Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

What a great weekend

It has been more than a year since I last crossed the border. And for a girl who’s used to go at least once a month, it has seemed much much longer than that.

A few weeks ago, I received one of those group buy deals for a bus trip to see my beloved Steelers play a pre-season game in Buffalo. I debated jumping on the deal but decided to check with a few friends first. Turns out this game was already on the radar of many. :) So I decided to turn this into a weekend away, so I can stock up on a few things that I can’t get in Toronto.

My plan was to drive to Buffalo, shop, meet my American friends at the game and then either sleep in B-lo at hotel or drive to Rochester and stay at a friend’s house. As it turns out one of my friends was in a play and the majority of the rest decided to attend the play so it was just the 2 die-hard fans going to the game.

Since the friend I went with is not the best driver, I drove to all the way to Rochester so he wouldn’t have to make the drive alone. Not the most logical decision but, it was the easiest way to meet up. I arrived in time but he was not ready at all. We were late. :( We missed tailgating and most of the first quarter. :( :(  After many delays and some crazy traffic we finally arrived!!

Ralph Wilson Stadium

Our seats were fantastic. 17th row from the field on the home team side.

View from my seat

It looked closer in person. :) I felt like I could have walked out on the field. I was told this is generally frowned upon so I stayed in my seat. ;)

I was warned about the heckling and for the most part there wasn’t much. There were these 3 guys who would stand up and sing “Whoop there is it!!” every time the Bills did a great play. Over and over again. Since the Bills won, this happened a lot.  It got old real fast. O_o

We left half-way through the 4th quarter as we came to terms with the loss and wanted to miss out on the traffic. It was 36-19 for the Bills when we left. :(

The scoreboard

I truly enjoyed the whole experience and am now trying to find a way to see a home game.

While in America, I did hit up a few stores and stocked up on some much needed food items like cheesecake flavoured pudding mix. canned tomatoes with chilies and cookie butter. :) I also managed to snag a sauté pan than matches a few pots I already own. Found it on clearance. :) Was the highlight of my shopping experience. Goodness, I’ve become a high roller!!! LOL

I am now looking forward to this weekend as we are going to visit my cousin in MD. :)

Allergies are slowly driving me bonkers. Last Monday I took my girls along with my BFF and her son to Canada’s Wonderland. It was the hottest day of the summer. Poorly planned on our part. Even though we left early, the long day in the heat and the sun left my exposed skin a rashy mess.

Canada's Wonderland Nightmares

Since then my body seems to have been really struggling. I am not sure what is blooming right now but it has my eyes on fire! Not loving it at all.

Tried a new recipe for ground beef and broccoli stir fry which was not a disaster according to my girls.

Ground beef and broccoli

My girls’ paternal grandmother is visiting so last Friday we went for a visit. She chatted my ears off while my kids were watching TV. O_o We did take a few pics so that was great.

On Saturday I went to visit one of my oldest friends who is visiting from Jamaica. Her mother took us to, some place that I can only describe as a general store, White Feather Country Store. This truck was in their front yard.

White Feather truck

This store had everything. I thought it would be a little farmers’ market type of place but they had kitchen linens, candles, housewares and decorations along with lots of baked goods. We took a good 1.5 hours to wander through the entire place. I left with cheese bread, mini pizzas, spinach and feta pastries and a jar of jalapeno peppers.

We spent the entire day together and I was exhausted by the end of it. It was a great visit and it looks like I will not be able to see her again before she leaves as my next 2 weekends are packed. :(

Sunday found us having brunch at my Uncle’s house downtown.  This was a very long time coming. It was a great day. We finished the day with a nice walk around his neighbourhood and some gelato.

A walk thru downtown T.O.

Right now I am recovering from the weekend and my various allergic reactions. I am hoping to be on the mend by Saturday as I am going to the Steelers/Bills game in Buffalo. I am so very excited and I am sure I will have another reaction from being outside for too long. :( But it will be well worth it as I have been waiting patiently to go to a Steelers game. If I have a great time, I will attempt to make it to Pittsburgh to see a home game. :)

My weekend up North

We didn’t end up leaving for our weekend up North until after 6 pm. Which put us in the heart of rush hour. I mapped out the route using the streets to get out of the city and then headed West to get to the highway. According to Google maps, it was less than an hour and a half drive to Horseshoe Valley. :)  Look at this sky.

On the way up

Being the foodie that I am I more importantly checked the “You Gotta Eat Here” show website to see if they went to any restaurants nearby. My options were a pizza joint named Pie or a burger place named Kenzington Burger Bar.

Dinner

Wanna guess where we went? This was their Californian. It was a good burger.

By the time we checked in it was after 9 pm. So we just chilled out in the room.

Jacuzzi area with double sinks, just off the bedroom.

The jacuzzi area

The bedroom with a king sized bed.

The bedroom

The fully loaded kitchen

The kitchen

The living/dining room with pull out couch.

Living/dining room

The bathroom with shower and another sink.

Bathroom

For a family of girls, it was nice to each have our own sink. :)

Since we were on vacation, we all slept in. I’m still trying to figure out if it was the bed, the blackout curtains, the quietness or the fresh air that had me sleeping very well.

By the time we go up on Friday, it was well past breakfast time, so we went to the only grocery store we saw and bought some frozen waffles and bacon, pancake syrup, salad and corn on the cob. :)

Then we lazed some more before going back to the grocery store as Diva thought we should have spaghetti and sauce for dinner, also we forgot to buy her a toothbrush and well … O_o Once groceries were bought we eventually went to the pool for quick swim. That was enough activity for Princess who remained in the room as Diva and I went to explore the area. There were lots of interesting houses to look at. Oh wait I forgot, we also had ice cream at this place across the street from the grocery store.

Ice cream

Kawartha Dairy Black Raspberry Truffle; white chocolate and raspberries OMG so good.

Dinner was mediocre at best. We bought sauce that was not too exciting and it showed. :( But hey it was $5 and we only used half. The uncooked spaghetti we brought back, the sauce nope.

On Saturday, my Dad came up for a visit with my brother. They were supposed to arrive by 1, but didn’t actually show up until closer to 3 pm. We were perfectly fine with that. My Dad was appalled that we had only been swimming at the “local” pool and took us up the road to this place where you could zip line, play mini golf, climb a rock wall or use paddle boats. Princess was in a mood so she was not interested in doing anything. Diva and my brother went on the zip line which they both enjoyed.

Ziplining

This was the only time I wished I had brought my big camera.

We then went to Wasaga Beach to walk around and try this pizza that my brother says is the best ever. It was alright. Princess is having issues with dairy so she opted for fries. ;) The beach at 6 ish when we arrived was still very crowded.

Wasaga Beach  Wasaga  Georgian Bay

After that it was time to figure out dinner. We found a BBQ joint on yelp that called our names, but when we got there it was no longer there. :( So we went to Boston Pizza. Not my first, second or eighth choice but I was not the sole decision maker and we were hungry.

By the time we returned to our room it was almost 9:30, so my Dad and brother hightailed it out to make the 2 hour drive home. We packed up as much as we could since check out was 10 am.

On the way home we stopped at the Cookstown Outlet mall. We walked it twice as neither kid could make up their minds regarding what they wanted. Diva bought Adidas slippers with the massaging nubs and complained about the “massage” the whole time she wore them. Lol Princess found a pair of black sneakers that will replace a pair at home that have seen better days.

When we travel my aim is to try food places we can’t get “back home”. We were beyond hungry when we rolled up to Master Burger in Cookstown. Luckily they had chicken fingers and fries which is Princess’ go to meal when out. Don’t get me started. The burger and onions rings hit the spot.

It was close to 3:30 by the time we returned home. All in all it was a good trip.

Ready to travel

Because I like to mix it up a bit, I borrowed this Detox Yoga video.

Detox Flow Yoga

It was very gentle but I still got a little sweat on. :) The 35 minutes flew by.

I am very excited about my upcoming trip. I agreed to go with the “hey free accommodations, why not?” But now that it is 2 days away I am so ready to get away. I have been googling the location and there seems to be a lack of restaurants in the area. I’m debating carrying food with me but cooking while on vacation does not appeal to me in the least. Maybe I’ll split the difference and get something that can just be popped in the oven.

Right now I am trying to empty the fridge as much as possible. We have a little bit of leftover Chinese from Sunday that needs to be eaten out. I think we are on track.

Tomorrow I will get an oil change and have them look at my brakes and there is a squeak that happens every time I get out of the car. O_o It’s like I’m a hefty, heavy one and the car is exhaling it’s relief. lol Hopefully it’s nothing.

What’s going on lately

The Firm Turbocharge weight loss

I got another The Firm work out dvd from the library. These 2 work outs really worked me out. Each had these “mini bursts” which basically means 8 seconds of pure h*ll repeat 4 times. There are 3 bursts in each work out. O_o 8 seconds never seemed so long.

Princess had her wisdom teeth taken out this morning. The after effects of the gas was hilarious. When I saw her in the recovery room she was crying, real tears, because according to her “They removed my tongue and bottom lip and they weren’t supposed to do that. I want them back”. I really tried very hard not to laugh at her. And as the good mother I waited until she had calmed down before I began video-taping her. ;)

When we got home I went into nurse mode and made her some split pea soup, one of her favourites. It requires no chewing. She is actually doing a lot better than I thought she would. She has eaten a bit and only had three Tylenol 3s with the last one being at bed time.

Not much is going on with Diva.  She has five 8 hour shifts left before she’s finished working. We are still not sure if they will keep her on but she’s 95% sure that they will. I can’t see why they wouldn’t as she is trained and they seem to like her. So fingers crossed they will hired her on for during the school year. But not too many shifts as that girl still needs to focus on school.

My Dad called me recently to tell me that he can’t take advantage of some accommodations he has already paid for and would I like to take it … for free. I actually paused to think about it. Not sure why it’s just a couple of hours North of the city. So as long as all goes well we will be in the great outdoors in a week. :)

I’m not sure how but I have a lunch planned with an old co-worker and my girlfriend’s birthday dinner scheduled for Saturday. My lunch will most likely be all you can eat sushi. I don’t want to re-schedule as this lunch was booked 5+ weeks ago. :? Oh well I will be taking away most of my dinner or a wiser move, ordering less. ;)

My VCR/DVD combo has also decided to go on strike. I’m not sure if it is the power bar that it and the DVD player were plugged in to but … leaving it unplugged for a while then plugging it into a different power bar made it turn on. *sigh* Lucky for me I still own another VCR so I don’t need to go back to the pawn shop.

I think that’s all for now.

Yeah for thrift shops

I went to Walmart and bought the cheapest DVD player this afternoon. It was the only one that came with a remote and that was what sold me.

DVD player

It was smaller than any of the other DVD players I have. This is because it is missing the digital display. It worked but … well I was not completely sold. I like seeing how much time has passed when I watch a DVD as I have been known to stop mid-show and come back later.

“Funnily” enough when I plugged the dead DVD player into a different electrical outlet, it powered up. So I took that opportunity to remove the library’s DVD. Since it died unexpectedly I no longer trust it and out it must go.

As I mentioned buying a new DVD player to my BFF, she mentioned pawn shops and asked why I didn’t go used. It was like a light went on. Why didn’t I go used? It’s not like it’s hard to find used electronics. She recommended a store close to us and since I had to pick up Diva I figured why not pass by and look.

It was full of all kinds of stuff, guitars, jewelry, bicycles, cameras, video games etc. Even with trying to stay focused, we spent 40+ minutes in the store. We left with a Samsung DVD player with remote and 5 movies for less than the cost of just the DVD player from Walmart. It is similar to this one.

SamsungDVD

The sales rep at the store even hooked it up to a TV and put batteries in the remote to show me that it works. Service was great. I will definitely go back should I need anything else. Might even go back when I’m looking to replace my TV.

Tomorrow I will return the DVD player back to Walmart and that will be the end of that.

This day … let’s just say I’m glad it’s over. Nothing horrible happened but there were a few things that could have lived without.

The Firm Super Body Sculpt

This video contains 3 workouts, arms, legs and core. They run all together even though you can do them as 3 separate workouts. I did just the arms yesterday and it was intense. Today I did the rest. I was a hot mess at the end but it felt good. I really like The Firm workouts I’ve done so far. I believe that you would see results in 10 workouts.

Earlier this week one of my neighbours asked me if I had heard about the thefts of the registration stickers from some of the license plates in the garage. Well no I did not. He found out that his was missing when he was pulled over by the police. Just my luck, mine was one of them.  Who ever took it got a great deal since this year was the first time I decided to buy a 2 year sticker. Not impressed. I debated waiting until I was pulled over and “alerted” by the police but then my BFF reminded me that it would most likely happen at the most inconvenient time. So today I spent 40 minutes in a line and paid $7 to replace my stolen sticker. I wonder when my sticker was taken and how long it would have taken me to notice on my own. I have not put my new sticker on as I am going to cut an X through it once I put it on so that it will be harder to take the next time.

I now own 2 DVD players that don’t work right. The first is a DVD/VHS combo where the open button for the DVD side is very fickle. It has been designated to play only DVDs that I own just in case the button decides to crap out completely. 30 Day Shred has been in there for at least 6 months now. Tonight while watching a DVD from the library, the “good” DVD player decided to die. No warning, nothing. It just stopped. It will not turn on so I will have to wrestle with it to be able to give the library back their property. :( Since I have 26 DVDs on loan to me I see a new DVD player in my future. A quick check to Walmart.ca resulted in a couple of options that are less that $40. :) Want to guess what’s on my list of things to do tomorrow?

It has been hotter than Hades the past few days. Thankfully we have not experienced any black outs due to the increased electricity demand. Tomorrow is going to be another scorcher. On the plus side my water intake has been at least 2.5 liters a day. :)

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