Friday, April 24, 2015

Week in Photos (and words)

We have purchased more than 50 post cards so far!

Hello from sunny Florida! All of my Facebook friends from Pennsylvania were posting photos of the snow back home. We have had snow several times in late April in PA. But not here in FL. It is in the 80's and most days are gorgeous.

I cannot believe we have lived on Anna Maria Island for a week now. We don't deserve to be here. This place is incredible. 
 My view in the mornings! See the curious bird on the other side of the screen? Birds, lizards and frogs come visit every day. For right now the lizards are charming. I will let you know what I think about them after one jumps on my shoulder and I freak out and never want to go back outside ever.

Did I mention the lizards?
 These two were on either side of the screen. They kind of held hands for awhile which I thought was very sweet. (Again, lizards are only sweet because they aren't touching me. They aren't as sweet as puppies or kittens.)
 I need a bird identifying book.

The house backs up to a canal. Sitting on the dock is quite peaceful. I've only seen one boat go past in the last week.
 The view from the kitchen window.

Again, how blessed am I?!? Right? It is crazy.

I won't be posting any photos of the outside of the house nor the inside with respect to our land lord. But I did want to share a few small photos.

What I saw in my head.

My hubby cleaned out the garage and painted the floor this past week. We found these awesome boards. I don't know what they were used for but I love them. I beyond love them.

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I also love this wicker seahorse what was hanging in the bathroom. I moved him into the bedroom and he makes me smile.

I was sitting in the front yard watching my hubby work and realized the yard was made up of sea shells. Some were crushed but some were whole.

 Here are a few of those shells next to a quarter. 

Just to give you the scope of the front yard, here is a photo of just the front yard (there is a side yard too). 

Isn't God amazing? Sea shells that are SO tiny are still so detailed.

Today we went to the beach. I have been having a lot of trouble with my hands lately. My grip strength and fine motor skills have somehow gone "kaput". I have an appointment with a specialist in two weeks but I'm assuming it is just boring CRPS stuff. 

I'm so glad we went to the beach. It was gorgeous today. We usually bring our beach tent but it was almost 1pm by the time I felt good enough to go. Instead of packing the tent we packed an umbrella.

I'm also in love with this umbrella that is owned by our land lord. Our beach chairs from home match perfectly. I really wanted to stage both the umbrella and the chairs together on the beach since the beach was pretty empty. Something told me the hubby would not appreciate me asking him to re-set up the umbrella, move all the "extra" stuff (i.e. our non-matching beach cart, towels, Trader Joe's bags, etc) and then not sit down while I photograph and try to get JUST the right photo for a blog that is read by 300 people (actually, I have had 183,591 views since starting to blog. At least half of those are probably me though.)

Here is one of the chairs from an old photo. Pretend I did just that.

And now here are some photos of my Wal-Mart purchases. Because I have no good way to segue into that.

I love looking at clearance items at Wal-Mart. I found really nice sticker booklets and packs of three activity white boards for $1. I plan on sending the stickers to our Compassion kids and keeping the blank white books for notes around the house. The other items will be great gifts. I have a penpal back in PA (hi Megan!) and am going to host a Flat Stanley for a church friend's 9 year old daughter next week (hi Ryleigh!).  I may need a few craft supplies. Each of the giant kits retails for over $100, Wal-Mart had them for $24.99 regular price and I paid $7 a box. There are about 40 sheets of printed & solid scrapbook paper that is pretty nice and that alone would be worth at least $7.

I'm loving bright colors! This colorful circle is a cake board. It came in a three pack. Basically you put 10" round cakes on it. Basically it is fancy and pricey cardboard. Anyway, we baked cookies yesterday and will be giving them to our new pastor and a few neighbors. 

These foam sheets remind me of childhood. I am using them for a retirement community project. I cannot place the scent and so I'm sending one off to my sister tomorrow. She will remember what the scent is. I don't know how she will remember but she will. I will pack it in a plastic baggy so it can retain the smell.

 These cocktail napkins cracked me up. My sister & I both have oversized sweatpants that say "fat pants". I haven't the slightest idea of what I'm going to do with these but they were ten cents. How could I leave them, right?

Here in Florida my hair gets pretty crazy. My waves have become wavier.

I even have a few curls around my face and neck.

By the way, I'm totally being lazy right now and I don't want to edit my photos. You will just have to deal with the fact that I have imperfections on my face :)

And now, thanks to just the natural sunlight for filtering...

Much better! And now for more Anna Maria photos...

I love reading the Anna Maria Island police blotter.

The tide schedule. Sigh.

Waiting for another drawbridge. I don't mind one bit.

The water is warm enough for us to swim. And that is saying a lot because both the hubby & I are wimps.

The sunset from "our" dock.
I hope everyone had a great Friday.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fab Fit Fun Spring 2015 Review

I love subscription boxes. For those that don't spend all your time on the internet, the boxes are usually monthly or quarterly and include surprise items. You pay a flat fee (usually somewhere around $10-$100 depending on the box) and they have themes. There are subscription boxes for everyone. Dog lovers, parents, nerds, Japanese candy (seriously), food and so much more. 

If I was a gazillionaire I would order every single box. I love these things. It is like Christmas presents coming through the mail. But somehow better. What would I do with all that stuff? I haven't the slightest idea. But I would sit on the beach and open boxes all day. And have someone feed me Pizza Hut pizza with the pretzel crust.

I have gotten a few subscription boxes over the years. The one I love the most is the FabFitFun box. Here is my review of their Spring 2015 box.

The FabFitFun box comes out quarterly and is $49.95. The coupon code TENOFF or TRYFFF takes $10 off so your first box would be $39.95. Shipping is included. If you would like to sign up after reading this, please use my referral link: HERE.

1. Jules Smith Scarf in Watercolor, retails for $42 - Sell. The site allowed you to choose between this print and an abstract art print. I don't wear scarves but this one is really pretty. I will probably sell this and get maybe $15. There are a ton on ebay now so I may hold this a few months to let them thin out a bit. 

2. Palmetto Derma Collagen Booster & Restoration Serum, retails for $48 - Keep. I love trying new face serums and creams. This one states that it minimizes wrinkles once and for all! While that sounds good, I'm sure they will be back as I age. I cannot imagine a cream that I applied at age 35 keeping wrinkles away when I'm 80.

3. Merrithew 3 DVD Set & $25 gift card, retails for $61 - Sell/Keep. The DVD set will be sold or given away since there is no way I'm doing an intense work out. The DVDs say that they take basic high intensity interval training and combine them with simple Pilates moves for a rewarding work out.
The $25 gift card is a nice addition. I just visited their website and they sell over 500 fitness products. I have heard there is yoga on Saturday mornings on the beach down the road. I may check this out. I loved yoga but I'm not sure my body is ready for that. Yoga mats are $29 so it would be $4 plus shipping. They didn't have any cute socks or hair ties like I was hoping though. 

4. ORLY Nail BB Creme, retails for $15 - Keep. I tried this odd nail polish this morning. I was up at 4am and didn't have to be at church until 9. The consistency of this nail BB creme is very thin and the color is kind of a light nude/peach/pink. It isn't horrible but it isn't thrilling. I won't be using it again. Clearly I should have taken a photo of my toenails for this review. I'm going to eventually send this to my sister. She gets all my left over odd beauty products (you are welcome Lisa). I'm sure she has a collection of navy blue eye liner, too bright blush and lip glosses that stick to everything and can add this to her collection.

5. ORLY Nail Polish in the color "Cake Pop", retails for $8.50 - Keep. I love nail polish and so I keep almost all nail products. I like this pretty color. Again, basic. But I think most people would be fine with this color. It looks white but Orly said that it has a subtle pink hue. Lisa may also get this one after I try it.

6. Yasi Metallic Flash Tattoos, retails for $36. Wait, WHAT?!? $36 is absolutely ridiculous for these. And I'm pretty sure the one word that is included says "Swallow". Right? Anyway, GIFT (Rach, this will be on the way to you guys as soon as I get stamps - you can trash the Swallow part ;). 

7. Rifle Paper Co. Coaster Set, retails for $16. KEEP! KEEP! KEEP! This was the one thing in this box that I was quite excited about. I would never pay $16 for coasters but these are gorgeous. We have glass tables in the rental and these are already in use. 

8. OFRA Eyeshadow Brush Duo, retails for $45.90. Sell. I love the make-up brushes I already own plus I have worn make-up exactly twice in the last two weeks. They included the coupon code "FABFITFUN40" to take 40% off your first purchase on the Ofra website through August 1, 2015. 

9. Sprout It Seed Pod, retails for $1.50. Gift. I have never been a gardener. There was that time in college when I found a denim vest at the thrift. It had fabric patches in garden prints all over it. Guess who bought it? Me. I brought it home and told my mom that it was going to be my gardening vest. Had I ever gardened? Nope. Have I gardened since? Nope. This will also be gifted to you Rach ;) 

10. Cosmos Creations puffed corn (sponsored and therefore not included in the grand total), Keep. This is gone already. We ate it the same night I opened the box. The hubby & I both agreed it was delicious. It is gluten-free and is made with all natural ingredients. 

11. Vow To Be Chic $125 gift card (sponsored), possibly Keep/Gift. This website allows you to rent dresses for special events. Where were you three weeks ago when I needed a dress for a wedding?!? The gift card allows you to get one free dress or $125 off if you purchase a dress. I don't go to a lot of fancy events and so I have very few dresses. I will either keep it or gift it if I find someone that could use it. 

12. HelloFresh gift card: $40 off your first week of delivery service (sponsored), Gift. HelloFresh is a weekly meal-kit delivery service that includes fresh ingredients and recipe cards. We basically eat the same 4-5 foods every day and we are honestly fine with this since it is just the two of us. Now, if we could find a service to deliver peeled hard boiled eggs, we would use that service.

The grand total was $273.89 which didn't include the last three items. I loved the coasters and the puffed corn and will use the face serum, possibly one nail polish, the $25 gift card for a yoga mat and possibly the dress rental. The scarf, eyeshadow brushes and DVD set will be sold. I will make about $30-$35 on those three items. The nail BB creme, tattoos, seed pod and $40 HelloFresh gift card will be gifted. 

Would I have purchased anything in a retail setting? Maybe the Rifle & Co. coasters if they were on sale and definitely the puffed corn. Will I be purchasing anything again? Probably just the puffed corn if I saw it in the grocery store. Would I buy this box again? Yup. I think the value is there. I like using some of the stuff and selling or gifting the rest.

Want to subscribe or learn more about the FabFitFun box? Please feel free to use my referral HERE.

Want to see what I got in the Winter 2014 box? Click HERE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Our week at the beach

For those that don't know, my hubby of almost 13 years & I have moved to the beach. Yup, we sold almost everything we own and drove down to the Sarasota, FL area last week. 

Anna Maria Island

We are currently living in a rental home here in Sarasota. And tomorrow we will go to a more permanent solution on Anna Maria Island, FL. We will live there for six months. Then...well, then we don't really have a plan. We have a few general ideas but no specifics. 

We still have a home in PA which is being rented by such a nice couple. God has really blown our minds with things have led up to this point. I can honestly say I'm not worried about the future. For now my focus is on living in my favorite place in the entire world...Anna Maria Island.

This past week has been filled with

-Going to some of the many beaches. Some days we don't stay long but the goal of each day is to plop me down in a chair at the beach.
-Meeting neighbors and finding out they own & live in a firehouse 4 months out of the year. SO cool! (Hi Tom & Marilyn!)
-Trying to not hurt too much. Some days I'm just stiff and sore. Others don't go as well. And because I would like to keep today's post positive, I'm moving on.
-Finding a local doctor! My first appointment is in May.
-My drummer hubby auditioning for a Beatles cover band (he won't find out until next week).
-Finding a church and attending this past Sunday for the first time.
-Having the pastor call the hubby and asking him to lead worship...this coming Sunday! Bare has always been part of a church worship team and is pretty darn excited about this opportunity.
-Buying Florida post cards and hopefully getting those in the mail this week. 

And now here are some random photos. I tried to label some of the beaches. We have been to six different beaches this past week and they kind of just run together after awhile (oh the problems of beach life).

My hair has gotten the humidity. It goes in a bun almost every day so it really don't matter.

Living in FL just feels cheery.

Lido Beach

Lido Beach

Lido Beach

Have you ever seen a gull standing on top of another?

He must have stood on the other bird for a few minutes before flying off.

Visiting FreshBerry in Bradenton. Thanks for having sorbet for me!

I haven't the slightest idea of what these trees are called but I love them. They have all this dead moss stuff hanging down. It sounds gross. But when the wind moves through the moss it is magical. It sways and moves and reminds me of happy weeping willows and young hula girls trying to imitate the professionals. Happy Hula Willows. That is the new name of this tree. You are welcome.

Siesta Beach. The walk was too long and so we plopped me far from the water.

Our first rental is just 3 miles from here. However, we very rarely visit Siesta Beach since it is usually crowded.

These rental stands make me smile.

Even the bay is pretty!

Coquina. Our favorite.

Coquina Beach


I did a new Jamberry manicure & pedicure.

Lido Beach
My $1 sunglasses. I'm not thrilled with the color but who cares for a buck. (What happened to my arm in this photo? It looks like my arm is separating from my shoulder. I'm sure it was an attempt to look thin.)

Oh how we love you, Coquina Beach.

We got to see these little rays for awhile. They kept swimming back and forth through the water.

Trying to get a photo of the rays...

Thanks to the sun light for making this photo possible ;)

Drawbridges are a way of life here. I would SO much rather be waiting for a drawbridge to go down than sitting in traffic in PA.

Here's to hoping that the next time you sit in traffic you will be waiting for a drawbridge instead of a red light. Now we are off to pack!