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?

Friday Favs #4

Its the weekend, weekend. Phew!

Who is ready for Saturday morning sculpt, family dinner and down time? This girl.

This week brought a weird mix of events and I am ready for a wind down.

However with the weird also comes the good.

Linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire for Friday Favs!!

1) With this weeks amazing (yes I mean 35 degrees!) weather, I went on a 1.9 mile run outside. Yep I just said that. Me, the “I hate running, maybe ill try it next year, I’ll stick to the elliptical”, self just said that. Mom, dad, are you on the ground right now in shock? Want to know what’s even more shocking? I liked it. Yes, liked it enough to agree to a 5k. Funny the things or people it takes to push you out of your comfort zone and try something knew 😉 Couch to 5k here we come.

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2) New fur friends. My friend Jen shared her lady crushes this week, and I’m hopping on the bandwagon, fur baby style.

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Best buds. Big and Little.

3) Disasters in the kitchen. Yes, disasters…. I do not recommend this “healthified” curry, whole wheat, all veggie mac n cheeses, not one bit. Though I still think in concept, it sounded delish! I love a good chopping\mixing/experimenting session in the kitchen…. even if it didn’t work out. Who has an actually good version of this veggie curry mac n cheeses?

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4) This bottle of wine. Pinot Noir like I like my Pinot. Full bodied but not too heavy…. 🙂 A 2012 Vaughn Duffy. Someone tells me there were only 99 cases made. Which totally means I’m headed to France 44 to purchase the remaining bottles. If you see these somewhere else, buy it! If not for you, for me…

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5) And as you read this, we are officially one week away from Vietnam! The bucket list trip is on the horizon and I’m ready to go!

Happy Weekend! What are your plans?

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 #2

Happy happy weekend! I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for a break 🙂

Before I’m off to happy hour, here are a few of my favs from the week.

Linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire!!

1.Total Wine. Have you been? To the Mecca of wine and bewilderment. Yes. After a rough work day, a day of brain shutting-down-ness, I finally made it here. I wandered the aisles in awe. Wine, aka god’s grapes, everywhere. Its walls of unending eye (wine) candy.

I walked those aisles in awe, bewilderment and wonder.

Ok…. I might have a wine problem.

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2.  This bench in South Minneapolis. It reminds me, 18 months ago I wasn’t here. I was in a different city, state and stage. I’m thrilled to be in Minneapolis now, but who knows where in another 18 months I could be…

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3. The new passport arrived. My last ten months with an expired passport made me feel naked. But its here! And this just means our Vietnam trip is that much closer

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4. These vegan double chocolate cookies. Yes I said vegan, and they’re from Angel Food Bakery and Coffee Bar. How did I not know about this place? If you didn’t tell me these were vegan, I wouldn’t have known…

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5.These stuffed pork chops. Pretty sure more than one person was disappointed they didn’t make it over for dinner Tuesday night.. chops stuffed with bacon, apples, onions and walnuts. Yum.

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Not Dazzling

A couple phrases you probably don’t want to say just prior to walking to a first date…

“Off I go, bleeding zit and all!”

Word to the wise, don’t play with your skin 30 minutes prior to running out the door…

Or “Just noticed some sticky white stuff on my sweater….”

These are not dazzling.

 I did attempt to find some “dazzle” at the Minneapolis Holidazzle Christmas Village over the weekend….

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My croissant eating skills may need some finesse..

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I may be a Grinch, but I did not feel transported back to the German holiday markets I’ve experienced in my past…

It was more about the company, the exploration… and perhaps the cider beer at the bar across the street?!

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Tis the season though, to search for the dazzle, to enjoy your company, to experience. Perhaps as we get older, we need to remember, search a bit harder for the meaning, the magic, the feeling, the excitement.

So I will be over here, remembering not to pick at my face, prior to a date, and working on my croissant face shoving skills.

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

I Like my Eggs Pink

Sometimes it is all about the hype I create for myself.

Reading the reviews. Anticipating the opening.

Putting the place on your must try list.

Lusting after it on the list… wondering…. when will I go?

And then finally, finally being able to cross it off.

Do you make lists? And get a rediculous amount of satisfaction from crossing something off that list? I make must try restaurant lists (we know this, unless you are new to these parts :)). I make lists at work. Lists of recipies to make. Lists of furniture my new place needs. List of make up to try. Places to shop.

Please never look at the notes app in my Iphone, it is an extravaganza of lists and makes me look like a crazy list lady!

Last weekend I was finally able to cross Tiny Diner off my restaurant list. ( Yes it fell into a carve out to the challenge!)

It had that Brasa-neighborhood-like feel. It was bigger than I anticipated, more like, “Medium Diner”? The monthly city focus on thier menu begs me to go back and try another month.

November is San Francisco, one of my favorite cities! Just having the city focus on their menu brings back memories of the wharf, eating chowder out of bread bowls, the smell of the water and the brisk wind on my cheeks.  The memories necessitated a bite of my dining partner’s softshell crab sandwich.

And these deviled eggs! I will be back for these eggs.. the Lake Superior smoked white fish, golden beet puree, horseradish yogurt and dill.

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Have you been to Tiny Diner? Do you make lists?

xoxo The Crazy List Lady

The No Restaurant Challenge

Have I mentioned that I do not like losing?

That I have a competitive side?

If you challenge me, it is difficult for me not to accept.  Cliffdog knows this. Which is why I think she presented the challenge. Cliffdog challenged me to a entire month of not eating out at restaurants. She was willing to give me four “cheat” days within that month, and a carve out for alcohol.

The purpose: Shed more light on my monthly food costs.

A month of no restaurants?!

I would fail. I literally could not do it. I will not take on a challenge I know I will lose.

But I will agree to two weeks. Two weeks of no restaurants. This is still a challenge for me, as I eat lunch out at least twice a week, and multiple dinners out.

And again, Cliffdog graciously is giving me carve outs. 1) I am allowed to eat out with my aunt who will be in town 2) If it happens to be a date

The challenge starts today. Heres to the menu planning!  Wish me luck 🙂

Have you ever given up restaurants for a period of time?

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10 Reasons Iggy Makes Me Happy

Sometimes you go to concerts and only know like three songs.

Sometimes you don’t know much more about an artist, other than that she’s taught me…

I’m so fancy, but you already know!!!

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And since I’m basking in my fancy concert afterglow.. here are a few reasons an Iggy concert makes me happy:

1. Overalls and plaid were everywhere. You will never again catch me in overalls but the whole return of the overalls provides me endless giggles. I just want to say Oshkosh B’gosh over and over again!

2. Men wearing overalls were grinding on hand rails. What?! The creator of overalls never contemplated this…. I’m sure.

3. Fanny packs. We wore these and it was normal!

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4. Iggy brought back the movie Clueless for another generation. Pretty sure the freshman here were born a year after the movie came out?? #asif

5. Eddie Murphy clips during a concert?! Yes.

6. Plaid shirts tied around waists everywhere. Yes! I can totally hide the beer baby I have going on at this concert right now…

7. We are both all about that bass. Twerk, drop it low, booty bouncing love. For 45 minutes, she can make me feel the love for my pear shape 🙂

8. She just made me want to keep the party going… with strange hats that is…

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9. The opening act was all hip hop from the late 80s early 90s…. My anaconda don’t want none… you know rest 🙂 Middle school dances anyone?!

10. While the concert and this post were slightly ridiculous, I felt like a college kid all over again. And what could be better than reliving some of those glory days?

As it was such a blast and treat, I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday!

Home is Where the Heart is

I type this, sitting on the floor, drinking wine from a beer mug. My lamps are gone, the couch cushions cleaned and leaning against the wall, and Pho delivery by my side.

Moving day is upon us!

I think I never really knew until now, how powerful the sense of home is. Perhaps this stems from having grown up in hotels for months at a time, or in 12 or more “homes”. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with my multiple moves and I happen to love hotels. I just never really had that connection.

Until now.

A week of moving loads of stuff from the old to the new place, and it hits me. The sense of home is overwhelming. It is a sense of calm, of safety, of belonging.

This, compared to the insecure, hard to sleep, lack of compassion I have for my current apartment.

Even the dog can feel the difference. The door opens to the new place and in she bounds, prancing like the happy dog she is, exploring each room with her crooked smile. Even she has a new sense of calm compared to the old place.

To be true, the new place is not so new. It is the same unit I lived in three years ago. I feel I may have left my heart here, though I left for good reasons.

 I now want to put my stamp on this place, from the floors to the furniture I’ve rescued from an unknown dumpster fate. Home is where the heart is, and I plan to reclaim home here.

Where is home to you?

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