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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowy Lazy Day

It snowed and snowed yesterday but it was a pretty snow. The mini car hates me because it is always out in the cold and elements though. It isn't snowing today but Tom said another wave is coming in later. I have a love/hate relationship with snow. It's pretty but it's snow. Blah!






Thursday, January 28, 2010

Been Sick

I haven't been around much and probably won't be for a few days. I have been dealing with some health issues that have been a bummer. At least I found out what is wrong and now I am on medication to see if it helps. The meds make me sleepy and tired. I am also off my Nutrisystem since I don't feel much like eating anyway. I have sort of lost my appetite which is good and bad.

The next few days I am taking it easy until the meds are done and hopefully I am better. BLAH!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ I guess there is a resemblance


I had posted this picture of me the other day and then I realized that although the jumpy girl avatar is not me, we sort of look alike.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Of Bizcochos and Great Aunts

The other day I received a box from my sister. She recently came back from Costa Rica. When anyone goes to Costa Rica or comes here from Costa Rica, we get a shipment of coffee. Tom loves Costa Rican coffee so my parents and sister always bring us some. I tell you we have a whole cabinet full of Costa Rican coffee beans. If you have never had Costa Rican coffee, I am sad for you.

I get my box and inside is the coffee and some black beans. I have spoken of my love of the Lizano black beans before. I love them because they remind me of my second cousin Flora who died a little over a year ago. When we were little and went to Costa Rica, Flora would always make us black bean sandwiches with butter. They were the best things ever. It was a highlight of my trips there.

The other thing in the box were two packs of bizcochos. What are bizcochos? Well I am posting a picture. But basically they are baked cornmeal dough circles with cheese. They are delicious. I think they are an acquired taste. Tom won't eat them. I love them and can eat them everyday of my life. Packaged bizcochos are okay and I eat them because that's all I have. But when I was little, my great aunts (my grandmother's sisters) would make us bizcochos and they were the best things ever.

It was really my great aunt Teresa who would make them. Oh how I loved her bizcochos. I never knew what made them so tasty but they were little crunchy bites of goodness. These things are even better than Fritos and you know what a Frito fiend I am. But I would rather eat bizcochos than Fritos.

So when we were scheduled to arrive in Costa Rica. My great aunt would always bake them up and they were always ready when we arrived. She would make hundreds and put them in big giant plastic bags. We always got our very own giant bag to eat while we were in Costa Rica. When I finished mine, I would just take some from my sister's bag because that's how I rolled back then.

I loved my great aunts. Teresa would make us bizcochos but we weren't that close to her. I truly think she just tolerated us but that was okay as long as I got my bizcocho fix. We were a lot closer to our other great aunts Chela and Luisa. Chela (real name Graciela) was the best! Luisa was actually Flora's mom and she was a little eccentric. Luisa didn't cook but she would always tell us these great stories about the haints and hauntings and scary things. I loved her stories and would always beg her for more. Plus, she was always really nice to us. She gave us money to go buy treats at the pulperia (mini grocery store) and always made us laugh. She was a little out there but I loved her nonetheless.

Chela would always cook for us. Even though she could barely walk, she would cook us up delicious treats. What I remember about Chela is that she made the BEST spaghetti in the world.

When we were little we always stayed with Flora and her husband, Juan Jose. My great aunts lived right next door since they had lived there their whole lives. Chela had a tiny wooden house that was accessible through a long walkway. The house was tiny and had 3 rooms. The front room, a bedroom and a larger room in the back of the house that had the kitchen and dining room. I remember the bathroom was outside immediately out the door of the kitchen. It wasn't really outside like an outhouse but outside nonetheless. There was also a little porch where Chela had one of those old crank washing machines with the rollers. I always remember that because if we were good, they let us put the clothes in the rollers. It was always fun but dangerous!

There was also a little garden outside and another little house in the back. I think it was more like a shed. So when we would go to Costa Rica, Chela was always one of the first people we visited. We would run like crazy girls down the walkway and enter in the back door. She always had her spaghetti ready for us. The thing I remember is that the sauce was made with fresh tomatoes. Then Teresa would bring over the bizcochos and it was always a feast. I have never ever been able to recreate Chela's spaghetti sauce and every once in a while I almost get it right but it's never ever as good as hers.

It was always a good time with my great aunts. So when I got the bizcochos in my goodie box, it brought back so many wonderful memories.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Ocean Isle Inn Adventure

As you know, I was away this past weekend at the Ocean Isle Inn. If you went to my other blog, The Art of Random Willynillyness, you saw my crazy Vlogs (video blogs). Boy I like vlogging because it is so much easier to do one than to write a blog post. Plus, they show a lot more than I can with pictures but I swear I look like a demented troll on camera so I might do more here but not include myself in them!

Anyway, I was invited to Ocean Isle Inn on what I call a blogger junket. We were invited to check out the Inn and see what it has to offer. Now this was a Mommy Blogger event but I was also invited although many of you know I am not a mommy. I always appreciate being invited and accepted although I have no children. And I find that I am always welcomed and that is important. I am so glad I went because I really enjoyed my stay at the Ocean Isle Inn and the surrounding areas. The Inn is really nice and it is right on the beach so it makes for a wonderful place to stay.

Before the event, I got an email from the Social Media director of Ocean Isle Inn, Tracy Spencer, asking if I could pick up another blogger on my way down to Ocean Isle and I agreed. I had never met Maricris from Zen Mama Adventures but I thought it would be nice to have a travel companion because the rise was a long way from the mountains.

The ride to Ocean Isle was great but long. It was made longer because the GPS that Maricris had took us a roundabout way on the highways instead of the back roads. But we made finally made it around 5pm and it was beautiful. After settling in, we went downstairs to have a little wine and cheese and then we headed out to the mainland to grab some Mexican food because we had missed lunch. We went to Las Palmeras restaurant and it was delish.

We went back to our rooms after dinner to get some rest for the next day. On Saturday morning we got to meet the rest of the bloggers who were there. Malise from Carolina Mama, Jen from One Moms World and later on Molly from Go Mom Inc. joined us. We had a breakfast meeting with the General Manager or "Coach" Lee Shapiro and the fabulous, Tracy. They explained to us what was going on at the Inn. They gave us a little history. They spoke to us about the wonderful amenities and the improvements being done to the Inn. They also told us about all the cool attractions not only on Ocean Isle but the surrounding areas. It was quite informative.

After our meeting, we met up with Malise and Jen's families who were so nice and we all walked over to the Museum of Coastal Carolina which is about 2 blocks from the Inn. The museum is tiny but it was really cool. If you have kids, it is a fantastic place because they have interactive exhibits. My favorite part was the cool touch tank where they had fish, crabs and starfish. I touched a Starfish that looked nothing like Patrick from Spongebob but it was cool nonetheless. My favorite fish was a little puffer looking fish that when I took a picture gave me the stink eye like Shawn does. WTH? It looked really pissed off. Whatever, Puffy!

After the museum, we walked over to Cinellis Restaurant. Peter, the owner, had opened the restaurant just for us which I thought was so great. He also gave us a complimentary meal and drinks. The food was fantastic. I tried to be good and ordered Chicken and veggies. Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend was not as healthy but that is a whole other post. The portions were HUGE and the food was delish. The service was great and the company was excellent. I thought is was so nice of him to host us.

By this time, I was stuffed and ready for a nap. But we had one more stop for the day. We all headed back to the Inn and got in the cars because we were also invited over to the Ingram Planetarium. Now I hadn't been to a Planetarium for decades. When I lived in L.A. we would go to the Griffith Observatory sometimes for the midnight shows where they played Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd music while you sat there and watched the light shows. Good times! WOO!

But this was a little more tame. We did see this cartoon on the myth behind Orion. And it was cool. Then they showed us a picture of the area that showed the whole sky in the area. Then they time lapsed it with all the stars and moon and planets and basically it was pretty neat. I think I can now find Orion in the sky!! Again, if you have kids they would love this place.

After the Planetarium, we went back to the Ocean Isle Inn to rest up for the Tweet Up at 7 p.m. Okay, I know many of you have no idea what the heck I am talking about. If you don't know about Twitter, I am sad for you but I understand, you just aren't in social media. You might want to do a quick search or ask one of your geeky friends to explain.

Anyway, because we were at Ocean Isle and our followers are all over the country and some all over the world we all met on Twitter and chatted about the Ocean Isle Inn and we gave out prizes and had a party online. It's hard to explain this Twitter thing if you never been on it but it's great. So we had a rocking Twitter party and the Inn supplied the pizza and salad and we had a great time.

By the end of the night, I was dead beat tired. And let me tell you that although it was chilly, there was nothing like going back up to the room and listening to the surf and the rain outside.

The next morning, I got up and went out to the beach because the sun was out. It was cold and windy but I wanted to walk on the beach. It was fantastic. I wish Tom had been able to come because I know he would have totally loved it. Then I went back to the Inn where I had breakfast with the rest of the bloggers and their families. Malise and Molly left after breakfast. Maricris and I had decided to drive over to Wilmington and check out the U.S.S. Battleship North Carolina. Boy that was a great decision.

It was so cool. I actually made some videos because the pictures don't do it justice.



We walked all over that ship and got to see everything. The mess halls, store, bunks, bathrooms, the captain's quarters and everything else. It was really cool. The funny part is you all know I am lazier than sin but I walked my butt off that day. The stairs are killers because they are like tiny and I have bad luck on stairs so I had to be super duper careful. Maricris said the ship had been featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters and, of course, that intrigued me because you know I love all that ghostly and spiritual stuff. I didn't see any ghosts but the ship was incredible. Anyway, we spent hours there just exploring and luckily the day turned out to be warm and sunny.



We were tired but hungry so we headed over the bridge to Wilmington. We didn't see much of Wilmington but from what I saw, it looked pretty cool. It had old historical houses and a cute downtown area near the water. When I go back to the Ocean Isle Inn and, I will, I would love to explore more of Wilmington. We finally found a little restaurant called Paddy's Hollow and had a great lunch and had a great time talking.

Then it was back to the Ocean Isle Inn where we relaxed until we went downstairs for another mini-tweet up and they were so nice to provide some cold cuts and chips for us. That was great because we were so tired there was no way we wanted to get back in the car and drive out to dinner. After the tweet up, I retreated back to my room to pack up my stuff and watch the Golden Globes! Yippee skippy!! If you know me, you know I am a celebrity geek and love all things Hollywood. So when Award season comes around, I am all over the award shows.

I got up early Monday morning and had breakfast and then it was back in the car to drive to Charlotte to drop off Maricris and then drive back to good ol' Sylva. The drive was uneventful. The highlight was that once I dropped off Maricris, I got a little hungry and had to find some lunch and I spotted a Jack in the Box. Okay, I know, I know Nutrisystem but I never ever get to eat at Jack in Box and I love their tacos. When I say love, I mean that love I have for those yummy Fritos as well. So I stopped and had 2. YUMMO! It was heaven.

I either underestimated the time it would take me to get home or I was speeding to beat Jesus because I got home early! It was nice to be home. It's always nice to be home and see Tom and the babies. Yay!

Overall, I had a wonderful time at the Ocean Isle Inn. It is a great place for a vacation. I know I will go back with Tom because I know he will love it. And I have to say that the ladies who were here this weekend were so nice and I am so glad I got to meet them. Lee and Tracy and the whole staff at Ocean Isle Inn were friendly and so wonderful. It was a terrific little break!! Thanks to everyone at Ocean Isle Inn and to the wonderful ladies who attended!!






Here are some other pictures I couldn't work into the post:

















Disclosure: As part of my review, I received a stay at the Ocean Isle Inn. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. My opinions have not been influenced by the product given.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am still at Ocean Isle Inn

I am enjoying my stay at the Ocean Isle Inn. Today was a long day but fun. I will write a whole recap next week with pictures including all the places we visited. But in the meantime, you can head over to The Art of Random Willynillness and see my demented vlogs (video blogs) I have been doing. I look like hell but you can see my room and my view, which is totally awesome!!

For any readers who live in NC, SC or close by, I have to say this place is a great vacation spot. So check it out!

Friday, January 15, 2010

WOO!

Nutrisystem is providing me the Nutrisystem food free of charge for my weight loss journey. The compensation received will never influence the content of my posts. No other form compensation has been offered or given.


Okay I finally did it and hit 15 pounds. I know I promised a photo but I couldn't take one before I left. I thought I had no more events that could screw up my diet for a few weeks but I was wrong.

I was invited to a Bloggers retreat at the Ocean Isle Inn in NC. I will be gone this weekend and that means off the program. I have all my snacks and lunch bars packed so I can eat those instead of other stuff. I actually had a nice surprise the other day. I reached into my goodie bag of food and pulled out a Chocolate Crunch bar. I had never ever had a Nutrisystem Chocolate Crunch bar before. I took a bite and I was in hog heaven. It tasted almost like a Nestle's bar. It was delish!! I looked for more but I only have one left so I am saving that for a day when I NEED chocolate. YUMMY

I will be blogging from the retreat on my other blog this weekend and I will probably post a recap on this blog next week. It should be fun. I get to meet some of my fellow bloggers in real life and check out a new part of NC.

So that's all the news that's fit to print. I am happy I hit my first goal. There are so many more pounds to go and it seems like an eternity away. My new weight loss group is wonderful and the women there are amazing so I feel like I have some great support. But the process is slow but I am taking it one day or week at a time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - I really think her name should have been Damien


Apparently Shawn was not amused that I didn't feed her right at 5:00 pm. She hopped up on the sofa and gave me the evil stink eye. Shawnie is just creepy sometimes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Well that was awkward!

So the other day, I decide that I need to get some new unmentionables. I was going to go to Walmart but decided to shop online since I had a discount code to Hanes. I love Hanes underwear. Yes, WTMI (way too much information) but I do. So I go online and look around and they have a great deal on panties and bras. I also decide to buy two bras since they were having a great clearance sale. With my discount code, I did pretty well on my purchases.

Usually the purchases take about a week maybe a little more to arrive. I never think about it until they show and/or I see the confirmation email and decide to see if the package was sent. So I went on my merry way living my life not worrying about my new bras and panties.

It snowed the other day and when we woke up there was a blanket of snow and it was pretty. When it snows I usually look out every window and the front door just to see how it looks. I went into the guest bedroom and looked out to the side patio and saw what I thought were paw prints. I went to the front door to investigate.

When I opened the door I did see paw prints. I was sure it was from some stupid dogs that run loose in the neighborhood. I hate those stinky dogs. But I hate their owners more. I mean, please people have some freaking respect for your neighbors and don't let your dogs run loose. Anyway, I looked and then I saw my packages by the side of the door! I figured the UPS guy must have gotten to the house late and just left them there.

I bring them in and open my loot. I noticed there was a pack of panties and a bra missing from the order. A lot of times they send like 50 million different packages instead of sending everything at once. Why do they do that? Anyhow, I figured it would come the next day and went on my merry way again.

A few days later we were relaxing on the sofa watching TV and, of course, I was on my laptop when someone knocked on the door. I looked over at Tom and he looked at me. We never ever ever get visitors. Tom gets ups and opens the door and I hear him say: oh yeah, thanks. The visitor introduces himself and they chat for a minute and then the mystery visitor is gone.

Tom comes back in the living room carrying what looks like a demented package that has been ripped and some stuff wrapped in plastic. Upon further investigation, I notice that it is my bra and panties. WTF? We surmised that those stupid, stinky, wild, poopy dogs came on the patio, snagged a package, carried it up the street to the neighbors house and ripped it open. Luckily, they ripped the outer package and not the bra and panties wrapping. F^$#@% dogs.

So here we were standing in the living room looking at the ruins of my purchase and then I realized that now my neighbors now what size panties and bra I wear. AWKWARD!

I hate those dogs. If I see them in the yard again, I am dumping water on them. Last year, they were in my garden and we had to move our trashcans into the garage since one day I woke up, went out to my garden and saw trash strewn all over the yard. I cursed them like the dad in A Christmas Story cursed the neighbor's dogs. It wasn't pretty and, luckily, no children were around to hear me cursing at them.

I doubt whoever owns those stinky dogs reads my blog. But if they would I would tell them to keep their stupid dogs in their own yard and a few other choice things I will not repeat here on my blog. SO now everytime I see my neighbors, I have to live with the fact that they know WAY TOO MUCH about me.

GRRR!