Friday, July 31, 2015

Time for a change


You should probably head over to this cool new site called The Beth Next Door.  Cause that's my new blog.  And it's live a day early.

We'll be working to point this site to the new site as well as archiving my past posts.  But otherwise, I'm essentially done at  It has served me well, but it is time for a fresh new change.  

My social media handles have changed as well, but if you're already following me I just updated my existing accounts. In case you're wondering though, @bethietheboo has changed to @TheBethMn on Instagram and Twitter.  

I can't thank you all enough for the support and I hope you'll follow along with me at the new site. See you there!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thrift Style Thursday - Anchors Away

We're setting sail for this week's Thrift Style Thursday and going nautical! This theme comes to us from Brittany of The B Life.  I originally thought I'd be going more for a dress or for my sailboat top, but then decided a casual low key approach was more what "floated my boat" today - oh puns!

I thrifted this shirt back this spring and I'm actually surprised at how much use I've gotten out of it so far.  I kind of bought it figuring I'd wear it on the 4th of July because it feels a bit patriotic, but I've actually worn it several other times as well.  I thought the stripes felt nautical in addition to patriotic, so I thought it would work well today, especially after I paired it with my white jeans.  It gets chilly on boat rides sometimes, so I likely would wear something like this if I actually was going boating!

Shirt - Gap (thrifted), Jeans - Mossimo (Target)
Necklace - Lia Sophia, Shoes - consignment 

No boat rides in the near future, after Oliver's disastrous first boat ride in Itasca I haven't really felt the desire to try it again anytime soon.  Maybe a date night with Nate though, you never know!

Be sure to check out the other Thrift Style Thursday gals to see what nautical notions they pulled together and don't forget new member Alison.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

All Pints North 2015

This past weekend we went up to Duluth, MN for the All Pints North beer festival.  This has become my favorite of all the MN Beer festivals.  I'm not sure if it's the fact that we're getting away for a weekend or the summer vibe or the fact that it's in one of my favorite cities in the state or what it is, but it is just my favorite of all the beer festivals.

We drove up on Saturday and just spent one night, next year I might be tempted to have us go up on Friday so we can have a little extra time in Duluth, but it worked well for this year to just go one night again.  We dropped off Ollie in the morning with Nate's parents and made it to Duluth by around 2:00.  The festival started at 3:00, so we had just enough time to drop off our things at the hotel and then walk over to the park.

The gates opened and the bagpipers lead us inside the park.  I seriously love that every beer festival starts with bagpipes!  We stopped at the Surly Brewing Company tent first, we knew from past experience that their lines would get long and they would likely run out of some of the special kegs they brought, so early would be better than later.  We tried their Nein, which is their ninth anniversary beer.

Happy to be out and about together 

We hit up a few other places, ran into a few people we knew from the Cities and then decided we needed a little food to go with our brews, so we grabbed a hotdog from my favorite food truck of all time, Natedogs.  We also grabbed some water (it was pretty warm, even for Duluth and our rule was one bottle of water per hour so we wouldn't get heatsick) and parked on a hill in the shade for a bit.

Best hotdog ever!

It's so fun to people watch at these events!  It was such a beautiful day.  It was pretty warm, but the breeze off Lake Superior really helped a lot.  The backdrop of the iconic Lift Bridge in the background was pretty neat too!

Crowd shot - Lift Bridge in the background, you have to love it!

Of course I made Nate take a bunch of selfies with me.  He's a good sport.  

Outside of the Bent Paddle tent (they are local to Duluth) they had cute whiskey barrel tables and stools to sit on so we stopped there for a bit.  I thought this was so cute - barley in a beer can.  I might have to duplicate that for our Oktoberfest party this year!

Another selfie while Nate was in line getting something.  I wanted to show off my hat.  I remembered it was very sunny with not much for shade last year so I decided a hat was very necessary!

Bent Paddle also had a giant Jenga game, so we decided to play for a bit.  Nate was the victor, but it was a very close game.  We had the tower almost taller than both of us for a time!  

Festival outfit! 
Shirt and top - Stitch Fix, Hat - Target
Bag - Thirty One, Sunglasses - Fun Sisters
Shoes - Thrifted

He is pretty much my most favorite of all time ever.  

Pretty soon it was 7:00 and the party was over!  It goes by so fast.  We made sure we paced ourselves well, we shared everything and as I mentioned, we made sure to drink plenty of water too.  We stopped by the merchandise tent to pick up a shirt I liked, we each grabbed one final beer taste and then we started our walk back to the hotel.  

We had to take pictures by the Lift Bridge on our way back to the hotel of course!

Our hotel was right next to Canal Park Brewing Company so we stopped over for an after festival snack and a final beer and sat outside and enjoyed the view of Lake Superior and watched people walking the boardwalk.

Lift Bridge at night

We grabbed breakfast on Sunday morning at a restaurant not too far from the hotel, then drove about twenty minutes north of Duluth real quick to stop at a smokehouse we love to get some smoked fish to bring home with us.  Then we drove back home to the Cities and were reunited with our boy.  We really had a great time though.  I absolutely love this festival and plan to return again and and again. I'm already excited for next year!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Soak Up the Summer Instagram challenge

Hey everyone!  I'm back after a little three day weekend.  I can't wait to share more about the All Pints North beer festival, I'll be posting more about that tomorrow.  Today I am excited to announce a super fun Instagram challenge for August that I am co-hosting with the lovely Shea of Shea Lennon! Shea had been talking about wanting to do a collaboration with someone and I said I'd be interested. We chatted and decided an Instagram challenge would be lots of fun.  For the month of August we're going to celebrate summer with our Soak Up the Summer Challenge!

We'd love to have any and everyone play along!  We'll be using the hashtag #SoakUpSummer. Follow along with us, I'm still @bethietheboo for now, that's changing soon but I'll be sure to let everyone know!  Shea is on Instagram at @shealennon.  We both enjoy style challenges a great deal and we're so excited to be hosting our own!  

In July I followed the #JulyPinnedItSpinnedIt challenge and a couple of others including #WearWhatWhere and #JulyBeStyled.  I made a collage of a few of my favorite looks below.

Lots and lots of color this month, that's for sure!  I really love using these Instagram challenges to help re-mix my wardrobe and to share outfits of the day.  In addition to my own challenge in August I'll be following along with a Jewelry Instagram challenge too, I'm quite excited about that, I need to be better about using more of my jewelry - I tend to do a lot of repeats lately!

August will be a pretty fun month I think! Stay tuned and I hope to see some posts from some of you on the Soak Up the Summer Instagram challenge!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Foodie Friday

It's time to make you all jealous again.  Here are some more of our goodies as of late with our CSA veggies!  I've been so spoiled this summer!

Ecuadorian style lamb chop with vitamin greens, rice and egg.  Nate took the vitamin greens and mixed them up with tomato and spices so it turned into a nice side dish that he describes as kind of a Mexican "stew".  He cooked the lamb on a cast iron skillet with just some oil and salt and pepper. And then the rice was simple and we put an egg on top of it again as that is frequently done in Ecuadorian cooking.

Chicken fried steak with grilled cauliflower, carrot and fennel.  This one was pretty easy.  We got the chicken fried steak from an Omaha Steaks pack we recently ordered (got a really good deal in the mail and took advantage).  Nate whipped up a pretty simple white gravy.  He tossed the veggies with some olive oil, salt/pepper and a few Indian type spices and then grilled them until they came to a nice crispy perfection.  SO yummy.

Stir Fry!  This was pretty basic, but so yummy.  We took some sirloin and stir fried it with broccoli, summer squash, zucchini, green pepper and mushrooms and put that on top of some rice noodles.  It was pretty much perfection.  When all else fails and we don't know what else to do with our veggies for the week we stir fry them!

This next one is another of my favorites.  It's a homemade chicken and basil ravioli we make.  We make the dough from scratch and then fill it with chicken, ricotta cheese (which also came from our CSA!) and basil.  Then we boil it up and when it's done we toss it with a light sauce made of olive oil, lemon zest and more basil.  It is sooooo good.  Nice light meal in the summer too.

And this last one is cheating, no prep required other than washing it.  Sugar snap peas.  We only got them once this year and I'm still sad they're gone.  These made a fantastic snack one afternoon while Nate was brewing beer.

So we are making the most of our veggies.  We have a ton of cabbage on hand right now and can only make so much coleslaw, so Nate's going to attempt making his own sauerkraut.  We have some green beans and I think we just might make green bean casserole for the summer because why not?  I just love CSA season!!  I'm not the main chef on these items, but if you want more specific recipe information just let me know and I'll be happy to email more details to anyone!

Have a great weekend!  We're Duluth bound for All Pints North and I can't wait!  I'll be sure to share all about it next week!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thrift Style Thursday - Polka Dot Parade

Time for another Thrift Style Thursday post! Carissa of Carissa Knits chose today's theme - polka dots!  Girl after my own heart, I do love to rock some polka dots!  I was mildly worried I wouldn't come up with something for today though, while I have many dotted goodies in my closet, much of them are either A. for winter or B. not thrifted.  I remembered this skirt though and then thought, hey, I bet that polka dot blouse I have would look cute with it too.  So I'm mixing up a bunch of dots today!

I attempted to add the belt to try and break up the top and bottom a bit and while I like it, it's clearly the wrong size belt for me.  I will have to be looking for a new one!  Otherwise I like how this came together, kind of has a retro feel and that's kind of fun!  It's definitely girly and flirty.

Shirt - Banana Republic (thrifted), Skirt - LOFT (thrifted)
Necklace - Stella and Dot, Sandals - Merona (Target) 

And now all of this talk of dots is making me think of Pee Wee Herman singing "Connect the Dots" on Pee Wee's Playhouse.  I could wax nostalgic for hours about that show, so I'll just stop now, but I bet other 80's kids have that song in their heads now too.  My apologies!

Be sure to check out the other Thrift Style Thursday gals and see how they styled their polka dots today!  We still don't have a link for Alison, so check out her blog here.