Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stockings For Stuffing

*Disclaimer: I was given these socks free of purchase and all opinions are 100% my own.

While watching the morning news I heard a word I was hoping I wouldn't have to hear for a couple more weeks, but alas, the time has come and the worst four letter 's' word was muttered. Snow.

We should be expecting our first dusting of snow this week. 

Christmas is just 57 days away.

You only have 8 shopping weekends remaining!

Have you started your shopping yet? I'm beginning to think of gifts I'm going to purchase, but it's tough!

Growing up, my parents always gifted each other socks and underwear, because, practical.

As I've gotten older, those are items I'll request on occasion as a gift.

Santa never lets us down and always stocks our stockings with socks or tights. Santa's a practical man.

Made with a reinforcing yarn made of gold linen into the toes of its socks, GOLDTOE® has become an iconic American sock brand over the last 80 years. They have socks for men, women and kids in all sorts of different colors, patterns, and styles.

I don't know about you, but I love a cute, festive pair of socks. Especially one that is thin enough to wear under my riding boots, but thick enough to keep my toes warm in the Minnesota cold.
When I first opened the box of socks, I was so excited to see the seasonal socks with deer, but oh my, you should have seen my face when I discovered the socks with the deer heads. It was as if Santa stopped by my mailbox a little early this year!

If you know me well, you know I rarely wear socks. I'm like a kid in that I need them to be fun to be put on my feet. GOLDTOE® accomplished just that!

If you are looking for an affordable gift or a stocking stuffer, head over to their website and check out all their different patterns and styles. If you would like to pick out the socks in person, you can find them in stores such as Kohls. Macy's, Von Maur, DICK's and many more.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend Review: L.A.Z.Y.

I wish I was coming at you with a fun story from the weekend, but I was the laziest bum and didn't do much at all.

Friday was a killer day at work so I spent the night at home with a bottle of wine and Pitch Perfect 2 and Age of Adeline. Both good movies in very different ways. Regardless, I cried during both movies.

Saturday morning I went to the gym as soon as it opened and loved every minute of it. I'm getting in to a fitness groove that really seems to be working for me. After an hour and a half of sweating out the wine from the night before, I rushed home to get ready for brunch with some family.

One of my cousins lives in Milwaukee and came back for the weekend with her son. We had brunch at my aunt and uncles house that they just moved in to and are remodeling. It's so fun to have a little man running around. He was so chill while we ate and caught up. Next time we see them will be Christmas! He'll be walking with no assistance by that time, I'm sure of it.

After brunch I went over to my parents to get some laundry done and spend quality time with Miley. My parents were dog sitting Porter, so the dogs and I had a good cuddle session while watching tv.

Miley and Porter are constantly battling for Queen/King of the house. One can not get attention without the other one right there wanting the same attention.

I spent the night at my parents chatting, eating, drinking more wine, and removing their old jacuzzi tub from their bathroom. While big, those tubs are surprisingly light weight.

Sunday was the ultimate lazy day. I watched some of the Vikings game and the movie Wild, followed by a ton of Lifetime movies.

November is the first month in what feels like an eternity, that I don't have my weekends full. After this relaxing weekend, I'm looking forward to a couple quiet weeks before all things Thanksgiving and Christmas begin.

Only eight shopping weekends left! What?!

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Day In The Life

Last week I had this great idea to share what a typical day in the life of Ali looks like. I kept forgetting to snap pictures so you missed a doozy of a day Monday. I arrived to work and found a two inch rip in the butt of my dress with my bright purple with pink polka-dot 'laundry day' undies peaking through. It resulted in me scrambling to find a thread and needle and sitting on the toilet in nothing but heels, my bra and undies sewing up my hole. Let me confirm, I was sewing the hole in my dress.

I set my alarm on Wednesday morning to remind me to share what a day looks like. Don't worry, I spared you the 'I woke up like this' photo because it's not very pretty.

6:10 My alarm goes off and I start my new normal which is the Tone It Up #bootycall. 

7:00 - 7:30 I get ready which usually means I shower and throw on whatever is on top of my clean clothes pile and brush on some mascara, blush and if I'm feeling particularly pretty, some lipstick.

7:30 - 8:00 Is commuting time! I walk to the bus station down the street. Some mornings I'm greeted with a beautiful sunrise and others I'm greeted by a man going through the dumpster out my back door.

8:00 - 4:30 Working for the man. No two day's are ever the same when you're an Administrative Assistant. Most day's the work comes at different times, from different people, from different departments. Everything from expense reports, putting together decks for client meetings, training a new employee, setting up travel and interviews to working with a photographer to take biography head shots. Hardly ever a dull day in the life of an AA.

4:30 - 5:30 Is the commute home that usually involves a stop at my local grocery store. I tend to buy groceries as I need them, make a meal, eat it for dinner and the next day's lunch then go to the store the next day. My grocery store is the equivalent of your Target. I love to cook, grocery shop and seek out new items on the shelves. Target I'm in, grab my TP, deodorant, razors, toothpaste and I'm out in under 10 minutes.

5:30 - 6:00 I either make dinner for myself, make dinner to bring to Mike's, or catch a quick Bravo show on demand before jumping in the car to head to Mike's. 

6:00 - ??? Mike and I spend a few nights a week together. We like to cook together, he lets me do my laundry for free, and sometimes I'll help him with yard work and I'll tag along on his many Home Depot trips. Once all that is said and done, it's time to put our feet up and catch up on our weekly shows of Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire/PD, The League and then whatever sports game is on.

I'm not a busy person and I quite prefer my daily routine. It's simple, fun, and you never quite know what you're going to get. Kind of like me.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weekend Review: Fall Colors

With this lovely mild Fall we are having, the colors seem to be much brighter and lasting much longer than most Minnesota Falls.

I went up to the cabin early Saturday morning since it was going to be a top weather weekend. It was the perfect morning to be on an open road with the sun shining and trees still turning.

When I arrived we popped a bottle of champagne and mom and I had some mimosas while we enjoyed the little bit of dock that is still in the water. We watched some people kayak and paddle board on the glass water.

After mimosas, I made my favorite cold weather drink of apple cider, brandy, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Heat it all up and sip away. Don't sip too fast because this drink really sneaks up on you.

I made a fire and raked a little while burning the leaves and a tree that my parents had taken down a couple weeks ago. Nothing smells as good as burning pine. In a controlled fire of course. Safety first!

Later in the afternoon, the neighbors arrived after spending the morning shooting clay pigeons at their tree farm.  There was a whole crew which is more fun because then more ladies are there to chat with.

Before it got too late, I made one of my best spaghetti and meatballs. I couldn't tell you how much of anything I put in the meatballs or sauce, but the combination of pepper, thyme, oregano, parsley, garlic salt, onion powder and most likely a shake of cayenne pepper resulted in some top balls and sauce.

We enjoyed dinner with Frank Sinatra pandora playing in the background before heading back out to the fire with the neighbors.

I sure am going to miss these mild weekends.  

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekend Review: An Anniversary And A Wedding

Thursday of last week marked a special day for Mike and I. We went on our first date one year from that day and never looked back.

We met at Brit's Pub for drinks after work and chatted for a few hours. I was certain that I wasn't going to hear from him again so I rode the bus home and went to a bar to wallow in self pity that another good one wouldn't find me good enough.

To my surprise, as the bar tender set down the drink I ordered, I received a text from Mike saying that he had a nice time and would like to go out again.

In the past year we've taken mini vacay's to the Dells and the cabin, we went to countless country shows, plenty of Timberwolves games, met each others families and friends, cried, laughed and everything in between. It's been a fun year to say the least.

To celebrate I suggested we go to The Strip Club. Get your head out of the gutter, it's a steak house in St. Paul. We shared the beef tartar and each ordered the New York strip with a side of the fingerling potatoes which I really enjoyed.

The server was wonderful and helped us select a bottle of wine by offering a tasting of the two we were deciding between. I had been wanting to try this restaurant for a long time, and while our dinner was good and the restaurant was nice, I don't know that I'd be running back any time soon.

On Saturday we had a fancy wedding to attend. I had ordered a dress from Rent The Runway and was so sad when the dress didn't work out.

I was so confident that by ordering a size larger and getting 2 sizes larger as a back up I would be fine. Not quite the case. After struggling through tears for over an hour to get the darn dress to zip, it just wouldn't budge. I should have known this would happen when I couldn't even get the garment bag open because one of the zippers was busted.

I went with a trusty blue dress I had purchased late Summer for a wedding. Luckily we didn't take many pictures and this wedding was with a different group of people so no one had seen it before.

In the end everything worked out fine and we had a great time at the wedding. It took place in a beautiful church in South Minneapolis and the reception was at the Edina Country Club. The leaves were peak which just added to the beautiful day.

At any moment of the night, there was at least one person on the dance floor. They also had a photo booth set up with props that we took advantage of. We set a timer every hour to see our progression throughout the night. We definitely took advantage as I have about 8 different print outs from the night.

At the end of the night we headed out to a bar that for some reason closes at 1:00. We ordered our drinks and smuggled them in to the bar across the street.

I always say that nothing good comes after you leave a wedding reception. And my hangover the next day was proof of that. That didn't stop us though. We slept in and cleaned ourselves up before going over to a friends to watch some football.

Fall is most definitely here after it spoiled us with a gorgeous 80 degree day to wrap the weekend.   We are now on to blistery, grey, chilly days that call for chili and mid day naps.
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekend Review: Gaming

Friday was a gorgeous day to take a drive to northern Minnesota for a Fall cabin weekend, once you made it through the construction that is. I tell ya, construction season might just never end here.

People arrived in waves, a few of us arrived to Gull Lake Friday evening where we made spaghetti, chatted and learned Settlers of Catan.

The rest of the group arrived throughout the day on Saturday. As with any cabin weekend, Saturday was a lazy morning with a lovely breakfast that included, you guessed it, mimosas!

Once the whole group was settled, we went for a brief boat ride. It was a tad windy, and by tad I mean there were white caps so we stuck to the shore until we decided we should just head back to the cabin.

We walked down to Cowboys for dinner which was a little restaurant just down the road that had some tv's that were playing college football.

Kari and I challenged each other to some Big Buck Hunter while majority of the table played pull tabs. With the amount of tabs, I can't believe there wasn't a single winner in the bunch.

After dinner we teamed up for another rowdy game of Settlers of Catan and Sequence. I love a good board game, but I still have a lot to learn with Settlers of Catan. I just could not catch a break and my partner was no help either.

One by one, the party broke up and people called it a night.  I had the cutest bed set up that was great for the girls that were football widows flying solo for the weekend.

Everyone had early wake up times on Sunday. Since the Vikings game was later in the afternoon, I went over to my parents to spend some quality time with Miley and watch the game with my dad. There was a lot of excitement, if only Walsh could do what he's paid to do and make a field goal, we probably would have won that game.

It's Monday and I can think of a few other places I'd rather be at the moment, especially since I was woken by the garbage men at 4:55 this morning.

It's a big week though, Mike and I will be celebrating one year together by getting all gussied up for a formal wedding. I'm renting my dress so stay tuned!

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Weekend Review: The End Of Summer 2015

If there's one event that officially closes out Summer for us Midwesterners, it's closing the cabin for the season. In our case, we keep the cabin open year round, so for us, it's taking out the boats and dock/lift. Last weekend marked the end of the Summer for us, even though it was sunny and 80 degrees.

The trees have barely started to turn and folks were out jet skiing and paddle boarding as if it were mid August.

When we arrived Friday evening, my parents had a big bonfire going from a tree that they recently took down. Once my aunt and uncle arrived, we all grabbed a bowl of chili to eat around the fire and catch up on life.

Saturday started as every Saturday does at the cabin, with a mimosa and brunch. The lake was like glass and the sun was shining. I was convinced we weren't in Kansas Wisconsin anymore.

Mike, my dad and my uncle Kevin worked on taking out the boat lift. It sounds simple, you just wheel that sucker out. When we put the lift in, the water was several inches lower so my dad took the wheels off and dug it down in to the sand.

'Simple no more, taking lift out is' - Yoda

It took several of us to lift one side up at a time so we could get the wheels back on. Once that was done, then it was as simple as it sounds.

We took a final boat ride around the lake before we had to head back to the cabin to get dinner started. Mom had a delicious lasagna we all inhaled and soon after Mike and I packed up the truck to go back home.

Since the thing I dislike most about leaving the cabin is going home to an empty apartment, I made sure to have plans for the next day since Mike would be tailgating and cheering on the Vikings all day.

A few friends and I went to Betty Dangers for brunch. If you've never been, I'd recommend spending an hour or so there just taking it all in.

For starters, there's a ferris wheel.

There's also miniature golf which we did not participate in. The food is Mexhampton, Mexican, Minnesotan and Hampton. I'm not 100% sure how that translates, but most of their brunch items were Mexican.

After Betty Danger's we ubered over to a brewery that was closed for the day, so our lovely driver took us to the next closest brewery, 612.

We had a beer in the sun and called it a day. Well, the rest of the ladies called it a day. I went to grab some food at a bar down the street from my apartment. Mike met up with me and half way through our meal a man caught my eye.

I'm the kind of person who always says I would never recognize a famous person in real life. Famous might be used loosely in this situation but he was a young, handsome man sitting alone, watching football and having a beer. The more I looked at him the more I was convinced it was the Minnesota Vikings very own Andrew Sendejo.

You're welcome ladies
Sure enough, Mike went up to him and it was Mr. Sendejo himself. He was a bit glum since he kind of ruined one of our best players by giving him a concussion, which is why he said he was having a beer.

As we walked out of the bar, Harrison Smith walked past us and Mike gave him a 'great game!' and a pat on the shoulder.

I will forever be going to this bar after home games to see which other footballers I can spy. Feel free to join me as I'm a football girlfriend widow. Who know's who I'll spy next!

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