the end.

by erin

well...here it is.

as you have probably noticed from the dwindling posts over the last year or so, my heart's really not into blogging anymore. so I've decided to shut my blog down.

I started b:d:l during law school when I was in desperate need of a creative output, and it helped give me an escape from a law school routine that made me pretty unhappy. so I'll always be grateful to the blog for getting me through that. but now my life has changed, and I no longer have the drive for blogging that I once did.

so it's time to say goodbye. thanks to all of you that have read and commented over the years. I appreciate you more than you know.

and who knows...I may be back someday.



Minnesota is so pinteresting

by erin

A few recent pins featuring my beloved Minnesota...

it's true.
Source: flickr.com via Erin on Pinterest

biking in Minneapolis = the best thing ever
Source: dribbble.com via Erin on Pinterest

Summit, Surly, Lift Bridge, Fulton, Flat Earth...shall I go on?

I can't get enough of Minneapolis bike prints.
Source: google.com via Erin on Pinterest

Well, if I wasn't excited for summer and biking/beer drinking weather, I am now.


squeaky clean

by erin

In my never-ending efforts toward a greener lifestyle, I've all but eradicated plastic from my shower. And it was surprisingly easy!

To be honest, I never really considered the environmental impact of using products in plastic bottles until last summer, when my mom, tired of constantly throwing away plastic bottles, decided to stop buying body wash and switch to bar soap. "But I recycle plastic bottles," you're probably thinking. And I commend you for that, of course, but plastic recycling is not as efficient or eco-friendly as we would like to think (you can read more information about plastic and recycling here). So, really, the best way to reduce the impact of plastic bottles on the environment is to buy less of them.

So I made the switch to soap.

Buying bar soap is actually kind of fun. There are so many delicious-smelling soaps around, and it's easy to find soap that is locally-made from eco-friendly products that are good for your skin (check farmer's markets or local gift shops). A few of my favorite national products are Toms of Maine Daily Moisture Beauty Bar, Trader Joe's Oatmeal and Honey Soap, and the heavenly Archipelago Pomegranate Body Soap (which I got in my January Birchbox!)
After tackling body wash bottles, I moved on to shampoo. I had read about Lush's bar shampoos but was a little freaked out by them, to tell the truth. But after I bought and started using the Seanik Shampoo Bar, I was afraid no more.  It is easy to use, lasts forever (I'm going on 2+ months of daily use and still have about half the bar left), and leaves my hair soft, shiny, and healthy. Win, win.
If you use this, I highly recommend getting a wire soap rack - unless, of course, you want to turn your bathtub bright blue...

What about you? Do you think you could make your shower plastic-free?

all the best blog posts are in list form. it's true.

  • Again, it's been over a month since my last blog post, and again, I have no excuse except that the holidays happened, I've been crazy busy at work, and I just didn't feel like blogging. In fact, I contemplated shutting the whole thing down, but then I thought of all of the hours I've spent getting the formatting just right and I couldn't do it. So I'm trying out something new: actual writing about my life, verbal-diarrhea-style. Get ready.
  • Because I would probably lose my Native Minnesotan card if I didn't talk about the weather, I need to mention two things: it has been unseasonably warm this winter, like 50 degrees in January. Until today. It is currently five degrees below zero. 
  • And because he's smart like that, my cat picked last night to escape out the back door, which I didn't realize until this morning. I found him across the alley, scared and shivering, but thankfully he's okay.
  • Cold weather = dog booties.  Who's my special boy?
  • Ryan and I recently realized that we were in a very boring mac and cheese/Chinese food/veggie burger rut, so I've been trying to actually make some of the recipes from my Pinterest food board (what a concept!). So far I've made this and this and this, all of which were pretty freaking delicious.
  • I'm not much of an Ani DiFranco fan, but I randomly started listening to her new album on Spotify today and I'm really loving it so far. Who knew?
  • We can all agree that Angelina Jolie looked terrible at the Golden Globes, right? And that Nicole Kidman looked amazing? Good, I'm glad we're on the same page.
stay warm!



by erin

Today, I am thankful.

Ten years ago, I was home from college for the weekend to see friends and go to my high school's Christmas musical. I was downstairs in my bedroom when my mom came in to ask me if I felt okay. "Dad can't stop throwing up," she said, "and I'm worried it might be food poisoning." None of us were sick, so they figured it was just a bug. Dad went to sleep, hoping whatever was ailing him would pass by morning.

He's lucky to have survived the night.

When he didn't feel better the next day, Mom took him to urgent care. When the doctors began to suspect what was really wrong with him, things started to happen fast. He was transferred to one hospital and then taken by ambulance to another on the University of Minnesota campus, with my poor, panicked mom following behind, getting lost, and calling us frantically to help her navigate to the hospital (this was well before the days of iPhones and GPS). He underwent scans and tests and then Mom heard a scary, scary phrase: brain aneurysm.

It turned out that he had an aneurysm on the right side of his brain that had sprung a leak. It was near his vomit control center (that is apparently an actual medical term) which is why he had been so sick. And he, and we, were very, very, very lucky that the whole thing had leaked instead of just rupturing.

Because if it had? That would probably have been it for my dad. I wouldn't have had him proudly tearing up as he watched me sing or give speeches at my sorority formals. He wouldn't have been at my side at UND hockey games or biking the MS 150. I wouldn't have had him cheering me on as I graduated from college or when I got into law school. My husband wouldn't have been able to ask him for my hand in marriage. And I wouldn't have had my dad to walk me down the aisle.

The next morning, my dad underwent emergency surgery to place a coil inside the aneurysm and prevent it from rupturing. He eventually made a full recovery. Thankful.

In the days and weeks that followed, I was blown away by the outpouring of love and care we received from those around us: the meals, the cards, the calls, but also the bigger things. Like the family friends who brought a Christmas tree into our house and put it up in our living room while my mom was at the hospital. I was back at school finishing my finals, but my mom told me that she and my younger sister, upon discovering the tree, had simply laid under it, exhausted, and just cried and cried. Or my bff who worked at the hospital and went into the operating room to check on my dad's progress during his initial surgery and kept us apprised of all hospital-related matters. And all of the love we got when he had to have a follow-up surgery a year later.

I can't imagine life without my dad and I am so, so, so glad I don't have to.

So today, I am thankful.


Cyber Monday

by erin

I've never been a fan of Black Friday. After a day full of family, food and wine, I much prefer sleeping in and being lazy to dragging myself out of bed at an ungodly hour and being pepper sprayed or trampled or whatever.

But I do love a deal, so when Cyber Monday became a thing a few years ago, I was right on board. My credit card has already gotten a workout this morning (as I sit at home in my pajamas), and there is still much damage to be done.

A few of my favorite deals so far:
50% off all full-price items at The Limited (code: CYBER)
50% off everything at Ann Taylor Loft (code: SHOP50)
Lots of stuff on sale at Drugstore.com (Clarisonic Mias are only $95 today - the best price I've seen!)
And you know how I love a Kate Spade Sample Sale...

and I'm just getting started.

Whether you are a regular online shopper or you are just online today to celebrate Cyber Monday, you should definitely be shopping with Ebates. Today they are offering double cash back on all purchases, which means that I earned 12% back on my Drugstore.com purchase, for example. It takes awhile for your savings to add up (those people in the commercials who say they get thousands back from Ebates are either liars or have major online shopping addictions) but, I figure, if I can save even a couple of dollars with literally no work at all, why not?

Happy shopping!