Where should AngelQT spend her 32nd birthday?...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy, Healthy!

Thought I'd share this since I'm on my weight loss grind (for the first time ever in life, mind you! This is tough!): http://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate/index.aspx Put in some details and out pops a personalized meal plan and suggested exercise amounts for a healthy weight. It is EXACTLY what I've been looking for.

I also just watched my girl, Naptural85's YouTube hair care channel for some tips on detangling.

 

 Guess who's headed to the store for some coconut oil and aloe vera juice right now?...


A happy, healthy Sunday!

Life Updates

I cannot believe that July is almost over! The summer is really flying, and there is still so much going on...

Here's what I've been into lately:

VACATION:
We are back from Orlando! All went quite well. We had a great time...and did so on an awesome budget- and even had some comps thrown in. Our suite was the perfect fit for our family of 8; Two adjacent "apartments," one with a full kitchen and the other just slightly smaller with less amenities. Each had a large bedroom, living room with sofa and a bathroom with shower. (The larger had whirlpool bathtub as well.) We paid about $125 per night for the larger unit (I received the smaller for free through a marketing promotion.) In the end, I felt it a great price as the kids were able to spend much time at the pool and we were able to eat dinner "at home" to save some money. If you are interested, check out this link to the Vacation Village Resort page.

We spent time outside of the resort riding go-carts/playing arcade games for just $9 per person (thanks to Groupon), and at Sea World Aquaitica Water Park for just $38 per adult for an entire day. The park was family friendly and a cool treat on a hot day, just what we needed for our group.

In the 2 instances where we did eat out, we received poor restaurant service. Our meals were comped both times which, again, saved us money.

All in all, we enjoyed our time together, and I am looking forward to us all hanging out again soon! Now, one more "marketed" vacation with the parents and brother. Yay! :-D

WORK/CLASSES:
I will be returning to work at the end of August. All is setup for Zavier's child care, though my friend will not be back from vacation until after I return to work. No biggie. I am going to ask my mother-in-law if she can care for him on my first 2 days back. I'm sure she will not mind. ;-)

I just submitted to take a few classes online for the fall. The goal is to reach 15 credits this year in order to gain a pay increase. Hopefully my human resource department will honor the courses. They have in the pass, and I do think I made a great case financially and academically, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

AT HOME...
I bought a new(er) vehicle! A larger SUV to help me cart some of these new mom things around. It is also helping move my remaining items from my apartment. We already moved the larger furniture. I just must return this week for a few things that I left behind. Keys get turned in on July 31st, then I'm rent free! Hehe...

I finished up with my friend's baby shower yesterday. It was so beautiful! And I must say that I was quite impressed that I pulled off the centerpieces so well, which, by the way, I would recommend for a cute, inexpensive table idea:

  • Baby Dresses (Prices vary, but I paid $5 each on clearance at Babies R Us)
  • Megaphone (for stand, $1 each from dollar store)
  • Fancy Baby Clothing Hangers ($5-7 per pack of 6, though mine were a gift)
  • Tissue Paper/Tool ($1 per pack, should you need/want to cover the megaphones)
  • Confetti (Can also purchase at a dollar or party store as needed)
I used hot glue to help the hangers stay in place on the megaphones. I ADORED them, especially sine the little princess will be able to wear them next spring/summer. ;-)


I applied for a forbearance on my student loans- just for now until I return to work. I will pick up the payments again as soon as I get my finances back together after being out of work for 5 months.

We have scheduled a date for our son's baby dedication and also have one more wedding in September. Then, and only then, will I officially say good-bye to summer. Until then, I am going to keep on moving. But today I rest as the boyfriend works and the baby spends time with his grandparents. Hmm...exercise? Eh. I guess I should at least see what's available via cable. A few minutes of core never hurt anyone even on his/her day off. :-P

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Accents

Call us crazy, but my boyfriend and I actually discussed our "future wedding" today (Gasp!) No, we are not a the point where we will be walking down the aisle sooner-rather-than-later, but it is being...discussed.

We both have very diverse relationship backgrounds and are thus bringing our wedding ceremony ideas to the table. We might as well be speaking different languages, or at least in an accent that neither of us really fully grasps. Interestingly enough, we differ very much on "who" we want in the wedding; I have moved away from the bridesmaids in their matching gowns, but he wants his 2 friends, his 2 brothers and my 2 brothers as groomsmen. Thus, I should balance them with 6 lovelies of my own, I suppose. But all of the fanfare, choosing gowns together that look perfect...ugh! No, no, no...

Then I saw this, and I became a believer...



It is so NOT traditional- only the bride should be wearing white (but, should she really?...Ha!) I think it's actually quite ironic to have all of the ladies wearing white, and adding accents and flowers, with their respective groomsman wearing the complimenting tie, handkerchief and boutonniere. Dress style doesn't matter, just a knee length dress (or shorter) in a PURE WHITE color.

Black is another option. Plus, it tends to me slimming and easier to find. Same concept would apply,  just in a different color....


More work? Perhaps. But it is the only way I see getting me on board with 6 girls beside me...I can't put them through that...nor myself! :-P

Monday, July 14, 2014

2015 Birthday Plans

I know, I know. March is a ways off. But I am already thinking about what I want to do for 32. If you remember, I spent my 30th birthday in New Orleans, LA. It was a great time! I'm thinking of a travel trip again, this time to US destination. I have a few in mind...

  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Chicago, IL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Antonio, TX
I'm leaning toward Vegas- even though I'm not much of a gambler, I feel that I need to get there, and now is as good a time as any. Well, I guess I still have some time to decide...Haha!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Vacation Plans- ORLANDO: Update

This is a follow-up update to my original post, Summer Vacation Plans...

Less than 2 weeks until we head to Orlando to visit my brother's family. At this point, my brother who also lives up north here may not be able to go due to new work obligations, but boyfriend, baby and I will still be heading down for some fun in the sun!

The trip itinerary is looking great! We purchased our tickets a little while back via Southwest Airlines. I'm becoming a bigger believer in them- their fares are usually lower and their baggage policy is PHENOMENAL!

I pre-reserved a rental car which saved us some money online. We are staying at a resort outside of Orlando proper, with 2 suite rooms, one of which I won for free from a timeshare presentation. We then booked another adjacent to have space for both families. This did cost us a bit, but the suites have kitchens, and thus we will probably spend time at the resort's pool and eating "at home" to cut back on food expenses. We purchased some go-cart tickets in advance too through Living Social. Those will definitely come in handy now. Old Town Kissimmee will also prove to be a fun night time spot for ice cream on our first evening.

We decided to skip the Disney parks all together, since the kiddos are so small. Instead we are opting for Sea World's water park, which offers advance discount tickets online.

We will be hitting up Downtown Disney with shops and sites for kids to enjoy for free. We decided to splurge on the Fork & Screen Theater there for dinner one night. Yet, I managed to save $20, purchasing a $100 gift certificate from Raise.

I'd originally planned on a park during one of the days, but my brother re-emphasized the hot, Florida daytime weather. So now we are also looking into some indoor activities for the kids that won't cost a fortune; Monkey Joe's and the Wilderness Lodge Hidden Mickey Hunt. There is also a free summer movie series for kids at another theater which we will probably do on Thursday morning before heading back to the airport.

All in all, I think that we will have lots of fun even on a budget. I'm looking forward to the time with my family!

Have any suggestions for us? Feel free to comment below. :-)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

An unforgettable 4th!

This year's 4th of July's celebration had to be one of the best that I had in a long time. I spent it with my boyfriend and college friends helping another college companion celebrate her birthday and nuptials with her partner, Nicole. I am so happy for these ladies, and I pray that they have a lifetime of happiness together!

Mommy Must Haves!

My intentions were/are not to have this blog become one of those mommy pages. Yet, between actually being a mom and not having the time to keep up with my "mommy blog" due to being a busy mom, I have decided to put a few worthy mommy posts here from time-to-time.

This post is dedicated to all of the little things that have been making my life a little easier these past almost 4 months (Yikes! ;-) The simple little gadgets and daily tidbits that make each day with baby boy both more manageable and more enjoyable. :-)

An electric bottle warmer. I don't know how I'd get by without it! This particular warmer has served me well during Zavi's 2 hour wake-up calls and his now one (and only!) 3 am feeding.

"The Happiest Baby on the Block" techniques. I was a bit skeptical about Dr. Karp's approach in the beginning, but after reading some of his materials, viewing a few You Tube videos and a few trials of my own, my son cannot sleep without being swaddled. I wonder if we will ever be able to let him "go free" during bedtime without disrupting his z's...

A gym with child care services. Now that I'm attempting to really lose this baby fat ;-), I've had a greater need to hit the gym. Baby boy goes with me each time; thanks to the gym's child care services, my boyfriend and I don't have to coordinate nor do I have to find/pay a sitter.

Vitamins. As my hormones re-balance and my postpartum hair shedding continues, continued use of prenatal vitamins and now hair, skin and nail supplements make me feel stronger, happier, healthier and more refreshed!

Quality care products/services. I invested in some Lancome skin care products with my new skin changes post baby, had a bra fitting and purchased some quality lingerie, as well as found a new hair stylist in my community. It has made all the difference in helping me get back to "normal" again.

A trustworthy baby sitter. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have my friend's mom take care of my son. Being new to these parts, going to the internet may have originally been my only option. But she stepped in and saved the day, being someone that I know well and trust with three grandchildren of her own. Plus it's nice to be able to help her a bit financially too after a work layoff.

Another friend will also be taking care of Zavier when I return to work in the fall which has made my emotional and mental state that much more stable as I prepare for his transition.

Supportive family and friends. Without them I'd be a COMPLETE disaster! It is beautiful to have your mother and mother-in-law fight over who will watch your son while you go on vacation with the guy, or have your brothers volunteer to change a diaper for you while you run to the dentist. Haha! No really. I wouldn't be half as much of a mother without them. They are my rock!