It’s Been Awhile!

Hey there blogland!  Holy cow it’s been awhile since I’ve wrote a blog post…about 7 months or so!  I guess I just got kind of burned out & wanted to try to step away from being on the computer so much.  I’ve also been trying to get some sort of focus on eating right, exercising (still having a hard time with this one) & maybe putting myself back out there after a 3yr. break to try to find myself a mister.

IMG_2382I have been pretty good about the eating right.  For the majority of the year I was doing Jenny Craig, but I just kind of his a plateau and would lose and gain the same few pounds.  So, I finally just nixed that a month or more ago…it was just kind of expensive and honestly, I was burnt out on the food because I’m a creature of habit and was eating the same select meals every week and it just got old.  So I’ve kind of switched things up on my own and been trying to eat more of a high protein/low carb diet and I’ve actually started losing again.  I was looking through pictures the other day from back in February of this year when my parents visited and I’ve actually lost about 25lbs since then.  I didn’t really notice a difference until seeing pics side by side.  Plus, I also ordered myself a few outfits and purposely ordered a size smaller than normal kind of as a goal to get into, but to my surprise the smaller size fit already.

I really need to get into the habit of exercising again.  I was doing really well for about a month and doing the treadmill everyday and getting in at least a couple miles.  Sometimes, I’d even jump on for a second go of it later on in the day if I was really bored.  The only reason that sidetracked me though was a pair of dress shoes that I wore for a weekend that tore the hell out of my feet, making it impossible to wear socks and tennis shoes because it was so painful and bandaids and tape didn’t stick to the backs of my heals to try to get any relief, so that left me to get out of my habit.  Now I just need dig down deep and find the motivation and desire to jump back in the game.  It is hard though…I’m the first to admit, I hate to exercise….at least at first.  I’ll get there eventually though.  At least I managed to get through Thanksgiving without too much of  a gain!

Lets, see….what else have I been up to??  Oh yes, I have been working on a three piece painting for a friend of mine that they commissioned me to design and paint.  It’s Star Wars themed, so of course this brought me great joy as I’m a Star Wars geek. I tell you…I have never in my life had such a fun time painting.  I was so excited with each phase, from coming up with rough sketches of possible layouts of the symbols to just getting the first coat of paint on the canvas!  I even did miniature magnets of the designs first to make sure they looked just right.  Hopefully, I’ll be getting some more magnets done and in my Etsy shop if you’re interested for a little Star Wars art for your refrigerator!  Promise they look pretty bad ass!  Each canvas for the large wall hanging I was working on was 12×36, so its 3ft x 3ft if you put them all together.  I’ve had a couple of the painting done for about a month or more now, but I was having trouble getting the 3rd piece drawn to scale.  It’s so much easier to draw tiny than on big scale for me.  But the other night, the creative bug hit about midnight and when it hits I have to jump on it, so I did some sketching…wasn’t happy…took a pen and when over the pencil sketch to try to make some corrections and finally got it to look just so and then I took my exacto knife and cut myself out the stencil, so I wouldn’t mess up the main canvas, as those suckers aren’t cheap.  Then a few hours later I was all done.  A little sad that they are done & might even be sad to see them go to a new home, but I’ll also be happy knowing my art work is hanging in someone else’s house and that they love it.

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IMG_2410I would be totally happy to duplicate these paintings again if anyone out there is interested.  Just shoot me an e-mail at thelittleblackraincloud@yahoo.com or visit my etsy shop and put in a request for a custom piece and we’ll get you going!

Beaches and Cream Soda Shop

IMG_1266If you’re looking for one of the best burgers in town or just hungry for some yummy dessert…Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is the place you’ll want to go!  Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, along side of Stormalong Bay.  It’s a short walk from The Boardwalk or if you happen to be at Epcot in the World Showcase area, you an take a quick walk or boat ride from the exit between France & the United Kingdom.

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is adorned in a pastel color palette .  It reminds me of the colors you see if you buy a bag of saltwater taffy.  You’ll definitely want to grab a seat early on in the day if you can, as it is a very small place.  It has three booths adorned with beach balls, a handful of white wrought iron tables & then you have a counter running along two wall with plenty of seating there as well.  Of course, there is a juke box right when you walk in as well.  They also have a few tables outside on the sidewalk overlooking Stormalong Bay, if you prefer to sit outside.  The tables are adorable and look like ice cream cones.

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The day I went with my parents, we were lucky and didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated at one of the tables inside.  We took awhile to look over the menu, but we were all hungry for a good burger, so that’s what we all ordered.  Honestly, it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had since moving to Florida.  If I wasn’t so hungry for a burger that day, they had the most amazing looking grilled cheese sandwich served along side a cup of tomato soup.  I’ll definitely be getting that next time!  They also have hotdogs, chili, & a few other sandwiches to choose from.

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When it was time for dessert, none of us were still that hungry, but it all looked so good as we see order after order of ice cream and shakes being delivered to other tables.  My dad loves a good Chocolate Malt, so that’s what he ordered.  Keep in mind, if you order one of the shakes/malts…they serve it up the old fashioned soda shop style way.  They fill up a big glass with the shake or malt and then give you the remainder of what is left in the tin cup it was made in, which is another big cups worth, so you may want to share!  As for my mom and I, we decided to split the strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries, which was topped with a huge scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a big ‘ol dollop of whipped cream with colored sprinkles.  It was delicious!

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So don’t forget about this little hidden secret next time you are out visiting The Boardwalk or lolly gagging around Epcot and you’re hungry for some tasty treats!  All of the prices are really reasonable too!  Oh, and if you or your family are big fans of ice cream, you may want to order up one of there most known for deserts….The Kitchen Sink!  If you’re able to tackle that beast…congratulations!  It is eight giant scoops of ice cream smothered in about every topping imaginable!

The Missing Paragraph

IMG_1372Happy Hump Day!  Luckily this week is going by pretty quickly, which is always fine by me…it just means we are that much closer to the weekend again!

As you know, I’ve had several blog posts published over this past week over at i.seekissimmee.com.  Unfortunately, they’ve taken it upon themselves to edit some of my posts, which doesn’t make me a happy camper because there edits make my article sound horrible…like something is missing.  It’s not as if they did an edit so it flowed well & didn’t sound like I left stuff out, as I like to be very detailed.  Well, if you read the “Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue” post, they decided to cut out the second paragraph, which is one of the most important parts of my post on the transportation getting to and from the location.  I know I was a bit nervous because I got several different answers when I was researching the options ourselves, so I wanted to make everyone else’s experience a little less worry-some by providing the information regarding the transportation from experiencing it first hand.  You can see the edited post here.   Below is the missing paragraph the way it was supposed to be published regarding the transportation to the show if you’d like it for your reference.

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue is held at the Pioneer Hall which is located at Ft. Wilderness Campgrounds.  After talking to several Disney staff at various different places & trying to get an idea of the best mode of transportation because I received different answers from all, we decided not to drive ourselves, but instead we took a bus from the Dolphin & Swan where we were staying directly to Magic Kingdom.  Once at Magic Kingdom, they had a ferry-boat that took us right to Ft. Wilderness.  Now since our dinner show was scheduled around 8:00pm, we wouldn’t be getting out until 10:00pm or so, in which the Magic Kingdom was closed, so we wouldn’t be able to go back the way we came.  No worries…after the show, they make sure to have about 4 or 5 buses & when you approach you just tell them which of the Disney hotels you are staying or if you’re going to Downtown Disney & they will direct you to the correct bus & get you back to where you need to go without a problem!  I honestly was a bit nervous not knowing how the buses worked, but take it from me…it’s worry free!

Well, I hope this additional bit of information was helpful to you if you are, in fact, planning to go to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue the next time you are on vacation at Disney or just in the Orlando area.  If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below, as I’m always willing to assist if I can!

May 2013 Blogging Challenge

I know I’ve been super bad and posting lately, although in all fairness…I have technically been writing up posts for i.seeKissimmee.com behind the scenes, but they just haven’t been official posted yet.  They did launch the start of my week of posts this past Friday.  Today, the first official post with a review in it has been posted, so make sure you head over to the website and read up on my post about The Boardwalk.

With that being said, if you’re having trouble posting lately, you may want to take the blogging challenge during the month of May, which I’ve posted below.  Click the link below to join in the challenge!  This blog hop is being hosted by The Blog Designers Network, Creative Girl Media & Delightfully Inspired.

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Yay for the Freakin’ Weekend!

Happy Friday, y’all!  This has been the slowest week ever, so I’m hoping this weekend goes nice and slow, as well, but we all know it won’t!  It’ll more than like go by super fast and Monday will be flying upon us like those crazy creepy flying baboons from the new Oz movie.  Oh well, it is what it is….happens every week like clockwork!

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If you’re interesting in entering a giveaway for one of my 8×8 “Moonlight Cherry Blossoms” paintings, make sure and head over to Simply Stephanie blog a.s.a.p.!  All you have to do is visit my Etsy shop “The Painted Palette” & take a look and then go and leave a comment on her blog, as to which painting you like.  Easy peasy!  The winner will be announce on Monday, May 6th, so you only have until this Sunday to enter.  Last I checked there were only 4 comments, so you have a pretty good chance, so go enter!

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Remember in my last post where I said that all of my posts I’ve written lately were in draft mode over on i.seekissimmee.com?  Well, if you head over there now, my first post has been published, so you’ll have about 10 more that will be published throughout the next week! Some of the posts you’ll see over there this week are for some pretty good places to eat, like Hawkers, Beaches & Cream, & Blue Bird Bake Shop.  You’ll also see my review of the musical dinner show the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, which is pretty spectacular, as well as things like the Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, shopping at The Loop & of course the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

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Other than that, not much else going on.  Been doodling a bit in my sketchbook & playing around with my logo character.  Tomorrow is my 1 month weigh in.  I’ve been trying my best to be a good girl and eat more veggies and smaller portion sizes.  My goal for the month was to hopefully be down -10lbs, so fingers crossed I can hit that in the morning.  As of week 3, I was down 7.7, so far, so we’ll see!  Well, until I post again…yak at ya y’all later & have a fabulous freakin’ weekend!!  

#SorryNotSorry

LittleRainCloudImageHELLOOOOO??  Anybody out there?  I’d say sorry I haven’t posted for awhile, but I’m not. I had just realized I was spending way to much time on my computer, iPhone, iPad & whatever other technology based gadget I could get my hands on!  So much so, I wasn’t getting out and doing anything on the weekends because by the time I walked away from my computer or whatever I was using, my weekends were gone, which left me not feeling so great because I wasted so much time.  Recently, I banned all electronics to my office area, so if I want to be on the computer, I have to go to that room if I want to look something up, rather than having it attached to me from the time I get home from work until I go to bed.  I’ve noticed it’s helped me mix things up a bit.  Now I’ll come home, make dinner and then sit down and enjoy it while I watch a random episode of something on the t.v.  Then I’ll head to the office to do a quick check of things online and then since I’m in my office where I have all my art supplies, I’m more prone to playing around with my paints and brushes vs. starring at the computer screen, which I already do Mon.-Fri. from 9-6.

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I’ve also been trying to work on a few sketches and come up with some new ideas of things to paint.  You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to come up with ideas, but sometimes it my mind is as blank as my canvas when it comes to new ideas.  Kinda of like writers block, I guess.  Any of you out there have any ideas of things to paint that you may be interested in if they were in my shop?  Feel free to throw out some ideas!  I’m always game for a new challenge!

I am pretty excited that I have had a couple of sales over in my etsy shop over the past couple of weeks! I think I screamed when I got my first actual sale & then a week later I had a request for a custom painting!  Made my week!  I’ve even had some other e-mails for possible requests in the future….LOVE!  I’m my own worst critic & you have no idea how thrilled it makes me feel when someone likes my work!

Besides disconnecting from technology a bit & painting, I’ve also been busy blogging believe it or not.  Where are these posts, you ask?  Well, currently they are all saved in draft mode & will be published over on i.seekissimmee.com sometime in the coming week.  You’ll see me under the “Who’s Next” section if you go over to the website now.  I did the same thing last year and enjoyed it so much, I signed up a year ago for another crack at being their guest blogger for a week.  I love writing up all those posts, but man am I glad I’ve got them all done and out of the way.

Anyways, I just thought I’d pop my head in for a bit & let you know I’m still alive!  Just been too busy getting messy playing with my paints lately & enjoying it!  Well, I will do my best to write a little more regularly, but I can’t make any promises!  Have a great weekend y’all!