Thursday, August 30, 2012


I had my first faculty meeting yesterday.

I got to see the inside of my first teacher's lounge.

I am going to be assisting in teaching a fiesty group of 7th grade science students.

In my other classes, I get to make a pressed plant collection, learn how about all the state standards for teaching, play with microbes, and write an autobiography of how I learned to read.

All in all, I think this semester is going to be fantastic! Yay!

Five years ago, I had the best day.

My five year wedding anniversary was a bit wonky this year.

It was spent on planes, traveling home from Virginia. Oddly enough, Nic and I have had several anniversaries spent on vacation with my family. We have only had one or two where we did the traditional dinner or whatever.

This year, since five years is kind of like a first milestone, I decided to do something neat.

I found a wonderful lady who was able to recreate our wedding cake top layer for us.

See, my wedding cake was the best wedding cake ever. Seriously, I'm not joking.

Yep, those are mushrooms and ferns and acorns and mossy green loveliness. Nic loved our cake as much as I did, which made it even more awesome.

Here's the recreation, five years later.

Pretty close, no? If you have need of a cake, contact Julie. She's amazing.

Also, it was delicious.

My wedding was so fun and simple. We had it in my mother's back yard, a perfect setting for a small ceremony and reception. I decorated the arbor set up myself. On my wedding day. I'm a detail oriented type person, so it wouldn't do to have had anyone else do it. Plus, how fun is it to decorate for such a happy day?

The hubster and I are not formal issue type people. We wanted to be comfy and wanted the same for everyone else. The groomsmen wore shorts and my ladies wore flipflops! Casual, but beautiful.

Remember how I said I liked details? My bridesmaids had contrasting flowers against their tops. Then the ribbon contrasted the flower and the top. I did that on purpose. Hehe. Assigning flowers probably drove the ladies crazy, but it was worth it.

Lily was so excited to be in my wedding, I had her walk me down the aisle. Look at her chubby little cheeky face! Awwwwww! She looked gorgeous. I had made her a ribbon headband to wear in her pretty hair and she thought that was so neat. I also let her carry my tossing flowers as she walked down the aisle with me. Being two at the time, she thought she was pretty special.

Our food was fantastic, we made it all ourselves. (Thanks mom!) We had a candy bar that was a super big hit with all the kids that were there. We had to have a wedding in fast forward because it rained. We also had the sounds of a rock concert serenading us since I forgot that it was taking place on the same day and less than a mile away.

I would have changed a thing. It was perfect for us. Now that my sister is engaged, it's fun to compare how she wants her dream wedding. Totally opposite from mine and it will be just fabulous. I love weddings!

Happy anniversary husbandy face, love of my life! Here's to 500 more years of being married to the best guy ever!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Beachy vacation pictures part three.

So as part of our stay in Virginia beach at the house of wonders, we got a family photo session down at the beach.

Neato frito, right?

Seeing as how that portion of my family hadn't had a group shot in years and there were three more children added into the mix, it was perfect timing.

My mom, who is also an amateur photographer, took some pictures herself while we were down there.  These are all her photos, and they're so pretty!

My pretty baby Sage was just tickled by her soon to be uncle Mike. She was smiling and laughing. I adore this one. What a smile.

Nic and Lily took a walk down by the beach and my mom managed to grab some candid photos of them. They are so cute when they are in their own special world together. I swear, those two have their own secret language. Makes my heart happy.

Here's the one of all of us. Didn't it turn out great!?!?! Nice and simple, but I love the grass and sand in the background. She did an amazing job. I can't wait to see what the actual photographer turned up with. It will be great to have the family photo of all of us too.

Well, that's all the vacation photos I have to share! Now it's off to prepare for the first day of school (for me) tomorrow! Lily doesn't start for a week. Nic should have an interesting week at home with both our girls while I'm off expanding my knowledge and whatnot! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Vacation of the beachy sort part two.

Ok, forgive me.

In the craziness that is back to school prep, I have about four different posts I need to get done.

So I'm going to get right on that instead of packing up my school bags for tomorrow. :) Priorities, right?

There's plenty of time to play with binders in a bit.

So back to the beach... (I wish I was still there!)

The one big excursion we had was to the Virginia Aquarium. I never miss a chance to see fishies.

Haha, look at my little hippie family! Too bad I wasn't it tie dye. It would have been perfect! This was the coolest tunnel thingy. Each triangle had a lighted picture with a reflective mirror above and to the sides. End result was a visual overload of wonder.

Nic's favorite animal was the komodo dragon. He keeps telling me he'll have one of these as a pet someday and I keep telling him they're endangered and it's illegal to own them. I try and placate him and tell him we'll get a tortoise of some sort, but it's only have way successful.

We saw lots of sharks. Grr. It's funny that it was also Shark Week. Lily was full of shark talk after watching some of Shark Week and seeing real live sharks. It's a wonder she wasn't terrified of them.

Lily thought sitting on the dolphin was super cool. Going on excursions with this little lady is an exercise in... well... exercise. Trying to keep up with her is exhausting, but totally worth it. She actually asked if this was once a real live dolphin. Uh, no dearie.

I am a turtle fanatic. It's no coincidence that all of the souvenirs I bought had turtle something. This guy was really cool. I had never seen an albino turtle before.

I can't decide if Auntie Alli or Lily was more excited to see a Dory fish. (Just keep swimming... just keep swimming...just keep swimming swimming swimming...)

JELLYFISH! Yay! So cool. The tank was lit up with black light and they GLOWED. I was in awe.

Nic can keep his dragon, I want one of these guys. Aside from the fact that my dream is slightly more realistic, these lionfish are just freaking awesome. Toxic, yes. Wicked? Absolutely. I have about 10 pictures of these guys on my phone.

Lastly, this lobster was gi-normous. He was as long as my arm. Talk about one expensive lobster dinner....haha. I kid, I kid.

And for the finale, one more of my happy hippie family. Ha! I love that Sage passed out holding her bottle in her mouth. Poor little girl was just too tired from all the excitement!

We got the chance to pet sting rays too, but I missed out on pictures of that. Lily was quite proud of herself. I thought they felt like wet jello.

All in all, totally worth leaving the beach for a day.

I have one more set of vacation photos to post, another about my FIVE year wedding anniversary, and the big reveal about the sheet yarn. I'll get caught up eventually. I might also be surprising you all with a guest post at a fellow bloggy mama's little slice of the interwebs. Neat!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome home!

Woo. Vacations are so very lovely. Especially when they are beachy vacations!

Traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart. I've heard that before, but it bears repeating. Flying across country with a baby is killer work on the arms and shoulders. I felt like I was run over by a truck at the end of travel days. However, it could have been a lot worse. My kids actually did fine. Lily had never flown before and she did great. She got her travel wings and ate peanuts. Both of these things are apparently high up on the list of coolest things ever.

We spent a wonderful, blissful, relaxing in Virginia. We stayed in this HUGE house in Sandbridge. Need a place to go relax? Go there. It's beautiful. I could hear the ocean from my bedroom. There was a hammock to snooze in.

Our house had its own pool, was 2 minute walk to the beach, and large enough that it didn't feel crowded with ten adults and six kids. Lily was the oldest, I might add. Every day was crazy in a fun insane type of way.

The area we were in was nice and tucked away from any major tourist trap boardwalks or crap like that. I'm so not that type of vacationer. There was a boardwalk in Virginia Beach, but it was kind of nasty. Sandbridge was much prettier.

Every morning, after waking up about 7am, we would feed kids, throw on swimsuits, and head down to the beach. The kids set out to dig a big hole each morning. Sometimes we would return back to the same hole and keep going. The largest hole got deep enough to have my tall Lily girl drop out of sight.

Once the kids got tired of the beach, we headed back to the house to laze at the pool. Well, as much as six children who all love swimming would let us. I was so tickled to find out that Sage is a water baby! She LOVED playing in the water. She would cry and grump every time I took her out.

Lily was a bit more timid, but by the end of the first two days she would get her head wet and swim in the deep end by herself. She created a game called "fishie fishie" and I think she jumped off the side at least 100 times. The kids had a synchronized jump-a-thon that was hilarious. Counting to three at the same time seems to be difficult at that age range. Hee.

I have so much more to share! We had a wonderful time at the aquarium, took some great family pictures on the beach, and lost our luggage on the ride home! I'll share more pictures soon! 

P.S. I haven't forgotten that I left you hanging about my sheet yarn surprise, and that unveiling is coming soon! I got distracted by vacation. Ha!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

After three days of tearing up the sheets...

... I have sheet yarn!! Hee!

I have sore wrists, string everywhere, and a confused husband, but it's done. Four (very old) king sized sheets, thanks to my mother's linen closet, are now in strips to make a new crafty creation!

FYI, tearing sheets into strips is oddly therapeutic.

I don't want to ruin the surprise of what I'm making with this wonderful stuff, but it's going to be neat!

Any guesses on what I'm making? :) :) :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

To-Do Tuesday.

I just need to start asking for Home Depot / Joann's / Michaels's gift cards for all birthday, holiday, and special occasion gifts. I have way too many projects that I would love to try. Here's some of my current favorites: 

I am particularly fond of mushrooms. They're neat. I did a Biology experiment assignment where I grew my own mushrooms (oysters... delicious!) and have been oddly enamored ever since. Here's my latest mushroom love:

I found this photo here!
I have had a hard time finding out the original ideaster behind these adorable garden mushrooms, but they're stunning. They are also a perfect excuse for me to buy those pretty crystal dishes I always see at the thrift store. What a great way to create your own fairy garden!!

Over at Patina White, there is some really neat decorating using world globes.

I found this photo here!

Every self respecting teacher needs a globe and a good inspirational quote or two. This is a match made in heaven! I will have something like this in my someday classroom. Maybe when I get over my fear of power tools. 

I have also found a way to make use of the paint chip samples I can't stop myself from collecting. I've just about got the hubster convinced that our bedroom wall would look awesome like this:

I found this photo here!

I love rainbow anything. This seems like an amazing way to spruce up a wall that I can't paint. They used painters tape to adhere to the wall, so it would be easy enough to take down. I think this would be great in our ever changing rainbow bedroom. You can find more paint chip projects here.

As if I don't already have space issues in my house, I have been trying to figure out (since we moved in) how to fit a piano somewhere. I miss playing every day and I really want my girls to learn. Also, I want to try my hand at painting a piano.

I found this photo here!
Pinterest has so many wonderfully bright, happy pianos. When I finally get a bigger house or decide I don't need a living room couch... I'm getting my piano and it's going to be painted. No boring black in my house! :)

Moving back into the land of Realistic Crafty Projects, I am loving the rag rugs I am seeing lately. And kudos to the genius who had the idea of using jelly rolls or whatever you call them (packs of fabric strips for quilting) to save time on cutting. 

I found this photo here!
No one actually mentions how long it takes them to hand sew these babies together. Anyone know? I imagine it would be fairly simple to braid the strips. However, hand stitching and I don't get along so well. I have also seen some stunning rugs done with grocery bags or with (swoon) wool roving. I can't seem to find multicolored grocery bags though, and I don't have a bajillion dollars to spend on that much roving. I'll stick with fabric! :) I did find one tutorial that used a machine to stitch the rug together, so maybe there is hope for me yet.

Well, that's it for this week's to-do list. I may accomplish one of these projects in a year or two! HA! I need to take a vacation with my crafty supplies and my sewing machine. One weekend, no sleep, and no interruptions, I could get a whole pile of to-do items done! Of course, then I would complain about missing my babies and the husbandy face. Can't ever win!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Winner winner chicken dinner!

So, my kitchen was in a total revolt yesterday. Of course, it happened because I was in a cooking kind of mood. I had plans for mozzarella chicken, rolls, and no bake cookies. I had a time restraint because husband had to be to work in an hour. It all went straight to hell.

I'm telling ya, one teeny tiny kitchen fire and Husbandy Face (who's a cook in a big kitchen) was up in my cooking business like I had burnt half the house down. 

Was it my fault there was some tiny piece of trapped food that caught flame? No. Who kept her cool and grabbed the baking soda and had it out in about 30 seconds? This lady right here. We're talking about a flame less than two inches high, I'll remind you. Still, he hovered. Which started to get really, really annoying. So I sent him to the store because I "really" wanted a rootbeer. 

While he was gone, I loaded my chicken in the oven, put on my water to boil, and cruised my cookbooks. I had no bake cookies on the brain, but it's always fun to check if there is something else that sounds yummy. Fifteen minutes later when hubs got home, still no water boiling. Uh-oh. I opened the oven, no blast of heat. Crap. It was time to start panicking about why my stove was not working. 

It took some unplugging and plugging back in, a quick google for stove troubleshooting, and a run outside to the breaker box, but I was back in business. I set the timer on my microwave for the chicken, got my water heating up again, and went back to puttering. Husband had about twenty minutes to get to work at this point and he comes into the kitchen. The laundry, including his work clothes, wasn't dry. When the breaker flipped on the stove, it flipped on the dryer too. Oops. So not only did he not have time for a meal, he was going to work in damp clothes.

Oh, and also, my microwave went dead. Gah! 

So despite all the hassle, I got my yummy chicken and pasta done, and it was nom nom nom. If you're looking for quick and (usually) easy, this is a dinner recipe for you. It's like Chicken Parmesan without the breading. Allow me to share the recipe. :)

Mozzarella Chicken

Chicken breasts
FRESH (or buffalo, depending on where you live. Same thing, different names.) Mozzarella
One jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. (One is enough for four large chicken breasts. I suggest Alby's organic sauces. Nom.)
Pasta of your choice. 

You'll want to brown the outsides of the breasts, just 4 or 5 minutes on each side. I salted and peppered them first. Hopefully your stove doesn't decide to hate you and this goes smoothly.

While they are browning, slice your cheese. Yes, this stuff is soft and squishy, so it's hard to slice, but it doesn't have to be pretty.

Once the chicken breasts are browned, put them in a large baking dish and top them with the mozzarella. 

Pour your sauce over all of it, covering the chicken breasts completely. Use the whole jar, because you will use the sauce on top of your pasta once it comes out of the oven.

Throw it in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, again depending on the size of your chicken. Mine was giant sized, so it took the full 30. I would just temp it or, cut into one and check it to see if you need more time.

While the chicken is in the oven, boil your water (again, good luck with your stove!) and cook your pasta.

Plate everything, and enjoy...hopefully not by yourself because your husband had to go to work before dinner was done. Ha! I saved his portion in the fridge, which he didn't eat last night when he got home! I think he was worried it wasn't going to taste good after all the madness. His loss, my lunch time gain.

Easy peasy recipe, right? It's delicious too. This would be a good one to take to someone in need of a dinner, or make the night before if you're always short on time like I am. Thanks once again to my mama for coming up with this yumminess.

Hope you enjoy!

I have linked this post to...

The Shabby Nest
Going Green with the Grizls

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hey, I remember doing those!

Who loves pointless surveys that provide useless personal tidbits? This lady right here.

Thanks to Rach over at Waffles & Cereal for providing me the means to play all nostalgic about the days when I spent hours doing Myspace surveys to keep my eyes open at work.

A is for age: Twenty-seven.

B is for breakfast today: half a bowl of Lucky Charms. Lily stole the other half.

C is for currently craving: a regular bra. I hate nursing bras. Wait, that was probably TMI...awkward. We'll go with a nice, quiet, bubble bath.

D is for dinner tonight: Carino's. My hubster got the hook up for free food, yo.

E is for favorite type of exercise: Playing freeze dance with Lily. She can't contain her wiggles so I always win. ;)

F is for an irrational fear: dirty dish water. If it's turned a different color, has icky food floaties, or feels slimy, I'm not having it.

G is for gross food: Biscuits and gravy. Let's be real, it's sludge for breakfast.

H is for hometown: Idaho Falls, ID.

I is for something important: Education. Or ice cream.

J is for current favorite jam: It's not my usual cup of tea, but that "We are Young" song by Fun. It's snappy and gets stuck in my head.

K is for kids: Love, love, love kids. If I could afford them, I'd have a houseful.

L is for current location: My living room.

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Dog food. That stuff is getting expensive. I wonder if I could make my own dog food?

O is for occupation: student in college / stay at home mama.

P is for pet peeve: Leaving the lights on.

Q is for a quote:

R is for random fact about you: I read 10 books last week. My husband is considering therapy options, as he thinks it's downright freaky that I like to read so much.

S is for favorite healthy snack: avocado slices on crackers.

T is for favorite treat: Ice cream.

U is for something that makes you unique: My dreadlocks just turned three years old on the 27th of July. Since I often pull the dreadlocks card though, I'll give you another one. I can say the alphabet backwards better than I can say it forwards. Result of working in a library once upon a time.

V is for favorite vegetable: It's all about the zucchini.

W is for today’s workout: Bathing two children.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: none that I can recall.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Lily's dance class. You can't top that kind of entertainment.

Z is for your time zone: Mountain.

Well that wraps it up! I have to say, it felt pretty good to waste time for a bit. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More baby toys, because they're soft and squishy.

So, my world is full of babies lately! Yay babies!!

I have a brand new itty bitty niece who just came into the world. So very exciting! Finally, I am no longer the only "kid" with kids! A weird thing to be excited about, but it works for me.

I also have a friend who is just about ready to bring her darling boy into the world. She had the coolest shower, which I had to miss to go out of town with my mom and sister to do her wedding dress shopping. Another thing to squee about which I can't get into here because this is a baby post, not a wedding post. Two totally different types of squee-worthy madness.

Anyway, You know how it's now cool to have an activity at your shower instead of games? Or is that only the showers I'm attending? Seriously, crafty is the new mom middle name, because every shower I go to these days has me making a hair bow or some such thing. Well, this shower that I had to miss chose to do the best. freaking. activity. ever. They tie-dyed onesies. HOW COOL IS THAT?! That may be the hippie in me talking, but that is so fantastic. I really wish I could have been there. Ah, regrets.

Even though I missed out on all the fun, of course, I had to make the new mama a baby gift. Baby gifts are so darn happy. I had so much fun with the last baby toy gift I made, I decided to try some new ones.

After much searching and getting sidetracked by pinterest, I found this tutorial from Make It and Love It. It's a soft block and rings. Lily calls the rings a chewy chain. The tutorials are nice and clear with some great pictures. I have been itching to do something in black, white, and yellow. I have seen such cute baby gear in those colors lately.

I added in a crinkle toy because they are so quick and fun. (You can find my post about that tutorial tryout here.) I have started hoarding bits of ribbon from wherever I find it since I started making these crinkle toys. I have a whole ziploc bag full of ribbon bits. Ha.

The block was quick too, until I got to the hand stitching part. I hate hand stitching. It feels like I am cheating on my sewing machine. Plus, I'm no good at it. It took me longer to stitch a one inch whole than it did to sew the whole rest of the block.

I found a genius way to make a rattle at a {day} with lil mama stuart. Take one easter egg, add beads, presto. Instant rattle. Oddly enough, I could find an easter egg, but my bead box had deserted me and so I used pennies. Yup, they were the closest thing I had handy that could make noise. I glued the egg shut so it wouldn't open. So the block makes a rattle sound, but it's surrounded by soft squishy goodness. I stayed up way past bedtime making Sage her own block. She grabs onto it, squeezes it to death and throws it across the room.

The chain was a little more difficult than I anticipated. Trust me, totally worth the effort.

I had a duh moment and sewed a ring shut before I connected it. Try not to do that. Also, keep the rings skinny, you won't be able to sew them shut otherwise. That part is a bit tricky. However, once you're done, you have a washable, chewy toy that is perfect for little hands to hold onto. I'm making one of these for Sagey Poo too.

Instead of a card, I wrote a quick note in a book. Mama and baby will see it each time they read together! Another great pinterest idea. I was going to include a little poem about the gift being handmade, but ran out of time. That's always something to do next time. With three more friends and family who have babies on the way, I'll have lots of practice making toys and gear!

I have linked this post to...
Tip Junkie handmade projectsHome is where the heart is. - Link it up! - Wednesdays - The Shabby Nest
Going Green with the Grizls
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