Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Last October I made list of activities that I wanted to do before I turned 30. It wasn't a 30 before 30 list, it was just activities that I really wanted to do. Let's see how I did, shall we?

1. Join a wine club Win (sort of)
The liquor store I frequent has a wine club, but you basically just sign up and they send you specials on wine. If I trusted that no one would snatch my monthly wine delivery in my building, I'd sign up to have wine delivered. Maybe once the snow starts flying.

2. Take a vacation Win 
Girls trip to Cabo!

3. Sit in a green cushioned seat at a Twins game Win
Did one better and sat in a Suite!

4. Plan a 'cocktail' party at my new apartment 50/50
It wasn't a planned cocktail party but I have entertained friends on several occasions where cocktails were served. Since I've only been in my new location for just under 2 months, I'll give myself partial credit.

5. Go to a show at Bryant Lake Bowl Fail
They do a cabaret show that I haven't been able to find anymore. So fail for not going to a show, but fail on Bryant Lake Bowl for getting rid of the cabaret show.

6. Take a cooking class. Fail
I had high hopes that I would have met someone and we would go on fun, cute dates and a cooking class would be one of those. Doesn't that sound like such a fun date?

7. Go ice skating at the Depot or Rice Park Fail
Again, I thought this would be a blast for a date. I was asked on an ice skating date at the Depot, unfortunately we missed the season by literally a day. Every. Single. Rink closed the same week. Even though in MN it was still -20. 

8. Go to a vineyard Fail
Does a liquor store count? How about an apple orchard? No vineyard for this girl...

9. Take a photography class Fail
A while back my cousin gave me an old camera of hers that needs some fine tuning and I never had the extra cash to throw towards fixing up the camera. Once I do, I will definitely take a class and learn how to use it properly.

10. Kick ass. Take names. Win
I kicked ass and landed myself a great new job and a lovely little condo in a happening area of Minneapolis.

I didn't accomplish everything on my list, but the past year was a great one. It had its ups and downs, but 29 didn't disappoint.

August  - I went to the state fair

September - A bachelorette party in Milwaukee, a wedding in Fargo and an engagement! In non marital news, I went apple picking too!

October - I went to Octoberfest in Minneapolis and a wedding in Milwaukee

November and December were filled with holiday gatherings

January - Girls trip to Cabo!

February - I went to Crashed Ice.

March - a 7K and St. Patricks Day

April - 2nd Annual Girl Cousin Sleepover, a new 2nd cousin and I started a new job

May - I had my very first giveaway on this here blog.

June -  Summer officially came to the Midwest and I took full advantage of lake time and a bachelorette party. 

July - 2nd Annual Cousins Cabin Weekend,

August - I turn 30...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Review 22

You'll never guess what I did this weekend. It's so out of character I couldn't believe it!

I went to the cabin...

Let me first back up to Thursday. My dad's company had a suite at the Twins game and I was able to go with. It was the perfect day for an afternoon game!

After the game a few of us enjoyed some rooftop action at Seven where you get a free drink with your game day ticket. Unfortunately, then they take your ticket so you can't get the special anywhere else. Had we known that, we would of snatched up the 20 unused suite tickets we had and bar hopped all night.

If there's one lesson I really want to learn before I turn 30, it's to just go home after a day of drinking when everyone else calls it quits. Luckily I have a few more hours to learn that lesson. Thursday however, I decided to go listen to some music at a local jazz club and only knew I took a cab home by checking my bank account the next day. Will I ever learn? Lets hope so.

Friday I took off from work a bit early and was able to by pass all traffic North to the cabin. We went to Jed's for dinner and played the meat raffle where we won some beef! It was a funny story because they called our number 7818, only my tickets were misprinted! If we hadn't kept the tickets connected I think they would have called bologna on our win and would have picked another number. We had 7817, 6818, 7819...They let us win, but it wasn't without a few hecklers calling us cheaters.

Saturday was all business and no play. Well, except for our awesome outfits.

Had to protect ourselves from poison ivy, spiders, snakes (luckily didn't see any), ants, etc.
Our neighbors are getting a dumpster over the long weekend, but I refuse to do manual labor over Labor day weekend...or are you supposed to do labor on Labor day? I'm confused...anyway, instead of working over the long weekend I went up and helped mom and dad sort through a giant pile of garbage that the old owners left behind our pole barn.

I was in charge of manning the fire and burning old wood that we found. Mom and dad took old siding, windows, bricks, paint, boat seats/cushions, floats, insulation, a hide-a-bed, and neatly piled it on two trailers so when the dumpster does come, they can just re-pile in the dumpster.

You can see we made some progress
We worked for 8 straight hours and it was exhausting. It was so hot and humid that we were hydrating with Busch light and Redd's Apple Ale and never get a buzz because we were sweating it all out.

As our reward we went to Jed's again for burger night. If you are ever in the Siren/Webster area, I really do suggest deep fried pickle spears and one of their build-your-own burgers. They are really good. Plus you have an amazing view of Clam Lake and the sunset.

Sunday was pretty typical. I got up early and beat the traffic to the cities and spent the rest of the day picking up the apartment and binge watching True Blood. I could barely keep my eyes open after putting down a big ginger and a frozen pizza that I was passed out, snug as a bug in a rug by 9:00 pm. Now that's winning at life.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekend Review 21

These posts are starting to repeat themselves. Friday Kari and I headed up to the cabin. I was able to leave a bit early so we got up just after 5:00 and headed to Jed's for dinner. We started with fried pickles and I proceeded on the fried food train and got chicken strips, mozz sticks and cheese curds. I have a serious weakness for fried food. Especially fried cheese.

After dinner we took advantage of the perfect weather and took a sunset boat cruise around the lake.

Saturday we were all up and moving before 7:00 am. That's our fam though. I laced up my tennies and hit the pavement for a three mile run. I figured if I was going to eat fried pickles, chicken and two kinds of cheese, I needed to get in a run.

We had a lovely breakfast and mimosas on the deck where Kari had me do the Pure Barre workout warm up. There's a lot of similarities between Pure Barre and PiYo. It didn't take long after breakfast for us to throw on our suits and hit the Island Oasis for some quality floating/sun time.

We spent the weekend celebrating Dads birthday and in honor of that, mom and dad decided to take advantage of the amazing weather and not do any work around the cabin on Saturday. We took a boat cruise and had a lunch time pit stop at the sand bar where Kari and I continued to show off our PiYo and barre skills. All morning we were watching the clouds part and go around the lake but we got caught in a brief downpour while playing at the sand bar. It was so much fun! The rain was warm and refreshing. Not a single boat packed up and left. Everyone stayed in the water tossing footballs, floating and just having a grand ol time!

It was one of the first times all Summer that we were able to enjoy a couple hours out there, playing in the water and just relaxing with warm temps and just the slightest breeze. There were no friends or family to entertain, to one we had to get back to the cabin for. I would describe Saturday as simply perfect.

For dinner I grilled up some delicious filet mignon and we had mashed potatoes and corn on the cob, followed by a fire at the neighbors. There was a chance they would be coming back to have a fire, but no such luck so we just enjoyed their fire pit, hoping it would feel like they were there.

Sunday was dad's official birthday and we spent it at one of his favorite restaurants, Chino Latino. Their Sunday happy hour is the best. I suggest the spicy edemame and the poblano fundito to start. And a drink with a plastic animal of some sort.

Just as we were wrapping up, they surprised dad with a fun little dessert.

Happy Birthday Dad!


Friday, August 15, 2014

PiYo week 6 + half marathon training

Week 6 of PiYo is proving to be a tad tricky since I need to incorporate my half marathon training into catching up with PiYo. I'm thinking at this point of the game I'm not going to finish in 8 weeks, but I'm certainly not quitting PiYo. Just going to ease up on the two a days and see how things go while I bring in my training runs.

Monday - I was in a funky monkey mood on Monday and couldn't find motivation anywhere. Not even in my couch cushions... which is where I planted my bottom for the whole darn night and proceeded to eat left over pizza and waffle cone ice cream.

Tuesday - I haven't ran in weeks, so I started with a two mile run. I was surprised with my ability to run the first mile under 10:00. For mile two I did sprints. The path that I went on has a ton of bridges that are spaced out pretty evenly so I would sprint to one bridge, walk to the next, and repeat.

Wednesday - I don't know what got in to me, but the PiYo bug jumped up and bit me on the butt. I did Core, Buns, and Strength Intervals. Yes, I did ALL three workouts. I threw on my Garmin after Core and burned 292 calories during Buns and Strength Intervals. I love all three, my only problem with Strength Intervals is that I live in a very old building with old, creaky hardwood floors. Running in place isn't so wonderful for my downstairs neighbor. I really love Buns and Core though. I always feel sore and it's that lovely constant reminder that you kicked your own arse.

Thursday - I had to get in another run. This was a three miler and it felt really damn good. I absolutely LOVE living off the Greenway because you are connected to miles and miles of trails and every run can take you on a new adventure. Speaking of Green things, I made my Shakeology Greenberry with a banana and I pounded it! I had done chocolate and a banana the day before and I'm just not a chocolate and banana fan, but the Greenberry and banana was amazeballs.

Friday - No PiYo and no running today. Heading up to the cabin to celebrate my dad's birthday and soak in Summer while it's still here.

Next week will be running with post PiYo, or morning PiYo with evening runs. We'll see what happens!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Homemade Chips & Salsa

The idea of homemade chips and salsa isn't new to anyone. It's probably the most simple snack you could make. Question is, do you want to make it?

A few weeks ago I had purchased some corn tortillas to have fajitas in. After one bite I realized I hate corn tortillas. Normally I would just throw them out, but for whatever reason they found a home in my microwave and sat there for an amount of time I don't think the public should know about.

I'm not a big dinner person. I love to cook and that's the way I unwind at the end of the night, then I force myself to eat too much while sitting on the couch and I know that's 1/2 the reason why I gain weight. Eating way too much when I'm not even hungry.

Last night, in my attempt to eat healthy and eat something because I had just gone on a run, I cut up my corn tortillas, dabbed a little olive oil on them with a paper towel and sprinkled sea salt on top. Popped them in the oven at 375 for 10 minutes and out came the most perfect tortilla chips I ever did see.

Of course with tortilla chips you need you need salsa. Since I'm a single gal, I made a small batch. As a gal that really doesn't like tomatoes, I blended my salsa. No pico here.

5 Roma tomatoes
2 Jalapenos
3 Garlic cloves
1 Bunch cilantro
1/4 Red onion
Lime juice
Sea Salt to taste

I roughly chopped the tomatoes and pulsed them in the blender so there wouldn't be any large chunks. Everything else I chopped small and added to the bowl. Since limes cost about $50 now, I just used lime juice, but to the equivalent of one large lime and a dash of sea salt. You can alter the heat by how many jalapeno seeds you add to your salsa. I use half the seeds because I like to torture my mouth and pretend I have the heat tolerance the rest of my family has.

I think I could eat this for days. For every meal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

#Crunchmaster Crackers & Chips

In my older days I'm not much of a snacker, but I always seem to have some kind of chip or cracker around in case those hunger pangs strike and I need a quick fix.

When Crunchmaster contacted me and asked if I wanted to try some of their crackers and chips I knew I couldn't say no.

I picked 4 different flavors of their multi-grain crackers; white cheddar, sea salt, rosemary and olive oil and roasted garlic. I was intrigued by their edemame chips and chose to try the sea salt and wasabi soy chips.

 I have to admit, I didn't love the wasabi soy chips, but I wanted to take a risk and try something new. The sea salt chips were quite good. Very light and airy with just enough salt to satisfy your salt/chip craving.

When it comes to the crackers, the white cheddar blew me out of the water. I sat at my desk noshing on these babies and before I knew it, I was only picking up crumbs off the bottom of the bag.

Over the weekend I paired the sea salt and rosemary and olive oil crackers with some Wisconsin cheese spreads. The crackers are great for dipping because they don't crumble and hold up against a thick cheese spread.

If you're looking for a tasty treat I encourage you to head to your nearest grocer and pick up some Crunchmaster crackers, post haste.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Weekend Review 20

Over the weekend Kari and I had a few friends up to the cabin for some RnR. After battling some awful traffic, I made it just in time for dinner on Friday night. I tell ya, there is nothing better than having dinner all ready for you when you arrive somewhere and you don't have to do any of the cooking.

Friday was a rather chill evening spent around the fire, listening to music and having a few beverages.

It's funny how as you get older, you're weekends at the cabin with friends get much more calm. Saturday everyone was up at normal adult hours, like 8 AM drinking their coffee on the dock with mom while a couple of the girls were inside preparing breakfast.

Floats were inflated and lounged on, paddle boards and kayaks were paddled, we took a leisurely pontoon cruise around the lake, giant jenga and speed jenga got rather intense at times. Sadly, there was no BOOM.

As the day went on, ladies arrived as some people left for the weekend which made the day fly by. I don't think a day at the cabin has ever gone by as fast as Saturday did.

We again ended the night with a fire and the Super Moon!

Trying to get in as much cabin/outdoor time as I possibly can before the leaves start turning (which sadly, one tree at the cabin already has a few red ones), and the crisp air sets in.

Friday, August 8, 2014

PiYo Week 5

Here it is, week 5 and it started off pretty good. I am still trying to catch up from week 4, but I'm getting it in nonetheless.

Monday - Buns. I really liked Buns, and honestly, who doesn't want to have a nice, tight, lifted rear end? It's a ton of squats and lunges, but I like squats and lunges so it was right up my alley. Afterwards I had to go change my laundry that is in the basement of my building. Down three flights of stairs. My legs were shaking! I like feeling that shake because it reaffirms that I'm getting a good workout in.

Tuesday - Tuesday morning I had my LEEP procedure. I'm happy to say that I'm recovering quite well, but the procedure itself was pretty awful. The novocaine and numbing cream wasn't working so I. Felt. Everything. I started shaking and crying. The Dr. then added more novocaine and I still was feeling everything. My mom picked me up and I spent the day sitting outside with her while she repainted some of my furniture and then made my favorite dinner, chicken and broccoli fettucini alfredo. I indulged and it was delicious.

Wednesday - I felt surprisingly good after Tuesdays procedure. Just some soreness, but I got in my PiYo! I did Strength Intervals and Core. Strength totally kicked my butt considering it was only 20 minutes. I was still pretty sore from Buns on Monday, but I got it in.

Even though we are technically in the 5th week of the program, I'm just wrapping up week 3 workouts. I was curious if my inches have changed at all and so far I've lost 1 inch in my chest (not like I need a smaller chest), and two inches in my waist. Now if only I could start shrinking those thighs and hips. Taking my measurements has motivated me a bit more to really hone in and get these workouts in every day and stick to eating healthy. Knowing that in 5 weeks of ho-humming it I've lost 5 lbs and 3 inches, I can only imagine what changes I'll see if I give it my all for the next couple of weeks and really stick to healthy eating.

Thursday - I got home and really didn't want to do anything, but I knew I had to get two workouts in. I did my last Define: Lower Body on the workout calendar followed by Sweat. I think Sweat is my favorite workout so far. I like how it works your whole body and it fly's by!

Friday - Friday morning I actually got up before work and did Buns. I figured if I'm going to be in a swim suit all weekend it wouldn't hurt to get in one last back side workout.

I'm thinking if I'm going to do morning workouts, I'll be making my Shakeology before and drink it before/during the workout.

Monday, August 4, 2014

PiYo week 4

Hi PiYo world.

I'm failing at this hard, and this time I feel like I have a legit excuse. Two weeks ago I went to the Dr. for the 'ol annual exam. During that week I was somewhat keeping up with my PiYo, getting in doubles to get myself caught up. Then a week later I got a call saying I had some abnormal results. That quickly led to another appointment and a colposcopy and biopsy. If you're one of the lucky ones to have a colposcopy and a biopsy, then you know the pain I endured and why I did not partake in PiYo for a couple of days. Sweats and the fetal position were my best friend. I also had a problem area that the Dr. couldn't get to stop bleeding so I had to take it extra careful so I would heal.

I took this first bout of news quite hard and was rather sad, disappointed and scared.

A couple days later, those results showed moderate-severe cell change (pre-cancerous) and I had to schedule another colposcopy and a LEEP procedure. Those will both be done tomorrow morning. If the colposcopy is anything like the first one, I know I'll be hurting. With a LEEP procedure, they say it'll take 1-3 days to return to normal activity.

These results I took much better, which I find kind of odd. However, I'm really starting to hate Tuesdays. But it really kicked my rear end in to gear to focus on being the healthiest me I can be.

I'm a bit behind on my PiYo calendar, and I'm going to play week 5 by how my body feels, but I'm very ready to get back in to it. I've noticed small changes in my body thus far and am down 5 solid pounds. I want to continue on this journey and kick its butt all the way to the end. We're at the half way mark, so it's not too late.

I'm also running a half marathon, the Monster Dash, at the end of October, so training for that will start once my body is healed up. Hopefully the first run can take place at the end of the week.

Weekend Review 19: Photo Dump

It's been a while since I've come here, so here's a photo dump of what I've been up to as of late.

I attended the Aquatennial Torchlight Parade

Won 4 tickets and meet and greet passes from City Pages to the 10 Thousand Sounds Music Festival Downtown Minneapolis. Sylvan Esso and Polica were awesome.


Monday night sushi happy hour with individual carafes. Winning.

UpTown Art Fair (set up)

Sir Paul McCartney concert set-up at Target Field
(Didn't go, just the view from my office)

Minneapolis Thursday Farmers Market Flowers

Saturday pool day.

Poppin bottles at the bar

Clearly I've been too busy to stop by, ha.