Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vacation dreaming: Negril Jamaica

Back in 1999/2000 my family took a trip to Jamaica because who doesn't take a New Years vacation to a small island when the world is going to come to a stand still?

I guess my parents thought they'd rather be stuck on a beach than the frigid cold that is Minnesota.

I have no original pictures because that was before camera phones existed and all I had was a wind up camera.

Anyway, we stayed three days on the beach and the remaining three days of our trip on the cliffs. We stayed at The Rockhouse which is the most amazing hotel I've ever stayed at and is what made this my most favorite vacation ever and the place I still imagine getting married at.

My parents stayed in a studio that had outdoor showers with the most amazing smelling soap in the world. The smell always brings me back to this trip.

Every day was spent at the infinity pool drinking purple rains because I was 15 and didn't know better.

One of the really neat things about this hotel is that there are little 'pods' we'll call them with lounge chairs and ladders that go down into the water for easy access to snorkeling. My body craves water so my mom and I would spend a lot of time snorkeling off the cliffs. The water is crystal clear so it was a very cool experience.

We ate a couple meals at the hotel restaurant and I'll tell ya, it's the only time I actually enjoyed eating sea food. You know it's caught fresh but also I think just being where I was made it taste better.

Someday I'll be back and I'll stay at a villa and steal all the soap I can get my hands on. Who knows, maybe I'll even have a purple rain?

Linking up with Holly!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Review

This weekend was so much fun, I'm sad to see it end. However, I just have to make it through 7.5 more work days before I have a nice long weekend and get to enjoy my most favorite holiday. Can you believe the 4th of July is just around the corner?

Friday night Mr. Man, Andy, and I went up to the cabin and mom and dad had the grill going with some burgers and potatoes. 

The weather was iffy on Saturday with chances of storms. There were big storms that went through Minneapolis but fortunately they missed the cabin and we just dealt with some clouds. Since we weren't sure what we would get for weather Andy and I headed to Hayward to check out a brewpub called the Angry Minnow.

 It was so good and I will definitely go again. I just got their Blonde and the most delicious whole wheat pretzel with siracha mayo and Andy did the beer flight.

When we drove in to Hayward we saw a sign for Hook Stone Winery and found out it was within walking distance from the Angry Minnow. 

We sat at the bar and we both did the wine tasting. It was a small pour of each of their wines for only $6, plus you got to keep the logo wine glass!

We were talking to the owner and he said that he gets all of his grapes from CA but he makes all of the wine in house. We didn't buy anything, but kept a list of our favorites. He makes a very good Port and a delicious red sangria.

The whole winery is full of cookey signs like these. Some more PG than others.

Since it was Musky Fest we thought it would only be fitting to stop in to the Moccasin which is a bar that has the largest Musky on record mounted along with a lot of other silly stuffed animals in funny settings.

I died when I saw this. I still can't get over the bear paying off the rabbit with a carrot for an Ace. The whole bar was like this. Plus we got New Glarus Spotted Cow on tap for only $2. I love small town WI.

We were surprised to see how long we had been gone for so we headed back to the cabin as the sun was starting to come out so we insisted on taking a boat ride. We packed our coolers and finally got to enjoy a nice boat ride.

I can't confirm what went on the rest of the night because I enjoyed too much wine, but I know Andy and I made a nice pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for dinner.

We were woken up on Sunday by some pretty serious thunder. It was actually a really nice way to be woken up with the rain and breeze and just being able to lay in bed and enjoy it. We had a leisurely morning and wanted to get on the road so we could get back home around noon. Well, things took an unplanned turn about five minutes in to the drive home.

Most of the drive home the posted speed limit is 70 mph. Fact: Max speed on a spare is 50 mph. It was awful and embarrassing but we made it back with no other problems...until I got home and saw this in the back yard.

It's not bad compared to some other houses. The house across the street had a huge tree completely uprooted, and a couple others had large trees fall on their homes. Luckily, we also have power. I know a few people have been without power since Friday night.

What did you do this weekend?

Linking up with Sami...
Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, June 21, 2013

Food Truck Friday: Sandy's Grill & Italian Ice

This week has felt so long and I'm ready to hit the road and get up North with the Man.

This week I had a day that was just the pits. I was dragging physically, I got some 'news' that made me feel pretty screwed over, and I didn't bring my lunch. So what better way to give yourself a little boost than to visit the land of the food trucks?

I decided to take a chance and go with a truck I had never seen on the street, Sandy's Grill & Italian Ice. I originally stopped because they had some decently priced burgers. Then I realized I'll be eating my share of burgers this weekend and opted for Nathan's Famous Dog and some cheese curds, because, you know, cheese curds make everything better.

Please ignore the messy hot dog. The dog was a little chilly by the time I got back to my desk. Too bad I didn't order a chilly dog! Ha ha ha! That's funny, no?

The cheese curds though? Delicious and hot. Just the way I like them. 

I like Sandy's because sometimes you don't want a Super-Curry-Chicken-Arepa-Cupcake-Shrimp-Pulled-pork-Taco. You just want an all American hot dog or hamburger on an all American bun that doesn't come from the all American Arches, King, or Queen.

On a nice hot day I think it would be a fantastic stop for the Italian Ice.

Here's a rare photo I actually took of my outfit. I felt like the American Flag. Maybe that's why I wanted my all American meal.

This ticker might look new. I'll be updating each Wednesday for Workout Wednesdays. I guess that means I probably shouldn't be solving my issues with cheese curds then, eh?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pass, Set, Beer!

Last night I drove up to Big Lake to play some sand volleyball. We played at McPete's which is a bowling alley/bags/batting cages/mini golf/sand volleyball restaurant & bar.

I'm not on a team this year because we couldn't find enough people so it was nice to be able to play. If there is one thing that is second nature to me, it's volleyball, however I lost my balls when it comes to trying to block a ball that's being hit over the net at 500 mph. In my high schools days I'd stuff that ball back in the hitters face. BOOM! Now I duck or cover my face.

I digress. I was playing on my cousins team and I had never met any of the other people before, but it made me a little home sick. It reminded me of my South Dakota days where everyone was so friendly and wanted to just have fun and talk with each other over a few beers on a patio in the middle of nowhere. Which was usually what a typical SD night would be except it would be on a friend patio instead of a bar.

I love that I'm back home in Minnesota, but there's something about small town living that I really miss. I find that ironic because when I was 21 I was a self proclaimed 'city girl'.

We won 5 of 6 games and in the first game I served 12 points in a row. Made me wish I was back in high school playing club ball. Not to toot my own horn, but I was good toot! toot!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Workout Wednesday: Finally got motivated

I wrote last week about how I need to get motivated and start getting fit again since it's been my new years resolution.

Since then I've done a much better job bringing my own food to work and not eating 1,000 calorie lunches every day. Most days start with a hard boiled egg and an apple. Lunch is left overs and I keep a bag of carrots at work to nosh on mid day when my stomach starts grumbling.

Over the weekend I kept busy by raking the shore of the lake and pulling some stray weeds and mom and I took Miley for a walk.

Last night mom and I went to Costco where we walked around for about an hour and I picked up one of their workout tops. It is super comfortable, didn't ride up and didn't chafe against my wings.

After our Costco trip I finally got my butt out for a run, if you can call it that? My phone and Garmin were acting up so I didn't have anything to let me know how far I was going so I mapped it out when I got home.

I brought Miley with me so we walked probably a mile and ran the rest. For a 10 pound dog she was pulling me during the running portion because there were just so many chipmunks and birds to try and catch.

When I got back from the run I tried a new workout I found at Blonde Ponytail. It really kicked my butt, literally.

I can't tell you how good it feels to get out and get my sweat on. I finally slept all through the night and I slept until my alarm went off.

Linking up with Skinny Meg for Workout Wednesday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekend Review

This weekend was jam packed with fun activities. From Fulton, to the Twins to the Cabin and finally getting some sun!

Friday Man Friend and I went to Fulton for a couple pre-game beers then headed over to the Twins stadium. Luckily the rain held off. Unfortunately though, the Twins lost.
Fulton Brewery

Saturday my internal clock had me up by 6:00 AM so I packed a bag and headed up to the cabin. It was great to finally be able to pack shorts and tank tops and leave the heavier clothes at home.

Happy hour starts around 11:00 AM. Margaritas lake side with a fire? Why not? 

Naps follow shortly after.

My parents owed me fried chicken from a restaurant near our cabin so we went to Jed's for dinner while a storm rolled in.

I had to have my mom take the food away from me. It was really good and I couldn't stop shoving it in my face.

When we were done with dinner the sky cleared up, the sun came out and we got the fire going again. My aunt & uncle and two of their kids (they have a cabin on the same lake) came over for some drinks and a fire. The night sky up North is so incredible.

I had my box of wine from Trader Joes. Quite convenient to carry around with you.

Sunday was gorgeous! We had a leisurly morning and then took the boat out for a lap around the lake.

Dad installed a radio on the boat with an iPod adapter so we cruised and listened to some fun boating music while finally being able to enjoy the sun and warm weather.

Linking up with...
Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, June 14, 2013

Food Truck Friday: World Street Kitchen

Another Friday is upon us and I'm so happy about that!

Earlier this week I went to Get Sauced, which I wrote about here. I saw that they had Mexican Corn on the menu and I remember liking it from last year. Since I brought just a sandwich for lunch I thought I'd swing by and get something to go with it.

It has such an incredible kick. I want to know if they'll give me their recipe because I could eat this all day long.

Since I had already shared with you my experience at Get Sauced, I decided to join some co-workers for Food Truck Friday. We went to World Street Kitchen and boy oh boy am I glad I finally tried it!

Today they had their Yum Yum Rice Bowl on the menu with the option of Crispy Marinated Tofu, Korrean 'BBQ' Beef short ribs with house made kimshi, or O.G. {Original Gansta} Grilled Chicken with shiitake mushrooms, chinese broccoli and herbs. I went with the O.G. Chicken.

Some of you might think oh, that's just a rice bowl with some meat and veggies, but no. Here's the description on their menu.

Yum Yum Rice Bowl: Our signature dish. Steamed rice with soft cooked egg, peanuts, crunchies and 'secret sauce'.

Do you see that egg? I got to break the yolk and mix it up in all it's glory.  I will certainly be back for this bowl when it is on their menu. The chicken was great, the cilantro was fresh the rice was the perfect consistency, the peanuts gave a great crunch, and that 'secret sauce'? Whatever it is, just keep it coming.

This was the only food truck that had a line this long, and the only one that I ever saw giving out numbers! Now I know why. 

Get your booty down to the World Street Kitchen food truck or their brick and mortar store in UpTown.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lets get back on track!

Over the winter months I was working out somewhat regularly trying to prepare for the half marathon I did back in March. During that time I was feeling a lot more confident in myself. Then came race day and I didn't have anything else on the horizon to train for. So I quit the gym (I didn't actually quit, I just stopped going)  and had an affair with fast food joints.

In  those two months after my half, I've put on some pounds and I'm feeling it everywhere! From the way my clothes fit to the way my rolls hit when I sit a certain way, and it is uncomfortable!

One of my New Years resolutions was to make this the year I get in the best shape of my adult life. I would say life period, but I found this picture of me 10 years ago.

I have a hard time believing I can get in that shape again. That was playing volleyball 5-7 days a week and being able to eat anything I wanted. Yet, for some crazy reason, I thought I was fat. Oh the delusional mind of an 18 year old.

This picture and my recent weigh in are huge motivators for me to get back out there hitting the pavement and working in some strength conditioning. 

I recently put together this calendar for a plank challenge and added in the scientifically proven 7 minute workout.

I will usually plank when I get up or before I go to bed. My core is so weak.

I've done the 7 Minute Workout several times and honestly, if you push it, it really gets you going. My goal is to work up to doing it at least three times in a row.

Another area I need to stay constant in is my eating. That has gotten so bad, especially lately. Living with my parents we usually just cook enough for three otherwise they'll just divide what is made three ways and I'll sit there and shove everything in my pie hole. No bueno.

So, be prepared to see more fitness, healthy food and healthy living updates. I'm going to try to get my mom in on this with me. She has a goal to some day run a 5k, so while I'm living with my parents, I'm going to be her Jillian Michaels. 

It's scary to think that the year is already half over, so I need to hop on this healthy train.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sister Dinner: Fat Lorenzo's

For our third pizza joint in the Twin Cities, the sisters and I visited Fat Lorenzo's in Minneapolis by Lake Nokomis. I knew I had seen the building before, it's kind of hard to miss.

I got to the restaurant before Kayla and Kari so I entertained myself by checking out the giant mural covering the whole restaurant and coloring on the table. Put a blank piece of paper and some crayons in front of anyone, regardless of age, and they will doodle.

We started with a round of beers, which they have a large selection, and their cheese bread. I had read great reviews on the bread and I'm glad we tried it..

Then we decided on their special pizza which was pepperoni, sausage, canadian bacon and sliced meatballs.

It was really good. A large was more than enough for the three of us. I don't have a great picture of the crust, but it looks like a thick crust, which I enjoy, I just don't like a doughy crust. The bottom was nice and crisp, not soggy or doughy and the same with the crust. Our server also gave us a side of marinara and ranch dressing to dip our crust.

There definitely was no skimping on toppings, and just the right amount of sauce and cheese. 

When we were done with our pizza, our server asked if we had signed up for their email list. If you do, you get a free gelato. I was on top of my game and did this the minute I sat down. We all ordered the Berries of the Forest and Kari and I added chocolate to ours. I haven't had gelato in a while, but both the chocolate and Berries of the Forest would have totally knocked my socks off, had I been wearing socks.

I would definitely recommend going to Fat Lorenzo's for pizza and a beer and then taking your gelato for a walk around Lake Nokomis.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bachelorette Recap

After reading several other Bachelorette recaps, it's nice to know the feeling is mutual that these guys really are quite douchey.

Last nights episode wasn't as cringe worthy as the first two this season, but it's still just so awkward to see these 'grown' men (I'm older than quite a few of them, so I don't know how 'grown' they really are), act like children around each other.

I think Des has done a good job with weeding out the true tools, but unfortunately there is always that one that steals the woman's heart who is King of the Tools, and in this case, his name is Ben. Why couldn't he wear a normal tank top like the rest of the dudes, his was ultra feminine.

How uncomfortable was the scene where Brian's ex/girlfriend came to confront him? She kept mentioning being on national television which immediately made me think she was there just for her 15 minutes of fame. Then she said she tried to break up with him before he left, not knowing he was going on the show, so why come back for him? It all seemed fishy. Regardless, I'm glad he is gone if he is going to pull a stint like that.

From Sean's season Desiree was my number one, so I do hope that this fairy tail, magical, Cinderella story works out for her and she meets her prince charming. Just stop kissing all those frogs, it's really not necessary and it's hard to watch.

The one good thing that almost always comes from watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette is the music. I was definitely diggin Kate Earl. So Bachelor Nation, thank you for introducing new music. Melody by Kate Earl on Grooveshark