Five reasons I miss Florida

Friday, March 14, 2014

I l.o.v.e. living in South Carolina. I honestly can't imagine A and I living anywhere else. It has the beach, the mountains, the change of seasons, proximity to a lot of other great places, friendly people, delish Southern cooking, and a whole lotta state pride. But... it doesn't have this stuff, as inspired by my trip last weekend to my hometown:

One. Poolside in winter
Enough said.
After shivering for 6 months, this was bliss. 

Two. Besties
My besties, to be exact. I miss these girls!
Me, Lesley, Lindsey and Miss Avery!

Three. Family
My entire family, on both sides (sans a few outlying cousins) lives in Florida. When I go home, I get to see them all. (And we don't always wear matchy-matchy shirts, promise. This was for my Grandpa's 90th birthday party on Sunday!)
All the granddaughters with Grandpa and Grandma

Four. An abundance of fruit, year-round
Maybe I'm spoiled because I can go into my family's citrus groves and pick whatever I want, but seriously. This fruit is legit. And tasty. And healthy. Perfect, really.

Fresh picked. 

Five. Gator fans on every corner
True, the Gator Nation is everywhere. But there's just something about being in the heart of it and feeling that everyone around you is either still getting over last football season OR talking about the possibility of going all the way in the NCAA tourney. In all kinds of weather, we all stick togetherrrrrr... for  F L O R I D A!

Happy weekend from this Florida girl at heart!

Linking up with
 AprilChristinaNatasha and Darci

Essentials Only Month: Halfway Mark

Oh, Essentials Only Month. You've been a tough pill to swallow.
See? An organized pantry is a happy pantry. 

As promised, here's the first of my weekly updates on our EOM progress. This time around - our third EOM - has been so much harder for some reason. We I chose to do it this month because both A and I were traveling for work (decreasing our out of pocket meal costs significantly) and had so much planned that I thought it'd be easy to resist the temptation to spend extra money. So far, some of that is true - we've been so wide open that we haven't had a lot of time to shop for "fun." But we've also been apart for about 6 of these 14 days, making the days we have spent together much more tempting to go out to dinner or pick up food rather than cook. Sigh.

TOTAL SPENT AS OF 3/14: $139.03 (a large chunk of this was gas)

If we hadn't eaten out a few times (small meals, mostly lunch), we would be in much better shape right now. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Our groceries have been a tiny sliver of this (about $17) because we had so much in the pantry.

I can already tell you that we're going to go over our goal limit, because I will be driving out of town this weekend to see my mom and stepdad at the cabin, and next week to see A at a golf tournament, and gas is not cheap, my friend. But at least we're not spending money on other stuff in addition to all of this, right? Right??

Besides, the pantry, fridge and deep freeze are already in better shape. So there's that!


It's Friday! Florida, here I come!

Friday, March 7, 2014

I am SO very happy to see Friday roll around. What. A. Week. Between running out of gas and thinking it was Thursday for the majority of Wednesday, our old friend Friday couldn't get here fast enough. But there are always good things to be jazzed about, and this week was no exception!

One. Last Friday (before Essentials Only Month kicked in), I hit up my favorite retail therapist, a Ms. TJ Maxx, after work. I'm glad I did, because I got a Christmas pillow (my future self will thank me!), 4 linen and silver placemats, Matrix straightening balm, and a reed diffuser for a grand total of $11.77. And that's why me and Maxxy are tight.

Two. Sunday afternoon was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, before the weather took a turn for the worse this week. I played outside with Ellie and read a book while Penny just sat and stared at us through the door. See, she's not allowed to play out there anymore since she escaped out of the back yard a few weeks ago. Twice. Sorry, Penn. You've lost your privileges!

Three. Also on Sunday, as part of the Essentials Only Month perk of cleaning out the freezer, I cooked a whole turkey. I bought it back in December when they were on sale, and who the heck knows when else I would have taken the time to cook a whole dang bird. It's special because it was my very first turkey and it was AWESOME. I think I could handle Thanksgiving now, guys. We also had mini strawberry shortcakes since it's strawberry season and they're super cheap right now! 
Four. I got to see my Gator boys play basketball in Columbia on Tuesday! And not just any 'ole Gator basketball team: the #1 team in the country, baby! Since hubby's a Gamecock and USC pays our bills, I kept my Gator pride on the DL (except for the tasteful orange and blue I wore to the game). It was just so much fun to see them in action!

Five. I'm heading to Florida today! Not only am I lusting over the perfect 75 degree, no precipitation weather, but I will get to see my besties and my entire family this weekend! The real reason I'm going is this guy: my grandpa. It's his 90th birthday, and he is one special man. He must be, because we're expecting about 500 people to come to his birthday party on Sunday!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Linking up with
 AprilChristinaNatasha and Darci

I know what it feels like to run out of gas

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I sure wish that was a metaphor. As in, "I've run out of steam" or "I've hit the wall." But nope. I literally freaking ran out of gas yesterday for the first time in my life. On the side of Interstate 26. 

I was on my way to a client meeting that I was supposed to facilitate. The meeting was an hour and 45 minutes away from where I live. I was only 25 minutes away from the meeting location when it happened. My gas gauge said I had 15 miles to go. I had about 10 miles to the exit, and I was on cruise control. I thought I could make it (which, by the way, is SO not like me - I am a self-proclaimed non-risk taker). Then, unexpectedly, my gauge went from "15 miles to empty" to "---- miles to empty" and I decided to pull over on the next exit. And then there wasn't a next exit...

I was with a colleague of mine, who was to facilitate the meeting with me. She was on a client call in the car when I felt my car shutting down. Y'all, that was the worst feeling. I felt completely helpless! I pulled over, and my shut off my car. I called Triple A (thank God for them and for my mommy who still buys me a membership every year!). We also called one of our clients who was also on the way to the meeting, and she happened to be only a few miles from us. She came and got my colleague while I stayed in the car on the side of the road for the hour it took Triple A to show up. 

Wanna talk about some shot nerves? Between the freezing temps (and no heat, since I couldn't run my car), semi trucks flying past me at 70 miles an hour, my iPhone slowly but surely dying, and the growing urge to go to the bathroom, I couldn't have been happier to see a slightly dirty tow truck driver pull up behind me and pour the smallest container of gas I've ever seen into my tank. He assured me it would get me to the next exit where there was a gas station a few miles off the interstate. It did, although my car was starting to convulse when I finally pulled beside the pump. And we won't talk about the tow truck driver calling me sweetie and ultimately giving me his number. Just an added bonus, I guess. 

I ended up getting to the meeting an hour after it began, and my colleague made it there in time to run it from the beginning, so all in all, it was fine. But friends, take it from me: don't take chances. For the love of God, even if you're running late (as we were), just stop and get gas before you get on the road. And when your Volvo says it has 15 miles to an empty tank, it probably doesn't. Lesson learned!


Theme created by SWEET LEMON GREY