Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. Think back a decade, do you remember what your first cellphone was? Was it as cool as Zack Morris’s phone?
I got my first cell phone when I was 21. It was a Kyocera. Shortly after getting it, I left it in the car on a hot summer day and it never worked again. Thankfully I had purchased a warranty. My replacement was a Samsung flip phone and I used it for 3 years.
2. What is the first children’s book you remember being read to you?
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. I'm sure this wasn't the first book that was read to me, but it was the first that came to mind.
3. What was your first car? Did you love it or hate it?
A 1984 Toyota Cressida. It is my understanding this was Toyota's version of a Lexus. It was ahead of it's time when it came to features. It had automatic everything: locks, windows, side mirrors, rear-window defrost, locks. The car met an untimely death thanks to me, but I was very fortunate to be given such a great car when I turned 16!
4. Who was your hero growing up?
My mom. And she still is.
5. Think back to your first kiss. Was it everything you dreamed of?
I don't remember hating it.
6. What was your first BAD hairstyle choice? (Extra points for embarrassing photos)
Second grade, wedge-cut with a perm.
Mom came through and found a picture!!
7. What was your first realistic dream? (One where you had to think “Oh dang, was that a dream?”)
Oh gosh. I've had a few. Usually someone I love dies in my dream and when I wake up, I (thankfully) remind myself it wasn't real. Not cool.
8. What was the first phobia you remember developing?
I don't think I have any phobias. Though there are plenty of things I am not fond of such as: spiders, WORMS, rats and larvae.
9. Which character on Sesame Street do you most identify with?
Cookie Monster. Right now all I want to do is eat a cookie. Om Nom nom nom!
10. What was the hardest goal you ever accomplished?
Gosh this one is really tough. There are a number of things I have accomplished that I am immensely proud of: summiting Mt. Whitney, running a marathon, baking my first yeast bread (seriously), passing Cell Biology and thus graduating from college, getting married to a wonderful man, having a loving family and being a parent to our dog, to name a few.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. What two cities should be moved closer together?
San Francisco and New York, but I really just want them moved closer to me so I can visit whenever I want. I love both cities and every time I leave I feel like there is so much more to see! Plus, I really love NY style pizza and San Francisco clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.
2. What was the first plane ride you took?
I'm not positive, but I would venture to guess it was to visit my grandparents in Mission, TX.
3. What continent would you most like to visit?
Europe. I want to go to Italy and Portugal (as mentioned last week). I'd also like to go to Poland to meet my sister-in-law's family and tool around the Mediterranean Coast. [Yes, I know that Poland is not along the coast... that was just a series of thoughts strung together.]
4. What’s your favorite place to window-shop?
Anthropologie. There are so many things I would love to have, but I don't necessarily have the funds for them.
5. What’s the least fun you’ve ever had at a place specifically tailored for fun?
The day before our wedding I had planned a luncheon with my mom, aunt and bridesmaids followed by mani & pedis at a nearby nail salon. I called a few weeks in advance, made an appointment and asked if they would have enough room to do eight sets of nails/toes simultaneously. They said yes.

Well, when we arrived for our 3:00p appointment and they only had two people working AND let a customer who walked in after us go before us!! I had all of the bridesmaids, my mom and aunt get their nails and toes done first to make sure they got through. Meanwhile I was practically pacing the joint. By the time it was my turn I didn't even care whether or not mine turned out nicely. I just wanted to get out of there.

Our rehearsal started at 5:30p and I had expected to have at least an hour of relaxation and get ready time post-mani/pedi. By the time we got out of the salon we only had 10 minutes to get to the hotel, change and get to the church. Needless to say, it was not the least bit relaxing experience.
6. You’re stuck on an island with plenty of food, a companion, and a relatively stress-free lifestyle. What do you say when the rescue ship comes?
Rich's answer was to ask if they have TV. But I guess I would ask if they have a phone. In my mind, my companion would be my husband, but if not I would want to call him and then my parents to let them know I'm okay.
7. Which day of the week do you look forward to most?
I really like Wednesdays. When I was younger Wednesday meant I had fun church activities after school. Now it generally means I get to work remotely. But most of all, it means the work week is half over!
8. What’s your favorite place to enjoy the great outdoors?
My uncle Rollie's cabin. It's fun and rustic, complete with an outhouse and all. I haven't been in nearly five years! We used to go every year around the 4th of July and then we'd also celebrate my birthday. So fun! [Fun story: Rich and I had only been dating a few months when went to the cabin. My uncle said, "Now that you've brought her here, you'll have to marry her." Three of my cousins had visited the cabin before us with their boy/girlfriend and each couple had gotten married. Guess it worked for us, too!]
9. What’s on your “to do” list this summer?
Enjoy the weather, create a potted garden, and run two marathons!!
10. Which natural disaster freaks you out the most?
Gosh, being in the path of an erupting volcano would be pretty scary. Or a tsunami - definitely a tsunami. In fact if I'm ever on the coast, tsunami's do cross my mind. When we were in French Polynesia on our honeymoon I mentioned several times how if a tsunami came in we would be goners. Thankfully that didn't happen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wonderful Weekend

Whew! What a great weekend! It was fast (aren't they all?!), but really wonderful. It sure didn't hurt that the weather was absolutely outstanding!!

We started the weekend off on the right foot with friends and the Twins vs. Royals game at the brand new Target Field. Such a cool night [literally and figuratively]!
{our seats}
{scoreboard} {our view} {Hrbek's} {batter up}
{Minnie & Paul}

Saturday morning we woke up and started about our day. Twenty minutes later, Malin's face looked like this.
{poor swollen puppy}
A dose of Benadryl later, he was on the mend. And after a few hours of surveillance, Rich and I left to check out a newly opened restaurant in the neighborhood.
{five guys burgers and fries}
It was delicious!!! The menu reminded me of In-N-Out burger and the food was really, really tasty.

Here are the perks: bulk peanuts available while you wait in line to order and as you wait for your burger to be prepared and the toppings (excluding cheese and bacon) are F-R-E-E!! I'm talking lettuce, tomatoes, onions, grilled onions, mushrooms, pickles, fresh jalapenos, ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce and A1. And you guessed it - everything in bold was added to my burger. Yum.

Did you see the fries?! There are two varieties: Cajun and Regular. They are from fresh-cut potatoes and scrumptious! [Frankly the fries are like the ones from the State Fair and they have malt vinegar on hand, which made for some tasty dipping. BTW - the fry portion is huge, we could have done with one order, but I insisted on getting the Cajun too. While they were good, next time I'd stick with the Regular and douse them in malt vinegar followed by ketchup.]

After our yummy lunch, Rich did yard work while I put on a sundress, grabbed a few magazines and caught some rays on the deck.
{sun city}
Post-sun [and sufficiently feeling like a bum], I changed clothes and helped in the yard for a few minutes before transitioning to indoor housework. Our evening came to a close reclined in our Adirondack chairs, me with wine, Rich with beer and Malin lapping up water. Lovely.
{our family, including a cured dog}

Sunday was equally splendid, but not as eventful. We slowly woke up, no impromptu hives this time, reviewed the paper. I ran some errands, came home, painted my toenails and then left on more errands. I came home again to Rich making his famous charcoal chicken.
{the chef and his grill}
Our friends stopped by to pick up a crate we used when Malin was just a pup [they bring home their own puppy this Saturday!]. We chatted about summer plans and dog play dates while snacking on pretzels and dip. Before long it was 9:30p, our friends departed and it was time to clean up, get ready for work and head to bed. Another delightful weekend come and gone.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. What book, movie or song has made you want to travel to a particular place? (eg. I went to Prince Edward Island because I was such a Anne of Green Gables fan)
After we watched the movie Sideways, we have talked about taking a trip to taste and tour a few wineries in Napa Valley, CA.
2. Aside from your significant other, who would you want to take with you on a dream trip?
My mom.
3. Where would said dream trip be to?
4. If you were hosting guests or providing tips, what three things would you show visitors to your hometown? (be it where you live now or where you grew up)
- Walk around one or more of the following lakes: Lake Calhoun, Isles or Harriet. In high school we went to Calhoun multiple times per week; it was our place to hang out. Plus it's pretty, bustling and great for people watching!
- Swing by the Farmer's market. This is more for me, than them. But I want to go... so my guests can come with. We'd purchase fresh produce, meats, bread, cheese and olives before heading back to our house to have Rich grill up a delightful dinner.
- Most people want to go to Mall of America so if that's something they are interested in, I'd take them. If they would rather stay outdoors, I think we need to see a Twins game at Target Field!
5. If you had a long weekend ahead of you, where do you head – beach, city or country/mountains?
I'd like to go to the country and hang out at the beach before heading into the city. [We don't have mountains 'round these parts.]
6. Do you have a passport? If so, did you get it for a particular trip or just to have, in case?
Yes. I got my first passport so I could visit my brother while he studied abroad in London.
7. Are there any travel souvenirs you collect? If not, is there something else you collect?
Nope. While I do have a lot of stuff, I don't have any collections.
8. If you could name a paint colour, what colour would it be and what would you call it?
Hmm... right now I would pick an orangeish-red and call it: August Sunset
9. If you were heading away for a weekend citybreak solo, where would you go? (forget about practicality here and flight times, assume you can get to any city in the world for the weekend)
I'll be by myself, so as I was looking up "Pedestrian friendly cities in the world" I came across the Five Best Cities in the World for Women Travelers and picked Lisbon, Portugal since it's along the Mediterranean. And because I looked up images and came across this one.
{Photo Source: Destination 360}
10. Is there a song or a smell or something that you strongly associate with a particular holiday/place/time, such that it always takes you back?
There are a few songs that remind me of high school, such as:
"Kiss from a Rose" by Seal = Riding the bus my freshman year of high school.
"Angel" by Sarah McLachlan = Working at the local coffee shop my senior year of high school.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Spring has sprung. Trees are budding, grass is greening and I am day dreaming of flowers, plants and gardens.

However, I am not a gardener. My mom is. She has skillz I can only dream of. So instead I hope that she has enough time to work in her gardens and help me with mine!

Rich and I would love to have a full-fledged garden, but I can't seem to conceptualize where I would put it. Thus, this year we will attempt container gardening. We tried tomato plants at our old house, but squirrels and chipmunks harvested the fruits of our labor before we could. At our new house we have a different layout that I think will lead to more success.

I don't know what types of crops we'll plant - but for sure there will be herbs. And I've got a head start on those already!!
Last Sunday (3/28/10) we bought this herb kit. By Saturday (4/3/10) we had germination and growth of basil and the start of chives. And Monday (4/5/10) we had full on cotyledons!
Come on parsley! Get growing!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. If you could travel back in time, would you? What decade would you visit?
Sure! I would want to go back to the 1920s. Is that crazy? I'd like to experience a week on a farm and then in a city, just to see what life was like.
2. What was your best Halloween costume? (fun to make? most creative?)
My senior year of college I had a nurse costume: white smock, nurse cap with a red cross on it, bright red lips and a pair of white tennis shoes. I loved the ensemble and have kept it on deck ever since, just in case I'm invited to an impromptu costume party.
3. Do you like your name? If you weren’t called by your name, what would you want to be called?
Eh. I've went in phases, but I'm not changing it so it's here to stay. I don't have any other names I want to go by, so this one works for me!
As an aside, for some reason I don't like when Rich calls me Nicole. It just feels weird to me. However, I love when he calls me Nic. Unfortunately, that is a rare occurrence.
4. In the past year, what is the BEST recipe you made. Please share it!
I tried making a number of things this year. While many were tasty, very few were made more than once. But Julia Child's Coq Au Vin I made twice, including once for a dinner party. The recipe consists of a number of steps, but the results are delish and most of it can be completed well in advance of your guests arrival.
5. Look around – what is the nearest object or picture hanging on the wall?
A television.
6. What was the last movie you saw in a theater? Would you recommend it?
Alice in Wonderland. It was my first 3D IMAX film ever and the visuals were awesome! Consider it recommended.
7. Did you go to summer camp? Will you/do you send your kids to camp?
Sure did! I went to a Camp Wapo in Amery, WI. It is a Lutheran bible camp and I always had a great time. I would love to provide a similar opportunity to my future kids some day.
8. What kind of ringtone do you have?
No songs for me, my ringtone is your basic telephone ring.
9. Where is the farthest away from home you have ever been?
With a loved one? Tahiti. By myself? California.
10. Has anyone ever written a song or a poem for or about you?
I don't believe so. Though when I was a kid my mom changed the lyrics of "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" to our last name instead. I was pretty old before I learned the true lyrics.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend

Our Easter weekend was once again wonderful. Rich hung out with some friends Friday night, and I hung out with the dog. While Malin and I were on a walk we saw this. I wasn't able to get my camera out very fast, but...
{...that is a water skier on the back of a boat. On April 2nd. Craziness.}
{Malin, leading the way}
Saturday morning we woke up, packed up and headed to Wisconsin to visit Rich's family. We met up with Rich's parents, sister Tina and brother-in-law Paul at Tina and Paul's house. We also introduced Malin to his dog-cousin Cosmo. They were fast friends and chased each other around the yard for a while before the humans left for lunch at a pizza buffet. Yum!

After lunch we went back to Tina and Paul's, picked up Malin and did some shopping before heading to the farm. We unloaded, let Malin loose and enjoyed the warm (but windy) weather for a while before heading to the local watering hole.
{we played dice}{enjoyed a local brew or two and racked up the drink tickets}

After a while, I left with Patti to get some rest while Rich and his dad practiced their pool game.

Sunday we enjoyed a lazy morning before heading to brunch with the family. I neglected to take pictures though, which is a shame. We followed up brunch with another trip to Huron. The boys, Rich and his dad vs the son-in-laws, played their annual pool tournament [the son-in-laws won the title this year] while the ladies chatted.

Once it started getting late and we started getting hungry, the crew headed back to Rich's parents' house for a lovely dinner.


After supper, Rich and his dad took on the son-in-laws for two more rounds of pool at the house. This time with money on the line the son + father team came out victorious x2!! Hmm... makes you wonder if they threw the title series?! :) Too soon it was dark, time to pack up and start heading home.

Always too short, it certainly was another wonderful weekend spent with family.