Caffeinated Convo: Camp NaNo or Time for a Vaca?

Hey guys! Guess what time it is? You guessed it–Camp NaNoWriMo! With July 1 just around the corner, it’s time to prep for that once a year writing camping trip a la internet! The only question is: Are you joining me for camp, or is it time for you to take a vacation? 

If your answer is no, I totally understand! I hadn’t actually planned on doing NaNo camp this year, simply because I feel like my brain is going to explode (some days) and I was really looking forward to summer break. Buuut, then I got a great idea for (another) book and a friend invited me to join. So in, I am! I’m ready for meeting new cabin-mates, encouraging other writers, racing to win Word Wars, and meeting my word count goal! Woot!

What about you? Will you be writing with Camp Nano this year? Please leave a comment below if you are–I’d love to connect! And even if you aren’t, feel free to discuss what fun vacation plans you have coming up!

Happy camping, friends!

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Caffeinated Convo: Dogs vs. Cats

Yep! I went there!

Okay, okay. I know this is a heated topic. (No fighting, guys!!) But I had to throw it out there. Why you ask? One simple answer: We got a kitty this week! Eep! His name is Max and we love that he has no tail! *swoon* (Born that way, so I think that makes him part Manx?) He’s playful and cuddly and has already become a part of our family. Which brings us to the question of the week:

Are you a dog person or a cat person? 

Unfortunately, I’m going to mess things up and break the rules! The fact is, our family loves pets! All kinds of them. And although this kitty is our first in our new abode (we rented before, so we couldn’t have any) we already have plans to get a dog, a bunny and who knows what else? I even know a couple who own prairie dogs! They swear they’re just like a regular dog but smaller and more affectionate, like a cat. Hrmmm… Maybe down the road for us? But I honestly can’t say that we love dogs more than cats–we love them both! But I know some of you are hard-core, on one side or the other.

So, where do you fall? Do you choose the forever-friend of a dog? Or the furry-friend of a cat? Please start some convo below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on pets–and maybe even a suggestion of one more we can own???… *wink*

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Our beautiful baby boy!! ❤ 

Caffeinated Convo: Do you prefer the beach?

Summer.

It has finally arrived! Woo hoo! *cartwheel & flip* The kids are out of school (almost), vacations have been planned, and it’s time to break out the shorts and the tank tops! And with Memorial Day weekend just a few short days ago, beaches along both coasts were undoubtedly swarming with bodies.

Which leaves one final question. What about you? Do you prefer the beach? 

This question wouldn’t have passed my lips, sixteen years ago. My childhood consisted of spending at least one week each summer at the beach, memories packed full of sand, waves and sunburns. I mean, the beach is the beach, right? It’s fun, relaxing, and beautiful. Who couldn’t possibly like the beach? 

Well, I learned the answer to that question when I met my husband: He hates the beach. 

Whaaat? Yes, it’s true. And no, he’s not so miserly that he hates the beauty of the place. It’s more the sand-in-your-underwear, seagulls-that-eat-your-lunch, and skin-that-blisters-for-weeks-afterwards kind of problem. (He’s got that pasty white skin that never tans. Sorry, hon!) So, yeah. It took some time for me to get used to the fact that we wouldn’t be visiting the beach every summer for all of eternity! (At least he lets us go every other. *wink*)

So, what about you? Are you a beach person? Or is that a place you’d rather leave behind to vacation somewhere else? Please get some convo going! I’d love to hear what you think!

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P.S. That’s my husband on the right. There is hope for all. 😉 

 

Caffeinated Convo: Marvel or D.C.?

Yep! I went there!! But with the major motion picture Wonder Woman releasing in just over a week, the question had to be asked! Are you a Marvel or D.C. fan?

It’s no secret that these two universes have long fought for ultimate control over the geekdom that makes up the comicbook/superhero world.

While Marvel totes Stan Lee as their Commander-in-Chief, they lay claim to some of the most iconic heroes of all time: Black Widow, Spiderman, Captain America, Hulk, Thor and Wolverine, just to name a few. Heck they’ve got the entire Avengers, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and Fantastic Four crews to their credit.

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But D.C. has just as much superpower with their cast. I mean, who can deny Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and The Flash all have serious chops in the superhero world? Not to mention the Amazonian woman referenced above? And D.C. also has the Justice League, Suicide Squad and Watchmen, among other teams on their side.

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It’s clear that both of these geekdoms have bragging rights on all levels. But where does your alliance fall? For me, I prefer Marvel. Yes, it has everything to do with the fact that more Marvel movies have gotten it “right” compared to the D.C. films. And maybe this doesn’t make me a true geek, since I don’t read the comics. But it’s where I side, so that’s that.

What about you? Do you favor one universe over the other? Which one and why? Please share below so we can get chatting!! 

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Photo credit Unsplash Korney Violin

Caffeinated Convo: How do you stay active?

Confession time: I would love to be a runner. 

Weird, I know, but it’s true. I’ve got lots of friends who run 5K’s, train for marathons, or even lead the local chapter of their Girls on the Run group. Every time I see a picture on Facebook or hear one of them talk about their adventures on the trail, a little niggle in my heart says, Take me, too! Alas, running is not for me. I learned back in high school that I inherited my grandmother’s knees (Thanks, Gigi!), which basically means they were made weird and do weird things and cause weird pain when it shouldn’t and makes it hard to do things in general. Like run. And jump. And climb stairs. *sigh*

But enough with that pity party. I also learned long ago how important it is that I keep my legs and core strong, so I can do those normal things (like climbing stairs) without (too much) pain. So I found a workout program that works for me and I have figured out how to easily modify if it gets too high-impact. Les Mills has a series of programs that my gym back in PA offered. My most favorite is Body Flowyoga, tai chi, and pilates mix–that I would absolutely do every. single. day. in a perfect world. (Here’s praying for that perfect world!) Next I love, love, love Body Combata mixed martial arts cardio program. Yes, there are jumping jacks and jump kicks, but if it’s too much for my knees, a good old-fashioned squat always does the trick! Of all the exercise programs or just plain cardio machines I’ve done over the years, this program definitely gives me the best endurance overall. I used to do Body Pump-a weight lifting mix–but my shoulder took a turn for the worse a few years back (old age or just bad luck??) so I haven’t done it recently. But I hope to strengthen my shoulder back up so I can try it again, sometime this year. (As I’ve said every year since I stopped doing it. *blink*)

Anywho, what about you? How do you stay fit? Are you a hiker? Do you love BeachBody? Or are you going to make me jealous and say you’re a runner? (No worries!! I promise not to hate!) Please leave a comment below and share your favorite ways to stay active. Maybe you’ll inspire someone to try something new!!

Let’s get to talking, friends!

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Photo credit Unsplash by Marion Michele

Caffeinated Convo: What is Your Favorite Travel Music?

Finally! Another Caffeinated Convo! Did you miss me? *wink, wink* If you haven’t guessed, my family is still. homeless. *Sigh…* But, the good news is, we just got final approval yesterday for the loan on our house! As of May 5, I might–just might–be able to get back into my regular schedule! *crosses fingers and wishes on a star* Our family has been traveling all over the country, as we’ve been patiently (or not-so-patiently) awaiting the day we would move in to our new home. We’ve visited exciting destinations like: Tahlequah, Oklahoma (Capital of the Cherokee Nation!); Kannapolis, North Carolina (birthplace of Dale Earnhardt Sr.–and our new home! *cartwheel*); Camden, Delaware (neighbor to the Dover NASCAR track!); Yardley, Pennsylvania (home of my sister and a really good Starbucks!); and Lititz, Pennsylvania (our home-away-from-home, and where Wilbur Chocolate and Tomato Pie Cafe are located–enough said!) Aren’t you jealous you’re not on this road-trip with us? (Actually…don’t answer that. *winkie face*)

Sooo, all this traveling has included lots of music. Which brings me to this week’s question:

What is your favorite travel music? 

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Photo credit Unsplash by anja.

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Caffeinated Convo: What are your Sleeping Habits?

Over the past few weeks of travel I’ve slept in various locations–hotels, family guest rooms, the bedroom of a college student. Each time we’ve moved on I’ve had to be sure I grabbed all the essentials. But when it comes to essentials, sometimes they go beyond just a toothbrush and underwear, amiright? Essentials mean sleep! 

I’ve got a good friend who cannot sleep without a fan on. She literally has a fan in every bedroom of her house and she owns various sized fans specifically for travel. When I first met her, I thought she was the exception. I’d never met anyone who couldn’t sleep without a fan before. But over the years, I’ve found countless people just like her–all must have white noise to fall asleep. Which begs the question:

What are your sleeping habits?

Do you need white noise to fall asleep? Does your iPhone work overtime at night by playing sounds of the ocean or rainforest? Or maybe gentle music is just what you need to catch a bit of shut-eye?

For me, I must have the most completely complete silence on earth possible. Even the sound of a car driving down our street or a cat meowing by our window will certainly spell disaster for Mr. Sandman and me. (Luckily I don’t have a husband who snores!) Therefore, I’ve become good friends with earplugs over the years. Yes, they can be annoying at first, but once the vacuum of noise has been sucked away, my brain sort of sighs and does a few cartwheels, then settles in for a good night’s rest.

What about you? Do you need white noise to get through the night? Or are you able to fall asleep in any situation? I’d love to take a poll and see just how many white noise people there are verses people like me! Please leave a comment below, friends! 

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Photo credit Unsplash by Kalegin Michall

Caffeinated Convo: “Beauty and the Beast”–Original or New?

“Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Barely even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly….”

Oh, my heart! Love this song!!

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Okay! Who’s seen the new “Beauty and the Beast”? I was super psyched to take my girls (ages 15, 12 and 6) this past weekend and let me just say—that movie did not disappoint! Fantastically done! Woo! *cartwheel*

Which got me thinking…between the original Disney cartoon version and the newer live-action flick, which one do I like better? So, without further ado, I bring you this week’s Caffeinated Convo question!

Do you prefer the original cartoon “Beauty and the Beast” or the new Emma Watson caffeinated version?

As inclined as I am to choose the original—who doesn’t love a good cartoon?—I think I have to side with the new live-action film! Maybe it’s how incredibly spot-on Emma Watson got the character of Belle? Maybe it was how eloquently Dan Stevens portrayed the Beast? Possibly because the all-star cast literally knocked the Beast off his feet?! All I know is that I wanted to jump through that stinkin’ screen and start dancing and singing and become best friends with LaFou! Eee!

I will admit, as much as I love the Harry Potter movies, I was a little reserved before the movie began—How would I feel about Hermione playing such an iconic role? But then Emma walked on screen and started singing and…holy crow! The girl’s got lungs! I just LOVED her dramatic interpretation of the songs!! I literally teared up during the opening song. And, maybe it’s just me, but somehow I feel like this movie might mean more to those of us who were young when the original came out? (Okay, by young, I mean high school, but still….) But when that theme song played while the Beast and Belle danced around that ballroom—sorry. Total tears! So beautiful, people!! Ack!

So, what about you? Haven’t seen it yet? GO! NOW! Already gone and ready to see it a second time? (As my 12 YO has already done.) Then please join in the conversation! Which movie do you prefer, the old or the new? Or is there an even balance you’d like to strike between the two? Let’s talk, friends!

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Caffeinated Convo: What’s Your Favorite Road Trip Game?

Here we are! Another week, another convo. And before you ask, NO, this column hasn’t changed to Wednesday’s. But we lost internet connection almost a week ago and have been in the car for two straight days. (Insert fanny-fatigue here.) Hoping I can get things back on track by next week! *wink, wink*

Having said that, let’s get to this week’s question!

What’s your favorite road trip game?

Can you guess what inspired this question? (Ha!) Seventeen hours in a car encouraged quite a few game ideas to help pass the time. Our travels through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma wouldn’t have been the same without some fun! For our family, car-game-excitement means either the License Plate game or the Going on a Picnic game. The former is a good “long-haul” game, since we choose to combine the plates we see over the entire trip, and not just by the day. And the latter is challenging mentally and helps keep us all awake! (Which in turns helps keep the driver awake, right? Right.)

What about you? Do you have a favorite game you play on road trips? Have a different twist to an old favorite you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below and let’s talk!

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Photo credit Unsplash by Adrian

Caffeinated Convo: Summer or Winter?

Hey guys! Is it really Wednesday?? Ack! Sorry I’m a day late. We’ve had guests visiting from the east coast and I literally lots track of the days! But their time with us gave me the idea for today’s topic of conversation!

Summer or Winter. Which do you prefer? 

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My view from our pool here in Phoenix.

Here in Phoenix we’ve enjoyed a week of temperatures in the 90’s! Which, of course, means plenty of time spent hiking and by the pool. But my friends on the east coast just got hit with a nasty snow storm and are in the process of digging themselves out of all that white stuff! I know that when it comes to the summer/winter seasons, there remain strong alliances among most people. So I ask you, do you prefer the summer or the winter?

For myself, I’m definitely a summer kind of girl! I can’t get enough of the sun, beach, sand, swimming, anything-summer! I would take temperatures above 100 anytime over temps that fall below freezing. (Which is one reason we came to AZ. *wink, wink*) I don’t mind seeing snow while it falls and creates a pretty landscape. And I don’t even mind going out for a little fun building a snowman or joining a snowball fight. (Fifteen minutes tops for me, though!) But I’d gladly give up the rest of winter and the cold temperatures for year round summer, thankyouverymuch!

What about you? Please leave your comments below and let me know which season you prefer! Let’s chat!

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Photo credit Unsplash Korney Violin