Saturday, March 25, 2017

Coffee table, bras, Scentsy, road work, and books

This week has been weird as I have been battling a head cold that caused me not to be able to breathe through my nose at all. On Thursday night, my dear Hubby told me that I looked terrible and I should go to bed. So I did. Basically, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I felt like crap. Today I don't feel as stuffy in the head, and I can kind of breathe through my nose so hopefully I have turned the corner on this cold or whatever it is.

What else has been going on?.....

I got a new coffee table! The one that we had was a hand-me-down from my husband's parents. We were given it several years ago (when we were still speaking with them). I liked it at the time, but I have changed and it really was not our style anymore (it was black metal, with dark grey tiles that you placed throughout the table and could be taken out). Also it was impossible to keep clean as dirt and crumbs would get down in the tiles. Also it was another reminder of a relationship that is over. I have been looking for one for the last couple of months. Finally, last week I found one on Target's website on sale and took the plunge.  I had thought that I would spend around $150 for a table, but ended up spending $93. I love it! It is a little smaller than the one we were replacing, but that is okay. (The old one we put a free sign on and placed it in our front yard, it was picked up by someone within 20 minutes of our putting it out there.) The color goes with our TV stand and there is a drawer to place all the remotes in so they don't get lost. There is also a shelf on the bottom that hold an extra blanket, the tissue box and books. And best of all, it is easy to wipe off the top when kids get crumbs on it! (I am hoping to save up to replace our living room furniture within the next year!)

I ordered new bras! I was down to my last 2 bras and I am well-endowed and there is one particular type of bra that I like to wear. No one in my town carries them, so I have to order them online. I try to find a sale when I order. I was able to get 4 bras, regular retail was $39.00 each, for a little over $14 each by pairing a sale, coupon code and free shipping! Yay! Love when that works out.

Scentsy brought back the "Amazon Rain" scent! Before Christmas I attended a craft fair and my mom had bought me a block of "Amazon Rain" scensty bars. I fell in love with the scent. It really is the most amazing smell. Well I was disappointed to find out that it was a promotional scent from last Summer and they didn't carry it. Well, last week, Rebecca's AHG leader (who sells Scentsy) posted their new Spring/Summer catalog online and I was excited to see that they were selling it again. So I ordered 3 packages of it! I am burning it today and my house smells amazing!

We have been dealing with road work right behind our house. I think they are replacing a sewer line. They had our road closed Thursday and Friday and it was a mess. They were digging up a yard and then part of the road. The positive was that Ben loved watching the machines and what they were doing. The negative, it was a pain to park and get in and out. They were out working until almost 11 pm last night and although they had said that they were going to try to be done by Friday, they left a huge hole in the yard, so looks like it will go into next week.

Finally, I totally scored at Goodwill this week. On Thursday, I decided to just stay out of the house all morning since they were starting the road work. So, I headed over to Goodwill to see if I could find Rebecca some jeans and capris. I was able to get her 2 pairs of capris and 1 pair of jeans. But I was so excited to also score almost the entire "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series for just $0.59 a book! I was able to pick up books #1-8 (all but 2 were hardback books) and they were all in great condition. Rebecca already had books 10 and 11 at home, and I ordered her book 9 from Amazon. Love when I get deals like this!

This weekend, I am really hoping to get some things done around the house. I have had the kids clean their rooms already and I have started laundry. I am seriously behind in laundry due to not feeling well. The weather is cooperating as we have the windows open in some rooms to air out the house. I still need to straighten up the kitchen, clean out the litter boxes and maybe get some reading time in! I also am wanting to take Rebecca to see "Beauty and the Beast" at the theater later.

So with that, I should get off and do something! What are you up to this weekend?  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pro Football Hall of Fame visit

After having adventures in Cleveland and Beachwood, we headed south to our final destination of our mini getaway.

We were heading out to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Jacob is a huge NFL fan, and Bill is as well. The last time we were at the Hall of Fame was years ago back when we were dating. Let me tell you, it has changed so much and for the better.

It was a wonderful experience and the hall is definitely more family friendly with interactive exhibits for kids and adults. Even for just the average fan, the hall kept you engaged and interested.

Jacob LOVED the whole thing. Ben was mesmerized with the large statues and Rebecca enjoyed the interactive exhibits.

Ben even got to design a Super Bowl championship ring for his dad as he chose to design a Cleveland Browns ring. LOL (If you are not a fan of football, the Cleveland Browns are a very BAD team in the NFL and are far from being anywhere near the top of winning the Super Bowl.)

When we were done, we decided to stop at their café for a late lunch before we headed home. I had a tuna sub, as it was Friday, and it was tasty.

After stopping off at the gift shop, where I got our obligatory magnet for our fridge and my husband got the program for this year's Super Bowl to add to his collection, we headed out to head back home. The weather was quite nasty when we headed out--- snowing and ice pellets coming down. Thankfully, the salt trucks were out and the roads were okay the whole way home.

So after a whirlwind 2 day trip, we have lots of memories and we will definitely be trying to make it back to Cleveland sooner rather than later.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Meeting up with my sister, the Winking Lizard Tavern, and swimming

After our adventures at the Great Lakes Science Center, we headed south about 20 minutes to surprise the kiddos with a visit with my sister who is a junior at Ursuline College. The kids had no idea that we were heading there until we pulled into the parking lot right next to a big Ursuline College sign.

Mary showed us all around campus and showed us her dorm room. The kids liked seeing where Aunt Mary goes to school.

Then we decided that it was still a little early to get dinner, so we headed to a nearby mall to walk around. It has been years since I have been in a mall and we literally just walked through each floor window shopping.

We decided to head to the Winking Lizard Tavern for dinner. I looked on tripadvisor and it got good reviews. I checked their menu and they had a kids menu, some dishes for vegetarians (my sister), and regular food for my hubby and I. When we got there, we got the last spot in their parking lot and expected a wait. However, we were seated right away. We had great service and the food was yummy.

I had a fiesta chicken sandwich that was really yummy! If we are ever in the area again, we will definitely be making a return trip there.

After dinner, we dropped my sister off back at college and headed to our hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Beachwood. We chose the Hampton Inn as we have had good experiences with them in the past. Check in was great.

The hostess gave our kids cookies with green sprinkles (for St. Patrick's Day) and was in the process of refilling the complimentary coffee/tea/hot cocoa area and encouraged us to come back down to get some. I did have to ask for our room keys as she told us to enjoy our stay, but hadn't given us the keys yet. Our room was clean and well maintained. After settling in, we got our swimsuits on and headed down to the indoor pool.

The pool area was clean with music playing lightly in the background which was a nice touch. The kids loved swimming!  

That night though we had a bump. Around 11 pm someone was given keys to our room and was trying to come in. After calling the front desk, they had apparently given us the keys to the room even though the computer had us in the room across the hall. There was no apology given, just that they had fixed it. My children were asleep and thankfully we had the extra lock on the door. Not a pleasant situation. The beds were comfortable and the comforters were nice and warm, considering that I couldn't get the room very warm. The blackout curtains worked wonderfully.

The following morning, we went down to the complimentary breakfast. There was a good variety and the staff kept most things well supplied. My only complaint was that the room where the food was was fairly cramped and it was hard to move around if there were more than 3 or 4 people in there. There was plenty of seating though.

After eating, I had to take Benjamin to our room and when we tried to enter using our key card it wouldn't work. Neither would Bill's. So I had to go back down to the front desk and after I told the host what was going on, he didn't say a thing and just took my cards and re-authorized them, handing them back to me with not a word. I was not very impressed with the customer service in the morning.

After breakfast, we packed up, checked out and then headed out on the road to our final destination of our quick getaway....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Weigh In Wednesday #12 of 2017

So one of my 2017 goals is to lose 40 pounds by the end of the year. This is a necessity for me, as in the last few months I have gained 15 pounds. That is not good. I want to be healthier and feel better about myself. 

In order to keep me accountable, I am hoping to come back each Wednesday to share my weigh in and my successes and failures from the previous week. So let's hop to it and see how I did this past week, shall we?

My official starting weight (on 1/1/2017) was: 242.0 pounds!
My weight last week was: 238.2 pounds.
My weight this week is: 235.4 pounds. 
So a loss of 2.8 pounds! :-)
Total loss from 1/1/17: 6.6 pounds 

After gaining weight last week, I just decided to take a step back and not focus on my weight for the week and instead put my focus elsewhere and to see what would happen. Well, I lost 2.8 pounds. I get so caught up in the "I can't eat this" or "I can't have that" that I tend to binge or overeat, especially on the chocolate or sweet stuff. Last week, I just said whatever and you know what happened. I really didn't want a lot of extra snacks or things. So I need to not put so much emphasis on the diet part and just focus on eating better and not having the chocolate stuff in the house seems to help as well!

If you are trying to lose weight in 2017, how is your progress going?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Great Lakes Science Center visit

This past Thursday we surprised the kids and took them on a 2 day mini getaway. Benjamin was already off of school for the 2 days, Bill decided to take 2 days much needed vacation time, and we pulled the other 2 for Thursday and Friday (something that I have never done before, but was needed). They had absolutely NO idea that we were going anywhere. We left our home around 8:15 Thursday morning and drove past their school and kept on driving. They were so confused. When we confessed that we were going to Cleveland for the next couple of days, Rebecca started crying because she wanted to go to school. (She was upset because we hadn't warned her ahead of time.).

So we headed up to Cleveland to visit the Great Lakes Science Center. This is a great place to visit as a family as there really is something for everyone.

The first exhibit we visited was the NASA Glenn Visitor CenterThis was probably the highlight of the visit for me. It was very interesting and educational. I have always loved things that had to do with space and so this was really cool. They had lots of hands on activities for the kids, including an experiment where they turned a dial to build up different levels of pressure to blast off a rocket. Rebecca said that was her favorite part. They also had simulators where you had to land the space ship on the moon and on Earth.

Then we headed upstairs to the Science Phenomena exhibits. These were hands on science experiments that the kids (and adults) could partake in. The kids had so much fun on this floor trying different things and learning new things.

Then we headed down to their café for lunch. They had your standard café fair of sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers. I had a deluxe grilled cheese and fries. It was pretty good.

After lunch, we headed to another area titled "Build It! Engineering fun one brick at a time, presented by ArcelorMittal" where there was a Lego themed exhibits and interactive activities, like building a small mosaic, building with huge Legos, and making movies with Legos. The kids loved learning how to and making Lego movies.

After, we headed outside so that the kids could see Lake Erie. The Great Lakes Science Center sits on the edge of Lake Erie, and they actually have the William G. Mather Steamship, a 618 foot steamship, in the lake that is open in the summer for tours. The kids thought the outside of the ship was cool! I enjoyed seeing the ice that had formed on the rocks; it was so neat. And it was also FREEZING! The sun was out, but it felt like 10 degrees out. It was so cold!

We spent about 5 hours at the center. It was definitely worth the drive and it wasn't too busy, being during the week. There was a school group there where the adults weren't paying attention to the kids and they were being kind of wild, but overall, it was definitely a memorable destination.

After we left the Science Center, we headed south about half an hour to our next destination......