Tag Archives: Florida


9 Feb

**** Before I share my Florida trip, I have a shameless plug for Becky’s fabulous husband, Ben! He has entered a contest that could really help his career and get his artwork in front of the right people. In Ben’s words: “The winner gets flown out to pretty much the biggest comic book convention and introduced to all the bigwigs in the comic book, video game, and toy/statue industry which will jump start my career in comics and everything else!  I am so freakin’ excited about this it’s not even funny!  The voting ends on the 14th so it’s a very limited time in which to decide the winner so everything has to be a concentrated effort.  Thank you so much for the support.” So how can you help? Go to this link. Click on “Support Ben,” via the Facebook button. The website will email you when to vote; both views and votes count! *****

So, Florida.

Apart from the chaos that ensued before we actually got there (in a nutshell: Knight’s flight getting canceled, him having to juggle to get on my flights out of StL, dealing with a flat tire in the ghetto of STL, arriving at 1am) and the fact that we got no sleep the night before (hooray for 24 hour amazing breakfast places to kick off the trip), our first vacation was totally ah-mazing.

There was nothing but hugs, love, laughs, holding babies (hers, not mine… duh!), drinking, eating our way through North Florida, laughing some more, watching ridiculous reality TV (hello, Jersey Shore. Nice to meet you, finally. And I may be hooked.)

There was not lovely weather by any means but it was still warmer then this stupid midwest. Like by a lot. And it rained, warm rain. The good kind of rain, you know?

I wore flip-flops and short sleeved shirts. I slept in. I cuddled with Knight and my niece. I sat with my childhood BFF (she needs a nickname, seriously) and laughed, smiled and cried over the pictures and memories of us from the last five years. We hung with my niece and had good life chats. We sat in silence at times and it was more than ok.

I put my toes in the sand despite the insane fog that was covering the Jacksonville beaches. I had to talk to a cop in order to get into the bar since I was a dunce and left my license at home (it worked). I took shots to celebrate my childhood BFF’s birthday, the attainment of my Masters, and friendship and love in general.

Future trips were planned. Tears were shed when it was time to leave. Bonds were strengthened. Knight and I spent five days and six nights together; the most in a row since we’ve met one another and were left hungry for more.

My soul is rejuvenated (again). My heart is soaring (still). There is a smile plastered to my face (like usual). I’m in love with Florida all over again. I fell more in love with myself, with Knight, with life.

When was the last time you fell in love with yourself, your life, your loved ones all over again?


Tidbit Thursday

13 Jan


* I haven’t had soda since December 25th; I’ve had no caffeine withdrawal headaches and overall I don’t miss it one single bit. Until I eat pizza. Or Mexican. But I’m staying strong, chugging water instead of carbonation and overall I know it’s better for me. Maybe not as fun, but better.

* Last night I watched “Going the Distance.” I totally loved it. Justin Long is hilarious, Drew Barrymore has an infectious laugh and Justin Long’s sidekicks in the movie are laugh-out-loud funny. I would recommend watching this when you’re not in a long distance relationship, however. That made it a bit tough. I laughed. I cried. I loved it. And I now want to slow dance with Knight in the ocean.

* It was -1F when I woke up today. That’s just insanity. I’m wearing gloves and hats and scarves and tights and I’m *still* cold. I really hope it’s a bit warmer in Florida in a few weeks. My body needs to thaw out.

* Tomorrow evening I get to pick Knight up from the airport. This will be the second time I get to do that (his work is super flexible about where he flies in/out of, so sometimes he can plan work trips so we get back-to-back weekends together) and each time, I think of Hugh Grant at the beginning of Love  Actually. It’s really true: everyone who is there waiting for some greets them with hugs, kisses, flowers, high-fives and smiles. There is no hate at airports. Just love. It’s fun to be a part of that experience; to greet someone who has been traveling all week long, eating meals out and sleeping in strange hotel rooms, to give them a hug and just be together for a moment.

* I’m making progress on my 30 Before 30 List; over the holiday I realized I’d already seen 17 Oscar movies, so I’m upping the challenge to 40 movies instead. That seems much more fun to me! I’m trucking right along in the Harry Potter series and am totally in love with the books, the writing, the plots, the twists and turns. I can’t wait to start book #4 which I will do after I plow through (hopefully?) the stack of library books I just borroed. I’ve started researching trips to Alaska (goal is to go in 2012) and Italy (goal is 2013, if not sooner with the family) and soon I hope to start knitting lessons with my Gram. I know I have plenty of time but now that I’m post grad-school it’s nice to have something to work on.

* I saw True Grit last weekend; I wasn’t thrilled with it. Good acting for sure but I feel like the plot/story left something to be desired. I think we’ll be seeing The Fighter this weekend and I must say I’m rather excited for a dose of Marky-Mark. Along those lines, Backstreet Boys & New Kids on the Block are touring together and coming to STL this summer. I kind of want to go. (I saw Backstreet Boys in high school. Screamed the lyrics so much that I lost my voice. Don’t judge. I’m sure you have best friends who did it too!)

 (And don’t forget to enter my “Greening Giveaway“! You have until Sunday to enter!)

Any tidbits you feel like sharing?

Fighting the Winter Blues

10 Jan

So we’ve reached that awful time in the winter where there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to: Thanksgiving, the gateway holiday season has passed; Christmas, my all-time favorite is over and done; and New Year’s my least favorite, has obviously also come and gone.

We are into the winter doldrums. Grey, cloudy days. Threats of winter storms (well, what we StL-ers call winter storms) come and go on a weekly basis. The temperatures continue to plummet into the teens each evening and the car takes about 10 minutes to warm-up each morning.

We have 90 days until the Cardinals home opener, until flip flops are even considered a possible form of footwear, and until the weather thinks about starting to warm up for us.

What does this mean? That I’m eagerly seeking ways to make winter suck less. As I mentioned last week I have two exciting things coming up in the near future: the visit from Lisa at the end of this month and my trip to Florida, both guaranteed to make winter less dreary. In addition to that, here’s a few other remedies that I’ve found help:

* Pampering myself. I’m finally using one of my groupons for a manicure/pedicure in a few weeks which my hands and feet desparately need. Additionally, I’m going for facials every six weeks and make sure not to miss one in the winter. Between the heated bed that I get to lie on for an hour, the amazing treatment I get from my esthetician it’s literally an hour spent in heaven. And I’m allowing myself a top-shelf haircut/color at a fantastic local Spa every six to eight weeks. Indulgent overall? Maybe. But I feel good. My face glows and my hair looks great. Plus it adds some bright moments to the dull days.

* Video chatting! So maybe the roads are rough and I can’t afford either the vacation days or travel to all my favorite friends and family. But Video Chatting? It doesn’t require anything other than my computer and internet, two things I already have. I’ve enjoyed chatting with my friends from coast-to-coast, and Knight during our weeks apart. It makes the friendship grow stronger and as a bonus, I can be in my sweats and under a blanket!

* More trips to the library. And movie theater. The library is an obvious choice because it’s free and the literary works of art are endless. (Not to mention I have a challenge of 45 books to read in 2011 and I must meet it!) This means I’m spending more time relaxing and reading cozied up on my favorite red couch, book in hand, a cup of tea and not a care in the world. And then the movies! I have been absent from the movie scene for a bit, but I’m getting back into it especially now that Oscar season is afoot. Thanks to a stack of free movie passes I got from work, I haven’t had to pay for a movie in months and I’m thinking I’ll be a more frequent movie-goer until the sunshines on a regular basis.

* Spending time with an apron on. The amount of amazing cookbooks I received for Christmas was awesome and not totally surprising given the fact friends and family know I love to cook/bake. I’ve been trying out new recipes and turning to baked goods for comfort. It does wonders for the heart, even if not for the waistline. Might as well make the house smell delicious and warm, right?

* Exploring my city. Some nights I brave the cold, bundled up in warm sweaters and boots, my winter coat, and hit bars and restaurants and other attractions I’ve not been to before. I’ve lived here for 17 years and in the last few weeks I’ve discovered new favorite restaurants, coffee shops and beer bars. It’s fun to re-discover my town with Knight when he’s around, my friends and family; reminds me of just how awesome my city is.

What do you do to combat the winter doldrums? Any suggestions for me?

Grace in Small Things: Week Seven

22 Oct


* A not super stressful week at work; the next few will be rough so I’ll take the downtime.

* A book I’ve wanted for awhile on $3.99 clearance at Barnes & Noble.

* Looking into February 2011 and planning a trip to Florida to see my BFF and my faux niece. (I can’t wait for baby cuddles.)

* Playing catch up on life, specifically with friends and the nagging (boring) to-do list that piled up during the last two months of my life.

* Losing a pound.

* Amazing friends.

* Veronica Mars on streaming Netflix. I can’t get enough.

* Mid-week maincures and pedicures with my friend who is getting married this weekend; she dished about all things wedding, their upcoming move to a far-away country, and we reminisced about “the good old days.”

*Giving myself permission to relax and worry less about the blog and a little more about life.

Where did you find grace this week?

Grace in Small Things: Week Three

1 Oct
Justin Timberlake at the Shrek the Third Londo...

Image via Wikipedia

This week seemed to drag on and then suddenly speed up. Either way, it’s Friday, we have lovely fall weather and life is good! Bonus for the things that made me smile this week…

* Leftover birthday cake after a long day at work.

* An hour long phone call with  my best friend from Florida including a plan to see each other in February and finally meeting my faux niece.

* My Justin Timberlake station on Pandora. It has added some serious “go get ’em” attitude to my work day.

* Hedgehog pajama pants (a gift from my mom for my birthday). They are incredibly adorable and so soft.

* Getting emails from a friend who is beyond happy which results in me being happy from reading her emails. Happiness really is contagious.

* The fall weather that has settled into STL allowing our windows to be open, cool breezes to wash over our rooms at night, and a much easier environment in which to mow the lawn.

* Unexpectedly falling into a good book.

* Streaming Netflix through my Wii. And while we are on the subject of TV, How I Met Your Mother. I can’t believe I didn’t start watching that show sooner.

* Eating Ghiradelli chocolate as part of a review/giveaway that I’ll be doing next week (be sure to check back for more details on the giveaway!).

Any small things that made you happy this week?

Ten on Tuesday: The Travel Edition

14 Sep

1. Favorite way to travel (plane, train, automobile, etc.)
I am sadly not a fan of traveling by plane but I will do it if I must and once I’m in the air I’m ok. I think that if trains were a more viable option in the States, I’d be all about it. Otherwise, I’m always up for a good road trip.

2. Where’s your favorite place to travel to that you’ve been to?
Florida, hands down. Palm trees. Fruity drinks. The ocean. Sand. Far and away my favorite place.

3. Where’s the place that you want to go but have never been?
Italy. Greece. Paris. Alaska. Prince Edward Island. (There’s a family trip to Italy in the works for 2011 and I’m super excited. I may try to steal extra time and go backpacking through France/Switzerland/Spain with my brother before he starts his post-college life.)

4. Do you deal with traffic well?
95% of the time I do. The other 5% I’m like a sailor: cursing, shouting, flipping people off.

5. Ever had an emergency while traveling?
Yes, unfortunately. Spring break when I was in 8th grade, my grandfather passed away suddenly. I was in North Carolina with the family so we drove to Upstate NY for the funeral. It was the worst spring break ever.

Sixth grade camp, which maybe counts as traveling, I broke my ankle in three different places and my parents had to come pick me up in the middle of the night.

6. Do you have a passport? What countries have you been to?
Yes, I do. England twice. Canada twice. That’s all so far, since the islands I’ve been to are US territories/protectorates.

7. Are you’ve light packer or do you pack everything but the kitchen sink?
Depends on where I’m going. If it’s a place I’ve already been, I’m a pretty light packer. However, girls’ trips and new cities/countries I tend to overpack.

8. Do you take the fastest route or the road less traveled?
Going: the fastest route.
Coming home: the road less traveled.

9. Do any activities on the road? (like road games, reading, sleeping, etc. )
I always have books and crossword puzzle books on hand, plus my Nintendo DSi. If I’m on a road trip, I’ll do road games! Oh, and sleeping on long road trips is a given.

10. Use a paper map or GPS?
Google maps! I just got a GPS a few months ago but I try not to use it too much.

Ten on Tuesday: Let go, let flow

31 Aug

I’ll be back with full recap posts, tribute posts and more in the next few days, but for now, I’m joining the Ten on Tuesday bandwagon for the first time.

1. Pretend it’s Monday morning–take us through a day in the life of you.
Hit the snooze button a few times, get up no later than 6:30. Ready for work and out the door no later than 7:30. Work from 8-5. Go home, study, exercise, read, sleep. My Monday’s are awfully dull, huh?

2. What’s your favorite reality tv show?
I’m going old school on this and saying the Real World, anything prior to the Chicago group which I believe was in 2001. I can’t think of a current reality tv show that I must watch.

3. What motto do you live by?
“Let go, let flow.” I’m still working on the let go, let flow aspect of my life in certain ways, but I’m getting there. (I can’t take credit for this phrase, I picked it up in a movie that I really enjoyed, Something New.)

4. If you knew could you try anything and not fail, what dream would you attempt?
Oo, this is a tough one. Probably be a professional blogger of sorts. Or start a non-profit and make it global. In all honesty, I think I’d move to Florida, start a wedding planning company and/or join a current one, and go from there.
5. What was your first job?
My very first job ever was a mother’s helper (aka supervised baby-sitting if you will). I was 10 or 11 when I started doing that.

6. What is your current job?
I work for a small company so I have many roles: event manager, client relations, contract relations, marketing manager, vendor relations, and as my dad says, I’m his “exit strategy,” so I’m more or less being groomed for the future as well.

7. What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name (and you cannot pick the one you already have)?
Something Italian; Abri or Sophia. Or maybe Grazia.

8. What musical instruments can you play?
Can and could are two different things but with a little work I could probably get up to speed on the flute and piccolo again (I played them in middle & high school) and I’d love to get back into playing the piano.

9. Is it easier to forgive or forget?
I don’t think I’d want to forget because then you lose a part of who you are and the path that brought you to where you currently stand.

10. What is one food you’d never want to taste again?
Before I was diagnosed with my crazy allergies I ate fried conch. So disgusting. Definitely could have done without that rubber taste in my mouth.

Your turn to answer any or all of the questions below, or ask me for more clarification on any of my answers!