Thursday, January 26, 2012

UrbanSpoon Review

Courtney's Diner & Bakery on Urbanspoon

If you are in Edna, Texas check out Courtney's Diner & Bakery on Main Street.
Courtney's has delicious burgers & sandwiches, and are open every morning for breakfast. The food is yummy and the atmosphere is fun!! You won't be dissapointed!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Birthday recap Part 2

We left the Galleria and JenJ and I were alllll happy!

I got Godiva for my Birthday, and JenJ got all the things she set out to get, plus a new tea pot! Score!
As I drove, JenJ navigated.

She had a plan for lunch. With her trusty phone in hand we made minimal turns and ran into less traffic than we thought we would. It was Houston after all!
We ended up at Benihana.
JenJ had told me about this place that she went with her boyfriend a few weeks back when they were in Houston for work. She said they put on a show while cooking your meal. She was very excited about taking me there, and I was equally as excited to go!

We walked in, and after a few moments we were seated at a rectangular table, with a grill in the middle. There was seating on 3 sides, and a space in the back of the table for our chef to stand and cook for us. Our drink orders were taken, and JenJ ordere an appetizer.

The decor was not what I expected. I expected authentic Japanese decor. What I found was a bright, bold more urban design style. The walls we painted in Blues, reds, greens, and orange. each wall a different color, and different design. The lighting was minimal, offering each table a slightly secluded feel. It did not feel like we were in a huge restaurant with other people around. It felt as though were we almost sectioned off from the other tables by walls of glass, allowing us to see the others enjoying their meal and it's preparation as well. It is a unique dining experience, that is for sure.
We munched on our appetizer, and waited for the show to begin. I thought JenJ had ordered peas in the pod. They were yummy! But, what I was really eating was an authentic Japanese dish called Edamame. Edamame is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole. I've never eaten soybeans prepared in the fashion before, but they were very good!

We ordered, and while we were waiting for our chef to arrive we were served out salad. JenJ went right for her chopsticks while I grabbed my fork!
"Hummmm," I thought......wonder if I can figure out how to use those things?
Why not? It's my Birthday lunch, after all!!

I opened my package of chopsticks, and with some trouble, broke them apart. I was afraid to pull too hard for fear I'd break them. JenJ urged me to keep pulling, and pull harder! Finally the chopsticks gave up, and I glanced at JenJ for further instruction.
I watched her use them. I tried to position my fingers like she had hers. I put them in my bowl and grabbed some lettuce with ginger dressing.

FAIL! I came back up with nada! It was like the claw game most department stores have in the foyer. You know the one I'm talking about. You out your quarters in the try to grab a stuffed toy that has been strategically stuffed between other toys to minimize your chances of being able to pluck one from it's spot.

Our chef came out, and introduced himself as Henry. Henry ended up being a very neat character! Henry started off our meal by making fried rice. It was so neat to watch him prepare our food right in front of us!
He started by making fried rice. He flipped and flopped his spatula around and around, working his majic! He tossed the rice into bowls, flipped mine over and slid it onto my plate without spilling one grain of rice. WOW! Henry is talented now!
Then he whipped up some mixed veggies and shrimp. He cut the tails off the shrimp and flipped them up into the air, catching them in his hat! Next, he made a choo-choo train our of sliced onion. Good show Henry, good show!
JenJ must have told the host that it was my Birthday, because after we were done stuffing ourselves on yummy Japanese cuisine three waitresses came over with a Birthday treat! They made me put on a silly bright red hat before singing "Happy Birthday" in English and Japanese. I just knew my face was as red as the hat. The photo they gave me about 5 minutes after the Birthday song confirmed this.
I must say that the ice cream was over the top delicious! It had a cinnamon flavor, and was topped with whipped cream, a cookie stick covered in chocolate, and a cherry. JenJ and I devoured it in a hurry!
We joked, enjoyed wonderful food, and laughed till we almost cried! We left with our bellies full and our spirits high.

Next stop, tack shop! Most girls like shopping in malls for clothes, shoes, make-up and purses. JenJ and I love tack shops like a fat kid likes cake!
As we opened the door we were smacked in the face by the smell of leather. It is an unmistakable aroma that makes my heart and my nose happy. We shopped for about an hour and a half. JenJ had me pick out my own Birthday gifts. So, I can now cross girth and headstall of my list of necessities for Casper, yes!!

Upon leaving the tack store we realized we had about an hour before we had to head home so I could help with the catering job. JenJ called her boyfriend and rattled his brain for ideas. He reminded her about a book she was looking for, and off we went to the Piano Store. Or so we thought!
Our piano store trip was cut short by my dear husband. We had to scour the area and try to find a bank so that I could fix an error in judgement he had made. BOYS!

Upset and put out we headed back to Edna. I felt bad that JenJ didn't get her piano book. We arrived at The Diner and much to my surprise I didn't have to help cook. It was a fib to get me back to town for a surprise Birthday Party.
The Diner was decorated with Birthday signs and brightly colored balloons. My husband had gathered a few of our closest friends to help in the celebration. We "partied" fairly late, enjoying some snacks and an amazing homemade Tiramisu that was to die for!

What a day!

Birthday Weekend Re-cap part 1


I woke very early and met JenJ in Edna. We had a fun day of activities planned.
Down side? Those fun plans were going to be cut short because at the last minute a friend needed help with a catering job. More on that later.

We met in Edna around 7:30 and raced off to Houston.
We had a mission!
Galleria Mall for Godiva, Tea, and make-up.
Charlotte's Saddlery for window shopping, and hopefully some real shopping too!
JenJ had a lunch surprise planned, after which we would spend our remaining time in Houston in a few more places as time allowed.

Off we went!
Ritual pit-stop at Buc-ee's in Wharton. Can't drive by without stopping there we have found. It's a great place to get gas, as it is usually the cheapest on hwy 59 between Victoria and Houston. They have great bathrooms. Super spacious and always neat and tidy! And, they have a variety of food that is second to none!

We arrived at the Galleria and allowed the car to get eaten by the underground parking monster. If you've never been to the Galleria, you should go. When you go, you should enjoy the fun and games of the underground parking 'garage'. The ceilings are so low, I didn't even feel like my small crossover was going to fit.
The first time JenJ and I went....we took my truck. BIG mistake! It's a F150, 4x4 and sits higher off the ground than the average bear. We both literally held our breath and closed our eyes as we went down the ramp and into the garage. It was very scary, as it seemed the roof of the truck would get ripped off the truck like a lid on a sardine can any moment. But, we realized after we got out that there was plenty of clearance above the roof. It just didn't seem like it at time time.

Having an amazing sense of direction and knowing where the main places we wanted to stop were located, JenJ led us straight to Godiva. Well, with one wrong turn. Almost straight there!
The scent that greets you when you walk into that store is truly a gift for your senses. The sweet chocolaty goodness inside is almost too much. I mean, I know I felt like I gained 10 lbs when I walked in the door!
JenJ and I perused the pristine displays until we found the chocolate confections that we just could not live without. As always, our purchases were tucked into Godiva's signature gold bags with the chocolate colored logo and lettering.
We had Godiva. We could now take on the rest of our day!!

JenJ needed some make-up from Bare Escentuals. I nearly had a melt down when I walked in that store. It was girlie to the max!! Bright pink walls, black and white striped wallpaper. A crystal chandelier hung from the middle of the store.
Small containers of various make-up in an array of styles and colors adorned the numerous glass top tables that the were used by the girls working there to assist customers with the correct choices for their skin.
JenJ made her purchases and we hightailed it out of there! Thanks JenJ for not torturing me any longer in that store!

JenJ has fallen in LOVE with a Tea store in the Mall. Teavana is a unique tea store that carries loose leaf teas for those that appreciate a fresh, high quality tea. It's for those who can afford it, too!
There are people that sit home in the morning and drink Folgers, and then there are those who leave the house 5-10 minutes early so that they can enjoy a cup of coffee perfection, or liquid sunshine as we like to refer to it, from Starbucks. Teavana is to the Tea World what Starbucks is to the coffee world.
JenJ had me try their sample tea, as it was something I'd smelled her make at her house a few weeks back. It was ok. Too much cinnamon for me, but it tasted very fresh and pure.
We perused the small store and stumbled upon a 50% off sale!! The clerk was quick to point out it would be the last week of the sale, and that we should take advantage before it was too late.
We found a gorgeous tea pot with cups for about $25.00. It is a gorgeous sky blue and paler almost white with a hint of blue. It has a quirky wicker handle and two small traditional tea cups. It was precious and JenJ couldn't resist the sale. Who could blame her? Not I!

We strolled through the gargantuan mall, not really seeing anything else that we couldn't live without. We did venture into Charming Charlie, which was an adventure in itself!!
Table after table of color coordinated fashion accessories and purses greeted us in the aforementioned store.
A co-worker of mine talks about this place all the time, and the great purses you can find there. I'm not really the kind of person who goes purse shopping on a whim, it must be out of necessity. Still, I felt the need to satisfy my curiosity and check the place out.
We gave it our best shot. We did walk every inch of that monster of a store. I'd pick up something and tell JenJ she just couldn't live without this. To which I would get a reply snort, or raised eyebrow, or both!
We could have done without the very well endowed woman wearing a tank top that barely covered the unmentionable area of her upper body that is illegal to show in public. She obviously had NOT looked in the mirror before walking out of the house that morning. Or, she just flat out didn't care!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


So, it should not come as a shock to most people to learn I have a morning routine.
Yep, same thing......every morning!

THIS morning, my schedule got interrupted, and I got worried!

Get up, let the dogs out. - CHECK!
Let the dogs in, feed them. - CHECK!
Check Facebook and text messages, respond appropriately. - CHECK!
Get ready for work. - CHECK
Let the dogs out. - CHECK!
Let the dogs in before I leave. - CHECK!
Kiss the hubby and head to work. - CHECK!
Txt with my friend Jen on the way to work. - well...i tried..... And this is where my morning went awry.

Yes, I must admit that I txt while I drive. Moving right along.....

Jen and I chat most of my way to work. She's already at work as she has a crazy job that requires her to be at work insanely early.

I sent her a txt. No reply.
Hummmmm. Wonder what's up with that.
I wait a bit, and send her an email. Again, NO reply.
Hummmm, this isn't like Jen.
I double check am FB post from Jen..... OK, SUPER STRANGE!
I then turn up the radio as the daily "whats going on in the news" from the local Newspaper comes on.
No mention of an am accident.
I decide to check the website and see if there is a 'breaking news' story about an accident that might have been on Jen's way to work.
OK.....PANIC mode!
I txt her BF. "Hay, have you talked to Jen this am?"
as he replies with "yeah, she's got a busy am at work, meetings I think" then replies with an "I'm OK, I'm at work".

I had to concentrate on my breathing for a few minutes to get my heart rate back down to semi-normal.

I then relay to Jen all the crazy crap I'd done to try and find out why she wasn't replying and if she were hurt or not.
There was a minute or two there, I seriously thought about turning the car around and heading to her house to make sure she hadn't gotten hurt with her am feeding of the horses.
I then rationalized that the thing to do would be txt the BF, and if he hadn't talked to her, then I'd go into full panic mode and head to her place.

Well, fortunately for me the BF had talked to my friend, and saved the day by replying to my message.

So, folks, think twice about breaking your AM might just throw someone into a panic!!!
And what did Jen learn today? She's Lubbed, lots! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

it's here! yay!

Well, I can now cross off 1/2 of my first goal for 2012!

Very exciting!

My 'new' Tucker saddle arrived yesterday. It's going to be so nice to ride in, I can just tell.

Now, I just need all the extras to go with it.

A girth, I like this one and this one, will be a good place to start. I also really like this saddle pad, in creme/chocolate.

I am in need of a new bridle and reins, but do have a bit.

It's heck re-purchasing all the stuff you get rid of when you think you aren't going to ride anymore.

I am fortunate that my birthday is coming up, and my great friend Jen has already hit me up for some gift ideas. Thanks Jen, love ya! :)

Next on the 'to tackle' list before I can ride.....a PLACE to ride.

I'm not going to ride in a 'random' spot in the 'yard'. I don't feel that is safe for Casper, or myself. I want a designated area in which to ride, and in which I hope to keep the footing worked up on a regular basis.

So, stay tuned for "tales of arena building".......i hope to start......soon?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome, 2012!!!!!

Wow, 2012 huh?
January 10th already, to be honest!

A lot has happened this year. Good, and bad.

Lots of changes are coming in 2012 too!
For of my pasture ornaments will be put to work this year! Yes, yes he will be.
I have a saddle on the way.
I will have to purchase a few items to go with it, and finish the riding area at the house, but in the not too distant future, Casper will have a JOB!!!!

I'm going to do something I haven't done before. I'm going to post goals on the left hand side of my blog!!!
They won't be crazy, or over the top out of reach. They will be (I hope) attainable for 2012!

So, those of you still reading...stay tuned.
There should be some ground work posts in the near future, and some butt in the saddle ones after that!

I hope everyone has a great 2012! Can't wait to see the rest of your 2012 goals!