Sunday, April 28, 2013


Enjoying each moment, BUT countdowns are fun too! : )

Graduation for Masters': 20 days
Last day of school: 43 days
Wedding: 76 days
Honeymoon: 78 days
First day of work: 97 days


Friday, April 26, 2013

GM Diet, Day 5

DISCLAIMER: I know these posts I wrote about the GM diet have been pinned and commented on, but make sure you consult with a doctor or nutritionist before beginning ANY diet, especially a drastic one like this. If you read the posts I wrote toward the end of the diet, you'll know I got very sick and ended it early... and also gained all of the weight back almost immediately. Make good choices! Be safe!

Well, I'm over the halfway mark, but this day was the hardest one for me so far.

Today's supposed to be beef and tomatoes. I like beef. I like tomatoes. I don't eat beef that much; usually we opt for ground turkey, chicken, pork, fish... beef is a rare occasion. I like tomatoes in sauces and salads, and generally don't eat them on their own.

The beef and the tomatoes together.... yechhhhh.

Earlier I felt so sick. After doing beef and tomatoes for both breakfast and lunch, I was done. When I started getting hungry around dinner time, I cheated a little and made tomato soup with extra diced tomatoes instead.   And.... I had a banana a little bit ago. That made me feel a little better, but I still don't feel good. I'm definitely not hungry. I definitely want other food.

Tomorrow is my gown fitting, and my mom is going with me. Afterward we are probably going out for lunch.  Tomorrow is beef and vegetables, and I am totally going to get a steak salad somewhere. I am so looking forward to it.

You know what else I'm looking forward to? This being over. I'm trying to hold my willpower and get to Sunday. I am just so ready to go back to eating normal things - not necessarily what I'd call my normal, because I'm going to cut back on carbs and caffeine. I've really noticed a difference in my energy levels this week, for the better. It's just... I need more variety in life! Ugh. Meanwhile, A. is sitting next to me watching the NFL Draft, drinking a beer and eating salsa and chips. (The beer is not appealing. However, I want those chips in my mouth, now.)

To make myself feel a little better, I looked up diet memes:

There are so many, but I'll stop there. : )

Have a good weekend, everyone! See you on the other side of the GM Diet. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013


DISCLAIMER: I know these posts I wrote about the GM diet have been pinned and commented on, but make sure you consult with a doctor or nutritionist before beginning ANY diet, especially a drastic one like this. If you read the posts I wrote toward the end of the diet, you'll know I got very sick and ended it early... and also gained all of the weight back almost immediately. Make good choices! Be safe!

The recipe for this banana milkshake is still good, though : ) I just, you know, recommend including it in a balanced diet.

I'm still going!

Today is Day Four of my GM Diet Adventure, which consists of milk, bananas, and soup.

This sounds like the weirdest combination of foods to eat for a whole day, ever... but it's really not that bad.

First of all, my appetite seems like it is in check. I had a banana and a glass of milk for breakfast (around 7) and I had another banana around 10:30, the next time I was hungry. And I had another banana for lunch. And when I came home, I made a banana smoothie.


I'm adding these to my regular repertoire. So delicious!!!

I took this recipe from the website and altered it a tiny bit.

1 1/2 cups ice
1 cup milk
2 bananas
a dash of cinnamon

The smoothie was a little bland with just the ice, milk, and bananas... and I didn't want to add vanilla, sugar, or sugar substitute. But while I was staring in my cabinet for inspiration, I thought... cinnamon would probably be good! AND IT WAS DELICIOUS. It was like liquid banana bread. Yum!

Then, I made this for dinner: 


I used:
4 cups water
1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
one small onion, chopped
two small green peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 cup chopped celery

I wasn't expecting much here. I'm really not a cabbage or celery fan. But, it was hot and filling, so... it wasn't the worst thing I've ever eaten. If I get hungry again later I'll probably heat some more up. 

Today's temptations included a cupcake one of my students brought me that she had brought in for her birthday, and two subs and a pizza A. brought home from work. UGH. Everything looked delicious. But was I hungry for any of it? Not really. Was I craving it? No. I cleaned my office when I came home today and stared a Mounds bar in the face for over an hour without feeling tempted. 

This diet has been successful so far, I'm just looking forward to eating my regular foods again... just in moderation. This morning when I weighed in, I was down 3.8 from Monday's weight. It's been exciting to see numbers on the scale I haven't seen in a while, because I have been plateaued at the same weight for about six months now.

Tomorrow is all beef and tomatoes. Mmmmmm....

I leave you with this funny picture I took at the grocery store the other day:

Have a good evening : )

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

GM Diet, day 3

DISCLAIMER: I know these posts I wrote about the GM diet have been pinned and commented on, but make sure you consult with a doctor or nutritionist before beginning ANY diet, especially a drastic one like this. If you read the posts I wrote toward the end of the diet, you'll know I got very sick and ended it early... and also gained all of the weight back almost immediately. Make good choices! Be safe!

For those of you just tuning in, I started the "GM Diet" on Monday. It has been a challenge at times and other times it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal.

However, when I weighed in this morning I was down 3.4 lbs since Monday, so that's a pretty big deal! Also, my school pants today felt realllllllllllly loose. Like Hammer Pants kind of loose. And that was pretty cool. (I'm sure it didn't look very awesome, but I felt good that they USED to be tight pants!)

Today's diet consisted of any fruits and veggies. For breakfast I had water and cantaloupe; for lunch I had another spinach salad with tomatoes, along with a baggie of sliced peppers; and for dinner I had - weird, I know - a mixed greens salad along with a side of green beans. As I mentioned yesterday, today I went out for dinner with my friends, and that combo is what I wound up with while eating out. It was alright. For snacks I had carrots, a pear, and peaches. And a ton (TON) of water.

Tomorrow is banana smoothie day!!! I'm so excited.

I have a massive headache right now and I think it's because today was my first real caffeine free day. I didn't have any tea today. By the time I got home at 8:30 I didn't think it was a smart idea. Sleep will be awesome.

I am noticing, however, that an ongoing health concern that I have seems to be... escalating. It's nothing to do with my diet, I promise. It's just something that my doctor tells me to keep an eye on, and I have been, and in the past week or so it is starting to worry me a little. I know I should probably go in to the doctor, but they're an hour and a half away- I haven't found a new doctor here yet. I should get on that too. I hope it's nothing, but it's on my mind.

And with that, I'm out... it's been a busy, long week so far; and it's going to be another busy long day tomorrow.

Catch up with you later : )

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The GM Diet, Day 2... aka how much I want a Klondike Bar

DISCLAIMER: I know these posts I wrote about the GM diet have been pinned and commented on, but make sure you consult with a doctor or nutritionist before beginning ANY diet, especially a drastic one like this. If you read the posts I wrote toward the end of the diet, you'll know I got very sick and ended it early... and also gained all of the weight back almost immediately. Make good choices! Be safe!

What would you doooooooooooo for a Klondike Bar?

Right now, I'm just trying not to destroy my persistence and motivation and rip my freezer apart.

For those of you who haven't seen it, this is one of the first things I ever pinned on Pinterest:

"For cleansing your body... 7 days = lose 10-17 pounds. I actually want to do this. It sounds incredible and delicious"

Like many other things I have pinned, it got buried in the depths of my Pinterest account and I forgot about it. (Actually, I forget about a lot of things on my Fitness board. I have good intentions, but when it comes to actually exercising.... ehhhh. I would exercise more if it didn't hurt my feet/knees/hips/back so much. Physically I'm an 80-year-old trapped in a 25 year old's body.)


Last weekend I met up with my college roomies again (twice in a month! LOVE IT) and one of them mentioned that she just did this diet last week and lost 5 pounds. I recognized it from this pin and decided to give it a second look. And on Sunday, I decided this was the week. Especially after all of the arts festival food I consumed on Saturday.

So the diet is called the GM Diet, and you can find specifics (not so much from the pin) here: Basically each day tackles one food group at a time, and forces you to consume gallons of water. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies anyway, and I try to drink mostly water, so I was like... I can do this. It's only 7 days. This is not an unrealistic goal. 

Image from
This is pretty much what it looks like...

Sunday - Monday

I went grocery shopping and bought lots of fruits and veggies - cantaloupes, apples, pears, pineapple, peaches, spinach, salad mix, cucumbers, celery, cabbage, onion, tomatoes, peppers, carrots. I bought bags of frozen, steam-able veggies. I got the beef and bananas needed for later in the week. And surprisingly, it wasn't a totally expensive shopping trip. And yesterday I started off with a bang - I ate roughly a quarter of a cantaloupe in addition to a clementine for breakfast, and drank two glasses of water before I even left for school. I packed my lunchbox full of fruit. I WAS DOING THIS.

Then I got to school and there was a birthday luncheon set up in the faculty room. I completely forgot it was yesterday. There were crockpots full of pulled pork and chicken chili and an entire table full of desserts, including brownies and chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. When I got to lunch and the people around me were eating all of that, I wanted to cry. BUT, I did the good thing- and I only sampled the fruit salad (lots of berries! yum) and ate what I brought. I drank from my liter of water. I ate so much fruit yesterday and drank so much water that I was full, and I wasn't necessarily craving sweets, because of all of the sugar in the fruit. But I knew the Klondike bars were in the freezer, and I wanted peanut butter in the worst way. I will confess that I was pretty jittery by about 7 PM, so I had a handful of peanuts. That was my only diversion all day from the diet.

Let's also discuss my Diet Coke addiction.

Damn you Diet Coke. Yes, I'll be back. I know I will.

I joke that it runs through my veins. I know it's not the best thing to drink. But I usually have a can each morning to wake up. (Someday I will own a Keurig, and make my own coffee...) This week I can't have any of the Diet Coke, so I think some of my jitters last night were from lack of caffeine. Then I looked at the GM website again and noticed I was allowed to drink black tea. Not my favorite beverage, but I have it in my cupboard. So that's worked its way into my diet this week too. It's good, because I know I need to cut the Diet Coke habit. It is just painful.


This morning I got to start the day with a baked potato. It was glorious. I know that sounds really weird - a baked potato for breakfast? - but seriously, after a day all fruits, having some starchy carbs was awesome. (Also, I found single microwavable potatoes at the grocery store... so that way I didn't have to buy a whole bag of potatoes!)

Also, I didn't feel so much like this:

I had carrots for a snack this morning, and then for lunch I had a huge spinach salad with tomatoes and light balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and half of a cucumber. For an afternoon snack I had a bag of sliced yellow and red peppers, and for dinner I had steamed Chinese vegetables. I'm starting to get hungry again though so I think the time is coming for another snack.

Basically, come hell or high water, I'm going to make it the whole week!

Tomorrow I have the next big obstacle in that I'm meeting my friends for dinner. I can eat any fruits or vegetables tomorrow, and I know that the place we're going can make a great salad - one of our usual group is vegan and I know she can find things to eat there. It's just going to be hard not to order a Diet Coke and a steak and steal some fries from someone's plate. ARGH. I am so excited for Thursday though and my banana shakes... mm mm mm!!!

But you know what? When I weighed myself this morning I was down 1.5 pounds from yesterday, so I'll take it. All I have to do is not go overboard after this diet ends, and hopefully I can maintain whatever weight I end up with.

AND on that happy note... have a great Wednesday everyone : )

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Monday

Hi guys,

I was planning a post in my head all day today. But I'm so, so very tired. And tomorrow is also a long day. So....

Just wanted to say hi!

And: Day 1 of the GM Diet is done... hallelujah!

Real post tomorrow, I hope.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My HP Fix: Sorceror's Stone

You guys.

This has been an exhausting week. For everyone in the country, I think. Exhausting.

On one hand, I can't believe we're over halfway through April.
On the other hand, I feel like this week lasted a million years.

At any rate, I am happy to (finally) bring to you my HP fix for this week. Better late than never!

This week we are all talking about The Sorcerer's Stone. (Or Philosopher's Stone, depending on the version you have.) The one that started it all. 

My absolute favorite part of the Sorcerer's Stone is the obstacle course set by the professors that the trio encounters toward the end of the book. As a kid, this was one of those page-turners that I couldn't put down, and I still think it is extremely well-written and engrossing. I love that each subject/professor has its own room and that combined, the trio has the smarts and wherewithall to make it through all of them. My favorite is the riddle in the Potions room (which was also, incidentally, pretty cool on Pottermore - I liked that they made you actually solve the riddle). 

I also like the Mirror of Erised. 

I think it's so important to understand how much Harry wishes for his family, and what a gift it is to him to be able to see them around him. I'm re-reading book 7 again right now (Kindle lending library FTW) and a few days ago reached the part where Harry was realizing Dumbledore may not have been truthful when he answered that he saw himself holding socks in the mirror. (I mean, really? But kids can be seriously gullible, so I can see how that didn't get a second thought until six years later.) 

Also, HEY invisibility cloak!

This is one of the things that came up on my Google images search for Invisibility Cloak.
Can we talk about how seriously WEIRD this is?

And if not for the Sorcerer's Stone, one of my favorite HP movie moments never would have happened:

On that note... have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Hi guys,

Tomorrow, April 19, is the six-year anniversary of my grandpa's death after a long fight with Alzeheimer's Disease. So since "Throwback Thursday" is a thing now, I found these pictures on my computer. I miss him and I wish he was still around for my wedding in July... I'll be thinking of him. <3

My grandparents at their wedding in 1956

Me and my grandpa on the swing outside my grandparents' house...
This is one of my favorite pictures EVER

At a birthday with my brother, cousin, and grandpa... I think I was about 6 years old here

Today we got good news that my uncle seems to be improving. Originally they were going to put a trach in today, instead of the vent he has been on, but apparently he was very responsive today and was even giving one of the nurses a hard time (typical) : ) So they are hoping they can actual get him off the vent by Saturday. Keep praying!!!

Have a good night, everyone,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dinner time Tuesday (and Wednesday)

I'm linking up with Becky again this week for Dinner Time Tuesday : )

Last night I had all of the fixings set out to make BLTs as soon as I was finished with my music lessons, because my last one was over at 5:30.

I was very happily surprised when I started up the stairs after my student left and already smelled frying bacon!!! : ) A. said he was hungry and he saw everything sitting there, so he figured he might as well start dinner. He had already sliced the tomatoes and he cooked all of the bacon, so all that was left for me to do was toast the bread and dump the shredded lettuce into a Tupperware container.

He loves me. : )

Tonight, to return the favor, I already made chili and mac and cheese (we ALWAYS, always combine those two things... it's a habit I picked up from my family, which they apparently picked up from my dad's family) and stored them in the fridge to heat up later. Wednesdays are my only traveling lesson days, and I'm done at 5 but not usually home til around 5:15-20. By that time A. has typically already found something to heat up, either leftovers or taquitos/chicken fingers from the freezer.


Yesterday I had a really bad day. I'm not sure why, exactly. The kids were nuts, but I think I was also short on patience due to my bad mood. I think I was in a bad mood because I was tired and feeling emotionally spent between my uncle and the situation in Boston. Regardless, I wound up going for two walks last night, and I didn't have a necessarily productive evening, but it was one I needed - watching brainless TV, playing my two new favorite games (Candy Crush and SongPop) and painting my nails. Today I felt a little bit better. Some things happened that did annoy me, but I got over it quicker, I guess.

ANYWAY. I hope you all have a fantastic day, and remember it's hump day! The weekend is getting closer. 
Peace out guys-

Monday, April 15, 2013

All you need is love.

I think, with all of the stressful and tragic things happening right now, it's a good time to list some good things that I am grateful for.

  • The power of music. Even when it makes you cry. Sometimes that's the best kind of cry to have.
  • Generosity.
    •  Last night one of my former students came over. I helped her out gratis for a college audition she had this spring. She brought me a nice card and some beautiful flowers as a thank you for my help. (This is especially awesome because we have zero plants for landscaping right now and also zero budget for that purpose.) 
    • Additionally, today I registered to walk in the Relay for Life, mainly because I've been feeling very helpless about my uncle's situation. I've walked before, but this year I didn't know how to fit in my schedule. Today I decided it had to fit. People have already donated $125 for my walk, for which I am extremely appreciative.
    • Also, when I was at my uncle's last weekend, my aunt offered A. and I some of her Hyatt points for the night before our honeymoon. She called and set it all up while I was sitting right there. With all of the things we have to pay for right now, I can't emphasize how huge this is! It meant a lot to me.
  • Love. A. and I had another meeting with our pastors yesterday for the wedding. I know it's not his favorite thing, but the fact that he is willing to go to these meetings with me means so much to me.
  • Return to "normalcy." Testing interrupted everything last week. It was so nice today to go back to reading books with my kids.
  • Having so many things to look forward to. Graduation, wedding, honeymoon, and now the job to plan for. Yes, it's a lot of stress. But it's also exciting!
  • My private studio. I've said it before, I'll say it again - it takes so much of my "free" time, and I know A. gets sad that he loses that time with me... but I love my private students. They have all been working so hard lately, and they are fun to talk to. I have some frustrating weeks with a few of them, but overall I just enjoy being able to teach music to such great people.
  • Reading. Lord knows after some of these long days, escaping into a book is a great luxury.
  • Puppies. I got to see my parents' dog this weekend (I still call her my puppy, anyway) and I love her so much. Even though she drives me a little crazy. And wouldn't let me sleep. And almost had a fight with a possum at 9 PM in the backyard. 
Z sleepin' with her platypus

My prayers tonight are divided in so many directions... I feel like so many people need help right now. Even though I've only been there once, I'm sending a few extra prayers up to Boston tonight. I'll be there in about a month for graduation. There is just too much senseless violence in this world. 

Take care of each other, 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Short and sweet


I'm making these delicious cookies...

AND I licked the batter right out of the bowl when I was done.
Don't even care. : )

Today was another day of standardized tests, and one of my kids opened his reading portion, looked at it, clamped both hands over his eyes, and went "UGHHH." 

I said, "Are you alright?"

He said, "I think my brain has officially turned into mush."

Granted I haven't been the one taking the test, but at this point, I feel that way too. Hence the yummy chocolate cookies.

<3 you all... thanks for your continued prayers for my uncle!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My HP Fix

Hi guys! 

I thinnnnnnnnk that the questions this week came from me, so it's interesting to see the answers that have been posted so far... K. is stirring up some controversy! : ) I'm excited to post my answers.

1. Which HP movie actor would you most like to hang out with for a day?
I love a lot of them, but I would be too intimidated to actually "hang out" with some of my favorite HP actors - namely, the Phelps twins, Maggie Smith, and Emma Watson.

I think I could chill with Evanna Lynch, though. Her Twitter feed is so fun, and she seems like such a down to earth person. She's been on a few Muggle Cast episodes and is a big HP fan herself. Yay Luna!

2. Do you think there should be a television miniseries made in the future based on the books?
There are a few key words in this question: "in the future." We need time to absorb the movies that were just made. And only if it was a cable-based show - on HBO or Showtime or something like that. NOT a channel like NBC, CBS, or God forbid, ABC family. (I love ABC Family but definitely not their original series... barf.) I think HBO and Showtime can do justice to epic stories like HP. I also think that JKR should have some involvement in it. The reason I am all about doing a miniseries is because there are so many fun details in the series that were left out in the movies due to time constraints - Peeves, Dumbledore's back story, heck, even Sirius giving Harry the two-way mirror. The series is so detail oriented that I think a miniseries, done correctly, would be really satisfying to fans of the books.

3. Be honest - do you want to see the movies remade with different actors sometime in the future?
I know I'm the one that asked this (I think so anyway) but I've seen this come up all over the internet... and my answer is no. It's like asking Star Wars fans if there should be a remake of the original. The HP movie series is not perfect by any means, but it would be so difficult to re-do it and do it differently enough to make it worth its while. The only reason I can foresee that would justify a remake would be some technological revolution in cinema (not 3-D). Other than that... nope, leave it alone.

Peace out : )

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Food and books... two of my favorite things


I know. Crazy.

Today I decided I'd like to share a few books I've read/been reading lately, and also link up to Dinner Time Thursday with Becky!

Tonight's dinner was....

Taco salad! Nom nom nom. I'm not a big taco fan, but in salad form, it is pretty good. 


"Fablehaven" - Brandon Mull

Last year a few of my students were reading these books, and I was vaguely interested. Then I got a Kindle for my birthday, and I was looking for cheap books to buy for it, and I remembered this series. 

I'm SO GLAD I did.

I promise you, if you like Harry Potter, you will enjoy Fablehaven. It's a fantasy series based on a teenage sister and brother. They go to their grandparents' house to stay for the summer and discover that it is actually a reservation for magical creatures. These books are so well written, and the stories so engrossing, it is really difficult to put them down. I've already read the series twice since last summer.... it's so good. Seriously. Check it out.

"The Five Love Languages" - Gary D. Chapman

I don't think this is a book I'd normally pick up just to read, but our pastor assigned it to me and A. for our pre-marital counseling. It's pretty interesting. The first chapter/prologue was a drag to get through, but once I reached the part about the love languages, it became more readable and less textbook.

(A. is not actually reading this... he's not much of a reader. I am giving him Cliff's Notes as I go. : )

I also just finished re-reading "Picture Perfect" by Jodi Picoult. It's a good book, but if you're going to read a Jodi Picoult book, you should check out "My Sister's Keeper," "Nineteen Minutes," "Plain Truth," or "House Rules." (NOT the movie for My Sister's Keeper, which was one of the worst book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen.)

And now I'm going to go back to re-reading HP & The Deathly Hallows. For about the twentieth time. : )
Speaking of HP, I'm sure I'll be back for the HP Weekly Fix tomorrow!
Til then-

Monday, April 8, 2013

I meant to play that wrong

Hi guys,

Today has been a pretty good day. Following the excellent start to my weekend, things got a little crazy and stressful. Huge thanks to those of you who sent prayers up for my uncle. He could still use more. His health is not improving like it should and we are all extremely concerned.

This week starts state standardized testing at my school, so I had to strip my room of all reading strategies, word walls, and anything that looks like it could ever help someone answer a question. Because I knew my kids would be stressed out about tests the rest of the week, and I don't really believe in cramming, we did a lot of word study games today, including this activity that I found in LLI and kind of developed into my own game:

Word Endings Group Activity

First, I make this ginormous list of words on the board, in columns that have endings listed above.

The students line up in front of the board. I remove the marker that I used to make the chart.

Two at a time, the students come up to the board and make the necessary adjustments to the words in each column. I let them pick whichever words they want to change, in whatever order. They use different colored markers to erase and add letters where needed.

When all of the words have been changed, I give each student the opportunity to make one "fix." For example, one student might have (in a rush) put an -est ending in the -er column. A student who has noticed this can fix the error so that it is not counted against them. 

Then we review the words as a group, with me at the board with a red marker. We discuss both right and wrong answers. This particular list has 45 words, so I told my 5th grade groups that they needed 35 or more words right to get a piece of candy. (Yes... I can use candy as an incentive, still.) They work as a team to make sure they get the most accurate answers possible. One of my groups today got 40/45 words correct after the "fix" round... I was very impressed!

You'll notice there are words up there with the intention of making the students think... like "run" and "swim" in the "-ed" column. 

Overall I think it's a pretty good exercise to get the students thinking about spelling, grammar, and words, and they still have fun. I've also used this activity in 2nd and 3rd grades, to different extents.

Also, exciting news today - I found out I am getting my full time job back next year!!!! : ) I'm excited! It's going to be busy and stressful but I will be teaching what I love and working full time. (Which will be especially helpful as the deferment for my grad school loans ends in September... haha)

Today's weather was gorgeous, also. I'm planning on wearing a dress with leggings tomorrow. I might be a little too excited for this. I'm so ready to get my open-toed shoes out.

This evening I had a few lessons, and one of my cello students had me cracking up. We were in the middle of playing a song and she started playing some wrong notes. I went to stop her and she says, "Oh yeah, I meant to play that wrong." I told her I'd love to start using that excuse when I don't know the answer to a question. "Oh yeah, I knew that was the wrong answer. I meant to answer that wrong." So silly.

I hope you are all having a great start to your week - enjoy the nice weather and take a minute to appreciate all of the good things in your life!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Things that have been happening

Oh heyyyyyyyyyy.

Things have been a little crazy lately.

* I have a meeting tomorrow that I am *hopeful* is about a full-time job for next year.

* I went to my friend B.'s new apartment on Friday for her housewarming party and to see my other BFFs S. & C. It was a ridiculous amount of fun. We, along with B's roommate and her friends, played this fantastic game:

It's like the game Telephone, where you whisper a sentence into someone's ear and see if the statement can make it the whole way around a circle of people... only you use PICTURES instead. Hysterical.

* Then on Saturday I went shopping (and eating) with B, C, and S. We had such a good time. I love them so much and I'm glad I've been seeing them more often in spite of the house/wedding/job insanity.

* This morning A. and I went out to breakfast with his family at Bob Evans. It was a nice time. : )

* Today I have been trying to get things crossed off my list, and also A. ran the dishwasher, vacuumed, and moved all of our patio furniture/hose/grill out of the garage. I don't know what got into him but I like it!!! haha

The thing is, my uncle got really sick this week and nobody really knew how sick until my aunt talked to him on Friday. He was diagnosed with cancer last year, and did monthly chemo treatments, and was told he was cancer free after his last treatment at the end of March. However, he got really weak following the treatments and evidently didn't do anything about it. He is currently in the hospital with some kind of mystery pneumonia or bacterial infection - they can't even figure out what exactly is wrong, so they don't know how to treat him. Apparently he was just admitted to the ICU. So..... my uncle definitely needs prayers more than I do right now, and if you have a minute to send some his way, I would definitely appreciate it. My uncle is my godfather, as well, and I care about him and love him very much. 

This week is bound to be interesting, one way or another.

On the bright side, the weather is supposed to be beautiful!

Until next time - 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

Ok, guys.

I need prayers, thoughts, crossed fingers, whatever you have to offer.

For the past two years I have been, for the most part, unemployed in the "grown up" sense. I was laid off from my music teaching job, that I loved, in 2011 due to state budget cuts to education. I applied to a thousand places and did a few interviews and nothing panned out. So I took a break and worked on my Masters and did a musical and even got hired as a long-term substitute teaching music. Loved that too. That position got cut too.

Why, oh why, do the arts always get CUT????


So I finished my Masters, and this year took a part-time position as a teaching assistant in the district that furloughed me originally.

There is a chance that I might be able to come back full time as a music teacher next year. Doing what I love.

A chance.

I have become very skeptical of these things over the last two years.

A. and I really need this to work out. Both financially and for my sanity. I can't really complain too much, because I have been a very fortunate person. I like to think I made lemonade out of my lemons. I did a lot of great stuff while I haven't been working full time, met some awesome people, accomplished a lot. We bought a house. We got engaged. Other than the job thing, life has treated me pretty well. I have really supportive friends and family, and of course A. has been my rock throughout this entire ordeal.

I just really, really want this job.

One of the fun things I did at my long-term-sub job.

Thanks <3
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My HP Fix: Pottermore - my 50th post!

You guys!

This is my 50th post! And I get to share it with My Harry Potter Fix! YAY!

Today's post is all about Pottermore. I have mixed feelings about Pottermore. Mostly because half the time I try to get on there, this is what happens:

My username is FeatherVine67. 
I was sorted into Ravenclaw, but I sort of always knew I would be a Ravenclaw.
I love the quizzes to determine your House and your Wand; how they are half logical and half completely random questions. 
I can't wait until we get to Patronuses... I really hope we have a Patronus quiz as well : )
My "pet" is an owl, which is terrible because I am terrified of birds. But when I had to pick an animal - and this is so dorky - I figured the owl was the most useful creature to pick. 

I am not so much into the Potion brewing... takes too long and I just can't get it right.
I blame my lack of interest in all things science and chemistry.
I do enjoy the dueling feature, though.

My favorite part of Pottermore is definitely the extra content and background information from JKR. 
Also the illustrations are beautiful.
I did submit a picture of the flying keys for the "Charms" chamber in the Sorceror's Stone section. Go check it out. : )

Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring cleaning

Hey guys,

I think we solved the mystery of the cough. Well, A. did. Yesterday afternoon my head just kept hurting worse and worse, and I kept sneezing, and I said it felt like every time I inhaled through my nose, I felt like I was breathing in chlorine. A. suffers from some pretty intense allergies and takes a Zyrtec daily, pretty much, and he realized that my symptoms were mostly allergy symptoms. So... I'm going to take one in the morning and hope that solves my problems, because I have felt like I've been in a fog all day long!

Despite my fog, I also got some more cleaning/unpacking/organizing done. Since the 10-day forecast for us includes some temps in the mid-60s, I decided it was time to switch out the heavy sweaters for some nice spring clothes. As I went to start the old heave-ho where I drop all of my clothes on the bed and then decide  where to put each garment, I had this inspiration.

Yes. Underbed storage bags.

I don't know why I never thought of them before. Seriously. We registered for an under-bed shoe storage bag, so I don't know why the garment ones didn't set a lightbulb off over my head. Our old place had plenty of places to store things - so it wasn't necessary there - but under the bed at our new home is empty. We keep nothing under there. UNTIL NOW.

So instead of switching my clothes from closet to closet, I put some of my bulkier, heavier sweaters in the storage bags and put them under the bed instead. MY CLOSET LOOKS SO MUCH BIGGER. 

I also picked up some clear plastic storage containers, and started transferring the holiday decorations into those instead of the cardboard boxes that they were in before. It is so nice to not have a stack of cardboard boxes in the closet when I open it. I can see everything that is in each container, which I also like. 

Anyway, I hope that if you are spring cleaning, it's going well for you; and that if you celebrate Easter, you had a wonderful weekend. : )