Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm talking pedicure on our toes, toes
Trying on all our clothes, clothes

I knew spring was well on its way. The chill is gone from the air, the sun shines later and all of the trees are starting to bloom. The tulips are popping out of the ground and the robins are in the backyard.

But this week's weather is finally solid proof that winter is finally over. Last night, I made Nick pull pulled all the summer clothes bins from the basement. Today, with highs expected in the 80s I'm wearing a skirt and bare legs for the first time since September. Of course, I did shave my legs and am exposing them with a week of good Jergens Natural Glow lotion application. No need to scare the children.

Along with a pedicure on my toes and sun roof open driving home from work, I'm so ready for this weather!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The success of the dinner depends as much
upon the company as the cook.

Ward McAllister

Nick has been talking forever about wanting to go to a Japanese steakhouse. There was in Florida that we loved, Tokyo Bay, and haven't been to one since moving here to St. Louis. Nick heard of a good one, Oishi in Chesterfield Valley, from a coworker and was dying to go but we need some friends to join us! Not too much fun to go by ourselves.

So on Saturday night, Heidi and Dan were toddler-free and up for dinner too! It was delish, we stuffed ourselves and enjoyed the different atmosphere (including catching tossed food from the chef in our mouth! I missed.). Nice just to try something different than a regular restaurant.

Nick's excited!

Heidi and Dan.

Me and Heidi.

Yum - look at that steak!

Onion volcano, that's the best part!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Babies are such a nice way to start people.
Don Herrold

On Friday afternoon Heidi and I headed over to visit Angie and her new baby, Nick. The hospital is really nice and everyone was, of course, so happy and excited in her room.

He is just a darling, happy and content little swaddled bundle.

Me and Nick.

Heidi and Nick.

Nick and his dad, so sweet!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • Newborn baby noses. So little and sweet!
  • Yankee Candle Clean Cotton tarts for this warmer weather.
  • Waiters in kilts at The Scottish Arms.
  • Temps in the 70s for next week - woot!
  • The Office. Gosh, I love that show.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books - even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome.
William Ewart Gladstone

Yesterday I posted about my running list of books that I need to buy because I had to return them to the library. Two friends suggested a site called Good Reads which I had to check out! I did sign up and I'm just getting started but it is such a neat concept. I'm looking forward to having a better way of keeping track of what I've read and get good recommendations on what to read next.

I generally read just fiction but I'm also incorporating more and more non-fiction. Although I do enjoy learning new things on various topics I tend to not "get into" non-fiction as I do with a great novel. So I've started reading two books at a time, one non-fiction and one fiction. The switching back and forth creates a nice balance.

Right now, I'm reading:

My current non-fiction selection. I love Bethenny Frankel on TV and really enjoy her perspective on "eating & thinking like a thin person."

Sue Miller is one of my favorite authors who I discovered after reading The Senator's Wife. I'm now working my way through all of her books.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.
Thomas Helm

It's no mystery that I love to read.

Unfortunately, my budget does not allow for multiple new book purchases a month so I've been using my local (and wonderful!) library. Because I love reading and books so much I have a very hard time handing them back over when I'm finished. If I buy a book, I keep it forever but, much to my dismay, the library wants theirs back!

So I have been dutifully handing them back over and selecting a new title but not before making note in a running Word doc I have of all of the books the library made me give back. Then one day, hopefully not too long from now, when I have extra book-buying income I will purchase them all to add to my shelves!



But, really, what better decor can a home have than floor to ceiling shelves filled with wonderful books?

Are you reading anything good?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder,
hope, a dream of possibilities.

Eda J. Le Shan

A big congrats to Angie and her husband on their newest addition and first child, Nick!

(Great name, isn't it?! I love a good Nick.)

Photo by hollajane photography

Monday, March 22, 2010

Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.
Wilt Chamberlain

On Saturday, the University of Northern Iowa gained an underdog win against top seeded Kansas University in the NCAA basketball tournament. This was a huge win, not only because they totally weren't expected to win but also because UNI is the college team in Nick's hometown. His brother and our sister-in-law and many, many of his childhood friends are all UNI alums. Nick's brother and his wife were actually married on the campus.

The best part is that the Midwest Regional games are here in St. Louis and now, at least one team in those games will be UNI. Nick's phone was ringing off the hook last night with all the Iowa friends and family that are on their way to our city! His parents, brother plus wife and lots of friends will be here for Friday's game. Can't wait.

Go Panthers!

Winners! Aren't they cute all excited!?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • being professionally appreciated for my hard work.
  • the my V-Dub has still been starting and running like a dream.
  • two St. Louis babies are almost here!
  • the Thursday night guilty delight of The Real Housewives of New York City.
  • weekend breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese and potatoes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

There are only two kinds of people in the world:
the Irish and those who wish they were.
Irish Saying

My heritage is French and Irish so I always appreciated St. Patrick's Day! With a red-headed husband we at least look really Irish (he's German). So we are wearing green today, of course, and hope to maybe convince Nick to stop by one of the many St. Patrick's Day celebrations going on here in (very Catholic) St. Louis.

May the luck of the Irish be with you on this fine St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A census taker once tried to test me, I ate his liver
with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Hannibal Lecter

Here's my little don't forget to do fulfill your civic duty message: fill out your Census form! Ours arrived in yesterday's mail and it took me less than three minutes to fill it out.

Of course I knew it would be arriving shortly after getting the "it will be arriving" letter from the US Census Bureau I received last week. Don't even get me started on that. But either way I think it is an important thing to do, just like jury duty! Sending it back also eliminates the knock on my door at an unexpected hour from a census taker.

So for three minutes every ten years I can take a moment to fill out my census form. And not just because the Constitution tells me to do it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing.
Toni Morrison, Beloved

My mom flew in on Thursday and is headed out today - we had a great weekend of our usual activities of lunch, movie, shopping, repeat. Our days included:
  • seeing The Blind Side (finally!)
  • Meredith Monk and the Saint Louis Symphony
  • saying hi to Angie at work and getting a quote to fix my engagement ring setting
  • lunch at The Women's Exchange
  • highly productive shopping
  • dinner at Pi
  • church and brunch on Sunday morning
  • big spaghetti dinner at home and watching The Pacific
I'll certainly miss having her here but will be in Florida in a month for Casey's baby shower!

On our way to the symphony

With Nick at Pi

Sunday, March 14, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • Having my mom here all weekend to play.
  • Happy Pi Day!
  • A totally fixed Jetta for just $400 - hooray for honest mechanics.
  • New bra - properly fitted and everything. Glorious.
  • salad from The Women's Exchange.

Friday, March 12, 2010

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

After seeing Angie's pictures of the spring peeking through in her garden, I went outside to poke around. Sure enough, the 400-gabillion tulip bulbs I planted last fall our starting to break through the dirt.

The big irises in the front are sprouting happily as well.


Now, if the peonies would just get working I would be a happy girl!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

There is no cat 'language'. Painful as it is for us to admit, they don't need one.
Barbara Holland

We've had some really beautiful weather here recently. Sunny and honest to goodness warm! I've been able to open the windows and the back French doors to air out the stale winter house. Bella loves to take it all in from her favorite perch on the back of the couch in the den.

It's actually a cute red couch, but I have to drape a pillow case over the back to prevent the thick coating of cat hair from sticking!

Anyway, Bella was loving the fresh breeze and the sounds from the birds at "her" bird feeder outside the window.

I began to notice that instead of her usual napping, relaxed sprawl she was up and alert.

"Whatcha looking at Bell-Bell?" I asked.

As I approached the window I was taken by surprise to see Brittany, our neighbor's outdoor cat sitting outside and less than a foot from Bella's spot.

I thought Bella would be freaking out but instead they just stared at each other, meowing a little bit. Then Bella snuggled up into a ball, the "kitty meat loaf" as we refer to it, and began to purr! Crazy! Poor thing is probably lonely. They sat "together" for about a half hour before Brittany took off.

Hopefully she'll come by to visit again.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.
Paul Newman, The Color of Money

On Saturday night, Nick and I ventured out to the newest casino in St. Louis, River City. The place was packed but we had a fun time exploring it and of course hitting the craps table. The casino opened just days before so there were, of course, a few little hiccups I noticed but otherwise it was lovely.

As I understand, the whole place was supposed to be reminiscent of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. Very pretty inside, well lit and a nice atmosphere. Compared to other casinos in Missouri, it had a more classic feel. Less dark and modern, more bright and lively.

After a round of successful craps we got some pizza at the 1904 Beerhouse (complete with a live polka band) and it was delish.

Nick's excited!

Pretty main atrium - complete with Fleur-de-Lis!

The place was so busy!

Looking the other direction - casino floor behind the clock.
PS: I hate my camera. Takes lame low light photos.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One must always have one's boots on and be ready to go.
Michel de Montaigne

While in Jefferson City a few weeks ago, I cleanly broke the heel of my very favorite boots while trekking around on the hilly streets. A little bit of super glue got me through the day but I was so sad that I officially wore them out!

I tend to find a style I like in clothing and just go with it. I am definitely guilty of having four pairs of the same pants, three of the same turtlenecks and five of the same sweater set - all different colors but really just the same darn thing!

I bought a pair of pointy toe, black, knee high boots a year and a half ago. They were comfortable and had good style. Great for work and play all winter.

I've replaced the heel tips but literally wore out the soles. I knew those heels were going and, crack, they went!

Poor old boots.

So I really loved those boots and honestly, would have bought the exact same pair again! I searched high and low in local stores but I've missed the "boot season" - hey, it's spring right? Sandals for everyone even though it is still cold out!

I headed to some online sites and got a great clearance deal on exactly what I was looking for at Definitely just as close as I could get to my favorite black boots.

Pretty new boots.

I was so excited when my new boots arrived. Nick just looked at the old boots, then the new boots. Back to the old boots.

"Princess. You bought the same boots!"

Not really the same, a different brand actually. But you know, if it works then go with it!

Monday, March 8, 2010

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.


My name is Bella. I just may be, perhaps, the prettiest kitty cat ever.

Highlight of my weekend included the warm sun from the windows shining on me during my afternoon nap.

Happy spring! Can't you feel it in the air?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • a calm, rational husband when the mechanic explained why my poor little V-Dub needed $2100 in repairs
  • my pre-ordered Girl Scout Cookies have finally arrived
  • some of Nick's fun Iowa friends are in town to watch UNI in the Missouri Valley Conference Arch Madness
  • my mom arrives in four days
  • weather this weekend in the 50s - hooray for a touch of Spring

Friday, March 5, 2010

Most of life is routine - dull and grubby, but routine is the momentum that keeps a man going. If you wait for inspiration you'll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street.
Ben Nicholas

Today I'm participating in Kelly's Korner with "Show Us Your Life." This week's topic is your typical day.

Well, I don't know if you'll be able to stand the excitement of my usual day. Kidding. Kidding. It's boring but that's okay, my routine is productive and good.

6:45 a.m.
Up and at 'em! Eat breakfast while watching a little of Today in St. Louis and then the Today Show. Bella on my lap, coffee in my hand.

7:15 a.m.
Get in the shower and get ready for work. Lately, because winter is the slow season for golf, I've had to share our one bathroom with Nick. So it's in and out, your turn then my turn, switching places, sharing the mirror. Super fun.

8:10 a.m.
Leave for work, 20 minute drive.

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Work. Um, yeah. That's about it.

12:30 p.m.
Take my "lunch." I bring lunch from home but I take my given hour to just take a break, run some errands (bank, dry cleaning, a lap around TJMaxx, etc.) and then go back and eat at my desk.

1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

5:00 p.m.
Home. Dinner with Nick, laptopping it on the couch with the selected show of the night.

10:00 p.m.
Head to bed. Read for about a half hour, lights out by 10:30 p.m.

Rinse and repeat five days a week. Add in selected Junior League or Tri Delta alum meeting as needed in the evenings. The end.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail us now!
Elwood, The Blues Brothers

I love my car but as the years have gone by it has become less and less reliable. Now it is doing this not-wanting-to-start-thing that is beyond frustrating. Our regular car guy, who I love, said there is nothing mechanically wrong with the car, it had to be the computer. It wasn't telling the car the right messages, leading to it not working properly.

Ouch. Just saying that "something is wrong with the Volkswagen's computer" sounds expensive. The only people who can run an analysis and fix a VW computer is the dealership. "Dealership" also brings the sound of a cash register to my ear - cha ching!

So I've put it off and put it off but finally last week made the appointment to have it looked at by our local VW dealer. I will say I was very impressed this morning with the quick assistance, the service manager was very nice and took down my whole story of problems. He agreed with the issues I described when he went and moved the car.

Even complimented me that it was the cleanest and in best condition 9-year-old car he's seen in a while. Now make it work, buddy! They'll be calling me this afternoon with the verdict. Let's hope it isn't an expensive answer.

The best part of dropping it off this morning before work is that I get to drive a loaner car all day - a brand new, cherry red Jetta. Tan leather interior. Oh this is dangerous, people! I'd just like to say, "you keep mine, I'll take this one!"

So here's hoping they'll call with an easy-peasy fix and I'll get my little Jetta back (even though she's aging, I still love her) in tip top shape.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My life is basically my work.
Temple Grandin

Last month Nick and I watched the HBO movie Temple Grandin. It was a fascinating look at the true story of an autistic woman during her education and professional work of animal behavior, specifically livestock.

As an animal lover myself, I just thought it was marvelous - both the topic and her! Dr. Temple Grandin in alive and well today. Her work revolutionized the livestock handling, specifically slaughter houses, and is an autism advocate. I also love Claire Danes, she is so talented!

She is also an author of numerous books. I picked up one of her books, written along with Catherine Johnson, Animals Make Us Human that had particular interest to me. It was a comprehensive look at the history and reasons behind why our dogs and cats act the way they do (there were also chapters on horses, cows and pigs).

Did you know black cats are the most affectionate? That dogs really want a parent, like wolves who live in families, not a pack leader? Or horses are prey animals (as in, things eat them - they don't hunt) so that's why they are so skittish?

Even my animal-cynical husband ("Bella can't understand you, she's a cat. A cat.") read it and really found it interesting.
So if you have HBO, make sure to watch Temple Grandin when they air it again. If you like to read, try one of her books too. I loved to broaden my perspective and hearing what a different mind has been thinking.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ooh baby, baby - can I have your tacos?
Those tacos sure look good...

the Jennifer Lopez hand, South Park

Considering I made an overly-lemony Chicken Piccata last night, I'm redeeming my wife points with tacos. Nick's very favorite dinner.

Tough, right? But still so yummy. It is definitely one of my easy dinner, comfort foods. I just buy the hard and soft shell combo kit and make it right from the box.

And, yes, I realize how much sodium that has in it. And sodium tastes is delicious. Especially on a Monday.

So instead of Taco Tuesday we'll be having Mexican Monday!

What's your favorite can't-mess-it-up dinner?

(rabbit, rabbit!)
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