st. patrick’s day

erin go bragh.

see what i did there? i used my name in a seasonally appropriate blog post title to tie it in to my own life. but it does fit pretty well, doesn’t it? erin go bragh means “ireland forever”, and i’m happy to share a name with such a wonderful place!

but even being proud of my irish heritage is not enough to get my butt to the st. patrick’s day festivities in downtown st. paul. too many people, not enough bartenders, and this year, way too cold! plus, Mister Man and i had more pressing celebrations to attend to on our own.

you see, as of saturday, we are officially credit card and short-term debt-free. we still have MM’s student loans to deal with, but in the last 8 months, with some serious budgeting, sacrificing and saving, we’ve been able to pay for trips, pay for my translation classes, and pay off all the short-term, high-interest debt we had from school and the wedding. and we are BEYOND excited!

outfit

see, i wore green to the russian restaurant on the irish holiday, i still participated in the fun.

bar

this is about one-third of the bar. mostly vodka.

so we decided to celebrate with dumplings and vodka at moscow on the hill, an amazing russian restaurant down the street from us in cathedral hill. and celebrate we did…if you guys ever have a chance to eat real russian food, make sure you get the dumplings. holy cow, those things are so simple, yet so delicious. i can’t explain why, i think they put drugs in them, but they are amazing.

dumplings

and those vodka drinks. goodness me. i was in the mood for a dirty martini, which they make goooood at moscow. i also had a drink called a skazka, cinnamon infused vodka with apple juice. that one could end you if you’re not careful, it is really easy to drink. Mister Man had a couple of fun ones as well, and the night was absolutely the best way to celebrate our newfound financial freedom!

martini

the real st. patty’s day was spent like a good old-fashioned irish family. the husband woke up to put corned beef in the crockpot, and i whipped up a loaf of irish soda bread to go with it for dinner. then we headed to Mass at the Cathedral (i wore my green!) before straightening up around the apartment. we had mama z and my friend ashley over for a dinner of corned beef and cabbage right after a stop at costellos for a guinness, and thank goodness we had someone to help us eat the food! do you guys know how much steamed cabbage one head of that stuff makes? i’ll tell you: a crap ton. if anyone wants some, we have plenty of extra, i’ll bring it over to you! we finished the night with some green peppermint ice cream and sunday night cartoons.

corned beef

i really tried you guys, but there is no way to make cabbage photogenic. it’s not possible.

this recipe is the best.

the weekend was perfect, and now we will spend the week getting ready to jet off to sunny maui! which for us means that today we will do as much cleaning as possible while my husband is still at home (he is out of town for work until friday), then i will attempt to cross as much off the to-do list as possible until saturday. i don’t know if i’ve ever told you before, but i HATE packing for things. it’s just so much to think about! it makes me crazy and then i procrastinate until 2:00am the night before the trip. i may try to take my childhood friend caitlin’s packing tips to heart. she gives the best advice regarding fashion and related topics. (i highly recommend her blog if you like pretty outfits!)

tulips

tulips from mama z.

hope your weekends were just as wonderful as mine and that you have nice, easy weeks ahead. raise your hand if you drank some green beer or participated in green-related activities! then tell me about them!

MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE MY IRISHNESS.

i need some springtime.

okay, it snowed here this week. twice. so even though spring is 5 days away, it’s not feeling very springy around here. which is why i decided to spruce up our apartment with a cheery little paper circle garland (guirnalda de papel por mi ceci en uruguay!).

garland 1

garland 4

one of my guilty pleasures is going to paper or craft stores and picking up pretty sheets of colored paper. there are just so many, you could spend hours trying to decide which one is your favorite. the colors, they speak to me! the only issue that my little hobby presents is that i have to find something to do with all the paper. so the past year or so, inspired by the garland my personal attendants made me for our wedding, i’ve been making paper garlands for our apartment door. it’s a craft that makes me feel pretty accomplished, yet isn’t complicated at all. i don’t do complicated crafts. i enjoy my sanity.

garland 2

garland 3

the paper i had on hand was st. patrick’s day/spring-themed, some green, pale yellow, and gorgeous gold glitter. which is perfect and timely for this weekend! and this garland is really easy. i’ve seen projects on martha stewart or in real simple that call for sewing the paper circles onto a thread…that would be a terrible solution for me, as i have a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine that is currently staying in the hate zone, due to some difficulty i had in (not) completing our christmas stockings.

with this one, all you have to do is punch out large circles from a sheet of craft paper, the thicker the better, and pair them up. (i got my 2-inch hole punch from michael’s.) then you take your precious twine and lay it out in between the circles and just go to town with your hot glue gun, gluing the twine down onto one circle, then laying the second circle on top to create a sandwich. i varied the pattern of the circle colors to get a nice variation throughout the garland.

garland 6

garland 5

garland 7

garland 8

then, hang it on your door, or wall, or wherever you feel like hanging a garland. i found that mine looked funny when i tried to zigzag it across my door like my fall garland, so i tried just hanging it across in rows, which felt a lot better to me. but do what you want! and hopefully if you decide to take photos of your garland like a crazy person in your apartment hallway, you have better lighting than i did….yikes.

garland 9

garland 10

i had one extra row of garland, so i decided to throw it on our hutch for a little indoor festivity. i like it there so much, i think i might leave it past st. patrick’s day into the summer. it’s also giving me ideas for a color scheme for our future living room…

now, i have to confess that it’s not completely for craft’s sake that i do this. i tend to walk to the wrong floor about once a week, so it’s helpful for me to have a trigger that helps me recognize my own door. (i really don’t have that much going on in my life right now, so i am a little concerned as to what i’m going to be like when i’m busy for real.)

let me know if anyone else has some fun spring decorating ideas, i’m feeling in the mood for some fun stuff around the apartment!

MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE MY SUZY HOMEMAKER CRAFTINESS.