Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Time to Relax

Everyone gets stressed out a time or two (or more!) in their life. Me, personally? Well, I run a home daycare with 1-3 year old kids, I give piano lessons, I have two Border Collie dogs, two cats, and a husband. You tell me if I get stressed out...ever!

I have a lot going on in my life, but there are some things that I love to do to unwind and relax.

Play my piano 

Color (yes, coloring!!)


Wind Down with Wine

Read a Good Book

Take a Walk

Write in my Journal

Those are just a few things that I love that relax me.

What are things you do to relax?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Give Thanks........

I have been complaining about the heat and humidity for a couple weeks now and I feel bad about it because I have SO much to be thankful for. I just hate sweating and thick air and heat in general. I especially hate humidity. But my complaining has been very bad in the last few days and I don't want to continue because it's wearing on my spirit.


I decided to turn my complaining into thanks. The Bible tells us to give thanks and I know I can always find at least five things to be thankful for.

Though I don't care for summer, here is what I am thankful for.

Father's Day
I spent Father's Day with my father (who lives in Arizona) this year....this was the first Father's Day since I was about 2 years old that I spent with my dad. He was visiting NYS and we went out to dinner with my husband and step-daughter and I felt so THANKFUL and blessed.

Mini Vacation
My husband and I took my step-daughter and her friend to Lake George for a weekend. We stayed in an awesome resort with a private beach and swimming pool, our own suite, and private balcony. My husband and I shopped, ate a lot and relaxed while the girls went off on their own to have fun. Lake George is one of my favorite places and I am THANKFUL that I got to spend a weekend there!

Best Friend
I saw one of my best friends several times this summer (she and her family live in Glens Falls which is about 2 hours from my house) and I could not have been happier. We met her and her family at the beach one day; we had subs and wine by the fire pit one evening; we met in Saratoga! I love her and we plan on moving there some day (SOON I HOPE) so seeing her often this summer is definitely something I am THANKFUL for!!

My husband and I recently took the carpet out of our bedroom and my step-daughter's bedroom. There was original hardwood (oak) flooring under carpet and tile and my husband sanded and painted the floors (the floors were painted other colors and not in good shape as far as paint) and bought some throw rugs. The rooms look great and I am THANKFUL that we were able to do that.

Pine Lake
I took a day off this summer to take my grandma, step-daughter and her boyfriend to Pine Lake for the day. We brought sandwiches and snacks and books and spent the day getting sun and swimming. I am THANKFUL that we were able to do that and spend time together.

I had family from Tennessee and Missouri visit this summer and I am THANKFUL for the time spent with them.

Dates with my Husband
Joe and I enjoy getting out of Herkimer and driving some place to get coffee or go out to eat. This summer we went to Cooperstown and walked around the lake and got coffee and enjoyed the peaceful environment. We went several times to our favorite coffee place, Cafe Florentine (in New Hartford) and sat outside with coffee and sometimes dessert too!! And we've been to Saratoga a few times to walk around, shop and have lunch or dinner. I am THANKFUL for my husband and that we were able to spend time together.

Those are just a few things I am thankful for but there are plenty more. My eyesight, ability to walk, my job, family, friends and my home are definitely things I am always thankful for. So what I have to do when I feel like complaining about the hot weather is STOP and breathe and just be thankful.

What are YOU thankful for?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Pants

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to Plato's Closet to look for wedge sandals for me.  For those of you who don't know, Plato's Closet is a consignment store but upscale.  Nothing with stains or tears, etc.  They have name brand clothes, shoes and purses for great prices.

I found a pair of wedge sandals for $6.00 and then Joe found a pair of Hollister (that's name brand!) sweat pants.  They were in the mens' section under "small".  He put them next to his body and they looked like they would fit so he bought them for $14.00.

Later when we got home, he tried the sweats on.  And then we laughed and laughed and laughed.

Yeah...........they're WOMENS' sweats, size small, someone had put them in the mens' section and then we noticed the word HOLLISTER going down the leg was sparkly ha ha.

So I have a new pair of sweats!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Day in the Life....

My husband and I love going to Saratoga and spending the day and/or evening. I especially love it because one of my best friends lives about 15 minutes away!

 image courtesy of www.skidmore.edu

This past weekend, my husband, mother and I went to Saratoga for the day. We went in a ton of shops and I splurged on a HOT little dress and necklace to match. Can't wait to wear it out!!

My best friend drove down and met us and we sat outside at the Wine Bar which is so lovely! 

 Me with my BFF

We had a couple glasses of wine and watched as a drunk man (sitting nearby, not AT the Wine Bar) threw beer all over, yelled incoherent things, and finally was taken away in an ambulance. Good times. But after that we had great conversation and a lot of laughs.

mom and I
my husband Joe and I

After a few drinks, my BFF and I realized we needed to eat!! But not before trying on some lovely Saratoga hats!

My husband and I had, in the past, eaten at a restaurant in Saratoga that we loved and that we thought was called the Circus Cafe. Turns out it was a place attached to the Circus Cafe (maybe same owners?) and not the same thing. We were seated at the Circus Cafe and there were not only tons of people but tons of children as well, which wouldn't have been a problem but we wanted to treat my mother to some place nice and....well, not loud! So the waiter told Joe and I that we actually ate next door previously which was called The Crown. We had lunch there and the food was great and not terribly expensive. Well....we moved next door, were seated and handed menus and GASPED at the prices. Sorry, I'm not spending $34.00 per person on dinner. Apparently the menus change. So much to the embarrassment of the others in my party, we got up and walked out. $34.00 wouldn't have been bad but the menu was small and limited and since my husband and I were treating, we were feeling that was a bit much.

We ended up eating at the Stadium Cafe which had great food and environment.

image courtesy of www.yelp.com
Sadly, I had to say good bye to my best friend as she had to go home. But then mom, Joe and I walked around and it was neat seeing all the bars “hopping” at night. Finally we left as we were exhausted. The ride home was uneventful until we almost ran out of gas on the thruway! Thankfully there was a nearby rest area. Phew!!!

All in all it was a great day and I can't wait to go back!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pet Peeves

When people put an “S” on the end of the name of something when there is no “S”!!

Hannaford has no S on the end so it is not Hannafords!
Walmart – no S!

Now the store Aldi does not have an S on the end of the name but I do think it should. However, it doesn't so no one should say it (including myself)!

One day while at Hannaford, I walked past a woman who was talking on her cell phone and I overheard her say “I'm at Hannafords”. Ugh! I wanted to say “No, you are NOT at Hannafords...you are at Hannaford!”

Get rid of the S, people!

Not putting your shopping cart back!

My 80 year old grandmother doesn't walk well and uses a cane and SHE puts her shopping cart back. Every. Time.

Is it really that much of a walk, people? Would a little exercise kill you? I see all these advertisements for weight loss pills and shakes and powders and I think “For crying out loud, eat healthier and exercise and you won't need all of that processed crap!”. I think Americans have become lazier over the last several years (not all Americans, I'm not trying to be judgmental). No one wants to put a cart back. No one wants to walk back to return an item in a store that they decided they don't want after all (so they leave it on a random shelf). I could go on. But I won't.

Ahem, the shopping cart issue.

Recently at the grocery store, I watched a man load his groceries in the trunk of his car, leave the cart behind his car and get in the car to leave. Well, the man put the car in reverse instead of drive and the cart that he so rudely left behind his car scraped against the backside of his car until he noticed that he was backing into it. He quickly put the car in drive and took off. Still left the cart but I had a good laugh because no doubt his car was a little scratched.

Leaving your cart in a parking lot is rude. They roll away and take up parking spaces OR they're left in parking spaces. I can safely say [pat on the back] that I have never left a shopping cart out; I always always put it back!

I am sure some of you are thinking “But what about mothers who have small children?” Easy solution for that one. Unload your groceries while child is in cart. Put cart back while child is in cart. Pick up child and walk to your car. You're teaching them better that way.

Put your carts back where they belong. It won't kill you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yes, I am an Addict


 Hi, my name is Melanie and I am addicted to coffee. And proud of it!

I grew up living with my grandparents until I was 15.  There were always a lot of visitors, goodies (gram used to bake every Saturday) and....you guessed it, COFFEE.

I don't recall if I tried coffee when I was a kid but I remember starting to drink it before I was 15 years old because that is the age that I was when we moved out. I've been addicted since.

Grandma always had, and still has, coffee on. Whether perked coffee or from the coffee maker, you can bet you'll find a pot of coffee sitting there when you pop up to visit. This is probably due to all the company my grandmother has always had throughout the years (grandpa had 14 brothers and sisters and most of them had kids and most of them had kids......plus friends and neighbors).

So to this day, I cannot get enough of coffee! My husband and I have a coffee maker and a Keurig. I drink my coffee black most of the time but when I get coffee out (ie, Dunkin), or sometimes as a treat at home, I'll use {flavored} creamer.

Coffee on the pack porch; coffee in bed or curled on a chair with a book; coffee while watching a movie; coffee anytime!!!!! Flavored (hazelnut and mocha are two faves) or plain but no decaf!! 6am or 8pm, bring on the coffee!!!

What's your addiction?!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Good Times

My husband and I took my stepdaughter, Amber, and her boyfriend William to Lake George yesterday. We've made it tradition to take Amber and a friend to Lake George every year for her birthday. We had a great time and the weather was gorgeous, for the most part (it did thunder and rain a few times on and off).

When we first arrived, we decided to go on the boat tour on the Mini Ha Ha. On the way onto the boat, my purse fell off my shoulder! Yep, my strap broke. Out of nowhere. Ironically, I bought that purse in Lake George 8 months earlier at Ocktoberfest. So I had to stuff the strap into the purse and carry it like a clutch. After lunch, I bought a new purse. Michael Kors no less!!

The boat ride was nice, there was a breeze and the lake was beautiful. Joe, Amber and William got sunburned. I put sunscreen on before we left. Who was the smart one?? (though I did burn slightly on the back of my shoulders because I always forget to put sunscreen there).

While on the boat, we took several nice pictures. The picture of Joe and I had to be cropped though, from the top of my chest up, and for good reasons that I will not mention here but use your imagination! Something we didn't realize til we looked at the picture later. Put it this way. Tip of the Day: Make sure your boobs are properly secured in your tank top before taking a picture!!

The public restrooms were annoying. The toilets had automatic flush. That's obnoxious. This was my experience....IN ONE POTTY BREAK. I was pulling toilet paper off of the roll to wipe down the seat when the toilet flushed. Then, I barely pulled my shorts down and the toilet flushed. The WORST part was the third time when I was SITTING on the toilet and it flushed! Crazy part was, when I was all finished I waited for the toilet to flush and it wouldn't, so I had to push the button.

After the four of us ate lunch, we decided to walk through Frankenstein's Wax Museum (side note..not a good idea after just eating). It wasn't really scary except for two times when you're walking through a dark hallway and suddenly lights flash with loud noises going off. I think the scariest part was Amber screaming most of the way. At the end, they have a bridge you have to cross but freaky lights that go around and around so when you're walking across the bridge, it feels like you're starting to spin. I made it halfway through when I had to stop and scream. Amber was behind me and dropped to her knees and screamed her head off. Then I laughed and finally made my way across. Once we got out, we all felt a little queasy.

We did get soaked by pouring rain two times but all in all, the weather was nice and we had a terrific day!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Got Cheese?

I was standing in line at the grocery store and happened to notice the groceries on the other side of the stick dividing a lady's groceries from mine. I spotted a brick of sharp cheddar cheese and thought “Crap! I wanted to grab a brick of cheese to have with wine tonight, but I forgot.”

I actually stood there thinking about how easy it would be to slip that brick of cheese over the divider and onto my side. The lady was busy (slowly) putting groceries up on the conveyor belt. She wouldn't notice! And the cashier certainly wasn't paying attention.

To take the cheese or not take the cheese? That was the question.

Of course I didn't take the cheese. That would have been wrong. Am I right?  It would have been stealing.  I mean it was HER cheese.  So....wrong?  Sigh.  I suppose.

But darn I sure did think about it!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Have You Ever...............................

Knocked down a pile of apples at the grocery store after pulling one from the pile?

image courtesy of www.pinterest.com

Fallen off of a spinning chair?

image courtesy of www.printablecoloringpages.co.uk

Stubbed your toe and DID NOT curse after?!

image courtesy of www.sodahead.com

Lost an ice cream cone?

image courtesy of www.dreamstime.com

Sunday, March 15, 2015

High School Musicals

This weekend I attended two high school musicals. “The Sound of Music” performed by Herkimer High School students and “Peter Pan” performed by Little Falls High School students.

I love high school plays. It took a lot of restraint during "The Sound of Music" not to jump out of my seat and start singing!  I was in two musicals in my high school days (“Annie” and “Into the Woods”) and when you are involved, whether an actor or stage crew or even orchestra, you really understand the amount of work that is put into these plays. I give all involved tons of credit. Long days of school then homework then play practice until 9 or 10 at night, rehearsals, etc.

“The Sound of Music” is one of my all time favorite movies so I really enjoyed this performance. The acting and singing, for high school kids, was pretty good. You could tell that they worked hard and had fun.
 image from www.barnesandnoble.com

“Peter Pan” has never been a favorite of mine but the students at Little Falls HS blew this one away! The singing and acting were both magnificent!! And I'm not biased because my stepdaughter attends there. The energy of those kids performing was outstanding and whether you like the story of “Peter Pan” or not, you couldn't help but LOVE this performance. My stepdaughter was involved in stage crew and her best friend played the lead, Peter. I am very proud of them both and all involved in this production.

image from www.barnesandnoble.com

I also realized just how old I really am because 20 years ago when I was still in high school, I'm pretty sure we didn't have headset microphones for performances. We had to speak LOUDLY and sing LOUDLY! At least now you can be assured you'll hear the speakers/singers!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

What's Happening in the Kitchen.....

Though lately I've become a better cook (with few mishaps), I have burned a lot of things and set on fire and exploded.......hey, I'm not perfect.

Vegetables (peas being the very first)
Pasta (ahhh spaghetti, how I loathe you!)
Water (hey, I'm not the first to burn water)
Hard boiled eggs (if you forget about them, water evaporates and they explode!)
Wooden spoon (heh, caught that sucker on fire)
Dish towel (ahem, also caught on fire)
Coffee (YES you can burn coffee; when using a perculator, coffee can burn)

To name a few!!!

Come on, admit it, you've burned things in the kitchen and/or set things on fire. ADMIT IT!!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Healthy Snack!

Recently, a friend made an awesome healthy muffin-like thing and I loved it so much, I asked her for the recipe. She had gotten the recipe from a friend and passed it along to me (so I cannot take credit for this treat but I am passing it along to you). They're called Blueberry Banana Oat Cupcakes (or as I like to call them, “muffins”). Easy to make, no extra sugar, healthy and a great snack to have with coffee or have for breakfast!

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
3-4 bananas (mashed)
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 eggs
1 pint blueberries (*can also use strawberries, or any other fruit)

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl; mix wet ingredients (except for fruit) in another bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries (or other fruit).

Spoon mixture into cupcake tins (*I spray the tin with Pam cooking spray instead of using the paper cups as the paper doesn't peel well sometimes).

Bake at 350 deg for about 15-20 min

Wait until cool before taking out of cupcake tins.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday's Favorite Fives

I haven't done this in awhile but I've had a rough week and forced myself to stay positive and count my blessings. Along with doing that, I've come up with five of my favorite things for this week!!!   Please join in by linking up over at Susanne's or sharing one of your blessings in the comment section.

Cleaning/Re-Organizing My Kitchen
Yes, that sounds nerdy BUT it needed to be done and I feel very accomplished. My daycare kids all napped at the same time and I cleared the counters and scrubbed the counter tops, then rearranged things to my liking. I even scrubbed the refrigerator and microwave!! I love my kitchen now!

OH MY GOODNESS YES I have COOKING as one of my faves! Everyone who knows me knows that I am not the best in the kitchen. I used to be able to bake pretty well, but lately that's not turning out successfully. As for dinner, well my husband was the cook in the family and I appreciated that. However, Joe has been busy with a wood working project he was hired for, and I have been making the dinners. I have to say, not only have I been 90% successful (I have to burn SOME things a couple times a month or it wouldn't be me, lol) and I kind of enjoy it! My best is meatloaf!

Good Book
I recently finished a book by Lisa Scottoline called Look Again. I love her novels. I began reading from this author after reading a book review awhile back by my friend, Faith (visit her site at http://goldintheclouds-faith.blogspot.com/). Great story, didn't drag and I couldn't put it down. I love a good book!!
image from www.barnesandnoble.com

I have a home daycare and I give piano lessons three nights a week. My normal work week is 10-11 hours per day and naturally I am exhausted by 5:30pm. This week, I have been allowing myself to rest. After my final daycare kid or piano student leaves for the evening, I shower, make/eat dinner, then curl up either on the couch or in bed with a book and REST. My body needs it, my mind needs it, my soul needs it. And I am thankful for it.
Image from www.enhancedhealing.com

Best Friend Time
My favorite hasn't happened yet but must be included. On Saturday, I am heading out to one of my best friend's house (the bff who lives IN state, the other lives in CA) for a day/overnight of fun and laughs and chill time!! We plan on heading to the mall, getting dinner (and I'll try a Margarita for the first time ever...yes, I'm in my 30's and never had one) and then chill at her house and watch chick flicks while drinking wine and eating chocolate. I need this girl time!!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! What are some of your faves from this week?