Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day Exchange Reveal

I have decided to come out of my blogging break/non-blogger status just long enough to tell you how Laureen at Chateau Deveau (as part of a Mother's Day Blog Exchange) helped me celebrate my first Mother's Day!

It was obvious to me that Laureen is a fabulous mom (to T and Homegirl!) who has been through this pregnancy rollercoaster before! These days the fastest way to my heart are things that taste good, smell good, and make me feel good - she included all three! AND it was so sweet of her to read my ancient blog posts and choose things I would really enjoy. 

Consider me spoiled!

If we are being totally honest here, the Fit Pregnancy magazine and the chocolates were the first to go! After taking pictures, both joined me on the couch for a much needed end-of-the-day rest! The box also included mascara and lip balm (two of my beauty basics - I might even save them for my hospital bag); a cute stationary set of notecards, pens, and colorful magnets; a golden vanilla candle (the good smelling part of the gift); and two flower seed packets for my garden. 

Can I say again how sweet it was of Laureen to 'get to know' me through my old blog posts and Instagram feed?!

My absolute favorite part was the super sweet card she sent. I know that thousands (millions?)of women have rocked pregnancy and motherhood -- but one of the most comforting things I've found is when I can connect one on one with other moms. I love that I am not alone.

Finally, I had so much fun putting together a package to send to Sarah at Seeing All Sides. I was definitely paired with the two best mommas out there - but Sarah and I made so many fun connections through our getting-to-know-you emails. Sarah (and her husband, kids, and dog Kinnick) live in KC BUT she is originally from Southeastern Iowa and is a Hawkeye fan! (Did the Kinnick part give it away?!) She is also a high school teacher and is pretty much rocking it at life! I have so loved getting to know her through her blog posts!

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful mommas of the world!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

10 Goals for June

First, a review of my May goals:
1. Purchase and Set-up New Furniture. We are technically waiting for our couch and chair to be delivered -- but that's out of my control, so I'm calling this one done!
2. Organize the Office. You will notice this one is carried over to my June goals below. It flat-out didn't get done. Or started.
3. Take a trip to Goodwill. I still have hopes of a few more trips.
4. Clean & Organize my Classroom. 
5. Stay Current on Grades.
6. Visit the Teacher Librarians at my New Job. I actually did this one twice - I'm no where near ready for a new position in the fall - but a lot I'm closer.
7. Work Out. I am going to repeat this one again next month. Even though I got in a few workouts, it's still something I need to keep as my summer goal.
8. Finish and Submit my Thesis Proposal. 
9. Buy a Car. 
10. Find and Commit to Two Blog Link-ups. It took me until the very last week of May to accomplish this goal - but I hope to keep it up throughout the summer!

Okay -- on to what I want to accomplish in June (my first month off of school - so these goals are pretty lofty!):

Home Goals
1. Organize the Office. Our new office quickly became the dumping ground for boxes and things that were moved, but didn't have another home. Cleaning and organizing this room is the final step in the big move!
2. Weed the Garden Weekly. 
3. Take a Trip to Goodwill. I am still working on minimizing our life -- we have SO MANY boxes that have now been moved to two house without even being opened. That needs to stop!

Work Goals
4. Attend the Technology Integration Conference in Dubuque. June 17-18. So excited!
5. Finalize the Endorsement on my Teaching License & Complete New Job Paperwork. This is a much more complicated process than I ever would have imagined - it's a 'start the very first week of June' goal!
6. Read 2 of the Iowa High School Book Award Nominees. (And hopefully 2 more in July and 2 more in August!)

Personal Goals
7. Work Out.
8. Pre-write Post (so I am always one ahead!). I tend to end up with about 6 half-written posts, but none that are 'publish ready' (for example, this goals post that was 10 days late!). 
9. Re-start Cross Stitching and Begin a Sampler. I am so excited for this one - I need a creative outlet and Katie at the Amateur Librarian reminded me how much fun cross stitch can be!
10. Go on Summer Dates with my Husband.

Thanks Cassie at Back to Her Roots for the great goal inspiration. And for being an awesome blog to read everyday!

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What are your goals for the month of June?

Friday, June 6, 2014

High Five for Friday 6.6

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday! 
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Busy week -- lots of great pictures!

1. This past weekend I was honored to be the confirmation sponsor for my cousin Riley -- I am so proud of the young adult she has become and can't wait for her journey of faith to continue! (and I got to meet an archbishop!)

2. The most fun day of the school year -- adequately named fun day -- happened! It was so awesome to see all the kids enjoying themselves at the park, and the teachers had a great time too!

3. This week has been jam-packed with end of the year events. But, the sad truth is that I had to box up my classroom and end my 7 years as a classroom teacher. I am so excited for what the future holds -- but a little bit of sadness is also part of change. 

4. Out of the many, many things I am excited for this summer -- reading is one of them! I signed up for the summer reading program at the local public library and am already pushing through my first book (The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson). Great Read!

5. Once again, I have the sweetest co-workers. Flowers from my work BFF on my last day!

I hope everyone else is having a wonderful week!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Perfect Pairs Wedding Shower

I love to be the host. So, this past week I jumped at the chance to throw a bridal shower for a coworker who is getting married over summer break. 

Our school does very simple gatherings/showers for weddings, births, retirements, etc. We typically hold them after school and invite everyone. There aren't usually games -- but food is highly encouraged (mostly to attract guests). We also all contribute to a larger 'group' gift. This meant there wasn't a lot to plan -- but I wanted to have a cute theme and some simple decorations.

After a little Pinterest searching I discovered this link and decided that the idea of 'Perfect Pairs' was... well, perfect!

The centerpieces were definitely my favorite part - we just brainstormed different 'pairs' we already had around the house. The colors - pink and yellow - really don't have much significance. The just happened to be the colors of the table clothes we already had! (reduce - reuse - recycle, people!) I made the 'Perfect Pairs' banner and small signs using an online tutorial and construction paper.

We also carried the theme on to the food -- chocolate & vanilla (cupcakes); meat & cheese; apples & oranges (fruit); chips & dip; iced tea & lemonade.

To wrap it all up, her gift was a few things she registered for - a rolling cooler and some glasses -- plus a bunch of grilling and cookout necessities with the tag: Summer & Cookouts.

It was a BLAST! Everything came together so well that I can't wait to host another shower - or any other party!

Linking up with Molly & Carly for Funday Monday!

Friday, May 30, 2014

High Five for Friday 5.29

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday! 
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My first four exciting things that happened this week are all from my fantastic Memorial Day weekend (official start of summer - even though we still have another week of school. boo!) And, while I am the first to admit that I am NOT an outdoors/camping person, I got a lot of sun and fresh air and loved it!

1. Friday night Kasey and I went on a date night to watch the Burlington Bees get a big win against Peoria. The weather was beautiful!

2. We have almost lived a whole month in our new house. And we spent quite a bit of the weekend doing house chores - mowing, weeding, cleaning, and yard work at the old lot. Unfortunately, now that we've started it seems like new weeks pop up every few minutes!

3. On Saturday night we joined friends on a Cedar River sandbar. Their family was camping on the sandbar (tent and everything) for the weekend. It was so relaxing - and their young girls were having a blast running in and out of the water. 

4. We had extra family time at the cabin on Sunday. Lots of good food. And lots and lots of bug spray!

5. My coworkers and I threw a bridal shower for a teammate who is getting married this summer. The theme was adorable -- and I can't wait to share details with you next week!

I hope everyone else is having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Workout Tank Refashion

This is my first ever tutorial. Bear with me...

I have one Target tank that I absolutely love - and probably should have bought in every single color when it was available a few years ago. But I didn't. And the one that I do own will be worn over and over and over in the summer. I've seen several tutorials for workout tank refashions on Pinterest -- but really never had the urge to follow any of them.

But, I now have a garden to weed and a workout schedule to follow. So I am looking for a tank I can wear outside that will give me just enough sun without being too immodest. I decided to step out of my comfort zone a little and make refashion my own!

I started with a tshirt that I only kind-of liked -- I didn't want to experiment on any of my favorites just yet! 

You will need:
Tshirt to refashion
Your-absolutely-favorite-Target tank

1. I turned both the tshirt and Target tank inside out and put one inside the other so I could use the Target tank as a guide. I carefully (and as lightly as possible) drew a dotted guideline for myself on the tshirt. I only traced the neck line (front and back) and the places for the arms. The tshirt ended up being longer than my favorite tank, but I liked it that way and didn't plan to trim any off.

I tried to be a precise as possible -- but was doing it inside out, so I had a little wiggle-room for mistakes!

2. Next, I put the Target tank aside (it has already done it's job) and carefully cut along my markings. This turned out to be the most challenging part. I'm not used to cutting material -- so I had to remind myself more than once to go slowly so I didn't end up with a choppy, ragged edge!

3. Once I finished cutting (and then went back and smoothed out some of my edges) I turned the new workout tank right side out and examined my work! My shoulder straps (the distance between the neckline and arms) turned out a little uneven, so I trimmed one up a bit free-hand. 

4. After trying it on, I did decide to trim the bottom hemline off -- not because I wanted it any shorter -- but because I had already removed all the other hemlines and I thought it looked a little random to keep only one. I'm still rethinking this decision!

5. Lastly, I used half of the removed bottom hemline to tie up the back razorback. This was a step that I saw in the online tutorials, but that I wasn't sure about. In the end, having the tie really helped to keep the refashioned tank in place while I was moving around. 

I just wrapped the hemline around the back and tied it -- then slid it to the right spot once I had the workout tank on. I'm not sure how well this wrap-job will hold up in the wash, and might take another step out of my comfort zone and sew it in place on future refashions!

Overall, it works great!! I wore it while doing a workout video last week. I don't plan on wearing it out and about (at least not this one!) but I think it's going to be perfect for chores around the house. It covers enough to be comfortable, but also allows a lot of breathing room for the summer heat! (Especially when I stretched it a little!)

Linking up with Molly & Carly (a day late) for Funday Monday!


Friday, May 23, 2014

High Five For Friday! 5.23

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday! 
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1. I love the end of the year - mostly because it celebrates all the awesome things that students and staff have done all year long. So far, we have had some great celebrations including a field trip to the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week with cake!

2. Contrary to the cake and Mountain Dew in this post (whoops!) I have been succeeding in my goal to be healthier! I already have two workouts done of the week and have a third one one planned for tomorrow. Baby steps, people!

3. I am so excited about everything spring-related right now! Especially fashion - I have started going through all the clothes that were in storage over the winter (and bought a few new springy pieces - like this maxi skirt from Target. Love!).

4. The end of the school year has also meant lots and lots of work! I have been finishing grades, doing my last lesson planning, and cleaning my classroom (this is my fourth move -- I'm a pro!). And I have been fueling it all with Mountain Dew and graduation-party cake. 

5. I am so looking forward to another weekend -- and this one has three days! I am looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing with my family and husband -- only 8 days left of school (although my homeroom has had a paper chain counting down since 40!)

I have also been rocking my 10 Goals for May -- check it out! I hope everyone else is having a wonderful week!