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….

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

ABC's of Summer: I, J, and K

I is for iPhone. Since my dad got a new one he sent me his old one. And after some frustrating hours trying to set it up, I love it. Luckily Apple has some great technical support, my computer is too old to use my phone with so I had to go to school twice to get it to work. I love finding apps! Although urbanspoon for our little town gives the same 7 results!
It is also for irresponsible (just a little) all last year I worked hard paying off my credit cards and then this summer hit and I spent more than I should have so now its back on the wagon. I just started using to track my spending and budget and hope to get back on track quickly.

J is for Jamaica. In case you are new to my blog, my mystery honeymoon was in Jamaica! It was amazing. I made this interactive Google Map with my pictures! Thanks to the best husband in the world!

View Jamaica--Ya Mon!! in a larger map

K is for Kevin—the best husband in the world!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ABC's of Summer: F, G, and H

F is for food network. There is not a lot on TV during the day, so I frequently turn to Food Network. My favorites are Sandra Lee, Rachael Ray, and Bobby Flay. I have watched a lot of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives but none of the places he goes are near me. What a fun road trip that would be!
My favorite recipes from this summer:
Hula joes—Rachael Ray
Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches—Sandra Lee, check out the round 2 recipes too, I am going to make the pizza and potstickers this week!Beef it Up, a week of recipes from one roast—Robin Miller, we loved the empanadas
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars—Barefoot Contessa

G is for the gym.
Ah how I love the summer, I can go to the gym in the morning. It makes such a difference especially when its hot-I am dreading hitting the gym in the afternoon next week when school starts with temperatures in the high nineties. I have been going to Spinning 3 times a week with a group of great ladies, I hit cardio hip hop on Thursdays where we learned the Thriller one week, Kickboxing once a week, and a great class called Body Flow twice a week. Our gym did a contest for July, you got 10 points per class you went to, 30 points for going to Body Flow, and 50 points for bringing a friend. I think I ended with 300 points(maybe more, the results will be available tomorrow) good for missing 1 week in July. I brought my hubby once and made him go to spin class with me, although he seemed to breeze up the “hills”. And I hit Body Flow 3 times since they started it mid month so that was 90 points. I will probably just win a waterbottle or something—but the points really motivated me. I might have to set up some rewards with my hubby to earn, like clothes at Ann Taylor or a Sephora gift card…

H is for hiking.
I didn’t go as much as I thought I would. It is too hot here. But we hiked a little in Devil’s Canyon on the 4th of July with Kevin’s Cousin. And my friend Carol, took me on a 6.5 mile hike on Crag’s Crest Trail on the Grand Mesa—it was awesome!

Monday, August 3, 2009

ABC's of Summer: C, D, and E

C is for cupcakes.
I checked out this awesome book from the library a couple weeks ago, Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I have since renewed it so I could keep it longer. I love baking and cupcakes are so much fun. It makes more sense than making a cake as there are just 2 of us and then the leftovers sit tempting me at every turn. But with cupcakes I can easily tell 1 serving and easily pack the rest off for my husband to take to work. I made…

Banana pecan cupcakes with caramel buttercream frosting,

mint brownie cupcakes,

and chocolate chunk cookie cupcakes so far…this week who knows.

D is for decorating. We are staying in our apartment for at least 1 more year. So I decided it needed to be more homey and less college student like. So we have been framing pictures and hanging them.

And let me tell you hanging pictures with my engineer husband is a lesson in math. He measures to find the center of the wall, marks spots, and measures and measures again.

Hanging these 4 pictures took us over an hour (well maybe only 30 minutes but still…).
I also have been decorating a lot with vinyl decals—we can’t paint and these are so fun and affordable. I have
these from SingleStoneStudios,

these from ScribbleIt (I also ordered a few for my classroom last night)

and this one (it says, "If I could be anyone in the world, I would be me in love with you")is coming from LittleLoveLetters.

I bought this bedding from ebay after so many trips to stores and discussions about colors finally we agreed on this set.

It is Style & Co Seaflower in aqua and cream—very soothing. Plus I love this little sequin pillow. Now I just search craigslist daily for a dresser and a china buffet so we can get some stuff put away!

E is for envy. Ok this is a serious one and an issue I have been dealing with. I know I have a great life, a life that a lot of people would envy. I love my job, I have a wonderful husband, he loves his job, we are both healthy, heck we even went to Jamaica this summer. And I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others but I do. I got stuck a lot this summer reading stories of other people who got married when I did buying houses and having babies; things we want for ourselves but just aren’t there for us yet. It doesn’t bother my husband but it bothers me. I think it comes down to basic insecurity about myself—something that has always been there and reared its ugly head with a move to a new place and a new job. So what am I going to do about it? I am starting a gratitude journal to refocus myself on what I have in life instead of what I don’t.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

ABC's of Summer

I figured since I only have 10 days left in my summer--I would find a fun way to recap! Feel free to do the same on your blog--maybe I could design a button?
Anyways today is the letters A and B:

A is for AVID. I just got back from San Diego where I went to the AVID conference in preparation for becoming an AVID elective teacher. It was an inspiring conference and the friends I went with were a blast. We hit the piano bar one night for some great fun.

B is for books
. I love to read and summer is the perfect time--there is only so much daytime television a person can watch, so I usually read a good chunk in the afternoon and an hour before bed or so. I have read 44 books since school got out--hoping to hit 50 before the 12th when we go back for professional development. I found some new authors, read some great Young Adult books, and spent some time with some old favorites!

Amy's summer-favorites book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists