March 29, 2013

Man Flu + Human League

Karaoke makes my world go 'round.  I am not a good singer, but I love the feeling I get when I hold a microphone and yell words to a crowd of drunk people who are laughing at me smiling at me.  In college, our favorite bar had karaoke Wednesdays.

Anna and I didn't have class until 2 on Thursdays, so we would pool together all of our loose change and dollar bills and head to the bar.  We would dump it out for Luke (our favorite bartender) and he would feed us pitchers of beer all night.  If we were lucky and the owner was there, he would buy us shots if we would karaoke the Cheers theme song.

Because of these fond memories of Wednesday nights, I am always curious about people's go-to karaoke song.  Do you have one?

This is mine:

That is my song for #backthatazzup Friday.  If you haven't participated yet, you must.  It's the best way to get through Fridays.

What else is happening?  My husband has the flu - the man version.  This is still one of my favorite blog posts ever - Why "Man Flu" really is worse.  Even better, I sent that to my husband when I read it initially and he decided to comment on my comment.  So embarrassing.  At least Jen's husband seemed to think it was entertaining.

He's at home - finally starting to feel better, but I continue to agree with everything she says about the Man Flu.  He is also too weak to retaliate.   

Happy Easter weekend!

March 28, 2013

Halfway to 10,000 hits

10k what?  Hits on my blog.  I just hit the halfway point.  Whoop.

I am no pro at this whole thing.  I barely even knew how to add a picture in last year, so the fact that this is still going is a BIG FREAKING DEAL.

Why 10,000?  Because I thought it would be impossible and it would be fun to figure this whole blogging thing out.

My journey:

I have always been a little jealous when my friends pull out their old diary's and laugh about the funny things they said in their junior high years.  I was never lucky enough to have a little diary with a tiny lock and an even tinier key.  Let's be real, I would have lost the key and probably had to break the diary open with a hammer.  That would have been enough excitement for me and it would have been shoved in my closet never to be seen again.

A couple years ago, I attempted to start a blog.  I figured it would be an easy way to capture some of my favorite moments and read them later in life.  If you click on the posts from 2006 in the archive, you will see how well that went.  I tried again right after we got married.  I thought it would be sweet to document our lives as newlyweds - and then I realized that our lives consisted of watching TV and sitting on different patios... not that exciting.

Right around Christmas 2011, I decided that I wanted to start a blog to document my 30 before 30 list.  I wanted to laugh about my adventures in becoming an adult... I know, I'm almost 28 and still pretend like I'm on this "journey."  One of the things I included was to get 10,000 hits on my blog.  That number seemed like light years away.  I read a few blogs all the time, but had never commented.  I felt like I was a weirdo that was creeping on other people's lives, and I'm already at super stalker level on Facebook.  If you're looking for a few to stalk, click on any of the links on the side of my page - no one pays me for that, I just like them.

I made it a whole year and was extremely excited.  I imported my failed attempts at blogging so they would be in one place.  I got a few random comments here and there.  I was most excited when some friends of mine wrote their 30 before 30 lists: Katie's ListChelsea's List and Kelsey's List.

It is so much fun to encourage others to participate in new adventures and setting goals - whether they are realistic or not.  I get even more excited when I have the same item on my list like some of the lists I've found in blog land.  Here are a few of my blog land favorites:

Erin @ Love, Fun and Football - I may or may not comment weekly on my jealousy that her Disneyworld trip is coming up and mine is over.
Katie @ Strawberry Halls Forever

On this blogging journey, I have found that I really like writing random thoughts down somewhere each day.  Sometimes I do it at work while drinking coffee when I need a break from spreadsheets and emails, many times I write something on my couch at night (maybe after a glass of wine) and then reread and edit in the mornings before posting and sometimes I take a break while on vacation to write down notes on things I don't want to forget.

It is getting more exciting because hitting this mark means that people are actually reading my random thoughts.  So...

Thanks Mom for clicking on the link I email you every once in a while.

Thanks Dad for being proud of me and thinking that this post was funny and sharing it with your friends.

Thanks to all my girlfriends that randomly check this and send me funny texts/emails.

Thanks to my sister-in-law's for giving me a million awesome memories to write about.

Thanks J for making me watch Top Gun and laughing when I'm trying to be funny.

Thanks Kaitlyn for giving my blog a makeover.  I love it.  (find her here)

Last but not least, thanks to those of you that have never met me yet you comment on my ramblings and help me know that I'm not totally crazy.  I'm sometimes a little angry, especially when I have to be a superhero, but I'm not crazy.

"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." - William James

Toby's Tails

March 27, 2013

Insta-Gratitude Week 13

My dog ate a bird this morning.  I guess that's my disgusting sign that spring is coming.  I was on the phone with my husband, making my coffee and I look outside and see my dog eating something.  I thought it was poop, but when I went outside to get him, I realized it had feathers.  I'll leave the dead body for Justin to retrieve and I'm going to get my dog some dental bones and new shampoo on my lunch break today.  Gross.

To get that disgusting image out of your head, I bring to you my nieces as Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift putting on quite the concert last night:

Here are the things I was thankful for this week:

The sun is out longer and it is so much nicer after work.  I can get a run in and make dinner before it's dark out.  Just a month ago, the sun would have been setting when I was getting home.

This was such a beautiful sunrise.  Plus, the temperature was higher than 20 degrees when we left for work.

Brackets and beer with my husband.  Remember when Harvard won?  That was the only thing I seem to have done right on my bracket.  I'm failing miserably, but it is still fun to participate.

It's always fun when we have a first timer at Bingo.  Leah was able to join us for the afternoon of shenanigans.  Plus, she brought my husband an early birthday present to help him with his 30 before 30 list (he's down to just two months to complete everything.)

Another sign of spring, Conny's Creamy Cone is open for the season.  We took the dogs down there so we could indulge in fried mac & cheese wedges and a Reese's flurry.  And yes, that hot pink sign says 26 different flavors of soft serve.  Obsessed.

I actually got home from work and was motivated to do a little spring cleaning.  I think it's the fact that the sun was still up and I just stocked up on the Method all-purpose cleaner, which is my favorite.  Pink grapefruit and Clementine are the best scents ever.

Last night, I was driving home from the northern suburbs and had a moment at a stop light to take this picture.  The moon was so beautiful.  I spent the night with my sisters and the girls making spaghetti and I wasn't looking forward to the long drive home to an empty house.  The moon was just so pretty and it helped my mood change a little.  I definitely jammed out to the original Wagon Wheel and sang my whole way home.

March 26, 2013

MN Love

I am a tad bit in love with my homeland.  I know that Minnesota gets a reputation for being cold and snowy all the time, but it's not.  The people here do not all talk like the characters in Fargo.  So, as much as I love traveling to new places, I also love a good staycation.

Here are my top 10 favorite things about MN:

10.  MN sports fans.  Have you ever heard of the phrase Minnesota nice?  I think it applies nicely to our sports fans.  Not in the way you might think though.  Trust me, you do NOT want to get in the middle of an argument between a Packer fan and a Vikings fan.  No, they aren't necessarily nice to rival teams or even one another during or after the games.  Our fans are extremely nice to our own teams.

Most people would have deserted the Vikings, Timberwolves, Twins and the Wild by now.  Our last championship (in men's sports - the women are awesome) was 1991 when the Twins won the World Series.  The fans stick around though knowing that it will come around again someday.  Fans that stick with losing teams are loyal and I'm proud to consider myself a loyal fan.

9.  Food & Drink.  We are the home of Spam (sick.)  I don't eat meat, but I do eat fish sometimes.  Minnesota is known for Walleye.  I love to try Walleye anytime I'm up north.  Also, beer.  One of our favorite up & coming breweries is Fulton Beer in Minneapolis.

It's always a fun atmosphere with tapped kegs, a variety of food trucks and sometimes some live entertainment.  Lots of good beer is made here.

8.  Target.  It started here.  I actually shop at store #1 - it has been rebuilt in the last few years, but still the original site of the original Target.  Plus, I love Target Field.

7.  Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  Haven't heard of it?  It's one of the most peaceful places in the country.  Cell phones get no service.  Boats with motors are not allowed.  It's just you, your camping equipment, your canoe and a whole lot of Loons (our state bird.)

6.  Famous people.  We don't have many, so each one that we have, we cherish.

Sources 123456, and 7

Yes, we love you even if you change your name to a symbol, you marry Kim Kardashian for love (?), or you are Paul Bunyan.  Jesse Ventura was our governor, so seriously, we support anyone and everyone that shows any love for this state.

5.  MN Parties.  There are some seriously awesome festivals here.  Most recently, I've posted about St. Patrick's Day in St. Paul and the St. Paul Winter Carnival, but there are tons of fun things that happen.  We have the Uptown Art Fair, the MN Renaissance Festival, Grand Ole Day, the original Zombie Pub Crawl, and the best one (see #4).  These pictures are St. Pat's last year.

4. The Great MN Get Together.  The MN State Fair is among the largest in the whole country.  We invented deep fried food on a stick.  It is a 12 day party around Labor Day weekend with the best people watching ever.  It's like Disneyworld meets Honey Boo Boo.  I don't know where these people come from because I don't see them when we're out and about the rest of the year, but there are fanny packs, Zubaz and matching family outfits.  They have a midway, a beer garden, an international bazaar, the "miracle of life" (where you watch farm animals give birth - no joke) and a million other things to do.  Last year, Wilson Phillips and Dawes played free shows at the fair (two totally different bands, but I love them both.)

You haven't really lived until you've gotten a "Fair-Do."

3.  Lakes.  We are the Land of 10,000 Lakes - but it's actually more like 15,000.  I love to be out on the water.  We have everything from Lake Superior - the largest of the Great Lakes - down to Como Lake which is the little man-made lake by my house.

2.  The Twin Cities.  If you know me at all, you know that I love St. Paul more than Minneapolis, but how awesome is it that I live within 10 minutes of two large cities?  They are both very unique from one another.

St. Paul

1.  All 4 Seasons.  I'll say it a million times.  I love having four seasons.  Yes, I'm annoyed that it hasn't magically become spring yet around here, but watching the snow start to melt and knowing that the Farmer's Market will be picking up soon, I love it.  There is a million things to do no matter what the weather.  I loved Florida, but I need snow for Christmas and I like skiing.  I love California, but I need a humid 95 degree day to be on the boat - mosquitos or not.

So, that's my Travel Tuesday.  Beer, Target, Prince and Food on a Stick - what more could you need?

Helene in Between

March 25, 2013


Bingo was his name - OH!

I love Bingo.  I realize that it makes me sound like an 85 year old woman, but there is a bar/restaurant in our neighborhood that started doing bar bingo one Saturday each month and the jackpot is $1000.  They also do a meat raffle (love MN), merchandise raffle and other ridiculous giveaways and prizes throughout the day.  Plus, $1 margaritas and $7 pitchers of our favorite beers, how could you go wrong?

My weekend pretty much centered around this activity on Saturday.  Friday night, we hung out with friends and the boys played bongo drums and the girls watched Overboard.  We all got mad when Georgetown lost.

Saturday morning, I tried to go for a run.  I ran a quick mile and then I just wasn't feeling that great.  Since I was about 1.5 miles from my house, I got in a nice slow walk in the sunshine and it felt wonderful.  Not sure if my body just needs a little break from running or if it was just a bad day, but my walk was absolutely lovely and I got in some good healthy vitamin D.

Bingo time came and the bar was hopping.  They had people of all ages.  The problem was they let the bingo game last for 4 hours and by the end, people around us were pretty intoxicated... and it was 4:30 PM.  Katie won a basket with a bottle of Jameson.  We won some pull tabs and Justin even won a round of bingo.  We hung close to home in case my mom needed a ride home from the airport.

Leah was in town and able to come for her first Bingo experience.  Plus, one of my oldest friends and her husband were able to get a little afternoon away from their 3 month old to participate in the shenanigans.  We laughed uncontrollably throughout the whole afternoon.  The best part was - we made a profit on the weekend with our winnings.

Sunday, we had breakfast with my mom to hear about her week in Mexico.  She filled us in on some things that happen in all-inclusive resorts that we were totally unaware of.  My favorite was the "tequila volleyball" where they use a bug spray contraption filled with Tequila instead of bug spray and they spray it into your mouth.  She claims she didn't participate, but I'll be combing through Facebook to try and find some evidence.  Her friends joined the party and we turned breakfast into lunch.  Since I have no photos of her Mexico trip yet, I'm including this... my mom & her friends (plus some add in's from the Hangover 2 "photobooth" app.)

After lunch, Justin & I finished season 1 of Homeland.  Holy crap.  That show is awesome.  I'm so sad I didn't wait a few years though.  Now I have to wait until season 2 comes out on DVD in August.  Waiting patiently is not my forte.  We finished up our evening with a walk to Creamy Cone for the best ice cream ever and then watched Ted... which was horrible.  I was so bored the whole movie and didn't really find any of it funny.

So here we are at Monday again.

My March Madness bracket is no good, I have to clean my house this week and I'm at least 5 days behind on laundry.

Good news = our trip to Chicago is in 2 1/2 weeks, I have a sister night tomorrow with both sissies and 3 of my nieces, we are hosting Easter brunch and the Easter bunny is going to make deliveries to my house for the kids and tonight is the season finale of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

March 22, 2013

Can't Touch This - My Vegas Souvenir

I love this song... about once a year.  It gets old kind of fast, but I have a shirt that says "Can't Touch This" and it brings back awesome memories, so here you go:

This picture was taken on a spring break vacation in 2007 when we were seniors in college.  We decided that a bunch of poor college girls belong in Vegas for spring break.  We ate a lot off the dollar menu and pretended to play penny slots while drinking as much as possible for free.  We purchased liquor off the strip to drink in our hotel rooms to save some money.  We took advantage of every single free attraction on the strip.  It is possible to do Vegas on a budget and it's so fun when you're with your best girl friends.

We got to our last morning at the Monte Carlo.  We weren't feeling that great and we all had to get on a flight to head back to cold and snowy MN.  We each did a bank account check to see if we were in the negative and magically we had some money left over.  Did we return home and pay for our gas to get back to school?  Nope, we knew our parents would help with that.  We bought XXXL matching pink "Vegas" shirts from the CVS, 16 oz Miller Lites and we ordered a limo to the airport.  It's not our fault that we have class.

These shirts are amazing and although they never fit (and I hope they never do), I can't bring myself to ever get rid of it.  Every time I catch a glimpse in my closet, it takes me back to that limo ride and the best (and only) spring break vacation I ever took.  Love you girls!  VIVA!!!!

Bottle in my band, camera case (?) around my neck - straight BALLIN' - This should help any new readers understand why I'm on a mission to insert a little more class into my life.  College did some weird things to me.

Happy Friday!

March 21, 2013

The Danger Zone

Who hasn't seen Top Gun?  Apparently, I was the ONLY person in America that had never seen it.  Yep, I was even called a "freedom hater."  So sue me.  I am NOT a Tom Cruise fan and I know I'm not the only hater out there.

Top Gun just so happens to be one of Justin's favorite movies, so he was horrified that I had missed out on this epic 80's movie.  Over time (8 years), I finally decided that I would add it to my 30 before 30 list and make it happen.

They opened it in 3D in theaters for 4 days in February, so I told Justin about it and we made a date for the day we returned from Disneyworld.  I had finally decided that enough junk food, 80's music, cheesy montages and Val Kilmer could make any Tom Cruise movie at least a 5 out of 10.  I was right.  I thought the movie was OK.  I had a few moments that I was ready to break out into song.

My favorite things about the movie included:

Val Kilmer - I've always loved him.

Meg Ryan - Love her and her short hair.

Character names - Iceman, Goose, Maverick, Viper, Cougar - I know I'm late getting on this train, but I would love a nickname like Iceman.  I think I might start calling myself that and see if anyone catches on.

Aviators & Bomber Jackets - American classics, even though both look bad on me.

My salty pretzel (I always get one at movies).

Men playing volleyball - I said I love Val Kilmer.

Soundtrack - SUPER cheesy, but that's the best part about most 80's movies

See, I can have a mini love fest for this classic.  Now, what didn't I love about this movie?  What made it only a "like" and not a "love" like everyone else?  The one and only, Tom Cruise.  He makes me crazy.  Plus, it was 3D on the big screen - I could see up his big nose on more than one occasion.  The love making scenes made me want to vomit.  If I made the movie, I would keep everything the same and make one small change.

Rob freaking Lowe  - Deal with it.  If you love Tom Cruise, don't hate me.  

Have you seen Top Gun?  Do you wish you could change a character in a classic movie?

Simple Southern Ways

March 20, 2013

Insta-Gratitude Week 12

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."     -Epictetus

It's the first day of spring and the current temperature is 5 degrees.  Yikes.  I'm dreaming of drinks on patios, early morning jogging (I said dreaming), tulips, a vegetable garden and baseball games.  March is always a rough month for me because it just doesn't seem to end.  I need to pull it together and get over it.  Mother Nature feels like being a little bit of a bi-otch this year and there isn't much I can do.  So, here's my last week and the things that I was thankful for:

A night at home with just me and the dogs, watching Bravo and doing all of the above. #treatyoself
Taking another out of town visitor to the Gopher Bar - one of my favorite dives in all of MN. 
He returned home after a week away.  I know it isn't that long, but he was missed.
Our "first place" medals from the Get Lucky 7k.  I had so much fun celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year, even though I didn't get to spend the WHOLE day in St. Paul.
Sunday AM breakfast with most of the family.  Pancakes from dad, cupcakes from Jen and Juice & YUMchata from us.
A very interesting trip to the grocery store, especially coming home with Cap'n Crunch and Lucky Charms.
The most hilarious lunch date.  This is J doing his Michael Jackson face... I have no explanation.  
Now, I'm going to go and wait for spring and be jealous of all my friends that live in warmer places... I love winter, but I'm kind of over it.  I'm officially on the bandwagon of people who use social media to bitch about the weather.  Sorry I'm NOT sorry.