Friday, July 29, 2011

I Caved!

I am breaking one of my unwritten rules and am double-posting today.

After some mighty persuasive ladies started a hashtag on twitter to get me to join, I caved and joined twitter...

Want to follow me?  I'm @lisasyarns

Alright, back to figuring out this whole twitter thing.  I need twitter 101 or twitter for dummies or something...

Happy Friday, everyone!  Have a fantabulous weekend!

Dairy Free Friday

I haven't done one of these posts for quite awhile!  I am still living dairy free, I just haven't taken the time to put a recipe post together for awhile.

Last week when I had my brothers' family over for lunch, I made this delicious Garden Bean Salad!  It's super simple and very delicious so I highly recommend it!

1 small red onion, finely diced
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 t. sugar
Kosher salt
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 15-oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 lb. green and/or wax beans, trimmed and halved
2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 T. finely chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground pepper

Now the post, in photos (which are kind of crappy because I was sort of in a rush to get this salad made before my brothers' family arrived).

Finely dice the onion and soak in water for 10 minutes (never had to soak an onion before...  kind of odd, but whatever!)
 Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 t. of salt.  When combined, whisk in EVOO.

Drain the onion, pat dry.  Stir onion and white beans into the dressing.

Bring salted water to a boil, add beans and cook for 4-5 minutes until beans are crisp-tender. 
 Drain beans, then plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain, pat dry, and add to salad.  Marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Add chopped parsley and chives and serve!

See?  Pretty easy, right?  Not a whole lot of chopping either.  I think I threw it together in about 30 minutes.

Have you tried any new recipes this summer?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wine and Love v10

You all know the drill.  It's wine and love time - post theme brought to you by the lovely Nora

- My gradma has not been doing very well lately.  She has been in the ER multiple times as her BP keeps spiking and they can't seem to figure out what is causing it.  Luckily I will see her this weekend and will get some alone time with her, which I am very thankful for.
- This whole debt ceiling debacle.  It frustrates me on so many levels.  Regardless of your political affiliation, I think all Americans can agree that a compromise of some sort has to be reach asap.  It's really a shame that we might lose our AAA credit rating, which means that interest rates will likely rise - which is bad for EVERYONE, especially considering the fact that our economy is still in the midst of a recovery that has sort of stalled out.  ** steps off soap box ** 
- The 3 things I ordered during the Ann Taylor Loft online sale arrived and they do not fit me.  They are so big on me, and no I am most definitely not losing weight.  They must have changed their sizing.  Super bummed as I was very excited about the jean skirt.  Here's hoping the local store carries it!

- Passing Level I of the CFA.  No need to expound on that, you all know how much that meant to me.  And one of closest friends brought me beautiful congratulatory flowers.  Actually, they were from her 7 month old son.  He's a charmer.  Little does he know he is the first guy to give me flowers in * pauses to calculate * 4 years.  Ufda.  Perhaps that is something for the wine list instead.  Ha.
- Living across a bridge from one of my closest friends from college.  It's awesome to just walk across the bridge if I want to meet up for a drink or something.  Sadly, she is moving soon, but I will enjoy her and her husband's company while I can!
- Pickle juice.  I know this disgusting to many, but it's a great way for me to replenish my sodium level after these intense run club workouts!
- The weekend I have ahead of me!  I'll celebrate my youngest nephew's baptism and my oldest nephew's 7th birthday.  Can I just tell you how much fun I had picking out the books for his birthday present??  He reads a grade level ahead so I was able to pick out some fun chapter books.  :)

Your turn!  What's your wine(s) and love(s) of the week?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: Wishing for Snow

It's been quite awhile since I have done a book review on here!  I have been reading, though, I just haven't taken the time to share any of my reads!

Last week I finished "Wishing for Snow" by  Minrose Gwin.  It's a memoir that tells the story of Gwin's mother.  It's a very sad story as Gwin's mother suffered from mental illness, to the extent that she eventually had to be institutionalized.  It was pretty heartbreaking to read about Gwin's relationship with her mom as he mom did not want to be instititutionalized and made it clear that she was VERY upset with Gwin's decision to place her in a hospital.  I can't imagine having to make that kind of decision - and then to receive angry letters from my mom...  Yikes.  I have always been thankful for the healthy, strong relationship with my mom, but this book makes me ESPECIALLY thankful for our relationship.

This was definitely an extremely heavy book and was difficult to get through at times. 

What are you reading these days?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best news ever!!

I have some very awesome and exciting news to share!! I just found out that I passed the level I CFA exam!! Only 39% of those who took it passed so i am especially excited as that is a low pass rate (which is typical, the CFA institute makes it very hard to pass).

Those close to me know how hard I worked for this. It is a relief to have passed as all those hours spent at my dining room table were clearly worth it.

I will definitely be celebrating!!!! Luckily I will be with family this weekend so I will most certainly be raising a glass of something and reveling in my success!!!

Best news ever!!

I have some very awesome and exciting news go share!! I just found out that I passed the level I CFA exam!! Only 39% of those who took it passed so i am especially excited as that is a low pass rate (which is typical, the CFA institute makes it very hard to pass).

Those close to me know how hard I worked for this. It is a relief to have passes as all those hours spent at my dining room table were clearly worth it.

I will dedinitely be celebrating!!!! Luckily I will be with family this weekend so I will most certainly be raising a glass of something and reveling in my success!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Wonderful Weekend

Happy Monday!  I had another wonderful weekend.  I packed a lot in this weekend, but had a wonderful time.  I experimented with a veggie burger recipe, ran 8 miles with my run club, entertained family, skyped with Kyla, attended a bbq at my building (a friend has friends that live here!), went to a musical that my aunt was the choral director for, had wine after with my aunt and uncle, and g-chatted with Amber.  Phew! 

The highlight of my weekend was definitely entertaining my family.  We had a wonderful time and they got to see why I am so head-over-heels in love with my life now that I have moved.

The boys, walking through the Farmer's Market, hand in hand.  I love photos of the backs of people!!

Could they be any cuter??
My older nephew Andrew said, "When can we come back?  How about next Saturday?"  So clearly, the kids were won over by my new place, too (the outdoor pool probably helped!).  I am hoping they are frequent visitors!

So life continues to be blissfully good.  Feels really good to say that I would not change a thing about my life right now.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Friday, July 22, 2011

First Family Visitors!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Woo hip!  It's the weekend!  Mine is jam-packed full of all kinds of fun stuff, but one thing I am very excited about is the fact that some of my family will see my new home for the first time!

On Saturday my brother, his wife, and their 2 boys will be coming over.  We are going to walk the 2 blocks to the farmer's market, check out my neighborhood, and then grill up some lunch.  I have been on the receiving end of COUNTLESS meals at my brother's so I am very very excited to reciprocate - albeit a bit nervous that I may not come close to living up to the meals they make for me!  I may have my brother help me man the grill as I am still learning how to grill...

The plan is to make hot dogs for the kids and brats for the adult which I will likely purchase at this local polish deli that is walking distance from my condo!  And then for sides, I'll probably do rosemary baby potatoes and probably green beans, both of which I purchased at the farmer's market this week.  Dessert will probably be grilled pineapple for the adults and popsicles for kids (and heck, probably a popsicle for me as well). 

I am super excited to show them my new home, which I love and adore.  Plus the boys have not come to see where I live since like 2007 so they are always quite confused about what I mean when I tell them I have to go 'home' when I leave their house.  Now they will get what I mean by 'home' and I hope they will be frequent visitors! 

What do you have on tap this weekend?  If you had family coming over for a bbq lunch, what would you make?  I am doing a simple menu as I have run club on Sat am so won't have a ton of prep time.  I definitely want to do something a bit more refined next time they come over!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wine and Love v9

Woo hoo - almost the weekend!  You know the drill.  Nora hosts.  We talk about what drives us to grab for a glass of wine and what we are loving.

- The heat.  I know some people think we are babies to complain about 110+ heat indexes, but raise your hand if you have experiences both 110+ heat indexes and a -30 wind chill this year....  I feel that since we have had both extremes, I can complain about this heat.  It's ridiculous and does not make it very enjoyable to do anything.

- The new iPhone ap/website "My Fitness Pal".  It's genius, really.  I've been tracking my food intake/exercise for the last 10 days or so and it's been very eye opening.  Like it turns out that I rarely eat enough carbs.  Which isn't surprising since I am gluten free.  But as a runner, that is something I need to work on as carbs are very important.  I will probably do a post on this at some point!
- The rec center where my run club meets gave us popsicles after our workout on Wednesday!  And I got one of my fave flavors - rootbeer!!  Mmm!  You are never too old to enjoy a popsicle.  :)
- Searching for recipes for the dinner I will host when some bloggers come to town next month! 
- The fact that I will be home this weekend.  I was going to say it was going to be an unplanned weekend, but I have run club Sat am, a skype chat on Sat afternoon, a bbq Sat night, a potential brunch on Sunday, and then I will attend a musical on Sunday afternoon.  And maybe meet a friend's baby if she is up for visitors.  :)  So sort of a decent amount of stuff, but I have Friday night free and most of Saturday afternoon free. 
- My run club.  I did not enjoy this week's workout because this heat and humidity sucks my will to live, but it's really fun to run with others!
- Making plans for my half marathon trip to Victoria, BC.  Super duper excited for this!

What are you wine & love of the week?  I love that I only have one wine for the week.  Life is pretty darn fantastic these days.  I don't have much to complain about, and for that, I feel very blessed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Workout Wednesday

Greetings and Happy Wednesday to you all!  Is everyone getting a ridiculous heat wave ?  I am trying not to complain because I complain about being cold, but dear God, I was not built for a heat index of 110+.  I seriously don't know how people live in places where it's like this every day in the summer. 

But in the words of Lupe Fiasco (yes, I am quoting a hip hop artist), the show goes on. 

Despite the fact that it was in the upper 90's with a heat index north of 110, we still forged ahead with the planned workout at run club on Monday.

Would you like to know what getting your *ss kicked looks like?

The green line at the top is elevation, the blue line below is pace.

We did a 2 mile warm up, 2 miles of hill repeats (4 repeats), and a 2 mile cool down.  It probably doesn't look that tough on this graph but believe me when I say I felt like I was running up a freaking mountain.  I don't know how you trail runners do it! 

But I finished the workout.  My pace sucked but considering the conditions, I'll take it.  I was so gross when I finished, I need a new word for "hot mess". 

I do love how this run club is pushing me out of my comfort zone...  but I do hope it's SIGNIFICANTLY cooler when we do this workout again - which I will refer to as "The hills of death" in the future.

I am not sure if I will do 'workout Wednesday' posts each week...  I don't want to bore you non-runners to tears, afterall.  So I will probably post them sporadically.

How do you stay cool and hydrated during extreme heat?  Fortunately my new place has central air (thank God!).  I also drink water like it's going out of style and eat a whole lot of watermelon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday, a week late...

I've stopped doing these Ten on Tuesday posts, but last week's questions were thought up by Kyria, a blogger I love (and am hoping to do a 10 mile race with this fall here in Mpls!).  So I had to play along, belatedly!

1. When you are on a plane and the kid behind you is kicking your seat, what do you do?
I would probably give the parent(s) some time to reprimand the child.  If the child is still kicking, I would turn around and politely ask that he/she stop kicking my chair.  Hopefully that would work.  If it wouldn't, I would just ignore the situation because I am not very confrontational.  Luckily, I have never experienced this!

2. What food that you KNOW is bad for you and you shouldn’t have, but you love/eat it anyway?
French fries & potato chips.  I don't have them very often but I do indulge occasionally. 

3. What is your favorite book of all time?
Tuesdays with Morrie.  Have you read it yet?  You should!

4. If I came to visit you in your town, where would we eat?
Tough question - I pick restaurants based on the preferences of my guests.  So if you like mexican, I'd take you to Barrio or Masa.  For a fabulous meal  at a restaurant owned by a 2011 James Beard award winning chef, I'd take you to 112 Eatery.  If we were going to brunch, I'd take you to Spoon River

5. You have 500 dollars and 40 minutes to spend it at any store you want. Where do you go?
Right now I would go to Ikea probably because I need furniture and other home goods.  Except I would want to give someone else the $500 to spend for me because I despise going to that store. 

6. What blog do you read every day/the most often?
Quite a few, actually.  Or I try to! 

7. What’s the longest you’ve ever been stuck at an airport?
On my way back from Australia, I missed my connection at LAX so spent about, oh, 12 hours there I think?  Which doesn't sound like a lot but, but there was something like a 14 hour time difference and I had been traveling for over 20 hours at that point and was a puddle of tears as I just wanted to be home.  And I was traveling alone so I had no one to watch my stuff so I couldn't really sleep...  Not fun.  This was almost 10 years ago and I still vividly remember calling my mom BAWLING.

8. What’s your daily makeup/face/cleansing routine?
Face wash & eye make up remover for cleansing and a quick 5 minute application of bare minerals make up in the morning. 

9 . Where is your farthest away friend?
I have a lot of friends that are sort of far away...  I am not sure who is the furthest, maybe my sister in Tucson?  Or Amber in Kamploops?

10. Where is your favorite place to go hiking (or to enjoy nature)?
I loved hiking in Steamboat Springs, CO.  That is the only place I have really spent a considerable amount of time hiking.  I would really, really like to get back there for a summer vacation...  but my summers keep filling up with other commitments.  Maybe in 2013?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Relaxation Found

Greetings and happy Monday.  I am feeling much more relaxed after a quick little weekend get away.  A girlfriend knew someone who could get us a steal of a deal on a weekend at a spa in Wisconsin, so we had to take advantage of that as we were all overdue for some R&R and pampering! 

The 3 of us hit the road on Friday afternoon.  Our expectations for this spa were met and totally exceeded!  From being greeted by adorable doormen wearing knickers and argyle socks to receiving a glass of champagne when we checked in, we were totally charmed from the get go!  The grounds were so beautiful, we had a great time exploring.  And of course, the spa services were the highlight of our trip.

The whole weekend was wonderful and I came back yesterday afternoon feeling significantly more relaxed and calm.  Here's hoping that calm and relaxed feeling stays around.  I am hoping we can do something like this once a year as there are so many great destinations that are within driving distance of Minneapolis!

If you could go on a girls' weekend to a destination that is driving distance away, where would you go?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

La Fete Nationale!

Bonjour!  Today is Bastille Day in France, also know as La Fete Nationale or le quatorze julliet!  It commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison  in 1789!  Do you wonder where the Bastille prison was located?

Well, right about where this commemorative statue stands!

During my trip in February, I spent a good amount of a day in the Bastille area as that is where my favorite outdoor food market was located.  It's a charming little neighborhood that I will definitely return to on my next trip to Paris.

Even though I have no French ancestry, I figure today is a good day to celebrate my love for this country.  I will be celebrating Bastille Day in my own little way today by wearing a French-inspired dress (the one I wore for my birthday party), eating some French foods (hoping to track down a Nicoise Salad tonight), listening to my French Cafe CD on my iPod, and watching Broken English tonight (which is a movie that is mostly set in Paris).

Viva la France!! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Good Life

I'm giving you a bonus song to listen to as you read this post!  It's One Republic's newest hit, Good Life.  And it's totally the song of my summer!  I actually listen to it as I walk into work each day as it has such a peppy beat that I love!

Oh, this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be the good life, good life

I say "oh, got this feeling that you can't fight"
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be the good life, a good, good life

I moved just over 2 weeks and I can honestly say it has been life changing.  It's more than the fact that I step out my door and have access to miles of beautiful running and biking trails.  It's more than trading in a long commute for a 20 minute walk.  It's more than having access to barbeque grills.  It's more than the fact that I can walk to a grocery store, farmer's market, restaruants, or church. 

It's the fact that for the first time in a very, very long time, I live in a neighborhood that is so "me". 

I'm surrounded by such beauty, so each walk in my neighborhood is a beautiful walk.  I live on the Mississippi, right by the St. Anthony Falls, which are breathtakingly beautiful.  When I talk walks in my neighborhood, I sometimes think - "Do I really live here?" 

Besides Paris, I have never been so enchanted by a neighborhood.

When you're happy like a fool
let it take you over
when everything is out
you gotta take it in

I'm taking a mental of you now
'cause hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about

I worked really hard and went through some not-so-great times in the last couple of years to get to the place I am today - both literally and figuratively.  I am just oh so happy that things have really come together this year and that I have found a neighborhood where I feel I belong.

My words can't do it do it justice, though, so I will share a few pics.  I am sure I will be sharing more photos in the weeks to come, but this at least gives you an idea of why I have fallen head-over-heels in love with my neighborhood!

Standing by the Mighty Mississippi with my building behind me (it's the brown building to the left of me).  Please excuse the ridiculously low cut dress.  I usually wear it as a swimsuit cover up but it has been so hot/humid lately, I had to wear something some cool and comfortable.

Looking at the St. Anthony falls as I crossed the Stone Arch Bridge

The St. Anthony Falls with the Stone Arch Bridge in the background
I can't wait to show my place to others, especially my parents and siblings.  I have been so unhappy in my suburban condo for so long, it feel so good to say that I once again love where I live!

What is your favorite part about the area where you live?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Run Club Review

I start my running club last week and I am happy to report that it went really well!  There were no kilt-clad men and everyone was really friendly and welcoming!  I'd say there were about 20-30 people there, so a good sized group.  The coaches are very nice and both think I will definitely be able to run a sub-2 hour half - I guess we'll see what happens this fall!

Our Wednesday consisted of a 1.5 mile warm up, 3 miles of "pick ups" which means you run hard for 2 minutes and easy for a minute.  Those 2 minutes felt SO LONG and then the 1 easy minute of running went so fast, of course.  Then with a 1.5 mile cool down.  I ended up running with 2 other girls who were both very nice and ran at a similar pace.

Saturday is the long run day.  This week you could do 8, 10, or 12.  I decided on 8 since I had plans to meet up with friends for brunch.  The people who chose to run 8 were a little bit slower than I like to run, so I ended up joining the 10 milers and figured i would just split off and come back on my own.  But I quickly figured out that there was no way I would find my way back as we were running trails I wasn't familiar with.  So I decided to suck it up and do 10.

It was a terrible decision, but it probably wasn't my best decision.  I finished the run and my pace was decent but I was pretty fatigued by the time I finished mile 8.  One of the coaches caught up with me at the end and said I really need to learn to stick with my plan and not be swayed by what others are doing.  Especially since most of the club is training for a marathon so clearly they have different mileage goals, etc. 

All in all, it was a great experience and I am looking forward to training with this group for the next 4 months!  The Victoria half is just under 3 months away.  I am super excited as I will be meeting up with Amber and Lauren, the girls I ran Portland with, and Leigh is also meeting up with us, too!  I am excited to check out another area of Canada!

Oh and I know I said I would never run another marathon...  I have a feeling I may have to retract that statement...  It's SO tempting when I hear others talk about their training and race plans... 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Music, Books, Miles, and Looks of June

Greeting and Happy Wednesday!  This recap is a bit belated, but better late then never right?

Here's the June recap!


You Do What You Have to Do by Sarah McLachlan - I am going a bit old school as this song was on an album released in 1997.  I knew other songs from her "Surfacing" album, but discovered this one thanks to Pandora.  Such a beautiful song.  Makes me really want to go see her live!

The Show Goes On by Lupe Fiasco - This is very out of character me to post a Hip-Hop/Rap type of song, but I love this song's beat.  You can't help but bop your head or dance or sing along.  Well, at least I can't help doing those things when I hear this song!  I do fee like I should have spinners on my car when I listen to this.  Ha.


I ran about 60 miles this month.  That's not stellar, but it's not terrible either.  July will be much better since I am joining a running club and will start training for a half I'll be running in October!

Whoa - I read a ton this month!  Which is not surprising now that I am not studying 10-15+ hours/week!

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - this was the blogger book club book for June.  It was a fast read, but I did not care for it.  I give the content 2 stars.  For most of the book, the main character tries to justify why it's ok to sleep with her supposed best friend's fiance.  Repeatedly.  I don't think that infidelity is cute or justifiable for any reason.  But I must be in the minority because this book got made into a romantic comedy.  Maybe I am just too much of a prude to appreciate books like this.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - This book was recommended to me by a couple of friends.  I have to say, I was a bit skeptical about it because a) I am not a dog person and b) I have zero interest in car racing.  I ended up loving the book, though.  I highly recommend it, although I do NOT recommend reading it in a public place as it may make you cry.  And crying in public = embarassing!  Also, it looks like this book will be made into a movie in 2012!

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani - Nora recommended this one to me and was once again spot on with her recommendation.  It was very easy to get into and difficult to put down.  Which explains why I read it in the span of about 2-3 days.  It tells the story of Lucia, the daughter of Italians who have immigrated to the US.  The book basically makes me want to a) learn to sew (so not happening), b) move to NYC, and c) be Italian.

Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand - This book was amazing.  It was recommended by one of my boss's friends who is an avid reader.  It tells the story of a WWII soldier fighting in the Pacific.  His plane crashes and he spends years as a POW in Japan.  This is a very, very heavy read, but it's worth checking out.  As I have gotten older, I have tried to sprinkle in more non-fiction books.  I will say, this gets off to a bit of a slow start, but it's worth sticking to it!


When Lauren emailed me last month to draw my attention to this shirt, I knew I had to get it!  Stripes + a French phrase?  Yes, please.  It was on sale and the shipping was free so I just had to get it!!  Maybe I will attract a fellow Francophile when I wear it!  Ha!  It earns bonus points as it's a long tee which is so important for me as I sort of have a longish torso!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


 Sunrise, there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise
~ Lyrics from Knee Deep by Zac Brown Band

Greetings!  So the move is behind me and I now live in what I consider paradise!  :)

Many have asked if the move went smoothly.  I wouldn't exactly use those words.

I could tell you a story about how the management company agent (intermediary between the owner and I) forgot that we were meeting Friday morning and was thus very late.

I could tell you a story about my not-so-great experience with the moving company that I hired.  Specifically, I could tell a long story about how we arrived downtown at 4:40, which was a huge problem as they only allow you to move in until 5 pm.  There may have been tears.  And panicked, tearful "what am I going to do" phone calls to my parents and Becky, who is a moving expert as she worked for a moving company in college.  Luckily my tears softened the building manager and they allowed me to move in past the 5 pm deadline.  Let me be clear - I did not cry to induce this softening - I truly was at a loss as to what I was going to do since the moving elevator was booked all weekend...  I'm not the 'I will cry so I get my way' type...

But you know what - I am moved in and my tenant is moved in and at the end of the day, that is all that matters.  Can I tell you how excited I was when I discovered that Chipotle was still open at 9:45 when I was heading home from meeting my tenant?  I hadn't ate for about 10+ hours so was famished.  I almost wanted to hug the Chipotle employee. 

So now for some photos! 

Out with the old!

The beginning of the day on Friday...

The end of the day.  It was a bittersweet moment to sit on the floor of my empty condo while I waited for my tenant to arrive.  I do not love this condo, but it will always be my first home, and that makes it special.

In with the new!
First things first, this is the view from my patio!!  I heart this view - especially at night! 

The kitchen!  I have way more counter space (which are granite, be still my heart) and I have a pantry!

The living/dining room area needs a lot of work - and more furniture, but at least this gives you an idea of what it looks like.  I already bought flowers - at the farmer's market that I walked to!  The other flowers are from a friend that I had over for dinner.  Yep, I have already entertained dinner guest!

The living/dining room from a different point of view.

My bedroom - which is rather large!  There is a read nook on the left (which I love!!)

Here's a better picture of the reading nook.  Besides the patio, this is my favorite area of the house.  My friend Brooke arranged it for me and she did an amazing job!  I think I will be spending a lot of time in this cozy little nook!

So there you have it!  Words can not express how in love I am with my new home.  As I said to Mandy on Saturday night - I love my neighborhood so much, I want to marry it.  Besides Paris, I have never loved an area as much as I love the Mill City District of  Minneapolis!!   In the weeks to come, I'll be sharing pictures of my new neighborhood!

Oh and get this - the new church I'll be attending is Our Lady of Lourdes, which is also referred to as the French Catholic Church of Minneapolis!   
How was your weekend?  I hope my Canadian readers had a great Canada Day & that my American readers had a great 4th of July!  I am doing a lot of 'mark all as read' as I won't have internet access until the end of the week, so reading/commenting on blogs will be tough.