Friday, January 31, 2020

It's Friyay!!!!!

Happy Friday everyone!!!!

I normally don't post on Friday's but I missed yesterday because I had nothing to report.

And...I still have nothing to report but I am posting anyway - LOL!!! 

I am so super spoiled with online shopping - anyone else???? I just hop online whenever I need anything and order...next thing you know, it is at my door!! Life is good today!!!! I can not tell you the last time I went to the store and had to lug home heavy cans of cat food, cat litter, bird seed...etc.

I just order all the heavy stuff (and light stuff) via Chewy or Amazon Prime and it is there within two days! Very grateful from this option!!!

Okay - so here is my latest breakfast go to...I am sharing because they are delicious and I realized I am saving a lot of money doing this. I used to buy a breakfast sandwich every morning or get the frozen ones. They are expensive in the long run but if you get everything and make your own it is WAY cheaper!

So this morning I went to Walmart to get the ingredients...

I found these totes on clearance for $5 - we use these to store cookies when we bake at Thanksgiving...it is a huge thing for my family. Here is the post from last year if you are new here...




Here is all I got to make my breakfast sandwich....this makes A LOT!!!


Turkey patties...just heat in the microwave...


Egg patties...I know this is the epitome of lazy but it is the perfect circle and so easy to just heat it in microwave...


Then I add some light string cheese in between and it just gets a little perfectly melty...


And lasty I use the 100 calorie muffins. I do toast it and then put the sandwich together!


I was SUPER hungry after two barre classes this morning so I actually added an additional egg. I normally just use one. Delicious!! The whole thing in only 320 calories and I am full all morning!! I just love that I can put this together myself and save some money.


As I was eating, Faith was investigating....here she is trying to get a much of my sandwich!!!


That's all I have today. Nothing exciting is new but I think sometimes that is perfect! 

Happy to have a few chill days!!! Hugs to you all!!!!

What is your go to breakfast? Do you eat fast food? Are you an online shopper?








Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What's Up Wednesday


, What’s Up Wednesday {12.18.19}

Today I am joining in on What's up Wednesday...create your post and link up with  Shay and  Sheaffer.

What I'm eating this week?

I found this amazing smoked salmon at Costco this week. One package is $15 and has three pieces of salmon in it! Once I got it home; I was even more excited to learn that it was already cooked so I only needed to heat it up in the microwave for 90- seconds! Talk about a quick and delicious salad topper!!! YUM!
Monday:Power Greens with strawberries, blue cheese and salmon
Tuesday:Power Greens with strawberries, blue cheese and salmon
Wednesday:Power Greens with strawberries, blue cheese and salmon
Thursday:Power Greens with strawberries, blue cheese and salmon
Friday:Power Greens with strawberries, blue cheese and salmon
Saturday:Power Greens with strawberries, blue cheese and salmon
Sunday:Power Greens with strawberries, blue cheese and salmon
You can tell I do not have a family as I eat the same things over and over and over! HA!

What I'm reminiscing about
Aruba!!!! I did not go this year and I am so sorry about that! I love Aruba and I think I will need to travel there at least once a year from now on...


 
What I'm loving
My Starbucks January mug I got for Christmas from my sister!!! It is free refills on regular coffee or tea once a day for the whole month of January!!! This has saved me so much money already this year! LOVE THIS!  Thank you Kerry!!!




What I've been up to…
Mostly work, work, work but I snuck in a weekend away to Florida. I attended a Women's Conference there and it was completely uplifting and I feel sooo recharged!




What I'm working on...
Finally serious about losing this weight I have gained. I have gained so much and am headed in the right direction finally by doing barre class twice every morning before work. I get up at 4:30 AM and do class at 5:30 and 6:30. I am down 8 pounds since the beginning of the month so I am super happy!




What I'm excited about…
I will be heading back to Florida to hang out with my parents for a week or so when they head down for a month in March. I am so happy they take this time to get our of the cold and have fun in Florida. Super excited to golf when I am down there!

What I'm watching/reading…
 I love This is Us, Manifest, and A Million Little Things. Currently not reading anything. 


What I'm listening to...
anything that comes up on my iPod

What I'm wearing…
This jacket I got at Walmart! What a steal for $21...it is super cute and so warm!



What I'm doing this weekend…
As of now, nothing!!! YAY me! I will chilling with myself and may watch a little of the Superbowl but not making it a priority! I will be rooting for the Chiefs as I spent a little time there working last year and my Steelers are out. :-(

What I'm looking forward to next month? 
One month closer to Summer???

What else is new?
Nothing else at all. Basically working and waiting until we hear that our jobs are over. It is coming but we are not exactly sure when...Fun Fun Fun!

 Linking up with  Shay and Shaeffer



Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Beach Break Anyone?

Happy Monday ya'll!!!! 

I am using ya'll in the best southern drawl I can do!!! 

I spent the weekend at an amazing Conference in Jacksonville, Florida called the Southern Women's Conference and it was AWESOME! It is the first annual Southern Women's Conference and it was phenomenal! I met a ton of great ladies that are in recovery, heard SO many awesome speakers (testimonials) and also got to escape the Pittsburgh cold for the weekend....what a win win win in my book!!

Here is the obligatory selfie at the airport as I was waiting to the shuttle for the hotel...


Speaking of the shuttle; the hotel shuttle driver told me when he picked me up at noon on Friday that it was supposed to storm and be under 60 the entire weekend. I am happy to report he was WAY wrong. It ended up being 65 - 70 and SUNNY the whole weekend in Jacksonville, FL! YAY!!!

It was a weekend packed with women speakers on recovery from alcoholism and every one of them was amazing! There was not a lot of down time at all so I figured I did not need a rental car and that is why I took the shuttle from the airport right to the hotel.  

Here is the program to show you how packed the schedule was!!


I was able to squeeze a walk in on Friday afternoon....I had to get that in because I was worried after the shuttle driver said storms all weekend...it was beautiful there!!!!


There was a cute little pond by the hotel...I was literally walking around the airport as my hotel was technically at the airport just down the road a little - HA!


Saturday afternoon I was able to find an hour to lay under this palm tree and grab a quick nap! Ahhhh...


Saturday night - this was the view from my hotel window when I went upstairs to go to sleep....so pretty!!


There were a lot of crafters there...I found this awesome mug to bring home!!! I love the thing that looks like a crack in the top...I found it very ironic...seeing how I "put myself back together" with the help of a fellowship!!! So I bought the damaged one...very representative! HA


So the event was over on Sunday morning and I decided that I could not leave Florida without seeing a beach!!! I called the airport and got a rental for five hours! HA HA! I had the hotel shuttle take me to the airport and got a rental to drive 1/2 hour to the Little Talbot Island. It is a State Park in Florida...you all know how much I love State Parks from when I was traveling!!!  This did not disappoint.  I was able to take a three hour walk down and back on the beach and it was breathtaking!
Here are a few pictures I took...


Beautiful, right?



Then I saw this little guy. I thought he was stranded on the beach and I was so excited to run and save him by tossing him back in the ocean.



Sadly, upon closer inspection, I think he was dead. He had the ends of all his arms broken off and was very still. But I threw him back in just in case there was a possibility he was just playing dead... :-(


I just love State Parks for the raw nature they show you...


It was truly beautiful there...


On my drive out of the park...there was a huge swarm of birds circling and squawking like crazy...I mean hundreds of them flying in circles. I had to stop the car and get a picture....It went on forever. I have no idea what they doing.


Jxjj


The pictures can not do not do it justice...it was so strange and I have never seen anything like it before! Weird...


Soo beautiful...





There is nothing I love more than water!! Ahhh...


I drove back to the airport and turned in my rental car. As soon as I started walking to check my luggage; I got a text from Delta that my plane was delayed for two hours due to mechanical difficulty. That is the downfall of being two hours early for your flight. So I was trapped at the airport for five hours until take off....I had a nice relaxing dinner and Candy Crushed A LOT!!! HA HA!

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such a spiritual and amazing weekend with a ton of awesome and grace-filled women!!

Happy week everyone! Hugs to each and every one of you!


Monday, January 20, 2020

The Clarks at the Meadows

Happy Monday ya'll!!!!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!!!

We had very weird weather this weekend and I chose to stay home and out of the cold most of the time. It was a weekend spent hunkered under a blanket and surrounded by my cats with the exception of mornings at Barre class and one night out.

The Clarks (A very popular local Pittsburgh band) was playing at the opening night for the new lounge at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino.

I am a very addictive person so I normally steer clear of the casino as much as possible however, I really wanted to hear the band so off I went to the Meadows around 8:30 after my home group meeting on Friday night.

The awesome part of this story is that I decided I would spend $40 since there was no fee to see the band and I don't drink alcohol. I Put the $40 in a machine and bet each 50 cents with each push. I guess I did that about 10 times with little monetary gains or nothing each spin.  I was almost down ten dollars within 2 minutes so I just sat there and listened to the band a little and then cashed out and moved to a new machine. I put the money ticket in the machine and this happened with the VERY FIRST bet of 50 cents...




It was pretty awesome!! After I realized how much it was going to be I thought of you guys and started taping it! HA! I won $169.35 with a 50 cent bet!! So exciting and then I thought..."Wow! It must be my lucky night so I better keep playing and I will win a ton!!!!!" 

Well, that did not happen and that is the Not So Awesome part of the story. 

I played a while and just kept losing...then I promised myself that I would only lose until I was down to $40 so I break even for the night! Then when I was down to $40 I figured that I would keep trying to win again since I was planning on spending that anyway and ....

JUST LIKE THAT....

My winnings were gone (the whole $169.35) as was my $40 initial investment! I was so sad :-(

I just reminds me of why I should not gamble! I have a horribly addictive personality and I could feel the excitement when I was there...I don't know how to quit when I am ahead! UGH!

Oh well, easy come, easy go, right?

I went home sad and defeated thinking I should have quit while I was ahead! The rest of the weekend was spent snuggling my cats and doing barre! It was nice to stay in and get little stuff done too though like water change for the fish tank and sewing a tear in my couch.

That's it for my good fortune story for the week...now I am off to hear about your weekends!!!

Do you guys ever gamble or play the lottery? Why? Have you ever won big? What was your weekend like? How was your weather?


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Happy 2020

Happy New Years!!!

It is customary for me to go to my sisters house to spend New Years with her family! 


It won't be long until the kid's want to go spend it with their friends so I am in until the time comes when it is just my sister and her husband - at that time I will leave them alone to have a romantic New Year's! HA HA!

It must look like a lot of fun when I post every year because my brother in law's mother decided to come join us this year. I was off my game again for this holiday and hardly took any pictures. I will never let this happen again.

Throughout the evening we decorated gingerbread houses and painted a nativity set.

We drank non-alcoholic bubbly with frozen grapes and had silly string fights in the front yard.

Then at midnight...

  1. we ran outside and beat on pots and pans
  2. shot off a popper in the front yard
  3. screamed Happy New Year
  4. ate a bite of lucky Pittsburgh pretzel
  5. shook our change in our pockets
  6. jumped a chair. 
It is bound to be a good year!!!!

Here are the few pictures I took...







HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

No resolutions here!!!

Did you enjoy New Years? Do you stay in or go out? Do you make resolutions? If yes, are you still doing it?


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Christmas 2019

Christmas was a whirl!!

I had returned from my "end of the year" vacation with my Mother on December 21st and began Christmas prep.


We all drive to Ohio to stay at my parents house to be together for the holidays and luckily everyone was able to come this year with the exception of my oldest niece Jordan.  She has just taken a new nursing job so she is at the bottom of the pack when it comes to holidays off because, as we all know, nurses work EVERYDAY. But she is happy in her life and we all definitely missed her so very much!

So here are a few pictures to share with you. We exchange gifts and chill out together a lot. We also play a lot of fun games and eat a lot! I did not get that many pictures this year as I concentrated on enjoying the time with my family. 

So here we go...

My parents have a hot tub in their basement so the kids all enjoyed hanging out in there every night...here is their silly face picture...





And normal face...LOVE those faces!!!


Here are all my nieces and nephews together at the tree...minus Jordan though.


And then we added my parents to the shot. I wish we had gotten one with everyone but next year I will be sure to bring my tripod!


Here is the ring toss game we played off and on the whole holiday! HA HA!


My sister showed us this game...you compete to use a balloon to shoot cups off the table to winner played the other winners until one person got their choice of a gift card. Needless to say, it got REALLY competitive and more than a few tears we shed...I think it was the gift cards - everyone saw money! HA! This is Poppy (my Dad) and Matthew (my nephew)


Competition continued...Kyleigh (my niece) and Dan (My brother in law)


Susan and Kerry (both my sisters)


And Memaw (My Mom) and Poppy (my Dad)...


It was a fantastic Christmas holiday and it was so wonderful to spend time together as a family! I love them all more than I can ever say! 

PS - AGAIN - we missed you JoJo! 

How was your Christmas?? Do you play games? Do you spend multiple days together or just drop by houses and head home? Hugs to you all - thanks for stopping by and caring!


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Royal Caribbean - Horrible Cruise Recap

Okay - for today's post I am going to do my best to explain why I HATED my cruise I just returned from in December 2019.

I went on the 6 night/5 day Western Caribbean Cruise that left Fort Lauderdale, FL and went to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Cozumel through Royal Caribbean.

I splurged and got a balcony room for Mom and myself so we would be sure to have a serene place to just watch the water and read in peace if needed. Plus, I love watching and hearing the ocean! I thought this was going to be an amazing vacation!

I wanted to try a cruise because I figured once we spent that money up front; the rest of trip would fall in place and all food, recreation, lodging and beverage is paid up front. I selected the option to pay gratuities up front also so that charge was paid ahead too - I did not want to have to worry about any additional charges.

Not even a week passed after we booked the cruise and I got an email from Royal Caribbean asking if I wanted to pay an extra $30 EACH/per person/per day for wifi (So extra $210 per person). Then I got another email asking if I wanted to pay an additional $50 EACH/per person/per day for unlimited dining options (So extra $350 per person). Then another asking if I wanted to pay and additional $50 EACH/per person/per day for unlimited drink options (So extra $350 per person). I then came to find out that EVERYTHING is extra! Crazy!!!!

We flew into Fort Lauderdale and I was still super excited for the trip. I was cherishing spending that time alone with my mother. The night in the hotel in Fort Lauderdale was wonderful - great breakfast and spent a little time at the pool in the Hilton Fort Lauderdale before we headed off to the boat. Here is the view from the pool!



Then ...I learned how to use Uber. That was a bright spot in the vacation - Uber is great! It is so easy to get a ride and make sure you are in your correct ride and we used it from the hotel to get to the boat.  It is really convenient and cheap!!!

Then the horror really began....

We went to the boat...we were herded like cattle through rows and rows of security checks, etc. to get onto the boat. They separated us from our luggage and we found out we would get it back later that evening after we set sail...what they did not say was that you could opt to keep your luggage with you and take it on the boat yourself (apparently frequent cruisers know this). Note: my luggage never made it to the room until 8PM that night?!?!?! UGH?!?!?! 

Once on the boat - you have a life jacket muster station drill. Everyone is to go to their assigned muster station...ours was on the deck, in the sun. We went right away (I in my sweats as my luggage had not arrived at my room) to our station but we all had to wait until EVERY PERSON arrived...some people showed up 20 mins late!!! WHAT!?!?! Yes, we all stood at our stations until all the "better than thou" people finally showed up to join us (funny thing: if it was the real thing they would have been shoving their way there first!!!!) UGH!

The first night we sat on the upper deck to watch the Steelers game. Here are the photos from that...


 

The entitlement continued everyday on the boat! Families would get towels and use them to save chairs near the pool and then never show up to use the chairs. Or they would save six seats together and there was only ever two people laying there! This was ALL DAY every day! Dads would shove you out of the buffet line to get the family in there first!! You would think these people never ate! Honestly - all you do is eat...ugh!

So onto the issue with more charges. Every activity on the boat had a fee too! With the exception of the nightly shows - they were free and they were actually good. It was crazy!!! We had some icky weather so we decided to check out Bingo. We paid $60 to play bingo on the ship and they only did three games...seriously, three games!!!! I play at home and it is 16 games for $15. RIP OFF!!! My Mom did beer tasting only to find out at the end that there was a $25 fee for that too! The only free activity was napkin folding - I kid you not!!!! CRAZINESS!!!

The ports were a whole disappointment in and among themselves! We got off the ship at the first port to shop...every store had the same things! Very touristy and too many people begging you to come and ship in their store - we got back on the boat. 

I decided to check out reviews for the next port, Costa Maya. We were docking at Costa Maya and I found out that if you leave the cruise ship area and take a taxi to a public beach (Mahahual) you can escape the crowds. So, we took 20 minutes just to figure out how to leave the cruise ship area and get a taxi. I asked the taxi driver to take us to Mahahual Beach and he convinced me to go to a "better" place where for $15 we would have a chair and umbrella. I should have listened to my guy but we opted to go with his suggestion. We ended up at a tourist trap. The cab dropped us off and the men led us to a little, crowded beach and lounge chair. we no sooner sat down and had someone come by "Beautiful lady, you want to buy cigars?" then "Beautiful lady, you want a massage?" then another person "Beautiful lady, you want a wind chime?" then "Beautiful lady, you want a dress?". I did you not; it was constant. I left the chair thinking I would go in the water to escape the sellers and as soon as I walked into the sea...the man standing next to me shot a snot rocket out of the left side of his nose into the water. I never left the ocean more quickly! SICK AND DISGUSTING!!! UGH!!!! When I got back to my chair the disappointment hit and I just started crying....like balling...I could not stop. My Mom felt bad and kept saying "it is not that bad" but she hated it too. We stayed another 10 minutes and then paid for a cab back to the boat.

The last port, Cozumel, we did not even attempt to get off the boat. We left Cozumel port on Thursday Dec 19th to start back to Fort Lauderdale and then next day at Cozumel is when that accident happened where the two Carnival ships collided. It is weird because we kept saying it was shocking that they don't hit more often because the ships are soooo close when they are pulling in...it really felt like we were going to hit another boat many times when we watched from our balcony. Here is when we docked in Cozumel right across from another ship...we watched people get out of bed...HA HA! Look how close we are on this dock!!! HA



Okay - my last cruise disappointment...the BALCONY! I was super excited to have the balcony to escape the entitled crowds. I could read in peace and not have to worry about anyone ever taking my chair. Well, I was sitting out there on Day 2 while we were sailing and all of the sudden cigarette smoke was wafting over to my balcony-lots of cigarette smoke. and then marijuana smoke!!! UGH!!! I was so pissed! First of all, it is illegal and second of all, I do not want to smell pot - it is a big pet peeve of mine since my last boyfriend!!! So, I called guest assistance and they said they would address it with the guest. Not sure what happened but for the next four days - I smelled both pot and cigarettes EVERY time I went on my patio. So I called everyday to report them. They just kept saying it was being addressed. The only thing they did was on the last day offer me and my Mom $150 off our next cruise. I started laughing and said that there would not be another cruise ever. She then extended the offer for two years so I would have time to think about it. 

No chance I will EVER take another cruise - EVER!!!! 

In closing, I will leave you with a few pictures from our balcony...




The few bright spots of the trip...
  1. spent great time with my Mom (when I was not crying) LOL
  2. learned to use Uber which is awesome
  3. enjoyed a few smokeless hours on my balcony here and there 

So, that is my Cruise trip summary. I honestly only took like ten pictures the entire trip!!! 

Crazy for me!!! Anyway, back to Aruba next year!

Ever been on  a cruise? What is your favorite destination for vacation? Do you Uber?


Happy Thanksgiving

Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! I hope and pray that this blog post finds you well no matter what your situation for Thanksgiving. As you a...