Florida Weekend Photo Dump

I’ve been to Florida a bunch of times since I started blogging.  Each trip has some of the same and always adds something new and exciting.  Like bumping into one of my readers at the airport before 6am…ha ha!




Hope you enjoy these pictures of family fun in the sunshine (aka photo dump)!




I already miss that sunshine!


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Hope your weekend involves mojitos and sand between your toes!

#ThrowbackThursday #GrandpaAl

I intended to do a Marvelous Monday post about my wonderful weekend celebrating my Grandpa’s 102nd birthday in Florida.




But instead, I’m turning it into a #ThrowbackThursday dedicated to the man of the hour month!



Grandpa Al and I in the early 80’s


I can’t even find the words to describe how meaningful it was to celebrate this exciting milestone with a man who is adored and respected (and very well known), not just for being 102 years old, but because he is a truly kind and happy person.  Love you Gpa!

What Do You Do?

In all seriousness, what will I blog about when there are beautiful blue skies and no weather to complain about?!

Luckily my ticket to Florida to celebrate the birthday of #Grandpa Al in April just got booked, so we will find out : )




Onto another serious matter…Dinner!

Food Bloggers-What do you do when you make a great recipe but don’t get a good picture of it?!  Last night’s meal was Crockpot Chicken Pesto from my 150 Healthiest Crockpot Recipes Book (seriously everything I make from here is golden!).  Tuesday morning, I chopped the shallots.  Tuesday afternoon, the BOY did the rest.  Note: this was an easy recipe that I might have done ahead of time but we didn’t have room in our fridge for the full crockpot and I didn’t want chicken sitting out all day.  End Note: I really didn’t think it was necessary to take a picture of the shallots.


Tuesday was a longer day than expected and I came back, just drained!  I walked in at 9pm not even sure if I was going to eat dinner, but the sweet smell of pesto did me in.  I took a small bowl of the chicken and mushroom mix and ate it standing while I unpacked my bag, debated doing some work, and changed into my PJ’s.  I then proceeded to clean up the kitchen putting dinner in a tuperware in the fridge.  It didn’t even occur to me to take a photo and I certainly didn’t have the energy to stage it as a real meal (like with veggies and some rice).


But, this dinner was fantastic, so I’d hate for ya’ll to miss out, but a blog post without pictures?  That is so not me!



Insert random picture of car covered in snow this morning…


And so I have decided to share the link because this recipe is worth checking out and then post about this recipe in full the next time the BOY cooks with the crockpot : )  No, I will make it way before then!




As a consolation, I do have an updated photo from yesterday’s chili to show you, and I can tell you that it is filling and fantastic!  And totally worth making for one last pre spring crockpot recipe!



Ok, so what do you do when blog posts don’t go according to plan?

Marvelous Monday {Florida Edition}

Marvelous is spending the weekend with your happy and healthy grandpa celebrating his 101st Birthday. 




Need I say more?!  Even though #Grandpa Al hasn’t totally taken off, I know that pictures and birthday wishes are abuzz on Facebook between grandpa’s family and friends!  Thank you all SOOO much for all  of your warm wishes!  They made me smile and I know if grandpa understood a blog (or knew how to use a computer), he would appreciate them too!


Here are a few other Marvelous Moments from this weekend in Florida!




Marvelous is….


Waking up in Florida


Running along the Beach




Spending time by the pool catching up with cousins


Eating oysters with my brother and his marvelous gf




Looking through old family photos


Hearing old family stories




Participating in a special Saturday service


Watching grandpa make his own dinner (at 4:30pm)




Having cocktail hour on the lenai


Making Memories!





I hope that you had a marvelous weekend!

What have you been up to???

#Grandpa al

So truth be told, I don’t really understand the whole hashtag thing, but I think my grandpa deserves one!


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Why?  Not just because he is turning 101 years old this weekend!




But because he exercises every day, still drives, has a great sense of humor, surrounds himself with friends young and old, is thoughtful and caring, tells stories of the old country, stays strong and independent, and is somewhat of a legend in these parts with all of the stories that my family tells about him (basically to everyone we meet)!




You can read my Mom’s post about him!  Yes, she has a blog too and you should totally check it out!




Last year’s 100th Birthday celebration was a blast, and I am looking forward to spending the weekend with my family in Florida celebrating this inspiring man once again.  #GrandpaAl!




I’m sure there will be plenty of stories to share when I return!  So while I am gone…

Spend your weekend like Grandpa Al and celebrate each day like it’s your birthday!



If that’s not something to hashtag about, then I don’t know what is : )

Friday and Florida

Ah, Friday!  Finally an evening to be home before 8pm, have dinner with the BOY, and sit my exhausted butt on the couch to watch Pitch Perfect.  Oh, and blog about our weekend trip to SarasotaOne week ago, the BOY and I boarded a plane for the sunshine state.  We had a slight complication as the BOY got a flat tire on the way to the airport.  Luckily, we were close enough to swing back home to switch cars.




However, my car (having spent the night of the snow storm outside) was buried under thick, heavy snow.  We hurried to clean off my car and move our luggage.  I hate feeling late for the airport, so I definitely had a knot in my stomach as I drove us to O’hare.




We made it no problem and a 20 minute delay seemed like nothing compared to all of the cancelled fights throughout the country so I felt thankful to be boarding the plane.  I alternated between reading and snoozing while sipping on my Starbucks.  We landed, caught a cab to our hotel which was only 10 minutes away, and checked in. 


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As we walked into the hotel, we were greeted by two of my close high school friends.  I love how life works out that way!  They were heading out to the beach as we were heading up to our room to change out of boots and winter gear and into shorts, tshirts, and sunglasses.  We walked a few blocks into downtown Sarasota which had plenty of options for lunch.  It wasn’t until we were seated outside at a little café ordering lunch and a cocktail that I finally exhaled and FELT like we were on vacation.  I knew it was going to be a relaxing few days!




We had a nice mix of down time and wedding festivities ahead of us.  I spent Friday afternoon catching up with friends by the pool at our hotel.






By 5pm, I was eager to get in a run before sunset.  I laced up my tennies and headed for town.  Last minute I decided to turn onto a large, steep bridge over to Bird Key making my way all the way to St. Armand’s Circle.




I made it home super sweaty (when was the last time I ran in the heat?) and with enough time to shower and watch the sun set from our balcony.






The BOY made us a dinner reservation at a place on the Marina overlooking some ginormous yachts.  We both love seafood and Sarasota is definitely the place for fresh fish.  Afterwards, we attended a cocktail hour hosted by the bride and groom.  It was wonderful to catch up with some old friends, and we were home and in bed early after a long day.  Saturday night was the wedding, but we had the day to spend at the beach.  We hitched a ride to Siesta Key to bury our toes in the white sand.




We found the perfect sand bar to wade in the crisp water looking for seashells.  After which, we lounged in the sun under a clear blue sky enjoying the warm weather and eclectic mix of company.


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It was amazing to see people biking on the beach, and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t jealous!




After the most enjoyable day, we had just enough time to fight the crowds back into town, grab a quick bite to eat (fish tacos and truffle fries), and shower before the wedding.




When you combine a beautiful evening, with a stunning hotel, and an amazing couple, it can only be described as magical.  The wedding was personal and sincere, and I was so happy to be part of this special event!






Cocktail hour took place in the garden at sunset.  A truly breath taking scene!



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The BOY and I enjoyed the entire evening and were actually the last to leave the wedding : )  After midnight, as the wedding guests retreated to the bar, a few of us made our way to the hotel pool and hot tub.  Needless to say, I awoke the next morning with frizzy hair and wreaking of an over-chlorinated pool.  The BOY and I had no plans for Sunday, so we took a taxi out to Lido Beach.




We took a long stroll down to the end of the beach overlooking Long Boat Key enjoying another spectacular day!




From the beach, we walked a few blocks to St. Armand’s Circle.  After Friday’s run, I was eager to get back.  Per our taxi driver’s recommendation, we ate lunch at Columbia Restaurant.  The Spanish food was incredible and possibly the best meal we had all weekend!  With an afternoon Indiana game ahead, the BOY suggested cocktails and basketball.




He didn’t have to ask me twice to spend Sunday Funday with a Mojito in the sun!  We got back to our hotel with enough time for a dip in the pool and nap before one last seafood dinner with the bride and groom and a few of their friends who had also stayed the extra night in Florida.




Monday morning came way to quickly.  I pulled out my running shoes for one last 70 degree winter run.  This time, I stayed along the bay.  There is just something about running along the waterfront that I love!  By the time I came bounding back into the hotel room, the BOY was starving and ready for breakfast.




We had a fresh and filling breakfast at the Toasted Mango leaving more than enough time for one last swim.




Do I even need to tell you how hard it was to leave all of this and pack up for the airport???


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But sadly we did!  Our weekend was so bright and wonderful.  The BOY and I had some time to relax, and we returned feeling rejuvenated and already talking about our next vacation!  I’m hoping that just looking at these pictures will keep me warm through the last few weeks/months of winter.

Good Bye Sunshine State



So, I’m sure you can tell by the title of this post that we are back in town after an absolutely incredible weekend in Sarasota, Florida.  I so appreciate everyone’s travel wishes!!!  We easily made it down to Florida and then spent 4 days exploring the city (despite all of my trips to Florida, I rarely make it to the gulf coast) and catching up with old friends.




We buried our feet in the sand…




Kept cocktails in in hand…




Splashed around in the pool…




Drank green smoothies to stay cool…




Walked around town…




And dressed up to boogie down…




We admired the setting sun…




But way too soon, our trip was done!




Isn’t that always the case?!  We’ve got a busy week ahead, but hopefully I’ll find some time to drop in and share a few more photos and stories.




Sending warm wishes from the sunshine state your way!