Tag Archives: Apple

something’s happening

In September, I got married. and it was the most incredible day ever. I have a lot to say about it but I’m waiting until I have one more piece… our wedding video.  As a blogger and someone interested in recording our lives in some digital form, a journal of sorts – this blog… {possibly a new domain / name some day as I transition into being on a team}… I’m basically bursting @ the seams to blog about all the details and share it in the webspace for friends & family to experience.  Some things just are worth the wait, you know? xx

In the meantime, i have a lot on my mind. And it basically has to do with what our time here on earth is made of.  Deep, I know, but get to it… and this is my blog.  A bit before we went to Hawaii (next post!), I’d been doing a lot of soul-searching.  Life is so incredibly short… what do I want to make up my time while I’m here?

My now husband (eek!), showed me this video when we were lounging on Maui and I think the world needs to watch it, if they haven’t already.  And if you have? Watch it again. And make your loved ones watch it.  Put your life into perspective and consider with what you’re spending your 24 hours each day doing.

http://youtu.be/BOksW_NabEk

Um, whoa.  I had a small internal panic attack when I watched that. Why didn’t someone show me that in high school?  Freshman year?… When we were worried about the most trivial of things, stressed-out and drama-filled with events like Prom (who let me spend so much money on those high school formals?!… easily $5K… cringe).

As an adult, I’m trying to spend a bit of time each day reading sites like Quora or watching TED videos.  To keep my brain fresh, keep it thinking.  A few days ago, I read a question posted on Quora titled, “How can I thoroughly screw up my life.” Now, that’s a pretty deep inquiry.  The answer, linked below, by Raqhav Upmanyu has many thoughts I align with.  Especially now, as I’m in this phase of contemplation; wanting to shape my life in a way that brings fulfillment / happiness / experiences.

https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-thoroughly-screw-up-my-life-1/answer/Raghav-Upmanyu?srid=hjz3&share=9f49236c

And I know this is entirely an opinion, so take everything he says with a grain of salt or whatever. But it’s a perspective I somewhat align with.  It makes me think hard about what I want to make of my time left.  He starts out saying the biggest mistake you can make is becoming a statistic and “settling for being a useless part of the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”  Me? I can’t live like that. I can’t be put through the motions and do a 9 to 5 in a cubicle and come out on the other end tired, stressed, lacking sleep, motivation and drive.  That is exactly what I would turn into.  And it’s not just in the business realm.  I found myself watching the Oscars last night. At the end of it, I thought, ‘I just wasted 3 hours on something I don’t have any interest whatsoever in.  I hadn’t seen a single movie that was nominated!? Emily, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I could have been designing cards for my etsy business, reading the book I can’t seem to get through, laughing & connecting with my beautiful mama, sorting through yet another bin of crap I’ve saved over the years with some thought of needing it in a future time (more on that purging process later).

All in all, I want to get down on paper that today is February 29, 2016, Leap Day, an extra day for free just cause.  I’m committing to making whatever mindset I’m chasing a reality.  I want to make this life fulfilling and get everything I can out of it.  I want to do things I enjoy doing, that bring me happiness and flex my creative muscles.  I want to travel as much as possible. I want to experience everything.  I want to take chances. I want to love crazily.  I don’t want to be stressed.  I don’t want to be burnt out.  I want to be fresh +  real + alive.  I want to laugh + be optimistic + positive for 95% of my life.  And yes, this a ridiculously lofty, insane goal but why can’t I try to shoot for it? It’s worth it to me to try.

Please don’t take this post as me pointing fingers.  This is my online space to speak what’s on my mind; this is what I want to capture.  And have my kids read someday.  Hopefully they’ll think their mother was the baddest woman that ever lived who strived to make the most of her existence.

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If I could pick something, anything, that describes how I’m feeling currently.  It would be this canvas bag from @sugarboodesigns

wooza / peace / love

em j

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Scottsdale: Saturday

Good morning sweat box! We woke up and got our daily caffeine fix at Village Coffe Roastery. Dirty Iced Chais and a pistachio muffin. Both of which we’d all vouch for. There was a small shelf for the locals to store their coffee mugs (kinda like beer mugs being kept in lockers in beer halls of Germany). Cool location, great coffee, definitely gave us some energy! photo 1photo 2photo 3 Next up : SPIN! One of the first times I visited Scottsdale – Kates exposed me to this exercise phenomenon called Spin. But down here, they do it WAY differently than I’ve been used to. The room is black, blacklights, concert-volume mixed pop music, and everyone is 110% balls to the wall. You leave dripping with sweat, feeling like you just scaled a mountain and conquered world peace after 60-minutes. We took spin at the Madison Improvement Club. Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 10.32.51 PM It’s a swanky spin/yoga boutique with a modern health cafe on the inside. You even have the option to preorder your food before your class so it’s ready and waiting for you to inhale afterwards. Yesterday was Orange Theory and today was Spin… let’s just say our thighs and quads were on FIRE. Like literally on fire. The music was excellent, the instructor faced us and called people out over the eardrum blasting noise to “sprint! sprint! spring!” At the end of the class, on a normal, non-Hell temperature day, they open up the front wall to a gorgeous view of Camelback Mountain. We were thankful they kept the doors closed this time around. photo 1 copy 2photo 3 copy 2 photo 2 copy 2photo 4 copyphoto 5photo Our refueling took place at a great place in Old Town Scottsdale called Chop Shop. Are you getting the theme of a Scottsdale visit? Workout, REALLY hard, and eat at REALLY awesome restaurants! Cardio, fuel. Spin, brunch. It’s a cycle (ha!) and we love it! At Chop Shop I had the Zen Bowl: scrambled eggs, spinach, mushrooms, onions, white cheddar and brown rice. Ah-may-zing. We dined outside under the misters and gradually live was returned to our legs. photo 1 copyphoto 2 copy photo 3 copyphoto 4
After refueling, we ran a few errands. Katie dropped her iPhone and completely shattered the screen. Is this a sign she’s on it too much? 😉

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It was time for a dip in the pool. Two hours of pool to be exact. After we cooled down, we showered, made a few drinks for the road and headed to Fashion Square Mall to get the heck out of the heat. The drinks were not, in fact, for the road but instead for a little adventurous shopping. We had a few dressing room dance parties, and enjoyed the latest in POS checkout technology. #nerd

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Something that lights my heart on fire when I’m with these girls is we always make friends where we go.  One stop at Fashion Square was to LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.  The moment we walked in, we were greeted by a young man who inquired what brought us in.  He told us about himself, how he’s a ballet dancer, and recommended tons of products to us!  I told him I really wanted to get a great facial mask and also something to tame down my insane long locks in this heat.  He recommended, and I purchased, Mask of Magnaminty and Sea Spray for my hair.  The whole place is well done with a beautiful font and the way they display their products.  The masks look like they’re displayed at a salad bar on ice.  The large wedges of soaps reminded me of the enormous wheels of Gouda cheese in Amsterdam.  I fell in love with Lush today after I read their We Believe statement.

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After we exhausted all that Fashion Square had, we drove to Scottsdale Quarter to continue our night. A stop at the Apple Store allowed us to get Kate’s a new iPhone and also allowed a little time for Carley to change the backgrounds of multiple devices to showcase a really hot picture of Hugh Jackman.

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Dinner took place at True Food.  Another Scottsdale staple – incredibly healthy, organic spot.  You can order anything and everything on the menu and be 110% satisfied.

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I always get the Chicken Chopped Salad.  There’s something about the way the manchego cheese, marcona almonds and jicama mixes together that it takes me to my happy place every time.  We split the Vegetable Crudités starter – it was like a wonderful garden on ice with fabulous dipping sauces.  Really cool presentation – we were impressed.

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Katie is friends with a manager and she brought us these delicious honeydew melon vodka cocktails (which we of course, cheers’ed).  The back end of the restaurant near the outdoor restroom held this garden, sink washing station that caught my eye in the setting sun.  Love True Food, always have, always will.

photo 2-1photo 2-2The end of the evening brought us to a 3-story Restoration Hardware, because let’s be honest, you know there’s going to be some good stuff in there.  I only fell in love with 75% of the store.  Carley tried out many chairs and we decided this one most resembles her walk-on role in Game of Thrones and thus she had to buy it ($15,000 later….).

photo 3-2As we walked up the flight of stairs, I marveled at these hanging chandeliers inside of bird cages, hung by thick shipyard rope.  I need a big house, with tall ceilings, so I can properly hang them. #wishfulthinking

photo 1-2We made friends with the gentleman that greeted us at the entrance, named Brian.  He took us on the Grande’ Tour of the store and priced out different couches we laid on.  We, of course, knew at this time they were out of our price range but we laughed and he enjoyed chatting with us.  He looked up prices on his iPad and we walked through all the different rooms, quickly falling in love with every duvet and medieval spoon we found.  We bid Brian a good evening, bought a few little trinkets, and made a swift stop at It’Sugar candy shop for some pineapple gummi bears and chocolate covered oreos.

The evening ended with another hilarious round of Cards Against Humanity.

Loving this adventure,

xo

 

Listening to.

 

 

 

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Scottsdale bound

Tonight I took a super late flight to Scottsdale for the weekend.  Time for a little R&R with some close girlfriends.  I’ve been out there many times and always come back feeling refreshed, renewed, with my core body temperature slightly out of sync in the red zone.  I have miles on Delta (more on that later) and booked a flight to the tune of 25,000 miles + $7.50 in taxes.

Knowing I paid the ticket taxes with my Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, means I have one free checked bag.  I decided to pack more than enough into a larger than necessary bag.  A girl likes to have options, 3 swimsuits for 4 days?  I think so!  I found my seat in the back of the plane and smiled to myself as I set eyes on my seat mates.  Both younger girls wearing yoga pants.  With a thankful sigh of relief, I scooted into my window seat.  Nine times out of ten, I have someone pushing 3 bills and reeking of cheap beer sitting next to me.  Flying takes on a whole new adventurous tone when you aren’t sure if the dude next to you is either going to try to hit on you or throw up in your lap.  Not pleasant.  I enjoyed not having a sweaty, hairy thigh pushed up against my personal leg space.  I enjoyed the camaraderie of using Apple products with competent, smart, healthy girls doing the same next to me.  Call me crazy, but that never happens and I was thankful.  As I was sitting in me seat, I watched my luggage roll up the conveyor belt underneath me into the plane.  That’s always a good sign.  The journey is off to a good start.

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Katie picks me up from the airport where I’m instantly sweating on the sidewalk.  This is going to be a test of strength and effort to not literally melt while I’m here.  No one likes a puddle!  We drive back to her apartment in Scottsdale and I haul my 44-lb luggage into the room I’ll be staying in while I’m here.  The AC is a blessing and I have a feeling we’ll be spending quite a bit of time near the pool.  Go for a run, jump in the pool.  Lunch date, then jump in the pool.

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This morning we woke up and had iced coffee + Rumchata – a true start to vacation.  Cheers to a hot, sweaty, adventurous-weekend!

Life is good!

xo,

Listening to this.

Current temperature in Scottsdale at 7:55 AM : 86 F

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weekly iPhone pic drop

weekly iphone pic drop

We have begun prepping two locations at our place to put on Airbnb – a home-sharing style website.  Charge them to rent out the boathouse or the whole lower level of the main house.  I walked down to start moving furniture around and post on Craigslist.  There was a slightly musty smell coming from behind the theater wall.  I knelt down to explore and my knees got wet.  It turns out the draining pipe from our siding overhaul last summer was not properly pieced together and all of that insane monsoon rain we had the past few weeks?  Yeah, it’s safely stationed in our basement.  Commence operation Rip Apart and Dry It Up.  Who coined that phrase when it rains it pours?… I’d like to force them to do a shot of bottom-shelf tequila (no lime).

Sometimes I see vehicles with modifications that cannot be explained.  Isn’t this one of those Muppet dolls?

In Uptown resides a hotspot called Republic.  It took over the top-level bar called Independent in Calhoun Square.  My favorite drink is called the Skinny Ginny and consists of Hendricks, St. Germain, tonic and thai basil.  I’m a standing testament that the maximum should be two.  Just enough, not too much, end the evening gracefully.

Did you know that laundromats still exist?  Just kidding, I’m not that naive.  We spent the better part of an entire evening doing no less than three loads of laundry at a local coin operated joint.  A family there seemed camped out for the long haul, each kid had a coloring book, there were snacks, it was like a picnic hotspot.  I didn’t understand the need for Distractors (Cheez-Its, drawing materials) until I saw they had what seemed to be the entire ship of Titanic’s worth of clothing in a half dozen machines and piled up on the folding table.  Either they change clothes 3x a day, they wait two months to wash everything, or there are nine more of them at home while the ladies do all the work.

The theme of the season for a bit of time was oranges.  Orange Theory fitness kicked my rear into gear while I used up a Groupon I had purchased awhile back.  The gym combines running, rowing and TRX/free weights for a rapid-fire 60-minute sweat session.  In other news, Costco sells some pretty juicy oranges in big cardboard boxes and I put my stamp of approval on them.

For a few weeks I couldn’t find gas for less than $4.65/gallon.  Now I’m stuck between deciding to sell my car that I adore, or take more public transportation.  I’m in favor of more transportation but judging by the fact that the bus leaves from a spot near my house, but does not ever come back puts me between a rock and a hard place.  Perhaps I need to start biking to work again.  I just cannot get used to biking on the road, and every direction I turn is under construction.  Time to sell the Lexus and shop for a more fuel-efficient car?  Perhaps.

Have you ever taken a gander at the shampoo/conditioner section at Target?  It’s like a Cheese Emporium in Europe.  There are more options than we should be allowed to choose from.  Let’s narrow this wall down to the top ten bestsellers and get rid of all the extras.  It’s crazy we are inundated with this amount of product.  It’s ridiculous, really.  People should be focusing on whether they’re going to run 3 miles or do a circuit today.  This nation needs to put emphasis on making decisions to stay in shape and eat healthy instead of which bottle o’goo is going to make your hair super shiny and long like Kim Kardashian.

Case in point, I shopped for a grill-out last weekend and noticed this marketing.  Basically: serve Coca-Cola and your family will eat dinner with you tonight.  HA!  This is good stuff.  Who made that up?  Now THAT guy deserves a swift kick in the arse.

The concrete hallway at work shares a back entrance to many other shops in our mall.  One recently relocated and this happened.  A dolly of upper torsos complete with side boobs.  Throw a filter on this and I would hang it in my laundry room as a 16×20 canvas.  Random self-proclaimed art.

A month long delay between posts does a girl good.  My life has gone from 6 to 10 and I’m a happy, blessed lady!

Another update in a few days… oh, and the link to my new blog will be released!

xo,

em.j

Sipping on.
Nightmares about.  (now does this not look the CREEPIEST movie ever?  Kudos to the director or whomever came up with the storyline – pretty creative.)
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a recap of semi-awesome proportions

I wasn’t prepared for the random week that I’ve had.  But I’m healthy and happy and I won’t complain.

A friend of mine told me about this company she has a subscription with, called IPSY.  Ten bucks a month gets you a little makeup bag of different products and brands to try.  Now, if you know me, you’ll know I’m not a very high maintenance girl.  Give me a hair binder, a lip chap (or six), some Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Shampoo, and I can conquer the world.  But, I decided to expand my horizons and try some different products on the market.  Maybe I’ll find some I like.  Yesterday I got my January bag.  Inside was, Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter (so luxuriously smooth!), bigsexyhair spray & play volumizing hairspray (va-voom!), nailtini nail polish in bloody mary (holy red!), Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (makes my hair shiny like diamonds!) and a SOHO eyeliner brush.

I’m about to broaden my horizons in the realm of cosmetics.  And if I don’t like something, well… that’s what best friends are for right?

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After many long months of waiting… one of my Kickstarter rewards has arrived!  Jake Parker is a phenomenal artist.  His goal was to design and publish a book with the help of crowd funding.  Behold, the hard cover that I’m so excited to flip through.  He did a great job and it’s super exiting to see a project that you’ve backed, sitting right in front of you!  Check out more of his work on his website.  I heard his original intent was to his stories bound in a book for his kids to read…  adorable.

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The crazier part of the last few days is that I had jury duty this week.  For real.  It was very, VERY anticlimactic.  I sat in one room for 8 hours at a time – and read a seriously funny book that I highly recommend.  So wait, I got paid to read a book?  Well, yes, work pays me to go to jury duty… and there is compensation from the county for my “duty”, to the tune of about $10 each day… hardly covers parking downtown.

Isn’t there a better system for this?  Instead of 80 people sitting, waiting, in silence, to be called (and only about 15 did), couldn’t we be on-call?  And if you need someone, then I will leave what I’m doing and go to the courthouse?  It seemed like a lot of man hours gone to waste.  Let’s hope I never have to do that again.  And if I do get summoned, I’m crossing my fingers I get chosen for a super high-profile murder trial and then sequestered.  I would love a series of free nights stay at a swanky hotel downtown and fresh grilled salmon each night. A queen sized bed all to myself with sheets of egyptian cotton? Room service? Hot showers that can last for twenty minutes? Sign me up! k thanks bye!

go live your life,
xo

Adding to my wishlist
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ready or not Belfast, here we come

Everyday feels like a gloomy Sunday here, with the rain. Except for us, it’s not gloomy, it’s an adventure. But, could you imagine living here? No sundresses, no skirts, no swimsuits. Pale skin pretty much year round. I love, love passing through but don’t think I could spend my life here in Ireland.

Today we woke up and took super hot showers which resulted in very foggy castle windows. #castleproblems When else are we going to spend the night in a castle? We had to make the most of it! Breakfast was much appreciated before we packed up and shipped out. We took one of the four local taxis to the bus stop where we were dropped off our first day in Collooney. It is on the side of the road, next to a stone wall. The bus was a tad late and it was raining, drizzle-raining that Ireland is so well known for. I passed the time by perfecting my handstands and wearing my hipKNOTies in strategic placement.

The bus arrives at 11:10 and we board. We pay the bus driver in Euros (€17.50) to get to Derry. We make a 15 minute pit stop in Sligo (super cool surfer town that I wished we had a chance to visit… next time!) and spend about 2 hours en route to Derry. In Derry, we really quickly find a toilet (not restroom, or bathroom, they call them toilets) and pee. Then even more quickly we buy our bus ticket to Belfast. This happens within 2 minutes as the bus leaves on time. The currency now has changed to pounds (£) and the fare to Belfast is £11, about $17.58 in US dollars.

The train ride is about 2 hours and the majority of it is spent passing very yellow fields. How are they so yellow and dried out when it is always raining in Ireland? Don’t get me wrong, there has been a TON of greenery here… I’m just shocked to see any dry grass whatsoever.

There are these billboards that say “Old age isn’t a problem, loneliness is” and it makes me want to cry for all the old Irish folk that are lonely. Then I see the many kegs set outside the local taverns and pubs and a string of lyrics come to mind, “I stopped by the bar at 3 am, to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend” (“Closer to Fine” – Indigo Girls). A therapeutic song, YouTube it.

I continued reading the only book I have loaded on my iPad, the second book of the trilogy series, 50 Shades of Gray… the lady a few rows up was reading it, too. Funny how those best sellers span other continents like that.

Finally, finalllllllllly, we arrive in Belfast. One of the bigger cities in Ireland. There are people everywhere, cars everywhere… it really has the hustle and bustle of city life. Urban life. We like it and we find our home at the Global Village hostel about 15 minutes walk from the bus station. I don’t know what has happened but apparently, my bag is bigger than it was. I’ll have to revise my packing strategy as I’ve only bought two tshirts?! The hostel is £55 ($88.00) for 2 people, for 2 nights. This is the way to see a country cheap people. Public transportation and hostel sleeping. You sleep in bunk beds and share bathrooms, but it’s extremely cheaper than a 4 star Hilton… and you meet other people from around the world!

We searched for a dinner spot and settled on boojum, a replica of Chipotle. But better, more eco-friendly, and their burrito bowls tasted very good. We hiked around the city and realized the Apple Store Belfast closed at 6pm. That’s a hell of a time to close?! Six!? How do they make any money? We plan to visit them tomorrow! And request a back of house tour. 🙂

The weather here is much colder than we expected. Between the 50 degrees and drizzling rain, it’s downright bitchin cold. My sweatshirt hoodie and two layers of long sleeves will have to do. A wise man once told me, “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing….”

Chelsea and I end the night sharing a bottle of wine, dark chocolate, and planning tomorrows adventures.

I got the chance to FaceTime the parents home in Minnesota and for the first time I had a pang of homesickness. It’s the people that make time for you, that I plan to make time for. Whether we’re in the same time zone or not. Technology is absolutely freaking amazing. I was able to iChat with them as I vacationed in Costa Rica a few years ago, and now as I adventure throughout Ireland.

I’ll end with a quote I read on the side of a building tonight that, for some reason, resonates with me… and very well may end up as a tattoo someday, in some form….

Today’s plan is already yesterday’s – the streets that were there are gone.

Seize the day people, you only live once,
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to the castle we go!

Our roomie from Columbia left in the wee hours this morning. We woke up slightly early and began our packing process. But not before enjoying the most fabulous cappuccinos I’ve ever had.

The weather was beautiful, slightly chilly but clear and no rain drizzles. We went back to the cafe from day one in Galway. Located on the corner of the town square. We sat outside and enjoyed a solid 45 minutes of straight people watching, sipping on our cappuccinos and basically giddy at the fact that we are on a hell of an adventure clear across the world from home.

We grabbed pain chocolat pastries (chocolate croissant) for takeaway (to-go). Coincidentally it is the best pain chocolat I’ve had. It’s true, pastries just taste better in Europe. We bought our one way ticket to Collonney (€13.50) at the bus station and said adios to Galway.

Two and a half bumpy hours later, a dozen stops along the way, we make it to the tiniest town ever, Collooney. Home of maybe 3,000 people. The bus drops us literally on the side of the road. As the bus pulls away we see Quigleys. A gas/grocery/bar/lounge. I mention that it’s a fine time to purchase some wine so we cross the street and enter. Smallest grocery in the smallest town ever. Your typical old-as-dust Irish grandpa is manning the place and he’s gosh darn adorable. We buy the only two bottles of red wine left in the place. He calls a taxi (one of four in the city), bless his heart, and we bid him farewell.

The taxi picks us up and drops us right underneath the stone archway of Markree Castle. A beautiful location with lots of history. To recap, it belongs to an untitled family named the Coopers who were gifted the land as payment for serving in some war.

Our room overlooks the back lawn with rolling landscape as far as you can see. We feel right smack dab in the middle of a Disney fairy tale.

Two separate beds, a shower and toilet all to ourselves, now this is luxury, especially after being in hostels so far this trip. Not having to wear sandals to shower? Heaven.

We drop our bags in the room. An antique desk and chair sit near the window. Chelsea braids my hair as we listen to Lady Gaga. Afterwards, we explore the grounds. Well, some of them… with 300 acres of land, we didn’t exactly cover nearly a piece of it. The castle has their own flock of pure bred fluffy white Wensleydale sheep. Of course they do. Link to sheep

On the other side of the castle we walked on the road for half hour until we arrived at the Markree Riding Stables. A dozen horses grazed the grass on top of the hill as we inquired about riding options. Tomorrow night (Sunday), there is an evening ride around the premises (€25). We agree this is a must do activity.

On our walk home a momma horse and her foal were grazing in the pasture. The baby came right on over and greeted us. I discreetly tried to come up with a way to get her thru customs and take her home with us.

I couldn’t come up with anything logical. :/

Dinner consisted of road snacks (trail mix, these hilarious things Chelsea introduced me to called Digestives, our fave traveling item Justin’s Peanut Butter), a pint of Guinness and light bar fare. We dined in the castle bar area complete with shoddy upholstery, huge windows and terrible lighting. I felt like I was a dignitary or an extra in Beauty and the Beast.

Now we drink wine, giggle like little girls and watch a movie on the iPad (probably Gladiator to match our abroad theme)… this is the perfect spot for a sleepover.

Meet us in the castle basement for scary story time at midnight?
Xo

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weekly iPhone pic drop

This month is hands down all about adventures.  The first one took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Four of us ventured north to join in on the Lululemon Athletica SeaWheeze Half Marathon festivities.  My love for yoga pants tripled when I tried on their Groove Pants and since that day – I have been infatuated with Lululemon.  We flew to Seattle and took a train up.  An early morning flight forced us to locate the nearest java shop.  It happened to be Zeitgeist Coffee in Downtown Seattle.  We refueled with Honey Soy Lattes and Huckleberry Greek Yogurt before hiking the city.

My travel mates include a close work friend (Chelsea), another work friend-turned mentor/guru/lover (Molly), and a newfound friend with a bottomless pit of wisdom and peace (Berit).

There were 14 statues down by the ocean in Vancouver.  Giant bronze laughing ones with huge grins on their faces.  We climbed around like monkeys.  The piece is called “A-maze-ing Laughter” was made by an artist named Yue Minjun and he used his own iconic face in a state of hysterical laughter as a signature trademark as it is recognized universally as a sign of happiness!  It is the city’s most recognizable piece of art and valued at $1.5 million.

These cherries were the best, most freshest I’ve ever tasted.  We found them at Seattle’s Pike Place – a place that I’m truly fond of.

All throughout our time in Vancouver, they used these little handheld credit card scanners at restaurants and bars.  They never took the card elsewhere, and it made tipping that much easier to calculate (#ihatemath).  Why do we not have these in the USA?  This is the first thing we need to adopt!

A local hat shop, family-owned, called Goorin Bros. was drop-dead fabulous.  Old-fashioned hats, newsboy caps, top hats, they had everything.  The staff was great and informed us that Minneapolis is getting it’s very own shop soon!

Pikes Place, nuff said.

Ocean view in Vancouver, thinking about the half marathon in the early AM, a little ocean-side mental prep.

Long, flowing grasses surrounded a pier and we had to play hide-and-seek like young’ins.

The first I heard about Lululemon SeaWheeze Weekend, I signed up super quick.  Running is run, and destination runs are even better!  Especially sponsored by a rockin’ yoga/run gear company!  In Vancouver!!

Instead of number bibs, we had wristbands.  That say “i runcouver” with our name on them and YES, I’m still wearing mine proudly.

Inside of our gear bag was a free coffee drink at a local coffee shop, custom SeaWheeze flipflops from a local shoe company, a 15% off at the race clothing store and some cranberries!  As we were standing in line they handed out fresh lime and watermelon popsicles that had us all in a silent-lick phase.  The branding was beautiful throughout the event, great colors and solid design!

At the race expo store, I dropped more than I care to share on new yoga clothes and running gear, as well as a workout bag!  Outside on the patio of the convention center (facing the ocean and mountains) we were treated to mani/pedis and massages.  After the race, we were given keychain medals hanging on new shoelaces with the quote reading Sweat Once A Day.  After the race and a little relaxation, there was a free concert.  An amazing local band called Hey Ocean opened up with music about what else but, oceans!  After that – I died as we stood front row and listened to 2 hours of one of the best bands of 2012.  FUN!

I don’t know what hurts more, my voice from singing all the songs at the top of my lungs, or my legs from tackling the Vancouver hills.

I love Lululemon.  I loved this weekend.

Cheers to travel, friendship and a healthy lifestyle.

xo

Listening to.  Sipping on.

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weekly iPhone pic drop

After a particularly long day of work, more work, and promos.  I passed the window of a mattress store.  Inside were plush mattress.  No coverings, sheets or duvets.  Just naked mattresses.  I had a temporary moment of “whoever can get me into this store with a sleep mask and one hour of silence is about to get home cooked meals for a year, and housekeeping!”

During the summer is the busiest time for promotional activities.  Outside festivals, block parties, car shows, patios and a vast array of brunch-drunk soirees.  Most of them include giveaways.  Premiums, if you will.  This particular event included super sexy nerd glasses that we wore all. day. long.

A late night tour of some random dude’s $4 million shoreline Lake Minnetonka home left me drooling and dreaming of a day when I’m truly financially free to have the McMansion home of my dreams.  A wood-carved sink in the guest bathroom isn’t necessary for mine, though.  All I really want people, is a beautiful home to entertain friends and family every weekend.  I want enough bedrooms for four kids, and space for two dogs to run around.  I want a few guest bedrooms so my best friends can safely get ‘high-school’ intoxicated off my new Pomegranate Sunrise cocktail.  The Lamborghini and Bentley chilling in the garage were beautiful… but, not my style.

Summer = runs = fun runs = best friends = Torchlight 5K – 5th year running this fun race!  A super fast 3.1 mile run throughout a bit of downtown Minneapolis to kick off the Aquatennial parade.  Complete with 3 free beers, live music, and the chance to sweat it out with some of my athletic lovers.

Less than ideal temperatures, oh around 102 and sticky hot, means some of us have to resort to being creative.  Take this little dude, for example.  He was pretending his body was a jet as he lay in front of the industrial fans.

Purple nails.  Red grapefruit.  Nuff’ said.

Apparently TCBY now has frozen Greek yogurt.  What?!  Found a location that carried the Greek Honey Vanilla and I dashed.  No… sprinted, to get some.  Zero calories my friend, pair it with strawberries.  You can thank me later.

I was on cat-sitting duty for much of the last week.  Apparently cat poop stinks just as bad as every other animal in this kingdom.  But their pee, that is the strongest, most acidic scent known to mankind.  I had to suit up and prepare myself for battle on more than one occasion.

The world is mesmerized with the Olympic Games 2012.  I enjoy everything about the Olympics.  But what I truly, hands down, love to watch is gymnastics.  When you were a gymnast at some point in your life (and I was), you can absolutely respect the skill and unbelievable risk-taking these gentleman and ladies are undertaking.  Throughout the past couple days, I find myself clenching, holding onto the arm rests of chairs with a death grip, holding my breath, the whole nine yards.  I’m impressed beyond all measures.  And the gentleman… they are built like little tanks.  Compact and insanely muscular (+ flexible!).  Don’t mind me having a small crush on Sam Mikulak.  Flip thru some of these Google images – yes, he is inked (score!).  Yes, I would love to give him a Thai massage.  I don’t even know Thai massage, but I’ll learn it if I have to.  🙂

Three of my favorite things about the last 48 hours are:

1.  This video is called Basic Needs, Extreme Happiness [watch with subtitles turned on & it will be 3x more funny!]
2.  I admit it, I took the last banana comes from one of my favorite websites of all time.  I dare you to make that picture your desktop screen for 24 hours and share it with as many as you can!  This is what I call being a day-maker.
3.  My ninth Kiva loan went thru at midnight on Monday.  I couldn’t sleep and decided to peruse the site.  I fell upon Nelson Yovani from Honduras.  He is in need of more material to make footwear.  In his picture, he has a shelf of cowboy boots and I was sold!  Cowboy boots are part of my year-round wardrobe.  A true fashionista staple.  Worn with everything from yoga pants to jean skirts to sweatpants (don’t judge!)

Apologies on the delay in keeping up with Pic Drops.
Life is happening – and there ain’t nothing you can do to stop it!
Continue on with your merry hump day!

xo

 

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weekly iPhone pic drop

Computer motherboards look like small towns.  Little techno villages.  Circular metal water towers and overpopulated suburban grids.

A smallish restaurant called Ingredients Cafe serves one of my favorite salads on earth.  Poached Pear and Arugula.

 

Ominous clouds are right up there on my Favorite Things in Life (italicize) list.  Dark clouds, hard rain, fantastic lightning.  The crazier the better.

 
Someone left their bean in Chicago.
 
A secluded spot in Lurie Garden, in the middle of bustling downtown, has a spot to reconnect, reflect, and cast shadow shapes.  Or read your latest scandalous novel as you dip your feet into the water.
 
A busy day at work demands braided hair.  I’m a firm believer that our store has the most braids in all of iKingdom.
 
Found some chilled La Playa in the back of the fridge.  Don’t mind me taking the boat out, jumping in the middle, and drinking all of them.  None for you Glen Coco.
 
Is it that time in my life already?  I got this Aveeno positively radiant lotion for those long nights that leave me with dark circles under my eyes.  Crossing my fingers it works magic.
 
Summer sunsets on the lake.  Nothing better after a long week.
 
Ciao lovers.
xo
 
 
Listening to.  Cooking for dinner.  Dreaming about.
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