Happy Birthday Amy!!

Happy Birthday to the best and most loving sister ever!!

amy bday 2

You have been there for me so much…both through good times and bad.  I couldn’t ask for a better sister and friend.

amy bday1

I love all the crazy and hilarious times we have together. 

amy bday 3

Enjoy your Kiwi Adventure–I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.

amy bday 5

Rishi Chai

I am a huge chai fan. I also have very high standards for chai. Not to be a chai snob, but I rarely order chai at coffee shops, unless I know what their chai base is. No offense to many coffee shops out there, but I find a lot of chai is either not made properly, watered down, or just the spices are off in the blend.

Earlier I highlighted a local Minnesota Chai Company, Gray Duck Chai. Today, we’ll bring it back to Wisconsin with Rishi tea, a Milwaukee based tea company. Rishi really has amazing tea, and I have to say they are my favorite tea brand…and it is not just because they are from Milwaukee, but that doesn’t hurt. They have very high quality teas that are both organic and fair trade, they promote sustainability…and, well their tea is super delicious.

I have many blends I love, such as the Scarlet Herbal blend…but let me tell you, they have some amazing chai. I even had the pleasure of having a Rishi tea expert teach a chai class at the natural food store I work at. Until then I only typically had chai from concentrate blends, which Rishi does have a quality chai concentrate. However, the best chai I ever had was that day made fresh from loose tea. They have five loose chai tea blends, which all are good in their own different ways–however my favorite is the Masala Chai (can’t go wrong with the classic) and the Chocolate Chai. I really love the Chocolate Chai, just what you need to warm you up on a cool autumn day…or winter, but let’s not think about that yet.

It used to seem scary to make chai with loose tea at home, but on the Rishi tea tin, they have super easy instructions. Basically you boil 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, and 2 tbsp loose chai tea. Then simmer it for 5 minutes, add sugar (2-3 tbsp)…and bam, you are done and have a delicious cup of chai.

chai rishi

 

Biofreeze #Protip

biofreeze

My wrists and forearms have been showing the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. I am certain it directly correlates to the amount of time I’ve been spending on the computer. You see, I got a promotion in May (YAY) and have been managing a gigantic project at work that launches at the end of the month. I’m working 10-12 hour days AT work, then coming home and working some more.

There’s been numbness, tingling, pins-and-needles, shooting pain, etc. 

It’s a lot of fun.

I happened to have an appointment with my chiropractor last night so I asked him if he had any recommendations. He took a look and did some soft tissue work.

Oh.Mah.Gawd.

It was so tender – especially around both radial heads (heads of my radius bones in both forearms). I almost screamed out it was so painful. He said I am definitely developing CTS but that I am also showing signs of golfer’s elbow – which is awesome because I sure don’t golf.

Anyways, he prescribed medical-grade wrist splints for each arm and said I should ice and take it easy. 

Things were so sore today, and since I am about to head out to a baseball game, I figured I would apply some Biofreeze gel to calm things down. I am NOT wearing these braces to a baseball game.wrist splint

So, I applied the Biofreeze and then went to the bathroom before I started packing up the car. BIG GIANT MISTAKE.

biofreeze
Be careful what you touch after you use biofreeze

I forgot to wash my hands before using the bathroom.

I think you know where this is going.

There is some mentholated tingling going on in places there shouldn’t.

This has been a #protip.

St. Croix State Park

scsp riverA couple weeks back, Matt and I did a little camping near Superior, Wisconsin. On our way back, we decided to get one more hike in before we headed home. We stopped at St. Croix State Park in Hinckley, Minnesota.

St. Croix State Park has a ton of trails and is a huge state park. It has two rivers and is great for any outdoor enthusiast–from hikers to mountain bikers to canoeists, campers and more.

scsp river bluffWe hiked on the River Bluff trial. It was quite pretty, however the bugs were thick–nothing a little bug spray couldn’t combat as long as you kept moving. 

scsp river bendI always find water peaceful. I would have sat and relaxed a bit beside the river, if it weren’t for bugs that would’ve ate me up. 

scsp river edgeAll in all it was a good hike. The only downside was having quite a few ticks covering Matt and myself…unfortunately Mr. Jack had us both beat on the tick count. We had to have removed 20+ ticks from Mr. Jack. He got a special bath when he got home too. Ticks can be scary with the threat of Lyme disease, luckily we all made it through fine–no tick bites.

scsp river bluff trialOther than our experience with ticks, St. Croix State Park was a fun place to visit. We barely hit the surface of what that state park has to offer. We will have to make our way back there soon.

Yay ‘Merica!

Summerfest Big Bang_1July2014_tkant

 

Happy 4th of July y’all! Enjoy celebrating our great country! Yay ‘Merica!!

 

(Photo: Big Bang during Summerfest 2014 — Milwaukee, by Papa Kant) 

TBT: Emily’s Goodbye to Milwaukee

TBT brings us back to a sad time…when I left Milwaukee back in 2011. While I miss Milwaukee, I do really enjoy living in the Twin Cities.

When you are leaving your home, obviously you need a going-away party. I love Mexican food, so it was also necessary to stop at one of the many great Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee. You could say we had a Going Away Fiestsa.

going away fiesta

Here is Amy, Andy, and I outside of the restaurant. I mean when there is a statue like that outside of a restaurant, how do you not take a photo with it?

cake time

Amy got me with a going away cake…it was delicious.

 cake fail

Cake Fail. Or rather, eating cake in a moving car fail.

 

Mr. Jack & his love of eating water

Mr. Jack is a pretty great dog. He also has a hilarious love of eating water. 

(Thanks Mom & Dad for watching Mr. Jack and catching this hilarious video.) 

Bye bye, Elantra.

This past week has been a bit crazy. I woke up Tuesday morning. It seemed like a normal day. Since I didn’t start work until later in the day, I was looking forward to a relaxing morning…until the neighbor knocked at our door around 8:30 a.m. When I answered, he said, “I’m sorry, but your car isn’t outside. It was hit last night, and it’s at the impound lot.” My neighbor also handed me the police officer’s card who came to the scene Monday night.

What a way to start your day. I had a mild freak out. I called the police department and found out the police report hadn’t been filed yet. So, I really had no clue as to what happened other than I knew someone hit my car the night before. When I called my insurance, they had a bunch of questions, to which I answered “I have no clue. All I have is my police officer’s business card and a case number.”

As I was on the phone with insurance, Matt talked with my neighbor. Apparently some girl hit my legally parked car around 1 a.m. The cops tried to get a hold of us, but we didn’t answer our door. (It was 1 a.m. on a Monday night. We were sleeping.) Our neighbor was still up, so he checked out the crash scene and kindly took information from the cop to give us in the morning. (We have a swell neighbor.)

Matt and I took a look at the crash scene. Tire marks in the grass. My car – gone. It also appears that my car hit the car that was parked behind mine, however that car didn’t get taken to the impound lot.

street

After two hours back and forth on the phone with insurance to try and find a rental car, we still hadn’t located an available vehicle. Apparently rental car companies are not supposed to say no to insurance companies when they ask if there is a car available, however when you call that car rental company they will tell you that a car won’t be available until later.

I think we went through four rental car locations. Matt had to drive me to work, and then the rental car company picked me up in the afternoon to get the car. While annoying, it worked out quite well. They called to let me know they’d be picking me up in a black Mercedes. Awesome.

Then when I was signing the paperwork, they tell me, “Oh, by the way…that Mercedes is the rental we have for you.” Super awesome. I have never driven or even ridden in a Mercedes until this week. Let me tell you, I can understand why people spend money on these cars. They are pretty freaking sweet.

mercedes

While I had a sweet rental, I still did not know the state of my own car. It was at the impound lot. All I knew was that it no longer had a rear bumper. So after work, I picked Matt up in my Mercedes and went to the impound lot. Yeah…there was a lot more damage than a missing bumper.

car4

After seeing my car, I had a feeling that it was officially totaled. I got my belongings from my car and said my goodbyes. That was the last time I saw my Elantra. 

The next day I was able to finally get the police report. It turns out that this girl had a cast on her foot. Her foot with the cast apparently slipped on the gas and made the car accelerate out of control and into my car.  My question is, if your foot slipped on the gas pedal, wouldn’t you just accelerate, not cross over a whole lane of traffic?? While the story seems fishy to me, I wasn’t there so I will never know. I am just happy it wasn’t a hit and run.

Later that day, I found out my car was a total loss. It was a good car for the year I had it. I’ll miss my Elantra. 

car goodbye

While finding out my car was officially totaled was a bummer, at this point I was pretty much anticipating that. The huge downside is that I have only had my car for a year, so I haven’t paid my loan down enough to get anything back from insurance. Luckily, I have gap insurance, but that just means I don’t have to pay my bank any money. This leaves me with no car…and unfortunately not much money to put toward a new car. Let me tell you…fun times.

Timing surprisingly played out better than I thought it would though, because my parents were planning on buying a new car. Which means they have a shiny but slightly rusty, new to me 2004 Hyundai Elantra for sale at a good price. An Accent is not my #1 choice in a car (or even #2 or #3). However, it is a car…that is not totaled…and in good condition for being 10 years old. It is not my 2010 Elantra…it will get me to where I need to be.

I do still have my rental car for the week, as I can’t get the Accent until this weekend…which means Road Trip to Milwaukee!! (Actually we have two weddings that weekend in Milwaukee, so Matt and I were already planning to be in Milwaukee next weekend.)

However, now it is a Road Trip to Milwaukee in a Mercedes Benz! Sometimes you just got to look at the upside of things!

TBT: Minnehaha Falls

A few years back, Amy was visiting me in the Twin Cities, as I had recently moved there. I decided to take her to Minnehaha Falls, which is a great park in Minneapolis that happens to also have a waterfall. 

During the summer it can be quite the busy park, but it is always worth the trip. Not only does it have a waterfall, but also scenic trails, overlooks, and river views. It is one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities.

We took our dogs too, as it is a super pet friendly park. Dogs can go on the trials, as well as run around in the large dog park.

minnehaha park

 

Happy Summer!

TBT: Color Run

A couple years back, Amy and I (and Matt) did the Color Run in the Twin Cities. It is a super fun 5K. If you are going to run 3 miles, you might as well have fun. The only hard part of the Color Run is getting the color off of you after the race. Let’s just say we all took some very long showers to get all that color off.

color run group

P.S. Protip for anyone color running this year: Keep your mouth closed when you run through the color stations. Trust me on this.