Tag Archives: snow

Warm, Sunny Beach in the Bahamas is perfect for Spring Break

I’m Dreaming of a Warm, Sunny Spring Break Beach Vacation

It’s the middle of February 2014 ~ time is flying by fast … but not fast enough for those of us who are getting tired of winter. Yes, I’m still working on my early kitchen spring cleaning project, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

I’m sitting at my desk, watching the snow fall outside my office window, while I’m watching a slide show of my last warm sunny vacation to the Bahamas for my anniversary last year. We took a cruise on NCL … it was wonderful. We had so much fun ~ great food, live shows, numerous choices for entertainment, fun excursions, plenty of free time for relaxing on deck ~ I really ♥ cruising!

NCL Bahama Cruise Welcome

This greeted us as we boarded our cruise ship, the Norwegian Sky.

Alas, we aren’t taking a spring break trip this year … but I’d love to help you plan yours. Where would you like to go? Close by or far away? With kids or without? Lounging on a beach or packed with action and adventure? What’s your dream vacation look like? Share your ideas of your dream vacation in the comments below 🙂

I have decades of experience working in the travel industry … at times I really miss it. I’d love to work with you to find the perfect vacation for your family. BTW, I can also take care of your pets for you while you’re away … such a deal 🙂

Cold Snowy Chicago January Weather

This Long Snowy Chicago January is Giving Me Cabin Fever

It’s the last day of January, and I already have cabin fever. Normally the winter weather doesn’t really get to me until early March, and I then I start to dream and plan my summer garden. This year my cabin fever started way too early. I don’t usually let the weather stop me from keeping to my normal schedule and doing my normal activities. I am blaming it on the extreme weather that Chicago has experienced for the entire month of January 2014.  

After all, I come from sturdy stock … I used to work outside on the ramp at O’Hare for over 15 years, for goodness sakes. While we have experienced extreme low temperatures a few times this past month, we haven’t broken the record. I vividly remember experiencing that record low temp of -24 (without the windchill) on January 20, 1985 … it was my first day working at O’Hare! I remember thinking to myself, “what in the world was I thinking?? I had a nice, warm, comfy desk job at a travel agency on Michigan Avenue”. Of course, I survived and have great stories to tell from that day. It was a great job, with great travel benefits. I have many wonderful memories of this time … it was the perfect job for me during my single days 🙂

According to the Chicago Weather Center Blog, we haven’t broken the record for snowfall this month either, but our 33.5 inches takes 3rd place in the record book. The blizzard in January of 1979 gave that month a total of 40.4 inches to take 2nd place. I remember making a lot of $$$ shoveling people out that winter 🙂 The 1st place Chicago snowfall record is from 1918 with 42.5 inches … wow!

They are predicting more snow for tomorrow, so it appears February will be more of the same, yippee! Oh well … I’ll have to figure out someway to keep myself amused in my nice, warm cozy “cabin” for a while longer. Don’t be surprised if I have a really big garden this spring 🙂

Tell me some of the things you do while spending these cold and snowy days at home …

Fully Stocked Pantry

Polar Vortex, Round Two – Do You Have A Fully Stocked Freezer and Pantry ??

Well, it’s another freezing cold day in the Chicagoland area. They are calling it the second wave of the Polar Vortex we experienced a couple of weeks ago. Although it’s not as extreme as the harsh sub-zero wind chill temperatures we had on January 6th, it’s still frigid. They were also saying that we have already had more snow accumulation than the yearly average and its only January … there’s still a lot of winter left.

I went to Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon to pick up a few things. It was really crowded … all the checkout lines were full. It kinda felt like Christmas shopping dejavue. While I was waiting in line, I overheard some people commenting on having to stock up on groceries so they wouldn’t have to go out in the extreme weather that was coming.

I looked in my cart … fish food, razors, shampoo and printer paper. No last minute food items were there, because I try to always have my pantry and freezer stocked. I’ve always been this way. I think I must have learned it from my Grandma (who raised me). I’m not totally sure, but I do remember her saying something to the effect of “ TP is not something you ever want to run out of “ … haha … and I totally agree with her 🙂

I like to have the replacement item on a shelf somewhere, ready and waiting … be it TP or shampoo. My motto is “Its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”.

I can’t afford to just go out and buy enough food to fully stock the freezer and pantry, so I’ve come up with a couple of ideas that have worked for me:

  • I try to take advantage of BOGO (buy one, get one free) sales. It’s even better for my budget if I can use coupons 🙂
  • Shopping in bulk at stores like Costco or Sam’s Club has helped me build up a back-up supply.
  • When I cook dinner, I try to make a double batch of the recipe, and then freeze half of it for a future meal.

I consider my family to be truly blessed that we are able to have plenty of food to eat. Knowing my pantry and freezer are full gives me peace of mind knowing that if the weather is extreme, or if we get sick, no one has to run out to the store.

I hope my ideas and tips are helpful to you … I’d love to hear some of your thoughts 🙂 

Glorious Sunset

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11-19-13

November 19 ~ Today I am thankful for the sky. I’ve always been fascinated with the sky … it has so many different characteristics, displaying a multitude of colors … many varying shades of blue, from bright vibrant blue with puffy white clouds on a sunny day to dark navy blue on a star studded night. It’s grey and threatening on a stormy day. The glorious color palette is awe-inspiring at both sunrise and sunset. So many different types and shapes of clouds … and lets not forget about rainbows!  Oh, and the sun and the moon … one of my favorite things is to see the sun glistening on water – or – dappling through the trees. I love how bright it is when a full moon is shining down on a freshly fallen snow !

♥  Today I am thankful for the sky  ♥