what happens on the cruise… {stays on my blog}

prelude: my journey to my first ever cruise began with 2 other trips. one down south to san antonio and one to miami. since there was mere hours that separated these trips from the epic cruise, i feel compelled to add them to my post.

note: i am finishing off my first full week of work since the middle of november. just kidding but seriously. so, my brain is fried and my creativity is lacking. therefore, my post will be spoken predominately through pics. after all, they are worth 1,000 words, right? plus they are more fun to look at than listening to me jibber jabber. enjoy, friends. xoxo

stop 1: san antonio, tx

my company’s annual user conference is taking place down south this year. my boss and i went down to tour the place and get a feel of what to expect when planning. one night we’re taking all the attendees to a legit working ranch. when megs and i went to visit we got to pose on a real deal texas style longhorn. yeeee haaaaw y’all. t-minus 7 months till this bomb{dot}com event takes place. gotta get my spurs ready.

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ridin’ a texas long horn, view from my room, strawberry jalepeno margarita

stop 2: miami (bitch)

hours, literally hours, after arriving home from texas i was at the airport to head to miami. there’s more of a story there, another time. another place. only thing that matters is that i made it and my boyfriend is ahhhmazing. i took a couple extra days off from work to head down to miami so i could get ready for the cruise and to spend some time with my cousin and her family that live there. after some frigid temps in minnesota lately, i was jazzed to start defrosting in the sunshine. it was so much fun to spend some fabulous quality time with my cousin and her lil diva daughter sabine. thanks so much for having me stay with you guys! miss you already! xoxo

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palm trees & sunshine, ziggy, sabine & me cheesin’

stop 3: carnival destiny

got boarded and such and it was time to say deuces to the real world and prepare for 5 days of being forced to relax, disconnect and be on vacay. this was my first cruise, and i truly had no idea what to expect. i was more than pleasantly surprised. the trip was fantastic. full of sunshine, drinks, dancing, new friends, a beautiful wedding, relaxing, lots of eating and taking in every moment. needless to say, i’m a cruise fan. while it was nice to get back on land. and have a normal size bed. i will definitely be going on another cruise one day. bon voyage!

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fun with the girls over the week :)

stop 3: jamaica (we have a bob sled team)

our first port of call was to jamaica. let’s see, if i could sum up jamaica in a word, it’d be sketch. i was forewarned of the shiftiness of the characters in this place, and it was no exaggeration.  we spent the whole time just lounging on the beach, admiring the view and soaking in the rays. mostly because we wanted to get our tan on and be lazy and also because it was one of the only places we would feel safe.

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beach, jamaica, girls

stop 4: grand cayman (wedding bells)

the other port of call was the grand caymans. in a word, beautiful. the views are just unreal and the water is the bluest of blues. this is where the wedding of my dear lil monster, katie tied the knot. it was a breathtaking setting. right by the beach. and she looked absolutely stunning. the ceremony was short but sweet. and a wonderful cherry on top of an already great trip. so blessed to be part of this wonderful day. we spent the rest of the day enjoying the sunshine and sandy beaches as well as some local carribean jerk chicken. nom nom nom. the next day was the final day on the ship and we spent the day on the deck hanging out and enjoying some beverages. it was a really fun trip, but after nearly 2 straight weeks of travel, i was ready to be home. until my next cruise…

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wedding: ceremony, bride and groom

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Apples & Brie Appetizer {recipe box}

 

my momma made this deliciously fantastic appetizer last week and after making it once again this weekend i feel compelled to share the recipe. enjoy! :)

 ingredients:

  • loaf of French Bread 
  • 1-2 apples (honey crisp or granny smith work well)
  • small round of Brie Cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work best)

how to:

  • preheat oven to 350
  • slice french bread into 1/2 inch slices and toast on a baking sheet until golden brown
  • remove the rind of the Brie Cheese
  • slice remaining Brie into 1/4 inch pieces
  • thinly slice apples
  • topping:
    • melt 1/2 stick of butter
    • mix into brown sugar and nuts
  • place 1-2 apple slices and piece of brie on each piece of french bread
  • spoon a little bit of the topping on each piece
  • right before serving pop them into the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese melts
  • prepare yourself for rave reviews and compliments :)

apples & brie app

 

holiday eats {kringla}

i have never found a good kringla recipe out there, so i wanted to share my family’s. kringla is one of my absolute favorite holiday treats and also one that many people have never heard of… at least those who don’t live in southern minnesota. it’s a Scandinavian pastry and a nordic variety of the pretzle, which is quite evident in it’s shape. it’s sweet with a hint of almond. light and fluffy. and ah.maz.ing. my mom and i have been making kringla for the holidays for a long time. it’s a little bit of a tradition. i’ll be honest, it’s not the easiest of treats to make. however, i can do it, so i have faith in all of you. the trickiness lies in the rolling. it takes a few times to get the hang of it, but take heart friends, you will get it. and will reap the delicious rewards of your labor. (it helps to play christmas music and wear a festive apron… just saying.) below are some photographic evidence and examples of how to make kringla. as well as a short video for your viewing enjoyment. :) and with this, i get to cross one of my “to-do’s” off my christmas list! boom.

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Momma Dahl’s Kringla Recipe

Kringla Ingredients

my festive holiday apron :)

Mixing up the batter

Skip the tools, manual mixing is necessary.

thumbs up for baking

teaching brandon to make kringla :)

it’s Kringla time.

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start with a ball, turn it in to a rope, form the kringla.

Kingla = accomplished.