Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas

It's only been a month since my last posting. I suppose between Thanksgiving and Christmas quite a few things happened. I'll do a little recap of the past 30 days.

Our family celebrated Thanksgiving at Jane's house with Jim and Linda, Doug and Neil. Doug is over 100 years old and he only needs a cane to help him walk. It's pretty amazing to have the company of a man that has been around for over a century!

I've been sticking to my work out routine pretty well and have been ok at bringing my own lunch or making smarter decisions when I do go out for lunch. I think I may have over indulged a little too much over Christmas, but it just means I will work a little harder and eat a little healthier than normal for the next couple of weeks.

In mid December Kathy, Erin, Kayla, Kari and I went to mom and dad's to help mom make wontons for Christmas Eve. This was the first year that I have been able to join everyone! Last year there was a big snow storm so it was just me and mom that diced and chopped and folded and fried a couple hundred wontons. Years before, I was in South Dakota and the weather usually wouldn't cooperate so I wouldn't be able to join everyone. This year Kathy made chex mix, and we all helped make pretzels with Hershey hugs and M&Ms in the middle and of course, the wontons. We also sampled different wines that mom wanted to serve at Christmas Eve.

Chex Mix
Snacks

Wontons
On Christmas Eve we had the Farnham's over as we do every year. This year was Joe's first time joining us and Tim and Nathan were there as well! Everyone showed up around 3:00 PM poured a glass of wine or beer and devoured my deviled eggs! We also had shrimp cocktail, cheese spreads and nuts. We all sat down to eat around 4:30 PM and had the usual, traditional Christmas Eve meal of chicken and beef skewers, chicken wontons and dipping sauce, rice, Chinese chicken salad, and rolls. We have done this same meal, every year, for the last 21 years and we would never want to change anything about it! This year instead of just exchanging gifts, we did a white elephant gift exchange between everyone which was fun. After the gift exchange we all went back to the table where it was easy for everyone to chat together and we had individual chocolate silk pies with fresh raspberries and whipped cream! My mouth is watering just thinking about how delicious the dessert was! I can not remember a year where there was so much laughter! Between Nathan's stories about being an Assistant Principal, comments about 'The Girlfriend" and just reminiscing about our childhood, I think this was one of the best Christmas Eves we've had yet!

Table Kari and I decorated

Christmas Tree (pre presents and decorations)

Dad giving the 'Girlfriend' some wine
On Christmas morning we were woken up by a very excited Mr P. who realized there was a whole house of people to wake up! Who needs kids when you have three dogs that just can't wait to see each other and everyone else in the home. Santa came with the game Apples to Apples, scarves, Michael Kors purses, fun tights and our own fishing worms (lures?)! We ate a lite breakfast/brunch and everyone went home to try to get a quick nap in before continuing on our Christmas celebration.

Christmas Day evening me, Kari, mom and dad headed over to the Kotoski's where we once again stuffed ourselves on an amazing meal. This is our second year having Christmas with the Kotoski's where they throw in some Polish traditions. When we all sit down for dinner and start with the salad, we are each handed Oplatek (a Christmas wafer) and go around the table offering a piece of our Oplatek with a blessing to different family members that we are thankful for. Elianna was quite thankful this year as she made it a point to share a piece of her Oplatek to each person at the table. Kathy cooked up an amazing meal! We started with a pear, gorgonzola and nut salad with a vinaigrette dressing, followed by mashed potatoes, rib eye, Au jus sauce, roasted vegetables and rolls. After dinner, we took a break by playing the dice game as our gift exchange. I had some pretty cool gifts! A bottle of wine and inflatable turtle and frog with a diagram of their anatomy on their bellies! You can bet those WILL be brought to the cabin. After the dice game Kathy set out a spread of desserts, mango pie, chocolate mousse and cheese cake. I ate my mousse and cheesecake and was ready to call it a night. We chatted for a bit longer and made it back to Minneapolis around 11:00 PM.

I can't believe that Christmas has come and gone. We don't have any snow on the ground and on Monday, the day after Christmas, we set a record of 52 degrees. I'm not complaining, but there is something to be said about having a white Christmas.

This weekend is New Years Eve and mom, dad, Kari and I will be heading down to LaCrosse for Caitlin Breuers wedding on NYE. I've never really had a good NYE so I'm looking forward to spending the night celebrating a old, but good friends marriage, spending time with family and folks I haven't seen in almost 20 years!

My goal for 2012, even though I know no one reads this as I haven't made it very public, is to take and add more pictures, and update once a week.

I want to meet a nice guy, but that's not actually a goal, the goal will be to not let the wrong man come into my life. I've had enough bad for a while, I'm hoping something good and happy is on the horizon. No lying cheating, negative comments. I'm going to be stronger in keeping those men out and letting the good ones in!
Finally, my last goal for 2012, is to pay off three credit cards. I know I can do it. It just takes a little sacrificing. Do I really need that oh so adorable pair of shoes??

Merry Christmas and Happy 2012!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crabby Pants

I've been trying to eat healthy, not snack as much, work out and all around get healthier...I think all it's doing is making me crabby cause I'm SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME!!!

My daily reminder on my computer at work

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful, Sad, Happy

This week has been full of emotions. We'll start off with Monday when I dropped off Miley at my parents for a very long vacation. When I got Miley 3 1/2 years ago, my life was so different than where it is now and I didn't think that it would change. It just wasn't fair to Miley to be stuck in her kennel for 10 hours a day while I was at work and then back in her kennel at the end of the day while I socialize or run errands. Mom and dad have been generous enough to take her for an undisclosed amount of time so she can have another dog to play with and people around her to spoil her and more space (with carpet) to run around!

Miley has been my shadow and has been the constant through everything good and bad that has happened in the last couple of years. She has always been there for me to hold, and to cry to and dance around the house with. She helps me eat my dinner when I've made too much, she keeps me company on cold winter nights, she never complains when I pick a bad movie, but will gladly lay on my stomach and stare at the tv with me. I will miss my little girl more than anything, but I know this is the best thing for her right now. Lucky for me she is just a 25 minute drive away so I can go play with her and get her wet kisses whenever I want!

On to the happy...or how I'm going to remain happy. You often hear people saying that the only way you can truly be happy is if you are happy with yourself. That's my new life motto. I often think I am happy, but then wonder why some relationships I have aren't happy - well, it's because I'm not being honest and am not truly happy with myself. I have kicked the smoking habit (VERY happy!), I have been going to the gym and losing weight (friends and family are noticing a change!), I've also been eating healthier, sort of. I'm on a diet I call the 'Cooking for One, Cooking for None' diet. I'm too tired at the end of the day to cook a nice fancy meal for myself so I'll snack on veggies, a salad, or a piece of chicken that George cooked for me, George Foreman that is! I need to start focusing on really putting myself first so I can be happy in all areas of my life and have healthy happy relationships with friends, family and that special someone. I'm not going to wait for 2012, I'm going to start my resolutions today!

Finally thankful! I have the honor of having great family and friends serve our country in the armed forces and for that I am thankful. So many young men and women risk their lives every day so that we may live the life our country has and continues to fight for today. Thank you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Visionary, A Mastermind

"You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever." - Steve Jobs

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." - Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life." - Steve Jobs

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Friday was my 27th birthday and what a night it was. I started out the evening at dinner with my family at Pancho Villas on eat street. It's a fun little Mexican restaurant that is known for their birthday celebrations, big sombreros, large bottomless margaritas, flaming shot of coffee tequila and of course your turn at spinning the wheel!

Birthday dinner at Pancho Villas - spinning the wheel
After dinner my parents left and some friends met us for a drink, then we headed to Stella's in UpTown to meet up with a few more friends. It was a fun night meeting new people, hanging out with old friends and laughing a lot. Towards the end of the night, I even spotted Kirk whose been on the Bachelorette (Ali's season) and Bachelor Pad! He was nice enough to take a picture with the two birthday girls.

Kirk with me and Laura at Stella's
The next day I continued my birthday celebration at the Twins/Tigers game. Kari got me tickets for the game and they were the best seats so far! Unfortunately we lost, but we did have back to back homers!


Target Stadium Twins vs. Tigers

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today's is my dad's 55th birthday! He is spending the week up north at the cabin, working on the bathroom and getting the outside stained and ready for fall/winter.This weekend the whole family will be up there to celebrate with him and hear about all the things he did while no one was watching; such as climb a ladder with a running chain saw, or throw an electrical cord and/or dog leash over a dead branch to try and break it.

Happy Birthday Dad!


Kayla, Kari and I met at a Mexican/Asian fusion food truck, Vellee Deli, and lunched on quesadillas and burritos. We took our food over to the Government Plaza and gave dad a call to wish him a happy birthday! I think he was tickled that the three of us got together and all called him!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Windows!

I was sitting in my living room last night thinking how much I LOVE my windows!
My living room has three large windows with white panes that open like shutters. For most of the summer I had my windows closed, the blinds drawn and the shutters locked. It was just SO hot, it was cooler having everything closed up with some fans going. Finally we are having some relief from the heat and I was able to have my windows open! There are vines that have grown over my window screens that I love. When the sun is setting, my living room gets a cool feel with the green covering my screens.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Twins!

Last night I went to the Twins vs. Red Sox baseball game with my friend Garrett. He has season tickets that he shares with a few of his friends so we met his friend and his brother at the game. It was a beautiful night for baseball, not too hot, just the right amount of breeze and nice blue sky with hardly a cloud to be seen. Their seats are in the left field bleachers in the third row, probably the best seats I have been in at Target Field.
During the game they announced that Ellen Degeneres was there! They did a short trivie game with her about Joe Mauer, she got all two questions correct and walked away with a lovely Twins baseball jersey! Sadly, the twins lost the game after taking the lead early in the 2nd, losing the lead in the 4th and tying the game in the 8th, by the 9th inning, they just couldn't pull through for the win.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Krsnak

On Saturday July 30, 2011, one of my best friends got married! Nikki and I have known each other for about 5 years, but when I lived in Sioux Falls, our friendship became non-existant. When I loved back to Minnesota, Nikki was one of the first people to really reach out again and we have been better friends ever since. After she got engaged, she had asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, which I honerably accepted. For months we would talk about her wedding and the planning, I couldn't believe the day was already here!

The night before the wedding, all the bridesmaids stayed at Nikki and Bens condo in Grant Park. We stayed up laughing, chatting, sipping on water and snacking on Doritos. In the morning, the hair and make-up ladies came over to the condo and one by one, each girl got her hair and make-up done...well, almost every girl. About half way through my make-up, the make-up artist got sick and had to leave to go to the hospital so I was left with half of my face done and we still had two other girls to go for make-up and only 20 minutes left to get it done before we had to head to the church. Luckily one of the hair stylists finished me up a bit and the other two girls quickly put on their own make-up with about five minutes to spare!
Emily and Jen getting their hair done


Once everyone was all ready we grabbed our dresses and headed over to the church where we met the photographers. They snapped photos as we were putting our dresses on and helped Nikki get into hers. I can't believe how quick the time flew once we got to the church. At 2:00 we headed upstairs to start the ceremony and one by one, each bridesmaid walked as slowly as she could, down the aisle to meet her groomsman at the alter, bow their head and seperate while we waited for the bride to come down the aisle! It felt like the quickest Catholic ceremony I have ever attended! After the ceremony and formal pictures were done, the wedding party gathered outside to find this!

Surprise Hummer limo from the groom. Hannah Montana joined us too!
We all loaded into the Hummer and drove around Minneapolis while drinking a few cold beers. We headed over to Gold Medal Park and the Stone Arch Bridge to take some pictures, I have no doubt that they will look amazing! When we got all the pictures we needed we headed back to the W Foshay for the cocktail hour and reception.

The reception was so much fun! The wedding party started off the evening with a little surprise to get the crowd going. We each came in to a song that the couple had chosen and danced our way around the tables to the dance floor where Nikki and Ben met us. I think it was a hit, people seemed to enjoy it, and I know that I enjoyed myself!


Jen, Ali, Nikki
We danced and danced, until the DJ had to pack up and go home. By this time, most of the guests had already retreated to their hotel rooms, but there were a few of us that didn't want this night to end quite yet. Annie, Marko, Peter and I headed over to the Rand with Andrew, Timmy and Mary for a little after party. We had a few more cocktails, took in the view of the city lights from the rooftop and finally around 5:00 AM called it a night.

Annie, Me (Wearing Marko's glasses)
It was such an amazing weekend being able to spend it celebrating the love and marriage of a couple you are so happy for! 






Thursday, July 21, 2011

Terry Traen

During the year that I lived with my parents, my dad and I carpooled almost everyday to work and would listen to the KQRS morning talk show. Terry Traen quickly became one of my favorite radio personalities, the way she speaks and the words that come out of her mouth are very similar to the way I can be sometimes with a stong Minnesotan accent and a little confused with what's going on exactly. During the many mornings of listening to the show, we would hear about the different spots where the would be doing promotions and it just so happens that Terry does a lot of hers at Green Mills. Dad and I had been waiting and waiting for her to come to the Plymouth Green Mill so we could go meet her. Finally, on Tuesday, she was there! I met mom, dad and Kari at Green Mill for some pizza and beer. Dad and I went up to meet Terry and she was so nice. Dad started out the conversation saying that I broke up with a boyfriend and had to move home from South Dakota and carpooled with him everyday for a year and that's how we became fans of hers. I think she was more interested in the breaking up with the boyfriend part because that's pretty much all we talked about during the night. She mentioned her daughter also just broke up with her boyfriend of a couple years and our stories were pretty much identical.

Terry Traen, Dad, Me
While we were at Green Mill Terry was doing drawings for prizes and both me and dad won. I chose a t-shirt and he got a beer koozie that he had Terry sign. During one of her drawings she says 'If anyone knows a nice WI guy, that girl back there, Ali, in the blue dress, is single and very nice.' Not too long after that, this guy comes up to the table, dad had stepped away for a minute, and says 'Hi, you're Ali, from WI and you're single? I'm Phil, from MN and I'm drunk.' I didn't quite know what to say seeing as how my mom and sister were at the table and my dad was walking back over.

All in all it was a nice night with my family and it was fun to finally be able to meet Terry and chat with her and her daughter about guys and life. Best of all, I actually won something!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Little city, little country

This weekend was a good mix of the city and the country. I had intended on staying home so I could get some chores done and I was only going to go out on Friday. Well things changed a little.

I met Peter, Annie, Lindsey and some other people at Seven Sushi around 8:00 and from there I was going to meet a friend, Shane, for drinks around 9:30 at Kierans. It had been such a horribly stormy day so we wanted to take advantage of the rooftop since the sky was clearing up. We found an area that no one was in and made it our home for the night. With this particular spot, you had to order bottle service, so Peter so generously bought a coupke bottles of vodka for the group. Shane ended up meeting me at Seven and hanging out with our group for the night which was pretty fun. We ended up leaving Seven and headed over to 508 for a little bit. After bar close Shane and I started walking back to my place and we both had to go to the bathroom. Since I'm such a genius I suggested we stop in at The Seville Club and use theirs. $10/pp cover and we used their restroom and sat and watched the girls dance for a little bit. About 3:30 we headed back to my apartment. He passed out on the couch while I frantically 'cleaned' my apartment. During the night I had been getting text messages from our cabin neighbors Bob and Genna saying they were up there and that I should come up. Since I had been drinking I said I'd come up in the morning, even though I really shouldn't since I had so much to do at home.

Saturday morning I drove Shane back to his car, called mom and she said to come up. Especially since we are experiencing a heat wave with temperatures in the 100's! I got back to my apartment, frantically threw clothes into a bag, packed up my car and by 10:30 AM I was on the road. I was heading North on 35W when all of a sudden, traffic just stopped. Apparently there was flodding from the rain we had on Friday that closed 35W North at 694 so I sat in traffic for an hour before I got to 694. I finally made it up to the cabin after three hours in the car. The neighbors were at Terra's place tubing and skiing during the afternoon. When they got back Zach and Bob came over to check out what projects mom and dad were working on. Me and mom helped dad take out one of the bay windows and he re-sided where that was and moved the front door. After dinner I went over to the neighbors and we hung out on their dock, had a few drinks and listened to some music. When the bugs started getting bad by the water we went and made a fire with cups of gasoline and wet wood! When the bugs started to get bad by the fire, the few of us that were still up (Me, Genna, Zach and Terra) headed inside to play some card games, when one thing led to another and all of a sudden we are in their garage shot gunning beers and throwing poppers at peoples chests and backs! Genna and Tera ended up taking a walk, so it was just me and Zach. I somehow convinced him to go swimming with me. It was such a cool night because it was so hot out, a full moon and the air was so thick you couldn't see the otherside of the lake. We ended up just searching for flat rocks and trying to skip them across the lake, tossed a little mud and swam around until the bugs got too bad we had to get out and dry off. It was about 2:30 when I headed back to the cabin. Genna called to tell me that we weren't done 'Chillin the most', at that point I had to just stay in bed and get some shut eye.

It was such a fun weekend going out in Minneapolis on Friday, meeting new friends and hanging out with old ones, and going to the cabin and getting to know our neighbors a little better.

This week is the Awuatennial Torchlight parade and the Aquatennial Target fireworks.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pie!

With the fourth of July coming up, I wanted to make a special dessert to bring up to the cabin. After spending time searching around for the perfect summer- red, white and blue dessert, I came across a recipe for a fruit pie called "Berry Lover's Delight". It has a special treat at the bottom of the berries, white chocolate! This is my first attempt at making a pie and I think it turned out pretty great!
I bought a pre-made pie crust and cooked it in the oven until the crust started to turn a lovely golden color. The recipe called for three cups of strawberries. When I was at the grocery store, I thought it asked for three pounds, so I bought three pounds of strawberries and cut them up until I realized how many I actually needed! It was a good mistake though because I ended up eating more than I should have! When I put the berries into the pie crust, I wasn't quite sure what was going to keep the berries together...there was no filling! Well, I took the left over strawberries, added some sugar and water and boiled the mixture while crushing the berries and it made a delicious strawberry glaze that I poured over the strawberries. I did the same with the left over blue berries and made a blue berry glaze. Finally I topped the pie off with some white chocolate shavings and some pie crust that I baked and topped with powdered sugar! I hope that this pie makes it up to the cabin in one piece so the family can see how pretty it is. I just pray that it tastes as good as it looks!

Have a safe, fun and warm 4th of July!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Foot Loose

A couple weeks ago I started getting a horrible pain in my left foot, thinking it was just from all the walking to and from work, one mile each way, I thought nothing of it. The day before I left for Miami I was playing volleyball and the pain was really bad, and someone went up for a hit and landed smack in the middle of my foot, where the pain was the worse. When I woke up the next day there was some swelling and as the trip went on, the swelling got worse. It could of been a combination of the heat, humidity, not resting my foot, etc. All I know is I was in pain and the swelling was just getting worse so yesterday I went to the doctor, he sent me to get some xrays and today he called with the results...sprain...I was hoping that it would be something like a fracture so they could do something about the pain. All I can do now is RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate). I had to miss my volleyball game tonight and have been spending the last three days after work, stuck on my couch/bed with my poor foot up with a bag of vegetables on it, yes, vegetables, I don't have any ice trays yet. Guess that will be my next investment. I just hope that this pain and swelling goes away soon so I can enjoy the fourth of July next week up at the lake, playing in the water.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm in Miami B*tch!

This past weekend I went to Miami with Nikki and Ben and some friends for their bachelor/bachelorette party and it was AMAZING! We started the trip on Thursday by meeting everyone at the lightrail with mimosas!
(Ali, Annie, Nikki, Jen, Timmy, Curt, Ben waiting at the lightrail with mimosas at 6:30AM)

We stayed at the Z Ocean Hotel in South Beach on Ocean Drive in a Rooftop suite that had it's own hot tub, bed, table, wet bar and ipod adapter!
(Z Ocean Hotel)
(Rooftop Suite PH14)
The first night, the girls planned a night out for the group. We had the guys over to our rooftop to play flip cup, have some cocktails.
(Nate, Jen, Curt, Annie, Gregory, Ben, Jason, Josh, Nikki, Ali, Timmy playing flip cup on our rooftop)
Nikki got the girls matching shirts, and Ben got the guys matching shirts. It made for a fun night! After cocktails on the rooftop, we surprised the guys with a party bus where we toured South Beach and went to a couple of bars. The first stop was Wet Willies where they have all slushie drinks that are so delicous!

(Nate, Ali, Annie, Nikki at Wet Willies)
Our last stop on the bus was the Fontainebleau Hotel which was so beautiful, however ridiculously expensive! I ordered a drink for myself and the bachelorette and it was over $40! However, totally worth it. When we were walking into the Fontainebleau there were hundreds of people dressed in white shirts, jeans and cowboy hats. The bar tender said there was a Spanish rodeo in town and there were 1,500 people staying at the hotel for the rodeo.

Day two started out with lunch at the Front Porch Cafe which is the restaurant at the Z Ocean Hotel, then a little beach time!

(The beach)
The beach was so gorgeous and the water was so clear and warm. I thought the caribbean beaches were amazing, turns out I don't have to travel too far to see such a gorgeous place! Since day two was the official bachelor/bachelorette party day, we had a little party on the rooftop for Nikki with cocktails, games and gifts. We went to dinner at an amazing Tapas restaurant, Maya Tapas where we had a pitcher of Mojitos, cheese platter and delicious meals. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before we headed to the club. We went to Mansion and did bottle service.

(Ali, Annie, Jen, Nikki at Mansion Nightlub)
There was a bunny dancing around...
(Bunny dancing at Mansion Nightclub)
We mingled...

(My new Australian friend Bash "RAWR!")
and just had an all around great time!

Day three we met the guys for lunch and Annie and I spent another day on the beach, until the heat was too much to handle. This night the guys had planned the events for the night. Ben and Curt picked us up in a Taxi van and we drove to a restaurant that was closed. Turns out, they had the wrong address, so we walked across the street and met the rest of the guys at another closed restaurant that was for lease. The plan then, was to walk down the street and we would just eat at the next restaurant we passed so we walked into this great Italian restaurant and SURPRISE the guys had a table all set with wine and poured champagne! The next surprise, they took us to Miami where we took a boat tour in the bay of the city lights. It was a beautiful night, seeing as how, while we were eating dinner it started to down pour, the only rain we had during the whole trip. After the boat cruise, they surprised us once again with bottle service at Louis Lounge at the Gansevoort. We danced, we took shots and once again, had an amazing night!

(Jen, Nikki, Ali, Annie at the Gansevoort Hotel waiting for our VIP table at Louis Lounge)
Day four was a very sad day as it was out last day in South Beach. Checkout time was 11:00 AM so we left our bags at the front desk and spent the afternoon under the palm trees at Lummus Park which was right across the street from our hotel.

(Sitting under the palm trees at Lummus Park)
Four o'clock rolled around and we changed from our shorts, into our jeans since it was 95 in SOBE and only 65 degrees when we landed in Minneapolis. We met the guys at the airport and took the not so long 3 hour flight home. I was so sad to leave and I cannot wait to visit SOBE again. I have so many memories and stories that I will share and cherish for a lifetime!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leaving on an airplane

Only one more hour to go until I am officially on vacation for the next four days! I was so happy when I got the email this morning letting me know that I could check in to my flight in the morning!

Monday Nikki and I got manicures and pedicures, Tuesday I dropped Miley and Trixie off at mom and dad's, and tonight I have a volleyball game. It's been nice to stay busy at work and in the evening. It's really helped pass the time. I got my packing done last night, but before I put anything in the suite case I had to try it on first, why? I have no idea, it's just what I do!

I can't wait to share stories and pictures of our amazing trip to South Beach!

I will leave you with this lovely quote from my fortune cookie last night from Pings: "For humans love is a necessity like food and shelter".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

R&R

Kari and I headed up to the cabin on Friday night, and since mom and dad had a food show in Chicago, this was the first time we have been up there without parents and were able to invite friends. Friday, we dropped off the dogs at the cabin and headed over to Howl at the Moon for dinner. There's never been more than four people in there whenever I have gone there. Kevin was bar tending and warmed up to us once we told him who our parents are and that I was the girl that came in this winter and passed out on the bar. He gave us a spice blend that a guy named Bernie makes, who's a local, the spice is called Bernies Butt Blend, sounds delicious, eh? As we were leaving he asked what our names were, when Kari told him her name, he said, "Oh, kind of like kara-mara? Next time you go to one of those fancy seafood restaurants down there in the city, ask for kara-mara, I think it's squid or something?" I was pretty intrigued by this kara-mara, I had never heard of it before. Once the door to the bar closed, Kari just started cracking up, a little confused as to why, I asked her what was so funny? She said, "Kara-mara? Ali! He meant calamari!" Oh gosh, that was a good one!

Ben and Nikki came up on Saturday afternoon. We gave them the tour of the cabin and went on a little boat ride. It was a little chilly on the boat with the clouds coming and going so we just drive over to the Kotoski's to show them the cabin we spent our child hood summers at, and then drove through the sand bar and headed back. We went to Whisky Joe's for dinner that night. They have an interesting happy hour deal. Happy hour runs from 4-6, but instead of just having specials, you have to try your luck with a pull tab and you either get, 1/2 off, $.50 off, or full price. Heck, even a full price beer is only between $2-$4, so if you had to pay full price, it wasn't the end of the world. There is a separate room with some games and a beer pong table so we headed back and played a game. We decided we'd better head back to the cabin before no one could drive us back. We started a fire and had some snacks and drinks. When it got chilly, we headed inside and listened to some music, had some more drinks and chatted and played with the dogs.

Sunday was a normal day. We all got up rather early and Ben and Nikki left around 11. Kari and I stayed up and raked the weeds out of the lake, worked on the shore, and picked up the cabin.

I leave for Miami in one day and I can't wait! Mom and dad get home from Chicago tonight, so I am bringing Trixie and Miley over to their house. Thursday morning, bright and early I will be on my way to hot, sunny, MIAMI!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sun, Swim, Fish, Fire

Over the weekend I headed up to the cabin with Kayla, Joe, Porter and Miley, mom and dad met us up there Friday evening. It was the most perfect weekend to be at the cabin, well, except for the May Flies that were hatching each evening. On Friday when we got to the cabin, the door was wide open and the key was in the door, the pontoon's ties and snapped so it was barely hanging on to the deck and the two chairs that we keep at the end of the dock were somewhere in the lake! We have had contractors at the cabin working on adding a deck above the bunker and for some reason or another they left in a hurry and forgot to lock up the cabin!

Saturday was such a beautiful day! We all got up about 8:30 and enjoyed a few cups of coffee while sitting outside on the dock. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was starting to rise. By 9:30 Joe, Kayla and myself were in the fishing boat heading out for the first trip of the day. I didn't catch anything all day except for a really bad sun burn! Who knew the sun was so strong in the morning? We went back to the cabin around 11:00 and I started raking up the weeds in the lake. It's pretty much just leaves and such that was on the ice this winter. Around noon, Grandma and Grandpa came to visit and have lunch. We all sat on the deck and mom made a cold noodle pasta dish, fruit and key lime pie. Grandma and Grandpa stayed for a few hours and chatted with mom and dad while Kayla, Joe and I went out and tried our luck at fishing again.  My fishing luck didn't turn around until Sunday morning. We went out before we headed back home and right away I caught two decent bass! I'm getting better and touching the fish and pulling out the hooks. I learned that we have 'dog fish' in our lake and people are catching them off the dock. I really hope I don't catch one, because if I do, you can bet that I'm going to throw my rod into the lake. Those fish are nasty!

Heading up to the lake tonight with Kari. Nikki and Ben are going to meet us up there in the morning. It's supposed to be a wash as far as the weather goes. High's in the 50's and cloudy/rainy, so we are planning on going to Whisky Joes to play some beer pong and hang out with the locals!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Weekend

This was the first Memorial Weekend we have spent at our cabin and it was perfect! Four Farnham's, two Byers, and three dogs were all able to make it for the long weekend. Kari and I arrived about two hours before the rest of the crew came up so we had some time to check out the construction that dad has been working on. There is now a third bedroom, a bigger living room and the kitchen faces out towards the lake! This week a contractor is starting construction on the bunker. He is going to flatten the roof and build a deck on top that will connect to the existing deck. When the deck is done, we will no longer be looking out the kitchen window to the peak of the bunker roof!
The weather was pretty great considering we thought we would be washed out. It sprinkled here and there, but for the most part it was partly sunny and warm. I even got a sun burn!

Joe took me, Kayla and Kari out fishing every day. For Christmas Joe and Kayla got the family some fishing equipment and poles. Kari and I both got fishing licenses for the summer and it's a good thing we did. The fish were really biting! I learned a lot about fishing over the weekend. The first fish I cought it was just me and Kari and she made me touch the fish and take the hook out myself. After that I just wanted to cast and reel, I didn't want to touch any more fish.
On Saturday Mr. and Mrs. Byers cooked us all an amazingly delicisous dinner of pulled pork tacos with salsa and guacamole. Joe had the pork cooking on the grill almost all day. It was so delicious!

One night I said I was going to go buy $50 worth of fireworks. I didn't think it would get me much, but I couldn't find enough fireworks that I actually wanted to buy. We ended up with a couple of fun shows.
I'm looking forward to the 4th of July where more family members/friends will buy fireworks. I think we'll have quite the show.
One thing my family always makes sure we have is an American flag. Dad gave me the job of puting together the flag/pole and finding the right spot to hang it.

Happy Memorial Weekend 2011!

Thank you to all who served and who are currently serving our country.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Year

Yesterday marked a big day in my life. I have been living in Minnesota and single for one year to the day and it feels great! In the year I've really been able to figure out who I am and what I want out of a relationship and life in general. I found a great job that I enjoy going to every day. I have a charming apartment that is perfect for me and Miley. I've reconnected with old friends who understand me like no one else does. I've been able to be a part of every little family event. There is so much to be grateful for living back in Minnesota.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dad's, gotta love'em

I started this blog as a way for me to share my experience of exploring Loring Park and re-exploring Minneapolis; but my Dad is just too funny sometimes that I have to share what he did yesterday.

My older sister got married two weeks ago and with a marriage comes a new last name, with a new last name comes a new email address. She sent everyone an email with her new address and this is my Dad's response (read the disclaimer):
Kayla, being Kayla, did not think his response was too funny. My Dad simply replies:
He has always been able to push our buttons :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's gonna be a hot one

Last night I had every intention of going to the grocery store, and purchasing all the necessary ingredients to make my first gluten-free carrot cake, have a glass of wine and finish the third disc of Vampire Diaries. Nikki called and asked if Miley and I wanted to go for a walk. It was just too nice out to pass up this opportunity. Miley and I met Nikki at Peevey Plaza which is the half way point between our places. Miley gets so much attention when we are out and about, she is just too cute! I'm happy that she is getting used to people being around so whenever someone comes up to her and wants to pet her, she will just sniff their hand and let them pet away. When Nikki got to Peevey we decided to head towards the Stone Arch Bridge. Along the way the patios on Nicollet were packed with Twins fans and business people soaking in the hot weather. As we crossed over the Stone Arch Bridge the mist and breeze blowing off the water felt so amazing (TCF building said it was 91 degrees out at 6:00 PM), there were so many people out running, walking, biking and blading along the river and you could hear peoples sighs of joy when there would be a gust of chilled air being blown off the water. Miley was such a trooper, we were walking for about two hours during the hottest part of the day. When we got home, she was pooped.

You would think that having a 90 degree day in May would bring everyone outside. The one thing that can top an unusually hot day, is storms. Right after Miley and I got home from our walk, huge black ominous clouds starting rolling in. Since I currently don't have TV or Internet I really don't have a way of knowing if we are in any kind of warning. I plopped myself down on the couch with a big salad and Miley sitting next to me and all of a sudden the sirens start going off. Kari was kind enough to text me and tell me we are in a tornado warning. I HATE sirens with a passion. They make me feel so sick. So when I heard the sirens and got the message from Kari, I was a little freaked out, so was Miss Miley. I found her in my bed trying to get away from the noise which just got worse as the rain started pounding down, the thunder roared through the air and the large hail poured down on the cars outside my window setting off a few car alarms and breaking a couple of windshields. I've never seen so many people outside during such a storm! The balconies and stoops on my block were full of people taking in the clouds, the tenants across the street all had their windows open, there was even a guy dancing in the alley in the rain! It's fun to see my neighborhood come alive when you expect everyone to be hidden in a basement.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Home sweet Home

A week ago I moved into my first one bedroom apartment! I've either lived in studios alone or in two bedrooms with roommates. This is the first time it's just been me and my dog. My apartment is in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis between Downtown and UpTown. One of the best spots in the city. I'm only 1 mile, or approximately 11 city blocks, from my office, so I can walk to work every day, stop at Target for groceries on my way home and in 30 minutes I'm back out the door with Miley on her leash exploring our new neighborhood. One of the best things about this location is how close I am to my closest friends! Kari is just a few blocks from me, on the other side of Loring Park. Nikki is a few blocks the other direction (she actually lives across the street from my office, but will be moving in a couple months). Annie, who manages the salon I go to lives right around the corner from my apartment. My unit is quite charming. I have huge windows that face downtown, although I can't see the skyline since there are buildings in my way, it's fun to know it's there. My most favorite part of my apartment is my bathroom, small, yes; BUT it has a claw foot tub. Something I have always wanted! Calhoun Square is about a mile and a half from my apartment. I realized last night that I could probably walk there faster than it takes to drive to UpTown at 5:00 PM on any given day.

I've started a cute little collection of flats, sadly I'm turning in my sky high stilettos for something a little more comfortable and a little more walker friendly.

I'm not getting cable this time around. I feel there really is no need to be stuck inside watching old re-runs on TV. I've wasted plenty of time doing that. I am getting Internet though, can't live without it. Comcast is coming on Friday to hook it up. Since I don't have TV or Internet at the moment I am going to attempt to make gluten-free carrot cake tonight! One of my new goals is to try and bake or cook one new recipe every week. Depending on how it turns out I may have to bring the cake into the office so I don't eat it all! Maybe I'll just do that if its bad. It's girls night tomorrow at Nikki's to discuss our Miami trip, they might like some gluten-free carrot cake!