My Weekend Through Websites

Confession: I spent a considerable time on the couch this weekend.

I guess I have a couple valid excuses:
1) This was my first weekend of summer vacation
2) I am 40 weeks pregnant (due date is today – June 10!!!!)

It’s difficult for me to do just one thing at a time, and this even extends to my down time. Often times while I’m on the couch, I’m also reading a magazine or a book or on my phone or iPad.

To peek into my weekend and life, I thought it’d be interesting to share ten (of the many) websites I visited.

1) Skinnytaste’s Cheeseburger Casserole

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I ended up making this for dinner last night. So good and so easy.

2) Buzzfeed article about a beauty blogger’s facial gone bad
I won’t share any pictures, but seriously a crazy story.

3) Adoption website
I have never met these people, but they are friends of a friend. Their website was on Facebook, and I loved reading the story of their family. They seem like amazing parents with a great life, and I hope they find another child to adopt.

4) The Shu Box’s birth story
Reading birth stories is obviously interesting to me. Mine will be unlike anyone else’s, but I enjoy reading about all of the possibilities.

5) Ellie Krieger’s Salmon Cakes

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I’ve never made any seafood cake, and I liked how few ingredients this required. Plus, when I asked Brody if he would try it, he said yes. This will be a nice summer meal with a big salad on the side.

6) How to induce labor naturally
You know how I mentioned today is my due date? Well now that school is done, Brody and I are ready – like REALLY ready – to meet this baby. I am willing to give some of these a shot, like eating pineapple, but not others, such as drinking castor oil or nipple stimulation (which I’ve read can bring on very strong contractions that can be potentially dangerous).

7) Essential oils on Amazon
Brody and I have plans to spend time outside and up north at my cottage this summer with Baby. A week ago, he asked about bug spray for babies. I hadn’t really looked into it yet (but my initial reaction was “All those funky chemicals on a newborn? No thank you.”) when a fellow teacher with three kids randomly brought it up. She said she uses essential oils on her kids and suggested looking at a starter kit on Amazon. Apparently lemongrass can be especially effective. I haven’t ordered anything yet but it’s in my cart.

8) Brody used my iPad
Friday night’s couch time involved the fifth game in the Blackhawks’ series against the L.A. Kings. In case you don’t follow hockey, the winner of this series goes on to play for the Stanley Cup. After double overtime, the Hawks won Friday’s game, ending the series 4-1. I went to bed before the end but heard Brody cheer. He apparently was doing a little post-game reading on my iPad Saturday morning.

9) Parade of Homes
On Sunday after lunch, Brody and I headed to Bristol Gardens (in Sun Prairie) and Westridge (in Waunakee) to check out houses. We had free tickets, and it seemed like a fun way to spend a few hours. It was…but my feet, hips, and butt were tired by the end. We are hoping to sell our house in a year and move, so it’s been fun to look at houses. In particular, we loved the house by Duren; it had more natural wood than what I normally like as I typically prefer white wide baseboards, but it was beautiful.

10) Costco
Saturday late morning was my friend Jena’s baby shower! I texted the hosts to offer my last minute help, and luckily they took me up on my offer. For dessert, I picked up a cake from Costco, but I needed to make sure they were open before the shower started (they were). I chose the red velvet, and it was a winner! I had a piece at the party and another one after dinner. Sidenote: My sugar intake is a little ridiculous right now.

As I was finishing up this post, this alert popped up on my phone – ha!
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I remember putting this day in my calendar back in October, thinking it was SO far away. According to my calendar, she’ll be arriving in twenty minutes. Ya, that’s not happening. I also find the automatic alerts, especially in this situation, hilarious.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Questions:
What website(s) did you visit this weekend?
Do you multitask when relaxing also?

Stuck in a Rut

Good morning! I was awake early, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning just like Jimmy.

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Photo of Jimmy, his handler (?), and the SP mayor last year
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To be honest, I don’t know what time Jimmy, Sun Prairie’s groundhog, wakes up on his special day. Probably closer to sunrise. I was happy to find out that Jimmy did not see his shadow, which means an early spring. Thank you, Sun, for waiting to come out until after this very scientific event.

Apparently, Sun Prairie is the “official” groundhog capital of the world, and yet Punxsutawney stole all the glory. If you care at all, here’s Sun Prairie’s groundhog website.

The connection I made between Groundhog Day and my life comes from the movie with Bill Murray, who wakes up every morning on the same day. He relives the same day differently, and eventually starts to not care what he does (e.g. drives his car, accompanied by a groundhog, off a cliff). It has been a really long time since I’ve seen this movie, and I don’t recall all the details, but it’s safe to say Bill Murray’s character is stuck in an uncontrollable rut.

I am in some ruts; most I like, and one I don’t.

My breakfast is in a rut…and I’m loving it.
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Some kind of toasted bread product, Earth Balance coconut chunky peanut butter on one slice, light cream cheese on the other, sometimes a banana, sometimes orange juice, and always my vitamins (a prenatal and 500mg of vitamin D3).

Oh, you haven’t hear of this amazing peanut butter yet?
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Please find the nearest store with the largest nut butter selection (for us it’s Woodman’s), and purchase this. It has a light coconut flavor that somehow complements the peanut flavor perfectly.

I’m in a survival, post-apocalyptic tv show rut…and I am happy with it. After bulldozing through The Walking Dead, we were at a loss. What to watch for a month until season three picks up again on Feb. 10? Brody suggested Jericho, a show about a small Kansas town who does their best to function after a handful of nuclear bombs cripple many major U.S. cities.
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Just the other night, we finished season one, and it was very good. Not as addicting or consuming as The Walking Dead, but still a good dose of humans dealing with a world very different from the one we know now.

I’m in a workout rut…and I’m semi-ok with it. For the last couple months, I have been running three miles twice a week, taking BodyPump once a week, and sometimes going to yoga. When it wasn’t negative a million degrees, I also get to the dog park about three times a week. Considering I am carrying a few extra pounds around in my belly, I am proud of how I’ve kept up with a decent exercise routine. While I don’t want to shock my body by doing anything new, I could benefit from taking a step or Zumba class and maybe even jumping on the elliptical from time to time. Anyone know of any good pregnancy workout DVDs?

Lastly, I’m in a non-reading rut…and I’m not okay with this one. I’m an English teacher for pete’s sake! During my first trimester, I was so tired by the time I made it to bed, I fell out of the nighttime reading habit. While Brody read or watched tv, I would pass out immediately. Now I am still quite tired at night, but not like before. With the start of a new semester, I’m not swamped in grading yet, and I have the time. I also just started a new book, The Good Soldiers by David Finkel, and I really like it so far.

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Sadly, I forgot to bring my book home from school this weekend. Can blog and Real Simple reading be an okay substitute for now? I hope so,

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Question:
What rut are you stuck in? Is it good or bad?

My Coffee Addiction

For the last year, I had been all about the iced coffee. I’d make a big pot, let it cool, and then keep it in an old juice container in the fridge. This was convenient and cheap, but my love for iced coffee has disappeared with the warm temps and leaves on the trees.

Now all I want is good coffee. Professional coffee. Beans ‘N Cream coffee.

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Again, darn you Instagram for not saving the pictures I take with you in my camera roll. Grrr…

For $2.64, I get a large cup of happiness. They always have at least five different kinds or flavors available, and they often match the season: pumpkin spice, cranberry, jingle bells, vanilla creme brûlée, and I know a mint chocolate is coming up soon.

Beans ‘N Cream is right on my drive out of Sun Prairie, so it takes me two minutes to park, order (which the guy now just hands me the cup), pour my coffee, and get back in my car.
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It’s a little scary how much joy their coffee brings me, but I literally wake up looking forward to it. However, because I have my mother’s frugal streak, I can’t justify going every day. Therefore I have decided to stop two to three days a week. Considering I never go out for lunch, I have given myself permission. Now I just have to be better about keeping cash on hand so I don’t have to take money out of Brody’s wallet.

Questions:
Do you support a local coffee shop?
What little thing brings you lots of joy?

Welcoming Fall

Happy first day of fall!

Can you believe it’s already September 21st? Just insane. Before we know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving, Christmas, and…well, you get the idea. Does time go by faster the older you get? It sure seems so.

While I love many things about fall, which I’ll detail below, it is NOT my favorite season. With fall comes winter, and this Wisconsin born and bred girl does not like the cold. Last winter was the best winter I could’ve asked for: it snowed twice and was not very cold. Please, Mother Nature, give me another winter like that.

And yet, there are some pretty, delicious, and fun aspects to this season.

1. Cooler temps for running

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Last year, the weather for the Haunted Hustle was perfect – I wore pants and long sleeves for the entire 13.1 miles. To my surprise, I even found myself enjoying running in the snow and even colder temperatures.

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Mel and I smiling after a ten mile run last winter. I’m excited for more of these runs!

2. Sweaters
As mentioned above, I dislike being cold. I must be a cold-blooded person. Sweaters and dress pants are my weekday uniform, and for weekends, I swap out the dress pants for jeans or yoga pants. My sweater collection needs a little pick-me-up, though, and the $10 gift card to Kohl’s I received in the mail may come in handy for that. In the spring, I try to pick up a few discounted sweaters at Gap or Old Navy, but I think I forgot to do that this year. Yup, definitely going shopping right after I hit publish.

3. Butternut squash
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I haven’t talked about it at all, but Brody and I did a CSA this summer. For the last few years, I pressured Brody to do one, and he finally caved in this year. The farm dropped the goodies off right at his office. Very convenient. Unfortunately, I did a craptastic job of using the veggies and herbs (especially the herbs). Lots of veggies were roasted, lots of salads were made, but sadly, lots of produce was thrown away. Sad face. But, one item that will never be go to waste: butternut squash. This baby will be morphed into soup, likely using Liz’s posted recipe.

4. Costco opening (only this fall)
Sometime next month, the Costco a half a mile from my house opens. Two weeks ago, the actual signs were up and it became real. I am both excited and nervous. Shopping for food is like a hobby for me, and now I’ll have Costco, Target, and Woodman’s all within a half mile of each other. You know where to find me every weekend.

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Also, have you had their frozen yogurt? It is delicious, and I told Brody I will probably go just for that.

5. Uggs and ballet flats
My feet aren’t pretty, and I blame it on the years they spent in pointe shoes and now running shoes. Flip flops are great, and my feet love to breathe, but I prefer to hide them from my coworkers and students. On cold or snowy mornings, I wear my Uggs to school and then switch to ballet flats, many of which are colorful. Hmmm, maybe I’ll look at shoes at Kohl’s, too.

When I start to complain about all of the negatives that come with fall (e.g. shorter days, dark mornings, grading on the weekends, etc.), I will look back on this list. I will also remind myself that time goes by too quickly and to slow down and appreciate moments in every season.

Question:
What do you love and/or dislike about fall?