Friday, January 29, 2010

I interupt the regularly scheduled blog....

to bring you...

Snow and Ice!
This time last week, I was sailing in the Caribbean where it was in the 80's every day....now I'm iced in. Our door was literally iced shut and the poor pups went ice skating when I finally got the dang door open.
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A friend gave me a recipe for the yummiest (from scratch) potato soup, so I decided to make some for supper!
It really hit the spot, but the pile of dishes in my sink did not!
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Of course you gotta have cornbread to go along with soup!
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Oh and you gotta have a good ole glass of sweet tea to wash it down!

I love cruising and eating gourmet foods prepared by executive chefs, but a Southern girl has to have her comfort foods!

Day 3: at sea/formal night!

After a wonderful day in Princess Cays we set sail for St. Maarten, which means we had a sea day!

The cruise director's staff does a great job planning a variety of different activities, but Ben and I mostly stuck with the two we knew best: laying out, and eating! Hey, why fix what's not broken...ha!

During sea days, the Wheelhouse Pub hosts a British pub lunch! Ben decided he needed to work out, so I went to eat with my parents! (I thought working out one day during my trip was enough!) I ordered the fish and chips and it was delicious! The atmosphere was so cozy (dark wood, leather chairs, granite etc) and a nice change from pizza and the grill!

mom and me at the Wheelhouse!
(She had just walked a mile!)


Yummy fish and chips and peas (not guacamole like someone I know (DAD!) thought!)


After lunch, I met up with Ben and took him to the Pub for his lunch (see I am a good wife!). No, I did not eat again, although I wanted too!

We quickly headed up to the Lido deck to hunt for some chairs so we could take advantage of the beautiful weather! We found some literally in front of the bar. What better place? We ordered "mucho mango" drinks and relaxed. Later my brother found us and we joined him and my SIL!

Mucho Mango = Mucho Good


We met some neat people from Michigan, NY (who asked us where our accent was from...I said New Jersey...the look on his face, priceless!), and Vegas! My brother has never met a stranger and made friends with everyone around our balcony and on the ship!


That night, we had to get ready for our first formal night and the Captain's champagne toast! It was nice getting dressed up, since that opportunity doesn't arise much! On our way down to get ready (still in our swim suits etc), we rode with a couple who were dressed beautifully and on their way to early dinner. I commented "y'all look nice" and they mentioned they enjoyed dressing up since they're "old" (only 50/60) and retired and don't have the chance to etc. I said "well, we don't get the chance much either since we're young and broke"! We all laughed and wished each other a nice night!

...that's (one) thing I enjoy about cruising....the people, conversations, overall happy spirit...

our nightly pre-dinner balcony shots!




Yours truly pouring champagne into the fountain!
Neat experience!



Ben wanted some good Chilean wine for dinner, so we headed to Vines (the wine/sushi bar)!


The complimentary Sushi. Yeah, even "free" sushi doesn't go over well with me!


my parents clean up well, don't ya think!



after a great dinner


Mr. G being serenaded for his birthday!! He had no idea they were going to do this!

his birthday treat!


my brother ordered more of the crab quiche (it was awesome!) "to go"! Krasimir brought it to him in the neatest doggy bag!!

After dinner, we headed up to the Skywalker's Lounge to dance the night away to 80-90's music! We had a blast and tore up the dance floor!

Next up: St. Maarten!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 2: Princess Cays






Princess has their own private island in the Bahamas, called Princess Cays! It is pretty close to FL, so we were there Monday morning bright and early! The weather was GORGEOUS! Seriously, we couldn't have asked for a nicer day (week actually!)! God really was kind to us!

Room service, breakfast overlooking the beautiful ocean...PRICELESS!

Usually the ship docks and you can just walk off to your port, well...not here! We had to use the tender boats to get to/from the island, which was interesting! Thankfully, nobody on our boat got sea sick!

We made it ashore and quickly found our bungalow! It was nice to have an air conditioned room to chill out, eat etc, and to have our own area to take over, I mean, congregate!SIL, Brother, Dad, Mom, B, Me, Mr. G, Mrs. G at the Yellow Welder!

There isn't much to do on the island, so Ben and I just enjoyed the sea, sun and beach! Oh and of course the "bbq"!

Beautiful water and view of the ship!


Ben and his coconut!


not a bad view!



A neat sculpture...and since this IS the Fishbowl it is only appropriate!

The time came and we had to leave our wonderful oasis and get back on the even nicer one...to set sail for St. Maarten!

We had a lovely dinner and afterwards we caught a comedian's performance!



Great day!

Next up: At sea and formal night!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cruise day 1.

I've decided to break our cruise down by the day, so I hopefully won't bore you all!

Sunday 1/17/10 we landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and embarked on the wonderful Emerald Princess ship!

The embarkation (getting on the ship) was a breeze! We went through security, filled out our health form and then received two cruise cards! We were quickly on the ship and in our room! We were like two kids on Christmas morning after receiving their loot from Santa!!!

My brother, SIL, B and I were all starving, so we quickly made our way upstairs to the Lido deck for some grub!Of course, we had to watch the game! What better way to watch the game than on a ship?

Around 4 or so we had to get ready for the Muster drill! We collected our life jackets and headed to the Crown Grill, where our station was! It is so much nicer than waiting like sardines outside in the humidity etc!Ben demonstrating how to properly enter the water!

After the drill, we made our way back the cabin for the sail away! We sailed passed several awesome houses and condos and the people honked horns and waved us goodbye! So fun! Of course, the Captain showed them who's boss and honked our horn....we won!

After we sailed away, we continue to explore the ship, eat, explore, eat...ya know the usual!

We had traditional dining at 8:15 at the DaVinci dining room and our waiters were wonderful! The head waiter was Krasimir and he was from Bulgaria and his assistant was Ljupce from Macedonia!

My brother/SIL's cabin connected via the balcony, so we had cocktails and pictures pre dinner every night!


After dinner, Ben and I explored some more and found the Terrace pool/hottub on the back of the ship! We met some interesting people from Canada and relaxed in the hottub!

It was a long yet exciting day!!

Next up: Princess Cays!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Adieu...


After waiting patiently for about a year....the time has come!

Ben and I are blessed to be leaving early Sunday to embark on an cruise adventure!

We're leaving in the morning for Nashville to drop the girls off with B's family and then waiting patiently (easier said than done!) for 7 AM (Sun) to leave for warm weather, fun times, and lasting memories!!

So....adieu my friends...see ya when they make me get off the ship!

Q and A

I'm odd. Yes, I said it! I love filling out paperwork, questionnaires etc!

I read this on a friend's blog and had to borrow it for mine!



1. What is your occupation right now? teacher

2.. What color are your socks right now? white

3.. What are you listening to right now? B's watching the Biography about some famous rock band....all I know is they had some major drug issues

4 What was the last thing that you ate? Grilled chicken (marinated in honey mustard, with bacon and cheese...from Pioneer Woman...yum)

5. Can you drive a stick shift? If my life depended on it, maybe! I'd probably strip the gears though.

6.. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Ben

7.. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Absolutely

8.. How old are you today? 25

9.. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? football (I love baseball but it's too slow on tv for me)

10. What is your favorite drink? sweet tea, coke, reisling (wine)

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? I highlighted it in highschool, but I'm too low maintenance for color

12. Favorite food? my mom's!

13. What is the last movie you watched? The Blind Side (awesome!)

14. Favorite day of the year? Tough one. I guess Thanksgiving or Christmas

15. How do you vent anger? depends on who I'm angry towards!

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? my "classroom"!

17. What is your favorite season? fall

18. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? yes

20. Living arrangements? husband and two spoiled rotten dogs

21.. When was the last time you cried? earlier t0day while watching an NCIS rerun....yeah, I'm weird.

22. What is on the floor of your closet? shoes

23. What are you most afraid of? hmm....only thing off the top of my head is falling uncontrollably (I enjoyed bungee jumping though...see that weird thing is consistent!)

24..Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? plain (I'm just now putting stuff other than ketchup on mine! Big step.)

25. Favorite dog breed? I'm partial for German Shepherd Dogs. (I have to say that or mine would form a coup!)

26. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

27.. How many states have you lived in? just TN

28. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

29. Your favorite flowers. don't have a favorite but I can't stand "stargazer lillies"


So there's 29 things you probably could care less to know about me!!

Now...on to tackle my laundry list of to-do's before we leave Saturday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Emmy's Home Cookin'...

makes ya good lookin'!

I receive the Simple & Delicious magazine and every issue Ben thumbs through it and lets me know what he wants to try etc! Out of the entire current issue the only thing that caught his eye was the "Beef and Tater Bake", which shocked me b/c he's not one for "casseroles"!

Like a good wife, I agreed to try the recipe...after all it has fried onions in it and I'm all for those! (Side note: am I the only weird person who actually eats fried onions like they're chips? I could eat the whole box!)

Anyways, here's the final product! It actually turned out great and Ben and I both really enjoyed it!

Ingredients

I left out the tomato and just used regular cheddar cheese!

  • 4 cups frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of broccoli soup, undiluted
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 can (2.8 ounces) french-fried onions, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  • Place Tater Tots in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the broccoli, soup, tomato, 3/4 cup french-fried onions, 1/2 cup cheese, milk, garlic powder and pepper; heat through. Pour over Tater Tots.
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining onions and cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 12 servings.



ENJOY!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1-6

So, I'm finally posting the first 6 days of my 365 day project! I'm trying to take pictures of things I've done that day etc so this can be truly a documentary of my year! I'm sure I'll get more creative so you wont have to see the dogs/Ben/my house/me all.the.time! You're welcome!


Luggage!
This means our much anticipated cruise is less than 2 weeks away!


Progress!
I've declared our guest room the "Cruise staging" area and have been putting clothes and other items that we'll need in there as I find them etc. Hopefully we wont have any guest to stay the night in the next 10 days...


Create!
I had this green plate (found at Target for like a buck) and have been debating on what to do with it! I scrapbook and have a ton of letter stickers and since I love monograms etc....I put the two together. I think it's cute. Places charge a lot for monogramed plates and I made mine for less than 2 bucks!


COOLD.
Poor Ben. His truck's heat is not working at the moment. He's trying to figure out what the problem is, but in the mean time is freezing while he drives to and from work etc. He came home the other night and I was trying to get a picture (b/c I had forgotten my daily picture), so we were posing and then....it happened.
He put his ICE COLD hands on my nice warm stomach. He thought this was hilarious....I well, just tried to recover from the shock!
Needless to say, I'm now letting him drive my car (since I don't have but a mile to work)!


The girls taking their union mandated break!


Hi! From the 2010 blizzard! Not.

Tease.

We were supposed to get "2 to 4 inches" of snow last night, so imagine my surprise when I woke up to a light dusting. Of course, schools were closed b/c people in TN can't function when there's white powder on the ground.

I for one think the weather people (God love 'em) have a pact with Krogers and the other big box stores. I accidentally forgot bread on our weekly trip to Kroger on Sunday, so I thought no biggie I'll go this week and get some. Well....I went to Aldi's (my other favorite store) and there wasn't a loaf of bread to be bought. Oh and that was on TUESDAY. Thankfully, Ben found some in his precint (I guess criminals don't listen to the news!) and brought it home so we can finally have our much loved turkey sandwiches!

Crazy.

Well, since my school was closed I decided to wake the girls up (who are finally sleeping in their crates all night w/o whining...BIG milestone!) and let them play.

They were sooo excited and just knew their puppy snow dance worked....until...they saw...
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Dixie & Memphis: Um, Mom....where's the snow?
Me: go on...play...it SNOWED...
Dixie & Memphis: yeah, this aint nothin'....we'll play but we're not happy!


Maybe another day....maybe...