Sprechen Sie Awesome?

My lovely friend Rell and I have recently reconnected (what’s better than reconnecting with a dear friend? Seriously, nothing!) and out of the goodness of her amazing heart, she decided to send me an awesome German care pack!

Yes, Germany.  One of the fun and wacky aspects of good ole military life is living abroad, and right now Rell and her family live on an Army base in Germany.   Her kids are having an amazing time learning the language and traveling so much, she and her husband have also really liked the experience.  Hearing about the plans for jaunts they have in store, and seeing the pics of how they’ve spent their time there so far: I’m uber jealous.  She’s having the real fun, but there’s still some rollover awesome that affects those she knows.  Having a friend who is stationed abroad comes with fringe benefits – this care pack being a major one.

my friend rell. this pretty lady sent ME a care pack!

when i saw this had arrived, i was downright giddy

You see, I got new doctors here in Western New York.  And the process of doing so was a DOOZY.  It was pretty rough, actually.  All the red tape and paperwork, all the hassle, it was a logistical nightmare.  Then, once I finally got on board with a new doc to manage my porphyria – he did what all new docs on a case loooooove to do: change up all my meds and make my body freak out.  So yeah, there was a period of time that was pretty craptastic.  It was right around this time that my pal Rell and I reconnected, and knowing that I was feeling the stress and dealing with some stuff – she decided to send me a sweet box of pick-me-ups.

When a box from Europe comes for you, and you know there are treats inside: it’s a super exciting time!

And this box of treats did NOT disappoint, neither now.

all mah goodies

Why is it that the German flavor of gummy bears taste so amazing?  They’re ridiculous.  My actual theory is because of the food coloring.  In Europe they’re way more progressive and awesome, and actually aware that food dyes are basically poison – and thus, the foods and candies of European countries usually do not include Red40 or Blue Lake Whatever… they include this crazy stuff, natural flavoring and coloring.  (So weird!).  But seriously, I think it’s the lack of dyes and the clever use of real flavors that enhances the quality.

She also packed in this tea that I certainly can’t get enough of.  I’m actually drinking a nice warm mug right now, but after a looooong day of work I look haggard and am not using a snapshot from this minute.  (Instead I’m using one from yesterday in which I also look really weird and not so cute, but it’s sadly better than now).

the worst ever pic of me, drinking the best ever tea

this tea is to die for

Rell also has beautiful penmanship and the handwritten note she included is so lovely!  I wish I could do cursive that well.  She packed in all kind of thoughtful lovely items, even a blankie for JJ – just… what a SWEET friend she is!  Thank you so much Sherrill, you’re the best.   Here are some more bragging pics of my sweet care pack:

she even included a blanket for jj!

jayjers all snuggled in his soft lil doggie blankie

side one

the b-side

Have you ever gotten an awesome box of goodies?

If you were to get a care pack from Germany, what would you want in it?

And now… what American goodies should I make durn sure to include in a care pack I send over to her?

As always: thanks for reading!!  

XOXO, HHR

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Fun Times With Family and Friends

In the month or so that I took a blogging break, things were downright nutty around here.  I mentioned that we had some family come in town, and now I’ll elaborate.  In yesterday’s post I talked about my weekend trip to Jax for a surprise party – so I figured with all the family and friend fun times, I could just mash up the visits together and make one big photo dump post to catch everyone up on what’s been going on.

One on hand, I totally realize this is kinda cheap and corny (to throw it all into one post).  But on the other, I’m trying my best to achieve a balance that’s tough to strike, between wanting to cover events that are fun and important to me, without boring the pants off everyone reading.  I know that the minutia of my personal life isn’t nearly as fascinating to y’all as I find it – and with respect to that, I’m trying to not drown you in lame-o posts about very ordinary things.  I do realize, however, that for people who know me in person and hang out with me, there’s a certain expectation of making it into the blog when we hang out.  Or least a nervous reluctance that you probably will end up on here at some point.

So.  With all that meta debate established, I’m cool with going ahead and mentioning a little bit about several different events and then slamming y’all with a photo dump.  Cool? Good.

First up, my cousins Justin and Nicole came up here from Florida.  I hadn’t seen them in over a year, and having them come up to New York (and Canada) for a while was awesome.  They’ve grown up so very much, and realizing just how different they’ve become in 15 months makes me sad to be as far away from them as I am.  I knew both of them in vitro, and have seen their growing up firsthand, until I moved to Hawaii.  We had a great time and made sure to squeeze in as much as we could – like going boating on the lake, doing arts and crafts, cooking out, etc. etc.  In addition to having them up here, my sister Anna and her boyfriend Jared drove over to come visit with them as well.  They live north of Albany, so it’s not too much of a hike.  Having everyone all in Fredonia was both awesome and crazy.  It was a lot of moving parts to keep track of, that’s for sure!

All in all, we had a great time – and I was super sad to see everyone go.

Like less than a week later, my Dad and Step-Mom (Anna) came up here to see us!  They took a big trip up from Florida and we were their first stop.  Neither Duggs or I had seen them since they came out to visit us in Hawaii (remember that post?), so hanging out with Viper and Anna was long, long overdue.  We had an awesome time.  Lots of hanging out, some rambling, we went shooting, hung out with other family members that live in the area, went out to eat, and who knows what else.  Oh yeah, Dad took me to a doctor’s appointment and got to meet one of my new docs up here.  We dedicated a lot of their trip to just spending quality time together, not necessarily focused on an event or an activity.  And that was good, it was just great to hang out all together.

So that covers the two big events of us hosting folks up here.

As y’all already know, last weekend I flew down to Florida to go hang out and get crazy with my old college pals.  I went to UNF in Jacksonville, FL from 2001-2005.  After graduating, I stayed in town for several years (like four?) where I worked and lived and kept partying with my college friends in some weird pattern of extended adolescence.  It was very rad, and I loved the years I spent in Jax.  The beaches are great, the community is great, I loved riding my beach cruiser everywhere and getting to surf after work.  It was just an awesome place to live, and I miss it often.  Well, I miss the friends most of all – but Jax too.  It’s a very rad town!   I didn’t get a ton of pics (partying + mob mentality + not having a flash = lame, blurry, too dark photos), but a couple of the ones that are okay I threw into the photo dump here.

As much fun as I had reuniting with my pals, and wishing one of my dearest dudes, Cory Lee, a happy birthday – man, there is NO place like home.  And at this point in time, I’m confident to say that Western New York sure does feel like home.  I’m glad to be back and I’m happy to be here.  I was just going through some pics from this summer- snap shots from runs I’ve been on, photos of the dogs being silly, and I can easily say that I love my now-life.

Thanks to everyone who hung out this summer and contributed to some super fun times!  Hawaii was amazing, but it was lonely – so seeing loved ones again is a very very nice thing.  It’s wonderful and fills my cold little heart with a whole mess of happiness.

As always, thanks for reading my blog!!  XOXO, HHR

Without further ado… THE PICS:

DIY Racerback Workout Tee – Hippie Style

right before a nice long run

I have a new favorite tee my pals. 

My friend Carly posted a pic of a super cute workout tee a couple weeks ago.  She assured us it was easy to make and posted the link to the tutorial she used.  After I read the instructions and realized it would take about two seconds to whip one up for myself, I was all over it.

Of course I chose a tie dye shirt, duh.  The results are perfect – a super breezy lightweight workout tee that’s the perfect length.

Verbatim copy and pasted tutorial from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth:

DIY Workout Shirt
Makes 1 sexy little tank

Ingredients:
1 old T-shirt
1 pair of scissors
20 minutes

1. Start with a pre-washed T-shirt. Any old shirt will do! The bigger the better.

2. Cut away the ribbed neckline and bottom hem. For the sleeves, cut downwards starting from the shoulder, determining how thick you want your straps. Cut straight down and then begin to curve down below the armpit seam.

3. Determine how low you want your front neckline, and cut away.

4. Flip the shirt over and make a narrow racerback, curving inward from the armpits.  Then cut a deep “V” shape from the top neckline.

5. Using the excess bottom hemline, stretch it out until it becomes one long string of fabric. Knot the string a couple of inches above the bottom of the “V” shape.

6. Wrap the string all the way down around the center of the racerback, and back up to meet the other ends. Knot the ends together tightly. Trim the loose ends.

7. To give your tank a high-low look, lay your shirt sideways, flattening it out evenly. Starting a few inches up at the front of your shirt, start cutting diagonally until you reach the back.

Throw it on with some cute yogis, grab your water, and hit the gym!
Post or email your photos if you make a shirt! I can’t wait to see your creations!

If you loved this DIY, you may also like my DIY Multi Strand Scarf! No sewing required! 

And here’s the pic by pic for each step of the way, from their original tutorial post:

 

Now, here’s my super hippie’d out version:

started with a tie dye tee, a pretty big and baggy one

the colors look more yellow than they really are

Then I followed the steps exactly as they are up above, except for doing the high/low thing with the bottom.  I actually love that look and intend to cut and angle the shirt, I just actually forgot the day I made it and now it’s in the dirty stinky laundry pile.

running tank!

racerback

maybe i should have tied it around the v on back a bit higher? i do like it as it is anyways, though. 

 

it’s cut pretty low on the sides, i could have saved a bit more fabric if i wanted to wear it as a regular tank. but i only plan to don it over a sportsbra or bathing suit.

see what i mean? it needs a something underneath it!

when it was chilly out, it worked perfectly over a longsleeve tee

Well.  There ya go!

I know it’s nothing creative on my part, seeing as I totally got the idea and instructions elsewhere.  BUT- I love love love this tank, it’s my new fave.  And I’m going to make some more for myself soon.  It’s just so EASY and fun, I wanted to pass the idea along to y’all so you can get to cutting and tying up your own versions.

As always, thanks for reading! 

xoxo, HHR

Happy Birthday to Me and to The USA!

What a busy week it’s been!  My birthday is July 3rd, America’s is the 4th, I had a whole mess of family in town for the festivities and it’s just been a lot of good times and fun.  Oh, and food!

So my mother (Krazy Kathy) came into town on the 2nd.  I hadn’t seen her since she visited Hawaii almost a year ago! Yowzers, that’s probably the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing her.  So it was a much overdue visit and it was so nice to have her up here!  We ran some errands together (go figure), hung out, discovered an awesome sandwich place a stone’s throw from my cousin’s house, visited the family cemetery, went out to eat, caught up, so on.

my mom, at my great uncle’s house

dinner pics from our evening at the brick room in downtown fredonia – awesomely great food!

The night before my birthday Kath took us out to eat at this great little Italian place in downtown Fredonia: The Brick Room.  Our food was incredible and it was the perfect ambiance for our very inappropriate and bawdy dinner table talk.

I think it’s easily safe to say that a good time was had by all.

going out to dinner on the 2nd with my mother, husband, and great uncle

love this billabong maxi dress!

Then on the third of July, my actual birthday, I spent the day with my Mom.  Well, I worked a bit in the morning – Duggs worked all day (stupid weird mid-week holiday is such a bummer!).  Then I hung out with Mom.  Once it was dark out we headed over to Uncle Bobby’s – my cousin, his wife, and their kids are up here visiting too, so we got to go see them and hang out.  Sadly the fire works for the third were cancelled because of crappy weather!

mom

and me

this is very funny to me for some reason!

 

 

Alright, so my Mom and I had a nice time on my birthday.  We ran into my Uncle Chris and Aunt Betty who were also in town for the 4th, at the cemetery, how wacky is that!

Oh, the sunset over Lake Erie on my birthday was awesome:

light em up !

pretty paper lanterns

Fourth of July Fun!

The fourth was a busy holiday.  We started the day hanging out at home and getting food and treats ready.  I baked a boatload of festive red, white, and blue cupcakes.  You can flog me now for my flagrant use of food dye, I know I’m terrible!  This is the summer of hypocrisy or something, lol.  Anyways, at least I did bake some without dye (and in the stash I kept home for us I included plenty on un-dyed options).  After getting everything ready, we went over to Uncle Bobby’s for a big ole picnic and cookout.  We played some ladder ball, laid out on the beach, had some delicious steamed clams, hung out with everyone there, I ate some of the best potato salad I’ve ever had… and then we wrapped it up and headed over to my Aunt Patty’s house for a nice cookout!  Al cooked up some awesome steaks, Aunt Patty made ribs and mac’n’cheese, and we all hung out and had some cocktails and cold beers.

Busy, but an awesome holiday for sure!

sweet treats from the 4th

4th of july at uncle bobby and miss peggy’s house

the good stuff!

collage from the cookout at my aunt patty and al’s house

And in case you were wondering, I wore red, white, and blue ALL week.  Haha, just to clarify in case there was any doubt.

It’s been an awesome week, that’s for sure!  And we still have a weekend to go now (okay, maybe I take back what I said about mid-week holidays being stupid).  I hope to get back into a more normal routine come next week, that’s for sure!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

Happy National Running Day!

My new friend Amanda over at Fancy Oatmeal (yeah, I decided we’re “friends” now, she’s moving to Jax, FL + teaches English + runs + is awesome) posted earlier today letting me know about the June 6th fun that is “National Running Day.”

Thanks, Amanda!  I made durn sure to get my celebration on.

Did you run today?  If not yet, are you going to?

I just went on a whopper of a run.

me, instagram style, on today’s runny run

Well, it was only for 40 minutes, but it was outside and I was doing harder intervals than I’ve been doing since I moved to NY – with a higher run-to-walk ratio.  I didn’t much sleep last night, and for some reason I’m STILL sore from Monday’s crazy 64 minute run/walk/exhaustion-fest.

So here are some recent running pics, from a couple diff runs last week, Monday’s night run and today’s celebratory run.  I’m so so proud of myself for getting back into and trying so hard and giving it my all to get back into shape.

I love running, and running loves me.

Your turn: tell me about your most recent runs!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

Keeping The Tag Moving!

My blogger pal Mike, over at Run Till you Drop recently “tagged” me in a sort of blogging game (kinda like blogging awards).   He tagged me and asked me a question that I’m to answer here on my blog.  (So I will totes do just that).

mike, a former footballer now trainer, blogs about fitness and all that healthy stuff (and marriage and his cute kids) over at ‘run till you drop’ – an awesome and fun blog!

And then, I’m to pass the tag along! I’ll link your blog in this post + ask you a question; you answer the question and then keep the tag moving!

I don’t think there’s a set number of how many tags to pass on.  But yesterday I made a little list of some people who I hope will participate and actually write back. If you’re tagged here – come on back to the comments section and link us to your reply (I can always edit the post to include you answer link right on in the post body itself; technology is so fancy).

Mike tagged me over here.He wrote:

Secondly, I think it would be rude not to bring ‘happyhippierose‘ to the party! Rose is such a sweet girl who has just moved away from very different weather to what ‘bearrunner‘ experiences. After reading her posts about life in Hawaii, I get very jealous from time to time, BUT sadly she has recently moved and I’d like to know a little more as I’ve not seen many blogs from her recently. So Rose, how did the move go and are you settled now? Also, as Rose likes her exercise too, I’d like to know what you’ve done recently to keep yourself in shape whilst moving from one home to another?

Hey Mike! Thanks for thinking of me and for the kind words.  Well, at the time you actually tagged me, I hadn’t mentioned much about the move – but now I think I’ve actually gone overkill and I’ve given the play-by-play all up on here.  I have stories, photos, posts and what not (just scroll through my May posts, they’re almost all about moving – so it seems – sorry y’all, it was pretty consuming). I don’t want to be too redundant and bore you to tears, so I’ll say this:

  • moving always sucks, it’s always a pain, it’s always stressful
  • that considered, this one went REALLY well
  • we turned part of it into a short road trip through NY state and that was wonderful, we met up with fam and friends we hadn’t seen in years!
  • we’re nicely settled in now, and so far just LOVING it here!!

My cousin Nick’s home is great, he’s been a generous and gracious host – doing more for us than any one cousin should do for another; he is wonderful and his hospitality right now is one of the biggest blessings on our lives.  So we’re living with him, probably will for a year or so.  We get along well, it’s been super fun so far, lots of joking around and good times.

my cousin nicky, he’s a great fella

Also, we arrived at a great time of year – we live in an amazing small town near Lake Erie with SO MUCH to do. Because of said lake, there’s all kinds of water stuff to do: boating, fishing, tubing, swimming, sun bathing, etc., so on.  New York state is gorgeous, has mountains, and in the warmer months there’s a festival or something every durn weekend.

having fun out on lake erie, memorial day

smooching my hubs, aww!

On my health during this move: I was bad Mike. Like downright evil – I hadn’t worked out in a good, long time.  The house mold in Hawaii had really taken hold of me before we left, and my last couple months there I was just soooo sick.  I didn’t do much of anything. It took moving and getting a few weeks out of the moldy house to actually realize how sick I’d become – slowly, during the move, I started feeling better, regaining energy, and it was just dawning on me how really ill I had become.  This move has been wonderful in that sense and to feel like myself again is such a treasure. So I’m easing back into a better, active, healthy lifestyle…

Since arriving here I’ve been running again!

me, out for a an evening jog with the pooches a couple nights ago

Stretching, yoga and some abs work too. Pretty fancy, huh?  I’m slowly trying to get back into it.  I think after being so ill and not doing much of anything, all the fuss and movement of actually leaving and traveling felt like a workout at first.  Now that we’re settled – it’s back to running, jogging, the kind of exercise I can do for free and in my house.  The best kind!

post workout: i’m slowly getting back into fightin’ shape

So, I think that should have MORE than answered your questions, right?  Thanks for thinking of me, Mike!  You rock! And to my readers who’ve never checked out Mike’s blog before: it’s an awesome resource for fitness info, workout ideas, training motivation and wonderful photos of England, his adorable family and the fun stuff they get into on the weekends.

Now: I’ll Keep The Tag Moving!!!

Oh I have so many friends with blogs and blogs I’m friends with… I feel like I coould be here all day.  So if you’re someone I love and I didn’t pick you, please don’t be cross with me.  These kinds of blogging games always come around and get passed about – so I’m sure there will be others down the road, and when that happens I’ll mix up the participants for sure.

In no particular order:

1. Cult Fit – tag, you’re it!  A real game of tag would totally count as random fitness, right? Cult Fit is a wacky, eccentric, brilliant blog written for the fitness-seeker with a speedy mind.  They crack me up and offer a good wake up call to get off my rear and go out and sweat, they also write daily workouts of the random fitness variety – fun stuff, motivation, love the humor and style.

“cult fit” – the header from their blog, i don’t think they post pics of themselves, and i wouldn’t even know how many photos to look for!

My question to Cult Fit: How many authors do y’all have?  It always feels like there’s a whole mess of you penning blogs and you’re always referring to Uncle so-and-so, and this guy and that gal… but really, how many different writers are there?

UPDATE: Cult Fit already passed the tag – check out their post right here. So rad!

2.  Sleep & Salami is a blog I got connected with during my feeble attempt at 30 Days of Blogging Honesty (which I hardly made it halfway through)… Sleep and Salami is a funny, happy blog that covers all kinds of topics and I’ve been a subscriber ever since the 30 Day event.

“sleep and salami” never posts pics of herself, but here’s the image on her gravatar

Question: I really loved your happy go lucky postings of “Merry May” – what a fun idea. I’m sorry you had a crummy April and you were in need of a pick me up – what have you found to be the best way to pull oneself out of a funk and into happiness?  Do you think your focus on gratitude has been a big help?  (I’m a huge advocate of focusing on gratitude for sure).  How are you feeling now, emotionally?  What’s in store for June?

3. Nourish. Nature. Love.  Carlita!  Heya Carly, how’s it going in Florida?  Carly is a personal friend of mine who writes an incredibly educational blog about lifestyle, fitness, nutrition and health – she posts juicing recipes, all kinds of recipe, workout stuff, yoga stuff, just all kinds of holistic lifestyle good choices stuff.

carly, from “nourish.nature.love.”

carly, gettin’ her workout on!

I would like to ask Carly: Are you so stoked about your new job teaching/training Kosama? What about Kosama excites you? What all will you be doing as part of this new job?  (Congrats btw, I’m super excited for you!)  And if you want to get into Jordan’s new job, can you touch on what you’ll be doing to stay busy over the next year (other than working your tail feather off??)

yogi extraordinaire.

4. I am Rose’s Keeper.  Are you EVER going to write your own blog again?  C’mon pleeeeeeeeeease.  (That’s my hubby’s blog, I want him to keep it up!)

oh duggs – so handsome in his new civilian look, the guy who blogs at “i am rose’s keeper” (and my hubby)

the pic duggs has of himself on his blog

5. Ear-Sword-Miracle.  Why are you so incredibly awesome?? Seriously Miles, you rock.  You’ve become such a “mentor” to me – and you always inspire me and offer so much support and love.  I think you and Sharon are so so rad!  So I know I’m supposed to ask you some kind of question that you’re actually able to blog about… so let’s see:  Can you tell me more about the roots of your faith?  I know an awful lot about how you view things now, but I’d love to know more about the journey that got you there.  And then – how did you and Sharon come to love tie dye so much?  The whole 70’s thing, or is it just because tie dye is so fun and happy and bright, just like y’all are?

miles, from “ear-sword-miracle,” the texan cowboy!

6.  Twirling Girl.  Oh Victoria, I love your blog!  I think your writing is beautiful and inspirational.  You’re really an excellent writer – is this blog your first foray into writing, or do you have some other experience that’s given you such a talented, solid voice and wonderful skill with words?

“twirling girl” pretty victoria

Where does your inspiration for your posts come from?  And how on earth do you find the time to do so much reading?? You’re really an impressive lady, and I just want you to know that I love your blog and find beauty in everything you post.

7.  Hiking in Paradise. Goodness you make me miss Hawaii!  SO MUCH!  I’m glad you’re trying to include more photos with your posts (I know at some point you mentioned getting a camera to bring on dives, and how it can be a bit clumsy to use – or at least it was at first, right?).  Your adventures are always exciting and the enthusiasm with which you’ve jumped into SCUBA makes me wish I’d given diving a chance.  Did you like that pun back there?  I have ear drama though, so actually I’d probably not do well with diving, I can never go too deep when I’m snorkeling or swimming.

“hiking in paradise” is lovely and happy =)

My question for you:  What’s your most favorite hike in Hawaii?  If you ever leave the island, what will you miss the most?  And what adventure have you been on that’s your proudest accomplishment – ya know, what dive or hike was the toughest and left you feeling so great about yourself for getting through it?

8. Through The Tunnel.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  I saw on Fb it was your birthday, so I just had to give you a shout out.  Doing anything fun for your b-day?  For the average person, what’s the most important thing we should know about PPD and those going through it?  Like the top bit of advice you’d suggest for being supportive or the top bits of info to know for the sake of having awareness awareness, can you give us a surface level little bit, and “intro” to PPD if you will.

esther, lovely mama and encourager of many at “through the tunnel.”

PPD, btw, is Post-Partum Depression, and my pal Esther writes a lovely encouraging blog about PPD and getting through to the light at the end of the tunnel.  She’s a smart, sweet, and loving mama who helps reach out to many through her blog and social media.  Again, Happy Birthday!! Love to you, Corny Esther =)

(fun fact: Ear-Sword-Miracle is Through The Tunnel’s Dad, so cool!)

Alrighty – I think that’s plenty of folks for now – right?

Now y’all have to Keep The Tag Moving!  So, write and publish a post on your own blog, in which you answer the question I’ve asked you.  Then “tag” some other blogs by linking to them in that same post and ask a question or two of them, thus passing the tag on to them.  Cool? Cool!

Have fun!

And as always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

*pics stolen from other blogs and in one case, facebook, totally without permission because i’m totally rude like that.

Fancy Photos From the Road – Long Island, NY

As promised, here are some of the “good” photos I took while we were on Long Island last week visting Duggs’ side of the family and a lot of our friends there.  In my earlier post, I used the snap shots from my iPhone (which aren’t so shabby), but now here are some better pics that we took with our real camera.

And even though we have a fair amount of pics, I wish I had taken more!  I always do.  It seems so annoying at the time to have out the camera and to nag everyone to pose and take pics.  But then after the fact, when you have nice photos, you’re always so glad you did it.  So my new thing is not being afraid to be the annoying one – because the benefit in the end is so worth it.

Okay.  Enough rambling, here’s from the wonderful time we had on Long Island with family, friends, loved ones near and dear:

Like I said, I wish I’d taken more photos.  These hardly paint the picture of the time we had there – no image can really encapsulate how nice it is to see family when it’s been so long since you were all last together.  But some are better than none, so I appreciate y’all checkin’ out the ones we did manage to take.

And next time someone’s pestering you to smile, think of the big picture – maybe the person with the camera writes a blog and they’re trying to fully illustrate a week-long road trip with oodles of pics.  Maybe!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

HNL to JFK, Road Trip, Reunions, and So On…

We don’t live in Hawaii anymore.  It’s so crazy to realize that, but in another way – it feels like it’s been forever since I was in Hawaii.  I know it’s hardly been a week since we left, but the sounds of luau music and the taste of pineapple with li hing feel like super distant memories.  It’s weird how time can mess with you like that!

We finally left Hawaii on the evening of May 1st.  Getting all of our luggage, the pooch and ourselves to the airport was comedic at best.

the shuttle from the hotel to the airport. yeah, we literally filled the whole thing

arriving at the honolulu airport – so much stuff, yikes!

It took so long to do all the checking in and inspections that we were literally the last ones to run aboard the plane just moments before take-off.  American Airlines was actually great, they only charged us $175 for JJ – and if you’ve been following all of the controversy and price changes for animals accompaniment fare, you know this is a screaming good deal!

checking the pooch into american airlines

I was so sad to say bye to JJ.  I was so worried about my pooch being on the plane, all by himself.  He’s meek and scared of everything as it is.  I knew the poor little guy was just going to be terrified the whole time.  I slept with a blanket for a week out, so it would really smell like me.  We had his favorite pals, Hippo and Bonky in there with him, along with a new doggie bed a couple pillows he likes.

saying good bye to the pooch before we boarded the plane in hawaii

Then it was go time!

self-port in the plane lavatory, hahah. i’m shameless.

duggs and me, on the plane – good bye hawaii and hello new adventure!

We made a quick stop in LAX (and hey! Cali friends, don’t worry, we hardly had more than a few minutes to sit at the gate and then we were off again – if I ever have enough time to hang out during a layover I make sure to let folks know, and this was NOT one of those time).  Then on to JFK in New York City it was!  Jayjers seems to have done well enough, because when we picked him up in the NY airport he was his happy, excited, adorable self!

i look so tired after flying all night – but i’m super happy to be reunited with my sweet boy!

rounding up all of our crap in the jfk baggage claim

We landed in the mid-afternoon of May 2nd.  Between the flight lengths and the time change it really takes about a full day to go from Hawaii to the East Coast.  Then the nest adventure was rounding up the luggage (all zillion pieces of it… seven checked, 3 carry ons and a pooch, to be exact) and get the rental car checked out and on the road.

The first stop was Miss Alices, or Mom’s – my Mother-in-Law’s place in Long Beach, Long Island.

miss alice, outside of her home in long beach, long island, ny.

We stayed at Miss Alice’s house for three nights!  We were able to catch up with her, Matthew got to see BOTH of his brothers and we just all had an awesome time.  We got to relax, shoot the breeze, and it was just lovely all around.  MIss Alice treated us to some amazing home-cooked meals and we just lived it up, relaxing and taking it all in!

stephen, matthew’s brother holds jj

Matthew and I did some shopping (we made some awesome use out of some leftover gift cards from Christmas).

duggs driving me to the mall for some shopping!

yo, i’m at the mall. so what about it?

oh hay duggs, how does it feel to be back home?

It’s been a little colder here than we expected – but the change of pace has felt AMAZING. I love it!  We packed for a slightly warmer season, so while at the mall we did grab a couple more sweaters.  And Miss Alice gifted me some layering stuff and sweaters too.  Surprisingly, I’ve done well with the climate change and haven’t felt “cold” at all.  I’ve just really liked it!   One thing I have had to get used to – having to wear real clothes.  In Hawaii, I dressed sooooo casually, flip flops (slippahs) and sundresses all the time!  Not to mention I work from home, so I hardly get all dolled up.  In the NYC-area, it’s a different story.  You can’t go running errands looking like a slouch.  So I’ve had a fun time wearing “real” clothes.  It feels good!

A few of Matthew’s pals hosted a really sweet gathering for us and we were able to catch up with a lot of friends.  It was so rad!

duggs and me, from the night we hung out with everyone

We had a great night hanging out with everyone.  I was too busy gabbing (go figure!) to take many pics… ugh.  I promise that once we go through the real camera and upload pics, I’ll include whatever ones we have from that night.  It was a blast seeing Christian and Lauren, their little baby Griffin, Lauren’s parents were such a delight!  And then so many friends came over to say hi!  We got to see Brian and Rachel, Nick and Liz, my friend Marissa met up with us too, Christian’s brother Shawn, and then we were there – it was such a cool night!  (I really really hope I didn’t forget anyone).

To everyone who came and hung out – thank you so much!  It was so rad to see everyone.

miss alice, during the road trip out to the east end of the island

the view driving near nanny and grandparent’s house out in amagansett, long island

me and the sweet pooch on the road, loving it!

Before we went to the actual house, we stopped by the beach in Amagansett and I was able to lay eyes on the Atlantic Ocean once again.  After living in and around the Pacific the past couple years, and getting used to its warm waters and bright blue electric colors – it was nice to see my tried and true gray Atlantic.  Something about the murky and cold water just feels comforting to me, out of familiarity, out of the hours and hours I’ve spent in it and on it… as gorgeous as the Pacific is, the Atlantic will always be home to me!

the ocean!

the house in amagansett – it’s a beautiful beach home that duggs and his fam have all gathered at for years.

We spent a night with Matthew’s grandparents, his mom, his brother Johnny and his Uncle Joe all out at the beach house in Amagansett.  Uncle Joe had his lovely doggie Kola with him, and seeing Jay and Kola interact was fun and cute.  The time out at the beach house was very relaxing.  It’s so quiet out there, it was really nice.

I woke up the morning we were to head out that way with a dreadful sore throat.  I was so worried about getting everyone sick, but it’s been way too long since we’ve seen everyone.  So long as they were okay with me and my germs, I was more than happy to suck it up and make the trip anyways!

Here’s where I’m a heel: the vast majority of the picks we took were on the good camera and I haven’t even started to upload and sort through those.  The only ones I have are my random iPhone snap shots.  So I’ll have to go back and post much better pics from this trip when I have some real time to do a nice job.  On my phone, I hardly got any family pics – just some weird snaps here and there.

 

johnny is the biker of the fam, he looks like jax from sons of anarchy!

duggs and i got to sleep lucy and dezi style in twin beds, hehe! it was so nice and quiet there, we were able to get some great sleep.

check out this old school image of super duper hottie hubby back in the day!

Grandpa cooked us a lovely meal of salmon and rice, Nanny served a light and a delicious   key lime pie.  The whole family was able to catch up, chit chat and relax.  I know Matthew was just so happy to get to see his family – for him it had been about two years since he’d seen anyone!

The single night spent out there came and went too soon, and before I knew it we were on the road again… time to head back to Long Beach and drop off Miss Alice (my mother-in-law) and then pack up and head out to Pottersville.

Next up: a blog about our time at Camp Curtis on Valentine Pond, in Pottersville, NY.   Our road trip will continue and we’ll keep going and visiting more fam and friends.

the road trip route: JFK to long island, going all across the whole island and then back to the city, up toward and past albany and then on to buffalo! pretty sweet way to criss cross the state, huh?

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

30 Days of Blogging Honesty – Day 12

Day 12 — My favorite song to dance and sing to when no one is looking…

“Dancing With Myself” – Billy Idol

Oh man!  I used to get ready for school/work almost everyday by busting a move to “Dancing With Myself!”  I love that jam.  One infamous morning in college, my music was up so loud and I was soooo in the solo dancing zone, I didn’t even hear it when my friends knocked and then opened my door!  There I was, half dressed, brushing my teeth, just dancing my little heart out.

It was one of those stories I never lived down.  Totally hilarious!

I love to dance pretty often, though.  If Lady Gaga or Brit Brit comes on, I’m up and dancing, for sure.  It’s just too much fun.

The moves inside me are just screaming to be let free:

happy hippie dancing to lady gaga’s “the queen”

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

I’m participating in a fun blogging event.  Tom Baker and Cherlyn Cochrane created the “30 Days of Blogging Honesty” challenge – chock full of 30 writing prompts + one dare at the end!  To read all the rules and prompts, click this link.

Check out the other bloggers playing along:

Participants
Cherlyn Cochrane
Jenn MikoLJMelanieLast Civilized WomanPrincesa MusangPrimadonna Zel,CarolineKoiAurathenaTerriblethinkerSleep and SalamiMarliz3ePrysmatiqueDLonelyStarAnonymousBurnNicoleSylvia GarzaMariana,NenskeiMyNakedBokkieBluefiadiarriesVeehCirraBannatreasuresSajeevHappyhippieroseTheFerkelTom Baker*Sofia*Everything Love & Lust,*TemptingSweets99, Sites with an * contain NSFW material. If erotic or sexual material is offensive to you, please do not visit these three blogs.

Moto Friendship Bracelet Making How-To

Dommie, one of my most bestest friendests and I looooove to make friendship bracelets.  It’s a rad craft that I’ve mentioned here a time or two before.  Back in ’09, Dommie and I invented these cute moto bracelets, we posted pics and then all of our forum pals wanted to know how we did them.  The how-to portion isn’t incredible, but it’s enough to get the idea.

I copy and pasted both of my own posts from 2009.  The original content was all mine, so why not re-use?  Go green.  I had to re-vamp the formatting and I used new links, otherwise the content is unchanged (hence the weird punctuation and grammar).

It’s easy-peasy to Google bracelet making instructions, there are even a few links in the second post.  While Dommie and I were missing our deployed boys, we made ourselves “moto bracelets” – some were desert colored, others patriotic (we’re all about the YRN: Yellow Ribbon Nation!) to wear while they were in Afghan.

If you make any of your own, share some pics, will ya?

Moto Wrists (post one):

so dominique and i have gotten a BIT carried away with the friendship bracelets …. we look like 12 year old girls who have been at summer camp for WEEKS.

but, its so awesome! we can’t stop… the ankles are next. what’s rad is we’ve learned and figured out all kinds of wacky stitches and ways to mess around with them. we’re getting pretty good at this.

dommie:

rosie (me):

what started as one deployment bracelet has turned into my MOTO WRIST. i got some USA patriotic action, some yellow ribbon stuff, desert digi, 550cord in woodland camo, and some random regular camo-ish in there too. dommie is trying to catch up on her moto wrist… we’ll see how far she gets.

The How-To (post two):

okay… so lotsa ppl keep asking “how” we (me and dommie) make the camo friendship bracelets. here’s a super detailed how-to thread just on this.

we just make regular kind of friendship bracelets… i found some sites to show you how to tie if you don’t already know. we get the string from crafts stores, and its a REALLY cheap hobby!

links:

http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/how-to-make-friendship-bracelets.html

http://friendship-bracelets.net/

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Friendship-Bracelet

i used REALLY simple knots/stitches. i use variations of flat or twisting chinese stair cases (the stitch where you make a “4” and tie it around the other strings in your bracelet):

step one: choose a string you want to show. make a “four” on top of the remaining strings (these will get tied in the middle):

feed the end through the loop:

pull it TIGHT. holding tight the strings in the middle:

the only string that will be visible for that stitch is the one you made the four with. if you make the four in the same direction (point to the right for example) the subsequent knots will twist. if you alternate directions (right, tie. left, tie. etc.) the subsequent knots will be flat.

you can also do a double version of this stitch:

the green and the brownish strings on the side will BOTH show on this stitch.

the green is the first “four” on top. then make a four with the brown going under and feeding into the green’s loop:

pull tight and you have a double chinese staircase.

to twist, keep the same SIDE on top (the top string will alternate bw the two you are using, ex: one with green on top, one with brown on top – the result will look like green and brown stripes, one stripe is each stitch, the middle is twisty and harder to see) … to make it flat, use the same STRING on top each time (it will switch sides with every stitch, green on top every time – green will be on the outside of the finished stitch, brown in the middle, its flat so the middle is easy to see).

….

an idea i made up that i am in love with is braiding the string before i make a bracelet. instead of using just individual strings, i make braids and then use them as if a braid was one string.

to make desert digi i made several braids first.

1. tan, tan, brown
2. tan, tan, black
3. tan, tan, creamy beige

bc of the way a braid looks, just little specs of the black, brown and cream show, and the majority of the bracelet looks tan. it seriously looks EXACTLY like desert digi.

i’m pointing to the finished desert digi:

next to that is my red,white, blue and yellow.

for my red, white and blue… i also made a blue and white braid first, 2 blue, 1 white – so the white would be small specs like stars in the flag. then i used solid red and solid white for the stripes of the flag. the yellow is just a single string wrapped around after each “flag.”

for the woodland camo i made four braids first:

1. black, black, cream
2. brown, brown, green
3. green, green, cream
4. black, brown, cream

then i did a mix of flat and double chinese staircase stitches, mixing up the two visible strings all randomly.

finished:

my pic quality is kinda crappy bc its just my webcam that i’m using, but IRL the “camo” effect is pretty awesome.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy crafting!  xoxo, hhr

PS, they original posts were on good ole msos – the mil spouse craziness that i totes owe my life to!  (i should so blog about that someday).