Three Things I'm Thankful for Thursday

Hey all! Happy Thursday! I'm hoping the weather wherever you are is more sunshine-y and less dreary than it is here in the Nation's capital. We have a chance of snow in the forecast tonight. Where is Spring???

Today I really need to focus on things that I am thankful for. With the weather being icky, Boyfriend getting on my nerves (hey, it happens), and crazy kids at work, I need a positive spin on things, so here goes:

1) I am thankful for the ability to talke to my best friend almost daily online. She lives in Houston and I'm in DC, so Gchat has been a huge bonus for us to be able to keep in touch and stay current on things that are going on in each other's lives. She's there for me when I'm having a rough day and I try to be there for her through the same. Love her, and love that we can keep in touch!

2) I am thankful that I get to wear jeans to work today AND tomorrow. This is a small victory probably in the grand scheme of things, but I am a creature of comfort. I like being comfortable, and being comfy at work makes work a million times better! So, yay for Spirit Week at school for the Middle Schoolers (and for the teachers finding a way for this to mean that we can wear jeans!) haha

3) I am thankful for all of the blogs that I read on a daily basis. I look forward to them every day, and they definitely help to keep me in a positive mood, even when the days are hard. It gives me a temporary escape from the "real world" and I can focus on something else for a few minutes. I'm going to make small 3b here and say I am also thankful for all of the comments that I get on my blogs. It's nice to know that people are reading and enjoying what I'm putting out there. So, keep it up! It definitely brings a smile to my face!

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you're able to think of some things that you are thankful for! One more day til the weekend!!! (that's one right there!!)

GREECE 'd Lightning!

I am so so so excited to be planning a vacation with Boyfriend for us to go to Greece this summer. It has been FAR too long since he and I have gone on a vacation together. The first and last trip we've taken was to Riviera Maya in December 09-Jan '10. It was my first trip going somewhere as a "couple" (had gone on groups and with girlfriends before) and I loved every second of it!
Here are a couple of shots from that trip:

Since Boyfriend and I have been doing long distance for almost two years now (ugh), it's been hard to find times within our schedules to make a big trip somewhere. Usually we spend our time flying to each other's places and spending time in each other's day-to-day life that we miss out on. But, it's nice to get away and both of us are more than ready for a vacation, and doing one together. So we have been throwing around ideas for a few places which included Costa Rica (boyfriend has been there before so we are putting that on the back burner), the Dominican--saving this for a winter trip to escape the cold weather, and Greece. Greece has constantly come up in conversations of places we really desperately want to go to. Sooooo, last night I started looking at places and Boyfriend and I decided to take a summer trip there this year! Probably during the end of July/beginning of August. Can. Not. Wait!!!! Also, this will be the first trip that we take after moving in together!!!! So many exciting things to look forward to this summer!

I've already gone into full-on dork, planning mode and created a Google Doc for Boyfriend and I to use to store information (about ferries, flights, hotels, etc). We are in the process of deciding how many days we are going, and with that, which islands/places we want to go. We will probably fly into Athens and see the Acropolis at the very least and then Santorini and Mykonos are on our list of islands, with the possibility of a third (depending on money, time, etc).

Looking at all of the pictures has made me even more desperate for this vacation to come to fruition. If anyone has any travel ideas, recommendations, experiences, please please PLEASE share!!!

I am the epitomy of giddy right now!
Happy Wednesday!!

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!! It's Wednesday (internal clock is still telling me that it's a day later than that--grr!) and I am loving several things today, which is the perfect opportunity for me to link up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving that all of the middle school kids at my school are dressed up as nerds for Nerd Day (spirit week) today. It is hilarious seeing all of the kids particpating and all of their creative outfits. And the teacher participating have gone all out too! Makes for good smiles today!

I'm loving that Boyfriend and I finally decided on a summer vacation place: GREECE!!! I have spent a good portion of the morning doing research into exactly where we want to go (any ideas from people who have been there before--let me know!!)

I'm loving that it was not raining on my walk to work this morning from the Metro, despite the forecast. Judging by the looks of outside, it's not too far off, but I'm happy for a dry (and snow-free) commute this morning!

I'm loving the the Cherry Blossoms are out!!! This means, despite the return of Winter, that Spring is on its way. Yay! It just needs to hurry up and make its permanent arrival! :)

Hope you all are having a lovely Wednesday!

Top Two (Celebrity Hairstyles) Tuesday

Hey all! Happy Tuesday! I woke up this morning definitely feeling like it was at LEAST Wednesday. Sadly, my body calendar/clock is off. But, to beat the Tuesday Blues, I'm linking up with The Undomestic Momma (check out her blog!!) for Top 2 Tuesday, spotlighting two celebrity hairstyles I enjoy!

Both of the lady celebs I chose are also personal fav's of mine!
The first person I chose was Bethenny Frankel. I like that she has a great everyday hairdo. It's right up my alley! I just wish I could get my hair that long and still looking luscious! I love that Bethenny's hair isn't over the top. And, I love her personality!

My second choice is another celebri-lady that I adore. Sandra Bullock. I heart her. I think she seems like a super amazing person, strong, gorgeous, and talented. And to top it off, she has great hair, too. I love her hair, and almost all of the ways that she wears it! These are two pics I could find:
Love the curly/wavy hair in a pony tail. Again, I wish I could get waves in my hair without it looking like it was caused by humidity. But, alas, I can dream, can't I?? :)

Happy Tuesday!

Useful Things to Start the Week

Hello, all! I hope you had wonderful weekends! Mine involved doing a bit of spring cleaning through my closet--get excited Salvation Army!--, doing some errands and visited my dad to spend some Daddy-Daughter time with him since my mom was out of town (trying to be a good daughter!)

Today I'm linking up with Meg over at Life of Meg for Mingle Monday:
Mingle 240

So, what better way to start off the week than with some useful stuff? First off is a recipe:
Today I thought I would, once again, spotlight one of my favorite recipes to make. And yes, it's in a crock pot. This one tops the list because it's delish and quite possibly one of the easiest things to make. Ever. (When explaining how easy it was to my boyfriend, I explained that I'm pretty sure even a monkey with brain damage could follow the steps). I made CrockPot Salsa Chicken yesterday (another recipe from the awe-inspiring crockpot lady over at A Year of Slow Cooking). All you do is dump chicken (frozen or not), salsa, frozen corn and a can of black beans into the crock pot and set it. I like to shred the chicken once it's cooked, sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and make Spanish Rice on the side. You can eat it over chips, alone, or make it into a burrito! No matter how you eat it, it's full of flavor and absolutely deeeeeeeeeeeee-lish!

My second usefulness to offer up comes from Real Simple's website (love this magazine--if you don't subscribe I highly recommend it). I found a way of making icky erasers not so icky. Take a nail file (emory board) and rub it against the icky part of the eraser, whether it's hard and dried out or covered in black lead smears, and it makes it use-able again. I know as a teacher who has kids constantly poking holes in, coloring on, and finding multitudes of other ways of destroying using my supplies, this one will come in handy! (website and picture source) Go and check the site out for other useful ideas!

That's all I've got for you guys today! :)

My little loveable pup, Cooper, and I want to wish you all a happy Monday!!! (I'm still learning with the new SLR camera, but I think this one's pretty cute...then again, I'm a little biased :)

Three Things I'm Thankful for Thursday

Try to say that three times fast!

I think it's important to acknowlede the things that make you smile and that you're thankful for--these are the things that can get you through a rough day. Today I'm going to share the things that I'm thankful for in this moment:

1. Umbrellas: Without this little accessory, I would not be able to make it to and from work (especially this week) without my clothes being soaked and my hair looking like a tragedy from Friends:
This goes especially for the anti-flip umbrellas that keep me from also looking a fool walking down the street with an inside-out umbrella.

2. Good Friends: Those friends, who, on any given day of the week will drop whatever they are doing and help you out, even if it means they get behind on work, etc. Friends who take the extra time, and do something to make you smile when you're having a bad day, are super appreciated. I am lucky enough to have at least one of these individuals in almost every place that I frequent on a day to day basis (work, home, etc.) They can make all the difference in the world!

3. My Yummy Lunch: of linguini, chick peas, squash, parmesan cheese and red pepper. Sounds plain, but it is delish! (Especially when you double up on the red pepper like I did! ha). These yummy, pretty healthy meals, fill me up and get me ready for an afternoon of kiddos without making me feel like a blimp. Yay healthy! (Sorry, no picture...I scarfed it too fast before I realized I should have taken a picture! Oops!)

Hope you all are having a good Thursday! Almost time for the weekend!!!

Chris Brown: off the deep end....again

Second post of the day, but this one is because I am annoyed. I am half-torn about talking about it because the last thing I want to do is to give these nut-jobs someone else talking about them, but I'm going to do it anyway.

Chris Brown. Resident lady-beater. Apparently now a bleach blonde. Anger management problems. Thought those were all fixed and gone? Um, methinks not so much! This d-bag got upset when he was asked about the stuff that happened with Rihanna. Now, I can understand how you might get annoyed that someone is bringing up something less than pleasant from your past. But, sorry, sir. You're a celebrity. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen (and maybe get some help for that anger problem you have. Look at what he did to the window:

Then he gets up on his high horse and starts tweeting and asking why we are
praising people like Charlie Sheen. I dunno where Mr. Brown has been, but last I checked people were laughing at, pointing fingers at, and generally making fun of Charlie Sheen. But, even if people just took Sheen with a grain of salt, since when does what someone else does make it ok for you? I really hate when people (and celebrities) try and scapegoat and point the finger at others to divert the attention from them. Man up to what you did. Geez! I think maybe some of that bleach has gotten to his brain. Or an ink overload in his blood stream.

Ok, I'm off of my soap box now :)

In Need of a New Work Bag

I have been in need of a new work bag for the better part of this school year. My bag, which I used to get many compliments on (and happened to find at Target on sale for $10), is now cracking and just looking overall worn out. Here is what it looks like:

So I have been on the search, but have had an issue finding exactly what I want (and within a price I'm willing/able to afford). I have a few things that I am looking for:

Color: Dark red (dark cherry kind of color), Green, or Dark Purple (all colors I think would go with a bunch of different things)

Size: Right now my bag is about 13" long and about 12" in height. That seems like a good size to fit the junk I haul back and forth to work. A little bigger would be ok, but not any smaller.

Pockets: I would really really REEEEALLY love it to have at least one pocket on the end that could fit my water bottle so that when the bottle sweats, everything inside of my bag doesnt get soaked. This seems to be the point where I have a really hard time finding what I'm looking for.

Zipper: I really want a zipper. Walking around the streets of DC, it makes me feel safer to have everything zipped up, concealed and safe. Especially when it rains, too!

I'd like to find one in time to start interviewing for jobs (yay, move to St. Louis!), so I'm on the hunt!

Does anyone have any suggestions for a similar type of bag, that won't break the bank??

Uno Uh-oh!

Hey friends! Today brings sunshine and warm weather which means I am a happy girl. I'd be a little happier if I could actually be outside enjoying it, but looking at it through the window and looking forward to being in it after work is ok with me! Today's blog brings a random story, a random article, and a random snack idea. So, read on!

Today brings a story of a girl I work with. She's a peach. I heart this little girl because she is a hard worker, but she's super sweet and really fun. Well today we played Uno, as is our routine lately (she really enjoys when she makes me Draw Two over and over again and then hits me with a Draw Four), but today I beat her. Three times in a row. And even the last game I TRIED to lose. Usually she is ok with losing to me (and really really LOVES it when she wins), but today she shut down and started to cry. I don't know what happened. I didn't gloat or tease her about it. She just broke down. I am wondering if something else was getting her down today and that just made it worse, since that's not like her. Felt like I walked into a huge UH OH on that one. Luckily she recovered ok and said she wanted to play again tomorrow. I think I will have to make sure I lose all games, no matter what it takes.

On a random article note, I saw this in the paper today on the way to work this morning. A man got upset that the Beefy Crunch Burritos he ordered at Taco Bell went from 99 cents to $1.49, and so decided to fire an air gun at an employee and then later a rifle at police officers. Um, it's 50 cents. I'd loan you that, dude, just so you wouldn't kirk out at a Taco Bell. At first when I read the headline in the Express, I thought he was upset because it wasn't real meat. Apparently that wasn't on the list of things he was upset about that day.

And now onto my random snack. Instead of noshing on Sour Patch Kids (as delicious as they are, eating them at 9 or 10am is probably not the most healthy option), I decided to bring something a bit healthier to work today. After visiting my parents this weekend, my mom had picked me up a Costco sized bag of Craisins (aka, I have a lifetime supply almost) and some almonds. I mixed these two bad boys together into a little sandwich baggie and I had a pretty healthy mid-morning snack! Try it out! It was delicious!

Happy Tuesday!                                                                        

Monsoon Monday

Happy Monday, everyone! (How cute is the little puppy!?! Hope he gave you a smile like he did me!) Here in the Nation's Capital it is pouring down rain, which, let me tell you, was super fun to walk to work in....(can you note my sarcasm there??) I am happy that it's supposed to get up to the high 60's today at least, though, and it looks like the sun is doing its best to peak through the rain clouds. Come on, sun!!

This weekend was kind of uneventful for me, which, after last weekend's drink fest birthday extravaganza, was exactly what I needed. Spent some time with my roommate, visited my parents for the day, and did some shopping at Target and the Gap Outlet (can't tell you how much I heart those two stores!!)

Today I am debating what to make for lunch and/or dinner for the week, and whether or not to use my infamous crock pot. One of my favorite meals that I've made, other than my stuffed peppers which just took over the number one spot, is Spinach Pesto Lasagna. It may sound a little different, but it is phenomenal! I got the recipe, once again, from my favorite crock pot website: A Year of Slow Cooking .
Here is a picture of the deliciousness, taken from the website:
How delish does that look? My mouth is watering and it's only 9 AM...

I am thinking this one might have to go onto the menu for the week! Anyone have any other delicious recipes to try out? I like em quick and easy so that I minimize the chance of giving myself food poisoning, hah!

Hope you all have a great start to the week!

Fantastic Friday!

Hey all! Happy Friday! Today I am super excited that it's the end of the week (this week has felt abnormally long), and am desperately ready for the weekend and some relaxation! The weather is amazing (70's) and I want to enjoy it. Kids are dismissed today at 1:15. Perfect, you would think! Well, here's the womp womp: I have a meeting at 3:30 today with parent, teachers, and lawyers. Oh yes. This will not be a quick one. So, on this first truly beautiful, warm day, I will be stuck in a conference room, talking about serious things. Arg.

This will probably lead to some night-time wine consumption on the deck of my apartment, which I am totally ok with--I would just be MORE ok with it if I could start earlier. Doh!

Today I have occupied my time looking at other blogs, getting caught up on
paperwork, chatting with friends at work (and online some), and dreaming of vacations that I want to take sometime in the near future. Spring Break is around the corner and it's looking as though it's just going to be a trip out to St. Louis to visit Boyfriend, rather than the two of us going somewhere. Arg. My un-tanned skin is not happy, and will be even less happy when everyone else returns with their sunkissed skin and I return from St Louis looking pasty as ever. I actually recently tried Jergen's Natural Glow lotion, and had looked up reviews on it. Everyone said it worked really nicely and smelled great, so I ventured out and bought it to give it a try (hey, desperate pale times call for desperate measures). Well, I don't know if I got a bad bottle or what but that stuff STINKS! It did add some tan-ness to my skin (a few people asked me if I had gone tanning), but I didn't think the stink was worth it.
Any suggestions for any other products that will work well to help boost some life into my complexion?

Ok, enough random thoughts for this Friday's post. I hope you all have a fabulously fun weekend! Anyone have any special plans??

Invasion of the Green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I hope you're having a good day, with green beer in your future! I also hope that you're wearing green so that you can have a pinch-free day!
Speaking of pinches...I remember this whole pinching thing dating back to when I was in elementary,
middle and high school (many eons ago), and now that I work in an Elementary/Middle school I find it funny that this tradition still continues. So much so that there have been school meetings about "no pinching" and everywhere on the doors and in the hallways there are signs that say "This is a Pinch-free zone" haha. Why didn't we need signs like this when we were younger?? I don't remember it getting very out of control. Though, I suppose knowing some of the kids that I do, I could see it being a problem. I've already had a few kids say they were bummed that I was wearing green because they wanted to pinch me (not sure what that says about our

Today I am copying Christy's idea over at 25 Before 25 (check her out) for Three Things Thursday. So, here goes:

1) Subway: Since the school where I work is not in the best of neighborhoods, there aren't a ton of food options. Such was the case until this winter when they opened up a Subway near the Metro station, right up the block. This has been a savior for those days where I don't have anything to bring for lunch and don't feel like making anything. It gives me an excuse to get outside, get some fresh air, escape to maintain some sense of sanity, and get a somewhat healthy lunch. Two thumbs up!

2) Weather: It has been getting progressively more and more beautiful outside. Today it is getting up to 64 (I just took my walk outside up to Subway and stupidly wore my coat. I subsequently ended up sweating on my walk back to school. Whoops!), and tomorrow it's supposed to be mid to upper 70's. Holla!! Nothing puts me in a better mood than Spring weather. Spring-time allergies and pollen? That's another story.

3) "The Plague":  There seems to be some sickness floating around my school--as they tend to do--that is taking teachers out left and right. Sniffles, sneezing, coughing, fever. Ugh. Having just gotten rid of a cold, I am hoping, praying and crossing every body part imaginable that I do not catch this. I hate being sick, especially back-to-back sickness. Here's to hoping I stay cootie-free!

3b) This one has a second part: I am reading a book called World Without End (the sequel to Pillars of the Earth--both amazingly good books!) and right now in the book they are experiencing the Black Plague. Yesterday, when reading it on the metro, they were talking about how they had to confine people to certain places for 30 to 40 days, and they called this a "trentine" or a "quarantine." In that moment of reading you probably could have seen a little lightbulb go on above my head. I had no idea that that's where the word "quarantine" had come from. File that one away in the "random facts" part of my brain!
(Side note: do not look up pictures for 'quarantine' while blogging and eating your lunch. You will regret it. Ick.)

Hope you all have a lucky, fun-filled St. Patrick's Day!!