Monday, June 17, 2019

TWTW - the one with the dads

Friday Mom and I tried to head to the shore Thursday night but were forced back to my house by torrential rain and flash floods. We left at 5:15 Friday morning and had coffee and donuts before I started working. When guests checked out she helped me clean which was so awesome and cut that time in half. Someone completely blocked my driveway and I had the cops out twice trying to find the person to no avail, I even searched for them on facebook. With Lisa and her crew on the way I had to get them out so the cops towed them but thankfully he miraculously arrived as his truck was being hooked up, he was let go, and all was well. 
After work I painted my nails (trying something new from Pacifica in Temple with a gold topcoat) then Mom and I headed to the boardwalk. We ate at Ike's, strolled the boards, people watched, and had Kohr Bros before sitting on the porch with Bruce & Ben. The weather was absolutely superb, I could have lived outside Friday evening. Thanks the early wake-up, we were asleep by 10:00. 
I was up at 4:45 to walk the dogs and made it down to the beach solo for a glorious sunrise. It was absolutely stunning and so nice to be down there alone with no dogs or anything.
Coffee on the porch, a long dog walk, a bit of cleanup, breakfast at the Beach Club, and I had my mom dropped off and I was home by 11. Thanks for all of your help mom and dinner and breakfast etc. I think it was the most time I've spent one on one with my mom ever and it was nice while also being helpful in my benefit LOL. 

It was my first Saturday in Philly since March and I had grand plans to drop in on parties and explore a park but MFD and I were both tired from the week so we watched Jupiter Ascending and I read a book cover to cover out back before eating leftovers, sitting out back at night, starting another book, showering, and heading to bed. I did some shore laundry and he ran the dishwasher and did the lawn but that was it for us and that was fine. Everyone was tired from the week and the fresh air. 
Saturday was also my BFF Michelle's birthday. Happy birthday Michelle! Love you forever. This is an old picture but one of my favorites. 

Another awesome weather day. Coffee out back, grocery run, Father's day prep, laundry and hanging clothes out to dry, outdoor blogging, some random pickup and clean up around the house to prepare for the week, finishing the book I started Saturday night, and starting another. 
Sunday late afternoon I stopped in at Mom & Rich's to see Rich for Father's Day then headed to Aubrey's parents' for Father's Day dinner with my Dad and Aubrey's family. It was a nice time as always. Home to read and shower and get ready for another week. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is greek yogurt with granola and mango. Snacks are hard boiled eggs that I freaking made in the air fryer and they're perfect (pre-heat five minutes, then cook at 260 for 15 minutes) and watermelon. I only need three days of lunch so that's either leftovers or my go to PB&J. Two dinners are pork chops in the air fryer with a side of spinach and sweet potatoes. I'll probably do scrambled eggs with a side of fruit a few nights too. For Father's Day I made a simple tomato and cucumber salad (dressing is 1/2 cup white balsamic, 1/4 cup olive oil, and water seasoned with black pepper, white pepper, ground mustard, garlic salt, and onion powder, and salt). and the simplest roll ups - hard salami with a little smear of whipped cream cheese stuffed with either banana peppers or pepperoncini and rolled up.

Hope you had a good one! 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - If you, if you could return don't let it burn don't let it fade

1. A good place to leave your keys unattended for an hour is NOT the roof of your fucking car on the street. 

2. The best friend dogs went to the vet yesterday to get bordetella shots. Ben bustled around, investigating everything and making friends with people (not dogs). Bruce was shaking and scared and when they took some blood (he got bit by a tick and we don't think the tick was on him long but just getting him tested), he cried and pooped on the tech. He's very my body my choice at the vet and I get it, man. I do. 
3. Since I was working from home yesterday, I hung my wash out to dry. I love doing that. My next house is having in the ground permanent clotheslines and I will be a washer woman like pioneers. 

4. I grew these. 

5. I've been drinking flavored water like it's going out of style. Still, flavored by moi, and sparkling, flavored by others. Aubrey got me a big fat case plus of Polar assorted and I am super happy. 

6. MFD is at a conference in DC. This is him speaking truth to power yesterday at a Medicare for All hearing without being arrested. Holler. Anyway when he's not home I have to do the things I hate doing like watering the flowers and getting up with the dogs at the crack of dawn. I do that at the shore, but I hate doing it on weekdays. Also when I'm alone the dogs know I'm vulnerable and will give in when they ask to eat like 50 times because MFD is not around to make fun of me for being weak. 

7. Speaking of, I am returning to Philly Saturday morning and when I realized that, I was all like...what do I do here on weekends? LOL forever. I haven't been in Philly for a full weekend since March 10.

8. My nails have been chipped since Tuesday and I can't paint them until Friday night or I'll just have to do them again and I am not okay.

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards: Just kidding, I'd never try to cut down, are you fucking kidding?

First five day workweek in a while for me. I'm going to make it. You are too.
What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Linger by The Cranberries

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tips and advice for your next holiday

South Africa about a mile from The Cape of Good Hope, January 2016
Happy Wednesday! Some travel talk for the day.

Make the most of travel apps
There are lots of great apps out there that are designed to help you make the most of the world around you. Of course, using your map app is a good place to start when visiting somewhere new. It is also a good idea to read this, Google Translate tricks you need to know about - Setapp, as it will inform you about different ways to make the most of Google Translate. This will ensure you never find yourself in the middle of a foreign country with no idea how to communicate or read the signs, which is my worst nightmare. Of course there's an app for everything nowadays, from booking restaurants to tourism forums, and so you should get your phone prepped before your trip and pray for wifi. 

Consider traveler's checks 
What a blast from the past, right people my age? Talking about them makes me think of National Lampoon's Vacation, but I digress. 

When going away on vacation most people worry about their travel money. How much money should you take with you? What is the currency of the country you're going to? Should you change the money before you leave or when you get there? Is it safe to carry a large sum of cash with you when travelling? All of these questions run through peoples’ minds. I typically use a credit card when traveling now, but the first time I traveled abroad I used traveler's checks. 

If you are unfamiliar, a traveler's check is a pre-printed check with a fixed amount on it.You pay the financial company in question the amount of money you wish to place on your traveler's check and take that with you over your own currency or foreign. While traveling you'll be able to pay for things with your traveler's checks at certain shops, hotels, restaurants, and you can exchange these checks for cash at a bank or bureau de exchange. If you lose your traveler's checks, unlike cash they can easily be replaced. You’ll simply need your serial number handy – you will get this upon purchase of your traveler's checks. 

The main reason why traveler's checks have been a popular form of carrying travel money for years is that they are exceedingly safe - you won’t be carrying around wads of cash with you, there is very little chance that anybody would be able to use them even if they were stolen. This is because when you purchase your them you need to sign for them. When you go to pay for something with them or you go to get out money, you have to sign again. Unless the person who stole them knows your signature there is no chance he or she will be able to take your money. If they are stolen, you'll be able to receive a replacement within a 24 hours. 

Obviously, safety is very important but you will be able to cash in on other benefits as well by opting for travelers’ checks. You can capitalize on a good exchange rate by getting your check in any currency you desire: yours or the currency of the country you're visiting. Opting for the latter can be gainful because you can take advantage of an attractive rate and you won't have to worry about finding a good exchange rate while abroad. 

Don’t forget to take baggage allowance into consideration when booking your trip!

Most of the time, when looking for a flight people will understandably search for the cheapest ticket they can find. However, the price you see first is often very different from the price you see when you get to the final stages of the checkout procedure. This is because there is everything from in-flight meals, to insurance, to tax, to hold bags to take into consideration. Instead, you need to consider these factors before you come to your decision. This can be extremely time consuming, but that’s where travel management software really shows its worth, as well as comparison websites.
You may think baggage allowance is only a tiny expenditure, but it can soon end up being a really costly one. Firstly, there are a lot of companies that charge per flight. This means that you have to pay ‘x’ amount for hold bags on your outgoing flight and then the same amount again for the inbound flight. This can end up being a considerable sum of money, especially if the hold bags are expensive to begin with. Aside from this, airlines have really cracked down when it comes to overweight cases. If you are even one kg overweight you can expect to be charged nowadays. It can prove to be much cheaper to buy extra kilos online as opposed to waiting until you get to the airport. The fees tend to be astronomical at the airport, as they know there is nothing you can do except to pay them. 

The cost of baggage and airport food annoy me, but they're part of travel. 

How do you deal with cash when traveling? Traveler's check or pre-exchange for foreign currency or no cash/tap MAC while there? And what are your annoying yet unavoidable expenditures on a trip?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Show Us Your Books: June 2019

Coming at you just under a week after Jana's birthday, make sure you give her a belated happy happy when you're visiting her SUYB post today!

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup.
Buy/pre-order links are referral links - they cost you nothing to buy through and the pennies earned offset the inlinkz cost of this linkup.

Engrossing Reads

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger - Nell was a kick ass lead character despite the character development being a little scarce here. I'd definitely read a series with her at the center. Free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes July 2    pre-order

The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader - I enjoyed this. Not the most prolific book in the world or super deep and ended tidier than I usually go for, but it was the perfect read for me at the time and I enjoyed it. I wish there would have been more about the sisters past, present, and future, but I liked both of them as well as the other characters and the setting. Free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes July 16    pre-order 

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager - Like the two other Riley Sager books I've read, this one was hard to put down. A quick and creepy read. Free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes July 2     pre-order

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner - A few years back I stopped reading Jennifer Weiner books. This one was sent from Netgalley, I didn't need to request it, only accept, and I'm glad I did. I read the forward, which I rarely do, and that probably made me like the book more. I would absolutely buy this one. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes today.     Buy

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson - A book about Appalachia, the love/power of the written word, and the advancement of women and those who are "other"?  I requested this eagerly and it did not disappoint. Free ARC from Netgalley  in exchange for an honest review      Buy

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham - The murder part of the story was a little messy but I loved the two main characters and didn’t want to put it down and wanted more at the end. I would love a part two! Free ARC from Netgalley  in exchange for an honest review, book publishes July 23      pre-order

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames - This was a hefty tome at over 460 pages. It started off spry but sagged like an old couch in the middle. There were probably 200 pages too many in this book. Overall I liked the idea of it much more than the execution. OCNJ library hardcover

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald - I couldn't put this one down even though there was a lot about it that annoyed me. It also gave me anxiety but in a good reading way not a bad life way. OCNJ library paperback      buy

Caged (Agent Sayer Altair #1) by Ellison Cooper - I read this because I have an ARC of the second in the series waiting for me to read and I was not about to start the second knowing there was a first. I liked it just fine and am hoping it settles more into itself in the second as series books usually do. Used paperback, own  buy (great price on the mass market paperback, my preferred format)

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney - Alice really went down the weirdo hole with this one. Pretty far down, too. OCNJ library hardcover    buy
Temper by Layne Fargo - At certain points throughout, I was like WTF is the reason for all of this, but at the end I think I see what it was, and it was sort of clever. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Not Worth It

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough - Meh. And parts of this would have been gross if they weren't so droll. You can do better, Sarah P. OCNJ library hardcover

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke - There's a lot going on here, and none of it feels important, because it seems like the author threw in every damn thing possible to see what worked, and none of it did. OCNJ library hardcover

The East End by Jason Allen - I was gunning for this to be the summer read. This book was much different than I thought - darker, harder to read. Less attention getting.There are so many books ou there that are have vs. have not, locals vs. have to do a damn fine job to be the summer read in those parameters and this fell short for me.  Free from Netgalley  in exchange for an honest review

I Know You're There by Sarah Simpson - Slow slow build. An okay read but nothing to write home about and definitely would not recommend. Free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin - Slow and sinister but nothing actually materialized enough to justify that for me. I kept going thinking something was going to happen but then was like okay when will this be over? This is a weird complaint but the dialogue felt off  - missing punctuation? Rushed? Whatever, avoid. 
Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Did Not Finish

What have you been reading? 
Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is July 9,  2019 
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, June 10, 2019

TWTW - the one with my ladies

Friday I was like a kid on Christmas Eve Thursday night knowing my girlfriends were coming into town on Friday. I was up until after 1 am. When I got up Friday Laura was 10 minutes out. We went to Sunrise for breakfast and Drip n Scoop for a National Donut Day donut, then to the bike shop twice for the perfect color basket for my new bike - thanks Dad & Carol for the bike, MFD for assembly, and Laura for the basket. Then we went to the hardware store and she installed my new toilet seat in the apartment because she is handy like that. 
 Melissa arrived, then Kimmy Foo Foo, then Kim, then Angie, and we hit the beach. It was cold but we had beers and pizza and talked and saw a wedding and laughed so loud a single lady near us moved her spot well away. Melissa put out a spread when we got home like she's been doing since we were 16 and everyone else was just serving stolen booze at parties. 
Dinner was ordered from Randazzo's (also known as Babazio's and Rosario's), tasty sandwiches was the buzz phrase, hair was braided, and we talked, laughed, argued, and shouted about everything under the sun. I went down around midnight to get into bed and ended up reading until 3. 

Breakfast at sunrise again where Melissa worked her magic to get us a table in the shade. Kim went up to rest and the rest of us hit the beach, where she joined us later, but the real MVP was Laura's pop up tent. There were tremendous winds and blowing sand but she got it set up. She recruited me to help her fold it up and it was a hilarious shitshow put on in full display of the entire beach. I am still laughing about this. 
Post-beach snacking of the eight bags of tortilla chips we subsisted on for most of the weekend along with over 12 bottles of wine, Belmont cheering, more talking and laughing and lounging and of course hijinks - another set for the books. I swear at times it was like scenes from a movie with us all scrambling around ridiculously, telling stories, mixing up stories, and laughing. Always laughing.
Laura left after the Belmont Saturday, the Kims both left before 10 Sunday. I showered, started taking stuff downstairs and assembling a trunk full of recycles, packed up my own stuff, and then joined Melissa and Angie upstairs before they took off. Last minute paint touch ups as our first longer rental checks in tomorrow and I dropped books at the library and was on the road home by 1:30. 
I picked up london broil and corn on the way home and was greeted by ecstatic dogs - Bruce remained ecstatic for over an hour.

Weekly food prep: breakfast is breakfast burritos from the freezer. Lunch is tuna salad over spinach. Snacks are red grapes and bell peppers. Dinners are leftovers from Sunday and air fryer chicken, I think. I haven't decided what to thaw yet. 

There really is nothing like this weekend for me whether my life is going well or not well. When you have been constant friends for over 29 years through good and bad periods, when the people you're with know you at your ugliest and your shining best and love you through all of it both because of who you are and despite how you are at your worst, it's the most secure and buoying feeling. It's like a giant recharge. The secret to sustaining friendship through the years and miles is to give each other the room and support to grow and change, love and/or tolerance for the parts of each other that have always been and will always be, to provide encouragement and also a safe space to land or retreat to, and to show up when needed, whether in person or via text. Love all my ladies. Thanks for another great weekend and physical stomach pains from laughing, and the cleaning gift and Amazon gift card! 

Show Us Your Books is tomorrow! See you here for that. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - Oh, I just sit up in the house and resist and not be seen until I cease to exist

Wondering why the hell everyone in DD Tuesday morning had to look at their receipt before claiming their coffee. The DD people were yelling out the coffee orders three times. You just ordered that less than two minutes ago, Derek. You don't know how you ordered your coffee? Get your ass up to the front to retrieve it and let us all get on with our lives. Man alive.

Hoping Bender stops rolling in poop. MFD alleges that he does it multiple times a day. Not for me so far.

Getting paid $125 for two hours of a focus group on Monday night. The topic: Planned Parenthood and bodily autonomy for women. As soon as I heard the topic, I put my hands behind my head and sat back like let us begin. As soon as I started opening my mouth, the facilitator knew she had the perfect candidate.

Replacing plates and silverware at the shore this year. My Dollar Store bowls are going strong from last year.

Remembering D-Day. 75 years ago today the world's axis started swinging back towards good but it would cost a hell of a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and lives. 

Celebrating pride this month (and the right for people to be who they are every month).

Missing The Obamas. Not because they were perfect people or because he was the best president or because they are without fault. Listening to Michelle Obama's book, I am reminded that we've had global representatives that had integrity and warmth and were not embarrassing, lying grifters.

Listening to Least Complicated by the Indigo Girls.

Reading: a shit ton of Netgalley books on my kindle. I need to get a physical book into my hands this weekend. Show Us Your Books is Tuesday. Yesterday was Jana's birthday, did you know that?

Fangirling when authors acknowledge you tagging them in something.

Sporting new hair thanks to Kristi. We talked about our reusable bags like 42 year olds do.

Watching: Billions. 

Looking forward to a great weekend with my girlfriends and a ride on my new bike. 

Reminding you:

Ecards: I feel seen.

What's new with you?

Linking up with Kristen

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