st. paul

hunting for houses.

you guys know me. usually i keep it pretty positive up in here. i’m all about the silver linings, you know? silver linings and ice cream and holding hands. but what i am about to type out onto this page is going to come off as privileged and snotty. i know this. i am still going to type it. please forgive me.

i think that house hunting is maybe the most tiring and frustrating thing you can possibly do to yourself.*

there are rates and prices and taxes to consider. you have to think about how long you could fit into it if you had kids, and where they would sleep, and if the husband will have a place for his office. and you are constantly balancing how many updates you would have to do with how much it would cost, and if you will make your money back. bedrooms and bathrooms and square feet, oh my!

yes, it is also kind of fun and exciting, but i’m at a place today where i just feel like it’s endless. Mister Man and i have been house hunting for about a month now, and it turns out there is this faux-recovery going on, especially right in the neighborhood where we are searching (but of course), which is making the search just a teeny-tiny bit difficult. you see, this faux-recovery is causing home prices to be seriously inflated, and when you mix that with the fact that there are not that many people selling houses, every single place gets multiple offers on it. and it is just exhausting. i’m exhausted just typing that.

add to this first-world problem that our realtor thinks we have way more money than we do, and is constantly sending us homes that are pretty far outside the price range we established with her, and you get an epic erin meltdown at the bar at t.g.i.friday’s in the pittsburgh airport on a monday evening. it was as pathetic as it sounds.

i think part of my sour grapes today is that moving is one of my least favorite things. it stems from my deep hatred of packing. so the more we look for our first home, the more i just want to find it and get the moving part out of the way. so i’m not really enjoying the process like i should. i’ve had this problem before. i want to be at the next stage, instead of enjoying the journey to get there. (i make a great therapist, really i do)

in order to avoid future meltdowns, and to stop stressing my husband out with my privileged badittude, i think i need to start focusing on the fun parts of this process. which are mainly my home pinterest boards and all the excitement i will feel when we finally find THE place. because it’s going to happen. i just need to enjoy the ride for now. and maybe sternly tell our realtor to quick playing games with us, because my b.s. detector is on high alert!

*please note that the above is all tongue in cheek complaining. i know how lucky we are to be able to afford a house at all, and looking for our new home with Mister Man has been a great experience for both of us. of course i know that this is not a real problem, and that many people don’t have homes at all. so before you tell me to shut up, sometimes a situation just needs to be generalized and humorized so you can write a post to work through your annoyances with your realtor and all the dead ends. thank you, good night.

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sources: 1 | 2 | 3

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!


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


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.


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!


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 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!

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weekend goodness.

this is mostly the only photo i found from my birthday bowling extravaganza on friday night, courtesy of miss lauren:

mostly because i get all jumpy and wacky and needing to TALK TO EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE when i get in a group of people i like a whole lot. but bowling at memory lanes was amazing! they were so nice to us there, they got us a good deal and gave us extra beer. which really helped my night along….yea, i may or may not have overimbibed. i don’t know you guys, i’m not my mother’s daughter. all i know is that fern’s served us a wee bit too late into the night and i woke up on saturday feeling a lot like Mister Man said i looked. so, beautiful. because he would never tell me i looked rough. never!

when i finally felt up for getting off my couch, MM and i took a little walk around our little neighborhood in cathedral hill. i grabbed my camera so you guys could see how cute it is where i live. i love it here. if only we could afford to buy a decent house in this zip code. i think we may have to wait for retirement.

mister man

there are tons of little shops up and down our street, restaurants, salons, bars. you can walk to pretty much everything. and i especially don’t mind walking when that cute guy up there walks with me.



sometimes we like to look at houses on summit avenue and imagine what they look like inside. i say houses, but you should imagine mansions. MM has some pretty grand plans for a couple of them.

that wooden statue of a lady creeps me out every time i pass by. i just don’t get it.

mister man and me

i finally got a photo of us that doesn’t make us look too special! i treasure these.

look at those skillz. i love this little rink on the corner. it’s one of those charming places in the city that just makes you happy to be here.


damn he’s a good subject to shoot. so is my husband. (baha! jokes. i am so good at them.)

st. paul


this walk was much-needed. i got a little inspiration from getting out around my stomping grounds, and some good fresh air. winter here just feels like you’re always inside or rushing from place to place before you freeze. so any chance you can spend more than five minutes out and about is cherished.

my in-laws made me birthday brunch on sunday. i have to tell you guys, birthday season around my family is almost more dangerous than holiday season. so much good food, so much. and both of our parents are fabulous cooks. i’m bummed that i didn’t get any photos of my birthday meals. i was spoiled. and i’m feeling heavier. they were so good!

the rest of sunday was spent doing homework, organizing finances (student loans, woof), and meal planning for the week. i have a really great recipe i made tonight that i’m sharing tomorrow! it was really productive. i even went grocery shopping while my main man went to hockey. and i’ll just leave you all with this little gem that pretty much sums it all up. happy monday everyone!

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