Wanderlust-Spring Break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

wanderlustI have not been one to follow the crowd down to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break until this year.  My son’s friend’s family invited him on vacation with them (also to Myrtle Beach), so it was my youngest daughter, boyfriend, and me.  This wasn’t one of those vacations that was all planned out months in advance, but all went smooth.  As I’m a teacher I receive breaks throughout the school year and need to start taking advantage of the opportunity to travel more.

We looked around at options and Myrtle Beach was close enough to drive, affordable, and the weather would provide us with plenty of vitamin d and sea that we have been quite deficient in.  We decided that we wanted to find a resort with a lake-front view, be close to the boardwalk (but far enough away from the noise), and we wanted a resort that included breakfast.  We found all of that and had a wonderful time!  We decided to drive an additional two hours for one of the days to spend time touring Charleston which was another pleasant adventure!

Myrtle Beach is a 13 hour drive from Rochester, New York…we stocked up on snacks and drinks and left when the school bell rang!

Top 10 Favs:

  1. Sunrise:  Every morning we set the alarm, so we could watch the sunrise…this was probably one of my most favorite moments on our trip!  Each morning the glow was different, yet still mesmerizing.

     

  2. Pleasant surprises…jellyfish, seashells, and shark teeth…Ohh…my!  Walking the shoreline we stumbled on a variety of washed up treasures.

     

  3. Food, food, and more food (more food pics coming…my phone broke and all the food pics are on it)

     

  4. Brookgreen Gardens (Former Rice Plantation)  I teach African American Literature, so touring a former plantation was something that was on my “must do” list.  We learned quite a bit about rice plantations as this was an area I didn’t know much about.  I’m still struggling with some emotions and thoughts from our tour.

     

  5. Charleston & Magnolia Plantation  Another former rice plantation we toured…there really are no words I can type to properly describe my experience…

     

  6. Animals/Wildlife  No matter where we are, when we see animals we are interested…isn’t everyone?  We saw a bird fight on one of the plantations, which ironically one was white and the other was black…just after they fought a peacock opened up to show its beauty off.  Whether it was an otter scratching its back, a fox in a tree, an alligator sneaking up on us, or a snake crossing our path we were in awe!

     

  7. Boogie Boarding  I prefer to lay on the beach and soak up the rays and dip in once in a while, but Craig and McKinley are like fish when it comes to swimming.  They were in the water for hours boogie boarding and I enjoyed capturing them riding the waves.

     

  8. Boardwalk  Such fun we had on the boardwalk!  Shopping, eating, shopping, snapping pictures, talking to people, the Sky Wheel, and the arcade!  Tip:  Even if the morning starts out chilly, don’t wear pants to the boardwalk…it will warm up.

     

  9. Arcade:  I’m not one to play arcade games, but Craig and McKinley had a ball…they hit the jackpot a few times and tickets were everywhere!

     

  10. Ocean Being mesmerized by the beauty of the ocean or just listening to it while in bed was one of the best parts of the trip!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I thought this vacation would satisfy my wanderlust cravings, but they have intensified!  Suggestions where I should travel next?

For more photos follow me on Instagram!

Crystal

Wanderlust

Favorite Face Moisturizers

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One of the most important products you can use on your face is moisturizer!  This is a must for me no matter what.  I always apply after my shower in the morning and after I wash my face before bed!  You have to find one that works for your skin and don’t be afraid to change it up once in a while.  If you’re looking for a new addition to your routine I encourage you to try one of my favs!

My top favorites:

  1. CeraVe: Love, love, love this moisturizing cream and CeraVe products!  I use this before bed and in the morning.  This is my top favorite at the moment and the one I use the most.  You will notice a change in your skin within a week using this cream.
  2. Olay:  I’m a huge fan of Olay products and have been using them for years.  This moisturizer I use at night when I need to change up my routine.  You will notice a change in your skin after using it for a week or two!
  3. Alba Botanica Even Advanced:  This light moisturizer is amazing and is great under make-up.  You can see and feel a difference immediately—especially if you have blotchy skin or under eye circles.  It does have a cologne scent that some may not like, but I do.
  4. No.7:  Another wonderful moisturizer that works well before applying make-up.  It does have a scent that I’m not a huge fan of, but I like how it make my skin look and feel.
  5. Skin Laundry:  This stuff is amazing!  I use it before bed when I know I want an extra boost of flawless skin in the morning.
  6. Vitamin E Oil:  I use this about once a week before bed only.  It does make my skin look/feel a little greasy, but it soaks in my skin overnight.  Vitamin E is an antioxidant and beneficial to protect and repair our skin–I like to think that while I sleep the vitamin e is busy at work repairing all those skin cells!

Share in a comment:  What is your favorite moisturizer or your favorite face product?

Crystal

 

Weekly Fav: Rick’s Recycled Books

My weekly favorite is a small hidden gem here in Rochester, New York…Rick’s Recycled Books.  I have been going to this bookstore for years and always walk out with a stack even though I have several unread ones at home!  Bookstores are my weakness…especially used bookstores.

I have to admit my boyfriend planned our weekend and surprised me with a visit to Rick’s…yes, he is pretty amazing!  This isn’t a place to sit on your laptop and sip your coffee, but it is a lovely hole in the wall, bursting with an assortment of books begging to be chosen.  Most are $1-$4 and even though it looks like chaos he has a method to the madness.  I think of it as the House of Guitars for books.

On this trip my boyfriend was able to find a couple books he wanted to read, and then realized one is autographed!

 

If you are looking for something to do make a stop at this lovely treasure on Monroe Ave.

Rick’s Recycled Books

737 Monroe Avenue

Rochester, New York  14607

Share in a comment:  What is the last book you read?  What are you currently reading?

Crystal

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. ~Harold Bloom

Simple & Healthy Banana Oat Pancakes

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Are you looking to change your eating habits?  In my attempt to eat healthier this is my go-to weekend breakfast.  This recipe is simple to make and they come out tasting yummmmayyyy—even better than other pancake recipes.  They are quite filling too!  You must give these a try and let me know what you think!

Banana Oat Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 bananas

2 eggs

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

 

Directions:

Mix everything in a blender, let the batter sit for a about 20-30 minutes, and then cook.  I like them with strawberries on top or real maple syrup!  Enjoy!

What do you like on your pancakes??

Crystal

Inspired by The Daily Post one-word prompt: “Simple”

 

Weekly Fav: Erin Condren Planner

This week I received my custom made planner from Erin Condren.  This planner is amazing and will be useful to keep me on track and goal focused.  The cover is filled with favorite photos, so positive vibes are always near!

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My favs:

  • Did I mention the cover?  It can be customized several ways, but this one was for me as I LOVE pictures…this is my favorite feature of the planner and that sets it apart from others I found.
  • I’m a teacher, so planning is essential to my organization and success in the classroom–there is a monthly break down as well as daily which I love!
  • I will also be keeping track of my blogging goals, prompts, challenges, and topics using this new handy dandy planner
  • I can also use it as a gratitude journal, bullet journal…
  • Perfect size…not too big, not too small
  • Color schemes available
  • Positive words throughout the planner
  • Pocket in back
  • Pouch it came with to put pens/notepad/stickers in (I did find another one I liked better, so decided not to use this)
  • Little random act of kindness cards

My not so favs:

  • The ruler that was attached to it broke when trying to remove it…I probably would have never used it anyway (pictured in top left photo)
  • Ordering it was a nightmare!  The website was incredibly glitchy and it took me a couple few hours to load and arrange all the photos
  • It is a bit pricey at $55.00 +9.95 shipping

Click here to sign up for a discount code to be emailed to you and begin to organize your life and focus on your goals!

20170117_172448.jpgI purchased a cute little pouch (Jo-Ann Fabrics) to keep pens, pencils, and stickers that I will be using with it.  I decided to use the Paper Mate pens in tropical vacation colors because they are no-bleed and I love the colors!

If you are trying to organize your life and crush goals I suggest purchasing an Erin Condren planner to use as a tool to help you on that journey!

Comment:  Share a comment how you keep organized.  Do you use a planner?  Any tips for me? 

*hugs*

Crystal

Weekly Fav: Exquisite Jook & Nona

 

 

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I subscribe to Fabfitfun which is just one of my many favorite things ever!  Every woman should subscribe to pamper herself (or…if you are reading and in need of an awesome gift idea this is it).  Fabfitfun is a seasonal subscription box that is filled will a variety of goodies!  I have not been disappointed by any of the items I have received.  There was an option to purchase a “mystery bundle” with this past winter box and I decided to puchase one for the thrill of it.  This exquisite necklace by Jook and Nona was one of the items and I am head over heals in love with it!  I tend to wear silver more, but after wearing this I will be looking to add to my gold collection.  Hello Jook and Nona and thank you Fabfitfun!

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If you would like to subscribe to Fabfitfun click here for a discount

Pros of Fabfitfun: 

  • seasonal surprise with items you may not normally purchase for yourself
  • looking forward to checking the mail…ok, more like stalking the mail carrier
  • socializing with other fabfitfunners in the chat/message group
  • falling in love with new products

 

Share in a comment:  What products would you most want to receive in the mail seasonally?   (jewelry, make-up, fitness items, skin care…)

*hugs*

Crystal

Post inspired by The Daily Post one-word prompt “Exquisite”

New Year’s Eve Post: Favorite Moments of 2016

As 2016 comes to an end I reflect on the year to remind myself of the amazing moments I had and I thought why not blog about it!  There have been so many wonderful moments throughout this year and I know next year will bring even more!

Some of my favorite moments of 2016 are…

Dates with my favorite person…especially the random, unplanned adventures we find ourselves on!

 

My son playing sports…especially his favorite—lacrosse

 

Improving my health by working out, eating healthy, and becoming a non-smoker

 

Nephew time

 

Dinner, shopping, and beach walks with my oldest daughter

 

Grandpa’s 90th surprise birthday party

 

Our Naples Cottage Getaway

 

Completing the program at SUNY Brockport to earn my School District Leadership Certification & being asked to step in as Special Education Supervisor for BOCES 2 ESY Program

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Rome, NY visits

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Youngest daughter playing soccer

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Planting a Memory Garden on Mother’s Day to honor my favorite person’s mother

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Taking students to meet the authors of All American Boys (Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely) and teaching such amazing young scholars

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Fall Family Photo Shoot

 

Christmas Traditions

 

I challenge you to reflect on 2016 and create your own list of favorite moments!  Share a comment with one of them…

Wishing you a New Year rich with blessings of love, joy, warmth, and laughter!

Crystal