Tuesday, September 29, 2015


You might think you clicked on the wrong link, but fear not my trusty reader, you are at what was formally known as Real World: Minneapolis.

Welcome to The Ali Diaries!

I've been thinking about a change for a while now, but nothing quite felt right. I hope you like what you see. Not a whole lot has changed besides the obvious name change and header. As in my personal life, I'm going back to basics. Keeping it simple and real. Life is chaotic enough as it is. Am I right?

I'll share my weekend with you later on this week. But for now, grab a cup of joe #nationalcoffeeday, or my preferred beverage, a glass of red wine and click around.

Check out a few of my favorite posts from many moons ago.

Did you know that Real World: Minneapolis started all the way back in May of 2011.

I was starting a new chapter of my life as a single woman living downtown Minneapolis. Home Sweet Home talks about my first week as a city dweller.

Here I share how to do a mayo hair mask. Note - if you put mayo, coconut oil or any type of oil in your hair as a mask, you will have to wash it multiple times over to get all of the oil out.

A quick get-to-know-me.

If you are planning any kind of shower, this post is one of my more popular posts where I share all the fun details of co-hosting a wine-tasting bridal shower. It was so fun and original!

Girls trip to Cabo is another post to top my popular posts list. I've been three times so please inquire with questions if you are looking for recommendations on restaurants, activities, ect.

I hope you enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with me. I look forward to sharing life with you at The Ali Diaries!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Summer Recap - Video Style

Summer 2015 you were a good one. You kept me busy, gave me a great tan and took me on some new adventures. Until next year, Summer.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Review 70: See you next year!

As you get older, friendships change, yet somehow stay exactly the same. One of my closest friends came to town this past weekend, the last time I saw her was almost exactly a year ago. We only live 4 1/2 hours away, but she works retail and has a husband who is doing his residency and I'm over here working my 9-5 so schedules are tough to work with.

I knew Laura wouldn't get to town until late in the evening on Friday so Mike and I grabbed a few drinks after work and he drove me around while I tried to find a jacket. After going to The North Face, then Sports Authority, Dick's, REI and finally back to The North Face, I pulled the trigger and got an even better (= more expensive) jacket than I initially had my eye on.

When I got home, Laura was finding a place to park and we spent the entire night enjoying wine and catching up. By 2:00 AM we decided it was best to not open a third bottle of wine and to go to bed since we had a 7:00 AM wake-up call to go tailgating for the Gopher game.

Our alarms rang earlier than we would have liked, but we poured ourselves some mimosas and headed out nice and early anyway. It was a perfectly sunny and warm and the perfect morning to enjoy some beverages outside TCF Bank Stadium.

The Gophers won, but I think I was the only person happy about that. Apparently they should have won by more than 3 points.

After the football game we grabbed a taxi and headed back to UpTown for some lunch/dinner before walking back to my apartment to get ready for part two of the day.

Our friend Amanda and her boyfriend picked us up to head to St. Paul for another friends husbands 40th surprise party. You know you're getting old when your friends have husbands turning 40.

Mike met us at Sweeny's and the surprise went off perfectly. They had tons of apps and drink tickets. We hung out for a couple hours before deciding to continue the night closer to home. We went to a bar near my apartment and I can't believe how old I felt and how I do not fit in to the late night scene anymore. It's quite different these days. Give me a sports/dive/wine bar any day.

Sunday we slept in until late morning and Laura packed up to go see some other friends while she was in Minnesota. I forced my self out of bed so I could make some 'healthy' buffalo chicken dip and cheer on the Vikings. I made it through the first half of the game before being awakened by the sound of my phone alerting me that Mike was on his way home and the game had been over for a couple of hours.

Looking back on the weekend, I think it's a blessing that Laura and I only get together about once a year. If we spent more time together, there would be a serious red wine shortage and I would consistently be seriously sleep deprived.

Friday, September 18, 2015

This is 31

Only a few short weeks ago I turned 31. I always joked with Mike that I wasn't in my 30's when I was 30. I was just 30. I didn't make a big to-do about turning 30 because it felt just like turning 29.

31 was a whole other story. At 31 I'm actually in my 30's and that was a tough one for me to swallow. I wanted the day to pass by and not recognize that for the next 9 years I'll keep getting deeper into my 30's. Mike doesn't agree with my way of thinking on this one. But man, really being in my 30's has been rough.

In the last four weeks I've been sick, I nearly lost my fingers, I pulled my hamstring, pulled a muscle in my neck while showering, got a piece of glass stuck in my foot and have had the most insane four weeks of work in my life.

Just look what 31 has done to me.

Anyone have any of that pure gold face cream I can bathe in? Looks like I'm going to need it.

If there's one thing 31 has changed in me for the better, it's to enjoy flowers whenever you can in your home. And to update your bedding because you've been living off the same quilt set for way too many years.

Now get off my lawn!

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Weekend Review 69: September Wedding

Over the weekend Fall showed up for a sneak preview and brought everyone outside to enjoy the crisp air.

Friday was a nice low key night with the Mr. We picked up American Sniper and takeout from a Chinese restaurant down the street from his house. I love nights like that, especially after a busy week at work.

Saturday morning I took a walk around two lakes by my house. I could have walked all day if I didn't have a wedding later in the day that I needed to get ready for. There were so many people out and about walking, biking, running, sailing. The beaches were empty, but the people were out like winter is tomorrow.

After my walk I had just enough time to get ready before I had to be at Mikes and pick up Kari and her boyfriend for the wedding.

My cousin got married on Saturday in her now husbands family home yard. It was so beautiful! From the moment you walked up the driveway and into a large white tent set with tables decorated with flowers from my cousins business Thistle & The Rose, to the back yard with a bar and dance floor and even further back, white chairs leading you to the ceremony.

It was 100% a family affair with her sisters as her bridesmaids, his brothers as his groomsmen, and the brides brother as the minister and our grandpa as the ring bearer since she was given our grandmothers wedding ring.

I love going to weddings where you know the couple so well, they've been together for years, and you know it's all just meant to be. You could tell from the smiles on their faces the whole night just how happy they were.

Dinner was a pig roast and oh so delicious. The caterers dressed the pig for the occasion.

After dinner they had a fruit and angel food cake buffet which is my favorite type of cake. Plus all the whipped cream you could think of. Heaven.

If you ever go to one of my family weddings, you are guaranteed to have a packed dance floor and this wedding was no different. We whipped and nae nae'd, we cupid shuffled, we danced with babies and all around had one heck of a good time.

These are the people I'm lucky enough to call family. Now who's getting married next? We need another wedding on the calendar!

Congratulations Cole and Megan!

Weekend Review 68: Labor Day 2015

I feel like an idiot, but did you know that Labor Day was a day to let all of us hard working American's have a day off? I will admit, that up until a Sunday morning show last weekend, I had no clue what the day was actually about. So to all you hard workers out there, happy belated Labor Day! I'm glad we get more than just one day a year off, but think of all the extra money we would have if we were never given weekends off!

My company must think we worked extra hard this past year because they also gave us Friday off which meant another 4 day weekend for me! Mine started out with a goodbye happy hour for a co-worker, then an easy breezy drive North to the cabin. Lucky for me I had a driver, so I could have a drink at happy hour.

When we got to the cabin we dropped off our bags and changed before heading to a local bar to watch the Gopher football game. They weren't doing so hot, so we left at halftime.

Friday was one of the most gorgeous days we've had up North. It started with Mike and my mom doing some yard work while I kept Mike hydrated with plenty of beers and myself with mimosas. We inflated one of our rafts and spent the afternoon floating in the sun.

I was in charge of dinner for the night and made pulled pork on the grill. I let it cook low and slow for about 7 hours. I hear it was really good, but since I forgot to eat lunch that day, dinner is a little fuzzy.

Baby Snapping Turtle
Saturday was another beautiful day that called for a lot of raft lounging and napping. We took the fishing boat out for the season which lead to me nearly losing half my fingers. They are still sore, but all there!

Longs days in the sun call for lazy nights. The Badgers were playing so we all sat down to watch them lose to Bama. However, I think only one person made it to the end of the game.

Sunday was a cooler, cloudy day that had people changing from sweatshirts to tank tops as the sun came and went throughout the day. Since it was Bachelor in Paradise finale night, we made our standard chicken alfredo and watched the show as a storm rolled in.

Monday morning we woke up and hit the road early to miss any traffic and to have productive days at home. I was able to accomplish so much! Food prep, naps, cleaning, etc.

It's now a week later and Fall is trying to push its way in, but the heat and humidity is still hanging around today.