Posted in News, Self, Travel

Star Struck

HI THERE!  Apparently, I’ve been on an extended vacation from my blog since April!  I didn’t realize it had been five months until yesterday when I was searching the site for a recipe!

I’m going to try to bring you up to speed and then go into a little more detail about the fun stuff we’ve encountered over the last five months!

April and May were basically a blur.  I spent a lot of time planning for our Disney trip and try to lose the last bit of weight I wanted to lose before leaving on vacation (this was a fail by 9 lbs. by the way, but more on that later).  The girls made it through another year of school and the youngest graduated to the high school!  Incomprehensible to me, but true all the same.

In early June, we all drove home to Maryland to visit family and friends and to drop the kids off at their dad’s in Virginia, which we did casually and quickly from the back of a limousine!  Originally, my plan had been to drink some wine, ride through D.C. and take copious amounts of photographs during the ride, but plans have a way of going awry and none of that even came close to happening.

We wound up riding to Virginia to drop the girls off after having lunch with my best friend and her family (the same BF that I went to Tennessee to be with in the last post).  To allow for more girl time and catching up, we invited her and her daughter to ride with us, which they happily did.  It was nice to hang out – always is, but all the plans that I’d made were then null and void.

Also during our trip we stopped by the church where I used to work as a nursery school teaching assistant.  We showed up unannounced and that’s always fun, I love surprising people!  It was so good to see my former boss and co-workers.  I really miss some of them.  Even though I only worked there a couple years and my boss was only my boss for a year of those two, she became a friend, a confidant and a huge influence on me.  She became someone that I admire and greatly respect.

Before we left the church, I was standing outside my car talking to a friend/ex-co-worker of mine when a man and two women exited the building.  I took a double take and immediately recognized the man.  I said to my friend, “I know that guy!  He’s on one of my favorite TV shows!”  To make sure I wasn’t losing my mind cuz I was really excited about seeing him, I facebooked him and asked if it was indeed him.  Lo and behold it was!  And then, I was even more excited that he answered me!  And just to let you all know, I’m not easily star struck – at all.  The only other person I was even partially excited about seeing was a woman from the T.V. show “Starting Over”, Andy Paige and I saw her in a casino in Atlantic City, NJ!  I never approach them, but I sure do recognize them!  Here’s my excited – albeit short – exchange!

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Now, if you know anything about me, you know I just LOVE Hoarders!  And one of the reasons is Matt Paxton!  Just watch THIS and you’ll see why!  I didn’t realize this but apart from “Hoarders”, he also works with people in downsizing and estate planning, which is a fantastic service, especially for the elderly.  I wish I had known about this before my mother decided to give – slash – throw away half of the things she ever owned.  If you’re interested in reading more, here’s a link – Legacy Navigator.  I only found this info because I’m nosey like that…

July was my birthday month and also finally, our summer vacation!  The one that I overplanned and had HUGE expectations for!  I’ll post more about our vacation in a new post!  Thanks for reading and sticking around, I should be around more myself now!  Hope everyone has a great Monday!

xoxo

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Posted in Family, Self, Travel

Home Again

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This morning, I plugged in my card reader to go through the photos I took Monday at my best friend’s mother’s graveside service.  I’ve known my best friend since we were in Kindergarten, we were 5.  Our birthday’s are only 12 days apart, to this day on my birthday she calls me “old”.  That’s basically the only chance she has to throw that word out there and it not quite apply to herself, but only a few days later, she catches up!

My best friend’s mom was considered my second mother.  That’s even the way she signed her cards to me, she was probably one of the only people I could be myself around and she’d still accept me when it was all said and done.  This being said, my best friend wasn’t always my “best friend”, but she’s always been the friend I’ve known and kept the longest, 40+ years!  I was the only non-family member at her mother’s service there on my bestie’s behalf.  The service was bittersweet.  Since my best friend and I don’t live close to one another any longer, we don’t see each other very often, but when we do, it’s exciting and fun and it’s great to see one another.  This time, we came together with many different emotions being involved, but thankfully, the service went well and visiting her family went well.

I’m so glad I was able to be there, to give my second mother a final farewell and to remember her for who she was.  A beautiful, kind woman who gave birth to my bestie and loved me despite the fact I was no relation to her.  I will remember her forever and miss her always.

Posted in Self

Funky Friday

…and not the good kind of funk either.  Less than an hour ago, I decided I just wanted to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head and call it a day.  I don’t even know why?!?  Was it something I ate?  Was it because for the millionth time the dog peed on the floor?  Who knows, I just know that right now, I’m in a funk.  Today is one of those days I’m feeling defeated and annoyed.  Not because of anything specific, just because.  Vegging out in front of the TV with a container of Halo Top or 2, sounds like Heaven.  But – today is the last day of the girls spring break and you know what?  We did nothing but eat sushi and run errands.  Nothing “fun”.  No movies, no games (well, unless you count Uno), no real entertainment, I even made a list of all the fun stuff we could do and we did nothing.  They both did have friends over and one did manage to obtain her driving permit (woo-hoo), we did go clothes shopping for school, so we did do some things, just not what I envisioned for two weeks of break.  It’s raining and it’s cold and I’m just not in it to win it today.  It’s definitely Funky Friday.

xoxo

Posted in Blog, News, Self

Liebster Award! What what?

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Sooo… I woke up this morning to find that Xiomara from It’s Friday let’s Bake had nominated my blog for a Liebster Award – how awesome is that?!!  Thank you so much Xiomara!

If you haven’t, please take the time to visit her blog and check out some of her gorgeous desserts and baked goods!  This fellow “Hoosier transplant” really knows how to make your mouth water!

I have to admit, I had to read up on what a Liebster Award was all about but now that I have a better idea, I’m so very excited to be nominated and look forward to other’s answers!


11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

  1.  I am an East Coast girl.
  2.  I have moved 12 times in my life.
  3.  My favorite vacation destinations are Disney World and Las Vegas.
  4.  I LOVE to cook and try new foods.
  5.  I have lost 80+ lbs. in three years.
  6.  I have never had a broken bone (knock on wood).
  7.  The best friend I have now, I’ve known since Kindergarten.
  8.  I met my significant other online.
  9.  I didn’t start eating green peppers until I was 43 years old.
  10.  My girls grew up in the same house that I grew up in.
  11.  I’m an only child.

11 QUESTIONS FOR ME:

Q. Why did you start blogging?  A. Originally I started blogging to write down things I didn’t want to forget, but some how it morphed into more of a food blog, hence the tag line about making up my mind.
Q. Assuming money was not an issue, what is the one thing you’re dying to do?  A. Travel.  I just want to travel.  Constantly, in every possible way to every possible place.  And safely! 
Q. What is one international food dish you would love to make or want to learn to make?  A. Sushi, that’s a pretty easy decision.  I’ve made it once and eh, it was ok, but I’d like to make different kinds and be proficient at making it.
Q. What’s your favorite style of music?  A. I like all types of music, but my favorite style would have to be Top 40 – whatever is popular at the time.  My all time favorite music is 1970’s music, but I don’t think that’s a “style”.
Q. What is your favorite season and why?  A. Spring.  I love the temperatures that spring brings and it really is a rebirth.  I feel like all things are possible in the spring.
Q. Do you have any pets? If no, are there any pets you would like?  A. Oh yes, we have a dog, 3 cats and a fish!  I love all animals, but we’re pretty much up to capacity here!  I have always wanted a horse and a pig though!
Q. What’s the most important thing in your life?  A. My relationship with my children and with my better half.  They are my reason for living.
Q. What is your favorite dessert?  A.  That’s a tough question.  My favorite desserts are ones with creamy fillings, creme brûlée, eclairs.  I don’t think there’s actually a dessert I would turn down.
Q. Can you bake? Do you like to bake?  A.  I can bake and I love to bake!  Baking is my favorite and I know it’s my kids favorite!  I love to bake cookies and cupcakes especially but I’m not very good at baking cakes from scratch.  I always think they come out too dense, I like light and fluffy. 
Q. What are your hobbies?  A.  I don’t know that I really have hobbies any more since I bounce from one thing to another like I have ADHD, but I love to cook, bake, experiment in the kitchen, I love to take photos, I like to travel and read.  Life is really busy right now, planning for college, a wedding, vacations…all hobbies in some capacity I suppose.
Q. What have you read or listened to recently that touched you?  A. I’m reading a lot about preparing your children to leave for college, I think the realization that that time is coming up quickly is touching me – hard!  I become teary eyed at the thought that my babies aren’t babies anymore!  It’s kinda scary!


11 QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is the theme of the blogs you follow the most?
  3. Whom do you feel has been the biggest influence in your life?
  4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  5. What would be your last meal?
  6. If you could be known for one thing, what would it be?
  7. What was the last thing that made you really laugh out loud?
  8. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
  9. Do you drink – beer, wine or liquor?  If so what?
  10. Do you think you’ll still be blogging 10 years from now?
  11. What’s your favorite thing to do when you have down time to yourself?

10 Liebster Award Nominations (in no particular order)!

https://greattastebuds.wordpress.com – warm kitchen; great food
https://spaulyseasonalservings.com/
https://inspirethemom.com – enjoying motherhood together
https://thecakechica.com – organic cooking; from scratch baking
https://noplatelikehome.com – inspiring tasty cooking & DIY for a busy life
https://grace2882.wordpress.com – living low carb for a healthier me!
https://sistersweetly.wordpress.com – living the sweet life one Saturday at a time
https://emotionalweightloss.wordpress.com – shedding the emotional blubber
https://cherichat.wordpress.com – marriage, mayhem and mirth
https://vanishingcoastalgeorgia.com – photographs by Brian Brown


The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award:

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the award and in it you will:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.

  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1100 followers. (I’ve seen the number of followers vary)

  6. Create a new list of 11 questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.

  7. List these rules in your post, feel free to copy and paste from here.

Once you have written and published it, you must:

Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Posted in Self

A Sad Realization

Today I am happy.  Generally for the most part satisfied, content and happy with my life.  Sure I could win the lottery or my kids could be handed full scholarships to Purdue or Notre Dame or I could lose this damn 20 lbs. I’m STILL struggling with or, I could just decide to be happy with my life.

I am choosing the latter.  I’m tired of being stressed and worrying about things that are completely beyond my control.  It is not MY struggle.  The sad realization is, is that I can’t fix people who do not want to be fixed.  I can’t fix someone that is mentally ill, I can not fix someone that finds reason to be incapable.  It is not my struggle.  Why is it that some people do not want (or can’t) be better, they don’t even want to try.  Back in the day I watched Dr. Phil – a lot!  And he used to say, “what’s the payoff?”  Using that logic and looking at it objectively, I still do not see any payoff to becoming dependent and a victim.

Truth be known, I had a rough childhood, I’ve lived with all types of different abusers and abuse and I’ve been through things I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  But I am not a victim.  As a grown woman heading towards 50, I am the controller of my destiny and no matter what type of relationship I came from, I had and still have a choice.  My choice is to stop the victimization and the co-dependancy and to accept the fact that I control only myself.  It is not my job to try to control those that continue to make themselves victims.  Life is a one man show…be your biggest fan!

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Posted in Food, Self

Love at First Bite

I grew up in a different time with a much different lifestyle than I live today.  During the summer, we would go to the beach to visit my grandmother, she had a live-in housekeeper.  I would wake up early, run downstairs into the kitchen where the housekeeper would be fixing coffee and readying things for breakfast.  Every morning, I would beg her to make me “eggs and gravy”, sometimes, she would concede and I’d get my “eggs with gravy”, other days she’d flat out refuse – usually because we’d had it the day before!  It didn’t matter though, I’d still ask and if she’d make it, I’d always eat it!  Both she and my grandmother have long been deceased but this is still one of my most fond memories and still one of my most favorite foods.

I have slowed down my consumption of artery clogging eggs Benedict but I have not stopped loving it!  And although eggs Benedict day is April 16, there’s no better day to make eggs Benedict than today!

I asked my daughter a couple months ago that if she could learn to make one meal, what would she want to learn, surprisingly she said eggs Benedict.  My assumption would be because it’s one of her father’s favorites as well and she could woo him with her skills if she whipped up some of this for him!

Yesterday morning I woke the youngest up out of a dead sleep and told her today was the day she was going to learn to make eggs Benedict!  She wasn’t real thrilled.

This is a crazy easy recipe, no one needs to be hesitant about making it or shy away from it because of the sauce.  It does take a bit of organization, but nothing you won’t get the hang of.  The Hollandaise, once you make it a few times, will become second nature.  I’ve made it so often that I can tell if it’s going to turn out before I even pour the butter into the blender.  Strange, but true.  One piece of advice, until you become proficient at making the Hollandaise, don’t use the most expensive ingredients.  I’ve had to throw the whole blender full away a few times!  Eeek!

Eggs Benedict
Makes 2 servings

Begin with making the Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks
2 T. lemon juice
cayenne pepper to taste
2 sticks of butter, (I use Land O’Lakes and if you use salted, don’t add salt, if you use  unsalted, add salt to taste)

Add egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt (if needed) into blender.  Melt butter just til boiling, remove from heat (make sure the butter is NOT bubbling) and pour directly into running blender.  Sauce should thicken almost immediately.  If it’s clumpy/gritty looking – it’s no good, if it’s smooth – it’s perfect.  Stir the sauce.  Hollandaise should be thick, not runny.  The spoon should almost stand up.  If the butter was too hot, the sauce will separate, if it’s the correct temperature, it will have a smooth and creamy texture.  You can keep it warm by placing the blender into warm (not hot) water until ready.

4 eggs
8 slices Canadian bacon (I use Jones)
4 english muffins (I use Thomas’s)

(Here’s where you have to be a bit organized.  I start the water to boil and make my bacon and muffins.  I keep the bacon & muffins warm in a 200* oven and once the eggs are ready I place them on top of the bacon and then spoon the Hollandaise on top.)

Fill frying pan with water and a tablespoon full of vinegar to keep egg from feathering.  Lightly brown the Canadian bacon in a frying pan.  Toast and butter the english muffins.  Place bacon on muffins and keep warm. Heat the water until simmering then add the eggs one at a time.  Cook eggs about 3-4 minutes depending on desired doneness.  (I have always eaten this with the yolks runny and the whites cooked.)  Remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and dab onto paper towel to soak up any remaining water.

Place poached egg on top of the Canadian bacon and spoon the Hollandaise on top of the poached egg, sprinkle with parsley. Serve with a fruit salad for a completed meal and enjoy!

Needless to say – as you can see from the photos – she did a great job.  She claimed she didn’t want any, but after everyone else started eating theirs, she couldn’t help herself.  It was delish, as usual!

Hope you all have an eggs-cellent day!

xoxo

 

Posted in Finance, Self

iPhone vs. Android

This weekend was full of almost nothing but becoming re-acquainted with my iPhone.  Back in July, my iPhone 6 plus’s camera decided to start producing only out of focus shots, and if there’s one thing I have to have almost more than a phone is a camera.  The BH had previously bought me a Samsung Note 4 to try.  I did for a couple months, but I wound up going back to the iPhone since that’s what I’m most comfortable with and find to be most user friendly.  I feel that Androids are made for more technical people and I am NOT anywhere near technical.  Truth be known, it’s probably all in what you’re used to.  When androids first came out, we tried a tablet and it was horrendous.  It was so slow!  But I will say – they’ve come a long way and in a lot of ways have surprisingly surpassed the Apple.

Now I know there are people who are Android fans and they wouldn’t dare go near an iPhone, but that’s not me.  I do think that Apple has done a backslide in every way, shape and form since Steve Jobs died.  They definitely are not keeping up with or outpacing Androids any longer.  If they are going to have any hope of staying out in front (which I believe is a very very small margin at this point), they are going to have to build a better product and perhaps, get back to a little more reasonable customer service.  You can tell that their customers are NOT their top priority and that’s extremely disappointing, without us they have nothing.

The two previous iphones that we’ve had (both 6+), have not been up to par – at all.  And I wouldn’t go anywhere near a 7.  With that being said, I think the iPhone 6 plus is a great phone, however, it doesn’t hold up long enough and the warranty isn’t good enough to justify such a huge expense.  Apple really needs to back its product with something other than $125 for insurance and then MORE money on top of that to repair it.  That’s a bit much considering these things are over $500 as it is.  That’s theft.  Morally, I’d drop Apple in a heartbeat.  But realistically with only these two options, my choice is the iPhone, hands down.

Thoughts?  What’s your choice and why?  Have a great day everyone!

xoxo