Holidays with prAna

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by prAna, all opinions are my own
prAna

prAna

prAna

prAna

prAna

prAna

prAna

prAna

My favorite part about the upcoming holidays? Giving Gifts of course! I love seeing people’s faces light up with excitement and joy! And while I may not be the best at wrapping gifts, I think I am pretty good at picking out gifts!
Over the past couple of years I’ve really enjoyed giving gifts to my co-workers, they are the people I spend most of my time with during the week after all!
prAna is one of the brands I am partnering with this holiday season to give you ideas about what kind of gifts you can get for your family, friends, and even yourself! prAna’s mission of making things better by giving…quality, durable and stylish clothing that’s thoughtfully designed is very close to my heart and I own a lot of their work out and casual clothing. I actually look forward to their catalog coming in the mail!
The outfit that I am wearing not only looks but feels good and can be transformative. I will be honest I was skeptical about the Kara Jean at first, because they are a low rise, but the fabric is so comfortable, stretchy and different, I actually wore these all weekend last week! I can wear them to work, but also out hiking and exploring, I am a big fan of day trips if you didn’t know!
The Rockaway Jacket not only keeps me warm and comfortable but also reminds me of the time I spent living in New York (there is a neighborhood in Queens with a very similar name). I call it my Far Rockaway Jacket 😉
Another cool thing about prAna is that during this holiday season they are really focused on giving back. prAna is committed to giving back to the people who produce the clothing, as well as their employees and the community. How are you giving back this holiday season?
If you love my outfit and want to check out more prAna styles visit their website at prAna.com, and if you choose to place an order, feel free to use code CMBZ17 to get 15% off your order!

Taste of the Holidays with Cameron’s Coffee

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee all opinions are my own.
Taste of the Holidays with Cameron's Coffee Taste of the Holidays with Cameron's Coffee Taste of the Holidays with Cameron's Coffee Taste of the Holidays with Cameron's Coffee

Taste of the Holidays with Cameron's Coffee

The other day I caught myself thinking how the end of the year always flies by so quickly. A big part of me believes that it’s because of the Holiday Season. I always look forward to the fall/winter months because of all the time off I get to take and the trips I get to take!

I just returned from a 5 day trip to Minneapolis over Thanksgiving! It was an incredible time filled with family, laughter, friends and of course shooting new looks with my photographer friends. Minneapolis is a perfect city for that too! The historic buildings in downtown create the perfect back drop and make my creative juices flow. I know I am only sharing one look today, but I promise there are a lot more coming.

When it comes to winter looks I tend to go for comfortable, cozy fabrics, like this cashmere turtleneck, that I can’t stop wearing. It gives off an Audrey Hepburn vibes, doesn’t it? Pairing the black top with a bright bold pant and a pair of heels helps make a statement with this outfit! Needless to say, I hd so much fun shooting with my friend Sabrina!

Something else that helps my creative juices flow? Coffee, of course! There is nothing like waking up in the morning, knowing you are not in a rush, tasting that first sip of coffee and just breathing! Think about how rarely we get to do it. I know I cherish moments like that above all!

It also helps if the coffee tastes good. Luckily, Cameron’s coffee has a wide variety of delicious flavors, including Holiday flavors: Crème Brulee Latte and Pumpkin Spice being my holiday favorites! I especially enjoy the Crème Brulee Latte blend with some almond milk and whipped cream, anything to make my drink more festive!

I hope you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones this season! And while you are at it, I hope you enjoy some coffee too!

Make sure to follow Cameron’s Coffee on social media Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and stay tuned for some upcoming holiday giveaways!

Outfit photos by Sabrina Kennelly

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Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable EcoPods

Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable Pods

Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable Pods

Cameron’s Coffee 100% Compostable Pods

I can’t believe October is coming to an end already! This year is flying by so quickly. However, one of the most exciting things that happened this month was Cameron’s Coffee came out with their 100% compostable EcoPods. As a lot of you know I am all about doing as much as I possibly can to help the environment, and if my favorite coffee brand comes out with compostable coffee pods, of course I am going to use them.

I am not new to composting coffee. When I still lived in Minnesota and had a house, I always used to put my used coffee grounds under the rose bushes by the side door, and I absolutely loved the result. Now that I don’t have a garden anymore I compost wherever I can and luckily, we have separate compost bins at work. There is something about companies that make it their mission to make less waste that really speaks to me.

Cameron’s EcoPods are made from renewable, plant-based materials. The entire thing is compostable: from paper lid, to ring to filter. Cameron’s Coffee completed all the necessary testing with authorized facilities to make their product 100% compostable in industrial facilities.

As there is no certification process for home composting, Cameron’s Coffee can’t label their EcoPods as such, but since all the materials are plant-based, they will break down into organic matter if composted properly. Give it a try–employees at Cameron’s have successfully composted these pods at home!

I hope this news makes you as excited as it makes me! I can’t wait to see what else Cameron’s Coffee comes up with!

I also wanted to let you know about their Warehouse Sale! It’s happening Wednesday, November 8 – Saturday, November 11 at 5555 12th Avenue East, Suite 170, Shakopee, MN. So if you live in the Twin Cities area make sure to check it out! They also have amazing t-shirts and free burlap!

Make sure to follow Cameron’s Coffee on social media Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and stay tuned for some upcoming holiday giveaways!

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That day when…

that day when

 

You set the bar so high no one can achieve it…

Not even you.

You lay there awake at three, four, five am

Asking yourself – “Have I failed yet?”

You watch other people and wonder

What’s it like to be you?

Their life stories unravelling at the touch of your imagination.

The thoughts that you would never share,

The questions that haunt and don’t let go.

But then it wouldn’t be your life.

Someday you will find your heart

And the only biggest strongest gesture that matters right now is the hug you give yourself

 

that day when

Photography: Say Hello, Story

Fall Style | Plaid

This post is sponsored by Shopko.

fall style plaid

fall style plaid

fall style plaid

fall style plaid

Plaid and October are synonyms when it comes to fall style. A plaid button down is a must have especially if you live in the midwest. I have been loving all the color combos that Shopko’s new brand A&I has to offer, but this deep teal is by far my favorite. Now all I can hope for is this amazing Wisconsin weather to last a bit longer.

I have to admit October has a lot to measure up to! My September was very eventful, packed with trips (Miami, Minneapolis, LA), a wedding, bachelorette party, catching up with friends and family, and even “losing” my car in Chicago. “Siri, where did I park?” is, hands down, the best iPhone feature.

I hope you all enjoy your October! I can’t wait to go back to Minneapolis next weekend for Rachel’s wedding!

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Happy National Coffee Day and my Cupping Experience at Cameron’s Coffee

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.
happy-national-coffee-dayhappy-national-coffee-day

National Coffee Day is one of my favorite days of all! This year I am especially excited to be celebrating it in partnership with Cameron’s Coffee. Cameron’s Coffee is a Wisconsin founded and now Twin Cities based company that focuses on delivering the best coffee to those of us who enjoy making coffee at home and getting it tasting just right.

When I was in Minneapolis earlier this month, I got a chance to visit Cameron’s Coffee offices and be a part of the cupping experience they arrange for all of their new employees to learn more about coffee. I can only compare this experience to wine tasting, but better. The real purpose of cupping is to taste the different coffees and make sure they are up to our standards, as well as look for any imperfections or irregularities in the batch.

happy-national-coffee-day

Below is a detailed description of my experience, and while it can get pretty technical, I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves coffee. I also learned that I have absolutely no talent when it comes to defining coffee flavors.

The best part of the experience was meeting Patrick, Cameron’s Roastmaster, who walked me through the cupping experience. We cupped 4 flavors total:

  • Mexico – light
  • Brazil – sugary
  • Colombian – solid, balanced, sweet
  • Sumatra – earthy, big bodied

And while I am letting you know what each blend is supposed to taste like, I went into this completely unknowing what was going to happen.

Cupping happens around a table which resembles a huge lazy susan, that way you can spin the table and don’t have to walk around. There were 12 ceramic cups (you can also use tempered glass), 3 for each coffee flavor. All cups must be identical in measurements and come from the same manufacturer. You will also need a cupping spoon, which is a special kind of spoon with a large bowl. It works best if the spoon is silver or silver plated.

happy-national-coffee-day

To get a little bit more into details all beans are roasted within 24hours of the cupping, and can rest for 6-8 hours. Samples are ground immediately before cupping and grinds are coarser than what is normally used for paper drip. And finally, a few important numbers you should know: the coffee to water ratio for a cupping is 8.25 gm to 150 ml.

The cupping process step by step:

  • First, you smell the ground sample
  • Then you add water to the coffee sample, the water should be freshly drawn and approximate 200 degrees F
  • Make sure to let the coffee steep for 4 min
  • Ensure the coffee is plenty cooled off before drinking, you don’t want to burn your tongue or mouth and ruin your palate for the day
  • Once the coffee is cooled off break the crust that forms on the surface by lightly pressing with the spoon (no more than 3 times), get your nose up to the cup so you can smell the aroma after the coffee is broken
  • Remove the rest of the stuff that doesn’t go to the bottom after breaking
  • Let cool for a few more minutes, usually 8 to 12.
  • Tasting the coffee, using a spoon with a large bowl. Fill the bowl of the spoon, slurp the coffee while aspirating the coffee to cover your entire palate.  Then either drink the coffee or spit it out. Rinse your spoon and repeat at next cup. This was my favorite part, because I got to slurp in an office environment J

Should you ever get an opportunity to participate in cupping, here are a few tips for you:

  • Before you cup, try your best not to eat anything or drink anything potent. You don’t want to already affect your senses before trying coffee.
  • It’s also best if you don’t wear any perfume!
  • Cameron’s Coffee CEO even suggested smelling your own skin in between smelling in each coffee so your “palate gets cleansed”

Make sure to follow Cameron’s Coffee on social media Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and stay tuned for some upcoming holiday giveaways! Love my Cameron’s Coffee mug and Tee? These are going to be available on the website soon!happy-national-coffee-day

This post includes photos by Say Hello, Story

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New Fall Beauty Favorites

This post is sponsored by Shopko.

new-fall-beauty-favorites

new-fall-beauty-favorites

Fall isn’t a time to renew your wardrobe, but also pick up a few new beauty products. I was really excited to learn about some of the new brands that Shopko started to carry, including La Petit Marseiliais and Masque Bar. I knew I could use some new masks, so I picked up Luminizing Charcoal and Pore Refining masks to pamper myself a little this fall. The Luminizing Charcoal has definitely become one of my favorites, and I will be ordering more of it. You leave it on for 20-30 minutes, then peel it off. This mask peels off so easily, I was extremely surprised. However, it still pulls out a lot of the gunk from pores! The pore refining mask is a rinse off, which is a type of masks I usually use, and I love it. Both of these are made in Korea.

La Petit Marseiliais is a brand I used to shop when I lived in Europe, and it was one of my favorites. I picked up 2 body washes in Orange Blossom and White Peach and Nectarine.

new-fall-beauty-favorites

new-fall-beauty-favorites

new-fall-beauty-favorites

Make sure to check out all of my picks from Shopko on my Maven Board!

In other great news, Shopko is giving you a chance to win a $500 Shopping Spree – make sure to sign up for your chance to win. It runs from 9/10 to 10/14 and FIVE lucky people will win! You can also sign up to receive emails and get $10 off $30 purchase with email sign up.

This post is sponsored by Shopko. All opinions are my own.

Cameron’s Coffee Perfect Summer Cold Brew Recipe

Dsiclosure: This post is sponsored by Cameron’s Coffee. All opinions are my own.
Cold Brew Recipe Camerons CoffeeCold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

Cold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

Cold Brew Recipe Camerons Coffee

I love coffee in all shapes and forms, but in the summertime cold brew is my favorite. I remember first learning about it through a Facebook post that one of my artsy friends did. He made it sound like an incredibly complicated process like at home beer brewing. So, for a couple of years I simply ordered my cold brew at local coffee shops and carried on. Thanks to my collaboration with Cameron’s Coffee I learned that I can make my very own delicious cold brew at home. There is a very handy blog post on their website with detailed instructions that are simple and easy to follow.

You can make cold brew using a French press, any glass container, or a mason jar. I chose to go with a mason jar just because I have a lot of those in my kitchen and they do look cool in the photos. There is also a cold brew system that you can purchase like this one.

For my coldbrew I used 8 oz of Roastmaster’s Blend, 8 oz of water and 1 tsp of spices. Now spices are optional, but I wanted to play around with some flavors. This specific spice mix includes ginger, cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg. I combined all the above in a mason jar and left in my fridge overnight. It’s best to let your coffee to sit for at least 12 hours. Then I ran it through a coffee filter, added some ice and milk and stayed caffeinated for the rest of the day.

If you like your coffee strong, then you can go ahead and drink the cold brew as is, or mix it with water, 50/50 is usually a pretty good ration. Since I add ice and milk, I tend not to, but that’s again up to you.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it encourages you to try making your own cold brew at home! Please make sure to share with me if you do.

I highly recommend following Cameron’s Coffee on social media as well! They are always posting helpful tips and share their coffee knowledge.

Cameron’s coffe Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Check them out and give them a like or a follow 🙂

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Milwaukee Bloggers Meet Up at Iron Horse Hotel

Milwaukee-BloggersMilwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Milwaukee-Bloggers

Last Tuesday was simply wonderful! I finally managed to leave work on time and make it to a Milwaukee Bloggers Meet Up at the Iron Horse hotel arranged by my friend Katherine of Bordeaux Blvd. 

I’ve been living in Milwaukee for over a year now and only met a few of the bloggers in person, so this was a perfect opportunity to put faces to Instagram handles and have some real life time with everyone!

I hope you enjoy photos from the event and check out everyone’s blogs!

Katherine of Bordeaux Blvd

Pamela of It’s Pamela Kieck

Riva of What Riva Wore

Rumela of Rumela The Shopaholic

Georgia of Gloss and Harbour

Carrie of Cateyes and Carrie-alls

A huge huge Thank you Russel of Heritage Studio for all the photos and the proof that I am in fact a child!

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Pinstripe Dress – Monday Mode Link Up

pinstripe-dress pinstripe-dress pinstripe-dress pinstripe-dress

Happy Monday! As I get ready to start my short 4 day week and prepare for my Miami and Minneapolis vacations – truly two of the most opposite places one could’ve picked – I wanted to share this easy outfit with you. I’ve been obsessing over Who What Wear collection at Target for quiet some time now. To the point where my manager knows that it’s the only line I shop at Target, and that the rest of my clothes primarily come from Zara and H&M.

This dress is definitely getting a place in my suitcase! Make sure to follow me on Instagram to see what else I am packing on my vacation and if you are in Miami or Minneapolis and want to meet up – let me know!

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All photos by Kaitlyn Luckow