Thursday, July 19, 2012

The BLOGGER 411: all you need to know about ME!


Becky @ From Mrs. to Mama, is doing a link up about you.  I thought I'd help fill you get a better idea of me & see if you want to be my blogging buddy! 

1.) How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
Technically I started blogging In November 2009. But I kind of had three fizzled out blogging starts. I just could not get into in. I began blogging after my friend Mallory Code passed away from Cystic Fibrosis. I didn’t know she had Cystic Fibrosis or any other of her numerous health issues until well after I met her.  I am ashamed to admit I learned more from her after she went to heaven than when she was here on earth.
I only knew Mallory for a very limited amount of time, but I think more than any other person she taught me how to truly dance in the rain! To look beyond life’s crap and see how many blessings you have and to celebrate them, regardless of whatever clouds are in your skies. Don’t get me wrong, I have had experienced this lesson countless time from my family and friends but it never really clicked until I was blessed to meet Mallory.
It was a pretty rough time in my life when we met. We both were dealing with our own things but we were able to bond together, and support each other. Somehow time with Mallory reminded me to push on, fight on and never give up. Yeah I had my slip-ups but I’m on that journey still, without her I might be in the same spot I was all those years ago.
I would call myself a monotonous pessimist. I can dwell in the poor me stage and just get frustrated at all the little imperfections of life. I did not value Mallory enough, but when she passed, something clicked and I started my blog to remind myself that I’m pretty blessed, things could be 1000% worse, to seize each day and relish in what I have. I always had a little voice inside of me “saying push on” but it was drowned by other voices, losing Mallory made that little voice, a strong, forceful, determined voice.
My blog is all my randomness and more, but under my header it states “Living life as planned or as unplanned as it gets, I’m learning to dance in the rain” Now yes, I prolly heard the latter part numerous times before, but Mallory made it click. I cannot change who I am, but I can try and grow to learn how to roll with the punches a lot bit more. I blog to share my life, my quarks and to be reminded to carry on the valuable lessons I learned from my family and Miss Mallory Code.
My blog really has started and been consistent just in the past few months. I’m getting used to get I even got a few followers, HEY LADIES & I’m learning more as more as I go.

2.) Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?
I went to college and I’m still in college, ughhh Let me explain
I went to Marywood University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry and a concentration in Physics! Yeah that’s a mouthful. My college route was a bit outside the norm, but it worked for me. I technically earned all my credits in May 2010, but put off my graduation until May 2011, I had a year left in my scholarship and took grad credits at the undergrad price!
I currently still attend Marywood University, but as a grad student! As long as I finish my theses (yes two, blah) I will have TWO master’s degrees by May 2013, technically I’m done with course work in December 2012, but yeah there is no chance in hell I will have both of them done by then! I will have a Master’s in Public Administration and a Master’s in Health Services Administration.
Through the years I realized I want to work in public health, working to teach America that with simple science, we can be healthier and reduce many ailments our country is plagued with. That our health crisis can be solved with what we already know, not by massive legislation or plans. A bit of a back to basics concept. I got a decent scholarship and having a full time job, it worked out to stay at Marywood University for graduate school and both those Master’s degrees are comparable to a degree in Public Health! I want to combine my chemistry background with public health to change America! HA!

3.) Where have you traveled?
I have traveled, it was a major passion my parents had/have and shared it with my brother and I as we grew up. We traveled cross country in our van for 3.5 weeks one summer! I have visited maybe 65% of the United States’ national parks. Plus other special vacations and annual trips.
United States: (to the best of my memory) Multiple cities in some states but I will just list the states to make this a bit shorter.
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming
International: Ontario, Cancun, Cozumel, St. Thomas, Nassau Bahamas, St. Maartin, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
Ok, don’t shoot me!
Though I doubt I will travel further outside the United States any time soon. For financial reasons and comfort reasons. I just panic when I am outside my comfort zone and right now I just figure why spend the excessive amount of money on traveling to a faraway place that induces soo much anxiety and stress. Yes I prolly would enjoy myself once I got there but it seems at this point too much extra stress, that I do not need or should be involved in a vacation. That is my current mind set, it may change, which would be awesome, but right now I’m ok with not traveling to exotic places. Though I do enjoy experiencing different cultures.
It’s ironic because my parents take annual trip to some exotic place once a year and my brother has had a handful of overseas travel in the recent years! Again I’m the odd one or black sheep. HA

4.) If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
First pay off a few things. An ipad! I really really really want one! Then a house, (although inevitable, mortgages freak me out), a car (mine is old), set up a retirement fund. I might “buy” a driver. I hate driving long distances by myself. A few dozen plane tickets to send to people to come visit me or visa versa. I would buy myself some tory burch flats.

5.) What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
BEING LATE I cannot stand it. Yes, occasionally I am late but it drives me up a wall when I or people are late. Even if they call & say they are going to be late, it drives me nuts! I just like plans and when people/things are late it alters the plans. I lose respect for the person. It might that there is a bit wrong with me, and I understand things come up, but it aggregates the piss out of me.
CLOSE MINDED PEOPLE. I am stubborn and set in my ways, but I will accept your differences. I know they work for you, they just might not me my cup of tea. I am up for a good, educated debate and yes I may completely disagree with you and have my opinions, but I will not judge you on that fact. I will question the “why” or your rationalization and ask for a reasoning BUT I will respect you and not attack your character because of it. I cannot stand people that judge others just because they do something different. I’m no angel and I can be judgmental, but I won’t claim you are a horrible person or any bit of less intelligence because you believe said thing. This might be one reason why I hate politicians, their inability to compromise or the constant playing of the blame game.
RUDE PEOPLE This is a wide range, but people who do not have respect for others or think they are above people. Yes, I have gotten frustrated waiting in line or not being able to return at item, but I still treat the clerk with respect. I have even spoke up for the clerk, once in a while. They are people, too. Entitled people or people that expect their feet to be kissed just due to the fact that they exist, have no value to me and I have zero respect for. I just think in my mind, how dare you? How is your behavior any bit acceptable? We are all people, whether you’re a CEO or Walmart greeter, they deserve respect regardless if you feel wronged or expect to receive respect back. I sure as hell am not going to kiss your feet while you’re acting irate! You are not God’s blessing to the earth, we all are God’s blessing on the earth and deserve to be respected and to treat others with respect. Its sad our society has forgotten the importance of that.

6.) What is your favorite movie?
American History X.
It is a very very intense movie, I still have trouble watching a few scenes, BUT the message is pure gold. It’s a powerful film about how hate and evil destroy the human heart and how anyone can influence another positively. No matter the fears, threats or possible violence, being brave enough to influence someone, and how determination can change any destiny.  It stresses the importance of having someone to look up too and the strength to follow the voices buried deep inside you. The importance of character, enduring and the strength to change. It’s a huge message.

7.) What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
NO TEA… blah any form, blah, blah, blah
Water as long as its chilled, no ice and in my tumbler
I love cold dry red wine & wheat beers. My friends tease me that I drink like an old man, I like gin, scotch & whiskey. I tend to like more expensive brands. Though I’m not a huge drinker and like to nurse my drinks. I enjoy the flavor, but I never have a desire to drink heavily or drink often. I’m oddly enough not a froo froo drinker. I dislike the fruity crap and cannot stand Mailbu. My drink of choice is Tanqueray, diet tonic water and a spritz of fresh lime.

8.) What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Cleaning, I like it. My house, your house I like to clean. I like crafting, scrapbooking, repurposing, painting, I have tons of supplies but time tends to limit the actual use of those supplies! Surfing, I do every time I visit my brother. I LOVE it. I’m a hot mess doing it & I look like a stuffed sausage in wet suit but I LOVE it.
IMG_2125
9.) If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
This is hard. For the home I would choose Pottery Barn, I love their classic, clean looks. I have used their store tons of times to inspire my decorating. I get the idea at Pottery Barn and the go find it or create it on my budget!
Clothes? I love thrift stores. I am obsessed with this thrift store in San Diego, Buffalo Exchange. I tend to completely avoid Anthropologie because its way over priced, but I like their style. I would probably say Francesca’s Collections or this cute store in Arkansas, Riffraff, which I have yet to visit.

10.) Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past or present? 
There is not enough time in the day. I could find one prolly each week if not more


11.) What day would you love to relive again?

Yeah, um not sure. There are events I loved but that time in my life is a time I never hope to revisit. I have dreams of how awesome my wedding day will be. I just got to find me a man. (God help him)

12.) What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
Babysitter/nanny started young and still occasionally do. I love kids and miss them tons. Though being a full time nanny was the best birth control ever! I loved it, but it’s totally different when I could not go home or give the children back. Hard but some of the best times in my life.
I owned my own business going to craft shows, selling ornaments, jelly jars, painted slates, cards, wreaths. I loved it, I may do it again just revamp it!
I taught pre-K I loved it. I started with my class not knowing their letters or how to write and ended the year with them writing sentences. It was awesome. My creativity flourished and I really helped those children prep for kindergarten.
Secretary, hostess, barista, lab assistant, tutor and even a text book editor, (once)

13.) Show us a picture from high school or college.
This is me & all the senior girls on our last home match of the season, my senior year in high school.  I played tennis throughout highschool and college. Never the best but I improved as the years went by. I am bit rusty now!
This is a picture of my two really really good friends & team captains of my college tennis team.
Tennis was my saving grace, it helped me survive some crappy times.

14.) If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
See above. I might, might, might, (big might) like a trip Spain or Switzerland, but I’m still unsure if I would go.

15.) Show us the most current picture of you or you and your family.




16.) Where do you see your life 5 years from now? 

Working, hopefully for the government in the field of public health. Possibly a significant other. Out of my current location. Hopefully in better shape & less acne! More than anything to find happiness with myself. Being content with whatever situation I am in.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Family Picnic Wrap Up

Wow this whole family picnic recapping takes awhile!
Well, I saved the best for last. My annual favorites, a few thoughts and possibly some questions answered.
I look forward to two major things each year. Tomato Pie & Greg!
Tomato Pie, (what I consider tomato pie) seems to be local to the CNY, Utica area.  It is not a traditional pie nor is it pizza.  It is at every family gathering and simply awesome.  The basics include pizza dough covered with thick tomato sauce/paste then topped with Romano cheese.  Its sooo good! I really am not a fan of pizza, but this, rocks my world! I swear some people attend just for the tomato pie!
Now for Greg, quite possibly my favorite person! Greg is my grandmother’s, sisters’ husband’s brother’s son. So, not really related to me but I consider them family. Every year I get really giddy as people arrive, waiting, waiting for Greg to arrive. When I see him, I usually shriek and then run into his arms! He still picks me up, kisses me, and we say hello. Then he says this elevator is going down & drops me! It makes me feel like a trillion bucks. Yes, we only see each other once a year but it is awesome and he makes me feel like I’m the only person on earth.
 Plus, the past few years have included babies! For a good part of my childhood, I was surrounded by babies/preschoolers, though in the past 7ish years, not so much. I miss being around the infant/preschooler age so, so much.
Well, Greg’s children have refreshed our family with the babies/preschoolers! Matt & Jenn came one year with Colin, when he was eighteen months old and came this year with Colin, 4 and newbie Delaney came this year! Yeah I was crazy excited. Plus, Allison & Lucas were coming up, too! With 13 month old Elliot!
Those poor kids. I prolly seemed like a psycho, high pitched looney tune, but I was soo excited. I tried really hard to contain myself.
Elliot is a heartbreaker! He let me walk him around a bit and I got the cutest smiles behind that crucial pacifier. In the pool. I even got to twirl him around & show him how to blow water out of the pool noodles!
Colin came prepared! Last time, Colin & I were best friends, puddle jumping and running around in the pouring rain! I met them down where they parked and Colin had already pulled out five lacrosse sticks, ready to find a playmate. I left the lacrosse up to Kevin, I acted as the ball girl. Colin and I played with rocket darts, until he told me I was too old to play with! Beat out by a sixteen year old. I did win some points when I got him a nestle drumstick though!
Beth & Franny formed a strong bond with Colin that day, or he remember how fun Franny was last time. Looking back at pictures Kevin played ball with Colin in 2009 and played lacrosse with him this year. Its a bit ironic!
Along with Colin, 7 week old Delaney came. I was good and did not rip Delaney out of Jenn’s arms. I wasn’t even the first to hold her! Holding her was the bomb! We bonded and I even shared her, multiple times after being reminded by Jenn!
Lastly, if you noticed, in the past posts, there is a picture of a face on a stick. It is my cousin Mary! She was overseas on some ROTC trip. So, her siblings made flat Mary so she could still participate. Including mad Mary, creeper Mary, happy Mary and big Mary. Mary is my partner for the balloon towel toss as well as my partner in crime. I really, really missed her. 
Though it might be a good thing we only get together once a year!




Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Staples

S’mores

I love actual, original s’mores with the fire-roasted marshmallow.  All the s’mores flavored items & stuff you can buy in stores are garbage (in my opinion).
You need a real fire with some flaming coals, not a candle or torch.  I am not master at roasting marshmallows & I have limited patience holding the marshmallow in the right spot not too close to the flames, to roast but not burn.  The lactic acid build up is killer!  Though I’m not a fan of a black crust on my marshmallow!
 Oh top of a nice golden marshmallow, I need the inside of the marshmallow to be warm, almost melted!  It stinks biting into a golden marshmallow that is cold in the middle.  It’s tricky!
Not to mention we use sticks & they are not straight so rotating them, while staying in the same spot is not easy.  My cousin just sticks his marshmallow in the fire, they light on fire, burn to a crisp & then he blows out the flames.  Not my cup of tea!
Though thanks to Pinterest & my cousin (she could give Martha a run for her money) I found new toppings to add to my real s’mores.
via
Amanda’s bar included, jumbo marshmallow, marshmallows, strawberry marshmallows, graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate, pretzels, multiple kinds of nuts, peanut butter, nutella, hot fudge, sprinkles, fluff and I think fruit too!  It was pretty awesome.
My “gourmet” s’more the staple Hershey’s chocolate, graham cracker plus peanut butter, fudge and pretzels…. YUM

So, however you top your s’more; make sure you start with a fire-roasted marshmallow!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Family Picnic Part 2


Every year we have a large group shot in front of our stone gazebo. We center the over 65 year olds in chairs and we collect around them. It awesome comparing pictures from over the years seeing how our family grew, who made the trek up and who has passed. It’s a great wordless definition of family, accept you for who you are, tolerate you, warm your heart but drive you nuts at the same time. Yes, we are an interesting bunch, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! 
Here are a few from years past.
2001
2008
2009
This year’s shot
 

The Montecalvo Elders........

.........from here our family grew with love, tears, prayers and everything in between! This picture holds so much, its from a few years back, half have passed but we carry them in our hearts everyday and it shows us we better strive to be our best. 
Nonnie's children, John, mom, Peter, Francesca
Nonnie's sister, Aunt Ann's children: Angela, Paul, Fran & Skip
Let's call this group the third generation  
Claudia's, Frank's, Fran's, Peter's, Paul's and John's offspring!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Family Picnic: Part 1


Wow! two posts in one day, go me!

We will do this in parts since I have a lot of pics and lots to say! 
We had family from California, Connecticut, Colorado, Brooklyn, Maine, Washington DC, North Carolina, Australia, Florida, and Pennsylvania.  With an age range of 7 weeks to ninety three
 
Life sometimes gets in the way and not everyone can attend every year but every year my parents make a big effort to remind us all the importance of family, wherever they live.
 
It means so much too many people including my grandmother.  My Nonnie’s, (mom’s mom) only ninetieth birthday wish was to have all her children and grandchildren up for the family picnic!  She even sent us all money to ensure we were there!
 
There are a few staples each year.  One is beer, brought by Skip, usually in styrofoam coolers!  We have quite the collection in my parent’s basement!  BUT this year Skip used two plastic tubs filled to the brim with ice and beer!  Skip always brings an array of beer, including Saranac!  Saranac is local to the Adirondacks and the brewery is in downtown Utica.  I’m not sure where it is and is not sold but it’s a big deal in our area.
 
Games! Yes, we are one of those families that play games at picnics.  We have had more in the past but two staples are the face game & water balloon towel toss.  It’s where we launch water balloons with beach towels down a row.  The concept is to catch it and release but we just try to bomb each other!  For the face game, every year Greg makes four poster boards of faces of popular people in the news, sports, cartoon characters, celebrities and one hit wonders.  It’s pretty fun to see who knows whom.  The team captain gets a hideous trophy that is kind of like the fruitcake no one wants!

 
Another is our house jammed packed with people!  Traveling is expensive, we always have cousins stay at our house, limiting the necessity for hotel expenses.  In past years, we have had four families stay with us, which included almost twenty people.  Even for a four-bedroom house, that many people make it tight.  This year was only us four and Fran & Bitsy with 3 out of 4 of their kids.
One year we had my parents in their room with me on an air mattress, Fran, Bitsy & little Franny in my room, John & Terri in the green room, five in my brother’s room, one on an air mattress in our downstairs study and three boys in a tent outside!  We have gotten creative housing all our family by borrowing a friend’s house, sending family members to other (local) family’s houses, and even used hotels.
 
Each year we do a group shot and some family pictures.  
Which will be for another post! 

This is why I LOVE this challenge!


I have not gone grocery shopping since I got back from New York. I went to make a shake & my milk had the consistency of syrup. FAIL. Then I grabbed my cranberry juice my cranberry juice was frozen in my fridge. BOOO. I like using cold liquid in my shakes, so water was out too. I found apple juice in my fridge, it just wasn’t the low calorie kind. I was getting a bit discouraged and wanted to just eat a donut for breakfast.
But after being in New York, I needed to have a shake, NOT a donut. I pushed myself to find a few things to make a shake. I figured 8oz of 100% apple juice wouldn’t kill me, but I didn’t have anything to add to my shake. It felt like I was hitting dead end after dead end. I decided to search the tundra, empty my freezer to find a healthy, non-ice cream novelty to add to my shake. I found a bag of bananas I froze a few weeks ago! I was thinking it might taste a bit bland so I added (for the first time) the Shape-Up Health Flavor Mix-In: Banana Energy Charge.
There is just so much variety in this challenge that I never feel deprived. It takes less work than preparing meals, plus its healthier and cheaper! I started this morning, discouraged that I really didn’t have my shake basics, but after a little digging and thought I might have even found a new favorite.
I love the flavor of bananas but sometimes its flavor is masked by other things I add to a shake. I love that I found another shake recipe that allows the banana to be the main flavor of the shake.
I have found my favorite shake recipes on days I am just frustrated, want to give up but find a little strength, use some creativity and search my freezer/kitchen for healthier ingredients I can add to my shakes! (trust me I have tons of things I could add to my shakes but it would kill the entire challenge, getting fit concept, not to mention more calories than two donuts, that’s another challenge all in itself)
 
2 scoops of Body by Vi Protein Shake Mix
8oz of Minute Maid 100% apple juice
1 banana
1 Shape-Up Health Flavor Mix-In Banana Energy Charge
4 ice cubes 

Wanna join??? misserandom.myvi.net
Email me for a free sample kit: missierandom@gmail.com 
 

*** I have noticed if you individually wrap bananas in saran wrap, then put them in a zip lock freezer bag, they will last in your freezer , maintain their flavor, and not get brown or slimy.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cayuga Lake Wineries

It is a staple that the Saturday after the fourth is our family picnic/reunion.  It’s my mom’s side of the family and my dad has deemed it “the Moran family invasion.”  (which explains my blogging break)

To prep for the invasion, my cousins and brother visiting from California left early Thursday morning to hit up Cayuga Lake and did some wine tasting! We started with a car swap, parents in one car, and cousins in the other.  After getting lost following the parents, we pulled over at an abandoned factory that looked like it belonged in Silence of the Lambs, looked at the map, typed it into our car’s gps & went on our way!
There is no rhyme or reason to my wine likes.  I love semi dry sparkling wines, dry Rieslings and dry, dry reds.
 
Knapp Winery

We got a list to select from with cool monogrammed Knapp Winery golf pencils & then started tasting!
When we walked out, there was a little pond known as Knapp Lake.  There was a caution sign for the depth of the lake but there should have been a caution sign about the webbed feet, feathered covered waterfowls.
My brother, decided to walk up to the lake for further inspection, the waterfowls did not move, even when he got closer.  So, we decided to check out the lake too and grab some group pics. 

Then in all his wisdom decided to throw rocks, sticks, or something at the feathered group.  Well, all of a sudden, they started quacking and squawking; they lined up and started charging us!  Those suckers were fast!  We all ran down the hill and my mom screamed, “Kevin if I get bit I will kill you.”  It was hysterical, but all of us ran fast down that hill.  Luckily, they stopped at the top of the hill.  You don’t mess with the webbed feet, feather covered creatures that reside at Knapp Lake!

Cobblestone Farm Winery was our next stop.  In my opinion, the best type of winery for wine tasting!  They had all these samples of dips, salsa and spreads with tons of snacks to dip into them!  I didn’t taste wine at this one, but definitely filled my stomach!  YUM. 
Goose Watch Winery, well as we pulled up in the middle of the grape vines was this huge goose!  I guess it’s the same idea of a scarecrow. Cute winery, no favorites though.  I shared my tasting, I had one, my dad(?) had the rest!
 
Lunch, we were going to eat on the Thirsty Owl’s deck overlooking the lake but it was 30 minutes for a table and we were hungry!  We went to this little mom and pop creamery, Cayuga Lake Creamery.  It was old fashioned and cute with framed old maps and pictures with chalkboard menus!  
 
We went back to the Thirsty Owl for some tasting!  My cousins are twins and the wine girl couldn’t believe it because their hair was different!  We think she might have been tasting the wine herself!  This winery seemed a bit more refined.  The vineyard is right on the lake, surrounded by tons of grape vines with the winery having huge windows looking out on the lake.  They even had “fancy croutons” they were these squared, puffed crackers to cleanse your pallet.  I split this one with mom. They really possessed an air of elegance.  (minus our wine girl, hehe)

Hosmer Winery had the best initial impression.  A windy drive way surrounded by acres of grape vines, with the lake in the background.  There were even people out tending to the vines as we pulled up. Many of their wines were metal winners & I found a favorite Riesling.  Plus a great photo-op location.
 
We stopped at Lucas Winery.  They are known for their sweeter wines, totally up my aunt’s ally but not mine.  Though I got a free poster there that I may frame and put up in my kitchen!  I decided to skip out, walk the grounds, and take pictures.
It was great that all the winery’s let us share/split our tastings.  Sometimes I had no desire to try more than two or three wines, plus 5-6 tastings at each winery can add up! It was surprising to know that quite a few wineries actually use the grapes they grow to make the wines they sell.  Other wineries in the Finger Lakes outsource their grapes. 
 
We were exhausted by the end of the day, my dad was done but I think my aunt and uncle would have done seven more!  California wineries a bit pricier!  It was an awesome preparation for the upcoming family invasion. I’m kidding we love our family and this weekend we all look forward to.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!!!


Happy Fourth of July!

I guess it’s a bit of tradition that July 4th involves firework displays. It unifies us as a country taking the time to say Happy Birthday America! The weekend after the fourth is always our yearly family picnic. Normally our family arrival or invasion is on or around the fourth! Like many, we celebrate our nation’s birthday on the fourth, with family and fireworks. (3 F’s, totally not planned)

We’ll start with the fireworks.

I was never a major fan of fireworks, the loud noises, the bugs, the sitting on the ground…etc. They just were never high on my list for things to do for excitement.

My uncle used to do this mini firework display for me on my birthday. It was neat but more of a firecracker display since it was in broad day light and the fact that setting off fireworks in New York was/is illegal.  Those fireworks I enjoyed. A bit like the kick off to summer.

Sparklers were always fun, especially one year where we got these 3 foot long ones. It was fun when our out of state cousins smuggled some over the boarder! It was fun to light the smoke bombs, the Chinese lanterns and other bright light exploding items.

Though the big firework shows? Not really my cup of tea.

I don’t think I was never the child that freaked with the loud noises of fireworks, but I know I was never a major fan of huge firework displays. My dad made them fun by tickling us when those curly, spiral ones went off. He thought they sounded like bugs and he would be the buzzing bug “biting” us. Though my firework memory or legacy is being reminded at every firework display of a particular fourth of July firework display I attended when I was little.

I’m a very stubborn person. I can dig my heels in deep. Well, when I was 7 or 8 I was dragged to fireworks and needless to say, I was not happy and did not want to be there. How did I show my family my displeasure? After every firework, I said garbage. I sat there with my hands holding my head up, a sourpuss expression and muttered garbage after every.single.firework. When someone say ooo or ahhh, I replied garbage. “Erin what do you think of that one?”… garbage. “wow that was a big one; don’t you think it lit up the sky Erin?”…. Garbage. “It’s the finale! Look Erin”.... garbage. Yes, I was real pleasure to be with that night!

The best part? I get reminded of that stupid story every time I am with my family at a fireworks show. So, in accordance with disliking my birthday, I am not the biggest fan of our nation’s birthday because of that story. (silly, I know) In years past it really bugged me when everyone thought it was funny to mimic me or remind me of my lovely performance of a past fireworks show. I got really annoyed. Now I think it’s funny, and a great example of my personality! Though I am able to laugh at this story, I am still not a huge fan of fireworks and unlike my birthday occur more than once a year. But I’m growing; I am no longer 100% against my birthday or 100% against firework displays. That’s Progress People!

Though it is nice to say Happy Birthday America, see how America has progressed over the past year, and see how America has and has not learned from previous years! I guess everyone has beef with some aspect of their birthday, even our nation!

Happy Fourth of July!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Mom’s here visiting!!!

I thought I would give you a few shake recipes that may help keep you on track this upcoming holiday week! ps. I am not much of a snack shake eater, I make shakes for meals. In No particular order: I add ice to all of my shakes, though I might not have written ice cubes in each recipie.

*** I don’t feel like typing all the shake recipes into myfitness pal, I did some others not. Sorry!


My favorite breakfast one
506 calories perfect for a day full of activity

2 scoops
1C skim milk
1C frozen/fresh strawberries
½C Quaker Oats (uncooked)
Ice cubes



My “Starbucks” Chai Latte
278 calories (with added caramel topping)
2 scoops
½ C skim milk
½ C tazo chai black tea concentrate
Ice cubes
(optional) 1TBLS Smuckers Caramel Topping—I add this after I blend it up

Greek Yogurt Berry
230 calories
8oz of la croix cranberry raspberry sparkling water
1 chiobani champions honey-nana
½ C frozen triple berry mix (blueberries, raspberries & blackberries)
2 scoops



Get those veggies in there!!!
2 scoops
1C spinach
1C frozen raspberries
1can diet ginger ale

Usually a lunch shake for me
215 calories
8oz Trop 50 farmstand apple
3/4C frozen peaches
1/2C frozen strawberries
2 scoops
Ice cubes

No dairy Option
1/2 fresh frozen banana
1.3 c frozen strawberries
8oz trop 50 farm stand apple
2 scoops
Ice cubes





Chunkie Monkey minus the chunk but not the ie  
(my favorite on the go dinner 478 calories)
10oz Skim Milk
2 Scoops
1 medium banana frozen
2 TBLS skippy reduced fat creamy peanut butter
  
A HUGE TREAT
1c skim milk
1 medium frozen banana
2 TBLS skippy reduced fat creamy peanut butter
2 scoops
1 TBLS Ghirardelli ground chocolate
I add extra ice cubes to make it super thick & last extra long


Please, Please share your favs. 

ps. I cannot stomach soy milk, almond milk or rice milk but you can switch out skim for one of those if you prefer!

pps. I cannot figure out blogger's spacing sorry!