Monday, January 31, 2011

Roba Dolce Treasure!


Nothing, absolutely nothing is better than a surprise that comes out of the blue! Last week when the doorbell rang mid-morning I didn't have a clue who it could be. I should have recognized the quick bing-bong, it's the certain way that UPS or FedEx rings the bell in their no nonsense-onto the next delivery way. You know what I'm talkin' about!

As soon as I saw the big box I remembered.
Karen over at This Old House 2 had graciously offered a contest for us Winter Weary, Blizzard Bonked Bloggers. She asked her readers to simply offer up some new flavors for Roba Dolce to consider. Two winners would be chosen and they would receive a full case of their delicious gelatos and sorbetos. Everyone who commented would be getting a gift in the mail. Was I reading this wrong? Roba Dolce was letting us suggest our favorite flavors AND they were going to reward us with gelato? Too good to be true! I've been buying mine at my local Aldi, but looking over their site I see Walgreens and even some of our convienence stores carry it in store brands. I'm going to demand that our local Sam's Club buy it for us, I'm hoping my clout with buying large quantities of paper products may sway them!

They had sent 5 large containers of frozen Heaven and 3 individual sizes perfect for one. Coconut, Pistaschio, Dark Chocolate, Mango and Lemon. Packed in dry ice to arrive is perfect condition, it was frozen hard as a rock!

It's barely 9AM, I'm in my robe and fluffy socks unpacking my treasures when I realize I need to get hold of myself and take a picture of them for the blog. Well, before I put them in the freezer I should take a picture of one of the single serves. After all, that would save time.

I opened the Lemon Sorbeto and almost took a bite. No, it's too early. I'll just scoop it out and take a picture then put them all in the freezer.

Isn't it pretty in the dish, all frosty and fresh? One little bite won't hurt. Ohhhh, just like a fresh lemon, that ting on your tongue that reminds you of summertime and birds singing. Silky and cold, I ate the whole thing. At 9AM I had gulped down a serving without even thinking how many calories. It was too good to be diet...remember I'm supposed to be on one, I turned the container around and got the surprise of my life...it said 120 calories! How can that be??? 


That night we sampled the Pistachio Gelato. Loaded with nuts, creamy and smooth, but only 8% butterfat compared to 14-18% with premium ice cream. More flavor and less fat, amazing!

Over the weekend we made a real dent in the mango sorbeto (like eating a fresh mango) AND the chocolate(dark and decadent, just the way I like it)  and coconut (toasty, coconut-y and Creeeeeamy) gelatos. If you take a bite of  coconut and chase it with a bite of the Dark Chocolate...you have an Almond Joy!!!

Our favorites are the Lemon, Mango, Chocolate, Coconut and Pistachio! All of them, they are all delicious and irrisistable and addictive...but in a good way!

Go to Roba Dolce's website and find out where you can buy this yummy goodness. Even if you're dieting, this is like two rice cakes. Nothing equals two rice cakes so I'm saying go buy some today! Here's a coupon for $1 off, aren't they NICE???

Click Here to print a coupon

Thanks to Karen and Roba Dolce for giving us a little Italian get-a-way, right smack dab in the middle of winter!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Plaid and Proud of It


The first cold snap we had sent me searching to the back of the closet for my trusty flannel shirt that is my old friend. I love him, he became mine after a laundry accident rendered him useless to hubby. Shrunken from a large to a medium, he wasn't welcome on the other side of the closet. At first he felt hurt, unloved. His buddies, who he had hung out with laughed at him when they saw he was over on the "girl's side."

"Hey man, you looking kinda scrawny...did you fall into some hot water or somethin'?" Apparel can be so cruel!

He was ashamed to have lost his place on the rod with the big boys. No longer could he be considered one of the guys, pulled from the hanger on a regular basis...he was now looking at life from the gutter. Or at least that's what he thought.

The first time he went out with the Mrs. he got to see a different world. Up till then, he'd only seen the yard on days when Mr. raked leaves and ONCE he got to go to the hardware store. Living on the other side of the closet, he ran "errands." First the grocery store where he saw lots of other flannel shirts who smiled nicely at him and even a wink or two from some pink flannels that were hanging around the apple bin. Then onto the bookstore where he looked over the Mrs. shoulder at books about vacationing in far away lands. Finally they went through the drive through at Starbucks and the sweet girl at the window said "Where did you find that great shirt?" It made his day!

Since then, it's been a whirlwind of activity. He has became the Chosen One, the Mrs. wears him practically non-stop. He rarely gets a break, she wears him over a top when she's home. On cold days, he's invited on many trips to town. In and out of the washer, he barely gets hung up until he's going again. Now, on the rare occasions that he hangs across from his buds, he just smiles and tells them what he's been up to, they have a green with envy look on their plaid faces...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Idol Amateur Hour

A new season of American Idol has begun and I'm in hog heaven.!I don't watch a lot of network shows but this one captures my attention. Kind of a mix between the old Candid Camera and Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, it's makes me laugh and cry. The judges this year have changed, except for Randy. He remains to keep the new ones in check, to remind them why they are there. For Steven Tyler, that's a must! He's on stage wherever he is, I can imagine him belting into song and hamming it up at any opportunity. That's not to say he's not going to be a good judge. His musical talent is off the charts, he's just in a "different place" than the rest of the world most of the time! Jennifer Lopez is going to be a mix between Kara and Paula I think.

The crazies come out, the ones who are there just for the exposure. Surely they don't expect to be chosen, but who knows?

There's a fine line between dressing for success and dressing for disaster!

Wearing an outfit to stand out from the crowd can be dangerous...

Some choose "props" to make them memorable.

This guy's hobby was Civil War Enactments and it didn't parlay well into a career in show biz.

This contestant looked like he would have the best voice ever and bless his heart, he didn't.

It doesn't hurt in this competition to be beautiful, luckily her voice matched her looks!

Sometimes the audition doesn't go so well and they have to cry and beg, that worked for this girl.

Sometimes you just aren't cut out for the music business. This guy was a college student who's major in communications was going to take him somewhere. He had the radio voice downpat and most likely will be very successful in his quest to be a radio host.

It's America at it's finest and it's worst. It's the American Dream played out on reality TV. American Idol fills that period of the year when nothing good is on and we've got the wintertime blues. Love it or hate it, it's the best they can come up with these days!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sick abed









                       


                   Adj. 1. sick-abed - confined to bed (by illness)
It's that time of the year, when the most dreaded Flu Bug comes to visit. You can't hide from it because it can find you. It doesn't matter if you are in snowy Minnesota or balmy Miami... he can find his way to your house, sashay right in and turn your world upside down. If you are a Mom you know when it's going to happen, 2AM-ish and your little one wakes you from a dead sleep whimpering he's sick. The little dynamo that ran you ragged all day, ate a huge dinner and pleaded to stay up late is now sick as a dog. Rosy pink cheeks and limp as a noodle they are back to babies, helpless and in need of Mommy. I remember those days even though my kiddos are grown now. But life has a way of going in circles and now it's my Mom that's down with the bug and I'm the one worrying. I went to visit last week and the whole wing at Jamestown was sick. Virulent and mean, the Bug doesn't care whether you're young or old. She's over the worst of it now, but weakened from the whole ordeal. The Bug has moved on now, he may be getting close to your house so make sure you lock your doors and be on the lookout!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can you have this much fun at school?

What could make a kid this happy? An overnight field trip, i.e. you miss TWO days of school, you get to go hiking with 30 of your best friends AND you get to ride on the bus! Last week GRANDson Gavin and his 5th grade classroom got to go on a great trip to Ozark Natural Science Center in Madison County Arkansas. Remote, heavily wooded and nothing but nature as far as you can see...it's the perfect location to "enhance the understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Ozark Natural Environment." The Center offers school and summer programs that focus on the importance of natural systems around us.
 
Mrs. Jefferson is ONE COOL TEACHER, with 23 years under her belt she can do anything...even an overnight trip with 30 kids!

Over a few hills, around a few curves and they were there. It was even better than Gavin was expecting!

There were cool exibits in the Education building...


 Every year, over 3,800 students from public and private schools in northwest and central Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma experience the beauty of the Ozarks through school programs. They offer unique learning experiences taught by teacher-naturalists with lessons and activities that correlate with science learning standards set forth by the Arkansas Department of Education. The kids have a great time while learning all about biology, ecology, geology, and social studies!  

First things first, they fed them all a great lunch before heading off on a 5 hour hike!

ONSC uses the 489 acre Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission Bear Hollow Natural Area with over 7 1/2 miles of trails, bluff shelters, rock outcroppings, glades, a historic farmhouse and cabin, and beautiful vistas to teach water quality and conservation along the crystal clear waters of Bear Hollow Creek. ONSC is also adjacent to the approximately 15,000 acre Arkansas Game and Fish Commission McIlroy-Madison County Wildlife Management Area. Summer programs includes forest and cave ecology while enjoying the beautiful waterfalls and creeks.





The hike was wasn't an easy one, up and down mountains and ravines, but all along the way there were treasures to be found...

...like deer scat!
  
..and bright green moss growing on boulders in the dead of winter.

Lichen on a tree branch...



Amazing vines and trees that should have died but didn't...

Mother Nature is amazing!




The best part, being with your friends and not in school!





 






It was a great opportunity for the kids to enjoy learning while hiking, examining aquatic insects and discussing water quality, exploring the forests of Bear Hollow looking for unique plants and animals or animal sign, and spending the evening enjoying music and some drama around a crackling campfire. If you'd like to come for a visit, contact
Ozark Natural Science Center for their list of programs.
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