Everything you have wanted to know

I know, it has been awhile.  Life happens and SO many things keep me busy.  Mostly things like the State Fair and work (LOTS of work) and friends.

There are a few things I have been promising, things you want to know: like my my mom’s lasagna recipe, which I will e-mail upon request. You CAN make it—I’m the expert at baking/cooking failures and I succeeded. *high fives all around!*

Other awesome things you want to know: how much I love indie music.  I’ve took the liberty to note some of my recent favorites NEW artists (yeah, I’m pulling the hipster card and liking bands before they get big) and list them out for you to get on your iPod or your next mixed CD.  You are welcome.

  • Mount Moriah
  • Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps
  • Howler
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Ryan Adams
Lastly, for everyone’s entertainment, and yes, this IS what we have been up to this summer:

Laura and I went on the Oregon Trail with Beth this summer! (credit to Laura for the photo)

In all seriousness we are PUMPED for Beth Moore study to start again.  Laura wrote up at little post on it you can see at the Women at Hope blog.  (There are also some other GREAT pictures of us with Beth!)

State Fair: Day 2- Tips

In between sneezing and blowing my nose and trying my hardest NOT to give everyone at the fair typhoid, there were some moments of ridiculousness and some tips to pass along (since we’re only on Day 3 of the fair–and don’t be like me and go to the fair all sick or we’ll end up like the Oregon Trail).

How NOT to ride the bus (or how TO ride the bus if you want to be a jerk):  First of all, let’s discuss the transportation.  The bus makes several stops at different parking lots around the U of M campus.  By the time it got to our stop the driver said we could get on but we would have to stand…and I got on and other people got on.  As more people are boarding the bus a lady standing two people away from me starts yelling, “THERE’S NO MORE ROOM!” …pause…more people get on…”STOP!  THIS BUS IS FULL.”  It took everything in me to not turn around and say to her something along the lines of, “there is plenty of room, it is a short trip and this bus is free.”  There was room for at least two-three more people near me.  Americans…

What not to wear (or TO wear depending on how much you like to fit in): There is plenty of great people watching at the fair.  I only wish I could take pictures of everyone I saw and ask them, “what made you think to put that on?”  Here are some fair trends/things you might want to wear/do when at the fair:

  • flip flop jean capris for women
  • button up–think Hawaii–but U of M inspired design for men (I thought of a good friend who will be wearing this one day)
  • Neon (anything)
  • Dressing your family in matching apparel–tye dye works best
  • Carrying your little dog with you
  • fish shirts– specifically designs of large fish all over your shirt–for men or women
  • mustaches within beards
How to get free things: 
Now, to the most wonderful part of the day.  The part where I remembered it was Winona State Alumni Day at the fair.  There was a picnic lunch where I got a t-shirt, a water bottle and the joy of probably being the youngest alum to attend.  It. was. great.

Thank you for the welcome, WSU!

Let’s all slow clap as I will not be seeing the fair again until Wednesday…

State Fair: Day 1- Including Everyone

We even found a way to include Michele Bachmann in the Great Minnesota Get Together:

Well played Ivy, well played. (Seed Art- Agriculture Building)

I will be at the fair (working) four more days and hope to include something special on the blog every day I’m there.

Wedding weekend marathon wrap-up…

Before I get to the wedding weekend marathon wrap-up, things have been happening.  I’ve been growing up.  Now that I’m 25.5 (yes, I just had my half birthday!) I’ve been drinking coffee.  I mentioned it before but now it’s become more of an addiction—like I get headaches if I don’t have some caffeine.  Awesome.  Today I thought, “it is time I learned HOW to make coffee.” Yep, for the past three months I’ve been relying on others–my boss, Caribou, etc. to make it for me.  It’s worked until nobody is there…and then I did some googling and boom: I’m an adult and can make my own coffee. (actually it wasn’t that great and it needed to be way stronger, live and learn.

Other exciting things have been happening (I mean, coffee making IS pretty exciting but there’s more…).  The puzzle is done.  Yes, three weeks I dedicated to this baby.

1000 pieces done.

I would count that as one of my 2011 successes.

This past weekend I did a little wedding attending…and by little I mean a lot.  Friday was my cousin Lindsey’s wedding to Brent!  It was a full on family affair: “Table 12 is the FUN table.”  (aka the cousin’s table NOT the kid’s table Kristina)…

I like to make the little brother take pictures with me.

I also make the bride take pictures with me! (photo credits to my mom)

The wedding dance was a fun time.  There was the whole awkward part of another bride showing up–maybe she was confused as to which room her wedding dance was being held in?  It makes for a good story now.  Congratulations Brent and Lindsey!

Annnnnnnnnnnd then after sleeping for 6 1/2 hours I woke at 6 a.m. to drive to wedding number two for the weekend (wedding marathon).  My dear friend Anna married Dan (I want to call them Danna).

Their wedding was SO beautiful and precious—from the vows to the dress to the cake pops to their hour wedding dance.  I loved it!

Clearly, the wedding reception was at Circus World, a place I had never known that I would always want to go to.

me, JaNahn and Laura with Anna, the lovely bride! (photo credits to Laura)

Congratulations Dan and Anna!  Wedding marathon weekend was SO much fun.  That closes out wedding season 2011, but fear not there is more to summer besides weddings.  In the coming weeks: friend staycation, the State Fair (yes, that’s happening again), rooftop movies (tonight!) and lots more summer fun!

p.s. The dog that bit me does not have rabies!  Hooray!

The dog days are over…wait…

Summer= too short in MN.  Today the first leaves of fall may have been spotted.  No, I don’t joke about these things.  (Talk to J if you need proof of that). So it’s been kind of busy around here trying to cram a million and half things in and spending time with some of my favorite people.

Like last weekend: spur of the moment trip to Rochester.

Tiffany and Laura were great road trip companions.

Tiffany’s parents showed us the sights of Rochester and it was wonderful.  We even took in the Olmsted County Fair.

I forgot how much I love county fairs until this moment in the cow barn. Luckily there were no miracles (also it was 100 degrees).

Surprisingly, they did not ask me to milk this cow but I did get to practice milking a fake cow.  Highlight of the day.

Another highlight was the ice cream.  Some would say it was the world’s best ice cream.  Others would say we had the world’s best ice cream in Argentina last summer.  It’s hard to say who’s right, but it was delicious. (and the photo credit goes to Laura for all these great pics of our road adventure—my camera may or may not be working, I haven’t had the heart to test it).

Like any good trip, ice cream was involved.

Not to out-do last weekend but this weekend has been pretty summer-spectacular and dog- related (hence the title of this post has many facets).  For all the dog stories/drama today you would think I own a dog.

  • Powderhorn Art Fest: Woman carrying dog strapped to the front of her body (like a small baby).
  • Man talking and walking dogs in circles while waiting for his coffee–and taking pictures of the dogs with his phone AND showing the dogs.
  • And then maybe the most traumatizing incident.  J and I were walking around a seemingly cute neighborhood, waiting for our pizza to be done.  We come across a house with a small dog tied up in the front yard.  As we approach the dog does not bark or run to us.  When we get closer it runs to us, barking wildly. J screams first and there is running and screaming from both of us.  The leash was a mile long and as I’m running to the street the dog bites me.  I’m hoping I don’t get rabies or some other disease, it’s my half birthday this week, exciting things are going to be happening.

You can be adorable too!

It’s easy.  Go to Gap.  Find cute dress.  “Oh hey, it’s on the sale rack.”   Be amazed that it has pockets. (sold!)

Just ignore all the wrinkles, that happens.

Prepare yourself, the price tag says $59.99, but it’s on sale…so…it rings up to $21.59?…confusion abounds.  But then don’t worry you have two $10 rewards cards.  Yes, that brings the total to $1.59.  Awesome? yes.  Deal winner!

Summer is…road trips!

Summer calls for road trips.  I recently embarked on the Great Wisconsin Road Trip.  Destinations included Milwaukee and Appleton.  It was a delightful weekend filled with fun! I enjoyed being out of Minnesota so much (and I really appreciated when things like rest stops were open–esp. after you have a Gaga dance party in your car and your leg cramps up and you need to stop immeadiately).

My first stop was Milwaukee.  About two minutes after arriving in Milwaukee we went on a brewery tour.  They make it well worth your money to take the tour and give you plenty to drink…you also learn about brewing beer (pretty much what you would expect on a brewery tour).

On the tour you get this glass (but don't be fooled because that's not really Lakefront beer in there).

Saturday was spent wandering around Milwaukee.  It was delightful.  There was a walk to the Farmer’s Marker (complete with seeing dogs in strollers and hipster babies); walks around neighborhoods (so many cute houses!) and ice cream and cheese (probably the most cheese I have ate before 11:00 a.m.)

Hello Milwaukee!

Thanks for showing me Milwaukee Chris!

The Great Wisconsin Road Trip continued Saturday afternoon when I went to Appleton to see my sister.  We took a trolley ride around the downtown/river, got chased down by a mascot (frightening) and my sister found $20 at a park (win!).

Mir wanted to show me the Fox Valley of yesteryear so we took a trip to a museum.

We learned all of Harry Houdini's secrets while trying not to be attacked by lions (Fact: WI loves lion and cow statues).

I spent maybe 20 seconds trying to figure out how Harry Houdini broke out of this jail cell. I should be a magician.

Thanks for a fun weekend sister!

Road trip success!  Will I go back to Wisconsin again? Yes in several weeks when I go to the Circus Capitol of the World…stay tuned for that fun adventure—I’ve been told there is plenty of blogging material there.

Back when life made sense

On summer days (and nights) I miss this place:

Someone should know where this is...yes you are right...BZ!

I spent 13 summers at this place, including two full summers at my home away from home…

Yes, you guessed right---Camp Omega!

I miss the ridiculously fun games (many without a point)…

Darebase! So. much. fun.

I miss my wonderful co-counselors (CCFLs!) who always had crazy ideas and amazing amounts of energy…and style.

Camp especially brought out the themed days. They rocked.

I especially miss having these in my life every night…

Songs. Skit. Campfire. Can I go back?

Summer strangeness

I love this.  Summer warmth is here!  It’s like the sun wants to give us a big hug.  There will be no complaining about “excessive heat” from me.  Strange things happen when it starts to get hot…

I find myself buying A LOT of fruit…or maybe it was just the screaming toddler at the store that somehow pushed me over the edge to buy raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, grapes and bananas.

Yes, I will eat all that fruit and yes that's strawberries on my salad.

Don’t worry Mom I had some dairy and peanut butter—all food groups were represented in my dinner.

I wear all black…I know you are thinking, “that girl is craaaaaaaazy.”  For some unknown reason I decided to forgo all fun skirts/dresses and “summer” clothing today at work.  I think it was mostly because I was trying to accomodate some shoes that I am attempting to break in.

Yes I wore these for 9 hours today, no I didn't fall.

You see I’m in a wedding this weekend and I don’t want to trip while walking down the aisle so I think I broke these in.  Jenna, Nathan you guys can get married now; I am ready.

Pavement Failure.  That’s right I saw that on my drive home via the 94.  This caused me a little bit of concern that the pavement that I was driving on at that very moment was going to fail and my car would fall into a giant sinkhole.  Since I was too busy driving to take a picture of “Pavement Failure” I’m going to share this delightful video from MNDot about merging, because people need to learn a few things.

Yes, that’s right you just learned about zipper merging, you are welcome.

Concluding our summer strangeness a certain team that I will not mention by name has been doing surprisingly well, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Hello, summer- welcome to my life!

HAPPY DAY!  It is JUNE!   In honor of June I’ve brought back the summafun list that I generated back in March.  I’m getting closer to achieving my summer dreams (see I have things crossed off!).
  • movies in the park
  • canoeing (considerably easier this year)
  • sunshine  This can keep happening.
  • driving with the windows down  This can keep happening.
  • no more potholes? (my new tires do not like them at all) These are still around–along with new lane closures on 94…suck
  • weddings, lots of weddings! Two down, three to go!
  • Twins games! (and Brewers games and Cubs games) – The Twins record is not stopping me from going to TF and I am not turning into a *gasp* Brewers fan anytime soon
  • outdoor concerts
  • walking briskly around Lake Calhoun with Caribou in hand
  • being caught in thunderstorms in downtown Minneapolis and being taken in by a stranger (hard to say if this will happen again)—AND IT DID.
  • camping!
  • road trips
  • not using the tunnel for 3-5 months at worktunnel? what? 
  • staying up late (always seems ok in the summer)
  • bag toss (outside)
  • go on vacation that work is not forcing you to take
I just added the last one because for the past 3-4 months (or since I got back from my last vacation) I’ve been debating about where to go/what to do.  I have had no awesome ideas or been wowed by great deals.  Until today.  Sun Country via the Groupon wants to sell me a plane ticket for $180 to go somewhere fun….or maybe it’s been narrowed down to Boston or Seattle.   Time will tell if this can become a reality.
Finally, this past weekend I was at my cousin’s grad party and me and my little cousins were content playing on the tire swing.  Ok.  Content until I came over: “I want Amber to push me!”  “No, stop!  Amber, please push me?”  And then I made them push me and all was right with the world.

Tire swings DO = summer happiness!

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