Surprise find

One of our most favorite desserts is the half-baked chocolate chocolate chocolate cookie & ice cream from the Oaks Restaurant. We don't care too much for the food but gosh, that dessert is worth the trip over for dinner. Ever since our first meeting with this delectable and mouthwatering treat, I have wanted to try making it ourselves. The trick, though, was to find the mini iron skillet they used. I never really searched for it because honestly, I didn't think there were any for the 'ol housewife. Luckily for me, when Gary & I were window shopping at Ace Kitchen Place in Decorah, I SAW THEM! Holy moly I just about peed my pants with excitement. We didn't buy them that day and somehow I forgot about it. Until today that is. I had a slight craving for some chocolate and instantly thought of the half-baked cookie delicousness. Then I got to thinking about crate and barrel. Did they have this item too? INDEED THEY DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So yes, now we are registered for two 5" iron skillets. I figured one for us and one for the future kids should suffice. We can't all share....

Making better life decisions :)

Tips on how to stock your fridge

Tips on how to save money


Only two months left?? I'm starting to freak out!

....says Gary....

Silly boy! Perhaps he doesn't realize we've already been engaged for 13 months.

I'm sure I'll feel the same at some point(s) within the next two months but gosh I am excited. I just can't wait.

Next on tap is figuring out the ceremony. and vows. I'm a little nervous about the ceremony part simply because I don't have the guidance of a pastor to help. I want to keep it fresh and fun and lively but also simple and beautiful. How do do that? I'm not sure but we'll figure it out.


2 months = 59 days.

We only have 2 months left until the big day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited! I really can't wait to get it over with (that sounds so bad!) but I just want to see all my ideas and thoughts in real life. I hope it doesn't look like circus, but if it does, my brain is to fault :)

Last week, Gary & I met with Jane of Jane's Cupcake Bugalow here in Decorah. She will be preparing our cupcakes and cheesecakes for the wedding. We will be trying an Italian Cream (hazelton & coconut), Black & White with a cream cheese filling and a yellow cake at our taste test next Friday. CAN'T WAIT!

How we came upon Jane is really fantastic and truly a blessing. A friend's mother (who is beyond awesome) was originally slated to make our desserts but the timing wasn't quite right. She just had surgery and won't be able to come, which was causing way too much stress on those desserts (not I :)!) On the day that Andrew called me to let me know this wouldn't work, I actually couldn't take the call because I was working the bridal show. We had gotten our booth set up earlier so we went around to see what else was at the show. The first booth we went to? Jane's Cupcake Bungalow. I took her card and info not really thinking anything of it. Little did I know that I'd be calling her the next week to set something up. It worked out PERFECTLY! Her price is right and the cupcakes look so professional and cute. I am excited for the taste test because that was the one thing I wasn't able to do at the bridal show.

Also of note = I got my dress last week! It arrived in the mail and I tried it on right away even though Gary was in the room. Don't worry, he didn't want to see it so he just turned around :). The top is a litttttttttle too big, which I did anticipate. Also kind of landing in my lap was the person I would be calling to do the dress fitting. Earlier last year, I randomly accompanied my future mother-in-law to a fitting consultation on her bike sportswear. That day, the seamstress was working on a dress she was literally making from scratch for a bride. It was so pretty! So when I knew my mom wouldn't want to do the fitting, I called up Robin. My consultation was TODAY and she said this would be the easiest wedding dress she has ever worked on. Sweet. I go back next Wednesday for the 1st fitting. I wouldn't be surprised if I am able to take it back that day.

The one thing that didn't go our way was Gary's wedding band. We ordered a size that didn't fit him! I was hoping that wouldn't happen but oh well. Luckily though, James Allen does free resizing. All I have to pay for is the send our package back. That, I can do :) I should be able to send it back tomorrow and the new ring, that BETTER FIT, will arrive within the next 2 weeks.

The last part of this post, I finally had my first good day at work. Meaning, I actually came back from work happy and in a good mood. That hasn't happened in I can't even count how many months. I was working as the hostess for the night and to say it didn't start out okay is an understatement. Within 15 minutes of me walking in, I had booked 18 people in reservations. Normally that is a good thing, but not when our only chef for the evening walks out in a huff. Talk about professional douschery. Who does that?????????? Anyway, our F&B director and his fiancee both know how to cook so they stepped in about 30 minutes after we opened. Luckily for us, only 2 people had come in at that point. We ended up being fairly slow in retrospect but when you have 3 big tables, 1 with 10 people, 1 with 6 (celebrating their WEDDING DAY!) and another of 7 people all within the same timeframe, it can be quite difficult. Russ and Natalie came out of it ON TOP and did a fantastic job. When people in the kitchen love what they do and have a good attitude, it shows in their food. People left the place happy and fully satisfied which hasn't happened in awhile. One person even said that it was the best walleye they had ever eaten. Wow. We are finally on our way up. That is exciting.

Peace out.

Ps: I have my 2nd interview on Friday! I HAVE TO GET THIS JOB! I can't imagine working anywhere else. I really can't. It would be a perfect fit for me. Also, I have this huge urge to go through ALL of my belongings and have them all in one location. I can't wait for that.


Iowa City = US OLYMPIC WRESTLING TRIALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is awesome.

In other news, I was happily working on my "rest of 2010" photobook and watching Parenthood. Not just two minutes ago it ended and I was watching the preview clip for the next episode. What do they do? In the last second of the clip they say it will return in two weeks. WHAAAAAAAAAT? They just made us wait over a month.

How rude.

Other than that, I am quite proud of myself. I was feeling really weird and tired and unmotivated earlier but I have accomplished a lot in the past few hours. I finished both photobooks for my senior year of Luther and have almost finished sorting through the rest of my 2010 photos. This had turned into quite a project because I took a lot of photos with my phone and did not organize them well. Better luck next year :)


DIY Wedding Challenge 2010: Fabric Flower - Project Wedding

DIY Wedding Challenge 2010: Fabric Flower - Project Wedding

Hmmm. How could I incorporate these? I plan to make the button boutonnieres for the boys but perhaps this could be for the mothers and grandmothers...


Pencil Skirts and Cool-Aid

I just had THEE strongest craving for cool-aid. It sounds sooooo refreshing doesn't it??

I finally have good news to report. After practicing great patience, I have heard back from LMP. I got an interview!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had been pretty confident since applying just under a month ago but yesterday, I couldn't help but mope around. I just had this dark feeling inside that I wouldn't get a call. Luckily, I didn't have to drive Gary too crazy because around 2 something, I got the call. I was much too excited to call back right away, instead I cried :) This job is beyond perfect for me. I HAVE to do well in these interviews!! I have to.

In preparation for my interview on Friday, Gary helped me pick out what to wear. We decided on a pencil skirt, a nice light blue ruffled button-up and my grey flats. HOWEVER, I woke up in a frenzy this morning thinking about that silly pencil skirt. What if that isn't formal enough? The reason why I thought it would be okay last night was because my vision of the national staff is in LSM camp mode, not LMP professional mode. Should I wear my suit instead? Gosh, so many decisions. Maybe I'll wear the suit to the first interview with the executive director and if I make it to the second round of interviews which will be with staff members that I've worked with before and know well, I'll wear the pencil skirt....

Lastly, thank you AGAIN and many times over to my precious Gary for putting up with me. I love you!


New email address

I have officially changed my email address. It is now:


I will continue to use my other address (oelrva01@luther.edu) for some time but I will at some point discontinue use. We'll just see how it goes :) For the time being, all my incoming mail will be forwarded to my new address.


Go to ABC to check date & time? No thanks

I have the TV on in the background (Food Network of course) and I keep hearing a commercial for the new Bachelor coming up. I know it's supposed to start in January but does the commercial tell me that? No. They are making viewers go online to check. Weird? I think so. Stupid? Yes. I haven't decided if I'm going to watch yet so until then, I won't be checking.


I've already changed my mind. I'm going to check but that still doesn't mean I'm going to watch the season...

Oh and PARENTHOOD STARTS AGAIN. I can't wait until tomorrow night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where did the year go??

I simply cannot believe it is 2011. Time FLIES! So does the time between my blog posts...sorry about that :)

Just a few days ago, Gary and I went over to Bridget & Drew's for the Oelrich beef tenderloin gathering. I was a bit tired the whole day but gosh it was fun. The most impressive part of the whole gathering was that Bridget made every single item of food from scratch. EVERYTHING. I am jealous. I have wanted to do that for so long but have been unable. To be honest, I can't even think of a single new recipe I've tried this year. How sad is that? 2011 will be my year to do just that. I have SO many recipes to go through so I will be quite busy :)

Gary and I will be traveling to Roch today. Conveniently, my computer battery and stopped working so I'll be able to pick up a new one in addition to watching a movie and going to Applebee's. Thanks Mom & Dad for the gift card!