Five on Friday | 9.22.2017

I am SO GLAD that the weekend is finally (almost) here.

ONE // Andy and I are going on a little getaway to Denver three weeks from today and we are so, so excited. We are both in need of a weekend for just us, and you can bet I've been working on a itinerary filled with fun things to do! I did leave a whole day open to Andy to plan whatever he wants to do because Sunday we're planning on driving to the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park for some hiking and exploring. My goal is to have a schedule that allows us to see what we want, but doesn't have us running around the entire time trying to fit everything in. I want a little relaxation too!

TWO // Speaking of vacations, we were planning on booking a cruise in the Carribbean for this winter, but after all the destruction these hurricanes have caused we are left wondering if it's still a good idea?? We know we want to go to a warm, relaxing destination and have a budget we would like to stick with. Not sure of any other places to go to.. but any and all recommendations would be more than welcome!

THREE // Bosco is finally back to his normal self - we got him back on his original puppy food and he - and us - are back to sleeping the entire night and not having to go outside every hour! Thank god because waking up two to three times a night on a work night was not ideal and made us both a little cranky. On another note, our yard is completely filled with sticks. Every time we go for a walk, Bosco finds a large one he likes to drag all the way home..

FOUR //  Today is the first day of FALL which is my favorite season, ever. Now if only the weather would cooperate. But you can bet that I'll be getting Starbucks' new Maple Pecan Latte this weekend.

FIVE // We are working on putting the final touches on our fall decor outside.. we are still in need of a few pumpkins and another mum. I'm going to be searching on instagram for some ideas today on how to make it look more complete. I did do a little DIY house number pumpkin this week - which turned out better than I expected! It is looking so cute on our haybails outside and I love the fact that it doesn't rot and I can reuse it next year.

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon

I was never a big salmon person (or a salmon person at all) until Andy cooked it for me. I think it all goes back to being scarred one time when I was forced to eat it at a friends house growing up - me coming from a family that never had fish. I didn't even try shrimp until I was in high school! My family ate more "farmer's meals", mostly eating chicken and pork and good ole Minnesota hot dishes. But then Andy made us Oven Roasted Chili Lime Salmon, I did a complete 180 and decided that I loved salmon. Only downside is that it's not super economical, but that doesn't mean we don't still treat ourselves every now and then.

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon

1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
2-3 tsp. chili-garlic sauce
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 skin-on salmon fillet
2 package shiitake mushrooms, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 large bunch green onions, diced
Instant microwave Jasmine rice

Heat over to 475 degrees F. Mix 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, chili-garlic sauce, and mustard. Place samlon, skin side down, on a large parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with two tablespoons soy mixture. Bake salmon at 475 degrees for 8 minutes. toss mushrooms, pepper, and green onions in sauce mixture. Scatter vegetables around fish and brush fish again with mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired degree of doneness and vegetables are tender.

Prepare rice according to package and mix with 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in bowl, season with salt and pepper.

Serve fish and vegetables with rice. We also mixed a little sesame oil and soy sauce for dipping.

Life + Sick Puppy

I was *planning* on doing a Day in the Life post today documenting yesterdays day, but man - it seems like as soon as I woke up the day was a recipe for disaster. Bosco didn't sleep pretty much all of Monday night and woke us up several times throughout the night (which he NEVER has done, ever. Even his first night home). We changed his food this past weekend and apparently it did not agree with him. We were taking him out to potty 10+ times within 12+ hours and on top of that, he threw up yesterday morning.

I had plans to get a workout in after work, take Bosco to his puppy class, and then Andy and I were finally going to have a date night and go see a movie - but none of that actually ended up happening. To say the least, I was a little stressed out and cranky. Do you ever have those days where you know you're just being grumpy, and you know it isn't right, but you just can't stop yourself? Yeah.

But we made the most of it.. I came home after work, Andy made a delicious salmon dinner, and we took Bosco for a refreshing walk in the park. Speaking of Andy - he is such a rock star. He had the day off, and I came home to a freshly cleaned house, a completely re-organized front closet complete with a new shoe rack and hooks (something that has been on our to-do list since we moved in), and new fall coffee thermoses to fill with apple cider for our walk. Not to mention, our dinner was absolutely incredible and I told Andy that I would be happy eating that meal for the rest of my life.

I'm not really sure what to classify this post as or ever what to title it, but this is real life here.

Speaking of that incredible salmon recipe, I'll be back tomorrow to share it. Until then - happy hump day!!

Kali and Justin's Minneapolis Visit

We got to play hosts to one of our favorite couples this weekend, Andy's sister and her boyfriend Justin! We jam-packed the weekend with lots of Minneapolis-specific activities. I even went a little extra and made an itinerary for our weekend, complete with tons of our favorite activities and restaurants.

Guest room finally set up just in time!

We started off the weekend with drinks (our Bourbon Cider Sours, and apple cider champagne - recipe to come!) and Andy's amazing pork carnitas for dinner, complete with our favorite homemade salsa recipe. I made this pie - which was ahhhh-maazing.

We spent the night catching up and playing a couple dozen competitive rounds of Left Right Center.

Saturday morning we slowly woke up with some fancy coffee drinks before heading over to Glam Doll Doughnuts, one of my favorite places in Minneapolis to get doughnuts.

We took them to Sociable Cider Werks for some cider flights, and some Cards Against Humanity.

Next stop was The Norseman, a newer distillery that completely lived up to the hype with their awesome cocktails and decor.

At this point we were getting hungry for some actually substantial food, so we took them to Washington Square for an early dinner. They have the cutest outdoor patio and the rain thankfully held out for us.

After some rest at home (and a surprise visit from some friends), we took them over to Can Can Wonderland - an amazing mini-golf/restaurant/arcade. Unfortunately, their mini golf was sold out for the night but that didn't stop us from enjoying their unique drinks.

Sunday we enjoyed breakfast at The Original Pancake House before Kali and Justin headed back to Milwaukee. The goodbyes were sad but we had such a fun weekend and were so glad to share our home with them!

Five on Friday | 9.15.2017

ONE // Bosco had his first day of puppy training this week, or as I call it - "puppy kindergarten"! He was so calm, relaxed, and well-behaved the entire time and he really charmed those workers into thinking he is like that all the time..

Also HUGE mom guilt this week - I was trying to cuddle with him last night and he jumped on me to play and my nail got him right in the eye.. (insert huge emotional mess of tears). I cried for over 15 minutes while Andy stared at me in disbelief. And Bosco? He was absolutely fine other than a minute of blinking that immediately stopped when the treats were brought out. It's been a long week guys. and all pet owners know that causing any sort of pain on your furbaby is the absolute worst. 

TWO // We've had to delay our apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes due to these extreme temperatures. Ice cream for the win Wednesday night!

THREE // Has anyone else tried the new Cookies and Scream M&Ms yet?? Holy wow they are amazing! Andy and I both agreed, they are in the top three M&M flavors (nothing will ever beat the pretzel ones). I picked up a bag this week along with some salted caramel apple cider from Target and pumpkin spice creamer. I don't even love pumpkin spice much but tis the season!

FOUR // Today is PAYDAY and you can bet that I'll be scooping up some fall finds for clothes. Fall is my favorite season to shop for and I haven't bought anything yet. Bring on the sales! I need a couple loose fitting shirts to layer with, some jeans, and a couple cardigans. Maybe a new plaid shirt too because a girl can never have enough for this season.

FIVE // We're hosting Andy's sister and her boyfriend this weekend and we are so pumped. We have a lot of fun plans on the agenda, and dare I say I even made an agenda?? Playing hostess is my favorite.


Bourbon Cider Sours

Guys we officially made our first FALL DRINK! These were yummy. We paired them with a take out pizza from Jet's (fancy obviously) last Friday night. We made them with some carbonated cider, but we're going to try them this weekend with the salted caramel apple cider (!!) I impulsively bought at Target last night.

Bourbon Cider Sour

3 oz Bourbon
1 cup apple cider (you can be get creative here!)
1/2 cup orange juice
Your favorite apple for garnish

Add bourbon, cider, orange juice, and ice to shaker. Shake and strain into an ice-filled cup. 

Garnish with sliced apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon


Whipped Honey Pumpkin Butter

Before this recipe, I had never attempted a flavored butter before. Well after realizing how easy it is, and how I can make them with simple everyday ingredients - I might have to make them more often! Seriously it was so simple and quick to make this, and it instantly gives me that cozy fall feeling. I've only tried it on english muffin in the morning, but I can only imagine how delicious it would be on french toast, pumpkin bread, bagels, etc.

It would also make the cutest hostess gift - in a little mason jar tied with a little ribbon. Perfect along side a freshly baked loaf of pumpkin bread!

Whipped Honey Pumpkin Butter

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons, honey
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Whip butter with a hand mixer. Add ingredients and mix until well combined.

Store in the refrigerator, serve at room temperature

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