Sunday, October 31, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • leaves floating down from the trees.
  • the creative and unique Halloween costumes in the Central West End.
  • the magic of false eyelashes.
  • trick 'o treating with Winnie, she is easy to please!
  • the haunting music of "Psycho."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rambunctious, rumbustious, delinquent dogs become angelic when sitting.
Dr. Ian Dunbar

On Wednesday night Nick and I packed Winnie in the car and headed to her very first day of school. Training school, that is. The trainer and class were recommended by Winnie's foster mom from the rescue so we signed up to whip her into shape.

Okay, not really whip. More like bribe with handfuls of treats and "good girl, good girl, good girl!"

After sort of worrying that she would just be the weird kid in class howling at the wall I was relieved to be in a room with a bunch of dogs just like her! No one was terribly naughty, they all just needed to learn some manners.

So we worked on "watch" and "leave it" as well as some leash habits that prevent pulling. The trainer was great offering concise directions and using dogs as examples so you could see how the command should be done.

She did wonderful, far better than I ever imagined. What can I say, she's the smartest dog ever.

We have to practice and do homework through the next week and then we go back each Wednesday night for five more weeks. Looking forward to a Beagle who waits her turn at the back door and doesn't grab peanut butter toast from my hand.

After our class (I'm still wearing my snazzy treat apron). Winnie wants down to chase the squirrels in the parking lot. We have some work to do.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
Emma Goldman

Last summer and this summer I've tossed a few packets of Zinnia seeds into the front flower bed and just let them go to town. The grow fast and tall (about to my waist height) with plenty of friendly pink, yellow and orange blooms. I pick a few here and there for my desk at work but mostly let them hang out, cheering up the front walk.

And just like last year with one big fall thunderstorm, all their stems fall over in one fell swoop. So last night after work I went and pulled the broken stems out of the ground and salvaged all of the pretty flowers.

The arm load of flowers turned into three pretty arrangements! A low orange and yellow one for the dining room, a perfect match to all of the Halloween decor. A small mint julep cup with a few flowers for the bathroom. And a tall face of hot pinks for my desk at work.

Flowers to brighten my day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I love New Orleans physically. I love the trees
and the balmy air and the beautiful days.

Anne Rice

This past weekend I joined my mom for her birthday weekend in New Orleans. We had a lovely time being together and exploring the city, although to be honest, it wasn't my favorite place. I know people gush about loving New Orleans and there were definitely parts I enjoyed (like the Garden District) but I was surprised how, well, trashy much of the French Quarter was. Ick.

But as my grandfather used to say, "That's why there is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream." Everyone likes different things and I suppose I can't just adore every city I visit.

Either way, I loved the beautiful homes, the trolleys, Jackson Square and the French Market. I also appreciated a city that was so in love with their football team. Here in St. Louis it's all Cardinals, all the time! Here are a few favorite photos:

Waiting for a trolley near Tulane.

Fun flags and beautiful gardens in the French Quarter.

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District.

I loved that the trees along St. Charles Avenue were full of Mardi Gras beads.

Beautiful St. Louis Cathedral.

Dinner and great live jazz at Arnaud's.

Coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde (where we also saw Ali Wentworth and her husband George Stephanopoulos).

Delicious Muffulettas at their origin, the Central Grocery.

Dinner at "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" spot, Joey K's on Magazine Street.

A fun "happy birthday" face at our breakfast at Brennan's.

Monday, October 25, 2010

...may the bonds of love be
all else above
our fraternity.
Tri Delta song Alpha Theta Phi

Seven years ago today, I had the unique opportunity to be a founding member of my sorority. Even more, I was the colony president and had the honor of accepting our charter as well as the various gifts from alumnae and the foundation. We were the very first chartered Greek organization on my university's campus and I'm proud to say the chapter is still going strong.

Here's to many, many more birthdays for the Epsilon Alpha chapter of Delta Delta Delta at Florida Gulf Coast University!

Accepting the chapter president pin from the Naples alumnae president.

The chapter gavel, used at every meeting, was a gift from the Tri Delta Foundation.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • being with my mom on her birthday today in New Orleans!
  • gas lamps flickering on the front porches of homes in the Garden District.
  • salty olives on the original Muffuletta at Central Grocery.
  • "Geaux Saints" signs hanging from balconies.
  • hot beignets from a paper bag at Cafe Du Monde.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We've got heaven right here on earth
With those beautiful queens
Way down yonder in New Orleans

Louis Armstrong

Beignets at Cafe du Monde. Jazz wafting through the balconies. Ghost stories and cemetery tours. Fleur-di-lis at every turn. Bells echoing from the St. Louis Cathedral.

On my way to New Orleans for the weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Only great minds can afford a simple style.

I've been on the hunt for new ID tags for Winnie and Bella. Before, they each had pretty boring tags from the local pet store. And they didn't match each other so, of course, that bugged me!

Many custom tags are quite pricey but I found the darling Etsy store, Ao Designs. In addition to jewelry, Ashley does pretty, well-priced pet tags.

They arrived in a cute box and the tags were just as lovely as they were online. Both Winnie and Bella told me they really like their new accessory on their red leather collars.

And certainly appreciate that they now match. Of course.

Pretty packaging.

Bella and Winnie's new tags (number blurred out for privacy)

Winnie loves her styling new tag!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Our body is a vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.

This week is Fat Talk Free Week, an initiative started by Tri Delta. The video below was originally posted two years ago but I still just love its impact. Think of the amazing difference that could be made if we changed the conversation about body image.

Take time this week to stop and focus on your inner dialogue. Share with a friend and promote this inspiring program!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • sun shining and windows open on this glorious morning!
  • four days until New Orleans with mom!
  • the new "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" - delightfully ridiculous.
  • red and orange leaves piled on the sidewalks.
  • fresh cut Zinnias from my garden on my desk at work.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace,
as I have seen in one autumnal face.
John Donne

Do you feel that?

Cool temps in the sixties, brilliant fall leaves and the smell of smoke in the air.

It's feels like fall.


Winnie is happy it feels like fall.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

Considering it is now official the actual month of Halloween, I found it appropriate to pull out my decorations. Although the Christmas aisles in Hobby Lobby make me happy, goodness gracious, it's two months away! One holiday at a time to relish and enjoy, thankyouverymuch.

I don't go too overboard with Halloween decor, but it's fun to have little touches here and there. I love to light all of the candles at night and enjoy the glow. Now if it would just be fall weather outside to match my cozy house inside, I'd be a happy girl!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday, using my ever trusty buy one, get one admission free Groupon I headed out with my friend Sarah to Eckert's in Millstadt, Illinois. I've always heard of Eckert's and purchase their produce, canned foods and fresh eggs at the Kirkwood Farmers Market but I'd never ventured over to "the other side of the river" to visit.

In the fall, their Millstadt location (one of three) is a big, fun fall festival with rides, a petting zoo, games and, of course, plenty of pumpkins! Another fun part, and something that you don't find in Florida, were the apple orchards. I'd never picked an apple, and really, I don't think I've ever seen an apple tree in real life. We took the tracker out to the orchard and picked a bag, then headed to the pumpkin patch from there. A few pumpkins, some fresh cider and homemade kettle corn in our wagon and we were out of there.

It was hot, not fall whether at all, but fun! I can't wait to carve my pumpkins with a few ideas I have up my sleeve.

Golden Delicious apples in the orchard.

With Sarah and our fresh picked Fugi apples.

Claiming a pumpkin. But really, we didn't want to haul it back on the tractor so we left them in the field and bought them at the store near the exit gate.

View from the look out (you can see the tractor we rode heading out to the orchards and fields) - in the distance you can see downtown St. Louis and the Arch.

With my pile 'o pumpkins.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • the amazing race footage in Secretariat.
  • blazing orange and red fall leaves.
  • rounded doors and door frames in old houses.
  • The Wedding Planner on cable. It never gets old.
  • white pumpkins.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Treat a horse like a woman and a woman like a horse.
And they'll both win for you.

Elizabeth Arden

It's not secret that other than baseball, golf and, well, me my husband's other love and passion is thoroughbred horse racing.

I actually don't remember it starting but it is a fairly recent development, at least since we've been together. I actually have a hard time following him handicapping races from The Daily Racing Form, reviewing his strategy and placing bets. Think the stock market. There is just so much statistical evidence that goes into why a horse wins or loses. And he understands it.

I, on the other hand, pick a horse to win because their silks are pretty or I like the horse's name. I also bet on horses jockeyed by Mike Smith or owned by Maggie Moss. I guess I'm learning but it's still way over my head.

Literally every trip I've been on in the last few years have been based around a visit to the local track. My friend Ashley's husband CJ has a goal of visiting every major league baseball park in the country. Nick's goal is similar: go to every major race track.

Pacific Classic at Del Mar in San Diego

Breeder's Cup at Santa Anita in Los Angeles

Arlington Park in Chicago

Churchill Downs in Louisiville

Phew. That makes me tired.

But I do love the history of the sport, it's epic stories and wins, the passion, traditions and dedication of everyone involved.

So this all leads to tonight because we're going to the first movie we've seen in over six months. We have an insane cable package so we just never go to movies. Seriously, the last movie we saw was Hot Tub Time Machine. That proves my point.

Today, the (what I think is going to be brilliant) Secretariat opens. We'll be there and for once at a race track, I won't have to bring a book.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I don't know if I want to go to New York. They'll have to pay me a lot more money because I like it here in Kansas City.
Roger Maris

This past weekend Nick and I drove across the state to spend 24 hours in Kansas City with Ashley and CJ. They swung through in between work trips to catch their favorite team, the Tampa Bay Rays, play the Kansas City Royals. We always have so much fun together and this time was no different!

With Ashley at the hotel before the game.

Great seats at Kauffman Stadium.

With my favorite baseball fan (wearing my baseball watching glasses - I can SEE!)

With Ashley and CJ after the game.

On Sunday we visited beautiful Country Club Plaza.

Delicious BBQ at Fiorella's Jack Stack.

As a transplanted Missourian, I had never spent time in Kansas City and I really loved it! The game was great in the beautiful stadium and I was so impressed with Country Club Plaza and the surrounding areas. It wasn't at all as I pictured. Thanks Kansas City for a lovely 24 hours with three of my favorite people!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Way down yonder in New Orleans
In the land of dreamy scenes
There's a garden of Eden
You know what I mean.
Louis Armstrong

According to my mother and my dear friend Melissa, October is simply the best.month.ever. They are October birthday babies, one day a part in fact, so they relish their favorite month in celebration. And considering they are two of my favorite people in the world, I say, celebrate on.

In a few weeks, my mom and I are heading to New Orleans for her birthday weekend. Last year, you may remember, we went to Chicago. Since we had so much fun, we thought it would be best for everyone involved (well, that's just us) to do it again. Growing up we traveled a lot and were always non-repeat travelers seeing new places with each trip.

Thinking of cities I've never been to, and ones my mom hasn't been to in years, New Orleans topped the list. We're staying in the French Quarter, taking a Garden District Tour (complete with cemetery visits), seeing Tulane, going church on Sunday at The Saint Louis Cathedral, walking, shopping and eating! We also may visit the Audubon Nature Insitute.

Any favorite stops or sights you have in New Orleans?

Rabbit, rabbit!
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