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.



Love, April


Small Blessings

Day 37 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Last night I pulled out a package of croissants from Trader Joe’s to rise over night and then baked them before my son headed out to work. When I was browsing at Trader Joe’s, I chatted with a lady who had 4 boxes in her arms. She raved about them so I figured I’d try them just to see what the fuss was all about.

Run, don’t walk to Trader Joe’s while you can. They are decadent. They bake up light and airy oozing buttery goodness in every delicate layer. The first bite took me back to France. These heavenly croissants that will make even the Parisians fall in love with them.

I’m enjoying my visit here with the guys. Gregg surprised me by bringing home the cake platter I had deliberated over along with a bouquet of flowers. I’m so blessed.

Today’s baking adventure began and ended with a brilliant, festive cranberry quick bread. This decadent loaf is made with cream cheese with a hint of vanilla which softens the tangy cranberries. This will make a perfect Black Friday morning treat for all the hard working staff at Gregg’s work.

By the way, don’t forget to pull your turkey out of the freezer and put in the fridge to defrost if your cooking Thursday.

Happy baking!



Playing With Monkeys

Day 18 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Rotand, Honduras


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.


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.


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.

3 Things to Love

Day 8 – #100HappyDay Challenge

It’s 2:44 am. That’s a new day right?

Sleep is eluding me. I finally got up, made a cup of tea in my favorite mug and curled up to watch This Is Us.

A few happy things:

  1. Pukka ‘Womankind’ tea – a beautiful cranberry, rose and vanilla tea that turns a soft pink. The vanilla and rose softens the cranberry which soothes me, especially with a dab of honey and cream stirred in.
  2. My favorite mug. I bought this years ago at barns and noble. The colors and the message made me smile when I saw it. I knew instantly it was coming home with me. Have you ever had that instant connection with something? That sparkle, that hidden, small smile which appears suddenly and you just know… how about you?
  3. This Is UsThis is real. This is love. This is life. The NBC show premiered last year and I instantly fell in love with the family drama. What I especially enjoy about the show is that it explores highs and lows of life. One minute your laughing, the next minute tears are rolling. I have watched the first season several times. The second season has started out just as good. Watch it. You’ll love it.



Flower 🌺 Power

“A flower does not bloom for itself, but for the world; do likewise.”
– Matshona Dhliwayo

Happy Monday, Friends!

On Sunday’s, I’ve developed a little HAPPINESS habit, I drive to Trader Joe’s and buy myself flowers (they have an awesome assortment). This week I selected a bouquet 💐 of beautiful pink and white roses. 

I place the bouquet next to my bedside lamp, letting their soft fragrance lift my spirits in the sterile hotel room that has been my home for 6 weeks now. 

What makes you happy?



By the way, go check out Cees Showcase of Photography for more inspiration! 

Running With The Reindeer and Other Fur Rondy Adventures

A little known fact I have learned after living in the Last Frontier for over twenty five years is that when the winter sky is clear and brilliant blue the temperature is frigid. Saturday morning was no exception. The below zero temp rose to single digits as we made our way down to see the ice sculptures.

I explained to Miss R as we got our snow gear on that this was love, because this grandma absolutely hates the cold. Thank goodness this will be my last winter here (but that’s another story for another time). But a promise is a promise and it was time for an adventure! So off we went to explore Fur Rondy.

Snow Sculpture Competition

The snow sculptures are down in the Port of Anchorage across from the ULU Factory. A parking lot was converted to temporarily house the snowy artwork. The chilly temperature and icy cold drew people to the one and only food vendor like flies to honey.

With a hot chocolate and warm apple cider in hand we headed up the hill to the carnival.

Even in the arctic there is fun at the carnival. Miss R, impervious to the cold, was in high spirits as her and her mama went fishing – and won two squishy bears that found a home in my pocket for safe keeping. They now reside on my bookshelf keeping Miss R’s other toys company until she visits again.

A bit frozen (at least I was) we headed for home to warm up before I headed back out to 4th Avenue to meet C.

Running With Reindeer

For ten years folks have had the opportunity to run down 4th Avenue with reindeer. Yes, you too could dress up (or wear nothing at all) and run down frozen streets with a herd of reindeer. I had this new Nikon camera and figured it would be a good time to test it shooting racing, walking and snorting animals and humans alike. To be honest – this little Nikon does an OK job but it doesn’t compare to C’s Cannon and her new lens. But I’m an amateur and will continue to test the waters…you will have to let me know I do.

I’m amazed at the participation from the runners to the audience. The Anchorage streets were packed with people enjoying the festival. Despite the frozen chill in the air you wouldn’t know it by all the happy cheering people. This race, presented by the KWHL 106.5 Morning Show and Fur Rondy, raises funds for Toys for Tots.  By the attendance I’m sure they raised a good sum for a great cause!