Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond

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Over the Christmas and New Year holiday break, Mr. Smith and I went to an out-of-state family wedding. It was one of our visits during the 5 states in 5 days trip I mentioned before. It was the first time either of us had stayed at a Bed & Breakfast.

It was a fun and interesting experience. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about staying in a house with people I didn’t know. It does have a different feel than a hotel, with shared common spaces with strangers and staying in someone else’s home.

But it did seem more charming than a uniform hotel room. Before arriving I wasn’t sure what the decor of the rooms would be like. I don’t exactly love the Victorian style furnishings that seem synonymous with B&Bs. The style of the B&B we visited was, um… well, certainly one of a kind.

Our fellow housemates, who we met at breakfast, were friendly. And we were served a full breakfast on their china plates, cups, and saucers.

After breakfast we went on a house tour given by the B&B owner who was a certainly a quirky guy. He had been a chef in the White House for Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. He had memorabilia that represented his time spent there and at Camp David.  He had also served in the military, prior to his career as a chef, and was interested in history. He decked out his basement in war relics and his backyard was set-up like he thought it might have looked in war era with tents and faux animal skins.

The Basement.

And! he gave the tour in different voices, no lie. I couldn’t even make up some of the adventures I have.

Abraham Lincoln's China

Thomas Jefferson's China

Don’t tell Abe Lincoln but I think I like TJ’s china better.

Our room was Polynesian themed and included leaves and a net draped from the ceiling over the bed. You know that ol’ romantic mosquito netting. Those are words that you don’t often say together, romantic and mosquito. It was a tad kitschy but fun.

Mosquito Net

Have you ever stayed at a Bed & Breakfast? What do you think about them?

Husband is already looking for another B&B to visit, needless to say he is a fan.

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February Smiles

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I am smiling about…

Hot Cocoa Bar

Create your own Hot Cocoa bar.  Create your own cocoa blend by adding cinnamon sticks, Nutella, candied orange zest, caramel, whipped cream, almond milk, chipotle pepper powder, marshmallows, shaved chocolate,  peppermints, crystallized ginger. What a fun idea by Anne of the Food Network show Dessert First.  Dessert First? Yes please!

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Fun ideas for Valentines Day just around the corner.

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Hi!

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Make your own snowballs

Create any flavor cupcakes, then put icing all over them, then roll them in coconut. How simple and fun to create your own snowballs. The same smart lady Anne, from Dessert First, went on the Nate Berkus show and talked about these.

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Snow people.

You could even turn your snowballs into snow people. I think this is would be fun for kids to help make. Here is the how to create them.

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The sun’ll come out tomorrow.

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You know those days that seem kinda perfect? You got good news, you were having a great hair day, the sun was shining, you got something exciting in the mail or a message in an e-mail, you accomplished everything on your to-do list. You know the kind of days I am taking about? Yeah, today was NOT one of those days.

I wasn’t sure I should put it on there in the blogsphere. Most of the blogs I like to read feature lovely fashions, tasty looking recipes, funny messages, exciting travel adventures. If I put the realness of a bad day out there is it going to taint the blogsphere? All 5 of you that read my blog, I really appreciate all 5 of you and write {hopefully} interesting things for you my readers.

Well my life is real, and real life includes bad days.  I had one of those days when I realized the dinner I made was inedible (it was really terrible), and I got to listen to a not-so-nice man speak harshly to me about parking at the gym (which falls in the category of why does he care so much?), and some crazy allergy keeps visiting making my eyes puffy, swollen, and itchy and my face break-out in red bumps (If I could figure out what I was allergic to I would stop using that product or eating that food. Dairy? Gluten? I am just weird?), and my hair it just looks sad.

And while it was the opposite of one of those seemingly perfect days, tomorrow could be one of those good days. Maybe it is up to me to try a little harder to have a nice day. And maybe these days are a reminder that my life is really great and I am very fortunate. These are after all only silly inconveniences. Other people across the world tackle much more in their life’s course.

The not-so-nice days make the great ones that much grander.

Musings at Tar-zhay

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Tar-zhay also known as Target.  Some random thoughts while shopping at Target:

  • I heard a lady talking on her phone to a friend. I wasn’t eavesdropping I promise. You could have heard her halfway across the store. She used one of those classic southern phrases, “Bless her heart.”. Ahh, makes me smile.

Here is how the Urban Dictionary defines it, for those of you in other parts of the Country/ World, not familiar with the saying.

1. This is a term used by the people of the southern United States to express to someone that they are an idiot without saying such harsh words.

2. You are an idiot but I like you and care about you so I don’t want to hurt your feelings.

3. Phrase used by Southern women to excuse themselves for speaking ill of someone else.

  • There is something about those designer collaborations at Target. They have worked with Mizrahi, Thakoon, Rodarte, Missioni, among others. And now Jason Wu. I am mystified at all the ladies flocking to Target to snatch up every last piece. Tar-zhay is quite the smarty pants coming up with this. Designer names at Target prices.

I am not sold on the concept that all these clothes are universally flattering.

Jason Wu for Target

Like this Jason Wu look at Target now. I am not sure I am wooed by this look. I know it is designer and all, but I believe the 90’s came calling and would like their floral/mesh combo top back.

And this

Jason Wu for Target

You might look impossibly chic or you might just look like a crazy cat lady. Truth.

All kidding aside, I like some of the stuff in these collections. And there is something about shopping at Target. Maybe I should put the fluorescent lighting and big red target symbols up at my home. I will want all the stuff I already own!

* (Random Musings at Tar-zhay brought to you by Savannah Beginnings, not Target. I don’t work for them and they don’t pay me to be a fan, unfortunately.)

P.S. Here is what I checked out with: Milk. checked off the list. Bread.  check. Mascara. check, check. Clearly the essentials of life.

Do you have any Target stories for me? I am listening.

I walked away…

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A year ago I walked away.

It was what I knew, but it didn’t make me happy.

I had the job. The Job. The one so many people my age would have gladly traded places with me.

The job that so many people would appreciate in the economy we currently find ourselves in.

I felt guilty for walking away.

But I knew then that I wanted more.

When I left the office I felt that life was passing me by. I was living in a vacuum and life was happening around me.

The little moments. In quiet moments I would realize that this was not my life’s course.

My job took me to different cities. I would land at an airport and as I would get to baggage claim I knew. I knew this was not my city. And those people. The ones that were excitedly waiting for loved ones. Were not there for me. For me this was just a city in which I was going to see the inside of another hotel, conduct business, and leave.

I walked away.

And then. then it happened. I was one of those people. The people in fun vacation attire at the airport with their family going to Disney World. No longer one of those people in dark, uniform looking business clothes. The ones looking for outlets for all their electronic gadgets so they wouldn’t miss a beat of what was happening with their work.

And you know what? It is awesome to be a part of the fun at Disney World. It is fantastic to be in jeans downtown at lunch time, instead of a stuffy suit. It is lovely to read actual books and not just the jacket cover or hear other people at a party talking about the books they have read.

Yes, I still often feel guilty about leaving.

But for now I am going to laugh, sleep in, and try to enjoy life. Because I think one day. Maybe sooner rather than later I will again be the suit. Hopefully a little less stuffy.

I made my own rule that I wouldn’t talk about things of a personal nature on the blog. Which I have since decided is just silly. Part of what makes blogs so interesting to me is reading and seeing what people are passionate about. After all, the topics I have blogged about are things I am interested in.

Today I did personal.

What I have learned from the Bachelor..

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I know some of you might be thinking, she thought she learned something while watching the Bachelor? That show on TV? She has officially lost her mind. Well maybe. Stay with me. I am not a Bachelor/ Bachelorette expert. I don’t try to keep up with the latest rumors. And I can’t keep the girls names straight. So definitely correct me if I get it wrong.

But this is what I now know after watching the Bachelor last night…

The 2 girls sent home both said, “I just don’t know what I did wrong” The only thing you did wrong was the ugly cry on national TV, I feel you might regret that one later.

The ladies refer to how they feel in their heart, a lot. You ladies may be thinking about how you feel in your heart but I believe that the Bachelor may be using another organ, in an entirely different region of his anatomy in which he is making the “educated” decision to keep girls around. A girl skinny dipping with him and the other ladies show him their assets. I’m just saying he may not be keeping you around for your, um, heart.

A lot of talk about winning. They want to win it. What is it? They want to win Ben the Bachelor’s love? I’m probably not an expert on love. But I’m thinking, love isn’t about winning. Call me crazy.

Even before I got married I would never want to be a contestant. These ladies fix their perfectly coiffed hair and layer upon layer of make-up and then. Then. they decide on a whim to jump in the water in whatever tropical local they happen to be in. Nope, no way, uh uh. Not doing it. They just spent 2 hours getting ready. No way Benjamin Bachelor, I just got all fancied up

Ben The Bachelor

Are we sure he is worth crying over?  I don’t know him, so maybe he is.  I do know he can have a bad hair day. What? He does, I’m just saying. He is human like the rest of us. And some of those girls are pretty(they maybe crazy, but that’s a post for another day)! Can’t they look in the mirror and realize they are not exactly desperate. After all I already established a guy, just may, occasionally,  think with his lower body parts about who he would like to date.

P.S. I do give Ben some credit he does say rad and you know how I feel about that.

Picnic Indoors

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I asked you what you do to combat the winter blahs? You know the feeling of wanting Spring and Summer to show up? Well, I do have one suggestion for you. I enjoy picnics. I like my picnics inside, with all the comforts of home. The trick is do this on a boring weeknight. Weekends have their own fun. But having a weeknight picnic, now that is just greatness.

An indoor picnic doesn’t even require cooking! A meal that does not require cooking? That can come in handy once in a while, right?

The husband and I like to lay out a variety of cheeses, crackers, meats, and fruit. It’s like having a party with whomever you live with or just a treat for yourself. Or you could invite people over.

A grocery store close to where I live has this nice selection of cheeses. They sell the full slices of these cheeses, which are fairly expensive. But they also sell some smaller pieces of these same cheeses. Which I fully enjoy because I can try out several different flavors.

The Indoor Picnic Spread

Labels of the treats

Little labels to differentiate the Mimolette from the Huntsman. They have such interesting names for the cheeses. Plus, it helps you remember which you like for next time.

A little wine with that cheese

Wine from a wine tasting at a vineyard that we visited over the holidays.

You could even go healthy on me and add raw veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. But I dislike these immensely. I know. I know. they are good for me. But I don’t like ’em.

Choose what you like for your picnic.

Happy Picnicking!

Endangered Creatures- Day 5

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Happy Friday! Today is the last day of Endangered Animals Week 2012 (as established by umm… well.. only me.)

AUSTRALIA

Bridled Nailtail Wallaby

These wallabies are found in Eastern Australia. They like to sleep during the day and are active at night. The females are pregnant for 23 days and then carry the little joeys around in their pouch for 4 months.

Numbat

The Numbat is also called the banded anteater. Unlike many other marsupials the numbat is active during the day instead of the night. The young are fed at night and moved on the mother’s back from one nest to another.

EUROPE

Saiga Antelope

The Saiga Antelope is very unusual in appearance because of it huge, inflatable, and humped nose. They are a migratory species, migrating in the summer and winter in large groups. Their large noses help them to filter out airborne dust during the dry summer migrations, and also in the winter to filter out cold air before it reaches their lungs.

NORTH AMERICA

Vaquita

The Vaquita is a porpoise found only in northern area of the Gulf of California. They look similar to dolphins but are rounder and stouter. The vaquita is the smallest porpoise species, and it is said to be the most endangered of all marine mammals. Vaquitas have never been hunted directly, but since they coexist with heavily hunted fish they become entangled in nets.

Pygmy Rabbit

The pygmy rabbit is the smallest known rabbit in the world. Only one confirmed population exists today in the Columbia Basin of Washington. Adults could easily fit into the palm of a hand,  weighing only up to 1 lb. Threats to the pygmy rabbit species include habitat loss due to agricultural development, predation, and disease. All pygmy rabbits found in the state of Washington are legally protected.

Hawaiian Monk Seal

The Hawaiian monk seal is found on small, uninhabited islands in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Adults can grow up to seven feet in length and can weigh as much as 600 lbs. A number of islands are now designated as reserves for the species.

Have a great weekend!

Endangered Creatures- Day 4

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Just arriving in South America for your daily dose of some interesting animals. Endangered creatures week isn’t over yet.

Feast your eyes on these beauties..

Golden Lion Tamarin

Hakuna matata.  (song from the Lion King) Don’t they look like they should be one of the animated characters on the Lion King? You know with Timon and Pumbaa. I actually just googled how to correctly spell Pumbaa. ha. I like their silky gold hair and mane. They are from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. They prefer to stay with their family in their rain forest habitat. And females typically give birth to twins.

Short haired chinchilla

These little creatures are hunted for their fur. It takes 400 to make 1 fur coat. Too cute and sweet to be hunted. the end.

Bald Uakari

Very unique looking animal, the Bald Uakari’s red face means good health. If their face is pale that signals they may be sick. They weigh between 4 to 7 lbs. They are intelligent and live in large social groups. Most friends on Facebook and Pinterest?

Jaguar

Often mistaken for the leopard, the Jaguar has a larger head and more powerful build. The Jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas weighing in at up to 250 lbs. Although they are typically seen with the above coat, it is not uncommon for a Jaguar to have an all black coat.

See you tomorrow from Down Under!