Dresses and Dairy Delights

We could most likely call this summer, the wedding summer. The summer of dresses, and shoes and flowers, cakes and cocktails.  The summer of love and families joining and the meeting of so many new to me people.

With a good 8 or 9 weddings on the calendar, and with so many out of town, why not turn them into weekends of exploration too?

Like hopping into cheese shops along the way to Green Bay, WI.  Tucked into the plethora of cows and farms during the drive, one must explore the dairy delights.

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Did you know cheese curds were meant to be eaten at room temp? You know, to optimze the squeak in your mouth……..

Post devouring squeaky cheese curds, one must put down a few beers.

At Titletown Brewery of course. Just avoid the food. Until last Friday, I did not think it possible to screw up bacon wrapped brats.  It happened. Just have the beer.

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The only way to recover from mismanaged bacon would be a trip to Lambeau Field the next morning. Obvious I guess when dating a packer fan. Ultimate gesture of Romance?

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Did anyone notice my purple tank top….? #skol

 Continuing on this road of recovery calls for the famous Green Bay Bloody Mary; from St. Brendans Inn.

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Next stop on the adventure? A butter burger from Krolls.  Literally a slab of butter is cooked into the burger and shall commence dripping down your hands once eating. The ulitmate diary indulgence.

And because Lambeau Field, Bloody Marys and a butter burger are the only way to properly prep for a wedding, off we went, fully preped and “dairy-ified”.

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Do you have weddings to attend this summer?

Lets Break a Rule

A little fun fact about me.  I don’t break the rules. I cannot handle the enormous guilt I experience when doing so.

I follow the rules and I most likely annoying others about them.

Perhaps this explains my career choice?

You know, the law and such.

Perhaps this holds me back from having a bit more fun? Perhaps I miss out on fully experiencing things because of that little angel of good on my shoulder, poking me, shaking its head and laying out every almost impossible negligence scenario in my head.

I blame my Torts Professor.

With all of this in mind, imagine my reaction to the “Trail Closed” sign while hiking last weekend. My frozen pause, my we shouldn’t do this look.  My ok, lets turn back now attitude. Turn back we did.  No amount of convincing was going to get me to change my mind.

No, none at all.  And as we walked back down the trail, other hikers were headed past us. Brazenly moving the sign away and traipsing up that hill (bluff).

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I’m quite convinced my thought process could be overheard, as that little angel of good kept poking my shoulder, shaking its head and my desire to try the new and explore arguing back.

It took a mere four people nonchalantly passing the sign to convince me to break the rules.  All the while every ridiculous tragedy scenario running through my head. ( It never goes away. never)

Break the rules we did.

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Rule breaking required shopping and pizza.  But of course.

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Have you been to Red Wing, MN? It is a town that calls for exploring. A day trip, a weekend, just go. I could spend hours in and out of the shops, sampling the beers and O! The St. James Hotel, I would love to spend a night there. Who is in for a weekend trip with me to Red Wing?

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I promise to consider breaking a few more rules, key word, consider 🙂

The Greenie

As Spring creeps in, the weekend days get longer.. and so does my appetite for adventure.

To explore and hop into places I’ve never been.

Northeast Minneapolis is full of such places.

Despite living so close to many of my “undiscovereds”only when the snow begins to melt do I get this re-energized need to discover.

Discover I did last weekend.

A group of us finally made to a legendary dive bar.

A dive bar known for its kool-aid-ish, make you crazy type of a drink. (Note I did not get crazy, merely craved some post drink late night scallops. Normal, right?)

I do not even want to know what is it in.  But post drink, that frozen pizza served all over the bar was smelling mighty delicious.  Like I was seriously tempted to grab a slice of that processed peperoni off of my neighbor’s (read stranger’s) pie.

The bar was hopping at like 5pm and the people watching was over the top.  The Greenies (and the Pinkies) were a flowing.

And I can finally say I’ve had the famous Greenie of Northeast at Tony Jaros River Garden.

 Nothing like a green drink to usher in my spring 🙂

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Have you been?

Birthdays and Kumquat Trees..

When you turn 36, I hear Kumquat trees are the perfect gift.

At least for some 🙂

Yes there’s a back story there, one of lasagna and jokes, cocktails and kumquat upside down cake.

Which naturally leads one to purchase a kumquat tree for a birthday present.

Normal, right?

Yeah, I bought a kumquat tree.

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It was a weekend of birthdays and accidents.

A weekend of wine and Bolognese.

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Baby showers and sperm poems.

Yes, I wrote a poem that may or may not have included sperm jokes.

Bring back the weekend already?!

How was yours?

Get the Scallops

A weekend back in my adopted city and I learned something new.

A new mantra… a new moto.

Get the scallops.

Why you ask?  Are they good?

Well, actually I’ve never had them…. But!

Rae is convinced, you must get the scallops everywhere you go.

 I’m going to intrepret, “Get the Scallops” as more of a try the new mantra.

Is it good? Should you do it?

Have you been there before?

Absolutely you should. How will you know if you never try?

As spring creeps in I suggest you try the new. Go get lost and explore.

So while this may be the mindset and blog intention for me for quite some time…

I suggest you…

Try the Scallops already 🙂

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Also, if you are living in or visiting Milwaukee, GO TO ODD DUCK.

 

Heartbreak Hotel

Well Hello Monday, you came faster than preferred…. 😉

Nothing like a weekend recap to beat the Monday blues.

Only two words are necessary to recap my weekend.

SAM. SMITH.

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Yes, the king of all things heartbreak, love and the search for the elusive future love, was in town on Saturday.

If anyone has ever experienced the breath taking, stomach pain, nightmare inducing type of break up, you understand Sam Smith.  Or rather, he understands you.

If you are on the seemingly elusive search for future love, his words speak to you.  If you hold on to the hope, that you will find that which you seek, the lyrics most likely hit a cord.

He’s open about pain, about joy and future certainty that despite the journey and the stumbling blocks, the love he seeks will be found.  At least, this is my interpretation of what his music is all about.

A number of his songs speak to emotions or experiences from my past, (which I’m guessing many of us can say) and seeing him in person was a romantic and hopeful experience for me.

Go see his show!

And because this post may not have been quite an uplifting Monday experience, here are cupcakes!

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Who doesn’t like cupcakes?

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Uplifted yet?

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How was your weekend?

Unplugged

Could you do it? Could you go unplugged for a day?

Unplugged, as in only using your phone for calls and texts. You could take pictures, but not upload them; to ANYTHING. No social media, no games. Unplug, to purely the “dumb” functions of your phone.

I found myself wondering this same question a few weeks ago. I feel the need to on the regular, tweet my random thoughts, visually get lost in Instagram and constantly scroll Facebook for updates.

My hand almost itches to grab my phone every five minutes. That cannot be normal.

So when Alyssa reached out about the Unplugged campaign, on behalf of Creative Expressions, I said yes! (Creative Expressions is a women owned Utah business, specializing in promotional products. Check them out here.)

The challenge: to unplug for one day. To live one day without accessing social media, email, games, etc. To experience that one day with family/friends and not be distracted by my phone.

I have friends who live one day a week with “no internet day.” I’ve wondered for quite some time if I could do it… and here was my chance 🙂

Heres how I spent my day, resisting the urge to grab my phone every 5 minutes. First Stop, IKEA! The roomie and I have been meaning to go for quite some time, say like since September?!

Shameless Selfie in my Unplugged T: my skeptical, will I make it face?

(Forgive me for the selfies, if you are familiar with these parts, I never take them. So I had to include a classic bathroom selfie :))

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And another one: this is my, get me out of IKEA face, with my sanity still in tact. Seriously, who goes to IKEA on a Saturday morning?! Bad decision. The line for daycare was out the door.

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I finally found new throw pillows….  Yes mom I gave in to my pillow problem again 🙂 Confused? See here.

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Next stop, the Weisman Art Museum at the U of M, with Jen. It was here I struggled the most with the challenge.  I arrived early and could not play around with my phone. I could not scroll through Insta, I could not upload the gorgeous pictures of the view behind me…

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And I most certianly could not tweet about the woman walking around in numerous, almost uncountable furry items. I mean, I know it was cold, but she was almost unrecognizable as a human. Yogi the bear would have been a better descriptor.

My fingers were just itching to tweet something sarcastic.  Instead I enjoyed the comedy in that moment and had a good laugh to myself 🙂 People were probably wondering who the strange lady was, laughing to herself in the museum….

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I would like this lady in my apartment please 🙂

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(Photo cred Jen)

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How gorgeous is Minneapolis?! As I couldn’t upload these to anything, I spent more time standing and taking in the view, focusing on what was right in front of me, instead of finding the perfect filter….

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Overall I think the challenge was more difficult for me than expected. My phone/social media habits are quite apparent now, it was a very eye opening challenge 🙂

 Tell me in the comments how you would spend your day Unplugged and a randomly selected comment will win your own Unplugged T 🙂

Friday Favs #3

 Happy Happy Weekend! How in the world does 5 straight days of work feel so long? I guess thats what a faux-vacation will do to a girl.

So now, a roundup of my favorites from the last week.

Linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire!!

1) Oysters and Champagne- with friends in town and tastebuds numbed, salty foods are a girls best friend. Have you been to the happy hour at The Lowry?

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2) Introducing out of town friends to Punch Pizza. Because, you know, its accross the street and happens to be in my mind, the closest Neopolitan pizza I’ve had since moving out of Florence.

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3)Friends who come to visit and yet make you breakfast in the morning. And not just any breakfast might I add. CREPES. Homemade crepes. They were delicious, from what my numbed tastebuds could taste 🙂

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4)More dinners in.  With these frigid temps and wind chill nightmares, the last thing I want to do after work is head out to dinner.  Give me a bottle of wine and the fuzziest blanket please. Add my sweats, slippers and puppy on my feet to keep me warm.  Or fleece lined leggings, but I’ve totally been wearing those to work this week as tights……

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 5) Friends who drive five hours to see you. And put up with you blowing your nose every 2 minutes, leaking tissues out of every pocket and sounding like a very hoarse man. 🙂

What was your favorite from the week?

Spread the Love

If I am passionate about something…

And then all of a sudden, you are too….

I’ve sucessfully spread the love.

Shared my joy, my fun, my enthusiasim for something…

That has, over time, been aquired by you..

We are both enjoying, both having fun, both being enthusiastic.

What makes spreading the love even more successful?!

When you are actually enjoying something you previously teased me mercilessly for. Beware of the teasing…. specifically of my food photos 🙂  You may just find yourself taking all the photos for me… sending me food photos… saying out loud, “Wait, Christina needs to photograph this first!”

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So for our holiday work party, I”ll let D and D take the credit for these photos 🙂 Have you been to Brasserie Zentral yet?

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Think Austria, comfort food, flavor and history. A perfect, hearty holiday meal.

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Just a smidgen of what was at our table 🙂

I’d say we treated ourselves, so I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday.

Friday Favs #1

 Happy Friday! Today I’m trying out something new and linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire for Friday Favs. 

Here is a roundup of my favorite things from this week.

1) My new favorite boutique Primrose Park, that just so happens to be down the street from my place.  I’ve popped in a few times now and treated myself to a dainty bar necklace by Sbg Designs. I literally have not taken off my new necklace. Seriously, I wear it with everything, alone, layered, with my pajamas.. without pajamas….. and it only comes off to shower. TMI? If you haven’t been yet, head on over to Primrose Park. Let me know and I’ll meet you there, its way too close for my Mastercard’s comfort 🙂

2) Bryant Lake Bowl. Um somehow I’ve never been here before?! Hands down my new favorite date spot. Or brunch, or activity spot. Can I go again next week!?

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(Yes my jeans are too long and I had to roll them into my socks….AND I was wearing Christmas socks.)

3) This pasta dish: Trufled Cream with Langostine Lobster and butternut squash, Hello Broder’s Pasta Bar.

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4) Christmas table decor, because you know, its 9 degrees outside in November! I have to beat/try to enjoy winter somehow!

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Have I mentioned that Christmas does not help my ball obsession? Confused? Heres an explanation on my ball obsession…

5) This starter at Heartland. My Rainbow Trout love continues….If I could just eat about 5 more of these…

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Happy Weekend! What are your Friday Favs?