Friday, August 31, 2012

It's a good one.

I'm linking up with Ashley for Friday's Letters today, and today is a particularly good one, if I do say so myself!
Dear college football,
You're baaaaaaack! Thank goodness. We're off to tailgate for the USF game Saturday, but I'll of course be rooting for my home team, Alabama! Roll Tide! I am so happy it's back!

Dear wedding pictures,
Thank you for turning out so so well! I am so happy with all of them and am trying to figure out my favorites and what to print/use for projects. It is too hard. I'll share more next week!

Dear running/working out in general,
I miss you. I think it's less than 3 weeks now and I can finally start you up again! It's been far too long (although only 3 weeks it still feels far too long) since I've seen a site like this...and I'm scared where I'll be when I do start again...

Dear school,
I am currently owning you. I have all of my lessons for both of my preps step by step detailed until the end of next week. BAM! Like I said, marriage is looking good on me!

Dear Zara,
Why do you have to have such cute shoes all the time, especially now that I'm trying to have a spending freeze? These were only a couple of the many I love.

Dear long weekend,
I have a super long list of things to get done this weekend. I am planning on making it an insanely personally productive weekend. I emailed my long list to Tim and told him what my intentions were, and his response is below (only about half of my list is showing). I promise he's wrong.

Dear linkup fans,
The Go for the Goal linkup will be Tuesday September 4th! Linkup your August recap and/or September goals.

Dear Tim,
I love you. 

Dear followers and readers,
I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet about the spending in September, but I'll let you know once I decide. I just love buying things too much. I honestly think it's just the act of buying! Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting!

What are you doing this long weekend?! What's something coming up that you're looking forward to?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

spendy {part two}

Confession: I don't remember if there was ever a part one really, but I do remember at least thinking that there was, so I'm naming this part two. Anyone not okay with that?

Let's for a second add up all of the things I've {we've} spend {lots of} money on in the last month and a half. Wedding, Honeymoon, Surgery, New Tires...I can assure you that if you're looking for an online bank account to hack mine wouldn't be worth wasting your effort on. And after all of this constant spending, you would think that I'd be spent out. I can assure you that assumption would be wrong.

I am far from spent out! Every time I turn around, click, check my email, read blogs, or play pinterest I find something new that I must have. I told you that I ordered twine from The Twinery and Washi Tape from Wishy Washi Tape. That was unnecessary money spent, but since the tape arrived, I have had some fun with it. I decorated my phone case then held my work computer hostage. 
You're not going to find my project in any art museum, but it has spiced up this not so exciting school computer in a fun way.

That being said, it's only made me want more! Do I need more? No. Do I have a reason to buy more? No. So why is it that I've got this spending bug, and how do I get rid of it?!

In an effort to curb spending and check my ability to control myself, I put myself on a complete spending freeze this week to anything besides Starbucks, food, and gas. Here are a few of the things that I've been attempting to buy {luckily unsuccessfully} in the last week.
A gold tassel for my LV bag (I first saw it on Kristin's blog and decided I wanted one too...)
One of these May Books people have been giving away.


And there are absolutely other items. J.Crew sweaters, Stella & Dot jewelry. This is just the beginning. It's gotten to the point where I have seen See Jane Work having 25% off and Ulta having 20% off, and before even finding stuff that I wanted I decided that I was going to have to buy something because of the discount!

This is so bad! It isn't that these items cost a lot of money and will break me, but it's that I don't even really need them and just want them. I'm definitely free and clear until Friday. I'm not buying anything. My budget this month has been busted. But once the new month comes, somebody stop me! I'm wondering if I should put myself on a full month spending freeze. This week has been so hard for me. I just don't know if I could do it for an entire month, but it really might be good for me. We'll see. I'll let you know what I decide. 

What are you wanting right now? How do you resist shopping online? Do you have these same desires constantly or is it just a personal problem?

Monday, August 27, 2012

What a weekend it was {and still is}...

The weekend is still upon us down here in Tampa. Isaac is churning through the Gulf of Mexico, but it seems we're avoiding most of the storming. All of the schools in the area got cancelled because of flooding potential and the threat of high winds. Tampa floods pretty badly, but for the most part it seems that we're in the clear on the worst of the storm.

I'm keeping the people in Mobile, New Orleans, Pensacola, and the surrounding areas in my thoughts, since it seems they're predicting Isaac is going to pick up. If you live in that area, stay safe.

This weekend we went across the state to Ft. Pierce for a wedding. It was a beach themed wedding, and it was done so so well. I wish I had taken pictures of the centerpieces, because they included no flowers, and they were amazing. Every one was different, and it was so tasteful but so fitted to the theme. It was nice to have a mini vacation, and it's also nice to have today off to recover.
I loaded up my arm party with new jewels from Jewelry Nut auction (the two on the outside) and Molly (the two on the inside). It was a dainty arm party for me, and I liked it! Our table was so much fun. Jen, me, and Debbie sat across from our husbands, and what a fun time we had recounting past stories and laughing all night. It was great! 
They had a cupcake cake, and I enjoyed the delicious red velvet. All of the cupcakes had different white chocolate shapes one top. And the picture of me and Tim was from the dance floor, and while I know it's blurry, I had to share it, because I HAVE HAIR! Guys, you know I've posted about having thin hair and hair problems before, but it's getting better!

And people have asked me are the changes I've made:
I use the Dove Hair Therapy Spray a lot.
I got off birth control as a test (I've always had a hard time with birth control, and because of the fibroids I had removed I can't take anything with estrogen...which limits me to products that generally have harsher side effects).
I take my thyroid pills purposefully and regularly (which is also a side effect of hypothyroidism, like I have).
I change up my shampoos frequently. I wrote one time about Redken Anti-Snap and one time about Aveda Invati, and I have to say that neither of those work in any noticeable way, but they both cost more than a pretty penny. I wouldn't recommend them.

Also this weekend, I volunteered to keep a girlfriend's dog.
So until Wednesday, this is my dog. And I love having a dog so much already. I'm going to try to convince Tim to get one. Although I'm not sure I could ever train a dog to be as well-behaved as this one. He's so sweet and cute and doesn't bark or use the bathroom in the house. It's so much fun!

So that was my weekend. Today I'm going to use my day off to catch up on laundry and run errands. Everyone stay safe!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Letters #7

It's Friday! I've made it successfully (and happily I might add) through the first week back at school! I'm lucky to have great classes this year!
Now for some letters!

Dear students,
Thanks for a great first week back! I can't wait to see what a great year we will have together!

Dear marriage,
You're looking good on me. Between being down to my lowest weight since before college, I've also been more productive, organized, creative, and motivated! Watch out, you're making my classroom look like I hired an interior decorator!

Dear Hurricane Isaac,
Although I have enjoyed my first week back, I wouldn't mind one extra little day of rest and relaxation at home. Since it seems you're going to be a small hurricane, feel free to stay out in the Gulf of Mexico and let your outer edges hit Tampa next week. Some heavy rain and mid-level winds wouldn't be too bad. 

Dear Christi and Brent,
I'm excited for your wedding on Saturday!! I can't wait to celebrate with you.

Dear Raequel and John,
I'm excited for you to get married today! I know Lauryn's excited for you too. 

Dear Wishy Washi Tape and The Twinery,
I'm so excited for your products to arrive at my house! Hurry!! I want you to be here today or tomorrow!

Dear new tires,
Why are you so expensive? It seems like I should have something to hold or wear or carry things in when I pay that much for something! I hope you last a long time.

Have a great weekend!! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pinteresting Wednesday

You may be able to tell that school is back in because of my lack of posts this week. It is back in full swing, and I'm worn out. I don't know what it is about being a teacher, but the lack of sitting and the constant desire to ensure all of my students are happy and understand what is going on is so tiring. I really do like it, though.

Since my brain is slush and I've spent my early evening calling around comparison shopping for tires, I thought I'd share some favorite pins recently. I don't know what took me so long to jump on this Pinterest bandwagon. I've had it for a long time and used it, but in the last two weeks I have really gotten it and its popularity.
First, I have become obsessed with washi tape and baker's twine projects. I ordered a bunch on Sunday and am chomping at the bits for it to arrive so I can start cutting and taping. 
I've also been excited for fall clothes, and I'm really proud of my closet and wardrobe at this point and can honestly say that minus a blazer, there is nothing that I'm lusting for right now to complete these looks.

And lastly, not a pin, but I wanted to show you two of the bulletin boards I'm so proud of I did for my classroom. I've never been that creative with my room, but I decided to be this year. The last one I'm not showing you has pictures of the kids in my homeroom, so I can't put that online.

One is my Dr. Seuss "Oh the places you'll go" bulletin board.
And the other is my 2012 election year bulletin board.
Happy Wednesday. Give me a few more days to get back in the swing of things.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Letters #6

Happy Friday!

I wanted to share some letters today with Ashley.
Dear summer vacation,
It's been a great one. Between our trip to Chicago, the wedding, our honeymoon, and other goings on, it's been one for the books. Thank you for being so fantastic! I'm sad that you're officially over as of today. 

Dear 2012-2013 school year,
I can only imagine what you've got in store this year. I'm going to make it the best one yet. It'll be my fifth year at the same school, and I'm so pleased with where I am and what I do on a daily basis. What can I do to make it the best?

Dear Tim,
Thank you for taking care of me the last week and a half. I know it's been a big rough at times, but it's really nice to know that when I need someone, you're in my corner. I'm glad that in everything we face I'll have you on my side. I'm glad you have your room all setup and can enjoy it before your classes start on Monday.

Dear wedding photographer,
You don't know that I snoop on your Smugmug site almost daily and found that you had uploaded the first few from our big day. They're AMAZING and I cannot wait to see the rest and actually tell you that I love them.

Dear fall,
I was really frustrated with you when people started wanting you to come around in early July, but I can now say that I'm ready. Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, fall dress, candles, and sweet treats, bring it on!

Source: via meghan on Pinterest
Source: via meghan on Pinterest

Dear online shopping,
It's been a while, and truthfully it needs to be quite a while longer. But if I'm going to be able to recreate some of these Pinterest looks I've been pinning lately I'm really going to need a pencil skirt, a blazer, and some skinny and ankle pants. Are there fall sales? Did I miss them while I was taking my hiatus?

Dear friends,
I'm getting back at it! I've been reading and commenting again, and I'm so happy to hear about your summer trips and big events. If I've missed any big news (or even if I haven't and you're just celebrating) like an engagement, big birthday, or a baby, will you let me know!? I love celebrating with you.

What are you doing this weekend?!
I'm getting my life back in order before the kids come on Tuesday. This 4-6 week recovery is going to have to be cut short...I'll just be taking it easy while getting back at it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Waimea Canyon, the Kalalau Trail, and more of Kauai's Splendors

After the first two days, we had spent a total of 1.5 hours relaxing in beach chairs, and over the course of the next 6 days, that would only be extended by another 2.5 hours. We took advantage of everything, and we left no stone unturned. 

On the third day, we drove the 2.5 hour narrow and curvy one way drive to the Waimea Canyon, dubbed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific by Mark Twain (although he never actually visited...). I've actually never been to the Grand Canyon, but I can imagine that it is similarly breathtaking. 
And I had to include a picture of a chicken...because they are everywhere. They have no natural predators on the island (also there are no snakes) so they run amuck. 
Also at the top of the canyon we saw Mount Wai'ale'ale, which is one of the wettest spots on earth and gets over 400" of rainfall a year.
And we were able to see down into the Kalalau Valley along the Na Pali Coast.
After the long drive down, we went to lunch along the water and saw sea turtled swimming out in that lagoon. I never did see any snorkeling, but this was the second best thing.
And then we saw Spouting Horn.
The following day we went hiking along the Kalalau Trail. We knew it was a rough hike, as we had read about it being ranked 10/10 in difficulty by the Sierra Club, but I don't think we really knew what we were getting ourselves into.

The trail is 11 miles, and you can only go along the first 2 miles of the trail without a permit. We didn't get a permit, but after the first two miles you could hike another two along a side trail up to the waterfall. We had planned to hike the four miles in and the four miles out, and we figured it would take us most of the morning. We got there at 7:15am with tons of water in our backpack.
The warning signs as you enter the trail.
And while it was very difficult, the views were amazing.
After two miles we got to the Hanakapiai Beach, which was the furthest point you can hike without a permit. It's only accessible by this trail, but the water is really rough, as indicated by the sign before you reach the beach.
It took us almost two hours to hike those two miles, and we're in pretty good shape. But instead of turning back, we turned onto the side trail to hike up to the Hanakapiai Waterfall. To term is "trail" is a stretch. It is completely unmarked, and there were so many places along the way that we didn't know if we were on at trail. This particular upward rock climb was actually part of the trail.
But once we got to the waterfall we were so happy we spent another two hours getting there...I did have one freak out moment where I was frozen along the side of a huge slope trying to maneuver across a slippery rock-face. I just stopped and had a moment while clinging on what felt like for dear life. I'm sure I'm not being dramatic here...
And just like holding the octopus, we were in Hawaii, so we just had to swim in this icy water that we couldn't see 6" into. We're probably lucky we didn't get sick. We did swim over and under the waterfall, but the pictures didn't turn out.
We then hiked the four miles out and made it out by about 2:00 in the afternoon. It was a day. Wow. I would absolutely do it again, and next time I really want to try getting a permit to hike more of the Kalalau Trail. It is apparently frightening at certain parts, though.

That night we had a nice dinner, but we were so so tired. Can you see it in our eyes?
The following day we took a catamaran along the Na Pali coast and went snorkeling in the deep sea area along the coast. It was amazing, but it was nice to stay near the coral for fear that a shark would scoop us up...
Hanakapiai Beach in the background.
So many caves along the coast.
And this is the picture that shows the scary part of the Kalalau trail that I'm not sure I'd make it across. If you can see the faint horizontal line along the cliff, that's the trail. Apparently it's 6 inches wide at the point, and it's called crawler's ledge. I've watched oodles of videos of people crossing it on YouTube, and I honestly don't think I'd be able to do it, but I really want to go back one day and try...
This was where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed when Johnny Depp runs through the cave.
For the last two days we took little day trips to different places we wanted to see. This was Queen's Bath, where the Ocean crashes onto the rocks. It's the number one site for drownings on Kauai because during the winter the sea is so much higher and rougher and apparently people go out on the rocks and get swept out to sea. During the summer though it's really calm, so we swam in it.
We also went snorkeling at Tunnels Beach that we had seen earlier by helicopter.
And eventually it came to an end. This was dinner on our last night. We ate in the hotel bar, watched the sunset, enjoyed our favorite drinks from the trip, and talked about our favorite parts. 
The whole trip was fantastic, and there isn't one thing we'd change. We will definitely be back to Kauai one day, and we will revisit all of our favorite spots and eat our favorite foods. But this particular experience, the excursions we went on, and the amazing hotel that we stayed at will together be a once in a lifetime experience.

Thanks for enjoying the pictures we had so much fun taking!
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