Thursday, May 28, 2009

House Hunting

I wasn't planning to divulge any of the really specific details of our house hunt, but since there's absolutely no way we'll even be looking at this house again I think it's safe to share with the world.

On Tuesday night, I was searching for ramblers in the Burnsville area. I found three in our price range that looked decent online, so we decided to drive around the neighborhood and check out them out. One house in particular seemed too good to be true (go to and paste this number into the search bar: 3625078). There's something wrong with the first image, though. Something is missing. When we pulled up to the house, there was a gigantic smoke stack towering over it. The power plant was literally in the back yard. I thought I was stupid for not noticing the smoke stack in the picture, but when we got home I checked the listing again and there clearly is not a smoke stack in the picture. Either the Realtor was able to use the natural lighting to his advantage, or Photoshopped it from the image. Either way, the picture is very misleading.

But doesn't the house look good otherwise? Sigh.

I mentioned it to our Realtor last night and she was very surprised. I told her I loved the neighborhood and its ramblers, but was very uneasy about the idea of raising children in close proximity to high voltage power lines and the power plant. She agreed, and promised that she would find us more nice neighborhoods with retro ramblers.

I hope so, because while I still love my Sears homes I am now very much in love with the idea of living in a rambler.

Today would have been my grandpa's 97th birthday. He was one of my very favorite people and I miss him dearly. Everyone should call their grandparents today and tell them they love them. I wish I could.

Cotton Candy Duck

On Monday, one of the students at the school I worked at composed a story for yours truly. Here it is:

Cotton Candy Duck

Hi, I'am cotton candy duck. I like cotton candy but I don't like to wear a coat because I live in a pond. hey a boy hide he cought me so I looked all over and I cried because I miss my house so I had to live happily ever after with a bunch of boys named Josh and Zack and Billy and Cody and Max and Jacob and Allan and Justin and TJ.

I think someone used this short story as an opportunity to profess her love for this sord of boys. Aren't you curious to learn more about the cotton candy duck, though?

Kids are cute.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Picasa Explorer

This link will provide you with endless fun. Well, endless fun for those of you who like guessing the locations of randomly selected pictures from the public albums on Google Picasa.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend Recap

Friday night, we stayed in and ate whole wheat spaghetti, tomato sauce, and a very healthy serving of green vegetables. After dinner, we watched G's latest documentary pick (I repeat, his pick) The Corporation and then called it a night.

We're very exciting people.

We slept in on Saturday morning, went grocery shopping, and ate a quick lunch before heading over to Fort Snelling to practice our photography skills. After visiting both the historic site and the state park for a quick walk, we found a cell phone lot near the airport and watched airplanes land and take off. We thought we were pretty nerdy for even thinking of watching airport traffic, but then we noticed an older man with a set of binoculars and another guy (and his very young daughter, who was very excited about the planes) who actually had some sort of special radio that allowed him to listen to the control tower (at least we thought that's what it was). It was nice to be nerdy, but not that nerdy, if you know what I mean.

That night we met G's college roommate and his wife for dinner at the 5-8 Club. G's been wanting to try a Juicy Lucy (or Jucy Lucy, depending on where you get it) for a long, long time. Saturday seemed like a good day to do it. He thought it was excellent. We'll put it on our list of places to bring our out-of-town friends when they're in town.

We ended the night with a walk around Lake Harriet and a short ride on one of the old streetcars.

Sunday afternoon we took a tour of the Capitol, which is considered one of the most beautiful public buildings in the United States. It had been a while since our last official tour (third grade?) and we figured we were due for a refresher course. The tour was great, and made better by the fact that it was free (and so was our parking, because it was a Sunday).

We ended the afternoon at Izzy's, where I discovered the most amazing ice cream flavor ever invented: Norwegian Chai.

That night I tried to make TVP sloppy joes using a recipe I found online. The end product was one of the most digusting meals I have ever put together. Don't get me wrong, I like TVP and I think it's a good source of protein, but nothing good came out of this recipe. I could only stomach a few bites. G somehow managed to finish his entire sandwich. What a kind man. I think I'll use the rest of our supply to make some TVP tacos, which I know we both like and taste good.

We enjoyed another late start on Monday morning. I visited the gym, we ate a quick lunch, and then drove over to the b-i-l's place so G could play some tennis with him. Dinner last night consisted of chicken breasts and a red potato salad. The potato salad recipe came from the Food Network Magazine (which I love). I can't find the recipe online - I'll post it later in the week. It would be a good dish to bring to a potluck or a picnic.

All in all, a good, relaxed weekend!

I'll post more pictures in our Picasa Album. Let me know if you need the link.

The House Hunt Continues

I worked today. Sorry for the delayed post.

G and I just toured a few neighborhoods in two nearby suburbs. I've compromised on the suburb versus big city debate (I'll take this opportunity to state that he has also promised to relocate to Minneapolis or Saint Paul when the opportunity is right), so we looked up a few houses we both liked from the MLS description and checked them out. I ended up really liking one of the neighborhoods. Unfortunately, a very large gas- and coal-fired power plant is immediately adjacent to the area.


There are some things I just won't compromise on.

I'll try to keep updating on our house hunt, especially as it starts to pick up pace over the next few months.

Friday, May 22, 2009

That one dress...

I took a few hours off yesterday afternoon (justified by the fact I work several hours each weekend and weeknights) and met one of my close friends to do some shopping. While she was in the dressing room at TJ Maxx, I stood outside her door holding some stuff she wanted to try on. Guess what I saw hanging on the racks in the entrance to the dressing room?

If the dress looks familiar, it's because I posted about it in a previous blog life. I liked it more in person than I did on the web - which was a lot. The dress was a few sizes too big and had some serious makeup marks on the neckline, but I decided to try it on anyway. How could I not? The construction of the back of the dress was not what I expected, but I loved the way it looked in the front. I also loved that it was marked down from $245.00. to $49.99. Too bad it was just a little too big.

It just wasn't meant to be.

I did find a new pair of Nike shorts, a muti-pack of Addidas running socks, and a long sleeve t-shirt. I bought all of that for less than $17. Awesome.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer Skirt

I hate wearing shorts in the summer. I'll wear them to the gym and on the tennis court, but I rarely have them on at any other time. I prefer skirts and dresses on warmer days. I found this linen skirt at J.Crew and I think it would be ideal for trips to my research site this summer. Yes? No? It's a good length, I like linen and it has pockets. I love skirts and dresses that have pockets. I hope it goes on sale soon!

Clue to my research topic...

Anyone want to fund a trip for me to Carnegie Hall in late September to attend the first performance of Kristina från Duvemåla in English? And maybe a (albeit very slight) chance of seeing Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson? I've been listening to this demo since 8:30 this morning. I love it.

I know I've been fairly secretive about my research - but this is directly related to my topic.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Funny, funny

One of G's friends told him about the awesome customer reviews for the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt available through Amazon. It had me laughing so hard I was crying. Check it out.

I like: Caldera Cleaning Products

Thank you, Caldrea lavender-pine all purpose cleaner, for making spring cleaning a little more enjoyable.

Check it out. My mom gifted me with a bottle a while back and I think it's one of the most powerful plant-based cleaning products I've used. Grime loosens from counter tops and tiles almost instantly. Lovely.

I also love this hand soap.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Whoa, three posts in one day.

$30 roundtrip tickets to London anyone? (Scroll to the bottom of the article to read about the deal.) We can thank my cousin, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, for mentioning this in her latest article. I can't make use of this bargain, but if your initials are MEK you (or your friends!) might be interested ...

Things I Like: Commencement Ceremonies

Yesterday, I was invited to attend the commencement ceremony for a friend of mine who received her MPH. I love the pomp of graduation ceremonies. I know that attending commencement is a pain the butt for a lot of people, but I love watching the faculty file in their academic regalia and the students march in full of excitement to receive their degrees. And I especially like it when it's set to an extremely loud Widor's Tocatta (which happens to be the recessional music for our wedding!).

The whole thing was motivating. So motivating, in fact, that G and I decided I should attend as many commencement ceremonies as I can between now and my own graduation. Maybe I'll finish up more quickly...

Back to work!


Any advice for how to get rid of saddlebags? All of that extra body weight located around the lower waist, butt, hips and upper thighs? All of my extra calories end up in that area I don't like it. I want my saddlebags gone. Soon.

I've done a decent job of reducing fat intake (I've already admitted the grilled cheese sandwich I ate on Sunday was a mistake...but it tasted really good), and I think I've been pretty good about exercising. During the weeks I was sick with that pesky cold I fell out of my routine, but I'm getting back into it ... slowly, but surely.

I'm going to start adding this exercise to my routine, but I'd happily accept any advice that anyone has to offer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Monday


Lunch: Cheesecake Factory, where I broke the rules and had the grilled cheese sandwich with fries. I'm hoping our afternoon of tennis, jogging on the treadmill and yoga crunches help to burn those extra calories.
Dinner: Yogurt and an apple. We had homemade rhubarb crisp for dessert - yummy.

Breakfast: 1/2 bagel + OJ + banana
Lunch: Egg salad sandwich, yogurt, fruit, cookies, something salty.
Dinner: I'm having dinner with a friend (and her family) who's receiving her MPH tomorrow afternoon. G will dine on a turkey burger, leftover whole wheat pasta and leftover cheesecake.

Breakfast: 1/2 bagel + OJ + banana
Lunch: Peanut butter and honey sandwich, yogurt, fruit, cookies, something salty.
Dinner: Cheese tortellini, steamed broccoli, apple.

Breakfast: Fiber One raisin bran (sooooo good)
Lunch: Peanut butter and honey sandwich, yogurt, fruit, cookies, something salty.
Dinner: We have a band concert and the group we are playing for provides us with free beer and brats for dinner. I'll probably have a sandwich and some yogurt before we go to the concert. G will feast on free food.

Breakfast: 1/2 bagel + OJ + banana
Lunch: Egg salad sandwich, yogurt, fruit, cookies, something salty.
Dinner: General Tso's Chicken, steamed broccoli, whole wheat rice.

Breakfast: 1/2 bagel + OJ + banana
Lunch: Egg salad sandwich, yogurt, fruit, cookies, something salty.
Dinner: Pizza, carrots, apple.

Breakfast: Fiber One raisin bran
Our plans for lunch and dinner are open - we might have company.

* G has requested egg salad sandwiches almost every other week for the past month and a half. I've been messing around with recipes and we found one that he loves:

4 eggs
1.5 - 2 tablespoons olive oil-based mayonnaise (I start with 1 and add dollops until it is just
slightly moist)
1/2 bunch of chives, diced
1 1/2 stalks of celery, cut lengthwise into three strips and then diced.
salt and pepper to taste

Super simple. G thinks it's divine. He wasn't thrilled with the idea of chives at first, but quickly discovered that he really likes the way they taste.

We only had one egg left, so last night I made enough for one sandwich - everyone should start the week with a good lunch, right? It'll give him something to look forward to this morning. I'll pick up some eggs later in the week and make another batch for the rest of the week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


It's Sunday night. I'm wearing ankle socks, my Ugg slippers (best gift ever), black spandex bike shorts (I wore them under my tennis shorts this afternoon), a bright pink, super old t-shirt, and my grandpa's old corduroy jacket (it's very lightweight and super comfortable). My hair looks like a three year old tried to style it.

I'm a hot mess.

But I feel good. We slept in this morning and had lunch with the in-laws (thanks!). I spent the afternoon writing. G and I played tennis for 1.5 hours. I made rhubarb crisp. We went to the gym. I did laundry.

A very productive day.

I'm hopeful that I can continue to be as productive this week. I want to submit my revised proposal draft to my adviser mid-week. Fingers crossed!

Posts for most of the week. I promise.