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Holiday Season 2014 Recap

February 7, 2015

December is a bit of a blur. Three separate holiday parties for work alone, a weekend in GVegas, shopping, parties and gatherings with friends and family, a trip to Cincinnati… it was a little nuts- even with two weeks of winter vacation!  Then the start of the semester means I am just getting to recapping it now. A few highlights from the family and friends advenutres

Weekend in GVegas

One weekend in December I headed down to GVegas to spend the holidays with Gail, Puff and Bimmer.

At the light show with Bimmer

At the light show with Bimmer

 

For several years I’ve drive out to the middle of the suburbs with them to see this house that goes all out with their lights. I mean, it has a Facebook page and it takes them three months to put the things up… it is pretty and crazy at the same time.

Smurf lights!

Smurf lights!

My favorite part of this whole display are the mini Smurf lights. These things have to be from the 1970’s but they are awesome. The giant mushrooms are an added bonus.

Bimmer being adorable

Bimmer being adorable

 

When did she start looking like a little person?

When did she start looking like a little person?

I gave her a Disney princess outfit for Christmas... major hit.

I gave her a Disney princess outfit for Christmas… major hit.

 

Christmas Day

My Dad LOVES Breaking Bad, so I found a "Letd Cook" apron on etsy. Another big hit!

My Dad LOVES Breaking Bad, so I found a “Let’s Cook” apron on etsy. Another big hit!

 

And bless my sweet father's heart, he saw wrapping paper and went for it... never noticing it was wedding paper and not Christmas paper.

And bless my sweet father’s heart, he saw wrapping paper and went for it… never noticing it was wedding paper and not Christmas paper.

 

Cincinnati for New Years!

No food pictures, they were earlier in the week!

I got lots of snuggles and laughs with my Lili.

I got lots of snuggles and laughs with my Lili.

Had a fun day with Graham, Lili and TT

Had a fun day with Graham, Lili and TT

 

We took them to see the old Cincinnati Gas and Electric Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center. They loved it, but they somehow seemed bigger in my childhood memories.

We took them to see the old Cincinnati Gas and Electric Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center. They loved it, but they somehow seemed bigger in my childhood memories.

 

I love the rotunda at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.  One of my favorite places in Cincy.

I love the rotunda at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. One of my favorite places in Cincy and a work of art.

 

Sweet Graham, he is such a cutie! Little heart breaker in the making.

Sweet Graham, he is such a cutie! Little heart breaker in the making.

The Bestie with her sweet girl out at a fun lunch.

The Bestie with her sweet girl out at a fun lunch.

TT and Lili making cookies one night. Neiman Marcus cookies.... so yummy!

TT and Lili making cookies one night. Neiman Marcus cookies…. so yummy!

 

It was a busy and fun month! Even if I was freezing my ass off all of the time I was in Ohio. I loved spending time with all of the great family and friends in my life!

Throwback Thursday: Welcome to the World LiLi, 2011

February 5, 2015

In about two weeks my cute little niece will turn four…

Lili and me... Feb 2011

Lili and me… Feb 2011

 

Somehow this tiny little baby who I was terrified to hold for fear I’d break her has grown into a cute, inquisitive and spunky almost four year old. Her parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles all adore her…. and so do I! I remember the day she was born I drove like a NASCAR driver for 500 miles to make it to the hospital in Cincinnati in time. I made it just a few minutes before the Bestie ended up having a C-section. This picture was taken the next day and I’ve adored this little girl ever since! Happy early birthday to this sweet munchkin!

Translation Tuesday: If Mama Ain’t Happy…

February 3, 2015

I hear this one a fair bit anymore…

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Just a funny way to say that Moms are the center of the family and that everyone will be in a good place if the mom is doing well. Not sure how much I believe it, but it is a funny saying.

The Cincinnati Food Photo Tour

February 2, 2015

I went back to my wonderful hometown over the holidays and I ate. And I ate, and ate. A few years ago I talked about some of my faves here. There are very few “home cooked” meals when I am in in town because I am so excited about having food that I can’t have in the South. In fact, there are never enough days in my trips to eat in all of the places I want to eat. Not to mention the places I loved that have closed. My friends rock and put up with by restaurant hopping antics with a smirk. Heck, the Bestie even stocks up on my favorite Cincinnati snacks before I get there (Grippo’s BBQ potato chips, Husmann’s Pretzels, Mike Sell’s chips)! I kind of blew up my Instagram feed with pictures of food and now you get to see them!

Montgomery Inn

BBQ from Montgomery Inn

BBQ from Montgomery Inn

Oh, I love me some Montgomery Inn! It is a little more sweet of a sauce, but so good. I love their ribs, but opted for the pulled chicken. The best side is the homemade chips… which you dip in the BBQ sauce! Montgomery Inn is pretty famous in Cincy and if you are from there it is where you take out of town people to. Go visit. Especially the Boat House location on the river. http://www.montgomeryinn.com/

Graeter’s Ice Cream

The Graeters Milkshake

The Graeter’s Milkshake

We love us some ice cream in Cincinnati. We have a ridiculous number of ice cream places and brands. It is not unusual to see a line in the drive through at this place in the dead of winter. This stuff is so good that even Oprah listed it as one of her favorite things. They make the ice cream using and old method and do it in small batches…. I love every flavor. Luckily, you can get it in grocery stores in the South in small pints…. but you can’t get a milkshake. It was the first place I stopped when I got into town!   http://www.graeters.com/

 

Izzy’s

Izzy's Sandwich Shop

Izzy’s Sandwich Shop

OMG. It is so good. It use to be a special treat when I was little for my mom to take me downtown to eat at Izzy’s. Now they have several locations all over the city but they have the BEST reuben sandwich. And the best potato pancakes and the best pickles… all homemade. Seriously, I am hungry just thinking about it. Yes, I eat my potato pancake and sandwich with a side of spicy mustard.

http://izzys.com/

Boston Market

Boston Market

Boston Market

Okay, Okay…. Boston Market is not a Cincinnati company. However, I LOVE the place and they do not have ANY in my southern state. I cannot tell you how many times it is dinner time and I will say… I wish there was a Boston Market here. So, it makes my list when I am in Cincy. Roast chicken, fresh veggies and those mashed potatoes… plus those little corn muffins! LOVE IT!  http://www.bostonmarket.com/home And side note… anyone in my area want to open one, I promise to frequent on a weekly basis!

Aglamesis Brothers Ice Cream

Aglamesis menu

Aglamesis menu

The Swiss Chocolate Sundae

The Swiss Chocolate Sundae

 

I also love me some Aglamesis Brother’s Ice Cream. They do not have a drive through, but an ADORABLE old time ice cream shop that dates back to the early 1900s. I mean it is precious. My fave is the Swiss Chocolate…. homemade vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate whip cream. I mean, so good. http://www.aglamesis.com/

 

Skyline Chili

Chili Cheese Sandwiches from Skyline

Chili Cheese Sandwiches from Skyline

 

Sing it with me now…. “Feeling good and hungry skyline time!” It is an acquired taste, I admit it, but it is so good. I’ve talked about the three way here , but pictured above are two chili cheese sandwiches. I’m serious when I say that I pretty much inhale these. I am also drooling thinking about them. I actually saw the staff at one location wearing cute Skyline shirts saying it is a “Cincinnati thing”… I need to find one! http://www.skylinechili.com/

Servatii

Servtti's cake

Servatii’s cake

I think I was spoiled as a child to be surrounded by good family owned bakeries…. because they sure as heck don’t exist down here. So I was thrilled when the Bestie’s husband ordered a cake for our New Year’s party. Servatii’s is so good. I don’t know what it is about the place, but I adore it. If I could have brought the cake back with me I would have. http://www.servatiipastryshop.com/

Snappy Tomato Pizza

Snappy Tomato Pizza- The Beast!

Snappy Tomato Pizza- The Beast!

I get the most random craving for Snappy. It was great, you could always stop in after school and buy a slice for a snack. The Beast is their biggest pizza which can feed like 10 people… or 15 elementary school kids. I can’t tell you how often we had these at school parties! It is something about the sauce that makes it so good! www.snappytomato.com

 

Frisch’s Big Boy

Frisch's

Frisch’s

Frisch's Peanut Butter Pie

Frisch’s Peanut Butter Pie

I really love the Big Boy burgers at Frisch’s and the onion rings and the salad bar and the hot fudge cake…. the list goes on. I actually didn’t have time to eat there while in town, so I waited to have lunch on my drive back until I got to one of the last exits in Kentucky that had a Frisch’s. I got a Big Boy and ate in the car and a piece of pie, which I put in the back of the car and saved for a billion hours until I made it back home! http://www.frischs.com/

*I should note I also got a malt from UDF, but didn’t take a pic!

 

 

Places that I miss that are 1) no longer in business or 2) have changed owners and just are not the same for me: F&N Steakhouse, Walt’s Hitching Post, the Glass Menagerie, Bombay Bicycle Club, the Green Derby, Behle Street Cafe, the Conservatory, Crockett’s on the River, Mike Fink and sooooo many other places.

 

Places that I love but didn’t have time to get to: LaRosa’s, Busken Bakery, Pompillio’s, Oriental Wok, Arnold’s, Barlycorn’s… and some others I’m sure I forgot.

So, if you are traveling to Cincinnati be sure to check out these places!!!

Translation Tuesday: Madder Than A Wet Hen

January 27, 2015

“Oh, child. Before that committee meeting was even over she was madder than a wet hen!”

via etsy.com

via etsy.com

 

Basically it means that you (or someone) is so angry that you are acting crazy and making a scene. This tends to happen to me when I am stuck in traffic and I’m yelling at other drivers who are total idiots. Have you ever used this phrase?

Retail Therapy

January 23, 2015

I just paid off my credit card for my post holiday shopping while I was in Cincinnati and surrounded  by so many malls in driving in one beltway. All of those sales, that Dillard’s outlet closeout, the large selection of winter coats (there were hardly any in the South), the Bengals shirt I had to have. I went a little crazy. Actually, most of the shopping started after I survive two and a half tense hours with my mother….

 

So yes, I really do wish retail therapy was covered by my health insurance… totally a mental health relief! At least it made me laugh, and that is my Friday funny folks.

Throwback Thursday: Comps Celebration, 2006

January 22, 2015

About 8 years ago at this time, I was frantically studying for COMPS. Short for The Big Scary End of Grad School Comprehensive Exam. Four to five hours at a computer answering questions about 15-18 classes covering anything and everything over two years of a grad program. Talk about stressful. But after it is the celebration.

Group pic post comps

Group pic post comps

 

From left to right my closest friends from my grad cohort: Me, Vicki, Elizabeth, Liz and EWH. Flowers and champagne were necessary!

Vick and Liz both have toddlers now and Elizabeth is pregnant with twins. We’ve all been going back and forth over group messages the past few days trying to find a good weekend to have a reunion before four little addition feet are added to the world! I am so excited about seeing them all sometime this spring I wanted to go back to this moment…. where we were all so excited to be done with a major part of our educations!

 

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