Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Update

I just heard a fact this morning that 50% of people have already given up on their new year's resolutions. Let's see how I am doing at working towards my goals for the year. I am only going to update y'all on the goals I have been doing something with. Check out my 13 in '13 tab to see what all my goals are for the year.

#1: Save $: This was on my goal list last year and I succeeded. 10% of each paycheck will be put into savings every month. Plus at least half of whatever is left in my checking at the end of the month.
  • Just did it! With online banking there really is no reason not to do this.

#2 Park in the garage: 
  • I have been working on this one for Resolutions in Motion. We are half way through the challenge, and while I have made a dent, I still have plenty to do.

#4 Read: My goal is 25 books for the year.
  • I finished Notorious Nineteen. I just downloaded Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris. I'll let you know how it is. 

#5 Exercise 12 hours a month.
  • Nailed it. In January I worked out 15 hours (by the end of the day today!)

#6 Run
  • My friend and I started the Couch to 5K. I did this a few years ago, and it really does work. I have also picked out a 5K in April that a couple people from work are going to do.

#7 Sew More
  • I signed up for the Craftsy Block of the Month class to learn how to quilt. I haven't started it yet though.

#9 Reconnect with my girlfriends
  • Running gives you time to chat :) I have been having so much fun seeing Kimberly and jogging with her again. I also have gotten to hang out with my best friend from high school a few times as well this month. Yay!

#10 Purge
  • Besides for the things I have gotten rid of from the garage, I have also gone through our DVD and book collections and got rid of a box of each. I also am trying the hanger trick I have seen on Pinterest. (turn the hangers backwards, and 6 months later, get rid of the stuff you haven't worn.) We will see how that works out. I also purged my underwear drawer. I took pictures of that, but I realized that would be a weird thing to post on the internet. 

In one month I made progress on 8 of my 13 goals. None of them are complete yet, but two of them are ongoing. 

How are you doing with your resolutions for the year?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Old Lady or Teenage Girl?

A little over a week ago, Taylor at Daily Tay wrote a post about how she is an old lady trapped in a young body. As I was reading it, I found myself nodding and saying "me too!" At the end of the post, I decided I was also an old lady, and I was okay with it.
Then yesterday, Helene wrote about how she may or may not be a teenage girl. At the end of her post I too realized that I was really a teenage girl, and I am okay with it. Except now, I am having an identity crisis. Old lady or teenage girl??

I prefer to go to bed around 8:30-9:00 most nights. I use to be able to stay up until at least 11:00 and still be ready to go for class at 8 am. On weekends I also wake up around 6:30 am. This is considered sleeping in to me, since my alarm goes off at 5:15 on weekdays.
Old Lady
I have been known to stay up until 1-2 am during the summer however. 

There have been numerous days where I am dressed like one of my 8th grade students: skinny jeans, t-shirt, TOMS or UGG Boots. (I have multiple pairs of both...)
Teenage Girl
I prefer loafers/flats to heels any day of the week. I just can't handle wearing heels all day. How do you ladies do it?? I also think a cardigan is one of the best pieces of clothing ever.

Hot tea is my drink of choice. Plain hot tea. In fact, you may call me a tea hoarder. In my kitchen right now I have at least 5 or 6 different boxes of tea bags.
Old Lady
My love of tea started in high school at a local hipster coffee shop. 

Fact: My favorite cold drink is chocolate milk.
Teenage girl
I prefer my chocolate milk made with Ovaltine.

Fact: I have had to Google SMH, INYMI, ROFL etc.
Old Lady
I am on Twitter and Instagram. Plus I can hashtag with the best of them. #imnotasoldasiact

Fact: My iPod has a wide assortment of Kei$ha, Bieber, Nicki, One Direction, Pitbull and the like.
Teenage Girl
My iPod has a ton more on it as well. Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharp, Simon and Garfunkel etc,

Fact: Loud music/bars are not for me. I would much rather have a nice conversation where we don't have to scream to hear each other.
Old Lady
I do love going to concerts!

Fact: I can't figure out where to shop at Macy's and Nordstrom. BP is usually to young looking for me (except for the cardigans) and the non-juniors department of Macy's seems like somewhere my grandma would shop.

So what do you think: old lady or teenager girl? How about you??

Helene in Between

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This weekend I...

This weekend I...
*Finished week 3 of  Couch to 5K. We took a week break from running, so we decided we will redo week 3. We have a 5K in April we are looking at doing, so we have plenty of time.

*Babysat for the first time in at least 15 years. We had a good time reading books, playing with the kitty and crawling around the floor. However, the little guy broke our agreement and pooped. He wasn't going to do that. If you can't trust a 10 month old to hold up their end of a bargain, who can you trust??

*I also invited my husband  a boy over while I was babysitting. I had never done that when I was in my babysitting prime in middle/high school, so I decided it was time.

*Had yummy pizza for lunch with my husband. We get slices at the local pizza place in town. It's newish to the area, but it has a pretty good following so hopefully it sticks around.

*Finally watched Argo. So good. Seriously, go see it. And Ben Affleck had this salt and pepper thing going on in his beard/hair that my husband has going on and I find yummy.
Ben Affleck Argo shaggy hair family normal hated Jennifer Garner Violet Seraphina

*Sunday I worked for 7+ hours at my mom's house. My best friend helped and so did my two nieces (and one of their boyfriends).  I now know how to drain a waterbed. Someday I will have a weekend update post that doesn't include working at the house. 

How was your weekend??

Friday, January 25, 2013

Campus Book Rentals

The other day my friend and I were talking about what things we missed from college. I actually think that conversation started because of this post. Anyway.. things I miss include: scheduling my day so that I wouldn't miss Days of Our Lives, the salad bar in the dining hall, and the fact that there was always something going on. I also kind of miss learning. I really did enjoy going to class and hearing my professors talk. However, I don't miss writing papers, midterms/final, and spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks that I wouldn't use after the 12 week term was up.

Last week I was contacted by Campus Book Rentals to write a blog post about their company. Before I said yes, I wanted to check it out myself. I looked up a class at my college's bookstore (a class I took 2 summers ago when I was working on my masters degree): Sports Nutrition.
Nutrition for Health, Fitness & Sport
Campus Book Rentals
The required book for the class was $153 new or $114.75 used. Through Amazon the same book was $96.78 used (they also had a rental option for $65.75.) Campus Book Rentals had it for $45.35! Plus, there is free shipping and you can even highlight in the book. There is even a 30 day risk free return policy if you end up not needing the book or you drop the class (Business Writing I am looking at you.)

They also have a RentBack program where you can rent out your text books to other students. This allows you to get more money back for your books than if you were to just sell them back to the bookstore. (I did take $20 for a $100+ general science book freshman year).

Campus Book Rentals is also a partner with Operation Smile, a non-profit group that helps get cleft lip surgeries to children that cannot afford them on their own.  With every book rented through their site, they donate money to Operation Smile.

If I were still in college, scheduling my days around Days (ha!) I would for sure be looking into Campus Book Rentals (especially for those general ed classes I had to take during my first couple of years as an undergrad... music lit, US history and of course that dumb general science class.)

I was compensated for this post, but all of the opinions are mine!

Mostly happies with a couple crappies

Friday. I love you. Let's look back at the week, shall we??

Scissors and a Whisk: Happies and Crappies Link Up

First the Crappies:
Wednesday I took the day off work to go work on my mom's estate and work on getting the sale ready. Several of you commented the other day on what a big task this is... trust me I know. It's not my first choice. We had a couple companies come in, and one said that after their commission, we really wouldn't make much money. After talking it over with the family, we decided to try to do it ourselves. I guess this is a good idea...Any ways, mom's house is a little over an hour away, so when I go up there, I hope to spend a good amount of time working. As I put the key in the door, I heard an alarm going off. I found the fire alarm ringing and I smelled gas. I freaked out and called the gas company. After the guy came, ran his tests etc. he told me there wasn't a gas leak and the fire alarm was probably just shorting out. That really took all the wind out of my sails, so I just drove back home. A waste of a day.

Writing sub plans is awful business. I couldn't even imagine how an elementary teacher does it. At least my one lesson that I write gets used over and over again.

Do you know whats worse than writing sub plans? Coming back and realizing they really didn't get followed. Ugh. #shouldhavejustshownavideo

My students turned in a paper before winter break. I still haven't finished grading them. I have even brought them home twice. Which didn't mean anything, since I didn't touch them. #teacherfail

Now the happies:

I am rocking on my 13 in '13. I don't want to jinx it, but I haven't forgotten them (always a plus) and I am making progress. I am hoping to post an update at the end of the month.

I love getting paid to workout! I am teaching Zumba twice a week as an after school program at my school, and it is awesome!

I just finished Notorious Nineteen
Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19)
Good Reads
Yes it is the same plot as the other ones, but it is a fun distraction and still makes me laugh. My favorite review from Good Reads said this: "They are cupcakes for the brain; we know it, Janet knows it, so stop expecting a gourmet meal." 

Someone posted this on Facebook and I laughed at it. As a fur mom of both cats and a dog, this is 100% true!

How was your week?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Garage update!

Just a quick update on my 6 week resolution

I mentioned yesterday that we are running my mom's estate sale ourselves. When I drove up this weekend to work on it, I also put quite a few things from my garage into the car to put into the sale. Some of the stuff has been in our garage since we moved in. Hopefully someone will see it and be able to use it in their home. As a bonus, all the money earned from the sale goes into the estate account to help pay the bills. I see this as a three sided win. I would post pictures, but honestly, the garage still looks pretty full.

I also took 3 cases of spiral notebooks to work and donated them. I bought them my first year teaching on clearance at Target. It has been a few years since I have used spirals in my classroom and there is no need for me to keep them in my garage when students at my school could be using them. (Another win-win)

Thank you all for your encouraging words when I posted the pictures two weeks ago. My favorite comments reminded me that I, in fact, do not belong on Hoarders. Thanks all!

How are you doing with your goals??

Monday, January 21, 2013

This (Three Day Weekend) I..

I totally stole this idea from Erika. She accomplished more on this MLK Day off than I did over all three days this weekend.
This three day weekend I accomplished...
1) I finished season 2 (and ordered season 3) of Psych
If you haven't seen this show on USA, you are missing out. It is just silly humor with a mystery thrown in. It's fun, there aren't any guts, and I usually giggle when I watch it.

2) I created my Zumba set list for the after school program I run.
I got suckered into teaching Zumba last spring. Tons of girls have been asking me to do it again this year. I had tons of fun doing it last year, and who doesn't love to get paid to work out??

3)I started organizing my mom's estate.

We are trying to run the sale ourselves. Sometimes this sounds like a good idea. Other times not.

4) SSB from the OG w/ BFF

This is our go to lunch spot. Yum.

5) I got lost in Target
Surprisingly, I didn't spend too much.

6) I got halfway through Notorious Nineteen.

These books are always fun. (How has her hamster lived this long??)

7) I started a Crockpot Pinterest board.

That counts as something, right??

There were some other things I wanted to do this weekend. But I didn't. Maybe I will try something like Anne next weekend :)

What did you accomplish this weekend?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The best is yet to come

In high school, I realized that Britt Britt and I are only 2 weeks apart in age.
High school me was jealous of Brit's life, her fame, money, boyfriend, wearing matching outfits with said boyfirend
Are you tired of me posting this picture yet? I'm not. :)
Then Brit went a bit crazy

Now... well, you know what she is like now

This post is actually not an ode to Brittney. Alison's post on stars her age got me thinking... I go back and forth about my feelings on being in my 30's. Sometimes its easy to get caught up in the numbers. These women are proof that age is just a number. These ladies all get a 2 syllable damn from me.
Alyson Hannigan is 38, BTW...

Reese Witherspoon: 36
Jennifer Aniston: 43
Julia Roberts: 45 
Three kids under 8? You go girl.

Michelle Obama: 48
Say what you will about her husband's politics, this Lady has got some arms!

Jodie Foster: 50 (if you didn't catch that from her Globes speech...)
Speaking of arms...

Betty White: 91
I saw her on Hoda and Kathie Lee last week, and she totally reminded me of my Grandma.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


*Here is a life changer.

Frozen chopped onions. Some people may think it is silly. Others may think it is a waste of money. Yes, buying an onion and chopping it myself would be cheaper, but 91 cents isn't going to bankrupt us. And this way I don't cry. And the house doesn't stink like onions.  And none of it goes to waste. I've never eaten them raw, but if I have used them in taco meat, chili and stuffed peppers and I couldn't tell a difference.

*Meanwhile in the kitchen:
Do you use a potato masher to cook ground meat? I got the idea from Rachael Ray and it works great to break it up into little crumblies.

*I started the Couch to 5K program again after the first of the year with a friend of mine. I did it a few years ago and it was awesome. I even went on to run a marathon and a couple of halves. It's been awhile since I ran, and I am definitely out of running shape. We just finished week 2 and I am feeling pretty good about it. I've also been going to Zumba pretty regularly.

*Running outside in January sucks. Its cold. And sometime it snows and is icy. Yuck.

*This woman in New York posed as one of the Sandy Hook victim's aunt to raise money for the family. It was a scam. When Anderson Cooper asked her about it, she said she was framed by an enemy she has in the crafting community. Enemy in the crafting community. Yup, those people who craft, they are some evil geniuses.

* And you are welcome:
Portraits of people being blown by a leaf blower! Just about peed my pants!
What's going on with you lately??

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wedding weekend

This weekend I...

went to a wedding!

At a pizza place!

The couple has been together for 7 years, and after a conversation they had while decorating the Christmas tree, they planned the whole wedding in just under a month. She looked gorgeous, the wedding itself was short and sweet and the food was fantastic. (It helps when the pizza place uses local ingredients!) In a big fail I didn't take pictures except for the two you might have seen on instagram... one was a plate of pizza and beer and the other was this
The Mister and I played some air hockey at the reception. (How is that for a cool reception?!) It was a very close game. I won. 

Confession: I really love weddings. My favorite part? The ceremony. I really love watching when two people are professing their love for each other and committing themselves to one another for life. This couple chose to have friends perform the ceremony and they wrote their own vows/promises to each other. They had some humorous ones as well as some heartfelt, serious ones. 

My second favorite part? Cake. 

What is your favorite part of weddings?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I get real deep here... Just kidding. Its a post about boots.

I have been wanting a pair of tall, leather riding boots for a while now. There are a couple of things holding me back- 1) I am sort of cheap and the nice ones are expensive and cheap ones are uncomfortable. And 2) I have what I like to call "power calves." (some people call them athletic, some people call them fatty fat fat) Those two things make it difficult to own a pair of beautiful tall boots. 

Then came Christmas. My father-in-law gifted me with a very generous Nordstrom gift card. Then after Christmas Nordy's had a boot sale. See the graphic below to see how I felt about it.

After too much  Internet research (AKA reading almost every single book review) I found what I thought to be the perfect set of riding boots.
Don't fall in love with them. They have a very limited selection of sizes left.
I anxiously awaited there arrival at my doorstep. The day they came in, I ripped open the shipping box pulled off the shoe box top and tried them on.

And almost cried. (Well, not really. But I was super bummed.)

They didn't fit over my stupid calves. The next day I took them to Nordstrom holding out hope that they might be able to stretch the calves. After learning that it wasn't really going to be an option, I reluctantly returned them. I also tried on several pairs of boots, but none of them lived up to the beauties you see above. (Nordstrom has a fantastic return policy if you don't know. They put all of it on my debit card instead of some on a gift card and some on my debit card.) I sadly left and went to Macy's to see what they had in stock. I was prepared to be disappointed.

A woman who also had power calves was trying on boots. She also happened to be my same shoe size. (How is that for coincidence?) I tried on a few of the pairs that she also had, and still none of them were what I wanted. And then I saw one last pair. It looked very similar to the pair I had returned, except for a little stretchy panel  It was the same pair I had just returned to to Nordstrom, but in the extended calf variety!!
The lady working there said it was the last pair that they had in stock, and it just happened to be in my size. It is a post-Christmas miracle. :)