Monday, October 26, 2009

O! no you di'int

OH what a weekend! It started off with heading out of work Friday to meet John for his Alumni basketball game. TONS of his friends flew in and there were 20+ alumni that came (including four that few in) for the event. All of them were either guys he played with or coached (or both) so it was the best kind of reunion. Even better was that one of the wives came too so I had a buddy to sit with (and leave early to get drinks with... what? it's a Friday!)

EARLY EARLY EARLY the next morning I raced back to KC and had I not thrown some elbows and made enemies get through the crowd to where my mom was holding my badge, I totally would've missed Nate.Ahhh... Nate. This was a random sighting outside (no cameras were allowed, but I got bolder as the day went on as EVERYONE was ignoring that rule and I knew that unlike the MJ tribute concert in Denver, I would not get kicked out).... I was so dazzled and star struck I forgot I had a real camera in my purse and preserved this precious moment with iphone. Not quite the same quality. Also I told him to say 'Cheese' and 'I love you lauren and will switch teams for you' but I don't think he heard it. Or did he?Yo Oi!

We had a session with Dr. OZ...... I just love that guy. Seriously, he's SO SMART. During the Q and A at the end, people were asking him all of these super specific questions on these medical ailments and medications the were taking. Without skipping a beat he rattled off names of studies, (including years and institutions that published them) drugs, etc. etc. Many had NOTHING to do with his specialty as a heart doctor. It amazes me that any one's brain can hold that much ready information at one time, not to mention that Dr. OZ is also a great communicator and appealing. What a guy.

We also had a session with Suze Orman. You know, I have always been kind of on the fence about her but she was awesome. Truly. Relatable, Informative, laid out steps to take, in what order for most situations. If you go to her website you can download a free kit for doing your will, etc. which is free (as opposed to roughly 2K) to have your affairs in order. That's on my agenda for this week! She was also big on 'if you believe it you can achieve it' for financial security and in life. Kind of the 'secret' philosophy that things can be a self fulfilling prophecy. She got us all inspired and charged up. I was impressed.

We also saw the clean house guy. My aunt went to his session and said it was actually pretty deep. He said that people Hoard for two reasons: 1 because they were much happier then (when they had those things, etc.) and because you think you 'might' use it again. A La Fat pants.There was also this fitness guru who guy who said to give up cardio. He said it's all about strength training. Interesting.

Also my momma got a quick foundation makeover and we picked up some sweet samples.
Then my BFF showed up. I loved her. Her big thing that was Fashion is an industry and Style is unique and personal. She was saying to always look for classics with a twist... like basics with an interesting detail in terms of color, texture, pattern, etc. She was really good. The Q and A here was good too as the women asking where and how to buy clothes were really frustrated, as many of them didn't fit the mold of clothes. Anyone who watches the show could tell you what stacy had to say to that: Fit the biggest part of you and tailor down from there. It actually seemed like a lot of the women just needed a really good super professional Bra fitting so they could finally define their waste. It made me appreciate what my momma gave me... which was easy considering she was sitting right next to me.THEN... we headed back to me casa for a cocktail party :) After a long day everyone was pretty exhausted. My aunt Anne had been traipsing about KC (farmer's market, new downtown grocery store and bakery that i love) to assemble some goodies for us for the evening... Thanks Anne!

  • Shrimp Cocktail

  • Pumpkin Dip with apple dippers and cinnamon sticks (my contribution)

  • Brie and Blue Cheese with some kind of summer sausage

  • Dill dip with veggies

  • Two kinds of bread (one white one brown, both yummy!)

  • Cheese ball with parsley

  • Marinated olives/grape tomatoes/asparagus/shrooms

  • Cut Vegetables

  • Hummus

  • Grape Leaves stuffed with rice and other goodies (what are those called, dolmans?)

spoiler alert: Emily if you're reading this, here is roughly what you can expect me to be bringing you as leftovers tonight

Then the dessert table............ happy birthday uncle greg!
  • Cream puffs with alternating mousse (compliments of my momma)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Bakery Cake!!
Of course it wouldn't be a party without a t-shirt. This came courtesy of Aunt Theresa (cookie Aunt and dog lover extraordinaire) getting some fun retrieve-for-the-cure shirts for us.
First thing the next morning we headed out for mass at the cathedral 3 blocks away................... but not before mom got stuck in the elevator of my building for 30 minutes. Oops. It's kind of an old elevator. She laughed, I laughed at her. It was good times. All in all a great weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's the Freakin' Weekend

Anyone else happily humming R. Kelly right now? I mean, I hate to quote the guy, what with him peeing on underage girls and all ... well ... and generally being a pretty creepy dude. However, he does know how to make a good weekend anthem, and those songs are just so darn catchy.

In other weekly events, my high school BFF was in town briefly for work and stayed with me. We got to chat about her wedding, reminisce, discuss the great tragedy that was the cancellation of Arrested Development, and eat. She ALSO asked me to be in her wedding in September.. whoop whoop!

So obviously, I baited her to come with promises of snacks [caution: you are about to see a bunch of pictures of food with varying degrees of orientation, lighting, and quality] . I made FAUX jalepeno poppers by cutting up green peppers, smacking (yes smacking) them with 1/3 less fat cream cheese, dunking them in an egg mix and coating them with bread crumbs. A little baking later and VWALLA... all of the gooey deliciousness of poppers without being fried (and made at home no less). I am a big fan of these. huge. We also had sweet potato fries.
Early the next morning I made my shacker a breakfast of champions. She requested real bacon... sheesh, Bridezilla. Joke's on her though, I used low sodium. mwahahahahah. I made an Egg McLauren with english muffin, tomato, spinach (okay that's the picture of mine, hers was sans vegetables), slice of cheese, poached egg, and a bit of bacon. YUM. Easy peasy and delicous.
So what's a girl to do with a bunch of Bacon lying around? Last night I tried my hand at baked potato soup. Now... I tried once last year to make a fancier version with leeks and brie. I got all my measurements mixed up (i know, knock you over with a feather) and it tasted like liquified brie. Delicous, but so rich i thought i was going to die. Of happiness, but possibly of cheese and richness. So last night's impromput soup consisted of:
  • One honking potato, cubed with skins on (why the soup is that darker dingy color)
  • 2 cups veg broth
  • 1/3 onion sauteed in bacon grease (i felt a little dirty doing it, but it smelled pretty great)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • topped with crumbled bacon (the one sauteed with the onions), cheedar, and a dollop of low fat sour cream

It rocked my socks off... but it needed sourdough bread. Yum leftovers.

SOOOOOO..... you say, what is on the agenda for the rest of the weekend? Well tonight is a big alumni/reunion/shindig of Johns. Tomorrow I will race back to KC because I have something VERY VERY exciting to attend. My friend's magazine is throwing a party...

And my boyfriend will be thereSo will my doctor...

And so will my BFF
And most importantly so will these ladies...

Who are hilarious..

My mom's sisters are AMAZING and i can't wait for them to come down to Missouri for fun and the O! you Conference that will be right HERE in KC! (um.. just a few blocks from my apartment) Can I get an Amen? Oprah here we come !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Should've been a boy scout

GOSH i like being prepared. Other than the fact I'm pretty mediocre at tying knots (and camping, woof, don't get me started on that)... I think I was pretty packed for everything for this fun filled wedding weekend. I kicked it all off with making cookies for Boss's day on Friday.

They were oatmeal raisin and I had to go downstairs to borrow brown sugar from emily (you know, just being neighborly) and then assembled the cookies. True to form, I realized two-seconds-too-late that I had forgotten an ingredient. This time around? Vanilla Extract, which only hours earlier I had John pick up at the store for me. I tell myself that I don't think it made a huge difference. My boss politely said that it didn't. John made a face. Rude.

Can I have a raise now?

Post baking I assembled the greatest last-minute-emergency kit EVER to bring to the wedding (or more specifically getting ready at the church). Why? Because I am the world's best personal attendent that's why. Tide-to-go pens, needle/thread/pins, sharpies, extra toothbrushes, oil blotting strips, scotch tape, the list goes on. Many of which came in handy, especiall the trash bags (if John tells you those were his idea, he is full of lies. Lies I tell you).

This is us at the church. Holla, loved my Banana dress and clutch. The shoes were from last summer and I heart... even though I'm still nursing the blisters (I was wearing them for nearly 12 hours) from that day
The wedding was great, I felt super useful (running around like crazy) There was a lot of laughing at the ceremony and reception, and they did a good job of making it personal, which is always wonderful. Everyone said I do, the sun was out, the beer overfloweth, and yours truley had some QT on the D floor. What more could you ask for really?

Sweet brother/sister moves:

Oh boy.

Last night after a quick grocery trip I tried my hand at making my own salsa..... NOT from a recipe. crazy. caution to the wind. flying by the seat of my pants over here. I just chopped up 1.5 tomatoes, red pepper pieces, poblano pepper pieces (mild is how i roll), red onion and poured in some lime juice, and pulsed it in the food processor. YUM. Okay it was probably a little too mild, I might add more pepper later (and I did miss the cilantro), but It made me think I have been CRAZY to be purchasing the store bought kind all of my 26 years. See ya PACE picante mild chunky vegetables. Our days are over. I am through with getting my salsa manufactured somewhere like NEW YORK CITY. (new york city?). I might even wear my cowboy boots whilst eating it next time. I'm so authentic.

Also for good measure, below is what I ate for breakfast not long ago (edit: I've had a blueberry Z bar since then... love those things)

I'm off to make more Salsa jokes to myself for the rest of the day. This weekend is John's college reunion (fun!) and then all of my aunts are in town for the OPRAH CONFERENCE!! I can barely contain my excitement. Also tonight I'm hosting my high school BFF while she's blowing in and out of town for work. Oh the excitement. Oh the joy. Oh the photos to come.

Monday, October 12, 2009

All you can eat buffets with all you can drink champagne

So after laboring all week in Vegas.... I left this 35th floor hotel room at Ceasar's Palace with a fantastic view of the Bellagio fountains... For this view.... from the fourth floor of the Mirage. Pretty sure the freeway you see in the background is higher than our room. My, my what a girl will do to get a cheap rate for a weekend trip.
Good thing I had my BFF, new FAVORITE bride to be (I am her MOH, after all), and west-coast-erner join me to do fun things which didn't include sticking around the room.

Bloggable shenanigans include scandalously jumping in to empty, unmanned (by security) fountain for photo ops. I spy.... a cocktail dress by Zeus.

And spending all day .... and afternoon, and partial evenings in the swanky pool area (i think we closed the place down, actually... notice no other pool goers).

Many sugary beverages later we did a photo shoot montage in an abandoned cabana. Good in theory.

But pretty much all looked a bit awkward.

Ahh Vegas. The crazy thing is that while there for work I had some of the most amazingly decadent and pricey meals of my life. With company Execs those are NOT kosher to be taking food photos. However by the time BFF and I were losing $30 at a time at the penny slots... we were reduced to cafeterias / room service/ and an all you can eat buffet. It was considerably less glam... except the part where the buffet served all you could drink champagne. That was pretty awesome.
Homemade food adventures coming soon.... though I must unpack first. Au Revoir.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A soulful ode to my pappa

Happy Birthday to my dad who is lucky enough to be one of my favorite people ever. And now………………… a photo montage tribute to be sung to the theme of 'Shaft' by Isaac Hayes.

Who's that mock-turtleneck man that's more fun than all the rest?


Ya damn right.

Who's the man that would risk his neck for his fellow man?


Can you dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about?


Right On!

They say this cat DAD is a bad mother


I'm talking 'bout daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad! J

Monday, October 5, 2009

Queen Alisa

Congratulations to my sister, her high school's Homecoming Queen!!

She was such a trooper in her skimpy but BEAUTIFUL BCBG dress (we picked it out together, remotely via conference call and our respective computers) and adorable shoes. It was FREEZING. I'm thinking 40-ish degrees with some seriously gruelling wind. She looked so pretty and was gracious and excited to get the crown.

Needless to say, we were pretty stoked for her. Kudos for Aunt Anne and Grandma making the trip down! Also shout out to John who drove 2.5 hours to see the last 20 minutes of the game and coronation, and then turned around and drove straight back (he late afternoon and early morning practice). What a guy.

My mom dug up my old high school homecoming crown, which obviously made for lots of fun montage pictures. Then... naturally I proceeded to wear the Tiara around the house for the weekend, as everyone should. (right Aunt Sheila and Aunt Sara? So fun)

Meanwhile my project for the weekend (while Alisa and mom were off at Senior pictures and dad was at the office) was to organize my stuff from 8 rubbermaid tubs to 4. My parents have moved a few times since my brother and I were in High School. They've always let us use their house as a storage facility (which we MUCHO appreciate, as some of our friends are not so lucky)... but because our 'rooms' aren't enshrined to us, things like yearbooks and such (that, let's face it, don't so much fit in my studio apartment that has 1.12 closets) must go somewhere. I had never cleaned out these bins and as someone who LOVES organization. I can't believe that I waited so long. Check out this beauty:
HAHAHAH.... what the heck? I blame my BFF from H.S. Amy and our love of the movie 'she's all that'.
Other treasures I found include:
  • Trays from the Panhellenic sorority house dining hall that bowler and I used for sledding, as trays at quarter draws (they made visits to the bar... until we got in trouble for that), crafting (they looked SO much better with puff paint on them) and occasionally to hold our food.
  • Love notes from junior high. Hilarious.
  • Girl Scout badges.. for camping. yeah right.
  • 293874923874982734987 newspaper clippings of us on the front page. The joys of living in a small town (cheerleading competitions, fundraisers, essay compeitions, the list goes on)
  • Old trophies from a flute competition I went to in 5th grade.
  • Old birthday cards and poems from college friends making St. Pat's special 2002-2005 :)
  • Student Council Camp pictures galore and the handbook. MASC anyone?
  • My pre-school name tag from my desk (adorable!)

    From this...........
To this... labeled and fabulous. Including one for seasonal clothes (goodbye white pants... we shall meet again after easter 2010)

Did I mention how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE going to my parent's house? It's completely in the middle of nowhere and the scenery just mellows me out. I used to not get cell service there further making it an escape (although I'm glad I have it now, how would I be able to text everyone that Alisa won otherwise!)

When I got home I had all kinds of plas for creating a Beauteous and blog-worthy meal. However tomorrow I leave for Vegas for a week so my motivation for major grocery shopping was blah at best. What to do? Obviously walk down to the bakery and have sweets for dinner instead (disclaimer I had nuts/cheese/grapes and POM juice first, healthifying things a tad).

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and congrats again to my beautiful sister (although she totally doesn't read the blog) for being the charming, smart, fun, competent, beautiful Queen that she is and making us all proud all of the time.
Happy Monday folks!