Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Feeling festive

We were having trouble keeping our glasses straight before lunch when I remember that my mom had these cute glass markers - we've never used them before, but the were perfect for today!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas cheer!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas to me

I hope you all enjoyed your pre-Christmas weekend, but now it's time for the fun to really start. For me, Christmas officially begins when I wake up on Christmas Eve day. The morning is traditionally filled with running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and loving every minute of it. Then towards dinner time, things slow down a bit and I get to just enjoy.

Today has been no different. I put ribs in the crock pot for dinner and made some homemade ice cream, stood in line for an hour at the bank and the post office, and finally got to pick up my Christmas gift from my husband, and may I say he was very lucky that it got here before Christmas, but somehow it always seems to work like that for him.

Now I am eating what may be the best Christmas Eve lunch that I could think of - Taco Bell, and running to Target to join the crowds and spend my gift card before Christmas :). Then I'm going home to put in one of my all time favorite Christmas movies - the Muppet Christmas carol (if I can find our VCR) and make some chocolate chip cookies, which was the only thing that my husband requested for dinner... I wonder about him sometimes...

Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful couple of days!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lazy Sunday evening

I've decided to embrace the opportunity to do nothing for a few hours. This is how I'm spending my Sunday evening; hanging out on the couch in my PJs, giant mug of my favorite white hot chocolate (how can than cute snowman mug not make you smile?!), watching garbage television, and enjoying my pretty Christmas tree!

Here's to hoping that your Sunday was great, and that the next week, as we prepare for Christmas will be full of celebration!

Just one of those days

It's 6pm and I am on the couch in my PJs, because it has just been one of those days. It was gross, and rainy, and cloudy today, and that is always gonna put a damper in my day, I swear I have undiagnosed seasonal affective disorder, seeing as we are a month into Ohio winter, I'm feeling it.

That, on top of ridiculous other little stuff - I ruined a cute sweater in the wash, couldn't find what I was looking for at the store... It was just a blah day.

So now here I am, ready to be comfy and do nothing. That's how Sunday night should be. I could really go for some ice cream too :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

A little reflection

I was all set to post the Christmas cookies that I spent the day frosting, and how much I enjoyed my day off, then I turned on the news.

It's a hard day to be a teacher, and yet, I wasn't with my kiddos today. Monday can't come soon enough, so that I can give them all a few more hugs and be thankful that they are safe, happy, and too young to be afraid of the things on the news. Every Ike that something like this happens it makes me think about my job just a little differently. I can make sure that they can count to 20 and write their names, but there are plenty of things that I, that no one, can control.

My heart goes out to all of those families, and to the teachers, who will never be able to get this day out of their minds.

Newtown CT 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Check, check, and check

And so the Christmas-prep checklist continues. Here is what I've managed to accomplish this weekend:
Paid Black Friday credit card bill
Attended company Christmas party
Baked sugar cookies to be frosted next weekend
Addressed Christmas cards and ordered stamps
Battled the crowds at Kohl's - note to self, next year buy new pillows BEFORE thanksgiving, it's not worth fighting the holiday shoppers
Made my Christmas baking list and started the grocery list
Wrapped a few more gifts

There may have been some sleeping in and complete relaxation, along wit dinner out and checking out Christmas lights thrown in there too. I learned my lesson last week, if you don't chill on the weekend, the week is that much longer!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Not so formal-wear

Ahhh! I scored these adorable rose gold metallic flats for $6 at the Gap outlet, and they absolutely MADE my outfit for the Christmas party.

We don't go formal, but we all recognize that any excuse to dress up just a bit can be fun. I was planning on wearing boots, but when the temperature hit 60 degrees I felt I needed to seize the opportunity to go sock-less one last time! They were super cute with my skinny jeans, but I'm afraid ill have to wait until next April to pull off this look again.

Christmas Party Time

I'm hosting part of our annual teacher and staff Christmas party tonight! You read that right, I'm only hosting part of it. We are going to attempt a progressive dinner, so we are meeting at school for appetizers, then going to one house for soup and salad, and another home for the main course. We are going to end at my place for dessert and drinks.

I love hosting because it give me the perfect reason to scrub my house from top to bottom. Right now my house is spotless, it looks like something out of a magazine, and I love it.

The girls clearly know me well because they assigned me dessert, and I may have gone just a little overboard. I made red velvet brownies, cranberry chocolate cookie bars, molasses cookies, and pumpkin hand-pies. And of course I had to try everything, so who knows if I'll have room for all of the other courses!

Here are some photos of my cute table!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

To get you in the Christmas spirit

Thanksgiving is long gone and my week has been all about getting ready for Christmas!

Last night we took the kids in my class, and their families, to the Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo. The Lights are always a magical experience, but it is so much better when you attend with kids. Not only were they in awe of the sights an sounds, they were amazed to see each other outside of school.

I didn't take too many photos, I was too busy corralling kids and parents, but I got a great shot of the famous Toledo Zoo Christmas Tree!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy gifts for kids

I know a lot of people who have kids on their shopping lists this year, and all those toys and ridiculously adorable clothes can add up fast, so here are a couple of quick, inexpensive gifts that I made for the kiddos on my list.

Fleece headbands - these are supremely easy; one quick stitch. The only thing that you have to remember is to cut the fleece with the scratch so that they can get it on. After stitching one edge glue on a cute flower and you have the perfect gift for a girl.

Fun fleece scarves - these are so simple that we made them with the 4 year olds in my class. Just cut strips of fleece that are 1 yard by 7 inches, stack three strips on top of each other and see straight down the middle. On each edge make cuts 3 inches apart, from the outside edge to the center stitching, just be careful not to snip your stitches. Shake it out a little and you have a cute scarf.

Now's the time to buy fleece, so while you may have to wait in line at the cutting table, at least you'll get a great deal!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas... Bring it on!

This girl is totally, completely ready for Christmas! House decorated - check. Tree up - check. Gifts bought and wrapped - check. I was massively productive this weekend, which is not something that I always get to say, and I am so excited to spend the month of December relaxing and enjoying, as opposed to the usual stressing and freaking out.

Don't get me wrong, I do still have plenty left to do, and I could give you my to-do list, but given the fact that you probably have a list of your very own, I'm sure you don't need to be stressed out by mine as well. I'd love to hear what you've done this weekend to get ready for Christmas - even if all you did was put away the thanksgiving leftovers, baby steps people!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Starting this holiday off right

I can't think of a better way to celebrate this particular holiday than a pumpkin spice latte with lots of whipped cream. Bring on the calories! Now I've got a parade to watch before we hit the road (can I just say that I'm not impresses with the hosts, really, this was the best CBS could do? I miss the Matt Lauer/Katie Courick days, and yes, I'm a child of the 90s).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Sending you a little happy! Enjoy your turkey!

Time to breathe

Whew. I'm wiped out. Today was awesome and jam packed. It was one of those days that wears you out completely, but you're ok with it because you've gotten so much accomplished.

I was off work today, but my vacation didn't start until I finally sat down to eat dinner at 7:30. The rest of my day was a marathon cooking session - baking cookies, 2 different kinds, frosting cookies, baking sweet potato biscuits, packing everything up, and cleaning the kitchen, like 3 times. I also may have taken a little break to get my nails done, a girls gotta splurge every now and then!

This morning seems like a really long time ago! Here are some pictures of my hard work. I'm off to enjoy my holiday! (And check out the cute lamp I scored for $10! So I did some shopping too, there's always time for shopping).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nothing says thanksgiving like pie!

We asked the kids in my class how we could celebrate thanksgiving in our classroom and their very first response was "eat pie!". What can I say, I have a class full of geniuses. They may only be four years old, but they've got their priorities right!

So last night I made two pies, an apple and a pumpkin. It wasn't until I went to the cupboard to get the can of pumpkin out that I realized I've never made a pumpkin pie before. I guess it makes sense, seeing as I don't particularly like pumpkin pie, but I'm told that my first pumpkin pie ever was good - I don't know, I didn't try it.

I also don't really like pie crust, its dry and boring, so when I discovered cinnamon swirl crust my world changed. Both my apple and pumpkin pies had a cinnamon swirl crust.

I can officially check pies off of my to-bake-for-thanksgiving list, now I jus have to finish my cookies an attempt something new - sweet potato biscuits. I'd love to hear what's on your list!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The process

Making sugar cookies in my house is a week-long event. I could probably get it all done in two days if I had nothing else to do, but life has a tendency to get in the way, so I've broken it down into manageable chunks so that I can get a little accomplished at a time.

Day one (usually the evening before I want to bake the cookies): mix up the dough and refrigerate over night. 30 minutes.

Day two: roll, cut, and bake. After baking I let the cookies cool and then put them into a container that I can put in the freezer. Freezing the cookies lets me return to them whenever it is convenient. I don't have to worry about frosting them before they get stale. 3 hours with clean-up.

Day three: make frosting. This includes actually making the frosting and mixing frosting colors. I prefer to do this the same day that I frost the cookies but it doesn't always work out that way. 1 to 2 hours depending on the number of colors.

Day four: frost and decorate. This is the most time consuming part of the whole process, and it is nearly impossible to say how long this takes because it really depends on how fancy the cookies are going to be, but I can say without a doubt that it never takes less than 4 hours (clean up included).

After the cookies are frosted they take at least one full day to dry. Whew. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Today was frosting and decorating day for my Thanksgiving cookies, and I was so excited to finish these babies, then I ran out of frosting. That RARELY happens, and when it does Its like letting the air out of the balloon. Now I get to find time to make more frosting and decorate more cookies.

Here's a picture of the cookies I've finished for thanksgiving so far - this year I went for a fall theme, so I've got turkeys, pumpkins, apples, pies, squirrels, and acorns. They are super cute if I may say so myself!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wait... Free Starbucks?!

Have you seen this?! This weekend Starbucks is doing but one get one free on their holiday beverages from 2-5pm. Umm yes! I'm in for sure! This is perfect for all of you who will be shopping this weekend. There are some awesome deals out there, but I'm not sure I understand the point of a Pre-Black Friday sale... I'm all for a sale, don't get me wrong, but the whole forgetting the entire holiday of thanksgiving thing rubs me the wrong way.

I may do a little shopping the weekend, but for the most part I will be devoting my weekend to getting into the holiday spirit in other ways. Saturday morning is my hometown's annual holiday parade, and just because I don't live there anymore doesn't mean that I get out of the festivities, ill be there, freezing my butt off with everyone else!

Sunday is devoted to frosting thanksgiving sugar cookies, and I have some really cute designs planned for this year. I am so looking forward to hanging out in my sweats and getting frosting everywhere!

I hope your weekend is just as festive, I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today's duds

Today I finally got to wear the cute cute cute sweater that I scored outlet shopping last week - leopard print cardigan, need I say more? I paired it with teal for a little color. This is my favorite kind of outfit, one that is super easy, but looks like it was hard to pull off.

At the moment I've got comfy clothes on, I'm headed out to see the latest installment of Twilight! Don't judge me. I'm actually one of those people who read the books, when they first came out, you know, before they started making the movies. I'm also trying to prove that I'm still young and fun by catching the midnight showing and still dragging myself to work in the morning. I am willing to push my way through a sea of screaming teenagers (and their mothers) to enjoy a good (if not a but far fetched) love story!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Peace of mind

For the first time in a week I can finally say that I am perfectly healthy! I am so happy to be through my little health scare, and my trip to the cardiologist yesterday completely erased all of my fears. This morning I am enjoying the gorgeous view of the frosty field and totally looking forward to the holidays!

I have a huge appreciation now for anyone who is facing severe health problems, I understand just how terrifying it can be!

Monday, November 12, 2012


I had a ton of fun shopping with my very best friend this weekend and I am so proud to be able to say that I have to buy one more gift card and then my Christmas shopping will be completely done!!!!

That is huge for me! So, since my shopping is done I've talked myself into taking on a bunch if Christmas projects. I bought material yesterday to make a new tree skirt, which has been a goal of mine - to have a handmade tree skirt.

While we were shopping, ok while we were eating dinner we saw a woman wearing the cutest scarf, and the more that I checked out her scarf - I tried really hard to be subtle - the more I was convince that I could make one myself, so I did! Now I have three more to finish before Christmas!

Let me tell you this was the easiest scarf to make. As long as you can crochet a single chain, you can complete this scarf. I made a super long chain, wrapped it in a loop 24 times, and then wrapped one section with a single strand of yarn (like you would wrap a wreath form with yarn). I think for the next one I will do it a little thicker, but I love how cute it is and I will definitely be making one for myself too!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Because it couldn't be that easy...

On Wednesday I got a prescription for my nasty cold/sinus infection/I'm not really sure what it was, and I thought I was home free. Ha, that's almost comical. Try the opposite of home free-I don't even know what that would be-I woke up Thursday morning with stabbing pain in my chest, and as someone who has a family history of heart disease, I don't mess around with that stuff.

I spent Thursday morning at the ER, where they found absolutely nothing wrong with me, and the rest of the day hanging out in the cozy little spot on my couch that you see pictured below. Let me tell you, scary business! I'm convinced it was a funky reaction to the prescription, that, or the bug that I had messes up your chest.

I went back to work today, but clearly it hasn't worked itself out because its only my lunch break and I am not only exhausted, but I'm still trying to catch my breath. I would much rather be in the couch! I am so ready to be done with this!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sick day

I hate hate hate having to call in sick, but its days like today when I really appreciate that I am able to do so. I have been feeling crummy for a week, so I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor because I have an important date with my best friend and the outlet mall this weekend and I NEED to get better!

So now I get to spend the rest of the weekend on the couch finishing a Christmas project for a friend, one I should've finished a couple of years ago...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

I voted this morning, bright and early. We have a bit of a ritual in our house, my husband and I go to the polls together, which means I get up early so we can make it before her has to be to work. This morning the place was packed! Our polling location is never this busy, not even when there is a hotly contested school district levy (which happens fairly often around here). This getting up early does have one perk, it allows me time to stop for breakfast before work, so I've created my own little tradition. On election morning I get McDonalds for breakfast. Nothing says I love America like the Golden Arches, am I right?!

This sounds fairly insignificant, but you have to understand that this particular splurge is something that or me is usually reserved for one other morning in the entire year - which also happens to be in November - Black Friday!

Here's to Election Day, I hope everything goes smoothly!

Monday, November 5, 2012

How I celebrated Halloween

Halloween is one of those holidays that make me really appreciate my job. I don't have children of my own, but I get to do the fun stuff with the kids in my class. But after celebrating all day, I go home, and its almost as if the holiday doesn't exist.

We live in the middle of nowhere, so we don't get trick or treaters. I decided it was time to figure out a way to celebrate, even if it was a small celebration.

This was my evening; apple cider wine spritzers (yum!), and ghost pizza (pepperoni pizza with slices of provolone cheese cut with a ghost cookie cutter). The best part is that it was Halloween, so calories didn't count :)

It's winter

The calendar may still say fall, but I am officially welcoming the first cold of the season. This, paired with the fact that the temperature outside dictates the need for gloves and scarves, means that it is winter in my book.

I'm trying to get through the day with lots of cold medicine and coffee so that I an enjoy my mom's retirement dinner tonight! Hope your Friday is great, I am looking forward to my last completely free weekend until next January! I will be sleeping in and hanging out in sweats, just 4 more hours!

Weekend review

I had the most productive weekend! I think it was the combination of cold medicine and caffeine...

I finished a ton of Christmas gifts, which of course I can't share because some of the recipients read my cute little blog. I also finally finished the table runner that I started for my mom - before Halloween. That dang binding, and the whole hand stitching part just takes time.

It is super cute, but I needed to get the full effect, so I set my whole table up for thanksgiving. Of course I am not actually hosting thanksgiving because my house is teeny. So I thought I would share sine photos of my thanksgiving table, or rather, what my table would look like if I were hosting thanksgiving.

All of the pieces that you see on my table are pieces that I already owned, don't go out and buy new stuff that you'll only use one day a year!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Happy Halloween! I made some really cute Halloween sugar cookies to take to work today. I forgot to take a picture until they were wrapped in Saran. It doesn't photograph well, so instead you are getting a photo of a cute Halloween card from Red Stamp. Check it out in the App Store - beat free app ever! Have a spooky day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Watching and waiting

I am in awe of the photo below (from I have lived my entire life in Ohio, but from a very young age I have been fascinated with NYC. I dreamed of moving there for college, living in a teeny apartment, and going out at all times of the night.

Needless to say, that never happened, and I am very happy being just a small town girl, this is where my heart is. But that fascination has left me glued to my television watching the coverage o Sandy, along with the rest of the nation. I am so struck, by this photo of Times Square, completely empty. It's like a scene from a movie.

So for now I will continue to watch and wait to see what the aftermath of he storm will bring, and while I will continue to pray for the safety of those affected, I will also be enjoying the break from all of the campaign news!

Monday, October 29, 2012


I may be in Ohio, but we too are feeling the effects from the craziness that is Hurricane Sandy - at the moment it is ridiculously windy. Actually it's been crazy windy all day, which means cool temps feel downright frigid.

I am not a fan of being cold, so I've been piling on the layers. My favorite winter accessories are scarves. I love them, I may have a scarf problem. I have nearly 30 of them, and I would love to add a few more to my collection! My latest challenge has been finding ways to wear a necklace and a scarf at the same time. Here's what I did today:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Ever since my very first experience with a vanilla bean frappucino I have loved Starbucks, and since then I have tried many different flavors, experimenting at home to see if it was possible to recreate my favorites. Nothing has ever been as good as what I can get at Starbucks. And yes, I fully recognize that i have become a Starbucks snob - it must be a true, stand alone Starbucks, not an in-store kiosk because those are just not the same. I have drink orders that cannot be repeated, or understood by anyone who does not frequent my favorite coffee shop on a regular basis. But despite the fact that we are currently nearing the end if my favorite time if year - pumpkin spice latte season, I have found myself ignoring my Starbucks gold card, preferring the convenience of my new toy. Why did I not buy this Keurig sooner?! I could've saved so much money, and I'm not just talking the cost of a latte, but gas to get to the nearest Starbucks and back to work is almost 20 minutes out of my way. You live you learn right? And I am learning that I love this machine, and all of the wonderful goodness that comes with it. Whoever created the variety pack is a genius. I love k-cups, and if that is all that I get for Christmas, I will be perfectly happy!

So, did I mention that I love this machine?

And now to the thing that I actually wanted to share with you today, and yes, it is somewhat related to my little rant above.

I have a fairly extensive collection of coffee mugs, this one is my favorite. Of all time. It's from Starbucks (I fully believe their travel mugs are far superior to any others, and I love the designs), circa 2006 - back in the day when I could use my meal plan at our campus Starbucks (and you could buy drink ware with your meal plan as long as it was purchased with a Starbucks beverage - leftover meal plan dollars bought MANY Christmas gifts when I was in college).

As you can see I have designed my entire kitchen decor around this wonderful piece of commercial arty, and I will be devastated if it ever breaks (like the gold Christmas version with the reindeer that I dropped on the cement:).

There you have it. Longest post ever about absolutely nothing!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


My front porch has always been a bit neglected, but I've never had a problem with it. Our front porch is worthless, there isn't even a sidewalk leading to it, and if you felt the need to walk through the grass to the front to, you would also have to fight your way through and overgrown pine tree. The pine tree pretty much covers the front door and accompanying teeny tiny porch, so it can't even be seen from the road. Considering that no one saw our front porch, I felt absolutely no need to pay any attention to it myself. Until today, when for some unknown reason I felt compelled to place my newly carved pumpkin on the front porch, and take a picture, a very sad looking picture. I'm almost embarrassed to post it, but I will because that will serve as my motivation to do something about it! At least my monogrammed pumpkin is super cute!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Exciting Saturday evening plans

When I was little my mom used to make us really elaborate Halloween costumes. That woman can do anything with a sewing machine. She swears she is not creative in the least, but I beg to differ. Between my sister and I she had made a cow, a mouse, an ice cream cone - complete with cherry on top headpiece, a pumpkin, a clown, a witch, and a poodle skirt. I'm sure I'm forgetting something seriously cute, but they were amazing costumes. She'd start as soon as costume patterns went on sale, and there were near constant pinnings and fittings, I loved every minute, and I appreciate them so much more now than I ever did then!

This is why I am so excited about my plans for this evening. I get to help one if my very favorite co-workers make her son's Halloween costume. This is my gist chance to do what my mom did for me for all of those years. That said I do hope that she realized that her job is not done because all I'm doing tonight is making a superhero cape, that's easy peasy, she can make all of my children's costumes, because if my kids are anything like me they aren't going to want anything easy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Loving layers!

The only way to describe today's weather is to take a cue from Winnie the Pooh - it's blustery! Cold, windy, spitting rain, and gray clouds as far as I can see, which is why I am so in love with the outfit I have on!

We've already talked about how this dress is probably my favorite thing in my whole closet, top it of with my favorite comfy sweater, and the boots that I would wear every day if I could, and you've got a winner. I added some of my newest pieces of jewelry for a little sparkle and I am totally comfy, yet looking very polished!

And I'm throwing in a picture if the dog, just because she's cute.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Target find of the season

You can always count on Target to carry a highly sought after exclusive product during the holiday season - last year's Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses are currently going for $26 a bag on amazon, and earlier this fall there was rumor of an elusive candy corn Oreo. Today I found something new; the Cadbury Scream Egg. I picked two up for my dad, he's a big fan of the original, and the Halloween version has a green center, who wouldn't love that?! Even the clerk at the checkout counter didn't know they were selling them, so who knows how long they'll last. I'm just hoping that mine won't melt in my car while I finish my work day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finally finished!

Last night I bit the bullet and bought a new area rug - actually I got a really great deal, it was meant to be. But this means that I can finally say that my living room makeover is officially finished! This has been a long time coming, and the rug is a huge symbol of how far I have come - my husband NEVER would've agreed to a cray fun rug like this even a year ago. Baby steps people!

Here are some photos of my lovely living room. Please excuse the lighting, it's the best I can do, the room has a wall of windows.