Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Another Day as a Middle School Teacher -

Today at work...

  • When I asked a kid to spit out his gum for the second time he yelled out I was a racist.  I have taught for nine years in an urban school setting.  I don't pretend to be a prefect teacher.  I am however...NOT a racist.  I am still not sure if I am more mad or more sad.  I hate when some of the kids are disciplined they claim its racism.
  • Another girl had on an inappropriate dress.  We have a dress code.  I let the security guard know.  She was told to 'pull it down'.  Why do we have a dress code? I mean it was super short and she should not have had it on.  The kids are usually given something else to wear.  Then the three times she passed me later in the call she kept calling me a snitch.
  • Another teacher on my team called me to let me know that the same student with the dress code violation blurted out in class "If I was going to smoke, I would smoke weed because it smells better".  How do you know what weed smells like in sixth grade?
  • Then my daughter, who attends my school wasn't feeling well and we had to leave work early...which really was a huge blessing.  I got to come home and take a much needed nap.
I have 7 full days, 4 half days, and 1 teacher work day left....

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Miscellany Monday

I am linking up at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

  • I am looking for my blogging mojo - I have a list of things I want to write about - some recipes, some awesome recent etsy finds, the final design for my etsy shop, etc...but sometimes reality TV, Words with Friends, and Pinterest steal all of my time.

  • Recently I made balsamic brown sugar pork loin, mock Hostess chocolate cupcakes- which were amazing, another batch of my peanut butter chocolate chip blondies - except this time I added more peanut butter and chocolate chips and they were even more fabulous. , and an awesome breakfast casserole...all of which I am hoping to blog about and share the recipes of soon.
  •  I am anxious for the end of the school year...the kids are antsy and wild...and don't want to be there.  It hasn't been fun.
  • I am hoping to have the photos my wedding photographer took last week back sometime this week to share.  So I will be on the lookout for some canvas deals/codes...if anyone knows of some let me know.
  • I think I found some new fabric for my new living room... what do you think?  I like the bright fun colors and patterns.  I wish I could just make a decision.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pinterest = Obsession

If you are not in Pinterest....you HAVE to be.  You create boards to 'pin' photos of it4ems you are interested in.  If you are interested in something, you click on it, and it will take you to the website to order it, find the recipe, tutorial, etc...  If you are a fan of interest... check out my boards and start following me.  Leave a comment with your Pinterest link and I would love to follow back the boards you have that I may be interested in as well.

Leave a comment if you need invite.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  These are some of the things I am loving lately on Pinterest.

Mock Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes - I made these last week to bring to a BBQ.  Amazing...I will definitely be making them again.

4th of July White Chocolate Strawberries - I cannot wait to make these for the 4th of July.

I love this Home Sweet Home alphabet arrangement and I am really considering doing it in our new home.  I need to start collecting the letters.

I am loving this quote...how true is this?

I could sit and pin for days.  They also have an IPhone app.  You definitely need to check it out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I am linking up at This Kind of Love for -

I am loving -

That we were able to attend the wedding celebration of one of my best friends, Erin and her husband, John over the weekend in New Jersey. We also got to catch up with my friends Althea and Aliah and their families. We had a blast…even though the drive home on Sunday was soooo long.

That I have 11 days, 1 half day, and 1 teacher workday left in my teaching career.   It has been a long time coming.

These stamps that I read about on this blog - Lemonade Makin Mama which I stumbled across today. I cannot wait to make some cool projects with it.  {You have to click on the links because it won't let me share them}.  I promise it is fabulous and worth the click.

After having to cancel {Madison was invited to a sleepover she didn't want to miss} and reschedule my wedding photographer is coming over tomorrow to take our family photos. Yippee!! I cannot wait.

Have You Heard of Small Words?

I have no idea how I first stumbled upon this blog...but it has been in my favorites for awhile.  She makes gorgeous hand painted canvases.   I am pretty sure I first heard of it from Kelly's Korner...but I am not sure.
Small Words
Anyways, I LOVE her work.  I consider myself pretty creative and artistic...but her work is just....WOW!  I could never do anything quite like it.

So when she opened herself up for new orders last week... I JUMPED on it and secured spot # 49 out of 110.  She mostly does signs for children's room. Since Madison is almost 12... I doubt I will get one for her...I put my name on the list in the hopes by the time my # came up... I would be pregnant. 

If not, I can get a sign for my bakery business, order a gift for a friend, or simply pass my turn on to the next person. 

Does anyone else follow her blog that got on the list this time?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One of Those Days

My kids at work today were WILD.  Half way through watching my dvr'ed episode of Khloe and Lamar after work...our power went off.  It returned, but then it was still lightening.  My husband didn't want to use the grill outside for our planned dinner of BBQ chicken, rice, and corn.  So... YES...even though I love to cook and bake... this my friends was dinner tonight -
It was in the freezer.  I bought it FREE with a coupon.  It served its purpose as a quick, easy, and edible meal. 

Then to make my daughter happy... I made these muffins...from a box -

It was all about minimal effort tonight.  Sometimes after a rough day at work...and your show cutting out mid way through... frozen pizza and boxed muffins are whats for dinner. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Confessionals....

Since I am not at work today.  WOOHOO! I am linking up for Friday Confessional.  You should do the same.


I confess...

  • We are leaving today for a wedding.  I had my husband drop our daughter at school (she has to take an important test) because I told him I would start packing.  I am actually on my laptop.  I probably should have a few things in the suit case before he gets back home.

  • That I feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders that I finally somewhat admitted to my principal I am not coming back next year.  I told her we were 99% sure we were moving.

  • That she didn't seem the least bit concerned, upset, or that she would miss me.  Which I guess if fine, she isn't my favorite person either.  I have been there 8 years... I think...maybe 9...who knows? It is one big blur.  She hasn't been there the entire time...she could have at least pretended I would be missed.

  • When they collected less than $50 out of 85 staff members for a Bosses Appreciation Week gift....I smiled inside.  You get back what you put out lady.  And you don't put out much.

  • That  I really didn't want the iPhone...but now I have it I struggle with putting it down.  I love love love it.  It also helps that it is covered in a fabulous pink and lime green Lilly case.

  • That putting my desire/ache for a baby on the back burner has made me less crazy, less stressed, and has pretty much halted my frequent crying.  It has probably made me less pregnant as well...

  • I haven't been bloggin much...but this confessional sure was an easy post to write and publish.  I think it will be my new Friday thing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I am Loving My IPhone

I am a little bit late getting my iPhone.

I feel like everyone has one.

I can hardly put it down.

Tonight the Lilly Pulitzer case I ordered from Preppy Princess arrived today and I love it.   I was also surprised at how affordable it was and it came in super cute packaging as well. If you haven't already noticed pink and lime green are my favorite colors.

I am also hooked on Words With Friends.  My husband and I even have our eleven year old daughter playing.  Have you played before?

If you have an iPhone I would love for you to leave a comment with your favorite app.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My 33rd Birthday Weekend

Madison went to a sleepover on Friday night.  Chris and I took advantage of a rare night alone and headed to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner.  It was amazing.   I had two margaritas and we took this yummy chocolate dessert home to share while watching Jackass 3D, which was dumb, yet pretty funny.

Saturday morning we spent relaxing.  I got two new books I have been eyeing.

 Then we had a quick lunch at Panera before picking up Madison who was exhausted from her sleepover.  I ended up getting the iPhone last week.  The three of sat and played Words With Friends against one another for about an hour before dinner.  Madison, who is just 11, has the iTouch and is pretty good at the game.  My husband and I are now hooked on it.  I got my sister playing it as well.

The three of us had dinner reservations on Saturday night at PF Changs...which was amazing.  On the way home we stopped at Skinny Dip for frozen yogurt which we brought home.  If you have never been to a Skinny Dip, you get to choose between about 10 flavors of frozen yogurt.  You fill up your own cup with as much or as little as you want.  Then they have tons of toppings to choose from.  I had vanilla ice cream, yellow cake pieces, white chocolate chips, and strawberries.

I had a wonderful birthday weekend.  I've got a short, yet busy week coming up.  We leave on Friday for my friend, Erin's wedding in New Jersey.  I haven't seen her since my bridal showed in April...so I am super excited to see her.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Simple & Easy Craft - Using a Picture Frame as s Dry Erase Board

This was posted on Thursday...then Blogger went crazy...and now there is a LINKY posted at the bottom...that I didn't add and isn't showing up on my edit page...so who knows??

I got the idea for this Picture Frame as Dry Erase Board from my Real Simple magazine.    I think it is is a fabulous idea and just what we need for our kitchen.

So I rumaged through the garage until I found an old frame.  I spray painted it black

Then I created a TO DO LIST using PowerPoint (I used black and dark red to match my kitchen), printed it out on cardstock, and framed it.

Here we have it -

It was super easy to do.  You probably have the things around the house to make it with. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I am Loving Wednesdays

I am linking up today over at This Kind of Love for What I am Loving Wednesday.  I love linking up to this and haven't done so in a bit.

1. Pinterest

I am doing some work for my wedding photographer and last week when I was at her house she told me about Pinterest.  I certainly do not need something else online to occupy my time...but I SO LOVE this site.  Let me know if you would like an invite.  It is amazing!  You pin different photos of things you like to create different boards.  Sounds weird...but it is so much FUN.  Who else loves Pinterest?

2. The End of Teaching

I am burnt out. I am done.     I know it sounds horrible, but I am.  I cannot even begin to tell you some of the awful things the kids say and do.  Its unbelievable.  I love my co-workers, but the time has come for me to do something different.  I will not be returning to teaching full time next year.  The last day of school is like the light at the end of the tunnel for me.  I simply cannot wait.

3. Family Portraits

The house we live in is our first house "together".  So getting ready to leave it this summer is bittersweet.  Our fabulous wedding photographer, Amy Sandoval, is coming over Friday evening to take a handful of photos of us in front of our home and around our neighborhood.  I need to decide what we are going to wear...but I am so excited.

4. New Cell Phone

I am eligible for a new cell phone in another week or so.  Currently I am using my husband's old Blackberry because my cell phone broke about a month or so ago.  At first I hated the Blackberry...but now I love it.  So I am torn... do I go with another Blackberry for my upgrade or do I get an iPhone?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Target "I Love You" Print Knock - Off w/ free printable

We recently saw this at Target and all I could think was I can make something like that for less than $19.99. 

So I did.  If you are interested in these downloads I have them so you can upload them to your favorite printing site and get 12x12 prints.  I will be ordering a 12x12 of the pink and green one for my new office.  The actual files do not have the black border around them.  If you are interested in one of these FREE prints for your own personal use, leave me a comment below letting me know which one you would like.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Scentsy, a Giveaway, and One of My Favorite Blogs

Today at work I was going through my Google reader...and my blog header popped up... I WON a Scentsy giveaway on Megan's blog, In this Wonderful Life.   I have been wanting to try these products for some time I cannot wait to receive my warmer and scent.

Megan's blog was one of the first ones I started reading/following and it is truly one of my favorites.  She has been through a lot and is now expecting TWINS!!  If you haven't checked out her blog before you should.  She has great decorating ideas, recipes (love her chicken salad one), and a story of courage and hope that is worth a read.

Recipe - Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Chips

I made these last weekend...and impressed myself.  They were so easy to make and tasted amazing.  I cannot wait to make them again.

Ingredients -
  •  1   1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter (regular or crunchy)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions - 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, peanut butter, eggs, butter, and vanilla.
  • In a seperate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Spread into an ungreased 9x13 pan.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes.
  • They will be cracking and brown around the edges when done.
  • Cool, cut, and serve slightly warm.
I am linking up with Little Brick Ranch for Foodie Friday -

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Surrogate Mother Journey

Only a handful of real-life family and friends know I was almost a surrogate mother.  My interest started back in 2008.  I began forming an interest in it and researching what it would entail.

I decided to become a traditional surrogate meaning I would be inseminated with the father's sperm.  This would make me the biological mother.  I wasn't interested in taking the medications associated with gestational surrogacy, so this was the type I chose.  There is also another popular kind of surrogacy called gestational surrogacy...which usually involves a donor egg and the father's sperm or a embryo created by the mother and father is placed in the surrogate mother.

Eventually I posted an ad within an online forum for surrogacy.  I talked to a few couples.  I ended up 'matching' with Michael and Brad, a gay couple from Kentucky interested in having a baby.  We immediately clicked via email, began talking on the telephone, and they eventually visited my town with Brad's mother for a visit.

I never ended up becoming their surrogate. 

Several months ago... I learned Michael and Brad had their baby...a girl named Ashton...with an Indian surrogate.  You can read their story {here}. I was actually shocked when I read the article.  I even contacted Michael about the article and a huge part of it that is completely false. 

Brad and his new baby via Indian surrogacy - Ashton
 You see... I am the Virginia surrogate mentioned in the article.  I never received $20,000 from them.  We parted ways, because yes, as the biological mother of their child, I wanted it written into the contract that if they both were to die in the months following the baby's birth I would regain custody.  From what I understood from all of my research this was a common request granted in surrogacy contracts.  I was helping them to have a baby.  Not Brad's mother...who they wanted the baby to go to if they both died.  The way I looked at it was like this - if driving home from the hospital both of them had died... I wanted the baby back.

Our lawyers couldn't work out an agreement.  We couldn't come to a compromise with this aspect.  There had been a lot of compromise throughout the contract process.  This was one aspect I was not willing to compromise on.  I received an email via their lawyer that our surrogacy relationship had ended.  Michael tried to pay me $10,000 for deciding not to proceed with the agreement.  I did not/would not accept the money from them.

Yes, as a single mother the money was going to be a nice cushion for my bank account and would help me to continue to provide a great life for my daughter.  However, I wasn't in it for the money.  Had I been in it for the money I would have accepted the money from Michael.  I loved being pregnant and I wanted to help this couple I had grown fond of.

To read this false statement in a news article really upset and angered me.  Michael and Brad bought me an ovulation predictor kit and two meals when they came to visit.  That is it.  Other than that they never paid me any money or bought me anything else.

I think back on it now...and think it worked out how it was supposed to.  Very soon after I met my current husband and our relationship blossomed... I am not sure if I would have met him and started dating him had I been pregnant with Michael and Brad's baby.

Apparently Michael and Brad have started their own surrogacy agency called BabiesRIndia to help other couples use Indian surrogates.

Even though my surrogascy journey did not pan out how I originally wanted it to I still think surrogacy is an amazing thing...and I am glad to see it is getting more media coverage and several celebrities have used it recently.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What a GREAT/Productive Weekend!!

We are moving in 3 months.

Our garage has looked like this for quite some time...with only a small bath to get from the garage to the house -

After a lot of hard work (mainly by my husband) and some Freecyle giveaways.  We still have some flattened boxes to set out for the trash.  Now itt looks like this -

I had the most fun finding a bunch of old photos and Madison's baby book.  Look at these cute photos-

Maddie went to a sleepover last night.  She had a blast...even though I got a text from her at 4am this morning saying she was having "funn".

Chris and I were able to go on a date night...which included dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse and our 2nd trip to Target this weekend.

Today I baked these Peanut Butter Blondies that were to die for.  I will share the recipe this week.  I also made labels and worked on packaging for my baking business.

I went grocery shopping and spent way too much money...as usual.  I have dreams of becoming an Extreme Couponer and only spending $9.27 for $1,000.00 worth of groceries...but I have come to the realization it will probably never happen.  Instead I have the following yummy meals planned for the week - burgers on the grill, chicken gyros, balsamic onion London broil, and brown sugar balsamic pork roast...all done on the grill.