#SorryNotSorry

LittleRainCloudImageHELLOOOOO??  Anybody out there?  I’d say sorry I haven’t posted for awhile, but I’m not. I had just realized I was spending way to much time on my computer, iPhone, iPad & whatever other technology based gadget I could get my hands on!  So much so, I wasn’t getting out and doing anything on the weekends because by the time I walked away from my computer or whatever I was using, my weekends were gone, which left me not feeling so great because I wasted so much time.  Recently, I banned all electronics to my office area, so if I want to be on the computer, I have to go to that room if I want to look something up, rather than having it attached to me from the time I get home from work until I go to bed.  I’ve noticed it’s helped me mix things up a bit.  Now I’ll come home, make dinner and then sit down and enjoy it while I watch a random episode of something on the t.v.  Then I’ll head to the office to do a quick check of things online and then since I’m in my office where I have all my art supplies, I’m more prone to playing around with my paints and brushes vs. starring at the computer screen, which I already do Mon.-Fri. from 9-6.

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I’ve also been trying to work on a few sketches and come up with some new ideas of things to paint.  You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to come up with ideas, but sometimes it my mind is as blank as my canvas when it comes to new ideas.  Kinda of like writers block, I guess.  Any of you out there have any ideas of things to paint that you may be interested in if they were in my shop?  Feel free to throw out some ideas!  I’m always game for a new challenge!

I am pretty excited that I have had a couple of sales over in my etsy shop over the past couple of weeks! I think I screamed when I got my first actual sale & then a week later I had a request for a custom painting!  Made my week!  I’ve even had some other e-mails for possible requests in the future….LOVE!  I’m my own worst critic & you have no idea how thrilled it makes me feel when someone likes my work!

Besides disconnecting from technology a bit & painting, I’ve also been busy blogging believe it or not.  Where are these posts, you ask?  Well, currently they are all saved in draft mode & will be published over on i.seekissimmee.com sometime in the coming week.  You’ll see me under the “Who’s Next” section if you go over to the website now.  I did the same thing last year and enjoyed it so much, I signed up a year ago for another crack at being their guest blogger for a week.  I love writing up all those posts, but man am I glad I’ve got them all done and out of the way.

Anyways, I just thought I’d pop my head in for a bit & let you know I’m still alive!  Just been too busy getting messy playing with my paints lately & enjoying it!  Well, I will do my best to write a little more regularly, but I can’t make any promises!  Have a great weekend y’all!

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A Much Needed Saturday Out

Man…weekends are just too darn short!  After another crazy week at work this week, I decided I needed a day out on Saturday, so I made plans to meetup with some peeps at Downtown Disney around 1:00, so I could sleep in that morning and enjoy snuggling in my bed while the weather is cooler out.  Headed out the door around 12:30 and as soon as I got on I-4, it was a parking lot.  What is typically a 20 minute or so drive turned into a 50 minute drive….BLAH!  Once I finally got parked and met up with my peeps at the bar at Bongos, we decided to head over to Raglan Road for lunch.

RaglanRoadSince I slept in…I ended up eating a breakfast at 11:00, so I wasn’t hungry, so I just got dessert…bread pudding.  OMG…so good!  I would highly recommend getting this dessert if you get the chance, but you may want to order it and plan on sharing!  Unfortunately, I was only able to eat about 1/3 of the dessert, but since we were heading to the parks, I didn’t want to mess with getting it to go & everyone else was too full from there lunches to eat any of it.  It was really a shame for so much of it to go to waste….it was piping hot and came with a carmel sauce and a vanilla cream sauce that you could pour over the top of it….Nom,Nom,Nom!!  I’ll definitely be headed back to this place one of these days when I actually have an appetite!

RaglanRdBreadPuddingWhen we were all done, we headed for Epcot as our park of choice for the day.  It was nice and cool out and great weather for just walking around the park in a hoodie.  We ended up going on the Finding  Nemo ride & then The Land ride & then after that we walked around the World Showcase.  Unfortunately, the park was crazy busy for some odd reason…maybe because of the 3-day weekend for people with President’s Day off…not sure, but it was really odd for this time of year to see so many people.  To give you an idea…it was an hour wait if you wanted to do the little Viking boat ride in Norway, it was a 2 hour wait for Soarin’ & a 3 hour wait for Test Track!  Needless to say, after we walked completely around the World Showcase, we decided to check our Disney app to see what the wait times were like at Magic Kingdom & the other parks and they were insane.  So we decided to call it a day at the park.

I wasn’t in any hurry to go home, so a couple of us decided to just head back down to Downtown Disney and hit up a movie at the AMC movie theater.  We ended up deciding on “Hansel & Gretel”.  I love fairytale related stuff & I was quite curious on what kind of a twist they were going to put on this old fairytale.  The movie was actually pretty good to my surprise.  It was a bit too much on the guts and gore side for my taste, but it was still a pretty good movie.  Definitely not a kid friendly movie!  The witches are pretty “scary” looking and like I said…lots of blood and guts!

Hansel-and-Gretel-Witch-Hunters-2012-Movie-PosterAfter that, we called it a night and I headed home in another crazy amount of slow traffic on I-4.  So, by the time I got home, I just decided to have a nice hot cup of tea & read for the night before getting all cozy in bed.  All in all, it was a pretty good day out!

Cutest Fairytale Photoshoot Ever!

Alright everyone!  Be prepared to be blown away by what I think is the cutest baby photoshoot EVER!  If you know me, you know I LOVE anything fairytale related, so I totally fell in love with these photos when I saw them!  What’s awesome is that these were taken of one of my high school classmates little girl, Maddie.  I’d be surprise if you haven’t seen these photos yet, as Miss Maddie has taken Pinterest by storm!  The photographer, Wendi Riggins, is based in my hometown of Burlington, IA & you can view more of her fabulous & oh so creative photos one her blog WendiRiggins.com. Anyways, I thought these were too adorable not to share, so, enjoy the photos from Wendi’s “Once Upon A Time” photoshoot!  Make sure to check out WendiRiggins.com for more photos!

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Maddie.PP2Maddie.Alice

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Maddie.The End

Veggie Cheese Soup…A Christmas Eve Tradition

Happy Christmas Eve!  Even though I don’t get to be at home with the family this year I still kept up tradition and made Veggie Cheese Soup.  It’s something our family has done for years!  Every Christmas Eve, we have Veggie Cheese Soup & sub sandwiches.  It nice knowing that even though I’m not sitting at the dining room table this year, I’m still eating the same thing as they are, so I’m there in spirit!  What are some of your family traditions?

Well, without further ado….I leave you with the recipe for my mom’s out of this world Veggie Cheese Soup!

Veggie Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Onion

1 Cup of Celery

2.5 Cups of Diced Potatoes

1lb. bag of frozen California Mix Veggies

2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup

1lb. of Velveeta Cheese

Directions:  Put all veggies in a big pot and fill pot with just enough water to cover the veggies.  Cook until veggies are tender.  Add in 2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup & dice up a pound of Velveeta Cheese & put in the pot with the veggies.  Continuously stir until all cheese is melted.  You may want to turn the burner on medium to low heat so the cheese doesn’t burn.  Once all the cheese is melted, it’s ready to serve!

Bon Appetit!

Salon Time, Shopping & Friends…

To put it short & sweet…I had a pretty good weekend.  I had taken Friday off & spent a good portion of the day at Aveda getting some new highlights/lowlights.

Then as soon as my appointment was done at Aveda, I headed to Ulta to see by brow girl.

Then on Saturday morning I got up fairly early & headed for the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall in search of a light coat, since I’m flying back him to Illinois on Friday for close to a week and a half & I know it’s going to be chilly!  It’ll probably be the temperatures I used to love, but Florida has spoiled me and chilly in Florida is 70 degrees.  Well, I made the mistake of going in the Coach store & then them handing me a 30% off coupon as soon as I walked in the door.  Doomed from the start!  I sharked the store about 5 times & finally narrowed down my choice & walked out with a brand new purse.  I love purses like most people love shoes, but I only buy a new purse maybe once a year and I use it till it’s falling apart, so I don’t feel bad.  Would love to have a matching wallet, but I have a hard time spending that much money on a wallet…buy that time, I wouldn’t have anything to put in it!
After the Coach store…I popped in one more store & grabbed a cute scarf & then headed home before I spent any more money.  After chilling out at home for a couple of hours & headed back out for an evening with friends at Downtown Disney.  The Festival of Masters art show was going on & it’s always neat to see all the Disney artwork.  The only downside of going to this even was parking…45 minutes driving around the parking lot before finding a spot to park…wasn’t a happy camper.  But the frown was quickly turned upside down when I met up with the BFF to scope out the art work.  They actually seemed to have a lot more art work out vs. last years event.

After looking around and working up an appetite, we quickly decided to do dessert first after walking by the Ghiradelli store and the amazing chocolate smell that was hanging in the air.  We ran in one of the shops and picked out one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had….so good!  After shopping around for awhile, we finally decided we were ready for dinner & decided to try the House of Blues since we’d never ate there before.  Bad side…it was about an hour wait and then when we finally got in and seated it just wasn’t the best experience.  All of the workers were pretty rude, which is unusual when you’re in a Disney area!  Food was all overpriced and nothing to write home about…I don’t think I’ll be going back, but that’s just my personal opinion.  When I’m spending money to go out, I don’t appreciate rude service whatsoever!

After dinner…when met up with a good friend to catch up on life events and what not & just had a good time out walking and talking.  So Saturday was a pretty good day in my book!  Then Sunday I ran around and did a little more shopping and picked up some odds and ends & that was my weekend.  Now I’m counting down the days until Friday when I fly home to see family!  Can’t wait, but I will miss my friends in Florida that I’ve gotten quite used to getting someone out and about at least one day every weekend. 🙂

Disney & BFF’s…Can it Get Any Better?

The weekend is over….Boo!  I had a nice long weekend, since I had Friday off.  Friday & Sunday were spent running errands and relaxing.  Saturday was a Disney day with the be sties.

We spent a good majority of the day enjoying the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.  We were kind of hoping for the cooler weather we have had all week, so we could wear jeans and sweaters and enjoy some fall weather, but we got clear skies, hot sun & no breeze.  I know it hit at lease 85 degrees, so it was a little warm, but we’re used to it, so we had fun.

When we first entered the World Showcase our first big decision was to go right or left…we opted to head left.  We walked by a couple of booths that didn’t really catch our eye & then we came to Austrailia.  None of the main dishes really sounded like anything we wanted, but the dessert sounded pretty good, so that’s what we got for out first taste of the day and it was delicious!
After that, we headed for Mexico & went on the ride there.  Didn’t bother with the food since it was mostly tacos and expensive margaritas…both which can be made at home…PASS!
Next up on our list, which is my most favorite country to get food….GERMANY!  I stepped in line and ordered one of everything…Brat on a Pretzel Roll, Schinken Nudel (Pasta Gratin w/ Ham & Cheese) & Apple Strudel with Karamel-Vanilla Sauce.  Don’t worry…I shared!
When we were all done stuffing our faces with yummy German goodness.  We decided to play around with Stephanie’s new iPhone and take pictures of ourselves.  It actually turned out pretty good because we were just being silly and having fun.  Please excuse the brows…the German came out and they went crazy again.  No worries…I have an appointment to whip them back into shape Friday! 🙂
After poking around in Germany and having some fun we headed towards France in search of Creme Brûlée & alcohol.  I passed on the Creme Brûlée, as I was too full from all the food in Germany.  I did go for a Grand Marnier Orange Slush….it tasted just like an orange push-up pop.  So good!  I was quite sad when it was all gone! 😦
After the orange slush, I was good to go for awhile as far as treats went.  I think we headed towards Greece & Canada and the group split and everyone got what they wanted.  I just wanted a water by that point, as I was a bit parched, since it was pretty darn warm out.
Next, we headed for Spaceship Earth before we left the park for the day.  Stephanie & I ended up heading over to the Magic Kingdom though, since we wanted to ride a couple of our favorite rides.  By the time we got over there, we decided we wanted ice cream.  It was pretty good, but I think they gave me more whipped cream than ice cream.
When we were all done with our dessert we headed for the Laugh Floor & watched a quick show, which is always amusing.  Then we headed for one of our favorite rides…Haunted Mansion.  Got there and it was closed due to technical errors.  So we started heading for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and quickly turned around when we seen the line & wait time of over an hour.  Next stop…Pirates of the Caribbean & guess what?!  Closed due to technical errors!  Ahhh!  After that, we called it a day & headed home.  The end.

Weekend Wrap-up

Whew….that weekend went by fast!  It was a pretty mellow week this week.  It was actually kind of slow at the office….hence the below “We’re Bored & Happy it’s Friday” photos.  It was entertainment for a good 10 minutes or so…

Then on Saturday, it was just so darn gorgeous outside….I went to Disney!  It’s finally that time of year where we are getting the cooler weather…low 80’s…haha!  I went in the afternoon & then had some friends meet me there who are Disney nuts too!  We had a good time running around and doing a few rides like The Haunted Mansion, The People Mover, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc…  We snuck in a few others things here and there as well, but the parks were insanely busy for this time of year!  We saw 60 minute wait times for rides like Peter Pan….CRA-ZY!

Disney is all decked out in Halloween decor & was super cute.  You can see in the photo above of a Minnie Mouse holding a pumpkin statue and then of course the adorable pumpkin Mickey wreath.  I was a little hungry since I ate brunch and by 3:30 I was wishing I would have just waited and had lunch.  Since there is a bit of a Biggest Loser weight loss competition going on at work that I’m in on, I tried my best to be good.  I ended up opting for a delicious fruit tart….yes it was as good as it looks!  It was hard opting for that vs. the hot cinnamon roll the size of a plate that smelled out of this world, but I was totally satisfied with my fruit tart as it was very yummy!

Well, that pretty much sums up my weekend in a short and sweet way.  I was pretty much a bum today, other than for some light cleaning & laundry & of course the Sunday grocery run at Target, where I always find other things to buy besides groceries!  Perhaps, I should limit my Target run to once a month! 🙂

The Painted Palette

If you haven’t noticed yet that I’ve added a new page to the blog, let me point you to it now. 🙂  That page at the top that says “My Etsy”!  I finally took some time and opened up an Etsy shop & it’s called The Painted Palette.  It you’re looking for some cute hand painted magnets for your fridge or some art work for you walls….go on over and take a peek!

I’ve been painting & drawing since I was a wee little girl.  I remember going to the chiropractor with my mom growing up and the receptionist would give me the end rolls of the white paper that went across the chiropractor table & there was always quite a bit left in my opinion, so I’d sit and paint murals for the kitchen wall with my watercolors and would sign them “Sissy”, as that is what I was called growing up due to having a little brother that insisted that was my name.

To this day, I still love to paint and draw!  A blank canvas to me is like a kid in a candy store…pure love!  I don’t always know what I’m going to paint, so I’ll start on a background and then usually something just comes to me or a happy little mistake will turn into something pretty cool.

I also do custom paintings, so feel free to message me if you would like something particular.  I’d be happy to paint you something for your baby nursery or something personalize with a name…you name it–I’m game!  If you’d like to shoot me an e-mail, you can send it to me at thelittleblackraincloud[at]yahoo.com

You can find me on Etsy as the shop “The Painted Palette“.  Stop on over and take a look!

Disney, Food & Wine….Oh My!

Well, I don’t know about y’all, but I had a rather FABULOUS weekend!  On Saturday, I woke up late for a change.  While I was trying to wake up a little, I crossed my fingers and checked my bank account and payday came early for me instead of having to wait until Monday….YAY!  So, I paid bills & determined I was going to treat myself, after a super busy couple of weeks at work.  So, I jumped in the shower & got ready for the day & headed out on a mission.  Guess what?  Mission Accomplished!  I’m the proud new owner of a Disney annual pass!  YES, YES, YES!!!  So excited!

After I bought it…I immediately sent a text to a friend and they were there within the hour with friends & we spent the rest of the day until a little after 9:00 eating & drinking our way around the world at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  While I was waiting for their arrival, I took a shortcut and jumped a ferry straight to Germany, as I was starving since I hadn’t ate all day & I was craving the brat on a pretzel roll, so I scarfed one of those & stood in line for some good ‘ol German beer.  I opted for a flight of four different beers & they were all pretty tasty!

My partners in crime showed up while I was enjoying my beers, so I finished them up and then started walking towards China and ran into them shortly around Korea.  Then it was onward ho the rest of the day.  Had some awesome Key Lime Wine at the Florida booth, then a Belgium Waffle with berries and whipped topping in Belgium, Creme Brûlée in France, “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce and Apple Ice Wine in Canada. Oh yeah…I also had some of the apple strudel before leaving Germany. It was a pretty kick ass day of just chill in’ out, eating, drinking,  people watching & having some good laughs.

Pure Chocolate Sculpture of Finding Nemo….total waste of chocolate, I say!

Then on Sunday morning, I got up and browsed the Target ad, while trying to wake up.  I got super excited because there was a piece of furniture I had taken a picture of on my phone about a month ago that I wanted to get eventually & it was in the ad on sale for about $30 off….SCORE!  So, I got ready real quick & drove straight to Target and snagged the last one on the shelf…YAY!  It took me a while to put together, as all the screw holes weren’t exact, but after walking away for a bit and coming back to it later with some good advice from my brother, I got it put together.  I think it looks pretty darn good!

Also, while I was at Target….I finally found the suckers I’ve been searching for, around this time of year, for the past couple years….Double Score!

And that was pretty much my weekend!  How was yours?