Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Easy Holiday Latte

I love my Keurig, but I have found myself at Starbucks a lot more recently, for one simple reason: I am a sucker for holiday flavors. I love pumpkin spice lattes, gingerbread and caramel brûlée lattes, and peppermint mochas. In order to save a little money, I've been trying to create holiday coffees that I can make at home, without buying special syrups. 

My old stand by is an easy pumpkin spice latte. I brew a Cafe Escapes Vanilla Latte kcup and stir in a little pumpkin pie spice. My newest favorite flavor is the gingerbread cookie latte. It starts with the vanilla latte, which is a pretty good base because it is creamy, but lends itself well to adding other flavorings. Then I add some ginger and cinnamon, and before I stir it all up, I stick the end of my stir spoon in molasses, stirring the molasses and spices into the latte all at the same time. 

I'd love to hear your favorite coffee recipes, feel free to share!

I'm done!

I'm all done with my Thanksgiving baking! Now, before you go rolling your eyes and shooting me dirty looks, you should probably know that I started a couple of weeks ago and have been freezing some of it, so I didn't have a ton to make, plus I've got big plans tomorrow - lunch and "Catching Fire" with my sister, and an afternoon of cookie frosting for the big game on Saturday (go Bucks!), so the Thanksgiving stuff had to get done today.

Here's what I've made:
Pioneer woman pumpkin cinnamon rolls (honestly, the best cinnamon rolls EVER, you can find the recipe on the Pioneer Woman website)
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Molasses cookies
Cranberry Chocolate chip tarts

I made cranberry chocolate chip cookie bars last year at Christmas time, and couldn't wait for Christmas to make them again. This year I used the cookie dough to make a tart and filled it with the chocolate chips and fresh cranberries. These couldn't be the more perfect mix of tart and sweet, love them!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Awesome resource

I spent most of the day updating our website for work (check it out:, and today I have to say that I am so super thankful for  Honestly, I can manage my way around the computer, blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, etsy selling, I've got it all covered. Creating a website, however, was not something that I was familiar with, and to be honest, it scared me a little. has been the answer to all of my questions. This site not only offered free website hosting, but you can also create your own website using all of their templates and graphics, import your own photos and graphics, and wix partners with other sites to offer "apps". The apps allow me to connect my wordpress blog to the website, stream YouTube videos on the site, and even share Pinterest Pinboards right on our school website. 

The whole thing is a drag and drop format, so it couldn't be easier, especially for someone like me, who wants it my way! There are different packages available, and you can even create and publish your website for free. We opted for the premium package so that we could use and connect our own domain name, but for all of that, plus additional backgrounds, layouts, and apps, we only pay $100 a year. 

If you are in the market for a website check out I absolutely love it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Strike out

I had it all planned, I was going to blog about how I made French bread this afternoon. I was going to talk about how I was dying for meatball subs, but I didn't have any buns or any good bread at all really. I kept trying to think of something else to make for dinner, and then it his me, duh! I can make my own French bread!

I was planning on telling you where I got the recipe, and sharing how easy it was, but then, well, I'm still trying to figure out what happened...

I've made bread before, lots of bread, I'm no stranger to using yeast. And the recipe that I found on Pinterest had a lot of great reviews, and it really was easy, but it tasted nothing like French bread, it didn't really look like it either.  It didn't taste bad, we used it to make meatball subs, which were wonderful, but I can't very well recommend a eclipse that I will never use again.

I'll just stick to buying day old French bread from the grocery store. That's all I've got for you today. Oh, no, wait, I did finish my fingerless gloves, they turned out cute huh?!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sewing day

Today was my favorite kind of day, a free day to spend sewing!  I'm almost done with all of the Christmas gifts that I wanted to make,  so today I let myself on a few projects that I wanted to do for myself - kind of.

We just got a Hancock fabrics dangerously close to my house, and they had a great sale yesterday, so I splurged on some fun fabric for a new tree skirt. This isn't a traditional tree skirt by any means, it's for the tree that I put up in my studio. I love this tree because I get to decorate exactly how I want! which means the entire thing is purple. Last year I didn't get to put the tree up because the base was broken, but my husband fixed it for me last night, so it is up and ready to go, with a purple ruffly tree skirt. 

I promise that I'm not the kind of person who decorates for Christmas before thanksgiving, in fact I love decorating on the day after thanksgiving, so I'll add all of the ornaments then.

I made a tree skirt for our tree in the house last year, and I definitely learned a couple of things in the process. That one was quilted, and while it turned out beautifully, I don't have that kind of time, so I went with a more simple pattern for my studio tree.. The other thing that I remembered from last year was how hard it was to make the skirt a perfect circle. I spent some time thinking about it, and let me tell you, the solution that I came up with. Is genius, if I may say so myself.

For this tree skirt I placed the fabric on top of the round table in my studio and cut using the table as a stencil. It was so easy! That worked so well that I actually had the patience to measure all of the ruffles for the border. I love how it all turned out - although I may do a little research on how to biase bind the inside circle, because that was a total disaster! Oh well, you win some, you lose some :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Getting in the spirit

Though it may not even be thanksgiving yet, it is the Christmas season according to Starbucks. The red cups are back, and when I went to Starbucks for coffee last week, I found myself with a conundrum that could really only happen to someone like me.

You see, I have an adorable re-usable coffee sleeve that my best friend bought for me, it is bright and springy, and I have used it as a pattern for similar sleeves for fiends and family, but I always use the same one.  I like things to match - it's part of my aesthetic OCD - and when I went to put my cute pink and teal coffee sleeve on the red Christmas cup, I nearly had a mismatched meltdown. I know, only me.

Of course this meant that it was time to break down and make myself a new Christmas coffee sleeve. It turned out really cute, and I was super excited to use it, until I realized that my sleeve had bright cherry red, and the Starbucks red cups are a darker, deep red this year. I can't seem to win, but at least I got in the same seasonal theme and color family, and it is still really cute!

Staying cozy

It's been getting chilly around here! This has me on my annual hunt for the perfect gloves. I found my stash of gloves in the closet early this fall, and I told myself that I wouldn't need to buy any new ones this year. Ha! Of course the fact that I don't NEED them just makes me want new ones even more!

I' be been searching for just the right pair, and I can't seem to find them anywhere. I have a few criteria, I want them to be fingerless so that I can use my phone, and the problem that I keep running into is that the fingerless gloves all have covered thumbs - I don't know about you, but I do 90% of my texting and swiping with my thumbs. Plus, they have to be cute, I'm not willing to spend money on something that's not cute!

Since I haven't been able to fund exactly what I want in the store, I decided to make them myself. There's my type A personality for you, I can do everything best if I do it myself...

We got our first snow of the season, which has motivated me to finish these, this is an in-the-middle-of-the-project photo.  I can't wait to show you the finished product, I have visions if lace and buttons and complete girliness!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

An experimental experiment

I've been working on a project for our county 4H program, a project book all about one of my favorite things - baking cookies. This afternoon i tested out an experiment that is part of the project (I figure its a good idea to try it myself before asking a 9 year old to do it).  You can find all kinds of variations on this experiment all over Pinterest, basically, i use different amounts of ingredients, different baking times, and different baking temperatures to show the effect that each variable has on the finished cookie.  my variables, and therefore my results, are fairly over-exaggerated, because I want the effects of each ingredient to be well understood.

1. The first cookie is the control - this cookie has the proper amount of all necessary ingredients, and has baked for the correct time.

2. The second cookie has too much flour. Not only did it not spread out, it is also rock hard.

3. The third cookie has too much shortening, which melted and burned during baking because there was too much for the flour to absorb.

4. The fourth cookie was baked at the correct temperature, but for too long.  It is hard, and burnt all of the way through.

5. The fifth cookie was baked at a temperature that was too warm.  The edges are burnt and crispy, and the middle is dark, but very soft. It did not bake evenly.

6. The sixth cookie was baked at a temperature that was not hot enough.  The cookie is too soft to pick up, and is not cooked all of the way through. 

I'm glad that the experiment worked the way that i wanted it to, but I was really sad to have to ruin 5 cookies in the process, it hurt to throw those in the trash!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy distractions

The approach of the Christmas gift giving season makes it very difficult for me to share all of my fun crafty diy projects. Mainly because they are meant for my friends and family who may or may not read my blog. 

This year is going to be a mostly DIY holiday, due to the fact that I am on an extremely fixed income, and also because I have had ample amounts of time to craft. It has worked out really well, and I'm slightly jealous of the adorably cute things that my favorite people will be receiving. I'm also incredibly thankful for the distraction that all of this crafting has provided.

You see, I have a tendency to be a bit of a worrier. You could say that I have a little anxiety problem, but so much of what I have to worry about at the moment is completely out of my control. I have been fighting hard to keep up my faith, and having fun distractions has been a saving grace! 

Of course, I have made some cute stuff for myself, whenever I make a gift I like to make a practice one first, for a couple of reasons. #1: I want the recipient to get a really nice gift, so I try to work out the kinks on a practice project first, and #2: the stuff I make usually ends up being so ridiculously cute that I want one too. So I figure if I make the practice one for myself, everyone wins (please tell me that I'm not the only one who does this!)

So thank goodness for Christmas crafting and hopefully I can get back to work soon!

Friday, November 1, 2013

How I spent Halloween

The weather at my house was perfect for Halloween (maybe not perfect for trick or treating...) it was stormy and really windy. I probably should've watched a scary movie - although Scream is about the worst I can stomach - but I didn't. Instead I spent halloween doing two very un-halloween-ish activities. First I worked out (who works out on halloween?!), and then, I made some Christmas decorations. Yes Christmas decorations. What can I say, I had nothing else to do. 

Here's a photo of the painting that I made to hang in my kitchen this Christmas season. I think it turned out pretty good considering I NEVER paint , at least not since high school art class. Enjoy your candy-induced-day-after-halloween coma, and don't forget about Thanksgiving, which according to the calendar is the next major holiday, even though most department stores beg to differ!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yummy Mummy!

I told you yesterday that I LOVE Halloween. Today for lunch I made a Mummy Pizza, the recipe is from Yummy Healthy Easy and it is definitely very easy, and super quick! Enjoy your Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A little bit of this... A little bit of that...

I have attempted a number of different blogs in the past year, most have them have been started in order to try and keep my personal blog personal, and my work blogs work related. Let's just say that I have failed miserably. I end up spending more time on one than the other, and let's just be honest, in many ways, work is personal. So here it goes, I'm just going to mash them both together.

Now for some, this wouldn't work so well, but I'm a preschool teacher/child care center owner, so most of what I do at work is what other people do at home.  I feel like my preschool activities and tips will fit right in on my own lifestyle blog, because even though I don't have kids of my own, I tend to relate to moms more often than not because my days are filled with the same things that theirs are.

One of my favorite resources is teachers pay teachers, and I have made it my mission to try and build their collection of preschool resources. Here is one of the activities on my site that is great for young children who are getting ready for school, and school aged children who might need a review (one pack includes numbers 1-10, another has 11-20) . There are also a large number of free items available for download across the site, and some really great clip art too!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What I've been up to

I mentioned in my last post that I've had a lot of down time, which has been the silver lining to this whole insane process.  I've spent the vast majority of it doing fun crafty projects.  I was lucky enough to score a great deal on a new sewing machine, which i am obsessed with! I wanted to share my latest projects with you - much of what I have been working on will eventually become Christmas gifts, so unfortunately I can't share those yet, but here are my recent favorites:

1. I taught myself how to knit, actually Kristin from Good Knit Kisses taught me how to knit, her videos are amazingly easy to follow.  I've wanted to learn how to knit for a while, and while I have a grasp on the basics, I am definitely in need of some more practice.  I keep starting the same scarf over again, but it has given me something to do!

2. I have started making hexagons and hand piecing them. It is my dream to make a giant quilt with all of my itty bitty hexagons (you know I have it all laid out in my head), but for now i'm happy to have a project that i can do little bits at a time.  I swear I have the attention span of a two year old! I have been following Mollie at Wild Olive for a couple of years, and her hexagon projects are so cute that I kept saying I would sit down and give it a shot, if it is something that you want to try she has a great tutorial.

3. I made myself a new wallet.  Well, technically I made myself two new wallets.  Since I took the leap and bought my nice new sewing machine, I promised myself that I would really learn how to use it. My first attempt was typical; I really wanted to do the project, even though I knew that I didn't have all of the supplies, I wanted to do it, and I wanted to do it now. It turned out ok, and I was proud of myself for attempting, and successfully inserting two zippered pockets, but after using it for a couple of weeks there was one major design flaw that was driving me NUTS.  See, I'm not really a pattern person, I don't have the patience to cut out all of the pieces and read the instructions, so I made up the pattern for this first wallet as I sewed.  The result was a wallet that had credit card slots that were just too big.  Every time I opened my wallet my cards fell out.  After a couple of panic attacks from thinking I had lost my driver's license or credit card (they were in the bottom of my purse), I decided it was time to ditch my very cute, yet highly un-functional wallet.

I decided to try again, but this time I found a tutorial (thank you That*Darn*Kat!) which gave me some measurements to follow, and some great techniques for creating card slots.  But I also personalized it a bit, including extra spots for coupons.  I had originally intended to create a tutorial for you, but to be honest, my favorite thing about making this wallet was that I could use some basic measurements and customize the rest to work for me, I think that is what DIY is really all about, not copying exactly what someone else has done, but taking a few ideas from a few different people and creating something totally new.  THese are photos of my second attempt, which worked beautifully. I am so in love with this wallet!

I'm sure to be busy attempting to finish these little projects. Hopefully they will help me stay sane while I continue to wait!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thank goodness for great quotes

I've been busy busy busy since my last post, how's this for a quick update, I'm starting my very own child care center! I knew that this would be a huge undertaking, and I did not expect it to be easy, but I also didn't expect it to take this long.

I feel like I've hit a brick wall, you know the one, where you begin to doubt everything that you know to be true.  At this point I'm doing a lot of sitting and waiting, which tends to be the case when your become dependent on a state agency (I'm currently waiting approval for a day care license)' and we all know that waiting breeds the worst kind of anxiety.

Ironically, the thing that has kept me going (bedsides my amazing husband, who I swear believes in me more than I believe in myself) is the same thing that I turned to constantly when I found out that I had lost my job, which is what started this whole journey in the first place: quotes on Pinterest.

Some people just know how to say exactly what I need to hear, thank goodness! Here are the two that are sticking with me tonight. Maybe I'll make them my mantra :

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Traveling queen!

Call me a jet-setter, I spent the morning in Fort Wayne and tomorrow I'm on a plane to Philadelphia! This girl has been busy busy.

I'm going to Philly with my co-teacher (who also happens to be one of my favorite people in the entire world) to accept a grant/award from the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation. We are so excited because she received this award 2 years ago and we had an amazing time on that trip, we totally deserve a little fun time, so hopefully all goes well!

I am also very impressed with myself because I have managed to pack three days worth of stuff in my carry on. I get that people do this all the time, but those people are not me, so this is a huge deal. I am a notorious over-packer, so to get clothes for an open house, luncheon, awards ceremony and flight home all in one teeny bag has been my major accomplishment of the week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Moving on

Wow. It's been a while. Lets just say my life has been a bit nuts lately, which has left me feeling lots of ups and lots of downs. BUT I am so over it. I'm ready to move on and this is the best opportunity to do so, seeing as I have a whole week off!

I started today with a trip that I've been meaning to make for a while - a local baking supply store that I've *gasp* never been to. I have a friend who has been raving about this place and I finally took it upon myself to check it out. Let me just say one thing; how did I not know about this?! Oh. My. Goodness. Every kind of pan, cookie cutter, wrapper, sprinkle, extract, tool, you name it, you can find it here. I was honestly in this tiny little store for at least an hour. If you find yourself in Maumee Ohio you MUST stop in The Baker's Kitchen, and forewarning, there is an actual bakery attached to the store and if you don't faint from the sugary sweet amazing smell then you just may have to buy baked goods before you leave.

The other fun thing that I did to start off my week was to try out the Popsicle molds that I got at Ikea not too long ago. I used a recipe from the Cookie Dough Lovers cookbook - cookie dough Popsicles! Also amazing! I took a picture but it did not do the Popsicles justice, and then they started melting, so I ate them, hence, no pictures, but I promise that they tasted amazing.

Now I'm off to bed early because I am getting up at 3:30 in the morning to embarks on a pilgrimage - Vera Bradley outlet sale here I come!!!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thank goodness for the weekend

To say that going to work has been difficult this week would be an understatement, which is why I am so glad that it is the weekend. At least on the weekend I can pretend that nothing has changed, I can still be myself and do what I enjoy. And thank goodness, I can revel in doing nothing at all if I want.

I did get a couple of things done today. I finally got the rest of my Easter decorations out, and I dyed eggs. I came up with a bit of a brainstorm this year, if I may say so myself. See, I haven't dyed eggs since I moved out of my parents house because no one in my house eats hard boiled eggs, and I just couldn't see buying them, dying them, and then never eating them. This year I decided to go ahead and dye my eggs without hard boiling them first. I figure, I have a ton of baking to do this week, so at least I can enjoy the pretty eggs when I crack them into a bowl.

That said, I wanted to make sure that I used dye that was food safe, because I wasn't sure how much of the dye would actually touch the egg inside of the shell. I had considered dying them with coffee, but I really wanted fun, bright colors. I found a ton of different spices and berries that I could use, but I really didn't want to buy all of this stuff, so I used something that I already had plenty of in my cupboard - food coloring.

Genius, right?! It was so simple, I put a blob (really technical and precise) of gel food coloring in a bowl, added a half of a teaspoon of vinegar, so that the color would adhere to the egg a little better, then I filled the bowl with water and whisked until the gel was dissolved. I added a couple of eggs to each bow and then put the bowls all in the fridge for at leas two hours. When I rinsed them off I was pleasantly surprised. Some colors definitely worked better than others, the pink and purple were super bright while the yellow barely showed up at all. That said . I would definitely do it this way again! Now I can't wait to bake!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A little bit of control

Last week didn't go quite as I had planned. On Thursday I found out that the school I had planned on teaching at for the next 30 years will only be open for 3 more months, needless to say I've been a bit of a wreck.

Today I was ready to be in control of something again, so luckily I had a job to do that I knew I could accomplish - frosting cookies. Here are my St. Patrick's day cookies, I had to get a little creative with my cookie cutters, and I'm really impressed with how well they turned out. It's just what I needed today.

I also decided to dress up my nails a little, so I went for some light-hearted polka dots, maybe they'll be enough to make me smile a bit.

Hope you had a great St. Patrick's day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My new favorite gift to give (and get!)

I have a pinboard on Pinterest called "I want one!" It's full of random things that I would love to have - I know, the name is soooooo original. At Christmas time my sister was smart enough to check my pinboard before she started shopping, so I received the best gifts that I had forgotten I wanted. Of course now I pin things to that board hopping that she'll look there, so who's the smart one?!

She recently bought me another gift that I had pinned, a Diamond Candle. If you haven't heard of these then you may be living under a rock, but I'll tell you about them because I'm usually the last to know. This company makes incredible candles, the scents are so strong that you don even have to burn them for the candle to make your home smell amazing, but you'll want to burn them every single day because inside of each candle there is a ring, and you have to burn the candle and melt the wax to get to the ring.

Here's the best part, you never know what kind of ring you'll get, it could be worth $10 or $10,000. This is the kind of gamble that I'm wiling to take!

So thank you to my sis, and for all of you that get these from me for Christmas, just act surprised.

Give and take

Today I am thankful for Internet service after a weeks without it, however I am not thankful for the idiot who put a giant pole with a giant satellite in the middle of my yard, so you could say that I have mixed emotions...


I was so super efficient and productive last weekend, and all week I've felt like I have been recovering from all that hard work. I'm exhausted and feeling really lazy, but I'm hoping that I'm finally turning the corner, just in time for the weekend again.

So here are some pictures from last weekend; the bandanas that I bought on a spontaneous trip to the discount craft store (something that I try not to do more than twice a yer because it has proven quite dangerous to my wallet), and the super cute rainbow St. Patrick's day treats that I made for the kiddos in my class.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Today I am thankful for an amazing breakfast on the go. Let me tell you, this one was all about being prepared the night before. I started by pulling a bag of banana chocolate chip muffins out of the freezer - I know, super hard. But they were ready for me this morning, and I needed that!

I also tried a new iced coffee idea, and it is amazing, probably my favorite homemade version yet, and I finally got to use the adorable travel cup that I got for Christmas from a very crafty friend! It definitely made my day!

So here's the easiest iced coffee recipe ever, thanks to my Keurig; I made two mugs of vanilla cafe expressions and poured them in a pitcher, I topped that off with a cup of coffee, stirred it all up and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning I stirred it again and it was ready to go! Love it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Looking for inspiration

I finally finished one quilting project this year, and now it's time to think about my next one, but I've decided to really challenge myself this time. I'm not letting myself buy any new material.

This is crazy for me, because I have a process. I go to the fabric store with a reason to pick out fabric, and I let myself go in therefor hours, putting together combinations and mixing and matching, and usually spending way more than I had planned. But picking out the fabric is my favorite part, and it usually gives me the momentum to get through the rest of the project, because I am so inspired by the fabrics that I have to work with.

Now that I've been doing this for a while, I've accumulated quite a fabric collection, of mostly scraps. I really want to use these little bits and pieces to creat something amazing, but I have a few fears that I'm going to have to tackle first. For example, I am terrified of working with tiny little squares because I'm not patient enough to get the corners on my bigger squared to line up.

I've rummaged through my fabric stash, and I've got a pretty nice color combination, but that's about as far as I can get. I think it might be time to turn to Pinterest for a little inspiration, and then sit down and really work this out on paper before I start cutting.

I can't believe I just said that... I'm usually a measure once, cut once, and it something isn't right ill work it out later kind of girl...
Clearly it's time to switch up my process just a bit.

Just a book

Amazon just had a great clearance on their kindle books (which is a bit weird to me because clearance is usually what you do when you wan to move product off your shelves, and these books are clearly not taking up space on anyone's shelves...), I LOVE cheap kindle books because I have such a hard time picking out a new book. When the book only costs a couple of bucks I don't mind if I don't end up loving it. Anyway, long story short I picked out a couple, and yesterday I completely indulged.

I slept in and then stayed in bed for another hour reading, I ran errands and grabbed lunch, and read while I ate, and when I got home I stole a couple of hours on the couch reading. We went to our favorite annual fundraiser last night, and got home late, but I wasn't tired, so I stayed up reading, until 2:30 in the morning!

I haven't done that since I was in college, and I loved every minute of it. The book was great, but the best part f the entire experience was having to time to really enjoy a book, in a way that I haven't done in year. Yes, I still read often, but not like that, where I lose entire hours to the story, I love it, and if that makes me a complete nerd, then I guess I don't care, but I also know that there are more than a few people out there who know what I'm talking about!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Being treated like a professional

I'm a preschool teacher. I spend most of my day making messes, refereeing arguments, modeling appropriate behaviors, and cleaning up messes. I live in the land of boogers and milk mustaches, smeared marker and broken crayons, and the adults that I talk to are parents who privately think that I am nothing more than a glorified babysitter, even though I have a bachelors degree and routinely speak at education conferences.

So today I am thankful for professional development opportunities. Today I got to spend the day with other professional adults who understand my language, who are fluent in developmentally appropriate practice, literacy domains, and project work. These are women who not only understand what I REALLY do every day, but who value what I do everyday, and who inspire me to continue doing the work that I am doing even though it is not glamorous and prestigious.

I need this, I thrive on this, and I will go back to my classroom on Monday with more energy than I usually have on a Monday, and for that, it is worth it!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

How I unwind

Some people gripe about having to cook dinner every night, I don't understand this, because personally I need that time to unwind. Making dinner is my transition from work to home, and it's something that I get to do all alone, in silence. When I cook I don't think about work, and I don't think about everything I have to get done after dinner, I just focus on what I'm doing.

So here's a picture of my space. It's not big, and it's not fancy, and at some point, down the road, when I find an extra million dollars, I might be able to have a kitchen that belongs in a magazine, but for now this is my space, and I love it because its comfortable. That is what I'm thankful for today!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A novel idea

The last couple of days have been just a bit stressful, so tonight I'm thankful for me time. Not that I've actually had any me time, but I'm definitely seeing how important it is, and therefore resolving to make more of it. I'm trying to remind myself that I don't need to respond to every text message and email as soon as I get it, I can put the paperwork down for the evening and just relax, because goodness knows that if I don't my brain will never wind down.

So right now I am sitting on the couch, watching tv, and doing my nails. I love me time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Enough said

Today I am thankful for professional development, and the opportunity to spend the day talking to adults who take me seriously and view me as a professional, which is what I get to do tomorrow, thank goodness! Sometimes I need that!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Loving old memories

When I was little hockey was a big thing. My home town was home to one of the best college hockey teams in the nation and one of the best high school hockey teams in the state, so ice skating was just something we did, and we loved to go to hockey games.

Tonight I got to go to a hockey game, our local minor league team, and I am so glad that my sister went with me because the game wasn't very exciting, but we had a lot of fun reliving those memories! We talked about going to the games with our cousins, mooching candy from the college mascots, loving the action and the fights. It was like being back there!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Just a little snow and ice!

Today I am thankful that I have grown up in Northwest Ohio, where I learned how to drive in snow and ice, and have practiced doing this every winter, because this morning, when I had to drive in one of the worst snow and ice storms that we have had in the last two years, I had experience on my side.

Some people hate to drive in the snow.  It doesnt really bother me, I think I came to terms with it fairly early in my driving experiences because I knew that it would be a fact of life, and also because as much as I love my mother, I didn't want to be afraid of it like she was.  She used to make us be silent in the backseat when she was driving in the snow, so that she would be able to concentrate.

So this morning when it was sleeting and snowing, I wasn't scared when my car got caught on a drift and I wasn't scared when I wasn't sure that I would be able to stop as I approached a red light, I just did what i needed to do, and kept a close eye on those around me.  Thank goodness for experience, and being confident in my ability to get from place to place safely. Oh, and thank goodness I don't have to drive far!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thank God for Girlfriends!

Today I am thankful for friends, specifically the wonderful ladies that I work with, who not only have my back, always, but who also seem to know just what I need.

I left early yesterday with an awful migraine and woke up this morning to a text from one of these awesome girls offering to bring chocolate to get me through the day. When I got to work another handed me a bag of kryptonite, otherwise known as Starburst Jellybeans - just the red ones :) so while I may have had a red tongue and a sugar high all day, my girls got me through. Thank you ladies!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vacation time!

Today I am thankful for vacation time, and I think whoever introduced the use it or lose it policy is a genius!

I work at a community college, so my school follows the college's fiscal schedule, our contracts run July to June, and this year I have three personal days and 5 vacation days to use before the end of June, Which is making my spring very exciting.

Today, for example, I bought two tickets for the Vera Bradley outlet sale, which we will be attending on a Tuesday morning, because we can!!!! I am so pumped!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Amazing service!

Today I am thankful for amazing customer service. Something happened to me today that never, ever happens, ever. So here's the whole story.

Last Friday I went to the eye doctor for an exam and to order more contacts. For most people this is pretty routine, but of course, not for me. I got a trial pair for a new prescription, which I wore all day Saturday, until I couldn't stand the massive headache any more and took them out. I put them in this morning and couldn't see a thing out of one eye, which is a really bizarre feeling.

So, on my lunch break I ran to the eye doctor's office, I was hoping that the receptionist could look up my chart and give me a different trial. Instead, the doctor took me back, rechecked my prescription, checked the fit, and found me a new pair. And there were a ton of people in her office, so it's not like it was dead and she had all kinds of time.

I was beyond impressed. I didn't have an appointment, I hadn't even called before going in, but they still made time to make sure that everything was how it needed to be, and they fixed the problem. So today, I am thankful to amazing customer service! Thank you!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A bit ironic

Today I decided that I am super thankful for the quick drive that I have to and from work, it's less than 10 minutes and I love that I can go home on my lunch break, today I managed to get a ton of random tasks done during lunch - cleaned my tennis shoes AND dusted the blinds - I told you, random.

Bu at the moment I'm finding ironic that I'm thankful for my super short commute because, today of all days, I'm waiting on a train!

Lazy weekend

Saturday I did a whole lot of nothing, and the. I felt the need to carry that right into Sunday :) Sometimes we all just need that, so I don't feel bad a out my lazy weekend in the least.

Last night we had dinner with my family, and that is what I was grateful for on Sunday - the fact that my family is so close that we can see each other once a week and still feel close. It's like a party when all of us get together, we all have something to talk about and there is always plenty of food!

It was a great weekend, now I'm looking forward to the next one!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Easy muffins!

I'm giving a presentation at a teaching conference in April with some of my favorite ladies, so we got together this morning to get down to business and finish up our presentation. Of course I couldn't pass up an occasion for some baked goods, so I through together some very, very easy Banana chocolate chip muffins. Here's my recipe for your next brunch - they got rave reviews this morning (I may have eaten two...).

Banana chocolate chip muffins
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups mashed bananas
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix together sugar, oil, and eggs until well blended, add bananas. When all wet ingredients are mixed together add salt, baking soda, and flour until moistened. Finally add chocolate chips and spoon into muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until tops are golden.

See, I told you it was easy. After all of the hard work that we got done this morning, today I am especially grateful for lazy Saturday afternoons. Usually my Saturdays are crazy, with all kinds of errands to run, places to be, things to get ready for. So today I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to just sit and do nothing!

Friday, February 15, 2013


Every time that I clean my house I say that I am so thankful that we have a tiny little house. So that is what I'm thankful for tonight. Especially since I had to vacuum. The vacuum cleaner is my nemesis. When we got married I told him that sweeping is the one domestic chore that I refuse to do (I blame this in my mother for making me do it for so many years), and he fully understands that is it his job, but he was busy tonight and the dust bunnies were taking over.

Ugh. I hate to sweep. But it's done, thank goodness!


In all of yesterday's holiday-ness I forgot to take the time to post what I am grateful for, but just because I didn't post it doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about it. Because yesterday was valentines day I spent most of my day thinking about how grateful I am for my husband, and especially the fact that he is someone that I really, truly enjoy being with. I won't get all mushy on you, but not every girl can say that her husband always knows what to do to make her laugh. That is a very important quality!

Here's a picture of us from our trip to Nashville, my apologies on the awful quality, it was dark...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


This year for Lent, instead of giving something up, I've decided to really focus on what I have, and how lucky I am. I am going to try to post every day something that I am thankful or grateful for.

Today I am especially thankful for my home. I know that most people consider this to be pretty basic, of course I am thankful for my home as a place of shelter, but it goes a little deeper than that for me. My home is my place to just be. It is an extension of myself and the place where I feel most comfortable. It has taken some time to feel that way, and to get everything just how I want it, and of course I have a wish list, things I want to fix, add, change, buy, etc. but I am in love with my home, it is perfectly mine, and I am so grateful that I have a place to call mine, and a place where I can truly, honestly be me.

This is a picture from early this fall, when I thought I had finally finished the living room, it made me laugh to see how much I have changed since this was taken, but that is so true of my house. It is always changing and evolving, every tweak makes it more mine :)


This is my new coffee mug, doesn't it make you smile! If you need one too, it's from Kohls :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I have a secret Fat Tuesday tradition that I'm about to admit. This could be considered hysterical, or just really really sad.

Every year I get up early on Fat Tuesday, drive to my local Kroger store and buy a whole bunch of pazckis. I do have a reason for buying them, every year I take them to school and call it a lesson in culture. After I buy the pazckis I stop at Starbucks, also in the Kroger store, hence the reason that I always buy them at Kroger, and get my coffee.

Coffee and pazckis in hand I load myself in my car and stuff my face with pazcki on my drive to work. Hey, it happens once a year, it's all good right?

This year I am really trying to be good, mostly due to the extra pounds the came from our quick vacation, so I passed on the Starbucks, which is a decision I am about to regret very very soon seeing as I haven't skipped my morning coffee on a workday in hmmm, like 4 years.... This girl is about to have a massive headache, but at least I'll get my pazcki!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ah Valentine's Day

I am a romantic. A romance-novel-reading, chick-flick-loving, hopeless romantic. Needless to say, I LOVE Valentine's Day.

Now don't get me wrong, I am realistic. My husband is not the romantic type, and while he tries very hard, and is super sweet, I know better than to expect and over-the-top gesture on this particular holiday - although he has surprised me once or twice.

So on Valentine's Day I choose to share my love for all things girly and romantic. Which is exactly why I spent my Sunday watching chick flicks and baking, one giant chocolate cake and a tone of heart shaped cookies later, I am so ready for this holiday!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I'm looking forward to

I'm a girl who likes a little variety in my life, so I suppose it's a good thing that I live where I do because the weather provides plenty of that. Last Tuesday it was negative 15 degrees, Friday it snowed 3 inches, and today we reached a record high 63 degrees. Thankfully it was gloomy and rainy, because if it had been sunny I would really be itching for spring right about now, but I did take advantage of the warm weather to wear my favorite maxi skirt and indulge in an iced latte, my summer time go-to drink.

Luckily the rest of my winter looks like it should move pretty quickly, as I get ready for an already jam-packed spring. Right now I'm really looking forward to our last minute vacation to Nashville this weekend. I wanted to squeeze in a trip, and this weekend looks to be amazing. We have tickets to see Carrie Underwood at the Grand Ol Opry and I cannot wait to spend the whole weekend in the gorgeous new boots that I got for Christmas!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On the bright side...

It has been ridiculously cold here this week, but I have managed to find the silver lining. I can honestly say that I have been more motivated to work out than ever, simply because a good work out raises my body temperature enough that I am no longer shivering. Pair that with the cute exercise clothes that I bought last weekend and I just may keep off the extra pounds from all of that cookie dough!

Monday, January 21, 2013


I spent my day off outlet shopping with the girls and we had a blast, except for the part where it was 15 degrees and blowing snow. It was so cold today that I thought I would wish for some summer sunshine and show you one of Premier's new summery pieces - the Dakota necklace.

I love love love turquoise, and this piece is long and simple, and so easy to add to an already summery outfit. Here are photos of some great combinations!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What I'm wearing today

Here's another new piece from Premier Designs! This is the one that I happen to be wearing at the moment, the Over the Moon necklace. This one is well on its way to becoming one of my all time favorites because I love any piece of jewelry that I can wear with a t-shirt or a dress!