Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Favorites

We are not dressing up in our home this year. I did wear a shirt with a spider web on it to school yesterday, but that's about it! Since we're not being too festive this year, I thought I'd share a few Halloween favorites from the past that I have on my computer...

1985: Cheerleader

1995: Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

2003: Thug Life.
I even had a band-aid under my eye
in honor of Nelly.

2008: Waldo

So there you have it.

Today we'll be carving our pumpkin, making roasted pumpkin seeds, and enjoying the high of 80 we're supposed to be having. Not the best weather for Halloween, but at least it's not 40 and raining like it was a few weekends ago! Have a happy halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

PW cookbook!

My wonderful friend and former housemate, Rachel, is giving away a copy of Pioneer Woman's brand spankin' new cookbook on her blog. You want to win this book!


GO HERE to see the details!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cookie Love

Announcement:

You must buy these cookies. They are so creamy and maple-y and addictive, the perfect fall cookie. Run to Trader Joe's and buy them now. You will then come home, sit on your sofa under a cozy blanket with a hot tea, and one of these cookies, and you will smile, because life really can't get better than this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a river is not the same as a mountain

Today was one of those not so great days at work. I had a child confuse a river with a mountain after two weeks of studying Virginia geography. Taking deep breaths and trying very hard to not bang my head on the wall, I moved on and kept my head held high. We all have those days.

To cheer me up, I'm compiling a list of good things I've got going on right now. Staying positive and I'm not gonna let a bad day get me down.

Moving to a better apartment in December.
S'more Cookie Bars I made last night.
Beef Kabobs J made tonight.
One of my best friends got engaged after she ran her first marathon on Sunday.
We have a pumpkin, finally.
Wore my argyle tights today, got a boat load of compliments.
Homemade ginger bread cookies + icing from a student.
6 fresh knots of garlic sitting in my kitchen, courtesy of a coworkers garden.
TaDa Lists, my new favorite way of staying organized.
Biggest Loser on my television.
Finalizing our Thanksgiving plans.

Life is good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A day at the swamp...

Yesterday we went here...



This would be Lake Drummond which is one of just 2 natural lakes in Virginia. We walked 4.5 miles to the lake and 4.5 miles back. It was quite the hike, but well worth it on such a nice fall day.

Lake Drummond is actually inside of The Great Dismal Swamp, but they've built decent paths through the swamp out to the lake. I was a little apprehensive, as I know all sorts of wildlife lives out here, but we survived. No black bear attacks! Layla was startled by a few toads, but other than them, we saw no wildlife.





And this might just be the sweetest picture ever...


We came home and found a few ticks on poor Layla, but J was a hero and removed 'em. Our swamp hike was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Balmy Nights

Many, many years ago on a cold winter day, a friend of mine and I were out on shopping adventure at an outdoor mall. I had left my chapstick at home (major crisis in my world!) and she let me use this stuff that Santa had left for her in her stocking. It looked a little frou frou for my taste, but I was desperate. That day changed my life. While out shopping that day, I purchased my tin jar of Balmy Nights Soothing Bedtime Lip Balm at Victoria's Secret, and I have used it religiously since then. It gets a little rest in the summer, but even then I love it for a nice shine.


Here I am about 5-6 years since my first encounter with this fabulous product and I am just about out of balm. Complete tragedy as Victoria's Secret no longer makes this excellent stuff. You can tell from this picture that is been well loved and traveled all over with me in my purse. I searched the web for it and had no luck, until I found that VS has just changed the name and upped the price. Victory.

It looks like I'll be going to buy some more this winter. Anyone tried the new stuff? Any reviews?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Audio Books

Back in college when J was 9 hours away from me, the only thing that got me through that 9 hour drive were books on CD. I had done a few trips with just my radio/music CD's, and then before one trip a friend of mine in college who had a 12 hour drive from college to her home in Martha's Vineyard let me borrow her CD copy of The Lovely Bones *. I got to Nashville (where J was in school) and instead of jumping out of my car and running to see my long lost boyfriend, I sat in my car for fifteen extra minutes to hear what was going to happen next. Who cared about my boyfriend. I needed to know more about Suzy Salmon. I've been hooked on audio books ever since.

About 2 years ago, the CD player in my Nissan died. I was devastated, only because it meant no more books while driving. Music CD's are nice, but I could gt music from my radio. It looked like no more books for me.

When I got my new car back in July, the thing I was excited about the most was the return of a CD player. Audio books could be a part of my life again! I can be more a library whore than I already am! And now that I drive 30 minutes to work each day, this meant I'd have a full hour of book time each day.

Currently I'm listening to Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. I've got very mixed feelings about Picoult's books. They tend to annoy me, but they keep me so engaged while driving. It's like a Lifetime movie. I want to quit them because they're usually cheesy and over the top, but I love it at the same time. Such a viscious cycle.


So here's my question for you...do you listen to books while driving? If so, do you have any great recommendations? Some books are just made to be read aloud. Please share!

* Excellent book, by the way. I'm so excited for the movie this winter!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How I know it's fall...

#1 Ballet Flats and Tights


#2 A new purse in a fall color


#3 Halloween Peanut M&M's in our candy dish
They only lasted 6 days


How do you know it's fall?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thanks to Lacey and Sara for the boxtops...I got around 50 thanks to these sweet girls! I am so grateful!
Anyone else interested in saving them, go here for more info. I'll take all the boxtops I can get!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another bridal weekend...

This weekend was one of my best friend's bridal shower and bachelorette party. She and I've been friends since we were eight, and I'm so happy for her upcoming marriage!

The shower was hosted by some friends of her mom, and it was so nice. Look at this stack of presents...she made out pretty well! I love wedding showers, but then I go home and want new things for my kitchen!

These serving pieces were from my mom and me. My mom actually decorated them herself.

And these flip flops were from here mother (to be) in law.
And look at this cake. Not only was it delicious, but it was perfect for fall!


The bride + me + another special high school friend who was also in my wedding.

After the shower, I had enough time to run home and change before the big night out. We all had to wear black and pink, as I'm sure the pictures show. It was a rainy and cold night...not quite normal for Virginia this time of year, but then again, Virginia weather is really not predictable. Despite the yucky weather, it was still a fun night!




I'm so excited for her Thanksgiving weekend wedding! So many of our friends from high school who live all over the country are going to be there from out of town. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Haircut

Two posts today...can you hardly stand it?

My last haircut was back in April during my spring break. I've been due for a trim for at least 2 months.

Not long after my haircut in the spring, a student of mine who has a cousin who is a hairdresser, gave me a gift card for a free cut for teacher appreciation week. I am still searching for "my stylist" here in our city, so I was happy to try her out. And a free cut? What a money saver. This saved me $40...and that's with the $15 tip I left her.

Before...(Monday)

After (with a little help from my 4-legged friend)

I originally told her 3 inches, but then then changed my mind and told her to do a little more. She ended up taking off 5-6 inches. It feels so much healthier and so light. I have very thick hair, so a decent haircut always feels wonderful. Hopefully blow drying will take less time in the mornings.

And then just for fun...I have to share this other photobooth picture!


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Found this little recipe on the interwebs this week. Can't remember the original source, but I promise it's yummy! We tried it out on Saturday night for a little dinner dessert and loved it.



In a saucepan combine:
1 cup milk
2 T pumpkin puree
1-2T sugar (depending how sweet you like it)
mix with a wire whisk
remove from heat when steaming and add:
1/4tsp. nutmeg
1/4tsp. cinnamon
1T vanilla
whisk until frothy
Add 1/2 cup brewed coffee
pour into big mug & top with whipped cream if you want (we opted for no whipped cream)
Sip and ENJOY

I will say, I need to try it again. It was a little grainy at the end with too much pumpkin, but other than that, it was fabulous. Even J who only drinks his coffee black gave it a try and said it wasn't so bad.

And best of all, it's a whole lot cheaper than Starbucks!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beach Picnic

On Sunday after church, J and I stopped by our favorite burrito bar, got some lunch, then headed to the beach with Layla and a big blanket. We shared a pulled pork burrito and it was delicious as always. Layla of course ate all of the rice and beans that kept falling out of our burritos and into the sand.


Even though I am more of a mountains girl, I still love being so close to the beach. Especially during the off season when it's practically empty at the oceanfront. And could it have been any nicer? It was about 70 out, and as you can see, very few clouds. I love the blue in these photos! That and the fact that the dog looks like she's about to attack the camera in the second one down.




And then like any normal beach day, we dug furiously in the sand for the little crabs we saw. We never actually caught them, but we'll get them next time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Redneck Friday Night

I've been doing so good with my dieting. Like really, really good. Like, counting every calorie I put in my body for about 6 weeks now. I have had will power like you wouldn't believe. But I kind of cheated on Friday night....

I sort of ate fried oreos at a local fair. But, they were good...really, really good. And it probably didn't help that I ate a corn dog and cheese fries before devouring these. Oops?

My friend H got a fried snickers bar on a stick. Does life get any better than this? I don't think it can.

But to show you what a real redneck I was on Friday night, I'd have to show you this picture from the demolition derby, where I sat in the stands and cheered for old clunkers to destroy one another. What have I become?


Oh, and did I mention that we saw The Marshall Tucker Band perform? They're the guys who sing this...


How was your weekend? Were you as classy (or should that be klassy?) as I was?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Boxtop Collection Week

Remember this post from August?

Boxtop collection is this week at my school!

If you happened to save any, put them in the mail Monday so they can be here for the collection this week. Email me (address is on the right) for my mailing address.

Also, if you haven't been collecting, or you're a new reader, you can still help! We do 3-4 collections through out the school year. You can always save 'em for another month. Just don't throw those boxtops away!

Thanks friends...I have the best readers!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

glasses.

I wear contacts 99% of my waking hours. I very rarely wear my glasses to work or out in public.

On Tuesday I wore my glasses to school because after having the contacts in my eyes for just a few minutes, my eyes were irritated. I thought I'd mix it up and wear the glasses.

Big mistake. Since Tuesday, I've had SIX coworkers ask me what's wrong. Am I ill? Is everything okay? Am I having a rough year? Are you feeling alright?

What?! Just because I'm wearing glasses, does not mean I'm sick. When someone asks me if I'm sick, I pretty much equate that to, "You look like crap".

Thanks friends. Thanks for the self esteem boost.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jazz Hands!

As I posted about here last week, I have become quite the fan of Glee. Back when I was in high school, I too was in a show choir, and it consumed a great deal of my time during my junior and senior year. In addition to our class time, we met 2-3 times a week for an hour before school starting at 6:15 am. We had a week long choreography camp each summer where we'd FLY IN our choreographer, and then he'd fly back for a 3 day weekend in November to do "clean up". Show choir was serious business, folks. During competition season in the spring, majority of my weekends were dedicated to show choir. But I loved every minute of it.

Anyway, for a little laugh (seriously, these pictures are funny, judge away and laugh all you want) and for a trip down memory road, I have some of my show choir pictures to share with you. Click on them to get a bigger picture! Also, I put an arrow on a few pictures to point myself out, but then got lazy; you'll just have to pick me out yourself!





In addition to that, if you still don't believe that I am the coolest high school show choir blogger that you know...just watch this clip from my school's video year book...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Engagement Party

This past weekend, we drove to Richmond for an engagement party for an old friend of mine, Her wedding is in November, and in 2 weeks I'll be celebrating with her at her bachelorette party. She's such a special friend, and we were happy to make the drive to celebrate with her and her fiance for the evening. Sadly, my camera batteries were dead (womp womp), but I stole a few of her pictures from facebook.

The couple we were celebrating

Old friends

The husband and me

And best of all, there was a fabulous variety of beer and some wonderful food. What more could you want? And I'm proud to say I used a great deal of will power with a lot of the food at this party. I'm happy to report that operation lose my happy wedding weight is going well! I recently hit 10 pounds, which I did in a little more than 5 weeks!