Saturday, April 29, 2017

Girls Weekend: Chicago Edition

There are always going to be those people in your life that refresh you each and every time you spend time with them. I am so very blessed to have some of the best girl friends anyone could ask for. The thing about growing up is people get scattered, and taken to all sorts of places. Something I try to make a priority is girls weekends.

Last weekend I went to see my sweet friend Dani. It is always nice getting out of the state for a few days to clear your head. Chicago was the destination, and I love weekends in the city. I wanted to get the most out of the weekend so I flew in bright and early at 8:30 am. Walking around aimlessly in the city all afternoon was all sorts of refreshing. I ran into this yummy placed called The Protein Bar. I am not the most comfortable eating at restaurants alone, because if you know me at all I am quite chatty. Forcing myself to sit and listen to my surrounding was actually good for me. I challenge you to go and sit in silence at a restaurant. Take in the sights, listen to the sounds around you, and simply unplug from your phone for a while.

3 Things to do on a Girls weekend in Chicago:

1. Get a Blowout: Dry shampoo is a staple in my life, and doing my hair is not a task I like. Kicking off a fun NEEDS killer hair. The Glowout salon was amazing, and extremely darling inside. The staff made me feel so relaxed, and taken care of. Definitely a must!
2. Daydream: Spend the afternoon at Restoration Hardware. Yes its a furniture store, but the one in Chicago is a destination. They welcome you to spend time sitting, chatting, and admiring their lux furniture. Five levels of stunning decor, coupled with a coffee in hand makes the crazy long wait for the restaurant tolerable. Make sure you put your name in right when you walk in. We waited 3 hours for our table, but it was worth it. Everything on the menu was amazing. Well worth an afternoon! Here you can take a peak at the menu. 


3. Wine and Dine: Some of the best conversations I have ever had has been over a meal. On a girls weekend thats exactly what is needed. We went to some of the best eats I have ever had. 
  • Gaint in Logan Square was our first stop. Reservations are needed to get a table here, but when we went we just walked in. Fun fact: The owner is from Wayzata, Mn which is just minutes from where I live. I had there BBQ Ribs, and they were delicious. Dani had their homemade pasta, and she said it was melt in your mouth. If the wait is super long take a walk down the street to Scofflaw which has hand crafted cocktails and the best ambiance. 
  • Avec in the Fulton Market area was cozy, and very innovative. On their website it says "Shared plates in an intimate space". This couldn't be more true, and we spent 3 hours here ordering small plate after small plate. Being able to try so many things on the menu really gave us a great range of flavors. You have to try to Bacon wrapped dates! 
  • Cafe Robey was our choice for Brunch, and the fresh juice and tasty egg dish made it just perfect. When your done eating you can head upstairs to their roof-top bar for a drink, and breath taking views. 

All weekends come to an end, but having precious memories with loved ones makes me excited for more adventures. I have a fun mpls girls weekend to post, and I am sure you are also going to love it. Where is your favorite place to go for a getaway? 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fall Refresh

Fall: to come or drop down suddenly to a lower position, especially to leave a standing or erect position 

Fall: season of crisp air, falling leaves, and all things pumpkin

I have always had a deep love of fall,  it could be because its the season I was born in, or it could be that Fall just is the BEST. I have been to the apple orchard, had pumpkin everything, and have taken long walks in the leaves. This fall though is different for me. Most people associate newness with spring, but I feel the new beginnings come with the shedding of the old. The leaves fall, and leave room for new growth. That tree has the opportunity to have beautiful leaves in the spring or they could have some dead limbs. This truth hit me on my walk this afternoon through the fallen leaves, with every crunch under foot. 

This past weekend I spent time with some solid woman of God at the Belong Tour here in St. Paul. Nicole Nordeman sang and truly touched my heart. "Before each beginning there was must be an ending" she belted out her song The Unmaking. We always talk about the new beginning, and fail to address the ending that occurred to bring about the change. I am openly a Lover of the Lord, and openly a flawed human. Being someone who grew up in the Christian Sub-culture, and fluent in "Christianese" I fail to talk about the "Falls" that I have had in my own life. We talk the talk, and use all the right buzz words. We attempt to distract people from our reality. Can you imagine the freedom if we were just honest and raw. 

There has been so many different seasons in life, and the ending of each facilitated an openness for what was to come. This last year I have been making great efforts to being far more transparent. I encourage everyone to, because the more authentic you are the more others feel comfortable to be open with you. 

The definitions of Fall that I have up top are the ones that we all know.. well my definition of fall may not be known to all, but I challenge us all to take on a new definition. 

Fall: the opportunity of a fresh start, and an openness for what the next season will hold. 


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lets talk FALL

Summer you were nice, but Lets talk FALL! 

You may have noticed I have not been around here much lately. Summer was oh so busy, and the amount of time I was actually home was few and far between. No worries though, this chick is BACK. 

Being a September Birthday Fall is my most favorite time of year. Now that the weather has finally started to cool down, the leaves are starting to change, and pumpkins are showing up all around I finally feel like Fall is here. Pumpkins are a passion of mine, and anything pumpkin flavor I am sure to try. Which gave me the idea for the next few posts. So if you like pumpkin you are in luck. 

Nothing makes me feel more cozy on these cool nights is a autumn scented candle. By autumn scented, I really mean pumpkin spice. Who am I kidding?  Pumpkin is always the right answer. I am not such a fan of apple or other random fall scents, but that didn't stop me from smelling EVERY candle in the isle of HomeGoods. If you haven't been to a HomeGoods you really need to check it out. I found an amazing candle, and to top it off it says "Thankful". How appropriate that in this season before Thanksgiving I have a sweet reminder on my table everyday of how much there is to be happy, grateful and thankful for. A brand that I am always impressed with their candles is Illume. They are an amazing candle brand out of good old Minnie. Their pumpkin scent is amazing, and comes in so many different containers. 

The next step in my decorating search was for the perfect Pumpkin. I am gold obsessed, and live in an apartment so a real pumpkin wasn't in my plans this year. There are so many different ones to choose from but my favorite ones that I found at HomeGoods were to great to pass up, and oh coarse I couldn't just pick one. The white and gold one on the left was my first choice, and the red and black one in the middle picture is a perfect fit for my TV stand.  I find that when you get good deals on your decor its even more satisfying to sit back and take in the cozy details you have added to your home. If you are from MN there are HomeGoods on every corner. So many options, and a fraction of the price. 

Being a midwesterner I couldn't talk about fall decor, and not mention target. I can't mention anything without mentioning Target. Here is a link to the items they have for this fall. Who has walked into target for one thing, and come out with an entire cart full! Please tell me I am not the only one with this issue. I am convinced that if it was the only store left in the world, I would indeed survive. 

I am so looking forward to Orchards, Halloween, and Hot Apple Cider. There are also some darling crafts that I am sure excited to share with you all. Let me know what your favorite fall activities are, and keep checking for new content coming your way. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You are the PINEAPPLE of my eye

What is with all the buzz about pineapples.....

The last few years pineapples have been gaining traction, and have become not just a tasty treat. I mean we all know that William Sonoma has had one in their logo forever, but did I ever think I would want a pineapple pillow.... the answer is definitely no. While we are on the topic of  William Sonoma I have to say the only time I have ever cut one was with this handy little slicer and dicer. I am all about kitchen gadgets so watch for a post about that coming up. Ok back to pineapples. Urban dictionary described them perfectly.

Pineapple: The single greatest fruit ever to exist. It is far superior to the mango, apple, papaya, or any other fruit. It's incredible flavor and intense juiciness should make people gasp in awe. 

You caught me! I have also joined the band wagon on this whole deal. For my birthday last year my girl friends got me a darling pineapple pillow, because they knew I felt so at home when those silly fruits are around. The one I got isn't available anymore, but here is a darling gold leaf one. This wall canvas would look so cute in an entryway. ​ I can't think of a better way to welcome someone into your home than with a sign of hospitality; which, my friends, is the pineapple. 

Here is a guide on how to make a flower arrangement using the cored out pineapple as the vase. Putting this on the table for a center piece would be so precious. I can't wait to try that this summer! When I do i'll post it to my instagram, so be watching for it. You can get to my insta by clicking the link in the upper right hand corner. 

I got a text from one of my bestest friends last week about this very topic, and it sums it up perfectly.

Be a pineapple 🍍 stand tall, where a crown, and be sweet on the inside.

Wherever this post finds you today, I hope you were able to smile a little from the beauty that is all around you. I chose the pineapple today to be my day brightener, but truth is, you can choose anything to take an average day, and make it extraordinary. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hostess Gifts that will ensure you will be invited back

Hostess with the Most-est

Being the extrovert I am, going over to peoples houses is a regular activity on my schedule. I always feel a little guilt when I walk in and someone has spent so much time preparing a meal, or a beautiful table setting and here I am just tromping in the door. I like to stock up on small gifts when they are on  sale so that I have a gesture to show my gratitude toward hospitility.

If you are from Minnesota, and are in the Mpls area you have to check out my hot spot for gifts: Bean and Ro. Not only is this a darling boutique, but they have fabulous staff that will help you find anything you need. PS. If you are a card lover like I am, they have the best (be on the look out for that post in the near future).

To make my own home feel cozy, I light a candle. Naturally, candle giving is a go to for me when I am giving gifts. Illume is a Minnesota company, and besides loving all things local they have fantastic candles. Their combinations of scents aren't typical, but ingenious. The Coconut mango gift set is so darling. You can get it here. Another favorite brand for candles are here (which ill show you further down the post), and here my favorite being Baies.

Besides loving darling cards I also love a good pen to write with, so a whitty notebook with a le pen makes another perfect gift for your favorite Hostess. I linked a multipack of them, because you can't have just one color. The pen is quality with a satisfying mark that goes on smoothly and pointedly. These notebooks all have short, but sweet messages that make them feel a bit more personalized.

Who would I be kidding if I didn't say chocolate is my favorite thing, but also the best item to gift. Who on earth doesn't love a pretty bar of chocolate that tastes like gold. A bar of chocolate that tastes as good as the packaging, is worth the price of inflation in my opinion. It will make your hostess feel just as special as they made you feel. The Mariebelle chocolate bars are so yummy and the packaging is hard to beat.

Thank you so much for taking a peak at my latest post. As a little disclaimer, I am going to be posting about once a week till I can get the hang of this. Would love opinions and comments about what kind topics would be interesting to you.

As always, be the best you and love each other well! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

All you can do is jump into the deep end, and learn how to swim.

So many times I have talked about writing a blog and made small steps to do so, but now I am going to make it happen. After spending so much time trying to figure out how I was going to write this thing I am just going for it.

For one of my best friends birthdays she wanted to do something different for the big 24. So we brain stormed, and decided something outdoors. The original plan was to go skiing, and try our hands at the midwestern black diamonds. Like good friends,  Jenna ( blonde on the right) and I, showed up for the day of fun that the Birthday Girl had planned. I know we sound like bad friends that we had the birthday girl plan the day, but she had her heart set on it. Minneapolis has all sorts of fun things to do when the skies are blue, We went for the back up plan of taking our twenty-something selves to the Science Museum.

So if you want to go and see some Humpback Whales you will not be disappointed. Its 40 minutes of a trip around the world. Since its in the Omni Theatre a screen comes down over your head, and your seats are reclined backwards. If you are motion sick at all then I have no idea how you are going to live through this showing. Its worth giving it a shot though. I never thought these words would come out of my mouth that I, Kayla, would enjoy watching anything that had to do with animals. The sounds of the whales are magical, and quite captivating. Did I mention that this showing got 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and not even the new Star Wars rated that high, even though it did get a 93%.

Following the showing we went to The Buttered Tin which is in St. Paul, and near the Science Museum. All three of us girls had been dying to try this place.  I can't remember what the other girls got, because I was enjoying my food far to much. For those of you don't know I am gluten free, and try to avoid dairy as much as I can so I had the "special sauce" on the side. I ordered the Daily Special Hash, sweet potato puree drizzled over the top, and as you can see from the picture it has a perfect sunny-side up egg on the top.

When I was peering over at the other tables I did see the Banana Fosters French Toast. It looked, and smelled amazing! If you can eat gluten will you please eat this for me!

This day was a day to remember. A day of laughs, joy, and sharing love with my darling girls. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated, and this rainy day adventure was just that.