Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cooking Corner~Cookbook Challenge Day 2


 Hi everyone!! Today I have another recipe from If it Makes you Healthy to try.
In the past year, I have discovered that Brussel sprouts aren't that terrible, but I only knew how to roast them in the oven.  As I flipped through this cookbook, I saw that there was a recipe for Brussel sprouts & cauliflower.
So let's give this a try.



cutting up the cauliflower was a little messy - I had florets all over the place!


Cutting the brussel sprouts was very time consuming.



Aside from all the chopping, this was a quick recipe.  Not difficult but I had to buy pine nuts, which I normally don't keep handy.  The dish tasted good, but I'm not too sure this is something I would cook again.


So far I've made 2 recipes and we are 1 for 2.....let's see which recipe I make next.

Do you have this book?  What should I try next?



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Travel Tuesday....Let's Talk Disney!!!

Hey guys!!! Are you all ready for Memorial Day Weekend? 
We are still making plans so this post is not about our Memorial Day weekend plans but it is about a place I totally love.  Disney!! Lately, I've been thinking about Disney so I've been watching a lot of Disney vlogs on YouTube.  Watching these videos has really made me want to start planning my next trip, although I was thinking of putting it off until we are official Floridians, which I hope happens by 2019.

For now, I'll settle for watching YouTube and help others plan their Disney vacations.  Now, I'm not here to sell you Disney or tell you to book any vacations through me, although that would be nice & greatly appreciated!  I'm here to just talk about some of the great things going on at Disney this year!

Here are just a few of the current offers available:



Booking Window: March 21- August 1, 2018
Travel Window: most nights May 28-August 30, 2018


Booking Window: Now through July 7, 2018
Travel Window: Valid for Arrivals most Nights


August 20 through September 29
November 24 through November 27
December 7 through December 23








These current offers are great and I highly recommend taking advantage of the Free Dining Offer.

Besides these offers, there are so many reasons to plan a new Disney Vacation.  I was there over a year ago and there have been many changes since then.  For one, Pandora-The World of Avatar has opened up in Animal Kingdom.  This part of the park looks amazing and I for one can't wait to experience it for myself.

Over at Hollywood Studios there have been many changes too.  Rides have been closed down and new ones are being added.  In June, Toy Story land will be opening up!  This area will make you feel like you are one of the toys and I can't wait to see it!  Another addition that I'm dying for Disney to finish is Star Wars land.  Now this one won't be ready this year, so I am patiently waiting for its opening!

Of course, all of the traditional rides are reason enough for me and I promise you won't be disappointed!

So what are you waiting for?  Whether you book with me, another agent or on your own, give Walt Disney World a try.  If planned right, you will have the time of your life!

Of course, I am here if you need help!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Fitness Plan - Day 1


Its been over a month since I've worked out.  I didn't plan on taking off a month but I did, so now its time to start over!  I do have to say, I gained some of my weight back but not all of it, so that is some good news.

I'm back on my meal plan which consists of mostly protein and veggies.  This week I'll be eating the same thing all week, and I prepped on Sunday so I don't slip up during the week.





I started my morning with T25 from Beachbody and then did some toning moves after work.  I hope to workout twice a day every day, but this doesn't always happen as planned.  There are days I come home completely exhausted & not in the mood for anything.  This is why it is so important for me to workout first thing in the morning.  I'm also determined to drink a gallon of water everyday....which means I'll be visiting the restroom every hour!!


Its never too late to start, everyday you wake up is your chance to try again!

How are you doing with your fitness & nutrition goals?


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cooking Corner~Mother's Day Meal

Hi everyone!! I'm back with another recipe, and this is one of my own.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pasta and the cheesier the better.  This recipe is not diet friendly at all, but I decided to use turkey instead of beef in an attempt to make it healthier!

I started with cooking the ground turkey and I cooked it the same way I would've cooked the beef.  I use onion, garlic and lots of Italian seasoning.
I thoroughly cook the turkey and then add a chunky pasta sauce.  You can use your favorite sauce, homemade or jarred.  I use jarred sauce because it makes my life so much easier, plus the 3 times I've tried making homemade sauce, it has been a fail! 



While the meat is cooking, I start boiling my ziti.


While the meat cooks with the sauce and the pasta boils, I start preparing the ricotta cheese to add to the ziti, then set it aside.


Meat is looking good and you can't even tell its turkey, in my opinion!


Now to mix it all up!!  I first spread sauce at the bottom of the pan, then add pasta, then add meat & then the cheese.  I continue layering like this until I use all the ingredients and then I stir it all up.


Once its all mixed, I top it off with lots and lots of mozzarella cheese.

Then it goes in the oven, which I've preheated at 350 degrees, and let it cook up & melt the cheese for about 30 minutes.


Now you are ready to eat!!  Everything was delicious!!

I would share the recipe, but I don't measure anything!

Hope everyone enjoyed their mother's day!




Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Travel Tuesday~Oh What a Vacation~Fun, Sun & Hospital???

Another Vacation has finally arrived and we are heading back to Florida.  I would love to travel somewhere new, but at the moment we use our full week vacation to visit family.  My grandparents, parents and sisters live in Florida so this is a great time to go and catch up.  We do, however, plan day trips and activities so we can have a vacation.  My ideal vacations are beach time & eating out so there was plenty of this planned.

Our flight was a 5am so normally I would be cranky, I'm not a morning person, but the thought of being in sunny Florida for a week made it all better.  We arrived nice and early - no delays so our vacation was off to a great start.


The cousins were reunited that afternoon and we started planning the next day's activities.


The next day we headed out to Juno Beach Pier - this is one of our favorite beaches.  What we didn't expect was for the ocean to be so rough.  The boys all loved it - rough waves, jumping right into them is their favorite thing to do but me & my daughter - not so much.

My daughter tried to go in but a wave knocked her on her butt & she got scared but when her father came out to help her in she was ok and went in.  They actually said the biggest problem is getting in, once they were in it was ok.  I wasn't even going to try.





Sitting out wasn't great either.  It was a very windy day so we were getting sand blown on us constantly - so we didn't stay too long!  I was happy to get some sun and breathe in the ocean air, but was also very happy to leave.





Back home the kids took up a short game of baseball and then the rain started....LOL
It was a short rainfall, typical Florida weather.


We went out to dinner that night with the entire family which is always a great time!







The next day was very low key - hung out at home and then got ready to go to dinner at my sister's boyfriend's house.  He is Greek, so we had a wonderful Greek meal along with a fun night with family.


So Monday is here and everyone is back to work so we planned on driving down to Key West and spend one night.  We didn't want to rush down and back so spending the night was the best option.
Before we started driving, I downloaded this app - Miami to Key West GyPsy Guide - which turned out to be great for the drive down.  I had it on the entire drive, and it would give us historical information on several places on the way down.  This helped make the drive feel shorter than what it actually was.









On our way down there are many places to stop but what I was mostly interested in was stopping at the best beach, which was Bahia Honda.  It really was very nice.  There are patches of seagrass that we avoided stepping on but swam over and tried to take pictures of the fish.  The water was amazing - no waves, the temperature was perfect and it was so relaxing.  Just what we needed after being in the car for so long.













Isn't this view just beautiful?




 After our quick dip, we kept driving and didn't stop until we reached our hotel.  We booked a room at 24 North Hotel Key West.  It was our first time here, but the hotel looked clean from the pictures so we took a chance.  So happy we did.  We didn't plan on spending much time at the hotel, so it was perfect!  Our room had 2 double beds, the bathroom had a nice shower and everything was clean.  Our room was facing the ocean, so our view was very nice!  We checked in, dropped off all of our bags & jumped on the complimentary shuttle to Mallory Square.  We were starving so on our way to Mallory Square I was looking up places to eat.  I found a Cuban restaurant right in the area that I know we would all agree on, so when we got off the shuttle it was a short walk there. 




El Meson de Pepe...we chose to sit outside since it really was a beautiful night.  Everything looked very nice, the music was great - everything was very Cuban!  We felt right at home.




My only concern were the chickens (I think) perched on the branches above us!  Didn't really want any droppings while we were eating, but happy to report - nothing came down!


Our appetizers were croquettes and plantain chips - delish!


We also ordered fried calamari - my daughter loved them.  Me, not so much.  They were too big for my liking.



Dinner was just as good...I had a tamale with chips, hubby and both kids had steak with rice & beans.







After dinner we walked around for a bit and did some shopping.


The next morning the kids wanted to sleep in, but I wanted to visit one of the attractions on my list early to beat the crowds.  So hubby & I took off and drove to the Southernmost point to take some pics.  All my fellow Cubans stop here, Cuba is 90 miles away from here and although some people have said you can see the island from here, you cannot.  All you see is the open ocean.



I did notice that chickens and roosters roam the streets freely, it was really funny.  I don't think I've ever seen so many roosters and chickens in one place.











After several pictures, we went back to the hotel to wake up the kids and eat breakfast.



This boat is out by the pool at the resort & I was very interested in its history.



This boat was actually used by 23 Cubans who took it to sea to navigate through the Florida Straits to make it to the United States.  





Breakfast arrived and we ate poolside...another beautiful morning.



After breakfast, hubby and baby girl took a dip in the pool.  I thought about it but decided to go back to the room to pack up.



Once packed, we checked out and drove back towards Mallory Square.  We parked several blocks away from Mallory Square because another attraction on my list was Ernest Hemingway's house & museum.  The boys wanted nothing to do with this so they waited outside while baby girl & I went in to take the tour.  You have a choice to either take a guided tour or explore the grounds on your own.  I wanted to hear about the history of Hemingway's life here, so we took the guided tour.
One of our favorite things to see were the many cats all over the place and searching for the ones who had 6 toes.  This was their home now.













Out of all the stories I heard during this tour, my favorite was the story behind this penny!  Whether the story is true or not, it is very entertaining. I highly suggest taking the guided tour to hear this story & many more.







The best cat condo I've ever seen.....









Another popular landmark is the end of US 1, Mile marker 0.  We didn't stop so I had to take a picture as we drove by.


Back to Mallory Square for more walking, shopping & ice cream!






We headed back to West Palm Beach and had plans to drive to Miami Beach the next day to go eat at Larios.  A higher power had other plans!  
When hubby got out of bed Wednesday morning, he was in pain.  His stomach was hurting and it was a pain he had never felt before. We waited a little while but the pain wasn't going away so we found a nearby Urgent Care and went there.  He was examined and it was discovered that he had a hernia, so they gave him an MRI, and ran blood tests.  They sent us home but recommended we call a surgeon.

We waited for the test results and didn't get word until later that day.  They couldn't give us the test results over the phone but they stated that it wasn't an emergency and to go back in the morning to go over the results.  So we did that.
The next morning he was still in pain.  We were at the Urgent Care as soon as they opened and they told us we had to go to the emergency room, this couldn't wait for us to be back in Jersey.
We went directly to Wellington Hospital, he was checked in right away and they started running more blood work.  It was determined that he had an incarcerated hernia with possible strangulated bowel. His surgery was scheduled for 2pm.  Luckily, my parents had taken the day off because we were supposed to go out but now they were taking care of baby girl.  My dad brought me some food and waited with me while hubby was in surgery.  The surgery took a little over an hour.
When he was out of surgery the surgeon came out to explain what was done.  He also explained that we had to change our flight because he would be in the hospital through Sunday and then needed a follow up 5 days after to remove the stitches.  So looks like we'll be in Florida for an additional week.
Hubby was moved into a room, which was nice for it being a hospital.  So the next day since we were supposed to go out on a boat and we couldn't, my sister and her husband took all of the kids with them - except for my son who chose not to go.  They had a great time!
Saturday I took a break and went to the mall with my mom, sister, niece and daughter.  It was a very nice and much needed girls day!

  

The girls tried this Dragon Breath - it was so cool....LOL

 


my son being lazy.....



hubby is looking a lot better :)


me on the other hand, felt like crap & was exhausted.  I was in desperate need of a good, full night of sleep!


Finally, on Sunday at 8pm hubby was discharged.  We had pushed our flight to Friday, 4/20, so we had a few more days to enjoy, while taking it easy because hubby still had to recover.

Monday, we took a ride back to Miami.  Hubby & my son went to see a friend while me & baby girl went to the beach.  It was amazing and so relaxing.









We didn't stay long, but it was worth it.  Afterwards, we went to my grandparents house for dinner and to say our goodbye's since we wouldn't be back to Miami.



Tuesday we went to Guanabana for lunch.  We love everything about this place-the food, the atmosphere, the service - everything! 



After Guanabana, we went to the mall for a little while & grabbed ice cream on the way out.



Wednesday was our last opportunity to get some beach time so that is exactly what we did!  I went in for a little bit and then layed out to get some sun.  The kids stayed in the water the entire time & my poor hubby had no choice but to sit there.  He had stitches so no swimming allowed.







Thursday was spent at the doctors to remove hubby's stitches.  It was terrible - don't get me wrong, the surgeon was excellent but this was his day off so we had to see his partner.  We had an appointment & still had to wait 2 hours to be seen.
He was finally seen, stitches removed and we were good to go.

Back home to do laundry, pack and get ready to head back to Jersey the next morning.

I don't think we will ever forget this vacation!  I wish things wouldn't have happened the way they did, but on the bright side we got an extra week vacation!

Have you ever encountered medical emergencies during vacation?
I never really thought about them until now!






First Trip Out West~Last Trip of 2018!

September was a bit rough for me this year and ever since we got back from this trip, my life has been crazy.  It normally is crazy anyway -...