"All of us are watchers of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway, but few are observers.
Everyone is looking not many are seeing." Peter Leschak

Friday, August 31, 2012

Chicken Bistro

Chicken Bistro

This is a recipe my friend Christine gave me.  It was a hit with our family so I thought I would share it.   It tastes great hot or cold and makes a large quantity for sharing at a potluck.  

Chicken Bistro

box of bow tie pasta
grilled chicken, 2 pieces cubed or shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup red onion
tub of feta cheese
two cubes of frozen fresh basil. you can get these at Trader Joe's or 2 tbsp pesto 
cherry tomatoes, halved or can of diced Italian tomatoes (drained)
Ken's Creamy Caesar dressing I used 1/2 a bottle

Cook pasta and drain.  Mix everything together in a large bowl and put in a 9 X 13 pan.   Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Take foil off for last 5 minutes.

Enjoy and have a great Labor Day weekend!
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Ocean

I loved the name of this boat since I'm a day dreamer as well. 

On the beach overlooking the ocean is one of my favorite places to be.  I had the opportunity to visit Turks and Caicos a few years ago and the beach and ocean there is stunning.  My pictures really don't do it justice.  It reminds me of the old bain de soleil suntan lotion commercial.  If you are wanting to relax and enjoy aqua blue crystal clear water and white sandy beaches then Turks and Caicos is your place.  The day dreamer in me wishes I had the superpower to transport myself anywhere within minutes. I would be at the beach baking instead of in the 90 degree Kansas heat.  For now,  I'll put on my ocean sounds CD and a little bain de soleil and imagine I'm there.   

It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea---whether it is to sail or to watch it---we are going back from whence we came. - John F. Kennedy

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dashboard Jesus

dashboard Jesus

A good friend of mine is going through a divorce and has two teenagers at home.   She has a plastic statue of Jesus suctioned to the dashboard of her van.  I don't think I've ever come across a dashboard Jesus before.  I've seen hawaiian girls in grass skirts and maybe even a statue of the Blessed Mother Mary, but not Jesus.  It could be I've led a sheltered life.  I love how his hands are raised in the air as if to say heaven help us.  Even though I gave her a hard time about her dashboard Jesus, I think it is a great reminder to have faith and go where the peace is.  
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Friday, August 24, 2012

New York

Central Park
John Lennon Memorial In Central Park

Sculpture of Hans Christian Anderson-Central Park

Manhattan Sky Line

Chelsea Market
The Glass Structure on top is Diane VonFurstenburg's bedroom
Heavenly Doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant
Me and Amy
My Daughters Favorite- Melissa's Cupcakes

I thought I'd share some pictures from my mother and daughter trip to New York City this summer.  I have been to New York City several times and there is always something new to explore.  They have the best bakeries in the world in my opinion.   Our friends and my daughter and I love a good cupcake!  We sampled Crumbs, Magnolia Bakery and Melissa's Cupcakes.  Crumbs and Melissa's won for best overall cupcake.    The first day we arrived we did some shopping in SoHo and had lunch at the ABC Kitchen which is located inside the ABC Carpet and Home store.  It's a very cool store, but a little out of my price range.  The kitchen had a very simple and serene atmosphere and the food was delicious.  I had to try the hamburger because Gayle King rated it one of the best burgers.  It was a very good hamburger, but I wouldn't say it was life changing.  

We rented bikes and had a guided tour of Central Park by a very nice guy from Yugoslavia.  He took us by Strawberry Fields which is an area of the park where John Lennon's memorial is located.  I had been to Central Park before, but never on a guided tour.  It was neat to learn some history about each of the areas and where films like Elf were filmed.  If you are ever in the city I recommend taking a guided tour.  

We also did a walking tour of Greenwich Village, Chelsea Market, the Meat Packing District and High Line Park.  Our guide Danielle was excellent.  Chelsea Market is the original Nabisco Company building where the Oreo cookie was invented.  It's now home to several bakeries, restaurants and shops.  The upstairs level is where some of the Food Network is filmed and other shows.  The building itself is beautiful and the owner has kept  all of the architectural features consistent with the building's authenticity.  We also walked part of the High Line. It's a park which sits on an old railroad track above the street.  It was developed by two local residents with the help of private donations and some funding from the city.  Two of its biggest contributors are Diane VonFurstenburg and Barry Diller.

Our last stop on our trip was The Doughnut Plant.  I had read that the coconut creme doughnut was amazing and it didn't disappoint.  I hope you enjoyed my little glimpse of the Big Apple.  
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

La Bodega

tapas bar

fig and goat cheese empanada
I'm one of those ladies who likes to lunch.  I recently met a friend at a Spanish tapas restaurant called La Bodega.  I had been there before for dinner, but I didn't realize they offered a lunch buffet for $12.  The tapas buffet had a huge antipasto platter, some dips and spreads, and 2 or 3 hot items.  The day I was there they were offering meatballs in a garlic cream sauce, mini sliders, and a potato dish.  Everything was delicious and even though I'm sure I consumed a lot of calories there is an illusion when eating tapas that I'm not.  The only thing it was missing was a little something sweet.  My friend and I decided to split the fig and goat cheese empanada.  It was a great way to end our meal and I wound up feeling a little too satisfied.  La Bodega is located at One Nineteen/Crossroads (913) 428-8272.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Missouri State Fair



Who Knew?

Everyone needs to experience a State Fair at least once in their lifetime.   I remember going to the State Fair in Pennsylvania when I was a kid.  I loved riding all of the carnival rides, looking at all of the animals, and eating funnel cakes.  At that time they didn't have the plethora of fried foods they do now. If you fry it, they will come.  Who knew you could fry kool-aid?  It never ceases to amaze me what people will deep fry.  I used to love funnel cakes, but as I've gotten older I've tried to eat less fried foods and so my stomach can't quite handle all the grease.   This was my children's first visit to a state fair.   Memories of being at the fair in the heat and humidity with all of the animal smells has kept me away for a few years.  My son and I walked through the swine building and those memories came wafting back to me.  Being a city girl I forgot pigs that big existed.  It was the last day of the fair and they were auctioning some of them which made me think of Wilbur from my favorite childhood story Charlotte's Web.  It was a beautiful day weather wise and a great way to spend a few hours together as a family.   Next on our list is the Texas State Fair.  How about you?   

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Gratitude Monday


I'm grateful we finally found a day to go the Missouri State Fair that wasn't 100 degrees and worked with our schedule.  It's been something I've wanted to do with my family for several years now.  I'm also grateful I found a new groomer for our miniature schnauzer.  He was starting to look like the Tramp from Lady and the Tramp, but now his Sean Connery look is back with a slightly shorter beard.  On a different note,  I'm thankful for my friends and the different perspective they give me.  I've been needing a little jump start to help get me motivated to work on some goals lately.  It's nice to be able to bounce ideas off of friends and get a fresh perspective.  I'm also grateful for bloggers who share what they've learned through years of experience.  I've never been a very good student of trial and error.  I want everything to be perfect on the first try.  I'm going to do my best to muster up an attitude of gratitude even for imperfections.  There is knowledge to be gained when making mistakes and beauty even in the imperfect. Have an imperfectly great week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School

First Day of School

It's back to school time! I can remember the excitement and fear of embarking on a new school year. As my children enter 8th and 11th grade they too are filled with mixed emotions. They wish for a few more weeks of unstructured lazy days staying up late and sleeping until noon. The freedom to plan their own day for the most and part and not have to stick to a schedule.  In my opinion we all need those kinds of days, children and adults.  We also need to have some structure in our life.  I find I get more accomplished when I stick to a schedule, and I have a deadline. Structure helps me to focus on the task at hand.  However, the creative side of me balks at structure and doesn't like to be confined to a set time period.  I like to have the freedom to follow wherever the wind is blowing that day.  Most days it is blowing toward the website pinterest.  I realize I sound like a bit of a hippie.  My kids refer to me as an uptight hippie.

As my children set their goals for the new school year,  I too am setting goals for this Fall.  I want to improve my writing and blog.  I'm setting a set time first thing in the morning four days a week to write.  I will consider anything over that a bonus, but I will commit to that time frame at a minimum.  As a stay at home mom, I need the structure to accomplish certain tasks without getting distracted. Self discipline has never been my forte.  I just serendipitously came across an article on goal setting. The advice was to picture yourself doing what it takes to achieve your goal, and you will find yourself believing you can. Instead of viewing writing as another to do, I'm looking at it from the perspective as a commitment to myself that will help me to grow.  It's a lot like exercise.  I don't always enjoy doing it, but it's good for my overall health.  Please feel free to share any set schedules you've found helpful, unless that is you're my brother. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Greenwich Village (Sex and The City was filmed here)
Lady Liberty at Sunset

I love to share new things I discover whether it be a store, book, recipe or in this case a website.  My friend came across it when we were looking for some ideas of different things to do in New York City. The website is www.goldstar.com It offers half price tickets on shows and attractions in certain major cities.  We did a New York City Water Taxi tour at Sunset and The Greenwich Village Sampler guided walking tour.  The site was easy to use.  We just printed our confirmations and the rest was smooth sailing.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rob Lowe

Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

I recently finished reading actor Rob Lowe's autobiography Stories I Only Tell My Friends.  I had been wanting to read it ever since I saw his interview with Oprah.  Call me crazy, but I personally enjoyed it more than Fifty Shades of Grey which the whole world has either read or seems to be currently reading.  Lowe doesn't go into graphic details about his past wild ways, but provides just enough information to give you a clear picture.  His many past romances include Melissa Gilbert and Princess Stephanie, who I didn't remember hearing about in the tabloids.  It was interesting to learn about his experiences on movies sets such as The Outsiders and St Elmo's Fire.  They were two of my favorite films and popular movies of the 80's generation.  He also talks about his friendships with other actors and how the brat pack got their name.  For someone with his striking good looks it was shocking to learn that he felt like an outcast for much of his youth.  Lowe is a good story teller and gives a thorough picture of his life from a young boy to manhood.  It is the story of a boy achieving his dreams and getting more in life than  he ever imagined through the love of his wife and sons.  He gives the reader an insiders view of not just Rob Lowe the celebrity, but Rob Lowe the man.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gratitude Monday

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Due to a week of traveling, it has been awhile since I've posted anything on my blog.  I'm grateful that my family and I returned home safely from our travels.  I love to travel, but the means of getting from point A to point B can make me a little anxious:  missing a connecting flight in Atlanta and having to wait 7 hours for the next flight, riding in taxi cabs in New York City, bicycling in the busy streets of New York City to get to Central Park, and public transportation in general.  These are all things that happened on my travels this past week, but the positive side is I enjoyed them and it's good for me to get out of my comfort zone every so often. Actually, I enjoyed all of the them with the exception of the 7 hour wait in Atlanta's airport.  A life worth living comes with some risk.  I am grateful my friend understands how New York's subway system works which helped reduce my risk factor.

I'm grateful for the Fall like weather we are having today even if it is just a tease.  Fall is around the corner and it is my favorite time of year.  We also had some Fall weather this past weekend while visiting family in Arkansas.  I'm grateful I had the opportunity to visit the new Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.  The architecture and the grounds are beautiful.  I'm thankful there are people who are much more talented at drawing and sculpting than I am and who have the vision to create beautiful works of art.

Last but not least, I'm grateful my computer automatically saved this post because I accidentally hit the delete button and my writing temporarily disappeared.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Fever

Olympic Rings clip art
London 2012

We are all capable of so much more than we think we are.  I love watching the Olympics even though I've never been much of an athlete, and I don't typically love watching sports.   The Olympics brings together people from different countries (many of which I never even knew existed) who share their remarkable athletic abilities with the world. Talents that they've worked hard to perfect through a lot of blood, sweat and tears.  These athletes had the determination to stick with their passion and on some occasions do things that seem inhumanly possible.  The athletes aren't just a testament to what the human body can do, but more importantly what the mind can create when we believe in ourselves. 

After seeing Dorthy Hamil in the 1976 Winter Olympics, I aspired to be a professional ice skater.  I had the Dorothy Hamil haircut and the muscular thighs, but that was the extent of our similarities.  I enjoyed ice skating, but did I have the desire to dedicate half my day to it?  The answer is not so much.   There is a small percentage of people who can say they are Olympians, but the rest of us have been given other talents.  Do you know what yours is and will you believe in it?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Little Box of Sunshine

I'm a big fan of the website pinterest with so many ideas and too little time. This is one of the ideas I pinned that I knew I just had to do.  The original idea is from  http://happymoneysaver.com/send-a-box-of-sunshine-to-brighten-someones-day/  I thought it was very cute and knew just the person that could use some good cheer.  I have a friend who has had a few rough years battling breast cancer and is now going through radiation treatments after giving birth to her third child.  She also just moved out of state and is trying to get settled into a new home.  She always puts on a happy face, but I'm sure there are days when it's tough to be cheerful.   This is my version of the little box of sunshine based on things I thought she would like.  It includes the following:

  • Burt's Bees lemon cuticle cream
  • Burt's Beels lemon & Vitamin E bath and body oil
  • Lemonade sticks
  • yellow nail polish
  • JR Watkins lemon cream lotion
  • Burt's Bees radiance lip shimmer
Is there someone you can think of that could use a little box of sunshine?