Week 50: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone is enjoying their time off from work! Who is bbq-ing today!? The weather here is clearing up, hopefully, just in time for backyard BBQ and drinks. Also, I am not sure if this series will continue after the one year post, which is only 2 weeks away. A weekly post can get a little redundant, maybe we will switch over to a monthly recap instead, we will see where it goes.

Highlights:

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Since I missed quite a few weeks of recap, I will include a few highlights: We have had a pretty busy summer, maybe one too many trips to Houston. Aspen and Xavier celebrated birthdays in June and July, and there was a wedding in the family. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Day!!

The girls started school about 2 weeks ago, a week earlier than Texas. Jaelan is now in 7th grade and in middle school, and Xavi is in 5th grade. Jaelan was really excited about getting a locker, she didn’t even care about school supplies, she just wanted locker decorations. Tweens.

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Also, Jaelan went to her first ever middle school dance this past Friday. Didn’t school just start? She said that some boy asked her to go to the dance, but she turned him down, and he moved on to the next girl. *Pause* Life needs to chill, like for real.

Jaelan will continue with choir because she loves it and, Xavi has joined the strings at school. Goodness gracious. I hope she likes the basement because that is where she will be practicing! Just kidding. I think it’s great that she wants to learn how to play the violin.

This past week, the girls started their fall sports activities. Jaelan is doing cross country, I’m not yet sure if she knows what that means. But we told her that it’s not one mile, not three miles, but lots and lots of miles. Her first track meet is on the 6th. Xavi is doing soccer, this week was her first week of practice, her first game is on the 6th.¬†Jaelan is getting used running long distances, she is always pooped and hungry when she comes home. We are gonna have to get her more acquainted with a high carb diet. Xavi is getting used to big girl soccer. So, drills and fundamentals. She is playing for an U11 team, and yes, she is the smallest kid on the team. The coach loves her energy, she doesn’t seem to get tired, lol. But, she has taken a long break from soccer, so she needs to brush up on her skills.

Aspen:

Aspen started back at day care last week because our schedule is just too crazy to stay with her at home. So, there was a lot of meltdown and tears. She gets all excited and ready to go. But, when we get there to drop her off, she just loses it. One day, the teacher had to pry her off of me, because she was holding on really tight. Poor kid. This too shall pass.

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The Pitch Bite Club: Room 39 Midtown!!

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Last week, we were invited to be part of the Kansas City Bite Club, sponsored by The Pitch, Findit KC, and Room 39 Restaurant at Midtown. The Bite Club is a group of about 12 local bloggers, social media enthusiasts, and foodies hand picked by The Pitch to try out local restaurant menus and share the experience on their preferred social media outlet. The idea is to meet once a month. *Please excuse the photos, it was pretty dim in the restaurant and all we had were our iPhones. Next time we will be better prepared*

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For our first gathering, the venue was Room 39, located at midtown. Room 39 is a small, cozy establishment serving seasonal American cuisine. They also have a second restaurant in Leawood, KS. The event was hosted by Findit KC founder, Chris Olsen, who along with The Pitch came up with the idea for the Kansas City Bite Club. According to Chris, the idea came from a similar group out of Boston. Dinner was presented by the chef/owner of Room 39, Ted Habiger. Ted is an award winning chef and is very passionate about his food.

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We were served a five course meal, with wine pairings for the first 2 courses. Xavier and I decided to try their French martini during the meet and greet. Each course was presented by Chef Ted. He carefully explained each dish and the ingredients. I found the whole presentation to be very informative and insightful. I also liked Chef Ted’s little blurb about small details in a restaurant, like white table cloths. I have a thing for restaurants with white table clothes. To me, it’s inviting, and goes with his whole idea of community . It was nice learn how a dish comes together and what a dish and small details mean to the chef. At the heart of Room 39 and Chef Ted are locally grown and raised ingredients, and the community.

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The group we dined with was very enthusiastic and fun. There were foodies and bloggers of all kind, of different backgrounds, and of different personalities. Being fairly new to Kansas City, it was nice to meet some of its locals and learn about one of its hidden gems that has been serving its community since 2004.

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There was a short moment during the dinner when I thought it was kind of strange that we were actually expected to take pictures and share our experience on social media. But, seeing how excited and how everyone was having so much fun, the strange feeling quickly disappeared. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The hosts were awesome and the food was excellent. The lobster gnocchi and the duroc pork chops are a must when you come out and visit Room 39! (And don’t forget to check out #pitchbiteclub on Instagram for more photos). Enjoy!!

**Thank you to The PItch, Findit KC, and Room 39 for inviting us!!** :)

*All photos were taken with iPhone 4 and edited with VSCO Cam*

*Bite Club logo from pitch.com*

Summer Fun in West Virginia!!

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**A little apology for taking over a month hiatus from the blog. It has been a quite a bumpy and busy month, and I am finally catching up on a lot of things, including the blog. YAY!** I thought I would start back up with the girls’ last summer stop.

I am a little bummed that summer is “over”. The girls have officially started another school year, and we now have a 7th grader and a 5th grader. However, they have had a fun and full summer, visiting family and friends, in Texas and West Virginia.

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The girls spent their last bit of summer in West Virginia, visiting with my sister for the first time. She has a nice little property up there and the girls have been asking all year to go and visit. Our work schedule did not allow Xavier and I to join them, plus I am just bad at planning.

From what I heard, the girls had a blast up there and we might even make it an annual summer destination for them. They love it up there and they also learned a lot about living off of the land and survival skills. Plus they get to ride around in a four wheeler, a tractor, and have water balloon fights. I was uber jealous.

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They also learned how to shoot, and Boogie looks like a natural. Don’t worry, my sister is a professional with weapons and an awesome teacher. She is a former military police with a tour in South Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq, under her belt. If I want anyone to teach my girls about guns and gun safety, it would be her. They also learned about fire safety and how to start a camp fire.

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And of course, Aspen’s favorite were the animals. The girls got to help out around the place and feed the animals every morning. But they stayed away from the big pot belly pig named Becky.

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Since, I was not up here, pictures were very limited, but here are a few and a couple of videos of the big girls learning how to shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monkey Bread!!

I am all for quick and easy recipes. The less ingredients and the less the preparation, the better. Especially when it comes to pastry, because I can’t pastry, I just can’t. The dough never comes out right. So, when I saw this video above, I had to try it. Also, because there were 4 cans of mini biscuit dough that no one wants to eat. Plus, it’s like 3 ingredients.

I had never heard of monkey bread before, but it looks good, so we tried one of the sweet recipes. The girls and I baked the cinnamon and sugar version. It came out really well and even looked like the finished product in the video! And it is yummy! I prepped the ingredients and the girls did the dirty work of coating the dough. There was sugar and cinnamon everywhere, but it’s all good. Here is what ours looked liked:

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A Happy, Happy Birthday!!

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Happy, Happy Birthday, Xavier!! Don’t worry, no cheesy post :) I hope that you are enjoying your day. Thanks for being a great guy and thank you for being a great, fun, loving dad and thank you for working hard and taking care of us, even on your birthday!! :) I wish you the best of the best and many more awesome birthdays to come. The girls will have fun giving you birthday licks, I hope you are ready! :) We love you lots! :)

Everyone, if you see him today in real life or on social media, make sure you wish him a Happy Birthday!! :)

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Happy, Happy Birthday!!!! :)

 

 

 

 

Week 44: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy end of the weekend! Here is late Friday post. I hope you had a great weekend. Congratulations to Germany for winning the World Cup, as I had predicted(on my bracket). But, the Rockets are not having a good week in the free agency world. So, hopefully the coming weeks will be better. I really, really, really doubt that Trevor Ariza will make a significant (or any) difference for us. So, find someone else, anyone else.

Highlights:

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It was a pretty uneventful week. We beat the heat this week, by going to a friend’s pool. This month, we are having Summer Games at work. I played in the Dodge Ball tournament. We won one and lost one. The winners were insane, I would have lost a limb as hard as they were throwing those soft ass balls. This week, I am doing the Free Throw contest, wish me luck. And Xavier and I finally got to check out Barrel 31. They have a great Happy Hour.

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Xavier took us to a huge park last weekend. I can say this about Kansas: They know how to do parks. Shawnee Mission Park is huge and full of activities.

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Aspen received a kite for her birthday, and she has been wanting to fly it, so we decided to have a picnic and fly kites at Shawnee Mission last weekend. I do not remember kite flying being so difficult when I was younger. I mean it took me, 3 tries of maybe 30 minutes at a time of running around trying to get that thing up. My kite flying arm(left) was sore the next day. But, I HAD TO get that kite to fly.

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Xavi, Aspen, and I took turns trying to fly that thing, while Xavier and Jaelan laughed and pointed at us. They said I lied about knowing how to fly a kite. But, it turns out, I had the strings wrong, Xavi figured it out, and the stupid kite finally got up in the air. I said I knew how to FLY a kite, not how to CONSTRUCT one. But it finally flew, and Aspen was SO SO uber excited. And so I was happy.

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Aspen:

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While we were at a coffee shop last week, she scratched open a mosquito bite. We didn’t have any band-aids on hand, so she suggested we do this instead:

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And then she wanted to smell the flowers:

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Also, she loves her Doc McStuffins doctor set that she received for her birthday, and she loves to take your blood pressure, on your leg:

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Aspen is obsessed with Frozen. She watches it several times a day. She sometimes refers to herself as Anna. When one of her sisters are being mean to her, she tells us that Elsa is being mean. Also, she now offers kisses called, A True Love’s Kiss. She will caress your face from the forehead to your chin, then lift your chin up to her face, and give you a kiss. It is the cutest thing ever. I will try to get it on video. Finally, Aspen and the kitty still hates Fudge.

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Happy!!

Aspen

Who is the happiest in the world? We need to know these things, you know.  According to OECD : Austria, Denmark, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland are the top 5 happiest countries in the world. The US is ranked 17th, citing income inequality, as the main reason for the low ranking. Categories that were evaluated include GDP, income equality/inequality, health care, ect. Number friendly factors.

I came across this article, and I thought it was interesting. Apparently, GDP is used as the main index to measure a nation’s happiness. Even though it overlooks other significant factors, like…..happiness. This article addresses the problem with the categorical data used to determine happiness. It suggests using actual, “happiness”, and other subjective factors to determine how happy a country really is. As in actually asking whomever, “How happy are you?”. Because not all country/people have the same happiness regardless of GDP and income and such.

The problem with this, according to the article, is there is no consensus on the distribution and how to quantify happiness, because no one has really thought of using this type of data to asses happiness. These types of surveys are conducted for a reason, and the article discourages using inaccurate assessments to guide policy. RIGHT.