fridays letters

dear hubby, im so proud of you for receiving the blue diamond award from your company! I know you were a little let down and aggravated about your performance review a couple weeks ago. But look at it this way, you performance review is done by your manager, the blue diamond award is given by the executives. obviously, the people with authority (and not jealousy) are impressed by your work. and I know that youve been doing awesome! so keep it up! matthew and I are so proud of you!

dear matthew, i cant believe you are going to 1 in a little over a month, i know I keep saying this, but you are growing just too fast! slow down for mommy ok? until then I must start planning your 1st birthday party. why must your favorite show be little einsteins? there is literally nothing in stores to buy that are little einsteins!

dear disney junior, if you are going to continue playing little einsteins on air, whos decision was it to not produce any more merchandise or party decorations? wost idea ever. you are making this 1st birthday party planning alot more stressful than it should be. now I must hand make everything, and although pinterest is a great source, it is also time consuming. i could always go the etsy route, but thats just more expensive, urrggghh, whats a mother to do?

dear sister, i know you are just trying to help, but calling me this morning while I was working to let me know that not only do I need to indeed start planing matthews birthday, but also figure out whether I am going to get him the swingset, has now made me overwhelmed. thanks for that. not.

dear self, i know you want this whole 1st birthday thing to be oh-so-special for your lil man, but honestly, he isnt even going to remember, its more for your own pleasure. So stop being so stressed and make this as simple as possible, but with personal touches.

dear groupon, why must you always have such good deals? like the emeals groupon i bought yesterday? i honestly dont have the extra money to be spending right now, but I just couldnt pass up this offer!
screenshot was taken yesterday, so it ends sooner than whats in the pic, better hurry!
dear emeals, im so excited to start using you! Im hopping not only will you help me be more involved in cooking dinner (im not the cooker in the family lol) but also just help plan dinner in general, as well as save with grocery shopping. my only problem now is deciding on which plan to choose! low fat? low carb? slow cooker?

dear work-at-home-moms, does your little one stay with you when youre working? ive mentioned it a couple times on here that i drop my son off with my sister mon-fri while I work (at home). But lately ive been debating whether i should just keep him home with me? i would love to spend more time with him, and it would save me about $125 a week, but im also a little nervous about actually being able to get work done. any tips or suggestions welcome. tia

dear sister-in-law, i understand youre ecstatic about the little bambino growing in your tummy, as I am just as happy to meet my new nephew. however, your baby shower isnt going to be until august, so please excuse me if all of my attention isnt on this event, as my sons 1st birthday is fastly approaching and at this moment that is more important to me. thanks. love you.

dear mother-in-law, it would be greatly appreciated if you could please find a house before august and be all moved in. as it would be so much easier and less of a headache to have your daughters baby shower there, opposed to at the relatively expensive restaurant she has proposed to have it at. thanks. love you too.

dear hubby, because you and matthew always get two, im secretly hoping that your work kicks you out early again today (to avoid overtime) so that you can come home and vacuum and clean the house while I finish work.

dear matthew, tomorrow daddy and I are going to take you to the beach for the first time. i know, why we waiting this long is beyond me. but I do hope you enjoy it just as much as your mommy does. there is always the slim chance youll absolutely despise it like your father, but mommy is hoping not. im expecting lots of sand eating. And possibly some squeals of excitement. but no need to worry, mommy would never leave the house without her camera, so were sure to get a few good memories from the outing.

and because Ill never leave you without a cute pic.


the house debate

The house we currently live in is our first home. Ive only ever lived 2 other places in my life. The first being my parents, and the second being our first apartment. All three places are within 10 mins of each other. Heck, the first and last are 2 blocks away from one another. Basically, i love the area we live in. Well.....technically I dont, not the exact area, but the overall area.

If you were born and raised here, like I was, there is a huge difference from living out east and living out west. Im an east girl. Hubs? Hes a west boy. Now, lets get a few things straight here, the distance between those places is no more than 30 mins from each other. Which isnt a huge difference. But the main difference, at least to me, is the closeness to the beach. I love the beach. I love being 5 mins from the beach. Ironically, i dont go to the beach often, but i feel more comfortable and at ease knowing its that close. Hubby, on the other hand, hates sand. Like despises it. Which is a huge reason I dont frequent the beach as often. Its basically a special occasion if he goes with (like Tortuga or this Sat when we take matthew for his first beach trip).

However, a major down side of being closer to the beach is that the price of homes is way higher. And the homes are older or brand new mansions. Basically, we either live in a fixer-upper or win the lotto. Ill let you guess which is our current situation.... But it was only natural for me to look in the area Im from when we were in the market for our current house. And when we found an awesome deal in the neighborhood I grew up in, i couldnt pass it up.

Fast forward 2.5 years. We are still in the same house. A house that has become our home. A fixer-upper indeed. Endless renovations for sure. Huge potential definitely. But, and Im being honest here, we didnt really put lots of thought into the whole family atmosphere. When I was growing up, sure there were kids everywhere you looked in this neighborhood. But its been 27years, and things have changed. The population of the city we live in is highly gay. Not that this is bad, it actually is extremely nice. I love my neighbors. Andplusalso, they maintain their houses way better than alot of the outer areas around here. Which helps in raising the value of the homes as well.

But with that being said, there arent nearly as many, if not any, children in the neighborhood. We live 3 blocks away from an elementary school and the majority of the kids attending are bussed in from outer areas. And I want my kids to grow up with kids. I want them to be able to go out front and play baseball in the street with the neighbors. Things that I used to do, and memories I cherish, when I was growing up.

Now the neighborhoods hubby grew up in are still currently family neighborhoods. Lots of kids. Lots of parks. Better schools. Cheaper, bigger, and newer houses. Its only natural for hubs to want to move back out west. And honestly, the idea is very attractive. Our friends actually bought a house in the area hubs would like to move to, about a year ago. And again being completely honest here? I am so jealous of their house.

So, what makes me bring this up, is we are currently trying to help my mother-in-law try to find a house. She just closed on the sale of her house in texas and is finally ready to start looking for one here in Florida. Of course, the houses in Texas are WAAAAAAYY cheaper and on ALOT more land. So shes having difficulty finding something in her price range that is as nice as her house was in Texas.

I offered to try and help find a few places for her to look at and hubs has taken her around our neighborhood as well. Well on Saturday while we were out looking at houses, hubs called one of the for sale sign numbers and was talking to a local realtor. Somehow he got into a conversation about our house and what she thought our house might sell for. And basically, if we finish doing what were planning on doing (enclosing the carport, remodeling the bathroom, & painting the house) plus with the stuff we've already done (new roof, renovated the kitchen, new tile throughout, new windows, carpet in the bedrooms) that our house could basically sell for double what we paid, thanks to the location were in.

So of course, the next conversation that was brought up was about us selling our house. Now dont get me wrong, ive known all along that this would most likely not be our forever house. And that we would probably only be here for a max of 5 years. But im just not ready to move. Yes I want a bigger house. Yes I want more room for more kids. But, i know that just because our house has gone up in property value, doesnt mean we will be able to find another house that fits our needs in the same area. I know most likely if we move its going to be out west. And as selfish and stubborn as it may sound, i really dont want to move out west :(

I dont see why we cant finish the house projects we have in store, and then continue living her for another couple of years. I mean technically, our lot is one of the bigger lots in the neighborhood. We have a huge yard. And its hard to find a big lot in this area. We could literally enclose our back patio. Add another patio. Add a pool. And still be perfectly fine with space. We could even add on additional rooms, whether it be a second story or on the sides, and make it our forever house. But hubs disagrees, and doesnt think its worth it to put in that much money when we could make double by selling.

Its a huge debate going on in our house. And in reality it shouldnt even be a debate until we get the aforementioned projects completed. However, its so hard not to browse Trulia for houses we could afford while helping my mother-in-law out. Maybe we will find another awesome deal and be able to stay out east. We shall see....


wednesday weigh-in: weeks 13/14/15

So lets forget about the whole blogging hiatus i took over the best 2 weeks. Not even really sure what happened. I guess life just gets in the way. Oh well.

The past couple of weeks have been all over the place, including my diet. (i just shivered as i wrote that last word, we all know i hate calling it a diet). Week 13 I did get up and move, aka exercise. I think I did this more so because I knew I would probably gain some weight during week 14 because of Tortuga. And it worked. Week 13 I lost some weight. Unfortunately, as I had expected, even with the amount of walking we did, and let me tell you my legs were hurting for the next 3 days, I still gained for week 14. It wasnt even a whole pound, so i cant get too upset, but still, i would have like to be surprised and lost weight that week. 
That basically catches us up to this week. Im not going to be all depressed right now and make excuses for why Im not following the plan religiously. Im just going to say that I need to work harder on myself. I need to make myself, and my body, a priority. I also need to not be so lazy. Go figure. Ive been debating trying to get up earlier in the mornings and walk or exercise before Matthew gets up. But you see i love sleep. :/ and that idea would cut into my precious sleep. You see my problem here? Guess its time to put my big girl panties on and just do it!

Also something i just want to note to myself right here. I know I personally can feel that Ive lost weight, but it sure feels dam good when someone else brings it up. This past friday we had friends over for our normal wine night, and a friend of ours who hasnt seen us in a couple weeks complimented me and said I looked good, and asked if I had lost weight. I always feel awkward when someone compliments me. I dont know what it is, but i never really know what to say back. Of course I said thank you, but you see Im in that transition time, where Ive lost a few pounds, but not nearly close to what I want to loose. And my pants are starting to feel loose, but not necessarily noticeable by an outsider. I guess its just something I need to learn how to do, accept compliments.

lbs shed this week: -2.6

lbs shed in total: -17.4

lbs still need to shed: 32.6

first goal: 10lbs - reached on 2/13/13
  •     reward:  mani/pedi and possibly massage (still havent done this yet)
second goal: 25lbs
  •     reward: new rollerblades
final goal:  50lbs
success: did you see the above? down 2.6 more lbs!!

set-backs: none really

exercise: Walked with mom around the neighborhood 3 nights this week

lbs shed this week: +.8

lbs shed in total: -16.6

lbs still need to shed: 33.4

first goal: 10lbs - reached on 2/13/13
  •     reward:  mani/pedi and possibly massage (still havent done this yet)
second goal: 25lbs
  •     reward: new rollerblades
final goal:  50lbs
success: i would take .8 as a success considering I basically took off for the weekend not caring what I ate or drank

set-backs: gaining a little bit of weight

exercise: Walked ALOT to and from the music festival

lbs shed this week:  (will update after meeting tonight)

lbs shed in total: -16.6 (will update after meeting tonight)

lbs still need to shed: 33.4 (will update after meeting tonight)

first goal: 10lbs - reached on 2/13/13
  •     reward:  mani/pedi and possibly massage (still havent done this yet)
second goal: 25lbs
  •     reward: new rollerblades
final goal:  50lbs
success: we shall see :/

set-backs: not following the plan like i should be

exercise: whats that? lol


our babyfree weekend

Two weekends ago, hubs and I got to go on our first overnight without baby mini-vacay. It was more like a staycation, considering we were only 10 minutes from our home and 15mins from Matthew, but none the less, i was still a tad emotional when we dropped him off at my sisters.


You probably heard me mention a few times on here about Tortuga Music Festival. Well it was taking place on our home beach from April 13-14. Seeing that it was the inaugural event, we were unsure of just how much of a clusterf*ck hassel it would be down by the beach.

So, we opted to get a hotel room at a old florida type motel, called Tropic Cay, for Friday and Saturday night. This way we wouldnt have to worry about beating the traffic Sat morning since the first act went on at 11am. One of my childhood best friends, Erin and her mom also got a room at the same hotel, so we did have some fun Friday night as well.


It was actually a little funny because Erin kept saying it was so weird to be out at midnight with me and hubs. (she knows we norm kick people out of our house by this time so we can go to sleep! lol). But this weekend would be different. Time for mommy and daddy to enjoy some adult fun time. So what are baby-free parents to do? We hit up the notorious Blondies. I swear this place has been around FOOOOORRREEEEEVVVVEEERRRR (said like from the movie The Sandlot). Its basically a chuck-e-cheese for adults. Bar. Beach. Pool Tables. Basketball Hoop game. Arcade Games. You name it. But its also basically a dive bar. Its actual name is Dirty Blondies, and it lives up to that name 100%.

We decided to walk to the bar, i mean come on we were on the beach, why the hell not? But, it sure did give us a little bit of a heads up of how far the walk would be to the concert the following two days. Realistically, it wasnt that far, but try walking that route twice a day, in the blazing hot sun, after drinking beer all day, in the heat, and hardly eating anything. It was for sure my workout for the weekend.

Saturday morning, I wish I could say I took advantage of sleeping in. Like really took advantage of it. But considering we didnt go to bed till about 3am, waking up at 10am just didnt feel like a full nights sleep to me. But who am I to complain right? We waited at the hotel for our other friends to show up and then headed down to Sonic for some breakfast? lunch? breakfast. Hubs absolutely loves Sonic, and its literally the only one that is close to us. But we hadnt been there because we never actually get the time to go to BeachPlace (a mall thats right across the street from the beach). Now let me tell you something, you thought Sonic was good in the middle of nowhere? Well its like waaaaay better on the beach. With a bar and all! Best.Sonic.Ever. And yes we did have it again on Sunday too. lol. (good thing we walked so much!)


As for the actual festival? It was awesome! Im not going to give you a detailed recount of the whole thing, because honestly i cant remember that would take forever. But lets just say, all the musicians put on dam good show. My favs included Michael Franti, Jake Owen, Lynrd Skynrd, Kenny Chesney, and my favorite was Eric Church. Ive seen Kenny Chesney in concert about a million times, and he always puts on a good show. Lynrd Skynrd rocked the house! It was my first time seeing them and as Ronnie Van Zant put it "Theres nothing better than a Skynrd crowd!" He was waving his rebel and american flag the entire time. Now, Michael Franti, i truely didnt really know all of his music (although surprisingly alot more than I thought) and he was the one who really got everyone moving dancing and jumping around through his entire performance. I was surprised they didnt have him on the bigger stage. Erins mom actually had him as the one artist she WOULD NOT miss. We ended up losing her and then found out later she was backstage with Michael Frantis girlfriend. Go figure?!?!
Michael Franti
Eli Young Band
Kenny Chesney
Eric Church
Eric Church
And of course, Eric Church just blew us all away. If you remember, I saw him back in December for my birthday. I dont know if it was the beach, booze, or day, but he was even better than I remember! We actually almost didnt get to see him perform, as he was the closer on Sunday night, which meant he played from like 7:30-9pm. We were supposed to leave and go pick up Matthew, but my sister generously offered to just keep him another night. I was a little uneasy with the thought of this. Not that I didnt trust her or anything, i just missed my baby. And I knew we would probably be home by 11pm, and just didnt like the thought/feeling of being home without him (its different if im at a hotel ;)). But thank god/sis, she did keep him, because it really truely was an incredible show.



We cant wait to go back next year. It was well worth the $150 per ticket. And made an awesome birthday gift for the hubs! Some things I will remember for next time though include getting a closer hotel, reapplying suncreen religiously, bring a hat, and have just as much fun if not more than this years! (that last one is going to be pretty hard to top!)


Rock the Ocean and Tortuga Music Festival

You've all probably heard me mention here and there that hubs and I will be going to the Tortuga Music Festival this weekend. Not only is it our first weekend away from Matthew, but its also a great opportunity to help raise awareness about our oceans while listening to great music on the beach.

On April 13th & 14th, Fort Lauderdale Beach will host Rock the Ocean’s inaugural Tortuga Music Festival. The beach will be transformed into an oceanfront music experience, featuring top country and rock artists and local culinary delights on the shores of the Florida coast. Together with Rock The Ocean, Tortuga will pair music with meaning by raising awareness about marine conservation and issues affecting the world’s oceans.

While the concert is going to be absolutely unbelievable, i mean come on look at the lineup...
I think its also important to remember the reason we're even having this festival in the first place. The Rock The Ocean Foundation is dedicated to supporting scientific research, education and increasing public awareness about the issues impacting our oceans.

Think about it, did you know?
  • Plastic waste kills up to 1 million sea birds, 1 hundred thousand sea mammals and countless fish each year.
  • 70% of the world's fisheries are fully exploited, over exploited or depleted!
  • Humans have caused the depletion of 90% of the oceans large predators due to unsustainable fisheries.
  • Up to 39 million tons of unwanted fish are killed and dumped back into the sea each year.
They are also working with The Guy Harvey Foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring that future generations will enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ocean ecosystem.

I know it may be a little too late to buy tickets, airfare, & hotel to come join us this weekend (although if youre able to, send me an email and we should meet up!), but its definitely not too late to help support the cause!

Donate Now - Secure Online Fundraising
Ive only set a small goal of $200 for my page, but anything would help, especially when its our beautiful oceans were talking about!


The Ultimate Blog Party

Its my first time joining The Ultimate Blog Party, so bare with me if I sound like a complete newbie (which I am), but I figured it would be a great way to meet a whole bunch of new blogger friends!

so for those of you stopping by for the first time, ill talk a little bit about myself before I get into Fridays Letters. I always get a little weird doing intros as I never really know what you all want to know about me, if anything at all ;) Ill start with the easy stuff. Im a 27 year old born and raised southern girl. Im married to my high school sweetheart, Matt and we are parents to the most adorable (altho I may be biased) little boy, Matthew Jr. Yes, my husband had to have a junior, good thing Ive liked the name Matthew since I was a little girl, cuz now I have two in the house!
We bought our first home 2 blocks away from my parents only a week before we got married, and have been in constant renovations for the past 2.5years. Which, although I love all the remodeling, if I was telling the truth Id have to admit it gets old, real fast. Especially since I work full time out of home for a company based in a different state. I love my job as a graphic designer, but do definitely miss the office atmosphere. Good thing my company likes to fly me up to NYC a couple times a year to go shopping reconnect with my team.

I am a wannabe photographer and take way too many pics of my family. I love them with all my heart and dont know what I would do without them (hense the living 2 blocks away form the 'rents). Since having our baby boy, Ive come to really appreciate how close we all are. Im lucky enough to have my sister watch Matthew during the day while I work. And have both my family and hubs family eager to watch him whenever we need a date night. Next weekend will be the first time we (as in both hubs and I) have left him for an entire night while we spend 2 nights at a local beach hotel with a bunch of friends while we attend the Tortuga Music Festival.

My blog is a little bit of all the above mixed in with the goods, bads, and uglies. We arent perfect by any means, but life is our kind of perfect. Hope you all stick around and get to know us a little bit better.

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