The Slow Down

Wow! It has been a MINUTE since my last post. I hope no one was holding their breath! Life has been keeping me so incredibly busy that it has been hard to even find time to write. The majority of our culture sees "being busy" as a badge of honor yet do any of us really even enjoy it? I know that sometimes I prefer to be "busy" but most of the time it is out of necessity.

I continually try to keep a good balance between school, teaching, work, friends, family, and ME time. Although, lets be honest, self-care is usually the last one to be tended to.

We all lead busy lives filled with work, creating connections, cultivating our passions, and growing personally. The question is, how do we (and can we) do it ALL?

Here are a few of my tried and true tips for creating (and sustaining) a balance!

1. Google.Calendar.

I am a freak about planning so naturally a Google calendar is a MUST. I store my entire schedule on the app and love being able to share my schedule with friends and family. It can be tedious organizing and updating your calendar but trust me, its worth remembering that happy hour you have with your cutie.

2. Physical Self Care

It seems obvious that you should take care of yourself physically, right? Right. However, the majority of us don't get enough sleep or drink enough water. Even if I have an incredibly busy day I always make it a point to drink more water and try be in bed by 10pm. When I am not working nights, of course! Now, you don't need to take a huge leap here and "promise" yourself to work out 6 days a week or anything. Small, sustainable steps are the easiest to maintain and build confidence so maaaybe you'll spend 30 minutes on that treadmill, tomorrow of course.

3. Stay Connected

It is so incredibly easy to just tell a friend "sorry, I am busy tonight". Anyone else guilty of that line? Of course sometimes it is impossible to get together every time a friend asks but be respectful and offer another time/date instead! No need to burn bridges over that ridiculous assignment at work, right? One rule I try to abide by is texting someone right back. I had a pretty bad habit of looking at a text message and then saying to myself "oh I will get back to them later" and then COMPLETELY FORGET. Yikes. Never a good look! Turning on my read receipts and responding right away helps me stay connected to all my lovelies.

4. Delete some Apps

Yes, you read that right. Delete. your. apps. I recently deactivated my Facebook account for many reasons but mostly to stay focused on other things in my life. Even deleting one social media app can help with freeing up your time and lets be honest, saves some brain cells. So, delete an app and spend that time of mindless scrolling with a friend or getting some house work done! You can do it!

5. Get out there!

You have time. Trust me. If it is one night a week that you dedicate to getting out with friends, a partner, or even seeing your parents, do it. Be social. Go on a date. Meet up with your girlfriends for a cookbook release event (can't wait, btw)! You deserve time to spend time on what makes you, you! I am also 100% sure your friends would love to see your beautiful face too.

 

The Index

//Flower Friday//

In an attempt to brighten up my small studio space I have adopted the idea of flower Friday. It is also my baby step into maybe getting a few plants down the road. It's kind of a running joke that I can keep people alive but when it comes to plants, forget it! Last week I bought a gorgeous bunch of bright peonies (my favorite) and they smell so good! Buying flowers weekly might seem  frivolous but I see it as a small act of self care. This week, hydrangeas! 

//Walker Arts Center Sculpture Garden//

It's finally open! I visited the sculpture garden last weekend with a few friends and it was so beautiful! May I recommend going at sunset and visiting the huge tree with the wind chimes? The Walker has done some incredible work with the grounds and I cannot wait to visit more this summer. The renovation process and progress can be found here, take a look for yourself!

//Red Wagon Pizza//

It doesn't take much for me to be convinced to try out a new restaurant. This week I went to Red Wagon for pizza. Located off 54th and Penn Avenue, Red Wagon is hard to miss! Aside from the obviously delicious pizza, a major perk is their moderately large parking lot. I know that sounds weird but parking can be such a pain especially in residential areas. The weather was nice so we sat outside in the garden patio! Tons of seating, very private even though it's right off the street, cute string lights, I could go on. OK, the pizza. We ordered the Margarita and the signature Red Wagon. All the pizzas are wood fired, thin crust, and 100% delicious. Are you salivating yet?

//Vegan Challenge//

As some of you know I am a vegetarian, although I have to admit that in a pinch I will eat chicken or pork. Lately I have been eating better and making smarter choices (less doughnuts, booze, and my late night runs to get ice cream)! All of these changes paired with daily exercise have definitely helped me feel better. Now if I could only get more sleep! I have been scouring the internet and asking vegan friends about meal ideas and tips! I am headed out of town to see family in Texas this upcoming weekend so naturally I will start next week. I cannot deprive myself of all the incredible southern cooking there. If you're interested in joining me send me a message! I'd love to have a partner (or 5!)

//Bar Brigade//

It has been awhile since I have been to Saint Paul (I hate admitting that). So, when my friend Missy suggested catching up over a glass of rosé I jumped at the chance! Aside from the wonderful company Bar Brigade was overflowing with modern charm. From the funky tile flooring to the cozy bar that showcased plenty of cute potted plants, Bar Brigade was perfect. Not to mention that they have rosé on tap there. Yes, you read that right, on. tap! I had an insane broccoli and lentil salad with sliced almonds, feta cheese, marinated in a lemon vinaigrette. I am definitely going to see if I can recreate that dish at home. Saint Paul has had so many great new spots pop up recently and it has been so fun to rediscover the city that I love so much. If you're feeling brave and have your passport ready head over to STP for a fantastic time at Bar Brigade!

 

 

The Index

//Glossier//

Honestly I don't typically wear a ton of makeup. I am perfectly content with a tinted moisturizer, a brow pencil, and mascara. I think that when you wear makeup it should enhance who you are, not cover you up. Recently, I have noticed a lot of buzz in the beauty world about Glossier and after researching their products I thought I would give it a try! Thank you to my sister for getting me started with this package for my birthday! 

//Jimmy Kimmel//

If you haven't seen this video about Jimmy Kimmel sharing his story of his newborn son's surgery and the recent changes to healthcare, you should! Warning: complete tear jerker. 

//Minimalists//

So for my mom's birthday I got her and I tickets to go see the Minimalists in a few weeks at the Cedar Cultural Center. As a surprise I put headphones on her and turned on an episode from their podcast. Needless to say, she was ecstatic! I also bought us VIP tickets so she can give Josh and Ryan each a hug! Haven't heard of these guys yet? Check out their podcast and website! Their journey of minimalism (in every aspect of life) is actually quite incredible. Listening to Josh and Ryan has definitely helped me keep my small studio nice and tidy! The episode about happiness is one of my favorites, give it a listen! 

//San Cisco//

A few years ago I went to the San Cisco concert here in Minneapolis at the Triple Rock Social Club! It was hands down the best concert I have ever been to. These guys ( and gal) have been a touring band since they were 16! After almost 10 years of creating awesome jams San Cisco just released their new album, The Water. I have been blasting this in my jeep with the windows down (if you heard some lady singing off tune while driving down Lyndale it was probably me). I just found out this morning on their Facebook page that they will be in Minneapolis on August 19th! Cannot. Wait! In the meantime, catch this tune for a fun beat. 

//Boudoir Shoot//

One of my very talented friends,  Emily Isakson, asked me to help her with a boudoir shoot! At first, I admit, I was VERY nervous and hesitant. Emily's natural approach to photography and calming personality eventually convinced me to give it a try! I found the experience to be so empowering and allowed me to celebrate my body and myself! If you are considering doing one for a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or even just for yourself like I did, you should! Every woman should feel celebrated! P.S. Don't worry mom, I won't post anything inappropriate! I do have to brag about Emily's work though so below are a few of my favorites! 

IMG_8151.PNG

What I Wish I Knew As a New Nurse

Hi loves! This year will be my 4 year anniversary of being a nurse! I cannot believe how time as flown by and how much I have learned. In just 4 short years I have experienced many different nursing specialities ranging from neurology, medical/oncology, geriatrics, cardiology, surgery, and most recently, observation. With National Nurses Week coming up I want to share my top 10 tips for soon-to-be new graduate nurses as they embark on their very first year. 

1: Night Shift Isn't So Bad

Really, it isn't. My first year as a nurse I worked a day/night rotation at a .8 FTE. If you ask any nurse they will more than likely tell you about how they had to start off working night shift. Rotating between day and night shifts eventually started to burn me out and I wanted a change. I then worked straight evening shift for a year and a half before eventually working straight nights. The most common question I get is, "Do you really like to work nights though?" I can see what brings people to ask that question. However, I have grown to love night shift. Personally, I like the slower shift (though, not all nights are like that), I am able to spend more time with my patients, I have more autonomy overnight, more flexibility with my social schedule, and I work with some incredible people. Most new grads start on nights because it is an easier transition into their new profession. So, if you're not so sure about working the graveyard shift, give it a try! You can always switch it up. 

2: Speak Up!

Do not be afraid to speak up if you have a different opinion about your patient's care. No one is perfect and often times the nurse is the last person to make sure the patient is getting the correct care. I once had a doctor chew me out over the phone when I questioned his Sodium Bicarbonate order. Turns out he ordered it on the wrong patient. Even though you may not feel like you know much or feel intimated, never feel like you cannot speak up! 

3: Be Confident

Have you ever heard of the phrase, "Fake it until you make it"? Well, that has been used in nursing for many, many years. First time putting in a foley catheter? Your patient does. not. need. to. know. I made the rookie mistake of telling my patient I had never put in a NG tube right as I was going to put it down her nose. It took a lot of back peddling on my end to convince her to let me do it. She's not the only one who needed a Xanax after that! There will be so many firsts as a new nurse and it is important to be confident in your skills and ask for help when needed! 

4: Journal Your First Year

I cannot tell you how much this has helped me during my first year as a nurse. Not only did it help me decompress from bad days it helped me celebrate the positives. I occasionally look back at what I had written when I need a good laugh. In one post I remember writing how I cried when I came home after a patient yelled at me. Oh how far I have come. Give it a try! You won't regret it. 

5: Expect the Unexpected

One of the hardest things I had to adjust to was how unpredictable my shift can be. One minute you can have everything organized, all your patients are stable, and then suddenly you have one go into septic shock while the other one needs emergency surgery for a perforated bowel. Every shift is different. The trick is being able to keep your cool when you have those unexpected bumps in the road. My mom, who is also a nurse, always tells me, "No matter what happens, you are going to be the calmest person in the room". This tool has helped me overcome some less than lovely situations. Be easy on yourself and go with the flow! 

6: Follow Your Passion

As I had mentioned earlier, you will more than likely want to spread your new grad wings and try a variety of different specialties. New nurses can be reluctant to changing positions because of losing good coworkers or fear of the unknown. Your first job may not be your end goal so it is OK to change positions and try new specialties. I would suggest staying in your first job for at least 6 months to a year. This helps build your confidence and allows time for you to get your feet wet. 

7: Stay Connected

Some of the best friendships I have made have been during nursing school. Think about it, you're all tortured by high grade expectations, tests, work together for hours on end studying, and you probably spent more time with them than you did your own family. Keeping those close nursing school friends helped me cope with the struggles that my first year brought. There is something comforting about being able to talk to someone who knows exactly what you're going through. Staying connected also widens your professional network as your colleagues will more than likely get jobs at different organizations. After all, getting hired as a nurse is a lot about who you know. 

8: Laugh At Yourself

This one should be at the very top of your list! If you're not able to laugh at yourself you're more likely to face burnout. One time I was irrigating a 3-way foley and there was so much pressure that the syringe came popping out and my nursing assistant and myself were sprayed with bloody urine (thank goodness for protective eyewear)! My patient busted out laughing and after a few seconds of being stunned, we joined in. 

9: Take Care of Yourself

This one is simple. You will spend 8, 12, even 16 hours at a time where you're handling the needs of others nonstop. It is easy to forget about your needs since putting others needs before your own is part of the job. All the more important to making time for yourself! On my days off I love to get breakfast or happy hour with friends, take epsom salt baths, spend time outside at the lakes, or catch up on my Netlix shows! It's all about balance, what's yours?

10: Set goals!

Once you've completed your first year as a new nurse, first, celebrate yourself! You did it! It wasn't so bad, right? Maybe by now you have decided that you'd like to go work in labor and delivery or head back to school for an advanced degree. Nursing is full of endless opportunities, it is just up to you to go and get it! 

Whether this is your first year as a new grad or you have been practicing for 20+ years, thank you for your passion and continued work!

Cheers!

Sarah

 

 

 

The Index

//Turning 30//

Can you believe I turn 30 in a few weeks?! If not, it's okay, my patient last week thought I was 20 (why thank you sir!). Generally, we have all heard that turning 30 "changes you", that there are usually lots of tears involved, and suddenly people start asking why you're not married or have any children. Luckily, times have changed and turning 30 comes with a great sense of empowerment and excitement! Looking back on my twenties I have so much to be proud of! I learned so, so much from my experiences and am very grateful that those have truly helped develop me into the person I am today (sooooo cheesy, I know). I am excited for what lies ahead for me in this new decade! Something I am most looking forward to is starting the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the University of Minnesota! This has been a long time professional goal of mine and I cannot wait to get going. Thank you to EVERYONE who has supported me through this process, encouraged me, and provided advice! You know who you are! :) Also, going into this brand new decade I am so grateful to have such a great group of friends! I am so lucky to have you all in my life! One of my favorite websites I follow, The Every Girl, has an incredible post about Why Life Gets Even Better After Turning 30 . Anyone else out there turning 30 this year? What are you most excited about!?

//Nice Ride//

One of my favorite times of year in Minnesota is Spring! The weather gets warmer, people are happier, and Nice Ride comes back! If you're not acquainted, Nice Ride is a bike share program in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. You probably have seen the green bikes docked at various street corners! Memberships are very affordable at $75 a year. Living right off of the greenway I love biking down to the Midtown Global Market for Taco Cat, around the lakes, or to the grocery store! Be sure to download their app for docking locations and bike availability! Get cruising!

//Coconut Water//

Even if you're not a coconut fan you should definitely still give this water a try! Coconut water will be your best friend with the hot and steamy summer months coming up! Personally, it took me a little while to get use to the flavor but I have found that the best one is the Zico Natural Coconut Water with Pineapple. You can pick one up at virtually any grocery store. I am happy that I have found a hydrating drink (aside from good old water) that isn't packed with sugar or dyes! Give it a try! You might surprise yourself with how much you like it!

//Z: The Beginning of Everything//

I think in my previous life I lived during the roaring 20s. Or at least I wish I had! All the glitz, glamour, and incredible fashion, who wouldn't want that!? Ok, I forgot to mention prohibition but that is just a small detail. ;) I recently binged on Amazon Prime's original series, Z: The Beginning of Everything. The show tells the love story of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you know your local history well you will know that F. Scott Fitzgerald is actually from Saint Paul. You can walk by his home on Summit avenue or visit him and Zelda's favorite bar, The Commodore. If you visit, one of the bars is actually original to the time the Commodore was created! Back to the show though! If you're looking for easy episodes to binge on and appreciate a good love story, check this one out. Christina Ricci does an incredible job of playing the character Zelda and David Hoflin as F. Scott Fitzgerald takes handsome to another level. Cheers darling!

//Yoga Paddle boarding//

Have you tried this activity yet? With my long list of summer activities that I want to try, this one is at the top! I have seen people do this on lake of the isles and Calhoun and have been wanting to try for awhile! What a great idea of blending yoga poses with paddle boarding! I am excited for the challenge of trying to stay on the board while doing a downward dog. SUP Calhoun offers classes on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings for people wanting to learn how to yoga paddle! Maybe I will see you out there! 

MSP Guide: Dive Bars

Hey guys! We're back with another MSP guide! Mel and I have been working hard collaborating with local dive bars to bring you some of the latest and greatest specials! We compiled a list of the bars that you wanted to hear more about! We hope this guide gives you a taste of the dive bar scene in MPLS! Cheers!

IMG_7903.JPG

//James Ballentine "Uptown" VFW//
2916 Lyndale Avenue South
MPLS, MN 55408
Bus Routes: 4 and 113. Hour Car hub located at 28th and Lyndale
Deals: Exclusive for the month of April: High Life & a shot of Fireball for $6! HH run from 11am-1pm M-Sa, 4-7pm on weekdays, and 9pm-close on M-W! As always, Grainbelt Premium pints are on tap for on $3.00! 
Ready to belt out a few tunes? Check out Midwest Karaoke Th-Sun 9pm-close! Hey! They were voted best karaoke by City Pages in 2016! 

//Liquor Lyles//
2021 Hennepin Avenue South
MPLS, MN 55405
Bus Routes: 6, Hour Car hub located on Franklin & Dupont
Deals: 2-for-1s on almost all drinks! Sundays are 3-for-1s! 

//CC Club//
2600 Lyndale Avenue South
MPLS, MN 55408
Bus Routes: 4 & 113. Hour car hub at 26th & lyndale. Nice ride station on southeast corner of Lyndale & 26th. 
Deals: HH 3-7pm & 9-10pm M-TH! Work in the restaurant business? Swing by after work on Sundays and Mondays from 10pm-close! 

//Grumpys Northeast//
2200 4th Street Northeast
MPLS MN
Bus Routes: 17D & 17B
Deals: Grumpy hour every day of the week! Catch all of the daily specials here. HH Highlight: Saturdays get $3 taps from local breweries including: Indeed, Fulton, Surly, Northgate, 612 Brew, and Sociable Cider! 

//The 1029//
1029 Marshall St. NE
MPLS MN 5413
Bus Routes: 30 & 30B, NiceRide station on corner of Broadway and Marshall Street NE
Deals: Get a buck off all drinks M-TH 10am-Noon & all drinks on Friday from 3-5pm are also a buck off!

//The 19 Bar//
19 W 15th Street
MPLS MN 55403
Bus Routes: 17 & 18
Deals: HH M-F 3-7PM, $1.75 taps, $2.50 rails, & $7 pitchers!

//Otter's Saloon//
617 Central Avenue SE
MPLS MN 55414
Bus Routes: 4, 61, 41. There's also a NiceRide station across the street! 
Deals: This place has SO many great deals it's hard to post them all! Check out the daily drink specials here! Highlight: Want to show off your singing chops? You're in luck! Otter's has karaoke 7 nights a week! (Need a little liquid courage? Grab the beer of the month, an Old Style tall boy for only $3.25!)

//The Northeast Palace//
2500 4th Street NE
MPLS MN 55418
Bus Routes: 32, NiceRide station on corner of 3rd Street NE and Lowry Avenue NE
Deals: Open Saturday & Sunday 11am-2am! Patio, free parking, & karaoke! HH 2-4-1s on rails and domestics! 

Raising a can of Hamms to all of our contributors especially:
Lynn Vashro- Otter's Saloon
Ben Jensen- Uptown VFW
Folks at CC Club
All of our Instagram follower input!!

 

Atlanta

I have been to Atlanta for what seems like a trillion times. Let me rephrase that, I have been to the Atlanta airport for what seems like a trillion times! Recently, my sister moved to the big A from the beach-y town of Charleston, South Carolina. While I always loved visiting Ash in Charleston I must say that my trip to Atlanta was even better! 

Atlanta is FILLED with tons of young professionals! Everywhere I looked there seemed to be 20-30 somethings out for a run, walking their dog, or getting a coffee. I also loved how similar that ATL is to MSP. Piedmont park and it's mid-town views reminded me so much of the parks here at home. There were always people out and about on the Beltline riding bikes or going out for a stroll. The day we visited there was actually a pub crawl happening on the Beltline! MPLS should consider this for the Greenway. Just saying ;) 

We spent time in the shade people watching on the Beltline at Ponce City Market

We spent time in the shade people watching on the Beltline at Ponce City Market

Ponce City Market is any shoppers dream come true! From it's many shops (s/o to Jcrew & my strong love for Goorin Bros Hat Company) to the enormous and diverse food market, Ponce City has a little treatsie for everyone who visits! 

Ponce City Market is any shoppers dream come true! From it's many shops (s/o to Jcrew & my strong love for Goorin Bros Hat Company) to the enormous and diverse food market, Ponce City has a little treatsie for everyone who visits! 

Having southern roots I have always had a deep love for southern food. Whenever I visit "down south" it is an absolute must to stop at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Apparently the shop we stopped at is the one that Shaq owns! Aside from getting my doughnut fix we had some incredible comfort food for brunch from South City Kitchen. We started with Pimento cheese and crackers (my mom's and grandmother's favorite) followed by fresh corn bread, scrambled eggs, and red mule grits. So good. 

Ice tea is a staple to any southern brunch!

Ice tea is a staple to any southern brunch!

No meal is complete without cast iron corn bread. 

No meal is complete without cast iron corn bread. 

While on our culinary tour of Atlanta (all calorie free, of course) we had dinner at Bricktops, a Southern/American cuisine spot with loads of southern hospitality. Bricktops had awesome cocktails, food, and the company was even better! 

Since tacos are a must on any trip, Ash suggested we have lunch at Superica. I am so glad she took us there! Were we able to sit out on the (heated) patio in early March which was a treat to us Minnesotans! Beers, tacos, chips & the avo-salsa was exactly what we needed! 

Patio fever was so real at Superica, the Krog Street Market location

Patio fever was so real at Superica, the Krog Street Market location

Our trip to Atlanta was short, sweet, and completely satisfying! If I didn't just commit to a 3 year doctorate program I would have considered moving there. Ok, well maybe more of a snowbird type situation. If you're stuck on where to go on your next trip or just need to shake off the winter blues, Atlanta is definitely a a spot to check off your list!

Ponce City Market Art

Ponce City Market Art

So many instagrammable worthy moments at Ponce City Market!

So many instagrammable worthy moments at Ponce City Market!

Thanks Ash for your southern hospitality! We will definitely be back soon!

Thanks Ash for your southern hospitality! We will definitely be back soon!

Eating Vegetarian

 One thing I have been thinking about during my busy work week are my eating habits. Since I work night shift at a hospital I eat meals at strange and unconventional times. I usually will eat dinner when I wake up in the evening and then will have a yogurt and granola bar overnight (with lots of coffee and water!). However, lately I have noticed that I have not been doing that great of a job eating well. There is always room for improvement, right? Last weekend while at a friend's birthday party sparked an idea for how I could make changes. A mutual friend was talking about how he considers himself a “flegan”. Yes, you read that right, flegan. A flexible vegan. Since he doesn’t have food allergies that constrain him to being 100% vegan he adopted the idea of being a flegan. I thought about that concept and how it applies to my eating habits as I (try my best) follow the vegetarian lifestyle.

I have been an off-and-on-again vegetarian since college when I wanted to try a new diet for marathon training. Personally, I like being a vegetarian because I feel lighter, have more energy, my skin appears more hydrated, and I love trying out new recipes! However, I must confess that I do occasionally have times where I will eat meat, mainly chicken or pork. Can you tell where this is headed?! Flegetarianism! Okay, that’s a stretch but you get what I mean. With that, I think there is always time to look at our habits, whatever they may be, and find ways to adjust them. If you are a vegetarian, great! I’d love to hear from you about recipe ideas and/or advice! If you’re thinking of maybe adopting a few vegetarian meals into your recipe cycle, awesome! You came to the right place. Below you will find my top 5 favorite completely meatless meals! Bon appetite!

// Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing //

Alright, raise your hand if you like anything with avocados! This recipe from Vegangela.com is seriously so delicious and a refreshing dish to make in the summer. Not only is it packed with protein it also serves very well as leftovers.

// Tofu + Black Bean Tacos //

Tofu is probably one of my favorite foods to explore with. There are so many different ways you can cook and serve it! Doesn’t hurt either that it is packed with protein, iron, and calcium. I like this recipe from Whole Foods because it has simple ingredients and the scrambled tofu mimics ground turkey or beef. Also, who doesn’t love tacos!!

 

 

// Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Harvest Bowl //

One of my favorite websites for recipes is theminimalistbaker.com. All of her recipes contain 10 or less ingredients and the meals are done in about a half hour. Score! This harvest bowl recipe is seriously so delicious and filling it is perfect for a damp and chilly Minnesotan day. I also like it because you can choose your favorite vegetables and really make it your own!

 

//Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Peppers //

If you’re like me and love stuffed peppers you need to try this one from The Minimalist Baker! Since this recipe yields anywhere from 2-6 stuffed peppers it makes for a great date night meal or dinner party entrée.

HEALTHY-Cauliflower-Rice-Stuffed-Peppers-Protein-and-fiber-rich-and-so-easy-vegan-glutenfree-plantbased-peppers-recipe.jpg

 

// Quick & Easy Indian Curry Quinoa //

Ok, this recipe is hands down one of my all time faves. However, make sure you get unsweetened coconut milk or you’ll end up with a terribly sweet dish! Not that that has ever happened before or anything. ;) Seriously though, this recipe really opened my eyes to the wonderful world of curry. You can play around with how intense you’d like the curry to be and even add sautéed peppers for added color and bulk.

 

Are you hungry yet?

Have a great week! 

Sarah

 

 

 

The Index

Hi guys! Welcome to The Index! I have been wanting to expand the blog with posts about the top five topics or current events that I cannot get off my mind. I hope you enjoy! 

//One// Watercoloring 

One of my goals for 2017 was to challenge myself creatively. A few of my friends have inspired me to try watercoloring! (Thank you Meghan & Erica!) With a little encouragement from my friends and lots of YouTube videos I have created a few pieces! The one thing I love about watercoloring is that you cannot mess up. So, naturally, it's a great activity for a type A personality like myself. Give it a try! 

//Two// Minnesota United FC

I have been SO excited for the upcoming season of the Minnesota United Football Club. Being an avid soccer player and huge fan I am so happy to have them playing at TCF bank stadium! The season opener is this Sunday, March 13th against the Atlanta United. If I wasn't working I would be there. Go in my place this time? You can get tickets on their website here

//Three// Beauty & the Beast

This one is a bit of a nerd alert! My all time favorite Disney movie growing up was Beauty & the Beast. I even had a themed birthday party and sleeping bag. Alright, now that I have admitted that. I cannot wait to go see this film featuring my girl Emma Watson! It is in theaters March 17th! Will you be my guest? 

//Four// Uncle Harry's natural skin care

This past weekend I was in Atlanta visiting my sister for a little R&R. Naturally as sisters do I raided her skincare products! (Thanks Ash!) I tried out the Uncle Harry's clay mask bar. Wow. This mask was lovely because of how gentle and purifying it was. It also dried quickly which I appreciated. Turns out Uncle Harry's has some other bomb A products including rose water elixirs, haircare products, and aromatherapy oils. I recommend this product to anyone who has sensitive skin and gravitates towards natural products! 

//Five// Self care 

Spring is always a time for reevaluating our behaviors, patterns, and looking at how we can better care for ourselves. The past few weeks have been challenging and adjusting to change has been tougher than normal for me (hey, I am a Taurus, we hate change as it is). I have found that challenging times create wonderful opportunities for self care. There are so many resources out there revolving around self care and development. First, write down the activities or things that bring you happiness! For me, seeing friends, practicing yoga, and positive affirmations usually does the trick! In the people pleasing world we live in it is common to neglect yourself! Find you're passionate about and use that to recharge your battery. Filling your life with positive words, actions, and people, in good times and bad, is super healthy. After all, what we put out into the world is what we attract, right? Still unsure of where to start? Give one of these TED talks on the importance of self care a listen! 

Have an awesome week!!

Sarah

MSP Guide to: How to Beat the Winter Blues

Well hello there! It has been AWHILE. I decided to take a break over the holiday season but I am back! Recently, the very lovely Mel and I met up over drinks to work on a blog collaboration! We decided we wanted to create a seasonal guide to our amazing cities. We will trade off posting the guide to our respective blogs while simultaneously collaborating on the posts. You can (and should) find the Spring MSP guide on Mel's blog here.

So, ahem, without further ado! Here is the very first MSP guide, How to beat the winter blues!

For a good laugh: Huge Theater

resized_huge-theater-1_1072x712.jpg

Huge theater in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis is the place to go if you want a great laugh. Huge has a variety of improv shows every night of the week at a decent price of about $7 a ticket. For extra laughs sign up for one of their improv courses and show off your talents at a show! How to get there: Take bus 4, 21, or 53, or an Hour Car Hub is at 31st and Lyndale, walking distance in the surrounding lynlake neighborhood. Huge theater also has a connected lot next door with lots of parking.

 

For the outdoor enthusiast: City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival

ows_139122431778837.jpg

The Loppet Ski Festival has always been a classic winter activity for many Minnesotans. What is even better is that the festival takes place this weekend-February 3rd-5th. Perfect timing. The website lists all of the times and places of the many loppet races as well as other activities including fireworks on Friday night! You can find the full list of activities here!! If you're thirsty or hungry there will also be a Surly Brewing Beer Garden and food truck village once you get hungry after seeing all of the races! On Sunday you can even catch a dogsled loppet race at 3:45pm! The Loppet festival takes place this year at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis and there is tons of parking nearby with convenient shuttles to and from the events. If you prefer the bus take bus 7 all the way to the Plymouth Avenue bridge near the Wirth Shalet.  

Cozy spots: Nina's Coffee & Marvel bar

With so many great new coffee spots in the Twin Cities it's sometimes hard to stand out in a crowd. However, Nina's coffee in Saint Paul is by far my all time favorite place to go for a cup of coffee (or 3 refills of chai). Located at the corner of Selby avenue and Western, you cannot miss it! Nina's is my favorite place for many reasons but the main reason is it's coziness factor. From the oversized windows (perfect for watching the snow fall), plush couches, and charming architecture, Nina's is the perfect spot to get out and meet a friend on a blustery, cold day. I recommend the chai with nutmeg on top. So. delicious. Street parking is tight but available and Nina's is right on bus route 21. Fear not if you end up having to hike a few blocks because the Cathedral Hill neighborhood makes for a gorgeous walk.

Alright, so maybe the cold snap has got you down and you need a cocktail ASAP. Head on over to Marvel Bar! When collaborating with Mel she immediately suggested adding Marvel Bar as a hot spot. Located in the basement of The Bachelor Farmer in the North Loop. Marvel bar has a speakeasy kind of vibe where its encouraged to keep your phone in your pocket or purse & just enjoy your company. Marvel bar is always bustling but if you hang around long enough you can usually snag a good spot. Trust me, it's worth it. Careful though! Sitting at the bar can quickly put you in a trance watching your drink being made. Marvel also has a variety incredible cozy cocktails that will definitely snap you out of your winter funk. Getting there  is easy too by taking bus route 7! Lots of street parking available as well as a parking lot located behind The Bachelor Farmer.

Mel and I know that sometimes the winter weather can get you down! We hope that our list excites and encourages you to embrace the season in whatever way suits you best! What are some ways that you guys beat the winter blues?! We would love to hear your stories and ideas! Keep posted for our next MSP Guide to the cities on Mel's site!

Book Club is for Nerds

Tis' the season for cozy sweaters, hot toddies, and endless Netflix binges on the couch. It's also an important time to be social and keep connected! Lucky for you I have a great option for you! Last January I was invited to join a book club! Now, I have been a part of book clubs that have failed to get off the ground because a. we drank too much wine, b. we talked about everything else other than the book, and c. we drank too much wine. However, I am proud to say that this book club has been amazingly successful and a hella good time. We still drink probably too much wine and go off on tangents but it's a wonderful excuse to see one another, read a variety of genres of books, and cultivate new friendships. (cheesy alert!). I think our book club has been so successful for many, many reasons. Here are a few…
1. We only meet every 6 weeks! Trying to meet every month was not feasible for our group.  Meeting once every 6 weeks has given us the perfect amount of time to read the book (or in my case enough time to procrastinate to read the book). 
2. The host gets to choose the book! This has worked very well for our group. After our meeting a person will volunteer to host next and email out some options for the next book! We have had such a variety of reads because of this method! Also, at this point I feel like I am trying to sell you a bottle of oxy clean or something. Hang in there! 
3. Having a mix of friends attend! Our book club has a healthy mix of relationships ranging from people meeting for the first time to besties from college. Being a part of a book club has allowed me to meet some pretty hilarious women. It also has given me a great excuse to see some good friends on the regular. Cue the kleenex! 

Now that you have a few tips on how to get your idea from book flub to book club, here are the books we have read this year! 

  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
  • Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan 
  • The Girls by Emma Cline
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • The Expats by Chris Pavone

Our next book for our anniversary book club next year will be, ORIGINALS: HOW NON-CONFORMISTS MOVE THE WORLD by Adam Grant. Ladies, I will be bringing champagne and I promise to have read the book well before a week in advance. 

Phew! You survived the arguably most nerdy post yet! Pat yourself on the back, pour yourself a glass of whiskey, or maybe go buck wild and do both! Regardless if you're an avid book worm or cannot sit down long enough to read, next time someone asks if you want to join a book club, do it! 

 

My Top Three Podcasts for Women

Who run the world?! If you don't know the answer to that question look it up on youtube and listen to the song. For all of those who do, did the answer just shout out in your head? Mine too! 

In the never ending sea of podcasts it can seem sort of daunting to find just the right one that resonates with you. I usually find my favorites through recommendations from friends or by researching suggested podcasts. In addition, I must say that there are a healthy amount of female based/ran podcasts out there! (finally!

I keep finding myself texting friends as well as my sister (sorry Ash!) sending them podcast episodes to listen to! So, I thought I would share them with all of you as well! I wanted to focus in on three specific podcasts because they each touch on different areas of life from business to self development to relationships. 

First up! 

The Lively Show! This podcast was created by Jess Lively and was designed to help empower, inspire, and teach people how to tune into their intuition. This podcast revolves around self development and has so many wonderful episodes. One of my favorites is an episode about what motivates us in relationships, how to have our intuition guide us, and how our relationships affect our intuition. Now, if you're anything like me you don't like mushy-gushy self help materials. The thing I like about Jess is that she lays things out in a very approachable and non-threatening manner. I think everyone (men and women) could benefit from this podcast and is definitely worth hitting the subscribe button! 

Second! 

Okay, this show is so hilarious, fun, empowering, and relatable it's no wonder that it is in my top three! Lady Lovin' was created by Jillian Hendrix, Lo Bosworth, and Greta Titelman. The podcast was designed to empower women by discussing topics everyone wants to talk about: sex, relationships, business, health/wellness, etc. I absolutely love this podcast because you feel like you're sitting there sipping a martini on a Saturday night with your girlfriends. Seriously! I also really appreciate how candid and open they are with sharing their own experiences! Lady Lovin' is super approachable, relatable, and every woman should tune in. One of my favorite episodes is the one about modern relationships ! Give them a listen! You won't regret it (unless that is if you pee your pants from laughing so hard) ;)

Finally! 

For all my #girlbosses out there! (yes, you!!) You'll love this podcast station, #girlboss radio w/ Sophia Amoruso. This podcast is set up interview-style with Sophia interviewing successful and inspiring women. The episodes discuss how women have become successful in their creative, business, and cultural endeavors. Girlboss is great because the interviews provide excellent business (and life) advice for women by women. Whenever I am done listening to one of these episodes I always feel more empowered and inspired! Sophia has so many lovely episodes but one of my favorites is titled, "Finance and the City with Farnoosh Tarabi". The episode is one that all women living in the city can relate to! 

There you have it!! Hopefully you feel as empowered and inspired as I do after listening to these three amazing podcasts! Also! shameless plug but, get out and VOTE this week!!! If you want to avoid the lines on Election day try voting early! Information on early voting in Minneapolis can be found here. FYI: early voting ends Monday, November 7th. 

Have a wonderful weekend lovely,

Sarah 

The Simple Guide to Creating a Bar Cart

Hi there! First of all, cheers! We made it to Friday! If you don't feel like getting out for a happy hour today fear not, this post will definitely quench any thirst you've developed throughout the week. 

Recently I have noticed a lot of posts on Instagram that feature bar carts! They are all incredible and seem to have everything you would need for any classic cocktail. (I will take a perfect Manhattan please!) Although, if you're anything like me, those wonderfully crafted bar carts can seem overwhelming with all of the liquor, bitters, glassware, decanters, etc. 

This got me thinking about my bar cart that I "developed". Personally, I enjoy a more simple set up with just a few types of liquor, vintage glassware, and the occasional bottle of wine stored on the bottom rack. If you're looking to build a bar cart of your own let me help you out!

IMG_7202.JPG

First, you need to find a bar cart that you like! I got mine at Target last season for about $130. It is lightweight and rolls very well! I love the brushed bronze look and the lower shelf is perfect for storing my wine glasses and decanter.

IMG_7196.JPG

Second, find a few favorite spirits that you most enjoy and that are versatile in making a few of the classics. My cart has Jameson, Bullet bourbon, and of course, for those martini lovers out there, Hendrick's gin. I typically enjoy my bourbon and whiskey neat but it is nice to have a cocktail shaker just in case!

IMG_7198.JPG

Finally, find some great glassware to showoff on your new bar cart! I enjoy scouring thrift and antique shops for vintage glassware. I found the decanter in the photo at Hunt and Gather! It's not only the perfect size for the cart, it also gives the cart a classic, vintage look. While I have a true love for vintage glassware, I did mix in a few more modern pieces like this whiskey glass from MSP Clothing

Remember, keep it simple, make it your own, and most importantly, drink what you love! Cheers!

EastLake Craft Brewery

Over the years Minneapolis (and Saint Paul) has had a wealth of established breweries pop up! Every weekend you could go out and try out a new local craft beer. Recently, I discovered a brewery just down the street from where I live! Eastlake Craft Brewery is located in the Midtown Global Market off of East Lake street and 10th Avenue south. This location is PERFECT for a brewery as there are what seems like a trillion food choices within the market. If you're hungry you won't have to wait long for something delicious.  All of the shops within the market will quickly deliver straight to your spot at the bar! (yes!!!)

From Kombucha on tap to bottled botanically brewed sodas to the wide array of brews, Eastlake has something to offer everyone. My favorite is the vegan Almond Milk Stout. It is deceivingly light, very smooth, and SO delicious. You can also fill up an awesome growler or bomber with your favorite brew to take home! This place was also so easy to enjoy a beer partly due to the design! I was completely inspired by the gym floor lacquered bar tops and the open layout gives the space a polished yet cool industrial look.

Not only does this place have insane beers, they also have a high stack of great board games! My friend Meg and I attempted to play Scrabble but were quickly side tracked with wanting to order burritos and spring rolls.

Not only does this place have insane beers, they also have a high stack of great board games! My friend Meg and I attempted to play Scrabble but were quickly side tracked with wanting to order burritos and spring rolls. Next time I think I will try a beer flight! Maybe then my Scrabble game would improve.

Bottom line is whether you're looking for an easy drinking stout, a crisp and hoppy IPA, or a smooth pale ale, Eastlake is definitely a spot to put on the top of your brewery hop list!

 

Up Nort'

Going up Nort' (as true Minnesotans would say), has always been a love of mine. My family has a cabin in a small town just north of Duluth that sits up on the bluff overlooking the lake. It is truly the epitome of peaceful and cozy. Autumn is always my favorite time to visit the north shore because of all the fall colors. Obviously. If you time your trip right you will see the most vibrant colors of the year! A great spot I like to see the fall foliage is at Tettegouche state park just past Silver Bay. 

IMG_7094.JPG

The picture above is of my absolute favorite beach at Tettegouche. I love it so much because of how serene and peaceful it is. I love taking a break there and listening to the water lapping onto the pebbled shore. Even though the hike down to the shore is long it is well worth the views! 

As a Minnesotan I am very accustomed to packing for any type of weather. It could be sunny and 75 one day and the next it could snow. (Sorry I said the S word. Whoops!) I was lucky that the weather was a perfectly crisp 58 degrees during my hike at Tettegouche. Since I spent the majority of my time down by the water, my packable Hunter boots were a must. These boots are great because they roll up and fit very nicely in a weekender bag or duffle bag. My blazing red jacket is actually my boyfriend's old Patagonia rain coat! This jacket was perfect for a breezy and damp hike around the park! Even though the weather was a bit cool, I was definitely comfortable in this light jacket and comfortable boots. 

Now, If only I could start every morning with this view and a cup of coffee. 

After spending the day hiking I decided to treat myself to a Spotted Cow (or two) and a cozy bonfire! 

Aside from hiking and bonfires, there is so much more to do while visiting the north shore! If you like pie I highly recommend Betty's Pies off of Hwy 61 just past Two Harbors. Their cherry pie is so mouthwatering and definitely worth the calories. If you're more of a history buff I recommend stopping by Split Rock lighthouse and taking a guided tour of the property! Whether you're in the area for the night or a few days, visiting the north shore will definitely not disappoint! Happy Travels!