Monday, August 25, 2008

Dallas in August....

I am home recovering from a whirlwind trip to Dallas, which may be the hottest place on the planet in August!! It's not a bad trip at all from here; only 5 to 5 1/2 hours, but with a busy weekend, I was not too motivated to return to work today! My sister has lived in Dallas for right about one year and she did an excellent job of being a hostess for my parents and me. For those of you that know Meg, know that she is a pretty laid back person; very go-with-the-flow, a quality in her that I admire. So, much to my surprise, prior to our visit, she emailed a "to do" list for our weekend to my parents and me. I was very impressed with her well thought-out trip and all of the activities she had in store for us. Here are a few pics from a good weekend with the people I love the most!

The restaurant Meg took us to for lunch Friday; Truluck' good!!

Later in the afternoon Friday, we went to Dallas Arboretum....very pretty, but also VERY hot!! I would like to visit again sometime maybe in the spring when it's not a hot!!

More flowers from the gardens....

Meg and Dad after surviving the heat in the gardens.

Where we went Saturday morning....very fun!

My sis with a BUNCH of produce! We bought some homemade pasta to split.
Meg and the sweet corn on the cob we tried....they fix it with butter,
mayo and parmesean cheese. I am guessing not "low calorie" bu it was really good!

We went over to Ft. Worth Saturday afternoon for the cattle drive at 4:00...probably not worth the drive, but I had never seen any longhorn cattle before, so it was kind of fun. We were going to go to a mexican restaurant there that's supposed to be great, but the line was out the door at 5...maybe next time!

Some cattle doing their daily walk!!

Meg and Mom at "Blue Mesa" restaurant Saturday night.
Other highlights of the trip included a visit Saturday to the JFK Museum, which was really interesting to see. If you have never been and find yourself in Dallas, I would definitely recommend going. We also went to the infamous "Sprinkles" cupcake store.....$3.50 per cupcake, not worth it but we can say we have done it! A very fun and action-packed trip!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sweets for my Sweets...

Tomorrow I am going to Dallas with my friend Lindsay after work. She is meeting up with her boyfriend for the weekend and dropping me off at my sister's on the way for a weekend of family fun with my sis and parents. My parents are flying from KC to Dallas tomorrow as well. On a whim, I decided to make some no bake cookies for my sister (she loves 'em) and then thought I might as well make some chocolate chip cookies for my mom (she loves those!). I thought that while Meg shows us around to Dallas's best restaurants and we check out the sights and sounds; it would be nice to bring Meg something that reminds her of home! I will hopefully post some pics from the trip when we return. Have a great weekend and enjoy something "sweet"!

No bake cookies for my favorite sis...

My favorite part of making cookies! I tried a bit,
just to make sure it was okay to give to my family. :)

Fresh baked cookies...smell so good!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Where does the weekend go?!?

So, I had a very fun-filled weekend, but it seems like my days off go by twice as fast as when I am at work! Saturday morning I finally went to the Farmers Market "on the west side" of town. So worth it!! My friends Jenna and Jeremy wanted to go to, so we made the trip over and got some great produce! I got some corn at Gattert's stand and it's really good! Also got a cantelope at Beck's and it is very tasty as well. Got a variety of tomatoes and peaches and so far, the ones I have tried are really good. Very impressed!

Then Saturday night, my friend Lindsay and I went to the K-State Alumni beer tasting and had a lot of fun. It was all Sam Adams and they catered Jet's BBQ, which was pretty good. It was quite the diverse crowd and we met some really nice fellow K-Staters. After the event, we met our friend Kylie to see "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II". It was good, but probably not worth the $9 we each paid.
Today I went to see my friend Dan, who was a patient at the nursing home I worked at when I first moved here. After a few months in an assisted living facility, he returned to his own home in May and I go see him every few weeks and take him to dinner. Today I made another peach pie and took it there. We went to Village Inn, played some cards and then had a little pie (we were pretty full from dinner!)...he is such a sweet person and always appreciative of having company. I value our friendship and he also makes me realize how lucky I am for all that I have, as many of his friends and family have passed away. It's always good to see him! Here are a couple pics from the weekend:
Jenna at the market.

All of my good finds at the market...yum!

My friend Dan all ready to go to dinner.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let the Good Times Roll...

Last night I did one of my favorite things here in Wichita! I went to my monthly "Bunko Night"!! We started the group in February and I think everyone would agree it's just a really fun night to get together with friends we don't get to see often enough. For those with kiddos and husbands, it's a nice way for them to get away too!

For those non-bunko'ers, it's basically a dice game that requires zero skill or talent, except to be able to roll dice, talk and eat snacks at the same time (harder than it sounds). You either want to win the most games, get the most "bunkos," which is when you roll 3 of a kind when you're "on" that number, or you want to lose the most games and be declared the "booby." For all of these three lucky ladies out of the 12, they go home with fabulous prizes and more importantly bragging rights until the next month!! I won in May and sadly that is all! However, I did get some great tea lights and a candle holder, which I really enjoy (thanks Molly!). Last night we were at Jenny's house where she served delicious snacks (including some awesome brownies and pinwheels) and here are a few pics from the fun:

Kylie and Sarah preparing to play some Bunko! All smiles!!
Tasha and Lyndsey break for a pose...

Me with my friend Katie...hard to see in the picture, but I am wearing a dress that is the same as Katie's shirt....
****Eyeball Update****
As my journey continues to get my eye fixed, I went to an opthamologist in town today that specializes in corneas. She was SUPER! I would highly recommend Dr. Patel to anyone in Wichita that ever needs a cornea specialist!! She assured me that we wouldn't have to amputate, so that made me rest easy! Long story short, I had an ulcer on my cornea last week and that caused my other opthamologist to refer to this doc....she said I have virtually no tears or moisture in my left eye. So....what does this mean you ask? More wearing my glassess, lots of eyedrops, which happen to be expensive. :( But whatever it takes to get this fixed up! I will keep you all posted as you await on the edge of you chairs!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

World poker domination, a beautiful baby shower and a mystery...

Friday night I joined up with friends that I worked with in Andover (and still sometimes do!) for a night of what I planned on being chatting and having a few drinks with people I don't get to catch up with often enough....little did I know that I would triumph as a poker champion!! Too bad we just played with chips! I can count on one hand how many times I have played "real poker" as opposed to video poker, so to my delight, and others shock, I was the winner at my table! I even learned what a flush was, so a pretty productive night all around! Here are some pictures for proof:

The beginning...

Libby and Josh ready to play!

Jenna and me trying to learn the rules!

Jenna and me in the front, with Tara and Libby behind us. Libby and Jenna are the two speech pathologists in Andover and Tara is married to Todd, an occupational therapist there. Todd and Tara were gracious to host us!

Saturday, I went to the nicest baby shower I have ever been to for Molly; a friend from bunko that I originally met through Lindsay, one of my roommates from college (and still good friend!). Lindsay and three of Molly's other friends hosted the nice shower at a baby boutique not too far from my home at a place called "Rylee and Reece"....super cute baby clothes/stuff with a party room in the back. According to Lindsay, people rent the room for baby showers, little girls' birthday or tea parties and even bunko parties! Here are a few pictures from a really lovely afternoon....
Lindsay with the guest of honor Molly (guests if you include baby Alaina!)...they have been friends since middle school.

A diaper cake from one of Molly's hosts...

The animal-themed cookies that match the baby's nursery, along with mints Lindsay made...

The cute, cute room!

The centerpiece at our table....

The place setting....

Me with Linds- what a fabulous host!!

My last event to comment on for this blog is a true mystery to has been quite the drizzling weekend this weekend here in Wichita. Lots of rain! This morning was no different as I had to fill my car with gas after was REALLY crowded, maybe something to do with the "cheap" price of $3.48, which becomes $3.38 when you use your Dillons card. Anyway, I had to wait the sprinkly rain, not a big deal since obviously I was inside the car. So, the mystery is that while I waited out an open spot to fill up, I saw THREE men washing their windshields....just a little baffled as to why considering it was RAINING outside! Am I missing something? Is washing it going to make their cars immune to getting rained on? It wasn't like their windshields were really dirty, if you have any explanations as to what their secret is, feel free to let me know! Hope everyone had a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cooking Club!

This evening I went with my friend Kara that I work with to her friend Becca's house for our first meeting of a little cooking club. We all brought ingredients for the chosen recipe and then prepared the food together. Very fun! Kara knows Becca through church and there was going to be a girl there that works with Becca, but she couldn't make it; hopefully next time.

Anyway, on tonight's menu was "Chicken with Orange Sauce over Pasta"....pretty tasty! It included chicken breasts, orange juice, red peppers, zuchinni (sp?), leeks and oranges...there are some pictures below, as well as some of the wonderful homemade strawberry pie (including crust!!) that Becca made- so good!!

My fellow chefs: Kara and Becca slaving over the stove...

The finished product!!
The pie crust that fell into the oven, but Becca was able to save it...thank goodness!

The remaining pie crust that was rescued after the slippery fall into the oven! It was just fine!!

Becca with her perfect little pie! She got the cute little pie dish at a store in McPherson. She also told me about a blog that she really enjoys....I am going to put the link on my page, but it's a woman who does all sorts of cooking and posts lots of recipes. Something to check out!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

I am just relaxing at home after a weekend at my parents we spent the vast majority of it painting the basement (not so fun) as they get ready to put their house on the market, but we managed to sneak in some good times too! We had a weekend with some really summery events: BLTs (or BELTS= BLTs+egg for me and my dad) for dinner with corn on the cob, ice cream from Cold Stone, the farmers market with fresh tomatoes and peaches (the second of which we turned into the BEST pie ever!) So, here are a few pics from the weekend; as I captured some of the non-painting moments, including the pie, and the recipe that we found randomly off the internet!

The peaches before....

All fixed up and almost ready for the oven....only took about 20 minutes to prepare...

I have to admit that we cheated and use Pillsbury pre-crusts (so easy) mom reminded me of the story about the time right after her mom passed away where she and my uncle thought a homemade pie sounded good, so they attempted to make one, including the homemade crust. My mom was in college and she says that my grandma was a fantastic baker but never really taught her all the tricks of the trade. The outcome was that the pie crust was so bad that my uncle decided it should be he went in their backyard and dug a grave for the pie crust. It must have been REALLY bad!!

The finished product= best pie ever!!!!

The recipe:


1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie

1 egg, beaten

5 cups sliced and peeled peaches

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I think we used a smidge more)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmug

2 tablespoons butter


1. Preheat the oven to 450' F.

2. Line the bottom and sidess of a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Brush with some of the beaten egg to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.

3. Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over the peaches, and mix gently. Pour into the pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under. Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg. Brush the remaining egg over the top crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.

4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated over, then reduce the heat to 350' and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents. If the edges brown too fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool before serving. This tastes better warm than hot.

Here are a few pics of my parents house:

The tree ring my dad built in the front yard; very impressive!

The flowers my mom planted in it; they have really bloomed! So pretty!

My parents house- at least for another few months! This is where I grew up since the age of two!

This last shot is a really random one, but it's actually a picture of a picture that my mom LOVES and wants to frame from when Meg and I were little. If not already obvious, I am on the right with the mullet-ish hair and Megan is on the left. I know, very fancy outfits.....Anyway, the reason mom loves this pic is because it shows Meg and my true personalities. Meg, the introvert is clearly skeptical of the photographer, evident by the fact that her right hand is clenched into her thigh, while she holds on to my leg, as the big sister I will obviously protect her. Also note in this picture how amused I look; probably tried to start a conversation with the photographer! These traits still somehow hold true today, as I have rarely met a stranger and my sister is somewhat shy around new people.

So, that was the weekend all in all. Hope everyone else had a good one as well!