It is RODEO time in Houston. Every year this time the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in town for a few weeks. It usually is here during spring break so it becomes one of our day trips as a family. If you have never been to something like this it can be an all day event. Not only do they have a carnival with tons of rides, games and food vendors but there is also over 480 retail vendors with everything like cowboy boots, candy, jewelry, scented candles, furniture, clothing, kitchen gadgets, etc. They also have a kids zone with fun exhibits, rides and interactive activities. Want to see an egg hatch live? They have it! Want to see them milk a cow? They have it! Want to walk around thousands of pens full of stinky pigs, cows, horses, chickens, etc? They have it! They also have livestock auctions and competitions.
The big event is the rodeo and concert held inside Reliant Stadium. They always have a concert after the rodeo that features a headline singer or group. Although I am not a huge country music fan I am impressed with the A list of stars that have sold out shows each year like Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Reba McEntire. The rodeo itself includes bucking horses and bull riding, chuck wagon races, barrel races, the calf scramble, calf roping, etc. One of my favorites by far is the “Mutton Bustin”. The announcer actually puts it the best when he says “this is the part of the show where we strap our kids to farm animals and call it entertainment”. If you have never seen it you have to watch the video below. Basically it is a child around 5-6 years old wearing a heavily padded vest and helmet put on the back of a sheep, told to grab on to its wool, and then hang on for dear life when the gate opens. As the sheep runs across the pen the object is to see who can stay on the longest. Over the years I have seen a few kids with tears but the majority have huge grins on their faces and are pumping their fists in the air with excitement after they take that dive to the ground.
What is your favorite thing about a rodeo?
- You know a commercial is played to often when you know the jingle and find yourself singing it often. That is good advertising on their part because even if you don’t need their services you still recall their product from the jingle.
- What is with the commercials that have just a weird spokes person or character that just won’t go away? I won’t name any specific commercials but we all find those that are just annoying or even a little on the weirdo freaky side. Those companies just keep making more with that strange annoying spokes person or character. I guess the same could be said for off the wall weird or inappropriate slogans.
- How about the commercials that are just so hilarious or otherwise awesome to the point that you really didn’t even pay attention to what the commercial was selling? Some go to huge lengths to make sure the commercial is so outgoing that they lose sight of making sure their product is featured. We have laughed at dozens of commercials and even talked about them later to only realize we have no idea if they were selling jeans, beer, or car tires.
- Why are some commercials aired on specific channels at all? We saw a commercial for life insurance for seniors while watching a UFC fight one night. It just seemed really weird place to advertise that. We also have seen mens products advertised on mostly women’s channels and vice versa. I’m just saying if you want the biggest bang for your buck advertise where you will have the biggest audience for your product.
- The commercials targeting children just don’t seem as subtle anymore. Some just come right out that if your parents love you they should be buying you this. Thanks for making us have to say no to yet another useless product. Let’s be honest they want it because it looks so awesome on the show but it really isn’t as fun when they get it and will only use once or twice.
- Do we really need “that much” truth in advertising? There are just some things that we can leave a little more vague instead of going into full detail please. Hemorrhoids’, E.D., and feminine odor problems may have numerous products available but when watching TV with the kids that may not be the most appropriate time to be hearing about them.
- Do we really want to see commercials anyway? No. We love to record things to watch later so we can fast forward through commercials. The only exception to that is the Super Bowl where we actually sit down to watch the commercials ON PURPOSE!
What are your feelings about commercials?
Photo Credit: grouprecipes.com
My husband’s family grew up loving Red Velvet Cake which quickly became a favorite of theirs for birthdays or special occasions. I had never tried one until I had married my husband. The recipe is said to be the actual Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake served at their hotel and after trying it you could certainly see why. Although if you search it online as Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake you will find a few variations of the recipe.
I have tried to make cakes from scratch before and they have never turned out as tasty or easy as this one. I have to admit that if I am short on time I have cheated and made a store-bought red velvet cake however I will not cheat on the icing. This icing is to die for! It is not like a traditional cream cheese frosting you will find on many Red Velvet Cakes. This one is almost like whipped cream but is very rich. It also is fairly simple to make as long as you follow the instructions and make sure the flour mixture is completely cooled before preparing the remainder of the icing.
This still is the cake my husband loves for his birthday and of course being red it is perfect for Valentines too. I am never so fancy as to do multiple layers as shown but I have cut the cake in half and put a layer of icing in the center. Although I have never done it before these would make really fun cupcakes for Valentines parties too. If you have never had red velvet cake, or never had this recipe you HAVE to try it! Click HERE for the recipe:
What is your favorite cake or frosting?
Valentines Day costs consumers nearly 16 billion dollars a year. That is almost 1.1 billion boxes of chocolates. Jewelry and dining out average 3.5 billion each in dollars spent and flowers bring in around 1.7 billion. We spend almost a billion dollars on greeting cards alone. The average man will spend around $150 and women around $75 for their significant other. All to show our love for others on this special day.
Remember in elementary school where children exchange Valentines with classmates and how paranoid you were that someone would think you liked them because of what your valentine would say. Inspecting each candy heart to verify what it said before it went into the envelope? Maybe the goal was the opposite and you wanted to profess your love for someone by reserving that special Valentine just for them and maybe giving them a few extra candy hearts too!
I think I am a bit of a strange cookie because I have never been one that was big on a specific day set aside to profess my love for someone or them for me. I think we have that opportunity “every” day and frankly getting flowers, cards or other gestures out of nowhere on a regular day says more to me then a set day on the calendar where you feel the pressured to profess your love. There are some that have expectations on Valentines day. When those expectations are not met they often become angry or hurt because they did not receive what they specifically wanted or feel they deserved. True heart-felt gestures of love should be accepted for what they are, a gesture of love. I think expectations can put pressure and stress on your significant other to “perform” and then it no longer feels like a true gesture of love. That said I understand that it is a fun day to make sure we are letting all those important people in our lives know that they are loved and frankly just having a whole day set aside to focus on love itself.
So what gift ideas are trending for Valentines Day this year?
- Lingerie (is that really for her or more for him?)
- Aroma Candles (lets set the mood)
- Music Players or Equipment
- Mood Music
- Digital Reading Device
- Books on Relationships/Marriage
- Romance Gift Basket (PG all the way to X rated!)
- Romance Gift (also PG all the way to X rated)
- Handheld Organizer
- Accessories (belt, wallet, gloves, etc)
- Grooming Products
- Alcohol & Candy
- Bar Set (so they will drink at home I guess?)
Gifts are a fun way of celebrating but they really are just material items and it is the time we spend with loved ones that shows our true feelings. Just as the Beatles song says “All you need is love”. Happy Valentines Day!
What are you planning for Valentines Day? What was your best memory?
Lets just say CREEPY! Not sure if I have any fingernails left after the premier of ABC’s The River from Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. This show has 6 episodes and if they are anything like the premier it will be chilling and unpredictable. I certainly am not planning any trips to The Amazon anytime soon!
This is one of those shows where the whole time you are saying:
“Why are you going in there?”
“Don’t open that!”
“Are you really going to sleep there?”
“Look behind you!”
and “Seriously drop the stupid camera and run!”
There were several scenes where you almost get a glimpse of something and we indeed tried to rewind back a few times to see what was “almost” there. If we weren’t creeped out enough what you see when on pause is unsettling to say the least!
I won’t give it away but if you like a little suspense and a little of the heebie-jeebies you have to see this. It certainly is not for the whole family because it can get pretty intense at times. I am taken back to the show “Lost” when they first encountered the smoke monster. This show also has something lurking around their boat that you never really get much more than a slight glimpse of but it is on the attack. So every tree they stand near or every dark room they walk into you are on the edge of your seat in anticipation! In one part of the premier they stumble upon a section of trees in the forest that has to have 500 toy dolls tied to or hanging from them. These apparently are an offering to a “presence” the locals feel is there based on a legend. It certainly was the most creepy part of the show and I am going to think twice about sleeping in a room with a doll. I have never seen the movie Child’s Play with the doll Chucky but now I know I never will!
The River is on ABC 9/8c on Tuesdays. Click below to see scenes from the premier and let me know what you thought of “The River”!!!!
Me and my daughter were huge Lost fans. It was a bitter-sweet moment when Lost ended, but we knew that something else would eventually come along that would be just as exciting. We have been able to see three episodes of Alcatraz and so far it is mysterious, action filled and a little haunting.
The plot is of the prison being closed but instead of the prisoners being transferred as everyone was told they actually had disappeared. There is an ongoing mystery as to where they went and how they are coming back. The back story of each man at Alcatraz is shown before they disappearing and their struggles and relationships at that time. These men are now coming back one at a time and committing crimes again in the current day. These men have to be tracked down without the public knowing about who they really are and then housed in a secret prison that is an exact replica of Alcatraz that is built underground in an unknown location.
There is a limited amount of people who are part of a secret organization that know about this phenomenon and their operations are run in a secret building below Alcatraz. Joining their team is a detective whose grandfather turns out to be one of the prisoners that is back and recently killed her partner. She chooses a new partner when she joins this secret organization and he is a comic book writer who had studied and written books about Alcatraz and the prisoners. He is able to inform the team about each prisoner and help track their whereabouts based on their past habits. This character is played by Jorge Garcia who played Hurley in Lost and was one of my favorite characters. He is becoming one of my favorite characters in Alcatraz as well. So far Alcatraz has met my expectations and I hope it continues to bring the mystery, twists, and adventure that Lost had brought for so many years.
What shows were your favorite in the past and what shows do you like now that have the same excitement for you?
My husband and I went on a date the other night to a Houston Aero’s Hockey Game. Let me share first that my husband loves everything sports and will watch just about anything sports related on T.V. I joke with him that if nothing else was on T.V. he would watch competitive underwater basket weaving. I on the other hand am not a big T.V. sports watcher but do love to go to live games. We also enjoy MMA and UFC fighting and that I definitely will watch on T.V. So right about now I am guessing you are thinking we just loves to watch violence when you factor in our like for hockey and fighting matches. There may be some truth to that because after the hockey game I commented to my husband that it was a very clean low-key game. There wasn’t much slamming into the walls, tripping, pushing, or any other aggressive activities you see at a hockey game. There was only one fight and it was so lame compared to what I see at home with my own children. It was broken up before it ever started. I guess I was hoping for an UFC fight to break out in the middle of the hockey game. Now wouldn’t that be something?
This did however bring back memories of when my girls were toddlers. The Aero’s had a special evening where if you brought a box of macaroni noodles to the game you would get a discount on your tickets. The macaroni was to be used as a noise maker during the game and then donated in boxes as you walk out and given to local food banks. Well, I don’t know how everyone else ended up but our boxes of macaroni were so broken up into little pieces we have no idea how anyone could make a meal of it. But the girls had a blast making noise with them.
What is your favorite sport and why?