Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How it all began

The Mister and I met the old-fashioned traditional way- through Myspace. (Remember that website? It was cool before facebook was cool.)

It was back (4 years ago today to be exact) January 31, 2008 when I got this message in my inbox: (not going to lie, I googled "how to take a screen shot" to figure out how to get this on here)
If you can't read it, in a nutshell it says "I think you are cool, I like your movies." Hee, hee. Little did I know that this guy and I would end up married :)

To My Mister-
Thank you for your love, support and encouragement over these last four years. I love that I am constantly learning new things about you and that we can make each other laugh.

I love you!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trash to Treasure: Jewelery Holder

This post may seem familiar to you, especially if you have read the archived posts from the beginning of this little blog. This is a "vintage" post from September, but when I came across this Trash to Treasure Link Up over at I Heart Organizing, I knew I had to share.

I wanted needed a new necklace holder, as I had outgrown my previous holder made from a frame and some eye hooks.  Then I ran across this display shelf thing at an antique store for five bucks. $5!

For what it is, it was in good shape and had those 3 pegs at the bottom to hang mugs(?) from. But I knew those wouldn't be enough for my growing collection of neck lovelies. And I wanted to make sure I had some shelf space for bracelets, earrings and the like. So I popped those bad boys out and decided to turn it up side down.

Using wood putty I filled the holes from the pegs and a few little divots from nails and scratches so that I could get a nice even coat of paint over the whole thing. After letting it dry, I sanded over the entire piece.

I still have plenty of marshmallow white paint left, so using a small foam brush I began the process of painting. It took a couple of coats.

Some of those coats were a bit thick, and dripped so I sanded the back after it was dry.
I then started the process of screwing in a couple dozen hooks into the bottom and inside the top of the two longer sections.
I added some picture hangers on the back, and it was almost ready to go.
I put it up on the wall, but I didn't really like seeing the painted wall through the holder, so I added some scrapbook paper to the back of the frame. I liked the contrast of the dark purple against the lilac paint on the walls.

I hung up my necklaces and put away my bracelets and here's what she looks like now!

What I learned

1. I went a little crazy with the wood putty. It said over fill the spots, and I definitely did that. You can still see some "lumpy" parts where I didn't sand enough.

2. Paint the inside first! I didn't do that on the first coat, and it was hard for me to find a good position for my hand/brush when I went to do the more difficult inside.

3. The paint I used was interior wall paint. Not exactly the best paint for this job. Craft paint would have been much better. Maybe even spray paint. I've never used spray paint, and I think I'd like to give it a go on a future project.

4. I really love my necklaces.

IHeart Organizing

Friday, January 27, 2012

High Five... wait for it...

For Friday!!!
It's that time to reflect back on the little things that made my week.

Hallelujah the sun came out yesterday!

It's been so yucky outside and I am tired of going to work in the dark and coming home with it almost as dark. I have coming down with some serious SAD lately and this was just what I needed!

Dead Reckoning
I have been waiting to read the latest Sookie Stackhouse book since it came out in May.
It was finally at the library.
Love me some trashy vampire novels.

Today is the last day of the semester.
I have been ready for this since we got back from Christmas break.
 I love my students, but I am ready for a fresh start.

I played musical chairs with my leadership class this week.
No literacy involved.
No standards.
Just lots of laughing with a bunch of goofy 8th grade kids.
It was a perfect class period.

Flo Rider- Good Feelin'

I totally got caught singing this song in my car this week.
I just can't help but smile when it comes on.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Mid Week Confessions

Whoop! Its Wednesday, that means only two more days until the weekend! I always feel good on Wednesday AND e, myself and I is hosting Mid-Week Confessions!

I am a terrible driver. When I was 16 I got the lowest possible passing score on my drivers test.

My "maintenance required" light has been on since the beginning of November. I have no idea why.

Sometimes when I am driving (to work especially!) I will all the sudden realize I am driving and not remember the last 2 or 3 miles.

I am addicted to celebrity gossip. Perez Hilton was one of the first blogs I ever read consistently. I still read TMZ on a daily basis.

I was really upset to hear about Seal and Heidi Klum. For whatever reason, I thought they would make it.

Every time I get woken up in the middle of the night by my cat puking up a hairball, I pretend I am still asleep and the Mister gets up and cleans it.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Pinterest: It's The Little Things

Sometimes on Pinterest I get caught up on the amazing DIY projects, yummy looking desserts and drool worthy homes. I think we all do. But I have seen some pins on there that make me hit my head and think "Why didn't I think of that?" This post is about those little things. Sometimes I didn't even pin them, but they stuck in my head. Each of these little "projects" (if you can even call them that) cost me nothing, and are awesome.

1. Dish rack folder holder

I originally posted about this in November. You might have seen it before because it is at the bottom of my most popular post ever. (Wedding Invitation Christmas Ornament) Basically I used an old dish rack and made a folder for each day of the week to hold the upcoming lesson plan and lesson materials. I was really good at using this before Christmas break. Not so much since we have been back, but the new semester starts next week, and I am really trying hard to improve my classroom organization.

2. Bread bag tags

This was another one I did in my classroom. Using the plastic tags from bread bags, I labeled  each of my cords in my surge protector. That way when I need to plug something else in, I can easily figure out what I should unplug.

Here is a closer look. I just used a fine point sharpie to write on the tags.

3. A Tic Tac box to store bobby pins
Genius! Apparently I didn't pin the original, and I can't find it now but all I did was finish up the Tic Tacs I had left in the box, wash it out and remove the label. It is the perfect size for bobby pins! I usually end up taking my hair out on my drive home during last period, and this is such a better way to store those pins. I was able to clean out the random pins out of my purse and car and store them in here.

4. Chives in a water bottle:
I haven't done this yet, but basically, chop up the green onions/chives and store them in the freezer in a plastic water bottle so they don't go bad. I hate throwing away produce, and green onions/chives is one of those things that I seem to always toss because we never use them all. We are having a baked potato night later this week, and this time I will be freezing all my unused chives for next time!

Have you done any little things from Pinterest- please share!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A tour of the flood

We got an extra three day weekend- Friday school was cancelled due to flooding in our area. We have had a crazy amount of rain lately, on top of our snow melt and the river, creeks and tributaries just could not handle it. In the small town I live in, several roads were closed and the river was all the way past the parking lot in the down town amphitheater. Yesterday the emergency warnings kept coming on TV to alert us to high water and direct us to sandbagging stations in town.

Downtown Independence
This should be a stage, playground, parking lot THEN the river.

Do you see the playground? This is also where we lay around and hang out to watch the 4th of July fireworks and enjoy the concerts in the park during the summer.

Gross. Please don't go swimming in this. Our new city hall had a couple feet of poo in their basement because the sewer system just couldn't handle the water.

Thankfully, not our house. BUT people were sandbagging all over town.
I've hid Easter eggs in this park before. There is NOT a lake or pond in it.

This was at the beginning of all of this. This is the park that we take Gus to play fetch in. Again, there isn't a lake or pond anywhere near it! 

In town (Salem) where I work, things were not looking better. Here are a couple of pictures from friends, facebook etc.

All the kids were okay on this bus. They have a story to tell forever!
These people had to be rescued out of a flooded park on a raft.

Thankfully, the rivers have crested and right now it is only a light rain. Our house has been pretty dry, and we are both so thankful that we didn't buy one of the homes we were looking at on the creek.

Friday, January 20, 2012

High Five For Friday!

I stumbled on this fun little link up that makes you stop and think about the little things that made your week great! I haven't done a "Top 5 Friday" in a while, so here we go!

1. unexpected snow day!
Monday was MLK Jr. Day and we had a nice dusting of snow. Because of the holiday we already had the day off, but it was fun to spend it with my 2 favorite guys. (the dog and the Mister) As a bonus, the next morning we got a two hour delay! A little extra sleep AND a little extra (quiet!) work time? I'll take it!

2. my rain boots

The snow turned to slush, then it rained 5+ inches in 24 hours and now we have massive flooding. On the upside, my socks and feet are dry.

3. fabric
I have a bunch of fabric prepped and ready to go for a project I need to get done. I just LOVE picking out fabric!

4. zumba!
 I just feel so much better when I am in a regular exercise routine. Its so easy to fall out of, but I have been back in the swing of things for a couple months now and I am so happy!

5. Crockpot Dinner
I made PW's pulled pork in the Crock this week. It was so awesome to know that when I got home form work dinner was waiting for me. As a bonus, the house smelled fantastic when I got home!

What little things made your week? 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mid-week Confessions- take 3

Wasn't there an R. Kelly song and in the chorus he sings "these are my confessions?" Maybe it was Usher. Every time I go to start writing (or reading!) these posts, that song pops into my head.

Boom. Thank you Youtube.

-I really enjoy going to Zumba. Like a lot. Yesterday though my Zumba class was ruined for me. You see, there is this older woman that goes to my gym and she has taken a variety of group fitness classes. This woman yells out these "whoop whoop" noises for the entire hour we are in class. She does this in every class. I'm not sure if it bothers any one else, but it really throws me out of my zone. She showed up to my Zumba class and immediately started with the "whoop whoops." I was almost to the point that I wanted to walk out of class early. I know I just need to suck it up, because its not like I can say anything to her. I do hope that when I am her age I will still get down in a Zumba class.
- I want to cut my hair. I like it at chin length. BUT I also really like using hot rollers and making my hair curly. These are the big problems in life friends.
-Actually, I really like getting compliments from my students on my curled hair.
-Yesterday we had a two hour delay due to "inclimate weather." Only about half my classes showed up all day. I scrapped my lesson plan and showed a video on teen obesity. And then gave out a crossword puzzle. Teacher of the Year Award here I come.
-My case of baby fever has gotten a bit bigger. I blame it on this picture.
This is me, the Mister, and the Mister's best friend's 3 year old daughter.

-I am getting slightly obsessed with buying fabric. I would be buying a lot more, except the ladies who do the fabric cutting always ask what you are making. Would it be weird to say, I just want to buy all these pretty fabrics to look at and organize in my craft room?
-I want to learn to quilt. Mostly so that I can make my future baby's bedding. And so I can buy more fabric.
-I am looking for new books to read. Anytime I ask for suggestions I hear "Hunger Games." The more I get told to read it, the less I want to. I know I am just being stubborn, I did the same thing with Harry Potter. (FYI- I did eventually read them all.)
-I bought one of those single cup coffee makers with my Christmas money. I love it. Except I want to drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee a morning day. 

Did you link up this week?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Day!

I love snow. Maybe its because I am a teacher, maybe its because I am still a kid at heart. What ever the reason, I still get so excited when I wake up in the morning and run to the window and see the big fat flakes coming down.  Living here in the Willamette Valley, we usually get one snow "storm" a winter. I really do use the term storm lightly, as an inch and a half of snow shuts down the county. I realize in some parts of the country that is a laughable amount, but that's how we roll. I always get a kick out of the names the local news calls our storms "Arctic Blast 2011" "Christmas Freeze 2010" etc, as they go on non-stop breaking news coverage.

Much to my delight, yesterday morning the flakes were coming down. With about an 2 inches covering the field, the Mister and I took Gus out to play fetch, his most favorite thing in the world.

By noon, the roads had cleared up. But when I woke up this morning, more snow had fallen. If it wasn't a holiday, I probably wouldn't have to go to work. Today is the perfect day for some crafting.

 It's supposed to warm up a bit later today, so my guess I will be at work, on time, tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pina Colada Cupcakes

It's just about mid-January, so most people have thrown their resolutions out the window. BUT if you are still trying to eat healthier, I have a delicious treat for you. If you are done with healthy eating, these are still a delicious treat. Let's all thank Pinterest for bringing this to my attention.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple

For the Frosting:
1 block reduced fat cream cheese
1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup powdered sugar (I think it was about a cup...)

Dump the can of  pineapple (juice and all) into the cake mix.
Stir it until combined and fill your cupcake pan 1/2-2/3 of the way full.
Bake like you normally would (350 for 15ish minutes.)

This picture is awful. At least you know my blog is real, right?
Feel free to lick the bowl/spoon/beaters. There is no raw egg! Let's be real, I would have licked the spoon anyway. BUT my friend who was baking with me is 7 months pregnant, so she could also lick the spoon without fear that her unborn son will have a third eye or 17 toes or whatever raw eggs do to people and fetuses.

For the frosting, mix the coconut, cream cheese and drained pineapple together with powdered sugar. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup granulated sugar. We started with that, but it just tasted like cream cheese, so we pulled out the powdered sugar and added it until it tasted yummy.

When the cupcakes are cooled, frost and enjoy!

So, how was it?
I really liked these and so did the Mister (who doesn't like cake!) Kim also liked them lots. We were brainstorming different frosting options as we were eating them. We both think a mix of a vanilla pudding packet and Cool Whip with the coconut/pineapple would be yummy (that is a Skinny Girl trick!) The original pin said these were 154 calories, but with the change to the frosting I'm not really sure, but they are less than most cupcakes!

What have you been treating yourself with??

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mid week confessions.

It's time for some confessin'!

-I am addicted to TV on DVD. The Mister is too. We watched the entire series of Friday Night Lights in 4 weeks. That wouldn't be that bad if we didn't have to wait for 2 weeks for seasons 2-5 to be delivered to us from Amazon.
- Currently we are watching Parks and Rec on DVD. I have literally watched between 3-4 episodes a day since we got them. Including all the deleted scenes.
- I have taken down all the Christmas decor, BUT it is living in plastic totes that I still haven't taken out of the living room.
- I think I am getting the itch-- you know kind of like a very mild, non-contagious case of baby fever. The Mister and I are not really ready to have one yet, as we like to go on vacation and spend money on ourselves, but I am surrounded by newborns and pregnant ladies. I think I am feeling left out of the baby party.
- I got 3 different gift certificates for salons/beauty places for Christmas. Was I being sent a message?
- I must apologize to all the non-teachers reading this before I continue. I have only been back at work for a week and a half and I am already counting down to spring break. At least Monday is MLK Jr. Day.
- I am a health teacher and right now I am in the middle of teaching 8th graders all about eating healthy. In my head, all I can think about is eating cheese pizza. And washing it down with some chocolate milk.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How I Became a Runner

If one of your New Year's resolution is to exercise more, or run a 5k I have a tool to share with you.

If you had asked me 5 or 6 years ago if I would ever run a marathon (or even a half marathon) I would have laughed at you. While I loved to go to the gym and take step or go 30 minutes on the elliptical, I was sporadic at it at best, and I definitely did not like to run. I kind of wanted to run. I was always jealous of the people I see jogging outside on a nice day, in their cute running outfits (seriously, I LOVE workout clothes!) but I never knew how to start running. Running was hard for me, I would try to go out and do a mile or two around the track at a local high school, but I would get tired quickly and have to walk. Then I would get discouraged and then negative thoughts would start to creep into my head and I would give up.

Then somehow I came across the Couch to 5K program. I honestly don't know how I heard about it. But when I checked it out, I thought "I can do that." It is a series of 30(ish) minute workouts that lasts 9 weeks. Each workout starts with a 5 minute walk to warm up and ends with a 5 minute walk to cool down. The first week alternates between a 1 minute jog and a 1 1/2 minute walk. You do it 3 times a week, and each week increases the jogging time. At the end of 9 weeks, you are jogging 30 minutes, or 3 miles. There is an app for the program that uses your own music, and a "coach" tells you when to walk and jog.

Here is somethings that helped me when I started:
*It is really easy to quit. I told a friend of mine (who I consider to be a running superstar) what I was doing, and she suggested made me sign up for a 5K race that would be around the time that I was scheduled to finish the program. She also signed up for it. It kept me motivated to do it knowing that I had already paid for the race AND that my friend was counting on me to do it with her.
*Speaking of friends, find someone train with. For me, my iPod was fine for the C25K program. But when I decided to train for a marathon, I needed to have a person with me. An hour or two is a long time to keep yourself motivated.
*It's NOT about speed. Who cares if you are slow? I know I am not going to EVER win one of these races I sign up for. But that's not why I do it. One thing that I loved about the Couch to 5K was that it was about jogging for the time, not about trying to reach a certain distance. I still am not fast. If you do sign up for a race (which is the fun part!) make sure you check out the details. Many of the races have a minimum speed, usually around a 15 minute mile. Most races I have seen have "sweepers" that means you have to run on the sidewalks and obey traffic laws after a certain time at a certain point on the course. Others will actually make you get on a bus and drive you to the end if you don't make it. (The Disneyland/World Half marathons do this)

If you want to do a longer distance, I highly recommend Hal Higdon's schedule for a half marathon. He also has a marathon training schedule. They are for novices, and I have used both. he does recommend that you are able to run 3 miles to start with.

Let me know if you have any questions! I am no expert, but I have been through this. The hardest part is getting started and staying motivated. I would love to help you in any way I can! The more people you let know about your goal the better!

***I wasn't paid or compensated in any way by any company I mentioned here. I just really believe in these programs and wanted to share with everyone!***

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 Goals

I don't remember the last time I made a New Year's resolution. Obviously I read plenty of blogs, and it's no surprise that a lot of them right now are focused on resolutions for 2012. While I don't "do" resolutions, I do "do" goals. I like the idea of concrete goals for the year. Taking some inspiration from Newlywoodwards I have decided to write some goals for this new year, using her categories that she used for her 2011 goals. You may recognize some of these from my unfinished 30 before 30 list.

Go on a big vacation. Go on a little vacation. Go to 3 new places in Oregon. Read 12 books for fun. Get a make over.
Learn to sew. Make one thing a month. Give some homemade gifts.
Finish painting the house. Install flooring. Get on a regular cleaning schedule.  Put up shelves in kitchen. Put up something on our walls in the living room (gallery wall?). Do something with the "entry."
Make a new recipe every month. Learn how to can. Take a cooking class.
Put 10% of my paycheck into savings each month. Get a CD through our credit union. "Want" purchases of more than $20 go on a 30 day wait list.
Train for and complete the Rock-n-Roll Half in May. Get a massage. Work out 12-15 times a month
Send thank-you notes and birthday cards regularly. Finish changing my name. Take Gus to a dog class.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Boy Bibs

In 8th grade I took home ec. When I sit down at my sewing machine, that is the knowledge I am pulling from. This is NOT a sewing blog, although I do want to get better at it. I am even registered for Sewing 101 at my local JoAnns next week. But that is next week, and I have a baby shower to go to today. I saw these on Pinterest and fell in love with them.

There are actually a bunch of pins for this type of project and many of them go to different etsy pages. I love etsy. I also love doing things myself.

Please ignore my nails. Gross!

So I started by drawing out a template for a tie. If I had a printer at home, I would have printed one off the Internet. I folded an index card in half and then drew out one side and cut it to make it even.

I also cut the "knot" part off the tie so that I could have two different pieces of each tie.

I made a bowtie too by doing pretty much the same thing.

Cut your tie out of fabric and sew it on to a plain bib. I used a zig zag stitch because its fun.

Over all they are pretty darn cute if you ask me, but on closer inspection, they are definitely home made. If I had bought some from etsy they would have been much more professional looking, but I had fun making them. And picking out the fabric.

I wish I could say I just whipped these up, but actually they took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to do. One of the most frustrating things for me about sewing is that when something goes wrong, I know that some people could look at what is happening and fix it in a nano second. I fix things by taking out the bobbin, unthreading the machine and starting over. That seems to fix it.
What are you crafting? Any sewing tips for a novice?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

These are my confessions

I have been reading E, Myself and I for awhile now, and for the last couple weeks she has been hosting a little midweek confession link up party. I think it's about time I do some confessing :)

- When I make a dinner with a protein, veggie and a starch, I feel like I should win wife of the year award. (Even if one or more of those items comes from a can or box)
- I'm kind of struggling with being 30. Its been about a week and I am over it.
-I like eating healthy, but I REALLY like eating convenient more. I try to make my healthy foods convenient (cut up veggies, hard boiled eggs, prewashing/cutting my fruit) but do you know what else is convenient? Oreos.
-Every time I go to the grocery store, I buy myself a treat. Sometimes it is a diet Coke, other times it is a Cookies and Cream Hershey bar.
-Sometimes, at the grocery store, I buy both. And eat them in the car before I get home.
- I live less than a mile from the grocery store.
-I hate doing my hair in the morning before work. I wish messy bun/braid was acceptable everyday at work.
-On Monday, I reorganized some of my pins on pinterest, and then felt like I had accomplished something with my day.
-I get mad that my dog likes the Mister more than me.
- Sometimes at work, I really want to squirt my students with a squirt bottle when they are not paying attention.

Do you have any confessions>

Monday, January 2, 2012

30 before 30- How did I do?

I turned 30 on Christmas day, so I guess my time limit is up for finishing my 30 before 30 list. Not to give away the ending or anything, but if this was a class assignment, I would probably get an F. Actually, I would give  "redo" since I don't really give F's in my classes. When I wrote my list, I didn't really put a lot of thought into it. Add that to the fact I gave myself a little over 4 months to get it all done, I sort of set myself up for that grade. Anywho... here we go:

1. Vegas with my hubby! I still owe you all a post on this trip. So fun!

2. Finish another 1/2 Marathon Holiday Half December 11, 2011
3. Sew something that I am not embarrassed of- I never got around to posting about this, and now it seems a little weird to, but I made some Christmas pillows for our couch. They turned out cute though. Trust me on this
4. Reupholster something   Love my office chair!
5. Create a gallery wall- fail
6. Frame & display wedding pictures- fail. ( I almost tried to say I did it, because I printed and framed a couple pictures for my mother in law for Christmas.)
7. Lose some weight.- I think this is a fail. I haven't been on the scale in a while. But, I have decided I should figure out another way to measure a health goal. A friend of mine set a goal for hours working out for 2012, last year her goal was to finish 500 miles. These are great ways to measure this type of goal, without being a slave to the scale.
8. Go vegan for a week- Check
9. Cook a new recipe once a week- I did pretty good at this and it was fun
10. Let people know about this little blog and get some followers
11. Continue blogging 4-7 posts a week- Again I did pretty good, until this last couple of weeks.
12. Clean out the spare room (formally wedding room, now disaster room) Check It has now began to morph into a craft/sewing room
13. Paint the hall and bedroom- fail
14. Get a make-over and buy some of those products- fail
15. Send Christmas cards- Woop woop! This was my first year ever sending Christmas cards. I really wish I would have done it last year for our first married Christmas.
16. No fast food for a month Check
17. Take a necklace I inherited from my gramma in to have some links added- fail. I was really mad at myself for this because I wanted to wear it in Vegas.
18. Do something from my pinterest boards- done like 9 times over
19. Get a massage- so I bought a Groupon. Does that count?
20. Do a version of Stephanie O'Dea's Daily 7- nope
21. Meal plan for three weeks straight and follow the plan! Much to the Mister's dismay, I heart meal planning.
22. Go see a movie by myself- I really meant to. I went to the Blockbuster kiosk and rented a couple movies to watch by myself.
23. Have my eyes checked. - Again, I should get this done
24. Get a new work ID (with my married name)- I filled out the paperwork, I even went into the office for it, but I never sent it in. Fail
25. Take a cooking class- This one I actually have a good reason for: there was never a class I wanted to take. I still really want to do this, and am still looking up the classes.
26. Send birthday cards in the mail, even to people I see regularly: I did okay at this. I give myself 75% credit.
27. Stay a week ahead at work: yes I did.
28. Floss: Funniest quote from our Vegas getaway: "You can't take a vacation from flossing." As the mister throws a package of floss at me in our hotel.
29. Put 10% in savings from each paycheck- yup
30. Roast a whole chicken- nope.

So there you have it. I'm working on a new set of goals right now for 2012. Many of my uncompleted goals are going on that new list.

How do you keep yourself accountable for goals?