Thursday, December 14, 2017

Great Gifts for Teacher Friends, Hostesses, and Everyone in Between

Back again today with some more fun gift ideas.

For the last few years, there have been some teacher friends that I've exchanged gifts with.  These are a few of the ladies that I'm really, really close with.  We all know that our budgets are tight, but don't want the holidays to go by without celebrating so it's usually a little something.

Most times, what does every teacher want??  WINE!!  HA!!  So for a few of my friends I do that.  A  good bottle that I know they'll enjoy.  Usually, I'll add a fun Wine tage to go with it, like this one!

 I like these wine tags because, although there a little large, they can then double as a nice ornament for your tree!  They can help you fill in a big gap!!  :)

Often times, I'll give my teacher friends books!  Being the librarian and teaching in Catholic School, there are a number of my teacher friends who read and love the author Matthew Kelly!  Each year around this time, he'll offer his books at big savings with the intention that they're shared!  So each year I purchase his latest title to give as gifts.  For the past few years  I have been participating in his #BestAdventEver and loving it!

You know how sometimes during the holidays, you get invited maybe to a house party on the spur of the moment?  It's for times like these, that I have a few gifts in my arsenal.  Rather than just giving the hostess a bottle of wine, that I know, so many others will do, I like to go with a small gift, that might be useful at the party.  Usually these are Christmas related.  I've given candles, candies in a Christmas dish, cookies on a Christmas platter, Christmas coaters, even a Christmas Decoration!

Last year during early new year's sale I bought a few frames like the one above on the cheap!  I am considering printing out a few fun Christmas sayings like the one above and framing them to give away this year!!  (Bucket List Item Checked Off!)

What do you like to give?  Let me know in the comments below!!  And if you missed yesterday's fashion post, click here and help me choose which ugly sweater to wear this year!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Have a Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Festive Christmas me choose!!

It's been quite a while since I've shared any type of fashion post.  The winter sees me in my uniform of leggings and boots with not much motivation to get at all gussied up in the mornings!!  But when I heard Christy was showcasing her festive Christmas sweater today over at The Blended Blog and was looking for others to join her, I jumped at the chance.

I've found that as I get older, the teacher in me (or maybe just the fool!) is dressing up more and more and getting into "it" during the holidays.  I wear the festive scaves, socks, even leggings!!  And it really is just so much fun!!

But Christmas is all about the sweaters!  Some may call them ugly, and there's a time and a place for that, but I perfer to call festive!  Especially when we all wear them on the last day of school before Chrsitmas break!  My collection has grown quite  bit!

Here are some of my favorites!!

This one is pretty ugly too...but I liked it too because it's like the game Pac-Man and being a technology teacher, I thought I needed it.  My students enjoyed it!

This is admittedly my "ugly" sweater go-to!

It's still up in the air what I'm going to wear this year and I'd love your help!!   In the comments below let me know if I should rock my reindeer vest or my sweet elf!!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Gift Ideas!

For the next two weeks The Blended Blog is running the Home Tour and Holiday Gift Guide link up!  I'll be sharing my home tour next Monday, in hopes that it's all back to normal after getting a paint job!  Today...and on Thursday this week, I'll be sharing my gift ideas based on gifts I've given and people have loved.  I've decided to break it up because I don't want it to be too long and just because I think it's more fun that way!!

Today I'll be sharing my ideas for kids!  I know what you're thinking...I'm the single one living the solitary life!  What do I know about buy for the kids?  Maybe a lil summin' summin' !

Today is Green Monday too!  Perfect for shopping those last minute gifts!!

As an aunt to10 kids ranging in ages 7-15, when it comes to Christmas gifts, I like to go with a theme.  So basically everyone gets the same thing, but different.

In the past I've given the all kids cozy PJ's.  I loved when I did this!  The kids did too!  And there are so many fun, festive ones out there at great prices!  Places like Gap, Old Navy, Vineyard Vines and Life is Good have pajamas at every price point and some really good sales.

Old Navy's Sale is crazy today...up to 60% off plus 10% more and 6% back at Ebates!!  You need Ebates!!  Sign up here!! PJs for everyone!!

One year I gave everyone cold weather gear...scarves, hats, gloves and fleeces. Old Navy and Gap are my go-to for these things.  Actually the year I did that, I ordered them all during the end of season sales in January.  At such cheap prices and with so many kids of different ages, I bought a few of each size, taking into account them growing during the year.  There was only one vest that ended up being too small, so that one I donated to a local coat drive!

The Crew Minus Two!

The kids really had fun the year I bought them board games.  I made sure to get them all something they didn't have!  That then also made for some fun family game nights throughout the year.
Here are some of our faves!

Being a librarian, you know I've bought them BOOKS!!  Can't go wrong with books!  If I remember correctly each child received 2.  One Christmas title, and a children's bestseller from that year.  Then a Barnes and Noble gift card, to pick out a title of their choosing!  I liked this best.

This year, now that I am a classroom teacher again, I've bought each of my students a copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Hope they love it!

One of the biggest hits though, was the Gift Card Grab Bag!  I got the kids gift cards: iTunes, Toys R Us, Game Stop, Justice, American Eagle, Amazon, even Nordstrom, just to name a few!  They each got a chance to pick from the grab bag a different card and after all had been picked could trade!  The kids loved this!  So much so, that when I didn't do it, immediately following my gift giving,the next year, my nephew asked me if I remembered doing the Gift Card Grab Bag and told me to do that again!  HA!  You win some, you lose some!! Wish I had pictures!!!

So I think I may do that again this year!!

What do you love to buy the kids in your life?  Let me know in the comments below!!

Monday, December 4, 2017

#TBB Asks: The Holiday Edition!

It's that time again!  It's the TBB Asks link up!  This time we're talking all things holiday!!

Grab the graphic and play along!!

1. Real or Fake Tree?
Mine's fake, simply for the fact that I like to keep it up!  And maybe I'm not the type to go cut one down...

2. Favorite Christmas Cookies:
Can I say all of them? Who doesn't like cookies!?!

3. Home on Christmas Morning or Travel?
It's just me, so I'm home before I have to go to my sister's in the afternoon!  I will say being on my own on Christmas morning is very different but I've created my own tradition.  I spend the morning sipping mimosas while watching Love Actually and wrapping the rest of my gifts!

4. Clear or Colored Lights?
Definitely clear on my tree but I do enjoy seeing colored lights on displays!

5. Send Christmas Cards?
YES!  Although this year I am not 100% sure I'll be getting any out. I try to be creative each year, and to be honest, this year nothing's coming to me yet!

6. Favorite Christmas Present Received?
So hard!!  From when I was little? I'd have to say my Humphrey Peter Cabbage Patch in Christmas 83 or 84!  I still have him.  My parents were part of the Cabbage Patch Crazy back then and I'm not even sure how they pulled off 4 dolls for four girls.  And we still have them all!!

7. Favorite Christmas Present Given?  Ugh...I have no idea!  I am not a creative buyer.  It's so much easier to buy things for myself! I used to make my mom things for Christmas when I was younger, which she still has, so that's always fun to see!

8.  Stockings?
Definitely...3 actually!  My original from the year I was born in 1980.  It was completely different from my three sisters, who all have the same nice embroidered ones...mine was probably bought all the mall but it's original fuzzy stocking, with my name in glitter!!  So there!
I also have a stocking from Pottery Barn from my sister and one to match the tree skirt my mom made for me, when I got my own place.Click here to see them all!

9. Christmas PJs?
YES!!  A few years back my family started the new tradition to wear PJ's to Christmas all day!!  Finding new Christmas themed PJs each year is always fun. Already got mine for this year and can't wait to wear them!!

Christmas 2014...this first year we started wearing our PJs I think!

10. Favorite Christmas Carol?
The Christmas Cannon by the Transiberian Orchestra.  A less traditional Christmas song I love is by an Irish band populkar her in New York called Shilelagh Law.  It was written the Christmas after September 11th, 2001 and it's just really beautiful!!

11. Favorite Christmas Tradition...
Aside from Christmas PJs, I'd have to say Cookies and Cocktails with my sister each year...that's really turned into a whole family thing.

12. Early Shopper or Last Minute?
I always think I'm a good shopper and then at the last minute, it seems that I scramble.  So I guess it's a toss up!!

13. Favorite Christmas Movie or Show?
I love Love Actually, obviously (see above!)  But Elf is great too and The Holiday is just the cutest!

14. Favorite Holiday beverage?
Anything!  Hahahaha..just kidding!  I enjoy a peppermint mocha at least once during the holidays.

15. Cookies and Milk for Santa?
But of course!

How fun was that?!? Head on over to The Blended Blog and link up too!!

Wishing you all the best that this holiday season has to offer!  Have a Merry Merry Monday!!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas Bucket List: 5 things I'd love to do this Holiday Season!

Happy Friday!  And happy First Day of December!  What??  Where does the time go.  I'm excited December is here but it's also really scary!  Christmas is right around the corner...and I am soooo not ready!!  My tree is not up, my cards are not mailed (or even ordered!!) and I still have lots of gifts to buy!

Today I'm excited though to be taking the time to blog!!  I'm joining a bunch of fun gals and sharing a Mini Christmas Bucket List...5 things I'd love to do this Holiday Season!

Get a picture with Santa
I'm so angry with myself.  On Saturday, while I was shopping Small Business Saturday, they were giving a way SWAG Bags, having a food drive, and offering free pictures with Santa.  I dropped off my cans of food and noticed all these kids taking pictures with Santa.  It wasn't crowded and I thought for a moment about hopping on Santa's lap!  But then said to myself, "I can't really take a picture with Santa!"  But now, after seeing a friend's photo on Facebook of her two dogs (only dogs!!!) on Santa's lap, I'm totally regretting that I didn't do it!!  He was a really great Santa too.  So now I'm determined to get my picture with Santa!! LOL

Head the the Beach to see the Christmas Light Display!
A local beach had a huge drive through Christmas Display for years and I never made it.  When it closed I was sad that I never got there. They are bringing it back for the 2017 Christmas Season and now I'm determined to go!  Fingers crossed I make it this year!!

Actually bake my cookies this year!!
For the past few years my sisters and I have had our annual cookies and cocktails day!  It has always been the joke that I bring the break-and-bakes (and drink more than I eat)!!  I want this year to be the year that I actually bake my cookies!  I am hoping to find a fun recipe I can bake.  I think I'll be able to do it this year too!  Because now that the family's gotten so big and cookie day has gotten so crazy, we've decided to have the dough prepared ahead of time.  This way, while we're there all we have to do is bake!!  Oh and I'm open to recipe suggestions, so if you have nay, I'd love to know about them!!

Drive around the neighborhood and look at lights!
Years ago my friend and I used to go out and look at the Christmas lights on the houses.  We haven't done it in forever!  This year I want to bring back this tradition!!  Maybe make a Jammie Cocoa

Christmas.Get Christmas Crafty!
For the last few years, my mom has been gifting each of my sisters and I a Christmas present that she's made herself. And I've been wanting to do the to do the same. I have an idea as to what I want to make...actually I've had it for quite a while.  Half the battle is really just getting my butt in gear and finding the time to do it!  I think that the gift I have in mind is fun and will be appreciated.  If I put an actual time line and this and actually put the idea in writing, maybe, my chances are good that I get it completed this year. HA!
Mom with last year's Christmas creation!

What fun things do you want to do and see this holiday season?  Let me know!!  Have a wonderful December Weekend!!  And thanks for visiting today!

Linking up today:
The Blended Blog
Friday Favorites

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Teacher Tuesdays: The Back-to-School Edition!

By now, I am in the full swing of the new school year...and already counting down the days til Summer Vacation!  HA!

This school year has been super busy but I welcome it.  I have taken on an additional role this year as a sixth grade homeroom and religion teacher.  After being "out of the homeroom game" for a few years, I forgot how much it entailed!  THE DREADED ATTENDANCE REGISTER...and phone calls home to parents!  UGH!!!!    But I have to say I am absolutely loving teaching the religion class!  It's mostly Old Testement and all the stories I remembered as a kid.

I am still doing After Care, which every single day I think to myself, I need to retire from!  I am over it!  But the thing is...I like the extra money!  Who wouldn't! And in all honesty, there's no one else to do it.  (Everyone know how stinky it is!)

I am getting into a routine now and getting my life and schedule together, so I hope to be blogging more on the regular!  Because I do miss it!!

Since teaching is such a big part of who I am, from time to time I like to blog about it, in what I like to call "Teacher Tuesdays"  So today I thought I'd share some snippets of what's been happening around my classroom.

  • Part of the reason I didn't mind taking on this particular homeroom for this year was due to the fact that it's only 15 kids!  Sadly, many students leave our little catholic school to attend public middle school in sixth grade!  So while it was a large class the last few years, this year the kids have dwindled.  I thought the students would be upset by it, but they're not!  In fact, one girl said, "I think this small class thing is gonna work out great!"  I couldn't agree more!!
  • I might be loving it, but I've discovered I'm terrible at being in three places at one!!  I miss the comforts of just my library and lab!!
  • One of my most favorite times of the year is Book Fair Time!  It's always so much fun to shop for books!  The kids tend to gravitate toward the chachke stuff after buying books.  This year they loved the pointers!  There was one with a pointy skeleton hand attached.  During the fair, one of the students pointed it in my face and before I could give her a "strong talking to" about not pointing it in people's faces she said, "You...are...AWESOME!!"  I just had to laugh.
  • Speaking of strong "talking tos" I probably should give some of my 8th graders one when they tell me I should name my website "A Librarian and a Tech Teacher walk into a bar..."  but instead I just shook my head and moved on!
  • I don't come to school looking my best apparently, because one little first grader told me the other day that I "look disaucted" (he meant to say exhausted!) LOL  He was absolutely right!!  
  • I'm realizing that it is these kids that drive me to drink...HA!
  • Teaching Middle School now, sadly I can quickly turn into a middle schooler myself!  Ugh...I'm working on that!
  • I'm not 100% sure what roasting is, but the After Care/Homework Club kids think I'm pretty good at it!
  • I should probably stop telling the Homework Club kids, I'm going to retire because the other day I girl got visibly upset.  She told me I couldn't do that because she loved me too much and didn't want me to leave! (And that's where my heart burst...but also broke in two!!) *Side note: I can't retire for about a billion years!!
  • I love what I do, but also love my days off and time away too!  And then when the kids tell me they've missed me after a day, I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be, and I'll never do anything else with my life!!

Thanks for letting me share my teaching side today!!  Head on over toTBB today to find something yummy for dinner...It's the Tasty Tuesday link up...YUMMMMM!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

TBB Asks: Thankful Thoughts!

Happy Monday Ya'll!  Writing today still on a high from my weekend with a few TBB Ladies in Vegas.  Lots of fun and memories made!  More on that later on in the week but today being the first Monday of the month, it's also TBB Asks day.  This November, with Thanksgiving right around the corner for us Americans, and not too long ago for our Canadian friends, we're focusing on gratitude.  Today we are thanking and thinking about people and things we are thankful for!  Join us and answer theswe questions on your own blog, Facebook page or on Insta!!

Here are my thankful thoughts:

1.  A New Friend: Love all my Blended Blog Ladies!  And I was really excited to meet Abbie in person this weekend!!

2.  Something Shiny: My new shirt for Britney this weekend!  Because Britney calls for sparkles!

3.  Someone Unexpected: Not really sure about this one!

4.  Something Ordinary: My day to day life...and I'm totally okay with it!

5.  A person I've Know a Really Long Time: My bestie!  It's been unusually long seen we've seen each other, but she's never far from thought!!

6.  Somewhere you go everyday: Well not technically everyday!  But I spend more of my life at my school than I do anywhere else these days!

7.  Someone who's taught you something.  My parents are teaching me how to rock the retirement life!  I kinda can't wait for about a billion years!  HA!  I'm thankful for all the things they've taught me and done for me over the years!

8.  A Faraway Place: I'm really grateful I got to spend this weekend away in Las Vegas for an awesome Girls Weekend!

9.  Something Saving My Life Right Now: COFFEE!!  After a red eye flight last night, with a 4 hour class ahead of me tonight, coffee is life!!

10.  Someone you see everyday: Well, living alone, there's no one person I see everyday!  Part sad...or kinda fabulous?!?  Haha

11.  Something I enjoy doing: Most days I'm thankful to just be able to read a few pages of my book!

12./14. Special Male and Female: My Neighbor Friends!  They are just my fave.  I get together with my friend Lauren every Tuesday for This is Us (and wine!) and her husband Pete is just the nicest guy!  He fixes my screen when I had to break in, trims my trees...they are just two of the sweetest people I know.  I'm so glad we're friends!!

13.  A Special Place: I just love my little home!

15.  Something Warm: I thank God for everyday he brings me warm sunshine!!  And I'm totally serious!!

These TBB Asks Posts are always such a blast to put together!  Join us every Monday this month as we continue with the gratitude theme!!

Hope your week has gotten off to a fabulous start!!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Friday Favorites for Fall

What?  How the heck is it the end of October already!  Time Flies!!  And now that it's really beginning to feel like Fall around here, I'm loving it.  It's been forever since I've shared a Friday Faves, but I thought today's as good a day as any to get back into it.  Here are some things I've been loving lately.

My homeroom class and teaching Religion 
If you've read any of my super periodic blog posts lately (THANK YOU!!!), you know I've been busy this school year, not only teaching library and tech but also 6th grade Religion to my first crop of homeroom kids in 6 YEARS!!  And I am having a blast with them!  They are a great group of kids and we're learning a lot together!  HA!  When I'm not blogging, I'm with them or working on things for us to do together in class.  I forgot how much a homeroom entails but I'm happy I get to have one this year!!

Clean Week
Last week I dipped my toe in the Beachbody/Shakeology Pool by participating in Clean Week!  It was seven days of working out, eating healthy and cutting out alcohol and coffee from my diet!  Did I cheat...YES!  With the alcohol...but on those days I saved up calories!  On the food front I did well, and with the working out I did good too!  With my CP there were some exercises I skipped or modified but for the most part I did ok.  As the week progressed I noticed my pants fitting better so that's a plus!!  And I really, really enjoyed the Shakeology!! I've been keeping up with my water intake, and healthy eating this week too...and guess what?!?  I went back to coffee on Monday morning and didn't really enjoy it!!!  So I'm drinking less of that as well.  I'm calling Clean Week a win!

The New Will and Grace
I really liked Will and Grace when it was on years ago and was excited to see that it was coming back.  I thought the first episode was just ok but I'm so glad I stuck with it and am still watching because every episode after that has been hysterical.  And it feels like the old show I remember!  Who couldn't use a few laughs on at Thursday night?  Highly recommend!!

General Hospital
I know!  I know!!  Another TV show!  But....
After giving up GH a year or so ago, I starting watching it again this week!  Because one of my favorite characters (and hottest men!) Jason Morgan is back!  I'm really enjoying the way the show is handling this storyline.  And DVRing it everyday, I can fast forward all the storylines I don't need to see!  HA!

Terra's Kitchen
After using and really liking Hello Fresh for so long, I recently tried a new meal delivery kit, Terra's Kitchen.  I am getting another delivery today and I can't wait to spend the weekend cooking!  Try Terra's Kitchen!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  Hope your weekend is fabulous!

Linking up today:
The Blended Blog
Friday Favorites

Monday, October 23, 2017

Come on in!

Happy Fall Ya'll!!  Even though the temps still don't feel like it here in my neck of the woods, Fall is indeed upon us.  I'm a summer girl through and through, but there really is just something about Fall!  I like when it comes around!!

Today I'm linking up with The Blended Blog for a tour of my home at Fall.  Looking around, my home's color scheme is really fally in itself.  But I've added a few touches for the season!  So come on in and take a peek...

This wreath is new this year!  I have a good friend who raises funds every year for cancer in honor of her mom and she gives the money to local families who are also suffering from cancer.  It's called Crochet for a Cure.  Each year her array of stuff gets bigger and bigger!  I've always loved Sarah's burlap wreaths, so when I saw this I had to have it!

She's also got her husband in the DIY crafting game!  How cute is this scarecrow!  And it's a two for one- on the other side it's a snowman!!  (Come on back for the Christmas home tour to see it!)

This is my fall table!

My TV's been up on the wall for awhile now, but I still need the stand for my cable box.  I think it's the perfect display table.  The things in the frame and the Cherised Teddies change with the seasons.

I like my pumpkin sign because I put it up on the first day of Fall and leave it up through Thanksgiving!

The Kitchen has small fall touches too...

This you can't really see but it makes my house smell divine, so I wanted to include it for anyone who's like me and into essential oils!!  My favorite fall blend for my diffuser is called Thanksgiving.  It's a mix of Christmas Spirit, Lemon and Clove oils!  It fills up the house with Fall for sure!!

Hope you enjoyed the small Fall touches around my little home!! Do you decorate for Fall?  If so, I'd love to hear all about it!  And if you do, be sure to head on over to TBB and link up with us!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall Favorites: Food and Drink

Happy Monday!  Back to blogging today to link up with The Blended Blog!  On tap for today is Favorite  Fall Food and Drinks.  Mine??????

Pumpkin Ale....THE END!

Pretty much in all seriousness, pumpkin ale is it for me.  I've never been a pumpkin spice latte girl!  When the air turns crisp and it's time for Fall, there's nothing better than a Pumpkin Ale, on Sunday Funday watching the game, or any day in between really.  And even though I have my faves,  my quest to try every pumpkin ale is ON!!

Another fun drink I love but don't indulge in nearly as much is a Pumpkin Martini.  I have these with my mom on Thanksgiving...and maybe while she's putting up my Christmas tree for me we drink them together.

Being the "drinks" girl of The Blended Blog....not to be confused for the "drunk" girl of TBB, I actually posted some of my favorite fall drink recipes over there this time last year!!  You can find them here!

Oh wait...I got carried away with the drinks!  I forgot I was supposed to talk about food too!! 

Hmmmm....Favorite Fall Foods!
Once the cold weather hits, I really like to make chili in the crockpot. That really screams Fall to me.  The crockpot is a staple in my  kitchen in the fall!

And for dessert, it's gotta be pumpkin pie!!

What are some of your favorite Fall treats?  Let me know in the comments below!  And head on over to The Blended Blog to link up with us today!

And get set to link up with us next week...when we give a sneak peek inside our homes to see how they're decked out for the Fall!

Monday, October 2, 2017

TBB Asks: Fall Edition!

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a die hard summer girl.  But once I'm back in my routine and back to work...I'm all "Bring on Fall!"  I'm really excited that it's finally starting to feel like Fall in my neck of the woods.  I am so ready for skinny jeans,  riding boots, and scarves.

That's why I'm really excited for today's edition of TBB Asks!  It's really helping me get Fall ready!  YAY October!!

1- Favorite Fall Sweet Treat: Does A Pumpkin Martini count??

Get the recipe here!

2- I like apples!  But I honestly don't think I've ever eaten a yellow apple!  Red and green though?  YUM!!

3- Favorite Fall Sport to Play?  Hahahahaha  I don't play sports but I Love watching football on TV!

4- Best drink for Fall: Pumpkin Ale hands down!!

5- Favorite Fall Activity My town's Chili and Chowder Festival!

6- Must Have Fall Purchase  Hmmm...I don't think I have one!!  Maybe a blanket scarf!?!?  or Military Jacket (but I have multiple of both of those!

7- Pumpkins-Pick your own or store bought?  One of these days I'll get back to the pumpkin farm!

8- Real or Fake Pumpkin?  Both!

9- Favorite Halloween Costume- My go-to is a Country Girl!  Easy Peasy!

10- College Football or NFL? Love Notre Dame and watching football on Sundays so I guess I'll say both!  But football is so stressful!!

11- Fall or Halloween Decor?  I definitely have more Fall decor!

12- No leaves to rake!  YAY!!  

13- Favorite Soup?  Love me some chili in the fall!!  (in the crockpot!)

14- Favorite Fall Candle Scent: Autumn Wreath by Yankee Candle.  Love putting Fall scents in my diffuser too!

15-  I'm a fan of Pumpkin Spice!

16- Booties or Boots?  Both!  But these days, I grab the booties more often!!  I like that they are fun and low and I can walk in them!!

17- Favorite Halloween Candy Definitely Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!!

18- PSL?  Believe it or not, I've never tried one!!

19- Hayride or Corn Maze?  Both are fun!

20- Favorite Fall TV Show Love when ALL my shows come back in the Fall!!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Wanna join in on all the Fall fun!  Head on over to The Blended Blog and link up your answers with us here!!