Thursday, April 28, 2016

I solemnly swear I am up to no good...

Loki & Hunter - my garden guards. Lol!
If you see me on FaceBook, you already know that our test-packing was a rocking success! While I admit, I did have to sit on my pack to zip it closed. Lol.

That said, I've gone back over my items and I think I can weed a few more out to make the pack more manageable. Woot!

In the meantime... the garden continues to thrive and I'm now harvesting peppers and potatoes in addition to the daily tomatoes & radishes! A stray green bean or snow pea, too. Very cool! Ya'll should have seen my face when I discovered I had potatoes ready to pick! Like a kid on Christmas morning, lol!

I've been sharing my bounty of tomatoes with my parents (whether they like it or not, lol), and friday morning I'll be picking a whole bunch of tomatoes & basil to take to Shiloh and Jared.

And today I saw that my corn has started it's next phase! Yay

The hubby, Bethy and I (along with Hunter and Loki) are driving out to San Diego to visit. We'll all be (minus pups) checking out the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Major Woo-to-the-HooHoo!! Very excited! We're each representing a "house"... Bethy and I are Gryffindor, Bill's Ravenclaw, Jared is Hufflepuff, and Shi is Slytherin. Yes, the boys sort of lost a bet. They have to wear their "house" shirts. :-) hehehe. It's going to be a blast! And while we're doing that, the pups will have a blast playing with Bear (and their babysitter).

Then we head home to make final preparations for Europe! OMG. Next week, we're going to Europe!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Blooming Where Planted

That's always been sort of my personal motto - Bloom where you're planted. And while I've worked to do just that over the years, one area where I never thought it would apply is gardening. My brown thumbs are legendary. That said... my plants are blooming where they're planted! The official Recipe for Fitness garden is thriving! Check it out!

Baby cauliflower!!

To be honest, I kinda thought that I'd lose more plants before it was time to put in my pumpkins and watermelons. Since everything is growing so well, there's no room for new stuff, so I built two more beds! Woohoo! As you can see, the puppies decided to "help" me. Lol.

The beds are super easy to construct... just 8 of these blocks per bed, and then we grabbed 4 2x6's per bed (total 8). The boards we had cut at Home Depot, so each board gave me a side and an end (the long side is just over 6 ft, the ends are just over 2 ft). The beds are two boards/blocks high. Turned out pretty darn good! I layered thick cardboard in the bottoms, wet it down, then added my soil. The cardboard serves to kill the grass underneath (and prevent it from growing into my garden), and will decompose over time, adding to the soil.

Everyday I'm surprised to see growth in the garden. Surprised, and thrilled. I'm able to pick tomatoes and radishes every day! How crazy is that? I'm growing tomatoes! Lol! The zucchini and cucumbers have tons of blossoms, the snow peas and green beans are producing, I've got a baby cauliflower, and today I saw that my edamame plans have pods!! It's so cool!

In other news...

Bethy is on a spectacular road trip. She and a friend flew out to Virginia to pick up a truck and then drive it back home to Arizona. She's having a great time and sending me lots of photos along the way. What beautiful country! I confess that I'm a wee bit jealous, but knowing that my own vacation is just 13 days away helps ;-)

13 days. How crazy is that??? In 13 days, the hubby and I are boarding a plane and heading to London. OMG! We've got a packing pile going...

This weekend we're doing a test-packing run. We've watched the videos on the tortuga site, and  between their guide and my own packing style (roll it up, baby!) we should be able to fit everything we need.  Just a reminder, we're doing this with only a carry-on (imagine me freaking out). Bill's pack is significantly larger than mine, but I can't wear one that big (joys of being petite). So I've got the little-person sized pack, and he's got the normal one. Lol. Still... I have high hopes that I'll be able to make it all fit. Hope. Hope. Hope.

I still can't believe we're doing this. No plans. No itinerary. No binder. No luggage. It's insane. And I couldn't be more excited! :-)

Apart from the potential test-packing disaster I'm facing (lol), we're also hitting up a Cajun Fest tomorrow. I love, love, love a good gumbo so you can be sure I'm very much looking forward to the Fest. ;-)

Speaking of food... My recipe developing has taken a brief hiatus, so I've been relying on my trusty go-to list. Crockpot Pork Verde Tostados (recipe calls for chicken, but I used a pork roast), Street Tacos, Not-Lasagna, Stuffed Peppers, and I even tried my hand at another from-scratch crockpot tomato sauce (it was good, but not great).

Locally, we've discovered a hidden gem - Espos Mexican Restuarant. OMG. So good! I've driven by it a million times since we moved to Chandler, but the hubby and I finally went there last week. Absolutely phenomenal! And on Taco Tuesday, they also serve a killer peach margarita. Lol.

And on to my fitness update... BOOOOOO! I'm on medical hold. Can't exercise. Why? Stupid $$%^&& gallbladder. We think. We're (still) waiting on radiology reports. I hate waiting. I'm not good at it. At all. And pretty much unless you're spewing blood from an arterial wound, the medical world moves at the speed of molasses in snow. Me and ibuprofin have become besties. Lol.

Well there's my update. Hope you all have an amazing weekend! I'm sure looking forward to mine! ;-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spontaneous?? Me???? OMG!!!!!

Anyone who's known me for longer than five minutes knows that I am NOT spontaneous. I am ridiculously organized when it comes to events (holiday meals, trips, etc). I'm the binder-Queen. I have binders for everything. My binders have binders. While my organizational skills are often mocked, no one can deny that they are impressive. Lol.

Over the years, I've learned that this formidable organization power can lead to over-scheduling. Vacations that were spent dashing from one scheduled event to another. It can be... rough. So, I've learned to dial it back a bit, though still account for every possible activity, meal, snack or gas stop. It's a sickness. Well... I had a recent discussion with the hubby that might stun and amaze you. But first, here's the back story...

You see, we have these travel points stocked up that we haven't spent yet - and need to before a specific cut off date. We've talked about traveling to see friends, maybe a cruise, perhaps a visit down to our favorite Rocky Point location... nothing really sounded great. So I had a chat with Kayla (my amazing Coach Kayla), If you had a free vacation, and could go anywhere... where would you travel?
Her answer sparked a memory from long ago.

Ten years ago when the hubby and I married, we had this amazing honeymoon planned - all romance, adventure, family history (for both of us) , and fun (and WAY overscheduled, lol!). Then we decided to put that off and instead do a "family-moon". We took the kids and several family members & friends down to that Rocky Point place and had a blast. It was terrific. The years passed, and but it never seemed to be the right time to take that special trip to Europe. Our original plan was set on a shelf to collect dust. Until that talk with Kayla. And I started to think. I mulled a couple days, then...

"So Bill... I have this kind of... wild idea... to use those points."
"Ok. What is it?"
"Well, remember our honeymoon? The one we didn't take but always planned to?"
"What if we... modify it? Say... book our flight to London, our flight back home, and the first two nights hotel. Then... wing it the rest of the time?"

He looked at me like I'd lost my mind. So I confirmed it for him...

"And what if we only took carry-on. No checked bags."

While my husband now thinks I'm a pod-person, we are both crazily excited!! We now have those flights booked, and the hotel booked... and on our 10th anniversary, we will be arriving in London and checking into the Stafford Hotel - just like we'd planned to do all those years ago. Insane, right?? I'm as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning!! We both are thrilled with our decision, and can't wait to pack up and go.

I've ordered special travel backpacks from here, along with packing pods; picked up a power converter, earbuds and a splitter so we can watch whatever on our ipads together during the looooong flights; have begun putting together my "capsule wardrobe"for the 10 days.... I've even registered our trip with STEP (US State Dept of Travel).  I'm having a blast planning while not planning. Lol. I've got great travel guides that we may or may not take with us. I've downloaded apps like a currency converter, a french translator (that works even without internet), the UK rail guide, even a track-my-trip app that will let folks follow along with us as we roam. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!

We have no idea if we'll make it to Scotland, or Ireland. We hope to make at least a day trip to Paris, but we may never leave merry 'ol England. For 10 amazing days, we get to do whatever we want, whenever we want (within reason, lol). And we can't wait!!!

By the end of this we may need either strait-jackets or bail money... or both! Hahaha!! Woooohooo!!!!

Countdown is set... currently it is 1 month, 5 days, 22 hours and 41 minutes until we check in at the airport!!!