Tuesday, June 26, 2012


My post-traveling days this month have been a busy little whirlwind of routine activities. I've been doing a lot of things like: organizing shoes. And: running to the grocery store. And let's not forget: spending copious amounts of time in my lab doing research to appease my boss for having left the country for 3 weeks in the past month.

It's also been a time where I haven't seen my darling dearest husband a whole lot...first I was abroad, then he went on his annual boys' fishing trip for an extended weekend. And in between we've just kind of been twirling around in our own worlds. Needless to say I missed him and I'm glad he's back home.


Let me just give you a small taste of what this man I call my partner-in-life has been doing off without me for 5 days. He calls it his Junestache fishing trip. And this is why.

First he grows a fabulous mustache...as do all the boys on the trip. These guys spend months cultivating the most fantastic facial hair they can imagine. Because obviously, the goal is to upstage your fellow fisher's mustache. Hubbles went with what we call "The Monkey-Tail" this year.

Then he proceeded to attend this Junestache fishing trip, and one morning managed to crash a ladies' Zumba class with a buddy. They then participated. Complete with jangly sashes.

What else is left to do on a Junestache trip but design fabulous knickered outfits and go golfing? Hubs enlisted the help of his mom on this one. Women's capris have never looked so fabulous, eh? Hubby also displays his propensity for pink apparel in this one.

Might I say that a few things have become apparent in this trip.

Number one: Hubby is darn lucky to have a wife who not only understands boys' trips and the subsequent shenanigans, but actually finds them hilarious and encourages them.

Number two: I'm darn lucky to have a man who has a hilarious sense of humor and is unashamed of making a fool of himself when given the appropriate clothing. It makes life that much more entertaining.

Happy Junestache, everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Seize the moon, Sweden!

If you say "see you tomorrow" in Swedish it sounds something like "seize the moon". We got laughed at when we said it to actual Swedes, but it was certainly all in fun. :)

As was my trip to Stockholm! Sweden is eerily familiar...the landscape and culture are similar to Minnesota, and I had a blast.

We spent a lot of time in class..."Mechanisms of Pain"...at the Karolinksa Institute, but I was still able to get out and about and tool around Stockholm a bit with my fellow classmates. It was a great trip, with great people, and I have developed the beginnings of a not-so-secret desire to move there someday. Hubs reads my blog, so I'm sure he'll be thrilled with the prospect, won't you? :)

I'll deny it to my boss if you tell him, but I spent so much time drinking at pubs and going to bed late and subsequently dragging my hung-over ass out of bed for class, that I felt like I was back in college. Filled with great fun and next-morning-regret.

Anyway, I Instagrammed my way through Stockholm, so check out a smattering of pics below! I should mention lest you get too confused, that I went on a fabalas GLBT tour of Stockholm on my last night, and also made a trip to PrisXtra, Sweden's version of Super-Walmart. Hence the pictures of interesting merchandise.

You can follow me on Instagram at @shanshiegirl.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to fit your world in a suitcase.

Well here I am in Stockholm, and enjoying a little solitary time for a couple hours back at the hotel. It's been great, and I'll post some pics in a couple days once I'm done actually taking all of them!

But all this traveling in such a short period of time has me fully appreciating my travel bags, my list-making skills, and the travel size aisle at Target. I've been on 5 trips in 6 weeks, and life is much easier when you can figure out how to pack appropriately for your trip. So I thought I'd share my skills with you.

Here we go! Hold onto your pants.

The first thing I do whenever I pack is make a list of...things to pack. I am a total list-making-chica, plus I'm so forgetful that if I don't do this I usually end up forgetting something important. Like my wallet. Which has happened before.
 Crossing things off of a list is pretty satisfying, so there's a 2nd nerdy virtue of the list.

Then I take everything I want to pack and pile it up in one big space. I did this in the guest room because Hubs was snoozing still this early in the morning.

 I don't worry about folding here. I just have to have things in one place so I can put it together.

Travel size EVERYTHING for me for toiletries. Especially if it's going to be a longer trip, which is kind of contrary logic, but multiple travel size shampoos still take up less space than a regular bottle. Plus then you can just throw them out when you're done.

So all my toiletries into one travel bag. I got this handy baby at Sephora. I like it because it has a hook so you can hang it up, plus the middle part pulls out in case you just need a couple of things for an overnighter or something.
 Everything in! I start crossing things off. Except my glasses, a brush, my contacts solution, some lotion and some mouthwash. I put that in my carry on so I can have it on the plane. Yes, the little round pink thing is my brush. Travel size, clearance bin at Sephora. Sold!

Then I lay out all of my clothes. Mostly so I can picture some outfits. I'm a pretty consistent overpacker, but this helps rein me in. For a week in Sweden I packed 2 pairs of jeans, some lounge-y pants, and enough tops for 6 outfits. I travel in stretchy pants and a sweatshirt so plane days don't need clothes.

And shoes of course. never forget the shoes.

 Time to start packing! Shoes go first, around the edge I stuff the extra spaces with my delly-cates.

 After shoes, I start rolling. I take all my clothes and roll them up and pack them in, starting with pants/denim, bulky items first, then smaller shirts.

Roll roll roll. Rock and roll. After that I put in anything that I would prefer not to get super wrinkled. I just lay  them on top of the other clothes. Anything electrical (read: curling iron) gets shoved in between the clothes.

In go the toiletries then I'm done with the suitcase!

After that I pile everything into my carry-on. I'm not sure if you all are the type of folks who don't like to check bags. I can understand the sentiment, but I get so annoyed with oversized carryons in overhead bins. I check a bag whenever I can, so long as it's free, because then I can board easily. To each their own!

In goes my brush and all the stuff I left out before, plus makeup (a girl's got to keep it together, even on flights), my wallet, phone, computer, and an eye mask for the plane.

I have a little flat Ralph Lauren travel purse I snagged at the Maxx a while ago and I love it. It's a crossbody, it zips up, and it fits everything into a small space. Even my little flat traveling wallet.

Tada!! All ready! I even had some room in my suitcase left over, which is nice if you want to bring back presents. I bought some stuffs, so we shall see how the return goes.

Tootles! Stay tuned for Sweden pics in a few days!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Strangely enough...

I'm leaving the country again! This usually doesn't happen, I'm one of the most home-bound people I know. Not by choice, because traveling is 'spensive and this girl currently makes less than any kid with a decent paper route.

But after our Eastern hemisphere-trotting honeymoon, I'm now heading off to a place that is clean, and polite, and magical, and 100% literate (at least that's what they tell me). A place where IKEA and H&M rule like kings, a place where girls with dragon tattoos ride around on motorcycles and solve murder mysteries with Daniel Craig.

I'm talking, of course, about SWEDEN!!!

I'm super pumped, it's my first Europe trip. I've always been disproportionately jealous of people who get to go to Europe like it's no big deal...I've always wanted to go and now I am!!

It's not France or Florence, but it's still Europe!

Now I'm going to take a class at the Karolinska Institute on mechanisms of neuropathic pain, so it won't be a vacation so much as what the course director calls "a week of intense pain", but it's still a free trip to Stockholm, so you won't hear this gal complain!

I told my boss I was going and he just rolled his eyes.

I will hopefully return to a happy husband and kitties, and with lots of pics to share! And much more knowledgable about neuropathic pain, which may or may not be useful to me in the future.

Goodbye for now! My flight leaves in 10.5 hours and I have yet to pack a thing. GTG!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bouncy Trouncy Date Night

WELL the day arrived. The day of my Groupon-buying fabulous date night! It was exhausting and tons a'fun.

Usually we date on Tuesdays, but I somehow got my internal day-of-the-week clock wound wrong and thought it was Monday all day Tuesday. So we postponed our date night by a day, and boy was it worth it!!

Place: Moe's for dinner, then Zero Gravity Indoor Trampoline Park for bounciness.

Activity: Mostly involved me and the Hubs trampolining (trampling? tramping?) around at breathtaking speeds along with some 6-12 year olds. It was pretty hilarious and exhilarating and fun.

We started with some casual dinner fare at a place called Moe's. Complete with a beer apiece (I'm trying to stick to this exercise/diet program we're on, but c'mon, a girl's got to have a beer once a week).

Post-food ingestion, Hubs and I swung into the Tramp Park (that's more fun to say than trampoline) and plunked our Groupon down for some free socks and an hour of jumpsy fun!

 Hubs was most excited about the trampling area for slam dunks.

I was most excited about the foam pit we could launch ourselves into.

We decided that the age of the jumpee was directly proportional to the amount of time it took to haul oneself out of the foam pit post-launch.

harder than jumping in.

Thanks Groupon! I might go back again and pay full-price *gasp*, it was hilariously fun and a great workout besides (my legs are killing me today).

P.S: Hubby is awesome because...he will gladly go trampling with me even though we are nearly thirty and not thirteen.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What the Bruns did last week.

I might have mentioned before, but I feel like my last two months have been spinning out of control. Not in a way that will send me over the edge, but just a slow-to-middling spin that is just slow enough that I have a grasp on everything, but just fast enough to feel like I have come out of a dryer:

Who loves Calvin and Hobbes?! Ahhh, nostalgia.

Anyhoo, we the BrunBruns have been slightly hecticly busy lately. Nothing I can't handle!! Bring it on SUMMER!!

*I have also responded to the hecticness by cleaning the house in a frenzy lately*

What HAVE we been up to, really.

Happy Birthday Regan!
Just a tasting of what our last week was about, including but not limited to: gardening-frenzy (I am determined to grow-not-buy my produce in the summers) and our friends' baby's 1st birthday party. What a cute little baldie.