Monday, March 29, 2010


You might be wondering (or might not) about the adorable little furry creature that is pictured above! I thought she deserved a post. She is a part of our family, after all! She is our sweet little cock-a-poo, Peaches! We happened upon Peaches in the summer of 2003 while we were living in Riverside, CA. We were following typical tradition and thought that before our baby came in the winter, we needed to get a dog to get a little practice taking care of something other than ourselves. We found Peaches at a dog rescue adoption at Pets Mart in Riverside. She had me at hello. She was sitting very sweetly in the back of her cage. She was not at all like the other dogs. They were all scrounging for your attention, but not Peaches. Perhaps she knew her cute look would just sell itself. It worked. The lady who had been taking care of her said she was just the sweetest, so I was sold.

It was estimated that she was about 2 when we bought her. So our guess is she is around 9 right now. We brought her home and we quickly found out that she was indeed already house broken! Yeah! We tried and tried to have her sleep in her crate downstairs, but that didn't work, so it wasn't long before she was up in our room in her own little bed. I vowed I would never actually have the dog in the bed, but when Charlie travels she always parks herself in his place. To be honest, I never correct this behavior. She is too sweet.

Now my husband, although he loves her, might have a different take on my lovable pooch. all fairness, she is not perfect. She was diagnosed soon after we got her with separation anxiety! Really, that is a condition that dogs can have, I asked? Oh yes, and does she ever have it. We have had her now since 2003 and she still shakes when we are getting ready to leave the house. She runs around like a maniac when we return. She has to follow me around the house everywhere I go. She pooed in every room in the house one time when I left for the weekend. Charlie said she was a nutcase and wouldn't eat while I was gone. He calls it crazy, I call it love! :) She does like to swipe food from the girls and jump on the table when we leave the room. She does not like to get her paws wet and therefore is most stressed out when it rains or snows. She does, however, love walks, treats, tummy rubs, sun-bathing and more treats. She is great with the girls aside from the food swiping. She is a protector (barks at strangers, strange noises), but would not hurt a fly. She is my sweet Peaches and I can't imagine a better companion!

Peaches likes to be in photos...

Here she is in doggie heaven...asleep with her mommy on the couch.

Sleeping in Heavenly Peace

Since she is no longer allowed on the couch since we have leather now...she for some reason resorted to this one day.

Thanksgiving....Turkey carcass....Peaches on the prowl....

Oooh...maybe aunt Randi will give me a little taste??? For the record...she got plenty of turkey.

Checking out the snow...not sure if she is going to attempt it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dallas Dining vs. Ft. Worth Dining there is a little healthy competition going on between Dallas and Ft. Worth. Rightfully so...they are both very different and I am glad about that. In my opinion, Ft. Worth is more casual. Not that people don't get dressed up, or know what is nice, it is just more laid back. More City-Country. Now Dallas is definitely City-City all the way. Whenever we go out in Dallas I feel like I HAVE to get dressed up. I feel like people know where I got what I am wearing, I feel more pressure to order something chic to eat or drink, etc....I had the pleasure of eating out 2 nights in a row this week. Once in Dallas and once in Ft. Worth. Both places very representative of each city, I feel. Also....both comparative in price as well. Two totally different feels.

Dallas: On Tuesday night we went out with Charlie's family. We were celebrating his dad's belated birthday from February and his parent's 41st wedding anniversary. Yes, 41 years! So we treated them to a dinner at Neighborhood Services.

Rob (Charlie's brother) and his wife Nina, have been wanting us to go here for awhile. It is the type of place where the occasional celebrity sighting (ex: Jessica Simpson) is possible. It is packed on the weekends from what I have heard, but judging by the crowd the other night you would have thought it was a Saturday. We got there around 6:45 and had drinks at the bar. The atmosphere was hard to describe. Very chic, the staff is dressed very preppy with sweater vests and ties, pretty upscale feel, but not too "fine dining". Once we sat down we proceeded to order the following off the menu.
1. 2 orders of Roasted Green Chili Crab Dip - white corn tortilla chips
Very, Very good

2. Ricotta and Lobster Fritters
Very tasty, but tasted more cheese than lobster

3. Rob order the Beet Salad special and said it was fantastic

Main Courses
1. Nina and I ordered the Pork Tenderloin with Peach and Jalapeno salsa. Very tasty and the extra bonus is that it came with a side of their 3 Jack Mac! Yum-O!

2. Charlie's mom got the Berkshire Spare Ribs with Rings (black coffee and ancho chile glaze) I never heard her say anything about it, but the plate was clean when she handed it to the waitress, so I am guessing it was great!

3. The men all got the Steak and Frites (Bourbon spiked peppercorn sauce). I had some of Charlie's and it was VERY good, too.

La Crema Pinot Noir
1. Charlie's parents split the apple crisp with ice cream.

2. Rob and Nina split their version of a "Ding Dong". Chocolate cupcake with cream filling. They were not overly impressed, although they ate most of it.

3. Charlie and I split the banana split with Butterfingers on top. It was SOOOO Good. We made the best selection!

Overall, this was a great place. I would go back in a heartbeat. There were so many good things on the menu, the staff was excellent, and it was a great evening.

Ft. Worth: So Wednesday night, Charlie and I had tickets to see Muse in Ft. Worth. I will probably post a separate post on Muse. (They were awesome) So we got a reservation at Reata in Ft. Worth.

Now a Ft. Worth staple. It has been around forever it seems. The last time I ate there was back in college when it was on the top of one of the downtown skyscrapers. It was destroyed by a tornado in the late 1990's, so they have a new location in Sundance Square. It doesn't get more Ft. Worth than Reata. Very country, but upscale. But not so upscale that you can't wear jeans or anything. We had an early reservation, so it was not crowded, but it was busier than I thought it might be for a Wednesday evening at 5pm. This is what we feasted on.

Drinks at the bar: Happy Hour = Great Prices


We split the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with onion jam and cornmeal star

Main Courses

Charlie got the Carne Asada topped with Cheese Enchiladas
It also came with rice and beans
Loved it!

I got the Beef tenderloin in Port Wine Sauce and Lobster Tail
It also came with green beans and mashed potatoes
Loved it!

We couldn't resist a side of their bacon and jalapeno Mac and cheese.
It was good, but not great.


We split the Homemade Banana Pudding
Excellent....highly recommend it!

So I did not have very high expectations going into this meal. It has become a more touristy spot and recently people who have gone said it was just OK, but I thought it was very, very good. I would go back in a second to this place, as well.

So all in all, I love that Dallas and Ft. Worth are so different, but equally as good. Not just in food, but other areas, as well. I just happen to be writing about food at the moment. Please go to these places if you ever get a chance.

Spring Break 2010

So this year, like every year, we went to San Antonio for Spring Break. My dad's birthday falls on St. Patrick's Day, so we always try to be down there with him on the day or around the day. This time we decided to make a little mini-vacation out of the trip since Charlie was off and could go with us. We decided to stay at the Hotel Contessa on the River walk.

It was a great place to stay. It is an all suites type hotel. (a la Embassy Suites) but way nicer in my opinion. You don't get the free breakfast, but as you will read, we didn't miss it a bit. The location of this hotel is perfect. It is right on the river walk, so you can easily walk to all downtown tourist locations; shops, restaurants, the Alamo, the tower, La Villita, etc.... Really my only complaints would be that they forgot to clean our room one day. How does that happen?? We were out ALL day no sign on the door! The other was the false fire alarm that went off one night at midnight. We were on the next to top floor, so it was a little scary for about 10 minutes, until we got the girls out of bed, and were in the stairway on floor 9 when we found out it was a false alarm. Thankfully both girls went back to bed pretty easily. Other than those 2 flukes, great place to stay!

So the day we arrived we ate at Casa Rio for dinner with my Dad and Myrtle. This is a San Antonio staple, classic, been there forever sort of place. We had margaritas, enchiladas, and tamales! Yummo!

Day 1: Had breakfast at McDonald's, a close 2 blocks away, then we went to the S.A. Zoo. We had a perfect weather day. The zoo there is very nice, parking could be better, but it is free so what do you expect. The girls enjoyed seeing all the animals. Sarah liked the flamingos, butterflies, and snakes. Lauren enjoyed the butterflies, bears, and desperately wanted to see the zebras that we never found. We managed to see the zoo all before lunch, so we left around 1 and went to eat at the Josephine Street Cafe. Later on after Lauren took a nap, we took a river boat cruise/tour and had a little dinner at an Italian place on the river walk. (we couldn't have Mexican food at every meal!)

They were celebrating St. Patrick's day down on the river, so a perfect opportunity to catch a quick photo with the Irish flag. The river was also dyed green. (You might notice in a few of the photos)

Day 2: We slept in so we were rushing a bit to get out to Sea World, so we had donuts and milk in the car. We had another fabulous weather day at Sea World. We hit the ground running when we got there. We saw the dolphins first, then went to go feed them. Sarah's favorite thing to do. Then we booked it over to see the 1st Shamu show, but the seats were all full, so we went to see the seals and otters instead. Afterwards, it was back over to Shamu so Sarah could get soaked, except, they somehow managed to not get wet while sitting in the splash zone. (I say they b/c Lauren and I stayed up top where it was nice and dry. Lauren also wanted to keep a safe distance...she was a little afraid) SO then we grabbed a little lunch and went back for try #3 with Shamu and the getting soaked. Third time was a charm! Drenched! Sarah's day was happy and complete. We then saw Big Bird's Beach Party, did a little shopping and was done for the day! Myrtle had prepared a nice dinner of King Ranch Chicken when we got back to their house!

Day 3: Breakfast at another old, S.A. staple, Schilo's. It was yummy, but a little slow. It was just crowded! We then took it pretty easy. We walked over to the Alamo and through Rivercenter mall a little bit.

We had a light lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe (we only at there b/c the kid's menu has lots of choices) then went back to the hotel for naps. Later that night we ate the best place in San Antonio for dinner. We eat here EVERY time I come home. It is my Dad's favorite place so it was his choice for his birthday dinner. Mi Tierra never closes. It is the happiest place on Earth (next to Disneyworld) in my opinion. It looks like Christmas all year long and it always packed. Full of people, mariachi music, good food, Mexican bakery treats, and margaritas. I have lots of great memories at this place! I hope my girls will too!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Little Artist

One of Sarah's favorite activities is art. Of all of them that she does, art is the one I hope she stays with the longest and would even secretly love for her to make a career out of it. I think Sarah has the talent and the love for it, so we will see. We have been very blessed that in our own backyard is a wonderful little art studio where she takes classes and camps. You may remember THIS POST from last year's Paris themed camp! I LOVE Studio Art House in Southlake. Sarah's teacher, Sarah, is so nice and I think Sarah loves that they share the same first name!

Last week they had a little art gallery showing. This what Sarah painted for the show.

Title: Flutterfly

She did it all herself and I only helped her brainstorm a title!

Here is Sarah with her teacher, Miss Sarah!

This semester they have been learning about several different artists. I would like to share some of her work with you that has been inspired by two wonderful artists she has been learning about; Frida Kahlo and Joan Miro.

First is Frida Kahlo, artist from Mexico: You can go to her website HERE! These are the 2 paintings that inspired Sarah to draw this one. They were learning about the painting where Frida was thinking/pondering something (death).

I think you can tell by the title of Sarah's painting what she was thinking about!

Title: I Can't Wait Until My Loose Tooth Falls Out

Second is Joan Miro, artist from Spain: You can go to his website HERE! Here are the two paintings that Sarah's class was inspired by. They learned about painting/drawing using lines and shapes.
Title: Nature

Title: Woman and Dog in the Sun

Here are Sarah's creations that were inspired by Joan Miro.

Titles: Circles in the Grass & Eye World

Title: Tower of Shapes

Here a couple of other pieces of artwork she has created lately. Two of my favorites!

Title: I Like Pink Poodles in Paris


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Irish Festival and St. Patrick's Day

For us in the McDonald family this is the month to celebrate being Irish. It all starts off with attending the North Texas Irish Festival. This year it was great and we even got the typical cold rainy Ireland weather to go with it. We enjoyed looking at the booths and tasting some of the local fare, but the music and the step dancing was the best. Sarah was mesmerized by the Irish dancers and after watching their show she danced non-stop for about an hour making up her own steps and what not. So needless to say....she is going to watch her first Irish step dancing class in a couple of weeks and we will see what we will do from there. I think a new activity is on Sarah's horizon. It was all great fun and really has us all looking forward to our Ireland trip this summer!

Now that we are all in the Irish spirit....let's start preparing some fun treats for the kids to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Here are a few of my favorites!

Rainbow Cupcakes (Current March 2010 Family Fun issue)

Green Pepper Shamrocks

Jello Pot of Gold in a Lime Cup

These I made this morning for Sarah's Daisy Troop. Rainbow Fruit Cups. You could also top them off with a little white yogurt and golden raisins (gold at the end of the rainbow!)

I used Strawberries, Oranges, Pineapple, Green Grapes, Blueberries, and Purple Grapes

As we say in the McDonald family....there are only 2 types of people in this world.
Those that are Irish and those that wish they were!
Related Posts with Thumbnails