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Miami sun and wedding fun

Whew what a weekend! We spent 4 days and 3 nights in SoBe for our friend’s wedding. We stayed at The Redbury, which was a cute boutique hotel right on Collins. The weather was gorgeous, which was perfect since every wedding event was outdoors. 


We stopped by CRAVE in Coral Gables on the way into town. 


 Our hotel room came with a little record player :).


 Little man shorts and lady butt. Typical Miami sighting. 



 Day time pool party with the wedding group at Hyde Beach at the SLS hotel. Complete with Dave Chappelle sighting!




 Beach time!



 Our little hotel rooftop and ready to head out for dinner and the rehearsal party. 


 Dinner with friends at Joe’s Stone Crab… SOOO delicious!




  Rehearsal speeches on the sand, the boys (Leo, David, Danny, Jamie, Z), and Z on a sheep lol. 


The only pic I got of us on wedding night and it’s all foggy. Below is a pic I took at home of my outfit. 







Wedding venue, dancing, pool jumping, and aftermath. (No, I didn’t partake in the swimming :)). 





The last day we walked around a lot and crashed at our hotel before our flight :). 


It’s the most, wonderful time, of the year!

Nope, I’m not talking about the Holidays, it’s FALL! I have lived in MN for 9 years and I don’t remember the fall colors being this beautiful. Not only are all the colors popping at the same time, the weather has been perfect. Rain only occasionally, and highs in the 50s and 60s. I can only hope our winter is this picture perfect. ūüôā









entry ideas

Now that we’ve been living in our house for about 3 1/2 months, we are feeling pretty settled. ¬†And now is the time I start getting ideas of what I want to change and update. ¬†Non-renovation, decor updates are what I’m going to be making myself, without the help of a professional. ¬†I think if I concentrate on one room at a time, I can make sure everything gets done. ¬†It’s sometimes hard to shop with Z for home decor when he jumps all over the place, “This would be great in the living room”, “Where can we put this?”, “Can this go in the basement?”. ¬†My mind doesn’t work well that way, and we end up walking out of the store with nothing.

First up, the entry way. ¬†I thought the best place to start is the place that every guest sees first. ¬†It also happens to be the place Z and I walk in and out of every day. ¬†We don’t have a door into our home directly from our garage, so the front door gets used a lot.entry before 1

As you can tell from this picture, our entry leads into MANY areas, so this “room” definitely needs to be able to transition well into all parts of the main floor. ¬†I plan to keep the floor tiles, front door, and light fixture. ¬†The door and fixture have been recently updated and the tiles run down the hallway into the half bath, and it’s just not a project we plan to attack right now. ¬†The terracotta-looking tiles weren’t my favorite at first, but they have been growing on me over time. ¬†From this angle you can tell that we need a bigger rug. ¬†Especially now that winter is coming, I want something that fills that entry space. ¬†A 4×6 fits perfectly without overlapping into other doorways, so I’m on the hunt for one that has a subtle pattern and hides dirt stains. ¬†Oh, I’d also love to find a wooden screen door to put up¬†next summer. ¬†The front of the house doesn’t have great air circulation, so it would be great to be able to have the door open, and the pupster would love looking out too.

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I am also on the hunt for a rectangular mirror to put on the empty wall next to the door. ¬†It’s always nice to have a mirror by the entry to give yourself a once-over before heading out. ¬†In case you haven’t been over, the little doorway here leads into the office.

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Here are our closet doors, which I’m considering painting. ¬†There is a lot of wood in our house that makes it feel really dark, so I’m trying to figure out a game plan for all of it. ¬†Some wood (like the wood in our kitchen), is pretty and high-quality, but most¬†is boring 80’s trim. ¬†These doors sort of land in the middle. ¬†I need to sand one of the doors on the top because it sticks, so I might just go for the paint job. ¬†I’d also love to paint the trim around the front door and the doorways to the other rooms, but it’s hard to figure out what to paint¬†right now if I’m not painting¬†the other rooms at this time. ¬†What do you think? ¬†I’d be painting them a soft white.

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Here’s the hallway that leads to the half bath and kitchen, which I’m not touching for now. ¬†Also, the stair railings include railings that go all the way across the upper level, so those are a project for another day as well.

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Looking out from the front door, I’d love to add some art or photos to the empty wall by the stairs to add some more visual interest. ¬†{Please excuse our rumpled sofa cushions, thanks to the pup}.

What are your thoughts on trim painting in a transition area? ¬†I don’t want it to look partially done, but some lightness would make it feel fresh. ¬†I’ll send out an “after” post when I’ve made progress, but don’t hold your breath on timing. ūüėČ

Happy Wednesday ūüôā

My Ultimate Travel Bucket List

What’s on your travel bucket list? ¬†Everyone has places they would like to visit someday, and I’m no different. ¬†Today I decided I finally needed to write them down. ¬†Now the fun will be in crossing them off the list! ¬†Here is my list of must-visit places (in random order):


1. LA – Celebrity sightings on Rodeo Drive, Pretty-Woman style.

2. NYC – I’d especially love to visit around Christmas time or in the fall.

Note: The fact that I have NEVER been to either of the largest cities in the USA (NY & LA) is shocking, I know. I can’t believe it either.

3. Portland, and other parts of Oregon, like this:

4. Yellowstone National Park – geysers and mountains and wildlife, oh my!

5. Charleston, SC – The ocean, the food, those beautiful homes.

6. Duluth & Grand Marais, MN (My own state!) It’s about time I venture¬†even further up north.

7. Northern CA – Redwood Forests. I love the forest, and this is the most ultimate magical forest of them all.

California's Redwood Forest.  Growing up we would vacation in Redwood forests in California. Great memories.

8. Austin, TX – I hear it’s a music-filled, fun, Southern city, that doesn’t feel like the South.

9. Martha’s Vinyard/Cape Cod/Hamptons¬†–¬†Charm x 100! I adore these little towns.

10. Maui, HI – lush, tropical heaven.

11. New Mexico РI feel like this state is under-visited, and has coolness to offer.

12. The Grand Canyon – A wonder of the world, a short plane ride away.

13. New Orleans, LA – who can say no to beignets and jambalaya?

14. Lake Tahoe, a winter and summer desination.

15. Savannah, GA – hello, gorgeous!

16. Washington, DC – fun¬†and educational. I’d love to visit during the spring bloom.

17. Alaska – so much beauty in one state cannot be missed!


Outside the USA

1. Paris, France – The Tower & the Arc, yes. But it’s the little details like these that make me squeal with delight.

La Maison Rose in Montmartre, Paris France. © Brian Jannsen Photography

2. Southern coast of France – Where fields of lavender meet the sea.

3. Vancouver, BC – Ever since the Olympics I’ve wanted to visit, it just looks so beautiful with the mountains & the ocean.

4. Montreal, Quebec – France of the north.

Cobblestone Street, Montreal, Canada

5. Italy –¬†Rome, Tuscany, Cinque Terre – History, wine and rolling hills, and adorable, colorful towns.


6. Switzerland – Insane scenery… and chocolate.

7. Barcelona – Gaudi and the Sea.

8. Costa Rica – Yes to rainforests ‚̧

9. Ireland – Rolling green pastures, mossy cobblestone, quaint towns, and pints.

10. London, England – long live the Queen!

11. South America –¬†I know this is vague, I need to research before I decide, I just know I want to visit! (Pic of Machu Picchu, Peru)

12. Virgin Islands – Hard to choose just one island when they all look like this…

13. New Zealand – Strangely enough, I had a hard time coming up with a reason why other than “it’s beautiful”.

14. Belize – I’d be a bit scared but also thrilled to see the big blue hole. Also, it’s a snorkelers dream without the long flight to Australia.

15. Monaco – A tiny, luxurious country. ¬†Hopping off the yacht to the casino. ūüėČ

16. Norway – because, well, LOOK at this place.

17. Croatia – famous for those beautiful red roofs.

18. Thailand – Elephants and natural beauty.

You’ll see some themes with my list: many places are situated next to an ocean or sea. I tend to gravitate towards water since I live in an inland state. Also, you won’t see many places in Asia. When I travel, I like to explore cities as well as the rural areas, but being in cities as jam packed as Honk Kong, Tokyo, or Mumbai give me anxiety. ¬†Too many people! ¬†I’m sure there are MANY less-populated areas in these Asian countries, I just don’t know much about them. ¬†Know a good spot? ¬†Tell me about it!

What’s on your list?? I want to know what places I cannot miss, so I can add them to my list! Now, what trip to plan first? ¬†Hmmm… off to daydream.


*All photos found on or

Chi-town / D-town

The last couple of weekends have been filled with friends, fun, and family. ¬†Two weeks ago, I went to Chicago to celebrate a soon-to-be bride, Carly, who is the fiance of one of Z’s life-long friends. ¬†I sometimes forget how easy it is to fly to Chicago. ¬†By the time we’re up in the air, we are practically making our descent!

There were some scenic views from my window seat this time.

Chicago June 2014 -5

Chicago June 2014 -6We split up into 2 groups and stayed at two apartments near downtown. ¬†I stayed with a gal I’d never met before, Saleigh, who was one of those people I¬†felt immediately comfortable around. ¬†Don’t you love meeting those kind of people? We hung out for a little bit, then got ready for a late dinner at Dawson.

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We bar hopped around after dinner, then headed back for some shut-eye.

(Some of the group)

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The next day we woke up to a beautiful day, so we hung out by the pool all day. ¬†Both girls live in high-rise buildings, which I’m not sure I would enjoy. ¬†I’m not very afraid of heights, but I don’t know how I’d feel about spending every day 20 floors above the ground (eek!). ¬†The views are pretty spectacular, though.

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That night before dinner and dancing, we met up at the other apartment and played some fun games, and especially had fun with this guy…

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Yup, that’s a cardboard cut-out of AJ from the Backstreet Boys. ¬†I’m just going to leave it at that. ūüėČ

It was a great weekend hanging with the bride and meeting some new friends!

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Over the 4th of July, Z was out of town, so I road tripped it down to Des Moines¬†to see my parents and hang with my niece, Addy. ¬†My sister ¬†and her husband had a wedding to attend, so my parents and I had toddler duty. ¬†She is growing so fast! ¬†The life of a 2 year old is a bit crazy, but really fun. ¬†She says my name all the time now and I’m eating it up with a spoon!

My road trip buddy & navigator.

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June 2014 9We saw the 4th of July parade this year!  It was the most gorgeous day.

Nothing says American Midwest like John Deere.

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Parade-ing, bath time fun, and shopping with Addy!  It was good to be home.

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June 2014 8

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baby & bundles

We made it! ¬†We moved into our new home and have been living there for about 10 days. ¬†The move was exhausting, but exciting. ¬†We quickly unpacked (most) boxes within a couple of days, but still have a lot of organizing and finding-homes-for to do. ¬†It luckily didn’t rain much during the move, I tend to be famous for rainy moves.

We moved out of our old home on Thursday, then stayed overnight at Z’s parent’s house that night while we were homeless. ¬†The next day, we didn’t close until 2pm, so I had the morning to relax and refuel for moving part 2. ¬†I took P for a walk that morning and had a run-in with a coyote! ¬†It was 9:30am and very sunny, so it was strange to see one so out in the open. ¬†I was walking in the street when it walked down someone’s yard, across the street right in front of us, then into the woods on the other side. ¬†It didn’t pause or even seem to notice us, so it didn’t seem scary at all! ¬†Miss P seemed very alert, but didn’t move much. ¬†Maybe she knew it wasn’t a dog? ¬†The creature sightings continued when we moved in, two HUGE turkeys were walking across our backyard. ¬†Those things are like 4 feet tall! ¬†Then recently, I spotted a garter snake in my front yard, ¬†I haven’t seen one of those since childhood. ¬†Weird how these nature sightings come in groups.

Anywho, we moved in to our new home on Friday, and it seemed to take less than half the time than moving out. ¬†Funny how that happens. ¬†We spent that whole day putting away, organizing, putting together, etc. ¬†We took little breaks to relish in our new home. ¬†Do we¬†actually live here?? I’ve been telling friends that it feels like we are kids living in our parent’s house. ¬†We are officially old!

On Saturday I got to take a break from unpacking, actually take a shower, and attend a baby shower of one of my best friends from college, Emily.  She grew up around here but lives in Chicago, so it was great to see her and her adorable bump!

Me, Emily, and Amy (another college friend)

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Emily is having a girl in the next few months, and I’m so excited to meet her! ¬†She’s going to be a lucky little girl with the most fun, sweet mom!

This last weekend was filled with rain. ¬†In fact, there has been entirely WAY too much rain in our lives lately. ¬†So much so that there is flooding, and event Lake Minnetonka put a “no wake” clause on the entire lake because of high levels. So if you want to go boating, you’re gonna have to go¬†reeeeal slow. ¬†On Saturday we had some high winds with our rain storm, and we lost one big branch and about a million tiny branches/sticks from our trees.

(Not a great shot of the big branch, my phone kept focusing on the screen). ¬†Luckily, it landed on the walking path, and didn’t hit the house or any pretty plants.

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Z had a work event all weekend, so his dad was kind enough to come over on Sunday and help me bundle the sticks and cut up the big branch.  We bundled and bundled for way too long!  I was happy when that project was over.

june 2014 4I capped off that day of hard work with a trip to our peony bush, my favorite flower ever.  My old home had a tiny plant with white blooms, and this home has a much larger plant, but with dark magenta blooms.


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There is a lot more upkeep with this house, especially with the yard. ¬†I am finding that I don’t really mind doing the work. ¬†I want it to stay beautiful! ¬†Z even picked up a dozen little gold fish for our pond, to try and keep away the algae that grows. ¬†Turns out they keep hiding behind the rocks and I’ve only seen them once! ¬†He might spring for larger fish this week.

Well, back to work. ¬†Or as I should call it, listening-to-World-Cup-yells-and-screams-while-I-sit-at-a-desk. ¬†Here’s hoping I can get some work done over the next month. ¬†Goooooooooooaaaaaaalllllllllllllll!

june 2014 2


1 week!

It has been a while since my last post… We are officially moving in one week so we have been a bit busy!
There was a long drawn out ordeal with the seller about financing, and also a contract mistake, but thankfully we have gotten it all sorted out and managed to hang on to our seller. Phew! Last week we had the pleasure of meeting the sellers of our new home, and they couldn’t have been nicer. They are selling us a bunch of their furniture so we went over to take a look the pieces. A sweet couple from Louisiana, they had thick southern drawls that were fun (and different for up north!) to hear. They also informed us all about the house and gave us maintenance numbers, so nice! They even let me take a bunch of boxes they weren’t going to use.
We cannot wait to move. We are throwing together boxes this weekend and into next week, then out we go on Thursday. I’m am hoping to grab a small break and get outside to enjoy this summer weather! Finally!!
Let the countdown BEGIN…


movin’ on up!

This is a LONG overdue post: ¬†We’re moving!

Z and I had been looking on and off at houses for the better part of a¬†year. ¬†The market in Minneapolis has completely changed overnight, and now when a good house hits the market, it sells, immediately. ¬†Most good houses aren’t even hitting the market, and selling before-hand through word of mouth. ¬†We got a bit frustrated after losing a couple of houses to multiple offer situations, but then, finally, our new house hit the market. ¬†There weren’t any interior pics posted, but Z did some detective work and found some old pics online. ¬†The pics looked pretty good, so we set up a showing. ¬†We were happily surprised that the house was even BETTER than the old pics, many more updates had been done!! ¬†We put our offer in right away. ¬†We found out the next day that there were 5 other offers on that house in just 24 hours, so we changed our offer to be more aggressive. ¬†We had learned a thing or two about what it takes to get a good house in this market, so we weren’t planning on taking any chances. ¬†Plus, we threw in a nice, personal letter with a photo to seal the deal. ¬†Hooray! ¬†It’s ours!!

It’s a 4bed/4bath with 3 gas fireplaces to keep us warm, a sun room, and a nice yard. ¬†Some of the bathrooms need updating, but otherwise we love everything that has been done to the house. ¬†I’m not including pics of the outside or sharing the exact location on the blog, but I will email friends and family soon. ¬†Here are some pics:

Front door entry.

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Front living room that walks into the dining room.

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Small office just off the front living room.

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Main floor family room.

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Sun room that walks outside onto deck.

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Small deck next to a paver patio with pergola (Z and our inspector).

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Eat-in kitchen area (with wine fridge! eee!)

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The kitchen (my FAVORITE room).

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Can we all take a moment to sing like angels for this? Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. ‚̧

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We could not be more excited.

You’re probably wondering, “what about your current house??” ¬†Well, we sold it! ¬†It only took two days! ¬†Well, 2 weeks of prep work, THEN two days. ūüôā ¬†The joy of having our offer accepted on the new house was halted when I started to realize that we needed to put our current house on the market ASAP, and how much we had to do to prepare. ¬†Thankfully, some hired help came to the rescue. ¬†We had two weeks to do work, but within those two weeks included two weekend trips (one for fun, and one for Easter), and two nights of holiday dinners for Passover. ¬†Plus we were both working full time during the day. ¬†I was thinking there was no way on Earth we would get our house ready in time!

First, Z and I cleaned out any excess stuff from our house. ¬†Every room was cleaned out, and super edited down. ¬†We took all of the extra things and brought them to Z’s parent’s house. ¬†They have a big storage room that they were happy to lend to us for a while. ¬†While we were in California for Coachella (see previous post), we had our friend and his crew come in and do some updating for us. ¬†Our friend is one of the hosts of the show “Renovate to Rent” on HGTV (season 2 is filming!), so he definitely knows what he’s doing. ¬†They painted trim & doors, replaced door knobs, replaced carpeting in the basement, and put an apoxy over our 1950s rose pink bathroom tub and sink. ¬†It looked so much more fresh when we returned! ¬† A guy that Z works with owns a cleaning company, so we had them come in last minute to do a big show-house clean, since we just didn’t have the time. ¬†We had about 6 showings, 2 paper offers, and 2 promised offers within 2 days! ¬†We accepted one of them and chose the same closing date as our new house.

I’ll miss this house and our great neighborhood. ¬†Everyone has been so nice and it was a wonderful first home for us, and a great learning experience. ¬†I’ll take the memories from this house and be ready to create new ones in our new home!

Bye-bye house. ¬†I’ll miss your flowering crabapple, your hydrangea bushes, your private yard, and your warm fireplace. ¬†Be good to the new owner.

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sand tunes: coachella 2014

I have been getting so behind on my posts, there is a LOT to update you about! ¬†I’ll start with my most recent weekend trip, to Weekend 1 of Coachella!

Zach and I sort of stumbled across this trip, and I’m so glad it ended up working. ¬†A good friend of ours’ parents had been renting a winter home in Palm Springs, and they told him they would give us the house for the weekend. ¬†We had to buy our ticket wristbands after-market, so they were pricey, but with the money we were saving on lodging, it was worth it. ¬†Now, I am¬†not normally a music festival person. ¬†I’m rarely familiar with bands that aren’t mainstream, and can have little patience for long, drawn-out sets. ¬†But Coachella’s formula worked for me. ¬†The sets for all bands were 45 minutes-1 hour long, and since they were pretty short, each act played their most loved, most fun tunes. ¬†Plus, there were never any quiet stages. ¬†There are 6 stages, and if they were¬†between acts, they were¬†still playing music over the speakers to keep the entertainment going.

Lesson 1: don’t fly in on Friday. ¬†Since we woke up around 5:30am CST to catch our flight, it was really 3:30am in California. ¬†I’ll explain why this was a bad idea shortly.

We flew into the Palm Springs airport, (which is outdoors!), and stepped out to the curb to this view.

photo 1 (11)I had never been to Palm Springs before. I loved the mountains, the beautiful landscaping, and the mid-century homes. ¬†You know you’re in the desert when you drive on the edge of town and see fields of¬†nothing but sand. ¬†Anywho, we went straight to the house to change and get ready, then we met our other group of friends at their house, where about 20 people we staying!

(Our friend’s house, not where we stayed. ¬†With Jody, half of the couple we stayed with)

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(Isn’t this plant cool??)

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They rented a school bus for the weekend, so we all climbed on and drove the 20-ish miles to Indio, where Coachella is held.

photo 1 (12)The first day it was HOT.  About 99 degrees and no clouds, it was hard not to notice.  I drank 6 bottles of water that day and only had to take 1 bathroom break!  Luckily, once the sun goes down, it drops 30 degrees, and we put on our long sleeves.  Some acts we saw on day 1 included: Outkast, Zedd, Girl Talk, Ellie Goulding, Chromeo, and Duke Dumont.  It was an epic day!  So epic, that we were awake for 24 HOURS.  Remember that lesson I wrote about?  With the time change, we were awake from 3:30am-3:30am.  The shows stop at 1am, but then you have to walk pretty far to transportation, and since we took the bus, we had to wait for everyone to show up, then drop people off, THEN drive back to our house where we were sleeping.  By the end of the night, my feet and legs had shooting pains, and we fell asleep instantly on the bus ride home.

Some pics from day 1:

(Our house mates, Fred & Jody, me & Z)


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(Our jewelry-inspired temporary tattoos.)

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(Daytime shots)

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(There were lots of cool art installations, most that looked different or lit up at night.  I loved the astronaut and the garden caterpillar, [not pictured].  There was also a ferris wheel that looked pretty at night.)

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(Sitting break near the end, so exhausted!)

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(We sat down before shows to secure our spot for our big group, many are not pictured.)

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After a MUCH needed night’s rest, we were ready for day 2. ¬†We decided to go a little later in the day, to beat the heat and catch the better shows. ¬†We ate lunch in downtown Palm Springs, which I might add, is adorable. ¬†What a cute city! ¬†As we were driving around, we realized it was a WINDY day, and sand was blowing everywhere. ¬†We were told in advance that this might happen, so we packed our bandannas to put around our mouths/noses.

A good look, eh?

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Despite the sand storm, it was a cooler, much more comfortable day.  Some acts we saw day 2: Pharrell (SO fun!), Kid Cudi, Sleigh Bells, Dillon Francis, Fatboy Slim, Skrillex, Nas.

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(Our group taking pics in a mirrored art installation, which lit up at night.  You can see the sand-haze in the air).

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There was one tent that played nothing but EDM (electronic dance music), and had the coolest video screens and lasers.  We watched a show way back behind the tent from the beer tent, and enjoyed it even more from back there, because we could see the entire light show.

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(some closer-in shots)

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Side note РSO many people carried big strange things on a stick, or a big blow-up item.  The crowds got extreme sometimes, and it really helped keep groups of friends together.  Our group would have the guys put their hats up so we could find them again.

Compared to day 1, day 2 FLEW by, almost too fast!  Before we knew it, it was time to go.

(Frankie, Freddy, Z and I jammin in an open area).

photo 1 (7)(Red hoodie twins)

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By the end of the night, we were DIRTY. ¬†We could feel the sand on our faces/bodies, in our eyes/ears/noses, but couldn’t really tell how much of it was there until we got home that night and looked at pictures like this one…. (LOOK at my face!)

photo 5 (2)… or in the mirror at home! ¬†I walked in and said, “OHMYGOD!”

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Even though it was really late, we all took long showers then got in the hot tub before bed.

The next day, we hung around the house on a beautiful day, sat by the pool, and went for lunch at a local deli.

(The house)

photo 3 (6)Lesson 2: Stay until Monday. ¬†There was a whole other full day of acts we missed because our flight left on Sunday. ¬†I’m not sure we even had the energy for it, but it would have been fun.

Some random Coachella tidbits:

-For a big music festival, we barely saw anyone who looked “gross”, or who looked so messed up they needed medical attention. ¬†That says a lot.

-The food choices were great.  And with it being California, they even had a lot of vegan/veg options, and healthy options.

-The bathroom situation, although porta-potties, was decent. ¬†They were tented out of the sun, and men’s and women’s were separated.

-It seemed clean and well organized.


I would definitely go back!!




aspen adventures

One week ago, Z and I returned from a long, fun, action-packed weekend in Aspen, CO. ¬†We booked our trip for a wedding of our two friends, Joey and Stefanie. ¬†We flew to Denver and met Z’s cousin and his friend who were flying in from NYC, then we picked up our rental car and drove through the mountains to Aspen. ¬†It’s about a 4 hour drive, but it’s the most beautiful drive. ¬†After passing popular ski towns like Vail, Beaver Creek, etc., we headed into the river valley, that is, (in my opinion), one of the most gorgeous drives in the USA. ¬†We started to head south around Grand Junction, and eventually got into Aspen. ¬†I snapped a shot of this *perfect* mountain when we were almost to our destination.

photo 1 (9)By the time we got in, it was early evening, so Z and I settled into our hotel, and then walked into town to get Z measured for a snowboard and boots to get ready for the next day. ¬†I have never been skiing or snowboarding in my life, and I didn’t think many of our friends were beginners like me, so I decided not to ski. ¬†I could have taken a lesson and gone on the bunny hills by myself, but I knew I’d be just as happy enjoying the town and hotel during the day. ¬†I would really like to learn someday, so I’ll will definitely try when I’m not in town for a big event. ¬†It would be nice to learn on one of Minnesota’s big hills, to start.

Here’s Z and his new bear friend.

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That night we met a big group of friends at a local restaurant, Jimmy’s, then had some drinks afterwards at a little lounge. ¬†We had a LOT of friends in town for this wedding, so it was a fun, big group. ¬†Speaking of friends in town, through texting and social media posts, I figured out that I had¬†3 friends from my college sorority in town, all for different reasons! ¬†I got to see Kate and Ally, but didn’t make it work with Jess, who I hope to see soon. ¬†I love it when that happens, such a nice surprise!

The next morning, we awoke to a sunny, gorgeous day. This is the view from our hotel room (with an equally nice view the other direction towards the ski hill).

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We popped downstairs to enjoy our hotel’s AMAZING complimentary breakfast buffet before heading out. ¬†This was the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever seen! ¬†A yogurt/granola/fruit/fixins station, a bagel station, hot food like eggs, sausages, pancakes, pastries, cereal, THE WORKS. ¬†Our hotel actually didn’t serve lunch since most people are out skiing during the day, so they definitely made up for it with this breakfast. ¬†Z got all ready to go boarding, and I got dressed to wander the town.

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I met Ally that morning for coffee and catch-up, then wandered the shops.  Aspen has a lot of high-end designer shops, as well as cute local boutiques.  Nothing was cheap, but it was fun to peek around.  It was mid-40s, sunny and calm, a gorgeous day.

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That evening was the rehearsal dinner, which was held on the top of Aspen Mountain at the lodge. ¬†We all met at the gondolas at 6pm to ride up to the top. ¬†The theme of the evening was “western chic”, and they handed out cowboy hats to everyone getting on the gondolas. ¬†Now, I am not afraid of heights, but for some reason, those gondolas were a bit frightening to me. ¬†Especially when they stopped, and swung, and dipped. ¬†It was a 3,000 ft. climb up the mountain, and at the top there were incredible views.

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*Top of the mountain*

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(Note: my hat didn’t fit well because I have a giant-sized head)

*Views from inside the lodge*

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Z borrowed some cowboy boots from Leo, the boys loved them.

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We made our way back down the mountain at 10pm, in the dark, with strong winds.  That part was NOT my favorite, eeep!  We met everyone at a ski bar and then home to sleep.

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The next day, Z went back out to board, and I met up with some non-skiers, then hit the hot tub before getting ready for the wedding.   The wedding was held at the St. Regis hotel which was GORGEOUS.  We arrived a little early, and hung out in their swanky lounge by the fireplace.

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The ceremony was out in the courtyard, in a totally clear, heated tent.  It started snowing just as the bride came into the tent, like it was on cue.  The ceremony was in the middle, with chairs surrounding on all sides.

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After the lovely ceremony, we all went downstairs ¬†for cocktail hour. ¬†There were passed hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and an¬†incredible¬†all-female musical group that all played string instruments. ¬†They played high-energy songs from classical to pop and were practically dancing while playing, they were so fun to watch!

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We found our plexiglass-etched placecard on a 6 ft. tall ice sculpture/tree.

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photo 1 (5)Once in the reception room, we sat down at our big rectangular table for dinner.

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Our menu, was again, etched plexiglass.  (Notice the bomb menu selections)

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I don’t have any good pics of the ceremony, probably because I was too busy dancing to their 15-person band, having fun in the photo booth, and sitting down at the oxygen bar. ¬†Yes,¬†oxygen bar. ¬†It is the mountains, after all. ūüôā ¬†We had such a great time with wonderful friends, a truly memorable weekend!!