Monday, December 31, 2012

The Colors of Marathon Key

Happy New Year's Eve!

Believe it or not we are still on vacation for another week! When we vacation, we vacation!

It's been an extra special vacay for me! My phone hasn't worked since before we left! It looks like I won't be getting a new one until I get home! Every Sprint store in the middle and upper keys has gone out of business. It's nice to enjoy the view (unlike mama that is sitting next to me obsessing over words with friends) :)

Here are a couple pictures of stuff I found pretty cool. I'm not sure what it is about this place, but the colors are 20 times brighter and sharper. I don't know, maybe it's all in my stress free head!
 I love these colors together! Orange and turquoise. I'm thinking I need to use these in a 2013 project! This might be the colors of my year!
I love buoys and pirates. The "used" buoys that wash up on shore always have such neat and unique color/designs.  Wouldn't these (a little cleaned up) look super cute in a buoys room. Get it boys/buoys. I'll be here all week! ha
I also love this color of lime green with turquoise. I've always loved lime green. (I have always been called "crazy" for doing so!) The lantern with red would go perfect in our house! I'm going to be on the hunt for something similar to that next year!
This is the fish I wish I caught! I think the fish around here hide from me! Or they could just be ignoring me. What I do know is I can't catch anything! Once again, this fish has the amazing blue colors, I can't get enough of!  The yellow and orange add a lot to the blues/greens/blue greens.  Yep! I might be a little obsessed!

I thought this door was super cool! I love a good beat up wood door. I like the stain glass above the door and the square window. I think it rocks because a square window something you don't normally see. 

 Mama took this picture. I love it. The colors are a perfect light blue palate! I told mama she needs to paint her bathroom and have this printed and hanging in it. Can you say, relaxing!

These are old lobster traps! I really want to take some home with me. To bad AirTran has the one carry-on only rule!  Again we have the blue and turquoise colors. I think the color and the wood look pretty awesome! What if we added orange to this? Do you think it would work?

These two pictures are of an old wooden boat we found at happy hour. I love the chippiness of the oar. It makes a beautiful picture. Although, I can't help but think if I used it, I would have splinters!

**** Side noteA couple of drinks and mama and I become professionals (photographers and models). Because I love you, I'll spare you those pictures! :)

I L.O.V.E. this picture! The are re-vamping this hotel in Key Colony (about time). The only thing that makes me sad, is the scaffolding in picture. I guess you kinda have to look to see it! I would still love to frame this. 

 The color of the sunrise. It really doesn't get better than these colors. Orange,yellow,blue,white. It's a painting that only mother nature can make!

The sunset is just as beautiful as the sunrise, but seems to have more pink in it. I love silhouette of the palm tree in black. Maybe black furniture, with colors of the sunset?! Just a thought.

This picture was taking with a heavy heart. The flag was flying half staff for the CT shooting victims. What makes this picture so great is that it's honoring the victims, yet was peaceful and beautiful. This picture once again reminds me how grateful/blessed I am to  be an American. (Opps got deep there)

 These are just random pictures of the beach and our condo. Of course, the tan,green, and blue look really pretty together. My bedroom is green,orange, and tan. I think this year, I'm going to figure out ways to add blues. (Of course without painting the walls. I hate painting walls!)

"CoCo, CoCo, I feel empty without you!" This is the view from my chair, and as you can hear (read) is calling my name! Not a bad way to spend two weeks! 

I hope you all have a Happy Healthy New Years Eve. Be careful, be safe and may you make it til Midnight. (I might have to set an alarm!) 

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” ~ Bill Vaughan

I can't wait to see what the new year will bring! Welcome 2013.

Love to love ya,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Keys to Christmas in The Keys

Christmas in The Keys. The Best U Family Tradition

Just like Santa, Christmas is a time for the U family to kick back relax and enjoy a frozen drink or 12 (per day). If you would have told anyone 5 years ago that our family would give up a real Christmas tree and all the trimmings, you would have been called crazy. The last year we spent Christmas in Indiana just wasn't the same. Mama and the dadster actually left on Christmas to head down south. This left sis and I unsure what to do with the rest or our day (and a little sad). We womened up and did what any U member would do in crisis. We headed to Hooiser Park Casino with our friend Erin. What made Christmas sadder for us, was that they don't sell booze on Christmas in Indiana. DUMB LAW! We had to gamble without drinks in our hands, what a shame! Don't get me wrong, we still had fun. Watching Erin win/lose/win/lose/win/win/lose was fun! (I'm pretty sure I lost my $$$ before I even sat down)

Mama and sis, the not so traditional two, thought the first year would be hard for the dadster and I. Sticklers for tradition, they thought convincing us would take some time. It didn't! One thing dad and I like better then a real tree is a real beach. We were prepared to throw all the old traditions out the window and start over.   At first we weren't sure we would even have traditions but that was silly. Of course we tweaked some traditions, started some new, and threw a couple old right out the window.

Old Tradition:  Driving looking at lights. It isn't the holiday season until you have been blinded by tackey visual impressed with tasteful lighting. Instead of driving through the famous Renyold's John Deere light show in Fishers, Indiana. We drove through the park in Marathon Florida. A couple of years ago, they made a sign for me! Hot Coco!

New Twist on a Old Tradition: Of course, the real tree was the first thing we knew we had to let go of! Unsure of how/what/if there was going to be a tree, the dadster came up with a FAB-U-LOS idea. If you are going to have a fake tree...why not go ALL.THE.WAY. Our new nontraditional tradition is this beautiful blow up palm tree, decorated with one strand of multi color lights. (We only use one b/c that's all we have/wanted to buy)
New Tradition: Leaving our Mark at No Name Pub.
In between Marathon and Key West, No Name Pub (not so ironically) is located on No Name Key. When driving to the pub you will for sure think you have missed it. When you get to that point, just keep driving, you haven't made it yet. Just when you are about to give up and turn around, you look up and see the sign that says it all..."You Found It".
Some people think that the pizza is the most amazing thing about the place. I, being gluten free, have no clue about that. Some people think the cold drinks are what bring people back, (they are cold), maybe it's the staff with their stories of the tourists, but it's the money. MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

See, I told you! MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! The restaurant is a cave of money! There is about a trillion billion million (according to last year's bartender) over $100,000. Everyone writes or "leaves their mark" on the money. See the U family examples: 

 Then you staple,glue,tape, stick up with gum, your money to anyplace you can find/make. The owner of No Name Pub is a rich rich rich genius! It's such a fun place to visit and a great way to start your drinking buzz on the way to Key West. (KIDDING?) While you're driving around make sure to watch out for key deer. They are about the size of a large dog and kinda act like them too! It's really fun to spot the deer. Mama and I always try to pet one but the dadster and sis don't think it's such a great idea. No fun I tell ya!

New Twist on an Old Tradition: Shopping

I know what you are thinking? Really how can you put a twist on shopping? Well you can shop on "island time" for "island" themed gifts? The ladies set aside one day before Christmas to go shopping in the Keys. We go from Marathon to Key Largo, back to Marathon. Unlike Indiana, the open/close times written on the store's doors are just suggestions of when they might be there. A guesstatmation if you will. Also, have you ever seen this shopping in Indiana?

A giant crustation! I haven't

New Tradition: Santa Claus Caravan. A little unknown fact, Santa lands in the Keys first. Before he makes his way across the rest of the United States, he grabs Mrs. Claus for an island party. 

The locals grab their ugly sweaters and load up on a vintage (LOVE VINTAGE) firetruck. With Christmas music playing on the loud speakers, Santa and the Mrs. make their way all around the island spreading cheer. Lucky for Mrs. Claus this is her last stop. She gets to give Santa a kiss and send him on his way to give gifts to all the good little girls and boys. But don't worry. 

She has cocktails waiting for him when he finally makes it back to the island for his well deserved vacation!

Merry Christmas from the U family in the Keys!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dear Groupon, Thanks for Patty.

Dear Groupon,

You had me at Hello and it was you I was looking for. I thought my life had changed for better in 2010, when my friend Brandi introduced me to you. I thought I finally knew what true love was and it was at least 50% off. Your tantalizing deals and local bargains made me smile ear to ear. I would even looked healthier thanks to a hefty discount at Bronze Tanning.
Fifty percent off at Vine and Table made my birthday the cheesiest and the martinist. Mama and I met our cheese soul mate Fred there. He opened our eyes to goat's, cow's, and even sheep's milk cheese. After we hit up the table we went to the vine. We did get made fun of for buying cheap vodka but we deserved it. We spent all our money on cheese. Example A.

But soon after, you started to suck and it wasn't just me that noticed. You tried to become to big to fast. I wondered if you even knew what "deals" you were selling. I fell out of love with you faster then your stock hit rock bottom.

After you charged me for AAA six times (and took forever for you to refund me), I lost repect in you. Then there was the massage chick that locked me in her room until I would give her a tip. You didn't seem to concerned about it. I think you might have even laughed about my safety concerns. I questioned if I would ever use you again and I even had ALOT of credit!

Today, you made a come back in a great way. Today I met an angel in the form of an Esthetician named Patty.  Today I used my groupon to Dream Weaver Salon & Day Spa, and I will now be giving you a second chance. I've heard many people say that if (fill the blank) has to have a groupon they can't be that good. Patty proved that to be a lie!

I still am having problems with my pseudo tumor, even after my spinal tap. My head hurts and after about 7pm I get into the "fog". I would like to say that Patty (you can call her at 317-595-6000 for the best 60 minute massage EVA) cured me but she didn't. (FYI, she has came the closest, maybe even closer then my neuro doctor) What she did do is give me 60 full minutes that I actually relaxed. It has been over two months since I've actually had the chance to do that. She worked miracles on my hands/feet/shoulders and they all still AH-MAZE-ING!

I'm not good at giving second chances but I'm going to take a chance on you. If you take the time to reasearch and find the Pattys (the cheese Freds) of this world, I think not only will your stock rise again, but you can hold your head high knowling that you are making a difference in people's lives. Or dare I suggest you might even be able to make the world a better place.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Real Ugly Baking Tradtions?!

Who is soooo excited about all our new followers? THESE GIRLS! Welcome everyone new and "old" to Almost Gemini! We try to be creative and crafty but we are mostly crazy! (Hence being friends with The Vintage Farmhouse)

Today's subject: Holiday Traditions

The Real Santa

A couple of blogs ago, I let you in on THE major U family tradition. In case you don't know, I'm the baby of the family. I am 25 28 30 34.*

*Side note, I thought that would be a lot funnier until I started to cross out all of those ages*

Mama and I still have to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The floats, the marching bands, and Broadway reviews are so much fun? I have to be honest with you, we really watch it for one reason. That reason is the one and only REAL SANTA. Anyone that has watched THE ORIGINAL Miracle on 34th St (another tradition) knows Kris Kringle is the real deal Holyfield. When does THE REAL SANTA, make his debut? The end of the Macy's parade! See how that works?!

Real or Fake?

Angela Lerew from Unexpected Elegance is asking the age old question Real or Fake?!

Get your minds out of the gutters, she is talking Christmas trees/garlands!

You're going to have to read her blog to know which one she chooses.

My tree last year was real...

REAL DRUNK! HA! What is strange for other people is totally normal in the Florida Keys.

Christmas in the Florida Keys, BEST. TRADITION. EVA!- Yep, we spend Christmas on the beach. I'm going to have to write an entire blog about next!

What's the Yummiest Christmas tradition? Baking of course! I saw the cutest pictures of Christmas Cookies at Hobnob Market. 

You want to see pictures of AH-MAZE-ING looking cookies for all occasions? I dare you to check out Polka Dot Cookies photo stream. WARNING: You will come away with a cavity and a craving!


The party we wait all year for. I start collecting in March. I know it sounds odd but when I see one, I have to have it. Same thing with cat shirts. (Once again, that is an entire other blog) It seems like every time I find a new sweater, it is better then the last!

You might have thought I was cool before, but now you will start to realize how COOL I truly am. Get ready to be jealous b/c I know and went to high school with Brian Howard.

Brian is modeling a STUNNING cream stuffed reindeer sweater. I'm going to go out on a limb (not a very large or sturdy one) and say this is a one of a kind sweater. Brian along with Anne-Marie Blackman have co-authored Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater.

How awesome is that! A couple of years ago, we wanted to make our own "ugly sweaters". Here is what sis designed.

What a beauty. This shirt is also was the reason "Simmer down Christmas tree" was coin. Some stranger said that phrase to sis and now we use it all year round! It's a "classier" way to say "Calm the hell down".

Sorry, for the extra grammar/spelling errors this week. My editor is on a cruise this week and after that will be on a three month vacay. What I'm saying is: GET USED TO IT!

What is your favorite holiday tradition? How about a great story of Christmas past?

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukka' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukka!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'
-  Dave Barry


Monday, December 3, 2012

Picture Page - Holiday Open House

Picture Pages, Picture Pages,Time to get your Picture Pages,Time to get your crayons and your pencils..(Can you tell I'm a child of the 80s/early 90s?)

Unlike Picture Page with Bill Cosby, you don't need to grab your crayons and pencils to view pictures of our holiday open house. Although, If any of you happen to have Mortimer Ichabod Marker, I'm am super jealous!

I'm still working on being a blexpert (blog expert), my pictures may/may not be in order. Since the Hobnob Market fiasco of 2012, when I lost all the beautiful pictures that I worked so hard on,(click here to read the blog) I can't risk these pics!

I'm not 100% sure that anyone else decorates their bathroom for Christmas. (I am 100% sure they should). Nothing screams Christmas like an angel themed bathroom! This is some vintage angel garland that we picked up some where along the way! We hung it from the mirror and I personally think it looks pretty cool.

We don't have as many angels. Vintage angels were hard to find! I got most of these at Goodwill but a couple came from an antique mall in Westfield, IN.

One thing I don't lack are Santas or is it Santis?! I have already posted the first round of Santas but I HAVE A TON MORE! Don't you just love the vintage beverage cart they are on? I got this at a church sale this summer for $8. As I was sadly watching amazing vintage suitcases being taken away, mama found this gem. It turned my frown upside down! 
I'm the worse person in the world at taking before and after pictures. When I get it in my head something needs to be painting,cleaning, or re purposed I have to do it that second! This super duper cute red chair came from a garage sale church sale goodwill, I have no idea. It was painted like fake wood?! I know, not a good look for a metal chair! I had a can of red spray paint lying around and TA DA! Now it's super cute! 

I blew up this picture a little bigger so you can see all the details. We set the table up with our hair flair and re purposed jewelry. The table in the back was full of vintage Christmas home decor.

Here is a different angle. You can see our vintage stocking were hung with care! 
Here is a picture of my screen Christmas tree. My bestie Brandi and I made it over Thanksgiving. I got the screen free from Asset Recycling. I did buy some other stuff that day but the screen she threw in for free. The ornaments are from mama's tree in the 80s. Reuse, reduces, and recycled all in one picture! I think it's cute and we did a good job! Who would've thought Brandi and I would do crafts together. The times they are a changing! 
Here is our newest pride and job. I love this desk! Of course we got it at Goodwill. It was $11, a little pricey...JUST KIDDING. The drawers were already painted that color and the desk just needed a coat of spray paint. I really truly need to do before/afters pictures. I'm a hot blogger mess! One day I might be able to get it together. NAHHHHH can't see that happening! 

I'm sad that I didn't take pictures of my party guests or the food. I had such a wonderful time! I love having people over as much as I love the holidays! 

Tomorrow, I'm finally getting a spinal tap which should (hopefully, fingers crossed, prayers said) get rid of my headaches. Since, I won't feel like posting later this week, the AMAZING Nicki from The Vintage Farmhouse, will be doing a guest post. I'm going to have it set up for Wednesday so make sure to check back! I love her blog and am excited to have her on Almost Gemini! 

You can play with Picture Pages,Fill your day with Picture Pages,'Till Bill Cosby does another Picture Page with you!"

A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones who need the advice. -Bill Cosby

Now, I'm craving a Jell-o puddin' pop!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Move over Oprah

Here are a few of Coco's favorite things!

Also, I just wanted to tell you (and hope just maybe someone does the same thing), I can not spell Oprah without spelling it backwards. For some reason, I always have to think Harpo (like her production company). Odd?!

Before we start you need to know, I'm not of a fan of Harpo spelled backwards. I did go to her show. Not worth the hype! I went with THE one and only Jenny B. She got last minute tickets and invited me everyone on Facebook me. The show we went to was about Ted Kennedy's book ( FYI he had already past on. It was his second wife Vikki and son). Now JB being Irish Catholic, heard  the name Kennedy and fainted. (Just kidding but that would've entertaining). Now if JFK Jr. was still alive and on this episode, I would be singing a totally different tune! He was super easy on the eyes!

ANYWAY, the entire experience annoyed me. There was so much wrong with the Harpo show, but I'll just list a few. Now this isn't my full list of annoying Oprah shiz, just a random sampling.

  1. The chick walked out onto stage in house slippers and sat down. Now had this been then end of my story, it would be reasons I love her column, but its not. Someone (with the oddest job that most likely makes WAY TO much cash) came out with and put on her Louboutins. Yep, Harpo doesn't even put on her own shoes nor does she walk on them? WHAT EVS. All I could really think was that she didn't want to walk on them b/c she was going to return them right after the show. :) 
  2. When we were seated, there were boxes of tissues under our seats. Kleenex = tear jerker.  I thought maybe some deserving single mom, war vet or a super student would be on the show. I was going to be part of a new home, a much needed family vacation or a scholarship for a deserving child that is beating all odds.  YES THIS IS GOING TO ROCK! Nope, not even close
  3. Every show I've even seen, Miss O gives the audience a parting gift. I think everyone remembers, You get a car! You get a car! YOU GET A CAR! So we are sitting there for two plus hours, listening to Kennedys talk about themselves the book.  Guess what?! We don't get it.  Really, I wasn't asking for a car, a new house or even $$$ from the angel network. I should've grabbed the box of Kleenex stood up and in true Jerry McGuire style, yelled "You can call me sentimental, but the Kleenex are coming with me. WHO'S COMING WITH ME"?.  I'm sure I would've ended up in a Chicago jail for theft! 
  4. This episode you would have never known Oprah had an audience.  The queen bee didn't even look at us. I had heard that  O does a Q and A. N.O.P.E, not today. I know that Jenny B and I drove over three hours each way and I thought that was a waste of my time. The people next to us in line flew in last minute from Colorado. I could only imagine the cost/disappointment factor on that! OH, my friends and I DVRed the show. They didn't show one audience member. I guess the look of disappointment was on everyone's face. 
  5. At the end, she just got up and left. NO...Thank you, NO without people like you I wouldn't be a billionaire, NEGATIVE. Not even a goodbye. Just a half wave while talking to VK and Teddy the 10th. POOF they were gone! 
I did however have a ton of fun with Jenny B thus moving me to her favorite U sissy, if only for a short time!

So now a few of Coco's favorite things. My obsessions per say!

After paying an outrageous amount of cash on cable, Sis and I thought no more. We do of course have the Internet. I couldn't entertain you and sis couldn't do homework without it. This summer being cable free meant getting a lot done, and being outside as much as possible. Being cable-less in winter means, hulu. You don't even have to pay for this one! Now it has your new shows, which is awesome but I don't know of any cable/direct TV that I could watch some Quantum Leap any.time.I.want.

Now for a picture of THE ONE, THE ONLY, Sexy Scott Bakula. Hunk-a- Hunk of Quantum Leaping love! I wonder what Ziggy would think of the picture!

I found another one of my fave shows! One I might even like a tiny, itty, bitty better the QL (I know, I'm to confused, too. Is that even possible?). Once I tell you the show and let you in, I think you will be once again, AH-MAZED!

Ladies and Gents, The Greatest American Hero. YEP FOR FREE! In all his glorious red jumpsuit, flowing cape and co star Connie Sellecca.
I want to challenge you to find a better theme song to a T.V. show. Believe it or not in my personal opinion is THE.BEST.THEME.SONG to date.

In the winter my toes always get cold. Isotoner Classic Ballet Slippers = AWESOME. For years, these have been my go to house slippers. These are comfy and not bulky. You can find them from $10- $15 depending on how fancy you want to get. I like the traditional ones.

These slippers most likely won't score you a roll in the Nutcracker Ballet, but if you buy them in satin pink, you will at least look the part! Fake it til you make it?!

Now, this is kinda pricey but well worth it. As you all know, I've been having some headache issues. (I'm writing a blog on that and will put it up on soon,when I'm hopefully, fingers crossed, say your prayers, better) so my sis bought me THE MOST PERFECT FEEL BETTER GIFT! An 8ft blow up Santa. He was $34 ish at Walmart. (The price was on the outside of the box.)

Look how cute! It looks like he is waving but he is actually offering all our neighbors high fives. He is a very positive jolly man! 

Sadly, I spent way to much time on Oprah and my annoyance of her. My head is starting to get foggy and I better end it before I start making up names for people! 

Don't forget you can check Almost Gemini out at Horton's of Tipton this Saturday Dec 1st from 9-5.

As always you can find us in Whimzy and our hair flair will be in Handmade Promenade until late December. 

Now one of my many favorite Christmas Vacation quotes.

Clark: 'Tis the season to be merry.
Mary: That's my name.
Clark: No shit.


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