Monday, January 31, 2011

Florida Vacation, Part 1

On our first day of vacation events, Mitch and I spent the day at Universal Studios Island of Adventure. The majority of the day was spent at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you're a Harry Potter fan, you have to see this place. It was absolutely wonderful and I could have spent several days looking at every thing this attraction had to offer.

Welcome to Hogsmeade! You can't see it very well in my photos, but the entrance sign says "Please respect the spell limits."We've entered Hogsmeade! My goodness were there visitors; we were packed into this area of the park like sardines.

The Hogwarts Express and the conductor.

Photo op with the conductor!


I loved all the colors and displays they had in this store. I think I could have spent several hours just taking photos.

I bought a carton of Bertie's Every Flavor Bean; it was so much fun trying the different flavors with my sister and a friend. I would have to say the "Earwax" flavor was the worst, with "Vomit" a close second.

You can't visit Hogsmeade and not have Butterbeer!

The drink was quite yummy; it tasted like cream soda with a very delicious, buttery foam on top.

Mitch and I ate at The Three Broomsticks for lunch.

The restaurant's interior was absolutely wonderful.

I had the Fish and Chips and I quite honestly think it was probably the best battered-fried fish I have ever had.

Mitch had the rotisserie chicken with a side of amazing potatoes.

We will continue our tour of Hogsmeade tomorrow, along with some photos of Hogwarts!

Etsy is Dangerous

So, I've been a bit obsessed with Etsy this past week or so. I don't even want to think about how much time I've spent on there (is that why my homework due dates creep up so quickly?). My latest favorite find is this pin:

Isn't it wonderful?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Find

For Christmas, my aunt and uncle got my grandparents a puzzle made with a photo of their farm. It was a very special gift and there were lots of happy tears shed.

Visit Portrait Puzzles if you're interested in making your own puzzle!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tonight's Purchase

Tonight's Etsy perusing started out innocently enough; I was looking for decor for my home's sad, bare walls (A for effort?). Unfortunately, my search resulted in zero finds so I decided to venture into the world of jewelry. Oh how I smiled when I came upon this necklace; I just couldn't pass him up.

Three Barrels and Slacking

I was told that a three-barrel curling iron makes beautiful beach waves so several weeks ago, I purchased this beast.

I fail at 99% of my attempts to style hair, so why I thought I could handle this, I'm not entirely sure.

Tomorrow will be my test run with this baby. We'll see what kind of disaster ensues.

Tomorrow will also be the day I finally get around to posting about my Florida vacation. Can we say slacker? January hasn't been a "get things done" kind of month for me. Good thing it's almost over.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple Arithmetic

Holly + Motivation = Nonexistent

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's a Numbers Game - 2011 Edition

Below you'll see the number of posts I hope to write each month for my "It's a Numbers Game" personal blogging challenge. (Rules here.) I'm expecting a lot of myself but I plan on making 2011 a memory-filled year regardless of the size of the event, so I think I can do it!

January – 14
February – 11
March – 18
April – 18
May – 17
June – 19
July – 23
August – 20
September – 30
October – 21
November – 16
December – 17
TOTAL - 224

Feel free to play along - trust me, it's fun!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

101 in 1001 - Update #1

I had every intention of starting my vacation posts yesterday but when I went to pick out photos from our first day, I got a little overwhelmed. See, our first day's event was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I took over 100 photos that afternoon! Hopefully I can make a decision soon as to which ones I think are worthy of being on the blog. Until then, I thought I would update you all on my 101 in 1001 progress.

Read a memoir
I read Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet. A very interesting read about an autistic man with extraordinary number and language abilities - I highly recommend it!

Set up a play date for Crickett
Shortly before Christmas, Crickett and I got to meet Miss Hennessy. She is such a sweetheart (as is her mom Debbie and her aunt Michelle) and Crickett and I look forward to having her over again.

Eat at five new restaurants
Vacation made this task super easy to complete!
1. Smokey Bones - Lakeland, FL
2. Sonic - Orlando, FL
3. Bubba Gumps - Orlando, FL
4. Cici's - Lakeland, FL
I finally got to have my macaroni and cheese pizza! Yum!
5. Waffle House - Lakeland, FL
I discovered I do not like grits. Just thinking about them makes me want to gag.

Even though I'm moving quite slowly through this list, I'm still having a blast! Can't wait to get through more tasks and share them with you! Stay tuned for vacation posts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Best Bar

Vacation was a lot of fun but it sure is nice to be back home. Before I share those adventures with you, however, I need to update you on a little bar competition that my family had on Christmas Day.

There were a total of 12 entries, all of which were quite delicious. After each family member voted, the tallies indicated a three way tie between bars #2, #7, and #8.

Bar #2 was my no bake Twix bar. I could hardly believe I had made it into the running! (You can find the super easy recipe here.)

Bar #7 was my cousin Grace's strawberry shortcake bar. She won The Best Dip contest.

Bar #8 was my cousin Mollie's blueberry bar.

While the three of us waited anxiously for a revote, we posed for pictures with the crown.

After several excrutiating minutes, the winner was announced. IT WAS ME!! I WON!! Can you tell I was thrilled beyond belief?

I won't lie, I did get a little misty eyed as Grace crowned me the winner. It was just so unexpected, especially after my Thanksgiving Day bar failure! I can't wait to crown the winner of The Best Appetizer contest next Christmas. (Start sending your recipes my way.)

A big thanks to all of you who sent me bar recipes; I greatly appreciated your help and plan to try them all in the future. And a special thanks to Karen for providing me with the winning recipe!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Missing My Fur Baby

Dear Crickett,

Mama misses you immensely. I hope you're having fun at grandma and grandpa's house. I can't wait to give you a big hug when I get back.

Love you bunches.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Week Ahead

Here is what Mitch and I have on our agenda for the next week:

Sunday - Fly to warm, sunny Florida!
Monday - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Tuesday - Universal Studios
Wednesday - Magic Kingdom
Thursday - Epcot Center
Friday - Discovery Cove (Swimming with the dolphins!)
Saturday - SeaWorld
Sunday - Fly home to cold, snowy North Dakota.

It's going to be a busy, fun week! Can't wait to share our adventures with you when we get back!