Traveling Nana

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Those Virginia hills

Monday evening I decided to travel to Virginia to see my first and only Grandson who turns one the 27th. First off this Nana will travel anywhere for her grandbaby, however I did learn that traveling across three states alone is very exhausting and boring. I may be a traveling Nana but from now on I prefer to travel with someone. I have learned many things through my past few years of traveling and as you can tell I’m still learning. LOL

Do you also like to travel? Do you have family in the military that you would drive anywhere to visit? Well if any of this is true for you like it is for me then there are a few things you should always keep in mind while driving for hours. My number one tip is to ALWAYS and I do mean always prepare for the unexpected. I know you are probably thinking how do I do that and isn’t that why it’s unexpected!? Well what I mean is prepare for several situations. Is it during the cold months, if so keep a blanket and a change of clothes in your vehicle. Could you potential really get stuck in traffic for hours…make sure to keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. Gonna be traveling at night…keep a flashlight in your vehicle. And for me this one is very important…always carry some sort of weapon or self protection item with you when traveling alone, cause well you never know.

Look out right on the side of the highway on the way to Virginia

There are several items I highly recommend to keep in your vehicle while traveling for long distances. For me I have to have snacks and waters. When traveling I usually prefer to snack the whole time instead of stopping for food. Then eat supper in a restaurant. I also highly recommend to have baby wipes, napkins, extra straws, plastic silverware, camera, phone charger for both car and regular outlet, GPS, basic toiletries, comfy shoes that are easy to take off (for the car ride), sunglasses, umbrella and a jacket. Also wouldn’t hurt to have something to entertain yourself with in the event you get stuck in traffic or in any other situation that could cause you to be stuck somewhere. And don’t forget any prescriptions as well as pain reliever and nausea medication.

Early morning view from the bridge going into the tunnel in Virginia.

Now I know it’s normal to stress out while traveling if you run into traffic and end up just setting there in the car, but here I will give you a few tips to stay calm. Get yourself a car essential oil diffuser and diffuse a calming, relaxing blend. This works wonders! If you become stuck setting there for a while, take a look around, see what is around you that would make amazing photos. Beauty is all around us and sometimes we are all moving in over drive and fail to see what nature has to offer us. For me when I just got stuck, due to an accident in the tunnel, I looked around and noticed how beautiful the skyline was on both sides of me. The above picture was taken to my left and below was taken to my right. I was surrounded by beauty and had I not been stopped in traffic I would never had gotten the opportunity to look around.

Sunrise over the ocean from the bridge in Virginia.

I can’t wait until my next road trip, which I won’t be taking alone. LOL my next adventure will likely be to Texas to visit my son in November. Ooohh Texas ♥️ that’s a topic for a whole other post. What are your favorite road trip destinations? What traveling tips do you have? Message or comment to let me know if you have any tips I may not think of! Happy traveling everyone.

Fall Favorite Recipe, Pumpkin Pie Dip

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This pumpkin pie dip has been a hit at Fall/Halloween parties for the past several years. This is my favorite fall dip for apples, vanilla wafers, or even graham crackers. Whenever I make this for a get together it’s usually gone within an hour or two. Best part it’s super easy to make!

For the dip you need: 16 oz cool whip, 3 small boxes vanilla pudding mix and 1 small can of pumpkin. That’s right only three ingredients. Mix everything together, (use the pudding mix as dry and do NOT make the pudding). Once everything is mixed together add a little pumpkin pie spice and mix in. Ready to serve or refrigerate for later.

Serving tip: cut the top off of a small pumpkin and clean the inside out really well, scrape it clean. Then use the pumpkin as a serving bowl for your dip!

I hope you love this dip as much as we all do. Happy fall y’all! Follow me for more recipes and lots of other crazy information and even learn about a day in my life from time to time. LOL

Fall my Season of Renewed Energy

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I can’t say it enough, I LOVE FALL!!! Fall to me is a season of renewed energy and happiness. It’s the time of year when everything around me turns beautiful colors, the air is cool, there are festivals everywhere and of course it’s when Halloween happens. There’s nothing better than setting around a bonfire in a hoodie or your favorite sweater, enjoying the company of friends and family and sipping on your favorite seasonal drink.

lit bonfire outdoors during nighttime
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

One of my favorite parts of fall is all the beautiful colors around me. I love nature and wow it sure is amazing in the fall. This is my favorite time of year to do photo shoots of people as well as landscapes. Nature provides such a wonderful backdrop this time of year. Here are some of my photos from fall photo shoots.

Some people may see fall as the time when everything dies, but me I see it as time when everything is getting a second chance. A chance to shed the old self and become something new and beautiful. It’s a season of pure joy and happiness for me. There are so many activities that I like to do during this time of year, can you think of any that really bring you joy or inner peace? Here are a few of my favorites. Bon fires, pumpkin patches, long walks through nature trails, hiking, fishing, kayaking, photographing nature at it’s best, roadtrips, fall flavors, and everything Halloween.

Me and my friends call this time of year “spooky season”, we claim Halloween starts on September first and ends the mornign of November first. That’s right two whole months of Halloween. LOL There is so much I could say about what makes me happy about Halloween. I love horror movies, decorating, playing pranks on people, haunted houses, ghost stories, carving/painting pumpkins and doing anything and everything that goes with spooky season. A few of my favorite movies are: Hocus Pocus of course, the origianl series of Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm St., Twitches and Twitches 2, all of the Halloweentown movies, and last but not least my all time favorite, Practical Magic. What are your favorite movies this time of year? Do you like horror or family friendly movies? Speaking of movies I am so looking forward to the new Halloween movie, I can hardly wait!!! Follow me for a movie review of the new Halloween movie. I will be posting one soon after I go see it. Happy spooky season everyone!! If you have any spooky tips or traditions you would like to share just post them in the comments!

These Sunglasses are the Best

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I have been on the search for new sunglasses for probably 6 months or more. My old pair are all scratched up and difficult to see through. I know many of you are probably wondering how they got in that bad of shape?! Well I’m a very outdoorsy person and tend to drink a little while kayaking and camping, enough said. LOL

Last week I ran across a company that offers many styles of sunglasses and to make things better they were offering me a chance to try them at a discount and review them!! BAM I found a pair that I loved and ordered them! They came in today and I couldn’t wait to open the box and try them out! As soon as I got the box open 🥰 They came with a cleaning cloth, a soft carry bag and they were packaged amazingly! I tried them on and OMG I love them!! These are now my favorite sunglasses! You can get you a pair just like these or pick a different style at a 30% discount using the following link: http://abella.refr.cc/anitacoffey

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and here on my Blog for many more amazing product reviews. You can find all my links here Links

Today’s Fave Recipe Pumpkin Apple Muffins

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Photo by Olga Lioncat on Pexels.com

As I set here drinnking my pumpkin spice coffey with just a touch of hazelnut creamer I need to say “OMG it’s fall ya’ll!!!! This is my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about fall!! Bonfires, the changing leaves, the crisp fall air, football, the flavors of the season, all of the amazing fall activities and festivals, and horror movies…there’s just too much to list! Fall is a season of renewed energy for me. As I’m sure you all can guess Halloween is my fave holiday and I have to admit that I am one of those Halloween season starts on September first and ends Halloween night, people!! LOL One of my favorite activities during the fall season is to go on a picnic at a park or near a lake or river, somewhere peaceful where I can just enjoy nature and all the beauty God has given us in this season. One of my fave recipes for this time of year is Pumpkin Apple Muffins. I found this recipe in a newsletter that I recieve from our local extension office. I like to use fresh locally grown apples and pumpkin that I pick up from one of my fave places to buy fresh fruits and veggies’ “Hintons Orchard in Hodgenville KY”. This place is amazing and seems magical during the fall! Better yet the family that owns this place are absolutely amazing. They are the sweetest, friendliest people I have met. If you ever find yourself in the area make sure to stop by and check out all their amazing products. Now for what you’ve been waiting for the recipe!!!!

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 1/4 cups honey 2 large eggs 1/2 cup conola oil 1 1/2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin 2 cups finely chopped granny smith apples

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl combine flours, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a small bowl combine honey, eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased or papere lined muffin cups, 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Note: you can substitute 2 cups granulated sugar for honey, decrease baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon and increae oven temp to 350 degrees. Yeild: 18 muffins

Nutritional info: 200 calories, 7g fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 3 g protein

Photo by Lain De Macias on Pexels.com

Welcome to my new blog

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In this first post I’m just going to give you a little info about me and my life up until now. I was born in 1982 to a teen mom. My relationship with my Mother has never been one of those typical mother daughter best friend relationships. Honestly we get along better when we are t around each other. I was a Daddy’s girl, sadly he passed unexpectedly from a heart attack in June of 2005. I’ve witnessed my mother go through multiple relationships and four marriages. My second stepfather was amazing and was more like a second Dad to me, sadly we lost him in a horrific car accident in March of 2007. I’ve already lost all of my Grandparents….Grandmother in 7th grade from breast cancer, Grandfather (Pa) my freshman year from multiple lung issues, Grandpa in 2017 from multiple organ failure (esophagus cancer, congestive heart failure, kidney issues) and my Nannie in 2018 from natural causes. I have been married and divorced twice. First husband was an abusive alcoholic and it took me years to gain the strength to finally leave him. We had 3 amazing children together. Second husband basically cheated the entire time we were together, took me forever to realize it wasn’t my fault and it was his problem not mine. We had one amazing little boy together. Those two experiences may have not been happy or anything I would ever wish on my worst enemy but they did teach me a lot about relationships and myself. In school I was known as the wild party girl who drank, smoked pot and did a lot of questionable things. Sadly people will always judge me for things I did in my past when I’m not anywhere near the person I use to be. I grew up in church and always knew God was there for me even when I felt completely alone and lost. I may have strayed from my faith for a few years but I am happy to say I have found God again! Without him I don’t think I could have made it through the darkest years of my life. I’ve survived being raped by someone who was supposed to be a friend (my then current boyfriend’s best friend). And no I didn’t report it because at the time I felt as if nobody would believe me and if they did I was afraid they would try to make it out as my fault, so I just kept it to myself despite it eating at me and causing me to sink into a deep dark place. I’ve been through loss, abuse, rape, depression, drugs, horrible relationships and so much more yet here I am on the other side of it all so much stronger and now truly happy. I finally learned that I was in control of my life and chose to take the power away from everyone and everything that had ever hurt me. I learned to love myself and no it wasn’t easy! I now have an amazing boyfriend who made me finally believe all men aren’t horrible, finally made me feel loved and accepted like I was good enough. He knows my past and loves me anyways! And no I’m not going to lie and say our relationship is perfect because no relationship is ever perfect if someone says theirs is they are lying to themselves and everyone else. My 4 amazing children are grown now. My oldest son has a job and life of his own, the two middle kiddos, daughter and son, are both in the US Navy and stationed in Virginia and Texas, and my baby is 15. I now also have a bonus son that is 9 (my boyfriend’s little boy). I am also a Nana to one very amazing blessing from God that will soon be one, that little boy is my world. I have many hobbies and am in the process of starting my own business as well as doing photo shoots on the side. I can honestly say I’m happy and content with my life now, and would love to share my wild and crazy life with you.

I survived everything I’ve been through and came out stronger. I want to be here to offer support, advice, words of wisdom and share uplifting quotes. I want to use this blog as way to let people know they aren’t alone in whatever struggle they are going through and that just because you have a bad day or even week it don’t have to be a bad life. There is always time to turn your life around and make it the best it can be. Don’t ever give up you can and will make it through to the other side of whatever darkness you are currently in. It’s just a season of darkness, stay strong and keep pushing forward until you reach that brighter happier season. All my love Anita ❤️

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