Friday, December 31, 2010


2010 has been one for the books. This year has been filled with trials and tribulations. It has been a challenging year and an extremely exciting year. I should have known that with the way this year started it was going to be amazing. We threw a last second party together and it just so happened our 6 closest friends were free. It was without a doubt the best New Year's I've ever had and was a perfect way to set the tone for the year to come.

In March, with the help of my family, we took a leap of faith and started a business. March 1st, 2010 will always be the day we opened Coffee Buzz's doors. It has been an unbelievable experience so far. It's be so exciting and hard and stressful and gratifying and scary and just all around consuming. I think overall our first year was a success and I am optimistic that 2011 will bring great things for Coffee Buzz.

Along with the rest of Minnesota we got to celebrate the opening of our brand new baseball field, Target Field. J and I were lucky enough to go to several Twins games at the new stadium and felt so lucky to be apart of such a big event in Minnesota history!

In May, I was lucky enough to take a three day trip to New York City with my mom! We shopped, ate way too much and fulfilled one of her longtime dreams of seeing Bon Jovi in concert! It was a trip to remember!

I was also lucky enough to be a part of three weddings this year. In May I was a bridesmaid in my friend Brianna's wedding.

I was the Maid of Honor in my mom's wedding AND gained a step-dad and two step-sisters!

Then, just last month I got to dance the night away at one of my best guy friend's wedding.

This year also marked a huge milestone for me! I went from absolutely hating running (well, I still sort of do) to running my very first 5k. It was a huge accomplishment for me and it was really fun!

It was also a huge year for J because he turned 30!!! I threw a huge party for him and made sure to make this milestone good and celebrated! It was such a fun week!

And, of course, this is the year that my best friend and love of my life asked me to be his wife! For this reason 2010 will always be so special! 9/2/10 was the best day of my life and I CANNOT wait to walk down the aisle in 2011!

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve! Be safe and cheers to a wonderful 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughts on Thursday

Once again I am copying my BB and using this Thursday to share my random thoughts, and boy do I have a lot of them.

I have been on a Friends tangent lately. I get in these moods where I have to watch Friends, like all the time. The beginning of December I started on Season1, Episode 1 and now I'm beginning the 9th Season. I am so obsessed with this damn show and it never gets old.

Earlier this week my mom and I saw Black Swan. Holy Moly! It was AMAZING but also scared the pants off of me. I am super afraid of birds and mirrors (it's a long story) and this movie consists of both....and a lot of them. If you've seen it you know what I mean. I highly recommend this movie, it was brilliantly directed and Natalie Portman was beyond amazing! If she doesn't win an Oscar I will revolt! But, if you do go see it, beware that it is hard to watch. It is extremely dark and twisted and disturbing, but so so good! And, if you're afraid of birds and mirrors, be sure to bring your mommy with you!

I am seriously obsessed with the Tim McGraw Number One Hits album. I am newer to country, I stopped completely hating it about 5 years ago and began to love it about two years ago, so a few of the songs on the album are new to me. Oh man, I love it so so so much!

I really can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2010! Where has the year gone! I am excited for New Year's Eve but even more excited for what 2011 has to bring! It is going to be a GREAT year!

I think next Tuesday (my day off) I am going to bite the bullet and make the largest purchase I have ever made (by choice that is) and buy my wedding shoes! I am soooo excited! And kind of nervous, though, I'm not sure why I'm nervous!

Miss Britney Jean Spears has a new album coming out in March and the new single drops in January!!!! I am SO UNBELIEVABLY EXCITED!!!! Britney is my girl and I am so glad she is doing so well and continuing to make music AND from what I've heard this is going to have a more old school Brit Brit pop sound! WAHOO!!! Is it March yet?!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Hotel

A few weeks ago I went and toured a possible hotel for us and our guests on our wedding night. I absolutely loved it and on Monday I went to sign the contract and officially reserve a block of rooms! We'll be staying at the Doubletree Hotel just right outside of downtown Minneapolis. It is the absolute perfect location because it's in the suburbs, so it's easy to get to but it's in a super new and super fun area. The hotel is less than 4 miles to our reception site and just under 6 miles to our church. AND, they offer a shuttle to get our guests to and from the reception, which will be wonderful!

I booked a hospitality suite for me to stay in the night before the wedding and for my girls and I to get ready in the day of the wedding. Then the night of the wedding J and I will be staying in one of their romantic jacuzzi suites!

The hotel offers great "standard rooms" as well as really nice suites so our guests can stay for all different price points and comfort levels.

J and I went back and forth trying to decide if we should stay at the same hotel as our guests or not. We played with the idea of staying somewhere really nice and really special downtown. When it came down to it we decided we'd rather save that money for our honeymoon. Let's be honest, we'll be in our hotel room for no more than 10 hours, so why spend $350+??? I would much rather spend that on a nice dinner or something fun on the honeymoon. As far as staying with our guests, we plan on leaving the reception before everyone else. Then we can get situated in our room before our guests arrive, therefore no one will know where we are and won't be able to bug us.

This is just one more of those pesky to-dos that I am glad to have figured out! One less thing to worry about and one more thing to cross off my list!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Budget

Ugh! Money! We have 10 months until the wedding and a million things to pay for. My parents are extremely generous and are taking care of the majority of the wedding, which I am so unbelievably grateful for. But, there are some things J and I have committed to taking care of, like our wedding bands, our honeymoon, gifts for the wedding party and other little things here and there. Turns out all those little things add up quite quickly. We have been putting money away since we got engaged (thank you Coffee Buzz tip jar) but we really need to start putting more aside if we're going to be able to do and get all things we want.

I figure now that a new year is starting, this is a perfect time to try and change some habits to help save some money. This will help us out now with the wedding and hopefully these habits will stick and help us save for a house, fun trips and other big expenses in the future!

I started out by making a monthly budget for myself. I added up all the bills I must pay (stupid bills) and then approximated all the other things I spend my money on each month, like groceries and gas. Well, unless I want to give up eating (which may not be a bad idea) I am not left with much money for fun or savings. Let's face it I have to have spending money. As much as I want and need to save I need to be able to spend money for my sanity. I've come up with a couple of ideas to help me save more and spend less. Some of them are coming from a website I found and some of them I came up with all on my own....

-Eat more meals at home! Heck, I'm spending all that money on groceries might as well eat them.

-Host more Saturday night game nights instead of spending the night on the town (get it...spending the night....going out is expensive!) Plus, this will help me to keep our house clean! Double points!

-Switch gyms! Right now I belong to LA Fitness and I love it because it's less than half a mile from Coffee Buzz but I'm paying $29.99 for the membership and another $56.00 for two personal training session a month! J works at Lifetime Fitness part time keeping stats for their basketball league and gets a free membership because of it. Now that we're engaged I get a free membership as well! That's almost $100 a month I will be saving!

-Work more hours at Mary Kay's. I am working part time at Mary Kay's Bridal to pay for my wedding dress! Once it's paid off I will be able to bring home that money and believe me, it will be going straight in to savings! The more hours I work, the quicker my dress will be paid for and the faster our savings account will grow.

-Each paycheck I am going to withdraw a set amount of cash and this will be my spending money until my next paycheck. My card will be used for bills, gas and groceries ONLY! This will be a huge challenge but will really help control my spending, if I can pull it off.

-Write a list before shopping and stick to it. This would help me soooo much, especially at Target. I can go in to Target for advil and mittens and come out with $150 worth of stuff. I really need to take advantage of my love for list-making.

-Drink more water! First, I need to do this anyway and second, I buy so many damn Powerade Zeroes it's not even funny. If I just drink the free water I have I would save a ton....I wish there was a way to see how much I've spent on Powerade Zeroes over the last year, actually I take that back. I don't want to know.

-My poor hair is going through a lot right now, that's for a different post. So, I'm not coloring it until before the wedding. This will save me money too!

-Buy in bulk. We have a Sam's Club membership for Coffee Buzz, but I should really use it for personal stuff toilet paper, garbage bags, dish soap, and other household items we go through pretty quickly.

Now, this is where you come in. What money saving tips do you have?

Monday, December 27, 2010


Welcome to Monday blog friends! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! We sure did. Once again this year was filled with flying all over town trying to see as many people as we possibly can. We spent Christmas Eve afternoon with my dad playing games. Then, Christmas Eve night was spent at J's Aunt and Uncle's which is always hilarious because his family is a minimum of 35 people. Then Christmas morning we were at J's dad's for breakfast. Next, we went to my mom's for Christmas dinner and finally we headed up north to Milaca to spend Christmas night with J's mom. Whew, I'm getting tired just thinking about it. Needless to say we are both exhausted. We are so lucky to have so many people who want to see us but it really does get so tiring bouncing from place to place. I can't wait until we have a house and can host!

Our families were extremely generous this year and we both received some pretty wonderful gifts! Among my favorites are...

Tim McGraw's Number One Hits from my little sister....I haven't stopped listening to it!

Tiffany's "Eau de Parfum Atomiseur" from my mama!

A super cute light blue (my fave color) cover for my Nook along with a screen protector and ear phones from my Auntie Lisa.

Bobby Flay's "Burgers, Fries & Shakes" cookbook from my dad! There are soooo many amazing recipes in this book! I cannot wait to try them and of course share them with you! Caesar Salad Burger, anyone?!

Habanero Mango and Green Tea Wasabi hot sauces from Blair's Heat collection! Sooo excited to try these!!!

AND, thanks to my extremely generous family I now have enough money to buy the wedding shoes I thought I could only ever dream of!!! I am sooooo worked up! But, I'm not sharing those with you until I have them in my possession! Plus, they deserve a post all their own! Swoon!

Like I said, we spent Christmas evening and Sunday afternoon up in Milaca with J's mom and step-dad. A while back J's mom had found a couple of huge boxes filled with pictures of J and his sister Nicole when they were little. We spent Christmas night going through these boxes and it was so fun! It was hilarious seeing pictures of everyone so young and emotional looking back on memories from so long ago. Amidst all these family photos I found two pictures that I will FOREVER treasure! And honestly, finding these pictures was the highlight of my Christmas!
The first is this picture of J when he was 5 years-old. First of all, HOW CUTE IS HE?!?! Seriously, if my kids are half that cute I will be thrilled! He has not changed one bit and I love that! I've known J my whole life, but he's 4 years older than I am, so I don't remember him at this age. It was so amazing seeing baby pictures of him and seeing how damn cute he was! I am seriously OBSESSED with this picture.

This next picture was a complete SHOCK! Like I said, I have known J my entire life and our families have always been close. But, my parents were best friends with J's dad and step-mom, so I never met his mom until we started dating. So, imagine my surprise when I found a picture of myself in their pile of family photos!!!!

I'm the little one with the balloons on either side of my head, J is in the white shirt and his sister Nicole is the crazy one in the cast. I have pictures of J and I when we were younger but none from this far back! I spazzed out when I found it!

All in all it was another fabulous holiday! Now, back to another a week! Can you believe 2010 is almost over? Time is flying by way too fast!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Card!

We sent out our Christmas cards last week and I am so happy with them! I am really excited for everyone to get them!

Here's a closer look at the pictures I used....just because I love them so much!
Family picture taken up at J's mom's

Cutest dog on the planet

Picture from the Twin's new stadium Target Field

From my mom's wedding in August

J proposing!

First pic as an engaged couple!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Frickin' Love Tacos

-1lb extra lean Ground Turkey
-Salad shells
-Taco Seasoning
-Your favorite taco toppings! I used....
*1/2 Onion
*Shredded REDUCED FAT Mexican Cheese
*Black Olives
*Diced Jalapenos
*Franks Hot Sauce

-Preheat oven to 350*

-Saute onions in olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne pepper

-Prepare salad shells for baking. The kit I used includes these:

Which you fold to look like this:

Then after microwaving the tortillas for 15 seconds you lay them over the form and place them on a non-greased cookie sheet, like this:

-Place the shells in the oven and cook for 6-10 minutes. You want them to be golden brown.

-Next, brown the ground turkey

-Add taco seasoning and 2/3 cups of water and cook until everything is good and mixed

-Remove the shells and let cool for 1-2 minutes

-Get your taco salad assembly line organized

-Go to town making yourself a delicious taco salad: