Sunday, May 20, 2018

Oh How I Love My Vacuum!

Readers frequently ask me to share my favorite "can't-live-without-it" products. I was looking around my home today, trying to come up with something to showcase, and my gaze fell upon my vacuum.

When we registered for wedding gifts three years ago, we didn't know where we would be living. Would we have carpeting or hardwood? Would we have stairs that would require a more mobile vacuum? We simply had no idea.

Growing up, my mom had a canister vacuum, and it worked great for our home, which was a mix of hardwood and carpeting. Some folks sweep their hardwood, but we vacuumed ours. I know that may sound strange, but the vacuum didn't scratch the floors, and doing a quick vacuum was much easier than using a broom. (Vacuuming was my weekly chore as a kid, so I know all about it.)

Before our wedding, while browsing Bed Bath and Beyond with my fabulous registry scanner, I came across the Eureka Mighty Mite canister vacuum. The price was $70, and the reviews were fantastic, so I just couldn't pass it up.

Three years later, my canister vacuum is going strong. Hardwood, linoleum, tile, and carpeting, it does it all. I really like the simple design. It doesn't have any gears or rollers, which means that you don't have to worry about picking up long hair. (In college, I lived in a house with 40 other girls, and the massive amount of hair floating around caused our vacuums to break on a weekly basis.) The canister vacuum is also extremely easy to maneuver, especially on stairs.

If Mr. Handsome and I were to buy a house with a ton of carpeting, I might consider investing in an expensive standup vacuum. Honestly, though, the rental home we live in now has carpeting everywhere but the kitchen and bathrooms, and our little canister vac does a wonderful job, so I would have to think long and hard.

One thing you do have to be sure of when buying a canister vacuum is that it is intended for both hard surfaces and carpeting. Ours is, but I know there are some on the market that can't do both.

What type of vacuum do you use? Do you love it or hate it?

*This is not a sponsored post. My opinions are my own, and I have not received anything for sharing them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New Website Coming Soon


Hello, blog readers! You may have noticed that my posts over the past two weeks have been a bit spotty. That's because I have been working on a brand new website for Nashville Wife! It has been quite the ordeal, but I'm looking forward to unveiling the finished product soon.

Next month, I will celebrate my nine-year blogging anniversary, and on May 5th (Cindo de Mayo) I celebrated my three-year anniversary blogging on Nashville Wife. Check out my video message below.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fishing for Tuna

Being the avid fisherman that he is, when Mr. Handsome heard that Kona, Hawaii, is known for fishing, he just had to give it a try. We attempted to go bank fishing, but then we learned that shoreline fish in the Hawaiian Islands can contain a bacteria that causes a type of food poisoning, called ciguatera. Not wanting to ruin our vacation with sickness, we opted to go fishing on a boat with a local.

We arrived at the dock shortly before 6am to board the boat. We coasted out past the no-wake zone and were hoping that the loud, lawnmower-like noise coming from the engine would quit once we started going faster. But it didn't. The sound continued for the entire trip (6 hours). But despite that, we still enjoyed being out on the water.

Since the island is one big volcano (or, rather, several) the sharp slope of the volcano continues underwater off the shore. That means that as you leave the shore, the water quickly becomes very deep. We went about a mile off shore, and the captain happily told us that the bottom of the ocean was more than 3,000 feet below our feet. Yikes!

When the sun came up, the views were beautiful. Because the water was so deep, it was a beautiful blue color. The captain put out several large fishing lines, hoping to catch an 800-pound marlin or a 30-pound ono.

Sadly, we didn't get anything that big, but we did catch two tuna fish. Mr. Handsome was able to reel his in pretty easily, but after hooking mine, I realized that there was no handle on my fishing rod. The captain had forgotten to put one on. So he grabbed some gloves and reeled the line in by hand, which took about 10 minutes.

The tuna were beautiful fish. They had thick, metallic skin and kind of looked like baby sharks. We put them in the cooler and took them back to our condo to grill. The taste was good, but it was strong. We mixed it with mayonnaise and ate it on bread.

The fishing trip turned out to be a unique excursion. I felt seasick for most of the time, but it was still a blast.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Fashion 'Do' or 'Don't'?

Speaking of shopping (see Monday’s post) I came across some entertaining photos on my phone and thought I would share them.

Shortly before my birthday, we met up with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law to go clothing shopping. It was initially just going to be the girls, but we convinced Mr. Handsome and my brother to join us. We were all expecting there to be a lot more spring-colored clothing to choose from, but oddly enough, most of the stuff out there looked more wintry. Still, we were able to find a few items. My mother, brother, and sister-in-law bought me two tops and a cotton sundress for my birthday.

We had a blast browsing through various stores at the mall. Mr. Handsome and I found these one-of-a-kind jackets and decided they would make a good photo opportunity. They aren’t our style, but I think in the right setting, they could work.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Are You a Shopaholic?

Do you like clothing shopping? I wouldn't call myself a shopaholic, but I do enjoy it. Mr. Handsome, on the other hand, does not. When he needs a certain article of clothing, I'll often pick up several options, bring them home for him to try on, and return the ones that don't work.

His sizes are by no means average, which can be both a challenge and a blessing. On the one hand, I usually have to search long and hard to find items that are his size, which can be time consuming. On the other hand, most stores only have one or two of each article that fit him, so choosing between them is not a difficult ordeal.

That is especially true with shoes. Most stores only have a few pairs of shoes in his size (usually a pair of sneakers, dress shoes, and sandals), so as long as you can locate them, getting in and out is easy.

Shopping for myself is a whole different ballgame. At least Mr. Handsome has a set size. I, on the other hand, usually have to try on a few different sizes, and it's not common for none of them to fit well. That's why I enjoy thrift and consignment shops. There are usually a ton of options, and it's fun to thumb through them.

What are your thoughts on shopping for clothes?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

4WD Adventure in Hawaii

In my post about visiting the Big Island of Hawaii's Green Sand Beach, I promised that I would share the details of our terrifying 4WD (four-wheel-drive) excursion. From the main highway that loops around the island, we drove several miles on an old, paved road, which was slightly wider than a single lane but still not wide enough for two cars to pass without one pulling off into the grass.

Even on the main highway, we had been in the middle of nowhere. (Aside from a few large towns and vacation resorts, the majority of the Big Island is beautifully secluded.) We took a few turns and arrived at a dirt parking area. Folks without 4WD were leaving their cars to either hike 3 miles to the beach or pay for a shuttle. When I say shuttle, I don't mean a fancy van or mini bus. These shuttles were muddy pickup trucks, and the passengers stood in the back, holding onto railings for dear life.

We had a pickup truck, so we decided to drive a little further and scope things out. After talking to several folks who had made the drive, we went for it and didn't look back. Well, that's not exactly true. For the first 10 minutes of the trip, I looked back many times and wondered if we had made the right decision.

The landscape was beautiful, and thankfully, it hadn't recently rained, so the ground was dry, and there was no risk of getting stuck in the mud.

The most challenging part was avoiding the impassible sections, as there were many paths to choose from, and they frequently crossed each other. Some just flat out ended with no warning. We had received a few pieces of advice, but for much of the time, we just chose random routes, knowing that at any time, we could come across a deeply rutted spot and have to back up. Thankfully, that only happened twice.

Mr. Handsome drove, and I sat in the passenger seat providing him with a steady stream of advice and reminding him to "take it slow." I played a very necessary role, or at least that's what I tell myself. 

I filmed this video while we were on our way back. It doesn't do a great job of showing just how bumpy the ride was, but I think you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Beautiful Butterflies

While deleting photos off my iPhone, I came across these snapshots and thought they would make for a fun post. My mother texted them to me last year when she visited a butterfly garden.

Here in Tennessee, we had a slow start to spring, but it looks like our daytime highs are going to be in the high 70s and low 80s for the next few weeks. For much of June, July, and August, we have temperatures in the high 90s (and often low 100s) so we will certainly be enjoying the moderate May weather. These photos make me want to take a walk and enjoy the sunshine!



Speaking of insects, Mr. Handsome was a real insect-lover as a child. He learned the basics during homeschool science and would spend his spare time reading more (from encyclopedias, as this was before the advent of the internet).

During his elementary and middle school years, Mr. Handsome created an impressive insect collection. My mother-in-law still has it. In fact, she uses it to teach classes at the homeschool coop that she is a part of. The kids love it.

As you can imagine, collecting insects is a laborious task that requires a lots of patience. Mr. Handsome's youngest brother (the fourth child in their family of seven children, of which Mr. Handsome is the oldest) would dutifully follow him around as he collected his specimens. The two of them are five years apart, so this brother considered Mr. Handsome to be the epitome of cool.

Now back to the butterflies. Aren't they beautiful?