Highlights from Granada, Nicaragua — Day 2

dinner at Bocodillos

Day 2 in Granada started with a delicious breakfast buffet at Hotel Plaza Colon. Maya ate breakfast non-stop for an hour. Literally. She ate mangos, watermelon, eggs, gallo pinto (rice and beans), bacon and more. She made friends with one of the cooks, Alejandra. After breakfast, we walked several blocks to the Choco Museo. It was already so hot, by the time we arrived at the museum, we needed to sit down and rest. Luckily, I hadn’t bought our tickets yet for the chocolate making class because Maya started feeling sick at her stomach. Not surprised. After we determined that Maya was not up for the 2 hour class, we slugged back to the hotel to regroup. breakfast buffet at Hotel Plaza Colon Continue reading “Highlights from Granada, Nicaragua — Day 2”

Day 1 of our Nicaragua Adventure

strolling through Granada

Friday afternoon we drove to Dallas. As soon as we neared the DFW metro area, the sky fell with rain so hard — and being rush hour — Google Maps redirected us three times due to all the wrecks. We made it to the north remote parking lot at DFW Airport, only finding a parking spot 57 rows from the bus pick-up station. We gathered our backpacks (I only allowed each person to pack one backpack, so we wouldn’t have to deal with checked bags — plus traveling light is so much easier) and speed walked to the station. We were drenched and a bit cold, but happy to be so close to our adventure. Continue reading “Day 1 of our Nicaragua Adventure”

Do you know what happens when you sleep?

Leesa mattress

Did you know there are actually some techniques to get the best sleep possible? Whether you hit a full REM cycle or take a ten minute cat nap, it’s important to understand what goes on in your sleep.
 
A study done by Consumer Reports says that 68% of Americans struggle with sleep at least once a week. That’s approximately 164 million people.For Better Sleep Month last month, Leesa (an online mattress company) made it their mission to reduce this number. They developed this cool infographic about sleep that they asked me to share.  Continue reading “Do you know what happens when you sleep?”

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea (and Giveaway!)

Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa gift card

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa. They hosted me and four other influencers on April 20th to lunch, tour of their place and a free service – but all opinions here are my own.

Mother’s Day is a week from Sunday, and I still haven’t gotten anything for my mom. I’ve thought about it. I’ve had good intentions. But, honestly, I’ve been so consumed with work/kids/house/life to just do it. My May has already been packed: got a new dishwasher after my old one flooded the kitchen floor, took kids to two doctor’s appointments, helped with Teacher Appreciation Week at their school, hosting a Wildtree workshop at my house tomorrow night, and getting Maya ready for the Mini Maker Faire to promote her art (ALL DAY next Saturday … OUTSIDE). So needless to say, Mother’s Day hasn’t even been on my radar. Continue reading “Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea (and Giveaway!)”

Nicaragua, here I come!

Nicaragua

I’ve had it on my mind for quite a while now to take Madison (13) and Maya (8) on a girls’ vacation this summer somewhere exotic and out of the country. My sister-in-law, Ines, is from Nicaragua, and she and my brother have vacationed on the beach there a few times. I started researching the country — not only does Nicaragua have the beautiful beaches, it is home to coffee and chocolate farms. HELLO! Beaches, coffee and chocolate all in one small country. I was sold. Continue reading “Nicaragua, here I come!”

Thinking back to Italy…

Cinque Terre

Today I was thinking back to my trip to Italy with Maya from back in April 2012. I had dreamed of that trip for over a year. It was going to be me, this my mom, and Maya going — three generations of McBryde women. But then just a few days before we were to leave, my mom found out that she was going to have heart bypass surgery. It was totally unexpected. Then I had to decide whether to cancel the trip or not. After going back and forth, my sweet mom encouraged us to go without her. And we did. It was a glorious holiday. Maya and I had never had two weeks off just enjoying each other like this. She was a trooper — best three-year-old world traveler ever. Okay, that’s not true, but we did have a blast. And thank the Lord that my mom is doing well now. We’re going to take that trip to Italy with her sometime soon, I hope.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVenice, Italy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnjoying our daily gelato. Levanto, Italy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABike riding along the coast. Levanto, Italy

Today, my Timehop app reminded me of this trip. My Instagram has more pics. I’m sure I’ll post Italy photos for the next several days as I reminiscence about that glorious vacation.

gelato

Now I’m in the midst of planning a trip to Nicaragua with Madison and Maya for June. Stay tuned — it’s going to be another one for the record books.

I’m now a cat person.

Angel kitty

Growing up, we always had dogs. My parents got me a Siberian Husky named Niki before I was even born because “all little boys need a dog.” (I was supposed to be Christopher Todd.) Then I had a toy poodle named Chocolate. There was a playful Cockapoo named Chuckie (named after a cute boy at school, not the psycho killer movie character) that was born on Christmas and died on Easter. (True story.) Then of course, I had my beloved Sophia from 1999 – 2016. #RIP

Italian GreyhoundSince Sophia died last year, I tried another dog, but he didn’t like the children, so I found him another home. I resigned myself to be pet-less for the time being.

Then just before Christmas, something sparked me to want to get Madison a cat. Anthony, Kennedy and Madison had cats before, but I never did. One, because I was a dog person; and two, because I was highly allergic. But I had been getting allergy shots for quite a while and had already overcome so many environmental allergies, I thought maybe my cat allergy would be gone too. Plus Anthony reassured me that cats are super easy to potty train. I was skeptical, but then saw a precious kitten on Facebook and knew she was the one. Two weeks before Christmas, Angel became part of the family. And Anthony was right — she used the litter box right away.

Angel kitty

Right away, Maya started asking for her own cat — since Angel is technically Madison’s cat. I put her off as long as I could, not sure she would be as responsible as Madison is. Anthony said that we probably should get another one (if we were going to add another one) while Angel was still young so they would get along. So two weeks ago, we brought home Thunder, this adorable little boy.

Thunder kitty

Angel was not happy — she hissed and stalked him that entire first day. Luckily he was quick and tiny, and could hide in safety from Angel. But by day two, they were playing and fighting like brothers and sisters do. They really seem to enjoy each other now. Here they are this morning…

cats

I really like this new kitty, Thunder. He is such a little snuggle-bug. And I think his beard looks like Anthony’s.

So it’s official — I’m a cat person now.

Unplanned Breakfast Guests

breakfast party

I had unplanned breakfast guests this morning. But let me back up and tell you the back story first….

Earlier this week, I got a call from Stephen, the youth pastor at my church, asking if I could provide breakfast for the three summer interns’ weekend retreat. I said sure — thinking that I’d drop off a carton of OJ and a giant box of donuts. So fast forward to this morning. I woke up around 6:30 and notice that Anthony is also just waking. I sleepily asked him if he thought donuts and juice are sufficient for the three interns and Stephen, and that I was going to drop it off at the church on my way to run errands this morning. Anthony said, “Stacey, they are coming here!” Wait…what?

So now it was around 6:40 a.m., I was still in bed, and just realized that I have four people coming to my house expecting a home-cooked breakfast in just over an hour. (I may have said a few choice words as I rushed to shower and get dressed.) I plotted out my menu in the shower.

Luckily I had everything that I needed except OJ and coffee creamer. I had two baked sweet potatoes in the frig — that became sweet potato muffins. I always have eggs, cheese and some sort of meat on hand — that became a ham and Swiss cheese quiche with a pepperoni crust. I had a bowl of fruit that was nearing it’s end of life — that became fruit salad. And finally I sliced up some Italian sausage and cooked it up in a hot skillet. Anthony ran to the grocery store for the orange juice and creamer.

breakfast

Success! Most all the food was eaten, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. My kids even helped load the dishwasher afterwards — bonus!

 

breakfast party

breakfast party

I feel like Superwoman right now. Guess I’ll tackle errands and laundry next.

Journey to Appleville — Children’s Book Review

Journey to Appleville

** I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Journey to Apple is a multicultural children’s book written by Veronica Appleton. It’s a sweet book about six kids of different backgrounds, each with their own goals. If they can get to Appleville, perhaps the Appleville Fairy can help them overcome their fears to reach their goals. Journey to Appleville My girls really seemed to enjoy the book. It’s a noble first work from Appleton. I applaud her for including children of different races and abilities. Journey to Appleville Journey to Appleville Journey to Appleville

Journey to Appleville is currently available on the following online bookstores: Amazon, Powell’s Bookstore, Hudson Books, Barnes & Noble, Target and iTunes.

You can find Veronica Appleton on Twitter at @VeronicaSAppleton.

www.applevillebooks.com

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