Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday!

I woke up to snow on my birthday this past Friday, much like every other birthday. Thankfully we didn't get hit hard like other locations, so my plans went off without a hitch! BJ surprised me Thursday night with the Monster High Create a Monster Blob/Ice girl set. He obviously knows that way to my heart is through toys! I told him I'd be happy to wait until morning to open it, but he was too excited by the find to wait any longer I guess.

I have been looking for it since I saw people posting pictures on flickr, so I had to take some bad lighting pictures that night before ripping into the packing! The pack I got had defective arms that can't bend at the elbow. I e-mailed Mattel about it right away and they're sending out a replacement!

We finally won a Mittens Fluff n Stuff on ebay and it arrived on Thursday. When Lalaloopsies first came out, I thought they were super cute, but pledged that I wouldn't start a collection because I was already deep into my Monster High obsession. Then the minis came out and all hell broke loose. My first full-sized one was Charlotte Charades which I wanted specifically to put into the skeleton outfit made for Patch. I finally got that on clearance at Toys R Us so my dream has been realized! By the time I gave into my desire, Mittens had been retired and price gouged online, but I found one with her polar bear for a reasonable price and now I'm done with full-sized ones. Until I saw April Sunsplash. Bloomington TRU doesn't usually have good stock, so when all these new toys were there, I died! Plus, Lalaloopsies were buy one get one half off. Done deal. I got the minis Choco Whirl Swirl and Cake Dunk n Crumble for a present to myself and BJ was the greatest and nabbed April for me with Mango Tiki Wiki just to get the deal. I cleaned out this year, but I promise it usually doesn't happen that way. 

I didn't sleep at all and woke up early because I was beyond excited about the day to come. BJ made me my favorite breakfast: tofu scramble breakfast burrito with hash browns, mushrooms, green pepper, broccoli, and hot sauce. He forgot the fakin' bacon, but it was still an amazing way to start the day. Then we were off to Body Worlds at the Science Museum! There were a lot of kids coming in for field trips to see it as I had expected, but we got there right before it opened and the potential for a lot of snow kept some of the schools at home. It was really awesome. I was disappointed that some of the displays that were part of the 2006 tour hadn't made their way back for this engagement. BJ didn't see the exhibit last time it was in town, so he never got to see the pregnant lady and the man on the horse, which must be traveling elsewhere. The fetuses were my favorite from this go-around. If it ever visits your area, see it! It isn't scary or gross. It is so interesting and remarkable and full of things the average person will never see. Sadly, the exhibit began with a display that said death is a slow process that begins at birth and once a person reaches mid-twenties, it's all down hill physically. Not the greatest thing to hear the day I start my 25th year.

After we were done at the museum, BJ had planned on taking me to Two Smart Cookies for a vegan peanut butter cookie. He didn't take note of when it opened and so when we found it, it wouldn't be open for another hour. We are not St Paul people and had no interest in lollygagging until they opened, so I suggested we head over to Cupcake. The Mall of America location never has vegan cupcakes. Whenever we go there, the person working always says the last one was just sold or that someone just came in and bought whatever they had left. [If you're that person, other vegans would like a tasty treat while walking around the mall; you can special order them if you'd really like a bunch of cupcakes. Cupcake, please make more. Nobody buys the gluten-free ones. Cut back on those and increase production of the vegan variety.] We went to the University location and decided not to share one as usual in celebration. This place won Cupcake Wars for a reason. Yum!

After we finished our cupcakes, we headed over to the Electric Fetus because it's a fun place to visit and get interesting trinkets and whatnots. BJ got me a hologram bookmark of polar bears walking and this button because of an obvious nickname I have.

When we got home, I had a nice long chat with my good friend, Agent I, about life and movies. I have some in transit to my library that I can't wait to watch. It's always nice to be remembered on your birthday- or any time for that matter! He recently commissioned a painting from me saying that he wanted the subject matter to be violently cuddly with my characters. This is what he got.

A Friday would never be complete for us if we didn't take a stroll around the Mall. Interestingly, I hate the Mall of America. It's full of tourists toting their millions of kids around in strollers which prevent them from remembering how to walk above zombie pace. Weekdays aren't as bad though and walking inside is better than walking outside in the cold, snowy Minnesota weather. I had a reason for going there as well. I got a free eye shadow from Bare Minerals just because it was my birthday!

We had a couple of hours to kill when we got home before we had to pick my mom up from the airport. We'd eaten at Galactic Pizza on Tuesday and I still had a slice leftover which I finished off. The vegan Paul Bunyan is my favorite! I had eaten at most every place on my list of favorite veg-friendly spots in Minneapolis during my birthday week and the culmination of my foodgasm was about to come. All the was standing between me and Evergreen was my mother's return from Mexico. Picking her up at the airport was sort of a fiasco, but we finally found her and made our way to Eat Street for a party in my mouth.

Mock beef and broccoli, tea, and five spice deep fried tofu. And chopsticks. I made myself not inhale the whole serving plate to save room for some scrumptious vegan strawberry Muddy Paws Cheesecake from Galactic Pizza. I did not get a picture of that because it was one of those times when desire trumps all and before I knew it was scraping the to-go box clean. My mom is a skeptic of anything vegan and she agreed it was delicious and could fool anyone. She even said she wished she had another slice!

I ended my birthday weekend with brunch with BJ's family at Pizza Luce Richfield on Sunday. His dad ordered a regular and a vegan Breggfest pizza for everyone to share. BJ  had the vegan burrito and I got the tomato florentine with hash browns. I tried BJ's, but was happy with my choice. The vegan Hollandaise sauce was stupendous, but I didn't like the tapenade because I hate olives no matter how many times I give them a chance.

I got gift cards to my fave stores, Target and Michaels, which I promptly used! A dress I'd been eyeing at Target went on sale for the exact amount of the gift card and I had a zero balance due to the great state of Minnesota not having sales tax on clothing! Then I went to Michaels to pick up some cardstock for a project I have in mind. I had a 50% off coupon and finally picked up the Martha Stewart fringing scissors for $6.50! This year of my life is certainly off to a pretty good start. Now I need to get to work!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Recap

With Valentine's Day finally out of the way, I decided it was okay to finish off the Teal Cat Project sample pack and was not disappointed! BJ surprised me after work with a bouquet from Bachman's (which Basil promptly started eating) and the full-sized Snowy Fairest that finally went to 70% off after being on clearance for at least a month. I love deals, so knowing he saved a bunch of money on it was a present as well! Target also set the new Easter Lalaloopsy mini which I had to scoop up right away. I made him a card of a donut and donut hole that reads "You Complete Me" on the inside. He gave me a pin from the Electric Fetus once that was similar and it fell off my bag without my noticing and has never been seen again.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts was having a special Valentine's Day event where everyone could give a favorite piece of art a heart. They're open until 9pm on Thursdays, so we decided to make a night of it and had dinner at The Bad Waitress, which is right around the corner on Eat Street. The cooks were having fun with the theme of the night!

We each ordered a vegan cake with vegan sausage that will knock your socks off and shared the Monster Plate O' Potatoes. This place makes food that is so good that it can't be described in words, but with a thumbs up and making noises with a full mouth.

Before we got there, I knew exactly who I would be giving my Valentine to. I have had a love affair with this piece ever since I saw a picture of it in a text book. Frank by Chuck Close is astounding photo realism on a large scale! Judging by all the hearts he collected, he is a favorite to many. A close second for me is Portrait of Mlle. Hortense Valpinçon by Edgar Degas. BJ has always liked Santos Dumont - The Father of Aviation II

For the longest time is was hanging where it could be seen hanging through an archway from the other side of the floor and to get to where it was you had to walk past these giant tapestries- I have an irrational fear of really big things so I didn't see it up close. Then they moved it. This time we visited, a lot of things were not where I was familiar with them being and I feared that some of my favorite pieces had moved on, but we did find most of them!

It is still cold here, but lately I've been seeing people in shorts and t-shirts. I guess I'm not the only one catching spring fever. The new Menards has finally opened in Richfield and I was really excited to visit the garden center and mentally prepare my balcony garden. Luckily, time seems to fly so it should be here before we know it! For example, here are pictures of my little baby Annabelle. My little goose could fit through a guinea pig tube.

Here she is today, exactly a year later.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the last four days of my early twenties before my birthday this Friday. Where did the time go? I'm looking forward to eating at Evergreen after picking my mom up at the airport. If you haven't eaten at Evergreen, it is amazing. The mock beef and broccoli is honestly the best thing I ever ate. It tastes so good that even if I am full to the point of sickness, I can't stop myself from finishing every last bite. There is always enough for leftovers, but it rarely makes it to the take-out box. Now I have to go occupy my thoughts so that I can make it through the week with these addiction-like cravings! Happy President's Day!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Millions of Cats

A few weekends ago there was a cat show in St. Paul and it was only $4 per person to get in! We were super excited because I love cats probably more than anything. Lately, it has been feeling like the North Pole in Minnesota and that weekend was no exception. The great thing about the Twin Cities is that we do have great skyway systems. Unfortunately, the only connecting skyway to a parking garage cost $15, so we spent nearly twice as much on parking as we did to see all the lovely cats. Regardless, I had a great time seeing all the cute cat faces. There were also a bunch of vendors selling cat goods that every good cat lady needs. I found these adorable vintage salt and pepper shakers for only $4.75.

Continuing my love of all things cat related, Teal Cat Project partnered with Obsessive Confection Disorder to put out a Valentine's Day Sampler. All the proceeds went to fund the Teal Cat Project's very worthy cause- helping cats! I was just sitting here minding my own business when I got a buzz on the intercom. Of course the buzzer won't let the person 3 flights down hear me so I had to dash down the stairs quickly and luckily caught the postman before my delicious package went into the office's mail jail for the weekend. 

So far we have only tried the Rose Petal Caramel with Gold Leaf, but if everything else is as delectable, then I am in for a real treat! I'm trying to have self-control and spread out the goodness as long as possible.

When I was interrupted by this wonderful distraction, I had been working on some different digital paintings for my Society6 account. If you would like to purchase any of the current designs that I have posted, there is a special promotion going on through February 10 until Midnight Pacific Time where you can get free shipping. All you have to do is follow this link:

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!