Monthly Archives: February 2010

Somebody’s getting maaaaaaaaarried

Huge apologies, readers.

I’m going to have to leave you with one solitary post this week.

Because honestly, there’s not much else on my mind, or that I could possibly say right now, other than,

“I’m getting married on Saturday!”

Yup, that about sums it up.

So excited about the wedding, which will be a piece of cake because I’ve kept it really simple. And even more excited to become Mrs. Stephanie Carey.

This week is a buzz with wedding activities – bridal brunch, manicures and pedicures, rehearsal dinner…it’s all going to be so much fun. One big celebration of our love and commitment.

And then, we’re going to take a few days to be Mr. and Mrs. Carey together before returning to work on Wednesday.

Thank you all for your love and support as you’ve followed our dating adventures from first date to engagement.

We’re going to be asking our guests for words of wisdom for our new lives, and would love to hear yours as well.

In the meantime, I leave you with…

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Two Peas in A Pod

The fiance’s mom has been working on the great cake project which requires going through old photos of both of us to pick pictures for the film strips.

My mom picked some of my old photos to send to her. (Wow,  Mom. You picked some real winners. Really? The toilet picture? Thanks.) 

In compiling the pictures, the fiance’s mom began to notice some pretty eerie similarities. It’s almost as if we’ve been together all along…

Rub-a-dub-dub him

Rub-a-dub-dub me

(I still get that excited about taking a bath.)

Adorable pose him

Adorable pose me

But wait…we’re not done. Because not only were we both cheek-pinch worthy cute little kids, we both found our middle grades a little more…awkward.

First day of school in blue him

First day of school in blue me

(Yes, that is a perm.)

Smarty-pants project him

Smarty-pants project me

(First place! Booyah!)

And while these pictures might make you think we were high school sweethearts, I can assure you, we did not meet until 2008…

Prom pic him

Prom pic me

We really are two peas in a pod…

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My Quirky Valentines

This Valentine’s Day tablescape is not the setting for a romantic evening for two.

More like a romantic styled evening with 20 of my closest friends to celebrate my pending nuptials.

And like any good date night, the day included a beauty appointment.

DD Girl and I have the same stylist, (great friends with great taste in hair!) so we decided it would be fun for us to share an appointment. It would be fun to catch up and gab while Whitney brightened, trimmed and highlighted our locks.

It’s always good to feel fabulous before an evening on the town and that quirky twosome appointment was just what we both needed.

I went home to get ready for the night and catch up on laundry.

When I arrived, I found the fiance’s best man from Omaha and his wife at our home. The fiance had his own special plans for celebration. (Hint: I have the feeling candy and roses were not on the agenda.)

The more fashionable of the two parties began at my favorite local pizza spot – Waldo Pizza.

My friends pre-ordered a huge bowl of salad and choice of dressings followed by fabulous selection of pizzas for us – including the adventurous but delicious thin St. Louis style crust with spicy red peppers and corn. Come to mama!

Check out the Queen of Quirky bag!

Then, I opened a few gifts (too generous, ladies!) — a great mix of fun, flirty and risque items. Including a pair of cute sleeping shorts with “Not tonight Mr. Quirky” printed on them. Everyone got a kick out of those…everyone except the fiance.

Then, it was time to party on down.

At our second destination, I was treated to a very special guest visit.

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin in the Real World dug herself out from the snowy tundra of D.C. for a trip to K.C.  Lucky me, she made time out of her busy schedule to stop by my party.

By this time everyone was well into the swing of the night.

Justin is a smart man. He doesn't let the title "bachlorette party" deter him from the fun. He even brought his lovely girlfriend to celebrate with us!

I may or may not have been given a shot (or three.)

And let me tell you, the fiance’s mom was well on her way to a good night!

We moved on to a few other locations before DD Girl got a text from the fiance that the boys were all back at our house and wanted us to join them.

So we snagged a few cabs back home.

And reunited with the guys who were…well, playing Rock Band, what else?

The night carried on well into the (not so wee) hours of the morning.

They say today is a day to celebrate love and romance. I can tell you that the Fiance and I are not feeling very romantic at this moment. There has been a lot of moaning and groaning and “I’m never drinking again” claims.

But knowing that our own day of love is in less than two weeks, means I’m quite okay with sitting on the bed, watching wedding (porn) on TV and stuffing my face with the leftover candy from last night, while the Fiance recovers on the couch.

This year, I was lucky to have 20 Valentines. I consider myself loved.

Roomie & DD Girl

Crystal

Current and former co-workers

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Blogger (back) in the city

I love the city. Any city.

This past weekend, I had a chance to romp through one of America’s all time cities – NYC.

My lovely hostess (who is getting ready to announce one of the most exciting blogging projects ever) showed me a wonderful time.

And I left with so much more yet to see and experience. (Thank goodness Blogher will have me back in August!)

But my work conference was over and there was a snow storm on its way. I felt like I had been gone for ages. (In reality, four days.)

So, I hopped on a flight back to K.C. by way of Milwaukee. (Down side: two flights. Upside: Midwest , so that meant four free cookies!) As I was walking to my gate, a Midwest agent said, “Are you going to Kansas City?”

I said yes. And she told me she had been paging me. Wow, I had no idea! And then she asked if I was Pinnell party of two. Sadly, I was Queen of Quirky party of one. And that was a direct flight to Kansas City that I was not scheduled to be on. Drat. With the weather coming in, a direct flight was sounding mighty fine, even if it meant only two cookies.

Three hours later, after an hour of circling over Milwaukee with crazy falling snow illuminated in the flashes of light from the wings of the plane, I was really regretting not being Pinnell party of two.  The captain was keeping us updated on the Milwaukee airport which was closed to remove snow from the runway.

Um, folks, we’re going to circle until we can circle no more.

We landed in Madison to refuel, and much to the detriment of my (very attractive “Jonathan Antinesque” hairstylist) seatmate, as it was his final destination, yet he could not deboard the plane.

By the time we finally touched down in Milwaukee, I figured my KC flight was a gonner. Visions of  me curling up on an airport bench overnight haunted me. When I exited the plane, I asked the agent to show me where to go to book another flight to Kansas City.

She told me the flight was next door.

What? You mean it’s still here?! (It was more than three hours after the flight was scheduled to leave.)

Yes, in fact it was.  Because as luck would have it, the  flight crew from my flight was the flight crew for the Kansas City flight.

I almost skipped to the gate, until I saw the half-asleep, dagger shooting eyes of those poor folks who had been waiting for my flight. Yeah, that probably sucked for them.

But let me tell you, flying over Milwaukee, up and down, attempting to land was no picnic!

By 3 a.m. I had never been so glad to be back in my city with my man and my dog.

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A blurgh-y give-away, or bribery, depending on how you look at it.

 Miss me while I was away in the Big Apple?

I don’t see why. You should have easily found me glaming it up with my blogging BFF Single Gal NYC and then over at the Marriage Confessions blog brunching with my new friends Katie, Chris and Bean.

I’ve been a busy gal! Avoiding snowpocalypses here, planning a wedding there, and not blogging everywhere. Sorry about the latter.

But to make it up to you, I have a new give-away bribery for you.

See, Queen of Quirky went to Rockefeller Center and visited the NBC Universal Gift Store. She totally geeked out over a life-size cut-out of Matt Lauer, giggled over bobblehead dolls representing The Office characters and carefully selected a 30 Rock t-shirt for her fiance.  30 Rock is one of his new favorite shows. And the Queen is okay with him having a crush on Tina Fey, because she might a little too.

She was so proud of the funny Blurgh t-shirt she picked out for him. She layed it out on his dresser so he would see it when he got home from work yesterday. He was excited too, and then he picked it up and realized….blurgh. She had accidentally grabbed a size small instead of a large.

It was just so unfortunate, until she realized that maybe some of her smaller quirky followers might be interested in having this shirt, or giving it to a smaller loved one.  So, she devised a plan.

First, she would talk about herself in the third person, and wonder at which point she could switch back over to first person without it getting really awkward.

Then, she would set up a Facebook fan page.

And then she would ask her readers to join the fan page, leaving a comment here telling her they joined. And, if they wanted to, they could tell everyone a few things that make them go “blurgh.”

So do that, ok? And tell your friends. Because having a fan page with three people would make for a  Queen of Blurghy and not Quirky.

A winner will be randomly selected on February 19 and announced on the fan page.

(P.S. Look for another exclusive to fan page members contest in March. Hint: It will be WONDERful.)

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The elusive stuffed pepper conquered

A co-worker and I have been on the quest for a really good stuffed pepper recipe for a while now. It’s a running deal with us. We’re both anti-rice in our stuffed peppers and pro-meat.  But I’m of the belief that sausage needs to play a role in the pepper. (I mean duh, sausage and peppers!)  She could go either way. We might talk about stuffed peppers a lot. We’re kind of obsessed.

And while I’m afraid her husband might balk at the use of ground turkey and turkey sausage in these peppers, I think I can convince her that these are the best stuffed peppers ever. And if she had to use ground beef and real sausage, then they would probably be just as good. But seeing as how her husband doesn’t have to fit into a wedding dress in 24 days, then he can’t criticize my  lower fat version.

And quite honestly, the flavor of the ground turkey was really, really good in these.

Queen of Quirky’s By George! I Mastered the Stuffed Pepper Recipe (And if you don’t think so, you can keep your opinions to yourself!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion finely minced
  • 5 button mushrooms finely minced
  • 1 stalk of celery finely minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic (you guessed it…finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 lb of 99% fat-free ground turkey
  • 2 links of lean turkey Italian sausage
  • 4-5 large red bell peppers (I had a bit of stuffing left over so I could have filled five)
  • 1 14 oz can of diced petite tomatoes with Italian seasoning (in juice)
  • 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes in puree (Yes, I know. I’m in love.)
  • 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

To do:

Preheat oven to 400

Heat tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add diced onion, mushrooms, celery and garlic and salt and pepper. Cook on medium about 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Turn off heat. (Taste to make sure your salt level is good.)

Remove sausage from casing and combine with turkey. Add the mixture from the skillet into the ground meat. Add bread crumbs, parmesan and salt and pepper. (Do not taste for salt levels at this point. Not that you were going to. Just feel I should say it. Just guess. I turned my sea salt grinder about three times over this mixture) Mix well.

Drizzle a baking dish with remainder of olive oil. Remove tops and core peppers, rinsing seeds away. If needed, level the bottom of the peppers so they stand upright by carefully slicing from the rounded bottom, creating a flat surface — you don’t want to puncture the peppers.  Generously spoon meat mixture into the peppers so that the mixture is slightly heaping. (Sing, “my hump, my hump, my hump,  my lovely lady lumps.” Then pretend like you didn’t just sing that.) Cover the peppers with the crushed tomatoes in puree.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and top each pepper with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for 15 more minutes until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown. Serve over orzo, spooning sauce over entire pepper and onto the pasta.

Warning: lava-like insides – eat with care!

These took a while to make, but they are soooo worth it. These were huge. Like mega big. The fiance and I split one.

And then I tried to offer them to his D&D boys who were over, but they had already eaten. Silly boys.

So I guess I have lunch tomorrow, and dinner tomorrow night…

Now that I’ve found the perfect stuffed pepper recipe, I wonder what my co-worker and I are going to obsess over next?I’m sure we’ll think of something.

Wanna see some of my other food obsessions lately?

Macheesmo’s Spanikopita

Delta Whiskey’s Chipotle  Chicken Rolls

The Newlywed’s Chicken Corn Chowder

The Naptime Chef’s Poached Salmon with Leeks

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Yes, I drove across town in this

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was celebrating her seventh birthday. She loved My Little Pony, kittens and Wonder Woman.

As she was very busy working on her My Little Pony craft project with her friends at her birthday party, someone rang the doorbell. It was a special guest just for her, bearing a kitty cat stuffed animal.

To the surprise of everyone in the room, the birthday girl tore back to the bathroom, leaving Wonder Woman standing in a room full of parents and children she had never met before. For a split second, Wonder Woman had that horrible feeling she gets during nightmares of showing up to life without any clothes on. 

But the little girl was only gone for a minute or so because realized that if she was going to give Wonder Woman a hug, then she would need to wash her hands. (She was a very smart and polite little girl!)

All the other children came to see who this special guest was.

Some of them didn’t really know who this person was, but she was wearing a very (tight) and shiny costume.

It was very exciting. Comic books were brought out to sign and everyone wanted to know about Wonder Woman’s more famous friend, Super Man. Unfortunately, Wonder Woman could not remember his planet of origin or his dog’s name, because she was a little nervous and awkward wearing her costume in a room full of strangers.

(Wonder Woman also should never squat or sit in her costume, until she gets really busy on some sit ups at the gym.)

Meanwhile, the little girl told Wonder Woman about the ponies she was painting, what she likes best about Wonder Woman. (answer: a big hug.) and talking about her real kitty cat (who did not come out to see Wonder Woman.)

Cake was brought out and everyone sang and enjoyed cake (except Wonder Woman who after spending 30 minutes with her earthly fiancé trying to lace up the corset costume, decided that she should abstain from cake all together for a very long time.)

Wonder Woman and the little girl had a nice little chat about super heroes and how anyone could be a super hero.

Wonder Woman wished she had thought of that message herself, but it was actually the little girl’s mom who prompted the subject.

Oh well. It was true. And Wonder Woman would have brought it up and all, but was a little green, this being her first gig and all.

But the little girl didn’t seem to notice and to this day believes that the real Wonder Woman really did show up at her seventh birthday party.

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