It's Just 3 Hours

Three little hours. That's it. Only three hours. Doesn't really seem like a big deal. Well, to an 18-month old, a time zone difference of 3 hours is absolutely horrible.

To bed around 7:30 pm and up around 6:30 am. It's Ms. A's typical routine and has been for the last few months. She used to sleep around 12 hours at night, but it's slowly dwindling to about 11 hours now.

Six-thirty in the morning doesn't seem to bad. UNTIL you throw in a time zone difference of 3 hours earlier. Yes, it was about 3:30 am when A started stirring this morning and I anticipate the same results again tonight.

I never realized how hard the time zone difference would be for a little one until I witnessed it myself. It's amazing how her own internal clock adjusts to the zones and she'll get tired around 7:00 regardless of the time zone. Definitely has something to do with the fact it starts to get darker and we continue her same routine. However, returning from East Coast to West Coast after a month is horrible!

It usually takes her one full week to adjust. But, that's after a week to a few weeks on vacation, not a month. I'm hoping this week won't be as long as it appears it will be. Needless to say, my bedtime is going to be around 8:00/9:00 so I can be up at 4 in the morning for the day.

It's going to be a loooooooooong week.


Happy 5th Anniversary!

Five years ago today, the Iron Chef and I were walking down the aisle on our way to wedded bliss. Time flies!

Blue water, sandy beaches and relaxing in the sun is on the agenda for our 5-year anniversary week. Nothing beats celebrating an anniversary than sitting at our cottage enjoying our time together.

Happy 5th Anniversary!


My Little Sister Gets Married

I'm out of town, but just a few snapshots from my sister's big day. The wedding was an absolute blast! More details to follow.


Updated: The BIG News

I probably should have added this beforehand, but in regards to our news, yes, it is job related. The Iron Chef is still with his same company, just another relocation to bigger and better things.


The "BIG" News

I am sure all of you are first thinking, "they are having another baby." Wishful thinking. That's not what the big news is all about this time.

As if our life was not chaotic enough. The Chef Family has been gone most of the summer - weddings in Mackinaw, Nashville, Chicago, family cottage, my little sister's wedding, etc. Yes, it has been a little bit crazy with everything going on. Plus, still getting acclimated to our new surroundings in Vancouver. I mean, after all, it has been less than a year since we moved to the west side of Washington. In fact, we closed on our house November 7th of last year.

So our news. Yes, we have news.

The Chef Family is moving once again. Yup, you read the statement correctly. And, I do not mean just moving down the street or moving to a new house. We are up and moving cities. And, for this move, we are up and moving states. Actually, we move down a few states south of Washington. CALIFORNIA! A place I never thought I would ever move to or live. In fact, I've never even vacationed there! We will be headed to Sacramento area sometime in the upcoming months, exact plans and details are still to be determined.

It is hard to keep up with the Chef Family. I know.

If you had a hard time keeping track of us while we were in college (Michigan State and Miami of Ohio), I am sure you are totally confused now. Since our marriage of almost 5 years (yeah!) here's where we have lived:

Omaha, Nebraska
Kennewick, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
and now ... Roseville (near Sacramento), California

4 moves in 5 years. Absolutely crazy. And, to think that two of these moves will be with a little one.

The Iron Chef and I say to our friends, "If you want to see the country, just come and visit us one time and then we'll move again and you can see another part of the country." This is also how we view our own moves as well. We have been blessed with a wonderful opportunity, as we have with each move. We are more than excited about this great opportunity and look forward to enjoying the beautiful scenery and travel that California provides. I can't wait to be in the sunshine and have year long warmer weather. And, we can't wait for visitors once we get settled.

So, there you have it. We're moving to California. Our big, BIG news.



There are big things a brewin' for the Chef Family. Yes, BIG news. Just a little teaser to keep you all on the edge. I'll post more when the details are finalized. But, just think change. And, big news.


Wedding Bliss?

I'm dreaming weddings, helping plan the last details of a wedding and basically running around like a chicken with my head cut off. However, after two more weeks of craziness, then a week on Lake Huron to relax and unwind.


Cost for Bargains

I had received a comment about the cost of my bargain finds and had wanted to make an original post just on the "price" of bargains. Here it goes ...

Remember this post? Well, I went searching online to target.com (the original place where the clock was purchased) and found this.

Yes, I found the clock online at Target ... with a sticker price of $99.99. The clock did have free shipping, but guess how much I paid at Goodwill - only $19.99. That's about 80% off the original price! Yes, I still feel 19 dollars is pretty expensive for Goodwill. But, I had been wanting a large clock for our wall and simply couldn't resist the price.

Want to know the price for other good deals?

I purchased a wooden chair for our guest bedroom. I still have to repaint and refinish the product, but, the sticker price on this one? $4.99. I didn't have time to take a picture before I left, so here's a similar example.

And how about my garage sale finds for Ms. A! Total bargain. I found toys that were either 25 or 50 cents! Yes, you heard me ... only about one quarter. For example, this toy retails for at least $19.99 in the store and I purchased for only 25 cents. Seriously, this is almost free. I found other Leap Frog and name brand items as well.

One thing to point out about bargain shopping and goodwill finds - make sure you have bleach on hand so you can disinfect and clean your products before using in your own household (especially toys for little ones).

Don't get me wrong, I love buying nice, new items as well. Especially while vacationing and finding unique items I know other people in town will not have. But everyone loves a great deal. And, for 80% off or 95% off the original sticker price - I'LL TAKE IT!


Mackinaw Island

Mackinac Island became one of the nation's favored summer resorts during the Victorian era. Vacationers arrived in large lake excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit seeking the cooler weather on Mackinac Island. They danced to Strauss' waltzes, listened to Sousa's stirring marches, dined on whitefish and strolled along the broad decks. To accommodate overnight guests, boat and railroad companies financed the building of Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel being the main reason for our visit and a special wedding ceremony held at the hotel as well.

Perhaps the most noticeable first impression of Mackinac Island is the absence of automobiles. Mackinac Island is accessible only by boat or plane. Visitors and residents travel by foot, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. There are only 600 year-round Mackinac Island residents. During the summer, there are more than 500 horses. And yes, horses we rode. Bikes, by foot and a ferry to physically travel to the island. And, considering we traveled via plane to visit this destination, we definitely experienced the "planes, trains, automobile" type of experience.

This was the location and travel of chose for the "Chef" Family. We had a wedding located on the island and decided to venture up to Mackinac Island sans Ms. A. This vacation was one of the first times the two of us have vacationed without our baby.

We toured around the island, shopped through the stores, visited Fort Mackinac and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Learning about the fort and viewing the breathtaking views of Lake Huron were amazing.

Here is a picture of the downtown area full of shops and hotels. Notice the lack of automobiles and all the bikes on the street.

And then another view of the roads from our nightlife excursions to the bars. We frequented the Pink Pony and ate some late night munchies at the Mustang.

We stayed at The Island House Hotel while on Mackinac Island. The rooms were quaint and decorated as if they haven't changed since the turn of the century. We were lucky enough to have air conditioning in our room, as many of the hotel accommodations on the island are without several modern day amenities such as air conditioning.

As mentioned beforehand, the Grand Hotel was the luxury of our mini-vacation. One of the biggest tourist attractions on the island is the grand porch of the hotel. Guests that are not staying at the hotel can pay a $10 fee to tour the hotel or sit on the porch. Thankfully we were part of a wedding and had full access to the hotel. We enjoyed our $12 beverage while enjoying the views. Can we say overpriced? But, worth every penny to sit and enjoy a drink.

The horse drawn carriage awaiting guests at the entrance to the Grand Hotel.

The wedding ... absolutely amazing.

Carriage await guests for their departure from the church to the hotel. There were probably 15 carriages "aka taxis" to transport the large group.

The views of the island are not only beautiful from the island, but amazing from the water as well. This photo is a water shot of the Grand Hotel. As can be seen, the building towers in size when comparing the other buildings near by.