It's Monday Already

Good morning!

Busy is the best word to describe our every day lives right now. We had a super busy weekend but a happy, happy one because we got our entire place freshly painted (HUGE thanks to my mom and dad for helping out!). This was truly a labor of love and we are so, so glad to be done with it. We painted the entire downstairs, stairwell, upstairs, and our bedroom with Glidden's Sutton Place Grey ($20 a gallon PLUS a $10 rebate back to the store, score!) and the bathroom with a light sand color. Our carpets are thankfully getting a much-needed cleaning today. We plan to lay laminate on the kitchen and entryway floors, because the flooring in there now is just atrocious.



Starting out the mornings with an extra large cold-brew and bagels (hallelujah - there is a bruegger's within biking distance of our place!)








Not much else to report on this weekend other than a lot of paint messes made and a lot of cleaning them up, a lot of furniture put together, a lot of La Croixs consumed, and a lot of fun memories made. 

We did take several breaks though - Friday I went to Can Can Wonderland to celebrate my friend Chelsea's birthday, and Saturday we went to our friends for a BBQ. 

Tomorrow we pick our uHaul up at 8am, and then will be moving all of our stuff - which is a lot. Luckily our bedroom set and couch will be delivered and set up for us by professionals so that takes a lot of work off our hands. $80 well spent!!!

Wish us luck tonight as we get our cable and internet figured out - easily the worst part about moving. I always feel like we got ripped off...




Oh and I couldn't resist setting this little area up - only six more days!


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Weekending | Food & Bridal Shower

It was a hot weekend here in Minnesota, which is way more common than anyone thinks! We were outside majority of Saturday and Sunday, and I got some super not-awesome tan lines from wearing my hair in a low pony with a low back shirt.

Friday I packed up almost my whole life. My apartment is in complete shambles from all of the boxes and stuff everywhere, but I got so much accomplished and it felt great to haul three loads of stuff to Goodwill! I cannot wait to break in all of my new kitchen supplies I've been saving since December. I'm basically living out of a overnight bag the next 7 days. We are hoping to get almost all of the painting in the new place done on Saturday so we can start moving some things in Sunday and Monday. We rented a UHaul for next Tuesday so that's when all the big stuff will go. I can't wait!

On Saturday I drove back to my parents' and my mom and I met some friends for the Anoka Food Truck Festival. It was fun but way too hot to be out, and combined with all of the heat coming from the trucks it was slightly miserable. But we finally found a spot in the shade which made it a lot better. I had a gyro that was delicious and super large, and my mom and I split a salted caramel brownie with ice cream.. it was every bit of heavenly you could imagine.





 My mom and I also did a lot of shopping afterwards, and I was able to buy some new throw pillows for our couch and a leash for Bosco. My mom gifted us a gorgeous lamp - one that I've had my eye on for quite awhile!

On Sunday it was my friend Chelsea's first bridal shower. Her sister-in-law threw it and it was gorgeous. We brunched, sipped mimosas, played games, and watched her open some fabulous gifts.







Maids of Honor!






The Bridesmaids!


Oh and I spent a good portion of my weekend loving on this sweet baby girl. I love Harper time!




To end the weekend, I made 100+ cream cheese rose mints (!!!) for the bridal shower I'm hosting in a few weeks, and had a good home-cooked meal with my family. It was a perfect day.

Happy Monday!
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Five on Friday | 7.21.2017

Another busy week has passed and I am so ready to take on the weekend!




 Last night's workout ft. hyper Axel


ONE // We tried a new "topping" recipe this week - topping meats with different sauces and combinations is my favorite. We have a favorite mushroom whiskey steak sauce for steaks and an avocado salsa for salmon, these toppings just really jazz up the meat we're eating and give a ton of flavor without much added calories (most of the time).

So we tried a bruschetta chicken that was just fantastic. I love the smell of fresh basil and tomatoes, and it really added some depth to a plain chicken breast.



TWO // Has anyone tried this new flavor of La Croix? I think it's my new favorite! 


THREE // It was national ice cream day on Sunday! Ice cream totally does deserve it's own special day, and of course we celebrated accordingly with homemade ice cream sandwiches. 


Excuse the hasty iPhone pic :) I just had to devour asap.


FOUR // I got to attend the X Games last weekend with some of my sorority friends and it was a lot of fun! They had so much going on all day and a lot of cool vendors outside with freebies. I got to see the inside of US Bank Stadium for the first time which was absolutely breathtaking. 


FIVE // Has anyone utilized the facebook marketplace on the app yet?? I am addicted! I posted a table and chairs on there that I need to sell, and it sold in three minutes! THREE MINUTES. It is a heck of a lot easier than craigslist and to be honest, I like seeing the persons profile and picture.. it makes me feel a lot safer. I also sold my college desk and chair on there as well, which I got seven hits for in the first 10 minutes. Seriously, you need to check it out!

Happy weekend!
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Girls Day | Pedicures and Wine

Last weekend myself and two of my closest girlfriends dedicated a "girls day" to ourselves. With all the craziness of life lately, us three haven't had the chance to really spend some quality time together alone. There have been so many updates in our lives lately - babies, weddings, moving, puppies, job promotions... it was so nice to be able to just relax and talk about whatever was on our minds.
 

We started the day with breakfast at Good Day Cafe.

Then we treated ourselves to some pedicures, and they were finally able to use the gift cards for a pedicure that I gave them for Christmas. The workers spent an hour on our pedicures, and we all opted for the luxury pedicure which included a citrus salt scrub and this thick buttery-looking purple lotion cream. It was every bit of heavenly. 


After pedicures, we drove about 45 minutes out of the city to Waconia, MN where there are several wineries. First we checked out Sovereign Estate Winery. We did a wine tasting, and Emily and Chelsea decided to split a bottle of their rose dessert wine and I got a classic glass of bubbly rose. We sat outside and shared a pizza and some spinach & artichoke dip - which was just delicious. 






Our second winery we went to was Schram Vineyards & Brewery. We did another tasting here - only $12 for 6 samples and you get to keep your glass! Their raspberry bumbley was our favorite. We didn't stay too long here, because the heat was really starting to get to us. A long day combined with wine and then 95 degree temps makes for some extreme sleepiness. 


After our winery adventure, we headed back to the city for dinner at Yard House. We had such a fun day together, and already decided that our next girls day will involve some spa treatments and facials.

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Bosco Boy

If you follow me on instagram, you have obviously seen our exciting news I posted last night! We received some emails that we have been anticipating not-so-patiently these past few weeks. Our breeder for our corgi puppy contacted us with pictures of each puppy and a description of their personalities so we could choose the one for us! We got first pick, so we were able to choose between five males. Now let me tell you, this is no easy decision at all. They all looked so adorable and snuggly, and we were able to find things we liked about each of them. But it really narrowed down to the first one, who we fell in love with the second we saw his picture. He is the biggest of his litter - naturally we chose the chubby one. We just couldn't resist his big paws and his personality of "loves to eat, sleep, and play with feet". OH MY GOSH - I die!

So without further adieu, here are our first glimpses of our big boy!




I can't wait to cuddle him and love on him! I'm already dreaming of all the walks we will take together and all of the happiness and laughs he will bring us. 

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Five on Friday | 7.14.2017

I am so. so. ready for the weekend. 

ONE // We checked out White Bear Lake's Market Fest last night and absolutely loved it! What a fun change of pace for a Thursday night. We started with dinner at our favorite restaurant, Stanely's NE. We have less than three weeks left of this place being within walking distance, so we are soaking it up while we can. After dinner we headed over to White Bear. I love this town, and by the end of the night Andy was probably a little irritated with how many times I said I want to live there. 

It is my kind of place - a little town with cobblestone buildings full of rooftop bars and restaurants with lights strung above the tables, antique stores, and non-chain bakeries and dessert stores. We looked in several of their little shops, and even considered buying our puppy an adorable sweater - but settled on some ice cream cones and some homemade lemonade instead. They had so many vendors and a few live bands playing. Sadly there are only two Thursdays left of Marketfest, but we were so happy to be able to check it out this week.






TWO // A little late in posting this but remember when I posted about my friend's sweet baby girl being born? Well she has grown so so much already! And I got to watch her for a little while last Wednesday while Andy was working on some stuff with Chelsea and Michael. 

I just love this little honey so much! She was so happy and talkative. She just warms my heart. 





THREE // Money has been a little tight this month with all of the moving expenses.. I have had to force myself not to look at Nordstrom's Sale and all the posts surrounding it. But I'm giving myself a pat on the back today for being so frugal with my spending lately. I'm trying really hard to get a solid savings account together and it's paying off!


FOUR // Tacos again on Tuesday night.. I could gladly eat this meal for the rest of my life. This week's taco was a pork carnita kind that Andy cooked in the slow cooker allllll day with some sweet yellow onions. It was so juicy and flavorful. We enjoyed it on blackened corn tortillas (our fav), and topped it with chopped red cabbage, avocado, tomato, and a homemade chipotle sour cream. It was so good that we saved some leftovers to heat up Wednesday night for dinner! And it was just as incredible.




FIVE // I am having the most girliest-fun weekend ever. Tomorrow I'll be spending the entire day with my two best friends, Emily and Chelsea. We're planning breakfast, pedicures, and stopping by some local wineries. Then dinner in Minnetonka on the lake on the way home. Cannot wait to spend the whole day with my two favorite girls. Then on Sunday myself and some girlfriends are checking out the X-Games at US Bank Stadium! 


HAPPY WEEKEND! 


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Grilled Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Lime Pesto

We made these for dinner on Sunday night after searching the web for something healthy and easy, and these really fit the bill. We love anything we can put on the grill, and the sauce that goes with this is so unique and bright. They pair super well with rainbow veggie skewers, which is easily the most delicious and colorful way to get a variety of vitamins into your meal.





Grilled Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Lime Pesto


For the chicken:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken strips
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

For the cilantro lime pesto:

2 cups cilantro
1 cup parsley
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
2 tbsp lime juice
2 small garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Place cilantro, parsley, honey roasted peanuts, lime juice, garlic cloves, and olive oil in a food processor. Puree for 20-30 seconds or until well combined and broken down. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers for 30 min or longer to avoid from burning.

Preheat grill to medium heat. In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Skewer the chicken, drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle rub all over chicken. Massage the rub into the chicken.

Place chicken skewers on grill and cook for 10 minutes, flipping once. Once done cooking, remove from heat and set aside.

Serve skewers with sauce drizzled on top.



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Weekend Review

Andy and I played hooky on Friday afternoon to enjoy the weather and to kick our weekend off early. We wanted to fully take advantage of this weekend, as it's the last one of the summer where I have no plans and Andy has off which is completely insane. Summer has just been flying by so darn fast and I can't believe that we move in just three weeks and bring home our sweet pup in just four.

I apologize for the lack of pictures ahead of time. Apparently I only thought food pictures were worthy.

On Friday we decided to check out some patios in White Bear Lake, which is not that far from our new place. We first went to Admiral D's waterfront tavern. I had a raspberry-watermelon mojito and we split their chips and guac/salsa/queso app - my kind of place! After that we made our way over to Sak's, which is like a sports bar and split a quesadilla on their patio.



Friday night we had some friends over for a bonfire and grill out (kind of a trending thing this summer). 

Saturday after a short recovery time, some water, and a protein-filled breakfast.. we headed over to Ikea for some shopping. The plan was to grab a few needed things for our place and check out shelving, and then go to Snail Lake for an early evening walk - but we ended up shopping for six hours. Ikea turned into HomeGoods, which turned into Marshall's, which led us to Target. We also treated ourselves to D-Spot Wings somewhere in there. We had the best day just browsing and actually bought some much needed things for our place. 



That night we started watching the new Netflix original series Glow - it's actually super good! I know I have a hard time getting into shows, and I thought this might be one of those. But after the third episode we were both super into it. It's a little slow starting off but gets better as you go. Plus it's set in the 80's and their outfits are just amazing.

On Sunday we did our normal work out, meal prep, and clean routine. We made some delicious chicken and veggie skewers with a cilantro lime pesto for dinner, and then balanced our healthy meal with a DQ blizzard ;)




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Rhubarb Muffins

Rhubarb is spring's first edible plant harvested up here in the Midwest. It is super easy to grow, and my parents always have a ton of it. We make rhubarb jam, rhubarb cakes, rhubarb pies.. the list is endless! I've never really gotten into this strange, fruity tasting plant before.. I always thought they looked like some weird red celery. But then I tried these delicious muffins my mom made from scratch. Oh my gosh - they sure turned me around real fast!

The rhubarb gets soft and juicy while it bakes, making these muffins incredibly moist and causing them to melt right in your mouth. The cinnamon sugar and chopped pecans make them even better. Added bonus - they are so easy! I had them whipped up in a matter of minutes.



Rhubarb Muffins

Muffins:
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans of walnuts

Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts


Combine brown sugar, egg, and buttermilk. Mix well. Add in rhubarb, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and vegetable oil. Combine baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Mix to combine and add nuts in.

Spray muffin cups with baking spray. Spoon batter into cups filling each cup 3/4 full. Mix together the topping and spoon over muffins. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Yields 18 muffins.


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4th of July 2017 Recap

We had so much fun celebrating the Fourth these past few days! I spent part of the weekend at home with my family while Andy worked. My mom and I made our faaaaavorite fruit cookies (recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman), we went on walks, and got some sun - which was much needed.




Andy and I were up early on Sunday morning whipping up a breakfast of champions. He made some to-die-for breakfast sandwiches, complete with turkey bacon, egg whites, avocado, and Frank's hot sauce. Of course our healthy breakfast had to have some balance, so I made my favorite homemade rhubarb muffins for good measure. My parents have tons of rhubarb growing in their garden, so I was sent home with plenty to make another batch.


We also picked up our paint that afternoon! We got three cans of Glidden's Sutton Place Grey for our main areas and bedroom, and a can of Glidden's Natural Wicker.

I worked on my Master capstone the rest of the evening, picked up Noodles & Company, and baked a triple berry pie for the holiday.




Monday Andy and I both had to work.. but thankfully my gracious boss let us leave an hour early which was perfect because I had some errands to run before our BBQ we were hosting that evening.

We had our friends Chelsea, Michael, and Emily over for grilling and a bonfire. Our menu was filled with traditional Fourth of July food - brats, grilled chicken, watermelon, pasta salad, chips, cookies, and s'mores ingredients! We partied hard, like stay up past midnight hard (which is a huge rarity lately). Chelsea made some deliciously dangerous boozie cherries and I concocted a drink with lemonade, strawberry-acai juice, & Malibu coconut rum. It was the most perfect, refreshing cocktail for us girls to sip on and chat while we left the grilling to the boys. 








Obligatory beer run to get some summer shandy!







I made some easy and festive fourth-of-july breakfast kabobs (thank you Pinterest!) and a pot of coffee for everyone Tuesday morning before they left. 



Andy and I celebrated the Fourth by going to Valleyfair for the day - our local amusement/water park. We were a little hesitant because of the stormy weather predictions, but overall it ended up being a perfect day for it. We floated down the lazy river a handful of times, went down some water slides, braved the roller coasters, and turned into all the shades of red. We might need something stronger than SPF 30 next time!




We treated ourselves to Rita's - my new obsession.

No fireworks for us last night. We were conked out by 9:30 with our sunburns and full bellies. 



Hope you had a great Fourth, xx!
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