October 8, 2015

Thoughts on a Thursday

Let's call this a mind dump. Just me dropping some knowledge on you and getting a few things off my chest.

If you follow me on Snapchat (which you should, my username is stephgregerson), you may have seen my professional dog walking skills. And then my dogs' serious rebellion skills. I saw this picture and then laughed my ass off.

Regarding the Toasted Graham Lattes at Starbucks: I've been wanting to try this for the last few weeks, but every barista I asked said that it was very sweet and I love "kind of " sweet. Today, the lovely young man behind the counter had a marvelous idea - no whip cream and one less pump of whatever sugary syrup they add. It is amazing. I finally feel basic. I loved it.

I just packed my suitcase for my weekend back in Minnesota and there are only three colors in it - maroon, black and forest green. I think I've finally figured out simplistic packing.

I feel left out every time a new iPhone comes out because I just can't afford upgrades as often as they come out. My new strategy is to get a new cover whenever I want a new phone so I can pretend. Turns out it works.

I wish I was leaf peeping again this year. Last year's trip was epic.

I think Dubsmash is the greatest Fantasy Football app ever. Confused? I'll explain. Our league does a whole bunch of shit talking. It makes everything super fun and there are lots of side bets. Dubsmash has become our creative way of sending messages. I will admit that sometimes I spend 15 minutes trying to really nail the lip syncing.

Rangers beat the Blackhawks and the Yankees lost. It's been a great sports week for me.

I decided to treat myself to a glass of champagne the other night... just because. Then the wind blew, the shades moved, the glass was knocked over and it was all over the couch and my laptop. The computer has sobered up now and is fine, but I swear that happens anytime I get excited about a treat myself cocktail.

Other quick confessions:
I'm watching Hart of Dixie on Netflix... for a second time. While we are on that topic, I watched the worst movie on Netflix the other night called Revenge of the Bridesmaids and I sat through the whole thing.
I ate pizza for 4 meals this week. I swear leftovers were involved. I'm thinking of being pizza for Halloween.
I finally bought the battery pack for my phone, mostly so I never have to be away from football scores and Instagram.
I splashed in puddles last weekend and it made me oh so happy.
I just keep staring at my sleeping dogs. I'm so obsessed with them.
I've started a few posts this week about current events and got so angry and nasty that I had to delete them. It might be time for a Facebook break again. I hate those.

I'm off to bed this evening. Well, let's call it "wind down" time. Tomorrow, we have the wedding season finale for 2015. Congrats to Tony & Caroline.

October 5, 2015

A Walk in the Woods & A Beer in a Tent

autumn at bear mountain

Life is completely crazy sometimes.

The best medicine for hours of computer staring, airports and conference calls is a day trip out of the city. You know, that nature thing.

We are not hard core hikers, but we love getting out and breathing in fresh air as often as possible. It feels good to get outside and sweat. What's even better is the food you can demolish afterwards without feeling even a little guilty.

Last weekend, our adventure took us to Bear Mountain to hike to the summit and then celebrate afterwards at Oktoberfest. The hike was about 2 hours for the loop we chose. The trek downhill was following the Appalachian Trail which was really cool to walk on, even for less than a mile.

hiking in new york

bear mountain upstate new york

hiking upstate new york

upstate new york

fall is coming

path less traveled


The Bear Mountain Inn is such a cool building. It's a quick hour long drive from New York City, but it looks like a great place to spend a weekend away.

Oktoberfest at Bear Mountain was a blast. They had great music, great beer and lots of stands with food and art and random goodies. The food line was crazy long, so if you're hungry, get there early. I'm so glad we went to celebrate. Prost!

And we obviously came home with candy - gourmet gummy bears. We are fighting hard to savor them as long as possible.

heitmann's gourmet specialities

Have you been to Oktoberfest anywhere this year?

October 1, 2015


Does anyone else feel September went super fast? October is here and so is the cooler air. The Pope is gone and Joaquin is possibly on the way. The picture below is from our trip through Southern Vermont last year. I'm determined to cross at least one covered bridge this fall too.

Currently, I'm...

Smelling the Lakeside Sunrise candle from B&BW. Autumn has officially arrived and like all basic b's out there, I will be burning candles non stop because this is the best season of scents.

Watching Real Housewives of Atlanta on Hulu. Old school Kim = LOL for days. Except I have that stupid Tardy for the Party song in my head now (and you might too now - sorry.) These women are all nuts and they are great entertain for me.

Cheering loudly for the Twins & the Mets. The Wildcard spot is still possible for MN and the Mets have clinched :) Also, Vikings football.

Chuckling about the articles circling around about the woman that got charged for RSVPing to a wedding and then not coming. You can read the NY Post article here. My biggest question is why the woman would call the media about this. Weddings can be expensive and people seem to not understand RSVPing today. I don't know about sending an invoice, but I can understand the frustration from both sides. I just think it's hilarious that it's being picked up by so many different news outlets.

Reading reactions of the Pope's visit to the United States. Everything was very positive until the Kim Davis secret meeting was discovered. Also, I'm still reading The Outlander. I'm hoping to have it done before this month's book linkup with Steph.

Eating Sea Salt caramels from Hudson Chocolates. I should really never buy an entire bag of these.

Beginning my holiday shopping. I know it seems early, but I'm determined to shop local this year for as much as possible and that means I actually have to leave my couch. I prefer to do that while it's nice outside.

Practicing my Spanish. I wish I would have learned this language as a kid, I've heard it's WAY easier.

Drinking coffee and wondering why every day isn't National Coffee Day. Can I just start making up days? Who is in charge of this?

Excited for the wedding season finale next weekend. Our good friends are getting married and we get to be there to celebrate. I'm hoping for the perfect fall day for them. Also, I play the groom in fantasy next week, so I'm hoping he forgets to update his roster for bye weeks.

Listening to Elvis Costello. His voice sounds like a sweater feels. Is that a weird description? Don't really care. In that same group, Van Morrison and Leon Bridges. Need a playlist?

I got to run. Honey Boo Boo has a rap video that I must watch before diving into work this morning. You can't make this stuff up. Tell me what you're up to.

September 29, 2015

Akureyri and Husavik: North Iceland Pt 2

The Northern part of Iceland is almost in the Arctic Circle, but don't let that scare you. I recommend a visit to the north for anyone going to Iceland. If you missed my recap of the first half, check that out and then come back.

Husavik is the place to go if you want to go Whale Watching. We visited for a morning walk and spent some time in the harbor, but the time of year wasn't the best for whale watching, so we skipped it this time. We enjoyed coffee and gift shop wandering. We also spent some time at the Whale Museum in town learning more about those gentle giants. The town is little, but it's definitely worth a stop.

Our base while in the north was Akureyri. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if I was saying it correctly. It is the second largest town in Iceland and a great place to stay while exploring. The town is very colorful, much like Reykjavik, and very walkable. We strolled through downtown and enjoyed the beautiful art on the walls. There are lots of restaurants to chose from and beautiful views of the surrounding hills. We were near the ski hill, but there wasn't enough snow left from the winter to test out the Icelandic slopes.

While staying in Akureyri, we were able to find a guesthouse called Skjaldarvik that offered horseback rides with beautiful views of the water and surrounding landscapes. We spent a few hours with our guide and a few other girls visiting from Spain. It was the best and I would definitely recommend it. The horses were incredible and we formed instant attachments.

After the ride, we were invited into the guesthouse for beer and coffee cake and hot chocolate. The staff at the guesthouse is from all different countries, so the conversation was fantastic. Hearing the different reasons people were drawn to Iceland made me even more grateful to be there.

I am getting to the end of our Iceland pictures and will be sharing the rest of them next week. Are you convinced yet that this needs to be on your travel bucket list?

September 24, 2015

Our First Date Recreated

Last night, Justin and I did something really special. We recreated our first date that happened more than 10 years ago.

In May 2005, we went to a Twins Game at the Metrodome and walked by the Mississippi River after the game laughing and talking. We didn't call it a date, but it was a perfect introduction to the greatest partnership. You can read more about that night by reading this post about a bet Justin made with me that night.

Sitting in Citi Field last night, it was crazy thinking about how life has changed over the last 10 years.  We aren't in Minnesota anymore. Instead of a walk by the Mississippi, we took our dogs on a late night walk along the Hudson River. We ate veggie dogs instead of regular hot dogs (thank you Citi Field for having some veggie options.) We drank beer. We could see the Long Island Medium sitting in the next section over (you're welcome for the photo mom.) We could afford seats that weren't on the very top level.

Even with all the differences, there are similarities too. We are still Twins fans above all other team, but the Mets are our #2. We are still on a mission to see all the ball parks in this country. We are still competing in our sports knowledge - and happen to play each other this week in fantasy. Things still feel new and exciting, although so comfortable at the same time. We still have a damn good time, even if our team loses.

We didn't really celebrate our anniversary this year because we were so busy in Minnesota. But I realized sitting next to my husband at the baseball game last night, that every time we recreate our first date, we are celebrating. And lucky for us, we get to do that multiple times each year.  It's crazy that a night at a baseball game can give me such a unique overview of the last 10 years... and give me an excuse to be so cheesy. Now, let's see if we can get some playoff action in this year.

What's your simple celebration? What helps you bring back memories?