Thursday, May 28, 2015


*FTC disclosure: I was provided one free storage item from Monkey Bar Garage Storage Systems from their local dealer, Garage Solutions Minneapolis in connection with this review. All opinions are my own. 

M and I live in a little one and a half story home in a suburb of Minneapolis. 
This means we have a proportionally little garage to complement our little house. 

SO, the garage had never been a huge priority of ours in terms of beautifying and organizing, until recently when it reached max-nasty and upon pulling the car in one night, M said to me, "ACK, I need to organize the garage. This is a mess."  

Picture the perfect timing then when I was contacted by Monkey Bars Garage Storage Systems about a product review for a storage solution for our garage. Yayyy! Above you can see our previous "storage solution" (a term I use loosely), which was haphazard nails rammed into a 2 x 4 leftover from the previous owners. 

{the other side of our garage, equally a disaster}

The other side at least had some shelving, but that was organized quite haphazardly as well.

I selected the large tool yard rack, and it arrived less than a week later. So on Monday of this past 3 day weekend I approached M about hanging it. We'd been pretty busy doing house stuff all weekend- organizing closets, tossing clothes, painting the kitchen and hanging shelves (stay tuned on this one!), and cleaning, so his initial response was something more than a groan and just shy of a full fledged grunt. I told him it'd be easy and we trudged out to the garage.

Upon opening the package I found the bar (le duh), some hanging accessories and 2 brackets. Instead of mounting it to the old 2 x 4, we pulled down the old board to keep a lower profile and so tools wouldn't bump the car as we drove in.

I skimmed over the instructions and relayed the info to M who replied, "wait, that's it? Ok..." (the lack of readily apparent difficulty was met with heavy skepticism by M, who by now knows with house projects, nothing is as easy as it looks).

But nope, it seriously was that easy. Each bracket got 2 screws with washer heads, and the bar itself slid through one hole and into the other and was secured by those little push-button locking devices.

It seriously took 10 minutes. We spent more time tinkering around with the multiple styles of hanging accessories to determine how best to hang all our tools, and we didn't even use every hanging bar. The accessory pieces just kind of "clip" on the bar and are held by a tiny lip that catches on the bottom or back end.

If anything, this bar is too nice for our garage. I told M we need to keep a running list of "fixtures and appurtenances" to take down or make sure to keep out of any future purchase agreement because they're coming with us.

Now all our tools have a nice little home.

This of course spurred M to say, "aw screw it, let's just clean up the rest of the garage right now."
So we grouped fishing, outdoorsy stuff, and yard stuff together and tossed a bunch of scrap wood.

We still need to borrow the neighbor's push broom to sweep it out, but now it's actually become a place I feel comfortable storing some "nice" "outdoorsy" things vs. a place where things that we don't care if they get filthy land. 

So THANK YOU Monkey Bars Storage Systems and Garage Solutions Minneapolis (LOCAL company, FTW!), for helping us organize and clean up our garage!

I'll definitely be keeping them in mind for when we have a bigger garage someday that I can fill with useful (and PRETTY) storage items (like these beautiful garage cabinets/work space area. Swoon.) Getting excited over garage organization.. does this mean I'm officially old?

M and I hung some pretty sweet shelves in our kitchen this weekend too, which has me itching to properly photograph and update the kitchen home tour post, so stay tuned for that!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


It's no secret around here that I've been trying to be a "healthier" lately. 
I put that in quotes because that phrase can mean different things to different people. BUT between my food philosophy and a new love begrudging appreciation for fitness (I will simply never be one of those people who loves to work out), I'm working on it. Sometimes you do things because you know you have to, and quite frankly, because your life depends on it. 

May is Women's Health Month, and it can't be stressed enough how important it is to be proactive about health in every aspect of your life. Devoting time to your diet, exercise, and overall preventative medicine is crucial in living your best life. 

Recently I found myself thinking about preventative medicine visits and trying to recall, "is it every two years for mammograms? At what age does that start? What about other stuff, didn't they just change some guidelines?" Honestly I felt a lot like I did about eating right: I would find myself getting terribly overwhelmed, not having something easy to understand in one location, and as a result, not doing anything about it. 

So, the timing was pretty perfect when Oscar Insurance inspired me to post this neat info graphic on my blog in honor of Women's Health Month. (If you all already knew this stuff, at least now I have a convenient spot to come back and reference it for myself!) 

Oscar has tools like their Doctor on Call service where you can call your doctor right through the app with any health questions you have without making an appointment. Or the personal health care timeline that list out your entire health history within the app. Their incentive program uses Misfit wearables where members can sync them to the app, set personal goals for steps and every time they hit those goals they earn back cash rewards up to $240 a year.

For an industry as a whole that tended to associate with an older generation and maybe wasn't as progressive, I'm so impressed with what insurance companies have been doing lately in terms of technology and health. From services like Doctor on Call to Virtuwell, fitbits, misfits, jawbones- we've created a level of accessibility to our health and our health stats that is really incredible when you actually think about it.

I'm not trying to sell you anything with this post (although if you did need Insurance and lived in NY, NJ or soon TX or CA, Oscar seems pretty cool)- but I figured if it even prompts one of you to schedule an exam or do something proactive for your health, it's worth it! You can find more information on Oscar's health insurance plans here.

Monday, May 18, 2015


{piece of art I painted on Thursday when I was feeling stabby after an awful commute home.. turns out rage makes me creative..} 
Hello hello. 
This weekend was the culmination of a shit ton of planning and hard work and I'm so thrilled with how everything came together. 
If you recall, I spent a day last month down at Coop's Event Barn whipping up a bunch of crafts to sell at Lo's Embryo Adoption Fundraiser

This past Saturday I rolled down to the farm early to help set up. I was floored when I walked into the granary to see our craft "store" set up and looking like a real, legitimate tiny little craft store. 

The barn was cleared and auction tables were going up, the guys were doing some last minute cleaning and organizing of the big equipment, vendors were rolling in throughout the late morning: the band, the clown (who was seated right behind us at the money table and was terrifying), face painting, henna tattoo artist, and an on-site firebrick pizza oven for dinner. We had a Square reader checking people out, two lots of auction items, a raffle, and a live auction of some of Lo's mom's famous Fat Linda bars. 

It seems silly to say it this way, but it ran so smoothly and so "officially" that I was just giddy.  

The most important part is, all together we raised around $8,000 to help Lauren and Jesse realize their dreams of becoming parents. Their goal was $10,000 though and there's still time to donate online if you couldn't make it out to the event and want to help! 

Sunday was spent doing what I do best- eating. M and I had a birthday brunch for a good friend of mine at Red Stag, after which I impulse bought the same shirt the birthday girl received from the store next door (check it out on Insta: kellybea14). 

Sunday afternoon M and I got a start on some home projects that I'm pretty much counting down the minutes until I can tackle again. I tend to go in phases with my creative energy and right now I'm definitely in a high output phase. I want to paint, style, and decorate ALL THE THINGS. This latest burst will result in some new shelving in both our bathroom and kitchen and a more grownup vibe for both. I may touch on the evolution of my design aesthetic, as these will be second iterations of both rooms. I also feel like I owe you an update on the master bedroom which has been under "construction" (loose term for messing around with the decor) for nearly a year. BUT there have been some bigger changes since my last post...  So here's hoping this burst of creativity will result in some blog content!