Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Here's what I need to practice. Check out these great reminders for de-cluttering your life.

Be More with Less -- Five Minutes to Simplicity

Oh, check out this happy video and take some tips, too!

What a difference a year makes

Well well well. I have a blog. Who knew?

Looking back was fun: seeing what my interests were, what I was doing, and what I felt I wanted to share with the world. Now, it's over a year later and I already feel like I'm in a (somewhat) different place. But! I still view this blog as a place to share whatever I'm feeling at the moment, regardless of if people read it or care!

So, what did the rest of 2012 bring for me? Well, in a nutshell it was great!

Finished my Masters of Education in Math. Didn't get to fly to Boston to attend my graduation, but John surprised me with a surprise party. What an accomplishment for me.

Finished and passed my ProTeach (the next level of certification for teachers).

Spent three days driving to Colorado with my mom, dad, and hubs. We took our time along the way, then spent a few days in and around Denver visiting relatives and seeing the sights. John had never been there and I hadn't been since I was a kid, so it was a worthwhile trip!

In August my sister, her boyfriend (now Fiance!), hubs and I took a cruise to the Western Caribbean. Some highlights include: holding monkeys, seeing Mayan ruins in Belize, placing 3rd in the Amazing Race Cozumel, and seeing a completely different landscape! We've really enjoyed cruising as a way to "preview" countries and regions that we'd like to see again.

Started my 4th year (!!) of teaching. It's my third year in the same position and I finally have a clear sense of where I'm going, what I want my kids to know, and how I want to teach a lot of the concepts. I've taken on many new roles and have enjoyed the new challenges.

So... what's next? John and I have enjoyed slowing down a bit and enjoying our cats family. I've been trying to get back to some of my unfinished DIY projects: stenciling the living room wall, decorating the kitchen, adding more personality to the house, modifying rooms I decorated when we first moved in. Can you believe we've been in our house almost 3 years?

Time is flying and I can't believe I'll be turning 27 this year. For many that seems like such a young, exciting age, but for me I am still stuck at 23! John turns 30 this year and while we're so happy with what we've been able to accomplish, together and separately, we are looking ahead and thinking about goals for the future, near and far.

Here's to 2013 being another wonderful, wonderful year!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Picky Eating

I got an email from an online support group I belong to called Picky Eaters Association. They have a YouTube channel and an email message board and website (as you'll see below). I'm not too active on it but find comfort that I am not the only picky eater in the world and I'm not even the worst one out there.

There are other shows out there, but this one kind of sums it up. I completely feel for other people who have it a lot worse than me and I feel lucky that my choices for food have been greatly expanded over the past few years. This makes it easier to hide, and that's been the most difficult part about it. You can see in the video how you get questioned about your eating and people are judgmental about the whole thing. That's completely true. I love what the second person in the video says about how "isolating" it can be. You go to great lengths to eat alone, make excuses for how you eat, etc.

This is a video from Anderson Cooper. I don't like that he makes it seem like he's "one of us" then easily pops some Brussels sprouts into his mouth. However, the two guests sum it up really well. I was completely born this way and my mom had trouble feeding me. I do think that there is some "comfort" to what I eat, but I think it's a condition that I've always had.

Trying a new food is scary to me and only under very specific circumstances will that happen. There are also very specific reasons why I eat certain bites of some things and push away other pieces, but no one else sees what I see. It can be coloring, texture, having a bad experience with the previous bite, etc.

I'm comforted by the fact that I am eating somewhat more healthy than others I know from this board and have more options. However, if I had my choice I would eat pasta, cereal, bread, and other similar things everyday. Growing up I ate so many packets of Ramen noodles (plain without the packets of flavoring, then slowly with the flavoring but with the green herbs strained out, then all the flavoring) that you would think I would be completely sick of them. That's not true, I still feel so happy eating them and I would never get tired of them.

Anyway, I think it's important to get the word out about this. I also do it to show others that I'm not crazy and I'm not alone. I hope that this becomes something that is accepted more in the medical community. Do I worry about having a healthy pregnancy someday? Yes. Do I worry about how I will be as a mother? Yes. Do I worry my kids will be the same way? Yes. So we'll see where it goes.

Anyway... Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Crossover Comparison (warning: not craft related)

Well, being snowed in has its benefits and its downsides. I have a cold, so it's nice that I can rest and relax. I also have homework and ProCert write-ups that I could be doing. And.. there's always cleaning and organizing.

But I'd rather do something more fun, which is talking about how excited I am for my new car to arrive. I spent well over a year researching cars and deciding what would be the perfect investment for me. It's not chump change to us, so I wanted something that fit all my needs and wants (and I was excited about) but also one that would last us for years.

Here is a list of my wants:
  •  Sits higher (personal preference)
  •  Decent gas mileage (compared to my Sable's 18-21 range)
  •  Not huge - easy to maneuver and drive around
  •  Ample storage for road trips/trips to the craft store :)
  •  Could easily transition into a family car --> If we have it for 10 years, our kids will be, at maximum 7 or 8 years old.... So room enough for a car seat or adult passengers for now
  • Updated technology --> If I was going to have a car for several years I decided I wanted to at least have the basic current technology. Coming from a car with a tape player, I wanted USB hookup, bluetooth, and navigation (depending on which vehicle I chose)
 I knew that I wanted a crossover vehicle because of appearance, versatility, and ride height. While there are some great ones at there, I wanted to stick to makes that I know get good safety and crash ratings: Toyota, Honda, Subaru, mostly. I also checked out Infiniti and Acura, at John's request. A girl can dream.

Toyota Rav4
Pros: Easy to drive, all the features I want, ample storage, top safety ratings
Cons: Stupid tire on the back, door-like back hatch (can't pull through parking spaces)

2012 Acura RDX:
Pros: high quality (well-rated), nice ride, easy to drive, good amount of story, optional "technology package"
Cons: expensive (would have to get a used one), showy, nothing "special" for a luxury vehicle in my opinion

GMC Terrain:
Pros: Exterior styling, supposedly top-rated gas mileage, ample storage, high ride height (did not test drive), good price for loaded vehicle
Cons: really low resale value, not top safety pick, possibly too big
2012 Subaru Outback:
Pros: Originally looked at the Forester, but was directed to the remodeled Outback (in 2010). This was my #1 pick until the new cr-v came out. Increased ride height, tons of storage, good price range, AWD standard, lots of legroom, good gas mileage, very reliable
Cons: Long and possibly not as easy to get around as I'd want, very "outdoorsy" reputation which doesn't fit me (I know it's silly), outdated navigation system (a small issue I was willing to overlook). 

*I still really like this car, it just doesn't give me the feeling I was looking for.

2012 Infiniti EX
Pros: Uhh, it's a luxury car, smooth ride, high quality interior, around-view monitor (top-down view of car to easily park), fun to drive, sleek modern look
Cons: Ridiculously small rear leg room, premium gas, low gas mileage, Expensive

2012 Ford Edge:
Pros: Exterior styling, "my Ford Touch" technology (optional), storage, supposed had mileage
Cons: Fords did not get good ratings at all (I also liked the Explorer), possibly too big, expensive
 Those were the main vehicles I had on my list, but it was pretty easy to narrow down. My mom had the 3rd generation cr-v (2007), which we also test drove:

2011 Honda CR-V:
Pros: Really easy to drive, higher ride height, know exactly where the whole car is (easy to maneuver), good amount of storage, good price
Cons: No fold-flat seats (there is a lip when you fold them that makes it difficult to put long items in flat), ride quality and road noise, exterior look was decent

Then, it happened. After the Japanese earthquake and flooding in Thailand, Honda had to postpone production of the much anticipated 2012 remodel. It finally debuted at the LA Auto Show on Thanksgiving and was released to dealerships in mid-December. Supply is still low, which means prices are slightly higher, but still a very good deal. It gets a bit of flack for not doing a huge overhaul, but why mess with the top-selling crossover?

So, what tipped me in that direction?
  •  Newly designed one-touch fold-flat seats (yes!)
  •  Improved interior quality
  •  Better insulation to reduce road noise and improve ride quality
  •   Updated technology --> backup camera, bluetooth are all standard, and includes Honda's i-Mid display (a small color screen that provides call, song, and car data)
  •  Just feels right --> still really easy to maneuver. 
  • Can you believe that it's 20 inches shorter than my current sedan?! Hello garage space

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pictures to go with the words...

 Still needs more coats of yellow paint to cover up the brown puff paint, but a cute addition...

Guess I could have taken this during the day. We used Frosted window film in our bathroom to give us privacy but still let in a lot of light. Not sure what I'll do with the sheers yet... Paint...? 

I Spy with my little eye...

They must be in the laundry room when I am doing laundry room. Anywhere else is too far.

Picked up the tan pillows on clearance for $10 at Target today... Maybe will go up on our bed?

Also picked up the purple one (in front) today. 

My very simple lamp re-do with scrapbook paper and mod-podge. Cute.

I re-did the canvas to look like this. Looks much better spaced out. 

Not trying to show you my toilet, just the view from the entry hall.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oh yeah!

and we bought a car! See-ya Sable!

Old and Busted!

New Hotness!

Our (let's not kid ourselves, my) 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L Navi (in the dark gray color shown above) is scheduled to arrive between the 21st and 25th of the month! We got a good deal and I'm super happy with my decision. What a change it will be! More to come...

A few things...

Nope, I have no pictures to share today. However, I got a few projects done this weekend with more on the way... We have guests coming over this weekend so John and I scurried to get a few projects done that we haven't been motivated to do. John (finally) got all the Christmas decorations down and put away. He ended up doing some organizing in this process, which is great. I, on the other hand, just did fun crafty things.

Remember this lamp, which I re-did for my classroom?

Well, see it's naked brother to the left? He's been sitting in my craft room waiting for his time to come. And that time was yesterday. These lamps were on sale for I think $5 each, so I figured whatever happened happened. I wanted to put another lamp in our living room since we don't have a ceiling fixture, and it may still be too small, but for now it works. So, I mod-podged some awesome scrapbook paper onto the lampshade. It's a purple floral pattern and I think it's a fun little color pop next to the TV (on top of the Turquoise tv credenza).

I also completed a smaller version of this project with one of my extra canvases.

I think my canvas was 11x20 or so. I had originally penciled out a geometric pattern on it to paint, so I painted over it with some white interior paint I had laying around (to touch up all of our trim when we moved here). With that done, I went with the method that the girl above used (link attached). I bought a $3 bottle of shoe polish with a sponge tip and wrote with that. Mine turned out a little lighter, but the strategy works great because you don't have to fill up your paintbrush, yet it turns out imperfectly perfect.

I poorly planned, however, and think I will re-do it. The words I chose stopped in a weird place and ended up bunched, so... It shouldn't take me long to paint over it and re-do... But, it looks great as a pop of personality in our downstairs bathroom.

I also used puff paint on a teeny tiny canvas I had, a la:
Not sure where I'll put it yet. It's small.

The snow kept me in today (and the homework), but I plan on picking up a few things at Target and Ikea (like a bathroom rug and some drawer organizers). I also found what I think will be our entry way runner. We desperately need one, and I think this will last:
What do you think? I might look into making one, but we'll see. Not sure if it will clash with our entry chair. Which I may change out for a bench... Changes!