Tag Archives: crazy

etsy : emiliepaperie

Never have I ever enjoyed buying cards at a card store.  The words don’t come out right, they picture isn’t funny to me… I always preferred making my own cards and paper goods.  After creating a card to give the love of my life… it dawned on me that people might actually like what I create.

My first design was a card called I Love You and Your Beard – it is a popular one!  I branched out to make ones stating love for the ‘Stache and the Banana as well… I made my etsy shop, EmiliePaperie and didn’t do much with it.  I had a few sales here and there but 2013 I was focused on Apple and other things.

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Recently, I came to the conclusion that I want to make this a small side business, a part-time hobby that actually makes money.  I learned SEO tools and the power of social media marketing.  I made an Instagram and a Twitter to link my shop together across platforms.  A few weeks ago, I applied for an assumed name so EmiliePaperie can be mine and mine alone.

I added new content and capitalized on the upcoming holiday, Valentine’s Day, and created some cards that a like-minded individual would appreciate.  Let’s be honest, this holiday is about chocolate and “romantically enjoying one another”.  I want someone to reach my etsy shop and find the perfect card for their soulmate.

Like this other best seller,

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Recently, blogs started to feature some of my cards on their Valentine’s roundup and I was over the moon!

A mommy blogger over at Another Day, Another Diaper

A beautiful wedding website at Emmaline Bride

A well-written blog designed by fantastic local Minnesota women at Flock of Broads

 

Aside from that… the fact that websites are featuring my cards… all it takes is a single order, especially an international one, to make my heart skip a beat.

 

The other day, I had an order from South Korea and New Zealand.   ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

People across the globe like my creations enough to pay for them to be shipped to their doorstep?!

 

I’m feeling all sorts of giddy and filled up inside with glitter and happy thoughts.

I hope this is the start of something I can make sustainable and make work for me in all the right ways.

For those of you whom have supported and continue to support, my thanks travels to you on this snowy-Minnesota day,

 

xo,

em

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Right out of a movie

I’m going to give all credit to Carley on this one. She researched and booked the world’s most incredible brunch at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley.

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Let’s just say, this isn’t your standard 3-Michelin star restaurant. This place is, quite honestly, a friggin’ Swiss Family Robinson-style experience, complete with servers that have timed deliveries and round-table speeches to introduce each individual plate.

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Our brunch took place outdoors on the wraparound deck overlooking California’s Napa Valley. I was half expecting to have chimpanzees swing onto our shoulders during the dessert course.

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This is one of those, when in Rome, experiences – we all ordered a cocktail and cheers’ed to ending this first couple’s trip with a bang.

Bloody mary’s and mimosas all around! Of course, they were ordered using the table iPad in front of us.

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The brunch menu looked a little like this.  You choose a drink, a beginning, a sustenance, and a dessert.

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By memory, Brett and I shared the half dozen oysters, the cow’s milk burrata with grilled radicchio, a Maine lobster omelet, a Kurobuto pork chop, and two fantastic desserts from this menu.

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I know for sure we choose the Chocolate Peanut Butter one, and I couldn’t guess what the second one was. Let’s just say they both rocked our socks off. Finish up with a little cappuccino and we are ready to see that bill, server!

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Somewhere along the lines of $700 and vacation, we didn’t care what this meal cost. Once in a lifetime, eating on a beautifully exotic deck overlooking Napa, with some of the best friends life could give us.

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We took one more pano picture and all piled into the cars. Windows down, wind whipping our hair all over the place. We took the scenic route home. Along the rolling vineyards of Napa, promising ourselves we’ll be back some day.

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We stopped at the nearby grocery store on the way to Oliviera, to pick up dinner supplies (I know, we just had brunch… but we didn’t want to have to drive again once we got home.) We taste-tested some frosting, picked up some grilling materials and a quinoa salad or two – then we headed back.

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The rest of our last full day in paradise was spent laughing, listening to music, jumping in the hot tub, grilling and playing Cards Against Humanity.

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Without going into the details of our sad goodbyes the next morning, let’s just say this trip was a terrific first couple’s trip – one we won’t soon forget.

Where will the next one take us? Locations we have thrown around : Hawaii, Colorado Backcountry, to the coast of North Carolina…

The world really is our oyster. And traveling in groups allows for a more exotic lodging experience since we’re splitting it 8+ ways…

Thank you for a truly memorable trip : Carley & AJ, Katie & Scott, Molly & Chris, and the best traveler I know and love, Brett

Until next time,
e

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Round two!

We wake up with barely a hangover. Win! Refuel with a little morning java and enjoy our patio before getting ready for the day and more importantly, before our limo arrives.

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Since we already had a mug of coffee down the hatch. We figured it’s time to get the party started.… poppin’ bottles.  Before you get worried about our alcohol intake, please remember, the whole point of renting a limo for this trip was the sole fact that we planned to be inebriated.  As classy and sophisticated as we could… but definitely not sober.
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Our first stop is one that we highly recommend for those visiting the Sonoma area.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyard. We scheduled their Food & Wine Pairing experience for 11am on a Friday afternoon filled with sunshine and cool breezes.  This vineyard is built on some beautiful landscape (aren’t they all?) A very popular place for people to get married.  Gorgeous mountains in the background.
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The pairing took place inside a lovely structure, the doors open to the fresh air outside.  There were two tables positioned half-circle style with the seating on the outside of the curves.  The wine experts walked through and around as they introduced each pairing.
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Each place setting had a leather-bound portfolio with the menu details & a notepad to write tasting notes in.  I vaguely remember doodling hilarious stick figure pictures and Bob Marley quotes on mine… at one point during the experience, Brett looks over and exclaims, “My feet feel like cotton!”  He is entirely enjoying himself, on top of the dosage of DayQuil (for his head cold) taken 30 minutes prior.  It’s amazing what a little vino and a little acetaminophen will do to ignite the senses!
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To be honest, I don’t even remember what all we had {so zoom in on this picture & read it!}  Nevertheless,  it’s true when they say pairing wine with a specific food enhances the flavors, it really works!  The whole experience was a delight. Something we would do again in a heart beat.
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Back in the limo we go.  The next stop, Ledson Winery and Vineyards. Originally, it was being built as a home, with 17 acres of Merlot planted on the grounds.  But as the structure was built, and the public became more interested, they ended up turning it into a vineyard and tasting room.  (well played Ledson clan!)  The structure is built with a French Normady-esque style, 16,000 square feet of woodwork and marble staircases.  Never missing the opportunity for a photo op, we enjoyed the front garden area with beautiful white roses and fountains.
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Their tasting room had wood floors and a beautiful bar area.  We sidled up and started to learn about their vines.  Little breadsticks were my saving grace as we sipped and sipped some more.
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After the tasting, we bought a bottle and went out back on their patio.  Some of us took naps in the sun : star-fished on the ground & loving life {cough, Carley}.  We toasted to friendship & love, as we looked at the rows of vines grown there.  What a neat place to have a summer party or a murder mystery dinner!
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A pretty spectacular roundup of the troops and we’re onto the next one!  Benziger Family Winery for the win!  This next one is a little blurry for me.  Understandably so; three vineyards in and I’m reaching my limits.
We made a pit stop potty break upon arrival (extremely necessary says the girl with the squirrel-sized bladder).  Then we hop on an extended golf cart for a tour of the vineyards.  Our tour guide explained the wine-making process at their location and the background story of the family that built Benziger into what it is today.
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I’ll be honest, a lot of what he said went in one ear and out the other.  We stopped along the tour at a little wooden hut and cracked open a white bottle of wine.  He served it to us in logo-etched wine glasses – nice touch.
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Cool little place.  Gorgeous farm animals to fertilize the soil.  Fluffy, mop-headed cows and little baby goats.  Ten points to Gryffindor for the golf cart ride, as I was not about hiking all over those poo-filled rows of vines.
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The middle of the tour took us into the wine caves where, guess what we did?… had some more vino.  It’s a lot of traveling small distances and then drinking wine.  Rinse & repeat.
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There was a really neat room deep into the cave that we all grabbed a spot at.  It felt very Knights of the Roundtable-esque, with tapestries hanging on the wall and unique art pieces.
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In the wine cave, I got in trouble for trying to snag some more breadsticks, but, please, this was a girl looking after herself!  Atleast some part of my mind knew I needed water and food.  Stat.
We circled around the vineyards on the golf carf and finished the tour in their Main Bar / Tasting Room.  I couldn’t tell you what took place in that space.  The next thing I remember is getting into the limo and somehow making it home in one piece.
Now, THAT was a tour of Sonoma.
Dinner plans were supposed to involve a bacon-infused local hotspot called Zazu, but we couldn’t make it happen.  We grabbed a variety of chicken breasts and brats at the grocery store to grill-out instead.  And it rocked our socks off.
Oh yeah, and we drank water, lots of water.
xo,
e
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Good Morning Sonoma!

We wake up and the boys cook some eggs.  A nest egg, as Brett calls them.

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We giggle and catch up on the deck.  Overlooking the mountain and unreal landscape.  All of a sudden, the limo is on it’s way and we are rushing to pull ourselves together.
The limo pulled into the gravel driveway and the driver hops out to introduce himself.  He opens the back door and we all pile in.  Champagne, soda, water… there were glass champagne glasses and bottle openers.  Living the life!
On our way to the first vineyard, our driver recommends we pull into a Whole Foods-like grocery store and pick up some lunch, since we were headed a little into the countryside and wouldn’t have many options.  We all hop out, grab sandwiches, pasta salads, hummus, and in Brett’s case, head cold materials.
Our first vineyard stop was Ferrari-Carrano.  This place looked like it was fresh out of Alice in Wonderland.  The grounds were landscaped to perfection.  Freshly-cut grass, sculptures, fountains, and beautiful vineyards as far as the eye could see.  The building itself was a marble, cream-colored structure with ornate railings and large windows.  The tasting was held in the basement, a spot called the Prevail Room.
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Our directions were to choose 4 or 6 different wines on a small paper menu.  The wines were poured and the 8 of us sat at a large table underneath beautiful black, exotic lighting fixtures.  Downstairs is where the large room of wine barrels are located as well.
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After Ferrari-Carano, we hop back in the limo and head towards Bella Vineyard & Wine Cave.  Both Katie and I had great reviews from friends about this vineyard and really wanted to make it work.  We pulled into Bella and the limo driver popped the trunk.  In the back he had flatware and every other material needed for a picnic.  Cool!  He spread out a tablecloth and we all munched on the grocery store grub.  It was nice (& necessary!) to get something in our stomach.
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A dog that lives on the grounds begged for food : made the experience that much more welcoming.  AJ gathered wine glasses so we could have some vino while lunching.
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After eats, we walked into this cave-style area that was nestled underneath a hill.  Towards the back it was dark and cold, but lively and filled with people tasting wine around a little bar area.  We grabbed a small table and tasted our way through the menu.  This was a really cool little place with lots of personal touches. I could picture a gorgeous wedding reception being held on the grounds.
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We all hopped back in the limo and headed back towards Oliviera.  Some of us weren’t feeling too hot and took a cat nap while the vineyards rolled by the windows.  Brett got a head cold and was desperately trying to sleep it off (or was it too much Zin?)
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Back in Glen Ellen, we lounged and rehydrated.  The boys jumped in the hot tub and the ladies mixed some drinks.  Towards the evening time, we dressed up and headed towards The Girl and the Fig.  A small, local restaurant with high ratings.  I was impressed that they were so conscious of wasted water & drought in the area.  Fresh olives (pitted & non) were waiting as a starter, yay!  We dined on Fig and Arugula Salad, a Cucumber Soup, Burgers and Pork Chops.  The food was delicious (& expensive!), but worth the splurge.
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I cannot remember what was so funny, but Carley almost giggle / choked to death.  Luckily, nurse AJ was seated next to her.
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We headed back towards Oliviera, in a food coma.  Driving up the dark, steep, winding mountain towards home.  We gathered enough energy to play a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity before turning in for the night.
xo,
e
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it’s a little damp out there

Is this what it feels like to live in Seattle?  Everyday, it never fails, rain coming down.  Drizzling, dreary, gray.  Cold, windy, blustering.  The only things I want to do are as follows, in no particular order:

-read

-drink hot apple cinnamon tea

-watch movies (specifically Game of Thrones and Dexter

-bake banana bread (been on my list of To-Do’s for 1/2 a year now)

-wear flip flops with every outfit, business, casual or otherwise

-go to the gym and sweat next to all the other fanatics avoiding an outdoor workout

-plan a future trip, any future trip, specially to a location bordering the ocean with plants such as these

-attempt to be productive & become defeated as it turns to nonproductiveness because no one else is

-get ready to go out somewhere just to realize my mane of hair will frizz and my makeup will run

-dream of living somewhere the sun never shines and swiftly slap myself in the face

-encourage my Yorkie to take a bathroom break while getting soaked

-change my pants every time I come inside as the cuffs are wet

-lay on the ground and pretend to meditate

-wake up with high hopes of sunshine

-go back to sleep

-keep sleeping

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Counting down the hours to Tuesday… our next adventure awaits.

Couples trip in Sonoma, CA!

xo,

 

Listening to

Sipping on

 

 

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Scottsdale : Monday

We slept in as long as we could before we had to get rolling.  Carley was the first flight out and we wanted to catch breakfast at Arcadia Farms first.  This sweet cafe is right out of Little House on the Prairie.  Wood floor, red doors, cute art on the wall.  It felt like going to a grandma’s house who knew how to interior decorate properly.

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photo 1-1In typical best friend’s fashion, we each ordered a Kir Royal to toast our remarkably great weekend.  While we recapped and perused the menu, our waitress dropped off a small plate of mini scones to nibble on.

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This was one of those spots where anything you ordered off the menu would be amazing.  I debated between the Fresh Berry Crepes and the Breakfast Panini.  The panini won: scrambled egg with rosemary ham and smoked mozzarella on a baguette.

photo 3-3Next, we had to hustle to make Carley’s departure time… never a dull moment!  Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is a city in itself, tons of terminals, north side, south side, ramps and overpasses.  Katie is a ninja navigating that space!

After dropping Carley off, we decided against our better judgment to a little hiking on Camelback Mountain in the 115 degree heat.  Plenty of water, working cell phones, crazy sports bra straps and sunglasses – we set off.  It got hotter and hotter as we climbed and pretty soon we made the executive decision that we were sweating faster than we could replenish with water, and that a descent was the best option.

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The rest of my afternoon, I dipped in the pool and packed up all of my things.  We stopped off at Sprinkles to pick up some goodies for the folks at home and I found my way to my gate.

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More than one time this weekend – Carley and I promised we would be back again next year for another long weekend in the hot box.  There’s nothing like 4 days with your best friends to really refocus on what’s important in life.  Friendships, memories, laughter, and not taking ourselves too seriously.

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Until next time AZ,

xo

 

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Scottsdale: Friday

Carley got in Thursday late night – we spent the evening hours giggling and catching up.  On Friday morning, we woke super early to catch Katie’s favorite Orange Theory class at 6:45 with Jesse.  I can see the attraction, he was HILARIOUS.  Think Will & Grace + muscles + fabulous smile + high-energy fitness.  It was somewhere between the second circuit and the side planks when Carley leaned over and said something along the lines of, “You two are insane for liking this.”  Needless to say, we were extremely sweaty, spent and ready for some refueling.

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Breakfast took place at Daily Dose.  We settled on Micheladas.  Served as a iced glass of lime juice, a Mexican beer, and a small carafe of tomato juice.  Kind of like a beer-garita or sorts.  We weren’t entirely impressed.  Decisions couldn’t be made on what to order, as everything looked good in our deliriously hungry and sore state of mind, so we decided to share the Banana Bread French Toast, The Hangover Sandwich and the Breakfast Nachos.  All of which were delicious and most of which we brought home as leftovers.

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After our refuel session, we grabbed a few supplies at Costco.  A weekend with your girlfriends requires a few staples.  For example, large glass bottles of vodka.  The one on the right was purchased, we plan to empty it.

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As we walked around Carley began to feel the muscle burn that Orange Theory brings.  She spent a bit of time lounging in agony.  At Costco… and at home.

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We hightailed it home, changed into swimsuits, made a cocktail and beelined for the pool.  There wasn’t any laying in the sun, there was strictly underwater lounging… it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.  Later into the evening, Scott treated us to Oregano’s.  We needed to get out of the apartment as the AC isn’t working properly and we were going slightly stir-crazy.  It worked out well because a trip to Arizona is.not.complete without dining at Oregano’s.  We shared the Vino Bambino salad (UNREAL) – and Uncle Ray’s Sausage & ‘Shrooms pizza.  Entire confection.  Totally satisfied.

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After dinner, it was time to doodle in Paper by FiftyThree and laugh at the good fortune of having close friends.

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Sleeplessly sweating,

xo

Dreaming of.

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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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weekly iPhone pic drop

weekly iphone pic drop

I enjoy advertising and graphic design in magazines where the product is set on a solid surface, sometimes a wood floor, and shot from above.  Here are some of my favorite things.  Candles (self-proclaimed pyro), the book I just finished “Girls in White Dresses“, brilliant brunette satin shine, eos lip chap, and Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Milk.

After the cleanse, I wanted to treat myself. Kinda like when people reach certain weight loss goals, they’ll buy a new pair of shoes, a nice bottle of wine, or something rewarding to them. This wasn’t a weight loss goal but a 5-day cleanse was trying and at times, frustrating. So… I decided to splurge on a few pieces of Lulu.  Ladies beware, it’s dangerous in there!  The colors of the season are bangin’ hot.

In February, my doll face lady from Scottsdale came home for a week.  Met this chick in 3rd grade and we’ve been best friends ever since.  The majority of the week was spent gossiping, hitting the gym, and drinking. Who are we kidding?  I can make a mean St Germain Cocktail and she can spot the perfect bottle of Riesling from a mile away.  #greatminds

This lion cub-looking puppy melts my heart. He makes me want to find a way to keep puppies small. Forever and always. I like big dogs, too, but there’s something about little puppies that can instantly change your mood. The next breed I’d like to own is either a Corgi or a Great Bernese Mountain Dog. A little and a big.

I don’t consider myself a brand whore. In fact, I prefer the term brand loyal. There are a few with which I happily associate myself and highly recommend.  This snapshot showcases four of them (artistic, no?).  The car I drive right now is a Lexus. I’m thisclose to having it paid off.  This model is one I saw on the freeway and secretly told myself I’d tote around my four kids in it one day… got the car, time to work on step two.  The thumb holes on my Lululemon tops are reason alone to fall in love with the Vancouver-based retailer. No more sleeves rolling up into your jacket! Bazinga! Gorgeous, comfy clothing, totally unaffordable, but that’s what wish lists are for, right?  I prefer regular water, by the gallon, I’m a water girl at heart. As long as it doesn’t taste like plastic, and doesn’t carry a strain of motezumas revenge (worst Mexico trip ever!)… I’ll guzzle it. After a good workout, I prefer Zico coconut water. After weightlifting, when my arms are like jelly worms, I pretend I spent all morning on a deserted island, hacking away at a palm tree to reach some of this glory.  Last, but not least, a year ago we discovered a new shop called Superdry. I figured it was a high end, boutique fabric softener store – boy was I wrong. Behold some of the best jackets known to man. Superdry is a company based in Japan that knows the value of a zipper (or ten).  This jacket (also with thumb holes I might add) retails for $140, it’s called the polar windcheater and worth every penny.

This tall, beautiful brunette is a breath of fresh air. I consider her one of my best friends and had to visit her while vacationing in her zip code. I made a reservation under a fake name (Debra Morgan, holla Dexter freaks!) and surprised her at the swanky salon where she works.  It only took me 2 hours of public transportation bus riding and a mile walk to get there, but well worth the effort!  Those annual girls trips I take?  She’s one of the six ladies, and I would not be as far along in my life as I am without her straight talk, cuddles and infectious laugh.  Mwah Carla!

Made a visit to Universal Studios. The best part? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The cobblestone, Butterbeer [a nonalcoholic butterscotch and root beer flavored frothy drink that tastes spectacular with smuggled in whiskey], everything! There’s even a wand shop where you can buy a phoenix-feather wand. Whoever thru this place together paid unbelievable attention to detail – I swear the air even smelled like freakin Hogwarts!

There’s a franchise in Florida that must make its way to the Midwest.  Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has this magical salsa bar that is entirely glorious. Whoever thought to offer serve yourself pineapple salsa deserves a raise. Or an orgasm.  I literally ate three cups of pineapple salsa in record time.  Inhaled it.

Life is beautiful, I’ve got the pictures to prove it,
xo
Running to.
Sipping on.
Adding the ‘mellow yellow‘ to my wish list.
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Meet my guru, Suja

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I cannot believe it has taken me this long to get back on track… actually, I recant that statement – I absolutely can believe that.  I’ve had a hell of a month, about 90% of February was FUBAR. But, you know what? Can’t keep me down. I’m back… and better than ever.

A week ago I decided to embark on a cleanse. I’ve heard a lot about this new brand called Suja. Dr. Oz swears by it. So, I wanted to give it a whirl.  I didn’t chose to do this as a weight-loss trick, instead it was more of a cleansing of the system. Mind, body, soul. Getting back to a good, solid foundation both inside and out.

I chose the 5-day cleanse which consists of 6 different cold-pressed juices a day. You can purchase them on their website or Whole Foods carries them (then you avoid $105 in shipping charges AND can take advantage of a Whole Foods case discount for buying more than 12 bottles… you’ll need to snag 30 of them). I custom ordered them so I wouldn’t make a trip and risk them being out of a flavor. Ordering off the website would have cost $375, my total at Whole Foods was $242.73. A handful of you have asked, why don’t I juice my own fruits and vegetables? Because the amount of money I would spend on the ingredients, and the time it would take to juice and clean up my mess 6x a day would just about equal how much I spent on the cleanse. And Suja juice is the highest quality premium organic cold-pressed raw juice you can find. I don’t even know how to cold-press something, much less have the time to do it. So I splurged.

On the morning of the cleanse I was hesitant, a tad nervous, and secretly praying the juice tasted better than I imagined it would. The first drink is GLOW. It is considered “breakfast”, made up of green apple, cucumber, celery, collard greens, spinach, kale, and a pinch of spearmint. It wasn’t half bad! Not something I would drink everyday by choice… but I had high hopes for the rest of the flavors. The directions were to drink the bottles as you got hungry throughout the day. I didn’t find myself hungry until around 1pm on day 1. On days 2-5 I was hungry within 2 hours of drinking the first bottle. Bottle #2 is FUEL, considered the “mid-morning” drink, made up of carrot, apple, pineapple, orange, lemon and turmeric. This tasted exactly like the juice we make in the summer, very carroty and filling. The lunch bottle is called PURIFY and was my least favorite, it is made up of carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, lemon and beet. With all those ingredients, I feel it tastes like a sour beet drink… the hardest to get down! Bottle #4 is called FIJI; made with apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, collard greens, lemon and ginger. This one tastes the most like a salad. Almost like someone created a bed of greens with some raw veggie toppings, threw it all in a blender and drank it. Not my favorite, this was the “mid-afternoon” bottle, and one that I was rarely hungry for. Next we have dinner with bottle #5. The GREEN SUPREME was a huge surprise on day #1. I was expecting something hearty and truly dinner-like… I don’t know why I was thinking it would be potato and green bean flavored? I was so happy when I read the ingredients and tasted this bottle for the first time. It is made of kale, green apple and lemon – it tastes like a tart apple cider… delicious! The final bottle of the day is VANILLA CLOUD. I was not expecting a cleanse to have something set aside to stand for dessert, but this was the perfect end to each of the five days of cleansing. This bottle is made with almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean, honey and filtered water. It tasted like a thick chai tea.

On some days, I was not hungry for many hours after drinking a bottle and felt somewhat off track. I would start drinking the lunch bottle a little before dinner-time… But day four and five I had it down like a science and my body was looking forward to each bottle.  On day three, in my head I started planning a rendezvous with an avocado and some cherry tomatoes to take place around 2pm… I told myself I could eat it around 5. I made it to 4 and downed those raw veggies like it was my job. They’ve never tasted so good!

When I would leave the house in the morning, I carefully calculated how many hours I would be gone so as to bring enough juice to last me.  When I get hungry, I need fuel, pronto.  I guarded those bottles like it was my life.  When I dropped one in the back hallway at work and half spilled out, I just about lost my shit.  Because not only was that $4.50 wasted, but I was thisclose to eating my coworker due to hunger.

Some people said, “just have a bite- try this tasty cookie bar I made, one bite doesn’t really matter.” But, it does matter. It matters to me that I finish strong with something I started, and something I’m so passionate about. I spent a small fortune on this cleanse and wanted to do it right. Raw veggies were encouraged, but I limited them to truly take advantage of the cleansing process. So, I never had a bite, or a cookie bar.

The cleanse comes in 1, 3 or 5-day options, and I look forward to doing it again soon. I woke up each morning with a clearer perspective on everything.  Life had meaning and felt so much more enhanced. I typically have a cup of coffee each morning but this cleanse omits any caffeine – so days one and two were greeted with a striking caffeine headache that lasted into the early afternoon. After those mornings, it was smooth sailing, and I’ve decided to not drink coffee each morning.  Only on special occasion. I don’t want to be dependent on it… or risk getting a headache if I don’t drink any.

Some have asked, how much weight did I lose? I lost about 7.2 pounds. For the first time in awhile the first two letters on the scale started with 12_. If I were a celebrity and needed to fit into a $53,584 Gucci dress for an award show in 5 days – I would do a Suja Cleanse. You’re in tip-top shape in no time – and you have the Benjamins to pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I did have cravings, oh Lord, did I have cravings… the biggest food I looked forward to was a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and honey drizzled on top. Introducing real food into my diet on day 6 was like experiencing the true power of tastebuds all over again… I was impressed with the flavor of raw fruits and vegetables… so everything beyond that was 10x more flavorful and powerful in my exploration.

To conclude, I highly recommend Suja, not just for a weight-loss start but to cleanse your system and get back to the basics of true nutrition and detoxifying your system completely! Who wants to do it with me next time?

High five for health!
xo

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