January 31, 2011

January 31st, 2011

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I must say I am getting a little tired of snow.  It’s still out there, and now we have a freezing rain/rain storm on the way.  I know one being who will not be thrilled about that, Peanut.  He hates getting wet, but on the flip side loves the snow. 

Well, we are almost into the month of Febuary, and that means we are that much closer to warmer temps.  I can’t wait.  I love Spring and Summer, and tank tops and flip flops. 

Now I am off to complete my Maryland State Tax Return.  It makes my brain hurt.  I wish they would make it more simple.  Every year it gets harder and every year I make some sort of mistake.  Come on Maryland, get it together and make this simple!  The Federal Return is simple…

January 30, 2011

January 30th, 2011

I just finished this book on my kindle.  I was expecting a ghost story, what I got was a gay romance and ghost story. 

I have nothing against people who are gay, or stories about gays.  I just wasn't expecting it.  Still a good story if you don't mind the romance part of it.  If you are objectionable in any way to gay romance, then this book is not for you.

A group of paranormal investigators go to Oleander House to find out what has been causing the untimely deaths of residents, and guests.  What they find, is not what they expected.  I like the story line.  Tough the entity that does the haunting seems more like an alien than a ghost.

January 29, 2011

January 29th, 2011

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This was yesterday’s eye shadow adventure.  I love it.  It reminds me of a circus tent, full of color and excitement.

January 28, 2011

January 28th, 2011

So I got a really great phone call yesterday.  I got the call that I got the job I had interviewed for.  Very exciting news.  I don’t know when my first day is, but I will be sure to let you know.  As well as what I will be doing. 

This post today is all about make-up and colors.  I love colorful eye shadows.  Sometimes they can be a bit over bearing on eyes though.  Recently I have been doing a little something different with my shadows that I think really stands out.

First I apply a little bit of eye shadow primer to my lids.  I have a new love for eye shadow primer.  It really helps the shadow stay put.  After I sweep one color over my entire lid. Then I use a smaller shadow brush to put a bolder color just in the corners of my eyes.  Finish off with the eyeliner and mascara and you are done.

Take a look!

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Here I used a white shadow, a teal shadow, black mascara, and black eyeliner.  I have even used other colors like teal and purple, pink and gold, and pink and orange.

Give it a try, and add more color to your life!!

January 26, 2011

January 26th, 2011

Ok, so sorry this took so long.  I had a job interview and then went with Mark to Atlantic City for a day.  Hopefully the job interview results in a job, that would be awesome. 

Barcelo Maya Palace, Riviera Maya, Mexico.

It was a beautiful resort.  We didn’t get there until later afternoon Friday, and Saturday was pretty cloudy.  After that the weather got sunny and warm.  It was heaven.  The buffets for breakfast and lunch were fine.  You could eat all you wanted and be happy. The restaurants for dinner were a completely different story.  The food was good at dinner, but at the same time there could have been a lot better.  One night we ate all the Brazilian restaurant, and all of the meat was over cooked, and dry.  One night we ate at the French restaurant, and it was ok.  The lobster and shrimp were definitely overcooked, and the steak I had with my surf and turf was salty.  The seafood restaurant was ok, more overcooked shrimp, and the Bouillabaisse soup was so salty that if I had eaten it, my blood pressure would have gone through the roof.

Our last night at Barcelo Palace, we had a dinner reservation for 8 at the Italian Restaurant, and for some reason it was marked as 4.  There were 22 people who had not shown up for their reservations, and the Italian restaurant told us it could not accommodate us.  This was upsetting.  After trying to sort it out we went to the French restaurant, which we did not need a reservation for, and were told we could not be accommodated, AGAIN. It was as if on the last night, Barcelo and it’s staff really didn’t care what kind of time we were having because we were leaving the next day.  So, in all our dressed up glory 8 angry people made our way to the buffet.  The guy who was our waiter really did his best to make sure we had a pleasurable dining experience, even after he learned about what his co-workers in the other restaurants had done.  He carried our plates and a few other wait-staff even helped improve our moods by doing the same thing.  He was the rare shining star of the Barcelo Resort.

We did a lot of things while we were in Mexico for the week.  We went to Playa Del Carmen for shopping and lunch.  Lunch was quite possibly some of the best authentic Mexican food I have eaten.  Taxi rides to and from Playa Del Carmen were super cheap.  $25 split between 4 people one way = about $6.25 per person.

Tulum, the Mayan Ruins, were just as beautiful and awe-inspiring as I remembered. I love them.  Looking at them is like going back in time, and seeing a totally different world.  We didn’t make it to Coba as planned, because the rental car company took too long to get us our vehicle.  But the price of the company we used was way cheaper than the resort’s rental.  I believe we paid $160 for the rental and the resort wanted $310 for their rental.  Lame!

We also did XPLOR.  It’s part of XCARAT, and you can go ATV-ing, zip-lining, rafting and swimming.  It was great.  I got really dizzy and nauseated while doing the zip-line, but I still had fun.  I will definitely go zip-lining again, if given the opportunity.  If you take a trip to Cancun or the Mayan Riviera, I totally suggest you do it.  And, book it online, because through the resort it was almost $120 and online it was $90.  Same thing, except the resort wants all your money, so they mark up everything.

I did get a massage while on the resort, and it was a hot stone massage.  I really loved the hot stone massage I got when I went to Atlantis back in 2007.  This was was ok.  Not as good as Atlantis, but still good.  Also on the resort we were able to buy fish food to feed the fish in the water just off the beach of the resort.  That was actually really fun.  Even when someone spotted a 4 foot reef shark!

Over all I wouldn’t say my stay at the Barcelo was not terrible.  We had a great time, until the last night.  And to me the last night is what really counts.  It’s how you end your trip that matters.  Barcelo is supposed to be the number 1 resort in Mexico.  I would not rate them so high.  Not when there needs to be improvements made to the food cooked at dinner (make it fresher, and don’t over cook it), and if you decide the stay at the Palace, which is supposed to get you access for all the restaurants, be prepared.  You won’t be able to get into them.  You can’t make dinner reservations before your trip, and you can’t make reservations when you get there because all the restaurants are booked solid.  I would give them a mid-grade rating.

If and when I go back to the Mayan Riviera, because I am sure I will at some point, (It’s so beautiful there, you really should go.) I will not be staying at the Barcelo.  I will look into the other resorts and see what else there is to offer.  And to be honest I hope someone from Barcelo reads this.  The price paid for the Palace and all it’s access to the restaurants of all the resorts was not worth it.  I feel if Barcelo improves their overall service in the restaurants (food and seating) I may give it a second chance. 

Here are some pics, hope you enjoy!

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January 22, 2011

January 22nd, 2011



Back from vacation, stay tuned for a review of Barcelo Maya Palace Resort! You don't want to miss it.

January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

Vacation is going great!

Just finished a great zombie book, that was once a classic. Check it out!

January 13, 2011

January 13th, 2011

Well, I am off on a little vacation for a week.  Don’t worry I will have plenty of pictures to share of the wonderful warm destination I am headed to. 

Bon Voyage!

January 12, 2011

January 12th, 2011



I can't wait for Lucia to give me these shoes.

January 11, 2011

January 11th, 2011

I book down and more to go!

This book was a very fun read.  You follow Lilly, an Apothecary's daughter, as she goes about her life.  It's set in the 1800's time period, and I loved imagining the time in my head with all the dresses and dances. 

Lilly tries to find her mother, who ran off.  She also helps her father, and meets several eligible bachelors.  She also learns something very interesting about her best friend Mary Mimpurse.

I didn't think this book would have been as interesting as it was, but I was really surprised.

January 10, 2011

January 10th, 2011



In 4 short days I will be basking in the warm temps and crystal blue waters of the Mayan Riviera. This trip was planned well before I got laid off from work, and you should never back out of an adventure. I'm looking forward to the trip, and I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday.

The other day I felt quite adventurous.....with my make-up. I paired a teal eye shadow and a purple eye shadow together. I also wore a purple eyeliner and black mascara. It was a lot of fun, and very lovely.

January 6, 2011

January 6th, 2010

I am a reading machine!  Mark is away, and I can only job hunt so many hours of the day.  So with my free time, I have been reading.  Oh, and working out at the gym.

The book I just finished reading is called Blood of the Wicked, and I was pretty amazed by it.  At first I wondered how all the characters were going to connect in the book.  It seemed like there were so many characters, I was going to get lost.  But I didn't.  I consumed in the plot and surprised by the ending.  Well, not too surprised, but kind of surprised. 

Definitely a good book, so check it out.

January 5, 2011

January 5th, 2011

Mom has MS, and she decided she was going to make shrimp. It didn't happen because she said she forgot how to cook shrimp.  She is also suffering effects from a concussion she got a few months back, so that also added to her lapse in memory.  It can be frustrating, but you just got to move on.

So I googled Shrimp Dinners, and came across a blurb about Louisiana Style BBQ Shrimp.  It said what the ingridients were and I gave it a crack. 

It was pretty good for guessing the amounts of spices and stuff to put in the dish itself. 

But, just for shits and giggles, here is an actual recipe! Also, I put it over rice, since we didn't have any crusty bread, and that worked too. 

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds unpeeled shrimp
  • 1 loaf crusty fresh bread, for dipping
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks real butter
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Dry Herbs:
  • 4 bay leaves, crushed to a powder (or 1/4 teaspoon powdered)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, powdered with the bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Serves / Yields

8 appetizer servings

Preparation Instructions

Combine all the dry herbs and mix well. Simmer wet ingredients for the sauce on the stovetop. Add the dry herbs, stirring for about 6-7 minutes. Use a large enough pot for the shrimp to fit in a single layer.
Add the shrimp and bring to boil. Lower heat, and cook l0 minutes or more, stirring and lifting, till all are pink. Do not overcook.
Turn off heat, cover pan, and let sit to absorb the flavors for about 15 minutes.
If you prefer, you can bake the shrimp in a 400 degree oven until cooked through. Don't overcook them, they just have to be very hot throughout - too much will toughen. The longer they sit in the sauce, they better they become!

Helpful Hints

Serve this with hot, crusty french bread to dip in the sauce, as you peel the shrimp and eat them. You can adjust the amount of cayenne, depending on your taste. Also, ground Chipotle chile pepper is good in this.

January 1, 2011

January 1st, 2011

Hello everyone and welcome to the New Year.  I can’t wait to see what exciting adventures 2011 will bring my way.  The top priority right now for me is a new job.  Since I am still unemployed, a new job will be awesome.  Oh and I am 13 days away from my Mexico trip.  I’m so excited for that!!

I just wanted to share a few images from last night.  I hung out with my friends and we had a great time.  Mark is off on his winter trip with his brother and so I was all by my lonesome, but it’s all good.  He called me right before he got on the plane to head from Hong Kong, China, to Thailand, and wished me a Happy New Year.

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