Friday, September 24, 2010

Date Night: The Strip Club

Last night, Andi took me to The Strip Club for our date night.

Let me explain.

If you'll remember, my husband's wedding anniversary gift to me is twelve date nights - one per month - all planned and paid for by him. In my opinion, the best present a girl could ask for!

Last month, he took me to Pizza Farm in Wisconsin. We had a fun time driving through the countryside and waiting 3 hours for local, wood fire pizza (gasp!). And while we didn't end up waiting for 3-hour pizza, we did enjoy spending the evening together and venturing to somewhere new.

For this month's date night, Andi text to me this week to see which options I'd be interested in:

1) 1 hour massage in downtown Minneapolis
2) dinner at a nice restaurant
3) quick dinner at a restaurant, followed by the Parade of Homes Tour to dream up our next big home purchase

My choice: #3. While a 1 hour massage would be nice, it wouldn't be time spent together. #2 - dinner at a nice restaurant - is sometimes hit or miss for me. If we go out to eat together, I want to go somewhere really nice where we have good conversation and drink good wine. It's not my ideal QT activity to go to a restaurant with televisions, noisy music or a stack of City Pages sitting next to the door. It never fails, Andi picks up a copy of the newspaper, I stare out the window or watch the TV while he reads it at the table, and well ... quality date night time not achieved. So when I text back Option 3, Andi wrote back "wanna get married?" Apparently that was his choice too.

We met up at home last night around 5:30pm and drove down the street to the gas station to pick up a Parade of Homes Tour book. One of our favorite things to do together is tour homes to get ideas for our next move up in the world. This activity fuels our on-going discussion as to where we want to live next. Our current duplex isn't the ideal place to raise a family and we knew it the day we bought it. The day we bring home a new baby to our current house is the day we completely out grow it. While it's the perfect size for us today, the moment we add a crib, stroller, pack & play, baby toys, clothes and another little person to the mix is the day we both say in unison, we've got to find a bigger place. Do we move to the suburbs? Should we stay in the city? That's the half-a-million dollar question. Literally.

As we flipped through the book, I noticed the Parade of Homes Tour times boldly on the cover: Thursday-Sunday Noon - 6:00pm. Considering it was now 5:53pm ... we weren't going to make it. So much for Option 3.

Andi made an executive decision and took me to The Strip Club, a trendy sustainable restaurant in a ghetto little neighborhood in St. Paul. Our waiter called the location "transitional." We loved it.

The Strip Club was the perfect date night. We ordered a nice bottle of wine and had an evening of uninterrupted conversation. I ordered Steak Frittes sirloin served with Farmer Bob tomatoes, buttermilk bleu and French fries. Andi had Fresh Divers Scallops, served with a mushroom and corn ragout. Absolutely to die for - one of the greatest meals we've eaten in a long time and the perfect night to unwind and reconnect.

Can't wait to see what's in store for October!

Friday, September 17, 2010

As The World Turns

When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to have a stay-at-home mom for a big chunk of my childhood. We never realized how lucky we were to have our mom around 24/7. She did everything for us - walked us to the school bus, prepared dinner for our family every evening and created hundreds of memories over the years.

As crazy as this may sound, daytime soap operas take me straight back to this time. My mom watched All My Children, As The World Turns and Guiding Light every single day. So in turn, I grew up watching these shows too. I became even more enthralled with them when I went to college and did nothing but sit through 2 hours of class and take naps (Remember those days? Oh, how lucky we were back then).

I thought soaps were one of those things passed down from mother to daughter like family recipes. So I was bummed to hear today As The World Turns was airing for the very last time. Like the goof ball I am, I DVR'd it just so I could watch the very last episode. I watched it tonight and it was bittersweet. Corny as ever, but familiar and reminiscent of my mom.

What'll be the soap opera for the next generation? Think our kids will have fond memories of watching Jersey Shore or the Hills someday?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hair Envy

It's not the first time I've said this ... and sadly for you, probably not the last.

I've decided to grow my hair out!

And this time, I'm really sticking to it. I have a case of "hair envy" since early summer and I think it's time I stick to it.  As silly as this sounds (ok, I know, it's really silly) my future hair goal is to have nice, beautiful, long hair when I'm holding my future newborn baby in the very first hospital photo. Don't get too excited - I said FUTURE newborn baby. Some girls dream of how they wear their hair on their wedding day; I guess I'm just a little different!

I set up a hair appointment for next week to re-shape my hair in the growing out stage. I'm thinking of styling it like this for now (but chocolate brown instead of blonde) ....

I want Kristin Cavallari's hair style - not her attitude, by the way.

Eventually, I'm hoping for something long and layered, with a little bit of loose wave.
Like this ...
and EVENTUALLY this ...

Beautifully long, long locks.

You'd have thought I told my mom I won the lottery as I commented I was growing my hair out the other day. You know, I am to please.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Calling All Cooks!

Lately, the crisp fall air has really inspired me to do some baking. Well, I use the term "inspired" loosely as I haven't exactly baked anything yet ... but I want to. And that's half the battle, right?

Ever since my girlfriend Val made some homemade French bread for a dinner party a few weeks ago, I've been dying to try bread baking on my own. "It's so easy!" she said. And the fresh, warm bread with our dinner was fabulous. At that very moment, I added a Kitchenaid mixer bread hook to my holiday wish list and have been pining over the thought of baking bread ever since.

Yesterday I discovered said bread hook in my utensil drawer and realized it's been there for almost a year! Apparently it came with my Kitchenaid mixer and until yesterday I didn't know what it was for. I never claimed to be the brightest crayon in the box, okay?

Now I'm ready to try out my fabulous find and I was thinking what better way to start out my bread baking adventures than to ask my Internet friends to share your bread recipes with me. I'd be thrilled if you'd leave me a recipe in the comment section, then I'll make it and tell you all about it. Pretty please!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It happens every September: I blink and the dates on the calendar literally fly by without me even realizing. It wasn't until last night when I sat down to blog and realized I hadn't been here in over 2 weeks! So time to catch you up on what's new in my world:

Fall semester has started at the University of Minnesota and therefore, work has been really busy. I've been putting in 12-16 hour days which is a stark contrast to summertime. So far things have been going really smoothly this fall semester and I'm actually enjoying campus being so busy again. Before I know it, it'll be Thanksgiving and cold outside. That's how it always goes this time of year.

Fall semester also means I'm working at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturdays again. No more cabin weekends for me. Due to the Gopher's football schedule, the next time I can go to the cabin is October 9 - the weekend we return the keys to the cabin owners. It's bittersweet, but I'm so glad we rented the cabin this summer. We made so many memories with our family and friends. It's something I know Andi and I will do again - maybe at the same cabin if it's still available or maybe a different one. It's one heck of a way to spend a summer, for sure.

If we do the cabin thing again next summer, I am seriously considering hiring a lawn service. My poor yard has really suffered this year. I spent 5 hours doing yard work today because so much of it has gotten away from me. Usually I take great pride in my yard and my beautiful flowers, but there just wasn't time this summer. And when I was home, the last thing I felt like doing was mowing and weeding. We shall see ...

I'm excited fall's here. College football's on television, dinner's in the crock pot and my fall wreath is hanging on my front door. All is right in the world.

I think the crisp air outside is also giving me an urge for cooking. I've been craving my crock pot Beef Strogonoff recipe and am definitely planning to make that one night Andi's home this week. My mom made my favorite all-time meal Shepard's Pie the last time I was home and it was fabulous. Think I might make that for myself this week when Andi's traveling (and then eat nothing else but Shepard's Pie leftovers night after night - yum!). I've been watching Aarti Party on the Food Network lately and she's really inspired me to start cooking with cardamom in more recipes. I don't know if I can really be successful in incorporating raw spices and herbs into my cooking, but it looks cool and I think I want to try ...

I've also been coming up with a mean Christmas list lately. Usually I have no idea what I want but this year's different for some reason. I'm dying for a Kitchenaid mixer ice cream attachment, new "mommy blanket" as my dad calls it, these Keen boots or these ones, a new roll-up makeup bag, laptop case, Sirius satellite radio for my car, a renewal to US Weekly ... just to name a few.

And with that, I must sign off. The VMAs are on in 20 and I must get my chips and Diet Coke ready for the good tv watching in my future.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Great Minnesota Get Together

Andi and I made our way to the Minnesota State Fair on Monday night. We had a great time stuffing our faces with Pronto Pups, porkchops on a stick, deep fried pickles stuffed with cream cheese, homemade cream puffs and Minnesota turkey sandwiches.

All the food we consumed is a blur as we stuffed our faces so quickly. Good thing we have this video to re-live the memories!

Minnesota State Fair - 2010 from SixSpeed on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My little shadow

Tell me this isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen?

Brooke - 3 years

My niece Brooke is such a little doll. Every time I'm back in Nebraska I try to spend as much time with her as I possibly can. It's so fun to see how much she's grown and changed since I saw her last.

When my sister and I were little, we adored my aunt Connie. She was young and fun and always bought us all the toys we ever wanted. One time when I was in Middle School, she took me to The Buckle and let me pick out whatever shirt I wanted. Then she bought the same shirt. I remember thinking that was the coolest thing ever - she wanted to be just like me; I loved that.

When I spend time with Brooke I think about those memories a lot. The way she asks to hold my hand, only wants me to give her a bath and always drags my sunglasses and purse around the livingroom. I hope she knows how special she is to me too.