Scoring Seasons Hottest Toy

Day 57 – #100HappyDay Challenge

I had never heard of Fingerlings until Thursday, from a very happy coworker visiting from the UK. I had no idea they were this years IT toy. Or that they were sold out everywhere and going for a tidy sum online.

It took a small team, and what sounded suspiciously like a drug deal to nab two carry on suitcases full of Fingerlings to take back across the pond. My coworker was elated. She almost had me convinced that my granddaughter must have this coveted monkey even though I had finished my shopping. I put it out of my mind. Or so I thought.

This morning I had to return a few things to Nordstrom Rack. Note to self, stop, just stop trying to buy shoes online! It never works out. Anyway, it just so happens the ToysRUs is just a few stores down. The same toy store my coworker had whispered to me where I might find a Fingerling.

It’s was early, the parking lot was packed and the long lines were everywhere. Case in point; trying to get a coffee at Starbucks took twenty minutes.

I sat in the parking lot looking at car after car swinging into the parking lot. I chewed my lip. I hadn’t called ahead. Part of the whispered instructions were to call ahead. I pulled out my cell phone, looking up the number. The phone rang. And rang and rang. No one answered. I stared at the doors opening and closing as people entered and left with cart loads of enough toys that would put the North Pole out of business. I hung up, figuring the store staff were buried under mounds of shoppers, unable to answer phones.

Grabbing my bag, squaring my shoulders, I marched into the store… through the wrong doors! Cameras were going off, taking pictures of parents pushing carts of toys out the doors – the same doors I had just entered and quickly backed out of. I had stumbled into a store event; parents, kids, photographers and store associates blended into one mass of moving humanity.

I found the entrance doors and dove into the fray weaving my way towards the customer service desk. Interesting enough, the customer service desk was an oasis of calm. It’s tucked into a corner near the baby section. There was no line. And behind the service counter sat stacks of this year’s hottest toys. It almost felt surreal after walking through the chaos by the registers.

I skipped the empty roped together line, greeting the smiling young lady at the counter. I leaned in and whispered if there were any Fingerlings available.

In just a few minutes I had purchased a Fingerling as well as another IT toy that I have no idea what it is. I just know it’s in a pink ball on a stick. She assured me that it’s all the rage. I imagine it is since it’s protectively stored behind the counter.

There you have it. My day of happy adventures. As luck would have it, I have a special toy for a special little girl in my life.

Cheers!

💕

Love, April

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Share Your World – December 4, 2017 – SYW

Day 56 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Cees Share Your World

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Maybe I’m an odd duck. But there really isn’t a household chore that I “hate”. I actually enjoy puttering around my house nesting. I suppose if I have to pick the one item I typically dread is “deep cleaning” the stove. And I suppose the fridge… but the fridge is much easier than the stove.

Am I the only one that makes a huge mess on the stove top? I love to bake…and I’m neater with the oven. But the stove top? Lord save me from my bubbling jams, pots of beans boiling over and the splatter of oil coating me and, well, everything.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Discovering my passion is a work in progress….something I’ve been consciously thinking about lately. It’s interesting that after months of not playing along, the first time I jump in I’m presented with the same question I’ve been asking myself. Is it travel? Blogging? Family? Discovering New things? New Places? Baking? Photography? All of the above?

Maybe it’s turning 50 a few months ago, maybe it’s the sudden empty nest, the move across the states, the new job, I could go on. Life is a journey. It’s surprises us. It moves us unexpectedly. Passion ebbs and flows. I know this isn’t really an answer. But the good news is I’m getting closer.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

I left Alaska after 25 years and moved to Houston six months ago. Whew. BIG move! To be honest, I never felt like I quite fit in up there in the far north. The cold, icy weather and the long, so very long, dark winters wore on me. Moving to Houston seemed like a godsend. I was ready for warmer weather.

It’s a good move. But between you, me and the fence post, it’s been a little harder than I thought it would be. Living in a city this large is a little challenging. Add hurricanes, tornados and a smattering of snow and frost to the mix and its been interesting to say the least. But I’m getting there. Slowly.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This one is easy… FaceTiming with my granddaughter. I love technology! Oh my goodness, seven is the best age. But I imagine I’ll say that with every one of her birthdays. Seeing her smile, hearing her voice, sharing all the little things she treasures lifted my spirit more than words can express. Let’s just say Miss R makes me happy. Very happy.

Sending you happiness.

Love, April

A Cheeky Kiss from Alaska to Houston – With Love

Day 55 – #100HappyDay Challenge

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Here’s a cheeky kiss from Alaska to Houston, sweeping in with gusto, making my cheeks blush in the chill air, before drifting away, letting the normal Houston sunshine take center stage. Hello, crazy weather!

Today, in Houston, we get to experience the entire winter weather pattern in one day. The thing is, I imagine for most Houstonians, this weather is wrecking havoc since they aren’t use to this white stuff making a morning appearance. It’s one of those times when I’m grateful I can work from home. Just listening to NPR is making me cringe with the number of vehicle accidents being reported. 

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Yes, it was snowing, and now we are experiencing breakup (for those of you who don’t know, breakup is a term we use in Alaska for when the snow melts leaving messy mud and muck for weeks, sometimes months, which is often confused for spring).

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View from my home office – a very familiar sight…just not in Houston!

Its really not that cold. At least not as cold as up North which I am eternally grateful for. You have no idea how tired of shoveling snow off my car I am. I wasn’t blessed with a garage in Anchorage so I spent far too many mornings and evening shoveling snow over the years. Now, to be fair, I didn’t think I would see snow this year in Houston and had just mentioned how happy I was about that very fact. Karma is knocking at my door laughing. 

You know how just recently I posted my excitement over growing my very own tomato? Yeah – I’m pretty sure my tomato and basil plants are toast, that is the frozen-deep-freeze -kind-of-toast-never-to-come-back-kind. I plucked the little guy from the cold blanket of snow and brought him inside… there’s Karma chuckling. But that’s alright. I’m going to make pesto with the basil. The jury is still out on the lone tomato.

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Take that Karma!

Dang, I’d better be careful or the next surprise visit Karma makes may not be as delightful as fresh-brand-new-fallen-snow that disappears in a twinkling of an eye. Because, honestly, there is nothing better than waking up to fresh snow – as long as you don’t have to shovel it.

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Sending you all very, merry, happy thoughts your way for a fun snow day!

Love, April

Happy Shopping List

Day 54 – #100HappyDay Challenge

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Pop over to visit Camellia’s charming blog, Camellia’s Cottage, to read her recent post “Cheerful Cherries” which is an artfully crafted and informative post about one of my all time favorite ingredients – cherries. Here you will discover a little history about Maraschino Cherries and a grownup recipe that will make you want to run down to the local grocer to pick up the ingredients to make your very own cheerful cherries! I’ve already made my shopping list.

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Speaking of another happy discovery that is on my shopping list  (which I mentioned before but it’s worth repeating) is a box of  Trader Joe’s croissants. Bake a few up to enjoy with your favorite cup of tea.  You can find three varieties in the freezer section; plain, chocolate and almond. I think my favorite is the almond. And, yes, I’ve indulged in all three. I know, I know, but it is the holiday season and I figure a little indulgence is good for the soul.

If baking up a whole box is a bit much at a single time, then take out as many as you like, store the others in a friendly freezer bag and toss them back in the freezer for another time. Honestly, my freezer is a godsend as a single person. Now these do have to raise overnight so remember to pull them out the night before, place them on a cookie sheet uncovered overnight and bake when you’re ready

Voila, croissants for one lovely breakfast.

Sending you happiness.

💕

April

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Kids Say The Cutest Things

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard

Day 45 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Coming home I stepped out front to check on the herbs and one lone tomato plant. I planted the half a dozen plants just for fun and to prove to myself I could. And low and behold a tomato emerged! I’m so excited. This would have never have happened to me in Alaska.

While admiring God’s handiwork the kids across the street came running through my front yard chasing after their puppy, its leash trailing behind her. I greeted them happily.

The older girl, around 12 or so, let me pet the puppy. As I admired the little mixed auburn pup, her little brother and sister began to ask me questions. I love kid’s curiosity.

“Do you have a dog,” the little boy asked me. I said no. “Why not? Are you going to get a dog?” I could tell the way he looked at me he couldn’t imagine NOT having a dog.

I explained that I lived on my own and that I was away from home too much to have a dog and there wasn’t someone home to help take care of a dog. He nodded his head solemnly, “Are you going to get a husband?” I suppose that would solve being alone and then I could have a dog.

Oh, my goodness, I just laughed and laughed. His older sister, embarrassed, cheeks flushing, hustled them away. How cute are they!?!

I never really considered that as a reason to find a husband, but maybe I should have. Then I might have a husband and a dog. The kid might be onto something. Mmmmm.

Three Little Things

“While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.” – Matt Bevin

Day 44 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Happy Cyber Monday💕

Are you still shopping? I had to give my budget a break so figured I’d focus on a few of the little things that brings pleasure with little to no cost. But trust me, I’m thinking about shopping for shoes… so many pretty shoes that never let me down. But that’s not for today’s post. Focus. Focus, April.

ok. Where was I? Oh yeah – little things.

Do you have small things that make you light up? You know, like that singular moment when you wake up ready to jump out of bed to face the work day, and then realize you don’t have to go to work? Your body melts back into your warm, cozy bed and all is right in the world again.

Here are a few of my little, happy things that cost nothing but bring me high value emotional returns:

  1. Pajama days! There is nothing better in my world than spending a lazy day at home with nothing scheduled. PJ days are there to recharge from the hectic pace we typically set for ourselves. Especially during the holidays. For all of you Type A personalities go ahead and calendar a Pajama Day. Set aside your coziest PJs, stock up on yummy treats, movies, books, magazines, bubble bath in your favorite scent. The sky’s the limit. This works even with a family at home. It’s a fantastic time to reconnect. Some of my favorite memories with my kids happened on Pajama Days. But plan nothing. Just let the day unfold. Bonus points if you disconnect from technology!
  2. Sharing a hug, a kiss, with your favorite person. Treasure these little moments. Because someday they will disappear. The older I get the more I treasure these microseconds of connection. It means more and more to me as I move through life’s stages. Kids grow up. People leave, either willingly or due to passing on. This is life. Embrace those hugs while you can.
  3. An unexpected card or letter in the mail, a text message just because, a phone call or a comment in my posts, always lifts my spirits and makes me smile. I think life is about connection. And connecting makes me happy.

I’ve shared three small things that bring me joy at little cost, now it’s your turn. What three little things nourishes you? What brings you joy?

Cheers!

❤️

Happy Black Friday. Are you shopping?

Day 41 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Today is Black Friday. It’s the day when the holiday shopping madness officially begins. It’s a scary thought. Are you out there shopping? Or, like me, do a little online shopping? It’s a great time for deals even online in the comfort of your home over a cup of coffee.

The guys were up early and out the door. I packed them both bags of baked goods, complete with cinnamon rolls, to share with their early morning teams. I’m hoping the treats keep them motivated throughout the shopping madness.

Today is my last day in Des Moines. I head home tomorrow morning on the 6am flight. 😳 I’ve enjoyed my visit but I can feel it’s time to get back to my real life and give my son and Gregg back their time. I’m sure they are ready, but I’ll miss them.

We took some cute pictures on Thanksgiving in front of the Tree Beau put up. Picture almost perfect memories. LoL. You should have seen us trying to get Mr. Abraham to look at the camera with his ears up. Oh well. A few of my happiness moments.

Cheers!

❤️