Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Dress Shopping Part 1

I've mentioned before that I'm totally a sucker for romance.  I've seen probably every rom-com out there, and more than once.  It can be a horrible movie and yet I'll probably watch it a second, third, fourth, etc time if I happen to see it on TV, and I'll probably cry.  Unfortunately, I'm also a crier.  However, one thing that you learn in just about every movie/TV show/book that involves a wedding, is that when you try on dresses, you will just know which one is "the one".

I always wondered how true that was.  For a romantic, that seemed a bit far fetched for me.  You just know?  What does that feel like?  Oh, I should also mention that I'm the worst decision maker in the entire world.  Seriously.  If I could have someone make almost all of my decisions for me, I would.  I always second guess myself, and wonder if maybe something else was a better option.  I fret over decisions until people tell me to just shut up already.  And is there really a much bigger decision to make in your own wedding than what dress you will wear?  Indecisiveness does not make me feel confident in that whole you'll just know thing.

I went wedding dress shopping with my mom and one of my bridesmaids today.  I was super nervous, but also really excited.  I ended up trying on 8 dresses and ended up loving 3 of them.  All 3 were so different and yet I could completely see myself in all 3 of them.  I walked out in the first dress I tried on, and I felt it.  This was the one!  Then I tried the second one on and it was the one!  Then the third and so was that!  Oh boy.  I did try on a few that just did absolutely nothing for me, even though I didn't know why.  At least I didn't have 8 options to think about!

And then something hit me.  THE dress.  The one I saw way back in June right after we'd gotten engaged and I haven't been able to stop looking at yet.  This store didn't have it.  Another store does.  Gah.  Why do I do this to myself?!  The thing is, no matter how much I love those dresses I tried on today, I will never forgive myself if I don't try on the dress I've been obsessing over for the last almost 4 months.

Maybe I'll try it on and it'll hit me.  I'll just know, and I'll walk out of that store with my wedding dress.  Maybe I'll try it on and find that it just doesn't look as good on me as the others from today did, and that's okay too.  Maybe I'll end up trying on yet another dress at this other store and that will be the one.  One thing I do know is that until I try on that dress, I won't possibly be able to make a decision.  If that moment, the you just know moment, actually exists I know it won't come until I know what I'll look like in that 1 dress.  And for the record, it had elements of all 3 of the dresses I ended up loving today.  Now I just have to wait another week in pure agony wondering.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Love for Lokomotiv

Visit this site and help out if you can! Love for Lokomotiv  Two kinds of bracelets, adult and child size.  If you don't want a bracelet, but you still want to help and make a donation visit the facebook page.  There is a Donate Here option.  A lot of work was put in by hockey wives around the world to get this together.  I just bought my bracelet.  100% of the proceeds go to the foundation that will help out the families who lost someone on that horrible day.  Want to read a little more about it then click this link:  We'll miss you Vasy.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'll only rant about this once.....

Sometimes I like to check my blog stats and see where the traffic to my blog comes from.  I never know who is reading it, and I think it's fun to see all the different places and people that have at least stopped by once or twice to see what I have to say.  Unfortunately I get to see a few places that link to my blog that I wish I never saw.

I don't take being not liked very well.  I understand that not everyone in the world will get along, personalities sometimes don't mesh, and it happens.  That still doesn't mean that I like to find out that people don't like me.  I go out of my way to be nice to everyone I meet, because that's just the person I am.  I wasn't always like that, but when I left high school I grew up.  If someone meets me, I'm nice to them, and still there's something about me they don't like, that's fine.  I hardly like everyone I meet.  I just wish people would actually MEET and/or talk to me before they publicly pass judgement on me and my life.

I didn't start this blog to pretend to be something I'm not.  I simply like to write things down so I will always remember them.  I also kept getting some of the same questions over and over from people and thought putting the answers down would help them to see how I feel/deal with things.  I also have a lot of friends all over the world, and this is an easy way for them to see what I'm up to when we can't connect in other ways because of our vastly different schedules.

If you meet me in person and you know nothing about me and ask me what my fiance does for a living I will do all that I can to avoid telling you what he does.  It's not because I'm ashamed or anything like that, but I want to be judged on who I am as a person rather than on Mike's profession.  I realize that this may seem strange when I don't hide it on twitter or on this blog, but does a salesperson really need to know that my fiance plays hockey when I'll likely spend 4 minutes of my life talking to her?  No, she doesn't.  If it ever gets to a point where I can't avoid telling the person what he does any longer, than I'll tell them.

I don't ever pretend to be something I'm not, and I don't pretend Mike is something he's not.  I'm not afraid to tell people the different levels Mike has played, and where he's spent the majority of his time.  When someone asks what team he plays for my response is always "for the (insert current NHL parent team)'s organization for their AAA affiliate in (insert current city)".  Is that incorrect information?  No, not at all.  When he was in the Coast, I just told them the team, because he wasn't with an NHL organization then.  I never acted like he was somewhere he wasn't.  It's actually a huge pet peeve of mine to hear people claim to be with/play for a team they really don't.

Ever see a "coach" claiming to have AHL/NHL experience wanting to work with your child but you don't recognize their name?  Go to, it doesn't lie.  You can find out what exactly their experience is.  There are people out there claiming to have that kind of experience because they simply attended a pre-season camp for 3 days once in their careers.  I guess technically they did, but they're advertising like they did something more.  Why lie?  Just be honest.  We ALWAYS are.  If the NHL comes up, I make sure to say he spent x amount of days on a call up due to injury.

To claim that both/either of us is delusional or weird because he's not an NHL regular over the past 10 seasons isn't fair.  That doesn't mean that our experiences are any less valid.  Nor does it mean that the experiences of other wives/guys don't matter because they aren't regulars either.  Our lives are real.  Our stresses are real.  Our feelings are real.  I could care less what level Mike is playing at, I will be just as nervous watching him play an NHL game as I was at a college game, and as I would an AHL game, ECHL game, etc.  The level doesn't affect my feelings or make them less real.  I just want him to be the best he can wherever he is.  That just means I love him.

If my wedding planning posts, triple berry crisp recipe post, 2 favorite songs post, etc. offended anyone because I don't have status, I apologize.  If you don't like me or my blog, that's fine.  No one is making you read it.  To go out and call us names when you've never once interacted with either of us is rude, mean, and unnecessary.  Unless you've talked to me about it, you have no idea what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling, or what I believe.  I don't think I'm better than people because I date a goalie, I was just simply explaining my feelings and experiences I've had in MY life.  And if someone thinks I'm weird for having a blog, then that's their prerogative.  Why go out and publicly say that to others?  It's mean, and hurtful.

People will tell me to get thicker skin, to ignore it, but come on.  How do you not get your feelings hurt when you see/hear someone say something mean about you or the person you love?  I am a human being.  I just want to ask people to do one thing: if there is something you read here or hear someplace that I've said that you don't like just come to me about it.  I'd be more than happy to explain my opinions/feelings.  I just write what comes, and I don't go back and edit my feelings, which can sometimes lead me into trouble.  Things don't always come out the way I meant them and I'd rather clear it up than be attacked by someone who misunderstood.  I may hate confrontation, but I'll always be willing to discuss things.  Sometimes I'll clear things up, other times I'll apologize because maybe I was being rude and didn't realize it until after.

This is the one and only time I'll write a post like this.  I think this one time struck a nerve because it wasn't just me the person said something hurtful about.  You go after me, I'll be hurt.  You go after the people I love, I get angry.  I won't say who said it, although I'm sure some will figure it out.  I won't attack or name call them, because that's just not who I am.  I'm sure this person has their reasons for disliking us, whatever they are.  I just wish they hadn't had to say what they did so publicly without bothering to discuss their issues with us beforehand.  End rant.

Wait, one more thing.  Another major pet peeve?  Irresponsible journalism/blogging.  When did it become okay to not check with sources before printing something as fact?  Wouldn't you want to only print the truth (if you're not running a tabloid anyway)?  Don't always believe what you read if there are no quotes from the actual source/sources, or even an anonymous one (although obviously those aren't always true either).  Now end rant, haha.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And the Wedding Planning Begins.....

I have been in NY for just under a week now.  After a very long and tiring 18 hour drive from St. Louis, we arrived at my parents' house.  I got to show Mike our wedding/reception venue, and he loved it just as much as I did thankfully.  It was a lot of pressure to pick the location without having him with me this summer to give me feedback.  He was so happy with it he took pictures to send to his side of the wedding party to show it off right away!

After I showed it to him, we spent a few hours wandering around the area checking out the bars, restaurants, activities, and lodging.  Since for a majority of our guests this will be a destination wedding, it seems like most want to make a vacation out of the trip and come in for a week.  We've been brainstorming up ideas for things we can plan on the week leading up to the wedding for everyone to do if they choose.  Of course, they can't go wrong just hanging out on the beach next to the lake staring off at the gorgeous mountains in the background.

The day after that was the day that Mike left for Ottawa.  Pre-season is never fun.  He's gone for an indefinite amount of time and I don't know when I'll see him again.  I realize that it's only a couple of weeks, but still, I get sad when he leaves for two days during the season, haha.  Bauer was depressed all day when he realized Mike wasn't coming back.  He's getting back to his normal self now with the help of my parents' dog Nash who wants to play all the time.

Now we communicate through a couple of texts, AIM (saved only for the times he's on the road, otherwise it never gets used), and skype if our schedules permit and his roommate isn't in the room getting annoyed at us.  I hate skyping with another person in the room.  No one wants to hear someone else's conversation.  No phone calls though, since he's in Canada and that costs money.  It sucks not to usually hear his voice right before I go to bed, but there's nothing that can be done.

Now I'll just wait and see what happens.  Every organization does their pre-season differently so trying to gauge a time when I'll be able to see him again is pointless.  He's been in the first round of cuts only a few days in, and in the last round of cuts making it down barely in time for the start of the regular season.  You just never know.  So I sit, check daily to see what's available for rent in the city we expect to be in, and wait for the news.

Thankfully this time around I've got wedding plans to keep me busy while he's gone.  There's a wedding association in the area with something like 70 different vendors of all types that I went to check out yesterday.  The advantage to using the association is that if you use at least 4 vendors in it, you get discounts from each of them.  I'm all for saving money.  My mom and I walked in thinking we were just going to grab a bunch of pamphlets and business cards and instead ended up talking to someone and decided to just make an appointment for next week to go over every vendor so we can more easily make a decision.

As we were talking to the girl helping us, what Mike did for a living came up.  She couldn't believe it.  Her husband had just retired this year from playing hockey and was back in school finishing up the degree he'd started.  When I told her Mike was a goalie she started to laugh, because her husband was a goalie too!  Turns out he played with a ton of our friends.  I know we say it all the time, but this was a prime example that hockey is such a small world!  We talked hockey long enough that she made sure to make our appointment at a time she'd be there to help out.  I went from being nervous to immediately comfortable because of our connection, haha.

When I got home I decided it was time to figure out my dress.  I sent out emails to all of the stores in the area asking about the designer that I've fallen in love with.  Don't bother asking who, I'm not going to say because I don't want Mike to have a clue about what my dress will be.  There is one dress in particular that I love so I wanted to know which stores carry it, if any.  I'd rather try it on before ordering it, ya know?  Just in case it doesn't look very good on me and I have to find something else.  I'm not a bet it all on black kind of girl.  My fingers are crossed that at least one of them has it.

I also got an email last night from the photographer from our first engagement shoot.  It was just a notice that we could send a link to family and friends to pre-register on a site to get $10 off if they wanted to buy any of the pictures.  She didn't say when the pictures would be ready, but I'm taking that as a sign that they'll be ready pretty soon, and that has me super excited as well.

When I was setting the appointment for next week to discuss vendors a bridal show in October was mentioned.  I figured I'd most likely be in Binghamton for it and wouldn't be able to go.  Imagine my surprise when I checked their schedule and saw that not only is Mike on the road that weekend, but playing in Albany the day of the show!  Now I can go and then drive up to Albany after to watch the game, then just follow the bus home after.  Thankfully it's a Sunday, so the game is early so I wouldn't be getting home too late.

I started working on our wedding website before we made the move, but there's still so much to do on it before letting people go on it.  I've got to get that up and running pretty soon.  Also I think my mom and I are going to be heading out tomorrow to try to figure out what exactly I want for my centerpieces.  I have something in mind, but not a firm idea.  We most likely won't get anything tomorrow, but I just want to look around, get some more ideas, and work my brain around what exactly I want.

I think once I get that stuff taken care of I'll be able to start thinking about what I want as far as flowers, invitations, and the cake.  Honestly, I don't have a creative bone in my body, so all of this stuff is going to be supremely difficult for me.  Looking at other pictures doesn't give me inspiration, it makes me want exactly what someone else had or know I want nothing that looks remotely like what someone else had.  My brain will probably hurt by the end of these next few weeks, but I need to get as much done as possible before moving.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Triple Berry Crisp Recipe

I made this for a Labor Day Party the other day and fell in love.  I was asked a few times for the recipe, and received multiple compliments as party-goers ate it, so I decided to put it up.  Read past the recipe for a few notes on options.  Don't mind the picture.  I wish I had a better pic, but I didn't think about taking one before Mike and I decided we better give it a taste before serving it, haha.


1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter


1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F
2. In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar.  Set aside.
3. In a separate large bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Cut in butter until crumbly.
5. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
6. Cover with berries.
7. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.


Make sure you drain/dry the rinsed fruit well or the fruit filling will be a little watery.  Frozen fruit is fine to use, just defrost and drain first or face the same problem.

You can use other types of fruits than the ones I did.  Substitute peaches for one kind of berry, do only peaches, do apple, do just blackberries and raspberries, etc. based on your preferences.

I softened the butter to nearly melted before mixing instead of cutting it in.  It worked fine and tasted great, but the crumble mixture was a little less crumby than if I had cut it in.  You can cut down the amount of butter used to just 1 cup.  That also will help with the crumbly texture, and should still taste great.

Adding white sugar to the fruit isn't necessary.  Depending on your sweet tooth, use your own discretion.  Many times frozen berries are already sugared, and don't need more added.  Going anything above the 4 tablespoons, however, might make this way too sweet.

I have a serious sweet tooth, so I used the max amount of sugar and butter so I'd get the max amount of sweetness (and fat too, ugh).  Be aware that using that much will be plenty sweet, and my stomach hurt after I ate my portions, but in such a good way, haha.  I also loved that it was just all the crisp on top like every other fruit crisp I've had, but that there is a crisp crust underneath!  It can be eaten just like this, cold or warmed up.  My favorite way to eat it is to warm it up and put a scoop of french vanilla ice cream on top.  Others like whipped cream on top.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as we all seemed to!  Any other ideas on altering this recipe at all (other fruits, other toppings, other measurements, etc.) are more than welcome in the comments!  Everyone has different tastes and what works for one, might not work for another, so I certainly don't mind having as many varieties/options of something as possible!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1 Picture

Last day of the blog challenge!  I can't believe I made it without forgetting!  Trust me, that's a total accomplishment.

He proposed right there in that crease.  And I love this picture.  Now it's time to get to packing.  Less than a week until we leave St. Louis.  That makes me sad.  Have a great day everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

2 Songs

I hope everyone's having a great Labor Day Weekend!  We had our annual Labor Day party yesterday and it was a blast like usual.  It makes me sad that this is the last time we'll see most of our friends until next summer, but such is the life.  Now on to the songs!

Song #1

Stuck on You by Failure.  This song is not only incredible, but has special meaning.  Ever watch a movie and hear a song in it that is awesome, but you can't figure out what it is?  That was this song.  I watched some low budget weird vampire movie on TV in like 9th grade one day when I was bored.  When the end credits rolled around this song started, and I loved it.  I spent hours trying to find out what the song was online, and never could.  The movie wasn't good, but it was replayed the next day, so I taped it just so I could listen to the song when I wanted.  Years later, in college I had long forgotten about the movie and the song.  Mike and I had first started dating and went to different schools at the time.  It was my first weekend in visiting him and he put some music on.  The first song that played was Stuck on You.  Three notes in and I realized what it was and freaked out.  The first song he ever puts on around me, and it's the one song I loved that I couldn't find?  That stuff doesn't happen.  I had it on repeat for weeks after I found out who it was by.  When I flew out to visit him during the summer I had issues with my flights and ended up not getting in until 8 hours after I was supposed to, so Mike had the CD set to play that song when he turned the car on, with a bouquet of flowers sitting on the seat.  It just kind of became our song after that.  It's not typical, but it will be the song for our first dance.

Song #2

What I Got by Sublime.  Really, I just want to say everything by Sublime.  I love everything by them.  Sublime is the soundtrack to my life growing up.  Every time I hear a Sublime song I remember driving around in the summers with my best friends with Sublime on repeat singing and dancing in the car, windows down.  Very rarely did we get together and not listen to at least one Sublime song.  Sublime is perfect summer music and those days driving aimlessly and listening to them are some of my best memories from those days.  I still have to roll the windows down and sing loudly when Sublime comes on the radio, and sometimes on a nice sunny day I put Sublime on, and drive around just to reminisce.  What I Got is the song that got all of that started.

Tomorrow is the last day of the blog challenge and it's just 1 picture!  It's going to be a tough decision on what picture to put up!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

3 Films

So I'm going to be taking tomorrow off from the challenge.  I'm hosting about 20 some people all day long at our annual Labor Day barbecue and just simply won't have the time.  I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

Film #1

Last of the Mohicans.  My favorite movie of all time.  It's not for everyone, which I tend to forget when I rave about how good it is.  This past season I tried to get 2 of the other girls to watch it with me one night, and I think they lasted about 15 minutes.  It's a love story told in the midst of the French and Indian War.  It can be slow at times for people, but the back story's and history is necessary to the plot.  Daniel Day-Lewis is incredible in it.  It's not just the storyline that I love, but the history.  The whole movie takes place in the Lake George area, where I'm from.  Kids can attend Camp Chingachgook or you can drive down Uncas St.  The Adirondack Red Wings mascots name was Hawkeye (obviously it's very similar to the word 'hockey').  The Fort they go to has a complete working replica built on the exact spot that gives tours.  They hide out in a cave under a waterfall in the movie, and I've driven over the real cave more times than I can count.  I mentioned previously that I'm a sucker for romance, and you get one hell of a romantic storyline in this movie, but you also get a bit of the history of my home, and you can't really beat that.

Film #2

Beauty and the Beast.  It was my absolute favorite Disney movie growing up.  I wanted to be Belle.  In fact, I still sort of do.  This movie is THE reason I'm a sucker for romance.  You can't really fathom love like that when you're a child, but it's all I ever wanted.  I just wanted my own 'Beast' if you will.  I related to Belle.  I was really shy as a kid and meeting people wasn't my idea of fun.  I much preferred reading and getting lost in a fictional world than being around people.  I have the movie memorized, own the deluxe DVD that came out last summer, and forced Mike to take me to a production of Beauty and the Beast.  I was obsessed with Belle's yellow dress, and yellow was the only color I would consider for my prom dress.

Film #3

Empire Records.  I saw this movie early in junior high and for years I wanted to work in a Record Store.  It just seemed so cool.  I still rock out to the music from the soundtrack.  I've seen the movie so many times I could probably recite it right now without watching it, and I still laugh my butt off every time I do see it.  Love.

Monday will be 2 songs!

Friday, September 2, 2011

4 Books

Book #1

Pride and Prejudice.  This book is it for me.  I re-read it once a year.  I watch the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle mini series multiple times a year, because it is almost identical to the book, which is rare.  It's the only Pride and Prejudice TV/movie version of the book I will watch.  And not just because of Colin Firth (yum!), although there will never be a better Darcy.  In high school we were supposed to read it in Senior English.  I read the first 2 chapters, didn't understand a word because of the writing style, and refused to read the rest, not really caring at all what the book was about.  Then our teacher put the mini series on, and I was hooked to the story.  I didn't start over from the beginning, but picked up where our class was, and was just in time to read the letter Darcy wrote to Elizabeth about Wickham and his interference between Jane and Mr. Bingley.  I read every chapter after that.  I went out and bought my own copy when we had to return the book to the school.  It's dramatic, funny, romantic, and I smile my way through it as I read.  It will forever be my favorite book, and I'll never stop re-reading it.  "I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation.  It is too long ago.  I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."  Oh, Darcy.  Swoon.

Book #2

To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is one of the rare books I read cover to cover for English class.  The movie is one of my dad's absolute favorites and I had seen it long before the book was required reading.  I had enjoyed the movie so I was willing to give the book a shot.  I'm glad I did.  I haven't read it again since school, but it's on my list of books that I must buy.  Books that can weave a fascinating fictional story effortlessly into social commentary on the times are truly works of art.

Book #3

A Walk to Remember.  I don't care if people think that's cheesy.  I read the entire book in one day because I couldn't put it down.  I think I cried throughout almost the entire thing.  I kept looking at the clock and seeing time pass until I had finished and it was 5 in the morning, but it was that riveting.  I'm a sucker for romance, and holy did I get that.  I think that love is the kind of love everyone deserves in their life.  I've read the book multiple times, and I cry my eyes out each time.

Book #4

Jane Eyre.  Like Pride and Prejudice, I gave up on it pretty early.  The only reason I started reading it again was because my teacher was giving pop quizzes after getting annoyed that no one was reading it.  I started doing the infamous read the first and last sentence of every paragraph thing.  The story started off a little slow, but the second Jane met Mr. Rochester I had a hard time putting the book down.

Tomorrow it'll be time for 3 Films!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 Foods

Now it's time to introduce you to my favorite foods.  And now thinking about them, I'm having some serious cravings.  Which one am I going to convince Mike to get me tonight?  Haha.  Honestly though, when we go out to eat we try to have a completely different type of food every time.  We avoid chain restaurants like Applebees or TGIFridays at all costs, and very very rarely do you see us at Fast Food.  There are just too many incredible styles of food out there to waste time eating at those places.  Even when we cook, we make homemade versions of the styles of food we love.  Like I said in an earlier post, I love eating ethnic food over American.  There are just so many different tastes out there.

Food #1

Sushi.  I love it.  I can't get enough of it.  I used to refuse to eat it because like so many others, I believe sushi was just raw fish, and I hate fish.  That's so far from the truth.  I may hate fish, but I LOVE shellfish, so I sucked it up and gave it a chance.  What a huge surprise!  For the first few years I ate sushi, I didn't eat a single roll that contained any kind of fish.  It's totally possible to avoid raw anything, so don't let that scare you off!  Now I crave it.  The thing is, I'm kind of a sushi snob.  I only want to eat the best, and I've found that some places people love and recommend just don't cut it.  Thankfully we've found incredible places just about everywhere we've been.  Vegas has way too many to list.  With all the places out there, if you're a restaurant, you have to be good to stay in business.  If you're in Portland, Maine go to King of the Roll.  It's top 3 of the sushi places we've ever been.  In Norfolk, there were two places in downtown, and both were really good, and we used to alternate which one we went to.  In Tampa we loved Yoko's.  Albany had a place called Sake Cafe that not only had great sushi, but something called the Amazing Pancake.  It truly was amazing.  Then here in St. Louis we don't eat anywhere but at Sapporo.  It's incredible and if you ever happen to find yourself there, get the Sapporo roll.  Might be the best I've ever had.

Food #2

Indian.  Like sushi, I crave it.  Usually I prefer to go for lunch to the buffet so I can eat a ton of different things.  I haven't found anything Indian that I haven't loved.  Seriously, if you haven't tried it, don't let the smells and colors scare you away.  I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just so different than what many people are used to.  I was really nervous the first time I went because of that, but I gave it a try.  Now I want it all the time.

Food #3

Barbecue.  Maybe that's not at all refined, but holy is it good.  Back in NY good barbecue just doesn't exist.  I always liked barbecue sauce, but I thought barbecue meant you grilled something and dipped it.  Then I came to St. Louis.  My mind was blown.  There are so many different types of barbecue out there depending on what region you're in.  My favorite is the Kansas City Style.  Thick and sugary, it's just so good.  Really though, as long as my barbecue is smoky and the sauce has a tiny bit of sweetness, I'm all in.  Not to mention, how good are real baked beans (not the kind from the can in the grocery store) and garlic bread as sides?  Healthy, not so much, but incredible.  Also, outside of the general St. Louis area, this doesn't exist, but pork steaks.  I used to hate pork, and then I ate a pork steak, slow cooked all day over a fire.  And I received a recipe for homemade beans.  That meal is a staple in this house.  Funny story about pork steaks.  When I first heard about them, I was confused.  I thought steak was beef, not a cut.  When Mike told me we were going to be having pork steaks for dinner I was so confused.  "What is it?  Pork and beef combined?  That sounds horrible!"  I couldn't have been more wrong.

Food #4

Mexican.  Not that Tex-Mex, fast food, chain restaurant crap, but real authentic Mexican.  We live at Mi Lupita here in St. Louis in the summer.  Seriously.  We're there like every other week, and sometimes a couple weeks in a row.  The owner has become a friend we're there so often.  My favorite thing to eat is chicken fajitas, as basic as that is, but when done right, Mi Lupita has the best I've ever had, they're incredible.  And I love that I can customize how much of everything I put in them.  I also love chimichangas, tacos, flautas, mole.....okay, the list could go on.  Truthfully I'm not sure I've tried anything that I don't think tastes good.  I have my preferences, and it's hard for me to deviate from them, but it's all so good.  And one other word sums up my love for Mexican.  Guacamole.  Enough said.

Food #5

Thai.  More specifically Pad Thai.  Every different Thai place I've gone to has Pad Thai that tastes so different, and I love to taste all versions.  They've ranged from being very brown and peanuty to bright orange and a little creamy.  All of it incredible.  While I'm not a huge fan of Thai curry specifically, I have really liked the other non-curry Thai dishes that I've tried.

Honorable Mention (because I can)

Peanut Butter.  I know, after all that I just wrote about you're probably going, um what?!  I don't care.  I don't care if it makes me sound like a fat kid.  I love peanut butter.  If there is peanut butter in it, I'm eating it.  It's my one real indulgence.  Peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cake, peanut butter cups, peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter topping, pb&j sandwiches, crackers and peanut butter, peanut butter on bagels and english muffins, apples and peanut butter, peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  I could go on and on, but I won't, because now I want something peanut buttery.  Good thing there's leftover chicken in a spicy peanut sauce (made with peanut butter) in the fridge.

Whether you like the food I listed or not, if you agree with my tastes or not, I seriously recommend you get out there and try everything no matter how scary it seems.  If I hadn't tried things I was nervous about trying, I wouldn't have listed a single one of the things I did above (minus the barbecue and peanut butter).  Be adventurous and step outside your comfort zone.  If you don't like something, fine.  But maybe just maybe you'll discover something incredible that you never saw coming.....

Tomorrow is 4 books!