Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Date Nights - February

We picked two very different, but equally fun date nights for February. I happened to see an advertisement for a couples' cupcake decorating event on Valentine's Day when I stopped in a local cupcake shop to get a couple treats to celebrate our engagement anniversary at the end of last year. Chris opted for a fun night out at an arcade in the heart of downtown Columbus.

Our Cupcakery is a cute little shop in Dublin. They have lots of neat classes and their products are quite tasty! For our Valentine's Day event, we spent most of the time working on various fondant designs at three different stations. We laughed our way through the sticky fondant fun. The second room is where we rolled out tiny roses - my favorite one! Finally, we added some shimmery dust to a couple of fondant hearts. After all our designs were created, we received some instruction on how to fill the cupcakes and then ice them. Chris and I decided to put strawberry filling in our chocolate cupcake, lemon filling in our vanilla cupcake, and stick with buttercream icing to fill our red velvet. I really enjoyed this part of the night, but Chris thought it was a mess. I think he preferred rolling and cutting the fondant. Either way, we did pretty good for a couple of fondant novices! Tasted amazing, too.

Chris found a unique spot for date night - Old North Arcade. The place has every arcade game you can imagine as well as a number of stations set up with Nintendo, Xbox, Sega, etc game consoles. We got there a little on the early side of the night which was a great idea because we had our pick of games. By the time we left a couple hours later, the place was pretty crowded. I enjoyed playing Ms. Pac Man and a new game I found called X-Bert. Chris liked the NBA and NFL games. I played those with him, but I wasn't much competition. We also found an old school Nintendo Mario Bros game open and played that for awhile. We wanted to try Mario Kart, but never could catch it when no one else was playing. It was definitely a fun night full of nostalgia and lots of laughs.

What are your favorite local date night spots?

Andrea :)

Book Reviews: Read the Rainbow (Orange)

This year, I decided to link up with Mia to Read the Rainbow. I did a little better with orange than red. I really enjoyed all four books I read for the challenge this month.

I had read this book years ago, but was happy to pick it back up again. The story always speaks to me. Life seems like such a search and find mission sometimes, but if we look close enough we can usually find everything we are looking for right under our noses. Definitely recommend this fairly quick read if you haven't ever given it a shot.

This book spans several years beginning with Sarah and Handful being pre-teens and ending with them in their 30's. I enjoyed how the story jumped back and forth between the point of view of each person. In the early parts, it was interesting to hear the two different takes on a similar experience. Toward the end, it was fascinating to compare the decisions and lifestyles. I'm glad I took the time to read this one, but there were a few points throughout where it felt really bogged down in the details. Overall, I enjoyed it though.

I loved hearing the story of the Fugees soccer team. What an incredible servant of a coach - wow! I loved how the book reflected on how members came to find the team as well as the struggles that existed in scheduling and resources (goals, transportation) for the team as a whole. The entire book is really well put together. I would highly recommend reading this one if you have interest in exploring the injustices that still exist for refugees and those of color in our diverse America.

I wish I had read this one before Outcasts United because it is the story of one of the lost boys from initial attack on his village to his life as a refugee that eventually returns to South Sudan. This is a pretty quick read. I would recommend it for anyone that thinks seeking refuge in the US is an easy process or quick decision. I can't even fathom the scenes described in this true story. This one is worth reading for sure.

Have you read any good books this month?

Andrea :)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Happy Birthday, Christopher!

We had a great time celebrating Christopher yesterday! I took the day off work, and we had a relaxing day filled with a few presents and a lot of fun. Our first stop was Duck Donuts to design some breakfast treats. This place is really neat. I loved that we could watch them put together our creations. And they taste yummy, too!!

Chris had been wanting to see Black Panther since its release so we went to an afternoon show. It was a neat movie even for those of us (me) that aren't too crazy about the Marvel movies. There is a great overarching message to the movie and the scenery and costumes are amazing. Definitely check it out if you have a chance!

We went to a hibachi restaurant we recently found here in Columbus for dinner. It was SO good, but we left completely stuffed. Next time, I need to ask for a to go box at the beginning and put about half of it in there! :) I took some photos of Chris with his cake, but we decided to just take it to our small group meeting tonight since neither of us could bring ourselves to eat any after our massive dinner.

I am so thankful to have such a wonderful husband. It was fun celebrating him all day. He was happy to have a relaxing, low key day topped off with watching a Knicks game on TV last night. Cheers to the rest of his 37th year being just as wonderful. I love you, Christopher!

Andrea :)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Book Reviews: Read the Rainbow (Red)

This year, I decided to link up with Mia to Read the Rainbow. I am a little late in getting my January (Red) reads reviewed; nevertheless, here are reviews of the two red books I completed.

What a classic story! This one was a re-read for me because I want to read the full series this year. I wanted to be sure the story was fresh in my mind. It is truly a great book. The length is perfect. Each time I interact with this story, it really makes me think. I can't imagine living in the world Lois Lowery created, but I am equally fascinated by it. If you haven't read this one, I highly suggest checking it out.

I started this book last year, but never made time to finish it. The content is certainly engaging, but it digs deep. I have followed Kelly's blog for the past few years and always find his posts insightful. This book is no different. In fact, he incorporates some of his more popular blog posts throughout.

Have you read any good books lately?

Andrea :)