Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Morning walk

Every morning I enjoy getting fresh air, whether it be from walking or running. Paco loves it, too! It helps us wake up and enjoy the beginning of our day. What do you do to wake up in the morning?


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Monday, August 30, 2010

PSA

If you make a smoothies on Thursday night and try to eat it on Monday morning, it will be nasty.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ugh.

Yesterday I was having a funk day. Everything was just blah, my mood was not very great, and I felt like I had a scowl on my face most of the day.

Until....

I came home...

and could fit into my skinny pair of jeans!!!


I celebrated by eating popcorn and sweet tarts at the Starlight Theater. Ha.


What gets you out of your funk?

New Song

Yeah, I don't know why I like this, either:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Raise the eyebrow

My hair stylist told me to grow out my eyebrows. "STOP plucking!" he freaked. But how can I stop?

Let me tell you, growing the brows in is painful. There are so. many. messy. hairs. AND mysteriously, blond hairs have begun to grow where I used to have brown hairs.

Tell me, do you have any tips?

Take me out to the ball game

My brother came to visit last week. There is no other fun like little brother fun! We indulged in tasty nachos before the game and then ate wayyyyyy too many ballpark treats during the game. But hey, that's why the Seventh Inning Stretch was invented, right?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To Run or Not to Run?

...that is the question. I am trying to decide whether or not I should run a half marathon later this fall. The problem is time...there is no time to do everything, and running takes training.
Source

Hmmm....but maybe it would be perfect excuse to buy these...

Weekend fun

This weekend David's family came to visit. On Friday evening we enjoyed a nice feast of kabobs, potato casserole, and salad. On Saturday, we had an almost exact repeat of my Saturday with my mom, because we went to City Market and to The Farmhouse. I love the Farmhouse food so very much. I tried a farmer greens salad this time and it lived up to my expectations!

We rode the little train with the kids on Saturday at City Market. It was a lot of fun.

And no, I am not sure why my hair looks like this:

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David's mom is behind me with our niece Allie. I am with Noah:

That evening we went to R.C.'s Restaurant and Lounge. The house specialty is fried chicken, so everybody feasted on delicious chicken and sides like green beans, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and gravy. R.C.'s was good, but I would not pick it again just because I don't get into fried chicken very much. However, it is definitely worth a try because everybody else in my party was raving about it!

R.C.'s Restaurant and Lounge
330 East 135th Street, Kansas City -
(816) 942-4202

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Sunday

David's family came to visit this weekend, and too much fun makes us pooped, so all day yesterday we did a lot of this:


And got a bit of this:Source

And watched this:
Source

Which, by the way, may be one of the most interesting movies I've seen all year. You should go watch it.

What is your Sunday routine?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Etiquette and good manners

Etiquette was very important in my household in my youth. At supper with my parents, I was expected to show good table manners. No chewing with your mouth open. No talking with food in your mouth. Say "please" and "thank you". If an adult is speaking never, ever interrupt them. You must ask to be excused in order to leave the table. You may not get up from the table until your food is finished.

I even remember eating crackers at the baby table with my brother and crunching them with my mouth open. With every crunch, my parents would yell from a different room, "Abbie, stop chewing with your mouth open!!!!" How did they know what I was doing? How did they even hear what was happening? How did they know that it was not my brother? I could not have been older than six years old.

As I grow older, I admit that sometimes my manners slip. It is so easy to allow yourself to not have good manners when your parents are not listening to you in a different room! My worst is having good manners when it is just me and David in the house. I should not allow myself to do this, though: out of anybody, I should want to show off my good manners to my husband!

One of the lessons my parents taught me was to treat others as you wish to be treated. This involves treating everybody with respect: including the person checking you out in the grocery store, your boss, or your husband. I hope that David and I can pass on good manners to our children. Good manners is such an important and valuable thing to learn...and like anything else, it is easier to learn when you are a child.

I thought of this topic after reading the post "Using Kind Words in an Unkind World!" This post serves as a little reminder of words we can use to have better manners. What are the worst etiquette gaffes you see today?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baby name map

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Disclaimer: I AM NOT PREGNANT.

This is a really cool Map that I saw over on Geek in Heels. By the way, interestingly enough, excluding family, I believe that blog is the only blog that both my husband and I read.

Anyway, I found the map to be very interesting. How is William in the top 5 boys' names (well, for Missouri and Kansas at least)? I am happy to report that my favorite girl name, Apollonia, is nowhere to be found on the list.


I'm just kidding. I wouldn't really name a kid that name. But it is pretty, right?

My name is not very common for people my age, but it is becoming more and more common for young babies to be named a variation of my name. I think that when we have kids, we will probably choose more traditional names that may not be popular at the moment, but are beautiful and timeless. Oh wait, does everybody say that? Haha.

Is your name really common? Was it common when you were born? Are you sad that you have a common name if you do, or did you not mind having 5 other people in your class with the same name because it at least meant that you never went through the awkward stages of saying, "well, actually, it is spelled this way..." If your name is unique, do you wish you had a more common name?

Yogaing


Source
I am still loving Bikram yoga. For the past two weeks, I've been going three times a week. It feels so good for my body and I feel like it is keeping me active and helping me slim down a bit.

My favorite pose is probably number 23. My least favorites are numbers 8 and 9.

Have you ever tried an exercise that just clicked with your body?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lidia's KC and Grunauer

My dad's birthday was this weekend (happy late birthday, Dad!) and he has wanted to try Lidia's, an Italian place here in Kansas City, since we moved here. I inherited my love of cooking and food from my father, and he loves to watch Lidia's show on PBS. Since it was his birthday, I figured that it would be a great time to try it out, which is how on Saturday evening we found ourselves at Kansas City Freight House.

We met my aunt and uncle for supper but were a bit early, so we decided to grab a drink at Grunauer, an Austrian and German restaurant. I have been there once before with David's work for happy hour and remember the food being delicious. We decided to try it the next time my parents visited because as we sat there sipping away, the waiters brought wiener schnitzel to tables, which looked and smelled so good. My dad ordered quite possibly the best beer I've sampled in the United States, which was, of course, imported from Germany.

After enjoying our drinks and the smell of the delicious food, we walked over to Lidia's.

Lidia's was also amazing. I ordered the Lobster Risotto, which was loaded with lobster and fresh tomatoes. David ordered the pasta trio, a group of three pastas that were brought to your table. Overall, Lidia's was very good and the atmosphere was great. If you love Lidia or just love Italian food, I would definitely give it a try.

Lidia's KC
http://www.lidias-kc.com/

Grunauer
http://www.grunauerkc.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

....and the end of my flowers

I came home today to find my beautiful bouquet of flowers trashed on the living room carpet, pollen everywhere, and water dripping into the carpet. Seriously, people, these animals have officially taken over our house.

City Market

My parents came to visit this weekend, which was a wonderful time. I really enjoyed their visit and enjoyed showing them my favorite places around the city. On Friday evening we all enjoyed hanging out at our house and ate a bit of Mexican food that I made.

On Saturday morning, the boys went to play golf, while my mom and I drove to the City Market, a fabulous farmers' market. I had heard that the market is amazing from David's aunt, who said that she loved to buy fresh spices there. However, her description did not fully prepare me for all the fun we had. First of all, River Market is a great neighborhood in Kansas City and my mom and I enjoyed exploring the area. When we entered the City Market, we were greeted by the sights and sounds of many different vendors, offering samples of their fresh produce.

After walking around a bit, we decided to grab an early lunch. I wanted to try The Farmhouse because I heard that it is amazing. The food did not disappoint. I had a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, which was so tasty. The tomato was so fresh and I loved the bacon. My mom had an equally delicious-looking salad.


The Cardinals fan outside the Farmhouse

After enjoying our lunch, we went back into The City Market and picked up some fresh fruits and vegetables. All morning, I noticed people walking around with gorgeous bouquets made up of so many different flowers. Of course, I wanted one. The line was ridiculously long, but I stood in it and custom-ordered my flowers. Here are the stand workers putting the bouquets together:


And my finished product:
Guess how much I paid for this....$6. Yep, I got about double the amount of flowers I would have received had I bought the same thing at a discount grocery store.

The market had other equally awesome deals...5 oranges for $1...7 limes for $1...I bought lots of peaches and tomatoes.

Before we left, we could not resist popping into Baby Cakes and picking up a bunch of tasty cupcakes for dessert after dinner.

If you head to the City Market, you will most likely see me there! I loved it!

The City Market
Farmers' Market
6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Every Saturday
7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Every Sunday

The Farmhouse
http://www.eatatthefarmhouse.com/

Baby Cakes
http://www.babycakeskc.com/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Decorating advice

I want to spend some time decorating our new house. When we moved into it, the house was decorated so cutely and had wonderful paint colors and furniture to go with it. However, I feel that once the old owners moved their furniture out and we moved our furniture in, something does not work. Specifically I want to paint a bathroom, our living room and dining room, and the basement. Of course I will update on the status of the projects, but do you all have any decorating advice or favorite decorating blogs I can consult?

I thought about hiring a decorator, but 1. I didn't want to spend the money on it right now and 2. I actually enjoy decorating, so I don't think we will go that route.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Soundtrack of your life

Today some guys on the radio were talking about soundtracks that they love. One of the announcers reminisced about how he would sit and listen to a soundtrack to a movie (of which I had never heard) over and over in his room when he was younger. Their conversation made me think of my favorite soundtracks. When thinking of your favorite soundtrack, you must remember that the movie itself does not necessarily have to be good, but the soundtrack must be awesome. Also, I think that a rule should be that the soundtrack cannot include musicals or instrumental pieces only. We all have favorite records, so it was fun to think of my favorite soundtracks for a change. Here's my list:

1. Almost Famous soundtrackSource
First of all, you must see this movie. It is awesome. I used to just adore this movie when I was in high school. The movie follows a young genius who writes for Rolling Stone as he trails a rock band in the early 1970s. I believe that the movie is based on Cameron Crowe's own experiences. He certainly made the soundtrack wonderful. I especially love "I've Seen All Good People: Your Move" by Yes, "Feel Flows" by the Beach Boys (definitely the best Beach Boys song), "America" by Simon and Garfunkel and "Sparks" by The Who. Who can resist a hippie soundtrack that includes The Who? Definitely not me, and "Sparks" is such an awesome song. I also love "Every Picture Tells a Story" by Rod Stewart and "Something in the Air" by Thunderclap Newman.
This soundtrack brings me to my high school days when I was definitely more of a hippie when I used to do things like paint my own clothes (oh yes, that is another post for another time). You must listen to this soundtrack.

2. Into the Wild Soundtrack

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Sigh, again, this movie is amazing. I love it. The movie itself tells the story of a guy who decides to give away all of his money and live on the fly. He ends up in Alaska where he tries to survive in the wilderness on his own. The soundtrack is even more amazing because Eddie Vedder composed and performed the entire thing by himself. Eddie Vedder is an amazing artist, but I think that this soundtrack is my favorite of all of his work. The entire soundtrack is so calming and thought-provoking. I love "Guaranteed", "Hard Sun", and "Society". This soundtrack makes me want to do something creative, like paint a picture.

3. The Royal TenenbaumsSource
This movie soundtrack could be included in this post solely because of the fact that it includes "These Days" by Nico, easily one of my top five songs of all time. I don't really prefer the instrumental songs on this album, but I love the various artist songs. Overall, a solid soundtrack.

4. Garden State Soundtrack


Source

Let me clarify: I think that I am the only person in my generation who does not like this movie. I saw it once and thought it was awful. Maybe I should watch it again, but I doubt I will think it is much better. At any rate, I can still appreciate the great soundtrack despite my bias against the movie. "New Slang" is a great song that I love and used to enjoy almost every day during college. "Blue Eyes" always makes me think of my husband (he has amazingly gorgeous blue eyes), and in general the soundtrack reminds me of the time in college when I was first falling in love with the love of my life. It takes me back to when I spent the summers at school, working, having fun, taking fun classes, and hanging out with some pretty awesome people. Because of that, I will always hold this soundtrack dear to my heart despite my disrespect for the movie.

5. Magical Mystery Tour Soundtrack

I couldn't not include a Beatles movie since they are my favorite band of all time. This may be a prime example of a soundtrack for which the actual movie was no good, but the soundtrack was amazing. "The Fool on the Hill" and "All You Need is Love" are probably my favorite songs off of this soundtrack. This soundtrack always makes me happy.

What are your favorite soundtracks? When you listen to them, to what points of your life do they take you?

Nature

This June, David and I noticed an interesting egg formation on our window. I decided to photograph the progress of whatever hatched each day.

Does anybody know what hatched? I could not really tell.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

To have TV or not to have TV?

David and I are considering canceling our cable. Our city doesn't have antenna TV (that I've aware of), so we would just be without TV in our house. Why would we do this? Honestly, we do not watch TV that often. The only time we watch it is while I'm eating supper or if I turn it on for background noise. We have shows we love, but they are all on Netflix or Hulu, which is how we watch them anyway.

It would save $30/month, which is a savings of $360 a year.

My only reservation is that I love the Food Network! I love to have it on while I'm cleaning or just hanging around the house.

What do you think? If you currently do not have cable, do you like it? Will I learn not to miss it?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Puerto Vallarta: Day 3

Our last day at Puerto Vallarta was filled with relaxing, relaxing, and more relaxing. Seriously, the only thing we did besides eat, sleep, walk to food, or sit on chairs was kayak. For about ten minutes. Kayaking looks fun until you get into the ocean and realize that you'd rather be laying by the pool under an umbrella again. That's what we did! I'm just going to share more pictures and add captions.
Sunset over the mountains. The rain set in every day at around 4 p.m. over the mountains near our resort. The juxtaposition of the rain to our left and the sun to the right was beautiful to watch. I also loved this pirate ship that you can see in this picture. The ship was a tour ship on which people could hold a parrot and see a cannon go off. We could hear the cannon go off every time the ship went out!


The obligatory picture of the towel-made friend in the hotel room. We got an elephant.

The view on one side from where we laid in our lounge chairs by the pool. The ocean was pretty rocky, so we preferred to lay by the pool and watch the ocean and hear the waves.

Do you see that kite thing there? Salesmen would walk up and down the beach, selling their wares. One salesperson sold this model parasailer-- a little man with a parachute attached to him. It was just so hilarious to look out and see this random kite with a little man attached, only to realize that as you looked at it a voice was saying, "You like? Price is almost free in the mornings!" I found this especially amusing because he advertised the night before that prices were best at night. ;)

Please ignore the goofy grin, stomach coming out, and lack of makeup and focus on the pina colada in my hand. Delicious. By a pool. Yummy.


Another fantastic sight of the clouds over the mountains. I never tired of watching the weather in Puerto Vallarta.

The waiters could not believe that all I wanted for breakfast was fruit and a croissant (or two). I loved it, though. The fruit was mega fresh and so tasty. It was also pretty on my plate!



David was a little less healthy during breakfast.


The sunset and I. We were friends.


Our view of the pool. Divine!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Puerto Vallarta: Day 2



Our second day in Puerto Vallarta got off to a beautiful start. This was the view outside of our hotel balcony (on the non-ocean side). I just loved seeing the mountains in the background every day. The PV residents claim that Puerto Vallarta is similar to Hawaii, but since I've never been to the latter I would not know. At any rate, the scenery was gorgeous.

Because of a mix-up when booking (we booked through Expedia and it was our fault...we didn't read it very well), we ended up with a European package (no meals included) to our hotel, even though all-inclusive was available. At first I was a little sad, thinking that we would have limited options when eating. I will be the first to admit that I am not very adventurous when eating food in a foreign country. This stems from my first trip abroad, which was to England. Someone tricked me into eating blood sausage. Ever since then, I've been wary of food from other countries because I'm terrified of eating solidified blood again.

I really had nothing to fear, though, because our hotel had a beautiful ocean-side breakfast and Puerto Vallarta provided numerous culinary options. Here is the view from our breakfast every morning:
The night before, David booked us for a snorkeling cruise. The cruise boasted two snorkel adventures, an open bar, sandwiches, spaghetti, a green salad, and a snack.


David demonstrating the snorkeling and open bar

The boat cruised for quite a while to our first snorkeling destination.

This is where we stopped. Isn't this gorgeous?
We just loved looking at the wildlife on the huge rocks. David mused about how much fun it would be to dive off the top, but luckily he did not dive. We snorkeled through a cave. Unfortunately, because of the rainy season, the water was murkier than usual. We still saw a lot of cool fish, but we had to pay more attention than during my last snorkeling adventure in December.
David and I apparently posing for our next engagement picture. Watch out! You may be blinded by the non-tanned skin!
After the first snorkel, we received our first snack. This is where we realized that the cruise food would not be the usual swanky touristy food we thought it would be. As our snack, we received a plastic cup that was 1/3 full of vinegar-flavored Fritos. We were starving, so we gobbled up the very interesting chips.

Our next stop was here:
Doesn't it look like a tropical paradise? We snorkeled again, saw a bunch of crabs on rocks, and enjoyed exploring this beach:After the final snorkel, the afternoon rain set in for the day. Luckily, we had a tarp over the boat, but everybody crowded in. We figured that we would, you know, go back to shore, but instead lunch was served. By this time, David and I were laughing so very hard because there we were in the rain on a boat, in which the crew was beginning to serve us our lunch of a hamburger bun, a slice of ham, salad from a bag, and plain spaghetti out of a bowl. I also forgot that we had a can of parm cheese passed around while everybody was crouched under the awning. In the rain. It was so hilarious and crazy at the same time.

Finally the boat began to move and we moved out of the rain. When we got back, we went out to eat (since all we really ate were our sandwich buns) and then enjoyed the sunset from our hotel balcony: I loved it.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Puerto Vallarta: Day 1

We woke up at 3 a.m. to board our flights to Puerto Vallarta. We were both utterly exhausted, but still excited. When we arrived 8 hours later, Puerto Vallarta greeted us with rainy skies.

A few weeks ago, we realized that it was actually rainy season in PV. I was worried for a while until I realized that "rainy season" probably meant "rains a little bit every day but is still hot" or "Hey! At least you won't have to worry as much about sunscreen (untrue, I know, but let's be optimistic here)!" When we got there, the skies were so gorgeous:

We stayed at Villa Premiere, a small hotel on the main drag near the sights of PV:

Our hotel was wonderful. The staff was amazing and we were greeted with massages and glasses of champagne. We were upgraded to a Premiere oceanfront room, which was fantastic. Everything was very clean and every single person working at the hotel went out of their way to be sure we did not need anything. Someone even left this at our door:That day, we walked into the town and had a dinner of margaritas, salsa, guacamole, and fajitas. Needless to say, we were stuffed full so we watched the sun go down and slept for a very, very long time.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Back to the real world

Hello again, everybody! The last month has been a blur. I studied, took the bar exam, and went to Mexico this past weekend with David for a "honeymoon" (as I called it). This week I will be back with recaps about our weekend abroad and plenty of pictures. Have a wonderful Sunday!