Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Book Themed Baby Shower

I shared with you all that I'm going to become an Aunt next month and I am so incredibly excited!

The second we got the news, my little sister, mom and myself started our Pinterest shower boards. I think in general we all had a similar idea of the kind of shower we wanted to throw for my oldest sister and her little lady.

We came together and decided on a book themed baby shower, and it was so much fun to plan.

We purchased the invites from Etsy and just sent the information to fill in the invitation and we were sent a copy that we could print out ourselves along with a card stating to bring a book with a note instead of a card.

In lieu of cards, we asked that people brings books and sign them or add a little note to the baby. We had roughly 20 guests and only one duplicate book!  Some people just signed their names, a few added notes, the ones I enjoyed the most were books signed from little cousins.

I simply uploaded the invitation and card to FedEx, picked my card stock and they printed and cut everything down to size for me.

Along with the invitations we also purchased a matching banner that we hung with twine over the food table.

Decorations were kept simple with the addition of another banner that was hung in the family room with new outfits mixed with old clothes that my grandmother wore when she was a baby.

My mom kept our books from childhood so we had small stacks of books wrapped in twine that were set on coffee tables as well.

When the guests walked in we had a non alcoholic punch available along with wine, prosecco, orange juice and cranberry juice.

I mentioned this was a book themed party, and this is really where it all ties in, all of our food was inspired by children's books.
Cheese plate - The Stinky Cheese Man
Vegetable cups - Peter Rabbit

Fruit skewers - The Very Hungry Caterpillar
For the main meal we served:
Deviled eggs - Humpty Dumpty
Chicken salad sandwiches - Chicken Little
Spinach salad - Popeye
Broccoli & ham and salmon & capers quiche - Green Eggs and Ham
Cheesy hashbrown potatoes - The Potato People

And for dessert:
Madeline's - Madeline
Chocolate cake - Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake

When it was time to open gifts we played a game that kept everyone involved. This usually seems to be the time during showers where people lose focus, especially if you don't have your own kids, so we played Bingo (print out from etsy)!

Everyone received a card and marked off gifts as they were opened. There was a wide selection of cards, I don't believe any two people had the same one. It really kept everyone engaged and interested in the gift opening.

We also played the 'Don't Say Baby' game during the shower.

When it was time for people to leave, they were given book worms to take home with them! 

The shower went off without a hitch. It was fun to be on the other end of attending a shower by being the host.. Hopefully I'll be able to do more of this as the years go by.

A book themed shower is such a fun idea that you could do for any gender baby shower and use your favorite books to come up with the menu and drinks!

 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg

Monday, April 4, 2016

Bowling, Baby Shower & Bike Rides

This weekend was jam packed with fun activities. It started with a little bowling on Thursday night.

 I was doing so well the first game and unfortunately lost by one pin. The second game was a total flop for me. I feel like I usually represent a bit better in my bowling game.

A lot of you don't know this, but next month I'm officially becoming Auntie Ali! This weekend my mom, little sister and I threw my older sister a book themed baby shower. Friday afternoon we spent decorating and prepping the food for the next day.

It was so much fun to be able to plan and throw a shower with and for family. I'll share what we did and what we served in a later post, but for now, here's a sneak peak.

When the baby shower wrapped up and the dishes were washed and packed, a few friends came over to watch some basketball and play a new-to-me card game called Utter Non-sense. It's similar to Cards Against Humanity except this game, the card is an accent and the person who's turn it is has to choose who did the best accent. I did not fare so well in this game, but I did win one round with my Mexican accent and this card.

Sunday was a gorgeous day so I mustered up the strength to join a friend on a bike ride adventure. My bike and I usually stick to the trails in Minneapolis but we finally made it on to some city streets. We biked from UpTown all the way to the Surly Brewery for a couple cold ones. I had not been to the new Surly location and it is very impressive. On the way back we stopped at Fulton since it was on the way. Round trip I believe was around 16 miles. Let me tell you, I was pooped after that, especially fighting the wind on the ride home!

Sunday also brought an exciting moment to my little Etsy shop - another purchase all the way from New England! Don't delay, get your shirts today!

 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

10 On Tuesday: 10 Facts About Ali

Today I'm bringing you 10 facts about me, the girl behind the blog.

That's me!
1. In my mid twenties I owned a motorcycle. It was a dark dark blue Kawasaki Vulcan. I hate motorcycles but I guess #FOMO got the best of me since all of my friends were Harley riders and I wanted to tag along on poker runs on the weekends. I never drove the thing, it was too big for me, I just rode on the back.

2. Writing is a sense of therapy for me, which is why I started this blog, but I also have journals from over the last 10 years. Something about putting pen to paper and handwriting the words you are feeling is such a release for me. It's fun to go back and read through some of them, also goes to show some things never change because a lot of the entries seem to be about boys.

3. My Freshman year of high school we moved to a suburb of Milwaukee and I was really struggling. I had to meet with my counselor once a week and work with him. We would go over different reading materials and I'd have to summarize what was read. Fast forward five years and I was going to a local community college where I was tested for dyslexia. Turns out that was my struggle all along. Too bad we didn't figure that out earlier in life.

4. I love to read and I believe that learning I was dyslexic turned me on to reading. Now that I knew what to do to be able to read and comprehend a sentence at a time, I took to reading and now I'm hooked.

5. I make an unconscious sound that my mom has been pointing out lately. I think I would describe it as a slight 'humph'/'clearing throat' sound. Neither sound attractive, so we'll file that one under a quirk, because that sounds much more attractive.

6. When I was 17 I was banned from the state of Iowa for 6 months but I didn't find out for almost a year. I was driving my sister back to school at Iowa State, she was napping, we were running a little late so I put the pedal to the Honda Civic station wagons metal and got us up to 120mph. Dumb, I know. I woke my sister up and told her I think we were going to get pulled over. She looked behind and didn't see anything, then the lights appeared. He 'claims' someone called me in. Anyway, we had recently moved back to Minnesota from Wisconsin where my latest records were and they sent the notice to our old address. When I went to update my license that's when I found out about my IA ban.

7. I have a tramp stamp. When I got my tattoo I didn't know what a tramp stamp was. I wanted to get a butterfly tattoo in memory of a friend that passed away in elementary school. They did a butterfly release at her funeral and I started noticing butterflies would always be around, sit on my shoulder floating in the pool, sit on the top of my magazine laying out in the yard, etc. I don't regret the tattoo, I just wish it didn't come with the name.

8. I have a strange amazing love for all things cheese. String cheese, cheesy potatoes, cheesy alfredo sauce, nacho cheese, cheesy crackers, cheese flavored chips, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, gouda, colby jack, havarti, cream cheese, grilled cheese, the list is honestly endless.

9. I also LOVE potatoes. Ask anyone in my family and they will not deny my potato love, or the fact that I make the best potatoes no matter what kind you are looking for. Scalloped, au gratin, baked, mashed, garlic mashed, garlic mashed with bacon, roasted, toasted, grilled, fries. Cheese and potatoes man, they are soo good.

10. When I'm cooking I always have music on and throw a little dance party with my, myself and I. It's one of my favorite parts of the day. I can belt out my favorite songs and dance around my little kitchen with no worry of anyone catching me, except possibly the guy in the building next to mine. Oddly, we both keep our blinds open the same amount so I can only see him from the waist down. I've debated writing my phone number on my window. Let's hope the dance party doesn't end when I move in to the Hen House in a couple months!

 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top 10 Fitness Sites

Hello! Hello!

Coming at you with another Tuesday Top 10 list. As I'm starting to get back in to my pre-vacation normalcy, I thought I'd share with you my Top 10 Favorite Fitness Sites.

1. Tone It Up -  If you're a female and you spend any time searching fitspo on Instagram or Pinterest, then you've most definitely come across Karena and Katrina. Not only do they have rockin bods, they have quick, to the point, sweaty workouts. I'm a member which came with a whole lot of added benefits like their nutrition plan, tons of workout plans and access to TIU communities for members only. They're also like the best girlfriends you've always wanted!

2. Kayla Itsines - BBG - Kayla is so motivating and encouraging with her posts and the results some people have are just insane! The first time I scrolled through BBG I wasn't too concerned. Her workouts consist of two circuits of four moves each. HA! I have never been in so much pain, but that means it's working, right?! Kayla often posts special free workouts on Facebook, otherwise you can purchase her program or her app so some serious ass whooping.

3. Emily Skye - Another Aussie with an incredible bod. Emily often posts circuit workouts on her Facebook page that target certain areas and really challenge you. Almost all of her workouts can be done outside of the gym which is great, especially when you're on the go or traveling.

4. He and She Eat Clean - I first started following He and She eat Clean about 3-4 years ago. I started with their at home workout plan and then I purchased the gym workout plan when I first joined a gym a couple years ago. It's very simple to follow and focuses a lot on strength. I was never very comfortable working out with weights and machines until I started with their gym program. They also have simple yet tasty recipes they share often.

5. Lauren Gleisberg  - I first came across Lauren's workouts on Instagram and I love how she focuses on a lot of weight training. She shares a lot of workouts on IG but she also has a website that is loaded with free workouts! Lauren also does challenges which I'm a fan of because I feel like they keep you engaged and interested and really helps to build a community.

6. Shape - I've always been a big fan of SHAPE Magazine because I feel like they focus on being healthy and strong, not just skinny. They also share a lot of 'women' issue stories that I usually find interesting and fun to read.

7. Self - Self is another magazine that I enjoy, but for different reasons. I feel like it's geared toward a younger audience, but they recently collaborated with the TIU girls for a fun New Years challenge and they often have challenges of their own going on throughout the year with different workout routines and recipes.

8. Jillian Michaels - We all know Jillian from The Biggest Loser, but I really got hooked on her about 7 years ago when I knew I needed to get back in shape. When I first started working out JM's DVD 30 Day Shred was the first thing I purchased. I remember my boyfriend {at the time} and I would shove our furniture to the side and do her DVD every night after work...then he would take me to DQ and let me order a blizzard AND cheesecurds, awe, how sweet. #sabotage

9. POPsugar - I was first introduced to POPsugar when they invited me to go to an event here in Minneapolis at our weekend Farmer's Market. It was centered around health and wellness with a short yoga workout, massages, healthy treats etc. Ever since I've been following them on social media and I love the workouts they offer.

10. Pinterest - I absolutely love Pinterest for fitness inspiration, especially when I'm in a slump and can't find a workout I want to do. There are so many resources out there and a wonderful place to save workouts you do enjoy doing. Unfortunately last year my whole fitness board got erased so I'm starting over.

I hope you find some of these sites helpful, motivating, butt kicking and as inspirational as I do!

Follow my fitness journey through my IG @alifit84

Linking up with Karli at Sept. Farm
 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg