Thursday, June 27, 2013

he's famous.

text i got at work last week from the hubs:

"I just ate a 1 pound burger.
I didn't know they put your picture on the wall :)"

yup. he ate an entire pound of beef, all the fixin's, AND a milkshake for lunch that day, just because his boss said "hey lets go out for lunch today." i'm so proud. all he got was a picture of him with a giant stuffed cheeseburger hung up on the wall, but now he keeps reminding me of how "famous" he is. so even though he's not one for resolutions of any sort, i have a feeling that if he were to start now, his non-resolution list for this year would look something like this:

1. get picture hung on burger joint wall (be famous).
2. get picture on 'repeat offender' section of the wall.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ok just one more post about vacation.

Mark spotted this guy on the way to the beach, but it was raining too hard to stop and take a picture. so we made it a point to pull over on the way home (when it was slightly less rainy) and i jumped a little fence to snag a picture of this guy hanging out at the Cowtown Rodeo and Farmers Market in Woodstown, NJ, with surprisingly nothing in his hands.

i mean really - if he's hanging out at the rodeo at least give him a rope or something...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

back to reality.

i just want to keep writing about the beach. because not so secretly, i kind of want to live at the beach. i want to be able to wake up every morning and walk there: to feel the wet sand between my toes and listen to the waves crash and watch the seagulls fly. i want to have more pictures to share of waves and sand and my favorite people having fun in the sunshine. i want to live with salty air and perpetual beach hair.

but that's not my life. and it might not ever be. i may be a beach bum at heart, but i live in farm country, where the air is fresh but not at all salty, and i have to put effort into making my hair not look like a tangled wet mess. instead, i've got the smell of fresh cut grass in the air, and hair that is currently stuck in a perpetual state of growing out. for serious - i think this is the slowest my hair has ever grown. when i was getting regular haircuts in an attempt to keep it short, it was all "whee! look at how fast i can grow back! what fun!" and now that i'm actually attempting to grow it out to about chin length, its all "you know? i think i need to slow down and enjoy the ride. i'm just gonna go ahead and hang out here around your ears for a while." the nerve.

but i'm not complaining one bit. i like farm country. i like the life that i am living. and i really like that i get to live it with my husband, who would be less than enthused about living at the beach year-round to say the least. i've got a good thing going here. not perfect by any means, but definitely good.

so for now, i'm done talking about the beach. i've slowly drifted out of vacation mode and i'm finally diving back into real life here in the real world where there is grass to be mowed, projects to be started and finished, and adventures to be had: exciting things like yardwork, rearranging the basement, and fish-countering (among other things). get excited. it's gonna be fun.

Monday, June 24, 2013

meal plan monday: june 24.

ok. let's do this thing. you know, the thing i've probably hinted at vaguely for a while without really fully explaining it because i've been spending all my time overthinking it in my own little head: let's go gluten free. but let's not get crazy, for now its just for a week. just an experiment of sorts for a little bit to see what happens.

miss you already...

there's a history of gluten-sensitivity in my family, and i'm just curious to see what (if anything) not inhaling bagels and pasta and hot dog buns on the reg might change for me. weight loss? less bloating? less lethal flatulence? (there's really no subtle way to say that) hopefully all of those, but maybe none of those. and if nothing else, it made meal planning exciting again, and i've got not one but TWO new recipes in store for this week: check it out!

Monday: roast salmon with salsa, rice, and asparagus. (recipe)
Tuesday: zucchini black bean skillet. (recipe)
Wednesday: crock pot chicken enchilada soup. (from freezer)
Thursday: chicken fried rice. (recipe)
Friday: skillet roasted strip steak with pebre sauce and avocado. (recipe)
Saturday: citrus herb chicken and veggies on the grill.
Sunday: breakfast for dinner: veggie omelettes.

if this gluten free trial period is something we like and becomes a real thing for us in the future, i'm probably going to need to figure out even more new recipes - so dish: do you have any tried-and-true and/or quick-and-easy gluten free meals? please to be sharing!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

photodump: on the boardwalk.


61 mph, in case you were wondering.


Monday, June 17, 2013

meal plan monday: eh, screw it.

i'm starting to feel like everything in my life is little more than just good intentions.

yeah, i meant to post a bunch of vacation pictures and i meant to clean the bathrooms and i meant to plan meals for the week and i meant to attempt a gluten-free week and i meant to plant something in the garden sometime this year and i meant to put away all of the clean laundry and i meant to work out more than once in the past two weeks... but i haven't done any of those things.

but i haven't been doing nothing, because i've been busy doing the laundry and washing the dishes and mowing the grass and making dinner and organizing in the basement... so then can someone please explain to me how it is that the laundry is never done and the kitchen is a mess and we have nothing to eat and the house is a disaster and i'm starting another week feeling overwhelmed with all of the undone things that i really truly meant to do? i dont even have any kids to blame it on!

and speaking of kids: i would like to have some. someday. but how in the world can i let myself believe that i am anywhere close to being ready for babies based on my current state of being a textbook case of a giant hot mess?

ugh. even i can't stand my own whining today. and i know that if i dont have a grocery list by the time i get to the store after work today, we'll be in for another week of frozen meals and eating out and me feeling like a failure. so suck it up mando, and act like a grownup just long enough to cobble together a grocery list.

Monday: frozen pizza.
Tuesday: grilled chicken with rice and veggies.
Wednesday: crock pot beef burgundy.
Thursday: fish packets.
Friday: quesadillas.
Saturday: Ed's Birthday Party.
Sunday: burgers? maybe on the grill?

and then when you get home, after you put away the groceries and make and eat dinner, you will NOT just sit on the couch like a bum - you WILL clean those bathrooms. yay!*

*maybe if i say it with enough enthusiasm i can actually believe its really going to happen that way

PS sorry about all the whining. here's a picture of a pretty sunset on the beach to make up for it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

just beachy.

since we didnt have a ton of non-rainy time at the actual beach, i spent most of my beach time reading, soaking up rays, freezing in the water, and playing frisbee instead of playing with my camera. 

Mark spent most of his time at the beach wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a long sleeved shirt, seated directly under the umbrella. his goal was twofold: to not get sunburned, but also to not have to put on any sunscreen. he succeeded in not wearing sunscreen (despite much nagging from me) but since he abandoned his shady spot to briefly play frisbee and get his feet wet in the ocean, he brought home a super-awesome souveneir sunburn on his shoulders and the tops of his feet.

i, on the other hand, slathered and reapplied like a good girl who spent all day sunday out in the sun, and all i got to show for it was a couple new freckles and barely even a noticable tan line. 

as of yesterday, we have planned a vacation in August with Mark's family - another long weekend trip to the beach! i am excited to have another beach trip to look forward to, and i think Mark is mostly just resigned to the fact that he is stuck with the reality of being beach-indifferent while being married to a beach-lover. (that would be me! i love the beach!)

before i realized there were water spots on my lens.
ok here's just one more picture of the beach, and then i still have fun pictures of the boardwalk and a lovely sunset to share!
these colors remind me of my mom's beachy sign.

if all goes well, i think i can spend more time posting pictures and talking about vacation than i actually spent ON vacation...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

when the sun rises.

woke up at 5:00 am on Sunday to catch the sunrise on the beach. i would say it was definitely worth the early wake up call.

empty streets. 

mirror image.

water behind a sandbar.


 incoming waves.

love the perfect reflection on the wet beach.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

what to do when it rains on your beach vacation.

so. we went on a little vacation. we took a couple days off work, and spent a nice long 4-day weekend in Wildwood, NJ. we planned the trip way back when it was still winter and we were just dreaming of sunshine and lazy days on the beach. we factored in work schedules and available leave time and even went bathing suit shopping.

but what we didnt plan for was an early start to this year's tropical storm season. oh hello there Andrea. SO nice of you to join us at the beach.

Delaware Memorial Bridge in the rain. 

so vacation wasn't quite everything we dreamed it might be - long sunny days on the beach, warm summer nights on the boardwalk, time for water parks and sandcastles and beach football, all culminating in one fantastic tan - but it was still fun because we refused to let the wet weather dampen our moods. so based on my now-extensive knowledge of rainy beach vacations, here are some tips to help you plan your own awesome rainy beach vacation:

1. Plan Ahead. check the weather before you go, and seriously - pack accordingly. if they are calling for rain, maybe pack more than just one pair of capris because you are in denial. because once your one pair of long-ish pants gets soaking wet, you're going to wish you had another pair to wear while they dry.

2. Get Wet. just because it's pouring down rain doesn't mean you have to stay holed up in your hotel room. get out! enjoy the emptiness of the boardwalk, and take advantage of it by going to that really good pizza place because you know you wont have to wait in line. stop by the Elks Club parade on the way back to the hotel. (then leave after a little bit because its pouring rain and they're not even throwing candy. the nerve.) do whatever you want, really. dont let the rain stop you.

boardwalk in the rain.

3. Stay Positive. smile. laugh. just remember that you are not at work and this is all just a great big adventure. dance in the rain. spend the weekend in a state of denial and blissful ignorance. eat lots of chocolate and ice cream. whatever you do, just be happy.

4. Play Games. mario kart. battle of the sexes. banangrams. monopoly if you're feeling up to it. dont let yourself get bored when there is plenty of fun to be had!

5. Don't Wait for Pictures. document the heck out of your vacation - rain and all. no need to wait for the perfect light or a break in the clouds or for everyone to even be looking all in the same direction... if you want to remember your vacation just the way it was, then just be constantly taking pictures.

photo ops in the rain.

6. Keep Track of the Weather. stalk the weather channel app like its your job. know which days, hours, and minutes are supposed to be rain-free. check often for updates, because the weather is a shifty minx.

jershey shore in the rain. (you can tell cuz of the raindrop on the lens)

7. Get Out When You Can. ok. you have a gap today where there's only a 30% chance of rain. load up and hit the beach! when it starts to sprinkle and everyone else is leaving, set up your umbrella and get situated. after all, it looks like its going to clear up soon. lay out in the rain - remember, those UV rays can penetrate through clouds and rain! ignore your goosebumps and your husbands whining and smile! you're at the beach!

walking the beach during a break in the rain.

8. Bring a Good Book. or two or three. mark brought seven diy-how-to books to peruse, and i blew through two novels over the weekend - Silver Linings Playbook, and The Memory Keeper's Daughter. both were kind of sad. but both were well written, attention grabbing, and the perfect way to kill some time during afternoon naps and early mornings when i couldn't sleep because i was so excited to be on vacation at the beach!

9. Have a Tasty Drink. or two or three. no need to wait for sunshine to enjoy a margarita or a rum runner or whatever drink just screams SUMMER to you.  we were vacationing with my brother-in-law-in-law who enjoys mixing fancy drinks as a hobby, so he was more than happy to play bartender for the weekend. every drink was delicious and came with a fancy garnish, or at least as fancy as his limited access to the proper tools would allow.

havana-something cocktail with a "twist"

10. Don't Worry. the sun will come out tomorrow. or the next day. so soak it up while you can.

 i have plenty more pictures to share (i took 180 over the 4 days!) so hopefully i will find time to actually do that in between all of this getting-back-to-real-life stuff like groceries and dishes and laundry and work and all that jazz.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

let's go to the beach-each let's go get away.

they? say? what they gonna say? have a drink? clink! found the bud light. that sh*t like me is hard to come by. patron-on? let's go get it on. the zone-one? yes i'm in the zone. is it two? three? leave a good tip, i'mma blow all my money and dont give two sh*ts.

(these may or may not be the real words. but they are the words that run through my head anytime i think about this weekend, and yes i realize that knowing these lyrics is a less-than-stellar use of my brain-space. also, bud light is gross.)

i was going to post today about mulch, or flowers, or how many extra clothes i have packed for vacation, (its borderline ridiculous) but i'm not going to do that. and i'm not even going to apologize for not blogging anything real either. because life is busy. and this week has been extra busy. and i am just SO glad that vacation starts tomorrow, even if the forecast is looking something like this for the next few days:


i dont even care. bring it, Andrea. i'mma have an awesome weekend.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

this week's finds.

in addition to a nice sunburn, here is the other stuff i got while yardsailing this weekend:

(items listed kind of clockwise from left)

'kate spade' wallet, tote bag, mini chalkboard, beach chair, blue jar, fisher price phone, volcano canvas, blue mason jar, tiny old medicine jar (with a lid!), mini milk bottle, tall viney glass bottle, mini green trifle dish, wooden folding chair, yellow purse, blue beaded scarf, white shirt, kid's cookbook, old baseball glove, fun tablecloth/blanket, 6 baltimore colts glasses, orioles rug. Total Spent: $50.50

the rug, the glasses, and the beach chair were my big-ticket items this week, at $15, $10, and $5 respectively. but the rug is big, the glasses are collectible, and the beach chair is going to be hella-useful this weekend. i only kind of regret the rug. but it makes Mark so happy, although he thought it should replace the rug in the fireplace room instead of being "banished" to the basement. i respectfully disagreed and took it down to the basement myself.

the real win of the day, hands down, was Nadine's eliptical machine that she scored for $40! and almost as impressive as that deal was the fact that we fit it into the car along with everything else, and then unloaded and reloaded it into Nadine's car to get it home.

as a bonus for you this week, i am having a giveaway! unfortunately for me, my new wallet does not fit in my new purse. so i'm giving the wallet to one of you! its kind of hard to see in the picture, but its a natural tan color with different colored stitching that runs horizontally across it. if i remember, i'll take a better picture of it tonight and add it to this post.

i remembered!

just leave a comment (or two or three) and on Thursday night i will pick a random winner! ooh i'm so excited just thinking about it!

according to (and excluding my own comment) the winner is...
Miss Brenda!!! Congratulations! Expect your prize in the mail sometime after I get back from the beach :) have a happy weekend y'all!

Monday, June 3, 2013

meal plan monday: june 3.

game plan for the week: just make it to Friday.

keeping my eye on the prize.

Monday: fish with roasted potatoes.
Tuesday: gnocchi in pesto sauce.
Wednesday: (evening meeting) probably an egg sandwich for Mark.
Thursday: (evening meeting) maybe grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Friday - Monday: beach vacation!