Category Archives: My girl wants to party all the time

the fair so nice, we hit it up twice

Good ol’ Jim mailed me two of the tickets he had pre-purchased and left at home last week, so Darren and I made a quick morning jaunt back to the fair this morning. We stopped in the Grandstand as soon as it opened and I bought a thing of JD’s Salsa, you guys. You know what I’m talking about. Salsa samples. Now available at my house.

Here’ what we nommed today:

  • Sweet corn blueberry eclair (this was sold out when we tried to get it last week, and I’m glad we went back because it was am-AH-zing)
  • maple cream nitro cold press for me (I tried to go back for more, but liiiine), raspberry frappe for D
  • corn on the cob
  • jalepeno cheese curds x2
  • pickle on a stick
  • cheese on a stick (it’s wrapped in cornbread and deep fried. uh, yum)
  • german root beer float
  • deep fried peanut butter cups
  • funnel cake (Darren wanted this, then had one bite and decided he wasn’t into it. That shit was six bucks so I brought it home)

Also, we found a little shop called Rock Garden that sells cute garden decor, with tons of fairy garden stuff. We’re both nerdily into the idea of making a tiered fairy garden (this is why we’re married) to put in one of our actual gardens, and Darren bought a cool little door to get it started.

Not bad for a Sunday morning.


State Fair Eatin’ List 2017

Yesterday was Fair Day, one of the best days of the year. They added a giant ferris wheel this year, and you know we went up in that sucker. Mostly, as always, we ate. We tried a lot of the new foods this year, too…

  • cinnamon rolls with milk/coffee
  • mini donuts
  • foot long hot dog
  • tons of samples in the Grandstand
  • jerky
  • mobster caviar
  • big fat bacon
  • deep fried avocado
  • pizzarito
  • fried green tomatoes
  • beergarita
  • tipsy pies x3
  • beer flight
  • smoked gouda nachos
  • mini sconuts
  • honey puffs
  • bacon-up pup
  • in the Dairy Building: chocolate cone, strawberry rhubarb sundae, pie in the sky sundae, chocolate malt
  • cotton candy
  • memphis totchos
  • giant soft pretzel
  • churros
  • bowl o’ dough
  • lobster roll
  • crab cakes
  • bacon fluffernutter
  • chocolate popover with peanut butter
  • cream puffs
  • Swt
  • Sweet Martha’s cookies
  • giant turkey sandwich
  • all you can drink milk
  • 1919 root beer

no mud, no lotus / happy birthday to me!

Today I turned 31, which is weirder than 30. I had to write my age on a form today and it was bizarre. I’m not entirely sure why, but Brenna suspects it’s because we’re “reeling on 40,” which is probably accurate. Oh well!

My birthday went a little something like this:

  • Aerial yoga in the morning
  • Birthday tattoo! More on that in a minute.
  • Errands. This is not birthday related, just stuff that needs to get done because adulthood.
  • Dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack with Kyle, Jenna, and Harrison (Darren requested the wrong day off(!) so he had to work)
  • Now I’m watching Fixer Upper, drinking a vodka tonic, and writing this. I need some cake.

It doesn’t sound like much, but I like a good low-key day. I’m going to see Paul McCartney on Wednesday, which was my gift to myself, so I still have that to look forward to!

All right, so here’s the tattoo story and also the meaning behind the design.

Darren told me several months ago that he knew what he was going to get me for my birthday, and it required an appointment. I was like “oooh, massage?” but he said he wasn’t going to tell me and it was going to be a surprise the day of. So I figured, definitely massage or spa day or something. HOWEVER. The day he called to make the appointment, we were IMing. He told me that my appointment was scheduled for 12:30pm on my birthday, but then he said that he had to spill the beans because “she needs some info in advance so… what are you going to get for your tattoo!!??” I was PISSED because who schedules a tattoo as a surprise? You need to be prepared for that shit. After our wee fight, I started warming up to the idea. I had been talking about a tattoo for a couple years, so it’s not like it came from nowhere but it’s a good thing he told me. If I had shown up there with no clue, I probably would not have gone inside.

Anyway, when I first started considering said tattoo a few years ago, I was leaning toward something cat or generally pet related. That’s still on the table for tattoo #2, but I had since made a different plan. I was in a yoga class one day, and the teacher quoted Thich Nhat Hanh, and talked about the idea behind “no mud, no lotus” – the secret to happiness is to acknowledge and transform suffering, not run away from it. So I decided to get a simple lotus tattoo. If I go deeper, it does become a sort of memorial to my father. I could probably do a whole post on that, but the point is that my life (and Kyle’s, of course) was going in one direction, but then dad died and it took a hard, horrible turn… and still ended up being pretty great. You know what I mean?

Side note: there’s a Cloud Cult lyric version of this idea from the song Complicated Creation, and it says “you can’t know beauty if you don’t know pain.” Always happy to incorporate Cloud Cult into everything, forever. That song also includes one of my favorite lines “some days you give thanks, some days you give the finger.”

Whew. Okay, so here it is, and it definitely felt like a being poked by a bunch of needles. At least it only took about ten minutes, although I sure did sweat a lot in that short amount of time (ew):

lotus tattoo

meet the gardners

My brother Tyler got married last weekend. Well, he and Kim were married in a small legal ceremony in May, but they had a larger ceremony and reception Saturday. So now all four of us are old marrieds. Nice.

The whole shindig was held at Tyler and Cody’s mom and stepdad’s house, just outside of Pequot. They have a large property and huge paved area that is perfect for a party. On the way up I told Darren “I wonder if they’ll do a taco bar,” and I was totally right. Taco bars are perfect for weddings, guys. Especially when it’s all DIY. So easy, so affordable!

Tyler and Kim have four kids between them, so congrats to the whole family! Here are some pictures.

ceremony 04

Kim’s sons walked her down the aisle.

Kim's daughter was her Maid of Honor.

Kim’s daughter was her Maid of Honor.

ceremony 25

Heading into the "Honeymoon Suite" immediately following the ceremony.

Heading into the “Honeymoon Suite” immediately following the ceremony.

cake 2



Well, I made it to thirty. Darren and I celebrated with a day off work and a huge lunch at Fogo. Last night we had a bunch of my favorite people over for food and games. It was for sure the best birthday I can remember.

such twins.

such twins.

So! Let’s check in: how’d the 30 by 30 thing work out? Click that there link to find out. Long story short: as I expected, I did not accomplish every item, but knocked out some great ones.

Life is good, y’all.

we like, we like to party

I’m all sick and stuff, which happens every friggin’ year during my holiday break, and Darren very well may be headed down the same street. So thanks mostly to that but also in part to laziness and the bitter cold, we’re staying in for New Year’s Eve. He had to work, but while he was gone I put together an epic holiday feast. A few little milestones happen in 2015 (we both turn 30, plus our 5th wedding anniversary), so we might as well go into it well-fed. Bonus: cooking a multi-course meal is on my 30-by-30 list.

So! Our New Year’s Eve dinner:

  • bread (I used this recipe) with seasoned olive oil for dipping
  • salad
  • potato soup
  • steak seasoned with kona rub from the Capital Grille, and roasted potatoes – we had a bag of potatoes that needed to be used, okay?
  • peach pie – Darren’s favorite. Not homemade, but constructed using refrigerated crusts and canned filling with some extra seasoning.


I was hoping to go to a New Year’s Day yoga class in the morning, but the state of my sinuses seems to be working against me there.

Tonight when the clock hits 12, I’ll be watching Roseanne on Netflix, working on one more 2014-centric blog  post, and eating a slice of pie. And possibly also sneezing. Happy New Year!

“Would you like an adventure now, or would like to have your tea first?”

Darren and I saw Peter and the Starcatcher last night. It’s pretty rare for him to come to a show with me, but when I told him it was supposed to be super funny and wasn’t really a musical, he was on board. It is essentially a prequel to Peter Pan. The book that the play is based on was co-written by Dave Barry, so I was feeling optimistic.

The show moves quickly and can get a bit quiet, so you definitely have to pay attention. They do sing, but not all the time. The humor is pretty corny over all, but it’s a family show so it works. Also, there are many puns! Many, many puns. And the bit that happens when Black Stache (Captain Hook, pre-hook and super campy) gets his hand cut off is the kind of bit that’s sort of funny, then not funny, then suddenly hilarious. There’s a lot of physical humor, which I like.

There is one woman in the show. She plays a 13 year old girl (who is one of the Starcatchers and the main character) and sounds like a 35 year old woman in a way that was kind of annoying and a little distracting. She’s super talented though. Her voice can’t be helped so what can ya do. The one other prominent female character, the nanny, is played by a dude who also plays multiple other characters. Totally funny but kind of a bummer with the lack of women. Lady pirates can totally be a thing, y’all! Lady pirates are the best pirates.

We both enjoyed the play; so did all of my coworkers who saw it, and the couple Kate and I sort of know from all the after-parties we end up at together. Apparently a lot of people didn’t. About six people sitting in front of us left at intermission, and two of my coworkers said the same thing happened where they were sitting (I believe they were not sitting in the same location). I haven’t heard any complaints yet, so we’ll see.

We hit the after-party for about an hour. Had a beer, shared some chips with a pirate, ate some tiny burgers. Hooray me for finally getting out of the apartment! I’ll make up for it tonight by watching TV at home in the dark.