Feeling Festive

When we left for our vacation, the temperatures in Boise were still 95+.  Upon our return, it is now quite frigid.  It is almost as if we have bypassed Fall and are headed straight towards Winter.

Noooo…..Fall please don’t go so soon!

Thankfully our temps are going to come back up into the 70s next week.  That sounds great to me!  The cooler weather is making me feel festive.  I made a batch of chili earlier in the week and I’ve been drinking hot coffee more than iced coffee these days.  I also felt like I wanted to do some decorating since we didn’t really do much last year.  What little decorations I do have are pretty outdated (and fit our previous house).  While Kenyon was getting his tires rotated, I walked to Hobby Lobby as I heard they have great holiday d├ęcor.


I had so much fun decorating the outside area of our front door.  Kenyon talked me into the little hay bale and I am glad he did.  It is so cute.

I also got some wood pumpkins.  I got the pumpkin with the witch hat last year at Fred Meyer.  I think I’ll get a battery powered light for it.

For inside the house, I found some cute pumpkin salt and pepper shakers.

I also got a new Scentsy warmer called Salem, a witches hat.  This goes perfectly with my old school Jack O’ Lantern warmer.

I ended my night of decorating with one of my favorite Fall beers.


I might pop into Hobby Lobby again soon to pick up more stuff for inside the house.  The hard part becomes where you store it at the end of the year.  But, it is just too cute to pass up.

Happy Fall Y’all.


Norwegian Gem

The Manhattan Cruise terminal was quite the busy hub on the late morning/early afternoon we boarded our cruise. It looked like we would sail right through (pun intended) but once you got past the small security line, the check-in line was long. The Canadian form you have to fill out confuses me every time. We had some mixed nuts all individually packaged that we were eating on when we needed snacks. We also had a large bag of pepperoni sticks we had gotten from Costco before we left home. Well, you must declare items like nuts, fruit, and meat, before entering Canada. Since we didn't know what to do, we decided to just declare it and then throw it away if it was a huge problem. Oh man! What a huge problem. It turns out we should have been less honest and just boarded the boat without declaring them. But, the gals at the check-in desk were great and allowed us to get rid of the items and fill out a new form saying we didn't have any of those items with us. They decided to keep the small packs of nuts since they were all still sealed. By the time the woman turned around, they were gone. The workers had taken the nuts for themselves. We are considering that our gift to NCL.

Our cruise ship was the Norwegian Gem. Once on board, the rooms weren't quite ready so we headed for the buffet to wait. I was so excited for a salad bar and fresh fruit, which was at my disposal for an entire week. I had missed healthy foods over our few days in NYC. It didn't take long though to indulge in all the extra yummy foods and boy did I enjoy it!

The rooms were ready around 1pm and we got ourselves settled in and our clothes put away. We really liked the upgrade to the mini-suite and feel there was much more room. Our room number was 11500 and was right outside the bridge area of the front of the ship. It turned out to be a great room. I did a lot of walking between the front and back of the ships and also walked up/down a lot of stairs since our room was on the 11th floor. Each day we both easily walked 10,000+ steps.

Our cruise had two at-sea days. On at the start of the cruise and one at the end. On our first at-sea day, I was looking forward to relaxing a bit since we had done a lot of walking in NYC. Our room steward Sergio was awesome and took good care of us. We also met so many wonderful people aboard the Norwegian Gem. The ship had quite a few people from the New Jersey/New York area but we also met some ladies from Ohio and shared a table at dinner with a couple from Canada. Each night at turn down service you get the fun towel animals. Sergio did a wonderful job.

We are members of the NCL Latitudes reward program and as a silver status member, we received a free bottle of sparking wine in our room and we were invited to a cocktail party at-sea...at 12:15pm. So, I enjoyed some day drinking. I drank quite a bit on NCL's dime on this cruise between the wine and the cocktail hour. About Day 5 of our cruise, we returned to our room to find the maitre' d, Sandra Lobo, had left us another bottle of sparking wine and some chocolate covered strawberries. I'm not sure why we got the complimentary gift but it was very nice of her. I ended up smuggling some orange juice into my room from breakfast so I could mix it with the sparkling wine.

Our second at-sea day was also pretty laid back as we were exhausted from the abundance of walking at the four ports we had stopped at in the days prior. I attended the Deal or No Deal game, which I lost, but met a really nice couple from New Jersey. I also did a little gambling at the casino and won a little money. I attended the last session of Bingo, and also lost. It would have been nice to have come home paying for the vacation in my gambling winnings but I didn't get so lucky.

The entertainment aboard the Norwegian Gem was just okay. We were tired most nights and waking up early so we were often ready for bed by 9pm. I took in a show from the production cast that was rather cheesy so I didn't go to any other of their shows. We skipped the Second City comedy group but I heard they were funny. I did go see the hypnotist and laughed a ton. She was great. Kenyon doesn't often like to go to shows but I dragged him along one night to see this duo that did some Cirque-type moves. It was awesome.

We got a little tired of the food by the time our crusie came to an end. I also really missed iced coffee and the coffee on board wasn't that great tasting. I did order some iced coffees from the coffee stand on board but it wasn't Starbucks quality. Each time we went into a port, I immediately searched for coffee and Coke Zero. It is funny the things you miss when they aren't available.

We love cursing Norwegian Cruise Lines and this was our fourth cruise with them. We do have plans to return to NCL in the future.

Up next, ports of call...


Weekly WI: Working Off Vacation Weight

I had meant to check in yesterday after my WW meeting. It ended up being a busy day.

I had met with my WW leader Donna on Monday for coffee. I knew she had taken a leave of absense the last few months and was curious on her decision to continue with her meetings. Sadly, next Tuesday is her last meeting. I am so sad to see her go but also very happy for her. I will make sure we stay in tough and get together often. She has been so important to me and my WW journey. I was talking in the meeting with other members and one said Donna is the only leader she has had. I remember the impact losing my first leader had on me. The new leader is a brand new leader with WW so we are anxious to meet her. Thankfully I am able to attend Donna's last meeting next week.

When I arrived home from vacation, I debated getting on the scale. On one hand I knew I needed to get back on track ASAP and seeing the scale number can help my mindset. On the other hand, I didn't know if I wanted to see the number. I ended up gaining 7.3 pounds on vacation. They say you gain an average of one pound a day on a cruise. I guess that was true for me. I knew it was mostly temporary and perhaps only actually gained 2 pounds. I got my tracker out on Sunday and re-focused. When I did my home WI on Tuesday before me meeting, 5.3 pounds had already dropped off. Donna gave me a 5 pound star in my meeting when I was talking about my temporary weight. I always feel is is temporary but only if you get yourself back on track right away.

I had a noon hair appointment with a new gal I'm trying out (cheaper than my last hair dresser and a more friendly environment) and then met my mom and Emma for a movie. We saw the new Reese Witherspoon movie, Home Again. It was cute. Emma did good despite being bored and having no interest in the movie. She was home from school with an eye infection but didn't want to miss out on any fun. We met Dad after for ice cream at DQ and then I ran errands at Costco, Fred Meyer, and Walmart. It is nice to have groceries in the house again.

My eating yestereday was crazy but that is always the good thing about a new day. I get to start fresh. I have a training for work this afternoon and then I am back to work starting tomorrow. This is my last week of a mix of swing shift/graveyard shift and then my aunt, mom, sister Jenny, and I all head to Missouri to see our family in both Kansas City and Lebanon. When I return from MO on October 6th, I'll officialy be back on day shift. You don't know how happy this makes me feel. Just the extra pep in my step I get being up when the sun is speaks volumes. Of course Fall means early sun set but that is okay. I am just happy to be back on a normal shift. Sadly, not weekends off but that is okay. I am not a stagnant person and being on graves for the last nine months has been rough. I am hoping next year I can bid two day shift rotations and two graveyard rotations. That will also work best with Kenyon.

Now, after rotating to a day shift for vacation, I gotta rotate back to a grave shift for my last week. I'm not having much luck staying awake really late these days.