Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun!

No Halloween is complete without loading kids, whether they are related to you or not, full of sugar. And thus, this Halloween was definitely complete.

We were graciously hosted by Emily at her home with her 3 beautiful boys and husband Dave. And I, being proclaimed Auntie Candy by my own family, could not imagine letting Halloween weekend pass without sharing the joy of sugar.

And so sugar was the form of Pixie Sticks...
And in the form of suckers
It was so much fun to be in a house filled with such warmth and love and energy. Yes, with 4 boys under the age of 5 there was definite energy but  look at these faces and tell me how you could not just smile?

  And of course you can't forget about Leo--the ultimate napping companion.

It was a great weekend, which ended in a very dirty race....stay tuned!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Spinning Hot Dog

No, I am not talking about the roller dogs at Super America although that does sound tasty right now.

In fact, this morning as I hauled my butt out of bed at 5:30 to go to Spin I had to rub my eyes and make sure I wasn't dreaming as I watched my Spin instructor mount her bike in a full hot dog costume.

Now I get that my gym goes all out of Halloween, and had I known people would be dressed up this morning I would have either a) used that as an excuse not to go (most likely)  or b) figured out a costume to wear.

But I guess I didn't realize that they actually WORKED OUT in these costumes. The entire class I was distracted thinking how is this person still spinning so fast? How are her knees not getting stuck on the bun? How disgusting will this costume be after 1 hour of hard core sweating? Will she wear it again?

 Maybe if it hadn't been pitch-black, before 7AM, and on a Friday I wouldn't have had such an issue rectifying this situation in my mind but it was mind-boggling I tell you. Mind boggling.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 18

It has taken me almost a week to be able to even STOMACH this post. Why? Not because this meal was disgusting, or we had another epic fail.

On the contrary, it was delicious, simple and one of those warm comfort foods.

But, after the Mexican extravaganzaa (ugh...I may have just thrown up a little even typing that) I couldn't even bring myself to look at this picture let alone type this post.

So it will be brief. We made (deep breath) Chicken Enchilada's and they were great. We nabbed a rotisserie chicken from Costco, whipped it together and viola:

I did at one point say that I thought this would be a new stand-by, but I dont' think it will make the rotation until well into next year at this point...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hiking Tahoe

**First a public disclaimer on how over hotels I am. How disgusted by Mexican food I am. How much I do not want to get back on an airplane tomorrow. I normally love travel, but something about traveling to CA twice in one week has done me in. Even though one of those times was for fun. But I'm over it. Ready to be back to my house. my food. my bed. my gym. even my desk at work. did i really just say that?

Alright, so to round out the anniversary vacation I am going to skip over the details of Sutter Creek, because really--doesn't the Branson of the west really just describe it all? --and head straight to our day of hiking in Tahoe. This was a random spur of the moment decision born out of a sever lack of things to do in Sutter Creek.

But it was a gorgeous, breath-takingly beautiful decision.

We hiked for almost 2 hours, and on the waaaaaay up---lots of stopping. I got super tired from the elevation. Nate insisted on hiking sticks, I said he was ridiculous, but in actuality they did help (but don't tell him that.). 

It really was a gorgeous day, and on a triple bonus the first time i was warm in california!! I definitely recommend this as a day trip to anyone in the area.

And as of tomorrow at noon I will be back on Midwest soil and will be happy to not see CA for the next 6 months or so. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fog City

The anniversary vacation has started!! Nate and I made our way to San Francisco last night to begin the celebration of our 3 year anniversary. We stayed with a college friend last night and they introduced us to an AMAZING Indian restaurant that we promptly stuffed our faces full of their delicious dosa's, chennia chicken, and this strangely tasty yogurt rice.

Someone should have warned us prior to leaving sunny, warm Minneapolis that the sun doesn't shine in San Francisco and it is cold. Fast forward to the part where Nate and I had to go shopping for a few cold weather articles of clothing so that we could fully enjoy ourselves. And enjoy ourselves we have.

We headed to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and were in absolute awe. Here we had been running around the last 10 years saying that Madison, WI had the best farmers market in the US. But this place made us eat our words. And those words were delicious.

We happen-stanced across a bike rental place so (since we were freezing our butts off) we decided we would be warmer biking to the Golden Gate bridge than the open air trolley. So we put on some very dorky helmets, and off we went.

We ended our stay in San Francisco by taking some very fun urban pics with a photographer that I'll post once we get them in a few weeks. More to come on the adventures of Sutter Creek--which I like to refer to as the Branson of the West Coast. For now, this traveler needs to get un-packed and RE-packed as I head BACK west to LA tomorrow for work. Good times.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Groupon Goof

So by now it is no secret that I am obsessed with all things online deals/collective buying, etc. And Groupon is clearly at the top of this game.

So when I joined my neighbors to cash in on a Groupon before it expired on Friday I was amazed at how stupid the restauarant handled us.

Yes, I get that in the 'fine print' it said: only one groupon per table BUT we were two paying coupons that would have taken up 2 tables.

We went back and forth on whether to get seated and pop it on them at the end or be honest up front and ask about the best way to handle. We chose the up front and honest approach (SPOILER--this is never the best way).

So we get the big fine print schpeil and we say to them: "So we will go to the bar, order our drinks and appetizers that we WOULD OTHERWISE just order at the table and then go sit at our table, and essentially just check out twice--once at the bar and once at the table."

And had the place not been TOTALLY crazy busy (presumably it was filled with all the procrastinators who didn't want their coupon to expire), perhaps then I would would understand the firm rigid adherence to the rules. But it was crazy. And the hostess sucked.

So we did the multiple check-outs. Which meant the boys waited at the bar while the appetizers were cooked and the girls went and got our dinner table. And I felt bad for our server as the boys walked into our booth with 2 appetizers, and 4 drinks because she probably would have like to have that bigger tip. But don't blame us---blame the hostess who apparently just doesn't quite get it.

Of course, this will not curb my impulse purchasing of said deals, especially when friends are involved! Who doesn't love a 50% off date night?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 19

We have been seriously delinquant in cooking out of our Cooking Light book the last month, but it isn't that we ddint' cook...just got stuck in the old standy-by route.

That all changed the day  I came home with three gigantic pork loins from Costco--seriously, why did I ever doubt this place?---and decided to take a stab at a very non-Greta meal  of Pork Tenderloin with Boiled Cabbage.

Ewww...who eats boiled cabbage. Disgusting. I don't even like sourkraut (and I don't know how to spell it either).

Well...apparently my taste buds have matured people because I LOVED this tasty dish.

I'm not going to lie (and Katie you should stop reading this now if you are), but eating a half a head of cabbage does not make the next day pretty if you catch my drift. But in was deliciously worth it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Fun

With weather like this there is no other option to get ourstide and enjoy for every second you possible can.
Which is exactly what we did this weekend.
With an early morning bike ride to farmers market to get the last of the season's fresh veggies to an afternoon filled with corn maze fun--this weekend was A-MAZE-ing (get it...corn maze...).

Of course we couldn't just go through the corn maze with no fun or games. Nope, we quickly made it boys v. girls to see who had the top notch navigation skills. Katie and I were quickest first (although the boys claimed they helped a lost child...highly unlikely) the boys definitely dominated the rest of the day.

There is no other person in the world who is better suited to launch corn cobs out of a power launcher than Ryan Plonske. He had questions about the aero-dynamics of the cobs. He even asked if he could go pick his own corn. And while he may not have made it through the hole of the target, he did hit the target. All. 3. times.

 We are so lucky to have such great friends who enjoy the simple things in life like pig racing. Corn Mazes. Sno-cones and roasted corn.

I was feeling inspired from our Fall Fun day and decided that we needed to pep up our window boxes with all things autumn--gourds, pumpkins, tall grass. You know what I'm talking about.

Very Martha Stewart (or at least in my head it is).

And then just because we were on a roll--we carved pumpkins. Now, both of the pumpkins turned out great. Let's just say one is 'classic' while the other took a different--perhaps more involved approach.

And as I sit here munching on warm cookies that Nate just pulled out of the oven, I really couldn't imagine a better weekend.

Friday, October 8, 2010


It was time for my October Secret Date last night, and Nate was a VERY good sport as I took him to a dance class to learn the Thriller dance.

Remember this:

We walked into this community center and literally it smelled like elementary school. You know the smell.
Probably because it was an old elementary school, I have no idea. The point is I was having flashbacks for gym class with Ms. Hornby playing sideline soccer as we entered this teeny tiny little gym to join the dance class.

And oh was it a motley crew. From a group of women that looked like they came straight from the Curves workout, to a uber urban band looking to learn the dance for upcoming performances, to this group of European women that I am pretty sure did not know much language it was a group worth video-taping.

But alas...there is no videotape. Honestly, I was a little scared of the instructor so I wussed out to whip out my phone. The instructor was....high energy. And speaking of high energy, she literally had the HIGHEST voice I have ever heard. But I give her mad props for teaching us all---at VERY different levels--to do this thing.

ALthough, I'm not sure repeating the 32 counts of zombie walking about--oh--350 times was really necessary.  But let's just say we now have seriously rockin zombie moves.

So be on the look-out--if you are 
a) ever around us at a dance
b) they play thriller
c) we are together

then we will completely blow your mind.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Autumn Colors

AGH! I love fall. The weather has been absolutely stunningly gorgeous, and I cannot get enough of it. I've been taking my camera around to capture the last fleeting moments before winter set in. So when it is still snowing in April, I can look back and think, but remember how great October was?....

ahhhhh...soak that sunshine in people. soak. it in.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Early Fall Morning
Sun peeking through the trees
Steam coming off of Lake Calhoun
Thousands of glasses ready
 Ready for the inspiring runners who were taking on 26.2

 to turn the corner just past 25 miles to see this
the finish line
 and mile 26
 Crowds yelling
cheering words of encouragement
kids cheered on their parents
Parents stopped to kiss their kids
And I stood anxiously awaiting this guy:
 who crushed his personal best
crossed the finish line with a smile on his face
and 26.2 miles behind him.
I could not be prouder!