Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happiness pulses with every beat of my heart.
Terri Guillemets

Five full days at a beautiful resort in Orlando, Florida + my mom + the 2010 Tri Delta Convention = a happy, happy girl!

Can't wait to get away from work and life, spend time with my mom while enjoying Convention slathered in pansies and pearls.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • a snoring Beagle.
  • the corner pieces of an Imo's Deluxe pizza.
  • three days until Tri Delta convention + mom in Orlando.
  • opening a fresh container of half & half.
  • my new stainless steel trash can.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook
can play each time with a variation.

Madam Benoit

With this brutal weather the very last thing I want to do after running a Beagle around the block is cook a "good hot dinner." Ew.

But most of my usual recipes are on the grill or casseroles in the oven. I just couldn't take it anymore so I went digging around in other cookbooks and recipes I had on file. When I opened the cute recipe book Casey gave me at my bridal shower full of guests' recipes, I thought, "Lucy's Chicken!"

I believe the original name was Bistro Chicken but since Lucy, a high school youth group friend, has shared it many times it has become Lucy's Chicken. I had always heard how simple and yummy it was but has never tried it.

It didn't disappoint! Easy to make, filling enough for dinner, light and fresh for summer too.

Enjoy this great summer dinner and thank Lucy!

Lucy's Chicken
1/2 box of pasta (any kind - I used whole wheat rotini)
2 Chicken breasts
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 small tub feta cheese
1/4 cup Caesar salad dressing
1 small hand full chopped fresh basil

The recipe I had also included 1 can black olives which I omitted because I don't like them and chopped broccoli florets which I didn't have on hand. You can add or remove anything you'd like! You could grill the chicken instead of sauteing it like I did, add another veggie or use another type of salad dressing (Casey used honey mustard).

Cook pasta as directed, drain and cool.
Dice chicken, toss in a bit of flour, salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil and a bit of garlic in a pan.
Saute chicken until cooked. Move to plate to cool.

Toss pasta, chicken, feta, tomatoes and salad dressing together until coated. Serve room temperature or cold.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Russel Baker

My mom told me that when my grandmother was young, in the mid-1920s, she came to do modeling work in the summer in St. Louis. Obviously, there was no air conditioning so she used to put all of her sheets in a tub of cold water and then wrap herself in them to sleep.

This was the temperature on my back porch at 10:30 p.m. last night.

Oof, it is hot. I'm seriously considering wrapping myself in wet sheets!

I'm used to hot weather having grown up in Florida. Even hotter than my hometown, Sarasota, was the Fort Myers/Naples area where I lived for seven years. I clearly remember July days where the asphalt was actually squishing underneath my flip flops in the Target parking lot.

It's not to say St. Louis is any hotter than that but it still amazes me that six months ago there was snow on the ground. Now it's just as hot as an area of Florida that never sees those cold temperatures.

So that's my plan - sheets, cool water and a snugly Beagle.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon...
the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

We had a relaxing weekend here in St. Louis. Good Lord, it was bloody hot but still great to ring in summer!

On Thursday, we enjoyed one of the many free outdoor concerts. I went with my friend Laura and then Nick and Winnie joined us. She was the star of the show, all the kids were petting her and she loved it. It's nice to have a chill dog that doesn't mind all of the noise.

Saturday morning Winnie and I headed to Forest Park for a long walk. We did a big loop in about an hour on some nice shaded walking paths. We took a halfway break at the base of Art Hill.

After that hot and sweaty walk, naps for everyone (with selected toys of course).

On Sunday, Nick and I headed to Circus Flora for the evening show. St. Louis is only one of three cities in the country with its very own circus. How lucky are we?! It is a great time and if you live in St. Louis, don't miss it. It runs through June 27 and you can by tickets here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • my wonderful father, who I called Papa (even though he isn't here with me anymore!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
Rosemonde Gerard

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

The day we were engaged was a pretty wonderful day to begin with. December 30, 2007 was by 25th birthday and I was hosting a little party (if you're not going to throw yourself and party, who will?). So I spent the morning at my mom's house out of town and enjoyed breakfast and presents.

I headed back to my home in the early afternoon to buzz around to prepare stuff for the party. Nick arrived around 3 p.m. and then good friends from out of town arrived at 5 p.m. Lots of yummy food and good conversation.

At about 8 p.m. Ashley (in the tan jacket above) made this big fuss about having me blow out the candles on my cake and everyone sing happy birthday. So she shuffled me around the other side of the kitchen to, as I later see was so obvious, to set me up in a good position. I found out later that Nick had pulled aside both Ashley and Casey (in the cranberry v-neck sweater) to let them know. They were both in tears and so happy... but composed themselves very well around me!

All of a sudden Nick grabbed my hand and got everyone's attention that he had an announcment. I still had no idea. I didn't understand what he was doing...

He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I love my friend my friend's face behind us the whole time. Everyone was so surprised!

Putting the ring on my finger...

Lots of kisses and hugs...

We're engaged!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.
Frank Borman

One of my favorite parts about living in a new-to-me city is having the chance to explore new events and try out new things. Even though I've been here for about a year and a half, there is still so much I haven't done!

Yesterday even, Nick was dragged joined me for a trip to the Maplewood Farmers Market which is held through the summer on Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Schafly Bottleworks parking lot. I've always heard it was a good one and while I loved the atmosphere (lots of people, dogs and live music from the patio) I was disappointed in the offerings. A few too many radish shoots and beets for my liking. They did have a few vendors with great meat selections but we didn't really need anything. Oh well, I got a great rosemary baguette from Black Bear Bakery.

After we went (for the second time this week!) to The Village Bar for seriously the best hamburgers and handmade onion rings I've had in a while. Cheap and so delicious.

Overall a fun, Wednesday night exploration (but we came home to a Beagle that really had to go tink!).

Monday, June 14, 2010

With the exception of women, there is nothing on earth
so agreeable or necessary to the comfort of man as the dog.

Edward Jesse

One of my St. Louis blog friends, Angie, came over on Friday night for a quick visit to meet Winnie and graciously take pictures of her for me.

We were a sight in the back yard: her baby Nick strapped to her with a sling while she handled her big camera, me with a feisty Beagle sniffing and pulling around.

But she still got some great shots, thanks Angie!

Protector of the universe backyard

Sweetie Pie

Gets away with murder.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • a warm, night with a yard full of fireflies.
  • how one little rabbit can make one little Beagle SO excited.
  • seeing pictures of little Eli!
  • 16 days until Tri Delta Convention in Orlando!
  • a big vase of Sunflowers on the coffee table.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's a wise husband who will buy his wife such
fine china that she won't trust him to wash the dishes.

Honore de Balzac

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

I chose not to register for fine china when we got married and although it sounds silly, I regret it so much! My mom has a lot of patterns that I thought I'd use but now I just wish I had picked one from the beginning to get a start with on my own.

We did register for lovely everyday china from Crate & Barrel that is nice enough to set a table with my silver for a special meal. The pattern is Staccato and we have 10 full place settings in white and a few matching serving platters that I use often.

I do, however, plan on selecting a pattern and just start building it through the upcoming years (a plate for Christmas! a bowl for my birthday!). By the time I'm 80 I should finally have a beautiful set of fine china!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational
act that two people in love can commit.

Bill Cosby

Congrats to my oldest friend, Casey, and her husband James on the birth of their first child Elijah James!

7 lbs., 5 oz. born at 6:27 p.m. on June 9

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance.
Sarah Ida Shaw, founder of Delta Delta Delta

My dear friend Melissa's mother once told me that one way to enjoy the regular ins-and-outs of life is to always have something to look forward to. Whether it's a trip, an out of town guest visiting or a great concert coming up I always remember that having that next thing always makes daily life fun.

The next thing that I'm looking forward to (Winnie was my last "milestone!") is the Tri Delta National Convention in Orlando on July 4th weekend - my mom is coming up from Sarasota to join me! I'm the official delegate from St. Louis so in addition to the meetings and voting we'll be able to take in the fabulous resort location and even a fun night at Sea World.

This will be my third Tri Delta Convention and it is always such a delightful time slathered in pansies, pearls and Delta Love!

San Antonio 2004 (delegate as my chapter's president)

Los Angeles 2006 (delegate from Naples Area Alumnae Chapter)

Monday, June 7, 2010

A man's soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog.
Charles Doran

Officially announcing the newest addition to our family, Winnie!

Relaxing in her new home.

I didn't want to jinx it so I didn't mention it earlier but we picked her up on Saturday from a local rescue. She is three years old and was rescued six months ago from a home that had her on a chain outside and starved her down to just 12 pounds.

(Her foster mom gave me the photos from when she received her so I'll post them sometime. A nice little "those people should rot in hell" reminder and a wonderful testament to the good work that animal shelters and rescues do everyday.)

Anyway, she's here and happy! We introduced her and Bella this evening and it really went well. Bella is quick enough to jump on the mantel or slip under the bed and Winnie has generally left her alone. Curious, but not entirely interested. When I get worried, Winnie looks at me as if to say, "Uh, she's just a cat!"

So I finally have a little dog of my own. What fun we will have!

Our first picture together when we picked her up.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one.
Elbert Hubbard

We had a great and busy Memorial Day weekend here in St. Louis and on our little trip to Louisville, Kentucky.

Nick's mom and dad stopped in for two nights on their way back from Florida. I took them to Schafly on Saturday for the World Porksteak Championship. Needless to say, it was delicious! Then we headed out to Nick's club because they wanted to try out some new golf stuff. They practiced, I relaxed in the Adirondack Chairs on the driving range! That night we enjoyed dinner together on The Hill at Cunnetto House of Pasta.

On Sunday, they headed out and we left for Louisville. It was a rare day to have Nick off on Memorial Day so we took advantage of the time. We spent Monday at Churchill and got an awesome backstretch tour from horse trainer, Tom Amoss. We also had the chance to watch the horses saddled in the paddock and even stand in the winner's circle. Nick was in horse-heaven!

Tom Amoss' barn on the backstrech

Watching the morning workouts.

Race 4 winner (and Tom's horse!) Alicia's Pretty Boy.

In the winner's circle - fun!

With jockey Miguel Mena.

I wanted all of the hanging planters but did get to snag the centerpiece from our table!

With the famous Twin Spires.
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