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Showing posts from 2013

Day 365: Happy New Year!

To finish off my year of blog posts, I am ending with a picture of me and Brian ringing in the new year. Photo bomb courtesy of Andrew Berns.

It was a good year and I am happy that I made it through my goal of posting a picture for every day. Should I continue posting? What do you think?

Day 364: Freddy Krueger Scratch Art

One of my gifts from Brian this year was a scratch art kit. The kit came with a board and a carving knife. It also came with instructions to carve a picture of a dog. I don't want scratch art of a dog, at least not one of any dog I could be capable of drawing.

So, I thought to myself, what kind of scratch art would Alicia not mind propping up in her library? Scratch art of Freddy Krueger perhaps?

So this is my scratch art creation:

For someone who has very little drawing talent, I'm pretty darned proud of myself.

Day 363: Nap Enforcer

How can you resist a nap with this cat? You couldn't! I certainly didn't.

Sundays are the best days for cat naps.

Day 362: Beverage Holder

For Christmas, one of the gifts my in-laws got us was this big silver beverage holder that we can use to hold beer and ice at parties. Brian and I decided not to wait for a party. We tried it out tonight with some growlers from Northbound Smokehouse.

Yes, in Minnesota, we use snow to chill our beer. Just don't use the yellow snow.

Day 361: My Secret Santa

I got the first of two packages from my reddit secret santa today. He really has me figured out:

Yep, that's Room 237, a documentary about the Shining, which is my favorite horror movie of all time. I can't wait to find out what the second part of my gift is!

Day 360: Brian's Secret Santa

Brian and I did the reddit gift exchange this year again for Christmas, and the gift Brian got was amazing.

Here he is with all the presents:

He got a t-shirt that demonstrates the level of thought the gifter put into this (it says, "I'll do the Math, You do the English"):

He got some green tea, catnip, and an awesome box that is painted to look like a brick in Super Mario Bros (which was filled with candy).

But the most awesome gift was this little painting:

The giftor found a photo of me and Brian online that our friend Elle took. Then, the giftor painted a version of it for us. We are amazed by it. Now we just need to figure out how to have it framed so we can keep it forever.

Day 359: Merry Christmas!

Brian and I had a terrific Christmas day. We started it off with presents for each other.

The most amusing gift was the unicorn horn Brian got me for the cats. The cats did not approve. I have never heard Leela cry like she did when this was on her head:

Livia didn't cry. She just tried to get away as fast as possible. Too bad Brian is faster:

We went out for breakfast at a local bar that happened to be open. So I started my day with a fancy, bourbon drink:

Then, we went to the movie theater and saw Wolf of Wall Street, which was pretty darned good. Finally, we capped off the day at the other Copelands' house, where we were fed this super-awesome holiday meal:

Yep, that's prime rib with a popover, a pea cup, asparagus, and potatoes. Yummy. We had an excellent day. Merry Christmas!

Day 358: Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve! I had an exciting day, hitting two houses to celebrate. I managed to take some photos at my family's Christmas Eve brunch. This was during what we call the "Glaser Dice Game."

For the game, everyone brings one present valued at $25 or less. All gifts go into the middle and two trays of dice circle the table. When you roll doubles, you can grab a package from the middle. If you get doubles again, you can unwrap it. You have to get doubles yet again if you want to steal someone else's gift. This usually devolves into battles over the particularly good gifts.

Here's a candid shot I took of my family while we were playing.

Here is the gift I ended up with, provided by my niece Alexa:

Brian got the funniest gift, which my nephew Brady brought:

Yes, Brian has already tested it out. It's hilarious.

Day 357: Regal Cat

Leela is the queen of her domain:

Which happens to be my bed.

Day 356: Fantasy Football Trophy

Fantasy football was epic this year, culminating in a final game between our friends Becker and his girlfriend Leah. But Brian did not build a winner's trophy. No, no. He built a loser's trophy, and he named it after our friend Brandon.

Behold, the Brandon H. Anderson Memorial Trophy:

That is a photo hand signed by Brandon himself at our football-watching party. And don't worry, Brandon is not dead. Brian and our friend Andrew just thought it sounded funnier that way. I think they were right.

Brian is planning to order name plates for the winners of this trophy. This year the winner was our friend Matt. I'm glad it wasn't me and I will be doing everything in my power to avoid winning it next year.

Day 355: Christmas Mac & Cheese

I don't know if this is festive or just glutinous. Either way, I enjoyed it.

Day 354: Annual Christmas Letter

This year, it was my turn to write our annual Christmas letter. I'm pretty darned proud of how it turned out.

I wonder how Brian will try to top it next year. Stay tuned.

Day 353: Cupcakes

A new cupcake shop opened up nearby called A Cupcake Social. Brian brought a couple of cupcakes home to try them out.

I will admit, not one week ago I openly stated at a public gathering, "Cupcakes are so five years ago." After tasting these cupcakes though, I don't care. I'll stay out of fashion. These cupcakes are freaking delicious.

The one on the right is chocolate. The other is vanilla. The chocolate one was the best. They also had croissants (the lemon one did not last long before Brian and I had annihilated it) and they had these toffee cookies for your tea. Definitely check this place out if you are in the area. It's conveniently located across the street from the Northbound Smokehouse.

Day 352: Jelly Fish Buddy

Remember my jelly fish from the state fair? They have the same ones at Target now! I got a little green jelly fish buddy to go with my orange jelly fish.

Day 351: Best Books I Read in 2013

Over the past year, I read 67 books, far surpassing my goal of 52 books. As a result of my voracious reading, I have developed a list of the best books I read this year.

S by Doug Dorst and JJ Abrams: A story written in the margins of a Hemingway-esque book.The Explorer by James Smythe: I couldn't put this book down. It was among the most frightening and exciting books I've read.The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: It almost turned me into an ultra-feminist.The Collector by John Fowles: This was the serial killer story that spawned all serial killer stories.The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: I ripped through this book in one evening, loved every minute of it and wished it would never end.Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: It was a book of pop culture references aimed directly at me.
Not all of these books were new books this year but they were new to me. I would recommend all of these books to anyone who will listen to me.

Day 350: Christmas Lights!

Brian put up the lights this year. Since it has been so cold, he limited himself to simply decorating the tiny tree/shrub in front of our house. It looks adorable though.

Day 349: Easy Knit Hat

I knitted my first hat! This is a big moment for me. I have finally moved beyond scarves:

I absolutely love it. I used a pattern I picked up at Michael's for their Loops and Threads line of yarns. It was really quite easy and only took me an evening. Turns out, hats are much easier than scarves. Who knew?

Day 348: Silly Brian

Brian tried on a girl's bike helmet for my amusement.

Now it is here for your amusement too.

Day 347: Can't Make the Bed

I never make my bed anymore. Here is why:

Who can make the bed when the cat looks so adorable and happy there?! I certainly can't. I just let her be.

Day 346: Brian's Office

Brian's office in the basement is a strange place, filled with all of the things that amuse him. This includes framed portraits of Nicolas Cage, lava lamps and his salt lamp.

He is an odd guy.

Day 345: Scarf

I spent hours and hours knitting this scarf to get back into winter knitting mode. It's super warm. I have given it to Brian for his long treks to the train for work.

Day 344: Peanut Butter and Pickles

Every since I was a kid, I have loved peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Tonight I made peanut butter and pickle toast and it was just as good.

I don't know what it is about the creaminess of the peanut butter with the salty sour flavor of pickles. I love it. I might go make another one.

Day 343: Yet Another Cat Photo

Yep, I'm going to post yet another picture of my cat. That's what I do. Deal with it.

I think she's next to the greenery because she misses being outside so much. She tried going out once yesterday. She did not like the snow one bit. She is stuck indoors now until spring.

Day 342: Christmas Cards Ready!

My Christmas cards are ready to go into the mail! This stack of 30 or so cards took quite a bit of time:

It always feels so good when it's done though. Hooray! Now to find a mail box...

Day 341: The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket

This is a Christmas tale for the ages. But really, it's a Christmas tale about Hanukah.

Regardless, it is a terrifically funny little book about religious differences. That sounds heavy, but it isn't. Here's the first page, which already had me cracking up:

And here's the latke screaming:


Day 340: Leela is a Cute Napper

She's so adorable when she naps:

This is why Brian has a hard time resisting taking a nap right along with her. She just makes it look so good.

Day 339: New Phone Cases

So, Brian and I now have the same phone. What does this mean? We can share silly phone cases. With two of us using them, we feel less stupid dropping money on funny cases such as these:

On the left is the ubiquitous grumpy cat. Yes, his face always looks like that. It cracks me up every time I see it.

On the right is a bubble wrap case. The buttons on the back of the case pop just like bubble wrap. It is thoroughly enjoyable.

Day 338: Mini Christmas Tree

Okay, so decorating laziness has passed and I pulled out a few more Christmas items. This includes my mini trees:

Here's my other one:

For some reason, my phone made the trees sparkly. It seems that it knows that I took a picture of a tree and made it shimmer or something. Technology baffles me sometimes.

Day 337: Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

Curious about the state of corruption in Detroit? Want to learn what it was like for a reporter to come back to his hometown after the start of the recession? Scared about what could during a financial crisis? Then, read this book.

It's a quick read and utterly fascinating. I have to admit, however, that I am a bit biased. I've been obsessed with Charlie LeDuff ever since I first discovered clips of his investigative reporting on youtube.
Here's a clip of Charlie demonstrating just how long it takes for the police to arrive after the report of a home invasion:

I also love this one, where Charlie eats cat food to show the problems with the meals on wheels program:

While finding these videos, I found many more. If you like watching him, search for him on youtube and enjoy.

Day 336: Christmas Lego

Only a few pieces of my Christmas Lego collection came out this year (see yesterday's post about our Christmas laziness if you are wondering why). The few pieces I do have out, however, are ones that I have had for years.

With some research on the Internet, I discovered that I have had this Santa with reindeer set since 1989:

And here is the Lego snowman and angel from 1989 as well:

I love these sets. I'm so glad I've held onto them for so long.

Day 335: Generic Christmas Tree

Brian and I decided to skip the time-consuming unboxing of the countless ornaments we own. Instead, we opted for a generic Christmas tree this year. I think it came out quite nicely:

All that is on there is the tree topper, lights and bulbs. Nice work, Brian! (I'll admit, he did all the work while I took a nap).

Day 334: Livia Likes the Cold

Livia showed her true Russian heritage today (she's a Russian blue). She went outside in the freezing temperatures and refused to come back inside. Apparently, she likes the cold.

Silly cat. I guess it is a good thing she lives in Minnesota.

Day 333: Black Friday!

Brian and I had a great day of shopping. We hit two malls and countless stores in our search for deals.

Strangest thing purchased: a huge 20-sided die by Brian (it's the size of an apple).

Brian bought it at Games by James and then continued to carry it around all day asking it questions. For example, he would state: "We should go get Buffalo Wild Wings if it is between 10 and 20." Then, he would roll it on the floor and see what number came up.

Yes, people stared. Yes, I tried to pretend I didn't know him.

Another highlight of the day was finding this bust of Clay Matthews (he's on the Packer defense and I am obsessed with his Fabio-style hair):

The bust does not do the hair justice.

Also, the Verizon store had all of these cool interactive stations. So, Brian got to try out the Sphero on this windmill obstacle course:

He made me take a picture because, "It's the coolest thing I've done all day."

To sum up the day: many things were purchased, m…

Day 332: Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was so filled with good times and good food, that I forgot to take many pictures! I did grab a shot of the triple-layer pumpkin chocolate pie I made, because it was so pretty when it was sliced:

It's funny that it is the only food photo I took, because Brian and I sure ate a lot of it. We went to two thanksgiving dinners in one day. Then, we rounded the day out with some black Friday shopping. We only picked up a few doorbusters, but it was fun to get out and see the crowds and sales.

Brian and I did grab some cheap DVDs:

And Brian got a $25 vacuum cleaner:

All in all, I would call the day a complete success. Happy Thanksgiving and happy black Thursday!