Saturday, December 31, 2011

Home Sweet Holly

I experienced a major Holly moment when I walked into my parents house after arriving home from Vegas yesterday. Mom and I walked in the door and headed straight to Holly's room {aka the closet where her bed is}. A few steps into my parents bedroom Mom and I started freaking out. We could hear Holly howling and moaning and it scared the crap out of us. I started running for the closet then stopped dead in my tracks. I didn't want to see it if something bad was happening. In the meantime, Mom is screaming for Dad to go in there. Scott said Dad just dropped his bags mid air and took off for Holly. Little miss must've heard the dramatic commotion and came running to us with her tail wagging.
Shocked and relieved, Mom and I grabbed her and sat on the sofa to give her a one over and try to assess what in the world had just happened. That's when we realized Holly had been crying. Because she literally would not stop giving me "I'm SO Happy to see you" kisses for 10-15 minutes. Usually Holly is happy to see us when we've been gone but she's over it in 3 minutes. She would not stop loving on all of us. It broke my heart!!!! I've never known Holly to cry. Poor little thing. She was SO sad that she laid in her bed and cried! That just crushed me. It's sweet that she missed me that much but I never want her to feel like that again.

After that Holly would literally not let me out of her sight. If I was going somewhere by golly she was going too!! I think the older she gets the more stressful it becomes to not be with her family. I've decided I just can't leave her anymore. With Mom and Dad would be okay of course but I think Holly had major separation anxiety this trip. Grammy said she acted normal and more spunky than she had in a long time so I don't know what the deal was but I can guarantee Holly it wont ever happen again!

I also think she was homesick. The minute we walked in the door, Holly asked to be put on the bed then comfortably placed herself on the clothes I was unpacking and passed out for the rest of the night!
My poor baby! The already spoiled little one has been even more spoiled now since her traumatizing abandonment moment if you could possibly believe that. Case in point:

I separated all of her Kibbles from the Bits for her today. Holly will only eat Kibbles & Bits now. Problem is she only likes the Kibbles (little round balls) and spits the Bits (bone & stick thing) on the floor. Well my princess doesn't have to deal with that anymore. Because I spent 30 whole minutes today prepping her food exactly how she likes it by taking two whole Kibbles & Bits bags and making it Just Kibbles for the doodlebug. If you guys don't get my love for her by now I don't know if you ever will!!
Happy New Years Eve! I can't believe 2011 is over. So crazy! Scott and I are staying in tonight. Relaxing after being gone for so many days + the combination of Holly's traumatization = a much needed night sitting on the sofa, watching TV/Movies, and just chillin. I hope you have fun tonight. See you back here tomorrow to go over resolutions!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Vegas Wrap Up

Our last full day in Vegas was my favorite way to spend time in Vegas. Start at the far end of the strip and work your way down while stopping in every hotel.

First we tackled In-N-Out burger. Yum! It was my first experience and it was good. Scott's friend used to live in California and he knows the In-N-Out lingo--stuff that's not on the menu but they'll make for you. Such as our fries "animal style." Gotta love feeling like a cool local! Ha!!

Next came The Cosmopolitan hotel which Scott and I love!! We'll be staying there the next time we go. We hung out and played blackjack for about two hours and apparently it's my good luck hotel because I walked away a winner!

Even though Scott's been to Vegas many times he's never caught the water show in front of the Bellagio. This time we made sure we got a chance to see it. It really is so beautiful and impressive!

After Bellagio we hit up Caesars to do a little shopping. I really didn't get much on this trip. I got a cute little Kate Spade bag for my toiletries and some makeup from Mac. I love a stand alone Mac store. They have stuff you can't get anywhere else.

We took a stroll through Venice and paused for a little afternoon vino. Very Italian of us.

Finally we got dressed up and ate an incredible dinner at Lavo. I highly recommend eating there if you're in Vegas! It's Italian and pretty divine. I LOVE good food!!

Last but not least, we enjoyed a little show after dinner. Jersey Boys!! It was great. I couldn't believe how many songs I knew that The Four Seasons did--like--all of them!! Some I didn't even realize were by them. The show was great! I would recommend going to see that one!
I stayed up until 3:30 playing blackjack. Four whole hours of it! I've never been able to play for that long. I've totally got this game figured out now. I have strategy. I had more than doubled my money at one point but got all greedy and lost it all. UGH!!! That's Vegas. It's so hard to walk away though! I kept thinking "I'll get it all back." I should remember that Vegas isn't built on winners but I guess I didn't think that rule applied to me last night. Stupid. I had a lot of fun though and Scott walked away a big winner so I guess that makes up for it right?!
We're on our way home now. The trip was a blast. Gotta love Vegas!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vegas Celebration

Vegas has been great so far! We arrived to our hotel The Palazzo, around 5. Scott and I ate an incredible dinner at TAO. It was so unbelievably delicious. It's impressive that as many times as I've been to Vegas it was my first time to eat there but it's true. I've never been able to get a reservation before!! So glad I finally got to enjoy TAO!

After TAO Scott and I hit the blackjack tables and did really great! I was up $175 and decided I better walk away and go to sleep. I never win, so I was pretty excited!!
Yesterday was the most important day---Mom turned the BIG 5-0!!! Mom, Scott and I hung out earlier in the day. We shopped and enjoying the great city of Las Vegas!!
For lunch we chose Maggianos, one of mine and Scott's favorite. The birthday girl didn't have a preference so she let us pick! We wanted to save room for the scrumptious dinner that awaited us later that evening so we all shared an appetizer, salad, and entree and still had leftovers!! The portions there are HUGE! It's so good though. I wish SO bad we could get a Maggiano's in Arkansas.
Before dinner at Auerole we all gathered at The Champagne Bar in our hotel and toasted to Mom while she opened presents! A cute little Kate Spade bag from yours truly and a Shutterfly photo album from Dad (which I made....just throwin that out there!!) full of photos of Mom from the day she was born until now. She loved it of course! It will always be a great keepsake.
Dinner was, of course, incredible. I splurged on a filet--I never eat red meat--and it was amazing! We were there for many hours, many courses, and many many many bottles of wine. Hey, it's a celebration!!! We all went into the kitchen to give our compliments to the chef and decided to make a photo op out of it! Everyone loved Auerole and dinner with all of us was an absolute blast!

After dinner Scott and I tackled the tables again where I not only lost the $175 I had won the night before but also an additional $100. BOO!!!! Gonna try to win it back tonight. Wish me luck!! Vegas Baby!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vegas Here We Come

Hey-O! I'm excited because I'll be in Vegas in just 45 minutes!! We left Little Rock this morning and surprised my Mom at the airport. Dad flew all of their couple friends out to Vegas bringing our group total to 14! Woop Woop! It's gonna be a fun week y'all!! I wanted to share that with everyone earlier but didn't want to spoil the surprise since Mom reads my blog obviously.
Now I'm all set in some new Christmas duds and ready to take on Vegas. I love this city!

I also love this picture. I'm kinda obsessed with it actually. My sweet little ones!! Holly will actually let Landon hold her now. He's so excited! Of course her face looks like this when he does hold her...

Which is pretty hilarious but at least she's learning to tolerate him a little better! Plus he's learning to be more gentle. Good compromise!
Landon went back to Tampa today, Grammy's watching Holly and we're going to have ourselves a grand time all week! Vegas Baby!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Scott & I woke up bright and early (6am) today. We had breakfast with his Mom then drove to Little Rock to see my family. We got to LR around noon and it's been a wonderful day! Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you've had a perfect day filled with love, family, thanksgiving, and happiness!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas..............

Scott and I celebrated our typical Christmas Eve....

We started the day with a scrumptious lunch with Jodie....

And Bailee too of course!

We watched the girls play together and chat while holiday music was playing in the background...

Then we left Grandma Jodie's and headed to Grandpa Randy's....

We enjoyed a non-traditional Christmas meal consisting of Rib eye and Asparagus while indulging in many glasses of vino!

Then topped the night off with great friends!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
AND most importantly----HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE GERRARD!! Just happy birthday. Not Merry Christmas too. Because you don't say "Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas Too!!" to me on my birthday in May. So why would I say that to you on your birthday??!! Right??!! Just Happy Birthday Jake! XO.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Tonight was such a fun night! Anna, Christina and I went to a DahliaLynn {see blogs I read} trunk show in Ft. Smith!

(Me, Anna, & Christina With Mrs DahliaLynn)
After we purchased some beautiful goodies, we had dinner and a glass of wine at Rolandos. Between that and the 2 hour drive there and back we were able to squeeze in lots of girl talk that was much needed! I love my girls! They're the best and tonight was way fun!
Ready for Christmas everyone? Mine starts tomorrow with Scott's family. It'll be a super busy day but I'm looking forward to it.
Okay it's 11:30 and Scott just stopped working. I better take this opportunity to snuggle on the couch for just a bit and enjoy his company....and Holly's too of course!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

All Finished & Ready To Go

I finally finished all of my Christmas shopping today. I just had to get two little gifts so it wasn't too tough. It's crazy how hard it is to find a parking spot at the mall though!
Scott is working so much right now. Everyone in his office has tomorrow off except Scott. I feel sorry for him....and me. It would be nice if someone else in his office knew how to do what he does so they could share the workload. He's always in a relay at Christmas which really stinks because we never get to enjoy the holidays together. He even has to work while we're in Vegas and I haven't even discussed New Years with him as I'm sure he'll be working then too. Scott got in bed last night around midnight and I snuggled up to him, gave him a kiss and said "I miss you."
It's not like we've had to rough it a week. This has gone on for 2 months and we've still got one more to go. It just really stinks especially around the holidays. I think the last time I spent more than 2 hours with Scott was on Thanksgiving. Totally not kidding. I'm more than ready for this to be over.
I'm taking it easy tonight and getting in all the Christmas movies I can before time is up! Tonight Holly and I are snuggling in bed together and watching A Christmas Carol. I can't believe Christmas is in three days!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I'm pleased to report I'm feeling much better today! I'm still really weak so I basically laid around all day today. It must have been some 24 hour bug. I'm glad it's over though! I haven't been that sick in probably 6 years. No fun. I'm really starting to look like a hypochondriac these days huh??!!

I'm loving the style of wrapping paper I went with this year! I always do a Santa theme to go with my tree. I always like to tie some sort of ornament onto the present. I do a different ornament for everyone that way I don't have to use name tags. I loved that I found a big L for Landon this year. I showed it to him on FaceTime the other night and he got a huge smile on his face. I figured he'd like that! Landon gets five, yes five, presents from Kara and Uncle Scott this year. He's our only nephew--I figure it's okay to spoil him!

I didn't think it could be possible but this little one is actually tired of laying around for 2 days! She keeps trying to convince me to get OUT of bed. It's always the opposite! She did tickle me last night though. I wanted to get really good sleep. We're 50/50 with Holly on sleeping arrangements. Half the time she sleeps in her bed all night then asks to get in bed with us around 4-6 and half the time she wants to sleep with us all night. I never get great sleep when she sleeps with me all night and I really wanted to get good sleep last night. So I told Holly she couldn't sleep with me even though she wanted to. At about 2 she scratched on my bed like "now?" and I said No Holly. She turned away and came back at 4..."now?" No Holly. Came back at 5:30---"now?" I finally gave in to the persistent cutie and said yes. The little face is pretty hard to resist and it made me laugh at how frequently but nicely spaced out she seemed to come back to ask. She's a mess!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I thought I'd blog really quickly. I've been SO sick. Something bad has gotten ahold of me. I started feeling bad around 8 last night and I was up sick all night long. I've basically slept all day long today and I'm still so exhausted. My diet has consisted of about 6 saltine crackers and 1 sprite zero and doing something so simple like washing my hands feels like running a marathon. I feel better than I did this morning so I'm crossing my fingers that I wake up in the morning A-Ok. I'm going to bed now. Night friends!

PS this little one went to the beauty shop today. Doesn't she look pretty! She's been my napping buddy today. Holly has taken real good care of me. Such a sweetie.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I had to take Holly to the doctor today for a little check-up. If you recall, I took her two weeks ago with a cancer scare. Turns out it was just a pimple (still so embarrassing) and while we were there we discovered she had a little ear infection. We had to go back today after two weeks of drops to see if she was better. She is better but not 100% yet so we're going to do another round.

After the vet I came home and gave Holly a bath. She was such a stinky girl!!! I usually bathe her every 5-7 days and I had probably gone 10 without one. About 20 minutes after I washed and dried her, I got a call from her groomer saying she had a cancellation tomorrow if I wanted the spot. Poor Holly! Two baths in two days. She's not going to be happy with me but at least she'll be all beautified for Christmas!

I have discovered a fun new cocktail thanks to Table Mesa in Bentonville. It's called the Hemmingway Daiquiri. Apparently this was Ernest Hemmingways favorite cocktail so it's been named after him. I don't typically like a lot of cocktails because I don't like the taste of hard liquor. However, this one is so delicious that I had to beg the bartender to give me the secret recipe. I've decided to share because it's too good to keep it all to myself!
---1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime
---1 1/2 oz dark rum
---3/4 oz cherry cocktail syrup
---2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.
Shake together and enjoy!

I really did freshly squeeze the juice. I just did a bunch at once so it wouldn't be a hassle. I don't think it would taste as good if it weren't fresh. What's funny is I don't like grapefruit but I LOVE this cocktail! You should try it! I know you'll love it too. Cheers!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blog Email

I'm excited to say that my readers continue to grow every single week! I figured I would set up a new email address in case anyone ever wants to contact me. I'm getting more and more Facebook messages from you guys. Whether it's a question, blog idea, comment, or simply to say that you enjoy reading on a daily basis, I love hearing from you all! I'm considering allowing comments--still can't decide on that one. In the mean time though, how about a personal little Kara's Stories email? I think this will be a great new tool for anyone who wants to easily get in touch with me. Thanks for continuing to read my little blog. It means the world to me that so many of you keep coming back!

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Friday

Hey Friends! Today was very productive. I woke up, made fresh squeezed OJ (seriously) and lounged in bed for the whole hour of Live! With Kelly. Michael Buble was the guest co-host today. I could eat him up! I saw him when he made his first appearance on the show and I fell more in love with him then. He's adorbs. Amaze. Redic. Perf. Hister....Okay I'll stop. But for real. He's such a great co-host. Definitely brightens up my morning! I'm so glad I get to watch that show every day. It literally brings me joy.
After it was over I hit the gym. It's the first time I've been all week. That fact has given me major anxiety. I'm super into working out right now. However, I've found myself very busy this week and have literally not had time to workout. I know that seems like a lie since I'm a certified housewife but it really is true. I've got projects. Lots.
I left the gym and had to go straight to Dillards to get make-up. I was 100% out of my Chanel Double Matt Perfection whatever it is. Slightly embarrassing having to enter a store bare faced but whatev. I kinda wanted to be all celebrity like and sport the sunglasses all the way through my store visit but I didn't. Because I'm not a celebrity--and I could never get away with that. Even though I really wish I was cool enough that I could...
Once I got home I worked on tweeking my outdoor Christmas lights. Holly really wanted to join me. So I told her "Okay Holly. You can come outside with me BUT you can't sprint down our sidewalk like you always do and run down the street. If you want to go outside you can only stay on the porch. Okay Holly. Do you understand?" She looked at me very intently, said yes and guess what? She obeyed me. Ha!! Brilliant.
Whenever I ask Holly if she wants to go outside or get the mail she says yes, runs to the front door, I open it, and she runs crazy fast down the block. ALWAYS. But! I told her she couldn't do that today. And she obeyed. I know you all probably get annoyed with my Holly bragging but I just have to remind everyone about how incredibly smart and fabulous Holly is--always--all the time. Because it's truly remarkable. It really is amazing how great Holly is.
Later that evening my Uncle Rex and Marge Anna called to say they were in town and wondered if they could stop by to say hello. They had mentioned they would be in town weeks ago and I just totally forgot! I gave them directions and told them to pop on over! Uncle Rex, Marge Anna, Audry, Amelia and (I die because I forgot her BF's name....I hope they don't read this) all popped over. It was so fun. We enjoyed some Presquile and visited and it was SO lovely!
Wanna know what was even more lovely? I put on my Cinderalla face and cleaned my house spotless earlier today. THEN, for no good reason at all I got all fixed up--just because. When does that happen? Spotless house, all dolled up, unexpected company. Never! Whew!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I took this picture when Scott and I were in Crested Butte in January and I just love it! It's my ipad background right now. So festive.
Turns out I'm not a Scrooge after all. I finally got Christmas lights put up outside. I didn't do much at all. Just lots of colorful lights in the bushes. At least it's something!
While I was putting the lights out a lady asked me for her help. Her little Yorkie, Bentley, was running all around my yard and she couldn't catch him. It was like a scene from Marley and Me. I couldn't get him either. I chased after that little booger for about 10 minutes. He just kept going round and round. I finally enticed him with a treat and was able to grab him and give him back to his Momma. Holly is such a good dog. She would never do that and even if she did all I would have to do is yell "Holly" very sternly and she'd stop cold in her tracks. She won't even go out the door unless I tell her she can. I could leave it open all day long and she'd just stand at the door step until I gave her the okay. I love dogs and feel as if I'll always have one but what if I got one like that???!!!!! Anything will be a huge adjustment compared to Holly no matter what because Holly is seriously the perfect dog. I asked how old Bentley was and she said he was one. Ehh, that has a little something to do with it probably but Holly has always been as calm as a cucumber. Hyper dogs are hilarious--when they're not yours. Oh goodness.....I already feel bad for my future dogs. I'm sure they'll hear "why can't you be more like Holly?" all the time. Who knows, I'll probably be so traumatized when I don't have Holly anymore that I'll never have another dog again. It honestly wouldn't surprise me even though I love dogs so much.

Today I tried to find Landon one last little Christmas present. I'm going with a Harry Potter theme this year since he loves it SO much. I got him a new Harry Potter game for his DS and a Quidditch Lego thingy. I want to get him one more Harry Potter Lego but they must be super popular this year because they're super hard to find. Landon's favorite toys these days are Legos and I've found it to be my favorite toy for him. You see, Landon is kinda like Bentley the Yorkie. If he has a Lego though he'll work on that thing for hours in total silence. So nice.

Okay, I'm going to enjoy my evening now. Have a great night friends!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Oh my goodness yall. I've wanted to blog all week but I literally have nothing interesting to say. It's been a pretty boring week. Scott's in his relay at work so he's super busy with that. I feel like I hardly see him.
I do have something fun to announce. On December 27 I'm going to Vegas Baby!! My Mom's 50th birthday is December 28 and we're going to have a little shindig out in sin city. Who's excited? Me! You know I'm always up for a little Vegas vacation!
I can't believe Christmas is so soon. I love the holidays but I'm kinda ready for it to be over. My house always feels really cluttered with all of the Christmas decorations. I love them and I enjoy looking at them but I'm ready to get my house back to normal.
Maybe I'm just being a Scrooge this year. I still haven't put lights up outside and since it's so late I guess I'm not going to. I'm always annoyed when people don't put lights up. Where's your Christmas spirit you know!? Guess I'll be annoyed with myself this year.
I basically have all of my Christmas shopping complete. I haven't found anything for my Mom though. I usually don't have a problem finding her a gift. It's a challenge this year for some reason.
Who's already ready for the presidential election campaign to be over with? I mean, it's the only thing the news can talk about and it's only going to get worse. Don't get me wrong, I love politics but all those ads and debates and what not get pretty old pretty fast.
Speaking of ads, lets talk about Phil Votaw the lawyer. He has so many commercials up here in NWA. He prides himself on not being a typical lawyer. You know, he only cares about you--not money. His commercials are annoying and the fact that he tries to prove his point so hard by wearing an Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt is so ridiculous. I would never hire a lawyer who wears an A&F shirt in his commercials--Fail Phil Votaw. Fail.
The microwave just beeped which means my dinner is ready. Last weeks cooking accident has traumatized me just a touch. I'm not ready to handle a skillet quite yet. Luckily though, my hand is healing quite nicely. Much better than what the doctor said so that's good! I do have three scars on my palm though and I really wonder if they'll ever go away. We shall see. Enjoy your night! Barbara Walters most fascinating comes on tonight. I always love watching that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I spent my day yesterday baking up a storm! I was in the mood for some reason. I tackled what I call Kappa Spinach Dip first. My friend and fellow KKG sister, Hannah, got it from our cook, MaryAnne, and recently posted the recipe on her blog. It is such a yummy spinach dip recipe. I used to LOVE eating it and I'm so glad I have the recipe for it now. It was so easy to make.

--10oz of spinach, thawed and drained (pat with paper)
--1 can of Rotel
--8oz of cream cheese
--8oz Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
--1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded
--1/4 cup chopped purple onion
--Cumin to taste
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
So easy and so delicious!

Then I baked peanut butter and Heath Bar cookies. I got the recipe off the back of the Heath Bar bits package. I believe that was the first time I've ever made cookies from scratch. Even more sad, I got to use my nice beaters for the first time--you know, the ones that I got for a wedding gift--3 years ago. They worked so well! I enjoyed baking the cookies. It took a long time though! I didn't have anything else to do so it was fun. However we have like 50 cookies now and I have no idea what to do with them!!

And this was my little helper for the day. She supervised and taste tested for me. She approved!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Diagon Alley & Jelly Belly's

Today was a good day. First of all, my hand has not hurt one little bit and I haven't had to take anything for it so that's good. It's starting to resemble a good mixture of Dobby and Lord Voldermorts skin but you know....whatevs. Speaking of Harry Potter, there's an alley way on Dickson street (between Farrell's and Wasabi) that doesn't have a name and since a lot of businesses are starting to go there the Fayetteville City Council has decided it probably needs to be named something. Word of this got out to the UofA students and they started this petition to have it named Diagon Alley and the FCC said they would highly consider it. So fun right! I'm so glad I'm on the Harry Potter bandwagon now. Life was definitely not complete before.

Today I had lunch with my mother-in-law at Tusk and Trotter. Afterwards I went Christmas shopping at The Promenade then came home and called it a day. Now I'm anxiously waiting for my shows to come on while playing with my puppy. She is so happy and spunky today! It could be sugar overload. We have Jelly Belly's in our house right now and Holly thinks they're incredibly delicious.