Five For Friday v. 8

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This weekend, Craig and I (and the pups!) are headed up to spend time with his parents.  The dogs absolutely love it, because these trips usually mean homemade peanut butter dog treats and extra snuggles.  It’s been awhile since I’ve taken the time to bake some up some goodies for the boys, so they’re always happy campers when we get in the car for the 3 hour trek.  They are the best little travelers!

It’s time again for Five on Friday and this week I’m just sharing five of the random things that I’ve been loving lately.

.one.
Spin class.  I have found the most fantastic instructor.  He’s super cheesy, but he is super motivational and I love, love, love his music selection.  He keeps us moving – through intervals, hills, etc.  I’ve tried another instructor and was bored to death.  The music was not suited to Spin (Alanis Morisette – One Hand in my Pocket?!?!?!?!) and I just didn’t get the same workout.  I even gave her two chances.  Unfortunately, since I didn’t care of her style, my only option is 5:30am classes with Rick!  I’m not a morning person, but I love it so much, I make it happen!

This also makes me want to buy some shoes specifically for spinning and a heart rate monitor watch!

polar.two.
Purity.  For the past year or so, I’ve been using Arbonne FC5 facial wash.  Because it’s natural, I thought it was sure to clear up my skin.  Wrong.  I’ve struggled to have clear skin my entire life.  Well, after a year and a half (and about two months straight with a face very broken out), I knew I needed a change!  I’d heard good things about Philosophy’s Purity, so I gave it a try.  After just four days, my skin is healing.  I also use the Hope in a Jar.  Love them both.

purity.three.
Advocare.  Yep.  Still talking about it.  I haven’t recapped my 24 Day Challenge yet, but I will!  The products I’m most consistently using is the Spark and Rehydrate.

.four.
Peanut Butter Eggs.  I had 24 days of being sugar free and it was definitely do-able.  That being said, I have since treated myself to a couple pb eggs.  Just because I can go without sugar, doesn’t mean I should! ;) They’re so flipping delicious – the white chocolate ones are my fave!  I’ve given in to sugar, but I’ve been able to maintain some moderation – there is some Ben and Jerry’s sitting in the freezer that I’ve avoided.  I don’t want to undo everything I’m working on at the gym!

reeces egg.five.
Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers.  These are so quick and easy and flavorful!  Craig even likes them!  He can doctor it up on a toasted bun and I’m happy eating it sans bun with some romaine lettuce (for crunch!) and avocado.  They take only 14 minutes to cook up on a skillet from being frozen.  A pretty convenient, delicious dinner option, wouldn’t ya say!?

chili lime burger

FiveonFriday Thanks to April, Christina, Darci,
and Natasha for hosting!

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Monkfish

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MonkfishUm, yes.

Remember me telling you about that delicious dinner I had last Friday night?  The monkfish dinner?

Well, my blend, Chris, asked me if I had ever seen one before.  I hadn’t, so I Googled it up last night.

monkfish2monkfish3

“In Europe and North America, the texture of the tail meat of fish is sometimes compared to lobster tail and has been alluded to as the “poor man’s lobster”, although today it commands prices equivalent to, and in some cases exceeding, lobster and other marine delicacies.” (source)

I agree with the comparison to lobster tail.  It’s quite mild and very tasty.  I’m an adventurous eater, but if I would’ve seen this beast before I ate it, I doubt I ever would’ve.

monkfish4Those teeth.  Those eyes.

Everything.

Prehistoric looking, isn’t it?

So, while I definitely stick to my opinion of it tasting quite delicious, I’m not sure it’s something that I will eat again.

What is one of the strangest thing you’ve tried?
Think you’ll ever give monkfish a try?

Click on the pictures to link to the sources.

 

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Ugh. Monday.

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MondayEffin’ Monday.

There have been times when I have felt like Monday got a bad wrap.  Yesterday was not one of those times.

Monday 2I didn’t even stand a chance yesterday.  My day went to hell before I even made it out of the garage to go to work.  Literally.

mirror1Mmmhmmm.  That shit happened.  It was only a matter of time, really.  I’m impatient.  I’m almost always in a hurry.  My mind has been cluttered with god-knows-what for weeks.  And yesterday, my cluttered mind and carelessness bit me in the ass.  I took my mirror off backing out of the garage.

mirror2Dammit.

Craig seems to think he can replace it himself, so he ordered a mirror last night.  Surprisingly, he wasn’t as mad at me as I thought he would be.  He must’ve sensed that I was beating myself up enough.  Coz I was.  I mean, really?  REALLY!?  Backing out of my own garage!?

Happy Effing Monday.

Monday3Here’s to a better Tuesday.

PS. I made an exception for myself today regarding my birthday resolution of cleaning up my language.  The combination of Monday and catastrophe makes it okay.  Yeah?

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Birthday Cake

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Whatta weekend!

Friday, there was a potluck at work with lots of yummy food.  But, the real highlight was the dinner Craig and I had at Hom. They source as much as they can from the local area and everything is made from scratch – everything from pasta, dressings, butter – you get the idea.

homWhen I saw monkfish on the menu, I thought I’d give it a try.  I’d never heard of it, much less tried it.  It was excellent.  As was the cauliflower au gratin Craig and I shared as a side.  I’m sad I didn’t get any pictures – but it wasn’t really type of place I felt comfortable snapping pictures of my plate.  If you live in Milwaukee area, I highly recommend giving it a try!

When Saturday rolled around my bestest of all friends, Kim, came to town for a movie/lunch/froyo date.  We saw Divergent.  And at the beginning of the movie I was worried about getting through it, but it finished strong!  And I found myself thinking about it and liking it more and more as I finished my day.  I wasn’t sure about the people chosen to play Tris and Four, but by the end I knew they were the right choices.  I highly recommend it – but if you haven’t read the books, you better do that, too!

And now for the real reason you’re here.

Confetti Cake - What The Efff blogOn Friday, we had a pot luck at work to celebrate three birthdays – my own and two coworkers. I volunteered immediately to bring cake. I saw this recipe on Cookies and Cups blog and in .0002 seconds decided it was destined to be my birthday cake.

Confetti Cake 1 - What The Efff blogI think what sold me was the struesel on top.  Or maybe that it was a funfetti cake.  Or maybe it was the toasted marshmallow buttercream frosting. Or the sprinkles?  Ah, hell, it was the whole kit ‘n kaboodle.

Confetti Streusel - What The Efff blogYou’re looking at a homemade funfetti cake, with toasted marshmallow buttercream filling, vanilla buttercream frosting, and shortbread streusel.  Everyone at worked loved it.  No, actually, they loved it.  I was already asked to bring it for another birthday and people happily took home tupperware containers of it.  Kim even took some home on Saturday.  The more cake living in this house this weekend was going to mean more cake in my belly.  And I certainly don’t need more cake in my belly.

Confetti - What The Efff blogI made the cake layers on Wednesday and refrigerated them until I made the frosting Thursday night.  It makes the cake so much easier to frost.  I’m sure plenty of you already knew that, but I had never tried it.  Moving forward, I will be sure to give myself a couple days when making a cake because it really made all the difference while frosting it.

You can find the original recipe here, at Cookies and Cups.

Did you see Divergent?  What did you think?
Any tips you have for preparing cakes?

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Three on Sunday

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Time for Sunday Social!  Thanks to Neely for hosting!

1. Top 3 things you cant go a day without doing
Brushing my teeth
Texting my husband
Checking Instagram (priorities, ya know)

2. 3 things that scare you the most
Losing a loved one
Failure
Paranormal Activity

3. 3 places you want to see before you kick the bucket
St. Lucia
Australia
Antarctica
((I’ve been to 5 of the 7 continents – want to get to them all!)

4. 3 movies you will always love
Princess Bride
Beauty and the Beast
The Little Mermaid
((I also watched Frozen for the first time this weekend – LOVED it))

5. 3 favorite current songs
Stubborn Love – The Lumineers

Say Something – Great Big World

It Will Rain – Bruno Mars

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Five For Friday v. 7

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Spring time is officially here!  The temperatures have finally started to act a little spring-like and the snow is melting away.  It’s about time!  I was ready for that shiz to disappear weeks ago.  This weeks Five for Friday is all about spring.  Spring has sprung!

.one.
I love tulips!  My very favorite flower is in full bloom when spring rolls around.  I just wish they lasted longer.  I got the prettiest birthday tulips from my inlaws yesterday!

spring tulips.two.
I think Craig and I have started a new tradition – the Badger Spring Scrimmage.  It’s a super cheap date ($10 for tickets) to go see the new football team.  We don’t usually make it to a regular season game, which is fine by me.  I hate crowds and drunk college kids!  Last year was a the perfect day – despite being chilly, it was sunny.  There wasn’t a packed stadium.  And we had a great lunch at the Great Dane!

gamespring game 2013

.three.
Dogs that don’t mind being outside.  This is huuuuge.  Our dogs drove us insane during the cold weather.  They wanted to go out and run around for five minutes before coming back to the door and barking to be let back in.  …and then two minutes later (after warming up their tootsies!) they were at the door again begging to go back out.  Drove me insane.  Now, we can let them out and leave them be for an extended period of time.  Downside?  Muddy paws.  Ughhh

.four.
Craig’s birthday.  I love gift giving.  And surprises.  Craig’s birthday is in May and I’ve already been scheming what I can do to surprise him.  When we lived in Tennessee, I teamed up with his bosses to get him to Nashville and surprise him with tickets to a Preds game.  Last year he got to enjoy a bomb cookies and creme cake (and watch his wife in a dance recital).IMG_1105

After my very last recital!

*Hey Myles!

side note – should I cut my hair off again?  #havinganidentitycrisis

.five.
Grilling!  Craig became quite the grill master last summer, which is impressive considering he was working with a tailgating grill.  Tailgating grills mean that you can cook like two hamburgers at a time, which caused for some creative problem solving when we were entertaining.  For Christmas, he got a “real” grill from my parents.  He feels like a real big boy with his big boy grill and I can’t wait to put him to work!

What are your favorite things about spring?

FiveonFridayThanks to April, Christina, Darci,
and Natasha for hosting!

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Craig’s Feelin’ Lucky

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I missed last month, but this month, I’m here with bells on!  Rather, Craig is here with bells on.  Time for another round of Boys Behind the Blog!  Thanks Mal and Stephanie for hosting!

Mal Smiles
1. What’s your lucky number?
I don’t have a specific lucky number that I can think of.  It could be a lot of numbers. 5, 9, 18, 30.
2. Do you have a lucky charm?
I do not have a lucky charm but I still buy lucky charms.
Yes, yes he does.  And that eats a single bowl and leaves the rest in the cupboard for the rest of eternity…
3. Do you fill out a bracket for March Madness? Who do you want to win?
UWI fill out a bracket every year.  Of course I would like to see the Badgers win but they don’t seem to be the type of program that goes out and wins National Championships.  They should be seeded high.  Maybe an elite eight appearance?
4. March 10th was “Middle Name Pride Day.”  What’s your middle name?
Roger
this kissIt used to be Matthew – I can’t remember how much of that story I’ve shared with you all.  And before it was Roger, we contemplated Dennis.  It changed when we got married…
5. Submit one question that you would like to see on a future The Boys Behind the Blog.
What’s your most memorable summer vacation as a child or where do you want to go this year?  Summer’s coming!
For awhile there, I was seriously doubting this Wisco weather would turn toward spring…but it looks like spring might be coming!
Do you have any lucky numbers or charms?
 
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27

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Happy Birthday to me!  I cannot believe I am 27.  I’m in my late twenties and there is no turning back.  Twenty six was sure a good year.  I dusted off my dancing shoes for a bit, we bought our house, I got a new job, got my first (and probably only) tattoo, made a trip to Tennessee to see some of my most favorite gals ever, and got back on track living a healthy lifestyle.  And looking at that list, I’m realizing I didn’t do so hot documenting it.  That was the point of this here blog, right?  Sigh.

I realize that I’m getting closer and closer to the age where I will no longer admit how old I am.  In my experience with others, in a couple years, time actually stands still and I won’t get any older.  Yeah?

Well, in the spirit of getting older – and not being afraid to ‘fess up to it (yet) – I wanted to make a bucket list of sorts.  Things I want to do before I turn 28. Twenty eight before 28, if you will.

28b4281.  Vacation with my husband.  It’s been a hot minute.  Our last real vacation was our honeymoon in November 2012.  That’s far too long for a woman with a travel bug.  To count as a vacation – there has to be a beach.

2.  Read 10 books.  I don’t think I can commit to one per month, but I miss reading as much as I used to!

3.  Grab a girlfriend and go to a painting class!  I did this a couple times when I was living in Tennessee and I loved it.  So much fun!

4.  See an awesome concert.  I’m sort of cheating with this one – we already have tickets to see Lady Gaga at Summerfest.  I’m pretty flippin’ pumped.  I wouldn’t say she is my all-time-fave, but I’m seriously looking forward to it.  I mean, come on, it’s Lady Gaga, it has to be an experience, right!?

5.  Run a 10K.  I’m not sure I’ll commit myself to a fourth half marathon, but a 10K would be lovely.

6.  On that note, before Kelsey gets back and demands her bike, I’d also like to do a dualathon.  Nothing crazy.

7.  I’ve committed to an active lifestyle again, but I want to get committed to some weight training.  I just hate it so much.  Can I learn to love it?  Please?

8.  Try one new recipe each month.  I’ve gone through periods where I’m nuts about this.  Like 3 new recipes a week.  And when none of them turn out, Craig starves.  And then Craig is sad.

9.  Do at least 2 photo-a-day challenges (one month each).  I think these are super fun.  I’ll even make up a fun little #hashtag so I can look at them all in Instagram!

10.  Get to Texas before Christmas.  I miss my parents.  A lot. check!  I just got back on Sunday.  It was semi-last minute and very much needed!  I had a fabulous long weekend – just me, mom, and dad!

11.  Cookie exchange!  I work with some ladies at work that I think would totally get on board with this!  My mom used to do it with her friends (I know a lot of people do), I think they’re such fun.

12.  Try 2 new fitness classes.  We are still relatively new to our gym and they have some unusual classes I’d like to try.

13.  Walk the dogs at least three times a week.  With our fenced in yard, the dogs haven’t been walked much.  It’s just too easy to let them run. I know, I know, walks are still necessary, but it’s hard to just suck it up and give them the walk they deserve.

14.  Get to Spain to see Kelsey.  Eeks.  Lots of travel on this list.  I’d love for it all to happen.  We shall see!  Kels and I had a blast on our first Euro-trip!

15.  Work on patience.  I’m not the most patient person in the world.  I would benefit from improving this – and I’m sure those around me would appreciate it, too.

16.  Build a headboard.  Craig says once the weather is better, he will commit the garage to this project.  I’m patiently waiting!

17.  Legitimately decorate the living room and master bedroom.  I just have random knick knacks all over and honestly, it’s a hot mess.  I follow enough blogs to have good inspiration for a room that is pulled together and adult-like.

18.  Clean up my language.  …says the girl with the blog, What the Efff.  I know.  But, I admittedly have the mouth of a sailor.  And even if I just replace it with “shiz” or “efff” instead of the words that would usually be there, I’ll call it a win.

19.  Get on at least 3 different area hikes.  There are some great parks in the greater Milwaukee area.  I need to get out there and find them!

20.  Get my hands on Aladdin.  Since I watched it with Kim in February (and realized I missed the release from the vault!) I’ve been desperate to get a hold of a copy.  I love Disney.  Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid are my faves, but that’s just because I don’t have Aladdin!  Stop judging.  Now.  thankyouverymuch.

21.  Noah’s Ark!  I haven’t been for a few years.  I used to go every summer with my family when I was a kiddo.  So much fun.

22.  Packer game.  Gosh. I have an expensive wish list…but, seriously.  Craig loves them so and I love seeing him all excited about it.  We’ve been able to make it to at least one game the past few years and I’d love for that to continue.

23.  In that spirit, plan at least one date each month that is free (or darn close to it).  I’ll keep track!

24.  Learn my camera!  I got this beautiful camera for Christmas and I haven’t done much with it yet.  Life has gotten so hectic and learning it took the back seat.

25.  Carve pumpkins.  Craig and I skipped this in 2013 and I was a little sad!  We found a great pumpkin patch last year, so we will need to return for pumpkins, apples and cider doughnuts!

26.  Learn to golf.  Craig got me out for one measly lesson last summer.  He’s so good.  I’m so…not.  This sort of goes along with the patience piece.  I wasn’t patient with myself.  Craig was plenty patient, bless him.

27.  Crochet something other than a scarf or dish towel.  Those are my go-to.  I never make anything for myself, just others.  And goll darnit (heyyy, look at me accomplishing #18!) I want to make myself something fab.  Like a blanket or some shiz.

28.  Bake one cake each month.  Maybe try some healthier alternatives so I don’t feel so guilty when the cake doesn’t make it to work as intended…and instead ends up all in my belly.

Well, there you have it folks.  Twenty eight lofty goals for my 28th year.  Bring it on bitchachos!

What made it on your bucket list for the year?

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Dear Easter Bunny,

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  In honor of St. Patty’s here is a post about the Easter Bunny.

ahem.

While in Texas, I took it upon myself to look through my mom’s jewelery box.  I found some neat things – whether it was the ring my dad got upon graduating high school, a ring my mom purchased when I was born, things of my grandma or grandpa G’s, there were quite a few things that prompted conversation.

I think my most favorite of all were letters my sister and I wrote to the Easter Bunny that my mom held on to.  In Kelsey’s she says she is 6 – so that means I was 8.  I was a thorough little 8 year old – my letter spanned three pages!  Here’s what my kid sister had to say:

kelsDear Easter Bunny,
I like you.  Here is a carrot just for you!  I hope you like it.  You are nice.  Can you please wake me up and give me a hug.  I am the straight hair.  Happy Easter.  Wake my sister up too. Love Kelsey G.  Thank you.  Please write back.  Buy [sic]

Kels also leaves a spot for the Bunny to leave his age, phone number, and address.  On the other side is a picture of god only knows what.  Kels, you could write like a champ, but apparently your artistic abilities hadn’t kicked in yet. ;)

Kelsey and I got along famously as kids.  So, it’s no surprise that she would ask the Bunny to wake me, too, so I could have the pleasure of meeting the mystery rabbit.  My most favorite part of the the whole thing is where she specifies that she is the “straight hair.”  Kels had stick straight hair as a kid.  Mine was curly from age 2 (which is when I finally got any hair at all!).  Today, her hair is just as curly as mine – how weird is that?

And then there is the big sister who has to out-do little sister when she can:

easter bunny CollageHere’s a carrot just for you!  Will you wake me and Kelsey up? We promise I won’t tell any body what you look like.  Thank you Easter Bunny.  Love Jessica.  Turn Page.

I now [sic] you’re busy but will you wite [sic] back?  I hope you can.  Love Jessica.
On that page, where the red arrow is, you can see that I attached (via tape!) an additional page with my address.  See?  Thorough.  Oh, but we aren’t through yet.  One more page:

I now [sic] you would get hungry so I left you that carrot and milk.  Bye Easter Bunny.

I highly doubt that leaving the carrots and milk was all my idea, but I’m not surprised that I took all of the credit.

What sorts of sentimental items have you discovered over the years?

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