August 27, 2014

Annoying Blog Advertising

Can we talk about the onslaught of advertising on blogs? Am I the only one who finds it incredibly annoying?  I can understand wanting to monetize your blog especially if you are very popular, but to the rest of us, it's a bit much. It's pretty bad when I can't even read your entry because a stupid pop-up window will. not. go. away.  Seriously?!

I am one of the people who will not stay and peruse your blog when flashing advertisements line blog or when videos automatically start playing. And no, I do not want to participate in a !@#$%^&* survey.  If anything, it honestly makes me less interested in whatever the advertisement is for.

And if we're being really honest, it's really hard to accept your glowing review of a product when they send it to you for free.  If someone sends you something for free, isn't it a sure thing you'll love it (even if you don't) so more companies will be inclined to send you free stuff?

Maybe I'm just grumpy this week.... ; )


August 26, 2014

Incomprehensible

It's a sad day.

It's a sad day when it's okay to strong-arm rob a store and you're hailed as a hero.

It's a sad day when you can violently beat a police officer and the "President" sends three White House officials to your funeral to comfort your family. They sent no one to a Two-Star Army General's funeral. Not only is that sad, but it's absolutely sickening.

Harold Greene is a hero. Not the "good boy" who was supposedly on his way to "college."

For the "President" to go on national TV and comment on what happened hours after the incident is downright stupid and completely unprofessional.

I understand the young man was unarmed but he made a series of bad choices that day. What if he had just said, "Okay Officer, I will stop walking down the middle of this busy street" and moved to the sidewalk where pedestrians belong for their own safety, none of this would have happened. If he had shown the law enforcement officer an OUNCE of respect, none of this would have happened.

This is what most people fail to see.

Respect.

Once he started punching the officer, he's now committing another crime. 

Choices.

Officer Wilson had every right to fight for his life that day when a 300lb 6 foot beast was assaulting him. Color has nothing to do with it in my eyes. Officer Wilson was assaulted and he fought back.

Kudos to you, Officer Wilson. My hope is that you are completely exonerated and hailed as the hero you are for the job you do every day.


August 25, 2014

Perfect Egg Sandwich Pan

I went shopping for 3 glorious hours by myself on Saturday. It was blissful. While shopping I came across one of those "As Seen on TV" items - The Perfect Pancake Pan - and I thought, hmmm, that's the perfect size for egg sandwiches. I like to bring them to work for an easy lunch and also for a quick dinner sometimes. And sure enough, I flip the box over and it shows using the pan to cook eggs.  The price tag on the box said $7.99.

Sold.


My only mistake was not lightly spraying the top/flat side of the pan before cooking the eggs so they didn't stick when I flipped it. Duh!  But it worked perfectly, even when I flipped the pan over to ensure even cooking. Just make sure not to flip it too soon and do it fast, or you'll be stuck with a runny mess!

I will be using this pan a lot!


August 21, 2014

New Kitchen Table

I've been wanting to purchase a new kitchen table for some time. The one we had was a rushed purchase when we moved into this house almost 6 years ago. At the time, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a table that I knew my children would beat up because they were 6 & 4 years old. That $250 table held up surprisingly well but it was time for a change.

Initially I thought I wanted an island in my kitchen and since a kitchen makeover isn't in the cards right now, I started looking at the various "kitchen carts" that are available. There are A LOT. In many different sizes and styles.

I finally settled on one from Ikea. I even taped out the dimensions of the island on my kitchen floor to get a feel for the size. I thought it would work. I was excited for it to work!

However, when I got it home and started assembling it I realized pretty quickly it was going to be too big, massively too big. (I also must note how EASY this thing was to put together. It is sturdy too. I'm very happy with the quality!)  I was determined to at least give it a shot and live with it in the "island spot" in my kitchen for a few days.

It just didn't work. Maybe I'm just too used to having an open kitchen with no island in the way? In the mean time, I decided it would make a fabulous kitchen table!  We sawed out the supports for the two shelves on the back side of the island-turned-table and I was suddenly in love.


It has a butcher block top that I had to lightly sand and seal. The stools have swivel tops and were found on Target.com ... total of $88 shipped for 4 pre-assembled stools!! Can you say a-w-e-s-o-m-e?

We love our new, updated, casual dining kitchen table!



August 14, 2014

Winding Down

I'm really not sure how it's Thursday already but you won't hear me complain. School starts 3 weeks from today and I have mixed feelings about it.  I'm anxious for the daily structure to return. The boys are staying up way too late and sleeping in way too long. I've already told them that starting Sunday night, we're backing up the 1 am bedtime (yes, I'm insane) to midnight. And the following week, it will be pushed back until 11pm.

Oh, the groaning... My 12 year old seems to not understand how rude that alarm clock will be when it goes off at 6:15am three weeks from today. Welcome to middle school, Buddy!  Boo gets to sleep an extra hour but he's a bear to get out of the bed in the morning for school, especially once the "new school year high" wears off.

Still no word on who their teachers are or what supplies they might need. I hate our school district for this reason. Do they not understand that the supplies are discounted, plentiful, and in the stores now? It's really ridiculous.

As far as the on-going home projects, the deck still isn't done nor is the bathroom. Safe to say I'm not very happy with my husband at this point. The bathroom cabinet has been painted twice, just needs a third coat. So my part is basically done, until it's time to paint the walls. I've given him a deadline of October 5th, our son's 10th birthday.

We shall see.


August 7, 2014

Zip Lining Adventure

Continuing with the alligator (and semi-dangerous activity) theme, we spent a day exploring Gatorland and zip lining over alligator enclosures!

I bet you can't tell I live with all boys.

This was fun. A lot of fun. So much fun in fact, I'm planning to do this again real soon. I know there are some zip lining courses near us in the PA mountains that we will definitely consider! 


A big thanks to my sister for snapping these pictures for us.  Gatorland also took portraits for us and we did purchase a set for the boys with included a photo magnet.


August 6, 2014

Airboat Ride

Last week we spent the week in the Orlando area visiting my father. Whenever most people think of Orlando, they immediately think DISNEY.  Disney can be a fun place to visit but it is not a vacation, at least not in my opinion. We did the full-blown Disney trip in 2011 and I have no desire to go back. When I planned this trip, the boys were aware that Disney was not on the agenda. Bud did not care. Boo was a little disappointed but quickly got over it.

The focus of this trip was to spend some time with Grandpop as well as doing some alternative things in the area and eating out every night. There should never be cooking while you are on vacation!

On our last day, we decided to take an Airboat ride. 



The gift shop area was entertaining and I had to refrain myself from purchasing a Hillbilly Nightlite. My favorite thing was the gas pump turned sunscreen and bug spray sprayer.  However, I did not see anyone use this while we were there.


Our boat captain, "John" was really great. He seemed to enjoy his job and it showed as he took us on our tour. He even kept us entertained when our boat ran out of gas and we were stranded for a short period of time. Another boat had to come rescue us.  We were able to see an alligator in the wild protecting her nest.  We even saw 3 bald eagles during our ride!



My boys were not hesitant when it came time to hold an alligator. I know, his mouth is taped, which might be concerning to some, but a donation was made to help sustain the alligators in the wild.



August 5, 2014

Vacations Over!

In my head, summer vacation is officially over. We are home from a week-long visit to Florida and now football practice has started so yeah, summer is basically over. Now the boys are waiting with baited breathe for their schedules and teacher assignments to arrive in the mail.

While I was sitting at the wave pool at Blizzard Beach one day last week, I received a phone call from the middle school. It was to remind me about the summer assignments - - plural. To my knowledge there was just a reading assignment to complete but no, there is also math package! What?

We are really behind with the summer reading so things are about to get nasty in my house. 12 year olds are very uncooperative and I refuse to hold his hand through this.  The other one has finished his book and only has 1 part of the required report left to finish. He's currently my favorite child.

I'll update more about our trip later this week. We did do one Disney thing, as I mentioned above. We spent the remainder of the week doing alternative things in the area. It really is possible to enjoy the Orlando area and NOT go to Disney!

And flying at night is really cool: