Thursday, May 24, 2012

May Review

It's official, I completely fell off the Photo-a-day Instagram challenge. That doesn't mean I didn't take any pictures, because trust me, I have been taking plenty. Here's what's been going on lately.

About two weeks ago we were all sitting around the kitchen table at the cabin when mom let out a horrific gasp and pointed out the window. Honestly, I was expecting a bear or an eagle attacking a small animal. This is what she *gasped* at! We all jumped out of our seats, grabbed our phones and cameras and ran outside. From the end of the dock you could see the whole rainbow touch down on either side of the lake. Simply breathtaking.
All Kari wanted for her birthday was a Kayak and that's exactly what she got. As soon as it was nice enough out, Kari loaded up her kayak with her life jacket and a bottle of water and headed out on the open water. Next time I think she might add SPF 50 and dad might throw in a GPS tracker. When you are that close to the water it doesn't take long to get a nice sun burn. And when you are that close to the water in a little blue boat, it's hard to find you in blue water. Let's just say dad got a tad nervous she had tipped and couldn't roll over. He took a drive to try and find her which then led to an emergency boat ride. No worries though, she was safe and upright in her little blue kayak.
The next weekend we were up celebrating Kayla's birthday. We got up to the cabin around 3:30 and since our beer was warm and mom and dad hadn't arrived yet, we thought it would be nice to stop by Whiskey Joe's for a cold beer. Lucky us we were in Wisconsin where they have Spotted Cow on tap. We indulged in some Wisconsin cheese curds as well and were able to use a Foursquare deal to get a round of drinks free! It was a perfect day to be sitting outside near water having a cold beer. However, nothing beats sitting on your own deck, or better yet, on a raft floating in the lake with a beer.
Morning run down Sand Lake Road. I love driving/running/walking down this road under the canopy of large green trees.

This was during my evening run earlier this week. I love going on runs/walks both at the cabin and in Minneapolis. The scenery is so different yet both so amazing. I consider myself pretty lucky that when I'm done with work for the day these are the places I get to run to and escape. I even added on another 20 minutes to this run. The day was just so perfect and I couldn't get a better backdrop.
During my run I stopped along a bridge in Loring Park and saw these little guys swimming through a pond. Notice the green blob in the upper right corner? That's a turtle that was swimming right along with the baby ducks.
Last night me, Kayla, Kari, Joe and Patrick all met Aunt Jane at the Weisman Museum on the U of M campus. As always I was super early so I took advantage of being on campus and the view of the city. There was a huge storm rolling in over the city (and a day later the storm is still here...)
The Weisman Art Museum. Jane is a tour guide at the Weisman and offered to take us all on a personal tour of the museum. I definitely think I could have spent a lot more time in there looking at each piece.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Kayla!

Friday May 18th was Kayla's 29th birthday! Kayla, Kari and I all took half days of work and headed up North to enjoy the sun, heat and water for the weekend. To celebrate we headed off to Whiskey Joe's for some Wisconsin beer and cheese curds.

"If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child."
- Linda Sunshine

"Sisters never quite forgive each other for what happened when they were five."
- Pam Brown

"Sisters ir probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest reltaionship."
-Margaret Mead

Happy Birthday Kayla!

Love you

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

For year's my Grandma McNeally was fighting breast cancer, and ever since her diagnosis, her health just kept deteriorating. Grandma and Grandpa moved down to the cities from Hoveland in 2011 to be closer to medical care and family. Every couple of months we get that call saying this could be the end, and we'll go visit her and she starts to do better. Unfortunately this time could really be the end. A Priest came in last night and read her her last rights and gave her communion. The hospital dropped off a bed and she has been on morphine since Monday to keep her comfortable. Kari, mom and I are going to hopefully be able to visit her tonight. But instead of thinking about what is to come, I want to look back at all the great memories we had with Grandma.

Growing up, we didn't take many vacations and with a dad that traveled a lot, my mom would pack up her three little girls and we would make the 6 hour trip from LaCrescent, MN up to Hoveland, MN near the Canadian border. They had a home/cabin across the highway from Lake Superior that my Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunts and Uncles built. There was a large drainage tunnel that went under the highway and that was our secret way to get to Lake Superior. The beach up there isn't sand, it's all rocks. We would scour the beach looking for feathers and the perfect twigs to make dream catchers. I have no clue how to make one now, but Grandma always helped us collect the material and assemble our dream catchers. I can't tell you how many I made.

If you ever wanted to play a card game or learn a new kind of solitaire, Grandma was your woman. They didn't have a TV to entertain us, so we sat around and played card game after card game. I never knew there were so many different ways to play solitaire. Oh, and if you were caught cheating, like playing one card instead of 3, or shuffling your pile, she certainly wouldn't count that as a win.

I remember helping her cook when we would visit, or when they would come visit us. As a kid, I loved my tuna fish sandwiches, so Grandma and I got our ingredients and starting mixing. Then she started adding things like, celery, onions and pickles! I'm pretty sure I threw a tantrum.

Canada really isn't much different than Northern Minnesota, but Grandma always brought us up so we could cross the border, just to say we went to Canada over the weekend.

We would take drives to find animals. We would usually see bear or moose. That was always exciting. On these drives, we would get out and search for berries. Grandma always knew what berries were good and which ones could poison you.

One of the stories we all laugh at the most is dressing up in Grandma's lingerie! She always had a drawer full of lacy, silky little numbers and we just got such a kick out of dressing up and putting on shows. We were all under the age of ten when we did this, and we thought they were such fun dress-up clothes. Hmm, I wonder if she still has that drawer of lingerie?

Here's to looking at the good times we shared together and the things we learned.

Love you Grandma

Friday, May 11, 2012

Week Two In Review: By Instagram

I'm only in week two of the #photoadayMay challenge, and I already failed miserably. I fell off the bandwagon a little bit, but tried to jump back on. So, here is my Week Two in Review by Instagram.

Day 4. Fun - We  won our first three games at volleyball so our team celebrated with a beer tower which was extra fun since it was the first beer tower our server has had in his serving career!

Day 5. Bird - I didn't get a picture of a bird, but I sure thought about it. I was at my parents house and there are bird and geese and ducks EVERYWHERE! Fail...

Day 6. You - I cheated and used an old picture (old as in a week old). This is me!

Day 7. Someone that inspires you - I couldn't pick just one person, but rather my whole family inspires me and on Day 7. I was able to spend the day with them celebrating my little sisters birthday.

Day 8. A smell you adore. Fail...

Day 9. Something you do everyday - This is the sidewalk infront of my apartment building. I walk it everyday.

Day 10. A favorite word. - Love.

Day 11. Kitchen - My very teeny tiny kitchen.

So, although I missed a couple of days, I hope you enjoyed my week in review by Instagram!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

112 Eatery

For Kari's birthday, the whole family including Kari's friend Tim, got together at 112 Eatery in Minneapolis for dinner. The majority of us had never been before, so it was a real treat to finally be able to eat there. The food was so amazing!

For our starters we had the Sweet & Sour Crab Salad, 112 Steak Tartar, and the Boston Bibb with Fine Herb Viniagrette.
(Sweet & Sour Crab Salad, 112 Steak Tartar, Boston Bibb with Fine Herb Viniagrette)
We swiftly moved on to the main course. Everyone picked an entre in hopes of being able to have a small sample off others plates. I think we ordered one of everything!

We had Stringozzi with lamb sugo, Taglietelle with foie gras meatballs, Swordfish with mint Chimichurri, Nori encrusted Sirloin with ponzu, and Short Rib Chili. For sides we got the Frog legs with wakame and mustard sauce, Fried bread with prosciutto, and Cauliflower fritters.

Finally for dessert, we finished with their Tres Leches Cake and Nancy Silverton's Butterscotch Budino. Oh my mouth waters just thinking about the Butterscotch Budino! I can't even begin to describe how amazing the butterscotch and salt complimented each other!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy 25th Birthday!

Today is my baby sister's birthday! She is officially a quarter of a century old, even though she's been acting like she's 30 ever since she new how to talk.

"Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there."

You've always been there for me (apparently always to my right)

Happy Birthday!
Love you!

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Week In Review By Instagram

I'm doing the #photoadayMay Instagram photo challenge that Chantelle from FatMumSlim has put together. Being new to the iPhone world and Instagram, I'm pretty excited to be a part of this challenge. It also makes you stop and look around you a little more than you would any other day, well, at least for me it does. Instead of bombarding you with 31 pictures at the end of the month, I thought I would let you enjoy each week, one at a time. Here's the first few days of May, presented to you by Instagram!

Day 1. peace. I live and work downtown Minneapolis where it's often pretty chaotic. When I'm walking home with my headphones in, looking up at the clear sky and the trees that line my street. I feel at peace.

Day 2. skyline. Minneapolis skyline from the middle of the city at Government Plaza.

Day 3. something you wore today. Lace. I love the lace on this shirt, it's so feminine.

Day 4. fun! Stay tuned...I've been working all day. No fun to be had here, yet!

Please follow me on Instagram to see more of what I'm up to!!
Over the weekend the whole family was up at the cabin together for the first time this year. As usual Friday and Sunday were gorgeous days and Saturday was chilly with on and off sprinkles. That didn't stop us from getting the dock in though. A couple of the neighbor uncles offered assistance so Kayla and Joe put on the waders and were able to get both the dock and the boat lift in the water and ready for the summer! The fishing boat is in the water and all ready for Wisconsin fishing opener this weekend!

Kari and I offered to make Saturday's dinner, so we made pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli (you can find the recipe here), and ended the meal with a delicious yet simple dessert (recipe here - I named it Whipped Yogurt Pie). Kathy and Dick stopped over for drinks and joined us for dinner.

On Monday I found out I was the winner of a Jose Eber clipless curling iron from a blog that I follow, a fashion love affair. I am so excited to use the curling iron since I've been going with the 'natural' look a lot lately. The humidity and rain isn't really conducive to straightening my hair. Cara from 'a fashion love affair' always has amazing hair, I've pinned several of her 'how-to's'. My package should arrive Monday according to UPS's tracker which will be perfect to try before celebrating Kari's 25th birthday on Monday night!

I finally finished and hung up a DIY art project I had started months ago. You might remember I had talked about it here. Well here's the final product. Don't mind my yellow looking wall, I had on a lamp with a funky glow.

For how much empty space I have on my wall and for how tall my ceilings are, I feel like this fits the space pretty well. My bedroom colors are grey, yellow and white, so I like the black and white. I'm hoping to find some old frames this weekend, spray paint them yellow put in black and white photos to add a pop of yellow to the wall. I'm also thinking of incorporating a second accent color. Maybe turquoise?

I have been working on myself for a while, making sure I put myself first and that I'm happy. Unfortunately it meant cutting ties with friends I should have let go of a long time ago. I joined a couple of MeetUp groups but was always too nervous to attend any of the events on my own since I didn't know anyone in the groups. Well, last night a group called In A Minneapolis Minute had their New Member Happy Hour at Loring Kitchen and Bar. I told myself I had to go. I knew I would regret it if I didn't. I walked over to LK&B for a glass of wine and three glasses later, I was proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and meeting some new ladies. Now that I know some of the girls, I definitely plan to attend many more MeetUps and hopefully find some new lasting friends.