Thursday, December 24, 2009

Big News

That is right--We are having a baby! Thanks to the super talented and sweet Ashley Brooke who designed these cards for us to tell our families.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

RIP Buck

we just heard from my mother-in-law who just put down one of her beloved terriers--Buck. He brought my husband and I a lot of joys and laughs and will be surely missed. Hopefully he'll meet up with my parents beloved terrier, Snickers.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

for my sister

a Wham! Christmas song--redone by my faves--the cast of Glee

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I have so much to be thankful for... health... job that involves hormonal 8th graders who somehow make me laugh everyday...
...the dedicated and fun colleagues that I work with...
...our cozy little apartment that is our home...
...the public library...
...great friends...
...our families...

..and my pair of tennis shoes that will carry me through a 5K this morning and the mashed potatoes that will be my reward..

..and my hubby!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tag You're It

Marie-Etta tagged me in this fun Friday game!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was working for an education company--unhappy because so much of my job involved sales instead of actually working with kids. So I was applying to grad school to get my teaching credential.

What are 5 things on your to-do-list today?
--get my grading done and entered
--send in my lesson plans
--install my clicker software and test it
--Go to library and turn in books and pick the ones I have on hold!!
--spend quality time with my hubby--no meetings or class tonight!!

What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
--anything chocolate
--tortilla chips
--granola bars
--rice cakes(the ones with chocolate)

Places You Have Lived
Santa Clarita, CA
Davis, CA
San Fernando Valley, CA
San Diego, CA
Denver, CO
Grand Junction, CO

What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?
--pay off student loans
--let my hubby build a house(even if it means living in an apartment longer)
--take my family on a tropical vacation
--trick out my classroom(or build myself one so this one isn't so cramped)
--get a new computer

I tag anyone who wants to play along!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

a la Rachael Ray


* One 1-pound loaf peasant bread
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
* 1 pound onions, thinly sliced
* 1 pound sirloin steak or sirloin tips, very thinly sliced
* Salt and pepper
* 1/4 cup dry red wine
* 8 slices provolone cheese


1.Preheat the oven to 375°. Slice off the top 1/2 inch of the bread; reserve. Scoop out the insides of the loaf, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell, and cut into cubes.

2.In a large skillet, heat 6 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and rosemary for 2 minutes. Place the bread shell on a baking sheet; brush the inside with some of the seasoned oil. Add 3 cups bread cubes to the skillet with the remaining seasoned oil and toss to coat; transfer to the baking sheet, surrounding the bread shell. Reserve the skillet. Place the bread top on the baking sheet cut side up. Bake until browned and toasted, 10 to 15 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, in the reserved skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden, 10 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add the steak to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions.

4.Spoon half of the steak-onion mixture into the bread bowl; top with half of the cheese, then half of the croutons. Layer with the remaining steak-onion mixture, croutons and cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with the bread lid. To serve, slice into wedges.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Baby Shower Gift Box

Here is the loot I sent my brother and sister in law for their baby shower last weekend. I made a ton of appliqued onesies and matching burp cloths. I bought a homemade puppy shaped quilt from a parent of one of my students, and ordered some cute note cards with their baby's name. I had a hard time adjusting to this pregnancy as they are younger than me and we are having some trouble, but in the end I just moved on(sort of) and decided to get creative and make stuff.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It is Halloween at our Middle School

and among the 8th graders my friend Lara and I definitely stand out as true children of the 80s. As Jerrica and Jem...
Our interpretation--our glitter eyeliner and earrings rock

Our inspiration

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

My friend Marie-Etta over at Adventures in Matrimony is doing Tasty Tuesdays with blog links--post a recipe and link up with her blog to get great recipes!
Today courtesy of Epicurious
Frozen Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut Toffee Crunch
Vegetable oil
1 cup walnut pieces (about 4 ounces)
2/3 cup toffee bits (such as Skor; about 3 1/2 ounces)
4 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

4 cinnamon sticks

For crunch:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; brush generously with vegetable oil. Toss nuts, toffee bits, sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add butter and toss to coat. Place mixture in center of prepared sheet; pat to single layer. Bake until toffee bits are soft (but retain shape), about 15 minutes. Cool crunch completely on sheet. Transfer to work surface; chop coarsely.

For mousse:
Whisk 3/4 cup whipping cream, sugar, and egg yolks in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Stir over medium-low heat until thickened to pudding consistency, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Mix in pumpkin, rum, vanilla, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and allspice. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in another large bowl until cream holds peaks. Transfer 1/2 cup whipped cream to medium bowl for garnish; cover and chill. Fold remaining whipped cream into pumpkin mixture. Cover and refrigerate mousse at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

In each of 4 medium (10-ounce) goblets, layer 1/3 cup mousse and generous tablespoon crunch. Repeat 2 more times (some crunch may be left). If necessary, whisk reserved 1/2 cup whipped cream to soft peaks. Pipe or drop dollop of cream onto mousse in each goblet. Cover; freeze overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep frozen. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.) Garnish with cinnamon sticks.

I don't have pictures of mine--but it was very good--my crunch burned a little and I pulled it out early so watch yours while it is in the oven!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I am just in love with this show. The talent, the songs, the high school memories it brings up, and the one liners from Sue Sylvester(I am a middle school teacher and sometimes I think what she actually says out loud). My Entertainment Weekly just came and they are the cover story!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ready for some early Christmas Shopping?

Shelly over at SingleStoneStudios is selling holiday gift certificates at half price!! Yep that's right, you can get a $50 gift certificate for $25 and a $100 gift certificate for $50!! What a deal. Their work is fabulous and our apartment home is full of her designs, including one I submitted but haven't taken a picture of yet! I also have her modern mums in bronze metallic at the top of our stairs so cool!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

normally I am not in the holiday spirit yet but I have found our Christmas card on etsy!! This is the listing picture--I don't want to reveal the one with our pictures just yet!

Check out this new etsy shop--4 Leaf Boutique--cute cards and announcements!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A personal note

I have been debating writing this. The hubby and I decided to try to get pregnant. I went off the pill and have spent all month dealing with the cystic acne I thought was long past me(I mean enough already I'm 33!) and last night my wonderful husband ran to the store to find a pregnancy test and Gatorade in case I couldn't pee. All for naught a minus sign, and another period(I have never liked my period anyways but now I hate it) I know we haven't been trying long and I know others have harder times and more difficulty than us but I'm still disappointed and a little depressed. I had promised myself if I wasn't pg I would order the jeans I have been covering from the Loft. One more day of wallowing over sone great tv and junk food

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trash the Dress

What is Trash the Dress--check out this Today segment!
We did it!! For Kevin's birthday we decided to get some pictures done. I had been debating Trash the Dress for awhile--I really wanted pictures at the beach(but we got married in CO so that wasn't a reality). So we hooked up with Lynette who some other pics for me and had so much fun! We went to a farm, walked some railroad tracks, and got into a very cold river to get these shots.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yet another easy sewing project

So I was inspired by the craft challenge on somewhat simple and made this crayon cozy

No crayons in it yet--forgot those at school. It was very easy with the help of this tutorial on Skip to my Lou. I whipped this up in about 30 minutes--I struggle with the cutting and measuring!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nominate a Deserving Teacher

* Teachers spend avg $1200 of own $$ on school supplies annually! Help erase teacher-funded classrooms. PLS RT #omx
* Nominate a teacher 2 win $100 in OfficeMax classroom supplies. Enter here: PLS RT #omx
* Join the “A Day Made Better” movement to end teacher-funded classrooms at #omx

More than 30 sites are participating in this campaign between now and Sunday, October 4. Visit for a list of all the giveaways! You may enter a different teacher on every site, but you may only win once!

Thanks so much for helping pay-it-forward to teachers in your community! Please join us on Tuesdays, September 22 and 29 from 9 to 11 pm ET for Girls Night Out (#gno) on Twitter if you’d like to meet the team behind the cause: @officemax, @adaymadebetter and @Adopt_Classroom. Hope to see you there!

I would like to nominate my colleague and friend, Ginger DeCavitch. Ginger and I teach at a school with a variety of students–some who speak little or no English, some with very special needs, some with gifted needs, some with home lives that make us cry, and some who really want to be at school because they love learning. She works every day to inspire the students and her fellow teachers. She is constantly looking for labs that will show the kids hands on what the concept means, usually spending her own funds to do so. She looks constantly for ways to improve and be better. She asks other people what else she can do, how she can modify her lessons and information. In short she is an amazing inspiration to the kids and the teachers in our building and would be so deserving of this award!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I did it!

My first sewing project (beyond the appliques)--a set of smocked sundresses for some friends of ours with 2 little girls. I used this Martha Stewart tutorial, which has a small video with parts of the directions. Next time I will measure the length before doing the smocking and everything(the tutorial has it as the last step) but its hard to make a straight hem on a sewed dress I found. Also the straps look a little off to me so that might need to be changed. This is Michael Miller Bubbles fabric, I found it at a local fabric store but I have seen it online and on Etsy, perfect for fall with a little long sleeved shirt or onesie underneath.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Do you sew?

So I just got a sewing machine and have been really enjoying it. I want to try something beyond my appliques but I am scared. I sometimes have a perfection complex! I want to make some dresses for the little girls of some friends and family. I have serious baby fever and I am practicing so when we do have a little one my sewing skills will be better. Anyways I found whimsy couture on etsy, people rave about her patterns and tutorials. She is hosting a giveaway on her blog so hop on over and enter if you are also a budding seamstress! I really want to make this...

or this

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lisa Leonard Designs Jewelry GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Lisa Leonard Designs Jewelry GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!
I love the tree necklace with the initials carved in--too cute!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My new toy!

I bought a sewing machine and have been working with appliques! My sewing skills are still in process(I would give myself a partially proficient) as I tack them down with a zig zag stitch. This blog and google searches have helped me alot. This and this etsy seller have great tutorials. And fabric shopping has been fun here, here, and here!

Baby shower gifts for my friend Allison at school--we are the gators so she got an alligator, an apple, and a cupcake

Our friends who just had another baby girl--they got matching cupcakes!

Kevin's cousin just had a little girl so she is getting a cupcake and an apple...

...and their little boy is getting a preppy tie and a Halloween pumpkin!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How cute is this?

I have been spending all my etsy dollars the past few weeks on fabric and applique stuff--I will post pictures soon of my onesies collections. (No not for me just yet--my brother and some friends with newborns or who are expecting). But I couldn't resist this cute little necklace--I didn't buy it but maybe someone wants to buy it for me?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A great etsy find

So I read this quote a couple months ago and passed it on to Shelly at SingleStoneStudios who is having a design contest. I told her my talent lies in buying beautiful work not so much in creating it so asked her to come up with something. And here is what she did. I think it is so beautiful and the message reminds me that life is so much better together. Go to their store, the decals are so amazing, she and her husband are super nice, and if you have any design talent enter her contest!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What $100+ buys you

after your health insurance premium takes a chunk of your paycheck. I am really not complaining because I know I am lucky to be working and have insurance but still. I miss Kaiser a lot(where this price would have gotten me a 3 month supply) and wondering how we'll ever afford to have a baby.
$60+ for one month of an Advair inhaler (my asthma is out of control now so I had to move from my generic to this)

$30+ for more nebulizer treatments(my rx got me a lot of these but I am supposed to do a treatment every 4-6 hours for the next 5 days so it won't last long)

$10 for a rescue inhaler--should last 2 months--I went through a whole one in the past 5 days prompting my visit to the doctor NOT NORMAL

$3 for a 5 day supply of oral steriods. I hate taking them; luckily I am hoping to get by on a 5 day course I usually do a 10 day tapering course. But if I don't improve that is what is in store for me. They make me shaky and moody and a little puffy--but able to breathe.

edited to add It also buys you an almost full night of sleep with the ability to breathe!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Current Etsy Cravables

Feeling the need for a little organization...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Adventures in Cooking

My Junction BFF and I hit the movies today for Julie and Julia--we laughed and cried a little(OK maybe I was the only one with tears) and walked away inspired about cooking and love!

While I fancy myself a cook, I am a recipe follower--not a creator--but I am willing to try some of this French cooking. My plan to try the famous Boeuf Bourguignon a La Julia Child. Of course I need some guests to join my little dinner party at the apartment casa and I need to convince the hubby I need this beautiful dish...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who knew?

So the hubby and I were watching this special on CNBC about India--I had no idea luxury malls were so big there. It is interesting that so many people there live on less than a $1 a day and companies are planning huge shopping centers. I guess America exports this ideal as well.
Shopping in India -

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Help my students out...

..with just 5 minutes of your time and no cost.
I want to give my students an authentic audience for their thinking this year. To start I am doing a brief survey of what people think is the most important person or event in US History and why.
If you could answer the questions on my class blog I would appreciate it!
Click here for survey! Please feel free to send it on--or post a link!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Must read books

I spent the weekend looking at friends' book lists and magazine reviews and put in 20 plus requests for holds at the library--love the library!!

Amy's to-read book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Am I missing some great book--leave me a comment!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Town Hall

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Show Us Your Life--Favorite Vacation Spot

Kelly's Korner is spreading the joy around with a show us your life series, join in!

Although I absolutely loved Jamaica and can't wait to take another beach trip--St.Lucia is on our list.

My favorite vacations have been the family trips we took growing up...

Lake Tahoe

Mammoth: where we went every summer from about 6th grade to college--we hiked, went up to the top of the mountain, went to the Ghost Towns, and just hung out as a family.

Maui--we went when I graduated from college and spent a week snorkeling, boating, parasailing, driving around, and just hanging out as a family--all my pictures aren't digital and my scanner is acting up so here is a professional pic!

Back in the Saddle Again

Yesterday was our first day back at school--no kids until next week--so it was a day of meetings. The best part of the day, we each brought an item that represented us, and one by one we shared our stories. I really saw another side of a lot of people I work with, very cool. I shared my glass fused necklace of our families dog Snickers and talked about my family and my love of shopping on etsy.

What would you share?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ABC's of Summer: X and Y

So I am up this morning, early I might add, because today we start our teacher meetings--summer is officially over. So here are my last 2 letters in my summer series. I couldn't think of a Z so...

X is for experiences and Y is for yes. This summer, I have tried to live a “wide open” life. I have said yes to most offers on the table—want to camp in July sure, want to go for a 6.5 mile hike, want to run up to Denver this weekend, want to go to this conference, want to try this class. I had a hard adjustment to all the changes in my life last summer and so this summer I tried to do more things. Sometimes saying yes opens a whole world to you!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Imogene Pass

here is a google map with pictures from our jeep tour!

View Untitled in a larger map

ABC's of Summer: U, V, and W

U is for UP! Have you seen this movie? I thought it was one of the best movies I saw all summer. Plus I saw it with my friends from Denver whom I hadn’t seen in over a year made it all the more special!

V is for vacations. From our trip to Jamaica to a weekend camping in our hometown to my trip to San Diego and a couple weekends in Denver made this a summer of vacations.
W is for without stress!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

ABC's of Summer: R, S, T

R is for
I would do reading, but I already did books. I would do relaxation but I already did Lady of Leisure. So I have nothing for R as of 8 am. Do you have an R?
S is for sundresses, sandals, and sunscreen. My summer uniform. I barely wore close toed shoes this summer—so back to school might be a tough transition.

our collection of sunscreens...

T is for the thirty day shred.
While I have to admit I only got to day 11 it was a lot of fun to workout with my husband. And it is a killer workout. I think I will do it in the morning before school to jump start my days in the first month of school.

ABC's of Summer: O, P, and Q

O is for online classes. I took an online class in adolescent literacy to get my 24th unit past my master’s and a pay raise. It was a hard class for 1 unit but I learned a lot. I was the only non literacy teacher and got into it on our blog about adding time to language arts classes at the expense of social studies and science classes. I got a lot of great ideas and support for my ideas which I will implement this school year. I also took an online class on a very cool portal for teachers and students with millions of resources. I did my plan on an interactive Gettysburg Address which I can’t wait to use in my class. This was an easy 2 units! I also went to 2 different conferences and got 4 more units—I am up to 30, but the next pay raise comes at 36 so I am searching for 6 units as soon as possible.

P is for planning.
Being at conferences and taking online classes had me frantically scribbling in my notebook with ideas for the upcoming school year. Nothing formal yet—it is still summer! But lists of ideas for what I want to do.

Q is for quiet.
I had a lot of quiet time this summer. Perfect for reflection and relaxation!

Show Us Your Life--Wedding Reception and Honeymoon

Kelly's Korner is spreading the joy around with a show us your life series, join in!

Our reception was at Terrace Gardens at Dove Valley a short hop down the freeway from our church. We had heard so many rave reviews of the place and it didn't let us down!

..crying through my sister's toast... dad and I broke into the Chicken Dance in the middle of our father daughter dance.

...doing the cupid shuffle with the teachers from my school.. Grandparents won the anniversary dance and look so in love here...

...our cake table. The sign I bought from etsy is hanging in our living room today!

We honeymooned in Jamaica this summer! The highlights included a lot of beach time, a dolphin touch experience, climbing a waterfall, and beautiful sunsets.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Thursday, August 6, 2009

ABC's of Summer: L, M, and N

L is for Lady of Leisure. In honor of my sister, who is a true lady of leisure, I have devoted my summer to the pursuit of leisure. Since I don’t have to work during the summer, I am lazy. I get up watch some morning TV, catch up on my Google Reader and Facebook, then go to the gym (usually my only trip outside—see entry for letter N), and then come home and relax on my couch. I watch my soap operas, my food network, talk shows, home decorating shows, and read. Then when my husband comes home I make dinner and then we settle in for some more TV (I got him addicted to The Bachelorette) or some Wii and then go to sleep. After a year of teaching I definitely need this time to recoup and restore my energy—this year especially. I got married, moved to a new town knowing no one, and started a new job (while all positive things they are stressful life events--stress scale here)

M is for makeup free. I can count on both hands the number of times I wore makeup this summer—the most days were for the 2 conferences I attended this summer. Otherwise I put moisturizer on and left it at that, well that and a little sunscreen. But when I did wear makeup, I was wearing my new Bare Minerals set which I love. It is called Sea Yourself. I bought it off of QVC for a steal it was 40 bucks and you got a foundation and a hydrating mineral veil, a blush, 3 eye colors, a lipgloss, a mascara, and 2 brushes. I was a little wary of the pale blue eye color but it is amazing on and the browns paired with it make my eyes pop. And the coral blush is beautiful!! I don’t know if the set is still available but if you are a Bare Minerals girl you might want to get it.

N is for nineties.
So yes we live in the desert. I think every day since we got back from Jamaica has been hot—temperatures in the high nineties or 100. It is hot. Most days after I get back from the gym I don’t leave the house. Our swamp cooler stopped working for a week—and it was painful. Now that it is fixed it has barely been turned off. Heat really affects my life—my asthma flares, I get dehydrated very fast, I sleep a lot. Oh well fall is around the corner, right….