Breakup Is Here and Its Beautiful!

“Flour and butter, cream and sugar, words and images — all the ingredients for a rich, tasty story.”
― Rona Simmons, The Quiet Room

Oh my goodness, I’ve been busy. The days are speeding by and I am getting less and less done. On the bright side its getting brighter and warmer and muddier out…Hello, Breakup! The very last one that I will experience. After 25 years I think I’m ready for a real spring.

But Sunday is for baking and I’m taking a few minutes to share pictures from my trip to Iowa (no time to bake this weekend). I just had to test out my son’s kitchen and what better way to do that than bake some cookies for the guys. After being pried out of Trader Joe’s (LOVE that store!) we made it back home, supplied for the next decade or more with pantry staples.

I baked. And fed the guys piping hot cookies straight out of the oven.

Cookies = Love

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Tip: Freeze extras! I made an extra batch to freeze. Wrap the cookies in freezer Ziploc baggies to pull out to enjoy later. Yum!

Cheers!

 

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How My Mother Saw Me

Going through an old file I stumbled upon my mothers papers, yellow and wrinkled from age. She’s been gone now for over 25 years and I still miss her. The loss of someone you love never goes away, it just becomes apart of you – ghostly memories that resurrect themselves, like now.

Slipping into her pages,  I found this hand written draft she wrote an eon ago about me as a little girl. This is how my mother saw me.

Her words are written below. 

Rene is an eight and one half year old girl of mixed blood – white European heritage – with 1/4 Cherokee, Seminole Indian. She weighs 50lbs, is 3 feet 6 inches tall, she wears a size 1 shoe in girls. She has hazel eyes, chestnut brown hair, a powder of big, brown freckles across her snub nose. Rene’s skin is medium light, tans very quickly and rarely sunburns, it is delicate in texture.

Rene slips from a merry little minx to serious studious Miss in a twinkling and in a minute more shes pouring over a trifle, screaching at her brothers or complaining over some imagined hurt to her vanity. She can sit still for an hour but most often she’s moving restlessly about the small apartment, out in the yard or talking for hours on the telephone.

This morning I asked her how old she was. She replayed eight. A moving insight. Most little girls her age would have said almost nine or eight and one half or eight and a half.

– Crystal Thomas Tuchel

Sparkles, A Pinch of Richness and Lots of Laughter

Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne! ~ Winston Churchill, WWI

A Good Match: A Photo Challenge 

Over the years my very dear friends and I continue to celebrate with a very good match; champagne, a pinch of richness and lots of laughter.

Like all of you, everyone leads busy lives.  The years move on, many have scattered around the country, families grow and it’s not as easy to come together as we used to do.  But, near or far, our friendship continues and is typically celebrated with something sparkling paired with decadent culinary surprises.

For those interested in learning more about how to select and serve your choice of bubbly you can read more here at WikkiHow.

Looking forward to our next get together!

Cheers, Ladies!

P.S.

I reached out to my very good girlfriend for sparkly glasswhere (she always has the prettiest table settings!) and she recommended Roost Brand. She even gave me a beautiful website where you can purchase some lovely items- Scarlett Alley.  Happy Shopping! 

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” — Charles William Eliot

Answer this week’s questions and post a comment with a link to your post in Cees Share Your World 

  1. When  you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)?
  2. Do you chew your pens and pencils?
  3. Are you a collector of anything? If so what?
  4. What size is your bed?
  5. Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My Answers:

When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)?

Nooo. I haven’t ever done that…at least not that I can remember.

Do you chew your pens and pencils?

Nope. The most I will do (I try not too since it’s very annoying) is click my pen in rapid succession. SIGH, full confession, I’m a pen clicker!  I learned if I’m in a meeting to just leave the pen alone. Unless I’m taking notes or, sshhh, doodling (our secret).

Are you a collector of anything? If so what?

I’m not one for clutter so I try to keep collecting anything to a minimum. That being said, books, all kinds, magically find their way into my home.  I have my children’s old story books, my mother’s ancient science fiction books (who remembers Issac Asimov?), funny books from my girlfriends and favorite reads I have fallen in love with over the years .

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What size is your bed?

I have a beautiful, antique, cast iron, full sized bed. It sits very high up, so tall you almost need a step to climb into it. I have an addiction to lovely bedding, including plush down comforters and pillows. What it lacks in size it makes up in sweet dreamy loveliness and crisp cotton sheets. My bed happens to be one of my favorite places in the world.

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Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It continues to snow. And snow. And snow. Sunday Miss R, came over and we had a Sunday snow day. We watched movies. We made rice crispy treats. We played with her new Barbie and Monster High doll. We took bubble bath, snacked on fruits and veggies and ignored the piles of snow accumulating outside my door.  I am so blessed and eternally grateful for my wonderful granddaughter that continues to remind me how to play.

I’m open to the Universe to guide me into next week. I’m pretty sure whatever shows up will be an adventure to cherish.

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

Instructions: Create a SYW post. Then post the link to your blog in my comment box or leave your answers in the comments box of my blog. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Share Your World” or “SYWtag”

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?

Have you stolen a street sign before?

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?

Do you have freckles?

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?

I’ve always been a restless sleeper. As a child I never could figure out if I was cold or hot so I split the difference; one leg under the sheet and one leg out. I’m sure it drove my mother nuts. Today, as I near 50, I’m pretty much the same type of sleeper. My sheets tend to be a tangeled mess and are rarely ever tucked.

Have you stolen a street sign before?

Nope. It never occurred to me to do so.

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Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?

Yes. I always wish I could be one of those super saver types but that talent escaped me.

Do you have freckles? 

Yes. I have a smattering of freckles across my nose and on my shoulders. They play hid and seek depending on the sun exposure.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last weekend I was blessed exploring Las Vegas. It was an awesome trip. In the coming week I am looking forward to spending time at home catching up…I might even get started on my taxes!

Recap: Long Weekend in Sin City

“Everything and anything you want to do, you can do it in Las Vegas” – Drew Carey

 

The thing about travel is it’s a very individualistic activity; meaning my trip to Vegas will be different from your trip to Vegas. However what else is true, we can all learn from each other. As Mr. Carey said you can find everything here  it just depends on what you want.  To recap my weekend, it was all about self care and friendship.

I bet you are curious how I did on my budget…right??? I did pretty good, in my own estimation. Remember my Vegas is not necessarily your Vegas and that equals budget too.

I window shopped.

I enjoyed the free shows.

I walked – a lot.

I got off the strip.

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Made with This by Tinrocket
Love Blooms In The Desert |
All in airfare, hotel and expenses I came in under $1000. For me that’s a huge win. I could have saved even more if I hadn’t indulged myself at the Spas. But getting away is also about self care. And, repeat this mantra, I am worth it. Got it? Ok, moving on.

 

 

As I as I have grown older I find that PLAY is vastly important to me. It’s embracing friendship and new experiences even in places you have been to over and over again. It wakes us up. It lightens our hearts. So get out there and go on an adventure. I highly recommend it.

Cheers!

💕

Chicken & Waffles and Catching Feelings

Day 3

Canyon Ranch Spa

Saturday morning began with a trip to the spa. I had a pedicure planned and my girlfriends were planning to get day passes. Stepping into Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian is like stepping into a little slice of heaven. The amenities offered continues to draw me to Vegas and a day pass is a fantastic value for everything it provides.

Tip: A day pass is $50 which includes full use of the spa ALL DAY!

I’m torn between which room is my favorite but I tend to return to the herbal room, the salt room and doze in the water room. C. adores the sauna and jacuzzi. I have spent many hours relaxing here nibbling on complimentary healthy snacks and drinking Spa water to ensure ample hydration after evening outs on the Strip.

If fruit and light beverages aren’t enough, check out the cafe for heartier options – including adult beverages.

This is a clothing optional facility and cell phones are frowned upon. Lock it up. Turn off the outside. Let the gentle zen atmosphere melt the stress away.

Brunch @ Bouchon Bistro

Tucked on the 10th floor is Bouchon, a Thomas Kellar, restaurant. The weekend menu features chicken and waffles – big enough to share. Actually, even though C and I shared, we still had left overs! This meal is one I return to whenever I get a chance. The baked chicken is savory and moist. The herb waffles are light as air yet crispy. Add the syrup and gravy and it’s a meal to dream of.

Tip: Chicken and Waffles are only served on the weekend.

We left the Bistro filled with goodness but it called for a walk to work off the indulgent meal. The afternoon slipped away quickly as we meandered our way down the strip to watch the water show at the Bellagio before heading back to the Venetian to pick up C’s car.

C and A were driving back to L.A. And our walk had already put them behind. With hugs and a bit of a heavy heart I said goodbye. Our weekend was fading into another memory.

Saturday Night Solo

What’s a girl to do Saturday night in Vegas all alone?

My original plan was to go see Willie Nelson. It was the last night he was playing. But I dawdled and it sold out before I had a chance to buy a ticket.

Tip: Plan ahead and buy show tickets early, especially if they happen to be Willie Nelson!

Deciding to keep things low key, I forgo dressing up (a sin I’m sure for some but it was just me). With a touch of lip gloss, I tossed on a pair of  leggings, my green Lucky  brand t-shirt and headed downstairs in search of a salad. I figured after staying out till early morning Friday night I’d grab a salad and head upstairs to pack and get to bed early.

Silly rabbit. The universe had other plans in store for me.

After enjoying a salad at the Steak House (yes, I know) I wandered the casino floor. A had given me a .49 voucher to play and I figured I should find a machine to feed. My ears perked up. I heard music.

Before I knew it I forgot all about playing the slots and let the sound of music magnetically pull me into Gilley’s. An empty stool, perfectly placed in a corner, appeared at the crowded bar as if waiting for me.

Alrighty then.

I reasoned one drink couldn’t hurt.

I kicked back and watched the dancers spin on the floor. I accepted a dance. Refused a dance. I hadn’t planned on dancing. I wasn’t dressed up, the opposite in fact. In my gold flats with my cross body bag swinging on my hip made for awkward dancing and I wasn’t comfortable leaving my bag alone on the bar. This is a crazy town and I’m kind of partial to my pink lip gloss.

And there I was,  when it was time to go, and then they walked in.

A group of six boisterous guys, fit, and very tall pulled up next me ordering a round of drinks. I’m only five foot nothing and I felt like I had been surrounded by a group of friendly giants – cute, but still giants.

I watched them now since I couldn’t see the dance floor through their backsides. One guy, heart melting smile, almost landed on my lap, he moved quickly away and apologized. Another lanky guy smiled, said hi, towering over me. What’s a short girl to do with a friendly giant? She invites him to sit down. “Please sit,” I almost pleaded, as the sky high beautiful men were making me dizzy from looking up at them.

Tip: Casual look, messy hair and lip gloss seemed to be a hit with the guys. It’s called being yourself. Big hit. 

He sat.

HELLLOOOO, R.

They ended up being a group of guys from Ohio. R introduced me to his 21 year old nephew who was celebrating his birthday. Ladies, this kid is adorable and so sweet. Yes, he’s technically a man, but when you are younger than my kids my brain has a hard time seeing anything else but an over grown child.

Anyway, I’m off on another tangent. Let’s get back to R. We talked. We laughed. R asked me to go with them to Senior Frogs. Again, what’s a girl to do? I went.

I followed a parade of gorgeous guys with R behind me, out one door, around the casino floor and into Senior Frogs. We never left TI but it felt like we had been transported to Mexico during spring Break. The night club music was pumping and young D came alive. R explained this was more his nephew’s speed. Plus his nephew had caught a glimpse of a pretty girl. That will do it every time!

Over water and a few dances R and I connected. The guys were mingling but always seemed to be keeping tabs on young D. I pulled R outside of Senior Frog and found a seat on the casino floor just before a fight broke out.

R congratulates me for leaving when we did.

Tip: Vegas, after midnight, and booze means it’s always time to go.

D weaves his way towards us minus the girl. He needs food and sleep. Stifling a yawn myself, I suggest the Coffee Shop across the casino.

D devours chicken wings. His uncle teases him about “catching feelings” for the girl in line. He vehemently denies it. Have I mentioned how adorable this kid is?

R gets up to pay the check. D leans over the table and tries to whisper but it comes out a bit loud and slurred that R is a great guy…a really good guy…

I nod, my eyes going to R, taking in his tall, lanky form, tattoos painted along his arms. His blue eyes crinkle in a smile catching me looking.  Yeah, I agree, he’s a good guy.

It’s time to say goodnight.

R walks me to the elevator. It’s 3:30 in the morning. I still have to pack.

We say goodnight and he takes the kid back to their hotel.

It’s always the unexpected adventures that are the best.

“You made me catch feelings.” I read the text over again. I smile.

Vegas, Baby… until the next time!

Cheers!

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