GRILLING

A short & simple post from me this week. It’s been a busy week and I have just been living in the moment, enjoying these last warm days we have had in Minneapolis. My new place has three grills on the 7th floor rooftop area. I was craving some grilled veggies this week and the weather cooperated for a little grill sesh. I did a very simple, yet delicious, mix of mushroom, onion, red pepper, potato and zucchini. I marinated the mixture for a couple hours in balsamic vinegar & oregano. I also found this nifty little grill basket from Target. It makes grilling veggies SO simple & they cook much faster. I’ve also seen them at Home Goods & TJMaxx. I would highly recommend.

view from the 7th floor patio/grill area

Coming up: September favorite finds, an update on my MBA plan and an update on my doctor’s appointment that I have next week!

DAILY HARVEST

If you follow me on IG you probably saw on my stories that I was greatly anticipating my DAILY HARVEST delivery this week. I have been seeing these beautiful little cups on social media & was highly intrigued. Basically, it’s a meal delivery service that provides you with fruit & veggie vegan meals that are completely ready for you. There is no cooking or chopping involved. I have tried other meal delivery services such as Hello Fresh & Blue Apron. While I liked not grocery shopping, I can’t say I was super impressed with the quality, variety & price of these services.

I looked into what these bowls actually were and I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The company itself is committed to finding the best fruits & vegetables and preserving the nutrients until they make it to you! They are also committed to producing less food waste, which I like. They are able to take produce that usually is tossed because of its appearance and freeze it and you’d never know the difference. Each meal is frozen and will serve 1-2 people. The current options include snack bites, smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, oat bowls, chia bowls & lattes. Depending on what cup you order, you may need to add a liquid, blend, heat or refrigerate overnight. Everything comes frozen. By freezing the ingredients they are able to lock in freshness, even months after harvest, giving you access to summer’s best produce, even in the dead of winter.

Now you may be thinking why would you purchase pre-made fruit & veggie cups when you can easily go to the store and get the stuff yourself?! Well, I will give you my top 3 reasons why.

First, TIME & CONVENIENCE. I am at a point in my life right now where I want easy & convenient. I don’t want to go to the store and purchase several bags of frozen fruit and veggies and come up with combinations myself. Sometimes the store doesn’t have a great selection to offer either. Also, half of the time the fresh produce I buy goes bad because I don’t eat it in time.

Second, NUTRITIONAL VALUE. I want to have healthy options on hand that are super easy to throw together when I am on the go. These definitely satisfy that requirement. They are 98% organic and have a commitment to preserving nutrients and providing you with a quality healthy product.

Third, COST. When I do the math, these cups are worth it for me. They are a cost-effective way to have fruit & veggies but not have to worry about them going bad and buying several different kinds at once. You can choose how often you want these delivered. You can also choose how many you want. For my first time, I ordered a 9 pack. My thought was that I could see how I liked them and then stock up every couple of months and keep them in my freezer. I do not anticipate ordering these weekly. The smallest order is 6 cups of anything you want from their menu. That runs about $48 and it’s your lucky day because they gave me a $25 off coupon to share! So that brings you down to $23 for 6 cups. So roughly $3.83 per cup! When I get smoothies or healthy bowls from local health/wellness places they run me anywhere from $7 to $11. So to me, that speaks for itself. I will add the code down below if you want to try them out. There are no obligations and you can immediately cancel or choose to skip weeks.

I also found some really interesting information on their website about traditional fresh produce vs the daily harvest way of doing things. I made a little chart below with what I found:

I wasted no time digging in & trying some yesterday! They were really as easy as they claim. I dumped the frozen fruit into my blender, added some almond milk & bam! I had a delicious smoothie in a matter of seconds. I ordered 8 smoothies & 1 harvest bowl that I am excited to try as well.

If you want to give it a try, you can use my code for $25 off your first order. You can customize your package any way you want! If you do try it, be sure to let me know what you think! You can order on their website or download the app for easy access!

CODE: RE-LG37M47

NEW CAREER BEGINNINGS

This week was sort of strange for me as it was the first time post college that I didn’t have a “first day” of school and all the anxiety that comes with that as a teacher. I’m not going to lie, it felt amazing! If you are a teacher or know a teacher, you know that the beginning of a new school year is just about THE most important event there is each year. And also THE most exhausting event there is each year. I don’t think people realize the amount of energy teachers put into getting ready for a new school year. And let me tell you, that first week with a brand new class is TOUGH. I remember feeling a new level of exhaustion every year after week 1. Especially when I taught Kindergarten. So next time you see a teacher, THANK THEM. They deserve the world. Here is a class pic of my last official class of my own (minus 3 that were absent). We had quite the year together but I miss these babies & hope they are all doing GREAT things! This class will FOREVER hold a VERY special place in my heart & soul.

So a little update on my new role … I am about 2.5 months in and LOVE it. Like LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It truly feels meant to be & it all comes so naturally to me. I enjoy the new tasks each day that still keep me on my toes but in a less exhausting way than teaching. I have a lot of flexibility which was something important to me when I was job searching. My role is VERY independent, which I personally really like. There is only 1 of me in the entire company of 500+ employees. I don’t necessarily have a team to work with and there is a lot I need to figure out on my own. But you see, I THRIVE in situations like that. I am also SO impressed with the company itself. I have never worked somewhere where just about everyone is extremely proud to work there and enjoys coming to work every day! The energy is great to be around. I seriously cannot say enough good things about this career switch.

I am also going to start working towards getting my MBA. My company is partnering with a local state college to create a first ever MBA cohort completely paid for by my employer. Yes, you read that right. They are paying for your entire MBA. I, unfortunately, won’t make the first cohort as I need to take some pre-reqs that I never had to take when I was in college getting my Education degree. So this fall I plan to start by taking the MBA math test which will count as my statistics class. This also counts as an alternative to the GMAT! Then next spring I will take 2 more pre-reqs … financial accounting & an econ class. Fingers crossed round 1 goes well and they continue this amazing opportunity so I can be in the second cohort. I will also be able to utilize the tuition reimbursement program my employer offers to get those 3 pre-reqs completely paid for. Talk about an opportunity you CANNOT pass up! I am excited about these new upcoming changes & challenges. I think it will set me up nicely for the future and it will be great to have another degree in addition to Education.

I feel extremely blessed right now with how things have lined up so well. That makes me feel confident in my decision to leave teaching & try something new.

Onwards & Upwards.

UP NORTH

I’m just getting home & settled in from an enjoyable trip “up north”. If you’re a Minnesotan you know what that means. For those who aren’t familiar with this odd obsession, just about anyone & everyone makes their way “up north” (north of the Twin Cities metro area) most summer weekends but especially on holiday weekends. Every direction you look, you’ll see campers, boats, trailers, atvs & more being hauled, as people are fleeing the city for the weekend! Just a few short hours out of the city & it feels like you’re in a completely different place. There’s something about unplugging & just relaxing away from the hustle & bustle of the city that rejuvenates people. MN is the land of 10,000 lakes after all!

My parents officially retired & moved up north this past year. It’s nice to have a beautiful place to visit & enjoy the MN lake life. I personally could never live up there full time but they seem to have adjusted and like it! Anyways, Alex, Mia & I ventured 3 hours northwest to spend the weekend with my parents. Being that it was Labor Day weekend, lots of others had the same thought. It was an abnormally cool weekend for this time of year, so there was not much water & beach action, but it was nice to just move slowly & lounge up there. We went out to brunch, enjoyed bloodies & mimosas, ate way too much good food, hot-tubed a bit, napped, went on a boat ride, got lots of laughs in with my parents, watched some tv & just straight chilled. Perfection in my book.

I didn’t take many pictures but here’s a few:

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend doing whatever brings you joy. Now it’s onto a short 4 day work week! YAY!

SELF CARE

I decided to take time for myself this weekend. I’ve been on the go for several weeks now. There’s been a lot of “newness” in my life this summer too & I could feel myself reaching my limits last week. A weekend alone always recharges my mind & soul. #theintrovertlife

There’s something about moving at my own pace & the quietness of being alone that fuels me. I didn’t do anything too crazy (except get a new Jeep totally spur of the moment, but that’s a story for another day! HA!) but in all honesty, I just really like not answering to anyone or adhering to anyone’s schedule. Sometimes I just need silence. It helps me clear my mind & press the reset button.

The topic of “self care” has really blossomed over the last few years. More and more people are realizing the benefits of putting their physical, mental, spiritual, intellectual, social, sensory & emotional health needs at the top of the priority list. It can easily be overlooked in the hustle & bustle of every day life, but if you make a point to take care of yourself, you will only be better in every other area of your life.

My self care routines look different during different times in my life. Sometimes I need to physically pamper myself with manicures, pedicures, massages, or a new haircut. Other times I need to participate in some retail therapy or a long walk with Mia. Treating myself with special food is also important to me. #foodieforlife

I would like to get better at unplugging from social media & electronic devices to just be with myself in the moment. I think that would be a good detox for me, as I tend to always be plugged in to the digital world and sometimes that makes me less present in person. I am also getting better at cutting out toxicity in any and all areas of my life. If I am not happy with something, I do something about it.

There are TONS of different self care ideas you can find with a simple search online. You need to explore what brings you joy & go from there, but for now here are some of my favorite ways to love myself:

  • spend time alone
  • clear my schedule for an entire day & just do what comes up
  • say no to things that don’t bring me joy
  • read
  • avoid toxic people
  • schedule “me” time for a weekend
  • take a mental health day
  • treat myself to a massage
  • journal to release thoughts and anxiety
  • go on a long walk
  • go on a run
  • sleep in
  • foam roll to release built up tension
  • binge a favorite show
  • get special food or takeout
  • do yoga
  • get a mani & pedi
  • go shopping for whatever my heart desires
  • take a nap
  • go to bed early

What are your favorite ways to practice self-care? Are you carving out enough time every day/week/month? I encourage you to seriously prioritize yourself because no matter what anyone says, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

HOME SWEET HOME

We made it into our new digs! It’s been an exhausting last couple days, make that the last 3 weeks since this adventure started! From purging & selling all my stuff to purchasing new space appropriate items, planning out my layout and actually moving in, its been a whirlwind! I am so happy with everything though. I’m already unpacked and 90% decorated. I’m going to just live here a few weeks and see what other decor/art I think I need.

Mia is adjusting, slowly but surely. This place is A LOT different than our Uptown gem. The community spaces & amenities are absolutely amazing and beautiful! All the artwork in the building is by local Minneapolis artists, which is really cool. They went the extra mile on everything.

I am going to leave you with a picture tour this week. No words are even needed as the pictures definitely speak volumes!

And finally, my view. WOW.

AUGUST FAVORITE FINDS •MOVING EDITION•

This month I am going to feature some of the new exciting finds that I have purchased for my new place. If you are in the market for any new home items, this post may spark some ideas. As I mentioned in my post last week, I am downsizing to a studio, so I had a lot to get rid of and in turn, had to get some new smaller items that fit the studio life. I will be doing a tour post of my new digs once I move in there so for now you will have to envision these items in my new cute little space!

Tv Stand – Overstock

I had planned to use my bedroom TV stand that I already had but when I sold that TV and hauled in my living room TV it was clear that thing was not going to be strong enough to support the massive living room TV. I wanted something clean & sleek – not a ton of drawers and places for junk to accumulate. This is surprsingly sturdy and I love how it looks. I plan to angle it in a corner in my new apartment.

Entry Table – Amazon

My new entry way area is a rectangle shape but the front door and bathroom door open into it, so space is limited. I decided to go for something round for the corner. I am happy with this! It is very sturdy and the wood looks nice.

Chairs – TJMAXX [link is to an almost identical pair because tjmaxx doesn’t them have online]

I stumbled across these babies one day at TJMAXX and they just spoke to me. LOL. For real though. I had this vision of a little bistro 2 person table against the window in my new apartment – dinner with a view!

Dining Table – Amazon

So along with that random chair vision I had in TJMAXX, I pictured it all with a table similar to this. I found a couple others I liked but they were over $300 and I wasn’t totally sure on the wood color. This is actually a laminate top, most likely the reason its more cost effective, but it really looks like wood in person and its super cute with my chairs. Alex & I have eaten at it a couple times in my current apartment and it works great.

Sheets – Amazon

These sheets are my absolute favorites. They hold up so well (even with Mia on them!) and are so affordable. I’ve been buying them for a few years now. They are extremely comfortable and soft too.

Comforter/Quilt– Target

Okay, I seriously had a major struggle with comforter shopping. This was my FOURTH one I bought. I wanted most of my place to be really neutral. Since I’m moving into a studio my bed will be out in the open so I thought that I could have one pattern/pop of color item and it would be my bedding. After trying a few though, I decided to go with a plain dark gray color. I also have this thing where I’m VERY particular about the texture of comforters and how they show wrinkles. LOL. I like quilts because they lay heavier and show less wrinkles. I think this will look great.

Headboard – Target

I went out on a limb with this one. I wasn’t sure how I’d like it person and I actually really love it! It’s more velvety in person too. I think it will look great in my new space.

Bath Towels/Curtain – Home Goods & Target

If you don’t shop @ Home Goods you are seriously missing out. SO MUCH GOOD STUFF. I got my entire bathroom towel collection there for a very good price. I also got kitchen stuff, throw pillows, art & so much decor from there. Seriously a must check out. If you like HG/TJMAXX/MARSHALLS, Tuesday Morning is another good store with a similar concept. I found some great rugs there.

The shower curtain is from Target and again just drew me in to the simplicity and I like the water color look.

Couch – HOM furniture

My big purchase! I went back and forth on what I wanted to do at the new apartment couch wise. I only had a maximum of 6 feet to work with. I thought about a loveseat but most loveseats that small were not that comfortable and then I would need an ottoman of some kind or a coffee table. They were also so short that even I would not be able to lay on it. Then I thought about an oversized chair. Every one of these I looked at though had bulky armrests and two people would not be able to sit in one of those things together. So then I randomly stumbled across this baby! I am so excited for this! It is like the perfect lounge area. I spent a pretty penny on it but it’s very comfortable and a quality brand that will last me many years to come. I think Mia is going to love this thing too!

C table – Amazon

This will be my new nightstand and also will double as an end table next to my couch. It was super easy to it together and looks nice for the price!

Artwork – Etsy

I bought several new pieces of art but this is my favorite! I’ll show more when I do my tour post next week. This is coming from Ireland so hopefully it will be here by then. I bought a really similar matted frame from Target to put this print in. I kept a few pieces from my current place too that will make their debut in my new space.

That’s all for this week! This little shop-a-holic needs to take a retail therapy break! HA! My next post will be a tour of the new place! SO EXCITED!