Friday, May 19, 2017

Month In Review

Ever since moving, I feel like I've been in a whirlwind. Life has been so busy, but in a good way...pool parties and cookouts, beach time, beach 5k's, hikes...so much to do, so little time. The result is that I still have boxes in my guest room to unpack, but I'm not in a hurry. I'm having too much fun!


I hosted a pool, paint and pizza party at my new place. Painting and hiding rocks is so much more fun than I thought. There's something about getting the creative juices flowing that is really fulfilling and relaxing at the same time. Couple that with potentially making a stranger's day and that's a lot of positivity, right? I realize that these aren't good, but who cares. :-) It was a great excuse to get together with friends, drink sangria and log some pool time.



Then, two of my besties made a visit. First we toasted our blueberry margaritas & prepared for a fun filled weekend!







We had plenty of time by the pool: 


 


Logged some substantial beach time:
 



Went to a brewery at the beach for the release of new margarita beer, Island Lime. I have a gluten allergy, so I had sangria, but encouraged my friends to try the special beer. It smelled like nair. I'm told that it tastes a lot like you would imagine nair to taste. No bueno.



 

And we made time for silliness on the way to dinner.

 
It was a great weekend and wonderful to spend time with such close friends who (sadly) I rarely get to see!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily Smiles

Several years ago, I started seeing "901 Rocks" all over social media. People colorfully & creatively painted rocks and hid them all over the City of Memphis (901 area code) and I loved the concept. Recently, the trend has made it to St. Petersburg. I've been seeing "St. Pete Rocks" popping up more frequently. There was even a rock painting party at a local art studio. I couldn't make it but a friend of mine and I made plans to make our own...which we did, yesterday afternoon.


In the morning, while jogging, I found this little nugget:






How can you look at that little face and not smile?!


Painting the rocks was much more fun and relaxing than I thought it would be. Here are some of our masterpieces. Ok, so it might look like a child painted these. It can be our secret that they weren't painted by 10 year olds, ok? Cool!





After we painted our rocks we hid them...mostly in a nearby park. What a great time! I think there will be some painting parties in my future. :-)




Here's another smile from this weekend. Fresh flowers..my favorite, gerbera daisies scattered all over instantly raise my mood!


Monday, April 3, 2017

The New Pad

Today, I returned the keys to my old place. It was really sad, I loved the location and the eclectic nature of the building as a whole, but it was time to move on. I wouldn't say that I LOVE my new place, but it definitely has it's perks. Driving time out of my neighborhood, especially if I find myself stuck behind a garbage truck or "grandpa", isn't one of them. One perk is that it's so very quiet. When I'm inside, I can't hear my neighbors at all...something that is very different for me. At the old place, I could practically hear my neighbors breathe. The grounds...that's undeniably the best part of my new place.


The complex backs up to the water and there's a wide walkway around the perimeter with benches, cooking grills, hammocks and docks. If you follow me on social media, you've likely seen most of these gems, but here they are again!



The Brady Brat loves her view...so many birds, so little time.


 Dolphins!! Ok, that picture only shows one, but I promise, there were more.



My new morning ritual involves drinking my morning coffee on the dock. Sometimes, I see fish...wonder if these are delicious. If I fished, I'd have it made!


Lately, I've been seeing sting rays. It must be the start of "sting ray season."

 


 


Not too shabby, eh? I certainly can't complain. Even if my closets are minuscule, look at this view! It's totally worth it!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Weekend Fun: Seafood, Music and Soccer, Oh My!

Now is the time I feel lucky to live in Florida (although, not when I turn on the news...people in FL are cuckoo). The weather is amazing...beautiful, sunny days that aren't too hot but not too chilly, either.


This past weekend some of my friends and I went to the Seafood and Music Festival that was practically in my backyard. It was such a great time!







A little kid, maybe 5yrs old, started the Bob Marley song, "One Love," acapella and it was so cute, I thought my head was going to spin right off and explode. Then, he proceeded to sit at the front of the stage and play a bongo drum, LIKE A FREAKIN' BOSS! The picture doesn't show him, but just trust me...the cuteness was completely overwhelming.

Then, as if I didn't already have enough fun for one human in a day, I went to the season opening game for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Not only was it the season opening game, but it was the first game in their new conference. The stadium was as packed as I've ever seen it and just as fun as every other game I've attended. It helped that the Rowdies won, too!!


I'm a lucky chic...I realize...



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

De-Cluttering



It's been a while & much has happened. I've experienced some significant transitions, recently. The most significant is that I moved from the first place I ever lived in FL. I only moved about 3 miles (stay tuned for pictures from the new place 😊) but it was still oddly emotional. I was extremely confused & taken aback by the emotion. I've lived in different States before, moved a ton, but never had this sort of reaction when moving. It was super weird.




Over the past few years, I've wanted to rid myself of "stuff." In every room, I have so much that I don't use or need...but I tell myself, I *might* use it one day. Well, I have a job, if I need it one day, I can go and buy it; it'll probably be a better model or product by then, anyway! So, I've been slowly de-cluttering for a while, but REALLY got brutal about tossing/donating/selling things when I began packing to move. Now, as I unpack, I gave myself a goal: toss/donate/sell 2-5 items from each box I unpack. So far, I'm exceeding that goal and it feels pretty sweet...not gonna lie.




Today, as I ran across this information about donating clothing.


http://www.purewow.com/fashion/clothing-stores-that-recycle-donations


Did you know that retail stores will take your donations & reward you? H&M gives you 15% off! Levis will give a $5 to the Salvation Army and there are others, too. How amazing is that? You can rid your life of clutter, get perks and potentially, help others? That sounds like a solid win/win to me kiddos!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

See This: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

It's been a while, I know. Soon, I'll definitely take the time to catch everyone up on the last year - Cuba, swimming with dolphins, trip home, hiking in GA, shark tooth excursion...so much to tell, so little time. In due time...in due time.


Last night was $5 movie night at my local theater. It was essentially a "school night," because of work. So, I wanted to find a movie time that was late enough for me to make it from work but early enough so that I wasn't getting home after 10pm (princess needs her 8hrs or heads. will. roll. and that's not a pretty look). The only thing that worked was this indie flick I had never heard about. I read the description and it piqued my interest. It also had really high review ratings. So, for $5, I saw this movie and it was easily the best movie I've seen in a long time. It was hilarious, well developed - the script was so amazingly written, sad and heart warming all at the same time. I can't wait to see it again...and I might even pay full price to do so!! My advice? Go see it, immediately and you can thank me later.





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Vent Session

After a conversation about pet peeves, I've gotten myself a little riled up...there are several things that I think have gotten too big for their britches, so to speak.

Exhibit A:  Bacon! (I've felt this way for years...YEARS.)  I likely won't have many people agree with me, but the bacon thing has gone too far.  Traditionally, a breakfast food, sometimes coupled with other goodies on a sandwich at lunch, rapped around shrimp or a beef filet (YUM), bacon has "known its place."  When I was at a party and a guy emphatically told me how I just HAD to try bacon vodka, it was the last straw.  NO!  Don't put meat in my alcohol.  EVER.

Exhibit B:  "Craft" beer.  Don't get me wrong, I love beer.  A lot.  These days, it seems like everyone is classifying all local brews as craft beer.  While most may be - especially with the amount of smaller establishments popping up all over the place - not all breweries produce what's classified as craft beer.  Microbrewery vs. Craft Breweries.  That's what I'm talking about.  Here's a great post about the difference between the two.

Exhibit C:  This:  Ok, this might not have gotten too big for its britches, yet...but I get the sneaking feeling that it is well on its way.




I get it.  Sweat pants and pants with elasticized ankles are making a comeback.  They can be loungy, dressier casual and some are even dressy.  I know!  It's like Christie Brinkley, circa 1981 all over again!  Not that I remember or anything.  I've just seen pictures...in my history books.  Yeah, that's it. 

Can we please make a deal?  If you are wearing sweat pants that make you look like you're getting off the bench at a basketball game or like you should be doing yoga, how about you NOT wear heels.  Okay??  Thanks!! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Post Paris Year In Review

 
I'm simply delinquent in posting these days.  The rest of my Paris trip was as incredible as the first few days.  Here's a quick recap of happened after Paris, to catch you up. :-)  
 
In October, I went back home to ride the annual Memphis Hightailer's Bluff City Blues ride.  I haven't missed the ride since I started cycling.  Since, I live in the land of flat roads and wind, I was unsure how my legs would respond to the hills.  I wasn't as fast as the prior year, but that was ok.  It was quite possibly the most enjoyable BCB, thus far.  Miles and miles of socializin with the best friends a girl could have!!
 
 


 
 
 
Then, one of my best friends from those crazy college days came to my 'hood.  She kind of kicked off the rash of winter visitors.  Not that I'm complaining  :-)  Such fun catching up with her and her hubby. 
 

 
 
I went to Key West and visited Hemmingway's home:



Drank too much rum:



Saw a sign that seemed to state the obvious:




And watched sailboats go by:



I had more rum and went to a painting "class."  This is what I was supposed to paint:




Since, I don't like to do what I'm told, this is what I decided to paint.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More Paris!

My friend from Switzerland wanted to go to the Tamara de Lempicka exhibit at the Pinacotheque.  I was not familiar with her work, but was game.  She's a modern artist who was friends with some of the Hollywood elite in the 20's & 30's, including Dali.  The exhibit was quite interesting & I liked that it was "off the beaten tourist path." 
 
We also went to one of the places on my "list."  Galeries Lafayette.  It's a gorgeous department store/mall designed in the style of an old, grand opera house. 



 
This is Au Printemps, one of Galeries Lafayette's competition.  It was pretty grand, too.


Here's the ceiling of the entryway to Galeries Lafayette!  Un-freakin-believable!


View from the Chanel store.  Heaven!


Another cool thing about Galeries Lafayette is that they have a roof where you can grab a bite, drink or just relax and check out the view.  Here's a shot of the street below from the roof.



Paris selfie - don't judge.  Sometimes you do what you have to do.  This picture cracks me up; evidently, someone didn't want their picture taken!

 
 
Later we went to grab a bite in the Bastille area.  This famous guy, Matt something or other, was having dinner there, too.  If you watch Breaking Bad (which I don't), you'll recognize him.  My friend's friend's friend (got it?  Fantastic, let's continue) was a HUGE fan.  I asked him to send me the picture of he and Matt so I could show my friends in the States who watch the show. 
 

 
 
Always thinking, I decided that I needed proof that I didn't just grab a picture of the web and tell a tall tale of eating with famous people in Paris.  So, here's proof that I knew the guy in the picture with Matt!  

I don't recall the name of the restaurant, but do recall that my Swiss friend's Parisian friend ordered Rose and I discovered that I heart Rose...a lot.  We had a delicious, entertaining dinner and plenty of wine.  Pretty sure I was asleep before my head hit the pillow that night!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Streetcar In Paris

Wow, how time has flown.  I'm ready to go back to Europe, but I never finished sharing my last visit.  It was the most incredible trip I've ever had.  My first trip, I did all the touristy things I felt obligated to do.  This trip, I did all the things I wanted to do and saved time to explore and hang out with Parisians, like a Parisian.  That's the way to truly experience a place, in my opinion!

Finishing up the walking tour, we ventured to the highest part of Montemartre, Sacre Coeur!

 A view from Sacre Coeur.  It's the Eiffel Tower in a tree!

 
I could reach out and touch it!


We rode a Streetcar...I didn't even know Paris had a streetcar.  It was only about 2 blocks, but still..


Afterward, we ate, here:



My friend, Etienne taught me my new favorite thing, which I discovered at the restaurant...Cafe Gourmand.  It was a sampling of desserts with espresso.  Yummmmmola!  I've been trying to talk restaurants into offering cafe gourmand, here!


Post walking tour and Sacre Coeur, I went to a private party, where a friend of my friend's friend (got it?  Ok, good let's continue) was having a private party for his latest scarf designs.  I didn't take any pictures; I thought it would be rude.  Everyone was quite friendly.  The apartment was located just before the building opened up into a courtyard...and the decor!  It was so very perfect.  Chic without seemingly trying to be so.  Anyway, I didn't purchase any of the creative scarves, but I did buy this:



It was such a unique necklace - a leather braided back with several strands of chains; different textures and lengths.  This photo does not do it justice...I'll have to take a photo wearing it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Amazing Afternoon

After saying Bonjour to the Eiffel Tower, I headed to the Arc de Triomphe.  Along the way, I stumbled upon this street!

Writer, poet and politician.  He wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame, among other great literature, like Les Miserables.


Ahh, the Arc!

 
I also discovered my luggage, which I can't afford in this lifetime.  The piece that has an envelope type design was the coolest!  If the buckle was unfastened, it expanded quite a bit.  I was in love!!!  However, it was SO expensive, the least expensive thing was a key chain.  It would set you back 70 euro.  That's over $80.00 - for a key chain!



Walking down the Champs Elysees, I met this blushing Frenchman.  Every time I said a word, he'd just blush.  I promise, I wasn't saying anything "blush worthy" but it was so cute, nonetheless.  I just wanted to take him home with me, he was so adorable. 



Once I said, au revoir to the handsome, blushing Frenchman, I met my friend from Switzerland and we headed to my favorite part of Paris...Montmartre!!!  We went on Sandeman's walking tour, which began outside the famous Moulin Rouge.  Moulin means windmill and Rouge, as you probably know, means red.  The red windmill.  I didn't go inside.  Firstly, I really have no desire and secondly, it's ridiculously expensive...something like 100 euro.  A picture works for me!


Walking up to the highest part of Paris, we passed so many lovely streets:




Cafe 2 Moulins - cafe of two windmills: this is a significant place.  It's where the film Amelie was written and filmed.


This was one of my favorite stories.  It looks like graffiti, but it's much more.  The painting on the right is a self portrait of a famous Parisian artist, Mystic.  She no longer looks like that, as she's aged about 50 years, but her story is awesome!  She was young and in love.  The story goes like this:  her boyfriend, seemingly out of nowhere, breaks up with her.  She's devastated.  Not only does he break her heart, but tops it off by ending with, "I never want to see your face again."  After she picks up her crushed heart and dusts it off, she thinks, "you never want to see my face again, huh."  She made a stencil of her face and painted it outside all of his favorite hangouts.  So, he'd see her face where ever he went.  Rock on, sister...rock...on! 

Standby...more of the walking tour to come!!