Saturday, May 28, 2011

summer reads

For me, it's summer!

School's out! I have one meeting on Thursday and I'm officially free for a few months. It's a great feelings, and I've got some great plans. 

For starters, I'm planning on making a long list of goals to accomplish. I'll elongate that later. The first thing that I did was sit down and make a list of books that I would like to read. I spend a lot of time looking through Bestseller lists and New York Times articles to come up with this list, so I thought I'd share in case any of you are looking for inspiration for summer reads.

Gone with a Handsomer Man

What Alice Forgot
Exposure: A Novel
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
Cutting for Stone
The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel
Sacred Games: A Novel
The Book Thief
Valley of the Dolls
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Snowman
Water for Elephants: A Novel
Learning to Swim
The Paris Wife
Emily and Einstein

Have you read any of mine listed? Can you recommend others? I'm trying out using a Google doc to take your suggestions! I can't wait to see!

So, those are among my plans for this summer. I'll write my longer list later. Sorry I've been so MIA from the blogging world. I'll have time to get back to it now! Can't wait to catch up and hear what's going on with you!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

a whole slew of things

So, you may have noticed that it's been a few days since I've posted (or maybe it was just my mom who called today to ask why I hadn't updated...). Sorry 'bout that. The year is almost over and then you'll be sick of me and my posts. :)

Brittan tagged me in a fun 10 favorite things post. I wanted to play along and share some of my favorite things and some old posts to go with it. If the think listed is hyperlinked, it goes back to an older post!

I love cooking, and I'm not the worst cook in the world. I enjoy cooking because I like good food, but I also like making people happy. I look cooking for my boyfriend, and I always keep my fingers crossed that he'll go back for seconds. I also love baking and cooking for my students at school. It makes me smile when they ask me to bring something specific that I've made for them. 
...and how cute would this apron be?
2. Reading blogs.
Though it may not look like it lately, I've loved getting to know people in the blogging world and becoming friends with some. As summer comes along, I look forward to getting all caught up. I'm over seeing that Google reader tells me I have hundreds of posts to read.

3. traveling
Traveling is one of my favorite ways to spend my time and money. This summer I'm going a few places for conferences and small trips, but I'd love to make an international trip again in the next couple of years. My list right now is topped by Greece, Morocco, and China.

Oh, how new this is.

I've been running more and more, and I've been enjoying it more and more. If you had asked me 5 years ago if I ever thought I would enjoy running, I would have laughed. 

I'm even doing a half marathon on October 1st!
5. couponing.
I must admit, another part of the reason I've been missing is because I've been spending way too long couponing each day. I'm trying find a balance, but I'm addicted. I'm not an extreme couponer, but I'm getting a kick out of saving tons of money and stocking up on things when they're on sale. If you're looking for tips (some people asked me how I did it in my last post about it), check out these websites:

6. summer vacation
Oh, the main perk of being a teacher. Here's to sleeping in a little, reading a few good books, and enjoying some me time. I'll of course be doing a lot of planning, organizing, learning, and resetting, but I'll also enjoy doing some stuff for me that I can't do during the year. I'll post on a few of my goals/plans this week.

7. my family/boyfriend
I'm thankful for my dad, who always makes me feel like I'm the queen of the world, no matter how small my accomplishment; I'm thankful for my mom, who is always there to listen, whether it be about a bad day, a good day, or something as menial as getting 2 Neutrogena sunscreens for $2. I love that my sister is working harder than she ever thought she could in law school and still has time to think about what's going on with me, and I'm of course very grateful to have my wonderful boyfriend who always listens when I'm upset and congratulates me and celebrates when something exciting has happened!

8. new underwear
Since I can remember, one of my favorite things has been buying new underwear. Nothing to me compares to getting pretty underwear and wearing it for the first time. Not that anyone besides me knows, but I just love it. If I win the lottery or become a millionaire, I guarantee you I will buy a new pair of underwear for everyday for the rest of my life. :)

9. my computer/phone

I love being connected! I use my phone and computer in every way imaginable. My new macbook pro is wonderful, but my iphone has seen it's last days. It's hanging out by a thread. Between turning off randomly, having a broken power button, and only ringing when it feels like it, it only works for me about 80% of the time I need it to. Still, it's a favorite, and I will absolutely be getting another iphone.

10. snail mail.
There are so many things I could put for number 10. Between pottery, me time, naps, and singing in the shower/car, the list of small favorites is endless. But, I think getting mail might top the list of the small things. I love going to the mailbox and finding something special just for me. A card, an invitation, a note, a package, or anything of the sort is just so fun to receive and open.

Source: via Lydia on Pinterest

Thanks for reading! What's one of your favorite things, big or small?

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

sushi anyone?

I can't remember where I saw these, but I've been wanting to make them for a while. The kids at school have been great, and I've been promising them a treat. I don't normally give candy or prizes or anything like that because of some of my beliefs on motivation, but sometimes the kids just really do deserve a little treat.

It was pretty easy.

1. Make rice krispies
2. Spread out onto a cookie sheet
3. Cut into small rectangles and mold into a sushi rice shape
4. Put a swedish fish on top
5. Wrap up with a small piece of fruit by the food.

There's a fun way to make sushi rolls too!
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Big Weekend!

I'm. Loving. Life.

I wanted to share with you what a wonderful week/weekend I've had! Tomorrow I'll update you on my April goals and tell you my May goals (this is late...sorry.) 

Wonderful Week/Weekend:

1. On Tuesday I went to dinner with some friends from Junior League. It was so much fun! We're going to do it the first Tuesday of every month! Next time we're going to the Refinery, which was nominated for a James Beard award this year. Can't wait!

2. There are two weeks left of teaching for this school year. I'll miss these kids a lot, but I'm ready for summer!

3. On Saturday, I woke up and was down a little more in weight. I'm down 8 pounds overall!

4. I ran 6 miles on Saturday, and I did it in my Nike Free Running Shoes. They definitely have taken some getting used to (I got them last weekend), but I like the idea of running the way my body was meant to.
I'd been running the couch to 5k program as part of my weight loss plan, and I ended up really loving running a lot more than I thought I would. A few people at work have run a couple of half marathons, and I was talking to them about it. One of the guys said that they're totally doable, and that I just needed to be able to run 6 miles before starting a training program. So, yesterday was the big success!

5. Because of that, I signed up for my first half marathon! I'm doing the Disney Wine and Dine! It's a night race. It starts at 10 PM on October 1, so because of where I'll start and how long it will take me, I should finish the race on October 2, my 26th birthday!
Not only that, but I'll be running it with Kayla! AND Tim and my mom will be there cheering me on!

6. I started couponing last week and have already scored some major deals. It makes grocery shopping a little more fun. I did make a pledge to myself, however, that I would only buy things that I use and eat, and wouldn't fall for "trying new things" unless they were absolutely free to me. I promise I won't show my couponing successes anymore, but I wanted to show you that I was giving it a try and you can actually get things you need with coupons.
 I got this at CVS yesterday for $1.59 after coupons. Then, I got $3.77 back to spend on my next trip.
 This was $3.00 today and then $5 in money back
This was $90. I saved $93. It includes meat, produce, medicine, yogurt, etc. And everything I bought is stuff I've bought previously without coupons. And it's my food for the week plus a bunch of other stuff. The two sites I've been using to help me a lot are: I heart Publix and True Couponing.

7. I've sold quite a few of my Stella & Dot samples, and I'm super excited about getting the money back to use for other things!

Anywho, I'm excited to catch up on your blogs and what's going on with you! I promise I'm not going to turn into a running blog or couponing blog or anything of the such, but I was excited to share my fun news!

Have you had a big weekend? What have you been up to?

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Quick Update

I have been so swamped this week. Please forgive my absence. School is wrapping up and the grading is picking up, so I haven't had a chance to blog or visit blog. I'm going to be around this weekend saying hi and seeing what you've all been up to!

And thanks to those of you who wrote about my pottery and gave me other crafting ideas. I'm so excited to try out new stuff and share it with you this summer!
Weight Loss Challenge
As you remember, I've been participating in Lindsey's Weight Loss Challenge. We're on week 5! 

This week:
I'm down 1.5 this week again! I'm thrilled. I didn't think it would happen. I'm going to keep going strong and keep dropping pounds! I'm down 6.5 pounds overall now!

In other news, I'm giving a whirl at couponing. Anyone do it? Is it worth it? I'm having fun, but sometimes it stresses me out. Any tips?

I'll have a better and more exciting post tomorrow. I just wanted to join the Weight Loss Challenge link up and share my exciting decision to give serious couponing a go.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Did you know?

I throw pottery. I guess I haven't really shared my secret and occasional pleasure here, but I love it. I started in high school, took classes in college, and have taken classes at multiple studios since I graduated. I haven't taken in a year, but I'm going to start again this summer and cannot wait!

It's my escape. It's so relaxing to know that I can control the clay and make it do whatever I want. 

While these aren't my favorite pieces, they're ones I had handy to photography. My last class ended a few sessions early when the building was declared structurally unsound after a car hit it. It was an hour from my house, so I never went back once it opened again to pick up the pitcher and casserole dish that I had made. A few months later I wished I had.

Hopefully when I start again this summer I'll be able to make some bigger and more frequently useful pieces.

My original intent of this post, however, was to tell you that I am the least crafty person in the world. I just remembered that I hadn't shared my pottery with you and wanted to. When I say I'm not "crafty", I mean that I cannot scrapbook or hot glue or knit or sew for the life of me. I have, however, found a few DIY projects to try this summer that I think will leave me unharmed once completed. I've found them on random blogs, and they're all credited on the pinterest link below the picture.
These coasters are so pretty, and they seem inexpensive and useful.
I would not use the word 'useful' to describe these, but how fun to have a matching magnet set.
I have so many maps from different trips, and these seem like a delightful way to put them to use.
What do these three things have in common? Modge Podge. I don't think I've used it, but I need to get some yesterday. It seems that I have a future with these kinds of things.
After selling jewelry, I haven't ever wanted to make jewelry. But, this seems fun and sort of organic looking.

Have any tutorials or tips you've found recently that I could add to my collection? I am looking forward to trying these things this summer and enjoying some time getting sticky and dirty.

What's your favorite thing you've ever made?

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