14 July 2014

A Celebration of All Nations. But Mostly America.


I believe if I was 5 and 8 and was holding balloons while eating ice cream sandwiches the size of manhole covers and getting my face painted, I would pretty much consider it the best day of my life so far.

Which they pretty much did.


This is at Marketfest in White Bear Lake, THE place to be on Thursday nights in the summer. We had decided to go spur of the moment, just me and the girls--because Thursday is Girls Night HOOOOLLLA! and we are three crazy spontaneous girls like that.

The only drawback of this maneuver was that I was completely unprepared in my shoe selection and was wearing my Swedish Hasbeens with no emergency purse backup shoes. I did get three shoe compliments and one great shopping tip (Sven's Clogs in Lindstrom--squee!--I would like these and these and every color of these), so all in all, totally worth it, but I also had to piggy-back Mimi for 6 blocks while concentrating on not falling down. Which I didn't. (fall down). Best day ever.

The Little Mermaid

Here is my nephew being a very proud seahorse! The girls and I love going to musicals and when our cousins are in them: EVEN BETTER!! This was not at Marketfest. It was the next day. Try to keep up.

We walked to my brother's house after and he set up a Lego playing cabana and grilled up some lunch.

Playing Legos

Actually aside from a little grilling, he watched the World Cup most of the time--with lots of emotional investment and yelling--which was fascinating for the girls who have almost no exposure to passionate sports fans. Or any kind of sports fan. He also had the song "Fathoms Below" stuck in his head from the musical and would occasionally just shout that out at the game too.

And look, wearing his Fairchild shirt I made him! He loves me.

Uncle D

And then it is the fourth of July already!


Here is my fancy treat for us. I call it "A celebration of all nations. But mostly, America." (that is a quote from one of my favorite muppets, Sam Eagle).


We gobbled it up for happy hour, because even though fourth of July "is not a present holiday" (I guess Mimi doesn't count FREEDOM and LIBERTY), we can still rock it out with foodstuffs. And no I didn't get this from Pinterest. I made it up. Because Pinterest is MY bitch, not the other way around.

Then we are off to White Bear Lake to settle in and have us some fireworks. And ice cream!

Ice Cream


Hula Hooper



Mimi zonked right before they started. And then cannons literally going off right in front of her didn't wake her up. She was quite indignant the next day that we had somehow done the fireworks without her.


4th of July in White Bera Lake

The next night our friends did a "Drive-In" in their garage with tacos and zucchini muffins and root beer floats. EPIC.

Garage Drive In!

I call it Drive In Coon Rapids Style because I never saw people just sitting in chairs hanging out in their garage until I went to Coon Rapids. It's like a whole suburb said, "Hey, we have all this square footage out here, and it's closer to the beer, and I get to admire my yard machines, and we get a better view of the neighbors, why would we sit in the house?"

We contributed a sextuple (sextuple not in spell check. that worries me it is something dirty rather than six times) batch of caramel corn, which I brought over in a giant canner (canner also not in spellcheck. probably also dirty) with a scoop to shovel it into our faces. This is the easiest caramel corn ever. You will be done in less than 15 minutes. And cannons going off literally right in front of you will not stop you from shoveling it into your face.

Caramel Corn for a Crowd

Microwave caramel corn
Note: I make this in a 750-watt microwave that is older than some of my readers. It is actually significantly older than my house, which seems weird to me. Like it was here and they built the house around it? Anyway, the point is, you will need to cut cooking times if you have one with more wattage, or maybe cook at 50% power.
Batch of popcorn--like a pretty big batch. Maybe like 16 cups? I usually make two whirly-pops full. But it's not an exact science. What's the worst that could happen? It's too caramel-y? I don't think so.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white corn syrup (Karo)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pop the popcorn and dump it all into a paper grocery bag. Melt butter, brown sugar, Karo syrup, and salt in about an 8-cup microwaveable bowl for 2 minutes in the microwave. Stir. Microwave 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in baking soda and vanilla, the caramel will be a nice soft brown color. Drizzle the caramel over the corn in the paper bag. Fold over the top a couple times and then jam the whole bag in the microwave. (Trust me). Microwave 1 minute. Shake and rotate around a bit. Repeat this 3 times. Pour onto wax paper. 

The Original Pancake House

Have you been to this place before? Original Pancake House. One opened in Roseville. Their pancakes are kind of bready and unique, definitely good. Their chalkboard art is GREAT. Their waiters are cute and attentive. In addition to an absolute crap load of pancakes--because that's how we roll--we ordered hashbrowns (hashbrowns not in spellcheck?! I need a new spellchecker) to try because they are described as "buttery" which is exactly how I would like every thing I put in my mouth to be described. They were buttery! I recommend.

And just look at Mimi's hot chocolate! Holy cocoa-moley!

The Original Pancake House

I am totally in love with these mugs. I want one to use in the morning with my Keurig in the Bedroom. I dropped A LOT of hints so I better have a mug bulge in my stocking this year. You know, on the first day of Fair. After we hang our stockings for Fair Santa.

The Original Pancake House

You do that too, right?

And last but not least, Mimi washing the van! So cute!

Car Wash

We washed and cleaned the whole thing, inside and out, in preparation for our road trip to Wisconsin. In hindsight, washing the van BEFORE the road trip is kind of like losing ten pounds BEFORE going to the all-inclusive. It's all gone to hell in the first two hours. But still. SO CUTE.

Car Wash

Hope you have a great week! Next time will be one of our famous trip reports, from our amazing road trip to Door County, Wisconsin!


  1. Thank God you are blogging again!!!!!!!!!!!! Going thru some serious AmyBlogWithdrawal......I'm guessing that would be in spellchecker! ;-) XOXO

  2. Holy hell... mad props and respect for still having the Toyota Corolla! That glorious 'red' color!

    1. Corolla Coaster is 15 years and GOIN STRONG