Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Top Ten 'Happy' Songs

If you live in the Midwest, you may be feeling extra chipper this week. The birds are chirping and the frozen tundra has begun its thaw. FINALLY! On my way to work this morning, the Grammy-nominated song "Happy" came on the radio, and I found myself smiling and singing along. Like a dork. But who cares - it felt good for a moment to take in life's little things.

It got me thinking about other favorite songs that put a smile on my face, and instantly lighten my mood. I would imagine many of you are leaving for your spring break in the next few weeks, so the endorphins are already flowing within you, but for those of you who will be stuck at home, here's a few of my favorites you might want to add to your playlist.

10. Hey Ya - OutKast

If you can manage to listen to this song without thinking of The Carleton, you are clearly from a different era.

9. Best Day of My Life - American Authors

This is a new song, and usually not my type. But in a world filled with doom and gloom, I love how positive the energy is. It's a great reminder that sometimes you just have to have some fun!

8. No One - Alicia Keys

May be a little on the slow side, but the lyrics are filled with gratitude and love, and oh yeah, she can sing.

7. Sweet Child of Mine - Guns 'N Roses

Ahhhh, the memories. I don't care if you like rock, country, hip-hop, or gospel, this song is a universal jam, and everyone knows the words.

6. Good Vibrations - Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

Working out? Yep. Hanging out with friends? Yep. Laughing at a corny video? Um, yeah, but it's still a great tune.

5. Upside Down - Jack Johnson

OK, thanks for allowing me one sentimental favorite. Reminds me of my kids and Curious George.

4. Dog Days Are Over - Florence and the Machine

This song builds to an awesome crescendo, but if I'm being honest, I think this parental flash mob is the reason it makes my list. Love the looks on the kids' faces!

3. I Want You Back - Jackson 5

Alright, I confess, this is another self-serving pick. Here is my son and his friend in their school talent show. Trust me, if you watch it, you'll get a good chuckle.

2. Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Classic. Summer. I could close my eyes and be 16 again.

1. Say Hey (I Love You) - Michael Franti and Spearhead

Love the video, love the song, love my family, love my life. This song says it all.

So there you have it! We'd love to hear some of your favorites, and maybe someday we can put together a spectacular MTS travel mix for all of our Escapees. Safe travels, everyone!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Destination Wedding Dress Suggestions From Simply Bridal

First of all, I want to apologize for our lack of blog posts lately. Is everyone having as busy of a season as we are? Hoping things slow down soon so we can get back to regular blogging... I am sure you all stay awake at night wondering when our next post will be published, and we hate keeping you in suspense like this!! :)

Anyway, I am excited to share with you a guest blog from Simply Bridal on different destination wedding dresses. I don't know about you gals, but I could sift through hundreds of dress styles and never get bored! Here are three of their suggestions:

Three Dresses For Three Destinations

Today’s couples are globetrotters! As a result, more couples are choosing destination weddings. Destination wedding brides not only have to be concerned with finding the 'perfect dress,' but also ensuring that it correlates with and is appropriate for their destination. Here, we highlight three dresses for three different destinations:
Maui: Nice and Easy

Our Pick: the Irene gown. This chiffon dress is perfect for a nice, elegant day in Maui. Beach brides will have no problem finding the perfect accessories - simply grab a lei and a flower for your hair and you will be good to go! Nice, easy and you can pack it in your suitcase with no problem.

Pairs well with: light-as-air veil, unfussy hair, sandals and delicate jewelry.

Old World

Our Pick: the Valentina gown. Barcelona, Rome, Buenos Aires, this dress will look right at home in all three destinations. Valentina brings the drama (and you'll need a dress that’s just as dramatic as those cities’ famed churches). However, once you leave the church you can simply detach the train and get ready to party!

Pairs well with: mantilla or chapel-length veils, elegant chignons and antique jewelry

French Countryside

Our pick: the Misty gown. Ok, we must admit this last entry was 100% inspired by Keira Knightley’s recent wedding destination. This is the perfect dress to wear when you want to enjoy a pre-ceremony stroll through the village. You don’t even need to be worried about modesty. All you have to do is top your dress with a cardigan or jacket and you’re ready for your ceremony!

Pairs well with: a birdcage veil, long, romantic hair and pearl earrings

Globetrotting brides need to dresses that travel well, are appropriate and look amazing. Now, there is no need to worry about style or suitability because you can have them both... Bon voyage!
Simply Bridal is an American online retailer of high quality wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and wedding accessories, such as veils and jewelry. SimplyBridal ships to twenty-five countries in Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. Our products have been featured on Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, and Rock n Roll Bride.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Funky Friday ~ What's in the Box!

2 of my favorite things...Surprises and Products!

Recently I signed up with a couple different companies to try out their monthly subscription boxes.  Ever heard of them?  There are quite a few out there and on just about any product you can think of.  Beauty products, products for the home, garden boxes, wine sampling...the list is endless - which is NOT good if you are like me - it can get addicting!  At any rate, one of the subscriptions I signed up for is POPSUGAR MUST HAVE.  I've gotten 2 different boxes now and I must say I've been delighted with the contents of the boxes.  It's $35/month and each month a box is shipped to you with full sized products for you to try and hopefully enjoy.  The general idea is most likely it's products that you might not buy yourself and therefore not yet know what you're missing and I like that!  Another thing that attracted me to POPSUGAR MUST HAVE, is that because the products are full sized, if you receive something that is not your personal style, or to your liking, you can give it as a gift or share it with a friend!  Comes in handy for those last minute hostess gifts!  So far I've received the March and April boxes and here's a few photos of what I received.  

Again, you have no idea what you're going to receive so it's really exciting when you get home from work and a package is waiting for you!  The suspense continues when you open the box to hot pink tissue paper hiding what's inside!

 Unwrap the tissue and 'VOILA'!  It's full of goodies!!

It's kind of hard to tell from that photo so here's a little better photo of what I received.  

(Check out the specifics on the March POPSUGAR MUST HAVE)

 I had so much fun inspecting everything and honestly the only product I wasn't crazy about were the nail polish colors.  How lucky for me them that I have 2 teenage girls at home who thought the colors would be perfect for them!  I wasn't really sure about the necklace either.  I mean, it wouldn't have been something that I would've given a second look in a store but several days later I decided to wear it and I really liked it!!  What do you think?  For more info on each of the specific items, check

Given that I really liked my first box, I was even more excited to see what my April box would bring.  One thing I forgot to mention is they send you an email letting you know your box is on it's way.  The thought is never far from my busy little mind that in the next few days, when I get home, another 'surprise' will be waiting for me!

Although my display photo doesn't do the contents much justice, I again was pleasantly surprised by what I received.  

(Check out the specifics on the April POPSUGAR MUST HAVE)

I loved the Shashi nugget bracelet and as someone who has mostly silver jewelry, I liked that the nuggets were gold to match my new necklace from the March box!  I also liked the Kai fragrance and I would've never bought it for myself!  The 'green' garment bag will definitely come in handy.  The fact that it's a four-in-one reusable bag and eco-friendly will make both my life and the world a better place!

I also signed up for the MUST HAVE Summer edition which was just shipped so I'll be sure to share that with you when I receive it and I'm sure my May box will be on its way shortly.  So much to look forward to!!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

W.A.T.W. ~ LAX is the place to be!

It's tough to make it through the LAX airport without a celebrity sighting. Several years ago while traveling through LAX with my husband and 2 youngest girls, they were on alert for big stars. Think Britney Spears (I know, big star? Britney Spears? - Remember, this was several years ago before the head shaving incident)! At any rate, while waiting to go through security I noticed Rob Lowe  standing next to us, patiently waiting as we were. I whispered to my girls that he was a 'movie star'. They figured I was teasing them and did not believe me. As  much as I tried to convince them he was big, they weren't buying it. I turned to him and told him I was trying to tell them who he was and could he help me by telling them just how big of a star he was! He laughed and thanked all of us for the blow to his ego (btw - he was a little guy in person, although super handsome in a beautiful sort of way). Since they didn't care much about him and I'm not one to get autographs (what are you going to do with it?) we went on our way. Once on the plane and situated in our seats, I pulled out my People magazine only to open it up to a photo of Rob Lowe himself! He was staring at the time in the very short lived series Dr. Vegas so was seemingly newsworthy. I very happily used that as a 'teachable moment:' Listen to your Mother! She knows what she's talking about!! Although they still weren't overly impressed, they settled back in their seat content that they did have a celebrity sighting after all!

Here's a few celebrity shots of who was making their way through LAX in the last week!

Jessica Alba

Jessica Simpson, Eric Johnson and daughter Maxwell

Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish

Kristin Cavallari with son Camden

Miranda Kerr

Reese Witherspoon

I'm only sorry I couldn't include a photo with me and my celebrity sighting but I've never felt right about asking celebs for photos. I think it's time I get over that! Who would you most like to see on your next airport adventure?

Until next time...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Funky Friday ~ Your Nose Will Thank You!

It's supposed to be spring!  I should be looking out my windows and seeing something like this!

There should be a bounce in my step and a smile on my face and I should be feeling light and airy!

Instead - I crab.

And I wait for better days ahead.

And I find other things to be grateful for!

Like Puffs with Vicks!

I discovered them a couple of years ago and fell in love.  Vicks says "If your nose could talk, it would tell you it wants this".  Well, my nose and even my kids are addicted!  And it makes me feel great to know that there's a touch of me in every tissue!  And then they were discontinued and I was crushed.  

About 6 months ago, in the height of cold and flu season, there they were on the shelf again!  We were thrilled and the stock ups began.  Not only are they some of the softest tissues out there, but for allergy sufferers, being able to inhale that great sent of Vicks after a solid nose blowing, is so great!  (I know, I'm weird - but it's the little things, right?)  And we all like to put our best face forward and according to Puffs, their facial tissues have Air-Fluffed™ pillows for 40% more cushiony thickness so we can do just that!

One very important thing to note about these wonderful tissues.  You do NOT want to have them handy while watching a sappy movie or use them to wipe your kids tears.  The sent of the Vicks will burn your eyes and while temporary it does not feel good.

Thankfully they're not that much more expensive than regular Puffs.  Maybe .01 cent per tissue and they're not available just anywhere.  I have seen them at CVS and Walmart.  You also can get them in bulk at Amazon.com.  Better yet, subscribe through Amazon to have them auto-shipped every 1-6 months and save even more!

Since it looks like we're in for a dreary weekend, the outdoor work will have to wait for better days ahead.  That's not the worst thing since I just saw this photo on TotallyTarget.  I love that site because it not only shares with me how to get the best bang for my buck at Target stores, it also shares all sorts of other savings opportunities with me!  Check them out!  Anyway, a whole end cap full of Puffs with Vicks on clearance! For 74 cents a box!  I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend!

So - that's it!  Give them a try and let me know what you think.  Or better yet, if you're at Target and happen upon an end cap filled with my fav tissues, send me a note and I'll be on my way!!

Until next time...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where the heck have I been!?!?!

Oh my gosh!!  I can't believe it's been over a month since I blogged!  One of the most frustrating things about blogging is finding the time to post!  I have my calendar and notebook full of things I want to share but life has been so crazy busy!  We all know that sometimes the things you love to do are the things that take a back seat to the things you have to do!

Although...don't get out your violin quite yet!  I have been doing lots of the things that I love to do.  And to be totally honest, it's 2 of my favorite things to do...traveling and spending time with my family!  Below is sort of a photo montage of how I've been spending the last several weeks!

The later part of the winter months (scratch that - looking out my window it's apparent that winter is still going on!)  The later part of the first quarter was pretty full with Marissa's dance competitions.  They made it to State so we had lots of fun celebrating her senior year of dance!

I know I'm prejudiced but I think she has the most beautiful smile!

Her team photo taken by one of her coaches, Suzanne Thompson, who also does amazing photography!

Marissa and I at the team banquet along with one of her best friends, Rachel, and her 
mom Nancy. Nancy just happens to be one of my favorite people and lucky for us, 
both our girls are headed to University of Minnesota, Duluth in the fall so we will
 continue to have lots of fun together - (we're already planning our road trips 
to check on our girls!)

Next stop Riviera Maya Mexico and the Barcelo Colonial and Tropical Resort for a super fun and safe spring break for a group of seniors from Eagan High School.  Watch for a blog in the next few weeks where I'll share more details about the trip.  Needless to say we had a blast!  

The girls with their matching tanks - compliments of Midwest Travel Service!

As much fun as Mark looks like he's having...he was NOT the only guy!  That was our
last day and the rest of the guys had either left the day before or earlier flights that day!

My girls Lexie and Marissa - adorable!!

What's better than a family photo in the Caribbean Sea?  Not much! (except a photo that
also includes Kyle, Christina and Blake!)

I love iPhone's except for taking photos! They never seem to come out very clear.

My life is so much more blessed now that it includes my grandson!  Christina has been so busy working with bridal couples, assisting them with their Destination Weddings and Honeymoons so I've been hanging out with Blake!  We also celebrated his first birthday with lots of family and friends.

My favorite way to spend the day!

The birthday boy!

The 'Hungry Little Caterpiller' table of sweets!
For more photos of his special day, check out Christina's blog!

An amazing group of ladies - it's no wonder they're cousins!

Maria's been doing her fair share of traveling as well.  The best part of that for me is her kids usually stay with us!  Hectic? YES!  Love it?  YES! YES!

Hanging out at Old Chicago

Another travel adventure happened a few weeks ago.  My Mom and I sailed the Carnival Splendor to the Island of Bermuda.  I had never been to Bermuda before and I loved it!  So much beauty and history!  Another blog post waiting to be shared!

It was SO cool to sail past Lady Liberty!

The color of the ocean in Bermuda was like nothing I've ever seen before - so pretty!

We had the BEST time together and lots of champagne!!

Another of my favorite things about  - what's supposed to be  - this time of year is SOFTBALL!  I love sunny days watching Lexie do her thing!  Tournament weekends - even better!  Although most of her high school games this spring have been cancelled due to the nasty weather, we have the whole summer ahead of us and many tournaments!  Here's to better weather ahead!

First game of the season (and the first double)!

In this case, I saved the worst for last!  I bartend at the Twins games and my bar is outside.  It has been a miserable start to the season with many layers and frozen fingers!


Selfie of my in the ladies room warming my fingers under the dryer!
I might look happy - but really I'm miserable!

As busy and crazy as my life has been, I am so grateful for each and every part of it!  However, it's time to get back to a more balanced lifestyle.  Here's to a spring/summer of sunshine, good-times and lots of blogging!!!

Until next time...