Sunday, November 12, 2017

50 Words

My 50 Words
1. Mother
2. Friend
3. Sister
4. Daughter
5. Traveler
6. Encourager
7. Optimist
8. Funny
9. Dreamer
10. Environmentalist
11. Feminine
12. Kind
13. Generous
14. Blessed
15. Recycler
16. Upcycler
17. Curious
18. Organized
19. Intelligent
20. Fun
21. Reader
22. Writer
23. Explorer
24. Strong
25. Lover
27. Tenacious
28. Sporadic
29. Emotional
30. Crafter
31. Crocheter
32. Blogger
33. Protector
34. Devoted
35. Reliable
36. Snorer
37. Saver
38. Investor
39. Listener
40. Thinker
41. Artist
42. Believer
43. Prayer
44. Snuggler
45. Professional
46. Stubborn
47. Communicator
48. Friendly
49. Student
50. Eager
I feel these are my 50 Words.
They describe me.
What are your 50?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Travel Destinations 2018

Whenever I can see a new year creeping in on the horizon, the only thing that I can think of, besides "Did this year go fast, or is it just me?".. I always consider my travel destination. Where I want to go, What I want to see, Where I want to take my children and how many places can I afford to visit? 

My 15 year old has taken to telling me, as of late, that traveling is just wasting my money. After I passed out cold, I came to, and let that statement settle in my brain cells for a few seconds. The thing is, and I told my son, this IS what I want to spend my money on. I want to travel. I want to see things. I want to meet new people. I want to take trains, planes, buses and boats! The inside of an airport isn't stressful to me, it's electric energy! Fully charged with eager people, waiting to reach dream destinations! (Business travelers may disagree :)

Though I have not yet worked out all of the dates, as any mom I have to work around school dates, schedules and work. I know that these are some of the places we want to travel this year. My 12 year old daughter is a huge collaborating force in where I travel these days. She loves to travel, honestly, I thought I was a wanderluster. I've created quite the little travel bug.

So here we go.

In January, I like to bring the new year in while in London, that won't change this year. I spend Christmas with my children and then leave on Boxing day for London. 

In February, Hannah and I are planning on freezing our buns off a bit and flying to Iceland, because seeing the northern lights would be phenomenal! I haven't seen them since I lived in Maine in the early 80's.
In March I want to do a couple of local trips. We only just moved to Washington State 3 weeks ago and I found out today that there is a glass museum in Tacoma. 
Complete need right? Need to visit! The good news is it's only 30 minutes drive from us and there is a Natural History Museum as well. So Tacoma it is. I have actually heard negative things about this small city, so I'm intent on finding the good!
We will also be going to Seattle in March. I figure after a very long winter, Seattle will be just the ticket. I mean, who doesn't want to see the gum wall? I'll instinctively complain about how gross it is, and then add my very own chewed piece :) 
Then there is the Pike Market, Space Needle and another glass museum.
This one looks phenomenal
Images from The Trover Website
I'm super excited about what I'm planning for April 
I'm planning a trip to Juan Island to Whale Watch! It's like a serious check off of the ole bucket list, it's right up there with watching Sea Turtles hurry back to sea after hatching. I'm seriously beside myself!
To be honest, May is still undecided. It's my birthday month, and I just don't know where I want to go! I'll poke into London at some point... I'm sure... Maybe I will just hang around home. Maybe. 
June is the Red Wood forest in California ... More super excitement. I have a thing for trees. They are true loves. There is one right outside my friends house in Ireland that I adore and another one by Tower Bridge that I love. Honestly, I'm not a weirdo. I just love trees! 
July and August is all about the kids, it's summer vacation... and since we are in a new State. We are going to explore Washington. On the Agenda... Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helen, Ruby Beach and Olympic State Park
August brings us Europe. Hannah and I will be creeping our way through Europe again. 2018 we are going to Greece (Athens and Santorini) and Italy (Venice and Rome). We are slowly making our way around Europe, in summer 2017 we went to Limerick and Paris, it was our second trip to Limerick, and yes... we will go again. There is just something about Ireland, it's breathtaking and peaceful. 
The coming year though, it's Greece and Italy. There aren't enough adjectives in the world to describe our elation!
Is there anything more exciting than packing, knowing you're going on an incredible journey? Almost all travel is educational, but this one will be especially educational for myself and my daughter. Roman and Greek history? I can hardly contain myself!
October, November, December
Very often, we enjoy the holidays with family. Family is very important to me and I like the holidays to be ground in tradition. The older the kids get, the more I would rather have experiences for them, instead of presents under the Christmas tree, but with having 5 kids, 3 already adults, those experiences aren't always easy to arrange. So I'm often playing these 3 months by ear. Because I know at some point, I will be able to spend time with all of them. We live in different States, so travel will be involved some how. 

I have a real itch to go to Boston and Charleston as well. 
Maybe I'll win the lottery and be able to squeeze them in! 
So many places to go!
So few days off of work :)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Under The Sea Birthday Party

Ahhhh… the things my gorgeous little girl talks me in to.

For her 12th birthday, she insisted that she wanted highlights in her hair. I thought that was a great gift for a birthday gift. I knew I would be charged a lot as she has very long hair, but I didn't mind. She's worth it. But...
Then she asked “Could I just have a few friends over for my birthday?”…. “Sure honey”… “Well mom, I changed my mind, could we all go to the roller rink together? “Sure babe, that sounds like fun”… “But mom, how about if we have a party at the roller rink? And also mom, I want the theme to be ‘Under the Sea’, okay?”

Under the Sea? Like there must be a lot of fish and stuff?

“Mom, I really want a cat too”. 
(Our cat was adopted from the Austin animal shelter, Hannah named her Hope. She has cerebral palsy and she's deaf, but she is the most lovely, amazing little tabby cat) 

I found the greatest party ideas on Pinterest, however, I had never thrown a themed (make everything myself) party before. My boys always asked for specifics, like Superhero’s, Lego or Minecraft. All those things are pretty easy to find, all made up and ready to buy at Target. But Hannah had very specific idea’s in mind and wanted Mermaids and fish!
I have to admit. I enjoyed every minute of the process. But it wasn’t cheap. Since I was no pro at throwing themed parties, I had to buy everything new. And Hannah had very specific ideas of what she wanted.
Even though we had some major fails, (for instance my attempt at jelly fish), but hey, we aren’t all party planner extraordinaire goddesses! 
But being noobies and all...I think we did a pretty good job!

We made everything, including the invitations. AND made BIG MESSES in the process. 

I loved molding the chocolate and decided at that moment I could be a chocolatier! (Isn’t it amazing what we can talk ourselves into and back out of  in a matter of 15 minutesJ)
Hannah’s dad was in charge of the anchor (I think he’s quite Handy with a cardboard box and silver spray paint!!)
We adopted out pufferfish.
We wrapped the spoons and forks in rope and lifebuoy’s. (Lifesaver candy and twine)
We had fish snacks (Blue jelly beans and fish crackers)
And Mermaid tail gift bags.
We had drift wood. (Pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with blue sugar and crushed graham cracker crumbs)
Hannah said these represented sand and water. (Marshmallows dipped in blue chocolate and sprinkled with crushed graham cracker crumbs)
I admit. I ordered the cupcakes. Undecorated, and we put icing and our chocolate shells.
Hannah made bobby pins with shells for all the girls to wear.
We then gathered everything up, took it to the Skating rink and decorated there. I wasn’t overly thrilled that the room was orange, but the kids didn’t care.
All in all, I think that everything turned out really cute!
Each girl got cupcake in a cup with purple chocolate coins and sixlets.
The birthday girl got 2 cupcakes
After the cupcakes, pizza and gifts, the girls spent a couple of hours giggling and rollerskating. I didn't manage to get any decent pictures, you know what roller rinks are like, not well lit and kids zipping all over on roller skates. It was so much fun watching my 40 year old brother rip his trousers and watch Hannah's dad fall over. I think the adults did a good job entertaining the girls!
It's not every day that your princess turns 12!

Would I try my hand at another themed party? I think I would. I really enjoyed putting it all together. I don't know if I could have done it without Hannah's great idea's, she could totally be a party planner extraordinaire!
I hope you're having a great week!
Thank you for dropping by,

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Times Square and M&M World

Times Square

I have never seen so many people in one place, in all of my life.
There were people E V E R Y W H E R E.
Standing room only.
But it was phenomenal! Time Square is full of eclectic energy! We just sat, and stared and watched and absorbed.
There were other mesmerized tourists there, sign carriers trying to lead us all to Jesus, ticket sellers, moving food carts, bright lights and peddlers on blankets. By peddlers I mean people selling merchandise on blankets, that are easily picked up by the corners, when they see a police officer near. 
My young daughter enjoyed Time Square, not just for the eclectic energy but because of the shops and M&M World. 

The next time we go, we plan to take in a show or two… Broadway is right in the center of all the commotion.
The lights on the buildings were mesmerizing, huge screens the size of buildings. Some screens advertising the latest fashion, some making a statement, some reporting news, but all of them being bright and interesting.
Times Square is one of those destinations that you have to experience at night, we arrived a little bit early because we wanted to check out the Hershey store and M&M World. There are plenty of shopping opportunities, the selection is exciting and overwhelming, but we went with a chocolate purpose, so we stuck to our plan!


I suggest a Taxi for the trip to the hotel afterwards, it is a city after all, and the big apple has a reputation for being unsavory in certain places at night. And well… a night in Times Square, though I felt safe, made me feel as if I shouldn’t wonder too far off. Does that make sense? Kind of like when I’m in London, I always feel safe during the day, but at night, I travel differently and stay out of certain areas.

                  Seriously, you just can’t hit NYC without the experience of Times Square!