About Me

My photo
I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It has WHAT?!

We got the Cabela's Christmas Footwear and Clothing catalog in the mail the other day.

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Of all the things I think of when I think of Cabela's, clothing and footwear would be among the bottom five. And dishes, which is ironic, because that's where we got ours.

However, such is life.

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May I take a moment to applaud Cabela's for a wonderfully done cover page? I told Darren I wanted that puppy, but I couldn't find his order information anywhere in the catalog.

Just kidding. Sort of.

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There were lots of nice shoes in the Cabela's Footwear and Clothing catalog.

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I like these Ugg look-a-likes.

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They had some nice slippers, too. I think these are for men, however.

But then...WHAT IS THAT??!!

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Is that a boot? With a pocket??!!

Yes it is, my friends. Yes it is. Notice the pocket has a nice buckle over it, so you won't have to fear that your keys or driver's license or $20 will fall out. Just think of how practical this will be! Next time you go to the grocery store you won't even have to bring your purse. Just stick a fifty and your grocery list in your boot and pull it out as needed. It would be a "purse-boot." A "poot!"

I wonder what I would put in my poot. Perhaps an extra chapstick. You can never have enough of those. Or some candy, for when I get hungry. There are no limits to the things a poot can hold!

Well, as long as that thing is smaller than a deck of cards.

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How exciting! How novel! I think I will order my poots today!

Or not.

Friday, October 30, 2009

words I never have and never will spell correctly

Do you have any words you always spell wrong? I do. No matter what, I will always spell these words incorrectly:

Restaurant. I always want to spell it restaraunt and have to physically restrain myself. Or use an eraser.

Refrigerator. We've had this conversation before. I always want to spell it refridgerator. But did you know the dictionary lists the abbreviation for refrigerator as fridge? Where that "d" came from I have no idea. My mom always spells it "frige" and I always say it looks weird. She always says, "Refrigerator doesn't have a 'd.'" But fridge does, Mom, so there. And yes, I am aware it makes no sense whatsoever. But hey, that's English for ya.

Definitely. I can spell it now, but I used to always write definately. One day I realized it's like the word "definite" and I haven't spelled it wrong since. Maybe it shouldn't be on this list. Or maybe I should change the title of this post to "words I never have and hardly ever do spell correctly." No, that sounds stupid. I'm leaving it like it is and you'll just have to deal with it.

Surprise. No one says sur-prise. We say su-prise. And that's how I always try to spell it.

Separate. Sep-er-ate. I'm a huge fan of spelling by pronunciation.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

pumpkin carvin'

We carved pumpkins last night. I practically had to beg Darren, but he was a good sport about it in the end. Although he did complain about not having a "pumpkin carving kit." What kind of nonsense is that? I'm all about the freestyle. (No offense to those of you who use kits; your pumpkins will always look much better than mine. It's just the principle of the thing.)

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Last year I carved pumpkins with Darren's family. I cut a circle in the top and they all stared at me like I was crazy. They cut squares in the top and I stared at them like they were crazy. To each his own, I suppose.

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Digging out the goo.

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Getting ready to start the fun part. Examine how I'm holding the knife. It isn't a tea party, for crying out loud.

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Now this is more like it. Stab that pumpkin! Stab! Stab!

No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this post.

Although they were harmed last night when I scooped out their insides and chopped them up.


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Our beautiful, beautiful pumpkins. I told Darren his looks like a bat. He told me I was crazy.

I just realized how creepy a smile my pumpkin has. Sort of like a serial killer. Or ax murderer.

That was not my intent.

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Afterwards we pulled out some seeds and cooked 'em up real nice. Very tasty. Here's how you do it:

Wash seeds (duh)
For every 1/2 cup seeds, put 2 cups water in a pot
For every 1 cup water, put in 1/2 tablespoon salt
(Don't look at me; I didn't write these instructions. Yes, it takes some thinking.)
Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil on a baking pan. Spread seeds out in a single layer.
Bake on top rack 10-20 minutes or until nicely browned.
(Darren baked ours for about 15 minutes and told me they should have been baked for longer.)

Enjoy. And believe me, you will.

a history

I love candy corn. You should, too. You should also vote on my candy corn poll because it's going to end soon, and there have only been two people to vote. And one of them was me.


MSN had a little history on candy corn this morning. I thought it was interesting. Sort of. Informative at the very least. I eat candy corn every Halloween, but then I get sick of it and am set for the rest of the year. Kind of like circus peanuts. Sometimes I just crave them and then I eat one and want to puke. It's strange.

Anyway...

Candy corn was first created in the 1880s by George Renninger. My hero. Candy corn is made from sugar, corn syrup, and honey. Healthy, isn't it?

Who cares. It's delicious.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why I Love...

...the sauna.

For Krista.

When I was growing up I hated the sauna with a passion rivaling my hate for liver. No, I've never tried liver, but the analogy seemed fitting. It was hot and sweaty and it hurt to breathe. To say the least, I found it unpleasant.

A couple weeks ago my friend Krista and I started going to the gym together. We started taking some weightlifting class and branched out to the ellipticals. I love ellipticals, as you know. One day after a sweaty workout on the elliptical Krista asked if I wanted to go in the sauna. I could tell she wanted to so I went along with it. My life will never be the same.

The sauna was nothing like I remembered. Well, it was actually everything I remembered: hot, sweaty, and difficult to breathe. But somehow it was--dare I say it?--fun. I was just sweating up a storm and it didn't bother me. (I hate to sweat. I used to sweat all the time when I was way overweight. Now I'm always cold. Go figure.) There's something about sauna sweat that's different from other sweat. Kind of like exercise sweat. I don't mind sauna sweat or exercise sweat like I do it's-such-a-hot-day-sweat. Can I say sweat any more times? Sweat.

While we were in the sauna that first day Krista was telling me about how good it was for us. I did some internet research and found out the sauna is really good for you. I felt great for the rest of that day, and now I always look forward to sauna time.

So, Krista, thank you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top Ten Greatest Inventions Ever

1. Google. Read about why I love it here.

2. Microwave popcorn. Sadly my microwave burns popcorn. Always. I'm not sure why, but the popcorn will still be popping away and there will be a giant burnt ball right in the middle of the bag. Major bummer.

3. Adding machines, sometimes called a Ten-Key, a term which I find hilarious. Man, do I love those beasts. They're an accountants best friend.

4. Pam. It's butter in a can. Simple as that.

5. Smucker's Magic Shell. See what I wrote yesterday.

6. Knife blocks. A place to put your sharp objects.

7. Excel and Access. You can do anything in Excel, and I actually used Access (it's a database program, if you've never heard of it) to do my wedding guest list. Those people at Microsoft are brilliant.

8. Elliptical machines. Do not even get me started because I won't stop. Someday, someday, I will own one.

9. Ebay and Craig's list. It's like a garage sale, only all the time. With everything you could ever want.

10. Facebook. It makes stalking people so much easier than it used to be.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why I Love...

...Smucker's Magic Shell.

It's delicious and nutritious!

Okay, scratch that last part. But it is delicious.

I makes my ice cream so nummy (yes I meant to type 'nummy'), just like the DQ dipped cones. There is nothing better than a solid chocolate shell on my ice cream, except for Girl Scout Cookie Blizzards. But not the tagalong kind, only the thin mint ones.

Magic Shell is the fifth best invention ever, behind Google, microwave popcorn, adding machines, and Pam. Maybe someday I will make a list of the top ten best inventions ever. Maybe tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow. I know you're really looking forward to it, but try to remember what this post is all about: Magic Shell. It's deliciousness in a bottle. And, in case you thought it couldn't get any better, get this: it comes in different flavors.

I know you almost fell off your chair in amazement.

It comes in six different flavors: caramel, chocolate, chocolate fudge, s'more, cherry, and cupcake. My favorite flavor is chocolate fudge, because why not?

Now, Hershey also makes a chocolate shell called, creatively enough, Hershey's Shell. I prefer Smucker's, and I don't know why. I'm surprised I do, but there you have it. Although Hershey has more interesting flavors, including Reese's and Heath. So I guess if you want to go that route, I won't try and stop you.

I won't tell you what's in the Magic Shell because it will probably disturb you. Plus, I don't know. But I do know it's delicious, whatever it is. Kind of like hot dogs.

So go buy some Magic Shell and give 'er a whirl. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Strange

At the gym I go to there are handicapped parking places right by the door. This is normal.

What isn't normal is that people actually park in them. I mean, it's the gym.

Now I do not mean to imply that handicapped people cannot or should not use the gym, nor do I mean any offense towards the handicapped, but this is strange. Let me tell you what I saw.

The other day after I put in a solid sweat-fest on the elliptical I saw a woman walking to her minivan, which was parked in a handicapped spot. She did not have a wheelchair; she did not have a cane. She walked herself down the sidewalk and to the driver's side of her van.

I had seen this woman on the treadmill ealier. Contradiction? I think so.

I had a confusing moment where I kind of stopped and stared at her. I hope she didn't notice.

If you know a way to acquire handicapped parking stickers without being handicapped, would you let me know?

Much appreciated.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a combination of two very excellent things

If you've read my blog for any length of time you've heard me talk about The Pioneer Woman.

She's my hero. Check out her blog here. She'll be your hero too.

And here's the great news: The Pioneer Woman made a cookbook.



I'll wait while you stop jumping up and down from excitement. Believe me, if I wouldn't have been in class the first time I found out, I would have been jumping up and down with you.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond will be released on October 27. You can pre-order it online--Amazon is the cheapest. You can bet I'll be pre-ordering that bad boy. The one thing I love about Ree's cooking section on her blog is that everything is so simple. She gives step-by-step instructions with pictures the whole way. It makes cooking a snap.

Also, if you're a real die-hard, Ree will be at the Mall of America on Saturday, November 21, 2009 to sign copies of her cookbooks. I'm seriously considering going. I love this woman.

Did I ever tell you about the time I had a dream about her? That was maybe a little too strange...

As a side note: The Pioneer Woman is in People magazine's November 2009 Country Special Issue. And she's been on CNN. She's like, famous.

Check out her website. Believe me, you'll be addicted.

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23

Today is the six-year anniversary of my father's death.

Sometimes it feels like ages ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.


I just spent five minutes staring at those two sentences, trying to think of something profound to say. I'm not in a profound state of mind, I guess, so I'll just be my normal self.

Today means so many things to me. It's a day to remember my dad. It's a day to miss him. But it's not a day to get bogged down in sadness and what-could-have-beens. Life is for living. If there was only one thing that this day has taught me, it is to never ever take life for granted.

I don't remember a lot about the year after my dad died. I'm not sure what I did for that first week. I do remember we got a lot of plants at the funeral. My mom never had plants before that, so it was strange. They're all gone now; our cats destroyed them. I remember a woman from church baked a loaf of chocolate-chocolate chip zucchini bread, a recipe I loved so much I later asked her for it. I still make it to this day. I remember students at the school making my brother, sister, and I a huge banner, telling us they were thinking about us. It hung on the wall in our basement for months before I finally took it down. I still have it. I pull it out every once in a while.

At the time I wondered how I would survive. But now, in hindsight, I can see it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Don't misunderstand; logically I know it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But I know I can do it again. And in all likelihood, I will.

Now is the perfect time for a good quote on character building. Too bad I don't know one. But it's true. I don't like to get into discussion about evil and pain in the world and why God allows it. (I get enough of that from my Christian Thought class.) I don't know that God was using my dad's death to build my character, but that's the effect that it had. I had a choice to blame God for what had happened or to trust Him. And I am a much stronger person today for the choice I made six years ago.

I heard this song on the radio this week. It's a song I've heard many times before, but hearing it this week, with my dad's death so fresh in my mind, made me consider it in a new light.



I Still Believe: Jeremy Camp


Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I don't know where to start
But its now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It's my heart I see you prepare
But its now, that I feel, your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Well the only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers well in brokenness
I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know that you are near

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Thursday, October 22, 2009

we love movies

Darren and I see a lot of movies. We both love the theater experience. Popcorn, yum. Raisinetts, yummier. Popcorn with Raisinetts in it? The best.

How quickly I am distracted by food. Moving on...


I have saved every movie stub from every movie Darren and I have ever seen together.

The first movie we ever saw was Live Free or Die Hard while Darren was home on pass in June 2007. The second movie we ever saw was Live Free or Die Hard while Darren was home on pass in June 2007.

Yes, I typed that correctly. Yes, we saw the same movie two nights in a row. I slept through it the second time. Literally stretched out on a couple seats and slept.

Our third movie we saw the day Darren came home from Iraq. His parents and sister were in the cities and we saw The Kingdom with them at the AMC Theater in Roseville.

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you all of them; only the highlights. There was I Am Legend, which scared the living daylights out of me, on December 16, 2007. I was home on Christmas break. We saw PS I Love You on New Year's Eve 2007.

We saw Fool's Gold twice. It was still funny the second time. Nothing better than Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson.

Definitely Maybe was out Valentine's Day date movie...until we ran into my sister and friend at the movie theater. So we saw it with them instead.

We watched Marley and Me on Christmas Day with his family. They have a tradition of going to see a movie that day. Marley and Me was okay...if you wanted to cry on Christmas Day.

Australia was less than a hit. The only thing I remember from that movie is the phrase "I will sing you to me." It's somewhat of a joke now.

We saw Defiance in Duluth two days after our wedding, while we were on our honeymoon. Talk about a long and depressing movie.

The last movie we saw was Surrogates last Friday. I don't recommend it.

All in all, we've seen 51 movies over the past two years. That's about a movie every other week. Like I said, we love movies.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Coulda Been on TLC

This spring my mom bought me a small three-drawer cabinet from a garage sale. It was hideous. It was painted a white glossy paint and it was super-dingy. It had ugly fake-wood-colored knobs. I believe she said she paid $3 for it.

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(Okay, it actually doesn't look too bad in this picture, but trust me, it was.)

I told her I was going to repaint it and put new knobs on it. She said that would cost more than what she paid for it. She was right, but I knew it could actually look pretty decent with a couple upgrades.

I went to Home Depot yesterday and got some paint and knobs. Let me tell you, those Home Depot people are HELP-FUL. I faced my fears and admitted I'd never painted anything in my life, except for that CD box I made for my sister in 7th grade shop class. Fortunately the Home Depot people didn't laugh at me for all my stupid questions. Or maybe they just waited until I left...

A man there talked me into spray paint over regular paint, so I went that route. I wanted a flat finish but they didn't have that in red spray paint so I got a satin finish. Anything but a gloss, and I was happy. The spray paint was $4.50. Claret Wine, it was called. I think.

The knobs were a little more than I was hoping to pay at $3 a piece, but I only need three of them and they were absolutely perfect for what I was picturing.

So...drumroll...here is the finished product!

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I would like to point out that while you can see some lighter spots in this picture, you can't really notice them in real life. I blame it on my camera flash. It looked much more flattering without the flash, but the knobs looked gold instead of silver. I had to sacrifice something, and I LOVE those knobs.

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So this picture is more the actual color and sheen, but just imagine it with silver knobs. I can still see a little bit of the lighter spots, so I'm thinking I might distress it a little bit to help with that. Not sure yet, though, since it's that ugly white paint underneath. I'll have to put more time into thinking about that one.

My uncle helped me with the spray paint, otherwise I would have been up a creek without a paddle, for sure.

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Don't you just love it? I'm so happy I painted it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

this could change my life

The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker.





It is, indeed, a thing of beauty.

I owe my thanks to my mother-in-law for getting me addicted to daily cappuccinos. And I don't even like coffee. It's a strange, strange world, people.

We got this beast at Target last night for about $80. And no, it didn't come with those two cute demitasse cups. Sadly. Not that it would matter because you couldn't pay me enough to drink straight espresso, even if it is in pretty little cups.

WalMart did have one I liked better, and it was cheaper. Fortunately it was out-of-stock so I didn't have to change my life-long habit of avoiding WalMart at all costs. The only reason it is necessary to go to WalMart is for fish and fish food. And elliptical machines. Did you know WalMart sells elliptical machines? Like I said, strange world.

Major Detour: Last time I got fish at WalMart there was no one around to help me. That's what I don't like about WalMart. Darren and I looked and looked for someone to help but I swear there were only two people working in the store. Well, I've bought enough fish (because I've killed enough fish) that I've seen those WalMart people scoop them out plenty of times. So that's what I did. Scooped out my own fish and bagged 'em up. Worked like a charm, except for that nasty fish water all over my hands. The fish are still living, by the way. Their names are King Julian and Mort. Watch Disney's Madagascar and you'll understand.


Back to my espresso/cappuccino maker.

You should have seen the milk frothing disaster I had this morning. Literally, there was milk on the floor. And the counter. And my hands, because I was using them in an attempt to scoop the frothed milk up before it hit the floor. Yes, you heard me. No, it didn't work. No one warned me how much the milk would expand when it was heated and frothed. Frothed. Is that a word? Frothed. It should be. As in, I frothed the milk.

First off, it didn't help that I didn't have the proper equipment. Yes, this machine requires special equipment. You can't just use any old thing, a lesson I learned the hard way (see above paragraph, a.k.a. "milk frothing disaster"). Target doesn't sell anything you need for proper cappuccino creation. I asked for small brew pitchers to catch the espresso when it comes out and the woman handed me a box of four shot glasses. Not kidding. I didn't buy them. Instead I went on Amazon and bought these.



Don't let the picture size fool you; they're only 5 ounces. I bought two, one for each side. My mother-in-law has something similar and hers work like a charm. Much better than the too-high coffee mug I stuck under there this morning. Very difficult to pour from.

I got a 20-oz milk frothing pitcher which will hopefully help me avert the disaster that awaited this morning. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT fill the pitcher full of milk. It WILL end up everywhere. There are some things you cannot learn from the instruction manual.


This handy-dandy thermometer will tell me when the milk is warm enough so I don't have to stick my finger in it to check.This morning I used ground espresso coffee we bought at Target last night. I would like to someday buy beans and grind them myself, but...baby steps. One near-disaster was enough for the day. Lord only knows what would happen if I tried to grind my own beans. The espresso/cappuccino maker was supposed to come with a measuring spoon and tamper but it didn't. No harm done; I just bought one on Amazon. It was either spend $7 on a tamper and qualify for free shipping, or pay $7 for shipping. I chose the former.


Yes, I paid $7 for this. Although I discovered this morning it was totally unnecessary. I used an old SlimFast shake mix scoop (I save them for times such as these) to scoop out the coffee and the bottom of it fit perfectly in the filter and worked as a tamper. So if you need a tamper, let me know. Or if you need SlimFast scoops, I have those as well.




My mother-in-law uses Torani syrup for flavoring, so that's what we got as well. Darren got a White Chocoalte and I got Caramel and Sugar Free Chocolate. They didn't have regular Chocolate, so I had no choice but to go with Sugar Free. You used to be able to get these at World Market but it's gone now, so we got them in tiny little bottles at Cub. We got 375mL bottles for $4.49 each but I've found some sites online where you can get 750mL bottles for $4.99. Plus there are way more options, including seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin Pie Latte. Sounds disgusting to me, but hey, to each his own. I might go the online route next time, depending on shipping. Go here to see Torani's website. The syrups there are pricier than elsewhere, but it's fun to look around.

My instruction manual had some recipes using Hershey's chocolate syrup, and some "Over 21" recipes, most of which included Brandy. Never tried Brandy, but I was a little intrigued. I can't see myself ever making one of those because I don't drink alcohol in the morning and I don't drink caffeine at night. Seems like quite a contradiction to me. Maybe if I went the decaffeinated route...

You can get espresso/cappuccino machines for big bucks, but I wanted to go the cheap route the first time around. When this one dies out I might invest in a more expensive one, depending on how much we like it. This one seems to be working fine so far, but most of the reviews I read said "good quality for the price." That doesn't inspire much confidence. Target has a lot to choose from online, but not very many in stores. I saw one for $2400. At TARGET. I think if I were going to spend $2400 on an espresso machine I wouldn't buy it at Target. There weren't any reviews on it (shocker) so I didn't get to see why it was so special.

I'll keep you updated on how well my cheap version works. Some of the reviewers were thrilled, others...not so much. I really enjoyed it this morning, although the thing makes enough noise to wake the dead. And I had a near milk-crisis on my hands. Overall, a successful first attempt.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Best Store on Earth

Gander Mountain Outlet.

WAIT! I didn't say that. Everyone knows the best store on earth is Target.

The Second Best Store on Earth: Gander Mountain Outlet.

So Darren found this GM outlet store, and you can bet your butt he wanted to go there. I went with him, and truth be told, IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING. Everything was at the very least 50% off.

Check out all this stuff we got!


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I got this super-cute swimsuit. The three pieces were originally $124. Want to know what I paid for it?? $14.91. Seriously. And I don't normally wear two pieces but we're going to Florida in January so I thought I might break it out then.

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I love the details.

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And I love the bangles on the skirt.


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I got these shorts for $19.97. Regular price was $39.99. They'll be perfect for Florida. And they're so comfy.

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I also got a fish skirt. I love the pattern.

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And the fish. This skirt was $12.97, originally $36.00


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Got these hiking boots. Darren convinced me to get them for when I go traipsing around the woods with him. They're girly boots, so I like them.


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These were originally $129.99 and I paid $39.98 for them.

I won't bore you with all Darren's camo purchases, but I will tell you he got a pair of hunting bibs for $14.98, originally $99.99.

Some of the things we bought didn't have the original price listed, only the first markdown price. The total of everything originally (and some at the first sales price) was $859.78. We spent $280.56, which is a savings of 67%. Not too shabby.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Welcome Home

Two years ago today Darren came home from Iraq. That was a great day.

I went back and found some pictures to share with you. They aren't the best quality since I took them off facebook, but they're still fun to see.

It was a Monday. I went to my morning classes and skipped chapel so I could go back to my dorm room and shower and get ready. My friend Courtney picked me up and we drove to an elementary school where the Welcome Home Ceremony was scheduled. All I remember is it seemed to take forever to get there. And it was cold and there was road construction.

We got there at the same time as Darren's parents, who I hardly knew at the time. It was awkward. But hey, I'm used to awkwardness. It happens.

We found a seat in the front row and waited. And waited. And waited. It was intense, let me tell you. Darren kept texting me to tell me where they were at and how long of a drive they had left. They had been in Wisconsin for a couple days doing de-mobilization or some such thing, so they were driving in on buses.


Courtney holding Ava (Krista's girl), me, and Krista. Waiting for our men to come home. :)

And yes, I am that tall compared to those two. I always feel like a beast in their presence.


We had made these signs two days before. And cookies. I'm not sure why we made cookies but they were delicious. I think I ate most of my share before Darren even got home.

When the guys finally walked into the gym the crowd exploded. I'm talking LOUD. For several minutes. It was amazing. The guys came and lined up on the bleachers right in front of us. Chris ended up right in front of Courtney, so that was kind of funny. Some man talked for forever and then the men were released.




We finally get to see each other after months.


Darren and me, Courtney and Chris after the ceremony.

I'm so proud of Darren for the sacrifices he made. Thank God for our veterans!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev'rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in ev'ry store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.

A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben;
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen;
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev'rywhere you go;
There's a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well,
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.




On Monday, October 12, I went to Target. I saw Christmas decorations. They were behind the Halloween decorations. For real.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Why I Love...

...Vanilla Bean Noel.I broke out the Vanilla Bean Noel today. It's my favorite lotion scent EVER. And we're talking in the history of all the scents ever created. Better than Cucumber Melon and Sweat Pea and Japanese Cherry Blossom. Probably the only person to understand my manic obsession is my sister, and that's only because she's equally obsessed.

If you've had the misfortune to never have experienced Vanilla Bean Noel, I urge to you buy some. Today. Because--wonderful news--Bath & Body Works just put it in stores today. Time is limited; you can only buy Vanilla Bean Noel, and all the other holiday lotions, during the Christmas season. And yes, it is already the Christmas season, whether you like it or not. Christmas starts when it snows; that's the law.
I generally buy about 4 or 5 bottles of Vanilla Bean Noel. Why do I buy so many bottles, you ask? Because I use it from October to February and it's only on sale during Christmas. Like you literally cannot buy it other than the holiday season. So sad. Right now in my lotion stash I have three bottles of VBN left, which should last me for a couple months. But you can bet I'll be buying more soon.

I usually also buy one or two of Winter Candy Apple and Twisted Peppermint. (A warning about Twisted Peppermint: it will make you cold and tingly. Seriously. It's the peppermint.) Although I don't believe Twisted Peppermint is on sale this year. Looks like this year is Winter Candy Apple, Festive Vanilla Fig, and Yuletide Pear Vanilla. Why they would put out three vanilla Christmas scents is beyond me, when everyone clearly knows Vanilla Bean Noel is the best vanilla scent ever. Which brings me to my next point: if you think you can substitute Warm Vanilla Sugar for VBN, you are sadly mistaken. Nothing, nothing, can compare to VBN. You just have to experience it to believe me.

So, make a moment magical. Vanilla Bean Noel is a warm blend of fresh vanilla bean, warm caramel and rich, comforting cream.

No, I did not make that up. It's on the website.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blast From the Past: Powderpuff Football

Sometimes something happens to me and I think, "Oh, I need to blog about that!" Or sometimes I see something and think, "Hey, that would make an interesting blog." And sometimes... sometimes I have to search. Today was one of those days. I went digging through old pictures and files and found some stuff from my senior year of high school. I thought you might enjoy it.


Every year during homecoming week we had a powderpuff football game. When I was in 7th or 8th grade one of the senior girls hurt her knee badly and the game got kicked off school grounds for a while. So my junior year we played in some random field in the dark, using only car headlights. But my senior year, someone talked the school into letting us play on the football field again.



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Senior girls.



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My best friend in high school, Kelcie.





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But wait, it gets better. There's video.



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I have no idea what we're singing. I can't understand a word of it until "ARE YOU FIRED UP?!" "YES WE'RE FIRED UP!!" I think we were pretty excited.

I also have no idea why Kelcie is on the ground in the middle.

In case you can't tell, I'm the one in the blue Cabela's sweatshirt with the white paint on my face and the crooked ponytail.

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Carrying the ball, screaming as someone tries to grab my flag.

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I was sore for days after powderpuff.

Kind of reminds me of the Bodypump class I just started at the Y.

We're talking serious pain, people. Can't-walk-without-shuffling-and-moaning-pain.

It wasn't pretty.