Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Lunch With Friends at J & J BBQ!

I am back from a week in Illinois visiting my children and grand baby!  I had a wonderful time!  We went to Chicago twice and the rest of the week was spent shopping, shopping shopping!  I found so many amazing deals for my new guest room and fashion posts!  But I will share more about my trip in the weeks to come.

For today's travel post, I want to cover a little trip I took in my own neck of the woods right before I left for Illinois.  I met up with two good friends to have lunch at this quaint BBQ restaurant in Nelson, Wisconsin called "J&J BBQ".

I love BBQ sandwiches and I have been wanting to go to this restaurant for ages!  It's only 20 minutes from my home, but for some reason I could never seem to get there.  So when the girls and I were deciding what to do for a get-together I suggested this place...and I'm happy they agreed!

 It's hard not to miss this cute little gem.  It's painted a very bright red with a yellow accent color.  And during the warmer months, it's usually packed full with customers!  You know it's a good restaurant when you see lots of people inside!

This restaurant is listed as the #1 out of 5 restaurants in Nelson.  But that's not saying much as Nelson is a very small town.  I read a lot of the reviews on Trip Advisor, and the majority are positive with a average rating of 4.5 stars.  Some people didn't like the atmosphere.  One person referred to it as "townie".  I found that one hysterical.  What do you expect to find in a small Midwestern town?  A five-star gourmet restaurant?  Plus, I couldn't disagree with the reviewer more:  I LOVED the atmosphere of this restaurant.  I found it absolutely charming!

It is packed from floor to ceiling with quirky signs and nick-knacks that are fun to look at and read.  They are also available for purchase.  You definitely have a lot to look at and you won't get bored if the conversation at your table wanes.

The restaurant had an old-fashioned charm with the hardwood floors, counter tops, and furnishings.  I loved this antique hutch filled with food items available for purchase.

 How long has it been since you've seen a pay phone like this?

This is the main dining room.  There are old fashioned booths along the wall and vintage tables in the center of the room along with a unique barrel table with a soda cap top (you can see the top of the table in the photo below).  There is also a larger over-flow dining area that is not as colorful as the main dining room.  I didn't photograph it as there was a group eating in there and I did not want to be intrusive.

Here is the barrel table with the service counter in the background.  The restaurant also serves ice cream and chicken to go!

So by now your probably thinking, "Enough about the decor, how was the food?".  Absolutely DELICIOUS!  I visited the restaurant with two girlfriends and we each ordered something different.  They graciously allowed me to photograph and taste their food orders for the blog.

First up, my order:  I had the Southern BBQ Pork Basket.  My two sides were beans and potato salad (you could pick your sides).  I absolutely loved everything in my basket!  The pork was so tender it melted in my mouth!  And I loved the flavor of the beans and potatoes.  My only complaint would be the bun choice.  I liked it, but I would have preferred a more traditional style of bun like what Danna's BBQ in Branson served.

My friend was smart and ordered a BBQ Brisket dinner.  She asked for a container to go, and when the food was delivered to her table she immediately split it in half to take home to her son.  This was what was left on her plate AFTER she split it.  Her actions gave me the idea to come here with my own husband and split a dinner!

Would you believe I had never heard of a Beef Brisket until I watched a episode of "Young Sheldon"?    I found out in that episode how long and difficult cooking a perfect Beef Brisket is, and it made me wonder what it tasted like!  My friend gave me a small piece of hers, and it tasted just like prime rib to me.  And this meat also melted in my mouth it was so tender!

She chose Cole slaw, corn bread, and fries as her sides.  I didn't try the corn bread, but the fries and Cole slaw were perfect!

My other friend ordered a Pulled Chicken Wrap with a side of fries.  I couldn't believe how huge it was!

My friend opened up her wrap so I could photograph the inside.  It was a chipotle wrap filled with hickory smoked chicken, lettuce and tomato.  She let me have a piece of chicken and like all the other meat I tasted, it melted in my mouth! Yum!

All the meats are smoked right on-site for 4 to 8 hours!  No wonder they melt in your melt!

If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping in and visiting this restaurant.  The prices were reasonable and the service was great too!

Finally,  I wanted to show you some "Galentine's" Cards I made for my girlfriends.  We met two days after Valentine's Day, so I made them these cute cards and I put them in cellophane bags with a couple of dark chocolates.  I made little tags using my Cricket Expression.

I used vintage images from Crafty Secrets to make my card.  These stamps are no longer available as the company went out of business :(.

Even though I made these cards for Valentine's Day, these would be great as general Friendship cards as well:  especially if you change the papers/colors.

I embellished this card with store bought felt hearts and heart ribbon.  The sentiment tags were made with a MFT banner die.

With both cards, I did a window layout.  I cut a square opening using Spellbinders dies, then I popped the outer panel up on dimensionals and decorated the edge of the square with a scalloped die cut.

My next card has the same layout, just a different Crafty Secrets image, paper, and embellishments.

For this card I used a felt heart button!

I covered the heart in the image with red glitter glue.

I had so much fun making these Friendship cards and hanging out with my friends this day!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, February 19, 2018

On Winter Break

I am going to Chicago to visit my children and grand baby for a week!  One entire week of cuddles and kisses!  I'm so excited!  I will back to a regular blogging schedule on Wednesday,  February 28th!
I will still be posting to Instagram and sharing our Chicago-land adventures to Instastories!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Pearl Embellished Sweatshirt

 Did everyone have a Happy Valentine's Day?  My husband and I love this holiday and because it landed on a Wednesday this year we decided to celebrate twice.  We first went out the weekend before for a day-date!  We went out to lunch and then went to see the latest Thor movie.  Oh my goodness, it was so funny.  I just about bust a gut when Thor saw "The Incredible Hulk" and said "Yes! I know him!  We work together!".  Then, because my husband has a 60 hour week week plus commutes 10 hours a week, we had a romantic candlelight dinner at home on Wednesday.  You may have seen pictures of our inexpensive sirloin sizzler meal and my decorations on my Instastories.  I had so much fun decorating the table and deciding what to serve.

This is what I wore on our first Valentine date.  It was such a bitter cold day I thought I would die just wearing this wool coat and not my parka.  We knew there was no way I could take pictures outside in this cold, so we walked down the street a bit hoping there was a cute lobby somewhere...and there was.

If I had known how bitter cold it would be that day, I wouldn't have worn this coat.  I just wanted to wear red for Valentine's Day and this coat seem perfect.

Underneath the red wool coat, I wore white skinny jeans, a grey pearl embellished sweatshirt, and grey booties.

Even though the lighting wasn't the best, I was so happy to find a spot indoors with some interesting architecture to take pictures.  This is a recently remodeled hotel in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin called The Lismore.  We had never been here before.  They had the coolest coffee shop in the lobby that would have perfect for taking pictures, but there were way to many college students inside.  I was so bummed!  The lighting and atmosphere was perfect for fashion photography.  I'll have to find out when it's not quite so busy.

My pearl embellished sweatshirt is by Liz Claiborne and my jeans are from Charlotte Russe. 

I was thrilled to find this top but I was mad because when I bought it, it was on sale for $27.00 and I used a $10.00 coupon on it.  Now it's already on clearance for only $13.20!  UGH!  Oh well, that happens sometimes!  If you like it, scoop it up!  Because it super cute and comfortable!  I like that the pearl embellishments are so small.  Some of the pearl embellished tops I've seen have really large pearls on them, and I don't like that at all.

The top also has these unique tie sleeves.  I knew pearl embellished anything was totally trending;  how could you miss it?  You can't walk into any store anywhere without seeing pearls covered all over everything!  But I had no idea these cute ties were back.  I started seeing these adorable ties on a lot of tops as well.

For jewelry, I accented with silver and more pearls!  I wore three silver bracelets, silver rings, and pearl earrings.

I continued with the grey theme by wearing grey booties by Blowfish (old, similar).

I really loved the modern architecture and feel of this newly designed hotel.  I did not however like the black and white mural you can catch a peek of in some of my photos.  Lets just say it is not family-friendly.  My husband and I couldn't believe this ugly mural was even in the lobby.  I wonder what someone was drinking when they decided to put it on the wall.  haha!  Now, if your an Eau Claire native don't drive right over and check it out.  It's not that obscene or anything, it's just gross.  It's more of a obscene suggestion.  Now I probably got all my readers curiosity up.  haha!  Sorry.  I'm not going to tell!  :)

I love that this top is a sweatshirt material because it's so soft and comfortable to wear.  Yet, the pearls and ties glam it up a bit!  I love clothes that look dressy but are super comfortable to wear.

I've fallen in love with these high-waisted jeans as well.  I loved them so much I bought another pair in the exact same style but in a different color.  I also bought a pair of dark high-waisted denim as well.  Charlotte Russe is having a jean sale right now:  all their jeans are only $25.00!  I couldn't have been more pleased as I am trying to weed out all my low-rise jeans so I have nothing but high-rise or mid-rise in stretch denim.

I don't know if it's the high-rise or what, but I thought these jeans made my legs look super long and thin.  Who doesn't want that?

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I've Been "Grilled" on "Grilled Grandmas"!

I'm been "Grilled" On "Grilled Grandmas"!  

I'm so happy to be featured on Grandma's Briefs today!  Lisa does a "Grilled Grandmas" feature on her blog.  Here is her description of this feature:

A Grilled Grandma is a grandmother on whom I've shone the spotlight, grilling her with some grandma-related questions and she's graciously responded with answers and photos.

It was so fun answering Lisa's questions and picking out which photos to include in the feature.  And I especially love that Alethea and I were featured on Valentine's Day!  She is my little Valentine after all!

Check out the post HERE!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Handmade Valentine Cards and Tags

Valentine's Day is tomorrow and if you've procrastinated and are still looking for some ideas for handmade cards and tags I have a few for you!

Every Valentine's Day I make my husband and children handmade cards.  And this year, I have my very first grand baby to give Valentine's Day gifts too so I made her a card as well.  

This is the card I made for my husband.  I cased the layout from this card, but I used a different sentiment stamp and papers.

I've had all these little hearts in my stash for years.  The upper right heart is a button, and the lower two are made of felt and foam.

My next card I cased from this card.  I just thought it was the cutest idea and the design would go perfectly with a book I bought for Alethea.  It was so simple and fun to make.  Again, I followed the original design but used all my own supplies.  I didn't have to buy a thing!

I cut all the caterpillar hearts out of card stock using a heart die from Spellbinders.  The little hearts are made of fuzzy pink felt (I had these in my stash).  I added little google eyes and black pom poms and bakers twine for the antennae.

I saw this book at Walmart and I thought it was so cute! I love the story line, and it's very interactive! Perfect for little kids or babies who can't read yet!  The card I made went perfect with the bug theme of the book!

My next card I made for my son Jordan.  For Christmas, he gave me a package of card fronts to color and make cards out of.  I absolutely love these cards!  Even though there is a lot of coloring involved, they actually make quick and easy cards because I don't have to spend hours trying to design a layout (the hardest thing for me to do when making cards).  I just color the image and slap it on a card base and I'm done!

I did put the coloring panel on a piece of black card stock to make it pop against the white card base.  I also added some hearts to personalize it for Valentine's Day.

The cards come in this cute little box.  I decided to include my fingers in the photo to give you some idea of the scale.

There are 44 inspirational cards inside the box. They are not Valentine cards (I just took two cards with a love theme and turned them into Valentine Cards by adding hearts and a "Happy Valentine's Day" sentiment inside.  They are just generic, spiritual cards that you could use for any occasion.

Here is a sample of what the cards look like before they are colored.  I used Stampin' Up! markers to color mine.  If you like to give handmade cards but you may not be the most creative person in the world, or maybe you don't have a lot of time or stamping supplies, these are a great alternative.  You can find them on Amazon HERE for only $4.11!  What a deal!  You couldn't buy a card that inexpensive and you get 44!

I also made my daughter and son-in-law a card using a coloring panel from the same kit.  Once again, I popped the colored panel onto a black base before adhering to a white card base.

I added little pink paper hearts and Stickles (glitter glue) to personalize it a bit.

I also gave everyone a small gift and I made tags to with them.  They are very simple.  I just cut tag shapes using my Spellbinders Tag Die then I stuck a Valentine felt shape on it (all from my stash).  I hand wrote their names with a red gel pen.

I put Jason's gift in a bag I decorated for Valentine's Days.  It's just a simple white bag with designer paper glued to it.  The sentiment on the bag was created with a stamp.  I added ribbon and two paper hearts for embellishment.

For Alethea's and Ashley gifts, I wrapped them in Valentine tissue paper and tied with a white bow!

 For Jordan's gift, I just filled a medium size red bag with candy and tied the handles together with the tag and ribbon.

And I can't finish the post without showing a picture of my little cuddle bug after she opened her Valentine's Gift.  I had to laugh at how much she enjoyed playing in the box.  I shipped the box last Thursday because that's the day of the week I run my errands so they received their Valentine's presents a little early!

I hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day!  Please take some time time on Valentines Day to tell or show the loved ones in your life how much you love them!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!