Friday, June 28, 2013

Flashback Friday: Thanksgiving Cruise (Day 1 and KW)

Happy Friday!

So, as I'm typing this, I am broadcasting from Universal and I get a text from my uncle. He lives in Arizona and is scheduled to come down for a visit next Weds. Well, he sends a pic of his phone and the menu of a local eatery that we all love.... "Lunch is on me!"

I called Heidi to see if he's actually there and she had called the place to see if he actually was, lol! He is, in fact, in town a full four days early! Never, ever have I been so sad to be broadcasting from a theme park.

Anyway, I'm going to try to catch up on some drafted posts using my new "Flashback Friday." I have a lot of posts from the holidays and earlier this year that I've never finished, so here's hoping I can manage one post a week!

Let's start with Thanksgiving 2012, shall we?

On Thanksgiving morning (November 22), piled into three different cars to make the drive to Miami for our cruise. Mom, Jeff, Linda (family friend), and Joanie (Linda's friend) in one. Trevor, Uncle Bobby, and Bryan in a second. Megan, Megan, and I in the third.

It's a 4 hour drive to Miami. Not a problem. However, it *is* a problem when that 4 hours is mainly a two lane highway on Thanksgiving morning.

Tip #1 - If you are making a long drive on a holiday, pack a snack. It took us an hour to find a McDonald's that was open.

Our view for the better part of four hours....

Sister car.....

We finally made it to Port of Miami! Then, the fun *really* started. Getting so many people's allowed bottles of wine, water, and soda onto the ship turned out to be not so fun.

Uncle Bobby didn't wait for that mess and got right on the ship.

Tip #2 - Don't put ALL the water and wine in one vehicle, no matter what your mother says. You and your two sisters will end up trying to figure out how to get all of that onto the ship.

A full HOUR AND A HALF LATER, we were able to get this picture........

My brother is grabbing my butt which is why I'm positioned so weird.

By the time we got on the boat, Uncle Bobby had been on there for almost two hours and had the whole place scoped out. We got settled, walked around, and generally started our official vacation!

Dinner time eventually came around and our large party had its own table.

Tip #3 - YES, you can order whatever you want off the menu. My brother thought we were lying, at first, and was scared to order more than one entree, lol.

Tip #4 - DO NOT ORDER THE TURKEY. Regardless of the fact that it's Thanksgiving, just do not do it. Not worth it.

After dinner, Uncle Bobby, the two Megans, and I all changed and then met back up for the comedy show.

Uncle Bobby and his girls.....

The next morning, we arrived in Key West!! The weather was awesome and it was a perfect day to just walk around. We didn't bother with booking an excursion.

Trevor, Bryan, Megan, Megan, Me (and Jeff photo-bombing)....

I seriously love Key West. It's so fun and quaint-feeling.

So, we found this. A Tervis store. Not only are Tervis cups generally the best drink-ware in the world, but it was Black Friday. Challenge accepted. They had a great sale, free shipping, and the biggest selection of awesome cups I'd ever seen.

I never get tired of the crazy amount of chickens walking around....

Last time I was in Key West, I didn't get to get this picture, so I was pretty excited.....

Trevor desperately wanted to ride a scooter around the island, so Mom rented him one and then rented a supersized golf cart for everyone else. I took my life in my own hands and joined him.....

Megan took the second half of the trip......

Bryan and I decided to walk back to Sloppy Joe's and Megan had Trevor drop her off, so we could indulge in some fun adult beverages......

I think the name of this yumminess was 'Pain in the .....'

Alas, it was eventually time for us to get back on our ride....

Megan and I actually made it to the gym (go us!). We then hung around until it was time to get ready for Fancy Night on the Ship!

We all clean up pretty well, I think!......

Trevor and Uncle Bobby didn't feel like dressing up, so we changed and met them on the deck after dinner. They were playing 'The Wedding Planner' on the big pool deck screen, which was pretty cool!

After a fun-filled day, we all called it a night to get ready for a day in Mexico.......

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Random Thursday: Easy Recipes

you're meaghan me crazy

I'm not much of a chef, but every game day I'm asked to make Buffalo Chicken Dip. This is the recipe that I usually go off of, but I do change it up slightly.

First of all, the amounts given don't make nearly enough, so I sort of  double it. Also, while I have no crazy ideas that this is a low-cal, low-fat dish, I prefer to use "light" or "low fat" versions of everything. The full fat items make it too oily, rich, and heavy, imo.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Totally Worth It: Guilty Pleasures

For whatever reason, I'm a fan of link-ups, lately. We'll just go with it. Thanks, Bri, for giving me something to write about without actually making me think of a topic!

Things that are "totally worth it" guilty pleasures?


The giant cup of FroYo I just had for lunch. I could pretend that this particular cup was "healthy" but the PB Pie flavored yogurt, topped with chocolate chips and hot fudge, cannot claim such. It was guilty, but it was worth it.

'Big Brother' (that starts TONIGHT!!!!!)...... Between that and 'The Bachelorette', I can say that I'm officially addicted to some great trash TV.

I will wear heels to work, but 90% of the time I switch into flats as soon as I get back from lunch. Where do I get my flats? Oh, I bring them with me, of course.

I have a pair of socks in my office, so that if I want to take my shoes off, I can wear them around the building. Only, I think I've only worn them a couple of times.

Yep.... I walk around my place of employment completely barefoot.

"The Girls" require a babysitter, at all times. Including at night. As in, I wear a sports bra to bed.

Otter Pops are amazing. Even as an adult, I could eat a dozen of them in one sitting.

Raw dough..... of any kind.... is amazing. Disgusting, yes, but I love it.

Sometimes, I catch myself having conversations with myself. Well, not really with myself, but I'll be practicing for a conversation I have to have with someone else. I will realize that I'm actually talking for that person to prep myself.... I use their voice and everything.

Every day of the work week, I take a picture of myself. At the end of the week, I collage that week's outfits and store them in an album on my phone. Not because my wardrobe is THAT cute, but because, otherwise, I will get into a rut of wearing the same thing over and over. At least twice a week, I check my album to see what I haven't worn in a while. I spent money on these clothes..... This is the only way to insure that I wear them.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2 Months Until 30

I looked at the date, today, and about had a panic attack.

In exactly two months, I will be the big 3-0.

And, since I have quite a few plans between then and now, I'm pretty sure the next two months are going to fly by.

Hold me.

No, really, I know I'm making this out to be worse than it is. I just can't believe I'm almost done with my 20's. They've been the best and worst years. Looking back to two months before I turned 20..... wow, things are so different. I'll have to do a comparison post before August 25th.

Anyway..... One good thing about being 29-turning-30, instead of 19-turning-20, is that I can post this picture and tell you that it is full of a yummy 21+ beverage......

Isn't it adorable? Heidi got my mom, Megan, and I each one so we could have them for Pool Days and Family Nights.

As for the yummy drink...........

1 bottle of Moscato
1 cup sugar
2 cups of some sort of Schnapps (usually Peach, but we only had Melon available and it worked)
1 liter of Ginger Ale
A bunch of whatever fruit you have (we used blueberries this time)

Yes, you will get a sugar rush. Yes, it will be well worth it!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Social: Shopping Habits

Sunday Social
1. What is your favorite store to shop at?
New York & Company, Old Navy, Target, and Kohl's

In that order, lol. 99% of my clothes and shoes come from those four stores.

2. If you could afford anything and everything, which designer brand would you covet?
I literally have no idea, lol. Maybe I just pay attention to my price point?

3. What is your must have closet staple?
Jeggings.... specifically, NY&C's Supersoft jeggings. They are amazing and I've almost given up on any other kind. 

4. What is your favorite kind of shoes? (brand or type)
Flip flops and ballet flats. I wear one of the two practically every day.

That being said, I do have a great high heel collection. I have some incredible heels. I just have to limit my use of them to a few times a month, lol.

5. What is the best clothing deal you've ever gotten? (sale or amazing find)
Practically everything I've ever purchased has been on sale. I VERY rarely buy something at full price.

However, here is a few tricks about NY&C. Yes, their clothes are a little more expensive than an Old Navy or Target, but their sales are unreal. If you are on their email list, they constantly send great coupons. Plus, if you have a card, you tend to get even more discounts, plus rewards back.

The best thing to do is wait until you get their half-off coupons.... $25 off of $50, $30 off of $60, $100 off of $200, etc. But, that's not all.... a lot of times you can combine it with their Buy One Get One 50% sales.

The best deal that I've gotten was when they have their Buy One Get One Free on their jeans. I've done this a couple of times. Twice a year, they have their jeans BOGO sale. The half-off coupons don't apply to that, except for ONE day (you have to be paying attention to your emails). I go that day. Two or three times, I've managed to get over $300 worth of clothes for $100.

6. What is a style you'd love to try?
I think I've tried basically all of them. I'm pretty set on what styles work and don't work for me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Random Thursday: Desert Island

you're meaghan me crazy

I am so practical that I fear this will be the most boring list ever.....

1) Sunscreen - Like, a whole case of it. My fair-skinned self needs SPF.

2) An umbrella - A huge one. It could triple as a tent, a sun protector, and rain deterrent.

3) Water - Again, a case of it. Hydration, people. Once I was done with the bottles, I would make them into light reflectors to try to get someone to get me off the island.

4) IPod with a self-charger - A self-charging IPod may not exist, yet, but I'd want one. Between music, movies, and books on there, at least I would have some entertainment.

5) A sleeping bag with attached pillow -  So that I can sleep in relative comfort.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My First Stitch Fix

Have you heard about Stitch Fix? Maybe I'm living in the dark ages, but I'd just heard about it a few weeks ago. If you haven't heard about it, it's this super cool website that basically gives you a personal stylist. You sign-up, fill out a style survey, and then schedule your Fix.

Once you receive your cute little box, you check everything out, try it on, and then go back to your Stitch Fix page to review the items. What you want to keep you keep and what you don't want to keep, you send back in the handy return envelope (postage provided) they give you. It costs $20, but that $20 does go towards anything you keep. You just pay the difference.

Really, it's very simple. And, I like simple.

Here's what came in my box. I didn't think ahead to keep the official names of the items.... and the lighting isn't the greatest, but you'll get the idea.

Item #1 - Mint and White Striped Cardigan

In the description of this item (each item comes with a little description, along with idea of how to wear it and what to match with it), it mentioned that this was perfect for "cool summer nights." I don't know where my stylists lives, but there is nothing cool about summer in Florida. Regardless, this cardigan is very light and filmy. I still wear cardigans to work (paired with a camisole), so I appreciate one that covers, but stills breathes.

Item #2 - Cream and Black Polka Dot Tab Sleeve Top

LOVED the style of this top. Perfect fit.... very easy to dress up or down. My only problem was the material. Again.... I live in the Sunshine State. It was very silky and I could just imagine trying to wear that outside.

Item #3 - Red Cowl Neck Sleeveless Top

Cute item and very comfy. Unfortunately, it was really clingy. To all the areas.

Items #4 and #5 - Green sleeveless top and silver circle necklace

Both were very cute. The necklace was the perfect long length and I loved the color of the top. The top was a bit short for my tastes and the buttons gaped at The Girls.

What did I keep?........

I actually am wearing it today and have already received several compliments! I just happened to have a tank that was the exact mint of the stripes. It's a different piece of clothing from anything else I had and it was a good price, so it was a keeper!

Overall, I am REALLY happy with my first Stitch Fix experience! I'm already looking forward to next month's box. I was in no way compensated for this review, but I do get referral credit if you use this link to sign up (I'd love you dearly :) ).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Musings

Holy guacamole, this week is jam packed. Like, with fun stuff, but still so crazy busy. I'm tired just thinking about it.


Every Sunday, for the past several weeks, my (very large) family converges on the neighborhood pool. It has become our little tradition and something we all really look forward to doing.

The kids splash and play. The guys alternate between playing and attending to the whims of the females (who usually need deck furniture rearranged at some juncture). The females tan, swim, tan, and swim.

Once it starts getting dark, we tromp back to the house for eats and games/movies.

It's so much fun.

Then, we all realized that Bella's dance recital is smack dab in the middle of our usual Sunday plans next week. So, we all made quick plans to get down to the pool way earlier next week, do lunch instead of dinner, and then leave to get ready for the recital, so that our weekly ritual doesn't get skipped.


I finally saw 'Silver Linings Playbook' last night. LOVE!!!!!!!! I can't wait to watch again.


NINE days until the premiere of Big Brother!!!!!


I got my first Stitch Fix this afternoon!!! I can hardly wait to open it up and see what I got!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Singles' Day at Kelly's Korner

Kelly is at it again and so am I ;)

So, here is where I try to convince you that I'd be great for you or the guy you are "trying to help out." I seriously hate this part. I always sound lame and cheesy, lol.

Anyways, as my sidebar says, I'm a native Florida girl who is fine staying here forever, but wouldn't be opposed to uprooting, someday. I've spent the last ten years working really hard to succeed in school and then my career. Now, I'm ready to focus more on the personal side of things. Only problem? When you've spent ten years on your career, you find yourself only meeting people within your work circle.... hence, trying Kelly's little link-up ;)

I'd consider myself quirky, rather than weird. If you've watched that show 'New Girl' with Zoey Deschanel, I'm a tamer version of 'Jess' (or so people say).

I like to laugh and will occasionally break into dance in random places. I'm pretty sarcastic, but no one ever realizes it (apparently, I have an innocent face and a sweet tone). In some instances, I'm totally organized and anal.... in others, I really couldn't care less.

I try to be honest and upfront (when I'm not being sarcastic).

I like music, movies, Disney (yes, Disney), and spending time with my friends/family.

What am I looking for?

A guy who loves Jesus.

I want someone funny, relaxed, responsible, and caring. Someone who is ok with the occasional random dance (you don't have to join... you just can't pretend not to know me, lol). Someone who likes kids (and wants some of their own).

My job is very social and so are my coworkers, so I'd really prefer not to be involved with a hermit. However, I also want someone who is ok with having a 'couch potato day' every so often.

Seriously, if you do any sort of tobacco.... no thanks.

That's about all I can think of at the moment :)

If you think there is a match in the making or you have any other questions, feel free to comment or email me!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Not Coming In Last.....

Remember my 101 in 1001 list? Well, a few of those items involved running goals. There are a couple reasons for this and it was a progression. See, I've always HATED running. Loathed. Detested. Despised with the burning passion of 1000 suns. Then, I figured out that running actually is one of the only things that flattens my stomach and makes my waist go down. It changes the shape of my body.

Well, crap.

So, I restarted the Couch 2 5k, just for exercise. Then, I got a wild hair and decided to sign up for a super cool (aka Disney) 10 mile run in October. I convinced my sister to sign up with me, so I'd have someone to share "the fun" with. She has done 5k races for the past couple of years and told me that I really should run a few before our ten miler (which, did make sense).

I felt like if I did a 5k and a ten mile, I should add a half-marathon to my list. Just to round it out.

A few weeks ago, Megan texted me that she found out about a local race series during the summer. Four races, spread out over three months. She and her husband were going to sign up for it to keep them motivated. I bit the bullet and signed up, too.

On June 1, 2013, I woke up super freaking early, got my running clothes on, ate a small (healthy) breakfast, and headed to their house. The plan was that I'd ride with them, we'd pick up her mom on the way (Patti really wanted to cheer us on), and we'd get there about 15 minutes before the race started.

So, at 5:58am, on the dot, I pulled up to Megan and Bryan's house. Where it was pitch black inside.

A couple of doorbells later, Megan swung open the door, "OUR ALARM DIDN'T GO OFF!!!!!!!"

Cue Jessica standing around for the next ten minutes while those two raced around the house to get ready, let the dogs out, get the dogs back in, and scarf down a banana.

Well, Megan ran around. Bry was not too thrilled to be awake........

We eventually got in the car and on our way. After picking up Patti, we found a parking spot in a nearby street and headed to the lake.

Megan and Patti happy on an early Saturday morning....

Bryan..... wishing he hadn't been convinced to sign up.

We had about ten minutes before the race started. I saw a ton of people I knew and even had some time to catch up with my dear friend LAP and her husband B.

To be perfectly honest, I was terrified prior to the race start. All throughout grade school, I ALWAYS came in last in P.E. I was the kid that everyone had to wait to complete the mile run before going back to the locker rooms. While I'd been jogging along with my C25K app for sometime, I was completely overwhelmed by the idea that I'd stink this one up.

Ready to race!!!

Finally, the gun went off and the race was on. I was afraid that I'd be tempted to run too fast at the beginning and wear myself out, but I actually did a pretty good job of keeping a steady pace. Then, I surprised myself by easily passing several people I knew and thought to be better runners, as a rule.

Megan and Bry went pretty far ahead of me, at first. Megan stayed there, but by the 2nd mile, Bryan was in my sights and pretty much stayed there until we both finished (him about a minute ahead of me).

After the race, we all met up to drink our ice cold water, eat the yummy watermelon provided, and wait for our unofficial results. Once those were posted, I saw that my unofficial time was 35:00 even.

We posed for one last picture at the Finish Line and went on with the rest of our day.

To say that I didn't call a few people to regale them with the fact that I'd actually run a 5K and no one was chasing me with a gun would be a lie. Because I did and the people I called were astounded, proud, and thrilled, because they know what an accomplishment it was.

The next day, I checked online for the official time......

Gun Time - 35:00
Chip Time - 34:10
Placing - 653 out of 990

Do you know what that means?! I finished ahead of 337 people!

I already am excited about the next race that is a week from Saturday (another marvel) and already have a plan to improve my time.

See, I did make some rookie mistakes. We waited almost a minute after the gun went off to start, which is why I got 35:00 and is why my placement ended up where is was. I'm ok with all of that, but I know how I can improve that 34:10. The race is measured by the sidewalk of the lake we run. The lake is just at 2.8 miles, so we have to around just a little over once. However, for the first mile, they close down the road to traffic so runners can spread out. For the first mile, I ran on the road, not the sidewalk. As my phone alerted me to the fact that I hit 3 miles, I knew that I was still some distance from the finish line. When I crossed the finish line, I had run 3.22 miles. Next time, run on the sidewalk.

Also? Water station. That messed me up, big time. First, most everyone was stopped and crowded around the table, so I stopped, too. Then, I had trouble jogging and drinking, so I just walked while I sipped. Next time, jog around the table, grab a cup, take a swig, and keep moving.

Regardless, I'm super proud of myself and am happy to have already worked one thing off my list!

Apparently, we are the runners in the family.....

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Musings

Today has royally sucked, so far. Sorry, but it is just so true. I have already had a full-scale meltdown, complete with ugly cry, hyperventilating, and the need for an anxiety pill.

After lunch, I couldn't face going back to the office without a massive iced coffee.....


Yesterday was fun, though.We hung out by the pool, for hours. While I did manage to get some sun, this was the sky for the majority of the time we were out.......


I realized this morning that we are just over two weeks away from the start of Big Brother. I can hardly contain myself!!!!!


Friday night, Billie Jo and I went to the Rascal Flatts concert..... We had such a great time!

The most amusing part was this older lady having a party in between sets. She even got other people to come dance with her, lol...........


Last week, I did Week One of the Insanity program AND the training program for the ten mile run I'm signed up to run in October.

If I don't look good by October, then you'll find my mail forwarded to the nearest Golden Corral by November.


I just love this girl.