Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Currently--What I've Been Up To

While reading education blogs awhile back, I came across a blogger who did something called a "Currently". Maybe these are all over the blogging world and you've seen them before, but it was new to me and I really liked the idea of it. I thought it was a fun way to give a little update on things I am doing besides the cooking, decor, and home posts I do--which by the way I know you are still waiting for a photo tour of my home and I have been working on it little by little but let's just say I am enjoying my summer before it's gone :). Because I have been blogging less than I wanted/planned right now, I thought this would be a good short and sweet post to share.

So today I am bringing you my first Currently. I doubt I will do these monthly (I really don't need another regular to-do item haha) but maybe seasonally.

Are any of my "currently" items true for you?

And now I really am off to pack for another wedding weekend! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Back to (a new) School

I had good intentions to post the photo tour of my new house last week before we left town for a wedding.  I took all the pictures and got them on my computer. But once again, the many tasks of everyday life got in the way of my blogging.

I started this post on my iPhone in the car to the wedding last week so that I wouldn't have left my blog for a whole week. However, lack of service in the middle of nowhere on the way there and complete exhaustion on the way back prevented me from finishing it. So here I am now. The photo tour is still not done. It's on my to-do list, it's on my mind, but so are SO many other things. Two of which I am going to explain in this post. And the third, I realized last night! Did you know there are only 7 days left in July!?!?! Where did summer go? This tragic realization has motivated me to (try to) get some stuff done that I said I would this summer and that means therefore, less time to blog every week. It has also freaked me out, made me sad, and made me excited that school will be starting soon!

Last week, I stopped in WalMart to look for something in housewares but I didn't make it there for at least 15 minutes because the colorful aisle of Back-to-School supplies blocked my route was right by the front door. Being a teacher, it is quite nearly impossible to walk past school supplies without touching, smiling, and yes usually buying something. This day was no exception!

I just had to get this adorable notebook for myself. Of course I have lots of notebooks but a teacher can always use more. :)

 Aren't the birds just so cute??? I seem to be acquiring a thing for birds in decor lately...

There was a scripture verse on the back.
This notebook is called Love Petals by Dena Designs. My mom informed me that she designs fabric for Free Spirit Fabric. She has some very cute stuff! I haven't been able to find the bird design in a fabric so maybe she just made this for notebooks. There were 5 other notebook designs. You should check them out!

I also got this! I have never seen something like this before. Right off the top of my head, I don't know how exactly I will use this, but I'm sure I can come up with something! If not, I'll return it.
They also had one that only has 10 pockets (I bought that as well so I can decide which one I want, or keep both!)

I also got this super cute ABC cursive chart. It was only 97 CENTS!!!

And how could I pass up all these fun borders? Again 97 cents each! Ya, I couldn't. 

Something I did not buy, but thought was so cool--8 packs of crayons in various shades of ONE color. So you buy the brown pack, you get 8 diff browns. How fun! I didn't buy them because well how could you get just one? I would want all of them. See...I have a back-to-school supply shopping problem. :)

So now that I have all this fun stuff, I have to figure out where to put it........


That's right, I have a new teaching position!

I will no longer be teaching Kindergarten in the public school system. After three interviews for public school positions and uneasiness about teaching two sessions of Kindergarten all year (that's 50 five-year olds and their parents!), I got a random text from a friend. She knew someone at a private Christian school in the area and they had an opening for a 3/4 split classroom with only 14 students. She recommended me to them and gave me a name and number to contact. 

Ever since I first started down this education path, I never saw myself in a private school (I'm not totally sure why) and I was still hopeful that something else would open up in the public schools. Well I decided to call and at least get more information so I could feel better about saying "no". 

Funny how things work out sometimes.

Through a couple phone calls, a somewhat interview (I asked 90% of the questions), a tour, and face-to-face meeting I just kept being more and more intrigued and pleasantly surprised by this school. Which just kept making the decision harder and harder. I made a pros and cons list, I talked to my husband (every night) and my parents. I prayed. I himmed. I hawed. I prayed again, asking God to just put some new thought in my head or someone to say something new about this whole thing that would just strike me and give me peace. 4 hours later, He did. My Kindergarten teacher friend called me and talked for about a half hour with me. She said a couple things that I really needed to hear and gave me peace.

Finally I made a decision.

  • I decided that $500(ish) less a year is no big deal when I would have 36 less students.
  • I decided that Fridays off is pretty sweet.
  • I decided that 3rd and 4th grade is so much what I want to teach.
  • I decided that one year of half-time experience in the public system is not enough "tenure" and retirement to hold onto it.
  • I decided that knowing what I am teaching in mid-July would be so much less stressful than finding something in mid-August.
  • I decided that 2 minute commute is awesome.
  • I decided that helping lead a school into Common Core and technology integration would be a great opportunity/experience for me.
  • I decided that joining a small, Christian community would be a really good fit for me.
  • I decided to teach 3rd and 4th grade at the private Christian school.


On Monday, I brought home a second box of curriculum to start going through and got the key to my classroom! It is small and the desks are built into the walls so I am definitely limited in space and how to use it. I have been pinning like crazy and filling my head with so many awesome ideas! Now I just need to start reading the curriculum and ACTUALLY planning some lessons. So that is one of the big things I really need to get a move on.

The second one is a writing credit. Before I left my Kindergarten position, I signed up for a credit to develop the writing curriculum for the year. Its actually kinda fun (ya, I know I'm weird) and I'm already deep into it, so why quit now? Plus, it gets me one more credit. So I have to keep plugging along with that as well.

And now, I'm off to my summer nanny job!

I really am hoping to get the photo tour up this week as well as a couple more posts, we'll see how it really goes!

If you are the praying kind, I wouldn't mind a few to help me in these last few weeks of summer to balance my nannying, summer fun, writing credit, and planning for 3/4! :)

What is your favorite back-to-school supply?
What little item do you have a thing for in decor? (ex. my thing with birds lately)
Have you ever made a job switch that was such a hard decision but then you were so excited?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2nd Try for Intrepid Thread Winner

Well unfortunately, the first winner, Patti, did not come back to check the blog and did not see that she won. I had no way to contact her since she did not have an email address in her comment. I did a re-drawing and we have a new winner for the Hip Holiday fat quarters!

Thank you to Julie at Intrepid Thread for sponsoring!

The new random number:

Comment #269

 The winner is Linda Crosby!

Linda, I am sending you an email so we can get your fun fabric to you!

Thanks again everyone for entering and reading my blog and thank you to Intrepid Thread for providing this beautiful fabric and making the giveaway possible!  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Intrepid Thread Giveaway WINNER!

As all good things must come to an end, my first giveaway is over. It was a lot of fun and a great success! This post had my highest number of comments and the second highest number of views. I also have 65 followers now which is so wonderful! Thank you so much to everyone who read, commented, and become a follower! Thank you also very much to Julie at Intrepid Thread for sponsoring this giveaway and making it possible!

You all had some wonderful ideas for what you would make with this fun Christmas fabric. If you didn't win, maybe you still plan to buy some of this for the projects you wanted to do.
 I loved reading all your comments. You also had some great guesses as to that I am making with my fabric from Intrepid Thread. Only a handful of you guessed correctly. And no, I'm not going to give it away :) You'll just have to come back and see for yourself!

And now for the winner!

Here is Comment #201 (I counted 3x to make sure)

Patti, Congratulations!!!
You can now make your lap quilt. :)
Please contact me asap
Patti, unfortunately, your comments did not leave an email address for me to contact you. I hope you see that you have won! Because I have no way to reach you, you have 24 hours to contact me (by 9:00am PST on 7/18/13). If I don't hear from you in that time, I will do a re-drawing for another winner.

Again, thank you so much to everyone and to Intrepid Thread!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

1 Year Anniversary

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe a whole year has already gone by since our wonderful wedding day! It has been a jam-packed year--a year of growth, memories, love, laughter, big decisions, and good times. Some days I look at him and think, "am I really married to him? I really get to spend every day with him for the rest of my life?" As I said in my vows a year ago, "I am so thankful that sometimes too good really does come true."

We originally planned to go on a hot air balloon ride with the Living Social deal he gave me last year on our one-year-of-dating anniversary. We tried to go last year but had to keep canceling because of the weather. Then the season ended and the guy told us he would still honor the deal this spring. So we waited all winter and when May came we called, and called, and emailed. We finally found out online that the place was closed for business! BOO!!! Now what?

Well thankfully we had another option. Last fall, the Chamber of Commerce hosted a New Teacher's Reception and they gave away some cool packages. I won one of them! I think this was the first time I ever won a giveaway. We got 2 tickets for a day cruise on a river near us and included lunch. So I got online to book and when I saw this cruise only happened on Sundays, I knew it was meant to be!

Our pre-sunburn faces.
We did put sunscreen on, just not enough. Oops. I hope my rudolph-red-nose gets all better and doesn't peel by this next weekend--I'm in my friend's wedding.

At this point in the river, it really looks more like a lake. We found out that it used to be a lake on each side and a river in the middle. All three bodies of water were very separated until the river at the other end of the lake somehow caused the water level to rise (I can't remember what the Captain said as to how...a dam or something). The poles are to show the river's course and guide the boats through the deeper parts of the water.

Some parts of the river made me feel like I was on the Jungle Cruise as Disneyland! So then I told my husband a little bit about that ride (he's never been to Disneyland--we are hoping to change that this year!).
It was a gorgeous day for this cruise, perfect temperature and nice breeze. We had a fun time relaxing, taking in the sights, talking about our first year of marriage, getting burned without noticing, and discussing our next year of marriage. I am so blessed to be married to this Godly, wise, hardworking, handsome, funny, listening, caring, supportive, encouraging, awesome loving man!

 After the cruise, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at a floating restaurant. This is the same restaurant where we had dinner the night he proposed! (Sorry the picture is so bad. We just had my little point-and-shoot camera and the sun was bright outside.)

Our dinner: salad bar with boysenberry poppy seed dressing and 
then I had macadamia crusted mahi mahi, and he had prime rib.
We were so stuffed from the big lunch on the cruise, we both brought half our meals home for lunch tomorrow!

When we got back home, we took some pictures. I saw this idea on Pinterest awhile back where a couple held a picture of them on their wedding and took a picture. Each following year they hold the picture that they took the previous year. I thought this was fun and wanted to do it. So we grabbed our canvas picture and the tripod to take some pictures. Then I had a little editing fun. :)


After pictures, we said our vows to each other again. We both wrote our own vows. It was really special to hear and read them again!

And then, thankfully I remembered that we had our cake! 
I almost forgot and that would have been so sad! I took it out of the freezer a couple days ago and put it in the fridge to thaw. Ever since the small piece I ate on our wedding day, I have been waiting for our anniversary to have some more of that delicious cake!!! It was a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and white chocolate frosting! A friend of a friend made it for us. Here is what it looked like on our wedding day.
It tasted just as good as I remembered! Again, we were so stuffed so just ate a couple bites.

We had such a fun and food filled day! Hooray for our first year of marriage!

What did you do for your first anniversary?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Intrepid Thread Fabric Giveaway!

Welcome to my first giveaway!

I'm very excited about this! Back in April, Julie from Intrepid Thread posted on Facebook that she was creating a schedule of giveaways and to contact her if we wanted to host. I've been trying to grow my little blog with several linky parties and some blog updates and I thought this giveaway would be so great to help in that endeavor. I signed up for early July because I knew we were moving into our new house (photo tour to come next week) in late June. That would give me time (I thought) to make something for my house with other fabric I bought from Intrepid Thread and then I could blog about it as part of this giveaway. Ya, if you read my last post you can guess, that didn't happen because I tend to procrastinate a bit. I started the project. I just didn't finish it. Does that count for partial credit?

I will be blogging about my project when I finish it soon. But I'll let you at least see the pretty fabric right now. I bought Yellow Pillow Fort from the collection "In My Room" by Jenean Morrison.

I love the color and fun symmetrical pattern.
Any guesses what I'm making?

I also got some more fabric from Intrepid Thread but my mom is making this project for me.

We have a King size bed and none of the quilts my mom made me for each year of college are big enough to share with my husband when I'm sleeping fit nicely on the bed. So that meant she had to make another quilt for me(us)...darn! :) I chose the blues and greens from In My Room by Jenean Morrison. Mmm, I love it!

Probably my favorite print from the line--Blue Lazy Afternoon--although it's so hard to choose! I love how this looks like it was colored with colored pencils.

  Pieces cut to start making a quilt!

Here's a couple of the blocks ready to be sewn together.

I will post pictures when the quilt is done! I'm so excited. Thanks mom :)
And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!
The fabric bundle from Intrepid Thread today celebrates Christmas in July (and if you are a procrastinator like me, you may win this fabric and still have time to make something for this Christmas in December).

The Winner will receive 8 fat quarters
(one fat quarter of each of these prints pictured here) 
from Hip Holiday by Josephine Kimberling
You can see the entire Hip Holiday collection at Intrepid Thread's online shop.

Aren't the prints so fun!? From top to bottom they are -- Tree Shopping White, Ornament Glam in Red, Hip Forest in White, Star Bursts in Green, Star Bursts in White, Reindeer Stroll Red, Reindeer Stroll Green, and Silver Metallic Print.

How can you win this, you ask? Well, there are multiples ways to enter:

#1. Leave a comment answering this question: if you won, what would you make with this fun Christmas fabric?
#2. Follow me on Bloglovin. Leave a comment telling me you became a follower.

#3. Follow the Intrepid Thread on Bloglovin. Leave a comment telling me you became a follower.

#4. Like Intrepid Thread on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so.

#5. Check out any previous blog post of mine and leave a comment (on this post) telling me the title of the other post you read. Feel free of course to comment on that other post as well. :)

#6. Leave a comment guessing what I'm making with my Yellow Pillow Fort fabric.

Not too hard huh? Up to 6 entries per person. Giveaway will close at midnight on Tuesday, July 16th and a winner will be selected randomly and announced on Wednesday, July 17th.

Thank you so much to Julie at Intrepid Thread for sponsoring this fun first giveaway!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Throwpillow Thursday!

Happy Thursday! And more specifically, Happy Throwback Throwpillow Thursday! I think that may be the first time I've ever done an actual Throwback. First time for everything right. Well, this is DEFINITELY not the first time I've procrastinated. This blog post was meant to happen, in oh...uh...October. Oops. Well better (really) late than never right?

Back in October, I decided to make some decor pillows for our couch and bed. This meant fabric and sewing.

PAUSE---NEWSFLASH--I will have another post TOMORROW about fabric...a GIVEAWAY of fabric so that you could do your own sewing of pillow or something entirely not-pillow. And if you're a procrastinator like me, getting this particular fabric now may be just the right timing to allow for procrastination and still be able to squeeze in a creative sewing project on time to use this fabric. Hmmm....curious? :) Come back tomorrow and Enter to WIN the FABRIC GIVEAWAY!

Now back to my fabric and sewing project. These were my first pillows to make and I plan on there being MANY more. I mean, come on, you gotta have a variety to change them out and multiple couches, chairs, beds, you get the picture. My husband thinks that decor pillows are absolutely pointless and ridiculous. We joked about them so much before we got married, I would tease him saying there was going to be 20 on our bed and he would tease me saying he was going to hide them, etc. This video clip from Along Came Polly is so us but I'm the guy (but just the guy before he follows along because I'm not converting to anti-decor pillows) and my husband is the girl. So when it came time to write my vows, it seemed fitting to include something about decor pillows. In one of my promises, I said, " I give my word to agree to disagree on the necessity of dessert and decor pillows." Yeah, the dessert topic is for a WHOLE different day. :)

And so we have decor pillows :)

To make these, first I had to choose the fabric. If you know my mom, this task is not easy because she knows about EVERY fabric and EVERY website that sells it and EVERY sale and so the possibilities are truly endless and I have to say "stop, stop, 23 tabs open in your browser is enough for me to make a decision." :)

For the couch pillows (I will write about the bedroom pillows another time...don't ask when, haha) I chose Riley Blake Ombre Dots. I bought them from an Etsy store called Selvage123. We have a green leather couch (on loan from my parents until we find our own) and while I really like the couch's comfiness and color, green is not high on my list so it took awhile to find something I would like to match the couch and not be too green. And you're saying, "the only color on that fabric is green." True, but because it is ombre there is not an overabundance of one shade of froggy or mossy green. Also I love ombre and this was my first ombre item to own. So there, it's green without being GREEN.

I bought pillow forms at JoAnn's (they were on sale! each pillow was about $6.50) This picture includes the pillows for our bed as well.

I made an envelope pillow cover. There are several tutorials that you find on Pinterest, I just typed it into Bing and found this YouTube video: How to Make an Envelope Pillow Cover as one of the top results. It's only 8minutes long, to-the-point, and very informative. If you want to make these, I would suggest watching this since my directions and pictures are not as thorough as a video.

First, measure the pillow. Mine were 17"x17". For the front of the pillow cover, you will need a square of fabric that is 1" bigger on all 4 sides, so in my case, 18"x18".

For the back of your pillow cover, you will want the same height (18") but then 4" wider than the front. This piece should be 18"x22". The four extra inches will provide the overlap envelope on the back of the cover. Once you have the back piece cut, then you will need to cut it in half so that you have two pieces that are 18"x11".

Next, you will need to hem just one of the longer (18") sides for both of those two back pieces. Fold 1/4" towards the wrong side of the fabric and press. Fold 1/4" again and press again.

Then you will need to sew the hems on both pieces of fabric.

I used a zig-zag stitch right down the center of the fold to keep it all hemmed nicely.

The next part I failed to take pictures of. If my directions confuse you, refer to the video for the visual.
Lay the front piece right side up on your table.
Lay one of your back pieces right side down on top of the front piece. You will want to lay it so that the left, top, and bottom edges meet up and the hemmed edge is in the middle.
Now lay the second back piece right side down as well. This time line up the right, top, and bottom edges with the front piece. The hemmed side should be overlapping your other hemmed side on the other back piece. Still with me?

Now you will want to pin all around the outside edges to keep the front and back pieces together.

Sew around all four edges. Remember, that overlap of the two back pieces is the opening to take your pillow in and out so that's why you sew all the way around the outside edge. As you'll see in the video, she keeps the right side of the foot along the outside edge of the fabric.

Once you are done sewing, you will want to trim the excess fabric in the corners so that when you turn it inside out, you have nice crisp corners. Be careful not to cut your seam.

Here it is finished and inside-out. You can see the hem where it overlaps and is the envelope opening.

Flip it right-side-out and poke the little corners out.

Stuff your pillow in.

Voila! You just made a pillow cover. Pretty easy huh? Hey, if I can do it, you can do it too!

Here they are on my couch.

See, not too GREEN, right?

 Hooray for easy sewing projects! (notice I cropped the picture really close so you can't see too much of my new house until the photo tour next week!)

Remember, be sure to come back tomorrow for a FABRIC GIVEAWAY!!!

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