Lately I'm Loving

Things making me smile/on my mind/causing distraction these days: 

--Laura sent me the link to Emily McDowell's utterly lovely shop at work the other day. Productivity was instantly killed. Favorite? Her "About Me" page, where she states, "We think funny and pretty don't have to be mutually exclusive." I agree, Emily, I agree. I for sure want a print and a humorous reusable grocery addition to EVERYTHING ELSE. 

--Minneapolitans (and others) may remember this obituary, which went viral on social media back in November. Through other news articles, I found Aaron's wife Nora's blog, My Husband's Tumor, and fell down a rabbit hole of devastatingly honest, heartrendingly beautiful writing that I didn't tear myself away from until I'd read the entire site start to finish. If you need a reaffirmation of the resiliency and grace of the human spirit, check it out and stay forever. 

--It is with heavy heart that I have to report that two of my fave brunch locales have closed their doors: Boneyard has shuttered after only nine months in its Uptown Hennepin location, and Spill the Wine has also folded. I'm naturally devastated. Fortunately, there are a few openings that have raised my spirits: slotting right into Boneyard's vacancy is Salsa a la Salsa, which used to be a date night mainstay; The Third Bird right across Loring Park from me is garnering rave reviews, and I loved my visit to the big, new, gorgeous Surly Taproom!

--With my rampant Francophilia in full swing in advance of our trip to Paris in May, I'm spending way too much time dreaming of all things French. When Em pointed me to the Instagram account of the Chateau de Gudanes, "j'ai flippé le shit," colloquially (and incorrectly) speaking. An Australian couple purchased this decrepit Sleeping Beauty of a French château and commenced renovating it with as much historical accuracy as possible. I've loved following along on Insta as well as through their oh-so-charmante blog

--Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and my world has exploded into happy clouds of pink and hearts and glitter accordingly. This is my first single Valentine's Day in a long time, and I've already got my plans set in stone to make it the best in years...but how cute is this girly brunch by Lauren Conrad, or this pretty "friendship fete" by The Everygirl? It makes me want to unleash my inner Martha Stewart in a big way.