Tuesday, February 24, 2015

10 Questions

I thought this would be a fun post for a Tuesday. I saw these questions on someone else’s blog.

Twitter or Facebook?

Definitely Facebook. It is my favorite social media. While I have actually had a Twitter account for about 7 years, I just find it to be a lot of irrelevant noise where I have to go through and actually find the good things. And whenever I tweet, I feel like I am talking to myself. So definitely Facebook. Sometimes I think people listen to me on there! Sometimes.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

I am kind of both. Sometimes, especially lately, I am up as early as 4:30 a.m. which gives me time to drink coffee, watch the news and/or work out after I let the dogs out and then feed them and the cats. On one hand, I try to be in bed by 10:00 but on the other hand, I have a couple of bad habits….playing games on my phone before I fall asleep and sleeping with my phone under my pillow. My closest friends know they can text me at 2:00 or 3:00 am and I will always answer. Maybe I don’t get enough sleep!

How Do You Drink Coffee?

I drink my coffee black. No cream or sugar. Just black. That way it has no calories. But it does need to be a light roast or flavored.

It is 9:00 p.m. and You Have the House to Yourself – What Do You Do?

Probably on the couch with my dogs and a cat or two, watching TV. Or maybe in bed early with a book. Most likely a glass of wine. This only ever happens when Eric travels for work. I do love having the house to myself!

What Is on your nightstand now?

Eric has the nightstand on his side of the bed so he puts his glasses there and his 2 cell phones. My side of the bed has a poufy thing that I bought at Nordstrom—Violet uses it as a step to climb on the bed. At night, that is where my iPad is and a couple of books that I am reading.

What smell do you love?

I love anything vanilla like my perfume,and chocolate and fruity scents. Also things like rain and wet leaves in the fall.

What smell do you hate?

The smell of meat cooking – gag. #vegetarian

Other than your current home, where you would most like to live?

In Southern California in a beach house so I could hear the ocean every night when I fall asleep. Or Hawaii – that would be good too!

If you could only eat one nationality of food for the rest of your life, which would it be?

This is a difficult one! Mexican or Italian…..I can’t decide.

When you were 6 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Pretty sure a school teacher like my grandma who taught first grade because I always played school with my stuffed animals.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Review in the Frozen Midwest

Happy Monday! It was a super cold weekend and it continues today. 15 below zero when I woke up this morning at 5:15. But I managed to stay warm with fun plans & trying to avoid the outdoors as much as possible. Friday is my half day at the office and we had just enough snow to make it a very slow commute. I drove 2 and a half hours (I work 27 miles from my office) to work a 2-hour day! Crazy, right? My commute time is normally 40 minutes and sometimes 30, especially on a Friday when traffic is typically lighter. A little snow and ice throws a monkey wrench in that.

  It seemed like I had just gotten to work when it was time to turn around and leave, but actually that is okay because my friend, Heidi, and I had plans to meet for wine at one of our favorite places, Lakes Tavern & Grill in Woodbury. Heidi is one of my best work friends and she just gave her notice this week so I felt like we really needed to catch up on everything that has been going on at our office and in our lives, etc. We had wine and deviled eggs and the time flew. 

 I set a firm time to leave at 3:30 as I wanted to get home to get ready for my Friday night barre burn class. For those who do not know, that is a class that combines yoga, pilates, free weights and the ballet bar and targets muscles with isometric moves. I hope I said that right! I really try to make a point of going on Friday nights. But when I got home I had a voice mail from the yoga studio that the regular teacher was off and now the substitute instructor was out sick so no class. My husband said let’s go out to dinner and celebrate his big work bonus. He gets a huge bonus every February so, yes, we should celebrate.

  But sometimes I am a cheap date so I suggested a new diner that had just opened in Woodbury, Ze’s. I had one of these strawberry malts and some cheesy eggs AND cheesy hashbrowns , and then we went to Best Buy and Target and that was our exciting Friday night!

Saturday morning dawned cold again, and I had set another goal of attending 3 exercise classes at Shape Me Group Fitness in Roseville . 3 of my girlfriends were at the first Zumba class, but they left before Yoga Sculpt. I stuck that one out and it was pretty intense. I had about an hour break before Zumba Toning. In total, I worked out for 3 hours. I probably will not do that again, but I would consider attending both Zumba and Zumba Toning classes in the same day.  I did have a feeling of accomplishment, like the one you get when you do a 25-mile bike ride with lots of hills with a HEAVY bike, say a beach cruiser!

  Sunday I had a doggie birthday party and brunch to attend at my neighbor, Katie’s house. Noodles, my pug, got sent home early for peeing everywhere—it was a little bit embarrassing, but that is what happens when you are the only boy dog in a room full of Chihuahua females. Violet was not that happy to be there either so I took her home next – she is just not social with other dogs. Still it was a fun party with mimosas and eggs and Katie always has great parties!

And that was my weekend and how I stayed warm!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentine's Day Recap & Other Random Thoughts

Hello and Happy Wednesday. I know some lucky people had a 3-day weekend with President’s Day but I just had my usual 2 and a half. Note to myself to take off President’s Day next year because when Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, you can make a long weekend out of it and go on a short trip. Next year, Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday. I am already thinking ahead. 

Which reminds me of my Wise Words for Wednesday that I put on Facebook. “Wouldn’t life be better if we all lived in the season and enjoyed the present day to the fullest?” These winter pictures are so pretty and winter can be beautiful, but also miserably cold like today when the wind chill is 30 below zero and my dogs don’t want to be outside for their walks and neither do I! But the point of my Wise Words is sort of Zen – be in the moment no matter what the moment is. I try for that always but my brain often flies ahead of me and I do like to plan for fun future events on my calendar. Just trying to find a balance. That’s Libra.

Right now my three fun things on my calendar are Roxie is coming to stay with me at the end of March. Roxie Fox, the little Shih Tzu I dog-sit for. Then in April Eric and I are going to Seaside, Florida. We are renting a beach cottage. I cannot wait for that!

 In the more distant future, we are going on a road trip over the 4th of July to New Hampshire. I would rather fly, but Eric enticed me by telling me I could take both my dogs and normally only Violet flies with me—Noodles is just a little bit fat and plus I don’t think he would cooperate on a long flight. My in-laws have a great house on the lake and they have a beagle so that will be fun. We often go there for the 4th.

To a lesser extent, my calendar also indicates when Eric is out of town in March-once to San Francisco for a work conference and then to Florida for a guys’ golf vacation. I do like having the house to myself and with 3 cats and 2 dogs, I am never really alone or lonely.

Now for a Valentine’s Day recap – for the first time ever, I told Eric not to get me flowers because it fell on a Saturday and it is really more fun to get them at the office. But really I pointed out that he could take the money he spends on flowers, say $125, and put that towards a hair salon appointment for me . So that is what he did. I secretly did miss getting flowers though. I got him a card and a red velvet donut with chocolate frosting. Fair enough? 

We went to dinner at Bonefish Grill and it was really delicious with a huge array of seafood to choose from. I saw about 6 things I wanted on the menu! My favorite thing was the dessert though—they had a chocolate crème brule that was the best dessert I have ever had. Ever!

The only problem was it was hard to get reservations and the only time I could get was 3:45 p.m. We were eating dinner at 4:00 like senior citizens! Afterwards, Eric drug me to my least favorite place in the world, well next to Home Depot and Golf Galaxy, Costco. Ugh! But it was in the same shopping area as Bonefish so I was being agreeable and he did let me stop at Anthropologie. We got home plenty early so I was able to hang out with friends too.

Oh, and speaking of friends, I also wanted to mention how much fun Friday night was. My neighbor and friend, Katie and another friend, Angie, had a dinner party with a Caribbean theme. It was so much fun and the food was great and we played some, um, “interesting” games! I am lucky to have such a great neighbor. Next weekend, she is having a birthday party for her Chihuahuas with brunch and mimosas. Something else I am looking forward to.

And that is my week so far. Stay warm!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy February!

Happy February! 

 Of course, February started with the Super Bowl last Sunday. I was so excited about the game and watched all of the coverage I could during the week leading up to the big game. I stayed home sick two days the last week in January so I spent a lot of time watching the NFL Network. The day of the actual game, I watched all of the pre-game stuff. You should know, the Seahawks are my team and they have been for a very long time—not like a recent thing. Not like when they started getting good. Always. 


So when they lost—I was, let’s say deflated. (Pun intended). It took a few days to get to the point where I could reconcile what happened with that last play. I still have so much love for my team and I respect their coach, Pete Carroll, and I have my favorite players (Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson). Of course, I wanted them to win two Super Bowls in a row - how awesome would that have been? But just the fact that they made it to back-to-back Super Bowls was amazing, and I am excited for next season.

 I wasn’t that sad to say goodbye to January; it does make it just a little bit closer to spring and in the upper Midwest, the winters can be very long. I brought a little spring inside with my bulb garden. 

 This past weekend I went to the Hot Air Affair in my town of Hudson, Wisconsin. We are really known for our hot air balloons and it is very cool to see them up close. Someday, I would love to go up in one. On Saturday night they had what they call a Moonglow where they light up all the balloons and it was so pretty!

 My new favorite drink is the Angry Orchard hard ciders, especially the Green Apple one. It hasn’t replaced white wine and champagne, of course, in the long run, but I am loving it right now. It’s my fling. 

 In the past week, I have read two biographies of Sylvia Plath, Mad Girl’s Love Song and Pain, Parties, Work. She wrote one of my very favorite books, The Bell Jar. Most people know she was a writer and poet and artist who committed suicide at age 30 by sticking her head in an oven. It was 1963; I guess that was a suicide method of choice back then. Her life was fascinating and full of imagination (and mental illness) so I have been caught up in her story. But I have loved The Bell Jar for a long time – it is fiction but it is really based on her own summer interning in NYC at Mademoiselle magazine and her subsequent mental breakdown. It’s a classic.  

 I watched a lot of romantic comedies this weekend, as it is the week of Valentine’s Day & the networks seemed to be showing a lot of that genre. I watched Definitely, Maybe, Valentine’s Day, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days—all in one weekend. 

 On the other side of the coin, my new favorite show is on Bravo and it is Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. I watched several episodes in a row On Demand to get caught up.  And that was my week. Now we have Valentine’s Day to look forward to!