Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Hello 2020!

It's hard to believe its 2020.
Feels like yesterday was sitting riding around with Trey and Andrea listening to Alanis, singing at the top of our lungs.
Now its a new decade and my life couldn't be farther from where I thought it would end up.

I have a little over a month until I finish a school for Medical Assisting.  Medical field? Yeah I didn't think I would end up here but I can say that I honestly love it and am looking forward to the future.

I currently sit back at the house I grew up in.  I didn't think I would be back here but I am so thankful for the help we have had this past year.  Without my family, I couldn't have went back to school and work at the same time. 

Last night as we gathered with friends and family to bring in the new year, new decade, I reflected on this past year.  I didn't talk about my resolutions or goals, as I like to call them, here on the blog (yeah, I've pretty much been MIA this last year - blame it on school) but I can say I didn't meet many of my goals. 

But I am pretty happy with the goals I did complete.

- I did go back to school.  Not the school I thought or the area of study but I am working my butt off and currently have a 4.0.

- I completed my reading goal for 2019 and if you are shocked, you must not know me well.

- I have a job that I like.  Not in the field I'm going in to but I have met some awesome people and have built friendships that will last forever.

- We worked on the communication in our marriage.  Not that it's the best it can be but we have worked hard to try to communicate with each other how we are feeling and what each other needs.  This has been one of the strongest years of our marriage.

- I have been writing more.  Not here on this public forum but more for myself.  I have always enjoyed writing - it's a release for me - but this year I wrote poems, stories, and just random thoughts in a notebook I keep by the bed.  It has been very therapeutic.

I have set a few goals for the new year including trying to keep up with life on the blog.  I feel really good about 2020 and I can't wait to see what this year holds!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Hollywood Malt & Burger | Hometown Review

Instead of trying to find the best sales on Black Friday, my family decided to find the best eats in our hometown to avoid a repeat of turkey and dressing.   

My brother told me of a place called Hollywood Malt & Burger that he had never tried before but heard good things about. When we pulled up, we were greeted by a fun and funky little restaurant.  The outside has different variety of seating (including what looks like a teacup ride from a fair which my son loved!) and a fun mural painted on the outside of the building. 

source: Hollywood Malt & Burger
The inside of the restaurant is filled with movie memorabilia - even the tables had old vinyls as decoration.

It also had an arcade room that JJ spent most of his time in.  His favorite game was the South Park pinball machine while the old school Ms. Pac-Man was my choice. 

source:  Hollywood Malt & Burger

It also had a jukebox that played hits from different decades but my personal favorite was a condiments bar!  I mean most times you have to beg for any extra condiments for your burgers and fries but at Hollywood Malt & Burger, the had a bar stocked full of different condiments. 

Just a sampling of the condiments.

Looking over the menu, there was just too much to choose from (wings, BLTs, grilled cheese, chicken tenders, pulled pork nachos, etc) but if you know me, you know I love a good cheeseburger. The menu stated that all the burgers are half-pound and made fresh from Certified Chuck/Rib and Brisket blend.  

 My brother and I ordered the All American combo with fries and a drink while JJ ordered a Goonie Dog (their take on a hot dog).  

I got the regular bun for my burger while my brother got the jalapeno cheddar bun - which was absolutely delicious and my now go-to bun next time I visit Hollywood Malt & Burger   The burger was cooked and seasoned perfectly - and just amazing. I liked the blend of  chuck/rib and brisket for the burger.

It was a hard choice because both the fries and burger were delicious but in the end I chose to finish my burger and bring the fries home - it was so much food!

There is also a great deal of homemade ice cream and ice cream treats to choose from but we were too full from our food to try any.  Definitely next time. 

source: Hollywood Malt & Burger

With the fun, family environment and the homemade deliciousness, Hollywood Malt & Burger is one of my family's favorite eateries now.  If you happen to be in Houma, make sure you stop by and try one of their delicious burgers or homemade ice cream.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Grinch | Movie Review

Note:  How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) is one of my favorite Christmas movies I have to watch every Christmas season - multiple times.  I tried going in to this movie with an open mind.  

Last night my family had the opportunity to see The Grinch at The Movie Tavern. Dinner and a movie?  Yes, please. I had my hesitations about the movie.  I am a sucker for the 1966 Grinch movie but I went in with an open mind.  

I absolutely am in love with the brightness, attention to detail, and the overall feel of the movie.  It reminded me of The Lorax movie. 

Source: IMDB

Then the characters - I fell in love with them instantly especially Cindy Lou Who, Mr. Bricklebaum, and Max.  

Source: IMDB

In this movie, I felt that Cindy's character was developed more than the other Grinch movies. I got an understanding of her family life more (though it was a little different than the original) and why she had a connection to the Grinch.  

Source: The Blade

Mr. Bricklebaum is the quirky but lovable neighbor.  He was honestly the most hilarious character of the movie. I would love to see Mr. Bricklebaum have his own movie where we his character can be developed more.

Source:  BestMovieWalls
What can I say about Max except he's a good boy.  A very good boy, yes he is. 

Without giving too much away, I believe that Illumination and Universal Pictures did a great job at telling a new version of the Grinch story.  The music was catchy and I caught my son dancing along a few times.  With the movie only being an hour and half, it was just enough time to develop the story without losing my son's interest.  The movie was also quite funny - children as well as adults were laughing throughout the movie. With a PG rating, this movie is great for the whole family! 


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween Treat | Mummy Dogs

With moving so close to Halloween, we weren't able to do as many activities and crafts as I had hoped.  But I was able to pull out some Mummy Dogs on Halloween night.

I am sure you have seen this image from Pillsbury all over the internet. 

They are adorable and looked pretty simple to do. 

You will need some crescent rolls, hot dogs, cheese, cooking spray and condiments of your choice.

I actually used the hot dogs with cheese on the inside and saved myself a step. 

I opened the weenies and washed them. Then I patted them dry to help the crescent roll stick to the hot dog.  

Roll out the crescent roll and make sure to pinch the rolls together at the perforated seam. Then I used a pizza cutter to cut strips of the crescent roll. 

Then start wrapping your Mummy Dogs.  You can add as little or as many strips to your mummy just make sure to leave a space at the head of the mummy for the eyes. 

Mummy Dogs

Then I baked the Mummy Dogs for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  After they were done, I left them cool off and then added some mustard eyes to our mummies. 

They came out so cute!

My Notes:
Make sure the hotdogs are dry before you start wrapping them.
The pizza cutter works best for this. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Here We Go Again

Warning: I am cringing as I start to write this blog post.  I am tired of moving and I am sure you are tired of hearing about them.

Dear Texas,

It is bittersweet as I write this.  It's not you - it's definitely me. 

For the past three years, my family has enjoyed living here.  We have met wonderful people, made life long connections, grew as a family but we are looking for more. 

I, for one, am going back to school full time.  Cue anxiety.  I have not been to college in over a decade. I am really nervous about going but this is something I have wanted for years.  I have prayed and prayed and prayed that I would be able to have the chance to go back to school.  Now that it is here, my anxiety is trying to tell me that I can't do it but part of moving back to Louisiana is to have that support from my family and friends, to help me achieve my goals. 

Justin is starting his own business.  This is something that he has talked about for years but doubt made him question his abilities.  Recently, he reached out to a friend in Louisiana about his plans to start his own company and let's just say things took off. 

So you see, big things are happening for us. 

I will miss many things about you, Texas.  Your sunsets, blue bonnets, Whataburger.  The lake, the state pride, the Mexican food. 

I will miss my church family.  They have been there for us through so much.  I will miss my youth group.  These kids have taught me more about myself over the past two years then I think in my whole life.  

I will miss the Scout family we have and the opportunities that Scouting has given our family, the confidence it has given JJ. 

I will miss the wonderful teachers that have helped us when we had test after test after test to find a diagnoses for JJ. 

I will not miss you 45 and the early morning traffic. 

Texans will always be my football team and the Astros my baseball team. 

But this is not goodbye.  We will see you again. But a new and exciting season is coming for our family and it just so happens to be in Louisiana.

Until later,
Gould Family 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Star Maps | Review


Recently I was looking for a unique gift that I could get Justin for father's day.
Men are really hard to shop for. 

I mean I could get him another tool that will sit in the garage until he remembers that he has it but I wanted something different, something that was unique to our family.  

I found what I was looking for when I was contacted by an artist at Modern Map Art, asking if I would like a personalized star map. 

I got to choose a date, time, and location that was special to us and the artist would create what the stars looked like in the sky at that moment. I debated for awhile on which date to choose - when we first met, our first date, when we got married, and then it hit me: I have never seen Justin light up as when he held our son for the first time. 

One proud papa. 

The artist worked with me on exactly what I had in mind. I was able to choose from different types (poster, framed poster, canvas), different sizes, fonts, border, and color schemes.  You get to add the special date, times, place, and even a special saying to your star map. 

After finalizing all the details, Modern Map Art mailed my star map carefully packaged in a mailer tube. It was wrapped in tissue paper and packed with paper on either end to insure my precious gift arrived in great condition.

Not going to lie - when I unrolled my star map, I did shed a few tears.  It is a beautiful piece of artwork on heavy matte paper that can be framed or hung just like it is. I went with a dark frame to match the rest of my pictures.  

So what did Justin think of his early Father's Day gift?  "I think it's awesome. I'll look at it and think of the night I recieved the greatest gift." 

Modern Map Art offers several different items if for some reason star maps aren't for you (I mean c'mon you know they are awesome!).   From pillows to state map art to skyline art to cell phone cases, you can find unique and amazing gifts for everyone.  

Next to buy:  this awesome scratch off travel map for JJ

Again, thank you to Modern Map Art for sending me this beautiful piece of art (which is now my favorite). 

*Please note that this item was gifted to me from Modern Map Art for my honest review and opinion. All views are my own and completely honest.  I do love this item and will be purchasing more for myself and loved ones. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

I Could Be Mad...

I could be mad. 

That the woman who was already finished raising her kids but didn’t blink twice about raising my brother and me, was diagnosed with cancer. 

I could be upset.

That the woman that was my biggest supporter had a hard time recognizing my son and me. 

I could be angry.

That despite the radiation, mounds of doctors,  and thousands of prayers, she got sicker. 

I could be livid.

That the strongest woman I know, needed help to do the simpliest of tasks. 

But I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong.  I was.  When I first heard her diagnosis, I couldn’t fathom how this lady could get it.  She always seemed to be invincible to me.  She has been through so much in her life to just have cancer beat her down. I was mad, upset, angry, livid and a whole other wide range of emotions. 

But now, I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for timing. Had she been diagnosed years ago, I know I couldn’t handle it as well as I am today. If my son was younger, I would be angry with the fact that he didn't really get to know his great-grandmother.  If I didn't have the support of my husband, I know I couldn't see her so helpless.  If I didn't have the friends I have now, I wouldn't be able to be there for my son who needs me more than ever.  I am thankful for God's timing.

I am thankful for my faith.  If I wasn’t as strong in my faith as I am, I would probably have turned my back on God. Hours and hours of praying and seemingly getting no where.  If I wasn’t in my church (which I’ve only been there about 3 years), I wouldn’t have Godly people in my life to help me process.  I am thankful for my faith, knowing that when she does pass, she will be with God.  

" be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord."

She will be there welcoming me into Heavens gates when it's my turn to go.  That when JJ heard about her condition, he was upset but turned to rely on his faith stating, “I was sad but realized God has Maw Maw in His hands.” 

I  am thankful that I’ve had at least 34 years with her, some people don't get that.  I am sad that I wont be able to call on her anymore to ask for advice, ask for a recipe, or to just vent but I am going to take this knowledge that she has given and use it everyday of my life. Do I want more time with her? ABSOLUTELY.  But not at the expense of her being in pain.

Don't get me wrong, the anger still comes to the surface.  I still can't sleep at night.  I still hold out for a miracle but I ultimately know that God is in control and I trust Him thar everything will work itself out, one way or another.  

Luke 18:27, "Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

Job 5:8-9, But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.  He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted."

So I could be mad but I won't.