February 27th

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

You know when you spend time with people who lift you up, who give you a sense of belonging, how you just continue to radiate joy even after the time spent is done?

That’s me today.

After unpacking my bag this morning (I actually was able to do a checked bag!), I was taking time to page through the gifts Emily and Theresa sent me home with. Emily sent me home with the book American Cozy: Hygge-Inspired Ways to Create Comfort and Happiness. Theresa, on the other hand, brought the second book here to my attention while shopping on Monday. She walked it over to me and said “This book seems to emulate perfectly how you live your life.”

Curiosity obviously overtook me, and after reading the title, emotion filled my throat: Today, Tomorrow, & Everyday: Thoughts on Living A Brave and Real and Gorgeous Life.

As I paged through the book, phrases and statements like “She made room in every day for delight,” and “I saw myself like a stranger on the street. I saw what others loved in me – the substance and the spark that are mine alone. And I realized I owed it to myself to see these things often. So now I do.”

But my favorite was this line: “‘I see,’ she said, ‘that my life is a story of joy.'”

Theresa had given me the most heartfelt and touching compliment anyone ever could. The idea that these thoughts made someone think of me was truly amazing.

Emily’s gift was so similar to that – one aimed at cultivating comfort and happiness in my home. “It’s perfect for you, you’ll enjoy this,” she said to me.

I’m feeling incredibly loved and understood this morning, and that is such a treasure. I came home with so much more than with what I left.

February 7th

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

It’s snowy in my little part of the world today. A few inches of snow have already fallen, and a few more are expected.

Because I’m Minnesotan, we automatically default to talking about the weather – so, on Facebook and Instagram today I posed the question – what’s the weather like in your part of the world? Or if you yourself are Minnesotan, how do you feel about the snow?

This post was probably one of my favorites I’ve ever posted – and it was a picture of myself (go figure that would be the way it worked out, ha).

I thought most of my followers were fellow Minnesotans, but I was thrilled when people from around the country started chiming in:

“Snow/ice here in central Iowa!”

“Well it was nearly 80° here in Texas yesterday. Then this morning it was thunderstorms and now it’s 45° and dropping.”

It’s like yours, just a little farther south. I think we’re at 5 with a high of 11 and blustery winds blowing out of, well, Minnesota.” (From Omaha)

“-15 this morning dropping off my son at school poor kiddos haven’t been outside to play in over a week but here in good ole Dickinson we don’t miss school for anything!”

“Super WINDY in New Mexico today! But the sun is shining and it isn’t freezing, so I’m happy with that.”

“High of 59 here in Burbank, CA today. Rain finally stopped! Not missing MN weather!”

“It’s 75 here…” (Houston, TX)

If you took time to chime in, thank you! I had SO MUCH fun with this! Social Media isn’t my favorite thing (I’d be fine if it all went away), but in today’s instance, it brought friends a little bit closer together, and made the world feel just a little smaller. 🙂

January 23rd

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

It was date night in the Weinreis house!

Paul just got home this afternoon from a trip and heads out again tomorrow, so I thought it would be fun for us to squeeze in a date night at home.

It’s always fun when we do; we dress up, light the candles, and it’s inevitable that we end up dancing in the kitchen. It’s fun to put in that extra effort every once in a while without having to go out and spend money to do it.

Quite honestly with Paul’s schedule we have to take that time when we can get it, which makes it that much more spontaneous and fun.

December 26th

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

There’s been a large box under the tree with my name on it since before Thanksgiving.

I’ve known what it is, and the suspense has been building (and killing me) for the last month.

In fact, I’ve been holding off on making Christmas Cookies because I knew this wonderful gadget would make it that much more fun. So when I finally opened it yesterday morning, I knew I’d have a special date with it at home today.

It is big, shiny, powerful, and beautiful.

Ladies and gentlemen: A KitchenAid Stand Mixer. After taking a picture of myself in the pretty shiny mixing bowl, I made a small batch of chocolate chip cookies this evening, and they were perfect.

We can also purchase additional attachments like a corer/peeler/slicer, which we may look into because of the amount of apples we froze from our neighbor’s trees this fall.

This pretty thing may have become my new best friend.

December 12th

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Selfies aren’t normally my thing.

Actually, I should be a little more specific. Selfies aren’t normally my thing *UNLESS* there is either an animal involved or Paul is in the picture with me.

Tonight was a little different though.

I’ve felt like this fall has been crazy busy, which is good because my business was booming, so busy is a great thing, but it left my personal life a little on the wayside. I had to say no to a lot of things I would’ve loved to say yes to; which is life and sometimes there are those waves.

However over the last week I’ve been able to connect and catch up with so many good people and I feel so recharged.

I was over at Shelley’s this afternoon helping her with some shipping, and she surprised me with this beautiful cowl that had me smiling all afternoon.

So here’s your smiley, cowl-wearing, straight hair sporting, CRW today. Hey!

November 22nd

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you were all able to enjoy your day surrounded by those you love!

For the first time since Paul was hired at SkyWest, he had today off, so we were both able to celebrate with both of our families. This morning, we went to visit Paul’s parents, Jan and Janis, and his sister and our brother-in-law, Abbey and Mike. Mike and Abbey bought their first home this summer, and wanted a few images of the two of them in front of their house for Christmas Cards, so we did a mini shoot today.

We also were able to utilize the wifi and remote shooting function on my camera, and take some images of all six of us together!


November 17th

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

”Hey you come on in!”

That little sign and the cowhide rug were the stars of the show with the kiddos today. Trying to give my booth a living room feel worked with them!

But what a day! So many familiar faces stopped by to say hi, and so many products found new homes. It was nonstop people and sales until lunchtime, and then a steady stream all the way until 4 – you all blew me away with your excitement!

The cherry on top? I made it home tonight to more sales through my website.

Such a fun day. Thank you to those of you who stopped by with a hug and a smile – I love all of you!

November 6th

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

It’s Election Day, and that means tomorrow there will be no more attack ads.

I say that playfully, but I do mean it.

I’m not big into politics, but I do believe in making informed choices and fulfilling your right to elect government officials that represent your beliefs. So if you voted today (or early, like Paul and me), way to go! I salute you.

Now to wait for the results.

November 4th

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

I’ve found the black background spot in my house.

It’s excellent; the best part is, it’s a super easy space to work in and around. Large and open.

Anyway, that’s not why you clicked on this post. I’m sure you clicked on this post to learn about next year’s calendar themes.

So, without further ado:

Oahu 2019
Fall Year Round 2019

Last year, I stuck with broad themes: Travel and Wildlife. I also had a Floral one, but only carried a limited supply. My Travel and Wildlife calendars both followed the seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter), which I liked, but this year I wanted to offer calendars that gave you a vacation from the real world and whatever season we may be in (I’m looking at you, winter).

So, option number 1: Take a year-long vacation to Oahu. Hike to waterfalls, sit on the beach, view the sea turtles. Take in the moody North Shore vibes, or head down to Waikiki and soak in that sunshine. If you’re a Hawaii dreamer, each page states where the image was taken, so save it away with that vacation savings fund and visit there one day!

Option number two: Live in the vibrancy of fall for not just one month, but revel in it all year long. This is the ultimate calendar for all of my fellow fall lovers out there! I’m pretty darn excited about both calendars, but I’m especially proud of this one.

I did have some great feedback from last year’s calendars, so I took those to heart moving forward this year. The monthly layout is more clear; the grid pattern is still clean, but provides more structure for those who were frustrated with that last year. The second big change is that there are holidays listed this year! I don’t know that I need to elaborate further on that. The third is that both the previous month and future month is located on the current month’s page. A great tool for reference.

So much fun stuff happening at ABL right now! Calendars, throw pillows, coffee mugs, I’m working out a coaster idea…I feel on fire!

Calendars will go live on my website soon (still working out some website kinks), but I also will be at two shows this month, perfect if you want to do some shopping in person. The first is Saturday, November 17th from 9am-4pm at the St. Michael Albertville High School for the STMA Women of Today Fall Show. I’m in spot N5 which is the fifth one in from the main door (I scored a great spot this year!). The second is the follow Saturday, the 25th from 1pm-5pm at a friend’s home in Buffalo (see event on Facebook for address and complete information). A fierce friend and Boss Babe herself is opening her home for a fall vendor’s fair for Small Business Saturday (all vendors are local ladies!), and she’s got some really fun things planned (door prizes, ultimate goody bag, etc.). I’m looking forward to the fellowship, and holiday cheer.

Let’s do this! xoxo

October 14th

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Despite the snow, I’m smiling today.

The gloomy skies brought out my anxiety and depression battle last week. But I’m choosing to smile.

Challenging life decisions seem to constantly hover. But I’m choosing to smile.

Relational tensions stifle feelings of safety and peace. But I’m choosing to smile.

Pumpkins are flying out of the field into joyful homes ready to celebrate the season, so I’m wanting to smile.

Kitty snuggles during the football game make me feel like there’s no place I need to be other than here. So I can’t help but smile.

Worship at church today brought tears to my eyes. So I am smiling; I am thankful.

Cory Asbury speaks to my heart in his song Reckless Love:

There’s no shadow You won’t light up,
Mountain You won’t climb up, coming after me.

There’s no wall You won’t kick down,
Lie You won’t tear down, coming after me.

There’s no shadow You won’t light up,
Mountain You won’t climb up, coming after me.

There’s no wall You won’t kick down,
Lie You won’t tear down, coming after me.

September 29th

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

It’s here! Today’s the day!

Some of you may not believe this, but my camera never came out of my bag today. My phone came out for a few quick snaps this morning, but then was packed away for the rest of the day. I was present with my best gal all day, and it was wonderful.

I kind of wish we would’ve taken another selfie once my makeup was done (they did such an awesome job!), but this will have to suffice. 😉

Can we all take a moment to admire how drop-dead phenomenal my girl is?! Not only appearance-wise, but from this inside as a lovely human as well. I mentioned in my Matron of Honor speech this evening that I don’t have enough good things to say about both Kya and Tim. They are amazing people, inside and out, who deserve each other full-heartedly. While maybe a bit stubborn and a wee bit competitive (I say that with love, haha!), my Kya has a heart of gold. She embraces everyone she meets, and like I said to the makeup artist when she asked if I had met the other girls in the bridal party before –  when you know Kya, you know and love every one of her friends even before you meet them. If you’re friends with Kya, you’re bound to be friends with all of her friends; she’s just that kind of person.

I’ve always joked that there are two things Kya has always had more of than me: Fashion sense and confidence. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I said I wanted to quit my job and pursue my own dreams and ambitions. Actually, let me rephrase, when I stood at the edge of my cliff, wondering if I should jump, she came up behind me and pushed me. That first summer, she took one of her summer weekends to help me run my booth at an art fair Paul couldn’t be at. She knew very little logistically about my art, but she actively pursued customers with me, charming them into opening their wallets. She shares every single post I put out there on my business Facebook page, she buys my art for Christmas gifts for family, and validates my dreams every chance she gets.

She is the friend I strive to be both for her and for others.

As I’m thinking about it, let’s even back up 12 years. She was the first person I shared my feelings for Paul with. “I think I really like this guy, but so do a couple of my other friends. And they’ve openly talked about it – I can’t just sneak in there and say ‘Me too!’. I don’t want to make waves, I’ll just stay quiet.” She thought that was preposterous, and told me that “if you like him, who cares what other people think? If it’s meant to be, everyone else can -and will- get over it. Don’t compromise your happiness for a sense of comfort.”

I listened to her, and I can honestly say it was the most influential advice I’ve ever received in my life. Kya, I may or may not owe my incredibly beautiful, joy-filled marriage to you. Thank you, friend.

Kya, I love you. Paul and I absolutely thrilled to do this day with you and Tim, and we can’t wait to continue to live each new day, new experience, with you both. We treasure you. Cheers to YOU, Mr. & Mrs. Wilson!