It’s Christmas in August! It’s better than a birthday! It’s the Minnesota State Fair! San and I make it a point to always try to go a full day to the state fair, and to eat as much of the new food as we can! It’s probably our favorite day of the year! We love our state, despite it’s nasty winters, and we just love all of the Minnesota pride at the fair!
We went with my parents this year, and in order to avoid walking more than we need to, missing out on foods we wanted to try or attractions we wanted to see, I got a little crazy and made a color coded chart to help us not miss a thing. I printed out the state fair map in black and white and used different colored numbers to mark all the attractions we wanted to see, the food we had to try, and the food we were open to but that weren’t necessary (in case they sounded good at the time that day). I even went so far as to laminate them because there was a chance of rain.
Despite the jokes made about my OCD tendencies, this came in so handy! We were able to plan a route that didn’t require any back-tracking, we ate all the food we wanted, and we got to see a ton of cool stuff while we were still energetic and not yet drained from the heat, food, and walking.
I got roped into doing the Giant Sing-Along after I commented that I could do such a better job than all those currently singing to “Walking on Sunshine.” Little did I know, the highlighted words were hard to follow and I was not nearly as familiar with the second verse as I was with the first. Oh well, it was fun!
The pizza tots from Green Mill were really good! I didn’t realize that we’ve actually had these before at Green Mill, so I was a little let down that they weren’t specially created for the fair, but they were good nonetheless.
My mom was craving a brownie, so we indulged in this turtle brownie. It’s so nice to have four people to split everything with!
O’Gara’s was on our must-have list with their pretzel cheese curds. They were probably the best cheese curds I’ve ever had. The outer shell was made from pretzels, so it was very crunchy, and the inside had delicious beer cheese. I could eat those daily!
My dad is really into our Scottish heritage (he may own bagpipes and a Scottish hat…oh and he has a “utili-kilt” which is a tool belt and kilt in one), so we stopped to listen to the bagpiper for a while. Redheads, unite!
The PB&J French Toast at the Robbinsdale Dining Hall was delicious! Seriously, the french toast were good enough, but the peanut butter and jelly was just a fun addition.
San had to try the beer gelato. I thought it was disgusting (I’m not a beer drinker even when I’m not pregnant), but San really liked it.
We definitely had to stop at the newly revamped West End Market. It was gorgeous! I loved the Blue Barn. My mom and I agreed that one of us needs a blue barn. It is so fun and gorgeous!
We tried the Blue Cheese Corn Fritz there and they were actually delicious! I’m not a big fan of bleu cheese, but it wasn’t that noticeable. All the flavors were very interesting and the texture was amazing. This was definitely my favorite really unique food there.
I had to get a yearly photo of San drinking beer – his favorite part of the fair!
We got to see a historic house that was home to the first MN state senator! It was just so cool to learn how far our state has come!
San wanted to try some deep fried lobster on a stick. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything amazing either.
I always have to order the Hotdish-on-a-Stick from Ole & Lena’s if we see it. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s a tradition and very Minnesotan, which is what the fair is all about!
We walked through the various animal barns. I was giddy when I saw the piglets sleeping on top of each other and I actually got to pet a newborn piglet! I was in heaven! I love pigs! It was so soft and just precious!
We also saw the largest pig in Minnesota. I believe it was 800 pounds! We learned that piglets grow a pound and a half every day! I’m so glad human babies don’t grow that fast!
We had a hankering for onion rings, so we got a Blooming Onion. It was pretty good. It was a lot even for four people to split. The batter was very, very hard, and didn’t have much flavor, but it was still good overall.
We had to stop at the Dairy Barn. They have the best ice cream ever! San and I shared a raspberry malt (Aaaaa.maz.ing!) and my mom and dad shared a twist cone.
In the Ag/Horitculture building, San and my dad shared some beer samples.
San had to try the s’mores beer. He said it was really good! It looked good to me…if it wasn’t beer!
I decided to try the walleye mac and cheese when I saw that it had red pepper, corn, and gouda cheese. It was very delicious! I could have eaten a huge plate full of that.
Toward the end of the day when we were getting tired, San didn’t want the food to end, so he bought another round of just regular cheese curds. They never disappoint!
To end the day, San ordered some crab fritters. He loved them! I thought they were almost delicious, but they had too much of some spice that was overpowering. Very good, otherwise!
Oh man, what a day! We also walked through many exhibits, bought a bunch of stuff (like some handmade wooden toys for the baby), visited the Pet Center (you know we love spoiling our pups), watched part of a stunt dog show, and just had fun walking around! I already can’t wait for next 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.
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!
San’s celebratory drink of choice is always beer and mine is almost always root beer, even when I’m not pregnant!
We started off with “Latin Kisses” or cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon. They were heavenly! We are huge jalapeno and bacon lovers!
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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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!
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:
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!
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!
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!
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?):
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!