Link up here if you're playing along today!
Ok let’s talk travel, do you like to travel?
I live to travel. It's my mission in life to see everything I can see before I leave.
Where have you been?
I can't say I've been to all those places, but I've been around the Caribbean a bunch, and we went on our European cruise in 2008. That was amazing. I lived in Guam and wanted to go to Australia and all around Asia, but alas, we didn't get to stay very long. I've been to Hawai'i, but unless the inside of the Honolulu airport is representative of the whole, then I don't count that. ;)
Next place you want to go?
In mid-November, we'll be here (assuming I get all our passport stuff in order before then, d'oh!) at the Azul Fives resort on the Mexican Riviera. I'm super stoked!
What is something you MUST take with you when you travel?
I have GOT to bring my phone with me, everywhere, every time. I can not stand to be that disconnected, but more importantly, I need to be able to be reached if something happens with our kids. This may be the first trip since Europe when we don't bring the laptop with us, though!
How do you like to travel? (mode of transportation)
I don't care how I get there, as long as I go...
With someone, or alone?
I've actually never traveled by myself, and that is one thing that is not on my bucket list (I have a long list). I prefer companionship, so I can immediately share my experiences with someone and then remember them together down the road.
Do you dance in your car when there are other people with you?
Of course I do! I have specific car-dancing moves for specific songs, too. Hubs laughs at me... but I think he enjoys my silliness. ;)
If you're quiet what does it mean?
I'm never quiet when I'm comfortable. So if I'm quiet, it means I'm not.
My favorite scents are fruity, especially citrus, but when I smell the sea, it means I am HOME.
Least favorite scents: florals and that God-awful ubiquitous vanilla aroma. *gag*
I love any artsy-craftsy store, but Pearl in South Miami is the Bomb dot com! When I took my very last undergrad class at U. Miami, it was Design and Drawing, and I went to Pearl to get my supplies. That was in 1997, and I still get excited when I drive by that store, all these years later.
Say you wanted coffee.. what kind is your favorite?
Lately, I've been getting the Venti Java Chip Frappuccino Light at Starbucks... and drinking about a third before I pass the rest to Rob or the kidoodles. I can never finish it and always wonder why I don't just get the Tall.
Favorite kind of pizza?
My favorite pizza was this two-tone cherry tomato and goat cheese rustic pizza I made several months ago, using Martha Stewart magazine's dough recipe. It's a killer recipe, fo'shizzle. However, when I go out for it, I love a good margherita pizza.
I'm a New Yorker, though, so of course the best pizza in the land comes from there and must be folded in half!
Do you get embarrassed easily?
I blush easily and can't stand being the center of attention - even positive attention makes me nervous. I hate that about me.
Do you mind people asking you personal questions?
Oh, come now. I am the Queen of TMI. I just don't want to be on center stage when I over-divulge!
You have a tank of gas, $50, and the day off… what do you do?
I'd probably head for the Florida Keys. I can be in Key Largo in 20 minutes. What do you want to do?
Favorite tv show?
Well, we haven't had TV service in at least 10 years, but if we did it will still be Big Bang Theory. I miss TV!
Song you turn the volume up all the way to listen to?
"Kiss" by Prince, and yes I sing and dance to it, too! ;)
Something you keep in your car?
I try to keep Miranda (our new-to-us 2012 Kia Sedona) an oasis of clean, since our house is decidedly not, so not much. Sophia, my 9yo, keeps her baseball stuff in the back, and I would be lost if I didn't keep my car charger in there. Literally. I must have my GPS!
Highlight of your day?
When Hubs worked, I would say it was when he came home. Since he's now a disabled, retired vet, he's always home now. But when he laughs... it makes me smile. Best thing in the world.
Something you do everyday that you wish you didn’t have to do?
Since I proclaimed myself the Queen of TMI, I guess it's now time to live up to it: I have a crazy GI tract and have been living in the bathroom especially since I got my gastric bypass surgery nearly six years ago. And our toilet... well, you have to flush it like 20 times to get stuff to go down. I spend a lot of time there, you know what I'm sayin'? (I wish diarrhea upon the idiot who invented low-flow plumbing facilities. GAH!)
Do you mind if people just show up at your house unannounced?
When I was in college, and my dorm room was always clean, I loved that. Now that I live with all these people - and animals - who apparently are untrainable in the realm of cleaning up their own crap... I hate it. Please call first. No, text. I don't like to answer my phone, either. :P
What do you do when you disagree with someone?
I'm always right. The End. (You know that saying, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"? I have to say that to myself a lot... 'cause of course I'd rather be happy!)
Do you enjoy rain?
I love the rain. I do. Because without it, there would be no rainbows. (It goes without saying that I love the sun shining, too, right?)
Who’s your favorite person in the whole world… besides me?
I love my hubs more than anyone on the planet. He is everything that matters to me, or he helped me create it. Even though he's dain-bramaged now, and different, and stuff... without him, I would be nothing and no one. He's my gift, and I know I got the better end of the deal in this relationship. I'm keeping him forever. Love you, Babe!
Thanks for stopping by!
Link up here if you're playing along this week!
Charged? You say that like we have credit cards. (We don't.)
2) This song was written for Back to the Future. At the beginning of the movie, hero Marty McFly traveled around town on his skateboard. Are you good on a skateboard?
Heavens, no. I have never stood on one without holding on desperately to the real owner of the board.
3) Huey sings lead and his backup group is The News. Was the most recent news you heard bad or good?
Good! Very good, actually: I was invited for rock-bottom prices to a happiness seminar on the Mexican Riviera - and we're going, next month! I'm stoked!!
4) Huey's mother, Maria, was born in Poland. Who is the first member of your family to be born in the US of A?
My dad's family was all from the Caribbean island of Saba, and his dad, my grandfather (whom I never got to meet), came here. Pretty cool, IMHO.
5) Brainy Huey got a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT. Did you take the SAT? How did you do?
He did?! I didn't know that. I got a 790 out of 800 on the math portion, so almost perfect, but not quite. And 710/800 on the verbal. Oh wait, that was my GRE for getting into the Ph.D. program... I got a 1300 on the SAT, but I don't remember individual section scores.
6) This song also hit #1 in Australia, where anzac biscuits are popular. To make them (the recipe is here) you need coconut. Do you have any coconut in your home right now?
I don't think so... though I love it. Chocolate coconut patties are my faves!
7) Thinking of dessert, would you rather have cookies, cake, pie, ice cream or frozen yogurt?
None of the above. I'll take authentic Sicilian cannoli instead, please, or in a pinch, Cuban guava and cheese pastelitos.
8) We're definitely into autumn now. What will you remember most about Summer 2014?
My 20th high school reunion happened. That was a pretty great trip.
9) Tell us your superhero name, as determined by the color of your shirt and an item directly to your right. For example, Sam fights crime as The Gold Kleenex Box!
Shimmery Galaxy for me? I'll take it.
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. I was serious about the cannoli. Bring two.
Link up here if you're Wordless today!
This little guy, who we've named Paco in recognition of his Mexican descent, joined our family on September 11th at 12 weeks old. He's now about 17 weeks, and aside from having a hard time moving from the puppy pads on which he was originally trained to going potty outside, he's absolutely darling.
He's 4.2 lbs now, but he was a pound lighter when we got him, so he's really chunking up! No, he's not fat at all, I kid. He's actually growing, though he's still so impossibly tiny. He LOVES to play, both with his people and with Pepper:
Pepper, for his part just puts up with Paco to the extreme. He bats back at him, which is hilarious, and then he just trots away when he's had enough.
I've been wanting a Chihuahua puppy for some 35 years, and Rob let me get him for my 38th birthday. I adore him... and while it's clear he loves me, too, he's chosen Rob as his person. They're two peas in a pod!
Thanks for stopping by!
Link up here if you're playing along today!
Who were you with yesterday?
Hubs and I visited with Marc, in the wheelchair, and his wife Jenna. We brought them a pizza from a mystery shop I had just done, and we chatted for almost two hours. Paco, our new Chihuahua puppy, came along for the ride. Good times with good folks!
What woke you up this morning?
Nothing. I got up at the crack of 2 PM after suffering through 'til then with an awful migraine. It seems to be on its way out now, finally...
Where are you?
Down there in Homestead. I'm sitting at my desk with nary a stitch of clothing on. Not a pretty picture; please don't knock on the door right now! ;)
Is tomorrow going to be a good day?
It should be pretty good, I hope. Teaching the kiddos, a few errands, and baseball practice for Sophia. I've really come to enjoy going to baseball - probably more than she does - because I've become good friends with several of the parents. I look forward to it!
What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?
GEICO is on my mind right now. Hubs is talking to them to negotiate our new car insurance, and because of my accident in July, it's not going to be a great quote. Gah.
Do you listen to music every day?
Every. Single. Day.
Are you a fast typer?
I am, but like in the comic, I get nervous when people are watching me! I'm normally about 70+WPM.
Whats your favorite type of soda?
You know, I used to visit the nearby 7-Eleven about eight times a day to fill up my giant keg with Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew, but they messed it up, and I won't go there anymore: They put regular Mt. Dew in the Diet (hello, have they never heard of diabetics and the rest of us who can't have real sugar?!!?), and I got super sick. And they put Coke Zero in with the Diet Coke, which tastes like absolute badness. From now on, I'll just buy it in cans and bottles like regular folk. Bah.
Have you ever won an award?
I should get this one; I never answer my phone and am hard to pin down. Heh. But yes, I have. I've mentioned it here before; my favorite award was for Class Giggler in 3rd Grade. I think I still have the certificate!
Are you listening to music right now?
Nope, because between Hubs' "shh-shhing" everyone while he's on the phone with GEICO, and my migraine, I dare not.
How long ’till your birthday?
A LOOONG time. I just turned 38 in September. My birthday is 9/8/76. Don't forget. ;)
Do you use eBay to buy or sell?
Occasionally, but not on the regular or anything. I do both - buy & sell.
Who makes you mad?
Slow drivers, especially: (1) Those who take eighty years to make that right turn in front of me, (2) Those driving 15 MPH under the speed limit, and (3) Those driving 15 MPH under the speed limit in the LEFT LANE on the highway. GAH!!! (No road rage here, nope!)
What do you do when you’re mad?
I have a foul mouth. I say a lot of bad words. I'm trying to quit... kinda.
Do certain songs make you cry?
It takes a LOT to make me cry. My meds for bipolar disorder usually take away that ability. It has to be something pretty epic.
Are you usually a happy person?
I was born quite happy, yes. My dad's nickname for me as a kid was "Joyous." But now... when I'm manic, sure. I'm jolly then.
What makes you the happiest?
My family makes me happiest, particularly when they're enjoying themselves. And giving. I love to give. It gives me true joy.
Do you believe in yourself?
No, not really. It's not my strong suit. :\
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!
Link up here if you're playing along today!
Most of my friends are married with children.
2) Rings are one of the items most frequently pawned. Have you ever visited a pawn shop, either to sell or to buy?
It's on my bucket list; I haven't been yet. (Dang, I have a lot on that list.)
3) Let's say we want to put a ring on it: What's your ring size?
It's about a six. When we got married, I got a size 8 ring, and I had to stop wearing it when I ballooned up so huge. When I lost all the weight, we had to get it sized down. It's a problem; now my finger swell up a lot when I'm hot, and shrink when I'm cold, so I'm forever taking the dang things off... #TheStruggleIsReal
4) Beyonce does commercials for Pepsi. What's the last beverage you drank?
I'm drinking Diet Coke on the rocks right now.
5) Beyonce also has a clothing line. What are you wearing right now?
I'm wearing one of about six or eight wrap skirts/dresses/tied shirts I got from Key West (though they're made in India of silk) on various trips down to Duval Street over the past 18 months, and a shirt to match. This particular outfit is reminiscent of the sea, in shades of blues and greens (my favorite).
6) Speaking of clothes, Sam was changing hers this morning when she unintentionally flashed her neighbor. She didn't realize he was working along the fence that runs under her bedroom window. Tell us one of your most embarrassing moments.
Oh gosh, I have so many. I am sure it's far from my most embarrassing, but after I had Sophia, our youngest, I had terrible hemmorhoids. I eventually went to the doctor for it, but before that, I went to the store to get some Preparation H or something like that. I told Chloe, our oldest who was 3.5yo at the time, that we had to go get Mommy some "butt medicine." So when we got to the store and I picked it up off the shelf, sure enough, Chloe said loudly enough for plenty of people to hear, "Is that your butt medicine, Mommy??!!!" Yes. Yes, it was. I learned not to tell Chlo everything at home after that...
7) Rumor has it Beyonce is pregnant again. Coincidentally, Sam needs to check the Babies R Us registry for a shower present. Who will receive the next gift you give?
I love giving gifts! Today is my BFF, Dr. Lisa's birthday. I sent her flowers; she actually got them yesterday and was thrilled. She said it made her day, which in turn made mine.
8) But Sam doesn't actually want to go to the shower and is trying to come up a good excuse. Tell us a time you fibbed you told to get out of doing something.
Let's just say that it's pretty convenient to suffer from frequent migraines when everybody knows it... ;)
9) When did you last go inside the bank and talk to a teller?
In May or June, we got a check that had to be taken to the bank to be cashed. We use USAA, which doesn't really have physical locations, so going to the bank is quite a rarity 'round these parts!
Thanks for stopping by!
Link up here if you're playing along today!
1. Have you had an argument with anyone recently? If so, do you still have issues with that person?
I haven't had any arguments with anyone in a while, which is kind of unusual since I'm the annoying, argumentative type. Woot.
2. Are you talking to anyone while filling this in? How about texting/chatting on Facebook?
Sophia's been up for the past hour, keeping me company while I work on my mystery shop reports and now this. She's been entertaining our new puppy, Paco, and is now playing Minecraft on her Kindle. For some reason, all of our three kids, who love Minecraft, feel the need to tell me every detail of what they're doing in the game. I am not a fan of this, but I play along anyway in an attempt to make them feel like their interests are important to me, too!
3. Have you done something recently that helped someone else, in any way?
Yeah, I guess: Marcos, who runs Sophia's extraordinary baseball league, is a huge fan of Coke. I'm always lugging my giant "keg" of Diet Coke around from 7-Eleven, and he was super impressed when he first saw it, sharing his love of the brand with me. So I bring him one every time we go to baseball. On Monday, we were headed over for practice, when the sky opened up and a deluge hit. It's a 45-minute drive for us, so I checked my email, and sure enough, practice was canceled. However, I was almost at the ball park and knew Marcos would be there helping out anyway. I dashed out in the rain, gave him his Coke, smiled and left with him going, "What is WRONG with you?!!" Hahaha. I enjoyed that.
4. Who was the last person to pay you a compliment?
I took my daughter, Chloe, and my son, Jack, to me for mystery shops up to Boca Raton yesterday afternoon and evening. Sophia and Hubs weren't feeling well, so they stayed home. Anyway, the shops were tons of fun, and we had a really good time, just the three of us. Jack, who has been notoriously grumpy since the day he was born, actually admitted to having had fun on the way home. He told me, "You're a fun mom," which I think literally made my heart melt a wee bitty bit.
5. Is there anything that’s happened in the past month, that you wish you could go back in time and change?
Absolutely! But it's nothing I did, for once. ;) My great friends, Marc - who has always been like a big brother to me for the nearly-2o years I've known him - and his family are struggling greatly. You can read about parts of their struggle here on this fundraiser I started for them. Their current wheelchair-accesible van is currently nearly inoperable, and the family is really having a hard time and totally stressed out because of it. I wish I could undo this latest step in the struggle for them, I really do.
6. What colour is your purse/wallet?
I wear a black cross-over satchel from my favorite bag band, thirty-one. I have a brown one, too, but it's missing in action since we came back from New York. Goodness knows what I left in it, so I hope it turns up sooner rather than later!
7. What’s the closest item to you that’s black?
My behemoth of a printer, the HP Officejet Pro 8620 I replaced my old Officejet Pieceocrap with. It's huge and takes up an enormous amount of space, but so far I love it. I just wish I could use it with HP's Instant Ink program, but alas, we can't have everything, can we?
8. Think about what you looked like 5 years ago. How did you look different, compared to the way you look now?
I am more than five years, 8 months out from my banded gastric bypass surgery, so I'm not quite as dramatically different-looking than I was six years ago, but I was still quite a bit away from my goal weight. Hopefully, a year from today, I will be looking even better, since a trip to Mexico to have extensive plastic surgery is in the plans for our next tax refund... Hey, when you rapidly shed over 200 lbs, thinks look pretty ghastly in there.
9. Before Facebook became popular, did you use any other social networking site, like Bebo or Myspace?
I don't know what a Bebo is. I used to have a MySpace; I wonder if I could still log in. I don't care to try, though.
10. Has someone of the opposite sex ever sung to you? If so, how did you respond to it?
When I was in my senior year of high school and first two years of college, my then-boyfriend Michael used to sing to me all the time. He wasn't quite as good as he thought he was, and one time I accidentally let out a giggle. He never sung to me again after that. I rather enjoyed it, even though he was no Bruno Mars.
11. When did you last hug someone of the opposite sex?
Does hugging this cutie, Paco, our Chihuahua puppy, count? Because if so, I gave him plenty of loving just a few minutes ago. He's a mush; I can't stand how adorable he is!
12. Have you ever seen the film Casablanca? Did you like it?
I often quote lines from the movie when they make little sense to anyone but Hubs and me, since we're on the same wavelength like that. And I'm not a big movie-line-quoter at all. So yeah; I liked it.
13. Do you have a relative whose name begins with ‘L’? Tell me about him/her.
Other than that ^^^ former stepmother of mine, I can only thing of middle names of relatives with an "L" out front. And that doesn't count, right?!
14. Are you a secretive person?
My sister rightfully called me the "Queen of TMI" yesterday, which is my self-appointment nickname. Me? Secretive? Uh, noooo.
15. When did you last eat?
I had a piece of leftover Papa Johns' pineapple pizza when I woke up before five this morning. Not much is better than cold pizza for breakfast, says I.
16. If you were going to buy a present for a special person, what would you generally choose?
Hubs had one request on our last visit to Key West a week and a half ago: a necklace with a hei matau (above) on it. It's supposed to be a good luck charm for fishermen and sailors, he says. Try asking sales people for that when you can neither remember the words nor pronounce them properly when you can. Nevertheless, I actually found one in the traditional bone color he requested at a kiosk on Duval street. SCORE! He was beaming for the rest of the trip.
17. If I’m going to buy you a box of chocolates, which kind should I definitely NOT get?
Stay away from anything white "chocolate," because eww. Do you like that crap? I can't relate. My favorite chocolate, which I can never find except in actual Lindt stores to which I rarely go, is Lindor Peanut Butter truffles. Hello, and get in my belly.
18. Is there something you generally always ask for help with?
Thank God for my friends Stephanie and Tim, because Tim is a total computer geek who actually likes (or so Steph says) helping me with my billion-and-one computer tech problems. He helped me pick out my new HP Envy, which is awesome, compared to the eMachine Pieceofcrap I replaced. That one is at Best Buy getting wiped for data, and then they can drop-kick the beast off the roof for all I care!
19. If you had to give up your phone or your computer, which would it be?
I would hate to give up either one - hey, I love to be constantly connected - but I guess it would have to be my PC, since my awesome, amazing Samsung Galaxy S5 technically can do everything that my PC can do. Except I can't figure out how to print from it, which is my only issue. There's probably an app for that; Tim???
20. Has anyone called you gorgeous/beautiful today?
It's not even daylight yet, and I've been working on mystery shop reports for two hours. I'm not exactly looking gorgeous yet today. I'll keep you posted on that one! ;P
* * *
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week, y'all.
Link up here if you're playing along today!
Saturday 9: Rubber Ducky (1970)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) This song is sung by Muppet Ernie. Who's your favorite Muppet?
Swedish Chef! (And I have to say, it cracks me up that this is this week's song. Hee.)
2) Ernie became famous on PBS's Sesame Street. What public television shows do you watch?
I don't watch any TV unless we're at someone's house with tv, or in a hotel or something. We don't get tv service at home.
3) When you were a little kid, what was your favorite TV show?
The Dukes of Hazzard
4) On Sesame Street, Ernie frequently teases his best friend Bert by stealing his nose. Do you enjoy practical jokes?
I enjoy being teased by my husband. It cracks me up immensely, and I'm grateful that, despite his many difficulties, he's still able to do this. As for practical jokes, I haven't had too many played on me. I have a feeling I'd act like a total ass if something happened to me!!
5) Sesame Street creators developed carefree Ernie and serious Bert to show children that different types of people can be good friends. Think about your closest friend. Tell us how you two differ.
Dr. Lisa is a good, moral, upstanding Christian who rarely swears and doesn't say "wrong" things. I try to be like that, but I fail on the regular.
6) Bert and Ernie share a basement apartment on Sesame Street. Tell us about the basement of the building you're in right now.
We live in Miami-Dade County. I haven't seen a basement in Florida in... ever.
7) Ernie and Bert were created by Jim Henson. In addition to being an accomplished puppeteer, Mr. Henson was also a talented cartoonist. Can you draw?
I do okay, but I'm not fabulous at it. My daughter, Sophia, is really emerging as an excellent cartoonist and drawist (drawer??); I try to encourage that by supplying her with all the paper she can handle!
8) Jim Henson made his first puppets himself using felt, foam rubber, string and rods -- all items that can be purchased at an arts and crafts store. When is the last time you shopped in an arts and crafts store?
A month or so ago, at Michael's. We bought a shark costume for my daughter Chloe's pet cat, but it turned out Pepper was WAAAAY too big for the costume, and I had to take it back. He's not fat. He's just... fluffy.
9) When is the last time you took a bath (as opposed to a shower)?
Two days ago. I take baths regularly because I'm anemic and always cold, and the baths help warm me up, albeit temporarily.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend.
Link up here if you're playing along today!
1) The video was shot on a street corner in Echo Park in central Los Angeles. If you saw a film crew making a video in your neighborhood, would you stop to watch? Or would you just keep walking?
Well, I would probably stop for a moment, see what was going on, and then carry on with my walking. Having been on film sets with my actress daughter, I know they can be kind of boring. I haven't met anyone super-famous yet, but the likelihood and the allure, for me, are both low at this point!
2) The singer says he remembers his girl in every dream he dreams. Do you remember if you dreamed last night?
I didn't sleep last night, but I did nap most of the evening after a stomach bug claimed much of my Friday. I don't remember dreaming anything, which is rare for me.
3) The band Train is from San Francisco. Have you ever visited The City by the Bay?
I never have, but it's definitely on the Bucket List!
4) Lead singer Pat Monahan got his start in a Led Zeppelin cover band. Can you name a Led Zeppelin song?
"Stairway to Heaven" is probably the most well-known - and my favorite - LZ tune.
5) In doing research for this week's Saturday 9, Crazy Sam discovered a publication called Trains, The Magazine of Railroading.What's the last magazine you flipped through?
The October 2014 issue of Glamour, only because I receive probably five magazines a day and that one was on top of the pile. I'm forever giving away magazines!
6) Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?
I'm really not sure. This is a question I have asked myself for about 35 years now. I used to think one had to be one or the other, but I do my own thing and don't really follow any person or trend, per se. However, I don't think of myself as having great leadership qualities, either. I'm kind of my own thing, whatever that is, I guess.
7) Scholars tell us that "To be or not to be" is Shakespeare's most quoted line. Give us another one.
"Romeo, Romeo, Wherefor art thou, Romeo?" (Or is it "wherefore?") I love Romeo and Juliet.
8) How do you listen to music on the go? Car radio? CD changer? iPod/mp3 player? Your phone?
I stream the IHeartRadio app through a LuguLake wifi speaker at home, via my Samsung Galaxy S5. In the car, I listen to the car radio unless Hubs is driving, which he can't do anymore, in which case he'd probably be using the auxiliary adapter to play his iPod music.
9) Are you a convincing liar?
I'm a terrible liar. And I have obvious "tells" that are a dead giveaway. No, I'd never make a decent poker player.
Thanks for stopping by!
It started with a bouquet.
Yellow roses, to be exact - my favorite color rose.
We have seen lots of street vendors selling all manner of things that grow from the ground, down here in Miami. Rob has been wanting to buy me flowers from one of them for nearly a year and a half now, but I haven't let him spend the money. This time, though, for birthday season, I relented. Maybe just this once, the three or four bucks could be spared.
Rob's 42nd birthday was on Saturday, August 30th. For his special dinner, we took a mystery shop at a popular nearby-ish tapas restaurant we've been to several times and enjoyed.
We seriously annoyed our server that night, being seriously undecided on what to imbibe. Finally, having seen the huge girls-night-out party next to us receive a huge pitcher of delicious-looking white sangria, we opted for that. The funny thing was, we also ordered it by the pitcher. For two lightweight drinkers. Ummm... so guess who inherited more than half of our unfinished sangria? The girls next door!
For dinner, we dined on tapas of spinach, codfish balls, various breads and cheeses, and fruit. Utterly yummo!
Next day was Friday (before his birthday). I took another mystery shop at Rob's favorite burger joint for lunch. Hey, if you're going to spend money, it might as well be someone else's. Ha. I kid. (Kinda.)
I had yet another shop at a candy store, so I decided to get Rob some pee and poop. Of a confectionary sort, of course. He enjoyed the joke.
For his "real" dessert, the girls and I went to Publix and picked up some scrumptious cannoli and chocolate-dipped strawberries. We had gotten new Fiesta ware for ridiculously cheap at Kohl's, and that's my new turquoise plate on display. (We had a rather large Fiesta collection already, but with these hard tile floors and five clumsy dish washers, we've lost quit a bit of it to the dropsies. Ugh. We should probably stick with plastic!)
Of course, an Odette birthday season would not be complete without tons of freebies. To start, I used my Dunkin' Donuts app to get Rob a free Mocha Coolatta, which took an inordinately long time for him to finish - but he did!
Sophia gave Rob a new immersion blender, because the one we had before, which Hubs came into this marriage with, either got left behind in Virginia or was broken. Either way, he's missed it ever since.
Jacky was amused to give Rob a new nose hair trimmer. He needs this! I'd gotten him one before, but that also bit the dust. Jack giggled the entire time he was wrapping and Daddy was opening the present.
Chloë gave her dad a new veggie peeler, because the current one stinks, and a new egg slicer, because the old one broke. We use a lot of eggs here at Casa de Odette!
Rob's wardrobe is slim pickin's, so I gave him a new pair of shorts. He says they're comfy.
Rob loves scratch-off tickets, so I made sure to get him five $1 ones. I hope he liked the experience of rubbing off that silvery stuff, because he only won a dollar. Rats.
Fast-forward a week to Friday, the 5th of September. My friend Veronica and her mother make authentic Mexican tamales of beef, pork, and beans. To thank me for some odd thing, she wanted to give me some and was thoughtful enough to ask if I ate meat. I don't, of course, so she came over with half a dozen bean tamales that were absolutely OUT of this world. Rob enjoyed them, too!
Veronica also gave me Ferrero Rocher chocolates for a birthday present. I shared exactly one with Sophia, ate the rest, and then promptly declared myself on a diet for the remainder of at least this month! ;)
Sophia had baseball practice that night, and Chloë came with us. Afterward, we stopped at another flower vendor on the side of the road where I bought her a half-dozen white roses for $3. Her 13th (!!!) birthday was not until Sunday, but as my mother-in-law opines, you get a whole season and not just one day. Especially as a freshly-minted teenager.
Next, we went to Sears, where I picked up that silver heart necklace you see around her neck. It was a $149.99 necklace that I got for exactly NOTHING out of pocket. Sweet!
(Unfortunately, the chain was delicate, and she didn't realize my warnings to be careful were completely valid. She accidentally broke the clasp the next day when tugging it out of her hair... and spent the next hour dissolved in tears. Poor kid. We'll get that fixed.)
That night, much later, Chloë got a free Blue Raspberry Smoothie from Dunkin' Donuts, as well as a free chocolate croissant from Starbucks. They were technically my birthday presents, but since we practically share birthdays and since I can't really eat what she can, I usually give lots of my goodies to her - and to Rob.
Finally, around zero-dark-thirty on Saturday morning, we went to IHOP and redeemed my free rooty-tooty-fresh-and-fruity pancake meal. Chloë opted to get the peach variety. I took a bite. Okay, maybe two bites. They were so tasty!
On the way home from IHOP, we picked up our free birthday doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. Sophia ate mine, which was fine. I think she ate half of Chloë's, too, which is not unusual...
Chloë was pretty pooped on Saturday after that, so she snoozed while I took Sophie to her baseball stuff that day. However, she was back in the game that night, and we went to Panera to get our free birthday pastries. She chose a cheese Danish, and I selected a pecan roll. I was ravenous at that point, so I actually ate about a third of it before taking the rest home to a hungry husband.
I had tons of Kohl's Cash to redeem, having saved it up for Chloë's birthday, so on Sunday we started at that store shortly after they opened. She went through the entire store, looking at fragrances and cosmetics, candles, room décor, and more before deciding that she wanted to get a couple of nice outfits. This is the first one she picked, although we have to return the shirt because it bothers her sensitive skin.
This is the other outfit Chloë bought with her Kohl's cash. I really had to talk her into the white leggings. She was convinced leggings made her thighs look fat. I am so mad at whoever gave her that idea, because nothing could be further from reality! Really?!!
Chloë told me she felt like 13 was still young enough to like some kid stuff, and she didn't feel too old for another Build-A-Bear, so I used up a bunch of gift cards to that store to give her this Palace Pet one she named Pumpkin. That makes... four?
We started on our Freebie Tour of Miami after Kohl's. The whole fam-damily came with us. Our first stop was at Sonic, where we redeemed our coupon for a free-with-purchase medium Tots. She loves those things. I gave Sophie the "with-purchase" part: a small Lemon-Berry Slush. Hey, if they had to ride along for a full day of birthday fun, they might as well have gotten to join in.
Next up: GameStop. I didn't technically have anything birthday-related from there, but I'd gotten a free $5 gift certificate for downloading a certain app. I only did that to give Chloë yet another fun thing to do! She chose the Wii disk Just Dance for Kids (I don't know which version).
I'd gotten a $10 birthday gift card to Victoria's Secret, so we headed to Southland Mall in Cutler Bay to redeem that. Chloë chose a pretty pink lip gloss, which you can't tell but she's wearing in this picture.
Around the corner, still at that mall, we redeemed the coupon for our free birthday wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. Chlo didn't want those, so Jack was the beneficiary this time. He gobbled those right down, too!
Still at this mall, we went back inside the main area and redeemed coupons at Bath & Body Works and Auntie Anne's. Sophia came with us and helped Chloë pick out five mini hand-sanitizers and a sani-holder from BBW, as well as a prettily-scented lotion. We headed over for our free pretzels and a drink from Auntie Anne's. Her favorite pretzel, Cinnamon Sugar, was "out" at the moment, so they gave us a huge cup of mini pretzel bites in the same flavor. That worked.
Leaving the mall, we headed north on US1. Our next stop was Arby's, where we had a free shake-with-purchase birthday coupon. I bought Rob a chocolate lava cake for a buck and change, and Chloë wanted a vanilla shake. She didn't care for it too much, though, so Sophia received another bonus.
We kept going north and bumped into Boston Market next. I had a $3-off-$6 coupon, so we bought a piece of apple pie for Jack and two small sides of mac & cheese for each girl. Not bad for just over three bucks, and Rob and I each got a bite of mac, too. Good stuff, that.
Up the road we went, to The Falls (another mall). I had gotten $50 to spend at Build-A-Bear: $5 each for my and Chloë's birthdays, and the other $40 gift card from Smiley360.com in exchange for sharing about the Workshop with my friends. Jack was supposed to go in with the girls, but he developed a major "gimme" attitude that I didn't appreciate, and he started giving Chloë and me crap about our birthdays "not being fair." Long story short, he and Rob waited it out while the girls split the fitty bucks and shopped 'til they dropped! More on that to come in another post...
If ever there was a time for wishing, birthdays are it! We take every opportunity we get, too. The girls both were given shiny 2014 pennies for this special wish. I wonder if they'll come true?
Still at The Falls, we walked over to the Corner Bakery Cafe to get our free birthday cookie. The girls were pooped by that point, so they sat at a table to look at their Build-a-Bear loot while I ordered a chocolate chip cookie, ostensibly to give to Jack. When I returned from there and a pit stop to the ladies' room, the girls had completely overtaken a table with their goodies. Ha! It only takes a minute... and I was so hungry, I promptly forgot about my diet and ate that whole damned cookie. And then I got sick and regretted it. Sorry, Jacky.
We headed home from there, but not before stopping at our local Dairy Queen for our BOGO Orange Julius drinks. Chloë wanted an Original, and Sophia received the other. Deliciousness!
Before heading home, we drove down the road to Ruby Tuesday to get my free birthday burger Tue-Go. I ordered on Rob's behalf this time, getting an avocado turkey burger with applewood smoked bacon. Not a bad deal, this birthday freebie thing, huh?
We dropped the boys off at home after that and headed to the movies, just us girls. Chloë and I had a free birthday movie coming to us, and I had a third free ticket that I received from donating blood a few months ago. I'll do that again this weekend and get another free ticket for a future movie. Yay!
We three girls headed next door to Chili's for a late dinner after the movie (which was If I Stay, by the way, a real tearjerker). I had gotten a $10 gift certificate to the restaurant from the Viggle app, and we used that plus a birthday freebie coupon for a dessert which we decided to take home to eat after Sophie passed out on the table, dead asleep. The server was alarmed, thinking something was wrong other than the poor child being worn clean out.
(I also got money back from the Ibotta app for eating at Chili's, so this was nearly a moneymaker meal for me. Sweet!)
After we got home and put the Littles to bed, I sang "Happy Birthday" to Chloë. She ate the molten chocolate cake, and I sat and marveled over the fact that I am now the mother of a bleepin' teenager!!
On Monday, my 38th birthday, I only wanted some much-needed sleep and a clean kitchen. I slept until noon! And it felt great. Then I woke up with a migraine, which I still have a day later. Fancy that.
After school, Chloë and I took Sophie to baseball practice and then ran around for a few more freebies. We redeemed for two birthday smoothies at Planet Smoothie - Mango Madness for Chlo, and Screamsicle for Sophie.
We headed to Sephora at Dadeland Mall to get our birthday gifts: mascara and lipstick minis. Since I'm purely a Jafra girl at heart, I gave mine to Sophie. They wanted to stay for free mini-makeovers, but I had a killer headache still and wanted to move out of all that smelly-good stuff.
We had gotten yet another free pretzel pop-up notification on the Auntie Anne's app, each, so we redeemed those while we were at Dadeland before driving up from Kendall to Coral Gables for more freebies.
This time, we snagged a cup of Cherry Garcia from Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, as well as a free Chocolate Soufflé from California Pizza Kitchen!
Back at home after that, we got Sophie settled in bed, and the boys were both asleep, too. Chloë stuck a candle in my CPK chocolate soufflé and sang "Happy Birthday" to me by herself, the sweet girl that she is.
Lastly, before she headed to bed, I let Chloë put on her Sephora make-up. She's wearing it in this, her profile picture on her also-new Facebook account. She looks dandy, no?
The funny thing is, we're only maybe halfway through our list of freebies! Maybe we will finish, and maybe we wont, but the truth is we're kind of freebie'd out at the moment. We shall see...
Thanks for stopping by!