Behind the Instagrams

Social media is a fantastic way to share your experiences with your friends and family. It’s also a great way to romanticize moments. So here is a behind the scenes look of what was really happening behind these perfect Insta-moments:

I need 17 more cups of coffee and 700 more grey sweaters 😄

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Tony wasn’t home, so I had my phone on a tripod attached to the deck railing. There’s actually no coffee in the mug…

Tony held up traffic from both directions while taking this picture, as I sat in my car waiting until he gave the “OK” so I could quickly drive off.

Rainy days and hot coffee 🌧️☕️

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I was sitting alone, adjusting my coffee approximately 8 times before it was in line with the buildings. It was cold by the time I drank it.

I want it to be fall so badly that I'll suffer through wearing a sweater in summer. 🍁🍂

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I went to Starbucks for the sole reason of taking this picture, and bought a coffee I don’t even like. Then put on a sweater and stood on our porch trying to get the perfect angle without a cat tail in it.

Celebrating the happy couple and trying not to light myself on fire 🥂🌟

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I was so drunk, there was a kid running in front of me trying to ruin the picture, and I still have no idea how also-drunk-Tony managed to capture this on an iPhone.

Floating and relaxing 💚

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My entire family watched me carefully arrange these items on a pool floaty, and I wouldn’t let anyone outside for fear they would cast a shadow.

That’s a background into just some of the pictures I’ve taken. What have you done “for the gram”?

How An Accident Helped My Perspective

I’m not really sure where to start with this. Obviously the beginning would be the logical place, but I’ve come to realize that isn’t the most important part of this story.

Quick recap for those of you who don’t know: On August 14th Tony and I were involved in a bad accident. We escaped without serious injury, but my R32 wasn’t so lucky. The airbags deployed and the front end is completely smashed, rendering it officially totaled.

For days after the accident, I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t believe that one person could make a decision that would take my R away from me, especially when I did absolutely nothing wrong. I called my dad sobbing, trying to explain to him that this car was my ultimate, dream Volkswagen, that it was my whole life, that it defined me. But, being the smart parent he is, he calmly explained to me that even someone as obsessed with Volkswagens as I am isn’t defined by their car. Cars are bought and sold, Instagram names come and go, but Tony and I can never be replaced.

It took me a couple days to really believe that my R32 wasn’t the most defining part of my life, but I think I’ve finally accepted that. While I loved my R32, I certainly love the people in my life more. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this, and I’ll certainly never forget my first R32. But I’ll buy new Volkswagens, come up with a new Instagram name, and write a new Twitter bio. In the meantime, I’ll use and like the things I buy, but love and cherish the people around me, because people are really what matters.

With that said, I have a couple well deserved thank yous:

Thank you to Volkswagen for shoving a big VR6 into a tiny golf, so the engine took the brunt of the hit. I’m really sorry I ruined an R32. I promise to buy more VWs.

Thank you to the wonderful Volkswagen community who supported me and kept reminding me it was far more important that Tony and I were okay, but gave me time to just be really, really sad.

Thank you to whoever designed seatbelts and airbags. I can without a doubt say you saved two lives.

Thank you to Culvers for your delicious custard, and for giving Layne free coupons when she picked up food for us after the accident.

Thank you to Luna, for being your typical sassy self, and keeping me grounded by reminding me your food dish was the most important thing in the world.

But most importantly, thank you to everyone around us. Your calls, messages, and kitty/puppy pictures helped me through a really tough time. I’m so lucky to have so many wonderful people that care that deeply.

A Car Show & An Experience

Last weekend, Tony and I took a road trip up to beautiful Holland, Michigan for a European car show called Euro Hangar. We took the day off work on Friday, loaded up Tony’s R32, and headed out for an 8 hour drive.Read More »

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!

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!