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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Home Owner Adventures: Adirondack Update

Sanding in the garage 
So I have been working on the Adirondack chairs for a couple weeks now. Last week it had been raining a lot when I came home from school so I was not able to work on them. I decided to bring the pieces of the one chair into the garage to store them and set up a tarp in the dining room for me to start priming the finished pieces on.
The other bolt.....

In the garage I have been finishing sanding the pieces down, first with the coarse and then the fine sand paper to keep it smooth and fix some of the areas that have been worn. Most of the areas have been doing well, but there are these two bolts from the arms that just won't come out!! A friend from work suggested spraying the nuts with WD-40 and after 3 days of wrestling with it, I got one to come off. Still working on the second one.....

Stupid broken screw.....
My other issue has been a broken screw. The head was broken off when I received the chairs and nothing is working to get it to move. I have tried a couple different sets of pliers and tomorrow I am going to try vice grips. I really hope this will work!! If you have any other ideas for me, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below with ideas.

Overall I am very happy with the way the project is going. I have gotten a large amount of the chair done and I am hoping to have the paint purchased this weekend and maybe get one chair finished! Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Upcoming Adventures: A Taste of St. Augustine

Headed back to my favorite town!
So I was reading the travel section of the paper on Sunday and saw one of my favorite locations being highlighted this week; St. Augustine! This upcoming Saturday, St Augustine's Amphitheater will be home to the 19th Annual Taste of St. Augustine. I was so excited to check it out, so naturally, I googled it.

The first link was's page on the event. It is going to be a 6 hour event, from 11 am until 5 pm and will feature some of the noted restaurants from the area, including The RainTree, San Sebastian Winery and Scarlett O'hara's. There are also discounts available at local attractions for people who attend! See the full link with pictures here.

As I checked Google, I also found a traveler's best friend: Groupon! There is a groupon for the event, getting you discount tickets for groups of 2 or 4 people. Follow this link to the groupon to purchase yours today!

Being a huge fan of St. Augustine, I am super excited to be visiting this outdoor festival on Saturday! Follow my Twitter and Instagram for my adventures there this weekend and let me know if you plan on being there as well!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Home Owner Adventures: The Adirondack Project

New chairs :)
As the outdoors begin growing things and it has gotten less cold outside (yes, I am already acclimated to the weather here!), I have begun venturing outside to make my backyard a fun place to be. My parents have gotten me some lovely patio furniture that I have been working on putting together and will have finished this weekend.

A friend of mine from work who is working on moving has been getting rid of things that will not fit in her new home and gave me a set of lovely Adirondack chairs. As you can see, they need a little TLC. Nothing I can't handle though! Now, as I say that, this is the first time I have done a project like this.
Safety first!

So far, I have wiped the dirt off the chairs and taken one chair apart almost completely.  I have a couple of bolts that seem to be stripped and will have to find new ones. Once the pieces were separated, I began sanding each individual piece to strip the paint and mold. So far, they are coming pretty clean. I did buy new screws for the pieces of wood that will not rust, a type of decking screw.
Top planks sanded

What I have learned so far from this project:

  • My elbow can handle only so much sanding a day. 
  • Hand Sanders are very difficult to use, especially when the piece of sandpaper keeps coming out from its little tab that is holding it in. 
  • Take out more than one bolt to see if they are threaded into the wood or not. Just because it was hard to get one out does not mean that they are threaded.
  • It is really hard to find metric bolts
Stay tuned for the finished product over the next couple weeks. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Break in the Adventure: Fort Myers

I am sitting in the hotel room as Mike works on finishing some homework and thought I would update you on our excursions through Fort Myers! 

So far, we have visited the summer homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, which were absolutely gorgeous! We went from there to the Southwest Florida Museum of History, which has a great Civil War exhibit. We at lunch as The Oasis restaurant, a local diner. Food wasn't to bad there and you could tell it was popular with the locals. Saw some manatees in a park after that, which were so great! I just love manatees! We had a chocolate shop on the list next, but we took a pit stop at a brewery I found on twitter, Fort Myers Brewing company, on twitter at @fmbrew. Got a couple good beers there and picked up a gallon growler for later. We then stopped by Norman Love Chocolate and got some truffles, which look and taste amazing!!! They also had a gelato shop, so why not get some of that.

What's next? An evening at Fort Myers Beach! 

For more up to date info on our travels, follow me on twitter! I am @lady_aurora 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Zoot Suit Riots: That Existed?!

Ok, so I am a history dork and proud of it. Since I got cable (for the first time in over 2 years), I have been enjoying my Military History and History channels. I have watched specials on Sherman's March and Spartans and a Civil War POW camp. While I think all of those are really cool, one thing that stood out to me was on a show called "10 Things You Don't Know: Civil Rights".

One of the 10 things on this show was about something called a Zoot Suit. If you do not know what it is, it is a oversized, multi pieced suit that could be pin striped or very vibrant colors. The outfit also usually included a tie, chain from the belt area and an oversized had, sometimes with a feather.  Some people today may even refer to it as a "Pimp Suit".

This suit was popular during the time of World War 2 and was worn by many different types of people. In the Southern California region, it was seen on a lot of different minorities and became associated with them.

None of this was a problem until some of the first soldiers from the war started coming into that area on their military leaves. The WW2 soldiers were from all areas of the United States, including the south, where suits such as this were not very common. This suit, seen on African-Americans and Hispanics, was seen as wrong to these southern soldiers, along with the intermingling of different minorities in clubs and dance halls.

These soldiers decided they needed to take the "problem" into their own hands and thus began the Zoot Suit Riots. Soldiers would find men dressed this way, usually Hispanic men, beat and strip him of his suit and deface or burn it in front of him. This lasted for a few weeks in Southern California but as the news spread, riots began cropping up in other cities across America, including Philadelphia, New York and Detroit.

It was later determined that these riots were not really about the suit so much as more of a racial issue. Why it took them so long to come to that conclusion, I will never understand, seems kind of obvious to me.

Why was I so interested in this random tid bit of history? Only because of one of my other passions; Music! A group called Cherry Poppin' Daddies (yes, that is their name) made a very catchy swing song called Zoot Suit Riot. I love the song and have known it for a very long time, however I had no idea it has such a historical content until I saw that show the other day!

Here's the beginning lyrics of the song:

Who's that whisperin' in the trees?
It's two sailors and they're on leave
Pipes and chains and swingin' hands
Who's your daddy? Yes I am

Fat cat came to play
Now he can't run fast enough
You'd best stay away
When the pushers come to shove

Zoot suit riot

throw back a bottle of beer
Zoot suit riot

Pull a comb through your coal black hair


Seriously, go listen to the song, it is awesome!!! And click on the links in the article to read more information on the historical event and the song.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Officially a Floridian!

It is now official! As of Friday, I am a full, 100% Floridian! I have lived here for 2 and a half years and for a majority of that time, I have had a FL drivers license, however my car has always had Delaware tags. That all changed on Friday with my visit to the DMV.

For those who are registering a car in FL, here are some tips:

- It does cost about $400 to register, make sure to have that with you. Also, plan on paying in cash or a personal check, those don't cost any fees, unlike credit cards which have 2% added.

- You will have to register every year, however after the first year, you can do it online. It will expire on your birthday each year.

- Make sure you have your proof of FL car insurance with you, you cannot register without it.

- If the car is older than 10 years (like my Wheels), you do not need the VIN and Odometer verification paperwork. If your odometer reading is good for the car's age though, it doesn't hurt to put in on the title.

If you are getting your license done also, don't forget to bring two proofs of your current address. I had almost forgot mine!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Adventure Stays: Days Inn at St. Augustine

To preface this, when Mike and I are looking for hotels for our weekend trips, we are looking for cheap places to pass out after a day of exploring. We would much rather put our money towards experiences in the area and food than towards a fancy place we sleep in. That is not to say we want a junky place either. We basically look for clean hotels with a bed to sleep in and a shower in a decent location for our adventures.

The Days Inn in St. Augustine, while not the most beautiful place, checks off our must haves. We have stayed there on both of our trips and it works for us. It is an easy 10 minute walk from the major attractions and St. George Street. It has beds that have always been clean and provide all the very basic amenities. For food, there is a 24 hour Denny's at the hotel and several other food choices within minutes.

For a more detailed report, see my TripAdvisor Review and continue to look for more information coming soon regarding St. Augustine food and fun.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Save for the Disney Adventure!

For my vacations, I am slowly learning to be spontaneous. Living in the moment, researching what there is to do when we get there. That is not my background though. I come from a family of planners; the vacationers with the spreadsheets and days mapped out to the minute. 

From my two different types of vacationing, I have learned that regardless of how you plan for the time you spend there, you have to prepare in advance for the money you may spend. Calculating the average for transportation, accommodation, tickets, food and souvenirs just so you can have an idea of what you will need. 

Image Copyright DisneyVacationAccount.Disney.Go.Com
This concept has gotten a lot easier when planning for a Disney vacation with the Disney Vacation Account. When you have a Disney vacation coming up, you can use this site to approximate how much you may need for that stay and then see how much you will need to save each week to get to your goal. Once you have set up your vacation details, you can attach a debit or credit card and set up a savings plan that will take out as little or as much money as you want on scheduled times to help you save!

When you have saved some money up and you want to make a payment, you can do that automatically by using your account number as a gift card number. This can be done over the phone also if that is more convenient. 

These accounts can be used for a Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani or Adventures by Disney vacation. 

There are incentives for using this savings program as well, including gift cards after spending so much towards your vacation. 

Decide to use your "Disneyland" account savings for a "Disney Cruise Line" vacation instead? Not a problem, it is your money to use as you wish, this is just a place to store it while you save. 

An emergency comes up and you need to withdraw that money you were saving for something else? Absolutely! Just contact them and they can set that up for you right away. 

For more details about the program, click here and to sign up for a Free account of your own, go to

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, New Adventures!

Hurray for 2015!! My few week hiatus was for good cause, as I have adventures to tell of and hopefully more planned on the way! Delaware, Walt Disney World, Sea World, St. Augustine were all seen during my trip. I am excited to share the details with you and look forward to sharing not only my travels but my house and life adventures with you!

What is on the plate for me this month? Well besides report cards and Catholic Schools Week at school (gotta plan a lovely prayer service for that), I get to finally register my Wheels (aka my 2002 Ford Escape) as a Florida car! Yes, I have been driving around with a Delaware tag for the last 2 years, but that will all change soon enough! This month, I also get to experience the wonder of HOA fees, cleaning and saying goodbye to my first (and hopefully only) apartment, visiting new doctors, changing banks and starting a new IRA.

Sometimes, being adult is no fun.....I think I am going to go color now and watch a Disney movie.....catch you guys later......