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?

FullSizeRender

 

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!!!

photo (327)

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!

photo (328)

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…

photo (329)

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?

photo (9)

The Next Best Thing Syndrome

Over a pile of sushi and an afternoon glass of red, a friend mentioned another friend’s dating dilemma.

After meeting over Tinder and seeing each other consistently, a conversation was had. The I like you, I’m interested. Where is this going? The conversation that naturally comes.

And his response? “I see this going somewhere too but I don’t want to shut off the option of meeting someone else.”

The classic Next Best Thing Syndrome. Its like you are always looking around the corner for who is next. These four dates have been great, but o I have five new matches today. I need to see what they have to offer.

“I felt a really strong connection but now I’m not so sure.”

With every dating website, Tinder and any other app, there are literally hundreds of men/women in the palm of your hand. The app even asks you, upon matching with someone, “Would you like to message him/her or Keep playing?”

Yes, keep playing. Like a game.

It only fuels the syndrome.

The Next Best Thing.

photo (8)

Do you agree, do dating websites/app fuel “The Next Best Thing”? Disagree?

 

Eternal Summer…

It is far too soon. I do not remember it coming so fast.

Has fall always started on Labor Day? Or is it because Starbucks decided to release that awful PSL drink early this year? (don’t hate me). Once the PSL is available, is it now fall?

Some days I dream of an eternal summer. A forever of waking up and taking the dog out in barely there layers. A constant need for the ceiling fan to lull me to sleep. The never grabbing a coat or extra layer as I’m running out the door.

Perhaps it was the summers living in Florida for “home leave” every year we came back to the States. Or that year and a half of living basically on the equator. Or my Californian birthright.  Perhaps a combination of these causes me to pause and wonder if I’m ready for fall.

However while I hold on to my dream of eternal summer, I guess I can acknowledge the perks to come.

Like last weekend spent at the cabin. Due to rainy days and 66 degree temps favorite fall activities were had. That, and a lot of wine.  A few flabongos may have been had as well 🙂

Perk #1 Wine filled games of Telestrations with a backdrop of constant rain…

Chicken Breast

Umm……

Cabin Town

Perk #2 Mornings spent perusing the small town boutique for new sweaters.

Almond Latte

And yes, Perk #3, my first hot latte. Sorry, not a PSL. Again, don’t shoot me 🙂

Am I the only one dreaming of an eternal summer? What is your favorite fall activity?

An Egg = Change

Change.

For some its a difficult word. A difficult process.

Admittedly, I thought I was immune to change. Immune or unaffected. Or perhaps I thought I was “good” at change.

When you move ten times before high school, through five different countries and five different states, change would be your norm. You just assume change comes naturally. What else do you know? You’re a third culture kid, floating in and out of one world to the next. One culture to the next, one friend group to the next, from house to condo, suburb to island to the metropolis of Tokyo.

Change is your uncountable blessing. It propels you forward with hastening speed. Perhaps there wasn’t even time to question whether or not I was comfortable with change.

Now, with change all around me, am I as “good” with it as I once was?

I have yet to answer.

However there are a few changes I am definitely good with!

Like this barn table friend gifted me. (Mom did a great job staining) But who knew my uber modern style would evolve? I swore it wouldn’t 🙂

photo (308)

And all of a sudden I make eggs? Like frittatas and actually eat them? For so long I had quite the aversion to any egg that wasn’t deviled or poached.Similar Recipe here.

photo (307)

Are you “good” with change?

The Kenwood

Remember a time when you were let into a secret?

When details were exposed and you were in the know. When all comes together and you feel a part of the circle. And you wonder how you were in the dark for so long?

That’s how I feel about The Kenwood. Like I’ve been let into a secret, though its not really a secret…. more a beloved place by many.

I keep wondering how I was in the dark for so long.

All it took was an almost year in this neighborhood to get there…. and perhaps a quiet summer date.

On that date I fell in love.  With The Kenwood that is.

I mean, if a place can get me to try Sardines and like them…!?

photo (293)

photo (294)

photo (295)

photo (296)

photo (292)

photo (297)

photo (298)

Have you been yet?

Have I convinced you to go?

Patience is a Virtue Right?

There is always something to work on. And lately I find I struggle more with the virtue of having patience than anything else.

Why hasn’t this happened already? Why am I still waiting for that?

Why isn’t the timing right? Why am I still waiting for this?

Why does this feel like a step backwards rather than forward?

When the connection is there but the timing is not. When the job is there but the hours and environment  are not ideal.

Opportunities and people cross your path, but I believe truly that everything happens when it is suppose to happen. My patience level just needs to adjust to my belief system lately 🙂

One thing I do not have to wait for, is exploring Minneapolis on a beautiful Sunday.

With only a little over a month left in this neighborhood, Olive and I try to take a different walk path every day.

photo (291)

I am in love with every house we pass!

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND? ANYTHING YOU WANT TO WORK ON?

A Series of unfortunate events….

Sunday blues? Have they hangovered into Monday?

Rough morning?

Well, what is the saying…. misery loves company?

How about some comedy to start off your week?

Perhaps my series of unfortunate events will elicit a Monday laugh…

First: Cue another totally awful pick up line. Like from Mr. Crazy who just won’t leave. Like cannot get the subtle hint, nor the directive to leave.

“hey you in the gray dress…. you are the queen…. your face shape turns me on. I lay hard wood for a living…. every woman likes it laid hard.”

…………….. FOR REAL.

Second: Picture your favorite work out studio/gym/whatever… you are a semi new student in this class…. class is going, sweat is flowing… you’ve got your jump on and are in crazy mode, doing those intense jump squats on the TRX bands….

And then the end of class approaches. In your head, you killed it. You are finally feeling like you’ve done a good job, adjusted to this class.

You’re stretching out and look down.

And there it is. You’ve split your yoga pants. And you are commando. HELLO. let me waddle out of here and pray to god no one noticed.

#theynoticed

Third: The worst Friday night blind date ever. Like he hadn’t matured past 17. I now know many credits he received for every single grad school class he ever attended. His pictures… so much better than in person. His online persona… 100 times different than in reality. I felt 47 talking to a 17 year old. The mismatched pairing could not have been worse.

Upon ordering the bacon wrapped shrimp appetizer… he asked if I was a vegetarian….

It got worse.

(post date, the dating app informed me that it was out of availble men.  Zero eligible bachelors left.)

Figures.

Nothing like attending the Northeast Brewers Block Party to erase the events away.

How was your weekend?

photo (287)

Mushrooms, Beer and Flats: Pure Random

Random and somewhat in that order.

Mushrooms, beer and flats all fell into place to create the perfect weekend.

Have I lost it?

Perhaps?

I happened to get myself a tad bit lost in my own neighborhood Friday.. but what else is one to do when there are constant showings of your unit? And you and the dog are banished from the premises?

Kenwood

Not a bad place to deal with being banished.

You can even search for wild mushrooms back here…

Kenwood Mushrooms

Like if you were into that kind of thing… seriously that thing was half the size of the dog… she was concerned.

Once dog is allowed back into said apartment, a little night patio action is in order.

You know… to recover after traipsing through wild mushroom fields… I mean the city.

Minneapolis Skyline

And then, there is no better way to recover from a patio and wine night than an early walk to the farmers market.

Minneapolis Cherry

Sometimes I forget this is my backyard…. or err front yard…. still to be determined 🙂

NE Brewery

And then the beer happened… at the brand new Bau Haus Brew Labs in NE Minneapolis. Check them out, your bag playing skills have to be better than mine!

And finally to end the mix, the flats….

flats

My first foray into b. resale on Nicollet.

I was not disappointed, check them out too! Perhaps before you sample the new brews? Or maybe after, a little buzzed shopping never hurt anyone… except perhaps my VISA card…

A total mix of randomness but yet the perfect mix of treating myself… which is why I’m linking up with Becky over at Olives n Wine again 🙂 She’s a big believer in taking time for yourself at least once a week to treat yourself, and I am on board! Check out the ways others have treated themselves this week.

HOW HAVE YOU TREATED YOURSELF THIS WEEK?