My Idol, PW

This has been a good year for meeting people who inspire me.  As you may recall, I got to meet my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon.

mel and diana edit

Then at a 7Nations concert (pretty much the only band I enjoy seeing live) the lead singer and bass player signed my CD.

7nations autographed cdETA: I just wanted to add, that if you are looking for some new Christmas music – something a little different but still a bit traditional…you should check out 7Nations holiday CD:

My favorites: "The Rebel Jesus" and their version of 2000 Miles and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
My favorites: "The Rebel Jesus" and their version of 2000 Miles and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Several years ago, I had met the fiddle player and got a pic (I cornered him while he was grabbing a drink at IrishFest).

Here I am with Dan, the Fiddle Man at IrishFest (clearly, this picture was taken BEFORE I had kids).
Here I am with Dan, the Fiddle Man of 7Nations, at IrishFest (clearly, this picture was taken BEFORE I had kids).

And to top it off, just after my birthday, I got to meet my favorite blogger (aside from the Bitches, whom I hope to meet one day as well) PW!

I know I have mentioned my love and admiration for The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond here before. I was first introduced to her a little over a year ago by another homeschooling mom, and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I visit her site every week, sometimes every day, (ok, ok I admit it,  sometimes more than once in a day).

I can’t decide what I love best about her site…sure there is the homeschooling section, but sadly, that doesn’t get updated as much as I’d like – she has some great contributors, like Mrs G and Oh My Stinkin’ Heck, who write wonderful articles and post cool tips and ideas. Like the one about notebook pages and free write stories I posted about awhile back.

Then there is the cooking section – full of recipes, most of which I just drool over, knowing I will never find the time to make any of it. I have actually tried making a few things from her site,  like the apple tart and zucchini cake. I hope to try making her rosemary rolls at some point, and if I am successful with that, I’ll try something else.

I think my favorite section of her site is the Photography  – she offers awesome free PhotoShop actions and between her and her incredible contributors (like Miz Booshay), all sorts of helpful tutorials and tips. Of course, I am still lusting after a DSLR instead of owning one, but I make do with my point and shoot. It’s a fun and a creative outlet.

Then there are her contests. Her awesome incredible contests. At least once a week (usually) she will run a contest giving away pots and pans, mixers, knives, cameras, printers, gift cards…all sorts of great stuff!!! And it’s never stressful to enter her contests, usually you just have to answer a random question that floats through her brain (like: “What’s your favorite kind of pizza?”) I am crossing my fingers and hoping that my luck is holding out to win one of her camera prize packages. Oh, I am hoping! (Me and the 30,000+ people who comment on her site everyday).

So, when PW announced she was coming to Chicagoland as part of her cookbook tour, you know I had to be there. Miss A and I went to the Barnes and Noble to hang out and wait for her, and Holy Cow (little bit of Chicago for you) does this woman draw a crowd!

The store was packed, literally, fromm floor to ceiling. I hung out in the back (in the kid's section) with Miss A, so that's why all my shots are from behind.
The store was packed, literally, from floor to ceiling. I hung out in the back (in the kid's section) with Miss A, so that's why all my shots are from behind. Pretty cool, though, cuz it's more from her perspective.

She came along with her husband (whom she refers to as Marlboro Man on her blog) and her 2 boy “punks.” Her 2 daughters stayed at home on the ranch for this leg of her book tour. Miss A liked meeting some other homeschooled kids, and loved hearing how they each had their own horse!

Miss A brought with some markers and paper for the boys to sign.
Miss A brought with some markers and paper for the boys to sign.
They were running all over the place, but stopped for a moment to hang out with her.
They were pretty busy running all over the place, but stopped for a moment to hang out with her.

I gave Miss A my old camera which hasn’t been working very well and told her to have some fun.

So she did.

She took pictures of other people in line with us.
She took pictures of other people in line with us.
And she took pics of PW herself.
And she took pics of PW herself.

Ree was as sweet and funny and open in person as she is on her website. She was a good sport about Aishtyn basically shoving a camera up her nose (I know how PW hates “bad” pictures of herself, so I won’t post Miss A’s shots here).

Despite the loooong line, she chatted with me and Aishtyn and took the time to personalize my books. One for me, and one as a birthday gift to my mother-in-law. Hopefully she will get inspired and make something extra yummy for us to try when we visit (is that devious of me?).

If you have never been to Ree’s website, go now! You don’t know what you’re missing. She is currently running a Chirstmas contest – prizes every day from now until Christmas!

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