Get In My Belly: Strawberry Spinach Salad

Basically my M.O. is to steal recipes from naive friends and pawn them off as my own creation.  This time is no different.  You may have heard of this poor unsuspecting victim.  His name starts with “The” and ends in “Hubs”.  Anyway, if anyone asks, it was MY idea to throw together this fabulous summer salad.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach (washed, of course, unless you enjoy eating a few garden bugs)
  • Strawberries (see above)
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Carrots, julienne
  • Raspberry vinaigrette (or any other sweet dressing works nice, I’ve been digging Dorthy Lynch Homestyle Dressing)

local garden bug variety

Instructions:

  1. Toss all of the ingredients together.  Don’t measure anything.  Because that’s how I always roll.
  2. I’d serve it right away before the avocados turn gross and people catch the next flight out of your summer bbq (or you could put a little lime juice on them).
  3. Stuff your face, it’s healthy!

SpotLife: A Day and a Date.

SpotLife:  A chance for me to tell you Internets how lovely, fascinating, inspiring, and action packed my day to day life is.  Hold on, things are going to get crazy up in here.

In early July, The Hubs was granted a day off by his very kind boss.  And so, I took the day off as well.  We ventured out on a little date, just a him and me type thing.  Our Day Date took us to The Cities (as we Southeastern folk fondly call it) and the weather was divine.  Here is how we with got jiggy wit it.

First up:  Galactic Pizza

This little food joint is COOL.  They use all organic ingredients and as much as they can from sweet ol’ MN!  We ordered one pizza:  half Ranch Dude and half The Hipster.  I couldn’t pick a favorite, they were both out of this universe (hehe).  YOU SHOULD EAT THERE.  You won’t regret it.  The only thing I regret is not eating there a 100x before now.

Secondly: A saunter around Lake Calhoun.  I wore real cute shoes.  I got real painful blisters.  They were totally worth the scars.

Thirdly: A refreshing stop at Infinitea.  They have so many teas to choose from, you’re bound to go crazy.  Can you guess who had what??

Fourth stop: ICE CREAM at Sebastian Joe’s.

Let’s stop here for just a second.  This ice cream rocked my face off.  The Hubs enjoyed the Nicollet Pot Hole (chocolate ice cream, caramel, hot fudge, you sold yet?, heath, sea salt and dark chocolate truffles) and mine was a coffee inspired Work of Art (Cappuccino Heath).  And I made out with it.

Final destination:  We capped off our perfect Day Date with a visit to Crate and Barrel.  I drooled and cooed and *almost* peed myself.  Until now, I had never actually been there in person (only stalked online!) so it was a real treat to TOUCH EVERYTHING.  Love.that.place.  I didn’t take any pictures because I had officially lost my mind at that point.

Sunburn count: 0.

What would you do with a Day and a Date?

The Book Nook

The Book Nook is my little place to talk about (not to be insanely obvious here…) books.  Because I like to read a book every year or so.  I promise I won’t give anything away (but, things happen).  And, there is a 76% chance that you’ll find this review a complete waste of time because you read the book 10 years ago.  Moving on.

THE BOOK: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

My thoughts (which most likely carry little to no influence):

This book was fantastic.  I was astonished with how well Wally (we are already on a first name basis) could crawl inside the mind of a 14 year old girl.  The main character, Dolores, is hysterically clever yet so painfully wounded that she roped me in as her best bud by the end of the first page.  It’s a beautiful (with a large side of bitter) coming of age story, beginning in 1956.  Her little family is made up of people with sorta the right intentions who inevitably let their faults (the size of the San Andreas) overtake them.  She is left alone to defend for herself, eventually ballooning into a terribly overweight girl that hates herself completely but holds out a glimmer of hope that she just might deserve something better.  Her journey is nutty, sad, hilarious, but in a surprising way…relatable.  Does Dolores ever get set free from her demons?  You’ll have to wait and read.  Or just catch me off guard and ask.  Anyway, I’m officially a HUGE Wally fan.  His writing is, like, the bomb diggity.  And you can quote me on that.

Grade:  A

Would I recommend it to a stranger on the bus (trying to make his way home)? Yes. Name that tune and you win a free car.  My car.  Which has no air conditioning.

What I am reading now:  The House of Sand and Fog.  I know.  It’s so old school.  Be on the watch for my review in 2012.

Read any good books lately??  Spill The Beans (pretty please).

3×3 Sand Volleyball

Me:  Hey Justin, want to play in a casual 3×3 sand volleyball league with me and The Hubs this summer?  I already have a team name picked out for us!!

Justin:  Sure, that sounds fun.  Just as long as you don’t care if I suck.

Me:  How tall are you again?

Justin: 6′ 6″

Me:  I think you’ll be fine.

My Girl Crush

Ok.  I’m coming clean with it.  I cannot keep this secret any longer.  I have a crush.  In fact, a girl crush.  A crush on a girl.  I know, I know, I’m a married lady.  But, I couldn’t help myself, this crush caught me way off guard.  She’s my neighbor.  She’s a photographer.  She wears really cool clothes.  She has impeccable hand writing.  She is Stunning.  And she has great eyebrows.  I met her one warm summer day to talk wedding business and BAM, fell in love.  Didn’t even fight it.  Like any good crusher would, I did a lil’ Facebook stalking research to find out more about her.

And I brainstormed ways to try and see her again.  Like this scenario that I day dreamed up.

I keep a watchful eye on our shared bank of mail boxes (because, well, she probably gets mail) and notes when she stops by.   Then, I casually plant myself there at the ‘right’ time the next day.  Crush comes out to check her mail…

me: “Oh, what a surprise seeing you here!”

Crush: “Yes it is!  How are you?”

me: “I’m really great.  Oh look, we both have mail!  We have so much in common!  We should hang out!”

Crush: “What fabulous idea!”  And we skip off together, arm in arm, into the sunshine.

Or something like that.

But, then summer evaporated into fall and fall fell into winter.  I didn’t get much of a chance to see my crush.  Until, we met up for my engagement photo shoot (Our Very First Bona fide Date). I got nervous.  Real nervous.  Had Dry Mouth.  Had the sweats.  Had word slobber.  You know, when you talk really fast in a high pitched voice and all that comes out is stupid crap?  Word slobber.

But, she whipped up some photo magic that day.  Trust me, you can trust in her.  She’s got mad dope skills.  She took two nerdy engineers and, somehow, made us look like Normal People.  I know, I can’t believe it either.

Then, we got to go on a second date.  06.07.09.  Have a look-see, please.

Our wedding photos made my head explode.   And you know what, her work makes me want to have babies (real human ones!) someday just so she can photograph them for me.

Since then, we’ve actually had many more dates.  Yes, of course, I’m still a nervous wreck for them.  But, somewhere along this long awkward road of dry mouth and word slobber, I found a very kind friend.  You should meet her, I’ll bet you’ll have a crush too.