Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, Friday, FRIDAY!

You have no idea how excited I am that today is FRIDAY!

First, let me tell you what I did last night. I went to the Great Minnesota Get Together. The first time I've been there in years and it was wonderful. It funny how when you go in your 20's the focus is to try the drinks and not the rides, or to stuff your face with deep fried Twinkies.

I met my cousin at her apartment and enjoyed a nice cold one at Ferns. Seriously, who wouldn't want to have a bar in their apartment building?

After my annoying drive, I really needed this beer. I took me 45 min to go 6 miles because some genius planned a Vikings game, Gopher game, Twins game AND the State Fair all on the same day. That doesn't work, especially when pretty much every interstate in the Twin Cities is under construction.

Soon after, we were all on our way to the fair where our first stop was beergaritas. The only beergarita I've had is a lime-a-arita. I don't mind those, but these were seriously, just delicious. After beergaritas, we found our way to the pronto pup stand, cheese curds, and some beer tasting.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm just not a fan of Pour Decisions beer. I loved the Lake Superior North Shore Wheat and the Flat Earth beer wasn't too shabby either. I'm usually a fan of IPA's, but I think the after taste of the Infidelity was still on the tip of my tongue that I just couldn't enjoy the Summit Red Ale.

We walked around the fair for a few hours, sharing food and cooling down with more beer and beergaritas in between fried pickles, chocolate covered bacon, corn fritters, and Australian potatoes. Oh, you don't know what an Australian potato is? Let me tell you. It's a slice of heaven. It's a potato, smashed, deep fried and smothered in your choice of toppings. i.e. ranch, nacho cheese, etc.

While enjoying some Australian potatoes, I saw a sign that said Alpacas. I thought they were just selling Alpaca hats, but they were actually selling the cutest, live, real Alpacas!

I mean. Come on! How cure are these little darlings? The brown one melted my heart and felt like the most plush carpet in the world. I wonder if they make Alpaca rugs? That's something to ponder. Speaking of Ponder. The Vikings actually won last night against the Tennessee Titans. Shocking I know.

Today I'm off to the beautiful city of Milwaukee for a bachelorette party!

It's also the 110th Birthday of Harley Davidson so there will be a bazillion leather chaps and fish nets frolicking around the city.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

And because it wouldn't be a Friday without a linkup, linking up with Jennie and Lindsey!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Workout Wednesday

My birthday gift to myself this year, is the tools to get me back in shape. My goal for my 28th year of life was to get in the best shape of my life. That didn't happen. 29th year goal? Get in the best shape of my life!

Last December I signed up for a half marathon that I spent months training for. I didn't stick to the training plan very well, but most weeks I would get about 4 days of activity in. Before I knew it, April was here and so was my race. I had just completed 13.1 miles, albeit some of it was walking, I still accomplished my goal.

Since that race I have become increasingly lazy and unmotivated to put down the wine box glass and lace up my running shoes.

While scrolling through Facebook the other night I noticed an acquaintance who used to live in my old apartment building had an opening for one of his small personal training groups. Oh, most of you probably know who this guy is too. He was on a little show called The Bachelorette and was one of the last men standing during Ali Fedowsky's season. Yup, Kirk.

I messaged him asking some basic questions and he offered to let me come in and try out the group before committing to anything. Tuesday evening I headed over to the gym and completely got my butt kicked.

After the session, I knew this was something that I need to do, so I'm going to start with 10 hours of small personal group, which is usually three people, and see where I need to go from there.

Kirk will help with putting together a menu, if you will, so I can better fuel my body for the changes that are coming. He'll also give me homework to do during the week so I can stay on top of my goals.

Step two in the process of getting in the best shape of my life, is completing Bobbi's Summer Shred - Fall Edition. At nearly a dollar a day and reading the reviews I've read, I knew it was something I couldn't pass up.

The Summer Shred will start September 1 which fits perfectly into my schedule since I only have one wedding on the books so I can be more in control of how I eat and making sure to get my workouts in.

Oh, and if any of you ladies (or gents) out there want to try out an hour session with Kirk, you and I will get a free hour.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend Review

I think that everyone should get a free day off for their birthday. Especially when their birthday falls on a Monday. Why oh why am I not still tucked in bed?

This weekend was once again spent at the cabin. Friday evening we went to dinner at Jeds. For a Northern Wisconsin bar, their food is actually really decent.

There was a group of people celebrating a birthday and passed out cake to everyone in the bar.  It's always fun to have dessert before dinner.

After dinner our cousins came over and had a fire. Surprisingly, I was the last one to go to bed. You may not know this, but sitting around a fire in the middle of the night, alone, is quite terrifying. I was certain I was going to be attacked by Indians or a bear. Luckily, as you can tell from this post. I survived and wasn't attacked by anything. Not even mosquito's!

Saturdays wind was pretty treacherous, so I found an anchor and tied it up to the relaxation station so we could float and not have to keep moving the raft. It was the genius thing I've done in a solid five years. I also have a giant bobber cooler that we filled up with beer and tied up to the raft. Who wants to keep getting out of the water to get more beer? Ain't nobody got time fo dat!

Our cousins came and picked us up on their boat and we took a ride over to the sand bar. I will never understand how the whole lake can be so choppy except the sand bar. It was so calm so we hung out and chatted and got some sun.

Me and my sisters usually go home early on Sundays, but since I was getting a ride home with my parents I stayed all day which was so fun. I don't understand why we leave so early. I went over to my cousins cabin and we took the boat out to the sand bar and did some fishing.

It was such a nice, hot, relaxing weekend spent with family on the water. As all weekends should be spent.

Linking up with Sami

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, August 23, 2013

5 On Friday

Linking up for the first time for 5 on Friday because I have nothing else to write about and link ups are fun!

One - Thank you Mr. D Brians cook for forgetting my hashbrowns but adding an extra piece of bacon. After ordering from you for nearly 3 years, I think you know me better than I do. I certainly didn't need no stinkin hashbrowns, but bacon is certainly the way to my heart...or a heart attack.

Two - St. Paul, I grew up not knowing the area well, but lately I've spent more time there than I have all of last year combined, and you know what? I'm not complaining. I think I found the new area I'd love to move to. Plenty of low key restaurants and bars, yet the slower pace of a small town.

Three - Candy Crush. Now that I (finally) passed the torturous 65th level, I'm moving on! I was stuck on that bad boy for roughly 3 weeks and I was so close to just paying the price to skip the level, but I wasn't going to be defeated by a silly Facebook game. I'm convinced that after you attempt a level 154 times without winning, the game cheats for you because it's embarrassed for you.

Four - Summer arrived super late this year, but we've had a good run of 80-90 degree days this week and I intend on taking full advantage of that by learning to paddle board this weekend and relax with a stack of magazines and the relaxation station at the cabin. Preferably with a margarita in hand.

Five - Music! There is so much good music out right now I feel like my Spotify list is a bit schizo. The only music I discriminate against is rock/metal. I can't do it. I just can't. So, since it's a link up day, why not let you enjoy some of my favorites with #backthatazzup!

There you have it. Have a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Did you know that spaghetti squash is an actual type of squash? I didn't know this and thought that you got the 'spaghetti' from the squash just by using a fork to pull out the strands to make it look like spaghetti.

I had this grand ol plan to make spaghetti squash for me and mom since dad has been up at the cabin for the last week and he's kind of a picky eater when it comes to vegetables and food with bones.

I stopped at by our new Whole Foods which is conveniently right next to my park and ride and picked up a butternut squash, some basil and a couple of chicken breasts.

I had the recipe all picked out. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter, topped with a nice chicken breast. Then my mom burst my bubble by informing me that spaghetti squash is in fact a type of squash and butternut was not going to cut it.

My spirit was down until I found a delicious recipe for butternut squash. Baked Garlic Butternut Squash! I only used the squash, nixed the parsley and baked at 375 for one hour. It really didn't need anything more than that because it was nice and soft and the garlic cooked up perfectly.

Mom had some left over fettucini pasta that was already cooked, so I just popped that in some boiling water for a couple minutes to warm up and I tossed with olive oil, basil, garlic, butter and pepper. My mind has never been so blown away by how tasty this pasta was and it wasn't loaded with a heavy cream sauce or a ton of salty seasoning.

Looked like this, but not the recipe
I used this recipe as inspiration, but I didn't want to load it with cheese. I was trying to make this as healthy as possible. Which is why I intended to make it with spaghetti squash.

In conclusion, this post is pretty lame unless you didn't know that spaghetti squash was an actual type of squash, then congratulations. You just learned something new this morning.

Also, try the pasta. It really is a nice, lite, refreshing side dish.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend Review

Holy cow, what a weekend!

Friday I spent the whole evening driving around town trying to find an outfit for my girlfriend Laura's bachelorette party on Saturday. After three hours I finally found a top, shoes and some fun new jewelry. It felt like Christmas Eve because I was so excited for the next days festivities I could hardly sleep.

I was up nice and early on Saturday to get ready. It is really difficult to find an outfit that can go from morning wine tasting to late night booty shaking. I got downtown St. Paul by 11:00 AM and we all jumped on a limo bus that took us to Stillwater for some wine tastings.

Our first stop was Northern Vineyard Winery. They had a tasting table set up for our group and we tasted 9 different wines. I enjoyed their whites much more than I enjoyed their reds and lately I've been a big red wine drinker. There was just something off about the smell and after taste that reminded me of dirty diapers. I just couldn't do it.

Our second stop was Saint Croix Vineyards and I can't wait to go back there again. We didn't do the tasting because it was so busy so we just bought some cheese and wine and enjoyed it on their patio. I loved this Summer Red wine. They had it chilled and it was so smooth and fruity.

When we were done tasting wine we headed back to St. Paul and had a taco bar while playing games. Laura's cousins did such a good job with the games. They did jeopardy which was a lot of fun and a mad lib game that was hilarious!

We went to dinner at Sawatdee and for our large group, the service rocked. Props to Sawatdee in St. Paul! Then we went out to Bulldog Lowertown and Bario where we danced and danced and danced some more.

I got home around 4:00 AM and had to be up by 6:00 AM to be downtown Sunday morning to volunteer for the Twins Fifteen 5k. I had never volunteered for a race before so I was really looking forward to experiencing what goes on behind the scenes of setting up a run.

I helped set up the water table and make sure garbage bins were lined. Originally I was going to man the water table and make sure it was stocked and help hand it out until some of us were asked to work on the field. The runners ran into the stadium and around the warning track. I got to guard the Twins dugout!

I was in 7th heaven being able to be ON the field and able to be IN the dugout. Towards the end of the race some players wandered down to the field and into the dugout. I wish I knew who they were though!

After the runners crossed the finish they headed up to the plaza where they got their medals from current Twin players. How cool is that?! When I did Fifteens5k its first year we didn't get that, and it was also a 4k. Each k was a base and we ended on the plaza so they definitely have improved the run and the experience.

Glen Perkins (pitcher) and his wife started this run and it benefits Cystic Fibrosis so when I was done with my volunteering duties I made sure to get a picture with Glen.

To the security guard who took our picture. Thank you! You must be the father of a daughter or two because you made sure to take several pictures both horizontal and vertical then told us to 'work it!' Dang, I wish we did.

I absolutely loved this weekend and can't wait to do it over again in three weeks for Laura's wedding!

Linking up with Sami

Friday, August 16, 2013

Food Truck Friday: Hola Arepa

Did you know that stores don't sell shorts in August in Minnesota? No. No they do not and I need a cute pair that can go from wine tasting to booty shaking, morning to well...morning, by tomorrow for my girlfriends bachelorette party! Summer has finally poked its little head out (again) and it's going to be a hot one this weekend.

Since it's so gloriously gorgeous out, I wandered the streets of Minneapolis, hopping in to stores that don't sell summer clothes anymore, and worked up an appetite so I jumped in line at Hola Arepa before it became a mile long.

I'm pretty sure at one point I said I don't care to find out what an Arepa is. And I can almost guarantee I said that a month ago. Well, today I ate an Arepa and hola! It was good.
First things first. An Arepa is a bread made of corn popular in both Venezuela and Columbia. It is similar to the Mesoamerican tortilla.

I decided on the slow roasted pulled pork with black beans, cotija cheese and Hola sauce and chips and salsa. The Arepa was delicious. The pork was juicy and the Hola sauce added a lot of flavor. As for the salsa? I just got an empty cup...the chips were very good.

When you pick up your food there is a tray with some sauces that I suppose could have passed for salsa, but I saw people putting the sauces on their Arepas and I'm pretty certain I saw others walking away with their little cups full of salsa. So, maybe I'm a newbie and didn't know you poured your own, or I'm just a dork and walked away without my salsa.

All ended well as my Arepa was nice and juicy so I just sopped up the extras with my chips.

If there's one thing I'm learning on my Friday Food Truck adventure, it's that you should always trust the trucks with long lines. Most trucks have very foreign foods to me, but I've taken risks and have enjoyed most everything so far.

Yesterday I mentioned how I feel like a poser because I'm not all about chevron and boutiques. Well, I almost found myself buying a chevron dress. Then laughed at myself and put it back. I did tell you though how I bought a necklace. I loved it because if there's one thing I know, it's that karma is a complete bitch and what goes around comes around. So this necklace was quite fitting.

Err, or not. I was so happy to get it in the mail but when I put it on I felt like I was being strangled. I don't like things around my neck and it's another reason why I have almost zero crew neck tops. I wanted to wear this pretty little gem so bad, so I improvised. Gold paper clip baby! Totes works and as long as I wear my hair down, no one will be the wise.

Enjoy this #backthatazz up tune I will be blasting as I cruise home with the windows down and sunroof open.



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Am I a poser?

I've been doing some thinking lately, and I asked my self. Self. Are you a blogging poser?

There are a some Blogger traits that I just don't have but here I am with my tiny little blog, blogging.

What are some typical Blogger traits you ask? Let me tell you.

~ Bloggers love avocado, hummus and peanut butter.
        -I only eat avocado (in guac) and hummus so I can eat the chips. Peanut Butter just isn't even on my radar.

~ Bloggers wear a lot of arm candy. No, not men. Jewelry.
        - I wish I had arm candy, the male version, but I can hardly do jewelry. I'm lucky if I remember my watch!

~ Bloggers take pictures of everything and not just with their iPhone. With an actual camera. From the #ootd to what they are eating, reading, writing, drinking, etc.
       - Camera's are expensive, yo! I have a hand-me-down camera that I need to bring in to get fixed, then you can expect better pictures. I don't like being connected to my phone at all times, so low quality, and low quantity pictures is what you'll receive for the moment.

~ Bloggers have homes straight out of Martha Stewart Magazine.
       - Yeah, about that...I live with my parents right now. I don't have a house and will be renting, which means not being able to put all those cute touches you could add to a place you own.

~ Bloggers really like to work out. And, they always look cute too.
        - I am doing my darndest to get on the workout bandwagon, but it's exhausting, and you sweat and get out of breath. Who wants any of that? Oh yeah, smaller clothes and healthier, longer life. That's what it does for you! Well, I don't look cute, I'm lucky if my socks even match and my love handles aren't popping out.


~ Bloggers LOVE chevron and online boutiques.
        - I never got on the chevron train and I think it's starting to fade, but I don't have a single piece of chevron. Also, I ordered a necklace from an online boutique and I was so excited to receive it until I unwrapped it from it's adorable box and realized it doesn't even fit my neck. Any idea where I can get a thin gold chain?

I love to write and journal what's been happening in my life. I might not be covered in boutique chevron arm candy while working out snapping selfies with my professional camera and noshing on veggies and hummus, avocados and peanut butter, but I'm a Blogger dammit. Even if that is a dumb word that people love to make fun of.

In conclusion. I really don't like avocados (as I sit here picking it out of my salad).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Comment Away!

It was brought to my attention that some people were not able to leave comments. I didn't realize enabling Google+ comments meant that only you folks out there who use Google+ could comment. What fun is that? I disabled Google+ comments so everyone can comment!

Guess it goes to show you should really read all the small print before clicking enable.

Comment on, dudes!

Sister Dinner: Element

Happy Hump Day!

Last night Kayla, Kari and I met up for our last Sister Dinner: Pizza Edition. We met at Element Pizza in NorthEast Minneapolis and since I tend to get off work earlier, I headed over and enjoyed a nice glass of cabernet and a caesar salad on the patio while I waited for the girls to arrive.

Element is different then any of the other pizza places we visited because you order and pay at a counter and they give you a number and bring your food out to you.

We started with the Sampler and ordered one of their special pizzas, Buffalo Chicken, and the Fire pizza.

Sampler: humus, spicy feta cheese dip, salami, prosciutto, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion (and a huge place of delicious rosemary flat bread)

Buffalo Chicken: Buffalo sauce, chicken, gorgonzola

Fire: Spicy sausage, roasted red pepper, goat cheese and basil.

We all really enjoyed the pizza and the crust was nice and thin, just the way I like it. They advertise that their pizzas cook in just two minutes in their wood burning stove. I liked the style of ordering at a counter. It gave us the opportunity to sit and take our time without feeling guilty of taking up a table. 

Next up? Sister Dinner: Juicy Lucy's! If you aren't from Minnesota, you might not know what a Juicy/Jucy Lucy is. It is a burger stuffed with cheese and the 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar have a long standing battle of who is the originator of the Juicy/Jucy Lucy. You can bet that we will be visiting those two locations.

Take a look back at all the pizza locations around the Twin Cities that we visited this summer.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend Review

On Friday I took a half day because of all the extra hours I worked and headed up to the cabin for some R & R. It was just what I needed after the go-go-go week I had just come from.

It was just me and my parents, but my mom had to work so while she wrapped up my dad and I went in to town to pick up some beer and ice and made a little pit stop at Robert's Road House for a quick beer. When we got back to the cabin we decided that no one really wanted to cook and that we would just go out to eat. After all, Friday's in Wisconsin are Friday Fish Fry's no matter where you are. We tried a new to us restaurant called the Yellow River Inn.

It's a much cuter restaurant than other places near by because they have a small dining room vs. one large bar. It's nice to have the separation when you want to have a nice and quiet dinner.

On Saturday Dad and I moved our fire pit so it's not right in front of the Fish House or the beach. After moving one rock, he got smart and brought the tractor and some sleds down. I'd roll a rock on to a sled and tie it up to the tractor and swap out sleds every time he came back around.

The remainder of the day was spent perfecting the circle and breaking in the new fire pit location.

We took a nice happy hour cruise to the sand bar where we met up with my aunt and uncle, had some cocktails and cheese, meat and crackers while getting the last of the sun for the day.

She takes after her mom and loves the sun too!

For anyone that knows about our boat, it doesn't have the best track record as far as consistently working, so of course Dick and Kathy had to tow us back in.

Mom and Dad with the dogs. Cheers-ing to the new fire pit location.

Linking up with Sami.

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, August 9, 2013

Well, hello there!

This week has been a complete whirlwind with work events. Coming in to work early, dinners every night and night caps with employees. I'm wiped out. 

Here's a few pictures I was able to snatch while on the job this week.

Gorgeous sunset after Tuesdays storms on National Night Out. I was at an out door BBQ at one of our VP's home and we had to scramble to get everyone inside. 

Found this highly amusing considering the Vikings are not a team that has been led to victory so how can Mr. Frazier actually talk about that?

Comedy show during the reception for work. They customized it for our group which was about 120 attorneys. It was hilarious and I would absolutely recommend a night at the Brave New Workshop. They are so talented and have you laughing non stop.

Manned the front table. Guests love it when you tell them their name badges have drink tickets too!

Pre reception/seminar at Brave New Workshop

At least I get food, wine and a nice view when I have to work late. They had vegan spring rolls that were surprisingly delicious. The bacon wrapped scallops on the other hand were a bit fishy. I do not like sea food or anything with a fishy taste.

When I'm nervous I sweat...wait, I always sweat. Since I was working the registration table, the last thing I wanted was to have giant sweat stains so I bolted to the bathroom and stuffed my pits with paper towels. Yup, that's the result of 1.5 hours just standing at a table. Some day I hope to try botox in my pits and see if that will finally cure this embarrassing curse.

The week will finally wrap up with an office pizza party and then I'm getting the heck out of dodge and will be relaxing on the relaxation station with my stack of Marie Claire's and Cosmo magazines decompressing from this crazy week.

No go #backthatazzup