Category Archives: Living

Happy Hour: The French 75

French 75

Admittedly, I am not a big cocktail person. In college, I drank mostly whiskey and cokes, which typically led to lots of dancing and other shenanigans. Since then, I often find myself completely confused by cocktail menus, because I have no idea what I like. After ordering one too many failed drinks while out, I typically choose to have a beer or a glass of wine instead. Continue reading

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Around Here

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The weather has been bleak, but these dwarf irises are a lovely reminder that spring is around the corner.

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Ellie has been making a lot of coffee lately. She spends most of her time running from the table to the bookcase, carrying one piece at time, until everything is just right. “Sit down,” she’ll say and point to a specific point on the floor. She may need to work on her hostess skills.

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Spring Wishlist

When I first starting writing this post, I was not suffering from a cold/sinus infection. So, you will see in my first sentence, I sound very brave. One Kleenex box in, I am a little more tentative, but still pretty excited about Spring.

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The first official day of spring is today, and it should get ready, because I have big plans for it. Continue reading

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Ellie spotted these ice skaters and after a few short minutes of watching tried to walk out on to the ice. Needless to say, we had to leave before she had any other big ideas.

I have been cooking from this non-stop since getting it for Christmas. Making lunch has always stumped me, but this cookbook makes it simple. Catherine McCord’s recipes are easy, quick and inventive. Weelicious Lunches is full of kid-friendly recipes adults can feel good about eating.

A few weekends ago, Ellie and I headed to Emporia without Keegan. He was tasked with switching the little one’s room with my office. Her room has shared a wall with our living room, and after watching TV for over a year at a barely audible volume, it was time for a change.

Whenever I’m in town, I try to swing by one of my favorite spots in Emporia the Sweet Granada. If you find yourself there, you should definitely check it out.

The room I stay in while at home has a wall full of books. Tucked in one corner are some of my favorites from childhood.

I had forgotten all about this children’s book until I started flipping through it. I remember trying to decide which character I wanted to be.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day early at Collection, Celina Tio’s new restaurant. It was fantastic. I wanted to eat everything on the menu. If you go, be sure to get the warm cookies as your dessert.

My littlest Valentine and I went to Dolce Bakery for a quick cupcake. It is one of my favorite places to go with Ellie. Here she is checking out her fellow customers.

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You may be wondering what has been going on around here. The last time I posted was in October, so truthfully, a lot has happened since then. For starters, Ellie is taller now with longer hair and more words. She is very funny. Here is she is pretending she doesn’t know where her water is.

We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas by spending time with family.

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Keegan and I rang in the New Year from our couch with champagne while Ellie slept. It was wild.

I grew my business a little more than I should have, which is one of the big reasons I haven’t been here writing to you.

Which is not to say, I haven’t thought about you or tips I wanted to share. Like wearing 20 hair accessories can look glamorous while you clean.

There have been recipes and products and books I have been wanting to tell you about, but I haven’t had the time.

This year, I set a few New Year’s goals, which I’ll say are going fairly well. I have some room for improvement, but I’m making progress.

The first is to make more time for FUN. Who doesn’t want to do that?

The second is to take better care of myself. (Eat smarter, start working out and buy clothes I love instead of ones I tolerate. I think massages might even be in order.) This one is proving to be a little more challenging, but I’m slowly making changes in the hopes they will be lasting ones.

So, what have you been up to? Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Are they already broken?

Fall Wishlist

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Well, now that it’s not 90 degrees, I think we can actually talk about fall.

There’s something really exciting about the start of a new season. Here are the things I’m looking forward to this fall.

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1. Matte nails were a huge look for fall, and I can’t wait to try them out.
2. Doing a massive declutter of the entire house. It’s time again. We are literally bursting at the seams.
3. Drink a hot toddy or two.
4. Go for walks outside with Ellie.
5. Visit a pumpkin patch.
6. Read a few more books. (It’s becoming an addiction again.)
7. Plant mums out front.
8. Find the perfect pair of casual booties.
9. Get my fall wardrobe in gear.
10. Eat a ridiculous amount of butternut squash.
11. Make pumpkin bread. I’ve never made it before, and it’s a favorite of mine to eat.
12. Take Ellie trick-or-treating.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Around Here

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It is nearly impossible to take photos of Ellie now. She’s at that always moving phase. Here she is in action looking a little sassy.

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A month or so ago, Ellie had a strong, unpleasant reaction to wearing shoes. Well, the tide has turned, and she is now shoe obsessed, particularly with our pairs. Here she is in action as a shoe thief. She found my red, patent peep toes and made a break for it.

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I’ve mentioned here before Keegan and I have been doing date night in. We trade-off who makes the cocktail. This Friday, he made bourbon lemonades that were delicious and only had three ingredients.

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Typically, we eat pizza at least one night a week. Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I don’t. This weekend, I bought the crust at Whole Foods and topped it with fresh mozzarella, browned hamburger, San Marzano tomato sauce, Italian herb mix and Parmigiano Reggiano. Not too shabby.

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Anytime we go out to eat, Ellie takes it upon herself to greet each guest and the wait staff. Here she is working the crowd at Noodles & Company.

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Before all the good tomatoes are gone, try sautéing cherry tomatoes until they burst. Just pop them in a pan with salt and pepper and evoo over medium high heat – a perfect, end-of-summer side.

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The view from one of our early morning walks.