Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm proud to announce....

the birth of another blog of mine.... www.alifebegunthebook.blogspot.com Come visit it!  You will learn all about the book, A Life Begun that my husband wrote for & about our daughter Emily who was born very premature and weighed 14.7 ounces.   We have decided to try & sell the book to not only provide hope to others, but we will be using the profits to help with Emily's college expenses.   She's so smart... has received straight A's since first grade & will be entering 7th grade this upcoming school year! :) SO PROUD! I can't even tell you how fast the time has gone,  what I can tell you is that Brian & I looked & looked for a book about a baby "as small" as Emily when she was first born to give us hope and we couldn't find one.  So Brian decided to share our story in the hopes that it would help others who are living & breathing the NICU with there own micro-preemies.  There is hope, & this book surely will provide that to parents of premature babies or anyone who is in need of some. :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pics of Virginia Beach :)

                                                                   Girl meets Ocean
                                                          The view from our hotel room
                                                                    Yum! Ice Cream
                                                                    Yummy Pizza
                                                                     Emily on the slide
                                                                        Fishy sculptures
                                                    The Chesapeake Bay bridge & tunnel
                                                                   Emily on the Bridge
 Emily & the Sand Castle sculpture

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Virginia Beach weekend getaway!

Well today we returned from our weekend getaway to Virginia Beach.  This was the first time I went there that I can remember.  When I was around 6 years old, my family took a Virginia vacation but I'm not sure we actually did the BEACH there NOR do I actually remember anything about it.  SO like I was saying, this was my first trip there. Anyway, my aunt & I were complaining last summer about not having done anything, so earlier this year,  my husband & I got to talking about it.  He just started a new job & definitely couldn't take any time off this summer since he has no time to take. (not to mention.. he's definitely NOT a "beach" person.  I know I know... seems insane, right?) Well maybe insane is too strong of a word,  since I'm not much of a "beach" person myself.  It's not that I don't like the beach, it's just a lot of "work" what with having to lug everything down to the beach:  the towels, chairs, sunscreen, beach toys, everything & I'm not really into lying there soaking up rays.  I guess I have a bit of ADD &I suppose I'm a little lazy too, although then again wouldn't that make me ENJOY lying there, so I'm not really sure, what it is, perhaps it's just "heat & me" have never really been friends.  I figure what's the point, I don't like feeling HOT!   BUT I do love looking at the ocean & the serenity of it.  So it's got it's good & not so good.  Anyway we thought a weekend some where would be nice, & the truth is almost every time I've ever went to the shore I've had a great time!!! It's more the idea of going to the shore that I find exhausting.. LOL! So Brian suggested that maybe Emily & I could go somewhere with my aunt & we could use his "Marriott" points so that the hotel would be free for the weekend.  Wasn't that nice of him?  I thought so.... we then decided on somewhere not too far, maybe 5 or 6 hours & decided on Virginia Beach!!! We chose to stay at the "Fairfield Inn" which was right on the beach for 2 nights, it would be Emily, my aunt Barbara & I on the trip.  A girl's weekend! :)   We ended up staying at the "Courtyard" right on the beach because for some reason the "Fairfield Inn" was all booked up or closed for renovations or something & they sent Brian an email sometime after we booked saying they needed to move us to the Courtyard.  I didn't really care, as long as it was RIGHT ON THE BEACH!  That is until "I" looked at the re-reservation  2 days before our trip & realized that we no longer had 2 doubles but rather a king & a sofabed. Which was annoying since it would mean my aunt & I would have to sleep in one bed unless one of us slept on the sofabed.  Since all I could think about was Elaine from Seinfeld & the episode where she sleeps on the sofabed & is in agonizing pain the entire weekend, I wasn't tooo keen on the idea of any of us on it. BUT since Emily is a kid, & thus probably like every other kid immune for some reason to the pain of the thin mattress &/Or the "bar" digging in to the back of your spine from the sofa bed was chosen to sleep on it. (we tried calling to see if we could get 2 doubles but no they were all taken)  The annoying part to me is that we booked the room months ago & booked it for "doubles" & they up & switched it to a king without verifying before hand that was ok.  I used the power of "twitter" to voice my grievance, not that it helped any but for some reason still made me feel better & I was able to let that lil' hiccup go.  My aunt ended up staying here Thursday night, so we could get up & go on Friday.  We ended up leaving the house around 6:30 AM & got to Virginia by 1 or 1:30 or so.  NOT TOO BAD! :) Plenty of the day left.  We went to the hotel, got a parking pass & managed to get to the beach by 2pm.  The weather was beautiful, we stayed on the beach until about 4 or 4:30 the time we were allowed to officially check in.  When we finally checked in we got special treatment at check in because Brian is "platinum elite".  Which essentially meant we got to pick out something from the market Or get extra Marriott points AND we got COOKIES at check in! Serious PERKS! LOL! (what can I say?  being a stay at home mom I don't get out much!) Anyway, we checked out the room & then went to the pool!  Which was really nice.   It was kinda "L" shaped & had several water falls & a little slide from one section to the other.  Emily & I had so much fun in the water together.  We even got my aunt to go down the slide with us at one point. That was really fun!  We ended up going out to eat for dinner at this place called "Dough Boy"  It was a pizza place but they had other things as well.  We got dinner & Emily got Ben & Jerry's & we didn't get back to the hotel til' probably after nine.  So far so good, day #1 went well. :) Day #2 was pretty much a repeat of day #1 with one exception we went to this really cool breakfast diner, called "Pocahontas Pancakes & Waffles" SOOOOO incredible good! We noticed there was a "food network" stamp on the menu so Emily asked if they were on food network since she's really into food network.  The waitress told us YES! Emily asked if it was, "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives? The waitress said yes and Emily thought that was really cool!  Beach, pool time w/ alcoholic beverages for Barb & me, a virgin cocktail for Emily, & then back to room to shower & change followed.  Then we headed out to explore the "non-board" board walk! *Believe us as Jersey Girls that was NOOOOO Board walk... LOL!! :) But still... we didn't know quite what we wanted to do for dinner so decided to just keep walking til we figured it out.  Which was neat.  Every block would be a "statue" or "Sculpture" The best one by far was the big & I mean BIG statue of "Neptune"!!!! They also had fish, dolphins, giant sea shells, a big giant sculptured sand castle, etc.  We ended up walking from our hotel on 37th Street to 17th street & then just decided to go to another of the "Dough Boy" pizzeria's but this time get pizza since it looked so good from the night before. After much debate w/ our waiter w/ the beautiful blue eyes, we decided to go w/ the "pan pizza" one!!! Yum-0 We definitely made the right decision!   It was almost 9 when we finally left the restaurant, a bath room stop & another trip to Ben & Jerry's finished up the day! Except for a few hiccups... (indigestion & non-sleep & a sunburnt forehead) the trip was really fun!!!! :)  Each night ended for me w/ some time on the hotel balcony with it's spectacular view of the OCEAN!!!!! Incredible!  The sound of the ocean was very relaxing to me, even if the height of the balcony wasn't! I was proud for mustering through the fear to take in the sight/sound of the ocean! It was too short a trip, but the weather gods were good to us & I was really grateful we got to take it! :) So much fun, the views, the people, the scenery, the vibe,  I really liked it here & if u are looking for a vacation, I'd really recommend giving Virginia Beach a try!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My favorite easy smoothies

So I have one of those "magic bullets" (no this isn't some weird "adult" toy) It's those blender things *they used to be infomercials for them on all the time! I got my at Kohl's though! :)  It's basically a high powered mini blender.  BUT I'm sure any kind of blender would work.  Anyway... I take about 6 oz of juice, I usually use apple juice cause it's what I always have in my house.  But I've also used orange & it was really good!  Any juice will work though.  I buy frozen mixed berries.  Frozen fruit works SOOOO awesome in smoothies also you don't have the pressure of it going bad before you use it up like w/ regular fruit.  I've read a few articles & each has said frozen fruit is actually better because it is frozen right after the fruit is picked, thus far maintaining all it's nutritious :) YAY! & it's sooo much easier.  I have started to buy yogurt in bulk. *my shoprite has a 12 pack of Activia for like $6.00, on sale. so I buy when ever I see it for that price.  I put a few in the freezer & when I want to use them I run them under HOT water for about 30 seconds so they pop right out of their little plastic container.  This is my last ingredient.  I blend the juice, frozen fruit & frozen yogurt up & that's it! super easy & super yum PLUS I never throw away yogurt anymore because as I use them in the freezer, I replace w/ ones from the refrigerator & also if I haven't eaten all the ones in the refridge, I just put them in freezer before their expiration date!!!! :) AWESOME!! :) DO try this, you will love it!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Movie Review: Take This Waltz

This movie stars Michelle Williams as a young wife named Margot who's married to the very adorable Lou played by always likeable Seth Rogan.  (side note: he's my newest celeb crush!) The movie begins with Margot on a working vacation, there she encounters a man at a tourist attraction, &again later on the plane when he happens to have the sit next to her.  They chit chat & decide to get a cab together, & during the ride home discover an attraction for each other, enough so that Margot confesses to Daniel at the end of the ride, That she's married,  to which he replies... "That's too bad, I live right here" just a few houses away from her own.  "Oh Shit!" says Margot.  The thing that is revealed is that Margot & Lou have a sweet, playful, seemingly happy marriage except on one front... they are in the "comfortable" stage.  Margot longs for more "excitement" thus fairly quickly begins having not so random encounters w/ Daniel.. for instance going to the grocery store at 5:30 am because that is when he leaves in the morning.  Margot & Daniel steal away moments, but Margot is trying hard to avoid the temptations.   But does she, & what consequences could that have.  The grass looks mighty green from the other side of the fence, but is it?  Next time you're looking for a good movie to watch, why not give it a try.  I highly recommend it!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Perfect" By Melissa Williams

My life hasn't been perfect
I suppose that this is true
But If I change my thinking
In moments there's been quite a few

That first brush at love
The words longed to hear
The kiss that drew me in
and I had nothing left to fear

I don't think of what was lost
Things change & people too
But those moments I had
I will carry through

Finding someone special
Who shared my point of view
Who made me smile
& awakened feelings long overdue

But along with a new love
Life begins to bring fears
Thank goodness a lover a partner
A wiper of the tears

Beginning a life, as a family
A daughter more amazing than words can define
Through triumph & tragedies
We stand together & shine

It's never easy & life brings hard times
But if I look at those moments & reflect
There's no way I could deny
I've had my share of perfect