spent with some of my best friends, catching up and then going out. It was a much later night than I had wanted but it was definitely worth it. On Sunday I went grocery shopping and worked on this feature for The Everygirl at a lovely little coffee shop in my neighborhood.

After such a wonderful weekend, I'm preparing myself for a very busy week ahead. I hope you all have a lovely week!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dreaming of Madrid

Two summers ago, after my junior year of college, was awarded a research fellowship to Madrid, Spain to study walkability and urban design.  I went on the trip by myself and stayed in Spain for four and a half weeks.  The experience was absolutely amazing.  I learned a lot about myself and and I learned that I was much more capable and independent than I thought I was.  Traveling, researching and staying in hostels alone resulted in a few flaws and there were definitely bumps along the way but overall the trip was wonderful.

Madrid itself is one of the most welcoming, lively, fun cities I have ever been to.  It reminds me a bit of New York City in the sense that it is a city that never sleeps.  There are people walking through the streets constantly and there is always something going on.  I love that about the city.

I sincerely hope that I can make it back to Madrid someday.  It is definitely one of my favorite places in the world.

What is your favorite city in the world?
And PS, happy Friday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ten Little Things

It's November, the month of Thanksgiving, and therefore the month when people all over realize exactly what they have to be thankful for.  As many of you know, I do these ten little things posts fairly often.  I promise I don't write them so I can drone on and on about all of the little seemingly insignificant things that happen in my life.  I write these posts because I constantly try to find the good in every single day.  And even on the most stressful days, I have found that there is always something to be thankful for.

1. The right to vote.

2. The cozy-ness of my room.  And my new lamps.  They're pretty wonderful.

3. The first snowfall of the season.  I definitely don’t look forward to snow as much as I used to when I was a kid.  But there’s still something so magical about waking up one morning, looking out your window and seeing the first snowfall of the season.  It’s even better if you have nowhere to go that day.  Here’s hoping that happens this year. 

4. Singing in the shower when you're home alone.  It's a good time.  I sincerely hope I'm not the only one who does this.

5. Perfectly toasted toast.

6. Midnight movie premieres.  The energy is just unbeatable.  Sex & The City.  Twilight.  Harry Potter.  Hunger Games.  You name it, I’ve been to it. 

7. Free food.  I clearly still have the mentality of a college student.  And this morning when one of my coworkers offered me some homemade pumpkin bread, I accepted without any hesitation.  And it was so. good.

8. The first sunny day after a very cloudy week.

9.  One of those weeknights where you decide to relax and go to bed early.  Every once in a while you need to just put aside blogging, e-mails, projects and just unwind.

10. Making plans for the weekend on Monday.  Or on Sunday night.  It gives you  something to look forward to all week.

Happy Thursday everyone!  It’s so close to being the weekend!  Awesome.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Midweek Trends

{cashmere sweaters and with tweed skirts - the perfect fall pairing}

True to form, I stayed up (way too) late last night watching the results come in with friends.  This led to the following sequence of events this morning.  1) I woke up thirty minutes late.  2) I had to skip breakfast in order to make it to work on time.  3) I ran to the bus stop in four. inch. heels.  It wasn’t fun for me but I’m sure it provided great entertainment to anyone passing by.  4) I forgot my breakfast and lunch on the kitchen counter.  What could make today better? Pinteresting, of course.  Pinteresting always helps.  These are a few of my favorite trends from good old pinterest as of late.

{chambray - perfected by olivia}

{studded heels}

{jewel tones in violet, blue, green & red}

{make a statement in colorful pumps}

Images via

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote vote vote.

I have one thing for you to do today.  Get out there and vote!  This will be the second presidential election in which I get to vote and I am so excited to have a say.  

There are a lot of important topics at stake in this election that I hope you will consider when voting today.  The economy.  Jobs.  Funding for college.  Abortion rights.  Global warming and climate change.  War. Human rights and the GLBTA community.  I hope that you make an informed decision and that you all take the time to vote.  It's so important.  My roommate heard a coworker say that she wasn't going to vote because "she didn't have the time."  As far as I'm concerned, that's just not an excuse.

 For me personally, having lived in the United States all my life, I've found it all too easy to take my freedoms for granted.  Just the fact that I can post my opinions on this blog is a right that I sometimes overlook.  But I am so thankful that I have these freedoms and that I have a voice in the election today.

So please get out there and vote.  And if you need to reach me tonight, I will be on my couch glued to CNN waiting for the results.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

I had a lovely weekend.  I got plenty of sleep and saw lots of good friends.  I had brunch on Saturday morning with a very good friend.  Later in the day I went shopping for apartment things with my mom. And at night I had a reunion with some of my best friends from high school.  On Sunday I cleaned, organized, decorated and put together ikea furniture all. day. long.  And at night I had a long phone call with my best friend who now lives in L.A.  Now the weekend is over and the week has begun but that's okay. I'm well rested and I have a countdown to Thanksgiving (17 days!) to keep me motivated.  Bring it on, Monday. 

At the State Theater downtwon. // Brunch with a good friend.  So. delicious.  // At an adorable cafe.
Learning a new song on guitar. // Afternoon shopping at ikea. // Such a fun place to shop.
A strawberry margharita at dinner. // Finally got around to decorating my room. // I love candles. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Weekend

The weekend is officially here.  Happy happy happy day.  It has been a long week, although it went by really quickly.  Does that make any sense?  If not, let's all just blame it on sleep deprivation.

In other news, I have a lot to look forward to this weekend.  My plans include:
1. Brunch with a good friend Saturday morning.  Brunch is quite possibly
my favorite thing in the world, in case you didn't know.
2. Maybe (hopefully) seeing my brother.  He's going to be in town for an event
and I haven't seen him since the beginning of April.  Not acceptable.
3.  I will also get to see one of my very best friends from high school who is in
town on a break from med school.  Yes, med school.  She's a smart one.
4. Get ahead on a few features for The Everygirl.
5. Hopefully make a trip to Ikea to pick up a few things for my new apartment,
which you will eventually get to see.  I promise!  
6. Work on posts and a few other things for the blog.  And visit all of
your blogs, too!  I've had such little time to comment lately it's been ridiculous.
7. Go to yoga.
8.  SLEEP.

That's that.  My weekend plans.  What are you all up to this weekend?

Image via

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Meet Etta

So I have this new obsession.  Thanks Liz.  See, Liz got some new shoes recently.  And they're beautiful. It's not too shocking.  These shoes are from J. Crew, after all.  But now I can't get them off my mind.  Or my wish list.  I love them in every color, especially the gold.  And I love the fact that the description on J. Crew claims that the pumps are "designed to be all-day, all-night comfortable."  And I believe them.  After all, J. Crew would never lie to me.

These babies are going on my Christmas list at this very moment.  Or on my Black Friday list.  Or some sort of list that involves shopping.  What do you think?  What's your favorite color?

P.S. Check out The Everygirl today?  If you want?  I designed this feature, my second of the week! Awesome.
Images via