iCan see clearly now

My title is a play on Apple's iEverything. And why? Because yesterday I got my brand new sparkly iPhone! Ok, it's not sparkly, but it is pretty freaking awesome.

I am beyond excited to finally have a Smartphone. I am also beyond excited to have a phone that actually works decently when I'm in my own house. For whatever reason, most cell phones have not liked working well in my house which ended up with me hardly using it for more than texting. Now people can call me and I'll actually be able to understand them!

I did a lot of research on Smartphones and considered getting a Droid, but they are more expensive, I know people who have had a lot of issues with them and in the end, the iPhone was cheaper and more user friendly for me. And I could not be happier with it.

Anyone have any favorite apps they want to share? (Jes and Gina you are exempt from this exercise since you both have already shared with me your faves) Brownie points if they are free ones! :)


Whirlwind weekend

Whew. What a wonderful long holiday weekend I just had! I don't want to brag, but it was pretty freaking awesome. Now that it's over I feel like it flew by, but really, I enjoyed every moment and felt very present in each moment, so I feel pretty good about that.

So I mentioned previously that I saw The Muppets twice. In addition to that, we celebrated Thanksgiving with Nate's side of the family and it was nice to see all of them. We went to the gun range on Friday morning to do a little recreational shooting. I still can't believe I can do this now, I have come so far. It helps that I have outstanding hearing protection. Anyway, we had some fun there and had lunch out at my favorite deli (Nelson's Cheese Shop in Spring Lake Park). Friday was one of the days we saw the movie then in the afternoon and after that we had dinner at Punch Pizza with my parents and Nate's parents. Then we met up with Ali back at my parents house and had dessert and opened presents.

Saturday we were a little bit lazier but that was ok because the weather was totally crappy. We did venture out in the afternoon to find a beer store we've been hearing about and it's like total Nate and Beth's ultimate candy store - The Four Firkins in St. Louis Park. Holy beer Batman! I have never seen such a huge selection of craft brews. And they do "create your own six pack." Total win. The store is organized so well too as to the different types of beers. I'm mildly embarrassed to admit we spent close to an hour in there. After that we picked up Five Guys burgers and brought them home and settled in with some movies.

Sunday I got down to business and after breakfast finally set about getting my Christmas decorations up. I had done a little bit of it on Saturday, but hadn't gotten the tree up and all that jazz. Nate was even teasing me that I was "running behind" on that, but with all the birthday hoopla, just hadn't had the time to work on it until Sunday. I got all the lights strung on the tree and discovered that one whole set was burned out. Crud. So I planned a trip to Target and Nate said he'd go with because he needed a birthday card for his dad. And somehow said trip to Target involved a slight detour to the Verizon store so I could buy myself an iPhone. No big.

Oh back up a bit here....I GOT AN IPHONE! Yes I am excited. So that was pretty big news for yesterday. We did go get the lights and stuff too. Returned home and I finished up the tree, we met up with my in-laws for a short walk in the cold air, came home and made shepherd's pie and tried to unwind a bit more before getting ready to face the week and come back to reality.

All in all a great weekend. I have no complaints!!


My Thoughts on "The Muppets"

I have been trying to find the words for this post all weekend. It's not because it's bad, it's just that I have been processing everything and trying to find the right things to say. Here is my jumbled up thoughts on the movie. I am not giving a rundown of the plot or even a true review, this is just really my thoughts in general. Take it or leave it and bear with me, here we go.

I think everyone who reads this blog knows I am a huge, HUGE Muppet fan. If you don't know that about me, well then, hey guess what? I am a HUGE Muppet fan and also, nice to meet you, cause clearly you haven't been here before. But what you all don't know about me is, until this weekend, I have only ever seen one major Muppet movie in the theatre. Shocking right?

The first three Muppet movies: The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan all were released just before I was born or while I was a toddler, so it wasn't like I really had the chance to see them on the big screen. And like most children, my first true exposure to the Muppets was really through Sesame Street, but thanks to my parents and the "new at the time technology" of the VCR, I was introduced to those first three movies not long after they were in theatres. I probably knew all the words to The Muppets Take Manhattan by the time I was four.

So, the first chance I really had to see a Muppet movie on the big screen was with the Muppet Christmas Carol - ironically the first movie released after Jim Henson's passing. And even more ironically, we (my parents and I) somehow didn't even get to see it until it was in a second run theatre around Valentine's Day.

For one reason or another, I didn't see the next two Muppet movies in the theatre. I really couldn't tell you why. I have never once been ashamed of my Muppet fandom. But somehow, I misssed those two in theatres. I watched the ones that were made for TV and they were ok, but they were kind of missing the essence of the classic Muppets I grew up with. I kind of just started to accept the fact that the Muppets were kind of getting the same treatment that other favorite things of my childhood were getting. I didn't think they'd ever really be the same and resigned myself to just reliving my childhood with The Muppet Show on DVD and the movies listed above on DVD as well.

So now we flash forward to 2011. And finally a new movie has been made with new friends at the helm, namely my new hero Jason Segel of How I Met Your Mother fame. At first, it was going to be released at Christmas time, about a year ago at this time is when they announced that. And I thought ok cool, fun Christmas outing. But then shortly after the first of the year it was announced that the release date was moved up to November 23rd. Two days before my 30th birthday. A birthday that until recently I was actually kind of dreading. I just was having a hard time with the number. But knowing this movie was coming at the same time - it helped me big time. And it just felt like the best gift ever. Of course, I had yet to even see the movie.

It certainly got quite a bit of attention the closer we got to this big date - especially in the last month with talk show appearances, interviews, there were days that there were so many appearances listed that it made your head spin. A friend of mine, who runs the hugely popular Muppet Mindset blog, summed up how hardcore Muppet fans were feeling in these final days in a lovely post on the day before the movie's release - it can be read here - we just knew we were on the edge of something huge and that everything was going to change - in the best way possible.

So, finally I got to see the movie, not just once, but twice over the long weekend and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It WAS a gift. It was everything I dreamed it could be and more. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is my favorite Muppet movie to date. Maybe it's the nostalgia, maybe it's because it came out so close to a milestone birthday, maybe it's because I relate to the new Muppet, sweet little Walter who was created to represent people like me, HUGE Muppet fans. Whatever it is, I will never get enough of this movie. I posted on my FB and I'll say it again - GO SEE THIS MOVIE. Take everyone you know. And if you have no one else to go with, take me. I'll go.

I have such hope for what could come next based on this movie. No matter what happens, what I know is that there are singing frogs, bears that tell jokes, dogs playing pianos, and adorable little guys that whistle in the world again and we haven't grown so cynical that we can't still appreciate them. It's a beautiful thing. I'm a very happy fan girl.

*An update on my weekend in full coming later today!*


Third decade

Well it's here. My birthday. I am no longer a twenty-something. I am 30. And you know something? It's not scary. It's not bad. I had definitely accepted it as of this month more or less, but I spent the better part of this year kind of dreading this birthday. But you know what? It's going to be awesome.

Three is my favorite number. Always has been. So, you have to figure, three decades of life? It's going to be my best year ever. And something that is awesome about my thirties verses my twenties? I spent ten years learning and stumbling and finding my way into adulthood. And now, I have emerged pretty well rounded and I think I'm a pretty awesome adult. Just saying.

So, here we go. I'm 30 and flirty and fun and I am loving it.

Off to celebrate with family today. I'll hopefully get caught up on more blogging soon, including my thoughts on The Muppets (GO SEE it. Get off your computer and GO SEE IT).


Calm before the storm

The next few days I get the feeling are going to be a whirlwind of events. I do hope for some down time and some rest time, but I also know that I'm doing the following:

- Getting ready for Thanksgiving
- Seeing the Muppets in the theatre
- Celebrating Thanksgiving
- Visiting the gun range with Nate again (yep! you heard me)
- Celebrating birthdays with family
- Spending time with extended family, especially those visiting from out of town
- Transitioning from Fall to the Christmas season with cleaning and decorating at our house
- Possibly doing a little Christmas shopping
- Brewing a batch of beer???

So today and tonight are the calm before the storm. I have a fairly simple dinner planned and I intend to relax and enjoy getting caught up on some shows with Nate, going to bed early and sleeping in just a little tomorrow. The storm is brewing, but I'm not afraid of it. Bring. It. On.



You know what is awesome? Short work weeks. I gave myself a gift and decided to use some of the massive amount of time off I have saved up (not kidding here) and only work Monday and Tuesday this week. Granted, Wednesday I might still be doing some "work" helping my in-laws get ready for Thanksgiving, but that is different.

Another thing that was awesome was our early birthday celebration on Saturday. We knew that this week was going to get crazy with family and what not, so we decided to go out just the two of us a little early and it was lovely. We had dinner at Moscow on the Hill in St. Paul, brought home dessert and watched one of our all time favorite movies. A very low key, but very nice evening. I have no complaints. Moments like that are some of my favorites.

I'm also kind of finding the snow a little awesome. Yes I said it. I know. I was whining and complaining so much at the end of last winter and I know I was still complaining about last winter into the summer. I can even probably find you all the blog posts and FB posts I made declaring war on snow. But the small amount we got on Saturday just stirred something inside of me deep down and I went all Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls TV show reference) and was just kind of...giddy? I don't know. I am glad we weren't hit with the 11 or 12 inches they got up north, but a small amount to start is kind of fun. And just makes me so ready for this time of year. I was already looking forward to it and feeling excited about it, but now I'm truly like ready for the holiday season. This is my most favorite time of year and I am welcoming it with open arms.

Thanksgiving? Bring it. Birthdays? Let's rock em. Christmas? Let's deck the halls. I even have two presents already bought. Just need to figure out our Christmas card for this year and I'm ready to roll.

So here we go! I am feeling awesome and I'm ready to make all these upcoming things just as awesome!


Thankful Thursday - Week Three

It's Thankful Thursday today! What are you most thankful for this week?

Here is my list:

1. Tradition - sitting out with a good friend at Target in the cold for a CD that benefits charity, taking time away from work and just relaxing.

2. Sunrises and sunsets - I was lucky enough to see the sunrise while we were at Target today and the sun set while I was making dinner this evening.

3. Helping through food - being able to help someone else down on their luck at the moment by simply bringing them dinner. Such a simple way to make a difference.

4. Love - having the most wonderful husband, friends and family in the world and feeling their love, I am blessed!

There you have it for this week my friends! Hard to believe Thanksgiving itself is only one week away! Got your turkey yet?


The end of the no buy

So tomorrow more or less ends my self imposed "no buy." As previously mentioned, tomorrow the Cities 97 City Sampler comes out and I wanted to keep my tradition of getting a copy, so when I started my month long shopping ban, tomorrow seemed like a logical day to end.

So now I am asking myself a few questions -

Have I learned anything from my month of no shopping?

I think I have learned a bit. I think that I am easily influenced by sales, to the point where maybe I used to buy something just because it was on sale. I think that I was a horrible impulse buyer, where I'd buy something because in that moment I really thought I needed it, when maybe I really didn't. I think I was the worst about that when it came to purses. I would get in "I want a new purse mode" and come hell or high water I'd buy myself one, whether it was a good idea or not.

I think that if anything, I will be able to more easily think through "do I really need this, will I still want it a week from now" than I was able to before. We have been looking at our spending in general and trying to be more budget minded overall, so I think that will help too. Day to day living is actually rather expensive.

Did I break my no buy at all?

Save for one pillow, nope. And I feel that the pillow was a necessity. I have been sleeping so much better since buying that new pillow.

So can I just go shopping like crazy now and buy whatever I want?

As I said above, I hope to be more budget conscious from now on and less impulsive about my spending. I think it's unrealistic to say I won't ever shop again - but I just hope to be more responsible about it in general.

Did you accomplish what you wanted with this project?

Yes and no. I proved that I can go without shopping and that I can curb unnecessary spending. But I don't know that one month is enough time to really see how it can help my savings. And the "necessary" spending is still there. We have to eat. The cats have to eat. The car needs gas. Those things cannot be avoided.

Overall, I am glad I did this. And besides tomorrow, I don't totally plan to just jump right back into "buying what I want" so to speak, because I do still have a birthday and Christmas coming up. I still have things I'm saving for, so in general, I don't see much changing in the days and weeks to come. I guess the best thing to do is go one day a time and see how it goes!


Just Write: Birthday Memories

So I have definitely accepted the whole "turning 30" thing that is happening next week. I really have. Well, mostly. I'm sure I'll have some weak moments yet. But I really do feel ok with it for the most part.

That doesn't mean I'm not contemplative though about it. Especially when over the weekend I realized, I have celebrated 30 birthdays. That seems like so many all of a sudden. I don't remember my birthdays real well until I was probably 4 or 5.

Each year we did a family party, usually with my grandma and my two favorite aunts and their families. When I got into elementary school, I was allowed to have a friend party as well. And of course, when I got together with Nate, birthdays took on a whole new life, because of his being the day after mine. We started celebrating them with both of our families and having parties with our friends together from pretty much the first year we were dating.

I have many memorable birthday experiences that stick out in my head as I reflect on 30 years worth of them. Some good, some not so good.

The year my dad was helping someone with their electrical work and it started snowing and he was late getting home. The party with my friends when I lost my first tooth in a cupcake but started crying because I thought I swallowed it. The year my mom dropped my cake face down on the floor and had to make a new one in a very short amount of time. Celebrating one year over at my grandma's house because we were remodeling my parents house and the downstairs was all torn up. The sleepover party I had in middle school and two of my friends took off in the middle of the night while the rest of us were sleeping because they were mad at us and my mom having a near heart attack in the morning and regretted taking Ny-Quill for her cold the night before.

Having my first ever sleepover party in 4th grade. Going on my first "grown up" birthday date with my parents to the Mall of America when I turned 11. Sorry for this one boys - "becoming a woman" on my 12th birthday(true story, both embarrassing, but yet kind of special). Having my first boy/girl party for my Sweet 16. Going out for special dinners with Nate. Gambling at Hinckley for the first time when we turned 18. Going out drinking for our 21st and let's just say we laughed a lot. Another college birthday when a fellow sorority sister stole a martini glass for me from Applebees for my present. Celebrating my golden birthday with friends and family at the bowling alley. Having birthday tiramasu from Buca one year instead of birthday cake. Going out with girlfriends for an epic night out to visit Santa and get fancy desserts in the middle of a big snowstorm. Nights of mayhem at Psycho Suzi's. Taking a weekend getaway with Nate to Duluth a couple of years back.

So many good times and even the "less good times" I pretty much look back and laugh at because they are kind of funny when you think about it.

As we've gotten older, and especially since Oktoberfest has become so hugely epic and it is one month before our birthdays, we've kind of scaled back our celebrations a bit, and I don't mind it so much. We still take time to celebrate with just each other and we always celebrate with our family. Plus, we have always had the challenge of our birthdays usually falling smack in the middle of Thanksgiving weekend. Now, when we were kids, this was awesome because you got days off from school! For your birthday! Now, it just kind of throws a wrench into planning too much, especially because Nate usually has relatives in from out of town. But at the same time, I somehow just don't mind that much. I couldn't imagine NOT having birthdays around Thanksgiving at this point in time. It just feels right.

So here I am just 10 days away from my 30th birthday and it is almost crazy to think I've done this 29 other times. It really doesn't make me sad though. It makes me smile to think of all the wonderful ways I've been blessed in my almost 30 years. That's not a bad way to look at it, don't you think?

Linking up to "Just Write" today.

Visit The Extraordinary Ordinary to add your own Just Write post or to read others!


Yet ANOTHER Manic Monday!

Sing along - just another Manic Monday, wish it were Sunday, cause that's my fun day, my I don't have to run day, it's just another Manic Monday...my regards to the Bangles...

Anyhow, man alive Mondays have been just nuts lately. I'm not complaining - job security man. I will take it. And hey, at least this Monday wasn't as nuts as last Monday, no one got hurt this week anyway!

It's a shorty week for me, I'll be making my annual trek to get the Cities 97 City Sampler with Miss Gina on Thursday, and we have found from past experience it's much nicer to just take the whole day off from work after sitting out in the cold for two hours. Next week will be even shorter thanks to Thanksgiving and my taking Wednesday off as well. Two day work week? Yes please!

The weekend was good, but too short. Rehearsal on Friday, Mass on Saturday afternoon, date night on Saturday night at Red Lobster, pretty much lazy day on Sunday.

Next weekend I think we'll be kicking off our epic birthday week with a nice dinner out just the two of us at Moscow on the Hill, a russian restaurant and vodka bar in St. Paul. I'm really looking forward to it!

On we go, hard to believe it's halfway through the month, but we press on!


Friday finish

So it's Friday! This week flew by. Seriously flew by. Probably due to the craziness I blogged about yesterday!

Anyway, just a few end of the week thoughts today.

Nate's foot is healing nicely, thank goodness he didn't injure himself worse when he fell on Monday. All of his lab results are in from his doctor's appointment as well and he's healthy, so that's good and we're happy about that!

We made a homemade shepherd's pie last night. It turned out pretty good for a first time attempt! Of course, we really give credit to Alton Brown because we followed his recipe, but at any rate, we did it and it was good. Nate has a few ideas to make it even better if we were to make it again.

It occurred to me yesterday that the rest of November may start to fly by due to things coming up. I am trying very, very hard not to let it fly. I love this time of year and I want to savor every moment.

On my fashion blog that I debuted here earlier this week, I participate in a weekly "fashion friend" Friday - a group of bloggers post about a specific topic and link to each other to share and learn and what not. Today's topic was about makeup and we were challenged to post a picture of ourselves without it. It was hard for me, but I did it. I have been enjoying reading the other posts on the topic as it is actually really thought provoking. Check it out if you're so inclined.

And with that, I bid you all a great weekend and a happy 11/11/11 and a happy Veteran's Day to all the vets out there.


Thankful Thursday week 2

It's been an absolutely crazy day in a kind of crazy week, but I'm still going to take time out for a little Thankful Thursday because it's important to me.

This week I am thankful for the crazy. Yeah that might sound weird, but the "crazy" gives me something to focus on and keeps me in the moment so I'm less likely to let my mind wander and get ahead of me as it is want to do sometimes. And it makes the day go by faster.

I am also thankful that I am keeping my head on straight in the midst of the crazy.

I'm thankful for my kittens, who at times kind of drive me a little crazy. At least they make me smile.

I'm thankful for my husband who lets me cut loose and act a little crazy. It's good to let go sometimes!

And I'm thankful to friends reading this right now and are thinking that I might be a little crazy. You know something? Normal is overrated.

Ok so this all may be a little tongue and cheek but I really am thankful for my job, my cats, my husband and my friends and family because sometimes life can be the kind of crazy that is a bit too much and they are always there to help me balance it again.

What are you thankful for this week?


(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

These cats. My furry little children.

I heart them so much.


Just another Manic Monday

Whew. I have had an interesting day so far.

Nate had a physical scheduled for this morning - routine, we're at that age you know and I wanted him to get a flu shot and tetanus shot - so he got up at his normal time, but was leaving the house after me. I shouted downstairs as I have done other mornings to tell him I was leaving, but he hadn't heard me real well and got up super fast from his computer. Turns out he was sitting in a way that his left leg had kind of fallen asleep and he ended up stumbling and tripping over some junk in his office and injuring the toes on his right foot.

So, I helped him out into the main room of the basement and we looked at his foot, fortunately they weren't swollen but they were sore. And he had fasted in preparation for his appointment so he started getting a bit light headed. I managed to help him not completely pass out and pointed out the bright side "at least you have a doctor's appointment already!"

I called into work stating I'd be late and then I drove him to the appointment and it went very well actually - other than crushed toes he's healthy and the doctor said that he didn't think they were broken, but to tape them together and go easy on them for a few days just in case. Fun for him I guess since it's his driving foot and drumming foot, but hopefully they will heal fast!

Just never a dull moment in our world I guess!

In other news, I am officially launching/debuting a brand new blog here. Actually it's not brand new, but it's brand new to all of you. Back in June, for the fun of it, I decided to start a fashion blog after getting inspired by others. I wanted to and still want to keep it separate from this blog so I wasn't going to "go public with it" - especially when I'm sure you all think I have blogger ADD with all the blogs I start and don't keep up with (hello Nate and Beth Eat Stuff...). Even my closest friends reading right now are probably scratching their heads going - "I had no idea you were doing this" or "why didn't you tell us?" Honestly I didn't know how far I'd go with this and also, I take my picture daily and didn't want to come off as too vein or anything! But I'm five months in and going strong and it's turning out to be a lot of fun, so I'm ready to share now!

I have met other fashion bloggers as well and it's been kind of fun to connect with a different sort of online community. So if it's your thing, check it out - http://fashionableadventuresboo.blogspot.com If it is not your thing, no big deal! I am going to continue to write that blog in a more "anonymous" fashion - you'll even notice I don't call Nate by name, I call him the Pants Monkey in honor of our bar.

Of course, nothing will change here at this blog - this is still my number one blog, the source for all things Beth and Nate and my first priority - but I just wanted to share this other little adventure I have embarked on.


Thankful Thursday - week 1

Well it's that time of year again - November - the month of the little holiday that could, Thanksgiving. I've talked at length in the past about how I feel for poor Thanksgiving and how it gets so overshadowed by the beast that is Christmas (and this is coming from a girl who loves, loves, LOVES Christmas). So when I saw my friend S posted about Thankful Thursday today, I decided I would join in as well, because really, I think it is important to reflect on the things you have and should be grateful for. Because they can overlap/be somewhat similar, I am going to stop Fabulous Friday through the month of November and instead do Thankful Thursdays.

So what I am thankful for this week? Here's my list.

1. Nine lives - you know how they say cats have nine lives? I have to wonder if that is true for our old family cat Cleo - she is 18 years old and lately was starting to have some issues again, my mom brought her to vet and we started preparing for the chance that this could be the end to only find out that they can still quite easily maintain the small issues that have popped up and that she's actually doing well otherwise. We'll take whatever time we can get with her, and I'm thankful that we should have another year or even two.

2. A glorious fall - after we had snow on the ground just about this time last year and never really saw the grass again until April, I'm very thankful for the beautiful fall weather. I'm also thankful that it's getting colder at night now at least so that it's hopefully killing the allergens I know some people suffer from. But otherwise, I'm just so amazed to look outside and still see beautiful colors and have it be nice enough to go outside and enjoy the scenery. We deserve this extended fall after last year's brutal winter.

3. Wonderful friends - I had a hard time last week on a couple of days but some very good friends helped me more than they'll know by listening to me and cheering me up. They know who they are and I just want them to know how much I appreciate them.

4. Nate - I am always thankful for my husband, but I'm thankful especially right now that he's still toughing out a less than ideal situation with work and while he still has some really not good days right now, he's doing the best he can and he isn't giving up. I am so proud of him and he is my hero. I love him more than words could say and I am just so thankful for everything about him.

There you go! What are you thankful for today?


Just Write - Lazy day, best day

Saturday was a long, full, rather exhausting day.

Sunday we had plans of getting up, going out and doing stuff. I was calling it our "day of fun".

When Sunday dawned, we slept as late as our bodies would let us and realized, we're just feeling too lazy to go out and do anything. But looking back, it was the best day ever.

Breakfast in. Coffee. Prairie Home Companion on in the background.

Long, hot showers.

A trip to the video store, first time setting foot in an actual video store in years and discovering it is cheap, fun and a way to relive our dating years in a sense.

Coming home with two movies, making popcorn, settling in with blankets, dimmed lights and enjoying an in-home movie theatre experience.

Making tea, sitting out on the deck when it was discovered it wasn't raining as predicted.

Getting take out italian food from a favorite restaurant. A bottle of red wine and another movie. Rounding out with a couple of favorite shows from the week. A warm relaxing bubble bath. Falling into bed and actually falling asleep quickly, rare for Sunday nights.

It was a day of fun. We were together. We rested. We needed it.

It's more than ok to be lazy.

Linking up to "Just Write" today as I have been doing on Tuesdays. Visit Heather of the EO to read other Just Write posts or to add your own.