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Archive for July 2015

Fun Times with Nickira

Posted on July 29, 2015 by under Life, Things to Do.    

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My little sister Nickira and I got to hang out on Sunday. We had dinner at Freddy’s again because when we went there last Sunday, she didn’t get to have funnel cake. This time she had her funnel cake first. I really should have objected because, as expected, she had no room for her bacon cheeseburger after that. Anyway, this just validates my decision not to have children. I think I’m a decent friend/big sister, but I would make a terrible mom.

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Nickira and I went to see Big Fish at Century II. It was awesome. I think I enjoyed it more than she did, though. She kind of fell asleep during the mostly talking parts. We got popcorn and skittles during intermission and she was fine after that.

I just love Music Theatre Wichita. Last year Nickira and I went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Brian and I got to see West Side Story. They were both very good. Big Fish was great, too. I’m looking forward to seeing Hello Dolly with Brian. Each year and each show just gets better and better. We are so lucky to have fantastic shows here in Wichita.

The previous week we went swimming at the Andover YMCA water park. That’s another thing we are blessed with — we have the best YMCA facilities in the nation here in Wichita. The water parks at the YMCA are super cool. Kira and I had a great time going down the slides (both of them) and floating along the lazy river.

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Before that we attended the Sundaes on Sunday event at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office. This is Kira’s sundae creation.

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I kept mine pretty basic.

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Anyway, it was really cool because we got to play games with other matches. We played Apples to Apples (one of my favorite games) first and then we played Uno and Skip Bo. I’d never played those two card games before.

I had so much fun I ended up ordering both that day from Amazon. They were less than $10 each and relatively inexpensive as games go. It worked out great because we got to play Uno with grandma on Saturday when Brian fixed us lunch at the house. We also played Uno with Kira before going to Big Fish on Sunday.

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The time before that we got to do some watercolor painting. We had some extra time and extra resources so we got to paint several works of art.

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Pink is Nickira’s favorite color so she had to make an all pink one.

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We are really lucky that our local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization comes up with some neat match activities. It’s fun for just the two of us to hang out but sometimes it’s even more fun when we get to do stuff with others. For instance, we’ve been to Roller City a few times now. While it’s fun every time, I think the time that we went with Faith and her kids and Eleanor and Peter and Ella was way more fun even though it was in the middle of what seemed like a blizzard.

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One of my most favorites times we’ve hung out that I haven’t shared with you guys is when we were learning Zumba routines. The video above is of Eleanor practicing one of her songs and Nickira was learning it with her.

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Nickira and I have now been matched over a year and, more than just being a rewarding experience, it’s been really fun. For those of you who have the time to spare, I highly recommend volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters. There are several kids waiting for matches. Or, if this isn’t your cup of tea, there’s many other volunteer opportunities in the area.

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uBreakiFix Saved My Hiney

Posted on July 19, 2015 by under Toys.    

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After I got home from the awesome wine pairing event, I took the dog for a walk and this happened. The phone got caught on the leash and it flung from my hand and landed on the sidewalk. I didn’t even think anything of it at first because I’d dropped my phone so many times before, inside and outside the house. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve dropped it getting in and out of the car. Anyway, when I finally got a good look at it and saw that it was completely smashed, I just wanted to cry. The screen was obliterated. There was no saving this thing.

I couldn’t really yell at Molly because it wasn’t her fault. I think I was a little tipsy from the wine tasting event and so my reaction time as slow. I probably had no business walking the dog but walking the dog is a chore that Brian doesn’t particularly enjoy doing and she wasn’t going to walk herself. I told Brian what happened and, thankfully, he didn’t yell at me. I hadn’t had my phone a year and I’d already broken it.

I knew I had to get the phone repaired. There was no way around that. I depend on my phone for everything because it’s like a mini computer on the go. I use it to take photos, play games, check emails (both work and personal), catch up with people on social media, check my 401k, watch TED Talks and other videos, play my Zumba music though the ZIN DJ app (it’s the main reason I finally switched from Android to iPhone — the app isn’t available on Android), communicate with people via text, and sometimes I even use it for phone calls. The challenge wasn’t getting the phone repaired, we knew exactly where to take it. The challenge was getting the phone repaired in less than 24 hours because I had a Zumba class to teach the very next night and I couldn’t find someone to sub the class because I was the designated sub. LOL.

I love having my playlist conveniently in my ZIN DJ app and cringed at the thought of actually having to burn a CD, which I hadn’t done in a while. We contacted our friends at UBreakIFix immediately. They were closed for the evening but they told Brian to take my phone in the next day and they would do their best to get it repaired by end of business day. Not quite good enough because their day ends at 7 PM and I had to teach the Zumba class at 6:30 PM but we had to take our chances because it was the only shot we had. To top it off Brian couldn’t leave the house first thing in the morning to take my phone to be repaired because he had to wait for the Lowe’s repair guy who was coming in that morning to fix our freezer. Of course, they didn’t show up until the end of appointment window. I couldn’t complain though because the freezer repair was covered by our warranty so we didn’t actually have to spend any money out of pocket for that one, unlike my phone repair which cost a lot of money.

As soon as the Lowe’s guy left, Brian skedaddled to the UBreakIFix store which is clear on the other side of town from our house. Here are some photos he took while they worked their magic. It was really like magic. By the time our friend David was done, my phone looked good as new. Like nothing tragic ever happened to it.

Perhaps the most amazing feat of all was that they fixed my phone in a matter of hours. Brian drove up to my office to bring me my phone and I remember it was hilarious because I called him to tell me when he was in the parking lot. He was like, “I’m literally walking into your office right now.” I was confused. I looked up and he was right there at the door of my office like he said. I guess my boss let him in.

I looked at my phone in amazement. Everything worked. Including my ZIN DJ app. I was so relieved. It cost a lot to repair my phone but it was worth every penny. It seemed like a lot to me because I’d never had to have a phone repaired before but I guess those screens really are expensive to fix. My coworker Josh and I priced the parts (for if you wanted to repair it yourself) and it as just as much as UBreakIFix charges and then you run the risk of messing it up completely if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s best to let the professionals handle it. And, they really are professionals. These guys are amazing. They have the tools and the expertise to get your broken phone back in working order. I’m not going to lie, it’s going to cost quite a bit to fix your phone depending on what’s broken, but if you consider what it’s going to cost you to fix it or what other places might charge, UBreakIFix rates are actually very reasonable.

If you ever need your phone fixed, I highly recommend UBreakIFix. They fixed my phone within a few hours and totally saved my hiney!

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Women at GT Wine Pairing Event

Posted on July 19, 2015 by under Events.    

My friend Faith and I attended the 5th annual wine pairing event hosted by the Women at Grant Thornton a couple of weeks ago. They had it at the Petroleum Club which is just a floor above ours in the Ruffin Building. I took it as a sign that I had to attend. LOL.

It was a Monday night so I had to find a sub for my Aqua Zumba class. Lucky for me, Jen Cole was available to sub so I was able to attend the wine pairing and networking event.

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It was a great turnout. I even met one of Darcy’s old friends, who happens to live on the East side. Naturally, I went full on Zumba recruitment mode. I think I might have been more outgoing than usual because of all the wine. I found out about the event through my Leadership Wichita classmate, Jennifer Wold. Her husband Kris was in charge of the wine and he poured the tastings very generously. I was so glad that Brian and I planned ahead and he took me to work that day so I didn’t have to drive myself home. There’s no way I would have made it.

The first pairing was Natale Verga Prosecco with raspberry truffle. I’d had prosecco before so I knew that I would like it. The chocolates were from Cero’s Candies and they were all yummy. The raspberry truffle went great with the prosecco.

The second pairing was Elio Perrone Bigaro Rose with spring fling truffle. Of the five different types of wine I tasted that night this was my favorite. I guess this is supposed to be one of the best semi-sparkling moscato rosés on the market today. It’s made made with a blend of moscato and brachetto grapes with the pink color coming from the brachetto skins sitting with the juice for a short period of time. Sometimes I find moscatos too sweet but this had the perfect flavor. I liked it so much that I went looking for it on our very next trip to Groves (our favorite liquor store). As luck would have it, Groves carries this specific wine so it’s now in my regular rotation.

The truffle this was paired with consisted of passion fruit puree with orange in a white chocolate ganache layered with vanilla-infused dark chocolate ganache. It was another delicious truffle, which I liked even better than the first one.

The third pairing was Fritz Late Harvest Zinfandel with Saigon cinnamon truffle. Zinfandels are dessert wines that are great paired with chocolate, strawberries, or cherries so you couldn’t go wrong with this pairing. I typically like zinfandels and I liked this one but, after tasting wine #2, everything paled in comparison. The truffle was a Vietnamese cinnamon truffle coated in dark chocolate. All of the chocolates were fantastic but this was my favorite chocolate of the bunch.

Fourth was Rutherford Hill Port with fleur de sel caramel. This port is made of 100% zinfandel but don’t let that fool you. It was very, very strong. The dark chocolate dipped caramel sprinkled with fleur de sel salt was the perfect pairing. I took one of these to Brian when he picked me up. He loved it.

The fifth and final pairing was Dolce late harvest wine with orange cream. Dolce is considered “Liquid Gold from Napa” and is extremely limited in production. I was told each bottle cost over $90. I found it too sweet and was quite relieved to discover I didn’t like it. I can stick to my $10 to $20 bottles. LOL.

This wine was paired with fresh orange cream dipped in milk chocolate. The orange cream truffle was very sweet, which made it the perfect match because it toned down the sweetness of the wine.

Jennifer and her husband Kris did a fantastic job of matching the chocolates with the wines because each truffle complemented the wines they were paired with very well. In most cases the chocolates enhanced or accented the flavors in the wine and, in the case of the final pairing, the truffle toned down the sweetness of the wine. I wouldn’t have drank that wine by itself but it wasn’t too bad when paired with the orange cream truffle.

Out of all five wines I’d only tried one before so the event opened me up to new wines I’d never tried before. I even found a new favorite, the Elio Perrone Bigaro Rose from pairing #2. Also, I’d never had Cero’s truffles before so now I have a reason to go to their store.

Besides the delicious wine and decadent chocolates, Faith and I also had the rare opportunity to visit with other professional women in the area. It was a wonderful networking event so hats off to the Women at GT who hosted the event.

I wish there were more of these events throughout the year because it’s a great way to meet and network with other business women in the community. I would totally go to all of them, and not just for the wine or chocolates either. We have some amazing women in Wichita. I’ve met a few and am ready to meet some more.

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Finally Tried the Cuban at Metro Grill II

Posted on July 18, 2015 by under Food and Drink.    

The last time we tried to go to Metro Grill II they were closed so Brian and I were finally excited to be able to eat there. It’s been at least a couple of weeks now but I’ve been behind on the blog so I’m just now writing about it.

Here are some pictures of our sandwiches.

I had a chicken sandwich that was mighty tasty.

Brian liked it even better than his Cuban, and that’s his favorite sandwich.

Everyone does something different with their Cuban sandwich and Metro Grill II is no exception. Their twist is they put potato chips in it. It’s odd but it does give it a nice crunch. Brian, even with the added twist of the potato chips, the sandwich itself was just okay. The pork needed more flavor and it was missing the sweet pickles that he likes.

Their potato chips are homemade and very good. Just had to add that bit of info.

These potatoes are seasoned very well and also delicious.

You know what else is delicious at Metro Grill II? Their desserts.

The only downside of dining at Metro Grill II is that you end up smelling like food when you leave because of the open kitchen concept.

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I really like Metro Grill II overall. Their Cuban may not be as good as other Cuban sandwiches we’ve had but everything else they make is delicious. I have never been disappointed.

Brian and I really loved the chicken sandwich I had. It’s called Tuscan chicken and it’s got the perfect blend of flavors. We’ve decided that we’re just going to split it on our next visit because it’s large enough to feed two. And then we’ll actually have enough room for dessert, which we missed out on this last time because we were both too full.

It’s all good though, because now we have another reason to return.

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Harry Caray’s at Midway

Posted on July 18, 2015 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

This blog is so behind. I’m having trouble keeping up.

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These are picture from the Harry Caray’s at Chicago Midway International Airport, where Darcy and I were delayed on our way back from New Jersey. I believe storms were the reason for the delays that day.

Always one to find the silver lining in everything, I felt like it turned out okay. We got to have a nice leisurely dinner at a place I’d never tried before.

It seemed to be a popular place to eat. Either that or there were several delays that day and everyone had the same idea: eat at Harry Caray’s. LOL.

Midway has more food options than the Wichita airport but it’s still an airport. There may be several options but there’s not that many good options. Harry Caray’s I guess just happens to be one and therefore it’s popular. I think we had a 30 minute wait. Not that we were in a hurry because our flight was delayed anyway. We had time to kill. Apparently, others were in the same boat because there were quite a few people ahead of us and they were willing to to way at as well.

I missed taking a photo of our actual meal. However, I did get a photo of the homemade potato chips topped with bleu cheese crumbles. It’s rare that you run into homemade anything inside an airport. If you ever get stuck at Midway, I highly recommend Harry Caray’s. Either that, or you could do yoga. There happens to be a little yoga studio just around the corner.

Originally we were going to arrive at 10 PM so I had planned on going to work the next day to complete mid-year reviews with my team members. Due to the delay, we didn’t arrive back in Wichita until well after midnight and I didn’t get home until after 1 AM. Despite my good intentions, there was no way I could make it to work by 7 AM the next day so I ended up taking the day off.

It worked out okay because I was still able to complete my mid-year reviews the following week, right before the holiday. Yeah. This blog is really behind. I still have to share with you guys 4th of July photos and everything else that happened. I may just have to write one long, catch up blog.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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