Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Home Fries


We keep potatoes around the house on a pretty consistent basis. 
SO when I'm craving a kind of garbage meal, I feel about 85% less guilty making these than if I were to stop at McDonald's. 

First things first, get your assistant to help you pick out potatoes:

NOTE: If you use Yukon Gold or Russet, you don't need to peel the potatoes. BUT I used baby reds, so I peeled them. The skin isn't the kind of skin you'd see on a "home fry."


Preheat the oven to 400. 
After your tatos are peeled, slice them into "fry shaped" pieces, like so: 

Soak them in warm (NOT BOILING) salt water for a few minutes. I just tossed them in as I chopped, and then left them all in there for about 5 minutes. This helps the center stay soft but the outsides crisp up.  Or something like that.

Gather some seasonings. I used this "Cavender's" seasoning my best friend got me a few years back, and salt and pepper. You could also use some cajun, lowry's, etc.
Drain the potatoes, toss in olive oil, and season to your liking. 

Pop in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping every 10. (they could've even stayed in for another 10-15 but I was HANGRY, yo)

Tip: I used a metal spatula to forcefully chisel under the fries when flipping, otherwise if done gently, the bottom layer peeled off (thus defeating the purpose of the crispy exterior). This may just be my cheap ass cookie sheet, and lack of cooking spray though..who knows. Just an FYI. 

If you're feeling ambitious, whip up a dipping sauce whilst they cook: 
I happened to have some sour cream on hand from burritos earlier in the week, so I whipped up some seasoned sour cream.
I added Lowry's and stirred until it was a light pinky color. Just season it to taste for yourself.

Inspector cat.

aaaaannnndddd enjoy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This Weekend I..

Holy cow guys.
Last post was Tuesday, huh? Woops.
I had posts sitting waiting to be published and then the end of the week just flew by...annnnddd here we are on Sunday night!
I didn't take many photos this weekend, and I guess I'd be lying if I said "sorry" for it, because I'm not. Sometimes not everything is photograph-worthy, and sometimes I'm just enjoying the moment too much.

Thursday and Friday I had a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar all day.
In order to remain in good standing as a lawyer, you have to attend 40 credits worth of CLE's during the "reporting period" (3 years, in this case). This particular 2-day seminar was free for newly admitted lawyers, and was 15 credits. 


The days were long, as any 8 hour day of something can be, but enjoyable (mostly). It's encouraging and a bit depressing to hear about lawyers with great jobs, and how to get there. 
With how terrible the job market is, things can be frustrating. But I would never tell someone NOT to go to law school. Maybe I'll write a post about that someday soon. 

The other benefit of the seminar was that a few of my friends who have moved out-state for clerkships or jobs were back in town, so we all got together Thursday night after Day 1 for dinner and drinks. My friend Dana (and bridesmaid) stayed with me Wednesday and Thursday night, and Thursday night our friend Kevin stayed with us too so he didn't have to drive all the way back to Stillwater and back in the morning. 

This weekend I..
fell asleep on the couch at 9:30 while trolling Pinterest Friday night

This weekend I..
went bridesmaid dress shopping and to lunch with Dana on Saturday. She just tweeted me to tell me she bought hers offline. Woop! 3 down. 

When I got home Saturday TJ was being extra snuggly and needy. At one point he curled up so close to my face his head was smooshed into mine.

I love that little guy so much. :)

M came home from a work meeting and we decided to see a matinee of Silver Lining's Playbook.
It was SO. GOOD. I really don't want to give too much away, but it's about how Bradley Cooper deals with some issues he has, as does Jennifer Lawrence, and their interaction with one another. (wow, vague much?) Just go see it. It was funny, and a bit awkward, and a sweet story. M absolutely loved it too, so it's definitely not a "chick flick" if that's what it looks like.  

Afterwards, we used the Applebee's gift card that M won from bowling at my work holiday party.


It was really nice. We had a lot of fun chatting, and split a blondie brownie with ice cream and cream cheese sauce for dessert (to this day, one of my most favorite desserts. My dad used to take me after dance when I was little and we'd always get one.) 

This weekend TJ...
got a little protective and aggressive Sunday morning. M went for a run with a co-worker, got home, and propped his feet up on the coffee table. TJ must've picked up on a scent he didn't like because he began "marking" M's shoes. (When cats wipe their cheeks on things, they're leaving their scent and "marking" their territory). BUT he was doing it SUPER hard, and just smashing his whole face onto M's shoes. It was equal parts hysterical and weird. 

I mentioned last week that TJ freaks out when asked if he wants his dinner ("deeeeeeeeeeeenur?!") or treats ("twwweeeeaattttsssss!?"). Well, I got it on film on Saturday before the movie:

He cracks me up.
That's about it for the weekend.
Sunday involved a trip to the grocery store, a nap, an SVU marathon and an itunes movie, "Hello I Must Be Going."
Hope you all had a good weekend!

I linked up with Sar and Syndal for Volume 18 of "This Weekend I"
Head on over and link up your weekend posts!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Declare 2013 "Valentine's Day"

We're here today to discuss the day half of you (apparently) inevitably love to hate. Whether you're happily coupled but decidedly rebel into the "V-Day SUX" camp to express some type of solidarity with your single counterparts, or whether you're single and ready to mingle and fall into the "OMG guyz, it's a stupid Hallmark Holiday" camp and think you look totally cool but really you look bitter... Valentines Day is a sensitive subject. 

If I'm being transparent in which side I fall on, well, I'd like to think I have a pretty good reason. And if you're confused by the title of this post, you'll soon understand why: 

Valentines Day is also the day of my birth, -- my birthday. SO it irrationally annoys me to see people making not-so-funny jokes about Valentine's Day. Not only that, they're never original. And why? If you think it's a stupid holiday, good for you. STFU about it. Haters are not known for their ability to suffer silently. (myself included ;-) )

Let's get back to the point of this post though: this year, I have declared February 14th "Valentines Day!" What do I mean by that? Well, in the past when I've been coupled up, especially with M, the day doubles as Valentines Day and my birthday. What that inevitably means is that it's "all about me" and my s/o doesn't really expect anything in return. I don't usually do the planning, or much gifting, because the focus is on my birthday. (Usually with a "romantic" twist to the day). 

WELLLLL kittens, this year, I told M that it'd be Valentines Day..meaning, I want to plan something! He's aware that this does not absolve him from gift giving. 
Just kidding, it's always his prerogative to gift-give, but I wouldn't care much either way. 

I'm not going to divulge what is in the works for V-Day '13, since M snoops this-here-blog of mine, but stay tuned for the "reveal" on Valentines Day! It's going to be good :)

In the meantime, I can tell you a bit about past years with M, which have always been eventful! He can be quite thoughtful when it comes to special days. 
(I'm not writing this in an attempt to get people to tell me how sweet M is, I already know he's sweet. Instead, this is more so that I remember the details of these days, since I was having trouble conjuring up the details of last year's V-Day while drafting this. Woops.)

Valentines Day 2010:
This one was kind of hilarious and one for the record books. It was our first V-Day/B-Day together and we'd only been seeing each other for a month and a half. M was on his bestest behavior. Well, we'd chatted a lot in those early days about our "favorites" and it came out that I liked Eric Church. I made M listen to some of his music and M decided he liked him as well. I thought it'd be fun to buy us tickets for an upcoming concert in March or April of that year as my V-Day gift for him, so buy them I did. 

M picked me up and we went to his apartment and he surprised me with scrabble and wine (something we did on our 3rd date- played scrabble) before dinner. There we were, laying tiles, when M laid "Eric" and I got all huffy because IT'S A PROPER NOUN and against the rules. That's when he told me to LOOK at the board-->

Well I'll be damned. 
He'd snuck some tiles into his coat pocket and rigged the game so he could tell me what my gift was in this fashion. 
Next thing I know I have an envelope in my hand and I was all "STFU, he did NOT" and sure enough, he bought us Eric Church tickets. 
I started to laugh and handed him HIS gift- a matching set of Eric Church tickets. Yep, we bought each other the same thing. (We ended up selling my tix on craigslist, haha).
We went to 112 eatery in MPLS after and I had the best zuchinni chorizo and burger ever (that I've never been able to duplicate) and tres leche cake (also orgasmic). 

Valentines Day 2011:
He made me guess where we were going to eat, and he surprised me and brought me back to 112 eatery. 
Sentimental one, that boy. I got the same burger. I can't really recall many other details...but it was no doubt a nice night.

Valentines Day 2012:
Came home to a few envelopes on the table revealing a few small gifts: gift card for ice cream for our upcoming Naples vaca, a 'certificate' for me to pick out a bar cart for our house (still haven't gotten this one... lol), a promise to make some wood-transfer-art (this one never panned out either, haha!) aanndd lastly a ticket confirmation for The Vow that night at our local movie theater, and a menu for the theater. 
He took me to see The Vow (he is not a fan of chick flicks) at the fancy theater by our house that lets you bring in food and drinks. We split a pizza and watched the movie in the VIP section. Twas perfect. 

I'm excited for this year, I love to plan/surprise. The sneakier I can be, and the bigger the surprise, the better. SO I'm pretty much jumping out of my skin for Feb. 14th to get here so I can reveal my surprise. Stay tuned. 

Aannnndddd despite my preface regarding my distates for V-Day haterz. Do share. Do you hate V-Day? If so, why? Do you go all out? What's one of your FAVORITE V-Day's past? 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Birthdays and Booze: the weekend round up

This weekend was one of those weekends that just made me feel really grateful for my life.
M was out of town (no, that's not why I was grateful- and wouldn't that be sad?)
Friday I just relaxed with my favorite little furball

Saturday morning I woke up early and headed to the gym with a bag packed so I could get ready there before heading to my parents house.
I will maintain until my death that it was NOT MY FAULT that this happened:

I was "that girl" at the gym.
But some old lady was LEERING at me as I was unpacking my stuff and getting out my lock and headphones. She totally threw me off, and in my haste, I tossed my key back into my purse and proceeded to lock it all in my locker. WAH.
I went and worked out and then had to ask an employee to cut my lock off. Except, she was super tiny and we sort of mangled the latch for the actual locker trying to cut it off. Woops.

After that debacle I showered and headed to my parent's house.
Dad had a bathroom designer coming over, since he wants to get it redone before the wedding, and he asked me to be there (and save his bathroom from a remodel that put it promptly back in the 80s. Love him, but pops' sense of home style is a wee bit dated.)

After the designer left, we headed to Wisconsin for my Grandma's 95th birthday.
We had 40 mph winds a good portion of the day on Saturday, and the siding started to come off my Grandma's house. So my brother went outside to try to tuck it in.. and the wind kept blowing his shirt up.
Like a good sibling, I stood inside and took photos.
He doesn't know my blog exists, so, I get to do things like this. :)

Sunday I had a little blogger brunch with Jess, Syndal and Lauren at Granite City.
We met at 11:30 and I didn't hop into my car until 2:45, if that tells you anything about what kind of a time we had.

Such a good brunch buffet with an "omelette to order" bar.

Syndal was enjoying herself the bottomless mimosas.
We were under the impression she'd be ordering them herself, but when she wasn't even half done with the first one and new ones KEPT showing up, we determined there was on a set "order" of mimosa variety, and our waiter Damien kept them comin'.

Lo applying the "skinny filter" for Damien's poor photo angle skills.

M was home from his ice fishing weekend by the time I got home, and we proceeded to watch copious amounts of football. 
Sunday night we made homemade ravioli I might post the recipe, although it'd have to be with some addendums about what NOT to do, since it ended up being far too lemony. Otherwise, it was good. 

In fact it was SO lemony I couldn't even finish it.
After brunch I napped and then ate a bunch of CheezIts around dinnertime, so I wasn't terrible hungry.
About to crawl into bed and watch Dateline with my actual dinner: a bag of popcorn.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm over here!

I'm not here today! Nope.
Instead, I'm over HERE. (click on through! I'm talking about my study-abroad trip to Malta.)

yuuupppp. that's Malta. interested? thought so.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013



I'm here today to talk glasses. 
I know, I know, you've seen a few of these reviews before and are probably rolling your eyes, but hear me out. I'm not going to be so noble in saying I would never do reviews on this site, or give you some kind of a disclaimer that I'll only do reviews that are a good "fit" for me. 

Actually it kind of took me by surprise since I have like, an M&M bag worth of followers (but I lurve all of you M&M's). 

Bottom line is: I wear glasses and contacts and my glasses are scratched to shit and 5 years old SO when Firmoo contacted me about participating in their blogger affiliate program I was all HECK YES!  

Actually, I let the email sit for a while because I'm lazy sometimes and then Antonio at Firmoo sent a follow up email and despite my poor response time and bad manners, still wanted me to participate (YAY!), and despite my usual "eye roll" at reviews, I am so glad I did. 

Their website was clean and easy to navigate. First, choose your glasses (I tried to find my exact pair on the site but they must have been a  HOTT seller because they're MIA. They have similar styles however in the #BD30003, #CP6061, and #SD2326). 

They asked for my prescription, obviously, but also the distance between your eyes so they can fit them to your face. After a quick phone call to my eye doctor to figure out how to read my prescription (der.) I was a few quick clicks away from a confirmation email! As I'm sure you know I've been trying to get more comfortable with my personal style, so I was excited to try a pair of glasses that weren't so "safe" for me, and were more trendy.

Imagine my delight when these pretties showed up (10 days after submitting my order, nonetheless):

They also came with a pink glasses wipe, and a teensy tinsy screw driver and spare screws to fix my glasses, should I ever need to! I have never seen anything like that included with the glasses, so that was a really nice assurance to have!

See!? teensy tinsy.
They also came with a pretty, solid case, which is good, because tossing my glasses in my purse pocket is what got my old pair scratched. That AND my old pair's case wouldn't snap shut fully. 

I LOVE my glasses. They're very "hipster" but they make me feel more sophisticated. They have a pretty studded detail on the arms, and they fit perfectly. They're light on my face and don't give me headaches the way my old glasses used to, because there was so much pressure on my head from how snug they were. 

They also make me feel more studious. I was inspired to read an old book about the Ojibwe from college. Just kidding, I thought it'd make for an appropriately dorky blogger-photo-op. 

The nice thing about them is they DON'T make me feel so dorky when dressed up, and that if I hadn't already put in my contacts, I would've actually worn them out to my work party Saturday night (which is what I took these photos before).

I'll admit, I feel like kind of a hypocrite for saying all this, after seeing 100 reviews for the Hana products that I was all "OK, we get it, whatever." and ignored the overall message. Also, I was a twee bit jealous of peeps gettin' free stuff.

That being said, I think it'd be 100% worth the 5 minutes it would take for you to participate in Firmoo's "First Pair Free" program which means you get to try glasses FREE by only paying the shipping.

Want to hear something even better? Glasses aren't just for four-eyes like me anymore. Glasses are trendy, and Firmoo has all of the trendiest frames, in prescription or NON-prescription! They also have sunglasses available in both options!(Do I sound like a salesman? I feel like one right now. Oh well, these glasses are awesome. I'm wearing them RIGHT NOW).

Worried about ordering from an online store? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't, but while I took a leap of faith in the fit/look, you don't have to! They have an option to upload a photo of yourself to virtually "try on" the glasses! I didn't have a good photo of myself to use whilst at work, which is when I ordered, but it's nice to have some visual confirmation that you won't look like a total dweeb in your new specs, even if they ARE fo free.

I found myself excited on Saturday night at the prospect of wearing glasses on Sunday, and giving my contacts a break. You guys, that NEVER happens. I avoid my specs like the plague. I'm so thrilled I got a chance to participate in this program and M has told me no less than 4 times how much he likes my new glasses.