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

Advertisements

A Cheeky Kiss from Alaska to Houston – With Love

Day 55 – #100HappyDay Challenge

IMG_1156 (1)

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. 

IMG_1120 (2)

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).

IMG_1150
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.

IMG_1123

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.

IMG_1132 (1)

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

Love, April

Deck the Halls – Writing Prompt

Day 53 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Today I’m playing along with a writing prompt – Deck the halls.

Christmas, for the most part, makes me happy. How about you? Do you enjoy decorating for the Holidays?

I typically decorate for the Holidays the day after Christmas and tend to put everything away the day after Christmas. I know. I’ve done this for years.

But not this year. This year things have changed a bit. I’ve moved. It’s a new house and It’s the first time I was traveling over Thanksgiving so decking the halls had to wait a bit. But most importantly, my granddaughter wouldn’t be here until the week before Christmas to decorate the tree with me.

What to do?

The Compromise…2 trees!

I decided to go ahead and decorate the tree downstairs and would wait to decorate the game room tree until she got here. I tucked a few of her “friends”, which I borrowed from her room, beneath the tree just for some cuteness. I am a little behind on gift wrapping. I’ll have to work on that.

I took the opportunity this year to go with pink glam for downstairs since It’s just the girls this year. And we like pink!

But Snowmen and the traditional holiday colors will reign upstairs. I’ve began to get the game room in order but I’ve made sure to keep the majority of the “decking” limited. It’ll have to wait for Miss R’s magical touch to finish the rest of the Christmas decking.

Hope you are having as much fun as I have in decking the halls.

Ho Ho Ho!

April

Tips to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays

Day 49 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Hello December!

Are you ready? I mean really ready for the bustling chaos that’s about to burst wide open in a confetti of mixed emotions?

Yeah, I hear you. This can be a tough time for some of us especially when our lives aren’t the picture perfect hallmark card we strive to present to the world.

It’s ok to feel what you feel.

Give yourself permission to embrace each moment as they come. Some days can be really shitty. Things happen. Life gets hard. That’s when it’s important to take care of yourself. Even if it’s carving out 5 minutes of tears, shut away in the bathroom, water running to hide from your kid.

The sun will come out.

When you are feeling like the Grinch get outside. Breathe in the December air. Breathe out. Walk. Move your feet, focusing on your breath. When grinchy thoughts percolate return your focus to your breath. Just a few minutes of this walking meditation will clear your mind and those calories you just burned are an extra bonus!

Don’t isolate yourself.

Too much alone time is not good for the soul. We humans need other humans. It’s all good to curl up with your device, connecting in the virtual world as long as you don’t forget about the real world. Get out. Meet a friend for coffee. Volunteer. Connect. When you connect with others you’re experiencing the present moment. And in the present moment is where sweet spot of existence is.

Forget about buying a bunch of crap.

The pressure to buy, buy, buy is everywhere I turn. I don’t think it ever stops. Have you ever surfed the web and have an advertisement follow you from site to site for something you looked up? I think a pair of really cute boots followed me around for months, their shiny new leather always floating to the right side of whatever site I was on. They even haunted my email! But it’s ok to ignore the pressure to buy. It’s ok not to buy a bunch of crap that’s just going to be forgotten about before Christmas dinner is even over. Save your wallet. Save your sanity.

Just say no.

That brings me to the last sanity saving Holiday tip. Just say no. No thank you is a perfectly good answer if your gut is telling you to skip an activity or a last minute request. Don’t have time to bake those cookies for work? Just say no. Or offer to pick a pack of Oreos up on the way. You don’t have to be super-mom-wife-coworker-daughter-aunt or any other hat that is forced upon you. Do what you can. Do what feels right.

Hope the few sanity saving tips help. Just remember that this month will pass quickly into a memory. Let’s make some good ones!

As always, reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.

Love, April

💕

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!

❤️

For The Bell Tolls

Day 36 – #100HappyDays Challenge

I wish the sound of bells was something I could take a picture of. At 6pm bells began to ring. The notes rang so softly I thought I was imagining it as I completed cooking dinner for the guys. I turned off Hulu. The bells continued to ring. I closed my eyes enjoying the melody. What a great way that end the day and greet the evening.

I’ll admit that while the guys were off to work I enjoyed a day at home with Mr. Abraham and Lily. They kept me company as I baked cookies. Lots of cookies.

Can you guess what kind?

  1. Ginger Crack Cookies
  2. Peanut butter Cookies
  3. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I tucked most in the freezer for later to enjoy or gift. I admit I forgot how much butter I go through when I’m baking for the holidays. Tomorrow I’m back to the store tomorrow to pick up more since I’m not quite done adding to the cookie collection. And cake. There a few cakes I will try. Oh – the apple tart too. LoL yes, I’ll need some more butter.

Cheers!

❤️

Playing With Monkeys

Day 18 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Rotand, Honduras

5EF8BD1B-2FE7-4196-8292-084DA5703B28

I can cross ziplining off my bucket list And between you and me, I will not go again in a third world country in the heat, without water and proper safety gear. I enjoyed ziplining but not the wait for the entire group to catch up, while sweltering in the heat and trapped without water.

This Alaska girl got a bit cranky with heat exhaustion until I finally told the guys I had to get down immediately or I needed water. I was vocal and could feel the heat crawl up my skin and knew it wasn’t time to be quiet. The “monkeys” (their term for the guides) promised me they would get water up for us. The entire group cheered and clapped when the water arrived.

Earlier over coffee T had commented on my happy nature and then asked what bothers me. I was honest and told him I’m not that great with groups. I get impatient. While ziplining he lining he got to see me at my worst. LoL. I was hot, not my best and was insistent. It was that or crash from heat exhaustion. Hello! He was good with me. We skipped the beach and headed back to the ship.

My happy moment today was enjoying a vodka mojito, over lots of ice, no sugar, after we made it back to the ship.

Snippet

It was 70s night. Everyone came out in style. The guys surprised me in platform boots, sparkling shirts and bell bottom pants. I had expected to see ladies in jumpsuits, gogo boots and minidresses and they didn’t disappoint either. But that’s night the guys eclipsed the ladies in their 70s attire.

4EC7DE66-BCD1-4561-B343-E58F800277AD

The formal dinner followed In the dining room. As creatures of habit, we found the same seats as the night before. T’s  bigger than life personality dominated the table. I found myself retreating inside of myself exhausted from the day, the 2 hour dinner running long and I began looking for a quick exit. But T wanted to go to the game show Love and Marriage. I went, even though I was beginning to wilt from the long day. My bed began to look really good half way through the show. Afterwards I begged out of going dancing. It was almost midnight and I knew I didn’t have the energy for the bump and grind club upstairs. As he walked me to my room he told me he could tell I just wasn’t that interested in him. My heart cinched just a bit because maybe it was true, I didn’t have the stamina for the late party nights and pounding night clubs. Awe well. We hugged. And didn’t make plans for coffee in the morning.

So here I am feeling a bit sad mulling over the short lived friendship. Has this ever happened to you? But the more time we spent together the more I found our interest would merge and then quickly diverge. He is larger than life, the center of attention and, well, I’m not. I prefer sipping sparkling water or a glass of wine enjoying live music at the small bars sprinkled on the ship. I like watching the sun come up turning the ocean sky soft blue. I love being led in the arms of a man on a dance floor, two step, swing, waltz… it doesn’t matter as long as we skip the loud, pulsing bump and grind music in a club with 20 something’s

Moderation. I like moderation. I firmly believe that a little bit of anything is good but a lot of something will get you in trouble. My appetite is light. I suppose that goes for all aspects of my life.