Grin and Bear It

After all this time, I finally have a new neighbor!

I have been looking for Tutu and hoping to welcome her to my island FOREVER. Maybe even FIVE-EVER! She is such a cute bear…I love her heart sweater, her ear bow, her little handbag, and her darling pink feet. And since she’s a white bear (I think the only one in the game), she must be a polar bear, right? And the idea of a polar bear living on my island, which is predominantly a home to penguins, really tickles me. But the best part? In the German-language version of the game, her name is Mandy, which definitely makes her my bear! I was super excited when she showed up at my campsite, and it was worth the game of musical villagers I’m playing to have her call Gloriana home!

Mani Monday

Just in time for Oktoberfest season, the last of my manis inspired by the flags of my heritage…the German flag! I used Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Stilettos and Studs,” Bésame Cosmetics “Holiday Red,” and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Sunbrella” for the colors representing the stripes of the flag, and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Hi Ho Silver” to bookend the look.

St. Charles Oktoberfest

Yesterday we went to St. Charles Oktoberfest for the first time, and it was so much fun! I really loved the location at Frontier Park right on the banks of the Missouri River…it’s the perfect place for a festival!

There were lots of tents, and we got to hear several bands:

There were also German dancers, which I absolutely loved!

The dancers were from the German Cultural Society of St. Louis, and they also had a booth where they were selling cookbooks (I added one to my extensive cookbook collection) and Schwarzwälderkirsch Cupcakes (very tasty!).

Speaking of food…is it even Oktoberfest if you don’t have a pretzel?!? We also tried the schnitzel sandwich, which was served open-faced on rye bread with sauerkraut and mustard…so delicious!

We didn’t get to see the “Wiener Takes All” dog derby, but we did see tons of dachshunds everywhere we went!

And we weren’t there for the glockenspiel performance, but it was cool to get to see the clock!

With apologies to Belleville, this was the best Oktoberfest I’ve been to!

It was almost everything I hoped for in an Oktoberfest…lots of people, lots of tents, German music and dancing, German food, and even places to buy various German items. I think if I want to get my souvenir clothespin, a beautifully decorated Lebkuchenherzen, and a Steckerlfisch, I’m just going to have to plan a trip to Munich, though!

Mani Monday

The second mani in my heritage series is inspired by the Hungarian flag. I used Bésame Cosmetics in “Holiday Red,” Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in “Get Mod” and Holo Taco in “Wicked Potion” for the iconic stripes of the flag, and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in “Game of Chromes” for the thumb and pinkie. And what better way to showcase this look than a bottle of Tony Packo’s Hungarian Paprika!

Mural Bridge

I love public art projects and all of the murals that are popping up around our town’s Main Street thanks to the Belleville Mural Project, as well as the other, unaffiliated projects that have been inspired by it. I saw this one for the first time when we went downtown for Oktoberfest, and I love it, not only because it’s of one of our area’s most famous bridges, but also because the car parked in front of the building looks like it’s about to drive right across the river!

Mani Monday

Today is the first of a series of three very special Mani Mondays featuring looks that represent the flags of my heritage. I’m beginning with the one closet to me, the red and white flag of Austria, the birthplace of my grandfather. I alternated Bésame Cosmetics “Holiday Red” with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Get Mod” to create the stripes, and of course I couldn’t leave out the edelweiss!

Parents and Family Weekend

This weekend, we got to visit Bunny for Parents and Family Weekend at her college! We’ve been there before, but it was fun to see some of her favorite things and check out where her classes are!

We got to go to “Donuts with the Dean” while we were there, visit the campus Starbucks (I think we’re calling it “Starbies” now), walk all the way to the top of the hill, and attend a volleyball game (we won!). It was a beautiful day, to boot, and we had a really fun time!

We even got to have Zaxby’s, which is a real treat for me!

The most special thing to me, besides seeing her (of course), was getting a picture of all the children. I know she hasn’t even been gone for a whole month, but I was really happy to get a new photo of the Fab Five together.

I’m not going to lie…Thanksgiving feels like a long time from now, but that’s when we get to see her next!

Our Labor Day Tradition

We have one Labor Day tradition that has been going on so long, I can’t even remember how it started…we always have chili and (usually) fry bread Labor Day Weekend!

This year, I tried a new twist. We had extra fry bread, so I made fry bread sundaes for dessert. The crunchy saltiness of the fry bread was the perfect foil to the ice cream, and it was so good! I will definitely be making this again!

I love the little traditions that you don’t plan that just kind of happen!

Mani Monday

Today’s mani is bright and bold, with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel “Chill Out” plus an accent nail of “Quartz and Kisses” both topped with the glittery “Girls Flip.”

Senior Night

Tonight was Senior Night at Moose’s high school, and the senior members of the marching band and their parents were recognized at the football game along with the football players and cheerleaders. It was very exciting for me to be there and be recognized with Moose, especially since his marching band career got off to a rocky start thanks to the pandemic. While there was technically a band his freshman year, they didn’t get to play at any games or competitions, so it wasn’t exactly the beginning he was hoping for, but he has loved all of the events he has gotten to be part of since they resumed normal activities his sophomore year!

Tonight was extra exiting because following their usual pre-game music, they got to change into their new show uniforms for the first time for their halftime performance!

Here are a few more images from the festivities tonight:

I’m so proud of Moose and all of the hard work he has done as a member of the marching band!