Category Archives: Funnn

Tator Salad

On Friday, I thought this weekend was going to be jam-packed; but it ended up being incredibly lazy.  And I loved it.

Friday, I finally got to spend some much needed time with Kim.  Man, I missed her.  Heck, I still do.  Four hours isn’t enough time to make up for three months of absence!  We were joined by some other friends and her parents were awesome enough to grill up some dinner.  We enjoyed hot dogs, chicken, burgers, potato salad (WITH celery, and yes, I still enjoyed it…I’m excellent at picking around celery!), grilled corn, and amazing chocolate cake.  Pair that with a hilarious go at Cards Against Humanity (with Kim’s mom!) and you have one amazing evening.

Kim Collage

Saturday, I was supposed to head to IL for a bachelorette party, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get in the car for two hours.  That’s probably really awful of me.  I’m admitting it.  But, I haven’t kept in great touch with any of the girls and the thought of socializing with a group of women I’m now on the “outside” of, just didn’t sound appealing.  Instead, Craig and I had a sushi date, we rented a movie, and sat our happy asses on the couch.  It was glorious.

sushi

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Among the things I love about summer, is the bountiful amounts of potato salad.  You can’t go to a BBQ or party of any kind and not find some version of it.  There’s one problem though.  I hate celery.  Hate it.  And more often than not, you’re going to find celery in potato salad.  Eck.

Here is my very own potato salad recipe – sans celery.

JessisPotatoSalad

– 5 large potatoes
– 4 hard boiled eggs
– 1 medium vidalia onion, chopped
– 1/2 c sweet pickle relish
– 1/2 tsp garlic salt
– 1/2 tsp celery salt
– 1 Tbs yellow mustard
– 3/4 c mayo
– salt and pepper to taste

Boil peeled potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, chop.
Peel eggs, chop, and put into a large bowl with potatoes.
Add onion, relish, garlic salt, celery salt, mustard, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix together well and refrigerate until chilled.

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Right Now

Last night I went for an original work out!  You might remember back in May I danced in a recital with some other women.  It was a blast, but I definitely had my moments of frustration and thoughts of, “I don’t think I can do this.”  But, I did.  Various nights this summer, the choreographer, Teri, has put together workshops so that we can keep dancing without the pressure of performing.

My schedule finally let me get there last night and I’m so glad I went.  She held both a Contemp and Hip Hop workshop, but I only did the hip hop.  Not that I consider myself very “hip hop,” but the dances are much more similar to poms and I just do better with that!  It doesn’t require as much contortion.  Well, it isn’t really contortion, but when you’re “old” like me, it starts to feel that way!

I was way proud of myself.  One of the biggest struggles I had this winter/spring with dancing was MEMORY.  Oh my gosh.  The frustration was incredible.  But, last night, I’m proud to say I easily caught on!  That’s more like it!  It got pretty schwetty, but it was a blast.  I love work outs that don’t really feel like work outs!

Teri always videos the final product so we have something to show for our hard work.  Here it is!  Enjoy!

Wisconsin State Fair

Can’t wait to share all of the delicious, totally healthy food finds from Wisconsin State Fair on Monday!

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Frosty July Weekend

Part of northern Wisconsin were under a frost advisory this weekend.  In July.  What on earth?

Thankfully, we didn’t have to deal with that mess, but it was still quite chilly.  Especially for my mama who is visiting from Texas.  …and didn’t bother to check the weather before packing.  Poor woman didn’t have a jacket and only had a single pair of jeans.  That’ll teach ya.

Saturday morning, Craig and I headed to the bank to get our Cashier’s Check for Tuesday.  Yes, we are closing in about 24 hours! I’m getting so excited.  It’s been nothing short of a nightmare getting to this point.  But, we did a drive-by with my mom to show her our new digs and it was pretty thrilling to see the “sold” sign finally posted in the front of the house!

Saturday night, mom, Craig, and I headed to Pewaukee Lake.  They were having a “Taste of Lake Country,” where a bunch of local restaurants had tents.  There was live music too.  But, remember when I said it was freezing?  We lasted just long enough to scarf down some prime rib sandwiches before we headed back to the house.

SN: I grew up in Wisco where a lot of people say “pop” for “soda.”  I call it soda, but can’t recall ever seeing “pop” on a menu.  Usually it’s soda or fountain drinks or soda, right?

photo 1

Sunday was fun!  Mom and I headed to the Sprecher Brewery tour in Milwaukee.  Craig and I are obsessed with Sprecher Cream Soda, but I wasn’t familiar with any of their beers.  YUM.  I’m starting to really get a taste for beer.  Though, I can’t yet say that I actually enjoy any of the Bud Lights, Coors Light, Miller Light, etc.  Too watery.  But, some of these microbrews I’m starting to try are delicious!

sprecher Collage

Mom also got to see the campus I work on and other parts of downtown Milwaukee.  I said goodbye to mom this morning after my doctor’s appointment.

Speaking of which, I’m happy to report that my appointment went famously.  My body was a champ and took care of itself (for once!).  This is busy, busy week and this appointment had the potential to make my week pretty disastrous.  BUT, not even thinking about that anymore, because it went well and I’m as healthy as a horse.  Now, I can just focus on all of the other positive things happening this week.  I got a couple of sweet comments and emails from you all.  THANK YOU.

Craig is hoping that this happy outcome may mean that my baby craziness may subside a little bit.  Maybe it will, a little bit. 🙂

Friday Funnies

IT’S FRIDAY!  I thought this day would never, ever come.  I’ve been in a doctor’s office 3 days this week.  That, my friends, is 3 times too many.  Hopefully after next Wednesday it will be a lifetime before I’m back in the dentist’s chair (or maybe just 6 months until I’m due for another cleaning).  The heat and the exhaustion that comes with my anxiety of dentists and pain of the procedures has made me very ‘special’ this week.  Ask Craig.  He’s been left to his own devices and that has meant hot dogs for dinner.

And because I’ve been quite a bear, I figured I could use some humor to wrap up my week.  Typically, my sense of humor may be found offensive, but I think I managed to keep it pretty tame today.  Happy Friday!

funny hoesWere you able to look at that and not even smirk?  I didn’t think so.

funny bunnyHow I have felt since June.  The joys of curly hair…

funny targetClearly.

funny hateI would too, buddy.  I. would. too.

funny filmHow old do you think the kids are that will never understand this?

funny duck

I’ll be back Monday with a yummy grilling recipe.  Since I’m on strike in the kitchen until this heat breaks, I’m putting Craig to work on the grill this weekend.

For image sources, check out my Pinterest page.  Oh, you can feel free to follow, too.  Shameless self-promotion.

 

Colorado Vacation, Part 2

After our healthy, delicious meal at Chick fil a (healthy? hahahahhaa), Craig and I headed out of the Springs for the main event!

We checked into an Econo Lodge (not-so-nice, in the middle of no where, literally the only choice for over a half hour).  After a little bit of primping, our friend, Bob, arrived with his date, Sabrina.  I absolutely adore Bob.  He is another Wisco guy.  He lived with Craig in the Springs and stood in our wedding.  Bob is just the kind of guy you want the best of things for.

Bob and Allie in our wedding

Bob and Allie in our wedding

The wedding was just a mile drive from the hotel.  The ceremony and reception, both, took place in the backyard of the bride’s parents.  It was beautiful.

ceremoney Collage

Unfortunately, it rained through the whole ceremony.  I was pretty bummed for them, but they didn’t let it ruin their day.  Lindsey was gorgeous and Taylor just had the most adorable grin plastered on his face the entire afternoon and evening.

Instead of a candle or sand ceremony, they did a wine box ceremony.  They both wrote love letters to each other, sealed them up into an envelope and placed it into a wooden chest, along with a bottle of wine and two wine glasses.  Taylor and Lindsey will open it on their first anniversary and be reminded of their feelings on the day they said “I do.”  I’ve never seen that done as part of a ceremony and I have to admit, I loved it.

w the kiss

THE KISS

w hubbywife

Of course, as soon as the ceremony was finished and everyone moved into a tent, the rain stopped.  Timing is funny like that, isn’t it?  It was good it stopped though because then we didn’t get wet standing in line for our beer, dinner, or playing corn hole (it will always be “bags” to me…but apparently everywhere else, but Wisconsin, it’s called corn hole).

w bags

Dinner was Chipotle.  Enough said.

w chipotle

After dinner, as the speeches were being done, Taylor and Lindsey read the vows they had written to one another.  They were nice enough to skip over it during their ceremony (I had no idea anything was skipped!), but I liked that they still took the time to read them in front of everyone.  I just love this couple.

w vows

Vows

w speech

Their first dance was to an Elvis Presley song.  Too cute.  Craig and I had a discussion before the wedding – Craig thought that no country would be played (the groom hates it), but I knew that the bride would win that battle and she is a huge country fan.  And sure enough – country was the majority of the play list!  When I asked Lindsey about it, she said that Taylor wanted nothing to do with the music portion, so she went nuts and made sure it was music that she would like.  As the compromise, Taylor picked the first dance.  It was adorable.

w first dance

As it got dark, the dance floor was lit by Christmas lights.  It just looked so simple and classic.  The weather ended up being perfect and it seemed like everyone has a blast.  Congrats to the newlyweds, Taylor and Lindsey, our favorite Colorado natives!

w dance floor lights

w playhouse

couple Collage

couple silly Collage

w groom

The groom, Taylor

w pic with newly

The next morning, I drug 3 hung over cats out of bed and we headed back into the Springs for breakfast.  There is a Packer bar downtown called Tony’s.  Their Bloody Mary breakfast is to die for.  Greasy bar breakfast and Bloody Marys?  I don’t think it gets any better than that!  I scarfed that food down so fast – I think I might’ve forgotten to breathe.  I didn’t even remember to take a picture.

w tony

After breakfast, we sadly said “goodbye” to Bob and headed to Denver.  Craig dropped me off with Allie and he headed to the airport.  Now, on top of missing my furbabies, I also miss my husband!  I’m flying home tonight and I can’t wait to snuggle with my three favorite boys.  I’ll be back Friday with the final leg of my Colorado trip!

A Tourist in My Own Town

I am absolutely loving having a southern drawl in my home.  LOVING it.  I have missed Jo so much.  Yesterday, I had the day off of work, so I was finally able to see some of the “touristy” things in Milwaukee.  I didn’t grow up in the area, so most of it is quite foreign to me.  I know how to get to work and that is about it!

We started our morning after a Starbucks pit stop (apparently, we are all equally addicted to Iced Chai Tea Lattes).  From there, we headed right downtown for some shopping.  The Third Ward is an area that is “up and coming” and has a lot of fun boutiques and restaurants.  I found a really cute jumper to hopefully wear this weekend to the wedding in Colorado, as well as a way over due birthday gift for Miss Allie.

Jo also found a fireman to say hello to.  (Yes, she is sitting on that poor little dog)

jo fireman

After shop, shop, shopping, we grabbed lunch.  Check out this Bloody Mary.  If this doesn’t scream Wisconsin, I don’t know what would.

jo bloody mary

It was amazing!  It was a “Stinking Rose” bloody and was made with garlic-infused vodka.  Probably the most incredible Bloody Mary I’ve ever had.

I got a “Rocket” salad, that was only okay and  a tad overpriced, however, I was still quite happy sitting on their roof enjoying my lunch with Jo.

jo lunch

Danielle had heard about the Milwaukee Cupcake Factory (I’ve never heard of it), so after lunch we ventured to find it.  Except when we got there we saw that it was only open Tuesday-Sunday.  SAY WHAT.

jo cupcake

They are coming to campus this afternoon to get lunch with me, so we are planning on tracking it down again.  I can’t fight the urge for a good cupcake!

After that disappointment, we headed to Lakefront Brewery for a tour.  Our tour guide was hilarious.  Any tour full of sexual innuendos is top in my book.  I’m not sure I’d find beer very interesting otherwise.

jo brewery

The photo bomb there in the back?  That’s Dylan, the tour guide.  Hey Dylan.  Lakefront is celebrating their 25th Anniversary.  They’re releasing a new beer each quarter to celebrate – keep an eye out for it!  They have an apricot beer for the first quarter and ready to release a pumpkin beer for the second.  Their beer is sold in 23 states – so if you can track it down I recommend giving them a try.  The Wisconsinite is my favorite!

After plenty of beer (and a couple drunk southern girls that can’t hold their liquor like this Wisco girl can), we headed back into downtown for dinner.  We decided to try The Safehouse.  It’s AWESOME.

They door is unmarked and you need a password to get in.  If you don’t know the password, you have to do something totally ridiculous and embarrassing to gain entry.  …and everyone inside the restaurant can see you on camera doing it.

It’s an awesome place, totally decked out to be spy-worthy.  My cheeseburger was delicious, though I was starving after not enjoying my lunch and having some beer in me!  To get out, you are given clues to find the exit.  “A good spy never leaves the way he enters.”  As we wandered around trying to make sense of the clues (“how many higher ed professionals does it take to find their way out of a restaurant?”) we found all sorts of hidden rooms.  The restaurant is HUGE.  Much larger than one would think.

jo safehouse

We finally found the telephone booth and found our way out through this creepy passage.

jo safehouse exit

It was awesome.  Definitely a place I will take new visitors.

Our final stop was Lake Michigan.  We were there just long enough to get a picture, because my southern gals were freezing.  I, on the other hand, was perfectly comfortable in my sleeveless dress.  They’d never survive a hardcore Wisco winter!

jo lake

They’re headed to campus to have lunch with me today and get a campus tour.  And, like I said, we hope to track down some cupcakes!

Myles and Rudy Go On Vacation

Happy Monday!

This is a very happy Monday for me, indeed. My dear friend from Tennessee has made the trek to spend a few days with me here in Wisconsin. She arrived yesterday around dinner time and it’s been so much fun catching up. I can’t wait to post about everything that we have planned!

I had originally thought she was arriving Saturday, but when I found out it was Sunday, I decided to tag-a-long with Craig up north to drop the dogs off with his parents. Shout out to my in-laws! Craig and I waited far too long to find a home for them over our vacation and couldn’t find a safe, clean, reasonably priced place to let them stay, so we asked them and they agreed to watch the boys.

We left Friday after work and got there around 8:30. Needless to say, I was exhausted after a full day of work and long drive, so I hit the hay pretty early.

Saturday was so much fun! Not only was the weather absolutely perfect, Rudy got to try his hand at swimming. It took a little coaxing to get him into the water at first, but once he was in, he really enjoyed splashing, swimming, and drinking (ew). Myles was a little bit of a party-pooper. He is such a diva. Seriously. For being a herding dog, he is certainly meant for the indoors. He doesn’t like being wet or dirty, and when the flies come around the has a meltdown.

Here is our Saturday in pictures.

deck CollageThe boys sat and enjoyed the outdoors while we drank our coffee.

rudy deck CollageRudy became increasingly intrigued by the noises and smells of the woods.  We had to create a makeshift gate so keep him from running away!  Also, I will not be surprised if his head gets stuck at some point over the next 10 days.

After breakfast, we headed down to the river.  Where Rudy got his first swimming lesson.

rudy swim CollageA little unsure at first, we may or may not have ultimately just shoved him in.

p myles sitMyles having no part of the water.

rudy swim 2 CollageRudy getting more and more confident.  Splashing around and exploring.

p myles joMyles.

p rudy dockRudy curious about the boats speeding by.

p myles layRudy exploring more and Myles just so “over” the outdoors.  He’s ready to go.

p myles dockI finally drug Myles down the end of the deck to snap a photo.  However, that was the extent of his “outdoorsiness.”

I was so sad to leave them behind, but I know they are going to have a blast.  Thank you Dennis and Jo Anne for watching the granddogs! I know it’s going to be tough getting them to leave!

Exhale – Finally a Relaxing Weekend

I didn’t even know what to do with myself. We literally had nothing to do this weekend. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. I’m not sure that has happened since January. I had wanted it so badly, but then sitting on the couch Saturday night, I was actually bored. Hmpf. Never happy, eh?

Friday night we went out for a fish fry with our friends Tom and Lindsey. I reeeally missed a good ‘ole fish fry when we lived out-of-state, but since we’ve been back, we haven’t really found a good one. My absolute favorite is The Fireside Theatre in Fort Atkinson, but that’s a bit of a haul for us. After dinner, Craig and I did a drive-by of our almost-home. It’s pretty exciting to see the “Purchase Pending” sign in front. Is it July yet!?

Speaking of new home, I’m already amped about decorating a new place. Financially, we can’t waltz in and just buy whatever we would like. And honestly, with all of the DIY on Pinterest and the blogs I follow, I am totally okay with finding something second-hand and refinishing it. Top of my wish list is a dining room table. Craig and I both have one from our single lives, but they scream, “I’m single” and “I’m single in college.” So, with that in mind, I’ve been anxious to get out to find something. Craig and I spent Saturday afternoon looking around rummage sales and area second-hand stores. We came up empty-handed, but I still enjoyed spending time with Craig doing something for us, instead of running in every different direction to spend time with other people. Don’t give me wrong, I’m happy that I have so many great people to keep us busy, but it was a nice change of pace!

farmers market

Saturday , in the midst of rummaging, we also stumbled upon the are Farmer’s Market. We found it just as they were starting to tear down. Which is a little fortunate, because after talking with Lindsey about it, it can apparently be quite the zoo, and I was not mentally prepared to deal with a zoo! But, it’s in a beautiful location. We plan on returning to better enjoy it (when I’m mentally prepared for it)!

sample saturday

Saturday also ended up being what I’m calling “Sample Saturday.” I had signed up for all of these free (or very cheap!) boxes and they all came on the same day! I loved the Target box. It was $5 and I’m excited to try everything in it. I tried the BB Creme this morning – IN LOVE! Has anyone else tried this stuff!? It’s much cheaper than the stuff I’m currently using and just so long as it doesn’t make my skin freak out, I think I have found a new product! The Detox Caps are something I won in a blog giveaway (my first ever!!!), thanks Kellie! I haven’t tried them yet – but how neat and convenient – put them on a water bottle, pop the top down and there you have it. I wasn’t as excited about the contents of my Bulu Box. My friend, Kim, had tried one and I was digging what she got in her box. Unfortunately, mine wasn’t quite as exciting – I’m not sure I will use most of it, but I’m keeping it around just in case!

beach 2
beach1

Sunday, ended up being awesome. Craig and I joined Tom and Lindsey on the beach near our home. I am in love with this area. I’m a little sad to be moving away from this in a short few months, but like Craig assured me, it’s still a very driveable distance from where we will be. The area reminds me of a board walk – cute store fronts, awesome beach. It was a super relaxing way to enjoy Sunday.

love jessi

The Concrete Jungle

After my Foodie Penpal reveal last week from the Concrete Jungle, I thought it could be appropriate to share more about my own experience in New York City!

My memory is getting better as I’m getting a little bit older. I am so thankful for that, because I remember so little about my childhood and I was honestly afraid I would continue to lose precious memories. I know it isn’t totally out of the ordinary for people not to recall a plethora of childhood memories, but in my case, it’s close to zilch. Seriously. Maybe nowadays I’m being more conscious about taking in my surroundings because of that fear.

Copenhagen, 2010

Copenhagen, 2010

The summer of 2010, Kelsey and I did a trip together in Europe. Just the two of us. She was finishing up a study abroad experience in Spain and I was in-between semesters of graduate school. It was the time of my life. We visited Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Ireland. Wow. Such an incredible experience to have with my kid sister.

Well, since my days as a single lady were coming to an end, Kelsey and I both knew we needed to get at least one more trip in. I know that in the future we will be able to travel together, but as we both get older, get married, begin careers, think about starting our own families, we didn’t want to wait or say “some day,” because it’s unlikely we’ll ever have many trips just as sisters. As much as we both would have loved to go back to Europe, it just didn’t make sense financially. I had a big wedding coming up and she had recently left a job. So we chose the concrete jungle, New York City.

shoes2

These little black shoes were my “comfortable” shoes that I took with on this trip. I knew we would be doing a ton of walking, but I wasn’t totally ready to give up on my “fashion” to be sporting a pair of Nike’s for the whole trip. Lesson learned. These shoes were AWFUL. They “matched” everything I brought, but I was so uncomfortable. I guess that is what I get for thinking a $20 pair of Target shoes are good for much outside of looks. Between the lack of support these shoes provided and their amazing ability to soak up water, I had a couple pretty miserable days. It rained a few days and these were my best option. They were sopping wet, heavy, and ultimately, stinky!

Kelsey ran into a similar problem with a pair of sandals she had brought with, so I didn’t feel like a complete idiot. Kelsey is pretty darn smart, so I feel much better about myself when she makes a similar mistake 😉

We spent an extended weekend exploring the city. We purchased a City Pass, which I would highly recommend to anyone traveling to an unfamiliar city. They don’t necessarily save you a TON of money, but for us, it really pushed us to stay busy and see as much as possible. We didn’t want to waste any of our money by foregoing a museum or exhibit. I think at the end of our weekend we missed maybe one of the museums, but that was okay. We saw NYC from the top of Empire State and Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Ellis Island Ferry, Coney Island, Times Square, “Chicago” on Broadway, and of course I have to mention the subway as it’s own special experience. Here are some of my most favorite pictures from that trip:

NYC1

It was such an incredible trip. Kelsey and I are definitely sisters in that we have our spats, but at the end of the day I love her to the moon and back. Despite the fact she is younger, she is an incredible role model for following your dreams, taking chances, and rolling with the punches. She is brilliant, beautiful, loving, kind, and courageous.

Times Square, Enjoying a world-famous Nathan's hot dog

Times Square, Enjoying a world-famous Nathan’s hot dog

You know the cliché you can hear time to time about family being your best friend…well in my case, it isn’t a cliché, it’s 100% true. Kelsey is and will always remain my best friend. We have been able to experience some of the highest highs and lowest lows together. Honestly, I get a little weepy thinking about how much her relationship means to me. Sighhh.

Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, Times Square (food cart!), Coney Island

Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, Times Square (food cart!), Coney Island

New York City is a place I would love to return to with Craig.  I think he would love all of the history.  Craig loves history and politics and you can find quite a bit of politics in the history – so yeah, it’s safe to say he’d enjoy it!  I loved Coney Island and Broadway and I wouldn’t argue if I got to relive those two places!