Tag Archives: Water for Elephants

Doors Open Milwaukee and Lunch at Water Buffalo

This morning, I kind of threw my Sunday plans out the window and went with being spontaneous instead. I can always grocery shop and read books and magazines anyway.

After telling Craig about the Doors Open Milwaukee event going on today and reading info about it to him from the newspaper, we decided to check it out.

Our favorite local historian nailed the experience on the head with this quote:

“Milwaukeeans spend most of our lives in a built environment that has been evolving for 175 years, but we rarely see more than the facades. Once a year, beginning in 2011, the doors will open, and the treasures in our midst will be available for all to enjoy.”
—John Gurda, Milwaukee historian

Our first stop was the US Bank building where we headed up to the 41st floor for spectacular views of Milwaukee. After having gone up in tall buildings like the Empire State building, the Sears tower, and the Eiffel Tower, it probably sounds weird, but I really appreciated seeing my hometown from up high and being able to take these shots. According to the Doors Open site, the US Bank building is the tallest in the state of Wisconsin, so I guess this was pretty special!

Picnik collage US Bank building

I can see my friend’s condo in this photo!

The Milwaukee Art Museum (with a pink fountain for the Breast Cancer Walk that occurred today).

The next stop was the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

Picnik collage Scottish Masonic building

We were getting hungry so we ventured over to the Third Ward to Water Buffalo restaurant.

I had a Turkey and Brie sandwich–it had spinach, apples, tomatoes, the turkey and brie all on a focaccia bread and some fruit on the side. I loved it!

Water Buffalo

Water Buffalo Miwaukee

I’ll try not to bore you with so many photos of our next stops, but they were cool too. We went downtown to the City Hall and the Pabst Theater.

At City Hall, we arrived at a perfect time as we made the 2:30 tour of the Common Council chamber.

City Hall Milwaukee

Milwaukee City Hall

Don’t I look like a natural?

A Natural Politician?

I’m not so sure about Craig though!

The evil politician?

The last place we went to was the Pabst Theater. I hadn’t been there since I was a little girl and saw Peter Pan with my mom. I clearly need to get out more! Too bad I just missed one of my favorite comedians, Michael Ian Black, when he was in town at the Pabst.

Pabst Theater Chandelier

Pabst Theater

The best part was that we got to go backstage! My pictures of that experience didn’t turn out, but it was pretty cool to be up there.

We did have to deal with some pretty bad rain today, but that’s what umbrellas are for. As we exited on the freeway on the way home, we saw a huge rainbow that made us smile.

I was happy to see downtown packed for this event. The restaurants all benefited from it too, which is great.

It was fun being tourists in our own city! If this event happens next year, I would highly recommend it to locals and tourists.


A wedding, lazy day, and the hunt for a summer beer

Here’s what we have been up to this weekend:


I went to yoga class and while it felt good to stretch, we had a substitute teacher instead of the normal teacher and she didn’t really integrate the poses in a way that made it feel like it was flowing together. Kind of disappointing, but I now appreciate the regular yoga teachers I go to.

Even though I wanted to get some more gym time in, that was not feasible since I had to do some cleaning around the house and then get showered and ready for a wedding in the afternoon.

We went to Craig’s cousin’s wedding. Here is the happy couple (Craig’s cousin is the bride).

bride and groom

After the wedding, I was starving! We headed to Cousin’s subs (I just realized this is ironic since Craig’s cousin got married) and we both got clubs. I scarfed most of it once we were home. I know this isn’t what one should do before a wedding reception, but I was very hungry.

Then it was time to head to the reception, which was at Potawatomi Bingo and Casino in Milwaukee. The reception hall was really nice and huge. I headed right for the alcohol to get myself a glass of Merlot. 🙂 There was also a candy table! I got some peach gummies.

Dinner was fish and chicken, plus salad, green beans, mashed potatoes, & pasta. Hence why I ate most of that sub–with not really liking chicken and hating fish, I was glad I ate ahead of time!

I didn’t take a picture of my meal, but here is our dinner table. We ate with Craig’s sister, parents, and his Aunt, Uncle and cousin.

wedding table

Craig and I. I really should have done something more with my hair. I am bad at putting it up, but I figure I should learn how to curl it or do something for these more fancy events.

Craig and I at wedding

Instead of a wedding cake, they had cupcakes, which was also a great idea. Loved the cupcake I got, although I couldn’t figure out the flavor of the frosting.

cupcake table


The cupcake frosting even matched my name place card!


Us with the bride!

us with bride

The other creative thing they had was a photo booth. If our wedding wasn’t so low budget, I would have loved having one of these at ours!

Craig and I took some funny pictures in the booth and then I went up there with Craig’s cousins.

photobooth pics

Once everyone settled down and no one was even dancing anymore, a bunch of us went down to the casino. I am totally not a gambler, so this was like being in another world. I have only been to casinos in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, NV. I’ll just say we didn’t spend much time down there because I also don’t like cigarette smoke and because we felt sort of uncomfortable.


Today sort of felt like a waste, but maybe I needed the time to relax. We slept in a bit and then went to Home Depot for some more soil so I could plant my flowers. I did that when we returned home, had the rest of my Cousin’s sub and a big bowl of yogurt for lunch, and then it started to pour outside. The house was dark and I started to read The Help, but I felt tired after a little while. I opted to take a nap with the kitties in our bed and slept for an hour. I had to force myself to get up, put some makeup on and get out of the house.

I headed to my least favorite mall, but I wanted to get the Estee Lauder gift and to check out the liquidation sale going on at World Market. Our World Market has to close because a Macy’s is going in it’s spot, which disappoints me because I really like that store. They had just started their liquidation, so there weren’t that many good deals yet. I really wanted this couch and chair, but I know our cats would claw at the material (they aren’t declawed).

Cost Plus World Market sofa

couch at World Market

Once I was done shopping, I went to a local food store, Sendik’s, and was on a mission. Paige from Running Around Normal had posted about how awesome Buffalo Bill’s Brewery Orange Blossom beer was about a month ago. I wanted to find the beer, but had no such luck. I’ll keep looking for it though! I went to Buffalo Bill’s website to see where I could find it locally and I had to laugh because they spelled “Wisconsin” like this: Wisconson. It doesn’t look like I can get it here, but you never know if some small liquor store carries it.

Instead, I picked up Pyramid Apricot Ale beer. I haven’t had it since living in California and it sounded like a nice summery beer.

Pyramid Apricot Ale

I purchased one of my favorite cheeses–Swiss Rye.

Sendik's swiss rye cheese

Once home, I put it on a pumpernickel roll and it was so simple, yet the delicious flavors blended together and pleased me so much!

maple brown cow, pumpernickel roll, swiss rye cheese

“Dessert” was Brown Cow maple yogurt pictured above. I decided to buy that rather than ice cream.

brown cow maple yogurt

Oh and I finished Water for Elephants on Friday and I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was well written and I liked the characters. I am looking forward to seeing the movie, but may wait for it to come out on DVD.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

Like I said earlier today, I had other things get in the way of blogging over the last two days. It didn’t help that I worked 10 hour work days yesterday and today. So, I’ll catch you all up on my Sunday post, which I intended to write until the lightning storms started!

On Sunday, I forced myself to relax a bit more before I cut our grass. I read Water for Elephants outside because it was so beautiful out.

I also ate lunch outside, which was nice. I need to take advantage of eating outside more before the mosquitoes come!

salad with tofu, iced coffee al fresco

After lunch, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to pick up tomato plants! My brother has a huge garden that takes up most of his backyard. He already had broccoli, brussell sprouts and asparagus planted. I wish we could have a huge garden like that! We also got a ton of rhubarb, so I came home and thought about making a strawberry rhubarb pie later in the week and then it struck me that I should make a strawberry rhubarb crunch instead because I most likely had all of the ingredients for that, and I did!


strawberry rhubarb crumble in mixing bowl

I used this recipe and it turned out really well. Kind of sweet, so next time I make it, I will use less sugar.

strawberry rhubarb crumble

strawberry rhubarb crumble

I’ve been eating the crumble for dessert all week and piled on top of Chobani vanilla yogurt for breakfast.

strawberry rhubarb crumble, chobani vanilla, coffee

I also bought some pretty flowers on Sunday!

pink daisy

red daisy

I don’t normally plant flowers, but I love the sight of them so much and wanted cheerful, summery ones that would last all summer, so I got daisies and Celosia.

spring flowers


Celosia Ice Cream Cherry

On Sunday night, we experienced some really bad thunderstorms and had the scariest lightning strike close to our house. It shook our whole house and freaked everyone out, especially the cats. I decided not to blog because it wasn’t a good idea to have my laptop plugged in at this point in the evening.

Today was pretty typical and so was yesterday. I decided not to take pics of my food and post them since I was behind anyway in general.

My workout yesterday was on the Cybex and I lifted weights. Tonight, I biked and lifted weights.

Wow, this week is flying by and I only have two more days of work left and then a long, glorious four day weekend! Tomorrow evening, I probably won’t blog because I am going to the Taste of Home cooking show. Should be great and I will share everything I learned!

What is your favorite way to use rhubarb in a recipe? I need ideas to use the rest of the rhubarb up or it’s getting cut up and put in the freezer!

Sunny day, at last

I was so happy to see the sun shining this morning! It really improved my mood. Well, and it helped that it was Friday.

I had a great day at work and it flew by. I started my day with Chobani, preserves, chia seeds, coffee…same old thing that I never get tired of.

yogurt, coffee

Due to the sunny skies and warmer temps, I was able to eat lunch outside today and it felt great. I took my kindle out there and read the newest book that I borrowed from a stranger through booklending.com. I was able to get Water for Elephants! Very excited to read the book and then eventually see the movie. I plowed through a good portion of the book at lunch and it is a great read so far.

lunch 5-20-11

I was able to leave work around 3 because I have to work 10 hour days on Monday and Tuesday of next week. I love being able to leave early on a Friday so I can run home and get the house cleaned before the weekend officially starts. Instead of going to the gym, I burned calories while washing dishes, doing multiple loads of laundry, and picking up around the house in general. I forced myself to go outside to read some more of Water for Elephants. I sat out in our lawn chair while birds were buzzing around my head and I loved every minute of it.

The cats enjoyed sitting together and watching the birds too.

cats at window

cats at window

If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, I will be trying to make it to the gym in the morning for some cardio and yoga, meeting friends at Starbucks for coffee mid-morning, shopping around Brookfield and then heading to my parents’ house after that.

Have a wonderful start to your weekend readers!