Meet Yankee Bear, a former DVGRR Dog

Meet Yankee Bear, a former DVGRR Dog

Oh man. We are in love.  Like major love.  And I am going to tell you all about how it happened.

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In the “planning phases” of our relationship, Scott and I decided we NEEDED to add a Golden Retriever (puppy) to our beautifully blended and perfect family (as well as a baby girl that the boys are insisting upon, but that will happen in time).  He had grown up with a Golden named woody, and i myself am a huge dog lover/previous owner as well (never to a golden; that was a dream of mine). You know, it was that beginning time when you fantasize and imagine all dreams possible with your new partner.  But we were determined to make this a reality, with a bit more thinking and some good old fashioned common sense, we ended up with the MOST amazing puppy!

Yankee (previously known as Kylo) is a one year old Golden mix with a happy golden heart and not a mean bone in his adorable body. He has #allthewrinkles in all the right places and he feels like he was made for our family.  Yankee is from Puerto Rico and was displaced from his home with the disastrous hurricane.  We had not planned on adopting necessarily, but over the Christmas holiday at our family’s home with some discussion and contemplation, we thought it might be just the way to go. Let’s be honest; 3 young boys with many needs plus a new puppy that we have to house train and obedience train… sounds a bit more of a nightmare than that whole “fantasy thing.”  So, while I had a few minutes over the holidays, I began researching Golden Rescues in our area.  It was at that point that I locked eyes with this baby.

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I couldnt stop thinking of him. It might sound weird, but gazing into his eyes (longingly through my computer screen) I knew he was ours and i felt like I had known him forever. And it just kept getting better.  Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue is where I found this gem.  I was BEYOND impressed with their facilities and the sheer amount of information they are abke to provide about each dog.

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So, I immediately “inquired” (aka called 9000 times and emailed at least 300 times lol) about this dog, “Kylo.” The adoption manager, Zack, is amazing and got back to me within 24 hours (which made this lady, who cant handle delayed gratification, very happy). Ummm You guys…you aren’t going to believe this.  Kylo was rescued from the Puerto Rican hurricane!  The thing is, when the hurricane hit, I had concocted a massive plan to save a dog from there, but given the timing, with our nuptials, blending our family etc, it just wasn’t the right time.  But then this!! I literally could not believe it.  We HAD to have this dog.  And after reading his comprehensive behavior assessment, the deal was sealed.

We are so so impressed by DVGRR; their staff goes above and beyond and the care the dogs receive is top notch.  They were able to provide us with an extremely helpful behavioral obedience assessment which made it so easy to figure out whether Yankee would work for our family.  Literally every piece of information we received was the     G-d’s honest truth, and they make “no bones about it.”  The adoption team is dedicated to making a perfect match so to facilitate the success of the adoption.  The head adoption manager even brought his 2 year old son in to see how Yankee would react with him. So, without further ado, here are some pictures of our new baby boy!  I will post updates often!  We are in love.

#adoptdontshop

Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman- Honeymooners

Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman- Honeymooners

It truly could not have been better. It was more magical and beyond our wildest dreams. We have the Kimpton Seafire Resort to thank, and of course, some good old fashioned LOVE.

So, I plan to recap our honeymoon in a few posts because…well, It was THAT good :). We stayed in the premium oceanfront suite; the accommodations were magnificent and deserve its own post. So for now I will keep it general.

I initially chose the Kimpton because I prefer their style of hotel; modern, sleek, clean, as opposed to other classic styles like the 4 Seasons.  A huge draw was that the resort was less than a year old (gotta love a newbie) and situated on the gorgeous Seven Mile Beach, less than a 15 minute drive from the Grand Cayman airport.  It was a shot in the dark; I hadn’t researched reviews and didn’t have time for any more reconnaissance.  Boy were we lucky…it was simply perfect.

The Kimpton offers so many excellent amenities, including a top-of-the-line spa, two pools, expansive beach property accommodations, 3 restaurants (one beachside), excellent fitness facilities, an amazing kids club and more.  I will recap as much as I can, but you really need to go there to get #allthefeels 🙂

DINING:

While there, we dined at Ave…

Coccoloba…

Pool/beachside…

And, my favorite, in-room on our outdoor dining set/balcony.

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I know. He is super hot 😉

The food was so so fresh and we dined on many island specialties (tacos and fish) and a TON of fruit daily.  The only “restaurant” we did not try was “Avecita” which is a tapas-style version of Ave and is basically a small section of the main restaurant, so we didn’t feel like we were missing out, but we will try it for sure when we return.  ALL of the waitstaff (and staff in general) were so friendly and prompt.  We had such amazing dining experiences at Kimpton

SPA:

The Spa at the Kimpton is TRULY something special.

We saved our spa day for our last afternoon/full day on Grand Cayman.  We wanted to soak up as much of the beautiful sun as possible; it was 83 degrees and virtually cloud-less EVERY day, ALL day.  So we scheduled a couples massage for 2:45 and it was EVERYTHING we could have imagined and more.  Magic. Hands.  Scott and I agree that it was our best spa service ever. The spa itself was absolutely gorgeous and the amenities were simply fabulous.

The only regret I have is not spending more time there; I had scheduled a blow out for 4pm immediately following our massage because…island hair… which unfortunately didn’t leave us much relaxation time after.  However, an amazing thing about the Spa at KSF is that if you book a service you can come visit the spa and use its amenities any time during your stay!  Sadly, we left the next morning.  Otherwise I would have TOTALLY revisited.  It was impeccable, immaculate and everything amazing.  This was definitely on my top 5 spa experiences, for sure.

Ok! Next up, i chronicle the activities/water sports as well as our room! So. Much. Fun.

The Dress

The Dress

Hello!  I have been waiting to post about the wedding until we got some more of our photos back, but here is a little bit about…the dress!

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So.  It is interesting; being that it is our second marriage, I did initially want a more sleek silhouette (possibly mermaid, satin, little detail, sweetheart neckline, to be specific) of a dress when I first envisioned our wedding.  But then, as “our story” unrolled, I became drawn to a “princess dress” during a last-minute Valentine’s Date at The Wedding Factor!  Yes, that is correct; we picked the dress together…well, he picked it 😉

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An iPhone pic from the day we picked the dress

I am VERY smitten and CLEARLY do not believe in those superstitions of “him” not seeing “the dress” until the day of the wedding.  We did sleep together the night before, however, he did NOT see me prior to the ceremony…it was pretty special 🙂  Anyway, he picked it and in the end, I think that is pretty darn romantic.  It worked for us and I LOVED wearing it.  I felt…yes…like a princess <eyeroll> 🙂

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The dress is a Stella York.  I got it at The Wedding Factor on South Street (at 2nd Street) and would HIGHLY recommend them for all of your wedding dress needs.  Lucy in alterations is a SAINT as she took both my sister and I on at the second appointment 🙂  The first experience Scott and I had dress shopping left me quite unhappy; being told that it is “just a second wedding and that even Donald Trump has a price tag.” Yup. She ACTUALLY said that!  So, here is what I learned while shopping; ONE rule:  YOU DO YOU.  Literally; that is my ONE piece of advice! And actually; it works for pretty much every scenario!  Enjoy!

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Black Friday

Black Friday

Hey Everyone!  I have a few super “serious” posts coming up so I thought I would interrupt with some…shopping!  I am at home, cozy on the couch, missing my babies, so I thought I would distract myself by doing some online shopping.  And you KNOW I primarily shop Amazon, because I have a major issue with instant gratification 🙂  So, without further ado, here the top ten items I am currently lusting after for the holidays that can be purchased via Amazon.  Happy shopping!

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Picture Because…still love my bangs! Oh, also a bunch of people asked which dry shampoo I use. I SWEAR by Renee Furterer!  Do yourself a favor!  

Oh and EYE cream! (Cosmedix Elite Doctor High Potency Eye Treatment, 0.25 Ounce)!

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  1.  Instant Pot ($81.99, originally $129.95; 35% off!)- I have been wanting to buy one for MONTHS.  IT cooks EVERYTHING with ease, including rice, yogurt (?!) and much more.  They have a 3, 5 and 8 quart size to fit your needs.  Do you have one?!  Just bought it 🙂  Can’t miss a sale!
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  2. Tom’s Bootie (from $33)  – I know.. I am SO late to this rodeo, but I am FINALLY convinced that I will NOT fall over in these heels and that I WILL, in fact, be able to walk across a room.  Does anyone have these who can give me more reassurance?!  LOL. I am buying the Deia boot and might go for the Dessert ones as well. –  I have been DYING to try these for probably a year now, and Amazon has amazing prices!  Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 9.58.48 AM
  3. Mini Miracles hair drier and iron ($218)-  I saw a blogger post about these and she said that she ended up using them for daily use and I am obsessed.  I will admit, they are a BIT pricey, but soooo gorgeous and perfect for our upcoming honeymoon…Buying these today!  They are amazing for travel AND daily use. And..they are pretty darn cute.  My new bangs need you!Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 9.59.35 AM
  4. Barefoot Dreams Robe– OR ANYTHING Barefoot Dreams!  I bought myself my first Barefoot Dreams robe last year after lusting after it on Oprah’s Favorite things list.  I LOOOOVE it.  I neeeed a new one and anything else Barefoot dreams.  The textures are sooo soft and comfortable and cannot be beat for cozy loungewear.  The pieces are a bit expensive, but totally worth it. I wear my robe daily.  Literally the first thing I say out loud in the morning is “where is my roooobe” (then “where is my cooooffeeeee” LOL). I will be adding this heathered grey robe to my collection this year.   ($135)Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 10.05.57 AM
  5. Dyson Vacuum– UGH so boring, but a need is a need.  I had been debating between the Shark and the Dyson Animal V6 Cordless, and the prices on Amazon today sealed the deal for Dyson.  Today they are super cheap for Black Friday!
  6. 23 and Me DNA Kit ($99, half off from $199!)– I have been (side) eyeing this kit through many commercials and now ads on Amazon.  I *think I am ready to try it, but if anyone wants to be brave enough to give it an initial try first, I would LOVE to hear about it.  I mean, what if I am related to The Donald ?! 🙂Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 10.50.33 AM
  7. Tory Burch Cross Body Bag– I am ALL about the cross body bags. I have been having some MAJOR shoulder issues on the left side from a combination of factors, one being my tote carrying simply destroying my shoulders!  I have been eying these for a while too, and LOVE this one in particular.  It is a bit pricey ($324) but it is soooo unique and antique looking.  I LOVE it.  It also hold a TON of stuff…“10” tablet, a notebook, an agenda, a mini wallet, sunglasses and a fragrance rollerball * Saffiano leather with suede accents * Top zipper closure on center compartment * Concealed magnetic snap closure on front and back pocket. * Adjustable, removable cross-body strap with 22.9″ (57.5 cm) drop * 1 interior zipper pocket on back wall, 2 slit pockets, 2 open pockets * Protective leather feet * Height: 7.97″ (20 cm) * Length: 10.76″ (27 cm) * Depth: 3.59″ (9 cm)”Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 11.00.57 AM
  8. Canon Rebel DSLR Camera and Kit- In our most recent move, I totally lost my “good camera” and have been hounding people with my iphone camera since.  I need my old “good camera” so this one will suffice 🙂 It is a good deal on Amazon today and I am hoping pretty hard that Santa gets a clue 😉
  9. Ugg Dakota Slipper- These are NOT slippers. In fact, they are my everyday shoe 🙂 I have them in navy and overwear them to death. I NEED a black pair, and this year it seems as if UGG has added some cute detail such as pom poms and glitter!  Must. Have. Did I ever tell you about my UGG days at Nordstrom?  So, when I was a teacher, I supplemented my income and shoe habit with a part time job at Nordies KOP in the shoe department.  Needless to say, I took my job VERY seriously and was top shoe dog each week.  HOWEVER, I was also top shoe buyer and my paychecks barely made it home 😉 It was the day of the UGG, when they premiered and there were waiting lists for even the basic short bootie.  Well, this smart Nordie employee (*still remember my employee number!) used to wait by the trucks and snag everything she wanted (in a size 7; they used to be cut quite large) and the rest is history. History as in, one winter I had a family of moths reside in my closet and attack each and every last ugg.  UGH!  Point is, time for a new pair of Dakota slippers…in Black!
  10. Mevolic Makeup Brush cleaner- So, I’ve seen this product tested on air while watching THREE separate shows (I know, get a life…lol).  I finally had to try it.  For me, it was the instant DRYing of the brushes that lured me in. Does anyone have this and have a review?!  Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 11.54.00 AM

Ok!  Well, this sure was fun!  PLEASE add ones of your own!

The SAHM

The SAHM

It all started with a baby. Who wouldn’t take a bottle. And a mama who was hell-bent on breastfeeding but just as focused on her career. Prior to the creation of this little miracle, that mama had earned her undergraduate degree from a State School, and then her Masters from an Ivy League One. She wrote a thesis, taught a decade’s worth of elementary school classes and was an adjunct professor in the evening. But he wouldn’t take a bottle and her partner was 100% supportive. The school would hold her place for the year. And another. Until a second little one came. And surprisingly, he also was not a fan of the bottle either. But at that point, it didn’t matter. The decision had been made long before that and soon after she first laid eyes on her First. It could wait. Anything could wait.

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First day home.

Months become years and years seem like months. It has now been almost 5 and a half; 64 months to be exact. And then there were the playgroups. And the classes; and now, the freedom and ability to be a room parent, take the kids on special excursions, go on field trips, and be an active part of others’ villages.

And some days there is sadness. Negativity. A feeling that you cant do it all, even though you are supposed to be doing it all. But mostly it is a feeling of gratefulness, of blessings, and knowing I will never get this time back. And I am so ok with it.

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One of my favorite pics the boys snapped of me on one of our special excursions!

That was the story of how I became a Stay-At-Home Mom. Stay tuned for more details on my feelings about it, hacks and more!