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.
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.
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!!!
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.
I don’t want to talk about today. I want to talk about yesterday.
Yesterday it was sunny and in the low 60’s. Though, I hate to even use the word low because it was so high: nice and warm. We walked down the street and had a patio lunch. My first thought was, “I didn’t put on my sunscreen.” My next thought was “damn, this sun has my brain working in ways it hasn’t in a while.” It was sparking all over the place. It manifested into making our own french fries like mamma always did and now doesn’t quite as often for the obvious fried food health reasons. None of that mattered yesterday, though.
We opened all the windows in the house to release the smoke that’s inevitable when I start experimenting in the kitchen and turned up the music.
It was amazing. The breeze went perfectly with the dry white wine and salty spring french fries.
One of my most treasured possessions: a deep cast iron skillet of my granny’s
We all know jealously and envy are soul crushing conditions, but we just can’t help it these days.
My mom has been sending us beautiful snapshots of her yard in Mississippi. Even a month ago it was full of tulips, daffodils, and the front of the house a sea of pink, white and fuchsia azaleas. When I call her during the day, there’s no answer. She’s always in the yard planting.
At our house in St Paul we are left waiting and waiting some more. Matt has taken things into his own hands to make up for the fact that we are still seeing flurries and chilly temps, today the high was around 40 degrees. There is no telling when it will be warm enough for us to create a cute sitting area and enjoy cocktails around lush plants and flowers.
To maintain our sanity flowers just keep appearing in the house. Not even one bunch at a time, but currently we have four arrangements. When these stop bringing the springtime cheer, I’m confident I’ll come home to more. It’s working. Matt has found every single vase in the house.
I have NEVER bought carnations for myself. When I showed up to these I couldn’t help but giggle. Could he have picked a brighter bunch? He put them right by his favorite chair.
While I’m at it, here are a couple of Easter pics. It was just the two of us, but we went all out in the kitchen. We also used our wedding china and silver, but the cooking took me a bit longer than expected, so Matt had to sift through my table setting collection. We ended up with an interesting mix of fine china, linen and dollar store placemats. Why not.
Finally, it was a chance to use another one of our wedding gifts. Everything sounds fancier when you add trifle to the name, right. Here’s the link to the Strawberry Shortcake Trifle we made and are still enjoying days later. It came out beautifully and couldn’t have been easier. Would be great for a brunch or party.
Wow, it’s been a long time. I’ll say this, getting married is overwhelming, amazing and crazy! In fact, we haven’t slowed down in the last month since the wedding! (It was on 9-19-15) It’s been so fun and I have a lot to write about and share of our wedding weekend and the honeymoon, but I need to be removed from all the fun for just a bit longer to really put the amazing experiences into words. It still feels surreal. What I do know is that Matt and I are in need of a serious detox. I use detox in a very broad way. We are just getting off what feels like a month long trip of excess, and it was all good.
“Lindsey, want a piece of cake.” ME: of course, maybe two. “Another bottle of Negra Modelo” ME: keep them coming.” That’s about how it went for a month. Matt would say he’s been healthier but no way.
We’ve eaten, gone and done just about everything we’ve wanted, so beginning tonight we are scaling it back a notch. We started with a very healthy and humble cabbage soup. The plan is to eat it a couple of days and really get our $10 out of it. We’re still using our pretty placemats and linens, though! Makes it feel special.
I know a lot of couples probably live the high life the first year of marriage with Julia Child and all that fancy stuff that we love, but after several years of long distance and courting, we’ve had our share of extravagance. We are taking this first year and getting back to basics, as our favorite lady Ina Garten says.
Here’s the recipe we used. High reviews. So much flavor for so few ingredients. PS we didn’t include meat. I didn’t want it, but Matt thinks it would have made it even better.
Believe me, I love my iphone. It’s great. It’s always with me. Though, this from Fox News is hard to imagine?
Survey: 54% Say They’d Save Cell Phone from a Fire Over Their Cat
Which would you save in a fire: Your phone or the family cat?
A surprising survey by Motorola found that 54 percent of respondents would save their smartphone over their cat if a fire broke out.
Motorola’s survey, conducted online by KRC Research, included more than 7,000 people in seven countries – the United States, Britain, Brazil, China, Spain, Mexico and India.
The survey also found that one in six smartphone users take their phone into the shower with them, and 26 percent would give up sex for a weekend as long as they didn’t have to give up their phone.
Yet only 39 percent of respondents said they were happy with their device.
Months ago, when I first heard Courtney Barnett’s “Pedestrian At Best” I wondered how in the world I had missed this in the 90’s. Then I heard it way too many times for it not to be a cool new thing. This single was blunt and fascinating. The rest of the album is full of surprises like the beautifully unexpected Depreston, that I can’t get enough of on these summer days, and the spunky An Illustration of Loneliness with its great grungy guitar. By now I think most know her sound. Think she performed last weekend at Pitchfork Fest. I wouldn’t know, I never get to go because it’s always during our July news ratings period. No complaints, I’d much rather be employed. #ilovemyjob #minnesotasummer
Thank goodness for the Twin Cities Current Radio. If not for them I would still be listening to my favorite songs from 2006 and 2011. Those have been my favorite music years since the 90’s and I go back to them every time Taylor Swift comes on the radio, which means every 10 minutes.
(PS if you have amazon prime, the mp3 album is free for you! )
It’s in my possession and it’s kinda scary! My wedding dress is hanging in my closet. In fact, our closet is so small that it’s taking up the entire space. Fitting for such an important garment.
I’m at work and I sure hope Matt doesn’t lose his cool and go look at it. I made him promise not to, but still I worry. He doesn’t seem to understand the idea of waiting until wedding day to see it. How did he not get that memo?
Can you tell I put extra layers of plastic garment bags over the actual dress bag? Matt and I walked in to pick it up and before he even knew which direction to look towards, I noticed you could slightly see through the top portion of the cloth bag. It gave it away!! Can you imagine. After all this work to keep it a surprise, the bag is essentially sheer. Hated to put plastic over it, but it saved the occasion.
While we were out picking up the dress we went through one of my favorite places in Minnesota. Stillwater is right on the St. Croix River and just outside the metro. It reminds me of home. A mixture of Mississippi, Arkansas, and North Carolina. It feels peaceful and wholesome. Turns out Matt feels the same way. We both enjoy living downtown, but sometimes you just want to be out of the city. Last time I was there the top layer of the river was frozen. This time you couldn’t go a minute without seeing a boat speed through the water. Id’ never seen a lift bridge like this before. I posted a picture below. The vertical lift was fascinating to watch, but can you imagine being one of the cars waiting on either side? It was a long wait, but at least the view was stunning. The winter was very cold here (no surprise) and now that the weather is warm and sunny, I almost feel manic. I want to be outside and doing something non-stop! Waiting for me at home right now are dozens of plants. Matt and I may live in an urban apartment, but with all the green I’m about to put on our porch in pots and hanging baskets, we’ll both feel right at home.