Friday, August 10, 2012

All about flip flops

Soon I will talk about the second part of my vacation and what led me to a crazy thought, but now I want to talk about flip flops.

I love flip flops. I really do, I live in them, have gotten married using them, have asked previous boss if I could wear them to work (sometimes yes sometimes no), I have flip flop magnets, keychains,

wine cups with flip flop designs, you name it. Flip flop rocks my world.
How cute is this magnet??

Or this keychain??

Just to give you an idea I have 1 pair of boots, 2 pair of sneakers, 4 sandals (2 brand new acquired) and over 10 pair of flip flops. I won't admit how many I have because you will be shocked, so lets just say way way over 10 ;)

After trying all kinds from different price ranges, I have narrowed it down to my favorite 3 and I would love to share with you in case you are in the market for a new pair.

3. Havaianas. Stop right now, you are pronouncing it wrong for sure its:  AH- VAI-(like vaio the laptop) ANAS (like the end of bananas).

 How could I not love them?? I am biased considering they are imported from my homeland and that is what everyone back home wears. Total brand pride. But its not just biased opinion, they are really amazing. A brand couldn't have been around for 50 years if they didn't rock everyone's world. Not only are they the cutest ever

Look at the pair I just picked up back home:

They are lightweight and very comfortable comes in various styles and pretty decent priced. Men, children, older adults, they all seem to love them.

2. Rainbows- I am sure I am going to get a lot of hate mail for putting rainbows on the number 2 spot instead of the number 1 spot, but I can't help myself. You see when I first bought my first pair of Rainbows I loved them. They were amazing and made me feel like I made a good investment. It was hard for this cheap ass to drop $50 on a pair of flip flops. But considering I use them so much, its an investment (at least that is what I tell my other half).

Rainbows are awesome. They really are and mine are worn thin. I have used them very much this part year of ownership. They suck in the beginning because you got to break them in so therefore you might get blisters for the first couple days, but after breaking them in, its like stepping on a cloud. They fit nicely on your feet, lightweight (a bit heavier than havaianas but not by much). They don't slip and slide when wet, in fact if feels like they grip on to your feet when wet.  If it wasn't for my number one choice I would definitely put rainbows at the number 1 spot..but..

1. Reefs. I can't say enough about these. More specifically reef fannings. You see I wasn't even in the market for new flip flops. I had my rainbows and was perfectly happy browsing Macys when I saw these :

(don't mind how beat up they are. I get a hell lot of use of them)

I decided to try them on, walked a couple of steps around the store and bought them. At about the same price of rainbows that was total splurge but I was sold on just a couple of steps. They are super comfortable, better for those of us that have wider feet, heavier than rainbows and definitely twice as heavy as havaianas, but don't let that discourage you. They don't feel heavy. At the end of the day even though I wore flip flops all the time, my feet still hurt. I have extremely flat feet (the reason why I prefer flip flops. They hurt less). Well at the end of the day even after walking  10-20 miles or more, I have no pain whatsoever. I got new blisters while in Brazil when I walked a good 15 miles one day from wearing my Rainbows, but no pain or blisters whatsoever when I wore my Reefs. The most amazing thing about Reef fannings is, right underneath each of them there is a bottle opener.

Crazy right!! It seems like a stupid thing and I really laughed at it and dh pointed and made fun of me when he saw it. Except that he tried on my reefs fell in love and bought himself a pair. Who would have thunk it that a couple months later he would be stuck in afghanistan with no bottle opener and trying to drink an old style coke bottle?? Oh yeah he is not laughing now. His reefs came in handy :)

 That is why they are number one in my book :)

I hope I helped you make a decision the next time you are in the market for some new flip flops :)

** Ignore how dirty and worn out my flip flops are. No new flip flops were provided for this review. This is my own thoughts only.
** Sorry if they are upside down, if you were expecting a perfect picture, you are in the wrong

Do you have a favorite?? Maybe a new brand I haven't heard of it?? Feel free to share, I am all up about trying new flip flops :)

Love A

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vacation part I

I just got home today, after thousands of miles of driving with 2 kids and their crap and one international flight with a child and all her crap, I am back to the good ol USA and even though we had an amazing time, with memories that will keep us warm until our next summer vacation, I am glad to be back. I am still working through all the laundry and organizing I have now left to do, but all that can wait while I try to summarize our fun time.

1st leg of our vacation took all 3 of us to S Fl to my parents house. Lots of summer days, delicious drinks, lazily lounging days filled of pool and sunshine. The kids both got a nice little tan and lots of love from the grandparents.

Than it was time to pack and repack and organize all suitcases and dd and I hopped on a plane to Brazil (Ds didn't want to go so he stayed behind being spoiled by the grandparents and attending camp) while dd and I made the 9 long hr flight to Rio. It was the first time I have flown internationally with dd and I was pleasantly surprised what a great flier she is. She slept before we boarded, I boarded with her sleeping, and she didn't wake up again until 6am, 2 hours before we were about to land. Easy peasy. Getting 4 70lb suitcases, 1 bookback, 1 purse, 1 stroller and 1 child through customs and security was a whole other mess, but we won't dwell on that. She was a great flier, the plane didn't crash, all good :)

I haven't been home since Ty was 3 years old, so the purpose of this trip was for dd to meet her great-grandparents (lucky child has 3). Well she met them all, got loved on by her cousins, spoiled by aunts, played, laughed, ate so much junk and just had a good old time. Language barrier didn't stop her or them. Somehow she communicated with everyone and everyone just loved on her. She came back thinking she was all that :)

I had tons of fun. This time I had no desire to see any landmarks. I have seen them all a million times, dh wasn't with me, and dd is too young. I had a strong desire to remember how people live and see if this is something we could do in the future. You see I left Brazil when I was 13, there is a golden rule that after 7 years in America, everyone that returns have a really hard time adapting and want to come back to live in the US. For vacation is amazing, to live is a whole other different story (more at part II) so I wanted to experience daily life and see if this is a possibility in our near future. My aunt was more than happy to oblige.

She took me to work, I rode the bus (the majority of Brazillians ride the bus because of cars so expensive and gas prices double of what the US offers (even though we are a huge export of gasoline (don't even try to understand how that works)), the whole country rides the bus. The bus system works. There is a bus every 5 minutes and because you ride the bus you walk. You walk here there and everywhere. Thank goodness because if wasn't for all that walking, I would have gained a good 20 lbs in 20 days ;)

So I rode the bus (standing up because it was packed), paid to go pee (public restrooms are a rarity and at the shopping center you pay 50 cents to go pee), I went to work with her, I went shopping (and carried all my groceries a good 10 miles, than lugged all of them on the bus and than lugged all of them home), I went clubbing, I went to bars, I played beach volleyball, I ate churros filled with dulce de leche from the street vendors, than 5 seconds later I ate a chicken crepe, than a half hour later I ate pork skins and before the end of the day I bought sweet peanuts from a toothless centenarian street vendor. One day I walked so much and so far, I had blisters from my flip

I had an amazing time seeing all my cousins aunts and uncles. I met new cousins that recently joined the family and a couple more that will join the family pretty soon after getting married.
I am the first one to provide grandchildren/great grandkids so therefore to say my kids are spoiled with love is an understatement. 3 years ago they spoiled ds and this time they did the same for dd. They could do no wrong and since there hasn't been a child in the family in a long time, you can only imagine how everyone acted around her.  She was more than happy to oblige. The amazing/scary thing about dd is that she will go with anyone. She will blow kisses to strangers, talk to anyone and let anyone pick her up and love on her. If you have long hair, a plus because she loves to suck her thumb and rub anyones hair. So, she easily got held by everyone all day long. Even strangers on the elevator talked to her, kissed her, and just fell in love with her.

I had a lot of time and many eye openers during this trip to think and rethink about my life. Just to give you an example, the only place I stay is at my aunts place. She is my mothers youngest sister and my favorite relative ever. We are very similar. Well she lives in a 1000 square feet 2/1 apartment and it lives her, her son that is 9, her 22 year old daughter and her parents (my grandparents). There is many other places that I could have easily stayed and had a lot more space, but I decline them all because my aunts place is home. She is the absolute best host ever, last time I went to Brazil with the hubby and ds, I stayed and her place, this time I stayed at her place, and will stay again anytime I go. It was very eye opening for me. In this current rat race that we are for bigger and better (house, cars, toys, etc), to realize how comfortable I feel in very small living quarters and to learn the lesson that being a good host has absolutely nothing to do with the size of your place.

Next time I will talk more about that, I have talked plenty, and will leave you with some pictures.

 The view from my aunts 12 floor. One day I shall live on the 12th floor. Its a great babysitter. I can't even tell you how many hours this child spent just admiring the view.
 Getting love from some cousins!
 The first time this child goes to the beach in Rio and she is asleep. Granted it was 9pm during beach volleyball but still. Don't worry though, she woke up after :)
 Eating sweet popcorn at the park.
Cooking with my beautiful cousin!

After my aunt let her play with water and make a mess, she gave her this makeshift dress in order to dry her clothes!

 Playing with aunties hair!
 Celebrating greatgrandmothers 67th birthday!

Playing with cousins hair!

Love A