Memorial Weekend 2015

This year we stuck around home for Memorial weekend. On Friday we grabbed lunch at our favorite burger join The Blue Door Pub and then we went to Guitar Center so Carl could play around-his toy store!

On Saturday, my sister came to hang out and we went to Maynards on Excelsior¬†to sit on the wharf and watch the boats. On Sunday, we went to Perkins for breakfast-Yum! ūüôā

 

We hope you all had a good a Memorial Weekend and remembered what the holiday means and that we are to remember who have and do serve our country for our freedom.

Thank you to everyone in the Armed Forces!

Love, Marriage, Life and Taxes on Valentine’s Day

This year on Valentine’s Day we had a 4pm appointment with a CPA! How fun and romantic that is. NOT. But that is love, marriage and life at it’s finest. We stayed home and cooked for Valentines Day! Carl has made his best filet mignon, it was like butter and you didn’t have to chew it. Our side dishes were roasted brussels and PW’s crashed hot potatoes.¬†I made a chocolate mousse that I had seen on the Today Show that morning, it was rich and delicious. Then I found a fruity drink that I wanted to make. Needless to say, we didn’t make the drink that night because we ate way to much, but we had it for breakfast the next morning. Yum.

The wine is Apothic Crush and was very good.

 

Hope ¬†you all had a good Valentine’s Day regardless of what you did or who you were with.

-With Love, Blondie!

Christmas Day

For Christmas Day, we traveled¬†to my parents house for my family Christmas dinner. It was another great holiday, it stinks sometimes when you have a big family because unfortunately, some of the family can’t be there because of distance. My sister and her family live out of state so they were not able to be there; however, we sent her lots of pictures and talked on the phone. I made a fresh fruit salad with honey and lime over the top, I forgot to take pictures. I was pleasantly surprised at how good¬†it was, so much so, there are no leftovers! ūüôā My other sister said that is a staple that I have to make for our family gatherings.

Here are a few photos from Christmas Day at my parents house.

We wish you all a great holiday season!

Love, Blondie, Carl and Arie

Successful- Amazing Christmas Eve Dinner

Our Christmas Eve in Review.

Our Tree

Here is our Christmas tree. It turned out well, next year I will mix it up, maybe white lights and different color garland.

Carl’s parents came to our house for Christmas Eve. I wanted to make prime rib, just to be able to say I could make it. I know a lot of people make it for Christmas dinner. We got our 5 lb prime rib from the local butcher shop where they seasoned it for us and told us the best way to cook it. I made lemon butter asparagus¬†(a Paula Deen recipe)¬†and butter, rosemary, thyme potatoes ( I blended the butter and herbs together and stirred into the potatoes). It was all sooooo good and the flavors blended well together.

Here are a few pictures.

 

After our delicious meal together, we opened gifts. Here are a few photos.

Merry Christmas,

Love, Blondie, Carl & Arie

Family Christmas Photos

Family Christmas photo time! Carl and Arie just love it – said neither of them! ūüôā

Our friend Teri took the¬†Christmas photos again this year. She is a professional photographer and her photography site is¬†Teri Lynn Studios¬†¬†she takes great family photos. Last year, we did photos inside and this year we wanted outside ones. A dog park in the metro was our backdrop; however, sad that there wasn’t more snow. Arie was such a character. We MAYBE used a tennis ball to get him to focus, but then he was only focused on the ball. Our photos turned out great. I love the last photo she took of Arie running towards the ball. It is a little blurry but his ears were hilarious.

Thanks Teri for the photos! They were great in our Christmas card.

Welcome To The BARN!!!

For one of Carl’s Christmas presents, was a ticket package to 3 Minnesota Gopher Men’s Basketball Games. He has never been to the MN Gopher Williams Arena. (aka, “The Barn”) There is a lot of historical significance to the arena. I thought it would be the perfect gift and a plus because I got to pick the 3 games we could go to.

Dec. 22 Gophers vs. Furman: W-86-76 (really intense game)

Jan. 6 Gophers vs. Ohio St.

Mar. 3 Gophers vs. Wisconsin

I bought a Gopher t-shirt and put it in a box with the two remaining tickets, so when he opened the shirt he would get the tickets.

Here are a few pictures from our first time at “The Barn”!

Gopher_Game Entrance of Williams Arena

Court_1 Carl in awe of the arena.

Court_2 The court up-close

Our_Seats The view from our seats

Warm_Up The Gophers warming up.

It was fun to watch all the alumni get really into the game. Seeing Ohio St. and Wisconsin will be high energy games because they are in the Big 10 Conference.

We had a great time and can’t wait for the other two.

Arie Christmas Haircut

It’s that time of year again, Arie had to go to the groomer for his Christmas cut! It was getting back, he couldn’t see and was shaggy, I forgot to take a before and after photo. We love our groomer so much!

Here are his photos!

Christmas_Cut Look at that handsome boy!

Arie_Friends He was licking his lips because I was getting his food.

Ball_Crazy He is ball crazy

Gangster_Arie So he is a gangster now with his doo-rag. He bent down fast and came back up and did that with his scarf. goofy dog!

Thanksgiving 2014

What another great Thanksgiving at my parent’s house. We drove up Wednesday so we had more time with family. I was in a different location for work and while I was there, mother nature dropped 7 inches of snow, I was a little nervous as we wanted to leave that night. It turned out ok as it was south not east. Going home was good and spending time with family was just want we needed. We should be “Very” thankful everyday not just one day out of the year.

Here are a few pictures of our Thanksgiving!

Thankgiving_Snow The pretty snowy trees at work.

Thanksgiving_Turkey The amazing turkey my Pa cooked.

Thanksgiving_Roast The awesome rolled pork roast my mom made as well.

Thanksgiving_Pie I love this photo, fresh pies from my mom on a frosty table.

Bless_This_Food Our Thanksgiving spread! Delicious

Thankful_Wine¬†Can’t have Thanksgiving without our homemade wine!

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

-Blondie!

Goodbye 2013 and Hello 2014…

Happy New Year-Lets welcome

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Where did 2013 go?! The year went so fast, they don’t lie when they say the year goes faster as you get older. To think, six years ago yesterday Carl and I went on our first date together at Applebees.¬†It is crazy to think how far we have come and what we have experienced individually and as a couple. Together we have experienced sadness of losing family members, happiness of our nephews being born, friends and family getting married. We have had changes in jobs, living space and health. We are so blessed by the friends we have made and how much fun we have with them. Oh yes, we can’t forget our four-legged fur baby-Arie. I wouldn’t dream of having anyone else but Carl¬†by my side through it all.

We had a great New Year’s Eve. Carl didn’t have to work, I worked and we had a great dinner party with our friends. There was 10 of us and it was so much fun. There were lots of laughs and fun and picture taking. We ate at Downtowner Woodfire Grill in St. Paul. I had the Jumbo Buffalo Shrimp, it was delicious! After we went over to Jake and David’s home to exchange gifts and hang out.

When my friend Teri and her boyfriend showed up they came with pickle roll-ups! YUM, I was so excited. I love those.

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I don’t have a NYE resolution, I think what to live by is embracing each day and living it to the fullest. I hope for better health and more time with friends and family.

Happy New Year and Embrace 2014!

Blondie!

Secret Hobby Finally Revealed…

For those of you who read Go Blondie on a fairly regular basis or at least when I post; know that I mentioned a new hobby that I found. Now that we are done with gift giving, we can reveal our hobby.

Drum roll please………….

Our new hobby is WINE MAKING!!! 

Yes, you heard it, Carl and I are making wine. How did this start you ask?!

Back in September 2013, I told Carl it would be fun to make wine and what a great gift to give. When we get invited to someone’s house or need to give a gift, most of the time we bring wine. We thought how cool would it be to bring homemade wine and how special. So for part of my Birthday present, Carl gifted me with the equipment to start the wine process.

Here are the pictures of how our process has been going.

Wine_Rack¬†This is the 30 bottle wine rack I bought from Target, great purchase and it does it’s job.

Wine_Storage_Area¬†Here is our “Wine” Closet. This is where the magic happens or the stinky fermentation stage. haha Our equipment is from Midwest Supplies. They are all great there and so helpful. We were told a main reason why a batch of wine is ruined is because the equipment was not sanitized. We have to sanitize every piece of equipment before and after use.

We attended a 4 hour wine class with them back in September and that was helpful to see the process and we tasted a few different wine kits. It’s sad because when we walk in there now on the weekend they know who we are. Well you can’t miss me. haha

First_Two_Wines Here are the first two kits that we have started. We are starting slow with kits to make sure we get this down. The kits make 6 gallons of wine and produce approximately 5 bottles of wine per gallon- Yes, that is 30 bottles of wine! I wanted to make a short term wine first to make sure we get the process and then try to make a Merlot and Riesling.

Wine #1 Pomegranate Zinfandel 

We decided to start the Island Mist Pomegranate Zinfandel (PZ), that was a 3-4 week wine and you can drink it right away. It is a little sweeter and needs to be served chilled.

Stirring_The_PZ We are stirring the PZ, then we put the yeast in and place the cover on. The kits have specific instructions for when you need to check your wine for the gravity level.

PZ_Ferm_Stage The PZ is now going into the closet for the fermentation stage. This is about a 1-2 week process.

PZ¬†PZ Wine. That’s a lot of wine.

PZ_Batch¬†Once the fermentation stage is complete we have to “rack” (meaning move or transfer to another container) the wine into a 6 gallon carboy. It is placed in the carboy to clear out so there is no sediment in the wine.

We ended up racking the wine2-3 times. We need to check the the gravity every time we look at the wine and then we need to make sure we de-gas it.

Prepping_Bottles¬†While the wine is clearing out, we soak the wine bottles, take the labels off and then clean them out for bottling. We asked family and friends to save bottles for us so that we didn’t have to spend extra money on bottles. We had a great amount bottles and we greatly THANK everyone for saving bottles. Everyone has continued to save bottles so we can continue to bottle. ūüôā

I love our bottle cleaner tree. We tried cleaning them another way and leave them in the drying rack in the sink. That took forever and was really unproductive, the tree is awesome and works so well.

Bottle_Drying_Tree There is a plastic bowl on top with the cleaning solution. The solution is safe as it is an ingredient that is in the wine mix.

Now lets start bottling our first wine!!!!

Bottling_PZ Bottling our first wine, all 30 bottles. This was my job.

Corking_PZ_Batch Carl has a stronger arm and he had job of corking. We broke the corker with only 4 bottles left. oops.

PZ_All_Bottled Our first batch of wine, Pomegranate Zinfandel is complete and bottled. How awesome to see something all come together.

Wine_Labels Our inexpensive wine labels. We are going to order nice labels for the Merlot and Riesling.

Finished_Product Ta Dah! Sorry it is a little blurry. This was so much fun for us both to do.

Wine # 2 Merlot 

Merlot_Ferm_Stage Getting the Merlot ready for the fermentation stage. Our Merlot had oak chips in it. Yum!!! We wanted to make sure we get the Merlot started because it takes the longest to age.

Merlot_Batch Merlot done fermenting and being racked.

PZ_Bottled_Merlot_Ready PZ bottled and Merlot clearing.

Racking_The_Merlot Racking the Merlot again, We did this 3 times to make sure it cleared.

We bottled our Merlot already, I did not take pictures. The Merlot will have to sit for 9-12 months. Each time we did something with the wine, we tasted it and I can’t wait, it is going to be good.

The next few pictures are of me opening our PZ wine.

Opening_The_First_Bottle Opening the first bottle. So excited, so was Arie. haha

First_pour First pour.

Filling_the_glass Yum.

Full_Glass_PZ It was so good. When I put my post up about the scallop supper I made, that is when we tried the wine.

I tasted this wine when it was warm, that was a bad idea. I was scared because if that is what it tasted like, yikes we messed something up. But once it was done and chilled, it was awesome.

This has really been an exciting hobby for both Carl and I to share and keep it a secret this long. We have had a lot of fun watching it all come together.

We had to keep this a secret since September because Carl’s mom and sisters were getting bottles in the Christmas presents. I kept it a secret from my family until October, we surprised everyone with it at my brother’s housewarming party. We have gotten great reviews on the PZ wine, which makes us feel really good and lets us know we did it right. All family and friends who saved us bottle got a bottle of our wine and then we gave some for gifts.

Now we have to get our Riesling started because that one needs to sit for 6-12 months. I would like to do another short term wine, so we will see.

Stay tuned to what is next. I am crossing my fingers for a new italian corker. ūüôā

Happy Wine Making from Blondie and Carl!