Monday, June 20, 2016

First day of summer, time for soup???

My heaven here on earth, I will be playing here all summer!

Slicing and dicing is half the fun!

The liquid gold, so yummy, yummy, ENJOY!

My sister and I melded a few different recipes together to come up with this amazing COLD soup, if you have never had gazpacho in the summer, you truly have not lived a full life!

You must make up a batch ASAP! Start in the early morning, this soup needs time to come together and chill properly. It is a lot of chopping and dicing but in the end you will find the work is sooooo worth it!

Let's start off with HAPPY HALLELUJAH it is SUMMER!!! My favorite time of year, I am happy, I am glowing, I am living la vida loca!
Tank tops and flip flops and pool time and grilling goodies.....oh yes, I am in paradise.

OK, on to some chilling good soup!


You will need:
one large glass gallon jar

1 bottle 64 oz. spicy V8 juice
1 large English cucumber peeled and diced
1 regular cucumber peeled and diced
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 large jalapeno seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
1 orange bell pepper seeded and diced
1/2 a red onion peeled and diced
3 vine ripe tomatoes diced
3 green onions diced
4 stalks celery diced
3 tablespoons cilantro chopped fine
juice of one lime
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Put all ingredients in the jar, stir to combine, and let chill in fridge for 3 hours or more. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, so refreshing and delicious!
Trust me, you will thank me for this summer time recipe!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Beautiful places and some travel tips!

Now that we have a few trips under our belts, I would like to share some travel tips we have figured out.
When embarking on a cruise, plan 2 days to spend at your embarkation place. Then 2 days at your disembarkation place or the last place you visit before sailing to your disembarkation place.

Take for instance our trip we just took, we allowed 2 days in London to see the sights, then we hopped a bus tour from our hotel that took us to Stonehenge and then to our cruise port where we boarded the ship. Worked out great!

On the return trip our last stop was Le Havre/Paris, many people disembarked there and left the ship for good to spend a couple days in Paris before flying to their homes direct from Paris. We did not think of that...hmm would have been nice, but many excursions were cancelled that day and the rain and flooding had just started the day we docked in Le Havre, so now looking back I am glad we did not plan a couple days in Paris. But it is a great plan to have a couple days to see a new place and then relax before flying home. Something to think about!

Plan your flights with plenty of hours to spare, I had a mishap happen to me, My flight home was at the minimum already- at 4 hours of disembarkation of ship, when Virgin Atlantic changed my flight to an hour earlier! Who does that?? Most flights get delayed not moved up!! So now I had no chance of leaving ship at 7 am, driving 2 hours to the airport and then getting through security and customs in order to make a now 10:30 (board at 9:30) flight!!! I had to book an extra night in Gatwick to make the next flight the next day. Had I booked my flight home at say 6:00pm I could have had no problem making the flight the day of disembarkation of ship. Instead it costed me about 300.00 extra, which I am hoping to get back from my travel insurance.

Long flights: I thought booking a non stop to Southampton London would be the best thing, just 10 hours and I am there, but now I am reconsidering long flights, I think having a stop over where you actually get out of the plane walk around, recharge, and take a break from flying is a much better plan, Break up the monotony of being packed in the plane like sardines with no chance of any rest. So next time I am going to find a flight that goes 5 hours with a 2 hour break then 5 hours more...I really think that would be the best thing! Unless of course I can fly first class! Those people have it made!

We do need one more trip to Europe, we need to see Germany, Switzerland and Holland! So I hope to remember these tips in say 4 years....

Now for some more of London, Scotland and Ireland:

Big Ben

Changing of the guard, Buckingham Palace


Herm Island, Guernsey

Blarney Castle, I did not kiss anything while here!

Christy and Jeff at Powerscourt Waterfall

The view a top Conway Castle, Wales

Another view, it was amazing!

Duke and Baron, the Kelpies. 115 foot tall metal horse heads, we only got to drive by, no excursion to this place!

Christy wanted to wrap him up and take him home, he was so sweet!
Gotta love a man in a kilt!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Traveling Fool and my reasons why...

I tell anyone who will listen, I tell anyone who asks about my wrist tattoos...."Get busy living or get busy dying"
The story behind them is real and meaningful...

When my mom lived, she worked her whole life from a young mom with 3 daughters to being on her own after we grew up and moved on. She retired and bought herself a little mobile home and dreamt of all the things she could now do.
But, she didn't do any of them, she just sat in her little mobile home and watched TV and bought frivolous stuff on eBay. She passed away, not fulfilling her long time dream of going to Ireland. 
She passed away not going anywhere.

My sister and I made a pact, we were not going to let this happen to us, damn it.
We made plans and booked cruises...we got out there and now I am proud to say I have been places, I have seen things...I have ventured beyond my own backyard!

Our first big trip was for our Grandma Ginia, she use to go to Italy with her long time boyfriend Dante. She loved it. So we went to pay homage to her. Our next trip to Scandinavia was for us, how far could we go and push ourselves, well, pretty damn far....we went to Russia!! For Pete's sake, we went to Russia!!

This trip was an homage to our mom, she wanted to see Ireland always dreaming about the green, green fields and the castles. Oh, and "I would like to have tea with the Queen of England" she always said as she drank her tea, talking in an English accent.
We didn't have tea with the queen, but we stood at the gates of Buckingham palace and watched as the guests left after having tea with the queen at a garden party!

My mom was also an avid reader of books, her favorite being the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Conan Doyle. So while searching things to see in London, I came across Sherlock Holmes Pub, We must go I told my sister!! And go we did, and we had the most delicious lunch of steak and ale pie! 

Now, keep an open mind, while you are dining in hundreds of years old buildings, you will meet some curious little friends, as we did there, it was a beautiful pub full of all sorts of Sherlock memorabilia, highly rated place and got quiet busy as the lunch crowd came in, but just there scurrying around under the table, we met a little mouse, we named him Sherlock, of course, and he scurried off, the waitress just shrugging and saying "they just come with the old buildings".

Later on in our trip we came across Sir Conan Doyle pub and we dined there and had the most delicious lunch of Chicken Pie and Spinach Pie! How cool is that!!

So coming up in the next few posts, I will share some pictures of our 17 day travels to London, Scotland and Ireland, why? Because....We just Got Busy Living!



Lunch with Sherlock!
Wish you could have been here Mom!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Summer is on the way!

This is my little slice of paradise, I will be lounging here all summer!

Summertime.....Oh, my favorite time of year! I have some scrapbook trips planned, some concerts planned, even a baseball and fishing trip with my hubby planned!
I can't wait to fire up the grill and make grilled pizzas, shrimp and so much more!
Oh, don't forget jalapeno poppers, and chicken wings! Yummy!

Hope my pizza will be this good looking!

Get out and enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine, life is too short, you have to make the best of your time here on this earth.....

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A little more of Hawaii!

Happy Mother's day!
How would you like to be the mom of this little Hawaiian hula dancer, is he not the most adorable tyke you ever saw?? He was practicing his dancing at 3 years old!! Sooooo Cute!!!

Mom and Dad, perhaps?

Friday, April 29, 2016

HAWAII: One more item off my bucket list!

I went on a whirlwind trip to Hawaii with my sister, we left Friday and came home Tuesday. We packed a ton of stuff in that time.

Here is the run down followed by some photos:

1. Stayed at Turtle Bay Resort on North Shore Oahu-I highly recommend this place, has everything you possibly need to play and eat and relax!

2. Learned to Kayak, so easy and fun and we saw some turtles swimming with us!

3. Went horseback riding as the sun set over the ocean.

4. Went to a wedding where 2 of the sweetest people I ever met renewed there vows and committed to each other all over again with their adorable daughter Noa watching over.

5. Learned to ride the public bus up and down the main highway, with no car and no taxis, this is how you get around and it was so easy and fun!

6. Walked a 1 1/2 mile trek to see a small waterfall in a very lush and dense garden, Waimea Falls.

7. Ate one of the best meals ever at Lei Lei's, restaurant on the golf course at Turtle Bay, crab stuffed salmon, to die for!

8. Had shave ice at Matsumotos's and ate a shrimp plate of Giovanni's shrimp truck and even signed our names to the truck!

9. Got Tattooed by the sweetest guy at Polynesian Tattoo Factory, thank you Donovan for our cool little sister tattoos!

10. Sat on our balcony every morning to have Kona Coffee and watch the waves roll by in Hawaii!

Mahalo Hawaii, I hope to visit you again someday!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Vegas Day - Spring time & Pinballs

A Vegas Day with Tanya
We took off in the morning and headed to the Bellagio to see the spring time display, It was beautiful, with cherry blossoms and tulips and daffodils, plus they built these huge birds from flowers and the bamboo waterfalls made such a tranquil sound, they even had a bamboo temple with a huge nest that had 1000 origami cranes in it! The smell was so sweet and I think this was one of my favorite displays. If ever in Vegas you must visit the Bellagio to see the seasonal display, no matter what time of year, GO!

After the Bellagio we headed to The Pinball Hall of Fame:

The Pinball Hall of Fame is an attempt by the members of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club to house and display the world's largest pinball collection, open to the public. A not-for-profit corporation was established to further this cause. The games belong to one club member (Tim Arnold), and range from 1950s up to 1990s pinball machines. Since it is a non-profit museum, older games from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are the prevalent, as this was the 'heyday' of pinball.
And since it's a non-profit, excess revenues go to non-denominational charities. 

So grab a bag of quarters because you can actually play the games, 
we spent an hour playing, it was too much fun!!
To see more then just my photos head to: Pinball Museum

After Pinball, we stopped at Olive Garden to have lunch, then we headed to the Zia record store where you can buy discount Vinyl, Cd's, Dvd's and so much more.

Whew! That was a FUN FUN FUN Vegas day for sure!

The Pinball Museum:
UPDATE: Tanya put photos on her blog of the amazing games as well, so please check out  BEADANDNEEDLE

Be sure to play this guy, he is hilarious, he throws more insults at you than Andrew Dice Clay!

This one was a bit scary!