Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Two years ago, my sister got married!

We spent the morning at the salon getting our hair and make up done. We sipped on mimosas and nibbled on bagels.

We were staying at the Graves 601 Downtown Minneapolis where my mom had a nice light lunch set up for us. All the bridesmaids put on their dresses and shoes as the photographer and flowers arrived. 

Once everyone was ready, it was time for the Bride to get in her dress.

I don't think my sister stopped smiling once this day.

We took Taxi's around Minneapolis to take pictures at Peavy Plaza and in front of different buildings before heading to Solera where the ceremony and reception took place.

We danced all night long. I don't think the dance floor was ever empty.

I'm thinking a wedding this fun should have to happen every year. 

Happy two year anniversary. Now go exchange some cotton.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Review and 1/2 Marathon!

This weekend was wonderful!
(Get ready for a long post)

Friday was the most low key Friday ever. I headed over to Minnehaha Falls to get my bib and T-shirt. It was one of the first amazing days we've had this Spring so the park was absolutely packed. After 30 minutes of driving around, I finally found a parking spot and was able to get my things, head home and rest up for the big run the next morning.

I laid out all my gear and packed my bag for the Get In Gear 1/2 marathon and was sound asleep by 9:30 PM. It was quite nice.

Saturday morning I was up around 5:30 AM. Without an alarm. I think the race jitters hit and I just couldn't go back to sleep. I made some oatmeal and had a banana for breakfast, took a shower, and made sure I had everything I would need for the rest of the day.

I headed out around 7:00 only to have my car be a putz and not start the first three times I tried. I think it was still sleeping. The fourth time was the charm and I got her purring. The sun was shining and I was all ready to do this. Then I realized I didn't have everything I needed for the day. I brought my ID but no money. So half way to the race I had to turn around and go back home. Good thing I was up extra early so I had this extra time!

I got to the VA Center at 8:00 and took the shuttle over to Minnehaha Falls. Waited in line for the port-a-potty, dropped off my bag, and before I knew it, it was time to head to the start line.

There was so much noise that I completely missed the National Anthem and the 26 seconds of  silence for Boston. I just heard a gun shot and people started to cheer and my feet started to move. Next thing I knew, I was running my first 1/2 marathon.

It was a really pretty run along the river and by some gorgeous homes. At the 10k/1/2 marathon split, my parents were there cheering me on.

In the Blue
I ran 1/2 of the course without stopping. After the split, the course got pretty hilly and I found myself walking almost every hill. The sun was up and in full force and it was a rather hot day for MN standards. At the mile 9 turn around, I was really feeling over heated. Thank goodness there were several water stops along the way.

Man friend came and cheered me on at the finish line. It was so nice to have him and my parents there to support me and cheer me on.

My dad got me heading to the finish line. What was really neat is that they announce your name once you finish! I finished in exactly 2:29:00. I was hoping for 2:10, but that just means there's room for improvement.

The rest of Saturday Man Friend and I did a little brewery hopping. We started at Northbound Smokehouse for a quick celebratory beer and lunch before we went back to his place so I could shower and not be a sweaty mess the rest of the day.

We went to Boom Island, which I think might be one of my favorite places. They let you try all of their beers for free, they just would like you to purchase something in return. I got a bottle of the Brimstone, which I think might actually be one of my new favorite beers. I'll have to get a growler next time.

After Boom Island we went to 612 for a drink. They have a beer called Mary Ann that is a ginger beer and quite tasty.

When we were done beer tasting for the day, I made an impromptu decision to go up to the cabin. I wanted to keep celebrating my finish so I called my cousin and my parents and they were all up at the lake. Since I had some extra clothes, and we keep extra PJ's up there, I figured why not? I got up there around 7:30 and chatted with my parents and some neighbors before heading over to my cousins cabin. They had a nice fire going outside and I was able to enjoy my Brimstone.

Sunday morning I headed back to my parents cabin before I had to head back to the Cities. Man Friend had a 50 mile road race he was doing that finished in Lake Elmo, so since it's kind of on my way home, I made a pit stop. He finished early so I didn't get to see him come in, but we were able to hang out for a while waiting for his dad to finish.

The rest of Sunday consisted of me laying on the couch watching Lifetime movies and dreaming that someone would cover me in ice while grilling me a nice steak dinner. That did not happen. I'm still super sore from the run. I think I'll definitely do another one, and most likely this summer. Only this time, I'll train the right way.

Linking up with...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sister Dinner: Pizzeria Lola

A year or so ago my sisters and I started doing sister dinners. Well, actually we did one and then lives got busy and we let it slip to the way side. We decided that we would pick them up again, only this time do it by categories. Our first category? Pizza!

We had heard about Pizzeria Lola for some time now but none of us had ever been. It also just so happened to be on Diner's, Drive In's and Dives the night before we had planned to go and our local Food Network celeb showed Guy what was up. I loved that Andrew Zimmern said that Minneapolis is the best kept food secret, which it definitely is.

We had planned to meet up at 7:00, but I got there early because I thought we'd have a wait. I was able to put our name down and we had about a 40 minute wait for our table. Luckily for us, the weather around these parts is finally starting to cooperate so we were able to hang out outside.

Lola's isn't a very large space, but when we were there it was wall to wall people and this was on a Tuesday night! I couldn't imagine what a wait would be on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Any wait would be worth it though. I loved that the menu wasn't your typical cheese and pepperoni, or supreme. There were so many unique pizzas, we had a really hard time deciding what to get.

We decided to start with the Lola antipasto plate while we voted on which pizzas to order. It was a selection of cured meats, cheese, nuts, olives and crostini and there was nothing left but the pits of our olives. Delicious.

Just as we were wrapping up with our starter, our pizzas arrived nice and hot. We decided on three pizzas. The My Sha-Roni which was house red sauce, mozzarella, natural-casing pepperoni & house-made fennel sausage. We learned on DDD the night before that the sausage takes 48 hours to make. I'm not usually a sausage girl, but this stuff was really good.

Pizza two was The Xerxes, sauteed spinach, sheep's milk feta, mozzarella, kalamata olives & almonds.

Finally, pizza number three. The Sunny Side. I'm not 100% sure what was all on it, but I know there was leeks and two sunny side up eggs that when cut, spilled out over the top of the pizza!

My favorite was the My Sha-Roni, then the Sunny Side, followed by The Xerxes. I'm a meat and red sauce pizza lover all the way, but I wanted to try some different pizzas and boy am I glad I did.

If you haven't been to Pizzeria Lola and are in the Twin Cities, I highly suggest going. Who knows, you may run in to Mr. Zimmern him self!

In a couple weeks we'll be trying Red's Savoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Review

This weekend was pretty good. Nice and relaxing just as I was hoping for.

Friday night Man Friend and I went to a birthday party for his friends three year old son. It was nice to meet some more of his friends and see that he's the same person with them as he is with me. It's also nice to know he has friends. Seriously, I've dated guys who literally had no friends. Makes you wonder why? 

After pizza, orange pop, cake and ice cream, and loads of pirate gifts, we headed over to Granite City for an adult beverage and back to his place for some wine. I've been on a red wine kick lately. We get along well.

Saturday I loaded up my laundry and headed over to mom and dads (what's new?). I offered to watch the dogs and get in some cuddle time with Miley so I spent the rest of the weekend at their house. She is the neediest dog ever! She used to just want to be left alone, but now she needs to be on you or cuddled up right beside you.

WARNING: Puppy picture overload 

Look at that tongue!

Spring hair cut!

Someone's a bit tired.

Waiting for the pizza man!

I got in a couple runs. Not the 10 miles I was hoping for, but it was 11 within 12 hours. 

I'm really disappointed in myself that I didn't take this 'training' more seriously. I have my first 1/2 on Saturday and it'll be a starting point. My goal for this one is to just finish without walking. After that I'll sign up for another 1/2 and go for time.

After running I thought I'd treat myself with a dip in the hot tub!

I love my parents hot tub. So many jets and no neighbors!

What I don't love? That white stuff that's still on the ground and will be gracing us with its presence later today.

This is what it did Thursday/Friday

So not cool.

What did you do this weekend?

Linking up with...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WTF Mother Nature. Seriously.

I've been MIA this week, like anyone really noticed, but I've been a bit under the weather and haven't had much to write about.

Monday after work I walked over to Fulton Brewery to meet the Man Friend and his roommate and girlfriend for some pre Twin game brews. I had been feeling out of sorts so luckily one of two gas stations downtown is right next to Fulton and I was able to get a Red Bull to put a little pep back in my step. 

Fulton is one of my favorite brewery's. Probably because it's the first one that I went to and I really like their Lonely Blonde. I especially like it when Mr. Man Friend orders one for me and says 'Can I do a Lonely Blonde?' Bar tenders give him a strange look. He does have me, but I'm not very lonely, so, whatevs. 

After a couple beers we headed over to the ball park. We had some pretty good seats for a very good price.

Mauer hit a home run, which was awesome. Oswaldo Arcia, new kid on the team had his first hit and for a whole two innings was batting 1,000. That was fun to watch. In the end the Twinkies won!

I was not winning however. That Red Bull, plus a couple beers, plus feeling out of sorts, hit me half way through the game and I turned into a silent bitch. I was fun to be around I'm sure. 

On another note. I'm never trusting another groundhog again. This winter crap needs to go away pronto.

Early Spring my ass.

At this point I'm seriously considering moving. I said when I moved home from Sioux Falls that I'd never move out of the Twin Cities again. Well, Mother Nature is forcing me to think hard about that. But where to go? Seems like the whole country is being crapped on.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Review

It was another crazy weekend around these parts. Quite frankly, I can't wait until this coming weekend. I don't have anything planned, and I'm pretty excited to just lay low.

Right after work on Monday I headed over to Aloft hotel to meet up with the Browns! Amber was one of my best friends from when I lived in Sioux Falls. Her husband and their kids were also really close with Dustin and his daughter, so we would all spend a lot of time together. The Browns were in town for the Supercross event at the dome.

They had spent the day at the Mall of America so I found a cozy place at the bar and waited for them to get to the hotel. While I was waiting her mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law and their adorable son came  in. It was nice to see them all since I spent many weekends out at her parents farm at barn parties.

We walked to Seven Corners and went to Republic for dinner. Her mom and dad brought all six, yes six kids back to the hotel after we ate so we could go out for the night. We did a little bar hop from Seven Corners back to the hotel. We stopped at the Corner Bar, Maxwell's and Grumpy's before heading to Uncle Bucks (formerly Drink downtown), I'll be happy to never go there again.

Saturday morning afternoon I rolled out of bed, gathered my laundry and headed to my parents. You know those days where you just need a good cry? Apparently that was Saturday. I was talking to my mom and all of a sudden I just started to bawl. I couldn't tell you what triggered it, but to say that I've had a lot going on lately with work and balancing a personal life would be an understatement. On top of being way to emotional, I took what I thought was ibuprofen, turns out it was an extra strength PM pill. I took two. I guess I needed the rest though because I kept falling asleep between loads of laundry.

Man Friend came over later Saturday afternoon and I wasn't really in the mood to be at my apartment so we went out to try two breweries in my neck of the woods that I hadn't been to before.

We started out at Steel Toe Brewery in St. Louis Park. I really enjoyed their beer.

Then we went to Excelsior and went to Excelsior Brewing Co.

All these breweries were packed. I guess that's what people do on a rainy cold Saturday afternoon.

While we were enjoying come craft beers a group at the brewery ordered pizza. It smelled so amazing. We asked where they got it from and thought about doing pizza for dinner. It was a tough call between the steak and potato dinner we had planned or following our noses to the pizza. We went with the pizza.

We headed over to Joey Nova's in Tonka Bay and am I glad we did.

I love my pizza and this was one of my favorites. It was a nice thin crust, but not too crunchy.

Sneaking pics of the pizza chef himself. When we got back to my place we tried to enjoy a drink in the hot tub but we were both so exhausted that it didn't last long.

If you live in the area you know we had some awesome winter weather yesterday with ice/snow/rain falling for most of the day. I had plans to get some new running shoes, but wanted to beat the weather. After google maps taking my everywhere but the running store I wanted to go to I put my phone away and went with my instincts.  I finally found the Running Room in Maple Grove and was fitted for an awesome pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13.

I wasn't able to get outside with them, but I can't wait to put some miles on these babies and see if they make me an ultra fast runner.

Linking up with...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Go Wild!

Last night was my very first NHL game, and I think I could totally get in to hockey assuming I can go to more games.

We were pretty high up, but the Xcel is a pretty cool arena and is really steep so you don't feel like you are too far away from the action.

We started the night at Great Waters Brewery. Surprise, surprise, Man Friend, his roommate and girlfriend and I went to a brewery.

They had some good beers. I stuck with the Golden Prairie Blonde Ale. Nice and light. I tried Mr. Man's since he had some I would never order on my own. All tasty in their own way.

After dinner we mosied over to the X and walked around a bit until we ended up at our seats. There was a hockey team of probably 8/9 year olds sitting behind us. It was funny to listen to them heckel. 

Unfortunately the Wild lost, but the night was still a win in my book. That sounds cheesy. 

I'm so ready for the weekend to start. A good friend is in town from South Dakota and Man Friend and I have a low key night planned for Saturday and I have an 11 mile run in penciled in for the morning. Bring it on!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not cool Mother Nature, not cool

If you live anywhere between Colorado and Minnesota, you've probably been hit with this April storm. What's its name? Walda? Why not just go with Waldo, we all know Waldo. What kind of name is Walda. Seriously.

We just got some sleet and snow over night, but are expected to get up to a foot of snow in the next 24 hours which I am not thrilled about at all.

Do you ever make deals with yourself? Like if you clean the entire bathroom you can do nothing but sit on the couch for the rest of the day? You don't? That's too bad. 

Last night I made a deal with myself that if I ran 5 miles I could have mozzarella sticks and macaroni and cheese for dinner. I haven't had either of those in too long and they both used to be a regular in my diet.

You know they say you are what you eat. Last night I was cheesy, cheap, delicious, fried, and a dinosaur (shape mac n' cheese is the only way to go).

I ran those 5 miles like I was being dragged through mud. It was tough, but all I could think about was the delicious dinner coming my way.

I stopped and walked a couple times because I'm pretty certain this treadmill is out to kill me. When I run outside, my legs feel good. When I run on this treadmill, everything starts to hurt within the first mile. I would have run outside since it was fairly warm but it was so windy I'm pretty sure I saw Toto fly by my window while I was getting ready for my run.

In more bad food news, a co-worker stopped by my desk asking me to help him out. Being the good co-worker I am, I said sure. He needed me to help him eat a cupcake. He bought too many.

Red Velvet from Cocoa & Fig. It was insane.

Enjoy your Wednesday. If you don't hear from me again, it's because my co-workers put me in a psych ward for driving me crazy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just Breath

Anyone have anything breathing tips for runners?

It seems like no matter how often I run or work out, I always find myself short of breath and forgetting to breath. Seriously? I've been breathing for 28 1/2 years! How can I not put one foot in front of the other and breath at the same time.

*As I wrote that my boss just came up and high fived me. He described to me a person and wanted me to find said person. That person? Kid 'N Play. I did not ask why he needed that information.

I went for my three mile training run when I got home yesterday and it sucked for two miles, then I got that kick in the butt around mile 2.5. The one where I realize I don't actually hate running.

I finally got to wear shorts and not freeze. Speaking of freezing, it's supposed to snow here starting tonight and go until Thursday. I suppose that is fitting since I'm going to my first Wild hockey game Thursday. It'll give me an excuse to really bundle up my awesome winter boots and flannel fur hat. Hopefully that means Spring will be here by Monday since I'll be going to my first Twins game of the season.

Anyway, by the time I got to mile three, I realized, I just have to rock out 10.1 more miles in less than three weeks to complete my first 1/2 marathon! Just 10.1 miles....what did I get myself in to?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend Review

This weekend was a complete whirlwind.

Friday night was my friend Kate's birthday. We played endless games of BOOM and then headed out to the Calvin Harris concert.

BOOM is a mix between pong and speed quarters. It's amazing.

Hair chalk

Ridic concert!

Saturday morning I packed up my laundry and headed for my parents to get some puppy love in and some clean knickers.

Later in the day I had a wedding shower to go to for my cousins fiance. My Aunts do a great job at throwing parties.

These were just come of the desserts.

Sunday was spent lounging and running errands per usual. I'm debating on if I should get a new pair of running shoes so I went to Dick's. After standing in the shoe department for 20 minutes, someone finally came to help me, but they didn't have any of the shoes I wanted in stock. I took it as a sign, but I'm going to hit up a running store later this week and get fitted for some good shoes.

I had a total 'Ali' moment at the grocery store too. I had been craving wild rice soup and just had a couple ingredients that I needed so I didn't bother to make a list. As I'm checking out I'm fairly confident that I have every thing I need for wild rice soup. No. I got to my car, literally slapped myself in the forehead and realized I forgot the wild rice. At least I was still in the parking lot. I have a love/hate relationship with Rainbow Foods. They never have what I need. Like wild rice, so I bought pre-cooked wild rice and it tastes just as good. It should taste better though since one can was $5. I almost ran out of the store yelling 'I've been robbed!" But I was too hungry so I just went home and made my soup.

Here's some random pics from the week/weekend.

Linking up with...