Stumptown Coffee Should Come to Madison

Greetings boys and girls!

First off…your daily dose of my photography.

April Photo a Day: something you don’t like

As mentioned before (multiple times), I dislike doing the dishes. Tonight I made a fairly involved dinner and dirtied lots of dishes. Pans, cutting boards, and utensils, oh my. I put a dent in this after taking the photo; I plan to finish them tomorrow. As long as the dishes are below the countertop level, I can pretend like they aren’t there.

Speaking of dinner, I took my friend Mel’s advice and made Gina’s edamame fried rice. Like Mel, I added more protein: chicken for Brody and shrimp for me. This recipe turned out really well and would freeze well. Just be prepared to do some dishes.

Let’s talk coffee for a bit.

I love me some iced coffee in the morning, especially after a nice, sweaty treadmill run. Before I saw the light and started making my own iced coffee, I made a small pot every morning and drank it hot or stopped at a local coffee shop I drive past on my way to work, Beans N’ Cream. Now I make full pot (6 heaping tbsp of coffee and 8 cups of water), let it cool, put it in this massive pitcher from Target, and repeat.


No sugar or sweetener for me – just a little milk (cow, soy, almond…I don’t discriminate). I often finish my iced deliciousness on my drive to work, and then I pout a little because it is gone.

Being somewhat frugal like my mother, I don’t spend a ton on coffee but I do prefer whole beans and avoid brands like Maxwell House and Folger’s. I currently have two bags from Target, two bags from Costa Rica (fundraiser for my coworker’s daughter), and this gem.



Unfortunately, they are only located in Portland and New York, and of course they haven’t expanded to Madison. One day, maybe we’ll have Stumptown, Yogurtland, and In N’ Out Burger. A girl can dream…

Back to this coffee though. Brody’s buddy, Dan, who lives in Portland is a self-professed coffee snob and gets this coffee almost every day. When he came to visit us a couple years ago, he brought coffee as a gift, and I fell in love. When Brody saw him this weekend in Vegas, he brought coffee to Vegas for Brody to bring home to me. So sweet! Thank you Dan!

I am already looking forward to the iced coffee I’ll be drinking in nine hours which may be washing down French toast. It’s nice to have a good breakfast to look forward to.


What is your least favorite chore? How do you motivate yourself to just get it done?
How do you like your coffee?

Heck of a Deck!

Welcome to a new week! I hope you all had a good Monday.

Once again, I am a day behind on the April Photo a Day challenge organized by Chantelle. In my defense, there was no sunset yesterday, so you get both that and a flower for today.


While my birthday is still over a week away, my present from Brody arrived Friday in a huge box on my driveway. I knew right away what is was: patio furniture! This gift was more for the family but I was happy Brody took the bull by the horns and ordered it. We had been hemming and hawing for a while, looking at sets for our back deck from World Market and Costco, but Brody picked out a set from Target, and he did a great job.

Doesn’t it look awesome? Please excuse my pajamas at 7:00pm…I dislike real people clothes. As for the furniture, we want to play around with the arrangement, but it just feels good to have more seating out there. When we bought the house, we loved the huge deck and expected we’d be spending lots of time back there. Sadly, we haven’t, but that is going to change now that we have comfy seating. Who wants to come over this summer? We can play bags or euchre, drink good beer, and eat brats. Wisconsin much?

Brody made it back from Vegas in one piece and continues to recover from whatever debauchery takes place at bachelor parties in Vegas. We are going to be lazy bums tonight by eating ravioli from Costco, watching The Voice (we both LOVE Rae Lynn), and be in bed by 9:00pm.


It’s an Ellen Kind of Day

What an amazing day! On my friend Bridget’s blog, her tagline is “I’m having an incredible year.” Well, I feel like I’m having an incredible day…and it’s not even over yet!!!

But first: April Photo a Day
Yesterday, I honestly completely forgot about taking my picture, so it’s here today. Better late than never.

The next text I will be teaching is Death of a Salesman, which I haven’t read since high school. Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow? I had to hunt down the copies, so this is my something you found.

Ellen is always so happy, and while I flipping through the March edition of Real Simple, I came across this ad. Because Chantelle’s theme was how you feel today, I snapped a photo of Ellen’s smiling face.

Reason Number One I am Happy Like Ellen:
I had a fantastic run this morning with Mel and her husband Tim. We covered twelve miles and ran along Lakeshore Path, past Hoyt Park, down Monroe, past the zoo, and back to Brittingham Park. The temperature was perfect, I wore my new running clothes (Old Navy tank and Nike spandex shorts from Marshall’s), the GUs I brought were yummy (Roctane chocolate raspberry and blackberry), and we finished with an average pace of 9:41. Could it get much better than that?

Reason Number Two I am Happy Like Ellen:
One of the Wine and Recipe ladies, Mel, is pregnant with her first child and is due at the end of May. Two of the other Wine and Recipe ladies, Jena and Emily, threw Mel a baby shower today. Because Mel and her hubby are not finding out the sex of the baby, everything needed to be gender neutral. I went over to Jena’s house last night to help set up the adorable bee themed decorations and food.

This was the sweetest theme ever!

We had yummy food: chicken salad in pita, veggie wraps, pasta salad, spinach salad, cowboy caviar, fruit pops, cupcakes (which I helped frost), and Oreo truffles.
It was fun to watch Mel open all of her gifts. Many of the other women there have kids, and so many times they said things like, “I wish we had had that!” Mel was especially excited for all of the bath time presents.

*The woman to the right of Mel looks like she’s picking her nose, but she’s not.  I doubt she’ll ever read my blog, so I am posting this picture.  Casey, if you find this, I am sorry.

I cleaned off a few items off her registry that no one apparently wanted to buy, including a bottle scrubber, a medical dispensing kit, and bibs. As an English teacher, I feel it is my duty (and joy) to give books to expecting moms. My always book is Goodnight Moon; I LOVED this book as a little girl and would apparently make my dad read it to me every night. Besides that, I also found Ten Little Monkeys: Jumping On the Bed.

We played some fun, non-cheesy games too. Jena printed off pictures of celebrities’ kids; she gave us the names of the moms but we had to put the mom and child together. We got an extra point for knowing the name of the kid. I don’t follow celebrity “news” much but knew a few.

Another cute idea, because it wasn’t exactly a game, was for everyone to fill out a sheet of paper with sentence starters such as “I hope you learn…” and “I hope you laugh…” for Baby Baker. Emily compiled everyone’s sheet and made a cute scrapbook that said “We’re Excited to See Who You Will Bee.”

While I had a great time at Mel’s baby shower, I am sad to be missing my college friend’s bachelorette party in Chicago tonight. With Brody being in Vegas and not being able to fond anyone to watch the dogs, it just wasn’t in the cards. I hope all of my Pi Phi girls have lots of fun!

Cheers to an Ellen-happy-face day!

What was the best thing so far about your Saturday?
What is your favorite baby shower game? Least favorite?
Did you run today? Share the deets!