We have found an excellent little vineyard. Next Chapter Vineyard in New Prague, MN ran a LivingSocial a few months back. We choose a weekend for the Vine Pruning Experience. This vineyard was a super small family operation out in the middle of nowhere. We took a road trip and fell in love with every aspect. The tool shed turned wine-tasting space. The wall of mismatched odds and ends that Tim, the owner, uses for his wine creating. The beautiful German Shepard puppy that followed us around everywhere, and of course, the delicious wine!
After the cleanse, I wanted to treat myself. Kinda like when people reach certain weight loss goals, they’ll buy a new pair of shoes, a nice bottle of wine, or something rewarding to them. This wasn’t a weight loss goal but a 5-day cleanse was trying and at times, frustrating. So… I decided to splurge on a few pieces of Lulu. Ladies beware, it’s dangerous in there! The colors of the season are bangin’ hot.
This lion cub-looking puppy melts my heart. He makes me want to find a way to keep puppies small. Forever and always. I like big dogs, too, but there’s something about little puppies that can instantly change your mood. The next breed I’d like to own is either a Corgi or a Great Bernese Mountain Dog. A little and a big.
I don’t consider myself a brand whore. In fact, I prefer the term brand loyal. There are a few with which I happily associate myself and highly recommend. This snapshot showcases four of them (artistic, no?). The car I drive right now is a Lexus. I’m thisclose to having it paid off. This model is one I saw on the freeway and secretly told myself I’d tote around my four kids in it one day… got the car, time to work on step two. The thumb holes on my Lululemon tops are reason alone to fall in love with the Vancouver-based retailer. No more sleeves rolling up into your jacket! Bazinga! Gorgeous, comfy clothing, totally unaffordable, but that’s what wish lists are for, right? I prefer regular water, by the gallon, I’m a water girl at heart. As long as it doesn’t taste like plastic, and doesn’t carry a strain of motezumas revenge (worst Mexico trip ever!)… I’ll guzzle it. After a good workout, I prefer Zico coconut water. After weightlifting, when my arms are like jelly worms, I pretend I spent all morning on a deserted island, hacking away at a palm tree to reach some of this glory. Last, but not least, a year ago we discovered a new shop called Superdry. I figured it was a high end, boutique fabric softener store – boy was I wrong. Behold some of the best jackets known to man. Superdry is a company based in Japan that knows the value of a zipper (or ten). This jacket (also with thumb holes I might add) retails for $140, it’s called the polar windcheater and worth every penny.
This tall, beautiful brunette is a breath of fresh air. I consider her one of my best friends and had to visit her while vacationing in her zip code. I made a reservation under a fake name (Debra Morgan, holla Dexter freaks!) and surprised her at the swanky salon where she works. It only took me 2 hours of public transportation bus riding and a mile walk to get there, but well worth the effort! Those annual girls trips I take? She’s one of the six ladies, and I would not be as far along in my life as I am without her straight talk, cuddles and infectious laugh. Mwah Carla!
Made a visit to Universal Studios. The best part? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The cobblestone, Butterbeer [a nonalcoholic butterscotch and root beer flavored frothy drink that tastes spectacular with smuggled in whiskey], everything! There’s even a wand shop where you can buy a phoenix-feather wand. Whoever thru this place together paid unbelievable attention to detail – I swear the air even smelled like freakin Hogwarts!
There’s a franchise in Florida that must make its way to the Midwest. Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has this magical salsa bar that is entirely glorious. Whoever thought to offer serve yourself pineapple salsa deserves a raise. Or an orgasm. I literally ate three cups of pineapple salsa in record time. Inhaled it.
I cannot believe it has taken me this long to get back on track… actually, I recant that statement – I absolutely can believe that. I’ve had a hell of a month, about 90% of February was FUBAR. But, you know what? Can’t keep me down. I’m back… and better than ever.
A week ago I decided to embark on a cleanse. I’ve heard a lot about this new brand called Suja. Dr. Oz swears by it. So, I wanted to give it a whirl. I didn’t chose to do this as a weight-loss trick, instead it was more of a cleansing of the system. Mind, body, soul. Getting back to a good, solid foundation both inside and out.
I chose the 5-day cleanse which consists of 6 different cold-pressed juices a day. You can purchase them on their website or Whole Foods carries them (then you avoid $105 in shipping charges AND can take advantage of a Whole Foods case discount for buying more than 12 bottles… you’ll need to snag 30 of them). I custom ordered them so I wouldn’t make a trip and risk them being out of a flavor. Ordering off the website would have cost $375, my total at Whole Foods was $242.73. A handful of you have asked, why don’t I juice my own fruits and vegetables? Because the amount of money I would spend on the ingredients, and the time it would take to juice and clean up my mess 6x a day would just about equal how much I spent on the cleanse. And Suja juice is the highest quality premium organic cold-pressed raw juice you can find. I don’t even know how to cold-press something, much less have the time to do it. So I splurged.
On the morning of the cleanse I was hesitant, a tad nervous, and secretly praying the juice tasted better than I imagined it would. The first drink is GLOW. It is considered “breakfast”, made up of green apple, cucumber, celery, collard greens, spinach, kale, and a pinch of spearmint. It wasn’t half bad! Not something I would drink everyday by choice… but I had high hopes for the rest of the flavors. The directions were to drink the bottles as you got hungry throughout the day. I didn’t find myself hungry until around 1pm on day 1. On days 2-5 I was hungry within 2 hours of drinking the first bottle. Bottle #2 is FUEL, considered the “mid-morning” drink, made up of carrot, apple, pineapple, orange, lemon and turmeric. This tasted exactly like the juice we make in the summer, very carroty and filling. The lunch bottle is called PURIFY and was my least favorite, it is made up of carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, lemon and beet. With all those ingredients, I feel it tastes like a sour beet drink… the hardest to get down! Bottle #4 is called FIJI; made with apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, collard greens, lemon and ginger. This one tastes the most like a salad. Almost like someone created a bed of greens with some raw veggie toppings, threw it all in a blender and drank it. Not my favorite, this was the “mid-afternoon” bottle, and one that I was rarely hungry for. Next we have dinner with bottle #5. The GREEN SUPREME was a huge surprise on day #1. I was expecting something hearty and truly dinner-like… I don’t know why I was thinking it would be potato and green bean flavored? I was so happy when I read the ingredients and tasted this bottle for the first time. It is made of kale, green apple and lemon – it tastes like a tart apple cider… delicious! The final bottle of the day is VANILLA CLOUD. I was not expecting a cleanse to have something set aside to stand for dessert, but this was the perfect end to each of the five days of cleansing. This bottle is made with almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean, honey and filtered water. It tasted like a thick chai tea.
On some days, I was not hungry for many hours after drinking a bottle and felt somewhat off track. I would start drinking the lunch bottle a little before dinner-time… But day four and five I had it down like a science and my body was looking forward to each bottle. On day three, in my head I started planning a rendezvous with an avocado and some cherry tomatoes to take place around 2pm… I told myself I could eat it around 5. I made it to 4 and downed those raw veggies like it was my job. They’ve never tasted so good!
When I would leave the house in the morning, I carefully calculated how many hours I would be gone so as to bring enough juice to last me. When I get hungry, I need fuel, pronto. I guarded those bottles like it was my life. When I dropped one in the back hallway at work and half spilled out, I just about lost my shit. Because not only was that $4.50 wasted, but I was thisclose to eating my coworker due to hunger.
Some people said, “just have a bite- try this tasty cookie bar I made, one bite doesn’t really matter.” But, it does matter. It matters to me that I finish strong with something I started, and something I’m so passionate about. I spent a small fortune on this cleanse and wanted to do it right. Raw veggies were encouraged, but I limited them to truly take advantage of the cleansing process. So, I never had a bite, or a cookie bar.
The cleanse comes in 1, 3 or 5-day options, and I look forward to doing it again soon. I woke up each morning with a clearer perspective on everything. Life had meaning and felt so much more enhanced. I typically have a cup of coffee each morning but this cleanse omits any caffeine – so days one and two were greeted with a striking caffeine headache that lasted into the early afternoon. After those mornings, it was smooth sailing, and I’ve decided to not drink coffee each morning. Only on special occasion. I don’t want to be dependent on it… or risk getting a headache if I don’t drink any.
Some have asked, how much weight did I lose? I lost about 7.2 pounds. For the first time in awhile the first two letters on the scale started with 12_. If I were a celebrity and needed to fit into a $53,584 Gucci dress for an award show in 5 days – I would do a Suja Cleanse. You’re in tip-top shape in no time – and you have the Benjamins to pay for it.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have cravings, oh Lord, did I have cravings… the biggest food I looked forward to was a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and honey drizzled on top. Introducing real food into my diet on day 6 was like experiencing the true power of tastebuds all over again… I was impressed with the flavor of raw fruits and vegetables… so everything beyond that was 10x more flavorful and powerful in my exploration.
To conclude, I highly recommend Suja, not just for a weight-loss start but to cleanse your system and get back to the basics of true nutrition and detoxifying your system completely! Who wants to do it with me next time?
High five for health!
I really don’t know where I started thinking about this but I have an idea.
*of course, this idea would only be feasible if there weren’t gas stations on every block… maybe this is a hicktown, out-in-the-boondocks sort of homeless person opportunity.
My silent grandma passed away this morning.
Slowly she went from talking (albeit quietly) and then no words… and then no eating… and silence. My grandpa has been such a lover through this whole journey. He didn’t want her to stay in the hospital. He wanted to be the one to care for her and feed her at home. It was straight out of The Notebook. If I have any wish for myself, it’s that I end up with someone that is willing to take care of me until the very end. Until the absolute last breath.
I don’t know how he will start to rebuild a life for himself as an individual, being able to take time to go fishing like he used to… and leave the apartment for longer than a quick errand. He has earned a long walk in the park, to ponder and breathe deeply while missing the love of his life.
If there is anything I’ve learned about the situation with Grandma Rosie these past few months, it’s that you absolutely must say what you want to say, and have those conversations you are scared to have, before it’s too late. Who knows when someone will lose their voice? When they cannot respond or express how they are feeling? Communication is so important, and I’ve learned that now. I get it.
Share your thoughts and feelings with your loved ones, before you no longer can.
Cheers to Rosie,
Here are a few timelines I’ve created for my Facebook over the last few months.
One has the best, most true Bob Marley lyric of all time.
It’s a fact when they say music can create a bubble of calm, relaxation within a chaotic life.
The newest one showcases my little gremlin, Oliver. He has this thing where he will start sleeping on the floor, and at 3:04 am each morning, he makes small whimpers until I wake up. I look down and he’s sitting there, looking up. That’s the time he remembers he would rather be sleeping in my bed. Contrary to what I should be doing, I’ll lift him up and let him snuggle on top of my covers. Turns out, he’s the best cuddle on the market*. Be jealous.
Here’s to hoping you have a cuddler of your own… human or fluff ball…
*Footnote: he is about to be ousted as best cuddler…
I wasn’t prepared for the random week that I’ve had. But I’m healthy and happy and I won’t complain.
After many long months of waiting… one of my Kickstarter rewards has arrived! Jake Parker is a phenomenal artist. His goal was to design and publish a book with the help of crowd funding. Behold, the hard cover that I’m so excited to flip through. He did a great job and it’s super exiting to see a project that you’ve backed, sitting right in front of you! Check out more of his work on his website. I heard his original intent was to his stories bound in a book for his kids to read… adorable.
Isn’t there a better system for this? Instead of 80 people sitting, waiting, in silence, to be called (and only about 15 did), couldn’t we be on-call? And if you need someone, then I will leave what I’m doing and go to the courthouse? It seemed like a lot of man hours gone to waste. Let’s hope I never have to do that again. And if I do get summoned, I’m crossing my fingers I get chosen for a super high-profile murder trial and then sequestered. I would love a series of free nights stay at a swanky hotel downtown and fresh grilled salmon each night. A queen sized bed all to myself with sheets of egyptian cotton? Room service? Hot showers that can last for twenty minutes? Sign me up! k thanks bye!
This here is my good friend, Adam. He is one of the hardest working, smartest, most
brutally honest people I know. I foresee a lifetime of friendship with him and on regular occasions, deep conversation and brainstorming businesses. One of the parts I admire most about him is his unbelievably ridiculous understanding of what a deep friendship is. I have yet to be able to love and support someone as much as Adam is willing to. He is one of those lifers. Someone to count on when you’re facing a rough patch, the person with which to grab a six-pack – head to an abandoned building – climb to the roof and scream at the world. Completely without judgment.
He sweats friendship.
And I cherish ours.
Find him on Twitter – he’s well worth the tweets.
P.S. I’ve started another book: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I’m fairly certain it will go down in history as one of my favorites. I laugh with every turn of the page. Once, I peed my pants a little as a result. Deal with it. You can thank my itty-bitty squirrel bladder.