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Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Special Birthday Wish

Taking a moment today to wish my amazing boyfriend a very 
Happy Birthday!

Flying home from Hawaii - Feb2011
Christmas Eve - 12/24/11 with Steve's nieces
I hope the next year of your life is amazing and I can't wait to share it with you.  I love you with all of my heart - you are my everything.  Happy Birthday baby!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 28 of Birthday Month

Yep - it's been a few days, and I've yet to even post all the wonderful gifts we received!  In due time, my pretties.

I've been meaning to mention for like 2 months now this wonderful thing my aunt is doing for me, because I turned 30 this year.
In Minneapolis we have this placed called Kitchen Window - which is an amazing kitchen store that also offers cooking classes and things of the sort.  Well, she offered to take me to a class - with her - and pay for it all!  My aunt Jayne is a pretty special woman to me.  She's been my boss for the last 6 years and as of tomorrow will no longer be working at my company.

We've grown close over the years here together and we've discovered a passion for food together, mostly through leftovers and magazine recipes.

Anyhow - I was given my choice of classes and of many great sounding choices, this is the one I went with:
With Terry as your guide, you’ll create a menu of small plates and appetizers that is sure to inspire that lovin’ feeling this Valentine’s Day. We’ll start with DEEP-FRIED POACHED EGGS & BEARNAISE ON CRISPED PROSCIUTTO – an incredible, indulgent take on eggs benedict that’s perfect at cocktail hour or (ahem) breakfast. Next, we’ll make FILET MIGNON & GOAT CHEESE CANAPES WITH WATERCRESS – an elegant, mouthwatering pairing of flavors. We’ll make OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER GRATIN – a tried-and-true mood-setter made even better with the addition of spinach and cheese. SEAFOOD COCKTAIL SHOOTERS are next – mini seafood cocktails that are as adorable as your valentine. Next we’ll move on to GRISSINI BREADSTICKS WITH SOFT HERBED CHEESE – a snack that’s perfect for sharing with that special someone. And to end our evening, it’s PASTRY CUPS FILLED WITH LEMON CURD & WHITE CHOCOLATE CREME PATISSIERE – a lot of sweet and just a little bit of sour... just right for Valentine’s Day.

So we make all that stuff AND we get to eat it all!

It doesn't happen until February 2012, but I can't wait!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends and real friends (it's one in the same you know).

Steve and I exchanged gifts last night, a few pics to hold you over:
I got him this:

Yep, it's a globe bar!

and he made me this:

It's a 'Steve Box' - as a girl, I keep a lot of stuff; ticket stubs, hotel key cards, trip stuff, papers, etc.  I put it all in a shoe box and call it a Steve box - well, I've been bugging him to make me one for a couple of years now - he finally did - and it's PERFECT!  It's made of maple wood and Purple heart wood (Google a Purple Heart tree, the wood is straight up PURPLE!).  Anyhow - it's not fully finished, he needs to seal it yet and I'm guessing the purple will stand out a bit more after that.  I'll take more pics after.

I'm off now to my brother for gifts with them and my mom, and then to my aunts for Christmas with my dad's side of the family.  Drinks with friends tonight!

Merry Christmas to one and all - I hope your day is magical and full of love!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 24 of Birthday Month

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today is a full day - we're going to spend the day with Steve's family - lunch, gifts, Church, homemade pizza - then we're coming home to exchange our gifts.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, even if you don't celebrate Christmas or any holiday on this weekend.  To me, this weekend is about family and being around people I love, and I hope it's the same for you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 23 of Birthday Month

I don't know if I ever mentioned that I clean my grandma's apartment every other week - well today was that day.
My gma isn't coming to Christmas this year because she doesn't like the noise and she doesn't get along well in the crowd our family has become.  I don't blame her.  So I brought her over the present I got for her, and

While I was cleaning my gma asked me to find a radio station to listen to that has Christmas music playing, so I did, obviously.  It was so cute to be cleaning to Christmas music while my gma hummed along with all the songs.  It just made me feel good to hear her happily playing along to the songs.
You know how they say it's the little things, right?  That's definitely one of them!

I took my gma to lunch at Perkins afterwards as well - I figured since I was going to see her on Christmas, I could spend some good one on one time with her that way.  I love, so much, the stories she tells - even the ones she has told me over and over.  Never gets old.

I love my gma.

Here is a picture of her and my dad - not sure the exact date, but it was taken in the last year, I think around May:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 22 of Birthday Month

I straight up jacked this from Krysten (and pretty much stole her layout for it as well), play along too, if you'd like:

1. egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot Chocolate - I actually just asked Steve last night if he likes egg nog and what it tastes like; I've never had it.

2. does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa wraps them!

3. multi-colored or white lights on tree/house?
Solid Colored.  White is great, but I love when homes are lit up with just one solid color - red, green, blue, etc.

4. do you hang mistletoe? 
I haven't, I wanted to this year, but never got around to it.

5. when do you put up decorations?
This year Steve and I had all our stuff up before Thanksgiving.  I think I was just so excited to celebrate Christmas living with Steve... I couldn't wait any longer.

6. what is your favorite holiday dish?
I like all the snacky stuff

7. favorite holiday memory as a child.
Always coming home from our Christmas Eve celebration and seeing that Santa had already been to our house.

8. when did you learn the truth about Santa?
I'm not sure how old I was, but I think my mom got lazy one year and wrapped Santa's gifts in the same paper my parents used.  Not only that, but Santa's handwriting looked an awful lot like my mom's as well...  they tried to play it off, but it didn't work

9. do you open a gift on Christmas eve?
As kids we always did.  This year, Steve and I are going to do our gifts on Christmas Eve and do our stockings on Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
White lights, candy canes, ornaments.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? 
I don't mind snow - I don't like snow when it comes between me and my travel.  I dislike the cold more than I dislike the snow.

12. Can you ice skate?
last time I tried, I could.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Last year, Steve got me a diamond heart necklace - I've worn it almost everyday since.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Family.  I was thinking last night about how I really don't care about anything as far as gifts go, I just want my family together.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Melting Moments cookies

16. what is your favorite holiday tradition?
I love going to my brother and SIL's house on Christmas morning and doing our little family thing.  We do gifts and brunch.  I love my family.

17. what tops your tree?

An Angel

18. which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
I love both!  I always find myself wanting to spend a shit ton of money on people (I usually always go over spending limits)

19. candy canes. yucky or yummy?
I like the cherry flavored ones.  On a related note: Sour Patch Candy Canes are NOT good.

20. favorite Christmas show?

21. saddest Christmas song?
Blue Christmas

22. favorite Christmas song?
Baby, It's Cold Outside, White Christmas, Jingle Bells as sung by my niece, Jordan.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 20 of Birthday Month

So, I just updated my blogroll - see it here - and I've added buttons to the blogs I read.  It's a nice touch considering it was plain text before that.  Do I read your blog and missed your button?  Let me know, I'll get it updated.

So let's talk about buttons; how do I get one?!
Must I make my own?  Is there a website that'll help me?

As bloggers, what made you decide to make one for yourself or decide not to have one?  Maybe you don't even know about buttons?  Maybe you're like me and have no clue how to make it happen?

Just looking for everyone's input on this - the good and the bad.  More than anything, point me in the right direction to get my own!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 19 of Birthday Month

I just need to write this down - for 30 years from now (when I'm 60) - I can have some sort of a memory.

It's December 19th.  It's Minnesota.  There is ZERO snow on the ground.  The temp is 32°.  Yesterday it was in the 40's.  It's been in the upper 20's, 30's or 40's for the past while, several days, weeks even.

There is no snow in the forecast - we're going to have a brown Christmas.  Do I mind?  Not completely. I like the warmer temps, I don't mind diving on clear roads... but I kind of feel like there should be snow around for Christmas.  I was looking forward to taking some outdoor photos of Christmas lights with snow on the ground. Doesn't look like that'll be happening.

I'll post tomorrow about dinner at my dad's yesterday and dinner with my grandparents tonight.

Work is killing me.  I'm blessed in life, but I'm miserable in my work life.  My daily blogs for this month have been a lot less personal and detailed as I'd like... I just don't have the time.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 17 of Birth Month

After I got diamonds yesterday, Steve brought home sushi for lunch:

Onto the night:
I survived!
Today has been mildly rough... not sure if I drank too much or if I didn't get enough sleep.  Both, probably.  Steve and I went to bed at 4am, and woke up at 8am.  I didn't feel that drunk last night, but I didn't feel good when I woke up!

Before I throw in all the photos from the night, I just want to talk about how blessed I feel.  Even though I didn't feel great today, I did have a minor moment of tears with Steve.  Not because I was sad; they were happy tears.  I've never felt so happy in my life - I'm not sure how I got to be so lucky.  Last night was simply amazing - my closest friends and family were with me, Steve was a fabulous help setting up and cleaning up, I had a wonderful (simply wonderful) night.  I just feel so happy.  Not a bad way to enter my 30's, eh?

All the people who said they would come, came.  My brother even showed up after he got off work!

I wanted to do this to my hair - but I couldn't for the life of me make it work.  I cut my finger yesterday on the blade of our food processor, so I'm blaming it on that.
Source: via Angela on Pinterest

The photos are a bit blurry, we had pretty dim lighting around the house and flashes get to be obnoxious.  So, just deal with it, blurry photos are an accurate representation of the night after a certain point :)

The little cake my mom got for me - my favorite colors; Orange, Green, Pink

My bestie, Pam and I

me and the boy :)

New parents, Pam and Nick
Abbie and I have been friends as long as Pam and I, since 5th grade

Abbie and Nick 

Erin and I, in our pose - she's my beast

Story time

I really wanted to do it, but I knew someone would smash my face in it!

Pam and I again

I love photos like this - I love real laughs captured

:) my girls

with my cousins

They all sang Happy Birthday to me, and I guess I was embarrassed 

Ang, Amanda, Pam, and Abbie - friends for 18 years

I love this man

Our men in ties <3

Tomorrow we're going up to my dad's to eat prime rib and lobster tails!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 16 - Happy birthday to ME!

Go ahead, sing it!!

It's my birthday bitches!  I'm 30!

Last night, as I mention, I went to dinner with Kristi, Dana, and Heather - it was a fantastic time!  We ended up spending 2.5 hours at the restaurant.  Dana, the sweetheart she is, got me a bottle of wine, "cheap wine" as she calls it, I've yet to try it, but I love a good bang for your buck bottle of vino!

So who's DYING to know what the gift from Steve was?  Well, I'm not going to tell you.  HA!

Chill people.  I'm kidding.  I'm 30 now you know, I'm a whole new kind of funny!  I have a lot to do today before the party tonight.  I spent probably 20 minutes trying to get a picture of my gift, but as it turns out diamonds are hard to photograph, especially with it's not great outdoor light coming in and the lights inside are just kind of meh.  Oh wait... what?!  Diamonds?!?!???!!!!!  Yep, I said it - diamonds, 2 of them :)
Yeah - it's hard to get pictures of diamonds, but it was worth the effort ;)

Best birthday ever?  You betcha!

Now, I'm off to get shit ready for tonight!

Pictures tomorrow!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 15 of Birthday Month

My birthday is TOMORROW!
I don't work on Friday's, so today is my last of work for the week, my co-worker, Bob (we have a mutual admiration club at work), he came in this morning with these:
How many people do you know that have co-workers who bring them flowers?!  Like I said, Bob and I are like peas and carrots - or ... it's more like he's my work dad.  I never let him forget that my birthday is coming. He gives me shit, I give him shit... we get along the best of anyone.

Zoya nail polish has been having these #FlashPromo deals on Twitter for the past couple weeks... it's dangerous.  That's all I'll say about that.

I'm going to dinner tonight with Kristi, Dana, and Heather.  We're actually going to the place my brother just started working at.  I'm excited to try a new place and see the girls!!

I'm excited to get my present tomorrow!

I'm excited for my party tomorrow!

As for the first class tickets we won - we don't know where we want to go yet.  We don't know when we want to go - I'd love to go to New York City in the summer.  I'd love to go to a beach in the winter.  I'd love to go some place I've never been.  The couple things we do know: we want to go somewhere far enough to make the first class flight worth it, we also know that it has to be reasonable enough to afford a hotel and a car if the location calls for our own transportation.  LOTS to think about - SUPER exciting!

That's it for today - I'll be back tomorrow so that you can wish me a happy birthday, okay? ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 14 of Birthday Month

I don't have a lot of time.  Work is crazy.  I didn't blog yesterday.

LONG story short, because I want to tell you all about Steve's party - our evening event was "Viva Las Vegas".  His boss had poker and blackjack tables - plus a couple of others.  Each employee (and their partner if applicable) was given X amount of fake dollars to gamble away - to hopefully turn into more money - in the end, you had a chance to bid on prizes:

Again, short on time, so I just want to tell you what we won:

2 first class tickets to fly anywhere in the US!  WTF?!  How awesome is that?!  Not sure if Alaska and Hawaii are included, but does it really matter?
Some other photos of the night - it was a drunk night for sure, so not many photos were taken:

Ice Bar

Raw bar - complete with osyters, lobster (cooked), and cooked shrimp.



Texas Hold 'Em


Steve with a chocolate waffle topped with ice cream, and bacon flavored cotton candy

Ice bar at the end of the night

Sorry this is so short - simply no time.


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