wknd recap // starks the singing pup

wknd recap // the home t

my favorite tee right now from the home t

happy gloomy monday, friends. i hope you all had a wonderful weekend. it was simply gorgeous here in minnesota. i had a very “grown up” weekend with meeting with  potential wedding photographer, looking at houses, and getting our house ready to be put on the market this week. (eeeekkk). lots of things happening. big things. but great things.

in addition to the fun things going on, we got starksthepup to sing for us. gotta practice for the wedding :) we also finished House of Cards season 2 this weekend. SO GOOD. it’s like pringles though so once you start you better get comfortable. cannot believe they haven’t started filming season 3 yet.

wknd recap // converse

feeling hipster with my all stars and skinny’s

wknd recap // starksthepup

sweet potato waffle fries at streetz


 starksthepup has learned to pose for me

wknd recap // coffee with starks

coffee on the deck on a sunny Sunday morning

wknd recap // cafe lurcat

date night at bar lurcat

wknd recap // orhpeum

the orpheum to see aziz ansari!

wknd recap // fiance and me

[b] and i waiting for aziz to start

wknd recap // aziz ansari

aziz posing so that we could all get a shitty blurry picture

have a fabulous week!



2013 in review|a year of changes and blessings galore

2013 in review

just like sand through an hour glass, these are the days of our lives. 2013, you were full of surprises. both pleasant and well, rather unpleasant. through the tears, the laughter, the smiles, the hugs; the tests of my strength (mentally, physically, emotionally); the time spent with family; the celebration of accomplishments; and anxiety of life. throughout it all, i grew. and i am loving the person i have become, because i have worked so hard to become her. i feel so blessed and thankful for all i have, and am over the moon excited to see what this year brings.

Almost crumbling to the ground, she stopped. Looking at how far she had traveled and all it had taken to get there, she recognized her strength. The strengths she had inside of her, the strength she had gained along the way ~ her inner power. And so, she stood up. standing tall, she faced forward and continued on.

places traveled:

  • san antonio, tx (x2)
  • miami, fl (x2)
  • ochos rios, jamaica
  • grand cayman, cayman islands
  • las vegas, nv (x2)
  • ft myers, fl
  • birmingham, al
  • orlando, fl (x4)
  • manchester, nh
  • marco island, fl
  • okoboji, ia
  • indianapolis, in
  • anaheim, ca
  • albuquerue, nm
  • new york, ny

airmiles flown: 37,643

miles ran: 205


  • officially moved in with [b] & #starksthepup and went from being and uptown girl to a burbs girl
  • traveled to san antonio and rode a legit texas longhorn
  • spent priceless bonding time with family in miami
  • went on my first cruise to ochos rios & grand cayman and watched friends get married 

January | 2013 Recap


  • [b] and i survived gluten-free february 
  • went to the tpups vs. knicks game
  • ran the Valentines Day 5K and didn’t die
  • an amazing Valentines dinner at la grolla

February | 2013 Recap


  • march madness of travels: Vegas, Florida, Vegas
  • mini vacay to Ft. Myers Beach with friends and celebrated [b]’s birthday with fish bowl(s)
  • made my EXHIBITOR2013 presenter debut and hosted my own half day workshop
  • went to Bemidji to visit Panda

March | 2013 recap


  • celebrated 3 years at PeopleNet
  • accepted an invitation to be on the conference advisory board for EXHIBITOR2014
  • ran the Get in Gear 10K with a respectable finish time
  • said goodbye to my apartment

April | 2013 recap


  • Haley would have celebrated her 20th birthday on May 2nd
  • watched my momma’s Dancing with the Star’s debut
  • oodles of fun celebrating my 24th birthday
  • 2 year blogiversary <3

May | 2013 recap


  • daycation to stillwater and visited the liftbridge brewery
  • travels to: Florida (x3) and new hampshire
  • drove a jet ski for the first time and it was awful
  • weekend in Duluth for [b]’s half marathon

June | 2013 Recap


  • was selected to host my half day workshop at once again at EXHIBITOR2014
  • ran my second half marathon (in pouring rain, wind, thunder & lightening)
  • had a blast relaxing in okoboji on our family vacay
  • accepted into grad school (decided in sept to take a break from the program. more on that later)

July | 2013 Recap


  • went to see les miserables at the orpheum
  • traveled to san antonio for one of the most sleep deprived, rewarding, crazy, hysterical, fantastic weeks of my life for UC 2013
  • ate lots of goodies and epic people watching at the mn state fair with brandon and young pup

August | 2013 Recap


  • brandon and i celebrated our one year anniversary
  • had a blast at rich and angies wedding
  • went home for the weekend for a little durby side family reunion
  • got crazy and ditched my platinum blonde roots for some darker tones

September | 2013 Recap


  • enjoyed my first juicy lucy at matts bar
  • went apple picking and pumpkin selecting at emma krumbees
  • traveled to orlando. twice. 3 days apart. same hotel.
  • carved pumpkins or at least tried to.

October | 2013 Recap


  • held down the fort while [b] was in china for 2 weeks
  • mom came up for semi annual girls weekend (fall edition)
  • mom and dad’s 29th anniversary
  • traveled to new mexico to spend thanksgiving

November | 2013 Recap


December | 2013 Recap

what happens on the cruise… {stays on my blog}

prelude: my journey to my first ever cruise began with 2 other trips. one down south to san antonio and one to miami. since there was mere hours that separated these trips from the epic cruise, i feel compelled to add them to my post.

note: i am finishing off my first full week of work since the middle of november. just kidding but seriously. so, my brain is fried and my creativity is lacking. therefore, my post will be spoken predominately through pics. after all, they are worth 1,000 words, right? plus they are more fun to look at than listening to me jibber jabber. enjoy, friends. xoxo

stop 1: san antonio, tx

my company’s annual user conference is taking place down south this year. my boss and i went down to tour the place and get a feel of what to expect when planning. one night we’re taking all the attendees to a legit working ranch. when megs and i went to visit we got to pose on a real deal texas style longhorn. yeeee haaaaw y’all. t-minus 7 months till this bomb{dot}com event takes place. gotta get my spurs ready.


ridin’ a texas long horn, view from my room, strawberry jalepeno margarita

stop 2: miami (bitch)

hours, literally hours, after arriving home from texas i was at the airport to head to miami. there’s more of a story there, another time. another place. only thing that matters is that i made it and my boyfriend is ahhhmazing. i took a couple extra days off from work to head down to miami so i could get ready for the cruise and to spend some time with my cousin and her family that live there. after some frigid temps in minnesota lately, i was jazzed to start defrosting in the sunshine. it was so much fun to spend some fabulous quality time with my cousin and her lil diva daughter sabine. thanks so much for having me stay with you guys! miss you already! xoxo


palm trees & sunshine, ziggy, sabine & me cheesin’

stop 3: carnival destiny

got boarded and such and it was time to say deuces to the real world and prepare for 5 days of being forced to relax, disconnect and be on vacay. this was my first cruise, and i truly had no idea what to expect. i was more than pleasantly surprised. the trip was fantastic. full of sunshine, drinks, dancing, new friends, a beautiful wedding, relaxing, lots of eating and taking in every moment. needless to say, i’m a cruise fan. while it was nice to get back on land. and have a normal size bed. i will definitely be going on another cruise one day. bon voyage!


fun with the girls over the week :)

stop 3: jamaica (we have a bob sled team)

our first port of call was to jamaica. let’s see, if i could sum up jamaica in a word, it’d be sketch. i was forewarned of the shiftiness of the characters in this place, and it was no exaggeration.  we spent the whole time just lounging on the beach, admiring the view and soaking in the rays. mostly because we wanted to get our tan on and be lazy and also because it was one of the only places we would feel safe.


beach, jamaica, girls

stop 4: grand cayman (wedding bells)

the other port of call was the grand caymans. in a word, beautiful. the views are just unreal and the water is the bluest of blues. this is where the wedding of my dear lil monster, katie tied the knot. it was a breathtaking setting. right by the beach. and she looked absolutely stunning. the ceremony was short but sweet. and a wonderful cherry on top of an already great trip. so blessed to be part of this wonderful day. we spent the rest of the day enjoying the sunshine and sandy beaches as well as some local carribean jerk chicken. nom nom nom. the next day was the final day on the ship and we spent the day on the deck hanging out and enjoying some beverages. it was a really fun trip, but after nearly 2 straight weeks of travel, i was ready to be home. until my next cruise…


wedding: ceremony, bride and groom