Sunday, July 31, 2011

Storm Chasin'

Last night, we went to see Mat Kearney perform at Roy Wilkin's Auditorium. He is one of my very favorite artists for so many reasons. But the main reason is, 2 summers ago when my dad died suddenly...going to see Mat Kearney perform at the Basilica Block Party was the first fun thing I did after all the sad events surrounding my dad's death. I remember talking with Jason, debating whether or not I wanted to go or not. Getting ready and dressing in something other than comfy clothes seemed like a feat in and of itself. But we got to the concert and it was exactly what I needed.
At the time his CD "City of Black and White" had just come out and I really loved it. He played every song I needed to hear including some of his older stuff. I teared up many times throughout that concert because some of the lyrics really hit home and because he is just plain awesome.
At the end of the night, it downpoured and Jason and I just sat at the picnic tables outside the Basilica as everyone ran to their cars. The sky was gorgeous and it was a perfect end to the night. We sat there talking about my dad, our future lives together (we had just gotten engaged that Spring) and ended up forming one of those memories that you always think back to fondly. Both because it was healing for me and a great bonding time for Jason and me.
Unfortunately this isn't super clear but this is how the sky looked that night











 I am ever so thankful to Jason for being saavy enough to know that I'd want to go see Mat Kearney even if he was the opening act for a band I didn't want to see. He got these tickets for my birthday back in April. And that's exactly what happened last night....we found ourselves amongst kids that were likely all under the age of 16. They were all coming to see the band after Mat Kearney. It was funny because we found ourselves discussing how hard/interesting it would be to figure out the right age to let your kids go to something like that with just their friends...or how short of a skirt is ok to let your teenage daughter wear if you weren't there (yes, I know I wore many a short skirts in my day). It kind of made me feel old that this is what we think of when we see teenagers now, but it was also kind of fun to think about the future. Regardless, Mat Kearney was fabulous as usual and I got all teary-eyed again...big shock.
I've been waiting all summer for the right occasion to wear this dress!

Me and my cute man!
Mat Kearney



So wonderful
 He played so many of his old songs, some of our favorites from his last CD, and one from his new album that comes out this Tuesday...woohoo!
Here is a little snippit of one of his songs last night, Breathe In Breathe Out:
video
After that, we took a walk through Rice Park and made our way to Pazzaluna for some drinks and food. I think that has to be one of my favorite places. Fabulous fabulous food, and a very relaxing atmosphere. We just sat in the bar the whole time which was excellent!
















As we were sitting at the table eating our food, we heard the storm sirens start wailing VERY loudly. I knew exactly what Jason was thinking. He wants to be a storm chaser on the side...not really my favorite of his hobby choices but I can't really stop him. I mean, you should see his eyes light up when he hears thunder. He immediately pulled out his phone and showed me and the waitress the weather map. I think he freaked her out a little : ). So we asked for our dessert to go and ran back through the park to try to make it home before the storm hit. Jason showed me this picture on his phone right as we got home and then proceeded to jump up and down asking if I wanted to go outside. You can understand my hesitation.
wanna chase storms????

So he ran outside and I said there was no way I was going out there. But after a few minutes with no rain I decided I needed to stop being a wet blanket and grab my camera and see what I could see. I think me walking outside made Jason's night. It was either that or when I agreed to drive around and check out the clouds/lightening from different lookout points. Yeah, I'm cool.
I made the exposure longer so you could see the sky light up a bit from the lightening

those are some freaky clouds!

This is when Jason decided to pop his head into my picture when the shutter was open for 30 seconds...he's kind of transparent! I like it!

















he's intense


































In the end, there was no tornadic activity (thank God!) much to Jason's dismay. But it did make for a nice end to a fabulous day. It seems that awesome storms follow Mat Kearney concerts...can't wait til the next time he comes to town : )

Saturday, July 30, 2011

TMI !??!

I love today. Not only because I thought it was Saturday for most of the day only to find out just a while ago that it's actually Friday and I still have a whole Saturday ahead of me! Woohoo! I guess I must be relaxed.
But really, it was a good day, full of recipes and pictures to share!
I started off by not going to boot camp because I literally could hardly get out of bed today because I was so sore from my workout yesterday. I really can't complain about that!! : ) So instead, I made a protein smoothie and relaaaaxed before my hair appointment this afternoon.

Bri's Protein Smoothie Breakfast Bonanza
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop of unflavored gluten-free protein powder
  • 1 scoop of orange sherbet (just like jamba!)
  • enough orange juice to get the thickness you want
It's good stuff
After that, I was raring to go harvest some of my vegetables. I was figuring there would be about as much as last week, aka 1 jalapeno and maybe a small green pepper. Boy was I in for a nice surprise!
I just love eating something you grow! It tastes so much better somehow. It's nice knowing where it came from and that you didn't put any chemicals or other crap into the dirt while it was growing.
I have always told Jason I want to have a little bit of land at our next house if possible and that I want a tractor and a little mini farm. I can see it now, farmer by day, nurse by night...or something like that. That would be so awesome. 
I think he thinks it's just another one of my wild ideas (which I also did for awhile), but I think it would be something I would truly enjoy. Maybe after a few more successful veggie seasons like this, he will see how dedicated I am ; ) 
After that, I apparently was tired again and didn't accomplish any of the cleaning I had planned on. Shouldn't have had that drink with dinner last night I guess...haha! So I rested before heading out the door for my hair appointment, one of my most favorite treats! Jason sent me on my way with a home-made iced caramel latte. And yes, I am aware that my morning was packed with sugar. Happy Saturd...err Friday to me. 
 Jason's Iced Caramel Latte
  • Espresso
  • 1% Milk
  • Ice
  • Raw Sugar
  • Sugar Free Caramel Syrup (from Target!)
I'm guessing people know how to make a latte but it comes with the picture, sorry.  Plus it's cute ain't it?!


 After that, I sat in traffic forever to get to my hair appointment, but it was totally worth it. It's freshly cut, a little blonder than it was earlier today, and I love it! Thank you Angela!









When I got home, Jason was teaching Pierre something he probably will regret someday soon. Jason will have to climb our tiny tree to get Pierre down when he climbs to the top, and frankly now it's only a matter of time.

new meaning to 'hanging out'

he likes!










We had Ron and Katie over for dinner tonight. I was so excited to entertain and make something fun to eat for dinner. I am proud to again report a successful recipe venture! Amazingly delicious! Woohoo! I got the idea for this meal and drinks from Taste of Home but added some of my own ideas as well.

 Baja Citrus Chicken Sliders with Lime Slaw
Slaw
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw mix
  • 4 tsp minced cilantro
  • 4 tsp minced sweet onions
  • 4 tsp minced sweet red peppers
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
Sauce
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp of lime juice
  • 2 tsp chopped cilantro
Chicken
  • 6 chicken breasts, halved
  • McCormick Baja Citrus Chicken marinade (see package for additional ingredients for marinade)
  • Hawaiian Rolls or Slider Buns
1. Slice Chicken, place in marinade, refrigerate 






2. Mix together all slaw ingredients, refrigerate

3. Mix together sauce ingredients, refrigerate
4. Grill chicken breasts til no longer pink in center
5. Assemble your yummy sammiches! Spread sauce on bun, add chicken, top with slaw, and enjoy!!
For a gluten free option, don't use the bun! It's still delish!
So good!!


We served the meal with sweet corn and mixed veggies (some from my garden, you know it!) pan fried on the grill! So good!
red potatoes, sweet banana peppers, jalapenos, green, red, and yellow peppers, onions, and some olive oil!











And then on to the most important part of the meal...the cocktail! Also modified from the recipe I found in Taste of Home

Bri's Berry Cooler
  • 6 cups blueberry juice
  • 9 oz blueberry flavored vodka
  • 3 cups sprite (any lemon-lime soda)
  • Ice
  • Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  • Wooden Skewer

1. Thread the raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries onto wooden skewer to make delicious stir stick
aren't they the cutest?!
2. Mix the drink ingredients, pour over ice and enjoy!!




This may very well be the longest blog post I will ever make in my life. I just took so many pictures I needed to share today!

Before I got to bed, I'd like to say hey to my baby Jas and say...it's been so awesome having you back from the books! : ) Should be a great weekend! Love you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brain Fuzz

I am hungover today.
Basically I have been trying to do as little as possible today for that very reason. Jason and I went out for a delicious, greasy breakfast this morning which was so fabulous because we actually got to spend time together! (so far, post law school and bar exam life is excellent!) That would have been enough activity for me but last weekend I spent an entire day doing yard work for my mom in order make a little side cash to pay for this personal training promotion at the gym where I do my bootcamp. I had made my first appointment for today (what was I thinking?) so I had to make myself go. It was an awesome workout and my arms actually really kill as I am typing this...that means I am going to be toned soon, hopefully. Right?
I had all these clever things I was going to write about but then my fuzzy brain decided that it didn't want to share those ideas with me today. So maybe tomorrow.
So instead, I shall give a short, lighthearted photo show of my cat Louie. You know, someday I might be embarrassed by how much I like my cats when I actually have human children but they are awesome, hilarious, and low maintenance so I stand proud in my love for my little french named kitties Louie and Pierre.
Louie is obsessed with bags. So Jason always takes that opportunity to either drag him across the floor in the bag or swing him. Louie apparently thinks this is an amusement park ride because he just looks like he's in heaven (well, if cats actually change their facial expressions that's what his would show). So this is what my hazy brain is supplying you with today...pictures of Louie in a bag.
Enjoy. Your life is now complete and you can start your weekend feeling fulfilled.
So content

Getting ready to swing

Weee!!

So fast, getting scerd?

I like how he clings to the bag

you know he likes it



















 On that note, I am going to bed. Goodnight moon!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

*The beat just dropped and the room got sexy*

Those are some lyrics from a new CD that I am semi-embarrassed to admit that I like.
You see, I would classify myself as a music lover for sure. I like all kinds of music but especially mellow music with good lyrics. I wouldn't describe myself as a pop music fan at all. I like ''different'' stuff that people haven't heard too much about but I am also not usually cool enough to know all the latest music on The Current either(which I really like along with cities 97, etc). I even like some country music once in a while, (zac brown band...woot woot).
But there has been one poppy entertainer that I have liked since day 1. She just won't go away.  It's not because she has good lyrics or even a good voice (because she doesn't, in my opinion). But by golly I don't know how many workouts I would have quit if it weren't for her. When I ran my first (and what should have been my last) marathon, I literally repeated one of her songs for several miles in a row because it gave me bursts of energy that I really needed.
So I'd like to thank Britney Spears for pumping me up in my car before bootcamp today because I realllllllly didn't feel like working out. And I look forward to the run she's going to get me through later this week too.
So if you're looking for stuff to listen to when you work out or just want to bust out a little dance party in your living room (side note: I'd recommend proper attire because the mailman might see you through the window), I'm just sayin...check it out.
ahh the innocent years....

couldn't resist this find!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Warriors

Yesterday, our friends Ron and Katie and her sister and fiance and myself did the Warrior Dash in Afton, MN. This is a race with obstacles like climbing up high structures, running over fire, sliding down a giant slip and slide and finally swimming under barbed wire through mud to the finish line.
It was quite the dirty experience. The hills were gigantic...should have realized that when I saw it was going to be at a ski hill. Duh. I haven't exactly been running a lot this summer. Bootcamp has been my thing so I thought I'd be ok. Wrong. It was super hard and my finishing time was pretty embarrassing. But besides that, it was pretty fun! I've always wanted to jump in a pool of mud and now I can cross that off my bucket list. But I will definitely do it again next year if Jason wants to do it : )
Before:
 After:

And speaking of warriors (not to be corny), my incredibly smart hubby is taking the bar exam starting tomorrow and I want to wish him good luck! I know he will do great but he is understandably nervous. I know you will do awesome baby and you're almost done with everything law school related!!! Love you!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nacho Cheese

I think I have finally found the recipe that makes me a keeper...both as a wife and a cook : ) Though Jason says he likes my cooking, my gluten-free recipe adventures haven't taken us down many delicious paths thus far. I can't tell you how many times I have been super excited about a recipe I find, so I get all the ingredients (never cheap), spend a decent amount of time making it, and then sit down to the table for that anticipatory first bite. I think Jason always waits to let me take the first bite to see what my reaction will be. And sadly, so many times that first bite is followed by a slow, sad look up at him followed by me saying, ''it's nasty" or "it looks good, but it's not good at all" or "I really thought I had it this time" or just a simple shake of the head. He is always so sweet and tastes it, and if it's even remotely edible he says it's not too bad and eats it anyways. I love him for it, but I don't want him to have to do that anymore.
Therefore, I am happy to report I had a successful recipe venture that Jason LOVED and so did I! It was super simple too.
It isn't the lowest in fat recipe, but there are a lot of modifications you could make to have it be a lower fat meal. But this time, we went for the whole shebang and man was it good!
I'd like to thank Josh (my bro) and his girlfriend for inspiring the idea of nacho lasagna. I'd like to thank myself for thinking of using Doritos ; )

Dorito Lasagna (and it's gluten free!)

Ingredients:
1 bag of Nacho Cheesier Doritos (you won't need the whole bag if your'e just cooking for two)
1 lb of lean ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning
1 bag of shredded colby jack cheese
1 can of refried beans

Instructions:
1) Cook beef and mix in taco seasoning per directions
2) Heat refried beans
3) Layer Doritos, Refried Beans, Hamburger, and Cheese in a square casserole dish.
4) Repeat layers as desired.
5) Cook at 350* for 10 mins or until desired crispiness is reached.
6) Scoop and serve! (I like to dip the chips in salsa, but it's good without it too!)
First layer

Yes, it's as good as it looks!

mmmMmmm!

A winner at our house!
You can always add other stuff to the mix too. Next time I think we may try to layer some salsa in there. Onions, peppers, tomatoes, taco sauce...those would all be good additions too.
To make it a lower fat meal, try the baked Doritos, low-fat cheese, fat free refried beans, and the leanest ground beef you can find.

Here's to more successful recipe experiments and happy faces after the first bite : )