Sunsets from Coast to Coast for linked 52

[on the seven mile bridge to Key West, FL]

[From Mallory Square, Key West, FL]
Some of my favorite sunsets from Florida and Hawaii. Enjoy your weekends and the last hours of summer. 


Sweet Handmade Pottery

Julia Paul Pottery

I was in a little shopping mood for some housewares and found these little lovelies. Found these sweet creations on Etsy. I actually ordered the top bowl and saved the rest for future splurges. Can't wait to get my package. Handmade ceramics will always be my favorite. 


What's your favorite Ice Cream shop?

Well, you're probably thinking that Italy would be top on our list as far as ice cream. As utterly delicious we find gelatto in this household. Cory and I will have to agree that amarena is our all time favorite. Ummm, so delicious. The closest you can get to amarena in the mainland is black cherry.

But Sloan's in Florida is an ice cream and candy shop stocked with personality. It's over the top, colorful and fun. The ice cream and their shakes, eggcreams and malts are delicious, too. You can't help but leave with a smile on your face. [haha] He looks so convincing, doesn't he? Thanks for posing, Cory. 


Panda Says...

I almost fell out of my seat when Lucy handed me this fortune to read. Panda is so wise. It's not the first time Panda gave me such a good fortune. I read this one just before we left for Italy. Little reminders and messages that put my mind at ease. 

We didn't do much this weekend. Mostly quiet rountine ordinary things...lazy breakfasts, playing with the neighbors, meeting our command support group for a little fun, running kids to their activities, planning meals for the week. I did a little extra decorating as hanging some of my favorite things on the walls. After reading the list, I realize we did more than not much.

Life is back to normal.


A strong Cup of Joe, please.

This helps to beat defeat.

"Tall Americano with a double shot of espresso. Yes, it's that kinda morning."

This was the caption I posted on instagram yesterday morning, after dropping the kids off to school. The mornings come rather quickly since I've been sleeping so poorly.  MM has left for a short underway. An underway is not a deployment. Deployments, depending on the vessel, last months at a time. Underways tend to be much shorter, usually a couple of weeks, give or take. How do you like that for vague? Are you familiar with the saying "Loose lips sink ships"? It's not just an old clichĂ©, it's a silent code military spouses live by, until our men/women return home. We can not reveal too many secrets [wink wink]. Specifics about deployments and underways are not allowed and in complete violation to the rules and standards written by all branches of service. You'll never get anything out of me...nope...no way...no matter how much you tickle me. 

Nevertheless, when MM is away, my sleep pattern is the pits. This morning I almost gave in to defeat...until, I remembered there was a Starbucks around the corner from baby number three's pre-school. 

Ta-daa! Good as new, until I self-destruct the second I press send. 


Surf's up.

"The were just people who love being out in nature all the time." - Jack Johnson

"I am only happy when I am swimming like a fish..." - Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing

My natural instinct make me wants to kick off my sandals and cover up and jump on a board. The mother in me stops me. I think it's time to stop listening to mother!

[I'm also playing a little catch up on my photo collaboration with linked 52. This would be my water entry. It's slightly random but random is what I'm doing these days.]


What's for dinner?

One sure sign of settling in is cooking. I have been cooking up a storm this past week. I can't remember the last time we had ALL meals at home a full seven days in a row. It was great whipping out all the tools and cooking up fresh ingredients all week. It helps that the kitchen is the right size and so functional. I've stumbled upon the kitchen "I never knew I wanted." The kitchen is the perfect size, not too big and not too small. It's modestly designed but for military housing standards its top of the line...corian countertops, maple cabinets, glass stove top and side by side fridge with water and ice-maker. This is a huge improvement, I've lived in some housing doozies in the past. 

Alright, enough about the kitchen, here's the food. What I really wanted to share are these new recipes. I know most of you are in summer's last stretch so here's a little freshness to try out. 
[photo credit: closet cooking] quinoa tabbouleh salad 
Then a little twist on some comfort food from a really fun blogger, Marta Maria Darby, from My Big-Fat Cuban Family. A Cuban pot roast made in a crockpot so that you can set it, forget it and go have some fun.

Bon Appétit!


Settling quietly.

Some things you read just hit you over the head with a hammer. This reading did just that. I have been doing this, unintentionally. These last four months have been a whirlwind...the move to Hawaii, Noel's Change of Command, birthdays, committments, obligations, choosing schools, choosing a church, surgeries, house hunting, waiting & waiting & waiting  to move in, then making it our home. I can FINALLY say we're settled. Well, minus the pictures on the walls..that's the last thing. What I consider the icing on the cake. The updates here have been close to nil, but very often on Instagram and here, since shotty internet connections and my newfound love with an Iphone 4s.

This move broke me down emotionally. I can honestly say that I struggled showing gratitude for what we asked for and feeling heartbroken for the things that I left behind. Yes, I realize I'm in Hawaii...paradise & all and then there was Italy. I sense the non-sympathetic glares from your screen. I deserve them!!! Bring them on!!! I know!!! I feel ungrateful at times but returning to my hometown, living in my own space,  surrounded by the people that know me best in the world was as close to heaven as I can imagine. Honestly, Florida and Hawaii are very similar, at least, in my mind...ha ha! 

The first time I left home, my family and hometown friends, fifteen years ago, it was exciting.  I couldn't wait to start my life with Noel, my military man. I rarely looked back. The same thing happened when we received orders to Italy. However, now, it's all I do...look back. I miss my version of Peyton Place and those crazy characters from home...wretched nostalgia. It's hurt my creativity. I'm in a bit of slump but it'll come back...it always does. 

In the meantime, I've been quiet. My hands have been busy creating a home.