Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend Review 63

This past weekend I focused on catching up on my sleep. I find that when I don't workout I have a hard time sleeping which has led to some very late nights of laying in bed wide eyed, willing myself to fall asleep.

I've been pretty constant with my classes at the new studio I joined for the month which has led to better sleep, but those late nights caught up to me and I had some of the best sleep this weekend.

Friday night Mike and I went to Blaze Pizza. I was contact by Blaze to see if I would like to try out their new location in St. Louis Park and I of course said yes because, pizza.

From the moment we walked in the staff was extremely friendly and helpful explaining the process.

First you pick your sauce, then your cheese, meats and finally veggies then they throw it in a blazing hot oven and in the a couple minutes, literally 3 minutes, your pizza his done to perfection. I went with a pepperoni pizza with half black olives and half pineapple.


Mike went a little more wild and chose the white sauce with tomatoes, arugula, goat cheese and chicken.

After our pizza we went down the road to his grandparents and spent the night chatting with them and his mom. One would typically think that spending a Friday night hanging with a couple of 90 somethings wouldn't be very fun, but those two are rather sharp at their ripe age.

When we left his grandparents we had the option of meeting some of my friends out, but I opted for a movie and my couch. I made it half way through Horrible Bosses 2 before calling it a night and putting myself to bed.

I got close to 10 hours of glorious sleep before I had to go to a 75 min barre class. I had not been to this class or had this instructor before and let me tell you, she kicked my ass. Half way through and my whole body was trembling. It was similar to the other classes I've been to, but since it's 75 min instead of 60, we hold everything for about 16 counts instead of the normal 8. I'm still feeling it today.

After class I swung by Lunds & Byerlys to pick up a quick lunch of wild rice salad before getting ready for my cousins bridal shower. As I was getting ready to jump in the shower, I realized I didn't have any hot water. The water just kept getting colder and colder. It was so cold and unpleasant I was about ready to cry.

The bridal shower was beautiful as always. The aunts on my mom's side of the family know how to throw together beautiful parties with plenty of delicious food, wine and desserts. There were 7 different types of miniature desserts and yes, I had all 7 of them....well, sort of. One may or may not have spilled down the front of my dress.

Sunday was another lazy morning with a late wake up call. I felt so refreshed that day so Mike and I tried going to a small diner near his house for brunch, but they had a 45 minute wait so we drove back to his house and walked to the 5-8 Club for some Juicy Lucy's. Can't go wrong there!  After our Juicy Lucy's we went to a friends house to hang out in their pool.

Out of the last few summers, this is definitely the one to know someone with a pool. Especially since I haven't been able to make it up to the cabin very often this Summer and I'll only be up there for 2 weekends in August.


We spent the whole day in the pool, drank a few cocktails and grilled some dinner before the sun and wine hit me and it was time to go home.

When I got home, I still didn't have any hot water so I threw my self in to bed and called it a night.

I'm happy to report that I do have hot water now and a good long shower is in the very near future.

-xo

Friday, July 24, 2015

Do YOU!

You need help moving, I'm there. My little sister moved a couple years ago and had just sliced her finger. I wrapped and packed up her whole kitchen and helped her move in to a second story walk up.

Friends need a dog sitter for a honeymoon? Last minute trip out of town? I'm there. Just leave some hard cider in the fridge.

Having a bad day and you want to unwind at happy hour? I'm there. I think I can skip the gym and be there for you.

What I'm realizing is, it's not always good thing to be a people pleaser. Say no every now and then.

Do what you want to do and try not to let what others say bother you.


This has filled my head lately, knowing that I most likely disappointed people by backing out of a get together, after many others had backed out.

There comes a time in your life when you have to do what's best for you. Do what you want to do and not let others influence you to do something you don't want to do.

Life is short.

Live it for you.

~xo

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Breakfast Bars

The most difficult thing for me trying to get in a healthy groove is not having others around me join in. That might be for my lack of sharing, because if I fail I don't want to be judged, but I finally have someone on board.

Well, actually, he let me know he wanted to get healthy, so now I'm on board with him.

To kick things off I'm signing up for every class I can make at the studio I joined and our Tuesday and Thursday date nights are spent at the gym and then making dinner together.

What do the fit folk say?

'80% food 20% exercise'

'Breakfast is the most important meal of the day'


I tried my hand at making homemade breakfast/energy bars. They weren't perfect, but I'm enjoying eating them.

If you have a food processor, this is a simple 3 ingredient breakfast bar that will give you everything you need to jump start your day.

1 cup dates (dried and pitted)
1 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice)
1 cup almonds

Process in the food processor until everything is formed in to a ball and well blended together. Spread out on wax or plastic wrap in to an 8x8 square and let sit in the fridge for an hour. Once set, cut in to bars.

I added dark chocolate chips and chia seeds to my bars.

I have what I'll call a beginners food processor so it's quite small and not super powerful so I made mine in batches and there may have been less dates in my last batch which made it so not everything stuck together as it should.

That worked in my favor though because it was a super tasty topping to my morning yogurt.


Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Review 62: Burning It Down

Happy Monday! The last couple of days flew by. Sometimes I think the heat and humidity do strange things. Like put us in a time warp and next thing we know it's back to responsibilities and working for the man.

 As soon as I got home from work on Friday I quickly changed, grabbed my yoga mat and went to Six Degrees for a Barre class. I told ya'll how they had a great offer if you found the studio via ClassPass so I signed up for a month of classes.

I really love the Friday evening barre class. The instructor is awesome, you get a great workout and the class fly's by. I'm excited to try out some new classes, including their reformer class. Have you ever taken a reformer class?

 After class I picked up some dessert to bring over to Mike's. He had some friends coming to town to run the Tough Mudder and Friday was carb-load night! Mike grilled up some chicken and made some spaghetti with herbs he let me plant at his house. There's nothing better smelling then fresh herbs.

We spent some time lounging outside and catching up before the guys wanted to go inside and get ready for their big day. I started seeing a lot of flashes and hearing what I thought was just planes since his house is really close to the airport. I looked at my phone and realized those were not plane lights/engines, but we were in a tornado warning and a big storm was brewing. Just then we lost power and didn't get it back until close to noon the next day.

Saturday morning I woke up extra early to get some items from my apartment so I could watch the guys do the Tough Mudder and just as I pulled away from Mike's house, he called to tell me the run had been cancelled. I couldn't have been more happy about that.

The storm from the night before ruined the course and uprooted several trees around the city. My car was spared from a large branch that landed right next to it. Since we were without power and now had all afternoon open, we conned one of their friends to let us come over and use his pool. We spent a few hours floating around before we had to get ready for the Big Revival Tour!

We arrived a bit late to the concert so we missed Old Dominion, Cole Swindel and most of Brantley Gilbert. As much as I'm not a big fan of Jason Aldean as a person, I really like his music and he was a ton of fun to listen to. Kenny came on after Jason and he's just a little ball of energy.






After the concert we tried going out for a bit but every bar was packed so we called it a night which I think was a good call.

Sunday was the most lazy day I've had in quite some time. As Mike slept, I took advantage and caught up on my RHOC and Kardashians and while I slept, he watched golf.

Later in the evening I went over to my parents to drop off an over due birthday present for my mom and hang out with my little fur baby.


I just love that face!

I hope everyone else had a great weekend as well!

-Ali

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lets Ketchup

Well folks, here we are! It's Friday and it's been one interesting week to say the least.

Let me back up and tell you about my weekend. I went on a River Boat down the mighty Mississippi for Mike's mom's birthday. It was a beautiful night and the ride was put on by the Irish Fest in Minneapolis. They had some Irish bands and merchandise for sale along with beer/cider tastings and best of all, pints of cider for $1. That's my kind of boat ride.

St. Paul, MN
The Basillica Block party went down over the weekend as well. We met some of my cousins and friends who went and all had a great time. Matt Kearny was my favorite of the three bands we saw.


The headliners were Weezer and OAR for the night that we went. Mike and I saw Weezer, but I just never got on that bandwagon back in Jr. High so I just bobbed along and pretended to sing the words that were not the right words at all.

Minneapolis, MN
We've been in a ridiculous heat wave, lucky for me, I know people. People with pools. We spent some time hanging out with friends, grilling up some grub and cooling off pool side. We're in for another 90-100 degree weekend.

For 1/3 of the work week our systems have been down. Did anyone else have this issue, because it's more than just my companies US offices. Apparently there was some construction going on in CA and this really smart person severed some some very important AT&T cables which has left tons of people without service.

To relieve us of our stresses, we had a donut party this morning. As if my pants weren't already tight enough.

Luckily though, way back in early 2015, I was given the offer to try ClassPass for a month. Thanks to that opportunity and going to a studio near my house, I'm getting another great offer! I went to a studio called SixDegrees and loved it! They are giving ClassPass users who went to their studio through ClassPass the opportunity to purchase a month of unlimited classes with no restrictions for just $60. It's a $240 offer. I'm going to sign up as soon as I get out of work today in hopes that my pants will fit a little better.

*I just loved the studio and am not being asked to share this offer.

Now here's a great story.

It was a hot and sticky Wednesday. I had just left work and hopped on my bus to head home. The bus is crowded, people are cranky and sweaty and heaven forbid elbow to elbow standing room only.

One woman starts throwing elbows and calling another girl a biatch. 'Other Girl' throws biatch back at her and makes fun of the others hair. This goes on for a little bit and the bus driver tells them to stop being stupid. One couple gets off at the next stop and all is well...so we thought.

The 'Other Girl' and her man get off at the next, next stop and this is where the man is going to protect is lady by yelling at everyone as he gets off the bus, calling the bus stupid. Once they were gone, everyone left on the bus took a sigh of relief and we could get on with our peaceful ride home.

NOT! The man who thought he'd be all tough getting off the bus chases the bus down for 2 stops, roughly 4-5 blocks, jumps on the bus and spits in the drivers face! I saw the spit fly through the air and hit the driver smack in his face. Then I also saw smoke coming from my drivers ears as the coward ran away.

At this point it started to pour, I'm about a mile from my apartment, no umbrella, and the driver ends his route because he has to wait for the bus police to arrive. I walked a few blocks and jumped in to a restaurant while I waited for the rain to stop.

Can someone please explain to me how someone has the nerve to spit in someones face. Someone who's driving you around. Someone who was just trying to make peace on his bus. Someone who didn't even call the man stupid, but said they all needed to stop acting stupid. I felt so bad for my poor bus driver.

One last thing before I let you go enjoy your Friday. I decided that since I'm going to officially be IN my 30's next month, yup, 31, that I needed to get some adult makeup. I went to MAC over lunch after searching tons of foundations, powders, etc and purchased the MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation that can also work as a concealer. I love it!

I figured a splurge on makeup is worth it these days. Lately my routine has been lipstick, mascara and blush but I felt like I needed something to even out my skin tone. However, now I know this is a compliment, the lady said I really don't need anything, but I sure do love the way it looks and gives a great finished look for those special nights out. Ya know, like going to see Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Cole Swindell, Brantley Gilbert and Old Dominion on Saturday night!

Time Gods, please let the work day be done and let the weekend crawl by. Amen.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

4th of July 2015

I was lucky to have an extra long holiday weekend to celebrate the 4th of July this year. Friday morning didn't start out quite like I would have liked, my phone charger cord stopped working. Since my phone wasn't even half charged I drove over to Wal-Mart before any other store opened up and picked up a new cord. Then I realized I forgot to pack contacts and had to drive all the way back to my apartment and grab those. Just as I hit the interstate, my ride called and said she'd be at my parents in 15 minutes.

Luckily we were ahead of schedule even with my delay and we beat everyone else to the cabin.

Once we finished unloading the car, the boys arrived from their golf tournament and just behind them, another couple arrived just in time to get on the boat.

We took a cruise out to what they've dubbed 'Whore Island'. When we arrived we thought there would be a bunch of drunk folks around our ages. Instead we find nothing but families and kids playing in the water and swinging from a tree.


The water was a bit chilly so the girls hung out on the boat while the boys played beers-be/fris-beer in the water. We headed back to the cabin when we got the call that the final family arrived.

We spent the evening grilling up burgers and brats while watching the kids play in their kiddie pool on the deck.


The morning of July 4th I was the first person up. That should come as no surprise to anyone. Since there were people sleeping all over the cabin, I got myself dressed and spent the morning on the dock, listening to music and getting some early rays.


The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love getting decked out in my red, white and blue, listening to country music, belting out God Bless the USA, grilling up everything and anything you can grill and finishing the day with amazing displays of fireworks. This all is even better when it's done on/near a body of water.

After everyone else woke we fueled ourselves with a nice big breakfast and then loaded the coolers with lunch and beverages and made our way to a local bar on the water to play some sand volleyball. After a hot and sweaty game, my team won, we ventured out once again to whore Island. A little more whore-y, but still, quite a bit of kiddos.


Again, the boys played their games and the girls did a lot of floating. We headed over to where the big fireworks display would be later on and there was a live band playing. We anchored out a ways and floated while listening to the band before heading back for naps and dinner.

When fireworks time rolled around we were moving pretty slow, but we did make it back out on the lake for a big show. There were so many boats out, it looked like a small city on the water.

Sunday morning everyone was up nice and early and got to work cleaning the cabin and putting everything back where we found it. Mike and I then headed over to my family cabin for a relaxing day since we both had Monday off of work.

When we finally arrived it was pretty windy so we sat around with the neighbors and caught up with my parents about the weekend.

We started to notice a few boats out at the sand bar, so we took a shot that it would be calm over there, and it was! We dug our chairs in the sand and had a few beverages while enjoying the last bit of sun for the weekend.

When we woke up on Monday it was cold and rainy so we took our time packing up and Mike headed out and then I rode home with my mom and the dogs. It was nice to have Monday off and to be able to relax and mentally prepare to get back to work.

I hope everyone had a great long weekend!