April 25, 2013

the happiest place on earth

I think it’s obvious that we had an amazing time on our San Diego vacation. Aside from the warmth, lack of snow, and best company, it was the perfect April getaway. San Diego has always been one of my favorite cities to be in – my happy place. This trip was nothing short of that. We love you Joe and Alyson!! Thanks for making our trip so much fun!

photos taken at Carlsbad Flower Fields

March 8, 2013

loving, eating, reading, planning

LOVING  bkr water bottles
  //   I’ve been using this little beauty for a few weeks now and have fallen deeper and deeper in love. Yes. I am in love with a water bottle. I could write a few paragraphs on just the mouthpiece alone (Hello! No spilling while drinking and driving – water only, people!), but I’ll spare you and give you the good advice to get yourself one of these pretty, hydrating things. Browse away!

EATING  chia seeds  //  Who knew the source of a chia pet could be so beneficial?! I know they’re all the rage, so I guess that makes me a follower but a follower who can run fast because these things give you the kick of energy needed for any ‘ol day! If you have a full schedule or need some replenishment, grab a little pinch of these babies! I’ve been adding a small tablespoon to my morning black tea and it seems to get the job done. So much more information on these miracle seeds here.

READING  the happiness advantage  //  I love blogs. Not so much books. I guess that’s a lie, because I LOVE to buy books, but have a hard time sitting down to read them unless I’m on an airplane (bookstore in airports = genius). Thanks to my recent trip to Palo Alto, I was on an airplane so naturally dug into one of the many books I’ve purchased over the past few months titled, The Happiness Advantage. I first heard about this book back in January when I visited New Orleans for Serious Business. Shawn Achor, author, was the opening speaker and immediately had my interest – happy people are more successful?! WHAT?!!?! I loved the idea behind his research and the fact that it’s scientifically based! I’m about halfway through the book and if nothing else have discovered a few beneficial practices to increase my optimism and gratitude. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

PLANNING  boot camp //  Holy sore muscles, guys! On a whim (and with a bit of coaxing from a corepower buddy) I decided it would be a good idea to sign up for Corepower’s Boot Camp. WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I mean this is a pretty big stretch for me, seeing as how I find multiple excuses per week to skip my workouts. With that said, I know I need a literal and figurative kick in the booty to prep myself to feel happy about wearing a bikini on a San Diegan beach come end of April, so here goes nothing!

March 7, 2013

stopping the selfie

headshots-paI love a good selfie as much as the next girl, but let’s be real. I love a good head shot even more! That’s right. Eliminate your selfie production and let me photograph you instead! I’ve been shooting head shots like crazy over the past few months and am LOVING every minute of it. I was just in Palo Alto and had the pleasure to not only enjoy the sun and scenery of that beautiful city, but also to capture some of my beautiful friends (above). Whether you’re auditioning for The Bachelor (yes, I’m serious), need to get your face up on your new business website or just want to replace the selfie on all of your social media profiles, I’m your girl!

For pricing and additional information, send a note to ashley.borntrager@gmail.com. All photos pictured above taken by Ashley Borntrager.

February 25, 2013

five steps to eggcellent

The first time I really needed to succeed at hard boiling eggs, I was preparing for my sister’s story book themed baby shower. In addition to gifting my unborn nephew with a library of classic stories, all the food at the party was going to reflect an aspect of a children’s book. That’s where green eggs and ham came in. How complicated could it be to boil some eggs and drop a bit of food coloring into the yolks?! Surprisingly harder than it would have been to track down Dr. Seuss himself. I will admit that I was an amateur at hard boiling eggs, but I never dreamed the struggle between me and the stubborn shells would cause a near panic attack 20 minutes before guests arrived. I mean how can it be so ridiculously impossible to peel a freaking egg??? I didn’t have a panic attack, but instead made peace with the fact that my perfect spread would include hard boiled eggs that looked like they had been through the garbage disposal. I made peace and vowed NEVER to hard boil eggs again.

That’s when I discovered the best kept secret EVER. Baking them. I have to credit Pinterest and my good friend Calli for this discovery. If you ever prefer eggs hard boiled (great for lunches or to have in the fridge for a quick snack), this simple process comes highly recommended from a girl who has had serious hard boiling struggles. AND of coarse I wouldn’t be recommending this if it didn’t make peeling SO MUCH EASIER. So many perks I can’t stand it. They peel and you know exactly how long to cook them so they’re perfectly done. Follow along and bake something eggcellent!! (How cheesey is that, right? I love it.)

STEP 1: Grab a dozen of your favorite, farm fresh eggs and your standard muffin tin. Place one egg per muffin cup.
STEP 2: Once your oven reaches 325°, place the eggs in the oven and set your timer for 28 minutes.
STEP 3: Once the time is up, grab each egg out of the tin (salad tongs work great for this because the eggs are HOT) and place in a bowl of cold, cold water.
STEP 4: Admire your eggs.
STEP 5: Put in minimal effort to peel and eat! YUM!!!

February 23, 2013

loving, eating, reading, planning


LOVING  subway tile  //   along with our never-ending home search comes my never-ending decorating and re-decorating of rooms in our (currently imaginary) house. since the very first day we began house hunting (2 years ago), my decor style has changed quit a bit. i am looking forward to navigating my endless bookmarks, pinterest boards and scouring the neighborhood garage sales to select the perfect pieces for each room. and i really can’t wait to settle in to a neighborhood. HOUSE! hurry up and find us already!!

EATING  grapefruit  //  typically i buy grapefruit and end up throwing them away a few weeks later when they no longer look edible (because they always seem like so much work — laaaaaayzeeeee). something got into me this week and i ate one every single day. it was the best timing for so many reasons. every time i cut one of those juicy fruits open, it drove me back to a warmer time when the outside temperature reached above zero. it was nice for the 5 minutes it took me to eat it. not to mention, they’re great for you. so if you need a little splash of summer or vacation, or just a load of vitamin C, grab a grapefruit!

READING  enjoying the small things – dash’s birth story  //  Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things has been one of my favorite bloggers/writers since i was introduced to her work a little over a year ago (thanks for the intro, Ame). when i first read her blog she was writing her first book (Bloom – highly recommended). to be extremely brief, it is about the birth and first year of her youngest daughters life. well, she’s had another baby (first boy, third baby) and each birth story she writes is completely captivating. somehow she makes you feel like you were there. or at least like you wanted to be there to celebrate, to cry, and at the very least to hold the tiny little baby she’s just welcomed. her writing will bring you to tears and make you crave your family. it is beautiful!

PLANNING  palo alto  //  i have the pleasure of heading out to Palo Alto, CA this week for the first time ever to snap head shots of our team who keeps that pretty city looking so beautiful. i am thrilled to take a mini break from the minnesota winter! and of coarse to use my camera.  i often find myself defaulting to capture everything on my iphone to avoid lugging my big bag along (bad excuse, i know). when i bring it with me, i’m always so glad i did.

photos thanks to 1, 2, 3, 4

February 11, 2013

good vibes

good-vibe-fridaymonday is the perfect day to spread some good vibes for the week. here are some of my latest favorites (via pinterest). happy week!

February 6, 2013

cake boss was here

sister-weekend-2another successful sister weekend is in the books! along with a few workouts from jillian michaels herself (addison), a game of memory and the super bowl, being equipped with frosting and plenty of sprinkles seemed to be the highlight of our weekend together. definitely the cutest baker i’ve ever seen!

February 1, 2013

sister weekend

It’s Friday and I’m officially off juice and onto Sister Weekend!! My baby sis and I have been having Sister Weekends long before she could talk, crawl, or sleep through the night! I love this one to pieces and now that she’s getting older (and sleeps through the night) our weekends continue to be more and more fun. This time around Sister Weekend will be spent in Stillwater due to her carefully arranged Super Bowl bash, complete with Valentine’s for every guest. She’s been planning since last week. And I’m serious. We share that “I love to plan” gene. Looking forward to a weekend filled with Cake Boss, Webkinz, interpretive dance and a cushion bed! xo

January 29, 2013

it’s in the bag

in-the-bagI just swallowed the last little sip of my final day 2 drink and I feel AWESOME!! This cleanse is so easy! If you’re at all feeling in need of a restart, I encourage you to give this a try! I have been feeling super energized and strangely happier. I don’t know why I say strangely. I feel good so naturally I’d be happier I guess. If you drink all 6 juices that you’re supposed to in a day, you consume a bit over 1,000 calories (1,070 to be exact). This is much less than I’d consume in a normal day, but all the calories I’m consuming are good calories keeping me energized (and full).

To be totally honest, last night was a bit rough. The little drummer boy excusing my brain for a musical instrument was excruciating. I went to be early. Really early. When I woke up this morning, I was pleased to notice that he had skipped town. Headache free zone!  No headache and all this extra energy resulted in karate chopping my to-do list at work (I didn’t even notice I had stayed nearly two hours later than normal), blogging at home (as you can tell by my sporadic posts, typically my TV family gets in the way of keeping this thing up to date), and a yoga date with my sister. HOME-RUN!

And yes, yes, yes. I’m drawing all these conclusions and crediting them to my cleanse after barely two days but I just can’t help it. I’m excited and it’s really the only thing that’s changed. I’m probably just high off of juice, but my day today was great. And yes, I’m crediting the juice! If tomorrow feels as nice, I just may elongate this for another day or two! Join in the fun! You will be so glad you did!!

January 28, 2013

hitting restart

I’m 6 juices in. Today I started a 3 day Suja Juice cleanse and so far it’s going well (compared to the Master Cleanse which I’ve attempted and failed multiple times). I was motivated by my friend Alyssa over at Reverent Lion to hit restart and redirect my focus on food from fun to fuel. She has an amazing story, one you should all check out – so click on that link up there and pay her a visit.

To be honest, I haven’t been hungry at all today. I’ve been drinking these juices constantly which has left me minimal time to miss food in whole form. I do have one complaint … one that’s most certainly my own fault. I should have listened and weaned off the caffeine before day 1. I did not do this and now me and this horrid head ache I’ve had all day are regretting it. Let’s hope day 2 is void of the drummer boy in my head but repeats my motivation to hit restart!