Monday, June 30, 2014

Picture Practice: Night

On Mondays I'm doing a picture linkup with Kelli at Just Beachy. If you'd like to participate, here are the prompts through July. This is my photo for the prompt night. It's the Salem Witch night. A derr.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Five: Florida Style

TGIF! Reporting in from Salem, MA. My BFF Kim gets married tomorrow and today is full of things like mani/pedis, lunch, strolling town, MFD's arrival, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and all that jazz! Heather from My Little HEA is filling in for me and bringing you Friday Favorites - Florida-style. Like me, Heather loves reading, the flip flop, Disney, and the beach. When you're finished reading Heather's favorite things about living in Florida and entering the $50 Amazon giftcard giveaway below, I hope you head over to Heather's blog and check her out!
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1. Beach time - no matter where you live you can generally get to the beach within a couple hours. For me, it’s about 15-20 minutes! I’m not a big swimmer of the ocean, but I love laying out and putting my feet/legs in to cool off. I love that if I’ve had a bad day I can head to the beach for a drink and some reading. I always have a chair in my trunk just in case something like this is needed!
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2. Food and shopping options on every corner. Yes, every corner has something unless you live in the boonies and while I hate the reason they need all of these places (18.8 million people) I love that no matter what I want I can pretty much find it.
3. Tijuana Flats, Zim Zaris and Frenchys - most people have places they take family and friends whenever they visit and these are three of my FAVORITES to make sure people try. Tijuana Flats because it’s throughout the South now and Frenchy’s is only in the Clearwater / Dunedin area. They have FOUR locations on Clearwater beach alone.
Zim Zaris always has plenty of specials throughout the week and their fresh salsa with a hint of lime is delish!
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4. Flip Flops year round - I never used to wear open toe shoes without socks and it’s a good thing I grew out of that before I moved down here! Now, my body has adjusted to the temperatures in Florida so I don’t wear them year round, but I could. *wink*
5. Disney! Yes, even as an adult without any kids I love going to the theme parks at least once a year with friends and/or family. There’s plenty of day drinking to be indulging in and people watching is top notch. They’re also bringing new rides for Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast that we didn’t get as kids and still get to experience for the first time!
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                                      Check out Heather!

And now, a $50 Amazon giveaway. Get it. Have a great weekend!
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Linking up with  Meet @ the Barre

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday Thoughts - Jana Style

Hi ho hi ho, it's off to Salem I go. I'm road tripping up to Massachusetts this morning. My friend Jana who blogs at Jana Says (formerly The Townhouse Pioneer) was kind enough to step up to the plate to take over Thursday Thoughts today (spoiler: I died laughing at #4 below). Jana and I go way back to our shenanigan filled days together at the University of Delaware. We reconnected on Facebook and were delighted to find out we now have blogging in common. Please check Jana out and follow her blog, it's always witty and genuine. 
I am so thrilled to be guest posting here again. Steph is so sweet and generous for letting my special brand of crazy infiltrate her blog again. Some you may know me from my blog The Townhouse Pioneer but this week, I merged it with my other blog, Jana Says, and that’s where you’ll be able to find me from now on and I hope you’ll stop by and visit. You can also say hi on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
Keeping with Steph’s Thursday thoughts, here are mine:

1. For some reason, where I live (in Delaware), it’s been raining every Wednesday for the last few months. Ordinarily that wouldn’t bother me, but Wednesday is trash day in my neighborhood. There are few things that smell as bad as wet garbage. So either trash day needs to change or the weather needs to get its act together.

2. A few months ago, my husband won an iPad mini. It’s still in the box. It drives me crazy and he has approximately 3 days left to decide if he’ll use it before I take it. 
3. My daughter had cheer camp this week, for 3 days from 8AM-noon. What the hell is that? Half day camps are worthless. Four hours is not enough time for her to do anything or for me to get a break  do anything productive while she’s not home.

4. I love reading the Google search terms that bring readers to my site. Mostly they’re amusing. Occasionally they’re disturbing. Like yesterday. Someone found my site by searching for “Zumba fucking.” I don’t even know what to think.

5. My neighborhood has a community pool and you’re only supposed to use it if you pay your HOA dues. Which we do not. Nor do most people. However, I have a friend who does so we got to use the pool anyway. Take that, crappy HOA. My sunburned knees are laughing at you.

6. Speaking of that, how is exactly that my knees got sunburned? They had sunscreen on them because I am a crazy person about using it. And also, really, sun? My knees? You couldn’t pick a part that I don’t have to bend on a regular basis?

7. I went to a jewelry party the other night at my neighbor’s house. Ordinarily I turn down those invitations because a) I am antisocial and parties mean pants and b) I’m not going to buy anything anyway. But I decided to be nice this time.  I had fun with the other neighbors who were there but let me say, I don’t appreciate the high pressure tactics (read: guilt trips) they employ to get you to buy stuff. Please, just let me eat your food and leave. I don’t want to buy anything. 
8. Serious note: I am LIVID with the story in the news lately about the father who left his kid in a hot car and claims he “forgot” the kid was in there and the kid died. Bullshit. You do not forget a kid is in your car. That’s a big, fat lie. As a parent, I can say not once have I ever forgotten my daughter was in the car. Not. Once. Even if she was asleep and quiet. Also, have you seen his interviews on the news? No remorse, no tears. Nothing. It’s almost as if he wanted it to happen. I am so glad he’s been charged with murder and I hope someone locks him in a hot car.

9. While we’re on the subject of hot weather, if you happen to have an outdoor cat (like I do, although she’s more of an indoor/outdoor cat now, thanks to the polar vortex), a good way to help keep them cool is to take an empty ice cream container, fill it with water, and freeze the water. Then put it outside. It supposedly gives them something cool to lean against and when it melts, it’s cool water to drink. If you don’t have an empty ice cream container, freeze a bowl of water.

10. And since it’s Steph’s tradition to have an ecard of the week, I thought I’d keep that going:

Check out Jana at Jana Says!

Friday Favorites from My Little HEA & a $50 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June Recommendations

Skimmers, recommendations are in bold. Anything underlined is a link you can click on.

Aside from me, this month you get recs from Heather at My Little HEA, Rachel at Can't Google Everything, and Mercedes at It's a Harr Life.  Links to their social media accounts are under their recommendations. I hope you check them out and follow them all the ways or one of the ways. Go forth and enjoy!

1. Sons of Anarchy will be airing the seventh and final season this Fall and I started binge watching on Netflix this weekend. Seasons 1-5 are on Netflix and then I’ll have to figure out how to watch the sixth season before the seventh season starts. I watched NINE episodes this weekend; it’s vulgar, disgusting and full of really mean backstabbing people. I must have a bad girl side because I love it - Especially Jax!!! I NEVER do guys with long hair and um he would be my one and only EVER to make me break that.
2. Seche Vite Top Coat is the ONLY brand of top coat I trust. I remember using Sally or Revlon top coat in middle school and high school thinking it was worthless! Then after getting my nails done at the salon I saw what they were using, tried it out myself and haven’t looked back. If I give someone polish and they don’t have a set brand I sent them this stuff. It’s just that awesome - it’ll make my nails last 10-12 days with regular polish on my nails.
3. Papa Murphy’s Pizza is nowhere near enough to me to indulge on the reg and this makes me all kinds of sad and probably healthier. I mean, I would eat this pizza all the time if they were closer and definitely try their Chicken Herb Mediterranean, soooo good! They’re a take-n-bake pizza company that some places also lets you just buy their crust already on a bake sheet for $3!!
4. Jay Crownover’s Marked Men series. I’ll be honest, the writing isn’t top notch and there are editing problems but I read through the four published books in a week! They also feed my inner degenerate since I’m such a goody two shoes, but like seeing how the tattooed bad boys are with their women. Plus the series is based in Denver which is rare for the books I read.

1. Starbucks Iced Cafe Favorites in Caramel Macchiato.  I love these cartons of iced coffee deliciousness!  It is a great way to cool off on a hot day and saves me a trip to Starbucks, not to mention money!  It cost just under $5/carton and I get about 5 servings from it!
2. Essie nail polish in "Too Taboo." This color is from their summer neons collection and it is my summer color of choice this year!  It's my jam!  
3. Target shoes!  I love these gold sparkly sandals I got form Target last week!  They are only available online, but if you have their red card you can get free shipping and 5% off!  They are super comfortable and ooooooooh glitter!
4. Game of Thrones!  I have loved this show from the start but this season was especially awesome!  It's a little gory but if you can get past that then it's amazing!  Also- read the books!  I just finished the third one in the series and hope to finish the next two before the next season comes out!

5. Michael's holiday section.  I have been obsessed with going to the craft store lately and I am loving their seasonal/holiday section!  I have gotten tons of stuff from there for parties and cookouts!  Oh, and not to mention the coupons they give you with your receipt ever time you buy something!

1. A Lesson Before Dying: This is one of my favorite novels. It's set post WWII but pre Civil Rights Movement, so you really catch a glimpse into the lives of African Americans in the south through the eyes of Grant who is the only educated black man in the area. The story is about a crime that was committed and how an innocent bystander is accused of it and sentenced to death. It's really great!
A Lesson Before Dying novel.jpg
2. BFF Facial Cleanser: I've recently discovered Perfectly Posh (disclaimer: that is to my store) and have fallen in love with their products so much as to become a consultant (spreading the word about great products + product perks, yay!). Anyway this is an exfoliating cleanser that is like your BFF and works wonders. I've used plenty of products and I'm not going to say this one is better than yours, however I feel that it is SO worth trying.

3. Graze Box: I absolutely love mail subscriptions and this one is for food snacks! They're very small one serving size (almost about the size of 100 cal pack snacks) that vary from dried fruits, nuts, mini popcorn bag to pop, chocolate pieces, pretzels, and so much! Check out their website for all of the varieties, but I think it's a fun treat to get in the mail every 2 or 4 weeks (your choice) and it's only $6 with free s&h! You can also select your favorites and which ones you don't want them to send because they're not so tasty.

4. Chico Bags: These bags are my all time favorite reusable bags! They're cheap, come in so many varieties, and there are even specific grocery bags for particular produce in the store to maintain freshness! Here in the Bay Area of California (and I know a few other places) plastic bags are disappearing and it's costing $0.10 per paper bag, so Chico Bags are the way to go!

5. Tazo Passion Tea: I am a lover of all teas, but lately passion tea has really hooked my taste buds! I've tried other brands and I do like them, but the TAZO is just really great in my opinion, it's not overly herbal and has a yummy fruit taste to it. I do go to Starbucks to get it when I'm on the road, but it's just as great making it at home!
Tazo® Passion® Filterbag Tea

1. Big heavy books: Unfortunately, the two books I want to recommend to you are not light summer reads. In fact, May We Be Forgiven weighs in at a hefty close to 500 pages. And The Lowland is less than joyful. Both are good stories though and worthy of your time if you have some to spare.
2. Shark Navigator Lift Away Deluxe. Full blog post coming on this prize a week from today because I love sharing things that make hausfrauing easier.

3. Buying earrings at Kohl's. Good selection on costume jewelry and it's nearly always on sale. If it's not, wait a week, and it will be.

4. The Skimm. Every day I get the news delivered to my email inbox broken down in a fresh way, like The Skimm is talking to me one on one. I like getting the gist of what's going on with a quick read and not feeling like someone is reporting to me or pushing any sort of agenda. Sign up! It's free.
Via The Skimm
5. Chobani mango greek yogurt. Yes, I know the ones without the fruit are healthier. This is me not caring. I eat this mango greek yogurt most week days for an afternoon snack. It's usually $1 at Target too.

Thanks Heather, Rachel, and Mercedes for sharing your musts of the month. Please go check these ladies out!

What do you recommend this month?

This is my last work day this week and I won't see you back here until Tuesday for a delayed TWTW. SO...a few housekeeping things:

  • Follow along with me on Instagram and Facebook this weekend as I celebrate my BFF's wedding!
  • Thursday Thoughts with my college pal Jana of Jana Says tomorrow, comments will be open but responses will be from Jana, not moi
  • Friday Five, Florida-style, with Heather of My Little HEA along with a $50 Amazon giftcard giveaway! Comments will be open but responses will be from Heather, not moi
Peace in the east. 

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Linking up with Kathy for Humpday Confessions.

 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

Linking up with Liz for Fitness Blondie's Blog Hop:
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer 2014 Goals

Summer is not my favorite season. Heat makes me short-tempered and lazy, two character traits that I hate. I was tempted to skip over summer goals completely, but that's not my style either. So I'm keeping it simple and general. Ta da, mofos:

1. Exercise 3x/week and write it down.

2. Purge t-shirts, nail polish, basket near the front door, and beauty samples. 

3. Make sure I hit 100 ounces of water a day on weekends. I do it every weekday but suck badly on weekends and am rewarded with headaches.

4. Ride a roller coaster. 

5. Go to the top of City Hall.

6. Visit The Barnes.

7. Make three new recipes. 

8. Try three new restaurants.

9. Watch three new to me movies.

10. Read 10 books.

11. Picture Practice every Monday with Kelli at Just Beachy. Do you like to take pics? You can share your interpretation of her prompts via Instagram, FB, Twitter, or in a blog post using the hashtag #PicturePractice. Check the prompts out here.

Welp...summer is here.
Excessive heat is not sweet. 
Nor are stinky feet. 

What's on your to do list this summer?

Tomorrow: this month's recommendations.

 photo blue_zps875db80d.png click here to see how I did on my spring goals

Monday, June 23, 2014

TWTW - Relay For Life Edition

This weekend I got five hours of sleep on Friday night and zero on Saturday, so this is a picture dump of Relay For Life because as I type this I'm on 30 hours without sleep and I'm verging on hangry. For why I relay, see this post. For a little bit more of what it's like there, see Lori's (llf1020) comment below.

Thanks so much to all of my Random Acts of Kindness teammates and our framily who stopped by for 15 minutes, an hour, five hours, to show your support and walk some laps with us and buy some raffles and bring us food and coffee. Thanks also to all of you who donated to me online or via mail. You all rock. I've raised $1,730 so far. Sincerely. Thank you.

People, plus AUB who stopped in to walk in the morning and Kimmie, who visited in the dark of night.
Scenes from Relay
Winnings of me & MFD, including the coveted DD basket that's all mine
Skies of Relay
HOPE of Relay
We switched it up this year - new to us Relay (Bensalem), Lori and Perry set stuff up like rockstars on Friday. Lori rocked out as my team co-pilot. I didn't walk my first lap until 3 p.m. and I walked all through the night aside from a visit with Sister Secrets and an hour doing time at the information station for our team. I wised up from last year, saved my energy to make it through the night and never wore flip flops and I'm not in as much pain this year. The last members of our team (me, Lori, and Debbie) punched out at 23 hours - a respectable showing but not the full 24. My feet said absolutely not another lap, my body said you stink, and my mouth said I would like to eat something with a fork instead of your hands. We left Relay at 10 a.m. Sunday.

On Mondays I'm doing a picture linkup with Kelli at Just Beachy. If you'd like to participate, here are the prompts through July. This is my photo for the prompt summer.
This weekend was great, and on the less pain, Hallelujah and Amen, beacuse this week? Kim and Steve's wedding in Salem. Time to trade my Relay shoes for maid of honor shoes.

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Linking up with Kelli for

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