Monday, August 29, 2011

The Great Minnesota Get Together

Hi guys!

Thanks for all of the support with moving and everything! It feels good to finally take a break and sit down! Oofta it was a busy weekend!

I'd have to say, the one thing I will miss the most about my old place is the view! Well, and Sanity Island...

My favorite month is almost here!

However, our new house features a brighter kitchen (yeah blogging benefits!) and I can't wait to be able to shoot things inside rather than have everything be out on the deck. Especially now that cooler weather is on its way!

Blogging While Moving
Right now I'm blogging at 9:30pm from the couch of my old condo. Empty boxes are everywhere. My fridge is completely empty except for 5 eggs, one slice of cheese, sour cream, and half and half.

As for our new place, everything is still in the boxes--sitting all over the dining room, living room, staircase, kitchen counters, and bedrooms. Awesome.

I hope I can find my toothbrush in the morning.

And so...back to where I left off. It's now 9:32pm and I'm making sweet potato fries in the oven while I just realized all of my potholders are at the new house. This is going to be interesting.

MN State Fair
This past weekend, we went to the Minnesota State Fair with Andy's brother and his wife, along with two of their friends. The day was perfect weather and it was really fun to spend time with Tory and Casey, plus two new friends--Becky and Matt!

However, let me tell you one little secret.

I don't like the fair.

I bring my own food to the fair just in case

In fact, I never went to the fair until my freshman year of college, and it poured the whole time I was there. I don't do well with crowds, humidity, and spending boatloads of cash on unhealthy food. And that, my friends, basically sums up the fair. Andy, on the other hand, loves the fair.

And, I love Andy a million times more than I dislike the fair, so every year I go with him because let's face it...he does a LOT for me. Like helping me move, staying up late to help me finish things, and doing things that he probably doesn't want to do, such as watching movies like "The Last Song" with Miley Cyrus.

I don't know why, but the phrase "unlimited milk" makes me gag. I feel like drinking unlimited milk would just make me feel so sick...

However, the Minnesota State Fair is the thing to do here. Everyone talks about it all summer long. Every radio station broadcasts at the fair for the entire 12 days. The end of August revolves around Sweet Martha's cookies and all the milk you can drink.

Browsing through the new IKEA catalog for decorating ideas.

So, to get my day off to a good start, I hit up the gym before the fair festivities. It felt great to get an intense strength-training session in before heading to the fairgrounds.

My gym just put in a brand new water fountain that has a spot to fill your waterbottle rather than trying to aim the stream of water into your bottle. 

The little yellow screen in the upper right hand corner shows how much water is saved or something. Pretty high tech!

As soon as we got to the fair, I actually had a lot of fun and was glad I went. There are always tons of new things to see and lots of foods to try!

Right when we walked through the gate, we came across a booth for Ocean Spray. I sampled a fizzy cranberry juice and a cranberry + lime juice--both were really good! 

The "bog" from the commercials. Naturally, I picked out a cranberry to see what they really looked like.

First food item for our group--mini donuts! 

I'm not a fan of mini donuts, so I passed on these--saving room for other things!

However, I was totally amused by the little conveyor belt that these little guys were cooked on. They all scooted up the belt and into the bags! 

Funky new fireplaces on display

Then, we stumbled across Mr. Bubble's 50th birthday party! 

They had this huge bubble blaster that shot out tons of foamy bubbles for kids to play in.

I bet the parents loved walking around the fair with their sticky, sudsy children after this romp through the bubbles...

Next up...some sweet new cars! We signed up to win a new one...cross your fingers!

Ohhh yeah!

Aren't these the cutest things ever? I want the little lollipop girl to come home with me


They had an area that was covered in bits of tire pieces that you could walk on. I tried jumping on it but it wasn't very bouncy. Killjoy. Andy somehow lost a leg in the process...

The trolley! Whenever I see these, I always think of Mr. Rogers!

CUTEST exhibit ever. Last year I made Andy go in it with me; however, since we were with friends this year, I just took pictures from the outside instead.

Pick me!

And now onto some fair day eats:

Andy's favorite--cheese curds!

Frozen grapes--these were so good!

Smurf flavored gelato! We didn't get this but I found it pretty funny.

My veggie sub for lunch

Fresh, juicy pineapple

Andy's pina colada! It was so good! My pineapple in the photo above actually came from the guts of his drink!

It's always fun to try new things at the fair since many of the items can only be found there once a year. 

Alright, off to work, then unpacking and hopefully moving some furniture tonight! 

Do you like fairs?
Ever tried frozen grapes? If not, what's your favorite frozen fruit?
What would be your dream car? 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pack Up and Start a New Life

Good morning!

First of all, thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes for Andy! We had a great time trying out a new bike trail and then coming back to my place for some raspberry cheesecake! mmm.

Next, let me just say...I have MISSED blogging! Not just blogging, but reading blogs, too! I'm hoping to get back on track this week but can't make any promises since...

Moving is always so much work!

We found a place to live!

It is absolutely perfect for us! We decided to go with a 2 bedroom place so that Andy could have an office. Yesterday we spent the evening packing and loading up my car with all of the little stuff. We took a trip to the new place to drop off one car load, and I'm meeting my mom there in a little bit with another load. Today will most likely be spent hitting up Target for a couple shelving units for the closet, and unpacking like crazy!

We're planning on moving the big stuff (i.e. recliner, kitchen table, desk, etc.) later this week. Luckily we won't have to move my couch, tv, coffee table, etc. since we purchased new ones yesterday! They should arrive sometime this afternoon. It's been crazy busy around here--scrambling to finish all this stuff before the wedding--plus moving on top of it all! However, it has been fun to pack up and move--knowing that this will be our first place together.

It will also be great to have a place that really feels like "home." I have moved almost every year for the past few years and haven't really settled in to any of the places--therefore, I can't wait to hang pictures and have furniture that matches to help this feel a little more permanent, even if we don't live here forever.

Last night we were exhausted and collapsed onto the couch to catch up on an episode of 24 while eating dinner at 9:15pm! We went to the state fair yesterday morning with some friends, so after furniture shopping, packing, moving, unpacking, and packing some more--we were beat!

Well, I am off to jump in the shower and then get this show on the road! My next post is going to be a recap of our day at the fair, so stay tuned!

Until then, here are some recent foodie pictures!

Greek yogurt + all-natural cinnamon crunch cereal =  a delicious combo! I tried this Greek yogurt on a whim, and I must say, I think this is my new favorite brand. Chobani's are good once in awhile, but they are a little too sweet for the morning! This plain yogurt had a creamy texture, wasn't sweet, and didn't have that sour/tangy aftertaste that many plain yogurts tend to have. I'll definitely be purchasing this brand again! 

On Friday, Krystine and I decided to eat lunch at our desks and use our lunch break to hit up Starbucks for something different. Originally, I planned to grab an iced tea, but when I spotted the bottle of coconut syrup behind the barista counter, I just had to try it. I ordered a grande iced coffee with a pump of coconut syrup and then added a splash of half and half at the coffee bar. Oh my goodness, it was out of this world! I hope this isn't a short-lived limited time flavor, because it is seriously so good in iced coffee! 

Strawberry-raspberry smoothie to start the day! Since I'm moving, I've been trying to clean out my freezer--hence, a lot of frozen fruit has been popping into my protein smoothies lately. It adds such a refreshing taste!

My lunch carried in my new lunch box that I received from my mom at my bridal shower! I love how it looks like a cute little purse rather than a lunch sack! The black and white is my style exactly!

P.S. Remember Dunk-A-Roo's? I found them at the grocery store last week and immediately tossed them into my cart! So good! 

Berries and cream at the fair! Oh so good!

Have a great Sunday! 

What makes where you live feel like home?
Did you enjoy Dunk-A-Roo's as a kid? Or what childhood foods did you love?
Favorite fair food? 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Good morning! 

I'd like to wish a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my BEST FRIEND!
I hope you have a WONDERFUL day! I LOVE YOU all the days!

We're hopefully celebrating tonight with a bike ride (with our new bike shorts thanks to recommendations from my friend Theresa!)

Have a great day!

Ever worn padded bike shorts? 
Best birthday you ever had? 
What is your best friend's name?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Beautiful Bridal Brunch

Hello there!

This past Saturday was my first bridal shower! Attending this event definitely made the "oh my gosh I'm getting married" feeling much stronger! Now that we're getting closer to the date, things are starting to feel more real; for awhile, it felt like our wedding was so far away but now it is just around the corner!

After brunching, we moved to the living room for a fun dice game! We passed plates of dice around the circle, and if you rolled doubles, you grabbed a small gift from the middle. After all of the gifts were gone, if someone rolled doubles, they could snatch a gift from someone else. It got pretty intense rather quickly! 

After that game, we played another one in which everyone was given a sheet of paper with questions about Andy and I. My mom and sister both tied for first place (go figure! They're a little biased...) but my Aunt came in pretty close!

Next, gifts were opened! We received so many great things from our registries and we can not wait to use them! One of my favorite gifts that wasn't on a registry was this neat bike that one of the guests gave us. She also included a little poem about how riding a tandem bike can be related to our relationship with God. It was such a unique idea! I am looking forward to displaying this bike in our new home! 

I was so excited to receive such useful gifts! It will be so fun to have guest over and be able to use all of these new kitchen gadgets and serving dishes. Plus, I'm sure that many of them will make their grand appearance on the blog, as well! :D

My grandma assembled a cookbook for us with all kinds of great recipes all categorized and organized into a neat little book! This will be great for meal ideas! 

A Vera Bradley bag from my aunt! A new Kitchen Aid toaster was hiding inside! 

Lots of cards! 

The whole group that came to celebrate with me! I am so thankful to have all of these wonderful women in my life! 

Relatives from my mom's side of the family. Left to right: 
My cousin, myself, my other cousin, my mom, my sister, grandma, and my aunt!

2 of my bridesmaids and my personal attendant! 
Andy's sister Jen, myself, Andrea, and Krystine! You might recognize Krystine from a previous post since we are coworkers now! 

My two moms! Andy's mother is on my left, and my mom is on my right!

The wonderful ladies that thew the shower for me! Aren't they adorable?! My mom has such great friends--they threw a shower for my sister last winter too.

They had decorated the house both inside and out! I was so touched by their generosity and thoughtfulness!

After the shower, I headed back to my parent's house and chowed down a bowl of cereal since I hadn't eaten since earlier that morning! My sister and I sat down to plan my bachelorette party before my mom and I headed out to run a few wedding errands. Our first round wasn't too successful on the wedding front since my mom purchased a dress and a purse, and I came out with a pair of khakis and some new jeans. Oh, and a pretzel from the shop in the mall was also bought and consumed as well. 

After  the mall, we headed to another store and finally crossed some items off our our list! I found my bridesmaids gifts and I can't wait to give them to my bridesmaids for being a part of my special day. We also ran into one of my mom's neighbors at the store and it was so great to catch up with them! 

The next day, Andy and I met with our musicians to choose our ceremony music! Things are really coming together! I am so excited for the song that will be played when I walk down the aisle with my dad. Rather than doing the traditional route of canon in D, I chose "Interlude" by Shane and Shane after hearing it at a friend's wedding last Fall. I loved that we added this twist to our ceremony music and that we were able to incorporate an artist that has a special meaning to the two of us since we attended a Shane and Shane concert when we first started dating. 

After choosing our ceremony music, we went out to lunch with Andy's parents before checking out another place to live! We even got root beer floats--I haven't had one of those in so long! It definitely hit the spot as summer comes to an end.

Andy was so sweet and scanned in all of my pictures for me so that I can start working on our wedding slideshow! I can't wait to start on this project--it will be fun to watch us grow up on the video! Okay, and just to prove that I wasn't that strange as a kid, here's a normal one:

Those were the days!

Time to go blow dry my hair and head into work! Have a super day!

What special songs did you have in your wedding? Or, what songs would you like to have in your wedding?
Do you remember what your favorite age was? I'd have to say 7 or 8 was mine!
Best/worst bridal shower game you've played?

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