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Archive for April 2014

Zumba in the Square

Posted on April 28, 2014 by under Zumba.    

At least once a year I participate in Zumba in the Square. The last couple of years I’ve attended I didn’t teach. This year I actually got to teach four songs. I’m so glad the weather held up for us. It was the perfect day for outdoor Zumba.

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Here are some of my favorite photos from Saturday night.

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It was prom night for several high schools so we had some teenagers in prom attire dance with us. It was quite a sight!

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Brian proved yet again that he is the most awesome husband ever. He hung out with us all night and took photos and videos. You can find some of the videos on my Zumba Fitness with Ching Facebook page and others are on the Flip and Ching Facebook page.

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Here’s a photo of me and my friend Nick.

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Missy and I were twins on Saturday night.

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I had such a great time. You’ll have to join us next time! You won’t regret it.

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Huge thanks to the most awesome husband ever for taking all of these photos!

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No More Rose Bushes

Posted on April 27, 2014 by under Home Ownership.    

After almost two years of living here we finally got around to getting rid of the rose bushes. Brian loathed them so much. Now they are finally gone. In their stead we have trees and shrubbery that are much more our style. Low maintenance and without thorns. Here are a couple of photos of the new plants.

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The one on the left is a river birch. I guess they’re quite popular because they are fast growing ornamental trees. My parents have some and so do others in our neighborhood. Not to be confused with the other river birch tress, we named ours Burch Reynolds. Guess who came up with that one. LOL.

The one on the right is a juniper tree. The landscape architect recommended a juniper because it’s an evergreen and it will look fantastic year round when the rest of our plants lose their foliage. Brian named this one Fern.

We have an existing tree in the middle of our yard that’s always been there. It appears to be some sort of redbud, though we don’t know for sure. We named ours Gimp because it doesn’t look as magnificent as all the other redbuds we’ve been seeing around town. In fact, I didn’t even think it was a redbud at first. I posted some photos of it on Facebook and asked for help identifying the type of tree. Several people said redbud so we’re just going with that.

We didn’t name the rest of the plants because we really have no idea what they are. They look nice though. The only other thing we named is our bubbling boulder. I know rocks aren’t alive like plants are, but this one bubbles. Besides, people name other inanimate objects like their cars. Our cars have names too. We didn’t want to leave the bubbler out so we named it Jane Fountain.

To sum up, the newest residents of Casa de Felitaciones are Jane Fountain, Burch Reynolds, Fern, and Gimp. Next time you’re over, you’ll have to say hi to them.

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Cafe Bel Ami

Posted on April 27, 2014 by under Food and Drink.    

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I had blood work done after work on Friday. I hate getting blood work done. It’s always really traumatic because they can never find my veins.

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Brian was nice and rewarded me with dinner at Cafe Bel Ami after we left the lab. I was really surprised. He’s not usually one to suggest such a place. He’s more of a Chipotle kind of guy. LOL.

The food at Cafe Bel Ami is amazing. I love eating there whenever I can, which is not very often. You’d think I’d be there all the time considering that it’s within walking distance from my work, but it’s more of a leisurely dining experience. When you only have an hour for lunch, it doesn’t work out so great. If you do have time it’s definitely worth checking out. The food is definitely worth the wait.

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Brian had the Bel Ami chicken on Friday.

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I’m a little piglet. I had the Bel Ami trio which consists of a beef tenderloin, chicken, and shrimp. It’s like their signature surf and turf. I normally have the grilled tilapia when I’m at Cafe Bel Ami but I wanted to try something different.

I’m glad I tried it because everything was delicious. I don’t eat a lot of beef because it’s never prepared the way I like it. This was perfect. You only get three shrimps with the entreĆ© but these were huge. The chicken had excellent flavor. Sometimes I end up regretting deviating from my usual but I was very pleased that I tried something new this time. I think I have a new favorite.

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Cafe Bel Ami on Urbanspoon

Brian and I shared a slice of cheesecake for dessert. It was just a standard cheesecake but I enjoyed every bite of it. It’s not every day that I get poked with a needle so I felt like I earned my dessert. LOL.

After dinner we stopped by Mr. Diggs, a home furnishings store across from Tracy’s Automotive. I’d been wanting to check that place out for a long time because I always see their sign whenever I’m in a meeting. You can see the building from our conference rooms at work.

It’s a really neat store and definitely worth a look. Their loft showroom is amazing. Their products are not as affordable as other stores but they have many unique pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. And you can get some great ideas from how they’ve grouped and showcased items together.

I wanted to stick around for the Final Friday festivities. It’s been a while since we did an art crawl. We were both really tired though, and we had Sir Roger Moore waiting for us at home. We were set to watch A View to a Kill, the final James Bond film starring Sir Roger Moore, that evening.

We spent the rest of the evening watching our weekly Bond film and relaxing at home. It was the perfect way to end a busy week.

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Oriental Express

Posted on April 26, 2014 by under Food and Drink.    

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Got to try a new place while we were in Topeka this week. It doesn’t look like much inside (or outside for that matter) because it’s a bit of a hole in the wall but it came highly recommended. Lance has eaten here half a dozen times and he keeps coming back so it must be good. LOL.

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For starters I recommend ordering the Oriental Express appetizer sampler platter. It’s an excellent value. You get to try several things for about $10. Can’t beat it. Oh, and they’re serious about their chicken satay. You don’t get a bamboo skewer with a little bit of chicken. You get a large piece of chicken on a skewer and you get two of these.

The crab rangoon was just okay. Very few places really have fantastic crab rangoon. It’s not a deal breaker for me. I didn’t get to try any of the other things on the plate because I wanted to save some room for my meal and I could feel myself getting full already just off the one chicken satay and one crab rangoon.

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I ordered the triple delight which consisted of shrimp, beef, chicken, and broccoli. The sauce was a little too salty but it was good overall. I mean, that’s what steamed white rice is for after all — to absorb some of the saltiness. Right?

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Rachel and Sally both had combination dinners. Rachel had the basil chicken (above) while Sally had the sesame chicken below.

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I didn’t know you got dessert with the combination dinner or I would have opted for it also. Their cake thing looked yummy, specially after a savory meal.

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Lance was all about the sushi.

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Oriental Express Restaurant on Urbanspoon

I think every time he has dined at Oriental Express he’s always ordered sushi. I must say that the restaurant has quite an extensive menu. They have a full page of sushi options in addition to the Oriental food selections. They have Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai. They offered a smorgasbord of dishes. Seriously. Anything you could think of, they had. It’s easy to see why the place is favored by the locals.

The best part is they have a drive thru window so you don’t even have to come inside when you order take out. If you need food quick, forget the national fast food chains. Just hop on over to Oriental Express. You won’t regret it.

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The Moose Truck

Posted on April 26, 2014 by under Food and Drink.    

Did you know that the Blue Moose has a food truck? I didn’t either until we saw it the other day in front of their restaurant in Topeka.

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Sally, Lance, and I were in Topeka for training last week. I had eaten at the Blue Moose once before with Tammie, Jimmy, Patrice, and Connie. I don’t really know a lot of restaurants in Topeka so I went ahead and suggested the Blue Moose as a dinner option for the three of us.

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Here are some pictures of our food.

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These are the shrimp wontons. Not bad. You can’t really go wrong with wontons. You can put just about anything in them. Brian and I have made roast beef and cheese before and called them Philly cheese eggrolls.

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Lance ordered crab cakes, which he shared with me and Sally. They were served with two different types of dressing. They were just okay. However, the crab cakes themselves were yummy.

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Blue Moose on Urbanspoon

You won’t see any other pictures besides this one because all there of us ordered the fish tacos. There’s really no point taking three pictures of the exact same thing. LOL.

I liked the Blue Moose the first time but I liked it even more this time. I think it’s because I got to try different things this time and they were all very good.

I’ve only eaten at the Blue Moose twice but the restaurant is quickly growing on me. I think this is officially one of my favorite places to eat in Topeka.

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