Tag Archives: friendship

Contextually Awesome

A real text conversation between DD Girl and myself:

QQ: I feel as if my boobs are getting droopy.

DD: LOL.  Happens to us all. I told [my boyfriend]  that the other day & he looked at me like I was crazy.

QQ: We can have our own 30-something and droopy boobies club.

DD:  Haha! Yep! Just wait till after you have kids. You think they are droopy now…

QQ: Crap. I’m adopting.

DD: You just made me spit out my 100 calorie cookie pack.

QQ: Well now you will probably only consume 80 calories. You can thank me later.


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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


Current and former co-workers


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Date night!

I asked Roomie out on a date to go see the very sappy girly movie Dear John with me.

I asked her on Facebook, adding that DD Girl would be welcome to join us, as long as she could hold her barf.

After watching the trailer Roomie admitted that this movie might be over-the-top for even her romantic movie loving self. 

I think it will be fun. Like indulging in too many Sweet Tarts and giving yourself a simultaneous headache and tummy-ache.

Because I think a sappy, girly movie is just what the doctor ordered for this dreary winter we seem to be having.

What sort of sweet treats do you enjoy to cure the winter blues?


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F&W Bag Ladies

Fire & Wine night was replaced with Wine & Packing & Pizza night tonight.

For Roomie. Who is moving into her very own little 1 bedroom this weekend.

It’s the same layout as the 1 bedroom I lived in after my divorce. Walking into her new place brought back so many memories.

So did enjoying our last glasses of wine in the old apartment where Roomie and I lived for almost a year.

After we cleaned out her kitchen and loaded it into an old grocery cart to roll down to her new place.

Bag ladies.

With our grocery cart. And our wine. Klassy.

At one point, DD Girl picked up Roomie’s rolling pin and shoved it in the air with the exclamation, “MEN!” We don’t have issues, really, we don’t.

After we unloaded, Roomie’s kitchen,  we unloaded our baggage. Because all of us – myself, DD Girl and Roomie have some.

It felt so good to talk. Just talk. Candidly. As women, on the same page, with the same struggles. Different packaging.

I love those girls. And their baggage. And mine.

Isn’t it great to have girlfriends? How do you and your friends find time/ways to connect?


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It’s not spam. It’s the lunch bunch.

Every day an e-mail hits my inbox somewhere between 11:30 and 12:30. The subject line reads something like – Thursday Lunch Bunch.

There are about 12 people copied on the e-mail, but do not be mislead. This is no spam. It’s 12 of my favorite people who love to click “reply to all,” and have the ability to turn even the blandest of Mondays into a giggle fest. Who knew lunch could be so funny?

I have mentioned them here before, particularly Kevin, who is probably the biggest character of the group. You also may recall Fry Fest, our annual celebration of all things fried. And I do mean all things.

To help you better understand the quirks of this group, I put together some common LB terms and definitions.

Lunch Bunch – a group of 12 friends who respond to a daily e-mail asking the simple question, “what did you have for lunch today?” The group was created by Jay, but has taken a life of its own. Members live in Kansas City, Des Moines and Cleveland.

 Iowa State Fair – The act of eating anything fried on a stick. Must be done with members Dorothy and Jay. A topic of conversation long before said event even begins, as Dorothy’s lunches get leaner and leaner weeks prior. She has to be in prime shape for this event.

 Fry Fest – The act of said 12 friends in addition to a few other stragglers getting together to fry anything and everything. The weirder the better. More important than the event of Fry Fest is the activity of chattering about it during the daily Lunch Bunch e-mail.

Jim – Partner of Kevin. Should never ever be copied on any mass Lunch Bunch e-mail. Does not have time for reply to all insanity that often results during a particularly fun Lunch Bunch day. Otherwise, a perfectly delightful fellow.

 Run for the Border – Not the annual trip to Mexico made by Kevin and Jim. More like a semi-daily trip by member Sheila to Taco Bell. Often times, the border is only as far as her fridge where she has stored goodies from the previous evening’s border run. [We worry a lot about the nutritional intake of Sheila, but she looks great, and her odd Taco Bell diet seems to work for her…]

 Creepy – Any item of food that has either been sitting around for a few extra days, is off-color or just plain off. Creepy food is completely acceptable to eat, but one must disclose the creepy level of his or her food.

Blackberry lunch assault – A dangerous device, allowing any lunchbuncher to share lunch commentary from anywhere. Member Paul is often guilty of blackberry lunch assaults and sometimes includes phone photos of lunches he enjoys (rubs in) during his work travels all over the country (And Canada. We hate him.)  QoQ would never ever stoop to this level….

 TG’s – The initials of the place of worship, er drinkage where several members of Lunch Bunch first met. Also a popular destination on Wednesday nights and formerly known as too many names to list in this definition. It’s just that place we go sometimes.

 Buddig – A type of deli meat, sold in individual packages. Often eaten without bread along with string cheese by member Dorothy who lives in Des Moines. I’m thinking Iowa is not getting a good food rep with this group…

 Cookies – A necessity at the end of any good Lunch Bunch member’s meal. May sometimes require a special trip to retrieve. Acceptable substitutions: cake and brownies.

 Ella – Adorable toddler daughter of  stay-at-home and expecting mother Toni. She often shares in Lunch Bunch by default of having had the same lunch as her mom. Or, vice versa. Toni is the only member who has ever included “juice box” on her lunch reports.

 Jay’s Office – Must be the most fun place on the planet to have lunch. Member Robin works there and member Paul often brings lunch there when he’s not traveling. Secretly, the rest of us kind of hate their little club. XOXO.

 9 p.m. – The time at which we usually receive an e-mail about member Ellen’s lunch. We’re not sure when she eats.

 1 p.m. – The time at which Kevin shares the delicious dinner he is fixing and rubs in that he is enjoying a cocktail while some Lunch Bunchers slave at their desks. [Kevin has recently moved to Cleveland with Jim and is studying to be a massage therapist. Since he started school a few weeks ago, we haven’t heard from him as much lately. We’re not sure if they are having TV dinners for meals or what.] 

 Spam – The most disgusting substance on earth, but often a subject of the Lunch Bunch. We are currently in two camps – love it v. hate it. Guess which camp I fall into…

Intrigued? Disgusted? A little bit of both?

You’d be a great fit. We occasionally allow new members. I’m just sayin’.



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I used to think cooking cost more than some out-to-dinner meals.  And when I first started cooking regularly, it did.

And that sucked.

But as my cooking became more habitual, my ongoing supply of staples began to pay off.  Soon, recipes became less and less costly as I already had flour, chicken broth, onions, garlic, parmesan, pasta, brown rice, black beans, crushed tomatoes …. on hand.

I’m still not really good at finding that balance of having fresh veggies stocked up. Although, you’ll rarely find me with out a few mushrooms lying around. (This being one of those times, as I recently had to toss a sad baggyof them…)

I’m really curious to hear from foodies what items of food they absolutely must have at all times. What foods do you feel naked without in your pantry?

Last night, DD Girl came by for an impromptu girls’ night. She recently dropped out of the fiance’s D&D group to free up some of her weeknight time. I found it slightly comical that despite her decision, she landed right back at our house, where the boys were about to start their weekly game.

Before the boys arrived, I was rummaging through my pantry to find something to whip up. I had kind of planned on re-heating the amazing Smoky Chiopotle Chicken Tortilla soup I made on Monday night, but DD Girl does not do spicy so I just threw that baby in the freezer for a later day.

“Well, I got starch, starch and more starch.” I told DD Girl.

Lots of pastas, sauces and breads, but very little protein or veggies. Secretly I was angsting over my lack of black beans. I never let my black bean supply dwindle!

Black beans are my super secret single food. You know, that food item you like to make and devour in mass quantities when no one is looking…I simmer them with onions, cumin and crushed red pepper and then douse them with cheese and sour cream. Sometimes I skip a spoon and use tortilla chips to scoop them into my mouth.

Wow, I just shared that. Moving on.

I opened up my freezer and found a bag of frozen spinach.


Onion, garlic, olive oil, white wine,  risotto,  chicken broth spinach and parm…sounded like the makings of a delicious dinner to me.

A Queen of Quirky staple special.

I’m so glad I have conquered my risotto-phobia. Because it’s really easy. And so tasty. It’s amazing how creamy risotto gets even before you add any cheese. Should I ever develop a dairy allergy, I’m going to drown in risotto.

After we gobbled our spinach risotto down, we moved upstairs so the boys could play downstairs. It was so silly to be sitting on my bed, watching TV with a friend. It felt like high school or an elementary school slumber party. (Sans wine.)

It didn’t seem right to leave Gertie on the floor. So up she went.

And she made herself quite at home.

And I might have had a mini twit pic frenzy. 

Just a little over the top.

I stopped there because the doorbell rang (and Gertie had to go check it out.) We were  joined by Roomie who just stopped by to fill us in on her sister’s wedding (Ok, she also brought me her share of the rent check, but I like to think she would have come by anyway to see me.)

 So there we were, all four of us on the bed, (Gertie eventually jumped ship. It got a little crowded.) wine and great conversation.

Later, after everyone left, I thought to myself, it’s really nice to have staples in my life.

But I really need to get some more black beans.

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My tradition

I’m really looking forward to my pending trip to the Carolinas. Not only do I get to see my friend Jenny, but yesterday I made plans with some other friends as well.

I hesitated in calling them — my former radio boss and his wife. While they were dear friends, they were our friends. Despite the fact that I worked with both of them for nearly two years. Memories of the four of us sitting on their back deck, drinking Miller Lite cans and belting out Family Tradition override memories of the three of us goofing off in the office having hysterical giggle fests when trying to cut commercials (so the word “panties” in a K-Mart commercial sent me over the edge. Hi. I’m 10.).

But then I realized that I can still have the memories and their friendship. I just have to own it. It is MY tradition now. I was the one who moved to North Carolina to find my career. I was the one who took the leap from print to radio. I was the one who forged the friendship.

Sure, they will ask about him. I’m prepared for that. Yup, he’s remarried. Yup, he’s living in smalltownville Kansas. Yup, that’s all I know. And they’ll shake their heads and say something about how funny he is, maybe even alluding to a memory like the time he put marinade on his cooked chicken and got deathly ill. And something else about how surprised they were that we divorced. (They were in our wedding.) And I’ll say, yup. It happens. And that will be it.

But one thing I’m curious about is, will I  be as impressed with the solidness of their relationship, their marriage as I was back then? Will my divorce cause me to see it through different eyes? Maybe. 

I do know that there will be Miller Lite cans. D will heat up his gas grill that he has converted into a charcoal grill (because it tastes better) and it will take nearly all night. And while we wait, we’ll talk and carry on and forget that we are hungry. Later, we’ll throw on some food as an afterthought. And laugh because that’s kind of a tradition.

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Listening to a good friend rant about a mediocre first date.

Taking care of him when he’s not feeling well.

Laughter with friends on Friday night.

A long walk with an old friend and our dogs.

Sitting next to Mom in a cozy booth over a nice dinner.

Dad asking me marketing questions.

My sister sharing in the passenger seat of my car.

Gertie’s big head on my lap and a sigh of content.

Enjoying sushi straight from the train.

His hand grabbing mine in the night.

These things make us closer.

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When you are here, you’re family

Another family fest with the boyfriend’s nutty brood. Can you guess where?

I told you I’m keeping a list of things overheard when I’m with them (I’ve decided most of them revolve around the youngest bro.)

  • Bro: “Ughhh…I’m going to throw up. Can’t stop eating.” (he was serious too.)
  • Me: “Bro, do you want the rest of my cake?”  Bro: “No, I can’t even finish mine.” Me: “Then stop eating.” Bro: “I can’t. I must eat everything in front of me.” Me: “Then I’m taking it away from you.”
  • Cling. Cling. Cling. (The sound of the boyfriend and bro having a butter knife fight.)
  • Plop. (The sound of an Andes Mint landing in the boyfriend’s wine glass. Guess who put it there?)

Gertie also got to play with Lily to her heart’s content yesterday. The boyfriend’s dad has figured out that Gertie’s favorite inside game is throwing the tennis ball, but you must make it bounce for her enjoyment.

I wouldn’t know much about throwing things for Gertie inside due to the spacial limitations of my closet-sized apartment. (Not for long!)

Speaking of spacial limitations, I told you about the little Happy Hour which I planned on the day of my friend Ging’s birthday and then proceeded to invite all of our mutual friends.

Well that happens to be tonight. It will be fun getting everyone together. And by together, I mean, well, it’s a good thing we are close friends.

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Justin & Stephanie

After my harrowing voting experience yesterday, it was great to unwind and watch the election results with friends. So, how handy that Justin threw a fabulous election night shindig at his fabulous loft last night? Good times, good food, good friends and good donkey and elephant cookies! Thanks for the party, Justin!

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