3.30.2011

Intro To My Other Life...

So there's another life that I have that I haven't mentioned much. Why? Because it's kind of scary... Bimmer Man is called Bimmer Man because he's a BMW car enthusiast. Actually, not only is he an enthusiast he races them too.

The thrill of car racing past me by years ago... When you get a phone call from your husband saying the car needs to be towed home on a flatbed because the radiator failed, well, not only does your heart skip a beat but so does the bank account.

He went to track days, put in some lap time, joined the Hoosier BMW Club and that was it.

Then the deliveries started.

A helmet, specialized driving gloves, Ferrari driving shoes, etc... New car parts... I really like our UPS guy. And when we lived in Indiana, car parts were even delivered to my work (imagine my surprise when I think it's a work package and it turns out to be the front end of a BMW).

This is why he has a shop in the basement and a shop in the garage. I'll have to take pics of the race shop at some point because now I'm sure y'all are curious to see what a race shop looks like (cars, car parts, welding tools, spare roll cages, extra seats and smelly men). Neither is it glitzy nor glamorous like Penske or Andretti Green Racing is. Sarah Fisher's race shop is really nice plus she's pretty awesome too - Graham Rahal drove in her cars last year. Unfortunately she's not big enough to get huge sponsorship like some of the other shops and I would really like to see that. I think that her team could do excellent if they had more funding (but just don't let me start spouting off like other race wives, it's really not like we matter that much in the world of racing. Generally wives are on the sidelines trying to not look to bored).

In any case, a roll cage was put into Bimmer's every day driving BMW (which I helped with, I'm actually pretty good at helping to fix cars but that's a whole other story) and then track days became more frequent and more expensive. He wanted more than just driving fast around a track trying to better his lap times.

 He's actually going to be an instructor this year... if he has time...

WE decided (yes, WE, not HE) that racing was the next step. And so out of that decision the ChumpCar World Series has now taken over my life from late February to late October. There are famous racers that do a few races each year. Races take place in major tracks (like Road America and the Iowa Speedway) and some people have jumped from Chump to more famous racing teams and televised races. The picture below is Bimmer Man (in the gray car) at the Iowa Speedway.


Last weekend he was supposed to race at Road America but it was canceled due to weather. They're heading out for this weekend instead and Bimmer is super excited for the season opener. I'm pushing for the team to go race in Ensenada, Mexico - it's a street race, however in my excitement for going to Mexico I sort of forgot that I'd probably get stuck either in the car giving the guys a break or being on the pit crew and all suited up. I'd planned on just going to the beach and reading, shopping or hanging out by the hotel pool but I forgot - I'd have to actually work.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a heck of a lot of information - people that don't race are usually pretty curious and have a lot of questions.

If you're curious to see more, feel free to visit Bimmer's blog, Opposite Lock. He mostly talks about repairing cars, recaps of the races and the events.

3.28.2011

Inspiration Prints for Basement

Being from Minneapolis and happening upon prints from favorites locales... I can't help but buy them and be in love.

I was thinking about doing 3 or 4 prints - 8x12, framing them in awesome frames and then doing some sort of photo gallery with family photos, vacation prints, etc...
 These are fantastic and personal plus I feel like they really reflect mine and Bimmer Man's personalities, home and our favorite places to be.
 Minnesota. Not so great in the winter but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the summer (Ok, so that's my new motto to get me through the winter).

Luckily, these prints are available to the public and they are VERY reasonably priced. $16 for an un-framed 8x10 print and $25 for an un-framed 16x20 print.

Thank goodness for the Minnesota Historical Society - I'm pretty much going to rush off and order the ones I've featured above!

3.25.2011

Truths For Mature Humans

I always get a kick out of this no matter where I see it or how often it gets forwarded to me in an email:

Truths For Mature Humans

·         I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediate clear your computer history if you die.

·         Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

·         I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

·         There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

·         How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

·         Was learning cursive really necessary?

·         MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

·         Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

·         I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

·         Bad decisions make good stories.

·         You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

·         Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection… again.

·         I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

·         “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this – ever.

·         I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Fuck it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

·         I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

·         I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
·         I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

·         I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

·         I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

·         Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

·         I would rather try to carry 10 over-loaded plastic bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

·         The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

·         I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

·         How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?

·         I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

·         Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

·         Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber and dumber every year?

·         There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning you chair back a little too far.

·         As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate bicyclists. 

·         Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

·         Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail of the Donkey – but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

Yarn Wreath For The Front Door

 I've been feeling mighty crafty lately. As in I've made two crocheted scarves, I'm working on a second yarn wreath (it's gray with fuschia & orange flowers, then I'm going to figure out how to make leaves out of felt) and I got new photo cards in the mail to make up some thank you notes and birthday cards for the family members. And I haven't yet mentioned my new sewing book, One Yard Wonders which I pretty much want to make everything in it. So my to-do list is sort of long so bear with me when I post craft stuff if you're not interested.
To make this wreath, I followed this tutorial here. It was really easy - but the longest part was wrapping the yarn around the wreath. I got through three episodes of Shameless on Showtime and I was mostly done. Not to mention that about halfway through, I sort of got distracted and kept pulling tangled yarn out of the middle of the wreath so it was sort of a mess.

Tip #1: There's obviously 2 ends to a ball of yarn. Start from the outside of the yarn ball instead of the inside, you won't have as many tangle issues as I did. I'm used to pulling yarn out of the middle for crochet so I kept screwing myself over.

Tip #2: Watch good television. It'll get you through the 60% - 100% mark of the yarn wrapping.

Tip #3: No homemade craft is perfect. It's ok if you screw up and don't get the wrapping straight. It makes it look better anyway.

Also - for making the felt flowers, they're super easy, but remember to keep them tight so that way when you go to get your hot glue gun and can't find it, the flowers will stay in place while you make a quick trip to Michael's for a new glue gun - and remember to get a "high heat" glue gun so that it's flexible enough to use on other projects too.

Anyone want a wreath?

Awesome Coffee Mug


Yup, it is a replica of a camera lens. My mother-in-law is awesome. Here's the inside of it:




I honestly have no idea aboutvwhere to find one. Maybe Amazon or some local shops? Hilarious though- it's fun to bring to work.

3.23.2011

Inspired: Roman Shades

Inthe bathroom on the main floor. Now to find nice, clean, crisp vintage linen!


- Posted from my iPhone

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

 I was having issues this weekend finding a recipe that I could use. I wanted a cream cheese batter - not cream cheese in the middle or plopped on top. And when this girl wants a cream cheese batter, this girl will do pretty much anything to find a recipe that's easily adapted to CREAM CHEESE.


Adapted from this Best Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins
    • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, at room temp 
    • 1 package of cream cheese 
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Heat oven to 375°.
  2. Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups (or 12 large size muffins).
  3. In bowl or stand mixer, mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and cream cheese and beat until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.
  5. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add in half of flour then half of milk into batter; repeat.
  7. Fold in blueberries.
  8. Spoon into muffin cups.
  9. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.

And I'd like to link up to Lisa's Sweets For a Saturday #10

3.22.2011

I've Gone Mobile

Um, yea i've found an app to post from my iphone. Woo hoo!


- Posted from my iPhone

Fettuccine With Peas, Shallot & Herbs

It's thisclose to summer and fresh herbs and veggies from the garden. I'm tempted to plant peas, but knowing what happened last year with tomatoes, I think I should probably buy a bigger fence for my veggies!
This recipe has mint - feel free to leave out or sub with basil. I just love how green it is!
Cook the peas with the pasta the last few minutes of the cooking time. This recipe is from my Real Simple recipe app on my iPhone - it's so nice to have while standing in Byerly's. I don't think I can go grocery shopping without recipes in front of my anymore, isn't that awful?
Saute the shallots, I cut them up nicely since I didn't really know if I wanted big hunks of shallot in my teeth.

And cheese. I love cheese.
Mix all together and enjoy. YUM.

Fettuccine With Peas, Shallot, and Herbs

* 12 ounces fettuccine (3/4 box)
* 1 10-ounce package frozen peas
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 6 shallots, sliced
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 1/2 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan (2 ounces)
* 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
* 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain, and return the pasta and peas to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
3. Add the shallots, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Toss the pasta and peas with the shallots, ¼ cup of the cheese, and the reserved cooking water.
5. Fold in the parsley and mint. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese and serve.

3.21.2011

A Rack Of Ribs (Live Blogging)



 These are cooking in my kitchen. RIGHT NOW. And it smells so good!
But on the flip side - I have no idea if this is wine or not. I bought it because it was cheaper than $13 at Costco. It tastes awful. But I still put it in the pot to deglaze the pan anyway.

Behind it - my special BBQ sauce. Sort of - tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, honey, hot sauce, pepper and soy sauce. Just mix it together and throw it in the pot.

Beware I've Been Baking & Cooking

Soon to be blogged:

Blueberry cream cheese muffins
Pasta with peas, shallots & herbs
Steak

And I'm probably going to make something with a jalepeno, black beans and cilantro tomorrow. We shall see.

3.19.2011

Rusty Is Lazy

I come home from work and he looks like this.

Or else he's completely spread out by the front window. Or on the couch.

He's such a funny dog (not to mention that he can totally be an asshole), but he has this funny habit where he'll lay on the couch, hear something outside but instead of going to the window to look and see what it is - he just barks from the couch. And no, he doesn't even lift his head up to look.

Lazy, lazy dog. Lazy.

3.18.2011

Please Take Your Bets

This week I started a germination tray for spinach and basil. This afternoon I'm starting one for lettuce.

I think I'm going to need more than one large garden container for veggies this year. What are the odds that you think I can find at least 5 for less than $15 each?

I guess it's off to Ikea this weekend to see what some of my options are! Any other ideas for where I can find large garden pots that aren't too expensive?

I'm not opposed to making my own but I don't have a saw. I do have an orbital sander though. HA.

Backyard Inspiration

Oh my goodness gracious. I have fallen in love with this idea for our backyard. This comes from Sunset and I totally want to do this!

Oh, and if you want to see what else inspires me, click here to follow my Pinboard on Pinterest...

Hair. I Never Know What To Do With It

I have had the WORST bad hair days lately. I think it's because my hair is growing out - too short for a pony tail yet just the right length for it to stand out straight...

And I'm tellin' ya Bumble & Bumble... if you make an excellent product for frizz, please send some my way to try out this summer. Aveda? YOU TOO!!! I will most definitely be your tester because if you can deal with hair like mine, well, then, you deserve a ginormous reward. Really, you do...

And for anyone that wants my wavy and crazy hair this week, please stop by. I'll shave it off for you.

Mmmm-kay? Thanks!

Happy Friday!

3.15.2011

It's The Ides of March Again

On this day in 1998 at about 1:10 in the afternoon, I, along with my three siblings, joined the Dead Dad's Club. After sitting on the couch with my VERY young nephew in my lap and my niece sitting next to me and crying three tears (yep, just three, I remember this very specifically), I decided not to cry again. No use for crying when there was crap to do.

The body bag was hauled out of the house on a stretcher and those wheel tracks were there for days. Three years of Hell and only three tears were shed.

I remember my dad's oncologist pretty well. She was my muse of creativity - her wardrobe inspired me to do photography. She wore black leather boots with an awesome herringbone skirt and a bright red shirt and her hair was jet black. She had awesome reading glasses (and I wanted to wear glasses after that) and spoke with poise, straightforward and not really all that comforting. There were only a few weeks left in my dad's life, maybe.

Visits in the hospital were really weird, we had to be in isolation, going through the weird isolation doors, washing hands and if you were sick, well, there was no option - you could not pass through the doors. Awful, right? Well, for me, that was normal life.

I went to school the day after my dad died. Was I in shock? Meh, probably. But mostly what I needed was normalcy. I told my friends about it like it was a routine weekend thing to do, you know, having your father die. I think they were in more shock than I was. However, my family had been through Hell and back trying unsuccessfully to defeat cancer. So death was more of a comfort.

The day before he died we had the whole family over. It was nice. It was peaceful. It was to say goodbye. Tears were shed, my dad promising to help in the garden in the summer even though we both knew that wasn't going to happen.

The summer before he died I couldn't keep up with the garden. The weeds had grown 3 or 4 feet tall between all the rows of vegetables that my father had planted in the Spring. I was heartbroken, mostly because I knew this was the last summer that I would have my dad. He couldn't go outside in his garden anymore. He had carefully planted the rows, evenly spaced them out, evenly spaced out the tomato plants and I said that I would weed and take care of everything. Ever so faithful me, I couldn't do it all without him. I didn't want him to look out the windows and see the overgrown garden. I thought he would be disappointed in me.

That was the last summer that we had a full garden.

But the year that he died, we had the most beautiful sunflowers. They were over 10 feet tall, flowering until late in the season. I always liked to think that he helped them grow that tall, like he was watching over me and helping me with my green thumb.

Thirteen years later I still miss my father when it's time to plant the garden. I always hope that he's with me when I make sure that my veggies are evenly spaced (though he sure wasn't helping keep them safe from Rusty!).

This is the first time I've openly written about my father's death. Frankly, when you lose a parent at a young age, it's really hard to put words to how you feel. Not only have I missed out on opportunities to have my dad at big events in my life, but he's not there when I need to know how to do day-to-day things either. That's the hard part. You don't know what you're missing.

So this post is for my family, get your martini with olives and pound your fist on the table like you're really pissed off, then make piles of crap all over the house and act like a tightwad today. And don't forget to watch the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour and maybe bet on a horse race. Happy Ides of March.

3.14.2011

Rusty? Rusty! RUSTY!!!

And I've created a MONSTER. Ok, not really. It's our backyard. Our backyard has created a MONSTER. There's rabbits, there's Sassi next door, tomatoes, squirrels, plants to pee on, smells, the list goes on and on.

Each morning I let him out. 7:00 am on the dot. Ok, maybe 7:05 some days. Whatever.

He obediently runs right back in because he knows he's getting fed. (You ask him if he's hungry and he runs to the kitchen, what a smart dog).

But the next time I let him out, he won't come back. I can stand there yelling his name. Curse words. Tell him a story. Say treat.

NOTHING.

He just looks at me like I'm an idiot.

Same thing happens in the afternoon. I wave my arms. Jump up and down.

And he just gives me this blank stare like, "Mom, I may be a dog but I'm not stupid." And then he goes back to looking/sniffing/whatever.

I can have a fishy treat. He comes half the time. He definitely does not come if he can't see it. GAH.

So this morning Bimmer Man is sick in bed and I'm leaving for work. Let Rusty out. Open the door to call him back inside and I know that I'm screwed. I got a new pair of shoes.

I take two steps out the door and whoosh! My left foot has slipped and I feel myself sliding.

"FUCK!"

Rusty. Oh, Rusty. He just stands on his snowbank with his tail wagging staring at me. Asshole.

I get down the porch steps and take another step. No traction.

I'm practically doing the splits trying to get to my dog to drag him inside by the collar.

I looked to the left and then to the right trying to see if I could see any neighbors outside and then I prayed that the neighbors didn't hear me. "FUCK YOU TOO, RUSTY!" I said as I slipped and slid my way back inside to change my shoes.

After putting on my boots I went to the backdoor to stomp around the yard and drag him inside.

There he was standing at the backdoor.

Like an asshole.

3.12.2011

Bedroom Inspiration

Image found on Design Sponge. I also added it to my Pinterest.

I want our master bedroom to look like this. I love the wall color. I want the stripes. And it just looks so freakin' comfy.

So today when I was putting away clean laundry I decided to do something that I probably should not do. Ok, well, really, in design and decorating is there really anything that you're not supposed to do? (Maybe I shouldn't ask that question).

I REMOVED THE FOOTBOARD ON OUR BED. 

I searched for the stupid tool and started unscrewing everything.

Then I pulled it off and WHAM!!!

Our bed looks bigger than full size. I can actually see the room. When I change the channel on the remote I don't have to press it like five times because the footboard is in the way.

And our bedroom looks clean.

In the meantime Bimmer was out in the garage. I didn't really say anything and then I slowly stuck it into some random thing that we were talking about. And I said it sort of quickly.

Itookapartthebedandremovedthefootboard.

He ran upstairs. And less than 10 seconds went by (I was getting ready to go back upstairs and put the stupid metal thing back on), he appeared at the top of the stairs with a thumbs up and said, "I hated that thing anyway."

3.11.2011

Breakfast Hash


Eggs

Mushrooms and red bell peppers

Sausage

Pull it out of the casings when you brown it

Add the eggs to scramble along with some cheese and you're good to go.

Breakfast is my favorite!

3.10.2011

Fresh Flowers

Irises and tulips. These are actually dead now. Because I got them for Valentine's Day. I kept them alive for about a week and a half.

Bimmer Man usually just gets me tulips but he decided to surprise me with some variety - and I loved them!

Gosh, after getting these, spring fever has totally set in, tomorrow it's supposed to be 42 degrees, which means that yes, I will wear shoes. Again. For like the second time in 2011.

What? I Wear Shoes?

Ok, well, no, I don't normally wear shoes. I wear my awesome Wicked Good Slippers from L.L. Bean all the time in the cold weather. And flip flops in the summer. Or just bare feet. My toes aren't big fans of socks and shoes.

But a few days ago, it was actually nice outside. In Minnesota. Yes. In March.

So I wore shoes.

Abner For PPR


Ok, well, he's now adopted so his name is different. But we watched Abner for a weekend and he was adorable. Aren't his ears just so stinkin' cute???

Thirtsy Thursday?

BWHAHAHAHA!!! Maybe. Sorry, still on cold meds.

So I've got a few things to share with you:

1. This website makes me not want to have children for another few years.

2. I'm going to make Irish Creme Brownies for St. Patrick's Day.

3. Echinacea tastes awful but I can't swallow the stupid capsules so I put it in cinnamon applesauce this morning.

4. A firetruck has parked across the street from my work with its lights on three days in a row. I'm seriously wondering if someone has a crush on a fireman.

50. Whoops. Cold medicine.

Have a great Thursday!

3.08.2011

Let's Go Back In Time For A Moment

And think about the past television shows that I can now watch on Netflix Streaming. Like this:


Yep, yesterday while I was in a coma of cold medicine I listened to episodes of The Magnificent Seven. Let me tell you, I barely remember watching it when I was younger, but I remember really random scenes and I remember the music so it was funny when all of a sudden I was waking up from a cold-coma and thinking I was at my mom's house and in junior high school again. And then you remember thinking that one actor was super cute (um, Eric Close?) and then you see them again you're like "what the heck was I thinking?" Ahh... to only look at those teeny bopper magazines again...

Help Me Get Over A Cold

I'm pretty sure this is the second cold I've had in 6 weeks.

Gross.

So I'm a sniffling, snoring, sneezing mess of a person today.

What can I do to get over a cold faster?

So far I have been:

Sleeping 20 hours out of the past 36 (yes, really, I slept that much!!!)
Drinking green tea
Took echinacea
Tylenol PM
Sudafed
Used a Netipot

WHEN WILL THIS COLD BE OVER??? Ahhh...

3.06.2011

Rusty. Has. A. Mind. Of. His. Own.

Ugh. Dogs, I tell you.

This morning I was at the computer, you know, blogging, when I heard the porch door open. I was like - what the heck? Who in the world has decided to visit our house at 8:45 am?

So I went out into the dining room and the door was ajar, Rusty has now decided to try and let himself out.

And here I thought he was mightily afraid of doors. Nope, guess not.
Happy weekend!

True Blood Fans, I've Got Something For You

Ahhh... Eric with his shirt off... we've finally come to my favorite book of the series!!!

AHHHHHHHHH!!!! OOOHHHHH. EEEMMMMMM. GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

I can't wait.

And now for your viewing pleasure, please click here.



3.04.2011

In Love With A Chair

Can you really be in love with an inanimate object? Like you know, a chair?

$349 from Urban Outfitters And I love it even more in Gray. WOOT!!! Plus it's fairly affordable. Gotta love it!

Oh and this cafe stool too from Urban Outfitters - $99

And this super awesome Gramercy sofa - $649

Ahhh... LOVE Urban Outfitters! And I haven't even looked at the clothes yet!