Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

    Today at work was full of festivities for Halloween, from a costume contest, potluck and pumpkin decorating. I participated in the potluck by bringing a somewhat fancy creation. My co workers tell me I've set the bar so high now.
      First I carved a watermelon into a baby carriage for the baby shower back in June.

Then I made a rainbow out of fruit and veggies for a birthday celebration earlier this month at work...

...and today for Halloween, I made a pumpkin out of carrots, celery and blackberries and some ghosts out of bananas and chocolate chips.

   Honestly the watermelon baby was quite an experience and took the most time, but I enjoyed it and can't wait to make it again for another baby shower. The rainbow idea was not my own, as I searched for veggie plate ideas online. The Halloween plate idea I got from Pinterest. I love that site for cool veggie plates and recipes. Anyway it was still quite fun to put together and bring something other than a dessert and everyone loved it of course.
    After driving in the pouring rain and traffic after work, I finally made it home an hour later and found my sister dressed in one of my old costumes. Then I went up to my room and found her friend trying on another one of my costumes that I had completely forgotten about. I guess I had more costumes than I thought. I'm glad I didn't get rid of them as they can be reused. Well my sister told me that she didn't have any costumes and Chipotle will give you a burrito for $3 if you wear a costume. I didn't really want to go back out in the rain, but I also didn't feel like cooking dinner so why not throw on one of my old costumes and head out with them. It was definitely worth it to go out and get our burritos. :)

and for fun, here is my pumpkin for this Halloween.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bahamas Vacation: Part 2 Beaches!!

             Our first full day at our cottage was great! In the morning I made some oatmeal for breakfast that I brought along with me on the trip and ate my breakfast outside on the porch. (We pretty much ate every meal on the porch if we were home) After breakfast, I put on my swim suit and sunscreen and Brian and I headed down the beach a bit to swim. The water was at low tide and we decided to walk around some of the coral in the water, only to realize the water got much deeper and the towels I was carrying got soaked and so did the sundress I was wearing, but it was definitely fun.
                We then swam for a bit and then soaked up some sun for a while. I couldn't believe the beautiful pink sand along the beach and how soft it was. The sand is pink from the coral and shells that break up and make the sand. It’s something you really just have to see in person.
one of my favorite pictures I took of myself during the trip

me and Brian relaxing on the porch

                In the afternoon, I enjoyed the hammock under the palm trees that we had with our cottage. It was the perfect spot to read. Then after dinner, we headed down the road to Ten Bay Beach to watch the sunset. A perfect way to end our relaxing day.
my reading spot :)
sunset at Ten Bay Beach

                The next day I was able to do some yoga on the beach and then attempted to snorkel, but the flippers were broken and the mask was really too big for my face. Next beach vacation I’ll be buying a set for myself before I go. Brian was able to do some snorkeling though and I took some pictures.
                In the afternoon we headed to Winding Bay Beach, which I think was my favorite Atlantic beach from the trip, seeing as the water was so calm and perfect for swimming. It was so hot, we didn’t even want to get out of the water.
the perfect, calm, Winding Bay Beach

had some fun playing in the sand, made this from shells on the beach

of course I had to do a bridge :)
          On our way back down the beach road, we made a quick stop at a sand dune beach to enjoy the views and see the rain clouds that were headed our way for the rainy evening ahead.
sand dune beach

sand dune beach

enjoying the time together

sand dune beach

                Actually in the evening after we ate, it was raining and quite windy, but from our cottage we could see a cruise ship out in the distance. It was moving by quite fast. I kept thinking about how I wouldn’t want to be on a cruise ship while it was storming. Our guess was the cruise ship had left the main island of the Bahamas and was on its way to its next destination. Besides cruise ships, we also spotted cargo ships off in the distance on a couple days as well.
cruise ship in the distance on a clear day

                While we enjoyed many beaches during the week, we did spend a few days just relaxing at the one outside our door. I even watched the sun rise one morning which was beautiful. Of course I took a million (ok many not quite a million but a lot) of photos of the sunrise. 
sunrise over our beach



                We also rented a kayak for the week and were able to use it twice at our beach. The first time was a bit too wavy for me, but the second went better. I wish we could have stayed longer so I could work on my kayaking skills more, as they are not very good LOL.
                One morning shortly after we had finished kayaking, we had a little surprise. Our neighbors were a family with 3 children. The father enjoyed snorkeling and spear fishing. Brian and I would watch as he stayed out there for an hour sometimes at the reefs. One morning I was doing some yoga on the sun deck when I saw the father run and trip out of the water and say “shark.” His kids and wife were out swimming and he told the kids to come over to see the shark. At first I thought he was a little crazy, but I guess if we were in shallow enough water, we wouldn’t be in any danger. Brian and I headed down to the beach and the kids came over to their father. Their father had caught a fish and a reef shark (the father thought it was possibly a black tip reef shark) smelled the blood and swam over very quickly to try to get this fish. I guess the shark was sticking around, still smelling the blood in the water when the father made it out. Once everyone was gathered around to see the shark, the father threw the fish into the water and shortly after you saw the shark fin come out of the water as the shark ate the fish in what seemed like one bite. It was pretty incredible, but also scary because this shark was probably 6-8 feet long and swimming in 2 feet of water. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the camera handy for this event. Though it was scary to see a shark so close, I still enjoyed just walking on the beach and enjoying the view. The palm trees and amazing colors of the water never got old.

Bahamas Vacation: Part 1 Arrival and Settling in

      From October 11-19, 2013, I was in the Bahamas with my wonderful boyfriend. Since we are long distance and don't get to see each other often due to work and flight costs, we decided to go on a trip to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. Here is how the arrival went. I hope to get the next parts up by this weekend. Enjoy.

        On October 11th, I left Chicago to meet up with my boyfriend, Brian, in Ft Lauderdale, FL. Our plan was to spend the night in Florida and then take the plane out to Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas in the morning.
                Well I landed in Florida at about 11pm Florida time and found out when I landed that Brian didn’t make his connection flight in Detroit. So I was alone in Florida for the night. I finally made it to the hotel and it felt like it took forever to check in even though there were only 2 people in front of me, but it was midnight and I was ready to put my bags down and hop into bed.
                The bad luck continued as I thought my room was on the 6th floor and it turned out I was reading the number wrong and it was a 5, but it was handwritten and not very clear. I finally made it to the room, got online, found the HGTV channel and talked to Brian for a bit before heading to bed.

                The next morning, I left the hotel around 9am and met up with Brian at the terminal. Our flight was leaving around 11am. We got through security and everything and then had to wait. The waiting time just made me more nervous. I was nervous because it was going to be a small plane and I wasn’t sure about the turbulence. The only small planes I have been on in the past were in Hawaii and I was not fond of the turbulence and roller coaster like ride that it was. I hate roller coasters.
                Eventually we boarded our little plane and boy was I glad I am not a claustrophobic type person, because the plane was teeny tiny on the inside. I got out my piece of gum for the ride and was chewing it to calm myself. We took off and reached 10,000 feet fairly quickly and you know, it ended up not being that bad. I was totally calm after take off and enjoying the flight until the long lengthy landing came. We reached the island and started to land, turning around and flying over the island starting at the northern tip till the airport which lies in about the middle of the island. . The landing was so dragged out. I felt like it was an eternity and just stared out the window, just keeping to myself, not even wanting Brian to touch me. I just wanted to be on the ground.
                We finally landed on what looked like a road for cars, but was actually the airport. The smallest airport I’ve even been to for sure. We went inside and waited as they carried the bags inside and then we went one at a time to open our bags and make sure we didn’t bring anything over to the islands that wasn’t allowed.
                We got our rental jeep and drove to the cottage, stopping at the biggest grocery store on the island, which was hardly big considering American grocery stores. In addition the prices were high since everything is brought over by ship. I found some baked beans, apples, peanut butter and crackers so I was happy.   
the beach outside our cottage, look at those beautiful colors

our cottage

first day on the beach enjoying the weather

                We got to the cottage and I immediately found my shorts in my suitcase and then had a snack. The rest of the afternoon, we were settling into the island life, walked along the beach outside our front door and took a drive down the main road. Since it was the off season, not many restaurants were open, but we found one just around the corner from our cottage and got some Grouper Fingers and salads to go. I don’t normally eat fish, but I like breaded fish. The food was amazing and we got to enjoy it outside on our porch while watching the waves crash onto the beach. 

That's all for the arrival. More to come soon.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Yoga Rave and Pink Hair for Hope

     The weekend begins and I'd say I had a pretty good kick off to start my weekend. Yesterday I participated in my first Yoga Rave, the second annual Yoga Rave for Lifetime Fitness. A demonstration of Acro Yoga began shortly after 7pm. It was so cool to watch and they made it look so easy. I definitely want to try Acro Yoga sometime in the future.

 Before the rave began, I did a bridge pose or two.

        The yoga rave began at 8pm. There were 200 people or so in the gym ready to have a dance party and do some yoga. We warmed up with some stretching and sun salutations. There were definitely some challenging options for balancing poses that even I was unable to do. But yoga is not about how advanced your pose is, it's about breathing. I enjoyed some of the flows we did through warriors and lunges and sun salutations. There were points at which I was a bit lost as we kept facing different directions, but whenever that happened, I just did what worked for me for the flow and enjoyed it.
    In addition to the yoga there was some dancing around the room, twerking and more. It was a blast and the hour and a half went by so fast!! Great way to spend a Friday night.

      Onto Saturday, since it's October, it's breast cancer awareness month. I got my pink hair for hope today. It's too bad I didn't have it yesterday as it would have matched my shirt perfectly at the yoga rave.

        If there is a salon near you participating in Pink Hair for Hope, you should do it. Have an awesome weekend everyone!!