Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Debut in a Step Performance.



Please be sure to watch it with the sound on. I'm on the left side and extremely proud. And major relieved that it's over. That was a lot of step practice, and I totally have bruises on my legs. My friend Monica is a rock star, and it was so cool to see this project come to fruition.

PS. The chant at the beginning includes/emphasizes all our "house names" from the year.

Lately in the Kitchen.

Photobucket

For a while I followed #firstworldpains on twitter. It was pretty funny. And so many of the things that people complain about on twitter ARE totally first world problems. I stopped following because they posted too often, and I was reminded about how petty twitter can be.

But I do have a tweet worth problem. My first world problem is that my dishwasher is broken. Something to do with the fuse and the wiring and a bad part that gets too hot. So I am washing all my dishes by hand, a job I despise. I dislike the constant stack of dishes to be washed, putting away everything that crowds my counter and using three to four hand towels every day to keep everything clean.

And after missing several hours of work on Tuesday, the Sears repairman came to tell me that I will be dishwasher-less until the 24th of November. Three more weeks of washing and drying by hand. A challenge made worse by the five days a week I pack my lunch, many dinners at home and a penchant for baking.

Photobucket

This is going to require a constant, diligent effort to choose my attitude, or better yet, pray that the Lord gives me perspective and changes my heart. I was telling my friend Jami amount a challenge recently, and she said, "Nope, that's not a 'I'll do better tomorrow' kind of thing. That's a 'God better change your heart' thing." (loosely paraphrased, Jami.)

There will always be mundane and annoying tasks. I will always be a little short on patience. I will occasionally get really mad at the stupid dishwasher. But it's not ruining my life. There are far greater tragedies and problems to be solved. I hope that the dish washing will just be a reminder for the next three weeks that it's about a heart change towards being reliant on God and patient with my life. That's what I really want.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Filling Mini-Cupcakes, Without the Mess.

Photobucket


For Oktoberfest, I wanted to bring something that was sort of German. I settled on German chocolate cupcakes. But big cupcakes can be challenging to eat at a tailgate, so I ordered purple MINI wrappers from our other favorite party supply shop on Etsy. They were so fast, and I had them two days later.

I really didn't want the mess of filling 72 mini cupcakes. Bite size is great in theory, but also a hot mess of batter all over the kitchen and the pan. Then it burns on to the pan, and you have to clean it before you can use it again.

I outsmarted the mess and really wanted to tell you how. I started with a box mix (yep, I did) and mixed it up according to package directions. Pretty much any plain cake mix will work this way, but not muffin batter. Too thick.

Photobucket

I filled one of my $0.97 squeeze bottles from Walmart with the batter and started filling. In less than a minute, all of the mini cupcake wrappers were filled 2/3 of the way through. While they baked for about ten minutes, I refilled the squeeze bottle and was ready for another round.

Photobucket

Bam! 72 cupcakes in about 35 minutes. I used one pan, three times. Easy peasy.

I still had to frost them before they could be tailgate ready. I redeemed myself from the box cake mix with a beautiful batch of this coconut-pecan frosting.

Photobucket

While it was still warm, I added one heaping teaspoon of awesomeness to each cupcake.They set up overnight in the fridge and traveled really well to the tailgate. We couldn't decide what was an appropriate "serving size," but I think average consumption was around 4-5 mini cupcakes a person. They were easy to eat, and thankfully, also incredibly easy to make. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

K-State Beats Texas Tech.

Photobucket

SPOILER ALERT: K-State beat Texas Tech thoroughly on Saturday in Manhattan. We're ranked #2 in the BCS. Pretty much all anyone talks about is bowl games. Unless, my friend Ashley is around, and then he tells us to stop in case we jinx it. It's a crazy world we're living in right now as K-State fans. (And also on the east coast - sending loads of prayers out there to my pals!)

Photobucket

This photo pretty much sums up some of the other highlights from Saturday - Kenneth dressed up for Oktoberfest, year 2, and Amy's marrying a Texas Tech fan.

Photobucket

There were a lot of Alpha Chis at the tailgate this weekend, and it was awesome! Fiona came to her first game, and everyone loved getting to see her in purple. She could be a good luck charm. She doesn't even have to be awake for the Cats to win!

Photobucket

Dinah came to her second football game and let me feed her lots of bratwurst, mozzarella and tomato salad and crackers. In fact, we're practically best friends now because I gave her a lot of Ritz. It was so good to see our southwest Kansas friends.

Photobucket

This is the view from our seats in the south end zone. Kenneth was even brave enough to wear his leiderhosen into the game. He kept squirming around in the seat next to me. I knew I overate at the tailgate, and I thought maybe I was taking up too much space in our crowded section. Nope. Turns out that the leiderhosen are just really uncomfortable for football games. He changed at halftime.

We were pretty chilly by the end of the first quarter as the sun faded behind the scoreboard. Second half we added our extra layers and blankets, and it wasn't too bad. Two more home games to go, and we're hoping for decent weather at least one more time - or at least dry weather! We're also hoping for a National Championship and a Heisman trophy for our beloved Optimus Klein. Dream big, Wildcat Fans.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cider Hill Family Orchard.

Photobucket

Yesterday I went to another local cider mill with some students from school. And just like my first trip two weeks ago, it poured. When I told the teacher who planned the trip about my bad luck, she said, "I probably shouldn't have invited you!"

Seriously. We are in desperate need of rain. Just not on trips to the apple orchard!

The students who went to the orchard are in our lifeskills class at school, and I personally think their teacher is a saint because she plans for their instructional needs almost all day. They are also some of the nicest kids in our school, and they loved everything about the orchard. We learned about apples, went on a hayride and everybody picked about 6-8 apples. It started pouring while we were on the hayride, but there was nothing we could do but laugh. A forty degree temperature drop and rain wasn't going to stop the fun with this group!

I took some great pictures of them on the hayride (after it was done pouring rain!) for their classroom. I mean, after the rain had sort of subsided. 

One of the things I miss most about the classroom is field trips. I know, I'm nuts. But, I was super excited to spend time with the students out-of-school today and also to check out Cider Hill Family Orchard. Here are some reasons why you should check it out.
  • It's in Wyandotte County and the DOTTE IS HOT.
  • The owner is a K-Stater, KCK alum and so super nice.
  • You can pick apples! Your own apples!
  • They have 15 different varieties of apples and really tasty cider. 
  • Picking apples is family friendly.
  • Apples are the best fruit ever.
You might want to wait until next year because it's near the end of the season, but our tour guide did mention she made 50 caramel apples for this weekend if you stop by. I've heard from a couple other friends that the experience with kids was wonderful, so that's a vote of confidence for you as well.

As for our students, they had a blast but the fun isn't done. Next week they are making apple chips and applesauce. I plan to stop by their room while they're cooking and to see some of my new middle school friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A French Themed Book Club.

Photobucket

Two true facts about Victoria: One, I love themed parties. Two, I occasionally overdo things.

Book club on Tuesday night reflects both of those very true facts. We read "Bringing Up Bebe" about how the French raise their children, and I maybe overdid it a little bit on the French themed book club.

Photobucket



I (thankfully) talked myself out of French decorations and channeled all of my energy and French enthusiasm into the food for the evening. The easy part was deciding the main dish - croque-monsieur and a little French salad. It was an easy meal Mom and I ate on a sidewalk bistro last June, and so I read a lot of recipes to be sure I understood how to make it. The November issue of Martha Stewart came with an easy croque-monsieur for brunch, and I was pretty sure it would be easy to put together.

However, I did not realize that how hard it would be to find the good loaves of ciabatta from Farm to Market. My mother came to my rescue Tuesday at lunchtime. She also found shredded Gouda and let me borrow her plates. (FYI Kansas City folks - buy the ciabatta at the Hen House at 135th and Metcalf.)

I had croque-monsieur leftover for lunch on Wednesday, and it was just as good. The salad was super simply dressed with Ina Garten's simple vinaigrette that is originally in her Paris cookbook. Mom and I noticed that every salad we ate in Paris was barely dressed, and I think I could have used even less dressing.

Both the vinaigrette and croque-monsieur were made better by a fancy Dijon mustard that Mom bought me at Dean & Deluca. Turns out, good mustard is a good thing to have.

Photobucket

To drink, I found French wine reasonably priced at the CellarRat, and Orangina and Perrier at Trader Joe's. While Orangina is normally a kids' drink in France, we had no problem polishing off the whole bottle at dinner plus a couple bottles of wine.

We ate our cheese at the end of our meal - chevre, Camembert, cheddar and another tasty hard cheese I forgot with zwieback crackers. I think the French eat the cheese at the end of the meal so that they only have a little bit instead of polishing off a platter like Americans do at the beginning of the meal. We showed some restraint but the reality is, we're 'Mericans and we love cheese.

Photobucket

Dessert was where I truly went a little nutso. If you've been following along on instagram, you know that I'm in a serious battle with the Madeleine pans I carried home from Paris. This is batch number four. I served them with a French Apple Cake I found in Cooks Illustrated. Mine was literally upside down from how they describe it should turn out, but it still has a great flavor and very different texture. Also, I've made it a couple few times now, and I can't get it to turn out like they describe. I will not be making it again. Kate kindly brought macarons from Natasha's to round out the dessert course. Yes, three desserts.

I think everything came together nicely, and most importantly, I enjoyed several hours with my friends in my home. We ate, drank, ate some more and discussed a book - seriously a perfect evening to me. They're also extremely generous and helpful with my sanity, cheese, cookies, chairs and even bringing a coffee pot for the dessert course. (I'm trying to hold out hope for a coffee pot for Christmas!).

But it's probably good that I only host once a year. That way I only have one time a year to overdo it a little bit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

College T-Shirts for Kids.

Photobucket

I received a request from a friend of a friend a couple weeks ago, and it sort of consumed me. The woman works at a high poverty elementary school with many many minority students (sound familiar?) in Lexington, Kentucky. They are working to make college a goal for their students, and to reinforce it they are wearing college t-shirts on "College Wednesdays." But they need more t-shirts!

I love this idea. Some of my favorite spirit days are college days where all the teachers rock shirts from their alma mater. And I think talking to kids about college is super important. We make that a regular goal at our middle school too.

Plus, I'm not sure if you noticed, but the K-State Wildcats are currently the #3 team in the nation. It was with great joy that I went and bought a youth medium retro Willie t-shirt the other day to send to this school. I'm packing it up with another K-State shirt and a Tuskegee shirt from some friends to mail today.

You can help too. Send a shirt so your alma mater is represented in Lexington. They need all sizes from youth small to adult small. This is a little more work than some of the projects I share with you, but for less than $20 you can get a shirt to a kid in need. And represent your alma mater too!

So far I've shared this with all my Mortar Board buddies (they work with college students!) and everyone I can bug in Kansas City. My grandma mailed a Nebraska t-shirt to the students already! Will you consider sending a shirt too? How cool it would it be if all the kids were decked out in K-State Wildcat shirts?

Mail to Mary Todd Elementary School at 551 Parkside Drive in Lexington, KY 40505.

Thanks friends!

PS. They are also collecting postcards from all 50 states. Send those to Ms. Napier's class. (They'd probably love international mail too!)

PSS. If t-shirts aren't your jam, I heard a presentation from a SECOND GRADER from M.E. Pearson here in KCK yesterday at the Board of Education. He gave the best speech about needing balls for the playground. You can send cash to their school if you'd rather help with that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Walks.

Photobucket

Even on an overcast day, the neighborhood is FULL of bright colors and beautiful scenery. Belle and I have been out walking more than normal because it has been so nice and there is so much to see. Monday the high was in the 80s! I took all of these photos last Wednesday on my iPhone but could barely get Belle to hold still for the photos I grabbed. She also refused to look at me.

How sweet is that little house in the middle? I love the sitting room on the corner, and I could see myself sitting there often to watch the neighborhood and the leaves fall. They had the coziest little chairs in there and on sunny days there would be such great natural light.

Yes, I am a snoop when we're walking through the neighborhood.

Belle is a terrible walking partner in the fall because she's in a hurry to try and catch a squirrel. They are super active, which I hope means they are going to hibernate for a long winter and lots of snow days. However, when she lunges for a squirrel it makes me very nervous because that's how she broke my finger.

Come over and walk with us. And then I'll feed you something I baked recently with a couple sticks of butter to even it out. I will not ask you to help rake - the front yard is covered with leaves and I can't see the grass anymore. Surprisingly, this isn't frustrating me that much. My neighbors raked their front yard Monday, and it's already covered with more leaves.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Harvesters, Back Snacks and the Torch.

Photobucket

Yesterday was our fifth Mortar Board section project at Harvesters here in Kansas City. Last year we had a huge group of students, and this year the group size was a very manageable 49 Mortar Board members and advisors from six chapters - Kansas State, UMKC, William Jewell, Stephens College, Washburn and Wichita State. I'm so lucky to work and serve with these great college seniors - they are a fun, enthusiastic and kind group of students!

Photobucket

We packed "back snacks" again this year. Mom and I love this activity because we all feel like we really accomplish something that goes to kids very quickly. Our group packed about 1500 back snacks while we were there - a small dent in the 17,000 that Harvesters sends each week to Kansas City kids.

My heart breaks for hungry kids. The number goes up each year we go back to Harvesters, and the program is the biggest of its kind in the country. The back snacks are nutritious, kid-friendly (no can openers needed) and make a difference in the long time between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast.

17,000 each week. And I'm sure there are more that need that support.

Photobucket

There's a Mortar Board poem that we love, "The Torch," and I love that the K-State t-shirts have this great line on the backs. It's a reminder that all of the service is not about personal accolades. These students are great, but really their work and this post is a reminder about the importance of Harvesters to the Kansas City community.

Photobucket

And if you can't give food or money, consider volunteering at Harvesters. The volunteers there each month are equal to 85 full time employees - that would double the staff of Harvesters.

If you are an Alpha Chi in the Kansas City area, we're going on Tuesday, November 6th if you'd like to go with us. Just let me know, and I'll get you more details! VLuhrs @ gmail.com

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mona Lisa.

The Louvre - I was here!

A blogger I recently discovering is living in Paris for the next two months. My pal Anne left yesterday for her second trip to England/Paris of the year. And then I found this shop and this book, and I want to buy it all and go back. I'm experiencing extreme French envy. (Is that a thing?)

I was flipping through photos from my trip with my mom, and I already recorded most of the stories on here that I wanted to share from Serbia, Hungary and France. But I did find this one little gem.

The Mona Lisa you have seen before.

Mona Lisa in the Louvre

But the crowds are what really kill me.

Crowd Surfing

Everyone goes to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. It is SO protected by railings and glass and draws quite a crowd. I pressed into the crowd, but I was only patient enough to get sort of near the front. Then I surrendered to the pressing crowds and took a picture of the people instead.

We liked the Louvre, we just liked other parts better. We saw some art we recognized and others that Rick Steves told us we should know. Both Mom and I agreed that we loved the Orsay best, but we are glad that we can say we've seen the Mona Lisa.

Smirky lady.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boulevard Sunday Funday.

Photobucket

Last weekend was pretty spectacular. After almost three months of waiting, we went on the Boulevard Brewery Tour. I'm a dedicated fan of KC's beer - and lucky for you I took some pictures AND some notes while we toured. You're welcome.

Photobucket

I went on the tour years ago when they were just in the original space. The new building is pretty impressive and reflects the growing demands of the business and new varieties. In the barrel room, the brewers can age beers in old barrels for six to eighteen months. Yes, beer not wine.

Boulevard produces enough beer to be the #19 brewery in the nation - about 200,000 barrels a year. Half of it goes into kegs for restaurants and bars, and half of it is bottled. The line wasn't in operation, but when it is on it can process 500 bottles a minute. I guess I'll have to go on another tour so I can see it in action.

Photobucket

I'm serious about my love for Boulevard Wheat - I didn't know how much I loved it until I lived without it for two years. It's truly my favorite. But I also love Tank 7 and think that Bob's 47 is having a very good year (or at least that's what Jon and Ashley tell me).

There are a lot of people in Kansas City who feel like I do about Boulevard beer! When we were on the tour, we started talking about chocolate ale. They aren't going to make it in 2013, but we all started shouting for it to be produced on tap only for 2014! Our volunteer tour guys didn't seem overwhelmed - I think they are used to this kind of passion for the beer. 

Photobucket

The view from the Boulevard balcony is spectacular. I love the skyline.

Photobucket

The tasting room is ALSO spectacular. We each received four tokens but somehow I ended up with five. Even with very small pours, this is obviously way too much beer for me. Though I love the Wheat best, I wanted to drink beers I wouldn't normally have. I had Bob's 47, Bully Porter, Dry Stout, 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat, and I tested the Black Rye IPA.

Photobucket

They were all good. Obviously. It reminded me that I need to try different beers when I go out to eat because there are so many great beers brewed right here in my hometown. The Stout appealed to the coffee-drinker-Victoria, and it is actually their lightest beer. The way it settled in the glass reminded me of the good old days in Ireland.

Between Oktoberfest and quality time at K-State games with Jon and Ashley, I'm learning a lot more about the brewing process and what beers taste good to me. And because I obviously love all things Kansas City, this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Drizzle and Tidewater.


Photobucket

I love this one particular paint family from Shermin Williams. However, I do not love taking interior photos of my house. The exposure is a bit of a problem for me always, and I'm utterly befuddled by the catalog quality ones that always show up on Pinterest or even on my beloved Young House Love. Rachel also made a valiant effort and was also challenged by the shifty light inside. If you have any tips for shooting interiors, please let me know.

But I love the difference the paint made, so I am going to share anyways.

I started with my quilt and a blue/green shade that is featured in it. My mom has the whole Sherman Williams deck and a good pal, Lauren, helped pick out this color, Tidewater. It's also one shade darker in the same family as my mom's gorgeous bathroom. It's rich and cozy, and complements the wood details in the room. And the red bench I found for only $70 is the perfect feature on the long wall, helping tie together the cottage feel of the print above and my quilt.

A couple of art places found new places in my room. The "Lincoln Square" piece is a gift from Abbey. Rachel thought it was creepy that I wake up with Lincoln every day. It should not have been a surprise given my history. I also hung the Alpha Chi house right by my bed because its the place where I met 7/10ths of my BFFs.

Photobucket

But I didn't stop there. Across the hall the fun with blue-green continues! Two shades lighter, we put in the Tidewater to contrast and compliment with my excessive collection of Ikea furniture and frames. I have lots of red in this room as well.

Photobucket

I bought the paint for both of these projects in the days after Richard and I broke up because I wanted to feel more like I owned the space. Abbey and I painted the bedroom almost immediately, but I didn't get around to finishing the office until early September. I finally got my act together when I was tired of looking at these cute matching frames sitting on the floor. Two of my favorite pieces from the "good ole days" on the East Coast now have a place on the wall. Blue + light aqua makes me very happy.

I think the blue/green of Tidewater is prettier in person. Come over! I'm baking a few times this week.
Before photos here of the bedroom and the office is over here. The table is higher (counter height!) and the drafting chair is so cushy. I can sit here for hours working on design projects. Go look at the before pictures - I think you will see very quickly what a difference it makes.

P.S. A huge thank you to Abbey for not only teaching me how to paint but continuing to supervise my painting because I can't totally be trusted. And cutting in. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rainy Day at the Louisburg Cider Mill.

Photobucket

If you go to the Louisburg Cider Mill, and it is raining cats and dogs, you should buy one dozen cider donuts and eat them underneath the tent. It is also a very good idea to share them with a cute kid so you don't eat them all yourself. Look at him! Like you could even resist.

Photobucket

While the storms came and went during the day on Saturday, we totally picked the rainiest part of the day to be at the Cider Mill. We skipped the corn maze and the pumpkin patch for snacks and hot cider. I took home a LOT of apples for about $13 which was exactly what I wanted. I remember my mom taking us down to Louisburg when we were kids, and it was fun to make the drive with Tara and Fiona.

Photobucket

I snagged a couple great photos of my friends with their kids - you can't even tell it is raining in all of these shots! Well, maybe you can - check out Fiona's face. She's not impressed with standing in the rain and wearing sweaters that are too big.

Photobucket
We didn't last long in the rain. Tara and I retreated to my mom's house for more mother/daughter time but with warm soup and the K-State football game. I'm looking for recommendations of more places to get apples in the Kansas City area. I'm missing this east coast orchard from two years ago, and I need more apples!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Instagram Updates.



Let's look back at a few gems from the world of Instagram and the last month or so. I didn't number them, so see if you can follow along on your own.

1. The last "warm" K-State game, this was taken at half time with my fellow K-State ladies. So excited the Cats have continued to climb since that win. #3 baby!

2. When I was in Chicago back in September, we did some scouting downtown for the wedding events in December. We will be staying at the Palmer House and getting ready there too, and it is LOVELY. I was so impressed and can't wait for December.

3. I did some custom work for a customer who is a Georgia Tech fan. Her husband made it to the "30-yard-line," and we came up with some adorable ways to celebrate including custom football wrappers, mini uniform cupcake toppers and a "stadium" banner with his last name.

4. My one and only happy hour of the year, and I dropped my second Corona on the ground. It just slid off the table. Also, I got charged for it. Is this fair?

5. A Saturday morning coffee at Quay Coffee with Perrier, a hunchback bookmark and a book set in Nigeria. It was so lovely to pretend I was somewhere else. They specialize in pour over coffee, and it was pretty excellent. So was the reminder to sit down and be still.

6. BFF was in town. We ate pizza, salad and gelato. Also, I had a glass of wine. Apparently I believe that eating with Rachel means the calories don't count! I received many sweet compliments about this dress on instagram - it was only $19 from Old Navy and available in tall online. Perfect with tights, boots and a scarf for fall. It makes me very happy!

7. I present or facilitate every Wednesday afternoon in my role as teacher leader. It's part of my job that I love, but it also challenges me. To create a fun atmosphere recently, I decided we needed to add a theme! I picked up the pumpkin paper and the matching napkins at Hobby Lobby. I made pumpkin doodles and picked up the cutest pumpkins at the Hen House by work at 2 for $1. Teachers were so excited if they "won" and got to take the little pumpkin home! (I believe the Hen House by my school has the VERY BEST selection of pumpkins not in a patch in the entire KC area. And probably better than some pumpkin patches!)

8. I spoil my puppy. I can't hellllllpppp it. Look how cute she is! I had to buy it to celebrate the Cats perfect season so far!

9. I'm working with another teacher leader on a special presentation coming up this week. We have met in person but finalized some details on a Google Hangout with the extra effects. It totally made my day.

Happy Monday!

Follow me on instagram @vluhrs.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fiona on a Friday.



I had the joy and pleasure of picking Fiona up from daycare on Thursday because her mama, Tara, had a meeting. I think she knew it was me when I picked her up. We're getting pretty tight. So after a short nap (both of us) and a little snack (both of us), we were ready to take some pictures outside. Because I looooooove her.



Fiona is almost six months old and sits up pretty well. I had her pose in my favorite yellow bird chair with a side of chevron. And she loves that one finger in her mouth. Or the pointer on her other hand. I'm amazed I got as many photos as I did of her without her hands in her mouth!



The light was best in my front yard about six o'clock. So I laid on the ground to get some good shots while my neighbors all came home from work. Normal. Also, see that sweet yellow mum above? No one ever claimed that they left it on my porch. So thanks to whoever left it - I LOVE it, and it makes me so happy.



These are my two favorite outtakes. On the left, you can see her sweet smile as she tries to run away. I couldn't get her to smile at me straight on. She might have smiled at me if her mama was with us! And I have no idea why Fiona is making that silly face on the right. I cracked up as soon as I got it. Her eyes are so sparkly!

Happy Friday friends! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Victoria Luhrs is Not Impressed.



I went to Mortar Board conference and there were a lot of meetings and presentations. My friend Erica was the photographer for the whole conference, and while she was capturing photos from the session of everyone talking and engaging in the work, she got this gem of me. And I am clearly not impressed with something!

Here are some things that I'm currently not impressed with...
  • Pumpkin spice lattes. Everyone loves them it seems. Pinterest is full of pumpkin spice latte cupcakes, cookies, dip and donuts. I feel a little bit like a failure as a new coffee drinker.
  • The Jayhawks trick plays! Totally didn't see those coming.
  • Burgundy as a neutral.
  • Word CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart - thanks google!). Most of the blogs I read that have CAPTCHA aren't going to get spammed, but I think blogger has that as the defult. I am not a computer, but I never get the CAPTCHA right without at least three tries. Also, in almost 850 blog posts without word verification, I have received 3 or less spam comments. So you'll be safe if you turn it off.
  • My ability to make madeleines. First attempt was a total bust. I'm going to try again this weekend if you would like to sample, let me know. Apparently the recipes are supposed to be complicated. Weird.
PS. I probably really do make that face a lot. Especially when I am not impressed.
P.S.S. To turn off word verification (please?), go to blogger - dashboard - settings - posts and comments - word verification and select NO. If you start receiving a ton of spam, then you can turn it back on. And I will say I'm sorry.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chicken Hawk Fry and Eric Stonestreet.



On Saturday, Anne brilliantly tweeted to Eric Stonestreet that he should stop by the RV tailgate. And he did! I wasn't there yet, but my mom was and Anne was kind enough to snap this great picture of them together. We arrived a little bit later very frazzled (traffic, left my ticket at home, it was cold), but I calmed down and got the party started very soon with an omelet and an awesome donut. Oh, and a quick beer and a coffee with peppermint schnapps.



Four very cold Alpha Chis and book club members. We were definitely missing the sun!

I felt much better until the Jayhawks tried to pull out those trick plays in the first half and get ahead. That was not okay! Thankfully to win the game you have to play all four quarters, and the second half was a different game for both teams. K-State won by forty points, the biggest win ever in Manhattan over KU.


The other sweet bonus to the game was getting to hang out with Ginny and meet her sweet son Graham. He was so warm and cuddly under the tent with the heaters. We caught up on all the things we have in common, but especially Junior League and reading ridiculous amounts. I'm almost able to keep up with Ginny now!

It was a cold day, but really such a good one. We are definitely hoping for the return of warmer temperatures and blue skies for the next game on October 27th!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Three Years Later...





My puppy turned five this year! I don't know exactly when her birthday is because she's a rescue / mutt / street dog but it's probably sometime in the summer. Both of these photos are from fall, almost exactly three years apart. A good reminder of how much my hair has grown, but also of how Belle has gotten older!

Here are ways Bell-y has changed over the past three years.
  • She has gray hair around her eyes. I didn't notice it until comparing it to the photo from 2009, but she's definitely aged some.
  • Belle never wants to sleep in my bed. This is mutually beneficial to both of us.
  • Bedtime is much earlier - she likes to be curled up in one of her two beds (spoiled!) by 9 o'clock each night.
  • She has a much longer attention span and can sit outside for hours. Especially when she is on the hunt for squirrels. I really need her to address the ground squirrel problem because I'm afraid they are going to come into my house with the dropping temperatures.
  • I kind of want her to live forever. So we watch her weight, and she started taking joint supplements. Yep, it's a little before something like that is totally necessary, but I want her to live for-e-ver.
  • She listens a little better. This has definitely not improved greatly, and I would like to take an agility class with her! As soon as she greets guests, she normally leaves them alone. Unless that person is smart/dumb enough to rub her belly, then she will never leave their side. And when Erica's husband Jon comes over, she sits perfectly because she adores him. 
  • Belle is my favorite. I can't imagine my little house without her, and it's too quiet if we're apart even one night. I love my puppy.