Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Become Recipe Week.

I haven't done any cooking for months. Now that I am finally home and settling in, I have found my self constantly making dinners and enjoying every moment.

Now I would much rather be a gourmet, but working 40+ hours a week puts a damper on such dreams. Easy, nutritious, and quick are the best.

This week my co-worker gave me the best recipe that she had tried and recommended. I decided to try it this past weekend. It was a hit and I am excited to make it again!

Chicken Skewers

1/2  C Olive  Oil
1/2 C Ranch
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1  Tbsp minced fresh Rosemary
2 tsp salt 
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp white sugar
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves- cut in 1in cubes

1) In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2) Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread the chicken onto skewers and discard marinade.
3) Lightly oil the grill grate. (We grilled on top of aluminum foil) Grill skewers for 8-12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. 

Believe it or not, they taste even better than they look! 

Pair it by throwing some unhusked corn on the grill. Summer dinner perfection. 



partying here at taste and tell

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Easy As Pie

As summer ends and fall begins, we in Minnesota feel each and every change of season. I am happy to report I have one decided to properly embrace fall for the wonderful season it is. It took a lot of internal convincing, but I have made it. And boy, have I made some plans.

However, the weather has not yet changed. So before I bust out the pumpkin puree, pick the apples off my tree, and drink a hot cup of tea, I will finish up the ideas I had for summer. One of those being the world's easiest and most customizable pies- summer style.

Here we go: ingredients
1 pkg instant pudding
1 pkg cream cheese
1 container cool whip
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pre made Graham cracker crust

Make pudding according to pie filling directions. Add softened cream cheese. Beat on medium speed. When combined, add cool whip and vanilla. Beat again until combined. Pour into Graham cracker pie crust. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Want an even tastier treat? Freeze the pie. It's like fluffy ice cream goodness.

How to customize:
The other night I made it with chocolate pudding and chocolate Graham cracker crust. You can choose your favorite flavor and add extra ingredients.

Banana cream pudding with slices of banana.
Chocolate pudding with chocolate chips.
Coconut cream with coconut flakes.

The possibilities are endless! Don't forget to garnish and make it pretty!


One other thing I wanted to get in before summer ended was dinner on my patio with friends. It's peaceful and relaxing. Plus, it's the only season where we can eat at a real dining table (not enough space in our 1900's home for a dining space!)

Hope you are enjoying your last moments of summer.


Partying Here and here today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Berni the Cat

I'm not sure who to blame for my love of animals, maybe Sara's mom, but I love animals. A friend of mine made fun of me once because, most single women my age would look at the men walking past but no, I look at the dogs.

Yes, I am that person who talks to dogs in baby voice. I'm not sure why, maybe they understand me better if i do? who knows. Besides the point... I'm not a huge fan of cats so, that's where this story gets interesting.

Well, my best friend (Sara) is home for just a few days before she leaves me for vacation so, I head over to just hang out while she packs to leave in the morning. Her mom gets there and we head outside to help bring her luggage in and we hear a cat meowing. Well, out pops this dark grey cat with white paws and just cuddles right up to us.

Marilyn and I kept trying to bring her outside and run back inside, close the door and hope she'd find her home. Every time, we'd open the door and there she was, just laying on the door mat waiting for us. I couldn't her just go homeless so, of course, I took her home.

I am not a cat person but, this cat has stolen my heart. Sara named her Berni because, at first we didn't know the gender so Bernard if it was a boy and Bernice if it was a girl so, Berni for short.

Bernice it is.

Unfortunately, My dog doesn't like cats and I woke up thursday morning wanting to scratch my itchy eyes right out of my head and not able to breathe. So, Bernice is going to her new home today. I'm going to miss her but, I'm glad she's going to a loving home.

Berni, Thank you for being the highlight of my week! I'm sorry I'm allergic to you. Kim and Chloe are going to take such great care of you! Love you!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Weekend in Cali {The Wedding}

I love weddings. There is something about it that provides the fairytale for my inner princess. This wedding was special. Not only was it beautiful, but it brought the opportunity to spend time with my family whom I only get to see every few years.

My cousin and her family did an excellent job planning. Every detail was perfect. The venue was breathtaking. She looked amazing!

{The Decor}


My beautiful sister, Nikki

{The Ceremony}

{The Dance}



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekend in Cali {The Harbor}

Besides the over populated areas, high amounts of grid-lock traffic, and the inland smog, the California coast is one of my favorite places in America.

My husband and I had the privilege to spend the weekend in Dana Point/ San Clemente for the weekend with my family for my cousin's wedding.

We stayed in the Dana Point Harbor.

There was nothing like waking up early (thank you, time difference!) walking along the harbor with the fresh, cool ocean breeze. There was an area on the water within walking distance to our hotel with little shops, and plenty of restaurants. My favorite in the morning was the Coffee Importers.

The food was excellent, but the coffee... superb.

Harbor Latte- Like a Starbuck's Caramel Macchiato, but 100x better.

Caramel Brulee Latte. It's funny how much they embrace fall there. Pictures of fall leaves, specialty fall drinks, stores with a fall line. All I wanted was to escape the fact that fall was around the corner and to hold on to every drop of summer remaining. I will fully embrace one of my favorite seasons as soon as i can get over my rebelling stage. 

We would pick our favorite table and look out into the harbor. Peaceful. Everyone brought their dogs to this area. Made me miss little Kona. Also made me want to ride a bike. Everyone had bikes. Everyone was fit. Inspired me a little bit. 

There was a lot going on this past weekend. Stay tuned for the California series. :)


Linking up Here

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Recent Work

Maybe you remember from this post  that my mom and I are starting an Esty Shop. We are hoping to launch sometime this fall.

For a little preview, here is one of my baby blankets that we will be selling. I hope you like!

Included in our items will be blankets, legwarmers, and sweaters- all for your precious little ones!

Keep checking back for more updates!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mostly Normal, With A Side of Funny.

That's my travel experience for today.

To preface: I got in multiple arguments with my mom on how long it takes to get to the airport from my house. The place I live, the way I take every week in rush hour to get to my salon. She wins the battle of the departure time. 6:30 it is for a 9:22 flight. Fighting can be irritating and enjoyable- must be something that runs in a woman's blood. I like to call it play-fighting. Nothing like a rousing game of arguments.

I wake up at 5:30, get ready, and we are out the door at 6:33. I94 is a little backed up, then 35W South is smooth as can be. We are approaching the parking lot at approximately 7:00. I have a smirk on my face that shouts I told you so with no words coming out. Ok, you were right... Music to my ears. We arrive at our gate a little before 8:00. Flight is delayed. We are 2 hours early. Yes, I won the war.

The best part of my day at MSP was the cheap luggage we brought. We walked across the moving sidewalk with my roller bag. The wheel melted out of its base from the friction that pulling it caused. It made for interesting transport.

Note to self: get better luggage.

Do you like to laugh when something unfortunate happens? I do. My next favorite moment at MSP was grabbing breakfast at Quizno's. I didn't even know they had breakfast. Besides the point. You know the "MMM Toasty" slogan they have? Well they toast everything. They have a big toaster with a belt that is in constant movement, and it's pretty high up. One kind worker wasn't paying any mind to the belt overloaded with moving sandwiches. She would grab the closest to her, while there was one special sandwich in the farther side of the belt. It started to hang of the edge, and sandwich after sandwich kept knocking it closer to the edge. I notice this. I look over at the man next to me who notices this. We exchange a quick bit of laughter just waiting for it to fall. Maybe we should have said something, but I'm pretty sure we were both too excited to watch it fall.

The lady next to us notices. She says quietly with a look of being so let down, with a hint of irritation, "That's my sandwich."

Then it happened. It tumbled... everywhere. All into the toppings on the other side of the toaster. The lady is upset, while my new humor buddy and I delight in the mishap of the sandwich. Ah, the simple joys of life.

Maybe you had to be there...

We finally boarded the plane. My husband and I were the last in line. We were in line to scan our passes as I received a text from my mom, who had already boarded. "Where are you?"

"We got on the wrong flight accidentally"

She was a good sport when she ran to the ramp door in a panic trying to figure out where we were, and we were standing right there. All in good fun.

On to other things.

Do you have traditions when you travel? I sure do. Growing up with my mom being a flight attendant just added to it. Here are examples of mine:

Leaving home before the sun comes up. What's the fun in leaving mid-day? The anticipation would kill me.

Then there is the most important, food. Starbucks, personal pan pizza from pizza hut (depending on the time of day) and the perfect plane snack.

Ginger Ale and Biscoff cookies. Yes Delta, I love you and your Biscoff's. Favorite part about Delta? They don't feed you cold burgers individually wrapped in plastic. I feel like you could play tennis with those. Double ick.

I hate take off. Your body goes tense while you utter a please don't let the plane plummet to the ground during take off prayer under your breath. I am surprised I am not used to every noise and bump since I have been flying since I was a baby. It gets worse the older I get.

There there is the view. And the clouds. I wish I could touch them.

Except my view is more like this. Limited visibility. I was being the kind wife and let my husband sit in the window seat.

Why is taking a nap so impossible in the middle seat? It's rough.

Then you see this. And excitement fills your veins as you realize you are approaching your destination.

Can't help but love the Arizona desert and mountains. 

Tomorrow we are driving to Dana Point, California. Until then, we will be enjoying the pool and family. 

It is a good day.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Joy in a cup.

To some, this may be ridiculous, and that's ok. I went 5 weeks without Starbucks, due to force, not choice. There were no Starbucks north of St Cloud.

Yes, it's expensive, but sometimes that's ok. It's absolutely my shop of choice. There is just something about the plastic cup, the lid, the straw, and the fact that that someone else made it for you. No matter how many times you make an iced Caramel Macchiato at home, it will never taste the same. If you love Starbucks, you know what I mean.

Not only do a love Starbucks in a tangible way, but I love the memories it brings.

Today, I chose a Passion Tea Lemonade. This drink signifies summer for me. I am savoring every sip today- as if my last drop means summer is coming to a close.
I have never had a bad memory connecting with this place. I have experienced having some with family that lives far away, spending time with friends old & new, first dates with my husband (my favorite), shutting out the world to get lost in a book, taking a break while painting rooms in my first house, and getting an iced favorite at the airport (With much excitement, I will be experiencing this again tomorrow!).

I take a break from sipping on my desired drink, look up as I take a moment to re-visit each of these wonderful memories, and smile to myself. Yea, it's that good, in every way.

Even Kona likes a cup of Starbucks tap water during road trips.

Here is to more beautiful memories made over a cup of Starbucks.


Monday, August 8, 2011


In honor of Lindsay starting at Aveda this last month, I wanted to revisit my time there. I had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and made some amazing friends.

Went in an 18 year old, came out an Esthetician.

I'm looking at these very few pictures I have wondering, Why can't I even take one picture with a normal face? Oh yea, this is the 18 year old sanguine.

And we did learn and work while we were there, I promise!

I didn't understand then, but I know now. Aveda is a cut above the rest. They taught us things other schools don't even address. It was a priveledge to be able to go there. Lindsay, soak up every minute.

After graduating Aveda in 2006, I began at this salon working front desk.

It's in the mall of america- come check it out!

A couple years later, I was able to move into an esthetician position. Facials and waxing were my passion! They still are, but now, I have a speciality.

I do eyelashes. Novalash Lash Extensions to be exact.
This beautiful bride, Ashlee, came to see me before her big day. These are my handiwork! Justin is extemely talented as well, check out his website! (Thanks again Justin and Ashlee for letting me use this photo!)

I love doing eyelash extensions. They are tedious and wonderful. They are an art- and I have fallen in love with it. I can't believe I have already been doing them for two years.

Thanks to my beautiful friend, Robyn for being my model.

What on earth does this have to do with Monday's? (If you're stopping by from Life Made Lovely Mondays) Well, I will tell you.

I work at my salon on Monday Evenings. And these lashes are all things lovely. I also want to share something special with you.

Are you in Minnesota or the Twin Cities Metro Area? If you book with me in the month of September, I will offer you 25% percent off a full set of lashes. (A $50 value)

Here are the rules
- This is only valid towards a full set
- This is only valid for the month of September
- This offer is only valid Monday evenings with me, Sara Curran. There are some other wonderful, talented ladies that also do lash extensions at my salon, but their lashes will be regular priced.

How to book an appt:
- Call the salon. A friendly receptionist will take your call and arrange an appointment for you
 Progressions Salon & Spa 952.851.9999
Mall of America (1st floor next to Nordstrom)

There is no need to mention the discount when you make your appointment. When you arrive, be sure to mention this post to me. Your discount will be applied at checkout.

* I have limited hours, so if there are no openings left in September, send me an e-mail and we will work something out! (I will be offering another discount in the spring.)

We also offer many other services at the salon. Check out our website.
Want more information on the Lash Extensions or to see a salon in your area that provides this service, check out the NovaLash Website.

Linking up with:


Happy Monday! Hoping to see you on another lovely Monday.