Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wishing on a KitchenAid Mixer - a Kitchen Dream

I just ran across a fun giveaway posted on Dagmar Bleasdale's blog.
I follow Dagmar on Instagram & she had a tease about this sponsored post for

The rules: 
  • "How to Enter: choose from one of the blogging topics, write a post on your blog about it, and send the URL of the post to Easy!"
My chosen topic:
  • "Do you long for a dishwasher? A double oven? Beyond a KitchenAid Mixer, tell us about your top three dream kitchen appliances!"
So in the slim chance that I actually win one of the 3 KitchenAid Mixers they are giving away, I'm sharing my top three dream kitchen appliances.

1. If cost wasn't a factor I'd chose the Thermador PODC302J.  Each oven is 4.7 cubic feet! I miss the double ovens I grew up with at my parent's home & when we are hosting large family gatherings, the two ovens is almost a necessity. As long as there were no strings attached & I had my choice, it would be a loaded package like this one.

See Photo on

2. My second choice would be a much larger refrigerator. We have a very small opening today & I was sad with how tiny we had to go to replace our current refrigerator.  This Electrolux EI23BC35KS would certainly work for us with the double doors, double wide shelves, ice & water in door, plus shelves & baskets in the freezer.

See Photo on

3. Choice number three would be an upright freezer.
The Electrolux EI32AF65JS has some great features. An alarm system to alert you of a power failure or if a door has been left open. With 18.6 cubit feet of space I would be able to go prepare meals in advance and have plenty of storage to hold it all. Shelves would be wide enough for full size pizza boxes. I could even make homemade ice cream or Popsicles.

See Photo on

One day when we remodel our 80's era kitchen, I hope to add at least one of my dream items to our plans. One can certainly dream, right?!

I was not compensated for this post, but I sure as heck hope I win a brand new KitchenAid mixer... I know you're jealous of my old school hand mixer. 

(And yes, I still keep it in the original box.)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring in Minnesota...Finally!

Each year about this time I do an obligatory gardening post. This past winter was an extrordinarily horrid one. So many hashtags emerged to help us all deal with the day after day of frigid cold. A sampling...


One reward for having an abundance of patience is gardening. It allows you have a place to strategize, plan, retreat & nurture, to escape.

It is a few days away from June and most of us only started the serious in ground & container planting this past week. I started with sowing seeds. Being a complete amateur at growing things from seed did not deter me from giving it another go. Last year sowing pea seeds was a rousing success & the herbs were a huge flop.

This year I have two indoor trays going... 2 kinds of Swiss Chard, 2 kinds of carrots, green onions, 2 varieties of tomatoes and a sweet pepper mix. This time everything has sprouted except the peppers. Outside I am direct sowing seeds for peas, sugar snap peas & green beans.

Growing tomatoes is a treat here in Minnesota. Summer & Fall's home grown tomatoes make up forball the cold months of suffering with bland hot house tomatoes. Come October, we actually start coveting the last few ripe tomatoes which can be picked & saved before the threat of a hard frost.

Along with Mr. Stripey Heirloom, Sweet 100's, Roma & Wisconsin 55 Heirloom starter tomatoes I've planted cucumbers, 6 varieties of peppers, tomatillos, basil, thyme, oregano, chives, mint, cilantro and rosemary. Oh...and Strawberries. Can't forget those.

The front of our home is well shaded by mature trees, so the selection of annuals is always slim pickings. The Fushia is a new choice, but it's quickly growing on me.

Previously Unpublished Reflections: Take Me Out To... Target Field

Stumbled upon this draft post from forever ago. Not only do we have funding for the new Vikings Stadium, but construction has begun, plus they were awarded the Superbowl in 2018. How times have changed in such a short time! 

Finally it was my turn to visit Target Field with my Hubby & Munchkin.

It's truly a sight to behold.

Although we didn't win I now know: 

We are truly blessed to have been able to build this fabulous home for our Minnesota Twins.

(Now if only the Minnesota Vikings could get their act together & sell the legislature on rallying around funding for their new stadium)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Minnesota Blogger Conference 2013 Q & A Session with Greg Swan

As a member of the event planning committee, about a month ago I had the pleasure of doing a remote interview for the Minnesota Blogger Conference website. The post highlighted one of our Closing keynote panelists - Greg Swan. I finally had the opportunity to meet Greg face to face on the day of the conference. Below is a link to that post. Please take a few moments to hop over & check it out.

Greg is below on the far right wearing the Google Glass


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Signs of Spring

One of the things I love about the lot we live on is the abundance of nature that surrounds us.  Having a new camera allows me to capture way more than I was able to in the past. Until we get a new PC the photos I'll post will be unedited:

Goose Egg - Hatched

My Munchkin tells me both of these must be males because they are so colorful...

Sassy Male Cardinal

Gathering worms for their young after the morning rain.

Nosy rabbit on our deck before the garden was planted.

Frog or toad? Not exactly sure.

Sugar Spa Peas from seed

Still amazed how quickly they grew...
 I'll be sure to post garden pics throughout the summer... Trying a lot of new things this year on the deck. 

Already getting ideas on self watering systems to add for next year.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:May Flowers & New Experiences or Wordless Wednesday - Patience Reaps Reward

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring 2013 - HomeGoods Finds

It's been far too long since I sat down to write, but with so many changes in our lives over the past school year it's been an impossible task to find the time. Munchkin is now in Kindergarten. And I am officially a hockey mom after having survived our first Mini Mite Hockey session. I say "our" because it really is a family endeavor. Parents are very involved in the League, so volunteer work at the ice rink took up quite a bit of time outside of the hours spent preparing to go to the rink & watching Munchkin skate. 

Over his vacation, hubby tackled another major remodeling project, removing wallpaper from our massive dining & living rooms. The 18 foot vaulted ceilings meant the job was no joke. But in only a week the new paint is up & my mind have been on interior decorating for the updated spaces.

I had a couple hours of "me" time to spend while my Munchkin attended a birthday party last Friday.  I sneaked over to the neighborhood HomeGoods store.  Rarely do I stop in there without filling my cart with great things to freshen up the decor in our home. Yesterday was no exception!

I snapped a few photos of the things I purchased as I made my way through the store:

These chairs were the first thing in the store to really stand out - If I were single, these definitely would have made it into my cart - FABULOUS!

This tabletop chandelier/candelabra was really pretty too.

I loved how saturated the color was in this Cynthia Rowley bathroom accessory set - so unique.

 If they would have had more than one of these, I would have grabbed them to go in my living room. A classic look any couple would be able to agree on, plus the quilting was a nice touch.

How fun would these milk bottles look in someones kitchen?! No place to put them or they would have made it into my cart.

Now finally something I did take home. The pillow on the right is now at home on my living room couch. The pillow on the left just wasn't the right color combination so back on the display it went.
The towels matched the color scheme in my main floor guest bathroom & I filled the bottle with caviar potpourri. Was originally shopping for throws for my living room, but I couldn't find any, so I moved onto the art.

This would have been perfect for my Munchkin's room had I chosen a train theme when he was a toddler.

Some really fun "chalkboard" style prints. 
The messages are great too.

After looking through about a hundred different prints, I tossed around picking up these to see if they would work. After some thought, I realized there was just too much orange for my taste. Hopefully someone grabbed these finds and made a home for them.

Above are a sampling of art I've purchased - 
all from HomeGoods for a Master Bedroom & Bath mini remodel. 
 The one on the bottom is from my most recent trip.

The beauty of HomeGoods is that the inventory is always changing. Quality merchandise can be found everywhere throughout the store. It's like shopping with a trusted friend. The buyers have great taste, plus they understand what their customers are looking for. Every time you visit, there will always be a great find.

Disclaimer: HomeGoods did not compensate me for writing this post.  I've been a "fan" and shopper of HomeGoods for many years. It's truly one of my favorite home decor stores to shop. Not sure I could live without it really.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like: Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Kick Back & Relax or Stream Of Consciousness Sunday: Daily Distractions

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Recent Food Truck Tour Stops - Sushi Fix & AZ Canteen

So it's been a while since I've done a post on lunchtime visits to some of the downtown Minneapolis area food trucks. I'm a creature of habit, frequenting the same three food trucks most of the time, but in the past weeks I've tried a couple of new trucks.

First up is Sushi Fix.The truck is normally parked between 7th & 8th street on Marquette when it's in downtown Minneapolis. The owner: Enkhbileg “Billy” Tserenbat, who is a former executive chef from Yumi Sushi Bar.

Nothing is pre-made. Everything on the menu is made to order. The fish they use is as fresh as possible delivered to the them the night before they use it.  No fishy smells, it is so tasty & tender, not hard & cold from sitting assembled in a package with fake green plastic leaves beneath it.

For $15, I splurged I tried that day's special...  
"The Hennepin Roll: Inside: shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber Outside: Spicy Tuna, Tobiko, Sweet sauce."

 It was a good sized portion, so I shared a piece with an inquisitive co-worker. We agreed it was the best sushi either of us had eaten in a long time & could hardly believe it was made in a truck. Yum!

I had also heard good things about Andrew Zimmern's newest food truck venture called AZ Canteen from Jason DeRusha on Twitter. AZ Canteen is normally parked a couple of trucks down from Sushi Fix on the same block. While Jason was singing the praises about the tongue he had eaten there, I was more eager to try the Andouille, Oyster & Crab Gumbo.

This particular recipe is a bit different than the Baton Rouge-style Gumbo I grew up with my Daddy making for me, which was always chock full of shrimp & crawfish, beside the sausage & chicken. 

The different ingredient in this cup was oysters. I admit I wasn't quite sure what to expect. It was actually really enjoyable. The roux was well made & the gumbo had a nice consistency - not too thick or thin There was even a taste of okra in the cup. Light on heat, it could have used a few splashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce, but for a dish made for a MN palate, it was pretty tasty.

The logo design is very quirky & fun.

In honor of the Great Minnesota Get Together, aka The MN State Fair, Smack Shack came up with a Lobster Corn Dog in a  Sweet Corn Batter & served with Lemon Chive Aioli, which was incredibly yummy. We have been begging & pleading on facebook for them to be brought back to the truck before the season is over.

Last but not least, our building management held a get together in the lobby for tenants of the building. Although this has nothing to do with food trucks, I had my first taste of "ice cream", or Raspberry Sorbet as this variety was, from Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe. It was good - I might just be tempted to stop by their store in St. Paul sometime with my Munchkin & try out some other flavors.

So that's it for a while. This coming weekend is the 3rd annual Minnesota Blogger Conference. I'll be attending & will place recaps of the sessions out here. Renewed inspiration for getting my blogging grove back is what I expect to find, along with a taste of Muddy Paws Cheesecake & a new avatar/head shot.