Weekend Scoop

Easter

Welcome Back! Since lawmakers got to take an extra day off yesterday I thought I should too. (From blogging at least!) It was a nice way to ease into my work week. We still produced Capitol Report Monday, but since no lawmakers were in town it gave us time to take a deeper look at some issues that have gotten glossed over during the busy rush of session. I used my evening to prepare for the week ahead and found a little extra time to cook up a leisurely treat — strawberry shortcake complete with home made whipped cream. It’s strawberry season here in Florida, where they’re grown plump and sweet and just a few miles away.

Baking was a theme this weekend. Erich and I enjoyed a homemade Easter brunch. We baked dutch-baby puff pancakes with a rhubarb compote (recipe from Sarah Copeland) along with farm fresh eggs and dandelion greens.

The rest of the weekend, we tended our garden. The tomatoes and cantaloup are planted. The Zucchini are starting to push their fresh new leaves above the ground. And we added thyme and chives to our herb garden.

Image credit: Viktor Hanacek

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Weekly Reads

palm trees against lovely skies

Happy weekend!  I plan to spend my Easter weekend enjoying my friends and family and appreciating the beauty of our earth.

As always here are a few articles that have caught my eye this week.

So far I’ve only skimmed this, but I’m hoping to give it a deeper read this weekend. I love to study the paths taken by other strong women in my field.

As the caretaker of countless pet rocks as a young person, I got a little chuckle out of this NPR story. 

This NPR blog post on the differences in how men and women make decisions garnered some discussion in our household.

Here’s an update on the news coming out of my home state. As Hoosiers and major businesses push back against a bill that some say would allow discrimination against LGBT couples, lawmakers are working to find a fix.

An egg and cheese biscuit after covering an early morning meeting is one of my guilty pleasures, so this article on McDonald’s plan to sell breakfast all day piqued my interested. It’s fascinating to read how the fast food giant is working to keep sales up as customers become increasingly focused on healthy eating.

Meanwhile, in Florida…or relating to Florid rather, here’s an update on the Florida eye doctor and U.S. Senator from New Jersey who are wrapped up in Federal corruption charges.

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Gaming The System — A Behind The Story Look

pacman

It’s 9:30 Tuesday evening and after a long day of interviewing, writing and editing I just want to curl up on the couch with a cup of mint tea and some mind numbing reruns. But I’d made an appointment to meet a source at a new bar he’s opening. It’s a barcade — meaning patrons can enjoy a Florida craft brew while rocking a little old school pin ball or Miss Pacman. “The perfect place for dates,” my source says.

Lucky for me, my ever constant partner in crime agreed to go with me. Erich sipped a tallboy and played a few games while I interviewed the proprietor. Right now Florida law creates something of a legal grey area for arcade style games and to some extent that’s impacted the way this entrepreneur runs his business.

Lawmakers are talking about a measure to clarify that skill based amusement games are legal. That’s happening at 8 a.m. (Talk about burning the candle on both ends!)

You can learn more and my hear my interview on Wednesday’s episode of Capitol Report.

 

Update: If you missed hearing it live, you can check my barcade story out right here. Listen closely for those Tekken sounds. That’s Erich showing me how it’s done. My character didn’t stand a chance!

 

Image Credit: Ryan McGuire

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Weekend Scoop

Pile of fresh green beans

While many of my friends and family in the North are still brushing the last bits of winter snow from their day, spring is in full bloom in Florida. Erich and I spent our weekend enjoying the longer lazier days that come along with warmer temperatures.

This year, for the first time since living on my own I’m determined to grow a garden. We’ve got a small back yard that’s mostly patio and covered by a gorgeous live oak tree. I love it. But it’s too shady to grow much. But we’ve also got a small strip in front of our house. Most of our neighbors are using the space for more traditional landscaping. But I have to wonder, why not use that space for a garden. I think my bright red tomatoes and growing zucchini will be just as beautiful as their manicured bushes. And as a bonus, they’ll taste amazing too.

So far I’ve planted a few herbs right outside the door. I love to imagine taking a quick step outside from my kitchen to snip a little fresh oregano for my tomato sauce or a little fresh mint for a julep. Besides those, I also have a healthy rosemary bush and scented geranium, cat nip and lemon verbena. Next I’d love to plant some basil and lavender.

I also sewed a few zucchini seeds. And check every day to see signs of them popping up to turn into full scale plants. I am still amazed by the magic of seeds. They seem to defy odds and grow into beautiful plants almost on their own.

My plan for the rest of my garden this spring includes bush beans, tomatoes and either cantaloupe or watermelon. (I’m going to try growing them vertically.) In July I’ll change some of those out, and replace them with summer peppers.

Hoping your weekends were just as fruitful.

Image credit: Sonja Langford

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Weekly Reads

morningHappy Friday! I’m hoping to spend the next few days catching up on sleep and a little of the reading I’ve missed while I’ve had my head down covering the Florida legislative session.(See what I’ve been doing here.) Here are a few or my favorite articles I’ve read this week, as well as a few I hope to make time for this weekend.

I rolled my eyes at this piece at first — an article in the New York Times about gel manicures of all things. But after reading it I feel strangely understood. This writer knows the struggle to balance time, beauty and what’s best for my body as well as the desire to make something the best it can be and then just stop thinking about it for awhile. “Freedom,” as she would say.

My home state of Indiana is already seeing fall out from a new law that purports to protect business owners from lawsuits if they refuse a person service based on that person’s religious beliefs. But many say it’s aimed directly at the state’s LGBT community and paints The Crossroads of America as  an unfriendly, hateful state. Already groups like the NCAA are signalling concerns over holding upcoming events in the state. Indianapolis is set to host the Final Four next week. Meanwhile, many are cheering Indiana Gov. Mike Pence backing off opposition to needle exchange programs in an effort to help battle an HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana. I look forward to reading more about this and learning more about what’s happening in the Hoosier state this weekend.

As someone who is eating a pescatarian, fish-based diet I’m bookmarking this story to listen to this weekend. An NPR report follows up on an Associated Press investigation finding the fish we eat in restaurants and buy from groceries stores might have been caught by Burmese slaves.

Meanwhile, in Florida, equal pay for men and women could become a reality in within the next decade. It’s an issue I haven’t been tracking closely, but I hope to learn more soon. Read the Sun Sentinel’s story on it here.

And while it’s a little less news focused, I’m also looking forward to reading this essay (Via goop). I hear it’s a moving piece focusing on struggle and change after the author’s husband suffered a debilitating injury. I think it’s always helpful remember the difficulty faced by others and I love to read about how they’ve prevailed.

What are some articles that thrilled or surprised you this week? I’d love to hear.

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Weekend Scoop

February has been a busy month with new projects (that I can’t wait to tell you about) and something new to do every weekend — a wedding, then Valentines Day, and a trip with friends to Savannah. With so much to do, I’ve fallen a little behind on my blogging. But I’ve promised myself I won’t let a little imperfection stop me from moving forward. So with no further ado, here’s the scoop on my weekend(s).

v-day

Erich and I opted for a quiet Valentines Day at home with an easy meal and a few drinks. It was nice to spend the evening enjoying each other rather than fighting the crowds to get a table or spot at the bar. But we both decided it might be fun to try this sometime soon. What do you think? Would you try it?

savannah

The next weekend we met a group of 5 other friends for a weekend in Savannah. We stayed in a pair of suites in Savannah’s historic district not far from the river front. It was a bit chilly our first night, but warmed up quickly. We spent our days walking through the city’s charming streets marveling at the perfectly placed moss hanging from the countless parks’ live oak trees. In the evening we ate seafood near the water and took advantage of the city’s open container rule.

Tuesday is the first day of the legislative session and the start of a busy few months for me. So we used our time  this weekend to rest this weekend and stock both our pantry and closets in preparation.

I hope your weekends have also been both full and restful.

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Weekend Edition

beach

This weekend Erich and I traveled to St. George Island for the wedding of two close friends. The couple rented a beach house for a small intimate ceremony full of personal touches that highlighted their individual personalities and celebrated their love perfectly. After the ceremony we spent our evening dancing the night away with friends.

After a hectic, busy week, the weekend truly felt magical. We spotted dolphins swimming near the beach, took in a beautiful sunset and marveled at millions of stars. The weather was perfect — warm in the sun without ever being sticky. We ate red velvet cake and freshly caught oysters. It was a weekend that made me think I could be happy living here in North Florida forever. And maybe wonder why anyone would ever leave. It’s a nice feeling. Contentment, happiness, mindfulness–whatever you want to call it. While I’ve noticed myself dreaming of a new adventure lately or wondering what’s next, it’s nice to be reminded that where I am and what I’m doing right now are really pretty awesome.

I hope your weekends were just as restful and fulfilling and that your Mondays are happy and productive.

(Photo Original to Regan&Writing)

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