Saturday, February 28, 2009

Get happiness out of your work or you may never know what happiness is.
Elbert Hubbard

I'm so excited this morning because I am up getting ready to go to WORK. As in a job. That gives me a paycheck. Thank you Lord.

I am still looking for a full time position in my field but I was finally able to snag a part time job through a woman I met at Junior League. It's not in my field but it's a family owned store, nice environment, low stress and a great side income source I'll be able to continue minimally when I do begin work somewhere full time.

It is just so nice to wake up and not only have something to do all day but also know I'm bringing in some money to our household.

Now I'm off to a great day at WORK!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it.
Alexander Woollcott

I had the treat yesterday to attend Junior League Lobby Day at Missouri's state capitol in Jefferson City. We joined Leagues from around the state for a lovely day at the capitol. I love government and politics so it was wonderful to have a bit of an insider's view of Missouri, my new state.

State capitol building
While in the capitol building we had a brief meeting with Representative Rachel Storch who is from a St. Louis district. We had a meet and greet with Governor Jay Nixon in his office (with a photo op, but I don't have that yet!) and explored the Whispering Room in the building's rotunda.

We then headed over the Governor's Mansion for a brief tour and lunch.

Sign outside the gates

Missouri Governor's Mansion

Such a pretty table

It was such an honor to attend this day as a Junior League new member. Our small group from St. Louis had a lot of fun and I was able to get to know each of them.

My first trip to Missouri's state capitol!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You've got to be boisterous to get results.
Gordon Ramsay

My husband has a man-crush. His name is Gordon Ramsay.

If you don't know Gordon he is a chef, television personality and restaurateur. He has been awarded a total of 14 Michelin Stars, and in 2007 became one of only three chefs in the United Kingdom to hold three Michelin stars at one time. Ramsay currently ranks 3rd in the world in terms of Michelin Stars behind Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse. (Source: Wikipedia)

I really do love him too and get to watch all of his shows...

...and watch Nick try new recipes and quote everything in a British accent.

"It's simple, local and fresh Randall. Simple. Local. Fresh."

Alrighty, mate.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.
Douglas Pagels

I had a wonderful long weekend with my friend Ashley. We really did hit all of the major St. Louis sites and of course just enjoyed our time together. Here are a few of my favorite photos:

On our way to dinner

Ted Drewes' frozen custard in 30 degree weather - yum!

Anheuser-Busch tour

Cozy horses in the hay - can you spot the Dalmatian?

I love them!

Trolley car outside the history museum

On the steps of the Cathedral Basilica

Beautiful mosaics inside the church

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • Finally using my French press.
  • Pub chips and rarebit in the Central West End.
  • Watching Conan's last show before he heads over to The Tonight Show.
  • A dusting of snow on Saturday morning for Ashley to see.
  • Seeing the beautiful mosaics in Cathedral Basilica Saint Louis.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

I'm am just SO excited because one of my dearest friends, Ashley, is arriving this afternoon for a long weekend. She has a work trip in Oklahoma starting Monday and was able to sneak in a layover with us first! She is the first of my friends to come see us here in St. Louis and I'm looking forward to showing her around!

Ashley was my roommate in college, fellow Tri Delta sister, reader at our wedding and one of my favorite people. I don't have a large social circle of friends, just three really close ones, and Ashley has been a part of my life for college to now.

Tri Delta recruitment (2004)

College honor society banquet (2004)

Tri Delta trip to Disney World (2005)

Undergrad graduation (2005)

The night of my 25th birthday and my engagement - showing off our rings! (2007)

My wedding day (2008)

Some of the things on our to do list, per her request, include:

Plus lots of time to chat and talk about her upcoming wedding (this March in Las Vegas!). Hooray for friends and my Ashley!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry.
Joe Moore

Nick's parents came for a short visit over the long weekend. Although Nick had to work on Sunday, I headed over to the Saint Louis Zoo with his parents.

We explored the rest of the zoo in the morning and although it was cold the elephants were enjoying the sunshine!

On Sundays, when the temperature is below 50 degrees the zoo "walks" the penguins. I'd heard it was fun but never actually took the time to go see it - it was worth the trip! I thought that they'd really have to lead them out but the doors of the exhibit and out they walked, er, waddled!

It was hard to take photos with all of the people but you can see the one standing next to the zoo keeper. So cute - how can you not smile at a penguin!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A cat is nobody's fool.
Heywood Brown

Some people post videos of their children. We have Bella. So here you go.

We also had no plans on Friday night except a Cold Stone run and making bets with the cat that she couldn't lick her neck for a half hour straight. We lost.

Can you feel the excitement?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • The smell of brownies baking in the oven.
  • Having Nick's parents here for a visit during the long weekend.
  • New pillowcases for Valentine's Day.
  • This opinion piece.
  • Eating just homemade guacamole and tortilla chips for lunch.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

When you are in love you can't fall asleep
because reality is better than your dreams.
Dr. Seuss

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw

I posted that I was bringing a Chicken Enchilada dip to the Super Bowl party we attended and received many requests to post it. It's a great tasting - terrible for you - Iowa kind of recipe!

This was given to me at my bridal shower (my matron of honor had ever guest bring/send a recipe and made me a great book of them all) by my husband's Aunt Mary.

It is his father's sister and always signs cards "Your Favorite Aunt Mary" - but that's because she is his only aunt! I love her, she's fun!

Aunt Mary (far right) with her mom, Grandma Ann and husband, Uncle Tom at our wedding

Aunt Mary's Chicken Enchilada Dip

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 large can white meat chicken OR about 3 cups diced chicken breast
1 can green chilies
1 8 oz. carton of sour cream
1 bag (2 cups) "taco" shredded cheese

Mix all ingrediets in casserole dish reserving 1 cup of chese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minues until bubbly.
Serve with tortilla chips.
My note: I made it in a deeper casserole dish but I think it would be best to stick with a more shallow, longer dish so each scoop has the yummy cheese melted on top.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The very pink of perfection.
Oliver Goldsmith
I participated in Monograms and Manicures Pink Swap with Norah from Dallas. It was so fun to put together her package and also receive all of the goodies she sent too!

Norah doesn't have a blog so I took some photos of my swap package to show you all. The "theme" of my swap package was stationary so it included lots of different cards, fine tip Sharpies (my favorite to write with), a Vera Bradley card organizer all in a big storage basket. Thank goodness she loved stationary as much as I do!

The package I received from Norah was so darling! On top was this great vanity plate with my (new!) monogram.

Then this box full of cute stuff!

The box was packed with a darling J. Crew purse, Vera Bradley belt and key ring, two sets of cards with my first initial "R," embroidered accessories with my last intial "G" from Swoozies, pink tissues and sweetheart gum (yum!).

Thanks Norah for all my really cute PINK things!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.
J.M. Barrie, Courage

I returned yesterday from a wonderful week in Florida! I had a lovely time and here are some highlights of my great memories from the week:

  • My mom's black lab Francis is the kind of dog that wiggles from head to toe when you see her. How could you not feel loved? She also ate a whole stick of butter off of the kitchen counter and kept sneaking naps on the couch!

  • Although we had grand plans to see a lot o movies, we only saw The Curious Case Benjamin Button. I really liked it but we both agreed to stick with non-tear inducing movies. We did enjoy yummy lunches and shopping!

  • My mom and I have a thing for Cardinals because whenever we see them we think of my father. When I arrived at home this Cardinal sat in the tree outside my second floor bedroom window for at least 15 minutes. He just sat and watched. I loved it!

  • Nick's house in Fort Myers, where we used to live, is currently being rented (at this point, I think I will always have a house in Florida!). The landscaping was recently cleaned up and I stopped by to see it - so pretty!

  • On Thursday while in Fort Myers I was able to join my friend Ashley to celebrate her birthday. It was nice to stay with old friends and enjoy some time together (with Ashley and Melissa below).

  • I'm glad I had the chance to have lunch and wander downtown Sarasota with mom. It's such a nice area, here's one of my favorite buildings:

  • When I arrived back in St. Louis not only was a I greeted by a handsome husband but also pretty pink tulips!

  • The first box I opened when i got home was from the Pink Swap - pictures to come tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Keep your face always toward the sunshine -
and shadows will fall behind you.
Walt Whitman

I am heading to Florida for a week of warm weather, movies and lunches with mom and catching up with old friends.

I'm looking forward to wearing flip flops and having sunshine on my shoulders!

Taken July 2008 on Bonita Beach

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • Going to a Superbowl party today with my Chicken Enchilada Dip!
  • Actually making some progress in finishing the decor in our living room.
  • Sending my Pink Swap package out tomorrow - so cute!
  • Reading my new Time magazine subscription each week.
  • I finally found our wedding guest book in all the moving boxes in the basement - wonderful to read through again!
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