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Friends of the Library Book Sale

23 Feb

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One of my favorite events of the year is this weekend, the Friends of the Library Book Sale. Any type of media you can borrow from the library, and possibly some you can’t (VHS and cassette tapes?) is up for sale in one of the huge fair ground buildings. The best part, most things are .50 or a $1.

Nate and I walked away with two grocery sacks of books (nearly 30 books) for $16. They have all types of books but my three favorite things to look for every year are travel books, books I loved to read growing up, and all those suggested reading books from different high school and college literature classes.

It’s open for one more day, so if you have some free time after church definitely check it out!

Courtside

13 Feb

Sometime last fall Nate, the lucky duck, won courtside tickets to a Thunder game through a work drawing. He got to pick which game and we ended up going to one against the Golden State Warriors on January 17. Another coworker also won a pair and ended up picking the same game, so we had a good time courtside with him and his wife.

CourtsideTickets

Neither of us had sat courtside before, so we were both super excited. I didn’t know it but courtside comes with dinner at either of the two courtside restaurants (the Courtside Club or the Courtside Pub). I wanted to go to the Club because I’d heard it was fancier, but the line was long and not moving, so we checked out the Pub and got right in! The buffet line had lots of tasty pub food including bread pudding which is a recent favorite dessert of mine.

The game was fantastic. Nate couldn’t have picked a better one. Thunder won and KD scored an all time high 54 points. Nate was sitting on the edge and got a good 10 seconds of face time on tv during a free throw. I was not as famous, but my dad texted me a few pictures when he caught glimpses of us. All in all it was a super fun time, and anyone trying to get rid of courtside tickets let me know. I know some people who can put them to good use!

NateandSommerCourtside

I’m not going to pretend like this is any sort of fashion blog, but I’d been planning my courtside appropriate Thunder outfit since back in November, and I’m pretty proud of the Thunder colored ensemble I put together. So if you’re in the market for something similar: H&M Short Blazer in blue and JCPenney Worthington Pleated Front tank top in Zydeco Red.

2013 Season Tickets to the Lyric Theater

31 Jul

LyricTickets

Back in February I participated in the OKC Public Library’s adult reading program. They do it every year, and for every three books you read you get a ticket to put into the bowl to win prizes. I was incredibly lucky and won a pair of season tickets to the Lyric Theater at the Civic Center shows.

So for the past month (and we still have Big River to go) Nate and I have been taking in some shows. We’ve seen Tarzan, The King and I, and Will Rogers Follies. I didn’t realize the productions would be so large and professional, but to my untrained eye they might as well be Broadway! I’ve been especially impressed with the costumes and dancing. Here are a couple of photos off of Lyric’s Facebook from last week’s Will Rogers Follies.

WillRogers2

Photo by Keith Rinearson

WillRogers

Photo by Keith Rinearson

The take away; if you get a chance to attend a Lyric production I’d definitely recommend it!

New Restaurants

18 Jul

I love trying new restaurants, and Nate and I will often try a place we haven’t been before when eating out. It seems like a ton of new places have opened in the past month or two, and my list of place to try is getting pretty lengthy.

Pie Junkie – In the Plaza District. I especially love what they’ve come up with for HappyPi hour.
1711 NW 16th Street
Tues – Fri: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
HappyPi hour, Tuesday through Friday, from 5-6 p.m. and slices cost only $3.14

Peloton Wine Bar & Cafe – Located behind Schlegel. We have actually grabbed a bite to eat here. It’s small with not a lot of indoor seating, but the patio was awesome. The food was good and reasonably priced. I want to go back and try a few more things.
900 N Broadway
Mon – Thurs: 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Old School Bagel Cafe – Apparently they’ve been around for quite a while, but the downtown location is new.
Leadership Square, 211 N. Robinson

Cow Calf Hay – City Bites’ burger restaurant.
212 N. Harvey
Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Packard’s New American Kitchen – I haven’t heard the most glowing reviews from friends, but their patio looks awesome. I’m looking forward to trying it eventually.
201 NW 10th St
Mon – Fri: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mon – Thurs: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Kitchen 324 – I’ve had chai and a croissant, and they didn’t disappoint. I can’t wait to go back for a full meal. Plus the restaurant is an extra lovely designed place.
324 N. Robinson
7 a.m. – 2 p.m., daily

Tamazul – Just opened in Classen Curve. I believe Chef Ryan Parrott is behind it which is always a good sign!
5820 N Classen Blvd, Ste. 1
Mon – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sauced – It’s been around for a while, but I haven’t tried it under the new ownership (which I think it’s been under for 2 or 3 years).
2912 Paseo Drive
Mon: 4pm-9pm
Tues -Thur: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Empire Slice House – Opening in the Plaza District sometime this summer.
1734 NW 16th St.

Chopt – We tried this one a few weeks ago. It was good, but nothing I couldn’t already make at home. Hopefully it lasts and does well for the lunch crowd in the neighborhood.
726 W. Sheridan Avenue
Mon – Fri: 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Hillbilly Po’Boy’s & Oysters – I don’t know much about Po’Boy’s, but it can’t hurt to try them.
1 Nw 9th St
Mon – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Guernsey Park – Located behind Cuppie’s & Joe and it looks pretty fancy!
2418 N Guernsey Ave
Mon – Thu: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Whiskey Cake – They have another location in TX (does that make it a chain?), but it’s supposed to be a farm-to-kitchen type restaurant.
1845 Northwest Expressway
Mon – Thu: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sat: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

I Love Local Restaurants – Elemental Coffee Crepes

19 Jun

While my cousin was in town last weekend I met her and her fiance for brunch on Saturday morning.

AllisonKirby
I’ve had Elemental’s Crepe Brunch that they serve on Saturday and Sunday on my to-do list for quite a while, and this turned out to be a perfect opportunity to try it out. They serve 4 different crepes until 2 p.m., and the menu changes every week. A lot of times they’ll post the crepe options on their Facebook or Twitter so you can check what you might be interested in before you go.

The menu is just printed on a paper taped to the counter at the register, so don’t be confused if you don’t see it on the menu board.

This past weekend they were serving:
Raspberries Red: Puree of red raspberries, drizzled with Askinosie dark chocolate sauce.
The Patriot: Lemon sugar crepe topped with strawberries, blueberries, and cream.
Roast Beast: Peppery roast beef, aged cheddar cheese, and smoky barbecue sauce.
Mango Madness: Crepe filled with refried black beans and topped with mango salsa and guacamole.

Kirby got the Patriot, Alli got the Mango Madness and mine below is the Roast Beast. We also got coffee or chai to drink. I know mine was delicious and I think Kirby and Allison liked theirs too.

CrepeSo, next time I find a reason to go eat brunch time crepes I will. The one problem with eating a crepe at 10:30 when you haven’t had breakfast and intend for it to also be your lunch is it’s not a large meal. Maybe next time I’ll go for a sweet crepe as dessert after lunch!

AllisonSommer

Elemental Coffee
815 N Hudson
OKC, OK 73102
Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

deadCENTER Film Festival 2013

11 Jun

deadCENTER

OKC’s deadCENTER film festival was this past week/weekend and as usual the parts I attended were awesome. We tossed around getting passes this year, but in the end just caught the free stuff. I always enjoy the small bit of the festival I attend because it’s almost always a film I wouldn’t pick to see, but it ends up being great. They always do an opening night and closing night film that are free, open to the public and generally outside somewhere. In addition to those two, this year, they did a few more. Each was to benefit a charity that’s helping tornado victims in some way. (All film images below are from deadcenterfilm.org.)


The first night we saw The Rolling Stones: Charlie is My Darling. It was pretty good and due to weather inside at the art museum theater, so we had the bonus of cushy chairs. We all commented that the whole film could have used subtitles because the Stones were mumbling British guys.


Friday night we watched The Last of the Mohicans. I thought maybe I’d seen it before, but I didn’t recognize any of it. The movie was good but very gory.


Saturday night was my favorite of the films I saw. The Short Game. No one wanted to see it, but Nate agreed to come along, and we both ended up really enjoying it. It’s about several 7-year-old golfers who are competing in the world championships. It was funny and a great story that really got you into these kids lives and golf even if you’re not a golf fan (I am not). The film did a great job of building to the end and having you wonder who was going to win the tournament, so when it started pouring with minutes left in the film we were super disappointed and had to leave wondering who won!


Sunday night they combined the concert series with a film showing, so the gardens were hopping. The film was Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams and it was interesting because I didn’t know anything about her (including that she is a girl), but by far my least favorite of the weekend. Unlike the short game I think you need to be a Stevie Nicks fan to really enjoy this one. We also tried to go to a showing of Okie Shorts ($10), but like many films this weekend they were sold out. I guess a pass might be a good plan for next year.
DevonTower

2013 Festival of the Arts

26 Apr

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This week is one of the best weeks of the year in OKC. Honestly it’s too good, and I wish it would spread its self over a few weeks so I could enjoy more of the wonderful things that are going on! My favorite is the Festival of the Arts but there’s also NBA Playoffs, Norman Music Festival, the Memorial Marathon, H&8th, and probably several more big events that I don’t even know about!

I work downtown, so Festival of the Arts week means my co-workers and I try to eat as many “Culinary Arts” meals as possible. It’s been a busy week so I’ve actually only made it over once for lunch and once meeting a friend for dinner, but it was still a good time as always.

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Today for lunch Kaylee, Traci and I all ended up in the LOCAL & deadCenter Film Festival booth line ordering Avocado Chicken Cones. They were a little spicy and pretty good, but not nearly as tasty as Waffle Awesome & UCO College of Fine Arts & Design/KCSC-FM’s Chicken N’ Waffle I had for dinner last night. FestoftheArts_ApplePieSundae

After our avocado cones Traci treated us to Guiltless Concessions & The Harn Homestead & 1889ers Museum’s Apple Pie a la Mode Sundae. The ice cream they use is so tasty I wish I could just get a bowl of it!

Last night I met Jill and Austen for dinner. It was Austen’s first time, so it was fun to see her trying to take everything in, being super stoked for the $1 balloon Jill bought her, and mesmerized by the ballerinas performing at the band shell stage! We both got Chicken N’ Waffles and like I said it was awesome. We were trying to figure out what the sauce they used was because it was a little sweet. I thought maybe something with syrup, but I’m not sure. I didn’t think to snap a picture of my waffle, but Jill got a much more interesting and cute one of me and my little buddy Austen.

AustenandSommer

Norman Saturday

18 Apr

Last Saturday there was a free Iron and Wine show in Norman we wanted to go to. It was also the day of the OU Spring Game. So we made an afternoon and evening of it all in Norman! We picked up lunch at Pickleman’s, attended the Spring Game, made a quick stop in at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, took a break for a drink at the Library Bar & Grill, picked up dessert for later at Crimson & Whipped Cream, grabbed dinner to go from Pad Thai, and enjoyed the Iron and Wine concert.

I don’t have any pictures of Pickleman’s, but the former OU player Kenny Stills was in line in front of us!

The spring game was interesting. The offense plays the defense, so they have the scoring set up differently. Offense of course gets points for scoring, but the defense got points for things that it’s important for defense to do. I have enough trouble following a regular football game, so I was a bit lost! But it was still fun to cheer for the big catches, and I brought my new camera along to try out.

SpringGame

After the game we considered going in to the Fred Jones Jr. Art Museum, but it was less than an hour till closing and I assumed I’d have to pay. Then we walked by a big sign they had out front that said “The museum is always free.” We turned right around and went in. Since we only had about 40 minutes we probably didn’t even see a quarter of what they had, but I was impressed with what I saw and I’m looking forward to going back!

FJJMA

I’ve been wanting to try Crimson & Whipped Cream for a while. They’re a member of Keep it Local, so I always see them on the list and am curious. I expected it to be similar to Cuppies & Joe with lots of cupcakes, but instead it was a mix of all sorts of treats and what looked like a pretty big drink menu. We picked out several things to try and they packed them to-go for us. We got: a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting, a strawberry granola bar, a Nutella cinnamon roll, and an oatmeal cream pie. All of them were quite tasty, and I’ll definitely stop by again and trying some other things.

Crimson&WhippedCreamTreats Crimson&WhippedCreamBox

Our choice for dinner was Pad Thai. It had been recommended as the best Thai food in Norman. We were running a little short on time so we each ordered a pad Thai to-go. After an unfortunate 40 minute wait (their kitchen exhaust fan stopped working and they had to turn away people who they’d already seated!) we got our food. They were very apologetic about the wait and offered us free drinks, so I won’t hold the wait against them. The portions were huge, and the pad Thai was a little sweet and I thought tasted a bit tomatoey. Nate ordered a 4 star which I tasted and it wasn’t very hot, so if you go order a 5 star if you like spice! I’d go again, but probably try curry or something different next time.

PadThai

The Iron and Wine show had a bit of a rocky start – everyone at the front stood up to listen, and everyone at the back, where we were, started talking really loudly. About half way through we got a little fed up, picked up our bits, and moved into the standing crowd. All in all it was a really great show, and we should’ve just moved forward sooner!

IronandWineConcert

Since they weren’t checking cameras or anything I carried in my new zoom lens, and we had some fun testing it out.

IronandWine5 IronandWine IronandWine3

I Love Local Restaurants – LOCAL

26 Feb

The weekend after Valentine’s Day Nate took me to LOCAL in Norman for a little Valentine’s dinner. We’d both been wanting to try LOCAL since it opened last year, so we were pretty excited. I think a lot of other people had the same idea as us – to go out not on Valentine’s Day – so there was a little wait before we could be seated. We were in no hurry though, so it wasn’t a problem.

NSLocal

Their seating area is rather large (Nate told me he thinks the space used to be a Furr’s Cafeteria), so it was exciting to see a local spot so busy!

LOCAL is a member of Keep it Local, so once seated we ordered truffle chips which you get for free with your card. They came with three dipping sauces my favorite of which was the ketchupy barbeque sauce.

They do their menu seasonally and focus on foods that are local, sustainable, and in season. The menu was fairly small (1 page) but still managed to cover a wide range of foods from meat loaf to pasta and vegetables. I tend to be a terrible decision maker, so fewer choices are always good for me! Another thing I noticed was that over half the menu items had special markings next to them indicating that they were or could be prepared Vegan, Vegetarian, or Gluten Free. While I don’t keep to a meat or gluten free diet I have several friends that do, so it’s nice to know that LOCAL will gladly prepare meals to their needs. Nate ordered stacked enchiladas, and I asked our waitress if she would recommend the ratatouille or primavera. She said definitely the primavera.

I had intended to take a picture of our plates when they arrived because I knew they would look fantastic. You’ll just have to trust me that they looked so fantastic that we both dug right in, and I completely forgot about taking a picture! Nate’s enchiladas were tasty right down to the pickled onion (who would have thought pickled onion was even a good idea!). My primavera was just as good as our waitress promised. The pasta and pesto combination was topped with green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, egg plant, and probably other vegetables I’m forgetting. My favorite part was that the green beans and broccoli still had just a little crunch left. Just as we were eating our last bites I remembered my plan to take pictures, so  here’s a picture of our two clean plates.

LocalNorman

After dinner we had discussed heading back to the city and stopping by Cuppies and Joe for dessert, but our meals were so good (and I’d just had a cupcake from Cuppies the day before) that we decided to splurge on dessert at LOCAL. Boy was that a good decision! Our waitress recommended the Sticky Toffee Pudding which was a delicious warm bread pudding with crunchy toffee bits. I’m not sure that I’ve ever tried bread pudding before, but that one sold me on it.

BreadPudding

So, after one meal I’m a big fan of LOCAL. The metro has another restaurant or two that do the small seasonal menu focusing on local items, but this one, in my opinion does it right for everyone. It’s reasonably priced, and I think anyone, no matter how unadventurous your taste buds are, could find something to like on the menu. So check out LOCAL! I was just browsing their website and they offer so much more that I didn’t even cover: a kids play/eating area, a market that includes to-go meals, a private gallery/eating area for events.

LOCAL
2262 West Main Street
Norman, OK 73069
Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Christmas Time is Here – Gift Ideas

29 Nov

Christmas and the weeks surrounding it are my favorite. I love to put up decorations, drive around and look at the pretty lights, attend holiday parties, shop for or make gifts and give gifts. I do enjoy receiving gifts too, but I really love to think up something special that my friends and family will enjoy and then surprise them with it. I don’t have any pictures of all the things I’ve done the past several years, but honestly I would spend hours scouring the internet for the perfect thing to make (until Pinterest came along and now I just keep running lists!), so all of my ideas were someone else’s first. So without further ado here are some possible things to gift people with.


Little wristlet via: Splityarn


Mini pies in jars via: not martha


Fabric roses via: Everyday Chaos


Magnets via: not martha


T-shirt infinity scarf via: A Bit of Sunshine


T-shirt fringe scarf via: P.S. I made this


Granola via: Chocolate & Zucchini
(This is some seriously good granola that you should at least make for yourself!)


Baby taggies


Ornaments via: Paloma’s Nest
(I love the simplicity of these to commemorate the date. A friend hosted a get together and we made ones similar and had them fired at a local clay shop.)


Calendars via: Rifel Paper Co.
(This is my 2013 calendar, and there are tons of others to be bought. However with a design program (or through a printing company) and a little time you can make one that’s personalized with your own photos or art).


Shop local – a few years ago I promised myself that every gift I purchased would come from a local shop. It was a fun little challenge and made for unique gifts. I ended up buying things like a case of pop from Pop’s, canned goods from Forward Foods, a headband from ShopGood, a funky pair of socks from Blue 7, candles from A Story of Hope, and a tie rose from a booth at Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar.

I’ve got a few different things up my sleeve for this year, but I don’t want to ruin any surprises, so I’ll share them after they’ve been gifted! Good luck on your Christmas shopping or creating!

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