Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How Are You Like Your Mom?

Abby and I are constantly told we are just like our Mom, which I take to be a compliment, because my mother is a beautiful, intelligent, hilarious, and an all around wonderful lady. Here are some of the things people usually say about how we are similar:

You all have the same eyes! Like sisters! (We all have bad eyesight, as well.)

You are stubborn just like your mother, and her mother. (possibly a good thing?)

These cookies are delicious; your mom taught you well! (Yes, she did! Thanks, Mom!)

Are you going to be a teacher like your mom? You would be just a great as her. (Mom is and has been a first grade teacher for almost thirty years. She teaches kids to read, and I am so proud.)

Same laugh, same jokes, same sense of humor. 

We have a love of crosswords, books, and magazine reading on the patio.

Toe nails painted. Always.

A love for learning, and a passion for helping people.

Night owls, but still early risers for Saturday brunch.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sick in Spring?

There is nothing worse than being sick in spring, wouldn't you agree? I felt so incredibly alone in my stuffy misery this weekend, with all the girls and boys in their tanks and shorts. The sunshine was great, but sometimes when you're sick, all you want is a rainy day. But it's spring, so why not embrace it as you heal? While I love a "warm" smelling candle, with wool socks in the winter, spring requires something a little happier. Here are some of my go-to spring time cold essentials. 

     Instead of straight up Vaseline, go with a beautiful rose salve, to keep your lips and red nose soft. Bonus, it has a lovely floral to it, so when you can smell again, enjoy!

     Step aside, Vanilla Bean candle, and hello Lavender! It's both calming and invigorating.

     Seriously, catch some zzz's. Even in the middle of the day. If it's nice enough, sleep outside to enjoy the Vitamin D! (I would feel very decadent with a monogramed pink pillow!)

     Herbal tea is your friend. Coffee may be tempting, but go for a floral herbal tea, as opposed to ones with cinnamon and spices. 

     Lavender pillow and body mist is amaaaazing. I swear by it. 

     In the spring, go for honey-herb throat lozenges. These are the best I've ever had! Also, the berry is good.

    Obviously, stay hydrated, but stay away from your Camelbak, which tends to be home for a lot of germs!

     Have hair ties on hand, because you never know when that fever will come rushing.

     They're also nice for you to take a walk. Go out, get some fresh air if you're feeling up to it! (These sweet sneakers would make me happy, no matter how down I felt.)

{Weekend Update}...Spring Jam

Essentials: meds, water, lozenges, and rose salve for they dry, dry nose.

This weekend my campus hosted its annual Spring Jam, which is a great way to kick off the finally beautiful weather, as well as encourage the hyper-un-productivity of the last three weeks of school. I was really excited to go this year, with a chill headliner, and a great outdoor movie, but...I caught a bug!

I took a three hour nap on Friday afternoon, then proceeded to go to bed that night at about 7:30, and slept for fourteen hours straight, despite the drunk singing, sirens, and squealing tires outside my open window. Needless to say, I was pretty sick. Despite feeling a little less fabulous than normal, Abby and my roommate still coaxed me outside for iced coffee and reading in the sun on Saturday, and then a quick walk for burritos, chips, and guac on Sunday to really get in the summer spirit.

With just some sleep, tissues, and sunshine, I'm already starting to feel better!

Photo via @sarahcarlsonetc

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring Challenge...Get Outside

For the record: I don't run, and I really don't care for exercise. However, today was so incredibly gorgeous I just had to go enjoy it! I've recently caught a bit of a cold...nothing severe. Just the stuffy nose and sore throat. My mom gave me perfect advice and said, you need sleep and fresh air! So I did both. I've been taking naps, but also took a short jog around campus, and yikes! it was rough. I soon realized that a whole winter (and then some) of little to no exercise had caught up on me. But afterwards, I felt proud of myself, so I'll try sticking with it. My friend told me you just have to keep going and someday, it feels good, not painful!

So this spring, let's promise ourselves we'll go outside more. Run around, take a walk, rollerblade, whatever. Just make sure your heart is pumping and fresh air is rushing past your face. It's time we got out of our office chairs and library cubicles! 

Photo via

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Change of Heart

I went home last week for my girlfriend Becca's wedding. We're practically sisters, and she's one of the most important, inspiring, beautiful, and intelligent young women I know. Her new husband(!) Vince is equally incredible. But after months of planning a several frantic mornings leading up to the big day, I felt disillusioned with weddings. I even told my mom, "Don't expect a white dress, a church, or an aisle. I'll be at city hall." I was definitely feeling tired and stressed...

And then we got to the rehearsal dinner. It was incredible with so much love and happiness. I was really feeling good. Saturday morning rolled around, and despite a few bumps along the way, I had the best weekend in a long time. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by the support and gratitude, joy and excitement. I still haven't stopped talking about the wedding. 

I'm stubborn, but I've had a change of heart. People are actually right when they say there is something ineffably special about a wedding. So I guess you can maybe expect at least an aisle and church out of me...

What do you think? Did you used to think weddings were too grand? Would you have a small or large wedding? Are they obsolete in this day and age?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Great Gatsby + Brooks Bros.

If I were a dude... How impeccably chic is this suit, as well as this killer cardigan

Check it out! The ever stylish Brooks Brothers has collaborated with Catherine Martin, the designer for Baz Luhrman's soon-to-be-released adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Filled with iconic looks, the movie look has jumped into the real lives of our dapper men! I'll tip my hat to that!

P.S. Doesn't Leo always pick the greatest roles?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When Are You Most Productive?

I always thought that time management was the best tool for success, but then my professor said know when you're most productive is essential. You may be really good at allotting time for all your different projects, but what if you're scheduling it wrong? For example, I was in the habit of doing pretty mindless, easy stuff during the late morning early afternoon, and then was stuck with tough things in the later afternoon after lunch. I had it all wrong! I'm most productive between about 8 am and 2 pm. (Kind of short window, I know.) So as I'm working on two research papers, I've learned to do the heavy duty readings and writing during the early part of the day, I do catalogue searches and bibliographies later when my mind is running a little slower. Perfection!

When are you most productive? Do agree that knowing when you're most productive is more important than straight up schedules?

P.S. Some cool productivity apps!

Idea Sketch: Let's brainstorm visually, yes?
Wunderlist: a great to-do list. (Reminders on iPhone is great, but this has fun backgrounds.)
CamScanner allows you to turn your photos into PDFs. I've used this several times if I went to quick email a PDF of a worksheet I'm doing to someone.
Grocery List so you don't buy those impulse candy bars. :)

Photo via @sarahcarlsonetc Instagram

Monday, April 15, 2013

{Weekend Update}...A Tasty Spring

 Alright, it's not necessarily spring, because we still have (sigh) snow. However, with intermitent rains, we have our fingers crossed that the heavy showers will wash away all this winter and spring will blow in. After all, we have a wedding this coming Saturday! Because it's so gloomy, I've been in the eating mood. Seriously. I baked a wonderful loaf of No-Knead Bread, finished off my spring candies, and planed all my spring and summer meals!

I also tried my favorite childhood cookies, Oatmeal Scotchies with some coffee to combat the blustery weather.

I hope you stayed warm and relaxed a little this weekend. Here's to hoping for sunnier weather!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Would You Have a Pet as a Metro Renter?

Do you rent? Do you have pets? I currently rent an apartment near the campus in the cities, and they have a very strict no pets rule. However, Abby, McKenna, and I are renting in a more residential area next year, and there is a possibility to have house pets.

I am beyond thrilled, because I've never had a pet! All my childhood I wanted a little puppy, but my parents said we just led too exciting lives and our poor pup would get lonely. (They were right.) But McKenna is pre-vet, so we gush over kittens and cute animals a lot. We might be brining her adorable, elderly cat from her house to our place next year!

Since we're renters, though, I'm a bit nervous. Oli (shortened form of Olivander. Yes, Harry Potter type of Olivander) has not been declawed, but he wears these brilliant rubber caps that make him look like he has a manicure. Cute!

P.S. Photographer, Andy Prokh, documented the friendship between a little girl and her kitty. How sweet!

Do you rent with pets and do you have any suggestions? If not, would you have house pets as a renter?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Ah-I've been pretty lax about posting some favorite poems recently, but here is a wonderful one to get you through the last weeks of winter! Doesn't it make you think of sun tea, fragrant bouquets, and hammocks?

by Carl Sandburg

The blossoms of lilac,
    And shattered,
The atoms of purple.
Green dip the leaves,
    Darker the bark,
Longer the shadows.

Sheer lines of poplar
Shimmer with masses of silver
And down in a garden old with years
And broken wall of ruin and story,
Roses rise with red rain-memories.
    In the open world
The sun comes and finds your face,
    Remembering all.

Photo: 'flowers cover everything' by Jen Gotch

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

{The Last Weeks of Winter}...What to Wear

We're more than a week into April, and a winter storm advisory for the southern half of Minnesota was issued! I have no qualms about rain; after all, April showers bring may flowers. But snow? Lots of snow? I'm getting that spring itch, but feel so trapped by wintery mix weather that keeps blowing in. So how do you deal with those last, very late and long weeks of winter?
1. Use a multi-purpose make up stick for a barely there blush and lip tint. It will mimic that gorgeous winter flush look, while hinting at spring. 
2. Trade your heavy winter trench for a warmer spring jacket. It will be great for transitioning between snow and rain. 
3. Wear these blush studs that look like little ice crystals. 
4. Spritz on a bit of light floral perfume. I love Daisy Eau So Fresh (but the limited edition Sunshine collection smalls amazing!) by Marc Jacobs. 
5. These icy-pale nail colors are cool, but summery with pastel flecks in the blue. Also, word has it white is the "it" color for spring and summer.
6. A durable canvas tote that isn't overly springy with dark blues, but definitely alludes to warmer weather with pale lavenders and hot pinks. 

The Play That Never Gets Old...

...Much Ado About Nothing is by far one of my favorite plays of all time. I was originally against it. There was no way I would fall victim to the original chick flick, rom-com, or what you will (see what I did there?). But eventually, I was won over the rapid-fire jokes, underlying darkness, and of course, the ever swoon-worhty Benedick. Let's face it: we all want Benedick from Much Ado to sit down, look us with those newly innocent, shy eyes as say, "I do love nothing in the world so well as you- is not that strange?” (What a heartthrob!) 

I went last night to the BFA production as it was phenomenal. From a crush-worthy Benedick (I mean, it's necessary), to a delightfully evil (female!) Don Pedro, the production was flawless, hilarious, and very much satisfying. I left loving the play more than I already did, and that's pretty impressive. 

It's one of those plays that I will probably always adore, and turn to over and over. 

P.S...Joss Whedon is doing a new film of Much Ado About Nothing coming out this summer! Yay!
P.P.S....Kenneth Branagh will always be the ultimate Shakespeare character crush. 

Photo via

Thursday, April 4, 2013

{Spring Threads}...Coffee Shop Concert

This week has been continually warmer, so all the coffee shops are throwing open the windows and campus guitarists are spilling into the streets. Every café, pub, and restaurant seems to be having casual, cool concerts to kick off the coming of spring. Here's what I'd wear for a day (or evening) of some indie acoustic tunes. I like lots of brushed metals and metallics for a casual evening to keep it interesting but simple.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

{Spring Pins}...Confectionary Dream

Here are some bloom and swoon worthy pins. I've been loving all these feather-softt flowers and neon pastels that look like a candy shop window display.

P.S. Aren't you so ready for daytime showers and fresh grass?

Photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm Busy July 22...

Pretty much everyone I see now knows that I'm busy July 22. I just can't stop saying it!

I've already made summer plans and I still have several weeks left of semester. But this new is simply too exciting not to share! I ordered my tickets for the July 22 Justin Timberlake concert at Soldier Field in Chicago! I'm so pumped to go and even more exciting, I'm going with my family. Abby and I surprised our mom early with the tickets for her birthday (which is in July) and we'll be making a small vacation out of it and will probably listen to The 20/20 Experience the whole way there. 

Needless to say, I have a countdown started for July 22. And by the way, have I said I'm busy July 22?

Photo via

Monday, April 1, 2013

{Weekend Update}...Happy Easter!

Was your Easter delightful? Did you spend time with family, eating too much, getting dressed up, cracking eggs at breakfast, and searching for baskets of sweet surprises? Even though I'm in college and technically an adult, I still found a basket overflowing with jellybeans, chocolate bunnies, and as always, a stuffed Hello Kitty. It was so great to spend a day with family, eating great food and catching up over coffee.

And possibly the best part? Reverting back to old habits. Lounging around in the morning with coffee, fresh fruit, and rolls; watching old TV shows with mom; talking about books and movies with Dad. All the while in pajamas. Perfection.

I hope you had a great Easter with your loved ones and April Fools' Day didn't hit you too hard!

Photos via @sarahcarlsonetc Instagram.