May Monthly Favorites

May is my favorite month, and only partially because it’s my birthday month! I feel like I say this every month, but I can’t believe how quickly May flew by! It feels like yesterday that I was counting down 3 weeks until my birthday, and now I’m just another year older.

App

Overcast. I decided to listen to start listening to podcasts on my commute to and from work, and Overcast is definitely the best way to do that! My favorite podcast to listen to is The Minimalists. They talk about living with less in the best possible way for your situation, and it’s very inspirational!

Book

The Nest. This book was hard to get into at first, but after getting into a rhythm, I really enjoyed it!

Spending the day in bed trying to get over this stupid cold. 🤒

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Cat Picture

Luna the wild beast captured by the wonderful Anthony Harrington

Not. Even. Sorry.

Instagram Account

@amyshorephotography. Amy is an amazing photographer, and the cars in said pictures just make them that much better!

Minneapolis Attraction

Breweries. There are so many fantastic craft breweries in the Twin Cities that deciding where to go on a Friday night takes longer than drinking an actual beer! Most of them also have great patio spaces, which makes for awesome dog-sight-seeing in the summer!

Monthly Event

My birthday! I mean, did you really think I would say anything else?? I turned a quarter of a century on May 27th and suddenly feel the need to turn the volume way up on the TV and tweet out Google inquiries. Too soon?

It's my party and I'll drink if I want to! 🍾🍾🍾 #birthdaygirl

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25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

  1. It’s okay to make mistakes.
  2. A good haircut is always worth the money.
  3. Cuddles from animals make 99% of life’s problems disappear.
  4. Everything happens for a reason.
  5. Life gets better after making a conscious choice to focus on the positive.
  6. Nobody notices your imperfections as much as you do.
  7. Listen to your gut.
  8. Always stick to your morals and values.
  9. I finally appreciate the thousands of pictures my grandma takes.
  10. Paying off debt feels 10x better than any material thing.
  11. My parents were right. About everything.
  12. Don’t settle for anything.
  13. Your parents love you unconditionally, but it’s best not to test it.
  14. No matter what anyone else says, being a “crazy cat lady” isn’t a bad thing. (Right mom?)
  15. They make realistic looking fake plants for people like me.
  16. Don’t judge people based on their social media profiles.
  17. Success is 90% hard work and 10% knowing the right people.
  18. Nice people are nice.
  19. You learn a lot about yourself outside of your comfort zone.
  20. Be nice to your younger sister.
  21. You can’t change other people, love them as they are.
  22. If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.
  23. Take full advantage of every opportunity.
  24. There is no such thing as “too many Volkswagens”. (Right dad?)
  25. I don’t know everything, but that’s okay.

Instead of telling people I’m 25, I’m going to say I’m a quarter century. It sounds so much fancier!

Happy News

America isn’t in a great place right now. Because of that, we’re all constantly bombarded by news that stresses us out or makes us angry. While we certainly can’t ignore it, we can focus on the positive! So here are some of the happier things going on in the world. (And yes, obviously most of them are animal related.)Read More »

April Monthly Favorites

They say April showers bring May flowers, and we definitely got plenty of showers this month! (Also, snow, but there’s no quote for April snow.) Trees are starting to turn green, tulips are starting to pop up, and bright colorful clothing is on everyone but me. Bring on spring!Read More »

10 Best Things About Minneapolis

I’ve been living in Minneapolis for a year now, and that time has been filled with exploring new places and things to do. There is always something fresh to find, and I’m still nowhere close to being done!

So without any further ado, in no particular order, here are 10 of the things I love best about Minneapolis:

(While these are technically the “Twin Cities”, I see these two cities and the surrounding areas as “Minneapolis”. So I apologize in advantage to St. Paul. I promise I’m not ignoring you!)
  • Murals. Seriously, they’re everywhere and they’re all so incredibly beautiful! Whether it’s a simple phrase written over and over, or a multiple story portrait of a famous artist, Minneapolis has murals like no other city.
  • Craft breweries. Here is a list of breweries around Minneapolis!
  • Markets. From fresh veggies to handmade crafts, there’s always a fun and unique market happening all year round!
  • Brunch. Every Sunday Tony and I head out to a new brunch spot, and we still aren’t finished! My go-to is The Tavern on France, because of their fantastic buffet and delicious waffles.
  • Concerts. Although big name artists often come to Minneapolis, I far prefer checking out a new band at First Ave!
  • Museums. Science museums, art museums, history museums, Minneapolis has them all!
  • Parks. Not only do these parks provide a chance to walk, run, hike or bike, they also host outdoor concerts, sporting events and plenty of Instagram photo ops!
  • Lakes. Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and Minneapolis has quite a few on their own! Beautiful in any season.
  • Restaurants. Deciding where to go for dinner is a very difficult process, because Minneapolis has everything you could want and more!
  • Coffee shops. I could probably live in any one of Minneapolis’ coffee shops. It seems like each one has an awesome view and even better coffee!

It’s only been a year, so I can’t wait to see how much more I’ve explored in another year!

Subscription Boxes That Shouldn’t Exist

There are subscription boxes for everything these days. So I’m going to entertain you by creating subscription boxes that shouldn’t exist. Ever. (But if you do create one, please sign me up.)

  • White elephant gifts. Think about all the times you’ve needed a gift but didn’t have one. If only you were sent a worthless trinket every month so you could give those newlyweds a high heel tape dispenser.
  • Sock. You only get one sock, and it’s always a different size.
  • Pictures of other people’s families. Finally fill those empty frames with pictures of happy, loving families! Who cares if they aren’t yours?!
  • Half used candles. Someone enjoyed the candle first, so you know it’s good.
  • Other people’s bills. Paying bills sucks. Make yourself feel better by looking at how much other people spend on a monthly basis! (She spent how much on toilet paper??)
  • Cat/dog subscription box. Yeah I know, this already exists. But these boxes send you things for the animal opposite the one you have. So if you have a cat, you get a rawhide bone. Have a dog? Enjoy that catnip!
  • Rocks. It’s heavy, but on the bright side…your rock garden is going to look BOSS.
  • Boxes of boxes. What’s in the box?? Another box! And in that? A box! So much fun!!

Maybe there’s a reason these don’t exist, or maybe subscription box creators are just unimaginative! So what are some subscription boxes that you think don’t exist for a reason?

Instagram Photo Tips (Plus My Best Kept Secret!)

As someone who absolutely loves Instagram, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. I’m not an expert at Instagram, but I don’t think anyone really is. Social media is constantly changing, as is the way people use and relate to social media. Some people love looking at pictures of carefully organized flat lays, while others only want to see pictures of mountains and wilderness. But whatever Instagram is to you, everyone can benefit from a few tips and tricks to make the best of their Insta-experience! So take one tip or take them all, and let me know what helped you most!

Use what you’ve got. While the easiest way to take a great picture is with a great camera, not everyone has the funds to purchase a fancy camera. I take pictures with my iPhone, and occasionally my iPad, so I rely on apps to make sure these pictures look their best. My favorite editing apps for iPhone are Afterlight, VSCO, and Snapseed, while I use Polarr on my Mac.

Take pictures outside. The outdoors always has the best light, unless you live in a greenhouse. In which case, just take pictures of that. But honestly, I take pictures on my small patio.

Fresh tulips to brighten up the apartment 🌷

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Rearrange items and take multiple pictures. The great thing about digital photography is you can take as many pictures as the storage will allow and then immediately delete whichever ones didn’t turn out very well. And if something still feels “off” about those pictures, try moving the subjects around.

Use an app or a photo folder to keep track of which pictures you still need to post. Along with many other bloggers, I take pictures of multiple photo sets in one day so I have enough content to post throughout the week. I have a separate folder on my phone simply entitled “Pictures to Post”. If good old fashioned pen and paper works better for you, I also use sticky notes on a calendar to keep track of what days I want to post which pictures.

Consider a different perspective. Sometimes the floor or ceiling are the most interesting part of the room! Turn on the front facing camera to get the best ceiling shots, or hold your phone at your waist, parallel to the ground for a cool floor shot.

Use relevant hashtags. Hashtags were created to help people find relevant pictures, so why not take advantage of them? Keep a list of hashtags that bloggers with similar aesthetics use to copy and paste on your pictures later. And here’s a tip for where to add hashtags: If you add them in the caption, you can edit them later. Adding them as a separate comment allows them to be hidden from view.

And finally, my big secret…

Use a simple background. Here it is…The “marble table” that’s the background for many of my pictures…it’s just sticky paper. Seriously. I bought a $3 poster board at Target, left one side blank for a white background, and used this marble adhesive film on the other side. I know. And don’t worry, if you do this too, I won’t tell anyone you didn’t spend thousands on a marble table!

You’re now on your way to creating standout, beautiful content on Instagram, so that’s one social media platform down! Do you have other favorite ideas you use to make sure your Instagram photos stand out from the rest? Leave a comment, or let me know on Twitter!