Monday, October 31, 2011

Booooooo! Ahhhhhh!!!

Scared ya, didn't I? ;)

Happy Halloween!!!!

I'm not dressing up today. Are you? I kind of wish I was. Maybe I'll throw on some cat ears or something. Knowing me, I'll forget. Hopefully your comments keep reminding me. ;)

It feels like years since I have dressed up. (ok, it's maybe been two). But, I was bummed to miss out this year because I had a costume planned! And a big party to go to! With an old friend! :( I had about 99% of my costume purchased and ready to go before I made the big mistake that cost me the weekend. Ugh.

Oh, well. I'll save everything for next year. Considering half of Twitter knows what I was going to be, I'll just tell you. I was going to be Pippi Longstocking. I just really wanted to spray my hair red and make the braids stick out with a wire hanger. Hot, right? ;)

In the past I have dressed up as Minnie Mouse, a witch (several times), an angel, a cat (also several times), a bumblebee and Rainbow Brite.

Here's me circa 1997 (sophomore year of high school). Judging by my curly hair,
and bangs, you'd think it was the 80s.
Besides the hair, I don't think I look thaaat different.

Do you enjoy Halloween? What has been your most memorable costume?

I don't necessarily enjoy it, but I don't mind it. I do love haunted houses - which is odd for me because I HATE scary movies!

Friday, October 28, 2011

This week, bullet style.

Well, I accidentally took a three day break. I had no choice. This week was insane. Excuse my absence, please. ;)

Here are the deets. (cause I'm so exciting, yeah right):
  • I subbed four days this week - the most I have worked so far this semester. This week I was an art teacher, a science teacher, a language arts teacher and a special ed teacher.
  • I also worked with a regular client of mine two nights (we usually only work one night a week) and I am now her regular staff. I hope I can continue to make it work. I'm usually only "on-call" staff because my schedule is changing every few months. She's flexible so I think she will be able to change her schedule with me.
  • On Tuesday I had to break up the first physical fight in a classroom under my watch. It was terrifying. I hope to never have to say again, "Stop choking him!" (seriously, wtf?) I'm still a little concerned about what I am supposed to do when that happens, but honestly? Instinct really takes over. I know you're not supposed to "touch the kids" but seriously? How can you let them just fight?
  • I'm working at the non-profit 37 hours. 31 of those hours are between Saturday and Sunday alone. Yep, I wasn't paying attention and said yes to the WORST shift in the world. I will be working with three clients this weekend on Saturday from 8am-1pm, then Saturday at 8pm-Sunday at 10:30pm. Yes, you read that right. I will be spending basically the entire weekend with these three guys. Goodbye, Halloween plans.
  • We had Books 'n Bars this week and it went awesome! I was really nervous about leading this discussion because a. I didn't necessarily like the book and b. we had some new people RSVP'd to attend. It went great though!
  • This week was also when we had to run the mile and do the fitness test in my PE Methods class. The first time we ran the mile was 8 weeks ago and it took me 13:07 to get done. This week I ran it in 12:07. I am really, really happy with that! I know I should be proud of shaving a minute off my time. I know I can do better though, so I'm excited to see the stats in another month or two.
  • I met with my advisor and planned my schedule for next semester. Oy. I'm taking 18 credits (I am possibly insane). I'm excited about the classes though. For my middle school endorsement I get to take lots of content area classes - like American history and government and Literature. I'm silly excited for that! (If you think there might be something wrong with me, you are probably right).
  • Tonight I am going to a ballet about Dracula at a local high school (my high school, actually!) and I'm really excited - and extremely curious.
  • I got the cutest scarf from Emily for the Scarf Swap that Angela hosted! I'm planning on posting about it soon, but in the meantime I just wanted to thank Emily for being my partner and Angela for hosting!
So, that is what's up with me this week. What's up with you? Good week? Bad week? So-so? Tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ten unusual things...

... I am grateful for.

Lately I have noticed a few things that I was thankful for and after a few weeks of mentally keeping the list going in my head, I figured it was time to share!

1. Extraordinarily clean public restrooms. Always a nice and an appreciated surprise!

2. Well lit streets. When I'm walking/jogging at night or early in the morning I want to be able to see where I'm going. That's always nice...

3. Nice strangers on the sidewalk.... So nice, that they don't get mad when my dog decides to charge them when I am not paying attention (probably because I was writing a blog post in my head. That, or I couldn't see because it was dark!)

4. Pen pals - I have the cutest, sweetest, most adorable 4th grade pen pal. I cannot wait to meet her at the end of the semester.

5. Text messaging. Seriously grateful for it right now. What did we do before everyone had it?

6. Freshly bathed dogs. They get stinky fast - and keeping up with three dogs and their regular baths STINKS. (pun intended).

7. New socks. Don't you just love how perfect they feel when you put them on for the first time? Ahhhhh...

8. Apple products everywhere in schools. It means that a charger for my laptop or iPhone is almost always near by. ;)

9. Random comments from old friends on Facebook. Seriously, those are the best. Even better when they follow up with a text message or phone call!

10. Leggings. I cannot express how much I adore leggings and I will be heartbroken if (when) they go out of style again.

What unusual things are you loving???

Monday, October 24, 2011

Race for the Cure - Des Moines 2011

This weekend was a good one! I finally got the chance to participate in Race for the Cure and I had a great time! In the past I've always had to work weekends, and usually only had one weekend off a month. The pressure to do something with that weekend was high, and it usually did not include a race! ;)

But... I think I may have been bitten by the 5k bug...

Gasp!!? Me? No way.

I have! I like them for several reasons...

1. It's short. 3 miles is totally do-able.

2. It's a great way to spend time with friends. As we're getting older it is harder and harder to find things to do together. Luckily we're all pretty health conscious, so this is something all five of us like to do.

3. You get the chance to donate to great charities or support a great cause, without just giving them money.

4. Another t-shirt! Who doesn't like race t-shirts? My favorite, favorite, favorite shirts are the extremely baggy long sleeved tees. I don't know what it is about them that makes me so happy, but they're comfy. I don't always get them... because it's not cute. But this time, I did. ;) (it all started with an Ohio Buckeyes shirt that I bought in 2006 at the Columbus, OH airport because I was freeeeezing, stuck there for another three hours and had no other option - besides borrowing the jacket from a guy that offered it to me Ummm, no thanks. I still wear that shirt I bought all.the.time. Even thought I have no allegiances towards Ohio - at all).

5. It's something I can take one of the dogs to. I didn't this time, because there were way TOO MANY people. All three of the dogs are pretty weird in crowds.

The race started at 9am and my friend, Angie and I left West Des Moines around 8 to head to downtown Des Moines to pick up our packet and get ready to walk. When we got there, the downtown area was PACKED. We heard several people say that there were 20,000 people walking and you could definitely tell!

From the steps of the capitol. That's a lot of PINK!

We got there really early, but it was still not early enough to walk around and see what vendors were there. Once we found a place to park, walked to the capital and picked up our packets it was already 8:45 and we had to figure out where to go to get ready to walk.

I have never participated in a race *this* big before and now I finally know how frustrating it is at the beginning of a race before the crowd thins out. It was so packed, we didn't even start walking until about 30 minutes after the gun went off - it was nuts! Next time we're getting there early!
Once the walk *finally* got going!

We did run into two old friends of ours that we probably haven't seen in about 5-6 years, and that was really exciting! They're married now with two little boys and I got to meet the boys too. They're so precious - I wish I had taken a picture, but with all the excitement I forgot.

Ang and I walked the race in about an hour. We weren't timing ourselves at all and we talked the entire walk. It was really nice! After the walk was done we decided we deserved breakfast, so we headed to the Panera downtown (my first time checking out this location!) and got some breakfast sandwiches. I always forget how good those are - I must recreate the one I had sometime soon!

Overall it was such way to spend a Saturday morning and I cannot wait to participate in more walks/races with my girlfriends!

Have you done Race for the Cure? What's your favorite way to spend time/keep in touch with old friends?

We really enjoy our regular Friday happy hours to keep in touch. I definitely recommend getting that tradition going if you haven't already!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thoughts on a year ago...

Sometimes it's crazy to me when I sit and compare my life today to my life last year on this day. It's just crazy how fast things can change - and I didn't even half the life changes some of you have had in the past year... getting married, having a baby, graduating college... etc... the list goes on and on! It's such a simple concept, but things really can change in the blink of an eye.

Last year at this time I was in my first semester of graduate school, but only taking two classes. I was still working full time at Justice (a large children's retailer) and literally counting down the days for when I could turn in my notice (which was soon!). My strategy of just pretending I was still at Club Libby Lu had completely worn off and was no longer working. I couldn't pretend anymore, and I was miserable.

Managing this location, which is a three million dollar store, with a staff of 20-50 (depending on the time of year) and starting school again after six years was ROUGH. There are no other words to describe it. I do not recommend it.

It was around this time that I knew I would turn in my notice around Thanksgiving weekend. I wanted to tell my boss in person, and although I wasn't leaving until January, I wanted to give her plenty of time to find a replacement. Or, possibly help hire my replacement.

So, I was juggling this crazy high volume store, getting ready for Christmas, hiring like a crazy person (which is a job ALONE), taking my first round of midterms in six years - and oh yeah, in a relationship that I knew wasn't going to work. It wasn't working.


Fast forward one year...
  • I am taking SIX graduate courses (one is already done, so only five now).
  • I have two part times jobs instead of one crazy full time job. (The beauty of these two part time jobs? I control the schedule. Completely.)
  • The relationship that wasn't working last year is long gone.
  • And I hate the mall.
As I was sitting with two of my favorite clients on Wednesday night in their weekly "Friendship Class" it was between bingo and crafts, that this all hit me. It was only a year ago. Just one measly year ago, and now... I'm doing something that is much more meaningful and I'm helping others, while also bettering myself. Wow... wow, in such a good way.

That feels amazing.

I like to keep my old planners so I can refer back to them if I need to. It's kind of weird, but they're sort of like journals, and you know from yesterday's post that I like to journal! When I went to look up last year on this date, I couldn't find my planner (I totally just typed journal instead of planner, lol). I know I didn't throw it away, so I don't remember exactly what I was doing, but I have the basic idea.

Now that I have the Erin Condren planner with lots of space to write, I'm trying to take even more anecdotal type notes. This way I can remember all of the good things in life that I want to remember. That's important.

Point is, things change so fast. It's so easy to get down about how things are right now, but within a week, month, 6 months or a year, your life could be completely and utterly different.

What were you doing fall of last year? Has your life changed very much?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

National Writing Day

According to the National Council of Teachers of English, today is National Writing Day. I also found this out via Twitter via Mandy! Thanks Mandy! :)

So, why do I write?

I've always enjoyed writing. I can remember writing "stories" almost as soon as I knew how to write. The fact that I grew up with a love of books probably helped quite a bit. My dad is an even bigger reader than me and he always encouraged my writing. When I switched my major from journalism to fashion in college, the conversation with him was not a pretty sight ...

But, I digress. ;)

As a child in school, I immediately loved writing. I loved the feeling of putting words on a page, putting my thoughts on a page, just letting it pour out of me. Journal writing was probably one of my favorite activities in school and that satisfaction felt like nothing else. As a child I always kept a personal journal or diary (I would kill to still have those) and I continued writing through high school. As soon as I possibly could, I joined the school newspaper and wrote mainly features articles. I loved trying to figure out an interesting angle and writing articles that would appeal to readers. Most of my writing was cheesy and it was almost always for entertainment, but I loved every second of it.

After high school, and when I started college, one of the first things I did was apply to work for the college newspaper. Luckily, I was immediately hired (for a wage so small, I might as well have worked for free) and I got started on writing at the college level! By this time, the novelty of a byline had almost completely worn off. I remember one day my sorority house mother stopped me, with the school paper in her hand, and exclaimed, "Is this you?!" pointing at my byline. I clearly remember shrugging and said it wasn't a big deal. Looking back... I wish I wasn't so nonchalant. It was a big deal!

After my freshman year I quit working for the college paper and switched my major. I don't regret it 100%, because I learned a lot, but I do regret it at a little. I wish I had stuck it out - or at least double majored. I always wanted to write for a magazine, and combining fashion and journalism would have been perfect.

Today, I'm obviously a big fan of blogging. Although the style of writing is quite a bit different, and my blogging is rarely informative, I still enjoy it just as much as I enjoyed writing for a newspaper. Maybe more! I love the comaraderie that exists between fellow bloggers and I love the feeling I get when a post gets a lot of surprise attention. When I take a break from blogging - I miss it.

I also write because I enjoy documenting my life. Nobody can possibly remember all of the simple joys in their life each day and writing is a perfect way to get that happiness out and onto paper to hopefully enjoy again later. As bloggers, most of us love snapping photos of the small things in life that bring us happiness, like a simple cupcake or a book that is making us happy. I love that we share that with everyone else reading.

I believe everyone has a unique creative outlet. It could be singing, painting, dancing, sculpting, drawing... anything, really. My creative outlet has always been writing, and it probably always will be. It's been consistent for me throughout my entire life. Writing has, and will hopefully continue to give me that satisfied feeling of accomplishment for the rest of my life and I'm anxious to see what comes after my blogging adventure!

Why do you write? What would you consider your creative outlet in life?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Letters to the Animal Kingdom

Dear Libby,

I get it. You're a spoiled, stuck up cat. Things cannot always be on your terms though. I love you and think you are the best cat in the world, but lately you have been driving me nuts.
  • Please do not jump on my desk, sit on my computer (or textbook) while I am trying to study. You are choosing the wrong time to get my attention!
  • No, you cannot get in the shower with me, I know you like water, but no. Just no.
  • Is it really necessary to kick half of your litter out of your litter box? Why do you do that?!
  • Can you just try to get along with Zeke, Lexi and Chico? I see absolutely zero effort from you and it's disappointing me.
Sincerely, your loving owner Amber

Dear Zeke,

Well, buddy, we've been together 2 years now - can you believe it?? You're such a good dog and I'm really glad you came to live with, but lately you've been a little weird. You've always been a little weird, but you've taken it up a notch lately. Maybe it's the colder weather?
  • Your "I-need-go-outside-right-this-second" stare is just creepy. Especially at 3am when I wake up and you're staring at me. Try this.... barking! It works wonders. Trust me.
  • I'm never taking you to the farmers market again if you decide to poop or pee in the middle of MLK while crossing or right on Court Ave for all the people shopping to see....
  • Lexi is your cousin, please do not do inappropriate things with her.
  • The UPS guy is not the devil. Please do not try to attack him or his truck. Oh, and that truck? It will run you over. Please do not run in front of it again. That was not your finest moment.
Sincerely, the softie that owns you Amber

Dear Chico,

You're a grumpy old chihuahua, but you're sometimes my favorite. You're the perfect size to keep curled up in my lap while reading or watching tv. I know you're happiest there too - it's really cute! Sometimes you're number 1 on my shit list though...
  • Peeing in your mom's shoes (my sister) is NEVER acceptable. Funny? Yes. Mean? Very. I know you're mad at her, but just don't, ok?
  • We are not mind readers. I know you think we are, but we're not. You have to TELL US when you need to go out. This may be done by whining, crying or barking. You may even employ the Zeke Stare method. It works too.
  • I know you know you're a little dog. You're only 6 lbs for goodness sake. So for the love of God, do not try to attack the 75 lb golden retriever in our neighborhood. You will lose and it will be ugly. You're smarter than that.
Sincerely, your favorite (and only) auntie Amber

Dear Lexi,

Lexi, Lexi, Lexi... you're a princess. Everyone knows that. You know that.... but your princess status does not excuse you from several things...
  • Chewing on walls. (seriously, why? Just why?)
  • Pushing your brother, Chico, down when you want what he has (such as a prime spot on my lap... ;) )
  • Getting into the garbage. Please do not use your abnormally long weiner body to your advantage. One more time and I'm buying a baby lock for garbage (for the love of...)
  • Darting outside before your collar is fastened. You're going to give me a heart attack if you make it outside without your collar. I don't want to chase a deaf dog.
  • Helping yourself to the goods at the farmer's market. You have to be asked first! Don't be rude...
  • Taking another dogs treat (especially when that dog appears to be over 100 lbs).
Sincerely, that sucker with the blond hair

**Note - This is not me complaining. I find our pets to be hilariously adorable and I hope you do too. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm baaaaack!

Last week was midterms, and although I surprisingly only had one test, the week ended up being really busy and my head was just not on straight.

The result from this was a little break from something I have grown to love so much - this here blog!

All of your sweet comments made me smile though, it was seriously so nice of you to say to take the time off and that you'd still be here when I came back. It just reminded me so much of why I love the blogging community!

Now, I am back and ready to blog again! When I take days off I miss reading your comments so much! My email is so quiet, and it's just really weird. I've grown quite addicted to hearing reading what you think about whatever it is I have decided to vent/write/review/tell-everyone on the internet.

I was going through my phone the other day and found a TON of pictures specifically taken for blog posts that were never written... so instead of writing about what I was going to write about (because, uhh, most of the subjects would not make sense anymore) I figured I would share the photos!
October 1st us girls all got together and headed up to Ames to tailgate for the Iowa State/Texas game. It was such a blast and I took SO MANY pictures!
We ate walking tacos, drank lots of beer, then switched to Monsters and water (complete with the coozie) and ate some more before heading out to walk it all off...

After eating way too much food tailgating we walked around Ames and visited some of our favorite places. One including my old sorority house. They've updated it and remodeled some and it looks fabulous!

We ate a lot of yummy food last weekend while up in Minneapolis celebrating Lesli's birthday. In true blogger fashion, I took pictures of just about everything that graced my lips (and now hips, ha!)
We also did some shopping - because one cannot spend time in Minneapolis and NOT shop! One of my absolute favorite places to window shop and drool over the gorgeous pretties is Anthropologie. I wish we had one in Des Moines, but... it's probably a good thing. It's fun to look at, but much too expensive for my taste.

I found these pictures on my iphone from the state fair and I couldn't resist posting. I think they're so pretty!

Do you like taking pictures? Do you carry around a camera or just use your phone?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Historic Conversations with Jacqueline Kennedy

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know I have a fascination with American first ladies. My absolute favorite is hands down Laura Bush, but Jacqueline Kennedy is a close second. When I first started reading books about Jackie, watching documentaries and listening to tapes a couple years ago, I knew I would never get enough. There is so much that we will never know about her and her family, but that doesn't stop me from trying to learning more! She's such an interesting, smart, classy woman that I feel is also extremely misunderstood.

When I heard Caroline Kennedy was publishing these tapes I was a little nervous for her, but knew that
I was going to buy them. Then when I saw on Amazon they were only $33, I pre-ordered them. After I got them I waited for a time when I would be driving at least 8 hours so I could listen to them in long stretches of time and on the highway where I wouldn't be as easily distracted by traffic. I am really glad I did that.

I listened to almost all of them between Des Moines and Minneapolis last weekend and it made my drive literally fly by. Without even realizing it, I was on the fourth cd and in Minneapolis. This is when I got sad and started re-listening to parts that I still had questions on or maybe had missed. I didn't want it to end! I started rewinding to hear her say something again or just to clarify something (the audio quality isn't that great).

I didn't go into this thinking it was going to be all sweet and I would leave feeling happy. I knew they would be sad and I knew there would be a lot on these tapes that Jackie today would have disagreed with Jackie in 1964. In some ways, I feel that it was wrong of Caroline to publish them or to not edit them, but then in many other ways I feel like that was the right thing to do. It's really hard to decide. If Jackie were alive today I think she wouldn't have let them be published, but then again, I am not her daughter - so what do I know?

All seven conversations were published in early March 1964, less than four months after JFK's assassination. It baffles me that Jackie was able to have these conversations and remain composed, but she did. There were only a couple times where I *think* she got choked up, but that is only me guessing. Neither her or Arthur Schlesinger address it. There are many silent moments during the conversation where it is hard to figure out if Jackie is just gathering her thoughts or if she needs a moment. There are also many moments where Arthur and Jackie are whispering and it is very hard to understand what they are saying - even with the audio turned up as far as it will go. Yes, I did that! It was like listening to a secret I wasn't supposed to hear!

All of the tapes were mostly politics, which was fine, and it was extremely interesting to get her perspective on events like the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Vietnam War and especially her opinions of LBJ. Maybe it's the girl in me, but her opinion of him was humorous. There were many times I laughed out loud at the things she said about him and how candid she was. The only frustrating part was the people they talked about that I didn't know. There were so many people involved, and knowing them all would be difficult for someone that didn't live through the Kennedy administration. This fact made some of the conversations quite dry. I wanted to know more about what life was like with Jack and what life was like as a Kennedy and in the White House. I would say the cds are about half of the personal lifestyle information and half politics.

There were many times during the tapes that Arthur had to jog Jackie's memory and remind her of certain events or when things happened - but I didn't mind. I know a lot of people did mind and found that annoying. I think it makes sense! How can you expect her to remember every intricate detail? Do you think her husband remembered every detail of all of her projects? I sincerely doubt it. As First Lady I am sure it is extremely hard to keep all your own obligations under control on top of keeping track of your husbands!

My favorite parts of the tapes were when you could hear her lighting up her cigarette, or the ice clinking in their glasses and the planes flying overhead. There was even one part when John entered the room and she turned around (I'm picturing that she turned around ;)) and said, "Out!" in that mom voice that all mothers have. Seriously, it might have been one of my favorite parts! I wish she would have let him stay! It was such a humanizing moment for me, listening to her mother her child. Maybe that's weird, but I rewound that part and listened to it a few times. ;)

There was one conversation where John did speak though, and it's extremely sad. Arthur asks John if he remembers his father and Johns says playfully, "I don't remember ANYTHING!" That part made me cry a little bit. It was just so sad. Caroline did not make an appearance on any of the tapes, and I really wish she did.

I'm really happy that I invested in these and know that I will listen to them again. There are more tapes that were recorded that contain more information about the day of Jack's assassination but they are sealed until 2067. I understand her reasoning for that, but at the same time it kind of makes me mad. She claims to have such a love for history and recorded these tapes for that reason, so why release something 100 years later when that generation will not really care or understand? Today's generation cannot understand her reasoning from the 1950s and 60s, how do you expect the generation from 2067 to understand .. or even care? It's hard to hear her say some things now and not cringe, I can only imagine how that will sound in 50 years.

I suppose to her this wasn't really history... it was her personal life.

Although I will be over 80 years old in 2067, I hope I am around to listen to them... because I know I will. :)

If you have any interest in the Kennedy administration and Jacqueline Kennedy these tapes are a must-have. I promise you will enjoy them and adore getting to know Jackie from this time period just a little bit more.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stay tuned for our (my) regular programming...

I'm taking a slight break this week. I have so many things I want to write about, but every time I sit down to write I think of all the things I should be doing instead and a massive case of writers block emerges. My attention span these days is pathetic and I cannot seem to focus on anything for longer than 20 minutes. Not good when I am juggling two jobs, five graduate courses and normal social life.

I don't know why I just made that seem unusual. It's actually quite normal for me. And, I like it.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be back soon! Don't go anywhere! ;)

Do you take regular blogging breaks? Why do you think we need to take a break from something we ultimately love so much?

PS: Of course I'm still reading your blog and trying to comment. It's my daily dose of sanity that keeps me going.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just a few Friday funnies

Want to see the picture that inspired my header?

This was taken one weekend at the lake while we were four-wheeling (or muddin', trailin', off-roading - whatever you want to call it!). For the record, I had no idea that guy was behind me! He could have scared the bejeezus out of me if he had jumped out!

That picture just makes me laugh! It was such a fun night!

Another thing that made me smile this week was my most recent letter from my pen pal! She's in the fourth grade at a local elementary school and she's the sweetest little girl!

Here's what she said this week:

(all mechanics and punctuation written as she wrote it)

Dear Amber, Thank you for your kind and nice letter. I really appreciate it. I feel so happy that you are a Cyclone fan. My favorite color is red, purple and pink. Yes, I love shopping. The last movie I saw at the theaters was Tangled. It is really funny, you should watch it. If you ever watched it you gotta tell me your favorite character is. My favorite character is Repunzel. My favorite food is chiken nuggets. My favorite snack is Cheetos. What is your favorite snack? I play with my little brother and sister. I have a Question. Do you know this named lacey? I need to know if you are friends with because she is my friends pen pal. By the way are you left handed or right handed? I am a right handed. Are you a blond girl or a brown girl? I am a brown girl. And I am hoping you are a brown girl too. What is your favorite subject? my favorit Subject is writing I love to write. I also love to read just like you do. My favorite book is Percy Jackson Just to remind you. I also love this booked Spider Wick Chronicels. I just started to read the book. It is really good.


What is your teachers name?
Do you have a best friend?
Who is you best friend?

PS. Do you have any picture for me?

PPS. What is your favorite color? I'm guessing it's blue

Poem for Amber:
Chiken noodles Chiken chiken chiken noodles noodles
goes with chiken

that is why it is always delisouse.

I hope you love chiken

noodles they are really delisouse.

Yeah chiken noodles.

I hope you love the poem because i did the best i could

Omg. CUTE!

Seriously?! This girl is the best! I cannot wait to meet her at the end of the semester.

But....more importantly... HOW am I going to tell her I'm a blond girl???!!

So, tell me, what was the highlight of YOUR week?? Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nightly routines

We all have them and we all hate them.

Our nightly routine. As women we have so much more to do then men do.

Although I hate doing it, I'm pretty religious about my nightly routine and hate when there is a night that I can't do it.

Here's mine:

1. Change into pj's
2. Put on a headband to keep hair off my face
3. Wash face
4. Apply astringent (I swear this is the secret that kept me from breaking out - for me, it totally works)
5. Take vitamins, two melatonin and any other medications necessary (ibruprofen, Rx... etc)
6. Take out contacts
7. Brush teeth
8. Grab laptop, glass of water, book and planner
9. Head to bed
10. Write the next day's blog post (yep, I'm half asleep when I write these)
11. Read

Then it's....


What's your nightly routine?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Add my laptop, and this is how I am spending the majority of my time lately...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


My Monday started off quite busy. I did an overnight Sunday night, so once I got the clients up, fed and out the door, I headed home to get ready for class. After class I was scheduled at a different site until 10:30pm. Although it is quite a bit of downtime while working with the clients, it's still exhausting because you have to be aware at all times.

Kind of like parenting, I suppose. ;)

The highlight of my day was doing the 30 Day Shred with the ladies in the afternoon... most clients have an exercise goal and I love exercising with them. Today I suggested a workout dvd that was only 20 minutes (hehehe, see where this is going?) and they go, "Pshhhh! Twenty minutes!!? Easy peasy!"

I evilly giggled to myself and said, "Ok! Let's hop to it!"

They wanted to kill me. Or perhaps they wanted to kill Jillian Michaels. Probably both. They did it though! It was awesome. We used soup cans as weights! I wish I could post a picture! It was cute. :)

Well, it's Tuesday and it's been a few weeks since I've done ToT, so here goes!

Be sure to link up with Chelsea this week, she's got a great giveaway going on!

1. How do you take your coffee?
Non-dairy creamer and five Splendas. (I like Splenda. A lot). I've been meaning to try that Bailey's creamer - it looks delish!

2. Do you prefer soft or crispy chocolate chip cookies?
Definitely soft! Preferably still warm, too. Mmm.... Cookies...

3. Do you wear a belt everyday?
Nope, I hardly every wear a belt actually. Unless it's an accessory to an outfit, like a dress.

4. What is your favorite color combination?
I love the colors red and purple together, especially in the fall! Lately I have been a big fan of the

5. Do you like sour candy?
Sure do! I don't prefer it, but I do like it.

6. How often do you do laundry?
About once a week. Anything less than that and the laundry is a little out of control (and I'm out of bath towels).

7. Did you ever wear braces?
Yep, for two years. I got lucky, but still hated them.

8. Are you good at Roman Numerals?
Until about 10 or so...

9. What is your favorite form of social media?
Definitely Twitter! I have withdrawals and worry about what I'm missing if I can't check every couple hours or so...

10. How do you feel about chin dimples?
I think they can be endearing!

Today I am subbing in an Art room. The kids are working on their "final projects" and I'm curious to see what that entails! Maybe I can sneak some pictures of their work to post tomorrow... (doubtful, but maybe).

Were you a fan of art class? What was your favorite "special" in school? If you participate in ToT please let me know so I can stop by and read your answers!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

September recap

September FLEW by this year! They just go faster and faster, don't they?

(See? Another comment about time flying. me?)

A lot happened this month and I thought it would be fun to look back on it. I've never done one of these monthly recaps, similar to Lisa's, but I think I might start!

Books read:
This month I read six books - a little higher than my normal average! This month I read four YA books, so that is probably why.

The Murderer's Daughters - this one was for Books 'n Bars and you can find my review here!

Still Missing - this was for Emily's book club and I loved it! I have Chevy Stevens second novel and need to figure out when I am going to be able to read it!! For the month of October we're reading The Scent of Rain and Lightning - feel free to join us!

The Giver - Such a classic! This month I figured out that I did not read this when I was in school, although I was positive I had. I am in love with this book and know that I will re-read it again someday!

Matilda - Another classic! I had to read this book for one of my classes and it was so nice to revisit a childhood favorite! I am also a fan of the movie, the little girl that played Matilda was perfect in that role.

Anna and the French Kiss - LOVED this book! Such a wonderful, sweet story set in one of the most romantic settings in the world. If you're a fan of YA I absolutely recommend this book!

Vengeance - The final book in the Private series. It's bittersweet, but it was definitely time for this series to close.

The dogs went to the vet this month to get their heart worm tests and shots. They also had their yearly checkup with the vet - they're all doing great! Zeke ran into his old owners at the Farmer's Market this month as well. It was really funny! This random woman came up to me and asked if my dog's name was Zeke. It was the mom of the girl that gave him to me! She was so excited to see him and I think Zeke knew it was her!

Favorite workouts:
At the end of September I finally gave Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred a chance and am loving it! It's such a QUICK workout that really seems to work - so far anyway! I'm hoping I can keep it up and shred almost everyday in October. I love setting up my laptop right in front of the tv on a stand and doing the shred while watching tv. It takes my mind off of some of the tougher moves and I can go longer without wimping out.

Subbing jobs:
This month I subbed in "in-school suspension", a family & consumer science class (home ec), physics and instrumental music. They were all great and I would definitely work in those rooms again.

I am loving my children's lit class! What's not to love when you talk about books for three hours a week and get graded on reading YA novels?! Basically my idea of heaven. In September I had a weekend class that happened to fall on the weekend of the Iowa/Iowa State game. I came this close to dropping the class in order to go to the game, but decided against that in favor of making an adult decision (ugh). I'm still bummed I missed it, because we WON, but I'm glad that class is out of the way

As usual I listened to mainly oldies - did you know that about me? I am obsessed with oldies, my car radio is almost always on our local oldies station. I did discover the Pandora Postal Heights station and listened to that quite a bit. Such perfect music for fall.

I'm so glad fall tv is here! So far I am loving Revenge, Modern Family, The Middle, The Biggest Loser, New Girl, Pioneer Woman, 90210, and Grey's Anatomy. I really do not have time for much more! (Good lord, I hope not. That's a lot of tv).

This month I walked out of a movie! A client and I went to see My Idiot Brother and we were both hating it, so we walked out! I should have checked the ratings closer (my bad) because it had several inappropriate parts and the client I was with looked horrified. I felt terrible. We couldn't get out of there fast enough. I meant to go see Sarah's Key and Midnight in Paris before it was gone from the theaters, but didn't get a chance. I'll have to wait for dvd!

I have been focusing A LOT more on my blogging and maintaining a regular posting schedule. I think it's become a habit now and when I consider not posting on a weekday I get a little nervous. I hate when a regular blogger doesn't post and doesn't let us know he/she's not posting. Makes me worry something happened! This month two of my best friends started their own blogs as well! It's so exciting to see people you love enjoy something that you have a deep passion for! Check out Reflections from Ang and Observations by Miss Oakley!
This month I also got a new blog design! Krystyn from Krizzy Designs did a fantastic job and I am so in love with my new blog look! Next up, my own domain!

Overall, September was a great month, but I am ready for fall! I can't wait for the leaves to continue to fall and crunch under my feet, the cool air to crisper and crisper and (of course) the adorable and comfy fall wardrobe!

In October I am making one trip to Minneapolis to see my close friend, Lesli. Heading out on a shopping trip with the girls to Williamsburg and participating in Race for the Cure for the first time. Should be a fun month!

How was your September? What's on deck for you in October?

We've got a winner!

Crap. How is it October 2nd already?

Am I going to say something along those lines every day in October? Probably.

Gosh, I'm turning into such an old person.

Anyway... yesterday we headed up to our old stomping grounds: Ames, Iowa to tailgate for our beloved Cyclones! Despite getting out butts kicked by Texas we still had a blast and I had so much fun! I have about a bajillion pictures (yes, a bajillion), so get ready for a very picture heavy post this week!

But, first I have some business to take care of. Giveaway business!!

Wanna know who the winner is?! Using the extremely scientific method of we have determined our winner...

It's Lisa, from Lisa's Yarns! Congratulations!

I'm so excited to send her some banned books! Lisa chose A Wrinkle in Time and she get's to pick one more between Catcher in the Rye, Go Ask Alice and The Hunger Games!

This was definitely fun and I cannot wait to do another giveaway sometime!

How'd your team do this weekend? Hopefully better than us! We got killed! :(

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Books 'n Bars recap @ High Life Lounge (Des Moines, IA)

I cannot believe we just completed the fifth month of Books 'n Bars and are now beginning the sixth month - holy-freakin-cow time is fllyyyying!

(ugh, everytime I say that I feel approximately 84 years old).

Aaaanyway, we met on Sunday night to discuss The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers at High Life Lounge in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

For those of you that may be a little new to ALPITC, Books 'n Bars is a book club I started over the summer for anyone that is interested in reading some good books, having a discussion about said good books and checking out a new bar in the Des Moines area. We meet once a month and always at a new place. At each meeting we have spent approximately 90 minutes-2 hours eating dinner, having a couple drinks and enjoying each others company.

We chose the novelty bar, High Life Lounge this month because A. It's cheap, B. It's awesome and C. Why not?! It's fun!

High Life Lounge looks like your grandparents basement in the 70s with orange shag carpet, worn in leather booths and chairs with old fashioned 70s decor everywhere. They serve beers like PBR and, of course, Miller High Life. They serve food like goulash and tuna casserole, and they're particularly known for their bacon wrapped tator tots. Yes, bacon wrapped! They were even featured on Man vs. Food a couple years ago. Every time I go there I get the cheeseburger with tator tots that costs $2.99. No, I am not kidding, it is really that cheap!

Ok, on to the book!

Everyone was a pretty big fan of the book and liked it a lot. I, however, was not. I did not realize I was such a critical reader, but I think as I am getting older I am becoming much more critical of writing styles and novel development.

Before you think I hated it, let me tell you what I did like! (Because there were things I liked!) I liked how the book started out dramatic right away. From page one there was drama and action, so it really pulled me in, which is something I really need an author to do to keep me interested. I also liked the plot of the story. It was interesting and I thought it was very realistic. So many children grow up with domestic abuse and have lifelong issues with their parents that are very real. I could see some people that are in that position struggle to read through this book and re-live the issues that Lulu and Merry go through.

What I didn't like about the book was how slow it was in the middle. I think it took over a week to read this, which is strange for a book of this genre and length for me. For about half of the book nothing happened! The first quarter and the last quarter of the book held all of the action, and I think that I need more of that kind of intensity to keep me intrigued. I also didn't like that the mother's character wasn't developed a bit more. She was only in the book for the first chapter or so and we hardly learned anything about her before she died. It would have been nice if the family had been developed a little more and we could have gotten to know them.

Overall I give the book 3 out of 5 stars. I would still absolutely recommend this book though. I was the only one in the group that wasn't particularly impressed, which is kind of an oddity, so there is a good chance you would still like it!

Let me know if you read it!!

For the month of October we are reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I am a little nervous because I have had friends that hated that book and then I have met others that gush about it... guess we'll see!