Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book 7 - The Book of Virtues

The 7th book on my Empty Shelf, "The Book of Virtues" by William J. Bennett, is a book I have been reading to my nephew before his nap time every time I get the chance to keep him :) It has 2 children on the cover, and in every aspect appears to be a book for children. Well, you know what they say, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." He is young enough, his mom & I felt, that I went ahead & finished the book with him. However, this book may not be appropriate for older children who can understand a little more what you are reading them. All the stories have good 'Virtues' in the over all theme, but some of them are a little rough getting there. For example one of the 'faith' stories was about a priest who was in a concentration camp during the holocaust. He gave up his life to save the life of another man, but to tell that story they gave some very detailed accounts of what people were going through in the concentration camp! So I would say this is a book for the more mature. The next book I read to Luke will be a little more child friendly :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Deep Ellum Arts Festival

This weekend was Easter! Did the Easter Bunny visit your house? :)
This weekend was also Deep Ellum Arts Festival! Fourtunately, we have friends that live in Deep Ellum who told us about this event. Somehow, we had never heard of it, even though I try to stay up on the goings on in Dallas! So we met them out there for a great night!
We got to wander the streets of Deep Ellum enjoying booth after booth of some really talented artists!
 We had lunch at Monkey King Noodle Company, where they hand pull their own noodles! Their Spicy Garlic Peanut Noodles were everything I hoped for, plus a little extra spice! It was reminiscent of Pad Thai, but different. I will go back for that dish! Hubby had the Hot Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, which he loved. I tried a bite, and it was very flavorful. I was expecting something similar to Pho, which it was not (which is good for Hubby's sake, he hates Pho!), but it was good and the beef chunks were melt in your mouth tender! When you go, plan on eating outside or taking it home, there is no indoor dining, they need all their space to crank out yummy noodles!
 More art to see!
What a cool street to hold an Art Festival! The majority of artists do not allow pics to be taken in their booths, so you will just have to visit next year to see it all for yourself!
 They also had some awesome food vendors!
 Crawfish Pies, they were tasty, but could have used more filling.
 This is the third time we have seen Crepe Crazy at an event! The first time was at the German Christmas Festival in Arlington last year, then they were at the Irish Festival several weeks ago, now here. They make amazing crepes fresh to order! We have had their Nutella Banana Crepe & their Sweet Cream Crepe, yum yum!! They also make savory crepes, which we need to try next time we run across them. Also, I just found out from their website that they have a restaurant in Dripping Springs! Road Trip! :)
To remember the festival, Hubby bought me 2 Deep Ellum pins :) We had a great time, as always!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Revolver Brewing

 A little over an hour outside of Dallas, in Granbury, TX is a brewery that knows it's stuff! We have been fans of Revolver Brewing since trying Blood & Honey at House of Blues.
Hubby's dad joined us to tour the facility
We are all old enough!
They hold events every Saturday, and they have a nice big piece of country property, so they encourage you to come out with the family and have a picnic!
They bring in a band, this week it was Rise & Shine, we really enjoyed them!
Hubby & his dad enjoyed their car!
They have lawn games!
Hubby beat me by a lot!
Giant Jenga!
and a water table for the kids to play on
It looked like fun, but they wouldn't let me play ;)
The real reason we went was to sample some beer!
With price of admission we each got a pilsner glass to take home :)
and you get to try 4 beers. The Mother's Little Fracker Stout quickly became my favorite, although I will still always go back for a Blood & Honey! Revolver Bock was great paired with the brownie I bought from their caterer. I also tried Sidewinder, which is one of their seasonal beers, it was the only of my 4 I tried that I didn't like. There was something sour in it that I didn't enjoy.
You gotta let them know where you are visiting from!
Then we got to listen to a tour of the brewery. Our tour guide is their brewmaster, and he left Samuel Adams to take this job with them!
This vat was roped off because the yeast was so happy it was bubbling over! :)

How do you tap this keg?! ;)
Like father, like son

We had so much fun hanging out at the brewery! I think they have re-imagined the entire concept of what a brewery can be! I would have never thought of a brewery as a family friendly picnic destination! But they built on a big piece of the country, and look what happened!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book 6 - Dreamland

"Dreamland" by Kevin Baker is the 6th book on my empty shelf!
The back of the book describes it as, "A dazzling masterpiece of literary historical fiction, 'Dreamland' delivers a sweeping yet intimate portrait of immigrant New York in the early part of the twentieth century."
What that description left out is how gritty & depressing this intimate portrait was. This book focuses on Coney Island, and the characters both performing &/or visiting. These people's lives are neither good nor easy. This book was not easy to read! There was more than once that I had to put it down because it was more than I could handle that day. However, in saying that, I will also say it was very well written! It wouldn't have bothered me so much had it not been so real.
Have you ever read a book that while it was well written, you can neither claim to have liked it, nor necessarily recommend it? That's how I feel, that & very ready for an upbeat book!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Girl Time

 The sister's had a girl's night to register for baby goodies!
 GIRL BABY GOODIES!!!!! I am going to have a niece!!!!! A little girl to dress up in hair flowers & lace! A little girl to scrapbook with! A little girl to teach the art of egg roll making!
 The Aunts are very excited!!
 You will be one very loved little girl, my precious niece! And I see alot of Hello Kitty in your future!
After we scanned every item Babies R Us had for baby girls ;) The baby was craving Chuy's! Have you ever seen someone so happy about a salad?!
I can't wait to meet my niece! So all of you aunts of nieces out there, what are some fun things I should plan to do?! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Asia Times Square

Yesterday I went to eat Pho with my sister & nephew :) We love "Beef Noodle" soup!! If you are a fan of Pho, or want to try it, we highly recommend Pho Hung in Grand Prairie (which is not that far from Dallas if you are visiting & looking for something different to do!) at Asia Times Square. It's where my sister grew up going :)
 After our soup we walked next door to Bambu Desserts & Drinks. This is my drink, the Bambu Special, it was coconut, pandan jelly, longan, and basil seed.
It was an interesting concoction! Luke loved every bit of it! Here he is having some basil seed and a piece of pandan jelly.
And I fed him the coconut after I tore it into smaller pieces, I had no idea how tough fresh coconut is! But that didn't stop him!
 I was not a huge fan of the longan, but the rest of it was yummy!
Sister got green tea ice cream, and Luke was a big fan of that as well! I love green tea ice cream! we will have to go back soon!
 We also walked over to Hong Kong Market, because when in the area, it's a must!
 And they had green tea KitKat from Japan! I had watched a video recently about different candy bars from around the world, and this was one of them. So when I saw it on the shelf I got really excited! They did not disappoint! I would decribe it as green tea flavored white chocolate covering the normal crispy KitKat center. Hubby was also a fan :)
 As we were walking through the produce, my curiosity got the best of me & I bought a banana blossom. Did I know what a banana blossom was? No :) I just wanted to take it home & find out!
 So I peeled off the first petal, and decided it was time to Google. Apparently, this flower grows on the end of a bunch of bananas. And people cook and eat the inner petals like an artichoke. Also, those tiny things on the inside are baby bananas.
I did not take the time to cook any of it, but I did try it. The baby banana dried my mouth out, but didn't have much flavor. I took a bite of one of the tender inner petals, it was bitter and very tough. So in my opinion, banana blossoms are better for looking at than eating.
We had a great day in Asia Times Square! I love being Thai! ;)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book 5 "Just Like Heaven"

I listened to "Just Like Heaven" by Marc Levy while organizing my craft room (once the room is finished I promise to post pics!). I now have 5 books on my Empty Shelf! This story was not something I expected, but it was enjoyable & easy to follow along with while I was preoccupied. It is a movie, but I have not seen it. This is not a story I would read again, just wasn't that intriguing. But I do like having something going in he background while doing my house work :)