Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday without Words

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saige has Soul

Well, my daughter has officially become a paid worker (and it doesn't involve running after kids and wiping noses). Saige is literally at her new place of "employment" as I write this. It's so weird to say that out loud. We were not looking for it, we weren't talking about it, nada. It came upon us like most things God's intention. Being in the hotel, we have been going to dinner most nights and Friday was no exception. I Googled some restaurant reviews in the KMC (since I was in desperate need of something different than rustic German dishes) and Touch of Soul was on the list. "Family atmosphere, Southern American food, English speaking".

Sounds perfect! So we ventured off and the minute we walked in, I felt the South all around me. The rooms were sectioned off like a house, the American Flag was hanging all over the place, portraits of Soldiers old and new were framed throughout, and there she was...Mama West.

She immediately walked up to us and said "Well hey there honey. First time?" we said yes and she said "Well welcome...and sit where you like" Two seconds later she was introducing herself and telling us we may want to sit away from the mirror cause she knows "that baby's gonna wanna touch it and it's wobbly...not his fault, he's just a child and children like to touch." I was instantly drawn. She was no nonsense.

I could tell I was gonna be making many trips in my future. The menu was simple...fried chicken, ribs, fried pork chops and all the real.sweet.tea WITH ICE! On the front page of the menu, Mama's bio was there for all to see. Child to a family that cooks, and a culinary graduate in French cuisine.

Her passion was to show her love through feeding people. And she was the only cook for the whole place. One waitress and her. Talk about a personal touch.

I thoroughly enjoyed my pork chop, smothered cabbage, green beans and mashed taters. It reminded me of the many southern places we visited while living in GA. So good! Once we were finished, we said our goodbyes and went to pay...I should have known that Mama wasn't about having a credit card machine up in there. She didn't even sell liquor. So, George took the boys and hunted for a Geldautomat (ATM) while Saige and I sat at the front table and chatted up Mama. She told us her story about how she moved here in '95 to help her single father son raise his girls. 15 years later, her grandkids are graduated from college and Mama runs Touch of Soul in Ramstein. She explained that she loves it here. "It's like the old fashioned way of living, that's not all fast." Boy am I glad she stayed. The three of us girls were there a good 15 minutes laughing and talking about anything that came to mind. As George pulled up, we said thank you again. Out of nowhere, Saige blurted out something that shocked me instantly..."You know if you ever need any help here, I would love to work here." She continued to say, "It's so fun here". Mama's response, "Can you come by Sunday?" I felt like I was in a tennis match watching this go down. After the awkward smile I had on my face, I said "Well, what would she do?" She just wanted her to help make drinks and help Michelle (the sole waitress) out since she had to come in late. Saige was grinning ear to ear. Mama had told us in our chat earlier how impressed she was with our kids and she could see the love within our Family. I think she saw what I already knew...Saige is a gift to have in your life. So, they went over some details and times. She will come in on Friday and Saturday evenings for a few hours (She can't work on Sundays typically because of softball). And get 5 euro an hour (about $7.50). A little padding in her pocket and some good Mama wisdom every week. How could I say no to that? I didn't. I know she will enjoy it and do a great job. I can't wait to hear about her day when I pick her up. In the meantime, here's some research on Mama and her Touch of Soul. I know my peeps (Saige's other moms) want to get the 411 on this action, too. It takes a village you know. And Mama just moved in!!

I'm peeved I didn't have my camera at dinner...but it looks like I'll have more chances to snap these two hard at work soon!

Proud Momma,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Foodie Friday

I recently stated on my Facebook page that Burger King was in the market of selling Funnel Cake Sticks now. This is not only WRONG on so many levels, but it is dangerous to my well-being. I love a funnel cake from the "once a year fair/carnival" like the next girl...but to have it taunt me everytime I drive to the BX is just plain rude. I had a few comments about how oily and evil they I decided to make myself feel better about the 9 piece I had the other day and find something that could top it.

Enter today's Foodie Friday:

If you thought funnel cakes were bad for you...get a load of this!!

Deep Fried Coca-Cola

I am not kidding!

A guy named Abel Gonzales Jr. came up with this concoction for the State Fair of Texas this past year. No $hit!! First, he deep-fries Coca-Cola-flavored batter. He then drizzles Coke fountain syrup on it. The fried Coke is topped with whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and a cherry.

I don't know what I'd do without that cherry.

So if you're feeling froggy....DO IT!! (please with a cherry on top, of course)


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Coca Cola
Oil for deep frying

1 cup Coca Cola syrup
whipped cream
maraschino cherries


1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.
2. Mix in eggs and Coca Cola and stir until a smooth batter forms.
3. Preheat oil in a skillet or deep fryer.
4. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into a funnel or turkey baster and in a circular motion pour batter into the hot oil.
5. Fry up for about a minute on each side and drain on paper towels.
6. Serve while still warm and top with Coca Cola syrup, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

I love me some Coke and even some fried batter on a few things...but I must draw the line somewhere.

If anyone tries this...I desperately need a review.

"How do you like me now?"...said the funnel cake stick.

courtesy of

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wish List

We love books. We have books all over the house, and before our tsunami at the old house, we even had a reading room set up with the fireplace. BUT...since that didn't go over too well (the bottom two rows of one of our bookcases was completely ruined) I though this was a good idea to have in each of the kids rooms and maybe the office for easy reading.

Classy and functional. This would fit in well in any room I think...don't you?

Wednesday Without Words

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love is in the Air

Happy St. Valentine's day!

I must say, Valentine's Day has always been a Holiday we celebrated, but in a low-key kind of way. I am a believer that picking one specific day to show some lovin' is pretty disconnecting. We, at the Isla Casa, try our best to make it Valentine's everyday. So normally on THIS day, we incorporate creating some gifts for teachers and friends and then maybe out to dinner. Simple enough.

Oh, I do enjoy enjoy seeing the crafts that other moms/parents come up with for their kid's exchange. Aren't these so cute? Toddler parents always hook it up...

I should know ;o)

It's no secret that being at the hotel has really put a damper on a lot of our normal routines, especially if you slap in a Holiday. But I did my best and managed to score some "in demand" Spongebob and Transformers V-Day cards as well as a couple of gifts in my running around. Teage had a good time stuffing his candy/gift bags. And YES, the ladies do love you...

The movers were also slated to come the day after V-Day (today) so we had much organizing to do on the actual Holiday. Soooo you can only imagine the look on my face when George whisked me away to the jewelry store and laid this one on me...

"Pick out your ring babe..."



I about fainted right there. He had been mentioning it to me the last 2-3 years that I was in need of an upgrade to my original bridal set. As most my peeps know...I am not the girl that likes to be dripping in bling (too much can be tacky, ya know?). I am also not a fan of gold. And besides, I am that stubborn wife who says, "There's so much I could do with that kind of's not necessary" (insert the 2-3 years). But...WTF?! I mean ok...who cares if it was our tax refund dollars hard at work. He gave me open reign and there I bauble heaven!! Happy V-DAY to MAMA!!!

Doesn't just make you s-iiiii-ng? I am still in shock...

The icing was when he told me, "You're my wife and I love you. It's been 16 years of you and me. You deserve something beautiful." *tear, sniff* Eff Cupid...Love me some hubby action :o)

I don't think my gift of a spa massage with some truck accessories really measured up. It seemed so lame and definitely paled in comparison...even though he assured me he loved it. The kids received some chocolate, a couple games, some spy gear, and beauty supplies for the girlie. What a fabulous "pick me up" after all that has happened recently.

Moral of this story is...even though love shouldn't be pigeonholed to one day, it's ok to up the ante every now and then. THIS is one Holiday I will never forget!

P.S. Hey, snow fairy. Can you take a chill pill and stop denying kids of their education. They REALLY want to get back to school...


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mortals are Vastly Approaching...

I am finally getting back on my blog schedule starting next week. Mortals, Without Words, and Foodies...Oh My!! As a warm-up, I wanted to reintegrate a mortal post this week (it has been on my mind to share this anyway).

When we were back in AZ, our first walk into Maria's house was one I will never forget. She had this display of photos spanned all across the opposite side of her kitchen cabinets. It featured photos of both Isla Families with our kids. It was breathtaking and definitely a conversation piece throughout our many visits to her house. I took several shots and then stitched them together to make a life-like panoramic view so you could get the full effect. THIS is just a sample of what I have been talking about when I tell everyone how proud she was of her children and grandchildren...

(click to see it closer)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wish List

I decided in AZ that when I came home there would be some changes to take place within my Family and with our home. Today, I am talking about our house and the amount of STUFF we have. Most of our things we have had for ages. Some have deep meanings, but most don't. I refuse to forge ahead through life with pointless "crap". With three kids and a move every 3-4 years, the "crap" load seems to get larger by the minute. So with this last move, I am ridding ourselves of the "comfort" objects in our home and filling them with simpler, more meaningful pieces to carry into our Family's future...

With that said, I am compiling a wish list of things that catch my eye that I want to include in my inventory of change. This way I can keep track of what I have seen and what I want. I always enjoy feedback...but only if you say you like what I picked. LOL! (don't tell me you think that's ugly and wouldn't DARE hang that on your wall...because I'll just delete it - HA). Seriously, I do want to know what you think or if you have seen something similar helps in my search. Thanks and here's the first item on my list...

Favorite Places Board

Who doesn't want a board to highlight the favorite, memorable places you have visited in your life? LOVES IT!!!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Looking Up

I was getting sick to my stomach everytime I went to my blog and saw "that pipe". That pipe has caused so much strife in my life the past three weeks. Can you actually strangle a pipe? Anyway, I had to post something real quick in order to move that pipe picture down a few notches.

I present to you, our new home for the next 31 days...Hotel Garni. It is Family Friendly and above all, doesn't reek of water damage....WOOT WOOT!

We'll be moving into our house on March 9th...and it's only four years old. Things are starting to look up!