'twas the night before

Christmas and I hosted holiday cheer. The food was scrumptious and the company was divine. My little one is zonked out- he did leave a banana and orange juice out for Santa and a handful of carrots for the reindeer. He insisted on leaving it by the chimney and he was a wee bit adamant that Santa should take the plate since he would have a hard time managing those
carrots. We also tracked Santa's journey. There are only a few more things to do before the morning. This season is just so magical! Here are a few photos from our happy time ;)


10 for Tuesday!

Well to be honest there is less than two hours left in this day~ tells you what kind of day I had.


1. went for a walk in the awesome 70 degree, December day.
2. Cooked a yummy dinner is less than 30 minutes. Call me Rachel Ray! No don't. I find her super annoying.
3. Having my clothes for the week all laid out and ready to wear.
4. I had the most delicious fruit.
5. I researched something about my serger and I think I see a light at the end of trying to get this dang thing to work tunnel.

The lows:

(want to keep them equal)

6. clucking work for my program that is SO, yawn boring
7. Miami Heat lost to the Woeful Wizards
8. not enough time to listen to that Alicia Keys cd....I am loving it and I can't get enough of Tears Always Win
9. Fiscal Cliff talk...I swear political shows will be the death of me
10. So sleepy must stop procrastinating...

And you?


10 for Tuesday

I have holiday fever! The last few months of the year gives my family much to celebrate....all of our birthdays and the standard stuff means we are broke by January ;) It truly means that life around these parts can feel like a blur. The birthdays abut against the holidays and in an effort to make sure everyone is celebrated adequately I jump through a
lot of hoops. Birthday banner down, Christmas tree up... Pretty much anyway.Tuesday's Ten is a simple list of some of the holiday things I want to do before the end of the season.
1. Go on a drive to see the festive lights.
2. Eggnog and fireplace date with the hubby.
3. Listen to all of my favorite Motown Christmas carols while wrapping presents.
4. Watch holiday movies with the little man.
5. Go see all of the Christmas decorations on the National Mall.
6. Make homemade cards for some very special folks.
7. Go to a grown up party and wear something sparkly.
8. Bake some goodies both standard and borrowed recipes.
9. Take some long relaxing baths after long busy days at work .
10. Go to a holiday performance.

What is on your agenda this holiday season?


Merci, Thanks, Gracias

So very much to be thankful for during this holiday week, here are ten!
1. Days off. Yay for Wed, Thurs and Friday -so happy you are here ;)
2. Mason jars. I bring you the adult sippy cup.
3. I phone. I just can't get enough of my phone. How did I function before it?
4. Cool fashion choices....teal, black,butterflies and sheer fabric...love it!
5. Nice parents. My conferences went great and I even got a gift!
6. Lunches with girlfriends. Something about gabbing over food is really just the best.
7. Rachel Maddow. If you don't know I can't explain it.
8. Great health insurance. We just completed the open enrollment paperwork and I am just so grateful that I have access to affordable healthcare.
9. Making room in my life by removing clutter. Still shredding stuff but the end seems near.
10. Amazon. No I am not being paid for this endorsement but really they make it super easy to get what you need.

Happiest if Thanksgiving to all of you! Eat well and enjoy !!

                                                 Making my way through the paper clutter.

                                                Love all of the uses of Mason jars!

A shot of my clothes :)


Little Reminders

I know I am not the only one who gets overwhelmed or feels like there are not enough hours in the day to do all that needs to get done. Man do I feel all of those things pretty often! This weekend has been what the entire holiday season is for us, busy busy busy! I enjoy spending the time with the people I love and yet the reality of life is just around the corner. This weekend was full of fun family time, my cousin was here from Seattle and so we ate well and laughed a lot. It was bliss. We put her on her plane and it is back to reality. Getting ready for the work week and tackling little projects. Or not so little projects. In my never ending quest to get organized, I am tackling some of the paper clutter. Beyond the usual stuff, how long do you need to keep tax stuff for any way? I have been going through papers for the past few hours and I was feeling rather overwhelmed when I thought it would be a great time to put my little hurricane of a helper down for his nap. He flat out refused. Ugh. My plans, my plans! Anywhoo I left him alone and returned to my mounds feeling doubly defeated when I had an epiphany: instead of bemoaning how much I have to do, I should embrace how far I have come. Two big trash bags full if shredded papers are certainly testimony to what I have been able to accomplish. Quite pleased with my revelation I hopped up to tell my husband my aha moment only to discover him and our son passed out in our bed. He had gone down without me pulling out my hair over it or getting all riled up. Wow two big reminders in one afternoon. Life really is full of awesomeness.

What have you had to remind yourself about lately?


Ten for Tuesday: Gratitude

What an appropriate time to show my gratitude in this month of Thanksgiving. So 10 things that I am thankful for this week are:

1. my helpful husband who gives baths & keeps that little one occupied for hours on end
2. my job that keeps me on my toes
3. a full fridge that I can manage to pull meals out of even when I did not meal plan
4. this magazine that uplifts me and constantly gives me something to journal about
5. friendships that challenge me and support me endlessly
6. package tracking, I know I am not the only one who thinks this feature is pretty much the cat's meow
7. weekends~ I love the time to reconnect and move at a snails pace with the family
8. help~ all of the helping things that make my life easier from washing machines to hairdressers to grocery deliveries I can't do it without these helpful things
9. my little cousins, I have two amazing rockstar cousins who are both coming to visit this weekend. I can't wait!!
10. a cozy bed! Pillows and more pillows, love it!

What are you grateful for?


Partay! Partay!

My husband's birthday was last Thursday and on Friday I threw a surprise shindig for him. In the effort of full disclosure I planned it all in the Monday before his birthday. That is just the way my mind works and it all turned out wonderful!! His friends came out and he was smiling the whole night. I consider that a success. We had a bunch of yummy finger foods and my cousin, the bartender, made sure we had an abundance of delicious punch. It was a really nice night.
Of course I forgot to take pictures but I do have one or two to share. I went with a red theme as that is his favorite color and the decor was just not over the top.
I will say that hosting a surprise is a lot of fun but hard to keep it all to yourself!


10 for Tuesday: Election

iTotally on pins and needles~ if I can't handle close sporting events and I REALLy can't, you must know that close presidential elections really get me crazed. But on a positive note, I did get to have a Tuesday off and I will totally take that gift.

Ten ways I have occupied myself so that I would not obsess over CNN.

1. Dropped the little off at daycare and picked up party food too.
2. Worked on the plans for the little party that I decided to throw for my hubby's birthday. Yeah in typical Jackpot fashion I decided to host a party four days before the party.
3. Had my buddy over and we got some sewing and chatting done :)
4. Graded papers. Go me! Grades are due on Thursday.
5. Ordered cake for the party.
6. Made the easiest dinner. Bonus for being yummy. Why haven't I been making soup and sandwich a part of the menu routine in the past is beyond me.
7. Chatted with Bestie. Always a highlight of a day to me.
8. Read Bearenstain Bears stories to the little.
I am noticing a trend. Stress brings out me wanting the comforts of my past. Soup and sandwiches, Bearenstain Bears are all things from my childhood, and making time for my friends is always a priority.
9. Writing for Nanowrimo. Mostly pressure free but a bunch of typing and hashing out details. Loving it!
10. A wee bit of relaxing.

How has your election day been?


Nanowrimo Time

So I started Nanowrimo~ November is National Novel Writing Month, the expectation is you will finish a novel in a month. I am only a few days in and way behind the expected daily totals but I am all those many words past NOT starting a novel so I am super pleased with that progress. I have an outline and characters and conflicts. See I feel like I am in a good place. Are any of you guys doing Nanowrimo? Feel free to offer encouragement if you like or tell me I am a loon. Haters can be my motivators~ not really but that is the high school teacher in me adding a bit of the teen mentality :)


10 for Tuesday: Normal & Random

We survived Sandy! No real issues in my household and for that I am more than thankful. Being in the house for days and following the path of the storm has brought up some normal and some random stuff. Here's the rundown:

1. Normal: thinking of ten things on Tuesday :) too easy!
2. Random: watching the mailman out of the window delivering packages covered head to toe in rain gear...chuckling b/c they really mean they deliver in all sorts of weather and po'd cause really no mail is worth all of that.
3. Normal: making meals for the fellas. Tried this delicious recipe for Carne Guisada (Latin beef stew) and it was so tasty! Had all of the ingredients at home and it was the perfect meal on a rainy, cold day.
4. Random: emails from pretty much long lost friends checking on me on the storm.
5. Normal: finding activities to keep my little one entertained. We played Children's Sequence and it was so fun. It has animals so it was a hit with my little one.
6. Random: Finding my marriage certificate when I was cleaning up our room. Yeah, I thought that was in with our important papers- yikes :o
7. Normal: Cheetos, chocolate, Thin Mints, chocolate chip cookies as part of our storm preparations. We did major damage in the past two days.
8. Random: Mid day bubble baths. Anything to make it through.
9. Normal: Checking the school closing updates like it is my job.
10. Random: Deciding to give up on many of my reality tv shows. Starting Nanowrimo so I will need the time.

What random & normal things have you been up to lately?


Emergency Ready

Perhaps it is the Miami in me but I always yield to Mother Nature. Heck, I still have this summer's derecho that led to 5 days of no power in the scorching heat fresh in my mind. So we are getting ready for what could be a massive storm. They are already calling this Frankenstorm and other variations. We have pulled out our kit and have it easily accessible and we are hoping that we won't have to use it. Just an FYI our kit contains: batteries,flashlights,blankets,wipes, waterproof matches, ponchos, paper products, lanterns, water, a corded phone,a can opener, cash and coins, a first aid kit and we have a stocked pantry to go along with the kit. I think we are set. Tomorrow we need to put a few things down so they don't fly around in the strong winds. I also need to gather a few things for my son. We should be ok. I am already getting mentally ready for possible changes to my work schedule next week.
Are any of you getting ready for this weather emergency? How are you hoping to stay sane ? ;)


Ten for Tuesday: The I Don't Knows

1. I am not sure how I feel about my little one wanting to play video games. I thought I had more time before he even noticed them...guess spending so much time with his older cousin and his father have made him a wii bit too knowledgeable.
2. My cousin wants me to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. We tried last year and neither one of us finished. I don't know what is going to be different but I am willing to throw my hat in the ring.
3. Not sure why they have to call it oxblood, sounds a little harsh but I am totally smitten with this color for fall. Go buy yourself something in oxblood, it is all the rage.
4. Don't know when I will finish my gazillion letters of recommendation for all of my seniors who are hoping to go to college but I am totally plowing through the stack :0
5. Not sure what I will get when I observe my son's class this week but I am looking forward to being a lookey loo into his classes.
6. Gee whiz, I start this program ( a certificate for teachers to transition to administration) and I am wondering what it will be like to be a wife, mom, teacher, student and all of my other titles.
7. Don't know what will happen at the end of this election cycle but I do know that these commercials are making me batty. And the debates are causing insomnia. No bueno.
8. Having a love hate relationship with Apple right now. Another ipad, the mini, iphone 5....me thinks, the apple juice may be a bit too much. May have to rethink some things. Just don't know.
9. Don't know when I won't feel super tired...see #7 and #4.
10. Not sure about the holiday plans and those need to be finalized asap.

What are some of your i don't knows ?


5 years ago today

I got married. It is easy to get all romantic and sugarcoat our lives but the reality is, marriage is work and compromise and understanding. It is facing obstacles and merging tastes, demands and ideals. I love my husband more than the day that we said I do. He is a great father and willing partner. I could not ask for anything more. I have been abundantly blessed.


10 for Tuesday: Chest Puffing Out

Ten things I am proud of these days:
1. Ordering pizza when I was too pooped to cook :) Feeling no guilt.
2. Clean fridge. Salads for the week prepped. Veggies cut, washed and ready to snack on.
3. Getting some kid free time this weekend and hanging out with my girlfriend. We hung out downtown, went to see Wicked and had our own dance club in the car. Fun times.
4. Getting one large project at work finished. Hope it brings some happiness to others.
5. Clean car. Yes, my hubby did the cleaning but I have managed to keep it clutter free for 3 days. Go ME!!
6. Having a mountain of patience when my wonderful three year old refused to cooperate with the simplest of requests. I even read many stories and kept a smile on my face.
7. Keeping a healthy dose of balance. I struggle with that but I have been good with it.
8. I am embracing fall. Not my favorite season but we did do the pumpkin patch/orchard day and I smiled like a happy camper.
9. I am super proud that I have done some small crafting. Making a little time to craft means a lot to me.
10. Proud of the friendships that I honor.

So what are you puffing out your chest about? Do share!


It includes fabric

My cousin is in charge of decorating her friend's nursery. Got that? So she has a great eye for decor but zero crafty skills. She does not know her way around Joann's to save her life. So we did the fabric run last week and the putting the craft together this weekend. Did not want to overwhelm her. We made super easy fabric covered canvases with the little one's name on it. My cousin painted all of the letters and we adhered the fabric to the canvas. Super easy. I felt all crafty and got to handle fabric even if I wasn't sewing. Of course I now have the fabric canvas bug and I am considering all of the canvases I can cover. Someone might have to rip the staple gun away from me :)


10 for Tuesday: the crazies

Ever have moments where you think that you are a little loco. I had a great chuckle at my own expense about my ecentricies and thought why not share it with you guys. I can't imagine that I am alone. Feel free to let me in on all of your sillies. I don't have room to judge :p

1. My Pyrex. Love to look at it, put it out on display. But those awesome, vintage goodies are not going in the oven. I have a crazy paranoia that when I try and bake with them, they are going to go splat. I know. I know. I see all of the Pyrex bloggers using their stuff from oven to table and it makes me jittery.
2. My food. I eat the cold stuff and then I eat the hot stuff. Oh yeah, I eat all of one thing before heading to the next one.
3. My post shower routine. Toes cannot touch the tile and I have to bundle up in the fluffy robe.
4. My ipod. Always listen to the shuffle songs setting. even if I want to hear an artist, I wait until the artist comes up in the routine.
5. Television viewing. I cannot miss political shows. Watch them every day.
6. Am routine. My day doesn't feel like it has officially started until I have a glass of orange juice.
7. My pens. Don't ask, you can't borrow 'em. I loathe sharing my pens.
8. Blog reading. I read by subject matter. I do all of my sewing blogs, then the Mommy one, then the fashion ones etc. I never mix subjects. I am really an all or nothing kind of gal.
9. Clothes. Can't fold them and put them away in the same time span. I know I am not alone on this one :)
10.Books, can't read unless I have complete silence and I am in total relax mode.

So what are your ecentricies....come on share them :)


October is in full swing

Maybe I should change that to it's in fall swing, tee hee. Anyway the summer is officially behind us. I think I rocked my last acceptable use of sandals yesterday. As much as that saddens me, fall brings some pretty wonderful things too. What would my work wardrobe be without the cardigan. We already have some fun family things planned and I don't think it will be too much of an imposition if I have a caramel apple ;)
I have a few things that I would like to work on:
• write down my Christmas list/ Nov and Dec birthdays list
• work out with my hubby twice a week
• continue to work on my gratitude project
• finish the quilt I am making for my great friend

What are you working on this month?


10 for Tuesday : Things I am liking

Sometimes you get all of this happiness inside of you and you can't believe that you have it so good. That's me. I am feeling all kinds of happiness and I hope it is catchy :)

1. I am LOVING that my son has finally gotten used to his school. Bonus points for being close enough that I can actually run home for a minute before pick-up and also share the pick-ups with the husband.
2. I am loving all of the coverage that No Doubt is getting since they have a new album coming out. Gwen Stefani is pretty dang cool.
3. Loving the Wednesday off. A mid-week day off is the best :)
4.I am liking the way that my hubby and I are partnering. It makes it easy when we are clicking.
5. Loving all things mustard. Although this trend has been going on for a bit, it makes me so happy that I am glad it is sticking around.
6. Liking the many bags of give-aways that I have bagged up to be picked up tomorrow. Yay, for scheduled pick-ups. Much easier than dropping anything off.

7. Totally liking having all the ingredients to make this Starbuck's knock-off drink: Please, oh please taste like the Passionfruit Lemonade that I like from SB.

7. Instagram. Really what is not to like? Thanks to Instagram, I learned that D.Wade the NBA Champion and my favorite player from the NBA Champion Miami Heat (my favorite team) was in town signing copies of his new book. Hello happy autographed book to me. It was awesome.
                                              look at that line I stood in!

8. Liking spontaneous adventures with my son. The zoo and Starbucks was quite a happy afternoon.

9. So liking all of the organizational things I did this summer. The other day I was not even horrified to go under the kitchen sink.

10. Loving getting back into journaling. I have been on hiatus and it feels good to be putting pen to paper.

What are you liking these days?


feeling focused

My last post may have seemed like a cry for help because a few folks have called me and offered their encouragement. Thank you all a bunch. Means a lot. A lot, a lot. This adjustment period does seem to be plowing along and I have had some awesome days at work this week. I had the opportunity to check off some big things on my to-do list and that feels good. This weekend holds some promise. My hubby and I are going out like grown-ups, in the middle of the day on Saturday. I am even wearing jeggins! :) (a first). Monday is a holiday so we are off but my son's school is open so off he goes. Those few hours will be like my birthday and Christmas all rolled up into one. Speaking of my son's school. He finally headed off without eyes filled with tears. This is relieving a HUGE amount of stress and Mommy guilt that I was feeling. So just wanted to let you guys know that life is good. I am super happy and getting my groove back! I even think I am going to sew something, my machine may protest in shock.


an interruption

Tuesday's Ten has been interrupted by this here moan and whine post. The reason for the whine is simple....LIFE. I am having a doosy of a time getting back into the swing of things after the long summer. I know it is difficult for you to feel my pain but I am having adjustment issues. I am trying to be gentle with myself but to be honest I kinda figured I would be in my grove again. It is not easy. I get a little burst going and then here is a new kink to change things up a bit. To top it all off my Momma has returned to her home and I miss her. Yikes! Just rough but I won't be defeated. I am making two yummy recipes for dinner, N & I stopped and got some delicious cupcakes after work and well there are SO many things to be happy about.
What is making you happy today?


Ten for Tuesday: Confessions

Que the Usher circa 2004 , "These are my confessions..."

1. One of the best parts of my son having to wear a uniform is the perk of me solely shopping for myself at back to school time.
2. I have already been late to work once. Granted I don't teach until 2 hrs after my arrival time but still I haven't even been back to work 3 full weeks.
3. I suck at keeping date night on the calendar. My hubby and I need a matchmaker to set all of that stuff up for us. We manage to stay connected but the routine is just not us.
4. I have had the remnants of a manicure on my nails for a week longer than I should have. I plan to take care of it tonight but we shall see.
5. I love the reason to put my son to bed earlier at night. The getting into bed routine is such a chill time.
6. My bedroom is such a mess and I have NO desire to get it together.
7. I watch political shows and judge people who are not in the loop about politics.
8. I have a wee bit of an addiction to the computer and my iphone.
9. I keep my fridge clean just because I love the way all of the food looks in all of their assorted glass containers.
10. I have no desire to recreate all of the things I pin on Pinterest. I just like seeing all of the cool things out there.

So what confession do you want to get off your chest... I promise I won't tell :)


Ten for Tueday! Life is good.

eager faces.
crisp outfits.
same old books.
new lessons.

ten words to describe the new school year.
I am more than ready.


Exhale. Ten for Tuesday.

Summer is over. That is where I have been. Enjoying the long, lazy days of summer with my fellas. It was divine. It was perfect. I will soon share pics and details. But for today I want to focus on a simple word, exhale.

I have been back at work for two days and in those two (count 'em) days I have been called rude and numerous variations of my given name. Yeah, 10 years in the same spot and people are still messing up my super easy, phonetically correct name. Yeah. So with that in mind. I am focusing on exhaling.

1. Clean space. I have removed so much from my work environment to allow calm to enter.
2. Open window. Sunlight is great for my soul. I am opening my window until the weather no longer permits.
3. Isolation. Planning to keep to myself a bit more than in years past.
4. Making my space mine. I don't need a trillion "teacher" things. I just need things that help my mojo. So far that means I only have the one required poster up in my room.
5. My teacher binder. Creating it and hoping to use it faithfully.
6.Exercise. My pedometer is strapped on and I am not afraid to use it :)
7. Mid-day text messages to my bestie. I need the outlet.
8. Simply exhaling. Breathing deeply and being at one with myself.
9. An attitude of gratitude. I am going to focus on being a light for others and paying attention to the greatness that surrounds me.

What have I missed? How can I focus on the exhale concept in the coming year? Yes, this is my New Year----my fellow teachers get the season of rebirth that comes with new Crayola!


Nails Funny

Last night I spent a glorious hour in Tarjay while my men bonded at home. It was divine and pretty empty too. Just great. I was very focused and only strayed from my list a little bit: the fantastic deal on the 2nd carseat and a poppin nail polish. Yeah I love a great clearance find.
Now the polish. It is so bright and cheery which is out of my manicure comfort zone. Shoot doing a manicure is out of my comfort zone. Left hand is a winner and the right hand should be hidden in a glove. So armed with my cool polish I have myself a mani. I did it right after putting my son down for a nap. I couldn't possibly do anything else with a fresh mani....master plan :)Now this polish is bright and pretty. So bright that I thought it was called Caution. Reading fail. The bottom of the bottle said caution blah blah and all I read was caution. I promptly picked it up since it had such a cool fitting name and it was on clearance. It wasn't until I got home and was putting it away that I saw it is actually called Hot Pursuit. I like Caution better!!

I haven't fixed the imperfections yet :0


10 for Tuesday:Fashion

Fashion trends or styles that I want to try.

1.Colored jeans.
2. Peplum tops.
3.Color blocking.
4.Big funky hair.
5. Huge sunglasses.
6. Skinny jeans.
7. Retro dresses.
8. Leather.
9. Stripes.
10. Self-confidence :)

What fashion trends are you looking to embrace?


Ten for Tuesday~ MIA

This post is MIA and so am I. Hectic week with picking up the little one. Don't bother chasing down the tumbleweed I will be back to stay in a little bit :)


Beware, Beware, BEWARE

This post contains a great deal of self-praise and patting myself on the back. You were warned. Still reading? Ok, toot. TOOT,TOOT, TOOT! I am killing the massive to do list. And with not much time left to spare. I head to Miami this week to pick up my sweet little distraction :)  So I am sharing this to show you how much I have crossed off the list. Yes, it is not finished but I am still proud that I have done so much. It is my summer relax time too, you know.

Project Purge and Restore

Living Room Closet
get rid of paint DONE
clean out scrapbook supplies- donate/trash unwanted
create a gift wrapping supply spot
remove tools- buy tool box for all tools
organize boxes that we want to keep

Laundry Room Area
clean behind machines DONE 7/14
discard unwanted items DONE 7/14
clean on top of machines DONE 7/14
hang 3 shelves over dryer DONE 7/14 (ONLY 2 SHELVES NEEDED)
remove iron board rack- hang rack in bedroom NO NEED- IT FITS
organize cleaning supplies DONE 7/14

get containers for dry goods DONE 6/8!
label containers DONE 6/12

organize plates/platters etc DONE 7/14
donate any unwanted supplies DONE 7/14

Kitchen cabinets
organize plates- discard any unwanted plastic plates DONE 6/16
organize glasses- discard any unwanted plastic glassesDONE 6/16
pot cabinet- organize pots, buy pot top holder DONE! 6/13
tupperware cabinet- discard unwanted plastic, cutting boards   want Pyrex glass storage set DONE 6/16
junk drawers- discard unwanted items, return items to correct spot DONE 7/14
under sink cabinet- discard unwanted cleaning agents, duplicate vases, duplicate sponges DONE 6/13!

Water heater closet
organize brooms, mops etc.   want mop holder to hang in space DONE 7/13 STILL NEED MOP HOLDER

N’s bathroom
change shower curtain & rugs DONE (bonus for reusing old stuff)
clean under sink- discard duplicates/ low quantities DONE 7/8
fix broken towel rack in shower
discard play kitchen
organize under sink area DONE 7/8

N’s room
put wagon and four wheeler on patio w/tarp DONE!
put rocking chair in storage area DONE!
bring small table/chair set back to his room create work zone w/all of his supplies
clean under bed
clean out closet
remove small/out of season clothes- discard/ donate as needed DONE 7/7
organize shelves-books on lower shelves, pull books related to theme & keep out DONE 7/7

Our room
Discard old tv DONE!
create a sewing area   want shelves above, a comfy chair,small wastebasket below
purge items from drawers and closet
organize a card box
organize an important papers area
clean night stands

Our bathroom
clean out medicine cabinets DONE 7/7
clean under sink DONE 7/7
purchase new shower curtain & rugs DONE 6/4!


Ten for Tuesday: What's Ahead

My brain is seriously mush. Ten things I am looking forward to in the next couple of weeks.

1. Seeing my little boy.
2. Putting my toes in the sand.
3. Getting rid of ants. Those little buggers have invaded~ hope one of the remedies we tried works.
4. Dropping off a load of stuff at Goodwill. See Project Purge and Restore for proof.
5. Dinner dates with my friends. Two this week :)
6. Sewing.
7. Finishing up this gigantic book I am reading.
8. Going to visit my grandparents (who are in their 80's and so awesome) and hanging out with my parents.
9. Buying school supplies for me and N. For most teachers, school supplies are like dessert you can rarely resist.
10. Continuing to work on my health. Making sure both the physical and the mental houses are in order. Big task but SO important!

What are you looking forward to in the next few weeks?


small things

I love the small things. This little lemon-sugar scrub was a gift from a friend. It feels great on all the rough spots and aren't mason jars the cutest?!!

What little thing has made you smile today?


Project Purge and Restore

My major project this summer is Project Purge and Restore. I made an extensive list of things I want to do to make our house a better functioning place. I am not a naturally clean and tidy person so this is a particular challenge to me. But I am trying to turn over a new leaf and that requires reprogramming my mindset and learning things I must have missed (sorry Momma). So to that end, this summer I have cleaned and organized the pantry, cleaned and purged N's room, cleaned under the sink, cleaned the kitchen (polished stainless steel, under the sink etc), cleaned the fridge (thanks derecho) and on and on. Yeah, I have been busy :) But the little one will be back soon and I have mucho still to do.
Things I am learning in this process is that it is not easy and the changes won't automatically stick.  Also the whole family has to get on board. I plan on making picture labels for my son's room so that he can remember where his stuff belongs. My dh did buy cereal that we already had because he hasn't gotten used to the cereal being in the plastic container :0  So there is certainly a learning curve. I am also feeling more empowered and in control. I know what I have in the house, I even reused a shower curtain that I still had from my days of changing the bathroom with the seasons. It was virtually new! Great find. I have also discovered a whole wealth of resources that are just a few key strokes away. I watched a video on folding fitted sheets for Pete's sake. But seeing these drool worthy spaces are just the motivation I need.
What improvements are you making in your life?

Here's a peek, my jewelry went from this cluttered mess to the nicely organized after. A winner!


Ten for Tuesday: No Power

We were out of power from Friday at 10:30pm until just a few minutes ago, Tuesday at 6:00pm. Yes, I will give you a moment to take that in.....it was THAT bad. It was awful. It was hot. I have to blog about it because it has consumed me, so here goes the ten.

1. A now know what a derecho is. I will leave you to google for a more comprehensive definition. But the gist is fast moving very strong and dangerous storm. I may start inserting derecho in my every day vernacular. Just wait.
2. You can spend a lot of money when your power dies. 3 meals or so out each day is not easy on the pocket. I haven't even thought about the groceries that we will need to replace.
3. Cold showers are SO refreshing when it is hot. Day 3 not so refreshing more like ice cold but they can be refreshing.
4. Paper fans are effective and can certainly be considered upper body exercise.
5. A few weeks ago I wanted an organized fridge. You should see how sparkling that baby is right now. Not an ounce of food misplaced, not an ounce of food at all.
6. My iphone is AMAZING. I mean I loved it before but now it is just the bees knees.
7. When my back is against the wall, I will do some things I generally don't like. I don't really like going to the movies but when your house is blazin' hot you do what you have to do. FYI Ted is a silly, brainless movie that helps you escape your life. If you need that reprieve go see Ted.
8. Just because your power comes on for 2 minutes, you do not need to wake up your husband. Run around screaming and closing windows because yeah, they can take it away just as quickly. True story!
9. I really love tv, gadgets and air conditioning WAY more than I considered before- lights I did not miss too much though.
10. I knew I wanted to date my hubby while our son is away, this has really turned that up a notch. Every moment together with no distractions. We survived and I only had one major meltdown. We are still speaking so we made it :0

What have you been up to?


Ten for Tuesday: Summer Living!

One of the best perks of being a teacher is well SUMMER! The days are long, footloose and fancy free. Love them!

1. Hanging out in DC people watching. Just me, the hubs and some Starbucks...bliss.

2. BBQ festival. Free tickets, live music, delicious food.

3. Meeting good friends for lunch. Yes kids, that is what teachers do during the summer :)

4. Avoiding housework. Just kidding, mostly.

5. Working out. I think this is my husbands favorite quality time. Me not so much :)

6. Finding some big feet to measure myself against. And yes you should know that there is a Miami Heat/ Lebron James reference.

7. Watching way too much crappy tv. Dr. Phil does not count as quality folks.

8. Fabric shopping. My cousin has a request and I guess I will try to pull it off. Have any of you guys made the book sling as featured onl Penny Carnival?

9. Reading blogs...get to updating people :)

10. Relaxing bubble baths have become a nightly routine. It is amazing how much evening time you have when you are not running baths and doing the nightly routine with a little one. Getting mighty spoiled!




My team since 1988. So absolutely proud of my guys. On many nights I bit my fingernails to the quick and nervously called my bestie to help me through the last 2 mins but it is all over but the celebrating. Go HEAT!!


Back to Quilting

Today was a fun day for me. I got a chance to sit down at my machine and sew. I pulled out this quilt that I ambitiously started a LONG time ago. I followed this amazing tutorial from Obsessively Stitching and while it was easy to follow, I got overwhelmed and stopped. Now that I am a much more seasoned sewist (haha, I just like that word) I decided I would go back. Let me just tell you there were a lot of issues with these seams. I had to break out the seam ripper and these were the best of all of the blocks. I have a stack of blocks that I am going to have to do some serious doctoring on but hey, I am up to the challenge. One thing that hasn't changed is my love of this fabric. I love the bright orange, the chairs and the pops of green as much as I did when I started this baby.
I also finished the top for my friend's wedding gift quilt. I hope to finish that one this week. It has been fun to get back to quilting and I managed to clean the fridge out to, Go ME!

   Opps, this pic is a bit jacked up. You get the point. Oh, and this was pre-rearranging the blocks to get the best placement.


Ten for Tuesday: Off Duty Momma

So my little one is off to with his grandparents for the next month and wow being kid free is the way to go ;)  I am so fortunate to have amazing parents who love spending time with their grandkids. He has a ball hanging out with them and they cater to him. The have already done the beach and he has managed to convince him that he needs all kinds of food that I never buy. Yeah, the living is easy now but the deprogramming will be quite interesting.
So when the son is away the mom will:

1. Sleep in. Guilt free sleeping in is so what I am enjoying.
2. Dating my hubby. It is amazing how this time allows us to reconnect and enjoy each other.
3. Sewing. I have some WIPs that need to get finished.
4. Reading. Pleasure reading here I come.
5. Lunch dates with my buddies. If you haven't already done so and you want to hang out with me you better get on the calendar it is filling up fast :)
6. Exercise & fitness. I want to go to some classes that I have been eyeing.
7. Operation Purge & Restore- I have been busy organizing and clearing stuff out. It feels AMAZING. I have finished all of the kitchen cabinets and the pantry. Looks stellar. Going to do the fridge tomorrow,
8. Write.
9. Enjoy the NBA Finals. Go HEAT!
10. Focus on my hubby. That bears repeating. I love that man.


so you look up and a lot of time has passed

Sorry about being away. I have been so swamped. Then when I had a moment, I felt like being away for so long required a great post and that is some real pressure. Or I had a moment and moment seemed too short. Well, I am putting that all aside and just typing. Hopefully what I have to share will be worth it. You can humor me if it isn't m'kay :)
The end of the school year was a blur of activity and obligations. I do it to myself every single year. I leave so much writing and grading down to the wire and I like to have these creative finals. Yeah all that equals a stressed out mess. Layer on a nagging shoulder pain situation and I was begging for the school year to rap up. I did get some help from some unexpected places and my students were very cooperative. It was a busy time.
The end of the year was not all boos and self pity parties either. We had a few staff celebrations that were fun and festive. My niece graduated (if you can call it that) from the lower school and she was such a poised little graduate. She was practically the only little girl who managed to sit appropriately. I loved her white eyelet dress. It just screamed graduation to me.
Let's see, what else?  We went to Rehobeth, DE for a beach getaway. It was a nice trip and we got some sand in our toes. Certainly what the dr ordered for this lady.
We went to a fantastic wedding that truly felt like a date. My hubby and I danced the night away. Fun times.
I made a little lap quilt for my friend/co-worker who is abandoning me (she calls it retirement). It was fun to pull out the machine for someone who means so much to me. I will miss her support and encouragement :( But I am happy that she will get to sleep in and enjoy her family a bit more.
So June is off to an excellent start. If it is quiet around these parts it is just me trying to get myself in order. I do have some projects up my sleeve.


10 for Tuesday

Brain dump:

1. Loving playoff basketball.
2. Loathing expensive car repairs.
3. Enjoying the end of year celebrations.
4. Munching delicious watermelon.
5. Listening to loud thunder and lightning.
6. Feeling super excited about summer plans.
7. Grateful for very helpful folks.
8. Praying for some very special people.
9. Anticipating all of the blessings.
10. Giving time, love and encouragement.

What have you been up to lately?


10 for Tuesday: A quick Taget Run

Here's a peek into my target trip.

The pros: stayed pretty focused, used my reuseable bags, used coupons and got a giftcard for 5.00 off my
                next visit.

The cons: have 2 things that need to be returned (D told me they looked like old lady clothes), bought
                jello (who even knows what that stuff is made of)

1. flexible straws: my son loves these things, I want the paper ones but they aren't at Target
2. Febreze: my 3rd period class is ridiculously funky, I am so glad these exist
3. Up and Up floss: a must and it was on sale too
4. Cover Girl concealer: this stuff lasts a LONG time
5. Jello: see above :)
6. Nicole by Opi the Kardashian Kollection: Wear Something Spar-Kylie
7 & 8: Method Cleaning Products: Cause you gotta clean right
9: Annie's Bunnies for my little honey ;)
10. Bear Naked Granola: Banana is my fave!

So the verdict is I had a great time on my solo trip to the bullseye. I was not paid to review or plug any of these products. I only strayed from my mental list a tiny bit too!

How was your Tuesday?



Still Journaling

I am still quite smitten with journaling. I will admit that it is rough to keep up and just like blogging I do some really awesome writing in the shower that never quite makes it where it needs to go. Oh well. I won't beat myself up too much since whatever I do is a lot more than what I was doing last year this time ;) Today I got to use some new pens and stickers that my co-worker surprised me with... I love an unexpected nicety.
My journals are a a way to document all of the insanity that is floating around in my head. Plus I get to be all creative too. This month I am looking forward to including two wonderful Mother's Day cards that I received. Some of the stuff I have included include a cutout of Linus that I got when the sewing club girls donated quilts to Project Linus, business card to my son's dentist, tickets to the circus and a fortune. These are things that I would never have held onto but they do mark the thing that I have been through this year. I am loving capturing these moments in this way. I even have some pages that I watercolored while my little man was doing his artwork. How amazing is that!?

Do any of you journal? Let me know what keeps you motivated.


Sunday to Remember

today was a perfect day~

the weather is awesome, the windows are open and the breeze is great
our family loved our time at the park: swings, bubbles and bike riding
the hubby made dinner
my son (he is a future sweet-talker ladies) assured me that I am a "great cleaner" to get me to help him clean his room, so NOT me but whateves
i am taking tomorrow off from work
the Miami Heat won: lbj w/40 pts and Wade is back
the hubby did the weekly grocery shopping and only forgot a few things
a new season of keeping up with the Kardashians starts tonite

it was good day indeed


Sewing Again

I feel like it has been ages since I have sat down at my machine. Like blow,blow,blow away the dust long time. It felt good and a full bobbin in the right color was a bonus. I can tell you it wasn't that long ago when threading the bobbin was my undoing. Trust me I still have my sewing challenges but I can totally thread bobbins with no issues. Go me!!
There have been so many things that have kept me away from sewing and really it all boils down to post work exhaustion and tons of obligations. The impending summer brings the reminder to slow down and do what makes me happy. That includes lots of sewing. I finished a quilt that was originally going to be a Christmas  (2011) gift and now it is going to be a belated birthday gift. I guess that has just increased the amount of love that has gone into this baby...from picking the fabric to sewing on and off to looking at it in the sewing pile this quilt was always close to my heart ;) I also started a simple strip quilt for my friend who got married. The wedding was in November I still have a little time,right?!?

the finished one

      the new start


happy mother's day

i spent the day.
lounging in my pjs
with my liitle one
and a bonus (my niece)
they made big messes
i snoozed on and off
watching tv
and rooting for the
i loved the slow pace of the day
the artwork that my son
and i am pretty
thrilled with my new iphone too.

happy mother's day to all~


10 for ten: Momma, Mom, Mommy, Mommie

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet....no matter what name you go by or how you acquired the love(s) of your life...this is our week.

10 Mommas

1. My Momma~ she is the epitome of what a mom should be. There are not enough words to express how much love I have for her. Every single day there are reasons why I am proud to be her daughter. They broke the mold when she was made and now I get to see her as Grammy and trust me she is gets better with age ;)
2. Joan Crawford~ she showed me that wire hangers are really unacceptable & grass stains will read in photos.

3. Claire Huxtable~ Smart and dedicated to her family, what a class act.

4. Michelle Obama~ A reminder to remain a star even when your mate is running things.

5.  June Cleaver~ She never let those boys get her flustered. I respect that!

6. Ms. Garrett~ she always gave second chances and support. 

7. Kourtney Kardashian~ she seems SO dedicated to her little one and she is doing Mommyhood on her own terms.

8. Nicole Ritchie~  shows how motherhood transforms you. There is hope for all of us rebels?!

9. Hester Prynne~ of The Scarlet Letter she does dedicated, patient and loving Mom like no one else in literature.

10.  Barbara Brown~ she LOVES Cleveland, Sanaa Lathan is her voice and it is the only animation that I can watch without wanting to take my eyes out :)

So, who's your Momma!?! 


Just one of those days...

My day was SO busy! It was filled with friends, family and good eats so I don't have any complaints. I managed to get in some exercise, cuddletime with my fellas, church, a circus show and a visit with my sis and her family. Busy indeed.
One of the highs of this incredibly high filled day was the sermon from the visiting pastor. The gist of it is making Love an act of sacrifice and allowing others to see the God in you. It really just spoke to me. I know that there is a lot of sacrifice in my love but I am certain that I am not doing my Christian walk as much as I should. I am going to work on that one. My faith is important to me and I want others to see His   essence in me. Fantastic day indeed!
How was your Sunday?


DSW here I come ;)

I got the sweetest thank you note from a former student. Enclosed was a gift card to DSW. Hello summer wedges, I will be picking you up very soon.
Really what a nice surprise! And since it is to DSW and not Target there is no chance that I won't be spending this gift card on ME. Happy dance, happy dance!


10 things going on in my world

1. Happily listening to: Pretty Little Liar by Robin Thicke
2. Watching most nights: Miami Heat basketball, playoffs baby!
3. Buying: All kinds of fruits and veggies
4. Grading: Tons of research papers
5. Smelling: Homemade laundry detergent as I wash load #456,097,980
6. Loving: Sunlight coming through my windows
7. Enjoying: An empty kitchen sink
8. Lusting after: nada really? Clutch the pearls
9. Frustrated by: Political stupidity
10. Proud of: Myself as a Momma- Mother's Day is around the corner and I have to celebrate ME!!

What are YOU up to? Pick a category, any category and let me know!


Super delish!

Saturday Night was date night. On the agenda was an easy restaurant quality meal that left enough time to actually enjoy our date night. I found an awesome recipe on Gina's Skinny Recipes tasty and not too bad on the hips. I call that a winner.

                                               Lime Cilantro Shrimp w/rice and broccoli


whatcha reading?

During the school year, my reading is rather limited. Hey 140 research papers to grade will kinda do that to you! I am reading a book that I stumbled upon while my students were doing their work and in my 10 minutes while they were busy I managed to start reading it. So far, so good. And one of the perks of reading it was a student saw me reading, was intrigued by the subject and went to the public library and checked it out herself. I was so impressed. Just confirms what I already knew, reading is contagious :)  So whatcha reading?

so far so good.
quick read.
written like a poem.


10 for Tuesday: Anticipation

a few things I am  looking forward to.

1. Warmeer temps...what the heck happened to the warmth. 43 degrees?!? Bring on summer.
2. The decision on our last day of work. Our school year was extended due to inclement weather but there is a slight chance that that day may be excused.
3. Celebrating my good friend's big birthday this week.
4. Going to see Think Like A Man. It has gotten great reviews and I don't like to be out of the loop.
5. Catching up with my bestie. We have had our conversations interrupted and it would be nice to really chat it up. Soon though we will remedy that one.
6. Spending some good time journaling. My hands are itching to create and write.
7. Basketball watching. It has been a few days since I watched my Miami Heat and I need a little fix.
8. The relaxed pace of summer. I can see it coming and I am getting excited.
9. Blog reading. I haven't been doing that in a bit and I miss my online connections.
10. Some professional plans that I have brewing. Improving my self and being reflective too. Love it.


sleepless in the suburbs

I am officially sleep deprived. Every night my sleep is interrupted by my son. Combine that with the fact that I try to do a million things once he goes to sleep and then I have trouble unwinding to go to sleep before 11 ish and well it is not good for me. I came home on Friday so tired. The kind of tired that overtakes you and makes you feel like someone should be walking behind you to make sure you don't put your purse in the fridge or leave your keys dangling in the front door. Thank goodness I have only done one of those things. But really I am beat. I spend far too much time complaining to my mom and bestie about it. And truth of the matter not getting enough rest is no bueno. I may not be able to control the pitter patter of little feet making the way into my bed but I can make adjustments to get more rest. I am going to use this weekend to get some things done for the week. This week my goal is to get 7 hrs of sleep. I know that falls less than the recommended amount but it is a start. Yesterday, I got 4hrs. Yeah it felt more like a nap than anything. So maybe with more planning I will be able to get in the bed a bit earlier. I hope so. There really is no gaining back lost hrs of sleep. Wish me luck on my journey and feel free to let me know you share my pain.

PS: If you have a toddler and you are getting your sleep or more than your share, don't tell me that.
PPS: If you have always had a great sleeper, don't tell me that either.
PPSS: If you don't have to wake up in the 5 o'clock hour, you can keep that to yourself.

See where I am going here!


10 for Tuesday: My thoughts

5:35 am: I am late, thank goodness I packed up last night.

6:38 am: Aww, the little duck family is the perfect lesson for me: go slow

7:05 am: Why am I still listening to the kid music? The little is already out of the car.

8:25 am: I should have packed me a lunch last night.

10:55 am: If I gouge my eyes out will this lunch end any faster,ugh.

1:25 pm: Yay for unexpected kid free time- off to get a laundry list of things done.

2:45 pm: These sewing club girls rock!

3:40 pm: Wrap this mtg up, I am ready to head home.

5:00 pm: Love talking to my Momma.

6:00 pm: I am not in the dinner cooking mood.

what thoughts ran through your head today?


and they call it etsy love

a few things i am digging on etsy right now

this portrait from thepairabirds

this vintage journal form TheFancyLamb

this tile magnet from erinink

oh, etsy how i love you!!!


Orange Tie

I did get a little bit of sewing done on my break, my favorite was this little tie I made for my son. I got an easy tie pattern from a blog. And when I say easy, it was SO easy. Her instructions were super easy to follow and I was able to whip up two ties on the Saturday before Easter (that is how I roll). Well I may be a wee bit biased but if this isn't the cutest little tie on the cutest little boy, I may need to get my eyes checked. I think he was proud of my efforts as he even told everyone that his Mommy made his tie. Ok, I prompted him but he did say it ;)  Oh and he had this little outfit on for all of 20 minutes.


Tuesday's 10 :Yin & Yang

Yin aka Wins
1. Helpful hubby who didn't fret when he had to miss his evening run so I could get my hair done.
2. Mostly ready for tomorrow- one more lunch to make (mine)
3. Finally sitting down at 10:30 and preparing to watch a few minutes of shameful tv: Real Housewives of Orange County
4. 3 new magazines to check out: Oprah, Real Simple and Rachel Ray :)
5. Black pants- shamefully I haven't had a pair to wear since January. All of mine were in the dry cleaning pile. So over break I took care of dry cleaning...yay for black pants!

Yang aka DANG!
6. Still have papers to grade. Grades are due tomorrow afternoon. What say you? Will I get it done?
7. My Heat lost to the Celtics, boo. It was a good game though.
8. Allergies. They are attacking my family. No one is exempt.
9. I feel a bit out of sorts. It is odd to go back to work on a Tuesday. Plus I have so many things going on this week. Wish me luck that I get it all done.
10. Although I am a Maryland teacher, I am not one of the 3 amigos who won the Mega Millions. So close but yet so far. Guess I do have to finish grading :O

What are your yins and yangs? Do tell. I need the distraction!


feeling nostalgic

Long ago when I was a student at Howard University, I used to walk past this dilapidated building with a faded marquee that read Howard. It was home to the Howard Theatre. I used to wonder about all of the amazing shows that took place and how the ladies must have looked all dolled up for their dates with their misters. It would always make me sad to see a building bearing the name of my beloved school, the Mecca in such a sad state.
Also during that time I fancied myself a poet and I wrote a poem called Rebirth of Cool. Well the Howard  Theatre has been transformed and will be reopened this week. A gleaming statue of the amazing Duke Ellington sits in front of the revamped theatre and with all of the grand-opening hoopla I have learned a great deal about this place. It was just as magical as I imagined it to be. Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and others have graced the stage. So if there ever was a Rebirth of Cool this restoration certainly fits the bill. I can't wait until a date night takes me to a show there- I will get a chance to be that dolled up lady with my mister enjoying the magic that is the Howard Theatre.

image courtesy of HU Reaction


Artist: Elizabeth Catlett

image courtesy of the Harvard Ed Gazette

Howard University graduate and renown artist Elizabeth Catlett has passed away.


Tuesday's Ten

Whew, nothing bad about a Tuesday on vacation. Here are 10 things I was up to today.

1. Miami Heat basketball, watching the game with my loves.
2. Up early and took my little one with me to vote. He is so cute about the process and picking "our favorite".
3. Some overdo shopping. Macy's was having a huge sale and the crowds were abundant.
4. Found some lunch supplies, fish shaped forks and a turtle container are going to please my animal lover.
5.Had a perfect hair day...bouncin' and behavin'.
6. Phone calls with bestie, sister and Momma----these ladies are my everything.
7. Grown-up pjs. Love them more with each passing year. Lounging in them is the best.
8. Leftovers for dinner. So easy. Tasty too.
9. Did not waste time on the internet :) Too busy being out and about.
10. Easter cards in the mail. Lovely surprises from great friends.

What were you up to today?