Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday v.5

Who can believe that this is the last Friday of February?  I mean I realize that this is the shortest month of the year, but it's really flown by!  Beings that it's Friday, it brings us to another 5 on Friday link up with Natasha, Christina, April and Darci 

Not again?!?!  #imoverwinter
This weekend we were supposed to head to our old stompin' ground for Matt's AGR Founders Day Dinner, but the stinking weather has foiled our plans!  This photo was from our last Founders in 2007.  We were kids I tell ya!
I don't eat Chipolte.  It's true.  I haven't tackled this topic on the blog because I get so angry, nothing sounds right!  Thankfully there are bloggers out there like Emily, Betsie and Crystal (here and here,too!) who put things much more eloquant than I ever could.  Please be open minded and check out what they have to say!

A good friend of mine sent me a link to this article last week and I've been thinking a lot about it.  Like the author said, my twenties have been great and they've taught me a lot too!  And even though everyone list of lessons learned will be different #8, #14 and #24 really hit home.   I also enjoy who Kate described how she will be approaching her thirties...I do have a damn plan: to be too busy defining 30 to let 30 define me.

Technically, I don't need any new workout clothes.  But I couldn't resist the snarkiness of this Nike shirt when I saw it on sale at the store!  

Happy Friday!  Do you have something fun planned for the weekend?  Mine will now consist of cleaning... Ugh, super fun.

Cheers to the weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Disney-A Trip in Photos

Disneyland was pretty epic!  It really exceeded all of my expectations!

I stayed with some family friends at the Disneyland Hotel, which is quite literally a hop, skip and a jump from the two parks.  It made it so convenient because we were up pretty early to take advantage of the early entry on Saturday and Sunday.  Never in a million years would I have guessed a room full of women would have willingly and with smiles on our faces, talked seriously about getting up at 5:30am to get showered and ready to go.  This is vacation right!?!?  A Disney vacation is unlike any other I've ever experienced!  Leaving LA, I boarded the plane quite literally at the brink of exhaustion!

Saturday we spent most of our day at Disneyland taking pictures and checking out the attractions.  Since we took advantage of the early entry, we were actually done riding all the big rides (Indian Jones, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain and Pirates) by 10:30am.  We also enjoyed the Matterhorn Bobsleds, the Tea Cups, Winnie the Pooh, Autopia, and the Haunted Mansion! 

I was the only first timer, so the other four did a great job of telling me all about the park itself, the hidden gems and the little known facts!  My favorite ride at Disneyland, hands down, was Indian Jones Adventure!  The kid ride that I enjoyed the most was Peter Pan's Flight!  If you can't act like a kid at Disney, where can you?

Just hanging with the Princesses.  No big deal.

I enjoyed my Dole Whip while watching the fireworks.  Both were AHH-mazing!

Sunday morning we hit the ground running, literally!  After busting through the gates of Disney California Adventure at 7:01am, we hot footed it to Radiator Springs... er, Cars Land!  Hands down, bar none, without question... I hope I'm making myself VERY clear... this was my FAVORITE place we visited at Disney!!  I loved every freakin' inch it!  It was quite literally like stepping through your TV screen during the movie Cars.  I've had a special attachment to Cars since I had to opportunity in 2006, as a camp counselor at Victory Junction Gang Camp, to go to the movie premiere at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Working at VJGC that summer was simply one of the best things I've ever done and going to a movie premiere was just a wonderful perk!

Every last detail from the movie is brought to life on Rt. 66 in Radiator Springs!

After being drug out of leaving Cars Land we ventured deeper into DCA.  At that point in the morning, the lines were practically nonexistent!  We walked right on Ariel's Undersea Adventure and rode California Screamin' twice in a matter of 15 minutes.  The only ride we had to wait in line for was Toy Story Midway Mania and it was totally worth it!  Kelsey and I also rode Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  Never. Again.  The sudden and unexpected drops had me as close to a panic attack as I'd ever experienced!


 Mr. Potato Head was out front entertaining the crowd.  And I totally bought a Bullseye pillow pet!

 We finally tracked down Mickey Mouse!

This trip was one for the books!  It was a whirlwind of excitement and fun for sure.  And now that I have my own embroidered MM ears, I have a perfect excuse to come back again for another visit.  Not to mention several of the classic rides (Thunder Mountain, It's a Small World and Splash Mountain) were closed.

I'm off to update my 30 by 30 list!  Check, check, check it off!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tea

Good morning!!

No tea, or coffee for that matter, for this girl today!  Although, I firmly believe that a Mimosa or Bloody Mary is an acceptable morning beverage, just maybe not on a workday....

Today I'm linking up with a few bloggers (Jenni, Khala, Samantha & ReneĆ©) who've 'met' through the Friday link up I do every week, but this one is all about sharing what's going on with you right now!  Thanks to them for creating another outlet to meet new bloggers!

Well today I hit the ground running and haven't had time for much more than some homemade granola and milk for breakfast.  I'm just hoping to make it through the day without a face-plant into my keyboard.  I'm pretty much flat exhausted from all the fun I had this weekend at Disneyland, but I believe in the "Pay to Play" mindset, so here I am... with a smile on my face no less!

In short, Disneyland (and Disney California Adventure) was AMAZING!!  

If I ignore the ridiculous calamity that was my flight out to California, the weekend couldn't have gone better.  The company, hotel, weather, rides... so on and so forth were outstanding!!!  I will be doing a complete post about my adventures at the parks, but here are a few teaser photos...

I'm not a First Timer anymore!
My 'sis' and I at Sleeping Beauty's castle.
Mulan, she's my favorite Princess!
Cars Land was FABULOUS! 
I brought home another horse, but this one eats and poops WAY less!
Thanks again to the Tuesday Tea link-up hosts and thanks to you for stopping in for a visit! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Review: The Book Thief

Way back last spring, I added The Book Thief to my 'to-read' bookshelf on Goodreads.  It was a suggested read from Amazon after I'd finished Sarah's Key and The Baker's Daughter, both of which are set during and/or discuss World War II and the Holocaust.

When my book club was looking for options for our February get together, it was at the top of my list!

The story is set in a small German town in 1939, the height of the Nazi Germany and is narrated by Death...

Liesel Meminger's mother has given her up and she is placed with a foster family living in Himmel, which translates to heaven.  After overcoming the shock of being abandoned by her mother, Liesel warms up to her accordian-playing foster father who teaches her to read the books she steals.  The family gets by on pea soup and a meager salary generated from being a washwoman and a house painter.  Things get tougher when the family agrees to conceal a young Jewish man in the basement of their home!

I thought this book was excellent!  It was beautifully written and the character development was wonderful.

Oh and if you're a sucker for a happy ending like me, it won't take much to imagine it for yourself!

So tell me, have you read it too?  What did you think?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five on Friday v.4

This week is coming to a close, which means it's time to link up with Natasha, Christina, April and Darci for another 5 on Friday post!

I've had a good week, but today I'm focusing on five of the things I'm looking forward to this weekend when I'm at Disney-freakin'-land!  Yes, you read that right!!  Words (nor exclamation points!) can't begin to describe how excited I am about going!!!!

I'm so excited to see these two lovely ladies!  This trip wouldn't be possible without them!  I've known Kelsey and Laura for years, they're like family!  We all used to show paint horses together back in the day.  I couldn't actually pin down a date, but they've been a part of my life forever!  Laura invited me to come along to visit Kels in LA and said that magical phrase,
 "We're going to Disneyland!"  
Which means not only do I get to visit with them, but I will check Disney off my 30 by 30 list!

 It's true.  
I haven't really lived.  

 Those coveted ears will finally be mine!  The big decision will be to stay with the traditional Mickey ears or go for something more contemporary??  
Decisions, decisions.

Fireworks at Sleeping Beauty's Castle.  

Take it all in!
Trade some pins.  Get pictures with some characters.  Soak up all the details around the park that Disney Imagineers put so much effort in to.  Take a minute and reflect on what an amazing experience this opportunity is!

Have you been to Disneyland in California before?  What are the must dos (or must eats!) or don'ts at the parks?  Please tell!

Cheers and happy weekend!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

I'm the kinda girl who...

I missed the memo about this link up yesterday, so I'm going to be fashionably late to the party!

I'm the kinda girl who...
-hates half finished projects.  Just ask my husband.

-may have sported a mullet as a kid.  Decide for yourself.

-doesn't understand the appeal of Hunter rain boots.  I'll stick with my Muck boots, thanks.

-shamelessly pins a workout, followed by multiple dessert recipes.  It's all about balance!

-gets dressed in the dark, only to realize at my mid-morning bathroom break that my underwear is on inside out!

-eats at least one egg a day.  Over-easy or hard boiled, please.

-makes bangin' homemade cinnamon rolls!

-takes a considerable amount of pride in my growing wine collection.

-compulsively checks for new blog followers and comments on posts.

-won't eat Chipolte.  I disagree with their thoughts on conventional animal agriculture.

-sleeps contorted around the dog in bed at night.

-lived in North Carolina, but still doesn't really understand "cutting the lights on".  Don't you cut the lights off?

-likes burnt cheese.

-believes everything has a place.  Again, just ask my husband.

-bought a manual transmission vehicle before actually knowing how to drive one!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Feeling SPARK-y?

For a few months now I've been hearing and reading a lot about Advocare from other bloggers and a few friends of mine.  Are you familiar with Advocare? 

According to their website, Advocare is a premier health and wellness company offering world-class energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products along with a rewarding business opportunity.

They offer a variety of products, but I find their Spark product the most intriguing!  Who couldn't use an extra energy boost?!?  It is also said to enhance mental focus, help fight occasional drowsiness, provide 20+ vitamins, minerals and nutrients and is sugar-free and only 45 calories!  You can read more about Spark here.

After going Paleo and completing a Whole30 challenge, I think I'm pretty well off in the diet and nutrition arena.  I'm also one of those people who for whatever reason is just a morning person.  It doesn't take much to get me up and going each day, but I really wanted to just give it a try and see if the hype was real....

Enter a Facebook giveaway from one of my friends who is a distributor.  She was going to give away a packet to the first five people who sent her a private message requesting a sample.  I was lucky number five!!

After the Spark arrived in the mail, I waited a few days to give it a try.  If it was that wonderfully magical I didn't want to just use it on some random day!   

I know, I'm weird.  

When I finally decided there was a day fitting of giving it a try, I whipped up a smoothie (keep scrolling for the recipe) that incorporated my Spark.  I had no idea what to expect flavor wise, but I was pleasantly surprised by the tart and sour zing, which I could only attribute to the Spark.  About twenty minutes after drinking my smoothie, I could definitely tell there was an extra something going on... 

I felt brighter eyed, the world was clearer and I noticed a little extra 'umph'!  It was all subtle though, which I appreciated.  I didn't want to be a wide-eyed, anxious ball of nerves!  The smoothie was also filling enough that it carried me through until lunch time.  Double bonus.

So, the question is: Would I actually pay for Spark?  Yes.  Although I don't think it's something that I need to incorporate into my daily routine, I did like that extra 'something' that it added to my day.  I'm not a slave to coffee, nor do I have kids to wrangle in the mornings, but I could definitely see myself drinking it prior to horse shows this summer! 

Have any of you tried any of the Advocare products?  Are you a Spark drinker?  Do you use it everyday?

Mango-Strawberry Spark Smootie
Serves 1

5 frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana, previously peeled and sliced
1 clementine, peeled
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 packet Mango-Strawberry Spark
6 oz. water

Combine all of the ingredients and pulse until smooth. Scrape down the sides of blender as needed.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pure Paradise, Part 3

Our time in San Juan is winding down and we spent Friday doing a lot of 'sun worshiping'!

First thing in the morning we first headed down to the beach to do some paddle boarding.  Before turning us loose on the open water, we got a quick lesson and we were good to go!  We spent most of our time exploring the bay because the wind really wreaked havoc when we got into open water.  Luckily, Allis has a water-proof camera and we were able to get some cool pictures of our adventure! 


Of course, Brown Dog got to come along and try his paw at paddle boarding!

After grabbing some brunch, we headed down to relax by the pool.  For the trip I bought Divergent for my Kindle and actually finished it on the plane ride home.  For the record, I really enjoyed it!

Drinks by the pool were delicious too!  Our favorite was the Sapphire Sunshine which was gin with lemonade, a splash of soda and a twist of lime.  We were consuming them too fast to get a photo... 

After losing the sun by the pool, we headed out to the beach to continue our time worshiping the sun, reading and enjoying adult bevvies!

To celebrate our last night in Puerto Rico we headed back down to Old Town.

After eating, we stumbled upon a great little bar we found while looking for a dance club we never made it to!  As it turned out, it was a better spot for us!!  

The bartenders were friendly, the drinks were good and it made for a nice spot to just sit and enjoy our last night.

After successfully cabbing it back to the hotel,  we made an emergency trip to Walgreens for aloe for the sunburn I got laying out that afternoon!  While we were there we couldn't resist also picked up snacks and some champagne so that we could watch the Olympic opening ceremonies in style!!  

Saturday brought the conclusion of this wonderful trip with my amazing friend in Puerto Rico.   As we parted ways, we were already discussing our next trip!!