Friday, January 12, 2018

Looking Back on 2017

Wow, what a year 2017 was. I've been known to say that odd numbered years are better for me. This odd numbered year was different. It was wonderful and not so great at the same time. I've named it the bipolar year. The bad: Family drama, family members passing away, late night trip to the ER (my leg swelled so much that I thought I had a blood clot...turned out to be a bug bite. Whew!) and hurricane Irma to name a few. Many people experienced much worse than I, so I really can't complain. It was quite a roller coaster ride, nonetheless.

Now, on to the good:

I went sailing & snorkeling in the Bahamas (and put a check mark beside my, "let's get out of this country once a year, goal.") I had never seen such beautiful water. It changed from deep sapphire to crystal blue:

Celebrated warmer weather with my closest friends:

Watched many beautiful sunrises:

Even caught the occasional, gorgeous sunset:

Went hiking with friends...a lot:

Played, "where's Martie?

I even found the end of the trail, along the way.

Kayaked some:

Made sure to obey street signs. It's the law, after all:

Didn't walk, but went running in Memphis:

Had a business trip to NYC and spent the weekend to play:

Out of respect, I "Andy Warhol'ed" myself.

And became a Skimm'bassador!

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to travel more. By November, I thought, "I'm good, I want to stay home for a bit." I've been at home for almost 3 months now, and am itching for a trip. Oy vey! Who wants to meet me in Savannah or Peru to hike the Inca Trail??

All in all, it was a good year and I'm excited to see what 2018 has in store. I've set some goals for myself in 2018:

Give back to my community by volunteering my time
Go snorkeling at Egmont Key
Read one book per month
Hike a 14er with friends
Gratitude Jar!
Kayak more
Always find time to play!

What are your goals or resolutions for the year?

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, 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 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 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


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.

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 much to tell, so little time. In due 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 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!!