Grandpa

Grandpa
I wrote this a few weeks ago and have been sitting on it but now I feel I need to put it out there.
I am setting here, with my sisters and cousin, writing my Grandpa’s eulogy, as is tradition in my family for the grandkids to do so. With the other 3 grandparents I don’t remember it being this hard. I was reminded there was copious amounts of bourbon involved with the first grandparent in 2008, and that helped. The other two are a blur from time passing and grif.
This Sunday afternoon, my family surrounding me, words are not coming as I would have liked. He was an amazing man who loved to tell stories and would tell them to anything breathing. A proud WWII vet that hated me owning a Japanese car and told me every chance he got. When I got my tattoos he would talk with my other grandfather about how to sandblast them off. He also never understood anyone that was lactose intolerant being a proud dairyman. These are all strong memories I have of him and count my blessings.
Growing up and into adulthood, I was told how lucky it was to have all of my grandparents as long as I did and I should never take advantage of that. Trust me, I did not. Maybe that is why it has been so hard saying goodbye to the last one?
I bought my first house 3 doors from him and my grandmother. I never thought twice about it being so close to them as a bad thing. I loved being there, he would walk my dogs, watch the house, and let me know all the good, bad and ugly of the neighborhood. He took pride in my living there and so did I.
I could go on and on about the love I had for him and for that I am thankful. I am one special person for to have known him and for him to have touched my life. I will forever be grateful for that.
My heart is still aching and I know that will go one for a while, I also know it will get easier with time but I will always miss him, as I miss my other grandparents.
He lived an amazing 90 years and had a hell of a time while he was here. He loved and was loved.

Accomplished

That is how I am feeling today, accomplished.

Why you ask?

Well, several reasons, but the main one for today is, I see muscles again! Tonight, while shaving my legs, I noticed that my calf muscles are looking good.

Over the last few months I have been trying my best not to miss the Rope 1 class at Suspend and I feel that it is paying off and not just because of my kick-ass calves muscles but because I am actually seeing progress in what I am doing. I am getting stronger and better. I am remembering how to do things from week to week. I am not feeling like the new kid anymore. It’s an awesome feeling to know you can accomplish something that you have been working hard on.

So today I am feeling accomplished and I love that feeling.

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Just hanging out on Burnie the rope.

 

It’s Birthday Week

It’s Birthday Week
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This is from a few years ago, but still a fun birthday party.

I love my birthday. Always have and always will. In my family a birthday is a BIG deal. It is like congrats you made it another year, we need to celebrate. My mom makes us our favorite meal including dessert, and the whole family gathers and enjoys. The best part? You get out of kitchen duty for the night (trust me that is big in my family).

Over the last few years I have been camping with the #besttroopever on my birthday and it was a lot of fun, but this year with it being the in the middle of the week I am home and have a fun filled week planned that I am going to try and capture in photos.

My husband and my birthdays are 3 days apart so we try and celebrate together, just us with a nice dinner out and some good ole conversation. This is a nice treat for us with our busy lives.

Overall, I am super excited for what is to come out of this week and excited to be turning another year older tomorrow.

What is your favorite birthday tradition?

Slacker

Yes, I am a blog slacker. No matter how hard I try, I still slack, but I am trying and will keep trying. I have started a calendar to help, well, maybe it will help.

About two years ago and I got to talking to a friend of mine about doing a YouTube video based on us cooking with and drinking bourbon. Well the talk became a reality and we recorded our first episode of C-Squarded and we had a blast doing it.

My wonderful husband set up our kitchen like a light studio with lights and a few cameras, and all kinds of nifty other stuff.  He is also the head producer, camera person, and editor. I am so excited about this project and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

Thanks is all for this wonderful Monday.

 

Judging is hard work 

Judging is hard work 

Today I got to be a judge. A dessert judge. And not just any kind of dessert, Girl Scout cookie desserts made by Girl Scouts. This was one competition I was ready for.

This is the first year that the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana has hosted Cookielisious, a girl baking completion using Girl Scout cookies. It was held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville and drew in about 200 people. I love that they brought it back to the girls and let them be creative.

GSKYA is still doing their signature fundraising event, Desserts First at the end of the month that has chefs from all over the Louisville area by using Girl Scout cookies in creative ways, but more on that in a later post (I am a judge for that event as well).

There were a total of 30 different desserts and each judge was asked to judge 15 of them. Going into this I figured there would be a few stand outs, but I was wrong. They were all standouts, making my job way harder.

The things they asked us to judge on where appearance, taste and use of Girl Scout Cookie. The girls were broken into, their age levels so we did not have to put a 16 year old in the same skill level as a 7 year old. Smart plan.

Let me tell you, these girls went all out (see some pics below). They all did an amazing job and really put their hearts into it, along with way more skill than I could ever have in baking. They earned some mad respect today.

It was my honor and pleasure to do this for the Girl Scouts. The excitement the girls had for this event was evident in the effort they put forth and the joy they were telling me what they had made. I hope the Girl Scouts continue with this event and it keeps getting better and better.

 

 

Getting back at it

January, the month we all join the gym, eat healthier, make resolutions to do better, and so on. I am not one to be left out so I am doing the same. I already posted about my 2016 Goals and one of them is to lose 30 lbs this year. My hope is to be off my oral steroids by next month, if all goes well, and that will help some. But being on them for almost 2 years and me not really caring about what I was eating as much as I should, has caused some major weight gain for me.

With all that being said, today I started the Whole 30 again. I did it last January and lost 10 lbs, but went back to old habits and gained it all back + some. This year I hope is a little different. I am also uping my gym game. I already belong to an awesome gym, just need to make time to go more.

With all that said so far so good this week. I started the Whole 30 program. This time around it is much easier than when I did it last year. It is helping me to accomplish a few of my goals this year like cooking more at home. I cooked 4 out of 5 nights this week and headed to mom’s house for dinner on the fifth. This is also helping me to save money as eating at home and not out is way cheaper.

I am going to try hard to sick with it next week. Frist step, farmers market to get so supplies. Let’s see if I can remember to blog about what I cook.

I also went to the gym 3 days this week and planning on one more for about 2 hours. Not as much as I want to be doing, but it is a start.

Let’s hope I can keep this up. I like the way I am feeling after one week.

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2016 Goals

2016 Goals

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Hello world. Let’s all agree that I suck at blogging. I really should write more. It is good for me so I am going to try. I am going to try and start the new year off right, by setting some goals and writing about them. Each time I accomplish a goal, it will be documented. They are listed below in no particular order.

2016 Goals
1) Blog more
2) Lose 30 lbs- down 5 as of Feb 1
3) Ride my bike 500+ miles
4) Race my bike again
5) Do another 5k
6) Pay off my credit card
7) Move into Silks 2
8) Get my bedroom and bathroom painted and fixed up
9) Get my business website done
10) Get a new car- DONE Jan 2016
11) Clean out email inbox
12) Cook more at home
13) Try baking
14) Produce a vlog 

I hope to update these and add more as the year goes on. I know I am much better if I write them down and can review them.

 

2015 recap part 2

2015 recap part 2

I thought that I should break my 2015 into two parts cause so much great stuff happened, not because I am trying to reach my goal of more blogging😉.

I realized as I was putting this all together, that 2015 was a pretty great year. Bad things happened, I am sure, but I cannot remember them so they must not have been that bad, right? Or maybe I just choose to focus on the positive and forget the negative? Whatever it is, you are just getting all the good.

IMG_3389.JPGVacation time! This year NPR and I spent a fun week in Michage. He is from the land of the mitten and this is the second year we have vacationed in the resort town of Luddington, MI. with his family. And when I say family I am talking aunt, uncles and cousin, the whole gang. They are wonderful fun family and know how to have a fun time. I really enjoy hanging out with them and getting to know my husbands family a little more. I also got to see where NPR grew up and meet his grandparents for the first time. We are going back in 2016 and maybe this year I will not need the to huddle around the campfire to keep warm.

I picked up a new hobby in 2015. One I never would have guessed me doing. I joined a circus gym called Suspend and it is ah-mazing. I am learning all sorts of new things, like silks, and aerial hoop, and aerial yoga. I also have discovered a wonderful group of people that are unlike most. They are completely accepting and loving and happy. It is a world that I find myself completely comfortable in.

Sister announced that she is pregnant with baby #2- My baby sister and her hubs gave me my first blood related nephew in 2013. That little man is now 3 and I love him more than I could of ever thought possible. In 2016, they are gonna have another baby! I am so excited that I can hardly stand it. More little ones to love and spoil.

IMG_4060Wedding- So I GOT MARRIED! Yep, that was pretty much the highlight of my 2015. The event planner got to plan her dream event, and that it was. NPR likes a good party as well, so with that in mind, we set put to plan the party of the year. We picked October 31, 2015 as our day, yep Halloween, cause why not? It was perfect for us. We set out for the party of the year and that is what we produced. We ate, we drank, we said “I do” and life is wonderful, most of the time. If life were prefect then it would not be nearly as much fun or rewarding.

Surgery (again) – On December 2 I have my 5th sinus surgery, and what should be the last because, really there is not much more that can be done. I will not go into details about all of this, but I am still recovering and hopeful that it will help and that I can get off the yucky steroids that I have been on for way too long.

IMG_3484My big sister got engaged and she is getting married in Dinsny World! OMG I am probably way more excited about this that I should be. Not the sister getting married part cause that is pretty damn awesome, and I am really excited about this and should be, but the Dinsny World part. I also get to help plan her wedding and that makes my event planning heart happy. Who’s up for another Vaughan wedding? I am!

Like I said, 2015 was a pretty amazing year and I am very excited to see what 2016 has in store. I hope to better about being on top of it in the blog rather than recapping.

2015 recap part 1

Another year is ending and what a year it was for me. 2015 brought more change than many other years in my life. It was overall a wonderful year and I hope the 2016 is just as good.

IMG_2101In late 2014, my love, NPR (yes, those really are his initials), proposed to me. It was a cool and rainy night and just perfect for us. That set the stage for the whirlwind and wonderful 2015. Some of the highlights are below.

In January NPR and I moved into our new house. It is a great house, not too far from my old house. It is much better for hosting friend (one of my favorite things to do). It also is great for all of NPR’s bikes. He has lots of room to store them and work on them. The only think I miss about the old house is the yard and my lovely patio. But the tradeoff was well worth it. We both love the house and all the potential it has.

IMG_2338In February I got a new job with a local startup news publication, Insider Louisville. One that I love. I work with some pretty great people, that I am learning from daily. I was a little uncertain what I was getting myself into when I took the job. I have worked for lots of nonprofit and a few big companies, but never a start-up. One big thing I learned was that a startup is a lot like a nonprofit. It reminds me of my early days at Apple Patch, where work life was fun and the work was rewarding. I get to learn new skills and teach skills that I have. I offer up ideas that are not dismissed, or if they are I am told why. I am trusted to do my job and have been told I do it well. That makes this little ESFJ a happy camper and happy to go to work.

NPR gets a new job. My love is a very talented bike mechanic (I say the best in the city, but I might be a little bias). He is now working for a local shop that really values his talent and where he can have fun being him. On Your Left, is an amazing shop owned by two pretty cool dudes that know a lot about bikes. This makes NPR happy and exited to go to work. If you need your bike fixed or tuned go see NPR. You can also pick up some gear while you’re there. Heck, you can get a whole new bike while you are at it.

How cool that both of us love our jobs?

This year I took a big step and invested in learning how to be a better small business owner. Now I am not looking to leave the previous mentioned job, but it also loves that I have a brand, 502 Social is fun for me and allows me to be creative in ways that my job does not. So the big step was taking a business class that was offered though NAWBO. It was a great class of 8 women that learn a lot from each other and the class. I am very glad I did it, and hope to keep applying what I learned in 2016.

More to come …

What’s the best thing about being an adult? Dessert First!

What’s the best thing about being an adult? Dessert First!

Yes, you all know it, being able to have the choice of eating dessert first is one of the best perks to being an adult. And you know one of the best desserts to eat first? Girl Scout Cookies! Combine these two things and the most wonderful chefs in Louisville and you have my kind of heaven, Girl Scouts of Kentuckana’s Desserts First.

I have attended this event over the years and always come away with a smile on my face and a belly full of deliciousness. This year all my dreams have come true and I was asked to be a judge. I did hesitate, just a little because I have never judged anything like this before and even gave them names of others that would be way better at this than me, but they still wanted me so here I am, an official Dessert First judge for 2015.

So what is Desserts First? It is a benefit for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckian, an organization that I love and does wonderful things for girls (and women). For the last 9 years this event has been going on and raising some needed funds for the council. This year’s event is encouraging the chef t to explore STEM with the  theme being, Technology of Cooking. How cool is that? I am super excited to see what the chefs come up with.

Not sure if you have picked up on my excitement about this event or not, but we are T-5 days away and I keep checking the weather forecast making sure mother nature will not be raining, snowing, sleeting, icing or anything else on my little tasting party.

So who is going to join me and a few other super cool people for this event? You can find out more info here.

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I also just found out that you can get BOGO (Buy One Get One) tickets to this event by visiting this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/girl-scouts-of-kentuckiana-desserts-first-2015-tickets-14946780222

I will be live instagraming and twittering from the event, follow me @ChristineInLou

As many of you know I am a co-leader of the #besttroopever, along with @ashleeats and we are in this together. That adds a little icing on my cake so be able to do this event with a co-leader and friend as well as being able to give back to such a wonderful organization.

Desserts First Graphic for Social Media