Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I can't wait for summer because....

 ...grilling every meat and veggie possible

...lake front bon fires at the cabin

....pontoon rides 

...floating beer pong/flip cup at the sand bar
(rotating of course so you are evenly tanned)

...rooftop/patio drinks

 ...lunch time runs along the river

...afternoon beers by a fire

...Twins games

...#yolo at the cabin and cousins weekend

...being epic and camping

...sun, water, grilling, baseball, boating. 
All the wonderful things!

Helene In Between

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Review: 2

What a weekend it was. Friday I spent the evening getting my shiz together for my 7K and a day of celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday started earlier than I had hoped since I have no idea what it means to sleep in. I put on my three layers of clothes, found some gloves and packed up my car and headed into the big 'ol city that Minneapolis is not.

It was so cold, all of 19 degrees, sadly not the coldest out door run of my life. I hung out inside the Depot until about 15 minutes before the race started. There were 12,000 people who ran this 7K (another 3,000 in St. Paul running the Triple 7K) so there were three waves. One at 9, 9:15 and 9:30. I put myself in the 9:15 wave which was 8:30-10:00 min mile paces. Even though I couldn't feel my arse or feet for the first 2 miles, it was a lovely day for a run with 11,999 of your best friends.

After I crossed the finish line I grabbed my bag of goodies and walked over to The Local to redeem one of my free drink tickets. This race gave everyone two free beers to use at any of the Cara pubs. The only Irish pubs I'll go to...sort of. Anyway, after I warmed up, enjoyed my beer and patted myself on the back for a job well done, I walked to Loring Kitchen and Bar to meet up with some friends and bottomless mimosas.

When the champs started to make us a little drowsy we grabbed some coffee and a six pack of beer and sauntered back to my hotel for the night.

The hotel was a nice pit stop. We hung out for a couple of hours before heading back out on the town. We chose Kierans as our meeting place because they (1) are huge (2) had a big heated tent with music (3) I still had a free beer to use!

There was a ton of singing and dancing and pictures. As much fun as I had, I'll admit that I'm happy it's over and my body can finally start to recover from 15 hours of drinking. That's not healthy folks.

Sunday morning I woke up, rolled out of my hotel bed and went straight home because I had a new workout outfit waiting for me in the mail! Woop woop! My Fabletics outfit had arrived and I was so excited to try it on and sleep in it all afternoon. So, we know the important part, it is indeed comfortable. I'm sure it works wonders while working out too.

Happy official St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Popping in to say hola! It's been a busy week around these parts, but with pretty boring events such as work and other such things I can't exactly share at this moment. That's not vague is it? Oh well. It is what it is.

This is going no where. Fast.

Mom and the dogs left early this week to go up to the cabin so it's just been me and dad holding down the homestead.

While they've been gone I've realized two things.

1. What life would be like if for whatever reason my mom wasn't around.
On the car ride home from work we would discuss the evenings activities, including where we should get food from and what's on TV. Every nights dinner would come from a pizza or taco place because you can get more than just pizza at a pizza place. Tuesday's dinner was chicken wings and bread sticks. Wednesday pizza. Dad would spend his nights at Menards or Home Depot, and I would spend mine trying to work off said pizza and wings. He would come home with the necessities such as beer, wine and peanuts and we would sit in our usual spots while watching crime shows (or the Bachelor if it's a Monday).

2. How quiet life is without a dog.
Every night when I get home I'm greeted by a spunky fluff ball who is barking at me to take my shoes off supa fast so I can say hi to her and give her belly rubs. I'm barked at when the food is gone or she wants some attention. She knows when the pizza man is coming round the corner (I didn't know he was there until the doorbell actually rang), and she sings the song of her people to let me know my dinner is soon arriving. She stands on my legs as I eat my nightly peanuts and whimpers ever so softly in hopes that I'll share with her, and share I do.

In conclusion, life is quiet this week. It's going to remain quiet for a bit longer too.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend Review: 1

I know this isn't the first week of Weekend Review but since there have been so many, I thought I'd start a new beginning.

So, here we go!

Friday I went so Sociable Cider Werks with Kari. Their cider was really good. I loved their lighter cider called Free Wheeler. To me it beats out all the other ciders out there on tap like Strongbow and Crispin. Plus I really like supporting the locals. They had a pretty cool set up with a long bar and plenty of tables. They also had a food truck which is great for when those hunger pangs strike.

Spoke wrench cider
After Cider Werks we met up with one of our friends who came to Cabo with us, Lauren. We walked over to Hammer N Sickle for some good ol Russian food and drinks. In my opinion you can't go wrong with a Moscow Mule. Always delicious.

Saturday I had a viewing lined up for an apartment right across the street from Lake Calhoun. The location would be absolutely perfect. There was just one tiny problem and it was that the units I looked at were so small, I would only be able to bring half of my furniture with me. No bueno.

Needless to say I was pretty bummed that this apartment wasn't everything I had hoped for. On the plus side I had an afternoon of fun planned with some friends. We all met up at Figlio for cocktails and food before going to the Lego movie.

I absolutely love Figlio. It brings me back to when I was in my early twenties and it was located in UpTown. Every Sunday Funday was spent there drinking lots and lots of wine and ordering all their flat breads.  Now it's in the West End which has a theater so you go to Figlio for approx five glasses of wine, some fried cheese ravioli, meatball bruschetta, and fries and then go sober up at the movie theater. Not that I've done that or anything.

Have you seen the Lego movie? I had no previous interest in it. I just tagged along for the social aspect. Then the movie started and I found myself laughing out loud and smiling through a large part of the movie. It was pretty cute, and I would probably recommend you go see it just because you probably don't have a 3D tv in your house. If you're too cool for school and do have a 3D tv then save $15 and get it from Red Box and lets be friends. I'll bring the wine.

Sunday I slept in too darn late because of that pesky day light savings thing. I new what I wanted to make for dinner, so I found the crock pot, collected my ingredients and let it cook all afternoon. I should probably share what I made. Remember one of the best lunches at school, turkey and gravy? It was my favorite. So I made chicken and gravy in the crockpot. 

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken
2 cans water
1 packet turkey gravy
1 packet brown gravy

Toss it all in and cook on high for about 5 hours. Remove the chicken and shred or cut into chunks. I couldn't even pierce the chicken with a fork it was so tender it just fell apart.

I served over red potatoes with a side of corn. It was a nice hearty meal and something new to make.

The rest of the day was spent like this.

Just the way Sundays should be spent.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What I'm Giving Up For Lent

It's been an extremely long time since I've given anything up for lent so I thought I'd give it a go this year.

When we were younger we would always have to give up candy and without fail, one of my dad's co-workers would stop by on or around Ash Wednesday and bring us girls bags and bags of candy. It was always the best and worst day of my young life depending on when he came with the candy.

This year I'm vowing to forgo clothes shopping. I tried to give up pop, but I've already had two, so on to other things I haven't done in the last 24 hours.

I have a horrible shopping problem. When I'm bored on my lunch break I can wander through the skyways to Target, Macy's, Saks Off 5th, or Marshall's. All deadly places when you just need a quick fix.

I did do some online shopping last week though, so my urge to splurge will be offset with new packages coming to the homestead.

This week I'll be receiving these gems from Old Navy when they had 40% off all dresses sale.

I like stripes and am most excited to wear the red and white striped dress during 4th of July week!

Like any warm blooded girl out there, I have a love for cute workout attire, so when I saw that you could get a top AND bottoms for just $25 from Fabletics, I couldn't pass it up.

Here's the outfit I picked and I love the back of the top. Could make for some interesting tan lines in the summer. Oh Summer, please come quick. I want to paddle board and feel warmth!

I also picked these compression capris for the fun print down the legs and the waist band.

I can't wait for my deliveries!

Do you give anything up for Lent?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Truth About Dogs

*Disclaimer: This story is about dog poop.

Our family dog Trixie just turned 14 in January.

We picked her out at a pet store. Sitting in her kennel with a schnauzer, and they both looked so sad.

The first month we had her, she had some serious intestinal issues. This meant a special diet of rice and boiled beef. Each week adding in a piece or two of dry dog food, until her body could handle normal dog food.

This also meant watching her like a hawk so she wouldn't mess in the house.

Since she was such a small dog, and her kennel was meant for her when she would be a full grown dog, we put a divider in so she wouldn't mess in her kennel then sleep in it. That didn't stop this little spit fire.

Her kennel was under a built in desk in the kitchen and one morning we came down and their was explosive poo all over. We racked our brains how that could have happened because it was on the other side of the divider.

Then she was caught red handed. We caught her pulling her self to the other side of the divider to do her business!

14 years later, that old lady is still as clever as ever.

For the last couple of weeks she's been having some tummy issues that white rice and beef just couldn't fix. I found a new remedy of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) and ground turkey that seems to have done the trick. Only now, we don't keep Trixie in a kennel (she scratches and barks and cries all. night. long.).

Trixie would usually have free reign of the house because she's always been a pretty good dog who never messed anywhere, until this tummy issue happened. She would sneak off and it was explosive. Not a fun mess to clean up.

At night we keep her on a leash on tile with a bowl of water and an old couch cushion and a blanket. She is not suffering one bit, although she'll make you think she is. We also have make-shift cardboard barricades blocking the stairs to the basement, the entrance to the dining room and the living room.

What? You don't decorate with cardboard?

Since Trixie has been on the mend and my mom has a soft heart for her, I didn't think twice when I opened up my door this morning to find Trixie sound asleep all curled up at the top of the stairs.

Then I went downstairs and saw this.

She broke free from her leash and collar! Chewed through the cardboard that leads to the basement. Where we take the dogs out to go potty! Then she nudged through the cardboard that leads in to the living room and up the stairs to the bedrooms where she could spend the rest of her night/morning sleeping at the top of the stairs, guarding her house and her people.

She may be getting old, but her mind is still sharp as a tack.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekend Review: Suburbanites love to dance

Going in to the weekend I didn't think it would be anything too exciting but it turns out it was a pretty jam packed weekend with lots of fun going on.

Friday I spent some time at the body shop to find out my wipers were just frozen and the nuts were loose so the mechanic tweaked a few things, put on some new wipers and I was on my way. When I got home I had to first feed the dogs which isn't as simple as putting a scoop of food in a bowl and letting them eat. One of the dogs has been needing a special diet to fix some tummy issues so she gets pumpkin and ground turkey. Spoiled?? Miley gets jealous so she gets a little turkey mixed in with her dry food. While they ate, I was able to get started on my dinner. I was pretty excited about trying a new recipe and trying spaghetti squash for the first time.

It was super, super simple and really tasty. Just never put a whole squash in the oven. I may or may not have learned this lesson. At least it didn't explode, it just split open.

The rest of the night was spent researching tablets vs laptops. I had been eyeing the Windows tablets and have had a few people suggest the Surface. I decided I would get the Surface 2.

Bright and early Saturday I headed to Best Buy and after waiting around for 30 minutes, an employee finally came over so I could purchase the Surface 2! I got the keyboard too and I'm currently using it to write this here blog post. It's pretty sweet if I do say so myself.

I really wanted something I could take anywhere, but also be able to use as a full computer and have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I'm one of those weirdos who loves playing with PP and making spreadsheets for my personal life. You'd really think I'd be a lot more organized.

By the time I got home from the best purchase of the year, it was time to get ready and head out for the rest of the days festivities. First stop was Stella's. The trainer that I had been going to invited a bunch of his clients and friends to co-mingle over some afternoon drinks. I haven't been back to the gym since my vacation so it was fun catching up with some of the people I had been working out with.

After Stella's Kari and I headed over to my cousins house. Him and his wife remodeled so they had a nice house warming party so we could all see the finished product. It's an absolutely gorgeous house.

I had dinner plans so I made my way back to my side of the city and met a friend at The Lookout Bar and Grill. I've lived here for ever but have never made it to the Lookout. It's definitely an experience everyone should get to have in their life. When we were done eating the live band started. We thought they would be metal because they looked pretty hardcore then next thing you know they are singing Gaga and Katy Perry. It didn't take long before the dance floor was packed. We looked around and were by far the youngest people in the restaurant turned night club for suburbanites.

I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. There was one particular man who really gets in to the dancing and the music. So much so, he even had a wardrobe change. We made up back stories for him and ended up calling him William. Bill for short.

Now that I know what I'm missing out on, I think I'll have to make another trip back. After some laughs, great conversation and a few beers, we checked the time and it was nearing 1:00 AM. Needless to say, that meant Sunday was a full PJ day, sleeping in, playing with my new Surface 2 and trying to mentally prepare for the week to come.