Tag Archives: bloggy friends

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 pear crisp is fine, but if I buy a glue gun, we might have a problem

This was my Thanksgiving table.

I’m over it. The bird, pie that I threw away so I wouldn’t eat it, the stupid delicious potatoes with their cream cheese, the whole works.

But you need to know something about me. I’m not crafty or good at designy things.

Sure, I get a random compliment or two on occasional outfits I put together. Dressing myself is one thing.

Dressing a room in my house is entirely another.

Look, I don’t even own matching chairs. And see how we left the extra table leaves just hanging out in the corner? Yeah, my future-mother-in-law is probably really impressed by me.

But there was one thing I was pretty proud of…see it there in the center of the table? It’s a basket with pears. Well, I think it’s a pretty special basket.

The fiance’s mother gave the basket to me last Christmas. (Isn’t she sweet?) It’s from Macy’s last year when they did their Path to Peace collection. It was hand-made by a woman in Rwanda .

Such beautiful colors. And I thought pears might look kind of lovely in it.

Sometimes I really surprise myself.

And then sometimes I astound myself.

Today I thought, I should make a pear crisp out of those pears.

Who is this girl? Pear crisp? I’ve never had a pear crisp in my life. I don’t make pies or cakes or crisps. I make really silly looking turkey cupcakes, maybe but not pear crisps.

I googled a few recipes and decided that sure, I could make a pear crisp.

My mom even e-mailed me a recipe for a crisp she likes.

Crisp. What a funny word for a dessert. In England, it would sound like I was making a pear potato chip.

I e-mailed my friend Dawn to let her know I had lost it a little. I was turning my Thanksgiving centerpiece into a dessert.

She said it was probably fine, but if I started thinking about glue guns then we might have a problem.

So tonight, while I was making Jaden Hair’s Wonton Noodle Soup, I was simultaneously peeling pears, and wondering where this domestic diva standing in my kitchen came from.

And then I decided to mix some sake with the pears because I’m all infatuated with Jaden’s and her Steamy Kitchen. And that’s what I thought Jaden would do.

Queen of Quirky’s Centerpiece-worthy Pear Crisp

5 pears, peeled and diced

1 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of sugar

A good splash of sake (I didn’t measure)

1/4 cup of flour

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

3/4 cup of  uncooked oatmeal (rolled oats sounds too fancy shmancy for me)

3 tablespoons of butter (and then a fourth because I thought it needed more)

Don’t buy a glue gun, but do:

Toss the pears in the lemon, sugar and cinnamon. Then add the sake and pour into your small baking dish.

Mix the brown sugar, flour, butter and oatmeal. Cut the butter into the mix and try to get it as crumbly as possible. (I wasn’t this patient) Top the pears with the oatmeal mix. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (Then I decided it needed more butter, so I took it out and put a few pats on top…yum.) Then bake for 20 more minutes (then I took it out and kind of mixed the crumbly bits together into the buttery parts. Look, don’t make fun of my technique. I never claimed this was an act of perfection.) Bake again  for 5 more minutes and then….

I was nice enough to snap that picture before I stuck a fork in it.

Oh yum…oh wow. This is what a centerpiece tastes like.

Now about that glue gun…


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Walk, no run away from middle winter weight gain…

Nobody puts gym bag in the corner!

It’s that time of year.

The cold, damp, dark evenings in Kansas City come early. And my spring/summer/fall routine of running with Gertie after work dies a slow death.

There is nothing more appealing on these chilly nights than my couch, a blanket, some pasta (with heavy cream somewhere in the sauce) and a glass of wine.  Preferably after I swing by our work break room and snag a few of the ever abundant treats that magically appear at this time of year for my drive home.

But wait folks. This is not the year for a five-pound winter weight gain. I have a wedding dress to wear in February. And regardless, I’m not getting any younger. The weight doesn’t come off as easily as it once did. I don’t want to be a short lady with a big middle and skinny bird legs. (Because that is exactly what happens when I gain weight.)

Last month I started pushing myself to go to the gym (aka, my old apartment complex where Roomie still lives and I have gym privileges from the management) to run on the treadmill at least three times a week. On top of my regular Saturday or Sunday long run, that seemed pretty good.

I’m not going to lie. It’s a hard turn to make.

The couch, pasta and glass of wine call my name.

But once the rickety old treadmill rumbles its regular start-up regime, I’m always glad I kicked myself to get there.

But then my newest bloggy friend posed an interesting challenge. Then Heather Said: Join the whittlers.

The whatlers?

Apparently it’s a new movement sweeping the blogosphere…or a few of us bloggers who want a fitness challenge.

So I said sure. I’m game.

And Monday evening, I found myself laying on a yoga mat in our office flailing my legs around, trying to hold my body in awkward poses and probably making a real mess of a respectable ab work out.

Gertie thought I was laying there for the sole purpose of getting licked on the face, mouth and nose. Not quite, sweet pea…

On Tuesday it hurt.


But I got through 9 minutes of a routine. There were some serious uggggghs as I let down my legs and felt my hamburger meat abs contract.

And tonight there will be round three. (After a treadmill run)

So bring on that wedding dress in February. Maybe, just maybe they’ll have to synch that corset  just a little bit tighter come February.

Don’t worry – I won’t be posting before/during/after photos here. No one wants to see that… But I will keep you updated on my progress.


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Attending The Pioneer Woman’s book signing with my future-mother-in-law along with “My Friend Jenny” and “DD Girl” in spirit

I’ve never been much of a groupie.

Until last night. Yeah, I’m a Pioneer Woman groupie, and I’m okay with that. How do you know you are a groupie?

When you drag your future-mother-in-law and four copies of someone’s cookbook to a book signing and then wait for hours for two (wonderful) minutes with said blogger.

I mean, it’s not like I haven’t seen her, or even met her before. I don’t understand why on earth I can be so star struck by another blogger. I get it. She’s just a real person like you and me.

But then, she gets up in front of a HUGE crowd of Kansas Citians and charms us with her wit, her spontaneity and her outlook on life.

Of course, if that isn’t enough, she brings her handsome hubby and two of her “punks” to send us all overboard in our love fest of this amazing blogger.

I had to crack up when about 30 minutes before Ree went on stage, The Marlboro Man showed up to drop off some goodies that were handed out during the signing. The crowd went NUTS. Poor guy, practically knocked him off his boots, I would imagine.

This family probably never envisioned the fame and opportunities that have come as a result of Ree’s little ole blog.

But that just goes to show you, that this blogging thing we do can be a very powerful thing.

So last night, as I hauled three copies (my future-mother-in-law stayed seated with her copy) of the cookbook up to the stage to have them signed, I felt pretty privileged to be a part of this blogging community. Yet, once again.

I’m so excited to give DD Girl her birthday present tonight (don’t worry, she hardly ever reads my blog) which is of course, a copy of  The Pioneer Woman Cooks  autographed to Christi, AKA DD Girl.

And my friend Jenny will be recieving her copy of the book shipped straight to North Carolina, autographed along with a very special addition and one of the “goodies” I mentioned from the bag that MM brought in. I’m sure she’ll be writing about the cookbook in her blog, Charm Chicks.

And a little bit of news for you: Black Heels will be published into a book with additional chapters.

Speaking of love stories, I still have to finish mine. Look for Part IV this week!



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Marathon watchin’

Saturday morning, I woke up to what I thought was a Gospel revival outside. Groggy and confused, I couldn’t figure out why the Catholic church nearby had taken such a drastic change in worship style.

Then I remembered it was Saturday, not Sunday.

What is going on?

I couldn’t see anything out the window, so I threw on a hoodie and stepped outside. Down the road I saw it.

The Kansas City Marathon!

Oh boy! I had completely forgotten that was going on today. I ran back upstairs, eagerly grabbing my shoes and telling the fiance I was heading outside to cheer on the runners. He seemed confused by my excitement that this event was taking place so early on a Saturday morning, but at least me being outside cheering was a lot more quiet than me standing in the bedroom bubbling with early morning energy.

I grabbed Gertie and threw on a hat and we were out the door. Of course, Gertie was terrified of the whole scene. She sat there shaking. Party pooper.

Good job! I started yelling to the trickle of runners/walkers that were still passing. By this time most of the runners were either running the half, or were speed walkers. I didn’t see very many full marathon bibs.

I wasn’t satisfied. I needed to do some hard core cheering. Back inside with shaking dog, I ran upstairs to tell the fiance I was going for a jog to find a new cheering spot. Again, he was not terribly amused with my exuberance. I shut Gertie in the room and changed into running clothes myself. (Gertie cannot see me wearing running clothes or she freaks out because she thinks she’s going for a run.)

I took a quick peak at the course map online so I could figure out where to stand. I decided the 20 mile mark would be a good spot. I remembered 20 miles well – just two miles before I yacked during my own attempt to run a marathon back in 2005.

I ran down to Volker & Main where the 3 hour pace group was getting ready to pass. Dang. These people were fast. So impressive. I stood there  shouting words of encouragement and in a state of awe until I got too cold  from my own run-induced sweat – the 4:20 people were just passing.

I really wish I could have  stayed longer and cheered on the back of the packers (like myself), but my coldness won out.

During my run home, I tried to figure out why watching a marathon on a cold, wet Saturday morning was so exciting to me.  Why was I so obsessed with the marathon? I have been my whole life.

I kind of thought running one myself would make me less obsessed. But it hasn’t. Every year I tell myself I’m going to train for another marathon and every year, I let life interrupt my focus. It’s not just the 26.2 miles that overwhelms me; it’s the months and months of training I know it takes to get the job done. I tell myself I enjoy my little 3 mile runs several times a week. That I can be a real runner without running another marathon. That another 26.2 just isn’t in the cards for me.

But something tells me it is. Watching the runners of all sizes, ages and levels yesterday reminded me that anyone who puts their mind to it and devotes time to train, can run a marathon. I’m inspired by my bloggy friend, Barb at Running Jayhawk who has not only run several marathons, she’s now training for her first Iron Man.

So thanks to the hundreds of runners who inspired me on Saturday.  And special congratulations to friends Kirk and Andrew (Molly’s brother) who finished the marathon and Shelly who ran her first half. Maybe I’ll be among you sometime in the future.


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I’m guest bloggin’

And it’s getting a little awkward on this wedding blog. 

My favorite queen of awkward should be proud.

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Bourbon, wine, cream, mushrooms & pork – need I say more?

When I returned from blogher food, I was itching to get back in the kitchen.   And with so many new food bloggy friends to inspire me, the options were endless. But the buck stopped with Elise’s of Simply Recipes Porkchop with Mushroom Bourbon Cream Sauce.

After a horrific day which involved several lenghty calls to the North Carolina DMV that won’t send me another copy of my car title without trying to get me to pass an emissions test IN North Carolina. (My car isn’t making it to North Carolina and once it gets there, it sure as heck isn’t passing any tests.) Then, come to find out there are some back taxes from 2003 that were never paid on the car (While I take full responsibility for my part in not KNOWING these taxes hadn’t been paid, I had some choice words to say about my ex-husband) in addition to a car that we used to own in 2003, but was totalled in 2006 (ish?) So that was fun.

IMG_0945Time for some bourbon, wine, cream, mushrooms and pork, eh?

The recipe is perfect. Elise Bauer  is a really talented recipe developer.

I bet she doesn’t catch things on fire in her kitchen.



IMG_0946The only modification I made was I used panko instead of homemade bread crumbs, as suggested in the comments. I may have overcooked the pork chops a tad, but I’m still getting used to my gas stove and oven.


IMG_0948The fiance wasn’t complaining as he scraped up the last bits of mushrooms in cream on his plate.

As you can see, I served it with some steamed green beans with fresh garlic, which I just tossed in a little butter with salt and pepper.

You must make this recipe. It might change your life, or at least put you back in a happy place.

Elise’s picture is far superior to mine, so go right now and check it out.

P.S. Fire & Wine night has been moved to Thursdays now – so I think I’ll try to have a regular Fire & Wine night Friday recap.


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