Oh Baby!


Coming October 2018!

Caleb and I are so excited to announce that we are expecting our first little baby in October!

Nothing has changed our lives more than the realization that we're about to become parents. Pregnancy is such a wonderful gift! It’s like this combination of love, joy, fear, anxiety, gratitude, excitement, and responsibility are wrapped up in one giant, overwhelming feeling. 

I was blessed to have a pretty easy first trimester; a bit more tired than usual, some nausea here and there, bloating (which I hope will be turning into a bump soon!). I haven't taken any bump pictures yet, mainly because I just keep forgetting (pregnancy brain?). I personally can tell that my body has changed, because my pants don't zip or button anymore! I guess that means I should go shopping lol.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you finding out the gender of the baby? 

YES! Caleb and I are far too impatient to wait until birth to find out. We will find out if it's a boy or girl at the end of May and we can't wait! Caleb is team blue (of course) and I'm hoping for a girl! Just think about all the cute clothes! 😭But to be perfectly honest, we just want a healthy baby no matter the gender, so we'll be thrilled either way!

Do you have names picked out?

We do actually! When Caleb and I started dating in high school I shared with him a baby name that I liked. I didn't know at the time, but it's a family name and he loves it! So yeah, we picked out a baby name when were were, like, 16 or 17 😂We were just babies ourselves!

Anyways, we have a list of names we like and plan on going in a certain order depending on which gender each baby is. We will most likely share the name once we find out if it's a boy or girl because I'm not that afraid of people "stealing" our names. We'll be naming our kids the names we picked no matter if other people use the name too lol. #noshame

Were you surprised? What was your first reaction when you found out?

Well, we weren't trying, but we also weren't not-trying. So yes? 

We went to California at the end of January and I surprised myself (and others) by how much food I ate there. I was hungry ALL THE TIME. It didn't go away when we got home either. A few days later, after I missed my period, I decided to go to Target and buy a test. I grabbed some prenatal vitamins while I was there too, you know, just in case. It came back positive almost instantly and I was both excited and terrified at the same time! Motherhood is a whole new level of responsibility!

How did you tell Caleb?

In my head I always imagined I would surprise him with a cute box or something that he opens to find out, but I just stuck the pregnancy test in the Target bag I came home with and told him that I got something for him. He had been telling me that he thought I was pregnant all week, so seeing that it was true made him so happy! He's going to be such a great dad!

We are just so happy and excited for this new journey we're on. Raising a family together has always been our dream. I can’t wait to share this journey with all of you!!

Any early guesses as to if baby is a boy or girl? Share if you're team blue or pink below!

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43 Life Lessons From a Father to His Daughter


"Tip of the Day" 

In celebration of Father's Day, today I'd like to share will all of you one of the amazing things my dad did with me a couple of years ago. 

One random day (February 19, 2015, to be exact) he texted me "Daily tip, don’t forget to put lotion on your hands, the skin dries quickly in the cold. I haven’t followed this tip and I have alligator skin now."

It was so unexpected. Hilarious too. But it was such good advice. I loved it! 

The "Tip of the Day" continued as he would think of little life lessons from his observations during the day and then text them to me when he came up with one. 

Some days life was too busy and he'd forget or I'd be at home visiting, so the texts didn't come every single day. But it continued for a good few months until I came home for summer break. 

I knew I had to keep a collection of the texts, because the advice was so practical. Always write down on a calendar the date a free trial program ends. Always leave extra time when you're catching a bus (or plane, or train, or automobile). 

Some of the tips had originated from funny situations. Remember that no matter where you are someone may be watching you. Look both ways if you are going to jaywalk across the street. Sometimes it is better not to say out loud what is on your mind. (Read the texts below to find out what the funny situation was!)

And some were just classic reminders. Always be a good neighbor. Always listen and respect how others see things. Remember to admit when you are wrong.

I loved looking forward to the Tip of the Day, and now that I've graduated and got married, I really cherish these pieces of advice. 

My hope is that by sharing these, everyone can glean some of the wisdom that a dad can give. Happy Father's Day!

Also, I hope he doesn’t get mad that I put his texts to me online for the world to see. Love you daddy! :) 

Circa 1997

Circa 1997

Wisdom from Dad

1. Daily tip, don’t forget to put lotion on your hands, the skin dries quickly in the cold. I haven’t followed this tip and I have alligator skin now.

2. Tip of the day. Always take advantage of freebies. So go to the Sidewalk Prophets concert tonight. Love dad. (Sidewalk Prophets had a free concert at my college)

3. Tip of the day. Always be a good neighbor, or they will all sell their houses. All of the houses around us are for sale, or just sold last summer

4. Tip of the day. Standing up to a bully can hurt sometimes. Case in point, I succumbed to pressure from Charcoal and gave him milk, but when he didn’t share with Lily I moved the milk away from him. He proceeded to hiss and took a swipe at me. (Charcoal and Lily are our two cats)

5. Tip of the day. Always have all documentation on hand when starting your taxes. That way you won’t be a pest to others. Sorry for bugging you last night.

6. Tip of the day. You can move back home again and be happy. Case in point, Kevin Garnett coming back to the T-Wolves (Timberwolves). So remember there’s no place like home

7. Tip of the day. Always listen and respect how others see things. They may have a different perspective on things. Case in point, the photo of the striped dress you sent Hannah (which was black and blue).

8. Tip of the day. Enjoy the weekend because Monday comes up fast.

9. Tip of the day. Remember to admit when you are wrong. Case in point, yesterday the weather people made it sound like we were going to not be able to go to work today. Then this morning, no snow! It is snowing now, but not enough to cause problems.

10. Tip of the day. Make an effort to interact with people who might not usually be your type of person. Since I started playing basketball with the guys I have discovered that I have things in common with some of the guys that normally I wouldn’t speak to.

11. Tip of the day. Always proofread anything you send out. I just came across a document someone emailed out that said, ‘Levee of absent’. It should have said ‘Leave of absence’. And this went out to senior people in the bank. Don’t rely on spellcheck!

12. Ok tip of the day. Always write down on a calendar the date a free trial program ends. Companies like Amazon take advantage of forgetful customers to make money. (He forgot to cancel Amazon Prime that he signed up for during Christmas. And I forgot to cancel Amazon Student, paid on his credit card. So he paid $100 for Amazon Prime that we hardly ever use)

13. Tip of the day.  Don't underestimate the potential of any person, sometimes the people you didn't think could do anything right do the improbable. Case in point, in the NCAA basketball tournament many top-seeded teams lost to mediocre teams.

14. Tip of the day.  If you don't feel good in the morning, don't try to go to class. Hannah did but now mom has to go get her because she is sick. 

15. Late tip of the day. Always be prepared for any unexpected surprises. I had my day all planned out at work today, but then spent all day putting out fires. (not literal fires, unexpected surprises)

16. Tip of the day.  Always read the road signs to make sure you don't drive in a bus only lane. There are 5 cars in the bus only lane downtown. The drivers look nervous as the buses buzz about.

17. Here is the tip. Sometimes it is better not to say out loud what is on your mind.  Long story, but recently some ladies were at Teavanna along with their kids. The ladies had tea, but the kids got a little wild. Teavanna asked them to leave and on the way out a worker told them to “next time go to McDonald's!”

18. Tip of the day. Look both ways if you are going to jaywalk across the street, a police officer may be watching. I saw a person get stopped for doing that this morning. (Turns out, it was actually dad who got stopped!)

19. Tip of the day. When you are having difficulty solving a problem it often helps to get away and clear your mind for awhile. Then try again later.

20. Tip of the day. Remember that no matter where you are someone may be watching you.  I am sitting in my cubicle and I look out the window and the window washers were looking in! That’s my tip for the paranoid person.

21. Tip of the day.  Always look at the calendar to know what the date is. BTW me and mom decided you need a better car, so we will be buying you a brand new one this summer, what kind do you want? love dad. (What an evil joke to play for April Fools)

22. Tip of the day. Always be optimistic. Remember all baseball teams are tied for first place right now, so the Twins have a chance this year! (It was opening day for baseball)

23. Tip of the day. Always remember that you have a savior that redeemed you on the cross. (The only tip that makes sense today). Love dad. (It was Good Friday)

24. Tip of the day. If you sign a contract to make a lot of money make sure to follow all rules so as not to jeopardize the deal. The [Minnesota] Twins signed a real good pitcher for this year, Santana, but he tested positive for a performance enhancing drug and is suspended for 80 games.

25. Tip of the day. You are never too old to start learning something new if you are truly interested in it. Hannah is taking violin lessons and seems to be enjoying it.

26. Tip of the day. Watch the weather forecast in the morning so you will have an umbrella with you and won't wait for the bus in the rain.

27. Tip of the day. Always go to any government agency early in the morning or else you will wait in line for a long time. I went to the Hennepin County government center to buy the license tabs over lunch hour and I waited forever for my number to be called.

28. Tip of the day. Variety is the spice of life,  break out of a rut once in a while. I did this by not going to Jimmie Johns today. Instead I got a sub from Ebert and Gerberts! (For as long as I can remember, he went to Jimmie Johns every single Friday for lunch)

29. Tip of the day.  Always leave extra time when you're catching a bus (or plane, or train, or automobile), otherwise you will be running across the road hoping cars don't hit you.

30. A tip of the day. Don't get too disappointed if things don't go well in the beginning, stick with it for a while and see if things get better. The [Minnesota] Twins need to follow this advice, they are 1 win and 6 losses to start the season.

31. Tip of the day.  When you start to feel overwhelmed or burned out from too much work, take a day off to recharge yourself. That is why I am taking a vacation day tomorrow, yay me.

32. Tip of the day. In the spring when you see it snowing just think of it as "chunky rain". It will keep you from being depressed. BTW it snowed here a little bit today.  Love dad

33. Tip of the day.  When interviewing for a job be calm and really listen to the questions so your answer makes sense. Last night we interviewed another candidate and unfortunately, she interviewed badly. Nice and bubbly but kinda scatterbrained.

34. Tip of the day. Even as you get old you sometimes get the urge to do stuff only the younger generation does. Case in point, last night old man Torii Hunter tried to steal home. He was out but it looked like he was having fun just attempting it.

35. Tip of the day. When the boss is away, employees will take advantage.  There is another finance group that sits near my little department and the managers were all out today. Around 3 this afternoon almost all of the people in this group left. Early weekend for them!

36. Tip of the day. The instructions for assembling a product are almost always worthless.  Better to rely on the pictures and your own good sense. Me and mom spent a long time trying to understand the instructions for hanging new blinds in the kitchen. Finally we just went ahead and did it our way and it turned out to be so easy. Love dad

37. Tip of the day. If you are going to riot make sure your mom doesn't recognize you on TV.  There is a video of a mother slapping her son in Baltimore because he was in the riots. I say good job mom. I don't know how to link the video to my text sorry.

38. Tip of the day. Always have alternative routes in mind when driving in Minnesota during the summer.  Road construction season has started and roads that were open in the morning might have a lane shut down later. Driving home from work yesterday was bad due to construction all over.

39. Tip of the day. If you install a security camera, make sure to change the default password, otherwise you may get hacked. 

40. Tip of the day.  At a certain age, adults need to stop dressing up as their favorite cartoon character.  Downtown Minneapolis was full of people for the Comic-Con Convention and it was weird seeing adults in costume. Plus it was Star Wars Day as well.

41. Tip of the day. Think warm thoughts on spring days that only have a high temp around 50. It is freezing here,  and drizzly. Love dad

42. Tip of the day. Sometimes it's better to not contradict your boss, but rather go with the flow. 

43. Tip of the day. When rain is forecast park your car on the top level of the parking ramp to get a free car wash. This tip isn't valid if hail is forecasted. Also bring an umbrella with you.

What life lessons have you learned from your parents? Share them in the comments below!

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Design Details: Arches


6 amazing arches that will take your breath away!

Dodson Interiors

So last weekend the temperature hit 60 degrees here in Minnesota. 60 degrees. In February. I opened the windows and actually believed that spring was here! Unfortunately, it's back down into the 30s with snow on the way, but it's still encouraging knowing that spring is just around the corner.

Once the warmer weather arrives, my husband and I will be moving. We've been looking for a house to rent and I'm so excited to find one that's just right for us!

As I've been rental house hunting, I’ve slowly come to realize how certain things can add so much character to a house. You've heard about custom crown molding and fancy trim for doorways & windows, but arched hallways or doors? *swoon!*

At least 70% of the houses I've look at had some sort of arched hallway or door. Older houses tend to have an abundance of these arches, but I love when I see newer houses with them as well. There's something about the richness of detail and sense of permanence that traditional building styles convey. 

I'd love if we can get a rental that has an arch or two, but if we can't, that's ok. I'll just begin to plan some for our dream house someday! But who am I kidding, I've already begun to do that 🙈 

Whether or not you've ever given arches a second thought, I dare you to try to not fall in love with them! Ready for some inspiration?

Studio Life.Style.

Simple arches without any moldings are my favorite right now. These are the types of arches I'm hoping for in our next house! They're clean and modern yet look like they have so much history.

Lynnstone Estate | photo by Chipper Hatter

A grand archway to greet you as you enter the room? Yes. Also, those stone tiles are gorgeous!

Arched doors are another love of mine! The curve on these ones aren't as dramatic, so they don't make you look like you live in a hobbit house. The combination of the wood, large glass windows and sleek iron hardware is beyond perfect! 

Natural Stone Tile - South Africa

Arches can also totally transform the look and feel of a room. Imagine this hallway with a rectangular opening and straight moldings. Too formal and stuffy, right? The arches soften the look and add a sense of elegance.

So, when it comes to hallways & doorways, are you an arch lover or do you go for straight ones? Comment below!

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Heart Shaped Cherry Hand Pies (Vegan + Delicious!)


Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day or any day!

Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

Is it just me, or are foods cuter when they're tinier? Mini cupcakes, mini pies. So much cuteness!

I first became obsessed with mini desserts while planning our wedding last summer. My husband and I decided to have a mini dessert bar, complete with mini tarts, mini pudding cups, and mini pies-on-a-stick shaped like our home state of Minnesota!

Since then, I couldn't stop thinking about how great it would be to make mini pies in the shape of hearts for Valentine's Day. I mean, wouldn't that be cute? 😉

I had a problem though. Ever since going vegan, my attempts at a vegan pie crust were pretty sad. Instead of buttery and flakey, I got dry and tough with clumps of coconut oil. 👎🏼

After those disappointing pieces of pie I was pretty nervous to make pie crust from scratch again. "I think I'll just get a pre-made pie crust from the store," I told my husband. "You know, the frozen ones."

Let's just say, he was having none of it.

Pie is homey. It expresses tenderness and caring. No frozen pie crust in the world can compare to one made at home, with love. Plus, it simply tastes way better!

Thus began my research on making the perfect coconut oil pie crust. Thankfully, I didn't have to search to long, since Ashlae from Oh, Ladycakes already figured it out (thanks Ashlae!).

Biggest lesson learned? Coconut oil is not a butter substitute. You can't incorporate it the same way you do with butter, while it’s hard and cold, and with a pastry cutter or two knives. Who would've thunk? 

And now that I've tasted this pie crust perfection, I'm never going back. So sweet, so buttery, so flaky! Can it be fall again? I'm ready to bake.

Since I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of whole wheat flour (there's a difference) to make these hand pies, I adapted her recipe a bit. If you want to read the whole method on making the perfect coconut oil pie crust, head on over to her blog, Oh, Ladycakes.  

AND, since we're all about making things from scratch around here, I even made some cherry pie filling! Blending up the dried pineapple gives the filling a special tartness to it (no, it doesn't taste like pineapple) and the cornstarch helps thicken it up. And of course, a little sugar sweetens things up. 

Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

One of the reasons I created this site is so I can encourage people to live a slower life, to take a step back from the everyday hustle and bustle and reignite the beauty of old-time traditions (with a modern twist, of course).

So while you could always cheat and use a frozen pie crust and canned filling, I encourage you to take the extra time to slow down and make something with your own two hands!

Seriously though, don’t be intimidated by making these from scratch. They aren’t hard to make and there are so many possibilities for filling! Apple, blueberry, strawberry or any other wild berry would be absolutely amazing. Change it up however you like.

So grab your sweetheart, flour up your rolling pin and get baking!

Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

Heart Shaped Cherry Hand Pies


For the pie crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3-4 tbsp water, ice cold

For the pie filling:

  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups red pie cherries
  • 1 tbsp sugar, to taste

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup powered sugar, heaping
  • 2 tbsp soymilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. 
  2. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and roll out until it's about an 1/8-inch thick. Use a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of the dough. Transfer half of the hearts to the baking sheet and set the other half aside. I got 16 hearts out of the dough.
  3. Place one or two cherries and a little sauce in the middle of the hearts that are on the baking sheet. Carefully set the remaining hearts on top of the ones with the fruit. Gently press down with your fingers to line it up and start sealing it, but don't press too hard!
  4. With the tines of a fork, press around the edges of the hearts to seal, then use a small knife to cut two small vents in the top of each heart. 
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until edges are golden, rotating the pan half way through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Add the powdered sugar to a bowl and slowly stir in the milk until it's a smooth, slightly runny consistency. Drizzle over the hearts while they are still warm.


(recipe adapted from Oh, Ladycakes)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Transfer the bowl to the freezer and freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. Once the flour has chilled, slowly drizzle in the melted coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, squeezing the mixture between your fingers until all the coconut oil has been evenly dispersed (note: the coconut oil doesn’t have to be cooled to room temperature, but it shouldn't be hot, just liquid). Once all the coconut oil has been added, the mixture should look crumbly with some clumps. Transfer the bowl to the freezer again for 15 minutes and get your ice water ready.
  3. After 15 minutes, remove the mixture and break up any big, hard clumps with your fingers. You don’t have to get all of them, so do this quickly. Drizzle in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, gently mixing with your fingers like before. Be careful not to add too much water, so add it in slowly.
  4. Once your mixture seems like it’ll hold together (not too wet though!), form it into a ball of dough. The dough is going to feel tough and dry, but it will soften as it rests. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic and flatten it into a smooth, round disc. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you don’t want to use the pie crust right away, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (or frozen for up to two weeks), but will need to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Frozen dough will need to be moved to the refrigerator overnight, then allowed to rest at room temperature as stated above.

Yield: Enough dough for one 8-9″ single pie crust or 8 3″ hand pies.



  1. Add the dried pineapple, water, and cornstarch to a blender. Blend until mixture is smooth and frothy.
  2. Pour the mixture into a pot on medium-high heat. Stir continuously until the mixture becomes thick.
  3. Add in the cherries and sugar. Let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cherries (not just the sauce) should taste sweet, so cook longer/add more sugar as necessary.
  4. Once cooked, take off heat and let cool before using. You can store any leftovers in a jar in the refrigerator. 
Yummy VEGAN cherry heart hand pies! Perfect quick and easy dessert for Valentine's Day!

Do you like baking from scratch? Tried this recipe? Let me know in the comments below!

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