Thursday, April 21, 2016


I've been in Virginia for just under four years now.  I've started to consider Virginia my home at this place, if nothing else, my home away from home :)  Since I've been here, there have been just a few times where I felt out of place... Twice when my dad was having health issues... which I believe anyone away from their family at that time would feel the same, wherever they are... Once when I heard KG had signed back up with the T-Wolves. I found out while at work, and I looked around at all the females surrounding me... and I knew no one would share the excitement that I felt about KG coming back, even if for the end of his career.
But today, it was a much different feeling.  At lunch I was scrolling through my FB feed and I came across a Kare11 article stating there was a medical emergency at Paisley Park.  I turned to my co-worker and told her, and I didn't get too much of a response.  I said "Paisley Park is Prince's home, in Minnesota" and we moved on with our day. Not an hour later, I hear someone say the words "Prince died!"
The conversation took over the workplace... two coworkers, twenty somethings, said they don't know any Prince songs.  I was floored. They both have completely admitted that they have only listened to country music. While I can see that someone that is 20 something and has been straight country, and not a Minnesotan, I couldn't believe they didn't know ANY of Prince's music. The others started naming off Prince's songs... When Doves Cry... 1999.... Raspberry Beret... Little Red Corvette... Purple Rain...Finally "Kiss" was the song one of them realized she knew, from Pretty Woman. My heart broke a little.
We talked about him in movies, and the MTV music awards, with his butt cheeks hanging out... and of course the Super Bowl performance in the rain. I asked about Romeo + Juliet, the Claire and Leo version, When Doves Cry.  She said she'd seen it, but in high school and does not remember it.
I've never been a huge Prince fan. I knew the songs listed above, and a bunch of songs he wrote, but never knew it... but wasn't ever a big fan. While my friends were driving around Chanhassen trying to find Paisley Park, I had no interest. Maybe I should have.
Looking around at work today, I realized, though I was never a huge Prince fan, I will always be a Minnesotan. My Prince knowledge may span over what songs were on the radio, and what I know from pop culture... I do know I bleed Purple, and it's not because of the Vikings, but because I'm Minnesotan.. Not only did we bleed purple today, but I think our tears were purple as well. Rest in Peace (purple) Prince.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bachelorette party numero uno!

I've gotta do this all before I forget :)  For my first bachelorette party, I was accompanied by three lovely ladies to Virginia Beach!  Though the weather was rough--rained and was pretty chilly the entire time... We made the best of it. We were there to drink anyway, eh?  We drove down on Friday night, and went to CP Shuckers for dinner. We all ordered the same first drink, a special--the Trophy Wife... I mean, really, could it be a more perfect drink to start the weekend with??
 Next up, Harpoon Larry's. We asked the bartender what drink everyone orders at his bar--He told us the Rum Runner... So that's what we started with... and I ended with! I think I had at least four of them. The biggest mistake the whole weekend!!  It's tough to tell in the pic below, but he's "loaded" the straws with rum... The pic below the next shows it a bit better
Here you can see the rum filled straw!  after the first rum runner, I figured it out... Pull the straw up and mix the rum right back into the drink. This didn't help my hangover on Saturday though... The sugaer did me in
the walk home was fun! The Neptune statue!

I didn't get out of bed until 1pm. Thanks rum runner. While I slept, the girls were on the balcony, bundled up, drinking wine from penis straws :)
this is what it looked like... no sun. all rain... super chilly! 
 I finally rolled out of bed at 1pm and got dressed, it was time to rally. We headed out to dinner, I had a little something something to drink... then an after dinner drink at Murphy's... I had a Jameson and Coke.. that was my magic potion that got me right back in shape and ready to party!  We started at the hotel bar-Shots a flowing--thankfully easy shooter shots, but shots nonetheless.

we played a fun game, along the way pulling random things we needed to do... One was to find someone named Dan. And well, we did. Kinda. We renamed our bartender Dan. and he went along with it! He was a super awesome bartender for us at Waterman's! 
Bartender Dan told us where we had to go next. which was a bar that I'd actually been to before with my parents... we went during the day, but we were there!! Calypso Bar and Grill

we met these fellas playing our little game, they joined in like troopers! Funny story, one of the things that was pulled by the guy on the right (you know with the peen poking him in the face) was "find someone else from Minnesota"  He looked at his buddy and laughed and said how am I supposed to do this? I asked what it was, he said "find someone from MN" I said "I'm from minnesota!" he said "ME TOO!" guy was from Apple Valley. So random.

After a long night of drinking we were ready to crash. but not until we had some pizza in us...

We were all sleeping soundly when suddenly we hear pounding on the wall... Lauren was yelling that her sister wouldn't get out of the bathroom... what a funny way to wake up :)

we couldn't leave the beach until we got some beach pics. though we were no where near the ocean, we got some pics anyway.

what a great weekend with some wonderful ladies. I had so much fun and I'm so lucky to call you all friends :)

and can I just say blogger's editing features really suck? moving pics sucks. centering sucks. and moving things after it moves it for you sucks. sorry if the format is redonk!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Well the wedding and honeymoon has come and gone... I can't believe I am heading back to work already tomorrow. I got a lot done on my day off at home today--but there is still soooo much more to do around the house before we have a party here in a couple weeks to celebrate. In the meantime I'm going to update this lovely blog day by day with what happened through my time at home and on the honeymoon. I'm super looking forward to my wedding pics.. Hopefully Miss Britani will be done sometime within the next week :)
Now I set my alarm for the first time in three weeks to wake me for work. blah! I want to go back to the island lifestyle!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lentil & Brown Bean Sloppy Joes

Not going to lie, this one terrified me a bit. I hated Sloppy Joe's growing up. In fact, I once faked throwing up after eating one so I'd never have to eat them again (sorry mom!) My mom even made them from scratch. I bet if she made them for me now, I'd like them more.. Over the years I've grown to love the trusty manwich can. I found this out after living with an ex for a few years--I got a few good recipes out of that deal-- Anyway, I found that a little Mayo (which I never had before him) and a slice of cheese, a manwich sammy isn't terrible! And I mean, really, how easy can dinner be? Brown meat, throw in the manwich can and throw it on some buns! Seriously delish, but a seriously unhealthy meal.  So after years of loving on Manwich and going back to making it from scratch--I wasn't too sure what I'd think of it.
This recipe took a while to make too, but in the end, it was totally worth it. I liked it more than Manwich!! I'll totally be making future Sloppy Joe's with this recipe. Unless we are camping or something, that totally calls for a can of Manwich!  PS... I left the room with a few remaining items that needed to go in here--I don't think the Mr put the balsamic vinegar in it because it's still in the pantry, unopened. It was so delish though, I don't think that last ingredient is totally necessary!

Lentil Sloppy Joes
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1/2-1 lb ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chipped
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can lentils, drained
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can brown beans in tomato sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
 In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the meat and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink. Add the red pepper, lentils and brown beans and cook until the peppers are soft.

Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Serve hot on crusty rolls or a slab of cornbread or cheese bread. Serves 6.

Drunken Pork Chops

I've had pork chops many different times in my life and each of those recipes tend to all involve Cream of Chicken Soup. I was excited to find a new and different way to make a pork chop that did not involve that CoC soup (it's delightful, but at the same time, let's try something different people!).  
The one thing that I did different, I didn't get dark beer. Why? A) I don't drink dark beer, and I don't know that I've ever seen the Man drink dark beer. B) why buy a 6 or 12 pack of something we won't drink. C) I was at Kroger and looking through the build your own 6 pack and thought I grabbed a dark beer, but it turned out to be a regular beer in a dark bottle.  Anyway, the recipe turned out wonderful anyway, so really, I don't know that the dark beer is completely needed.  Also, I think who ever wrote this recipe may have had a couple of the dark beers before writing it, because I was doing a whole lot of guessing as far as heat settings go.  Also, I used my new favorite Ketchup in the wide world 78 Red Ketchup. I ordered 4 bottles, 2 regular 2 spicy--I used the spicy in this recipe. Dan really liked them. When I told him we were having pork chops for dinner, his shoulders sunk a little... but when he tasted them he thought they were great... And he told me he wasn't excited because he always associates chops with cream of chicken soup! I think we will have this style of chops often!

Seriously Scrumptious Drunken Pork Chops
  • 5-6 pork chops- bone-in or boneless, your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle of beer (The darker beer the better.  I use New Belguim 1554. I would not recommend going as dark as a Guinness though.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup (I know, I know....but TRUST ME!)
Put a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a skillet. Season the chops with salt and pepper and brown both sides. While pork chops are browning, combine beer, ketchup, and brown sugar in a bowl. Pour sauce mixture over the pork chops and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Remove pork chops and thicken the sauce a bit. In a small cup, combine 1 TBSP of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water. Stir to combine and add to boiling sauce, whisk so no lumps form. Put pork chops back in the thickened sauce, flip to coat. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.
Have your drink and eat it too!

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta

this one is another huge hit. We've had it with chicken, we've had it with sausage, and we've had it with no meat, the way the recipe reads (with a bit of siracha!!).  You really can't go wrong on this one. most of the items I have in my kitchen!

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 small onion $0.25
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes $0.59
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • ½ tsp dried basil $0.03
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional) $0.02
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste $0.05
  • ½ tsp salt $0.03
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.11
  • 2 oz. cream cheese $0.48
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan $0.42
  • ½ lb. penne pasta $0.89
  • ½ (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach $0.50

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  2. While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
  4. Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
  5. Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

One Pot Wonder Southwest Pasta

This is a great dish, filled with so many flavors--and it can easily be customized as well. Best part, one pot, very little dishes in the end. The pot, a knife and cutting board. yummy.
My favorite thing to add to Mexican flavored meals is cilantro. Topped it with a bit of that, and actually used crumbled queso fresco.  I made my own taco seasoning to use in this as well, so as to take out a bit of sodium. Used low sodium black beans as well.

  • 1 13.5 oz. box of whole wheat rotini (or any pasta you like)
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 medium green bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 15 oz. can Rotel canned tomatoes and chilies (I used the Mexican blend with lime and cilantro)
  • ¼ cup taco seasoning (I used Old El Paso, medium)
  • 1 tsp. salt (if the taco seasoning you use contains a lot of salt, you may want to reduce this)
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups fat-free chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Mexican cheese blend, plus more for topping (Optional)
  1. Add all but the last 2 ingredients (beans and cheese) to a large pot. Stir, cover, and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. There should be ¼ to ½ inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot when it is done.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in the black beans and cheese (optional). Let it rest for 5 minutes to warm the beans, melt the cheese, and absorb the excess liquid.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 320 Fat: 4.2 Saturated fat: 0.9 Carbohydrates: 60.1 Fiber: 7.4 Protein: 11.7