Monthly Archives

February 2012



February 28, 2012

I found this quote on my new favorite time waster, Pinterest and decided to link up with both, Bianca at Bits of Bee for her Quotable Bits Tuesday and also with Rory at Time out for Mom for her Tuesday’s Coffee Chat where her “theme” is happiness this week.


Hope everyone has a good night and something to be happy about today. I got to have lunch with a dear friend sitting by the ocean. Enjoying the sunshine, the waves, good conversation and great company!


Photo Challenge: {Focus} on Mom – February 2012

February 27, 2012

Since Monday isn’t quite over, yet. I decided to join Nicolette of Working on a Project for her {Focus} on Mom Photo Challenge again. It was interesting trying to find pics of myself to post instead of the usual kids and hubs pictures. There really aren’t that many. I couldn’t find one picture of myself from our latest getaway because there aren’t any!!!

Nicolette wants to make it easy for all of us moms to join so she kept the “rules” simple:

  1. You (Mom) must be in the photo.
  2. Link up one photo or as many as you like.
  3. Link back to this blog or grab our button from the sidebar.
  4. Try to visit a few of the others and leave some comment love on their sit
  5. If your tweet about this challenge please use hashtag #FocusOnMom and I’ll retweet your post or tag me on Facebook and I’ll share your post.

One of the most recent pictures of Hubby and I. I think, my son took this one. It came out pretty good. 🙂

Little One joining me on my "sick bed"... hanging with her mommy over the weekend. 🙂

My two contributions for the months of February. Hopefully, I’ll have some new ones for March it being my birth month and all. 🙂 We’ll see…



It's a ship, not a boat…

February 26, 2012

Hubby frequently tells us the difference between a ship and a boat when the kids and I refer to one or the other in the wrong way. Ships carry boats! We most definitely were on a ship for our tour of the American Victory in Tampa Bay.

After a not so stellar morning trip to the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs– I think we went too early– we decided to head back to Tampa, say a quick “Hello.” to hubby’s friends and then over to the docks at Channelside for a tour of the S.S. American Victory.

The S.S. American Victory is one of only four fully operational WWII ships in the country. It is a world-class, shipboard, maritime museum dedicated to honoring the men and women who built, sailed, protected and served through the American Merchant Fleet since 1775. To find out and learn about the American Victory please visit their website. It is chock full of interesting information.

view from the deck house to the bow

Both of hubby’s grandpa’s served for the American Merchant Fleet during WWII. His paternal grandfather worked in the galley and had his ship shot out from under him twice. He survived.

We had fun climbing all over the ship, seeing how the men and women that served there lived for months at a time. Seeing how the ship was run and serviced. Knowing that it was still functional after all this time.

we climbed a lot of these, inside and out

These quarters below are only some we’ve seen and these are pretty spacious. Not for the regular crewmen, they bunked together in a more cramped space.

See the difference in the officer’s quarters? They sure had a lot more room and much nicer accommodations. But I guess, being an officer they earned it.

Guns, guns, guns… let’s not forget the cool stuff. Everyone got in on the fun on this one. Hubby and the boy checking out the 20 mm cannon on board.

And here are my girls.

Kids putting on their sailor hats and trying their hands at the wheel.

The views from the top were absolutely stunning. Looking down the bay, seeing all the different ships and boats and watching the sun sparkle on the water… it gets me every time.

We were lucky enough to see a cruise ship (The Jewel of the Sea) docked next to us. Due to heavy fog the ship couldn’t come into port until the sun had burned it off. It was great for us, not so great for the people trying to get off and on.

The sheer size of these cruise ships is amazing and hard to fathom. I got this shot and thought it helps just a bit in grasping the enormousness of these moving hotels.

Saw this tug boat chugging along and had to take a picture. The tug boats are so much smaller than the ships they tug or tow.

Hubby is our history fanatic. Ask him any question about any war ever fought, any ship or airplane in the military and he will probably most definitely have an answer for you. See that smile? He had a blast and gave all of us a nice history lesson.

One last shot of the ship. It was a beautiful day, full of sunshine, smiles and interesting facts. Can’t wait to go back and do it again. Hubby and I may go back and take part in one of their Re-live History Cruises. They take the ship out for a cruise to the Sunshine Skyway, do re-enactments, have a band play music from the 40’s and even a WWII airplane fly over. How cool is that?


Creative with a K and no E… Kreativ Blogger Award

February 25, 2012

Since my brain is mush and I can’t come up with anything original at the moment–thanks for the head cold Little One–I will answer some questions and maybe, just maybe, come up with another 10 random facts. Am I allowed to have help? But first I need to say thank you. A mere thank you just doesn’t seem enough… how about in bold and italics?… THANK YOU … yup that looks better. 🙂 A great big thank you to one of my fave bloggy friends, the wonderful, highly caffeinated and super talented word smith Rory from Time out for Mom. To get an award from her is super exciting to me. I adore her and look up to her and aspire to have her way with words (in my dreams).

First I must, yes, it’s a must, post the rules!

So, here are the rules:
1. Thank & link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Answer the form questions below.
3. Share ten random facts / thoughts about yourself.
4. Nominate (at least) 7 other blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

Favorite Song  “With or Without you” by U2. First one that popped into my head. I also love “Set fire to the Rain” by Adele right now.

Favorite Dessert  I have a huge sweet tooth so finding just one is tough. I’ll go with Key Lime Pie from the Fish House in Key Largo!!! It’s decadent.

What ticks me off  Parents who involve your and their children in their squabbles. It’s a long story. Needless to say they are no longer around me and mine!!!

When I’m upset, I… usually pout and fume about it or you’ll know right away. I can get loud and have a potty mouth, too.

Favorite pet(s) We have 2 dogs and a cat. I love them all but always considered myself more of a dog person.

Black or White Black because it’s slimming!!! 🙂

Biggest Fear  I’m a mom, so yes, it would definitely be something bad happening to one of the kids.

Everyday attitude Smile, even if you’re tired and cranky.

What is perfection? When you figure that one out, please, let me know. But a bubble bath, candles, soft music, a good book and an hour of peace and quiet sounds about perfect!!!

My guilty pleasures * see above. 🙂

Ok, not sure if my fogged-in brain can come up with 10 random facts, but I’ll give it a shot.

1. I love when hubby makes his chili… chili dog, anyone?

2. My little girl’s squealing laughter makes my heart sing.

3. I’m eternally grateful for my laptop… how else could I lounge on my bed and do this.

4. Tazo makes some awesome teas. Love their Chai.

5. Reading the Hunger Games right now. I hope to finish it before the movie comes out on my birthday!!!

6. I desperately need a haircut. I keep it short and can never, ever manage to grow it out. It’s hopeless. Oh well, I’m happy that I can rock the pixie cut!!! 🙂

7. Right now, my pooches are lounging on bed with me and keeping me company. They are also waiting for their night-time walk.

8. I know, I mentioned this before… I love Netflix, how else would we be able to watch Spiderman and his amazing friends (the cartoon version)????

9. Have I mentioned that I love doing Pilates? I have a bunch of different workout DVDs and switch them up depending on my mood.

10. As much as I love my pooches, doggie kisses and slobber are not welcome. Yuck!

Wow, I amaze myself sometimes, I came up with 10 more random things. Yippee.

The problem I now have is to decide who to give this award too. I just recently had to give this one and another one to 15 people… let’s see if I can come up with 7 lovely people who have not received this.

Here is the list of the 7 bloggers I’m handing the award over to…

Karen @ Life with Karen

Janice @ A Colorful Adventure

Angela @ Angels are Kids and Furkids

Marti @ Marvi Marti

Ali @ My Suitcase full of Tricks

Alena @ A little bit of wonderful

Holly @ Tropic of mom

Woohoo, I did it. I apologize if you have received this award already and I just gave you seconds. But as my friend Rory said “it’s fun to get seconds.” Right? 🙂 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend or what’s left of it. I’m going for my guilty pleasure 🙂 and then bed… Hopefully, the NyQuil will help give this weary body a restful night.





Follow Friday Four Fill in Fun

February 23, 2012

Here we are again. Friday! That most special day of the week. The day I join Hilary at FeelingBeachie for some fill in fun. Each week Hilary lists four statements with blanks for us to fill in on our own blogs. It’s fun to see what everyone comes up with. Hilary is always looking for new statements. If you have some send her a message. If she chooses you, you’ll be made co-host!!!


This weeks statements:

1. I never ____ on a ____.

2. ______ is my favorite holiday.

3. I think my _____ is/are ______.

4. When there is a ____ I ____.


My answers:

1. I never throw up on a roller coaster.

2. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

3. I think my pets are amazing.

4. When there is a cold front I open my windows.


( All answers this week were lovingly provided by Middle Daughter. She loves to play along and help out with filling in!!! 🙂 )


City Slicker

February 23, 2012

This past weekend we went for one of our little family getaways to the West Coast of Florida. We love going to Tampa for a couple of nights and do touristy things. Hubby used to live in Tampa for a few years and always liked it there. I like it because it was where I first stepped foot on Florida’s sandy soil and saw a palm tree swaying in the breeze for the first time. There are a couple of different ways to get there from the East Coast and we decided to be adventurous and take Highway 60 across the state.

This is what most of highway 60 looks like. You better be sure to have a full tank of gas and make the kids take a bathroom break before you head out that way!!!

We saw plenty of cattle grazing in the pastures. They are NOT horses, honey!!!

I grew up seeing plenty of tractors. But to my kids it’s still a delight to see one in action.

And then we saw these. Hubby looks at me and asks, “Why do they put them there?” So I proceed to tell him about the process of baling hay and how the farmers roll it up and so on. I also tell him that I remember them being squares in Germany.  And still, he asks, “Why do they put it there like that?” I didn’t understand what he meant and we went around a few times until, aha, I got it. He thought that the bales are brought in from somewhere… No, hon, the hay (or grass) gets cropped on the field and when the bale reaches a certain size it gets left where it falls for later pick up to be used as feed. City Slicker, that’s my hubby!!! 🙂

We passed this marsh. It was beautiful. Covered in lily pads like that.

Orange groves abounded in that area. Go anywhere in Central Florida and you will see one eventually.

Something I had never seen, an orange juice plant. See all those truck beds full of oranges? It was a pretty awesome sight.

All in all, it was a much more pleasant way to drive to Tampa than going the usual route with all the crazy drivers that seem to be out in force these days. Of course, that was until we heard our three-year old from the back seat, “Daddy, I have to go pee.”


A side-note: I took all these pictures from a moving car through a closed window during a not so stellar Florida afternoon. Sunshine State it was not!!!


Two in One

February 21, 2012

Recently the lovely Tere of Tere’s World surprised me by awarding little me for two blog awards. The Kreativ Blogger Award and One Lovely Blog Award. I was very pleasantly surprised and accept these with a huge smile and a big Thank You to Tere for including me with all the other great bloggers. I don’t know about you, but I love getting awards. Not so much for the award itself but to know other bloggers out there seem to enjoy what you put out there into the blogosphere and want to let you know it. Thanks again, Tere. I really appreciate that you included me!!!

Kreativ Blogger Award Rules:

1. Link back to the one who gave you this award
2. Share 10 random facts about yourself
3. Pass the award on to 6 other people
4. Follow the persons blog who sent you it
Here are 10 random facts about myself:
1. I love eating grapes but hate raisins. They make me gag.
2. I’m a chocoholic. Any chocolate will do but I prefer German chocolate to anything else. 🙂
3. My first job was as a waitress at my parents restaurant.
4. I love learning languages and wish I would have kept up with French.
5. I love coloring with my girls. It relaxes me.
6. I know how to crochet and knit.
7. I love to read and wish I had more time for it.
8. Flip-flops are an absolute must have for me.
9. I suffer from eczema and moving to Florida and close to the ocean was the best thing for my dry skin!!!
10. I’m not a natural red-head!!! 🙂 Thank you L’Oreal!!!
The One Lovely Blog Award rules are:
1. Link back to the one who gave you this award.
2. pass the award on to 15 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you.
Now it is my turn to award these to other amazing bloggers. Here is my list of 15!!!!
1. RoryBore @ Time Out for Mom
2. Beth Ann @ It’s Just Life
4. Veronica @ Germlish
6. Sarah @ The Mama Pirate
7. Jennifer @ Just Another Day
9. Bianca @ Bits of Bee
10. Bruna @ Bees with Honey
13. Nicolette @ Working On a Project
14. Melissa @ A Wide Line…
15. Movita @ Movita Beaucoup
Wow. It’s so hard to figure out who to give these awards to. I have “met” so many amazing bloggers out there and want to share with each and every one of them. If you read this and have time for another cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate with marshmallows… go check some of these 15 amazing bloggy buddies out.
Thank you again, Tere, for honoring me with these awards!!! *Hugs!*

My friends are like stars

February 21, 2012

Time to join Bianca @ Bits of Bee for some quotable bits fun!!! Here is my quote for the week…

“Good friends are like stars . You don’t always see them but you know they are always there.”

~old saying