Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Year, New Start

It's the New Year.  The time for renewal, for setting goals, for a new start.

A new start is what I'm going for here.

Not so long ago, I sat in a meeting with a group of coworkers when one of them mentioned my blog and how much she would like to see me start blogging again.  And I thought, "Oh yeah, that blog I started with such ambitious goals until life seemed to side track me."

Since leaving off with the blog I have managed to complete my Masters Degree and graduate.  I can now add M. Ed. after my name.  I probably won't, but I could if I wanted to.  I've also gotten a better grasp on teaching second grade since being blind-sided with the change in grade levels days before school started.  I don't have it perfect, but then again, I am of the firm belief that the minute I think I have teaching perfected is probably the time I need to hang up my hat.  Nothing is ever perfect.

So I have decided on a new start here to go along with the new year.  And just as I came up with that idea and decided on a few projects to share...I got sick.  Starting New Years Day.  And I still haven't gotten over it yet.  Two visits to the doctor, untold prescriptions, and stupid bronchitis.  My kryptonite.

And thus my new start will start with baby steps.  Most of the Christmas decorations are put away (But not the tree.  Hey it's only the second weekend of January).

One of my biggest goals in life is getting organized.  I know that this is true for many people and I'm one of them.  I remember telling a friend that I am just not an organized type of person, and she admitted to me that she wasn't either, but she told me it doesn't mean we can't be, it just means we have to work harder at it.  So organization is key to this New Year New Start.
The hubby and I decided to try meal planning using  We have been meal planning with little success for the last year.  It all starts good and then we are too tired or lazy to cook and so it turns in to takeout or fast food or something.  We saw advertised on TV and saw that it was endorsed by Dave Ramsey, the financial guru.  We have been following Dave's Baby Steps to financial freedom and decided to give it a try.  You get a 14 day free trial which we are still in the midst of.  You can choose from numerous plans from Low Fat to Kid Friendly.  We started with Low Cal, but the recipes just weren't our thing.  So we switched to Kid Friendly and the recipes seem more spot on with what the kids (and we) are willing to eat.  We also adjusted our size from Family which feed 3-6 to For 2, since our little ones don't eat a lot and the other recipes were just making too much food.  You can also download the app which lets you choose which meals you want to make and create a grocery list you can use while shopping.  I'll let you know how it goes as the year progresses (and once I feel more like cooking).

2016 Home Organization Challenge
If you have never checked out Toni Hammersley over at A Bowl Full of Lemons you should.  This lady is Type A like I have never seen the likes of (and you should see my mom).  Her home is impeccable and she has all sorts of information about organizing your household and your life.  Every year she seems to do a 14 Week Challenge to help people declutter and organize their homes and their lives.  She provides a schedule and checklists with each area of the home to help with the process.  This year I have convinced the hubby to join with me to combat the clutter that continually builds up in our home.  I swear, each time we moved to a bigger home I would think, "What are we going to do with all this space?"  and the answer is fill it with more stuff, of course.  So look for updates as we tackle the mess, purge, and organize.  But bear with me, because of course this kicked off just as I got sick, so we may move slower than previously anticipated.

30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge
I saw plenty of memes show up on Facebook as teachers counted down the last days of freedom during Winter Break.  I know that there are people out there who think that teachers have it easy because they have so much time off and then there are others who know what we deal with on a daily basis.  I have worked in the "real world" and teaching and I'll tell you, teaching ain't easy.  Anyone who says otherwise hasn't done it or hasn't done it right.  So in order to help with the grumpy factor of returning to work, I decided to do the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge.  The blog post is a couple months old, but the goal is still the same.  I even shared it with my school and challenged people to Tweet about their Happy Teacher moments...and then I was out sick for two days and just not feeling it the other two.  Gonna have to get back on it.

So those are three things I'm working on right now, in addition to the blog.  I also joined up with my school's Biggest Loser contest and have a couple products that I would love to share with you soon. Keep checking back for updates on these things and others.

Comment below and let me know what is your New Start for the New Year.  What goals and plans do you have in the works?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Where have you been...

That's probably what everyone has been thinking.  Well, busy is the answer.  B.U.S.Y.

First of all, I'm still trying to plug through these Masters classes.  I am in Week 4 of a 5 week class, then I only have one more 5 week class after this and I'm done.  The end is in sight.  I think I can, I think I can.

Second, preplanning and back-to-school reared it's ugly head.  And there is nothing like being told two days before the start of school that you are going to go from teaching 5th grade ELA and Social Studies to teaching 2nd grade self-contained to make your head explode.  It was not pretty.

So yeah, that's where I've been.  I promise to get back to posting more soon, just as soon as my brain settles into second grade world and I find balance between home, school, and grad school (at that rate, I'll start posting again once the kids are off to college).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August Popsugar Must Have Box and Ipsy Glam Bag

I love it when things come in the mail!  Love it!

It's like Christmas, even if I was the one who ordered the stuff.  So, imagine my excitement Wednesday, when both my Ipsy Glam Bag and Popsugar Must Have box arrived.

First for the Ipsy Glam Bag.  Here's an overview of what arrived in the bag.

As always, everything came tucked inside a cute little bag.  This one was a graphic black and white with a pop of hot pink.

Inside was a sample size lipstick by Noyah in soft pink.

Next came a Luxe Doubler eye liner and lip liner.

Then Trust Fund nail polish in a soft periwinkle/purple.

A Briogeo hair volumizer

And finally, Juara antioxidant mask.

I have to be honest, at this point I am considering canceling my subscription to Ipsy.  It just doesn't seem like the samples I am getting are anything I am going to use.  I'll try these and see how it goes from there.  If you are interested in trying them out, just click on the link here and sign up.  It is only $10/month.

Now for the Popsugar Must Have Box.  Here is what it looked like when it arrived.

And a closeup of the goodies inside.  First up, some yummy-looking Birthday Cake Pancake and Waffle Mix.  Can't wait until this weekend when I can force the hubby to make these.

Next, a super cute lunchbox all ready for back-to-school.

A great little mug just waiting for some English Breakfast Tea!

Royal Apothic Tea Balm Firming Eye Treatment.  I already started using this.  Will let you know if anything life altering comes from it.

Some super cute napkins ready to be thrown in a lunch box.

Finally, a fun scarf (forgive the picture, it doesn't do it justice) by American Colors.  It is blue and pink plaid and should be great once the weather starts to cool down.

As a bonus, there was also Folgers Iced Cafe drink concentrate.  I'm not a coffee fan, so this will be going to school for whoever wants it.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this month's box.  I'm kinda enjoying all the surprise goodies that come in it every month.  If you are interested in signing up, it is $39.95 a month and you can sign up here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Guest Bath Reveal...Finally

I know what you're all thinking.  Didn't she say back at the beginning of the summer that they were redoing that bathroom?  Is she ever going to finish it?  That sure took a long time.

And the answer to everything is Yes!  Yes, we planned to redo the bathroom.  Yes, I planned to finish it.  Yes, it took a long time.  But finally, finally, it is finished.

At least as finished as it's going to get right now.

We only had a few issues while doing it.  I especially liked it when we thought we were done for the evening, had reset the toilet, and the Mr. was reattaching the line to the toilet when it broke.
And was seriously leaking.
At 10:30 at night.
Which required an emergency run to Super Walmart for a new line.

Just as a reminder, here is what it looked like the last time you saw it.

And here is what it looks like now (with tons of pictures).

Forgive the lighting in the pictures.  Since this is a little bathroom next to the media room, there is no natural light.  We painted the walls, replaced the light fixture, switched out the towel bar for hooks, changed the shower head, hung shelves, and added a bunch of decorative accessories.

I still need to find a rug and replace the white towels with burgundy (if I can find them).  We also intend to frame the mirror in the future (once we get a new miter saw).  But for the time being, it's looking pretty good, and just in time for visitors next week.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Other summer goals

I'm the type of person that always has several things going on at once.  I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not, but it's just the way I am.

Now that we're back from traveling, it's time to get back into the swing of things. Currently, I am working on this blog, working on a Master's class (only three left!), participating in a professional book club about teaching, trying to keep up with and tweet about my summer reading challenge (which I do each year as a way of encouraging my fifth graders to read), decluttering and working on my office, and working on several other house-related goals.

 Some of those goals include polishing off the laundry room re-do (pictures to come soon), working on the kids' rooms, and finishing the Movie Room (aka. the man cave, except that the rest of us take it over), as well as redecorating our guest bathroom, master bedroom, and maybe even our master bath (and maybe not, bit of an overachiever here).

Today I thought I would talk about the guest bathroom.  Before we moved in, it looked like this.

I guess I never took a picture of it after we moved in.  We went with a beach theme.  We hung a white shower curtain with blue squares that we've had forever, along with the matching towels and rug.  We hung some frames with pictures of shells in them and a few other beach themed accessories. Was it bad?  No.  Was it great?  No.

Then we started the remodel on the movie room, which happens to be right next to the bathroom. The movie room has dark, garnet paint. It has dark molding.  The look is dramatic.  And that bathroom, not so dramatic.  Total mismatch.  So we decided to redo it.

After hunting online, I ordered these shower curtains.  We chose a paint to go with the color scheme and picked it up the Saturday before we went out of town.  Now, we just need to get it all put together, so it can go from this... (ahhh, scary!)

to something much, much better and hopefully before company arrives at the beginning of August. Watch for updates and the final unveiling to come.

On a side note, I order a lot of items online.  If you have never heard of, you should check into it.  You get cash back when you shop online at certain stores.  While the cash back varies, it's still money back on something you are buying anyway.  Click here to sign up or for more information.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Welcome back and some goodies

We got back from vacation yesterday.  Suffice it to say that it was a very long 18 hours stuck in the car with a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old.  Not. Fun.

Anyway, imagine how excited I was today to see some goodies arrive at my door.

The pink shiny bag is my Ipsy Glam Bag subscription, while the box is my Popsugar Must Have subscription.  Read on to find out what came in each of my subscriptions this month.  If you are interested in learning more about ordering either of these, check out the bottom of this post.

First let's take a look at what came in my Ipsy July Glam Bag.

Each month Ipsy sends a new Glam Bag filled with a variety of cosmetics.  Here is what was inside this month's Glam Bag.

The first things I pulled out were a shadow and crease brush and OFRA Eyeshadow & Highlighter in Bliss.  The packaging left something to be desired, but as you can see below it is a nice neutral color with a bit of shimmer.

Next I pulled out a sample size Bare Republic Natural Mineral Sunscreen.

I then pulled out two lip products, Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Anti-Aging Lip Conditioner in Vanilla Coconut Cream and teez Cosmetics Read My Lips Lipstick in Killing Me Softly.  The lip conditioner smells wonderful and the lipstick is a pinky coral color.

On to the Popsugar Must Have Box.

After opening the tissue paper, this is what I found.

The first thing I pulled out is the Henri Bendel Signature Stripe Canvas Dopp Kit, which is a nice size pouch to store cosmetics or necessities in your cosmetics case or your purse.  Also included was a 20% off coupon code good for one item.  I have been eyeballing some items over at Henri Bendel, so not only am I excited to get this little pouch but can't wait to use my coupon code.

Next came the Yes To Blueberries Cleansing Facial Wipes.  I have heard a lot of good things about the Yes To brand, so I am excited to get a chance to try them out.

After that I pulled out Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50.  While reading the description of this item, I was happy to discover that not only is this a setting mist (which I use daily to keep my makeup in place) but it also provides UV protection (which I can appreciate as a light skinned girl living in Texas).  I am eager to try this out.

The next two items seem to go together, a PopDental Portable Toothbrush and a The Good Bean Fruit & No-Nut Bar in Chocolate Berry.  What could be better than to eat a Chocolate Berry Fruit & No-Nut Bar and follow it up using your electric portable toothbrush.

To go along with this on-the-go theme, a Sorial Card Case was also included.  This card case allows a lady to ditch the big wallet and stick a couple cards and some cash for a night on the town.  It also came with a 25% off coupon code for use at

Last but certainly not least was a pack of Hallmark Signature Greeting Cards in fun colors and patterns.

The Ipsy Glam Bag subscription is $10 a month and each month you will receive a new pouch full of fun cosmetic products.  You can read more or sign up here.

The Posugar Must Have Box is a subscription that you can sign up for month-by-month, 3 months, or 6 months.  Month-by-month the cost is $39.95, with a discount if you order 3 months or 6 months at a time.  Popsugar Must Have Boxes include the best in fashion, beauty, home, fitness, food, and more. If you are interested in learning more or signing up for a subscription, you can sign up here.*

*Please note that by ordering through the link above I may receive free items in return.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


If you've been following along and noticed that I have been absent, it's because we have been traveling for the Fourth of July holiday and our summer trip to Florida.  For the first several days I was without WiFi and unable to post.  I expect to get back to posting more next week.  In the meantime, hope you are enjoying your summer.