weekend lessons: holiday 2013



01. Apple cider + caramel vodka +whipped cream. The best drink.

02. A 40 degree day in December is like summer in Minneapolis. I walked Ike to the lake yesterday (without a jacket! I’ve adapted!) and the path was clogged with people. The hill was full of kids sledding. And on the lake, a group of about 20 people was having an organized snowball fight. It was like a freaking postcard.

03. It seems like every single time I’m bored at home and decide to watch TV, Garth Brooks is on TV in some capacity. I’m starting to think he’s my fairy godfather or something.

04. If a genie popped up right now, I would wish to go back in time, take voice lessons, and end up in an a capella group. This is because I’m currently under the influence of binge watching the entire season of the Sing Off.  I’ve even googled “how to beatbox”. There was nothing. Google should stick to diagnosing medical problems and aiding in the search for porn, because it’s not good at a capella training.


05. On Friday night, I went to a yoga sculpt class (like yoga, but with weights and loud music ranging from Britney to Bieber. So, not like yoga). This particular class had a surprise DJ and ended up being an impromptu dance party. My second wish (assuming that genie didn’t laugh at my last wish and disappear back into his lamp to find normal people who wished for money or world peace) would be that everyday included an impromptu dance party.


06. Ike might be just a tad too big to sit on our laps.

07. I’ve never been a fan of Express, but haven’t really been able to explain why. For some reason, I felt compelled to go in the other day and ended up buying a few basic tank tops with built in bras. There are holes in the sides of the tank top in case I feel like stuffing my built in bra. 

And that pretty much sums up the vaguely trashy vibe I get from Express.

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weekend lessons v 12

01. If you have sand, they will come. We inherited a sandbox with our new house, and after nearly an entire year went by and we didn’t play in it like we thought we would, we realized maybe we didn’t need it. (okay fine, we always knew we didn’t need the sand box, we just procrastinated).

So Y put up an ad for free sand on Craiglist and, suddenly he is, like, eighteen people’s Sand Guy. As in, “Oh, you need sand? We know A Guy.” When I get frustrated that he’s looking at his phone while we’re supposed to be hanging out, he gets all defensive and says, “I’m talking to someone who wants some sand.” 

We’ve met all kind of interesting people who need sand. A girl who owns a crossfit gym fills duffel bags with sand that her clients have to run around with. A different woman reassured us that she was bringing a “friend” to help her carry the 300 pounds of sand she was taking, and showed up with her 7 year old son. What I’ve learned from this experience is a) never, ever, EVER do crossfit and b) kids are maybe more useful than you think they are. 

02. This can happen in just a few days:


03. There are benefits to winter. So as you can see above, it recently broke 60 degrees — for the first time since October. The city is rejoicing. You can practically feel the happiness oozing out of people. But I was a little disappointed when I realized that I couldn’t go grocery shopping before work and just leave my groceries in the refrigerator-temperatured car. See? There are a few good things about winter.

04. On a related note, if you decide to go to a seasonal patio restaurant on the first warm day of the year, you’ll wait in a long, long line. But it will be so, so worth it when you end up eating seafood and drinking cider next to a rushing waterfall.

04. David Sedaris is a treasure. Okay, maybe I already knew that — I’ve been a fan of his for years. But I got his latest book Friday night and settled in for a weekend of reading outside. Other than the fact that Y said “you’re whiter than the pages of that book”, it’s been great.

05. I know how to cure road rage: a soothing southern accent reading to you. I’m listening to the audiobook Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. The narrator has the most soothing southern accent (if any of you listened to The Help, it’s the same actor that read Skeeter’s voice) and it’s made traffic kind of the best part of my day. 

weekend lessons v.11

A few lessons I learned this weekend —


01. When I tell people that I studied abroad in college, I feel like their respect level toward me goes up a  smidgen. In fact, when I was applying for internships during college, my future boss accidentally included me in the recipients when she forwarded my resume to her colleagues. “Let’s go with her,” it said. “Worldly. Studied abroad.”

Sometimes I even feel proud of myself when I say I studied in London and Scotland for a summer.

But this weekend, I found my journal from that trip. 


It’s from Claire’s (or — even worse — The Icing. I can’t remember). It is studded with fake rhinestones. In my 21-year-old’s handwriting, it says things like: 
GELATO IS MY WEAKNESS OF LIFE!!” and 

Notting Hill has so many bookstores — just like the movie! Now if only I could find Hugh Grant. 🙂” and 

And then we peed in the bushes in front of the Eiffel Tower with some Finnish girls.”

So worldly. 


02. Something is wrong with the people of Minneapolis. 

Y and I have been to 3 shows together, and something obnoxious has happened at each.

In December, we went to the Dakota Jazz Club for a concert. By concert, I  mean a guy and his guitar sitting amongst tables with white tablecloths that had recently been cleared of a fancy meal. It was nice. Until a group of guys started screaming at the artist to sing their favorite songs and had to be thrown out.

In February, we saw Nick Offerman(aka Ron Swanson, for those not in the know)’s comedy show. A woman with a screechy voice was yelling at him the entire first half of the night. (To give you a better example of her distinct voice, Y initially thought it was Megan Mullaly – aka Nick Offerman’s wife, aka Tammy 2 on Parks & Rec, aka Karen from Will and Grace) “This is the first time I’ve ever had a drunk heckler,” said Offerman. She was soon escorted out. 

And last night we saw Aziz Ansari’s latest stand up special, and I don’t know what was going on with the audience. There was a NONSTOP FLOW of people walking out to the lobby. Some people went out two or three times, including a girl who practiced her catwalk strut down the aisle, and a guy who mooned us every time he stood up. It was distracting and weird and gross. 

Minneapolites, what is the deal? Why can’t you behave normally during performances?



03. Speaking of Aziz Ansari, Moshe Kasher opened for him and I recommend you watch his stand up special on Netflix immediately. He was hilarious. 


04. Ike appreciates a good West Elm sale rug as much as I do. 


05. Go to Maria’s Cafe in South Minneapolis. Order the corn pancakes. Put syrup on them. And then put cheese on them. Trust me. 

weekend lessons v10

01. There’s nothing cuter than when Ike sits down next to you, gazes up at you with his giant brown eyes… and farts. 



02. This is last weekend’s lesson, but because I like you, I’ll share anyway: it is possible to throw a baby shower for couples that doesn’t make the guys want to gauge their eyes out. The secret: no games, serve beer (we chose craft beer with some kind of baby-related-ish name), pizza, and a mocktail for the mom-to-be), and leave the presents at the door. Proceed like any other party. Maybe play the N Sync Pandora station. 

03. March is apparently Minnesota’s snowiest month. I learned this from the beer expert at the nicest liquor store ever… so it must be true. No, I don’t want to talk about it. The snow, not the liquor store. We can definitely talk about the liquor store if you want. 

04. Meeting a lot of bloggers at the same time is sort of terrifying. As a side note, I don’t think I had heard the words “bloglovin” or “google friend connect” out loud until this weekend. Try saying them out loud. It’s weird, right? 


05. The following ingredients make an amazing cocktail: white pepper, lavender, chamomile infused vodka, ginger beer and lemon bitters. It’s called the raven, and you should come visit me and we can order it at Birdhouse. 

06. RELATED: Moving somewhere with tons of restaurants sounded really amazing… until it became a full time job trying to keep up with all the places I want to eat. It’s so intensive that I have to use an app. Life is hard.  

weekend lessons v8

01. Y is very picky about his ketchup. I had the nerve to buy Trader Joe’s ketchup, and received this message on the refrigerator:


02. It is possible for your mouth to be so cold that you can’t speak properly. Related: standing outside for the US Pond Hockey Championships might not be worth losing the ability to speak. There are only few things that make losing the ability to speak worthwhile, like transforming from a mermaid to a girl because gosh darnit you’re ready to know what the people know.


02a. Hearing songs from The Little Mermaid at a piano bar on a Wednesday night will ensure that you have The Little Mermaid on the brain until at LEAST Sunday. 

03. Walking across a frozen lake in the windiest weather of life is a great bonding experience. I recommend it for couples, friends, and your next corporate retreat.


04. The League  is just as funny as everyone says it is. If you like characters you’re not quite sure you respect, and profanity. Which I absolutely do.

05. If you try one thing that’s floating around Pinterest right now, it should be this:

06. I should not be allowed to read books about dogs. 3 pages in to The Art of Racing in the Rain and I was already crying. 20 pages in and I’ve vowed to leave the TV on every day so Ike won’t be lonely. Today I left him with The Avett Brothers Pandora station. Ike loves him some Americana.




weekend lessons v. 6


01. Giblets is a really funny word.

02. Last night, we went to a holiday parade in downtown Minneapolis and I just wanted to PINCH ITS LITTLE CHEEKS. Lesson: Non-Louisiana parades are so cute, with their teeny tiny floats and sober riders and lack of things flying through the air.

03. The other day I was talking to Ike, and I apparently called him Mr. McStinkyButt.  Y called, from the other room, “Of the Minneapolis McStinkyButts?” It was then that I snapped to consciousness and even realized that I had been talking to the dog. I have a problem, I think.

04. We started watching Homeland this weekend and BAM. Marley from Glee, topless. The lesson: Marley from Glee is topless in Homeland and I just don’t feel like her mom the cafeteria lady would have raised her daughter to be so… topless. Related: Angela from My So Called Life is a CIA agent.

05. I’m thankful for a dog that winks at me and a husband that sleeps through the cutest photo session ever. (see above photo)



weekend lessons v 5




01. Just because you watch Felicity for 6 hours straight doesn’t mean that your hair will magically look like Felicity’s when curly.

02. On a related note, dressing up in your floofiest skirt and riding your bike to the library doesn’t mean you resemble Zooey Deschanel or Belle from Beauty and the Beast

03. On a related note to that, this still ranks as my favorite Youtube video of life. Hey girl.

04. No matter how good the shopping is in the city in which you live, you will continue to buy clothes at Target. Or at least, I will.



05. Making your dog sit still for a photo shoot before you give him his food is just plain cruel.

06. A perk to owning a house from 1920? Pretty glass doorknobs, no Anthropologie trip required. 

07. College football is unnecessarily heartbreaking. 

08. Three cake balls is not a good dinner… It’s a great dinner.
09. Having the house to yourself all weekend is an excellent time to a)sing loudly along with Glee, no judgment & b) take lots of pictures of your little house. I think I’ll take you on a house tour this week. Starting with this behind the scenes look of our living room, aka the room in which Ike likes to hump his bed.