Thursday, July 26, 2012

June, Part 3 (Serious shopping)

The next day in Minneapolis, we spent 12 hours inside the Mall of America!  We pretty much showed up when the doors opened, and stayed until the amusement park closed.  It was crazy.  I of course did a ton of shopping- and ate 2 meals and a snack, got a massage, and rode roller coasters.

I don't really have any pictures of the shopping that day, but I got a lot of stuff.  We ate lunch at the food court, and dinner at a nice restaurant called Crave.  I had my first ever grilled salad:

These pictures from dinner are not the best because the lights were turned low for ambiance- and I was not about to embarrass myself with a flash!  This was a very nice (i.e. Expensive!!) restaurant inside the Mall!

This was my dinner.  I thought it was cute.  :)  Some kind of chicken (I can't exactly remember) made with a sauce with agave.  I was not crazy about the cold green beans, but the rest was delish!

After dinner, we decided to ride some rides in the amusement park.  There was a special since it was approaching closing time so we decided we should ride.

Here we are with our armbands!

The next day was our last day in Minneapolis.  We went to the American Swedish Institute.  Catherine is super into Sweden, so it was most entertaining for her, but there were some neat things there.  They are doing some major renovating, so I'm sure it will be much cooler when they are done.  I took this picture with this horse:

Who says you can't ride a horse in a dress??  Ha!  Definitely not the most lady-like picture!

After the Swedish Institute, we headed towards Catherine's house to spend the night.  We got up the next morning and drove to Kansas City to pick up my aunt, and then to NWA to drop off Andrea.  I got a really cute shirt from the Fayetteville visitor's center.  It was a little too small, but I can fit in it now since I have lost some more weight.  Woo!

All in all, it was a good trip.  I got to see new places, try new things, and see old friends! I drove all 2000 miles, so I was very glad to be home!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

June, Part 2

Obviously I am getting very creative with these post titles.

So I started couting calories a little before I went on vacation, and I told myself that I had to work out 3 days that week.  That did not happen- but I did start out one morning in the hotel gym.  I tried to kill myself running on the treadmill.  It was actually hilarious- but I seriously almost did hurt myself.  I started my Couch to 5K training program that morning, where you alternate walking and running.  So I was about halfway through the session when I ran out of water.  I waited until the next walking session and decided I would walk in place while I filled my water bottle.  Getting off the treadmill was not the most graceful move ever- I seriously almost busted it.  I caught myself on the next machine over, and I was so glad nobody else was in there.  I am not known for my gracefulness...  Anyway, I was proud of myself for getting up before my friends at least once and making it down to the gym. 

One of our other sorority sisters lives about three hours away from Minneapolis and was going to drive in to visit us on Sunday, but there was bad weather and she was afraid to make the drive.  Luckily the bad weather stayed away from us, but we would have loved to see Amy (my little diamond sister!).

Our first stop was the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.   I first heard about this place on a cake decorating show- I think Ace of Cakes.  This is me inside some kind of greenhouse that had these vines everywhere.  They were dripping on me and kind of freaking me out.  But I love this picture.

This sculpture was the whole purpose for visiting this garden.  Some people on that cake show had this on their wedding cake and I thought it was so cool.  I did not know that there was water running through it like a fountain.

It took us many tries to get our poses just right.  Catherine's was the best- her's looks like she is taking a bite out of the cherry.  It probably is because she had the best photographer (me).  Ha!

Here's another picture- with some crazy windblown hair.

We went to Loring Park.  This was not on the schedule, but happened to be right across from the restaurant that the trusty GPS lead us to for lunch, so we paid a visit.  :)

We ate lunch at Joe's Garage.  Apparently they serve Sunday brunch- which I was not thrilled about- and we were not expecting.  Also- you are also apparently supposed to have a reservation.  Whatever.  And I got a weird sunburn on one of my arms and one of my legs.  Apparently half of me was sticking out from under the umbrella.

Here is what I ate:

I was trying to be adventurous, and got this on recommendation of our waitress.  It was a mashed potato omlet.  I usually don't really like eggs- but this had so much other stuff in it that you hardly noticed the eggs.  I would definitely eat it again.

Then we went to a Minnesota Twins baseball game.  We had seats pretty high up, but you could still see pretty well.  And to me- they were stellar seats because they were in the shade the whole time.

I went to get a coke (actually a Diet Mountain Dew- ha!  If you are from the south, then you understand!) and when I got my wallet out, my credit card was not in there!  After a few stressful minutes waiting in line at the Guest Services desk, it was found down at the ticked counter.  The people at Target field could not have been more helpful.  I cannot say enough good things about the staff.  They brought my credit card up to me at my seat, and the guy even remembered to ask for my I.D.  Ya'll- I was so stressed out, and so happy to have my card back again!

After the game, I stopped to take a picture on the way out.  The lighting is not the best, but it is proof that I was there!

After the game, we had a couple of hours of shopping left in us.  We stopped at a few stores that we saw along the way, and ended up at the Mall of America again.  I finally made my first purchase at the Mall of America- 2 dresses from H&M.

I think that's enough for today. Looks like we will have at least one more June post....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

June, Part 1

June was a crazy, fun-filled month.  I should have blogged about it right when things happened, because now it is so overwhelming to even think about typing everything that happened!

A few months ago, a couple of my sorority sisters and I tried to plan a little reunion since we had not seen each other in a while.  Nobody really wanted to make the decision of where to go, except that I really wanted to go to the Mall of America.  One of the girls lives about 4 hours from Minneapolis, so we decided that was what we would do.  Everyone was not able to make it though due to scheduling conflicts, so it was myself and two other girls.

I split the trip up as much as possible because I don't really like being in the car for long periods of time.  The night before I left, I decided to make a recipe found on Pinterest (of course)- Trix Krispies.  You know, like Rice Krispies, but with Trix cereal instead.  I had some colored marshmallows that thought would make a pretty treat.  The recipe said to microwave the butter and marshmallows and then add the cereal.  Well.... I forgot that marshmallows get HUGE when you microwave them.... and I had a WHOLE bowl full of them in the microwave.  I put it in the microwave and walked off to start a load of laundry, and when I came back my microwave was completely full of marshmallows!!  It was a pretty mess, but a sticky one!!  It took me forever to clean the microwave and kitchen after that disaster!  I was still able to make the Trix Krispies, but it was definitely not good enough to go through all that trouble!  I will probably not make them anymore, but stick with regular Rice Krispies next time.

I also signed up to run in the Color Run in Memphis in October with my friend Shannon.  I am super excited.  This will be my first 5K to actually run in- and let me scratch another thing off my 30 before 30 list.  Speaking of which.... I need to do an update on that list just to remind myself what I still have to do!

The first day of my trip, I drove 3 hours after work and spent the night with my friend Lyndsey and her family.  We got to go for a long walk around the neighborhood and it was good to catch up.  :)
The next day, when I woke up I was really not looking forward to the longest leg of my journeyand wishing I would have gotten a plane ticket!  Looking back, the driving part was a little fun and saved a lot of money, so it probably was for the best, but it sure took a long time!

I picked up one girl that morning, and we drove through Iowa.  This was my first time to visit Iowa.

I got to go to the Iowa Speedway, which was my first time to be at a race track (for cars anyway).  I took a picture with this sign, although I have no idea who this dude is.

The next day, we woke up and started the last leg of our trip.  We finally made it to Minnesota.  First activity- bathroom break at the Welcome Center!!

Our first real stop was in Austin, MN.  The trusty GPS led us to this fine eating establishment for lunch.  It was delish.

We had to make a stop at the SPAM Museum!  One of my coworkers told me about the SPAM Museum, and I just knew we had to stop there.  I mean, I don't actually eat SPAM, but how many people can say that they have been to the SPAM Museum??!?

The SPAM Museum was very fun and we stayed there much longer than we expected! There was a movie about SPAM and the door to the theater looked like a pig!  So cute!

We got to dress up like factory workers and even have a race to see who can package SPAM the fastest.  I believe that Catherine is destined to work in a SPAM packaging facility as she beat the pants off of me and Andrea. 

After the SPAM Museum, we went to IKEA where I made my first non-food purchases of the trip.  I got a popsicle mold, a large glass bowl, a cereal container, and a salad spinner.  All good purchases if I do say so myself!  We ate dinner at IKEA also.  Then we headed over to the Mall of America (yay!) for just a short time since it was getting pretty late.  Here are me and my peeps at the Peeps store!  :)

This post is getting pretty long, so I think this is a good stopping point.  Hopefully I will be back soon to finish posting about the month of June!