January 27, 2016

Sorry for the Random

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We bought a rice cooker the other night.

Ran to Target as the snow was falling fat, fast, and furious and picked ourselves up one of those baby rice cookers that claims to steam and fluff and do everything you need a rice cooker to do because who wants to worry about cooking rice when you’ve got a Masters thesis to write? Right?

Oh how I’ve missed the non-academic language and lack-of-transition ramblings of this tiny little blog.

Howdy from Minneapolis! Where we apparently adopt other regional phrases like “Howdy!” and use them whenever we please.

So. We bought a rice cooker the other night. That’s some news. It looks like a tiny little crockpot, and we all know how much I love LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOOOVE!  cooking with a crockpot. But I’ll confess that Darrin and I don’t really eat a lot of rice. Instead, we recently discovered this sneaky seed called quinoa (pronounced keen-wah…thanks YouTube) that looks like a seed and feels like a seed but most definitely tastes like rice. You could say that it’s practically pure protein disguised as rice. And wouldn’t ya know, quinoa-pronounced-keen-wa can be made ever so nicely in our new little rice cooker. Which, maybe more accurately, is actually a quinoa cooker disguised as a rice cooker that cooks quinoa-pronounced-keen-wah disguised as rice.

It’s all very “Mission Impossible” over here in our kitchen.

In other news, I’ve been hunched over my desk for the past two weeks, trying to maintain a healthy research schedule as I try to finish up my Masters degree. I’m pretty positive my overall posture has taken a hit since I started pursuing this degree. By summer I’ll be permanently hunched like Quasimodo and one of my eyes will adopt an uncontrollable twitch from spending far too much time staring at my computer screen. But it will all be worth it, Darrin tells me. We’ll see what he says when Quasi-Gracie needs help walking down the street because her knuckles drag along the sidewalk…

Did I tell you about the night Darrin nearly sliced off his thumb chopping tomatoes? It was all very grotesque…what with the red juices from the tomato and the darker red juices from Darrin’s thumb. Domesticity can be pretty mundane right up until you need tomatoes in your salad. Then, apparently, domesticity can be super dangerous and gruesome. Luckily Darrin’s thumb remains intact. He can still give high-fives rather than high-fours, which would just be way too confusing.

As to this outfit I’m wearing, it’s freezing here in Minneapolis. Cold. Bitter. Mushy. And it’s been cloudy for the past week. So I’m wearing black. In mourning for the sunshine that used to be oh so familiar and the warm weather that didn’t confine me to my academic batcave. Black dress. Black coat. And a big ol’ blanket scarf that really does live up to it’s name (*praise hands emoji*).

Hope you’re staying warm wherever you are! Thanks for stopping by!


  • Jacket: Calvin Klein (old from Nordstrom; super similar)
  • Blanket Scarf: Francesca’s (old; similar)
  • Dress: Old Navy
  • Boots: Sorel (seriously my favorite winter boots ever)
  • Handbag: Express (suuuuuper old. so old it should be in bed by 4pm)

January 12, 2016

Some Sister Survival

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….And a long time no blog post, am I right? Well then! Hello from the bitter streets of Minneapolis. Where the winter weather is truly not for the faint of heart. Or for those with terrible circulation (i.e. Darebear). The high today is THREE. With a wind chill of negative TWENTY-FIVE for good measure. And how are we surviving these bitter winter days? First by taking a few necessary sister selfies before our baby musketeer leaves us to finish her last (her LAST!) college semester.

Just living up to all of our millennial expectations, I guess.  And who could pass up pictures of this beautiful Minnesota winter?

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Our father in the background is just not having any of it. [insert hysterical laughing emoji]


Trees lined with snow just get my heart going (see below).

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Visions of Olaf and Elsa and icicles shooting out of our palms were definitely dancing in our heads. We spent about fifteen chilly minutes at the park to see the new snow, and I’ll confess right here that I sure don’t move as gracefully as Elsa does in the snowy weather. It’s more of a romping + stomping motion with some physically and mentally tense shuffling across any potentially icy surface. But who cares about what you look like in the snow if you can hit that high note in “Let It Go” while you’re driving in your car and basically screaming it at the top of your lungs all the while mentally preparing yourself for a life without vocal chords because you just KNOW you likely tore something and should stop at the nearby gas station for a bottled water.


Of course, after about fifteen minutes in the ridiculous windchill and lack of degrees, we wandered back to my apartment and wrapped ourselves in every blanket we could find. Minnesota winters are sure beautiful. And let me tell ya, they’re even more beautiful from my living room couch. 😉

Hope your staying warm this January!


December 29, 2015

An Iowa Christmas

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Christmas 2015 took place in Iowa this year, where the wind outside was sometimes unbearably frightful but who cares when your reading a new book on the living room couch, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket and sporting a pair of thick wool socks that would make even the sheep grunting in the barn out back envious. We spent our week wearing clothes that could double as pajamas and enjoying every second we spent with family we always wish we could see more often. Apparently Iowa had been dreaming of a beige and brown with small patches of green Christmas, so we were snow-less on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But we didn’t mind. There was hot coffee (so much coffee!) and card games and good conversation. Our days always seem to progress at a different pace when we’re on the family farm. A slower, more thoughtful pace. One we sure don’t take for granted.

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We spent our first full day decorating the Christmas tree. Darrin was light-string master, while I did my best not to break any ornaments. No, my friends, the ornament breaking didn’t occur until I started decorating the dinner table. I am now literally (and perhaps figuratively) one silver bulb short of an entire six-bulb set. Sorry about that, G-ma.

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Small town grocery stores totally understand the necessity that IS chocolate. Chocolate with peanut butter. Chocolate pretzels. Almond chocolate clusters. Chocolate with coconut. Chocolate covered espresso beans. Chocolate pecans. Chocolates with caramel. FOREVER AND EVER AND SO SHALL IT ALWAYS BE AMEN.

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And a Merry Christmas to you too, ya filthy animals.

I mean, GEESH. Quit staring at me.

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We spent an afternoon channeling our inner architects for a gingerbread house contest. I think I may have a future career in gingerbread architecture. I like a job that allows me the option of eating my failures before I have to account for them.

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Up close and personal with the farm dogs.


These two were either wishing me a Merry Christmas or contemplating my demise. I’m thinking the latter is a bit more accurate.

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And that’s all, folks! Hope you had a happy Christmas! We’re back in the Minne Apple and about  to binge watch the entire Star Wars saga before we see the new movie on Thursday afternoon.

So. To infinity…and BEYOND!

[Wait. That can’t be right.]


December 17, 2015

On Traditions (Or Our Lack Thereof)

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After much brainstorming, deliberation, and a two-person unanimous vote, Darrin and I have decided to celebrate our own Christmas this upcoming Monday, the day before we road trip ourselves down to Iowa for the rest of the week’s holiday celebrations. And because this year might very well be our last Christmas in our little Minneapolis apartment, I’ve been trying to brainstorm more meaningful traditions that we could start on Monday and continue every Christmas season with our future family that then they will pass down to their children and their children’s children and so on and so forth for all eternity amen.


I’ll admit that it’s a lot to brainstorm in one morning.

Do we spend the day first baking cookies like they do in all of those Martha Stewart magazines? Wearing matching aprons and getting perfectly placed flour on our faces all the while laughing about how fun baking can be! Especially in matching aprons! And then maybe we buy one of those elf dolls that I sort of find a bit creepy and spend the entire afternoon making up for the days and weeks we missed placing and posing him in strange places around the apartment. After that, we’ll possibly head downtown and wander the city looking for some place Christmas-y to ice skate or shop or eat or whatever until we’re tired of all this Christmas tradition-making and just want to head home and watch Parks and Recreation on Netflix for the rest of the night.

OR maybe we’ll just do the one little tradition we’ve started since moving to our Minneapolis apartment: Christmas fort night. Where we drag our mattress into the living room and spend the evening eating popcorn, giving gifts, and watching Christmas movies beside the tree. Which admittedly sounds a bit more relaxing than forcing a full day of random Christmas traditions. It’s funny how certain activities can be just plain old “activities” one year and “meaningful traditions” the next. Maybe THAT’S the secret behind forming the best Christmas traditions, Charlie Brown: to just let them happen.

Of course, that’s definitely the mentality I had when I bought this wool coat from American Eagle over Black Friday this year (it’s currently on sale, by the way). I added it to my online shopping cart and told the little voice questioning the necessity of the purchase in my head to just calm down…let the online order happen…


Also FYI: this coat is HEFTY, you guys, which in Minnesota translates to wonderfully warm. Bring on those bitter January temperatures!