Friday, July 29, 2016

Five On Friday

Hello, All!  Happy Friday (Again)!  I'm linking up with Amy for the last Five on Friday until September.  I guess that means I'm going to have to make a HUGE effort to post next month (maybe I should set some goals for August?!).  This link up motivates me... even if I don't post during the week, I try really hard to get one done for Friday.  We'll see what next month brings.  I may have actually have things to chat about.  Lots of plans in the works!  Here's my week in review...

1)  Finally spent the whole day at the beach with friends.  Ah... there's nothing better than hanging out, chatting, toes in the sand, watching the kids play in the water, and just soaking up the sun.  Beautifully lazy day with nowhere to be and nothing else to do be enjoy the moments.
Nothing cuter than babies at the beach :)
2)  I've been plugging along on my "quick" cross stitch project.  It really should be done by now, but it's getting there.  I'm making it for my "new" classroom (and really to give myself something to do as I wait for my kids through the seemingly endless doctor, dentist, and other miscellaneous appointments/activities we have throughout the summer.) 
Not much more to do
3)  I finished another book this week...
It was interesting, it held my attention, and I liked how all the various story lines entwined at the end of the book.  A friend also recommended another book by Kimberly McCreight... Reconstructing Amelia.  Looks like another visit to the library is in my future.

4)  Adulting... Ugh.  Every once in a while, I try to get my act together.  This week was packed with things I have been ignoring putting off for far too long.  Home refinancing, comparing insurance quotes, student loan options... Who made me in charge of all this???  One of the "biggies" this week... I bit the bullet and contacted a contractor to give us a quote on some renovation work I'd like to have done.  I am excited about just the possibility of getting a major project off the things-to-do list!

5) Logically, I KNOW that there is still time.  I really am trying to not stress out but the reality is.... summer is ending.  Not summer exactly, but the "vacation" aspect is mostly done.  I met with my new principal this week.  I went to work to introduce myself (and maybe get a glimpse of my room).  She's lovely, but my room?  I have an anxiety attack whenever I think about it.  It's not good.  I'm going in next week to start getting things sorted out... Wish me luck!!  Until then, I'm going to...
Keep Calm and Think about the Beach :)

 Have a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, July 22, 2016


Happy Friday... That was another QUICK week!!  I have just returned from Minnesota.  What a GREAT experience.  I don't talk about it often, but I love my union job.  I am the vice president of my teachers' union and, while it is certainly NOT all flowers and roses on a day to day basis, I am proud to be a union member and love the work that we do.  Going to the AFT Convention always makes me appreciate what unionism is and I leave feeling empowered, informed, and excited about where we are going as a union and as a profession.  So, here's my week in a quick review for Five On Friday...

1) Food, fabulous food.... We ALWAYS eat well when we go away.  The group I travel with loves to check out new places and new dining experiences.  Two places on the bucket list?  Hell's Kitchen and Matt's Bar.  Both highly recommended... opposite in ambiance and both totally delivered.  Matt's Bar was a hole-in-the-wall local diner with fabulous food (Wine served in a juice glass?  Yup, my kind of place!)  Other great places that we visited...  Britt's Pub (great place for lunch) and Murray's (La-di-da, but oh so good).  
Matt's Bar is home to the Juicy Lucy... Cheese-filled yumminess on a bun!
2) Sight seeing... we didn't do a whole lot this trip.  It really was a working "vacation".  I love walking around new places and soaking up the culture around me.  All cities have a different vibe.  Minnesota is a calm, quiet city to visit, much different from the frenetic pace back home.  These two funky creatures were a cool part of our landscape every day and are worth mentioning.
The Moose

And the Wolf
3) Mall of America...  OMG.  This mall is the Holy Grail of all things shopping.  Over 530 stores, 50 restaurants, AND an indoor amusements park (among other attractions), it is AMAZING.  There just wasn't enough time to see it all, or even a quarter of it... So, being the mature adults we are, my friend and I ditched the guys we were traveling with and went to the amusement park.  Such fun!!  I would go back to Minnesota for this reason alone.
Indoor roller coasters and a flume ride?  Yes, please!

Had to include this... Just one small part of the Lego display.  And yes, it is entirely made out of Lego's.
4) Ok, this is a biggy.  I really am a small town girl who grew up to be a teacher.  I work in a small state, in a small district.  I am definitely not in the world of "big players".  To even think that I would even be in the same room with someone truly distinguished or noteworthy is almost laughable.  BUT... It happened!  I feel privileged to have heard Hillary Clinton speak about her platform on education, health care, and social equity (among other things).  I really have no words to sum up the experience.  Appreciated?  Hopeful?  Optimistic?  I guess the best word would be reinvested.  I am looking forward to the debate season like never before.  It will be interesting, that's for sure.            
5) There is SO MUCH more I could share with you.  There were so many interesting speakers that just fascinated me.  We heard from senators, mayors, union bigwigs, international representatives, and every day people who have made unionism their lives.  I won't bore you with it though... I totally understand that politics are not for everyone!  So... here I am... 

Home Again, Home Again... I came home to new landscaping and big plans in the works for my house.  Yay, motivation!!  Despite the unrelenting heat, my hubby is making huge strides towards improving our home's curb appeal.
Looking better already!
It doesn't take much to make me happy... A great week has gone by, things are looking up around the homestead, and I am currently being treated to a fabulous display of lightening as a thunderstorm rolls through my area.  I'd like to make these summer days go by a bit slower... I'm not quite ready to get back to the real world.      

Have a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Away We Go

I am traveling for work this week.  Posting from my phone... Not sure how that's going to go! Anywho.  Other than a brief delay in starting out, we had an uneventful trip out to Minnesota.  
The weather is lovely and we've already had one fantastic meal.  We had to go... It called to us :) 

I started this little cutie on the plane.  Made the flight go by quickly!  

I'm sure today is going to be packed with things to do.  Spending most of the day here....
And then?  Who knows?  Looking forward to a busy day! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

That was fast...

How is it Friday again already???  Slow down, Summer... I'm not ready to break up yet!  I have been busy this week getting ready for a business trip that I leave for on Sunday.  It is a biannual convention that is being hosted in Minnesota this year.  I am traveling with work friends and we always have a great time.  Looking forward to that!  Looking back on this week, here are my Five On Friday...

1) I realized that I have been slacking on my reading.  Usually I read as much as I can in the summer but I have been so burned out from all that I did in the spring when I was working on National Board re-certification.  A friend was excited about a book she had just started so I went to the library and checked out A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams.   

Meh, it was "alright".   It didn't strain my brain any to read it, but I am a little disappointed that it wasn't better.  Anyone have any good reads they'd like to recommend??

2) I am on a mission to finish a cross stitch sampler that I have had for years.  I have been trying to squeeze in time every day to work on it and I am pleased to say it is almost done!!  I am already prepping for the next two projects on my to-do list (a quickie one to bring with me when I go away and another one that I am excited to start... more on that later!)
So close to being done :)
3) This week I managed to stay on track with walking.  I did at least 10,000 steps every day.  I'm not going to lie... some days were torture and I BARELY made my goal, but overall, it was a very successful week!  I have switched up my walking route and have a pretty good routine going (which will all fall apart while I'm away, but hopefully I'll pick right up where I left off when I come back).  I've mentioned before that I love walking in my neighborhood... it's just a nice place to be :)
Wish my yard was no nicely landscaped!
4) I am something "different".  So not me, but I figured I'd give it a go.  I have a long history of back issues and for whatever reason, my back has been bad since the beginning of this year.  Nothing has worked to improve the situation and I have been very frustrated.  I started acupuncture this week and I am "cautiously optimistic" that it is making a difference!  I don't really understand how sticking needles in my hands, arms, and ankles effects my back, but I'll take the relief the treatments are providing.  I would love to be pain free again... Not quite there yet, but I am hopeful!
Have you ever tried acupuncture?  Did it work for you?
5) Food, glorious food.  So walking was a great success.  Sticking to WW?  I may have had some issues with that.  But in my defense, how does one say no when at a party.  With cake.  And ice cream.  And maybe some wine.  *Sigh* I really am my own worst enemy.        
True story.
     Hope everyone had a wonderful week! 

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Little of This and That...

Happy Friday, Everyone!!  It's hard to believe the first week of July is already done and dusted.  This week has flown by!  After the crazy school year I had, I am now taking things slow.  I am even a little territorial about my time...I am not interested in being on the go or planning every second of my day to get the "most" out of summer vacation.  I am quite content poking around the house and tending to things that have been pushed to the back burner.  That doesn't mean I have become a recluse though!  My five things this week include...

1) Fourth of July fun with my family :)  Every year my aunt has a party on the Fourth where we basically just hang out, eat good food, laugh, drink, and enjoy being together.  The kids swim in the pool, run around, play games, and end the day with some Sparkler fun.  What a great way to celebrate summer!!
My nephew and cousin's little boy

My cousin's little girl and my niece showing her brother some love :)
2) I went to the movies TWICE this week!  I can't remember the last time a saw a movie at a theater... I'm not sure why because I love the cinema experience.  Tuesday night, I went with my Girlie to see Conjuring 2.  SO GOOD!  I love scary movies! It was a bonus to hang out with my girl :)
Scary goodness!
Last night, I went to see Central Intelligence with some work friends.  We were a little hesitant because it didn't get glowing reviews, but we all thought it was funny and had a great time.  It didn't hurt that Dwayne Johnson is very nice to look at :)
3)  I love the beach and I am always sad at the end of the summer when I realize I haven't made the time to go soak up the sun and relax by the ocean.  This summer will be no different because the reality is that my skin only does two colors... white and red.  "Tan" barely happens and brown... nope.  Instead of days by the ocean and cycles of burning and peeling, I have been stealing a few moments here and there to chill at our local beach.  I'll grab lunch and go down for an hour or so just to enjoy the view, smell the salty air, and listen to the waves lightly crash on the shoreline.    
Just love that view
4) School work is never far from my mind.  I am currently obsessing over book bins for my classroom.  I NEED a minimum of thirty-six to get my library center organized.  I have thirty-one bins so far and have been going store to store anxiously searching for five more.  It's very frustrating!!  I have even looked on line to order them, but no go.  I can't wait to finish the project... It is making my heart happy to think about how very zen my new room is going to be!!  (We must never tell my husband how much money I spend on all this silliness!)   
Can't wait to finish this project!!
5) I have completely fallen off the dieting wagon.  TRYING hard to reign myself back in.  The struggle is real.  I am setting new goals (let's be honest...they are not "new" goals.  I should say I am pushing "reset" and doing what I know works for me).  I am committing to tracking those points through Weight Watchers every day and MOVING.  10,000 steps a day, no excuses!      
Yup.  Sadly, I've been there.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Enjoy!!