Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Minnesota Bloggers cooking class

Just got done with an informational interview with an attorney, chugged my mocha becuase I never know what to do with my hands (so now I'm shaking like crazy), and am sweating profusely (per the ush) sooooo we'll see how this recap goes. meep!
Friday night we had our MN Bloggers Cooking Class! Andrea's mom hosts at her home way up der nort, in Forest Lake, MN. The theme was "lettuce...." I think it was "lettuce have fun" or "lettuce cook" but it was a pun involving lettuce, which I'm always down with. All the dishes involved, duh, lettuce! Lo and I teamed up to make lettuce chicken wraps (which I actually replicated last night for dinner, and they were just as tasty!)
I took a picture of Lo cutting because it was silly.
luh you. ;-) 

Andrea and Lindsey teaming up for the chicken caesar salad pizza (ceasar? caesar? casear? I'm convinced as long as you have 2 a's and one e, nobody will notice if that word is spelled wrong).

Cheeseburger salad! I got over my fear of luke-warm ground beef (since this dish was done first) and tried it: twas delishus.

Our awesome lettuce wraps:

BLT pasta salad:

and lastly, the chicken caesar pizza:

Reggie was our mascot. He trembled for approximately 1.5 hours by Britt's feet, before he relaxed. So sweet. So tiny.


Andrea made these little paint-stick prompts for us to discuss on our blogs (and at class). I'd have to say the strangest thing I've eaten was probably at my friend's barbecue a few years ago.. they had all sorts of "weird" meat: camel, bison, alligator, etc. I sampled some of the least scary sounding ones.

and then because it was Channing Tatum's birthday, and because he's somehow become the MN Blogger's unofficial mascot, Andrea made everyone a mini-chan-fan. I took clean cut channing. Love me a man in a sport coat.

and then Channing blew out his birthday candle! (I promise we're not delusional).

The night came to a close, and Andrea, Jess, Lauren and I decided to go to running aces for un beverage to decompress. Reggie said "Bai!!!!"

and I ended up having one glass of wine that gave me the spins. Woops. #lightweight.

So there you have it! If you're a MN blogger and haven't come to an event yet, please please pleeaasseeee COME. We'd love to have you :) EVEN if you don't swoon over Channing Tatum. ;-)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From snow to seventy: the most glorious weekend ever.


Only in Minnesota does it go from snowing one day, to 81 degrees out less than a week apart. 
That about sums up the weekend: sunny, beautiful, heaven. A surefire way to cure the aforementioned "funk." 

Friday night I attended a Minnesota Bloggers cooking class.. which I'll be recapping on Tuesday. 

Saturday morning as a whole was pretty much perfect. I headed off to my hair appointment with the windows down, was nearly lulled back to sleep as the stylist cut my hair, and then afterwards (because I had a gift certificate for the hair cut) treated myself to a Caribou cooler. Got home, and relaxed with my furry buddy. 

While I was lounging, M was off buying himself a kayak. 


He's been wanting one for a long time and finally pulled the trigger. He's hoping to fish out of it on some local lakes (that don't allow motorized boats). And actually, today (Sunday) he putzed around Cedar Lake and had a blast.

 This picture is totally random, but I finally caught TJ doing his "paw rub" that I've talked about before. He launches himself onto the back of the chair, perches there, sticks his butt in the air, and then rubs his paws on the edge of the chair. It's pretty amusing, especially when he's off balance and topples off... which has happened more than once:

Spent a lot of time with these two: 

Saturday night M and I went to my church's silent auction. (I took no photos). We were close to the youngest people there, but it's always a fun event. They have it catered, decorate the gym/commons area to the nines, do a live auction portion of the evening, and have live music. A lot of my former grade school teachers attend, too.. so it's always nice catching up with them.

Sunday M and I went to breakfast at Aster Cafe. I'm not sure if I've mentioned, but a few weeks ago we decided that instead of eating out randomly (when we have no food or aren't in the mood to cook) we'd designate Saturday (or Sunday, if we're busy) mornings as our "dining out" for the week. Obviously other events will come up, but this is our new little routine. We both love getting up reasonably early on the weekends, and we both love brunch, so we've been rotating breakfast spots the past 4 weeks. Actually 3 of the spots we'd been to before, but we're allowed to go to places we've been, we're just going to try not to repeat for as long as possible since starting our brunch-dates. If you're at all a fan of quiche, you need to go to Aster. They have the best quiche in Minneapolis (that I've tasted so far, and I've tasted a LOT of quiche). 

After breakfast, I took a nap, and M kayaked a bit. I painted my nails on the deck, and TJ sat by the back door and howled. Although, with the door closed I call it his "silent meow"


It was simultaneously the most adorable and saddest thing ever. 

We made kebabs and potatoes for dinner...

Got a little squirrely with the kitty...


and the weekend ended the way it began: with a kitty in the window, snuggled up on the couch. 

I also just realized that leaving Friday out of this post just resulted in a lotttttt of cat photos. Sorry I'm not sorry. He's adorable. Anyway, stay tuned for the cooking class recap!

Hope you all had a good weekend :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

TGIF-(sorta) hot mess edition

First, I wanted to say thank you guys for the pep talk on Wednesday's emo-post. (Was that Wednesday? I think so.) It helped. Some days I'm wildly optimistic about my prospects and know that I'll look back on this phase of my life with a "oof, glad that's over" but happy to be where I am, mentality. Right now though, it just sorta sucks. and when I look at it side by side with  my debt? sucks harder.

soooo I did what I usually do when I'm feeling funk-y, I scheduled a haircut. Nothing drastic, I am, after all, growing it out for the wedding. But my split ends are finally starting to repulse me. I think the last haircut I got was July of 2012. Yep.

The hot-messness stems from the fact that M gave me a ride to work today, and in the ensuing "Not used to riding to work together" morning, I forgot my ring, my cell phone, and when I hopped out of the car to cross the street to get to my building-- my lunch (in his car). So, TGIF! I am glad I opted to get a smoothie at Caribou this morning though (before I realized I forgot my lunch), something I used to do in high school all the time before I actually liked coffee. At least it can double as a breakfast, of sorts.

I do have a funny story though, that has to do with why M picked me up last night: we had our "FOCCUS" survey... which is like, a pre-marital inventory the church gives you as a part of your marriage counseling. We had to answer 156 questions on a scan tron that ranged from things like:

I feel pressure from others to get married. (Agree)(Disagree)(Uncertain)


I feel comfortable being nude around my future spouse. (Agree)(Disagree)(Uncertain)

Two comical things happened: on the front of the sheet where it takes all your demographics, it asks, "how many months have you been dating." At dinner after, M asks what I put for that. O_o.... um, what did YOU put is the better question. He says "30." I start laughing, because it's been 40. (all of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 4 months of 2013=40). That wasn't even a section we were being "tested" on and M bombed it. Wonder what the priest will think of that, haha. And then, M tells me he filled out the "cohabitation" section. Did I mention we're getting married in the Catholic Church? again. O_o. Our priest knows we live together, already, based on another form we filled out.. but M provided him a lot more information than he probably needed. M maintains he told us to fill out that section, too... I didn't hear that. So, we'll see who was right in a few weeks!

That's about it. 2 days, no pictures, not even apologizing. Sometimes I don't blog because I feel pressured to put photos up, and taking pictures, transferring them, and editing them is a royal pain.

Hope you guys have a good weekend! We have a MN Bloggers cooking class tonight I'm looking forward to, and the silent auction tomorrow night! Always a good time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

feeling funk-y (not the good kind, either)

and unfortunately this goes far deeper than "writer's block."

I don't know what my deal is, but lately I've felt "off"... large and in part due to my job situation (or lack thereof) but I've felt it trickling into other areas of my life.

I haven't talked about it on here because, well, I don't particularly enjoy admitting to failure, and also because there really isn't much to report. I've been clerking at a law firm for 2 years now, but unfortunately (and I understand why) they don't have a permanent position for me as an associate at the moment. I've come to terms with that. The rumor mill has churned up some news, however, that my indefinite term here until I find something else couuullddddd become...definite. as in, see ya! This has not been confirmed but it has sent me into a twee bit of a panic.

I've been applying to other jobs for a long time, had in the neighborhood of 6 interviews, and nothing has panned out. #womp. This of course makes me think that I am the world's most awkward interviewer, which of course makes me more awkward at said interviews. This despondent cycle has crept into my brain and laid the, "do I really want to be a lawyer" seed. Yeah, I went there. The girl who wrote that "I won't ever tell someone not to go to law school" post less than 3 months ago. I think 85% of it has to do with the job search and my current state of affairs. I'm just feeling burnt out...and although I'm working in the legal field, I'm not exactly working in the capacity that one who is a licensed attorney (who wants to practice) should be. It's been hard for me to stay passionate about something when it feels like I've been "out of the loop" for a while now. It's also hard to watch classmates get jobs practicing... which leaves me feeling stale in terms of my experience and talents. It's been hard to get myself excited, about anything. It has me feeling lazy in other areas. I just lack motivation as a whole: laundry sits to be folded, house is messy, half finished wedding projects,... as much as I want a new job, I've found myself feeling too lazy to write a cover letter. Which is asanine, even I realize that.

Then, in particularly low moments, I start to wonder why I even went to law school. I feel like I'm not good at what I'm doing, and I start to daydream about how much better a creative industry would be. How I could have probably been just as happy in a different career with significantly less debt. Don't get me wrong, I love the law.. but I'm not going to pretend it's the only thing that would have fulfilled me in life. And in this moment, of semi-joblessness and minimal prospects? The trade off I made doesn't seem worth it. I fantasize about going to work for a wedding company where I get to craft, and look at beautiful photos all day. As much as I firmly believe not everybody who owns a DSLR is a professional photographer, a teensy tiny part of me would LOVE to quit my job and just take and edit photos.

Unfortunately wanting something bad enough, but being too lazy to do anything about it, won't get me very far. So, here's hoping with the warmer weather, I snap out of this funk. A new job wouldn't hurt either.

I'm not really looking for "you can do it!" comments. Seriously. I just... wanted to write it out. Maybe putting it out in the universe, admitting it, will bring me some better ju ju... and give me the motivation to really hit the job hunt hard. Or finally give me the balls take a pro-bono case with an organization I said I'd volunteer with (hi, too chicken to take a case for fear of looking stupid, not knowing what I'm doing, and disappointing these victims [it's a domestic violence org. who represents victims seeking orders for protection against their abuser] because they think they're getting a free experienced lawyer to help them and then this baby-faced idiot shows up.) --> I've never claimed to be rational.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A day late and a dollar short.

With this weekend recap.
It's snowing as I type this.. a predicted 6+ inches. It's April 22nd. Pardon my french, but this fucking sucks. I don't want anybody's optimistic bullshit either, I just want some damned green grass and my sanity. Please and thank you. 

Anyway, onto less depressing subjects... this past weekend!
Friday night I had my group of law school friends over to the house.
Dana and Dustin were in town for different things, and Tony drove up from Mankato. It was the first time in a LONG time we've had all of us together (well, minus Daryl) and it was a ton of fun, even packed into our tiny living room.

Sammi's patented "what the fuck" face...as it's come to be known. 

(Pretty kitty the next morning)

Saturday I woke up to 2 house guests (Tony and Dana) who spent the night. I'm glad we don't have roommates anymore at this age, but I will say it was nice to have some other people around in the morning to chat with. I do, sorta, just sometimes.. miss that aspect of college. Too bad I hated 75% of my college roommates I had.  

Later that day I took 2 naps, both glorious. 

Then, M and I decided to stop being lazy sacks, and he asked if I wanted to go see The Place Beyond the Pines. 

Who am I to say no to Ryan Gosling (even with poorly dyed hair) and Bradley Cooper.


It's probably not a movie I'd go see a second time, nor is it a movie I'd advocate you run out and see in theaters. It wasn't bad but I didn't think it was particularly great. Kind of a downer, overall. Which I have no problem with, but added to the peculiar storyline...and it was, well, peculiar.

Sunday I headed over to my parents house to help clean out the office/my old bedroom. My dad is trying to get the house in order before the wedding, and ready to host guests. He's getting the bathroom (which is currently mustard-yellow in color) redone within the next month, and wants to paint my old room. He doesn't know this blog exists, so I can confess my plan with you folks: I want to redo the office while he and M are in Canada for their fishing trip. I did it to his kitchen, too, 2 years ago (which actually could use a touch up because my mom has DESTROYED the cabinets/walls with her wheelchair. It actually makes me want to cry when I think about how beautiful it was when I first did it. wah.)

Anyway, I find I work best without interference. If given options and input, he'd nit pick and hem and haw about whether he should do certain things. I learned based on my kitchen surprise, however, that you completely redo/clean a room, and nobody is going to complain. Some people work better when not given an option. He just bought a new computer, so I want to get him a new desk (he's still using my wooden one from when I was 12), paint the room a crisp grey, white trim, some nice curtains, and get new bedding and a rug. I'm hoping to sell some of the old furniture to fund it. SO stay tuned for that :)

That was about it! I think. Lounged around the rest of the day.

M and I have been chasing a HUGE raccoon around the perimeter of the house tonight. Actually a more accurate description would be: we're watching TJ fffreeeeeeaaakkk the F out and chase the raccoon from window to window. I've only seen him get "puffy tail" once before (when he encountered a feral cat through the screen) but he's skittering around with it now. Kind of hilarious.

If you need me I'll be rocking back and forth in a corner until the snow thaws. Which, according to some reports (not yet to be trusted) COULD be this weekend. We're looking at (knock on wood) 70 DEGREES. THIS GIRL cannot wait.

Hope ya'll had a good weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wedding DIY: bow bracelets (bridesmaid gift)

Today I bring you a dainty DIY -- surprise, surprise, another wedding project! My idea came from this pin, originally:

I think the caption said something like, "thanks for helping us tie the knot!" -- I love a good wedding pun. I had been working with floral wire when I made the monogrammed hangers, so I thought this may be another project I could utilize it for. 


Floral wire runs about $4 at Michael's, if you know a man you likely have free access to pliers, and..well.. I hope you have a pen. Not pictured: 8 feet of plain necklace-type chain, from Michael's, and a "jewlery kit" (with the little claspy-things), each $4. 

Total for this project: $12.00 (for 5 bracelets!) 

SO, here's how you do it:

1.) about an inch up from the end of the wire (I like to leave it on the roll until a later step), wrap the wire around the pen (like above). This gives it a nice rounded form.  (and ignore my stress-cuticle in the above photo.. O_o.. gross).

2.) Move the pen adjacent to the first loop, and make a second loop. Make sure that both pieces that will form the "tails" of the bow are on the same side of the wire that crosses over them.  (You can see in the above photo, both parts of what will be the "tails" are on the back side of that wire that's the bottom of the loop).

3.) Take the tails and cross them. In #2, you'll see they are running parallel. Just make sure they point on opposite sides of the "loop" they belong to. Does that make sense, at all? Then, take the "tail" that's still connected to the roll of wire, and bring it up and "over" the loops (see above photo), and then bring it back down behind it (this forms the central "knot").. like this: 

4.) Ta-da! bow. Cut off the rest of the roll of wire. I then use the ridges on the nose of the pliers to file down the tips since cutting can make them pretty sharp. I then used a combo of my fingers and the pliers to flip the tails of the bow out a little bit. I liked the way it looked better than the straight one.

5.) (Not pictured) I cut the long chain to what I thought would fit a wrist (and fixed it after fitting it), and assembled the clasp/loop. I then strung it through both sides of the loops of the bow and, voila:


Bow bracelet! I only hope I guesstimated the sizes for the girls correctly. It's hard to visualize someone and then try to picture their wrists. :-/ .. worst case scenario, it doesn't fit, and I take it home to my "shop" to remedy it quick with another strand of $4 chain.

I bought the linen bags for $5 (for 12) and I had the tags from my escort card project. I love them! I've added them to the bag with the earrings I also purchased for each girl (which resemble my earrings, but are square).

I just wanted to say something about my DIY's. (Mostly before I do a post about how I'm going to hand-calligraphy all of the invitations and you all think I'm nutty). I'm sure some people may look at the long list of DIY's under the wedding tab and think I'm a perfectionist, or that I obsess over the details. I know nobody (or very few people) will notice the writing on the envelopes. I'm sure not a lot of people will appreciate the time that went into the escort cards. And honestly? Escort cards could have been done WAY quicker, but that's not the point. The point, for me, is that I absolutely love spending time on wedding-related DIY's.

I like being creative, I like making things... I'm also (obviously) really excited about the wedding and marrying M. I also know the day itself will go by quick! I use this time crafting, preparing, to prolong that excitement about the day as much as I can. SO, that's why I DIY. Not because I'm anal about details, not because I think most people will even notice, not because if my wedding doesn't have hand-calligraphied envelopes I'll JUST.DIE., but because I truly love expending energy towards what will undoubtedly be the best day of my life.

mush over, hope you liked the bracelets :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

spring snow and a wedding: weekend round up.

Sooo you guys don't care what motions are. point taken. ;-)
Just kidding, I didn't leave much for you to comment on, but I do hope it was remotely informative!
This weekend was equal parts relaxing and exhausting. But the best kind of exhausting: dancing your pants off at a wedding, exhausting. Saturday two of M's friends, Pete and Kim, got married. It was at the Sofitel in Bloomington. I had never been inside, but they had some gorgeous modern chandeliers (which I took no photos of) and a live band.
I know our friends are a-typical (although it seems like live bands are more the trend these days) but we've had 3 live-band weddings (2 with the same band) out of a total of 4... so a teensy tiny part of me has wedding-envy since we're just having a DJ. That being said, I have seen this group of friends at a DJ wedding as well, and as long as there's liquor involved, they break it down with the best of them.
I bought this coral dress (Francescas) and nude heels (target) a month or so ago for this wedding. So, snow-be-damned I was going to wear it!
Some of the girlfriends/wives: Andrea, Gretchen, Eve, Katie and I. These girls (plus 2 more) were also at the cabin last weekend. I'm lucky to be marrying into such a great group of friends...they always have a good time! 

These clowns. haha. I will say, I have no idea who 3 of these guys are, but the rest are part of M's group. I saw a cluster of guys forming, though, and ran over for a photo op. I'm ashamed to admit, that since getting my DSLR, I've turned into a camera snob. I was so disappointed in the way these all turned out (I just brought my little point and shoot).. I don't think I can ever go back.

I snagged these photos from Facebook and Instagram- the bride and groom: 

and (almost) all the ladies

such a good time.

M and I had the most comically depressing evening after the wedding. I was driving us home when M says, "how good does McDonald's sound right now. Will you bring us there?"

NEVER one to say no to a large fry, I relented. It was about 12:20, and we were crushed to pull up to the drive through only to find out it was closed. I get to the intersection to turn into our neighborhood and ask M, "what about Little Ceasars?" We were fatty's on a mission, not to be deterred, and there is also a LC a few blocks from our place. The light turns green and M whispers "turn left! turn left! do it!" I'm cracking up as we head over for a delicious hot-n-ready. But guess what? CLOSED. even more depressing. At this point, I'm tired, cranky, and starving. M decides to order a Papa John's to be delivered (Which is also a few blocks from our house. Seriously, there are 4 pizza places within a half mile. It's absurd) and I about throw a fit because I'm torn between being SO sleepy and SO hungry. I begrudgingly settle in on the couch to wait for the pizza (they said 30-40 and it was probably like.. 15-2 minutes) only to find Sex & the City on tv, which I happily passed the time with.

Pizza arrived, we scarfed, and then drug ourselves to bed.

We continued our classy shenannigans Sunday when we woke up around 11:00 with no food in the house,... M drove us to McDonald's to satiate our craving from the night before.

aaaaand in case you were wondering the poor decisions continued into Sunday night when we ordered take out from a chinese place down the road. Actually, I take that back, I enjoyed every damn minute of that pizza, fries, and egg rolls. nomnomnom.

anyway, back to the grind. I have some exhilirating federal regulations to research. O_o. barf.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Monday, April 8, 2013



This weekend was both relaxing and exhausting. 
Relaxing because M and I holed up with 6 other couples in a cabin 2 hours north of the cities.
Exhausting because I'm an old lady and drinking 2 nights in a row, and staying up past midnight, takes a lot outta a girl. 

M and the guys go ice fishing every winter and they'd mentioned this cabin they stay at. One of the guys thought it'd be fun to plan a couples weekend at said cabin. Well, we quickly discovered that said "cabin" is the equivalent of a northern mansion, and served as a perfect retreat for the weekend. 

We had 2 puppies come with, too. Charlie is the black and tan one, Max is the red one. Charlie was so calm and so sweet... Max? well, Max is like his daddy and ready to party at any given moment. 

The weekend started off wholesome..

And then because this is a totally normal thing to do, Tom and Andy went upstairs for a costume change. 

We played a lot of card games ..

and lounged by the fire (since this lovely spring brought snow on Friday in Minnesota. 


and enjoyed a lot of family dinners at the giant dining room table. 

and because I am sleepy, and have a kitty who missed his momma

I'm going leave you with that, and go snuggle.

Hope you all had a good weekend!