Picking Blackberries

Friday, July 30, 2010 | | 1 comments

Picking my own fruits or veggies was on my list of things to do this summer and I was finally able to check it off! My parents and I went to Pick and Pick, a farm just outside Columbia city limits. You may either pick your own food right off the vine or have the owners pick it for you. Of course, we wanted to pick our own!

First, you choose your bucket and walk a short distance to where the berries grow. You are free to pick however many you want/need. There were more than enough to choose from.

We found the biggest, juciest blackberries I've ever seen. And there were tons of them! My cousin's wife went a few days after us. We are all planning to go back again in August for the red raspberries!

New Chairs!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | | 1 comments
We used to have this bulky leather chair in our living room, a hand-me-down from my parents. It suited us well for a few years, but we decided we wanted something with cleaner lines, something a little more modern. We searched and searched but couldn't find a chair we both agreed on. Until now. I found these chairs as Ashley Furniture, took a picture with my phone and sent to Eric, he told me to buy it right away. When we got it in, we decided we wanted a second one so we ordered it and now we have these two lovely chairs! I adore them!

We also picked up these shelves from Target to complete the new look. I had purchased this picture during one of our rough months this year, but I'm not sure what else to put on these shelves!! Any suggestions??

Herbal Citrus Syrup

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | | 0 comments

I found this amazing recipe for Herbal Citrus Syrup and I just had to try it right away. I modified the recipe slightly to suit the herbs I could find. I made Lemon Spearmint and Orange Mango Rosemary. The final product is perfect for mixing with water, lemonade, soda water, or even vodka.

Herb Citrus Cordial (makes 4-5 pints)
  • 6 cup sugar
  • Zest of 6 citrus, in large pieces of peel
  • 4 cups fresh citrus juice
  • 2 cup water
  • 8 cups loosely packed fresh basil or 2 cups lavender or 20 stalks of rosemary or some other herb you want to cordialize.
  • In a large pot bring sugar, zest, juice, and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.  Add the herbs and let the syrup infuse for at least 15 minutes.

  • Meantime prepare your canning jars.
  • Strain syrup through a fine sieve, squeezing out as much syrup as possible from the herb leaves before discarding them.
  • Boiling water process for 10 minutes.

I found the recipe here.

Adoption Day - The Presidents

Monday, July 26, 2010 | | 0 comments
Before we left for St. Louis, we took our two delightful puppies to Zesto's to celebrate their 2-year anniversary of being a part of this family. They. love. ice cream. We hadn't planned on getting out of the car (just thought we'd go through the drive thru) but they were being so good we couldn't help but let them out to enjoy their ice cream on the picnic tables.

Cardinals in St. Louis - Day 5

Friday, July 23, 2010 | | 1 comments

On our last day in St. Louis we went to a Cardinals baseball game - my dad surprised us with tickets in the air-conditioned VIP suite with all the food and drink you want! It was quite the luxury!

The game was a great one to see. The Cardinals were down 4-0 against the Dodgers in the 8th inning they scored three runs. In the bottom of the 9th, the Cardinals get a walk-off hit! Two of my favorite players, Molina and Pujols made appearances in the game, even though they were scheduled off.

Overall, we had a pretty fabulous trip to St. Louis. We learned a lot about the various neighborhoods in case we end up moving there next year. We ate at a lot of great places (we are quite the foodies in my family.) And certainly not least, we had some quality family time!

Weekend in StL - Day 4

Thursday, July 22, 2010 | | 4 comments

Our fourth day began at the Soulard Market, which is a farmer's market on some serious steroids. We ate breakfast here - they have the best doughnuts I've ever had...better than Krispie Kreme and I love my Krispie Kremes! We strolled around the market a bit but since we were staying in a hotel it was pretty pointless for us to purchase much. I can definitely see us frequenting the Soulard Market if we ever move to St. Louis.

Next to the Soulard Market was an art festival held monthly. Mom and I found this adorable place that makes flower bouquets out of buttons! Isn't that the cutest idea?? Needless to say, we bought a bouquet and I have them in a milk glass vase by my front door (pictures to come in the future.) Anyway, I also bought a cute hair barrette made out of yellow buttons that perfectly suited the yellow dress I was wearing that day. Check out The Button Florist.
We drove around the Soulard area before heading back to the Ladue/Clayton area for lunch. We ate at another tapas restaurant which Mom and Eric claimed was better than the first tapas place, but I'm not sure I'm convinced. Both were very good.
This time, while we were in the Ladue/Clayton area, we stopped by Brown Shoe Company so I could have my picture taken by the high heel sculpture made out of high heels.

 For dessert, we headed to a place voted as the best place to get milkshakes. And boy were they delicious! I got a regular old chocolate shake (their specialty) and I wasn't disappointed one bit!

That evening we went to the Muny, an outdoor theater in Forest Park, and saw Damn Yankees. I love the story...and I especially love the music. My poor family had to put up with me singing "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets" for the rest of the vacation as it was stuck in my head for days!

St. Louis Vaca - Day 3

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | | 3 comments

Day three began at Uncle Bill's Pancakes. Yes, all four of us ordered pancakes. Mom had the original buttermilk, Dad had the Panama Banana Pancakes, Eric ordered Apple Pancakes, and I had buckwheat pancakes! We decided Dad's order was the best. This restaurant is open 24 hours a day and serves the entire menu all 24 hours! I can definitely see Eric and I coming here for breakfast at all hours. Yum!

After breakfast we drove around looking at homes in the Central West End area to kill some time before our tour of the Vatican Splendors at the Missouri History Museum. With Eric and I loving history as we do, we were thrilled about seeing this exhibit! I'd been to the real Vatican in Rome about five years ago so I was super excited to remember what it was like! My favorite part was the paintings. I spent a lot of time in Italy studying art history and the paintings reminded me of the countless churches I toured with the beautiful frescoes. I really adore Italy.
After Vatican Splendors, Mom and Eric went back to the hotel to work on homework while Dad and I went to the Botanical Gardens!

I love beautiful gardens. I go to Shelter Gardens in Columbia whenever I can but they don't hold a candle to the Botanical Gardens. Dad and I leisurely strolled through the quiet and shaded pathways of the gardens snapping pictures of the beautiful blooms and chatting about life. Dad remembered that he spent several days sitting on the benches tucked away in these gardens studying for his comprehensive exams which, unfortunately, reminded me that my comps are quickly approaching! But I tucked that thought into the back of my mind and just enjoyed the beautiful scenery around me.

When the heat became too much to bear, we headed back to the car to explore a new neighborhood! This time we drove around the Ladue and Clayton area admiring the multi-million dollar homes and checking out the shops and restaurants in the area. Later we returned to the hotel to meet Mom and Eric for dinner. We ate at Brasserie by Niche which my Dad and Eric have been raving about since they ate there while visiting me in the hospital last month. I ordered gnocchi, Eric had trout, Dad had house-made sausage...but Mom ordered the croque madame, by far the most delicious meal I've ever tasted. I can't wait to go back and order it myself! For dessert, my order won. I had honey and lavender ice cream with a meringue cookie and an almond flour cake. YUM!
If you ever get the opportunity, I highly suggest you try Brasserie by Niche...or Niche for that matter! Both are excellent restaurants!

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