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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sushi 101

My good friend recently tried sushi and LOVED it so she convinced me to go out a couple of nights ago and get sushi.  I googled best sushi places in St. Paul and found a place in downtown called Fuji Ya.  More and more I got nervous thinking about my sushi experience so I decided to do a little research of my own and these are the tips I found for first time sushi goers:


Try cooked items first. Yeah, I was thinking when I read this, you think?  I want it all cooked.  Then I will be just fine.

Start with what you know.  I know salmon.  I am not that adventurous.  I looked at the menu at Fuji Ya and I couldn't pronounce 80 percent of the items. 

Try "vegetarian" sushi.  I love this one.  How could you possibly go wrong with this?


Try the items with least "fishy" intensity.  Also agreed....considering I actually really HATE most all seafood....yes, some of you may be wondering why even try sushi then?  Yes, I am wondering that too.  Red snapper and Halibut were suggested.

 Logan and I sat down right at the sushi bar and we were able to see how they made all the little sushi.  We hit happy hour so we took advantage of that and ordered a few kinds of sushi and some appetizers.  We of course tried the vegetarian rolls which were my FAVORITE, spider rolls and another kind of sushi called crunchy wasabi.  I did try all three kinds.  However, I stuck to the vegetarian and left Logan to the others:) 

There were people around us with just slabs of raw fish on a plate.  I don't know how they do it.  Logan went on about how it is healthier to eat raw food because then you don't cook the nutrients out of it and all I heard was BLAH BLAH BLAH:)  I enjoy eating food that has been fully cooked, I happen to think it tastes better that way.  Just my personal preference though.  Still, the night was so fun and it had been awhile since I had seen her.

One day Logan and I will work again together and it will be chaos once again.  Oh, and I would totally eat sushi again...vegetarian style.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

UFF DA!




Could I have eaten anymore of my delicious ham and cheese sandwiches that James and I made to bring to our Christmas lunch?  I know, I am bragging about my cooking, but seriously they were a hit!  Considering I don't bake I was pleased as punch about it.  Why oh why does there have to be so many amazing dishes on Christmas.  It just doesn't seem fair.

Our family gathered at the Kucera home and this year we decided to bring a white elephant gift instead of gifts which made it a lot easier for all of us.  I have more than enough stuff in the house that I will never use so it was the perfect opportunity to wrap it up and get it out!  When I think of white elephant gifts the first thing that comes to mind is, well....junk. Surprisingly enough there were a lot of great white elephant gifts!  James and I brought home a back massage thingy, an ornament and a s'mores kit.  I kept telling James to go for the Caribou gift card but he insisted on going for the s'mores kit....boys.
 

It wouldn't be Christmas without admiring Marla's many eclectic styles.  This Christmas was quite the sight:)  I don't know if I would have been able to pull it off, but she pulls it off, every. single. time. BRAVO Marla!!

Stuffed and on to the next place.  Byron, Minnesota.  We packed up which included Otis and headed south. Otis really enjoys his time at the Walbruch home because he has 4 cats to play with....yes. FOUR.  Actually I should say he has four cats to annoy.  They are not fond of him at all and they hiss and scratch at him quite frequently but he always goes back for more.  We sat down in the living room and opened our presents.  It was fun to watch everyone see what they got and enjoy each others company. 

Kate was nice enough to get up with me early the next morning and partake in the after Christmas sales....for some reason, James just wasn't interested in coming with us, neither were the rest of the boys.  I just don't get it.  We found some pretty good deals, some things I didn't really need, but I got anyway, James was thrilled.  I was thrilled, hence we were all thrilled.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Eve Tradition

Christmas is here already and I can hardly believe it!  When I was little our Christmas eve tradition was always to open one gift and then we would bundle up in our winter clothes and walk up to the surrounding neighborhoods and look at all the lights.  It was quite a sight.  I thought it was a great tradition growing up and it was something my sisters and I always looked forward to doing.
I find myself in kind of a pickle this year because it is James and I first official Christmas as the "Walbruch's" and I feel that we need to begin to make traditions of our own.  What are they going to be?  I am the girl that goes to bed at 8 pm every night.  I know, I am the party animal you don't have to say a thing. 
I found some really interesting Christmas Eve traditions from around the world....I am not sure I would want to adopt the traditions but hey, they were fun to read, for instance:
In the Czech Republic, if you’re a single woman, Christmas Eve is your chance to foretell your love life for the coming year. Single women stand with their backs to the door and throw a shoe over their shoulder. If the shoe’s toe points towards the door they’ll get married in the coming year. If not…better luck next year.
9. Waiting for the Spider
In the Ukraine it’s considered good luck if a spider appears on your christmas tree. This stems from a folk tale about an old woman too poor to afford ornaments, who found that spiders had inhabited her tree overnight and decorated its branches with their webs. If you wake to a spider on your tree on Christmas morning you’ll be blessed with good fortune.

In Catalan custom in Spain, a hollowed out log with legs and a painted face added is “fed” candies, foodstuffs, and other treasures over the course of the month of December. On Christmas Eve or Christmas, the log is placed in the fireplace and beaten with a stick until all the “food” comes out – essentially pooping. Traditionally, the final object to drop from the log is an onion, salted herring, or garlic bulb.


What are some of your Christmas Eve traditions??

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Birthday?!?

So here we go, my second time blogging , so by this time next year, I might be going pro (don't worry, I'll remember the little people that got me there). In order to know what I'm talking about, we are going to have to go back, back to a simpler time when things were easier than they are now and gas was about 2.79 a gallon.  This takes us all the way back to December 10, 2010.  It seems like such a long time ago, until a 30 inch punch of snow to the face hits you (*note-- see our earlier post).

Anywho, Jana and I went out on the 10th for dinner and a movie for her birthday (I'm not allowed to say how old she is). I got her purple flowers and Ruby Tuesdays and The Tourist were on the menu. Great food, good movie and hardly a snowflake in sight.  We enjoyed a little shopping beforehand and then Marla joined us for the movie. As we were leaving the mall, the snow began to fall and I'm pretty sure it didn't stop until....well until everyone in the state was screaming at the sky to quit.

I was supposed to work on Saturday at 9am, but I woke up to a 3 foot high pile in the driveway and decided it just wasn't going to happen.  (again see our earlier post for what happened that day) We ended up just hanging out at home just because we were unable to go or do anything else.

Marla decided to get Jana a gag gift...that being a pregnancy journal and a baby outfit hence the look.
Her birthday was Sunday and her gift was the first thing on our to do list.  I gave her a Tom Tom so she can never say she doesn't know where she is going ever again. This was good because we headed to a Christmas party that was moved from Saturday and needed it's help to get there! It was a good time all around but the real celebration (in my mind) was Jana's b-day! We didn't have time to make a cake at home, so we got some cupcakes from the store and she blew out candles on them instead while I sang a terrible rendition of the birthday song! (I saved everyone the pain, and we just took pictures, because a video would break your computer screens)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baby it's cold outside

Our heat bill has dramatically increased this past month.  We keep our house at a toasty 68 degrees...sometimes if I am feeling the extra chill in the air I will even put it up a degree or two.  Apparently this is insane madness and not healthy for you either.  62 degrees is where the typical house thermostat should be placed....yes, you read it right...62.  THAT seems like insane madness to me but whatever.  After James telling me what the heat bill was and the month hadn't even ended, 62 sounds like a fine number to me.

James wakes me up Sunday morning and well, he looks just silly.  He is pretty much an ice cube from hanging out in the computer room for the past hour.  Extreme times calls for extreme measures:)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snow blast

I can think of one reason and one reason only NOT to live in Minnesota.  SNOW.  Where does it all freaking come from?  There is so much and why so much at one time?  I prefer snow flurries.  Those are pretty.  Snow blasts however are not.  What you can't see is how brutal the wind is.  This is the most snow the metro area has seen since 1991 and it isn't even the first official day of winter yet.  You do the math.

James and Ryan spent the morning digging the cars out and actually doing a little unexpected community service.  Stand up boys they sure are:)



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Turkey Day Get Away










So as a honeymoon, I took Jana to a little place called the Honeymoon Cabin.  How very clever of me, huh? This was a small two room cabin right on the shores of Superior in the little town of Tofte.  This place had it all, stove, heat, water, you know... the works! 

video
This trip began the day before Thanksgiving, and of course, most of the state has a winter weather advisory going on (snow is my archenemy now).  We left early enough in the day to avoid most of the snow, and we stayed at a hotel right in Canal Park in Duluth.  By the time we wanted to eat dinner, the snow was coming down like....well...like a heck of a lot of snow would come down. This had us both worried because we had a ways to drive in the morning, but it turned out the snow plow drivers up there are amazingly good at their jobs, so we had no issues!

Dinner reservations were at 2pm on Thursday at the BlueFin Bay Grille, and it was AMAZING. It was a surprisingly easy drive, but we were ready to eat by the time we got there.  Cranberry stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole... you named it, they had it.  Jana's favorite part was the peach dessert she had with bread pudding, she found it to be quite heavenly.  We headed back to the cabin stuffed and ready to sleep, even though it was only about 3:30! We ended our evening with a few flicks we had picked up the day before.

Day 3 was spent in Grand Marais, shopping and checking out some sights in the winter (I have never been up there in the wintertime).  We picked up Scattergories Categories, fudge (of course!), and a few other things we may have forgotten about or ran out of.  The rest of the day had us playing Scattergories, Sequence, and just enjoying each others company.

Saturday was the day we decided to try and hike, despite our better judgment.  We were right near the Temperance River and had both hiked it multiple times, so we gave it a shot. About half way up, I slipped on one of the many ice patches and luckily just landed on my butt (instead of on my butt 30 feet down).  Jana wanted to turn back, but I knew it would be worth it, so we pressed on!  We got some amazing pictures and we were actually surprised that at the top of the falls the water hadn't frozen over completely yet. The way back down was even more treacherous, but we made it.  There was a guy with a baby on his back (in a carrier thingy) that was crawling across some of the ice on the stairs, all while his worried wife says "Are you sure it's ok to do this?" So we were NOT the crazy ones. We headed to Lutsen to do a gondola ride after, but it was such a beautiful day that everyone was there skiing and we decided against it. Something about standing in line in the cold just didn't sound that appealing to me.  Instead, we drove north of Grand Marais and explored a few places we had never been before and just enjoyed the clear skies and wonderful views.
Sadly, our trip had to come to an end, so we trekked back to St. Paul on Sunday, just in time to have Ryan drop off Otis, who acted like he hadn't seen us in a month.  It was a wonderful trip with a wonderful lady and it should tie us over until we can make it somewhere more tropical in the near future!  


Monday, December 6, 2010

SNORT!?

Have you ever SNORTED so loud that you have woken yourself up in the middle of the night?  I have....last night. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's a few flakes?

My dad comes into my bedroom at six in the morning, flips on the light and starts rattling on about how his TV doesn't work anymore because of all the snow that has piled into the satellite dish.  I can't decide what I am more annoyed about....being woken up at six in the morning or seeing that there is a TON of snow outside the day that James and I are getting married.

We had to be at the salon at 10 am.  The roads were not looking pretty.  Jesse, the sweet gentleman that he is, offered to drive us.  Looking back on it now it is all quite comical really.  I literally thought we were going to die on the way to our appointment the way Jesse was driving, but he kept saying, "We HAVE to get our hair done!"  He definitely lightened the mood and took the pressure off to say the least!  After we were all done up we of course got to wear bags on our heads.  Who doesn't want to wear a bag on their head?  I sure do.

The photo shoot turned out to be a success.  Abbey was our photographer.....Sunlit Photography is the name of her company.  She was just amazing.  She made it very easy for James and I.  It isn't easy to take pictures of us.  Shockingly we can both be very awkward.  I know, hard to believe right?  But it is true.  Father Waters happened to be there at the wedding....he had to be actually so we had the opportunity to use him for quite a few of the pictures which turned out to be great fun.
 

I woke up feeling disappointed by the snow but  it could not have been a more beautiful evening because I married my James.  We are grateful for all the family and friends who were able to come celebrate with us!  We truly feel blessed by all the love and support.