Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hey Is Anyone Out There

Wow!  I have not written anything in my blog in so long!  This is just a test to see if I still remember how to do it!  Well, I still use a whole LOT of exclamation points so some things never change.  As you can see it is now June of 2018.  Without looking, I believe it is possible that I have not blogged since 2011?  Maybe 2012.  I am not sure.  I am going to have to take a look.

For sure my life has changed a lot but also stayed the same.  I have a different job but live in the same house.  I am older, but probably not wiser. I still have 3 cats but only one dog now.    It has been 5 months since my papillon chihuahua Violet passed away - she had kidney disease.   She really was one of the big loves of my life.  But enough time has passed now that I am working with another rescue group and I hope to adopt a new dog this summer.   So my remaining dog is my Pug Noodles.   But he is also 15 now.   Why can't our pets live forever?

Or maybe they do...I like to believe her spirit is still with me.

Anyway 2018 - it is close to half over and it has been quite the year and I don't really mean that in a good way although I wish I did.   It started off with Violet getting sick and then me having to make the decision to put her to sleep.  Five days later, I was walking Noodles up the driveway and I slipped on the ice and hit my head.  Eric rushed me to the hospital - there was a lot of blood.  I believe, while I was never formally diagnosed, that I had a mild concussion.   But I am good as new now although that set the tone for the year.

I have actually had a few more health scares since then but somehow I have prevailed.    So maybe that is what I need to focus on--gratitude.  I used to be so good at that but sometimes I forget to stop and just be grateful for all that I have in my life.  So this is my reminder; maybe get out that gratitude journal.

My blog, in the past, always included a lot of photos but I think I may just write from now on.  I love pictures, however, and you can check them out on my Instagram.  I am under lesli13.

I think that is it for now.   I hope to be back.

P.S.  I looked. I last blogged in 2015!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

10 Things on Tuesday

1. How many kids do you want to have? Zero. I have always known I did not want kids of my own; however, I am a great mom to all my pets. And I love being an aunt to 3 nieces and a nephew—I get to be the fun aunt. Also, I am very fond of the daughters of my girlfriends—which gives me a chance to give advice and be a great listener and watch them grow up. And I am happy to take anyone shopping!
2. What is your go-to cocktail? It’s always white wine or champagne.
3. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Let my dogs out, then feed the dogs and cats, make a cup of coffee, turn on the news and check Facebook and catch up on Words with Friends.

4. How many photos do you have on your phone’s camera roll right now? 7,067 ….crazy right?

5. What is your favorite thing about being married? What is the hardest part? I am just going to be honest and say I love the dual income! The hardest part is living with someone else’s habits and messes such as snoring, leaving Coke cans on the coffee table and socks on the living room floor! Oh, but other good things—someone to go on vacation with, someone who cares if you are sick on the couch and will take the dogs out and bring you ginger ale or Nyquil or whatever, someone who sees you looking your worst but still thinks you’re beautiful. And he would probably say the worst thing about living with me is I leave my clothes everywhere.

6. What is your biggest pet peeve? Bad manners and bad grammar

7. Favorite online shopping site? Mod Cloth, ASOS and Ruche are all great, but honestly I am trying not to shop right now! I am shopping in my own closet.

8. Have you ever been to a psychic? What did they tell you? I have been to lots of psychics and I have filled notebooks with stuff they have told me. Everything from my mom is crazy to I live a charmed life to I can have an affair because the spirit world doesn’t judge, a guy named Robert is going to change my life, etc, etc. I should look at my notebooks!
9. What was your first pet’s name? A yellow cat named Sunshine and a small terrier named Prince. They were my buddies.
10. What was the first CD you ever bought? Tonic, Gin Blossoms, Counting Crows and Matchbox Twenty.   It was the 90s and I loved my alternative rock. Not sure which one I bought first but I had those 4 and played them to death.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Credit Card Diet

As of July 28th, I am on a credit card diet. A few weeks ago I had the thought to make a spreadsheet of all my credit card bills and to put it all in living color. I literally woke up in the middle of the night and thought of that. At first I thought I had 18 credit cards, but thankfully I miscounted. But I still have 15 which is not much better. The dollar amount is even worse. I can’t say what it is. Only my husband and one super-trusted friend know the amount. It is mortifying and embarrassing.  But there are 5 digits and one comma.  

I shop too much and use credit cards for everything. Well, no more. I have been on a strictly cash basis since that wake-up call. I have not done any shopping and while I have not really cut down on my socializing, I have scaled back on what and how much I drink since I am using cash. I do find that I have a lot of friends who are willing to buy me a glass of wine, but I don’t want that to happen too often!

I also don’t want to cut back entirely on my salon appointments, but I probably don’t need to get my hair blown out as much as I normally do and so far I have only done a brow wax and pedicure and paid cash. It is a humbling experience!

If you knew me 5 years ago, you will remember my Year of No Shopping in 2010. That lasted from February to May and then I fell off the wagon by purchasing a Kate Spade clutch on our Vegas vacation. Nonetheless, I learned some valuable lessons in living a little more cheaply and as I recall I did pay off $1,500 of credit card debt.

Anyhow I am back on the credit card diet. Wish me luck! I need it! P.S. I can still shop as long as I pay cash.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Catching Up - the Summer of 2015

August 4th! I don’t know where the time has gone; all I know is I have not updated my little blog since Easter which was ages ago, April 5th to be exact. And summer is half over. I will just have to play catch-up and probably the easiest way to do that is through photos—since pictures are worth a 1,000 words! I believe that sometimes!

The third week in April Eric and I flew to Tallahassee, Florida and from there drove to our vacation cottage in Seaside, Florida, which is one of the most charming towns I have ever seen. While you can drive there and definitely still drive around, it is a much more pedestrian and bicycle friendly town. We walked to the beach and around town, and our cottage came with two bicycles. It is a planned community with no chain hotels or chain stores and you can see this town in the movie, The Truman Show. I hope to go back to Seaside and bring my dogs!
Beach Cottage

Bikes Included with Cottage

Palm Trees & Moonlight

I visited the grilled cheese food truck every single day!

In May I did the No Kill Walk for Animals with my usual team, the Frasier Furs. We raised money for Animal Ark, a no-kill shelter in Hastings, Minnesota.

My Team

 May also saw me driving to Iowa to see my mom and brother – a belated Mother’s Day and Memorial Day trip. Eric and I took the scenic route driving through Minnesota on the way down and then back up on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River on the way back. Leisurely!

visiting my brother in Iowa

I also had a jewelry party in May; a Stella and Dot party with my friend, Amber, who was the stylist.

My fabulous jewelry party!

June was my girls’ weekend trip to New York City with one of my best friends, Donna. We went on the Sex and the City tour and saw Wicked, which between walking everywhere pretty much took up our whole weekend. Probably we could have used one more day there! Next time.

Sex and the City Tour with my Bestie

In front of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment!

July was our road trip to New Hampshire with the dogs to see Eric's family.  We drove from Wisconsin to Indiana the first night and then the following day we drove to Upstate New York and spent the night, and then the next day we made it to New Hampshire for the 4th of July weekend. On the way back we made it to Ohio the first night and then home by the second. It is a crazy, long drive but I recommend doing it just once to say I did it. But flying is better!

On the road somewhere in Indiana

Perfect drink on a perfect day in Salem, Mass.

On the boat on the 4th of July

This is a really long car ride!

That brings me up to date. Now it is August and our next trip is in a couple of weeks. We are off to Mackinac Island! Let me just say, I left out a million pictures and could say so much more.  Next time, I just better stay current!  My summer has been actually more exciting than I made it sound.  I was a little bit of a hurry to whip out this post. 

Happy August!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Weekend

Happy Monday! The Easter holiday weekend was pretty groovy. I was excited for two things – brunch at Bonefish Grill and the return of Mad Men!

Good Friday was my usual half day. I spent the afternoon at Spalon getting a pedicure – I chose a color called Lobster Roll but I read it as Lobster Tail. I think I will still call it Lobster Tail. Florida is less than three weeks away, so I will probably get another pedicure in Florida. I found a spa down there called Beach Ready – I plan to visit!

Friday night I talked Eric into pizza and wine at Doughboys, although we are trying to cut back on eating out before our trip. We have been semi-successful.

Saturday was my monthly hair date with Richard. He recently started working at the Uptown Hair District in Uptown Minneapolis. I will follow him wherever he goes. We have been friends for a really long time, back when he was a receptionist at another salon and not yet a stylist, and we bonded over our love of Louis Vuitton handbags.

Every day is a good hair day when you get a blow-out

Immediately following my hair appointment, I met one of my best friends, Donna, at People Organic Coffee and Wine Bar at the Galleria in Edina. We caught up on girl talk and planned our trip to New York City in June.

White Wine Flight!

Then finally Sunday was Easter. I had been so excited to eat at Bonefish again, but I was disappointed to find out they did not have the chocolate crème brulee this time that I fell in love with on Valentine’s Day. But they did have an Endless Bubbles Brunch that was an unlimited pouring of peach bellinis, mimosas and/or blackberry sangrias. That kind of made up for it.

At Bonefish for Easter Brunch

Right after brunch we went down the street to the movie theater to see Get Hard, the Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart movie. It was funny in a ridiculous and very dirty-minded kind of way, made even more funny by the bellinis and the glass of wine I had at the theater bar beforehand.

At the movies

Then home and FINALLY Mad Men! There was a marathon of Mad Men episodes beginning at 11:30 Saturday night right up to the new episode at 9:00 p.m. I admit I watched them off on and all day. I am "madly" (get it?)  in love with Roger, but not a big fan of his new mustache. Maybe I will get used to it? I would still make out with him!

I love Roger!

And that is it for my Easter weekend – I did not get an Easter basket this year so I kind of gathered up my own candy from Target on Saturday night when we were running errands – one Peep, one Cadbury Egg and two Russell Stover eggs in coconut and birthday cake.

Did you know the original Peeps had wings?

But I did get a beautiful card from my friend, Heidi. I like getting fun things in the mail!

A thoughtful and cute Easter card!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Life is Zipping By!

Wow! Where did the week go! I meant to do a brief recap of the weekend and then all of sudden it is Thursday evening. And the second day of April. My life is zipping by.

Happy April!

 Last Friday I went out with friends for margaritas at La Casita and then home to wait for my dog-sitting charge to arrive.

Mmmm...mine was mango jalapeno!

 This is Roxie—I get her one or two times a year. I think I have been dog-sitting her for 5 years now.  
Dog Sitting!

I started dog sitting on Friday night so I had kind of a very low-key weekend and to be honest, I kind of enjoyed being a homebody on Saturday. I haven’t stayed home for an entire day in so long (not counting being sick on the couch!). I just got stuff done around the house and continued my spring cleaning and took the dogs for lots of walks.

Pooped Pups

 On Sunday I met a friend for coffee and we got all caught up on our lives. Starbucks or Caribou is the go-to place for catching up with friends over coffee. Or Perkins. And, again, the time flies.

Wine is also a good way to catch up (another time!) 

 The work week did fly by – I got into a routine with taking care of 3 dogs and during the day Roxie has been with me at work under my desk. She is a super quiet and well-behaved dog during office hours fortunately. At home she is a little more vocal and enjoys chasing my cats and getting into skirmishes with Violet, but I am glad at work she can fly under the radar.

I leave you with this thought!  

I just love this quote - break the rules!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Random Musings for March

Spring started this weekend; I promptly put away my winter hats & mittens in a burst of spring cleaning and new moon energy on Friday the 20th. (Seriously, the new moon gave me energy!) Of course, the very next day it snowed! But I shouldn’t be surprised – spring is a tease and winter never wants to leave.

  Backing up just a bit, on the weekend of the 6th I drove down to Des Moines, still kind of my home away from home even though I moved away 20 years ago. It will always have a place in my heart and in a three and half to four hour road trip, I can be there. I actually love getting a hotel room by myself and shopping and hanging out with friends I don’t get to see that much. If I can do it every month or so, it works out well.

This time I had breakfast with my friend, Amber...

and lunch with two other friends, Laurie and Coleen.  

These are friends that I can go forever without seeing but when we see other, it is like no time has passed at all. 

I also went shopping and got a pretty good haul from Von Maur and Nordstrom Rack. Of course, we have those same stores in Minneapolis but it is more satisfying to shop away from home sometimes—stores get different merchandise!

I also got my hair done at one of the malls and met such a sweet hairdresser—I love my hair people. I gave him my business card and told him to friend me on Facebook, but so far he hasn’t. I will look him up the next time I am in Des Moines. My business cards have to be good for something besides putting in the fish bowl at Chipotle for a free lunch!

 Then last Saturday, which would be the 14th I went to the roller derby in St. Paul with a bunch of girlfriends. First one of my other hair people (Richard!) put my hair in some really cute side buns. I got the idea from Pinterest.

Then we all went to dinner at Pazzaluna before the roller derby. This is a really great Italian restaurant on St. Peter Street—I totally recommend it for a romantic dinner place. I wouldn’t say the roller derby was exactly my jam (actually I don’t like a lot of sporting events except football; I just go for the social aspect). Fortunately, everyone was ready to leave at halftime too and we went out for one last drink before our cabs and drivers picked us up. It was a super fun night!

That pretty much catches me up on the month of March!


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!