Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Will My Days Ever Be Normal Again?!

Well, today is Tuesday. I arrived home from my nearly month long holiday way too late last night. Today I woke up way too early for a wayward traveler at 6am, threw in a T25 video to complete, jumped in the shower, fixed some cereal and a banana (thankfully my wonderful Mr. did a little shopping for me on Sunday) jumped in the car and began the three hour sojourn to Seattle-Tacoma International to pick up the teenager's dear friend who flew all the way up here from Florida. Let me tell you, I may sleep the next three days! My internal clock is all kinds of messed up. I can say though we have had a ton of fun. I do love traveling and being busy so this really has been super fun for me. In keeping with my travels for just a little longer I am going to share a fun activity we did during our vacation....kayaking!!!

This took quite a bit of discussion because my brother and his wife had never been kayaking before. My brother is the type of guy who won't really jump into anything with out really knowing how to do it. He wanted to do a guided tour but I wanted to take the teenager and wasn't paying $100 for a guided tour. So, I convinced him to go to Anastasia Water Sports. We called 24 hours in advance to reserve two tandem kayaks. When we got there at 9:15, just 15 minutes after they opened they were ready to go. They asked us to give them a little time to get everything all set up because they open at nine which really means they get there at 9 ;)....life is a beach afterall! So, the guy gives us a little instruction (it is pretty much get in and paddle lol) and we were off. If you've never been you do get a little wet when kayaking so make sure you bring a water proof camera or a case for your camera. I wouldn't really recommend bringing a cell phone or anything like because I think it would detract form getting in touch with nature.

Anastasia Water Sports is located in Anastasia State Park off of Salt Run. Salt run is a nature preserve area so when you go out you can expect to see a lot of wild life! But, as you pull out if you are going out a low tide you'll easily be able to touch the bottom of the run. There are also lots of people out fishing and one guy was even sitting in his beach chair in the middle of the run! So, going at low tide is a great time to go if you were wanting to get out of your kayak at all. The guy who helped us load into our kayak's even said that a lot of people get out at the sandbar's and tan, swim, etc. So, as we begin to kayak there are tons of fish jumping and a lot of birds. We then came along a couple of, what we believe, are porpoises swimming and jumping because they were obviously finding some good food! I got this great picture of them swimming and even got a great video! Check those out here:
Porpoises splashing!

It was such an amazing experience I was so glad to get to share that with my kiddo! We were even able to work the tandem kayak together really well....(last time was a nightmare lol). So, we kayaked for a while it was probably a couple of miles...we did a total of two full hours! We went all the way down to the lighthouse and close to the Conch House Marina. The kiddo an I were getting tired so we didn't go the full way to the Marina but my brother & sister in law did and they said it was beautiful. The kiddo and I just sort of floated around the run, enjoyed the quiet, and just the nice bonding time. 

Have to be careful in this area as there are "rocks"...obviously lol!
I approve of this activity! Tons of fun!

All-in-all I definitely recommend Anastasia Water Sports. They have the best prices I've found in town for renting and they seem to have plenty of kayaks to go around. The people who work the desk seemed very organized and super polite.

This was my favorite activity we did on vacation I think. It was peaceful, we got a lot of sun, I got to spend time with three of my favourite people in the world, two of which I don't get to see too often. I will say though kayaking isn't necessarily for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of upper body work so I wouldn't take anyone under age 10. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Plan Monday #16

Happy Monday!!! Today is a travel day for the kiddo and I, we are finally heading home after a 24 day vacation! It was great seeing my parents and all my other family and friends but it is so nice to be heading home and back to my space! I haven't really done too much cooking while on vacation so I am really looking forward to the upcoming week. Any prep work I do will be done and posted on Wednesday as I won't be home until late on Monday and I'm not cooking on Tuesday. So...let's get to it:

Monday: Egg sandwich with fruit and yogurt
Tuesday: Treat from Starbucks on our way to Seattle
Wednesday: Tim Horton's Donuts to treat our guest
Thursday: Eggs, toast, veggie sausage/bacon
Friday: Cinnamon raisin bagels and peanut butter with fruit
Saturday: Crescent roll egg & cheese ring with fruit salad
Sunday: Cinnamon Rolls with iced chocolate

Monday: Bring with us freeze dried fruit, nuts, sandwiches, etc to keep it healthy; grab a snack if need be
Tuesday: Find a fun place in Seattle to take the girls after picking up the kiddo's friend from the airport
Wednesday: Veggie subs with cucumber salad
Thursday: Grilled cheese with tomato soup
Friday: Lunch with hubby
Saturday: Late lunch/early dinner at Joey's
Sunday: BBQ Chicken Pizza with Salad

Monday: Travel day...snack on what we brought and try and find something decently healthy at one of the airports if we don't have any delays
Tuesday: Mongolian BBQ (little hole in the wall); Bon Crepe for dessert (have to celebrate having a young guest afterall!)
Wednesday: Taco's/veggie burrito cups with corn and side salad
Thursday: Burgers/Veggie burgers with mixed veggies and oven cheese fries
Friday: New Restaurant Friday-TBD
Saturday: Late lunch/early dinner at Joey's
Sunday: Pork chops with crispy smashed potatoes and corn and sugar snap peas


Popcorn, leftovers, fruit, cheese


This is something new I am starting. I usually never do a dessert but thought it would be super fun to start doing a weekly dessert. But, once it's gone it's gone!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (will double to have in freezer)

Grocery List

  • Banana's
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn on the cob (Farmer's Market) 
  • Cucumber (Farmer's Market) 
  • Dates
  • Green Onions (Farmer's Market) 
  • Lettuce (Farmer's Market) 
  • Berries (Farmer's Market) 
  • Red Onions (Farmer's Market) 
  • Red Potatoes (Farmer's Market) 
  • Sugar Snap Peas (Farmer's Market) 
  • Watermelon
  • Gluten free bread
  • White bread
  • Gluten free sub rolls
  • Crescent rolls
  • Brie (Farmer's Market) 
  • Butter
  • Eggs (Farmer's Market) 
  • Milk
  • Mozzrella
  • White Whole Wheat Flour
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Organic White Sugar
  • Cacao Powder
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Raw Cashews 
  • Raw Walnuts
  • Raw Sunflower Seeds
Dry Goods
  • Black beans
  • Amy's organic soup
  • Ground beef
  • Hamburgers
  • Bacon
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Pork Chops
  • Veggie Sausage Patties
Well, that's my menu for the week! I am excited to get back and do at least a little bit of cooking. It's not too much, but that is okay it is good to ease back into things! Well, I hope everyone has a great start to their week!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Social: Food Talk!

Sunday Social

1. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Macaroni  and cheese for sure!

2. What's your guilty pleasure/comfort food?
Same as above, Macaroni and Cheese.

3. What's the weirdest/craziest thing you've ever eaten?
Rocky Mountain Oysters! My uncle came to visit us in Denver & he said he'd treat us to them...you'd think after the incident with gator when I was about 10 I'd have learned to be a little more weary about what I eat around him..... haha

4. What foods do you avoid at all costs?
White bread and refined sugar. The things it does to my body I just can't cope with.

5. What meal reminds you of your childhood?
Saucey pork twist. It was a favourite meal of mine that my Mom made.

6. Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it.
Hmmmmmmm one of my favourite recipes...I don't have many that I have invented but my mother has one she always made when we were kids. Over the years thanks to technology I've come to find this is actually a fairly common recipe but it goes by many different names. We call the recipe "Magic Cookie Bars" but, I know they are also referred to as 7 Layer Bars (although there aren't 7 ingredients so this perplexes me)

Magic Cookie Bars (adapted over the years lol)

Make a basic graham cracker crust

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
In a 9X13 pan put butter in the bottom and stick in 350 degree oven (176 Celsius) and let stick of butter melt. Carefully add graham cracker crumbs and combine with a fork, press into the bottom of the pan. Let back for 10-12 minutes to "set". When done let cool.

Next gather the following:
  • 1 can sweet and condensed milk
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes 
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
When crust is done cooling pour sweet and condensed milk over crust and spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the sweet & condensed milk and then do the same with the coconut. 

*I have made it without the coconut for my husband and he loves them that way. I also hear people add chopped walnuts to them sometimes. Personally I think nuts unless ground finely into a crust or something ruin dessert lol 

This was a favourite of mine and my brothers as a kid. I remember the whole pan would disappear within hours of them being done. Also, when my family and I moved back "home" to where my hubby & I grew up (where our parents live) for a short time in 2008 my brother & his family came for that Christmas and I made those and they disappeared quickly! ;)

I may have to make some of those now! :P

Friday, July 26, 2013

TGIF!!! Knock Your Socks Off Margarita!

Yes, I am still on vacation. So, why am I so excited for the weekend?! It means I am that much closer to being back with my hubby! I have had a FANTASTIC time while on vacation but I've been away from him for over two weeks now and I miss him. Not to mention I've been away from home for 21 days and am ready to get back to the comfort of home. My Mother of course did an amazing job as hostess, after all we got chocolates on our pillow at night.

But, after a good long while there is nothing like the comforts of your home. I have a super cute post coming up that features all the pictures I took from the travel photo challenge I printed off before I left! But, today I do have a delicious cocktail recipe for you since, after all, it is FRIDAY!!! 

Knock Your Socks Off Margarita
  • 1/4 cup of Everclear (Yes, this is potent thus the name knock your socks off ;) feel free to sub your favourite tequila, but it may not be quite so knock your socks off)
  • 10 Lime's, Juiced (or 10 oz of fresh lime juice)
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup honey (or to taste, we wanted ours a little more tart)
Combine all in a very large mason jar. Shake until combined. Pour into glasses over ice. Drink responsibly!!!!

Well, I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I know we are off to enjoy our last two days with my folks!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wow! What a vacation!

Hello everyone! My posting has been sort of erratic as we've been on holiday. I did an initial post here about our vacation. It was really more of a fun little photo dump but here is a bit more info about our actual trip. There are some things I am excluding just because I think they deserve their own posts!

The first place we visited is the place I grew up: Jacksonville, FL.

My parents and my in-laws live just a few miles from one another. While here the first week we didn't actually do a whole heck of a lot honestly. We mostly hung out a home. We did go shopping, trying to find the husband a Jacksonville Jaguars Jersey. Since they've just come out with new ones we sadly had no luck, but that's how it rolls sometimes. Some things we did get to do that we were looking forward to included mostly eating at restaurants we don't have up in Canada. So, here's the low down.

Bono's Real Pit BBQ. I grew up eating this stuff, my brother worked there for quite a while when I was younger so this place is near and dear to my heart. They honestly have the best sweet sauce known to man. I picked up quite a few bottles and am shipping them back to our place in Canada!!!

Next we checked out Chick-Fil-A and got a chicken sandwhich. Let me tell you no matter where we have traveled there is no chicken sandwich like that of chick-fil-a. We won't have it again for a very, very long time, so I really savoured it!

Next was Chili's. Hubby really loves those chicken fingers! Get them done extra crispy with an El Presidente Margarita. Yum, yum!

We got some really great quality time in with the family too. I think it's really important to state here that good quality family time doesn't have to mean you spend a ton of money to be together. We had a fantastic time watching wrestling with my mother in law and father in law. As well as going to the beach and playing in the waves with all of my nieces and nephews and my brother in law and sister in law. We also spent a lot of time at my in law's pool as well as playing board games.

Beach we grew up going to! Pier used to be awesome and have a cool restaurant (it was probably really crappy lol but as a kid it was fun to go to). 

My new fave game! The Mr. is going to be sorry he let his family introduce me to this! ;)

The second place we visited: St. Augustine, FL

Ok, so this was supposed to be just a one week endeavour. But, due to my ever increasing fascination with sea turtles in turned into a two week ordeal. 

The first day there we actually surprised my nephew. My brother & sister in law knew we were coming but my nephew, who sees my daughter every year almost, didn't know. So when we walked in it was a huge surprise. He was so cute & so bashful when we walked out of the room after he got here! But, the next morning we saw this at the end of our boardwalk: 

A fresh turtle nest and tracks! It was so amazing that same day after doing quite a bit of running (6 miles) we had a bbq with some family friends. I don't want to violate anyone's privacy by posting pictures so I'll stick to showing off my plate of food: 

And here is my watermelon cake:

I will post a tutorial on how to do this soon! 

The next morning we did a really long run and decided to eat out at our favourite restaurant in town (just 3/4 of a mile from our place) Southbeach Grill. This place is so delicious and so dependable. Only once or twice can I ever remember waiting for a table. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all equally delicious. I will be doing a whole other review on this later as it is a family favourite and I want to make sure I give it the glory it deserves. ;)

On our way home we had this weather on the horizon: 

So, we headed into town to go to the carousel when it decided to start raining. Instead of letting it dampen our day we headed way into town to the outlet mall. I will have pictures to come of what goodies we got, but I will say we got some amazing deals!!! It could just be I am used to Canadian prices, but we got almost all of the kiddo's shopping done for back to school and I managed to get a few fun things ;)

The next few days were full of swimming, surfing, and just generally enjoying the beach. My brother and I went on a late night walk on the beach and got to see the most amazing site I've ever witnessed: a sea turtle laying eggs!!! I couldn't believe our luck! Even if I'd have had my camera I wouldn't have take a picture as it would have been too dark and I wouldn't have disturbed her with a flash. We watched her for a few moments but were so nervous about disrupting her that we turned and walked away when we came back she was already gone. She layed her nest a little to close to the water so the turtle patrol did move her nest to closer up by the dunes. 

This was the turtle nest my brother & I saw laid late in the night. You can see where the turtle patrol had already dug it up. An interesting thing my brother & I noticed was that they make one set of tracks coming up and a second set going back out!

This is the next all moved. They have it nice and snug up in the dune away from the drivers and away from the pedestrians. There were 136 eggs!!

In all the research we have done my dad came across a video of a loggerhead that a couple took on our beach back at the end of may! Here is the video, it's well worth a watch! They are an amazing creature. So giant and strong!

We then had more fun swimming and just enjoying the sun! Then, at some point (days are sort of running together on me here) we went to a fantastic restaurant for dinner called The Floridian. This place was so delicious I decided I will do a whole separate review on it later. I really want to be able to highlight it.

After we did lots more working out, the men went fishing and made us fresh fish! My Aunt and cousin came to visit us so that was nice! We then went out kayaking one day. I will be doing a completely separate post on that as the company we rented from was great and the whole process was very easy. We were able to see a ton of wildlife and just really enjoy the time with my brother, sister-in-law, and daughter. I was so glad to be able to bring my kiddo along on that. It was an incredible experience. Plus, it really helped us reach a new level in our relationship having to work together to row that kayak (which previous experience told us could be disasterous ;))!

We've also been to the farmer's market, made s'more's, and saw this adorable little turtle!

S'mores with GIANT marshmallows!

Strawberry lemonade slush at the farmer's market at the St. Augustine Pier!

View of the market.

Cute turtle we saw crossing the road in Anastasia State Park.

But, this wasn't all we did! We also did a couple of hikes, had BBQ at a cute little shack, and got to see the remains of a really old plantation. I will do reviews on all those later as I want to include tons of pictures and really encourage anyone in the area to go check it all out! ;)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little photo dump and the little bit of info I was willing to provide!

Tell me, where did you vacation this year?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday/WOD's-Vacation Edition (again) #11

HELLO! I am back with yet again another vacation edition of what I have been eating! As I was sorting my pictures I've realized I haven't done too terribly with my eating! So....without further ado....

Stir fry made from 100% leftover ingredients! No wasted food that day....it was delicious! My mom, dad, and daughter were sharing the very last of the leftovers! haha

Avocado toast with chili and onion powder! 

Vanilla yogurt with frozen berries and a crushed graham cracker.

Low country boil. Delish!

Mmmmm onion rings on the beach!

Okra marinating and waiting for the grill!

Tuna salad (this went with the onion rings as you can tell ;)

Super strong margarita, delish!

BBQ Brisket Sandwich (I didn't eat the bread) and cucumber salad from a local BBQ place.


Pizza & salad. This was seriously the best pizza I've ever had.

Now this is what my workouts have been....

Thursday-Beach boot camp (we jogged then stopped every so often to do some sort of exercise like squats, burpees, in & outs, push ups, etc.) then 2 hours of kayaking!

Friday-Long walk on the beach, playing the ocean and pool, an hour of yoga.

Saturday-Beach boot camp again. Ran the whole time stopping every so often to get in some strength training. Did four different types of squats and burpees.

Sunday-two really long walks on the beach and playing in the water.

Monday-Rest day, again took two really long walks on the beach & a little running to get my camera to capture the awesome full moon!

Tuesday-another mostly rest day. Took a long morning walk on the beach with my mom then a long evening walk with my dad and kiddo to try and see baby sea turtles.

Wednesday-Stretching and walk to see the baby sea turtles. 

Since this is my last week here with my parents I decided to take my rest week this week. I'm still getting out and moving and eating well, but making sure to enjoy my time. Plus, I really did give my body a pounding the last couple weeks. I also haven't forgotten my review of T25, but I didn't want to give up any time with my brother's family that I hadn't seen in 4 years so I stuck to working out with them. I will get back to the review as soon as I get home this upcoming Monday!!!

Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Menu Plan Monday-Vacation Edition (again) #15

Happy Monday!!!!!!!

Yes, we are yet again at another vacation edition of Menu Plan Monday! Really hard to believe, but our month long holiday is almost over! My next menu plan will be a serious real menu plan for my family at home! As much as I've loved visiting my mom and dad, in-laws, and my brother, and all my nieces and nephews I am jonesing to get home and back to my routine. But, I am going to enjoy the sun and beach for now. So, without further ado....

Monday-Avocado toast and berries; oatmeal for the kiddo
Tuesday-Egg & avocado sandwiches with oranges
Wednesday-Oatmeal with berries
Thursday-Cinnamon buns (we are on vacation afterall ;))
Friday-Protein oatmeal smoothie (the kiddo will just have a regular smoothie)
Saturday-Eggs with cheese and veggies and potato wedges
Sunday-Egg sandwich with veggies

Monday-Veggie burgers with fruit
Tuesday-Pizza at a local place
Wednesday-Veggie tortillas
Thursday-Eat out with Mom
Saturday-Peanut butter & jelly with fruit

Monday-Crispy smashed potatoes and flounder
Tuesday-Meatless BBQ "riblets" with zucchini and mushrooms
Thursday-Homemade mac & cheese with mixed veggies
Friday-Eat out with in-laws maybe???
Sunday-pizza or whatever my mom wants to make for a big Sunday dinner for out last night of vacation!

Well, this is my last vacation meal plan! Stayed tuned for a real meal plan for the following week with meal prep and grocery list!

I hope every one is having a fab summer!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Social: TV Edition!

Sunday Social

Happy Sunday!

My Sunday posts tend to be 100% totally, completely, and utterly random! When looking for different ways to get my blog name out there and looking at other blogs I came across this: the Sunday Social! So fun right?! I think it's fun anyway...so here we go, time to learn tons of random stuffs about ME!!! :D

1. What is your favorite TV as a kid?  

As a very, very small child I loved She-ra Princess of Power! Then, as a bigger kid I loved all the TGIF shows-Family Matters or Step by Step were probably my favorite though! 

2. What is your current favorite TV show? 

Newsroom or True Blood for sure! I cold watch & rewatch every season so far every day. 

3. Which reality show would you NEVER do? 

Survivor. I don't like how they basically starve, then have to rehabilitate their bodies to get them used to eating again..

4. Which reality show would you LOVE to do? 

The Amazing Race. I'd love the chance to see the world while getting to rappel buildings or mountains, eat interesting cuisine, and just see tons of stuff off the beaten path! 

5. What is the TV personality/character that you feel is most like you? 

Hmmm....this is a tough one. I don't really think I'm like any one character out there honestly. I think I'm a combo of say Carrie Bradshaw (because I love fashion & make-up), Sabrina the Teenage Witch because I love adventure and don't like when things get too mundane, and Martha Stewart since I love DIY stuff and cooking!

6. Which TV character would you want to date? 

Eric Northman from True Blood. Who wouldn't want to date that body?! 

Well, I hope you liked my first chance to join in on the Sunday Social! I thought this was fun! What did you think???

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Vacation...so far...


I keep saying my posts have been sporadic because I am on vacation. Yes, vacation for just under an entire month is what it winds up being! Yes, I am 100% spoiled thanks to my great parents and awesome hubby.

So, we left July 5th. Hubby came with the kiddo and I for the first week so he could see his parents as well. Here's a little photo dump: 

On the plane ready to go and acting goofy!

View from the plane a little while before we landed at our final destination. Not sure what city it is, but loved the view!

Delicious Peanut Butter Chocolate shake from Johnny Angels. 100% decadence. Complete review to come.

Me and my honey at Johnny Angels. We were listening to some pretty fab karaoke.

Breakfast at Mom's. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Protein Shake.

The Pier I grew up frequenting. Love this place!

Hard to see, but that is a sea turtle nest our shadow's are looming over!

A watermelon cake! Watermelon is inside...'twas difficult to make the frosting stick, but I got it eventually.

Storm moving in.

The kiddo, me, and my mom at the ocean for a walk.

All you need is love! <3 p="">

Delicious local place. Working on an extensive review. Totally amazing!

Strawberry Lemonade slush at the Farmer's Market.

Farmer's Market at the St. Augustine Pier.

So we've had quite a beautiful vacation so far. I am working on reviews of a few restaurants we've been to and fun places to visit while in the Jacksonville/St. Augustine areas of FL. Both area's are cute and unique. I grew up frequenting both areas as they are just an hour from each other. St. Augustine is a quaint little vacation spot, which also happens to be the nation's oldest city. It is famed to be the location where Ponce De Leon thought he found the fountain of youth! But, it is a city full of fun and unique shops, eateries, and other activities. Jacksonville is my hometown. Named for no other than Andrew Jackson, who has several other cities named for him throughout much of the south eastern US. It has a cute, fun little downtown area as well as a fantastic beaches area (as you can see from my Pier pic above). 

While on vacation I've been really working on my photography with my DSLR as well as my iPhone believe it or not! I've used this tutorial to take better iPhone pictures. I also printed a Travel Photo Checklist to follow to get all sorts of fun pictures! During our downtime I am working on making Love Doodle thanks to this inspiration on Pinterest! I'll post once mine is complete!

If you are looking for some more summer fun to be had at home check out my Summer Pinterest board and my Summer Fun board.

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far and whether you are doing a big vacation or a staycation you are finding lots of fun and exciting things to keep you occupied!!!

(P.S. if you want follow be on Bloglovin'!)