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Archive for "Relationship"

13th Anniversary Dinner at Luciano’s

Posted on August 10, 2015 by under Food and Drink, Relationship, Reviews.    

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Here are some pictures from our low key anniversary dinner at Luciano’s, a restaurant that we’ve heard so much about but have never been to until now.

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This is Brian’s interpretation of Kilroy.

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Our delicious starter, which consisted of two different types of mozzarella cheese, prosciutto (from Parma, Italy), kalamata olives, olive oil, and salt.

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I liked the cozy ambiance of the restaurant. It’s quiet enough for a nice, intimate conversation also. Brian and I agreed that it’s a great place for a date.

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Brian had the baked lasagna.

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I had the pasta carbonara.

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And, we each got dessert. Tiramisu for me.

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Creme brûlée for Brian.

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Brian and I really enjoyed our dinner at Luciano’s. Even though they did card us and I didn’t have my purse with me. At least our server used good judgement and realized that if I’m married to an old man like Brian then I must be equally old. LOL.

I’m really glad they let me drink otherwise I would have missed out on the delicious sangria. It was so good that I had two glasses of it. Even Brian liked it. The only downside is that you could only order it by the glass. A carafe to share with Brian would have been nice.

Anyway, great dinner overall. I highly recommend Luciano’s. Brian and I will definitely be back, with or without a special occasion to celebrate.

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Best. Weekend. Ever.

Posted on August 2, 2015 by under Relationship, Things to Do.    

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As you all know, Brian and I will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary in a few days. We started our celebration early because we wanted to do a moonlight horseback ride and we couldn’t dictate the moon’s schedule so we had to be flexible. LOL.

This moonlight horseback ride adventure was even made more special by the blue moon. Blue moons occur when you have two full moons in the same month. It’s not really blue. I’m not sure why they call it that. It was pretty cool, though.

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Brian and I both took Friday off because we didn’t know how long it would take to get to the ranch and, having never stayed there, we wanted to scope out our accommodations.

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We were supposed to stay in this solitary cottage called Calaboose but the previous guests busted the blinds so Gwen moved us to the Tallgrass Suite, which is on the West side of the cabin. It actually worked out better because we got to look at both rooms and, for the same price, the Tallgrass Suite is way better.

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This is the inside of the Calaboose. It’s a tiny cabin consisting of just a sleeping area and a bathroom. It’s cute and cozy and would have worked out just fine but the Tallgrass Suite is definitely an upgrade.

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The Tallgrass Suite is attached to the Prairie Room. While we initially wanted to be by ourselves, the spaciousness of the alternative room more than made up for the location. In the photo above, the Tallgrass Suite is on the left and the Prairie Room is on the right.

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Our room had a full-sized kitchen, complete with range, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, and full-sized fridge. We got dishes, pots and pans, utensils, dish towels, and even wine glasses. We had a sitting area and everything. If we were staying longer, there was a washer and dryer and detergent. We also had a small back deck with a gas grill.

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The bedroom had a closet and huge attached bathroom with a separate tub and shower. It was really a lot nicer than I expected. I mean, I packed a hair dryer because I wasn’t sure there would be one there but our bathroom had one. Had I known our accommodations would be so comfortable, I would have reserved two nights instead of only one. LOL.

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Here’s the outside of our cabin.

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Other accommodations on the property include the bunkhouse, pictured above, and the lodge, below. The lodge is super nice. The pictures that follow really don’t do it justice.

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This is the living room area of the East side of the lodge.

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The large dining room is big enough for 40 people.

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This is the living room area of the West side of the lodge.

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Another view of the living area.

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Full kitchen.

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The West side of the lodge has two private bedrooms on the ground level and additional sleeping areas upstairs. Overall I think it can comfortably house ten people. It’s perfect for families or small groups.

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I love the rustic look of the outside.

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Our experience started with dinner at the lodge.

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Our dinner consisted of salisbury steak, roasted potatoes, corn, and tomato cucumber salad prepared by chef/rancher Josh Hoy, followed by homemade raspberry and blueberry pies (which I didn’t get any pictures of).

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After dinner we sat and listened to Josh’s father Jim tell stories. He’s like the Bob Ross of prairie stories. I could listen to him for days.

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Jim Hoy is a celebrity in these parts so I had to get a photo with him. 😉

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Actually, Josh is a bit of a celebrity too. He was on Master Chef and showed Chef Gordon Ramsey how to cook like a cowboy a few years ago.

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We stayed on schedule and saddled up around eight o’clock.

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They put Brian on Rufus, the clumsiest horse of the group. I think they did it on purpose because Brian was the most experienced rider of all the guests. Brian said he was a good horse, even though he found all of the pot holes in the trail.

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I ended up getting Phatty. Josh did tell me ahead of time that they might call me by my horse’s name, as they’re prone to doing because they sometimes can’t remember all the guests names, and not to be offended. I guess one time they put a portly man on Phatty and forgot to tell him in advance so he was getting really upset each time he got called Phatty. After they explained to him that the horse’s name is Phatty, he felt a lot better.

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In this photo you’ll see their niece Piper, Jim Hoy’s wife Cathy, Brian, and Jim.

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Brian, Jim, and Cathy waiting for the rest of us to get on our horses.

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Piper may only be thirteen but she looks like a pro. She was going to help them with shipping cattle the next morning.

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We took off in time to watch the sunset.

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We took some photos while we were waiting.

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Here’s a picture of our wonderful hosts, Gwen and Josh Hoy.

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There are few things as breathtaking as the sun setting in the Flint Hills.

The first time I ever saw a Flint Hills sunset was during the Symphony in the Flint Hills several years ago. It’s kind of a spiritual experience.

Photos don’t quite do it justice and beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it.

When the sun finally set, it was time to look for the moon.

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We stopped at a few spots to admire the beauty of the Flint Hills and learn some stuff but the moon was definitely the star of the show.

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She was full, bright, and majestic that night.

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I’d been horseback riding before but this most recent horseback riding experience is one that I will remember forever. It was truly something special and I’m glad that I got to share the experience with Brian.

The next day we met John Plots from Boston as we were leaving. He and his wife and two kids were supposed to be on the moonlight horseback ride with us but they arrived at the ranch late. We also met Bones, ranch hand and blogger.

Others who went on the moonlight horseback ride with us besides, Piper, Jim and Cathy Hoy, and our hosts Josh and Gwen Hoy, include Sheila Townsend who actually works for the same company as me. She’s in the real estate department and works out of our Topeka office. We also met Steve, Alice, and their son Charlie. We had a great group. I also liked that it was small because I’m not an experienced rider and I appreciated that there were enough people to keep an eye on all of us.

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The next morning, Brian and I wandered around Cottonwood Falls before heading home. We ate at the Keller Feed & Wine Company (formerly Emma Chase Café). I will write more about our Cottonwood Falls adventures next time.

For now, I hope you enjoyed my account of our horseback riding adventures at Flying W Ranch. Perhaps you can join us next time.

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Valentines Weekend 2014

Posted on February 16, 2014 by under Events, Relationship, Things to Do.    

I had so much fun at Paint the Towne with my coworkers last month that I wanted to share the experience with Brian. April suggested we do the couples painting event on Valentines Day. I wasn’t sure that people would go for it, but I managed to round up six other couples (besides us and the Phelpi) who were game.

I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised. After celebrating over a decade of Valentines I was open to doing something different. I guess others were as well.

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Our group consisted of (from left) the Smiths (Chad and Laura), the Holts (Stacy and Cari), the Rheas (Leo and Tammie), the Phelpi (Cory and April), the Wirtzes (Aaron and Reby), the Richardsons (Brandon and Amy), the Farmers (Brian and Sherii), and of course us (Flip and Ching).

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Here are some more photos from Friday night.

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Our painting is supposed to match, but Brian wouldn’t cooperate. LOL.

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Other couples fared better I think.

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We took breaks to snack while we waited for paint to dry.

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We also took time to admire each other’s handiwork.

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These two were so lovey dovey all night.

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They were the most harmonious couple of all.

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This is Sherii painting on her husband’s canvas while he wasn’t looking.

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People really got into painting.

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Brian did too. I’m so glad I got to share this experience with him.

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Here’s a picture of our group as we were just getting started.

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We saw the Rheas and the Farmers again the following night at the 20th Annual Wichita Heart Ball, a gala benefitting the American Heart Association.

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Before I share more pictures of people, here are some pictures of the food that we got to enjoy last night.

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The tables were set in the most elegant way and all of the food looked and tasted great. I enjoyed everything, even the asparagus.

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Here’s a photo of us in front of the red carpet and a selfie during dinner.

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Here’s post-dinner photo of our group: (from left) the Heitkotters, the Shermans, the Rheas, the Farmers, and us. The dinner was great but the company was fantastic. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to hang with at the gala.

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As if the decadent desserts weren’t enough, they had chocolate fountains at the event also for our post-dinner snacking enjoyment.

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Here’s a photo of Sherii, Tammie, and me as we enjoyed our drinks and the live music. There wasn’t really much room to dance. Mostly I just wanted the silent auction to close to see how much damage we’d done to our bank account. LOL.

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Here’s a couple of official event photos.

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A selfie of Brian because he just couldn’t help himself.

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Our neighbors Raj and Shilpa were co-chairs of the event.

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Here’s my favorite photo of me from last night.

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Here’s my favorite photo of Brian from last night.

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Doesn’t he look absolutely amazing in his tuxedo? And to think that he resisted the idea at first. When I initially told him that we got tickets to the Heart Ball, I conveniently left off optional and told him that the event was strictly black tie. He wanted to wear his black suit with a black tie — I guess to satisfy the “black tie” requirement. LOL. I insisted that he wear a tuxedo not just so he’d fit in at the part but also because I haven’t seen him in a tuxedo since our wedding and I’d been dying to see him in one.

He reluctantly went to the store with me but immediately warmed up to idea after trying on a tux. All it took was seeing how sophisticated and handsome he looked in one. He saw his dashing selection in the mirror and there was no turning back. The guy who didn’t want to wear tuxedo now wants to wear his tux everywhere. I’ve created a monster. He’s actually thinking of wearing his tux to National Sales Meeting in a couple of months. That’s going to throw some people for a loop for sure. All of his coworkers will be wondering why he’s so dressed up. They’ll be like, “What’s up with Brubaker? Is he getting an award or something?” LOL.

Anyway, now that we’ve got our weekend recap out of the way, you’re probably wondering what Brian got me for Valentines Day. I’m not really the roses, chocolates, or jewelry kind of girl. You’re talking about someone who got six personal training sessions for Brian on my 35th birthday. For Valentines Day I wanted to see my husband in a tuxedo and that’s exactly what I got. Actually, he far exceeded my expectations. Last night I felt like I was with the sexiest man at the ball. I felt so special — like the luckiest girl in the world. Not only is my husband caring, smart, funny, and thoughtful, he’s good looking to boot. He is the whole package. And, he looks amazing in a tuxedo. Now to work on his British accent.

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Painting and Shooting

Posted on January 18, 2014 by under Date Ideas, Events, Relationship, Things to Do.    

It’s a painting and shooting kind of weekend. I had a lot of fun painting with my coworkers last night. Click the right arrow on the picture above to see more photos from our painting party at Paint the Towne.

Huge thanks to Tammie for organizing the event and to Misty for taking a bunch of photos. Thanks also go out to my awesome husband for making mini tacos for me to bring to the party and for driving Misty and me to and from the event. I really appreciated not having drive after a few glasses of wine, which flowed quite freely because everyone brought one or two bottles and then some. There were plenty of yummy eats too so none of us were drinking on empty stomachs. Safety first!

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Since I got to do what I wanted to do last night, Brian got to do what he wanted to do this afternoon. Cory and April went shooting with us also, which was awesome because they shared their targets and I got to shoot Cory’s new toy — a 22 calibre Ruger rifle.

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Here are a couple more photos from the shooting range.

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If you’re trying to score some points with your partner, taking him to the gun range is a sure fire way to do it (pun intended – LOL). Plus, couples who play together stay together. Just sayin’…

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Brian Earns Bonus Points

Posted on December 8, 2013 by under Relationship.    

Sierra did my makeup at Beau Monde the other day. I’m not sure if Brian got an “after” picture, but this is what I looked like before she did her magic.

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I wish I had an “after” picture to show you guys because she did such an amazing job. It’s a lot like getting your hair done at the salon. The professionals always make you look so much better. I think so anyways so I asked Brian, “Would you like it if I learned how to do my makeup and looked like this all the time?” It’s a valid question because I rarely ever do my makeup. I’m just not any good at it.

Brian really surprised me with his response. He said he preferred me the way I am without all the makeup. He’s like, “Makeup done right always enhances the way that someone looks so of course most women look better with makeup and many women need makeup to look good. However, there are women who can get by without makeup because they’re naturally beautiful. You’re one of those people.”

That was really sweet. And, he definitely earned some bonus points that day. Although, no matter what he says, I still prefer the way I look with makeup. I’m going to take makeup application lessons one of these days. LOL.

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