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Archive for August, 2009

New Sectional!

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

We’ve known since we moved into our house last July that we would eventually need to get new furniture for the basement.  My parents gave us the nice leather living room set they received when my grandpa passed away (couch, love seat, and recliner), which was all fine and dandy until we discovered the couch would not fit down our very narrow (28”) stairwell.  So, for the past year, we have lived with only a love seat and a recliner.  Not ideal, but we have made it work for the two of us.  (But forget about having people over, though, unless they really don’t mind uncomfortably sharing the love seat or sitting on the floor.)

Earlier this year, my parents decided it didn’t make much sense for both of us to have partial sets, so they offered to purchase us something in exchange for the other half of the living room set.  We happily agreed and began our quest for a sectional, about the only thing we figured we could get down the stairs. We soon discovered that we were even limited in the sectionals that we could get because most corner pieces were too big.  I was starting to lose hope that we would ever find something and that we would be destined to be uncomfortable while we watched TV.

We were meeting some friends at Canterbury Downs last Saturday (a yearly tradition) and we were very early, so I suggested, on a complete whim, that we stop at Ashley Furniture and have a looksy.  We really didn’t think we would find anything, but it never hurts to look (hey, atleast we could say we were trying).

Well, long story short, it turned out to be our lucky day and we left the store proud owners of a brand new sectional and ottoman.  While it’s not exactly what we envisioned purchasing, we liked it AND it would fit down the stairs (a winning combination in our book).

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(The set also had a cool  round chair that I loved, but we opted not to purchase it at this time because we weren’t sure if there would be enough room for it. )

The new set was delivered yesterday and, while we didn’t get the chance to enjoy it because we were out of town at a wedding, we fully enjoyed it today.  Lucky too.

DSC_2309 by you.

Now all we need is a bigger TV.  :)

The Spot Cafe

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

We went to Andrew’s cousin Derek’s wedding yesterday. This morning, before heading home, we stopped at one of the only breakfast places in Staples for a well balanced meal.

IMG_0552-1 by you.

Categories: I ♥ Food Tags:

Change my voicemail at work

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

This may sound like no big deal, but actually it is.  You see, I got married over two years ago and my work voicemail message still uses my maiden name. Yeah, I know, right?  But, in my defense, shortly after I got married, I switched desks twice and, while I changed the voicemail message at both of those desks, I never bothered to change the message at my original desk.  People have pointed this out to me numerous times, but I always just shrugged my shoulders and responded “Yeah, I know.”

Well, as of today,  it has officially been changed.  Go me!

Categories: No More Procrastinating Tags:

Creamy Tortellini with Peas

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

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Delicious, yes. Easy, yes. But it’s still a new recipe.  This quick pasta dish was perfect to make after work today before we hit the gym.  The homemade cream sauce was the only time consuming part of the recipe (and, honestly, it took less than 10 minutes) and it turned out quite well.  We paired it with some garlic toast and there was more than enough for the two of us.

Creamy Tortellini with Peas

(Source: MyRecipes.com)

1  (9-ounce) package fresh spinach tortellini
2  teaspoons  unsalted butter
1/2  cup  finely chopped onion
1  garlic clove, minced
2  teaspoons  all-purpose flour
1  cup  1% low-fat milk
1  cup  frozen green peas, thawed
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
3  tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  pepper

1. Cook fresh spinach tortellini according to the package directions. Drain well.

2. While the pasta cooks, melt unsalted butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add the flour and stir constantly, 30 seconds. Gradually stir in milk, then add the peas and basil. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture simmers and thickens slightly, 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, and stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

3. In a large shallow bowl, toss the cooked spinach tortellini and the sauce. Serve warm.

Quick tip: For an easy, earthy spin on this recipe, substitute 1 cup sliced mushrooms for the onion.

Categories: I ♥ Food Tags:

Julie & Julia

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

We went on a “double date” with Andrew’s parents last night.  We saw the movie “Julie & Julia,” which we followed with dinner (a necessity after watching a movie all about food) at Edina Grill, one of our favorite restaurants.

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To make a long story short, the movie Julie & Julia is a cute foodie movie that is well-worth watching.  It’s put together as a romantic comedy and tells two parallel stories: the tale of how Julia Child wrote her epic Mastering the Art of French Cooking and the story of how Julie Powell cooked her way through it.  Julie’s story was chronicled first in a blog, then in the book Julie & Julia.  The book is partially based on Powell’s book, as well as on Child’s My Life in France.

The best part of the movie, for me, was Meryl Streep.  She did a fantastic job filling Julia’s shoes (although I heard that she had to wear lifts to achieve the same height as the original Julia), getting everything from the voice, the energy, the passion for food and the can’t-take-your-eye-off-her appeal that Julia Child had down pat.  I loved watching her cook and even forgot that I wasn’t watching the “real” Julia more than once!  I also really enjoyed the portrayal of the relationship between Julia Child and her husband (played by the fantastic Stanley Tucci).  The chemistry between Streep and Tucci was very convincing and very, very sweet.  The plotline that followed Julie Powell was enjoyable, but didn’t compare to the Julia Child aspect of the story.

All the food that they cooked and ate in the movie was real, and it shows.  The characters seem to genuinely love cooking and eating, which is a nice touch from a foodie perspective and makes the movie seem that much more realistic.  Now, I’m not a movie critic by any means, but as I said at the top of this post, this is a very cute movie that is well worth watching for cooks and food enthusiasts, as well as for anyone who simply liked to watch Julia Child do her thing on TV.

Categories: Marriage & Family Tags:

The Beginning of it all…

August 15, 2009 Leave a comment

When I originally set out to start blogging again, I was simply going to write about the everyday happenings of the ordinary life I share with my husband and our feline friend.  Then I stumbled across this and was instantly intrigued.  Could there be a better way to document my life for the next 1001 days?

So now my goal, on top of the 101 things listed below, is to document the completion of this project  in words and pictures.   By the end of the 1001 days, and possibly many years into the future, I will be able to look back at the long journey I took myself on with a new-found appreciation for the adventure that is my life.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: August 15, 2009
End Date: May 12, 2012

Marriage & Family
1.  “Date night” with Andrew once a month
2.  Call/visit my grandma once a month
3.  Visit and put flowers on the graves of loved ones
4.  Get a dog/puppy
5.  Visit my dad in Arizona
6.  Do something with my mom (dinner, etc) twice a month while my dad is gone
7.  Host at least 1 holiday gathering (Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas) for our families

Mind, Body & Soul
8.  Bike the Grand Rounds
9.  Bike somewhere 50+ miles away
10.  Finish all 7 stages of my workout routine
11.  Get a massage
12.  Get a pedicure
13.  Eat dinner with the television off for one week
14.  Go a week without eating any sweets

Home Is Where the Heart Is
15.  Reorganize kitchen cabinets
16.  Finish the yard (put up a fence and expand the vegetable garden)
17.  Reorganize all the closets
18.  Clean out the file cabinet every spring
19.  Empty entire fridge and clean it once a month
20.  Get new blinds/curtains for the master bedroom
21.  Clean and reorganize the storage room in the basement
22.  Clean and organize the garage.
23.  Organize the laundry room.
24.  Hang a clothesline in the backyard.

Hit the Open Road
25.  Start a Newlywed Map
26.  Travel to at least 2 countries in Europe
27.  Travel to at least 5 different cities for weekend getaways
28.  Travel out of state 3 times

I ♥ Food
29.  Try at least two new recipes a month
30.  Host a holiday cookie swap
31.  Go to 10 different breakfast place
32.  Take Wilton cake decorating courses
33. Host a Dinner Party
34.  Eat a well-balanced breakfast every morning for a week
35.  Complete “12 Days of Cookies” at least once
36.  Organize all of my recipes

Friends Are Forever
37.  Get together with friends at least once a month
38.  Get together with “the girls” from Olaf at least 3 times per year
39.   Get together with “the girls” from M.A. at least 4 times per year
40.  Plan a girl’s getaway weekend
41.  Send birthday cards to friends/immediate family in 2010

Money, Money, Money
42.  Pay off my Wells Fargo student loan
43.  Bring savings up to at least $40,000
44.  Buy chair(s) for the living room
45.  Buy sectional for the basement
46.  Buy a Road Bike for Andrew
47.  Follow the Budget and track all purchases in the spreadsheet

Quest for Knowledge
48.  Thoroughly research something I know nothing about
49.  Learn the name and location of every known country in the world
50.   Learn to identify 10 constellations
51.  Relearn German
52.  Learn basic French
53.  Read the newspaper every weekend
54.  Take a photography course
55.  Watch 10 documentaries

Pay It Forward
56.  Pick a charity and donate regularly
57.  Volunteer
58.  Participate in Operation Beautiful
59.  Clean out closet at least once a year and donate old clothes to charity
60.  Participate in Operation Christmas Child each Christmas
61.  Fill the candy jar at work once a month
62.  Donate 500,000 grains of rice

Just for Fun
63.  Take a day off work and do nothing but read in bed
64.  Go skydiving
65.  Go on a police ride-along
66.  Play/Dance in the rain
67.  Have a Disney movie marathon weekend
68.  Go to a Drive-in movie
69.  Send a secret to PostSecret
70.  See the Nutcracker ballet
71.  Spend a day at the park/lake with a book
72.  Take part in a Progressive Dinner
73.  Have a slumber party (like in middle/high school)
74.  Make a list of: 101 things that make me happy, 101 quotes that inspire me, and 101 Favorite Memories.
75.  Re-watch every episode of the X-Files
76.  Spend a rainy day putting a puzzle together
77.  Make a sizable dent in my Netflix queue
78.  Make it back to St. Olaf for Christmas Fest

Hobbies & Skills
79.  Learn to sew
80.   Learn to drive a car with a manual transmission
81.  Get re-certified in CPR and first aid
82.  Read 200 books
83.  Re-read the Harry Potter Series (again!)
84.  Read 5 Banned Books
85.  Read 25 of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
86.  Read all books in the “Prey” series by John Sandford
87.  Read all books in the “Alex Cross” series by James Patterson
88.  Have more than 25 followers at Laura’s Sweet Treats.
89.  Bowl a 200
90.  Crochet something

Capture the Memories
91.  Finish a 365 challenge.
92.  Make a wedding photo book
93.   Participate in 26 Things
94.  Get photos printed and framed for work
95.  Get photos printed and framed for the house
96.  Write a letter to me to be opened after the 1001 days is over

No More Procrastinating
97.  Get life insurance policies
98.  Get a bike helmet
99.  Finally make that honeymoon scrapbook!
100.  Change my voicemail at work
101.  Read the book that came with my camera

My progress on these tasks can be tracked on the “My Progress” tab.

I will donate $5 to charity for every item on this list I do not complete.

Categories: The Project