Oh my gosh! This poor little blog has gotten so neglected lately…but with good reason! My life has been filled with a lot of truly wonderful things…which is no less than I'd expect from February!
With that said, I'm going to spend the next few days playing catch-up before Jon and I jet off to sunny, sandy Puerto Rico for a week (I CANNOT WAIT.) There's a lot that I'd like to share, starting with what turned out to be a pretty epic January.
Guys, I really haaaate January. There's nothing awesome about coming down from the holiday high into year-end, (super)sub-zero temperatures, feet of snow, and the bitter little pill of knowing there are three more months of winter to get through.
To combat my January blues, I kicked one of my New Year's resolutions into high gear and really focused on surrounding myself with the people who make day-to-day life so lovely: the amazing community of friends I'm so lucky to have in the Twin Cities! Filling a usually-miserable month with awesome new experiences and memories with these people was seriously the only thing keeping a smile on my face through the bitter cold and blowing snow. Without further ado: here's a quick highlight reel of some of the month's great times:
Hannah and Sarah have been so much fun to get closer to in the past few months! Our brunch traditions are one of my all-time favorites. On New Year's Day, we celebrated 2014 with a return to Loring Kitchen for bottomless mimosas, ranchero scrambles, and eggs florentine...girly gossip and chatting about resolutions, weddings, relationships good and bad, and twentysomething life in the Twin Cities was a great way to start off the year.
Midway through the month, we took advantage of Hannah's employment with the corporate headquarters of a major beauty company to get some super-awesome, super CHEAP facials! We couldn't have picked a better time to indulge and pamper our skin a little--coming off a week-plus of negative temperatures, my face was feeling rough. The experience left me so relaxed and chilled-out...heavenly.
Hannah and I got adventurous on a particularly warm Sunday and headed to Minnehaha Falls for a winter hike! Hannah is a really gifted self-taught photographer, and the frozen falls on this beautiful blue-skies day were begging to be photographed. We risked our lives skidding down a few steep flights of frozen stairs and savored the 40-degree "heat wave" along with a hundred other people who had the same idea we had. What a relaxing, fun "nature" experience in the middle of this city!
I've also had a great time hitting up some of the Twin Cities' best restaurants with friends to reconnect over great food and fun cocktails. Steph, who I met through Notre Dame's prospective student host program and became dear friends with when she followed my footsteps into the Band of the Fighting Irish, now lives in Minneapolis. It had been way too long since we'd caught up, and doing so over to-die-for lobster rolls at The Smack Shack was just what the doctor ordered.
Kim and Kelsie and I go back nearly a decade now--gosh, that throws my age into relief! We met our sophomore year of high school and, despite attending different high schools and colleges, we've managed to stay close as can be. We finally reunited after several months apart at Rojo...one of my absolute addictions in the area. Their margaritas? Lethal. Their guacamole? Delish. Their queso? Out of this world. After a margarita and like...three baskets of chips, we, of course, jumped right back into the flow of our friendship that I cherish so much. Kim and I met up a few weeks later for manicures and delicious Punch Pizza. Loving seeing these ladies more often...and looking forward to another decade of friendship ahead of us!
We also had a great day earlier in the month celebrating Alyssa, everyone's favorite bride-to-be! After months of waiting, she and her fiance Andrew fiiiiinally have a wedding date for this October, and Andrew jetted off to Vegas for a bachelor party a few weeks into 2014. Some great Minneapolis Domer ladies spent a day shopping for bridal accessories, dining (and sake-bombing!) at Chino Latino, and watching wedding movies. Great girly fun!
I also hosted one of my book clubs for the first time. We busted out a bruschetta bar, munched on to-die-for macarons from Patisserie Margo, and discussed (sort of) Khaled Hosseini's And The Mountains Echoed. Fun night--a not-so-fun read, but hey, any excuse to relax with wine, right!?
On a particularly miserable negative temps day, Jon and I spent an entire Saturday indoors with some of his awesome college friends nerding out HARD over board games and drinking mimosas. Literally. All. Day. We played some Catan, I learned a game called Sol that's basically team solitaire on crack, and we laughed until our sides hurt at Cards against Humanity. So great.
And so here we sit nearly through February! Thanks to the friends who helped me get through the worst month of the year painlessly...here's to temps above zero and a short little month that will fly by!