Minneapolis Illustrator, Invitation Designer, + DIYer Blog


Art, Inspiration, and Life. Sharing all the inspires me to create.

Posts in Life
Monday Muse: Elizabeth Ries

It’s Monday and you know what that means… MONDAY MUSE time! This week’s Muse is none other than the wonderful Elizabeth Ries, Co-host of Twin Cities Live and the Podcast Best to the Nest. Every day she openly shares her life on TCL and yes, she is that funny and quick witted. When you meet Elizabeth in person, she gives you 100% of her attention. She really wants to talk to you. Listen to you. Learn more about you. And she does it all without you even realizing you just spilled your guts out to her. She makes you feel like you’ve known each other for years and are just catching up after not seeing each other in a while. Besides her work on TV and Radio, she’s married, has 2 kids, 3 chickens, loves to grow and cook her own food, ride her bike to work (hopefully without crashing!), attend a multitude of events each week, and is also in the process of having her kitchen redone. Whew! I don’t know how she does it all and still stays so positive. Let’s learn more about Elizabeth!

Let's start at the beginning - what did you want to be when you grew up and why? 

I wanted to work in television from the time I was 13. I loved the idea of live TV and getting to connect with people and share stories. 

 What inspired you to go into journalism? 

I remember having a sort of lightbulb or a-ha moment when I was 13 — I was watching a newscast on TV and what a dear friend of mine calls “the still small voice” said, “I can do that.” It was this gut feeling. I listened and followed it. Along the journey, I kept meeting women who were strong, successful and smart who worked in this field and I knew I wanted to be like them.

What does a typical day look like for you? How do you balance it all and stay organized?

 My times on the air are the non-negotiables — I’m either on the radio or tv at those times — but the rest of the day always looks different. I fit in shoots, commercials, meetings and more in between show times. I live and die by my calendar! Making sure everything is on the calendar is the only way I can keep things organized at home and at work. I heard someone say recently, don’t strive for balance because it’s impossible, work towards harmony in life instead. I think that’s really wise. I also try to understand that everything in life is a season. My kids won’t always need me this much, a busy week leads to a lighter week and there’s a lot to be grateful for

 Tell me about your chickens? What inspired you to get them? How are they taking to city life? What does your dog think about them? Do they all get along? So many questions this could be it's own interview :)

We have three chickens right now – Emily, Chippy and Daisy and they are so much fun! I love to garden and the chickens came about as part of my mission to produce as much food as possible on my own property. At the time I lived in a house in the city on a tiny .13 of an acre lot. We’ve since moved to a house with a bigger yard and it’s so fun to plan out where the garden will go and how we can live off our land! Chickens definitely have distinct personalities and a pecking order within the flock. Emily is the bossiest of our bunch and tends to pick on Daisy. Chippy is a free spirit who tends to wander in her own direction! They are so calming to have around, I love hearing their little clucking noises and the way they scratch at the ground to find bugs.

What's it like sharing so much of your personal life with your viewers/followers? Do you have any off limits topics or areas that you stay away from or are you cool being an open book?

I really enjoy making connections with viewers and followers and sharing my life – both the great things and the hard things. One of the hardest days was talking about the death of my dog Henry (who’d been featured on the show for years!). He passed away on a Wednesday and it took until the following Monday for me to even be able to talk about it on the air. It was so hard – but I was just amazed by the outpouring of support from viewers. They sent me cards, stuffed animals and personalized items as a tribute to Henry and shared their stories of losing a pet. It was incredible to feel that support. It really reminds me that we’re more alike than we are different and that the more we share our stories, the better. That being said, I’m very conscious of what I share about my children. I don’t have a problem sharing times when I’ve been an imperfect mother, but I don’t share things that would make them embarrassed or open them up to criticism. And I have a very strict social media policy: if my family or children are criticized (even in a passive-aggressive way!) I hit the block button immediately. In order for me to continue sharing my life I have to feel like my social media community is a safe and supportive space. I think we should all use the block and mute buttons a little more often! Ha!

What’s the best advice you've ever gotten?

The best advice came early in my career from the main anchor at my very first television station in Duluth (shout out to Pat Kelly!). I remember receiving my first critical email from a viewer and he told me two things:

1)      file that away in case the person continues to send messages

2) don’t take the nasty emails personally and even more importantly, don’t take the praising emails personally.

His message really resonated with me because it was a reminder that you can’t determine your self-worth based on what other people think of you, whether they like you or they hate you. Your self-worth is determined by you. That’s a really empowering concept and it’s helped me significantly throughout my career.

What would you tell your younger self?

You are just as smart as anyone you are interviewing! As a young news reporter, I remember being so nervous to ask people in positions of power or leadership questions. I thought they knew so much more than me. Everyone is entitled to ask questions confidently.

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Favorite restaurant in Mpls/St Paul – IN BLOOM

  • Coffee or tea – COFFEE

  • Fun fact no one would guess about you – I’M MORE INTROVERTED THAN YOU’D THINK

  • Early Riser or Night Owl – EARLY RISER

  • Dream Vacation -- ICELAND

  • Describe your perfect day – Wake up on my own time, solitude in the garden, cooking something amazing for my family who shows up in the evening.

Thank you Elizabeth for willing to be a Monday Muse! I can’t wait to meet those chicks, they sound like a lot of fun. Catch Elizabeth every weekday on TCL and on her podcast Best to the Nest.

Monday Muse: Melissa Oholendt

I’m fan girling big time over this week’s Monday Muse - Melissa Oholendt. For real. I ADORE her. From the minute I found her on Instagram, I’ve been a big fan. From her amazing (I mean AMAZING) photography to her interior inspiration and DIY projects, to the funniest photo captions (that truly make me LOL) and her (and her husband Matt) journey to becoming parents - this gal is just downright awesome. I may have fan girled on her husband the first time I met him while working one night at The Foundry Home Goods - True Story. I realized it was him and was all - your OHOHouse’s husband. Yep. I said that. No shame. *smackshead. He took it in stride and when I actually got to meet her IRL a few months later, she hugged me like we’d been long lost friends. So let’s get to know Melissa a bit more and you can see why she’s truly the best.

How did you get started as a photographer? Did you always have a passion for photography?

I would love to say that yes, I totally always knew I would be a photographer but the answer is that my passion was born out of need for a creative outlet and quite honestly, took me by surprise! When I first picked up a camera with the intent to create something, I was working in finance at a super type-A, task-driven position that fit my strengths perfectly but needed a little dose of creative freedom to balance the left-brain heavy career. What began as a hobby turned into a snowball that would eventually allow me to fulfill both my love of analytics and organization and my need for beauty and artistic creation and ten years later, here we are. Older, wiser, definitely a little weaker in the knee joints.

How did you decide weddings were what you wanted to focus on?

Weddings were such a natural fit for me! Not only am I a hopeless romantic but I have a heart-pounding obsession with pretty things and nothing is prettier than a happy bride.

Has there been a specific moment that made you think "yep, I've made it because I've done ...

Last year I was recognized as one of 74 Best Photographers in the WORLD by Brides Magazine and if that's not a pinch-me-how-did-that-even-happen moment in life? I don't know what is.

Whats one bucket list photo you want to capture?

A self-timer photo of my entire family of 4 generations together this summer - this will be the first time we've all gotten together since the babies were born and I CANNOT WAIT. <3

Your Oho House account is FILLED with so much gorgeous home inspiration (and lets not forget the amazing captions you create!) - what inspired you to create that account and where do you get your inspiration from for your home?

Oh gosh, you are SO kind. Years (and years and years) ago, I initially started college with the intention of becoming an interior designer so I've loved interiors for as long as I can remember (just ask my mom who tried to talk me out of painting my childhood bedroom a deep navy). Initially, I started Instagram the way we all did, with the intent to document life (so please don't scroll back to 2013, k?) but as we (my wonderful, amazingly patient and receptive-to-my-hair-brained ideas husband, Matt) found such a passion for transforming rooms to align better with how we live (and, let's be honest - to be beautiful), the life documenting turned into documenting those changes (with life thrown in) and DIY projects became a fun outlet (and therapeutic when things would go awry, too). There is an amazing community of people who love DIY house projects and interiors on instagram and it's been really fun to find my place in that community.

You've also created a website , Oho Interiors, that offers online design help. What prompted you to start offering design services? Do you see yourself transitioning from weddings to this? Or will you do both?

This is the ten million dollar question!

Truth be told, 2019 will be my last year in the photography industry but I don't know what life beyond that looks like. All I know is that I truly believe that a home is a powerful place of rest, togetherness and love and if I can have a small part in helping someone create that in their own home? It would be an honor.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

"Dear Year 2000 Melissa. You will marry Matt Oholendt so chill, ok?"

(But seriously.)

Rapid Fire:

  • Favorite Wedding Venue to Photograph: I LOVE my local MN venues but a certain winery in the Santa Ynez Valley has my heart (there is magic there, I am convinced) - Sunstone Vineyard & Winery!

  • Foodie (All about those new restaurants) or Stay home and cook (give me all the recipes/creations): Two years ago I would have said FOODIE ALL THE WAY but our daughter's 7pm bedtime has given me a new appreciation for staying home and cooking! (PS - Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook might be one of my favorites. Not a bad recipe to be had yet!)

  • Go to Paint Color: Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore

  • Describe your home style in 3 words: Cozy. Elevated. Layered.

  • Favorite Justin Timberlake Song: ALL OF THEM. How can you pick just one? (Ok, ok. Blue Ocean Floor. By a hair.)

Thanks so much Melissa! We’re so excited to see where Oho Interiors takes you. To stay up to date on all the great stuff Melissa is working on, follow here @Oho_house on instagram.

Monday Muse: Elizabeth Kendig

If you don’t already know Elizabeth Kendig, you’re truly missing out! She’s the author of the award winning beauty blog Beauty Bets, has a Pinterest following of 5+MILLON followers, loves JCrew and anything stripes, her dog Molly is the sweetest girl around, loves to dive into the “woo” on her podcast Healers and help you connect with your higher self to heal in unconventional ways, and recently launched her website Healers Wanted to make healing accessible to everyone, no matter what stage they are at. She is a force to be reckoned with and one of the most honest, down to earth, outgoing woman I know. When you meet her, it’s like you’ve just met a long lost friend. She immediately makes you feel at ease and is able to get you to open up about just about anything. She truly has a gift for making you feel like you matter. It was such a joy to be able to learn more about her journey and how she got to where she is today. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea!) and read on to learn more about this amazing woman.

Let's start at the beginning - what did you want to be when you grew up and what did that look like when you were starting out?

I honestly wasn’t sure. Being a magazine editor was high on the list. I interned at a fashion magazine in London and fell in love with retail. That led to working for Target as a merchant out of college but the writer in me found my way back to journalism—both as a magazine editor and in corporate communications. When blogging happened, it was a way for me to broaden my platform and tell more stories about the things I cared about most: beauty and wellness and now healing.

How did you decide to start Beauty Bets? Were you always a beauty junkie? Was it a side hustle to start or did you go all?
I was a lifestyle editor at the time, so started the blog as both a creative outlet for all of my beauty opinions and expeditioners. It also felt imperative to understand what was happening in the content space. At the time, facebook had just happened and people were talking about this little blue bird. Yes, some of us still remember a time before social medial!

I was definitely born with a beauty gene, from raiding my grandmother’s Aquanet and Revlon cherries in the snow lipstick to whipping up homemade face masks from a very young age. In retrospect, beauty was self-care for me and a way to get out of my head and into my body.

Was there a specific "WOW" i've made it moment, or pinching yourself because you attained one of your huge goals?
Never. I’m not sure there ever will be. I’m always moving the goal post! And working on being more present with the good that’s right in front of me instead of trying to get to the next place. There is no there-there. But I have had some pretty otherworldly experiences like going on safari in Africa or equine therapy in the desert. Being a writer has opened a lot of doors and windows.

When did you start thinking about starting the Healers Podcast? Were you always interested in holistic/alternative healing?
I’ve spent the last decade immersed in holistic and metaphysical experiences, partly as a writer but mostly for my own healing. I often call it a self-help bender but it was a necessity, to get to the bottom of a lifetime of depression, perfectionism and an autoimmune disease. Healing eventually became a way of life because it saved my live. So when PodcastOne approached me a couple years ago about doing a podcast, I knew it was an opportunity to transition into the space. The producers were expecting me to pitch a show about beauty and I presented a fairly impassioned argument for Healers. They said “We don’t know what you’re talking about but you have to do this show.”

You just launched your healers community/website. Congrats! I love the concept so much - tell us more about it, why now, and what do you hope to attain through it.

Thank you so much! My goal has always been to make healing more accessible. The podcast was a start, and revealed that people are ready for more woo, particularly in an un-weird way. They’re also craving more wisdom, tools and resources to support them on their healing journey. We created Healerswanted.com to help demystify the work of holistic practitioners and practices, help our community easily connect with trusted healers (a directory was the #1 request I got from listeners) and offer virtual healing experiences so that regardless of resources or location, you have access to support. What’s been really beautiful is introducing real healing stories from our community, to show what happens when people incorporate everything from acupuncture to spirituality into their lives. I’m open to whatever is in the highest good for this platform, the more people we help feel better, the better!

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

You’re here to know yourself. The rest will follow.

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • 3 words to describe yourself: sensitive, empathetic, loyal

  • Morning person or burn the midnight oil: morning, but I usually wreck my chances by staying up too late!

  • Spa or adventure vacation: both in the same trip!

  • Go to crystal: citrine, which connects you to your higher self and brings in abundance. My engagement right is midcentury citrine.

  • Your sign and top characteristic: Cancer. I’m a nester.

  • East or West Coast Girl: bicoastal!

Thank you so much Elizabeth for sharing your journey with us! Check out Elizabeth’s podcast and website to learn even more.

Monday Muse: Wynne Reece

This week’s Monday Muse is Wynne Reece and I couldn’t be more excited. I could literally say that every week, but it’s really true! There are so many exceptional, inspirational women who are doing amazing things, that it just give me goosebumps to be able to share them every Monday with you all. I’ll let you read on to learn all the amazing things Wynne does (I wouldn’t do it justice in just a few words here). But know this, she is just as wonderful in person as she is on her Instagram and I still don’t know how she does it all.

You wear MANY hats that cross both the legal and creative fields (a rare skill!), can you share with us all you do and how you got started? 

Founder of The Creative's Counsel and (coming soon, The Creative’s Connector); Partner, Reece Law, L.L.C; co-founder of the pro bono legal clinic, The Northside Legal Clinic; Partner, The ADR Collective, LLC; Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. And if that wasn't enough, I have a few pretty wonderful things in the works, collaborating with some other powerhouse business babes!

While many perceive 'growing up quickly' to be a crutch, I cherish the experience so very much. As a true Minneapolitan, I grew up immersed in two worlds: the land of law and the land of magic and music. Unfortunately, I am no musician. I followed in the footsteps of my attorney-father, but not without a fight. My mother was keen to the exquisite music scene as a Grammy-winning classical composer. When their professions collided, I traveled the world with them, running my imagination into wild depths. Today I credit my creative, entrepreneurial spirit to this childhood, filled like boiling water with opportunity and inspiration. 

Currently, I’m thirty-three and living in the quaint town of Excelsior, Minnesota, (just on the outskirts of Minneapolis), albeit with a heart brimming full of wanderlust. I own a boutique litigation and business law firm that focuses on helping other entrepreneurs grow and prosper.


I earned my Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law, where I worked as a research assistant, a certified-student attorney in a public defender’s office and in a district attorney’s office, and a law clerk for a large national firm, before I landed with my private civil practice in Minneapolis.


Despite this succinct depiction of my legal path, I won’t pretend law was always the plan. Oh, gosh, no! My heart was set on becoming a plastic surgeon by day and painter by night. I interned with a plastic surgeon. I was on my way. So why deviate from a chance at pursuing my childhood dream? My college counselor suggested the shift. Before finishing my sophomore year, she carried with her an honest confession during one of our heart-to-hearts. I was really bad at science, at least, by standard grading methods. And while she admired my tenacity to stick with it, getting into a good medical school would not be impossible, but unlikely.


Knowing my aversion to pursuing the same path as either parent, she still encouraged me to consider the law. So, I switched majors, worked hard to get my GPA to a competitive level (for law school), and started interning in the legal arena. Admittedly the work came much easier to me and I enjoyed the subject matter whole heartedly. However, I was stubborn as an ox. I pushed back hard and didn't truly settle on becoming an attorney until the first time I stepped into a court room . I’ll never forget the first time I stepped up to the podium and let the words, ‘Good morning, Your Honor’ escape my lips, it was as though I became someone else; it wasn’t the adrenaline, rather it was the sense of being, the sense of knowing in my gut that where I stood was exactly where I belonged. After that, there was no looking back.


After graduation, I started Reece Law, L.L.C. and my father joined shortly after. Although, historically, firms of all sizes were built on familial relationships, today it is surprisingly uncommon to see family members practicing together. In fact, many mid-large size firms have policies against it because of the way money is distributed and the concern for favoritism, as well as the emotional aspect families can have that may not be conducive to working in a law firm. My dad departed big firm life, a very successful place that he had worked his entire career to build, to mentor me, just as he had been, thirty-some years ago. An opportunity of a lifetime, for my future.


Although I had the unbelievable blessing to start a firm with my role model, starting my own firm, or "hanging a shingle" as its commonly called, is not an easy endeavor. Most young associates go to work in one specialty for firms with existing structures, like vast document banks and existing clients.  During the first week working at the firm,  I was tasked with "finding an untapped area of law." (Writer’s Note: I know what you’re thinking What?! I was just learning how to be a lawyer - how in the heck was I supposed to find an area of law that was un-tapped!?) So, with a mountain of unknowns on my shoulders, I started from the ground up. I designed a business plan, picking known areas of law we could practice in while brainstorming fresh focuses, built the firm structure, managed the administrative needs and then set out to find clients. 


After two years of balancing a litigation practice, a plethora of pro bono cases, coaching high school Mock Trial, running the event company, becoming a newly-wed and reading a number of The Every Girl articles on time management and life balance, I realized consolidation was a must. No matter how I cut it, there were simply not enough hours in the day to balance so many professional lives and maintain a healthy personal life. Still, as a true Gemini, I was determined to find a point of connection, which is what led to the birth of The Creative's Counsel. 


The Creative's Counsel is an arm of Reece Law, L.L.C., built with the client in mind and heart. The company is based on our genuine interest and passion for people and our love of connecting new people and learning about their dreams. A bounty of business attorneys reside in the Midwest, but while immersed in the throws of the event planning industry, I found out how many of these business owners didn’t have the legal side of their businesses managed. In most cases, this was due to a few core reasons: lack of understanding their legal needs, DIY legal websites, or the concern that legal assistance was not only cost-prohibitive but intimidating. So, with all of these pillars in mind, we structured The Creative’s Counsel to provide affordable, approachable legal representation, with large firm experience and work product quality, to Creatives, Makers and small business owners. It highlights the importance of the attorney-client relationship and the need for ease and accessibility to one’s attorney. While I love planning, my truest joy is helping others feel secure in their business endeavors, so they can stay humble and hustle hard, pursuing their passions. 

Who inspired you to do what you do now? 

Fundamentally, my parents, my God Mother (Cindy), and a few very close friends who believed I could and pushed me to be more. I would be remiss not to mention that all of those who came down on me, shamed me for being a terrible test taker or laughed at my aspirations also inspired me, because they fueled my fire and I am better for crossing paths with them. 

How do you structure your days to get it all done?  

On my best days, I am very structured! In fact if you look at my calendar, I am scheduled out into October at the moment. I schedule a work out every day and then schedule all in-person meetings and calls on 2 days a week, to leave the other 3 days open to get my work down. Now, when it comes down to it, being a business owner / new mom / wife / friend / daughter, things don't always go accordingly, so I take each day as it comes. When there are weeks during which client emergencies arise, all breaks loose and every second of the day is utilized!

What's the best advice you ever received? And on that same note, what is the one thing you would tell anyone starting their own business? 

While you should always dream bigger, you are not invincible. Take care of yourself. Surround yourself with the most genuine of friends and don’t walk away when they tell you the hard things. Remember quality, over quantity. Sleep at least six hours a night, do not over commit yourself simply because you can, drink even more water, set boundaries, go easy on the candy intake and above all, learn to say no! 

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Early riser or Night Owl? Early riser (recovering insomniac)

  • Beach or Mountains? Mountains

  • Favorite book? The Great Gatsby

  • Go with the flow or Control Freak? Go with the flow

  • Dream Destination? India

  • Three qualities that got you where you are today? Humor (Approachability), Independence and Ambition 

Thank you Wynne for sharing your journey with us! We can’t wait to learn more about The Creative’s Connector and all the other great things you have in the works!

Monday Muse: Chris Freytag
Chris MM.jpg

Jumping into Monday with this week’s Muse: Chris Freytag! If you want to get a daily dose of inspiration and motivation, Chris is it. While most of us are hitting snooze, Chris is leading a packed 5:30am fitness class and getting the day started. She’s a nationally recognized health and fitness coach who’s goal in life is to provide you with all the information you need to be healthy and happy. She’s the founder of GetHealthyU and GetHealthyUTV, teaches live classes here in the Twin Cities, creates and shares content on Kare 11 NBC and multiple other digital platforms, has written 4 books, does motivational speaking engagements, is on air for Evine Home Shopping, and has raised 3 kids. Whew! I don’t know how she does it. Let’s learn more about Chris:

Let's start at the beginning... what did you want to be when you grew up (aka what did you go to school for)? Was it fitness/health related? 

I graduated with a Journalism degree in 1987. Talking, writing and communicating have always been strengths for me. 

However, I always loved fitness…there just was not a clear career path in 1983 went I went off to college.  It was always my “sidehustle” - teaching  ‘dance aerobics’ after work.  Then, when women started lifting weights in early 1990’s, I got my Personal Training and Health Coach Certifications and quit my job to do that full time. After a few years, I got involved with making fitness workout VHS tapes and working in TV and with magazines… much longer story but that’s the quick version☺!! 

I started blogging when that became a thing and it turned into my website www.GetHealthyU.com   

4 years ago I took the leap from fitness DVD’s to streaming my workouts and created a second website www.GetHealthyUTV.com where myself and several other trainers create new streaming workouts every week!  

This is TMI I know but just a little about me - My husband and I live in Wayzata – we have 3 kids – all grown 27, 25 and 22. We are dog people - We have 2 golden retrievers in the house: our dog Roxy and our son’s puppy Rusty. 

 I LOVE helping women feel empowered and help them take the steps to better health because they deserve it!!  #yesyoucan 

What does a typical day look like for you?

I like to work out early – I usually teach a group fitness class between 5:30am – 8am.  Quick shower, breakfast and then a typical day could be filled with any and all of these things: phone calls with brands; shooting fitness videos; collaborating with my team at our co-working office; planning out social media; and working on my computer. I try to walk the dog at some point too!   Evenings after dinner are often time to catch up on emails while watching a favorite TV show or sports.  

I love the positivity you spread! Tell us a bit about how you keep that mindset and the impact it's had on your wellbeing.

I have been a positive person my whole life according to my mom ☺.  But with age comes wisdom and I’ve learned along the way that positive thinking is a mindset not an emotion.  You can have lots of emotions like happy, sad, frustrated, stressed… but still choose positive thinking.  I’ve made it my mission to help people understand that they can choose positivity no matter their emotions. And positive thinking can help create a better outcome! I’m naturally smiley and outgoing and I love to give a happy greeting and offer up words of encouragement to people… and that actually goes well with my passion of spreading the message of good health!  

How do you keep yourself motivated? (Especially with winters like ours!) 

I am thankful for a community of amazing people who have been attending my classes for the last 21 years at Life Time Fitness.  I get my butt out of bed in the cold of winter for them <3!  I am thankful for my online community of Get Healthy U TV members – they post everyday about working out with me and our team of trainers and that seriously motivates me to keep on going! 

Is there anything you would tell your younger self if you could?  

I would say keep dreaming … you may not figure out your career or your passion till you are 40 or 50… I talk to so many younger women thinking they have to figure it all out but I didn’t even really get my career started on a national level till I was almost 40. 

Rapid Fire:

  • Coffee or Green Juice to get you going? Coffee first!  Hello Americano ;-) 

  • Cardio or strength training (both are great, but which do you prefer) OOOH – I can’t pick … I’m obsessed with both. Cardio for mental health, Strength for graceful aging! 

  • AM or PM workouts – AM !!! #earlyriser 

  • Strict with diet or moderation is the key?  Moderation!!  80/20 rule.  A healthy eater who enjoys ice cream, guacamole, and wine!  

  • Name 3 IG accounts you LOVE and we should all follow.  

  • I follow my past co-worker, fellow trainer and friend @coachbriannunz for motivation and inspiration.  The guy is even more positive than me – LOL!!   

  • I love to follow @livingwithlandyn for lifestyle and fashion. 

  • @positivelypresent – you can imagine why I like this one☺!!! 

Thanks for all the inspiration and being our Monday Muse Chris! We love all that you do and the energy you bring!

Monday Muse: Jennifer Johnson
Jen 2.jpg

This week’s muse is someone I’ve seen almost monthly (sometimes more) for the past 10+ years. It’s Jennifer Johnson, my acupuncturist. I started acupuncture over 10 years ago when I was at my wits end trying to recover from a recurring eye issue that’s usually linked to an autoimmune disorder. I was the 10% they couldn’t determine what the cause was, and I was having eye flare ups quite regularly that were forcing me to take some pretty strong steroids. I didn’t love being on the medicine, and had tried everything to prevent the flare ups from happening. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I gave up sugar for a year, went gluten free, only ate organic, did yoga 6 days a week, basically lived as clean as I could. When that still wasn’t helping, I turned to acupuncture on a whim. What did I have to lose? Well, to my surprise, it worked. It’s been the one thing that keeps me healthy, and if I do get a flare up, acupunture heals it faster than any of the medicines they give me. Jen has helped me in more ways than I can count. Not just for my eye issue, but anytime I’ve had any other ailments, she’s been able to help get me back on track. If you’ve ever wanted to try acupuncture, I can’t recommend Jen enough. So let’s learn a bit more about her!

Tell us a bit about what you do.

I have been in practice as an acupuncturist since 2003. I also teach pottery classes and have a home studio where I get to play with clay!

How did you get started? Did you study in college? Post College? Side Hustle?

After getting my degree in biochemistry, I was intending to go to medical school - instead took a break from that track and ended up studying Chinese medicine and acupuncture.  

Describe a typical day

Wake up around 830-9, workout, lunch, go to work (acupuncture), meet up with friends for dinner, hang out with my husband and 4 pets (2 dogs & 2 cats) before bed.  

What do you love most about what you do? least?

I love working with people one on one - getting to know them in an intimate and meaningful way.  I also love teaching pottery and inspiring people to tap into and express their creativity.

Least?  The business side of having my own business - accounting, marketing etc...

Common misconception about what you do?

That getting acupuncture is painful.

I can verify it’s not! It’s actually one of the most relaxing things I do. One hour and I feel like I rested for 6!

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Early Riser or Night owl? - night owl for sure!!!

  • Caffeine asap or green juice? - green juice, my nervous system can't handle any caffeine

  • 3 words to describe you - compassionate, intuitive, resourceful

  • Sweat it out or zen zone? -sweat it out

Curious? Want to try acupuncture? You can find Jen at Sattva.

Monday Muse: Jamie Preuss, So Happy You Liked It

Jamie Preuss, food photographer and blogger extraordinaire at So Happy You Liked It, is this week's Monday Muse. I’ve known Jamie for years, working with her many times over the course of my time at Target. In fact, one of my first experiences with her was at a party she was hosting for Stella and Dot (back in the days when I was a rep for them and before we worked together). It was a brunch party, and Jamie didn’t hold back. It was one of the most organized, beautiful, and most importantly delicious parties I had been to. Even back then, this girl knew what she was doing! As someone who also loves to entertain, I can appreciate the time and energy it takes to pull off events like this. Jamie does it with so much joy and makes it look completely effortless. Grab a cup of your favorite coffee (or glass of wine if you’re reading this at night ) and let’s get to know more about Jamie.

How did you start So Happy You Liked it (and how did you come up with the name)? Have you always been in to cooking and entertaining?

So Happy You Liked It was born from my innate desire to share food with others. I realized in my senior year of college that I should have gone to culinary school...I spent just as much time watching cooking shows and researching recipes as I did on my Marketing course load! Realizing that I didn’t need a degree to pursue this passion, I continued to share my creations in the kitchen with others. I soon found that when given a compliment on something I'd made, my response quickly became, “I’m so happy you liked it!”. When I decided to start my own food blog, the name was a no brainer.

Who is your biggest influence in the food? Why?

The home cook who’s looking to try new things, eat seasonally, indulge intelligently, and lead a balanced life. Truly, I find most of my inspiration from those that I’m actually writing and creating for! I love nothing more than hearing, “that one recipe you shared looked so good, but it seemed a little too complex for me”. Direct feedback! When I hear things like this I am so inspired to dig in further and learn more about what my readers are looking for.

Biggest failure you've made in the kitchen? What Happened?

I once made a birthday cake for a dear friend, who is partial to particular light beer. While I was pretty confident in my cake decorating skills, apparently my can-shaped cake vision was not executable AT ALL. Photos of this cake will still send my girlfriends and I in to a fit of hysterical, tear-inducing laughter. 

Favorite ingredient(s) to use ? And is there one ingredient you can't stand or don't like to cook?

I love cooking with fresh and seasonal ingredients...it’s hard to choose just one! With the approaching summer months, I’ll be using fresh veg in every meal. I also love adding citrus to everything. You’d be surprised what a splash of lime juice or zest of a lemon can do to a dish! 

How do you balance the blog, cooking, your corporate job, and all the events you attend ( I get tired just keeping up with your IG! HA)

GREAT QUESTION! I've always been a busy, on the go, schedule-packed-to-the-brim kind of person. But I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t get exhausting! Pro tip: find something that sets your soul on fire, and keep at it. The “work” I do is far from just that. And of course, having a spouse who supports me, knows when to challenge me to slow down, and when to jump in and do a sink full of dishes (sometimes twice in one day…) - is incredibly helpful too :-)

  • Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Cake or pie? (whines at difficulty of question)....CAKE

  • Favorite Restaurant? My husband and I had an UNREAL experience at La Grolla recently. 

  • If you could eat at any restaurant in the world, what would it be? Lo scoglio la tommado- farm and sea to table restaurant Amalfi coast 

  • Cookbooks or Online recipes? Cookbooks! 

  • Go to food when you don't want to cook? Avocado toast (#basic I know), eggs, or pasta 

  • If you could only make one recipe from your blog, what would it be? My Parmesan Pancakes with Caramelized Corn and Bacon are becoming a weekend go to in my house!

Thanks Jamie for being this week’s Monday Muse. Pop on over to Jamie’s blog to try out all her amazing recipes!

Monday Muse: Kayd Roy

This week’s Monday Muse is creative brand strategist Kayd Roy. She’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to building out a brand and has more energy than the energizer bunny. No joke. She’s busy all the damn time and still finds time to have fun, a family, take time out of her day to mentor/guide/inspire others over coffee or drinks. Seriously. She will meet you to chat anytime!

You're truly a "Jane of all Trades" when it comes to a creative career! Can you share with us what it is you do and how you got started?
I help launch and organize businesses through strategic design and thoughtful experiences. On the daily I create trend concepts for Target, am the Director of Design for the boutique fitness studio Fly Feet Running, Co-Founder of a career-growth event series called The Catalyst Circle and run a full-service design studio with clients nation wide. Since a young age, I was always around art projects thanks to my parents and began teaching myself Photoshop in middle school. I’ve said yes to almost every opportunity and this is where it’s landed me!

How to you get it all done? What does a typical day look like?
First, whenever my toddler wakes up that’s when I also wake up (trying to squeeze in every last moment of possible sleep). I drop her at daycare and the majority of the day I’m at Target HQ working on design concepts for Beauty, Essentials, Electronics and Pets. Half the day is spent in meetings and the other is spent pinning ideas to a wall creating a design strategy to drive the businesses forward. In the evening we’ll do dinner, a small walk and then it’s off to bed for my daughter, which is when the real work begins. A small but mighty team of freelancers pitch in on the projects I create for clients so it’s a lot of organization, communication and prioritizing while also catching up on the latest Netflix show. 

You're a small business owner as well as a corporate employee. What made you decide to do both?
It’s not easy, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. My small-biz experience is where I get my energy. It allows me to be nimble, try new strategies, swiftly adjust course if something is not working, lead a team and be a part of other peoples stories. My corporate gig allows me to focusing in on areas of career-growth I wouldn’t necessarily get by being independent. 

What have you worked on that you are the most proud of and why?
There’s been a lot of really great projects but the one that takes the cake is Fly Feet Running. In a corporate environment, or even at a design agency, you only get to be a small part of the puzzle, very rarely the full thing. So when Kristin & Ben brought me on I helped further develop their brand in design, naming, class structure, website, social, floor plans & environment design, apparel and basically anything else that need that needed some design thinking. Through their leadership and trust I was able to prove that what I had been doing for much smaller businesses could be scaled up and still successful.

What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Figure out the goal of your business. Is it something to keep you busy? Is there whitespace you can develop in? Is this your get rich quick solution? Is this a business you want to pass down to your family? Is it for more control? Once you can articulate why you are going into business it will help you make the right decisions.

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Introvert or extrovert? Super extrovert. hiiiiiii

  • Coffee or tea? Coffee. Lots of cream

  • Early riser or burn the midnight oil? Party all night long

  • Paper or digital calendar and to do list? Todoist.com is how I can manage it all

  • Your design style in 3 words or less: All-in. Underestimated. Jazzed.

  • Favorite IG account to follow: For years and years and years it's been Kate over at Wit&Delight. Now that we've all grown up, it's fun to see what her kiddos are doing and how she's grown from her #ootd days.

Thanks so much Kayd! If you have a business that could benefit from Kayd’s work, you can find her at KaydRoy.com. Drop her a note and meet her for coffee!

Monday Muse: The Skin Sisters

I’m super excited to share with you this week’s Monday Muse: The Skin Sisters. Meet Lauren and Brooke. Two Dermatology PAs that also have a blog that answers all your skincare questions. They have over a decade of experience in the skincare industry and use their expertise to give you the best information to help you make informed decisions when it comes to skin, hair, and nails.

How did the two of you get into dermatology? Were you always interested in skincare? 

B: I started my career in a different field (enterprise technology public relations in San Francisco) and transitioned to medicine after about five years. I completed my masters and public health and physician assistant degrees and was very lucky to find a job in dermatology right out of school. I was lucky to have Lauren’s influence, as she had been practicing for several years at that point and encouraged me to consider dermatology as a potential career choice. I have always been drawn to jobs that are fast paced, and give the opportunity to wear many ‘hats’ throughout the day. I love dermatology because in any given day I am seeing patients of all ages for things like skin checks, acne, botox, rashes, hair concerns, skincare consultations, biopsies and minor surgical procedures, etc.

L: Prior to going to PA school, I was always fascinated by dermatology and the uniqueness of the field. Once in grad school, I kept waiting to be equally interested in other fields, but ultimately my initial instinct was correct and I took a position in a private dermatology practice on the Upper East Side upon graduating. It’s been well over a decade, and I haven’t looked back since!

If you could only choose 3 skincare/beauty products what would they be and why?


  • Sunscreen. This is the number one building block of any skincare routine. You can spend a million dollars on anti-aging products, moisturizers, eye creams and lip plumpers but if you don’t wear a daily SPF you are basically throwing your money away!

  • Retinoid. Although I am currently breastfeeding and unable to use retinoids, in a perfect world this is definitely in my top three. These products help to brighten and smooth the skin, lighten sun damage and minimize fine lines. It’s as close to a one stop shop as possible in the world of skincare. There are similar over the counter options available (called retinol) but I prefer prescription retinoid. 

  • A thick moisturizing cream. I love face creams with hyaluronic acid and/or ceramides. These creams feel thick and luxurious, and really soak into the skin without feeling heavy. 


  • Skinceuticals Phloretin Antioxidant serum - such a workhorse. It protects against free radical damage, brightens dark spots, and improves skin texture; plus it’s great for acne prone skin.

  • Colorescience Powder Sunscreen - I keep one in my purse and one in my car. It’s the perfect way to touch up my SPF throughout the day without applying a cream.

  • Cerave PM lotion - I love this lightweight lotion. It’s so affordable, great for most skin types and contains niacinamide (a calming antioxidant.)

One myth about dermatology that you'd love to debunk?

B: That we are all just pimple poppers! We do SO much more than that in the world of dermatology. Acne happens to be a condition we treat commonly and enjoy treating; however, we commonly see skin conditions that are far more ‘serious’. Many times we have literally saved a life by diagnosing melanoma, which is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, during a skin exam or spot check. Dermatology providers are many times the first to diagnose an illness such as lupus or other auto-immune disease because of a skin manifestation. 

L: That is all about beauty. We love helping you find the best skincare regimen and giving you a smooth, natural look with Botox, but don’t forget to schedule your yearly skin check with us to look for precancerous lesions and skin cancers.

An assumption people make about you because of your profession and is it true?

B: That I must use really expensive products on my skin. So not true!! My daily skincare routine is full of products I pick up at Target.

L: People assume that I always have clear skin, but the truth is that everyone gets breakouts from time to time! The key is knowing how to prevent and treat them quickly.

Newest technology in skincare you are excited about?

B: I am really excited about the new skin pH tracker from La Roche Posay, one of my favorite low-cost skincare lines.

L: Hyaluronic acid serums are newish and growing in popularity like crazy. They are such a great way to add hydration to your skin that lasts all day and improves your skin’s texture. I don’t ever skip using mine!

Rapid Fire with Brooke:

  • Product you never leave home without: La Roche Posay AOX SPF50

  • Skin rule you swear by: Don’t forget your neck!

  • Give me all the products or minimalist? Minimalist. 

  • My skin feels the best when: It’s freshly cleaned, toned, moisturized and ready for bed!

  • 3 words to describe your sister: Smart, beautiful, thoughtful.

Rapid Fire with Lauren:

  • Product you never leave home without: Colorescience Powder Sunscreen

  • Skin rule you swear by: Keep it simple. There’s no need for a million steps, just choose effective products that meet the needs of your skin and your goals for skincare.

  • Give me all the products or minimalist? Minimalist for sure. We test out tons of products, so lately I’m using way more than I otherwise would prefer to use. I have two young kids and not a lot of extra time to commit to my morning regimen; simple is key.

  • My skin feels the best when: After dermaplaning! This treatment gets rid of the dead skin cells and peach fuzz on your skin - and helps all of your products to work better. My skin feels as soft as can be in the weeks after this treatment.

  • 3 words to describe your sister: Generous, thoughtful, passionate

Thanks so much Lauren and Brooke! You can learn more on their blog, The Skin Sisters, and if you live in the Twin Cities, you can find them at Zel Skin.