Mrs’ Trick for Living a More Positive Life!


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,


In the last couple of years I have been striving to look at the world and all situations I find myself in with a “glass half-full” mentality. I have become a big believer that physical and mental health, are all hugely impacted by good energy and being positive and to me, life is too short to let the negativity and toxicity of being mean or angry run my life.

That being said, looking at things in a more positive light can be difficult because a large portion of our society has taught us to focus on our complaints rather than our happinesses. In order to keep retraining myself to focus on happiness and positive energy, I started vocalizing at least one thing each morning I am looking forward to that day. Rob has started joining in on this daily exercise as well and this routine has itself become something that I look forward to every day. On days when I have multiple things to look forward to, it puts an extra bounce in my step. And on days when I’ve struggled to think of something I’m excited about it reminds me that there is always something, no matter how small, to look forward to as long as I am willing to look for it. Once I do think of something, holding onto that positivity gets me thru the not so exciting moments of that day.

Here is a glimpse of some of the things I’ve looked forward to in the last few weeks:

  • 10/11- Receiving my new phone case and meeting our friend’s new twins!
  • 10/15- Breakfast burritos & coffee
  • 10/19- Wearing my wedding dress, closing on our house finally, drinking wedding wine, watching our wedding video and taking a nap!
  • 10/21- Visiting my grandma, catching up on TV shows with Mom and Rob!
  • 10/24-Working out, cleaning off my desk, and catching up with a couple of friends!

Mrs’ Halloween Costume Ideas!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_0505Pinterest is my go-to place for a heavy dose of inspiration. I use it for ideas on everything from dinner recipes to new tattoos. I even browse Pinterest as a way of relieving stress and anxiety. So when the Halloween costume I thought up over a year ago (a gumball machine) was no longer an exciting option for me, I turned to Pinterest. I made a Halloween board, and have been corralling ideas for the last couple of weeks. Here are my top three picks as of today.

1- Wind-up doll– I like the simplicity but creativeness of this costume. I can use pieces I already own, and the DIY part isn’t too hard. Plus it is not a costume I have ever seen done before.

2- Oreo cookie with Rob- I am a sucker for a good couples costume and this one made me giggle when I saw it. Unfortunately Rob is not one to dress up so we usually have an every other year rule and this year would be his year off. Still hoping I can convince him otherwise!

3- Characters from Mario Kart– I am also a sucker for group costumes. This year we might be doing a bar crawl with some friends and I thought it would be fun to dress up as a group. TBD on whether our friends feel the same way.

Mr and Mrs: 7 Years In!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


First pic of Mr and Mrs ever!

Rob’s and my relationship has been seven years in the making. And the anniversary of the night we met, when this crazy adventure we call life started, is this week. Most years have passed without much change to our relationship aside from our location, but this year I noticed a new level of being comfortable with each other that hadn’t been there before.

The change is a shift in how we act in the moments after we’ve had a tense discussion (our version or arguing). We have both been quicker to acknowledge when we are wrong, and quicker to apologize if we’ve snapped at each other or if we’ve been too obstinate. This new comfort level allows us more room to be firmer in our opinions but to also feel safe that we can admit when we are wrong without major repercussions.

It is easy to have confidence in a relationship during the fun and silly times, but to me when you can have that same confidence during the tense and tough times as well is a sign of real growth together. And I’m very happy at where we are, seven years in. 

Mrs’ Quick Review of the Tom Bihn Aeronaut Suitcase!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_9807A few months ago Rob bought the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 bag. After going through four or five roller suitcases in just as many years, he was ready for a suitcase that wasn’t made cheaply. I have borrowed it a couple of times as I decided if it was time for me to upgrade from a roller suitcase as well and I thoroughly enjoyed using it both times.

Pros- the packing cubes, the weight, and not having to roll a bag!

  • With the packing cubes, everything has its own place. This level of organization not only helped me stay organized on my trips, but it helped me streamline my packing and eliminate items that I didn’t need.
  • The biggest pro of the Tom Bihn bag is how lightweight it is. My roller bag on it’s own (not packed) weighs 10 pounds. The Tom Bihn bag weighs three. That is an extra seven pounds of weight, in addition to the weight you add, that you are lugging around with a traditional roller suitcase. Since the Tom Bihn itself is light, there is more control over how heavy or light your bag is. And that is the difference between being miserable as you walk around airports and navigate new cities, or being happy doing the same.

Cons- Not a lot of room for shoes or my computer and work stuff

  • If I want to bring my running shoes on a trip that means I am not bringing any other pair besides what I wear onto the plane. While this con will help me streamline my packing lists even more, sometimes I need more than two pairs of shoes. For example, sometimes we are traveling for a wedding or other special event and I need heels or a nice pair of shoes.
  • Normally I carry my computer and work stuff in a backpack and roll my suitcase. Because I prefer to carry the Tom Bihn like a backpack, I can’t also carry my work backpack. So I am still  figuring out the best way to bring work stuff. Again a solution would be to pack less so that my computer and computer bag fit in my suitcase, but that is not something I have succeeded at yet.

Packing Cubes

Overall– I enjoyed using Rob’s Tom Bihn bag the couple of times I borrowed it, and I look forward to getting my own. I loved that everything had it’s place within the bag, and I loved carrying it on my back. And neither of the cons are deal breakers to me. They just mean that when I get my own, I need to learn to pack less and get creative about packing when I do need a few extra things.

*Wishlist* — When I get my own, I would like a waist strap to help ease the weight of the bag.

We have a trip planned to Argentina this winter and my goal is to have my own Tom Bihn by then. I am looking forward to picking out which cubes I should get and what colors I want!

Mr and Mrs’ 3 Lessons They Will Teach Their Kids!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have always known that raising a child is an incredibly important job, but only recently have I started fully understanding the pressure that comes with being a parent. A child’s entire life rests on their parents’ shoulders. And not just for basic survival like food and shelter, but also their confidence, their temperament, and their ability to succeed in life as an adult. While this deeper realization is probably one of the reasons I have been hesitant to start that next chapter, I know that eventually we will because we do want kids. As we approach this next chapter I’ve thought a lot about the kind of mom I want to be and the lessons I want to teach my little ones. Below are what I consider the most important lessons for Rob and I to pass on.  

~Don’t be a jerk to anyone, ever. — You can be the smartest, richest, most successful person in the room, but if you put other people down, make them feel like less of a person, or try to deny them their happiness, then none of that other stuff matters. If you are ever in doubt, first ask yourself “What would Grandma Mitzi do?” and then listen to Tim Mcgraw’s song Humble and Kind.  

~Someone coming into your personal space is a privilege not a right. — And the same goes when you want to be in someone else’s personal space. No one, including family, can decide for you who gets that privilege. If you don’t want a hug from great aunt Wilma, you don’t have to hug her. If you don’t want to hold mine or daddy’s hand, you don’t have to (unless we are crossing a street or walking in a parking lot). If you don’t want someone to kiss you, touch you etc, you can tell them no and stand by that decision no matter what they say. And also know, that privilege can be revoked at any time for any reason. It is your personal space to decide who is allowed in it and who is not.

~Family is number one. — We are all brought up in a unique situation with unique people and that creates a bond that is equal to none. They are on your team and you are on their team no matter what game life is throwing your way. This includes cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents too. There is a very special feeling that comes with spending time with family. It is safe, comfortable and home.

Even after I make the mistakes that I will undoubtedly make, I will feel I have succeeded as a parent if my kids master these three lessons and take them with them into adulthood.

Mrs’ Top 5 Books of All Time!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When I’m deciding how many stars a book I’ve read deserves, I use the five books listed below as my base. These are the five books that have impacted me the most in my 25 years of reading and the stories I consider to be five out five stars.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — A true children’s classic, I’ve read this book more than 50 times. I even had a small rubber piglet named Wilbur that I carried around in my pocket for longer than I care to admit. It is the first book I remember picturing vividly in my head as I read. I would daydream about living on a farm and imagined that all the animals I encountered could talk to each other. That spark it ignited in my imagination is still present and I am constantly comparing the feeling I get from books I read now to the feeling that Charlotte’s Web gave me.

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger — I’ll be honest. This is literally the only book I read in it’s entirety in high school. The story of a young boy and a famous baseball player is told wholly with news clippings, telegrams, letters, and even ticket stubs. I was intrigued by the fact that the author wasn’t simply telling me what a character’s thought process was, what they looked like or how they acted. It felt as tho the characters themselves were telling me who they were through their letters, and events they went to and participated in. I was instantly drawn to the unique writing style that felt more personal than even some biographies that I’ve read. I haven’t found many stories told in this way since, but I am always looking.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen — I can’t quite remember the specifics of why this book left such an impression on me. It ticked off a lot of things that I like in a story. I am a sucker for stories told from the point of view of a character who is getting older and reflecting on all his or her adventures in life. I love love stories between not only two people, but between people and their animals too.  What I do remember is that for months after reading this book, I longed to be reading it again. Every book I picked up following this book didn’t get finished for a long time because it didn’t move me the way Water for Elephants did.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern — This book had my imagination on fire in a similar way to how it was when I first read Charlotte’s Web, but also in a completely deeper and more striking way. The world in The Night Circus was magical in a way that felt real. It was dark, edgy, sensual and provocative. There were worlds within worlds that made me thoroughly believe that the world I am in, is not the only world there is. It had me looking at the most ordinary objects with a curiosity that I had not known since I’d read The Littles or Charlotte’s Web. It had me believing in magic so strongly that I am still convinced it exists.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — This was the book that made me realize how much I enjoy historical fiction. I love learning about a time in our history through the lens of a fictional story and I especially loved learning more about WWII. But what really hooked me was how Doerr described scenery, smells, sounds, and emotions in such a beautiful and innocent way even while the sad and devastating war plot was always lurking in the background. I forced myself multiple times to put it down and read it slower because I knew it would be one of those books that I would crave reading, long after I had finished.

Mr and Mrs’ Sweet and Spicy Homemade Granola Bars!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_0180Granola bars, energy bars, protein bars, etc. have been a staple of my life since high school. They an easy snack to grab on the go, and I always have a few varieties on hand. But even the healthiest bars out there are not as healthy as making them at home.

At the beginning of the year, when we tried out Whole 30, we started experimenting with making our own cereal (recipe to come soon) and granola bars. Using Nature Valley’s Sweet and Salty Dark Chocolate and Chili bar as our muse, we modified a basic granola bar recipe we found online, and we were very happy with the results.


¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

½ cup unsalted roasted almonds

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

⅓  cup honey

¼ unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp chia seeds

¼ tsp kosher salt

¼ mini semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

2 bars of at least 70% cacao dark chocolate

2 tsps cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking oil.
  2. Roughly chop the almonds
  3. Put oats and almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add pumpkin seeds and peanuts to the bowl and mix
  5. Melt chocolate bars in a double boiler. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the chocolate is melted. Right before you take it off the heat, add the cayenne pepper and mix well.
  6. Pour chocolate onto prepared baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the whole pan. Allow to cool while prepping the other ingredients.
  7. Combine the butter, honey, vanilla, chia seeds and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally.
  8. Pour the butter mixture over the oats and nuts. Add the cayenne pepper. Mix well.
  9. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then add the mini chocolate chips and stir gently to combine.
  10. Pour the oat and nut mixture over the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to spread the oat and nut mixture evenly over the chocolate. Press firmly to make sure the whole mixture sticks together well.
  11. Put the pan into the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
  12. Cut up the bars into squares or rectangles and put in an airtight container.
  13. Place them back in the fridge for an hour or two before enjoying.
  14. Store in a cool place.


Mr & Mrs Travel Thursday: Spotlight on Sturgeon Bay!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_3075Rob and I added a new vacation destination to our repertoire this summer. Friends of ours have a family home in Sturgeon Bay, WI that they travel to each summer. Rob has been multiple times over the years, but this was my first experience in Door County. It was the most anticipated trip of the summer for me and it did not disappoint. Aside from spending time with good friends, there are a few moments that have stuck with me since we got back.

Best Memories

–In the backyard of a restaurant, enjoying drinks around a bayside bonfire, catching up with friends. It was our first night and it just was the relaxing “welcome to Sturgeon Bay” we needed.

–The epic 8 hour sailing adventure that we weren’t expecting to be a part of. While I wish the sailing adventure hadn’t included me getting sick over the side of the boat, I enjoyed being a part of the complexities of such a large vehicle being propelled forward by wind alone.


Favorite Foods

–The swedish pancakes at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik in Sister Bay.

–The homemade peach rings from the Door County Candy Store in Sturgeon Bay. Seriously. I didn’t know candy could taste so fresh!


Favorite Activities 

–Napping in a hammock, listening to the boats on the bay and the waves lapping at the shore.

–Enjoying cocktails on the lawn as the sun set over the bay, playing some intense games of Exploding Kittens with our friends.

Lazy Sunday Reading with Mrs: The Way the Crow Flies!


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

img_2418The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald

4 out of 5 stars

Recommended: Yes

I’ve heard that it took Ann-Marie years to complete The Way the Crow Flies. After the first 50 pages, I understood why. It was obvious that an immense amount of research and thought had gone into this book. It had themes and history that made me curious. And it made me stop and think many times about the peculiarities of the way humans interact.

Ann-Marie’s keen observation skills are evident in the way she meticulously depicts each main character through their dialogue and descriptions of their thought processes. She is particularly precise when she describes the world through the eyes of a child so vividly. Many adults lose the ability to hold onto how they interacted with the world as a child, but Ann-Marie nailed it. This kind of observation is a skill that needs to be honed and practiced to get it to the exceptional point it was in The Way the Crow Flies.

She also delved deep into the history of the Cold War and WWII and found unique historical events that the average person probably hasn’t learned about. Weaving these events into the plot of the story gave it an intriguing edge over other historical fictions I have read because I felt like I was learning about these two wars for the first time.

Aside from the time it took to make sure the story was historically accurate and to skillfully make the characters come to life, it could not have been easy, and probably took the most time, to write about the uncomfortable and gruesome plot points that were a main part of the book. These three things alone would be no easy feat to get right, but doing all three things and doing them extraordinarily well makes Ann-Marie a stand out author and The Way the Crow Flies a stand out book for me this year.