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Dec 29, 2013

Did ya miss me?!

Ok, so before I am judged for being completely MIA... I'm Sorry!! Who missed me??  

So in the last month (the shame!) tons has happened and the holiday completely kicked my arse! I have been so dang busy with work, school, shopping, trying to gym it.. but I am sure most of you have as well so let's just forgive, forget & move on shall we?

Well, I am not going to pack everything in to a crazy-long recaps because #aintnoonegottimefordat and that would be hella long. So here it is...

Thanksgiving = Excellent as usual
Black Friday = Absolute Chaos as always! A yearly tradition that keeps getting better and better.
Thanksgiving Break = non-existent because you spend all week getting ready to Thanksgiving, then here it is, then Black Friday and then..back to work on Monday.

December - A blur.. a complete and udder blur.
Cookie Party = I am sure I gained about 12 pounds, but damn those cookies were all slammin!
Praying for Winter Break = Every.Damn. Day. Those kids were OUT OF CONTROL. I mean it was Friday the 13th & a Full Moon & the week before break all on the same day. Thanks for that...

So here we are on Christmas Break (yeah, its not PC but whatevs) and I am loving life. I feel relaxed and focused on me again. Working in a high school can really take its toll sometimes. But I have some fabulous blog post coming this week that will kinda recaps some of the bigger things with pics and such (I love a good picture blog) and some new ventures that I am all up in. Hello Jamberry Nails!!  Haven't heard of it... Go take a look - you won't be sorry! I will be posting up a separate blog telling you all about these. You can even have a virtual party (thank FB or Instagram, or even Twitter)


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Nov 17, 2013

Inspiration Monday: Financial Strides with YNAB

Hey Y'all!! I'm linking up with these fabulous blogs this week to jump back into the blog world ;-) Check out these super cute blogs that are jam-packed with fabulous recipes, activities, crafts, etc. 

So like most people, I am excited about Christmas coming up but I can't lie... it always causes a bit of stress because while my hubs and I have decent jobs - it always feels like we are stretching the dollars even farther than we normally do. We've had several conversations lately that usually include the catch phrase "We work too hard to live this frugal". Now, I love me some coupons, lets not get that twisted. I will hold up a line while I go through my binder. Go ahead with your dirty looks... nothing feels better than feeling like you totally made Publix your bitch. 

So I decided that I wanted to make a budget.

Pretty much my thought in regards to budgets. I don't even keep a checkbook register. I have the mobile app that I check like 459 times a day. Whatevs... So I begin searching for something that I can actually use, understand, and hopefully rope my husband into using as well. (HAHAHAHAHA).
While Quicken was an option in my head, the new versions are a no-go for this Mac girl so I moved on sadly to find something else. Mint... ehh, I like to put things in my check register (when I use one) so I can see from what check things get paid. I don't like waiting until after stuff as already hit the bank account which is what Mint does. That does not work for this girl. 

So I searched...and searched...and searched... (really, this was a bit much) and I found an app on the Apple Store, "You need a budget" aka YNAB. I did some reading, watching some videos and I decided that it was pretty user friendly. However, the price tag at $59.99 held me back a bit. I mean for someone who is trying to formulate a way to save, the last thing I want to do is dish out $60 bucks on a "maybe I'll use it". So I hopped over to the website & downloaded a 34 day free trial.

So far so good. It did take a little bit to set up & get the info. rolling but I love that you can set up the budget to give every dollar a job whether it is paying something off or sending it to saving or heck even starting to plan for things you know are coming up later in the year, like these damn Vet appointments that leave me broke as a joke after. I set up a few "payables" that will set aside money for those upcoming things to help either off-set the cost or complete have it ready to be paid when the time comes... hello car registrations, 2 in the same month after no pay for 2 months from summer. Yep, that sucks every year.

So I am going to give this a whirl... poor timing perhaps as here comes fat boy and all his jolly, gift-giving goodness. But I figure its better to start now to maybe keep a better handle on crazy spending. Since we operate in a cash only world (no credit cards, none, not even one)...our pennies count. So here is to 34 days of trying to become more budget aware. Wish me luck!

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Nov 8, 2013

Boots and Beads

Ahoy Mateys!!!

For those of you that are wondering why the pirate introduction - it is officially parade season!! I am part of a fabulous pirate krewe and we do several local parades including the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion in which thousands of "pirates" take over the city of Tampa to pillage and plunder. We have parades, 5K's, and several other events that go on and Gasparilla Season starts in January officially but this weekend we have our first parade of the season, The Veterans Day Parade which is just south of us in Ruskin. Nice little parade, throw some beads & honor those who have fought for our freedom to have such celebrations and all of the other fabulous stuff we have to celebrate. We also visit the VA Hospital and the spinal injury unit which is sometimes difficult because several of the patients are just young boys. Its heartbreaking but I love to go in and bring a smile to their face.

So for this #backthatazzup link up - I figured some parade music would be fitting to start off my weekend.
A little Wobble to get the groove going...
Wobble by V.I.C. on Grooveshark
Not sure what it is about this song, but I can totally have this on repeat all day.
Royals by Lorde on Grooveshark
Have you thanked a Veteran? Well if not.. hello?! What are you waiting for? You've got all weekend to recognize someone that has given their life to the service of this fine country. I would like to say a huge "Thank You!!" to all those that are serving, have served, and those who are currently serving.
A special dedication for Vet's day with some of my favorite "All-American" songs :) 

American Soldier by Toby Keith on Grooveshark

God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood on Grooveshark

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Oct 29, 2013

Xoxo, NYC part 1

For many reasons,  I count my blessings...I am blessed by a wonderful family, a loving husband (who will get plenty of shout-outs throughout this post) and some awesome friends (again, many shout-outs). I am fortunate enough to have a career in which I can take personal time & my boss encourages us to take care of when this offer presented itself, I just couldn't pass it up. So my friend, Kim works in FL but travels to NY and since she was staying for a lengthy trip offered me a weekend tour of NYC. Now, I have visited previously but it has been sometime so I was ecstatic to accept her offer. I have always loved NYC. It only took one visit for that city to capture my heart. I have always wanted to live there, to be a New Yorker (I'll settle for the transplant label), and to be amongst a busy city. Blame it on Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte or Blair Waldorf... I love NYC and I have always wanted to live there. So here I sit on the plane somewhere over Tennessee looking at my pictures from this weekend that I purposefully didn't Facebook, Instagram, Tweet, etc so I could do a blog post with them all in one place... You're welcome FB followers cause there were a ton!! I'll try to have some self restraint here, but I make no promises ;)

I do love me some inflight photos. I adore flying, I once tried to get a job as a flight attendant, but quitting college wasn't highly favored with the fam. I digress... 
Let's start with Friday, I fly in and get picked up by a fabulous car service (VERY New York, aka Mr. big style car) and into the city we go. I flew into Newark, NJ so this was my first experience in a tunnel going from NJ to NY. Can't say I was a fan. It's tight quarters  and if something goes down you better hope you can get out 

 Some perspective for ya: it's dark, enclosed, no thanks.  But we come out of the Holland Tunnel and come around the corner to this ....
The new Freedom tower. It took my breath away. I don't know if it was from the beauty of it or for the purpose that stands so tall with this building. It truly was breathtaking. I was staring at it as we sat in traffic just in awe. It symbolizes so much to me; loss, sadness, terror, freedom, rebuilding, renewed life, pride.. I could go on and on. You will note this will probably not be the only pic you see of this building from this trip because I could have taken 100's. I just feel it stands for so much. If you have the chance to go, please take the opportunit. The last time I was in NY the Twin Towers stood so visiting the site was very emotional for me. More on that later...

So night one in New York consisted of eating pizza (DELISH) & shopping - two of my favorite things! We walked all over the place, forgive me I can't even pretend to know road names, and we popped in and out of store after store, We spent a good amount of time in Old Navy, all 4 floors of it. We came out with full intentions of going across the street to take in some Macy's action and we are greeted by sirens, tons and people and even more flashing lights.

I definitely panicked a little inside because for this many ladder trucks, fire engines, and cop cars to be smashed into one area something was definitely going on. No one really knew so I took to twitter to figure it out. Of course someone in the twitter universe had used the Macys hashtag and posted about a fire in the basement. I was definitely glad that we had went into Old Navy first rather than Macys because your girl would have flipped. We decided it was enough excitement for one night (and the streets were packed) so we headed back to our hotel on 34th and Lexington (I do remember that in case I got lost). However, we did make a pit stop at Crumbs, a cute little bakery with Devine cupcakes. And wow are they amazing!! 

This is my pick, the birthday cake cupcake. And shame on you NY for proudly displaying th calorie count of every fresh-baked morsel of goodness. This pretty little thing came in at 870 calories, but that didn't steer me away. No sir, I figured I was walking all over hells creation, so I was getting it. It was awesome, I didn't eat it all in one sitting though, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. If my trainer found out he would make me do burpees til the cows come home.. So shhh, okay? And yes, while I'm on the admitting train I had pizza twice Friday. First place, not so good. Second place, Kings, was awesome. So awesome.. There is a slice in the overhead compartment coming home to my dear hubs. :) So this was my Friday... I'll continue tomorrow :) 


Oct 21, 2013

Weekend recap - late yet satisfying.

Well luckily I am FINALLY feeling almost normal again... I mean its only been over a week now! Ridic.. anyways, so like I rambled about in a previous post I had a great weekend last weekend in which I purposefully took pictures of so I could do a great recap. Yeah, well day late dollar short.. whatever, I am gonna blog about it and damn it, I hope y'all read it :)

So I will stay say we are super lucky to get to see this view ALL the time! We have annual passes so we are able to go whenever we please which can be really nice as a little mini-vacay. This particular weekend we went over on a day trip as lots of our friends were camping in Fort Wilderness. Not like tent and roughing-it camping, but a style much more friendly to this concrete-loving, AC-having city girl. Welcome to the world of air-conditioned travel trailers and pop-up campers. 

As if Disney wasn't already magical, but Fort Wilderness is just awesome and way relaxing anyway. Granted, there is not an over abundance to do at the camp sites, but this turned into the allure of the sites as it is necessary to sit down and DO NOTHING. Just relax. That is a commodity in and of itself. 

Doesn't this just look like relaxation? Trust me.. it was! 

We also stopped in the horse stables to visit the horses.. Nevermind those signs as my friend Terri gives the horses some rubs ;-) 

And HOLY Crap do these people go all out for decorating? I love me some Halloween and here are a few pics of the peeps that must love it as much as me. 

This one below was my favorite. Their whole site was set up as a wrecked pirate ship!! It was amazing.. moving water features, skeletons, some halloween flair as well. I'd say it was the best one overall. However, I could be biased since it was Pirate themed. Whatever, it was the best one.

A nice young lady at a friend of ours camp site brought a cookie decorating kit and like all good adults, she wanted people to help her decorate cookies and we all obliged. Kinda like when a toddler hands you a toy phone... you answer that thing pronto. Here is my creation. yeah, it sucks. Whatevs. 

Some of my krewe as there always have to be some inappropriate pics.

We decided to head over to Magic Kingdom after a few drinks by the campfire and we took the golf cart with our driver, Nick, transporting all 8 of us over. Yeah, pretty sure we were at weight limit and over-capacity.. but we made it. My legs were burning as that was a two minute squat and hold seeing as I am short so I automatically get put on a lap. But hey.. its never too painful for a picture!! 

Took the boat over to MK and as we were pulling up the 9pm Fireworks started and what a sight. I have viewed the fireworks several times, but this time topped almost all of them as we were on the water and could see everything including the castle. They were beautiful! I am a fool for fireworks.. not sure why but I have always enjoyed a great firework show and Disney never disappoints. 

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Oct 20, 2013

The Collective - Link up

Peacoats & Plaid

I'm linking up with Peacoats & Plaid again to meet up with some other bloggers and gain a bit more of a following. Ever feel like your blogging to yourself!?! Well.. Go link up and get yourself some followers! Also, check out the Peacoats & Plaid blog. It has quickly climbed to the top of my reading list! 

Oct 16, 2013

So What Wednesday Link up

This week I am saying SO WHAT if:

1. I post like 17 Blog post today. I am finally feeling better and I do what I want.
2. It is almost this coming weekend and I am still crafting my weekend recap of last weekend :) I had a great time and purposefully took pictures with the intention of blogging. So it may be late but it will happen.. so just read it.
3. I have been sitting on my chapter two of my dissertation for about a week now. I have some easy revisions to make, but frankly, I just don't feel like it. #nothebossofme
4. There are dishes in the sink that definitely need to be done.. *cough cough* I feel sick again....
5. I have made it through this sickness by surviving on BC power, Z-Pack, Strawberry-Watermelon Gatorade, and Strawberry flavored fruit snacks. 
6. I have missed the last two days of work and I know that there is crap stacked up waiting for my return... ugh!
7. I leave for NYC next Friday, who needs to pack or wash clean clothes.
8. My trainer has texted me the boxing schedule twice this week..does he not realize I was at deaths door step the last few days?! I mean seriously. 

I love this weekly link with up Shannon over at Life After I Dew, it is one of my favorite blogs to stalk  follow. You should definitely head over if you haven't already!

So what are you saying so what to??

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Wordless Wednesday

Life as we know it by Paula

So today I'm linking up with Paula and her wordless Wednesday linky party. Let's see a linky party with no words... That fits me perfectly right now....

This sums up my past two days... Ugh :( hopefully I get my weekend recap up later because I have lots to blog about. Anyways, Ok.. Back to resting!  

Oh yes, go over to Sincerely, Paula and check it out. & her Etsy store.. Can't handle all that cuteness!

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Oct 11, 2013


So in my reading around blogs I stumbled upon I Wore Yoga Pants by Whitney & I have to say that I think I fell in blog love! I adore blogs that are written in a personal, real tone and that convey who the writer is and you get a feel for the writer not just words on the screen. So after reading several post, and feeling like I was having a conversation with her, I can STRONGLY recommend that you follow her! I know I am.. and by the way she has a great link up that I can fully support because we all know I am a fan of my Friday Morning (or anytime really) booty shaking mix to end off the week & she host the #backthatazzup Friday. Aside from a stellar music link up... did you notice the hashtag? #mykindagal

I do love me some Macklemore. Great for house cleaning motivation, and driving a little over that speed limit ;-)

And still my absolute favorite song from this summer and my L.A. trip...

So I know that there is PLENTY of controversy about Ms. Miley, but I'll admit - I like her. Catchy songs, a voice that I like, plus I totally can belt her stuff in the car, shower, while cleaning.. You get the hint. So I was over on I wore yoga pants to work by Whitney (which is an awesome blog btw) and caught this little gem that I had missed. Well if you haven't viewed this version of We Can't Stop with The Roots & Jimmy Fallon... you definitely should!

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5 on Friday

I am Linking Up with Darci over at The Good Life blog for a 5 on Friday. I can't tell you how cute her blog is, and her little one is a doll as well! I may be jealous of her super cute Halloween deco. & cute gifts she has posted right now as well. I am really pumped about the time I have been able to spend reading and exploring blogs this week. I have found some real gems. Go over and follow her blog, I am sure you won't be disappointed & of course while you are there, LINK UP!


1. Thank goodness we finally enjoyed a touch of fall this morning!! I was super excited to get in the car and see a nice crisp 64 degrees! Granted it shot up to mid-80's like a bottle rocket but I will totally accept 80's over high 90's ANYDAY! Best part of all.. low to no humidity. Yes, I had straight hair today!

2. Still loving my roses from my hubs this week. They are beautiful & make me smile. They make me smile even more because he used my wine craft as a case. HA!

3. I mean it doesn't get much funnier than this. This would be Vera. She is such a pistol, very vocal and in desperate need of a hair cut (that is coming later this evening). She looks a hot mess, but she loves her Skull & Crossbone hat. She is gonna be a punk rocker for Halloween I believe. She is a big time daddys girl even though she is my dog. But a Diva nonetheless. 

4. Speaking of Diva's... Yea, I know of a few people who this sign could apply to, including yours truly. I mean if an adjustment is needed then so be it. But those who try to wear the tiara but can't fulfill the job - just got ahead and step off. #igotthis  Perhaps I should have some wine this evening ;-) ...its been a long week!

5. Drumroll please.... I am super excited to say that I am going back to visit my favorite city in a few weeks. The opportunity presented it self & my hubs was supportive so..... I am heading to....

New York City!!!!!!!

I cannot wait! I am so pumped about this trip. Just a short little weekend, but I am a-okay with that. Get some shopping in for Christmas, see some sights. Woot Woot!! I'll try not to be obnoxious about it, but I make no promises. #sorrynotsorry

That my 5 on Friday! Go link up and share your 5! In true gossip girl fashion, XOXO