Thursday, August 27, 2009

On a roll.

Last night I went with friends from work to Lawrence for sushi. Um, so freakin' good!!! Three of us were completely onboard with the sushi situation (love it), one hater and two new kids that were willing to try it. We got LOTS of rolls to try (pink lady was one of my favorites, it involved mayo; and another with mango was excellent). Very fun to hang with coworkers outside of the walls of work; looking forward to doing it again sometime soon! :) Here are some of the friendly faces and some of the GLORIOUS sushi rolls!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Friday night my mom and I went to the movie "Julia and Julie". So very good. If you haven't had the pleasure, the premise is that Julie is a late-20s character who feels lost in a less-than-satisfying life and decides to cook her way through Julia Childs cookbook and blogs her journey. Now people, that is a blog!

I loved the movie as it shows how cooking is an adventure and sometimes things don't go right, or as planned, but you can try again or a different way. It was fun to go with my mom who I think is a fantastic cook. I attribute my love of cooking to how she included me in it when I was younger.

I made a pie yesterday for a bbq last night and there is something worthwhile about starting with a bunch of ingredients that separately don't mean much, but put them together and mmmmm. My favorite thing about cooking is having family/friends over to share a meal together. I think that comes from growing up where my mom put a great value in dinner time for our family. As a general rule, we didn't watch TV and it allowed us to connect and find out how everyone is doing. Something that I try to do still (super easy to do now that I currently don't have cable hooked up). As someone who loves cooking, this movie was incredibly enjoyable! I would highly recommend it for any of you that love to cook. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Velvet Birthday.

One of the other speech therapists that I work with at the hospital had a birthday today!!! Since there are only 3 of us....I offered to make cakes of their choice for them. I love baking but also love to have somewhere to take those calories and coworkers seemed pleased. In a recent post, I mentioned that my mom gave me Betty Crocker's baking book....and Jason requested red velvet I used the recipe out of there. Pretty good, not my favorite. It was my first attempt at red velvet, let alone not sure what it should taste like, but they are very dense. Made a cream cheese frosting that I was pretty into....My favorite part of the whole experience was having a reason to use my new cookbook stand that I bought with a giftcard from my mama to a local cooking store. It completes my kitchen. :)
So, my coworkers tell me that red food coloring is made from beetles' shells....this called for 2 bottles!!! Mmm, Beetlejuice!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mini Reunion

I graduated from KU's grad program for speech therapy in 2006. Hard to believe it has been over 3 years that I have been a part of the work force! Many of the girls (there was only one guy) are still in the KC area, but with schedules and busy lives; it's hard to get together. However, last night I got to see quite a few friends from school! We got together since our friend Jaclyn was in town from Corpus Christi, Texas. Her husband is in the Navy and they spent the last almost 3 years in Hawaii and were transferred to Texas. It is her hubby's 10-year reunion this weekend in KC so we got some girls together to get caught up! We went to Baja 600, a mexican restaurant on the plaza in KC and then had some drinks. We went through a lot together in those two years of school and it's exciting to see where everyone is now and what is to come. Hope it won't be so long before we can all get together again!

Leah (who just bought her first house), Jennie (who just moved back from San Diego), Angie (who just moved into her first house with her hubby), and Gena who is having a baby girl in Dec.

Teresa who is moving back to her hometown in north central Kansas next month, me and Maha who recently traveled to Spain.

The whole group at dinner.

Jaclyn who was in town from Texas!!

Jennie and Leah

My ex-roommates: Leah and Danielle

Angie, Jennie, Jaclyn and Teresa catching up.

Standing in order of heighth the Gran Falloon on the Plaza. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009


My mom had this on the fridge when we were growing up and I always thought it was something good to keep in mind. The chaplain department at the hospital send out an email every day with scripture or a poem....they sent this today and I wanted to share; made me think of reading it when I was younger.

First I was dying to finish high school and start college
and then I was dying to finish college and start working
Then I was dying to marry and have children
And then I was dying for my children
to grow old enough
so I could go back to work
But then I was dying to retire
And now I am dying....
And suddenly I realized
I forgot to live.

This very much resonates with me as I spend my days in the hospital with many people who are literally dying and I think how quickly their lives have passed and how many of them feel like they were my age just awhile ago. I also like this as we all need to remind ourselves to slow down and enjoy what we have in our lives today. In our culture, it's very much the trend to look forward to what's coming up down the road, but you never know what the next day will bring. Some days I wish that I was already married and having kids, but I try to make a conscious effort to enjoy this free time in life with little responsibility and many options still open. Hope each of you relish the people, expereinces and joys in your life today.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


When I moved into my house a month ago and I made the decision to wait on getting cable until new TV comes on this fall (can hardly wait). So, not that I would normally be trying to watch a lot of TV in the summer, but like many of us, I have the tendency to get sucked into shows or reruns that I don't really even care about. It's amazing how much more time I have....and how quiet it is! And if you have ever spent any amount of time with me, you probably know that quiet isn't really my thing. Kind of refreshing. Anyway, so with this new freedom of being TV-less, I have had more time for some activities that I have really enjoyed and some that I have needed to complete. Such as:
I have been able to really enjoy my hammock that I bought when I moved. Lots of summer reading here, including "Breaking Dawn" that I just started, which is the fourth book in the Twilight series.
Tonight I took the time to finally pull a BUNCH of weeds in some flowers/trees. This is actually my neighbor's property but it's on the outside of her fence and land that she can't see. The lady I bought my house from planted all of this stuff and she took care of I am trying to get it together and follow suit. Wish I had a before picture of how bad it looked! I got two HUGE bags of weeds out.
Last week my parents gave me this cookbook.....that is pretty fantastic. I have spent a fair amount of time drooling over the recipes and trying to figure out an occasion that will pass as a good excuse to use something from it. Stand-by for hopefully some shared recipes from here!
Hope everyone is enjoying their summers too! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Some things just make life better. whole carrots instead of baby ones, days that include chocolate and adding cream cheese to anything. Seriously anything. Having your favorite song come on the radio and reading a good book. And sisters make things better. See below:

This weekend I drove to Dallas (yes, 8 hours) where I encountered all the traffic from a 4-state radius, it's insane, totally worth it thought to spend some quality sister time. Now, I'm not saying brothers aren't fabulous, but I don't have any of those....all I can go with is that sisters are like the icing on the cake in life. Like, even if you have a really really great life....throw a sister in the mix and it just got 10 times better! Hope everyone that has a sis feels this way....especially mine. :) There is no one that I can be as honest or gruff with or that I laugh with more.

We had two days filled with shopping, pool time (yes, I used sunscreen), pedicures, good food and tasty drinks. Meg just moved into a new great apartment and I wanted to go check it out. Didn't capture any pics of it, but it's nice and in a super location of Dallas....near lots of shops and restaurants. Thanks for a fun weekend baby sister! Looking forward to our trip to Jamaica to visit friends in December that we booked together while I was there. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Per request...

For those of you that haven't seen my house and have asked for "after" pictures, I am running with a fleeting whim of motivation and thought I would get up some pics of post-paint rooms and with my furniture moved in. If I never see another paintbrush, that will be too soon! Keep in mind that it's not totally "finished" yet, but getting there!

The bottom of the staircase, complete with a buffet I pre-inherited from my parents.

My dining room in a calm shade of latte, much improved from the crazy dark burgandy, plus my new table for future dinner parties!

The butler's pantry, one of my favorite rooms in the house...didn't paint, but did get a table to go with my bar stools....

Speaking of favorite places in all the planet....I present, my breakfast nook. I spend a least a minute in this area everyday, if for no other reason that it is a great word and I FINALLY found this table for it. It's cast iron. Not something you would want to sit on for hours, but okay for the duration of breakfast.

My living room; painted with the help of friends a delicious shade called "silver sage"....pretty cozy.

My bedroom, we painted a fresh coat of what was already there....

The curtains in my room.....

My guest bedroom...painted latte, same as the dining room.
My office/craft it.

Little corner in my office, perfect spot for my plant that I have had through four moves. The most constant thing in my life, family/friends excluded. :)

My glorious craft table with my old school sewing machine. Much preferred than using my dining room table like I did at my apartment! :)

Thanks for touring!!

Soundtrack of my Life.

Recently, the morning radio personalities on a local station were sharing some songs that they titled the "Soundtrack of my Life". The songs all had a meaning for them, maybe not significant, but a song that brought up a specific image/feeling/memory . Isn't that crazy how songs will make you recall a time in your life, a person, a feeling...etc.

It amazes me how this lasts throughout life....for example, many of my geriatric patients recall songs from long ago, no matter how long it's been since they have sang them. With stroke patients, when someone can't talk at all, it is often successful to have them sing a familiar tune that is deeply embedded in their brains, like "Happy Birthday" or the "ABCs". It is usually a touching moment for them to get some words out after not having any speech. In addition to my day job, I work some at a nursing home on the evenings/weekends. Last week they had a song time before dinner (served at the super early hour of 4:45), and a staff member led them in favorite hymns. Every time they do this the air is knocked out of me a little and I tear up a bit. I know pathetic, but it's so sweet to see people who don't usually talk much to join in the singing in these wobbly little voices. Ahh. Mainly because many of them don't know where they are, what year it is, or maybe even their own name....which brings me back to.....

The Soundtrack of my Life. After wasting a crazy amount of time on Itunes tonight, I thought I would share a few that brought specific images to mind. Feel free to share any of your own.
  • "It's My Party"....and I'll cry if I want to! My mom had an oldies tape (yes, tape) that she let us play on REPEAT in the car growing up. I specifically remember listening to this song on the way to church camp with my friend Annie and singing at the top of our lungs.
  • "Kokomo"....I spent one year going to Latchkey after school, maybe 1st or 2nd grade. I didn't really like it cause none of my friends were there and they had crummy snacks. :) It was usually at the church across from my grade school but one day we went to a synagogue (maybe my only trip to one to this day) and I remember this song playing in the background and one of the older kids teaching me the lyrics.
  • "I Will Always Love You"...Whitney Houston version. This was from my first CD "The Bodyguard" soundtrack...It actually started out as my mom's cd, but I think maybe I asked her for it, then went in my room and played this song on repeat on my super sweet stereo set-up, circa 1990.
  • "Waterfalls" of TLC's popular hits during my middle school years. I recall watching the music video (yes, we were that cool) with my friends Katie and Callie at Katie's house....sitting in her dining room as her mom served up some frozen pizza....and Katie and Callie explained the songs lyrics. Apparently, they were more worldly at the age of 12 and knew it wasn't really about water, but promiscuous sex.
  • "Strawberry Wine"....what girl didn't love this Deana Carter hit?! This song was featured in my life when I went through that phase where you went in your room, listened to music and my googly eyes at Johnathan Taylor Thomas (he is still dreamy). Inbetween takes of "Top 40 Hits" on Sunday nights, Strawberry Wine was a regular on my playlist.
  • "Goodbye Earl".....about two best friends that kill one of their husbands cause he was basically a dirt bag. My best friend in high school Lacey and I referred to ourselves as Mary Anne and Wanda....the two main characters (we never killed anyone, just to clarify), but we were super tight and had all sorts of fun together. Crazy enough, after 9 years apart, we are both back in our glorious hometown and get to see each other on a regular basis. I so LOVE the Dixie Chicks and one of my biggest regrets in life is not going to see them in concert when they came to KSU. Guess I will always have their tunes to sing to!
  • "Hanging by a Moment"....a song that was on repeat in my friend Amy's room in the dorms our freshman year of college. What carefree days! It reminds me of a very relaxed time that involved showering in sandals, shared spaces with a stranger, naps inbetween classes and a glorious thing called Christmas break.

Looking forward to continuing to add to my soundtrack.

Coming up roses.

So......they say great minds think alike. Last Friday on the way home from work, I went by the flower shop by my house to get some $5 flowers (Friday special) for my mom. She had a semi-crummy day at work and I was going to my parents' house anyway, so I thought I would take her some to cheer her up. I stopped by the shop, then went to my house to cut them and put them in a vase....I get to my house and my dad had the same idea....there were flowers in a cup in the sink (his standard post-flower protocol so we can pick the vase).....went to my parents house and he had purchased some for her too. I know, sweet right? So, I have enjoyed these in my breakfast nook all week.....
And my mama had these in her kitchen...

Repeat performance from my dad this week, so I now have flowers in my butler's pantry too....That Bob is a good egg! Thanks Dad! :)