Monday, July 30, 2012

Stay-cation Wrap-Up

Our stay-cation has come to a close. Sean went back to work today and I have decided that I will tackle one school project a day for the next few weeks to get ready to head back to work. Here is each of our thoughts about the last 9 days...

His thoughts...
Favorite day overall - This one is tough as they were all good. I think the fave would be day 8 at the Bent Fork, Zoo and Mini golf as it was good tucker and good times. 

Favorite meal - I have 3 to choose from but I think my favorite by the slimmest of margins would be Zaxby's Chicken strips. I love good chook!

Favorite thing/activity - Riding rollercoasters at Busch Gardens and slides at Water Country.

Thing you would most like to repeat soon - Mini golf but I would like to go to a place that has clowns, drawbridges etc. Kinda like Happyland in Happy Gilmore.

Thing you would most like to not repeat soon - Tearing down wall paper and taping.

Most shocking/startling thing/moment - How long it took to tape the kitchen. There is sooo much stuff to go around!

Best part of the stay-cation overall -  Just having a fairly relaxing time! We were busy but not so busy that it felt like it was go go go 24/7

Her thoughts...
Favorite day overall - Water Country Day

Favorite meal - It is so difficult to choose - but I think it would have to be the meal at the Bier Garden

Favorite thing/activity - The kitchen being finished!! :)

Thing you would most like to repeat soon - The fireworks and shows at Busch Gardens

Thing you would most like to not repeat soon - Painting...I am just not a fan

Most shocking/startling thing/moment - How much easier things are since losing 50+ pounds...I was surprising myself all week

Best part of the stay-cation overall - Being able to spend all of that time with Sean...I <3 my hubbie!

We hope you enjoyed our stay-cation posts. What are your vacation stories from this summer?


Stop By and Say "HI", 7/28/12

I am linking up with Melinda at Does this scale make me look fat? for her "Stop By and Say "HI" moment this week.

Her question this week: What is your favorite event to watch during the summer Olympics?

Oh my gosh! Where do I even start?

It seems like I have been glued to the TV since Friday night. (Not really if you see my post here about our last day of Stay-cation on Saturday.)

I love women's and men's gymnastics, swimming, and diving. I also really like beach volleyball, rowing, and canoeing/kayaking. I wish we could see more of water polo, table tennis, and handball because I think that would be really interesting. I am a HUGE fan of almost every event in the summer Olympics - except track and field...those aren't my favorites.

What about you? If you have a blog, hop over and join Melinda's blog hop. If not, comment below and join our conversation.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stay-cation, Day 8

Stay-cation Day 8 - a photo diary...

We planned to go to the Virginia Zoo so I Googled places to eat nearby and found a bunch on Urban Spoon. The Bent Fork Express had great reviews so we decided to try to track it down. It was a little hard to find because as you can see from the first photo, it is a very small place. However, as you can tell from the second and third photos - it was well worth the trouble. Sean's burger had A-1 sauce, grilled mushrooms, and grilled onions, mine was a plain cheeseburger, and we shared fries. The meal was less than $15 for everything. We wanted to order the malt milkshake of the day - peanut butter - but we were too full. Oh well, next time! :)

The Virginia Zoo
Two adorable giraffes - love them!
An ostrich

Elephant - you can't tell in the photo but he is splashing water on himself to cool off

 An emu and a kangaroo in the Australia section - Sean felt very at home

 Adorable armadillo - he was playing in the stuff at the bottom of the funny!

This tiger was sleeping right against the glass of the pathway - I wonder if he was thinking, "Someone rub my belly!!"

On the train "tour" they offer

 An orangutan hanging out inside to avoid the heat...then this sign almost made me cry

 A very energetic red panda and a very sleep one - as we were walking away they both climbed into their air conditioned animals

Playful bear 

Putt-Putt Golfing
We both love putt putt golfing so we went to Motorworld in Virginia Beach.

On hole 2 of the first course, I got a hole-in-one. :)

We continued playing but Sean was kicking my butt...

Sean won the first course, 48-43.

Onto the second course, where I was determined to win...  

 On hole 2, we both got a hole-in-one.

I got a hole-in-one on hole 7 and did very well on the other holes. Sean got a hole in one on hole 16 but I was leading by 2 going into the final hole.

 I held up my club in triumph after I got a hole-in-one on the 18th hole.

I won the second course 47-39. YAY!!!! 

We needed a tie breaker so we took the combined scores of both courses and...

I was the Putt-Putt Champion!!!! :) :) 

We went to Beach Bully's for dinner (an amazing barbecue place near the Virginia Beach strip) and headed home to watch the Olympics. All-in-all, a pretty amazing stay-cation day!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Stay-cation, Day 7

**We will now return to our regularly scheduled blogging...*  (You can click here to see the post I am talking about.)

Stay-cation Day 7!!! This morning we finished up the kitchen. We took all of the tape down which was such drama. Here's Sean's take on what happened with the tape:

We used two different types of painter's tape, the 3M blue tape and a new green coloured Frog tape. The blue tape was a nightmare to take off any surface that wasn't flat and there were many sections where I had to use a knife to take off small pieces. The green tape worked much better and this is what I would use for future projects. The issues with the tape are up for debate, but it may have been due to the thick coats of paint we put on or maybe the fact that the paint was still just a little tacky (I thought 18 hours would have been plenty of time to dry but I am not an expert on painting). There are a few small sections where we may have to touch up but overall it looks much more modern and the kitchen has definitely leapt from the '80's to the 21st century. 

Regardless of how many nicks are in the paint, it looks beautiful. We both love the color and we both way, way, way love it more than what we had before. Thank goodness that hideous border is gone forever!! Here are the final results:
The view from the dining room

We talked about what kind of art we want for this wall. Something tropical since that is the theme we are going for.

Underneath the cabinets - with my favorite piece that I have ever painted at Glazenfyre (the utensil holder)

Love that orange color (even though it looks more yellow here than in person)

Decorations are back in place and the kitchen is functional again - thank goodness!!

This afternoon we lazed around a little and I decided I wanted to bake. I did some research thinking it would be so fun to make a traditional British dessert in honor of the London Olympics starting tonight. It seemed like every recipe I looked at either had ingredients that I knew would be difficult to find at the last minute or specifically said "not for those on diets" (no kidding - I found three that said that!). In the end I decided to go with rice pudding for Sean because he has been asking me to make it and I kept seeing different British pudding recipes so I thought that was close and a strawberry shortcake style dessert for me. Here are the recipes I used...

Tonight is all about the OLYMPICS!!!


I love, love, love the summer Olympics. My favorite sports are swimming, diving, and gymnastics. I love that during the summer I can watch all the preliminary events during the day and stay up late to watch the finals at night. I am sure the Opening Ceremonies tonight will be beautiful, and amazing, and exciting. The parade of nations where all the athletes walk into the arena is my absolute favorite part. What are you looking forward to with the Olympics?

More Stay-cation tomorrow. Until then - TTYL,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

**We interrupt this stay-cation for a very special announcement...**


I cannot believe it has been one year since I walked into a church on a Tuesday night for my first Weight Watchers meeting and weigh in. I was so nervous...I thought this time would be like all the others...I didn't want to weigh in and see that number....I didn't want to be embarrassed by that number. The nerves were so bad that Sean stayed with me through the part where I weighed in. I almost chickened out so I'm glad he was there for support.

A before (August, 2011) and during (March, 2012)
That first meeting was, of course, not bad at all. The weigh in was - well, uncomfortable - but that is because of my own self-esteem drama, not because of the WW process. I do not remember anything about the first topic covered at that meeting but I remember feeling at peace to be there and very happy with my choice. The plan review afterwords for newbies answered most of my questions and I started on my journey.

Today I am 51.6 pounds lighter than I was a year ago. Most importantly, I am happier and healthier. There are some other things I have noticed about my self and my life now...(these are in no particular order)
  • I can shop at stores that I could not shop at before and I can wear sizes that are about 4 sizes down from where I was before.
  • I can walk around Busch Gardens and Water Country without having horrible pain in my ankles and knees.
  • I can walk around on a Saturday running errands in sandals, rather than my tennis shoes.
  • I can walk around my classroom helping my students at their desks, rather than having them come to me at mine because I need to sit down.
  • I can fit into my favorite roller coasters again!
  • I can climb the steps of the rides at Water Country and not need a break half way.
  • I can walk up hills without being so winded that I cannot talk. 
  • I have more energy to complete tasks. I could write this as "I get bored faster". No longer is sitting around watching TV all day something I want to do. After a while I start to get very bored and I want to get up and clean or go to the gym or do something that isn't sit anymore.
  • I have more confidence in myself. I can't say I have high self-esteem but it is higher than it was a year ago.
  • I make better food choices. I know what portion sizes I should eat and I know how to balance my meals throughout the day and week. It's a great feeling to be in control of the food instead of feeling like the food controls me and my chioces.
  • I know how to not emotionally eat. Now, I still do eat (chocolate usually) when I am stressed or sad but I know now other ways to deal with those emotions that do not require food. It's very empowering.
My journey continues. I am about 1/3 of the way to my weight loss goal. I am confident that I will make it and ecstatic to see what I can add to the list above as my weight loss continues.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stay-cation, Day 5

Stay-cation Day 5 had the following weather forecast...
     86 degrees (a nice break from the heat advisories we have had lately)
     50% humidity
     0% chance of rain
We decided that this sounded like a perfect Water Country day!

Here are some of our thoughts about the day.

Her Thoughts:
  • It was a beautiful day! Water Country was busy, but not so busy that the lines were crazy. It was hot, but not so hot that it was uncomfortable. 
  • I am going back to lotion sunscreen. We used the spray sunscreen today and reapplied half way through the day but I am still a little sunburnt. It's just on my shoulders and my nose but I would like to avoid that for next time. 
  • I saw a mom applying sunscreen to her daughter using a stick that looked like chapstick. I love this for my nose and forehead. I have got to pick this up before our next WC trip. 
  • Big Daddy Falls is my favorite ride at WC!
  • I tried something new - went out of my comfort zone ... and it was great! Sean loves speed slides so I tried the ones near the lazy river. I was surprised that I liked them.
  • The food at WC is decently priced and tastes pretty good. I was pleasantly shocked! :)
  • The show at WC - Aquabatics - was not so great. I guess because I like watching diving competitions (can't wait for the Olympics!!) I am overly critical but I wasn't a fan.
  • The funniest thing that happened today was on Big Daddy Falls. This ride has a huge inner tube that like 5 people can ride in. Well, when we got to the bottom, somehow Sean managed to hit a wave just perfectly and flipped himself out of this huge inner tube and threw me into the middle of the tube. I could not stop laughing - and the lifeguards were laughing too!
  • The highlight of my day was liking the speed slides -- and getting to spend time with Sean, of course.

His Thoughts:

  • It was a nice day, It was not too hot, but it felt good to be in the water. Later in the arvo it got a little chillier but it was still good.
  • The spray sunscreen is useless. It seems that 2/3rds of it flies away and that is probably the stuff that works. Although I am happy the air is now not going to get sun-burnt, I did and that was no fun.
  • I spent a lot of time flipping out of tubes, rafts and even almost into another lane on the racer slide. I am a firm believer that water parks should be high speed and high thrills. I think I almost got launched out at Meltdown's splash pool, I fell out at the bottom of Big Daddy Falls, I fell out of the inner tube about 5 times on the lazy river (but that's nothing unusual for me). 
  • I did have a first today at the Nitro Racer. About half way down I was going so quickly I actually went airborne and flew so far I landed on top of the divider that separated me from the next lane. It was very close to me actually landing in the next lane. Luckily I was able to come back into my lane and the best part was I still won the race! And I thought flying around the corner on Jet Scream so fast that I fell out of the tube was impressive.
  • I was proud that Amanda wanted to try the slides near the lazy river. She normally just waits but today she wanted to try them. She got a little scared but she didn't back away. She had such a huge grin on her face and wanted to do it again and that made me happy.
  • The tucker was decent for theme park food and it didn't break the bank. The fact that we got free cups of water with our meals helps knock the cost back.
  • They offer free cups of ice water throughout the park and that is great keeping us hydrated and saves us from buying bottled water. I really appreciate that.
  • It was  fun day out. I would like to try the new ride Vanish Point one day but I am too impatient to wait 30-45 minutes to go on a ride that takes 30 seconds. One day the lines will be short and that's when I will try it.
It's back to painting tomorrow as the kitchen gets a second coat and we are hoping to organize the "library" (aka - the room with all our books). 



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stay-cation, Day 4

Day 4 of Stay-cation = Paint, paint, paint....then eat! That pretty much sums up the day! :)

The kitchen now has one coat of our chosen color - Orange Toffee. (The pictures show it more as a yellow, but it is a light orange. Sean and I have said all day the color should be named Cantaloupe.)

Lady and Gentleman, Start your brushes!

Sean listened to a book on tape to help the time go by faster.

It's looking good.

Two walls - done!

Working on that third wall - above the fridge.

Under the cabinets - done!

Last section - behind the fridge.
We are so glad to have the first coat finished. Sean didn't love the color at first which made me nervous. I didn't want him to hate the finished look after we spent so much time on this project this week. He did say tonight, after dinner, that he liked it a lot now that the paint has dried. He thinks he will like it even more when the second coat is on and it is more of a solid orange - right now, some of the yellow (previous color) is showing through in spots. I love it - I loved it this afternoon and I love it now!

Aren't my parents cute??
I <3 him!!
After several hours of painting, we decided to reward ourselves with dinner at a favorite restaurant - the Bier Garden in Portsmouth. Sean and I absolutely love the schnitzel and Dad and Sean are big fans of their beer selection. Tonight the food was delicious as always and we had a great time chatting with my parents hearing about their recent vacation. It was nice to sit and relax after a day of painting.

No painting for us tomorrow. Check back tomorrow night to see what we got up to! :)

PS - I  just noticed that I used purple and orange as text colors. I will dedicate this blog post to my brother-in-law, Andy - a proud Clemson University alum. :)
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