Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meal Plan Monday after a Loosing Saturday

Welp. We lost. It was a hard loss. And in true Razorback fashion we pulled ahead in the first half and let is slip away in the second. But it was against a very good #1 Alabama team. I think we played better that anyone expected us to and proved that we are a team to be contended with.
I was disappointed but not as disappointed as my dear, poor hubby. I decided to get out of the house right after the game to head to the grocery store (Monday Meal Plan at the end of post) and to my surprise he decided to join me vowing to not let the loss ruin his night. The grocery store was pleasantly calm compared to it's usually craziness. We had a good trip, came home and unloaded the car and then watched Boardwalk Empire on HBO. It's set in the 20's and is about the mob. Entertaining but a little gruesome. Tonight is the second episode.
I woke up this morning with a terrible sinus headache and a painin' in my ear. I'm feeling better and am thinking that it's just allergies. I have spent today doing a whole lot of nothing except catching up on laundry. Tomorrow it's back to work. It was crazy before I left and I'm pretty sure things have not got much better. Oh well, 60 more days until Thanksgiving!!

This week's meal plan...
Shrimp and Grits
Potato Soup and Sandwich
Chicken breast with Veggie and Mac and Cheese

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Today is the BIG day!! Hogs vs. Alabama (crimson tide/elephant-weird mascot combo?). Oh I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. Here are some pictures of the game from last weekend here in LR.

The game will be aired on CBS. My parents are going up to Fayettville but we are staying here and watching it on tv. I would have been fun to go but they are sold out and I like watching from home. I can keep up with what is going on much better.
Here is a story about how crazy hog fans can get.

Friday, September 24, 2010

New York Day #1

Here a recap of our trip. I really wish we could have stayed longer but I'm counting it as an orientation visit to our future trips.
Sunday, after we got in a settled we headed to the subway so we could make our way to Brooklyn where we had dinner reservations. We had some trouble figuring out what kind of card we needed and how to get it. The attendant was less than helpful. After deciding that we had maybe made the right choice we hopped on and made it there with only a few mistakes. It got much easier by the end of the trip. Once in Brooklyn we stopped at a little bar and had a drink then walked around the neighborhood. I really liked this area. It was quite and had a very neighborly feel to it. Then we went to dinner at wd50.

This is a picture I took of the chef, paparazzi style, from the bar across the street. His name is Wylie Dufresne. He has been a judge on Top Chef and competed on Top Chef Masters.

The food was really good. He does all these techniques to "trick" the mind. At one point I was munching on these tiny (smaller than bacon bits), cruchy, brown things thinking these are really good and I know the flavor but just can't place it. They were potatos! At another point I thought there was a scallop on my plate and it turned out to be a pineapple. The meal was really differnt and fun.

New York Day #2

Monday I was on my own. I was nervous but ended up having a really good day. I never felt unsafe or really got lost. Thanks goodness for the iPhone! I used the map (the gps was a little sketchy b/c of all the buildings and poor reception) and a subway app. I know I would not have survive without these. (I also used the "knocking" app to give a quick tour of some of the places I went to with some friends at work. If you don't have this app you should look into it.) I made my way to Times Square. It looks so big on tv but in real life it doesn't look so big. Now don't get me wrong, there where a lot of things going on, bill boards, shops, buildings, people, just not a big as I expected. For instance, that little dot on top of that building is the New Year's Eve ball. Just not a big as I expected. I also saw a group of women with hog shirts on. It's a small world after all. After wandering for awhile I made my way to Bryant Park. I loved it there. There was a huge fountain in the middle. Lots of little tables and chairs around, a huge lawn, and even a carousel. This might be my favorite spot in the city. I sat at one of the tables and had a bagel and coffee. From my table I could see the empire state building. The NY Public Library was also across the street. There was lots of beautiful architecture. This might be one of my favorite buildings.

After breakfast I walked over to the library. I mainly curious because this is where Carrie and Big WERE going to get married. It was a beautiful building. I seemed to be mainly research rooms. I never did find the "book" section. Funny I know, but the place was HUGE. I did find the children's section and I must say that the children's section at our Main Library is MUCH better. But the building was impressive with most of the walls and floors being made of marble.

After the library I walked down to see the Empire State Building. I didn't go into it because I heard the line was forever, plus it's probably not the best place for an acrophobic like myself.

I also walked by Grand Central Station.

Then I braved the subway by myself and went to Central Park. I walked around a little. I wish I would have had more time to explore. There were lots of horse and carriages, and some sculptures.

I also spent a good 30 minutes stalking outside a hotel where multiple police, and window tinted sedans and SUV pulled up to the front. Another lady sat next to me, she was from Ireland and visiting her grandchildren. She was very nice, again from Ireland not NYC. Turns out the UN was meeting and it was probably an international diplomat. Never saw anyone go out or in. Here are some picture I took while I was stalking with my Hipstamatic iPhone app.

After the park we went back to the hotel and took a quick nap. Then we went to find dinner. Coby ended up eating part of a HUGE deli sandwich at the famous Carnagie Deli. I passed on the sandwich as I am not a huge fan of deli meat or sandwiches. And I was saving room for the gelato we planned on getting later that night. We walked back through Times Square just to get the feeling of it at night.

Here is a picture of us eating our gelato on the steps of Madison Square Garden.

New York Day #3

Tuesday I went to my course on Personality Disorders. I was really interesting and something different that what I normally attend. I went to a course so I could write a lot of the trip off on my taxes. The presenter was entertaining and he used movie characters to describe different personality disorders. There was a lot of audience participation and at one point he called on me. After the first word I said he stopped me an said "you're not from here are you? You're one of those people who say to your patients "you have borderline personality disorder, bless your heart"". Everyone got a kick out of that. I had a sushi lunch by my self, and it was quite enjoyable.
After the course I headed to the hotel to meet up with Coby. We had dinner at Le Bernardin. It is a very respected seafood resturant. It is NOT a Red Lobster seafood place. I hade oysters, fluke (flounder), wagyu beef, and tuna all prepared in new ways. It was very good.

After dinner we went to see Lion King. I had planned on getting tickets to a show at the discount place in times square but there was nothing I really wanted to see. I decided to go ahead and spend the extra money to see something I really wanted to. Let me tell you, it did NOT dissapoint. It was soooo amazing. The costumes, the music, and acting. So good!! I didn't take any pictures. It's illegal in NY to take pictures inside the theater.

New York Day #4

On Wednesday morning I had great plans to get up early and try to go to Macy's since I really hadn't had time to do much shopping. Well that plan fell through. Coby got up early to head to the last day of his conference and I barely woke up when he left. I didn't have my alarm set and ended up sleeping until 10!! I was so mad that I had wasted my last morning in NYC but I obviously needed the sleep and was actually grateful because that night I had energy and didn't get too tired. Coby came back to the hotel and we went out to get some NYC style pizza for lunch. I was good. I had mozzarella and basil. Yum. Then we got on the train and headed toward the World Trade Center remembrance center. If you ever get a chance to go I highly recommend it. We couldn't really see the actual spot where the Twin Towers once stood. They are doing major construction on the site and had the area fenced off. We did go into the "museum" and it was so moving! Here are some pictures. Wall of missing persons flier. Wall of deceased loved ones. These origami swans hung from the ceiling in the stair well. So beautiful. A piece of re bar and metal from the buildings. Next door was the fire department and a memorial. Across the street where construction is going on. Here is a video as well. After that we went to Battery Park. We were planing on taking a ferry from there that night for a chef gala we were attending. We were trying to find out where we needed to get to. Battery Park was great. Fountains, sculptures, grassy area, a lots of vendors. We were able to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island from the shore. We then headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the RisingStar Chef Gala. We rode the water taxi over. This was great fun. We were able to sit on the top, had a great setting sun, and great views. Here are some pictures. The gala was good. A little disorganized at first but we ended up having a great time. We began talking to some people and found out that he was a representative from Autism Speaks and they were the beneficiaries of the event. How neat is that!? There were about eleven chef who all made great dishes and all the dishes had wine pairings. And look who was there! Here is a picture of us (me with shorter, darker hair) on the subway going back to the hotel. We had a really great time although not enough of it. There are still so many things that I would like to do including going to some of the museums, Seridipity, more shows, and more of Central Park. Guess we'll have to go back soon;)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ready, Set,

GO, Go, go. That's what I have felt like lately and I don't think things are going to slow down anytime soon. I've been swamped at work with demanding teachers and a new record (note) keeping program the school has moved to. Not to mention the ever changing bell schedule within our district. This is the third start time of the year for elementary schools which in turn makes it the second schedule I have had to make in order to see all my kids. On top of all this I throw in a trip to NYC!! I have spent the last few days tying up loose ends at work, trying to pack, and getting my hair (I went shorter and darker. I'll try to put up a pic soon), and nails done. Today was spent cleaning house and doing laundry. There is nothing I hate worse than coming home from vacation to a dirty house and a pile of laundry. We also watched the Hogs beat Georgia today by the skin of their teeth. I had to leave the room due to nerves and my husband yelling too loudly at the tv. Good thing the dogs were already at the grandparents house or they would have been hiding out under the bed, at least the brown one anyway. Whaa, whaa just found out that game day will NOT be in Fayettville next Saturday. Oh well, we will be home watching the Hogs take on #1 Alabama. Can't wait!!!! We also ran some errands. Mama got a new pair of walkin' shoes. I knew I needed a comfortable pair but I just really don't like tennis shoes with jeans on me. They always look so clunky. But I knew flats, although comfortable for everyday wear, would make my feet hurt after 4 days of walking around the city. I found a pair like these except mine are all gray with gray laces. They aren't too clunky.

Then we went to my friend Jenny's house. Her birthday (29 v.2) is yesterday and they had a nice get together. Now I am home finishing up laundry and last minute packing. Heading to bed soon. Our flight leaves at 6:15 tomorrow morning. Blah. I HATE early morning anything, but at least we will get there mid afternoon and have the rest of the day. I probably won't be blogging while there but will try to do some twittering and post some pictures that way. I'll also do lots of posts once we get back. Now, to bed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

From Bangladesh to NYC

Just wanted to do a quick post on my Compassion kid, Rani. I finally got my first letter from her and I was so excited! Someone transcribed for her since she is still a little young to write, and someone then translated it to English. It came on a form letter. Reminded me of those pages you filled out on your first day of school. Who is your best friend? What do you want to be when you grow up? She also drew a picture. Here is a picture of her and her letter on my fridge.

On a different note...I'm going to New York. Yep. I decided I only live once and booked a plane ticket. Then woke up in the middle of the night stressed and regretting it. Coby told me to hush and he didn't want to hear anything about regrets so now I am just being excited and grateful about the experience. I am such a planner that going on a trip with this late of a notice causes heart palpitations. But I'll get over it and learn to just go with the flow. I have no plans and no idea what I am going to do when I get there. So, if you have been to New York please give me any tips or suggestions you have for what to do and see or where to eat. I really am excited about this trip and really can't believe how lucky I am to have this opportunity. Now off to watch the rest of the Bachelor Pad! Trashy yes, but a good way to de-stress!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Green Is As Cheap Does

I have read a few things here and there about homemade laundry detergent, shampoo, and conditioner. I finally decided to try it out. Here is the laundry detergent recipe I found

Powdered Laundry Detergent – Recipe #4
2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated – you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
■Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
■Use 2 tablespoons per full load.
I used Ivory bar soap instead of Fels Naptha. One bar equals 2 cups grated. I used the cheese grater for this first batch and it worked well. I was afraid it would be a hard clean up but it wasn't. I did a small batch at first just in case I didn't like it or Coby was allergic to it. He had sensitive skin. I learned never to buy anything new like this in big batch after I bought the Sam's size of new deodorant for him (6 sticks) during our first month or so of marriage. He used it once and completely broke out up and down his arm and side! For the second batch I used the food processor to chop up the soap. This was faster but not as good as the grater. It caused the detergent to be more clumpy.
This detergent has worked great so far. It has not caused my machined to overflow with soap (a legit fear of mine) or left any residue on the clothes, and they smell good and clean. Not to mention how much cheaper it is. This whole batch (about 32 cups = 512 tablespoons = 256 loads) was about $20 (A&H Super Washing Soda = $6, Borax = $8, Ivory Soap $6) and I still have 2 bars of soap and 1/4 box of borax left over. All this equals out to about $.08 per load! Compared to my regular Tide Laundry Detergent, $11 for 80 loads. Which equals to about $.14 per load. (Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a mathematician.) This might not sound like a lot but it's so easy to make, works well, does so many more loads, and knowing what exactly is in the detergent makes it all worth it. I just bought a cheap tupperware tub with and a cheap measuring tablespoon for storage and measuring. (Not sure how this does in a HE washer, mines an oldy.)

There is a lot of ideas out there surrounding the shampoo/conditioner subject. I first heard about it from Kat. And from there she links to others reviews and reasonings for making the switch. I could not agree with her review more. Since I have been using this regimen, about a month, my hair has been so much more manageable. And not kidding, I have received so many more compliments on how shiny it it. It doesn't get as greasy so easily. It frizzes WAY less, but it does seem to look a little more split endded. This could be attributed to my much needed hair cut. This route, again, is cheaper. My hair is that type that always did better with the skipped shampoo day. But the day that was being skipped was ugly! Now every day is like the day after nasty hair!
I use the recipe of 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water for shampoo (a little more for a sweaty/greasy day), and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water for conditioner (it will smell strong in the shower but I promise the smell rinses out). So far the best way I have found for application is spray bottles. Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Craft Monkey, That Funky Monkey!

My dear friend Carrie is going to have baby Sawyer due on 10-10-10. How fun is that? She and I became good friends in college. She pledged a year or two after me but we became fast friends. You know those people who you have fun with no matter what you are doing, and those people who you can just look at and they know exactly what you are thinking. She is that person to me. She lived with me for a few months while she was finishing up speech pathology school. Soon after she got married then I got married and now she lived in LA. Her baby shower was here a few weekends ago but it was also the same day as my mothers birthday and I was unable to attend. I wanted to make her something special, but it's hard to think of cute boy things to make. Then I saw a picture of a sock monkey and thought I could make one of those. So I did. I just got a pair of socks from Wal-mart but you can order the original socks for the original sock monkey online. I also found lots of variations and lots of tutorials, patterns, and youtube videos. I use a combination of all of these and here is what I came up with. This was a hand stiching and sewing machine project.
Step by step in pictures.
Stuffed body. Attaching arms, tail, and ears.

Full body.


Mouth and felt eyes attached.

I made lots of mistakes and thought that some clothes might spruce him up. So I made a hat, shirt, and t-shirt out of some scrap material. My sewing motto has always been "the more mistakes the more love"!

Then I thought I would make Sawyer a quick matching onesie and blanket.
Here are the appliques I made to use.



Onesie and blanket.

The whole loot.

This project was really pretty simple and could be done easily with all hand stitching. You should give it a try!
Hope he loves it!