Monday, October 26, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things // Places I Heart in Northeast Minneapolis

Hey there friends, and happy Monday! Today I wanted to share with you a few places that I <3 in NE Minneapolis! We've lived in two different neighborhoods of Northeast now, so we've gotten to try out a few local spots. Some we've liked, some not so much... but the list that follows is what we've loved! So read on for some hip/quaint/delicious/fun/adorable NE Minneapolis suggestions! And I'd LOVE to hear the places that you <3 around NE. (Side note: some of the websites for these places are hilarious/embarrassing! I guess that's what you get when you're a tiny local spot, huh? But I promise that these places are awesome, even if their websites would suggest otherwise.)


Mojo Coffee Gallery, California St
This is officially our new favorite spot. Located just a few blocks from us, it's the perfect excuse to go for a walk. ;) Plus, it's also an art gallery so there's always unique art to look at while you sip your tasty drink. And if you get lucky, there might be an artist working on the pottery wheel!

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge, Marshall St
Another super local-to-us spot... this place is a gem! We went last week for happy hour (which only caters to people in the couple zip codes nearby), and were not disappointed by the over-the-top tiki theme! The drinks were each served in their own unique cup and the solo pizzas were yummy and filling. It was even warm enough for us to enjoy their huge tiki-lit deck by the river. Such a fun experience!

The Coffee Shop Northeast, Johnson St
This coffee shop is a Northeast staple and is a great place to meet up with a friend for a bite to eat or cup of coffee. They have a large menu and lots of space... what's not to love? (Plus, they have quite tasty chai tea lattes!)


Marinos Deli, Johnson St
This hole-in-the-wall deli has amazing (and super affordable) Italian food. Every single time I get the daily special, because it never disappoints (thank you, pasta, for always being there for me). The atmosphere is definitely not date-night material, but if you're looking for good, cheap Italian food, this is the place to go! Plus, you can always order to-go and put it on fancy plates at home with a little bit of candle light and wah-lah! Effortless date night!

Holy Land, Central Ave
If you are a fan of Mediterranean fare, then this place is for you! We usually get a gyro combo and it's more than enough for the both of us, and so satisfying. They cook the meat right before your eyes and not that I'm an expert, but it feels like a very authentic place. Once again, the atmosphere is a bit lacking, but when you find food this good it really doesn't seem to matter! And also once again, two words—to. go.


Bloom & Buttercup, Johsnon St
This cute little shop is a florist, old-school candy shop, and fair trade gift shop all in one! I got a plant there a few months ago and she's still going strong! This place is definitely worth a stop in to look around!

A Little Refind, Johnson St
If you're into vintage furniture and decor then you must check this place out. Everything is styled just so and I've enjoyed window shopping there many times!


Betty Dangers Country Club, Marshall St
The Sample Room, Marshall St
Antiquified Antiques, Lowry Ave

Monday, October 19, 2015

When One Person's Sacrifice is Another Person's Suffering

"Do you hate me for recruiting your parents?" I laughed a little at this preposterous question posed by a friend at a potluck on Saturday night, but then quickly reassured her that I didn't, because even though it was a preposterous question, it was at the same time plausible. You see, I didn't know her at the time, but this friend recruited my parents to move to Mongolia for a couple years while I was in college. 

The first time that Loverboy and I walked into our Sunday School class as brand-spankin-new-lyweds, I was approached with a warm smile by this woman who quickly asked if I was Pam Block's daughter. Guilty! (This has happened multiple times—my mom or I will be out and about and some stranger (who knows the other one of us) asks if we are related. Spittin' image right here!)

So after fessing up to being Pam's daughter, we made the connection that she had recruited my parents to move to Mongolia a few years back and we laughed at how small the world really is. Since then we've maybe mentioned this connection a time or two and I've caught her up a bit on my family's life, but it wasn't until this past Saturday that I really got the chance to process with her. 

As I reassured her that, no, I did not hate her, I also shared how that was a really hard part of my life and I really missed my parents while they were gone. I shared how there was a season of tears and deep sorrow as I prepared for them to move to the other side of the world. But I also got to share of God's faithfulness during those years and how I learned to depend on Him throughout the experience. I shared how those years are now a big part of my testimony of seeing God work through tough circumstances. 

It was a sweet time of sharing and hearing about her heart as she recruited my parents (and subsequently little brother who was in high school at the time). It was sweet to hear how she worried about us. She talked about how often, one person's sacrifice is another person's suffering. When my parents chose to move to Mongolia, they were sacrificing much to do so, but it also led to the suffering of the family they left behind. 

And at the time, that suffering was hard and bitter. But looking back, I know that Jesus has taken that bitterness and turned it sweet. He has taken the short suffering and turned it into eternal joy for those that were able to hear the Good News while my parents were there. He has taken the suffering of one small family, and multiplied it into gladness for a much larger family—HIS family. 

So do I hate her for recruiting my parents? Of course not! Yes, at the time it was hard. Yes, at the time I wanted them to stay. Yes, at the time I couldn't see why they would leave. But after years of seeing God's work not only in my life and the lives of my family, but in the lives of Mongolians that otherwise might not have heard about Jesus, I can confidently say that the suffering was worth it. And I know that one day in heaven I will meet Mongolians who will take one look at me and ask—"Are you Pam Block's daughter?" 

Monday, October 12, 2015

TDM // Living Room Reveal

Happy Monday, friends, and welcome to segment 2 of Team Douglas Moves (TDM)! It's been two weeks since we've moved into this quirky house, and every day I love it more. We've had our small group over for a bonfire, enjoyed cooking on all our counter space, had friends over for games, grilled out in our yard, and gone on walks around the neighborhood. 

I thought I'd give you a glimpse into the living room today. This was one of the first rooms (besides the kitchen) that we completed, because let's be real, you've gotta have a comfy space to lounge and watch Netflix at the end of a long day spent cleaning and unpacking, amiright?!

The couch is Nockeby from Ikea. It was the first ever new piece of furniture that Loverboy and I purchased together. After a year of marriage, people! We've bought tons of used furniture, whether from relatives, Craigslist, or thrift stores. But buying new furniture, now that was a rush! AND a hassle, let me tell ya. We ended up going to Ikea three time (three!) in order to finally get this couch...  and yes, it was due to our own poor planning of what vehicles to bring, but you live and you learn, right? (Also, count yourself lucky if you got to be a part of that Snapchat adventure. Sitting in line for an hour really provides lots of good Snapchat content.)

That beautiful little palm tree is from Ikea. I'm not really that good at keeping itty bitty plants alive, so I'm really crossing my fingers that I don't kill it... so if anyone has any tips on how to keep that baby thriving, bring it on!

The rug was an awesome find from Rugs USA during their Labor Day Sale. It's huge, and about the thickness of a towel, but as the husband of one of my friends put it, "it really pulls the room together." (And no, of course he didn't follow this super nice compliment with a twitching mouth and snort, letting on that he really didn't have strong opinions about the deep rug conversation his wife and I were having). But really, I couldn't agree more!

That's our backdoor and kitchen that you can see to the left. The backdoor goes out to a mudroom, which also provides nice storage for our bikes, shoes, and misc. car stuff and cleaning supplies.

So there you have it! The living room as it stands now. We have an awesome big vintage mirror and cute little bar cart (that is currently in Nebraska until a grandparent brings it over to MN) that will probably get added soon, so keep an eye out for updates!

Let me know if you'd like to know where anything is from... although unfortunately most of it is thrifted or the like. But if you can buy it at a store, I'll definitely let you know! :)

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