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Archive for "Life"

Labor Day Photo Shoot

Posted on September 18, 2019 by under Life.    

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Brian and I had a photo shoot with Hannah Nighswonger on Labor Day with our babies. Here are some highlights.

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Thank you so much to Hannah. She did such an amazing job with these photos! We cannot wait to work with her again. If you’d like to book her for services, you can contact her here.

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Dinner Date with the Hubs

Posted on September 6, 2019 by under Life.    

We finally got around to checking out Lola’s Bistro, our friend Michael Abay’s restaurant. It’s been open for a couple of years but, since we don’t live on the Northeast side of town anymore, it wasn’t as convenient to go. After trying their food, I regret having waited so long to find time to check it out.

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For those who don’t know, lola is a Tagalog word that means grandmother so the restaurant’s name basically means “Grandmother’s Bistro.”

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When we went last Friday, we got there early enough that they weren’t busy. It could have been the holiday weekend also. Perhaps people were doing end of summer cookouts so the restaurant was unusually slow. Either way, we appreciated not being around a mob of people.

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The restaurant isn’t very big. The interior is nicely decorated and, though they have enough room to accommodate larger groups, it still feels somewhat intimate.

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My delicious drink…

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We didn’t put the bartender to the test (I ordered their rosie peach sangria) but the bar seemed to be well-stocked.

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Here’s the specialty cocktail menu.

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Here’s a glimpse of the food menu.

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Lola’s does nice touches like complimentary breaded artichoke hearts (below) at the beginning of your dining experience and little shortbread cookies at the end.

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Brian didn’t care for these fried artichoke hearts but I thought they were great.

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For our starters, we got lumpia, chicken skewers, and pork belly boa buns.

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All three appetizers were great but the pork belly bao buns (pictured above) were definitely our favorite. The best way for me to describe this is if the Filipino siopao (steamed dumpling which consists of a sweet white bun filled with meat) and Vietnamese banh mi (baguette sandwich with pickled vegetables) had a baby. It was so good, I would go just for it.

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You’d think three starter dishes would be sufficient, and it was, but we really wanted to try one of the amazing entrees. Everything sounded delicious but we had to go for the chicken adobo. It’s a Filipino dish that Brian and I both enjoy.

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Lola’s beautiful rendition of the adobo tasted as good as it looks. I have never had chicken adobo presented as magnificently. But the dish was definitely not all looks with no substance.

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All of the unmistakable, delicious adobo flavor was well represented. We are far from food experts, but Brian and I were both very impressed.

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We shared a slice of their delicious cheesecake for dessert. As with everything else we tried that night, the presentation was impeccable. We enjoyed every last bite.

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Of course, we took a couple of obligatory selfies.

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Here’s a pic of the little shortbread cookies (which remind me of my favorite cookies from the Ambassador Hotel in Kansas City that I used to stay at) that I mentioned earlier. They’re the perfect meal finishers.

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Before we left we took a pic with the owner, Michael Abay.

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This was one of our most memorable dining experiences from start to finish — great service, amazing food, and lovely ambiance. We will definitely return!

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Getting Ready for ZINCON

Posted on August 6, 2019 by under Life.    

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This is us at Nails & Beyond, getting ready for ZINCON. I did silver toenails this time. We did two different shades of silver. One was opaque and the other a glittery overlay for extra sparkle.

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I also had a waxing right before ZINCON, which also happened to be the same day as a big sale at Beau Monde so I bought myself a blingy hat.

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May Recap

Posted on May 27, 2019 by under Life.    

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Did you know that the first full week of May is National Nurses Week? Actually neither did I until I was hired by Wesley (through the YMCA) to lead Zumba for their nurses that week.

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I only had four lovely nurses join because (a) it’s monsoon season here in Wichita and it was raining nonstop that day and (b) the nurses were working 12-hour days and those who had gotten off work didn’t have any energy to stay — they just wanted to go home and make dinner. My contact Jelinda said there were people who were off that day who said they were interested in coming to do Zumba but the weather probably discouraged them. We originally planned to have the Zumba outside on their courtyard but because of the weather we had to do it in one of the conference rooms.

Despite the low participation rate, the four of us had a great time. Also, it was better than the yoga session they scheduled that morning which I heard had zero participants. It’s a real shame. I think the hospital leadership was doing the right thing by coming up with fun activities for the nurses to show how much they’re appreciated but things just didn’t work out well, schedule and weather-wise.

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I’m being a good Zumba ambassador as I continue to invite people to try my classes. I actually managed to convince another coworker to try it. Last year Amelia started doing Zumba with us. Last month Tom got to try it. A couple of weeks ago, Amir (another coworker of ours) got to try it.

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I had an opportunity to sub Anna’s Aqua Zumba class at West YMCA a few weeks ago (the same Saturday that Amir tried my Zumba class). Matt actually came to Aqua Zumba. I invited him but I didn’t think he would actually show up. Imagine my surprise! He even made a sign. It was very nice.

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Speaking of surprises, Brian and I decided to surprise grandma with a pop-up Mother’s Day card and some cake pops. When Brian went to deliver it, he discovered that his parents sent the exact same card to grandma. Proof that great minds think alike. She got a good laugh out of it.

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Here’s a pic of me teaching one of my last Aqua Zumba classes at VASA Fitness for the season. I each Aqua Zumba at the Andover YMCA at the same time during the summer months (June, July, and August) so Victoria is taking over for me until September. I will miss this awesome group so much!

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In other news, the weather is finally nice enough now for us to play outdoor pickleball. I got to play outside a few times this month and I must say, it’s a whole different world than playing indoors.

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I also made three Rotary luncheons this month which is amazing considering I probably made three total last year.

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My favorite meeting by far is the final mini grant presentation. I missed all the other ones. I’m glad I got to see at least one of them.

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Tina and Justin came back to Zumba. That always makes me really happy because I will sometimes invite people and they’ll show up as a courtesy but then they don’t come back. And that makes me sad even though I know it’s not personal. Zumba just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

We had a very successful Y Takeover event at Chicken N Pickle last weekend. I will blog about it separately because Brian got a ton of great pics and videos.

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We also had a very nice time dog sitting Jay and Becca’s dog Gronk over Memorial Weekend. As an added bonus, our friend Alicia got to meet grandma when she dropped off Gronk on Saturday.

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I think that pretty much catches up the blog (besides the Y Takeover post, which is still in the works). Whew! I can’t believe we are finally caught up at long last!

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Pre-Costa Rica Trip

Posted on May 6, 2019 by under Life.    

The blog is about a month behind right now but we are almost caught up! Whee! I’m posting about the day before we left for Costa Rica so you know what that means. The Costa Rica trip recap is coming up very, very soon.

The Saturday before we left for Costa Rica was full of regular Saturday stuff like my two Zumba classes (Aqua Zumba at VASA Fitness at 8:45 AM and Zumba at Andover YMCA at 10:30 AM) but then we also had to squeeze in a few other things like getting our nails done and beach-ready and then also a comedy show at the Wichita Orpheum. Yes, a comedy show!

When we were originally planning our trip, we had considered flying out of Tulsa with Jay and Becca (and Marc and Reniece) to save some money until we realized that we really couldn’t fly out of Tulsa because we had tickets to Jo Koy’s Break the Mold tour the night before. It turned out okay because, by the time we pulled the trigger on the trip, the airfare had gone up so we weren’t going to be saving that much money anyway compared to flying out of the Wichita airport. And, we really should be supporting our local airport so we can get more flights.

But I digress… We knew we had a super busy Saturday (more busy than usual) ahead of us, so we went straight to the nail spa after my Zumba class. As luck would have it, we ran into my friend Teresa who just finished getting her nails done. What a treat! We had to take a selfie (groupie) obviously.

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Here are some pictures from Jo Koy’s Break the Mold Tour on Saturday night.

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Here we are waiting in the lobby with a bunch of other early birds.

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One of the funniest observations I made is that there were several Filipino people who were there in the line waiting to get in super early. The irony of this is that Filipinos are notorious for being late to EVERYTHING. Apparently they will be early for Jo Koy.

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Here’s a pic of me and my friend Angela.

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Here we are with the rest of Angela’s fam. Anyway, we just took a few pics. Pics before the show are okay but they are forbidden during the show. This rule (as well as the heckling rule) was enforced strictly. They actually walked a woman out of the show towards the beginning.

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Brian and I hit the Hill after the comedy show.

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We enjoyed some reverse happy hour snacks and drinks.

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We couldn’t stay too late though because we had an early flight to Costa Rica (via Houston) the next morning. Next post we will start the first installment of our Costa Rica trip. #VacayWithJayJay #CostaRica2019 #PuraVida

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