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Mit Hjem, Mi Casa, My Home

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Here's a little tour of my place and the things I love that make it home. 

We've got a picture the the Amy's Denmark trip, a super cool print from Mom, a print from my favorite artist Robin Pedrero, a cross stitch I did for Switzerland, an elephant painting I drunkenly (but gratefully) purchased at the Jax Blues Fest, random tree painting I did, and Route 66 sign I got on one of my motor home trips with Papa and Mimi.
Table below that collage: special music boxes from Grandma Jeanne, Danish elephant, cork from the first wine at the new place, candles from Jenna, and a seashell from Jax Beach. 
Special heart garland from Mom. It goes here perfectly!
My little book nook. With another little Danish elephant peaking out behind Lola
Perfect year-round home for my Danish flag ornament.
Gotta have my KBH picture. Plus a candle from Amy, bridesmaid heart present from Amanda, and David Sedaris.
On the candle: "Just wait until you see what is possible when you shine your light on the world."
And lastly, had to include the produce rack that gave me so much trouble. And little Ruby chillin in the window. 
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A Family Filled Christmas

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I finally have all the pictures so I can share some of my favorite things from this Christmas! 
First of all, just spending it with Mom, Dad, Matt and Grandparents was the best. Mom came up for this awesome week last year but I was definitely missing everyone else! It was great having Pa and Grandma with us too, pealing pecans, sharing stories, and enjoying time together. We, of course, did multiple Christmas light looking trips, watched a Christmas movie, and typical Christmasy things. I spent time with Papa and Mimi on Christmas Eve since I had to leave early Sunday. Christmas Eve dinner couldn't have been tastier and I always love Mom's breakfast casseroles. More things to add to a Florida Christmas would be having fresh squeezed orange juice on Christmas morning from our Backyard Oranges. Listening to Dad play Christmas songs on the piano is always a favorite. We ended the morning with some football before I had to leave for work. 

I was glad I "had" to work on Christmas to be able to spend it with these girls. Coming to work Christmas night to these sweet, smiling girls was totally worth it, and we ended the night driving around to look at lights. The best part about it was hearing a quiet request from the back of the van to dance on the beach. Finding it was from shyest girl here that never asks for anything, I said we had to do it then!
Great end to the day. 

Love my Pa and Grandma!

 Watching Papa light up when he got his sentimental train running. After around 20 years, it takes a little extra work, but it's still chugging. 
Dad playing piano... Always a Christmas favorite...

Blessed with these Bests

I still haven't even published my Christmas post but I'm gonna go ahead and just say I got to spend today with these amazing ladies. 
We got to catch up, officially start wedding planning for the Rubartaloma union, personifiy animals, make food babies, and laugh about "getting old" with our recipes and allergies conversations. 

I'm beyond blessed to have these girls in my life.

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A Florida Christmas

Friday, December 20, 2013

       Last year I was fully enjoying a beautiful, snowy Christmas. This year I've been fully enjoying and appreciating Christmas in the Sunshine State.
Some things I've been loving about this Florida Christmas... 
Biking around and finding decorations like this... 
 Atlantic Beach's awesome lights...

Luminaries in Riverside (photo credit: roomie)
 Jax Beach's lifeguard chair display
A trip to the Zoo with The Roomie to see the lights. The chilly air, full moon, starry sky, and hot cocoa made it quite an enjoyable night.

 Sweater weather for coffee on the beach.
And cuddling up for some Christmas reading by the sea.

"Getting old"

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lately, I've been amused at instances that make me feel "old" or "grown up." These are just some of those laughable moments. 

Returning my Halloween costume (or clothes, or rug) so I could eat... And then going back to get the rug later with the discount they gave me for my "next purchase." Smart shopping.

Having this Christmas List... Throw in a tulip and some love birds with these boring house goods and I'm happy.
Particularly this teal beauty... And whoever her love bird is. 
Sending out my very own, I'm single, with no baby, and proud Christmas cards.
Leaving a present for our sweet mailman.

Not even getting out of the car for a party with a yard full of frat boys and chicks in slutty Santa costumes. No. Thanks.

Actually finishing off all my food in the house before going grocery shopping.

When 22 year old boys seem too young...

There are (obvi) some adult things I still struggle with...
Understanding everything that comes with car insurance and any of this other stuff I'd rather not be paying for.

Getting myself to go in and finally get the oil change I need.

Budgeting. This is definitely a work in progress. I will get it. It's 1/24 goals I'm working on for this year. (a post possibly coming soon). Even with my smart grocery shopping, return tricks, and other poor tricks, I still manage to get to the bottom of the barrel by my next check. Maybe it's these necessities like Hendrix and Lola, and even the rug I got a "deal" on. I think I'm right on the verge of getting it though. I just feel it. Next up... a savings account! 

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A Beach Friendsgiving

Friday, November 29, 2013

This thanksgiving rocked. Even though I had to work, my friends and I made it happen. Good friends Leslie, Lindsay, Michael and Roomie joined in for a Paleo Thanksgiving Feast.
Friendsgiving Highlights: 
A spoon catching on fire
This beautiful display thanks to Worth Wiles events. ;) 
The guests. Obvi. 
Sangria and mulled apple cider. Oh, and meet Roomie, Rob, blogging world!

Rosemary and apple turkey 
And these paleo rolls
Other things on the menu? Rosemary sweet potatoes and onions, gravy, green bean casserole, cauliflower mash, deviled eggs, blueberry crumble, and cranberry almond upside down cake. All paleo. :) 

Just like last year, only this time a little closer, I facetimed with the fam during their celebrations. I was, of course, pretty bummed about missing out on Thanksgiving with them, but so grateful for the friends I did get to spend it with.

Even though, I naturally wished I could've continued the celebrations instead of working, I was showered with love from excited kids who didn't get to go home either. 

And I can't leave out the awesome morning after... I met back up with Les and super new Tinder friend, Gordon (who I'll probs be giving more detes on later) for breakfast, mimosas, strolling on the beach, admiring beach houses, and making cute lil ol' lady friends. It was such beautiful weather with the best company and content spirits. Perfect day. 

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Imagination Land

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

At work the other day, I found so much amusement in a Trip to Imagination Land that I took with the youngest girls in the group. They wanted to play Wii sport but I'm not a fan of this game where you win by cheating and don't even do the real motions of the sport. So I said we'd play pretend sports instead. Killer serves, fly balls, home runs, and human bowling pins crashing down and injuring bums ensued. Way better than the silly, just rotate your wrist and get a winning tennis shot nonsense. 

This quickly turned into one of the girls going all in on this imagination game. It was like it just lit this excited fire in her brain. She began to scan our bodies with a wii remote to check us in for our roller coaster ride that would be followed by a merry-go-round, where our animals would rise up, grow wings and fly us around... And it would be a 24 hour ride! Naturally I asked if we were getting fed on this ride and she informed me that, "Of course! We have robots that will come out and feed you whatever you want!" Solid work, kid. 

It was a good day.

This picture was from another imagination session, showing Princess, her newborn twin princesses, and her babies' daddy who said "I'm not her husband because she's just too good and special for me." Not in the picture: the troll standing guard at the door to her room to make sure no intruders came for the twins. 
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Bikes, Flowers, and Touchy Feely Fans

So this is gonna be one random blog post. I've been pretty busy with work but still having a lot of time for fun. I don't have any major stories lately, so this is just a collection of random happenings lately. 
Since moving to the beach, a bike was on my "buy as soon as possible" list. I was determined to not settle for some shiny, new beach cruiser that everyone would have. Rusty, dented, and full of character was my goal. With this unique little 70s child, I think it was accomplished. So meet, Hendrix. 
He took Chomp and I for a nice/torturous ride to the vet the other day. I thought it'd be nice to make Chomp's trip a little more exciting by taking him for his first bike ride but I'll never know if he saw it that way. 
And was willing but I was not to ride to the vet again yesterday for this troublesome cat's fancy vet food. Florida weather at it's finest took me from starting out driving to the vet, deciding I'd survive the lightest drizzle that was happening, checked the weather to make sure it wasn't about to pour, only "25% chance," so I drove back, got on the bike, and it starts pouring. So I surrender my attempt and ride back, get in the car and start driving away... It stopped raining the whole drive there. 

Next investment: raincoat. 

In other news, Lola is in full bloom! Check out this beauty! I'm pretty proud of her. She's the first plant I've had in my adult life without help from Green Thumb Mama, so I hope I can raise her right!
In super random, unrelated news, Roommate, his friend, and I went to the Gator basketball game last night and were in for an entertaining night. And not because of the game. Rather, the bizarrely touchy feely Jacksonville University fans. At first, I just thought, "Oh they just haven't seen each other in a long time" making their overly touching, rubbing, patting, elongated hug normal. Or, "JU must be really homosexuality friendly. Totally cool!" But then every single person greeted each other in this way. Maybe with an added, leg/shoulder grab and rub. Didn't matter the sex. Didnt matter if they had to awkwardly walk across an entire row of crowded people. Didn't matter if they'd just done this same greeting to the last girl/boy. And I'm gathering that it didn't matter if they'd just seen each other in their last class... They were gonna hug and rub it out as if it'd been years since they'd seen their long lost friend. 
Oh and hey, Gators won! 

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Super Tinders

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Guess what guys! I have this exciting, entertaining, funny, ridiculous story aaand... I can't share it due to this silly thing called privacy. SUCKS, huh? I'm just as bummed, or probably more bummed about it than you. 

Well wait. I was gonna leave this post as a super tease and assurance I'm still living crazy stories, but maybe I'll just start writing and see how I might go about telling this one. 

It started one super boring night in, when I decided to add this ridiculous app called Tinder. If ya don't know it, you basically flip through pictures of people in your area and like em or don't. If they happen to like you too, it lets you talk to each other.

I told friend Leslie about it the next day and we got a kick out of how silly it is. But she signed up too and we were pretty amused. We got a couple good convos going and even more crash and burn ones... We saw how quickly you can tell if you "vibe" or not. 

So, the next day, Les and I started the day off great with some wine and chilling on the beach. Our tinder dudes were up to meet us but we weren't so sure at first. My Super Tinder Dude invited us to come play/watch him play beach volleyball nearby. We eventually said, "why the heck not?" and headed  over there. (Roomie later sent me a picture of his chairs that we forgot on the beach and the wine bottles in the apartment. Woops)

We sarcastically joked about the possibility of our guys working together because they both coached kids' soccer. Throw in that mine coaches kids with Down syndrome and other disabilities, is a special needs teacher, runs ultra races, had a documentary made about him running across Pennsylvania, and plays guitar, and you've got two swooning girls watching this beautiful person play volleyball. So we just watched in amazement before heading to Lemon Bar to meet her Tinder Flame and invited mine to join us after his games. 

So we headed on over, met two crazy, old foreign men who were a serious trip, and met her guy who also seemed pretty sane for someone you'd meet online. Remember the "more detes" I was hoping to give about "super new tinder friend, Gordon" I mentioned here? These are them. He's the lucky guy Les "swiped to the right" and met up with one crazy Sunday afternoon. 

Mine did come out later, and we found out they do work together! Two girls start a ridiculous app, "like" two boys, they happen to like them too, they actually meet up, and they work together. I still don't know how that's possible. 

Also Leslie knew one of Gordon's friends! Small freaking world. 

So the rest of the night added to my "risky behaviors/decisions" with us hanging out back at Leslie's Tinder Flame's house. Basically it was just one entertaining, crazy, fun night. We lucked out, to say the least, with our first (and probably only) experiences with Tinder guys, with these cool, non-serial killer fellas. 

Obvi I got the clear to disclose names in this story. So you're welcome! Stay tuned to see if my Super Tinder's name will be disclosed.

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Food Fridaay

Friday, November 8, 2013

Man this week has flown by! My second week of work went great. I got to work in the boys' cottages this week and it was not as scary as I expected from what the staff were saying. Much like my greyhound bus experience here

It's Food Fridaaay! I just made that up but maybe Originality Advocate Demetri would be (slightly) proud of me. It is still a pic of food but maybe the recipe share helps. Hope so.  


I've been bad at sharing some of my favorite paleo meals on here, so here's one that I've made twice already in the last couple weeks and it makes like 5 meals... For like $6! (Assuming you have the basics). So that's a lot of buffalo chicken pasta meals! It's funny because I used to hate spicy things, particularly BUFFALO things. But for some reason, of all my meals on Pinterest, this was the one I decided to execut. I'll just write it off as one of my decision making processes where I choose something completely strange or that I simply haven't liked before. (If you've ever gone to dinner with me you've probs witnessed this weird trait of mine). Maybe I'm subconsciously making myself try new things... Maybe I just freak when given so many choices and just randomly point a finger and be done with it. Who knows. I'll end my tangent on turning a food choice into deep life insights and give you the dang recipe

If you try it, I hope you enjoy! If not, at least enjoy your Friday. And eat a pizza I've been craving all week for me. 

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High Five for Friday

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's the first of November, people! Insert obligatory "How is it already November?!" statement here. The blessings have kept coming and am excited for the weekend. I hope everyone had a fun Halloween and good week! Here are my high fives for this week, linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for HF4F. 

1. An awesome first week at work, building great relationships with several girls, and the complete joy of hearing a girl that was previously suicidal say she's "happy to be alive." I'm unbelievably excited to be doing this work and seeing the changes in these kids' lives. 

2. One of the best Halloween celebrations I've had in all 24 years of life. I could make it sound even wilder than it was by writing about starting off drinking wine out of the bottle, not breaking our Irish Car Bomb Tradition at an Irish bar, and making friends with some Front Porch Sitters on my walk home... But I should also mention that it was only like half a glass of wine left in that bottle, I only did half the ICB, and was walking home before 12am. And made it to work at 7am the next day! Growing up. Ps, I was the royal baby AKA Prince George. It was my favorite costume I've done, but sadly no one got it. Oh, my parents? They were too busy ruling a country to come out...

Candids/"failed" pictures are the best. 
3. The dang sky gets a serious high five. It's making my morning walks and nighttime runs on the beach cherished parts of my days. And finally going full on barefoot running! 

4. Cool days calling for open windows. Plus hazelnut and blueberry coffee deliciousness. High five, Publix BOGO!  
5. Plans to see some cool kids this weekend and hang out in an RV. 

Turning 24

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Oh hey, I also had one heck of a birthday last weekend. It started with house hunting with Amy in Jacksonville on Friday. We got a quick beautiful view of the beach and a tasty lunch in San Marco before heading back to Gainesville for the night. 
That night, we went to a Halloween party rocking some Dispicable Me themed costumes. It was a fun night with a great crowd. 

Had birthday breakfast with two of The Bests. Great start to the day. 
Finding convenience out of inconvenience, my mistake that Chelsea's babyshower was on Saturday when it was Sunday just allowed for more time with Charlyn. And me forgetting my wallet in Ocala worked out due to several "it's your birthday! I got you!"s. 

It was so good to see Charlyn after way too much time apart. We indulged in some serious over stuffing of our faces at Reggae Shack. Go there. Just do it! Right after turning down a delicious looking dessert because we were too stuffed... we finished off our fries. When the waiter came back around about dessert, we learned it's free on your birthday. So we had to get it. We may not have had to add the ice cream but Charlyn threw that on there too. Why not? Gotta get the full experience. We then finished our dessert plate. Charlyn couldn't even keep a straight face as she asked if I was gonna finish mine. 
Then a fly drowned in our sugary goodness. Would've been a happy death if we hadn't drowned it in water in our attempt to save it. Woops. 
One last bite!
We finished that day off with the crowd from the night before, dancing with randoms making presumed fox noises with/at them, and making ridiculous new jokes about lizards and key lime pie that have forever changed my views on these things. It was really fun hanging out with some old Ocala buds I never really had before. And gained some that live in/near Jax! 

Then ended the weekend on a baby shower for Chelsea, whom I hadn't seen in like two years! It was so great seeing my beautiful friend and sharing excitement about her growing family. 

And finally a birthday dinner with the parents and Mark and Denise (MAD), with delicious orange crunch cake thanks to Super Baker Julie. Then I was out by like 8. 

Last year I was celebrating with new friends in Switzerland and Denmark, this year I spent it with some of the best old friends. It was a good one. 



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