weekend review: quarter century party

On Friday morning, we packed up the car and drove to meet our friends in Baraboo, WI. We all turned 25 this year and wanted to get together to celebrate! So we rented a quaint & quirky cottage at the WilloWood Inn and set off to make some memories.

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Friday afternoon we grabbed lunch at the Broadway Diner then headed over to explore Pewit’s Nest, a natural gorge with a few small waterfalls.

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We waded around and skipped rocks at Pewit’s Nest since it was a bit too chilly and breezy to swim.

Friday evening we took a very neat but tiring kayak tour of Devil’s Lake. Sadly no pictures were taken because we were afraid of our phones/cameras taking a dunk! Ryan actually did end up tipping his boat right before the tour began.

However, the boys did end up conquering the 3 mile lake trip in single kayaks, while E and I weaved around in our double. We definitely paddled much more than the guys since we couldn’t keep the darn boat straight – I’d say we went about 5 miles. Ha!

After kayaking we dragged ourself back to the cottage to make dinner and play a quick game of Ticket to Ride before hittin’ the hay.

Saturday morning E and I snuck off to Spa Serenity for some girl time while the boys slept in and relaxed. Our massages were pure magic especially for all the sore muscles thanks to kayaking.

Saturday afternoon we drove to the Wisconsin Dells, visited an old-time candy store, wandered through Witches Gulch, played frisbee at Mirror Lake, and had dinner at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty.

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Saturday evening we got decked out in glow-sticks and went dancing at The Reef at Marley’s, a night club.

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Sunday morning we cleaned up the cottage, checked out, and went back to Pewit’s Nest for a quick, chilly dip in the waterfall. From there we headed over to Devil’s Lake to swim some more, sunbathe, and have a picnic lunch. Finally, late that Saturday afternoon we hugged goodbye and went our separate ways.

It was a very fun + relaxing weekend and very nice to be with old friend again.

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

currently

Watching… Weeds on Netflix - got into this a few weeks ago and am almost done with season 5.  Brilliant, funny, and I love the quick + clever dialogue. However, after season 4 it does kinda start to go downhill. But I’ll hang on ‘til Season 8 because I gotta know what happens to my favorite characters!

Reading… just about to start O, Africa! by Andrew Lewis Conn

Listening… “My Body” by Young the Giant

Eating…fresh juicy peaches, crisp grapes and Babybel cheese

Nursing…my first (and only, I’ll make sure of it) sunburn of the season. We just had way too much fun last weekend at Valleyfair. Riding and screaming down the rollercoasters with my friend Jess & her bf totally (and unfortunately) trumped reapplying sunscreen.

Planning…my big trip this fall. Yes! I can finally announce that the mama+daughter trip I hinted at earlier in the year is officially on the books. For the entire month of September, we’ll be traipsing around Europe! After 28 years of teaching, my mom has retired and so we’re off to celebrate all over Rome, Pompeii, Florence, Paris, London, and Oxford! Super lucky that she’s taking me along and it’s been fun (albeit a little stressful) trying to organize everything. If you’ve got any must sees/dos, we’d love to hear ‘em!

Celebrating… turning a quarter century old yesterday. Hotdamn, I’m old! Ha, just kidding. But really, don’t you remember being in HS and people who were 25 were “old”? Probably because their lives were so foreign to us since they had jobs, cars, homes, bills. And now, that’s just the day to day.  And, it’s kind of nice. Sure, you’ll always be dreaming and scheming for something more – but 25 seems solid. You’ve made it, to somewhere at least, and have some footing but there’s still so much out there to enjoy.

Proud… of Mr.C. Like super crazy proud! He just accepted a new job (same great company) as Operations Supervisor. Wooohooo! More money, better hours, not to mention all his underlings and coworkers love him. So if you see Ryan congratulate him or feel free to blow up his phone/Facebook because this promotion has been a long time coming!  Bye bye, 2nd shift – hello family dinners, actually having life on Friday nights, and being able to talk – in person! – during the week.

So that’s me…what’s current with you guys?

Wishing you all a wonderful 4th holiday!

xo – meg

Stillwater MN Blog Meet-up

On Saturday, Jen and I drove to Stillwater to attend a MN Blog Meet-up hosted by NellieBellie, The Taylor House, and the Stillwater Visitor’s Bureau.

The morning started off with coffee and breakfast courtesy of Bruegger’s Bagels and Great Harvest Bread Co.

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Breakfast was followed by a short Social Media 101 seminar – complete with mid-morning macaroons from Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe.

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After the seminar we were free to roam around Stillwater, check out the shops, and have lunch –  so that’s exactly what we did.

Jen and I took a stroll by the flooded St. Croix River, grabbed food at The Freight House, and ducked into the various antique stores, boutiques, and bookstores on Main Street.

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Later that afternoon, we gathered with the blogger group once again to chat, enjoy cupcakes + ice cream floats, and draw for prizes that were graciously donated by places like Mara MiUrban VioletDuluth Trading Company, MN Science Museum, and the Guthrie Theater.

I ended up winning tickets to the Science Museum and am so excited to go – I’ve wanted to since we moved to MN!

And, thanks to all the wonderful sponsors of this event, every blogger left with a swag bag full of goodies from the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Izzy’s Ice Cream, Minnesota Zoo, Minnesota Beef Council, and more.stitch2

It was a very fun event and thanks again to NellieBellieThe Taylor House, and the Stillwater Visitor’s Bureau for the invite. I’m glad Jen & I were able to make the trip to enjoy Stillwater and meet many new faces. Can’t wait for the next one!

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weekend review

Last weekend…

we headed up to Fargo to celebrate Jessica & Erik (better known as “Moose”) tying the knot.

It was also mini-reunion for Ryan and all his college friends so it was a fun time – lots of laughs and lots of dancing.

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photos by me

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photos by our friend, Matt J.

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photos by Visions by AJ

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photo by Visions by AJ

This weekend…

I went with my friend/coworker, Lisa, to the Minneapolis Farmers Market where we checked out the flowers, fresh veggies, and got a free massage during a healthy skin event hosted by POPSUGAR.

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Mr.C & I had dinner with friends and then saw 22 Jumpstreet – which was hilarious. We also spent a rainy afternoon with our other couple friends playing Mario Cart & Mario Party. We capped the weekend off with dinner at Red Cow with Ryan’s uncle and enjoyed watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 and the Game of Thrones season finale.

All ‘n all, a good weekend – here’s hoping the next one is sunnier! :)

currently

Reading | Sirens with The Fault in Our Stars on deck

Watching | blazed my way through Dance Academy (an aussie teen drama) and moved on to the vast documentary library on Netflix – so far I’ve watched: Jig, The World Before Her, Stuck, and The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Eating | chicken noodle soup (made my own broth using bones in the crockpot!), apricots, and vanilla gelato with fresh raspberries and dark chocolate shavings

Wearing | my new shirt from MPLS/STP Clothing Co. - it’s a perfect fit, insanely soft, and I’m in love with the simple design. Comfy way to rep the cities.

Despising | ants. Ants in my kitchen. I curse them. I prefer natural products now but was so desperate last night I bleached our kitchen and put bleach in all the cracks and holes they come through to torment me. Suck it ants.

Mourning | the loss of my iPhone. It took a swim in the washer while I was doing chores all drugged up. So bye bye iPhone, hello temporary old slideout phone. Thankfully it’s only for a few months until I can upgrade back to smart phone civilization. Missing Candy Crush and Instagram but the reprieve from constantly being connected is nice too.

Anticipating | next Friday… when I get my fake tooth. That’s right, arrr mateys! Haha, okay, so it’s not a gold pirate tooth. But apparently my tooth sustained some trauma in the past, decided to reabsorb (yeah I didn’t know what that meant either), and had to be extracted.  After a week of pain, liquid vicodin, swollen face, and lots of mumbling – I’m feeling loads better and am excited to get my crowns + fake tooth, end this dental crap, and be on my merry way.

Enjoying | fresh, bright, new nail polish – last month was a mermaid teal, this month a pastel pink

Obsessing | over Ticket to Ride! It’s my new favorite board game and I made Mr.C play it 5x one weekend. We have the Europe version and want to get the US version or the Asia expansion pack next.

Looking | forward to summer fun! We’ve got a wedding coming up, tickets to see Fall out Boy at the state fair, a 25th birthday bash/getaway with close friends, and much more.

So that’s me…what’s current with you guys?

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

xo – meg

weekend review

Our last few weekends have been quite busy…

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We went geocaching at Big Willow Park in Minnetonka and had a great time hiking the trails, looking for caches, having a balancing contest on the railroad track, and checking out the flooded out path and swelling creek.

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We headed back to Illinois to visit our hometown and celebrate with Mr.C’s sister who graduated from high school. So proud of her! It was a nice little family reunion too since Mr.C’s brothers and their families were able to make it down. Our nieces & nephew were quite the handful (ages 3, 2, 1) but also fun to playmates.

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And this weekend we just laid low – spying on the deer in our backyard, geocaching at a nearby park, watching movies and devouring books, hitting up a thrift store or two, and having a dinner & game night with N+B.

So, that’s what we’ve been up too. Hopefully you all had a nice long weekend and were able to enjoy this lovely warm weather!


Living LEAP: Phase 3 & Phase 4

Don’t know what LEAP/MRT is? Missed the start of this series? Click here to catch up!

Since my last recap, I have finished Phase 3 and am almost done with Phase 4.  Looking forward to moving into Phase 5 soon!

The foods I can introduce during Phase 3 include:

clam, tuna, shrimp, rye, barley, amaranth, cranberry, papaya, honeydew melon, whey, cane sugar, carob, garlic, parsley

So far, from Phase 3, I have successfully tested / added back: 

honeydew melon, shrimp, squash, cranberry, cane sugar, papaya, tuna, parsley, rye

The foods I can introduce during Phase 4 include:

chicken, catfish, lentil, kamut, wheat, blueberry, cantaloupe, cherry, American cheese, sunflower seeds, oregano, mango

So far, from Phase 4, I have successfully tested / added back: 

chicken, kamut, wheat, blueberry, cantaloupe, cherry, American cheese (think Kraft Singles, gross), sunflower seeds, oregano, mango

I have a few things left to test from Phase 4 before moving into Phase 5 where I can try turkey, sole, watermelon, pineapple, grape, hazelnut, and pistachio.

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How I’m feeling: Really good! My skin looks great (save for the occasional, unavoidable hormonal breakout). I have lost 20 lbs since Christmas. My pants no longer fit and are givin’ me “saggy butt” but I feel healthy and energized. Although I have reintroduced wheat, corn, and certain cheeses, I notice if I have them in excess they start to bog me down and I feel tired/groggy. I’ll be working on keeping my portion/dosage amounts at a decent level so I can stay feeling light and awake.

Also, since I’ve added so many foods back to my menu, I notice I sometimes get into a rut and eat the same things over and over again. This is not a good thing! Eating on a rotation and having plenty of variety is key to keeping food sensitivities in check. I need to get back into the kitchen, meal plan, and keep finding inspiration for new dishes and snacks.

And for those who asked, yes, I can go out to eat but it’s not super fun since I always have to watch what ingredients/seasonings might be used. That being said, I am lucky because the more foods I add to my menu the easier it is to find something to eat. My usual go-tos if we are out at a restaurant are bun-less hamburgers with cheese, french fries (as long as I check the oil they are fried in), baked potatoes, cottage cheese, asparagus, or fresh fruit. But don’t be afraid to see if we want to meet up for a meal! I enjoy the social aspect of dining together and can always bring my own snacks of eat beforehand.

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What I’ve been eating lately:

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What I’ve been using lately: 

Redmond Earthpaste Toothpaste – amazing natural toothpaste! I bought it in Cinnamon flavor. It has safe-to-eat ingredients, no sodium lauryl sulfate, no fluoride, no glycerin, and the benefits of bentonite clay. Although it doesn’t foam and the taste + texture take a bit of getting used to – my teeth feel super clean! I switch between this toothpaste and Jason’s Natural Toothpaste (Tea Tree & Cinnamon).

Jojoba Oil - My latest obsession! You can find this many places but I bought mine at Trader Joe’s for under $8. I’m still using coconut oil instead of traditional body lotions but have started using jojoba oil on my face as a cleanser, moisturizer, and to remove make up. It’s lighter than coconut oil, less greasy. and soaks in faster. I use this as a leave in conditioner too. Just a few small drops will do ya!

Alaffia Everyday Shea Moisturizing Shampoo - using this more than Morrocco Method nowadays. Although I still like Morrocco Method, Alaffia has come back as a favorite now that I’ve started pairing it with jojoba oil as a leave-in conditioner. My hair is soft, shiny, and no longer feels greasy, dull, or weighed down.

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So, that’s what’s been going on over here!

Again, if you have any questions about things I’ve written about or about MRT/LEAP in general just let me know. Wishing you all good health and happiness!