February Playlist: Leonard & Frost

15 Feb

Not my typical playlist. That’s my disclaimer for –arguably– the best playlist for this dreary, tepid, news-saturated month.

So turn off the boob tube. Go on. Open this playlist and start at the top. Damn it’s good, if I do say so myself.

I’ve made it collaborative so you can add a song or two if you want. No AC/DC. I’m gonna call out some peeps here to contribute – you know who you are: AH, JG, DS, KK, CH, JG.  Yep, you.

You’ve gotta follow May Earlewine on IG. I love her morning pour over coffee jams.

Enjoy! It’s my Leopard & Frost playlist on Spotify.

Sisters

14 Feb

There are big times I miss my sister, who lives in Huntington Beach now, and small times. The big times are like when she gets engaged and I can’t give her a big squeeze. Or when I’m driving for a few hours in my car and think back to some of our epic memories we’ve had together.

One of those memories is when my dad died, she and I stayed at the famous Broadmore Hotel and Spa in Colorado (she paid!) together and just laughed and cried and breathed in God’s peace in those beautiful mountains.

Mostly when I think of Katie, I think about how hard she makes me laugh. In typical younger sister fashion, she liked to embarrass me – intentionally or unintentionally- and sometimes it just made me laugh so damn hard.

My sister is one of the most caring and passionate people I know and I wasn’t very nice to her growing up. As the oldest, I guess you could say I was into… myself. <shocker> Do you like how I blame that on being the oldest? And I hate thinking about that because she truly is one of the most very very important people in my life.

So this very morning, a small thing happened that made me think of Kate. This:

Ain’t no one who can get shit like this done like my sister. Probably the only girl out there that has a green electric screwdriver that she named “Lucy.” Lol. And she could untangle this mess of necklaces in a hot minute.

Here’s to an epic sisters weekend SOON! It’s been a year since I’ve seen my sister and I’ve cried through writing this whole damn thing. Happy Valentine’s Day, sissy. Xxoo

Awesome Birthday Traditions

7 Feb

I love this tradition (plus I love steak see here and here!) After hearing about this a couple of times, I decided all of you needed to know about it too.  Make this tradition your own!  There are so many ideas.  I share some of mine after the interview. 

I interviewed my friend, Sean Sivore and his son Aidan on their favorite thing to do on their birthdays:

Tell me a little bit about why you go to so many Steakhouses(how many?) – what is your tradition and how did it start?  I’ve always loved the experience at steakhouses.  The service and atmosphere are a big part of what makes a great steakhouse great.  My Dad loved great restaurants and since Aidan and I have birthdays one day apart, I thought it would be a fun “father/son” tradition to research the hottest steakhouses around and the two of us go to one for our birthday each year.  We’ve been doing this since Aidan’s 7th Birthday.

Musso and Frank Grill, Hollywood, CA – August, 2016

Now, let’s talk to Aidan.

Is steak your favorite thing to eat? Yes!

What are your top 5 steakhouses and why did you like them so much?

  1.  Bavette’s – Chicago, ILAtmosphere was a little like a bar (dark/quiet),  But the steak was so good, it didn’t matter.
  2.  Prime and Provisions – Chicago, ILSteak was perfect.  The atmosphere was awesome.  The bacon appetizer is off the chain! The service was the best of any steakhouse.
  3. Gibson’s – Chicago, ILFirst steakhouse I went to and finished an 18oz Rib-eye at age 8.
  4. Benjamin’s Steakhouse – New York, NYOld School looking steakhouse, but not that old.  Steaks were awesome.
  5. Chicago Cut – Chicago, ILCool steak place, atmosphere, and great food.

Do you order the same thing at all the steakhouses?   No, I usually order whatever the house specialty is.  When in doubt though I order a Rib-eye.

What is your favorite thing to eat? Steak by far 

Sean: This is a picture of our first annual “Guy’s Steak Night Out.”  This was before the ladies of the family started muscling their way into our tradition.  He finished the whole steak!

December 2012, Gibson’s Chicago

Prime and Provisions – Chicago, 2017 
Thanks, Sean and Aidan!  This is so much fun – what a great idea!  Here are some of my thoughts on how to make this your own.
  1. If steak is not your thing, make it sushi, Italian or even pizza!  Hit up your own city or travel.
  2. If food is not your bag, what about a class?  Take a class with friends or your S.O. on your birthday.  Learn something new every year on your birthday and keep track with a photo.
  3. Do something crazy out-of-the-ordinary every year on your birthday.  Research it.  Swim with dolphins, skydive, bungee jump, swim to Alcatraz * – mark the years you get older by something cool.  *scroll down to read about my mom’s close friend Nancy Moore and what a bad ass she is!
  4. Make it a point to travel to a new place on your birthday.  One year it may be a new town driving distance from you and another might be Europe!  Document it, write it down, snap it up.

Let me know what your traditions are for your birthdays!

Check this out…

6 Feb

Some people say that I’m curious about everything and they would be right. I’m always striving to know new things. And trying to avoid monotonous daily activity. Which can be one part comforting and one part boring. I believe that to be alive you have to jolt your body and mind alive every day. That could mean going for a brisk walk or just reading something that takes your mind to new places.

One of my easiest “hacks” if-you-will is having curated blogs I like on Feedly. This is for those that think they could never have the time to be curious and explore new things- Feedly makes it easy. Puts everything in one place for you. For me, opening this app each day brings to me a gazillion ideas and things to explore.

If you like what I like or at least think you do- then I have screengrabbed my blog list below and you can copy it. Just look up each blog in the search tool and add.

Here is some of my found nuggets this week:

  • SAY WHAT? This is my new favorite comedian that will make you run down a million rabbit holes with the fun stuff she mentions
  • Thanks, but I’m staying with my good ole face wash! This might be too much for me
  • I’m gonna make this next week. I love the crispy edges
  • Digging these jams. As a sidenote, I’ve dug up some cool NYC restaurant playlists on my Spotify- follow me!
  • Simply awesome! Her mom looks just a few years older than her! She is stunning!
  • Will you accept this rose?

Here are the blogs I follow via my Feedly app. I know it’s obnoxious.

how to fly like a boss

5 Feb
  1. KNOW SECURITY

if you want to fly like a boss you can’t be one of those people holding up the security lines, loading up bin after bin after bin at the bottom of the table.  this is how you do this like a pro:

  • grab three bins if you have a laptop or other electronic item
  • walk to the very front – where you put your stuff in the chute – or walk as far forward as possible.  do not stop and take off your shoes or your belt too soon.  this holds everyone up
  • Note: unseasoned travelers get so excited for security that they start undressing while still in line.
  • when you are very close to the top, now undo the three bins and put your laptop alone in one, your carryon in another and plop your shoes and coat in the last
  • DO NOT WEAR JEANS WITH METAL ON THEM – oh lordy do they light up the machines.  i do know this because i learned the hard way

2. PLANE PREP

  • get your favorite water and snacks
  • this is a good time to give electronics a break.  get some good mags to flip through!
  • or download your favorite show- I loved Portandia and the Mrs Maisel show while traveling this past holiday
  • other good things to bring to airport === ear plugs, portable charger, don’t forget your ear phones!

3.  LOVE FLYING

this is for nervous flyers.  i used to be one too – a long time ago.  i came close to telling my boss that i couldn’t fly any more.  i felt so out of control.  but here’s the deal:

  • you are always out of control.  you’re not in control driving your car.  not in control of other drivers or weather or road hazards
  • flying, is a gift from God.  it really is.  appreciate every single moment of it.  you are flying around in a capsule above the clouds.  it’s amazing and awe-inspiring.  it doesn’t matter that i’ve been on hundreds of flights, i get very excited every time. my favorite part is when the plane breaks through the clouds and the weather below to blue skies.

Super Bowl Cocktail Video “Boston Cooler”

3 Feb

Since the Cowboys aren’t in the Super Bowl, this isn’t a big deal to me.  ROF is rooting for New England.  In fact, he is giving us all a refreshing cocktail to sip along with this scrumptious dip or these awesome sliders.

sometimes you gotta just float!

29 Jan

Just some musings on Tuesday evening.  I am obsessed with my morning routine.  It looks like this:

  • Wake up before or at 5 am
  • Rinse face and go downstairs to office
  • Do bible study (via bible app on phone)
  • Read devotional: my utmost for His highest (been reading every year for 15 years and counting)
  • Write in my new productivity journal  – see what I have here
  • Write out my daily work and personal to-do
  • Read Brendon Buchard’s High-Performance Habits bookSidenote: I also have the audiobook so I can finish listening to it in the car!
  • Meditate using app on my phone – 5 min top focused on mindfulness
  • Pray – 5 minutes top
  • Skim about 100 blogs in my full FEEDLY app (this is my “tv”)
  • Catch up on news by reading the annoying “THE SKIMM” email blurb or flipping through Flipboard app
  • If I’m being honest, and I am, I spend a good 15 minutes flipping through Instagram at the end

Then I get ready and start my day!

However, admittedly, at the end of the day, I get simply exhausted with how creative, cute and clever everyone is on social media.  I’m overwhelmed with the number of “good advice” business books I read and how much I have to remember in order to perform at the highest of levels.  Instead of feeling inspired or motivated, I’m just damn tired.  Even though all of it is something I want to do.

At night, I have to give myself a break and just mentally float.  Have you done that?  I close my eyes and think about nothing at all except floating atop the warm water. I know that sounds stupid but it is a great way to disconnect from distraction.  I visualize my hands dropping under the water and then resurfacing.  I feel the sun hitting my face and top of my knees.  I clear my head.

Then I get up at 5 am and do it all over again.   

Daytripping from Madison

28 Jan

Come with me on a daytrip to New Glarus, Wisconsin!  

We moved to Madison, Wisconsin in May of 2017 from Dallas, Texas and I have to say I love living in Wisconsin.  I loved Dallas too and one isn’t better than the other – just very different.

First, we found a great place to live.  I think ROF and I say daily to each other “I LOVE OUR PLACE!”  It’s a condo inside a subdivision with rolling hills and while close to everything – still feel like we are in the country (a little!)  One of the best things about our place was our real estate agents – the Lessing Team!  Being a new build, it wasn’t the simplest of things to navigate and while I’m a believer in the “do-it-yourself on-line” mentality – buying this was not something we could have ever done it alone.  Better yet, Amy Lessing has become a great friend and certainly made the transition to Madison smooth.  In fact, ROF and I both use her hairdresser, have met a ton of new people via her summer party and favorite things party, use her recommended dog boarding and daycare place.

You’re going to see a lot more blog posts on living in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin but today I want you to come with me to New Glarus. Not only is it the home of the famous SPOTTED COW brewery but it is America’s Little Switzerland and is modeled after Glarus, Switzerland (hence, NEW Glarus.) However, New Glarus is SO DECEIVING!

Why do I say deceiving, you ask?  Because in and among the historic buildings which are over 150 years old, is some of the best food I’ve ever had.  Friends of ours actually just got back from Switzerland and said that actually, the food in New Glarus was BETTER.

So did I tempt you enough to take a scenic drive to New Glarus? 

Here’s where you should go:

First, take the scenic route which looks like this:

You must eat at Cow & Quince.  This is our favorite restaurant possibly in the entire Madison area.

The food is amazing!  Full disclosure – we’ve only been there for breakfast.  To give you an example of their locally-sourced menu, check out my favorite breakfast sandwich:

Breakfast Sammie* 

Fox Heritage Farm bacon, sweet chili cream cheese, arugula, Edelweiss grass-fed Gouda, aioli, 1 egg, MSCo country sourdough bread, choice of side add pickled jalapeños $0.50

but i’ve heard throught the grapevine that their savory french toast is not-to-be-missed:

Savory French Toast*

Thick cut MSCo brioche, gouda, apple-onion jam, Lacinato kale, Door County cherries, pork belly, sunny side duck egg, maple roasted garlic vinaigrette

They also have fun pizza nights and guest chefs.  Cow & Quince also has plenty of options for my vegan friends.  Check out their menu here.

Check out their website for a brief video and full menu!

Another outstanding place to eat is at Glarner Stube.  

This place is the shizzle.  I’m not joking.  Sunday nights is a special night with a Swiss flank steak specialty (can’t remember the name!) and there is typically ALWAYS a wait to get into this tiny restaurant with a big bar.  The service is so friendly and if you have to wait at the bar and sip on water (read: brandy old-fashioned sweet) and wait a bit, there are worse things you could be doing.

the cheese fondue is to die for!  If you and your S.O. get just this – you’ll be good!  Typically, cheese fondue, to me, is kind of flat.  This has multi-dimensional flavors going on and is not super heavy like it will just re-form in your stomach.  The rest of the food here is fantastic.  Being from Dallas and a foodie – I found myself scratching my head several times in New Glarus thinking – I don’t think I’ve had better food!  PS.  The rosti potatoes are epic!  One order for a table of eight works!

Plus look at how cute this darn town is:

One more place to eat.  So yesterday, we took some friends of ours to Cow & Quince for breakfast and they were closed for a winter retreat!  Snap!  But lo and behold, we found another incredibly cute and delicious breakfast place: Fat Cat Coffee Works!

 

this place was so cute!  In a little house with casual order at the counter, pick any place to sit was really quaint.  We sat at the beautiful oak bar and watched the cook make our breakfast.  I had a yummy fig, goat cheese, and bacon quiche.  My maple spice latte was delicious!  This is a great place for breakfast or lunch.

On this unseasonably warm day, it was fun to walk across the street after breakfast to a 118 year old tavern called Puempel’s Tavern.  Complete with a bloody mary bar and big windows letting the sun stream in, it was a perfect place for us to play a friendly game of Euchre.  Which, I have to say, if you’re not into cards, you’re missing out!  There is nothing more fun to pass the time and indulge in some healthy competition than a good mid-morning game of Euchre.  We had so much fun!  And we even lost at cards.

In addition to all this food, New Glarus has some adorable shops including a couple of fantastic specialty food stores like butcher and cheese stores.  The New Glarus Hotel boasts authentic Swiss food and polka dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.  This.is.not.to.be.missed.  You’re not in Madison anymore!

May I suggest you and your S.O., handful of girlfriends or even escape on your own on the beautiful drive to New Glarus, Wisconsin for fab food, great shopping and even a tour of the world-famous (or Wisconsin famous…) Spotted Cow brewery.  Have fun!

I’m Coming Back!

25 Jan

overheard on flight 3523

17 Dec

before takeoff, an older gentleman and his wife walked down the aisle struggling with their two carry-ons each.  after taking their seat behind me, a woman in first class got up out of her seat, walked down the aisle and knelt down behind me, addressing the older man:

“pardon me, sir.  but i overheard your conversation in the airport with the gentleman serving in the armed forces.  i wanted to thank you for your service in world war 2.  also, this is my card.  we own a fish farm called rushing water fisheries and we have a restaurant too.  the owner is also a world war 2 veteran and i would like to offer a complimentary dinner for you and your wife with our owner to thank you for your service.   we would be blessed to have you be our guest. “

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