Since we managed to make the three-year marriage mark, we decided to celebrate a little bit this year. We wanted to head down to Key West, but the drive was really turning us off. So instead, we just headed down to Key Largo. Just a couple of hours on the road and voila! The Florida Keys!

We stayed at the (in)famous Holiday Inn; it is what it is. Great location, convenient to food, supplies, anything you’d need really. And since it’s backyard is a also a marina/dock, several snorkeling/scuba/glass-bottom charter boats are parked right there. Seriously, we pulled up, checked in, I asked if any snorkeling boats were going out … 15 minutes later we’re motoring out.

The best part of catching the afternoon charter was that it made three stops — one of them being Key Largo’s Dry Rocks reef, home to the Christ of the Abyss Statue. I’ve always wanted to see this, and finally, crossed it off the bucket list. It’s so amazing to see things in person that you’ve seen hundreds, thousands of times in pictures, postcards and movies.  The Dry Rocks reef was full of life — fish, coral. It was definitely refreshing, as our last snorkel trip down in Key West was somewhat disappointing; just a lot of sandy bottoms and little fish. At Key Largo’s reefs, we saw two huge tarpon (at least, I hope, they were just tarpon!), fish everywhere, tons of conchs, plus varying and colorful coral types.

I love reading recipes. I don’t always make them, and I certainly don’t always follow them even when they are in front of me. So when my favorite Brazilian Mila invited us over to bbq this weekend and said she was making her beer margaritas recipe, I was intrigued. When we bbq, it’s usually caipirinhas, not margaritas. But, of course, I had to try this beer margarita at least once.

And … it wasn’t bad. It was refreshing, given the limeaid and us using Corona. (Mila specified Modelo Especial, but the store didn’t have any. So Corona it was.) And it was just the right amount of beer-taste combined with just the right amount of margarita-taste. I don’t think I could drink these all night, but … good times 🙂

And here’s the recipe we used if you are getting thirsty:

1 bottle of beer

1 small can of frozen Limeaid

4-5 shots of tequila

2 shots of Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or triple sec

In a glass pitcher, combine everything and stir! Pour over ice and ENJOY 🙂

Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!!!

It took us a couple of years to get into gear, but we finally saved up enough greenbacks to buy sod.

And let me tell you, it’s worth every penny!!!! Love it! We spent a lot of time prepping the yard — and by we, I mean, mostly J’Pace (love him!). Trees were cut, trees were trimmed, rows of dead bushes in the front yard were pulled, a zillion leaves were raked up, dirt was moved around … ugh, I’m getting tired just typing all the prep work that was done.

But the day came when 9 pallets of sod were delivered to our house. (Note to anyone buying sod, double check your measurements and how many of pallets of sod you really need. We were a pallet over, but we gave to our neighbor to keep the green going on our street!) I couldn’t believe how much something so simple, like grass, can give a house such a boost. What’s more, I can’t believe how something so domestic could make me so happy. I’m sure once I see my water bill go up, and my Saturdays consumed with mowing lawns I’ll go back to cursing homeownership. But for now, I’m happy 🙂

I admit, I was nervous about getting grass amid such drought conditions here in SoFla. But damn! Grass is good! I have a rain barrel on the side of the casa, so I’m hoping the afternoon summer thunderstorms will keep it full, and I’ll be able to not be such a water drainer.

I just have some pics of the front yard, but I’ll get some of the back yard soon!

The house across the street has been empty since the day we moved in. I can’t totally complain, though. The bank-owned property gets groomed every now and then, and I’ve been able to score an extra garbage can to lug out the 10,000 lbs of leaves that collect in my backyard.

The property hasn’t ‘officially’ been up for sale very long, but now it’s going up on the chopping block: a public home auction.

Is this good for my home’s value?

I’m going to cross my fingers, look to the stars and say, “Yes!”

I’m hoping someone scoops it up for a deal — I checked around online and saw ‘starting bids’ of $17K-19K — then fixes it up and moves in. Or, at least, that someone fixes it up and rents it out to awesome people.

When I saw the sign with the dates of a few pre-auction open houses first, I got excited. I really just want a chance to check out the inside of the casa. And I’m interested in seeing how a home auction works. I mean, is a fast-talking host going to stand on a soap box in front of a bunch of cash-heavy investors and homebuyer hopefuls? I didn’t catch anyone over there last Saturday, so I’m hoping I’m around for the next one.

Oh crap … if there’s a next one … I just checked Auction.com, and the property listing says “Bid Pending Confirmation.”

What’s that mean!? Is a sale pending!? I’ll keep you posted!

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