Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review: Bloodstone Heart by T. Lynne Tolles

Bloodstone Heart (Blood, #4)Bloodstone Heart by T. Lynne Tolles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bloodstone Heart is the forth book in the Blood series by Tolles and it certainly does not disappoint!

This book introduces us to two new characters. Josh, an young man who is able to hear everyone’s thought and does not know how to turn them off. And Lanie, a young woman who can see the history of an object simply by touching it.

Josh and Lanie connect during a change encounter at a corner store and begin their journey to save themselves from Vampires and loneliness.

A few chapters in, Josh and Lanie connect with the series characters who are still located in California. And after awhile the story collides with the ending of the third book.

I really enjoyed how Tolles made book three and four over lap and then meet up. In book three, it was very easy to wonder why the girls did not go to Connecticut to help Darby and Devon in their time of need. But after reading book four the reader now understands what else was going on in their lives.

Once again, I was very pleased with how the story keeps moving forward and does not drag on. It was another page turner and I am looking forward to book five.

Keep it up Tolles! I recommend this book to anyone over the age of 15 interested in Vampire, Werewolf adventures.

View all my reviews

Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Amazing Things Are Happening!

I am working from our Atlanta office this week which means little to no time to write blogs but I wanted to take a moment to tell you about my friend Clay.

Clay is a co-worker of mine. Last year he shared with me photos of a trip he took with his family to Africa. I was beyond moved by what he did while he was there and his plans to do more. Yesterday he shared more pictures with me of his second trip.

Clay has started an organization called Just One  -

This organization is working to make an orphanage on Lake Victoria self sufficient. They are also bringing clean water to the area. All of the residents have access to the water in Lake Victoria but this water is very dirty. Clay and his group are working to make that water drinkable.

Please take a moment to visit his website. I promise you will be as touched, humbled, and moved as I am.

The glass on the left is the Before Shot. This is the water straight from the lake. The glass on the Right is the After Shot. It has been run thru the filer. Amazing!  Source

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's For Dinner? Campbell's Soup!

Oh. My. Cats. Yum.

Have you seen this new Campbell's Soup?

 Shawn and I were at the Grocery Store a few weeks ago and they were sampling this soup. With the coupon the bag of soup was $1. They got me! And I picked up two bags.

I love Chorizo! Add a little chicken, some black beans? Look at those red peppers and that corn. You have got to be kidding me!  And it was every bit as good as I wanted it to be. 

 I haven't tried this one yet but Chicken and Quinoa with Pobalno Chilies?  Yes please!
 All you do to heat it up is tear a vent in the pouch and pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and you are done!  I ate mine at home so I poured it into a sauce pan and warmed it on the stove but you know, even that only takes a few minutes.

Each pouch is 2 servings but I ate the entire thing and it was the perfect amount for a lunch. So in this case I don't think 2 servings equals 2 people.

Look at that soup! So yummy!!

Quick note - I was so impressed with this soup I wrote this post. Campbell's did not ask me to write this and I paid for the soup out my my own money.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: The Summer My Life Began

The Summer My Life BeganThe Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won this book on a blog giveaway over the summer and finally got to it a few weeks ago.

This YA Novel is a coming of age story about a girl, Em, who comes from a well to do family. Her life is planned for her, all she has to do is live it.

But shortly before she graduates high school she starts to think she might not want this bought and paid for life.

Along comes a card and note from an unknown aunt and with a little convincing she talks her parents into letting her spend a month at this aunts Bed and Breakfast on the ocean.

Em meets family she didn't even know existed, learns a lot about herself, and unravels a dark family secret setting her life on a new path.

I give this book 4 stars and recommend it for anyone 13 and over.

View all my reviews Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Monkey Bread

I have a few friends who make Monkey Bread and then share their pictures so one morning while on vacation I broke down and made it. It is so easy and oh, so yummy!

Here's what you need:
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 can Canned Biscuits such as Grands Biscuits
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted

Cut the biscuits into 4 equal chunks.

Put the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a gallon sized plastic bag, add the biscuits, and shake until well coated.

Place the biscuit chunks into a bunt cake pan (fluted pan). I didn't have one so I used our bunt cupcake pan and it worked very well.

Melt the butter on the stove (please try to resist the microwave here). Add in the brown sugar and stir over med-low heat until well incorporated. You should no longer see butter on top of the brown sugar.

Pour the brown sugar over the biscuit chunks.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand in the pan for about 10 minutes.

Turn the pan over and dump the Monkey Bread out. Separate the chunks and serve.

We just eat them like this for breakfast. Some people serve for dessert and add ice cream.

I put the left overs in a bowl on the counter and we snack on them for the rest of the day.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Van and I Have Trust Issues - Still! And What Ever Happened to MN Nice?

Be warned. This is going to be a negative post and I am not going to be sorry for it.

Last night it was -4 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Who knows what the windchill was but it was down right cold outside. I picked up my friend to head out to Skyrobics but first we needed to get gas.

We fueled up at the gas station in the grocery store parking lot across from her house. I get gas at this particular station at least twice a month, it is one of my favorites.

To exit the gas station / grocery store parking lot you have to drive in front of the store, then pass through a busy stop light intersection, then out to the stoplight over to the freeway. We made it to the stop light when my van stalled.

We tried to get it running again but it would not start. Then it started making that horrible clicking that it does when the battery is not able to power the van.


We call Shawn and he says he will be over to help.

I stayed in the van while Erin ran into the grocery store to see if any cart boys might help us move the van away from the stop sign. They said no, that wasn't really their job. Nice.

I sat in the car for about 15 minutes waiting for Shawn to arrive. I had my 4-ways on the entire time. I cannot tell you how many people honked at me.

I cannot tell you how many dirty looks I was given.

What I can tell you is how many people paused to ask me if I, a woman alone in a stalled van in freezing temps, needed help.

 That number was exactly zero.

Even the police officer who made a round through the parking lot didn't stop.

When Shawn arrived he had his dad and brother with him. They told me to try to start the car again but this time to give it a lot of gas. I had no hope this was going to work since the battery was give fits too but I was wrong and it was slow but it did turn over.

I pulled it into a parking stall, jumped out of the van, pouted a lot, threw a little tantrum (I know, I am not proud), and tossed my sorry, freezing cold self into the back of the van.

"I am not driving anything anywhere!" I said and made Shawn drive the van while his dad drove our truck.

It seems to be fine now but that van and I already have trust issues that go back a few years so I am not going to forgive it very easily. You can read about that HERE.

I am told our issues is a known issue with Chevy's. When they get to low on gas and it is cold out then you fill it all the way up, vapor something or other, blah, blah, blah, floods, stalls something. All I really know is it stops running, I have to restart it, and it makes me want to cry.

Okay, I feel a little better now. Thanks for letting me vent.

I am still very disappointed in my fellow Minnesotan's. All this happened on MLK day. The day you are supposed to be thinking about others. Remember my post from yesterday?! And all anyone in that parking lot could think about was getting home to make dinner or how cold out it was. I bet they were thinking "Oh, that poor lady." Not cool, MN. Not cool.

Negative rant over now. Thanks for listening.
A frozen Kara

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day everyone! This is the day we honor a man who made amazing strides with Civil Rights and ultimately gave his life for his cause.

MLK once said "What are you doing for others?" This is something I try to live by each and every day. In this busy world that is very difficult but it can be done. Donate your old clothing to a clothing closet for people in need, drop some food in the food shelf bin at your local grocery store, open door for people.

Today, is MLK Day of service. Take some time to do something for someone else, no matter now small. It truly will make you feel wonderful!

Last January when we were in New York to visit our friends we took a 24 hour trip to Washington DC. It was 2 degrees with a windchill of about -10 degree F but we were in our nations capital so we bundled up and headed out to see the memorials. We saw most of them but today I felt sharing our MLK Memorial pictures would be nice to share.

I loved this memorial and am so happy we braved the cold weather to see it. I already have plans to return on a warmer day when we can spend more time. And by then they might have the poorly paraphrased quote fixed...

Happy Martin Luther King Jr day everyone. Please remember to do something for others at some point during the day!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Some Cold Pictures for a Cold Day

I was flipping through a few pictures yesterday and came across two of my favorite that have not been shared on this here blog before. So for a little light Friday fun I will share them with you now!

Remember back in December when we took our quick little road trip to the middle of nowhere to spend a day with my step mom's family?  No? Well, you can read about that HERE.

Doesn't that make you cold? 

On our way up to Fargo (yes, I say up because it is north of were we live) we crossed the Continental Divide. Heidi was not feeling well at all and it was freezing out but I insisted on this picture. And I love it!

Our drive home was equally cold but those crisp clear days really warm my heart. We were about 30 minutes outside of Moorehead when we spotted this Sun Dog. See that ring around the sun? That's the Sun Dog. We drove with that in our sight for well over an hour. It was simply beautiful.

For those of you who wonder why anyone would live in this frozen part of the country I hope these two pictures help you understand a little bit. And if not, then come see us and we will really show you how amazing a state with four true seasons can be.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: Blood Moon by T. Lynne Tolles

Blood Moon (Blood #2)Blood Moon by T. Lynne Tolles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blood Moon is the second book in the Darby and Rowan series. It is a must that Blood of a Werewolf is read before Blood Moon as the character descriptions are written with the assumption the reader already knows everyone.

I received a copy of Blood of a Werewolf for free in exchange for a review. But only a few chapters in I was completely hooked and knew I would be reading the rest of the series. I downloaded Blood Moon minutes after finishing the first book because Tolles is a master of tying up all the lose ends and then throwing in a huge cliffhanger in the last sentence of the book.

While Blood of a Werewolf took the sisters on an adventure from their new Vampire boyfriends past, this second book takes them all on an adventure from the sisters past. A very dark past that involved their distant ancestors in the late 1800’s and is now coming back to replay its self in the present day.

I enjoyed watching Darby really hone her Witch skills. She is very powerful and this book let her explore those powers.

Dean from Colorado was a large part of this story and he was important in helping Rowan flex her Werewolf muscles. I look forward to seeing Rowan hone her skills in upcoming books.

As with the first book, Tolles gives extensive detail and explanation in some areas yet glosses over things the reader may feel are important at other times. This is just her style and I found that if she dismisses something as unimportant, she doesn’t bring it up as a major storyline chapters later. Realizing this style and keeping in mind this book was written for a YA audience made the book enjoyable.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. With another major cliffhanger at the end of Blood Moon I am off to begin reading Blood Lust now!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kind of a Bummer Week

I was very optimistic that my weekly fitness update for this week would be an amazing, awe inspiring update.

But it didn't really turn out that way.

And I didn't lose any weight.

I am going to decide to be okay with that!!

Here is what I did accomplish this past week:

Wednesday - I rushed home from work, grabbed Shawn, and he made our way to the gym for a quick workout. I got in 2.5 miles on the treadmill before we had to run home to get Heidi for a lesson. While Heidi was at her lesson Shawn and I walked Cupcake around the parking lot 3 times.

Thursday - this was my bust of a day where we went out to Skyrobics but did the class was full. You can read all about that and what we did instead HERE.

Friday - we took the kids swimming at the local pool. When we swim with the kids I try to be as active as possible and not just bobbing around in the water.

Saturday - I was able to carve out time at the gym and got in a 3.5 mile run.

Sunday - I arrived at the gym at 5;15 pm all ready to get in a good weekend ending run only to find they close at 5 on Sundays! What a bust!

Monday - Shawn and I went to the gym and I got in another run. 3.75 miles this time and I trimmed 1 minute and 30 seconds off my 3.5 mile pace. I was so excited! Then I did my Monday Ab circuit at home which consisted of:
50 jumping jacks
50 crunches
20 tricep dips
20 squats
15 (each leg) lunges
30 second plank

Man was that hard after running 3.75 miles!

Tuesday - I walked Cupcake about 1.5 miles and did the Tuesday Ab circuit at home which consisted of:
80 jumping jacks
50 vertical leg crunches
20 sit ups (I do crunches)
15 tricep dips
20 squats
10 (each leg) side lunges
15 (each leg) leg lifts
50 bicycles
15 wall push-ups
40 Russian twists

Overall I feel really good. I know that I didn't lose any weight because I didn't watch my food as closely as I should have. Here's hoping next week is a better week so I can hit that 12 pounds before Hawaii goal. 1 down, 11 more to go!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Apple and Cinnamon Crockpot Oatmeal

I love oatmeal for breakfast! When I was a kid I ate a lot of instant oatmeal and was perfectly happy. I still keep instant oatmeal on hand for a very quick fix.

As a mom, I like to make a pot of oatmeal on the weekend made from milk as a way to get Heidi to take in more milk. But that takes 15 minutes standing over the stove.

So when I found this little gem I knew I had to give it a try. It was super easy and yielded enough left overs that I have been eating oatmeal for a few days now. And I am a happy camper!

I saw this on Pinterest but I don't really know who to credit to because the picture didn't go anywhere.

Here's what you need:
2 sturdy apples - like honey crisp or Fuji but really anything you have on hand will work fine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal
4 cups water

Dice the apples (remove skin if you wish) and place apples on the bottom of your crock pot.

Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar over the apples.

Add the oatmeal then pour in the water. Resist the urge to stir.

Do NOT stir!

Cook on low for 8 hours, or more if you sleep in since you don't have to make breakfast!

When you serve the oatmeal you can add more sugar or cinnamon to taste. You can also throw in chopped pecans or raisins or anything else you like in your oatmeal. I like to add a bit of milk to make it creamy.

If you have left overs, store in serving sized containers. Microwave each serving for about 1 minute, stir well, and check temp. They might dry out a bit so add moisture back by adding some milk and stirring.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Brownie Eating Creeper Attractor

Being back on the bandwagon has me looking forward to my workouts each day. Yesterday I was looking forward to Skyrobics with Erin. All day I though about what I was eating, watched what I was drinking (full bladder plus trampoline equals lots of bathroom runs!), and kept checking in with Erin to make sure we were still on.

When I left my house to pick her up it was pouring rain. By the time I got to my car, 10 feet out my door, my feet were went through my shoes.

We drove out to the gym in the dark rainy night chatting about books we were reading and a series I am considering putting back on my to read list.

When we arrived at the gym we had to park at the end of the lot. I complained a bit and then we made our way through the rain, soaking our shoes even more, to the building. We were ran over by no less than three teen aged kids running to their parents cars without looking.

Once inside the gym, all excited to get signed in for class, we step up to the counter to check in only to be told they are sold out for the 7:15 class!


Sold out?!

But you are never sold out for this class!

The girl tells us we should have checked in online to make sure we had a spot.

Downtrodden, we turn and head back out into the rainy night. At this point my shoes could by rung out and fill a small kiddy pool.

I am extra disappointed because now I will not get in a work out at all and it is not a rest day.

So what do we do? We go to Caribou and have coffee and bakery goods of course!

After horrible service at the coffee shop (we had to ask for help and the guy still didn't understand we wanted to place an order) we headed over to the bakery to get a little treat. Joking with the baker, we told her that we were treating ourselves since we could not attend our exercise class.

I am pretty sure we made her night.

The guy standing directly behind me informs me if I join LA Fitness I would not have this problem.

I am fairly certain this guy has an application for me in his pocket and all I have to do is sign here and pay a little enrollment fee and he will have me all set to go before the baker has my brownie bagged! So, I grab my treat, turn on my heal and practically sprint away from him.

We settle into the perfect seats with a fire blazing, warming my ice cold, soaking wet feet, and start in on our brownies, chatting about what a bust the night turned out to be and how funny it was that we opted to have brownies when turned away from the class.

Only I could not focus to save my life because a super creeper sitting across the room was staring at me with no attempt to hid it at all.

Here I am sitting, work out clothes, hair all pulled back, chowing on a brownie, and this guy just keeps staring. I am growing more and more uncomfortable when I realize I am not wearing my wedding ring and start to panic. (I have to take my rings off when I work out now as they are so big I worry they will fall right off).

I tell Erin we need to move and we head over to a small table around the corner, losing our warm fire place. And all hope of warm, dry feet.

But the creeper can no longer see me and I am starting to feel a little better.

I launch into a story about the time the TSA agent tried to "get my digits" while I was waiting in line to pass through security only to back peddle when he saw my ring by saying "Oh! I was kidding, I see you have a ring!"

This happens to me a lot. While I am sure some women will find it flattering I find it very creepy. Men going out of their way to hit on you in public is not something I find attractive. At. All.

A nice, relaxing, creeper free half hour later we pack up our things and head home.

200 calories heavier instead of 400 calories lighter.

Instead of getting in a calorie blasting, body toning work out, we chatted and ate and Erin got to see first hand how I attract creeps which I consider a little known fact about myself.

All I can say is Thank God for Shawn and the fact I am happily married. I don't even want to think what my dating life could have been like! But it might have made for good blog material - The Girl Who Attracts Creeps!

Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review: Blood of a Werewolf By T. Lynne Tolles

Blood of a Werewolf (Blood #1)Blood of a Werewolf by T. Lynne Tolles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was recently given a free copy of Blood of a Werewolf by T. Lynne Tolles and asked to read and give a review. I had never read YA Vampire / Werewolf books before and was slightly daunted because I have no interest in reading Twilight however I went into just like any other book, with an open mind.

I really enjoyed this book. It is the story of two sisters, Darby and Rowan, who come from a long line of witches but they have never really used their powers since their family was not interested in the world knowing who they were. These two sisters meet and connect with two Vampire brothers who are being pursued by a man who is seeking revenge on them for a decision their father made.

During the weeks these four people are connected there is love, trauma, many hospital visits, a few plane rides, and a lot of drama.

The story moves along at a brisk pace and never leaves you waiting for something to happen.

The author does a good job writing dialogue without it sounding forced. My only criticism would be when there is a conversation taking place that conversation in reality would only take three, maybe four, minutes but in the story it would be enough time for someone to drive from one location to another. This seemed a bit difficult to believe.

There were times during the novel where I had to remind myself that I was reading a book written for Young Adults. The story had some steamy parts that may not be suitable for a pre-teen or young teen but the rhythm and language were written for that set.

The ending leaves a major cliff hanger which would normally make me crazy but this is the first book in the Blood Series so I immediately turned on my wireless and downloaded book 2 for $2.99.

I would recommend this book for anyone 15 or older.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back on the Bandwagon

The count down is on! 72 days until our huge family vacation on Maui and I am so excited I just cannot stand it!

As you know, about a year ago I was able to say I lost 40 pounds. Today I am very happy to be able to say I kept all 40 pounds off.

It was a struggle, it wasn't always easy, but I did it!

With this looming vacation I want to lose a few more pounds. My goal is 12 pounds and to firm things back up a bit.

For me, the best way to lose pounds it to start running regularly and to watch what I eat. My challenge at this point is all the ice on roads near my house and the lack of daylight. I know I have to remove these challenges in order for this to work so Shawn and I purchased a membership to our cities Community Center where we now have access to treadmills, weight equipment, an Olympic swimming pool, and a sauna.

Being back at work means I am very busy and my time to work out is very limited so I am trying to find creative ways to make sure I do something almost every day.

Here is what this past week looked like:

Thursday -  we purchased our membership, I ran 20 minutes on the treadmill, we did a short 10 minute circuit in the Circuit Room.

Friday - 10 minute circuit at the house, 90 minutes in the pool with the kids. It was my goal to keep my feet off the bottom the entire time. That was a good workout!

Saturday - 30 minute run on the treadmill

Sunday - 20 minute circuit at home while watching The Biggest Loser (the only show I plan my life around).
This is what we did for our circuit on Sunday:
45 Jumping Jacks
15 squats
5 jumping squats
50 Russian twists
30 second planks
10 standing calf raises
10 push ups
30 seconds Superman
10 lunges (each leg)
40 crunches
Repeat entire circuit.

Monday - we did a circuit at home that really killed our abs:
100 jumping jacks
50 crunches
20 triceps dips
15 squats
20 lunges (each leg)
70 Russian twists
20 standing calf raises
10 push ups
30 second plank
10 lunge split jumps

Tuesday I had to take the day off simply because I did not have time. Between work, making dinner, and Girl Scouts, I just could not make it work. But that is okay, a rest day is good for you!

With week one in the books I am down 1 pound. 11 to go!!

Wish me luck,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What's For Dinner: Creamy Garlic Pasta

I find the hardest part of meal planning is coming up with new sides to serve. I often default to using boxed products to fill in these blanks. Generally our meal is a nice main dish, steamed veggies, and Stove Top or Betty Crocker Potatoes.

When I came across this little side dish I figured it was worth a shot and in the end everyone loved it so much we might upgrade it to a main dish by adding some chicken and broccoli!

It was quick and easy and there wasn't a noddle left in the pot when dinner was over.

Here is what you need:

2 tsp olive oil - for sauteing the garlic
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb vermicelli or angle hair pasta (the key is thin pasta)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream - half and half would work if that's what you have on hand
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley - optional, don't panic if you don't have any on hand

In a heavy pot, heat the oil. Saute the garlic until it is starting to turn clear, about 2 minutes.

Add butter and let it melt.

Add chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add pasta. I like to break my vermicelli in half. Cook pasta until it is done to your liking.

Turn off heat. Add Parmesan Cheese and Cream. Stir until well mixed and cheese is melted.

Toss in the parsley. If you do not have fresh I do not recommend using dry. I would just skip it.

I found this on Pinterest. The original recipe can be found HERE.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Craft: Headband Canister

If you have a little girl you have the same problem as me. Hair stuff everywhere. My daughter doesn't really do much with her hair but she loves to throw on a headband to hold her curls out of her face so we have a ton of headbands that we can never find.

While on vacation together last week we made these canisters to store her hair things so we can always find them.

Our Hair Stuff Canisters and Heidi giving a Llama!

We took Oatmeal canisters, taped construction paper around them to cover the labels, then decorated with stickers and markers. It was a lot of fun and only took about 20 minutes to complete.

Headbands wrap around the outside and everything else goes inside. What a fun way to store all that random hair stuff!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Social Week 2!

I am doing that little bloggy thing again this Sunday and linking up with the Sunday Social.

Sunday Social

1. Do you plan to change any of your eating habits in the new year?
Not really since this was a big one two years ago and I have done a good job sticking to it!
2. Any workout tips to get us back in shape after the Holidays?
Set yourself a goal! When I wanted to lose 40 pounds I set myself a goal to run a 5k then I registered for the race. I have never run more than a mile in my life and that was in grade school. At that point I couldn't run to the end of the block so I signed up for that race then started training and guess what? I did it! I ran my race, lost that 40 pounds, and kept it off. If I can do it, so can you!
3. What is your favorite thing you did over the Holidays?
I am very hard pressed to pick one thing since we did so many fun things! So I am going to take a cop out and say my favorite thing was all the time I spent with my family. We were all on vacation together for 17 days and it was amazing!
4. What is something you hope that you accomplish in 2013 that you did not in 2012?
Good question! I really wanted to put together a budget and stick with it but I never was able to get it done. That is one thing I will be doing this year. Not only having one but reviewing it weekly. I will plan time into my weekends to review and assess. I hope this is a new way of life for me!
5. Name 3 things happening this year you are excited about and why.
Oh, boy! First, I am excited about our up coming trip to Maui in March. That will be a blast! Second, would be really getting into my new job at work. I have had the job for a few months now but I feel like I am now ready to really jump in and figure it all out. And finally, I am excited about watching Heidi and Cupcake grow up. Heidi will be 8 this year. She is such a fun kid, I always look forward to spending time with her. And Cupcake is such a good puppy, I can only imagine her as a 1 year old dog!
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you learned a bit about me!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Final Days of Vacation

I always take the last week or so off work to refresh before January rolls around. It is very slow around the office and my family is home so it's perfect. This year I took a span of 17 days which was one day more than my daughter and husbands winter break.

We spent the first 12 days celebrating Christmas which was a lot of fun but man am I happy I still had five days to wind down.

Yesterday Heidi had five of her favorite friends over for a day long play date. They played board games, ate lunch, and generally just ran around the house for five hours. They had a blast.

About an hour into the girls being over my brother called. He needed me to pick up my niece from daycare because her daycare provider, a good friend of ours, was going to the hospital to have her baby.

It was a great day all around! I got to hang out with five buck wild girls, watch my little niece, and we had enchiladas for dinner.

Heidi is hanging out with the same friends but this time over at another families house so Shawn and I are getting in a work out at the community center. 

A girl could get used to this vacation stuff! Four days left...

My niece Elie and her Mama. I was so busy with all those girls I didn't snap a single picture!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

I know every one is saying it but honestly, where did 2012 go?

This time last year we were waking up in New York and preparing to move on to Washington DC on our winter vacation with our friends.

This year was rung in with the same friends but now they live 30 miles away so we didn't fly anywhere to see them. Instead the will come with us to Hawaii in March. I guess that will do!

You can see what I did in 2012 by reading this little blog. So instead I will tell you what I am looking forward to in 2013.
  • Losing my next 20 pounds
  • Blogging consistently throughout the year. I hit 400 posts yesterday, lets hit 550 before 2014 comes!
  • Cooking at home as much as possible
  • Sticking to a budget
  • GOING TO HAWAII! Did I mention that? I am so excited!
  • Camping trips this summer
And all the other fun and amazing things that happen because I am out there with my family Making the Most of Life!

Happy 2013 Everyone!!