Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Posh with a Purpose

So my current obsession is buying this that are not only pretty but contribute to a greater cause. I am not a particularly "green" person in the traditional sense. I know some may judge me for only recycling on occasion (Please spare me the condemning comments. The company we are with charges extra for recycling.) Frankly, whenever I drive out to the recycle plant, which I have been known to do on occasion, it's a huge hassle. I've decided to be "green" in other ways.
My mother instilled in me a love for thrift store shopping and Oprah has taught me to shop my closet. I think is very green, I still have clothes from 7th grade. If you buy quality it will last forever. My sister in law and I share magazines, and I occasionally walk to the local farmer's market, and the bank. All this to say that although I may not be "supper green" I am trying to be responsible with my resources.
Which brings me to my new obsession, beautiful, fashionable pieces with a purpose. I have been blessed to have some friends with very big hearts and would like to share a little about the items they make.
  • La, is my best friend from childhood. She is an amazing woman of God as well as a talented artist. She creates beautiful headbands, pins, hair clips, baby accessories, ect...She has used her talent to raise money for a variety of causes. Currently a portion of her proceeds go to assist a friend who is adopting a precious baby from Ethiopia. Not only do I believe in her cause, but she genuinely makes a beautiful product. Whether I am getting dressed up for a special occasion or need something to spruce up my unwashed hair her headbands are a key part of both mine and my daughters wardrobe.

Rikki & Ali are some other very special friends of mine. They are currently working in India with a new company called, JOYN. They employ battered women, people with leprosy, and others who would otherwise be unable to find a job. The have not only provided a job, but also preserved an dying artistry. I cannot wait to purchase they're products.

I don't have a personal relationship with this company, but I love their shoes. They are comfy, beautiful, go with everything, and people stop me on a regular basis to ask me about them. I love that not only did I buy a great pair of shoes, but I also helped send a woman to college.

It's nice to know that by making even a small purchase I can help make the world a better place. I hope that you enjoy these treasures as much as I have.

Love, Em

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ode to KCCS

Warning, this is going to be cheesy...
Today I went back to my old high school. It's sounds funny, but it felt like going home. When I walked through the front doors it still smelled exactly how I remembered it all those years ago. I know it may seem weird that I am attached to my former high school, but the truth is I had a very unique experience. I went to the same school k-12th and I loved most of it! (I know that makes me a weirdo, I even loved jr. high.) Although so many things have changed, so many things have stayed the same.
When I explain my friend group to people, I always say I grew up in a small town in a big city. Not only did I go to the same school k-12, but a large number of my friends did as well. Several of us married our high school sweethearts, and to this day we still hangout (I don't like change, can you tell?) But I don't think that it's the fact that we spent so much time together that keeps us so close. I think Jesus is what really bonded us all together.
I know that it was a huge financial sacrifice for many of our parents to send us to private school, but I will be forever thankful that they did. Today 3 of my dearest friends and I took our babies up to visit Janell (another dear friend) who also graduated with us and is now a teacher at kccs. We sat on the floor in the same classroom that Suzy and I attended 1st grade and that Laurisa(my bff) shadowed me in all those years ago. Who would have thought we would all be back there together 19 years later? Yet, here we are still friends, now raising a second generation of friends.
When I think about our childhood we have A LOT of fun memories together, but the truth is the memories that mean the most are when each of these girls at one time or another prayed for me when I was hurting. Yes, we grew up together & that makes us close, but more importantly we found Jesus together. I feel so blessed that so much of our education was about God & His love for us. Yes, we had bible classes, but the truth is we were constantly being taught about Him no matter what the subject was. Today when we stopped to chat with some of the faculty they still had encouraging words about Jesus to share. How many people can say when they visit their old high school, their teachers are still genuinely interested in your life and praying for your friends...that's an amazing and unique experience. I feel so blessed that is my schooling experience.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Bun in the oven is done

Baby Bun decided to make her debut on her original due date March 16th. I've heard that only around 3% of little ones are this prompt. I have to admit that her great sense of timing is not inherited from me, I'm lucky if I get anywhere sooner that 5 past my expected time.
From 36 wks. on I was on pins and needles, I tried not to get overly anxious, but I must confess that my heart skipped a beat with every braxton hick. As we neared our due date I would have episodes where I'd have contractions, but they always stopped. Wyatt had me plan a lot of social events the week of Bun's due date to distract me. We started taking bets on when she would come and how much she would weigh. I was saddened when time kept going by.
Monday we went to the Dr. and I was sad to hear that I was still dilated to a 1 and 80% effaced. Same as the week before. My Dr. asked if I wanted her to "strip my membranes" which sometimes will get your contractions really going. We decided to pass. We weren't over due yet, just impatient. Besides Wyatt had to work the rest of the day and my Dr. was going to be off the next day. I didn't want to risk going into labor without either one of them.
The next day, Tuesday, I went to my sister in laws house along with some friends and we crafted all day. I was having some contractions, but they still weren't consistent. Wyatt went to a board meeting so I went for a long walk at Shawnee Mission Park with my dad. In the past long walks usually got braxton hicks going, so I thought it was worth a try. Right before we did the "big hill" (it's a really huge hill) I had a contraction so strong that I had to stop and breath through it, now I was getting excited. We finished the walk and ate spicy Italian sausage & veggies. A wonderful "last" meal. The contractions were getting regular as I headed home. Bun and I had our last "in utero" dance party, (she loves Ke$ha's blah blah blah). I prayed and told her that I was excited to meet her and that she should come out and we'd have real dance parties.
When I got home I told Wyatt I was having contractions and we began to time them. First 11 min. then 7, then back to 11 then 5. We started to watch stand up. At one point I was having a really big contraction and Wyatt was trying not to laugh at the joke, and the look on his face made me burst out laughing. Laughing through a contraction is almost as helpful as relaxing through one. Things started to progress and the comedians were starting to get stronger so we switched to the Office. Nothing like a little Steve Carell to help take your mind off things. Wyatt said I would fall asleep between contractions and snore :) Finally they started to get harder and I started to get scared. I asked Wyatt to call my bff who was our assistant coach. He already had. (I have an amazing husband! 1/2 the time he knows what I need before I do)
La came and immediately I started to feel calmer. She assured me that everything was ok and we had plenty of time. She asked me if I wanted to eat and I said I was ok, I'd had dinner only a couple of hours ago, or so I thought. Wrong it was 2 am! I thought it was 10. I was amazed at how time was flying by! So to quench my hunger I ate a banana. At this point my contractions started to spread out again so La and Wyatt made me get up and walk around. Earlier in the day I had read that while in labor you should march or step like you are going up stairs. I started to march up and down the hall and Wy asked if I had a stroke, I replied not this is helping. It's amazing in labor looking silly is the least of your concerns. My contractions progressed to 2min apart. 3ish am-Time to go to the hospital!!!!
Once at the hospital the nurse suggested I change into a gown. Have you seen the birthing hospital gowns? Not only are they scratching and ill fitting the birthing ones have two huge slits in the front for your boobs to hang out of, they're awful. As if you don't already feel like a cow, they hand you an outfit that reassures the fact. I promptly changed back into my comfy maternity jeans and an adorable robe with hand made flowers on it. The nurse laughed at me and said that she had never seen a woman labor in jeans. I must admit that each stage of my birth/recovery/going home had a carefully planned outfit. This was the only one that was actually executed.
7am Shift change, I was sad to loose my first nurse but relieved that my Dr. was now available. We met our new nurse and my Dr. came to check on me. Sad news, you're not in active labor. I couldn't believe it, if this wasn't active labor then what was? My mom had fast labors and I was really hoping for one of those :) My Dr. suggested I go home, because I would be more comfortable and I could eat something. But my contractions were 2min apart, how would I know when to return?? She said, "your contractions will change." So we went home. There was a very worried looking nurse in the lobby watching me wait for the car, clearly having painful contractions. I was afraid she was going to make me come back in. We labored at home for awhile and I ate 1/2 a pb&j and drank some water, ice chips do not quench your thirst.
No worries I could definitely tell when the contractions changed! La had to get a little firm with me because I kept laying down, they put me in the car and drove me the 2 min back to the hospital, this time I let them put me in a wheel chair. I felt sorry the the pregnant woman doing her pre-birth tour, I wanted to say don't worry I know this looks scary but everything's ok. They tried to assign me a new nurse, but Steph fought to be with us again, through my contractions I heard her say, "No, I had them earlier, I want them back." I was so relieved to have a nurse who wanted to be with us through our natural labor. I was really afraid that we wouldn't be supported in a hospital, but it was quite the opposite. She stayed in our room the whole time, she even rubbed my back when Wy and La needed a break. During 4 hrs. of transition when I cried out for an epidural she reminded me of my birth plan and encouraged me that we were at an 8 and almost there. My response was to curse the birth plan, but I was thankful that she didn't let me cave when the contraction was over. During this portion of labor the song "let your mercy's fall from heaven like a sweet sweet rain" soothed me. I could feel God's washing presence over me.
Wyatt sweetly rubbed my back and sprayed me with warm water in the shower and La held my hand and fed me ice chips, both were so encouraging and peaceful. Our family all gathered in the waiting room and prayed. Finally at 5 they said we think you're going to like the way the room looks. When I came back from the shower everything was set up for me to start pushing. In my mind I new this time had to come, but I had almost given up home of it ever happening.
Praise the Lord, my water didn't break! Our birthing instructor prayed that it wouldn't an it didn't! My Dr. broke it 5 min. into pushing. Pushing was nothing like I had expected, it hurt a lot. During pushing the song "You are God of this city" came on. The words "greater things are get to come" gave me the strength to carry on. Stopping in between contractions was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. At one point I screamed, "get it out." My sweet Dr. looked at me and serenely said, "this is when an impatient Dr. would intervene, but we aren't going to do that. You can do this." I am so thankful for her. She is an amazing.
If you've read about "the ring of fire" the moment right before the babies head crowns, it's all true. I actually cried out, " the ring of fire" which made my bff laugh. After an hour baby Bun made her entrance into the world. It was such a surreal moment. I know that she came out of me, but it still didn't seem real. Here was the beautiful baby that I had waited and prayed for my entire life. I looked at my husband and I have never loved him more. I have loved him for almost my entire life, first as a friend, then a boyfriend, then husband, but now as the father of my children. Words cannot describe that moment.
I am so thankful that we gave birth naturally. Baby Bun and I both recovered quickly and Bun is stronger and healthier than your average baby. The staff at the hospital were amazed! Our pediatrician used the words, "ideal" when describing her stats. This was the most painful, spiritual, & rewarding event of my life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

No Solicitors

I wonder how many times people came to my door before I was home during the day? Since becoming a stay at home wife(soon to be mom) I have noticed that it is not uncommon for people to come to my door with questions, things to sell, offers to do yard work, ect... I would like to point out that we do have a no solicitors sign. Apparently it needs to be a neon sign. Door to door sales are odd to me in a society as secluded as ours. I mean even prostitutes have started using the internet to sell their "goods." Girl scouts/boy scouts set up booths at grocery stores (and take credit cards...) So why may I ask is anyone still trying door to door? Especially products that spoil easily like meat! Today I was greeted by a man who's first words were,
"Are your mom or dad home?"
First, this is the second time someone has come to my door, and asked for an adult. I'm wearing makeup, my hair is done, I'm dressed nicely. Do I need a sign that says, "I'm an adult! I own this house." Sir, we are definitely not getting off on the right foot here. I know I look young, but not that young. I guess he didn't notice my giant pregnant belly or wedding ring, I was hiding a little behind my glass door. But, having just recently turned 25 I thought that the days of being mistaken for a teenager were over. I mean really, I rarely even get carded anymore. Regardless, I responded kindly despite my annoyance,
"I'm the lady of the house, how may I help you?"
to which he replied "Do you cook?"
By now I had noticed the meat logo on his sweatshirt, I could not however see a vehicle or any kind of kind of notepad/clipboard for taking my order. I was taken a back by this door to door meat salesman, but my sister in law had a similar experience a week ago so I responded quickly in hopes he would leave.
"Yes, I cook, but I'm not interested in buying anything, have a nice day."
But before I could escape he started to tell me about the other job he had, something to do with checks. Not increasing my confidence in your shady door to door meat business, sir.
He then said, "Just tell me do you cook? I have some really great prices."
I was starting to get frustrated at this point.
"Yes, I'm a trained chef, but I am not interested in buying anything, have a nice day." I then closed the door. And watched as he started off to my neighbors. I think I may be adopting a new policy of if your shirt does not say ups then I'm not answering the door.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have a confession to make...lately I've been "that person" who opens a can of soda and "can't" finish it. However, I don't want to throw the half drank soda away, because that would be wasteful. I feel guilty and think about the people around the world who don't even have water and here I am throwing awhile soda, they would judge me, I'm judging me as I write this. So my solution, I put it in the fridge and tell myself, "I'll just save this for later." Knowing full well that I'm not going to drink it later, because later if will be flat. However, when it's flat and tastes terrible because now it has that weird undertone of fridge, I'm not sure what how else to describe the's easier to throw away. I still feel a twinge of guilt, but trashing the now flat and funky soda seems justifiable. I'm afraid that if I don't address this problem soon I may end up on an episode of hoarders with a fridge full of half drank sodas!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Today my husband and I went to home depot to get supplies for our new house. After wards we stopped by whole foods for juice. My husband calls whole foods my home depot. I get really excited, giddy even when I walk up the side walk chalked entry way through those sliding glass doors. I feel like the kids in willy wonka, my eyes get big and I just want to run around and try everything!
While wyatt selected his juice I quickly darted off to one of my favorite sections the "fatty milk" section. I adore local fat filled milk! In fact I thought that I had out grown my childhood milk allergy until I discovered Shatto milk. I drank it everyday, ate it on everything. Unfortunately I had not out grown the allergy and so I have to limit my dairy, and fatty milk is a rare indulgence.
Next is the ice cream isle. The shelves are full of sorbets, gelatos, dairy free goodness, fat and dairy filled delights. All in perfect pint sized containers begging to be taken home. Unfortunately I settled for the dairy free, 150 cal. in the whole pint peanut butter and chocolate. I know sounds to good to be true, it is. The "ice cream" was a total fail! I am so sad what should taste like two of the greatest ingredients on the face of the earth taste like... cardboard.
You see there was a time when this would have been my favorite treat. A time when my goal as a chef was to make everything fat free and/or sugar free. I thought that food could be great without calories, completely guilt free. I was WRONG! I will never forget the day I got into a discussion with one of my instructors in college over splenda. I adored splenda! I put it on and in everything. And who needs butter and oil when you have applesauce? I was so naive. He explained to me that these substitutes are a far cry from true food. Sure they will fill you up, but what about the pleasure that real cream and butter bring? In honor of summer and delightful real food below is my blueberry ice cream and home made waffle cone recipes:

Blueberry Ice cream
Yield: 7c.

Vanilla base:
Whole Milk 16 Fl. oz.
Heavy Cream (36 %) 16 Fl. oz.
Yolks 10 ea.
Sugar 5 oz.
Salt 1/8 tsp.
Vanilla bean 1/2 ea.
Lemon zest 1/4 tsp.

Blueberries 1 # 4 oz.
Sugar 6 oz.

Scrape out the vanilla bean half and mix in a sauce pan with the lemon zest and half the sugar. Followed by the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer until the sugar dissolves, stir often. Remove from the heat and cover with a piece of plastic wrap to create a vacuum. Allow to steep for 1/2 hr.
Meanwhile combine the blueberries and the sugar in a sauce pan and stir until the sugar dissolves and the juices are released. Puree and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Whisk the remaining sugar, salt and yolks together. Slowly stir the milk mixture into the sugar and return to the heat. Cook stirring constantly over medium heat with a rubber spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spoon. Do not let it boil. Pour through the fine mesh strainer into your ice cream maker followed by the blueberry puree and freeze according to machines instructions. For an extra treat fold in a few fresh blueberries right at the end.

Mini Waffle Cone:
Yield: 15 small cones
I used a pizelle maker which can be found at most food specialty stores.

Eggs 2 ea.
Salt 1/4 tsp.
Sugar 2/3 c.
Vegetable 2 Tbs.
Cake flour (sifted) 1 c.
Vanilla 1 tsp.

Preheat the pizelle maker and make sure to spray it well between each use.
Mix the dry ingredients and add remaining ingredients. Mix until a smooth batter forms, add water if the batter is too thick. Follow the manufactures instructions for cooking the cone. Fold while it is still hot into a cone shape. Fill with ice cream and enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The origin of my blog name:

When I was in culinary school I had a friend who had a rather round belly and the two of us would laugh because he always ended up with frosting, flour, or whatever we were cooking that day smeared across his middle. I on the other hand have an unusually large chest for my otherwise almost boyish figure and found myself wearing remnants of what I had created across my chest. I have lost chef coats and some of my favorite tshirts to chocolate mousse and an assundry of other things I’ve decided to bake. You see I’m clumsy, I believe because I’m top heavy and just tend to run into things with the part of me that sticks out the farthest. Side note after a few too many cookies and croissants towards the end of my schooling I also ran into a whole row of chocolate cakes with my round behind. It was humiliating the school janitor had to find me a new chef coat and I had chocolate frosting on my caboose for the remainder of the day.

Although it’s 2010 and a woman has run for both president and vice president the culinary field is still dominated by men with one exception, pastry. This is a blog of my creations and adventures as I learn how to navigate the culinary world with cleavage. How I handled the men old enough to be my grandfather asking if they can lick the chocolate off my hand, or hearing my co workers talk about my body while I’m finishing up paper work in the office.. Being hit on by just about every guy (or girl) for that matter that comes into the back of the house. Fighting for the respect that any male chef is instantly awarded. This blog is for all of the female chef’s who have been called “baby,” “sweetie,” “sexy,” or “darling” by a delivery man right after you have stated your name and managerial title.