Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yes, I'm graduating Harvard


On Wednesday (last week), Maura and I headed to Boston for the day! She had never been so I was excited to take her because it is a neat city with lots to explore!

When we arrived, we first went to the Public Garden in the Boston Common and took a "swan boat" ride in the little pond. It was short, but a pleasant ride. Once again, we got lucky with the weather and it was a beautiful day!

Public Garden
On the Swan Boat
Later we walked around for a little bit and made our way up to the water. We enjoyed an iced coffee and sat outside for an hour or so (and of course did some people watching ;) ). Afterwards we walked on Hanover Street where a famous pastry shop called Mike's Pastry is located. I picked up some brownies to bring back home for my family. Maura bought a cannoli (most known for). Next on our list was to visit Harvard, which I had never visited before.

Waiting for the T with our Mike's Pastry
We hopped on the T (Boston's subway system) and went to Cambridge. Good thing we didn't walk because the ride was kind of long and we had to cross over the Charles River. As we stepped off the T, it was really busy around Harvard. It was commencement day and there were lots of people walking around. Because of commencement, there were a bunch of chairs, signs, and tents set-up. Maura and I were convinced they set it up because we were graduating, ha! The Cambridge area was really nice with lots of shops and restaurants. After walking around for awhile, we decided we needed to look for a place to eat dinner. We wanted to go to a place where we could eat outside. We ran into a burger joint called Mr. Bartley's, which looked good, and let me tell you, IT WAS! They had any kind of burger you could think of, and they were all named after famous people. Maura's burger was called Mark Zuckerburg (which was brand new that day). I got the Ellsbury (which I had to look up later and found out he is a Red Sox player). Some other burgers included: Mitt Romney ("2012 or bust"), This Lady Gaga ("Lady gag me"), Rick Santorum ("heavenly"), Michelle Obama ("shes's hot and spicy"), The Jersey Shore ("over the top"). It was delicious! After, we decided we were full and we would head back home. 

Mr. Bartley's

It was a good day! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Old Pictures

My Grandpa is visiting us for a couple of weeks and with him he brought a bunch of old pictures that he found at his house. They were a lot of fun to look through. There were some of my dad as a high school and college student, I decided to not upload them...but they were quite funny! Here are some pictures below:

Nick and I in front of our house in Louisville (some major cheesin')

Nick and I on a wagon ride on Easter. We loved riding in it! 1994
Me and Nick in Alabama. Nick was a chubby one!

Me: 1991
Me and Nick. Check out my outfit, ha! (Look closely, we are holding hands- we liked each other, no way that would happen now!)
Mom and I, Halloween 1992
Nick and I- we were so cute!
Family Picture 1997
Nick wanted to be just like me...according to this picture
Family Picture 1993
Picture at our preschool La Petite. Check out Nick's Bugs Bunny Sweatsuit! 1995

Sunday, May 27, 2012

No Ruppelt?! But there is a Ruppel

On Friday Maura, Nick, my Dad, and I went to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It turned out to be a beautiful day, actually kind of warm!

We arrived at Grand Central Station and made our way Downtown to Battery Park- the very bottom of Manhattan. We then rode the ferry to the island with the Statue of Liberty and took an audio tour...which was kind of interesting. 
Here is what I learned from our audio tour (Cynthia to be exact)...
- She is a "Big Woman" (Made us all laugh!)
- It is made of Copper
- Her fingernail is the size of your forearm
- Her waste is 35 feet wide
- The man who designed the Eiffel Tower had some part in designing the Statue
- She is VERY thin
- Built 1886

Statue of Liberty and one of the ferrys
Ferry Ride
After exploring the Lady, we took the ferry to Ellis Island. Ellis Island is where millions of immigrants came to the United States in the late 1800's and early 1900's. We took another audio tour, which I found to be more interesting than the Statue of Liberty. I learned about health examinations, where they came from, and 9 million came through (only 2% were sent back). Outside the main building, there were a list of the names of those who came through the island. Of course we looked for Ruppelt, but there were NONE! There were several Ruppel, but I think some may have changed their name to Ruppelt, but who knows? My Dad was determined to find more names in our family and we found a few...check them out below.
Main Hall 
Grandma's (Dad's side) Maiden Name 
Mom's Maiden name: KOTH
My paternal great grandmother's maiden name: STEFFEL
Want to know more about Ellis Island or if your family came through, check it out here 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Homemade Dog Treats

I found this recipe on Pinterest months ago and I was finally able to make it! The recipe was adapted from A Cozy Kitchen. The primary reason why I decided to make these now is because Bailey's birthday is next week. She will be turning 10! She is getting so old, but she is in great shape :) 
1/2 cup of peanut butter (I used the creamy kind)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together peanut butter, honey, oil and chicken broth. In a separate bowl, combine flours and oatmeal. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Place dough on flour dusted surface. Roll or press dough out to about 1/4” inch thick. Use a small bone cookie cutter to cut out cookies. I didn't have a cookie cutter so I cut my own with a knife. I made hearts, stars, squares.... It  made two trays full, so it is quite a lot!  For small dogs you may want to use a small cookie cutter (or shapes). Roll out leftover scraps and cut out as many as possible. Put cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let your dog enjoy :) 

All the ingredients
Mixing wet ingredients 
Mixing the flours and oats
The glob of dough

Before oven
After oven
Final product!
The few actual bones I made
She must "shake" before receiving a treat!
Bailey really liked it! 
Want to hear a funny story? Chris wasn't home when I was making these, so we were all plotting to ask him if he wanted a cookie when he got home. Once we asked him, I couldn't keep a straight face and started laughing (I'm really bad at lying). He said no, but later we offered again and he looked at them seriously considering eating one and says, "Wait! These are dog treats!" We said yes, but I decided to bet him $5 to eat one. GUESS WHAT? HE DID! He said it didn't taste too bad, but it was dry and got stuck in his teeth. He said he almost tossed his cookies later...but I think he might have been exaggerating. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hilltoppers for Life Blog

One of my goals this summer is to create a blog for the Pro-life group that I'm involved in at WKU: Hilltoppers for Life.

Check it out:

Please remember that it is still under construction :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

On the Island

Book Two of the summer complete! I finished reading  On the Island by: Tracey Garvis-Graves yesterday after starting it the day before that. I read all afternoon and was able to sit outside and enjoy the weather as well.  I really had no idea that the book was about, but it had an ocean on the  cover so it should be good, right?! It wasn't my favorite book, but I enjoyed it. 

Here is a summary from

"When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends. 

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man. 

On the Island is a full-length adult romance novel. It explores the human need for more than mere survival, the meaning of bonds formed in isolation, and the ways those bonds are bound to change."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Flowers of the Yard

One of the first things I noticed when I came home for the summer was how many flowers there are in our yard! It's in (almost) full bloom! I took some pictures today of the many flowers of the yard. I'm really bad with types/names of flowers so I tried looking them up. I was unsuccessful with some, while others I found what kind they are. 


Lots of  Viburnum

Venus's Car or Dutchman's trousers

Any ideas on the other ones?