Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Listmania: Recent Reads worth Reading.

I've been enjoying reading more recently and I know my little sidebar of what  I am reading doesn't necessarily tell you if I would recommend that you read it.

So, here is a list of some of my favorite recent reads.

1-3) The Hunger Games Trilogy.
This was an unexpected hit that I came to know through a friend at work. Is it written for Young Adults? Yes. But is it super awesome anyway? You are GD right it is. Warning: Do NOT start these books unless you are willing to stay awake all night or put aside whatever other plans you may have because once you start you can't stop...kind of like Pringles.
P.S. I admit it is a little schleppy of me to include book 3 in my list of recommends because it hasn't come out yet, but based on the first 2...I have zero doubts the last book will be incredible.

3-5) The Millenium Trilogy
Okay, so apparently trilogy's are hot this summer...These are probably the most over-hyped books of teh summer as well. Definitely worth the read in my opinion, and great summer reads. Be forewarned that book 1 and 3 take a little bit of time to get into. Lots of characters with wierd Swedish names. But it could just be my ADD attention span that made that an issue...

6) The Kindness of Strangers
Note: I've been told by a few people that I like 'depressing' books...and while I prefer the word serious or complex, I can't totally deny that statement. And this book definitely does not refute that theory. It's intense. Sad. Shocking and will stick with you. Also, a super fast read.

Books that were decent but I would probably pass on:
A Gate At the Stairs
The Post Mistress
Never Let Me Go

Happy Reading! And if you have any good book recommendations, please share! I'm always on the hunt for the next good read!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How Hard Can It Be: F*&#$(K

Our 10 days of trying not to swear are up. Thank freaking god. (Do you see the improvement?). I can't say either of us ever made it through a full day without swearing but I feel like we had really valid reasons for some of the days......

Day One: Nate called me sheepishly at 9AM and admitted that he already swore. But he blames me for not reminding him before he left for work. Hmmm..likely story.  I did SO good until a bunch of stuff fell out of the fridge while I was getting dinner ready and then I let out a quick "Sh*T!" which was quickly followed up with a F-bomb upon realizing I just blew my swear free day. Counter productive I realize.

Day Two: On my drive into work this morning, I am just be-bopping along with the radio and the song just slipped in some swear words..and without thinking I belt them like I am a finalist on American Idol. Which begs the question--does it count as a swear word if the radio station can play it?

Day Three: Well....Nates bike got stolen today. Swearing was at an all time record high in the Hanson Household. All. Time. High.

Day Four: Question: does typing acronyms like FML, OMFG, STFU or BS count as swearing? We aren't techinically saying the swear word, even though it is implied. If not, consider this day a success! Nate and I were pretty darn smug with ourselves for finding this loophole. I realize this is self imposed...but still.

Day 5-7: I am visiting Becca in Chicago this weekend, and swearing goes through the roof, because if anyone loves swearing more than me, it's my sister. She is after all, the person I've been looking up to the last 28 years :)...Nate said he did really good with me gone...hmmmm this doesn't bode well for me.

Day 8: The first sentence out of my mouth this morning was : You just scared the F*&cking Sh*t out of me. Fail and fail. Double fail. But seriously, Nate snuck up on me while I was blow-drying my hair and really did scare the shit out of me.

Day 9: SUCCESS! Today was the day...ok fine, I think I said ass, but in line with my radio theory I don't think this counts as swearing anymore....who's with me?

Day 10: There was a moment where I am pretty sure if someone had a little clicker today they would have heard me swear about 30 times in 10 minutes in Katie's office. 30 times. Yes people, I decided to end this challenge in true style.

Okay, so here is the deal. I actually think trying to NOT swear increased my swearing. Because every time I swore, I would swear because I swore. Does that even make sense. If I dropped a f-bomb, I would follow up with a sh*t once I realized I swore. And if I said Sh*t or another swear word, I would usually follow it up with a F*&k!

So the conclusion is that we should just continue to swear at our normal levels because stifling our swearing only causes more swearing. So noodle on that sweet-ass eureka moment.....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 14

It has been a summer filled with bulk grain--bulgar, quinoa, and now couscous! We whipped up some Green Lentil and Tomato Couscous from Cooking Light this week.  I don't think this beats the Taboulleh, but it was a good break from the norm and a new taste for us.

I'm not going to lie--Nate did not like it. I think he is becoming more picky than me....maybe.

So, we are frantically trying to consume as many fresh veggies as possible as our summer squash and beans, and zucchini are growing like bunnies reproduce.

So if any of you have any amazing recipes that use one, or ideally all of those ingrediants send them our way!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

It was a fun break from the daily moan and drone when my parents came up for a Twins game on Tuesday. The weather literally was what one would ask and pray for in terms of base-ball attending weather. The whole time I just kept thinking : This is why we live in Minnesota. For this one night a year.

Okay, maybe it's more than one night...but still.

So we broke in the new fancy, schmancy Target Field. Hooked up Mom and Dad with some MN-style polish sausages, and ate a lot of kettle corn. Too bad the Twins couldn't pull out a W but it was still fun.
It's my Mom's birthday (tomorrow!) so it was a great way to do some early celebrating! Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Summer Visit

To Chicago.

With some of my favorite people.

Becca and Baby

Finn, who looks pretty sweet with goggles.

And The 'other' Ekern Girls--two of the most hilarious people I think I know. I was afraid Becca was going to go into labor we laughed so much when we were with them.

Note: Not pictured is Nick. That doesn't mean he isn't a favorite person, just that he wasn't lucky enough to fall prey to my camera.

Thanks for the amazing weekend Keaty Fam!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Our garden is in over-production mode! I got home from an amazing weekend with the Keaty's (more on that later) to see our garden OUT OF CONTROL!

It is clear to me that we will have to be eat zucchini every day until we are green in the face as it apparently does very well...
Summer squash is starting to get going as are the cucumbers and tomatoes.

Green beans are in FULL force. No lie we are eating them every day people. Every.Day. My guess is they will be done in the next week, which makes us sad, but then I suppose something else will be blooming!

Who needs a crop share?
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Well, Shoot

Today was not a good day in Hanson Household.

Remember this:

See the joy on Nate's face as he got his first road bike. The prized possession that got him into triathlons. The bike that has been the recipient of many birthday gifts (pedals), Christmas gifts (aero-bars) and compassionate cleanings from it's owner.

Well...that bike is gone. Some klepto stole it while Nate was at the chiropractor today.

Needless to say, today was NOT a swear-free day in the Hanson household.

And I really hope that whoever stole Nate's bike gets what's coming to them. Karma, people. Karma.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wedding Season

It's the second coming of weddings this year. We have had a lull the last few years, but apparently love is still alive and well as we have quite the crop of weddings. Which started this weekend with a friend of mine.

Pretty sure she was the cutest bride ever.

Who had the best band ever.

Which meant we danced, a lot.Once Ryan got his hips warmed up the just. wouldn't. stop.

I haven't been to a wedding since mmm...I can't even remember it's been that long and I forgot how much fun they are. And how much I LOVE the speeches. Katie's Dad gave a GREAT speech that brought me to an embarassing amount of tears. Luckily Debra's Dad was there to confirm I wasn't the only sap, and Rachel rescued me with a kleenex. But I mean, it was almost unfair...he quoted Bridge Over Troubled Water. That's like ASKING for tears.

But the rest of the night was filled with fun and smiles!

Looking forward to the next wedding in Milwaukee in a few weeks!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Curse of 8PM

A few weeks ago, I decided to launch of new blog activity entitled "How Hard Can it Be?". Read about it here in case you missed it.

The first challenge was to not eat past 8PM. And I sit here trying to come up with a gentler way of saying this, but the reailty is that this was an EPIC FAIL. Argh. It was actually hard (thus answering my stupid question)....

So Nate and I captured the day-by-day account since some (ahem Mr. Aribt) presumed the failure would be better than the success (and I can't say I disagree with him)

Day 1: Couldn't have been dealt a worse hand for the first night of this thing. We had a disastrous dinner that ended up with both Nate and I taking about 2 bites and throwing it away. This would have been FINE under normal circumstances I would have made popcorn and settled in. But it was too close to 8PM to make anything and we couldn't fail in the first night. The whining set in at 9PM and by 10 I was so hungry I just had to go to bed, although as I was falling asleep I was wondering if Nate would sneak a midnight snack...

Day 2: First of all, we WOULD have totally stuck to 8PM had a wrath of god storm not moved in and shoved dinner back about an hour And since we were starving from yesterday and Amy was in town we thought it was the polite thing to do to keep our dinner plans.

Day 3: By the hair of our chinny chin chin. Okay, we may have been over by 3 minutes, but that is just a rounding error. I am sure I could have found a clock somewhere that says 8PM.

Day 4: Nate has invented a new approach to 'survive this stupid thing' as he so nicely stated and it is this: Eat as much as possible all the way up to 8PM. Not sure that this totally accomplished our goal...but technically in bounds of the rules.

Day 5: I quickly catch on to Nate's theory and was frantically stuffing my face with licorice at 7:59 and Nate started yelling at my to chew faster. Ahh...if only there was hidden camera for these moments.

Day 6: Pass

Day 7: Fail

Day 8: In order to eat by 8, it is impossible to get home and get a work-out in BEFORE you eat. Which leaves me perplexed. Is it better to eat after 8, but work out? Or to not work-out at stop eating before 8PM? Hmmm

Day 9-10: Let's face it. We were in Viroqua. There are candy baskets. And homemade Whoopie Pies. And chips, and all sorts of goodies we don't keep in the house. So did we eat until midnight? You are GD right we did.

So it was harder than we thought. And good in practice, but not something that I personally think is worth changing your lifestyle to accommodate. It's not like we are eating a funnel cake every night at 10PM.

Next up:
Absolutely NO swearing for 10 days, starting Monday (shit!). For those of you who may or may not know, I have a fucking awesome potty mouth.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3rd Times The Charm

We found ourselves at our third consecutive parade this past weekend. Now, we are not normally huge parade-goers. I'm not exactly sure how we got ourselves into this pattern of a parade-a-weekend, but we did and we have embraced it.

As you may recall, we had very little luck in securing the sugary loot of the parade during the SLP Parktacular, and we had an improvement in this area for the Pride parade. Well, I am here to tell you that we hit the jackpot this weekend, and the secret weapon was a little boy, the age of 3, who waved his little heart out to get a little candy.

Of which, Nate and I doled out quite generously. Perhaps too generously (gasp!), if that is even possible by my standards.

Finn totally warmed up to the parade, and refined his candy retrieval approach as he just started to run out to the candy, and toss it back to us to save himself more time and energy to collet more. A girl could learn a thing or two from him.....I was impressed and melted by sugar-filled heart.