Friday, June 26, 2015

Five on Friday

 
 
[one]
My husband is on an airplane right now and should be landing in Buffalo in just about 30 minutes. I am so. freaking. excited. I haven't seen him in almost two weeks and I know he is really missing Elizabeth. I know that when we get back from the airport and he wakes JB up from her nap, she is going to be so happy to see him! Although the weather is supposed to be awful tomorrow and Sunday, it's PERFECT today so we will be enjoying some time outside for sure!
 
[two]
I am *obsessed* with my FitBit. I love that it even tracks my sleep (and it's pretty accurate too... I've been waking up at weird times in the middle of the night and when I check the log in the morning, the times are pretty close). Sure, it's a little manly, but with manicured nails, it's just fine!:) I admit, I took it off last night to give Elizbeth a bath and I forgot to put it on. Once I got into bed, I was way too lazy to go grab it. But then when I woke up this morning, I forgot again to put it on and had walked around all morning with JB. Sigh. #firstworldproblems 
 
 
 
[three]
My obsession for iced coffee has traveled with me to Buffalo. Unfortunately my debit card number was compromised so I haven't had the ability to go out and buy one each morning. Luckily this morning I found a Tim Horton's gift card in my mom's car so I gladly borrowed stole it to buy one. Man is Tim Horton's coffee 100x better than Dunkin! I have k-cups for Tim Horton's but I don't have a Keurig that brews cold beverages so this just confirms that I need to buy one. Also... I heard from someone that the reason the coffee tastes so good from there is because they use heavy cream instead of the usual coffee creamer!?!?! Good grief. 
 
 

[four]
I've been absent from blogging lately because my parents WiFi signal is so. freaking. slow. It's basically a struggle just to sign onto my e-mail, let alone Blogger to type up a post. Plus I really have been enjoying my time here with Elizabeth. But for some reason this morning, I was able to get a good signal and have had luck with blogging so far! I can't wait to get back to my daily blogging! I have some great post ideas for the upcoming week - think toddler-friendly food (wait, did I really just say toddler!?!?) and some DIY decor ideas. 

[five]
It's almost July. How crazy is that!?! It seems that this summer, as usual is flying by. I mean I've been on summer vacation for three weeks already! How is that possible??? The 4th of July is next weekend and we don't really have any plans. With a little one, I'm okay with that! I'm perfectly okay with sitting at home watching the National Fireworks display on television! It's so patriotic and it's something I'll be able to enjoy once the little one is snuggly asleep! 

Have a great weekend everyone! Catch you later!
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Where Is The Love?

Yesterday morning I woke up and jumped right on IG. A few of the people I follow had posted a picture of a church, with #prayingforcharleston. I immediately assumed that there was some sort of devastating storm that had rolled through Charleston and had a huge impact on a church, but when I googled "Charleston", the first thing that popped up was a news report about a massacre at a church. 



A massacre at a church?

I instantly felt overcome with sadness.  Not that I wouldn't have been sad over a town hit by a weather event, but I'm telling you, this world we live in is becoming a scary, scary place.

After reading multiple news articles from various sources, I came to the conclusion that there really are some evil people in this world. Disturbed people. People who are just full of hatred. I can't even begin to understand how someone could rationalize what happened. You can't put any sense into a young man, firing at innocent people praying at a Bible study. You just can't.

As a mama to a sweet little baby, this tragedy makes me so scared. Scared to go out into public. Scared to go to a place to worship. Scared to go anywhere. Scared to bring her into the world we live in.

You never know who is going to be walking down the aisles at your local grocery store. Or pulling into the parking lot at a school. You never know if the person next to you is carrying a loaded gun and is going to start firing at any given moment.

This world is full of hatred. 
This world is full of mean-spirited people. 

This is not my typical blog post. Normally I have a firm belief in not blogging about religion or politics. Why? Well, everyone is absolutely entitled to their own opinion and who are any of us to judge. 

But this massacre.
This act of unnecessary violence. 

I applaud the citizen in North Carolina who spotted the suspect and followed him until the police could take over. I pray that this young man is prosecuted to the fullest extent to the law. But I also pray for him that he realizes what he has done. He has taken the life of someone's father. Someone's mother. Someone's friend. Someone's brother or sister. Someone's pastor. How? Why?

They speculate that it might be a hate crime. 

In 2015? A hate crime?

Where is the love?


Where is the ability for people to get along, regardless of the color of their skin? Do people not remember the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior? 

Seriously. 

As someone who works with people of all racial backgrounds, it's easy for me to say this. It's easy for me to say that everyone should get along. It's easy for me to say that I accept all races.

But given this situation, apparently it's not easy for others. And that is SAD. 

I pray for people to start sharing the love. I pray for people to learn to get along and to not express hatred for each other. If not for my generation, but for my daughter's generation. 

I pray for my daughter to grow up in a world where there is peace between everyone. 

I pray for my daughter to learn that it doesn't matter what your skin color is. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. 

I pray for my daughter to realize it's up to her to show people how to love. How to be caring. How to respect others. How to be a role model. 

I pray for a world for my daughter to grow up in where there is love. Where there is no anger. No hatred. No violence.

I came across this quote as I was researching facts about the Charleston church massacre and it is one I wanted to share:

"Anger and hate dig holes.
Love and kindness move mountains.

Choose your motivation wisely."
 -Zero Dean








So today, I am praying for the world we live in. I am praying for peace and for tolerance. I am praying for those who were innocently murdered. I am praying for their family members who are mourning. 

Today I am praying that people find the love for each other.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Daddy's First Father's Day

This coming Sunday is Father's Day and although my husband, daughter, and myself won't be together on that day, I still want to do some special things for him. Those special things will just have to be a few days late since we won't see him until next Friday. 

This is his first Father's Day and I want it to be one he'll remember. He already has a cute little gift from Elizabeth that he did with a good friend of ours while she was babysitting last week. I meant to give it to him before we left for our summer vacation in Buffalo, but I forgot it at my friend's house. He'll be getting that one once we get back to Tampa!

So, I've been perusing Pinterest this morning and found some cute little ideas that I wanted to share with you! 

Father's Day Chalkboard Card
 
Source: Etsy
 
 DIY Scrabble Picture Frame

 
Father's Day Art Print

Source: Etsy
 
 
What are your ideas for Father's Day this year? Especially for those celebrating a first Father's Day? 
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Growing Pains

My sweet baby girl is going to be 10 months in a little over a week. She is growing more independent by the second and it just tugs at my heart. For the past few nights, as we got to the end of her nightime bottle, she wanted NO part of mama holding the bottle. In fact, last night, she pushed my hand away and took over completely. As much as it is exciting that she is becoming independent enough to feed herself (correctly, without playing I may add), it makes me a little sad. 



Where did my little peanut go? 
Where did these past almost 10 months go? 
How, all of a sudden, is she able to be so independent?

This all comes at the exact same time as her literally clinging to me 24/7.  If I leave the room and she can't see me, she cries. Not just a fussy cry. A REAL cry. A "mama where are you cry?" A cry with real tears. A cry that only mama can fix.

She wants me... but she wants me when she needs me.

As much as it has frustrated me the past few days that she won't let me do anything unless she is in plain sight of me, that moment last night where she pushed my hand out of her way made me realize that she has the complete awareness of when she needs mama and when she doesn't. And boy is it a tough pill to swallow.

Being a mama means I know it's my job to do everything for her. I carried her for nine months, I gave birth to her, and I've been there for her everyday for the past 293 days. But the time has come where she wants to start doing things for herself. The time has come that she will let me know when she needs me and when she wants to be independent. 

Talk about growing pains. Growing pains for the mama. 

Over the past two days, she has also been letting go of me (or the couch/chair/whatever she is standing by). Yesterday she was able to stand for probably about a minute by herself, not holding on to anything. But you know what. She still needs me. She still needs me when her legs start to wobble and I catch her from falling and make sure she doesn't get an "ouchy".



Babies are supposed to need their mama forever right? 
She's always going to need me, right?

Image from iheartnaptime.net


So yes, my sweet baby girl is growing so quickly. Too quickly for my liking. Becoming way too independent. But that's just it. My sweet baby is still a baby. She's still a baby for two more months, but mama knows she's only two months away from being a toddler.  So for just a little bit longer, I need for her to need me. I need for her to want me. Us mamas know how precious the first year is. How precious having a baby is. How quickly the time flies. And how quickly we all want to STOP time and just let it all soak in before moving on to the next moment. 



These growing pains are a blessing because she is becoming more independent but oh gosh do they make my heart ache a little bit. 
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Friday, June 12, 2015

Five on Friday

Well that was a quick week! Nothing like the first week of summer just flying by at crazy speed! It was a great first week of summer. Very low-key, very relaxing - just the way I like it. The next couple of weeks are sure to be busy but I'm really looking forward to spending some time in cooler weather, away from hot and humid Florida! So, this might be one of my last posts for a few weeks. I'm truly wanting to just RELAX!
 
Here's my five on Friday for this week! 
 
[one]
I have a napping baby! Yes, that's right. Our no-nap ninja must have become so tired of fighting naps that she gave in! Success! I have her on a pretty good schedule already - she wakes up around 7:30am, naps from 9:30-11:30 and then again from 2:30-4:00. She has been going to bed around 7:30pm and is usually pretty exhausted by then! Mama win over here for getting her on a schedule that quickly (I guess my weekend summer-prep naps worked!!!). Hopefully she stays on this schedule while we're on vacation for the next couple of weeks.
 
[two]
I made an awesome dinner last night and it was easy-peasy. I was in the mood for Mexican, but I didn't want regular tacos and I wanted something that I could toss in the crock pot in the morning and not have to think about meal planning. As I was walking around Publix earlier this week, I grabbed some Greenwise chicken breasts, a jar of Publix organic salsa (medium), a can of organic low-sodium black beans, and decided to do a little crock-pot salsa chicken tacos! So tasty and so easy! I put all of the ingredients together (along with some taco seasoning) and cooked it on low for 8 hours. The house smelled soooo good! I served it on crunchy taco shells with cheese and sour cream. It was so delicious in fact, we're having it again tonight. Only tonight I think I should make some margaritas or something! 
 
 
 
[three]
Although I'll probably regret it, I'm itching for a hair makeover. Same color, just a different style. I always struggle with this because once I get my hair cut, I usually hate it. I thought I wanted my hair long, but lately I've seen some cute shorter hairstyles, which would be perfect for summer. I think Pinterest is calling my name! 
 
[four]
You know that saying, "the bigger the bow, the better"? Well, mama is taking it and running with it! A few days ago, I found the cutest headband on Etsy but shipping was crazy expensive (the seller lives in Canada). Enter the wonderful world of Facebook and these groups of mama's who make beautiful little accessories and other pieces of fabulousness that someone as adorable as JB must have. I set out to find a local mama who could make a similar headband and it was a success! It was delivered yesterday afternoon and oh-my-gosh, I love it! I also ordered just the perfect pair of suck pads for my Ergo. Pink and gray, yes please! 
 
 
 
 
[five]
Buffalo.  Home is where the heart is and my heart is still in Buffalo. Every time I head back home, a feeling of excitement and pride comes over me. You can take the girl out of Buffalo, but you can't take Buffalo out of the girl. I'd do anything to be able to move back home and raise Elizabeth in a cute little house in one of the suburbs of Buffalo. A girl can dream, right? All I know is for the next 15 days, I am going to soak up Buffalo one second at a time. I have a list of things I want to do. I want to play on the grass with JB in my parents backyard. I want to go down to the Marina at sunset, have an ice cream cone, and push JB in the stroller so she can see how beautiful the waterfront is. I want to swim at my cousin's house (maybe the water will be warm enough for our little princess, LOL). I want to see my best friends. I want to see my best friends parents. I want to wake up, go on the patio, and enjoy a cup of coffee. I want every moment to go by as slow as possible because Buffalo really is where my heart is. Someday we'll move back. But until then, I'm going to enjoy every second of being in my favorite place. The comfort of my parents house. The beautiful summer scenery. The wonderful things that the City of Good Neighbors has to offer. Mama is going home. And I. Can't. Wait. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So who knows when I'll be back with a post - maybe this weekend, maybe next week. Just hop on over to my IG to see what I'm up to!
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

That Day... Hot Mess... Tell Me I'm Not Alone

Ever have one of those days where you literally have to laugh because it's been one thing after another? That was me yesterday. Now that I'm on summer vacation, I am loving life without a schedule. I only had a few things I wanted to accomplish yesterday - picking up some gently used baby clothes for JB (when she grows this quickly, I refuse to pay full price for clothing and I always buy the cutest clothes from the same mama), drop off a package at the UPS store, and make an appointment for a contact lens fitting since I'm on my last pair (I legit don't know how long I've been wearing this pair. But in my defense, I don't wear my contacts every day). 
 
Little did I know what was in store for me as I tried to accomplish these, what appeared to be, simple tasks that shouldn't have been a big deal. 
 
Enter reality...
 
 
 
After JB's morning nap (which by the way, I put her down WHILE she was still AWAKE and she didn't fuss at all once I left the room), we played for a couple minutes and then headed out to run errands.  Naturally as we're running out the door, I hear rumbles of thunder and once I get driving, I realize we're driving into some serious dark clouds. Luckily we managed to make it in and out of the UPS store without getting wet, but once I got on the highway, the clouds opened up. Driving in Florida in the rain is already terrifying, but add in having a baby in the car and I was totally panicking. I literally could not see at one point once I got off at my exit. Luckily the majority of cars around me were driving cautiously so I was able to breathe. It was an intense ride back home too but I just drove very carefully and we made it!
 
Since I was so stressed out from the drive, I had to have an iced coffee from DD. I just had to. Unfortunately, there is only one DD close to us and the are the slowest ever. I actually went there on Saturday and ended up leaving because the wait was getting out of hand. I'm not sure what the two cars in front of me ordered but it was such a long wait. Poor JB was getting so sick of being in the car and a mama can only sing the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider so many times before we both start going cukoo. But all was right in the world when I took that first sip and realized everything would be A-okay. 
 
 
 
Once we got back home we played for a little bit, she had lunch (spinach, carrots, and beans) and then I put JB down for her second nap and called Lenscrafters to make an appointment for a contact lens fitting. I had an eye exam back in October but never got around to the contact lens fitting. Surely I thought I could just pop in, get fitted, and then order contacts. WRONG. Did you know you only have 90 days from having an eye exam to get fitted for contacts? How ridiculous.  Luckily I have double vision insurance so I was able to get an appointment for ANOTHER eye exam (oh goody, I love eye exams. Said no one ever) and have the eye exam covered by insurance. Unfortunately the contact lens fitting wasn't covered though. Boo, hiss. I managed to make an appointment for 4:30 which meant a short nap for our little peanut. 
 
Of course, as I woke her up, I could hear the rumbles of thunder. Super awesome, right!?!? I quickly changed her diapee and when I sat her up, she burped (quite an impressive burp I may add), and out came a nice pile of her lunch. On our comforter. And then she stuck her hands in it. Now mama can handle poopies. But baby puke/spit up just makes me want to bleach the house. I HATE it. Especially when there's remnants of yogurt.  Blech. I didn't have time to throw it in the washing machine so I just wiped it with a baby wipe (because that did nothing at all, lol) and figured I'd wash it later.
 
So, off we go to the mall (the Lenscrafters location I chose was at the mall - why you ask? Because I had Loft Cash that I needed to use up - convenient thinking, right!?!?! At least I had one mom win today). I knew enough to park under the parking ramp but it doesn't help that there is no cover from the parking garage to the entrance to the mall so there JB and I were, hugging the wall, with me carrying an umbrella, pushing a stroller, and trying to not slip in the huge puddles of water. I wish someone would have taken a picture of me. Hot mess!!!
 
 
After a record-setting trip to Loft (I grabbed three pairs of shorts and a dress), we ended up at Lenscrafters at 4:15. Awesome I thought. Maybe they can take me early I thought. 
 
Um. No.
 
 
Let's just say at 6pm I was finally heading home, after calling my husband almost in tears because JB was getting so impatient, she had a wet diaper (i had a diaper bag with me but changing her in the closet of an exam room seemed like a ridiculous idea), and I was getting the start of a migraine. Oh yes, and as we were waiting for what seemed like eternity, JB burped and spit up. All over the carpet at Lenscrafters. But thankfully she missed my purse by about an inch. Whoops. Luckily the eye doctor had no problem with me having her on my lap during the whole "is picture 1 better, or picture 2" scene. Which by the way, I rarely notice a difference when they ask that question. It's almost like I'm guessing. Ha! The eye exam went fine but apparently I now have astigmatism which means more expensive contacts. Go big or go home, right!?!?!
 
So needless to say, it was one of those days. One of those days where I was a hot mess. But, JB was fed, took two naps, had playtime, and was the star celebrity while at Lenscrafters. 
 
 
 
I'm looking forward to a more relaxing day today since I'll be sitting around from noon-five for our Tampa Electric Energy Audit. We think our air conditioning is working way too hard so we want to see if more insulation needs to be added and if we'll get a credit from TECO for it.  
 
 
So please tell me I'm not the only mama out there who has had a day like this recently. If not, I might just stay in bed all day hiding under the covers.
 
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Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday Everyone!
 
Boy I'm surely chipper this morning since I'm now on summer vacation. Two months without work. Yes please!!! Technically I have a meeting at my new job tomorrow, but it's still summer vacation! 
 
 
 
This weekend was fantastic. Saturday morning we were up and out early for a little summer photoshoot for JB. A mama at my previous job is a photographer and I wanted to do a cute little photoshoot to kick off summer. Boy it was HOT and mosquitos were absolutely EVERYWHERE. I got about 3 bites and Shaun got a whole bunch. Somehow though, Elizabeth managed to not get one single bite! Thank goodness! The photographer, Amy over at Simply Photography by Amy was so patient and from the teaser shots she sent me, I am already LOVING the pictures! I'm so excited to get the disc with all the images hopefully by the end of the week! Here's the teaser pics that the photographer posted on her Facebook page! 




Photos Courtesy of Simply Photography by Amy

 
Saturday afternoon we went over to a good friends' house for a pool party/playdate/dinner. Too bad JB hated the water. Haha. Apparently pool water must be like bath water in order for her to tolerate it. I was hoping to snap a few pictures of her in the water, but that wasn't even remotely going to happen once she busted out the Kim Kardashian ugly cry while she was in the water. So, we took the playdate inside and JB and Bennett had fun. Not interacting with each other at all. Haha. Except for when they wanted each other's toys. Sharing toys? Not in the eyes of our two little peanuts! :) 
 
Sunday was just a relaxing day at home. Mama ran some errands while dada and JB played the day away. Oh yeah, and she took a THREE hour nap Say what!?!?! Actually, she took a three hour nap on Saturday too. 
 
Now I know she's my no-nap ninja and I kinda like that nickname, but I'll gladly give it up if she learns to nap! In fact, she's napping right now! She woke up around 7:20 this morning and right around 8:40 she started rubbing her eyes. I let her play a little bit longer and then fed her a mini bottle of 3 ounces and she was quickly in dreamland! 
 
Now I know daycare was noisy but seriously... they couldn't get her to nap!?!?! I'm looking back on that and I'm like what the heck!?!?! Maybe they didn't have mama's magic touch. My goal for this week is to do a little summer-sleep training. I'd like about an hour and a half morning nap and then an afternoon nap. I'm all for a solid three hour nap, but not if the nap is first thing in the morning. So, this mama is keeping her fingers crossed that she has two good naps today and that she realizes how wonderful naps are! :)
 
So, I'm off to do some chores around the house! And maybe some perusing on Pinterest if she takes an afternoon nap!
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Friday, June 5, 2015

Five on Friday

Why hello there! Sorry this post is up so late. It's been a crazy past few days and I've been exhausted lately! Now that I'm officially on vacation as of a little bit less than a half hour ago, I'll be blogging full-force!!! 
 
Here's my Five on Friday for this week! :)
 
(one)
Summer vacation is H-E-R-E here!!! It's been SUCH a long school year and I've been counting down the days since I went back to work after my maternity leave! I'm so lucky to be a teacher since it allows me to have time unpaid time off. Yes, teachers are lucky to have summers off but we don't get paid over the summer. Our paychecks are shorter each month in order to set aside money for summer paychecks. One small bonus this summer is that we actually get an extra week of vacation! Mama doesn't go back to work until August 17th! That means a little over TWO MONTHS with my sweet, precious baby girl! I. AM. SO. EXCITED.
 
 
 
(two)
I am so excited for this weekend. Tonight we're going out to eat (baby's first time in a restaurant... pray for us, LOL) and I'm so excited. I WILL be ordering a glass of wine. Or maybe a fun little summer drink. This afternoon was our end of the year luncheon and I just didn't feel comfortable ordering a drink, even if comp. time was used, so I'll definitely be having an adult beverage tonight! Tomorrow afternoon we are heading to a friend's house for a fun afternoon of swimming, watching our sweet babies play, and eating a yummy dinner! Wahoo for summer dinner parties! 


 
(three)
 A few nights ago, my husband and I got into a conversation about our living room. I desperately need a change in there and since we aren't in the right situation to buy new furniture, I may have talked my husband into painting the walls in our living room/dining rooms. Yikes. I want a fresh beautiful white on the walls because the rooms is so dark right now! I have high hopes of also ordering a new front door. But small steps with that one. We still have a master bathroom to redo and a leaky patio roof. My selling point was that if we ever want to sell our house, we have to drop some money into it. Redoing the living room? Sounds like a winning way to start! I suggested doing a chair rail too but my husband gave me "the look" and so I let it go...

(four)
I am in a selling frenzy right now. Since I'm a resource teacher, I've been selling all of my classroom materials that I just simply don't need anymore. I've made a good chunk of money and that's without even going to our storage unit yet! I'm hoping to grab my boxes of chapter books from when I taught third grade so I can sell those too! People, buy my things! I'm saving the money for JB and I to do fun things this summer! And maybe so mama can buy a cute new pair of summer sandals. 

(five)
Father's Day is coming up and I really have to come up with a present for the dada. I have a free Shutterfly mug but I think I want to do something crafty. I think I should peruse Pinterest and see what I can find. Usually I can find something good after searching for a few minutes hours. I don't think I even have a Father's Day board so that's something that I'm going to be starting this weekend!  

Well, that's my Five on Friday! I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
 
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Ride for Roswell 2015: $200, 20 miles, ONE goal.

 
 In just a little bit less than a month, I will be strapping on a bike helmet, doing some quick stretches, grabbing a bottle of water, and taking the starting line at the 2015 Ride for Roswell in beautiful Buffalo, New York. I'm no stranger to this cause, as I have participated in this event twice. Both years the weather was perfect. Both years I rode with my father. Both years I had one mission: ride for Team Tina.
 
 
 
Tina, or as I called her, Teena-Weena, was my aunt who passed away several years ago from Sarcoma. A wicked form of Sarcoma. But let me tell you, she fought HARD. Harder than I would ever be able to fight. She endured chemo and radiation. Hospital stays and doctors appointments. She never gave up. But, the cancer was just too aggressive and she passed away in December 2011. 
 
Cousin Sara's Bridal Shower, July 2010
My aunt Tina and I
 

Unfortunately, Tina never got to see me on my wedding day. But in November, before she passed, she was able to be there as I tried on my wedding dress when it arrived. This was so important to me. You see, Tina was (and always will be) my Fairy Godmother. She was always at our house. Always smiling. Always having a good time. She was my mom's best friend. She was an amazing mother, sister, aunt, and Fairy Godmother.
 
My beautiful cousin Sara and her mom, Tina.
Photo Courtesy of Knight Studio
 

Before she passed in December 2011, my cousin decided that our family would participate in the Ride for Roswell, which is a huge fundraiser for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  I encourage you to head on over to the Why We Ride page so you can read about and see videos that share the goal of the Ride as well as why so many people participate in it. So far, for the 2015 Ride, there are 7,418 riders. That's 7,418 people who couldn't possibly be more passionate about finding a cure for cancer. About riding in memory of someone who fought a hard battle with cancer, or supporting a loved one who is currently fighting cancer.  I don't know anyone who doesn't have someone in their family who has battled cancer or a friend who either lost their battle or won. Cancer touches everyone around us.

Not only did my cousin Sara have to overcome the loss of her mother, but she had to do it not long after she found out she was expecting a beautiful baby boy. My cousin dealt with this horrible thing with such grace, such positivity. She channeled herself into being completely dedicated to helping Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She currently still sits on the board as a member and will be riding in one of the new routes at this year's ride. She gathers friends and family up to join Team Tina every year and every year she participates in the ride with her husband Anthony. Roswell Park however, is not new to my cousin. While in high school, she volunteered in the Patient Transport department.

 Me & Daddy
Our first Ride, 2011! 

 Boy-oh-Boy do I look young here!!!!

 Our inspiration, our Teena-Weena! :)

 
The ride in 2012! :)
 
 
I'm not one who asks for money. But I'm asking now. I'm asking you to spare $5. I'm asking you to spare whatever you can to help find a cure for cancer. To help stop someone from losing a loved one to cancer. Any amount helps. Roswell Park Cancer Institute may be in Buffalo, but their doctors and surgeons, their researchers and scientists are out there looking for cures for cancer and this can impact us anywhere in the United States and even worldwide. Their research demonstrates their dedication to finding a cure and without your donation, they cannot do the research that is necessary for our family and friends who are dying of cancer.

Please head on over to the Team Tina page and donate if you can. I know come June 27th, I will be riding with a smile on my face because I know my Teena-Weena is an angel in Heaven watching down on all of us. 

I thank you for listening to this story and hearing how passionate I am about this cause! :) Cancer sucks, let's beat it!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Things I'm Loving: Iced Coffee

If you follow me on IG or know me in real life (not that IG isn't real life... you get what I mean), you know I always have an iced coffee. It's just a necessity since it's Africa hot right now and since I'm always tired. There's nothing better than an iced coffee to start off the day or to have as an afternoon treat.  
 
Now that summer vacation is just around the corner, I wanted to find a product that satisfied my Dunkin Donuts-iced-coffee-with-cream-and-two-pumps-of-caramel-swirl craving. I live about 5 minutes from the closest DD but once I'm on vacation I probably won't be too ambitious about leaving the house in the morning just to have a coffee. 
 
As the three of us were perusing the aisle at Target Sunday afternoon, my husband spotted the refrigerated section of coffee deliciousness. I'm guessing he realized how much I'm spending on iced coffee (whoops) and was trying to drop a subtle hint. Guess it worked! :) Inside the refrigerated case was the line of Starbucks iced coffee. 
 
A few months ago, I purchased the lightly sweetened iced coffee and it was delicious, but I was looking for something different. I love Caramel Iced Macchiatos, so I knew that was going to be my purchase when my eyes came across it. Luckily it just so happened to be on sale. Usually it's $4.99, but it was on sale for $4.49. Hey, savings is savings, right!?!?
 
 
 
As most "carton" or "bottle" Starbucks drinks taste, it does have a different taste than the one you get from the barista at your local Starbucks. But, it is so tasty! I love that it is the perfect strength - not too weak, not too strong!
 
Glass from Anthropologie
 
Compared to what you buy at Starbucks, the calories aren't bad. 130 calories for an 8 ounce glass is perfectly acceptable to me. The sugar is a little high, obviously, but I probably wouldn't drink this every morning. I do have a Keurig that I use on the weekends (I only buy iced coffee in the afternoons on weekends if I'm out and about running errands). 
 
Just don't look at the ingredients list. 
I'm sure it's full of "bad" stuff.
 
On Monday morning, I tossed some ice into my coffee tumbler, poured in about 8 ounces of the deliciousness and gave it a stir! I must have loved it because by the time I got to work, it was gone (work is a 40-minute commute).
 
 
Oh, and for those of you who like the "skinny" products, they do carry a skinny version. 
 
What's your favorite iced coffee product? 
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