Tag: Christmas

Top Ten Tuesday – November Excitements!

Happy Tuesday and Happy November! I have to say, the month of October was pretty fun and full of scary excitement. But, spending the last weekend of it with a cold was not a great way to see it off, especially since I missed a Halloween party because of it. 


top ten tuesday


With a new month AND my favorite time of year, we are sharing our November excitements for our Top Ten this week. In no particular order, here’s what I’m looking forward to this month:


10. Christmas movies – They have already started Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel and I love them. The cheesier the better. Really they’re almost all about the same thing but I could watch them around the clock. Add in other favorites of mine like Elf, Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, all of The Santa Clause movies, and more, and I am a happy big kid. Thank you, Daddy, for your never ending love of all things Christmas.


9.  Autumn’s 9th birthday – This will be the first birthday of Autumn’s that I will not be with her, but I will still be celebrating the amazing little girl that she is. I’ll be sending her lots of birthday wishes 3200 miles away and we already sent her a super cool pair of rain boots at her request. By the way, how is that she is going to be 9 already? I swear she was just that little 5 lb. 4 oz. baby girl that I met in the hospital and instantly fell in love with. 


8. Cooler weather – I say this one with a chuckle, because it’s Florida and it won’t really cool off for awhile. But, the humidity is dropping and it’s actually getting below 70 at night so there’s that. The time changes this weekend, which I love, because it will get dark earlier. 


7.  The Raging Idiots – Both my bestie and I are fans of The Bobby Bones Show and she treated us to tickets to his upcoming show at The Straz on the 19th. I am super excited for a girls’ night out with bestie, both of us sporting our Pimpin’ Joy shirts, and hoping to meet him afterwards. 


6.  Running – Shocking, I know. But with some cooler-ish temps, it makes running even more enjoyable. And if I’m going to tackle the Ultra Challenge at Gasparilla in February, I need to get going on a training plan. 


5.  Milestones Running & Triathlon Grand Opening party – This is pretty exciting, too. My friends at Milestones are having a grand opening party on Friday the 11th at their first ever retail store. It’s going to be fun!


4.  Christmas decorations! – I love Christmas. I love Christmas decorations. I love putting up our tree and seeing the ornaments that we’ve collected over the years. I’m also excited to add two more Christmas stockings to the mix for my mom and Minnie now that they live with us. Santa will need be busy when he stops by our house this year.


3.  Rib Fest – I’m hoping we make it to this so I can see Chris Young in concert. Ribs and beer will be great, too, but throw in country music and it’s even better!


2.  The Election – I swear I’m not making this a political post, but let’s just say I cannot wait for the election to be done and over with. I amy be counting the days just to not have to hear the endless commercials or see the endless campaign mail in our mailbox.


1.  Thanksgiving – I am very much looking forward to seeing Nick, Jenna, and Autumn for Thanksgiving. My mom and I are flying to Seattle and taking the ferry over to their new home in Poulsbo. I cannot wait to see them – I miss them so much. BUT! And it’s a big but, it will also  be a weird Thanksgiving as it will be the first one that Mike and I will ever spend apart. 


What are you looking forward to this month? Don’t forget to visit Run.Chew.Sparkle to see what is on her list of November excitements!

A winter concert, a play, and a holiday stroll…

December always seems to be very busy for us and this year has been even more so. Just last week, I enjoyed a winter concert, a play, and a holiday stroll. Family fun always makes me happy.

First up was the Winter Concert for my niece’s school. There is nothing like elementary kiddos all dressed up and singing. It was very sweet. My niece was such a little beauty in her holiday dress. It was another reminder of how much I love the holidays.






Pretty girl smiling for us….



The next evening was my niece’s play for R Club.The drama teacher Mr. Mark, did a fabulous of job of writing the play and directing it. He even played a part in it. The play was so creative, it was called Fairytale Courtroom. Mr. BB Wolf (the Big Bad Wolf) was suing Mr. Curly Pig (of the Three Pigs) and vice versa. All the land of fairytale was in attendance as witnesses as to what happened. Judge Mother Goose presided over the courtroom. Just to name a few witnesses, there was the Three Blind Mice, Humpty Dumpty, Prince Charming, Snow White, Rapunzel, Little Jack Horner, and more. All of the kids did a good job with their lines and their acting. My niece played Jill, of Jack and Jill. I know I’m totally biased, but she stole the show in her role with the little boy who played Jack. I am certain we have a little actress in the family. Proud aunt that I am, I have the video for you all to enjoy. From her plaid dress to the way she talked and acted, she nailed it.  










Saturday night, hubby and I went to Largo Central Park for the their Holiday Stroll. My brother Nick and his family joined us. It was such a fun night of Christmas lights, kettle corn, hot chocolate, snow slide, and a snowball fight. As it typical for us when we all get together and have fun, there were silly selfies with Jenna and Autumn. Mother Nature cooperated wonderfully and gave us one day of winter so the cool night made it even more festive. And, it gave me the chance to wear my dad’s scarf which I treasure. 























Family time always warms my heart and I treasure these memories we are constantly making. Time seems to pass so quickly these days, so I am thankful for every memory we all make.


What activities have you done so far this holiday season?


Currently | December 2015


Currently December 2015


Time for a new edition of Currently! 


Eating:  This time of year, there is much eating. We are on the run a lot, eating out more, and holiday meals. On the nights when we are home, I try to make a healthy-ish dinner, which is usually chicken breast and a vegetable. Lawry’s makes a buffalo chicken panko breading that is delicious and both hubby and I think the flavor is very similar to Hooters. Also, we love the Perdue Perfect Portions chicken breasts in both original and Italian. Great to keep on hand and they cook quickly.


Listening:  Besides the obvious answer of Adele’s new CD, which by the way, is phenomenal. Every single song is worth listening to. But, I have a new favorite song that really hits home right now. Cole Swindell’s You Should Be Here is about his dad, who he recently lost. All this, of course, makes me think of my dad. As if the song wasn’t touching enough, the video is a tear-jerker. Because I don’t like to cry alone, I’m sharing it here for you to watch. Grab your tissues. 




Loving:  Our Christmas tree. I didn’t even wait until Thanksgiving to put it up. I am in such a holiday mood, I put it up earlier to enjoy it longer. All our ornaments are special and I just love curling up on the couch at night in the glow of the white lights. It makes me happy.





Reading:  I am just 3 books shy of hitting my goal of 52 books for 2015. I know I’ll make it. At the moment I’m reading Easily Amused by Karen McQuestion which I should finish this weekend. I’m not sure what I’ll read next, but I feel like reading a holiday book. Just like Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, I also love a heartwarming holiday story. 


Thinking:  I can’t stop thinking about how thankful I am for my family, especially after the last several months since my brother’s injury. Fortunately, we are on the up side of it all and after a lot of rest, recovery, and rehab, Nick is back to work and a normal routine. I am thankful every single day for him, his strength, and perseverance. In addition to my dad being my forever hero, Nick will also be. 



Wearing:  Clothes are currently the bane of my existence. I need new clothes but I dread having to buy larger clothes than I did last time I shopped. So, nothing exciting in the land of clothing for me, with the exception of two new pairs of boots that hubby bought me for Christmas and already gave me because he can’t help himself. Love you, honey! 


Wanting:  A new gun. This may seem very random, but I do have my very own Walther P22 and used to have my concealed weapons permit. Sadly, I let it lapse so I need to get it reinstated. However, at our last trip to the range a few weeks ago, I was reminded of the trouble I have shooting my gun with the magazine release where it is. So, I have my eye on a shiny new Sig Sauer P938-22 so I can have better accuracy and more confidence with my gun should I need it. 



Our recent fun at the gun range….


Needing:   This is always tough one to answer. I don’t really “need” anything. But if I had to pick one thing, I would say I need to wash my car. Badly. Anyone want to do it for me? 



What are you currently loving right now? Share! 

Bikes, bikes, and more bikes!

For the fourth year in a row now, hubby and I have donated bikes, along with the help of generous family and friends, for our beloved Jingle Bikes For Kids. Once again, we were up early to load the bikes and deliver them to the Toys For Tots toy drive at the Walmart in Oldsmar, as part of the Magic Toy Drive with Chadd & Kristi. This was their 15th year hosting the toy drive! 




This year we delivered 10 bikes and helmets. There will be 10 more happy children on Christmas Day when they receive their bike and helmet. One of the things I love about bikes, is that it gets kids outside and being active. But mostly, the love of donating bikes will always be thanks to my dad, who selflessly purchased a bike after overhearing parents tell their child they could not afford it. My dad, who loved Christmas endlessly, was a real-life Santa Claus that year for that family. And it is our goal, with the help of others, to continue what was one of many kind acts my dad did in his life. 






I’d like to thank the following for donating bikes this year….. We appreciate you all so much for helping us continue this annual tradition. The 8 bikes from you all, along with our 2, made up the 10 bikes we delivered.

  • Nancy DeTrapani 
  • Nick & Jenna DeTrapani
  • Darlene Manzo
  • Corinna Bellotte
  • Jeff  Wojtanowski
  • Cindy Balkema
  • Carey & Melissa Birch


I would love to have even more bikes next year to deliver. It’s never to early to start collecting them for 2016. Until then, here are some photos from this years delivery to Toys For Toys at the Magic Toy Drive. My mom and brother and sister-in-law joined us as well and it was a very special morning.
















If you have any questions about Jingle Bikes For Kids or is you are interested in donating a bike for Christmas 2016, please feel free to comment below or email me at crazylifeofmineblog at gmail dot com.

#GivingTuesday and Jingle Bikes For Kids

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, always on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, kicking off the charitable season. 


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I had the pleasure of joining the Tampa Bay Bloggers earlier today for a Twitter chat that focused on #GivingTuesday. It was a great hour-long discussion on different ways to give back to your community. Whether you donate your time, money, or products to the charity of your choice, you are helping someone and that is such a wonderful feeling. 

In 2012, my husband and I started Jingle Bikes For Kids, in honor of my dad who passed away in 2010. The thought behind it was based on something my dad did about 15 years ago. He was at Wal-Mart and saw Toys For Tots outside. He wanted to buy a toy and make a donation. While in the toy department, he overheard a little boy asking his parents for a bike and they said they could not get one that year. My dad, being the generous man that he was, did something wonderful. He offered to buy the bike for the parents to give to the little boy, and they accepted, very much overwhelmed by his generosity.




My husband and I purchase 2 bikes and helmets for children each November. If possible, we buy a third bike. Much of my family buys one as well, in addition to those of our friends who can. We deliver them to Toys For Tots and they are given to a child in need. The first year we did this, we went to the Toys For Tots warehouse and the amount of bikes there was amazing. It gave me such a warm feeling to know that our bunch of bikes being added to all they had would make so many children happy. And happy children makes for happy parents. I know that my dad would be so proud of what we doing each year all because of a small act of kindness he did that I have remembered every day since.






In it’s 4th year now, we have about 8 bikes so far to donate. Every bike counts and helps, so we are always looking for more to donate. If you are looking to do something today for #GivingTuesday or any day, and are interested in donating a bike to us, please let me know. You can comment on this post, or send me an email directly at crazylifeofmineblog at gmail dot com. Even if you are not local to us in the Tampa Bay area, you can still help. 


This year, we need all bikes in hand by Thursday December 10th so we can deliver them on December 11th to the Toys For Tots local drive. 


Giving back is a wonderful feeling. Despite challenges that we all face, we all have many things to be thankful for and to help someone else is incredible. No act of kindness or generosity is too small.