Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Florida Fun!

As mentioned in my birthday post, I recently got back from a trip to Florida. The main reason for the trip was our annual work conference, but since it was in Orlando I thought pairing it with a family vacation would be fun! 
My mom, brother, sister, 3 year old niece (Brooke) and I piled into our rented mini van to drive the 18ish hours from IL to FL (MapQuest says it takes 14.5 hours..big, fat LIE) It was a long ride, as in Painful, as in never again. We made it into FL on Sunday afternoon and met my dad at the hotel (he flew - smart man). We headed to Disney the following day. First of all, can I just say that Disney is SO freaking expensive! For an adult 1-day ticket it is $95. That part made me sad, how could an average family of 4 even afford to go? That's almost $400 in tickets, not to mention airfare, then you have food, etc. Anyway, I digress. 

To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would feel going to Disney, being a thirty-something childless woman hanging out at the Magical Kingdom seemed a little odd but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!! Of course, my favorite part was seeing Brooke's reaction to everything. Brooke was able to meet Mickey and some of her favorite princesses, which was super cute. We went to Cinderella's castle, rode as many rides as possible, and of course shopped in the gift stores. My family and I enjoyed the boat rides; It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Ariel's Adventure. My sister and I braved Space Mountain (and I confirmed that I am a total chicken). We had great weather, although it did rain for about an hour pretty heavily, but during that time we just went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit.  My mom, sister, niece and I all went back to the park after the rainstorm and stayed for the fireworks and parade. The following day I had to leave the family to attend my work conference (which was also a lot of fun) and the family did some more touristy-stuff. However, if you ask my niece what her favorite part of the trip was she'll say the Beach. Hmm..go figure..the one free attraction they went to :) Gotta love kids. It's a trip I know that I will remember forever, and hopefully one the rest of the family will cherish as well.

We made it!

Disney parade
The Fam (minus my sister)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!

It feels like my birthday comes quicker every year! This year on September 1st, I turned 36 (I actually cringed when typing that) and I have to admit that officially being in my late 30's is a hard concept for me to accept. However, as much as I am going to bitch and moan about my age I am also very thankful that I am healthy. Recently, I got some routine lab work done to check vitamin levels and such and everything came back perfect! I also did some bio metric testing at our work conference last week and everything came back great on that as well. I attribute this to an active lifestyle (although I feel I could always do more and my weight is never where I want it.. :/ ) and a mostly healthy, mainly plant-based diet. 

Because it was my birthday (or close enough) I splurged and bought this Tory Burch Dena Bag!  I was in Florida for work last week and they happen to have a great outlet mall nearby so I headed there as soon as I could and bought her. Isn't she pretty?! 

My birthday present! To: Me.. Love, Me

The store was giving away free iPhone cases with the purchase of a purse, so I was happy about that since my old one had a crack in it. The purse is a very soft black leather with the gold TB logo on it. You can fold the top half down and remove the strap to use it as a clutch, or keep the strap on and use it as a fold-over cross body. My favorite look is using it as a longer bag (i.e. not folded..not sure what the technical term is? Bucket? it is what is shown in the picture)
I didn't have a new purse on my short list, and I still have a few big-ticket items I'd like to buy this year but I thought this was a good find. Also, it was about $65 less than the retail price..and the fact that you can carry it 3 ways makes it even more worth the price (look, I have to justify it somehow, OK?) 

More about my FL trip in a separate post, but when I got home from the trip, the H suggested we go to the Animal Protective Association (APA) in Missouri to look at this cat I had my eye on. So..needless to say we came home with our newest 4-legged family member, Pierre! I really wish I could take credit for his name, but it was given to him at the shelter. He is the sweetest cat ever and so far he is fitting in nicely with the other animals. 


He's so cultured

All in all, it was a great birthday, even if I am now in my late thirties (groan). I look forward to the next 36 years!