Thursday, October 3, 2013

Five Things I'm Diggin'

Here are five things I'm into right now.  Where to begin as I've got a little catching up to do.  I'll start it off with my favorite discovery of the year.  You are going to be shocked I know when I start the list off here...

1. RED COW!  This little local gem opened it's doors in my blogging fog days so I didn't get to really tell you how much I love the joint.  I know you all see the Facebook check-in's and patio shenanigans on Instagram, but I truly love this place.  It's the neighborhood equivalent of the Cheers Bar but I imagine the food and wine at The Cow are far superior.  Of course the burgers are standouts, but for me I tread heavily across the appetizer menu.  Ahi tuna crisps, homemade potato chips and dip, three different poutines, scotch eggs, cheese curds, and the pastrami sliders...omg.  I don't care for pastrami, or sauerkraut, or pretzel bread, but I bit into this baby one afternoon and I was smitten. In love, actually.  Three on a plate is more than enough so there is always one to bring home for later.  Wait, did I list the fish tacos?  Delish!  Grilled cheese? Amazeballs.  And did I mention the cute owner, Luke?  He's The Best and will always greet your table with a genuine smile and a funny quip.  And he seriously knows his beer and wine so get your tail in ASAP but just please don't take my favorite table.

2.  How about this FALL we're experiencing?  After the most offensive, depressing, lousy spring on record, we deserve this.  Here we sit in the first week of October and my garden is still pretty fresh, there are ferns (albeit a little scraggly) in my pots, and barely a leaf has littered my driveway.  A little A/C in late September is always welcome and a Homecoming parade in shorts is pretty cool.  I love it.  It's my favorite time of year and even with the monsoon that blew through here last night, it still sort of feels like late summer.  I will take it for as long as Mother Nature wants to cooperate because this rocks!!

Watching the Homecoming parade on a perfect fall day

3.  And speaking of fall, I'm also diggin' football this year.  Yeah, I know the Vikes suck the big one (except when they're in London!?) but we are lucky enough to have a great crew in this neighborhood that likes to spend Sundays worshipping the 49er's, the Bears, the Seahawks, and God forbid The Pack.  This season we were lucky enough to inherit a proper Man Cave in the 'hood that Mr. Howell tricked out in a pretty serious fashion.  The Cave seemingly attracts all kinds of fans and I know that when Mr. C rolls the garage door up on Sunday mornings an interesting collection of folks are going to show up.  As long as this weather holds, count on the chili being served, the beer being chilled and the team flags flying high.  And even when fall does begin to fade, the boys have plans for heaters and fur blankets, which I will make sure to share pictures of! And I can't talk about football without mentioning how proud I am of Mr. C for being brave enough to become a Badger for a day to escort me to a game at Camp Randall.  It was a spectacular day with a spectacular win so here's a shout to Bucky's cutest new fan!  

4.  So last spring I started chatting with my brilliant friend/hairdresser about how I was contemplating bangs. Yes, bangs.  Fringe.  Not since 1983 have I had hair touch my forehead but for some reason last April I got stuck on the idea of bangs.  Brilliant hairdresser says, "No way.  At least not until Fall."  Okay.  I patiently waited for the calendar to hit September 22nd (first official day of Autumn) and I start calling her.  "Should I?  Shouldn't I?  I really should, right?  What if I hate them?  What if they bug me?  What if they make my nose look big?  My face look fat?"  And so on and so on... I think she finally got so fed up with texts, photos and nonsensical chatter on the matter that she graciously slipped me into her first cancellation and had the scissors moving before I could even say, "Should I really do it??" Boom. Done.  Hmm.  I llike them.  I like the change.  I like the feel of fringe on my forehead, but mostly I like that I did something I normally would never do and I must thank my stylist/friend that encouraged me when everyone else said, "Don't Do IT!"  She  told me to jump in with both feet and said in her confident "I'm almost 40 and you're almost 42 so make it happen"  voice,  "You will look stunning.  Your pony is going to look amazing.  And your top bun, to die."  Obvi.   If I see you on the street and you don't like my fringe, do me a favor, smile and tell me that my pony looks amazing.  The only draw back is that I looked like Nikki Sixx when I woke up this morning.

5.  Which brings me to another obsession...The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx.  I read this little number on our last road trip and it is flat out addicting.  Couldn't put it down.  Crazy shit.  Who knew people would ever think to down a pitcher of hot tub water and snort coke immediately afterwards for the ultimate high only to purposefully puke?  And locking yourself in a closet (naked, I might add) with a shotgun because you believe the security system on your wall is out to get you and there are midgets hanging from your trees?  Now that sounds like a blast!  Not to mention shooting up in your xxxx??  Good times.  And the man is still alive to tell the tale.  If you enjoy rock star memoirs (I was not aware that I did) this is the read for you.  Graphic, shocking, sad, captivating, moving, all rolled into one serious page turner.  Nikki collects his diaries from years on tour in the hey day of Motley Crue to truly shock the pants off of his readers.  This book is like crack ( I assume) it.  

That's what I'm diggin' this week.  More next week.  Happy Thursday!

Writer's notes-

*Don't be offended but I am not going to reveal where said brilliant friend/hairstylist works.  That would mean that I won't get called up first on the cancellation list and it will make it harder for me to schedule my bang trims.  It's too bad though because she does the BEST blowout in town!  Email me directly if you really like my fringe and want her number.  And also, I don't think I look like Reese Witherspoon, I just really like her hair.

*The Man Cave depicted above is not at my home.  Don't come to my house on a Sunday morning looking for a bowl of chili and a beer.  If you would like to join us on any given Sunday, once again email me directly and I will reveal the address of The Cave.  And FYI, Nikki Sixx might be making a surprise appearance in November...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rules of The Blog

Apparently Rule #1 of blogging is to not leave your blog unattended for too long.  Woops.  Guilty as charged.  Well, I'm going to try to change that as I want to write more but simply haven't as of late because I often think, who really cares?  Really, truly?  A blog is a blog is a blog...blah, blah, blah.  It was easy to say, "I've been too busy."  But, umm, well, that's not exactly the case here...

It seems like every time I sat at my computer over the last six to nine months I couldn't sort out my thoughts.  Creative words never arrived and antidotes that I would typically find amusing just sounded inane once they were typed.  Everything felt disjointed and ridiculous; a constant stream of starts and stops that just couldn't get assembled into cohesive, coherent paragraphs.  What was wrong with me?  I couldn't figure out what was going on and why I couldn't brazenly, unabashedly spew my opinions to the wind anymore like I used to do.  Then one day as I was walking around the lake it hit me like lightening.  As I kept unsuccessfully trying to publish post after post I discovered that I was thinking too much about what other people would want to read, not necessarily what I wanted to say.  Would people laugh?  Would they be touched?  Would they say, "Okay, it's finally time to delete this garbage out of my Inbox" ? I started this "diary/journal/blog"  to track personal and family milestones; to share ideas and opinions and even the occasional recipe, travel tip, or musical fancy.  I met a lot of great people from writing this blog and in it's own way it led me to some very interesting possibilities and opportunities that otherwise would have never come my way.  I never wanted to be a dead, unread entry in someones email graveyard but I found myself caring about it, which is not what this little blog is for.  

I like to write and I like what this space has brought me with all of it's dangling participles, erratic thoughts, indulgent ramblings and sometimes offensive opinions.  Love it or delete it, Mofo's.  I'm going back to basics, as well as the colors this page used to wear.  Why did I think I liked gray?  It's time to brighten it up and lighten it up.  Thanks for rollin' with me...

Oh, and by the way...

Kidding.  Sort of...


Friday, June 28, 2013

Minnesota Summer

Well Hello Summer!  So glad you could make it!  Just this past week it has finally felt like it's name around here- sunshine, humidity, crispy skin from being at the pool from open till close, bug bites, BBQ's and gin bootlegs.  Ahhh...finally.  

We wait a long time for this season and have no shame in living it up like it's the last day we will feel the sun on our faces.  It is a season where we see certain folks that we otherwise don't during the shut in months and we eat certain foods unavailable six months from now and savor sitting outside for leisurely lunches on backyard patios. 

Bedtimes seem to fade- is that my six year running down the sidewalk barefoot still wearing his swimsuit long after dark with a drippy popsicle hanging from his hand?  Why yes, I do believe it is!  And I make no apologies.  Morning routines are botched and sports are occasionally skipped.  As annoying as it can be sometimes, I do love the "swap the kids" around the neighborhood business that seems to be pure Minnesota.  In our old California neighborhood I didn't ever experience the "summer parent support system" of  "I need to take J to baseball so can you take Z and G and when I get back send F, C and C over for a while so you can run some errands and then let's meet up because I need to take M and J over to the F's for a movie date with their nanny and then my Dad is going to take them to DQ for a while and then we'll all get together in your backyard so Mr. C can BBQ??"  Yup, that's pretty much the daily story around here for three solid months and we are lucky and we love it and we are all ready for it end by Labor Day. 

But until then I will soak up the sound of cicadas, the smell of freshly cut grass, the dirty bare feet, the freckled noses, sunscreen smell on my boys' hair, early morning walks before it gets too hot (okay, who am I kidding, mid morning), back yard movies, and the freedom my boys feel from fishing in the creek down the block by themselves.   That is pure Minnesota summer- and I'm very thankful you have decided to arrive.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pup Up Shop

Ms. Maudie says, "See you at the Pup Up Shop!"

I know this might be a face only a mother could love, but if you have trouble capturing just the right expression on your pet's face like I do, you need to get your pooch in front of Elissa Kadue at Little Bean Photography.  She can always coax a smile, direct the perfect tilt of the head, and bring out the true personality of your pup or your child.  Trust me.  She has snapped our family for two years running and has managed to do an amazing job with subjects that are, let's just say...not so cooperative.  For photographing pups or people, Elissa is your girl.

And there is no team more qualified than Nicole Liwienski and Jennifer Rasmussen of White Peacock Styled Events to put it all together and make it a festive two day puppy party.  These girls bring it to every event to create a mood that is meticulously detailed, highly personal, and absolutely, fabulously stylish.  Corporate events, store openings, birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, you name it- these girls will make it happen exactly as you imagined it!

And Ms. Maudie only goes to Lulu & Luigi for her blow out and nails.  They have the most adorable accessories (the sweaters!!), leashes, carriers, and the best brands of pet food with the most experienced grooming staff.  Thankfully they have multiple locations to keep Twin Cities pets well groomed and stylish.

So put the them all together and what do you have?  A Pup Up Shop, of course!
Check it out-

High Style Doggy Portraits

Raising money to benefit Secondhand Hounds
 and their furry friends!


Saturday + Sunday, June 22nd + 23rd
10am - 4pm by appointment only

Call Elissa at Little Bean, 952-922-8445, to book your appointment and package.

$995 + 50% off prints
No session fee + disk of up to 10 images of your choice + 50% off ala carte online print ordering. Save $850+.
Session fee plus your choice of single digital image or 11x14 wall portrait + ala carte online print ordering. Save $25.
Session fee + ala carte online print ordering


Little Bean Photography
4617 Excelsior Blvd  
Minneapolis, MN 55416
*Parking is directly behind the building. Look for our bright pink door!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Everyone looks to different sources when seeking inspiration, but my go-to spot (on the Internet, at least) is Pinterest.  I could spend hours looking at images of well, literally EVERYTHING.  It's serious eye candy for interiors, recipes, fashion, quotes, wallpaper, destinations, you name it, you can find it on this site.  For someone like me that literally has cabinets filled with back issues of every magazine and file folders stuffed with tear sheets, this site has been a virtual space saver and the creators are genius in my mind.  I actually have to set a time limit for my pinning sessions because I can so easily get carried away and the hours can quickly pass by if I let them.

Here's what I'm currently pinning-
I love this one

Places I want to go-
Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico, right girls?

I would die for a new closet or a mudroom like this

I need an appetizer recipe for tonight

Backyard Inspiration-
I've been meaning to do this to my backyard table for a while

Party Ideas-
We have a 70's party this weekend and I'm trying to get excited about dressing up...I'm thinking Charlie's Angels.  My friends nixed Roller GIrl as me on skates at a party is not a great idea.  But Mr. C as the dude from Boogie Nights...oh yeah!

But the quotes are my favorite.  You can find one for every mood...

Happy Pinning, people!