Tuesday, September 23, 2014

#2 in the U.S.A.

Whenever you meet someone one of the questions that always seems to get asked is 'where did you grow up?'

For me that's always been a tricky question. Lately I say Maple Grove because it's where I lived the longest, for all of 10ish+ years. Off and on a little the last few years.

It's where my parents have stayed in one house the longest, 14 years, I believe, and moved in/out of approx 5 times.

It's where I graduated high school.

Fish Lake Park Trails
It's where I had my first job at Panera Bread because I was a Sophomore in high school who wasn't going to prom.

It's where my friends and I would hang out at the Applebee's on Friday nights after football games.

Fish Lake Park
It's where we would have hotel parties at the Red Roof Inn.

It's where I had my first boyfriend.

Morning sunrise
It's the place that I call home.

Maple Grove was just announced as the #2 place to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine and as an MG'er, I'm not too surprised.

When we first moved to Maple Grove the only places to go to dinner was Champp's (RIP), J Cousineaus or the Lookout. Now they have everything from Chuckee Cheese to Pittsburgh Blue.

If you wanted to go shopping you could check out Kmart, Kohls or Old Navy. Now there's the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes with Anthropology,  Victoria's Secret, J Crew, etc.

Where fine dining and shopping are today was once a gravel pit with a single dirt road that ran through it to connect you to the interstate.

My elementary school backed up to a farm. That farm is now a Park & Ride.

I've never lived anywhere long enough to see a city transform and grow like Maple Grove has.

*List in chronological order of where I have lived:
Roseville, MN (0-3)
LaCrescent, MN (3-10)
Edmond, OK (10-11)
Plymouth, MN (11-11)
Maple Grove, MN (11-14)
Mequon, WI (14-15)
Maple Grove, MN (15-20)
Minneapolis, MN (20-23)
Sioux Falls, SD (23-25)
Maple Grove, MN (25-25)
Minneapolis, MN (26-27)
St. Louis Park, MN (27-28)
Maple Grove, MN (28-29)
Minneapolis, MN (29-30)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Review 26

If you asked me to describe the perfect Fall weekend, it would look something like this past weekend.

Friday after work I headed over to Trader Joe's to pick up some items for the weekend which basically consisted of bacon, OJ and champagne. The necessities for a fabulous weekend. When I got home I found myself washing dishes and cleaning out my front closet whilst drinking a glass of wine of course.

My apartment has two closets. That's it. My front closet had been housing my moving boxes for the last three months. I thought it was time they met their fate and headed to the dumpster so I could store normal things like shoes, jackets and anything that won't fit in my bedroom closet.

When I went to bed, I set an alarm in the off chance that I would actually need assistance waking up before 7:30 am. Per usual, I was wide eyed at 7:00 and mapped out my morning run in my head and how I could incorporate a donut stop along the way.

I had miscalculated my run which was actually a blessing. I ran around Lake of the Isles and then over to Lake Calhoun, but I wanted to go counter clockwise so I could check out Bogarts Donuts but instead went clockwise and the donut shop was too close then and I wouldn't get my 7 miles in. So I continued around the lake and wouldn't you know it, I was shy .25 miles. I headed towards Isles Bun and ran up and down the street until I hit 7 miles!

I had just heard of puppy dog tails, so I hopped in to Isles Bun and ordered one while catching my breath and trying not to sweat all over the other customers. It was fresh out of the oven so I let it cool a bit on my walk home and it was honestly one of the most splendid treats I ever did have for breakfast. Plus, there was absolutely zero guilt after that run.

This morning was just perfect. The weather was on point, the sun was shining, the trees around the lakes are starting to turn, the paths were full of other runners, walkers and bikers, there were events going on around both lakes and it all came together to kick off my Saturday in the best way possible.

I definitely had a little extra pep in my step while getting ready for the day.

A couple friends played in a charity Blondes vs. Brunettes football game for alzheimers so we went to cheer them on. We couldn't have asked for better weather, especially with the cool air that was around here recently. After the Blondes lost we headed to the after party at O'Gara's for a few drinks.

Sunday was another early morning so I laid in bed and planned out my grocery list for the week (I go to the grocery store 5/7 days of the week. It's my happy place). I wanted to make some soups for my lunches but my mind and stomach couldn't figure it out so I bought the fixings for chicken noodle and potato kielbasa soup.

Since the Vikings game was anything but exciting I got going on the potato kielbasa soup. I was thinking of sharing it, but I think I have some more tweaking to do before anyone else tries to make it. It tastes pretty good, and it's dairy free, but I'm not 100% happy with it. It's the first time I attempted a soup without following a recipe and made this one up.

I sipped on mimosas while cooking and after enjoying a bowl, I somehow found myself washing my blinds and then wouldn't you know it, I was on my hands and knees washing my living room floor. I must have blacked out or something. What I do know is that a clean floor feels so amazing under bare feet.

And that's all she wrote folks. My practically perfect weekend all summed up for you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Fashion Finds

Fall weather means it's time to whip out those boots, comfy over sized sweaters and flannel everything!

Here's a few pieces I've purchased or I am eyeing for this Fall.

Clearly I'm lusting over all things flannel, blue, black and wine colored.

I don't want to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, but I do suggest you head over here and like the Real World: Minneapolis Facebook page! Who know's what I might choose to share there, that I don't share here!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekend Review 25: Goal Completed!

This past weekend was the perfect weekend in my world. I went in to it with tentative plans on Saturday and a date with my couch on Sunday to watch the Vikings. That was it.

Friday I got home from work, changed in to comfy clothes and opened up a bottle of wine, lit a candle, flipped through HBO movies and settled on My Big Fat Greek Wedding and 12 Years a Slave and that was my night. Simple and just what I needed.

Saturday I was supposed to get a long run in since you know, I'm running a half marathon in just over a month. Since it wasn't even 40 degrees out when I woke up, I grabbed my laundry and headed over to my parents to save some quarters and pick up my jackets. Fortunately I don't think I'll be needing them this week, but it's been very cold around these parts lately.

I had tentative plans on Saturday to meet a fella that I've been chatting with. It didn't happen and I was a bit down about it, but then another fella asked if I was free so I met up with him. We went to Republic for some drinks and food then walked over to Cuop d'etat for some fun cocktails. Regardless if we go out again, it was just refreshing to go out with a nice person and have a good time with good conversation.

Sunday was a bit of a struggle. I laid in bed until I knew I could order pizza and have it delivered just in time for kick off. It was a tough game to watch, especially with all the AP news. I'm not sure how I feel about this whole thing, it's a crappy situation to be in.

I was watching The League and one of the episodes was the one where Pete runs in to AP who is dating Gina Gibiatti and Pete goes through the whole 'I hate Adrian Peterson but he's such a good player, what to do' dilemma.  I kind of think that's how a lot of Adrian Peterson and Vikings fans are feeling. We hate your actions but you're AD!

Oh, and remember waaayyyy back when I said I had a goal to be debt free by 30. Well, that goal is officially complete. A couple weeks post 30, but I'm debt free and damn it feels good!