Archive for April 29, 2011

Flashback Friday Feature: Kirk DeWindt

One of the main things that has always impressed me about the contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is how much time they devote to supporting charities. This week’s Flashback Friday guest is a stellar example. Viewers will remember him as the kind-hearted, charming  Midwestern guy who won a hometown date on Ali’s season. When he’s not helping people  improve their lives with his personal training business, he’s busy volunteering at numerous local charitable organizations. Keep reading to catch up with Kirk DeWindt.





1. What was your favorite experience while on The Bachelorette?

The best part about being on The Bachelorette was the friendships I made with the other cast members. Although it is a “dating” show, the guys spend way more time together than they do with “the bachelorette” herself. Naturally, we got to know one another much better than we got to know Ali during our time there. The travel and wild experiences were great, but the friendships are what have lasted since the show ended.

2. What was the most difficult aspect of being on the show?

The hardest part of being on The Bachelorette was being let go after the hometown date. It wasn’t difficult because my relationship with Ali ended, it was more difficult because when it happened it was the first time I reflected back and said “Wow, the entire nation is going to see me get dumped on national TV!” Not an easy pill to swallow. My biggest concern was that my family didn’t think it was any part their fault for me leaving the show when I did—of course they knew it wasn’t their fault and they grinned and were happy to be a part of the experience.

3. What unexpected thing happened as a result of being on the show? Friends? A new way of looking at things?

Two things: 1) I realized there is an ENTIRE world out there I have yet to explore. The travel was unbelievable and opened my eyes to the fact there is so much more out there than the Midwest and the United States. 2) By going through the process of the show it helped me realize I am indeed ready to find the person to spend the rest of my life with.

4. What are you working on now?

Since the show aired I moved from Madison, WI to Minneapolis, MN. I left my corporate sales job and started my own personal training business. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the US for different social and charity events, as well as do a good bit of television and radio in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Mostly my life has consisted of “normalcy”—work, fitness, family, friends, and being social, of course.

5. What charities have you supported?

Most of the charity work I’ve been involved with has been in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area. Up to this point I’ve donated time and services to:

1) Children’s Cancer Research Fund   (

2) Minnesota Special Olympics (

3) Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (

4) Minneapolis School District (

5) Minnesota Zoo Foundation (

6) Village of Prior Lake (

I’ve also been meaning to team up with past Bachelorette contestant Kasey Kahl and his “Guard and Protect Hearts” ( campaign.

Celebrity date auction for Children's Cancer Research Fund

"Polar Plunge" for Special Olympics Minnesota

Speed Round:

1. Take out or dine out? Dine Out

2. Plain or peanut? Peanut

3. Coke or Pepsi? Coke

4. Beach or lake? Lake

5. Breast or thigh? Breast

6. Pajamas or nothing? Nothing

7. Out to the movies or home with the DVR? DVR

8. Popcorn or Twizzlers? Popcorn

9. Fancy restaurant or local diner? Local diner

10. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla

11. Power to fly or power to be invisible? Invisibility

12. Boxers or briefs? Sport trunks





Flashback Friday Feature: Peyton Wright

This week’s installment of Flashback Friday features an amazing alumnus from not one, but two Bachelor-related franchises. Longtime viewers of The Bachelor will remember her from Andy Baldwin’s season, newer fans will recall her more recent appearance on Bachelor Pad. Regardless of where you may have seen her first, odds are you think of her as the sweet, down-to-earth Texas gal. While she may not have made an ideal connection on either season, the show is responsible for bringing her together with her current love.  Without further ado, let’s catch up with the lovely Peyton Wright.





1.What was your favorite experience while on the Bachelor or Bachelor Pad?
The drag racing date on Bachelor Pad was my favorite experience. It was
something I have never done before and I love new adventures. I am a dare
2.What was the most difficult aspect of being on the show?
It was a challenge to be cut off from the outside world. I talk to my family
almost every day so that was tough for me.
3.How did the experience of filming Bachelor Pad differ from your Bachelor
experience? Was it easier/harder/more or less fun?
Bachelor Pad was completely different from Bachelor. It was easier to relax
and have a good time because we had been there before. It was hard because
we didn’t know what to expect. Having guys and girls in the same house was
much more fun. We didn’t have as much catty female drama because the guys
really kept it mellow.  Competing for money was much more realistic than
competing for a man and we all really had a good time. I loved Bachelor
Pad!! We had the greatest group to test the waters for the first season.
4.What unexpected thing happened as a result of being on these shows?
Friends? A new way of looking at things?
My season of Bachelor was 4 years ago so I wasn’t a name people really
remembered. I was not a part of the reunions or trips so I thought I would
be completely outcast from the existing groups of friends. I was so wrong! I
made the most wonderful friends and really have such respect for all of my
cast mates. When you watch the show, you only get to see a glimpse into our
lives. I was so surprised and loved getting to know more than what I saw
about these people on television. It taught me not to be so quick to judge
and there is more to a person than a first impression. I also ended up
meeting my boyfriend and love of my life in a round about way because of the
show. Jesse Beck introduced me to Chris Lambton and I have never been so
5.What are you working on now?
After the show, I immediately went back to work as a Sales Rep for Varsity.
I sell cheer and dance apparel in east Texas.
6.What charities have you supported? Have you teamed up with any other
past contestants for charity projects?
My sorority, Tri Delta, entered into a partnership with St. Jude Children’s
Research Center  ( )to coincide with our philanthropy when I was at University
of Tennessee. We did a letter writing campaign and a golf tournament to
support the hospital. Each year we raised around $50,000!! When I graduated
I went on to work for Tri Delta’s Executive Office as a traveling consultant
and then Marketing Coordinator. As a member of the marketing team, I was
responsible for our partnership with St. Jude and encouraging all chapters
to create their own events that would raise as much money as possible. I was
able to visit the hospital several times and had the honor of meeting many
children and families who were patients. Each had such a wonderful story and
they were all so grateful for St. Jude. As a patient of the hospital, you
are not required to pay anything that your insurance doesn’t cover. The main
focus is the child and finding a way to cure their disease. Hope is the
theme and you can see it in every child as you walk the halls. It is not a
sad place. Everyone is very happy and the staff is so uplifting!


Speed round

1. Take out or dine out? Dine in
2. Plain or peanut? Peanut
3. Coke or Pepsi? Coke
4. Beach or lake? Beach
5. Cake or frosting? Cake
6. Heels or flats? Flats
7. Out to the movies or home with the DVR? DVR
8. Popcorn or Twizzlers? Twizzlers
9. Fancy restaurant or favorite local diner? Local diner
10. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
11. Power to fly or power to be invisible? Invisible
12. Armani suit or t-shirt and jeans? T-shirt and jeans


Best Ever Frosted Sugar Cookies

Looking for the perfect cut out cookie and the ideal frosting to make them beautiful and that much yummier? Look no further. These sugar cookies are simple to make, easy to work with, look fantastic and taste delicious. Who could ask for anything more? You can make them ahead of time, as they stay fresh for weeks if stored in an airtight container, then frost them when you need them to look fabulous and be ready for eating. The icing recipe below is the best I’ve found for decorating—it develops a thin crispy shell but the frosting beneath remains creamy and delightful. Color it, don’t color it, add sprinkles—the only limit is your imagination.



Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe

(makes about 100 three-inch cookies)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

In a very large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for AT LEAST one hour (can be refrigerated overnight if that works better time-wise). *Note- I usually refrigerate this a minimum of two to three hours, it’s easier to work with the dough when it’s nice and firm.

When you’re ready to bake…

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll out dough in batches, on lightly floured surface, to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter of your choice to cut out the desired shapes. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Leave about 1/2 an inch or so between the cookies as they will puff a little while baking.

Bake 7-10 minutes (depending on size and shape of cookie)—start checking them at 7 minutes and continue baking until the edges just start to turn golden brown.

Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.


Best Ever Icing for Sugar Cookies

4 cups confectioners sugar

5 tablespoons heavy cream

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (though you can use any flavor you’d like)

food coloring,  if desired

Heat the cream and butter in a large saucepan until the butter is melted (don’t let it brown!).

Stir in the sugar and the extract.

Remove from heat and beat until thick and creamy.

You can divide the icing into bowls and color each differently (a few drops of food color).

As the icing cools it will get a firm shell on it (like pudding skin). If you are still frosting cookies when this happens, just give the icing a vigorous stir. If it becomes too stiff add a little more cream, a few drops at a time, until it returns to the proper consistency.

The icing hold sprinkles or colored sugar well, but make sure to get the decorative items in place on the cookie BEFORE the icing starts to harden.

Store the frosted cookies in an airtight container SEPARATED by layers of waxed paper. They will stay fresh for two weeks.



Flashback Friday Feature: Richard Mathy

Fans will remember him as the lovable science teacher from DeAnna Pappas’ season of The Bachelorette. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Richard a few times and I can tell you that as likable as he appeared on the show, his edit didn’t come close to doing him justice. He’s charming, intelligent, and one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever met. I’m thrilled that he gets to do the first installment of Flashback Friday because not only does he devote spare time to working on charity projects with a variety of other previous cast members, he chooses to make a difference every day by teaching high school students—he’s the perfect example of someone who’s making a daily effort to help others. Not only did he graciously agree to be interviewed for my blog, he even sent some pictures (which I supplemented with a few of my own). Please click on the links below to check out some of the charities he works to support. Without further ado, I present Richard Mathy.

1. What was your favorite experience while being on the Bachelorette?

As much as people like to rag on the show about this, it really is the relationships.  I didn’t hit it off with DeAnna, and if I had the full six weeks with her, I probably still wouldn’t have hit it off with her romantically… I did however find life long friends.  Starting with De.  While we would make an awful couple, we make an amazing pair as friends.

I have also made friends with fellow cast members Brian Westendorf, Jeremy Anderson, Chris Bradshaw, Graham Bunn, and Jesse Csincsak. I will keep in touch with these guys for the rest of my life.  While they haven’t all stayed friends with each other for one reason or the other, I for one will keep my loyalty to all of them because (as lame as it sounds) we bonded through a unique experience.  Through that experience we have created relationships with each other that, even though our meetings where brief, they left a mark where it counts.

2.What was the most difficult aspect of being on the show?

The most difficult part of being on the show was seeing just how negative the
country can be.  To read peoples’ posts and blogs with negative
comment after negative comment was a sad commentary on American life.  I spend
the day teaching children in high school and I am constantly telling
kids to be nice to their fellow man.  Yet the internet offers anonymity so any
Jane Doe can shoot out what she sees as an “insightful stinger”.

I can remember a comment about a tie I was wearing that said something along the lines
that I needed to not shop in the bargain bin.  I was hurt by that because
as a teacher I can’t afford $100 fashion ties, I liked the tie and color combo a
lot, and my mother actually bought the tie as a “good luck gift” for my first

Editor's Note: It's hard to imagine a tie that wouldn't look good on this man - just saying....

3. What unexpected thing happened as a result of being on the show?Friends? A new
way of looking at things?

The most unexpected result of the show was my increase in travel.  I used to
take one vacation a year to go camping in the Adirondack Mountains with my
friends.  Last year, because of visiting friends of the show and cast get
togethers, I was on a plane at least once a month.  I’ve met new people from
other seasons which have led to more friendships and more travel to stay in
touch with those friends!

4. What are you working on now?

Currently I’ve been trying to write grants for our school district  trying
to get money for educational opportunities.  Our students today are at a
disadvantage because when they enter the workforce they are no longer competing
locally for jobs, but globally.  The earlier I can get technology into the
students’ lives and have them engage their creativity, the better equipped they
will be for the future.

5. How many other past contestants have you teamed up with for charity
projects? What charities have you supported?

I’ve worked with Graham Bunn on his 46 charity ( .  I had my volleyball team purchase the “valu46le” T-shirt to promote sports and education, as well as attended several of his functions.

The bachelor crew helped with “Jeans for Teens”  ( year in NYC to get pairs of jeans to homeless kids in NYC.

Personally I support the local humane society as I have always had a soft spot
for unwanted and abused animals (I started working with Spring Farm Cares in
Clinton, NY when I was a junior in high school).

Speed round:

1. Take out or dine out? Summer out, winter in
2. Plain or peanut? Peanut
3. Coke or Pepsi? Vanilla Coke, Cherry Pepsi
4. Beach or lake? Lake (gotta get my wakeboard on)
5. Breast or thigh? Thigh
6. Pajamas or nothing? I’m a PJ pant and A shirt guy
7. Out to the movies or home with the dvr? At home DVR and Netflix on the Wii
8. Popcorn or Twizzlers? Popcorn
9. Fancy restaurant or favorite local diner? By myself, I mingle with the
locals…first dates are what fancy restaurants are for
10. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
11. Power to fly or power to be invisible? Come fly with me…
12. Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs!


New Blog Feature…

Sorry for my blogging absence for most of the past month, but I’ve been busy with a variety of new projects. First off, although I am still actively in the process of trying to get my first novel published, I’m pleased to announce that I have just finished the first draft of my second novel. Eventually I’ll get around to posting more info about both books, but for now I want to concentrate on some new features you’ll see on my blog in the next few weeks.

As fans of The Bachelor know, the show is on hiatus until the new season of The Bachelorette begins in late May. In the interim I will have a new Bachelor feature called Flashback Fridays where I will interview contestants from past seasons, let you know what they’re up to now and, most importantly, give them a forum to talk about their favorite charity projects.

I love to joke about The Bachelor just as much as the next person, but I’ve never lost track of the fact that these are real people, with very real lives. The thing that has always impressed me the most about people who are on this show is the amount of time and energy they devote to charity organizations. So many of them use their  newfound celebrity status to support not one, but several worthwhile organizations. I think it’s AMAZING (drink) the amount of money and awareness the Bachelor family has been able to raise on behalf of an array of special causes.

This Friday I’ll be featuring a contestant I’ve had the good fortune to hang out with on a few occasions, and I’m thrilled that he will be the first of hopefully many future Flashback Fridays. Check back on Friday to see which handsome, hilarious cast member will be my “first”…