Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just a little

...taste of Savannah

This city is just as beautiful as I remembered it being. I was last here in 2000, and it continues to be a gem of the south. More pictures to come!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Charleston

Our first two days of vacation in Charleston were fun and exhausting. We walked around 5.5 miles on our first day there, as we traveled all over the city. We saw all the big sights (Rainbow Row, The Old City Market, The Charleston Museum), and we enjoyed some beautiful weather. It's been in the 70's our whole trip, which is a nice change from the 30's we were experiencing in Virginia last week.









On our second day in Charleston, we did a little more sight seeing around the city. I dragged J around a little so I could take a few more photos of this gorgeous place, and we also found a nice cafe for lunch. After lunch we headed off to Patriot's Point to take a boat to Ft. Sumter. What a neat place. It has such a history, and it helped that we had a great park ranger leading the discussion.




We're in Savannah now, and loving it! Another beautiful, southern city. More about Savannah in the next post, as we're off to dinner at Lady & Sons!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

vacation

Sigh. Can you believe that there's only one more week of vacation? I guess I should still be happy. Two weeks of vacation is pretty nice.

We had a lovely Christmas with lots and lots of time with family. We got some great presents, and if you ask me, I think we gave some pretty awesome presents too. I made books at blurb for both sets of parents with wedding photos. They turned out so nice, and I (not-so) secretly had a lot of fun making them. As much as I love scrapbooking, this is a great way to document and save a lot of photos fom one event. I am even thinking of making another with my project 365 photos I am going to have from this upcoming year.

We're currently in Charleston, SC for a mini-vacation. We've been very busy enjoying all of the beautiful and interesting sights in this historical city. Other than a pretty horrible headache last night, it's been a lot of fun. We leave tonight for 3 days in Savannah, GA. Hopefully, I'll have some pictures of these beautiful cities in my next post!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

a photo message...

Hope you have had a special day with your loved ones as you have celebrated our Savior's birth!

Monday, December 22, 2008

One of the many reasons I love my job...

Homemade mosaic candle holders for Christmas presents (and gift cards to a favorite restaurant...they're just not as fun to photograph!)

Hope you're enjoying the holidays! We've been having a fun filled week that has included chinese gift exchanges, bizillions of cookies, yummy breakfast, sleeping in, horseshoes, and many, many dogs!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

oh goodie

3 more days! 3 more days! 3 more days! I don't know who is more excited, me or my students?

With the Christmas break right around the corner (2 full weeks of break that is!), I have been busy getting ready to celebrate with my kids. Friday we're having a fun day. We will do some work (come on, I can only get away with having but so much fun), but we're also going to watch a Christmas-y movie and make some crafts. It's going to be a good day!

I stayed late today to help with the 4th and 5th grade chorus performance, which was a chaotic yet wonderful experience all in one! The kids did a great job, though. Very cute show. The performance wasn't till 7, so I had a big chunk of time to get things done in my classroom; including making these cute goodie bags for my little ones...

All props must be given to Oriental Trading and The Dollar Tree!

And on one totally unrelated note....I am so psyched to be watching The Biggest Loser finale tonight!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

good things

Well, good news, I have no cavities. Despite my mini-breakdown I had before going to the dentist, I am happy to report that I got a thumbs up and a "your mother would be proud" report from the dentist. Phew. Glad that's over for 6 months.

Some things I am loving right now: this falvorful, delicious dinner I made for us tonight, finishing season one of dexter last night...wow - what a good show!, coming home early from school today and having a nice, relaxing afternoon off, knowing I only have 5 more school days before break, the student in my class who keeps bringing me Italian candy to eat with my lunch, the Christmas Folk channel on pandora, finding an awesome sale at Ann Taylor LOFT last night...all sale items were 40% off the sale price!

Hope you've had a nice Thursday. I plan to spend the rest of my evening eating cookies and cream ice cream while watching The Office. A pretty good night, if you ask me!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a present

Look what I got in the mail today as a late birthday present from my husband...
For all of you non-scrapbookers, Studio Calico makes monthly kits of coordinating scrapbooking stuff. My husband certainly knows the way to my heart!

Totally not related: I am going to the dentist tomorrow. I am dreading it. In fact, I am on the verge of tears just thinking about it. Uhhh. So, now you know a deep, dark secret of mine...an irrational fear of the dentist.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

many thoughts

I am made a pretty epic pie this week. If you want to make one for yourself...here's the recipe! Another marvelous P-Dub creation. My husband was in Orlando for this week for a convention, and I used this week to myself to do three things: be lazy, grade papers, make foods he doesn't like...like pies with apples and pecans! However, so I don't sound like a really mean wife, I'll have you know that I made a marinade for a steak that we ate in these quesadillas when he returned on Thursday. I also made homemade guacamole, with limes and cilantro - YUM. It turned out delicious and I declared myself a pretty awesome wife.

We went flea marketing this morning in a town across the water from us. They have a flea market the first Saturday of every month, but I always forget about it or we're out of town when I do end up remembering. Good news though, this morning as I was sitting and reading blogs, it hit me that today was flea market day. We headed over and found some neat things. J bought an old jar and a map from '68 of our city. I bought some old music books so I could have sheet music to use in my scrapbook, some old buttons and ribbon, and these incredible old JMU postcards which I am madly in love with ...


And speaking of JMU, I am wishing and hoping and praying that they beat Villanova in their play-off game today!

One last thing...listen to this song. Makes me so happy.

And now really, one last thing: thanks for the birthday wishes. I had a great day and got some thoughtful gifts and cards...thanks to all!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

birthdays

I've had a great past couple of days. In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving, we celebrated my husband's birthday, I got to do some shopping, spent time with both of our families, and even got to eat at one of our favorite restaurants.

Tomorrow I am turning twenty-five. And what plans do I have? Chances are we'll hang out around our place for most the day, but I am okay with that. I am looking forward to having a day to just relax. On Wednesday before break, my room mom at school brought in a cake for me, a Panera gift card, and a candle set. So sweet. It was a nice surprise, and my kids were so excited to watch me open it. They then asked how old I was, I first said I as fifteen. When no one believed this, I said I was fifty. Again, no one really believed me. As a class, they agreed that I was twenty-eight. Where this number comes from, I don't really know, but I am okay with it.

Kids are funny. But birthdays at home on a Sunday are even better.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

proud pecan pie


This is what my morning has consisted of up until this point. Reading my new Real Simple and eating the pecan pie I made yesterday. When I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman's* cooking blog last week, I knew I had to make it. Not only is pecan pie my absolute favorite pie in the world, but this was also the first time I have ever made it. I usually only eat pecan pie each year at Thanksgiving when my nana makes it, and I occasionally eat a slice at random diners I happen to stop in. I saw PW's recipe, and I was highly motivated to try it. She manages to make every recipe look easy, and for the first time, I thought that I might be able to make this heavenly dessert on my own.
The pie was pretty easy to make. It had simple ingredients, and didn't even take that long. But the crust....well, that was much harder than I had anticipated. For starters, I had never worked with crisco before, and two, we don't have a rolling pin or a pastry cutter, both of which I have leanred are sort of essential to making a pie crust. Next time I make this pie, I will most likely be using a Pillsbury pie crust, now that I know how difficult making a crust is. And I am sure you're all wondering how I made my pie without a rolling pin. Nalgene bottle. It was a decent back up, but I still want a rolling pin now. But, despite my lack of tools and the greasy, messy crisco, I was still able to pull out a decent crust which doesn't taste too bad. And since the pie filling is so delicious and perfect, the crust is hardly even noticeable.
What is your favorite kind of pie? And have you ever had as much trouble with pie crust as I did, or am I just a poor pie crust baker?

*If you don't read PW, shame on you. For a portion of my life, I was kind of obsessed with Rachael Ray. But those days are long gone now that I have Pioneer Woman in my life. Not only does she make me laugh in everything that I read, but her blog is chock full of all kinds of good stuff. In addition to cooking and recipes, the girl also has tons of great photography tips, gardening advice, and the hilarious stories about her life on a cattle ranch. And then there's my favorite section, which if you start reaing, you'll never want to stop, Black Heels and Tractor Wheels. I often tell my husband that I want to move to a cattle ranch, have a giant rustic kitchen, and have 5 dogs running around our house. Is that too much to ask for?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

bunco!

Last night I learned how to play Bunco. Has anyone else ever played this game? Several years ago, I watched this ridiculous special on Lifetime about an Annual Bunco Tournament in Las Vegas. While watching it with friends, we all joked and agreed that this silly game of luck was for goofy old ladies and/or housewives who have too much time on their hands, and we'd never be caught dead playing it. I was wrong. Last night I got talked into going to my schools monthly bunco night. I signed up to go, mainly to spend time with coworkers so I could get to know them better, and also because I heard the food was pretty awesome each month. Both of these things were true. I ended up having a lot of fun with the women I work with, some who I was already friends with, some who we had never said more than three words to each other before last night. And the food...it really was incredible. And little did I know that these ladies like to drink more then my friends from college. Watching my 60 year old coworkers take shots of Wild Turkey and dance around to The Pussycat Dolls...that's an entertaining Friday night. I am glad I went, I am glad I work with such fun teachers, and I am glad that life in general is just ten times better at my new job. Even if that means spending my weekends playing the silly game of Bunco.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

freezing cold

It's been so cold here today. Too bad our apartment has not turned on the heat. I don't know how much longer I'm gonna be able to take this. It is 39 out...and we have no heat.

Also going on in my life, more Kagan training for school. I'm learning things, but being out is quite a chore. I spent so much time making sub plans yesterday. I just hope that something is being accomplished while I am away.

The illness that hit me hard Friday is still hanging around, except now it's all in my chest. Breathing hasn't been easy and I've been doped up on cough medicine for the past five days. Robitussin isn't very yummy. And one can only sniff so much Vick's vapor rub before getting sick of the smell.

Tried another new recipe on Sunday. It was good. Not great, but good. J and his buddy who had dinner with us loved it. I just thought it was so-so. I did sub black beans for refried beans, and I threw in a lot of cilantro (yum!). I would recommend both of these if you try making it. Ours was also a veggie version with no ground beef. Let me know if you make it!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

wet cats

Last night I came home from school feeling like death. I ached all over, every muscle every joint. And my throat felt like it was shrinking and a little on fire. I somehow made it through the school day, but just barely. However, I think it was thanks to my students' weird/clever sense of humor that I was able to survive till the buses left at three o'clock...

Student: Mrs. W, what would you do if you were sleeping in a locked room, and I put a cat on your face?
Me: WHAT?
Student: Actually....a wet cat....
Me: Did someone do this to you?
Student: No, I was just curious to know what you'd do.
Me: ??????????????

Somedays, I love my job. Despite the fact that I teach germy little nose pickers who get me sick, I love it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

looking back and growing up


Tonight I had coffee with a dear friend from college who recently moved to my town. What a nice way to spend my evening. Catching up, reminiscing, and talking about current events in our "adult" lives. It's funny how much has changed since we were in college. It's funny that while we were sophomores, we used to watch cheesy Lifetime or ABC Family movies and talk about what it would be like when we were married. It's funny that each of our lives is so different now than it was 5 years ago when we met...but it's different in such a wonderful, unexpected way.

I love being an adult, and I know I am very blessed to be where I am in my life now, but there are times like tonight, that I think back to college, and the friends I had there, and the wonderful memories I have from my five years (I did four undergrad years, one grad year), and a small part of me misses that life. To be care-free, to stay up till two in the morning every night, to eat with your friends all the time, to living in a 12 x 12 foot room....I miss it. This post is, as I am sure, a feeling most twenty-somethings go through, and I know it will pass, but I know that I am lucky to have had five incredible years. They were five years where I grew, I changed, and I became the person I am now.

Here are two awesome articles I found on Relevant (which I loooove) a few years back that I just adore. I think they both sum up my feelings, and each writer puts my thoughts and fears on paper so well. One & Two.

I am lucky to look back and have such wonderful memories and friends, and even more fortunate to have so many great things and people in my life today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

new collar

Look what came in the mail yesterday!
Layla got a new collar from Lucky Fiona. It was about time. Her old one was smelling like a dirty old gym sock that had been soaked in river water. It was time for a change!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

a coffee cup

I know I am not the first to state this, but I am gonna say it anyway. I love Starbucks coffee cups right now. I love "The Way I See It..." quotes. Getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks is exciting, not only for the drink, but also for the cup. My husband would probably call this stupid and materialistic, but that's okay. It's the little things that make me happy.

Last week, my co-teacher brought me a hazelnut latte (she's the best), and I got this cup. Made me day.
Like I said, it's the little things...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

rainy wednesday

I just graded the biggest stack of math papers. Uhhhh. Took forever, but glad I did it. My parents will probably be happy, too.

I am loving my new scrap room/office space since I did some major cleaning on Monday evening. It's much more relaxing being in here now that I've thrown out so much junk. Junk that should have been thrown out months, years ago!

I read this tonight. Made me really happy.
"I believe we can be the change we’ve voted for—no matter who we voted for..." Roxanne Weiman
We don't have to agree on everything, but as Christians, we should still show love.

And finally, I want to brag about the delicious Thai take-out I had tonight, courtesy of my awesome husband. It was exactly what I wanted to come home to after a rainy, long day. Well, I take that back. Layla is really the best part of coming home, but Thai was a fantastic second. Nothing beats a wagging tail and having my face attacked by that mutt.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

in numbers...

427: miles I drove this past weekend to see and visit some dear friends
5: political costumes I saw at the Halloween party I went to Friday night
3: homemade cupcakes I ate on Halloween
169: dollars spent at Ikea on Saturday
1.5: hours spent cleaning and organizing my scrap/desk area last night
32: parent teacher conferences since last Wednesday
3: hours I got to go home early today since I finished all my conferences by noon!
18: federal cards that I lost at school...fed cards are sort of a big deal, and it's not looked fondly upon when a teacher "misplaces" all but one card.
2: new beers I tried this weekend
1: wonderful coworker who is cutting me some big slack and saving my butt despite my awful lack of organization
12: times I have watched this awesome video
31: minutes I have at home before I go vote!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the chosen one


Anyone else as excited as me? Even though nothing can compare to the books, I am still so excited for the next installment of the film!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the potato soup incident...

So, remember in my last post how I said I was going to make some baked potato soup for supper, with an awesome recipe I had found online? Well, I did, and it was a great comfort meal and very delicious.I also managed to do a little chopping of my left thumb in the process. Nothing serious that needed a doctor, but enough to need a serious bandage. We got some seriously awesome knives as a wedding present, and it turns out that they're also seriously sharp. It's healed pretty well, but my poor nail on the thumb is jagged and small. At least I had a nail there in the first place, if not it would have been the skin that would have gotten the axe.
Lesson learned here: Definitely make this soup. It is delicious and easy, and it is pretty healthy too! The cream base for the soup was nonfat plain yogurt. It's a good cold weather supper. But just be careful when you're chopping up the potatoes!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

a few layouts

I have been a busy scrapper this weekend....
I also spent 2.5 hours at my local Panera after church this morning working on lesson plans. Uggghhhh. Can't wait for the day when I can just pull up "last year's lesson plans" and not spend my whole weekend organizing and planning...maybe one day! This week will actually be nice once I get the planning done. Tuesday and Wednesday I'm going to have a sub so I can go to Kagan Training, and then Friday I have an afternoon inservice and will have another sub. So, all I really only have a 2.5 day teaching week. Can't beat that!

Tonight we're making this for dinner....yum! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

rainy saturday

It has been a dreary, chilly, fall day in Virginia. We had plans to go camping for the weekend, but opted to stay home for the weekend after checking out the forecast. Last night we went to a local Peruvian restaurant that we've been saying for months that we were going to try out. We've made some money on craigslist selling old furniture and appliances, and we've been putting it in a "date night" envelope. Selling our extra microwave was totally worth it for our dinner last night.
This morning we made biscuits and ate them with the pumpkin butter I picked up last weekend and homemade jam that a friend of mine gave me over the summer. What a nice way to start your day! And of course the breakfast wouldn't have been complete without apple chai.

I've scrapped some today, did some grocery shopping, and we're almost all caught up with How I Met Your Mother. I've got work to be doing for school, but being lazy and catching up on life is way more fun. Hope you're having a nice weekend, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

if i were a boy

The beautiful and talented Beyonce has once again stolen my ears with this new song. I have been listening to this nonstop since I got home from work today. And the video? Fabulous. Welcome back Mrs. Jay-Z.


2 posts today! Short, I know, but I am trying. School's just been nuts lately, and on top of that, the weather's been beautiful, I've been keeping in touch with far away friends, and making some seriously awesome meals (or just eating the yummy things my husband has made...ie. pumpkin chili and cornbread!). And in addition to all of this, we've been trying to catch up on How I Met Your Mother. Over the summer, we got hooked on season 1 & 2, and season 3 came out on DVD last week. Hopefully, we'll be all caught up soon so we can watch season 4 on Mondays. Any other HIMYM fans?

deep fried and delicious


A few of you noticed my line about fried oreos in the last post. We went to a local festival where we tried them, and although I feel like I can't have any more fat for the week, it was worth it. You can only have fried oreos at these sort of special events. J had a fried milky way...on a stick. I tried it, but I think I was a bigger fan of the oreo.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

teeny tiny

Teeny Tiny Update:
pumpkins are delicious, we bought a new sofa, my students think Africa is a state, oodles of papers to grade, I ate deep fried oreos Saturday, and my books are overdue at the library.

That's about all that's new here....possibly a longer post tomorrow.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

my costume

Check it out....
No costumes allowed on Halloween, but guess which teacher is going to be the coolest in school on October 31? I'm psyched.

(sorry for the lack of posts this week...it's been a rough week, look for more regular posts next week!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

french onion soup

Went to early church this morning, went for a little walk on the beach where I found a little sea glass, and made myself a big bowl of yummy soup tonight. Would ya like to see?
I got this great cookbook at my wedding kitchen shower from a friend of my mom. I have always loved french onion soup, but have been afraid to make it on my own. I didn't want to screw it up, and I was afraid it would not live up to my expectations. On Friday as I was flipping through this cookbook, I saw the recipe and thought...why not? And ya know what people? It turned out GREAT. So delicious that my husband said I can make it again in a week. That's quite the compliment, if you ask me.

I also made my own croutons for this yummy meal!

This was so easy, and the croutons were way better than anything I could have bought from the store. We had some leftover, stale french bread that we ate with spaghetti last week. I coated it in olive oil and rubbed it with a peeled garlic clove, and then chopped it up into crouton size pieces. I baked it on a cookie sheet at 325 for about 15 minutes. If you're gonna make the soup, this is the way to go with the croutons. Way yummier, and way easy!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

oh weekends

What a long week this past week was. I was absolutely drained by Thursday evening, but somehow I managed to make it to Friday afternoon.

Thursday night we had open house, so I had the pleasure of staying at school from 7am till 8pm. Who doesn't love a 13 hour day at work?

Last night revolved around burritos from our favorite burrito joint in town, watching a good movie, and creating our grocery list for the week.

No big plans for the weekend. I am up early to buy groceries, and then we're gonna head to the farmer's market in a bit. I want to drive to a scrapbook store in a neighboring city. I read their blog the other day and they have the new sassafrass lass paper! Would really like to play with that! And then hopefully this afternoon we're going to go see The Dark Night. I think we might be 2 out of the 100 Americans who still haven't seen it.

This has been a boring post. But I will leave you with this cute photo of Layla. When we were at the wedding last weekend, she was kenneled and groomed. We picked her up to find a cute bandanna on her. J hates it, I love it ...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

reason #2,731...

Reason #2,731 that I know I married the right guy:
He goes out of town for 3 days, but does all the dishes before he leaves. He's a keeper.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

delightful diners


While at the wedding in Wilmington this weekend, my mom, husband, and I went to find a tasty brunch spot on Sunday morning before our drives back to VA. We found a place called The Dixie Grill that sat not too far off the river walk. It had a big crowd of people out front, so we figured it had to be pretty good. And boy, were we were right! This place was wonderful. Delicious food in a "no frills" atmosphere. Just what I am looking for in a breakfast joint! My mom and I both had the fried green tomato BLT (o-m-g people...why have I never thought of such a heavenly meal before?) and J had some crazy eggs/potatoes/sausage concoction that looked too good to be true.
Moral of this post: If you find yourself in Wilmington, NC, The Dixie Grill is not to be missed!