Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Review: 6

Per usual the weekend went by way too fast and I would like to have another day to catch up on everything that I wanted to do but thought lounging on the couch was more important.

Friday started out in an interesting way. I was able to leave work a little early and was asked if I wanted to grab a drink by a somewhat mystery Tinder man. He only had one picture. You can't trust people that only have one picture. He suggested meeting at McCormick & Schmicks and let me know he was the guy at a table in the bar in a black shirt. Sadly, I walked in, noticed a d bag sitting at a table alone with his sunglasses on who was wearing a black shirt. Never, and I do mean never, wear sunglasses inside unless you're in a greenhouse or atrium! I should have known that was him and just kept walking. As we chatted things got worse. His name was wrong and he was several years older than his posted age. We had one glass of wine and called it good. The real treat was when we stood up to leave, me in my flats, and he only came up to my shoulder. Men, don't lie. Especially if you actually plan on meeting someone in person. The truth comes out.

After my brief happy hour meeting I headed up to my aunt and uncles house who were throwing a little 'get-to-know-you' party for my cousins fiance. I didn't stay too long since I'd be spending some time with them the next day, but it was really nice to get some summer type food in my belly. My uncle fired up his grill for burgers and they had potato salad and baked beans. I'm ready to over indulge on summer food. Stat.

Saturday started way too early. Like 6:00 AM early. I didn't have any plans. I just can't sleep in. My internal clock won't let me. I was able to do a couple loads of laundry and since I had a few hours before I had to go anywhere I did a little coconut oil hair mask. My scalp has been extremely flaky to the point where I want to shave off all my hair. I figured a nice hair mask would help and help it did. I just slathered on some oil from the roots to tips, stuck my hair in a plastic bag, tied it on top of my head and waited 30 minutes. I knew I would have to wash my hair a few times so I washed it twice and then blow dried. It was still super oily and piece-y so back to the shower I went and washed my hair another three times until I knew for sure I had washed all the oil out. Several days later and my head is not nearly as flaky as it has been.

Saturday afternoon I met some cousins and my sister for a Twins game. I dubbed it 7th Wheel Day since I had invited my sister to make numbers even, but she invited the dude she's been dating so once again I was the odd one out. We went to Glueks for pre game $2 mystery beers.

I tell ya. Nothing I classier the some Hamm's beer. The game was nice in the fact that we finally won one against Detroit, but I get so distracted taking in everything at the stadium that I didn't watch a whole lot of the game. Afterwards a few of us decided to stop by 8th street for some nachos before heading home. That's where I discovered Stella's has a cider and it's delicious! I've been on a Red's kick lately, but if I see the Stella cider I'll definitely go for that!

Saturday night I went up to Big Lake to hang out with another cousin. One of the bars up there was doing a fundraiser for a softball team so we got our red Solo cups, handed over our $10 and drank all the Coors Light we wanted... well, until the keg was gone. We played a ton of l tabs, my first time ever. I got a couple $2 winners which was fun!

It was a nice drive up to Big Lake that I forgot to shut my sunroof so I had a nice surprise when I got back to my car the next morning. Luckily it wasn't all the way open, but I had a nice 25 minute drive on a soaking wet seat.

The remainder of the week I'm dog sitting for some friends who escaped this miserable weather for Hawaii. They live in a complex I've been looking at so I'm kind of excited to be able to get a feel for what it would be like to live there before signing a lease. Plus I'll be in Uptown so the dog and I can take lots of walks around the lakes (if the rain ever stops)!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Check list

When I go on a date I go into it with an open mind. Knowing that there might be a few things that I don’t totally dig, but smallish enough that I should be able to work with.  

My requirements usually just start with these qualifying factors:
·         *Must have a job
·         *Must have a car
·         *No kids
·         *Not married

You would think those are pretty broad requirements but I have been proven wrong. The more dates I go on (which really isn’t that many these day), the more detailed my list of requirements get. Here are my reasons to swipe left or reply with a simple ‘thanks, but I just don’t think we’re a match’.
·        * Too short
·         *Too skinny
·         *Doesn’t like eggs
·         *Doesn’t like mayo
  (I love potato salad and you can’t have good potato salad without eggs and mayo)
·         *Doesn’t like lake water (aka no fun at the lake. Learned that one the hard way)
·         *Likes motorcycles (been there, done that. They terrify me now)
·         *Has cats
·         *Too muscular
·         *Not enough hair
·         *Red hair
·         *Really blonde hair
·         *Doesn’t like sports
·         *Likes sports too much
·         *Doesn’t like baseball
·         *Works odd hours
·         *Works on weekends
·         *Picks hanging out with their dog over you (however, I’ve been known to do this myself)
·         *Every picture has a dead animal in it
·         *Sends you emails/texts at 2:00 in the morning on a Tuesday
·         *Lives outside my work/home bubble
·         *Makes fun of country music
·         *Only listens to metal
·         *Only says ‘hi’

      Basically, I’d like to find myself in male form because we would like a lot of the same things, he’d wear nice shoes and baseball hats, would have a lovely smile, we’d eat cheese and wine and hang out with a herd of dogs while watching TBS marathon of Rom Com’s or listening to the Harry Belefonte Pandora station dancing around and laughing at ourselves.

      Now I want to listen to some Harry Pandora with a glass of wine and dance around with my dog then watch some Sleepless In Seattle. Looks like I have my Friday night planned out!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekend Review: 5 and Easter

This past weekend flew by and I think I stood the whole dang time except to sleep.

First off, I did pretty good with my vow to not shop during lent. I broke the vow a tad early when I got an unexpected pay check and found myself browsing the Michael Kors watches at Saks Off 5th which happened to have a sale that ended that day so I splurged and got myself a congratulatory gift for getting the new job (run on sentences are my jam).
Since lent ended on Saturday I let myself go on a little shopping spree at the outlet mall and it was awesome. I walked away with some great new work clothes and shoes. Everyone was having monster sales. The GAP’s whole store was 50-70% off. I only walked out of there with two items (tip: AAA customers also get an extra 10% off at GAP Outlet if you show your card), one being the most perfect maxi skirt. It’s so comfortable and the perfect length.

This Easter was all under my control which I loved. From setting the table, buying and arranging the flowers, what platters to use and how I wanted all the food to taste, etc.

I started getting everything ready on Thursday by setting the dining room table and trying a gazillion table cloths and different napkin shapes. My mom would say that’s a big no-no because the plates, glasses and everything else on the table will get dusty. When you’re a one woman show, you don’t care about dust. You just want a pretty table.

Friday my OCD shined bright like a diamond as I sat down and sorted the jelly beans by color and made sure each egg held the exact same number and color of beans. We try to keep the candy consumption down so each person got two eggs with jelly beans, a Reese’s egg and a Cadbury egg.
Saturday was go-go-go after my shopping trip. I know the dogs were not happy with me because I was constantly going up and down the stairs and wouldn’t sit down so they could get some tummy rubbing time in. I made the most delicious salad dressing for our salad, cut up fruit, made some flower arrangements, colored my deviled eggs shells. It was a ton of work and I have a whole new appreciation for anyone who has ever hosted a nice sit down event at their house.

Sunday I set my alarm for 8:00 AM, hopped in the shower and immediately got to work on making my homemade au gratin potatoes. Every kitchen needs a mandolin. It makes slicing so much easier and prettier. The ham got its glaze and before I knew it 11:30 was here and guests were arriving. We ate just before noon and everyone seemed to enjoy the food and went back for seconds.

After everyone left mom, dad and I moved out to the deck where I actually got a little sun burn. It felt so surreal to be sitting outside in the sun in a skirt and sleeveless shirt when just a few days ago we got nearly a foot of snow and I had to break out my winter jacket again.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and/or weekend! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail

Once upon a time I got to play the Easter Bunny. It was the second best Easter I’ve had, after all the ones when I was a kid myself, of course.

My mom was always the best Easter Bunny (Santa and St. Nick) and would get really creative. One year the Easter Bunny left us a note from the Bunny himself and even attached part of his furry little cotton tail. I remember how excited I was that the Easter Bunny wrote us a note and  I wanted to re-create that moment for someone else.

The note went something like this.

Dear J:

Happy Easter! I had so much fun hiding the eggs around your house. Do you think you’ll find them all? You’re so clever, I bet you will!
I’m sorry you don’t get to see me, but I make my deliveries very early in the morning. Also, the Easter Bunny Rules say that kids aren’t allowed to watch me.

I hope you like your Easter basket. I filled it full of candy and little toys especially for you. It’s so fun to pick out things for good little boys and girls!

Please have a wonderful Easter Sunday with your family. I’ll be back again next year, hopping down the bunny trail to your house.


The Easter Bunny

While I played inside with this little lady, her Grandma and Dad were outside hiding the eggs and each egg would have a clue to where the next egg was and eventually where her basket was hidden. It was so much fun to hear her squee with excitement every time she found a new egg.

When I found out the truth about all these magical characters I was devastated. Little did I know, it’s almost more fun being the character and making the magic happen and creating memories for little ones.

Since I don’t have anyone to play Easter Bunny for anymore, this year I’m putting it on for my family and friends. Yes, I still live at home, which is all the more fun because I get to use all of my mom’s dishes, table cloths, candles, decorations, etc.

PS – The Easter Bunny is so magical you can get your little one to do anything. Even change into a special Easter dress to match the family. We did that and she once again squeed because the Easter Bunny picked out the dress just for her and it matched her dad and me.

I tell ya, these guys are magical no matter how old you are.

Happy Easter and a Good Friday to all

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Random Thoughts: Turtles

Sometimes I think that if the world was full of Ali’s it would be a pretty awesome place. Granted there would be clothes strewn about and happy hours would consist of mozzarella sticks and boxed wine, but is that really such a bad thing?
The thoughts that run through my mind I can’t help but wonder why the heck that popped into my train of thought.  That's why I wanted to start a blog way back when. I wanted a place to share my random thoughts.
This is what I was thinking about this morning while on a snowy bus ride in to work. Driving down the interstate I see an open pond with what was most likely a rock with some snow on it, but my imagination suggested it could be a duck/goose butt sticking out of the water, cause ya know, they do that. Then I got to thinking I wonder how long ducks can stay under water? That thought quickly changed to turtles because I just learned turtles can breath out of their butts. You decide if that’s true or not.
So turtles…last summer I picked up a turtle and it immediately began peeing. Did I literally scare the piss out of this poor turtle or was it a defense mechanism to freak me out so I would put the turtle down? Do you think when a human picks up a turtle, or even your dog, they are like ‘wee! I’m so high I can see the top of the counter from here!’, or ‘do it again! I just moved at the speed of light!’
Then I thought, what if we were the size of turtles and something just came by and picked us up? Would that totes freak you out, or would you want them to do it again?

I think if that were to happen to me and all went smoothly that I’d welcome being picked up again. Maybe even spun around a time or two!

The next time you see someone smirk when they are sitting all alone, or riding the bus, try to imagine they are thinking they are the size of a turtle and being picked up by a human who is flying the turtle through the air like a toy airplane.  I’ll bet you’ll smirk too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reason Why I'm Lovin It

I mentioned last week that I got a new job. Now let me share with you some reasons why this job, so far, is a match made in career heaven.

1. Travel planning. I might not get to go to these really cool locations that I'm making travel arrangements for, but I do get to do all the planning which is kind of a hobby of mine. Nerd, I know. Right now I just finalized a trip to Paris. This meant checking out hotels, playing on Bing and Google maps, putting together itineraries etc. I dare you to Bing map Paris. Bing map the Banana Republic in Paris, I'm just using it as a reference point because I zoomed past it the other day while browsing the streets of Paris and falling in love with everything I saw. The buildings, the people, everything! Next up is Singapore. Will that be the next destination I crave to visit?

Streets of Paris via Bing maps
2. I get business cards. That means I'm a big deal. I've been an Administrative Assistant for about 9 years now and have never been allowed to have business cards. Now it's a requirement. I can't wait to hand those babies out!

3. The view. It's totes the shiz ya'll and I do not lie about that. I've shared several pictures, but what's one more going to hurt?

4. On my welcome blurb sent out to my team I shared that I have a Yorkie. Everyone here has Yorkies! If it's not a Yorkie, it's a dog of some sort, but I kid you not, 4 people have told me they have Yorkies. Then we get to share stories and pictures because we don't have kids to talk about. This means people don't make fun of my dog-that's-not-a-dog-dog-because-its-so-small. They even think the name is cute and fitting for a small fur ball. Yorkie owners/lovers unite!

5. Finally, one of the best things about this position is that I'm not sitting at the front desk answering phones all day. Some days my phone doesn't even ring! When I met with the recruiter that found me this position I said the number one thing I dislike about being an admin is being tied to the phones. She came through and found what I believe to be the perfect job fit for me.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Review: 4

Howdy! I had quite the Saturday funday that was totally not planned...and that's alright with me.

Friday was a typical Friday night. I had a couple drinks while catching up on some Bravo T.V. and went to bed nice and early. Why did I go to bed early on a Friday? Because I had big plans to get up, make a nice breakfast, work out and clean my room of course! That did not happen. Not one bit of it.

I managed to not get out of bed until my cousin Pam texted and suggested we get some mimosas. As a true lady I accepted her offer, but we never got mimosas. Her brother became a new dad so we met at the hospital to meet baby Theodore!

It's been a very long time since I've held such a 'fresh baby. I could seriously sit there and watch him forever even though he didn't really do anything. I'm such a sucker for babies. After we visited with the new parents and baby Theo we thought we should get going on our original plans, but since it was the lunch hour we went to the Bulldog NE for burgers and some Sociable Cider Werks cider.

Neither one of was had plans for the rest of the afternoon so we walked across the street to Whitey's while we chatted and planned out what we should do. The day was getting warmer so I suggested we go to Fulton and have a beer or two on the patio. Not totally realizing what time it was and that the Twins game just let out the brewery was hopping. We grabbed our beers and headed outside where we ran into my older sister, BIL and his brother. We don't hang out too often so it was nice to be able to sit with them and chat a little bit.

Pam and I talked about getting some food at Smack Shack since I had never been and she was a big fan of their Lobster Mac n' Cheese, but I had a 'date' that I was supposed to meet later. He was on his way to meet up with some buddies at Cowboy Jacks and suggested we just come there and if we want we can head to our original date location later. That never happened. He works with another cousin so Erin and Tony came out and met up with us to have a couple of drinks.

It was a very unexpected yet fun and family filled day.

Sunday I was dead on the couch and watched the last 5 episodes of The Following. So glad I'm caught up. Those were some good episodes and I'm really excited to see what happens tonight.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Photo Dump

Hidy ho neighbor-ino!
I've got a lovely phone dump for you since I haven't really shared much since I upgrade my phone from the 4 to the 5s iPhone. My apologies if you have seen some of these.
One day I decided to cook up some thick cut bacon. I then put it in mashed potatoes and brought it to cousins night. Mashed potatoes are my thing.
A few of the cousins from girl cousin night. We try to do this once a year and in the summer all the cousins/boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives come up to the cabins and we get weird for a couple of days.
I spy a little Miley looking at me. There is a chair on the other side of the wall that she sits on so she can get a better view of what I'm cooking in the kitchen. She'll sit there and talk to me until I give her attention. She is the neediest little bugger. But I love her :)
The view from my old office. Note: I had never had panorama on my iPhone 4 so I got a little obsessed.
On my last day of my old job, my ex boss let me leave at 8:30 AM. So, I swung by the liquor store and headed up north for what would be the first nice weekend of Spring. Big Ginger in a mason jar on the deck? Don't mind if I do!
Like I said, pano obsessed. Cabin and frozen lake (which is rumored to have water along the edge now! It's almost boating time, I can feel it!!!)
Homemade nachos I made for the family. It was quite heavenly honestly. Diced chicken with fajita seasoning, diced red onion, diced jalapeno (btw I just typed it halapeno...oops), over some tortilla chips, quick broil to get it all warm, toss on some shredded cheese and broil a couple minutes longer until cheese is melted and serve with your favorite salsa and sour cream. 
If you could sleep on arm rests you would too. Admit it.
My new favorite salad topper. A little bit goes a long way and it adds some nice crunch and flavor.
Twins home opener I walked around the area and Kierans patio was already filling up. It doesn't matter that people were still wearing hats and mittens to keep warm. It's Spring and baseball season. Which means it's also patio season.
Finally, this happened over lunch yesterday. The Twins were advertising $6 tickets so I bought one and hung out at the ball park for my lunch hour. $6 gets you in to the park. It doesn't mean you have to sit in your nosebleed seat in the shade. I found a spot near the flag pole where I could see pretty well and parked it for an hour. When I got there it was the bottom of the 1st and we were already down 4-0, then Kubel (who I'm so happy to see back) knocked one out of the park! When I got back to my desk I had a conference call so I watched the rest of the game where we tied it up in the bottom of the 9th and eventually lost in extra innings 7-4.
This could be a really awesome summer with frequent afternoon ball games over my lunch hour!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekend Review: 3

Happy Spring Monday! The weather around here has been absolutely glorious, and that is no lie. Thursday/Friday we got a nasty winter storm, but since then it's been 50-60 degrees and nothing but sunshine.

Friday night I went over to a friends house to watch Anchorman 2. I thought it was really funny, but it was too long for our liking. It didn't help that we had to pause the movie every 30 minutes to order pizza, get the pizza, let the dog out, etc. I'm not a huge Will Ferrell fan to begin with, but I did think it was a funny movie and a nice night with friends.

Saturday I woke up from a horrible nightmare. I woke myself up crying with a serious pout on my face and tears streaming down my cheeks. It was really strange. I've never experienced anything like that before. To try and shake the weird wake up, I invited myself to hang out with my little sister and some of her friends later that night to watch the Badgers in the Final Four.

My cousin Marie and her husband were having date night downtown so they met up with us for a bit. We played some hannershlagen and I realized I have really bad aim and 40 year old women dressing (and acting) like they are 18 is extremely unattractive. When the bar turned from sports fans to night clubbers, I called it a night.

I've been really good at being more conscious on what I drink and how much I drink. I've really enjoyed being able to go out and socialize and still be able to go home at the end of the night with a clear head and waking up refreshed in the morning.

Sunday I made a mental Target list and headed out for some errands. If you don't use Cartwheel yet, please, do yourself a favor and get that sucker on your phone. You will almost always save money. Even if it's just a few cents.

I spent the afternoon prepping my lunches for the week, Costco trip with the mom, and watching the Twins win! We grilled out for the first time this year and it was lovely.

I mentioned last week I got a new job. Check out some of our views!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Change is a good thing

Well folks, here's what's been going down. I got a new job!

For about 1.5 weeks I trained in my replacement and was without a computer. Sure I could have whipped out my trusty Surface 2 and updated ya'll what was going on, but in all honesty, I thought if I shared that I got a new job that I would somehow jinx it and be told that they decided to go with someone else and I would have to beg for my old job back.

See, I had been doing some interviewing. Both on my own and through staffing companies. One fateful Monday I got a call with a job offer. I was so excited because I had been searching for over a year for a new position. Later that afternoon, I got another contingent offer from a company I had never heard of a month prior, but a company I knew I was destined to work for. Yes, two job offers in one day. And a Monday nonetheless!

On Tuesday I met with my current manager (the contingent offer position) and met another person I would be working with, and next thing you know, I'm signing an acceptance letter!

Up until this point in my every day life I was starting to become quite down on life. My dating life was is non-existent, I wasn't getting leads on jobs, my social life hadn't been too busy and the weather was just plain 'ol depressing.

One night, I wished upon a star and prayed to my family up above that I really needed this job. That this job would literally be life changing in a positive way. I needed a boost. The stars aligned, my family above answered my prayers, and here I sit, staring out a 49th floor window over the lovely city of Minneapolis. I can see Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles and Lake Harriett (can't wait until they are thawed and sparkling blue! Another direction is the green grass inside the diamond of Target Field (Monday is the home opener! I hope the snow is gone by then). From the reception is North East Minneapolis and the Mississippi River. I haven't seen the other side because it's all offices I don't know yet.

I've been here a week and I have already learned so much. I'm constantly reading about the company and everything we offer. Meeting new, friendly, intelligent co-workers. Learning about what I'll be doing every day. It's been an exhausting week, but one I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to have.

Bring on the weekend!