The Art of Over Packing

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Overpacking.

We all do it.

 This may surprise some of you (NOT) but I am guilty of overpacking.

Tomorrow I leave for a fun filled weekend away with my lady pals from college. I have been looking forward to this all week. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to pack and was feeling pretty darn confident that I wouldn’t pack….to much.

I began packing at 11:00 this morning and finished up…..about an hour ago.

Should it have taken me allllllllll day to pack?

NOPE.

Do I REALLY need a full-size suitcase, bag, and tote for a two-day trip?

YEP.

Typically I like to show up to someone’s house as if I am moving in. When traveling by car, this theory works great. By plane…..not so much. Especially when I am expected to only bring one suitcase.

One suitcase? That’s a joke, right? How am I supposed to fit the outfits I BOUGHT for the trip, the BACKUP outfits to the outfits I purchased, then the BACKUP to the backup outfits in case I am feeling fat? Not to mention the amount of shit I put on my face to make sure I don’t scare small children.

Let’s not forget all the things I need to help me sleep (high maintenance…..no, I just really value sleep….ok maybe high maintenance just a touch). My own pillow, blanket, computer so I can watch Friends…..white noise machine.

Yes, I travel with a white noise machine.

There was one time I traveled to Chicago with one suitcase. It seemed handy until I had to figure out how to fit all Michigan Avenue purchases in my carryon. I can’t relive that…it was just too traumatizing. Not the trip, the trip was great…but the idea of one suitcase…gets me all sorts of worked up.

So to all my fellow over-packers out there I salute you. Don’t ever let anyone steal your overpacking sunshine!

PEACE, LOVE, AND PACKING

My Favorite McCook Spots

 

Since my time in McCook is down to a little over a month (we found and PURCHASED a house in Lincoln YAY!), I though now would be a good time to share with you all some of my favorite spots to frequent in McCook.

This list will mostly consist of shops and resturants. Because let’s face it, if there is anything I am good at it is shopping…..and eating.

Mac’s Drive-In

If you ever find yourself in the southwest corner of Nebraska, the desert of the state if you will, YOU MUST stop here to eat. Not only is the food good, the restaurant alone is an experience. Inside you order your food over the phone, when it’s ready a red light flashes and you go pick it up at the cashier’s window.

Outside you will find they have old school drive-up stalls, where you push a button on the menu to place your order. Then a friendly Mac’s employee brings your food straight to your car window!

My food recommendations would be the deluxe cheeseburger, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms……French fries…chicken strips…….oh hell just get the ENTIRE MENU! Lord knows I have..

One thing you must not forget when stopping by this McCook hotspot….GET ALL THE RANCH! Seriously, Mac’s has the best ranch, in probably all of the world. You can trust me on this one, I know my ranch.

Mint 217 Boutique

Shortly after we moved here a little boutique started to take shape across the street from where I was working. Everyday I would peek out the window to see when I could check it out. Finally the WE ARE OPEN sign was up and I was out the door!

I have been fortunate enough to get to know Mint’s owner Leah (total sweetheart), and let me tell you she has done wonders for downtown McCook shopping. She offers unique items in her store, and I have never left there empty handed. If you stop by tell her Julia sent ya.

Sehnert’s Bakery

Sehnert’s is special to McCook having been around since…well I don’t know the exact year but a really, really long time. I’m not good with history so give me a break will ya?

The jiffy burger is something I knew nothing about before moving to McCook. It is life changing. You will want ALL OF THE JIFFY BURGERS. I never thought a loose meat sandwich could bring so much joy to my life.

Not only do they have great food, but they also support local artists and have events to showcase their talents. From comedians to musicians you will find it all at Sehnerts.

Knowlen & Yates

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Do you see a trend yet? Two restaurants and now two shops. Like I said, shopping and eating, it’s kinda my jam.

Knowlen & Yates specializes in kitchen and home decor, but they have speciality food as well. You can go into their store and get fresh ground coffee. They do it right in front of you. Some of you may be like, “get with the 2010s girl they do that lots of places (insert eye roll emoji here).” Well I had never experienced it until moving here so for me it was amazing. It’s the little things in life.

Taste of Texas BBQ

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I am going to end this list with a place that I think, offers the best Bloody Mary in the area. The BBQ isn’t bad either. The best part about living in a small town is locally owned restaurants. You get the best service and the food never disappoints. I don’t even bother looking at the menu when we go there. Chicken Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, and Mac n Cheese. Carb overload, sure. But totally worth the food baby you leave with.

So there you have it folks! Just a few of my favorite spots in McCook. If you ever find yourself in this little corner of the state I recommend taking some time to check the town out. Get a Bloody Mary and do some shopping. Why? Because that’s what JULIA would do!

PEACE, LOVE, AND EATING….AND SHOPPING…

Life Update & The Golden Globes

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Jersey knows whats important on Golden Globes night…champagne and shoes! Don’t worry…she stuck to the H2O

It has been A HOT MINUTE. I am so sorry for keeping everyone in the dark. I’m sure you all have been DYING to know what I have been up to! (By “you all” I basically just mean my mom and sister….) For the last week I have been in Lincoln (NE) dog sitting and house sitting for my friends while they are on the sunny beaches of Mexico. I’m not jealous at all. I mean, why would I give up these blustery slightly above ZERO temps for 80 degrees and Margaritias?!! I’d say I am #WINNING in this situation.

(I hope the sarcasm was sensed in that last part)

I have so many life things to fill you all in on. But for now, I must put that aside. In due time, I will give all you the deats on our move and my super exciting job I will start in February. For now you must be patient my little grasshoppers…

Moving on to more important things like……….THE GOLDEN GLOBES! I know I am over a week removed from recapping them, but like I said I have been a little busy dealing with grown up things. I apologize for keeping you all waiting (again…you all = mom and sister).

so many amazing moments from that evening! From the stand of solidarity in all black ensembles to Oprah’s life changing speech. In case you missed it, click here. I don’t want to spoil to much of it for those who didn’t get to watch, what I will share is my favorite quote from her fantastic speech,

“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud, and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak and share their personal stories.”

KUDOS QUEEN OPRAH! There has been talk of a political run…Oprah 2020?? #shehasmyvote!

I could go on and on….AND ON with all my favorite moments from that evening. But that could take a while. So I will leave you with my own Golden Globe look.

I may or may not have worn this while I watched the Globes…..by myself. (Judgement NOT ALLOWED, ok you can judge a little…#sorrynotsorry)

Keep an eye out for more new posts about Vanderpump Rules, how much I hate packing, how much I drink while packing, and to find out whether Alex and I will be speaking at the end of our move to Lincoln!

PEACE, LOVE, AND OPRAH 2020!

Movin’ On Up – The Bauer’s Are Headed Back To Lincoln

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So it’s official.  We are moving back to Lincoln (NE)!

Also, isn’t it just the BEST time of the year to make a major life change? It’s cold, and it’s smack dab in the middle of the holidays WHY NOT! I tell you what, Alex and I have impeccable timing.

Despite the fact the timing isn’t perfect, this is something we have both wanted for a very long time. We have occupied the southwest corner of Nebraska long enough, and to be honest, I need Target back in my life! Call me basic, but that place is a wonderland.

As excited as we both are it is incredibly bittersweet. We have been able to live in the same town as his parents for the last 3 years and it has been so great. We are a bit closer to my family which is nice. My nieces have had a few events in McCook so to be able to attend those without hesitation has been awesome.

Time seems to slow down when you move to a small town. This was something I just couldn’t quite get use to when we first moved here. I needed the hustle and bustle of the city! I needed the horns honked and the middle fingers flipped! You don’t really get much of that here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite nice to not get the finger daily, and you don’t dare honk your horn at someone. They will follow you home and scold you….I know this….because it might have happened to me…..once. Or twice…..

Moving on.

Long summer nights, and cozy winter evenings just seem better in a small town. There isn’t a need to be everywhere at once. I am so incredibly excited to get back to Lincoln, back to my friends, back to the place Alex and I fell in love. But it will be hard to say good-bye to what we have known as home for the last 3 years.

Wow, this post took a turn for the cheeserific pretty fast! I better end this now. Be prepared for many more posts about the joys of moving….and drinking…while moving…because my friends, you can’t have one without the other!

PEACE, LOVE, AND MOVING BACK TO LTOWN!

Jersey Christmas Card

My Favorite Christmas Story

6 year old me
Me circa 1987 Don’t be to jealous my cool ‘do

What would Christmas be without a good old fashion Christmas story?! No I’m not talking about Rudolph, or Buddy the Elf’s trip to find his dad. I am talking about a block of wood. A Christmas block of wood if you will.

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The Christmas block of wood in all it’s glory!

Let me set the scene for you. It was 1987 and I was at Sunday school, we just had a riveting lesson on baby Jesus and like a good little angel I was waiting quietly for the next activity.  In front me is placed a block of wood and a number of different paints. Forgive me for not remembering the directions that were given as to what to do with the block of wood.  Truth be told, I probably wasn’t paying attention anyway. I mean, there was wood, paint, and glitter…..GLITTER! How does a 6 year old pay attention to anything when there is glitter in front of them?! I went to town creating a masterpiece. I knew my Mom would probably stop putting up the Christmas tree and just have this magnificent piece of art out for all to see.

Of course after Sunday school is church and I knew I wouldn’t be able to show my Mom what I had made until the hour long service was over. TALK ABOUT THE LONGEST HOUR OF MY LIFE! As soon as I knew it was safe I ran to get my beautiful artwork and give it to my Mom. As I predicted she loved it. I mean, what mom wouldn’t love a piece of wood painted blue with red glitter?!

Then in the sweetest most loving voice my Mom asked…..what is it?

close up block of wood copy
Here is a diagram for

WHAT IS IT?! DUH MOM it’s a Christmas tree, angel, and baby Jesus can’t you tell?! I mean I saw it, so I had no idea how she couldn’t. But nonetheless she was the proudest mom that day and displayed my work in the windowsill of our family living room for all to see. I spent that entire Sunday proudly staring at what I had created. I soon realized however, it was missing………………something.  So I got a pencil and went to town, gave the angel a solid curly ‘do and of course the tree needed a star! PERFECT!

Every year since that block of wood was brought home my Mom displays it in the same windowsill.  My family won’t admit it but they look forward to that decoration even more than the tree. Tragedy struck last week when Kathy (mom) couldn’t locate the Christmas block of wood! I TOLD HER CHRISTMAS WAS CANCELLED IF SHE COULDN’T FIND IT!

Thankfully, she was able to locate it, and it is sitting peacefully in the windowsill. Christmas can resume.

Next year I will tell the tale of the Christmas can, another Sunday school creation.

PEACE, LOVE AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 6 year old me 2

What Happens In Minneapolis

 

 

 

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When you travel hours to Minneapolis to hang out with all of your best friends.

Things happen.

Don’t worry Mom, I didn’t do anything to incriminating. This isn’t one of those,  “what happens in Minneapolis stays in Minneapolis” sort of posts. Or is it?!

ANYWAY I don’t plan on embarrassing myself or my friends. I won’t talk about the panda bear and unicorn onesie’s that came out on Friday night. Or my ability to find a runway to Vogue down in any bar I enter.

Oh, and I definitely won’t talk about all of the wigs.

What I will discuss is that I have the best group of friends a girl could ask for. Each one of these fine ladies below purchased a shirt from my shop (Sensible Chaos check it out!) to wear last weekend. I myself hadn’t planned on pushing my shirts that weekend, but these gals did!

Hell of a business woman I am.

Moving on.

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So there we are, all in our matching shirts having the best time. Good thing considering the Huskers played horribly. (Scott Frosts anyone?) It’s pretty sad when you can get tickets for $10 apiece. Did I waste my $10 on a ticket? HELL NO! I spent that money on Vodka Tonic’s and cheese curds. #priorities

We even got a little classy on this trip going to the Loews hotel for drinks. I drank ALL of the champagne and I drank it out of all the fancy champagne glasses.

Because I’m fancy.

Also it was only natural we end our time at Loews with an elevator selfie. Don’t act like you wouldn’t do it, because you totally would.

A weekend full of random happenings, lots of adult beverages, many baskets of cheese curds, and lots of laughter. By far one of the best weekends I have had in a while. Until next time Minneapolis!!

PEACE, LOVE, AND CHEESE CURDS!

 

 

Jersey Girl

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6 months ago today Alex took our sweet fur baby to the vet. She needed a shot and her nails trimmed. Normal dog stuff. Jersey goes nuts for the vet, as any dog does. Can you imagine if humans where EVER that excited to go to the doctor?! Think about how easy it would have been as a child to get a shot if you looked at it like dogs do. Just one of many reasons why a dog is pretty much the best thing to ever happen to a human.

On this particular visit though, Alex wasn’t given the best news. The vet told him that Jersey had a tumor on her stomach and gave her at most, 6 months to live. This did explain a lot. She hadn’t been eating well, even when we covered her food with treats. She wasn’t as rambunctious as she once was, and she was coming up on her 12th birthday.  As dog parents you never want to hear this kind of news. Sure you try to prepare the best you can, but how do you? Dogs, like grandparents, are just NEVER suppose to leave us!

That was all 6 months ago. Since we got the news we have switched her food and stopped giving her any form of “people food.” We have seen a gradual change in her appetite and she has even gotten a little bit of her spark back. She went back to the vet on Monday and hasn’t lost any weight and for all that the doctor could see, she was doing fine. Alex had been reluctant to take her back to the vet out of fear for more bad news. So even though Alex got a simple, “she is doing fine” he basically heard, “your dog is eternal and will live forever!” Selective hearing has always been a strong suit of Alex’s.

So this morning when I was putting my shoes on for work Jersey came over and sat right next to me. As she does most mornings, her way of telling me she would prefer that I stay home (me too girl….me too), and that is when I realized we had hit an amazing milestone.

As I scratched her ears and kissed her forehead she looked right at me as to say, “I’m going to be alright mom, I promise!” I honestly had to choke back tears. Jersey is more than a dog, she is more than my fur baby, she is my best friend. Alex spends a lot of time on the road so she is the one to keep me company while I watch The Real Housewives of New York. She reassures me each morning that I do not look fat in my corporate apparel. She is beside herself with excitement each and every time I come home from work. I am a better person because of her, and I truly believe she is eternal.

I could spend all day writing about how much I love my four legged best friend, but I think I have used up my sappy card for the day.  If you have a fur baby give her an extra snuggle today…and tell him or her it’s from Jersey!

The adorable German Shepard in these photos is Jersey’s best friend Ruby!!

PEACE, LOVE AND FUR BABIES

Act of Comparison

Dave Grohl

According to Webster’s online dictionary the definition of comparison is, “the act or process of comparing: such as the representing of one thing or person as similar to or like another.”

Seems like a harmless act.

But it can be tricky.

What kind of self-proclaimed “blogger” would I be if I didn’t get real on here from time to time?

I am 100% guilty of comparing myself to others. This is a very dangerous game. Comparing isn’t something I find myself doing often, but when I get in it, it takes a while for me to get out of it.

I have found since I started this blog, and my shirt shop, when I am not getting the results I want I start to compare myself to others. I look at those bloggers who have thousands of followers on Instagram, work with so many different brands, collaborate, the list goes on and on. Yes I have been fortunate to open a few doors that weren’t there before but it is frustrating when I pour all my creative juices into a post that only a handful of people view. It’s hard to separate the real reason I do this, from the superficial need to have people “like” me.

Unfortunately when I get into the, “comparison hole” (as I like to call it) with my blog, it starts to spill over into other aspects of my life. I start to feel like at 36 years old I need to be more successful. Sure I have a good job, I have a wonderful husband, a nice home, but should I have a bigger home like my friend Sally? Should I have a better job like my friend Alice? Am I not trying hard enough to climb the corporate latter? It’s a never ending cycle of thoughts and eventually I convince myself I should just give up on all things I am passionate about.

So how do I get out of this horrible comparison place? I write about it. There are many  posts I have written and never published because I feel like it was just me needing to get it out. However, I think this is a particular topic we are all somewhat guilty of. I could spend the rest of my life comparing myself to others and thinking I need to be where they are. Or that I will never be as “grown up” as they are. Sure it might take me a few years to get this blog, and other things in my life I am passionate about, out there but I will be damned if I am going to let anything get in the way. Sure I get into ruts, as you can see, but I also get myself out of them. This may seem harsh, and is simply my opinion, but those who spend their life comparing what they have, or don’t have, to those around them are incredibly insecure. Now I may have lost a few readers for that, and that’s ok. By disagreeing with me you are sticking to WHO YOU ARE. That is the first step to being secure in yourself as a human.

I am not perfect. I may never have a six-figure job, drive a bright shiny car, or live in a giant house. This blog may just be something my Mom, sister, husband, and handful of great friends read because they are my biggest fans, and that’s ok. I have to constantly remind myself I am doing all of this because it is what makes me happy and that has to be enough.

Now that’s not to say if Free People…..or Louis Vuitton happen to want to start sending me free stuff because they love what I write on here….I’m not going to say no. BUT if that never happens, I am ok with it. I do everything I do because it is truly what I love. For me that is enough.

Peace, Love, and BE YOU!

*Sally and Alice are not ACTUAL people I know….just names! 🙂

How I Watch Husker Football

As you all may know, or perhaps not, I’m not the biggest fan when it comes to football.

I get it, I should probably be banished from Nebraska for even admitting that.

No, I’m not so much of a girly girl I don’t understand the game of football.  It’s just not that entertaining to me. I get lost in all the thoughts running through my head.  Like when the snacks will be served, and if I have enough wine to get me to halftime? #priorities

So go figure when I married a die-hard Husker fan. Bless him for loving me through it though. However, if I ask him to explain a “first down,” to me one more time I think that might be the end to us watching football together.

I live by the mantra, “I’m only here for the beer and the snacks.” What kind of person would I be if I didn’t keep it 100 ALL OF THE TIME?! I think a lot of the reason most people even invite me to football parties is because they know by halftime I will be a bottle of Pinot Grigio deep and pretty entertaining.

Another reason I watch football?  So I can buy AT LEAST 3 new husker shirts each season. Any excuse to go shopping right?!

I feel better after confessing this to all of my faithful blog readers. Here is a sneak peek at what I will be wear this Saturday as I cheer on the Huskers! Or, sit in the corner drinking wine and watching miniature donkey videos on my phone until halftime………

corny

Corny AF shirt available at Taylor Wolfe Shop.

Flannel available at Mint 217 in McCook.

Peace, Love, and GBR!!!!

 

 

 

I Finally Got A Surprise Party

So two weekends ago I had a surprise party.

It was Epic.

Just watch the video below for my very graceful and put together reaction.

 

A little back story.

For a solid 9 years (as long as Alex and I have been together for those who don’t know) I have been obnoxiously annoying him to throw me a surprise party. Some might be saying, “Julia, doesn’t that negate the whole point of a surprise party?” Well for me no. I can’t remember where I put my shoes I just took off two minutes ago. I sure as hell am not going to remember asking for a surprise party.

On July 6th (my birthday) the day came and went. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great day filled with pool floating and cocktail drinking. But I would be lying if I didn’t think maybe he would have planned SOMETHING, but nonetheless I stayed #grateful for what I got and strapped in for year 36.  Another year with no surprise party and I was somewhat ok with it, but you know I had to bug Alex about it just a little bit.

So fast forward a few weeks and we headed to Lincoln (NE) to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary on Friday July 28th (our actual anniversary). That night we went to dinner at our favorite spot Misty’s (get the pasta Alfredo with blackened prime rib it won’t disappoint) then back to the hotel to pop some champagne and celebrate another year of putting up with each other! In bed by 10 falling asleep to American Greed on MSNBC. We are quite the romantics.

The next day was full of bloody mary’s, tipsy shopping, and rooftop happy hours. To my delight when we got back to our hotel room MTV had a marathon of The Hills playing so YOU KNOW I poured myself a glass of Rosé and hunkered in to watch at least 4 episodes. Coincident or not the first episode was when the gang threw Lauren a surprise party on a boat. You bet I had to point this out to Alex.

On my second episode of The Hills Alex tells me I need to get ready……two glasses of Rosé in and I didn’t want to. What’s the rush? Sure we had to meet friends for “dinner” but that wasn’t for 2 hours!!

Still no clue.

I reluctantly tear myself away from the drama that is Heidi and Spencer and start to get ready. Alex suggested we go to Legends, the bar in the hotel, for a quick drink before meeting our friends across the street for, “dinner.” I didn’t even flinch at the suggestion. I mean, more Rosé…I wasn’t going to say no!

Around 6:30ish we head down to Legends to grab a “drink” and the first person I spot is my Mom. Then my sister…………THEN ALLLLLLL OF MY FRIENDS! It took only one second for me to realize that this was my surprise party. Of course I cried, and cursed (sorry mom), and blubbered. Alex pulled it off and I had zero clue. Do you think the surprises stopped there? NOPE! From around the corner came my best friend Maggie. Maggie traveled all the way from Minneapolis so she could join in the surprise fun. (FYI Maggie is at the end of the video)

The rest of the evening was spent drinking, and happy crying, and telling everyone how much I loved them, and splitting my pants. That last part is no joke, I LITERALLY SPLIT the side of the pants to my polka dot jumpsuit. But you know what…..I didn’t care, I just found some duct tape from the bar and sealed that shit up and headed to the next spot!

To all the friends that came, and to all the friends that planned to come but couldn’t make it, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK so very much for making that night so incredibly great for me. I feel so damn lucky to call all of you my bests!!

The Family
This is my family…thought you might like some faces with those I speak of on this blog. They all love it, they just don’t want to admit it! Front Left to Right: Anne-sister ME Kathy-mom Back: Thomas-bro-in-law Alex-hubby Dale-Dad