Aloha January, Aloha February


Well, I DID IT. I worked out kind of a f*cking lot. Four days a week for four weeks. Goal completed; Great job, Lauren. Now, this post could probably end here, for as I once read, and can’t say I disagree with, unless you fell off the treadmill, no one wants to hear about your workout.

So I’ll keep it brief, but for one hot second, let’s throw modesty aside, and allow to me to feel proud of my accomplishments… I worked out in subzero weather. I worked out through hangovers. I worked out at 8pm when the Bulls were playing. Let us not gloss over this!

I went to the gym more often than I did not, and I did it for five weeks instead of four. I did some pretty GD intense training that burns up to 1200 calories in one hour (sorry. calories?), and if we’re being honest, I enjoyed it. Feeling good feels good, man. So if you don’t work out, but have always wanted to, seriously– start. If I can do it, anyone can.

So are you wondering what’s up for February? That’s ok, I’ll tell you anyways. Just f*cking do it already month. One project per week I’ve been wanting to tackle forever, yet have sat on for no good reason. Also keeping in the spirit, I plan to tackle projects small and smaller. The email I’d rather answer in ten hours as opposed to now, for purposes unknown? Just f*cking do it already. Go through our hoard and toss/donate all of this hullabaloo? Just f*cking do it already. Finish this blog post that’s over a week late, and was supposed to be brief? Just f*cking do it already.

So check back in a month to see I can conquer my best friend and greatest enemy, procrastination. Or a month and a week. Or two…

We’re off to a great start.


New YEARs Resolutions


New Years Resolutions. How’s that for a topic one week too late? As I’ve mentioned in the past, I like them. A time where everyone (socially forced or not) reflects on ways to improve themselves, and makes a conscious effort (for an extended period or not) to do so– Yes, I can get behind that. That being said, New Years Resolutions are hard. I feel you. How does one keep something fresh and inspired for 365 days, even with the promise of a better you? How does one actually keep a new YEAR’s resolution?

Well, I think my sister Kim just may have figured it out back in 2012, so like any good little sister, I’m ripping her off. This year, rather than making one year-long resolution, I’ll be making twelve month-long resolutions. Anyone can do anything for a month, right? Right… (Italics to indicate uncertainty.)

So let’s start it off! January will be “Work out kind of a f*cking lot” month. Kind of obvious, yes, but you can’t blame me for striking while the get-in-shape-iron is hot. Also, to be fair, I’ve been working out since October, but anyways! Four days a week for four weeks. Which may sound weenie to some, but for someone who was #1 couch potato in September, it’s kind of a f*cking lot.

Check back later to see how my January resolution went, and what’s lined up for February. F*ck it, 2015. Let’s do this.

Drink Calm and Alpaca On


If you’ve ever met the Nelson girls, you know we’re all a little bit… Hmm, what’s the word I’m looking for? Let’s go with weird. Obviously, I say this with love, but yeah, we’re weird. So while your average bachelorette party might be a weekend in Vegas, a dance party at the gay bar, or spa day with the ladies, my sister Kim opted for an Alpaca Farm getaway in northwest Illinois. Add a few dozen bottles of wine with a side of fine cheeses (ahem, Doritos and Cheetos), and you’ve got yourself a Nelson girl bachelorette party. Did I mention we’re weird? For the record, I think that’s a good thing.

See more pics here! They’re unedited cause I’m lazy like that.



Happiness Rules.

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Oh hai, guys! So I recently heard of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, and naturally I had to participate. First, it’s a challenge to be happy for at least one moment a day? For 100 days? In a row? Yikes. I must put a stop to this rumor. And second, y’all know I love a reason to Instagram.

So here’s the haps: Once a day, for 100 days, you take a photo of something that makes you happy. Then, uh… that’s kind of it. You can read more about it here, and you should, since I encourage you to do it as well. I start tomorrow, and go through July 5, 2014.

Also, sorry if you were enjoying my cooling it on the Instagrams. I’M BACK.

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Black Earth, White Wedding


When it’s the middle of January, and you’re living in Chicago with temperatures so record breakingly cold they have their own hashtag, they say there’s really only one cure for the inevitable depression: Looking through old photos from beautiful days of yesteryear. Beautiful, perfect, Indian Summer days, with bare arms and lush foliage.

Jokes. They don’t say that at all. But you know what they do say? To stay inside where you can still feel your limbs, and go through old, unedited photos from your friend’s lovely barn wedding in Black Earth, WI.

Jokes. They don’t say that either. That’s pretty specific. But that’s what I’m doing. Here are a couple sneak peeks from the day, but check out the rest here. Congrats Sam & Chris!

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2013: An Instagramic Retrospective

New Years Resolutions. I like them! It seems the older I get, the more and more people talk shizz on them. “Why bother?” “It’ll never last.” Wah. Luckily, I’m 31 going on 13 and still believe I can change things about myself. (Also, I was just dangerously close to referencing that Jennifer Garner movie…) (Also, I just admitted I know that Jennifer Garner movie…) Anyways! Last year I made a resolution that seemed simple enough: Take one Instagram photo a day for the year. I had attempted the “365 Project” on three previous occasions with my DSLR, all of which proved too intense. But anyone can manage this with a cell phone, right? Right. Even if it meant taking a photo of a bar tab because it was 11:50pm and I needed to make quota. Let’s forget that photo, shall we? So yes, this project was sometimes a pain in the ass. But I prevailed! And overall, what a lovely keepsake of the year 2013. When living in Brooklyn, my friends and I would joke how glad we were for taking photos of everything because we’d otherwise remember nothing. Truth be told, I think that dealt more with our Coors Heavy man-can intake, but I digress. In a similar fashion, I greatly enjoy looking back, and truly remembering at least one moment of the day from the entire year. So without further ado, my Top Ten moments of 2013, captured via Instagram:

10. Valentines Day at White Castle. This was my favorite February 14th of all time. I don’t even like Valentine’s Day. Or White Castle for that matter. But real talk– this experience was amazing. Just do it.
9. Seeing both David Byrne and R. Kelly in concert. Hearing Naive Melody live was very special to me. Hearing Sex Weed live, even more so. (Ravinia and Pitchfork, respectively.)
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8. The Radical Sabbatical. Oh man, things straight sucked when CakeStyle closed. I missed working, I missed my co-worker friends, and I really missed paychecks. The bums will always lose. After spending some time feeling sorry for myself, I took an excellent suggestion from a friend and turned this into my “radical sabbatical”. I exercised, made things, explored my city, and took my time finding a job I really wanted. (And lezbehonest, did a lot of day drinking. Hey, it was summer!) And now here I am, looking at yarn all day and preparing for the world’s largest craft show. Score!
7. Bulls season tickets. Both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Which means between Rose’s two injuries, I got to see him play live a whopping TWICE! Good thing I’m a Noah lady.
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6. I turned 31. Who says 30 has the be the last good birthday? We watched the Bulls game at one of my favorite bars (Aberdeen Tap), then danced and played Jenga at one of my favorite frat houses (Mahoney’s Bar & Grill). When you “Irish Goodbye” your own party at 11pm, yes, it was a good time.
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5. Made a prize winning Halloween costume. One hundred smackers! Mekka lekka hi mekka himey ho, bitchez!
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4. Nicholas Miller Festa was born! Not only was I thrilled for [my new family] John and Beth, but his impending arrival re-inspired my crocheting. Let me tell you, this little Bears fan is f*cking CUTE.
3. The Hawks brought the Stanley Cup home. And then I touched it. TWICE. Yes, I did a bit of cup stalking. But if you’ve ever seen an object glow so hard it left you short of breath, you’d understand the desire.
2. Visiting Brussels, Kortrijk & Amsterdam. Way too much fun to even try to sum up. Met amazing people, saw amazing sites, drank amazing Belgian beers, smoked amazing Amsterdam… cigarettes.
1. I got engaged to my favorite person. He asked, I said yes, we ate breakfast at Bite cafe. ❤
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Bonus Round!: Taking 28 Instagrams of Arlo. Not really a moment. But I love this damn cat, and this is technically his blog too. Plus he’s just too good looking not to be featured.

So there you have it, folks. Stay tuned in the new year. Until then, thanks 2013! You were swell.


Hello World!

So we did it. Arlo and I started a blog. Oh boy.
Q: Why now?
A: I’m recently unemployed. More accurately, the start-up I poured blood, sweat, and tears into has gone under. What am I to do with these extra 60 hours per week? Post pictures of my cat to the web, duh.
Q: Ok, but you’ve been unemployed for a hot minute. Why NOW now?
A: Yesterday I choked on a phone interview, got publicly ridiculed by a nice old librarian, and got in a bike accident, flying over my handlebars and resulting in a chin hickey–All before noon. I then walked home crying and binged on cheese and New Girl episodes. It’s time for some onward-and-upward.
Q: What’s going to happen here?
A: Pictures of Arlo, failed attempts at DIYs, stuff I like from the internet, random musings… I don’t know! Quit asking me these things.
Q: Are you just writing yourself questions, and then answering them? Cause it seems like you are.
A: Yes.
So, thanks for stopping by! If you’re as bored as I am, come by again.