Monday, June 30, 2014

prioritizing & m.i.a.

Hey all.  Everything has been such a crazy disaster of love and life and everything inbetween.  With starting a new job, cramming what was already an intense semester class into 5 weeks, working on Dankbar, and still managing to see people and not be a hermit, I hate to say that the blog has been pushed not only to the back burner, but behind it.  So much has been going on, there's so much I could share, yet the minute I sit down to type something, click goes the off switch on my brain and I'm ready for bed.

I've been reading a ton on priorities, and most of my favorite blogs have had great tips and advice on how to prioritize (see Nicole, Carly, & Ashley).  They've been so, so helpful and encouraging while I've been working, yet there's been this disconnect between my goals, my have-tos, and my priorities. 

While it's easy to say that Dankbar Designs is my number one priority, it's not easy to make it so.  Then on other days, it's easy to say "oh yeah, my relationships are definitely my number one priority".  But what about the fact that I need to finish my degree?  Welp, guess school just became my number one.  Where do I draw the line?  Is it realistic to put my relationships before school or Dankbar?  But can I put school before either of those?

What I'm trying to say is, it's been complicated.  This blog, the SailorrTaylorr me, just isn't my priority - however, it's my outlet.  It's my place where I can write, where I can share, and where I can obsess over little things (and big things).  While it isn't my priority, it's always on my list.  So please, bear with me as I flit in and out throughout the summer - nothing will be as consistent as I'd like it, but I will get you content.  I'm struggling enough as it is trying to juggle three number one priorities.  Having something that isn't a priority, that I can just go to like a favorite pillow or book, it's what I need.  And I love it.  I love you.  So thanks.

Here's some quick snapshots of what I've been up to since we last talked:

I got to spend time with my second family, and loved every minute of it.

I've been taking plenty of walks and runs across the Stone Arch Bridge, giving me great views of Downtown Minneapolis, and an amazing view of Mill City.

Starbucks and walks with Nathan have kept me sane more than once, though I'm pretty sure that the Starbucks part of the habit needs to end soon or my wallet will cry.

Learning and growing in this building.  Folwell Hall is my favorite and least favorite building on the U of M campus simultaneously.  I have learned more than I could ever express in this beautiful building, but I've had growing experiences that have made me want to cry, as well.

That's a snippet of what I've been up to.  I have the chance now to sit down and crank out a few posts, so hopefully there will be plenty of material coming your way!  

What has everyone else been up to?

Sunday, June 15, 2014


This weekend was crazy!  I kicked it off grilling burgers and asparagus for Nathan, then we headed to a birthday party for an old friend, a co-worker who I hadn't seen in ages.  Getting to catch up with her again was wonderful, and it wrapped up a fantastic Friday and started the weekend.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Twin Cities area, it's important to note that we truly love festivals here. Irish, Beer, Pride, Children, Art, Nations, Neighborhoods, Cheese... If more than five people love it, there's a festival for it.  Saturday morning, we made our way down to the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, which is only a few blocks' walk from my apartment.  It was raining the entire day, yet there was a great turn out for the 10am festival start time!  So many great artists and vendors were there for the two-day festival and it was a pleasure to see what was offered.  I tried some fantastic rootbeer, won a prize from the Blick booth (where I spend too much time and money on supplies for Dankbar!), and just had a blast walking around and seeing so many people and their dogs out and about.  

It took a few hours to warm up and dry off, but after a quick nap, Nathan and I took the long way to one of our favorite dinner spots to join in with the Green Line Opening Day festival/celebration.  Having the Green Line open is wonderful - I can't wait to utilize it more!  Having a light-rail run through Minneapolis and St. Paul is much needed and has been eagerly anticipated.  It was fantastic getting to check it out!

After a delicious dinner we meandered over to the Weisman Art Museum to kick off Northern Spark 2014.  When it had been in Minneapolis two years ago, I was working the overnight shift of the event at the Weisman and couldn't have been happier to kick it off there.  Getting to see the new exhibit, partaking in art with one of my favorite local artists, Anne Labovitz, and seeing some of my former co-workers was a blast - so was sheltering from the rain for a little bit!  However, when we made our way to West River Parkway, the downpour had started. We toughed it out for awhile, but finally decided to call it quits when the insides of my rainboots became soaked and Nathan's toes were numb from walking through puddles.  I wish we could've seen more, but it was fun to be there regardless!

Father's Day was spent catching up on sleep, working on some things for Dankbar, and reviewing German in preparation for class starting this week.  How was your weekend?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

rest-up sun-up tips

The last few weeks have been crazy! With commencement, Florida, a long weekend with an old friend, and countless of other dinners, drinks, and events in between, I'm exhausted!  I've been working at my new job for a couple days now, and adjusting to a working schedule again just wears me out!

I find myself wanting to just come home and collapse, kick off my shoes, and take a nap.  While I've done this on (more than one) occasion, it's important that I don't take a nap.  Taking a nap after coming home from work means I wake up with no motivation or I can't sleep that night and wake up even more tired !  I will miss 20 minute naps between classes versus the kinda nap where you wake up disoriented.  Not only do I struggle to get re-motivated and be sleeping at a decent time, I struggle to feel rested.  I found out last year that I have a Vitamin D deficiency, which tends to wear me out and get me in a mood slump (which doesn't help with motivation).  Although I take supplements*, I love getting the sun of summer and my Vitamin D naturally versus another pill.  Instead of just letting my head hit the pillow, I've come up with a few ways to stay alert and enjoy the summer sun after a long day.

Go on an adventure
After coming home from a long day, don't let yourself stop.  Keep going, grab a book or your iPad and get back into your car, hop on your bike, or keep on walking to the beach, lake, or park.  Getting things done and getting sun is a fantastic combination, and you can do it lying down, so it's practically a nap.

Sit down, stay alert, set an alarm
I do this often.  I sit down in my favorite chair, set a timer/alarm on my phone, and take 10 minutes to play a game on my phone, check Facebook, and generally just check out for a bit.  The thing I need to remember when I use this method is to keep my feet flat on the floor.  If I relax into my chair too much, it gets too comfy to think about leaving.  This method is nearly always followed by getting outside to go for a run!

Same with adventure, don't let yourself rest when you get home.  All you want to do is rest and stop moving, but you're probably feeling hungry (just me? Dinner not coming soon enough?).  Grab a glass or bottle of water, and drink it really fast.  Then go sit outside, sit in the sun, or sit down in your comfy chair.  That glass of water you drank will probably hit your system fast, and you'll have to get up to go to the bathroom.  By then, you've already been resting for awhile and are ready to take the rest of the day!

I know not all of these are easy - resisting the urge to nap takes an absurd amount of self-control (no? just me again?) but these are quick and easy ways to give yourself a break while also enjoying the sun.  The quicker you get stuff done, the quicker you can enjoy the rest of the sunny days.

*I take supplements from the direction of my doctor in a dosage she prescribed.  Please consult a physician before adding any medication or supplement to your regime.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tony Awards 2014

You know me by now... These are my favorites!  The Tony's hold a special place in my heart, one that will never be replaced by anything else.  I grew up dreaming of becoming a Broadway star, I did summer shows in my small town, participated in plays and musicals when I could, and followed the NYC Theatre scene as best as an 11 year-old could.  Ten years ago (!!) I fell in love with a musical that changed my life (it was Wicked), watched Idina Menzel's acceptance the next day on YouTube, and vowed to never miss a broadcast of the Tony Awards again.

Well, I only missed a handful.  While the Oscars and Golden Globes tend to be focused analytically for me on the films, performances, and fashion of the ceremony, the Tony's are pure joy for me.  I love looking at the dresses and suits (Emmy Rossum and Orlando Bloom, I'm looking at you this year), but it's the performances, the jokes, and the camaraderie of the Tony Awards that gets me every year.

When the awards are handed out and the reactions filmed, every face is genuinely happy and proud of the winner.  In all my years, I don't know that one has ever stuck out to me as being negative.  While critics may argue jiltings, rip-offs, and a bad vote, I sit back in Minnesota and am just happy that a celebration of theatre is being nationally broadcast.  I have little opinion on who should or shouldn't win - after all, I didn't see all the shows this time (or anytime).

Last night's performance was incredible, as always, and I've got some of my favorites - definitely not all of them - listed below!

As the most nominated musical this year, I knew next to nothing about A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.  After this performance, I could not wait to get my hands on the cast recording.  I'm literally listening to it on repeat as I type this.  Cannot wait until it begins a National tour!

Hedwig and the Angry Inch anyone?  I know the storyline, but I avoided listening/reading anything until I could see the Tony performance.  AH-MAZE-BALLS.  Blown away as always by NPH, but Lena Hall?  Damn, girl.

Speaking of Lena Hall, can I just listen to her acceptance speech all day?  Or Audra McDonald's, Mark Rylance's, or James Monroe Iglehart's to name a few more?  I love the Tony Award acceptance speeches more than any other award ceremony.  Each speech is either incredibly humble, or incredibly excited.  The hand shaking, crying, fumbling papers, and nonsense is a beautiful representation of real people, proud of what they've done.

Idina Menzel's performance from If/Then was near perfection, but I was so pleasantly surprised by Jessie Mueller and Carole King's performance.  I'd heard of the show, but wasn't terribly familiar with everything surrounding it and even (I'm so ashamed) didn't particularly care to learn more.  Well, I'm sorry Ms. Mueller and Ms. King.  I am humbled by how PHENOMENAL you were.

Uhm, yeah.

Here's the complete list of winners!

Sidenote: The Wicked tribute made me tear up.  Ten years ago my life truly was changed for good.  Wicked4ever.

Did you watch the show this year?  What did you think?

photo credits: google images

Sunday, June 8, 2014

happy heart.

This last weekend has been magical.  It was my last "off" week before I started work and class for the summer, and there's no doubt I did it right.

The original plan was to have a morning meeting before having lunch with a friend.  My meeting ended up getting canceled and when I texted my friend to see if he'd like to meet earlier, he was at the coffee shop next to my place getting work done.  I finished up some things and walked down to the coffee shop to meet up with him.  We wound seeing friends, grabbing food, enjoying patio weather, and getting sun and laughs to last for days.  We discussed how crazy it was that, for the first time in months, no one in our party had any other commitments for the day - it was just us, enjoying the day.

There was plenty of cleaning, errands, painting, runs, and long walks between, but I was soon joined by a dear friend from England.  It's been over two years since I last saw her, and it was such a treat to have her with me for a long weekend!  We hit up some great Minneapolis spots (Stone Arch Bridge, Moscow Hill - I know it's St. Paul!, U of M Campus, Main Street, the Guthrie, Mall of America, to name a few), she met and we went out with my darling J. Crew family, and made it to a Twins game.   

Experiencing this city as a tourist, experiencing the Mall of America through the eyes of someone who'd never been, and then catching up with even more old friends just made it even better.  Watching the Tony Awards to finish off a great weekend doesn't hurt either!

P.S. I also received this in the mail...wonder what it could be!? ;)

How was your weekend?xx

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Nearly three weeks ago, I was sitting in this crowd, waiting to hear speakers and ready to walk up and receive my diploma, or at least, the diploma holder they would give me while I waited for the actual document.  It was a weird feeling.  This wasn't going to be my final college moment - German classes were planned for this summer - and yet, it felt like it was all going to be over.

(I see you up there, Mom!)

I had participated in one on-campus group, had a couple on-campus jobs, and attended events sporadically.  I never went Greek, didn't do band, choir, or arts shows, made a handful of really good friends, and a few handfuls more of people I could wave at on campus.  People walking across stage were high-fiving each other and hugging faculty members, while I couldn't think of a faculty member I had kept in touch with.  There were plenty of exciting thoughts running through my head, but I was beginning to think I had seriously missed out on something, that I'd done something horribly and terribly wrong.

At the time, the speakers were poignant - nearly three weeks later I couldn't quote one line for you.  I don't know why that is, and sometimes I wish I could remember.  But even if I could, it wouldn't make a difference.  As a recent grad, as a 20 something, the words of advice are inescapable.  

I laughed a lot through the ceremony, sitting by a good friend, talking about people we knew walking the stage, cheering when our mascot accepted his "diploma" and celebrating as we threw our caps in the air and then searched for our families

Goldy Gopher graduated!

I couldn't have been happier to have my family and Nathan there to help me celebrate.  College was the single hardest thing I've ever done in my life, physically and mentally.  Numerous times I called a meeting with my parents to discuss the possibility of transferring or dropping out.  I'm not destined for education, college wasn't glamorous for me, and I'm okay with that.  While I sat, thinking in that moment that I had failed the social aspect of college, I needed to remember that I was content with the experience that I had.  Sure, I didn't join clubs, but I had a great group of friends my first year at the U that kept me company with late night dining hall trips and marathons of watching Sherlock.  Brownie bites and half off apps, bad chinese food, football games, even my job...  Those were  my "clubs", those are my memories.  I am so utterly blessed to have them.

Three weeks after graduating, I'm getting ready to start a summer job and my last bit of German.  I'm searching endlessly for full-time positions in September (using my on the hunt methods) and an apartment to go with it, while simultaneously attempting to make time for dankbar, family, and friends.  It's stressful, and exhilirating, and the beginning and end of something.  It's commenced.

my biggest six year-old fan

my grandparents

fellow UofM alum, thanks for everything Nathan

my mom and step-dad, always supportive and 
doing their best to keep me in school and positive

daddy, always there for rational advice and a kick-in-the-butt when
laziness seems like the best option.

What are other recent grads up to?  How was your commencement and college career?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

bakery series:: Spyhouse

Spyhouse has been on my radar for awhile.  Photos of the Minnesota mug have been showing up on my Instagram for the longest time and, once I figured out where they were from, I have been wanting to order a drink in one forever.

I finally got the chance.  Nathan and I went to the Northeast location before I went home for my sister's confirmation.  The coffee was delicious (as was every single one of their iced teas!), as were their pastries.  Here's the secret to their amazing pastries - they order them from Patisserie 46!  I got the almond croissant this time and I was not disappointed.  The coffee cake Nathan picked out was absolutely HUGE.  Again, we did computer work (me) and read the WSJ (Nathan).

The atmosphere was FANTASTIC.  Rustic, cozy, plenty of space.  Not too much outdoor seating, but the giant picture windows make up for it.  Probably my favorite of bakeries for atmosphere alone.  You will not be disappointed if you head here on a sunny, rainy, or snowy day.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

bakery series:: Patisserie 46

For Easter, Nathan and I received a gift card to Patisserie 46.  What a treat!  So many great pastry options, and the coffee was delicious!  Nathan chose an almond croissant, while I was in a rare muffin mood and opted for banana chocolate chip.  Neither of us regretted our choices.

It was such a lovely atmosphere, and had so much table space.  I was able to set out my laptop and get some work done and Nathan enjoyed his WSJ.  There was a little patio out front, maybe three or four tables, though I thought it was too breezy to work outside.

This is a short review - because there's nothing bad to say about it!  As Nathan says, "a nice little gem in the neighborhood".  For being small and not incredibly well-known, I bet you'd be surprised to find their pastries and breads in places you wouldn't expect!  Can't wait to go back and hit that patio!