Monday, December 22, 2014

Finding My Christmas Spirit

To say the last few months has not been crazy would be a lie. But honestly, whose lives have not been? Shortly before Thanksgiving my co-worker was asking me about Christmas and decorating the new house. I looked her and said "I honestly was more excited about Halloween". After thinking about that I realized I needed to change my 'tude.

My Solution. Go all out Christmas. I booked three different Christmas Music shows in Minneapolis. We set out and cut down our first tree. A few new decorations now grace our home. I made crocheted scarves for the Christmas card photo. The Christmas card photo even got taken and mailed out in a timely fashion. Our home even smells like Christmas. 

Did it help? Somewhat. This year has been such whirlwind, with the last few months been completely topsy turby. The boyfriends work continues to throw more curve balls at him. Even interfering with our Christmas plans. We literally have no idea where he will be working or living a few months ahead. Our health is no where near where it was or where it should be. With so much up in the air, I've found it easier just to fake the holiday spirit. Who has time or the energy for it?

I may not be Merry and Bright this season, but I am greatful. My health and happiness are not where they need to be, but they exist! I have a roof over my head. Two happy little dachshunds. A boyfriend to lift me up when I start to crumble under everything. A reliable vehicle to take me to and from work where I do my part to help people heal. A large family to spend my time with and celebrate one another. I may not be peppy and overly merry this season, but I am genuinely grateful for everything and everyone in my life. That to me is worth it's weight in gold..or Frankencence  and Myrrh.. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Girl Meets Chopsticks

Why does such pretty food have to be so difficult to eat? 

I've had my struggles with chopsticks in the past. I just tossed it up to never having to use them before. Only once have I ate Sushi in public, and it was comical. I got lessons in how to use them but needless to say, I failed. My fingers just couldn't make them work.

My solution, get more take out Sushi and practice eating them in my own home with no one watching. So I did. Several times. I had a 50/50 success rate. There are loads of YouTube tutorials on how to eat with chopsticks. I watched most of them. I looked at drawings on the correct way to use them. Still, I sucked.

The boy and I have a list of date night ideas saved on Evernote. Sushi was on it. So this weekend we went to Grand Ave in St Paul which was a date idea. Then got Sushi. Two date ideas at once, total over achievers, i know! So what do I do, have a freak out over the chopsticks. Mainly because I suck at using them, no matter how I long I've tried, and the boy, he's a pro. After I repeatedly spazzed out over lettuce falling all over the place, he orders me silverware. And I feel like I've failed. However I am the only one who really cares. 

I eventually calmed down. Tried the chopsticks a few more times. There is only so much of your food  falling all over the place before you throw your hands up. So I used my fingers and ate the rest of the food. I was as happy as a clam. Not sure if it's  because I didn't resort to giving up entirely and using silverware or because I came to the realization that I was fighting a battle against two pieces of wood.

Either way, we ended up enjoying our food. One with chopsticks, one with fingers. That's compromise :)

Above, is deep fried oysters. On Tuesday I talked about how we eat healthy during the week and fail miserably on the weekend? This is what I'm talking about. So delicious! Tasted like super juicy breaded mushrooms! 

Anyone else hate chopsticks?

Liking up with RunningWithSpoons today!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Handling Halloween and the Leftovers

First off, we survived our first Halloween in Minnesota. The boy was curious on how it would work with the barking addicted pup (as was I). Once we figured out how to hurdle the baby gate at the top of the stairs without injuring ourselves or falling down the steps, we were golden! Naturally, he barked non stop so we dressed him up as a "little monster" complete with a mohawk. sounds like a fair trade, right? 

Now we are dealing with the post Halloween leftovers, aka "candy". Since it was our first time handing out candy here, I really had no idea on how much to purchase. I'm glad to say I didn't have to turn the light off early and deprive the kiddos of candy, but having that much temptation around is brutal. We both have made several attempts at maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but once the weekend rolls around, we are eating out and eating unhealthy. We both decided we need to focus on planning ahead and eating healthier.  

So on Sunday we cooked our first turkey and carved it up for dinners all week long. Since I had no idea how to cook a turkey, there was lots of googling involved. Oh and buying a roaster. There are perks to actually being married and getting wedding gifts before living together. Roasters range in prices from $20 to $200 plus. Eek! Since cooking, carving, and eating the bird seemed to have taken up a good chunk of Sunday afternoon, not much was was able to get cooked. Thankfully, Balance Bare sent me these bars to review. They could not have come at a better time. They make great mid morning or afternoon snacks that help to keep us satisfied. Plus, they are non GMO Gluten/Dairy/Soy free! Tip: The sweet and spicy nut Balance Bare bar actually has some heat to it! I love it!

What's your game plan to stay healthy during the kick off the holiday season?

Linking up with OlivesNWine for Treat Yourself Tuesday. Best way to treat yourself is to take care of yourself, and laugh - at your dog in a mohawk :) 

Monday, October 13, 2014

celebrating the season

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I walk outside and am instantly energized. Shortly after that I feel the need to go someplace and do something fall, like now! I never quite know what my spontaneity will turn into, sometimes it is a walk with the dachshunds  by my running trail and enjoying the sites:

Other times, It's popping in a fall blend coffee and playing with the pups outside while I still can. 

The leaf tuning season started out great, then it rained and kinda but the kibosh on the really spectacular colors. My neighbor has a cool ombre tree :) 

My mom found this mushroom in our yard. If I was five years old, I'm pretty sure I would be imagining fairies and trolls living around it... Okay, so I am 29 and the thought did cross my mind. I have no shame. None. 

What is your favorite part of the autumn/fall season?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life: Unexpected

It's true I am not a big fan of surprises. I blame it on the inner shy Shannon.When people try to surprise me, all the attention is on me. Insert: Panic and red flushed cheeks! However, I have gotten better at rolling with the punches. For instance:
This is Ned. 
Ned is my basil toad. He lives in my basil plant. When I first met Ned, he surprised me by appearing in my bowl of freshly picked basil. I am not a fan of any creatures without fur, at all!  Now that we have formally met, Ned has felt a little more comfortable around here. He frequently is found clinging on the patio door window or chilling on his basil basil plant. We're good. 
Then a few days earlier, this happened:

Droopy Ears, Sad Face..
Sully wanted to lay in his kennel. All day. Not like him. He is normally attacking me with his squeaky toys or snoozing in my lap. I figured he just was tired. However when Mike came home, Sully didn't even wag his tail or get out of the kennel. It's safe to say the pups have grown on him because he scooped him up, pillow and all, and took him to urgent care. (yes, pet urgent care does exist)  Lab work, x-rays, and an exam later he was diagnosed with a compressed disc. He is back to his normal self now, chasing toads and all. Maybe it's because I take and examine x-rays all day long or because I asked the dog-loving radiologist I work with to take a peek at the X-rays, but I do not believe he has a compression fracture. But I do think he hurt his back, just not that severely. 
You never can predict what live with present you with, 
but sometimes you just gotta roll with it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 2014 Stitch Fix

Thank you to everyone who has been leaving comments on my Stitch Fix posts,
from last year. 
It made me realize I should probably get on the ball and do a post,
this year preferably..

Truth is,
Stitch Fix got a little ishy a while ago.
They changed delivery companies which caused me all kinds of chaos.
Then they really didn't seem to be matching my style very well.
The last two or three fixes have been much, much better.

So I thought I would share with you my latest fix!

First things first,
The photoarea had to be checked by my security team...

 1.) Renee C Mackin Floral Print Cut-Out Back Tank
I loved this top. Now that may hair is shorter, the cute cut out on the back is actually visible. The print is something I would not have normally picked out, but I really liked it when I put it on. The back is longer then the front.

Verdict: Return
Boyfriend said it looked like a "mom shirt". Needless to say I became paranoid and sent it back.

2) 41Hawthorn Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top
I am not a big fan of chevron print on anything. The chevrons didn't go up and down so I actually was okay with this top. The fit was perfect (and stretchy). It can easily be dressed up or down. 

Verdict: Keep!
It is a really good transitional piece to go into fall with.

3) Pomelo Alan French Terry Asymmetrical Zip Cardigan
I have been eyeballing this cardigan on Pinterest for a while now. So when I saw it was going to be in my fix, I was pretty pumped. I loved it! However, I would not recommend wearing it zipped. 

Verdict: Return
I decided bright orange isn't practical for this time of year. I did tell my stylist to include it again in another fix, just in a darker color. 

4) 19 Cooper Cathleen Split-Neck Tulip-Sleeve Blouse
This top just wasn't me. It fit great, but the style wouldn't work for my lifestyle. 

 Verdict: Return

5) Bay to Baubles Tazo Triangle Charm Lariat Necklace
I was uberly excited to get a necklace that was simple. I wore it in most of the photos above. It just dangled a little bit too long and wound up sitting inside my shirt. 

Verdict: return

So that's this months fix.
If you to try it yourself, here's my referral link! 

Speaking of links,
Today I am linking up with Becky@Olivesnwine
for Treat Yourself Tuesday! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Minnesota Yard

When I moved into this rental house in July,
there was so much I was ready for.
One of them being having a yard.
You really don't know how much you miss having one,
until you spend 6 years without one.
So here is a little look around the outdoors of my MN home! 

Anywhere I live,
my pups will be my first priority.
So that fact that this place came with a fenced in backyard is amazing!
Bonus: it's green. Much more appealing then the silver looking chain fence.

Speaking of the pups...
On each side of the garage is a dachshund.
I did not put them there.
It was fate, let me tell ya.
God knows he needs to be a little blunt with me on where I should live..

I can almost squeal at the fact I have a front stoop.
Not only and I planning on decorating it for the fall,
but there is no long FedEx battles!!!!
My #1 pet peeve at my apartment.

Yes, it's a recycling bin.
But after almost 6 years of no recycling.
I am happy to finally be doing my part.
We honestly go through as much recycling as we do garbage..
Sad to think about how much I've put in the landfill over the years at my apartment.

There is an empty lot next to us....

...and across from us :)

The pups are still have a deck to sun on.

A fire pit!
We were so excited to have on the backyard.
We are talking near giddy.. 
Truth: We've only used it once.

I have this slight obsession with the super tall pine trees in rows.
My back yard has them.
I LOVE looking out my window and seeing this pines.
I cannot wait until winter when they are heavy with snow..
Yes, I just said I cannot wait until winter.

What are your thoughts?
What is the favorite part about the outdoors where you live?

Today I'm linking up with Amanda@RunningWithSpoons

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Almost Thirty Discovery

I recently turned almost thirty and made a discovery:
I cannot do it all.

The week following my birthday, I took the entire week off.
My goal was to complete multiple projects, plus
cook, clean, unpack, workout, bake and blog..
I had seven days.
Seemed totally possible.

What I accomplished was only a fraction of that.
Instead of beating myself up like I normally do,
I am trying to accept that there isn't just enough time in the day.

Instead I spent time with my boyfriend,
whom I normally don't get to see during the week.
I spent time at target, which I love to do!
(cartwheel is the best!)
The weekend was spent with my family,
doing things my family normally does.

My craft projects are still at a standstill.
My blog has been neglected.
My house still has empty walls and unpacked boxes.
My garden is still wild and crazy.
But right now, I don't care.
Because I'm enjoying some puppy cuddles.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Preserving Chives

I had the pleasure of taking last week off of work.
No vacation planned.
Instead I had an absurdly long list of to-dos.
I never once thought that moving into a house,
from an apartment, 
would be so cluttered!
One project I wanted to accomplish was to tend to my container garden.
I've had chives growing all summer,
and haven't touched them.
Since cooking "real" meals really hasn't happened over the last month,
I decided to preserve my chives by freezing them.
I'm thinking they will add a lot of flavor to foods in the winter,
when very little produce has substantial taste.
If you've never frozen chives,
here's a super easy tutorial:
1. Cut chives from the plant leaving some growth at the bottom of the plant.
2. Take the harvested chives and chop them up.
3. Spread them over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
4. Place in Freezer for around 24hrs.
5. Take the frozen chives and store them in a freezer bag to use when you're ready to! 
The one thing I  absolutely love about this process,
is that the chives are individually frozen,
not all clumped together!
Give it try!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gone Fishin'


Some of my co-workers have loved ones who have been hurting.
So our department at work has been putting together items for their fundraiser.

I normally work second shift,
and get excluded from the fun, decorative stuff.
Due to staff vacations, 
and myself randomly working an earlier shift,
 I got the honor of putting together a Fishing Themed Basket.

I actually had a reason of taking out,
aka, unpacking,
my craft stuff-
And using it.
It felt  good!

My hobbies have unfortunately fallen on the back burner this year.
I kept it super simple, 
I wanted the basket to speak for itself.
Me me tell you, 
sprucing up a tackle box isn't easy!

Today I am teaming up with Becky at olivesnwine.
I treated myself to using my creativity,
while helping a co-worker's benefit!
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