Life's Sweet Journey

Friday, November 4, 2016

November Currently!

Happy Friday Friends!!
Can you believe another new month is already upon us?! 
It blows my mind that we only have 2 more months left of 2016. 

What's up for November?! I am linking up with Anne for Currently's November edition!

This month I am... 
~Discovering~ A new found love for audiobooks!!  I always swore I was never a fan of audiobooks; I love the feel of a paper book in my hand, the smell of it's pages, the ability to turn down the corner of a page to remember a favorite quote later on. I didn't think an audiobook would keep my attention unless I was on a long car trip (as the driver). Maybe it's my old age, the busy schedule and the inability to find time to sit down with a book, but I am loving audiobooks recently!! Hoopla is an absolute dream! If you don't have Hoopla, it is a free app that allows you to check out multiple audiobooks, e-books and even music and movies. You do have to have a library card to use it, but it has some really great titles! I am currently binge listening to The Hunger Games series and falling just as much in love with it as I had the first few times I read it. I listen while I drive (I have a 30 minute drive to work), while I cook, clean, shower... it's amazing how quickly all that time can add up. I just started book two last night and am already over 2 hours in. 

~Wearing~ The serenity prayer shirt that I designed to help raise money for the recovery run that my dad is hosting. I will have it on all day tomorrow as we get together to cheer each other on at the MBS Recovery Run, as we run to raise awareness and funds to support those struggling with addiction and making the choice to live in recovery. 

~Celebrating~ A ton of birthday's this month; it's my best friends 30th and my bro-in-law turns 21, so we are taking him out for a night on the town! I see a lot of slow mornings in my future! This gal just can't hang like she use to! Then Babe and I are headed out to sea to kick-off my own 30th (eek!) birthday celebrations! 

~Starting~ To count down the days until our cruise!! Only 25 days left!! Can't wait to pack my bags, kiss the clock goodbye and unplug for a full week of sun and adventure!! 

~Googling~ Things to do on the cruise... our ship docks in Jamaica, Haiti and Cozumel! Any recommendations for things we must see?! We have been to Cozumel multiple times and will probably use that day to stay on the ship and have the boat to ourselves, but if you have any off-the-beaten path, hidden secrets send them this way!! The more adventurous the better! Also, if you have any Royal Caribbean insider tips, please share! We typically cruise Carnival, but have only done Royal Caribbean once and that was years ago. 

Hope you are gearing up for the holidays! 
Happy November!! 
What are you up to this month?! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Running for Addiction Recovery// MBS Recovery Run

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you may have read my thoughts during the years following my brothers death from a drug overdose {these can be read in the heading A Recovering Family}. For those of you that are new here it has definitely shifted to become much more about my current lifestyle and the travels Babe and I take in our travel trailer, Flo. However, my families history with drug addiction has shaped a lot of who I am today and recovery is something that I am still passionate about. Because of that I hope you will grant me a break from travel posting to share something that means a lot to me. 

Last year was the first ever MBS Recovery Run and it is now time for the second. Below is a post I wrote to share the race last year and I am going to share it again, because the video paints a clear picture of what the race is intended to be. My daddy is the sweet man at the end, the one holding a picture of my brother. Addiction is a beast, one that can tear and kill and destroy. That is why I am so proud of my dad, the men of MBS Surf Co. and the amazing team of people that put this video together for the Recovery Run. Take a look...

This year's race is to be held this Saturday, November 5th, at 8:30 am, in Baldwin Park. Last years event was so full of people out to support one another; some who knew John Wayne and our family personally and many who had simply heard of the race and came to run for a  that had touched their own life in someway. Just seeing the amount of people there to cheer for one another, and to run to show support for those living in recovery, was amazing. 

Photo Credit: MBS Recovery Run Facebook
Recovery is so important! It is a lifestyle that you have to choose every single day, but it is one that is so much more than worth it. It truly is a choice of life and death. I am looking forward to seeing the turnout for this years race and to seeing another year of people run for those saying "yes" to recovery! 

If you would like to donate, sponsor or live locally and would like to run you can sign up at the race website. You can also support the race by purchasing a Serenity Prayer shirt or mug. I made them to honor my brother's memory and to help raise money for the race. Proceeds from the sales through these links go directly to the race and to addiction recovery. 

For more of my thoughts about the race and the battle against addiction you can read this post written prior to last year's run.
And for those in the throes of addiction, helping a family member or friend on their recovery road, or making the choice each and every day to stay in recovery my prayers and thoughts are with you. Recovery isn't easy, but it's worth it. It is so worth it! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Weddings, Tacos, Books and Adulting! Happy FriYAY!!

Happy FRIYAY Friends!! 
I hope today finds you soaking in all of the Friday glory! 

It has been a busy few weeks around these parts, so I figured I would play catch up with a little 5 on Friday fun!! Here's a little slice of my life lately... 
This past weekend my brother-in-law got hitched! It was a beautiful wedding and a weekend filled with fun and celebration!! I must say I got a little emotional. Weddings don't typically do that to me, but I think just watching someone I love so much (two people I love so much) make that commitment to each other, had a way of making the tears well up a bit. It could have also been the crazy nerves! I mean how often does one get to be Best Woman (I stood on the grooms side)?! The day I got asked I started planning out my speech and for some reason Fresh Prince of Bel-Air popped into my head. So I may have added in a little bit of rap! The rap part actually went better than I expected; it was the sappy sentimental part at the end that got me good! Dang emotions!!

I may have also gotten stuck in an elevator! It may, or may not, have been as we were leaving the reception, with the bride and groom in tow. Thankfully Babe was not on the elevator with us, meaning we knew someone was working tirelessly to free us! In hindsight we can laugh about it! I also find it incredibly ironic that the only picture I got with the groom/bro-in-law (on my phone) was whilst stuck in said elevator during an intense life situation. Fitting, I guess!!

You guys?! Maybe it is just the lingering emotions, but my tears seem to be so close to the edge recently. Has anyone else tried to reread The Giving Tree as an adult? I nanny for one of the cutest little two year olds you ever did see. Well, we sat down to read it before nap on Monday and I legitimately COULD NOT finish the book because my throat was catching too much and I was starting to cry. She of course then tried to get me to read it to her again on Thursday and I swear that she knew I hadn't finished it Monday for the sole purpose that I am a big cry-baby. She kept giving me sideways glances like "fight through your issues and actually finish it this time!" I would like to say that I made it through with only minor emotional pauses.

I have also been listening to The Hunger Games on audio book (FOR FREE; thank you Hoopla!) and it too has been making me tear up. The Reaping?! I couldn't do it! Katniss trying to protect her innocent sister?! I mean, I have already read The Hunger Games- multiple times- and only the end ever got to me before. Maybe it's just knowing how it all ends; or maybe there is some part of me that is yearning for my lost sense of youth. I could probably write a whole post on that... The feels are real, y'all!! P.S. Adulting is hard!!

I still think adulting is a sham, and that people should make a better point to tell you that, but it does have it's advantages. One being, there is no one to tell me that I can't eat 12 tacos in one sitting! Ok, so 12 may be an exaggeration- but only slightly! I have an affinity for tacos like it is nobody's business, so when the bride and groom gifted me with the best Best Woman present a girl could ever dream of I was as giddy as a kid at Christmas!! Not only was it the best shirt to ever be bestowed on my taco-loving heart, but I also get to go see Harry Potter in concert with my new sister!! Has anyone ever seen it? I have no idea what to expect. Music? Music and lines from the books?... we shall see!

And that's a little recap on where my life is lately!
Other than wedding-tears, books that make me cry and the tons of tacos needed to feed my emotions, I have been missing Babe like crazy (he's been traveling for work) and planning our next Flo adventure just as soon as we can get away!!

What's up in your world? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#TravelTuesday 9// My Cruise Must Haves

Happy Travel Tuesday!
Excited for this month's linkup and to see where you all have been!!

I was supposed to be on a boat right now, sailing through the ocean blue with my mom, sister and cousins...
Sadly, due to Hurricane Matthew that is not to be! While I am wishing it could have happened, the fact that a missed cruise is the only thing I have to complain about means we got off easy here. Praying Haiti and the Bahamas and for all those dealing with the severe aftermath of the storm!

Since I already had this post scheduled and ready to go for while we were gone, I figured I would still share my cruising essentials with you all! 
So, here they are... 

Bikini / Sunglasses / Sun Bum Sunscreen/ Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildDrip Drop Hydration Packets

~Sunglasses~ No description necessary, but I may have to stock up on these beauties! They are only $6.99 and I lose sunglasses like it's nobodies business, so having an extra pair (or two) can't hurt!!

~Bathing Suit~ I always make sure I pack a bathing suit in my cruise carry-on! It can sometimes take a while for your luggage to get to your stateroom. The last thing you want is a beautiful sunny day, without the ability to throw on your suit and jump right in on the pool party fun!! How cute is that Cupshe Swim Suit?! Perfect for pool lounging, but also for adventuring and jumping off seaside cliffs without fear of losing your top!

~A Good Book~ I can't go on a cruise without having at least one book with me! Hello sunshine, strawberry-banana daiquiri sipping and reading the day away!! A sweet friend just lent me her copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I am one happy, happy girl!!

~Good SPF~ My current self is sad to say that my younger self did not believe in proper sunscreen coverage. I would lather on some SPF 4 and call it a day! The war I am now forever waging with my wrinkles wishes that I had been more diligent! Sun Bum Sunscreen is my absolute fave! I love the smell and the way it doesn't sit on my skin feeling icky. Plus it's paraben free! I use SPF 30 for all over coverage and save the SPF 50 for my face, chest and shoulders!

~Drip Drop~ These hydration powder packets are actually a new addition that I was going to try and will be taking with me when Babe and I cruise in November. I have taken to adding a splash of lemon Propel to my sangria, when I make it at home, to help me stay a little more hydrated. Plus, it actually tastes great too! I stumbled across this little happy when I was low on sweet wine and had to use regular dry red wine. Figured couldn't hurt to try and see if the lemon water would make it sweeter- and it did! However, your options for cruising are either a bottle of wine OR a pack of waters. Can you guess which one I would choose?! Needless to say I was going to need to find another way to get my electrolytes into my sangria, when I read about Drip Drop over on Carolina Charm. Christina said it kept her and her husband hydrated, while in Jamaica, after being on the beach all day and helped them to combat the effects of the sun, sand, beverages and older age the next morning! I will let you know how it turns out!! {Drip Drop also comes in Berry flavor, but I have tried Berry propel in my sangria and much prefer the lemon}

And that's about it for my packing essentials! Sure, a cute dress or two doesn't hurt- but one of the freedoms of cruising is that I don't often need much! If I feel like I can get away without makeup or having to blow-dry my hair then even better!! Just give me some sun, a lounge chair and keep a drink in my hand and I am one content little critter!

Hoping your travels find you somewhere fun with someone you love! Or traveling solo to explore a little more about the world and yourself! Either way, I am so excited to see where you have been adventuring to lately!

Happy Travels! 
Where have you been exploring lately? 
Share your link below and let's travel together! 
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring! 
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest
~No real rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. Leave a little love where you like! 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. September's fave was from Arrows and Awe, because how stunning is that lunch spot in Mexico? Seriously, go check it out!! 

Excited to explore the globe with you all! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our Hurricane Matthew Plans

It's Thursday night and we are currently boarded up and tucked away at home to ride out Hurricane Matthew! This is our first major hurricane as a married couple. The last big storms that were expected to cause severe damage actually took place right before we met and started dating- nearly 12 years ago. As native Floridians we don't normally fret much over hurricanes. For us it usually means a day or two off school/ work and some puddles to jump in after. Matthew may have other plans though! Even Disney closed it's doors, so when that happens you know you need to worry a bit- Disney doesn't close down for anything! So we prepped as much as we thought needed (sand bags, propane, making sure Flo was nice and stabilized) and stocked up on tons of snacks. We are praying for minimal damage to our community, for our neighbors, for those in the area looking for shelter, and for all those in places where Matthew has already been and who are currently dealing with the aftermath of the storm. 

So, while the weathermen have us fearing the worst and made sure we are tucked away as safely as possible, here is how we are combating the "locked-in blues" until we are truly hunkered down when Matthew fully hits in a few hours... 

1.) This post! I am currently supposed to be at work, but hurricanes do occasionally have their bonuses and, while I love my jobs, I am thankful for a day off to storm prep with my sweet hubs, check in on mom and dad, and have the extra time that I wouldn't typically have to devote to this little blog! 

2.) Movie Marathons! That is until the power cuts out!! We have been picking through Amazon Prime movies. We just watched Invasion with Nicole Kidman and are working on our next pick! Come on power! You can do it!! Just stick with it!! 

3.) Games!! I am assuming we will playing endless games of rummy by lantern light, just as soon as the power goes out! We also have Sorry and Scrabble on hand if we get tired of cards. 

Doesn't it just drive you crazy when you FINALLY finish a puzzle only to find two pieces missing?! Ahhh, oh well!
4.) Puzzles!! I just finished one puzzle that had taken me For-Eh-Vor! (said in full Squints from Sandlot accent) to complete! Not sure how thrill Babe is about the idea, but I can't wait to start a new one!! How pretty is this 1000 piece Cinque Terre puzzle?! Gets me right in my wanderlusting heart!! 

5.) Reading!! One of my absolute favorite things to do during a storm is to curl up in a cozy chair with a good book!! The rain on the roof, a warm cup of coffee, all wrapped snug-as-a-bug in a blanket with a book in my lap?! That is absolute bliss!! Anything good you are reading lately? I just got Harry Potter and The Cursed Child from a friend and CAN'T WAIT to jump in!! 

Now, here's to hoping I can actually stay in a cozy chair and not need to be hiding out in the hallway. Either way though- hallway or cozy chair- I am thankful to have a save place to weather out the storm! 

Praying for all my Florida friends and family! Stay safe! 

And for those not here, how are you spending your weekend? 
 Do something outside and adventurous for me!