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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Playing Along: Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day Challenge #2

2. Lunchtime

I drive home every workday to let my Chloe out and have lunch.  Today, I ate leftovers from last night's spaghetti squash and roasted vegetable dinner and drank LaCroix Coconut sparkling water.  I finished listening to the Sound Opinions podcast that I began this morning.  I really love lunch!

Playing Along: Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day Challenge #1

1. Where I Stood

Last night I stood in the kitchen with these beautiful squash.  I made spaghetti squash topped with marinara sauce and roasted vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, garlic, a little yellow pepper)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Playing Along: Photo A Day October with Fat Mum Slim

Going to revive the blog a bit by playing along with the blog Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day October!  I especially enjoy her guidelines, including this one:

My dog was sick. I lost my iPhone charger. And I forgot to take a photo yesterday. What do I do now? Am I failure?

Never. Photo a day is all about having fun. So you skipped a day, so what? It doesn’t mean you have to fall off the photo-a-day bandwagon completely. You can either just pretend yesterday didn’t happen, or you can take two photos in one day. If you skipped a whole week, then just decide whether you want to make up some days or just start on the current day. Remember, there are no rules. By the way, I hope your dog gets better.

Those are rules I can play by!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

mother IS the bride

My mom is getting married.  So, I did what I do and threw a party.  I also did what I do and researched bridal shower etiquette, especially concerning having a shower for someone who may have already had another wedding to another person at another time.  I wanted to specifically find other people who had thrown a shower for their mothers where the point of the shower was not necessarily to shower the bride-to-be with gifts to set up her new home or with advice on marriage, but to shower her with love and excitement for her upcoming wedding!  Typing "mother is the bride" into a search engine will produce pages and pages of "mother of the bride" results.  Note to Google - had I wanted to search "of" I would have typed "of", "of" is not "is".  The next search of "throwing wedding shower for mom" was also fruitless. So, I forged ahead without the advice of any blogger or wedding shower website (how very 1990 of me!)  Being a fan of killing multiple birds with a single stone, the "Bridal Luncheon"  was scheduled for my mom's birthday.  (Please know that no birds were actually harmed or killed due to this party.  Although not a huge fan of birds, I do not advocate or condone mistreatment of birds.)  Anyway, enough of my blah, blah.  The remainder of this post is dedicated to documenting the event, if for nothing else, for posterity's sake. 

Event Location: Under a tent, in the backyard at my grandparents' home.  (Want to talk about childhood memories?  This backyard and I go back, way back.)

Guest List: A various assortment of friends and family.

Decor: The big tissue paper flower - aren't these a standard staple of any DIY party these days?

Very faux milk glass vases, from the genius P.S. - I made this with very faux flowers inspired by junk I had that needed a new life (a broken burlap purse, wine cork, scraps of Kraft paper, yarn), The Ikea TEKLA dish towel was folded and pressed to make a lovely little napkin. 

The table setting also included china that has been passed down and around in the family and just happened to, completely intentionally, coordinated with my dress.

Menu: Grandma's Christmas Punch (no recipe, Grandma just throws some clear soda pop in a punch bowl with pink sorbet, and we typically only have this at Christmastime)

Tortilla chip cups with a dollop of Mrs. Renfro's mango salsa for a starter.

Apricot Glazed Pulled Pork Tacos (originally from Real Simple Magazine-minus the cilantro because my mom does not care for cilantro.  Had I made it for anyone else there would be cilantro, lots of it!)
Watermelon Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing and Gorgonzola Cheese. ( I can't find the original source for this recipe, but essentially it consists of salad greens tossed with a reduction of 1/3 C balsamic vinager and 1 TBS honey, I prefer goat cheese on it, but apparently Owens in Warsaw, IN does not believe in carrying goat cheese, and cubed watermelon - tossed on at the very last minute because nobody likes watery salad!  Nobody.)

This sad looking 'ombre' cake. It did not look quite as sad pre-cut.  As this was my first attempt at an ombre cake and it was made at 1 a.m., I am not going to beat myself up over it.  The idea is to have one cup of white cake batter for each layer and add a bit more coloring to each layer.  This cake barely looks ombre, but tasted mighty sweet!

Also, my brother's girlfriend brought a sweet treat that had a graham cracker base, pineapple, cream cheese, whipped cream, and I'm sure some other stuff in it. 

Favors: On principal, I am against favors at an adult party UNLESS they are edible!  I packaged these little dress cookies for our guests. 

What's that?  You wanted to see an adorable dog picture, real quick,  before the end of this post?  Ok.  This was Chloe, the night before the party.  I told her it was time to go to bed, so while I went and got ready for bed, she apparently made herself quite comfortable. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Glarus, WI....More Than Just Beer!

Who knew that New Glarus, famous for the cult favorite brew Spotted Cow, had so much charm?  Certainly not this girl.  Our day trip started with breakfast at a beautiful dairy farm. The farm breakfast was an event sponsored by the county Agricultural Department and part of Wisconsin's Dairy Days of Summer

While touring the farm, I met a chicken who I promptly named Collin.  I deemed that Collin had a pretty good life and at least one buddy.   (So, I live for a good opportunity to make a Portlandia reference! Here is a YouTube video of the Portlandia - Is it Local? which will make the naming of this chicken seem less random and more "normal"!)

Of course, we toured the New Glarus brewery and enjoyed some brews in the sunshine (current favorites are Totally Naked, Dancing Man Wheat, and Wisconsin Belgian Red).  The brewery is worth the trip to New Glarus, especially if you like the beer and you live out of state because you can't get it anywhere but here!  They like to play hard-to-get, and it seems like it works out alright for them. 

The second highlight of the trip to New Glarus, however, was the completely charming Old World Swiss town of New Glarus and our tour of the historic Swiss Village.  

The School house-I liked to imagine all of the bored little eyes that have stared out those windows over the years.

Always useful-the fire department and a mustache cup!

We ended the day strolling the downtown area of New Glarus and admired the Swiss Chalet style architecture and the completely inexpensive New Glarus beer on tap.  Seriously, when I asked for the bill for our mid-day beer break and saw that the total was $7.50, I told the bar tender that I would like to pay for both.  He was humored by, what I am sure was the confusion on my face, and proudly told me that $7.50 was the total for both.  Nice work New Glarus! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's My Favorite, Because I Like It: Indianapolis
I am ambitiously calling this post the first in a series of It's My Favorite, Because I Like It lists.  "It's my favorite because I like it" is a phrase that I came to enjoy using while working at Misericordia Home, a campus that serves people with developmental disabilities.  I would have conversations with a friend of mine, who lives there, that went like this: "Frances, I like Coke."  "Why do you like Coke?"  "Because it is my favorite."  "Why is it your favorite?" "Because I like it!"  This is logic I can really get behind.  Therefore, I bring you five things that I really like in Indianapolis.

1. My Friends and Family   Too obvious? It is great to see them and I am always reminded that I don't see them enough!  Moving on.

2. 92.3 WTTS  This is hands-down my favorite radio station of all time. The station's self-description of "World Class Rock" pretty much sums it up.  After moving from Indianapolis, I missed this station so much that I have streamed it live on my computer everywhere I have lived since (a little less while in Chicago because WXRT was a real close second).  Thankfully, "they have an ap for that," and I can listen to it in my car too!  "No Woman No Cry" was the first song I heard on WTTS and I was hooked after that.  I like that this station plays bands that I literally never hear anywhere else.

3. The Fountain Square Neighborhood  On my most recent trip to Indianapolis, I stopped in Fountain Square for a little walk.  As I walked down the street, A guy in a V-neck t-shirt and a Kip Dynamite mustache walked toward me, and it hit me - Fountain Square is now hip!  Turning the corner, the words "Fresh!" and "Local!" beamed out from the window across the street.  Holy hipster. Next, I stumbled upon New Day Meadery.  If you are in the area, do yourself a favor and stop in for a honey cider tasting. Other little gems in and near the neighborhood are Garfield Park, Radio, Radio (where I saw the band Low Millions after hearing them on WTTS, see #2), and the Indianapolis Downtown Antique Mall (where I bought the suitcase that is now the suitcase table I have had in every apartment since!)

4. The Mini  Sure, the race has a big long sponsor name, but to most people it is just known as The Mini.  Seriously though, there is nothing mini about running 13.1 miles!  Running around the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite part of the race.  This year, as I entered the track, the Beastie Boys "Intergalactic" was playing (RIP MCA) and it was all very emotional.  This year was my cousin's first Mini and that picture above is us after the race!

5. The University of Indianapolis  Lots of love to my alma mater!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Coming Soon!

I recently moved away from my Sweet Home Chicago.  I joined my man in Madison where he is pursuing his dream and opening a restaurant.  
Corey and Chloe
He will soon be slinging sandwiches to Madison from the newest location of Erbert and Gerbert's.  You haven't heard of Erbert and Gerbert's?  Neither had I. It is a small company based in Wisconsin and apparently serves sandwiches that makes Wisconsin-ites (ers?) very happy.  The lit up eyes and excitement in the voices of the people that I tell about this newest location are the proof that I am basing this assumption on.  Construction is well on the way, but I took some shots of the spot for a little preview.  You can join Erbert and Gerbert's Flavor Nation on Facebook, of course.  
Miss Chloe kicking it in the sun
Can you see what street the shop is on?!  That's right, they even spelled my name correctly.