Sunday, September 25, 2011

Goodbye Little Rock, HELLO WINSTON!

 I wanted to take the time to list my favorite places in Little Rock along with some of the places we ate at that are worth recommending but never got the chance due to us traveling home and being so busy since we arrived! SO..without further ado..

Places worth visiting in Little Rock 

1. IF you happen to be in a camping mood, or an RV'er like us then definitely check out the North Little Rock KOA. The staff is very friendly, they serve Blue Bell ice cream(which could be why I have gained 6 pounds! lol) the grounds are kept very clean as is the pool, they have a playground for the little ones and a dog park for the pups! The campground is convenient to several restaurants and WalMart and overall worth the stay!

2. Downtown Little Rock/Farmer's Market/the riverfront
Downtown Little Rock offers so much! It is eclectic, fun, and family orientated..the Farmer's Market is awesome, the Riverfront is full of fun places for kids(Lily especially loved the splash zone) and the coolest playground ever! Tons of restaurants, and bars so it is definitely worth checking out!

3. Wild River Country
This water park is literally behind the campground(but not in an obtrusive way) and we went there quite a few times thanks to its convenience and the Summer sun!

4. Little Rock Zoo
Although it was so hot outside that a majority of the animals hid inside their habitats we really enjoyed the Zoo.

5. Burns Park
I cannot say enough about Burns Park, mostly because the place goes on forever..I think it is over 2,000 square feet and has everything a family could hope for..hiking/biking/horseback riding trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball fields, a lake, a covered bridge, a golf course, the worlds largest dog park(seriously the thing was huge, and Cash loved it!), and the coolest little amusement park for kids!

6. The Old Mill
The Old Mill is gorgeous and was used in the opening sequence of Gone With The Wind, enough said! :)

7. Maumelle Park
Are you starting to notice a theme? lol We spent a lot of time outdoors in Little Rock and Maumelle is a beautiful example why..located across the bridge from the campground it offers beautiful views of the river, biking/hiking trails and picnic areas.

Best places to eat in Little Rock

1. American Pie Pizza
Right up the street from our campground we frequented this place(again another reason I gained some lbs! ha ha) great pizza, good beer(Stella was our choice) and reasonable prices!

2. Casa Mexicana
Authentic(FOR real) Mexican food, good drinks, and friendly staff(ask for Brian he was our favorite)

3. Boscoe's
"The place for beer lovers" or so their sign says! :) They brew their own beers, are right on the water and have awesome burgers.

4. Farmer's Market Cafe
Basically a food court but not your typical one as it offers all kinds of foods and has a real restaurant vibe to it..our favorite was Blue Coast Cafe

5. Gusanos
Another pizza place, Chicago style, lively at night(though we didn't partake in that lol), and good hot dogs!

6. Cock of the Walk
Located next to a fully stocked lake this restaurants mainstay is Catfish(which Chad and Lily both ate) beautifully set up, awesome cornbread, and fried chicken

We didn't eat out a lot since we mostly cook at home, and when we did,we pretty much stuck to our favorites...but these are all worth checking out!

Overall Little Rock was a good place and we had a lot of fun there..however, it is so nice to be home even for a short period since we are off to our next destination...Springfield Virginia!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things I love Thursday!

I LOVE music!
ALL  types of music although, I do hold a special place in my heart for country..I guess I LOVE country music because I truly believe in the words being sung..I am one of those people who will look up the lyrics for an album and read every last word before deciding to buy it! The thing about country music I love the most is that for every heartbreak, or every joy in my life I can find a song that matches exactly how I feel at that moment and to me that is beautiful. Thanks to GAC(Great American Country channel for those who don't know) I have been listening to some of my favorite songs from the 90's pretty much all day..which is a nice break from watching the same episode of Barney for the umpteenth time! :) So today's Things I love Thursday is all about the music and the country artists I love from the 1990's! Get excited y'all! ;)

Good ole Sammy Kershaw..I love this song, though I was torn between my other two favorites "Queen of my double wide trailer" (that's my theme song, ha ha) and "She don't know she's beautiful"...The first concert I ever went to was Mr. Kershaw's at the Red Rose Room in Plant City(those who live there know what I'm talking about, that creepy old lady in the commercials, seriously?! lol). I went with my boyfriend at the time Taylor(who is still one of my best friends) anyways he showed up super late, trashed and about fell off the stage 800 times..and you know what it is still the best concert I have ever been too!
"Sold! The Grundy County Auction" is one of my FAVORITE songs EVER!! I can sing every verse of this song, I really still think he was talking about me when he sang "ruby red lips, blond hair, blue eyes" ha ha I'm delusional, I know.
I LOVE Trisha Yearwood and although so many of her songs were worth posting, "She's in love with the boy" won! :) Oh and then there is that tidbit about me singing it for karaoke at the Lakeland Mud Hole you know, in case my redneckness didn't show enough by now!

Speaking of karaoke, I don't think one song has been done more than "Strawberry Wine", I LOVE it, I'm sure you love it! It was and still is I'm sure, the ultimate teenager, coming of age, first love song!
"The Dance" is one of my all time favorite songs and holds a special place in my heart, to be honest I get teary eyed every time I hear it.. Oh by the way this was literally the only video I could find with Garth Brooks actually singing his own song! lol I'm not complaining though, because well I love Elvis too..I'm also aware that Garth ruled the 90's and basically could be on a list all by himself..seriously I wish he would tour again..I'd sell my first born for tickets! ;) Just kidding..maybe my second!

I LOVE George, I love all of his songs especially this one "I cross my heart" and I LOVE Pure Country! I could watch that movie 800 times a day and never get that George is sexy!!

What would this list be without some Reba!? I love me some Reba, that is for sure!
Martina McBride is amazing! I'm not sure what else to say about this woman and her vocals but she ROCKS! This is my favorite song from her(or one of them, I have A LOT!) and I needed to hear it today! :)

I could literally post a bunch more as I barely covered half of what I think are the best songs from the 90' "Don't take the girl" - Tim McGraw, "Neon Moon"-Brooks & Dunn, "Chattahoochee" -Alan Jackson, ANY of Shania Twain's songs, or even the Dixie Chicks, Alabama, Travis Tritt, Clint Black, Vince Gill, Faith Hill etc etc I think you get the point!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The best part of ME is YOU!

I remember the first time I met him, he came into the bar I was working at for lunch and immediately I thought to myself I like him, he's different.. watching him as he left and thinking that I HAD to know him scared me actually because I had never felt that way before, so instantly... When he asked me out a few days later I kept him hanging with a "maybe" for two months, and not because I didn't want to go out with him but I had literally just picked my heart back off the floor and wasn't ready to hand it out again...For two months he was just my friend, never pushing for that date, we would simply talk everyday for hours until finally, I asked HIM out and on this day 3 years ago we went on our first date...Acropolis for some yummy Greek food and Malibu Grand Prix for some go cart racing(I won)! After dating for three months, I let my insecurities get the best of me and we broke up for two and a half months... it was during that time I learned that Chad is the only man I ever truly loved and the only man I ever will..we have been inseparable since...he has changed my life in so many ways, made me a better person, made me whole..Chad is my best friend, my love and together we created the most beautiful little girl..I love this piece written by Bob Marley because I feel as if he took the words right out of my mouth, out of my heart..this is how I feel about William Chad Pope, the love of my life <3

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life. -Bob Marley

                                                            Happy Anniversary Babe!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It can't be ten years later, when it still feels like yesterday...

There are times I feel as if my grief is unwarranted in regards to the attacks of 9/11; as no one in my family perished, & I did not have friends directly affected..yet when I read the stories, I feel as if those names, all 3,000 of them belong to me.

                (This image is so surreal, as if it belonged in a movie instead of real life)
I remember that day in 2001 very vividly..I can hear the sounds, feel the pain, and relive the confusion, the anger, the sadness as if it were yesterday.. I was a junior in high school working in the office and delivering a tardy slip as I walked by a TV screen and saw the smoke coming out of the first tower, I remember thinking to myself "that sucks, hope everyone is alright" never thinking for a minute that it was anything other than an accident.
Suddenly, an announcement went over the intercom for everyone to return to their we entered the classroom I remember the look on my teachers face and I think I knew at that moment something was terribly wrong. We watched all day, in slow motion, knowing that our world, our lives were all different...I remember watching frantic parents storm into the school looking for their kids..the sound of cell phones going off everywhere in attempts to just hear a voice....I left school early and headed to work, at the time I was a lifeguard at the YMCA and I thought how could they be open? I remember being angry at them, but I went and sat in my chair anyways..overlooking the still waters..the entire place a ghost town, until one man came out for a swim..I will never forget his face when he emerged from the water, the tears that formed on his face..I will never forget him thanking me for being there..that he needed something normal and I gave it to him that day just sitting in my chair, doing my job..

The images of 9/11 still haunt me sometimes, and not just on this day but anytime I need a reminder as to how lucky I really just be be American..I have been watching the coverage of it all weekend, the tears flowing so easily from my face..when I listen to the stories of the wives, the husbands, the children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers etc who were lost that day and those still left behind...Seeing the images again brings back a bunch of emotions for me and I'm not really sure how to put them all into be honest I am not sure the words I am writing now can even do justice to how I really feel about 9/11, about the innocent lives lost...I listen to stories of  the heroes from that day and I feel honored that I live in a country where people are so willing to sacrifice themselves for others...I see the stories of hope, of those who have courageously gone on with their lives and I know that I am so blessed in my own. I will never forget the impact that day had on my life, on America and will be forever grateful to those so willing to risk their own lives to save others, my prayers will forever go out to those affected by the tragedy of this day...Remember them..the firefighters, the police officers, the soldiers, the ordinary people who gave their lives, never forget them..I know I won't! God Bless America!

This image was the very first I remember seeing back in 2001..recorded I believe as the first official still makes me cry the instant I see it..Mychal Judge, chaplain of the New York City Firefighters was giving last rites to a group of firemen as he was hit by debris and instantly killed. This image is breathtaking, the intimacy of death is something I feel that my generation had never seen up close till this day. 
Is a great article about Mychal Judge.

A sleeping rescue dog, the heroes of that day were not just people, but mans best friend.

The most iconic image of 9/11

One last of hope, of change, of progress

Friday, September 9, 2011

Goodbye #63

Today is Lee Roy Selmon's funeral.  For most people in Tampa, Oklahoma & well the world  that is a hard thing to grasp..for the people in Tampa he was a ray of hope..the first draft pick at a time when the Bucs had nothing to offer, a player who displayed so much faith in his team that his other teammates never gave up and he was certainly the best defensive player the Sooners and the Bucs had ever seen! He was the man who seemed to never stop smiling, who always carried himself with when he passed away Sunday at the age of 56, I think for most of us fans it felt as if a light had been put out...I can truly admit that I cried, and I don't normally have that reaction for "celebrity" deaths but for Mr. Selmon well, he earned those tears..with his kindness both on and off the field, & not just for the Bucs but for USF too! His work throughout our community, and his love for God; plus I'm pretty much in love with the nachos at his restaurant! :) I cannot say enough how Lee Roy made Tampa a better place, he made me love football..and I know that Tampa will truly miss him.

  Oh and p.s I will only ever TRULY and DEEPLY love the Creamsicle uniform colors! lol

Can I point out that I selected this photo because of his smile(he was so handsome right?!?) and THEN I realized that he is carrying my favorite nachos in the entire world! Man I love that Lee Roy, and man I love that Lee Roy Selmons' :)

            I love this video, it shows what an impact he had on the Buc's entire organization!!

                                     And one final video..although I could post these all day!

                                                 Goodbye #63, we will miss you!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things I love Thursday!!

I LOVE Jillian Harris!!!
I love her with a capital L that is for sure, and I have ever since I saw her on Jason Mesnick's season of the Bachelor..I now live my life convinced that the toppings on a hot dog can solve relationship questions! lol I am obsessed with her website which I linked up above because if you go there(& you should, you will be hooked too!) It offers everything from love advice, to decorating advice and everything in between..and the best part is that you kind of feel like you are getting it from your best friend! Plus just like my Picker Sisters post from last Thursday I LOVE love LOVE her sense of style..damn interior designers and their eye for everything totally awesome! :)

p.s. If you are wondering, Chad likes his hot dogs with ketchup & mustard though he's been known to go a bit fancier every now and then and add all kinds of stuff! But that's why I like him he is a little bit of everything I need, and always surprises me! :)

I LOVE Possessionista! 

The site is run by Dana, and she pretty much ROCKS!!! Basically to break it down for you she blogs about all the fashions we "normal" folk obsess over in our favorite TV shows, movies etc(like the Bachelor/Bachelorette(like Jillian), American Idol etc) and then tells you where you can buy those said pieces! How amazing is that!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog!

I LOVE Stacy's pita chips!!

I've only tried the naked kind, but I'm sure the rest are just as fabulous!! They are good by themselves, with hummus or in my case at the moment cheese..outside on the patio, in the nice cool fall-y breeze! :) If only I had a glass of Chardonnay to go with, I would be heaven..but it's Thursday, 2pm and I don't want to look like a lush..except the old lady in the camper next to me didn't get that same memo..oh well to be retired and chug wine all day, I'll get there eventually! lol


And why yes I am one of those ridiculous people who start planning for it a month in advance..I'm not ashamed to admit that I just spent an hour online looking for costumes! :) I think I like it so much because I assosicate with Fall(which I love)..and well because it's awesome! lol Although I refuse to watch scary movies anymore thanks to some very vivid dreams while pregnant I might make an exception this year! :) Also, I really cannot wait to take Lily trick or treating because this year I think she'll actually be excited about it(& I have the most fantastic costume in mind for her)!! I can taste the candy corn already! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just another manic Monday..Oh wait it's Tuesday!! ;)

I hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend because I certainly did!! I even got a surprise on Monday when the boy came home early(since he was actually scheduled to work all day!) and well...this is how we spent our weekend...although I still would've loved to be at the lake with mi familia  the Popeys!! :)

Friday we went to Johnny Carino's, I don't have a picture for that but holy heck batman!! I love food..I love Italian food but even I wasn't prepared for how stuffed, how delicious it  was..I still think I'm in a food coma!

Saturday we went to the dog park and then had pizza in..I know aren't you loving the play by play..we live such an exciting life eh? lol

The puppies greeting Cash at the gate..he did so well with all of them despite that they were mostly what Chad likes to call "girl dogs" ha ha

This was hilarious!! He ran smack dab into this dog trying to play; it actually made a sound!! And she wanted nothing to do with him..ha ha
                                                     That little girl LOVES her dog!!

Sunday we went to this little park across the river..Maumelle Park(I think is what it is called, but it had two signs?) Anyways it was beautiful and I can see why they call Little Rock the natural state(remember when we got here I said that was my mission!!) because there really is so much to do outside and family orientated..needless to say I love it here..and that is kinda shocking because it was the last place I thought we would end up!
How cute is my kid, seriously!! I love her!


Oh and then of course there is I mentioned in my last post I LOVE Cupcake wines and really wanted to try their RED VELVET but had never seen in it the stores..well my LOVELY boyfriend brought it home to me and I'm so excited to try it!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Things I love Thursday!

Ah September, you have arrived and just in time as I completely take back my I LOVE Summer post from weeks ago(and I kind of still do) but seriously Summer, Septembers here you can go now! I LOVE that Fall is on the horizon..I LOVE that my shows are coming back on(Grey's Anatomy & Sons of Anarchy, amongst others) and well September has a personal place in my heart because on the 14th of this month(3 years ago) I went on my first and last date(though not literally, but you get what I mean) with the love of my life! :) Needless to say I welcome September with open take it away Earth, Wind & Fire!

P.s I am thinking that a wedding on the 21st of September sounds like a pretty darn good idea! ;)

Speaking of shows..I LOVE Picker Sisters!!

The series is on Lifetime, a literal sister of the show American Pickers and I am obsessed! It stars Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen of Extreme Home Makeover fame who travel the country turning junk into awesome things like this:
 This is a chair they made from an old silo!! I love it & could totally see it hanging in either a modern, funky styled home or someone's man cave! I would love to one day visit their store(in LA) called I10..maybe when I win the lottery! lol Either way they crack me up and I love their road trips because they remind me of ones I have taken with my own girlfriends(minus the junk part, unless you count "junk food" lol). Plus, I LOVE their fashion sense, but I guess that is why they are interior decorators because they are good at putting things together!

I LOVE Cupcake Wines!!!!

I'm a wino, which should be clear in some of my previous posts and make it obvious as to why I am so in love with the show Cougar Town! :)  Anyways, I LOVE Cupcake wines..and not just because the name is certainly very cute but for a wine that is usually priced under $14.00 it tastes like you might have spent way more! Lately I have been drinking the Procesco sparkling wine from them because well..girl loves her bubbly! :) But every single wine that I have had from them tastes delicious..speaking of I just read that they have one called Red Velvet(my favorite cupcake EVER!!) MUST FIND this wine!! I can't say enough I LOVE it!

That isn't my food FYI but the fact that food critics suggest pairing this wine with hot dogs speaks to my redneck heart..SOLD! lol Looks like it's gonna be a hot dog/Cupcake wine weekend for me!