Holiday

Commemorating Quite a Year

Last Wednesday, August 13th, was our third anniversary!  If we weren’t sure by then, we are sure of it now that we are officially beyond the newlywed phase, and that is quite alright by me!

We usually do something fun and out-of-the-norm for our anniversaries, but we don’t usually go crazy because as much as an anniversary is a great reminder of how far we come and of our wedding day, we try to make every day a priority to let each other know how much we care.  With our schedules being so off, we only see each other a few hours a week right now, which is definitely not ideal, but I knew going into our wedding day that chef’s schedules vary dramatically day-to-day and season-to-season.  Thankfully, San had last Thursday off and I was able to get out a little early so we could celebrate properly.

I even had time to curl my hair which was so nice considering I spend all day with kids and don’t feel especially pretty after my ten-hour days.

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We went to one of our favorite little restaurants called the Blue Door Pub in St. Paul.  I went to St. Thomas in St. Paul, so we spent a few years going to local restaurants that we fell in love with.  It’s always fun to go back and visit them!

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San’s celebratory drink of choice is always beer and mine is almost always root beer, even when I’m not pregnant!

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We started off with “Latin Kisses” or cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon.  They were heavenly!  We are huge jalapeno and bacon lovers!

 

 

 

 

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I ordered a Breakfast Blucy, which if you didn’t know, the Twin Cities is well-known for its cheese-stuffed burgers which are called Juicy Lucys.  The Blue Door Pub calls theirs Blucys.  My burger came with bacon and an egg on top and was stuffed to the brim with cheese inside.  So delicious!  And I love their tots!

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San ordered their special which had ham and pulled pork with a mustard aioli on top and onion rings.  So delicious!  San can sure eat and finished his and ate some of mine as well!

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To keep the celebration going, last night (the following Tuesday), we had another night together, so San made us bacon and cheese stuffed chicken breast, homemade mac and cheese, and dinner rolls.  It was heavenly and there is even some mac and cheese leftover for me to devour throughout the week!

 

 

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I’m one lucky woman to be married to such a wonderful man!  We are just so overjoyed by everything that is happening in our marriage right now an had fun celebrating this extremely special time.

How do you celebrate anniversaries?

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We Think It’s Time We Start Dating Again . . .

San and I spent a lot of time thinking about our relationship and how our marriage has gone for the past two and a half years.  We decided it is time we start dating again . . .

Wait a second.  Isn’t this blog called MARITAL Glue?  You might be thinking we had better change the name if we are going to be dating.  However, I never did say we are going to be dating other people.  Nope, we are still head-over-heels for each other and have been for eight years!  What has changed since we got married is the focus on time for just us.  You know, doing spontaneous things, reveling in our time together, not being glued to our phones or our pup (thought we do love her so).  That was what our relationship was like before we got married.  Now that we see each other a lot, we have gotten away from really spending quality time together.  Even when we go out to eat, we are typically focused more on the food than each other.  That’s gotta stop!

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I definitely did not come up with this idea on my own, but the way we implemented it is different than what I have seen on the web.  I originally got the idea from Shannon Brown’s blog Find Joy in the Journey when I perusing Pinterest a few months ago.  I was instantly inspired!  But, as I got to thinking about planning twelve dates, I became overwhelmed.  I wanted to do this for San for Christmas, but we have never in the history of our relationship given each other Christmas gifts.  Why?  Because our dating anniversary falls on New Year’s Eve and San’s birthday is in December, so when we were in high school and college, it was just too much money to be spending for three important dates.  We decided Christmas is sweet enough just having each other nearby, so eight years in, we have never officially given each other a Christmas gift.  I felt like I might feel a little let down putting SO much work into a gift for San with nothing from him.  That might be selfish, but I wanted to make sure the gift wasn’t a curse in disguise.  So, I talked to San about the idea and we decided to each plan six dates on our own!

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I actually think this idea is so much better than one of us planning all the dates.  Two heads are better than one, right?  That way we both have a say in what we are doing (so San isn’t going on dates that only I want to do and vice versa) and we were able to get really creative since we only had six dates to plan.  So often, we talk about things we want to do together, but we rarely implement these ideas, so planning these dates was an opportunity to finally do some fun stuff we had been dreaming of!

San planned the following months: January, March, May, July, September, and November

I planned these: February, April, June, August, October, and December

I decided to make it easier on San by giving myself the more anticipated dates (my birthday in June, our anniversary in August, and Christmas/San’s birthday in December).  He was relieved!

We seriously had a blast making these!  I created a template in Photoshop that we were both able to just open up and fill in.  San’s definitely not very familiar with Photoshop, but when I showed him the template and handed him my computer, he had no problem filling it out and printing it.

Here is what the template looks like:

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I thought it would be nice to share the template with you if you are interested!  It is a Photoshop file (.psd), so you can only edit it if you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.  I wish I knew a different way to edit them for anyone without Photoshop, but I don’t!  You can download the Year of Dates template here.  The fonts I used are: Hand Shop Typography, Sail, and Champagne and Limousines.  Feel free to use this template however you want!  I just ask that you don’t distribute them (instead, send someone a link to this post if they want a copy).

On January 1st, we opened the one San created for January!

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January

A lot of them have little clipart images along the bottom if we ran out of things to say about the date.  I was so excited for this date!  I am obsessed with the movie Funny Girl.  I watched it for the first time in college and was so inspired by Fanny Brice’s rise to stardom as someone who had the odds against her.  I also loved the powerful message in “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”  I tend to be a tad subservient at times, so I pump myself up by listening to that song.

About three years ago, Minnesota was hit with a HUGE blizzard.  I was trapped at San’s apartment and we had to get creative with entertainment that he had in his apartment.  He had Netflix, so I suggested we watch Funny Girl.  I told him he would LOVE it because it is the best movie ever!  The blizzard made the streaming less than ideal, so it took forever to load the movie.  In the first five minutes, Barbra Streisand utters the famous line, “Hello Gorgeous.”  When that part came up, I turned to San who hadn’t been paying attention, and said, “This line is so famous!”  He didn’t know what line I was talking about, so I made him rewind it.  It took a good fifteen minutes to rewind it because of the super slow internet from the storm, and when we finally got it cued up and he saw what line I was talking about, he said, “All of that for THAT line???  That’s so dumb!”  To say that he had a bad perception of the movie from the beginning would be putting it mildly.  He could barely sit through it!

So, opening the January envelope and seeing that we could watch Funny Girl with no snide comments or complaints AND that I got to choose the meal was music to my ears!  The “don’t say whatever” he added to the line about dinner being my choice is because I’m severely indecisive when it comes to choosing food because I love so many foods!

I have to admit that choosing the meal was hard, seeing as I started a 30-day “detox” in early January that had me completely eliminate gluten and dairy.  What meal would I have chosen if I could choose anything? Probably a cheesy, creamy, amazing pasta dish and some buttery bread.  On the detox, that was not an option!  So, since San was given six steaks as a reward for hitting a goal at his work (the luxuries of being a chef), I told him to go crazy with something gluten and dairy-free that uses steak.

We planned the date for a Friday night when he had the day off, and I honestly was just expecting to clear off the dining room table (that we also use as our office of sorts), eat, pop in the movie, and probably fall asleep (which I have a tendency to do whenever I make contact with some comfy cushions).  I was so wrong!  I walked in and the house was completely tidied and the song “My Girl” was playing!  He had set the table, lit some candles, and dinner was ready the second I walked through the door.  I seriously could not wipe the smile off of my face!

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He made steak with carmelized onions and bacon as a topping, roasted potatoes, and glazed carrots.  Oh my goodness, people, it was amazing!!!  After starving myself of anything I consider delicious for almost thirty days, the steak reawakened my taste buds!  It was that good!  I’m a lucky woman!

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And how could I forget the root beer, which was the only pop I had all month!  It was the perfect date to start the year off with a bang!

After dinner, we opened the February date, and this is what we are up for (can you tell who is the rambling spouse by how much I wrote on the description of my date?):

February

 

I had a tendency to list a couple things we could do related to the theme so that way it created more than one date (with one easy thing and one thing that takes more planning). We will fill you in on this date in late February/early March.  I can’t wait!

I would love to know if this inspired you, if you have done a thoughtful gift like this before, and what dates you would go on if you were able to create one!

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For The Sake Of Time

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Ever since Sarah and I purchased this house back in May, it seems like our To-Do lists are never completed, or they just keep growing.  The responsibilities of being a homeowner often plays a large role in controlling how we go about our day-to-day tasks, which include eating.  Sometimes, takeout or a drive-thru seem to be a better option than coming home at around nine o clock most Saturdays and firing up the skillet.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love using my kitchen tools, making up things as I go, and trying new flavors out, but there just isn’t enough time in the day for me to cook each and every meal.  If I also have to get up earlier the next day, I don’t want my sleep to suffer, and I love me some sleep (who doesn’t). So, for the sake of time, the wife and I often break out our trusty and always reliable crock-pot. It’s pretty common for the misses and I to use our crock pot at least once or twice a week depending on our schedules. Sarah gets home later in the day because not only does she have to work about ten hours a day, she also has to commute 30-45 minutes each way. Since I do the cooking most of the time and my schedule is so random,  this leaves little time for us to make much at home that isn’t a frozen pizza or pasta and red sauce. Here are some reasons why we love our crock-pot:

#1 Convenience:

It’s pretty much common sense, but most people really underestimate how simple it is to make a wonderful meal without having to labor over a stove or keep checking on the oven.  Just throw a bunch of ingredients in there, turn it on, and forget about it. Sarah loves using it because it requires her to think less about making dinner and more about getting our home back to order after a chaotic week.

#2 It makes meal prep easier:

Since I’ve started intermittent fasting and plan on dropping a lot of weight this year, I have to keep my calories in check (a caloric deficit). This means that I will be bringing all of my meals to work instead of having what is on hand. Using the crockpot allows me make a rather large amount of chicken breasts (that are fall apart tender) that I can’t do in an oven. Sure, I have to wait longer for them to be completely cooked, but while they are in there, I am free to clean up the house, shovel some snow, or even run a bunch of errands.  Once they are finished,  I weigh out the correct portion sizes and put them in microwave-safe containers to take to work with me.  By doing this method, I am able to make lunch for myself and Sarah for 4-5 days, which is about 8-10 meals! Talk about efficiency!

#3 Clean up is a breeze:

Self-explanatory. Just throw a liner in that bad boy and your set. Don’t forget that most crock-pots have removable stoneware so you can store the left overs (if any) in the fridge.

#4 It’s great for entertaining:

Love pulled pork? Love spinach dip? Then a crock-pot will become your best buddy. Once you’ve finished making either dish, you can keep it on warm for as long as your guests are there for, just make sure to check the crock from time to time (to prevent burning or scorching).  Sarah and I love making hot dips and keeping them nice and warm for our friends when they come over. If you don’t have a chaffing dish for keeping foods hot and delicious, the crock is the next best option.

So that wraps up the biggest and probably most obvious reasons why Sarah and I (or probably most people) love using a  crock pot.  We love being able to come home to a wonderful smelling home cooked meal after a long day of working. Why is a crock pot a useful tool for you? Do you have any favorite recipes that are always being used?