March 31, 2011

vera bradley summer 2011

I'm most definitely a Vera Bradley junkie. Last week the company came out with its Summer 2011 collection, and these items made my wish list.

A cosmetic case in Watercolor...but I'd use it for pens and pencils : )

Travel bag in Deco Daisy

I would love some note stationary in English Meadow.

But the Viva la Vera pattern is definitely my new favorite!

Do you like Vera Bradley? What new pattern is your favorite?

March 30, 2011

March 29, 2011

design dreams: kitchen envy

As I mentioned on my spring break to-do list, I plan on cooking and baking a bit during spring break. I wish I could have one of these kitchens cook in, bake in, read and drink tea in, to generally love. What would your dream kitchen be like?

March 28, 2011

my life: spring break to-do list

  1. Catch up with friends over coffee.
  2. Bake some sweets.
  3. Cook a new meal.
  4. Talk, laugh, watch movies, eat dinner, and play cards with family.
  5. Walk the dogs.
  6. Chat and watch TV shows with the boyfriend via Skype.
  7. Grade papers and plan lessons.
  8. Work out.
  9. Apply for jobs.
  10. Read a few magazines and a book or two.
  11. Daydream.

What would be on your spring break to-do list?

March 26, 2011

weekly gems

How was everyone's week? Mine went pretty well, mostly because I followed the quote above, getting enjoyment out of morning skinny vanilla lattes, thought-provoking conversations, catching up on blogs, walks with the dog, and baking brownies. I am still enjoying the little things today as Dan, Madison, and I are visiting Dan's family this weekend. We'll head back to school tomorrow, and Monday morning I'll head home for a few days...because I am finally on spring break!! : ) What are your favorite spring break activities?

  • This hydrangea cake and the painting that inspired it are both beautiful! These tiramisu cups look delicious, too. And I'd like to make these cake pops for Easter this year.
  • Awesome tips for building your blog, whether it's a design blog or not.
  • Love me some JGL ; )
  • A 200-year old love letter was found! What a feeds my hopeless romantic soul.
  • Tributes to the late, great Elizabeth Taylor - here and here. And an all-photo tribute here.
  • Super excited about Glamour's cookbook!
  • Cute and classy bangles.
  • These tips on shopping for books are excellent.
  • Thoughts on the new additions to the Oxford English Dictionary?
  • I read The Magician's Nephew for a book report in 5th grade and totally loved it. If it does actually get made into a movie, I will be first in line to see it!
  • Beautiful paintings.

Image: my Pinterest

March 24, 2011

LOL: everyone loves recess

Remember a couple months ago when I posted about elementary school kids' thoughts on a pet cheetah? Well, my dear teacher friend recently shared another question and response set with me. The question this time was: "If you could change any school rule, what would it be?"

Student responses...
  • "If I could change any school rule it would be no homework on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday."
  • ‎"If I could change any school rule I would change 30 minutes of recess to have an hour of recess because I want more time to play tag."
  • "If I could change any rule in school it would be to have an extra recess whenever we want to."
  • "If I could change any school rule it would be that every grade gets a break at 2:30 pm."
  • "If I could change a school rule I say we can have recess for the whole school day."
  • "If I could change a school rule it would be that everybody could go to the gym whenever they want to."
  • ‎"If I could change any school rule it would be the no talking rule because I always get in trouble for talking."
  • "If I could change a school rule it would be to have lunch for free because if kids don't have money they will still get lunch." [This sweet student was unaware many students at the school already benefit from free/reduced lunch]
  • "If I could change any school rule it would be the one about running in the hall." [My teacher friend assures me this student meant running in the hall should be allowed]
If you could have changed any school rule during your K-12 years, what would you have changed?

image source

March 23, 2011

design dreams: map decor

I have been drawn to maps used as decor lately. I love traveling and geography in general, and I think maps are both fun and stimulating when used in the home. A whole wall covered in map wallpaper is a bit much for me, but I like some touches here and there. What do you think?

All images: my Pinterest

March 18, 2011

(belated) weekly gems

Hi, everyone. Sorry about the delay in this week's weekly gems. As you may know if you read this blog often, I've been sick on and off for about three weeks. Over the next couple of weeks, I need to pull back and rest a lot to ensure I get fully better/don't get worse. I want to thank you for continuing to read even though posts have been a bit unpredictable. Posting will be a bit sporadic this week as well, but should finally be back on track the last week of March.

Images: my Pinterest

March 17, 2011

pet love: dogs are a (wo)man's best friend

I'm sorry for the lack of a post yesterday and the late post today. I stayed home from school yesterday and had an adventurous experience at the health center, but I'm doing much better today. How are you all doing so far this week?

I have always deeply loved my family's pets, but for some reason this week I have been especially grateful for my dog, Madison...probably because it's been rather stressful and tiring. In any case, I was very excited to discover a few articles about pets (especially dogs) that seem to be popular this week.

Have you read any interesting articles about animals lately? Or about special things in your life that keep you happy?

Photo 1, author original
Photo 2, Pinterest

March 14, 2011

things that are making me happy

Hello, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty darn good. The next couple of weeks before my spring break are going to be relatively busy, but I'm feeling very optimistic about them. So, in the spirit of positivity and starting the week off on bright note, here's my latest list of things that are making me happy. What is making you happy today?

  1. Starbucks skinny vanilla lattes. Sometimes with a chocolate chip cookie.
  2. The movie Death at a Funeral (streaming instantly on Netflix!)
  3. Hearing birds chirp outside in the mornings.
  4. Hosting a yummy pasta and wine dinner for friends Saturday night.
  5. A kind neighbor returning my iPhone to me when I lost it this weekend.
  6. This amazing, inspiring article about a teenager whose leg was amputated (you must read it!).
  7. Finally starting to feel better after being under the weather for a few weeks.
  8. St. Patrick's Day on Thursday giving me the opportunity to wear a cute new green top.
  9. Already having my lesson plans for the next two weeks outlined.
  10. The weather starting to get nice enough to go for long walks in the park again with Dan and Madison.

P.S. Sorry for the accidental, not-complete posts
as of late. I swear I'll fix my posting problem!

March 11, 2011

weekly gems

Hello, everyone! How was your week? Mine was extremely busy, filled with lesson planning and trying to catch up on grading since I was sick all last week. I actually had to go to the doctor's again - turns out I have an ear and a sinus infection! I should finally be getting better over the next few days, which is good because this weekend I have to take an exam for my teaching license. I'm also having dinner with friends and resting a lot. What are you doing this weekend?

Some lovely links for you...

Image source: my Pinterest

March 10, 2011

outfit envy

Earlier this week, I had a post about office envy. Today I'm feeling some outfit envy - I guess I'm just having a daydreaming sort of week! I really like all the elements of the outfits featured above (source: my Pinterest). They're providing me with some definite inspiration for my New Year's All Year Challenge goal of building a wardrobe with intention. What fashion finds are inspiring you lately?

March 9, 2011

gm & gratitude

The GM commercial embedded below was released this past holiday season. It came on while I was watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and totally caught me off guard - I actually started tearing up. In my opinion, liking the commercial has nothing to do with whether or not you supported GM receiving a major government bailout. It has to do with failing, trying again, being supported in your efforts to succeed, and expressing gratitude for that support. Last week with being sick, and this week with trying to catch up on things, I'm feeling pretty darn grateful for the people and the support I have in my life. What are you grateful for this week?

March 8, 2011

design dreams: office envy

After four years of college, I can't wait until I have my own designated office space that's not also part of my bedroom. I love the options above. What would your perfect home office be like?

March 7, 2011

update: month two

Hello everybody! How was your weekend? Mine was nice! I still felt pretty under the weather Saturday, but staying home all day, napping, and watching TV with my boyfriend and dog helped. Sunday I worked on teaching things, baked brownies, and visited with friends.

Today is the first Monday of March, which means it's time for my New Year's, All Year Challenge update for the month of February. Here are the goals for 2011 I made progress on in February:
  • Get a full-time job teaching social studies grades 7-12 and/or apply to graduate school. I've gathered my references, finalized my resume, and applied for jobs.
  • Cook one new recipe a month. My friend Claire and I made up a delicious pasta dish.
  • Create and wear wardrobe with intention. I picked up classic black pants, cute tops, and an awesome white watch from Kohl's.
  • Reach a healthy BMI. I've made a tiny bit of progress...but it's exciting : )
  • Eat at least two servings of both fruits and veggies every day. Doing well with this still! Especially on the weekdays. Now I need to step it up on the weekends.
  • Work out at least 3 times a week. I bought Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and began it before I started getting sick. I'm excited to get back with it!
  • Teach Madison how to stay and give paw. She is still doing really well with stay!

I mentioned in January's update that the challenge wasn't progressing as well as I had hoped. Unfortunately, that is still true. I think this is for a few reasons:
  1. February is a short month. Only 28 days to get things done. I swear this must matter! ; )
  2. I started building up the sickness that kept me housebound all last week.
  3. February made up the bulk of my first full month of student teaching, which was an adjustment.
That actually brings up the bigger reason why I know I'm having trouble making changes - this semester is very different from the rest of college, and I guess the rest of my life (although that sounds really dramatic). I'm in student teaching! so I'm adjusting to the demands of a full-time job that I've never done before, while working part-time and trying as much as possible to enjoy my last semester of college. When I realized this, I wondered to myself, am I crazy to be attempting these resolutions this year, when I'm in student teaching, job searching, graduating, moving, etc.?

But then I realized, there is never a convenient time to make changes. If it wasn't graduating, moving and getting a job, it would be adjusting to a new job. Or going to grad school. Or getting married. Or moving again. Or having kids. Or SOMETHING. Luckily for me, 2011 has 12 months, and I've always subscribed to the theory that slow and steady wins the race.

It's not too late to join the Challenge! E-mail me if you want to get involved. What goals are you working on and how do you deal with roadblocks?

March 4, 2011

weekly gems

How was everyone's week? Mine was kind of a blur of sleeping, lesson planning, and watching TV - I've been pretty sick all week. Hopefully resting all weekend will help me regain more health and strength so I'm ready to rejoin the world on Monday! What are you up to this weekend?

Here are the weekly gems I came across during some of my waking hours this week:
  • For Toy Story fans out there: Toy Story short films are on their way!
  • Prince William & Kate Middleton's wedding website! I'm such a Kate fan, I can't wait : )
  • I love Mary's blog, and felt inspired by this post on balance.
  • Totally want this sweatshirt. And this book.
  • This "we're your parents" post made my heart swell.
  • Proposal + Disney + roller coaster = awesome.
  • Yesssss Matchbook Magazine issue two.
  • Have you heard this song? I love it!
  • I adore Up's Dug!
  • The power of positive thinking and some happiness tips! And similarly, a Things We Forget I think a lot of people need to hear during the tough days of winter.
  • The flowers in this wedding are gorgeous.

Photo found here

March 3, 2011

bookmark it: pinterest

Have you heard of Pinterest? It's starting to become a pretty talked-about website among bloggers. Mackenzie of Design Darling described it as "tumblr 2.0," which I think is a pretty accurate description. I love it! It is an excellent place for to house virtual inspiration boards for various projects, or to use as a collection of visual bookmarks for recipes, shopping finds, etc.

I totally recommend checking it out. Here are my profile/boards!

March 2, 2011

oscars recap

So here it is, a couple days late - my mini-Oscars recap. It's mini for a couple reasons: 1) I've been pretty sick this week, and 2) I didn't actually get to watch the Oscars. I don't have a digital TV or cable, so I don't get TV reception.

Here is the complete list of Oscar winners. I was very displeased The Social Network did not win Best Picture or Best Director - I thought it was the best movie of the year. To be fair, though, I didn't see The King's Speech. Did anyone see both of them? If so, which of those two did you think deserved the award? Were there any awards you were particularly happy or upset about? I was definitely pleased Social Network won Best Score and Toy Story 3 won Best Animated Feature.

Of course, I must mention the fashion of the evening! Picks and some more picks for best Oscar gowns of 2011 - Mila Kunis, Reese Witherspoon, and Amy Adams were my favorites. And just for fun - a slideshow of best Oscar gowns ever (I love the looks of Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway). What gowns did you love from this year? From years past?

Finally, here's a montage of the evening's best moments, both funny and touching.

March 1, 2011

my life: happy birthday...

On March 1st, to the following loves of my life:

My amazing boyfriend Dan. We've had our ups and downs, but we've always been there for each other and have learned a lot about life and relationships. We share the same values and have so many of the same goals. He always makes me laugh and puts others first, and is an incredible teacher and "puppy daddy." I love you sweetie, happy birthday! : )

The great state of Ohio. It was admitted to the Union as a state on March 1st, 1803. Ohio is an extremely underrated state. It has awesome cities full of attractions. It has fertile farmlands. It has beautiful state parks and a national park. It has Cedar Point! It has rivers and Lake Erie. It has four distinct seasons. It has hard workers full of laughter and hope. I love Ohio.

An on March 2nd, to one of the closest friends I've made at college:

My wonderful friend Courtney! We met through our fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. We always have classic, epic fun times, whether it be out to coffee, at Kalahari, in one of our apartments, or at baseball games. She's always there to take some sense into me or to make me laugh when I'm down. Thanks for being awesome, Court!

Photos all author own except
Ohio photo, found here
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