Thursday, April 30, 2009

I feel like I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
Author Unknown

Meet the screw in my tire that is the reason I won't be getting the white rocking chairs for our porch anytime soon.

Yes, even though it's in the middle, according to the tire place it damaged the side too which means it cannot be patched.

Hello new tires for the Volkswagen. Goodbye much coveted rocking chairs (for now!).


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's get together, what do you say?
We can have a swinging time.
Hayley Mills, The Parent Trap

We have a set date, time and location for the St. Louis Blogger Get Together in May!

I'm looking forward to meeting the ladies behind Fabulous in the STL, My Husband's Watching TV, Tattooed Dorothy and Damask is Divine (Lucy in St. Lou can't make it, but she will have to join us next time!).

Interested in joining us? Please e-mail me at for the details (so they aren't posted all around the Internet!).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You can not look at a sleeping cat and feel tense.
Jane Pauley

I spent Sunday afternoon relaxing on the couch after a long walk at Queeny Park and a marathon basement cleaning session. Bella and I enjoyed Grey Gardens on HBO which, if you haven't seen yet, is a must. It was wonderful!

All this laying around provided for perfect kitty photo session. She is just so pretty. My pretty kitty.

New spot on the back of the chair
Fuzzy paw close up
The "stop it mother" look

Warm in the sunlight

Strike a pose

Monday, April 27, 2009

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
Ruth Stout

On Saturday I ventured down to the Soulard Farmers Market for the first time. With the very warm weather it was in full swing and really busy. I browsed all of the stalls offering everything from produce, homemade jellies and soap, bacon and other random meats and of course a lot of plants.

Soulard Farmer's Market founded in 1779.

I got our produce for the week and finally selected some plants for my first herb garden (in pots). I got Sweet Basil, Rosemary, Lavendar and Cilantro. We'll see how I do with those and then I may also add Mint, Oregano and Thyme.

My loot - plenty of veggies, fruit and my first herb plants.

Random scary strawberry.

That evening we continued to enjoy the warm weather with Chicken Flautas outside on the patio at Amigos. I now get why people who live in colder winter climates love this warm weather - so wonderful!

Hooray for warm weather!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • the smell of fresh lavender rubbed between your fingers.
  • my very clean little Jetta, inside and out.
  • seeing the St. Louis Arch appear on the skyline while driving downtown.
  • farm fresh eggs of all different sizes.
  • enjoying sidewalk people watching on a warm evening (finally!) with Nick.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Life holds so many simple blessings, each day bringing its own individual wonder.
John McLeod

I've always stood behind the notion that it's the small stuff in life you have to appreciate. Sure, the big things are fun but the small everyday things are what can really bring joy.

Here are my two newest small things to appreciate:

1. I finally bought a new coupon organizer. It's silly but my other one was a disaster (see below) and my new one is all pretty and shiny!

The cover had been ripped off and was being held together with a rubber band. Classy.

Makes me want to cut more coupons!

2. We have really, honest to goodness dandelions in our backyard. I just couldn't resist picking them and blowing all the fuzz off! I'm sure my landlord appreciated me spreading the seeds all over the yard.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

If you really want to be depressed, weigh yourself in grams.
Jason Love

I had another successful Weight Watchers weigh in today and am down .8 of a pound. May not sound like a lot but it's almost a pound in my book! That brings my total weight loss in the last five weeks to 7.2 pounds.

Here's my favorite Weight Watcher-friendly recipe this week:

BBQ Pulled Pork

2lbs pork tenderloin
1 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup Diet Coke
1 1/2 Cups chopped onion

Place pork in slow cooker. mix together other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the pork.

Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours. Remove pork, shred and place back in sauce. I served it on toasted whole grain buns rubbed with a garlic clove.

Nutrition Information: 200 Cal, .5g Fiber, 6g Fat

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. By a small sample we may judge of the whole piece.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I love a good free sample. Slather on a drop of expensive face lotion. Try a squirt of a new perfume. Even munch on a mini candy bar. It all is better when it's a free treat!

Even better is requesting them online which just is another excuse to receive more mail!

Here are some favorite recent finds I thought I'd share:

John Frieda Root Awakening

Tide Total Care

Aveeno Nourish+ Hair Collection

Dove Hair Care

Quaker Mini Delights

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Enjoy your little suprises in the mail!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
Denis Diderot

Angie graciously passed on the Passionate Blogger Award to me!

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo in your blog
2. Write five things you are passionate about apart from blogging.
3. Tag 5 people on your lists and let them know you tagged them.


I caught this bug from my mom who always beelieved that experiences were more important than things. We are great travelers together and have visited some wonderful places! I'm looking forward to checking more locations off my list as the years pass.

2. Volunteerism
I always volunteered growing up and especially with my sorority in college. With my work in the Junior League I have reaffirmed my love for helping those in need. My real passions lie with children and animals but I enjoy finding new interests as well.

3. Scrapbooking
I admit I am really behind in my albums but I still keep a big bag of everything I wanted to save from our wedding, honeymoon, different trips, etc. I really love scrapbooking because it combines my love of taking photos and my appreciation for capturing memories.

4. Keeping a Home
Maybe it sounds silly but I really love my home. From decorating to cooking, organizing to entertaining I love the essence of being a homemaker. While I didn't really enjoy my time not working when we were first married (I was bored and we needed money!) I am looking forward to doing it again when we have children. I truly believe one of the greatest gifts you can give a family is a safe, warm environment in your home.

5. Reading
Again, thanks to my mom, I love to read. I often have friends come to me looking for book recommendations. I always say that no matter where I am if I have a book, I'll be fine. I am passionate about reading for sure.

I tag:
Natalie at Old Southern House
Heidi at Fabulous in the STL
Ashley Tattooed Dorothy
Lucy at Lucy in St. Lou
Alyssa at My Husband's Watching TV

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weather means more when you have a garden. There's nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.
Marcelene Cox

Even though today is a little cool here in St. Louis but starting Wednesday for at least a whole week span it will be in the 70s and 80s. This warm weather also is allowing me to appreciate the gardening joys of Spring!

First, I just wanted to share my newly potted pansies. I have another just like this and they are sitting on either side of the front door. I love pansies, especially the ones with "faces," and they are the flower of my sorority too!

Second, as I mentioned the other day, there is a beautiful flowering tree right outside our front windows. I have no idea what it is - any guesses?

Over the next few weeks I'm looking forward to starting my herb garden in clay pots, maybe some tomatoes and hopefully seeing some of my random seeds sprout in the back yard.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

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

Sunday gratitude:

  • my new big pots of pansies on the front porch.
  • fresh sliced strawberries - in season and on sale!
  • the rolling ball sculpture at the St. Louis Science Center.
  • my boss letting us all leave work at 3 p.m. on Friday.
  • lawn service included in our rental - it's like the grass mows itself!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random: lacking any definite plan or order or purpose

  • If Nick hadn't gotten this job in St. Louis and we hadn't bumped up our wedding date to November we would have been getting married today. Weird! I am so, so, so thankful I've been his wife for this time in between November and now.
  • I went to lunch after a work meeting yesterday in the Central West End at a darling place called Companion Bake House. So yummy and a bright, cheery environment. Try it if you're ever in that area!
  • At night Bella does what Nick calls, "crazy time!" She runs through the house sliding around on the wood floors just being, well, crazy. Last night she jumped up onto the fireplace mantle and then immediately fell right off! At first it scared me and then when I knew she was fine I couldn't stop laughing. She was less than humored.
  • There is a tree in our front yard flowering the most beautiful and delicate pink flowers. I have no idea what it is but it reminds me of Spring each time I look out the living room windows.
  • I'm going to go the Soulard Famers Market for the first time this morning and I'm so excited! Hopefully I'll come home with so lovely flowers and yummy finds!

Friday, April 17, 2009

These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed.
Abigail Adams

Nick and I have a Netflix membership that we really use frequently. We have watched a lot of movies over the last few months but sort of hit a wall - what shall we get next?

I've always heard such wonderful things about the John Adams miniseries done by HBO so we added the discs to our queue and gave it a try. Well, I cannot tell you just how wonderful it is it.

I've had a love of history my whole life. Many a nights spent with my father, especially while he was ill, watching the History Channel. From World War II back to America's beginning and even more recent modern time events, I've really always loved it all.

John Adams so eloquently portrays not only the history of the events surrounding the beginning of our country but also the pure human emotion behind them. Often in history you hear about all of these people but forget that really were just that, people. With wives, families, frustrations, worries and love.

Whether you have Netflix or can pick up John Adams at your local rental store, please do me the favor of taking the time to experience it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

If you really want to be depressed, weigh yourself in grams.
Jason Love

I had my weigh in yesterday at Weight Watchers for my fifth week. Last week I gained 1.4 pounds (yikes!).

My mom was in town that weekend and when I was checking in for the meeting the leader asked me, "So how was your week?"

I thought about it and replied, "Delicious!" Because it was. Maybe not worth 1.4 pounds of deliciousness but fun just the same.

So now that I've had another week to get back on track I lost 2.2 pounds this week! I'm still heavier than I was at my wedding so I think once I hit that weight again I will feel the big difference.

I also picked up the newest copy of the Weight Watchers magazine which I really enjoy. It has great recipes, success stories and fun little tips from members about what worked for them.

I also tried out a box of their snacks because I was getting burned out on the Wheat Thins. Last week I picked up the Cheddar Twists and this week the Garlic Parmsean Pretzel Thins. Since I tend to crave carbs when I'm really hungry they were both crunchy and yummy as a snack or with my lunch.

In closing, here is my favorite Weight Watcher-friendly recipe I tried this week:

Smothered Buttermilk Chicken
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 c. shredded carrot
1/3 cup onion -- chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 package roasted chicken gravy mix
1/3 cup skim buttermilk
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup frozen peas

In a 5 quart crock pot, combine chicken, carrots, onion, water, salt, pepper and bay leaf; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high setting for 3 to 4 hours. If using a 3 quart crock cook on low for 6-8 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir gravy mix into crock pot. Remove and discard bay leaf. In a measuring cup, blend buttermilk and flour until smooth. Stir flour mixture and peas into chicken; mix well.

Cover, increase heat to high; cover and cook an additional 25-20 minutes or until peas are cooked.

Yield: 4 servings (about 1 cup) = 183 Calories; 6g Fat (29.4% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 81mg Cholesterol; 499mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The more I see of man, the more I like dogs.
Madame de Staƫl

I'm a big animal lover and certainly a proponent for animals for all families, especially children. That's why I was so thrilled to see that the Obama family finally got their dog.

...and how darling is Bo? I think I may add a Portguese Water Dog to my list of dogs I think are just adorable!

Here is a great press release from the Portguese Water Dog Club of America about the breed and of course reminders for future owners about the responsibilities of owning a dog which I think is so important.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The grocery store is the great equalizer where mankind comes to grips with the facts of life like toilet tissue.
Joseph Goldberg

I am often asked, "so do you miss Florida?"

Well of course I miss the people I love in Florida - my mom, my friends, so many people I love and even my pets. But actual Florida things I miss? Hmmm....

I really don't miss the beach because I didn't go that often. I don't even miss the weather because the cold here is still a novelty. I may miss the warm weather more after we've been here for a while but now I like it . I don't miss the sports teams really either.

But I really miss Publix. {sigh}

If you aren't from the south or ever visited a Publix, well, it's just the best grocery store ever. Sorry, St. Louis people, your grocery stores pale in comparison the gloriousness of Publix.

Publix is clean, neat and up to date without giving you the feeling you're overpaying for the bakery bread or a bag of apples. Afterall, it's "where shopping is a pleasure!"

The cupcakes are divine (our wedding cake was actually from Publix!) and their subs... oh, I love their fresh made deli subs with a bag of salt and vinegar kettle cooked chips and their homemade tea. They also have a great easy-to-make recipe program called Apron's. I still use so many of those cards.

So if you are in a Publix anytime soon have a sub (Boar's Head Turkey with swiss with spicy mustard on wheat bread, please), pick up an Apron's recipe card and a enjoy a vanilla cupcake for me!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Well pleaseth me the sweet time of Easter
That maketh the leaf and the flower come out.
Bertran de Born

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter! Nick had to work all day but I was able to join my Aunt Toni and Uncle Wally at his son's home in the country west of St. Louis. We had a nice brunch, easter egg hunt and then tromped out to the barn to see the horses and watch some of the kids ride. The family has two horses, four dogs, a parrot that barks like the dogs, eight cats and two goslings! It was a farm full for sure but fun!

It was cloudy and cold but still a nice time. Nick got home from work about 7 p.m. and we enjoyed spaghetti on the couch with Bella under the quilt. Cozy and warm!

With my Aunt Toni

Watching the horses out by the barn

Uncle Wally's granddaughter waiting to ride

If you know my aunt and uncle you know no day is complete with out a game, or five, of Scrabble!

Naps all around - including the Beagles.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Well pleaseth me the sweet time of Easter
That maketh the leaf and the flower come out.
Bertran de Born

Happy Easter!

Geranium for our Easter brunch hostess

Friday, April 10, 2009

Random: lacking any definite plan or order or purpose

  • If you are a blogger in St. Louis and would like to join in on a get together (maybe dinner somewhere central) please e-mail me at Once I get the e-mails of those interested we'll get something planned.
  • The Weight Watchers Cheddar Twists are delish if you're looking for a crunchy snack.
  • Everything is in bloom so it's like a surprise to see the colors of the trees that have been bare since I arrived in St. Louis in November. There are some bulbs sprouting in our backyard that have yet to reveal what they are - I hope they are tulips!
  • I bought willow branches for the large vase in the living room and all of a sudden we have a very Pottery Barn-looking abode. Pretty!
  • I have new issues of House Beautiful, Oprah and Country Living waiting for me on the coffee table - delightful!
  • Have you heard of Unbeatable? The agency where I work is handling the publicity for its St. Louis debut and last night we were able to see a sneak preview. It's just wonderful so check it out if you can!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.
John Archibald Wheeler

I love stumbling along great new sites/blogs that have frequent updates (ala Photoshop Disasters, Post Secret and The Chive).

Here's a new favorite: Wanna Feel Old?

Tidbits of information seriously date you and change your perspective on how long time has passed. I read some of the entries with my mouth open - it was really that long ago? I especially like it because it isn't stuff that is 50 years old but things that I easily remember and don't realize when they actually debuted.

Some of my recent favorites include:

Savage Garden hasn't released any new material in 10 years. Really? I feel like Truly Madly Deeply is a "newer" song when I hear them, don't you?

Back to the Future 2 is actually set about five and a half years from now. Where's my flying car?!

The Macarena was released 14 years ago. I still know each and every step - heeeey Macarena!

The Matrix came out 10 years ago on April 1. I feel like I just watched that with my father... red pill or blue?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Isn't this great? Here I am in New York, and there you are in St. Louis, and it's just like you're in the next room!
Warren Sheffield, Meet Me in St. Louis

I have a crazy idea.

I know there are so many St. Louis ladies whose blogs I read and those that read mine too. The fun I read about with Blue Eyed Bride's Charleston meet up got me thinking that we just must get together!

Anyone want to join me? Maybe set a time to meet up for dinner somewhere? I love reading about all of your lives and would certainly like to meet you in person and chat some more!

I'm calling out the ones I know:
Fabulous in the STL
The Preppy Lizard
Good Food, Good Friends, Good Life
Tattooed Dorothy
My Husband's Watching TV
Lucy in St. Lou
Damask is Divine

Let's get together!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at The Ritz.
Humphrey Bogart

At about 12:30 p.m. yesterday one of the partners in my company asked, "do you and your husband like baseball?"

I responded, "Of course!"

"Well, here are two tickets to the Cardinals home opener today, you can leave at 1:30 p.m. to get there in time. Have fun!"

I called my husband who was so excited he came just short of squeeling!

We headed down to the game in the cold and cloudy weather and took our seats in the warm and toasty suite!

Heading into the game

Even the tulips were in Cardinals' colors

View from our seats

Inside the suite

On our way back to the car - it was snowing!

It was such a great time - until they lost. But still a wonderful way to spend a Monday afternoon and be able to enjoy the first Cardinals game of the season as new St. Louis residents!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts.
Author Unknown

We had a fun weekend with my mom in town. Lots of volunteer stuff, shopping, errands and yummy dinners out. Last night we headed to Ted Drewes because even though it's really cold, frozen custard still tastes delish!

My poor mom was so cold she had her cute jacket hood up and I couldn't get Nick to stay still for a picture!

She is headed back to Florida today (after visiting me at my office with Nick and then out to lunch). I will miss having her here but we had fun while it lasted!

I'd also like to note that it is SNOWING right now. In April. On the Cardinal's opening day. Ridiculous!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • the good works of a Ronald McDonald House
  • tasting delicious homemade cinnamon rolls (that I made!)
  • going to sleep early for a long night's rest
  • rainy Sunday mornings with coffee with news online
  • Sex and the City movie now on HBO to watch over and over again!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Always strive to excel, but only on weekends.
Richard Rorty

My mom arrived safely last night and we have a busy weekend planned. I'm out of the office by 2 p.m. today then this evening we're going to the Junior League of St. Louis' Spring Market "Sip & Shop."

Tomorrow she is tagging along with my morning Junior League volunteer shift and then I think we're headed to the Missouri Botanical Gardens and running some errands. In the evening we're joining fellow Tri Delta alumnae at the Ronald McDonald House to cook dinner (we're bringing the rolls!).

Sunday we'll be going to church in the morning then brunch and shopping (I desperately need work pants!). Then we are going out to dinner with Nick to one of my favorite St. Louis restaurants, Citizen Kane's. Yum!

I have to work on Monday, but Nick is bring her to join me for lunch and to see my office and then he is taking her to the airport. I wish she could stay longer, or at least I didn't have to work on Monday, but I'm so looking foward to our fun plans this weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

If you really want to be depressed, weigh yourself in grams.
Jason Love

Because I weigh in at Weight Watchers and go to my weekly meeting on Wednesday afternoons, I don't get the chance to share my updates with you all until Thursday. This past week I lost 2.6 pounds for a total loss of 5.6 pounds! Woot woot!

I'm really proud of it but sometimes in my mind I can think, "oh, it's just five pounds!" To put it in perspective here are some things that weigh five pounds:

  • A full grown chihuahua
  • A half gallon of paint
  • A pair of men's work boots
  • The largest bluegill ever recorded (actually, that was only four pounds!)

So technically, I'm no longer carrying a chihuahua around all day! Here's to another great week to feeling better inside and out!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Life is always a rich and steady time when you
are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.
E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

Both Nick and I have been trying to keep the secret of a very big suprise to both of us but thought it was time to share that....

We're pregnant!

....just kidding!

April Fools!
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