Friday, November 30, 2012

Border Battle!

This Sunday the Vikings are playing the Packers and in my office there are a lot of Vikings fans with equal parts Packer fans. To get the weekend started off right, I organized an office Chili Cook Off!

When I planned this a month ago, everyone was gun ho and talking about how good their chili is. Well, three days prior to the event, we only had one confirmed entry and almost had to cancel. Luckily, the office pulled together and we got five chili entries! One being a pheasant chili!

All we are missing is a case of beer and calling it a day after lunch.. I guess I can wait until next Friday when we have our company holiday party and the beer starts flowing at noon!

I got this really awesome shirt to support the Vikings this weekend.

It's from Scared Panda which I told you about earlier this week. I love it!

It's my little girls birthday today. Miley is the big 5!

Here's a shrine of cute Miley pictures.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Treadmill Workouts

I'm getting a little bored on the treadmill, but with temps falling into the teens by the time I get home from work, I don't really feel like turning into an icicle by running outside.

I found this treadmill workout from He and She Eat Clean. I was really excited to give it a go and spice up my steady 3-4 mile runs with some inclines and interval runs.

I really enjoyed this routine, but a small piece of advice. Print it out in larger print or write it down. I was going off the picture I had pinned and wasn't able to enlarge it. When you're running for 45 seconds at 8.5, you can't read what you're supposed to do next. That resulted in me stopping frequently to read the next step and eventually getting so pissed off at my phone I literally wanted to throw it on the ground and stomp on it because it wasn't doing what I needed/wanted it to do.

My frustration led me to give up. I quit at interval 11. I hate that word, quit, it's kind of haunted me. I don't want to be a quitter. So, I marched my grumpy quitter ass back to the apartment and wrote this workout down in large print in bold black marker so when I take it to the gym, I have no excuse to quit.

I can tell you though, this is a great workout. I can feel it in my butt and thighs and I can't wait to finish it!

Here's some deets I told you I would share. My measurements.

Waist: 33
Hips: 39.5
Thigh: 23.5
Bust: 35.5
Biceps: 12.5

My goal is to measure once a month to track my progress.

In other miscellaneous news in Ali World, a stranger bought my Chipotle last week. The cashier said someone bought it and he says Happy Thanksgiving. I've been in the mood to pay it forward since then.

Diana and I set up our Christmas tree. Now it just needs presents under it. I just have Joe left to shop for then I'm done. Just have to get to wrapping.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I just received my sisters in the mail and I showed them off at work and everyone loved them! The best part is, 10% of the purchase goes to helping local schools, and it's a local company here in Minneapolis! Scared Panda, check them out.

I wore my red pants to work.

And got holla'd at by a homeless man in the skyway over the lunch hour, yelling about how I look good in my 'pink, salmon, whatever color pants'. I took that as a compliment and quickly got the heck out of there.

Finally, I found the most awesome winter boots!

I went to Target and saw they had some cute boots, but I won't ever spend $50 on one Target item unless it's an electronic, so next stop was Macy's. I saw these adorable boots, but the price tag was anything but cute. So I meandered over to Marshall's where I saw the same boots that I wanted at Macy's for a fraction of the price! $39.99 compared to Macy's $95? Yes, please!

115 Days To Puerto Vallarta

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemade Wild Rice Soup

In the past 5 days I've made two pots of Turkey Wild Rice Soup. One up at the cabin to warm us up after playing working outside. And the other Sunday night whole prepping my lunches for the week. I can never get enough of this soup, especially in the colder months.

I always thought that wild rice soup was hard to make so I never attempted it before, but my mom walked me through it and it is so simple to make. Especially if you have left over turkey from Thanksgiving, or even a rotisserie chicken.

The recipe my mom has always used is from Byerly's, and it's one of the best recipes out there. 

Here we go.

Start by preparing your wild rice. It takes about 40-45 minutes for the rice to become tender. Just follow the instructions on the box. During that time you can prep the rest of the ingredients.

Mince 1 tbsp. onion
Set aside 1/2 cup of flour
Prepare 3 cups chicken stock
Chop up your turkey/chicken/ham
Grate one carrot
slivered almonds (I add a lot)
Measure out 1 cup half and half
Salt & pepper to taste

When I made this at home I had the largest carrot ever! I used it because I like the carrots in the soup. 

I only use two pots/bowls when I make this. Put the meat, carrots, rice in one bowl after the rice has finished cooking.

Melt 6 oz. of butter in the pot that you cooked the rice in. Once the butter has melted, add the minced onions. When the onions are soft, blend in the flour and slowly add the chicken stock so the mixture remains smooth and lump free. Once the mixture comes to a boil, stir constantly for one minute then add the meat, carrots, rice, slivered almonds and salt. 

Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in one cup of half and half. 

This makes three generous bowls of the best wild rice soup you've ever tasted!

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Walking in a winter wonderland

Friday morning after Thanksgiving, mom, dad, Miley, Trixie and I all piled into their truck to make the slick trip up to the cabin.

The day before, Thanksgiving, was 60 and sunny. It was officially freezing and snowing.

I hadn't been up since Labor Day weekend so I knew there would be some surprises. When we walked in I couldn't believe how different the place looked!

We got a wood burning stove!

It had just been installed earlier in the week so mom and dad hadn't seen it yet either. Friday was basically spent enjoying the fire and relaxing.

Saturday we woke up to the sun rising over a partially frozen lake that was full of geese and swans!

We ran some errands in town 'shopping small' since all the stores are mom and pop shops.

I had to make sure I wasn't going to embarrass my parents with my outfit. But it was maybe 15 degrees out so I wanted to make sure I was warm! Don't mind the mess, it's still under construction. 

My favorite place to go to is Yourchucks.

They have everything you could possibly need from an A/C unit, to liquor to hunting gear to VHS and cassett tapes.

I was able to find a new New Glarus beer! It was really tasty. It is apples, cherries and cranberries. I'll for sure get it again. 

After our errands, I headed out to play with the Red Ryder BB Gun we got from my Aunt Jane. My aim is horrible, but I did hear a few dings from hitting the can.

I was freezing cold so I went inside and made a huge pot of turkey wild rice soup for everyone. I'll have a post on that tomorrow. 

Once I warmed up I headed back outside to test my ax chopping skills. We needed small pieces of wood so dad found a tree that had fallen over and cut it into 12 inch long pieces. Then I chopped them so they would fit in the new stove. Chopping wood is a serious workout. I'm still feeling it today.

We wrapped up the day listening to Prairie Home Companion, drinking a few cocktails and enjoying a delicious roast beef dinner.

I love spending winter days up at the cabin. Especially now that we have the stove, it has a much more cozy feel to it.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We spent the day with my dad's side of the family. Thanksgiving morning started by moving some beds from my Aunts house. She's moving to Bainbridge Island, Washington and doesn't need to bring much furniture so my parents bought some beds from her. It was a warm sunny morning and we got to toss king sized beds over her banister into the living room. We made it fun!

The rest of the day was spent at my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim's house which is right across the golf course from where I live now. It's so fun to catch up with everyone. Their daughters live in Chicago and Milwaukee and Carrie is preggers with their first little girl. Her husband Tim jokes that if anyone wants a son in our family they'll have to adopt. We're pretty female dominant. 

We stuffed our faces with turkey, potatoes and gravy, cranberries and green bean casserole, followed by endless amounts of pie.

There was a lot to be thankful for this year. Family, friends, health, jobs.

And small things. Like finding the perfect pair of red pants.

And having a little furball to cuddle with.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Eve Day!

Have you looked at a calendar recently? We only have 5 weeks left of 2012!! I'm happy to say I'm almost finished with my Christmas shopping. Just the BIL (Brother In-Law) left. Stumped on that one. 

With that said, I won't be Black Friday shopping. I did it once and I'm pretty sure I won't do it again until I have kids or nieces/nephews. The deals only seem to be exceptional on toys or things I don't need. I'll be spending the rest of my long weekend in the great white north at the cabin. I'm really, stupidly excited to try out the Red Ryder BB Gun I got from my Aunt, to wear rubber boots and flannel from head to toe, to sit around a fire and get in a ton of cuddle time with Miley.

I've also been told that there are some changes at the cabin since I've been there last, which was Labor Day.

I hate how dark it is by the time I get home. But I do get to enjoy some beautiful sunsets.

Last night I only had time for a short two mile run, but I wanted to push myself and make them a fast two miles.

I was happy with what I accomplished. Now if I could just run three miles under 9 minutes, I'd be really happy.

I was meeting a fella at Pig & Fiddle for drinks. If you've never been, I'd highly recommend it. I didn't eat, but the menu looked good and all the food that came out looked delicious. The bartender was fantastic and the atmosphere was laid back but fun. It was a different vibe than the rest of the restaurants in the 50th & France area.

If you didn't know, yesterday was 'Hug a Runner' day, so I hope you got a hug because if you didn't already know, hugs are what make the world go round. Everyone deserves a good hug.

This is dumb, but I guess it's the little things in life that make each day fun and special. Such as the double long buses!

Hello! If I was 10 I'd run for these seats every time I ride the bus because they swivel when the bus turns. I seriously smiled every time the bus turned and the little accordion things did their job.

It's going to be a slow day, so here's what's helping me get through until I have a nice four day weekend!

Totally obsessing over these songs. Might not all be work appropriate, but since no one is in the office, I'm blasting them...quietly, quietly blasting my music.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Does your office close on Black Friday?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday Funday?? Why not!

Aren't Monday's for plopping down on the couch after work because Monday's are just so exhausting after the weekend that it just shouldn't exist?

Well, something smacked me in the behind and I decided to up my planned 3 mile run to 4 miles. And let me tell you. It felt awesome!

Seriously, this felt really really good. Lately when I do 3 miles I feel like it hasn't been hitting the spot, but adding another mile did the trick.

Our 'fitness' center looks out over the pool area, so that keeps me going too. Knowing that I want to look good for my upcoming trip to Mexico in March.

Seeing that I was able to complete 4 miles in 36 minutes also gets me really excited for the next 10K I do, because I know I can do it in under an hour now. Until then, I'm doing the Moustache Run on December 1st!

I'm so excited to wear this hat! Now all I need is a moustache...hmmm.... Oh, and if you'd still like to sign up it's the Living Social deal right now for only $29. Get on that.

I'm also super excited right now because the Meetup group that I started just went public to all members today! In the last hour we gained 40 members and we have 10 people attending the first Meetup happy hour!

I'm so excited to meet new people in the area!

Top: Calvin Klein, Sweater: GAP, Pants: Express, Shoes: Target
Want to know something really stupid? Ok, well I'll tell you anyway. After Friendsgiving I drank a little too much so instead of going to the bathroom to take out my contacts. I laid in bed, took them out, put them on my nightstand where they died a slow, solution-free death. So, I've been wearing my glasses until I get closer to the time of month where I change my contacts. Fun fact about my glasses. They have puppy teeth scratches on the lens.

Monday, November 19, 2012


On Saturday evening Diana and I hosted our first Friendsgiving! 

I wanted to add some special touches so I stole her crafty little idea and made them my own!

I started with the banner.

I got my free letters from the original post here. Hit up my local JoAnn's for some card stock and riffled through an old craft box where I already had some twine and orange clips. 

I love crafts, and hosting get-togethers so this was the perfect time to whip up a banner and let me tell you, it was a hit! Everyone that walked in loved it as it proudly hung over the table of yummy food.

My second project I stole was turkey pine cone meal tags. I was so excited to buy my first hot glue gun!

It's just a baby glue gun, but she was a good one!

The only pine cones I could find were cinnamon scented, but I figure I'm killing two birds with one stone here. Now I have cinnamon scented cones to decorate with for Christmas!

Turkey pine cones, simple. Take a pine cone, some feathers and hot glue on to the back of the pine cone. 

I used the left over card stock and made little labels of different dishes that would be served. I thought they were absolutely adorable and added a little somethin-somethin to the table.

Check out this turkey.

Does that not make your mouth water? It was so delicious. I had nothing to do with it, it was all Diana. I basically just sniffed it while I gulped sipped wine.

After dinner we all sat around and played with our mustaches while we let the turkey coma set in.

All in all I think everyone had a great time, including Mr. T-Rex. We had more than enough food, and I'm pretty sure our fridge will be stocked with turkey, pie and wine till the next millennium. So if you're hungry or thirsty, come on over.

In what is becoming the norm, I headed to mom and dads on Sunday to do my laundry and get in some cuddle time with my fur ball.

She wouldn't look at me long enough to get a good picture. She was too focused on the pizza I was shoveling in my pie hole.

In my attempt at an #ootd picture I got this.

I really wanted to wear these boots, but couldn't remember what I ever wore them with before so I dug out this old skirt and thought it worked. Pretty different from my day to day black. Look at all the color! And pattern! Ok, yes, the rest of the outfit is grey. Big deal.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Letter C

Today's post is brought to you by the letter C! Caribou, Coffee, Chocolate, Cooler.

You saved my life this morning. Thank you.

I totally killed it last night. Ran three miles, and it felt great. Running makes me feel normal, and this past week I have felt anything but. Finally getting on the treadmill and busting out a couple of miles was really nice. 

My foot is still bothering me. I didn't notice it during the first mile, but around mile 1.5-2 it was starting to hurt. Honestly, I should of probably stopped, but the rest of me felt really good and I wanted to just keep going so I went to 3 miles.

Edemame make a great ice bag. I've literally had this bag for over a year and have strictly used it for icing my body. When you hear me talking about eating edemame, no I'm not eating the ones that I use to ice my foot/knee. 

I was done working out by 6:00 when I ran into Diana and Brandon in the hallway. They had bought some wine and Brandon brought his aerator. Surprisingly, doing a side-by-side comparison, there's a huge difference between aerated wine and non aerated wine. 

I hit up TJ's to stock up on some wine.

Six bottles for $30? Yes, please.

The night ended with three empty bottles of wine. One demolished TJ's pizza. One broken wine glass. And an empty pitcher of margaritas. Hello Thursday.

Tomorrow's the big Pre Thanksgiving Pot Luck. We're up to 10 people. I hope it's fun and that people enjoy themselves. I love hosting and making food for people so this is right up my alley.