The drive from St Paul to New Orleans is around 18 hours. It’s all I can do during the days before Fat Tuesday not to jump in my car covered in snow funk and hit the road. I hate driving so it’s a long stretch. Considering I hadn’t already purchased plane tickets, I always end up staying right up here in Minnesota and watching from afar. Not every year, but lately it’s been impossible to make the trip down there. Fat Tuesday has been hitting in February the last few years and TV news folks can’t take off work in February. It’s a big month where our ratings are analyzed and other boring business stuff that you wouldn’t care about. Two of the last three years I’ve flown down on a Saturday morning and flown back to Minnesota on Monday morning with enough time to make it to work for the day. OUCH Well, this year that was too much for me. Talk about seeing double for days. Pretty soon Mardi Gras will again fall in March and I won’t miss it. Mark my words.
Not being able to go does make me a bit sad. Growing up in South Mississippi we got two days off school to celebrate Mardi Gras. I have so many memories of going to parades across the Mississippi Coast with my family, with friends and now visiting my friend who lives in New Orleans. My parents wish they could prohibit me from going to New Orleans Mardi Gras like they did when I was in high school, but once a person hits 30 the conversation is over.
I was thrilled when this past weekend friends of ours suggested going to the annual Mardi Gras brunch at a Minneapolis Restaurant. I knew it wasn’t going to be the same, but I didn’t care. It was a blast. Felt it was a party being thrown just for me. I loved seeing the Cajun dishes, all the decorations on the walls and tables plus the traditional dessert I’ve been craving – King Cake, though the restaurant instead labeled it as King’s Cake. How cute is that! The food was great, the jazz band was wonderful and the celebration made me feel I was, in a small way, part of the party! Until next year!!!!
What a slow and boring week it has been compared to last week.
Super Bowl 52 was something to see. I miss it! Matt says I have a serious case of “Fear of Missing Out” otherwise known as FOMO. I got to be a part of just about all of our KSTP broadcasts super bowl week and I still had FOMO. All week we were live outside US Bank Stadium (didn’t it show great on TV) and along Nicollet Mall for the Super Bowl Live festivities, so we definitely saw everything. There was the momentum before the game and then the pride I felt during the game.
We’ve lived in Minnesota three years now. You should have seen me jumping up and down all day Sunday as NBC showed aerial shots of the cities. Over lunch I squealed to the waitress, “Oh my God, that is us.”She being a lifelong Minnesotan looked at me with amusement, but you couldn’t deny how cool it was to see the city covered in snow and ice and beaming on the tv across the country and beyond. Finally my friends and family in the south got a good look at Minnesota in the winter and with the big lights pointed at it.
Yes, standing outside last week in the single digit temps was hardcore and painful, but unforgettable. I’m not even a football/NFL fan but I drank the cool aid. By the way, my toes are still thawing I think. I imagine the same could be said for all of our visitors!
The station had a post Super Bowl taco lunch yesterday. I made two plates to go with a very content smile.
Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple Matt and I made the brave decision to cook a (almost) full thanksgiving meal as we would enjoy with our families if I didn’t have to work that day. Considering I did have to be at work shortly after lunchtime, we were up early trying to execute the relatively simple dishes that in our minds have always been complicated and truly were only done right by our mamma’s and grandmamma’s. This isn’t a long story. Everything worked out. We swapped a big turkey for a roasted chicken, but still we felt satisfied though a little beat up. I had about 30 minutes to pass out on the couch with my dirty floral apron. I’m sure my anchoring was just fantastic that day. Big full holiday meals before work might not be a good use of my abilities.
Last year (2015) Mom and Dad came in town with the mission of Matt and me really getting a full understanding of a traditional thanksgiving meal.
That was very successful despite the many a bloody mary enjoyed while mom had me mixing the cornbread. I remember most of it. We loved having mom and dad with us in our first home together as a married couple, but we still need more practice to execute this meal before I go into work just hours later.
So, this year, it just hit us! No way. We are going to fill up our guts and not even worry about washing a dish. All I’m saying is we have plenty of time for those homemade meals with our southern favorites, but there was something very fine about pulling up to the timeless St. Paul Hotel and sitting for a perfectly executed meal.
Don’t even get me started on the fabulous pecan pie. I feel like my grandmother would pinch me over this, but it was the best pecan pie I’ve ever had and we’re way up in Minnesota????? Yes, I said that. Matt even agreed.
It’s fun to watch the two of us get more comfortable and flexible with our traditions. I’m thankful we get to do this together. and thankful for the pecan pie.
I’m sure you’ve seen the cruel posts of younger people taking pictures of older people doing strange things, even normal things or in one despicable case, taking a picture of a mature lady nude in a gym changing room. That is not what this is. I observed this older man today while I was waiting at the car wash. He inspired me. I smiled watching him across the room. Don’t worry I wasn’t weird.
First, I saw his full sleeve of ritz crackers with that tell tell brown wrapping. Next, he pulled out several slices of simple yellow cheese that he then, of course, put on those delicious buttery ritz crackers. He had grapes with him just for something sweet.
It was 11 AM on a busy Friday morning, but this man wasn’t hurried or even bothered by all the people walking around him or the car wash machines revving up. He set up his snack right on the stool next to him. I didn’t want to stare. His break was just so lovely. Where a lot of us jam too many things in a day all in the name of multi-tasking, this man wasn’t just trying to fit this moment in while he waited for his car. He found it to be the perfect moment for a great snack. Not sure if you follow me on this. You see, he took a plain old boring wait at a car wash and turned it into a joyful occasion. I didn’t capture his face out of respect, but he was happy. I’m not talking beaming or anything , but he was content and quite satisfied. I took a couple of deep breaths and remembered life is meant to be lived with simple joys. It’s up to us to take advantage of every minute and make them special and make them count. You don’t need an elegant picnic setup to enjoy cheese and crackers.
Like most kids raised in the 80’s and 90’s I like my stuff. I get a great surge of energy when I buy that new/vintage item that promises to make my life complete. I would not consider myself an obsessive shopper, but I certainly find ways to convince myself that unnecessary products are more needed than they really are for me. I know I’m not the only one, but I do realize now is the time to get rid of it. As much of it as possible. My stuff is spilling over in every way possible. My closet/our spare room has become a dangerous space for me as I could trip any moment on a coat hanger or old skirt. That’s scary while my shoulder is still recovering from surgery. Can you imagine my anger if I hurt my arm again from tripping on junk. It’s mostly clothes. Not just any clothes. Work clothes. Clothes I bought to anchor and report that instead only made me look frumpy, boring or the worst inappropriate, while rare.. Unfortunately, I often didn’t realize these qualities until after I snapped the tags and wore it on air. Now I have perfectly clean, wearable professional clothes stuffing my closet and reminding me of wasted money. I don’T mind giving things away, especially to charity, but this is just too much stuff and mostly brand new. So now I’m on Poshmark. (like ebay but just in the US and really just for clothes and accessories) I’m very new and just learning the lingo, you know like, poshers, share and host pics? How it works is that I can just load up all my work dresses and then people across the country can look into my closet and buy them (hopefully). I’ve made a few sales, but want it all gone!!! I’m so desperate that I took some of my meager earnings and bought myself a mannequin off ebay. You know what they say: spend money to make money. It’s about to get crazy in our house. I think it was just delivered today while I’m at work. It’s sitting at the door waiting for me. Where in the world will this potentially scary person stay in our house. By the way, if you are interested in getting rid of some of your nice stuff you can use my code ( UKMUF ). By using it you will get $5 off your first purchase. Not that buying is the goal, but I dare you not to buy a couple of things. There are some super deals on here on very quality items like cocktail dresses you will eventually need. Sign up with code UKMUF to save $5 https://bnc.lt/focc/eClwIe7QxE
I wish I’d done this. If I’d known I could have saved 5 bucks!!!! Learn from me!
A work friend also recently gave me a whole bunch of vintage jewelry that he wasn’t sure what to do with. I kept a lot of it to wear on air(no one would even knows it’s vintage), but what wouldn’t work on the news, I’m selling on poshmark. Like this beauty! I’ve been doing a lot of studying on collectible costume jewelry! What a fun world. I’ve always been a casual collector of things that spoke to me, but now I’m learning the history of pieces I don’t even like but know someone will!!
Speaking of stuff I do love….this signed Mariam Haskell long pearl and broach set that I’m hoping doesn’t sell: http://bit.ly/2trbSzv It’s quite the treasure. Can’t you just imagine it being worn back in a more elegant time.
For now, at least, Matt’s getting a kick out of it. He enjoys watching me work my side hustle even while I have a perfectly fine and time consuming full time job. He even identifies some of my items that he things could go up on the site. Good thing I have final approval! I’ll post some of my items on here every once in a while so I don’t waste his time by talking his ear off about it. Eventually he just stops listening. For now it’s fun!
Growing up you always heard about the mid-life crisis through any number of sitcoms on tv. It was usually a male who bought a hot car to feel more alive and relevant. I’m still not sure what age qualifies for a midlife crisis or if women even get them, but I think I had a very small one last night. It started out innocently enough. The Oasis Documentary: Supersonic was on netflix. Matt told me he wasn’t in the right emotional spot to watch it with me. I knew what he meant. I just kept watching. It’s always been trigger music for me simply because I can remember right where I was sitting as we sang Champagne Supernova in the summer going into 7th grade. It was beautiful and youthful. When we listened to those songs, I felt alive and didn’t think the world could get any bigger or cooler. It was a brilliant feeling.
Of course, the stories of the Gallaghar brothers getting in fights and not speaking for months always caught my attention, but it was always really just about the music for me. It was a really good documentary in both style and content. I just felt a little sad after watching it. Those two brothers came from absolutely nothing and for several years one was responsible for writing the best songs being played and the other sang them perfectly. They had enough talent to keep it going. That just didn’t happen. I guess it just couldn’t happen.
Nonetheless, lying in the bed and listening to this documentary made me want more in life like I did when I was 12 or 13. I wanted the excitement of anything is possible. So, I stayed up way too late googling everything I could about the Gallaghar boys, about later projects, and about their families. Made for a horrible netflix hangover for Monday. The only thing that makes it feel better is turning up the songs really loud and throwing my hair around. Those years were amazing: ’95,’96,’97. I felt so much.
I think I’ve finally done it. I haven’t had a diet coke since Sunday. (today is Friday) Anyone who knows me would be pretty surprised. It’s my go to crisp beverage as soon as I wake up and then as needed through the day. I’ve always said that it’s not the caffeine I need, but instead the cold crisp taste that I love. Turns out it’s the caffeine I just can’t have. I’ve always been sensitive to it, but have realized that it’s just too much for me. It can make me jittery and uncomfortable. Sometimes even a little sick to my stomach maybe an added nasty headache. #notworthit I knew giving up my favorite thing would be tough. Not having caffeine has kept away all those negative things I just listed, but also made me so sluggish. Didn’t realize my diet cokes also gave me a bit of energy along with the jitters. It will level out in time. Though, I have to replace that liquid with something. Hopefully, I’ll drink more water, but I’ve always needed a little more taste to go with it. I can have diet sprite. It’s good. I’m also turning to Mom’s favorite, caffeine-free coffee. I always snubbed my nose at it. I love the taste of coffee, but thought drinking caffeine free was a waste of time. I’m here to tell you: it tastes just as good (to me) and has none of the negative side effects. For years I’ve been able to manage the caffeine in diet cokes, but coffee was off limits. It’s been nice having a cup or two again. Inspired to get our coffee/tea corner organized. Using our wedding items: Arte Italica and Gien. Fingers crossed I can keep this up. My head certainly feels clearer with a lot less chemicals in my body.
Minnesota gets an amazing fall.
The color is just breathtaking. We are fortunate that our house is full of big windows, so you feel as if you are in a tree house. Even if you are inside, you still get to feel part of nature. We’ve been so busy enjoying the natural beauty, that we only just this past weekend started decorating our house. I know I have a bunch of fall decorations somewhere in the basement, but you know how that goes. I assume we’ll find them by the time we move again! We have so much more to do. My parents are spending Thanksgiving weekend with us, so I want our house to feel just as warm and cozy has Mom has always made ours feel for holidays, especially fall.
This is our humble mantle as of today.
I’ll add a bunch of flowers as we get closer to turkey day. Don’t want to put them up now because they will die. I just don’t have time for that.
Here’s our new pride and joy sent to us this month by Matt’s mom. How funny is this pumpkin gal? We need to come up with a name for her. She has on a skirt, fancy tights and I tied a little orange bow on her ankle because why not! Silly thing makes me laugh every time I pass her.
The weather is already becoming ever so fall like up here.
It’s not overwhelming, but it is noticeable. Spring takes forever to follow the calendar, but fall moves right in with Labor Day. Truly remarkable for me, a person who dreamed of those movie-like Fall scenes of leaves falling, crisp breezes, fresh paint on school walls and those blue skies during outside cheerleading practice. I remember walking around the downtown of my first market in Mississippi dreaming of mysterious and romantic falls. We get it up here. If I had my choice it wouldn’t really take hold until October, but it’s here. If the already bright maples aren’t proof enough, my music taste is more folksy. Matt accuses me of not liking music anymore. That’s not true. I might not like it as loud as I once did, but there is no better way to usher in change than loved songs.
My choice of the moment on replay.
Andrew Bird – Lusitania. Female is St. Vincent. (she’s not my favorite, but he often is)
Wishing a very Happy Birthday to my sweet husband. He’s known on social media as #MyMatt. Or I should say he’s known by me on social media as #mymatt. It’s catching on, though. Sometimes social media friends greet him by name in chance encounters!
There are so many reasons why he’s special and why I love him, but I must say, we sure have a lot of fun together. This is why I’m posting this less than adorable picture. May we always know how to celebrate big milestones like birthdays, but also those random Saturday nights with just the two of us in a favorite neighborhood joint.
We were all reminded last week that Bastille Day was upon us.
I’d always found celebrating the holiday here in the US to be a sweet thought ever since I studied abroad in France during the Bastille celebrations. We took the train to France and pretended we were a part of it all. We certainly looked the part – wine glasses in hand and the colors of the french flag covering us. Back in 2002, I didn’t know anything about the holiday, but have since learned the history and the significance of the name. A fascinating history.
Last night we found ourselves hungry with no clue what to do. The night was lovely with plenty of sun and a very comfortable breeze. It hit us. Let’s go French. Meritage in downtown St Paul is just outstanding. It’s such a classy spot that is just casual enough to make a sunday dinner feel leisurely. What a perfect patio. We almost had it to ourselves by the time I took the picture.
Can you tell how happy Matt is after his escargot
I’m all business with the fries
We really enjoy Meritage, but also are so sad that its sister restaurant Brasserie Zentral and the next door bar Foreign Legion closed in downtown Minneapolis. Thank goodness for Meritage, though! Hope you all found a way to get outside and enjoy the weekend! Here in the Twin Cities we are about to get a heat wave. Bring it!!!
This video starts around :31 with a song I was designed to love, called “TV Girl”. The entire new Wild Nothing album – Life of Pause – is delightful. The KEXP video is a treat to watch. I’m actually using it to distract myself from a real music issue I have to figure out. My opinions on last night’s Cure concert in St Paul. I’m having a hard time putting my feelings to words – written or verbal. They are intense feelings.
I love the Cure. I always have. I love songs that no one else loves. Though, last night for the bulk/middle of the show Robert played songs I don’t love and have never loved. I mean “Wrong Number”?? Just why? There were so many other options. So, I’ll keep watching this Wild Nothing video as I form my thoughts. I don’t want this to be my last Cure concert, but that was very pricey for a disappointing song selection and pacing slumps.
The Citypages music writer/blog really summed it up for me on the day after.
I was sitting on my porch Sunday and this idea hit me: I love taking pictures of gardens, nature, grassy areas, shady spots and garden rooms. I know many of you do, too, so let’s make the pictures easier to see in one spot!
I enjoy seeing pictures from your walks, strolls and places that inspire you on a daily basis. Our special garden spaces don’t have to be fancy to bring us great joy. So let’s share the inspiration using the hashtag #ShareYourGarden and see how many pretty pics we can get in. I’m not talking professional pics, I’m talking about the ones you and I snap while on walks or while we stand around watering our flowers. Those unexpected moments of beauty.
Here’s how it will work:
FACEBOOK: 1) post your picture to my wall (lindseybrown-news) using the hashtag #shareyourgarden and include any info you’d like me to include with the picture such as where it was taken or even why you admire the pic’s contents. For example, maybe it’s a pic of an orchid you’ve been nursing for years or a plant passed down from family. Don’t we love to hear success stories? 2) Send the pic to me in a private FB message and include all the same information.
TWITTER: Tweet the picture to me at @lbrownKSTP and include the hashtag #shareyourgarden with any other info you can fit in the twitter word limit. I’ll retweet it and also include it in our facebook album.
INSTAGRAM: Post your picture on your account and include my handle @lindseyrbrown along with the #shareyourgarden hashtag and I’ll share it using the repost app and use it on twitter and facebook while giving you credit!
EMAIL: Send all the necessary info to me along with the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org
Easy, right!! Hopefully it will bring us a bunch of pretty nature inspired pictures to make our social media lives a bit brighter and give us ideas for our own yards and houses. If you have friends who would enjoy this, make sure they follow me on facebook at lindseybrown-news
MY GARDEN STORY
Here’s a short look back to how I’ve become obsessed with finding spots that bring comfort, joy, inspiration – whatever you call that sense of peace needed in our hectic lives.
The small apartment I had in my first job was really cool. Old warehouse that went the length of the building. Only problem was there were just a few windows and only in the rear of the building. I dreamed of outdoor space flooded with light. I would ride down our prettiest street in Meridian just to take in the fresh smell of grass and take pictures.
When I moved to Memphis I finally got it!!! I had the most fantastic screened in porch that I filled with plants. I made it an oasis for Bridget and me.
Those Memphis azaleas made the space.
Every day we sat out there and listened to rain, crickets, birds, the breeze and stalked the walkers/bikers/runners going down our street. We also had a huge yard that my landlord gave me freedom to dig up and fill with color.
Mom and I made great use of the rocking chairs and windows.
Leaving Memphis and that porch broke my heart. I promised to find another one.
Next apartment was a brand new contemporary high-end skyscraper type of apartment building in downtown Minneapolis. It was hot, but it didn’t scream zen or nature. We made it work. We had a very narrow porch on the 11th floor and I did my best to make it feel straight out of Cottage Living.
We’d sit out and try to relax, but between the fear of falling off the balcony and the squealing from the light rail train below us, it just wasn’t going to work. Clearly that type of cold contemporary living was just meant as a short experience for Matt and me. We searched far and wide for a new home in the Twin Cities. Ironically, we found our current home while in the neighborhood for their annual garden tour – perfect. We saw our house with a rental sign and we were touring it the next day. My plants seemed to perk up just hearing we were moving to the semi-suburbs.
This house in St Paul has old bones that we love, but also has a huge outdoor patio spot with lots of privacy. I think of it as my secret garden. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. It’s basically a big porch on top of a garage, so there’s some industrial elements, but I’m so happy I don’t even see the bars and concrete. So, you see what I meant earlier, this isn’t about fancy or perfection, it’s about sharing what makes you happy and inspired!
#mymatt loves it too
It was mom approved in May. Hopefully she’s back later in the summer.
Along with the plants I’ve brought to the patio, the property is just so naturally lush. We are surrounded by lilacs and other greening bushes. Next step this summer is getting a little fire pit and maybe an umbrella for those really sunny days, pray we have many!
So as you can see I’m loving spring and plan to enjoy summer and fall. By the way, full credit of this love of mine goes to my mother, so expect her garden and nature pics to make it into the album all the time! (not sure she will be able to figure out the hashtag deal, though)
I was sold on Helen Mirren within minutes of watching her drink her dark booze and lead a room full of cops like a pro on Prime Suspect.
This floral number is modest yet flows in such a stunning way.
Apparently she was leaving the Cannes airport when this was taken. Ahhh the riviera life.
But really, Prime Suspect. It’s a must binge watch.
During a radio tribute to 60 Minutes Correspondent, Morley Safer, a quote of his was mentioned that struck me this morning. This is coming from a person who had been on CBS for 52 years.
Safer: “I really don’t like being on television…It makes me uneasy. It is not natural to be talking to a piece of machinery. But the money is very good.” (From Fox News)
He went on to call it intimidating. I’ve been doing this now for around ten years and still will go back and forth with my comfort level. I often hear my colleagues refereed to as “a natural” or “born to be on tv”. I’ve always envied that quality. While I rarely feel uneasy and most often enjoy the thrill of live tv, let’s be honest, it can be unnerving. It’s interesting to hear a true “on air” professional make an honest comment about such a personal yet very public part of my life and livelihood.