Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Want a Towel on a Chair in the Sand by the Sea

Aw, it's Monday, I could sure use a week month of lying on the beach in Mexico.

I've been up to my neck workin 6 days a week.
Wearin holes in the soles of the shoes on my feet
been dreamin of gettin away since i dont know.
Ain't no better time than now...for Mexico

No shoes, no shirt, no problems
Blues what blues? Hey i forgot 'em
The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand with no bottom,
and no shoes, no shirt, n' no problems,
No problems

Want a towel on a chair in the sand by the sea
Want to look thru my shades and see you there with me.
Want to soak up life for a while
in laid back mode.
No boss, no clock, no stress, no dress code.

No shoes, no shirt, no problems
Blues what blues? Hey I forgot 'em
The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand with no bottom
and no shoes, no shirt, 'n no problems

Babe lets get packed tank tops and flip flops if u got 'em,
No shoes, no shirt, no problems
No problems.
---written by Casey Beathard and recorded by Kenny Chesney

We went to the Catalonia Royal Tulum on the Riviera Maya for our 30 year wedding anniversary. It's been a year and a half and I really need to return to this place.  It has the most amazing beach and pretty good snorkeling right off the beach if you can handle the swim out to the reef. (wear a vest)  If not, there are fish around every rock and coral even close in to shore.

We spend a total of 10 nights in Mexico.  After the CRT we moved to another hotel and while it was nice (I'll show you pics another day) we should have stayed here the entire time.  Click the toes picture at the top of my blog for more hotel info.  This is not a big place for night life, but if you are like us and up at sunrise to snorkel and start our day of beach relaxing, you'll be tired and ready for bed by 11 pm anyway.

Love, love everything about this shot, the little hermit crab,
the sand, the water, the curve of my arm. 
Also that this totally awesome shot was
taken by my husband who says
he's no good at taking pictures. 
He did great on this one!

Another great shot by my husband, this is where I want to be!

Love shadow shots because the bad beach hair
doesn't show up very much.

These are both for me - get your own! 
(just kidding)

Now that's a lizard!
The hotel room buildings are set in the jungle and there is a path from the lobby area to the beach through the jungle.  Lots of wildlife to be seen along the way and some really Zen music.
Blue water - 'nuff said!

White I'm just making myself sad.

First view of the beach upon arriving at the
Catalonia Royal Tulum
If you want a relaxing vacation on a BEAUTIFUL white sand beach.  Check this place out. You won't be sorry.

Much Love & Laughter,


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Curves Ahead?

You hear a lot about how women look at the models in glossy magazines and it causes them to feel bad about themselves.  As I approach the BIG 5-0 I've sort of gotten past that (mostly).  So many things that are important to you when you are 20something or 30something just don't seem to matter anymore as you get to be fortysomething and beyond (I assume).  But I am still struggling with the glossy photos and internet pictures of BEAUTIFUL HOMES.

My house is an 'interesting' collection of stuff collected through many years in random ways.  I've always embraced the word ECLECTIC as my style even before it was so in vogue.  Read eclectic "a hodge podge of stuff passed down and picked up here and there and tossed together."

As I approach my "senior" years I'm on a mission to get rid of stuff I don't use and stuff I don't love from my home.  I'm on a mission to get rid of STUFF.  But it's oh so HARD to let go without slaving through a garage sale or craigslist.  I SO want to get back just a little of my investment. I'm thrify. It's not a bad thing - just time consuming.  I'm trying really hard to talk myself into just donating a whole truckload of junk stuff.  It seems incredibly easy to just give the stuff away compared to trying to sell it.  (I'm almost there and my hero husband will be happy when I pick up the phone and say, "come and get it")  It is time to simplify. And beautify.

As the process has progressed,  I've done some serious thinking about the bedroom furniture I picked up for cheapo at an estate sale 20+ years ago.  I never really liked it, it isn't my style.  I bought it because it was A) cheap and B) functional.  My husband likes cheap inexpensive and functional.  Oh and it's solid. (weighs a ton) He reminded me that he had never had to work on this furniture, the drawers glide easily, etc.  Good arguments all - but I just can't seem to get past the ugly this is not "My Style".  I just don't like it.

Why can't I just be happy with functional. 
Why am I SO drawn to form?

And how do you creatively hide the wires from a lamp, a clock, and two cell phone chargers with curvy legs like these?

So I've looked at the styles I love and I've realized I really like furniture with legs high enough to see the floor underneath.  I've looked around my house and I'm drawn to curves and swirls and mis-matched things.

I'm SERIOUSLY considering giving away the old furniture in the bedroom. We've gotten our $250 out of it, FOR SURE!  I'm considering replacing it with mismatched French pieces in natural wood tones, blacks and whites.  IF I can find something solid, functional, inexpensive and that my hero doesn't have to work on, because he does enough work already.  He doesn't understand it, but he tells me, "Do what you have to, honey."

So what do you think?

Should I live with the chunky furniture?

Or keep looking for my resale redo pieces?

And be sure to send me tips on hiding those cords.

Much Love & Laughter,


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pictures that Make Me Smile - I Love Luigi

My son was a DIE HARD Mario Brothers fan when he was a little guy FOREVER.  He even dressed up as some Mario character with a tail (and ears) one year for Halloween. He always came up with the cutest costume ideas.  If I was a better Mom I would know that Mario character's name, but I'm not that up on my video games (even though he's told me that name many times.)

Last October my (not so little) guy married his sweetheart.  Being the "march to the beat of his own drum" kinda guy he's always been, his wedding REHEARSAL was a costume event. Fortunately his bride appreciates all that is unique about Michael.  This may have even been her idea.

that's me in the pirate hat getting my ear talked off by the caterer
 I'm really glad someone took this shot because it is the only one with their mustaches on which makes it fabulous.  Also, I spent a good deal of the night smiling and nodding at the catering guy and trying to plan how to escape him so I'm glad we got a picture of that (I'm strange that way).  I can easily over look that issue now because the food was delicious and my ear has recovered.

I don't think anyone got really good pics that night we were all sort of busy,
rehearsing and getting the caterer organized. 
All I have of the group are fuzzy cell phone pics - but you can feel the fun!

We managed to get them dressed up a little more traditional the following day.

Good times!  Happy Memories!


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Prom Dress Reveal - Finally!

For the last 6 weeks or so I've spent my weekends and some evenings after work sewing my baby girl's dress for her Senior Prom.  After committing to make the dress I can't say I didn't have a few regrets along the way. Our dining room has been a sewing room for the last few months.

Three of the reasons I agreed to make the dress were

1) so that the dress would fit properly,
2) so that no one else would be wearing the same dress, and
3) because she could have an original dress that would otherwise cost HUNDREDS for $130 in materials plus countless hours of labor!

First we picked a pattern, some fabric, and some lace.

Then I sewed and sewed.

Yes, it was a LOT of work, but the smile on her face when she went off to prom feeling like
a princess in her "vintage" original it was all worth it!

Love LOVE the Lacing up the back

Black crepe back satin bodice,
burgundy crepe satin skirt
Scalloped chantilly lace overskirt
The slip has two layers of net ruffles

The royalty pose

My favorite couple shot

My favorite solo shot

The Titanic "Heart of the Ocean" necklace in red was the
perfect find to go with the dress -, of course!

On to my next project!

Much Love & Laughter,




The 36th AVENUE

Truly Lovely Blog

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

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A Super Salad - Paula Deen's SW Avocado & Black Bean Salad

This recipe has been making the rounds on Pinterest.  It sounded QUICK and EASY, which makes it perfect for a week night dinner after work.
A couple of weeks ago, on lawn mowing night when I got home from work I assembled all the ingredients except for the avocado, cheese and dressing.   

Then I tossed it all back in the fridge.  After SuperDave and I finished the yard work, I grabbed it from the fridge, added the cheese and chopped up the avocado on top. 

Then I tossed it with the dressing and it was done!

We settled down in the back yard, relaxed for a while and ate our yummy salad at our favorite "patio cafe."  In a few minutes, my baby girl came home.  She was hungry and I offered the salad (even though she is normally only agreeable to caesar salad.)  But guess what? She liked this salad and the Lime Cilantro Dressing
Last night when I got home from a very long Monday and didn't feel like making dinner (I've been sick for a week with a sinus and ear infection).  Can you say YUCK?  I'm a grouchy momma bear and I don't have time to feel bad.
I asked the baby girl if we should warm up the leftover chicken soup - not a bad option.

 Or make a salad and toss some chicken on top (I always keep some type of pre-cooked chicken in the freezer so we can bake it and toss it on a salad.)  Her suggestion - let's make that salad again - the one she liked that WASN'T topped with caesar dressing.  So we made this great Paula Deen salad AGAIN and topped it with chicken this time.

 Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad

Servings: 4*
Prep Time: 15 min
Difficulty: Easy

*MY note, this recipe says it serves 4, I would say 6 to 8 unless you are REALLY hungry


1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 or 3 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 avocados, peeled and diced
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
About 3/4 cup (3-ounces) grated pepper jack cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

If this sounds good to you, give it a try, you won't be sorry.  It's a lot of deliciousness ready to eat in 15 minutes.

Much Love & Laughter,


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Monday, April 23, 2012

Time Travel

On Monday I usually blog about travel.  Because today my oldest child is 31 years old, I felt I should write a little something about her.  So let's travel back in time 31 years to April 23, 1981. (If I could actually time travel I'd take a high res digital camera because these old photos are not very good quality.)  But they are all we have from that era.  We've come a long way, right?

My sweet daughter, Sara, was born very close to her due date, she didn't keep us waiting.  My labor was progressing slowly without too much serious pain until the doctor broke my water. Then I had one continuous labor pain for the next hour.  Just when I was ready to ask for DEMAND some drugs, the doctor announced that I was ready to deliver.  So here's a unique thing about my delivery, I WALKED into the delivery room!  Because we had no medical insurance, I gave birth at a government hospital. My husband is a card carrying member of the Cherokee Indian tribe and we were thankful to have the free medical care. 

When they told me I was ready to deliver I needed to pee and didn't want to use a bedpan, so I walked down the hall to the restroom. Since the delivery room was on the way back to the labor room, they told me just go on in there on the way back.  The nurse gave me a startled look, said she had never had a mom walk into delivery and asked me if I could hop up on the table.  Uh, no.  So she gave me a step stool and I CLIMBED up on the delivery table.  We continued with a totally natural delivery (she owes me) - it was what we did in the 80's and I gave birth to a healthy 8 lb 6 oz sweetheart of a baby girl.

I was doubly blessed because she was probably the easiest baby in the world.  Being a really young Mom I'm not sure how I would have handled it if she had been a fussy baby.

Angel Baby
 I was a stay at home Mom until she was 13 months old.We spent a lot of time playing dress up and taking pictures.  She was a happy girl!

Daughter number ONE was the reason I started sewing pretty little dresses. (stayed tuned this week for the prom dress reveal for daughter number two)  I made two dresses from this pattern for her first birthday.

And this yummy three piece outfit with pantaloons for her 2nd birthday

So 31 years later here she is, renewing her vows with her husband, Wes, after 5 years of marriage.  They were married by a JP with no family present and wanted to take their vows in church with family present.  It was a special day.

They came to visit on Saturday and we had birthday lunch and ice cream.  It was also prom day for little sis, so it was a busy Saturday.

Happy Birthday Sara!  Mom Loves You and is So Proud of the Beautiful (inside and out) Woman you have become.

Much Love & Laughter,


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