Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A December to Remember

A lot has happened this month. It snowed 3 times before the first official day of winter! (December 4th, December 16th and December 18th). Mom and I visited Tyler in NYC! It was a super fun mother/daughter trip. Michael was promoted to supervisor of Tylaur, Inc. I am very proud of him. He works so hard every day. Sometimes 12-16 hour days and several in a row. He has the work ethic that my daddy does and I know he will succeed greatly in the business. He has already done so much for the company and been recognized and is teaching classes to franchisees! Go Michael!! I did several photo shoots too. It was very cool getting cards in the mail with pictures that I took! School has been going well. My kiddos did a wonderful performance after we missed a day of school and rehearsal due to snow. I did a podcast for wake co. with my principal. You can find it on the cover of wake. co.s website. :) We lost my sweet cousin the Monday before Christmas. It was a very hard time for my family. She battled with many difficulties in her life and is in a much better place now, but we all miss her very much. I had our first annual Christmas Eve brunch at our house. It was very nice. I served bagels with cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers with yogurt parfaits, breakfast casserole and chocolate chip waffles. Then we opened presents with Michael's family and had a lovely day before we went over to mom and dads for their annual Christmas Eve Open House. I love new traditions! Christmas was beautiful and we even had our first white Christmas! It snowed (AGAIN) around 7pm and we were so excited that it started to cover the ground so quickly! We ran outside to play in it. We got about 6.5 inches here at the house. It is almost gone today. It stayed around for a long time. We even made a snowman who is still standing in the front yard. The high on Saturday is 65 though, so I am guessing they will be gone. The house is cleaned up and we have had a very relaxing day. It has been nice. So how was that for my very short and sweet update on December?!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Lilly's baptism
Melissa's pictures for her website
Andrew's Christmas card photos
Elizabeth's Christmas card photos

Monday, November 8, 2010

November already?!

Wow-what a busy life being back at work. It has been a good year so far. Busy, but what a wonderful class I have. I know, I brag too much! I really cannot believe it is already November. I got some INCREDIBLE news yesterday and I cannot wait to make it public. (No, I am not pregnant!) And honestly, anyone reading this either already knows or really doesn't care. haha. Anyway- how to sum up the past month... Well... It went from high 80's to now 50's and getting into the 20's at night! CRAZY! Michael and I are doing well.. We had fun at a Halloween party on the Friday before Halloween. It was so nice to actually have Michael join the party! Kendra, Mom and I went to see Billy Elliot at the DPAC. It was so good. Michael got his first deer with his bow. I'm not ok with it, but he has fun, so whatever. I got some new work clothes at J-Crew. I got about $400.00 worth for only $120.00. Yes, I love a sale. The tanger outlets opened too. I cannot wait to go. I have done a couple of photo shoots and have had a blast. I cannot wait to do some more. I'm doing one next weekend. Thankfully my father in law has allowed me to borrow his camera again. Only about a month until I get my own! Yay. I am so ready for that D5000! Can you believe how close Christmas is? Wow. We went to Charlotte yesterday for Lilly's baptism. It was definitely nice. Not what I am used to, being that I am not Catholic, but it was interesting and an experience. I am glad everything turned out so nicely. It was very nice to see everyone. Right now I am making pumpkin bread and watching DWTS. I have been sick for a while now... hopefully I can get rid of this silly cold. Anyway... I know this is the most random and boring post I think I have ever written... sorry.

Let go laughing!!! !~

Sunday, October 3, 2010

don't forget the whipped cream!

Michael and I were in a "savings" battle at the grocery store today. :) When we came to the bottle of Reddi wip - whipped cream to go with my pumpkin pies, it was $4.99! So we looked for the HT brand... $3.99. Ok, a good dollar cheaper! Buttttt... I decided I would make my own. We left the store with a pint of whipping cream for a whopping $2.75! I spent a good 5 minutes making it and it tastes BETTER than the $4.99 whipped cream!


  1. put the bowl and mixer in the freezer to chill
  2. mix 1 cup of whipping cream until it begins to show thickness
  3. add 1 Tbs of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  4. mix on high until desired thickness
  5. add to your favorite dessert and enjoy!

a day in the kitchen... and a coon





My morning started with some amazing pumpkin pancakes!


Here is the recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs vinegar

1. In a seperate bowl, mix milk, pumpkin, oil, and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture.

2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour batter onto the griddle, using approx. 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.




how to make pumpkin pancakes


* they are thick, so don't be alarmed!

Since then, I have made my very first pot of daddy's chili, daddy's birthday cake and pumpkin pies! I think after our dinner at the Brazilian steakhouse last night and all that I have been eating here at home... I have quite possibly eaten more this weekend then I did all last week! I need to fast. haha. So much for that 6 lbs I have lost. I have prob. gained it back! Oh well. Life's too short!

Other than cooking this weekend, I did have one rather exciting- ish event! Coach and Ringer decided to munch on a raccoon they somehow managed to catch yesterday. Luckily, they are OK and more just gnawed on it rather than ate it. No blood was visible and they're doing OK. But let me just tell you when I walked into the back yard to go borrow a pan from the neighbor (aka mom) it was a huge surprise to see a dead, baby raccoon laying in the yard. The ironic part of the coon was the fact that coach has a stuffed raccoon that is EXACTLY the same size as the 'real' coon laying in the yard. The only thing that caught my eye was the flies around it... It was bad! The emergency vet lady laughed at me when I called her because she said "ma'am, is there any visible blood or lesions on the raccoon or your pets?" I said... "ummm... I am NOT going near that thing, I don't live in the woods and I do NOT know why it is here." Then as I was about to hang up from her (after I did what she said and did go near it...) she says "oh, and ma'am... you should definitely remove the raccoon from your yard." I told her that would be my husbands job when he got home. Lucky for him, Dad got home before him and mom sent him over. He removed the dead raccoon and confirmed that there were in fact ZERO signs of lesions or blood. Lucky for Coach and Ringer! This is now the third animal they have tag teamed and brought towards the door. I guess they think it is a good thing! They had one squirrel all the way inside the dog door next door and dad thought it was a sock! Hahah. Then, Michael found another squirrel a few months later out by our hammock. This was most definitely the first and hopefully LAST raccoon!

Time to sit and read my magazines and maybe some of the three books that my ADHD self is in the process of reading. But first, I am going to put up the Halloween decorations outside. Michael says it is too early... but he is at work, so guess what... they're going up! :o) he DID get the boxes out of the attic for me, so he must have changed his mind. ;)

~~let go laughing.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a picture is worth 1000 words...



Although last week was technically the "beginning of fall" it finally felt like fall this morning. It is again 82 degress, but at least it looks like fall out! :) Last night we had a great night with some great friends. We played board games and cooked burgers on the grill. Michael actually had a Saturday night off at home. It was so nice. Liz is looking more beautiful each time I see her further into her pregnancy with baby Dylan. :) So exciting! We even have the same middle name picked out for our girl (one day). Great minds think alike! Anyway, I cannot wait to do her photoshoot when she gets a little bigger! I got camera happy today and Michael let me spend an hour in the camera store. I cannot wait to get my new camera at Christmas time. I debated on a few and finally picked out the Nikon D-5000. I love it! They even have a plan there that I can get 9 free photography classes when I buy the camera! I took out the old Cannon powershot today. It's a SX100. We have had it for about three years now and I rarely use it anymore. I spend more time with the smaller point and click Cannon powershot SD 1100. To me, it takes better and faster shots. It's getting old though and not taking as quick of shots as I would like. I'm nervous to switch to a Nikon, but I think I will love it. It has some pretty spectacular lenses that I can purchase too. Maybe one day. Some of them are like $800! But it comes with a lens that is pretty awesome all for $750. Anyway- I took some photos of the dogs this afternoon and I think we are going to blow them up and hang them in the house. Well, happy fall everyone! Tonight we are celebrating Nanny's birthday and cooking out at mom and dads house. Tyler and Andrew are still in town. Uncle, Katie, Mandy, Jordan and Summer are all coming too! I am so excited! :)

Let go laughing ~


Friday, September 24, 2010

be who you are and say what you feel...

It has been a very stressful two weeks to say the least. I try so hard to be a positive person and not let things get me down. I work so hard and love my job and I love my students. Sometimes you get that feeling that no one appreciates what you do or no one notices the hard work and effort you put into things...

I am SO lucky to have such amazing co-workers at the creek. I love our Friday afternoon "meetings" at locations around town. I love the fact that I can just have a "not so happy" look and my amazing mentor comes running. I love that I have a completely supportive principal that cares about my ideas, thoughts and feelings and supports my initiative. I love my team that is working so well together even though we are missing two VERY important members (Amy and Tracy)... :( I couldn't imagine working somewhere that I did not have this support.

Not to mention my awesome kids. I have the most generous and thoughtful kids ever. Sure they drive me crazy, they talk all the time and they are silly... But, they are smart, they want to learn and they truly care about each other, myself and everyone that steps foot into our classroom. I feel like we have bonded and formed such a great environment in that room this year. And on days like today when the going gets tough, and it is 3:15 and I'm tired, they're tired and we all need a break... we just cut on some music and sing/dance. I love it. Nothing is better than seeing those little grins and watching those silly munchkins dance around like there is no other care in the world. To only have the mind and "problems" of a 6 year old again!

And then, at the end of the day... being able to come home and relax with a girls night/ movie night with awesome neighbors. Life is good. Sure in life there is stress, anger, disappointment and struggles and sometimes you just want to curl into a ball and never come out... but you know what gets you through it... friends and family.

So- what have I learned in this past two weeks of no sleep, barely time to eat and working all hours of the day and night?

“Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.”


Thank YOU Dr. Suess.


Let go laughing ~

Thursday, September 2, 2010

90210

Happy 9-02-10!!! :) Fun date. I'm a loser.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

*** hug a teacher ***

Beginning of the year fun... Luckily I have amazing team members who have helped me delegate the work as team leader and we are working so well together. I'm such a typer (note my many bogs/ websites...) so I really do enjoy being the "go-to" for typing minutes. Oh yeh... and asking questions... and planning... All things I love. LOL- Today began at 7:45 with our PLT (aka DATA DATA DATA!!!!) And then we went on to our planning period to plan field trips, add mileage and cost, etc. I then had to call about more field trips, put in requests and get an un-official OK from our principal and AP to mention the field trips and costs to the parents at open house. The rest of my day was spent doing assessments and keeping 24 six year olds busy while doing so. I have such wonderful help this year from other people at school who are assisting with assessments and helping with duties. It has all gone very smoothly. **Who knew teachers did so much, right?! I wish everyone truly did understand. My kiddos are really "opening up" and showing their true colors. Sweet, sweet bunch, just a chatty group. That's OK- *I never got in trouble for talking in school... (*note the sarcasm). I got home this evening and went to Johnny Carino's with mom to unwind for a bit! Then she took me by bean traders to pick up my pumpkin spice blend so I can brew it here at home and not have to get up so early to stop in the mornings. :) I even got to pick up my free BT blend that I won last night as part of the 10 yr. anniversary giveaways on fb. So here I sit... just finished up my profile cards that were ready to be recorded on... watching the CMA's with my cup of pumpkin spice that I am praying doesn't keep me up all night. Big brother is next on my list!


~let go laughing!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

d


We haven't quite decided what we are going to do for our D weekend yet. Michael is leaving to go to work at Dominos in a few minutes. Does that count? haha. We live in Durham... OK. Well, hopefully we will think of something by tomorrow or sometime during the week. We thought about going to a Durham Bulls game, but he has to work when they are in town this week. Duke gardens is pretty, but we've already been a few times and it's hot out. We might have to skip D and move on to E next weekend if we can't think of anything other than living in Durham and eating Dinner.

Today we went to see Brian's grave. I put a ECU lei on it and a pom pom. I had to get him ready for football season! I miss my big brother dearly. I know he is up there watching everyone. We were going to get him flowers and then I thought.... Brian, flowers?! Yeh right- I can hear him now... haha. But the ECU stuff, he is saying "that is neat!" :)

Then we went to Crabtree to finish using my birthday money at the j-crew there. It's the nicest one in the area. And Lush is there so I could use my gift cards from Tyler and Claire. With $60.00 worth of bath bombs, soaps and shower bombs... the car was smelling good on the way home! We took the top down and it felt fabulous outside.
I have the most awesome group of first graders this year. I am so happy to say they are quite adorable. They are busy and wiggly, but what group of 24 six year olds wouldn't be, right? It was a nice first week and I hope it continues. I know it is going to get very stressful when the meetings start every morning and the breaks are few and far between, but I am hoping for a great year! Here's to many relaxing weekends! I've definitely gotta clean this house and get to the grocery store tomorrow! :)

~let go laughing

***UPDATE:
Well... it was unfortunate that we couldn't find anything to do on our 'd' weekend! Michael woke up Sunday morning with an idea:

"Honey, I have a D! I fell up the stairs coming in from work last night and we need to go to the Dr."


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

goodbye, time....hope to see you again soon.


OH my goodness- How busy have I been? And the kiddos haven't even gotten there yet?! We did have dinner sunday night with Matt and Jennifer and Elizabeth. She is growing up so fast and is so fun to be around. Michael and I skipped our "d" weekend and hope to have time to take it on this coming up weekend.

Tomorrow is the first day. I'm excited. They came in yesterday to see the room and meet me. It was nice to see familiar faces and have parents tell me they didn't know what they were going to do if their little ones name wasn't on my list. It made me feel good. Finally, like a part of the school and not the "new teacher" that no one knows. In all the time I will be away from my blog, I will be on my school website. It is still a work in progress, but I love it. My husband has three nights off this week! I can't believe it! It is so awesome to have him home. It wont last. lol. But he did cook me dinner tonight! And he helped me get things ready for my classroom. Yeh- he is pretty awesome.
Hopefully I do not wake up to Ringer trying to dig another tunnel to a different world because of thunder for the third night in a row. What's with that?! Do they make Prozac for dogs??? ***OOOHHH**** ding! ding! ding! I'm ready to be famous- Let's market that! lol

OK- it is obvious that I am slap happy.

goodnight.

~let go laughing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

1 week down

Well, the kiddos have not arrived yet. We get to meet them on Monday! Yay! I have spent one of the longest 4 day weeks I can remember cleaning, organizing and decorating my classroom along with sitting in meetings and staff development. Michael even painted a few walls for me! Wednesday was my birthday and it was great. I had so many facebook messages, texts, phone calls and e-mails and everyone at work was so nice. I woke up to a dozen red roses and Last Song which had just come out on DVD the day before! (One of my favorite books AND movies, ever!!!) I have a pretty awesome hubby! I got to work to a card from my team and donuts and then mom and dad brought me lunch. We went to our regular "Mexican night" Wednesday night and Bob and Mary and Nicole brought me balloons! :) It was great. We are celebrating this weekend as well. Other than that, it has been pretty busy for me at work, but nothing worth blogging about. I guess my blogs and life will be pretty boring for the next 10 months. I am very excited to meet my new class though and I think this will be a challenging year but I am looking forward to it. :) That's all for now- I need to sleep!

~let go laughing!



Sunday, August 15, 2010

goodbye summer break 2010

What a wonderful friend you have been. Only 298 days until I see you again!! Even Ringer is sad we are leaving this wonderful island. Coach didn't even want to get in the car. He ran and hid under the porch. I know I will be back on weekends, but this is just the beginning of the end. Fall will be here before we know it. As I type, we are sitting in the drive through at Port City Java... I just have to point out that there is a motorcycle behind us in the drive through line... I would love to see how that is going to work out for them. Anyway- As summer comes to an end I want to remember what a wonderful time I have had. It all started off with the birth of my first niece on June 5th. Emalyn came to visit and we cooked out at the pool... Then I headed to the beach, moving all of my stuff down and relaxing in the sun. July 4th snuck up on us and we had a wonderful time with family and friends. We (Coach and I) spent another three weeks just relaxing on the island. My first grade teammates joined me for a few days on the island before it was time to pack up and head to Vegas. Coach stayed at "papa boot camp" while we were gone. Michael even got to spend several random days at the beach with us this summer and I would drive to Durham and see him every week or so for a day or two. After Vegas our wonderful cousins from Ill came to visit. They spent a long weekend on the island with us and then we went to Durham. I spent a week at home with Michael before returning to the island to take summer out with a bang. It was a summer full of family, fun, friends, cookouts and love. Catching shrimp, bike riding, skiing, riding the boat, singing karaoke, playing spoons, catch phrase, laying out on the beach, laying on the sandbar, randy greens beach, dockside, floating in the sound and rescuing Michael on the broken down jet ski... Beauchaines, corn hole, capture the flag, beach shop, jogging, crab pot (yuck), homeport... Trading ol' blue for the miata, cutting 10 inches off my hair to donate to locks of love, meteor showers and my in-laws selling their home of 20+ years in Michigan to move to NC and be closer to everyone. What a whirlwind, exciting and wonderful summer this has been. I thank my lucky stars and God for allowing me to be so fortunate. Although I hate that this summer is coming to an end, there is always next year and the many to come. At least I have a job that I love and some awesome friends that I get to spend my days with to keep me busy until June 10th. :) So long for now, summer break. I will miss you- thanks for being so wonderful!

100 days until Thanksgiving break
128 days until Christmas break
242 days until Spring break
298 days until Summer break!!!
~let go laughing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

go. see. do. 'C' (DON'T GO!)

It is already the third week of our fun! We spent three days together at the coast of North Carolina. With Michaels job, he rarely gets two days off in a week and this week he was able to spend 2 and a half with me on the island. It was so nice considering this has been my last week of freedom before going back to work. We chose to do part of our 'c' activities during the week since we found a restaurant here that I haven't been to in over 12 years and Michael had never been. If you know me at all, you know that one of my favorite foods ever is Alaskan snow crab legs. Being that it starts with a 'c' we decided to try out the crab pot. If you are a topsail native at all or even visit this wonderful island, you will see this place on your left just after you cross over the surf city bridge over to the island. It's one crazy lookin' place! You order at the window, pay and then go have a seat to wait for your number to be called. Sounds like mcdonalds or panera, right? well... you don't order your drinks at that window, you have to go into the bar where there is a $10 minimum on drinks... Not to mention the food that you just ordered is
passed through a window in a styrofoam "to-go" box. 1 lb of crab legs and a 'steamed bucket' for two (michael and his mom shared) that only included a couple of out of season oysters, some crab legs,
two small pieces of corn, a few shrimp and a couple of potatoes... a whopping $67! Now, remember... that did NOT include the drinks that I forgot to tell you came with $1 refills on everything but tea and water. The crab legs were good (it would be pretty hard to mess up in my opinion), but Michael was not satisfied with the steamed bucket. So would we suggest this as one of your stops on our wonderful island?? Probably not... in fact I think the grade we should give it is a C-. haha. BUT -If you're looking for some decent fried or steamed seafood and have plenty of money to throw away... and you don't mind sitting at picnic tables inside a screened in building with no a.c-- go for it! (We quickly remembered why we hadn't been there in over 12 years though!) Don't tell daddy he "told us so." Hey, what the heck- we were supposed to try something new, right! That's how this project works! We know not to go back- We'll buy the crab legs from the market next time and steam them ourselves. :)


-The free and most fun of our 'C' activities was our 2 hour game of Capture the flag with the kids! It was SO fun and I am SO sore today! We played in our yard and the yard across the street. It involved tackling, hiding and lots of sprinting. It was so awesome to feel like kids again. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the game but I did get a picture of the whole group later that night when we
were playing spoons.


~let go laughing!!!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

dear summer,

PLEASE don't leave me. Being on this island makes life so perfect. We spent a lot of time talking today about being a stay-at-home mom and having a baby. I want to still work with children, but I do not think my brain, mind and sanity could conquer teaching and being a mommy. I would miss my baby too much and I wouldn't be able to put into my classroom and passion of teaching what I am able to now. What have we come up with you ask???? (or don't ask, but I'm sharing...) I am hoping to either job share in the 1st grade OR work a a Sylvan learning center. Best of both worlds. I get to stay home with my little one and only work part time, still making some money. Hours would differ depending on who/what and where I was to job share if I am able to take that route. Also, if working at Sylvan I am pretty sure the hours would be something like 3-6pm because that is when children get out of school. Mind you, this is not a "tomorrow" plan. We are looking 2-3 years out but I just like to have a plan. It's the OCD and ADHD in me. Please offer me any advice or ideas you may have... :)


I really love 1st grade. :)


We've already been thinking about some DIY projects to transform the office into a guest room/office/"playroom"... Why not get ahead of the game, right? Check out this fabulous DIY office we have decided to design after- imagine that, another DIY from younghouselove which is also the inspiration for our laundry room. Anywho- off to work on our first "c" event!!!

xoxo

~let go laughing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

our B weekend





This was our 'b' weekend. We started off on Friday morning at the beach. We spent the morning basking in the sun... ok, the clouds. lol. But, it was wonderful. I couldn't believe Michael actually got a Friday off! I lounged on the dock for about an hour while I watched him ride the jet-ski out in front of me. We had to go in early to get ready for our event of the evening. We got dressed and I wrestled with this "oh, too short" hair cut of mine... I'm learning, but I will be happy when I have just a few more inches to play with... That's another story, but I am just happy that I was able to do what I did for a good cause. Now selfishly, I would like my hair back please. :) SO yes, we got ready and headed to Brunswick County for the third annual "Dancing With The Brunswick County Stars." We were there to see Brooke and Bodie!!! They Both start with B. :) After the event was over we spent the evening at Bodies house and had a great evening. Saturday morning we all went out for breakfast and then packed up and headed home. If the weather holds out today, we are planning to take a fun Bicycle ride. Stay tuned for more adventures! Feel free to leave ideas in the comments box. Next weekend is 'C.' And... this weekend isn't over!

~let go laughing

Thursday, August 5, 2010

i did it!


...and it was able to be donated!!!!



haircut help... please vote

I'm gonna need some votes and I need them fast! My appointment is at 2:30!

Either vote here, or send the vote via, facebook, email or text!!!

*Yes, I know they are all blonde- lol


Mother/ daughter day at the spa... I guess you could call it that. I am taking that huge leap and most women know the one I am speaking of... I am trying out a new hairdresser!! I was not happy with my color this previous time as many of you are quite aware of. (aka "hooker hair incident"). I have been with the same hairdresser for at least 10 years. Sometimes I think it is just time for a change. I love her to death but I am ready for a new hair style and something different that I just wasn't getting or was too afraid to ask for. I am going with mom to her hairdresser at Bangz in Wilmington. Mom, Anita, Cecelia, Jane and many other women go to this spa. I trust their opinions and am hoping for the best. As I sit here and ponder what I may want to do during this cut and style appointment I think back to my many hair cuts and styles in the past. I've gone "boy" short (thank you fantastic sams, I will never be back)... above the collar bone, very long and layers vs. no layers... I have been bleach blonde several times (not by request) and I have been very dark. Although this appointment does not include a color, I may request a quick toner if time is available to take away some of the leftover "hooker locks" I still have. We'll see if that is an option today- if not, I may need to find someone closer to home to pop some in before school starts. So, the question is, what style to go with?! I am a very rare breed and I don't do well with change. I do, on the other hand, want to donate my hair to children with cancer for wigs. I know it is selfish of me but I just don't know if I am ready to cut off all 10 inches required for Locks of love. Unfortunately they do not accept bleached hair and now that there is a little bleach in my hair, I don't know if there is too much to just pull out. I don't think the bottom 10 inches would be affected with this bleach mishap since it is mostly just in the front and around my face. I would hate to send my 10 inches though and it not be used. I hate that this bleach is in there! I'll ask Monica when I get there. The next option is Pantene. They do not have as strict requirements to make the wigs. The difference I have heard is that the wigs do not always go to just children with Pantene and I think they are sold and not given away- but, once again... no bleach accepted. UGH! (This is an irritating factor because I never wanted the bleach in the first place.)

So let's not worry about the donation as it will most likely not be possible and let's discuss styles! Send me your vote and I will post an 'after' picture this evening!!! :)

~let go laughing



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

classroom makeover

Mom and I spent the day together after waking up and meeting my in-laws for coffee. They headed off to the beach, where we will soon join them and we headed to bed bath and beyond, teacher stores, wal-mart, dollar store, target and more! While in Target, I noticed that they had a lot of aqua items in the new "back to school" collection. This is only very cool to me because it is a very favorite color of mine and they had fabulous stuff for my classroom that matches my already wonderful chair pockets, curtains and homemade pillows! My birthday is coming up very soon and I was planning to get that fabulous camera- well... mom made a deal with me that if I would wait until Christmas, she would help me makeover my classroom! Sooooo... Michael catches a break on my birthday present that he was going to split with mom and dad, and my classroom is going to be super cute! I have always wanted it to be more coordinated and now it finally will be... I hope. I mean, really... how many pictures will I really be able to take that I can't use the camera I already have now until Christmas... 4-ish months people! :) Oh, I cannot wait to see all of this stuff in my classroom. Mr. E told me I can come in soon because they are FINALLY finished with the floors in my room. I can't wait. I will probably come back to town and go in at least one day before I have to be in there! So... other than that, mom and I also ate at Fosters today- so good! I can't believe I have lived in Durham for almost 25 years and have never been there. My sandwich was on sunflower bread and it included avocado, tomato, spinach, bacon and herb cream cheese... sound very, hmmm... different. But, it was amazing!!!

off to enjoy the evening with my hubby. Heading to a new place for a hair cut tomorrow... excited, yet nervous at the same time. We'll see how it goes!

~let go laughing~


oops- i forgot the pictures of my new 'completed work' file boxes. They are so much nicer and smaller than the crates I used last year and the huge 'mail/file box' I used the year before. Now, to train the newbies how to file the work. Hopefully they were in classes last year that used them too. It
only took my class a few days to figure out how to find their name, open the file folder and put their work in it. We don't have a lot of "worksheet" type activities in my classroom anyway, so it isn't a lot. They have a few sheets from centers such as handwriting and listening and sometimes there are tear out sheets in math... it should work out nicely. I might even have them write about their listening book in their reading journal and check it from there. It will save paper! Gotta go green!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

peach cobbler

What a day, spent in the kitchen. It was a lovely one though. I made pancakes for breakfast (see previous entry)... then I made a peach cobbler, from scratch!!! Here is the recipe:

My Homemade Peach Cobbler : (will add photo soon)

Rich biscuit dough (recipe below)
6 c. fresh sliced peaches
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. water
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar mixture

Prepare biscuit dough using recipe.

RICH BISCUIT DOUGH:

2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
2/3 c. milk

Sift together dry ingredients, cut in shortening and add milk. Stir with a fork until a soft dough is formed. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead about 30 seconds and roll about 1/4 inch thick.

Cobbler:

  1. Add lemon juice to peaches.
  2. Mix dry ingredients with water. Add peaches.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring gently to keep juice smooth.
  4. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Spray pan and line sides of a casserole or baking pan with strips of rolled biscuit dough.
  6. Pour in 1/2 of peach mixture.
  7. Add more strips of dough and peaches in layers.
  8. Top with a layer of dough, dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Freezes very well.

waffles

It has been nothing but cloudy during this week I have spent here at home. I cannot wait to get back to my island for one last hoorah before school starts. I have leadership tomorrow and then it's back to island time until I absolutely have to be back. :( I'm so not ready for summer to be over. I am excited about a new batch of kiddos yet I am not looking forward to the drama, paperwork and stress that is about to take place. I love mornings like today, my kind of monday- when I can just wake up at 9am and make waffles for my hubby while he lays in bed. Then we can take our coffee to the back porch and talk to our wonderful neighbors (aka- my parents). Then I can climb back in bed and watch Regis and Kelly and have no worries. It is nice, I must say. I cannot wait to be a stay at home mom. We have been talking about kids a lot- everyone we know either just had a baby or is pregnant. We would love t a little one but just can't see it in our finances yet for me to be a stay-at-home- mommy. I refuse to go back to work unless there is absolutely, positively no other options. This being said... baby S is not coming anytime soon. Sorry, folks. Ashley and I talked about it a few weeks ago on the sand bar and decided that we are both too selfish to give up our beach time and other things. Therefore if we are stay-at-home moms, we wont really have to give up all of our beach time and time away from home because we wont have to work. It makes since to us, ok!? :) I'm just a topsail girl at heart and always will be- as will my child!

On another note, I cannot wait for my birthday present. My birthday is always bittersweet. August 18th- one day after the first day back to work. It was my first day of college... I just can't seem to get it off! lol. And even though I'm back at work, I don't have students yet, so I never get birthday love from the kiddos! Oh well- this year I am getting a brand new camera and I couldn't be more excited. Mom and Dad and Michael are all going in together to get it for me. I have been using a small Canon; Powershot SD1100 IS. I love my camera, but I am ready for something bigger. I will still carry my little one with me everywhere- no worries, but I am looking forward to being able to explore with a bigger one. I am getting a D-SLR and haven't quite decided which one is best. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Pictures is one suggestion I have been given and hope to look further into it.

Off to make some peach cobbler- I might share, we'll see! :)

oh how I love summer. ~ let go laughing.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A


We started our challenge today and had the most fun! We woke up this morning and decided to use the fresh apples we recently bought to bake some apple pies. Usually, I am the one in the kitchen, but today- Michael joined me. It went so much faster with two sets of hands. I peeled and sliced all of the apples while he mixed together all of the sugar, flour, apple pie spices and other ingredients. We only had one misunderstanding when he dumped the mix into the pie crust without the apples. It was too cute. Then we worked to cut out the extra pie crusts to weave over the top of the pies. It was so hard waiting for them to come out of the oven because they smelled SO good! We are a pretty good baking team! We will most definitely do it again.



Our second 'a' activity for this weekend was going to the flea market to look at antiques. Oh, what
fun we had! We love the flea market and it was only 75 degrees today, which on a normal summer day I would NOT be happy about. But, it was perfect for a walk through the flea market. We looked at all kinds of old things that we don't usually take the time to stop and look at while we are out there. We didn't end up buying anything, but we did come close! I suggest the flea market for great priced furniture for re-doing in any DYI projects. There were beautiful hutches and mirrors as well. We ventured inside and got away from the antiques and found the sweetest baby girl, puppy. I named her Bella and if she weren't only going to be 10lbs, I would have brought her home. Michael wants a big dog though. :(

We both enjoyed our day together and are so thankful for this new "game" we are playing. I have a feeling this cloudy Sunday would have been spent on our computers, me- editing photos or blogging, michael- facebooking and playing games... Instead, we were able to do some fun things together and really spend some one on one time with each other.

I hope you are enjoying our adventure!

let go laughing~

farmers market



Looking for something to do in the triangle? Check out the Raleigh, Farmer's Market. Great prices, fresh produce, beautiful flowers and much more! After 1 hour, Michael and I alone came home with a basket of peaches, (pictured above, $10.00) 3 green peppers, 3 huge tomatoes, 4 cucumbers, a watermelon and 2 sweet potatoes ( all only $7.) Mom and dad came along and mom bought me a gorgeous, yet slightly over priced, but so worth it bouquet of flowers ($12.00). Mom and dad filled the back of the car with bags of fresh baked pies, veggies and fruits that they plan to cook for lunch!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

go. see. do. activities from A-Z


Michael and I have decided to take on a new "project" or "game". Since I dumped project 365 after 7 long months, I wanted something more motivating and something Michael and I could do together. With summer coming to an end and his and my work schedules often being quite the opposite, we sometimes have a hard time finding fun and new things to do. We are stealing this project from an awesome blog that I am totally into. The blogger is Elizabeth and her blog is Simplefancies. She is awesome. I am so into being nosy and reading blogs. I only wish my blogs were interesting and there were more than the [possible] 6 of you reading mine. :) Anyway- the newest game we are beginning to endure is Go.See.Do activities from A-Z!

Elizabeth's husband, Dave came up with the game and I have happily taken the idea from them.

Rules:
1. Each week/weekend (aiming for Saturday/Sunday) we will do two activities. One has to be free and one can cost money.
2. The activities will start on A and continue for 26 weeks until we reach Z.
3. Along with the alphabetized activity, we will plan one of the weeks meals around that letter- maybe even venture out and try something new!
4. I will post the activities on my blog and hope to keep it up!

Here's to being creative and having fun together just like back in the day when we had no real responsibilities in life and could just GO. SEE and DO whenever and whatever we wanted to!

We will begin our project this weekend with the letter "A." Look for our "A" blog tomorrow!!! :o)

coffee

I decided not to go get coffee this morning, but to make it in my Keurig and sit on the back porch listening to the radio and relax. I am not a huge coffee drinker. I am more of a latte fan. But, to save some $$$ I'll take it. I do have an espresso machine, but it is much more work and a lot harder to clean. Hence the green moldy stuff I am STILL trying to clean out of the pipes... When I do drink coffee I usually only use a certain creamer. I am very particular when it comes to creamer and one of the few that I will actually drink is the peppermint creamer. It gets old... believe me. lol. I am also very picky when it comes to coffee and I do not like it super strong. I do in fact LOVE my Keurig. My next big Keurig purchase will be this one, for my classroom!!! The Keurig is so easy- It takes two minutes to heat up and another 20 seconds to brew your awesome cup of coffee... I can even take the bottom off of mine and place my travel mug under it for a quick on the go cup of joe! The brand of choice for me is Green Mountain for the Keurig. Recently, I have come to find out that I enjoy the Hazelnut coffee from green mountain and I can even enjoy it with just a splash of half -n- half! I can't believe it. I finally found a COFFEE that I can drink without buying expensive creamers to go along with it. Now the trick- finding the coffee at a good price. We used to buy it in bulk at Sams club and thought we were getting a good deal- The problem: it was newmans own and I am not a fan. If you like bitter coffee, definitely buy Newmans Own. So now the search was on for the best price when purchasing my hazelnut, Green Mountain coffee. Let's see what I have come up with so far:

(*Remember, my goal is to find the box of all Hazelnut in order to avoid costly creamers per my taste buds.)

Harris Teeter- 1 box of 12 K-cups, Green Mountain, Hazelnut: $7.99
Food Lion- 1 box of 12 K-cups, Green Mountain, Hazelnut: $7.99
Costco- 1 box of 108 K-cups, Green Mountain, regular blend: $ 47.99
Macys- 1 box of 18 K-cups, Green Mountain, Hazelnut: $ 14.99 - SALE $9.99
Green Mtn. Website- 1 box of 24 K-cups, Green Mountain: $ 17.40 (*includes shipping)
Target online- 1 box of 108 K-cups, Green Mountain, Hazelnut- DECAF only: $59.99


SOOOOOO- What it comes down to in my investigation is that I can only find the coffee I want at Harris Teeter or Food Lion. But, if you are not as picky as me, it makes more since to get it at Costco or Target in bulk and you can save about $12.00. Unfortunately, I am not sure if Green Mountain makes a box of 108 in the hazelnut that is not decaf, but I will most definitely be looking for it and continuing my search on this rainy day. :o)

saturday morning [TEACHER] yard sale

A neighbor of mine and previous rce teacher is moving out of town and held a fabulous "teacher" yard sale today! HOW excited was I to wake up at 8:00 on a saturday morning?!?! ummm... VERY! I just got 18 books on tape that are now MINE and no one can take them and I don't have to search the world for the center anymore. I also got 14 of the Sterilite® Ultra Storage Baskets that Autumn used last year as book buckets. Now my search remains, but only for 12 more! :o) I got a individual tape player and plan to get about 4 more. This year I hope to keep my listening center as independent as possible and can eliminate the "it's too loud!" "she started before I was ready!" "I can't make it work!" from each morning of my life. I plan to spend about 3 days teaching each child how to use the hand held tape players from the 80's and hopefully it will be helpful. I can put 5 books in the center each month and they can go from there and listen to a new one each week! :o)
I must say it has been nice being home for a change. Every summer of my life that I can remember it has been a mad dash to get home and get right back to work. Although I do plan to return and spend the remainder of my summer on island time, I do love my house and all of my friends here at home! I went out to eat with Liz, Martin and Tiffany (aka, Sasha) last night. We tried the newer Mexican restaurant, Los Portales, in the same parking lot as best buy over near southpoint. I will probably give it an A for decoration and appearance, but the food was a bit overpriced for the Mexican restaurant I am used to. It was good, but I think a lot of people go for Mexican sometimes because of the price and that one thing stood out to me. I also guess I am biased because of my weekly Mexican venture to El Dorado. We love the waiters there, who know us by name and we go there so much that any other Mexican restaurant just isn't the same.

I am going to need Mr. Sunshine to make his debut. It has been way too long since he has shined on me! I am losing my tan and not happy about it. I was hoping for a week by the pool and that has just not happened. Anywho- It's off to the Saturday morning dose of Bean Traders this morning!

let go laughing~

Thursday, July 29, 2010

nordstrom anniversary sale

Thats what got me in the dang store! But I am very happy I decided to walk in. I finally found the boots I have been looking for since last year. :) Thank you, nordstrom!
I also got my pair of free panties from victoria's secret. I totally recommend them and may have to go back and buy a pair. Now I am just waiting for the big trip to Lowe's tomorrow to begin my laundry room renovation project! Yay :)

HOMEgoods and design ideas

new picture frames behind the couch
new lamp to the right


The only problem with the time I spend in Durham during my summer break versus being on the island--- shopping! At the beach I lay on the dock or float in the sound or sit on the beach. For some reason, laying by the pool is boring to me and it lasted all of about 30 minutes yesterday. I then went shopping. Does anyone else have this problem? You're bored so you shop... Well I am being better with my window shopping and I think I have done a great job this summer. But yesterday I went to Homegoods and spent about an hour and a half in there. They had some awesome pillows that I thought would really add the "pop" to our living room. Were trying to add just a touch of some color in there with the beige and brown we have going on. They arent really going to work and I am taking them back today.


I think I am going to pause on the living room because it is at a semi stage that I am happy with. I did get a new lamp and some picture frames that added a hint of color to the room yesterday. I have been reading several blogs on easy/ inexpensive design ideas and projects for the home. Here are just two of the ones I am interested in: http://www.younghouselove.com/ and http://www.elizabethbryant.blogspot.com/. I really like the picture of this living room and am working hard on some of the design tips. Seriously- every room in the younghouselove blog is what I want my house to look like! In fact I am going to lowes today to possibly begin my laundry room transformation! Off to get coffee with mom now and show her all of my new design ideas! I cannot wait to get started. I want a new coat of paint on almost every room in my house. lol- sorry, Michael! haha.


my new laundry room inspiration

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

lazy days...

We spent a wonderful weekend at the beach with my dads cousins from Illinois. Desirae, Josh, Garrett and Kaylee. The kids had never seen the ocean before and they had so much fun. Minus one mishap when Garrett busted a decorated Easter egg that Tyler had left in his room for about 4 years... It didn't smell too good! :) It makes for a great story that will follow Garrett for the rest of his life though! Kaylee ate shrimp for the first time and actually loved it. She is so picky, but she surprised us by eating it. They are back safely in Illinois now and we hope to see them again soon.


Not much is better than waking up at 8:30- brushing your teeth, making coffee in the keurig and climbing back in bed to watch Regis and Kelly. I'm spending some time at home and it is really nice. I do not want to go back to work... After taking the boys to the spa for their day of pampering, I will return to lay by the pool as long as the sun will shine on me. :) Did I mention how beautiful Kelly Ripa is?! Gosh, she makes me jealous. Yesterday, it rained all day- which we needed. I got a pedicure with mom and then I went to the grocery store and got fresh veggies and chicken to make a yummy dinner. I made a salad with apples, candied walnuts and feta cheese. I made pasta with red, green and yellow peppers, mushrooms and garlic. I attempted to make chicken tenders on the grill. I marinated half of them in barbecue and the other half in spicy mango. Unfortunately, the entire dinner was ready when Michael got home from his day long meeting and the grill wasnt hot enough when he put the chicken on for me- we completed them in the oven. They were still good, but I really just want an electric grill so I can grill on my own. lol. I'm seeing Michael's Christmas present in my near future. haha. Anyway- after dinner, we played some skip-bo with Seth and Ashley. It was nice catching up since we have been missing each other with our trips over the summer. Thats what happens with teachers and a summer-long vacation. They are here when we are gone, we are gone when they are here. lol. We went to TCBY to get a treat between games. Then we played UNO Attack and Spoons. I love game nights!
And, I love having neighbors so close that enjoy games like we do! Were going to watch Jersey Shore for the very first time tomorrow night. Seth and Ashley are having a Jersey Shore party and we are supposed to dress up. Michael and I have never seen the show and Ashley tells us it is just fun to watch because it is so ridiculous that there are really people like that in the world. haha. It should be fun. Were having lasagna! I hope everyone is enjoying this summer and the warm weather. I for one, LOVE it. :) Time to continue being lazy!

let go laughing.