Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is that normal?

Holy cow! Several serious issues have came up over the last couple of days....I'm afraid I went about this whole quilting business in the wrong order. First, as you may recall, I got SO excited about buying fabric and getting started that I jumped in head first! But first, some good news, I have all of my fabric squares cut up and on my den floor; just waiting to be sewn together!:

Now, for the drama that has ensued! Get ready for it....I took the sewing machine out of the box that it came in and have realized that I have NO clue what to do with it. Minor detail, right? Some of you are probably saying, how does she NOT know how to use a sewing machine? Well, I took Home Ec in 7th grade with Mrs. Hillard. She was a great gal, however, I did not "retain" much of her wisdom that she passed along. My two memories:

1) When a classmate offered to lick the spoon when she was demonstrating how to make chocolate chip cookies, she said, "There shouldn't be any licking of the spoon, you should use a rubber spatula to get all of the remaining dough to make one final cookie." Whatever lady!
2) I remember making a lopsided football that I made and had a hard time keeping the stuffing inside. :(

Okay, so clearly I do not have a good "foundation" going into this project. So, I thought, huh, I'll just call my good friend Gena who recently made a quilt (which is beautiful!) and I thought she could talk me through how to use this newly-found beast that is on my dining room table and I would have it up and running in 15-20 minutes. I took pics and emailed them to her. I described it to her today and told her there was a light attached to it and a foot pedal! "Is that normal?" Standard sewing machine protocol??! Ahh! However, after receiving the picture of my Pfaff 130 (which isn't even on the current Pfaff webpage) from the 1950s she declared it was too foreign for her to give advice over the phone from KC! :(

So, here it is in all it's glory....

I have however found a couple quilting classes available near to me at "Hen Feathers Quilts"...think I might need to look into those.....
Will keep ya' posted!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A better way....

So this morning I had a wild hair and drove a different way to work. Partly because of construction that is messing up my normal route, but I just needed to share how SHOCKED I am at how much faster it is to take 21st St. to Hillside (main streets in town for you non-Wichitans) than Webb to 13th to the secret back road I discovered...

Normally my little drive is 15 minutes and today I shaved it down to nearly 10! I don't know why this was so thrilling, but man, it really started my week off on the right now and just had to share!! :) I can't believe I have worked at the hospital for 9 months and have just now discovered this....very excited for all the extra minutes that I will have in my mornings!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Home is where the Family is....

I just returned from a nice 3-day weekend at my parents' house. My sis flew in Thursday night from Dallas. We got to see the progress made on my parents' new house, which should be done in the next month, went to the K-State/OU game and celebrated my dad's birthday today! It went by way too quickly but we had a really good time together....until next time; check out some pictures... The new house...almost done!

Meg being a squirrel and using the grill to keep warm...

Bob with the free brats a girl dropped by who was passing out samples...he was pretty excited!!

Sisters! Me and Meg....

Kylie and Brady...go Cats!

Hanging out with Mom and Meg...

Mom and Dad after the game.....even though we didn't win, it was really nice outside!

Happy Birthday Dad! Cheers to many more!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A whole new world....

What have I done? My palms have been sweaty, heaving breathing, thoughts of panic and worry.....and I'm so excited about it!! As mentioned in a previous post I am embarking on a new challenge as of Saturday. For quite a while (like several years) I have talked about learning how to quilt/sew and that's what it has been....talk....until Saturday, when I bought FABRIC! Again, what have I done!?!?

The previously mentioned Kylie (a veteran quiter compared to me) and I went to "The Button Hole" in McPherson and were greeted with TONS of beautiful fabric and so many patterns (which I now kind of know how to use). I had a lot of fun looking at all the different options and talking with the women at the store who kindly explained to me more about quilting/fabric than I ever thought I would know....still, so much to learn!
I took my grandma's sewing machine from my parents' house last time I was home (my mom doesn't exactly use it daily) and it now proudly sits in the corner of my apartment....just waiting to be used to make this beautiful quilt. Now, if I can just figure out how to use it....I will keep everyone posted. With the help of a rotary cutter, straightedge ruler and cutter mat I have cut all of my "Fat Quarters" into the assigned measurements. Here are some pics of what I have done so far....now for the hard part of putting it together!!

The beginning...

So pretty...

All cut up!

My 5" squares...yea!!

How some of the squares will be sewn together...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Such a good day!!!

So I walk into my apartment after work and the gym....and it smells like lemon, and things are gleaming and shining. They do not normally gleam and shine and smell like lemon, however since I signed a 6-month lease with my apartment complex, they had a cleaning company come in for TWO HOURS! It looks so awesome!! Not that I don't clean normally, but they took it to a whole new level! My carpet was also professionally cleaned and looks so nice... The magical cleaning ladies cleaned the shower, toilet, bathroom and kitchen floors, the sink in my bedroom, kitchen sink, the stovetop and the tile by the front door!!!! It looks like a new apartment. Kind of like they came and "shouted out" my whole place...."Get out of here dirt!" ....and out it went! They also folded the blanket on my couch, took the trash out and made the magazines on my coffee table look so pretty...fabulous! I will probably never move out!!

In other news, one of my favorite TV shows was on tonight and I wanted to share in case you haven't already discovered it. "Jon and Kate Plus 8" is on Monday nights at 8 CST....and it makes me want to have 8 little Asian babies...they are SO cute!! I would even have twins and sextuplets I think....well, maybe not, but they are REALLY sweet! Check them out!


To top it off, gas is down to $2.29 per gallon. Hooray!!

Hope everyone else had a great Monday too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Souper" Sunday...

It has definitely been a busy weekend with quite the variety of events...including working yesterday morning and most of today. However, the rest of my time has been great. Friday night consisted of dinner with my friends Linds, a couple Oprah episodes and the long awaited return of my contacts! I wore them out to dinner at Chipotle and felt very fancy. :) More importantly, I got to wear them to play basketball today and it was so nice to not feel like my glasses were going to get caught on the rim when I dunk...

So, after I got off work yesterday, my friend Kylie and I took a trip to McPherson (about 45 minutes away) and it was a lot of fun! I will have to post more about the purpose of the trip another time, but I will give you a hint- Fat Quarter! If you know what this means, then you know more than I did two days ago!! I look forward to sharing about this new adventure in my life...

Last night I watched the KSU game with friends and had a good time with them....even though the game was HORRIBLE! Losing by one point is worse than losing by 50 cause we were SO close! Ugh! On an upnote, I took a pumpkin fluff to dip apples and graham crackers in and it was pretty tasty.....found the recipe on my friend Camdin's blog:


Of course, I also took a few pictures....I am bummed I didn't take any of Kylie's daughter Lilah. She is too cute...at not even a year and a half, she is already got it down to say "Touchdown" and put her little arms up.....too bad there weren't very many chances during the game yesterday to do that...but here are a few pictures I took of Elena who will be 3 weeks Monday!

Molly holding her little Longhorn...she was cute; even in all that awful orange!

Had to put this one up Linds! :) Definitely looks like you might be dropping her...not nice.

See, hold a baby like this.....see how happy she looks when I hold her! :)

Anyway, tonight I was putting some "Taco Soup" together for our soup lunch tomorrow at work. We are having a lunch for the physical therapists at the hospital as it is physical therapy month....Speech Therapy month is in May if you would like to plan ahead. The physical therapists gave each of us a small plant in May and I am fairly cerain I killed mine by June....sad. Nevertheless, several people, including me are bringing different soups and the others are bringing crackers, chips, cheese, fruit, etc. I love this time of year when it's starting to get cold and warm foods like soup sound good again! Taco soup is one of my favorites and I will share the recipe in case you want to try it (Denver!!)...In case you are a weight watcher follower or know how that works, it's only 2 points for a cup (so my mom claims, I think it's more like 3)....of course more if you add cheese/sour cream. Give it a try!

Taco Soup:

1 pound ground beef
3 cans chili beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can corn
1 1/2 cup water
1 can 4 oz. green chilies
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 dry packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing

Brown ground beef. Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


In honor of Boss's Day today, I volunteered to make a cake with a recipe that I have been wanting to try that was on my friend Kylie's blog:

I have never seen a cake eaten so quickly. It is RICH! But so good. Think I got my chocolate fix for the day....or week....or month. :) My boss said that she thinks she gained weight just breathing it in....oh so worth it though! Give it a try sometime!
The top of the cake.....


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Elena Rae Makes an Appearance! + Good News

Tonight Molly brought her sweet baby girl Elena to bunko and we all had the best time passing her around and holding her. Lots of "oohs" and "ahs"...she is REALLY cute! Here are some pictures.....and my big announcement, as of 5:00 p.m., CST, I am allowed to wear my contacts again according to my opthamologist. Yea!!! I am looking forward to doing that again!

Kylie with sweet Elena....very cute!

Molly, the proud new mommy! The winners with their festive prizes- Sarah, Emmy and Molly! Maybe I will win next time. :(

Monday, October 13, 2008

You can do whatever you like....in Texas!

Oh, what a weekend!! I am recovering from being in a car 20 hours in the last 3 days....makes a girl kinda tired, but oh, did we have a good time....prepare yourself, cause this is kind lengthy!

My drive from Wichita to Dallas on Friday should have been about 5 1/2 hours; however, thanks to the billions of thousand of OU fans that were traveling to Dallas for the game there Saturday, it took me 7 hours. I have never seen or HATED more Sooners in one day. So many stupid flags, magnets, big trucks,s etc. Alas, finally got to Dallas and on the road to College Station... A word about the drive to College Station- we literally smelled like 5 or 6 skunks! What is that about? Texas smells!! Also, Amber....the driver for the weekend....taught us the rules (or lack-there-of) of the road in Texas. It's the craziest thing, but we actually witnessed it a couple times; if you are driving slowly and a car behind you wants to pass on a two-lane road, then the slow car in front pulls over to the right and DRIVES ON THE SHOULDER while you pass. How crazy is that?!?! Not how we do it in Kansas folks!

The lovely traffic that greeted me in Dallas....boo!

Meg and me for my first Whataburger experience...

We went out Friday night to an area comparable to Aggieville in Manhattan. We had a good time and saw some friends from K-State. Our motel (it was definitely a MOTEL as opposed to a hotel) was slightly NASTY! For sure not complaining to Meg as my sis was the hotel finder and there was not much to choose from on a gameday...however, it was gross. Like, don't walk barefoot, don't touch ANYTHING in the shower and it was questionable using their towels. But it was a cool place to rest on heads at night (even if it was on paper-thin pillows)...I will never again forget to bring my own pillows! The irony is that the rooms had fridges and microwaves.....some of the nicest resorts we have stayed in could not make that claim! So, The Knights Inn was secretly fancy with those luxuries!

Amber and Meg out Friday night....

A shot of the back of Meg's reverse mullet....party in the front, business in the back!!

Saturday was AWESOME! We went to a KSU Alumni event at The Fox and Hound before the game and that was pretty fun. The bar/restaurant area is across from campus and the stadium was on the other side of the campus, so we parked by the entertainment area and hoofed it to the campus (sadly for my feet, which now have a couple blisters!). The game was great; the seats not so much...not worth what we paid, but not much we could do about it! Everyone was very concerned about me getting burnt (cause that's what I do, but managed not to too badly)however a guy several rows in front of us had a glowing red neck! It looked SOOOO painful and I wanted to go get some wet papertowels to put on his neck...it was bad, like really bad! Hey, I've been there buddy!
Meg and me (sitting without her glasses on) at The Fox and Hound

Ricky and Lindsay getting ready to cheer on the Cats!

Possibly my favorite picture of all time....Meg snuck in next to Willie for a picture. He definitely wasn't stopping for pictures, but Meg wasn't taking no for an answer....she went ahead and posed!!! Our crappy seats that were technically in the stadium....

Turns out 12 men wasn't enough to stop the Wildcats!

After our victory we went to "The Dixey Chicken" and had hamburgers (ironically they don't have chicken on gamedays, just takes too long). Went out that night and the A&M fans were SO nice; like "Good game" and "Congratulations"...lots of fun!
Meg and me out celebrating the win!!

Yesterday consisted of a VERY long drive back to Wichita where between Dallas and OKC, we had some standstill traffic fun with some Loser Sooners! Not a good time....however, FYI....gas was only $2.49/gallon....practically free! On an upnote, Linds and I got to experience a favorite place of Meg's and her friend Amber.....it's called "The Czech Stop" and it's crazy!! It's a Czech bakery and there were SO many people there, including a bus of Texas fans....it's between Dallas and Waco, so lots of Longhorns returning back to Austin. We got some ham and cheese puff things...really poor description, but they are great! I forsee another trip there someday!!

Overall it was a great trip with friends and my sis (who apparently loves chocolate chip pumpkin bread)! It's a good week to be a Wildcat and at the hospital today I saw a lot more people wearing their purple (I would have too if I wouldn't have to wear the stupid green scrubs)!! It was so fun to see my sister and whenever I see her it's so good because good or bad, getting along or not, she's my people! Those of you who are blessed with sisters know the great relationship that it is. Have to thanks my parents for that gift. My coworker's sister has a brain tumor and has 6 months to live and it breaks my heart for her cause I don't know what I would do without my Meg....how can you not love this face?!?!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First attempt....

In honor of going to see my sis this weekend to cheer on the Cats, I thought I would take a new treat to my sister. For awhile now, I have been thinking that pumpkin bread sounded good....and with wearing a jacket this week, hay bales and pumpkins sprouting up on porches across towns, and leaves starting to change color...I thought it seemed like a good time to try it.

I googled "Pumpkin Bread" and found this recipe:
I doubled it and added chocolate chips to two of the three loaves. After a small amount of mandatory taste testing of fresh, hot bread...I have officially declared it- DELICIOUS!! I like it both with and without chocolate chips. Guess it's true that it never hurts to add chocolate to anything! Here are a few pics; let me know if anyone has tried any new recipes with pumpkin in them this fall or have suggestions for other variations on bread. :)
A loaf with the chocolate chips....yum! :)

Another angle of the loaves....

The larger loaf; without chocolate chips.


Is there anyone who knows what the construction is for in Northwest corner of 13th and Webb?? Anyone? Please? It's messing up my drive to/from work!!

Thanks for any help with this clearly pressing matter! :)


Monday, October 6, 2008


Well, I can say that I have survived a very hectic/busy/fun week and spent the entire day yesterday recooperating! To recap....went to Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town Tuesday night with my mom and it was awesome!! We had a really good time and it was a great concert. I am convinced that Carrie and I would clearly be good friends if crossed paths in real life! We my voice and her looks.....we would be unstoppable! We could tour the world together....oh wait, she already does that without me. :(

The long line of cars going into the parking lot....long wait!!

My mama and me; can you tell we are related?!?!
The Carrie Underwood countdown!!!

My secret BFF! :) Great concert!

I digress.....anyway, I spent Wednesday/Thursday helping my parents get their house ready to officially be ready to put on the market....which I am pleased to say it should be listed as of tomorrow! So, if you are looking to buy a house in Topeka...let me know!!

Thursday took me to KC to see old friends and go to continuing education at the Kansas speech conference. It was really good to see my former co-workers and friends from grad school. I haven't been in KC since June and being reminded me why I miss it and why I don't miss it. First of all, there was unexpected construction and traffic was HORRIBLE. It makes me want to shoot people's tires out (I know, road rage much?).....in Wichita that is not so much a concern. But seeing my friends there makes me miss them and KC! :( So, until next time....thanks for a good weekend together girls.
After the conference ended on Saturday, I high-tailed it to Manhattan to see K-State get STOMPED!! After that, I headed back to Wichita....rest for a bit before heading to Texas for the K-State vs. TX A&M game this Saturday. Pretty excited!

In other news; today gas dropped to $2.98/gallon which is AWESOME; not so awesome is that it rained hard as I was going into and leaving work so I got soaked- TWICE! Also, fall is definitely upon us as it was dark when I left work too....hopefully tomorrow is a more cheery day! :)

Enjoy a few pics below from dinner with my grad school buddies!!

My former roomies; Danielle and Leah- too cute!
Maha (welcome back to KC) and Gena (my weekend host!)

Me with Maha's roommate Shelly...
The tan, brown-haired girls.....Angie and Teresa!