Sunday, January 30, 2011

House Hunting and More Winter

Hubby and I have began the task of house hunting.  We moved to Northwest Arkansas a year and a half ago.  We have been living in an apartment since we have been here, but now have decided it's time to buy a house.  It is something that has turned out to be harder and more time consuming than I thought.  We have just started and I can't even count how many hours have been spent surfing the internet and driving around just to get the feel of the neighborhoods we would be interested in living in.

Now, there just seems to be so much left to do.  We have to contact a real estate agent and schedule some showings.  We have found several that we like the outside of and from what we can tell from pictures, the inside seems nice.  But, I understand how things can be different once you get inside and walk around.  I can tell this is going to take quite some time and have to just be patient with it.  I am trying not to get my hopes up on any particular house and just take my time and enjoy the process and really figure out what house we want to make a home.

If the weather forecast hold up, we may have more time this week to get serious with our house hunt.  They are predicting another winter storm to move through this week so there is no telling what is in store for us.  I hope we don't miss too many more days of school.  There have been predictions from 2-10" of snow/sleet/freezing rain.  Tuesday is hubby's birthday so he may have the day off.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What a Tease!

Mother Nature can be down right mean sometimes.  I have two issues with her this week. January has been a brute of a month weatherwise.  We have been cloudy, cold, and have also had our fair share of winter weather.  I know it's really nothing compared to what lots of places have to endure, but for crying out loud we are in Arkansas.  It's the south, we are below the Mason Dixon Line, and the drearyness is starting to get to me.  But, starting today we are actually seeing a warm-up and there is sun.  Yay for blue skies!  On Saturday, we could even get up close to 70.  We have outdoor activities planned like going to see some Trumpeter Swans that for some strange reason have decided to migrate here in the winter.  We are also going to break out the grill.  All of this is absolutely fabulous, until Monday that is.

Guess what?  That's when Mother Nature has decided she is going to pull the rug out from under us again.  We will once again return to the land of cold, cloudy, and dreary.  There is also a chance of rain/sleet/snow thrown in for good measure.  That is just plain mean.  I will, however, enjoy the spring teaser we will have over the next couple days.

The other beef I have with Mother Nature is the wrench she has thrown into my sleep pattern.  For a couple nights this week, she thought I didn't need sleep.  Obviously, she has never been a teacher.  Teachers need their sleep; they don't need to be blogging and facebooking in the middle of the night.  Thankfully I was able to get some shut-eye last night.  My brain appreciates the rest it was given.  Hopefully, that trend will continue for this girl that really enjoys sleep!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mom's Birthday Weekend

We have been all kinds of busy around here lately.  Hubby and I are each taking two graduate classes this semester so we have been trying to get back into the swing of things with that.  After having two snow days last week, it's been a challenge going back to work.  Hubby is now doing after school tutoring two days a week and I am doing a faculty book study about working with guided reading groups.  All of that was just to say that I'm kinda slow getting mom's birthday weekend recap up.

Despite the snow we got last week, mom was able to come up on Saturday to celebrate her birthday.  We started out with a quick lunch at Steak N Shake.  Then, it was time for gifts and cake.  

The cake came from a local bakery that I had heard rave reviews about.  It did not disappoint, either.  Not only was it beautiful; it was delicious.  I got a white cake with fresh strawberry filling.  All I can say is yum!  Another think I really liked about it was that the fondant frosting wasn't super thick.  It was just thick enough to decorate.  We got mom a Razorback snuggie and an iPhone4.  She was happy.

Our day was just getting started, though.  We did a little shopping and then went for a good dinner at Venesian Inn.  Venesian Inn is a local restaurant that has been open since 1947.  We always enjoy meals there, but don't go too often because it is so crowded on weekends, especially football weekends.  We all enjoyed our meals of Italian food and fried chicken.  It may sound like an odd combination, but it works and it makes me excited about the leftovers I inevitably have.

After dinner, we headed to the local high school to watch a fundraising show they were having for the band so they can go on a trip to NYC.  They got the cast from #1 Hits of the 60's in Branson to come into town to do the show.  I knew it was something that mom would enjoy and I was right.  All of us really enjoyed it and had a great time.  I even caught myself singing along at times.

Hubby and I spent Sunday afternoon driving around looking at houses we may be interested in and then it was time for football.  We have to soak it in while we can; only a couple more weeks and it will all be over for the season.  I hope all of you had a great weekend, too.  The week is already half over and another weekend will be upon us before we know it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Day (Part Deux)

We enjoyed another snow day today and this one was a real snow day.  In my town there was anywhere from 4-6 inches.  The weather moved in about 2 a.m. and ended around 11 a.m.  It was beautiful while it was falling.  Snow is always so peaceful and to me is just another reminder of God's love being so pure and unyielding.

Hubby and I got out and spent a little time enjoying the snow.  We even took Sadie out to explore.  She was not so fond of it and was immediately ready to come back in.  I thought I would share a few pictures that we were able to get today.  Excuse my eyes in these pictures; I have no idea why I am so squinty.

We have already found out that there will be no school again tomorrow.  It is nice to have a four-day weekend.  I hope everyone that has snow is enjoying it.  I know we are!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I feel very fortunate to say that I have enjoyed two relaxing weekends in a row.  It's amazing how refreshed and ready for the week you are when you have the opportunity to just relax.

Both of the past two weekends were spent back in Central Arkansas.  To have the opportunity to get away from our day-to-day life was really nice.  We laid around the house and enjoyed family time.  We went to see a movie the past two Saturdays and that is something we haven't done in a while.

The first movie we saw was "True Grit."  I'm not usually into westerns too much, but this one was exceptionally good.  Maybe it's because it was based on a book by an Arkansas.  I'm sure the fact that it was set in Arkansas didn't hurt either.  Besides those facts, it was just an entertaining movie that made me want to get to know the characters.  I enjoyed it so much, that I have requested the book at our local library.  I am still number 8 on the list so I could be waiting for a while.

I saw "Country Strong" this past weekend with my mom while hubby saw "The Green Hornet."  We were all satisfied with our movie choice.  I enjoyed this movie, but not quite as much as "True Grit."

I love having some time to relax because that makes me enjoy our busier weekends.  I feel so lucky to have a job that allows me the time and money to do those things I enjoy doing.  I am also very grateful to have a family that enjoys going and doing things, but also enjoys taking time to relax and enjoy life.  This balance makes me feel so very blessed and fulfilled.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Walt Disney World-The Video

This is my last post on our Christmas at Walt Disney World.  Instead of posting picture after picture, I made a little video.  It was so fun and if you ever want to make a video with your pictures, I recommend using Animoto.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Real Snow Day (Sorta)

Well, today we really got our snow day, if that's what you want to call it.  We were out of school, there just wasn't a whole lot of snow.  But, I enjoyed it just the same.  I love the surprise of not having to go to work in the middle of the week.  We didn't have anything that was picture worthy, but I was giddy over the idea of having a short work week.

Hubby and I stayed home all day and we kept our pj's on the whole day.  Even though we were home, we didn't sit around all day eating bon-bons and watching soaps.  We actually got a lot accomplished.  There were several little things that we had not taken care of so it was nice to have a chance to get them done.  We decided to get up and do those not-so-fun things so we could spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing.

I will feel good about going back to work tomorrow knowing the house is clean and straightened.  The big bonus is I won't have to cook for a while either.  With the food we already have in the fridge and the curry chicken I made to day, I'm good to go.  I find it so refreshing that I have started finding joy and happiness in the small things.  This change in routine has really been a pick-me-up.  I'm sure watching some TV and getting a chance to read a book and some magazines didn't hurt, either.

Today was definitely a perk of being a teacher.  I got a day off and didn't have to worry about not being there.  I love snow days!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Almost Snow Day

Yesterday a fairly big snow storm cam through the state of Arkansas.  The only problem:  it didn't really make it to Northwest Arkansas.  We got just enough to give us a little hope for a snow day.  My hope, however, was shattered at 6:00 this morning by facebook.  Our school district posted that we would be in school.  This post was written in all caps.  I understand the need to let everyone know, but please don't yell at me in order to break my hope of a snow day.

I am just like a little kid; I get so excited at the thought of maybe missing a day of school.  My adult brain knows that we will still have to make it up, but it is still fun and a whole lot warmer to not have to get out.  I love staying home, eating warm food, watching TV/movies, and reading a good book.

But, I will be a big girl today and power through.  The good news is we are supposed to get more snow tonight. It's should be more than we got last night.  In fact, as I look out the window right now there is a light snow falling.  I'll be here with my fingers and toes crossed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Walt Disney World-More Food

I was feeling a little "blue" today after the Sugar Bowl loss last night.  (Ready for next season to start; I miss Razorback football already.)  But, looking at this food made me feel a little better.

We had our Christmas dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby in the Hollywood Studios Park.  This was the most disappointing meal of our trip, but there were still a few highlights.

The Original Cobb Salad
Mom's turkey dinner
Filet and Truffle Mashed Potatoes-the potatoes were good, the steak not so much.
Grapefruit Cake
Chocolate Three Ways
Double Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
One evening we were relaxing at our resort, Old Key West, and had dinner at the restaurant there, Olivia's Cafe.  It was probably the biggest surprise we had.  It was surprisingly good and the seafood was really fresh!!  I forgot to take any pictures of the meal, but here are our appetizer and dessert, the really good stuff.

Conch Fritters-they are really good.

Key Lime Tart-a little taste of heaven.
The closer we got to the end of our trip, the more I forgot to take pictures of our food.  I was just getting tired.  We ate a very good mean at Wolfgang Puck Cafe in Downtown Disney.  I have always wanted to try his food and it didn't disappoint.

Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Pepperoni Pizza with different kinds of pepperoni

Pumpkin Ravioli-this was incredibly delicious
Our last big meal and another one of our favorites was at the Canada Pavilion in EPCOT.  Le Cellier Steakhouse was so completely terrific, as always.  We have eaten there several times and it never disappoints.

Mushroom Filet Mignon with Wild Mushroom Risotto & Truffle-Herb Butter Sauce 
Salt Crusted Prime Rib with Roasted Yukon Potatoes

New York Strip Steak with Gruyere Yukon Gold Potato Gratin

Campfire S'mores

Maple Creme Brulee-yes, we really like creme brulee

Chocolate-on-Chocolate Whiskey Cake
As you can see, we ate very well and ate a lot on our trip.  But, at least we walked a lot too.  That helped prevent any major weight gain.  The food was amazing and is always one of the highlights of the trip.  I hope to have more pictures from our trip up soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Walt Disney World-The Food

We recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World and one of the highlights for us is always the food.  We love food and our physique shows it.  I have decided to tell a little about our trip by showing some of the great food we ate.  My mouth is watering just thinking of it.  There is such a wide variety of food that there is never a boring meal.  All the pictures were taken on our iphones because I didn't want hubby to have to whip out the big camera during every meal.

Our first stop when we got to Disney World was the England Pavilion at EPCOT.  Our first dinner was at the Rose and Crown Pub & Dining Room.  Here are a few highlights from our meal.

Cheese & Fruit Plate

Apple & Stilton Salad

Chocolate Scotch Cake

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Bakewell Tart
We also had a meal of steak, cod, and some sausages.  They were good, but the appetizers and desserts were the best part of the meal.

The next day we headed back to EPCOT and ate in the France Pavilion at Les Chefs de France.  This is always one of our favorite places to eat.  We have never been served anything that wasn't utterly delicious.  The menu is written in French, but I'm just going to tell you what this actually is.

Hubby's escargot-he always loves it, but I haven't tried it.

French Onion Soup

Beef Short Ribs with Pasta

Roasted Chicken and Rissole Potatoes

Macaroni with Cream and Gruyere Cheese-to die for.

Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream & Raspberry Drizzle

Puff Choux with Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce

Creme Brulee

All this food is making me hungry.  Trust me, it was all very yummy.  There will be more pictures from our trip coming soon, but a very important event is getting ready to take place.  My beloved Hogs (Arkansas Razorbacks) are getting ready to play in the Sugar Bowl.  I need to go get ready for the game!

Wooooooo Pig Sooooie!!!