Monday, August 30, 2010

Ride the Drive!

This weekend, my friend Amanda and I checked out an event called Ride the Drive. It was so fun! The city closed a bunch of streets (I'm sure drivers were thrilled), and tons of people biked around. There were booths with cool activities like screen printing and hula hoop making, and some totally awesome musical groups were performing along the way.

Amanda and I had to try this vegetable slalom course!

Of course, the Wienermobile was there. We got to go inside... take a look at the details! The dashboard is even shaped like a hot dog. Sweet!

Lance Armstrong was at Ride the Drive, but we didn't see him. We were probably going so fast that he couldn't catch us!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Get Real

Every morning I make a to-do list, and every afternoon, it's still there (despite an entire day of working). That can get exasperating. So here's my new idea: make a realistic to-do list. That would be a list of things that I could potentially accomplish in an 8-hour workday, with some wiggle room for email and random tasks that walk through the door. I'm going to try it out; I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Slow Poke

I am in love with our slow cooker! Tomorrow night I'm making Palak Paneer in it, and I cannot wait. Hopefully it will knock Karl's socks off when he gets home from work!

Earlier this week, we tried a delicious Enchilada Casserole in the slow cooker. It was super easy: Layer corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, veggies, black beans, and cheese, and cook on low for four hours. If you're an olive lover, throw in a whole can of black ones, sliced, with the veggies. We did, it was awesome. We also put avocado and sour cream on top... yum.

In other news, I finally took Pioneer Woman off of my Google Reader. She is just too prolific for me. I'm trying to simplify my life, and leaving the Pioneer Woman behind was step one. Goodbye, Ree. Have fun on the farm without me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Oh ya, I have a blog. I almost forgot! That might be because I've been busy having some serious fun with a few things...

Like our girls' weekend in the Dells this past weekend! I got to ride on one of the Wisconsin Ducks for the first time ever. Lifelong dream fulfilled. The Ducks are from World War II, and they can go on water and land.

And an unbelievable concert by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on Sunday! Thank you so much to my wonderful mom for taking me! I can't even describe it, except to say that it was way beyond anything I could have expected.

And some fun plans tonight with Karl! Hooray!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crock Pot Lasagna Recipe

Since you asked, here are instructions to make Crock Pot Lasagna. I've only tried it once, and our creation was based on the recipe in Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. It turned out great, and the whole house smelled like an Italian restaurant!

You'll need:
A box of 10 or so noodles (I used brown rice noodles, but you could use any kind)
25 oz. of tomato sauce (we used a store-bought spaghetti sauce)
Veggies or meat (We're not big meat-eaters, so we used eggplant, onion, mushrooms and zucchini)
Riccota cheese (I used about half of one of the smaller-sized containers)
Mozarella cheese

First, saute the vegetables lightly (and brown meat if you're using it). Add the sauce to the veggies and/or meat to make a nice chunky sauce. Assemble the lasagna: Start with a layer of sauce, then add noodles (uncooked!) and ricotta. Repeat. End with sauce, and sprinkle mozarella on top. We cooked our for about 3 1/2 hours on High and it was perfect. So easy!

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Last night, Karl and I assembled a Crock Pot lasagna and stashed it in the fridge overnight. And you know what felt so awesome? Taking it out of the fridge this morning, plugging the Crock Pot in, and going to work knowing that dinner will be ready when I get home!

It's the little things in life...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have a little secret to share...

No, I'm not pregnant. But I have been working on something for a really long time! Here's the thing, though: you can't tell anyone. It's top-secret till I actually have it in my hands. The only reason it's secret is that I haven't told any of my co-workers yet (besides the one who worked on the project with me), because in the back of my mind, I'm convinced that something's going to go wrong at the last second and the whole thing will fall through. So mum's the word!

Sworn to secrecy? Good. Here's the secret.

Feel free to order as many as you need for stocking stuffers, housewarming gifts, graduation presents, and coffee table browsing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Knit Kits!

At the library, our summer reading program (also known as the nonstop 8-week whirlwind) has ended, so we're getting ready for fall. I'm so excited to start up my 'tween knitting group again! Last year, it was a drop-in group for anyone age 8-12. It was great, but a lot of needles and yarn walked out the door, never to be seen again. This year, I'm structuring the group more like a class, with registration and limited enrollment. The class is capped at twelve kids, so I'm putting together twelve Knit Kits. And it is SO FUN! Can I please put together Knit Kits full-time? Seriously. I just ordered these:

And these:

The small pouches are to hold all of the notions that usually swim around at the bottom of knitting bags. I cannot wait to fill up the kits with yarn, needles, and other tools!

One really awesome thing about teaching knitting to 'tweens (cringe... I hate that word) is that they are so good at it. They really are. I taught one girl a couple of weeks ago, and she came back two weeks later with a shoulder purse and a matching coin purse-- including a buttonhole, purling, and decreasing! WHAT?! It took me at least four years to learn all that. These kids are amazing. Plus it's really cool to see them interact. At first, they're all shy and quiet because they don't know each other, but pretty soon they've got all kinds of inside jokes, and you'd never know they hadn't grown up together.

Let the knitting begin!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ten on Ten: August

After peeling myself out of bed super early for a run :: Sneaking in a few practice problems in the morning :: Waiting for the bus (the construction across the street is a Target in the making... I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited! Another tidbit: the round white building on the left is called the Pyare Sqare building... clever, huh?) :: Processing new books at work :: An after-work trip to Menard's with Karl :: One of the millions of Centers at Menard's :: Another one of the Centers :: What's that? Oh, it's another Center! :: A stop by the gluten-free bakery :: My husband is the sweetest

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Lovely Day for a Wedding

Our friends Laurie and Ted got married on Saturday. It was a beautiful ceremony full of personal touches. Laurie is an artist... I bet you can tell that by looking at the decorations she made for the barn! I loved the ribbon ceremony: everyone at the wedding was invited to tie a ribbon around the couple's wrists, binding them together.

Laurie and I met through a knitting group about six years ago. That same knitting group is still going strong! We surprised Laurie with a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer.

Congratulations, Laurie and Ted! Wishing you many years of love, laughter, and puppets!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stick Shifts and Safety Belts

Last night, I gave a co-worker a ride home. We don't know each other very well, and it was really nice to chat with her. She told me about a restaurant/music venue/bar that she likes called Cafe Carpe. It's in Fort Atkinson, the town where my husband works. I told my co-worker this story about Cafe Carpe:

When Karl and I got married, we had a wonderful wedding. Except for one teensy detail: the musician played the wrong song while I was walking down the aisle. I have always wanted to walk down the aisle to Roseville Fair by Bill Staines. When we met with our musician before the wedding, I gave him a CD with several versions of the song on it. So why, when I was walking down the aisle, he was playing a different song, I do not know. I do know that I don't want to talk about it.

The Thursday after our wedding, Karl lured me out to Fort Atkinson for dinner at Cafe Carpe. What I didn't know was that Bill Staines himself was playing there that night, and Karl had emailed him in advance and asked him to play Roseville Fair for me! What an awesome husband! It was so sweet.

Give- Away Winners!

You've been holding your breath... here are the July give-away winners:

The garlic press, along with a copy of the American Girl Kit movie, went to Laura. Congratulations, Laura! Enjoy pressing lots of garlic!

And the Nikki McClure books go to... Shannon! Congratulations to Shannon and her family (she has an adorable baby boy named Eli)!

Thanks to everyone for playing!