Inventory: June 2016

As of 8pm last night...

Making: time for myself after a long stretch of being way too busy. 

Cooking: Italian herbed chicken in my crockpot for a week of lunches.

Drinking: leftover sangria from Eva's bridal shower yesterday.

Reading: everything I can find on the internet about #Brexit.

Wanting: my art from Scandinavia and Paris framed for my gallery wall. 

Looking: forward to a doubleheader wedding weekend at the end of July.

Playing: around on Tinder way too much. 

Listening: to Verité's "Underdressed" on repeat. 

Wishing: to be better at making decisions. 

Enjoying: yoga at Lake Harriet...I'm addicted. 

Waiting: impatiently. 

Liking: the peace and quiet of a clean, cool, empty apartment. 

Wondering: if I can get away with wearing white pants to work tomorrow. 

Hoping: that I'm right about everything I think I'm right about these days. 

Marveling: at the spectacle of Pride, and all the joy and love and celebration that is still raging outside in Loring Park. 

Needing: sleep. Always. 

Smelling: the aforementioned chicken cooking. Domestic goddess status. 

Wearing: new floral leggings and a yoga tank from Old Navy because I am now a #basicyogabitch.

Following: up with my interns, constantly, all summer long. 

Noticing: how freckled my nose is eek. 

Knowing: that I need to not hit snooze tomorrow, and therefore need to get to bed early. 

Thinking: about Norway...a daily occurrence since we got back. 

Bookmarking: gowns on Rent the Runway for the various fancyyy events I have coming up. 

Giggling: at the "Classical Fuck" Instagram account, which I find hilarious. 

Feeling: weirdly at peace yet anxious. 

101 in 1001 #17: Take a yoga class.

Just plowing through the 101 in 1001 list lately, and I love it! This morning when my alarm went off, I was tempted to pull my usual move as of late and hit snooze...repeatedly...for like an hour. Instead, as I opened my phone to start blearily scrolling through Instagram, Hannah texted me to confirm that we were on for our 6:30 am date for Sunrise Yoga through the Lake Harriet Yoga Project! As cozy as my bed was, and as unappealing as getting out of it seemed, I rallied, grabbed a mat, threw on a sweatshirt and headed down to the Lake Harriet Bandshell for my first outdoor yoga class ever. 

Oh my god, so worth it. 

The Lake Harriet Yoga Project hosts daily morning yoga from late May through early September at the gorgeous Lake Harriet Bandshell, one of my favorite summer concert spots. Classes are suited to beginners but can be tailored to any skill level, and the best part? They're free. Free and taught by some of the best instructors around the Twin Cities! Doesn't get better than that, if you ask me. 

While it was definitely chilly at only 60 degrees, and while we saw more clouds than sunrise, it was such a lovely way to start off the day. The instructor's calm presence and ability to project set the stage for about a hundred of us early-bird crazies to run through a fairly basic morning flow. 

Particular favorites, apart from savasana at the end (duh)? Excellent warrior series that left my quads shaking, nailing the one-foot-and-lean balance in a dancer sequence for more than 30 seconds, and a super fun "Breath of Joy" exercise that involved three quick inhales and a forceful exhale, repeatedly. It sounds corny, but going through the Breath of Joy flow while listening to birds chirping and watching the sailboats bobbing in the lake genuinely left me feeling joyful...even though my toes were cold. 

Already planning a return trip as soon as possible...who knows, maybe tomorrow! 

For more information on the Lake Harriet Yoga Project, check out info here or like them on Facebook. And if you want to join me for more activities, look no further than my 101 in 1001, obviously. Namaste, campers! 

101 in 1001 #24: Try Rent The Runway for a special event!

Some weekends are just so fantastic it takes me until Tuesday to feel human again. This weekend was one of them...totally one for the record books in SO many ways. I spent Friday evening at Greg's cabin with friends: midnight swimming, drinking games, and soaking up the sun on Saturday morning. Saturday evening, however, I got to attend the Minnesota Orchestra's Diamond Anniversary Symphony Ball, and it was a complete 180 from Friday! 

Um, hi. Rhapsody in Blue was a HUGE part of my senior year of high school - I worked on it for solo piano for almost the entire year and have loved it forever. The event, celebrating 60 years of the Minnesota Orchestra, was a 1920s-themed Art Deco dream, and I couldn't have been more excited to attend. 

As the ball was black-tie, I went all-out and tried out Rent the Runway for the first time. After selecting a couple of different styles, I settled on this one-shoulder Carmen Marc Valvo beauty. Just the right combination of classic and elegant, with a little flair and a lot of room to have fun with accessories. If I'm being honest, I spent at least an hour playing dress-up and accessorizing once my gowns arrived on Thursday! With free backup size options and a second choice dress for only $32.50, it's a steal of a deal to get access to gowns that are definitely not a part of my regular budget. 

I had my hair and makeup done on Saturday before the event...I hadn't had an updo done since my senior prom, and had never had my makeup done. While the makeup was so much fun...red lipstick! Fake eyelashes! CONTOURING on a Kardashian-level!...the updo was a catastrophic failure. About ten minutes before my date for the evening arrived, I freaked out, pulled about forty bobby pins out of my hair, and completely re-did it myself. See the before-and-after below...and feel free to tell me that I should quit my corporate job and go be an updo-doer, clearly. 

So much better, right? I threw in a vaguely Art-Deco headband and some serious earrings and a bracelet from J.Crew, and called myself black-tie ready with the addition of a pair of murderous 4-inch heels. Our agenda for the night prior to the gala involved bison tartare, duck sliders, and the insane creamed spinach at Spoon and Stable...because I hadn't been to Spoon and Stable for about a month and was starting to approach withdrawal levels. 

Once we finished up at S&S, we found ourselves with a bit too much time before we headed over to the ball, so we tried out a new-to-me spot in the Ivy Hotel, Monello! Nothing like a giant glass of Jacques Chaput to make me feel incredibly fancy. (Please also note below that I am managing to wear red lipstick without getting any of it on my teeth. Extremely proud of that one, right there.)

Before I get too far into the post, I should probably introduce the tie-wearing half of our black tie event, my partner in all things opera and orchestra, Michael. Not only did he drive in from Fargo day-of for the event, he bought a super-hot Hugo Boss tux for it. Not going to lie, it made me really glad I had gone the Rent the Runway route just to keep up with his Bond-levels of suave.

Having totally enjoyed the pre-ball portion of the night...our server at Spoon and Stable knew him from high school!...we headed over to Orchestra Hall in time to grab champagne, peruse the crazy auction items, and head into the concert portion of the evening! 

Nothing prettier than Orchestra Hall all dressed up. We ran into some of Michael's friends from law school and joined them for the live auction, need campaign, and concert portion of the evening. Highlights: an adorable seven-year-old wannabe conductor, and the auctioned-off chance to conduct the orchestra in "Stars and Stripes Forever," which was won by a new board member who made my evening with his highly creative take on conducting. I also died and went to heaven over hearing "Rhapsody in Blue." Pianist Andrew Staub's cadenzas were outstanding. Pieces by Ravel (heavy on gong, naturally) and "Diamonds are Forever" (because, diamond anniversary, duh) rounded out a stellar evening of music. 

And then it was party time! Orchestra Hall was dressed to the nines. There were speakeasies serving signature cocktails scattered across the levels sponsored by J.Carver Distillery and featuring bartenders from some of the Twin Cities' best watering holes. Food by Be Events completely hit the spot at 10pm, especially the macarons, which approached Gerard Mulot levels of perfection. The Wolverines Big Band provided a soundtrack of Sinatra and swing classics, and the entire atrium was decorated just gorgeously. 

...Oh yeah, and there were aerialists pouring champagne...AERIALISTS. It was deliciously over-the-top and so much fun. 

We went through the buffet backwards, chatted with a few lovely people, and enjoyed several Bee's Knees, a gin-honey-lemon concoction originally popularized during Prohibition. Michael had zero qualms photographing me mid-appetizer...

...but I am innovative OBVIOUSLY and turned that shit black and white. Duh. Because everything is instantly un-trashified if it's in black and white. 

Attempts to get him back failed miserably, because he's annoyingly photogenic and chews with good manners. Damn it. 

We ended up spending the tail end of the evening backstage in the green room, as Michael's friends had an in, and I refrained from being at all embarrassing about it. Primarily because I was otherwise occupied rapping "Hamilton" and discussing Anthropologie with new friend Berit, an utter doll. We did take one nice picture before heading out...

Boom. Thanks, Rent the Runway. We ended the night by first closing down Constantine, the bar in the basement of the Ivy. Please note: red lipstick STILL INTACT despite hours of cocktails and dining, aka I am basically destined for makeup greatness now. 

We parted ways with Michael's friends after making a few Lakeville connections and I, being a moderately tipsy genius, decided we could totally handle the 20-minute walk home. I made it two blocks and freaked out because my heels were excruciating. Thank goodness Michael was up for closing down the Local with shots of Jameson, a spilled Guinness and a signature "Lizzie orders that virgin drink that tastes like a Creamsicle and adds a double vodka," and a suavely-loosened tie...

Best of all, he's the kind of guy who can tell when your homicidal heels are actually killing you and calls an Uber and carries them home for you so you can hold up your train, all without judgment of one of my most déclassé moments ever. Straight up winning. 

Already planning on using Rent the Runway for July's Como Zoo gala, August's Ordway season opening gala, and September's Minnesota Opera Ball...because apparently 27 is that magical age when all of a sudden you get to go to ALL THE FANCY THINGS. So excited! So happy! So sure that someday when I get to heaven, it'll include an open bar and have a black tie dress code. 

And maybe a champagne aerialist for good measure. To check out the rest of my 101 in 1001, and maybe hop on the bandwagon to do some of it with me, head here

A redesign!

Things are looking a bit different around here these days...after nearly a year and a half of messing around with a new layout behind the scenes, I finally bit the bullet and redesigned the blog! (Again!) 

My original blog layout was comically awful, and I fell fast for the more streamlined look of the next iteration. That pencil-sketched skyline and the clean black-and-white were just so much better than the first design...I legit had a photo as the background with a sheer text box over it. YIKES. 

This one, though, is special to me because it's built around the gorgeous logo and header that my ultra-talented sister Emily designed for me! The watercolored skyline is her work...I have the original hanging in my gallery wall...and the digital text she added is just perfect. I'm utterly in love with it, and so thrilled to finally use it here! 

In addition to the header, she's extra-proud of me for finally getting over my love for printed literature and transitioning to a sans-serif font. Apparently serif is SO 20th-century and the internet only wants to read sans these days. (Should've put the whole thing in Comic Sans, Papyrus and Curlz MT just to give her hives. Someday...)

Still working on some formatting and linkage issues, but playing behind the scenes with this layout was messing up the current one, so here you have it. New design for another new season of life in the land of ten thousand lakes. Check it out and let me know what you think (or if you know how to handle CSS code better than me!)! 

pop, fizz, clink: spring cocktails

The moment the weather warms up enough to hit patios and rooftops, you better bet I'm there. I've had such a fun spring with friends and family at some of the Twin Cities' best spots! Here's where I'm dragging everyone with half an iota of patience to go with me: 

Spoon and Stable

Pictured: Purple Rain, a a mix of vodka, cocchi americano, absinthe, creme de violette, and cassis liqueur. I personally think that Spoon and Stable is mixing the best cocktails in the Cities right now, and it doesn't hurt that their bar is ridiculously gorgeous either. Bonus points to Elliot, our favorite bartender, who sneaks Blanton's whiskey tops to my dad and is never too busy to chat. 

CRAVE

Claire, Colleen and I enjoyed a ridiculously delightful girls' night out at the West End CRAVE before Memorial Day. Nothing better than drinking your way through fully a third of the (extensive) cocktail menu. My favorites are the Angry Dragon (a lychée-and-rum martini) and the Raspberry Ginger Gimlet (ginger vodka, raspberries, and basil)...but the surprise free Summer Sangria from our adorable server, Jesse, made our night! Three straws, please. 

Café Lurçat is a Schwegfam mainstay, largely for their bar menu (I'm convinced they have the best fries in the Twin Cities...sorry, Salut!). I've been hooked on their "Pink Lights and Champagne" cocktail since the holidays...Grey Goose Le Poire and elderflower liqueur? Yes please. My mom ordered the "Grapefruit Drop" martini last time we were in though, and I might be a convert for summer...think a lemon drop, with grapefruit, duh. 

Hola Arepa

Hannah's and my happy hour mainstay has expanded their patio and changed up their cocktail menu in time for what's sure to be a busy summer. We hit up the bar the night before I left for Europe and taste-tested the Passiflora (above), which combines vodka and passionfruit...two of my faves. Hannah also tried and loved the Spring Gin & Tonic, a bottled cocktail infused with orange and cardamom. 

House of Hal & Lizzie

...for champagne all day every day, duh. 

Hal and I toasted our new roommate status before he and I both left on consecutive lengthy out of town stints...nothing better than bubbly in champagne glasses that match your roommate's shirt. So excited for a summer of sipping with this one! 

Where did I miss? Let's grab drinks soon, campers!