Thursday, February 26, 2009

Parting Gift

Thank you Minnesota for making it so incredibly easy to leave you. What a great parting gift.

Picture of my reality today (literally it snowed forever today):

Picture of my reality tomorrow:

Hasta luego! We are off to Cozumel tomorrow, and will be completely off the grid. Look for photos when we return.

In the meantime here are a few new websites that I am crushing on:

Stay Warm! We'll be sending you beach-y thoughts...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who has a recommendation?

As I have not put more than about 1 minute of thought into packing for vacation (which is in about 36 hours), I am wondering if anyone out there has any good BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS for the beach.


  • I don't care for chick I get's easy, breezy, and great for the beach. But not this beach bum.
  • Keep in mind the size of the book. I am all for long books, but they can't be so bulky it takes the place of of my favorite pair of shoes. This pretty much cuts out hardcover.
  • I don't want to cry on vacation. C'mon people... I read Marley and Me in Vegas and had tears streaming down my face by the pool. I am pretty sure Nate was concerned that I was suffering from severe depression.

Let me know by 6PM tomorrow! I will be swinging by the bookstore on my way to a packing extravaganzaa!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nigella Express: Episode 6

Breakfast Bars was the name of the game this past week.

And I really cannot take any of the credit for it because Nate whipped these up while I was in class. We wanted to get another new recipe in before we left for Mexico, so we thought what better thing to make to take to the Dells for our family getaway.

Well.....turns out maybe not the best. The thing is they tasted good. But the condensed milk sank to the bottom giving the bars this weird texture of dry on top, and soggy on the bottom.

But on the bright side, Nate gets some mad props for his amazing food stylings. You can see the coconut, the nuts, the oats...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wet 'n Wild Weekend

We packed up the car and met the whole family in the Dells this weekend for a little midwestern winter getaway.

It was so much fun to have a mini-vacation with everyone, in a new place, with new things to do, and to see Finn interact with all of the fun things there was to do. He got a little spooked by this giant buckets that unleashed hundreds of gallons of water crashing to the ground, so from there on out he needed his 'b-ball' for a water-friendly security blanket. Luckily, Grandpa was on the job to steal a ball from the big swimming pool for Finn to drag around.

In an effort to thwart further procrastination attempts on my part (I am working on a speech and a paper)...consider this a photo-journal blog post...

It was such a fun weekend, and reminiscent of the goold old Midway Motor-lodge days with the Ekern crew. We even got Mom to go on the waterslides with the 'big kids'..NICE!! Dad kept himself busy in the mornings with lots of Wall Street Journals, and the boys snuck out Saturday night to go to a movie.
I definitely look forward to these sorts of trips for years to come with the fam!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Diva Doug

Many of you know that I am a newly converted fanatic of The Firm. A few weeks ago, Nate lost a bet and the stakes were that if he lost he had to come expereience The Firm with me. Now, two short weeks later he is a convert too.

There are so many things about this gym that I love. The people/staff are incredibly nice. Every workout is a workout like I have never had before. And most importantly there is Diva Doug.

Doug teaches the Cardio Step class that we take, and he is incredible. He is aboslutely hilarious with his at-times inappropriate jokes, outlandish costumes, and practiced prancing. He plays good tunes, and always delivers an ass kicking.

He "took" to Nate on Nate's first day in class...and then I had to butt in and let him know we were married. :)

For those of you who may need a visual, here we are on this past Saturday. Doug has some great Valentine's day costumes, and gave..and I quote...."his new favorite" some special Valentines love.

So that's what Nate and I have been enjoying as we go to the gym together. Next time you're in town, I can take you. They have day passes so you can come and see Diva Doug live in all of his glory. You know you want to.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nigella Express: Episode 5

Nate and I decided to take a lazy Sunday approach to Nigella this week and made a scrumptious brunch.

We made Homemade Pancake Mix with Blueberry Syrup and Chopped Fruit Salad.
The fruit salad was very good and extremely easy. It literally is exactly what you see here, fruity with yogurt topped with nuts. But the secret is that you steep the strawberries in pomegranate juice for a while before combining the rest of the ingrediants. I was suprised how much of a difference it made in the flavor.
The homemade pancake mix surprised us by making the equivalent to almost a full box of bisquick. So now we have plenty of homemade mix on hand for whenever the mood strikes us to have some delicious pancakes.
The blueberry syrup was the the hands down winner of this recipe. All you do is take a cup and a half of blueberries and combine with a cup of maple syrup and bring it to a low boil for 8-10 minutes. The result is a piping hot syrup that makes the pancakes perfect.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let the Countdown Begin!

Let me tell you how excited I am that we have FINALLY booked our vacation! After many, many hours of extensive research, and deal-seraching we have booked our trip and are headed to Cozumel with Katie and Ryan! WHOO HOO!!!

We leave on the 27th.....Here is a little sunset shot from the pool at our hotel to set the mood.

Now we are working on our Spanish... playa, pacina, el sol, bano, know the important stuff. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009


Another fun Blog game has been blazing through the blogosphere, and of course I am happy to play. This blog is brought to you by the letter "F".
And no I did not pay her off to float me the letter f. I am just that lucky.

Here are the rules…If you want to play, leave a comment on this post letting me know, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on!

First, I love Finnegan. Clearly this does not need a drawn out explanation. He brightens my day every time I think of him. He is the sweetest little boy you can imagine. I miss him so much every day and yearn to be closer to experience daily life with him.

I would be no where with out my Family. I have been blessed to have an amazing family. As I get older, I think the importance of having family weighs much heavier on your mind.

Not only do I love my own family, but I ADORE meeting other people's families. I especially like seeing how they interact. Whenever you are around someone witht heir family, I just think you feel this sense of history and a bond that cannot be broken no matter what. It's like you are witnessing the ties of unspoken moments, light-hearted memories and a love so deep it can't be put into words. Whether it's watching Debra and her Mom poke fun at each other, and laugh non-stop, or the ease that Summer and her sister Jaime have with each other, I find myself feeling grateful that I they are letting me in, even the vey tiniest amount, to that special relationship.

Which of course brings me to my Friends, who are like a 2nd family to me. I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I have 'random' friends...that is they aren't all from one big high school clique, or a group of college friends. There are a lot of separate individuals who when combined make up a VERY important part of my life.

I really just get really gushy when chatting about my friends because I love them all so much. So I will spare you that, and just share some pictures...

Of course, I love Felines, especially of the elderly variety.

Ihave to admite, I do love Facebook. Yes, it can suck the spare time out of any day, and is misunderstood by those who haven't taken the leap themselves. But I love that I can reach out and connect with someone who lives 600 miles away, or someone that I haven't talked to in years. I love looking at pictures, seeing people's hilarious status updates, and kicking Becca's butt at Scramble.

Films...while I hate the word film (it sounds so pretentious)...I do like myself a good movie on a Friday night after a long week, or a rainy Sunday afternoon. With Facebook, any Film watching usually also involves my laptop...

I look forward to getting my weekly FSI's. For those of you who aren't General Mills dorks, that is a fancy way of saying coupons in your Sunday paper. I am a loud and proud coupon clipper. Thats right...

A new love intest in my life is The Firm. It is a no holds bar, completely kick your ASS, sweat out 2 pounds in 1 hour gym, that has the most amazing staff, classes and atmosphere. Beyond the enjoyment of just getting my ass handed to me everytime I go, the people there are amazingly sweet and genuine. I look forward to working out when I know I am going there.

And last but not least..I am always up for some Friendly Comepetition. One of my favorite thigns to do is play games. At the end of the day I don't really care if I win, but I just like the competition aspect of it because I think it makes it more fun.

Oh yea..I guess that is only 9..hmm...I love Fridays. Nothing makes it more apparent that I love Fridays like a Monday morning. Ugh....

Now, let me know if you want a letter and you can play along too!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekend in Review

This weekend proved to be the perfect mix of rest, fun activities and enough time leftover to squeeze out a paper for school.

Friday night we headed over to Debra's place for a delicious meal, some old school Nintendo, and a few heated games of Balderdash.

Now let me reiterate this was an OLD SCHOOL Nintendo system. LIke the one that Becca and I would trek to Quik Stop to in a foot of snow and play all day long on snow days. It was so old school that we had to jimmy-rig the game in order to make it work. Debra was working a moistened Q-tip and her wallet as a gentle weight to keep the game in.

Saturday proved to be a fabulous day with a great morning work-out, a new hair-cut, and Nate's Secret Date!

Nate's date was to attend the Second Runway Fashion Show at Goodwill. The concept was very cool with local designers using recycled materials (i.e. clothing at a Goodwill store) and reworking them to create hip and trendy new outfits. It was very cool. VERY Jenny Humphrey guerilla fashion show. (That's a Gossip Girl reference for those of you who aren't acquainted with the CW).

That's it! Now I am ready for another fun-filled work week!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sugar High

6 Months. 190 days.
That is how long I have been without my lifelong love of candy. That's right. Those of you who know me know how much I LOVE CANDY.

There was no candy corn in my life through Halloween. No candy canes at Christmas. I said no to all of the exotic candy temptation at Dylans. No sugary delight to pull me from the depths of despair.
Until today. I told myself after 6 months of no candy, I would break my candy ban. And so I have.

But ONLY for 1 day. Tomorrow I am back to shunning the sweet delectables that call my name every day. Which means the only food I shall be consuming today will be that of a gummy, sugary, chocolately nature.

I started with some deliciously fresh gummy cinnamon hearts, have eaten my way through lemon heads, some left-over mint nougat things from Christmas, and am onto conversation hearts. Still to come...twizzlers, licorice snaps, slo-pokes and some orange slices. My stomach already hurts a little but to that I say toughen up. We have one day of glory here, and I am not going to let a little nausea stop me.

The conversation heart I just ate sums it up: "I Miss You".

I've missed you too, and now....I will eat you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nigella Express: Episode 4

In a trio of uber efficiency, Nate and I were able to create our Sunday Soup recipe, our Nigella Express dish of the week AND a delicious Super Bowl treat all with one lovely, and seriously quick dish.

And what might that dish be? Quick Chili of course!

Nigella was not messing around when she named this was quick. I think it took 30 minutes from start to finish. I am not going to wasn't the best chili Nate and I have ever had, but when you are strapped for time this does the trick. Plus--Bonus for me: no onions

We were a little skeptical about serving it with rice, but it actually tasted pretty good.
Nate has been eating it all week for lunch and hasn't started complaining yet which I can only assume it makes good leftovers.

According to the fancy schmance long-term weather forecaster at Target, we are supposed to have an unseasonable warm Spring, and it will start sooner than usual. ALLELUIA! My point is...we survived winter, and chili season is almost over. Bring on the Gazpacho!

Monday, February 2, 2009


  • I went to Spring Awakening on Saturday night. It was incredible. Such a good show, with an important message. The performers were amazing. So many of the roles had important vocal performance and there wasn't a weak link in the crew. I have been singing the soundtrack ever since.

  • Follow that up with cocktails and tapas at Solera and you have a perfect night.

  • I effectively spent all day yesterday either sleeping, trying to read my case for class, and NOT writing my paper. My paper is due on Wednesday. I have not started. I have class tomorrow night. So what that means is if you can't sleep tonight and need someone to talk to call me...because most likely I'll be up.

  • We booked the family get away to the Dells this weekend! WHOO HOO! Great Wolf Lodge here we come!

  • We haven't booked our beach vacation yet. After a good solid month of very hard searching, we don't have a location yet. BUT, we have vowed we will book by end of day Thursday. Stay tuned!