Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What I Ate Wednesday - June

Pretty much since the dawn of Pinterest/me living by myself, I've planned my meals from the website.  Before I got back to Minnesota my mom & I agreed that we wanted to, for the most part, eat healthy over the summer.  We did eat more than just what I'm sharing with you today, & not all of these things are SUPER healthy, but here are the Pinterest recipes that I made in June.

High protein, low carb lasagna! Fat loss friendly and no pasta needed! I'm totally making this tonight! Thanks @Blair R R!!:
This was bomb.  I will definitely make it again.  I love lasagna, let's be honest I love pasta in general, but this didn't leave me thinking, "damn I wish I had some noodles."

This was the first thing gone at our potluck!! Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is loaded with tons of flavor and crunch! Pickles, cheese and a hint of cayenne make the best pasta salad and tastes even better when it's made ahead!:
I love pickles.  That is no secret.  I think it may be a Minnesota thing because all of my Minnesota friends love pickles too & none of my friends from other states seem to understand my obsession.  I should probably do a post ode to pickles & the recipes I have made based upon them...  Anyway, I saw this & knew I had to make it.  I messed it up.  Even though I messed it up it was still delicious. I forgot to add the fresh dill & instead of 1/8 tsp of cayenne I added 1/2 tsp.  My bad!  Good thing my family likes stuff spicy...

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls:
Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls.
So I wasn't a huge fan.  I'd definitely try them again though.  I'm pretty sure it was just the cut of steak I used.  I used 2 different steaks that we already had, neither were flank steaks, & pounded them out.  Mine was so tough I couldn't even really chew it.  My mom said that hers was really good & wasn't tough.  I was too frustrated & full from the other stuff that I just didn't even try another one.

MamaEatsClean: Clean and Low-Carb Twice Baked Mashed Cauliflower with bacon and cheese:
Mashed potatoes are one of my weaknesses.  When I was in high school I would come home from work some nights & just make a bowl of instant mashed potatoes.  Of course when you add cheese and bacon to anything it instantly gets better.  When mashed up & with the stuff added in, I couldn't really tell a difference at all between that & loaded mashed potatoes.

Peach Blueberry Cobbler... this is such a delightful and delicious treat! The crumble topping is perfection atop the warm fruit!:
Peach Blueberry Cobbler
So good.  But then again, when isn't cobbler good?  I had made peach cobbler plenty of times before but never peach & blueberry.  The flavors worked really well together & it was a perfect dessert...especially with some vanilla ice cream on top.

Sunday Slow Cooker: Pepperoncini Beef aka Drip Beef:
Pepperoncini Beef

Cinnamon Banana Swirl Bread.:
Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
This bread not only helped me get some over ripe bananas off the counter, it helped me cross off a thing on my 101 in 1001 list, make homemade bread.  Not that I hadn't ever done it before but it was probably high school the last time I had done so.  Next time around I wouldn't use as much cinnamon & sugar mix, but other than that it was really good!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

101 in 1001 - 1 Year In

Before I get into the progress, or lack thereof, that I'm making on my 3rd 101 in 1001, I'm linking up with Meg & Macy for the Stepping Into Summer swap that they put together.  I was paired up with Kim.  The pair of sandals & polish that she sent me were absolutely perfect.  Not only is Independence Day right around the corner, but my love of America is no secret.  As soon as I opened what she sent me I knew right away that I would be pairing both of them with the American flag dress I purchased about a month ago.  Thanks again Kim!  I love them!


Yesterday I hit the 1 year mark on my 3rd 101 in 1001 challenge.  I was reminded yesterday on Steph's post about her 2nd 101 that in order to be on track, I should have about 3 completed each month...which means I should have 36 things done.  I do not.  Even if you add my completed & failed together I'm not there yet.  Here's where I am at...

Completed (11)
1. Begin 101 in 1001
32. Road Trip
39. Make homemade bread
46. Renew passport
53. Write a letter to open on day 1001
68. Visit K
73. Don't watch TV for a week
74. Write a song
82. Make a list of what I want in love
87. Dance in the rain
88. 30 miles in 30 days

In Progress (14)
2. Have student loans at less than 60k (I'll have a post about this in a few weeks)
3. Fall in love (I mean this could be argued that it's already happened but let's see where I'm at when the challenge ends before I make an official declaration)
13. Kiss someone every NYE (I didn't actually have a kiss at midnight but I fell asleep before midnight...I spent NYE with Mr. Midwest though so good enough)
17. Save change for 1001 days
21. Try 101 new bars/restaurants
23. Pay off my car
44. Save $500
62. Visit 3 new MLB ballparks
63. Attend 6 MLB games
69. Pay off credit cards
86. Send Christmas cards every year
92. Go a month w/o using credit card
99. Watch all of Netflix playlist
101. Make a new 101 in 1001 list

Failed/I Quit (18)
4. Workout weekly
5. Project 365 2015
6. Project 365 2016
8. 50 Book Challenge 2015
9. 50 Book Challenge 2016
11. Volunteer monthly
12. Drink 1/2 gallon of water daily
35. Create a recipe book from Pinterest
36. Send monthlyhand written letters
52. Keep 6 word a day journal - 6 months (Technically I could still do it, like 3 times over, but I don' want to)
61. Bake something new each month
77. Listen to a new artist monthly
78. Make AZ playlist
79. Learn to do a back flip
89. Document music taste over a year
91. Take a selfie on the 1st of every month
93. Travel to 10 new cities
100. Go on a date once a month

Not Yet Started (58)
7. Project 365 2017
10. 50 Book Challenge 2017
14. Donate $1 for every failed goal
15. 30 day fitness challenge
16. Go to a psychic
18. Go zombie paintballing
19. Go to Harry Potter World
20. 52 week money challenge
22. Donate to Locks of Love
24. Run 3 new races
25. Visit Niagara Falls
26. Get motorcycle license
27. Go kayaking
28. Track spending for a month
29. Host a cocktail party
30. Attend Daytona 500
31. Visit 3 museums
33. Attend MLB All Star Game
34. Choose an actor & watch all of their movies
37. Attend trivia night
38. Visit a new country
40. Watch all Best Picture movies 2005-2015
41. Go to Disney
42. Donate blood 6 times
43. Makers Mark Distillery
45. Cheyenne Frontier Days
47. Visit west coast
48. Travel to Europe
49. Host a themed dinner party
50. Go to an outdoor movie
51. Go ziplining
54. Buy a house
55. Attend Austin City Limits
56. Go to Talladega
57. Visit Stone Mountain - GA
58. Food festival
59. Photograph same spot each season
60. Make a pie on Pi Day
64. Brazilian wax
65. Get lasik
66. Run a 1/2 marathon
67. Sing karaoke
70. Go a year w/o car payment
71. Watch 2 movies in a theater in a day
72. Make a year in pictures album
75. Attend Rev. War reenactment
76. Visit an old teacher
80. Host a NYE party
81. Watch the sunrise on NYD
83. Visit Grand Canyon
84. Build a snowman
85. Hike Appalachian Trail
90. Visit Nashville
94. Canoe
95. Finish 1000 piece puzzle
96. Visit Grand Portage State Park
97. Hike Ice Age Scenic Trail
98. Go back to school

Over half of my goals that haven't even been started, & then when you add in the ones I have started but not finished, it's most of my list.  Because of this.  I need to look at this more often.  So, starting next month, I'm going to break them down into goals to be worked on/completed within 3 month periods (Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec, etc.)  I also need to look at some of the not yet started & decide if I even really care to do it anymore.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cowboys, Paint, & DIY

As is tradition, some of my college friends & I attended the Buffalo Rodeo.  I got to my Sonja's around 5:30 to meet up with her & her friend Tara.  The 3 of us talked & drank for a bit until it was time to get to the rodeo.  Our friend Missy met us there.  I love rodeos.  They're always such a fun & lively atmosphere.  We watched different events, ate fried food, drank beer, talked, & took pictures right up until the end.  There is always a band at the end of the rodeo but we never stay.  Instead, we always go to Norm's Wayside.  They usually have a band too & there's less people so we go there to keep talking, drinking, & eating bad for you food.  I wound up spending the night at Sonja's because it was late, I had a 1.5 hour drive, & drinking.

I woke up at 5:30 in the morning.  I almost always wake up insanely early after drinking.  I thought about going back to sleep but I just laid there so at 5:45 I got up & made the 1.5 hour drive back to my parents'.  At 12:30 I met up with Kristie, 2 other bridesmaids, & her future MIL at her wedding venue.  None of us had seen it yet & she wanted to go over a few things with the owner.  It's so gorgeous.  We all had plans later to do a wine & painting event so they all came to my house (my parents live 2-3 miles from the venue) for awhile to hang out until then.  They all went to get a late lunch/early supper but since I had eaten & was exhausted I used that hour to lay down.  I was a bit skeptical about my painting skills.  I know everyone always says that they suck at painting but then at the end their pictures turn out.  I guess it's true.  There are of course things that I wish looked better but overall I'm happy with how it turned out.  Now I really want to do one again once I'm back in Texas...but Texas themed.

As always Sunday was a "get different stuff around the house done" sort of day.  My purple polish had started chipping really badly so I repainted my nails while eating breakfast & watching CBS Sunday Morning.  I also decided to restart the Jillian Michael's Detox.  (It's just a half gallon of water, 1 dandelion tea bag, 1 tbsp cranberry juice, & 2 tbsp lemon juice.  It basically just helps flush the excess water in your body.)  We got groceries for the week, worked on more flower projects, & I made a blueberry peach cobbler for dessert.  We grilled steak & potatoes and my brother came out to have supper with us.  And of course...Shark Week started (the TV version that happens yearly not the dreaded one that happens monthly.)

Linking up with Biana

Friday, June 24, 2016

Final Friday In June

I started doing this workout on Monday.  I've had it saved on my phone for forever but I just finally started it.  I plan on doing it right up until WeFest so that will be 6 weeks.  Not going to lie I picked it because it looked like it wold be easy & not time consuming.  Well it's not time consuming.  I could feel each workout, especially the next day.  On Tuesday my cousin kept making me laugh & it hurt so bad because of the ab workout the day before.  I also skipped the burpees on Tuesday because screw burpees & I could still feel the workout in my arms.

Tuesday afternoon I met up with Becky & her kids at the beach.  For a few hours we played in the sand, swam around, laid in the sun, lost an inflatable shark, & saw a couple basically do it on a beach full of children.  If you follow me on snapchat (nrthmeetssouthe) you may have seen it on my story.  In case you missed it, or don't follow me, I'll share with you because if I had to see the whole show you have to at least see a glimpse of it...

While watching a Chopped marathon (I somehow always get sucked into reality TV shows during the summer) my mom & I started painting crates for another flower project.  Eventually they will be spray painted white & then sanded down to expose some of the brown & appear more worn.  

After talking about it for years, I finally pulled the trigger for real.  My application for grad school has been completed, submitted, and paid for.  Now I just wait.  As long as I get accepted, and figure out some form of payment,  I will start classes at the end of August.  I will be getting my master's in communications.  They way the program is set up classes rotate.  There are only 2 available every term, one online & one as a night class, so everyone in the program is in the same class, some are just further along than others.  This means that I will be taking classes with my friend Emily so we can help each other out.  It is also set up so that as long as I don't take any breaks (summers included) I will be done May 2018.

Friday morning I went with my mom to an appointment, we ran a couple of errands, & then had lunch before heading back home, well me home, her to work.  I briefly laid down with plans of napping but that didn't last long so I got some stuff done on the computer, watched some Food Network, & then got ready to meet Alicia (my music soulmate & friend I started the music blog with.)  I met up with her at her house & then we headed to Dinkytown (the area near the University of Minnesota)  We had dinner & drinks at The Library.  (There's one in Fort Worth that I vaguely knew of but until writing this post I didn't realize they were related.)  We were smart enough to split some loaded fries & a burger rather than each get our own meals.  The food we got (not pictured because hungry) was more than enough.  I would have been so uncomfortably full if we hadn't split a meal.  We had tickets to see Whiskey Myers at The Varsity Theater.  I wish I had taken pictures inside the venue, especially the bathroom area.  It was such a cool place.  Jamie Kent opened up for them & I really liked him.  He was more what Alicia & I decided was indie country.  Whiskey Myers also put on an incredible show.  They have so much energy & have mad skills on each & every instrument they play (right down to the rain stick.)  I didn't get home until 12:30 in the morning & was so exhausted, which is why this post is being finished at 7 am rather than the night before & going live at midnight.

Linking up with Amanda & Amy.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thanks For The Memories

I had originally planned on doing a post on things that I need to let go, and then I didn't want to.  So then I just didn't have a post.  I was going to leave today empty.  However, then around 8 pm my friend Kayla tagged me in the following photo on instagram.

Our dorm came down.  It's been almost 9 years since I first called Holes Hall home.  It both seems like a lifetime ago & yet I remember it like it just happened yesterday.

It was here where I had my first taste of freedom.

It was here where I had to share a room for the first time in my life.

It was here where I stopped being able to sleep in a room where it was dead silent.

It was here where the sound of the train went from keeping me up to putting me to sleep.

It was here that the garbage truck would wake me up in the morning because the dumpster was outside our window.

It was here where everyone would come into the dorm room that Heather & I shared to watch The Hills, Grey's Anatomy, & A Shot At Love.

It was here where strangers turned into friends who turned into family.

It was here where I learned how to write excellent essays mere hours before they were due.

It was here that I learned how important girlfriends are.

It was here where meeting new people was as easy as always leaving your dorm room door open so that people could pop in whenever.

It was here where I last ate Ramen noodles & drank Karkov vodka.

It was here where our dorm room turned into the place to get ready for parties, nights out, birthdays.

It was here where I saw both friendships and relationships alike begin & end.

It was here where the other 4th floor girls decorated my room for my birthday while I was I seeing my college boyfriend off to basic training.

It was here where I thought that I had life all figured out.

It was here where we would psych ourselves out over the haunted buildings on campus.

It was here where we felt fearless & untouchable.

It was here that I felt so grateful for having a room next to the cool RA rather than the one who definitely didn't want to be there.

It was here where I started gaining girly qualities.

It was here where I surprisingly didn't gain the freshmen 15.

It was here where I started a 5 year journey & made countless memories.

RIP WW Holes Hall

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Getting To Know Me

Stolen from Kristen

1. Are you named after someone?


My dad wanted to name me Danielle but my mom thought that if they shortened my name to something like Dani & she was trying to talk to one of us (my dad's name is Dan) we might get mixed up.  So Brianne (Bre-Ann) it is.  However, it sort of back fired because Brianne & Dan sound awfully close sometimes so a lot of times we'd both respond or neither would.

2. When was the last time you cried?

Surprisingly I don't know.  It's even possible that the last time I cried was when I said goodbye to Mr. Midwest.

3. Do you have kids?


4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

"ahhhh I don't know. I think I am a good friend, but I also think I am quite annoying. ha." - Kristen but I 100% agree

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

"I don't feel guilty about anything really, except rare binge eating sessions."  - Kristen but true.

6. Do you like your handwriting?

No.  I have pretty crappy handwriting & my "signature" is 100x worse.  My mom used to comment that maybe I should have been a doctor because my signature is so bad.

7. What is your favourite cereal?

Lucky Charms & Chocolate Special K

8. What is the first thing you notice about people?

Their smile & eyes.

9. Do you have any pets?

In Texas, no.  In Minnesota, a dog (Jack)

10. Scary movies or happy endings?

I do not do scary movies as a general rule.  I have to be with someone & staying the night with them for it to even be considered.

11. Favorite TV Show?

This past year I didn't have cable so I really didn't watch TV.  Every so often I would catch up on the shows that I used to DVR (Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: LA, Nashville, Chicago Fire, & The Walking Dead.)  I used to say that TWD was my favorite but I'm getting over it.

12. Summer or Winter?

Summer.  I hate the cold.  Even though I grew up in central MN I never got used to the cold.  I appreciate that Texas doesn't have what I would consider a true winter.

13. Hugs or Kisses?

Hugs...I guess. Honestly, I'll hug my friends sometimes but unless you're my parents or the person I'm seeing I'm not big on either.  Blame it on my Minnesota roots.  I definitely don't go around kissing everyone though.

14. What's the furthest you've been away from home?


15. Do you have any special talents?

No.  I'm not awesome at anything.  I'm just mediocre at various things.

16. Where were you born?

Central Minnesota

17. What are your hobbies?

Planning shit & listening to music.  I need more hobbies, especially in the summer

18. What color are you eyes?

Blue  The change colors sort of though.  They go anywhere from gray to bright blue. 

19. Favourite movie?

Friday Night Lights, Dazed & Confused, 8 Seconds, & Mean Girls.  I can, & will, pretty much quote the whole film while I'm watching it.

20. What color is your car?


21. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Since about the 1st grade I wanted to be a teacher.  Other things I thought I might want to be up until I graduated high school: lawyer, interior designer, criminologist, & architect.  There was a point in college when I almost changed my major to travel & tourism because I wanted to be a travel agent but figured I was so close to graduating that I should just stick with teaching & give it a shot.  Now with 4 years of teaching under my belt I'm planning on starting grad school sometime within the next year for communications so that I can do marketing/pr/social media.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stitch Fix #2

My 2nd Stitch Fix box was scheduled to arrive Thursday, it arrived Friday.  In the end it wasn't the end of the world because I didn't have so much going on over the weekend where I couldn't take time to look at everything, try it on, & decided what I wanted & didn't want.  I knew before I even opened the box (I cheated & went to checkout on the day it was supposed to arrive) that there would be two items I wouldn't be keeping.  I had also decided that it would be at least 6 months before I did another one, if I ever decided to do another one.  I love the concept of it, I love new clothes, but I haven't loved enough of the stuff (you can see my first review here) to justify doing them frequently, or the prices of the items.

With my last Stitch Fix I realized I needed a full length mirror.  There are 2 at my parents house (& if I ever fully move out...aka to somewhere more permanent...I'll take the one that's in my bedroom.)  What I learned with this Stitch Fix is that I need a photographer lol.  Since I don't have one, self-taken cell phone photos in poor lighting will have to do.

1. Collective Concepts Lurline Racerback Top $44
I pretty much assumed I'd be keeping this one before I even opened the box.  Racerbacks are my thing.  That's what the majority of my tops are.  Plus, it's summer.  I loved the way it fell & that it was simple enough that I could wear it either as a casual outfit or that I could dress it up to look nicer.  KEPT

Dex Crocus Cutout Shoulder Detail Blouse $48
This was the one thing I was able to find online when I tried using Google to see what they had sent me at checkout.  I said that unless it looked better in person, or on me, I wasn't going to keep it.  I just didn't like the way it fit me.  I also wasn't crazy about the pattern.  I wasn't even aware that the back opened until I was taking that picture. RETURNED

Market & Spruce Kellie Open Front Drape Cardigan $68
This was one of the items I knew I wouldn't be keeping before I even saw it.  First of all, like I mentioned with my first fix, I don't ever wear cardigans.  Second of all, it's June, it's 90 degrees out.  If I were to be buying a cardigan it's not going to be in the summer.  I will say that I loved how it fit.  I wasn't crazy about how it looked on me though & again, I have no need for a cardigan in the summer.  The way it fit though did make me want to reconsider cardigans for when I go back to work in the fall (as long as it's still as a teacher) RETURNED

Pixley Jacelyn Off Shoulder Dress $74
There was a part of me that wanted to love this because I love dresses in the summer & I'm obsessed with the whole off the shoulder look right now.  Another part of me was praying I didn't fall in love with it because of the price tag.  I have never, & will never, spend $75 on a casual summer dress.  Luckily? I hated the way I looked in it.  It didn't fall right & the colors did nothing for me.  RETURNED

Urban Expressions Adelade Woven Fold-Over Clutch $48
This was the other item I knew I wouldn't be keeping before I even opened the box.  I have 3 purses.  9 times out of 10 I'm using just one of those or not even using a purse & just carrying my wallet.  It should be noted that in the picture it looks brown but it is in fact gray.  RETURNED

So here's where I'm at with Stitch Fix.  I've kept 1 out of 10 items sent to me so far.  There is a part of me that wants to give it another shot in say December (then I'm doing them once every 6 months.)  There's another part of me that says why?  The items are more than I would usually consider spending on my own when shopping, & I've only loved 1 of the items enough to keep it/justify the price.  I guess we'll see when December rolls around if I want to do another one or not.