how to travel well


as chad and i traveled to the caribbean we decided to only bring one suitcase. yes one suitcase, we were gone for ten days. that meant that we had to be very wise in what we packed and how we packed it. i left feeling pretty proud of ourselves. we manage to fit both formal(including a suit) and casual clothes, and the bag still weighed less then fifty pounds. with that i am going to be leaving you today with a couple of travel tips, packing, at the airport, and when you land.

find lots of cute tops and bottoms that you can mix and match, allowed you to have several outfits and different looks, but not taking up that much more room in your suitcase

layer. this was my key to keeping my clothes at a variety, you couldn't tell that i had wore the same piece twice.

plan out your outfits before you go, this allows you not to be scrambling through your suitcase trying to figure out what to wear. if you plan, you already know what you are going to be wearing and how to mix and match the pieces you want to. it saves you SO much space.

put formal wear ontop
we had to fit chads suit and a few of my formal dresses into our bag.
the cruise line did not provide irons
so we had to make sure we could pack with out our clothes being completely wrinkled.
alas, we came up with putting our formal wear ontop. it worked great and very few winkles overall 

wear clothing on the airplane
we wore all of our bulky clothing on the flight there. layered up on a few pieces of clothing, wore our pants, shoes, sweaters, a tank, etc. this help avoid taking up extra space in the suitcase and also allowed us to be prepared if the flight was going to be warm or cold. 
 i think flying you should be comfortable in what you are wearing, but you shouldn't be completely grubby. it takes takes up more space in your suitcase, and you just don't look as crisp. i wore these simple jeans and a loose fitting shirt, it was the perfect solution for our long day of traveling. 

carry on bag 
find a large supportive bag. i love my strawfoot bag. it is the most supportive bag i own, that allows me to fit other bags inside. i was able to put my sweater, a water bottle, books, etc. all in this nice bag. highly recommend it! 
my carry on was packed with lots of snacks, candy, and a bottle for carrying water. airports have the craziest prices and as newlyweds on a budget we made sure to pre-pack our snacks so we wouldn't have to buy them there.

i am a big reader. i do not own a kindle.
so how did i afford/bring books onto the trip?
i rented from the lovely library! i packed most of these books in the checked bag, but carried a few with me. i swapped them out on our way home and it enabled me to read a lot, with out having the burden of physically carrying the bag. 
my favorite part of renting books was renting the magazines. i used to always buy magazines before leaving on a trip, you only read them a few times before throwing them out, but this little discovery saved me ten dollars. 

well those are just a couple of tips that i have come up with from my recent travels.

 what are your travel tips? how do you efficiently pack?

books & a give away


i love book stores. i leave feeling refreshed, and a list of 213 new books to read. this little bookshop is located in minneapolis across the street from the amazing dogwood coffee bar. laurel and i were getting a cup of coffee when we thought it would be fun to stop and look around for a big. i loved this book shop because they had both used and new books. 

so beside my love for book shops, i also love getting great deals. and lucky for you, i have a give away! 
thrifty girls get good deals is giving away TWO pairs of earrings to one lucky reader. this site is a little boutique that helps you get stylish accessories for way less. give away will end sunday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

impromptu date night


shirt// jcrew skirt// h & m scarf// walmart bag// strawfoot shoes// clarks

lets talk about something really quick, why in all photos do i like to squeeze onto my fist, i dont intentionally mean to do it, but that is how photos turn out, time and time again. oops :) 


minneapolis is starting to finally warm up. yesterday i was even able to step out with out a jacket for a bit and wasn't freezing. yay! 
i was also suppose to give my final presentation in class last night, but somehow it was cancelled meaning that chad and i got to go on an impromptu date last night. of course we decided to get pizza at a restaurant called fat lorenzo's, we usually go there in the summer after we have walked around some of the lakes. but last night it was just calling our name. 

 now for the best part of the week... i don't have ANY school for the rest of the week. i suppose its like a mini spring break?! but i am still up here in the north ;) i ordered some books off amazon last week, and now will spend the remainder of this week with my nose in those books. 

what do you have going on this week?
happy tuesday!

weekend view


i have to be honest, this weekend was not jam packed with fun and exciting adventures, nor beautiful pictures. it was one spent mostly indoors (never good), doing productive work (something kinda good) but with that!

this weekend i...

spent a lot of time on the couch with my comfy clothes, finishing up my homework, at least i got to look at pretty flowers while i worked right?! and have a cup of green tea of course.

went to the walk for diabetes at the mall of america with my friend kelly- we have been going for 10 years. a little surreal. 

baked delicious brownies from trader joes, have you ever had them? they were amazing!

did not watch the oscars. i always try to be into these award shoes but just cannot do it. ooh well. 

what did you do this weekend? hope it was a little more exciting then mine ;) 

ps be ready for a give away tomorrow!




reading...  brava, valetine i just started this book and am not quite sure how i feel yet. it is a romance novel/travel book so it totally something that i would love but we will have to see.

writing... i am finishing up my final paper for my class, and lots of thank you cards from the wedding. thankfully we are almost done!

listening to frank sinatra pandora radio station. i have been obsessed lately and cannot get enough. 

smelling my favorite candle from anthro, its called volcano. it is amazzzzing

wishing i was done with school. i never had to say that in undergrad but school has been really challenging lately. not necessarily the coursework but just the whole balancing act of it. i am done doing homework. i have been bursting with new ideas and just want to be able to move on and be in my career. 

hoping that spring makes it around soon! i want fresh flowers, long bike rides and sunlight!

wearing comfy sunday clothes. it was cleaning day so i am wearing leggings, a baseball t, and a sweater. we can't be cute everyday ;) and not to be a complete nerd... but i may or may not be walking on the tredmil in my clothes as we speak.. 

loving the new house plants chad and i bought today. i always love a little green so we bought some house plants to decorate our little space with! and the fun little notebooks i picked up at target. i always love a little gold touch.

wanting more time. as always. i want to create more, learn more, read more, cook more. if only i had all of the time in the world to do all of this "more"

feeling all of the new fashion trends, and lipstick. i have become a little lipstick junkie  i was always so hesitant before but now finally feel like i can pull it off.  

clicking wit and delights blog. i just found it recently and am a little obsessed.

drink coffee sleep later


and it is now my favorite day of the week... friday. well i lied, saturdays are my absolute favorite day of the week, but fridays are pretty good. so i am just going to be going with it.

doing my favorite weekly link up, friday letters!

dear blogging friends, and friends in real life thank you so much for all of the prayers and thoughts as i am in transition of job searching. it really means a lot to have all of you support, and i couldn't make it through with out you! dear HIIT class, you kicked my butt yesterday. i cannot feel my entire backside. dear snow you are bacccck, of course. you sure are pretty but i would not object if you left soon. i want to wear non-bulky clothes again. dear beautiful tropical photo shown above you make me happy in so many ways, reminding me the end is in sight, and to drink more coffee. of course i need to drink more coffee ;) hence why i continued to put more pretty tropical photos down below. dear sleep i never spend enough time with you... but it is so hard when there is coffee around ;) dear trader joes cant wait to make it to our little date today! going to go stock up on all of the goodies, and make some more snacks for the weekend!

are you doing anything exciting this weekend? i really hope to do some meal planning and finish my presentation for school. 


chocolate tweets


*photo disclaimer*
i forgot to take a good picture of the cheesecake... oops. so this is a piece that was leftover, and a few days old, the original cheesecake looks much better then this!

so on valentines day i decided since chad and i were not celebrating until the weekend, i should bake some delicious desert. because i could not make up my mind on what i wanted to make... i decided to tweet a little poll "chocolate cheesecake or chocolate cake"
and though only two people responded, and they both tweeted different things. i went with the chocolate cheesecake. and we LOVED the cheesecake (hence why there is a letter L in the photo above)

so that means i need to share the recipe with you my friends.

chocolate lovers cheesecake
2 8oz pkg of cream cheese softened (i used one normal, one light)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 squares of bakers semi sweet chocolate
2 eggs
1 oreo pie crust (to be honest, i just bought mine..oops)

preheat oven to 325
melt bakers chocolate until liquid form. can do this in microwave or in a double boiler
beat cream cheeses, sugar, and vanilla until well blended
add chocolate and mix well.
add eggs and mix until blended
place mix into crust
bake for 40 minutes
refrigerate 4-6 hours before severing 

i added raspberries around the edges to add a little sweet touch.

ps find me on twitter so we can be friends :)
handle: heathermarieee

two of my favorite things


 shirt// banana republic skirt// target (comes with belt) shoes// hunter scarf// h&m

so this photo above has two of my favorite clothing items ever in them.

the first being my beloved yellow stripped shirt. i picked this shirt up at banana some time after christmas for $12. it was a steal, and let me tell you, i have wore this shirt 12+ times. it is the warmest shirt i own, and with these negative temps, i have been layering like crazy. this yellow shirt is a staple in my closet. as really any stripped pattern i own. they are so great, and make a simple outfit not so simple anymore.

the second favorite item .... my hunters! these boots (that i have talked about several times before) are the most versatile boot out there. i can wear them nannying, i can wear them walking with chad, i can wear them through snow, slush, and rain. not to mention they are so fun. so if you haven't yet, please go purchase a pair of hunter boots. i promise you won't be sorry! 

...and just a side note update on my recent happenings. life is busy (as usual, and life is busy for all of the hard working individuals out there!)
it is my finals week. i have been interviewing for a new job. and have picked up some extra hours at work
...not to mention chad got sick, with some type of stomach bug, so lets hope that bug is nontransferable ;) 
so be praying for us as we make it through this week and that all bugs are removed from our home!

finally time


 this weekend was just lovely. no other way to put it. i finally had 

...time with family.
laurel (my sister)'s boyfriend came in and surprised her this weekend (thanks to their friend melanie who actually planned this surprise trip for BOTH of them) with that i was able to hang out with them a little for the short amount of time he was around.  on friday we decided to go and get doughnuts at mojo monkey in st. paul (a great decision) . we decided to make it a little double date, laurel and john, and me and natalie. :)

later on friday i spent some quality time with my dad,  and  to conclude the family filled weekend we had a big family brunch on sunday. all so great. 

...time to work out.
i made it to two yoga classes (one being my favorite yoga sculpt) and they literally kicked my butt. (not to mention i am currently sitting her in slight pain.. ha!)

time going on a date with the husband.
chad and i got to celebrate our first date as a married couple! we went to the lowry in uptown where we had fish tacos (hers) and bacon macaroni (his). we had a great time laughing and spending time with one another. i sure like him!

... time to make our house a home 
we have really started to get our home together now and it is feeling homey-er then ever.chad was so kind and picked up some daisies for me, they are just perfect and look great on our kitchen table!
 i love flowers. i think they make a house so cozy. i would love to have them every day of the year... but being realistic they are saved for special little treats. thankfully in the summer they are very reasonably priced at the market, so they make an appearance more often. 

how was your weekend? do anything exciting? linking up!

ps the bear pancake picture is telling YOU to have a BEARY nice day :)

the ground is still white


sweater: aerie shirt: h & m pant: tj maxx boots: frye

so, this is the time of year where i get spring fever major. but the only problem when you live in minnesota is spring is still two months away. yikes. all i want to do is whip out the mint colored pants, the sleeveless shirts, and flats. but that isn't very practical when there is still snow on the grown. not to mention you will be freezing if you are actually serious about trying to wear that in a public place. so, here i am stuck in my mustard jeans. at least for a few more weeks (maybe we will get lucky with a huge warm front so i can wear my new sparkly flats!) but until then, i will be holding down the north front, fully equipped with sweaters and boots :)

what is the weather like where you live? what have you been wearing lately? 

friday love


happy friday! 
doing the link up with ashley today over at the sweet season.

dear valentines day you were a good one, i am so blessed to have a day to show those around me that i do love them! to all of my friends and family. dear brunch yesterday you were complete with two shades of pink pancakes, eggs, and we even had chocolate cheesecake for desert! sure makes for a yummy day dear next big vacation i know we just got back from the caribbean two weeks ago.. but we have now started to save for you? where are we going to go we are not sure... but italy you are looking pretty good right now! dear espresso machine i am so glad we got you up and running at home. we have been making lattes like crazy this week! dear friends have a great weekend!


sending you some love


happy valentines day! i hope that single, or not, that you have a beautiful day filled with love. this is a unique holiday and though we know we *love* people everyday, why not share it with a friend or family member! it can be an amazing day.

how i am celebrating valentines day:
i send the little girls some vintage minnie mouse valentines filled with dove chocolates and gave my family members sweethearts, because they are so sweet! chad and i started the day with a valentine day themed breakfast, red plates, straws, and hearts. we just spent the morning remembering how blessed we are! instead of going to dinner tonight we are going to wait for the weekend so it isn't as busy and are going to be celebrating with coffee (are you guys surprised ;) )

 i somehow ended up doing a little valentine day decor, and i am surprised because i didn't think i had any time.i made a heart banner out of construction paper and threaded it with some ribbon. transformed our chalkboard to a valentine day theme. and stocked up on heart shaped treats. goes to show that a little decor goes a long way, can be cost effective, and makes for a more festive holiday! 

with that i hope that you celebrate a friend some chocolate. treat yourself to some flowers. enjoy this day and remember that you are lovely! love yourself and love others.

psalm 63:3 "because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you"

little moments of being a nanny


i love being a nanny. it is the greatest job out there. you get to take care of cute little kids that basically become yours with the amount of time that you spend with them, and still get your nights and weekends free! best of both worlds people. as i have been with my current nanny family for a while now, there has been some employment changes and i am going to have to look for a new job. 

it is just tough. i love the girls i nanny for. they are such a big part of my life. when you are a nanny the kids kinda become the center for your world. and i cannot tell you how many times chad has to listen to stories about the little ones i nanny. or my sisters.. or those times when i am out and about in public and think of all of these cute little stories that happened during the day and tell random people "oh my nanny kids...." 

i love my job. i love being a nanny. you get paid to do crafts, go to the zoo, seek out museums, and you naturally have someone to spilt a cookie with (there are very few times when the little ones don't want cookies!) you become a teacher, a leader, a lover, in a whole new way.
and now i understand (half way) why mothers love being mothers. 
working with children is so rewarding and i am so blessed to call it my full time job. 

but please be saying some prayers for me as i am in transition of looking for a new job. it is going to be difficult finding a new family that i feel so connected with and will be even harder to leave my current family. thanks!

bundled in for the weekend



1// laughing (moments with sisters are the best) 2// my awesome gloves ;) 3// more smiling 4// laurel 5// my beautiful sister 6// cupcakes from sweets 7// my favorite combination cappuccino and cup cake 8// laurel & cupcake

well, here are a few snapshots of my very very random weekend. first off, how is it that the weekend is over? 
and how is it that i still feel like i need like 4 more days to this weekend?!
this weekend was a good one. a simple, relaxing, mostly staying in weekend, but it was exactly what i needed.

i wanted to be really creative this year and make all of my friends handmade valentine day cards.... but that just seemed to slip away from me and here i am with no valentine day cards made. i also failed to get my valentine day decor out. i am blaming the honeymoon, it screwed all my days up! i suppose next year  chad and i will really have to get our valentine decor and diy making up to par!

but i did do something that was as little more valentine-ish. i made red velvet cookies. they turned out so great. and i feel happy looking at them because they look like cupid himself made them ;) 

and because i didn't have enough sweets in my life, laurel and i headed down to st paul for coffee and cupcakes. the best combination if you ask me (but that is just my sweet tooth talking)

the rest of the weekend flew by, as i cleaned up the house, re-figured out fiances and did taxes. we wrote thank you cards, drank espresso from our new espresso machine, and went to church. this weekend may seem a little trivial , a little uneventful but i still enjoyed it. i think it all about finding joy in all circumstances! and this weekend really allowed me  to regain control of my life, figure everything out,  as  we know it has been beyond crazy the last two months. 

but hope everyone had a great weekend! did you do anything fun?

linking up with sami for the weekend gossip.

fitday sunday


so i kinda stopped doing the weekly fit reports. i don't know if people really enjoyed those or not, so i kinda stopped doing them. but as i was sitting here doing some reading and catching up on life i decided i wanted to do one, just to kinda get things together, and maybe get someone else excited about their fit report from the week.

so! this week was the first week back at the gym. and it was awesome. you know some weeks you have those days at the gym where you don't really feel like you even did anything. but this week was so great. i must have really been excited to get back because i just loved it. i didn't go very often, but each time i went i left feeling so so good. 

tuesday: 3 mile run
thursday: 3 mile run, 30 minute stair stepper, strength training
saturday: zumba class w/ rosie, 10 minute stair stepper

luckily i have started to shed some of those pounds i gained from the cruise ;) (the cruise had awesome food and unlimited deserts... you all know thats was my weakness!)

my second little fit report was a fit read, french women don't get fat. this is one of my favorite books and truly shaped the way i look at food.
the book basically talks about eating slowly, enjoying your food, and eating non-processed foods. i highly recommend this book if you don't have your own "food philosophy". it really guided me in why i eat the way i do, and the method i go about doing it. 

another little fit report i have is i am about to register for my marathon. i just can't get enough power to actually submit it. i don't know why, but i am just all nervous about it and i cannot get the will power to say YES i am going to do this for sure. the website is currently up in my browser. and i am just looking at it.  but i will get there, maybe in a day or two ;). 

and the final fit report of the week. i am back at making home made yogurt! my favorite, yay!

so tell me, what do we think about these fit reports, do we make a come back? 
and how did you stay fit this week?

my tan is starting to fade


so when writing this post the only thing that came to my mind for a title was that corny saying "tan lines fades but the memories last forever" ha! but here i am, my tan is fading but i have these awesome memories, so i am going to just go with it. corny sayings inspire everyone from time to time. once again-i cannot get over how awesome honeymoons are. the ability to completely escape from the internet, to be alone with your one and only is an amazing thing.

but the only problem with honeymoons is that you have to come home, and then you have to come home with being absent from the country for ten days and have to catch up on life. and man is that catch up hard! this week has been a whirl wind of papers, presentations, cleaning, organizing, and working. it hasn't been an easy one. i look over at my to do list and cringe. i hate it being that long. but then i remember i just had the best week and a half with my husband and i smile. and then i look these photos again, and i really smile. 

with that, happy thoughts! these are some more photos of some of the fun things we did on our little trip. because the trip was so long and i am not sure if everyone wants to hear in-depth explanations of each island, i am going to write a few posts about the trip and give a small explaination on a few of my favorite photos of the post. this post has three. 

my first favorite photo from this collection would be with the parrot. we met a little friend named sweet pea on the island antigua after we went kayaking in the ocean (i know it is kinda like a dream). she was so sweet, singing and talking away! she got a little too interested in chad and decided to start nibbling at his ear ;)

 second favorite photo, chads snorkeling face. too hilarious. chad toke one of me but some how i look even more dorkier then him so i decided i'd keep that one to my self;) we got to go snorkeling twice on the trip, on antigua and barbados. it was pretty awesome. we love getting into nature, seeing all of god's creation in its natural state. 

 and my final favorite picture on this post is the last one, which is a view of old san juan. san juan is an amazing town, and is filled with delicious food! they are really big on plantations so one night for dinner i had mashed plantations with garlic butter and shrimp. did not know what to expect but it was excellent. highly recommend checking out puerto rican food if you are going to the island, it was amazingly different and i loved it. i also loved this cute coffee shop we found in san juan (you better believe it we found espresso in the caribbean) called cuatro sombras. it was a really neat place that used all local and fresh ingredients including the espresso! it is grown in puerto rico by a farmer and then is roasted at the coffee shop. 

so thats the wrap up today. i am slowly returning back to normal functionality and am really going to utilize this weekend to catch up on reading blogs, baking, and homework, can't all be fun and games ;) 
and i am propose a toast (am i allowed to do such things by myself, drinking bubbly water? i am not sure but i am) to a great week and normal blogging week of reading and writing. happy friday!
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