July 30, 2016

WC Save the Date: July

We had 5 fun dates this month!
The first weekend in July we spent an afternoon and evening Cooking Together

We had a Friday night date night to Razzoo's and then a movie 

As I Instagrammed about our Weekend in Hot Springs, I considered it a weekend-long date 

We spent an evening with Chili's to go and our anniversary journal reflecting on this past year and looking ahead to the next. 

And this week we tried our hand at Backyard Yahtzee!

We had a very fun month in our house and are looking forward to more fun in August!

July 28, 2016

Backyard Yahtzee

Last summer, I made Backyard Scrabble tiles and this year I made us a giant Yahtzee set!  In the past few months, we've had work done on our fence and on our pool pump and through all of that, we ended up with a pile of extra fence posts in our yard.  When we were getting our yard ready to have people over on the 4th, I mentioned moving the posts and David said he'd put them out for bulk trash.  I quickly told him that I could find a way to use them and asked that he put them in the side yard.

So David piled the old fence posts in the side yard and I got to work searching Pinterest for fence post crafts.  I found lots of ideas--and will probably use more of them soon-- but one of the ones I knew I immediately wanted to do was made dice for a Yahtzee set.  I had wanted to do this last year, but didn't ever buy the wood.  My mom got David an electric saw for Christmas, so I pretty much had everything I needed to get this going.

I cut 5 cubes out of the post and then sanded them down with a sanding block.  They could definitely use some more sanding, but for now they work just fine.  Then I used a round sponge brush and white paint and painted the dots on.  I lined up all the cubes and painted each number on all of the cubes and then turned them and painted the next number--I even got a dice out so I could make sure the pattern lined up and the numbers were in the correct places relative to each other.

I grabbed this teal laundry basket for less than a dollar at Walmart and it has been the perfect way to store the dice and even to roll them when we play.  Last week I picked up a white board on sale at Hobby Lobby.  I used a Permanent Marker to make the score board and then we can use dry erase markers for the score.

This was an easy, quick, and fairly inexpensive project, and I'm looking forward to using it!

July 26, 2016

Neighborhood Eats: July

We continued our quest to try out neighborhood restaurants this month and we had 3 really good meals!

 I'd been to Razzoo's before, but we hadn't been together since we moved into our house so we had it on the list.  We enjoyed a Friday night date at Razzoo's and then a movie.  We enjoyed some good cajun food together!

Taco Joint
Taco Joint is one of the places we'd tried not too long after we moved into our house and we really liked it.  We have been trying to do more walking/bike riding to different places in our neighborhood, so one Saturday morning we got up and walked to Taco Joint for breakfast tacos.  It's a little over a mile from our house, but it's an easy walk through the neighborhood.  We enjoyed some breakfast tacos and a trip to Half Price Books on this morning!

Roman Cucina 
This past Sunday we went out on a date to an Italian restaurant near us.  We had never been here before and it was a fun atmosphere.  We had mozarrella bread as an appetizer and then David had sausage bolognese pasta and I had bruschetta for dinner.  Everything was very good!  We'll definitely have to come back here again

July 22, 2016

Photo Map

One of my most recent projects is a personalized photo map.  I had seen this idea on Pinterest and followed the link to the blog that posted about it.  In the original post, she said she didn't cover all of the states they'd been to together because she wanted the pictures to stand out.  Our hope is to slowly cover all of the states on the map as we visit them together.  

David and I went together and bought a map and then selected the pictures from each state.  If it's a state we've been to more than once (such as Oklahoma), we used a picture from the first time we went together.  The only exception is of course, Texas--where we used a picture from the State Fair!

I had the pictures printed at SAMs and then I cut them out.  I used tissue paper to trace the states outline and then glued that to cardstock to make a stencil.  All of our pictures were different sizes-- Texas had to be a 12x16, Oklahoma a 5x7 and Arkansas a 4x6.  Florida is such a weird shape, that I just printed a picture off the computer to make it fit the dimensions!

I did follow the original blogger's advice about putting the map on a piece (or two pieces together in this case) of foam board and then pinning the pictures on by gluing push pins to the back of the pictures.  It makes the shapes stand out a little more--and I found that if they weren't perfectly cut it didn't matter as much since they're sticking out some (which is good, because I do not cut perfectly!)

I made it earlier this week and showed it to David and then he helped me hang it in the hallway.  After we hung it up, I decided I wanted a quote to go with it.  So I scoured Pinterest and picked several and then David ended up choosing 3 that he liked.

The main one I made a wood sign out of using my silhouette and some white vinyl.  (Fun Fact--this piece of "wood" is actually some leftover flooring from when our kitchen floors were redone!  We have a bunch leftover, so I try to use that instead of buying wood for some projects)

Life is an Adventure. Have Fun!

And then I made some prints for the last 2
always take the scenic route
It doesn't matter where you're going, it's who you have beside you

It was fun starting on this project and displaying it in our house.  But what we're most excited about is that we have 6 new states that we're scheduled to visit before the end of 2016!  Looking forward to filling more of our map!

July 21, 2016

Anniversary Journal

Yesterday was our 3rd Anniversary and I thought I'd share one of our anniversary traditions--An Anniversary Journal
I had seen this idea around our first anniversary and decided it was something that could be fun to do together and look back on.  Each year has 4 pages that include info about the past year and a place to look ahead at the coming year.  It's a neat way for us to  reflect on all that's happened between anniversaries and dream together about the future.  It's fun to pull it out every year and read back through what we wrote a year (or two) ago.

 {Yesterday ended up being a really busy day for us and we weren't together a whole lot, so we haven't had a chance to fill out much of it yet, but are hoping to do that by this weekend.}
Journal Set Up--
Page 1: Third Anniversary
A Place for a picture or 2
How we celebrated our anniversary
Where we are living
His and Her Most Memorable Moments of the year
Page 2:
Our Favorite Movies, Books and Music
Places we Traveled Together
Favorite things we did together
Page 3:
How God has worked in Our lives and Marriage this Year
Our Hopes for the Coming Year
Page 4:
A Place for favorite pictures from the year

I'm so grateful for this guy that I get to journey through life with and I love getting to record a few highlights of the year in a special place.

July 19, 2016

5 years of Fun

So while David and I were gone this past weekend, we hit a big milestone with the other member of our family--Saturday marked 5 years since I adopted Lily.

(While we weren't with Lily on her adoption birthday, she was having plenty of fun snuggling with Grandma and going on walks to chase Pokemon with Uncle Nick)

This is one of the first pictures I ever took of Lily.  I adopted Lily the summer of 2011 after I lost my other dog, Allie.  Lily has always been so sweet and fun and since day 1 I've felt like she's a perfect fit for me.

Lily spends about 90% of her life doing this:
 She sleeps all day.  Most of the time she is under our bed sleeping and we can go hours without hearing or seeing her.  Then she will change it up a little to come out and sleep by us

She spends most of the rest of her time doing this:
 Being right wherever we are.  Under the desk, under a table, next to the couch, under my feet in the kitchen.  If she's awake, she is wherever David and I are

Her other favorite place to be is here:
In my lap, under a blanket.  This is where she is if she hears thunder.

I think Lily is pretty special.  And lucky for us, David has fallen in love with her too!  Lily takes time to warm up to new people, but once she got used to David he became her favorite.  She loves to be with him. When he was working from home so much, she was frequently with him in the office.  While we were in Hot Springs this weekend we saw lots of people out with their dogs and we would talk about how we wished Lily were with us.  Then we'd remember that she'd much rather be sleeping than hiking a mountain with us!

Happy 5 years in my family Lily!  I am so grateful you are mine.

July 18, 2016

Weekend in Hot Springs

We spent this past weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a quick getaway together.  We have a week-long vacation to Boston booked for September, but decided to do a weekend trip this summer as well.  We found a deal on a hotel a few weeks back and decided Hot Springs would be a good place to go.  I'd been once before with the youth group I worked with on their Mission Trip and David hadn't been, so it was fun experiencing the town together.

David took Friday off work and we loaded up that morning and dropped Lily off with my mom.  While we were at my mom's, it started thundering and then started pouring rain.  So we ended up soaking wet for the beginning of our trip.

We had big plans to stop at one of our favorite places for breakfast tacos on the way out of town, but since it was raining we settled on a drive thru Whataburger breakfast instead!

We stopped in Arkadelphia for lunch.  {In case you can't read it, the restaurant's name is Ta Molly's.  Awesome.}

 Then we headed up "scenic Highway 7" to get to Hot Springs.  Before we went, I had found an article called the Ultimate Hot Springs Bucket List to give us some ideas of what we wanted to do.  For various reasons, we ended up not doing many of the things on the list.  But one thing it mentioned was driving Highway 7 and it said it is listed as one of the 10 most beautiful drives in the US.  We drove the southern part of it into Hot Springs and it was definitely a beautiful drive!

We stayed at the Arlington Hotel which was the perfect location.  It was right off bathhouse row, so it was close to lots of restaurants and Hot Springs National Park.

Friday night we explored our hotel a little and then walked around downtown Hot Springs

We ended up eating dinner at one of the bathhouses that had been converted into a restaurant/brewery.  We enjoyed cheese and meats and crackers as well as pulled pork sliders.

We walked around a little more, spent some time at our hotel's pool and hot tub and then turned in pretty early Friday night after a busy day of driving.

Saturday morning, we had a quick breakfast and then headed out to hike up to the Tower at Hot Springs National Park.  We had purposefully not planned anything for the weekend and decided to just see what we wanted to do when we got to Hot Springs.  One thing I really wanted to do was go hiking.  There were several options for hiking trails, but we decided to take the one up to the observation tower and it was a great morning!

Our trail started at The Grand Promenade and was a .6 mile hike to the top of the mountain.

It was a very steep hike, uphill the whole way, and I needed a lot of water breaks!  But eventually we made it up to the top.  We spent a little time at this lookout before heading up to the tower

From the top of the tower we got to see a lot of great views and took some pictures of Downtown Hot Springs

And of our hotel

And of course a few selfies.  The views from the top of the tower were really awesome

As we hiked back down the mountain to our hotel, we talked about what we wanted to do that day.  We had several options including hanging out at our hotel, booking a dinner on the riverboat, or trying out some of the spa treatments.  But I asked David if he might be interested in trying out Magic Springs Amusement Park and he agreed.  We both thought it sounded like fun and something that we might not do again soon.  

So this is where we spent the rest of our day
Magic Springs is a theme park and water park all in one.  So we got to ride roller coasters and spend some time on the water slides and the lazy river. 

Here are some of the rides we tried out.

It was a really fun afternoon, but this is about how we felt after our last ride...

So we headed back to our hotel room to get cleaned up.  We were tempted to just call it a night and get some rest, but we decided to go out to dinner together for our last night in Hot Springs.  We had planned to go to Rolando's, which is one of the popular Mexican food places near our hotel.  But when we got there, the wait was an hour.  

We looked around and were about to head back to our hotel to just eat at the restaurant there, when I saw this restaurant and asked if we wanted to try it out.  At first I thought it might be Italian since I didn't really know anything about it.  But when we sat down and got our menus we realized it was Mexican food.  And we are so glad we ended up there!

Everything we had was absolutely delicious.  A few fun tidits from these pictures.  As we were starting our appetizers, David said to me "I wouldn't enjoy guacamole or Elote if it wasn't for you."  He said he hadn't really ever tried either of those dishes very much before we started eating together and now he is a big fan of both.  And I was excited to be out to dinner with my "glasses hubby" as I call him when David puts on his glasses at night.  He rarely ever wears his glasses, but I really like it when he does--I think part of it for me is just feeling like we're comfortable enough together to see all sides of each other; I can't really explain it all but I love when he wears his glasses.  Both of our eyes were tired from the sun and wind and chlorine, so I was excited for a dinner out with my glasses hubby!

After the appetizers we enjoyed some tacos--shrimp tacos for me and babarcoa for David--both were absolutely delicious!   We were so glad we ended up at this restaurant by chance!  After dinner, we quickly crashed in our hotel room and got a good night's sleep!

Sunday morning we got up and packed up.  Again, we had originally planned to do breakfast at one of the famous pancake restaurants downtown, but after reading some reviews I realized it would be really crowded on a Sunday morning.  So I found a place right outside of town on our route called Debra's restaurant and we ate breakfast there.

David was happy with his biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, and potatoes.  I had sausage, eggs, potatoes, and pancakes.  Everything was really good and it was a small crowd so we were waited on very quickly.

We drove across the street to Sonic to get some drinks for the road and then started our trip home

As I mentioned before, we had read a lot about Scenic Highway 7, so we decided that since we weren't really in a rush to get home we would take a detour and drive the northern part of the route up to I40 and then come home through Oklahoma.  We ended up off of Highway 7 somehow so it took a little longer than we expected, but the views were great and we enjoyed a day in the car together listening to podcasts and talking about life over the past year.

Last stop of our trip was picking up Lily!  We had a great weekend, but it's always nice to be home

July 7, 2016

Neighborhood Eats

So we've recently been on a mission to eat at our neighborhood restaurants.  When we first moved into our house, we noticed how many places there were to eat at the intersections near our neighborhood.  So we ate at a few local places and really liked them, but then we kind of fell into a rut of eating at our normal places--Chili's, Chipotle, Raising Cane's, Pizza from Papa Johns.  So a couple of months ago, I mentioned to David that we needed to try again to eat at some local restaurants.  

We spent a Saturday afternoon driving around and making a list of every place to eat within a mile or so of our house.  The first list we made had over 70 restaurants on it!  I deleted lots of the chains that we eat at a lot (like the ones I mentioned above as well as things like McDonald's, Starbucks, Dairy Queen, the 3 Subways within a mile of house).  I left a few chain restaurants that we haven't been to and a few local places that we've tried once and I made a spreadsheet of all of the places to try.  And we now have a list of 54 places to try out!  So we decided to try to eat at about one a week and work our way through the list.  So I thought I'd post about a few of the places we've tried in the past month.

First up was Noodle Wave
We went out to dinner here the week the kids left.  It's a Thai place that is close to us.  I tried the traditional Hot Pot and even though I asked for it to be very mild, it was still too spicy for me.  I am a wimp when it comes to spiciness, so most dishes are too spicy for me.  But David had a great meal and we enjoyed getting to go out together and try somewhere new!

Next up was the Taqueria at La Michoacana
We walked around the market there and then ordered our dinner.  David had mini tacos and I had regular tacos.  They came with beans and some aguafresca.  We both enjoyed our tacos and loved how inexpensive it was to get dinner for both of us!  We'll have to go back another time to try their breakfast tacos too.

Then we tried out Pizza Patron 
I went one evening to pick up pizza.  Neither of us had every had Pizza Patron before, so we were excited to try it.  We got a great deal on the pizzas and tried both the Pepperoni and the Cheese.  It was not great in either of our opinions.  I'm glad we checked it out, but we will probably stick with our typical Papa Johns for Pizza :)

Last up was Haystack Burgers
We have been to Haystack before and David really likes their burgers.  Our Community Group went for our dinner night in June.  I was babysitting for a friend that evening, but David was able to enjoy dinner here along with several of our friends.

It's been fun trying new places together.  I tend to eat the same things over and over.  I go to the same few places to eat and I almost always order the same things when I go somewhere.  So this mission puts me outside of my comfort zone a little bit and pushes me to try new dishes.  We love getting to support businesses in our neighborhood and look forward to trying some more this month!