Death by Enthusiasm.

So the other day i was attempting to annihilate my 38 item to-do list. That i had made in my enthusiasm for the idea that monday would be a snow day. due to crazy predictions on friday. i mean, holy crap. a sunday and monday snowed in? i could get ALL THE THINGS done. like all 38.

needless to say, we got exactly zero inches of snow and i busted my butt on sunday and got 20 things done. but i literally busted my butt. while swiffering under my table i enthusiastically dropped into a squat and almost took off the part of my butt that crashed into the corner of my wooden chest in the corner. and THEN broke my toe with a wine bottle while enthusiastically throwing my recyclables into an appropriate clear bag.

my enthusiasm is trying to kill me.

and CLEARLY i am never going to get all 38 things since one of them was snowshoe.  in the middle of the pretty pretty blizzard.  that we never got.  i mean, i am as done with winter as the next guy, but if you TELL me that we are going to get a foot of snow…..then give me a foot of snow. Liars.


Sleigh riding in style

as my brother-in-law put it: Just another day at the Sherwoods….




sleigh riding is exhausting

sleigh riding is exhausting


Have polar vortex, will travel.  BY SNOWSHOE! which is exhausting by the way.  Managed to snowshoe twice before the freak 2 day warm up melted the ice caps.  And instead of complaining about getting a foot+ of snow this weekend, i prefer to silver lining that beast.  By SNOWSHOEING. yeah.

Harry Potter Land!

My most favorite conference of all time led me to Harry Potter Land this year! None of these are my pics btw, it was nighttime, so my camera was useless.

oh it was glorious!  we had all of Harry Potter Land to ourselves for 3 hours! and i had someone that loved to ride rides! Game On.

first we strolled through Hogsmeade. magical.  Went in honeydukes.

then entered the castle for the Forbidden Journey! a fabulous ride with a combo of simulation screens and live parts of the castle, we flew with Harry on a broom, got chased by a dragon, went through a room of spiders (not a fan of this part) a room of dementors, the whomping willow, and ended in a Quidditch game.  It was super fun!  We did that 3 times.  The line for the ride goes through the castle which is really neat and i looked around as fast as i could each time we raced through the empty lines.

Next up: Flight of the Hippogriff

pretty underwhelming, but a good ride for kiddos.  and it’s fun to say hippogriff.


AMAZING.  You can pick red or blue.  red is more full body loops, straight up and down loops, and blue is more crazy corkscrew loops.  A bunch of us went on it 5 times in a row- red, blue, red, blue, blue.  We decided we liked blue best.  Oh man, it is a good ride.  after the first few times i tried to ride without screaming and literally could not.  it just sucks the screams out of you.  the G force was so strong i thought my sneakers were gonna pop off.  And when we were all done my friend said it wasn’t that bad, then walked straight into a wall.  I think it took half an hour for me to unwobble.

Then we capped off the night with a butterbeer.  disclaimer* does not contain any alcohol.  which was a little sad. but it was delicious.

It was really fun.  The only thing that could have made it better was if i was dressed like this:

but it was a work trip, so no dice.  also why i didn’t buy a wand.  which i kinda regret now…

But it was seriously fabulous.  with Hogsmeade and the Castle and Hogwarts express, it was just great.  As was the rest of Universal which i did the next day.  Their rides are definitely superior to Disney.  But it would also be hard to take small children there for that same reason.  The full day at Universal was so awesome it almost made up for the Worst Night Ever that followed.

1st Annual Curling Competition!

When life hands you a polar vortex, build a curling rink!


Had a friendly neighbor plow out a section of the lake, poured water on it a few nights in a row, and voila! a curling sheet!

One thing i was worried about was the safety of having a bunch of people on the ice.  I felt reassured when the ice fisherman told me the ice was 10 inches thick, but i felt VERY reassured when the morning of the party i saw planes on the lake 🙂


it worked so well! we had frozen jugs of water as “stones” and adopted a redneck curling/shuffleboard method of scoring.  The only thing that didn’t really translate was the sweeping…the ice was so slick there was no need.  and we had no brooms 🙂


although we did do a little “mopping” after a short sleet storm 🙂

Glad everyone came out and hopefully we can improve next year!



The worst night of my life*

* (barring death and illness of course)
Coming down off a high of Harry Potter Land and a day at Universal (where i walked over 10 miles according to my fitbit. remember this, it will come into play later.) I entered the Orlando airport and the black hole where everything that could go wrong, DID GO WRONG.

Part A: Orlando Airport

1. 6PM.  There were 2 lines for US Airways: Self Check in and the regular line.  Of course i got into the regular line, because thanks to the weather we had across the country, everything was delayed and i already knew my flight was delayed 2 hours.  This line had ZERO counter people working.  and fifty people in line.  i went to the other line, which took 40 minutes to be helped with only 5 people in front of me.  the self help kiosks were broken, the attendants were frazzled (i overheard one whisper into a walkie talkie “get your ass out here and help, there is going to be a riot ANY SECOND!) oh and the checked bag stickers weren’t printing.  after waiting 25 minutes for the group of 3 women in front of me to come to the realization that 30 minutes is indeed, not enough time to be there before an international flight (2 hours idiots!) i finally was told my plane was delayed 3 hours, and i would miss my connection in philly and have to spend the night.  but he could get me to scranton (2 hours from philly!) by 6 PM the following day.  due to the impending riot i took that and walked away.  past the initial line of 50 people who STILL had no one at the counter.  and yet they were STILL in line. like whoa.

2. talked to my sister, and decided to pursue her grand idea of flying into NYC and coming home with them the next day.  which meant i walked another 2 miles (total 12 miles) to every terminal to see if that could happen.  short story: it couldn’t.  to which i said my new mantra “of course.”.

3. 9:02PM  Back to my terminal. See a Qdoba! things are looking up, i can get a burrito for dinner! Burritos fix everything! Qdoba closed at 9. of course.

4. 9:20 PM.  We can begin boarding! Wait, they found something wrong with the plane. Stand by. Yep plane is broken.  But there is another plane! Please walk from gate 39 to gate 59 as soon as possible so we can takeoff.  My feet are now numb.   of course.

Part B: Philly Airport

1. 12:42AM  We land.  And i take off to the Marriott in the airport! 1.5 miles away! there is a shuttle but it is closed for the night. of course. 13.5 miles.  Get to the Marriott! They have no rooms.  of course. I just start to cry.  and can’t stop.  You know who else is fully booked? EVERY OTHER HOTEL NEAR THE AIRPORT.  of course.  Only apparent option to me: rent a car.  Which the nice people at the desk help me with.  Mostly because they are afraid i will stand there all night silently crying. As the guy is walking me to the door outside (where budget is right across the street!) and i am marveling at the sheer price of renting a car to go 100 miles, he says the following:

Marriott guy: Well on the upside you are saving money!

Me: (while still silently crying) How?

Marriott guy: Our room rates at $359.

Me: stop dead in my tracks. (explosively) THAT IS BULLSHIT!!  That is the meanest thing i have heard.  You should be ashamed of yourself! People do not stay here to experience the magic of the Philly airport, they stay here because something has already gone horribly awry.  That is awful!

Marriott guy: Soooo, there is budget right across the street.  Good luck! of course.

Part C.  My Ford Hybrid Clown Car.

1. 1:30 AM.  Budget was right across the street.  Down an icy driveway, over an enormous snowbank, across a 4 lane airport highway, over another snowbank, and across an icy snowy parking lot.  of course.  in my sneakers and sweater coat no less.

2. Into the fancy car i go! Takes me 5 minutes to figure out how to start it with the stupid fancy push button start.  (hint-step on the brake). Drive out the of the parking lot (still silently crying by the way) and almost get stuck on a patch of slushy ice that is approximately the size of my sneaker.  awesome. and of course.

3. 2 AM.  Made it to the turnpike! You got this Maria, not problem! lets pop into the first truck stop and grab a water.  crying so much has dehydrated me. on the upside i have now stopped crying.  i come out of the truck stop, literally less than 2 minutes later, and it is a BLIZZARD.  OF COURSE IT IS.  i start crying again.

4.  Luckily it doesn’t stick to the road. i have my single moment of enjoyment when i pull up to the tollbooth and scare the operator who didn’t hear me thanks to my ultra-quiet hybrid clown car.  Made it to Scranton!

Part D: Scranton Airport

1.  3:30 AM. almost there Maria, getting close now, keep it together.  just need to return the rental car, get my car, and drive home.  Find the budget spot, grab all my stuff, step into the 20* weather once more, down the sidewalk, over a snowbank, across the street and into the building!

2. Which has exactly ZERO people working in it.  Zero, zilch, nada.  I ask 4 guys waiting at the counter, ummm anyone working here?  To which they reply, no they don’t get here till 4 AM.  of course. My brain can literally not comprehend waiting 30 minutes so i simply drop my suitcase (unattended baggage! come arrest me! and while you are at it take care of my rental car please!) and walk to the empty rental car area.

3. i have never returned a rental car before, so i have no idea what to do.  and full disclaimer, my brain is only operating at like 30% potential. so i stand there blankly for a moment before my eyes focus on… a Drop Box! at Budget! which is my company! and is the only dropbox on the whole counter! I literally have my keys halfway in the box before my brain fires and i realize there may be more to this.  So i read the box: fill out your return form provided to you and place the keys inside before dropping in the dropbox.  i have no return form.  of course.

4. But by now i have already leaned into rebel territory (unattended baggage!) so i simply go behind the counter at start rifling thru the Budget counter to get a return form. (behind the counter! at an airport! rifling! come arrest me! and while you are at it can you grab me a return form?!) find one, have to rifle through all the other drawers in the rental car counter (like 10. it’s a rental car counter with a “take your pen home with you” policy. i mean, seriously.) to find a freakin pen, fill it out, add my phone number (you got a problem with my method, call me),  collect my unattended baggage and head to my car.

The End: My House, 4:45AM

1. I hit the open road, almost lose my car in a ridiculously giant pothole, of course (thank god i didn’t still have my clown car or i would probably still be in the pothole) and finally make it home! and bonnie has plowed my driveway clear of our 14 inches of snow so i can actually get in! I throw it in park, gather my suitcase, think “i made it. i actually made it!” and promptly fall going up my stairs that are covered in 14″ of snow in my sneakers.  of. course.

September Favorites

Some of my favorite things this month:

One Pan Pasta!

i made this last night and it was legit delicious!  A few changes i made: i used spiral pasta instead, added a bit more salt, used a half a red onion diced, and at the end added some pesto and sliced chicken.  next time i would use a smidge less water too.

Urban Decay Eyeliner in Deep End

This is really pretty.  it really makes my eyes pop and i wear it with either turquoise, grey or nude eyeshadow.

Satsuma Beautifying Oil

With the arrival of Fall, comes the arrival of my dry skin.  Hello itchy!  I put this on when i turn off the water in the shower and let it soak in for a second before i towel off.  it smells great and helps lock in the moisture.  I used to use Neutrogena Rainbath, but thats hard to find now…

Dancing with the Stars!

This show sucks me in every time.  They are just so good and so happy!  It really makes me wish i was a C-list celebrity so i could join.  I would want Derek obvi.  This year i think it’s going to go to Amber, Brant, or Corbin.  Although i bet Brant will be kicked off due to low fan base of people not appreciating the awesomeness of Noel Khan….

Ruffian Nail Polish- Delirium

This is a birchbox find, and is a really fabulous color.

AE ripped jeans with super stretch

These super stretch jeans are my favorite.  i have jegging, skinny, skinny kick, and now the “distressed” kick boot.

Spiced Latte Creamer

This stuff is so good, and it smells like fall!

And my last favorite thing right now?

How AWESOME i have been sleeping.  let’s hear it for cold nights!

i take my cues from Olivs

i take my cues from Olivs

Honorable mention for Melissa & Doug toys.  Sept/Oct is my baby month and i often hit up Melissa & Doug (on amazon) for good toys. Seriously in Sept and October, one baby was born, 2 more on their way, 2 baby showers, Olivs 1st b-day, my god-daughters 1st b-day, and her brothers 2nd b-day.  I buy baby stuff in bulk.

September Fun Facts

Cucumber Bridge

Movie Review: Now You See Me

you know a movie is good when you are dreading the ending because you don’t want it to be over.  Dave Franco is much more delightful (and cuter) than james franco.  Mark Ruffalo is always great, and the other three are really well cast.  i’m already hoping there will be a sequel, but i feel like that is unlikely.

CSA: Purple Pepper Farms

They have been really rocking the farm box lately.  This week i got a huge bag of potatoes, tomatoes, PLUMS(!), radishes, some peppers and a few squash.  i’ve already made squash soup AND spaghetti squash mac and cheese with my other boxes.  (the mac and cheese- not so great….not bad, just..squashy)  i forsee roasted potatoes, caprese salad (use up my basil before it gets frozen), and plum something.  plum smoothie? plum cobbler? plum salsa?  i must consult pinterest.

Workout slump 

i’ve been in SUCH a lazy slump mood the past month or so.  i really need to pump up the running (or you know, start the running), the weather is about to be perfect for it.  and also the hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding and the gym.  What i need is motivation.  motivation to not be a lazy lump.  i’m going to try and make the rest of september a ramp up, then october full out.  i mean honestly, whats the use of cute workout clothes if i don’t use them?

Raking Party

Do you think if i had a  BYOR* party anyone would come? Because it’s that time of year again, where for an entire month i could rake every day and still have a yard full of leaves and trees full of leaves.  it’s overwhelming to say the least.

*Bring Your Own Rake