Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for "the good land"

This past weekend Ben and I went to the Milwaukee area to celebrate our anniversary by watching the Twins play the Brewers at Miller Park and spend some time with my parents and my brother and his wife.

My mom brought up the top layer of our cake to enjoy. According to those who can eat Gluten, it was still delicious a year later!

Even the Viking and Packer Helmets were still in tact!

I'm still peeved about that cake and the fact that the bakers didn't listen to our exact instructions on what we wanted...grr... It's OK, I got my revenge with terrible online reviews of them!

Saturday night we headed out to Miller Park, which is a great stadium! It's only about ten years old, and has great ammentities.

The retractable roof, pulled back for the beautiful night we got to enjoy

Unlike Minnesota stadiums, ones in Wisconsin are a tailgating haven! We enjoyed a few beers before the game, and since my mom doesn't drink beer, she brought red wine in her water bottle, hilarious!

Dad and Mom

My brother had some connections at the stadium and we were able to get a behind the scenes tour of the park, soooo cool! We saw the organ player (a 30 something GUY! So surprising!), the clubhouse for the Brewers, where the owner sits, and were able to take a fun picture in the media interview room.

As far as the actual game, the Twins got our hopes up with a 1-0 start, and then ended up getting throttled by the Brewers 11-1.

Also, if you don't know the movie line the subject of this blog post is referring to, check this out!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Best Tank Top Ever

I love to plan out my outfits for races. As noted before, I get manicures to match my outfits, and I love to have fun with the looks out there.

I usually run races in Skirt Sports Lotta Breeze Capri's, and am currently hankering after this one.

How does one not love this freaking skort? Plus, on Zappos it's free shipping, and look, it's on sale! (I think I'm trying to convince myself here, and Ben, more than anyone else that I must have this).

Here's the deal, this week, I discovered the best workout tank top I've ever worn. EVER. Comfortable, Fashionable and great for training runs or races.

Ladies and Gentleman, the Cool Racerbank Tank from Lululemon...

TA DA!!!


Here is why I love this tank:
  1. The dry fit material
  2. They have fun designs and colors, more than the website displays (I got a black camouflage one)
  3. For Lululemon prices, $39 is reasonable (did I just really say that?)
  4. It doesn't ride up when you run
  5. Per my last point, it runs a bit longer, so it covers the top half of your butt, which I love
  6. It lines up directly with a classic designed sports bra
Need I say more people?! I hope you're able to get your hands on one and enjoy it as much as I do! I'm currently trying to convince myself I don't need to buy another one...or two...

Disclaimer: Lululemon or Skirt Sports didn't ask me to write about any of this stuff, or pay for my items (I wish) that I purchased from them. I just like to share great finds with you all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Home Project Challenged

I know I've mentioned it on twitter, but not sure on here, we're selling our condo, horray! I love our condo, especially the location, but I'm ready for a bigger place. Ben bought it three and a half years ago, so we didn't buy it at a sky high price, and I feel good about selling it.

Here's the thing though, I'm not a home projects person. I would pay Nate Berkus or whatever to come in, re-do everything, and leave me with the bill if I could. I don't feel the accomplishment that makes a person puff out like a proud rooster after huge home projects. Sure, I feel good when I accomplish some things around the house, like I love doing cleaning and organizing, but I just get SO frustrated SO easily with the long, and usually over budget, things that happen with home projects.

But, because I'm a middle-class American, I can't pay someone to do these projects. So, I go to Home Depot, I ask questions that most people probably know, and then stare back at the sales clerk like they just told me I need to go home and skin a cat.

Ben and I tried to repaint part of our common area once. It ended up taking an extra day than planned, and the paint didn't match up. We did successfully install this super power toilet that can apparently flush 18 golf balls at once, or lawn sod (we haven't tried it) though, with the help of my Dad of course.

Anyway, we had to do a few improvements before we put our condo on the market. Last fall my parents came up and painted (with our minimal help) and then we had our carpets shampooed, put up these picture ledges to display our wedding photos in a clean, concise way, and did some major de-cluttering.

This past weekend though, I fell trap to the store West Elm. I've gone in there before, and bought a pillow or two, but never felt like this. I found something, I HAD To have. This lamp:

Round Upright Table Lamp

Thanks to my friend Molly, who is so much braver than I am when it comes to re-decorating and documents the process of making over her house on her blog, I found out they had 15% off the clearance, and I decided to go for the lamp. After all, currently, we had two mismatched lamps on our bedside tables, and we need nice lamps to show the condo, right? RIGHT?!?

I bought two of the Hammered Metal, and I love them!

So, two lamps purchased for $50, that were, originally $60 a piece. I'd call that a successful home project--at least a project for the challenged home owner like me. It's reasons like this my friends, why we own a condo, and not a full fledged home and are looking for a place that has a low maintenance yard!

And in the true spirit of house projects, remember that show "Trading Spaces" on TLC where neighbors would switch up and re-decorate a room in each others homes? Yup, here's one of those not so great reactions, that makes me laugh!

P.S. If you would like information on our condo, shoot me an e-mail at:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gluten Free Goodies at Irish Pub

**Update: Since I last wrote this post, the ownership at Cooper has changed, and I do not endorse their gluten free practices any longer. Please read this review from the Savvy Celiac for more information.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of sampling the new Gluten Free menu that's going to be featured at Cooper's Irish Pub in St. Louis Park, just north of downtown Minneapolis.

I was SO excited when I won entry to this event via Crystal Grobe (AKA @CafeCyan) and a contest she did on Twitter earlier this week.

Cooper's opened about two years ago, and is part of a few Irish Pubs in the Twin Cities area owned by Kieran Folliard, a native Irishman himself.

Kieran Folliard (right) conversing with fellow Gluten Free diners

All Kieran's pubs offer a delicious food and drink menu, and I'm often at their sister pub, The Local, for post-work happy hours.

The night's event started with a delicious Gluten Free Beer, Bards. For a lady who's all about light, simple beers, this was a great sip and enjoy beer for cocktail hour, or with dinner.

Bards Nutrition Facts

As you an see, the beer isn't too bad calorie wise either, and is locally owned by Minnesota Business people, and then brewed in New York State.

Next, we were able to dig into the food, and let me tell you, it was delightful.

First, the chef Nick explained to us each item: from a wide variety of Wisconsin cheeses and sliced meats, paired with rice crackers and fruit, seared tuna with gluten free soy sauce (soy sauce is one of those surprising items that can be chalked full of gluten!), spinach and artichoke dip with veggies and gluten free bread, and my personal favorite, their signature chicken shots!

I was most impressed with their chef speaking about their Gluten Free practices to avoid cross contamination, and how the kitchen staff is taught to use different pans, wash their hands thoroughly, etc. to make sure Gluten Free items stay, in fact, Gluten Free.

My favorite, chicken shots, battered in rice flour

My plate: Rice Crackers, Cheese, Genoa Salami, Fruit Chutney, Spinach & Artichoke Dip and Chicken Shots

Dessert: Vanilla Ice Cream with Homemade Strawberry Sauce and Whipped Cream

One of the best aspects about tonight's event, is that I felt normal when it came to eating out. I could eat whatever I wanted and not have to double check every single, freaking little thing.

There are times, I HATE being Celiac more than anything. Like in Boston, when I pulled the waitress aside to tell her about my allergy and she loudly asked the rest of the table, "Anyone else here with a food allergy I should know about?" I wanted to crawl under the table and melt. Or family functions, where I feel like I'm being so ungrateful to family who've worked hard to prepare a meal, only to find I can't eat it.

Ben and I love to go out to eat and going to dinner parties. We love trying new places, and socializing with friends over food and drink; before I had Celiac it was an enjoyment that I took for granted. Now, I'm often anxious about going out to eat. I call ahead, I look up reviews online from other celiacs, and I often bring my own food to other people's homes. I do all this, and still sometimes, I end up being tainted, have a reaction and walk around with a bloated stomach that I've lovingly (read = sarcasm) named my wheat baby for a couple of days.

Tonight, everything that was served to me, I could eat and drink with ease, it was so liberating. I know that people have to deal with a lot worse things in life, but it was nice to feel like one of the crowd, and not have to fret, or make a fuss about what's on my plate. It made me sad for many kids with Celiac, who feel this way at school functions, birthday parties or sleepovers; at least I'm an adult and can comprehend this affliction more than they can.

By far though, the highlight of my night, was chit chatting with Kieran and having him tell me that I should bring in a picture of MY Cooper to hang on their wall as the restaurant's mascot since they share the same name.

After all, who wouldn't want this face on their wall to attract more business? :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Workout Tunes

What tunes get you pumped up to workout and keep you pumped up? Sometimes, music can be exactly what you need to get through a long run, a tough workout, and accomplish your goals.

During the Fargo Half-Marathon, and the Nike Women's Marathon, I didn't want to listen to music, I wanted to have my iPod off, and take in the sites, and I'm SO glad I did. Where as during the Goldy's Run 10 Mile this Spring, and the La Crosse Half-Marathon, my music is what kept me going.

I promised a few months back about the songs that keep me pumped up while working out, and also want to hear what songs keep you going! Adding to your play list is a great motivator, and a lot of times these songs come from recommendations.

My current favorite songs to workout to are:
  • Eminem, Not Afraid
  • Raise Your Glass, Glee Warblers
  • It Ain't Me Babe, Joaquin Phoenix and Reece Witherspoon from "Walk the Line"
  • Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash
  • Little Lion Man, Mumford and Sons
  • Only Girl (In the World), Rihanna
  • Stuck Like Glue, Sugarland
  • Fall to Pieces, Avril Lavigne
  • Rolling in the Deep, Adele
  • Paris, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
  • Alejandro, Lady GaGa
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want, Glee Cast
  • Dream On, Glee Cast
  • We R Who We R, Ke$ha
  • Feels Like Today, Rascal Flatts
So, as you can see, I have a diverse taste in music. =)

What are the songs that pump you up while working out?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Guest Post Update

Hey Readers, I'm a guest poster over on Jen's Prior Fat Girl blog about being diagnosed with Celiac today if you're so inclined to read it.

If you're sick of me talking about Celiac and Gluten Free, and wish I would shut up about it, kindly ignore. :p