Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Let's Talk About Food

Last night, I had the absolute privilege of getting a sneak peek at the new Sprout's Farmers Market that opens today in Overland Park right at 95th and Nall.

I must preface this with I LOVE GROCERY SHOPPING. Literally the best part about turning 16 meant that I could do all the grocery shopping for my mom. It's intimidating when your mom puts something on the list and you accidentally get the wrong thing and she gets mad... but hey. I learned.

Maggie Keel at Sprouts

So there are a couple Sprouts already in the KC metro but I had yet to venture to one, mainly because I wanted to go on a Wednesday and Wednesdays have been a little busy lately. I wanted to go on a Wednesday because.... DOUBLE THE DEALS. Sprouts weekly ads actually last EIGHT days, meaning that every Wednesday, the sales from last week as well as this week are in effect. Rumor has it that it's pretty busy on Wednesdays, but worth it if you're trying to shop the deals.

Sprouts, Fresh Veggies KC

Something that I had heard about Sprouts is that they are known for their produce. HOLY COW THE PRODUCE. So fresh and so beautiful and an INCREDIBLE selection of organic stuff.

That was one thing that we found out when we got there, is that Sprouts is also known for having a pretty good selection of those niche dietary things like organic or GMO free or gluten free or dairy free and others. They've got it. TK and I have been talking about switching over to organic a little more than our barely organic lifestyle and while I'm a little nervous about what it will do to my grocery bill, I feel like Sprouts will help in that department when it comes to their prices on certain things.

Sprouts Gummi Bears, 20 something blogger

Last but not least. Let me tell you about the gummi bears. I think this was the most life-changing bit of my whole evening. You see, Sprout's has TWELVE FLAVORS of gummi bears and they are incredible. They sell them in pre-packaged little containers, but it's definitely more fun to scoop out a bag (or in my case, a mason jar). Beyond the bulk gummi bears, Sprouts has ALL kinds of bulk things from sweets to grains to trail mix and more! I'll definitely be back to scope out these options.

I'm so excited to have a Sprouts close to our house. I've definitely grown to love bopping around to get everything I need for the week at various grocery stores and Sprouts is going to be a great addition to my routine!

Thank you to The Blog Guild and Sprouts for hosting such a fun event. I don't know who was more excited for the goodie bag, me or my husband! We'll definitely be back soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

There Are Times in Life

You know that Lonestar song, Mountains... There are times in life when you've gotta crawl, lose your grip, trip and fall, when you can't lean on no one else, that's when you find yourself. ...... God gave us mountains so we can learn how to climb.

Well here I am, one year after being laid off from my favorite job I've ever had (except for when I decided to start The Remy Room) and I'm here to say that that song has an entirely new meaning to me now that I've supposedly made it to the other side of the mountain.

A couple weeks ago, I ran in to an old colleague and she was happy to hear that I'd "made it out the other side." At that point, I had just had a very stressful day and I was feeling exhausted both personally and professionally. But sure, I have made it out the other side. Whatever that means.

But after 97 days of being unemployed, I came out the other side and started at a new job. In the last year, I've applied to so many jobs and talked to so many people about what could happen next and I can honestly say that I still feel like I'm climbing a mountain. That I'm not quite to that other side. That I still have bad days and that I'm still facing somewhat of a professional roadblock in the sense that I don't feel like I'm making what I should be, I'm not advancing like I should be and I don't necessarily know how to fix it.

So many people that I have talked to over the last year have expressed all sorts of hope and wisdom to help me get what I have determined as one of the darkest times of my short life. Which is fascinating on a whole other level because that was the beginning of this beautiful blog and I shared so much joy and love in this sweet little space. Anyway, wisdom and hope. I have also encountered lots of people, especially in the last 6 months (or everything post-unemployment), that have shared so many stories that we can find common ground and general dissatisfaction of where we are in our lives.

So is this a Maggie got laid off and now she's playing catch up after 97 days of trials and tribulations or is this a 20-something problem that we're always seeking to be satisfied more than what we're currently experiencing?

I'm beginning to think that those complaints of "I'm not making enough, I'm not advancing enough, etc." are just a bunch of hills that we have to overcome, that it's a 20-something problem, and that it's not a bad thing.

The pursuit of something more keeps us alive in a way that keeps us always seeking and always growing.

I read an AWESOME article about stay-at-home moms and what they do and what it looks like to be a SAHM in 2016. It's a good read, I promise. Especially for all my #GIRLBOSS friends out there. One thing that really resonated with me (among other things) is when they were talking about moms who work at home and the woman doing the research said, "I think it raises fascinating questions about how people choose to define themselves."


Choosing how we define ourselves is the game changer. In those dark days of unemployment and even now, I feel defined by my job.

As a young 20-something, when meeting someone new, so often my first question (if I know you didn't grow up in St. Louis) is that I ask you what you do for a living. Just like the "where'd you go to high school?" question, in an instant, I am defining you by what you do for a living. Which is SO INTERESTING because when I answer that question, I'm extremely proud to say that I work in communications for a national nonprofit. And every syllable after that is me downplaying the job that I'm actually proud of. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm willing to bet that I'm trying to convey that I am more than my job and you should get to know me because I am more than my 9-5.

I was always more than being unemployed even though I had days when I could hardly get out of bed, let alone accomplish anything.

One year later, I'm coming out the other side, you were right, K. But the other side isn't always greener and it can be pretty hilly sometimes. We're going to have those days or hopefully just moments of doubt, but as long as we keep pursuing MORE (whatever that more may be) and life-satisfaction (not just job-satisfaction) I think those hills won't appear so hilly.

Just like when I was unemployed, today, one year later, I'm still learning that I'm NOT defined by my job. Hopefully someday soon, I'll also learn to stop defining other people by their jobs. I know that I don't want people to think that's all I do. Shoot. I'm a wife. I'm a dog-mom. I'm a daughter, sister and a friend. I'm a communications gal and embroidery business owner. I'm a passionate volunteer. I'm a wine-drinking, good-time seeking young woman who is learning to take her hills and mountains in stride.

Thanks for hanging on this long, friend. That means a lot to me. Thanks even more to everyone who has put up with me over the last year while I climbed this mountain.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Life Lately

Summer time and this week has been crazy.

I just wanted to pop in and say HAAAYYYY!!!!

How are you? Are you soakin' up some sunshine these days? I've had a jam-packed week but was lucky to spend a little time outside earlier in the week.

Tuesday night after the guys played softball, we headed to Long Bell Pizza Co. for a couple celebratory drinks. Not only did they have a great drink special, but I nibbled on some pizza that some friends ordered and it was SO GOOD. Then another friend proclaimed that his Ruben sandwich was the best he'd ever had. He told the owner who told him to get pulled pork next time because that's supposedly awesome too. SOOO we're going back next Tuesday.

Saturday morning, we're headed to The Berry Patch out in Cleveland, MO... home to SO MANY BLUEBERRIES. Fun fact, I've been twice before. The first time, I probably picked 15 blueberries. There were hardly any left! The second time we went there were NO blueberries... so they were closed. They just opened for the season on Tuesday, so I'm hoping we have some success first thing in the morning. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 90s so hopefully is scares the crowd away.

Speaking of boy-oh-boy. I made TWO gifts for baby boys this week and I'm SO EXCITED to share them on The Remy Room blog (and start selling them!)... but I'm waiting for one more momma-to-be to open her gift!

I know it's only June... but I'm already talking CHRISTMAS and HALLOWEEN. Christmas Jammies... anyone want some? I'm pre-ordering next week and then embroidering them for you! And Halloween costumes... we're headed to a fun Gatsby Gala around Halloween and I've gotta find the perfect dress! I've started a Pinterest board so you can follow along with my ideas!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

One Year Blogging!

One year ago yesterday, I started this little blog. And one year ago today, I purchased my domain name.

My how time flies!

tulips, seattle
{Just some pretty flowers}

I remember how I was feeling totally overwhelmed by work that I literally felt that I didn't have anything that I was doing JUST FOR ME.

Last night at a Blog Guild event, I was talking to a new blogger and I asked her why she started blogging. Her answer was that she was looking for a creative outlet. That is exactly how I describe my blog and the things that I have filled it with over the last year. It's the ultimate place for me to continue to grow and escape. It's a diary where I've shared my highs and my lows. It's my perfect little piece of the internet.

I think so often in my professional life, I sell myself short. I perhaps didn't apply for that job that I felt like was too out of my reach, I didn't admit that I knew the correct answer when I did, I didn't step outside of my comfort zone to do something new and risky.

But this little blog? It's that job that I didn't think I was qualified for. It's that place where I tell you all of my favorites and must-haves... some might call them my correct answers. :) I have stepped out of my comfort zone so many times with this blog and the opportunities it has allowed me!

I love this little piece of the internet and I'm so happy you have followed along!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekend Recap

Last week I announced that I was starting an embroidery business. Yesterday I picked up the embroidery machine and I've been knee deep in embroidery-land ever since. Ok, not really. I have my day job. But still. EVERY free moment: embroidery. And I'm in love.

Mudpie, Treat yo self,, wine glass

This weekend was such a whirlwind and I have to just gush for a moment.

Saturday we celebrated a two birthday girls at Cedar Lake Cellars in Wright City, MO and I was SO HAPPY that I was able to be in town for it. I am the luckiest girl in the whole wide world that I have girlfriends as wonderful as these girls. They've seen me at my best and helped me make it through my worst and everything in between. We don't see each other nearly enough (which is mostly my fault for not living in STL) but we can pick up right where we left off every single time. Saturday was absolutely perfect for drinking wine in the sunshine at picnic tables near a little lake. We were so lucky that our visit totally missed the storms that took over the metro area.

Sunday I woke up bright and early and loaded up our car with the embroidery machine and all of the supplies and blanks that my grandmother had collected over the years. It was definitely an emotional experience. So much joy for all of the exciting things coming my way as I start this business, but also a little bit of sadness that Granny doesn't utilize her embroidery things like she used to. This week is all about making The Remy Room a functioning sewing room so that when my family visits in a few weeks that Granny will be proud of the new space and hopefully it will be a complete rebirth for the machine which hasn't gotten too much action lately.

One of my favorite things about every time we visit STL, is when Remy gets to play with his uncle/cousin Snoopy. Both dogs are actually a little crazy so it's fun that they get each other. Every girl needs a best friend, and so do dogs.

This week is all about staying on top of the to do list, attempting to become a morning person for the millionth time and making the most of all of the sunny days that we're hopefully going to have this week!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Five

What a week! Announcing The Remy Room, beautiful weather, busy work week, spring is definitely here!

Today I'm throwin' out five of my favorite things right now. 

1. Rodan + Fields Lip Balm. YOU GUYS. This stuff is so great. My bestie E convinced me I needed it in my life and she was right. It smells (and tastes) perfectly citrus-y and totally helps protect your lips with the added SPF. Let E help you fix your skin problems, seriously, I'm already seeing lots of improvements in my skin!

2.  This top. I snagged this lovely at Old Navy this week just in time to wear to the winery with friends!

3. My ReFresh Weekly Planner. While I have been gearing up for all of this embroidered craziness, my planner has kept me organized including my grocery list and my blog schedule. While the weekly planner has been sold out for forever, you can still get the Revive blog planner over here! It's simple and perfect.

4. Any Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fans out there? I finally got the chance to read the April Vanity Fair and they did an interview with Tituss Burgess. After I read it online the online version to copy/paste the link in to this blog post, I found myself reading all of the "related articles" ...if you love Kimmy as much as me, you should probably do the same. I'm just saying.

5. This recipe. I think I'm going to make these delicious cocktails for a happy hour I'm hosting on Tuesday. Crossing my fingers that the weather is nice so we can enjoy our patio!

THIS IS A HUGE WEEKEND! On Sunday, I'm becoming the proud mother of an embroidery machine. I'm in full on nesting mode in The Remy Room. No joke. Things could get crazy here so you should probably follow me on Instagram so you can keep up with said crazy. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Re-Ignite the Creativity!

So I have about a million (no joke) drafts of a blog post telling you about how I'm mastering a new morning routine which includes an awesome before bed routine. It's not going well to say the least. Which is why I can't quite yet tell you how to make the most of your morning. But let me tell you why I have not yet figured out my morning routine. I'M FIRED UP! I can hardly sleep (thus making mornings rough) because when I get home from work, I get to sit down and work on my projects and then I attempt to stop at 9:50pm when my "time to prepare for bed" alarm goes off. It's hard. But hey, baby steps!

This week I announced that I'm going on an adventure and I'm opening up shop as owner and master embroiderer of The Remy Room. Have you checked it out yet? Launching myself as your go-to girl for embroidered things is exciting... and it is not happening over night.

I've been working on my business plan for months and this lengthy document has put me through some serious brain-blocks where I just don't think I can create any more! So today I'm sharing 5 ways to spark creativity!

1. Scroll through Pinterest. Sometimes to find an answer, sometimes just to scroll through your home feed. I always find something I need in my life, where it's a new outfit combo or a new recipe, or some ideas for blog posts!

2. Belong and participate in a couple creative-focused Facebook groups. I'll be honest, I'm still a member of The Cooler Connection and when I'm feeling really blah, a quick scroll through some of the latest coolers totally inspires me to feed that creative part of my brain. Some of my other favorites include The Rising Tide Society and Think Creative Collective no matter the group, find a creative tribe that will continue to inspire you.

3. Catch up on blogs that I don't read religiously. I follow lots of bloggers of all sorts and sometimes it's hard to keep up. I love Bloglovin but sometimes I skip over some of my regulars. Catching up on what they've been up to always seems to get me excited about the own things I'm working on.

4. Dedicate a little time to your creative space. Re-organize your desk, light a candle, dust, rearrange things, something to freshen up your space. This particular one has been SO important to me as I have developed my business, because I'm also creating a little home for the embroidery machine and all of the things that come with it and let's be honest, the room is already a multi-purpose room.

5. Walk away. Sometimes getting some fresh air and walking away from a project can be the best thing for you.

What do you do when you're in a creative rut?