Friday, May 21, 2010

Gotta be quick

Oh my - It is already almost 1:00p!

I have been a busy lady today:
- Went grocery shopping
- Made caramel buttercream frosting, followed by the act of frosting cupcakes
- Baked half a dozen bagels
- Prepped an appetizer for a party tomorrow
- Cleaned up my kitchen mess
- Packed
- Showered
- Took the dog out x2

All because... I'm going to Fargo!! My friend Gina should be at my house in four minutes. Several months ago she asked if I would be interested in running the Fargo Half Marathon with her and I said sure. The race is tomorrow morning. It's her first half and my second 'official' half. I think we'll have a lot of fun. I just hope the rain holds off.

I had intended for this post to have pictures of the cupcakes, bagels and more... but I just ran out of time.

With all that, I still needed to blog because I offered Round II of Pay it Forward. Okay, it really is still Round I, but since it involves a second trip to the Post Office... you can see my thought process.

The winner is: Jen! Congrats Jen! I'll get your stuff in the mail soon.

Oops - gotta run. Gina's here and I still need to shut down. Have an outstanding weekend! [Sorry... I didn't have time to proofread. I hope this post is coherent.]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pay it Forward, take II

Back in October I posted about an opportunity to Pay It Forward and send gifts to five readers of this blog. I never posted a follow-up, probably because it took me until the end of January to send them, but I did indeed ship out five gifts to the lucky winners.

One was returned. Apparently because of my incredible delay in getting the gifts assembled, I missed one of the winners and she moved. To Korea. Seriously.

So... does anyone else want to play? If so, leave a comment on this post. Winner(s) will be selected on Friday. The package will be mailed soon thereafter, because I am in desperate need of stamps and must go to the Post Office.
{the goods: a tea wallet + four bags of tea, a dish towel avec hearts, a note pad and lip gloss*}
*Outside of my uncle, I don't believe there are many other male readers of this blog. But if a guy wants to play (and wins), I will put together a more masculine version and select a female recipient for the girly gift.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. If your name was a verb, what would “to Nicole” mean?
Oh gosh. I know I've used my name as a verb before too, but I can't remember what I had done. I'm sure it was something forgetful or clumsy or caused a mess.

2. What myth have you always wanted to prove or bust?
I received a forward on this a month or so ago. It's a video of people around the world using their cell phones to pop popcorn. Kind of alarming.

For the record, it isn't true. I searched to find out if it was real or not and it isn't. In fact, there is a full CNN story with the person who created this video. It was an advertisement. Here's a link to the story (scroll through the egg cooking part, the popcorn portion is at the bottom).

3. If you had the ability to get a message out to the entire world, what would you say?
Babies are born without 'traditional' knee caps; it's just cartilage until they are 3-5 years old. It's crazy and true. I mean... it's mentioned on wikipedia, after all! I share this interesting tidbit with everyone I know who has a baby.
*I realize this question is meant to be much more profound, but I'm just not in a profound state of mind right now.

4. I know you’ve answered a similar question before, but it’s been awhile. Please name your current top 10 blogs.
I follow a variety of blogs: food, fitness, crafts, friends, parties and misc. Sometime I'll post some links, but for now categories will need to cut it.

5. Do you have a junk drawer?
Yes. It's actually a portable plastic drawer. I think it's stackable, but we only have the one. We keep stamps, flower food, rubber bands and other 'stuff' in there.

6. Bottled water or tap?
Tap. It's free. I'm cheap.

7. As a kid, did you have a favorite Biblical story?
Noah's Ark. I have a lost of little trinkets, sewed a pillow and recovered a chair, in Noah stuff too.
8. What is your favorite black and white movie?
To Kill a Mockingbird

9. Aside from your engagement/wedding rings, what is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own? Does it have a story behind it?
I really love the pearl necklace and earring set Rich gave me for our wedding day. I very rarely wear them, but they are very special to me.

10. What sports/activities do you hope your kids will be involved in? (Answer for both a boy and a girl)
Boy or girl, I would like him/her to try something with music, either sing or play an instrument. Definitely complete swimming lessons and try a team sport.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up (sans photos)

Eh. I don't feel like adding photos to this post. So you'll just have to take my word for it that these things really took place.
Speaking of pictures, I've heard wordpress allows you to drag and drop photos into a post. Is that true? I don't use wordpress so I don't know. What I do know is adding and arranging photos in a post is a tedious task. Is there any advice you can share to make it easier?

:: Baked cookies. Ate lots of cookie dough and then ate no less than five cookies fresh from the oven.
:: Added fresh mushrooms and jalapenos to our $4.99 Papa Murphy pizza. Such a bargain.
:: Ran 20 miles. Fort Snelling to St. Anthony Main and back. C-R-A-Z-Y!
:: Culver's: one scoop vanilla custard + numerous chocolate chip cookie dough pieces = one very happy girl
:: Inspired by an opportune meeting with his BBQ mentor, Rich smoked two pork shoulders. Y.U.M.
:: Hosted an impromptu dinner with the family to share said delicious pork.
:: Made bagels. From scratch.
:: Outlet shopped with my mom and aunt - bought new crocs, kitchen stuff, plants.
:: Watched my mom plant our new lilac bush.
:: Quested for potting equipment.
:: Plants planted!! [Separate post to come, with pictures]
:: Walked the dog and lamented on the incredibly pleasant weather.
:: Rested and readied for the upcoming week.

It was a truly lovely weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. What was your high school superlative (if you didn’t have one - what would it have been)?
I'm pretty sure I didn't have one but if I did, I forgot what it was. If I was to pick one now it would sound so incredibly sad, it's not even worth mentioning.

2. What sports did you play in high school?
No sports for me. I am not a 'natural athlete' as my brother once pointed out. However, I was in choir and ensemble 9-11 grade, if that counts for something.

3. What was the best part about your wedding (if you’re not married yet, what are you looking forward to)?
We were really looking forward to the trolley ride we took with the wedding party after the ceremony. I thought it was a fun way to explore the town, take some pictures and relax a bit too.
4. It’s your last meal– what Appetizer, Soup, Salad, Entree and Dessert would you choose?
Appetizer - Bread, with olive oil & balsalmic vinegar for dipping
Soup - Tomato Basil, sans cream (or French Onion Soup)
Salad - Wedge Salad w/ tomatoes, bacon + blue cheese; blue cheese dressing on the side
Entree - Crab legs, Lobster, Steak, grilled asparagus + hollandaise, sauteed mushrooms, mac & cheese
Dessert - A scoop of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge on the side.
*Phew! This sure would be a LOT of food! And apparently I want to go to a steakhouse.

5. What song is your guilty pleasure?
This one is kind of embarassing. I really like anything that plays on Delilah. When I work late, I love to drive home and listen to her program. The people who call in to confess their love? So cute! Plus I love the singable love songs.

6. What is your favorite professional sports team, and why do you like them?
The Minnesota Vikings. I just really like football. I think it's a fun sport to watch, especially when they win.
My second favorite right now is the Minnesota Twins. Mostly because of the new stadium.

7. What is your favorite reality show and why do you like it?
Biggest Loser, I guess. Though I haven't watched this season.

8. How would you classify your home decorating style (modern, classic, french country)?
A combination, I guess? I'm not good at decorating. Our house definitely isn't modern, though it has some modern stuff. It's not classic either, in fact I'm not sure exactly what is classic. And it's not country, though I'm sure there's some of that too.

9. Pizza- deep dish or thin crust? White sauce or red sauce? What toppings?
From your standard (read: Dominos, Papa John's) pizza joint: I like a traditional crust pizza with red sauce, mushrooms, jalapenos and pineapple.

10. Favorite weekend getaway within a two hour driving radius?
Visiting Rich's family in WI.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. Do you prefer markers, crayons, or colored pencils?
My immediate answer was crayons. But after further thought, I love the wide array of Sharpie markers available nowadays. So much that I have asked for (and received) sets for Christmas. Love them!

2. As a child, how did your parents celebrate your birthday? (Parties, cake, you pick the dinner, etc.)
Ice cream cake. I have a summer birthday and my mom loved it, so I had it ever year. I am not the biggest fan, but I always knew my mom loved it, so I let her get it every year.

I also remember the parties my mom threw for me and my friends: kids games like 'pin the tail on the donkey' the year after Kindergarten, trips to the wave pool or movies (if and when it rained), a trip to the beauty school for fancy hairstyles and manicures, a sleep-over (complete w/ running around the neighborhood in the middle of the night). Fun memories!!

3. How do you feel about leggings?
Unsettled. My mom bought me a pair this winter that I have yet to wear. I did try them on once, and they aren't terrible, but I'm pretty sure I cannot pull them off.

4. How do you prefer to follow directions? With a map? Words?
WORDS!!! Maps are nice in addition, but I prefer words with arrow icons indicating which direction I need to go.

5. What do you eat for snack?
It varies, but today I had blueberry yogurt with generic Grape Nuts mixed in. [Originally they were packed for breakfast, but was eaten at 4p.*]
*In case anyone is curious, I did eat a lunch. Food was consumed prior to 4p.**
**And clearly I wrote this answer on Monday, not today.

6. Have you ever ordered anything from an infomercial or bought any As Seen on TV products?
I ordered Nad's hair removal gel. What strikes me as really funny is that I am not a hairy person. I have blonde, fine hair that is practically invisible. So it wasn't really the number one product that I need. But I ordered it and tried it. I guess it works for some, but I was just sticky.

7. What’s your favorite thing about summer?
Blue skies, skirts, sandals, painted toes, tanned skin, warm sunshine, thunderstorms, grilling, outdoor parties, ice cream, long daylight-filled days.

8. Do you have a tattoo? What and where is it?
No I do not, though my husband got a tattoo during our honeymoon that I call "our" tattoo.

9. Are you good at journaling?
No. Isn't that evident by how infrequently I update this bad-boy?!

10. What’s your favorite way to eat a hamburger?
I really liked the burger I had from Five Guys with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, grilled onions, mushrooms, pickles, fresh jalapenos and A1.
Last week Rich made wonderful burgers topped with a spoonful of chili garlic sauce and a slice of horseradish cheddar cheese.
Other times I'm happy with a plain ham or cheeseburger. But the concoction I want to try soon is: a hamburger topped with cream cheese and freshly diced jalapenos. I saw it on the Travel Channel's Chowdown Countdown and looked t-a-s-t-y!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

Ahhh... the weekend! Every Sunday night I seem to end up wishing there was more to come. This weekend was no exception.

Here are the details, bulletized.
  • Ran 18 miles in Mpls + St. Paul + Bloomington
  • Organized (+ purged) an enormous magazine stack
  • Baked cupcakes fit for Sunday morning consumption
  • {cupcakes pre-cream cheese frosting}

  • Celebrated Dad's birthday w/ a fast 18 holes
    • [the first time I had golfed in >10 years!!]

    {birthday boy}

  • Followed by cinnamon roll cupcakes + coffee in the Clubhouse
    • [where my Dad's name adorns the walls boasting each tournament success]
  • {Sixsome, minus mom-the-photographer}{self portrait with mom-the-photographer}

  • Talked of our next trip to the golf course
    • [soon, we hope!]
  • 30 minute nap
  • Wake
  • More celebrating my dad, this time with birthday dinner + two desserts
  • Resting up for the week ahead
Not incredibly productive [read: around the house], but most definitely a pleasant respite from M-F.