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I got the best Christmas present EVER this year. Seriously, it was one of the best presents I've ever gotten.


Brett got me two tickets to see Rihanna in St Paul in March. My bestie Amanda and her boyfriend Andy are going to join us and Andy is going to keep Brett company while Amanda and I go twerk to Rihanna and A$AP Rocky. Jeesh. I'm so jazzed.

Of course, I immediately started losing my nut about what to wear. I went to the only place I know in times of outfit crisis: Polyvore

I'm kind of OCD when it comes to Polyvore stuff. I only include items in my sets that I could actually afford, in my size. I'll occasionally include $500 heels in an outfit for a chuckle, but rarely. 

So find below, three outfit options. I'll take suggestions and ideas. I looked for clothes that were comfortable, stylish, and of course, provided the greatest range of motion.

My favorite is this one. I'm for reals considering buying that t-shirt. Also, I'm dying for those sneakers even though they are so not "me" and I have no idea when I would wear them.

Rihanna Concert 3

This is the most glam option. Those gold sequin slippers are my life.

Rihanna Concert 2

This is the more casual, but also realistically, the closest thing to what I might wear. I'm really digging these sort of rugged, hiking boots everyone is wearing now. 

Rihanna Concert 1

Count down to March!


52 Drawings, Week 4

Here's my week four drawing for the Paper Mama 52 Weeks of Drawings challenge.

It's a four legged friend:

It's basically my version of this drawing right here.

Have you guys caught on to the trend yet? I can't actually draw. I can copy. So I guess that's something. It isn't really drawing, but it's something.

Except, I'm not really getting better or learning anything new because I'm just doing what I can already do. I guess I do go through several versions before I settle on the one I'm going to post on the blog though. Is that something too?


Am I Crazy?

I want to start this post by saying that I blame everything that follows on three people. It's their fault COMPLETELY.

Those three people are as follows:

Rachel. Rachel. Sarah.

Let's start with Rachel #1. My original healthy friend. The girl who is always eating the salad at the bar. Who prefers kale to chocolate. Who makes brownies with dates in them. I've pretty much always envied the way she respects her body, even if I've usually found it bananas.

On to Rachel #2. Here's where it gets really hairy. Rachel is like a role model to me. She's healthy as a way of life. She routinely gives up sugar. She rides her bike to work. She swims. She hikes. She runs. She just totally gets it. I try to be more like her everyday.

And finally Sarah. I have the biggest beef with Sarah. When I met her, I immediately recognized a kindred (though thinner) spirit. We gagged in unison at the idea of a vegan restaurant. We helped consume two very large pizzas and several pint glasses of beer with our guys with as much zeal and as many helpings. We both bitched about the size of our thighs while recognizing how very little we actually do about it. AND THEN SHE BETRAYED ME. Sarah is getting married this year and finally decided- to hell with it. She's taking control of her diet and her lifestyle. She went on this wackadoo two week vegan diet. She tried a detox. She's doing so awesome. She's awesome.

Worst of all? She's making me seriously consider giving it a try myself. 


Honestly though, if you could wade though that heavy sarcasm what I'm trying to say is that my amazing friends are inspiring me to TAKE A LOOK AT ALL THIS. I've been thinking about a Paleo style diet for a while now. I've got a pal named Holly who is an acupuncturist/whole body wellness maven and she makes these life-changing statements the same way I say "another Pale Ale, please." She said the number one game changer she's seen in herself and her patients is to go gluten free, or to try the Paleo thing.
I've been intrigued since she said that to me, months ago.

Today someone posted an article online about the Paleo trend, but it also mentioned a program called Whole30 that I've never heard of before. It sounds . . . up my alley. I like short term challenges (hello 52 Photos... 52 Drawings) I'm interested in this whole thing anyway.

BUT I'M HONESTLY TERRIFIED. Namely, I'm afraid of failure. But I'm also afraid of how much I love donuts and beer and big, meaty cheeseburgers and I don't want to give those up forever and ever.

But I'm also afraid that in a few years my doctor's going to say, "Ok, but really, you are too heavy." Or that Brett and I will try to have a baby and we won't be able to. I'm a trend right now. I'm apart of the obesity epidemic in America simply by virtue of being overweight. That's brutal. It's a weird feeling. I hate it.

The thing I sort of like about the Paleo gig is that it's not a diet and it isn't about losing weight. It's about overall health and lifestyle changes.

The point of this post is- AM I CRAZY? Should I do this? Thoughts?

PS- Brett is going to kill me when he reads this post!


52 Photos, Week 4

This week's story: This wasn't at 5:30. It was at 8:30. At 5:30 I was getting ready to start the board retreat for the United Way board of which I am the secretary. I love the United Way. I love board service. I do not love late nights.

I have two main goals for myself as a board member this year: say "yes" to what I can do well and say "no" to what I cannot do well.

Good luck to me.



Sometime after the wedding but before Christmas (November?) Brett and I purchased some new workspace furniture. I can't call it office furniture, because it's simply a little nook in our kitchen. Also "office" sounds a little official considering we sit here to blog and Facebook. 

The shelf, the table, and the drawers came from Ikea and the good news is that if you don't live near an Ikea (we don't) then you can get these shipped pretty inexpensively. 

I wanted something really clean, really simple, and smaller than the tiled table that we were using before. I've been really pleased so far! I'd be lying if I didn't say that the drawers collect most of our junk, but it's contained and that's what matters. 

In December, Brett and I decided to change up our budget strategy. Here's a piece of marriage advice that even a total noob can tell you: FIGURE YOUR MONEY SITUATION OUT FOLKS. Seriously. Don't even mess around with that.

For about a year, Brett had been doing most of the legwork with our budget. He's a numbers guy, so the fit felt natural at first. He paid the bills, checked our online accounts, and created our monthly budget. In December, it was family meeting time. We sat down and he confessed that he didn't really feel comfortable making all those choices without more of my input.  He often felt like because he "allocated" our budget categories that he was also "giving permission" for us to spend money or not. And that- was just not gravy with him.

In addition to sitting down together each month to craft our budget and set our savings goals, we decided to get a white board to keep track of our more fluid budget balances, like groceries, entertainment, mad money (I'll talk about this in a second), etc. So if we want to go to a movie and there's $5 in our entertainment budget- it's not a matter of Brett or I being the keeper of the keys and saying "yes" or "no." It's just not available to us because our budget won't allow it.

Another thing that Brett and I do that works great for us is a budget category called "Mad Money." It's simple an equal amount of money that each of us get to spend on whatever we want. Mine usually goes towards drinks with my friends and Brett's is typical spent on vinyl records. The point is that we have the same amount of money and we can spend it, guilt free, regardless of the other person. We trust each other implicitly, but it's really nice to have a chunk of change to spend each month with a little less discretion.

Lastly, this month we started using mint.com and we LOVE it. Each of us can access it from everywhere and that makes it convenient, transparent, and fair.

You can also see our "I love you because..." board. This was one of my first Pinterest projects. We try not to go more than a few days without jotting something on it. Usually a pun of some kind.

I also keep several cookbooks handy. If you look closely, you'll see I have about 6 slow cooker cookbooks! I do our meal planning here because I use magazines, cookbooks, and Pinterest to help me plan. We have a mug for pens and a small dish for paperclips, business cards, junk. Of course, most days there are stacks of mail and coffee mugs and sunglasses, but those were cleared for the purposes of this demonstration.

Probably my favorite new addition to the space is our new calendar from our friends Kyle and Rachel. It's cute, just like them.

This is one of my favorite places in our apartment. It's small, but it really gets the job done!

(PS: I'm trying out some fancy blog photo edit stuff. Thoughts? Sorry for the onslaught of colors.. I'll pick a scheme soon, I just wanted to play around.)


Saint Louis

This weekend Brett and I went to St Louis to see our bestie Mary, who we met and fell in love with during our brief time together at Missouri State. She was a bridesmaid in the wedding and has known Brett and I as long as there as been a "Brett and I." 

Our visit coincided with The Loop Ice Carnival Pub Crawl and that event is virtually responsible for everything that follows. We had so. much. fun.

We started at Pi Pizzeria for lunch. I had a Schlafly Kolsh that could be my new favorite beer. 

Each stop of the pub crawl had an ice sculpture. This one was fairly intact, but the rest looked pretty sad because it was something like 60 degrees that day. Awesome for pub crawling. Less awesome for ice sculpturing. 

Second stop- The Eclipse Restaurant at the Moonrise Hotel. Rooftop bar. Half pipe. Skateboarding 10 year olds. 

 St Louis and The Mosers.

Third stop- The Pin Up Bowl. Brett ran into an old college friend here and Mary made a hole-in-one! I would say we were maintaining here.

 While we traveled, Mary stopped to lick one of the ice sculptures. You can see the state of it (and us).

 Last stop- Three Kings.  We had some tasty New Belgium Lips of Faith beer of some kind and had a really hard time finding it on Untapped.

I started texting everyone I knew would reply. Someone received this photo and I'm sure that someone was very glad.

We left Three Kings around 6 pm. It was time for laying around and taking a bunch of selfies while we waiting for our Chinese to be delivered.

Here is a real exchange I had with the delivery guy:

Delivery Guy: "You work at haircut?"
Me: (How does this guy know I just got a haircut?) "What?"
Delivery Guy: "You work at haircut? Your hair look good!"

The next morning we needed so much brunch. Mary took us to Square One Brewery in this adorable neighborhood called Lafayette Square. I attacked some Eggs Benedict and a mimosa. I definitely want to hit this place back up for lunch and brews on another STL go-round.

After brunch we went to Euclid Records (and by "we" I mean "Mary and Brett" and I followed along because I was in the car.) Brett picked up a Pixies record and I checked Facebook on my phone. I didn't find their sweet selection of poster prints until Brett was checking out, but at least I'll know where to beeline when we go back. 

Here's a sweet photo.

We had an awesome weekend. We don't really make it to St Louis as often as we should considering how close it is. 2013 is the year of fixing that!

We did miss this guy though!