i’m a rebel just for kicks… and other tuesday musings

excited about the start of kickball season
reading Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
dreaming about what i want in my dream house
loving my new niece Fiona

laughing about an oh so true sign

craving a chimichanga and a margarita
listening to Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man
watching The Wire
thankful for a friend who is officially cancer free!
looking forward to birthday doughnuts

What Coloring Taught Me About Multitasking


I used to think that multitasking got things done quickly and efficiently (am i alone here?). Do two things at once and you’re saving time, right? Wrong. Once I truly started looking at my multitasking I realized how inefficient I was being.

To start with, I would try to brush my teeth and change my clothes or make coffee. Let me tell you, there are some things you can do while brushing your teeth, but changing your clothes or making coffee is not one of them. While I would fill up the coffee maker with grounds, my brushing would come to a complete stop because I needed both hands to make coffee. I’m sure you can imagine how brushing my teeth in conjunction with changing my clothes went [hint… it didn’t].

For some reason I kept thinking that I was being productive by doing multiple things at once, even though I was neglecting my teeth while I was making coffee [hello productivity!….right?].

Then, this Christmas, one of my friends gave me a Harry Potter coloring book. I started coloring some evenings while I was sipping on a glass of wine, and listening to Elton John [which ps: is the right kind of multi-tasking]. It wasn’t until I was a few pictures in that I realized I was unsuccessfully trying to multitask. I would start using one color and then see a different part of the drawing that needed to be colored, and I would stop coloring the section I was on, and move to a different section.

Now if you’ve never colored an adult coloring book [which by the way, am I the only one who hears the term “adult coloring book” and thinks it’s something dirty?] there are a ton of different spots to color. Like, I’m talking hundreds of teeny tiny spots. So in my attempt to multitask I would drop one color I was already using and move to a different color, only to need to come back to the first color. Are you following? If so, you realize how incredibly unproductive this is. I still needed to finish the spot I was working on, and it would still be there when I finished the second spot I chose to color.

All in all, this is a long-winded way of saying that coloring taught me to stop multitasking, and instead focus on doing one thing really well, and then move onto the next. It wasn’t until I started coloring that I realized how my attempts to multi-task were failing, and I was actually wasting time. Since realizing this I’ve tried to slow down and focus on one task at a time, and I think it’s helped. Every once in a while I’ll catch myself unsuccessfully multi-tasking, but for the most part I feel I’ve become more productive.


Phew. What about you lovely readers? Do you do anything that you used to think was productive, but later realized how unsuccessful it was? Let me know about it in the comment section below!

Things I Know for Sure

Life never turns out as you expect. Life is constantly throwing curveballs, and can leave you wondering whether you can be certain of anything. If you’re lucky, there will be a few things you know for sure. For me, there are 5 things I know for sure;

With friends and family by your side, you can get through anything.
These past few weeks have been a little rough for my friends and family. My grandfather-in-law and my best friend’s father-in-law unexpectedly passed away and then my best friend was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. With all of this going on, it’s important to have friends and family by my side. With them around, I can get through anything.


You should turn off your phones when around those you love.
All too often I see people spending their time staring at their phones while they are around people they love. I believe family time should be family time, not time spent around your family while everyone stares at their little blue screens. I believe it’s important to be present with your friends and family. There is plenty of time to catch up on the internet when you get home.

You shouldn’t photograph everything.
Along the lines of keeping your phone in your car while you’re with your family, comes another phone belief I have. All too often people try and document every moment instead of truly enjoying it. Parents follow their kids around trying to take a photo of everything their kids do. Trust me when I say that you don’t need 7,000 photos of your kid playing on the playground.

Make time for girl’s night.
Trust me, I love hanging with the boys, but every once in a while it’s great to have a girls night. Wine, cupcakes, pizza, and trashy tv shows.


People should put down the TV remote and turn on music

It’s easy to get home from work, pour yourself a glass of wine, and turn on the TV. Trust me, I understand. But I also believe it’s so important to turn off the TV and turn on some music. Music can set a mood that TV can’t. Turning on relaxing music at the end of the day can help you wind down. Turing on music that is great for dancing can make cooking even more enjoyable. Plus, listening to music stimulates conversation whereas TV tends to hinder and even halt conversation. Don’t get me wrong, a Netflix evening is great, but every once in a while try turning on music and see where the evening takes you.


I Believe…

I believe…
in dancing when there’s music [or when the mood strikes you… like when you’re cooking or driving]

I believe…
that you can be moody but shouldn’t let it affect your relationships
that sometimes a bad mood seeps into your relationships, and the best thing you can do is apologize

I believe…
in bonfires
a great glass of bourbon or wine
naps and fluffy blankets

I believe…
in spending too much time with your friends and family
in turning off your phone
in listening to old music

I believe…
in working out but then heading to brunch after [it’s called balance]

I belive…
we shouldn’t always worry about the future
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I believe…
that lazy Sundays are necessary every once in a while [like at least once a week]

I believe…
finding your style, and buying pieces that fall into that category vs what’s trendy right now

I believe…
everyone should find someone who loves you. all of you. exactly as you are.

I believe…
everyone should find friends who love you. all of you. exactly as you are.11475add39b102dbbe1a233959900c75

What about you? What do you believe in?

Life According To My Camera

I hate to say it, but the summer is quickly coming to a close so Steve and I are trying to soak up every minute of it. Last Saturday we went on a date to the MN Food Truck Festival and tried several delicious treats. After we decided to head to a local ice cream place where their motto is “forty-six ice cream flavors served in mammoth portions”, and as you can tell, Nelson’s did not disappoint.
Later that day I went out in Stillwater with some high school friends.
Then on Sunday Steve and I got the chance to do something that we will probably never be able to do again… watch the Twins play baseball from a private suite. It was all you could eat pulled pork, brats, hot dogs, fruit, and treats. Plus, all you could drink beer.
Obviously we hated every second…
Finally, we finished our deck project! [don’t mind the wood shavings near the tree. i think the squirrels drop shavings while they eat]

Thoughtful Thursday

excited about my brother moving back from London in mid September!!
worried about nada
reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
creating flip book animation
loving memories from this weekend where nearly every single one of my family members were there and we just relaxed on a boat and caught up
laughing about the look I got from everyone in my skyfit class when I told them we were doing this [we did, and no one died]
wondering if you guys have any blog suggestions for me. I’d love to hear your favorites in the comment section below!
craving Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
listening to Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder
watching Jane the Virgin 
thankful for an incredibly supportive husband
looking forward to the end of our deck project [it’s been two months of board replacement, power washing, sanding and staining. first coat=done… one more to go!]

#OopsImInLondon [aka: a pub tour of England]

Do you lovely readers have an idea how hard it was to not post about the amount of excitement I had about my upcoming trip??!! Unfortunately, I had to keep my travel plans under wraps because my brother didn’t know I was coming. What happened was that my sister and brother-in-law had bought tickets to visit my brother but had to postpone their trip. My sister then decided she wasn’t comfortable leaving their 1 and a half-year old alone so she asked if her husband could watch Ella and if I wanted to go, and I obviously said, “yes” [thank you airline miles for the free flight]! Now my brother knew that my sister would be there, but she had the great idea that we shouldn’t tell him I was going and show up as a surprise! How often in your life do you get to surprise your brother by showing up to see him when he lives in Manchester?! [aka: never] So my lips were sealed shut for the past two months in order to keep the surprise going and last Tuesday Molly and I hopped on a plane and headed to London. We got in at noon and were completely exhausted, so we walked around for a while and that lasted until a little before 8 until we were so sleepy we turned in.
The next morning we hopped on a train and surprised Matt!IMG_8875 We spent one day in Manchester, saw his school, his new house [which we named “a really nice crack den”], and the town. The next day we jumped back onto the train and went back to London where we basically took a tour of London pubs. IMG_8909
And no, we didn’t spend the entire time in pubs. One of my favorite afternoons was spent drinking coffee and eating macaroons while it poured. Plus [don’t judge me] I’ve never had macaroons, and I’m officially obsessed.
So I made it necessary to eat my way through all the macaroons London has to offer.
IMG_8946 We did a little touristy stuff and took a super pano in front of the London Bridge! Matt had this pose he called “putting out the vibe” which he brought out several times during the trip. IMG_8926
We went to this pub that had spots to sit right on the river with a view of the bridge, so we sipped wine and beer while taking in the London views.
And of course sought out the new Harry Potter movie! We weren’t able to see it, but it made the excitement of the new book even more prevalent.
So there you have it! My trip to London! It was incredible and I was so thrilled to be able to spend time with my siblings. They are some of my favorite people in the world, and being able to spend an entire week with them was more than I could ever ask for. Plus, I found out that he will be moving home [99% chance] in the fall! Wahoo!! I cannot wait!!

Phew! Now I’m fighting my jet lag and trying to catch up on the work I missed so needless to say I’m a little sleepy. But hey, can’t complain. I will accept the jet lag and get back to work while remembering all the wonderful times I had on vacation.


PS: Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shapowell/ or on Snapchat: [hoolination] to follow all the adventures!

Whimsical Wednesday

Oh, hey there lovely readers. Yes, it’s been almost two months since my last post, and I have no excuse other than a serious lack of inspiration. I haven’t been reading blogs or writing blogs, but I’m officially trying to get back on the horse. So in the spirit of finding inspiration I’ve created my list of things that are sparking my creativity.

First things first, the hubby has been traveling a lot and then I went out-of-town, so I’ve truly been savoring every second we get to spend together. This saying is so sweet and warms my lonely heart when he is away.


Second, there is this. Even if things feel a little off kilter, I’m a believer that if you have great coffee and spot on eyeliner, you can conquer anything.


I have a group text with my sister and my brother’s girlfriend, and we are always texting funny photos we have seen throughout the day. This morning my brother’s girlfriend sent me this and it reached me on so many levels. 1, because it’s officially summer and that means it’s bikini season. 2, because I have a love for tacos. They are absolutely my favorite food. And if there were truly a season dedicated to Taco Bod Season, I would move there and never leave.


I have also joined a kickball team! While my athletic skills are ok, my competitive nature is not usually something my teammates admire. I have a tendency to not care if we win. I’m really there for the fun of the sport, time with friends, and the beer we drink after. The “must win at any cost” attitude is sort of lost on me. [oh yea, I’m that teammate]. So now I have to find some way to make myself actually care about winning so I don’t make all my teammates angry…



And finally, there is this hairstyle. I literally cannot get enough of it. Bun on top, and either natural, curly or straight hair on the bottom. The ways to wear it are endless, and I plan on overusing this style until someone tells me I need to try something else [and probably a few weeks after that].



So there you have it. A few whimsical things that are sparking my creativity lately. What about you lovely readers? Anything sparking your interest, or like me are you struggling to find it?



A View From The Other Side


A few years ago I wrote a post about saying “thank you” after a trampoline fitness class my friend Cynthia and I took. The instructor absolutely kicked our butts, we were dripping in sweat, and positively exhausted, but never the less we got off the mat and said, “thank you”. And before you say anything, yes I know that’s how your supposed to feel after a truly great workout, but my point was that it felt like an odd time to say “thank you”.

[see the previous post about my trampoline experience]

Fast forward a few years later, and I’m not only still taking the trampoline classes, but I’m also an instructor (along with my friend Cynthia). I’ve been teaching at one location, and to be honest the people who attend those classes aren’t always willing to push themselves. Instead they complain, ask what an easier modification is, and how much longer there is in class. As a student, I totally get that. Classes can sometimes feel long, especially if you’re not 100% into working out at that moment. But as an instructor, hearing those words make you feel like you’re not doing a good job. It can feel as though the students are not interested in what you’re teaching them and can make you question if you need to make changes.

Then this morning something wonderful happened! I taught at another location, taught the same workout I did at the first location, and do you know what happened?? They loved it!! The students loved pushing themselves, reveled in the workout, walked off the mat and said, “thank you”! Now I’ve heard “thank you” before, but there were two students who have been taking the class since day 1 and are very particular in the exercises they like to do, so to hear that they liked the class means a lot!

So here I am. 2 years later and viewing these classes from the other side. Taking the classes is truly a different experience once you’ve been on both sides. It makes you appreciate the instructors more, and take class more seriously.

Moral of the story, I’m going to keep creating workouts that challenge the students, and try to block out the complaints. That is, after all, why they came to the class, right?!

Let’s Go On An Adventure


My little brother has been over in England since August and I’ve only been able to see him once since he left. Steve and I decided to head across the pond to visit him, and I couldn’t be more excited!

We will be flying into Paris where Steve and I will spend a few days alone exploring, drinking wine, and relaxing. After that we’re meeting my brother, Matt, in Munich where we’ll spend a few days in Munich along with a day trip to Salzberg, Austria [which will probably entail a whole lot of Sound of Music sing alongs]. After Munich we will be flying over to Rome where we will spend a few days eating gelato and pasta, and attempting to get a glace at the pope. We’ll finish off the trip in London with fish and chips, pubs, sight seeing and hopefully a sighting of the queen!

Hanging with my husband and brother in some extraordinary locations! Words cannot explain how much I want this trip to be here today!

Since booking the trip I’ve been planning where to go, what to do, and obviously what to wear. I’ve been holding myself back from packing until the trip is closer but since we leave soon I finally get to give in a start packing!

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel abroad quite a few times, but this time I thought I would pack smarter, so I’ve been reading what seems like 1,000 blogs on packing a carry on, what to wear in Paris, and more. Now that I have this knowledge I want to pass it on to you so that you don’t have to read 10,000 blogs on packing for a trip abroad.


Ahh clothes… when you’re traveling light it’s important to pack and dress in layers. I’m bringing two pairs of jeans and a pair of leggings for those travel days.


Next, several neutral t-shirts. I’m bringing black, 3 shades of grey, and a white t-shirt.


Then a few cardigans. I’m bringing ones that pair with nearly every shirt. Pink, tan, and maroon. Plus I’ll be wearing a black one on the plane.


Top it off with several neutral long sleeved shirts. I’m bringing white, navy, black, and a black and white stripped.

Plus a few things that I didn’t see on those blogs:image

First, a towel. True, many places provide towels, it’s always a good idea to bring a small one in case they don’t have them available.

Second, a resistance band. While you’re traveling it’s hard to squeeze in a workout, but if you bring a resistance band, you can get a great workout without packing dumbbells! [see a great resistance band workout here: Resistance Band Workout]

Third, a garment bag for all your dirty laundry. You don’t want your dirty laundry mixed in with all your clean stuff, so bring a bag to put it all in. Bonus: bring a few dryer sheets; one to put in the dirty laundry and one in the clean to keep things smelling great. Plus if you can find a laundry machine you can use one to keep clothes soft, smelling good, and smelling like home.

Fourth, a pillow case. Yes, I know this may sound silly, but there is something so comforting about having a piece of home with you while you travel.

Fifth, a small purse with a few compartments. It’s a good idea only to bring the essentials with you while you’re out for the day.

Sixth, an adapter. Ok, obviously this is a must, but many blogs don’t mention it.

And finally, a camera adapter. This one has a macro lens, fish eye, and wide-angle. This give you the opportunity to take great photos without having to lug around a huge camera.


Now to put all of these things into my bag and head out! See you when I return! Au Revoir!