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downtownblondie

Stories

A Reframe

As I pack up this apartment, I am accosted by feelings; guilt, trepidation, failure, joy, loss. This place has seen me go through my highest of highs and the very lowest of lows. From tears and self-loathing to finding my strength and picking myself up off the floor (literally).

It’s time to move on. It’s time to officially close this chapter. It’s time to say goodbye to the person I was. Because who I was through the pretense of happiness, through the anxiety, through the ending of an engagement, through the sobs alone in the night… that person doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve spent a lot of time looking in the rearview over the past 6 months – focusing on what I’ve lost, whom I’ve lost, and the loss of that woman I once was.

I had an incredibly heart-felt talk with my therapist over the weekend and she was able to illuminate the best way to wade through my feelings:

  1. It’s not loss. I am simply gaining anew.
  2. If people cannot accept the evolved and new version of myself… that’s not on me.

Some things that used to matter to me, my former focuses and drives… they are not there anymore. I’ve found myself in the very losing of myself. Turns out, an unexpected fall out of my recent decisions has caused drifting, judgment, and fear from those closest to me. I can see it in their eyes “what are you thinking?”

To that I answer… I am not thinking. I am done calculating my next move. I am done looking around for outside affirmations on how to best live my life. Things look so very different from the outside looking in and I’ve spent my life chasing those nods from society. Guess what? That didn’t get me anywhere I wanted to be. It didn’t feel the way I thought it would feel. 500 likes on an Instagram post didn’t do anything to quell the loneliness – it simply and momentarily hushed the unhappy voice inside.

What does life look like now? Fuck that. What does life feel like now? It feels daunting. It feels uncomfortable. It feels like taking myself on a first date over and over again – learning how to process my newly found self. But guess what… it feels RESPECTABLE. It feels real and meaningful…even if it’s raw. I opened a wound of many years when I ripped off that Band-Aid and admitted to myself I wasn’t happy. That cut, that ever so deep cut, will take a long while to heal. So be gentle with me world, be patient with me friends. I am learning how to live more in tune with myself. For the first time in a long time, there is an acceptance. The acceptance that in order to fully live, one must lean into the chaos, one must let go of any notions of actual control… and just be.

I am working on just being. Stay tuned…

 

Lifestyle

The Explosion

Learning not to care what people think of you takes on a whole different meaning when you do the thing I now affectionately refer to as “blowing up your life”.

Three months ago I blew up my life; a life almost a decade in the making. A life and a relationship that was pulled and stretched and brought to the breaking point, yet somehow always finding it’s way back to uncomfortable grounding. Ours was a tumultuous relationship, never having that solid footing I believed needed to be there. I pushed that feeling down for so many reasons. I was fearful of the unknown. I was unsure if I wasn’t simply having cold feet. I felt the unspoken but omnipresent pressure of society telling me to settle down, get married, and have babies.

And yet… my heart and mind battled. Battled for clarity, battled for loyalty, battled for and against myself. I was exhausted from fighting myself. Anxiety, weight loss, insomnia, tears… but I was not there yet. I hadn’t found the will to face myself; to face the very truth that was like a cancer spreading through my unconscious.

Because this is my story, my lens, my experience – I can only share it through the only way I know how: brutal clarity and honesty. But as I said in the beginning of this long essay on love and loss and the rediscovering of self, I cannot care what people think of me any longer.

I’ve not shared this story with many people because I wanted my decision to end my engagement to stand on its own, to have been strong enough to walk away from a perceived happiness, from a life that was not my own. And at the end of the day, I’ve decided it matters not on the how’s and the why’s of that ending but instead to focus on the fact that I was brave enough to do it at all.

Because something happened to shift the course of my life forever– I fell in love with someone else.

Yes, I’ve said it now. It’s out there. Someone came along and completely swept me off my damn feet.

And still I fought. But this time the internal clash was to fight the rising tide of being completely drawn to someone, while betrothed to someone else. This fight brought up an entirely different conversation within me:

  • How could I let this happen?
  • I am a terrible person.
  • But I deserve to be happy.
  • This is just too cliché.
  • Maybe you’re looking for an out, you’re just projecting.
  • These are just passing feelings.
  • But…what if they aren’t?

Turns out, they were not passing feelings. Maybe I was a terrible person. Maybe I still am. But the moment I was able to admit how unhappy I had been, how my heart-wrenching anxiety was directly tied to my upcoming nuptials, and all the ways that life with my ex-fiancé could never be… it came flowing out of me with shards of glass for words. But they were words and they were my quivering words: I cannot marry you. I am not happy.

Have you ever walked into something you knew was going to be really unbearably awful? It’s that moment before a car accident where you brace yourself for the impact. It was like that, but worse. I am still working through feelings of guilt and shock. Many nights I’ve laid in bed pondering “whose life is this?” For this is not something I do!

Or maybe it is.

Maybe it’s time to realize this is something I do. I chose to take back my life and I cannot be ashamed of that. I never thought this would be my story, but alas. I did something I never thought I’d be brave enough to do. I did something selfish and bold and awful and amazing.

How am I doing now? I am doing ok. I don’t think I can aptly describe the exquisite pain of falling in love with someone while nursing a broken heart. Because mind you, just because I was bold and brave and made the decision… my heart is still broken. Nine years is a long time with a lot of love, memories, and life tied up with that.

But that is the thing about decisions. You make them. You deal with the pain. And you make a new life for yourself that feels infinitely more in line with what you truly want in your deepest heart of hearts. All I had to do was admit that to myself. As for the rest? Still being written…

 

Lifestyle

FashionWeek MN

Hey family – I know I promised you a FashionWeek MN post detailing my do-not-miss events but life got in the way so… better late than never right? There are so many amazing events every year but I am only human with a 9-5 so I have to pick and choose which ones I am able to attend without extreme exhaustion. That being said, here are the upcoming shows this week that are on my list:

Minnstafashion

Even though this one already passed, how can I not talk about the TSG Minnstafashion event? It’s the official kick-off for FashionWeek MN and I always have such a great time. The fashion, the vendors, the designers, the friends… I could go on and on. I snagged this darling Winsome Goods jumpsuits from Hazel & Rose, Stuart Weitzman shoes I snagged at the Collective Market earlier that week, and with my recent GoGlow to complete the ensemble, this was the perfect way to ring in one of my favorite weeks of the year.

Sol Innovations

This one is especially close to my heart as I was asked to be a stylist for the show for the second year in a row. This unique take on a fashion show features emerging designers and stylists for a project runway style fashion show and ethical fashion pop-up marketplace.

This sustainable fashion show features a series of eco-fashion design challenges from emerging student fashion designers, including a non-conventional materials challenge, a secondhand stylist challenge, as well as a spotlight on clothing and accessories by seasoned slow-fashion designers, fair-trade labels, and sustainable brands. Last year I was amazed at the talented student designers and by my fellow stylists. I have no doubt this year will be even more incredible! Doors open at 6pm on 4/28 and tickets are still available here.

Circa Now

Hazel & Rose had me at “vintage” and “pop-up”. Not only does this event includes some of my favorite vintage and secondhand boutiques at Able Brewery but it is also a fashion show, panel discussion, and pop-up shop all in one! They have partnered with local thrift & vintage curators Arlee ParkThe Golden Pearl VintageThe KeepMoth OdditiesTandem Vintage, and Thrift Stylist exclusively at Arc’s Value Village.

Circa NOW marries vintage, thrifted, and contemporary fashion to highlight different ways to shop sustainably and ethically. I’ll be there soaking up all the vintage goodness. There are still tickets available for this event held at 11am on 4/29. The schedule is below and you can purchase your $10 ticket here.

11am: doors
12pm: fashion show & panel (ticketed attendees only)
1pm: pop-up shop (open to everyone)

Cliche Crosswalk

This is a new one for me this year. It’s also on Sunday 4/29 but it’s held from 3-6pm at the Cliche store in Uptown. I really love their fresh take on spring and styles and cannot wait to see how they are styling looks for the changing of the seasons. The event page reads: Cliché‘s spring 2018 edition of Crosswalk invites you to get into the spirit at a pe p rally in-store fashion show with enthusiasm that spills out into the streets. Inspirations range from the equestrian to the boxing club, so come cheer for local designers Jenny Carle and Mikaela Harrod‘s and a showing of the exclusive spring 2018 lines for Cliché featuring guest stylist Abigail Guderian of VeryBabely. It’s free to attend but registration is encouraged to attend which you can do here.

 

Nourrir in Bloom

In partnership with Fashion Revolution, Nourrir in Bloom on 4/29 from 7-10pm will be a one of a kind, exclusive look at female-focused, eco-friendly clothing and accessories from around the globe, stretching from Columbia to Nigeria, from Haiti to Atlanta. The Nourrir Magazine team will be showcasing a “day in the life” of a woman that embraces eco-conscious fashion. Attendees will be guided through looks that include lingerie, casual wear, business attire, jewelry and evening looks.

The audience will be observing the “blooming” of a woman’s day in an intimate 50-person venue, where the styled looks can be appreciated close up and purchased after the show. Tickets are a little on the spendier side at $100 but the perks are beyond worth it! You will receive a high-end swag bag (filled with full-sized body care item from Intelligent Nutrients, handmade earrings from Haiti Mama and more), a macaroon and champagne. There will also be complimentary hand massages and other services available from Intelligent Nutrients staff included in your ticket purchase. Grab your girlfriends and make an upscale evening out of it. Buy your tickets here before this intimate 50 person event is sold out!

Lifestyle

The Holy Grail of Skincare: My Go-To Product Line

I saw this meme a few months ago that got me thinking:

Yes, you remember those shoes too don’t you? Time for that serum girlfriend. But in all honesty, it did get me thinking about my skincare regimen in general. I still hadn’t found any products to keep my sensitive skin happy.  Being on the fringe of what some might consider a micro-influencer, I’ve been sent a variety of skin care products to trial. I’ve accepted them always with the caveat: unless I actually like them and see results, I am not going to share or promote the products with my followers.

In general, I haven’t been over the moon about any one set of skincare lines and one set of products actually made my super-sensitive skin break out in a hideous itchy forehead rash. I couldn’t leave the house for a week! After that experience, I’ve been more than a little wary about trying new products – lest I turn into a red-bumped face monster again. But I digress…

A few months ago Mom and I were doing our usual Saturday thrifting when we stopped at a little consignment store in Excelsior, MN. Lo and behold, we were introduced to Bullenbees Skin Care. My mom ended up purchasing a few items, chatted with the charming marketing rep, I found my rehearsal dinner dress for my wedding (EEEEEE!) and we went on our way. Fast forward a few weeks later and Mom calls gushing over her purchase of Bullenbees. She liked the results so much she ended up ordering even more of their product line.

I do a little research and find out the following:

Check, Check and Check! All the items I look for when checking out potential skin regimen adds. It was created by a local quality engineer named Marie – who works at a very large medical-device company here in the Twin Cities. So based on my research, my Mom’s own reviews and well… SCIENCE  I reached out to the lovely marketing rep to learn more about this product.

That was back in January. I have now been using the Day Cream, the Night Cream, and the Espresso Scrub for roughly three months now. And I’ll tell you, gentle readers, I have seen a momentous shift in my skin. And I’ve tried everything from oils to masks, from Clinique Moisture Surge Intense to Belif Aqua Bomb and nothing has compared to my results with Marie’s magical skincare products. It is the first product line to actually soften my skin, shrink my pores, and control my combination oily T-zone.

With ingredients I can actually pronounce (Vitamins B3, B5, Willow Bark Extract, Espresso Beans, Green and White Tea) I know my skin is not being subjected to harsh chemicals or moisture-stripping alcohols. And you know me, I am all for supporting local and women-owned businesses so that is definitely a bonus!

Like I alluded to in my intro, I do not share or openly support products I don’t 100% stand behind and believe in. So what does that mean for you? Only good things! I’ve teamed up with Bullenbees so that one of you can share in my skincare joy! I am giving away the three products I’ve been using over the past three months:

  • Day Cream
  • Night Cream
  • Espresso Scrub

And in addition, they’ve kindly agreed to 20% off any order from their online retail store using my code: DT Blondie.

The giveaway ends 3/31 so that gives you roughly a week to enter and if you aren’t the lucky winner, I really do think you should give Bullenbees a try and utilize my code while it lasts! I wish I would’ve done a “before and after” photo series but I truly was not expecting to like these products so much. If you have any questions about my review or just want to learn more… you know where to find me!

Thrift Finds

A New Season & A New Wardrobe with Free Personal Styling

It’s no secret: I love clothes. I love to keep my closet on constant refresh – especially as the seasons change. As a Minnesota girl, I get the chance to reinvent myself every season! The downside COULD be painful to my wallet. But I found the Twin Cities best-kept shopping secret a few years ago and thought I’d share it with you gentle readers. But I’ll caution you right now: if you are a size small with a penchant for vintage and polka dots…stop reading. Maybe you go to Macy’s instead of what I am about to tell you 😉 
 
Where is this magical place that is both kind to your wallet and chock full of amazing finds all specifically catered to you? It may not the first place you think of to score designer goods at a ridiculous price… but I urge you to consider the nonprofit Arc’s Value Village. Now you may be thinking “ok cool…another thrift store” but this one has an added bonus: a free personal shopping service created by Michelle Raven. 
 
 
I schedule my appointment every season. I believe you have a 90 day grace period between appointments so it works out really well for me to utilize it every spring, summer, fall, and winter. The process is pretty simple and takes about 10-15 minutes to set up your style profile within the personal shopping site. I always add a link to my Pinterest Style Board to give my stylist an idea of who I am and the types of patterns, fits, and styles I am drawn to. As many of you know, I headed back to into an office environment and was desperately in need of business professional clothes. And while I love higher end brands… I do not love their brand new mall prices. So I made sure to specifically add in my style profile that I was looking for office attire.
 
 
Recently I had the pleasure of working with Sara Stomschar-Lott as my stylist and let me tell you, she did NOT disappoint. She had a full rack waiting for me with my own private dressing room set up with everything a working woman could possibly need. I was met with Jcrew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Black House/White Market, and Calvin Klein all in my size and flattering fits. Some items still had their original tags and had never been worn!
 
 

Each appointment is an hour, which may sound like a long time, but when you have 50+ outfits to try that hour goes by so quickly! I remember my first appointment years ago my main concern was hurting my stylist’s feelings if I came across an outfit or clothing that I didn’t like. I was nervous to tell them no! But my worries were naught; there is absolutely no pressure to buy anything or “minimum” amount of money you need to spend. I think we can all remember our days of buying Silver jeans from the Buckle and being stalked around the store. You don’t get that vibe at all which I think is so important in making their clients feel comfortable with the service.

My total came out to $135 for 25 designer pieces and I know for a fact those Banana Republic or Calvin Klien dresses I purchased retail for more than $135 each.

I love that Arc’s Value Village is local with 5 Twin Cities locations. I’ve been to 4 of the locations since I don’t venture over to St. Paul very often and I’d say that Richfield or Bloomington are probably where I’ve found most of my favorite scores. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve most likely seen me in an Arc’s outfit.
 
 
 
Thanks for following along! I really do enjoy sharing my thrifting finds with you. I hope you find some value in the tips, tricks, and places I share. If you’re interested in getting some serious fashion steals using the personal styling service, head over here and you’ll be on your way to a budget-friendly wardrobe!
 
 
*DISCLAIMER*As with most thrift stores, some of the clothes do tend to come with that “thrift store” scent but that doesn’t deter me from a good deal. A good washing or dry-clean 9 times out of 10 takes care of that.
 
 
 
 
Stories

How to Conduct an Interview: Get Out of Your Pajamas

Over the past few months, I’ve embarked on quite a few interviews. The majority were run-of-the-mill but there was one that will forever be imprinted. Today dear readers, we shall review a very basic rule of interviewing (in case you needed to be reminded). It is the rule entitled: Get Out of Your Pajamas.

A Time Not So Very Long Ago

7:58 am: I adjusted my blazer, hoping my morning eyes weren’t too visible on the webcam. My impending 8 am Skype interview was to be the 7th at this particular company. Yes, you read right – SEVEN. All inquisitions had been held via Skype which apparently is the cool kid thing to do these days. Today I would be talking about a potential future with the Global Director, certainly the most esteemed person I’d had to opportunity to interview with yet. The stakes were high.

8:02 am: Sweat. Nothing but a blank screen staring back at me. They are based in California right? Ok… so maybe she’s running a little behind. I count on my fingers… 2 hours behind us…Hey, I never said math was my strong suit.

8:05 am: Sweating increases. My face mirrors impatiently. I double-check the email – right day, right time, right time-zone.

8:07: am Thinking it’s about time for my morning avocado toast when suddenly…movement on the screen! I internally jump and ready myself. It’s show time.

8:08 am: Slowly out of the technical abyss emerges a face. It’s quite dark. I wonder if my screen darkness needs to be adjusted. “Hello?” I ask questioningly.

“HEL-ah-ugh-ahem. Hello,” the voice growls back. Is this a Shakey Graves situation? A click and suddenly the screen is lit with a soft glow. The light is coming from a bedstand lamp. The woman is in bed. The woman is laying down in bed in her pajamas. The woman is taking this video interview from her bed in her pajamas whilst balancing her laptop on her stomach. The screen is awash with triple chins.

She wipes her eyes and greets me again. “So uh…tell me about yourself?  What is your name?? Where are you located?”

I am certain this is either a cruel joke or she must be terribly ill. But I play along and tell her my name and that I am located Minneapolis.

“Oh. I am in Minneapolis right now for work. Probably could have made sense to meet in person.” I bite my tongue as to not mention I don’t make bedroom calls for interviews… no matter how desperate.

8:11 am: The “interview” continues to bumble along as she yawns, drinks water, and never moves out of her comfortable 45-degree position. I’ve deduced that she is in fact not terribly ill or slightly ill or even a touch sniffly. No no, I have decided that this woman gives zero F****s. With a capital “F”.

After 7 interviews and many hours researching and preparing, one would assume a common courtesy might be to get out of bed and perhaps change out of a Peter-Pan-collared pajama set. Alas…

8:26 am: She informs me that our time is up and that “someone” will be in touch. The screen abruptly goes black.

The moral here kids? Give a f****. I don’t care if you are the VP of the Global Goddess Convention and you command all the woodland creatures and some of mankind too. Wherever someone falls in the hierarchy of life or business or relationships, show up for them.

I went on to have 2 more interviews after so-dubbed Pajama Woman, only to hear nothing for 3 weeks. Mind you, this entire process took around 3.5 months before the recruiter called me last week to “touch-base”. She went on to inform me they went with someone else based on their superior writing skills but they had another opening they’d like me to apply for within the company.

25 year old me would not have had the lady balls to do so but I was just irritated enough (and had accepted a job offer earlier that week) so I felt brave and a little wronged by their process and general lack of common courtesy. I informed her of my general misgivings: the lack of decorum, the elongated process, and of course, Pajama Lady.

I don’t truly believe HR forwarded my feedback, nor am I under any illusion that they cared. But at that moment, I felt a small fire of vindication; I had spoken my piece.

So dear job-seeker, take heart. If I can get through a bed-interview, you can get through any other kind. I am curious though… what is the worst interview you’ve ever had?

*All humans have triple chins when lying at that angle. I sometimes do when I am just sitting in a normal position. I have nothing against triple chins nor her sister double chins. 

Downtown Blondie

 

Uncategorized

Pugs in Tow: A Staycation

This past weekend we were invited to stay at the Radisson Blu MOA to attend the Forever Bride Market. I absolutely love this hotel (and it’s dog-friendly) so the pugs came along for the journey! It was their first hotel stay and they were very curious about their new home for their 18 hour stay. They were made to feel right at home with two personalized doggie gift bags complete with bowls, toys, and a map to the small dog park adjacent to the hotel.

Notice Bill – the snobby one looking away 

Once to our hotel, we were greeted with my favorite dessert and the promise of chilled champagne in the fridge.

If you haven’t been to the Mall of America recently – the recent remodel has everything looking sparkling and updated. Tall One and I had a great night rediscovering some of our old favorite stores and finding new ones. If you were following along with my InstaStory, you would have seen everything from Marshall’s to margaritas, football helmets to footsie pajamas.

The morning was met with pug snuggles, silky PJs, and a delicious brunch complete with berry smoothies and fruit platters. And the Forever Bride Market did not disappoint! From mini-sundaes, giveaways, mini champagne bottles, and giveaway totes, it was a wonderfully well-put together event. I was completely blown away by the number of future brides in attendance. Looks to be a busy 2018 for weddings!

A big thank you again to the team at the Radisson Blu for always making us (and now the pugs) feel so welcome. We already cannot wait to come back.

 

Lifestyle Vintage Finds

Our Engagement Photos: Braving a Minnesota Winter

Hello dear readers. To be honest, it’s been a rough couple of months around here for a variety of reasons, none which I will get into right now. A bright spot was needed and was found in the of receiving the finished gallery of our engagement photos. If you live anywhere in the Midwest, you’ll know how glad I am that we decided on taking these before Christmas (hello sub-zero temperatures). Today was 28 and a total heatwave. Which is sad for SO.MANY.REASONS. But I digress…

Megan from Rebel Rabbit Photography is the darling doll who took our photos and we could not be any more pleased with the outcome of them. Makes me so excited to have even more beautiful photos of all our closest friends and family on our wedding day. So before we get into the photos. Let’s talk outfits!

We were lucky with the snow and I just love how red POPS against the white snow so I was on the hunt for a vintage red dress. Via’s Vintage obliged with this the stunning 50’s number. It’s so perfect and swirly as you can see below:

And of course, no winter outfit is complete without a nice warm vintage fur, provided by personal closet of the ever-stylish Audra of The Golden Pearl Vintage:

Winter always brings unto me feelings of cozy so a furry sweater and black pants (Proper) and my favorite over-sized earmuffs scored at Buffalo Exchange completed the “gal about town” look I was going after.

For our last look, (and to be honest I was pretty damn cold at this point) it was time for a full-on coat. Again, Via’s Vintage brought the heat in this gorgeous black & white vintage coat:

I get asked a lot what my favorite part of fashion blogging is and I have to say time and time again… it is the connection to the local businesses and entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities community. Shopping at their boutiques and feeling the passion these women have for their clothing and customers is just not something you can find at a large department store. So thank you to all those ladies who continue to outfit me through the seasons and every life change. To some, they may just be “clothes” but to me, they are a part of the story and fabric of my life.

 

Lifestyle

Just Breathe

I think in this world of perfectly curated squares, the idea of vulnerability can be a scary thing. No one likes to talk about pain or struggle because it’s not pretty. It’s not perfect. It’s ugly and messy and honestly, does anyone really want to see it? But I think it’s equally as important to talk about those non-ideal times. So I will. Maybe it’s more cathartic for me to write it. As it were, once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer. There’s still that welling up with words inside me – desperately needing a way out.

I got engaged a month ago. To my Tall One. For those who have had the pleasure of meeting him, know how kind and warm-hearted he is. He’s one of those people who will always go out of his way to make other people happy. I am completely over the moon to be engaged to him. All of the normal feelings of engagement came coursing through me: excitement, joy, love, hope. The ones you expect, the ones you read about.

About two weeks later I had my first panic attack. I couldn’t breathe. My body broke out in hives. I was physically and mentally a mess. It happened again the next day. And the next. And the next. I found myself avoiding social situations because what the hell was I going to tell my happy hour companion when I all of a sudden needed to run to the bathroom because the walls felt like they were closing in?

I am 30. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. Aside from the normal day to day worries, I’ve never felt this type of true anxiety. The lack of control and the total and complete onslaught of these panic attacks brought me to the doctor. Am I crazy? Am I losing my mind? And most importantly, why now? Why during the the happiest time of my life am I experiencing total and complete meltdowns?

“Life change,” the doctor says. It’s a life change. Even if it’s a happy change (hello getting married to my favorite person ever) it’s still B-I-G. He urged me to take some time to think about where these feelings are coming from, what they mean, and how I can work through them. Therapy with a side of Xanax. I’ll take it.

What I’ve come away with is fear. And it’s not the normal “bridezilla” fear of matching place cards or old racist Uncle Bob embarrassing me. But it’s more a feeling of getting older. Making that final transition into adulthood. Time is ticking away and maybe it didn’t FEEL like it until I saw my gorgeous sparkler on my left hand.  While I haven’t been a child for some time now, there was nothing definitively there to say I was an adult. No “then” and “now” or marker in the sand saying “that’s the point when things officially changed.”

Change is good. Change moves us forward and keeps us from stagnation. But so much of change is gradual. It’s different over a few months or a few years. It’s not usually something to pinpoint. But this overwhelming sense of specific change, it’s an entirely different beast. It is becoming a new family and shedding an old identity. It’ll be different than it is now. I can see it coming. I know it’s coming. I am thrilled. And terrified. Because emotions can be there together, all once, jumbled together.

My state of fragileness at this time in my life is not something I expected. It’s not a place where I feel comfortable staying. But I think it’s important to feel what I need to feel. Even if that means saying I am not feeling 100% ok right now. Even if I can’t say I know my reasonings for absolute certainty. I’ve always been one to need my alone time, to sort through my feelings and emotions. So for those broken dates, brunches I’ve canceled at the last minute, and parties I have RSVP’d “no” to… I wanted to let you know that this time, it’s not you. It’s me.

This sensitive little heart of mine is going through a bit of upheaval. I am one giant ball of emotion right now. I did not expect it but nevertheless, it is there. Maybe this is too personal to send out into the universe. But I do really believe the truth behind the “perfection” is more important than some false idea of what someone has of me. Thanks for listening. For commiserating. And hopefully, not judging. Deep breaths until then… 

Lifestyle

Staycation: A Very Blu Weekend

The Tall One and I were invited to spend a few precious hours enjoying our fair city at the Radisson Blu. The hotel, which is conveniently connected to the Mall of America, is the perfect place for a mini Minneapolis staycation.

Staycation: a vacation spent at home or nearby.

I was attending the Curated Style fashion show Friday evening and the Blu Boutique Pop-Up shop the next morning and couldn’t have been more thrilled to not have to drive back and forth.

Parking was a breeze and with our room keys in hand, headed off to the lovely Executive level where our room was located. Instead of a chocolate on my pillow, I was tickled to find a mini essential oils sheet spray in my favorite scent – eucalyptus. You best believe I brought that home with me!

Since we both had a bit of work to complete, we spent a few hours in the Executive Lounge finishing up. The afternoon’s work was accompanied by complimentary sips and snacks provided by the lounge staff which made me wish every Friday could end this way. Free wine that is. Every Friday ends with wine. But FREE wine? This is me holding my wine. Notice two things: you can’t see the wine and my quarterback shoulders. Who knew I was an upside-down pear? Also, why are women’s bodies described as fruits?

It was soon time to get ready for the eve in my favorite 60’s dress from The Golden Pearl Vintage. Houndstooth is arguably my favorite pattern.

The show was to begin and there was a lovely pre-party hosted by the Fire Lake Grill in the hotel. More free bubbly, can’t go wrong. Also, I’ve found my new favorite appetizer: phyllo dough wrapped asparagus with asiago cheese.

Here’s me at the Curated Style show – pretending to be cool but actually not being cool at all and being really excited inside.

Post show, with a sushi bowl and giant dirty martini (gin not vodka thank you very much) to lull me to sleep, it was bedtime in our King bed back at the hotel. I love hotels that are carpeted quiet. You know what I am talking about right? Little to no noise and every noise is hushed. Or least… it was until the Tall One saw all the BALL/SPORTS/GAMES channels on the TV so I fell asleep to the sounds of people talking about why Cam Newton sucks. Or doesn’t suck. Or maybe is a nice guy who just spoke out of turn.

Every room comes complete with a mini Nespresso so I promptly made myself a little cup o joe when I awoke.

But alas, one can only subsist on coffee for so long before the rumbles of hunger strike. Tall One and I set off to find sustenance at the hotel brunch bar. I helped myself to a lovely fruit and oatmeal bowl (and more coffee). The lighting was nice and dim which is helpful after a few too many glasses of bubbly the night before.

We took one last #Bluselfie together before I went to the Blu Boutique with my mom and he headed off towards the horizon.

I hadn’t been to the Mall in eons and it was really fun to see the updates and changes that have been made to modernize it. And a huge thank you to the Blu Radisson for your hospitality and beautiful hotel. We had a great time and certainly will be repeating our experience.