Tag Archives: travel

Daily Prompt: The Wanderer

Daily Prompt: Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit. GO!

Ha!  Sometimes I add “GO!” to the end of my emails or text messages….funny stuff.

I’ve always wanted to go to France…and then I did in June 2001.  That was a great 3 weeks with my high school French class.  My sister and BFF also went, so double bonus.  We spent 2 weeks touring France, and then 1 week with a French family.  Those are some funny stories I might have to share at some point.  No photos to share now.

Golde Gate Bridge, California

Golden Gate Bridge, California

Muir Woods, California

Muir Woods, California…almost got lost in here too!


I’ve always wanted to go to California, in 2007 I went to San Francisco with my then boyfriend.  It was a great trip.  We stayed at a tiny hotel right in the middle of like everything, we walked all over the city.  We found this amazing beer store and kept going back there, even spending some evenings there chatting with the locals.  Although, I was really shy back then so I wasn’t doing much talking.  Then we went on a winery van tour that was really fun.  I hope to do that again sometime.





I’ve always wanted to go to NYC, and then in November 2010 I went for like 3-4 days.  It was a solo trip, I have a friend who lives in the city and I stayed with her and wandered the city alone while she worked.  That was a really great trip, I can’t wait to go back sometime!  My favorite place was Greenwich Village, I really enjoyed that area.

Times Square, NYC

Thats me in Times Square! This is on the Forever 21 building.

My brother has been to London and really liked it, it would be really cool to visit there.  I don’t know much about it tho.

I read the Karen Marie Moning Fever series (pick up a book at the library, they are a fantasy series and NOT for teens), and those books are based in Dublin.  I would love to visit and see some of the places she mentions.

Italy is definitely on the list.  Its a pain I can’t eat pasta or regular pizza anymore, but for the wineries and the history, it would totally be worth it.  My friend is there right now celebrating her anniversary.  She is one lucky duck.

I’d like to go back to California and spend more time going through the wineries.  And maybe when its warmer, we went in February, right around the Chinese New Year, and it was windy and chilly most of the time.  I actually bought a fleece when we walked along the Pier, it was so chilly.  I prefer much warmer weather, so I’d like it to be high 70s!

I can’t come up with any other place specifically.  I do like to visit new places and try new things, so I am usually up to travel!

Busy Past Few Weeks!


The last few weeks have been CrAzY busy!  I apologize for not keeping up-to-date with any of my projects or showing off my latest jewelry!  But never fear, I am in the process of several different projects:

  • Moving craft rooms- used to be downstairs, now in a bedroom upstairs, SO MUCH to organize
  • I painted a shelf, then had difficulty assembling it.  Will post that photo of a cool decoupage idea, now unfortunately unseen
  • General crafts organization – piles of stuff everywhere that needs a home
  • Jewelry – hemp bracelets + matching earrings, jewelry sets – all need to be made asap to sell to stores
  • Creating the bridesmaid jewelry for my cousin’s wedding: earrings, bracelets, necklaces
  • My cousin’s wedding gift is also in the works- but incase she reads this, I can’t show/tell you!  I will however share her bridal shower gift + favors
  • I’m rearranging all my Pinterest boards, when I started this project last week I had 1500+ pins in my DIY Projects board, now at about 1k!
  • Refashioning clothes (as seen on my 30 Before 30 List), I made a tshirt into a tube top, will post photos and my inspiration this week

I’m sure there are more projects, thats just the list I really really want to finish!

Then on September 2nd, my brother was deployed to Afghanistan.  From August 29th thru September 2nd I was in Fayetteville, NC (which is where Ft. Bragg Army Base is), spending time with the family before he left.  I have a few photos from that to share.  I still need to share my PIB vacation photos- and that was in July!  I hope to get all that done this week!  As well as, as much jewelry making as possible!


Surprise Pay It Forward!


I just received this from simplycreativeboutique which is a blog I follow (and love). I thought this sounded fun and intriguing and decided to participate in the pay it forward game.

Want to receive free gifts in the mail?  Who doesn’t, right?!

This is how it works:

I will send a surprise gift to the first 3 people to comment on this post.  This gift will be made by me and I will send it sometime within the next year.  Exactly when you will receive it will be a surprise.

And here are the rules:

1.  You must have a blog.

2. To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too.  Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goody to the first three people who comment on your blog post.

3.  After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love.  If you haven’t posted in 48 hours then the next commenter will be chosen.

If you want to join in just comment below leaving your email address and if you’re one of the first three I will be contacting you for your info and I’ll be sending you something before the end of August next year!

Have fun and pay it forward!


Back to work!

Its so hard coming back from vacation!  All last week I enjoyed a lovely vacation with my boyfriend, first at Put-in-Bay, then back for a day, then headed up into Michigan to spend the weekend with a friend’s family, on a lake!  It was such a nice and relaxing vacation!  Plus I was able to secure some really cool items that I hope to use in future jewelry-making!

I still have to load all my photos to my computer, so I can only include the one photo I have on my phone!  This is my boyfriend, Dave, looking like a cute high school boy!  We were enjoying some afternoon drinkies, him beer me strawberry daiquiri, at the outdoor sand bar Mojito Bay!  The bar had swinging seats!  It was super fun, we spent 2 nights there, both nights with a great singer to enjoy!



And then of course I come back from vacay to reality, which for me is jewelry-making!  So here are a few of the beads I am working with today, what fun stuff might I be making??

20 Things Happy People Do Everyday

20 Things Happy People Do Every Day

1. Smile—a lot (pass on that happiness).
2. Say “yes” to something that makes you uncomfortable—because you know it’s actually good for you.
3. Practice kindness.
4. Love enthusiastically and with your entire being.
5. Re-commit to goals.
6. Talk to a friend—even if it’s just on the phone.
7. Be your own best friend (practice self-love).
8. Live your beliefs and convictions.
9. Take care of your body.
10. Do something indulgent (this could be a lot of things—a square of dark chocolate, a glass of wine, treating yourself to a yoga class or reading a few pages of a new book).
11. Remember tomorrow’s another day.
12. Let go of the little things.
13. Laugh out loud and from your soul.
14. Enjoy your alone time—even if it’s just in the shower or on the drive to work.
15. Spend time with people you enjoy.
16. Don’t let the people that you must encounter, and don’t enjoy, affect your mood for too long—let them help you grow as a person instead.
17. Grow a little bit closer to your higher self.
18. Let go of ego.
19. Do something you know you need to do but don’t want to.
20. Find the benefits in obstacles.




7 Signs You Are Ready for Change

7 Sign You Are Ready for Change
By Katrina Love Senn

Another article from MindBodyGreen!  I don’t think you need to have all 7 signs to be ready for change! 

We only need to look to nature to see that change is a natural part of life. If you have a feeling that you want to change something in your life, listen to it. Recognize this as a call from your highest self that you are ready for healing, transformation and personal growth.

Growth allows you to release the past and gives you an opportunity to do something new and different. Here are 7 signs you are ready for change in your life …
1. You want to do a detox
Having the feeling that you ‘want to do a detox’  is like waving a red flag to the Universe shouting at the top of your lungs, “I am ready for change.”
Doing a detox allows flow to happen inside your body and in your life. If you are feeling like now is the time to do a detox, listen to this urge and stay alert for new possibilities to unfold in your life.
(I’m kind of detoxing right now with my new Gluten-Free diet, and watching what I eat!  Sometimes its a struggle, but my body knows its right!)
2. You want to quit an addiction
Wanting to stop smoking, drinking or doing drugs is a classic sign that you are ready for something much bigger to open up in your life.
In my early 20’s, I enjoyed being a party girl, but with each year that passed I developed an uncomfortable relationship with alcohol. One glass of red mysteriously turned into more. Over the years, I became aware that alcohol was not serving me. I secretly desired to stop but I didn’t know how. Fast-forward to today, I can tell you that giving up drinking was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
When you give up a n addictive habit you will get rewarded many times over. If something within you is ready to quit an addiction, really listen to it. Find support, educate yourself and surround yourself with people who have already done what you want to do.   (There’s lots of support out there, all you have to do is ask!)
3. You want to lose weight
Having personally lost over 60 pounds and worked with hundreds of women wanting to ‘lose weight’, I have discovered that this desire has little to do with losing weight and more to do with cultivating self love.
My experience has shown me that permanent weight loss happens when we choose to start healing our lives. To lose weight for good, the first thing to do is to stop dieting and start healing from within. When we create a healthy relationship with our body, and ourselves, then weight loss can happen naturally and easily.
When you learn how to treat yourself well with kindness, love and compassion everything can shift. This will allow your true self to emerge, which will attract new people and opportunities in your life.
4. You want to pay off debt
Having big amounts of debt is a sure-fire way to feel trapped and stuck. Debt can make you feel heavy and frustrated. If you have the feeling that you want to ‘get on top of your money situation’ by paying off debts, take action immediately!
When you begin to take responsibility for your finances, even with small, baby steps, you give yourself the chance to create a feeling of internal freedom. This will leave you feeling empowered and strong, with the belief and knowledge that you can do what you want to do. Taking action to pay off debts will ripple out and positively affect other areas of your life.
5. You want to break up with your partner
When you have that feeling inside of you that you want to end a relationship, it takes courage to listen to it. Let this be a powerful transition and use it as an opportunity for your personal growth and transformation.
When a relationship ends, it inevitably brings change. If you are someone who is afraid of change, this may also bring up fear.  Acknowledge your fears, but keep connecting to the quality of courage and focus on new possibilities. Trust your gut feeling and instincts. Ensure that you surround yourself with like-minded, supportive people, so that you can be happy and healthy from within.
6. You want to leave your job
If you are feeling bored or just ‘hate your job’  this is a strong signal that you need to pay attention.
You don’t have to do anything radical or rushed. Just start by taking small baby steps. Ask yourself,  “What do I love?” Experiment with doing different types of work. The Myers-Briggs test is a fast and easy way to find out what type of work might suit you.
7. You want to go traveling
If you are experiencing ‘itchy feet’ and are consumed by the feeling that you just want to pack everything in and go traveling, take the time to listen to this urge.
If you are feeling a desire to get away, simply sit down and quietly ask yourself, ‘What is this feeling about?’ Even if you don’t have a lot of money, realize that there are many creative ways that you can fund your dreams for adventure.
When you see change on the horizon, stay flexible in your approach to life. Allow yourself to see new possibilities as they emerge in the moment. Draw on the quality of courage to help you deal with change. When you listen and act on the wisdom of your inner guidance, change will be the ‘magic bullet’ that will enable you to live a life that you love.
What about you- are you ready for change??
The Grill

Crowdtap: McCormick Grill Mates Party

Similar to my Old Navy parties, I participated in a McCormick’s Grill Mates party.  I received a package in the mail including:
Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Grill Mates Molasses Bacon Seasoning
Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
Grill Mates Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade
Grill Mates Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub

Connect with McCormick’s on Facebook!

A few weekends ago I had a BBQ and Pool party to incorporate both the McCormick line and the Old Navy Beach Bum party!  My other post includes my Pool Party photos.  Here is a summary of what Crowdtap is and the parties:

“I belong to an online group called Crowdtap.  Please read more information about it here: Crowdtap  One of the great things about it, you give your opinion, answer questions, participate in discussions, and then you raise money for charities.  I picked the Nature Conservatory.  There are about 5 options, all good choices of course!  :)
Another perk is participating in targeted discussions, some of my faves are to talk about Old Navy products.  I was recently approved to join an Old Navy Sample Share, basically I was mailed a coupon, 1 for me 1 for a friend, for a FREE pair of JEANS!!!”
Check below at the footer and click on my link to join me at Crowdtap and participate and hopefully qualify for Samples Shares and Parties as well!  On to the review!
Preparing Kebobs

Preparing Kebobs

This party worked differently then the Old Navy parties, I was sent all the samples and had a party using the marinades and seasonings with food that I

Marinade + Chicken
bought, and then grilled and ate with my family.
The food was good for this party!  We made a ton of food- 4 people and we had food for the week!  I wanted to try out the marinades and rubs on different foods to see how they tasted with different flavors.  I used the Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade and added Mango Preserves like I saw on the recipe on the back.  I thought that sounded so yummy!  Directions to mix the marinade are clear and easy to do.  We marinaded our chicken a few hours and then used the rest as a glaze for the chicken and kebobs.
Our kebobs consisted of red peppers, chicken, zucchini, and potatoes.  It all tasted great!  The Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade seemed a little spicy to me- but I’m not a good judge, I have to eat mild sauces at places like BW3’s because I can’t take the spiciness!  My family all loved the marinade, my sister and brother-in-law ate up all the chicken!  I used the Mango Preserves as a “dip” on my chicken and it gave it a sweet sugary flavor that really complimented the spice!  The kebob veggies tasted really good!  That was such a good choice on my part 🙂
The Grill

The Grill

We also made hamburgers with the Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I loved the seasoning!  It gave it just enough flavor without being overpowering.  Of course it depends how much you add to your burgers.  We added the seasoning a few hours before to let the flavors mix and set in the meat a bit before grilling.
As you can see, the grill is jam-packed with grilling goods!  We also were making corn-on-the-cob on the grill, it was good.  Cooked thoroughly but not charred inside the husk.  I found several ways by Googling to figure out how to cook it, most said 5mins on direct heat, 20mins off, then eat!  Next time I want to add some flavor during cooking.  Then we’ve got chicken alone that we were making for later in the week, yummy!
So, do I recommend McCormick’s Grill Mates?  Yep!  My Dad loves Pork Ribs and he will be using the Memphis Pit BBQ Rub in the future with that, hopefully I will be able to grab photos when he does and can update this post or post again with those photos.  No doubt next time we grill chicken I’ll be whipping out the Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ sauce!
Bro-in-Law Rockin the Apron!

Bro-in-Law Rockin the Apron!

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken

Party not complete without Sangria!

Party not complete without Sangria!

ON Beach Bum Party

Crowdtap: Old Navy Beach Bum Party

I used to have a blog over on Blogspot, Me and My Crafts, however it pretty much fizzled out.  I couldn’t keep up with the way I wanted it, so now I have a whole different outlook for how I want this particular blog to work!  At the same time, I’m still going to post my reviews of products here as well as other DIYs that I like to make!  I’m a slow crafter tho (a bit of a perfectionist at times) so it takes awhile for me to start and finish a project!

Eventually I will move my posts over here, possibly even rewrite some of them, but until then here are the links to past Crowdtap experiences so you know whats happening!

Old Navy Jeans Sample Share
Old Navy ActiveWear Party
Old Navy Summer Shorts Sample Share

“I belong to an online group called Crowdtap.  Please read more information about it here: Crowdtap  One of the great things about it, you give your opinion, answer questions, participate in discussions, and then you raise money for charities.  I picked the Nature Conservatory.  There are about 5 options, all good choices of course!  🙂
Another perk is participating in targeted discussions, some of my faves are to talk about Old Navy products.  I was recently approved to join an Old Navy Sample Share, basically I was mailed a coupon, 1 for me 1 for a friend, for a FREE pair of JEANS!!!”
Check below at the footer and click on my link to join me at Crowdtap and participate and hopefully qualify for Samples Shares and Parties as well!  On to the review!
This Crowdtap party with for Old Navy Beachwear.  The website (not anymore) shows a lot of different products to choose from, my family and I were really excited to hit up the store and check everything out!  The party consisted of my sister, her friend, my Mom, and myself.  The coupons were for 1 pair of ANY flip flops, 1 beach towel, 1 beach bag, and 1 pair of sunglasses.  That’s EACH of us gets one of those things!  How awesome right?  My sister has a pool, installed last spring so I was so excited to score a beach towel and of course you need a beach bag to head to the pool!  Sunglasses and flip flops….can you ever have too many?  I don’t think so.
Before I get to the photos, let me just tell you how disappointing this Beach Bum Party was.  The inventory was either GONE or on CLEARANCE.  The coupon clearly states clearance items may not be used with the coupon.  The only stuff left?  Beach bags that looked cheap and so not durable, beach towels that I guess nobody liked, sunglasses were all on clearance but they overrode it (I wasn’t leaving without all my free stuff), and flip flops ended up being this huge fiasco!
ON Beach Bum Party

ON Beach Bum Party

First of all, the webpage they sent us to talk about included beach coverups, swimsuits, ALL of the different flip flop and sandal options, hoodies, pants, etc.  So I was really hoping the coupon was going to include a coverup or swimsuit, I really really need one!  Not so much, that was my first disappointment.  We arrived at the store only to find so many items on clearance.  Luckily we went 2 days before they clearanced thousands of items, however because of schedules and time conflicts, I had 2 parties.  On Saturday there were many options, I got my first picks of things and the manager was very friendly.  On Monday more than half the store was clearanced (the manager said the day before they clearanced thousands of summer items), I had to pick other items that I didn’t really want, and the manager was unhelpful and kinda condescending at times.  Also, for mid-June it was so odd that I didn’t see ANY dresses in store.  WTF

ON Beach Bags

ON Beach Bags and Fancy Flip Flops

ON Fancy Flip Flops

ON Fancy Flip Flops

Saturday I was able to get the fancier flip flops that I love and wear EVERYDAY; the sunglasses even though they may have been on sale- still are great; the beach towels were pretty; my Mom wanted the Straw Bag and I picked a canvas bag.  The straw bag is so great, its big and fits so much, plus it looks to be well made.  My bag was canvas, and while I like it, I haven’t used it at all.  I really wanted the Bucket Bags but they were on clearance and only had one left.



The fancy flip flops were a problem the second day on Monday, the manager decided that “ANY FLIP FLOPS” only meant the basic ones.  I was HIGHLY disappointed.  Thats not what my sister wanted, and its not what her friend wanted.  I am still very upset, all the signage in the store said the sandals were flip flops, if you label something “flip flop” then thats what it is.  False advertising is NOT COOL with your consumers!  I was/am so upset I wrote a complaint about my ON store and how they handled this.  Their response?  “sorry”  If anything, I’ve told everyone I know how bad this was, I wrote what I could in my survey on the receipt.  I’m sure nothing has happened but it saddens me that ON had such a flippant response and the manager wasn’t as accommodating as he could have been.

Pool Time!

Pool Time!

Pool Time!

Pool Time!


In other news: the sunglasses are nice, not very dark, but they do the job.  The beach towels are SO PRETTY, they are soft, a normal thickness, still bright after a few washes.  The flip flops, basic and fancy, are still great quality.  I wear the fancy ones everyday, I absolutely LOVE the strap behind my ankle, better yet, LOL, I haven’t slipped on anything yet!  (knock knock)



All in all, I think next party/sample share I will choose a different Old Navy, there are 2 within 30mins of where I live.  And I will go as soon as I get my coupon, not going to put this off again.  Hopefully there won’t be any work scheduling conflicts to work around next time.  I still recommend Old Navy, but maybe I will do more online shopping, try on in the store, and shop online.