Thanks to icanhascheezburger.com for the image!
We didn’t actually drive there, but you know. Doug and I are in the capitol city! See you soon, folks.
Thanks to icanhascheezburger.com for the image!
We didn’t actually drive there, but you know. Doug and I are in the capitol city! See you soon, folks.
It’s been forever since I posted. Suffice it to say that August was not a good month for our household – both Doug and I dealt with problem after problem. Hopefully things will start looking up going into September!
1. Two words – PUMPKIN CHAI.
2. I don’t take walks often enough around our property, but when I do, I try to find fun pictures. Really, I should just take more walks, especially before the weather turns bad.
3. I love the state fair. For those who don’t know, Minnesota makes a BIG F’ING DEAL about our fair. Food of every possible kind can be found at the fair. Music, shopping, more food, people-watching…it’s all great. I went today and treated myself to a corn dog, french fries, a crepe (I wait all year for this particular crepe), cookies, and root beer. Mmmm…
4. You all know I love bingo. This was better. A friend invited me to attend Pure Romance bingo – pay $10, get four cards for eight games, and win Pure Romance products when you win a round. I ended up winning the first game AND the last game, so I more than made up for my $10!
5. Every year since I was 5 (except when I was in California), I’ve gone to the Dakota County Fair. I used to show in 4-H all week, and now I indulge in yearly nostalgia and just visit. I went with my mom this year, and it was great to walk around with her since that was something we did together back in the day.
6. Yes, friends. I caught a double rainbow on camera. DOUBLE RAINBOW!
7. That whole rescheduled tubing party? Didn’t happen. Doug was recovering from a 5-day flu (thankfully, I never caught it) and we didn’t feel up to it. Instead, we had a pool party/grill-out. Only a couple of friends came, but it was very low-key and relaxing. Just what I had in mind.
8. THEY’RE BACK!!! Vanilla Joe-Joe’s from Trader Joe’s are about a billion times better than Oreos. No…they are a billion times better.
9. If you read my review of CHICAGO, then you already know that I was invited to participate in “blogger night” at the Ordway. In exchange for writing a review of the show, I received two free tickets. It was a great chance to see some theatre with a friend!
2. My cool g-ma got a lot of platelet transfusions throughout her 10 years of struggling with cancer, so I try to donate platelets when I can. Unfortunately, I’ve only done it twice, and unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction this last time and I have no idea why. But thankfully it didn’t show up until after I donated, so I was able to donate the complete amount! My platelets are suitable for kids who need transfusions, too, so there’s an added benefit. Interested in donating platelets? Get more info here.
3. Midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises (review here), the day of an all-day training. Enough said.
4. My cousin got married this month and had a charming country wedding. It was a good chance to catch up with family – and of course, watch my dearest cousin get hitched to her love.
5. My friend gave Doug and I last-minute tickets to the Twins. Such a good game!! We not only won, we scored a ton of home runs during the game. Perfect baseball day!
6. We were going to go to the drive-in for my birthday, but the movies were kind of crappy, so we had an impromptu grill-out and Cards Against Humanity night instead. Always fun!
7. Doug and I got a Groupon-type deal for two hours of archery. Holy crap, that was cool. Do you see that shot up there? Yeah, that was me. I rock.
8. What’s that? Doug playing with two insanely adorable kitties?? Why yes, that is! Doug and I went out to Wisconsin to spend a lovely, relaxing evening with a couple of friends. Kitties were one of the fantastic highlights. Screw babies, I have kitty fever.
9. I recently attended SVC‘s Sangria Sunset fundraiser. Although I didn’t win anything in the silent auction, it was a great chance to catch up with fellow volunteers and support an AMAZING organization.
Yes, this is three days late. It was my birthday on Monday, folks – I have an excuse. Birthday week ‘o fun! Stay tuned for more pics in July’s post. Anyway. You may also notice that the pictures are not the generic Google Images pictures that I normally use. I decided you all should expect more of me, so I’m now challenging myself to use only pictures that I’ve taken. If what’s going on is awesome enough for me to blog about, then I should be taking photos of it anyway! Okay, enough chatter.
1.Doug and I have found our new thing to do together – tennis! I always liked racquet sports, and Doug has found that he’s quite proficient at it. Right now, we’re evenly matched, which is great. Best of all, our apartment complex has a tennis court. Win. Unfortunately, it’s been too hot to play lately, but hopefully we’ll get to do so soon.
2. Last year, I struggled with deciding what to do for my birthday. Never again (at least while I’m living in Minnesota)! I took the advice of a colleague and decided to have an open night at a fun restaurant/bar where people could drop in whenever. I chose the Chatterbox Pub because they not only have great food, but they also have free board games and vintage video games for $2, and have a super fun, lighthearted atmosphere. Fan-freaking-tastic. Want a laid-back, fun birthday spot? Do it.
3. Remember waaaay back in October when I posted a billion pictures about my trip to DC? Remember the food truck celebration “Truckaroo”? No? No matter, because they had a food truck festival here in Minnesota! Granted, it wasn’t a huge celebration with all of the metro’s food trucks and live music, but I also didn’t have to wait over an hour in line. And the food was AMAZING. We had macaroni and cheese empanadas and tator tot nachos. In fact, I can’t leave you with just one picture of that.
Now wipe your drool away so we can move on.
4. Okay, my new favorite store is Patina. Seriously, best store ever. Also, how much do I love this magnet? (The answer is a LOT).
5. For the second year ever (of 12), our tubing party was canceled. This year it was canceled due to high water. My friends, Doug, and I stayed overnight at my parents’ house with the incredibly naive hope that they might reopen tubing on Saturday morning, but after I saw just how high the river still was by then, it made sense. We made do by touring Cannon Falls, getting some delicious bakery goods, playing games, and seeing lots of friends and family. Always a good time regardless of the setbacks!
6. I’ve been doing sexuality education for clients for four months now, but I finally got my full curriculum training in June. It sounds bad, but there aren’t that many of us and it’s two full days of training, so it needs to be worth the while. Have I mentioned how much I love trainings? I always leave feeling so encouraged and inspired! It didn’t hurt that somebody I really look up to was leading the training. Can I just attend trainings for work instead?
7. If you have to work super late on a Friday night, you might as well get to work at The Depot with your good friend. The Depot is a cute coffee shop in my town that is run by teens and young adults. How awesome is that? Oh, I was tabling for a CD release party. Meh. I mostly just liked the picture.
8. In the beginning of the month, I attended my 5-year college reunion. I’m not really sure why I decided to go back so soon, but I will say that it was great to see some old friends. I spent most of the day wandering around campus with Doug, who was a trooper. Some aspects pissed me off (here’s looking at you, waste of $40 Class of 2007 lunch), but overall, it wasn’t bad.
9. Remember how I kept mentioning that I was going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding in my May monthly post? Yeah, that happened. I don’t have any major pictures yet, so this one will have to do. It was a good time and I was very glad to share in my friend’s special day!
Was your June everything you’d hoped it would be?
A day late, but not a dollar short. You don’t pay money to read this, remember?
1. I had to start off my post with a massive proud shout-out to Doug. Yesterday, he had another poem accepted for publication!!! He’s only been writing for about 3 years, so the fact that he’s had 8 poems accepted is incredible. I am so, so proud of him.
2. Since my April cavalcade of pictures mentioned that I’m a bridesmaid in my friend’s upcoming wedding (next weekend!), you probably should have expected to see more about those festivities. Indeed, I attended her bachelorette party recently, and although I’m not a drinker, we had a pretty good time. I did learn that I really can’t drink alcohol anymore – I only had four drinks throughout the entire evening, none of which contained vodka, and I still was almost sick in the morning. No good.
3. I have this thing for french toast. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I do. It’s my goal to find the best french toast in the metro, mainly so I can continuously go back. Guess what? Challenge completed. I recently went to Edina Grill for brunch with coworkers and OH. MY. GOD. Best french toast I have ever had in my entire life. I cannot wait to go back. If it weren’t 9:21 at night, I would seriously consider getting some now that I’m thinking about it again. Mmm…
4. Doug and I like to go for walks around lakes that we haven’t been to before, so when we found ourselves with a good portion of a day together, we ended up walking around Lake Nokomis for a few hours. It was absolutely gorgeous, and rather peaceful. I love that tradition we’ve slowly started.
5. Today is actually my 3-year anniversary with Dougley, but I worked all day and he worked tonight, so we decided to celebrate last night instead. We wanted to try something new, and I’ve been wanting to try eating sushi again, so we decided to have dinner at Fuji-Ya. I was particularly keen on trying raw tuna for the first time since I’ve always been a fish hater, but lately I’ve been able to handle tuna fish and such. I am pleased to say that tuna nigiri (a piece of raw tuna on a bed of rice) works just fine for me. Doug also tried all new items, so it was a great experience for both of us. I still am not a huge fan of Japanese cuisine, but I loved having the experience of it with him. Yay anniversary!
6. I was incredibly excited to attend the annual Teenwise Conference for the first time this year. Teenwise is an incredible organization focusing on adolescent sexual health, so you can understand I would be so jazzed about attending a 2-day conference for work. It was AMAZING. The excitement that comes from being around a huge group of peers who clearly care about the work that you care about is simply incomparable. Beyond that, I learned a ton of information that I was able to incorporate into my work. I can’t wait to attend again next year!
7. For Mother’s Day this year, my mom and I decided to do something simple and fun, and meet in the middle of where we live, so we decided to have lunch at one of her favorite Chinese restaurants. I had never been before, so it was fun to get to try someplace new and celebrate with her. I had cashew chicken, which is always a favorite of mine. No, the picture is not of my food, but it was tasty.
8. As you may know, I have two moms. Therefore, I celebrated Mother’s Day twice last month. To celebrate with my stepmom, I joined her, my dad, and my grandmother for a lovely evening out in downtown Stillwater at The Dock. The weather was perfect and the view was amazing. I never realized how cute and quaint downtown Stillwater was! All in all, it was a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend!
9. The Science Museum of Minnesota is currently featuring an exhibit about pirates, so my friend and I decided to check it out. It was okay, but to be honest, it wasn’t as amazing as we’d hoped. A crew had located a shipwreck and many of the pieces were on display, which was cool, but there was very little about the sociological aspect of piracy and more about this specific, lesser-known crew. That being said, it was still a fun evening, so no harm done.
What was a highlight for you in May?
1. Just last Saturday, I went through a Green Dot Bystander Training through SVC. What is Green Dot? Well, it’s a fantastic violence prevention strategy that works for any personality type. Think of a violent act, or something that could lead to a violent act, as a “red dot”. In these situations, you’ve got the perpetrator and the victim…who’s left? EVERYONE ELSE! There are so many things that we can do to prevent violence in our communities. When we see it happen, we can tell someone in charge or get a group together. We can distract the people in the situation to diffuse it. We can confront those involved directly if we feel comfortable. It doesn’t require supreme levels of courage – it just requires a wish to help another human being. What if the person being hurt was someone you loved? The training was incredibly engaging and motivating – I highly encourage you to check out the next one!
2. I’m a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding this June, so I’ve been trying to be engaged in all of the pre-events and prep work before then. She had her bridal shower this month, which was lovely. I’m quite sad because she and her soon-to-be husbo are moving to Florida right after the wedding, but I suppose that just gives me an excuse to visit!
3. Just two hours ago, I donated blood for my work-sponsored blood drive. In the past, I would donate blood very quickly, partly due to nerves and partly due to not eating enough before I came to donate. The last time I donated, I started out lying down, and that really helped. I decided to try that again this time, but apparently I hadn’t eaten enough hearty food, because I got quite dizzy and nauseated after I donated this time. I think I’m just not cut out for whole blood donation – I’ll stick with giving platelets. Have you donated lately?
4. April was a HUGE month for me at work. The third week of April is National Volunteer Week, so we host our annual volunteer appreciation event during this week. In past years, it’s been fun, but I wanted to make it a big deal this year. The theme was “You’re a Rockstar!” It was an incredibly successful evening, with almost 50 attendees, delicious food, and fantastic entertainment by ComedySportz. That being said, it was quite exhausting. But totally worth it.
5. In case you didn’t know, April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Since I volunteer with SVC, a fantastic sexual assault advocacy agency, this issue is near and dear to me. To help spread awareness and recognize survivors of sexual assault, I attended a candlelight vigil hosted by SVC. It was a lovely evening of music, stories, and sharing. Please consider supporting the important work of SVC either through volunteering or donating.
6. I finally treated myself to an amazing massage earlier this month with my awesome friend, Kimberly. She had never had a massage before, and I had two 50% the first massage coupons, so it was an ideal match. It was SO good. I was incredibly tense from a lot of work stress, so my massage therapist ended up spending most of the hour working on knots in my shoulders, but it still felt great. I definitely need to find a way to do that more often. Mmmm…
7. I also got my bridesmaids dress fitted this month. Why is that exciting enough to be in the monthly pictures? Well, dear readers, I purchased my dress right at the beginning of my Weight Watchers journey. When I went in to have it fitted, I had dropped at least one whole size! They took in about an inch from both sides of my dress, all the way down. What a fantastic feeling! I just hope I don’t drop too much before June…otherwise my dress isn’t going to stay on. =/
8. Thanks to my dear friend, Sarah, I learned about the amazing store that is Flamingos Divine Finds. Flamingos is a retro/antique/vintage shop that’s open five days each month. They have adorable finds at great prices! I was lucky enough to score a cigar table for Doug, which was a great find since he’s been looking for one since we moved last August. If you’re in the Minnesota metro area, definitely check this place out!
9. I took my very first spinning class this month with the lovely Sarah. Oh. My. God. It’s killer. My legs were sooo sore over the next couple of days. But we both made it through the class, which was the goal! It sounds like we’re going to have a free 30-minute spinning class just for my colleagues and I – should be pretty sweet. Minus the wrenching leg pain afterward.
Any big happenings for you in April?
1. In the beginning of the month, Doug and I had dinner with my parents at Khan’s Mongolian Barbeque. I hadn’t been there before, but this place is amazing. Great food that you can put together yourself, made fresh in front of you; fun, upbeat atmosphere, entertaining server – all of it was great. If you can go, go.
2. Obviously, I love Dr. Seuss. I mean, come on. Therefore, you can understand why my mom and I went to see The Lorax. I wasn’t sure what to expect – Dr. Seuss movie adaptations aren’t always the best – but it was quite well-done. It was cute, lighthearted, and refreshing with a good message for kids and the world.
3. Okay, I didn’t really watch cartoons all month, but I did have a Disney day with a couple of friends. Well, it was supposed to be a Disney day, but by the time we got snacks and pizza, we only had time for one movie, so we watched The Aristocats since my friend had never seen it and it’s my favorite. Still a good night!
4. See that? Oh, yeah, I painted that. My friend got us a discount on a 2-hour painting class at Chaos Mai Art Studio. It was fantastic. It was just the two of us, so the class was incredibly focused. Mai (the artist/owner) was an ideal teacher – she taught us how to do the right brush strokes and how to create what we wanted, even though we were each working on something completely different. I would highly recommend it.
5. The best part of my entire month? My new role at my job! I absolutely love the client education I’m doing. The kids are awesome. One comment? “You’re fun to talk to.” Score!
6. If you recall, readers who have stuck with me, I used to coach high school speech. Unfortunately, my work schedule is unpredictable and all over the place now, so I don’t have the ability to do so anymore, but I did get to squeeze in a day of judging at my home school’s tournament. It was great to see the kiddos and coaches. I miss it sometimes, but judging is a good way to keep a toe in that world.
7. Last night, I had a Pure Romance party. I’ve been wanting to host one for a long time and my cousin newly became a consultant, so it worked out well. I have over $100 of products that I want to order, so hopefully more people will put in an outside order (hint, hint – if you want something, talk to me and I’ll get you hooked up!) so I can afford everything I want.
8. After a couple of years of wanting to participate in Pro-Choice Resources annual Bowl-A-Thon, I finally got involved! My colleagues have participated for years, so I joined their team. Although it was a rough time for a few teammates, so we had a smaller team than expected, it was still really fun. Plus it made me realize that I miss bowling. Who knew?
9. Lastly, a friend and I went to Park Square Theatre to see American Family a few weeks ago. She and I have seen quite a few shows together, but I must say, this one was the best we’ve seen together. The actors, especially the girl, were fantastic and the storyline was powerful. Park Square always puts on a great show, but this one was probably my favorite from them.
What’s happened for you this month?
1. As you can probably tell from my latest Music Monday post, I am currently head over heels for Florence + The Machine. I finally got the CD from the library last week and have been listening to it nonstop.
2. I got a massage last month. Ooh, ahh, fantastic. Not the best one I’ve had, but it still felt good.
3. Nope, I’m not at a new organization, but I do have a bit of a new job! I moved positions within my organization, so I’m now doing clinic education as well as volunteer management. I just had my training today and I’m super excited to get started!
4. No, sadly, I didn’t get a kitty. Unfortunately, that’s my way of saying I’ve had this huge stack of books to read that have not gotten read. For some reason, I just couldn’t get myself interested in them. I finally started reading “Boy Meets Boy” by David Leviathan a couple of days ago and am really enjoying it. Hopefully I can get myself back into it.
5. If only that were my closet…I still don’t own that many shoes (or have a lovely space to put them), but I did buy a couple of pairs this month! I finally caved and bought a lovely cobalt blue heel that matches my coat, and then also a pair of black kitten pumps. My new job requires closed-toed shoes, so I figured I had an excuse.
6. Oh, yeah, I’ve scored about a billion cardigans in the past couple of months, too. In late December, remember how my friend and I made big time at a local Goodwill? I went back and found five more cardigans this month. Amazing.
7. I could always just have a random picture of otters and it would always be relevant. But this picture actually symbolizes my transition from old Facebook layout to Facebook timeline. The adorable image shown above is also my cover picture. Okay, fine, I couldn’t think of a last thing to talk about – it’s been a somewhat monotonous month. Any excuse for otters is a good one.
8. I’ve probably said this at some point, but for some reason, I decided to start re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix. Our instant queue is filled with TV shows and movies I’ve never seen and want to watch, but when it came down to it, I just wanted to watch Buffy. Someday I’ll own the series, but for now, Netflix it is.
9. I think that explains it all. I’ve been working a lot of weekends recently (one day during three of the four weekends in February). Hopefully that will change with the new position. Of course, I’ll probably just fill my time up with other things that make me wake up early – like this weekend, I’m judging a speech tournament and doing a painting class with a friend. Such is (busy) life.
What have you been up to in Feburary?
Instead of having a list of current happenings every so often (read: when I remember), I decided to get visual and describe my month in pictures. Try it! No, really, try it.
1. Yes, that’s a box of tissues. I was completely laid out in the beginning of the month with a nasty head cold. For the first time in history (my history, anyway), my cold did not move to my chest. It was a miracle, but it still had me knocked down on the couch for a few days. No fun.
2. This speaks for itself. Plus how adorable is that kitten???
3. I have been so into olive clothing since I realized last month that the color olive looks amazing on me. Thanks to some amazing finds at Goodwill and Nordstrom Rack, I’ve now got a few olive dresses and olive tights. I’m hoping to add a cardigan to my mix, or perhaps some shoes, and I’ll be set.
4. In the last few days of the month, I’ve decided to pick up pilates again. When I tried pilates in the past, I struggled. Pilates is intense. Now that I’ve been lifting weights for a year and a half, however, I figured I was up to the task. I was right. It’s only been three days, but I quite enjoy pilates now. Funny what a year and half of exercise can do (and not do).
5. Doug and I have been watching a few things this month (like Six Feet Under), but for some reason, we decided to gradually watch the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. In fact, we’re finishing up the third movie now.
6. Early in the month, I stumbled across Goldfrapp, a fantastic electronica trip-hop band. Amazingly, this band is made up of two members and is entirely played via synthesizer. Wondering what they sound like? Check out my Music Monday post featuring Goldfrapp.
7. I finally gave up my Victoria’s Secret PINK nalgene and get a new one without BPA since I finally found out exactly what BPA does (increases estrogen production). Plus they were on sale.
8. You should know that I love me some dessert. I found this recipe for Lemon Cheesecake Yogurt Cups and knew I had to try it (my favorite cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory is the Lemon Raspberry). They are phenomenal. I used raspberries instead of blackberries, but they don’t even need them – they’re good on their own. And they’re only 3 points! What?
9. Oh, hey, I joined Weight Watchers. One full week on it and so far so good! I go to my first meeting tomorrow and get weighed in, so we’ll see where things go from there.
What stands out for you in January?
I figured it might be good to do a currents post since I haven’t updated much in November. And it’s nearing mid-November. Naughty. Anyway, here are some current happenins’:
Books I’m reading:
What I’m watching:
I’m also watching in real time (read: after it airs online): Castle, Glee, and Ringer.
Plays I’ve seen:
Things I’m looking forward to:
What are your current happenings?