April-May-June Update

Editor’s Note: When I sat down to write my update, I thought “You literally have nothing to write about.” I’m pleasantly surprised at what I’ve done the past three months! I should have made one of my goals be “blog regularly” because that clearly ain’t happening. Sorry folks. Okay, here we gooooo

#1 – Take a calligraphy class. 

I LOVED IT. I signed up through Kirkwood and the class met in May – twice a week for an hour for three weeks, so six sessions total. It was 1) really relaxing 2) very interesting.  The first thing the instructor said the thing about calligraphy that makes it exciting is the different weights of the ink/pen when writing. I really had to remind myself to slooooow down to get the good lookin’ stuff. We were taught with ink and nibs (I think I was expecting calligraphy brush pens) but not feather quills or anything. I know I’m an old lady at heart, but not THAT old. After the class wrapped up, I sent a couple of cards to friends to practice PLUS I ordered calligraphy pens (Sharpie brand). I haven’t had a chance to test ‘em out yet but looking forward to getting started on ‘em.  I started a calligraphy board on Pinterest and started following some calligrapher accounts on Instagram, so I’m practically the real thing. I really enjoyed the calligraphy class and will likely re-take the class again when offered this fall to get more practice.

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Valeda, Verle, Opal, and Robert – my grandparents’ names.

#2 – Run the Bix 7.

Training continues. Slowly. I run like the winded. As of this post – the Bix is 1 month away!

#3 – Cook a new meal once a week.

HAAAAAAAA no, moving on.

#4 – Bake cupcakes/dessert once a month.

Long story short, I attempted baking last night for some high school students. It’s summer and I’m all about doz s’mores so I attempted this S’mores Bites recipe.

First rant: I HATE BAKING BLOGS. Stop writing about how you love things and taking photos of food at weird angles. I just want to know the ingredients and the steps to deliciousness, ain’t got time for fancy photos and “oh lovelies, it was just maaaarvelous and reminds me of my family member and she’s the best and let me tell you more stories about her.” I recognize the irony that this blog post is already going on forever.

There were like 6 ingredients, I figured I GOT THIS. Turns out, you should never mix up the words jumbo and mini.  I needed mini muffin tins and jumbo marshmallows and in my baditude of baking, I settled for jumbo muffin tins and mini marshmallows.  The recipe was supposed to make 2 dozen-24. With some rationing of the crust, I ended up with 19 between the 2 muffin tins. Whoops.

After the initial baking, I couldn’t figure out why one tin of crusts cooked and held together so much better than the second.  The bites came out decently well from the first tin, but not the second… As I did the dishes, I realized the second pan actually was TWO pans stacked together. Sooooo the crust couldn’t cook through as well. The high school students were good about it, one just took a spoon and ate out directly from the muffin tin. Thank Gawd I had back-up treats … I had extra graham crackers, so I made graham cracker/frosting sammiches.

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PINTEREST FAIL.

#5 – Binge a show on Netflix as fast as I can.

So I re-started my favorite show of all time – How I Met Your Mother. I’m slow – my idea of binging is 2-3 episodes a night, but I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm (#oldlady) soooo it’s a short night. I want to finish the season of HIMYM I’m on and then fully binge Season 4 of OITNB and then head back to HIMYM.

#6 – Travel more.

Just call me a world traveler. Maybe scale it back a coast to coast traveler.

In May, I spent Memorial Day weekend in Boston, MA. I visited my friend and fellow pop-culture nerd Laura who is the most bad-ass librarian and friend you’ll ever meet. Laura planned a great weekend –  we went to a Sia concert, walked the Freedom Trail, did the Sam Adams Brewery Tour, tried our hand at Candlepin Bowling, and so much more.

June has been crazy! I spent one weekend in exotic Clear Lake, IA with my roomies and their kiddos. We have met in Clear Lake before, but never in the summer… the lake has always been iced over. We were able to visit the beach and visit a lake-front restaurant. It was great to be together and to see new parts of Clear Lake.

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The next weekend, my bestie and I went to GALena – it was the first time for both of us. We spent some time exploring their Main Street shops, took in a trolley tour, wine tasting, and found some alpacas to hang out with (seriously).

A friend of wine is a friend of mine.

A friend of wine is a friend of mine.

Alpaca selfie.

Alpaca selfie.

And just last week, I went the opposite direction and spent a 3.5 days in Seattle on our family vacation (#GoerdtsGoWest). It was the perfect amount of time in Seattle to do the tourist-y highlights, like the Space Needle, aquarium, whale watching, two museums, and of course the Pike Place Market. The hardest part about Seattle was what to pack. You don’t tell an overpacker/analyzer to bring layers and only a carry-on.

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It is very possible we color coordinated our outfits.

#7 – Read a new book once a month.

For my first book club book, we read “Some Luck” by Jane Smiley. Not my favorite but the setting was in Iowa, so I appreciated the mentions of local Iowa towns. Plus there was a chapter about the Iowa State Fair – one of my favorite summer activities!

On my flights to/from Seattle, I read our new book “Defending Jacob” by William Landay. A totally different book from “Some Luck” and much more my kind of read. A prosecutor’s son, Jacob, is accused of murdering his classmate.

#16 – Fitbit personal challenges each month

It was my goal to hit 190 miles in April. I didn’t hit it, I was about 12 miles off. I tried again in May, this time I was 10 short, and I’ll give you a guess to June. I’m going to keep trying for 190. In other news, I still LOVE my Fitbit. I wanted the Flex because I liked that I could change out the bands to match my outfits. Soooo now I have about 20 bands. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of amazon.com, but you can essentially order anything from there, including cheetah print, polka dot, or chevron pattern Fitbit bands. Not even slightly ashamed.

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The top row is my watch bands. Bottom row is my Fitbit bands, which is now not up-to-date because I just got a new one tonight.

#19 – Go to a museum and be cultured for a day.

So, as a Goerdt, you are not a museum person. Get in, get the picture, and get out. I do feel like I got a decent amount of culture in both my trips to Boston and Seattle. The Boston Public Library included a couple of exhibits as well as we visited the Isabella Gardner Museum, full of paintings, sculptures, and super fancy stuff.  In Seattle, we visited the EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum and I LOVED IT. It was a essentially a pop-culture nerd’s dream and I was in heaven. Highly recommend it.

#20 – Write more.

I’m trying to be better about writing things down, including daily activities and thoughts and feelings. 68922489 years from now, someone will find these scribbles and Word Docs and make the shortest screenplay ever. We’ll keep “Quarter Life Crisis” as the working title.

#21 – Ride my bike more this summer.

BOOM, it’s happened once… so far. I visited my bestie who lives in the Des Moines area and we spent the morning riding the High Trestle Trail, which I’m not going to explain because you’ve likely seen a picture of it.

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Besties biking bridges.

#25 – **SECRET**

Check this one off! It happened shortly after my last blog post.

Wrapping up

Sorry for the long post, this is what happens when you wait three months. Let’s see – other things – I’ve been listening to a healthy mix of Fifth Harmony, Sia, Adele, and Meghan Trainor as of late. A lot of girl power, confidence, and motivation from these women. AND THIS KICK-ASS SONG CALLED “GOOD AS HELL” BY LIZZO.

Have a great July 4th weekend! As a wise woman once told me “If you drink a fifth on the fourth, you won’t come forth on the fifth.” (Thanks Mom!)

March 2014 (only 1 week late)

After some pestering from certain individuals here is my March post! Whoops, clearly not following #1 on this list very well. This just means you get to read comma filled diary entries of my boring life TWICE this month!

#3: Try a new-to-me-recipe once a month

Let me introduce you to the best recipe in the entire world, “Welcome Home Sandwiches”. My wonderful mother Mare Bear has made these for years. I had my roomies over for a weekend in March and wanted a quick recipe that I couldn’t ruin too bad. Enter sammiches! I even left out 1 ingredient and no one seemed to mind. In fact, one roomie even asked for the recipe! Success! There is no photographic evidence of the sammiches, but the recipe is below.

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#4: Make a batch of cupcakes or dessert once a month

Work potlucks are the most exciting and terrifying event for me.  Who doesn’t love a Food Day? Oh, wait, I’m supposed to bring something? Shooooooot.  Again, my wonderful mother Mare Bear came to the rescue and suggested making Creme De Menthe Cake to bring to our St. Party’s Day potluck.  Dessert? Alcohol? I’m in!

Creme De Menthe Cake.

Creme De Menthe Cake.

 #9: Read 2 new books a month

Guys, I don’t have the energy to write a good review for both of these books.  But I recommend either of them and I’d totes give you a review, just not tonight.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

#14: Spend Less Money

Welllll, I only went shopping two weekends in a row with friends in March.  I wasn’t really saving much money, and then my tax return came in and I felt like this.

#24: Be a better beer drinker and not have to resort to Bud Light when I go out

It is good to know people who know beer, and also phone apps. I’m now tracking all my new beer and reviewing them on the Untappd app.  I tried a ShockTop HoneyCrisp Apple Wheat Beer on tap at a great place called “61 Chophouse”.  Proceeded to buy a six pack the next time I was at the grocery store.  And then because I’m super into trying new things, I tried a second new-to-me- beer the next day called “Windmill Wheat” from Windstream Brewery in Amana.   Next up – getting away from the wheats and trying something a little more hoppy.  And figuring out what hoppy means.

ShockTop Honey Crisp Apple Wheat. YUM.

ShockTop Honey Crisp Apple Wheat. YUM.

Windmill Wheat at the Amanas. Photo credit to Nick Jellings and nail polish credit to OPI/meee

Windmill Wheat at the Amanas.
Photo credit to Nick Jellings and nail polish credit to OPI/meee

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I’m starting a new installment called “Look How Slowly I’m Putting This Puzzle Together”, where essentially, you will see how slowly I’m putting together a 1,000 piece heart shaped cupcake puzzle I got for my birthday (in February).

March 3, night 1: Holy crap look how easy this is going to be.

March 3, night 1: Holy crap look how easy this is going to be.

March 31, night-I've-already-lost-track.  A little slow going.

March 31, night-I’ve-already-lost-track.
A little slow going.

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The month of March was pretty great – I stayed pretty busy and got to travel and see a bunch of friends, including the roomies, my Des Moines peeps, and Nicki who normally is in KC! (Can you blame a girl for not writing her monthly blog?)

Besties. Birthdays. Babes.

Besties. Birthdays. Babes.

Roomie reunions are the best.

Roomie reunions are the best.

Ahhh another installment on the blog - Nick and I's Burger and Beer Tour.  61 Chophouse was da bomb dot com!

Ahhh another installment on the blog – Nick and I’s Burger and Beer Tour. 61 Chophouse was da bomb dot com!

March came to a sad end for me – I had to say goodbye to 5 friends I’ve made over the years. We drank together, we roomed together, we slapped together.  Whomp whomp, yes I’m talking about How I Met Your Mother.  I’ve read every good bye article, theory, and rant regarding the finale.  Here is my favorite image from all my finds.

From a blue French Horn to a yellow umbrella.

 See you in a few short weeks for my April review!  (PS, I’ve already started drinking new-to-me beer!)