Year in Review – 2017

As I look forward to 2018 and all that we have planned I wanted to step back in time and do a review of 2017 as we had a great year.

JANUARY

January started with us in a small-town east of Tallahassee, Florida called Quincy. We were staying at a campground right next to Lake Talquin. It was quiet and serene, and we could see the lake right out our front door. We loved that we could walk down to the marina, climb into our boat parked in the boat slip and take a ride out on the water. Sometimes we were greeted by an alligator or two, but if you didn’t bother them, they didn’t bother you. I caught several bream and Greg was always good for a bass or two on each trip out.

FEBRUARY

This month marked my 50th birthday. Not a birthday I was really looking forward to, but the alternative would have been much worse, so I took turning the big 5-0 in strive and kept right on going. In addition, Greg had surgery this month which required a stay in the hospital for several days.

MARCH

This month brought us a brand-new baby and little Miss Ryan was born on the 28th in Louisiana. We left Florida around the 20th to make the trip towards LA to be there for the birth and for me to stay a few weeks after to help if Momma needed help. It was great being there and seeing that sweet baby so soon after she was born. It’s always an experience seeing the birth of a newborn baby.

APRIL

After the baby’s birth, the plan was for us to move to Texas so about three weeks into April we headed for the Lake Fork area in Alba. It’s a very small town in the middle of no where land of BFE as some people would call it. We found an RV/Tiny House park right on the water. Unfortunately, our lot was not right on the water as you had to own a tiny house to live right on the water and we had our big rig, so we stayed in the middle section. It was always quiet and nice being that close to the lake.

MAY

This month meant going back to work to earn a little money for me as I decided to go back to work for a little while. I had to drive a little over an hour one way to each day and it didn’t take long for that to get old.

JUNE

We spent as much time as we could around the rain on the lake enjoying the fishing. Other than that, the month of June was not very exciting.

JULY

I took a trip to Louisiana this month to see the new baby and to be in attendance for her christening. The weekend also marked the third birthday for Jackson, so I was able to do things in one month on the same weekend. The drive there and back was long, but so worth it to be able to hold my babies again.

AUGUST

This year seems to be the year for surgery and hospitals for Greg as he had hernia surgery this month. While he was in the hospital I worked from my hotel room in between visits to the hospital and Greg’s parents came to the house to babysit the fur babies for us as the hospital was an hour and a half from home and too much to drive back and forth every day. He was there for about 5 days.

SEPTEMBER

Greg came home, but ended up back in the hospital with complications twice before we finally got him on the right track and healing. He ended up with a wound vac that would take him seven or eight weeks before he would heal. With all that was going on with Greg’s medical issues and issues at work, I ended up quitting my job this month.

OCTOBER

We spent the entire month with a home health nurse visiting three days a week to replace the wound vac and make sure Greg healed correctly. We couldn’t do any fishing and the weather was mostly either windy or rainy so even if Greg had been feeling like it, fishing wouldn’t have been possible.

NOVEMBER

Time to celebrate turkey day and we did just that. We had ham, turkey & dressing and all the trimmings. It was a nice celebration. Greg finally got healed and got released from the surgeons’ care. We have a lot to be thankful for and grateful that he made it through this year.

DECEMBER

Wow we made it to the last month of the year and boy was this month a busy one. I took one weekend to go visit the grandbabies in Louisiana and celebrate Christmas with them. Greg road with me so I wouldn’t have to do all the driving myself and give me company. We also took the fur babies. Then I took a weekend and flew to Florida to be with two other grandbabies to celebrate with them. It was go, go, go. The week after I returned from FL we drive to Tennessee to put our boat in storage and within a week of getting back we were loading up the fifth wheel and heading to Tennessee to start a new chapter in our life.

NEXT CHAPTER

Neither of us were happy with life in Texas and it just never felt like we could make that home, so we decided to move back to Tennessee where it all started for us back in 2014 in Nashville. Although we didn’t settle in the city of Nashville, we are only about 45 minutes away in Clarksville. Greg lived here back in the 80’s and late 90’s when he was stationed at Fort Campbell, so to him it feels like he’s returning home. I’m looking forward to going back to work and then buying a house. We are putting our RV back on the market and hoping that someone will want to buy a great rig and give it the proper road time it so deserves.

Here’s to 2018 and all that it has to offer.

Christmas 2017

Another Christmas has come and gone and this one was much different from last year. Last year we were in Florida and it was around 60-65 degrees; however, this year we are in Texas and it never reached 40 all day.

MISSING TRADITIONS

I have so many memories of Christmas’ past and the traditions that I shared not only with my children when they were growing up, but also from my own childhood. I can still remember getting my Baby Alive! And playing with her for hours and hours and getting Barbie dolls and make up dolls, an Easy Bake Oven and more. One of the items I remember the most is all of us kids getting a go-cart when I was only five years old. My siblings were nine and eleven, so they could control the pedal and steering better.  Within the first week I had already hit the side of the brick house and broke the go-cart to the point that dad had to get it welded back together. That would not be the only time I done that. Once I got it down pat how to drive it, it was a blast especially driving through the cow field trying to avoid cow patties.

Our family tradition was waking up very early and opening presents. Us kids were always up by 5:00 am and we were done within the hour. Some years we were up even earlier, and Mom would try to make us go back to sleep. Yea right! They only one who went back to sleep was her and dad as us kids always started playing without toys.

Once we got up we were off to Granny and Pops house to spend the holiday with all the cousins and aunts and uncles. It was always fun to play with our cousins and every year we got the same thing from my Granny…handmade panties for the girls, socks for the boys and handmade silky pillowcases for the parents. It never failed that the panties would be too big, but we never said anything as it was special for Granny to have made them. All the family drew names, so we could exchange gifts and only have to buy for how many was in our own family, so we always had to buy for five.

When I had my kids, I tried to instill some of the same traditions with them along with a few of my own. The one thing I always insisted on was getting each child the same number of gifts and making them open them one at a time, so I could see what they got and from who and, so I could take pictures. I was always a big picture person long before I got into being an amateur photographer about ten years ago.

The one tradition I miss the most is all of us being together for Christmas. It meant so much to me as a child to spend the holidays with my extended family and I done that with my kids until their father passed away and then it seemed like Christmas was never the same. In the last ten years I have not once had all three of my kids home for the holidays and it really hurts that the one tradition I wanted to carry on forever for my kids and grandkids will never take place.  There is too much hurt feelings and family issues to keep this from ever happening.

If you have traditions that you share with your children, try to keep them alive as much and as long as possible.

FAMILY TIME

I did get to see my grandkids for Christmas, but it required me traveling to each of their homes this year. I drove to Louisiana the first weekend of December to spend time with Jackson and Ryan. They were so adorable as always and I couldn’t believe how much they are both growing up. I made thirty-six-inch pillows for each of them, so they would have pillows to lay on the floor. His had dinosaurs and each side and hers was made of navy blue on the top and bottom and pink and white chevron around the edges. I added HTV vinyl that said, “little princess” to one side. Other than the pillows, they each received clothes and he got some sea animals. I usually leave the toys to mommy and daddy to get. I made cookies with Jackson while I was there and got as many kisses as I could from Miss Ryan. It was an enjoyable visit and as always, I look forward to seeing them all again soon.

Nana with Ryan (L) and Jackson (R)

The third week of December involved a plane ride to Florida. I flew out of DFW in Dallas to Tallahassee. It was a straight flight, so it didn’t take too long. This visit was to see Colby and Madison. I couldn’t believe it when I walked in a saw Colby. He’s a couple weeks shy of being 14 and he has sprouted up in the last few months. He’s taller than his mom, almost as tall as his dad and way taller than me. Miss Madison is a little firecracker. She was full of energy and played with me more in three days than she has in her entire life. They both received clothes and then Madison got a baby doll and Colby got headphones and a necklace. We went shopping, had pedicures, a great family night out and much more. It was hard to leave, but I was ready to get back home.

Nana with Colby and Madison

BACK HOME

I made it back home on the 18th and I was ready to see my babies, which happen to have fur. Daddy said they missed me because every time they heard a noise they ran to the door to see if I was coming home. I always love my visits to see the kids, but I miss being at home as well.  I’m hoping I can get everyone to my house next year (if we have a house bought by then), but it might mean having one for a few days and then the other for the next few days. Time will tell as we have a whole year to figure it out.

Harley

Oscar

If you have family traditions, please share especially if they involve adult children and how you celebrate the holidays with them.

THE FUTURE

In the next few days we will be headed to Tennessee as Greg and I move our home on wheels to a new location. We’ll be in the town of Clarksville, which is about 45 minutes from Nashville where we met three years ago. Life will be changing once again as not only are we moving, but I will be going back to work as well. Wish me luck on that one as I must find a job.

Greg & Anna

 

Mahi Leather

I was contacted a few weeks back by a company named Mahi Leather asking if I would do a blog post on Christmas gift ideas and include their products in the post. In exchange for doing the post, I could choose a bag of my choice from their website and receive for FREE. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if the contact was legit or not, but I researched the company, discovered they were legit so I went for it. I provided the link to the blog post they requested and a week later I had a brand new bag delivered to my doorstep.

I picked the Classic Bucket Bag for my freebie and I am totally in love with it. I’ve been using it ever since it arrived and I don’t think I will ever go to another bag or at least not for quiet some time. Every MAHI is lovingly made to order and comes complete with a complimentary dust cover and 30 day money-back guarantee. You can have your bag personalized, if desired. The leather is beautiful and the workmanship is great.

This site may contain affiliate links, which means under certain circumstances I might receive a small amount of compensation.

You can check out the assortment of bags and accessories by visiting Mahi Leather and get the perfect gift for yourself as well as a loved one. They have gifts for women and men allike.

Weight Loss Update – December 2017

UPDATE

I feel bad that I haven’t posted an update to my weight loss and a lot of readers probably think I’ve given up. Let me assure you I am in no way giving up on this journey to a better ME. At weigh in today I was down another two pounds for a total now of seven (7) pounds LOST. Yes, I know that’s a long way from my goal, but I’m still losing and I’m doing it my way by gradually loosing the weight instead of trying to lose lots of weight at one time and then putting it all back on. I feel that going at the rate that I’m doing this I have a better chance of staying on track and keeping the weight off in the future, which is my ultimate goal.

INCHES LOST

In addition to the weight loss, I measured and I’m down a total of 3 inches in the areas that I measure, which are the boobs, waist and hips. I could be losing more inches in other areas, but I don’t want to measure every inch of my body.

FOOD

My hardest part is still trying to cut back on eating certain foods. I’m a southern girl who loves her bisquits and jelly, sweet tea, rice and potatoes, plus a lot of other high carb foods. I’ve cut back my portions and continue to exercise daily on the Total Gym. No matter how hard the struggles become, I will continue to work towards my ultimate goal!

Christmas Gift Giving List

It’s that time of year where we start buying Christmas gifts and with that comes the decision of what to buy for whom. Well I hope this list will help you to decide what to buy for those special people on your list. I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find the best ideas this year and have found some wonderful products for both the men and women on your list. I hope this helps you decide what to get for your favorite people.

This site may contain affiliate links, which means under certain circumstances I might receive a small amount of compensation.

Shiatsu Pillow Massager – Price: $40

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody enjoys a good massage. The pillow massager will help to:

  • Relieve sore mucles
  • Ergonomic and compact
  • Convenient straps

Bamboo Bathtub Caddy – Price: $11

If she loves to soak in the tub for a little R&R, this caddy will be the perfect bathroom accessory. It comes with:

  • A book prop, a wineglass holder and soap dish
  • Made of natural bamboo, don’t have to worry about splitting or mold
  • Expandable arms and folds down for compact storage

Soft Slippers – Price: $35 and Up

Available in eight different colors, these fleece-lined slippers are as comfortable as they are durable.

  • Soft suede upper
  • Thick foam-padded insole molds to your foot shape
  • Polyester/acrylic fleece lining
  • Flexible rubber outsole provides traction

Handwritten Bracelet – Price: $31 and up  

Send the shop owner a close-up of your handwritten message and they’ll craft it into a personalized bracelet to worn year round.

  • 100% 18k Gold Filled, Sterling Silver, or Rose Gold Filled
  • All raw materials are USA and Italia sourced
  • Personalized bracelet with actual handwriting / font 
  • Length: include chain and charm

Kindle Fire HD 8 – Price: $79.99

Ignite her passion for technology with the Kindle Fire HD 8. She will be able to instantly access books, movies, email and more! Instant gratification equals eternal gratitude, so you are going to earn major points with this gift.

  • The next generation of our best-reviewed Fire tablet, with up to 12 hours of battery life, a vibrant 8″ HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Dolby Audio. More durable than the latest iPad.
  • 16 or 32 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 256 GB of expandable storage
  • Now with Alexa, for quick access to the information and entertainment you want.
  • Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle eBooks, apps and games.
  • Prime members get unlimited access to over a thousand books, magazines, songs, movies and TV episodes – at no additional cost

Vibram Running Shoes – prices: $ varies 

Treat her toes to a heavenly experience by investing in these uniquely designed running shoes that cushion the soles and offer protection where the foot needs it most.

  • Synthetic, Mesh
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Lace-up minimal running shoe built for medium-distance road running featuring signature FiveFingers toe box
  • 0mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Anti-microbial Drilex sockliner
  • EVA foam midsole
  • Vibram XS Run outsole

Envirosax Market Bag – Price: $ varies

These market bags are tote-ally rad! Colorful, exciting and environmentally friendly, they will instantly turn up the fun factor on your gal’s most mundane grocery store runs.

  • Sold as a set of 2
  • Easy tie-together handles allow the bag to be worn diagonally to rest on the hip and the handles can be adjusted to suit different body shapes
  • The bag also has a hidden side pocket that is handy for your phone and keys
  • Dimension: Approximately 17 inch width by 14 inch length
  • Material: Polyester

Mahi Leather Bag – Price: $ varies

  

 

 

 

 

 

These bags feature the following:

  • Made to order with full grain cow leather
  • Personalized embroidery
  • Cotton dust cover
  • Up to 50% cheaper than high street prices
  • $1.50 from every bag sold is donated to FRANK Water Charity

UGG Australia Women’s Classic Tall Boots – Price: $154.94 and Up

Who says comfortable can’t be chic? All women love a laidback pair of snug UGG Boots that are so easy to slip on and keep her feet warm in the stands. These are the perfect Christmas gift for the woman who just wants to be comfortable and cozy.

  • Leather
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Shaft measures approximately 11.75″ from arch
  • Platform measures approximately 0.75″
  • Boot opening measures approximately 13″ around
  • Decorative stitching

Kitchenaid Stand Mixer – Price: $199.99

Mix things up by purchasing this KitchenAid Stand Mixer. She will be whipping up delicious meals and treats in no time to thank you for such a unique and wonderful gift.

  • 275-watt, 10-speed mixer with tilt-up head
  • 4-1/2-quart bowl holds dough for 2 loaves of bread
  • Three handy accessories: flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook
  • Includes a guide with instructions, mixing tips, and 67 recipes
  • Measures 13-8/9 by 8-2/3 by 14 inches; 1-year warranty

Keurig K15 Single Serve Compact K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, Chili Red – Price: $ 71.06 

The next best thing to a caffeine IV drip is finally here! With this single-cup home-brewing system, delicious coffee can be at her fingertips when she needs it most – which is all the time.

  • COMPACT: Small and personal; great for small spaces and portable design goes anywhere.
  • BREW SIZES: Brews your perfect amount, any cup size between 6-10 oz. Use the 6 oz. cup size for a bolder brew.
  • WATER RESEVOIR: Single cup water reservoir for ultimate portability – just add fresh water for each brew.
  • DRIP TRAY: Removable drip tray accommodates travel mugs up to 5.2” tall, and holds a full accidental brew for easy clean-up.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT: Automatic shut-off turns the brewer off after 90 seconds of inactivity, helping to save energy
  • The Keurig K15 Coffee Maker brews all K-Cup pods. Choose from over 500 brands and varieties of K-Cup Pods. For the best quality be sure to look for the Keurig logo on each K-Cup Pod.

Baby Elephant Ring Holder – Price: $15.80

Want a surefire way to make something adorable? Make it miniature! This baby elephant ring holder does just that by combining practicality and unadulterated cuteness. Just like an elephant never forgets, she will never forget who gave her such a precious gift.

Garden Kneeler – Price: $23.99

How does her garden grow? With a whole lot of blood, sweat and dirty pant legs… until now. Save her slacks and her knee joints with this comfortable garden kneeler. Weeds don’t stand a chance!

Diamond Stud Earrings – Price: $199 & up 

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Introduce her to these two new pals and she will be eternally grateful. Not to mention she will look stunning. Grateful and stunning, now that’s a delightful combination.

Infinity Love Knot Pendant – Price: $75  

Show her you’re “knot” joking when you say you will love her forever by giving her this dazzling and elegant pendant. She will follow you to infinity and beyond, all the while looking chic and sophisticated.

Lunch Bag Purse – Price – $24.97 

This lunch bag is perfect for any girl who likes to make her own meals everyday. It has insulated pockets inside that keep food cold and safe to eat for up to 4 hours. It also has a divider pocket to make sure anything else in the purse doesn’t get wet or affected by any food or drinks.

Crusoe Mini Calendar – Price: $7.97

Who can resist the most adorable dachshund in the world? Not me and now you don’t have to miss out either as you can purchase one of several calendars that are now available for 2018.

Team Fiona – Price: $ varies

My favorite hippo is Miss Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo who has been admired since her miraculous birth in January 2017. She has brightened the day of many people throughout the year. Now she can brighten your 2018 with calendars, shirts, coffee mugs and more.

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Sign  – Price: $ varies

The kitchen is where the whole family gathers to enjoy mom’s cooking and spend time with each other. Hand-making a gift that she can proudly hang in the kitchen will make this space even more special.