Sunday, February 28, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • we finally got a renter for our Florida house - woot!
  • homemade French toast with warm syrup.
  • Corrina, Corrina on TBS. Gosh, I love that movie!
  • purging and shredding all the junk in our files.
  • Welsh potato chips and rarebit from Llywelyn's.

Friday, February 26, 2010

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

On Wednesday, I had the treat to join my Junior League committee and head in a snazzy rented minivan to Jefferson City. We had a great day planned not only as an educational opportunity to see our state's capitol but also meet up with the three other Junior Leagues in the state (Springfield, St. Joseph and Kansas City).

Our day included being introduced to the House of Representatives, tea with First Lady Georganne Nixon (and her dog Daniel Boone!) in the Governor's Mansion, lunch with State Auditor Susan Montee and meetings with our local St. Louis representatives Rachel Storch and Cole McNary.

Such a fun and interesting way to spend a cold, Missouri Wednesday!

With First Lady Georganne Nixon - we were freezing and windblown but still had fun!
(Photo taken by Karen Wisch)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

All men are equal before fish.
Herbert Hoover

On Friday night Nick and I ventured out to try one of the many local Lenten fish fries around St. Louis. Before moving here I don't think I ever realized what a large Catholic population there was - obviously the city name, Saint Louis, never made the connection for me.

So there are a ton of local fish fries at area churches. They all get a lot of media coverage, there are fun stories of "fry hoppers" - old women who go to a different church every week to see who does it best. There is even a blog reviewing the different churches annually, Friday Night Fish.

I scoped out the reviews and we selected St. Mary Magdalene in Brentwood. As soon as we walked in Nick laughed and said what a flash back it was to his childhood. The line for the food was the length of the the school gym and while we waited we browsed the menu to make our selections. I went with the "God's Cod" sandwich, side of cole slaw and a homemade dessert (a from scratch Rice Crispy treat, yum!). Nick picked the standard two pieces of fish with two sides, mac 'n cheese along with spiced apples and a homemade brownie.

Overall it was very yummy and a different, inexpensive Friday night dinner date. I hear through the fish fry gossip that the very best in town is St. Pius (real china and live music) so we may check that out in the coming weeks too, maybe introduce my mom to the fish fry scene when she comes to town!

Nick demonstrating his tarter technique.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
Mark Twain

St. Louis teased us with sunny, 50 degree weather of Saturday. I think people were actually skipping through Target! Then today it is raining, with some snow flurries and cold. No fair!

At Trader Joe's this weekend I spying small bunches of cut daffodils for just $1.50 and couldn't resist. They are bringing temporary Springtime to our dining room!

Aren't they cheerful?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • fresh cut daffodils from the grocery store.
  • trying our first St. Louis Lenten fish fry!
  • $5 deals from Home Goods.
  • petting the darling guys from the Blood Hound Rescue at Petsmart.
  • watching Olympic speed skating with Nick - it's like horse racing but with people!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.
Henry David Thoreau

Last week I joined a group of women from the local Tri Delta alumnae chapter at St. Louis Children's Hospital near Forest Park.

Tri Delta's national philanthropy is children's cancer charities, specifically St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, but alumnae groups show their support locally too. Our alumnae chapter donates time, items and money to the St. Louis Children's Hospital (like the emergency room bags of crayons, games and coloring books we made in December) so it was a great chance to tour the hospital to see where our efforts were being used.

I was so impressed visiting the hospital, it brings the sense of hope and joy that I felt when I visited St. Jude. I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to support them.

Entering the main area of the hospital

The main atrium

Hallway art gallery

Aquariums all over the place

Joe Buck Imaging Center - baseball and sports everywhere!

Another view of the imaging center

Ronald McDonald Family Room -
like a small, in hospital version of the Ronald McDonald House

Group shot of some of our alumnae chapter members

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I get a little behind during Lent, but it comes out even at Christmas.
Frank Butler

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

Generally it is customary to give something up for Lent - fast food, swearing... my grandmother used to give up beer! I always tell people about the time Casey's husband, James, gave up shaving for Lent. Nick threatens to do it each year.

But I also hear teachings that you can do something good for Lent like volunteer at a local shelter or promise to exercise regularly.

So for Lent this year, I'm going to church. Backwards, I know, but I thought it would be good to pick up a habit that may stick! I was raised in the Episcopal church but haven't found one here in St. Louis. I tried my second parish last Sunday and then have one more within my immediate area to check out. Hopefully one of those three will feel like a good fit. So far, the two I have been to have their pluses and minuses so I'll just have to decide what is most important to me.

Also, a friend of mine from high school is an Episcopal priest so I contacted him for a recommendation for a good and brief online/e-mail daily Lenten devotional. He recommended this one and asked me to let him know my thoughts after I try it for a few days.

So my first day of Lent plans include reading my devotional this morning, perhaps bribing Nick to go with me to church tonight for ashes or maybe during my lunch break and then trying church #3 on Sunday. We'll see how it all goes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills.
It's probably the most important thing in a person.

Audrey Hepburn

The quote above is one of my favorites. I think of it constantly when I'm with Nick. He always makes me laugh! A very romantic Valentine's Day was no different.

We just had a yummy at home. My mother always made heart-shaped meatloaf and pink mashed potatoes so I did the same. Nick requested chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting for dessert.

I made him turn off the sport-of-the-minute or whatever he was watching on television and put on some nice music for dinner. He selected Sirius XM - Love Songs and then serenaded me with My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • my darling red-headed Valentine.
  • my mama is coming to visit in March!
  • meat wrapped in butcher paper, not just on a foam plate with clear wrap.
  • buying a cute gift for attending my first baby shower next week.
  • the Olympic opening ceremonies - so many excited faces!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love is the greatest refreshment in life.
Pablo Picasso

I had a nice Thursday afternoon treat when a bouquet of tulips were delivered to my office. Happy Valentine's Day from my darling husband. What a sweetie!

They certainly create a bright spot on my desk even though it is cold and snowy outside.

Nick has Saturday off which will be nice to get out and do something tomorrow. Sunday we'll keep it low key and have a nice dinner at home for Valentine's Day - heart shaped meatloaf and pink mashed potatoes of course!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Advice is like snow - the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon,
and the deeper in sinks into the mind.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

With all of the snow in St. Louis lately, I've spent a lot of time scraping it off of my car, shoveling it off of my front steps and trying not to slip on it while I leave my office.

But I just cannot help but sing as the snow flakes lightly fall down around me...

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

See, snow flakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes (and my hair, scarf and coat).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A winner never whines.
Paul Brown

Via a random number generator, the winner of my very first giveaway is Freck. Congrats!

I'll e-mail you for your mailing address so you can enjoy your little piece of the island life with cute ceramic salt and pepper shakers!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
Malcolm S. Forbes

On Friday night Nick and I headed out to meet one of his college friends who was in town for a wedding. Ryan was one of the people we visited on our first trip to St. Louis in 2006 while he was getting his doctorate at Washington University.

We met a Ryan and two other couples for dinner but since a bunch of guys organized it, no one made reservations. So we ended up at Kilkenny's Pub. We were all starving but I wasn't keeping my expectations too high. Honestly, though, it was the best patty melt I'd ever had. Yum!

It was nice to be with some different people and at a different place for dinner. Talking about what we all did for work at the table, poor Nick was the least educated of us all. Three doctors, three masters degrees... and Nick with his undergrad business degree. The shame, right? Just kidding. He's a smarty pants.

We broadened our horizons, even if just a little bit, on Friday night!

Cute picture but the crooked frame behind me kind of drives me crazy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

We're going to win on Sunday. I guarantee it.
Joe Namath

We had a fun time at the Super Bowl party last night. Stuffed ourselves silly with all the food and watching the great game plus, my favorite, the commercials. So glad the Saints won!

Food spread - this was before the brats and chili were served!

Cute napkins - within an hour there were only Colts napkins left.
You could tell who we were routing for!

Watching the game. Bella knows the cat lovers in the room, of course.

Bedazzled team spirit.

Mr. Fab fixed Nicks laptop during the game - we paid him in food and drink!

Luke (with his poor shoulder post surgery), Mel and Nick.

And my two favorite commercials:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • sleeping 11 hours on Friday night. Maybe not quite over that cold, my tired self needed it!
  • DIY at-home pedicures in my tub.
  • my office building is bringing in "Weight Watchers at Work" and I'm thrilled! Never had I been more successful losing weight than when I did this at my old job. Just makes it so easy.
  • a big of flock of Robins landed in our backyard. Robins = spring. Right? Right?!
  • our Super Bowl party today!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is.
Vince Lombardi

Don't forget to enter my very first giveaway in honor of my 500th post!

Click here and leave a comment by Monday, February 8.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Men, I want you just thinking of one word all season.
One word and one word only: Super Bowl.

Bill Peterson

On Sunday we're having our first Super Bowl party. Not too many people will be able to make it, mainly because we sent the invite out kind of late, but it still should be fun. Nick's college friends, Luke and Mel, are joining us along with Mr. and Mrs. Fab. We have a few other babysitter-dependent "maybes" and more that are stopping by to and from other get togethers.

Our house is small so eight people is plenty and a good excuse to throw a little party! I'm sure the game will be good but I'm most excited about the commercials, of course.

Here's what is on the menu:
  • Chili with all the fixin's (cheese, sour cream, onions)
  • Brats from the grill with hot mustard and kraut
  • Homemade cornbread muffins
  • Homemade onion dip with chips and veggies
  • Buffalo potato wedges with warm blue cheese dip (ala Rachael Ray)
It is going to be cold so we'll have a fire going and have all the goodies for a toasty dessert of s'mores.

What's on your game day menu? Any favorites you can't live without?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In my friend, I find a second self.
Isabel Norton

Last weekend (and actually most of last week) Nick was out of town for work and I had a delightful surprise visit from my friend Ashley.

We didn't do anything really exciting but it was just nice to hang out with her and catch up. I miss having her living close but certainly our time together is sweet!

Meeting up her first night - laughing because we were basically wearing the same thing!

Spent a fun night at Ameristar where she was for work - beautiful room!

Friday night we had appetizers-for-dinner with my friend Sarah.

With Sarah - love her!

And those were the only pictures I took! Oh well.

We had dinner at Dewey's on Thursday, dinner at Remy's on Saturday for Clayton Restaurant Week (double yum!), shopped, talked and watched The Wedding Singer on cable (can you feel the excitement?).

But when I dropped her off at their airport and picked Nick up it was of course sad to see her go but certainly nice to hold hands with Nick again!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The sun lay like a friendly arm across her shoulder.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

In honor of my 500th post (wow!) I'm doing a little giveaway. My first!

My aunt who lived for years in St. John, USVI always gave such cute stuff from the islands. With my cold weather self is craving the sun right now, so I thought it would be appropriate to have a giveaway filled with sunshine!

View from the deck of my aunt and uncle's home near St. John.

My favorite line that my aunt started sending was this funky ceramic pottery collection from a store called Pink Papaya.

I have the fun appetizer bowls/plates and coffee mugs so I thought you all would enjoy the darling salt and pepper shakers.

Aren't the darling! I love all of the stuff I have in this pattern and I hope the winner will too.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment.
2. You'll receive a second entry if you are a follower (just let me know!).

I'll pick an entry randomly on Monday, Feb. 8 and will post the winner that day too! Hope you enter and thanks for reading post 501.
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