Thursday, December 30, 2010

mood boosters.

Now that the holidays are over and we still have about 3-4 months left of the snow (never know in MN) it's hard not to feel like the Grinch at times.

Here are some easy things to do to keep your spirits high for remaining months of winter:

  1. Work out. Its a way to stay healthy and have a better body, but it has great mood and energy boosting benefits too! 
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast. I know most of us are racing for time in the A.M. but even something as simple as a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a handful of berries works. It will give you enough energy to make it through lunch and keep your mood happy! (a doughnut is not a healthy breakfast!)
  3. Eat a happy meal. (not from McDonald's) Make time for healthy snacks later in the afternoon. This boosts energy and your mood. Make sure it's something healthy and not packed with sugar. Foods that are high in sugar only give you a boost of energy and will make you more down in the dumps after. 
  4. Take Vitamins. A great multi-vitamin will boost your body's antioxidant level keeping you happy and healthy while helping overall brain function. It's been proven that while taking vitamins on a regular basis people have reported back feeling elated, clearheaded, confident and energetic.
  5. Get a great nights sleep. Lack of a great nights sleep has major effects on your mood and level of concentration. We have become so used to getting less and less sleep that we aren't even aware of the effects anymore. Try sticking to a routine bedtime and waking schedule. 
  6. See the light! The days with enough light are gone and forces some people to stay inside and bad weather doesn't allow us to see the sun much anymore. This is when people begin suffering from "seasonal depression" or feeling "blah." You can easily jump into a tanning bed for 10 min. to boost your body's energy and mood level.
  7. Get social. Get out and about. Hang out with your friends. It's proven to be an instant pick-up! 
  8. Have a relaxation break. Take time out for yourself. This could be whatever you prefer. Reading a book, doing a yoga class, sitting in your favorite chair with the lights down...whatever it takes to make you happy and relaxed.
  9. Take a breath. This goes along with #8. It's been proven that deep breathing is one of the fastest tension busters. It lowers levers of hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. Sit up straight, take long, deep breaths and focus on your newly relaxed feel your body has been given.
  10. Look on the bright side. Try seeing things from a new light a.k.a. the glass is half full vs. empty. Not everything can work out, but when you begin looking at things in a negative way, stop yourself and most of the time its not all that bad. Try examining the situation from the outside. over time, you might start realizing you have it pretty well and things in your life are really not that bad.
I know these are all simple things, but can be overlooked throughout daily life. With the new year starting, people begin evaluating their lives and what they want to accomplish (resolutions). Take some of these into consideration for a New Year's resolution and see how your mood and life will only benefit.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

time flys.

It sure seems like its been a while since I've written anything on here. Time sure does fly by especially around the end of the year. I cannot believe we are closing in on 2010 and welcoming the year 2011 already.

2010 was a fantastic year and I wouldn't have spent it any other way. It will be a hard year to beat; however, something tells me with a 30th birthday (my fiance) a trip to Mexico (in Feb.) and a wedding (date T.B.D.) all in the works- it should also be a chart topper.

Have a fabulous new year everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

merry christmas eve!

All the presents are wrapped and under the tree. We will be heading off to church later this evening followed by making the trip to grandmas. Everyone will gather, grab a drink and eat too many cookies and I can't wait.
Have a blessed and safe Christmas eve everybody!

Picture found here!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

fabulous friends and family.

Hands down, Jon and I have been blessed with great family and friends. Celebrating such a special time in our life has only proved that more. We have received an uncountable number of congrats along with champagne toasts, dinners and some fun gifts.

We had our families over for a low-key mingling and pizza the night after our engagement. We were greeted with bottles of wine, framed pictures, wedding magazines, ring cleaner and all the wedding chick-flick movies a girl could want.

We received a wedding planner book from our dear friends Mike, Stacey and Harper.
This will be such a fun (and much needed) book to keep the wedding planning organized and have in the future as a keepsake to look back on the details and process.

We went out to dinner last night with two of our other dear friends, Rich and Lindsey- who not only purchased a bottle of champagne for an engagement toast, but got us one of the most fun and special gifts. They swear they had already gotten the gift before they knew the engagement story involved "Saturday morning pancakes," but they knew how much we loved our Saturday mornings together.

An Ebelskivers pan-filled pancakes

Ebelskivers cookbook

I can't wait to give these filled pancakes a try. I was looking through the cookbook and came across "toffee sauce" and "chocolate glaze." That was all I needed to read to make these my new favorite breakfast treat.

Thank you to all our friends and family who have joined in on our celebration. We love you all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a personal touch.

Before all of the excitement of the weekend, I had mentioned here in this previous post about making cookies as my hostess gifts this Christmas. Jon and I will be attending 4 Christmas's and spreading our wonderful news. My cookies have taken a slight back seat to choosing a date, deciding on a venue and flipping through wedding magazines. (slightly overwhelmed already) but all I have left to do is perfect the royal icing. The sugar cookies  themselves are too die for! I used this recipe here, and found the cutest snowflake cookie cutter set here for the perfect personal touch on such a yummy treat!

Monday, December 20, 2010

together, forever.

This past Saturday will be a day to remember forever. It began like any other Saturday morning (that I don't have to work) with my boyfriend making what we like to call, "Saturday morning pancakes." The day then continued with me making cookies for hostess gifts and Jon doing some work around the house. After our finished projects, we both decided to head outside to do some snowshoeing. I thought nothing out of the ordinary, for we always find a time for our hikes. We began snowshoeing and discussing the places we wanted to travel for 2011 and the important demands that getting a puppy would entail. Next thing I know, at my very favorite spot in our hike (snow covered pines, birds chirping and looking over a vast valley) Jon is down on one knee asking me to marry him.
The rest is a bit of a blur...

I now look forward to planning a wedding, and spending the rest of my life with the GREATEST guy in the world.

My Engagement Ring

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a busy day.

 Today's post is going to be a short one. I have the day off work which will be filled with:
  1. Stuffing and mailing my Christmas cards
  2. Finishing my Christmas shopping
  3. Wrapping those Christmas presents
  4. Heading to the grocery store
  5. Giving the house a good clean
  6. Finishing up with a sushi dinner date night 
*picture source here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

anthro windows.

This time of year I look forward to retailer's window displays. The holidays are when visual merchandisers can showcase their best work. Anthropologie is one place, year-round who never disappoints & their holiday windows are so inspirational and creative.

* All their window display materials are made out of natural materials.

Take a look as some of my favorite window displays done for past (& present) holiday seasons...



Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This past weekend was spend in Breckenridge, CO. The town was filled with snow and holiday cheer and the views were picture perfect. Here are some pictures that captured my favorite memories.

Waking in time to watch the sunrise

Hiking through the woods

Jumping in all the fresh powder

Relaxing in the hot tub

The "silver" aspens

Mary's Mountain Cookies

Listening to the wind blow through the trees

The beautiful sunset

Friday, December 10, 2010

portabella pasta with halibut.

When my boyfriend and I started dating, I had NO idea how to cook. I knew this was going to be a problem because he grew up with a mother who was a gourmet chef. Everything she made and makes is SO good, that I don't even talk while I'm eating at their house. I have to admit, it's not even to be polite...the food is just THAT good, I'm usually just stuffing my face.

Over the past year and a half or so, I have taught myself (through trial and error) how to cook. Jon's mom, Cindy, was nice enough to print off a cookbook filled with her recipes to test out. I have made things here and there out of the cookbook, and this recipe was really easy and would be a great weeknight dinner.

Recipe as follows:

Saute: 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
in 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Add: 1/4 cup of a quality balsamic vinegar & 1/4 cup of a white wine of your choice
(cook slowly until rich and tender)

Add: 2-3 portabella mushrooms, sliced thin and continue cooking, adding some of the broth from the pasta as needed, to keep rich and syrupy.

In a deep glass or microwave-proof bowl...combine:
2 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 cups of fat-free cream
1/2 cup of fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
Mix ingredients together and cook 5 minutes in microwave, stirring occasionally.

Heat the grill and grill halibut while brushing with olive oil and white wine until tender.

Meanwhile: be preparing
16 oz. of cavatappi or fusilla pasta, cooked in chicken broth

Drain the pasta only slightly and pour into a serving bowl. Pour the prepared cream sauce and mushroom/onion mixture over the pasta immediately. 
Toss together with 1 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 

Lay the grilled halibut over the pasta and enjoy!

This dinner pairs well with a great salad and warm bread dipped in olive oil/balsamic vinegar. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010


A color that has been showing up everywhere from dresses to lipstick. This past fall I've seen small traces of the color and for Spring they seem to be calling it poppy. (season appropriate)

Left: Autumn Cashmere- Relaxed, Boyfriend V-neck Sweater $265
Right: Shoshanna- One Shoulder, Beaded, Dress $385

Left: Coach- "Tyler-Poppy" Ballet Flat $138
Right: Frye- "Carson Shortie" Boot $318 (color not available yet)

Left: Anthropologie- Unbreakable Bonding Necklace $148
Right: Jayson Home and Garden- Tibetan Bracelets $18-$28 

Left: Jason Adler- Tomato Pop Candle $38
Right: Anthropologie- Bright Morning Teapot $128

Left: MAC Lipstick in "Lady Danger" $14.50
Right: OPI Nail Lacquer in "Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It" $5.55

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

get lucky.

Yesterday I had the chance to look through the January, 2011 (scary it's almost here) issue of Lucky Magazine. I'm always eagerly awaiting the Postman to deliver their latest issue. My favorite things to look through are:
  1. The "City Guides" which are usually filled with the latest boutiques popping up across the country.
  2. New blogs hitting the scene.
  3. Little finds that simply can't go unnoticed. (i.e. candles, lip glosses, shoes, etc.)
I wanted to share the fun finds throughout this issue I love...

A Personalized Stamp- great for getting out of signing those holiday cards.

A Pantone credit card for the shopping, I mean, design addict- choose from one of the 5 colors offered.

"Poseidon" disc necklace by Jewelmint- most of the time, I don't endorse celebrity fashion lines, but this jewelry line by Kate Bosworth is unique and affordable.

Revlon, Colorstay Eyeliner in teal-I usually stick with a deep plum, but I sense a change coming up!

Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids- could these be ANY cuter? They come 20 per tin and are $10 each. You can purchase here or here.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Ruby Red Slippers- just as good as the real thing! Check out her entire site, she has a ton of fun, festive nail colors.