Taking a Break…

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 | Posted under Uncategorized

A brief note in case anyone (maybe?) is wondering… I’m going to be taking a blog break for the foreseeable future. I haven’t been super passionate about blogging recently and it’s starting to show. It has a lot to do with the fact that I’m really interested in keeping more of my life private, especially since I will be going into counseling soon and can’t have too much of my personal life Google-able.

I’ll still be on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@amnimlos for all those) but private for all of them, so you’ll have to request to follow me. I pretty much don’t accept friend requests from people that I haven’t met IRL, unless we’ve done a lot of interacting online first. So I would try Twitter and Instagram first.

And you can always email me, should you need me.

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My First Visit to an Apple Orchard!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 | Posted under Minneapolis, The Weekend

Can you believe that it’s taken me 30 years to go to an apple orchard? And it’s not like I haven’t had opportunities in the past, but for some reason it just never made the list of things I was going to do to celebrate the fall. Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses. All of those have made the autumn to-do list several times. But an apple orchard? Not so much.

But after seeing photo after photo of apple orchards on Instagram, I decide that we needed to soak up the autumn season with a trip to the Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard, which is located about 45 minutes southwest from where we live in the Twin Cities. It was just long enough to feel like a little jaunt outside the city, but not so far that we could get there and back in an afternoon. I had seen several Insta-friends visit over the past few weeks, so I knew it would be a great place to go.

While we were there, Erik and I enjoyed walking around their little market, where we tried apple wine (in cherry, pear and regular flavors). They had a lot of baked goods, apple cider and another treats available but we decided to hold off on buying anything, because my secret hope is maybe to make something myself!

For $20, you receive a plastic bag that you can fill up with as many apples as you can squeeze into it. We wandered the orchard for quite awhile, examining each apple carefully to make sure it didn’t have any spots where worms had crawled in. So gross.



At one point, we found a ladder to get to the tops of the apple trees.



We have so many apples now!! What do we do with all of them? I know we can make apple pie, but that stuff is hard. Any other suggestions? I don’t really like to cook, so something on the side of less cooking, more eating is kind of my style. Let me know if you have any ideas!


A Day at the North Shore

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 | Posted under Travel

On Sunday, Mother Nature decided to bestow one last summer day before we head in for the long winter (cue ominous “Winter is coming”). We decided it would be a great idea to head up to the North Shore, even though it was a long day for just one day. We invited our Italian guest to come with us, and he invited along one of his colleagues who is from England. As you can imagine, we spent a lot of the day talking about the various ways in which Europe and America are different!


The view of the lighthouse and Lake Superior from Canal Park

We didn’t leave as early as we wanted because I got sick in the middle of the night, and so I needed to sleep a little longer to recover. Because of that, we didn’t arrive until after 1pm, and we didn’t want to wait around at any of the popular restaurants. Instead, we just grabbed hot dogs and ice cream (how very American!) at the Grandma’s food truck outside of Grandma’s Saloon and Grill at Canal Park in Duluth.

Afterward, we decided to head over to Gooseberry Falls State Park, which is incredibly popular and for good reason. The Falls are gorgeous, and we enjoyed a nice little walk to the lakefront. Erik, my geologist husband, enjoyed sharing all the little tidbits about the surrounding area to our international guests.


Upper Falls


The American, the Italian, and the Englishman (walk into a bar…)

We thought about going to Split Rock Lighthouse, but when we got there, we realized it was $9 per person and only an hour until it closed. Not worth it. So we kept driving to Palisade Head, which is a cliffside overlook with an amazing view of Lake Superior.

When we were finished, we headed down to Betty’s Pies, which is my go-to restaurant on the North Shore. Good food and even better pies. You can’t not go to Betty’s Pies if you’re on the North Shore. The traffic was insane heading south, which made sense given how nice the weather was and how many people were visiting, but we spotted a car turning onto a side road. When I looked on Google Maps, I realized that the road made a little loop out and connected back to the main road down by Betty’s Pies, cutting our 30 minute bumper-to-bumper drive down to just 5 minutes! We were quite pleased with ourselves!


The Great Lakes pie

We didn’t get back home until after 11pm and we were exhausted, but it was such a fun day enjoying the last vestiges of summer!



That Time I DNF’d My First Marathon

Monday, October 5th, 2015 | Posted under Health + Fitness

There’s no reason to beat around the bush: I didn’t finish the Twin Cities Marathon yesterday.

Everything seemed like it was going to go according to plan. I had my knee taped up by my chiropractor on Friday, I had been hydrating and eating well, and I woke up with a very reasonable blood sugar.

But by the time I got to the start line, my continuous glucose monitor told me that my blood sugar was rising. Even though I had been going low early in my runs for the last couple of weeks, I was nervous that eating on top of this rise would mean my blood sugars would go high. And I already knew from experience — a couple of very painful experiences, actually — that I would be miserable and potentially not able to run. I decided that I would split the difference: instead of waiting until mile 3 or 4, I would fuel earlier at mile 2.

I was trying to make the best decision in the moment based on the information I had, and I ended up making the wrong decision.

After fueling at mile 2, my blood sugar kept dropping. I think I went officially low around mile 4 and I essentially stayed low the rest of the race. My pace had started to slow considerably, and by the time I hit mile 8, the end of the race vehicle had passed me.

Erik met me with two juice boxes at mile 9, and we walked to mile 10 before I started running again.

By the time I hit mile 11, I knew it was no use. I had a little more than 3 hours to run 15 miles, and I could barely run a half marathon in that time. There wasn’t any conceivable way that I could make it to the finish line before the cut off. So I stopped.

In tears, I called Erik and he came and picked me up. While I waited, I typed up this post on Facebook:

Embarrassment 101: Telling everyone you’re going to accomplish this massive goal and not being able to do it. I DNF’d my first marathon. I didn’t follow my revised fueling strategy because I started the race at 196 mg/dl and somehow I thought maybe I would hold out. I hadn’t dropped hardly anything from a 3 am correction so I thought I was more resistant than I was. I ran 10 out of 12 miles low or almost low. The cut off is faster than I had even really trained for, so it was a perfect storm of shit. However!! I will not be defeated! I will have my victory next year at Grandma’s Marathon (a 7 not 6 hour cut off) with my husband, Erik Nimlos, and Jordan Nimlos. The Nimloses are coming for you, Duluth! Better watch out!

I received so many likes and comments on that status, which were exactly what I needed to read at the time. I am, of course, incredibly disappointed that I could finish. I’m upset that I second-guessed myself, I’m mad that I even had to deal with diabetes on the day of the marathon, and I regret not training harder for the marathon. Yes, I ran a lot, but I don’t think I really trained for it. I never had a single long training run that went remotely well, and I struggled with my blood sugars a lot this summer. I think the combination of going low plus having a lot of doubt in my abilities was just a recipe for disaster. Marathon running is such a mental game anyway, and having a low blood sugar put me in such mental and physical state of defeat.

But as I mentioned in the status, I have no intention of that being my only marathon attempt. I did learn a lot, even if it was a very expensive and painfully embarrassing lesson to learn. I need to take training more seriously. I can’t just run a lot — I need to really train. I need to be more consistent with everything. I need to run better, fuel better, hydrate better, and run with every conceivable blood sugar scenario I can come up with. I always thought I should train with ideal blood sugars, but now I see that I need to train with crazy blood sugars just to see what could happen so I can be prepared.

Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth is on June 18, 2016, which is in 256 days. Everyone I’ve talked to has said it’s an easier course than the Twin Cities. Part of me wishes I had done that as my first marathon, to give me the confidence. Even though the course time for Grandma’s is longer, I don’t plan on slacking off. I want to make sure I have a much bigger margin for error, just in case anything unexpected happens.

In the mean time, I plan on taking a little bit of a break from running. Not a lot this month, because October is the best running weather we get so I plan on making the most of it! But I also plan on getting my butt back to Orangetheory Fitness and start doing yoga again. I would love to start training again 10 or 20 lbs lighter than I am now, because I know that will make training even better.

I think the thing about not accomplishing the marathon this time is now I’m even more committed to really proving to myself that I can do it. I’m not going to let anything — not diabetes, not my weight, not my low self-confidence — stop me from accomplishing this goal. I will run a marathon. It didn’t happen yesterday, but it will happen.


A Big Weekend!

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 | Posted under Health + Fitness


It’s a big weekend in the Nimlos household!

First up, Erik will be taking the Fundamentals of Geology exam, which is the first of two exams he needs to pass in order to obtain his Professional Geologist license in Minnesota. Why is he getting this license? Without it, Erik won’t be qualified to be promoted at his current job. If he passes the Fundamentals test, he’ll take the second one in March. Apparently it is a very difficult exam (two of his coworkers have taken it), and he has been studying his butt off since he found out he needed to take it in August. His test is Friday morning, so say a little prayer or think happy thoughts around that time!

And of course, I have my marathon on Sunday! I’m heading to my chiropractor tomorrow to get my knees and hips taped with kinesio tape. I wasn’t sure I really believed in it until I ran my half marathon last year. I had such terrible IT band pain but this chiropractor taped my knee at the expo and it worked great, so I asked my current chiropractor to do it for me too. Afterward I’ll head over to the Expo so I can get my packet.


So, this is my first marathon, so the ultimate goal is to just finish the darn thing. There is a six hour time limit, so I’m a little nervous that I won’t be able to run that fast. That’s only a 13:44 min/mile, which is faster than I’ve been running my long runs. Everyone says that’s totally normal, so I’m trying to not freak out about that. Because this is my first marathon, They don’t really recommend specific goals. I haven’t really been training for anything in particular either. But if I had to pick something, I think I’d like to come in somewhere between 5:45 and 6 hours, and if I’m really feeling great, I’d like to come in somewhere between 5:30 and 5:45.


Over the past few weeks, I’ve determined a few things that I’ll be doing that I think gives me the greatest chance for success. First, I use a run / walk method. I will run for 5 minutes, and I will walk for 1 minute. If absolutely necessary, I’ll walk for an extra 30 seconds, but no more than that. I will take a sip of water every walk break so I stay hydrated but not bloated (I have had big problems with bloat). I will be using Huma gels as my fuel and I plan to take one right at the start and then every 3-4 miles. I haven’t had much success eating a meal before running, but lately I’ve been going low at the beginning of my runs. I know you’re not supposed to try anything new on race day, but I’ve gone low enough that I think I know how to prevent it from happening.

Plus, I will be wearing a continuous glucose monitor so I can keep an eye on how I’m doing. I will only take a small amount of insulin if there is a big problem. I’ll keep my pump controller in the pocket of my running shorts. I’ll be wearing a water belt which will hold my phone, and a SPIbelt for my fuel. My CGM communicates directly to my iPhone so I won’t need to carry a separate device for that, which is perfect!

Track Me

If you want to keep up with how I’m doing, you can follow my progress here! You can look me up by my name, or my bib number, which is 11768.

Any last minute advice for this first time marathon hopeful? 


Side Hustle: Airbnb Hosting

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 | Posted under Home Life, Money


After hosting one of my friends during the month of June, I started thinking about using our guest bedroom to host people on Airbnb. Erik and I want to pay down our debt before we have children, but since I’m in school and not working full-time, it’s been a struggle. Our experience with my friend was pretty successful, we decided to explore the idea of hosting people in our guest bedroom in order to make some extra money.

Getting Started 

I spent a few weeks sending notes to other Minneapolis hosts to hear their thoughts, and everyone had great things to say about it. Since every city is a little different in regards to financial issues, I’m not going to discuss that here (but you can ask me privately if you’re really curious).

Setting up the listing takes time because it is very thorough in what you need to include, from a written description of the space, to house rules, and fun facts about the neighborhood. I included photos of the guest bedroom, which comes with a half bathroom inside the room, as well as the living room, dining room and kitchen. Guests also have access to the main bathroom upstairs.

Airbnb recommends pricing depending on the time of year and what other people have set their prices at, so I regularly make modifications to our pricing to make sure that we’re are staying competitive with the other spaces in the area.

Using Airbnb

Airbnb is an incredibly easy platform to use. The mobile app has been really handy because I can get receive and respond to messages from guests while on the go. Airbnb values a quick response time, so being able to get your messages in a timely manner is really helpful. I can also make changes to our listing or the pricing from the app as well.

Who We’ve Hosted 

Most of our guests have been students or former students at the University of Minnesota because we are only a couple miles away. We are not in the campus neighborhood so it’s more quiet, but the public transportation makes it easy to get to. We’ve had guests for as short as one night and for as long as two weeks.

However, starting on Thursday, we’re going to host a PhD student all the way until Thanksgiving!

Staying Safe

A lot of people have safety concerns about Airbnb. One or both of us always greet the guests and show them around. We don’t leave the keys anywhere for people to just let themselves in.

The guest and I usually send messages a handful of times. I find out when they are planning to arrive (so I can make sure one of us is around) and what their schedule is usually like (to make sure that we have an amenable schedule). The messages, as well as their profile, helps me get to know them ahead of time. We have only turned down a couple of guests, and they were because they had requests for the space (an extra person for one guest, and a discounted price for another) that we didn’t feel comfortable with.

A friend asked if I do anything to make sure that a guest can trust my listing, and the most that I can say is that Airbnb has identity verifications in place (drivers license, as well as linking your social media presence) and then my cell phone number is made available to guests after a reservation is made. Likewise, their contact information is also made available to me. Reviews are also an important way to trust guests. I leave my guests a review so that future hosts can trust them and my guests leave me a review for future guests. But of course it’s always a little nerve-wracking at the beginning.

House Rules

For the most part, I want people to feel comfortable and at home in our house. I think it’s a big reason why most people stay in a house and not in a hotel. Our guests are allowed to use the kitchen, dining room and living room, in addition to their bedroom. In the kitchen, we just ask that they do their own dishes and pots and pans, unless the dishwasher is clean (then they can just leave the dishes for us). Our long-term guests are asked to clean the bathroom while they stay with us (we’re not housekeeping, and we also don’t want to go snooping through their things), but we clean the room before and after they leave.

We make room for our longer term guests to have their groceries in our pantry and fridge. We don’t cook for anyone, but any guest is invited to have breakfast with our cereal and milk (I’m not sure anyone has actually taken us up on this offer!). But for lunch and dinner, people are on their own.

What We Like 

The thing we like the most is the easy money. We make between $30 and $45 a night, depending on when we have a guest. Because the people staying with us are not friends or family members, we don’t have to rearrange our schedules. We’ve also really enjoyed meeting new people. We’ve had one girl from Hong Kong stay with us for a few days, and another student from China. Most of our guests have kept to themselves, though, and spend most of their time either out of the house or in their room.

What We Don’t Like 

The noise from having a guest is occasionally annoying, although it hasn’t really been a significant issue. We did have one couple who were night owls and they woke up Erik, but they were only with us for two nights. We would have said something to them if it had continued. Another dislike is making sure we’re around to greet the guest. Several of our guests have arrived late at night. However, this is sort of my own problem because you can select a check-in and check-out time, like a hotel. But I think it’s important to be flexible so right now we put up with some late nights. Also it’s important to make sure we don’t have any conflicts with the bathroom. It hasn’t been a huge issue, but it isn’t easy when you only have one shower in the house.

The final thing we don’t like is when people have canceled on us, sometimes just a day or two in advance. At first we had no penalty for this, but we recently changed it so that we don’t lose as much money. We’ll get 100% of the first night and 50% the remaining nights if they cancel with less than 5 days notice. We hope this prevents people who are not committed from booking our space.

Do you have any questions? I’ll write a follow-up post if I left anything out!



Monday, September 21st, 2015 | Posted under Currently

Reading // Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness, which I’m really late in reading for the postal book club. I just finished Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin and it was excellent! I highly recommend it.

Watching // the new Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Blunt Talk with Patrick Stewart. I tried watching Fear the Walking Dead, and while I looove The Walking Dead, I just couldn’t stand the new show. Knowing so much about what’s going on made it painful to watch a bunch of dumb people being dumb.

Suffering // with a late summer cold. Boo!

Anticipating // the marathon. It’s pretty much the only thing I’m thinking about these days.

Quitting // my job at Pier 1 Imports. It’s been fun, but I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things. I might go back over the holidays, but I’m still wavering on my commitment with that. I’m going to wait and see how things are with our finances when that time comes.

Starting // a new job as a part-time nanny for an 8-year-old and 4-year-old boy. I’m really excited about it! I’ve figured out over the past few months babysitting for different families that I just enjoy spending time with kids more than working retail. It’s been hard finding a part-time job that worked with my school schedule, but I’m hopeful that I can work with this family for awhile.

Loving // spending time with family! Yesterday we went to church and saw my sister-in-law and niece, tonight we went over to my mother-in-law’s house because Erik’s half-brother and his wife who live in Seattle are in town, and then this weekend I’m going to the baby shower for another niece who is due with her first in December. Plus, we celebrated the first birthday of my great-nephew’s a couple weeks ago, and it’s just been really fun to see our family so often this month. It really does make Minnesota feel like home.

Happy // that most of my runs are now done during fairly cool weather. I don’t turn into a completely disgustingly sweaty mess by the end of a run, and my pace has improved. So that’s nice.

Thinking // about how I’m going to jump-start my weight loss again. I have plateaued for almost the entire year and while physically I can see that I’m smaller (pants are feeling better than ever), I would still really like the number go down just a little bit more.



Review: Le Tote, a Clothing Rental Service

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 | Posted under Style

Most of us by now have heard of Stitchfix, the subscription based shopping service where you pay $20 to have a stylist send you clothes that you may (or may not) actually like and want to buy. As a disclaimer, I’ve never used Stitchfix, but I have read a lot of reviews about it and I have always been nervous about paying for something that I might not get anything from.

Well, if you’re anything like me, I found an alternative for you!

It’s called Le Tote and I honestly can’t remember how I found it. It may have even been an ad on Facebook. But I came across it and I checked out their website, and I really liked what I saw.

Here’s how Le Tote works:

For a flat monthly fee ($49) you can receive unlimited totes of 5 items — 3 apparel items and 2 accessories. You basically rent clothes and accessories, wearing them as long as you want and then you just send it back in a prepaid envelope. Le Tote allows to browse their inventory that you can “add to your closet,” and then they pull from those selections as well as others you might like. However, you can see and customize  your tote before they ship it out, in case you spot something you’d never wear. For example, last time Le Tote wanted to send me a sweater, but it was still way too warm, so I swapped it out for another item. If you love something in your tote, you can buy it at a reduced price (up to 50% off retail), and if you buy your entire tote,  you get the next month free.

What I like about Le Tote, compared to what I’ve read on Stichfix, is that I don’t feel like I’m out any money. When I received my first tote, I only liked one item in it — a midi skirt, and even that didn’t fit me really well. The tank top they sent ended up being too big, and the blouse was too tight around my ribcage. The jewelry was nice, but weighed too much for my comfort. I wore the skirt out to dinner one night and the next day when we had family over for lunch, but then I packed everything up and sent it back. I have read some other reviews and it does seem like sizing and quality of clothing isn’t always the best. I didn’t have any issues with the quality, but the sizing is a bit of a crapshoot. I ended up going in and altering my sizing to hopefully get clothes that fit a little bit better.

A few days later, another tote arrived, and that box was much better. The idea of having unlimited refreshes to my wardrobe is really appealing to me because it’s always fun to get new things. Of course, for some people if they don’t like the clothes in the box, then it’s still too much money (and more than the $20 Stichfix price). That definitely happened to me with the first box, and even the second box wasn’t perfect.

It’s also fun to experiment with pieces but without the investment. It’s a great option for people who are mostly minimalists, but want a few new pieces to give their wardrobe more life, or for people who just hate shopping but don’t want to wear the same things all the time.

I didn’t bother taking any pictures from the first, since even the midi skirt wasn’t that great. Here are the items from the second box:

romper collage

I’ve been on the hunt for a romper, so I swapped that sweater I mentioned for this item when it came time to customize my box. I wasn’t really sure if it was going to look good on me, but both Erik and a friend complimented me on it. The sweater was also part of the box, but I’ll talk about that in a minute. Overall I thought the pattern of the romper was cute, but I wasn’t sure I liked the elastic waistband. I felt like it emphasized my lower tummy pooch a little too much, and it was also very short. Not so much when I was standing, but definitely when I was sitting! I wore the romper to class one day and to pizza with friends another day.

dress collage

This dress was also something I had mixed feelings about, but ended up growing to love. It was super light and comfortable, but I wasn’t crazy about the thick straps. For some reason I just don’t think thick straps are very flattering on me. Something about too much fabric. I love color of the cardigan, but I was not crazy about the rouching in the back. It just looks strange to me. But it was very comfortable and I thought it made the dress and the romper look significantly better since I didn’t care for the shoulders on either of them! I wore the dress to my nephew’s first birthday party on Saturday and running errands on Sunday.


I really liked the statement necklace and it was not something I would normally have thought to buy for myself, but it was a fun addition to my wardrobe. I also liked the little star earrings that I’m wearing and considered buying them, but ultimately decided not to.

If you’re interested in using LeTote, I hope you’ll consider signing up using this link — you’ll get a $25 credit and I’ll get a $15 credit! I plan on either putting a hold on or canceling my membership for now, mostly because I don’t have the disposable income to do $49 a month. But I think the service is really fun, and if I did have the disposable income, I definitely would keep doing it!

This is not a sponsored post. I used my own money for Le Tote. 


Labor Day Weekend in New York City

Monday, September 14th, 2015 | Posted under NYC, Travel

One week ago today, we were finishing our amazingly awesome long weekend in New York City. It was our first time back to the Big Apple since we moved to Minnesota in January 2014, so that was a grand total of 20 months between visits.

Far too long, if you ask me.

We had a month to rally the troops and arrange to see our friends. Of course, traveling over a holiday weekend also meant that other people were traveling, so we didn’t get to see everyone. Clearly, we have to go back! One of my top priorities for the trip was to do a harbor cruise. It was one of the few things that we never managed to do when we lived there, and I was determined that we would do it on this trip. The only other things I wanted to do besides seeing friends was going to a few of our favorite restaurants and seeing a Broadway show.

So, what did we end up doing?


We had an early morning flight so that we could have as much time in New York as possible. We arrived at our Airbnb just after noon.


After the lady we stayed with showed us around, we debated between sleeping (which we really wanted to do) and going out and doing something (which we really felt we should do, obviously). After a very brief rest, we headed out to get lunch at Shake Shack, which is like NYC’s version of In N Out. Good, popular, probably a little overrated. After lunch, we walked over to the Brooklyn Museum, which I had only been to once and Erik had never been to before. We saw Judy Chicago’s exhibition The Dinner Party (which I affectionately nicknamed “The Vagina Plates” — go read about it, you’ll understand) as well as some feminist photography and Egyptian artifacts.

We couldn’t stay long because we had to head back to change for our cruise. Which was lovely, but the weather wasn’t the most cooperative. It was quite humid and hazy that day. We took a Classic Harbor Line Champagne Sunset cruise. We sailed past downtown, up the East River and then back down to the Statue of Liberty before heading back to the pier in Chelsea.



It was very windy!


After our cruise, we had dinner at One If By Land, Two If By Sea, which is where we went when we got engaged. It was our first time back in five years! Definitely one of the best restaurants we’ve ever been to. It’s in the West Village, which is one of our favorite neighborhoods, so we walked around briefly on our way to the subway.


I got up early on Saturday to go running with my friend Caroline in Prospect Park. Sadly, didn’t get a picture, but just imagine a really pretty park and that’s what it looks like. I had never gone running with anyone before, mostly because I’m still pretty slow but Caroline (who is much faster than me) graciously tolerated my pace. We had a lot of fun and we mostly chatted about running. It’s super helpful to have a friend who loves to run and has diabetes too!

We split up briefly so we could change, but then met up again at Hi-Life Restaurant on the Upper East Side where we were holding our big friend brunch. So many of our awesome friends came! Three couples brought their babies who were all born after we had moved away. All of them were so adorable and well-behaved. We were very impressed! All the couples had to take off after brunch, but three of our friends from church decided to stick around and go to Central Park with us, where we were going to meet up with another couple and their son (who was also born after we moved).



Central Park is so gorgeous! It was absolutely picture-perfect weather that day. We were in heaven.


After a few hours of hanging out, we had to split from those friends so we could head to Soho for dinner with one of Erik’s best friends from grad school and his wife (who is preggers — yet another birth we will miss). Papatzul is one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, and they have really good (and strong) margaritas. We had so much fun catching up, talking about home-owning, work and family.

Erik had a former co-worker who was hosting a little gathering at The Whiskey Ward, a whiskey bar in the Lower East Side. I’m to a huge whiskey fan, so we didn’t stay for too long. We meandered a little bit and found Melt Bakery, a tiny little shop specializing in gourmet ice cream sandwiches. And then with the help of Yelp, we got drinks at Antler Beer and Wine Dispensery, but the reviews made it sound like it was going to be better than it was. It wasn’t bad, I was just a little underwhelmed. Probably because I was exhausted, so we headed back to Brooklyn.


Slept in (glorious sleep!), but then realized that we needed to get up so that we could do stuff! One of my wishes for the trip was to have brunch at Norma’s, which one of our friend’s had been raving about for years. So we finally went! It’s inside The Parker Meridien hotel in Midtown Manhattan and it’s sort of this unassuming hotel restaurant. Really nothing to write home about, ambience-wise. But you guys? The food? Is in-cred-able. Yes, the orange juice is $9 (I know, but fresh-squeezed with unlimited refills!). The items we got were the crunchy french toast (covered with caramel instead of maple syrup) and the Eggs Benedict (they use pancakes instead of english muffins!). It was insanely good and we ate every single bite.


We had originally planned to visit a museum between brunch and our show but we didn’t have enough time, so we decided to wandered around the West Village instead. It was sort of a waste of time because brunch was in the same neighborhood as the show, but I hate Midtown. Our show, An American in Paris, was great! It was a ballet musical, so it had the ballet dancing but with talking and singing. It was a romantic comedy set in Paris after World War II. It was very funny! We really enjoyed it. I had no idea what to expect other than it won several Tony awards, and I was very happy with the choice. After we decided to visit Time Square for a hot minute so we could take some pictures but then we scrammed because Times Square is definitely the Ninth Circle of Hell.


We had dinner reservations at Brick Lane Curry House in the East Village, where we went on our first date and every anniversary after. But when we arrived, the restaurant was empty and shuttered! I nearly had a heart attack but we realized they had just moved locations to a larger space a block away. While the food was still amazing, it was simply not the same having dinner in a new space. It really felt like an entirely different restaurant. I had no idea how much I had come to associate the restaurant with the location, and of course, we’re kicking ourselves for never taking a picture of us in the restaurant (or if we did, we don’t know where the photo is). C’est la vie, right?

We wandered around Williamsburg in Brooklyn after dinner and grabbed drinks somewhere but we were both pretty tired (wonder why?!) so we didn’t stay out long.


I was supposed to get up early and go running again, but I couldn’t muster the strength when my alarm went off. Instead, we slept in and then went to lunch at Max Brenner in Union Square with Caroline and Katy, who used to be my manager at the Rye Running Company. Max Brenner is famous for their desserts and they are no joke:


Afterward, we wandered through Washington Square Park and down to Soho, where we visited the Peter Lik gallery (our favorite photographer) and Evolution (an awesome store of rare and awesome archeological artifacts). We also stopped at the Lucky store on Broadway, which was sort of ridiculous because we have Lucky here, but it’s my favorite store and I bought some cute clothes.



Then it was time to leave! Nooooooo. We checked out of our Airbnb and took the subway back to JFK to fly out. The trip went by so fast, and we are hoping that it will not be 20 months before we visit again. While I kept saying over and over how I wish we stilled lived in New York, it has been nice being back in Minnesota. I think because we have established more of a life here now, it was easier to go to New York and then leave again. I think if we had gone back last year, when I was less stable and less happy with life in Minneapolis, it would have been much harder. But now we have a really nice house, good friends, great family. It’s a good life.


This Week v. 9

Friday, September 4th, 2015 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was seeing my grand-nephew and his parents last week (quick recap: Elijah’s great-grandfather is my father-in-law). He is so adorable and very talkative. We spent a lot of time talking about parenting with his parents, and then Erik and I talked about parenting for awhile after. We still aren’t exactly sure when we’ll start trying to have kids, but it’s definitely going to be sooner rather than later!

We also went to the fair on Sunday which was super fun — and one of the pictures I took of the deep fried ribs we had was featured on a Buzzfeed list! Woohoo!

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The low of my week was finding out that we’re not going to Hawaii for Christmas. Some personal stuff has come up and it’s not an option anymore. Super sad face. We’re trying to figure out what to do with the plane tickets that were already bought, but it looks like we’ll be heading back to NYC next year so that’s kind of exciting. But overall still bummed.

A book I am reading is Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. So I remember a blog post I wrote awhile ago about quitting books, and I realized that I don’t really need to keep reading The Paris Wife if I don’t like it. I actually read a lot and quite quickly when I like a book, and hardly ever when I hate a book. So I realized that I need to stop slogging through books I don’t like. I don’t win any points for reading something I don’t like.

For my workouts, I did an OTF workout on Friday, 8 mile run on Sunday, a three mile run on Wednesday and an OTF workout on Thursday. The run on Sunday was great, but the run on Wednesday was terrible because it was so humid. It wasn’t too hot but the humidity nearly killed me — it was at 94%!!!!

The best money I spent was on all the state fair food we ate! We had a Pronto Pup (corndog), deep fried ribs, chocolate-dipped Belgian waffle with whipped cream and sprinkles, fried potatoes skins with nacho cheese and ranch (not together), cheese curds, and Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies. I wish we had time to go back a second day to eat more, or that we could have stayed longer, but our schedule this week was just packed! But I’m glad we ate what we did. Everything was really good, so that was nice. No disappointments this year!

How was your week?

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