Mini-Adventure time: My time in the Pond

Oct 5, 2013
I found another adventure. I know surprising right.  Ha.

During one of my daily scans of my Facebook newsfeed, I happened upon a post from my Toledo Walleye that they were looking for people to join the Pond Patrol team.

{We interrupt this post to define what exactly the Pond Patrol is...}
The Pond Patrol are the wonderful people that host little games during the intermissions of the Walleye Hockey games.  They also get the crowd going, toss out prizes, dance to the random get the idea.
{Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.}

I've always wondered how those people got those jobs.  I mentioned to my roommate that I was thinking about it, and she agreed I would be awesome at that job.  Why not.  I love hockey. I love the team.  I can be silly and amazingly fun.  Ok, I'll try out.

And try out I did. 

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Getting pumped up before I head over to the arena.
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We learned a little dance number, played a couple rounds of musical beanbags, and ended with a impromptu solo performance of pretending to wash an imaginary dog.  I'm sure we all looked rather ridiculous.  

After that they sent some people home and interviewed the other group.  
I was in the interview group.  :)

I got the call!  I'm in!  I'm also pretty sure I'm crazy, but this will be quite the experience.  Looking forward to learning all the behind the scenes secrets...already learned a few. 

If you go to a Walleye game this year look for me!!

High Five For Friday!!!! What made this week awesome?

Jul 12, 2013
This was a random week! I'm getting ready to run a kids camp next week and will be on my way later today to get settled in.  I am very much looking forward to it!  Even though I've been a little busy, I have found time for awesomeness...

1) Sunday night was the first Music Under the Stars performance.  It threatened rain, but turned out to be a wonderful evening.  I very much enjoyed the music, but my night was made when I glanced over and saw a doppelganger! Not sure what a dopplegnager is? Then you need to watch this:

I found Barney Stinson from the CBS TV show How I Met Your Mother.

Credit: CBS
The real Barney when he worked at the coffee shop.

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The Barney Doppleganger. I find it ironic that he has a cup of coffee.

The picture isn't amazing, had to be sneaky about it.  Believe is him.  
It was legen....wait for it....dary.

2) I am attempting to be legendary in my own rights by learning the dance to Thriller.

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Challenge accepted.  My friend Julie is learning it too and she came across some great videos and the dance "script" on the Thrill the World website. These videos are AWESOME.  The instructor breaks the dance down so it makes sense to dancers and non-dancers alike.  Super fun so far.  And man what a workout!! 

3) I get my hair done today!  I'm helping a friend who is going to beauty school right now.  She needs a hair model.  So of course I said yes.  Getting a new cut and color right before leaving for camp.  Can't wait to see how it turns out!

4) Last evening I participated in an Epic scanvenger hunt. Myself and about 60 other "young professionals" met downtown at the Mud Hens Stadium where we would begin our quest for 5 clues that would take us to the final destination.  We walked all around downtown Toledo looking for our next location.  Supper fun, but my feet were ready to fall off.  You could also get bonus points for other random tasks....

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Here is an example of one of the clues...

And it took us to....
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My team got third place! And we got a prize!  Gift cards to Biggby coffee, which ironically was one of our stops. 

5) I went to the zoo!  It has been a long time since I went there during normal hours.  (The Music Under the Starts is after they are closed.)  They recently opened a new Australian exhibit.  We have like 5 or 6 wallabies.  They are so cute!  I might need one.
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Another cool thing I LOVE about the Toledo Zoo is the history behind the buildings.

A lot of them were built during the depression era and through the Public Works Administration.  This history nerd was on cloud nine.

See you next week at camp!

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Why Can't We be Friends???

Jul 9, 2013
Are you singing the song?  I sure am.

I love making new friends.  I like to think that making new friends is an easy task for me {after all I am a sanguine}.

But for the life of me I have the worst time trying to have more guy friends.  I'm pretty sure the amount I currently have would be around 10 and most of them are married.  The last couple nights my roomie (hi roomie) and I have had some discussions about this revelation. This isn't the first time this subject has come up here.

Where are all the guys at?

Youuuuwhoooo.....hello....males, where are you??????

(pretend I said that all southern and adorable like, thanks)

And why is it, if a guy somehow stumbles into my circle, keeping him in the circle and being friends is more difficult than climbing Mt. Everest.  {Not that I would have any idea how difficult that would actually be.}

One of my few male friends had this to say about the subject....

It's impossible for single guys and single girls to be friends. 

WHAT!!!  Not cool Robert Frost.
(P.S. If you haven't seen Kid President's video, you need to.  That is my favorite line.)

His argument is that guys only want to be friends with girls because they like them, and once they get into the "only friends" category they pretty much disappear.

I said he was wrong.  But that was at least a year or so ago, and there might be more truth to that argument than I care to admit. After going out with my "Bold moment" fellow a couple times, I haven't heard from him once. Sure I don't think I want to date him, but I wouldn't mind hanging out with him and getting to know him more.  He is a nice guy.  But nothing.  So was he an instance that he wasn't in to me either and decided he didn't need another friend?  Quite possible.

Please tell me I'm not the only one.  Were are the guys by you? Do you have lots of guy friends?

High Five for Friday! Snakes, fireworks and a prize...

Jul 5, 2013
What a week!  The first week of my summer vacation has been an eventful one...just to my liking.

I found many adventures this week and if this is an indication of what my July will be like, I will be super happy.

5 awesome things that happened this week

1.  Sort of went camping a couple days at the Heartland Conference Retreat Center in Marengo, Oh.  I have a rough time with camping.  I very much enjoy the campfire, the campfire food, the company of friends and the fun adventures one can find.  

{Campfire breakfast, bacon, sausage, steaks and eggs...yummy}

One thing I don't enjoy....the bugs.  6 bites on my legs and counting.  If I can go camping without all of them joining me, I think I would go a lot more.  {As long as I sleep in a camper... with heat or air conditioning.... and have a real bathroom and shower.  My demands are small.}  I had a fabulous time, despite the creepy crawlies....

2. Speaking of creepy crawlies...I'm a little weird when it comes to that.  Bugs, spiders and the such  As witnessed by my friends when a beetle was flying around the car, dive-bombing at my face on the way home from fireworks the other night.  To quote my friend Rachel "Jenny, I wish I could get my voice up that high."  I apparently go up a few octaves when I am having a freak out session.  Now you might be saying, I don't see how this is weird. 
Wait for it...

Snakes, lizards, frogs, basically reptiles and amphibians....LOVE them!!

At the campground I went to they have a nature center with all sorts of animals.  Well, mostly reptiles and amphibians.  They also have a couple possums, a skunk and 2 chinchillas, but everything else is scaly and possibly slimy.  Does that bother me?  Not at all.  I'm so mad I didn't get a picture.  {We go to the same place for kids camp, so maybe I can get some then.}  I held 3 different kinds of snakes, a salamander, a gecko and a frog.  If I ever have a pet, it will probably be some type of turtle...or frog...or lizard.

Now do you see how I'm a little weird. Bugs- no way, even though they are usually small and can be sqquished.  Snakes and frogs- yes...they are so cute. 

3. Remember how much I love the 4th of July? So far I have seen 3 nights of fireworks.  Hoping to find at least one more.  Went to the Mud Hens game again this year for the 4th and saw two fireworks shows in the same night.  Double score!   P.S. Mudhens did an awesome job with the new fireworks show.  Really enjoyed the new types of fireworks.

If you are in the Toledo Area and are looking for some family fun tonight, the Mud Hens play at home and will have fireworks again.  As an added awesome bonus they are showing The Sandlot movie after the game.  How AWESOME is that!!!!  We are so cool.  Here is the link to get tickets.

4. Besides enjoying America's favorite pastime, I won a prize!

I don't know about your local ball team, but we have little games and such between innings.  Every game I go to I sign up.  It totally pays off.  I have fun and win something....heck yeah I'm signing up. And because of my "being bold" post the other day I talked my roomie to sign up too.    We played a base shuffle game.  On the giant screen they show 3 bases with a logo under one, then switch them all around and you have to know which one had the logo.  We have gone to so many Mud Hens and Walleye games (there it's the puck shuffle), we knew we had this.

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$25 gift card and our new friend Anthony

5.  You can now call me Katnis Everdeen.  Heartland also has a little archery range.  {How cool are they.}

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Ok, maybe not quite Katnis just yet, but not bad for my first time.  I really liked it, and think I would like to do more.  Wait!!!! I think that is on my bucket list!  I need to go a few more times before I can justify crossing that off.  

Well there you have it, my week.  What adventures did your week include?  

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Hockey with a side of being bold.

Jul 3, 2013
Hockey season just ended. (Is it bad that I miss it already. Sigh.)
P.S. Congrats Chicago Blackhawks.  I can't be too excited to say that since I am a Wings fan, but well played.  (grrrr)  And what a final game!!!  2 goals in the last minute.  Wow.

Back to the point. This is a story of me being bold.  Once upon a week, when the Wings were still in the playoffs, my friend and I went to the local Buffalo Wild Wings establishment to watch our boys play.  One such evening I arrived before my friend and found a seat.  There I am half watching the game and half listening to this conversation going on next to me. And I hear a plea for help...

"Business casual.  What exactly is business casual."

Never fear!  I will save you!  {Yeah, I wasn't that dramatic, don't worry.} I turn and ask if they would like some input.  Yes.  I soon make friends with the 3 guys sitting there.  They of course are also Wings fans, and we just start chatting and continue to watch the game.  Now comes the fun part.

One of the guys, let's call him Jack, was texting a girl making small talk with the hopes of going on a date.  He asked for my advice on what to say and I gave it to him straight.  Have you gone out with her before. Yes.  Then just ask her out.  Don't beat around the bush, just ask her out.  His friend, let's call him Sam, said that is exactly what he thought.  "In fact, see how easy it is."  He turns to me and asked me out.

True Story.

Maybe this happens to you all the time, but I wasn't expecting that at all.  "Ummm sure, " I said, that sounds fun." 

With my past experience, when things like this happen the guy is usually throwing some strong creeper vibes.  Seriously.  I find some of the weird ones.  Remember Mr. Collins?

This guy didn't seem that way, so we went on a date.  I had a fun time.  And he isn't a creeper at all.  He is a really nice guy.  We ended up going out another time for some geocaching.  A good experience, and I'm glad I said yes and didn't dismiss him right away. 

It was a bold moment.  I am proud of myself. 

This year is the year to be bold.  To stretch myself just a little, meet new people and maybe do some things that are outside of my norm.  I hope this is just the first of many posts that I share with you about my boldness.

The only way things are going to change is if I do something different.  Right. 

And that's it.  He hasn't text me again, so I'm thinking he's not that in to me.  And that's ok.  Like I said it was fun. 

P.S. GO WINGS!!!!!!!

Some books to add to your summer reading list

Jul 1, 2013

Oh friends!  Have I some treats for you.  A few weeks ago I spent a whole weekend reading.  I know doesn't that sound just wonderful!  I can't remember the last time I just got to read and read...ahhhhhh.  Anyway! Now you get to hear about what I read that glorious weekend!

I've Got Your Number: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

Poor Poppy Wyatt.  The party was going quite wonderful...until the fire. In the mass exodus she lost her engagement ring.  The family heirloom. Giant expensive stone. Engagement ring.  Unfortunately, that is just the beginning.  Of course things get worse because next goes the cell phone.  How will she live without her cell?  But perhaps things won't be so bad after all...she finds a cell in the trash.  But who should call??? The owner of course, Mr. Sam Roxton who surprisingly wants his company cell back and would like it if Poppy would stop answering emails and going through his messages.  The adventure begins.  Trouble and many surprises are on the horizon as these two lives cross paths.  More than one lesson is learned and it might be a coin toss as to who learned more.

Sophie Kinsella is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and this book is a great example of her wit and humor.  Take a moment to check out Sophie's website and let me know if you have read her new book The Wedding.

Waterfall {River of Time Series} by Lisa T. Bergren

A romantic/adventurous young adult novel set in the beautiful countryside of Italy.  Lia and Gabby Bentarrini, two American teenagers spend their summers in Italy with their mother on archeological grave sites.  Boring city.  When the girls decide to explore the site on their own, they find some mysterious hand prints that when touched transports them to medieval Italy complete with knights and castles and danger...lots and lots of danger.  And Gabi landed right in the middle of it, somehow separated from Lia.  With the help of Marcello Falassi and his knights Gabi is on the mission to save her sister and hopefully stay alive long enough to do so.  Gabi isn't the usual damsel in distress that Marcello is used to.

Be prepared to read for big chunks of time with this book, not because it is long or tough to get through, but because it is adventure after adventure and I found it hard to put down.  You also might want to have the second one close at hand, because the ending will have you wanting more. 
See more about Lisa T. Bergren and her other amazing titles at

Be sure to check out my Book Reviews Page for more reviews!

Pictures from

Friday!!!!! One of the best days of the week.

Jun 28, 2013
School year. is. over.

And I MADE it!!!!  It was touch and go there for a while.  A lot of cookies were sacrificed for that to happen.  And I am grateful.  Cookies you are awesome.

Did she say school year?  Yes, yes I did.  I work at an online school as a high school advisor.  I love my job, but there are times...I'm sure you know, we all have those moments.  When I work on the computer all day it takes a lot of motivation to get back on in the evening and write.  So a little break {that turned into a big break. oops} from the good ol' blog and now I'm back.  I missed you all!  Maybe, you missed me too?  Just a little?  :)

Anyway, Happy FRIDAY!!!!!

These little signs are growing on me.  I think it's fun when there are other meanings behind them, little pop culture references.  Now that you are trying to figure out the other meaning behind the Friday sign, there isn't one....I don't think anyway.  
No, I'm referring to ones like this....

Doctor Who Keep Calm I'm The Doctor Poster

Chuckle chuckle.  Awesome right. 
This one confuses me you know what it means?
Do these people really like those little onions so much? That can't be it.  Can it?

Next on the agenda.

Awesome sister is going to have another baby!  So excited.  And we just found out what it is {so I no longer refer to it as baby squid}.  Both sides of the family went out to dinner and we each got a cake pop filled with the appropriate color for the baby.

Drum roll please....bbbrrrrrrruuummmm  {that is a drum, don't judge}

Ta-dah!!!!  It's pink!  Another girl!!!  This will be fun.  

I sat Cassie down for a little heart to heart about how she can be a good big sister.

 Which I felt went really well until she saw my sunglasses on the top of my head.

It just went downhill from there.
Isn't she just adorable.  Ok I'm biased.

So now that I'm back we have some MAJOR catching up to do. Monday some book reviews are coming your way!  Yeah!  I'll see you then!

Have a wonderful Friday full of adventure!

I Work Hard for the Money-- Part 2: Cutting food costs

Jun 26, 2013
Let's face the facts here.

Food prices are up, and I'm pretty sure they aren't going down anytime soon.  Eating is pretty essential, so what can we do to get the most beef for our buck? {I know that was pretty bad}

This is definitely an area that I am continually working on, and I have started using some of these tips. Some.

Hey, I'm trying here.  Isn't that the goal try your best and see what happens.

Make a list. Those little impulse buys just sneak up on a person {especially me} and you can end up spending around 20% more.  When you stick to your list you are throwing less food away too!  There are a ton of templates on Pinterest that you can print off.  Here is a cool one....

Make a menu. Sit down for 30 minutes and make a plan.  Look in the pantry and the fridge, see what you already have on hand that needs to be used up, and make your list from there.  Not much of a cook?  Check out Pinterest or favorite blogs for some recipes.  Another website that is a lifesaver is  You can click on what ingredients you have at your house and they'll pull recipes for you.  Magical!!!!!

Don't shop hungry! I know, I know tale as old as time....but it's TRUE!  Hungry=impulse buys=more money spent.  Just don't.  

Photo Credit: Advice Register blog

Check out those labels. Just because it's "on sale" doesn't mean it's the best buy.  It's time to do some math people!  That beautiful unit price box is wonderful.  This is a great tool to use to see if buying in bulk is actually a good deal. those stores are sneaky...for instance buying a block of cheese may be cheaper than buying shredded cheese.  Hey, those nickels and dimes add up!  To see some great examples of this check out this post on Advice Register.  

Ice Ice Baby.  So you bought some {ok, it was actually a lot} of cheese, or meat, or fruit because it was a great sale, now what.  Put it in smaller packages and freeze it for later use!  

Look for markdowns. These finds are my favorite.  Check out the meat department for "manager specials".  You can get some nice cuts of meat for a steal and a half, you just have to cook it right away.  At my local Kroger there is a section set aside for goods that are on special maybe because it is a discontinued product or the package has seen better's still good, and now cheaper! 

These are all tips that will take you very little time and can save you quite a bit of money.  Shop smart. Good luck!  

I Work Hard for the Money-- Part 1: Getting started

Jan 21, 2013
I'm a spender. Meaning, I have to work harder at saving money and not just spending it.  It's not Confessions of a Shopaholic or anything, but I have quite a few splurges.  I am getting better at saving, but there is always room for improvement.  

I came across an article in January 13th's edition of Parade magazine that shared some really good tips to shave some spending and put more in the bank.

Let's start at the very beginning (which I hear is a very good place to start):

Start small.  Work in to your schedule 15 minutes a day for a week to get organized.  Get some file folders, one of those accordion file things or something else to be a central location for all your bills and documents.  Sort them out in a system that makes sense to you (alphabetical, when they are due each month, lower to higher balances, etc..) . 

What are you dealing with? After you have everything organized, spend that 15 minutes assessing where you are.  Check your credit score, balances, review retirement and savings accounts.  Make a list of all your debt and the time frame those bills will be paid off if you continue paying what you're currently paying.  I see debt as anything that doesn't have a 0 balance every month. Credit cards with larger balances, mortgage, loans...that sort of thing.

Think ahead. Now that you are organized and you see what you are dealing with, make some goals for the future. Start small.  Where do you want to be financially 1-2 years from now? Do you want to move? Change careers? Pursue a higher education? Go on a dream vacation?

Now how are you going to make those goals happen?  What are you going to change to get there? 

One thing I did was set up an automatic transfer from my checking to my savings account every paycheck.  I looked at my expenses and figured out what I have to spend each month on my current bills, then decided an amount I can live without each paycheck.  I now have over $1,000 in my savings and haven't missed it.  I found that using SmartyPig has really helped me, because I can set up different goals, the date I want to reach that goal and it will calculate how much I need to deposit each time (month, weekly, bi-weekly).

Saving doesn't have to be this annoying, restraining  monster.  I still go to movies, go out to eat, buy myself little prizes. I just play with a little less now, so I can play with a little more later. 

So what are you waiting for?  Start today! And soon you'll be reaching those goals.

This is the first post in the series.  The next post will be tips to cut your current grocery costs.

Oh great! It's Mr. Collins. -- Love lessons from Pride and Prejudice

Jan 10, 2013
Last night I popped in Pride and Prejudice to pass some time while I needed to complete some tedious tasks.  As I was fluttering about the house, finishing the dishes, making my dinner, and so on, I stopped mid-flutter and just stared at the TV with disbelief on my face. 

Mr. Collins had just proposed to Lizzie.  And there was poor Lizzie having to turn him down, because let's face it, he's Mr. Collins.  And even though she tried to be nice about it, it was no good.  She just lays it all out for him and leaves.  Sure he has a job and can provide a comfortable living, but he is basically just looking to get married and doesn't care all too much to who.

I have watched this movie at least a dozen times, so it was no shock to me what was taking place in the Bennet family room.  But when Mr. Collins managed to trap Lizzie alone so he could propose, I couldn't help but think that I knew exactly how she was feeling.

I am lucky enough to be dealing with my own "Mr. Collins" of late.  *Sigh.  He has a job and seems a respectable sort of person, but from what I have seen he's really just looking for a girl to marry.  Maybe I'm being a little too harsh, but I don't think I'm wrong.  

And like Lizzie, the subtle hints that this isn't going to work out, just aren't doing the trick.  It's to the point where I get to flat out tell him that he needs to move on.  


Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to all.  I believe in being honest with people, but being honest can be so uncomfortable sometimes.  Yuck.

 The moral of the story....
You have to go through Mr. Collins to find your Mr. Darcy.

So until my Mr. Darcy comes along, I guess I get to deal with my very own {hopefully not too many} Mr. Collins.

There was a little Chronicles of Narnia when I moved

Jan 3, 2013
Moving is one of those times you go through all of your random stuff that you have collected over the years and do a little purging, organizing and even a little rediscovering.

You might find your favorite toy from your childhood or a favorite game...

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"Mall Madness it's Mall Madness!"  Remember that song? The batteries corroded and exploded so mine no longer works.  It was a sad day.
Then there are the random things one {that'd be me} might own...
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I bought this sweet trunk at a friend's store Pleasantries.  She finds some awesome pieces. Any who.

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This is now my kitchen.  All these tin signs are mine, and this is probably only half.  I bought a majority of the these at a Dick's 5 and dime. 

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This little beaut is about a foot and a half tall and reminds me of that cute little lamp that comes out for the Pixar logo. Bouncing into our hearts. So cute.


Now you might be thinking "I wish I was this cool."  I know.  It just comes natural being so awesome.

Ok you probably weren't thinking that, but maybe you were thinking "I thought she said something about Chronicles of Narnia?"

I did indeed. 

The moment you have been waiting for....
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It's the lamp in the wardrobe!!!  How awesome is that!  It's my favorite random thing. 

Those are the most random things I own.  At least random to me. 

Do you have random things?