Friday, March 15, 2013

I wish I was a mermaid and was friends with all the fish

..... a shiny tail and seashells, that would be my wish.

Except the rather large, 120-year-old alligator snapping turtle, I don't think I want to be friends with him.

Last weekend, we finally put Cole's Christmas present from me to good use. Muse tickets! Since the concert was in Tulsa, we decided to make a day out of it and make a pit stop at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks.



Holy star fish! There was lots to see. There also was lots to touch! One of the first exhibits was a set of small ponds and streams where you could stick your hands in the water and touch the fish, shrimp, and horse shoe crabs (yes, these were the exact same size and shape of a horse's hoof - and yes, I am qualified to make this statement).

While I had my hand in the stream, patiently waiting on Nemo to swim up to me (he was really close, guys, no lie!) I may or may not have let out a very loud shriek. That huge yellow fish in the picture to the right came OUT OF NOWHERE, and swam between my fingers. I kid you not. It was scary ya'll.... Like fish nibbling on your toes in the middle of the lake kinda scary. To the lady behind me that jumped about ten feet in the air when I screamed, I sincerely apologize... but you woulda done the same thing! 


One thing I really loved about this Aquarium is that it was broken up into sections such as "Aquatic Oklahoma" and "The Ozark Stream," which allowed you to view animals and fish that are found in your area, much like the way the Oklahoma Zoo is set up. Wow, Oklahoma, you are full of some monster catfish. I guess thats why Noodling is such a big hoo-rah?! Did you know Alligators are found in Oklahoma, too? Yikes. That makes me second guess swimming across the cove at the lake.......


Of course, like any good Aquarium now-a-days, there was a large supply of Nemos and Doris to make sure it gets the kid's stamp of approval Thanks to Nemo, however, I now have a lot of trouble saying the word "anemone." I just can't spit it out! B, T, DUB, did you know anemones are sticky? Yeah, thats right, your fingers stick to them like white on rice (they had an anemone touching exhibit, too, thats how I know!).

"I shall call him squishy, and he will be mine, and he will be my squishy!"

In addition, the Aquarium had a giant walk through shark tank, a turtle feeding station, a sting ray feeding pool, an Extreme Amazon tank that kids could climb through and stand inside of (I was too big to fit through the hole, sad face), and your fair share of creepy crawlies like electric eels and water snakes. Yuck! My absolute favorite, however was the beaver. I had no idea beavers were so cute and playful!! I could have watched him for hours. He was a showoff, swimming back and fourth and doing flips in the water, always coming up to the glass to say hello. Mr. Beaver, thanks for putting a smile on my face! 

After the Aquarium, we headed to dinner at Brooks. Creamy mac and cheese shells, you make my heart flutter... Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches don't hurt much, either (so not Paleo, tisk tisk). Then it was off to the concert! If you like strobe lights, this is the concert for you. Even if you don't know the songs, Muse is still well worth seeing live. They put on a great show and can truly be called "entertainers." Don't believe me, Beiber fans? See for yourself:

video


*Thanks to my good photog friend Mitch Alcala for making this post possible by helping me recover these photos. 

Tip: Learn from my mistakes... make sure you hit "import all" instead of "delete all" next time you are importing pictures!





Wednesday, March 6, 2013

road trippin' with my two favorite allies

"Boyfriend and girlfriend go to isolated cabin in the woods..." It sounds like the start of a good number of horror films. Cabin in the Woods, Evil Dead and Friday the 13th to name a few. But don't worry, this is just your every day rom-com. Or is it?

Last weekend, Cole and I hit the road and made our way down to Fort Cobb, Okla., to his family's cabin, for no reason other than to relax and get it ready for summer. Let me tell ya, folks, it was just what the doctor ordered. Laying in a hammock on the first spring-like day in Oklahoma, cuddling with my man with my pup at my side.....it doesn't get any better than that. Are you jealous? Cause you should be.


The cabin was wonderful. It was decorated much like I assume my grandparent's house was in 1973. Lots of pea green and mustard yellow, crocheted pillows and fruit table cloths - so hipster! Upon our arrival, Chloe decided to go for one of her runs (ie: she took off down the road when she jumped out of the car. Just call her Chloe the Exploree). She also decided to later dig four large holes and get dog poo all over Cole's new Chucks.... How dare we tie her up and go eat without her! What were we thinking?! The cabin came complete with an outhouse. Yep, an actual, real life outhouse. Lucky for me there was a working toilet installed inside, too.


We made our way down to the lake to see if the recent "blizzard" had helped the water levels. It hadn't. But it sure served as a pretty photo backdrop. Oklahoma is just about due for Tornado Season; here's to hoping it brings a lot of rain along with it because I don't think this dock serves much of a purpose right now.... I can't catch many fish off of it, thats for sure.


     Cole is a great model, don't you think?  




That evening, we headed down to the local bar, The Crow's Roost. It may be a hole in the wall, but it was hospitality at its finest - thats what I love about small towns. As soon as we walked in the door, the owner, your typical smoker lady bar tender, knew exactly who Cole was (even though he hadn't been there in almost a year). She chatted with us the whole time and hugged me when we left and said she hoped to see us again soon. The best part? It was a dog friendly bar. Its safe to say I made several new canine friends. My favorite event of the evening was when we dropped quarters in a pickle jar of goo. If you could get it in the shot glass, you got a free beer. Not to rub it in, but I made it and Cole didn't. It was nice to finally beat him at something, even if it was by pure luck (I have yet to be that lucky when it comes to basketball or Mario Kart)!

The next morning, we ate breakfast at the convenient store just down the road. I wish my local 7-11 had a menu like this. If it did I would be considered a regular (and also be about 12 pounds heavier). Bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes... you name it! And all for around $2-3 a pop. Can't beat that. It was even decorated with vintage Coca-Cola dec√≥r to make you feel right at home. You would be drooling over a picture of my bacon egg and cheese biscuit right now, but I forgot my camera and both of our phones were dead. Please forgive me. We did meet this super friendly dog though, he really didn't want us to leave and kept pawing at our feet while crawling in circles. Can we keep him?!?

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After some exploring, taking Chloe on a walk, our hammock time and an episode of Game of Thrones (Season 3 is about to premiere, if you aren't caught up, I suggest you get on it!), we headed out for lunch at the Deckboat. The best steak in town, mind you. My waist line can attest to how delicious their food was. I ordered some of the best fried catfish this side of the Mississippi - and Oklahoma knows how to do catfish! It also came with bread, a salad, french fries and cake to boot! Hi, hello, delicious. I will definitely be returning (preferably with a very empty stomach). I brought my camera this time, but accidentally scarfed down the food before thinking about taking a picture... it was just that good. Can you blame me?

It was the perfect relaxing weekend and just what I needed before starting Convention week at work. The copious amounts of Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, Kettle Chips and other goodies I consumed didn't hurt much either... We all need a pig out weekend every once in a while, right? Lucky for us, nothing too horror film-ish took place while we were there.... Other than fighting off a few angry wasps and discovering a dead mouse... But no worries, I have plenty of experience in that area.


















See you soon, Fort Cobb. Stay classy

Monday, March 4, 2013

cuppies for clovers

I consider myself to be a cupcake connoisseur. I have searched high and low for the best cupcakes in Oklahoma City (Green Goodies gets a W in my book). In a perfect world, I would be able to try all of the cupcake recipes I pinned on Pinterest with out my waistline being affected..... Who wants to volunteer to sample them for me?! Any takers? (The catch is that you have to pay for the ingredients too, but shhh, don't tell!)

Every holiday is an excuse to bake, right? Right. St. Patty's Day is upon us, and you know what that means: beer. Lots and lots of beer. Why not combine beer and cupcakes (two of life's great pleasures) and mix up a batch of these super easy, 3-ingredient Guinness Cupcakes? They are Amanda tested, Cole and Ryan approved. You won't be disappointed, I promise. 


Guinness Cupcakes

Ingredients: 
  • 1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 12 ou. Guinness 
  • 1 container of cream cheese icing (or make your own!)


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine Guinness and cake mix. Mix well and transfer to lined cupcake tin and bake 19-22 minutes.
  3. Let cool and frost. 
If you wanted, you could add green food coloring to the frosting to be extra festive for St. Patty's Day. You could even experiment with adding some Bailey's to the frosting.... mmm... I think I'll give that a try next time. 


P.S. Want to know where to get a good steak (errr, in my case, catfish) in Fort Cobb, Okla.? Stay tuned!