Sunday, May 17, 2015

RV Trip: Mustang Island State Park and Padre Island National Seashore (Part 2)

The whole purpose of this RV trip was to visit the beach. My kids have been talking about it since last year so come hell or high water, we're hitting the beach this year. Well, it turned out that there was high water...

According to the park ranger, the winds were very strong and were causing the high waters and coastal flooding. The gusts went up as high as 40 mph. Due to the high waters, we weren't able to drive to our favorite spot at Mustang Island State Park. Not only that, what was left of the beach mostly consisted of trash that have washed up.  

We eventually found a spot that wasn't bad, but the current was too strong by the water, so we headed inland by the picnic tables so the kids could still enjoy the sand.

While we were building sand castles, I kept seeing something moving from the corner of my eye. It turned out to be the spotted ground squirrel, or that's what I've been told. This particular squirrel kept coming by, darting back and forth in front of us and behind us.

Can you spot the squirrel?

As my husband was reassuring the kids that the squirrel doesn't mean any harm, this particular squirrel ran up right behind him as though mocking him. I told him that I wasn't so sure about that, and as soon as he turned around, the squirrel darted off again. It was hilarious!

Even though the winds were strong, the temperature was very pleasant. It was overcast for most of the day, but it never rained. After our sand castles session at Mustang Island, we headed to Padre Island National Seashore to see if we could find some seashells.

Morning Glory

We didn't have any luck with seashells at Padre Island, but the kids enjoyed the displays at the visitors center.

Overcast weather by the beach, it was like that the entire time that we're there.

The next day the wind was even stronger so we spent the day exploring downtown Corpus Christi. We got to see the statue of Selena. I've seen it on TV many times but now I've seen it in person. It looked smaller than what I'd imagined. Then the kids got to play at a nearby playground and really enjoyed it.

Even though our beach trip didn't turn out the way we expected, we still had fun. All the trash that washed up on the beach really made an impression on my kids, and they learned how important it is not to pollute. Apparently the playground set also made an impression on them, they've been talking about going back just to play there. It was the climbing wall that caught their attention. It was just their size, not too tall and not too easy. In all, we had a great time; we can't wait to go back next year.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

RV Trip: Lake Corpus Christi State Park and Buc-ee's (Part 1)

It's been a while since we've been on an RV trip. Between work commitments and the weather, the timing has never been right until recently. This time we got to get away for a short trip to south Texas.

One of the best part about heading towards the Gulf Coast of Texas is Buc-ee's. Buc-ee's is basically a Texas-sized gas station with a convenience store to match that originated in this region of Texas. Entering the store for the first time is like a religious experience, so I'm not surprised that there's a cult following when it comes to Buc-ee's.

The gas station itself boasts of over a hundred pumps. All the gas pumps are spaced out enough that it easily accommodated RVs, in our case a travel trailer. It was so spacious that we were able to loop around with the travel trailer when we couldn't find an open pump. You'd think that with over a hundred gas pumps, there'd be at least one that's unoccupied, but nope, this is a hopping place, especially on the weekends.

Just when you think you've seen enough of anything Texas-sized, wait until you see the store itself. In addition to over a hundred gas pumps, Buc-ee's also boasts of its multiple bathrooms that are clean. But the Texas-sized fun doesn't stop there, the convenience store itself has almost every snack known to man suited for a road trip. There's also a bakery, a sandwich shop, a BBQ place, a gift shop, and best of all, Dipping Dots! My kids just love this stuff.

One of Buc-ee's popular snacks is the Beaver Nuggets. It kind of reminds me of Captain Crunch cereal with lots of caramel on it. It's good, and you can't eat just one. As you can see from the photo above, we loaded up on snacks from Buc-ee's. I got the Wasabi peas for myself, beef jerky for hubby, and candy necklaces for the kids. The kids played with the necklaces more rather than eat them, which was great for the long drive. As we were walking out of the store, I lamented to hubby that I can't believe that I spent over twenty-five dollars at a convenience store. The lady next to us told us that she spent over fifty dollars. This is a convenience store with shopping carts at the entry so I guess it comes with the territory. 

My kids adore Buc-ee's, and it was all they talked about on the entire ride to our camp site which took most of the day. The stops at Buc-ee's have definitely made the road trip more enjoyable and less of the "Are we there yet?" moments.

RV Campsite Details:
Our camping site on this trip was Lake Corpus Christi State Park in a town called Mathis, Texas. The lake itself was scenic. There were a lot of different camp sites at the park, but the number of full hook-up sites were limited. The full hook-up sites are pull-through and a little close to each other compared to other places we've been to but manageable. All the full hook-up sites filled up by Friday night, so reservations are highly recommended especially when school is out. The sewer hook-up sits up really high, so high that even our riser gadget didn't help. We didn't stay very long so it wasn't much of an issue.

(As an aside, I had some misgivings regarding an animal known as the Javelina that's common in Texas on our previous RV trip. Well guess what, our campsite on this trip is on a loop called the "Javelina Loop".) 

Stay tune for part 2 - the beach!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Favorite Things: beauty products and a vacuum

These are a few of my favorite things... (cue melody from The Sound of Music)

These are a few of my favorite things at the moment :)  I take things in spells, and lately I'm really loving a bunch of Dior beauty products. One of my friends from high school is a die-hard Dior fan. Her and her sister have been raving about Dior makeup since high school. As for me, I was just happy if the makeup doesn't give me pimples. Years later after trying a bunch of different stuff, I'm starting to develop a preference for a thing or two. 

I love nail polish but tend to stick to my usual colors until recently when I was introduced to sparkly confetti-like polish. I like the look of them, but the couple that I've tried tend to snag on clothing and they're also very difficult to remove so I gave up on it. Then the Dior Top Coat line of polish came along and I got to try the Blossoming Top Coat, and the rest was history. 

The colors of the confetti is pastel, reminds me of Spring, and the best part of it is that it doesn't snag. It is still a bit more difficult to remove compared to regular polish but this one is manageable compared to the other confetti polishes that I've tried. This can be used by itself or simply as a top coat. I like how it jazzes up my usual colors.

Another Dior polish that I'm currently loving is the Dior Nail Glow. I use it quite often for my hands. It enhances my nails with a pink hue, and if you don't have time to take it off right away once it starts to chip, it isn't that noticeable. 

I didn't like the wider brush that Dior polishes are known for, but it started to grow on me with this particular polish.

I wear a lot of lip balms and lip glosses. Some dry out my lips after a while, and others make my lips look greasy no matter how I try to blot it with tissue. Maybe that's a look that some people are going for these days, but it doesn't work for me. It just makes me look sloppy like I forgot to wipe my mouth after a greasy meal. I also like my lip balms/glosses with a tint of color, and this Dior one fits the bill. It's like the Dior Nail Glow except for the lips. It keeps my lips moist without the greasy look, and the hint of pink gives my lips some color.

Before Dior, there was Guerlain. I still love my Guerlain beauty products, but I've been having trouble finding them at the local beauty counter. The Guerlain Kiss Kiss Baby lip balm looks like a lipstick and has an assortment of colors like a lipstick, but it's a lip balm. It's moisturizing and non-greasy with a wide range of colors to suit any mood because sometimes, pink just won't do.

I don't wear much mascara because I just don't have much lashes left to work with these days, but when I do, it's gotta be great. Great meaning that it needs to have staying power and it can be taken off without making me lose the precious few lashes that I do have left. 

In terms of staying power, I'm talking about I can't go around after work looking as though I've melted or like I have a black eye. I was given a sample of the MAC Zoom Fast Black Lash to try recently and was really impressed with how well it stayed on and how easy it was to remove. I haven't given it the ugly cry test yet since I tend to save my ugly cries for when I get home, but so far, this has been great. I can't believe that this is just a sample. This is definitely one of the better beauty samples out there.

Okay, I can't believe that I'm raving about a vacuum cleaner either, but I am. I was late to the bagless vacuum cleaner party. I owned one of those vacuum cleaners with a bag for years and years. It followed me from college to married life. When it broke, I would get it fixed. It wasn't until I couldn't find any more of those vacuum bags did I decide to try out a vacuum with no bags. The vacuum with no bags worked well, but it was still just a vacuum to me. 

What changed it all for me was this Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner. It's a vacuum with no bags and no cords that still has enough suction and battery life to get the job done. It's light enough that I've been hauling it up and down the stairs. The battery life is not long enough to vacuum the entire house but enough for a room. It's very handy that our house has been cleaner compared to before. Note that I didn't say clean but rather cleaner. I don't think our house will ever be clean, haha! Now that the weather is nicer, lots of sand has been making its way from the sand box to inside the house. Even though we have a no shoes in the house rule, I'm still finding sand here and there around the house. This vacuum is definitely keeping that sand at bay :)  

What are some of your favorite things lately? Please share! :)

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