Friday, April 11, 2014

hello friday!

Lately I just live for the weekends.  Especially now that we have some spring weather and a little bit of sunshine after the worst winter ever, the last thing I want I do all day is be stuck inside our dungeon clinic tracking physical therapy referrals and doing bone marrow biopsies.  Most of the time I love my job.  But other times I fantasize about having a career that allows more creativity and flexibility. Something that doesn't involve discussing mortality all the time.  A professional blogger? a photographer? An event coordinator? yes, yes and yes.  I wish I was able to dedicate more of my time toward being good at those things.  It's not easy being the bone marrow lady around here.  Ain't nobody thanking me for drilling in to their bones.  The survivorship program is my baby here and I do hold my cancer survivors close to my heart, but I'm still developing relationships and trying to make our program successful.  That, too, is still a thankless job.  There was a path that brought me to cancer care and I have no doubt that it is where I was meant to go.  But today?  Today I sort of wish I could be refinishing my old coffee table at home.

This weekend we're spending time with our friends Ryan & Christy.  Pete grew up with Ryan and was his best man in his wedding last summer.  Ry & Christy are moving to Abu DhabiAbu friggin Dhabi for 2 years. So they're coming this weekend for a final visit before the big move (I thought our move was stressful) so it should be fun.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 years + How to Make a Push-Pin Travel Map

Yesterday Pete & I celebrated the 5 year anniversary of our first date.  Many of you know we met on and we emailed for a few weeks before this date and had one phone call.  The road was a bit rocky for us the first few months but we still consider April 8th our anniversary (now, date-iversary).  Which is why I pushed for August 4th as our wedding date as well (4/8 and 8/4 BOOM).
this was taken at the Shout House about a month in to dating.

Engagement photos at Minnehaha Falls

The 5 year gift is Wood (all the jokes!) and I think it's fun to try to be creative with our gift giving so we try to follow the traditions.
Pete really likes maps so I decided to copy cat Savanah and make a push pin travel map.  Buying one on Etsy was waaaay out of my price range- plus this was easy and very cheap.
 Flag pins on Amazon
3M Spray Adhesive
2 (4) packs of 12"x12" cork tiles
World Map Poster
A Wooden poster frame (Amazon)

The frame had cardboard backing but I wasn't sure it would be enough for the pins to stick to so I spray adhesive'd the cork tiles to the cardboard.


I also spray adhesive'd the printables to where I wanted them on my map.
Make sure when you use the spray on something as thin as the paper that you spray from a distance (and cover your work space in newspaper) otherwise it will soak the paper and ruin it.

I then spray adhesive'd the poster map to the cork tiles.  After a week or two parts became un-adhesive'd and it got bubbly so I had to re-do it and add double stick tape to the edges.
Once it was secured in the frame it was fine (don't forget to remove the glass!) 

And this was my gift- A monogrammed pallet tray- a blogger's perfect gift.  Even though I've been begging him for a pallet wall shelf.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crossing off the To Do List

With Spring pretty much here (let's forget the 4 inches of snow we got 2 days ago) we are brainstorming and planning all the outdoor projects we have for our house.
We started playing with the idea of getting a new front door.  The one we have is old and has been over loved.  My ideal would be to change the entire color scheme of our house- to paint all the siding and paint a new accent color on our shutters and garage door, which also happen to match the front door.  Pete is not on board with this grand idea.
Here's my question: does everybody's house have a storm door?  Do you have to have one?

It looks a bit brown here, but it's more of a hideous burgundy color. Like the garage door and that shutter in the top left.
Pay no attention the icicle lights that still turn on every evening on their holiday timer.  We stapled them to the house so they'll likely be up forever. We're going to be that house. But the pizza guy a few weeks ago was obsessed with the rope lights. 
I would love to re-do this garage (too 80's!), color wash that brick to be more warm and updated, and paint the house a nice, warm greige. 
This weekend I finally dropped off my beauty for cleaning & preservation.  We're not even 2 years since the wedding and compared to many other brides I've heard from I'm on the ball for getting it done at this point.  Mostly I put it off because I had no clue where to go- all my married friends hadn't done their dresses yet, so they didn't know where to go either.  Thanks to Andrea for giving me the only recommendation I've ever gotten.
My dream to have my dress framed in glass and put on the wall is currently on hold- I did the research and can't find a single person in Minnesota who does preservation framing for wedding dresses :/  This will happen.  Someday.
Have any of you guys seen these cat Rieslings before??  I happened upon them in a liquor store this weekend and the guy at the counter said people collect them!  I got the white one.  For now ;)
The rest of the weekend was so much fun- I went grocery shopping and did laundry and Pete learned how to roast a chicken! #marriedlife #sarcasm
How was your weekend?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strawberry Key Lime Trifle

I love making trifles- they're so easy to bring for group gatherings and they're easy to customize for different tastes!
This time I tried a strawberry key lime trifle and it tasted delicious- very light and refreshing.  I have yet to master making them look pretty in the trifle bowl however.
  • Pound cake or angel food cake, cubed
  • Fresh strawberries
  • 2/3 Cup Key Lime juice
  • Key Lime zest
  • 2, 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 5 Egg yolks
  • Whipped cream
1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Before making your key lime custard, be sure to zest 4-5 key limes, mix with a little sugar.  That will be your garnish.

3. Juice key limes to get 2/3 cup key lime juice. 
This took the entire bag for me. 
I've hand squeezed key limes before- those little suckers are way easier with one of those juicing tools (that yellow/green thing on the right).  It didn't take very long to juice them all- oh and remove seeds before squeezing into juice.

4. In a large bowl, mix your key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and 5 egg yolks.
5. Pour custard mixture into a shallow baking dish.  (fiesta serving dishes work great for this).
6. Bake custard at 350 for 5 minutes.  Stir custard and return to oven to bake for 5-10 minutes, or until custard is set.
7. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

8. To prepare the trifle:
Layer the cubed cake followed by custard, sprinkled graham cracker crumbs, whipped cream, and strawberries.  Layer until full.  Garnish the top layer with key lime sugar zest.

*This was my first trifle using Reddi Whip- do not do it!  I thought it would be easier to try to keep my lines clean in the bowl, but because it is dairy based it all melted and made the cake soggy.  Cool whip is oil based and will stay fluffy for days, and it doesn't soak in to the rest of the trifle like this one did.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Please Vote!

Our cancer center is in the running to receive a grant from LIVESTRONG (and yes, just because Lance was a liar, the organization still does a lot of amazing work!) to receive music therapy for our cancer patients!  Music therapy has been shown to relieve anxiety, stress and promote wellness and relaxation in cancer patients undergoing treatment.  Some studies have even shown improvement in pain levels through music therapy.

One of our cancer survivors is an amazing harp player!

All you have to do is go to the link below, click vote and enter your email.  Only one vote per email, but they won't send you anything.  We're in the running with dozens of other cancer clinics so the more votes for us the better!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A spring weekend

The weekends are starting to speed up as our weather (mildly) improves.  Pete & I also outlined our summer and realized pretty much every single weekend is already accounted for.  We have a few weekends before then that aren't booked and we're trying to work on home projects as much as we can- there's never enough time it seems to get it all done!
This past weekend Pete built a shelf in our basement (thanks a lot, Menards 11% off sale).  He's super proud of it and I guess it makes it easier to stack-storage from what was there before.

I also attended the 2nd annual Minnesota Bloggers Favorite Things Party this weekend.
I love this concept and it would totally be fun in any group of friends- each person brought a favorite item and then we swapped.  It's a fun way to get to know your friends or new people and share something that you enjoy.  I brought shower bombs to share (the best!) and ended up with a beautiful hand-knit scarf from Brittany, San Pellegrino from Kell, and a homemade coconut oil sugar scrub from Meg.
Shout out to the bringer of the pickle dip- my fave!

It definitely would not be a blogger event without mason jars and paper straws.

I brought a strawberry key lime trifle to the party.  I'll share the recipe later this week (hint: don't use reddi whip!)

Our group this year- it's growing!
On Sunday I gymmed, I laundered, I cleaned, and because our weather was nice (for one day) we went for a walk.  We moved in to our house this past fall and have yet to explore all the walking trails or Lebanon Hills near our house so I'm sure we'll spend a lot of evenings this summer walking.
And I hit a record number of steps on my fitbit! If anybody can every figure out how to be friends on fitbit, try finding me here:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Out like a lamb.

March will soon be over.  This month flew by (which I'm glad for) and I can't wait for real spring.

This week we celebrated one of my best friends for her birthday.  We had a low key celebration at the Cheesecake Factory and it was perfect.

I may have mentioned that my sister is getting married in August.  I agreed to help host her bridal shower at my house in July which I'm excited (and nervous) for.  I've never hosted a shower and we've never had that many people at our house before.  But if you know me by now you'd know that I've already designed invitations, our color scheme, and mentally prepared the decor. 
wedding shower decor

Speaking of bloggers! (errr...) Last night I was able to catch up with some of my faves over dinner & drinks.  Tomorrow is our 2nd annual Minnesota Blogger Favorite Things party which should be a lot of fun! The idea is that each person brings something they consider their 'favorite thing' and we do a swap.
Since I've fallen off of the blogging planet there will be a lot of new faces which will be fun, and I'm planning to bring a strawberry key lime trifle.  I haven't tried a new trifle in a while and it sounds like the perfect
Strawberry/Lime Margarita Cheesecake Trifle  Perfect for the summer

A few of our favorite things from last year-

Have a great weekend!