Friday, June 28, 2013

3 Golden Sisters

The other night I came across one of the most entertaining television shows I've ever seen! I don't know how I hadn't heard of it before, but it's pure genius. It's called 3 Golden Sisters. I barely remember Golden Girls, but I imagine this is basically the reality show version of Golden Girls, but with even more pizzazz!
As the title suggests, the show follows three sisters in their 70s and 80s, Mary, Terry and Josie. Now, before you tune me out and think that this show is all nursing homes and walkers, listen up... it's the complete opposite! These ladies are hilarious and make a 20-something's life look boring! 

The sisters were discovered on the internet and have had a lot of support from Oprah. In fact, the show airs on the OWN network at 9 p.m. EST on Saturdays. These spirited ladies have strong opinions on lots of things, and they don't mind voicing them! They're often arguing with each other one minute, and then acting like best friends the next. 
In the first episode I saw, I got a kick out of the sisters trying on clothes to wear to a concert they were going to. Mary stepped out of the dressing room, and after much criticism from her sisters, she decided that their opinions didn't matter because she was "going to stop traffic" in her outfit! In another episode, the ladies went to a vineyard and sampled a little too much, to the point that they had to be driven to a hotel by a taxi! They're also up on the latest technology and even tweet! (Follow them @3GoldenSisters.) 
The sisters live in California, but make no mistake, their accents from growing up in the Bronx have not left them! That's part of what adds to the humor of the show! I promise you'll enjoy every minute of watching these crazy ladies! 

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Congratulations, Nik Wallenda!

I hope everyone had a chance to watch Nik Wallenda’s amazing tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday night! If you didn’t see it live, get on YouTube and watch it now!! I’m telling you, it will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and it’ll probably raise your blood pressure, too. In fact, I think mine is still coming back down. Keep in mind that Nik did this walk without a harness or safety net.


I have to say that the 24 minutes it took him to cross were probably the most intense (and longest) moments of my life! I was on the edge of my seat and praying right along with him! As soon as he walked onto the rope and said it was dusty, I knew that wasn’t good. He didn’t seem to be the same calm, cool and collected guy I saw last week, and that worried me. After about the first three minutes, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep watching, but I held out and made it! And I’m so glad I did!

Nik really is an inspiration and uses his talents to share his testimony. He is such a positive reminder that anyone can accomplish anything… you just can’t give up! Nik represented Sarasota, Florida in the best possible way, and I’m so excited for him to return home! He will kick off a boat parade in Sarasota in July 5, and I’ll definitely be there for all the festivities! 

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Concert

Saturday night I had the opportunity to see Brad Paisley in concert. I don't go to concerts very often anymore. I'm lucky if I make it to one per year, but I used to go ALL the time. Probably too much. I think I got spoiled from seeing a lot of artists in smaller venues, and now it's just not as much fun when you're in a huge amphitheater and can't get as close. But I couldn't pass up a $20 ticket through Groupon!

So I headed up to Tampa Saturday afternoon to meet my friend and have dinner first. As we were leaving the restaurant, it started to downpour! We waited for a while, but then it got to the point that we were going to miss the concert if we waited around much longer. Plus, it didn't look like the rain was going anywhere. So we made a mad dash for the car and got completely drenched! The rain was coming down sideways and got in my contacts to the point that it felt like I was blinking back chlorine! 
On the way to the outdoor (yes, outdoor) venue, the rain slowed down some, but by the time we parked and started walking in, it was picking up again! It takes 10-15 minutes to walk to your seats from the parking lot, so needless to say, we looked like wet rats by the time we got there. I figured once we got to our seats, we'd be fine because they were under the cover. But no, the rain was blowing in and coming down right on top of us for about the first half hour. Once it stopped, the show was really great, though!
I especially enjoyed seeing Brad's opening act, Chris Young, because my mom and I had the opportunity to have dinner with him after winning a Mother's Day contest a few years ago. 
All in all, it was a fun night, but maybe summer in Florida isn't the best time to do an outdoor concert!
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nik Wallenda: King of the High Wire

On Tuesday and Wednesday after work, I had the opportunity to go watch Nik Wallenda practice before his walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday. For those who aren't familiar with Nik, he is the King of the High Wire. Last June, he walked across Niagara Falls. ABC made him wear a harness, although he didn't want to. But this time, his Grand Canyon walk will be broadcast live by the Discovery Channel, and even though I'm not totally ok with it, they are fine with him not wearing a harness! So, it will just be Nik, the wire and the Canyon.

Here are a couple neat things about Nik. He is a hometown guy. He's from Sarasota, Florida! I love that we have such a great down-to-earth and talented guy right in this area! He's also a family man. Nik has been married to his beautiful wife Erendira, for 14 years and they have 3 kids. He has a great testimony, too. At his practices, there was merchandise for sale, and since his book was just released on June 4, I bought it and had him sign it. I wanted to read it anyway because it's such an inspirational and encouraging book. Nik is a Christian and his life motto is "Never Give Up." I love that!

At the practices, which were held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Nik walked back and forth on the high wire once, and then sat on the wire to answer questions from the audience.

Then, he moved to a tent where he signed autographs and took pictures. I have to say that this was one of the best events I've ever been to. Nik's crew is awesome! They're all so nice and really knew what they were doing. The reason I went two nights in a row was because I decided that I should've gotten a book for my brother for his birthday, but I might have also had a little crush on Joe, one of Nik's crew members! ;) Joe was pretty busy tonight, so I didn't get to chat with him for very long, but if anyone knows how to help me get in touch with him, please let me know!! I actually have a funny story, too... on Wednesday night I told Nik that I was back again because I wanted to get a book for my brother for his birthday, and one of Nik's people overhead me and yelled out, "Yeah, sure! I bet that's not the only reason you're back again!" He winked and laughed, so maybe he got the feeling that I kinda liked Joe, too!!!
Anyway, Nik and his family are all very sincere and genuinely good people. I wish him the very best on his next adventure, and will most certainly be praying for his safety. Be sure to watch him this Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on the Discovery Channel. You will not want to miss this amazing guy!!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day 2013

I had a really fun weekend, so I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peek of what I did. On Sunday, I spent the day with my dad for Father's Day. We took him to see a local band play at a restaurant on the water, and it was so much fun! The band playing was actually one we knew quite well, but we'd never seen them play before. My mom's friend's husband is the band leader, and since it was Father's Day, his daughter came to sing with him, too. The Jimmy Keith Band really kept up entertained for 3 whole hours while we relaxed on the water and had lunch. My parents brought along some friends, too. This isn't our best picture, but we're having fun!

We got to sit right up front, and they played lots and lots of familiar cover songs. They mainly play country music, but also did some 80's rock and other popular tunes.

Jimmy's daughter, Ellie, is in another band, but it was so neat to see her sing with her dad's band on Father's Day. Ellie is a sweetheart and she and her husband own one of my favorite restaurants, Station 400. She's also super talented! For the first time, Ellie sang Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart." She really had some energy, too! Here is a short video of her performance. 

After the band finished, we went back to my parents' house to get ready to cook dinner for my dad. I baked a yummy Hawaiian cake, thanks to Mix and Match Mama's post yesterday morning with the delicious recipe!

This cake took me right back to my Hawaiian vacation! All in all, it was a great day, and I think my dad really enjoyed doing something different. Even though it was hot, we had a breeze from the water, and the entertainment was so good that we didn't really notice! I enjoyed spending the day with my family, and am especially thankful for such a loving and wonderful dad!

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Singles Day

It's Singles Day again over at Kelly's Korner! I created a blog post about this a few months ago, but I felt like it needed to be updated and revamped, so I decided to make a new post instead. Singles Day is an opportunity to meet other single people through blog posts. I think it's a genius idea! So... here's a little bit about me.

I'm a 28-year-old Christian girl from Florida. I've lived in Florida my whole life, but I'm not opposed to moving somewhere else whenever I find my true love! It's important to me to date a Christian guy because God is such an important part of my life. I was raised going to church every Sunday, and I attended a Christian school up until high school. Other qualities I'm looking for in a guy include someone who is ambitious and wants similar things out of life, someone who is caring, genuine, fun, and loving!

As for me, I enjoy cooking, going to concerts, traveling, being outdoors, and just hanging out with good company over some delicious food or a cup of coffee. I'm a sucker for reality tv, but I also enjoy a good baseball game (going to one is so much better than watching on tv)! I work in marketing/communications and earned my MBA in 2008. I love kids and definitely want some of my own one day. My dream is to be a great wife and mom. If you want to know anything else, please just ask! I love meeting new people! Scroll down for pictures, and check out my previous Singles Day blog post here. It includes info about my single brother, too!

In NYC at Battery Park

At Pearl Harbor on my recent trip to Hawaii

Vacation in Hawaii: Days 2 and 3

The second day of my vacation was pretty intense. I didn't expect it to be, though. I thought we had all the difficult hiking out of the way, but boy was I ever wrong! What was supposed to be a nice, easy hike up to Moana Falls turned out to be the muddiest experience I've ever had. Because of the mud, it was super slippery, and I basically thought I was going to die. I was so scared that if I fell, I'd go straight down the cliff! Honestly, that's probably what would happen because the trail was really narrow, and there wasn't much to grab if you slipped. Here I am about to embark on a pretty messy and dangerous adventure!

One positive thing about it being super wet was that the waterfall at the top of the trail was so much bigger and more powerful due to all the rain. And, I'm pretty sure this was my first time in a real rain forest!! It was so beautiful!

The waterfall was just so neat to see, and it was well worth the hike! But of course, once I got up there, I was so scared to come back down!

On the way up, we kept passing people who had taken their shoes off because it was so muddy! So I could only imagine that going down wasn't going to be a simple task. Surprisingly, I made it without slipping, though, but my shoes were completely covered in mud!! Thankfully, there was a hose at the bottom where we sprayed our shoes off. 

After the hike, we grabbed lunch at a place called Big City Diner. I ordered kimchee fried rice and really enjoyed it! I had to ask the waitress what kimchee was before I ordered it! She explained that it's a Japanese food...a spicy cabbage that's been marinated. She said that other veggies are sometimes used, too. She even let me taste some! I really liked it, and especially enjoyed it in the fried rice.

After lunch, we hung out at a beach for a little while, and then went to a little store where they sold macadamia nuts. The next day, Sunday, was jam packed! We got a little lost on the way, which took some extra time, but finally made it to Pearl Harbor! It was such an emotional sight to see. 

After visiting Pearl Harbor, we headed to the North Shore for lunch, and then to check out a place where coffee and cocoa beans were produced. We sampled the coffee, bought some chocolate, and the we were on our way to the beach! We hung out at the beach where the show, Lost, was filmed, which was pretty cool!! It really did look deserted there, and you could even drive to the point where the road just ended!! You couldn't go any further, or I guess you'd end up in the water!
Mokuleia Beach, where Lost was filmed
Civilization stops here
We stayed at the beach until the parking lot closed and the sun was starting to set, and then we headed back to the hotel at Waikiki to get cleaned up for dinner. 

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vacation in Hawaii: Day 1 Continued

The end of our first day in Hawaii concluded with something I had really been looking forward to... the luau! We went to Chief's Luau and it was so much fun!! Before our trip, I spent hours researching luaus! Just when I thought I found the best one, I'd start to read some negative reviews and change my mind. Eventually, I came across Chief's Luau, which isn't as "touristy" and had nothing but stellar reviews! Chief Sielu does a great job of making each and every guest feel welcome, and the setting is one of the most beautiful places on the island. Another cool little tidbit: Last year, Chief Sielu appeared on the season finale of The Amazing Race!

When we arrived at the luau, we were greeted with some shell leis (those who paid more received traditional flower leis, but I didn't see the point of spending more). Here is my brother really excited about the luau! Ok, maybe he thought the girls were pretty nice, too!

Before the festivities officially began, you could walk around and watch headband weaving and hula lessons. Then came the imu ceremony. This was when the roasted pig was raised from the ground. As a disclaimer, I thought this was totally going to gross me out, especially as a vegetarian, and not wanting to have that image stamped in my mind right before dinner. But it really wasn't too bad. 

I'll spare you the photo of the actual pig! If you really want to see it, just ask and I will deliver! 

After the imu ceremony, tables were dismissed one by one to go to the buffet. The food selection was pretty decent. Here is my plate!

Let me explain what I ate. I had a yummy salad with a ginger dressing, fresh fruit, rice, stir fry veggies, purple sweet potatoes, a taro roll (it was purple inside and slightly sweet), and then there was that stuff in the middle... poi! Poi is a traditional Hawaiian food made from fermented taro root. It has a pudding-like texture, but in my opinion it didn't have much taste. I didn't think it was terrible, but apparently it is an acquired taste. On the other hand, my brother thought it tasted like metal!

After dinner came the spectacular show! There were hula dancers, fire dancers, and everything in between! 

I even got pulled on stage at one point! The guys started walking through the audience, and I felt for sure I would get picked because the way my chair was positioned, I was sticking out like a sore thumb! Typically, I would never want to get on stage! I saw a couple girls shake their heads no when they were approached, and I figured I'd just do the same. But then I started thinking about it, and it really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so why not have some fun?! Sure enough, I was pulled up there, and it was actually really fun! Basically, we all got asked a question that we had to answer with the mic, and then we were taught a simple dance. Here are a couple pictures of me being a fool! (I'm in the bright pink shorts and neon green tee.) I'm pretty sure I was the ONLY one on stage in shorts. I definitely wasn't prepared for dancing!

The show was so entertaining! I couldn't believe how quickly 4 hours passed! At the end, they had everyone form a huge circle and hold hands, and they sang a song about how they'd "never forget us." It was cheesy, yes, but also SO fun! I wondered if the luau would be a little tacky, but this one wasn't. It was everything you expect when you go to Hawaii! More of my vacation adventures to come...

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vacation in Hawaii: Day 1

Last week I returned from a wonderful vacation in Hawaii with my brother. Hawaii was never a place I thought I'd want to visit, mainly because I'm from Florida, and I figured it would be pretty similar. But boy, was I wrong! 

Now, I must admit that when we landed in Honolulu late at night and started driving through the city to get to the hotel, I wasn't totally impressed. Of course, it was dark. But it looked like any other typical big city. Since it was so late and I was exhausted from so much traveling, the adventures didn't begin until the next day, Friday.

After breakfast at the hotel, we walked down to Waikiki Beach to check out the views. It was so pretty seeing Diamond Head (mountain) off in the distance. When my brother told me we were going to hike it later that day, I think I had a slight panic attack. I'm not a fan of heights, but I figured I'd check it out. Before I get too involved, let me preface by saying that my brother had been to Oahu before and done most of the things we did on this trip. He's also bee to the Big Island.

Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the distance
So, back to day 1... after walking Waikiki Beach we took off to see the Halona Blowhole, a couple other beaches, and then we hiked up to Makapu'u Lighthouse. 
Halona Blowhole

Hiking up to Makapu'u Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

That was all good and well, but then we ate lunch and trekked it over to Diamond Head. The hike started out on a paved trail, but that didn't last for long. It became more challenging, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. 
Hiking up to Diamond Head
Then we came upon this huge staircase. I thought for sure that once I made it up those stairs, I'd be at the top!! But after a lot of huffing and puffing and a little reluctance about going higher and trying not to look down and psych myself out... I got to the top of the stairs only to realize that there were 3 more stories of winding metal staircases!! Now, these were the type of stairs that you could see the ground through as you climb up them. I don't do well with those kind of stairs. So, I told my brother to go ahead without me. I was just afraid my eyes would play tricks on me, and I didn't want to risk the chance of falling down winding, metal stairs. I waited for my brother and then we made our way back down. 
The huge staircase near the top of Diamond Head
After the hike, we went back to the hotel to clean up and get ready for the luau! Stay tuned for more on that... I may or may not have been pulled up on stage! ;)
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