Last fall, Midwest Home reached out to do a feature on my home and my life as a home decor influencer. I had an amazing conversation with their team and really enjoyed being a part of this. This is my second magazine feature, as I was featured in VoyageMinnesota in 2021. Check out the entire conversation with Midwest Home here.
Teele Schneider, also known as Atypical Teele on her digital blog and popular Instagram account, is a social media creator with a natural knack for design. But when she and her now-husband moved into this Cape Cod-style abode in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood in 2016, much of the major remodeling was already done. The previous owners renovated and removed nearly all the original features but luckily kept the original hardwood floors—something that Schneider will never replace, no matter how squeaky and creaky they may be, she says. Although some elements of the home are brand new, Schneider preserves its old-fashioned ambiance by incorporating antique pieces she finds in local stores like Missouri Mouse and the Mall of St. Paul—both located on Selby Avenue in St. Paul.
To make the farmhouse-inspired space feel fresh and bright, much of Schneider’s century-old abode is primarily white, flaunting a few pops of color infused through indoor planters, patterned wallpapers, or neutral throw blankets and pillows. She says that although she uses a lot of white, she wants her house to feel “cozy, warm, and inviting” and encourages her guests to make themselves feel at home. Her biggest tip for anyone who wants to elevate their own space is to “stay true to your style. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and make your home a place you are happy to be in.” Follow Schneider on social media at instagram.com/atypicalteele, or read her blog at atypicalteele.com for home, travel, and lifestyle content you’re sure to love.
…and we’re back! We spent our 2nd wedding anniversary in the Florida Keys and despite windier and cooler weather than normal, we had such a fun and relaxing trip. It’s so fun to get to spend our anniversaries here. After getting married in Key West in 2021 and spending our first wedding anniversary in the Florida Keys in 2022, we felt so lucky to be back again in 2023. This year we flew into Fort Lauderdale as the rates were a little better than our usual Miami flight.
First Three Days – Marathon & Islamorada
After what has felt like the longest winter in Minnesota history, it felt SO GOOD to get into shorts again and get a little sun on our skin. Our first full day of vacation we went parasailing out of Robbie’s of Islamorada. This was our second time parasailing with Robbie’s and we have enjoyed it each time. The price is really reasonable and you can add on a photo package if you want the boat captain to take some great high-res images of your flight. Since we were already in Islamorada we also hit up our two favorite breweries: Florida Keys Brewing Company and Islamorada Brewery & Distillery. Both are must-stop spots if you’re in this area. On day two we did a half-day fishing charter with Tarpon Time. We’ve fished with them several times and it is such a good experience.
A few extra favorite stops: Herbie’s Chowder House, The Island Fish Company, Keys Fisheries
Middle Three Days – Key West
We drove down to Key West bright and early from Marathon on Thursday and did another tour with Key West Food Tours. This is one of our favorite things to do in Key West! We’ve done them multiple times and each time we try a new restaurant or learn something new about Key West. We also hit up our favorite happy hour spot on the water: Alonzo’s Oyster Bar. We topped off the day with a sunset in Mallory Square. Friday was St. Paddy’s Day and it was HOT so we went to Dante’s pool for the day. We tried a new spot for dinner on Friday, Louie’s Backyard. I’d recommend getting a reservation (we didn’t have one) if you want to sit on the patio by the water. We were able to sit on the upstairs porch and had a beautiful view of the Atlantic and the most delicious food. On our final day we walked around Fort Zachary State Park and Beach. We’d never been back on the beach and it’s a great hidden gem if you’re looking for something off the beaten path in Key West.
A few extra favorite stops: Garbo’s Grill, First Flight Brewery, General Horseplay, Sunset Pier, Misohappy, Durty Harry’s
Final Three Days – Marathon & Islamorada
After our three nights in Key West, we drove back to Marathon to celebrate our second wedding anniversary! Because we weren’t down in Key West, I made reservations at Pierre’s Restaurant in Islamorada. A spectacular spot! We had never been here but were interested in a more romantic, elegant setting and Pierre’s did not disappoint. Our final two days were very relaxing. We spent a lot of time by the pool and checked out a few of our favorite bars and restaurants including Lorelei, Sunset Grille and Bongo’s Botanical Beer Garden.
A few extra favorite stops: Sparky’s Landing, Hog Heaven, Sombrero Beach
I have our whole trip saved on a highlight on Instagram called FL Keys ’23. If you’re interested in reading more about our favorite things to do in the Florida Keys, I’ve written several posts previously on our favorite restaurants, bars and activities. If you’re planning on a trip, I’d love to help make it your best trip ever!
I started a new job in early February that has included a lot more work travel. A common misconception about work travel is that it’s glamorous. I’m here to say: it’s really not. It’s exhausting and sometimes lonely. However, there are SO many things that can make it easier and I’m here to share them all with you. While I’ve titled this work travel edition, I also did a round-up of travel items for fun travel as well.
Noise Canceling HeadphonesThese were actually a Valentine’s Day gift from Ryan and boy, did they come at the right time. My first day on a plane with these there was a baby who cried for nearly the entire flight so these came in handy. They’re affordable if you don’t travel often and the quality is great. I’ve even worn them at the gym and they worked great during my work out. Really love the rose gold color, too!
Wireless EarbudsMost newer phones don’t come with a headphone port anymore, so these are necessary for travel if you want to listen to audio/video on your phone. I’m mostly a podcaster while traveling, so these are essential when I tune into Crime Junkie mid-flight. These are also the earbuds I wear at the gym. They’re comfortable and easy to use.
Small Crossbody PurseI hate lugging my purse with me when I travel, but I like to keep my essentials close by. This is a great crossbody option that is cute and functional. It can hold my credit cards, cellphone, earbuds and other small essentials. It comes in a ton of color options and can be dressed up or down depending on your needs.
Kindle CaseI always bring my Kindle when I travel in case of flight delays or down time. I was tossing my Kindle into my laptop bag and it was getting scratched up, so Ryan purchased this case for me for Christmas. It’s super affordable, comes in a ton of color options and keeps my Kindle safe. It comes with a handle on the back for ease-of-use as well.
TileOr, some may be more interested in an AirTagdepending on your phone, but I’ve found lately that this is a must-have when traveling. While I typically carry on my bag when traveling for work, I have found if I jump on a standby flight, I may have to check my bag due to boarding last and the plane running out of storage space. I don’t have to worry about my bag at all because I’ve got a Tile hidden inside. I would absolutely recommend this for your checked bag every time.
These are just a few of the things I can’t live without while work traveling. What are some of your favorite travel must-haves?
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I started my laser hair removal journey nearly two years ago. I decided to start a few months before my wedding and went to three sessions and just inexplicably… quit. I have no reason why. It wasn’t awful. I just stopped going. So, this winter when I started hearing more about Milan Laser and all the promotions they were offering I decided to give it a go again. I signed up for a package with Milan Laser to get three areas done (under arms, Brazilian, legs) and I am committed to sticking with it. I’m here to answer your top questions from Instagram.
Does it hurt?
I would first ask how your pain tolerance is. I didn’t think it hurt, but some people who have more sensitive skin may. It feels like a rubber band snapping on your skin. Obviously, in areas where the skin is more sensitive, it hurts a little more. The least painful place was my legs, but the skin there is a lot less sensitive than say, your bikini area. The woman who ran the laser constantly checked in with me to make sure the pain was tolerable and if I needed a break, which I really appreciated.
Is it expensive?
It’s not cheap, but I would consider it to be an investment. What I liked about Milan Laser is they offered an interest-free payment plan so I can pay over a few months. This made it extremely affordable for me and an absolute no brainer. The previous place I went had me pay after each appointment and if you’d prefer that, that option is available at most places as well. Milan presented me with 3-4 different payment options depending on what type of package I wanted, and I could pick the body areas I wanted to do and how much I wanted to pay.
Is it worth it?
Absolutely, yes. The small amount of money I will be paying monthly to complete 7-10 treatments and never have to deal with shaving again will be 100% worth it. I realize it might not be affordable for everyone, but if you can swing it, I’d definitely recommend it. The appointments are less than a half-hour and you go every five weeks so the time spent in the office is also pretty minimal. Milan Laser did a great job of presenting me with all of the options and I felt empowered to make the right decision for myself. Milan Laser has locations all over the country, so check out their website to see if you have one in your area. If you have a specific question, don’t hesitate to send me a message.
Ryan and I spent a long weekend in Los Angeles with my sister and mom. We haven’t had a vacation since September, so it was nice to get out of the ice and snow and head to the beach. We stayed in the Venice Beach/Santa Monica area, which I’d definitely recommend if you’re looking for a surf-y, beachside town. Our hotel was right on the beach and waking up every morning to waves was magical.
We had great food while in Los Angeles! We stuck mainly in our neighborhood, but we kicked off the trip with brunch at Neighbor where we had great food and drinks. Friday night Ryan and I really wanted seafood so we hit up The Anchor for lobster rolls and lobster bisque. It was so good and I had a fabulous Moscow Mule there as well. Before the LA Kings game, we had dinner downtown at Bottega Louie and this place was incredible. They made the most beautiful desserts you’ve ever seen and their cocktails were fabulous as well. Such a fun pasta and pizza place. Saturday night Ryan and I were on our own for dinner and we were both craving sushi, so we found Wabi. WOW. This was such a fabulous last-minute find that was only a couple of miles from our hotel. We sat at the bar and had the prettiest cocktails and the most fabulous sushi. The aesthetic of this restaurant is gorgeous as well. Before our flight we wanted to get brunch, so we walked down the block to Rose, where I had incredible pumpkin spice pancakes.
A fun bar that was literally steps outside of our hotel door was the Venice Ale House. We stopped in here several times for drinks during our stay as they had a great array of beers and cocktails. Ryan and I went out on our own Friday night and stopped at Library Ale House. Really fun vibe and look here, plus TVs so we could watch the game. As you guys know, we usually make it a point to stop at a few breweries while we’re on vacation. The two we were able to get to in LA were The Dudes Brewing Company & All Season Brewing. If you can only get to one of these DEFINITELY make it All Season. It’s in an old Firestone tire store and it is such a neat spot to see. We hit up an amazing rooftop patio before the Kings game called Perch. Absolutely breathtaking view of downtown Los Angeles and very good craft cocktails. On Sunday we needed a place to watch both the Vikings and Packers game so we went to the sports bar Busby’s – can you say bottomless mimosas?
We spent a lot of time hanging out at the beach, but we were able to do a few fun and touristy things. We checked out the Venice Canals on our first day and this was a really pretty area. We were able to walk there easily from where we were staying and it’s a great spot to take pictures. The only thing we really planned was to go to an LA Kings game since we’re a hockey family. We love going to sporting events when we’re on vacation. We like checking out other stadiums and teams. The Kings game was affordable entertainment, and we had a great time. While we were downtown before the game, we hit up The Last Bookstore – a bookstore of ALL bookstores. It’s worth checking out even if you aren’t a reader. We also wanted to do something Christmas-y so we went to the Lighthouse Airspace to do their immersive Nutcracker experience. It was very affordable and a fun thing for adults and children.
I’ve got our whole trip saved in highlights on my Instagram under Los Angeles ’22 if you’re interested in seeing even more of what we ate, drank and did.
I decided there needed to be a part 2 to this series. If you’re new here, check out part 1 first. I’ve had so many people reach out to me on Instagram to thank me for my openness when it comes to mine and Ryan’s decision to be childfree. I covered a few things that we often hear in a previous blog post, but we’ve heard the below A LOT lately and I thought I’d address it. Whether you also hear these things or you’re considering DINK life too, you can be prepared for some of these comments.
“But you guys would make great parents!”
This one always makes Ryan and I laugh out loud. Yes, we know we’d make great parents. We’re great people. We make a great couple. We have a stable life. Full-time employment. A roof over our heads. We’re responsible (sometimes). This doesn’t mean we should have children. Just because you know a couple that are *great people* does not necessarily mean they want to tie their lives down or define themselves by being parents. We have a dear friend who makes this comment to us regularly and while I know they don’t mean harm by it, it’s so beyond unnecessary to even say. NOT. EVERYONE. WANTS. TO. BE. A. PARENT.
“Aren’t you worried you’ll regret your decision?”
Were you worried you’d regret your decision to have children? If you aren’t comfortable answering that question, please do not ask DINKs if they’ll regret their decision to be childfree. There is just as much of a possibility of regretting not having children as there is regretting having them. Studies have even shown as of late that parents are regretting having children.While I hope no one regrets having children, it is a giant decision that you should make with your partner just as Ryan and I decided it’s what we didn’t want. Regret was never something I worried about. I won’t regret the brunch I ate. I won’t regret the trip I took. I won’t regret sleeping in on Sundays until noon. I’ve got plenty of fulfilling things happening in my life that I won’t have time to regret being childfree.
“Did you guys make this decision one day or over time?”
This was not a one-day decision. Nothing this big should ever be a one-day decision. You should have multiple conversations with your partner about this topic if it’s something you’re considering. Heck, if you WANT children you should talk about that too. Honest and open communication is so important, and these conversations will change your life significantly. So, absolutely no, we did not just wake up one morning and decide this. Over years together (we were together 8 years before we got engaged) we decided that we absolutely loved our lives the way they were – without children.
Amazon always has some great looks for fall and this year didn’t disappoint. I picked up five new fall shirts that I am absolutely loving so far and wanted to share them with you. All of these can be worn in multiple ways and will transition nicely from summer to fall to winter.
I have had this in my cart for over a year now. The shacket trend blew up last fall and it looks like that isn’t changing in 2022. I bought the beige colored one, but it comes in several different color options. I’ve worn it a couple of times so far with just a tank top underneath and love the look of it half tucked in and off the shoulder. I am going to wear this so many ways through the fall and winter! Oversized fit – I bought medium.
I like this dressed up or down. It’s more of a sportier-looking quarter zip sweatshirt, but with jewelry and the right shoes you could definitely elevate the look of this sweatshirt. I bought it in the red wine color because I thought it would easily transition to winter. It comes in several colors and is extremely cozy and soft. It also is a bit longer if you’re looking something that covers your booty. Fits true to size – I bought medium.
I don’t own any tops like this but loved the look and light weight of this top. It hangs below your butt, so it would look great with leggings. I got it in army green because I don’t own many olive-colored shirts and thought it would be a great fall piece. It’s a thinner material, so in the winter I’d recommend pairing it with a long-sleeved body suit. Fits true to size – I bought medium.
A perfect, lightweight shirt to transition from summer to fall. Wear a bralette underneath it to achieve the perfect cozy, fall look. I bought this woven bralette on Amazon to wear under it and I love these paired together. I bought the color apricot, but it definitely is more of a cream or beige. I love the look of it tucked in front and hanging longer in the back. I sized up to a large so it would look extra cozy.
My first flannel shirt bought from Amazon! I’m a tried-and-true J Crew flannel girl, so I decided to buy one of the Amazon versions in a neutral pattern. The color I bought is multi-camel and is a mix of cream, orange and blue. I love the versatility of flannels and like wearing them tied around my waist or buttoned up with a puffy vest over it. Despite this shirt being called ‘oversized’ it fits true to size – I bought a medium. If you like the oversized look definitely size up.
When we go to the Florida Keys, we typically fly into Miami and drive through all the Keys. This was a different experience, but when you’ve only got five days to spend there you want to savor every minute. We flew into Key West on Wednesday, and we took the earliest flight we could to A) get there as soon as possible and B) hopefully avoid any delays or cancellations from the airline. It’s also so nice not having to deal with a car down there. It’s so hard to find parking and not having to deal with that was a relief.
Wednesday – We landed, left our bags with luggage porters and headed down to Duval Street. We stayed at the Bahama House, and it was a fabulous spot. A spacious and clean condo with a pool in a great location that’s close to all the action. First stop: We knew we wanted to get Cubanos at Cuban Coffee Queen and that did not disappoint. It is probably one of the top Cubanos on the island. We bar hopped up and down Duval Street that afternoon while we waited for our friends to arrive. We also did our favorite happy hour at Alonzo’s Oyster Bar, which is one of the best happy hour deals in Key West. It was the quietest night in Key West in terms of people in the bars and on Duval Street.
Thursday – Ryan and I had lunch at Bo’s Fish Wagon, which was a new spot for us. On the outside it is really unassuming, but the food is incredible. All the fish is brought in fresh, and you can tell! In the afternoon, the four of us did a food tour with Key West Food Tours. This is the third time Ryan and I have booked with this group, and we absolutely love it. It’s a great way to see a lot of the island and try a lot of off-the-beaten-path places. They do food tours and cocktail tours and I’d recommend both. This was the cloudiest day we were in Key West, so we watched the sunset at Sunset Pier. We also stopped by Berlin’s, a dark and romantic speakeasy. Classic cocktail list and a great view of the harbor. We finished off our night watching The Durtbags at Durty Harry’s.
Friday – Friday’s lunch included lobster pizza at the Seaside Cafe, something I tried for the first time in March and fell in love with. It was also insanely hot that day so went to Dante’s for a pool party. If you like Vegas-style pool parties, buckets of beers and DJ’s bumping the best songs, you’ll love this place. That evening we did a sunset cruise with Sunset Watersports. This is something we try to do every year. It’s a fun boat ride and includes unlimited cocktails.
Saturday – We wanted to climb to the top of the Key West Lighthouse, which is one of the best views of Key West you can find. It’s $17 to climb to the top and see the museum and it’s absolutely worth the price of admittance to get that fantastic view. We stopped at Ram’s Head for drinks after, which was also a new spot for us. Fabulous drinks and food there. We hit up Alonzo’s again for happy hour before the highlight of the day: I managed to get us reservations at Latitude’s, the only restaurant on Sunset Key. You take a short boat ride out to the restaurant and get some of the best views in the Keys.
Sunday – For lunch we stopped at a spot we’d never been to The Eaton Street Seafood Market. Ryan and I had walked by this place a hundred times but never gone in and WOW – we were absolutely missing out. We had the yummiest lobster roll, but they have tons of options for any seafood you could possibly want. For happy hour we went to The Boat House, which is another awesome option for happy hour in Key West. We finished the night by having dinner at one of our favorite little Italian spots, Mangia Mangia.
Things to consider:
Flying directly into Key West eliminates the need for a car, which is so nice. Parking is nearly impossible down there, so we stuck to walking and Ubers.
It was also extremely hot down there this time of year. The temperatures were in the high 80s/low 90s but the humidity is around 80-85%. Be prepared to sweat A LOT. If you’re staying for a week or longer, plan days where you just lounge by a pool and cook at home.
The luggage porters were a huge plus! We landed at noon but couldn’t get into our Airbnb until 4PM. We didn’t want to drag our bags all over Key West, so we called up Paradise Porters and they took our bags and delivered them to our house when we were ready.
Wednesday night when we arrived it was very quiet on Duval Street, but by Saturday it was hopping. We are used to being there when it’s very busy (spring break season) so Friday/Saturday was more of what we were used to in terms of the amount of people out and about.
I’ve got our whole trip saved in highlights on my Instagram under Key West ’22 if you’re interested in seeing even more of what we ate, drank and saw. If you ever have questions about booking a trip there, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
It’s been a minute since I’ve done a Top 5 post and I was brainstorming ideas on a topic that I could cover. This winter, I did a Top 5 on my nighttime skincare routine that was viewed a lot. I thought I’d switch this one up and cover what I use for my summertime skincare routine! My skin is the best it has looked in a LONG time and I thought I’d share what has been working for me this summer.
La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser I have been using this cleanser for over a year now and I love it. It’s super gentle and great if you have sensitive skin. I use this morning and night, five days a week. The other two days of the week I exfoliate with Clinique Exfoliating Face Scrub. This is NOT gentle but is a great exfoliating scrub that makes my skin feel extra clean after I use it. It has a great minty smell too.
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum This is the best vitamin C serum I’ve used to date. It has no scent, which I love but it feels super hydrating. I also feel like it really brightens up my face and it hides the fine lines and wrinkles. I have a few friends who claim their vitamin C serums make their skin feel dry, but I’ve never experienced that with TruSkin.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum This is a newer-to-me product that I absolutely love. I’ve tried First Aid products in the past that I’ve liked, but this serum is a dream. It is also scent-less and it feels SO hydrating when you put it on. I use this 2x a day and I feel like it’s made a major difference in the appearance of my skin.
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream This is the eye repair cream I’ve been using forever. I get really deep circles under my eyes when I’m overly tired and I feel like this makes such a big difference. I use this 2x a day and it keeps my under eyes really hydrated and helps to hide my fine lines and wrinkles. It also is a fantastic price for what you get!
Paula’s Choice Tinted Face Moisturizer This is my favorite SPF moisturizer that I use in the summertime. It’s super lightweight and has a very, very light scent. It protects my skin from the sun while also moisturizing. It has a very slight color but doesn’t change the color of your skin. If you are looking for a little color, I put a few drops of Bali Body Face Tan Water in with my moisturizer to give myself a gradual tan.