willy wonka wishes

Candy walls? Check. Golden tickets? Check.  True love, street art, and candy all pop into my mind when I think about my favorite things.  All three things get all mixed up (probably because I feel true love for street art and candy), and it’s actually a little bit hard to decide which one is my favorite. Just kidding, Jon (you win, always).

But seriously, street art is one of my favorite things because it brings a little creativity and fun to the ordinary, and candy is a favorite because it’s an instant way to sweeten your day (and, as my dentist knows, I don’t just have one sweet tooth – I have sweet teeth).

Today, I combined 2 of my 3 favorite things to create edible street art. I think I will call it ‘sweet street art.’ That has a nice ring to it, no?
My monogrammed ‘J’ bag by Irresistibles LLC works perfectly for sneaking candy all over the city.  The designer, Kari, makes all kinds of stylish monogrammed bags by hand.  As a perk for my readers, she is giving away this cute polka dot bag:

For a chance to win, simply tell me something that makes you happy (use the ‘say hello’ tab at the top of the page.)

Oh- and if you’re in Minneapolis, head over to Bryant Square to find the golden ticket hidden in the smiley face 🙂

take your wife to work day – 10 reasons to start celebrating now

I never quite understood the expression ‘lovers don’t sleep’ until Jon and I tried to balance our relationship with work, school, and other pressing obligations.  When we started dating, he was working 15 hour days, and would often get home well after midnight.  I, on the other hand, was balancing my 8-5 job with graduate school.   My eyes twitched and my bed missed me, but I managed it.  And Jon, to his credit, worked 9am-midnight, and then came over to visit.  The only time we were both free was between the hours of midnight and 6am, and so we learned how to keep quiet for the roommates, where to get dinner at 2am, and which taxi companies would answer calls at 4am.


Life would have continued this way, except we came up with a brilliant plan – we would begin “take your girlfriend to work day.”  Now, a few years later, the tradition has become “take your wife to work day” – which essentially means I show up with lunch and treats.  Yesterday was one of these days, and I came to the office with turkey sandwiches, lemonade, and cupcakes.  Jon escaped the office to picnic under the sun for an hour:


Now, my top 10 reasons for starting your own Take Your Wife to Work Day (wife is interchangeable – girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, etc):

  1. Wife makes better meals than the office cafeteria or the local Chipotle.
  2. Visiting lets her put a face to the cast of characters in the daily “How was your day?” report
  3. Wife can balance husband’s work persona with stories about how he sings in the shower, makes breakfast in bed, and is likely America’s favorite person.
  4. Wife puts husband in better mood for the whole day.  In the morning, he looks forward to her visiting, and in the afternoon he’s well-fed and happy that she came.
  5. Wife can update husband’s music list (or Pandora, Songza, etc) so that he isn’t annoying colleagues by listening to his Eminem mixtape from college.
  6. Wife can remove shredded paper and redbull cans from office floor so that others may enter.
  7. Wife can convince the boss that extra vacation is truly necessary (he definitely needs to spend 2 extra days on that road trip if he’s going to come back relaxed…)
  8. Frequent visits make the workplace +1 events less awkward if she has already met everyone in the office.  No sense introducing yourself over and over again at each holiday party.
  9. Wife can gain you the appreication of your colleages by bringing cookies for the office.  Suddenly they forget what they were so upset about this morning…
  10. Wife can remind you that no matter how your day is going at work, you’re loved  and you’re missed at home.

mr&mrs visit isla

jon asked me last night if couples ever divorce so that they can relive their wedding day. he was absolutely kidding, but the sentiment is spot on– it truly is (at least in our case) the happiest day of your life.  i promise to post more on the wedding when the photographer returns the photos, but right now i’m feeling a little excited about the honeymoon.  i was hesitant to go right after the wedding, thinking it might be nice to save a vacation for a time when we actually need one (as opposed to the day after a beautiful celebration with our closet friends and family), but it was absolutely wonderful to sit around for a week and just reflect on how happy the wedding weekend was, and what we are hoping will come next.  point in case, here we are reflecting about how i put a ring on it:


anyway! jon and i decided to honeymoon at isla mujeres (an island off the coast of cancun), based on the recommendation of a friend. luckily for us, her recommendation was spot on — i mean, look at that sparkling turquoise water:

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i’m always up for visiting islands since my love for swimming can only be matched by love for jungle adventures.  in this case, we went zip-lining and sailing, and it was absolutely… fun.  i don’t have any pictures of us sailing, since it happened nearly by accident — we asked if we could rent a sailboat, the men said yes, put us on the boat, and pushed us off to shore.  when we started laughing and just meandering in the ocean, the men realized we didn’t know what we were doing, and they hopped on jet-skis to come get us. something must have gotten lost in translation.  we were thinking they would sail us around on the boat — they thought we were sailors. so it goes.

we did, however, have lessons on how to ride a zip-line, and i would recommend that everyone zipline upside down at least once in their lives 🙂

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the zip-lining was followed by cliff-jumping:


jon is always a bit more skeptical of my adventures, but i always find ways to convince him (like letting him drive a golf cart around the island):


and if that doesn’t suffice, he’ll always cheer up with an oceanside steak dinner:


lo siento para fiestando

i’m sipping coffee and listening to techno as i type this, hoping that the combination will somehow help me stay awake at work/recover from sarah’s wedding weekend in mexcio.  jon and i arrived home to Minneapolis at 2am last night, and part of me wants to board the next plane back to puerto vallarta, and the other part wants to crawl into bed for a couple of days.  anyway, sarah was a beautiful bride, and i could not be more happy or proud of my dearest friend. without further adieu:

this is the view from the rooftop restaurant where we had the rehearsal dinner:

backside of sarah’s gorgeous rehearsal dress:
champagne toast:

the lovely bride and groom:
the hotel beach:

was just as nice as the pool (jon and i enjoying…):

friday night we went on a pirate booze cruise:

getting ready on the big day:
signs i made sarah for her wedding chairs:

maids with sarah:

gorgeous bride:


we were together. i forget the rest.

Jon and I had a busy weekend entertaining friends from Minneapolis last weekend, and when they left on Sunday afternoon, he told me to grab my coat and my camera.  The sweet boy had made a list of places he thought I should photograph while the leaves were bursting with color:

After we had taken some pictures, he surprised me and took me to a vineyard Elmaro, tucked along the Mississippi.  We’ve been exploring a lot of the Wisconsin vineyards, and it’s convinced us it would be fun over the next year to make a game out of seeing how many we can visit.  Apparently, there is already something known as the Wisconsin Wine Trail, which begins in Iowa and runs up the Mississippi to Minneapolis (or, I suppose, you could say that it begins in Minneapolis and runs down the Mississippi to Iowa.. either way).  Guess we’ll be learning a lot about wine (I currently only know that you drink red in winter and white in summer.. oh! and white with fish and red with meat. Apparently, my current wine knowledge could all be obtained with a Dr. Seuss book on the topic, so I have a lot to learn.)
We also used the trip home to take more pictures:

moonlight on the riverbend

When Jon and I first moved to Wisconsin, we knew we were signing up for adventure: biking, kayaking, hiking, and all those activities that come with living in the country. What we didn’t expect, however, is that we would be able to explore vineyards and spend our days like we were vacationing in Napa or Tuscany. Northern Wisconsin has dozens of vineyards and wineries, lots of them scattered along the Mississippi, and exploring them has become one of our new favorite hobbies.


i want love to be simple

I want love to be simple. I want to trust without thinking. I want to be generous with my affection and patience and love unconditionally. It is easier to love a person with their flaws than to weed through them. I want to love the whole person, not parts; and this is how I want to be loved.” – Jewel Kilcher

I think that making love the center of your life allows the every day pieces to fall into place a little easier.  Or, as Vicci Martiniez says, “Now that I’ve made the commitment to myself, to enjoy my ride, everything seems so effortless.  In a way, I think it has set me up to be ready for whatever may come and to welcome it with open arms.”

I suppose that’s a lot of rambling about love as a recipe for simple and good living, but it’s true, and it’s what this post is about.  Yesterday was nothing out of the ordinary, but it was such a wonderful day, just because of my gratitude for the little things.  

Anyway, one weekend a month, this abandoned warehouse downtown is taken over by artists, and I am always excited to go and see what they are painting, sculpting, composing, etc etc etc.  Not too many people know about the market, so it always feels like I’m part of a secret when I enter the warehouse and ascend the stairs to the artists’ studios:

When I got home, I baked some chocolate chip cookies inside oreos for Jon.

He loves these cookies almost as much as oreo stuffed chocolate chip, red velvet with white chocolate chip, funfetti with bluemoon frosting— eeh, I think the boy just loves cookies.  I was planning dinner as well, but he called and said it was the perfect day for a picnic.  Before he came home, I got a blanket and snacks ready, and then we rode our bikes down to the river. We played Lumineers Pandora and munched on wraps and salads while
watching the sunset.

home is wherever i’m with you

Jon and I were living in downtown Chicago when his job relocated him to rural Wisconsin.  When he told me where his new office was located, we had to pull out a map to find the town (population of 2,000), and we quickly realized that we were headed for adventure.  Luckily, the two of us are always game, so I quit my job, bought some boots, and jumped in his truck (or jeep to be exact).

Lucky us, developers had just started working on some new apartments 45 minutes from his office (the nearest town).  We decided we wanted to move in, but they weren’t going to be ready for a couple months, so we settled into a little house on Omaha Street.
Tomorrow, however, our new apartment is finally ready, and I couldn’t be more excited to move into the new home with my sweethearts.

Jon thanked me this morning for willingly following him from the city to the county, from the house to the apartment.  I responded that I would follow him to the stars, and I reminded him that HE, not an address, will always be my home.
Later today, I found this Rob Ryan print that perfectly expresses how I feel, and so I thought I would post: