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Friday, April 30, 2010

Strawberry Season


The weather was gorgeous today, and maybe a tad bit humid by the looks of my hair. When it is humid my hair looks like I stuck my finger in the light socket. Anyway, I am digressing. Last night I called up some of my girlfriends and begged them to come strawberry picking. It was well worth the hour drive to Loganville- Washington Farms. The children had a blast! The strawberries were practically falling of the plants they were so juicy. Can't you tell by the mouths dripping in juice. There was no way in keeping these little one from sampling the products. Forget the strawberries aren't these babies yummy! Now I am off to make jam and some strawberry sorbet. I just need to run to the store to my some containers. Hope you have a happy weekend.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday and playing hookie from Corner View.

Happy Birthday Liebling!
We love you so much !
You are the best
We hope all your dreams come true this year!
Roman making Chocolate Cupcakes
He loves to bake.
I do it I do it!
Boy were they tasty!
p.s. this is one is my little monkey

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April Movie Review!

It has been raining the last couple of days, so it has been a perfect excuse to cozy up and watch a couple of movies. Lemon Tree is a foreign film that addresses the issue of the Israeli and Palestine conflict through the life of a woman who is a Lemon farmer. When the Secretary of Defense moves in they deam the woman's lemon trees a threat to security and want to remove them. Everyone's lives are changed by the events that follow. This movie is out on DVD and is a good movie to watch if you are looking for something with a little depth. A thumbs up in my book.
While I read the book and loved it, this book just did not translated well into film. They cut too much from the movie that really made you feel the true conflict. This movie is out in the movies right now, but I would wait until it comes out on DVD. Miley also needs to work some on her acting. She is perfect for Disney, but needs to learn not to talk scrunching up her nose if she wants to start acting in the adult film category. Her facial expressions were sometimes distracting.

This movie turned out to be a big surprise for me. I didn't think I was going to like it since this isn't really my kind of film. It was fantastic. Now on DVD, it is totally worth renting. However, I am not sure if it is really appropriate for children under 10. The violence wasn't as dramatic as I thought it was going to be, but the language was a little questionable. If you are looking for a good laugh then you should see The Back Up Plan. While critics gave it a bad rating and said it failed to deliver, I would have to disagree because this movie was not meant to be a serious movie. It is a comedy! I laughed so hard that I almost peed my pants. What movies have you seen lately. Oh, while on vacation I also saw the movie The Knowing. It was pretty good despite the weird ending. The concept was pretty good; however, it is just to bad the ending was just a little too strange for me. Have you seen this movie and what did you think?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Around Town

Yesterday, my mother and I headed to the Atlantic Civic Center to see thePrincess Diane collection. When I told my husband, he kind of laughed and said, "why would you want to go pay money to see her stuff when you can go on-line and see photos?" He had a point. It wasn't like I don't have images of Princess Diana and her many outfits and even her funeral etched in my mind. However, there was something wonderful about seeing it up close. Her wedding dress-WOW! I remember when I was 9 years old sitting in our du-plex in Lake Tahoe watching her wedding. It was like a fairytale; especially to a 9 year old little girl. Anyway, I didn't realize how tall she was. The dresses were gorgeous! I think that is the closest I will ever come to seeing dresses made by some of the most famous designers of our century. At one point I even got a little teary eyed because I wondered if she ever felt loved. While I don't have a huge fixation for celebrities, it was fun to see her dresses. We also were able to see some of the jewels from Queens of the past. It is worth seeing. The collection will be there until mid June.


Is it a bike or is it a stroller?

Yesterday, as I was surfing the web. I came across this stroller/bike combo called taga. It is too cool not to share, and since is is Earth Day today it is double perfect. The only draw back is the space required for this combo in the car and the price tag, but if you are just starting a family and plan on having more than one child I think this would be a perfect investment. I love the carriage system available to go with this bike/stroller. I think I would ride everywhere if I had this bike. Just think how skinny I would be!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Day! Corner View

I should be happy it is spring. The weather has been gorgeous, the mountain sage, the azaleas and Rhododendrons are all a bloom making my garden just beautiful. I went to Home Depot and purchased tea roses and geraniums. It finally rained today, which was wished by all in hopes of washing away the layers of pollen dust away, but yet I feel crummy. Not really sure what is wrong, but I just feel sick. Maybe it is my body trying to telling me to slow down. I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off going from one place to another. Last weekend, I threw a baby shower for my friend Lucy. It was a huge success. Anyway, I have been thinking about Earth Day this week and what I can do to help keep this planet that I so love to travel be healthier. I found this recipe not to long ago for weed killer that is not only earth friendly, but it only cost pennies. It is so simple! Mix equal parts of hot water and vinegar then add a few drops of liquid soap to the mix because this will help it stick to the leaves. Then add a tablespoon of salt to make it extra toxic, and put in a spray bottle. Simple isn't it? To read more Corner Views visit Jane at Spain Daily.

Happy Earth Day !

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons.

While these are not your French Macaroons that have become all the rage. I think these Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons are equally to die for; especially if you like the combination of coconut and chocolate. I make these cookies every spring, but this year I tried a new recipe that uses condensed milk instead of sugar, and has you whip the egg whites, and by doing this the cookies come out especially moist. The recipe comes from Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa. The chocolate chips are my addition because as you know I love chocolate. To all my Cornerview friends- Happy Anniversary! I have had so much fun reading your blogs and seeing what you come up with each week. To read more Cornerviews head over to Jane at Spain Daily.
Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons
14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
14 ounces of shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites whipped
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of chocolate chips.
add milk to coconut with vanilla
and salt then fold in egg whites.
add chocolate chips and then with a small ice cream
scoop place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Traveling

view of Hot Springs from Western Mountain


The Good thing about traveling is that I am very blessed with the opportunity to show my children different places around the world. It has become their second classroom and sometimes I think they learn more in a day of traveling then a whole week in the classroom. The bad thing about traveling is that it is not always a Hallmark movie where everyone one is happy and it looks like a fairytale. Yesterday, the navigator took us through just about every small town between Mississippi and Georgia to get us home making our trip much longer than we had expected. Why it did this we haven't figured out, so if you know please tell me, so the next trip it won't happen. The ugly is that my littlest one had a blow out in his pants leaving poop just about every where. I would do it all over again though because I love traveling!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Western Mountain and how to tire boys out

Yesterday after renting a peddle boat on the lake we are staying on, we headed to Hot Springs to see a view things that we missed earlier this week. One was the Arlington Hotel where Al Capone once stayed. It was fun to see his old car and check out the hotel that still has many of the original features from that time period. Then we skipped the expensive tickets prices of the tower and headed to the top of Western Mountain to see the view over the city. It was gorgeous! On our way back home we stopped at an antique store to see if buy chance they might have a few things I might like. I never get a chance to go because of the children. I hit the jackpot. I can't wait to show you my finds. When your a mother of three boys you learn quickly if you want some peace and quiet you make sure they are plenty tired, and get out their energy. We stopped at Gulpa Gorge which is kind of mis-leading because the gorge is really a stream. They had a great time playing and splashing around in it. Today, I took the boys to a local park and then back to Lake Balboa where Roman found himself a 2 1/2 year old Austrian girlfriend named Tia. She was so cute holding his hand and playing in the sand with him. He talked about it for 2 hours after we got home. We head home in the morning. It has been a fun week.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Lake Ouachita and Garvan Gardens

After we ate breakfast yesterday, we headed to Lake Ouachita to rent a boat, but what we didn't expect was the bitter winds that were blowing across the lake. It was time to come up with a new plan. I had seen a commercial for a Botanical Gardens called Garvan that is owned by the University of Arkansas. It was advertising a tulip festival. While the gardens are simple they are stunning. Gorgeous for a matter of fact, and well worth the admission price. The boys had fun feeding the Koi fish and playing in the caves behind the waterfalls in the children's garden. An even bigger surprise is the Anthony Chapel. Constructed simply of crisscrossing beams and glass the chapel is one of the prettiest churches I have ever seen. I have to say I was a little apprehensive about coming to Arkansas for a vacation, but we have not been without something to do. On our way home we stopped at La Hacienda for dinner. What a fun restaurant! The inside is decorated with bright colors. The service is fantastic, and the food was a hit to our hungry tummies after walking all day.

Balboa Lake

It looked like we were going to be trapped in the house all day the rain was coming down in sheets. The thunder even had my boys on edge. Just a few doors down one of the units was struck in our resort blowing out all the electrical. Finally around 5p the clouds blew away and the sun came out. We were out the door. We headed down the street to Balboa lake that had a beach were the children could play. They played in the water for a few minutes, but it was just too cold. I told them they had just become apart of the polar bear club. Eventually, a sand pile was found and fun followed.




Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Diamond Fields

Did you know that Arkansas is the only state in the U.S. to produce diamonds. If you are lucky you will find one. A guy found one last week that was 3 1/2 carats. Crater of Diamonds State park is about a hour south of Hot Springs. It was my boys dream day to be able to spend a couple of hours digging in the dirt. The didn't find any diamonds, but were sure as dirty as a pig who has rolled in the mud.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Our morning began with a little excitement. As we were traveling down central street to see what is called Bath House Row, the street was blocked off because some mental guy threw a suitcase in the fountain and declared it was a bomb. Yep! A BOMB! Well, it really wasn't, but they had to call out the bomb squad anyway. My son thought this was pretty exciting, and made me promise that I would include this in our blog. Hot Springs, Arkansas is apart of the National Park service and was officially declared a national treasure back in 1832 and was called Hot Springs Reservation then almost a hundred years later the name was changed to be called Hot Springs National Park. Native Americans have been using the springs forever, but the first European to use these springs were Hernando Desoto. In the 1800's the springs reputation spread and people flocked here hoping to cure their medical aliments. In the 1920's the springs were a destination for the wealthy of the United States and the current bath houses that sit on top of them were built. The architecture of the 9 standing buildings are gorgeous. Today they are still in use. The boys had fun visiting these building while participating in the junior ranger program. The park service gave the boys booklets that taught them about the springs and the history of the bath houses. They then needed to fill out questions in order to receive their badge. Hot Springs, Arkansas is also the hometown of President Bill Clinton. While he was born in Hope, he grew up here and graduated from high school here. Afterwards, we took a ride on a Duck which is an old army car/boat that was built during War World II. It was a great way to learn the history of the city and see Lake Hamilton.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Memphis

Room 306 where Dr. Martin Luther King was shot
Elvis, The Orpheum, and Beale Street
The Peabody Hotel
Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on April 4th, 1968. Today will mark the 42 anniversary of his death. He was killed as he was leaving his hotel room 306 at the Lorraine. Today the hotel is a not only a memorial, but is a Civil Rights museum. Visiting the sight was a great teaching moment with my children. You can't visit Memphis without visiting Beale Street. Here you will find restaurants and great Jazz clubs. We ate at the Pig restaurant. I had seen this restaurant on the Today show, but it did not live up to it's reputation. The food was mediocre BBQ and the restaurant was dirty. The it was off to Sun Studio record studio where Elvis recorded his first record along with other record legends like Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. You can't miss the Peabody Hotel. Now famous for it's life ducks that they march in each day at 11am and march out at 5pm the hotel is a treasure. The inside architecture is gorgeous!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Graceland

Graceland sit on 13 acres of land
We made it to Memphis, Tennessee last night. We will continue on to Hot Springs, Arkansas tomorrow. It is only a three hour drive from here. I couldn't pass on the opportunity to see this great city. It is a little raw, but very proud in it's participation in some great historical events that not only effected the United States, but the rest of the world. My first stop was Graceland. My mom was kind enough to watch the boys for me since she had gone on the tour last year. My first shock was the ticket price of $30, but since it is something I will do only once in this lifetime I shelled out the bucks. The second shock was how small his house was. He purchased the house in 1957 when he was 22 years old. He recorded his first album at 18 years old for $4 for his mother as a gift. When the studio owners heard him sing the rest was history. He was an instant star. The house is far from the southern charm of plantation house and as flamboyant as the 1970's with shag carpet and mirror on the wall. What was really amazing to see was all his gold records and costumes from his shows. I remember sitting with my grandmother as a little girl watching Elvis movies with her, and my mom even kissed the King when she went to a concert of his in San Francisco.