Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: End of March!

Well, see you later March!
I feel like you just arrived, but I guess it's time for you to go.
March has seemed very busy.
There were lots of school conferences, meetings and presentations and not to forget a sweet little baby being born.
While March was great, I'm looking forward to April.
Today I'm rounding out the month with What's Up Wednesday.




At the end of each month MelShay and Sheaffer share 
What's Up Wednesday!!!
We answer a series of questions and one extra one special to that month.
This month we're answering...
What's your favorite spring wardrobe piece?


What we're eating this week:

We've got a wide variety of food items for the week. 

Zucchini Casserole

Mint Chocolate Bundt Cake

Simple and Easy Peanut Butter Pie

Homemade Doughnuts

Bubble Up Pizza Casserole
Andrea shared this recipe last week.
I made it over the weekend, and we're still enjoying the last of it.


What I'm reminiscing about:

Last year at this time my whole life revolved around planning our wedding.
The other day I was trying to book some hotel rooms and rental car for an upcoming trip, and I got to thinking back on everything that I had to book last year.

It was about this time now that our initial wedding planner just wasn't working so I had to find a new one with only about 2 months left till our wedding.

What I'm loving:

It's Spring!!
Last weekend I had the best time enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. 
I'm just so happy to wear a t-shirt and shorts again. 
Also, I love all of the birds chirping. 
There's just something about waking up to birds singing!!


What we've been up to:

Last weekend we got our yard all ready for spring.
Washing windows, picking up sticks, pulling weeds

I'm still in the process of growing geraniums and impatiens inside, too.

What I'm dreading:

The two things that I put on my list last month are now over.

We had our state testing for language arts and our students nailed it!
Now, I can't tell you their scores because we don't score them, but I can tell you that their effort was phenomenal!
It's really hard to motivate 13 and 14 year-olds at times, especially when it comes to taking a test that doesn't matter to them and won't have any influence on if they pass 8th grade or not.
Our test is two hours long on two different days, and the students did a great job of being focused and working diligently!

Monday was my periodontist check-up
Thankfully everything went as planned, and they said my gums look good!
So six more months until the next check-up.

What I'm working on:

I'm prepping a lot of things for next school year.
Since our testing is over now, and we still have two months of school left, I'm working a lot on fixing lessons for next year.
I'm working on new ideas and new books.

Also, I'm working on rearranging my room and purchasing a book scanner to check in and out the books in my classroom.
I love the setup of my classroom right now, but I need the wall that's behind my desk to put bookshelves.

What I'm excited about:

So, we've been on a variety of trips in the past year.
We went to New York, Marathon, Key West, Bahamas, Mexico.
Some of them I booked myself and some we had help with.
I just love vacationing and planning it so much that I'm looking into becoming a travel specialist/agent.
I'm not really sure about the process, but I really do love it and would like to see if that's something that I could work on part time.
It would allow me to have a bit of a job in the summers when I'm off teaching, and I could work on it throughout the year after school.
So, if you know anything about that process, let me know!


What I'm watching/reading:

The Voice
I'm not a TV person, but I enjoyed watching The Voice last year at my parents.
Every now and again I remember and turn it on.
I think the judges make the show.
They always have the funniest things to say, and they really like to harass each other.
As successful as they all are, they enjoy giving each other a hard time.

March Madness
My dad, brother and I always fill out a bracket for March Madness.
We enjoy razzing each other throughout March on who is in the lead.
I was all giddy that my winning team was still in as of last Saturday morning.
Then Kansas lost it for me!
I don't watch much of the first half of any of the games, but I enjoy the last 8 minutes of them all.

Sarah Dessen

via
If you're a reader and enjoy a good realistic fiction book, you need to read Sarah Dessen's books!
I read Lock and Key a while ago, and then recently I read Saint Anything.
I loved those books so much that I just finished What Happened to Goodbye.
This one was my favorite of them all.
A little realistic story with a soft love twist are my favorites.
We have a 40 Book Challenge at school, and I need to be reading fantasy/science fiction books, but I just can't stand them.
If it's not realistic, my mind doesn't understand it.
So, if you have any great fantasy books in mind, let me know!
I need to read some before my students beat me in this challenge!

What I'm listening to:

Good ole XM.
I haven't been listening to anything specific recently, just XM.

What I'm wearing:

It's that time of year where it's starting to be cold in the morning and warmer in the afternoons. 
I've been trying to get one last wear out of my sweaters before packing them away. 

What I'm doing this weekend:

This weekend we have a baby shower and nothing else!
Hooray for another reading and baking filled weekend!

What I'm looking forward to next month:

There isn't anything specific that I'm looking forward to next month. 
The nice weather and sights and sounds of spring seem exciting enough!


What else is new:

Our friend's had their first baby at the beginning of the month.
We are so happy for them and have enjoyed adding a baby to our circle of friends.

What's Your Favorite Spring Wardrobe Piece:

I'm all about cardigans this time of the year!
Monday and Tuesday it was relatively nice out but freezing in my classroom. 
Our school was built partially in ground, so it tends to stay cooler. 
I had a long sleeve top on and a cardigan and a jacket on both days. 
I love to layer, so that in the afternoons when things warm up I can shed a layer.

See you later March!
Hoping for a calm and sunny April!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mystery Meal Cafe

What a weekend!
This weekend it was 70+ degrees, and we had no plans!
Those are my favorite weekends!

On Friday night we visited with friends who just had a baby. 
I got to hold Baby Avery while she slept for nearly two hours! 
How sweet and tiny she is!
What a miracle in what God can do with our bodies!
I'm still amazed at the whole process of birth and life. 

Saturday I forced myself to stay in bed until 7. 
Not that I was sleeping, but I enjoyed just laying there, which isn't something I normally do. 
Alex had to work, so I had the day to myself. 
I was able to do all of our laundry from the week, clean our sheets, sweep, run and read. 
One of my favorite things to do on a nice, sunny, warm day is read.
I'm really loving all of Sarah Dessen's books. 
So I indulged in What Happened to Goodbye for a bit before heading outside to clean up the yard. 
I picked up leaves and sticks and then made Shay's Lemon Bundt cake. 

After that I needed to prep for our evening dinner. 
My aunt is full of great ideas. 
She wowed me last April for my bridal shower







and then I got a text this past week inviting us to dinner. 

This is what she wrote:
Please join us for a dinner party on Saturday March 25 at 5:30 pm
The theme is "You're all heroes in our eyes"
Please dress in attire of one of your favorite heroes or characters.

Unfortunately, Alex was working, so I went with my parents. 
Earlier in the week when Alex asked my brother what he was dressing as, he said me (Beth).
So, I took his smart idea because I knew he wasn't being serious and went with it. 
I decided to dress like him (my brother). 

If you know anything about us, we are pretty much opposites. 
He is loud, big, muscular, likes to stay up late, probably has more shoes than me and is diabetic. 
I had a good time finding all of my props in his room at my parents. 
I wore a Superman shirt, black sweat pants that kept falling down, some Jordan shoes, a Pittsburgh Pirates hat, took his lunch box full of not food but safety glasses, an iPad mini, cards, pens and a bag of Sun Chips, along with his protein shaker, a gallon of water and an old glucose meter.
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of us all dressed up, but I do of the dinner. 

We were welcomed to the Mystery Meal Cafe.
Below you will see our menu.

We had three courses and had to look at the menu to the left and arrange what we wanted in the three different course selections to the right.

My aunt put up a sheet as a door from their dining room to the kitchen, so it was like we were actually at a restaurant with the kitchen hidden.

We had no idea what the menu items were. 
They took our order and then brought out each of our courses
Course 1...

 A knife, Reese's egg, thin mint cookie, green bean casserole and some potato chips. 
After finishing course 1, we got course 2...
 This was scrumptious!
Ice cream, tangerine, fork, toothpick, pineapple, strawberry, blueberries and black raspberry.

Finally, we ended with course 3...
Salad, Chicken Divan, carrot cake roll, cheeseburger soup and spoon. 

We were laughing the whole way through. 
Now, you can make the menu so that the descriptions match the item that comes out. 
For instance, #1 on the menu was Titanic's Demise, which would have been an ice cube, but they decided to give us an actual food item instead. 
My aunt used the menu title and actual item for a few things, but they ran out of time, so they had to improvise with some other items. 

She found it on Pinterest, so if you are looking for something fun to do, check it out here

That's it for my weekend. 
Sunday we spent the day outside washing windows and screens and cleaning up our grape arbor. 
The 70 degree weather was phenomenal, even if it did rain a bit. 
I'm hoping the nice weather will continue. 
I love running in the winter, but wow was my run on Saturday so effortless and enjoyable with shorts and a t-shirt...until I got chased by a dog to end out my 4 miles!
Have a great week!
Get out and enjoy that sunshine!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites: Where Are You March?!

Hooray for Friday!
The last few Thursday's have been whirlwinds, so I'm glad to be back sharing my faves. 
Today I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week.

Baby!!!

Two of my dearest friends had their first baby!
This is the first baby to our friend's group!!

I was so fortunate to get to sneak a peak at her and hold her when she was just barely 24 hours old!
I loved every second of it!
Tonight we're going over again to visit.
Can't wait to end my Friday with sweet little miss!


Banana Republic Friends and Family Sale


I hit the jackpot a couple weekends ago at the Banana Republic Friends and Family sale. 
I got 5 pairs of jeans that FIT me!!
Woohoo!
It's so hard to find pants that fit, so I'm ecstatic when I do. 

Scalloped Dress

via

Stylish Petite shared this photo on Instagram earlier in the week.
I just love the classy, sleek look of this scalloped dress.
You can find the dress here.
It comes in 4 colors.
I love that it comes from Macy's.
A store that's actually within an hour of me.
I have some gift cards and I'm sure I can find a coupon, so I might actually invest in this simple, cute dress!


Chocolate Mint Cake

Last weekend I made this scrumptious chocolate mint cake found in Mix and Match Mama's bundt cakes book.

I made it for home and then one for work.
Everyone loved the hint of mint!!


Plant Update

These are the first seeds that I planted-Geraniums. 
I recently transplanted them into larger containers.

Here are some newer impatiens.

The weather is starting to break, and I'm looking forward to some warmer temperatures this weekend. 
Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Clarisonic

I got my first Clarisonic somewhere around 2010.
I went to my dermatologist for a regular checkup and stopped by their boutique on the way out. 
I think they were having some type of promotion, but I couldn't leave with the Clarisonic that day. 
They mailed it to me, and boy has that little machine worked great for the past 7 years!

I noticed a few months back that mine wasn't charging like normal.
I needed to charge it much more often than I used to.
One day it just wouldn't turn on.
It makes a sound, but it won't fully click over.
I've tried leaving it charged for days and still nothing.

The thing that I love about Clarisonic is how helpful their customer service department is.
I called to ask if there was anything else I could do to get mine to work again.
The gentleman I talked to was so courteous and walked me through some steps before determining that it must have just worn out.

I was very pleased with their service when he offered a coupon code to buy a new Clarisonic at a discounted price.
So, now I'm in the hunt for my new Clarisonic.
The old one I had they no longer manufacture, so I need to pick out a new one and choose fast.
My coupon code expires at the end of the month, so I'm weighing my options and hope to decide this week.

Mia 1


This cleanser seems like the closest to my old Clarisonic.
It has one speed and removes dirt and oil.
$129


Mia 2


This cleanser has 2 speeds-delicate and normal.
It seems very similar to the Mia 1 except that it has 2 speeds instead of one.
While my skin can definitely feel fragile, I'm not sure that I really need the two speeds.
Usually if my skin was irritated, I would just skip the Clarisonic for a day.
$169

Mia FIT


The Mi FIT is sleeker, slimmer and has two speeds-delicate and powercleanse.
It seems similar to the Mia 1 and 2 except it seems like more of an updated model.
I'm not really sure that I need all of this.
It's not like I'm going to be caring it around places with me.
I buy it, place it in my bathroom and no one ever sees it.
$219


Mia Smart Profile

This cleanser is a whole body one.
It has four speeds and will automatically adjust speeds depending on what type of skin you are on.
This machine sounds super smart, but I can't say that I would want to use my Clarisonic on my whole body.
$299

For some reason my computer keeps freezing.
I wish I could show you some larger images of the products.
Do any of you have one of these newer models from Clarisonic?

I really wondered if it was worth the $.
I wasn't sure that I was going to replace mine, but honestly I can tell such a difference without it.
I love the smooth feeling of my skin when I use it, but even more I love how clear my pores are.
I can already see the buildup around my nose and my chin.
Even though this seems like a splurge, I think I'm going to save in the long run.

I've always had temperamental skin.
I spend so much time washing, moisturizing and treating my skin, yet some days I feel like you wouldn't even be able to tell that I do all of that.
I wish I was lucky enough to have perfect flawless skin, but I guess God didn't choose that for me.
So, I'm going to use the best products I can to help me out.

Please let me know your thoughts on any products by Clarisonic.
I'm guessing I will go with Mia 1 or Mia 2.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Workin' It: Balancing Work and Home

Hey Ladies!
Today I'm linking up with Shay and Erika to share how I'm workin' it!!
You should grab their graphic and linkup too!


Today's post it about how we balance work and home. 


This is a great topic. 
I'm so excited to see how everyone else seems to manage life at work and life at home. 

This can be so so hard sometimes. 
I tend to get in over my head at work. 
Sure, we have set hours, but truthfully I don't even know what they are because there's so much work to be done that I'm always there before and after our required time. 
I find it extremely hard to separate work and home. 
So, I can't wait to see all of your tricks and tips to help me out. 

Being a teacher is sometimes the best profession ever and sometimes not. 
I get so caught up in trying to do the best at my job that I really put too much time and effort in it compared to my life at home. 

Once upon a time I was skipping out on Sunday meals at my grandma's and not doing anything besides grading and planning. 
I would wake up early, go to work, come home, plan and do it all over again. 
I slowly started to despise my job because it was stealing the life out of me. 
My co-workers were quick to tell me that you have to put an end to it. 
The papers are never done being graded and there's always another lesson to plan, but you can't kill yourself over it. 

Here's how I work teaching and home life. 
It's not awesome, but it's better than it was. 


I Get Up Early and Go To Work Early

I'm a morning person, and I know that, so I capitalize on it. 
I know that I do my best work in the morning, so I set my alarm early and head to school. 
I love being the first person there. 
I can make copies without a line, prepare my day, grade and lesson plan without being disturbed!

Then, when the bell rings at the end of the day, I clean up the day's mess, get things organized for the next day and leave. 
I want to go home and enjoy the sunshine, run and see my husband.
It's best that I go to work while he is still sleeping, so that I can come home to him in the afternoon. 
I really really really hope that one day when we decide to have a family that this will work. 

Right now I go to work before my husband and get home after him, which stinks but it is what it is. 
I have a commute to work, so that doesn't help, but I'm hoping that he can get the kids ready for the sitters/school, and I can pick them up.

This is the spot that welcomes me every morning right around 6 am!




Sunday Planning

I love to plan out my outfits and meals on the weekend. 
Usually I wash all of our clothes, set out my outfits for the week and iron/steam them on Saturday or Sunday. 
I hate being rushed, so this allows me to premake any meals that I can, along with having my clothes ready, so that there's no hassle in the morning. 
My week goes so much better when this happens. 
If for instance we go on a trip and I don't have my clothes or meals ready, life just seems bad. 
I love planning things out so much that if we are going on a trip over the weekend, I will plan out more outfits, so that they cross over into the following week so that I'm planned and ready to go when we get home. 

 Pack Your Lunch

I'm not a happy person when I'm hungry, so I pack my own lunch and do it the night before. 
This kind have falls into the category above, but I thought it should be it's own category. 
I put my silverware, napkin, and snacks in my lunch bag the night before. 
In addition, I portion out anything that needs kept in the refrigerator so that all I have to do is pull them out in the morning, throw them in my bag and go. 
This helps me from eating junk and having good nutritious meals. 

In addition, I pack my husbands lunch. 
We're opposites in the fact that he's not going to prepare anything ahead of time. 
He will be running out the door to work at the last second. 
To prevent him from eating junk, I pack his lunch too. 
This helps him to eat healthy meals and have it ready at his fingertips in the morning.

Limit After Hours

This is super hard, but I've been trying to limit the hours that I spend at home on grading and lesson planning. 
I try to keep myself from working over 1-2 hours at night and even try not to work one whole day on the weekends. 
This is definitely the hardest. 
If I know Alex has someplace to go, I will pull out school stuff because then I don't feel guilty.
The problem is when he's home and doesn't have anything to do, and I have a list a mile long. 
The more years that I teach, the easier it gets, but still teaching is time consuming. 
I think my students deserve my best, but so does my husband. 

All tips and tricks of how teachers balance work and home are GREATLY appreciated!!
Props to you moms who balance teaching and a family!!
I don't know how you do it!! :)


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Christmas Getaways

The title might seem a bit puzzling, but I love planning ahead. 
My husband and I have a big goal to hit. 
If we hit it by the end of the year, we are going to celebrate someplace warm and fun!

I need YOUR help in planning. 
Since I'm definitely type A and love to have things organized and planned out ahead of time, I've been working on planning out ideas for where we might want to go. 

Last summer we got married in Marathon, Florida
We enjoyed our time at the Courtyard Marriott
 I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful place to get married!

 We enjoyed Marathon and the Keys and then set sail on our first cruise...

Royal Caribbean treated us well!
We didn't love Nassau, but we're actually going back here in a few months. 
CocoCay was gorgeous!
 And our last stop was again at Key West...just miles away from where we said "I Do!"


We rounded out the summer in Mexico with friends!
 Secret Silversands had the best sports and entertainment team!
They made the days fun and fly by. 
Unfortunately, the beach was rocky and full of seaweed, so we spent our time by the pools!


This summer we are ready to set sail on another cruise to Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. 

Have you been to any of those ports?
If so, comment below on what you loved or hated about them. 
I'm in the process of booking excursions and other fun things. 
Last time we booked with Royal Caribbean; however, this time we're on Carnival because our Norwegian trip got changed to Cuba, and I'm not sure that they have the clear blue water and white sandy beaches that we're looking for. 
We will even get to celebrate our first anniversary on the cruise!

In addition, our hope is that we will get to round out our year someplace warm. 
We're thinking of going on a 4-5 night getaway to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, etc. 
I need your help. 
Where would you suggest we go?
It would be right after Christmas through the new year. 
There are SO many resorts that I thought I'd gather some feedback from those who have gone to different resorts in warm, sunny, tropical places. 
Would you return?
Do you have other suggestions!
Even if you haven't been, do you know someone who has or have you heard good things about a certain place?
I'm all ears today!
Thanks so much for your help!