Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Seeing Flamingos in Their Natural Habitat

This is another "should have been written a while ago posts".  Like months and months ago. Enjoy!

When I went on my cruise, one of the stops was to Grand Turk.  I was planning on just hanging out at the beach but then I went to the gift shop.  I was waiting on some of my group before we all headed to the beach when I saw it...a flamingo ornament.  Now, I didn't think much of it until I started to see a TON of flamingo souvenirs.  I asked one of the store clerks if there were flamingos on the island and they said yes, they  hang out in the middle of the island.  Huh?  OK.  I was thinking maybe there were a few at a local persons house or zoo type place.

We went on to the private beach and I was getting so hot and I was still dehydrated from my surfing trip so I wanted to go back to the ship.  I got a taxi and there were a few people in it.  I casually asked the driver about the flamingos and he said, "Oh yes, there are a lot of them.  I will take you there".  OK!!!!!!!

The island was formally used as a salt tank area so that is where the flamingos like to hang out.  When I got there I was sooooooooo exciteeeeeedddddd.

OMG. I can't believe it.  I actually got to see real life flamingos somewhere other than a zoo or a Las Vegas hotel.

Day/trip made!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

That One Time I Went to Harry Potter World in Orlando

This is a ;post I had planned to write a whilllllllllllle ago, but as evidenced in the past, I didn't.  Here you go! 

I went to Orlando recently over the weekend to go to check off a bucket list item…Universal Studios to see Harry Potter land!!!  I have been wanting to go there since it opened but haven’t gotten the chance to go.

There are a couple options for tickets that you can choose from:  single park or multi-park.  The main difference is that you cannot go to both parks in one day and you cannot go on the Harry Potter Hogwarts Express between the parks.  I chose the single park option because I was going to be there two days anyway and I saw the ride on YouTube and it wasn’t worth the extra $80 (in my opinion).

The first day I went to Island of Adventure and the second day I went to Universal Studios.  If you have to choose between the two, I would choose Universal Studios.  I felt that Universal Studios Harry Potter land had more to see and do vs Islands of Adventure.  This post is only about Harry Potter worlds and I will detail the rest of the parks in another post.

I would also HIGHLY recommend going in the 'single rider' line if you don't feel the need to ride with your group.  I went almost straight to the ride each time I rode anything in either park (Harry Potter section or any other section of the parks)

Also, if you can, go back at night too.  There are so many things that light up after dark.  You will be amazed at all the stuff you didn't see while it was light outside.

There is so much to write but it would be too long.  Here is another persons blog that explains

Diagon Alley

Here are some of my favorite pictures though!

Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley both had different shops that you could use your ($40!!) wand to make spells and a the window shops do certain things.  Like you can use your wand at this fabric shop window display and the knitting needles are knitting a scarf (or sweater??) or another shop had a cauldron pot mixing by itself.  There is even a fountain where you use your wand and water shoots out on innocent people! :)
#12 Grimauld Place.  No, that isn't a shadow, it's hard "dark" it really is.

Knight Bus-you can get a picture with Stan in front of the Knight Bus!

One of the entrances to Diagon Alley. 

In Diagon Alley every 30 minutes or so the dragon on top of Gringott's breaths fire.  THAT is a cool thing to see.  You can kind of hear it getting ready before it goes off.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sew Something I Can Wear
A while ago (#badblogger) I went to a kimono robe making class at Sew Houston.  I had so much fun and can’t wait to go back to sew another project. I was looking at my bucket list back in November/December and trying to figure out what items I can do in 2017 and saw “sew something I can wear” on it.  I googled sewing classes Houston and Sew Houston popped up.  Wouldn’t you know it, a sewing class for a kimono robe was scheduled for February.  Sold!  I had to provide my own fabric and ribbon-which was great because I could get what I wanted!  I actually picked out my fabric when I went on my camping trip a while ago.

Anyway, Yolanda is great.  She keeps the classes small so you can actually learn while sewing, not just watch someone or get lost and not be able to finish your project.  There were three of us in our class, but I believe a fourth person did not show up.

We set out our fabric on the table and cut out the fabric.  She had a super simple pattern that we were able to follow.  My fabric kept bunching up and since the class was so small; she was able to notice right away and fix the problem, which was that I needed a different foot to grasp the fabric.

The robe turned out great!  I love the fabric and how well the robe fits me.  If you are needing/wanting to sew something, consider going to Sew Houston.  She offers one-on-one tutorials as well as classes.  She also has a “get to know your sewing machine” private tutorial if you bought or were given a new sewing machine.  Pretty cool.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Chappell Hill Lavender Farm

This weekend, after my Blue Bell 10K race, I stopped by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm since it was so close to Brenham.  Do you know what that means?!?!?!?!  Bucket list item #2 done this weekend.

The drive in any part of that area is just beautiful.  I love Texas in general but the Brenham area with all of the bluebonnets and rolling hills is so amazing. 

Chappell Hill Lavender Farm is beautiful too.  There is a small pond with a gazebo, a field of lavender bushes, a small orchard of various trees/plants (not sure what), miniature goats, and a gift shop.  I went to the gift shop first and looked around.  I bought some lavender bug spray and some lavender essential oils.  I also had the BEST (OMG) ice cream, blueberry and lavender.  I want some more!  There are a ton of products in the gift shop ranging from gifts to home items. 

Afterwards I walked the lavender fields and saw firsthand what it looks like.  It is green I guess until it is ready to be harvested because it for sure wasn’t purple!  They are having a festival in May that would be interesting to attend.  The lavender will probably be ready to be harvested then.

After spending too much (I wanted it ALL) in the gift shop, I went to the gazebo by the pond and had a conversation with God.  That area of Texas just causes you to be so thankful for all of the blessings he has given you in your life.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Let's Go Fly A Kite

Can you believe it, I did three bucket list items this week?!?!  This one is a silly one, but I loved it.  I went kite flying with my niece.  No, it wasn’t a big fancy kite, it was a small $3 Cinderella one, but it was so much fun hearing Kali squeal in delight. 

We bought the kite at HEB for $3 and spent awhile just watching it fly.  At first the kite wouldn’t fly (no windy enough) but you could hear Kali say, ‘You can do it Mr. Kite.  I believe in you,” which is what we say to Kali all the time when she is learning something new that she hasn’t quite grasped yet.

She runs and pumps her arms and causes the kite to fall but she had a blast anyway.  At one point the bottom string wrapped around the dog and we all howled in laughter. 

Who knew a $3 kite would turn out so much fun?  We are going to bring it to my aunt’s house this weekend for Easter.  She lives on the water in Seabrook and it is always windy there.

Friday, April 14, 2017

2017 Blue Bell Fun Run

I have wanted to run in the Blue Bell Fun Run 10K for a few years now.  (#bucketlist) Every year I am either busy, forgot about it, or just miss the race.  This year though I was determined not to miss it so I signed up back in October of 2016, right when it opened for registration.

However, I almost completely missed it.  I wasn’t planning on doing anything this weekend but got an email about the race and packet pickup on Friday. I looked at the date…oh wait, the race is tomorrow!  Ooops!  I almost forgot.  Plans changed from doing nothing to running a 10K that I hadn’t trained for.  Oh well!  You never regret a workout!

I woke up at 4:15 am on Saturday morning to make it to Brenham in time. I wasn’t sure what the traffic situation on 290 would be (construction for dayzzzz) or the parking at the race.  As luck would have it, I got there so early I had a super close parking spot.  Score!  #RockStarParking

The race went well considering that I hadn’t trained. I didn’t break any records and I probably did really bad compared to my other races, but I don’t care.  The course was so spectacular that I kept saying thank you prayers to God for making it such a pretty day.  Afterwards my route home took me part of the way down my favorite parts of the race and I was able to take some pictures.

After the race I got some chocolate ice cream (#notplantbased #shameonme #itwasdelicious) and my 10K finishers medal and hit the road. 

Check out the race!  It has free, unlimited ice cream for participants and spectators during/after the race.  All proceeds go to Brenham High School’s athletic department.  PLUS, you get an awesome finishers metal and a t-shirt-we all know how I feel about finishers medals!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Vinyl Machine Crafts

My sister recently purchased a Silhouette vinyl cutting machine and has been making shirts like crazy.  She was using a regular iron but the vinyl didn’t always stick long term so I invested in a heat press.  Our agreement is we buy our own vinyl but we can both use each other’s equipment anytime (well, it stays at my sisters).

We started an Etsy store but we don’t have anything in it (I will make a post when we do).  She wants to focus on whatever she feels like making at the time and I want to focus on plus size athletic shirts.  I know that when I was running a lot, there weren’t a lot of shirts for bigger girls.  Yes, running made me lose a lot of weight, but I still had trouble with the fit.  I could always find shirts with cute sayings on them in smaller sizes, but I couldn’t find any in the sizes that I needed.  Hence, what I want to focus on.  We will still sell other items (my sister is creative) and custom items, but I want to focus on those types of shirts.

Thigh Gaps are for Flamingos

Laptop decorations

Anyway, if you need any shirts/water tumblers/other projects made for whatever occasion, let me know and we can make for you!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Garden Markers and Gnomes

I wanted some garden markers for my plants just in case I forgot which is which.  Plus, they are just cute and add color to your garden.  I looked on Pinterest and decided to paint my own with pictures of the various vegetables I planted.

Now, I know that I am not the best artist, but I think you get the general idea of what I had planted.  We used smooth stones (taken from my aunts flower bed-she had tons don’t worry) and used outdoor acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby.  After I painted them I also sprayed a clear coat of paint on top of them.

My other garden accessory is a gnome family that moved in overnight.  What a bunch of freeloaders! :)

I got this at Family Dollar for $5 and it is too cute.  I just love it.  Love does grow here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My 2017 Garden

I created a garden last year but didn’t’ want to do another one this year.  I have been travelling a lot and didn’t want the plants to die and asking someone else to take care of it isn’t the best solution.  My niece came over and we replanted some green onions.  (Did you know that if you cut off the bottom part of the green onion where the white roots are, they will regrow?!)  After we planted those, she brought her sunflower plant that she made at the Rodeo to plant and that turned into a huge garden.  Hmph. 

I can’t say no to that little face of hers!  We got three planter boxes and also planted in the 4x8 in ground box I planted in last year.  Here is what we planted:
-3 Roma tomato plants (planter)
-3 misc tomato plants (planter)
-Artisan Lettuce Blend (planter)
-Green onions (replanted stem) (in ground box)
-Carrots (replanted stem) (in ground box)
-Bell pepper (replanted seeds/stem) (in ground box)
-Carrot seeds (in ground box)
-Radish seeds (in ground box)
-Beet seeds (in ground box)
-Radish seeds (in ground box)
-Broccoli plants (2) (in ground box)
-Sunflowers (plant)-Kali stepped on this and we think it died. :/

So far the plants are doing well.  The tomatoes have three that are getting bigger and the seeds from the other plants are doing well.  The planters did not have holes in the bottom so a few of them had water staying inside and creating a mush.  We drilled some holes in the bottom and they are doing great now.  Fingers crossed that they stay that way.

I will let you guys know our “harvest” totals.  It is so cute seeing her get so excited about gardening!  She wears a little hat, has a pink (her fav color) watering can, and even has gardening gloves so her hands won’t get dirty.   We’ll see if she actually eats any of the vegetables she harvests.  One can only hope.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rodeo Houston 2017

This year’s HLSR was my fourth and final year as a committee member.  I loved spending time with the ‘kids’ that we serve on the Special Children’s Committee, but it is time for me to focus on other things.

God has recently impressed it upon my heart that I have to let go of the ‘good’ to get the ‘great’ in my life.  I can’t keep saying yes to everything, I have to focus on what God has called me to, not everything that comes my way, even if they are worthy events/activities. 

I was always saying yes to being on this committee, or volunteering at this event but I wasn’t able to focus on the things that truly matter to me.  And I’m not just talking about the rodeo activities, I’m talking about all activities that I’ve been involved in.  I have been emptying things off my plate for a few months now and it is so freeing!  I don’t have to be at this activity or that activity, I can focus on what matters most in my life.

So, the rodeo.  I volunteered on my specific dates and was a little sad that this was my last year, especially on my last night.  I was saying goodbye to everyone and realizing that I would never dance in the aisle at one of the concerts with the ‘kids’ anymore (I say ‘kids’ because most of them are technically adults but they have disabilities so it is the Special Children’s Committee).

We went to the Agventure part one day with Kali, but other than that I didn’t go at all this year (besides my volunteer shifts), usually I go to at least one concert or the carnival.  Kali had a fun time seeing the cows, rabbits and other animals.  She is into gardening so she planted sunflower seeds in a cup and brought it home.  I love that the HLSR has a ton of information and hands on learning opportunities for kids.  Super cool.

Did you go to the rodeo this year?