January 29, 2015

Denali, Alaska {Day 2}

Hello, friends! I hope your week is going well. Today is my Friday 'woot woot' and I'm stoked for a short week. Today I'm heading down to Tennessee with my family [minus Le Husband, sad face] to surprise my 89 year old grandpa. We're throwing him a lil party this weekend and I can't wait to see his face when we all show up. Fingers crossed traffic is nice to us tomorrow evening, please?

I am also stoked because I have my second Alaska recap ready for y'all. Hashtag FINALLY! If you missed my first post, check it out *here*. After our super long first day in Denali, we hit the hay around 2am even though it was super light. However we were all totally exhausted so we all were able to pass out pretty quickly.

Due to a miscommunication I missed out on the family early morning run, but met up with everyone at breakfast ready for our first adventure of the day. Our first excursion was a trip to Denali National Park ranger station and then a bus ride throughout the park. It was a lot of fun and we all enjoyed the scenery and local talks.


Our first stop on the tour was a cabin that one of the park rangers lived in while the park was being created. The guide at the cabin spoke as though it were 1930 and told us about the scary wilderness he and others faced. After his lil speech we were able to tour the cabin, but told to stay close since we were in the park and in bear country. I'm not sure what we would have done if we saw a bear because we had received three contradictory accounts of what to do if we encountered a bear. Luckily, we didn't see any in the park while walking around.




One of the funnier parts of the day was right after one of the bear lectures, we all turned around and noticed our grandpa, T-Bone, was off deep in the woods on his own. Old man there, he don't care. Thankfully, his bright orange coat helped us locate him quickly and bring him back to the group. Mama B decided then and there to stick closer to his side, heehee!

The dirty hippie is read for the next part of the trip ;)!

The next stop in the park was at the top of a hill that gave us some gorgeous views. Seriously, the park was amazing view central and I was in awe of nature the whole time. Just look at those hills, the green grass and the mountains in the background. Beautiful, right?


While we waited for our Alaskan guide the Brady Bunch walked around, took in the sights and of course took some fun pictures. Man do we love our outtakes. #gooberspartyoffour



FRAMER!

Look out for the bears T-Bone. Keep taking pictures, Babyspice.

My 88 year old grandpa is pretty flipping sweet!


She told us a story of the Alaskan people and tribes and then told us about the four generations in her family. Her voice was exactly as you would imagine and after her talk she sang us a song her grandfather wrote for the Denali mountain. I love meeting people of different cultures and learning about their way of life.


On our way back through the park we saw other buses pulled over on the side of the road which meant there was wildlife somewhere in the fields. The entire trip we had been hoping to see something, but every other time nothing came of our stops. However, this time was different because we finally got to see a bear in the wild!!!

DO YOU SEEEEEE the bear?!?!?! If not, look at the big tree then look at about the 2 o'clock in the picture. that lil brown mound is the head of a mama bear chowing down on a baby moose. Sad, but necessary in the wild. My family was the family that helped others see the bear from our bus. This photo was taken using our huge long distance lens, no way we could have seen it with just our eyes. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day in Denali National Park

Our day wasn't finished after the park, oh no. We headed back to our rooms to change, grab a quick bite to eat and then it was off to our white water rafting excursion. Mama B and T-Bone decided to attend an authentic Alaskan dinner excursion since T-Bone wasn't sure he wanted to be cold rafting. 
Thanks to Babyspice for letting me copy a bunch of her pictures!

We headed to the excursion center where we learned the gist of our trip, signed our paper work and then put on our dry suits. Aka our space ninja outfits. We looked fabulous I tell you, just fabulous.

We left all of our phones and cameras on the bus during the trip, since we didn't want to chance losing anything in the water if we flipped. Our guide's name was Chewy and he was everything you would imagine an Alaskan raft leader to be, plus some. This was my fifth rafting trip so I knew what to expect and was honored enough to be the first mate of our boat. Aka the person in charge of stroke count when we were given instructions. The river was a lot of fun, not super challenging or scary but we did hit some crazy rapids.

One of the best parts of the day was when Chewy asked us if we wanted to float in the water alongside the boat during a calm stretch. Initially I thought "HECK NO", why would I want to put myself in 50 degree water? But after another girl in our boat jumped in and said the suits kept her dry we all went for it and it was so amazing. Definitely a moment I'll keep with me for the rest of my life.

All too soon the river was done and it was back onto the bus for our trip home. We were all bushed but enjoyed learning about the area we drove through. We even passed the bus where the kid from Into The Wild lived. Once we were home it was time for dinner where I scarfed down some amazing halibut, then back to the cabins to pack since we were leaving for Whittier the next morning. One day closer to the start of our Alaskan cruise, woohoo!

Linking up with *kristin* and *annie*

ps.com Katie brought it to my attention yesterday that y'all have been dealing with captcha on my comments and for that I am so sorry. I turned it off two years ago so I'm unsure why it's still happen. I double checked my settings yesterday and word verification was turned off. Let me know if y'all are still being required to enter a captcha, please. Has anyone else notice the new 'CHECK THIS BOX to prove you're not a robot" on your comments? That randomly showed up on mine recently. If you know how to fix it, please let me know! Have a great day!

January 28, 2015

On Wednesday We Confess

Hello, ladies! How are y'all doing? I hope everyone on the East coast is warm and safe today. The DC metro area didn't get too much snow, but schools were still closed which made for an easy commute for those that had to go to work. I was actually working from home yesterday due to feeling under the weather so it all ended up working okay for me. Love and thoughts to those that had to work.

Since it's Wednesday, I'm linking up with Melissa for some confessions. Do your soul a favor and confess with us. You know you want to, ladies! :)

I confess. . .

… this story makes me see red. I cannot understand the evil in this world and  how a sweet couple could be duped. The Facebook page set up in their memory makes me tear up every time I check it. Our world is scary and it makes me want to live off the grid. Prayers for the Runion family.

… I laughed longer than I should have when I saw this pin. #menarefrommars
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… the Downton Abbey final episode finally arrived at work and y'all, it is SOOO GOOD! I think this past season was one of DA's best and I 100% believe everyone will love the finale. #notaspoileripromise

…  after reading Ashley's post I 100% want to live on a farm. I mean, those pictures, gorgeous!

… our recent cooking endeavors have left me feeling chefy. In the past two weeks we've made homemade pasta, pizza and after last night, we can add homemade tortillas to the list. Easy, delicious and you can freeze the dough for later, woohoo!


… the lack of snow the DC area received yesterday was completely disappointing. I mean, I was still able to work from home, but I was hoping for a lil more drama. Hope all my blizzard friends were warm and safe [looking at you Biana]!!!

… I am more than a lil kickball geeked after watching this video from the championships, last year. If you check it out you'll see a certain Pinkster with two different cameos. #ballercatch #ouchcollison.

… I'm thrilled to still be talking about my wedding on *ASHLEY'S* blog today. Come say hi, won't you!?


Have a great day, friends! < 3

January 27, 2015

I Can See CLEARLY NOW {With FIRMOO}

Okay, who's singing with me now?!!? Anyone? No, guess it's just me!

I know I've never really mentioned it here on my blog, but back in 2006 I got Lasik. I'd wore glasses since the first grade and back then the glasses were NOT cute. I hated them, but had to wait until high school beforeI was allowed to get contacts. While contacts weren't the end all be all, they made me feel prettier without glasses covering my face.

In 2006, my parents gave me the best graduation gift ever, when they paid for my Lasik. Waking up and being able to see the alarm on my bedside table was so amazing the morning after my surgery. Lasik was an incredible gift and one I am so thankful for everyday.

Most of my friends that have had Lasik have encounters no side effects, but I have a small dry eye issue and sometimes at night, light starburst which makes me nervous when I drive in new places. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that I stole an old pair of Le Husband's glasses a few months ago and use them sometimes when driving at night.

Luckily for me, FIRMOO came to my rescue and I now have some fabulous, new glasses to rock whenever I feel I need them at night. FIRMOO's website is incredibly easy to navigate and they have a multitude of styles to choose from online. After much hemming and hawing I decided on a long framed black and red pair.  Putting in my prescription was incredibly easy too, which I have to admit I was a bit nervous about. I love the fun pop of red and the case the glasses arrived in this super cute case. The soft cloth and soft case was an added bonus, too.


Fun, right?!!?

 Even though I'm not the biggest fan of myself in glasses, I actually enjoy the way these frames look on my face. They are light, the prescription is perfect and the case fits perfectly in my car. I know the pictures below aren't the greatest, but I figured I should show you me wearing them in their 'natural habitat'.


All in all, Firmoo is a fantastic company and I highly recommend their products and service. And guess what, ladies? Today is your lucky day, because Firmoo has renewed their First Pair Free program. Yes, I said free. Click *here* for more details and go get yourself a new pair of glasses.

Have any of you used Firmoo before? I would love to hear your thoughts, too.

*I was offered a free pair of glasses for this review, however all opinions and thoughts are my own.

January 26, 2015

Tea, Please!

Morning! Crazy that it's Monday again. I hope my northeastern friends are alright and warm in all the snow. We had a lil spritz on Friday night but that's it. They called for a bunch of snow tonight, so we will have to see what actually happens throughout the day. Fingers crossed for an easy commute or a work from home day, please :)! Let's get on to how I sent my weekend, shall we?

This weekend was…

… kicked off with a sister and Mama B tea party at the Ritz Carlton

… a picture perfect pretend Downton Abbey moment.

… an afternoon filled with scones, devonshire cream, macaroons, tea sandwiches and chocolate.



… something I hope to do again with the lovely ladies in my family. We had such a wonderful time chatting about life, cheering new jobs and praying for friends.

… also filled with lots of sleep. PTL.

… another evening of fun with dough and homemade food.

… our first try making pizza dough.

… a lil bit messy.

… and doughy.

… my first try making garlic rosemary knots. #cookingonawhimisfun

… not always pretty, but sure was tasty.

… a white pizza evening. #steakpizzayesplease

… a successful adventure.

… DELICIOUS!

… my first Sunday back to church in a month. Man have I missed it.

… the weekend we finally caught up on all of our shows.

… a Sunday full of linen closet organizing, room reorganizing, purging and cleaning.

… an 8pm game where I had two goals but our team lost.

… a Sunday night doing the snow dance so I can work from home on Monday.

Linking up with these beautiful ladies  < 3

January 23, 2015

Congrats, You Made It To Friday

HOOORAY, it's almost the weekend, friends. I know most of you had a short week, but sometimes the short weeks can be the longest right? I was at work five days, so I'm super ready for a fun, chill weekend. I'm looking forward to some gym and fun family time. But first, Friday faves :)!

Favorite Picture of the Week: Me, at the barre. Wednesday was my first ballet class in over four weeks and I was so happy to be back dancing. I was worried I would be awful again and I WAS in the new stuff, but I hit a few dance combinations that felt great. #backatthebarre #feelinggood

Favorite Quote of the Week: Everyone shares in trials and tribulations, it's your attitude that makes you a happy or miserable person. Don't let life beat you into negativity, the sun will come out again!
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Favorite Funny of the Week: Y'all know what I'm talking about!!! I did some vacuum dancing earlier this week while cleaning up and it was fabulous. What's your favorite cleaning/dancing song?
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Favorite Healthy Meal of the Week: It's no secret I'm trying to get after it health and fitness wise, which means making good decisions for food. I get bored pretty easily with food, so I've been trying to mix it up and yesterday created this gem. 6 oz of deli meat, 2 tablespoons of cream cheese plus fresh cilantro, spinach and red peppers all rolled up like a taco. Delicious, nutritious and super simple. Prego mamas I bet this would be yummy with heated deli meat, too.

Favorite Video of the Week: Who's in for buying adult swimmies? #needakeepeatingcleanbuddy


Have a super fabulous Friday, bunnies!

**linking up here, here herehere, here and here this week**