Beer Time!

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This week, I checked out a couple of beer tastings, because I needed something to do so I don’t get cabin fever from all of this harsh cold weather. Plus, who doesn’t like to try beer pairings and a new coffee beer? I am not really a beer person, but when you add cookies and coffee in there, I’m game.

The first one was the Cookies and Beer event at Bier Station in the Waldo Area. It was sponsored by Recommended Daily, with cookies by Dolce Bakery and beer picked out by Bier Station.

They offered three flights:

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1. Maple Toasted Oatmeal Cookie with Oskar Blues’ Old Chubs Nitro Scotch Ale.

2. Chocolate Chunk Espresso Cookie with Tallgrass Brewing’s Pub Ale.

3. Pretzel, cashew, chocolate Cookie with Stiegl Radler.

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I tried all 3 pairings. My favorite beer was the Scotch Ale, that’s it up there of off the serving board, and my favorite cookie was the espresso cookie, the dark one on the plate. I tried to eat slow so it would last longer, but it didn’t work. It was the smallest cookie of the three.

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The second event was Torn Label brewery’s release of it’s Cafe Dubbel at Thou Mayest Coffee Roaster. A collaboration between the two companies. Torn Label is a new local brewery and Thou Mayest is one of KC’s best coffeeshops/bar.

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Cafe Dubbel is a Belgian ale coffee beer made with a single origin Ethiopian coffee brewed by Thou Mayest. I liked it because it tastes like beer with hints of coffee flavor, not the other way around. It is now my favorite coffee beer.

Next time you are in Kansas City, these places are a must! πŸ™‚

Down South Where I (Wanna) Stay……

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This past weekend, we went down to San Antonio for the long weekend, because we had nothing better to do. Just kidding. I’ll tell you why, later.

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We got to see the Terminator(Aspen) and spend some time with family for Jaelan’s birthday. But, more importantly, we got away from the blistering cold! We did come back to about half a foot of snow.

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I was able to check out a couple of coffee spots, Local Coffee and Press Coffee. Both were awesome spots and served a great cortado. I found Press Coffee a little cozier and less crowded.Β Xavier and I tried out the Esquire Tavern on the Riverwalk for desserts and cocktails for Valentine’s. I highly recommend. Great space and atmosphere, and a little history. We had the VDay special and the pulled pork sandwiches, and the Bitter Flip cocktail. We couldn’t squeeze in Fiddy Shades, but maybe that was a good thing?

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We also went on a hike with the girls at a nearby park for VDay. May just be a new tradition. Right before we finished:

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Xavi: How many miles have we hiked?
Aspen: 5 days!! We walked for 5 days, Xavi!! (She sounded angry)

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I think she was tired by then, lol. It was only a couple of miles, jeez.

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Here are a few more photos. Sadly, I did not get any shot of the Riverwalk, next time. Have a great rest of the week!! πŸ™‚

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Happy Birthday, Jaelan!!

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Happy Birthday, Jaelan!! I CANNOT believe that you are a teenager!! A teenager!! Ahhh!! I hope that you had a great birthday weekend with your family and friend!!

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You are growing up so fast, I still can’t believe that you are 13 already. The next thing you know, you will be starting high school or worse, will be driving!! What!?

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I usually have a million and one things to tell you, but I will keep it short. Stay beautiful and strong inside out and out. We are very proud of you and all that you do. Be nice to you sisters. And stop growing so fast!! Love you lots!! πŸ™‚

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The Pitch Bite Club: Renee Kelly’s Harvest!!

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Last month, Xavier and I attended the second event of The Pitch’s Bite Club, hosted by The Pitch, FindItKC, and Renee Kelly’s Harvest. For a reminder of what the bite club is and of the first event, go here.

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The venue this time was Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Shawnee Mission, KS. Harvest is housed in the old Caenan Castle. Yes, a castle, but think a smaller scale.

As with the first event, Chris Olsen of FindItKC, that’s him up there with Xavier, was an awesome host. Dinner was presented by the very energetic chef Renee Kelly.

I started off with a drink from the cocktail menu, the chocolate pumpkin martini, which was perfect. The chocolate pumpkin combo was new to me and very glad that I tried it, even though I drank it way too fast. Xavier had the Lemon Blossom, think Black-Eyed Susan. We had a bartender on hand to explain each cocktail and make great recommendations.

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We were served a four course meal. The first was pressed duck chest that was very fresh and tender, black rice(which I’d never had before), apple slaw with huckleberry and beet sauce. The sauce was magic, and I am not a duck person, but this one was a winner.

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The second course was the tastiest carrot and ginger bisque with crystallized ginger, creme fraiche and bourbon pear balsamic vinaigrette ever, though I can’t say I’ve ever had it before.

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For the main course, we had the scotch filet with butter braised turnips, pink potatoes, and parsnips and apple puree. The puree was like whoa. I ate everythang. It was cooked perfectly for me and as farm fresh as they come.

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For dessert, we had chocolate ganache cake with candied orange peel. Xavier doesn’t even like chocolate cake, but he ate all of his and so did I πŸ™‚

Besides the food, chef Renee was one of the highlights of the dinner. Her energy and enthusiasm was very contagious. She had everyone excited about each course. She is very passionate about her craft and it shows in each of the dish that she presented. She also gave us a little insight into what she has in store for the future and it is definitely a bright one.

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If you need a new place to grab drinks and awesome farm to table food, definitely stop by Renee Kelly’s Harvest. I know we will definitely be back! πŸ™‚

*Bite Club logo from the pitch.com and Caenan Castle photo from reneekellyharvest.com*

*Photos taken with iphone4*

Hello February!!

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Happy February!! Finally, a post for 2015 πŸ™‚ (And hopefully more to come). It helps when you are snowed in or it’s just too cold to get out 😦 Also, Jaelan will become a teenager this month :(…So, we will have a teen, tween, and toddler.

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January pretty much breezed by, I am still looking for it, and February started out with a flurry…of snow. Anyways, I hope everyone’s 2015 has been going well so far. I definitely hope to post more than I have been lately. It was a busy/rocky December and January. Also, the second Pitch Bite Club post will be up, soon, I hope.

Highlights:

Jaelan started playing league basketball this season, her first. I am happy to report that she is doing better than expected. She has a knack for the game, and has picked it up pretty quickly. She is one of a few girls who has never played before. Xavier has been practicing and working with her, and that has helped a lot, because he has way more patience than I do. Plus she likes to give me attitude. Pfft!

Aspen left us this past week to go hang out with Mimi and party down in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, lucky kid. Hopefully ,she will send us pictures of the parades and other activities. I am sure she will be all over the place down there.

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Xavi got a bunch of Pokemon games and an ipad mini for Christmas, so she has been buried in electronics ever since. We practically have to pry her off of it every night.

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Well, that is it for now. There are some new(big) changes happening in the next few weeks/months. Hopefully we can share them on here soon. Cross your fingers and toes.

Have a great Monday and a productive week!!

Single Parentingishhh…..

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This week, Xavier is down in New Orleans for work. So, I am a single parent for the first time ever in life, with 3 kids, a dog, and a cat. Like without family or family friends nearby. Yesterday was the first day. And, so far, I have not lost my sanity. There really isn’t much to deal with, besides attitude from Jaelan, crankiness from Aspen, and “I don’t knows” from Xavi. So, just every day regular life stuff with the girls. Oh, and the fact that I’ll have to cook 3 days in a row. BOO!

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Aspen went back to daycare yesterday after a 5 week lay off. She tolerated the return with ease in the morning, although she did report that she cried, “a whole lot”, during nap time and that her hands froze when they went outside because, “You didn’t give me gloves, Mom”(Outside at sub-20 degree weather!? WTH!?). She received a hug from everyone in her class when I picked her up, apparently she was missed. She asked for her dad as soon as I picked her up from school, and she pouted when I told her he was away. She would ask for him another 1000 times at home in the evening. The big girls are a little more nonchalant about it. I made pancit for dinner. Day 1 went okay. No one was hurt, except for the downstairs rug that Fudge chewed up. Bad Fudge.

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Anyways, the point is I didn’t know how it would be. I mean, I have been by myself with the girls before, but never without family close by to help me out. Yes, you must think I am spoiled rotten. I was. I mean I’m sure all will be well. But still, peace of mind comes with knowing that you have help nearby. Hats off to you single parents out there. I don’t know how you do it, but you do πŸ™‚ HAPPY HUMP DAY!!

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Happy, Happy Birthday!!

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A happy, happy birthday to my favorite middle child, Xavi!! I cannot believe that you are TEN today. TEN. Double digits!! You love pumpkin bread, so I baked you a loaf this morning, so you can blow your candles. I love how simple yet interesting you are right now. I love that you love video games like your dad, love to read and go to coffee shops like I do, and love learning how to play the violin and soccer. You are not afraid to try new things.

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I love that your idea of “shopping”, is being able to buy $30 worth of candy at the candy store in Crown Center and getting a new Pokemon game. And when I asked you what you want to do for your birthday, you answered with, “Can I build a super fort!?”. Yes, you can, but not in the living room πŸ™‚

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I hope you stay as humble and as ambitious as you are right now. I love your inquisitive mind and the billion questions that you ask me instead of googling stuff like your big sister does. I love how you don’t ever want to be an adult because you think that adults do too much stuff to “live”, and I love how you say that said you will stay a kid as long as you can πŸ™‚

I also love how you like what you like and you don’t care what other kids/people think of it. That is going to be a very useful quality when you do become an adult, trust me. But most of all, I love how you tell me everything, good, bad, or sad. Don’t ever stop doing that πŸ™‚

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Anyways, I hope you like the pumpkin bread(You better!!) and I hope you enjoyed your day with your crazy family. I know you can’t wait to party and have fun with your friends!! πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday, Xavi!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas City Caffeine Crawl!!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love coffee. If not, well, I love coffee.

This past weekend, The Lab, a beverage marketing company, hosted the fall edition of the Kansas City Caffeine Crawl, there is also one in the summer.

If you didn’t already know, Kansas City has a very rich coffee community and it is ever growing.

Naturally, when I found out that Kansas City has a caffeine crawl, I signed me up, albeit last minute, but I was able to go this time around. Thank you to Jason and Micheal from The Lab for saving my tickets! πŸ™‚

Xavier and I took the Sunday self driven Route 1. There are also bus routes available, but they sell out pretty fast. FYI: Xavier is not a coffee drinker, he just came along for the fun, plus he was a very helpful in getting us to the stops on time πŸ™‚

In addition to sampling some great coffee and specialty food/products, each crawler receives goodies bag filled with various coffee “swag”.

Here is our route and what each stop had to offer:

Stop #1: Parisi Cafe in Leawood.

Parisi is one of my favorite spots here. Kate, the GM, presented an innovative culinary use for coffee. She created a dish of coffee caviar, yes coffee caviar, with pomegranate pop rocks chased by carbonated plums. It was awesome. It included a demonstration on how to make coffee caviar. I thought the presentation was very informative, especially since I had never heard of coffee caviar. When you put the combo in your mouth, it literally creates a popping sensation in your mouth like fireworks. Xavier did try this one and he actually liked it. He also loved the carbonated plum, because he loves plums.

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Stop #2: Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard in Prairie Village

Foo’s staff demonstrated how to make coffee ice cream. They use a cold toddy method. Again, lots of useful information on other ways to utilize coffee. And what better way than coffee ice cream. After the demonstration, we were able to try the recipe and it is pretty much the best ice cream flavor ever. We also sampled their house blend coffee. I have never tried coffee ice cream before, and I am glad I got to try Foo’s. The process of flavor extraction and making the ice cream is so time consuming that Foo’s only offers ice cream coffee for special events/occasions. (Restroom break #1)

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Stop #3: Oddly Correct in Westport

Oddly Correct is a Kansas City staple. This was the first coffee shop I visited when we first moved here. This was also the first place that encouraged me to try coffee without any additives. So, I really like this place.

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We hit a snag getting to this stop on time and we only caught the last 10 minutes of Oddly’s presentation on Roasting variables. The presentation included tasting of brewed coffee roasted at different temperatures and comparing them to a control brew. You can definitely taste the difference. For those interested in roasting your own coffee, this was definitely an informative session.

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Stop #4: PTs at the Crossroads

PTs co-owner Jeff Taylor gave an informative session on direct and fair trade. At this stop, we were able to sample award winning coffees and Christopher Elbow collaboration chocolates, like 3 different kinds. The coffee was great and I really liked one of the chocolate, but did not catch the name 😦 (Restroom break #2).

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Stop #5: Blackdog Coffee House in Lenexa

Blackdog gave a presentation on the Chemex brewing system(which I use at home), and offered Ibis Bakery bread pairings with various jams and spreads. I tried all of them and they were all good. I skipped the coffee because I had had like a bunch of cups of coffee by this time and also because Restroom break #3. So, I thought I would give my kidneys and bladder a break.

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Stop #6: Homer’s Coffee in Overland Park

The last stop offered coffee samples paired with sweet snacks. My favorite was a Kenyan with the pumpkin soft cookie. It was delish. There was also a musical performance to close out the crawl.

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This was my first coffee crawl and I had a blast. I learned a ton about the dynamic coffee industry and enjoyed tasting the various offerings that each stop provided. I also learned how quickly coffee goes through my system, goodness.If you are a coffee lover, this event is definitely a must. Go here to find out more and see where the next crawl will be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Friday!! Fall is here and are you ready for the weekend? Since the Texans broke my heart last night, I’ll be cheering for the Royals tonight.

Last month marked one year of blogging. Time flies. Though I haven’t blogged in over a month, I am glad to be back.

Also, I decided to continue with this series. Year 2 Week 1 will start next week.

Highlights:

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It’s been a little busy over here. The girls picked up their after school sports and activities this season. Xavi is playing league soccer and Jaelan is running on the Cross Country team at her school. Middle school sports is limited here, so after cross country, kids pretty much play league sports.

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Xavi’s soccer team is currently undefeated and in First place. She loves being back on the soccer field. She has always had fun, but this year is special because this is the first winning/dominating team that she has ever played for. Side Note: Apparently I get too loud during the games, so Xavi asked me to stop yelling too loud.

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Xavi expressed her desire to learn how to play the violin, so she signed up for it at school and she is currently taking private lessons. Let us pray it works.

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This is Jaelan’s first year of Cross Country competition. She has improved her time with every race, so I’ll take that as a win. She doesn’t understand why people would voluntarily run miles for no reason. I told her so that she won’t get fat. Just kidding.

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Jaelan is doing choir again this year, and she tried out for state. She will find out if she makes it in November. Cross your fingers, toes, and tails.

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Aspen:

I had lots of Aspen smart ass remarks to share with y’all, but then I lost my paper where I wrote down all of it. So, you will have to wait until I remember them.

New things about Terminator:

1. Her new favorite song is, “Bout the Base”.

2. She loves penguins.

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3. She wants to be Elsa for Halloween.

4. She has fallen in love with soccer from watching Xavi play. I told her that she had to be five years old to join a team. So, she has told anyone who will listen that she is skipping four years old and going straight to five years old after her next birthday, so that she can play soccer.

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Here she is “practicing” her soccer dribbling skills:

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Football is Back!!

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How excited are you that football season is back!? I know, EXCITED!!! The NFL season started this past weekend and not without drama, and also, Week 2 of college football.

I was fairly satisfied with the Texans play on Week 1 against the Redskins. Of course, I haven’t seen the whole game yet, because, you know, Kansas City. But, I did see lots of highlights and read up on the stats.

Here are my takeaways from Week 1 for my Houston Texans:

1. I was really interested on the quarterback play, because all of them looked bad in preseason, and I am happy with the way Fitzpatrick looked on paper: NO INT. Before Week 1, the only thing I like about him was his beard. Just kidding.

2. Hopkins and Andre looks solid on paper.

3. The defense was great, especially on paper. Robert Griffin III got destroyed a lot of times, it gave me flash backs of David Carr. JJ Watts, Brooks Reed, DJ Swearinger, and Joseph, all played pretty well, but more importantly: Redskins 6 points.

4. The down side, of course, was losing Jadeveon Clowney for 6 weeks with a torn meniscus. If the Texans win more than 2 games this season, I am a happy fan.

5.And lastly, I can’t believe that Bullock is still on the team, even if he did go 3/3.

Other notables, the Seahawks looks scary good. But, I need to see them play again before I pick them to win it all again. What I like about the NFL is that any team can surprise you, i.e the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs.

Now on to the drama: Ray Rice. I saw the video. And damn. If you haven’t seen it, I am not wasting web space by providing a link. As a mother of (3) daughters, as a sister to (2) sisters, and as a woman, that was pretty disturbing to see. The hit was bad enough, but the action afterwards was even more disturbing. I am not going to go into a tirade, as I am not here to judge anyone. But, I definitely would not want Ray Rice to wear a Texans jersey, if he were in Houston. Domestic violence is senseless and intolerable. Violence against women is unjustifiable and cowardice. That is all.

Extra: I’m glad that the University of Houston Cougars bounced back on Week 2, even if it was just against Grambling State. They play BYU next week, who destroyed the Longhorns this weekend. SIGH. Go COOOOOGS!!