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I Like to Be Busy But —

Posted on November 19, 2018 by under Zumba.    

It’s not unusual for me to have bazillion things happening any given day. On the weekends, it’s actually quite special when I can somehow squeeze a nap into the schedule. I enjoy being busy and having something going on at all times but this is getting ridiculous. I’ve always pushed myself to do as much as I can and I’m constantly testing my limits. I never thought the day would come when I’d cry “Uncle” but I think I may have reached it. LOL.

A typical Saturday for me kind of looks like this…

  • 8:45 to 9:45 AM — Aqua Zumba at VASA Fitness
  • 10:30 to 11:30 AM — Zumba at Andover YMCA
  • Party or movie in the evening

…with laundry, lunch, and a nap in between (not necessarily in that order). Oh, and a shower (two actually). Just in case you were wondering… I shower when I get up in the morning and I shower again after my Zumba class. However, I only wash my hair during the second shower.

I don’t sleep in and I’m always on a schedule of some sort. That’s normal. A couple of weeks ago I got this crazy idea in my head to take a Y-Box workshop and then we got tickets to a Tallgrass Film Festival screening and gala party, which I didn’t want to miss. That day looked like this…

  • 8:45 to 9:45 AM — Aqua Zumba at VASA Fitness
  • 10:30 to 11:30 AM — Zumba at Andover YMCA
  • 12:30 to 3:30 PM — Y-Box Workshop at Downtown YMCA
  • 7:00 PM — Tallgrass Film Festival

Lunch that day consisted of a bunch of snacks that Brian packed for me to eat on my way from my Zumba class to the workshop. It was a day when the ShowerPill really came in handy as I only had time to change shirts.

Laundry still had to happen among other things. I thought about giving up my afternoon nap but I was so exhausted. Brian and I napped for a bit and then didn’t want to get up. We were meeting Jenni and some friends at TFF and, while we are normally early to everything, this was an exception. Jenni and April both beat us there. And, to think, I didn’t even bother fixing my hair and I didn’t have time to plan an outfit — which I would have had time for had I skipped the afternoon nap. Rushing makes me moody but I think I probably would have been far moodier without a nap. LOL.

Then last Saturday, I found myself in the same situation again. This time, the schedule was even more hectic…

  • 8:45 to 9:45 AM — Aqua Zumba at VASA Fitness
  • 10:30 to 11:30 AM — Zumba at Andover YMCA
  • 1:00 to 4:00 PM — ZIN Jam Session at Eventum
  • 6:00 PM — Light Your Heart event at the Marriott

There was no nap this time. Although, I did have time to grab something at Sonic on the way to the jam session. At least I wasn’t hangry.

The jam session lasted until four o’clock but there’s always group pictures at the end so I stayed for that. I think it was 15 or almost 30 after by the time I got out of there. Oh, there was also a master class later that same day, which I had to miss because we were already committed to the other party.

It was almost five by the time I got home so that gave me an hour –tops– to shower, get dressed, and fix my hair and face. On the plus side, the Marriott is about 10 minutes from our house so it wouldn’t take long to drive there.

We got to the party a little after six. I walked in just in time to catch Mike (from Splurge! mag) leaving. Brian was still parking.

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Here’s a picture from that night. I have to say, for someone who took less than an hour to get ready, I didn’t look too bad. LOL.

I remember those days when it would take me hours to get ready for a fancy party but now I’ve gotten it down to an art. I can usually get ready in less than an hour. I think the Zumba cruise has had a lot do with this. I would always try to squeeze as many Zumba classes as I could in my schedule to the point where I would have 10-15 minutes to get ready for dinner. It was insane! But, as they say, practice makes perfect and I’ve had a lot of practice getting ready super quick the last few years. At this point, an hour is more than enough time for me.

By the way, here’s that group pic from the jam session that I didn’t want to miss.

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A few of us also took some additional photos because we were matchy matchy.

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Rose (middle) was the one who orchestrated making us triplets with Jessie (left).

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These girls are so fun. I just love them!

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Anyway, I think I was at a breaking point this weekend. This past Saturday, Brian asked if I wanted to watch a movie and I told him I just wanted to read my book and chill. I think part of it was that I was still put out by watching “The Spy Who Dumped Me” (perhaps the dumbest movie I have seen in a long time). That’s two hours of my life I will never get back. I was like, “Stupid movie or finish my book?”

I was reading Kevin Kwan’s Rich People Problems, the third book in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy.

The answer was evident. I did some reading and also got a nap in. LOL. That also meant, Brian had some free time to play video games, which I though probably wasn’t an unwelcome turn of events for him. He really did want to watch a movie though, which we managed to squeeze into the schedule last night. He gave me the option to pick the movie this time and we watched “Mile 22” — which I really enjoyed. It made up for watching that last movie.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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Party Season Has Begun

Posted on November 12, 2018 by under Events.    

It’s the most magical time of the year. #PartySeason has officially begun. Some of our favorite events happen around this time of year. We missed a few of the parties last year because we were out of the country for my big 4-0 celebration in the Bahamas but since we were here this year and didn’t travel I was hoping we would be able to hit some events.

A few weeks ago I got offered tickets to Light Your Heart. I immediately asked Brian to check on our calendar. As luck would have it, we were available on that day so I confirmed but then at the same time, I also asked about Brew Ha-Ha. Big Brothers Big Sisters didn’t have the event last year but, as we are on the mailing list and received an invitation, I knew the event was back this year (although, the ticket price had almost doubled). Anyway, it was then that I found out that work wasn’t planning on sponsoring it this year. It’s Brian’s most favorite fundraising event so I gave him the bad news.

A couple of days later, I got a Skype message asking if I would for sure be able to attend. I said if work has tickets to the event, Brian and I will for sure 100% be there. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who asked about the event. I’m glad people asked because work changed their stance and decided to purchase some tickets. It made Brian’s day when he found out we were going to be able to attend after all, of course!

Here are a few pictures from this year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Brew Ha-Ha event at Flint Hills National Golf Club.

Everything starts at the Flint Hills National Golf Club clubhouse where you check-in and pick up a beer mug or wine tumbler (or both). We loved that you didn’t have to pay extra for the wine tumbler this year. At the last Brew Ha-Ha it wasn’t part of the $150 ticket. However, they did increase ticket price to $250 this time, so throwing in the wine tumbler was probably the least they could do.

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The wine tumblers this year were very nice. Not only were they free/included with your ticket but they were also high quality, insulated, metal ones. We liked them so much we get some extras at the end of the evening.

In the past, others have given us their beer mugs because they didn’t want to take them home so we’ve amassed quite a collection of Brew Ha-Ha beer mugs over the years. We were super excited to finally have some official, limited edition Brew Ha-Ha “wine snob” wine tumblers to add to our collection.

You can spend as much time at the clubhouse, where everything starts, as you want. They always have a wonderful band there, playing music for everyone’s enjoyment and there’s plenty of beer and wine. This year they served BBQ sundaes (which I didn’t have — not much of a BBQ person), buffalo wings, and pretzels with mustard cheese sauce. Brian and I are always eager to sample everything that all the lodges have to offer so we never stay too long at the clubhouse. We usually just stay long enough for Brian to get one pour in his beer mug. The beer options at the clubhouse were River City Brewing Co’s Saison Brux, Dim Wit, and Old Town Brown. They had La Malta Garnacha and Riondo Prosecco so, when Brian got some beer, I ended up getting some prosecco for my wine tumbler.

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You have several options for getting around. You can either hop on the party bus, ride one of the golf carts (they had several running this year, which was a welcome change — the golf carts were usually hard to come by in the past), or walk on the golf cart path. Believe it or not, the party bus method actually takes longer than walking because the bus has to go outside of the neighborhood and completely go around. There are stop signs and you have to wait for main road traffic. Anyway, your best bet is either walking or grabbing one of the golf carts.

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Knowing what we know, we only took the party bus once. We would have done more walking except the temperature was a bit colder this year. You could really feel it riding the golf carts because of the wind but it sure beat walking.

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Our first stop was Devlin Lodge to say hello to our friend Joe Parten (Carrabba’s). He is a generous supporter of local nonprofits and has supported this Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising event every year that we’ve attended.

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This year Carrabba’s served chicken Marsala, chicken Bryan (our absolute favorite thing to get whenever we are dining at the restaurant), and sausage and lentil soup. They had a grill setup at the front and you could smell the amazing aromas as you approached the lodge.

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Inside the lodge Central Standard Brewing was pouring Sun Ra, Wizard of Hops, and Louetta. The wine options were Tilia Malbec and Portlandia Pinot Gris. Not much of a beer drinker and not a lover of dry wines, I opted for water — but that didn’t stop me from having some fun with the CSB girls.

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We also took a selfie with Joe, which was become a bit of an event tradition.

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Below is a pic of me and Stephanie. She was one of my case managers/match support specialists when I was a Big Sister. I’ve had different people assigned to our match over the years and they shuffled people and balanced everyone’s workloads.

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Here’s an obligatory selfie of me and Brian, a must at every event we attend.

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Our next stop was Dower Lodge, where Uno Mas was stationed. They were serving Bam Bam Shrimp Tacos and Seared Pork Belly Tacos. Both were delicious!

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Shrimp Tacos

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Pork Belly Tacos

I have yet to get something from Uno Mas that I didn’t like. They’re probably my absolute favorite taco truck. As much as we love Carrabba’s, Dower Lodge was Brian’s favorite lodge this year because that’s where Walnut River Brewing was pouring Warbeard (currently his most favorite beer), High Beam, and Coffee Porter. The wine options were Colonia Las Libres Bonardo and Quinta de Aveleda Vinho Verdo. Again, not much for me to drink so I kept drinking water.

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We ran into my coworker Melissa and her husband Toby and so we got to catch up with them for a bit over delicious Uno Mas tacos and drinks. Then the four of us traveled (via golf cart) to the other side of the course for the other three lodges: Rohde Lodge, Wilcox Lodge, and 4D Lodge.

Rohde Lodge had Bang Bang Shrimp and Pumpkin Creme Brûlée from Bonefish Grill, Aero Plains Brewing’s Wingman Wheat and Aero Plains Pale Ale, and the following wine options — Sketchbook Pinot Noir and Mud House Sauvignon Blanc.

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Wilcox Lodge had Prime Rib and Lobster Bisque from Woodfire Grille at the Kansas Star Casino. Hopping Gnome’s offered their Earl of ESB, Sepia Amber, ICT IPA, and Design District Coffee Stout. The wines were Domaine Grand Bois Cotes du Rh and Shoofly Chardonnay.

Finally, at 4D Lodge they had chili and creme brûlée cheesecake bites. What a combo! LOL. This is the lodge where Nortons was stationed, serving Ozone, Polka Dot Princess, LuvBug, and Infamous Butcher. The wines were Thomas Gross Shiraz and D’Arenberg Hermit Crab White.

As you can tell, I didn’t really drink much but I enjoyed a lot of food. I probably would have drank more if they offered the beer milkshakes again — those are amazing! Unfortunately, Freddy’s didn’t participate this year, which was a bummer, but there were several new things that were good such as the addition of Sunflower Espresso and also the live music at every lodge. The fancy video displays along the cart part were also a very nice touch.

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No Brew Ha-Ha event is ever complete without a picture with my two favorite Big Brothers Big Sisters women: Tammy and Shelly.

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And a clubhouse selfie with the Washingtons (Jimmy and Evette) at the end of the night. And another selfie of just me and Brian for good measure.

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But, that wasn’t it for that weekend. We had Light Your Heart at the Wichita Marriott the very next day. This was a crazy weekend with Saturday being super hectic and crazy (even more than usual). I’ll tell you about it in another post. For now, let’s focus on some fun party pics.

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It was a rainy day so Brian dropped me off at the door before parking the car. On my way in, I ran into Mike a local photographer who takes pictures for Splurge! magazine. We’d come to know Mike just from running into him at various events over the years. He is a super nice guy who is always friendly and smiling with that big smile of his. He was leaving to photograph another event as we arrived.

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I also ran into Jenn Canare, one of Jenni’s old friends from school. She is a long-time supporter of Heartspring who was actually honored for her contributions not too long ago. She was volunteering at the party.

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This obligatory selfie of Brian and me should come as no surprise.

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We also took one with Cindy and David.

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And also with my friend Denise who I used to take Zumba classes with at Genesis Health Clubs. I rarely ever see her any more and wouldn’t see her at all if it weren’t for these types of events.

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The table is always so elegantly set and then, of course, they always have the desserts already out on the table. It makes your mouth water.

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You typically only get a couple of dessert options — some kind of chocolate cake and some kind of cheesecake. For this year’s Light Your Heart, the didn’t offer any kind of chocolate cake for dessert, but you did get three options: a dulce de leche cheesecake, a carrot cake, and an apple pie.

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I took several pictures so you can get a good look at each one.

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I didn’t get to try the apple pie or the carrot cake but I can tell you the dulce de leche cheesecake was amazing. Better than any chocolate cake they could have served. Even Brian liked it and he’s usually more of a strictly chocolate dessert only kind of guy. Full dinner menu below for your reading pleasure.

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Speaking of chocolate, we found these Cocoa Dolce truffles at each place setting which was a nice treat. I think they meant for you to take it as a parting gift. Mine didn’t make it past the salad course.

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Brian’s didn’t make it either. LOL.

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Here’s a picture of the main course. Dinner was actually quite good, as these events go. The London broil, green beans, and potatoes were satisfying. I didn’t eat the tomato or my dinner roll. The dinner roll thing shouldn’t come as a surprise as I’m not much of a bread fan. I usually only eat the rolls when I’m at Texas Road House, for obvious reasons. They have the best dinner rolls ever.

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Lamphouse was there so Brian and I got some fun photos. We love taking these and giving them to grandma for her to show off to friends.

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We also got an official event photo.

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Fast forward to this past Saturday. Another weekend, another party. It is #PartySeason after all. Brian and I had the pleasure of attending the Cattle Baron’s Ball for the first time ever. Tickets weren’t through work. We actually got in thanks to our friend Joe. He is a huge supporter of the American Cancer Society so Carrabba’s had seats that he wasn’t going to use. The last time we were at dinner at Carrabba’s he mentioned it and asked if we wanted to go. Not one to turn down free tickets to an awesome party, we naturally and predictably said yes. These next few pictures are from that event which was held at the Hyatt Regency downtown.

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In keeping with the Western theme, they had Clydesdale horses there.

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I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who took photos with the beautiful Clydesdales. The sweet horses were so patient.

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It was both a treat and a surprise to see James (DJ Carbon). I didn’t expect to see him working so soon after his surgery. What a trooper!

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Here are a couple of pictures of the ballroom.

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The event coordinators did a magnificent job on the centerpieces and all of the Western details. There were little touches of country everywhere you looked.

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I specially loved the wine bottles that served as flower vases atop a patch of burlap. The bottles were tied together with twine. I thought it was simple yet creative and perfect for the event.

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The bread they served was pretty good. It reminded of a larger loaf of the same type of bread served at Carrabba’s.

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Dinner consisted of a big chunk of beef (these were cowboys they were feeding after all), with a side of veggies, mashed potatoes and beans. I thought it was good but it was “done” enough for Brian.

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Dessert options were limited compared to Light Your Heart. This time you had a choice of chocolate cake or cheesecake, which is usually what you get at these types of events. Light Your Heart was more of an exception with the three dessert choices.

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I sat at the place setting with the chocolate dessert in front of it. Brian wanted the chocolate dessert too so he slyly traded his cheesecake for the chocolate cake next to it. That’s one of the perks of being the first people at the table. You get dibs on dessert. And, if you end up with one that you like less than another, then you can just trade it. People are usually too polite to say anything (or too drunk to notice) and they just eat what’s in front of them. LOL.

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I’m sure the cheesecake was just as good but we had cheesecake the previous weekend and we really wanted the chocolate cake. The chocolate cake was very good. Though, I must admit, the dulce de leche cheesecake was much better.

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Brian and I took advantage of picture taking throughout the evening. Here are a couple of photos he took of me.

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Of course, we took some selfies!

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I really wish I was more of a drinker because they had open bar all night long. Not just beer and wine either. They were making cocktails. I drank a few different concoctions before settling on ruby red grapefruit juice, vodka, and Sprite. Basically, a bastardized version of the Deep Eddy’s ruby red grapefruit cocktail I’ve been hooked on drinking of late.

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Oh, I had to take a picture of my cowboy boots. It’s not often that you can wear cowboy boots at a “ball” type event. Only this one.

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Anyway, we didn’t stay too late. Just long enough to claim our silent auction winnings. We love attending parties but we are by no means party animals. We actually got home at a pretty decent time on Saturday night. That’s pretty much it for the party roundup. Until next time. GNG.

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Radius Brewing Company

Posted on November 12, 2018 by under Food and Drink.    

I got to try a new place in Emporia a couple of weeks ago when Darcy and I were out there for a meeting. She suggested going to Radius Brewing Co. She’d been there before but I’d never been. It’s pretty cool. I might take Brian there.

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It’s not a big place but it’s cute inside. The exposed brick walls and wood floors give it a nice atmosphere.

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If Brian and I go, we’ll definitely have to get the Scottish eggs. Darcy and I had some and they were delicious!

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Darcy and I both had the salad. Except she had chicken with her and I had smoked salmon with mine. Pictures of both below.

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Anyway, no trip to Emporia is ever complete without stopping at the Sweet Granada. Darcy bought almost $50 worth of truffles and other treats. I spent only half that. Speaking of, I’m thinking I might have some right now… Until next time!

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Here’s a short video clip of what all we got. Enjoy!

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Another Year Older

Posted on November 9, 2018 by under Life, Zumba.    

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Made it through another revolution around the sun. We didn’t do anything exciting this year because it wasn’t a big birthday like last year. We did, however, celebrate all month long and we’re still celebrating. Yeah. I milk the heck out of birthdays.

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One of my Zumba besties, Cristy, made some delicious Zumba-themed cookies.

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Then a couple of my VASA girls got me presents. Eylaf made a cat shirt for our Mala Mujer song with the cat moves. Luwam gave me some workout pants and bunny costume accessories. These Zumba girls are so thoughtful!

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It’s weird being the giftee because I’m usually the one giving gifts to people. For example, I had buttons and wristbands and cellphone holder thingamabobs for my Sunday class on my birthday weekend. At VASA I gave Zumba shirts to everyone who attended either all four Saturdays for Aqua Zumba or all five Mondays for Zumba. It was their reward for hanging with me during my birthday month. I couldn’t do that for my Y classes which are typically bigger than my classes at VASA so I had to settle for just little trinkets for the Y.

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I got Brian a box of delicious chocolates from Sweet Granada since Darcy and I were in Emporia for a meeting a couple of weeks ago. We hit the chocolate shop before heading back to Wichita.

Brian earned it for baking the most delicious brownie cake for me to take to my VASA Fitness staff meeting on my birthday weekend, among other things. He started making it on Saturday afternoon and we ended up missing the Halloween party in Mulvane because the cake took longer to make than we originally thought. But it turned out so delicious and was such a huge hit. It was totally worth it!

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Speaking of, Brian is making this brownie cake again for our annual Harvest Feast at work next week (Friday before Thanksgiving). He’s also baking me some brownies to take to my VASA Fitness staff meeting on Sunday.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for the birthday recap. We will probably do something special next year for my second 21st birthday. This year was pretty much just another day, though. Until next time. GNG.

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Nortons with My Rotary Club

Posted on November 6, 2018 by under Food and Drink.    

Brian and I recently attended a club social with the Andover Rotary Club at Nortons Brewing Co. It was a Thursday night so I had to miss pickle ball but it was totally worth it. We got to enjoy great food and company.

Here are some pics…

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This is our current president, Alison Couey.

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The Harmons — they used to own Andover Veterinary Clinic.

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I never think to order a salad when I’m at Nortons because there’s so much delicious, unhealthy stuff on the menu. LOL.

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A couple of people ordered salads, though.

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I think this is the peanut butter and jelly.

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I got the corndogs, which Brian enjoyed immensely. He ate one and I was supposed to eat the other one. I didn’t get through mine though because the dough was undercooked. Brian lucked out and got the one corndog that was completely done. He said it was very good.

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Brian also got the club sandwich. Neither of us can remember what it’s called on the menu. He gave me one of the sandwich halves. It was just okay for me. I still like the BLT the best. They use chicken-friend bacon. Actually, they chicken-fry just about everything in that sandwich, including the tomatoes.

I’ll have to remember to just stick to what’s tried and tested next time so I’m not disappointed. I don’t know what came over me but I decided that I wanted to be adventurous that night. It totally backfired. Oh, well. That’s all for now. GNG.

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