Monday, October 17, 2016

Snakes Galore

I swear the things we do for our kids! Last week the kids were out of school every day due to flooding post-Matthew. By Thursday, I suggested we leave the house and do something fun. My thoughts: a museum and a healthy cafe lunch. Their thoughts: a serpentarium (aka snake house). They've been bugging me about the snake house for months. So, I caved.

Clearly they were happy with my caving :)

The official name of this place is not the snake house; even though, it should be.
It is the Cape Fear Serpentarium in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The serpentarium is a two story building is full of snakes, lizards, and alligators. 
Highly venomous, man-eating snakes the size of me!
Ok, I'm exaggerating. They don't eat men.

Monitor Lizard

I believe this is an Emerald Tree Boa. 
Do not fear. He is not poisonous but he will bite you. 
So, if you're ever walking in a rain the careful!

This guy is every reason I never want to travel to China.
The Mang Mountain Viper.

Big alligator. Small cage. Sad face.

My kids thought the serpentarium was the greatest place.
They love weird stuff.

What's a snake house without a irritable squawky parrot?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Welcome to the Weekend

I'm so very thankful the weekend is here. I am in need of a reset. A clean slate. This entire week the kids have been out of school due to flooding after Matthew. They have reached their limit of time spent together. In fact, this was the last happy picture I have of them. Maybe I should buy more cookies and muffins? The answer to all life's troubles!

Please send hugs, tissues, wine, and chocolate! I need some relief. Hope this weekend is the answer! I'm wishing you a s-s-super one! You know, because of the snake picture below and all that hokey stuff ;)

Stop by Monday for a picture overload on the snake place we visited this past week.
It is as skin crawling as it sounds!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Stitch Fix October 2016

October is here. And we are all just a little bit happier. Why are pumpkins just the prettiest, most heartwarming sight to behold? One day I will live in a place where it is appropriate to drink fall-inspired hot beverages and wear sweaters/boot combos in October. That is my dream. Until then, the Marine Corps owns us and summer weather until Christmas it is!

My recent Stitchfix has me hoping for cooler temps soon. My October Fix was filled with 5 perfect fall items. What fun to try them on and pretend the season has changed :) I cannot wait to wear my new items (weather permitting). Fingers crossed the weather changes by Halloween. I currently have a trip booked to see the leaves at the end of the month. We should definitely be packing the sweaters and boots by then!

All the hoping and wishing isn't getting us any closer to seeing what my stylist, Leah, sent this month. Let's get to the fun stuff, shall we?

Loveappella Evie Drawstring Funnel Neck Sweatshirt

This was my obvious keeper of the box. I love the olive color and it look casual yet cute. I paired with my black leggings and new booties (which I love). I got 3 compliments in one day! It's been awhile since I've got complimented on my outfit. I guess people aren't wow'd by workout gear anymore! 

Daniel Rainn Dalina Crochet Detail Knit Top

I love the color. Purple is my favorite. Unfortunately, something wasn't jiving between the mixed materials, detailing, and my body. The front was laying a little awkward. 

But purple is still my favorite! And those booties :) And my favorite jeans from my Birthday StitchFix last year. DL 1961 jeans are the best!

Unpublished Kialla Denim Jacket

Cute jacket! I just wasn't sold it was for me. This is the one item I'm having doubts about whether I should have kept. I've been doubting myself a lot lately. White is just one of those colors I don't feel confident wearing. 

Edyson Leon Corduroy Ankle Zip Skinny Jean

Keeper. Pictures say it all.

DV8 Jossie Two Tone Bootie

I am a big fan of this current trend of the berry/merlot/burgundy bootie. Sadly, this particular bootie wasn't working on my foot comfortably. For me, it was cutting across the ankle when I walked. 

My two picks for my October StitchFix were the Loveappella Evie Drawstring Funnel Neck Sweatshirt and the Edyson Leon Corduroy Ankle Zip Skinny Jean. 
Do you think I made the right choice? Or should I have kept more?

Hurricane Initiation. Windy Days. And The Clean Up.

Wow, what a weekend! I will start by saying hurricanes do not mess around. Hurricane Matthew was mild for us but I can't help think how much worse it could have been for our piece of coastline. By the time the hurricane made it our way, it was down to a Category 1. The wind was blowing around 60mph steadily and the 50 ft tall trees (a stone's throw from my house) were swaying like weeds. Then... the power went out and the sound of the house being knocked around was the only thing to lull us to sleep. It wasn't the best night :)

I waited all week to make the decision to stay or evacuate. After reports Matthew was losing strength, I decided we would stay. I made a grocery run for the essentials. Wine. Junk Food. Water. Wine. Chances are you will lose power so you need food that doesn't need cooked.

I now understand the difference between a thunderstorm and a hurricane. The newscast don't do it justice. Hurricanes bring incredibly warm weather. The rain swirls around in all directions. The wind is crazy strong. I vote for thunderstorm every time! Which says a lot because this was the weakest category to experience. I wouldn't want to see a 4 or 5.

Morning came and the sky was calm. The temperature had dropped 15-20 degrees. Our lawn was littered with branches and pinecones. And Hurricane Matthew seemed to be gone. Hip hip hooray! There was the small detail of no electricity :( But 20 hours later, we were back on the grid.

After driving from the north side of town to the south without any luck, we headed to the island looking for warm hearty food and coffee! With a little begging from the boys, we took a quick peak at the beach. I was shocked how calm everything was. The ocean honestly looked like nothing had ever happened. The calmest I had ever seen it. Not sure if that is a weird ocean aftermath thing or freak occurrence today.

Our electricity was out all day. Small potatoes compared to so many others still waiting to get home or restore electricity. However, we are on well water so electricity pumps water to our house. No electricity means no toilets flushed (properly). I'm not a big fan of that one. We went to find dinner food and wifi and more coffee!

Wilmington was prepared for the worse with it's hurricane shutters, plywood, and sand bags. 
We are so so lucky the storm didn't require those things here. 

Today, which is Tuesday, is our second day without school! The kids are ecstatic. Me not so much. Monday was cleanup day which the kids weren't so happy about. Those branches weren't going to pick up themselves! Things looked so much better when all was complete.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

September Books and Your Reading Advice

Where are all my book people at? I want more of you in my life! Since we moved to the East Coast and I am not working, I read like it's my job! I'm always up for book recommendations. Leave them in the comments! There is nothing worse than beginning a book only to find it's not what you thought after a few (or several) chapters. At that point, you don't know whether to stop or keep going in hopes things will get better.  Have you been there? I want to read good books all the time. No more reading slumps! Lead me to the good stuff!

We've got rainy days ahead thanks to Hurricane Matthew. Rainy days call for reading and mugs of hot drinks. I'm so ready to curl up with my book. I'm reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman. I love this book so far. A quirky main character who makes me laugh. The best characters in my opinion!

Way back in July I read two really wonderful books, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Since those favorite reads, I have been in a slump. Not because of terrible books, my slump has been due to the wrong timing. I'll explain that later. Thankfully, by the end of September, I found my footing again. I'm back to reading great books that I don't want to stop reading.

Here is how my September reading experience went.

My first book of September was Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. This was a great book but for a child. If you have early readers at home, then I highly recommend this one! It was so creative and fun. I mean it is Kate DiCamillo. There is no doubt the book will be great.

Second, I read Bad Beginnings from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I loved this book; however, this is a children's book. I wished I had read it many years ago when my kids were young. There is so much packed into this story. It is a little dark which probably turns many readers away, but surprisingly clever! In fact, I rate The Unfortunate Events series above the Harry Potter series. I'm sure no one will agree with me :)

After two top rated children's book, I decided to read something a little more suited to my age. I was looking for something light and quick to read. I've read Sarah Addison Allen before and enjoy her writing style. I checked out one of her highest rated books, The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. Like most of her books, the story is told of quirky townspeople, a family mystery, and a supporting love story. It didn't quite meet my expectation.

Next, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I'll be honest this book has taken me no less than 10 years to finish. I have started and gave up on this book every time I pick it up. This book is full of symbolism, themes, and everything you don't remember from your high school lit class. The general synopsis is a futuristic dystopian story about books, firemen, and free thinking. It's not a bad story. There is a lot, and I mean a lot of depth to this book.

Four books later, I decided I wanted something guaranteed to entertain me and not make me think too hard. Enter Jojo Moyes' book, One Plus One! Moyes is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I loved this book! The story is about a single mother who is trying to change her children's future by traveling to a math competition. An out on his luck stranger aids them on their venture. The story builds from there. Excellent read!

September ended on a high note with The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This book was entertaining, laugh out loud funny, and heartwarming. The Rosie Project is about a two eccentric academia working together to solve a mystery. Easily one of my favorite books I've read this year. I highly recommend!

Six books read in one month. I'm pretty sure I set a personal record. Now that I hit my groove I'm sticking with happy books for October. I might throw in a little non-fiction to mix it up. If you have any recommendations for happy or non-fiction, please leave in the comments section below!