Thursday, June 27, 2013

beauty basics {these are a few of my favorite things...}

I'm linking up with Across the Hall in 2nd Grade again for the Favorite Things Linky.  This week's topic, Beauty Basics, is a little more difficult for me--I'm not one for too much primping.  My toenails are still sporting the same light pink I painted them back in April for Ashley's wedding!  But I do have my few products that I simply cannot live without, so I thought I would share those with you today.


one | two | three | four

1. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment - Confession:  I haven't had a haircut in over a year and a half.  I have frizzy, curly, out of control hair.  I went to the mall a few months ago to get sunglasses, and while walking past the Penney's hair salon, one of the ladies came rushing out to give me a sample of some (much more expensive) Moroccan oil treatment.  I didn't think my hair looked that bad that day...  oops!  Anyway, I tried that out to calm down the ends of my hair, and loved it.  But not for the price at that salon.  So I went to Target (love Target!) and found this stuff.  It is a dream!  It smells wonderful, and makes the ends of my hair a little calmer and a little nicer.  I rub a little bit into the ends after I get out of the shower before I do anything else to my hair (whether that's throwing some curl gel in to try to control that, or braiding it.  I don't do much else!).  Love it.

2.  CoverGirl Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer - My make-up routine is pretty basic--I put some of this on, add a little mascara and some blush...  and I'm ready to go.  During the school year, I sometimes add some eye shadow...  but it's not something that happens all the time.  I love this moisturizer--it covers up minor things that I want to hide, evens out my color AND has sunscreen in it.  I need that.  I'm all kinds of pale.

3.  BonneBell Lip Smackers (preferably Dr. Pepper) - I was raised on Lip Smackers.  My mom is a dedicated Strawberry Lip Smacker fan, while I tend to lean more towards Dr. Pepper.  In fourth grade, I had a box that had upwards of thirty different ones in it--does anyone remember the Cinnamon Sugar one they briefly had?  I keep one in my nightstand drawer, in my purse, in my desk at school, and in my make-up bag.  Right now, I have Girl Scout cookie flavored ones!  These are great to add a little natural shine and stop lips from getting all cracked and icky.

4. Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist - Especially in the summer, this is my number beauty product.  I spray it on before my run in the morning, and I coat myself with this when I head to the pool.  You better bet your bottom dollar that when I go to Disney in a short time from now (EEEEE!) that I am taking a few bottles of it with me and it will be going into the parks with me.  My two favorite things about it?  SPF 70 (I'm all kinds of pale, remember?) and the cooling feel it has when you spray it.  On a hot, sunny summer day (those days that you really, really need to be reapplying all the time), it feels oh so good to spray this stuff on.

Monday, June 24, 2013

these are a few of my favorite things... {getting fit!}

This summer, I'm apparently turning into quite the fan of blog hopping.  One of my favorite ways to find new blogs to read is through linky parties.  While the Five for Friday has been one of my favorites for awhile, I came across one today that I am super pumped to jump into--simply because it's not completely school related and at this point in my summer, I am having a hard time getting anything school related done.

I'm linking up with Across the Hall in 2nd Grade--and while I missed the first two weeks (maybe I'll comment on those topics sometime this summer) and I'm a little late to the ballgame this week, this week's topic is something that is one of my "newer" obsessions and I couldn't pass it up!

Gettin' Fit
It is no secret around this blog that I have been slowly working my way through the Couch to 5k program since the end of March.  I was never a runner.  I played soccer as a kiddo--and quickly found my home was in the goal, and I did gymnastics for quite some time as well.  I remember in high school dreading the day we had to run The Mile in gym class.  My greatest running accomplishment ever was winning the great race at field day in first grade when I was in first grade.  

Fast forward to now, three months after I started the eight week C25K program, I am loving it.  I have one run left.  I ran today even though it was 88 degrees outside.  I'm so excited to share with you what has been getting me really excited about running!

one | two | three | four | five | six

1. Zen Labs C25K Free (available for iPhone and Android) - This is the app I've been working with since March.  I love it.  It tells me when to walk, it tells me when to run, it tells me when to stop...  and I can listen to music at the same time.  Each week, the runs get a little bit harder, and I think "There is no way I am going to be able to do this!" but I can do it.  And it is wonderful.  Like I said--I have one more run until I'm finished--then I think I may move onto Zen Labs 10K trainer.

2. Old Navy Mesh Bubble Tanks - These tanks are great for running in the hot, hot we have going on right now.  I have two!  They are light and breezy, and I don't feel like I'm showing off too much information as I run around the neighborhood.

3. Old Navy Side Mesh Running Shorts - I have RAVED about these shorts before.  They are my favorite.  I have five pairs.  End of story.

4. C9 by Champion Premiere Running Shoes - My school does a Race for Education every year to raise money for some of our bigger projects.  When that came around this year, I realized that the running shoes I had were old.  Like, high school old.  Luckily, I was at Target when I realized this, and I found a pair of C9 shoes on clearance for $8.  And I ended up loving them.  They're holding up great and super comfortable.  I bought this particular pair as my "YAYYY me for surviving the school year!" gift to myself.  I love the new ones, as well.

5. Tune Belt Arm Band for iPhone - I started C25K carrying my phone so I could run the app.  My fingers got a little cold at first, and as it got warmer, my hands got sweaty and it was hard to hold onto it.  I got this guy and love not having to carry my phone anymore.  My phone, with its Otter Box, fits so nicely in here.

6. Disney Music! - This may be my biggest motivator.  I loooooooooooove listening to Disney songs as I run.  I'm still working on the perfect playlist, but some of my favorite songs to run to?  I warm up with "Go the Distance" from Hercules and "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan.  My two favorite songs for pacing while I run are the theme song from Phineas and Ferb and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."  I like to end my run with "A Star is Born" from Hercules.

Friday, June 21, 2013

the first day of summer and a week of projects

It is OFFICIALLY summer.  I am loving that it is after 9:00 and it is still somewhat light outside!  This is great!  I took the entire week off from going in to school this week, and didn't go in at all until this afternoon--and even then, it was just to turn in some paper work in the office and to grab a couple plastic baskets that I decided would be better used at home than at school.  This week was completely dedicated to projects at home, and I'm going to share those with you for this week's Five for Friday.


[1] I started tutoring a little boy in reading this week.  I'm having such a blast doing that!  He is so excited about reading and working with me during the summer, and I'm trying my hardest to make everything we do more "fun" and not like "school."  So far, we've used my sentence building blocks to play word games and sorting them by color to identify the parts of speech that they are, and then actually building some sentences, writing them down and illustrating them.  This little guy had me cracking up today--he insisted on building the sentence "I can read to my teacher!" and clearly explained to me that this really, really was an excited sentence and not just a telling sentence.


[2] Our Disney trip is getting closer and closer, but not nearly as quickly as I would hope.  I spent a couple hours this week (while watching old episodes of Chuck) creating a paper chain countdown to try to calm my excitement and keep my suitcase empty for a bit longer.  Perhaps with this new found summer free time, I have too much free time (is that even possible?)... I may have spent too much time creating the anchor for the chain, but I did not make it too specific--so I can use it for our next trip, too!  I think like a teacher even for my own personal craziness at home.  I am so super excited about the countdown, though.  As I was putting the chain together, I included some of my to do list items on the chain to add to the excitement.  As we get closer to vacation, things like "Go to Target to buy plane snacks, breakfasts and toiletries!" "Book a dinner reservation!" and "Finish washing all the laundry to pack!" will begin to appear on the chain--and that will make some of the more "chore-like" tasks more fun.  I hope.


[3] I tried my hand at spray painting while Mark was at work this week.  That was a bad idea.  After the first coat, and seeing just how really terrible it looked, I quickly realized that the only time I've ever spray painted anything was for various musical theatre productions--I distinctly remember using silver and black spray paint to transform some plastic freezer mugs into very classy beer steins for the tavern scenes in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  Those turned out great.  However--real life, you cannot apply the thirty foot rule, so...  Mark will be fixing this for me later.


[4] I am almost done with the downstairs deep clean and organizing!  While I was doing that, Mark was upstairs in our office/guest room/laundry room (what I call "the everything room") working on our desk area.  We may have started this project back in October, but it's getting close to completion now! Here's a teaser--once it is all done and I have organized everything, you better bet your bottom dollar that it will be getting an entire post (or seven!) dedicated to it.


[5] My wonderful little sister, Melinda, was in town all this week and I got to spend the entire day with her yesterday.  We started our day by going to Trader Joe's (Min doesn't have one close by yet, so every time she's in town, we go) and Starbucks, then came home, had lunch and went to the pool.  Once everyone else arrived home from work, we went out shopping at Old Navy and Half Priced Books and enjoyed a late dinner out.  Half Priced Books is an awful place for our family to go--between my mom and I (both teachers of young children), my dad (an avid reader) and Melinda (she EATS books), we could probably spend a small fortune there.  I managed to get out last night with only three new books--two for school, and my summer reading.  I am pumped to read the complete Oz series, over 1,000 pages worth.


Next week, I begin working on things for school.  I think.  I hope.  We'll see.

Monday, June 17, 2013

we've been stuck together for two years already!?


Today marks our two year wedding anniversary, and what a crazy two years it has been.  I've been a first year teacher twice, we bought a townhouse, we adopted two puppies, and been to Disney World twice.  We're not doing much to celebrate today (that I know of, at least), because we'll really be celebrating the next time we take a Disney vacation.  I'm super excited--my suitcase is waiting not so patiently to be packed.

But to celebrate our anniversary here, I thought I would steal a bit from our old wedding website and share it with you.  Back when we were putting that together, I begged and begged Mark to write about his proposal--because frankly, my version of being shocked and looking at him like he was a crazy person wasn't much of a story to tell.  He finally wrote all about it, and I love going back and reading it on occasion. I never saved it as a document on my computer (I should probably do that...) and who knows how long our wedding website will actually be around, so I thought I would save it here as another precaution.

And now, how Mr. B proposed to Mrs. B.

To fully appreciate the proposal story, you first must know other aspects of Jenny and Mark's relationship...
Back when Mark and Jenny were just "hanging out," they were listening to a song called "Mix Tape" from the Broadway musical Avenue Q.  The song is about a mix tape one character makes for another and lists all of the songs.  Jenny said, "If a boy ever made that mix for me I'd love him forever!" Mark was there and listening...  When Mark worked up the courage to ask Jenny out he made this CD, Jenny said no.  She's a big liar sometimes.  After Mark asked her every Tuesday, she finally gave in on June 4, 2008.
When it came time for Mark to study abroad in France for a semester, much to Jenny's disapproval, he knew he needed a way to comfort her while he was away.  Since he had some success with the mix tape before (hey she eventually said yes, right?) he figured he'd try again.  He put together a collection of 6 CDs, one song for each day he was gone.  This seemed to comfort Jenny during Mark's absence, so kudos to him.  If nothing else it made all of Jenny's female friends jealous.
Fast forward about a year...
Mark schemed and schemed about how to propose to Jenny, he had thought through many elaborate plans to shock, awe, and surprise.  Jenny knew Mark was going to propose at some point and through a good bit of pestering, actually knew when he was going to pick the ring up.  Mark found out he would get  the ring one day early and knowing this was the only day Jenny would be genuinely surprised, he sprang into action.  Once again based on his "success" with mix tapes in the past he put together a very special one with the following songs...
Wouldn't It Be Nice - Beach Boys
I Hope - Annie Get Your Gun
L.O.V.E. - Nat King Cole
Love Me Do - Beatles
You Really Got Me Now - Bon Jovi
Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie & the Blowfish
Under The Sea - Little Mermaid (What? there aren't many U songs)
My Cherie Amor - Stevie Wonder
All My Loving - Beatles
Rock Lobster - The B-52s (Don't judge, it's a great song)
Ring My Bell - Blondie
You're the One That I Want - The Cast of Glee
My Junk - Spring Awakening
Eight Days A Week - Beatles
See the secret message?  Hint: Read the bold letters.  If you didn't see it, don't worry--neither did Jenny, until Mark pointed it out.  
Mark handed the CD to Jenny--it was titled the "Just For Fun Mix Tape," and while she was confused why Mark made this for her, he went down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and popped the question, in the scenic location of Jenny's pink bedroom on January 13, 2010.  Jenny's answer was a deafening silence, broken by Mark's, "I'll take that as a yes?"--followed by hugs and kisses and happiness. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

happy father's day!


Happy Father's Day to all of the dads, grandpas and paps everywhere--with special attention my wonderful Daddy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

little victories {the first summer five for friday}

I am loving this whole "summer" thing.  I haven't taken a summer off since I was in high school (sometimes, that feels like yesterday, and other times, it feels like ages and ages ago), so these first couple days have been quite the change for me.  I'm used to running around like a crazy person during the summer--either working retail at American Eagle and Aerie, or spending almost every waking moment with my school-agers at the childcare center I spent the last three summers at.  In honor of my renewed love of summer, I'm doing this week's Five for Friday to share with you five things that I am currently loving.


[1] Confession:  During the school year, I don't really "do" breakfast.  I drink some form of caffeine, and eventually, eat some sort of a snack with my kiddos around 10:30.  Now that it is summer--I am LOVING breakfast again.  This week, I have been enjoying my morning caffeine and a Trader Joe's Crunchy Cookie Butter sandwich.  A healthy breakfast it may not be...  but it is like heaven in my mouth.

[2] I have always, always loved Target.  Recently, one of those super huge Targets with a ginormous grocery section opened up about thirty-five minutes away.  I may or may not have spent a good two hours there yesterday.  There's just something about all that wonderful Target clearance, coupons and being able to pick up the few grocery items I needed all in the same trip, at the same time.  I wish my closer Target was like that.


[3] I am still plugging along in my Couch to 5k training.  I'm to the point now that I can run 2.5 miles at a time and not die.  I am super impressed with myself.  I rewarded myself for accomplishing that and finishing the school year by getting some new running clothes.  These shorts from Old Navy are my FAVORITE.  There is a pretty good chance that I have purchased five new pairs of these since April.  The best part?  They are currently on sale.  And they come in about a million different colors (ok, more like 28 on the website, but still.  It's so hard to decide!).  I have been living in these shorts this week.  Great for running, great for tearing down my classroom, great for running errands.

[4] It's no secret that many teacher bloggers love Teachers Pay Teachers.  While I am just stepping into the TPT world, I am so super excited that I have earned enough money to pay for a trip to Starbucks (that's just over $5)!  The best part?  I'm totally selling (and even making a little cash on) stuff that I would have made for my classroom, regardless if I had a TPT shop or not.  My favorite store this week is Emily Wean's--she makes some fabulous graphics and artwork to spice up anything you may be putting together.


[5] As I mentioned in my last entry, one of my major goals for this summer is to finish my house deep clean and get everything organized again.  While this week has been more relaxing and running than anything else, I'm taking pride in my little victories.  I spent about twenty minutes last night reorganizing my tank top drawer.  Check out the before and after pictures--I can actually see what tank tops I have and can get what I want without messing up the whole drawer!  And do you see how much extra space there is?!  What on earth am I going to do with that space?  (I say that so dramatically...  Lord knows I have plenty of things I could take that space up with.)

And as usual, once I start talking, I have trouble stopping.  So a bonus thing that I have been loving this week?  The wonderful, I Heart Organizing Blog.  I have been reading the latest posts in this blog for awhile... but I may have, in the name of "research," read through the archives all the way back to last summer in the past three days.  There are so many beautiful, inspiring photographs on this blog.
IHeart Organizing
And on that note--back to my summer goals list!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

hellooooo, summer!


The kiddos finished last Friday, report cards are turned in, and my classroom is cleaned up.  All I have left to do for school is write my welcome letter for next year, turn in my supply list and check out with our operations director tomorrow--but for what it's worth, it's summer time!

Today is the first day I haven't been to school, and I'm taking it easy.  Read some magazines, read a new cookbook, took the dogs out...  and started really thinking about my summer to do list.  I was texting my sister in Buffalo about all of my plans, and oh my stinkin' goodness.  My goal list is a little excessive.

My list includes, but is not limited to:
finish deep cleaning the house, organize our bedroom closet, re-organize and inventory my unit boxes for school, redo my unit binders, finish my desk, organize that desk then, decorate the patio, paint my nightstand, finish some lingering craft projects, practice my cooking skills...

OH MY GOODNESS.  I thought my first summer off since high school would be relaxing.  My "goal list" is apparently never ending.