Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from my Mini Minion Pumpkins!

I got crazy and decided to do a Halloween craft. If you know me, you know I am not crafty at all. I try but it's just not my thing. But I tried anyway,

I decided to make Despicable Me minion pumpkins. Because if you know me, you know I LOVE minions. Love, love, love minions!! I am too lazy to actually paint a huge minion pumpkin, so I decided to do mini pumpkins because they were easier to make and cuter.

All I did was buy cheapie paint and some foam brushes. Then I got crafty!

All you need is paint and brushes.

Paint the pumpkins.

I also wanted to make skull pumpkins but they came out like regular pumpkins.

Paint the white part of the eye then paint the glasses around the white circle.
Then add the mini eyeball in the middle.

So darn cute!

My god, I love my mini minion pumpkins.

Dave relaxing on the front porch.

Stuart is hanging out as well.

My other mini pumpkins. So adorbs!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My mother, the artist

My mom started painting about 10 years ago maybe a little more, maybe a little less. In her 70's she turned out to be quite the artist. When she sent me a painting, I wasn't sure what to expect but I loved it. Then she painted our house in Coral Gables and we loved that as well. This year, I commissioned a painting from her for our current house. It arrived this past week. It is beautiful.

My pictures do not do the paintings justice. I tried to take better pictures but to no avail. I love having an artist in the family. Now I have to have her paint our other two houses and our kitties!

Our first Jeannette Cruz painting. 

Our house in Coral Gables. 

Our current house. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Carolina Panthers Game

These are a few pictures of the Carolina Panthers game we attended while in Charlotte. I was part of the NFL All Clear Campaign! I even had my all clear bag with me! It allowed me to zip through security! Thanks to the NFL for the tickets. It was so much fun. We aren't big football fans but this game made us think that we should attend more games. We had great seats. And the Panthers kicked butt! WOO!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Charlotte, NC trip recap

We had a pretty great time in Charlotte. Now, the only reason we went to Charlotte in the first place was because I was involved in a social media campaign with the NFL. As part of the campaign, we received football tickets. So I had tickets for the 20th. We almost didn't make it because of Scout.

We were planning on just driving down for the day and then driving back because we did not want to leave her alone. But then she passed and we actually had the time to have a mini vacation.

We started our trip On Thursday. We arrived in Charlotte in the afternoon and checked into the Hotel. We stayed at Westin Charlotte and got a great deal by using Expedia and getting a hotel room without knowing what hotel you are getting. Luckily, this one worked out. The hotel was nice although we had some issues with the front desk and manager lying to us about why we got locked out of our room one day.

The location was perfect. We could walk downtown and we could also walk to the stadium as well. Once we checked in, we decided to walk around. We headed out and came upon a great little park that was called The Green. It was so cute. Besides having a nice green area, the whole park is themed after world literature. It had quotes all over the park. Signs with author names. Big book statues. And a fantastic fish fountain. It was peaceful and surprising.

Next we headed to the main street and came upon a BBQ festival. It was winding down for the night but we strolled down the street taking in the action. there was lots of good food and booths selling various items. We even came upon a whole pig ready to be stuffed int he BBQ. I wish I could have had some of that! I love PORK!

Tom had scoped out an Irish Pub for us to eat at but once we got there, we weren't sure we wanted to eat there after all. So we sat down on a bench and started looking at a restaurant app to find another restaurant. As we were sitting, I looked up and saw a sign that said: Spanish Cuisine. I mentioned it to Tom so we went to check out the menu. It was exactly what we wanted.

The restaurant was called Malabar. It was fantastic. I had a Sangria and Tom had a great Brazilian beer. We had patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) with the most amazing garlic sauce. We also had another plate with olives, Spanish chorizo and Tortilla Espanola. After the appetizers, we ate some entrees. Tom had the churrasco (flank steak) with chimichurri sauce and I had the Gambas al ajo, which is shrimp with garlic sauce. OMG, the food was amazing and that started a weekend of good food.

We headed back to the hotel after dinner and relaxed.

Saturday morning was foggy and gloomy but we got up early and went to find some breakfast. We found a Starbucks but it was so jammed packed, we decided to keep walking to see if we could find another place to eat. It was nearly impossible but then we came upon a little restaurant, the Harvest Moon Grille, that was open. I had read about the Harvest Moon Grille. It is a farm to table place so I was glad that we could have breakfast there.

The food was great and fresh. The serve you homemade donuts as an appetizer. Then we had fresh eggs, bacon and homemade bread. All the food is local and cooked to order. It was really a nice treat! We walked around Charlotte for a while and then headed back to the hotel since it was a rainy, gloomy day. We decided to catch a movie since we could not do anything outside. Luckily, we found a place a few blocks away.

I have to say that the movie theater was one of the most amazing places to watch a movie we have ever been in. The Studio Movie Grill was the coolest. basically it was a small place with a few screens. We had no idea what to expect. We bought our tickets and were able to choose our seats in advance. Once inside we were seated in roomy chairs with a mini table attached to them. The Studio Movie Grille is also a restaurant so you can order food and drinks while you watch the movie.

It was great because the servers come to you, take your order and then bring you the goodies. I had fresh popcorn and Tom had chicken wings. The food was delicious and there is nothing like eating while watching a movie. The movie we saw was Captain Phillips and it was fantastic. I LOVE Tom Hanks! I totally recommend it . And if you are ever in Charlotte, go visit the Studio Movie Grill! You will love it!

After the movie, we headed back to the hotel to rest and then later we went out to have Japanese food at Red Ginger. Red Ginger was pretty good. It wasn't great Japanese food but not bad. Since we never get to have Japanese food at home, it was a treat. Tom had sushi and I had a delicious Bento Box with tempura, teriyaki chicken, rice and also dumplings. It was pretty darn good!

Sunday was game day. We headed back to the Harvest Moon Grille for breakfast. Again, it was delicious. We headed back to the hotel to get ready for the game. Okay, we are not huge football fans so we didn't have an idea what to expect. We walked over to the stadium. There were a zillion people but the lines weren't terrible. Security was easy since I had my official NFL All Clear bag. Once inside we found our seats that were fantastic. Thanks NFL and Carolina Panthers! We were about 12 rows up from the field and had a great view.

We had a great time. It was something we never thought to do but now want to do it again! The game was exciting and the Panthers kicked some Rams butt! It was fun to be at a live football game eating hot dogs and drinking soda. The only bad thing  was the sun was out and I got a lot of sun on my chest and lips. But overall, it was great!

After the game, we were beat but it was late enough to have dinner. We headed over to Fuel Pizza for some slices. I have to say that the pizza wasn't that good. It was flavorless and just boring. We decided to go have a drink at a pub by the movie theater before heading back to the hotel. We had some delicious chicken wings while having a drink and then our weekend was over.

We had a great time in Charlotte and I was surprised how much we liked it. The downtown area has so many places to visit and restaurants to eat at. There are shops and the city is very walk-able as well. We loved that there were a lot of green spaces set out across the downtown area where you could sit and relax. I could see us going back.