June 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME!

The lovely day of June 26th was my birthday. This year it was a bit awkward because it was on a Tuesday and my family refuses to have my birthday party on any day but my birthday. It's my fault really because when I was a spoiled brat of a 13 year old I thought the world and my family should revolve around me.. especially on my special day. My great aunt and uncle went out of town that weekend and for years I never let them hear the end of it. (All jokes of course.... or were they?) But needless to say even if I want to have my birthday on a weekend now they won't let me because they're scared of the wrath of the 13 year old. It's annoying, especially because I'm not a brat anymore and I realize that life happens and sometimes things don't happen when you want them to, but I did bring it upon myself so I'll play along.

Anyways back to how my day was. Well, it was amaaaaazing! I really didn't do much. I got up, showered, and got ready. But what really made me excited about the day was my dress. Swoon.

Is it weird to swoon over your own clothing? Oh well. Then I made my way to Cambridge to do a speech for my online class I'm taking this summer so I can graduate next spring. Needless to say I nailed it and treated myself to McDonalds on the way home. I've really been there too much lately. 

Somehow the radio kept playing every song I wanted to hear, including but not limited to Candy by Mandy Moore and It's My Life by Bon Jovi, and from then on I was convinced the universe knew it was my birthday. So did my dog. Monte never sleeps with me but for some reason he came into my bed at midnight when my birthday started and cuddled me in bed. I can't even explain how happy it made me. 

Anyways, as I was skipping around town killing time by myself before my party I went to Ulta (my favorite place on earth). I've been watching a couple things there just waiting for money to fall in my lap to throw away on pointless items. And it just so happens that the week before my grandma randomly gave me fifty dollars, and basically told me not to spend it responsibly... so I didn't. I bought the bareMinerals Wanderlust Beach Collection and I loooove it. Don't trust me? Try it for yourself.

After my purchases I instantly went home to freshen up and try out my new make up. Then I killed some more time on Pinterest which always puts me in a good mood. Then finally it was time for my party! Which wasn't much of a party but oh well. I had a quiet dinner with my family and boyfriend. I'm a soup fanatic and my great aunt Aggie makes the best soup ever! She made three different kinds; wild rice and ham, beef noodle, and french onion. It came in courses and the first was french onion, which is my favorite.

To be quite honest I got so involved in the meal that I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the soup! My grandma however also made her Next Day Broccoli Salad. It's called next day because for some reason the left overs always taste better the next day than they do the day it's made. I think it's because the sauce gets nice and thick.

I wish I had more pictures of the whole evening. It's not my fault, really. I assigned the candid picture taking task to my boyfriend and, sadly, he failed me. Seriously he's never getting assigned that again. He took pictures of me being ugly sipping soup, my mom being.. well my mom (she's not very photogenic), lemon water, and butter. I mean come on, butter? I love him but those aren't good pictures. 

Next came presents! I didn't get much, mostly because I got a few big things rather than a lot of little things. My parents got me a Kenneth Cole suit case that I absolutely adore and Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume which is the best ever. If you've never smelt it before, then drag your butt to Macy's and take a whiff. Another thing I got was a Keurig! I love coffee and tea but I love coffee and tea from Keurig's even more. I'm so excited to take it to school with me in a few months. My wonderful boyfriend also took me shopping but that's information for another blog. 

After that came dessert. I picked it out and found the recipe myself. We had... drum roll please.....

SLUTTY BROWNIES. They were amazing. I found the recipe off my favorite blog, the londoner.

I know my pictures aren't as good as hers but oh well. I needed to document the deliciousness for myself. (As for the candles, yes my family thinks I'm a princess)

If you're too lazy to go to the website and you can't figure out what's in the brownies by the picture, it's essentially a chocolate chip cookie dough base, with a layer of Oreos, and then you pour brownie mix over the top and bake all of it together. It's pretty easy to make also so I highly recommend you trying it.

After eating enough food for a small army, and enjoying some time with my lovely family, we headed home to call it a night and the rest is history.


June 25, 2012

Music Monday: The Lumineers

I recently discovered this band, oddly from a Bing commercial that I shazamed (is that a word?) on TV. I instantly fell in love and bought their CD. Since then I have gotten many-a people obsessed with them. Now I'm not exactly sure what genre to place this band in, but I like many many other bands with the same sound, and I'm not sure where to place them either! Help?
But enough of my typing, this is about the music after all! So see for yourself. The video below is the song I heard in the commercial and I also have heard it on the radio a time or two. However, rest assure that their entire album is good. So if you like this one song you won't regret buying the whole shebang.


June 24, 2012

Wedding Crashers

A couple weeks ago my friend Alyssa invited me to a wedding. She didn't want to go by herself and I'm a sucker for weddings, so of course I said yes! I went to her house and we did our hair and make up together before making the big decision of what to wear! I ended up wearing my favorite BCBG dress and she wore an old dress of her moms from the '90's. (Sorry for the picture quality.)

Once we were all dolled up we hopped in the car and started our adventure! And oh what an adventure it started out to be. Right from the start I told Alyssa that I was going to blog about our night and she said "Oh no! I better not do anything blog worthy!" But something blog worthy happened within the first 5 minutes. We left her house and stopped at McDonald's to get some coffee before getting on the highway. We were driving along just talking and jamming out when all of a sudden her battery light came on. Well long story short no one would answer but my dad and he said we only had about 10-15 minutes of driving time left. We rushed back to her house and ultimately took my car.

Now that we were in a reliable car, we made the hour long trek up through St. Cloud to a town named Sartell. It's a tiny, yet very nice town in the middle of no where. All we attended was the wedding reception since the ceremony was family only (understandably so). The bride and groom were friends of Alyssa's sister and I must say that it is one fun crowd to hang out with. Everyone knew each other and were already pretty toasted when we got there. The bride looked absolutely gorgeous and the groom was giddy as can be. It was an incredibly fun night, I'm still sore from dancing for about 3 hours straight!

Around 12 o'clock the night was beginning to slow down and come to an end. Some of us were sitting on the deck of the reception hall when me and Alyssa remembered that for about 3 years now we have been saying that we wanted to run across a golf course in the middle of a night. Well guess what... the reception just so happened to be on a GOLF COURSE! So after years of dreaming and saying we were going to be rebels, 5 of us ran across the course at full speed. We even found a pond and stuck our toes in.

After that there was a little more dancing, a couple minor injuries, and people finished their last drink. Then finally at 1:00 Alyssa and I started the hour long trek back. On the way we stopped once again for coffee at McDonald's and went wee wee wee all the way back to the Cities. I had so much fun and I am so grateful that the bride and groom let me partake in their special evening.


June 20, 2012

My sisters Bachelorette Party / Wedding

These past two weeks have been hectic. Many huge events have taken place in such a short amount of time that it's left my head spinning. It all started with my sisters bachelorette party. It was last Saturday and it was held at the Radisson in good 'ol Fargo, North Dakota.

This is me and my best friend Alyssa that I dragged with. We figured since we're both under aged we could hang out with the leftover tequila after the of-agers went out to do the whole bar scene. My dress is from TJ Maxx and hers (which is really mine) is from Forever 21.

We got a hotel suite and decorated it with what we could without hitting the cheesy phase. Color scheme was silver and black. We had yummy snacks; veggies, bacon tarts, olives, pickle roll ups, hot pickled green beans (so yummy and the brides favorite), peanuts, and some delicious truffles that yours truly made from scratch. 

(The beautiful Bride herself)

Drinks consisted of lots of wine, tequila, and champagne. Most of the ladies gobbled up the wine but I prefer champagne myself; I mean bubbly wine... need I explain myself? Not to mention it was pink!

After the introductions we all mingled and Britt opened up some gifts, as the party also doubled as and a mini bridal shower. 
From there we made our tipsy selves stumble across the street to a fabulous Italian restaurant. The of-age ladies indulged in some more wine. 
Once everyone was stuffed up to their ears we went back to the hotel, the ladies freshened up, went out on the town, and the rest is history.

Now for the wedding part!

Monday morning I got my tired butt up at 2:30 and crawled to the airport to make it to the actual wedding. After sleeping through the entire first flight, we met up with my cousin at the Denver airport and all made the final leg to Cancun, Mexico. I wasn't able to take too many pictures on the vacation because honestly it didn't cross my mind much. I was too busy enjoying everything. However, one day we took the fairy over to an island called Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun and I actually took quite a few pictures that day.

Those are some witty signs we saw at a bar while waiting for the fairy to arrive. Last summer I spent an entire week on Isla Mujeres and I must say that I LOVE IT. Not that I don't like Cancun, but I'm way more of a laid back person than all the partying and craziness that comes along with popular areas like Cancun, so I was really excited to spend a day on the island. When we got off the boat we rented a golf cart to zip around on and instantly made our way to the turtle farm. 

Now this isn't our golf cart, but OH MY GOODNESS. Isn't it adorable? I begged to rent it but was instantly shot down by my parents. 

The turtle farm breeds and rescues injured turtles. They also have a small aquarium with fish, starfish, octopus, and even sea horses that had tiny babies. On our way out I couldn't help but snap a picture of this little gem.

How many iguanas do you see?

Anyways, last year we heard that there was a place on the island that you could swim with sharks so we hunted it down. It's hidden behind a restaurant in front of a bar on the beach. At first we didn't have the courage to swim with them, but after having two HUGE margaritas each, which were so strong and the best margarita I've ever had, we built some liquid courage. Of course they were harmless sharks but the fact that they're sharks and 6 feet long were still intimidating. Since I was in the water I wasn't able to get any pictures but trust me when I say the swim didn't last long. We pet and held the shark but after it spit in both my moms and cousins faces we got out very quickly. 

Being sufficiently satisfied with ourselves and still feeling the margaritas we drove to the tip of the island where there are some Mayan ruins and a sculpture garden. 

The view was amazing and I wanted to climb down that ladder hidden there in the corner, but just like the golf cart I was shot down by my parents. I don't see why, it wasn't that far down......? And it led you to this beautiful cove below with a tiny beach.

The views, paths, and sculptures were unbelievable and I'm so glad we got to see it. We then picked up some coconut ice cream (my favorite) and went to swim in the ocean. Did I mention that this is one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen? The sand is so white and the ocean a bright turquoise blue. For dinner we went to the fish market and had some great shrimp but then were so tuckered out we went back to the hotel.

Now that I've explained only the second day of my vacation in depth I'll try to sum up the rest of the days quickly.

The next day we checked into the hotel where the wedding took place and explored a bit before eating a delicious dinner at a restaurant named Ciao. The next day was spent by the pool / pool bar before we cleaned up, greeted the rest of our party when they checked in, and again ate dinner at Ciao. It was so good we couldn't keep them from experiencing it. After that me and my cousin met the rest of the wedding party for drinks at the club/bar. The next day everyone (I mean EVERYONE) had a pool day together. It consisted of drinks, sun, sand, and eventually rain. That part sucked. But we went and sat in the jacuzzi to kill time till the rehearsal dinner at Zen. I then called it an early night and stayed in my sisters room to keep her company since the groom and her couldn't sleep in the same bed. (The night before the wedding and all.)

And then the day came. It was glorious and sunny when we woke up. We had breakfast in bed and watched the big bang theory. Then she went off to the salon and I ran errands for her like the good maid of honor I was. After some stress and glitches that the day brought on, it was finally time for the ceremony. It was a beautiful set up and was white and gold on the beach. It drizzled at first but then eventually the sun broke out somewhere around the saying of the vows. I started tearing up as she was walking down the isle but I talked myself out of it because that was too soon. However, when the groom started crying during his vows that was pretty much the end of me and the dam broke. I honestly don't think there was a dry eye. After that we had a dinner at once again Ciao. The bride and groom had their first dance and from there we all went to the club at the hotel. It wasn't a private reception but at the same time that's what made it so fun. Crazy Colombians came up to her wanting pictures with the beautiful bride in her Vera Wang gown and at one point another bride even came and danced with my sister. Everyone danced and laughed till late at night and then finally turned in. 

The next day was, again, a pool day before hitting up the flea market in the late afternoon. Then the next morning we made the long trek through airports and taxi's back home to Minnesota.

I'm so happy for my sister and Andy. They are really a beautiful couple and I'm honored to have been able to be a part of it.


(All these photos are mine accept that last one. I don't have any pictures from the ceremony/reception of my own.)

June 3, 2012

Wonderfully Wanderlust...

Traveling is something I enjoy probably more than the average person. I hardly care where it, I simply like the adventure of it all. However, I do have what I like to call my "travel bucket list". Some places just seem so alluring with their beauty and culture that I can't save up fast enough to book my plane tickets. So to keep this post from being a million pages long I will narrow my list down to my top ten.

1) Italy

I'm going here for two weeks in January and I'm SO excited. I'm going as study abroad and we bounce all over the place. I'm hoping it's filled with lots of wine, beautiful sights, and leather markets.

2) Greece

I've wanted to go to Greece since I was about 12. More specifically I want to go to The Yacht Week. I'm not sure how to explain it... Is amazingness a word? No? Darn. 
Well here's the website if you'd like to look for yourself.

3) Brazil

This is a new found lust of mine. Rio has made a wave in the tourist scene recently and I'd like to see for myself what all the fuss is about. It looks beautiful. I'd like to go other places in South America also (Chile is later on my list) but this is where I'd like to start my journeys.

4) France

This is an obvious one. Who doesn't dream of walking the streets of Paris at midnight or waking up to the beautiful french countryside with a big cup of coffee? Swoon.

5) England

I'm not sure what it is about England that's so appealing. Whatever it is, it's got me. I don't care if it's often gloomy and wet, when I go here I'll be a happy, soggy girl.

6) Fiji

Come on, it's Fiji. Do I need to explain myself?

7) Australia

Australia's so diverse. It has cities, beaches, desolate areas that people get lost in. And kangaroo's. Can't forget those little buggers. Wherever you are it seems adventurous, that's for sure. I think it's safe to say I wouldn't go here to relax.

8) India

Culture. That pretty much sums up why I want to go to India. It has such a different culture than what I'm used to. The people, the food, the scenery. It's all unique and I want to experience that.

9) South Africa

Again with the COME ON. Why wouldn't you want to wake up to something like this? 

10) Chile

Ever since I found out that Chile had THIS I couldn't keep it out of my top ten. The fact that this resort has the largest pool in the world is the main reason I want to go. However, Chile is also one of the few places in the world that you can start at the beach, drive an hour and go snow boarding on a mountain.

Well that's that. Trust me when I say my whole list is much longer. These are just the main countries I'd like to visit. (Not limiting to one city inside the country) Where do you want to travel someday?


June 1, 2012

A little piece of me

My name is Abbey. I created this blog because I need somewhere that I can compile all the random things that inspire me in one place. I've read blogs for years now and have even had some of my own. I have a tumblr, but that's no place to write. All people do is post pictures and that's not my intent here. I also created one as one of my final projects for a journalism course. But obviously I stopped posting on it after I turned it in... plus I really wasn't that interested in the subject matter.

I've wanted to create a real blog for years now but never knew what to write about. Well, I've come to the conclusion that I'll wing it. This is a place where I'll post dang near whatever I want, whether it's fashion, food, music, quotes, or travel. I think it's what they call a "lifestyle blog"? Who knows. But this is my friendly hello and my plead to bear with me as I get ahold of this blog thing.