Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be Grateful

On November 2nd Mr. Wonderful's best friend, Justin, was in a tragic car accident. He was the passenger of a car that hit a tree, and unfortunately he had to have a foot amputated. Everyone was devastated because like Mr. Wonderful, Justin is very active; he loves to play sports and everyone knew things would forever be different. Oceans of tears were shed even before Justin himself knew he no longer had a right foot. Everyone feared Justin would be devastated, but surprisingly he took it really well. He is just happy to be alive. He says that he feared never seeing his family again and he is thankful for a second chance.
A few years ago two friends died in a very similar accident in the same area. Both Justin and the driver are extremely lucky to be alive. I know there will be some hard days ahead, but there is no doubt in my mind that Justin will continue to have a positive outlook on life. 

The lesson I think we all can take from this is to simply be grateful for what you have instead of focusing what you're missing. If Justin can do it in his situation, we all can. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Last of His Twenties

We just Celebrated Mr. Wonderful's birthday. He turned a whopping 29 years old. This is the last year of his twenties. He is turning into an old man. (I'm considering getting rid of his Mr. Wonderful nick name and just referring to him as my old man, but I'm not sure how he'd like that one.) I always tease him about how old he is, but the truth is that we're not even a whole year apart in age.
Every year we have cake and presents at his parent's house on Mr. Wonderful's actual birthday. This year I made the cake! Red velvet - his favorite. I used my secret ingredient (recipe can be found here)

Money is tight, so I couldn't go all extravagant on the birthday gifts. I kept it simple. Three things: something sweet, something funny and something useful. For my something sweet, I surprised him with post-its on the bathroom mirror stating the top 29 reasons why I love him.

For the funny gift, I filled a nice Bucs cup with 29 suckers and attached a sign that states "29 sucks!" I'd seen this on pinterest and thought it was cleaver. I just couldn't resist.

The useful gift was a cordless weed wacker. I typically wouldn't get him something like that as a gift, but he asked for it. He used our neighbors one day and from then on ours wasn't good!

My family always likes to do something special for Mr. Wonderful too, so we went there for dinner, presents and brownies in his honor. I love birthday celebrations...can't wait to celebrate HIS big 30th birthday next year!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Let's Have a Party!

So I haven't forgotten about ya'll. School has been completely overwhelming, but I'm back and I have so much to share. I hope you haven't forgotten about me either.

Mr. Wonderful asked me the Saturday before Labor Day if I wanted to invite our family and friends over for a small Labor Day get together, and I said "Sure!" It was short notice, but I agreed because having people over forces me and Mr. Wonderful to give our house a really deep cleaning.
This is sooo true for me. Is it true for you too?

I also wanted to see everyone. We hadn't gotten everyone together since our wedding. For the party, I made a watermelon bowl. I thought it was going to be more work, but it was really kind of simple. Just use a long knife to cut the zig-zags and it just falls apart into 2 pieces. I used a melon baller to scoop out the insides and then placed one "bowl" inside of the other. 

I also made caprice bites
Of course we served our signature dishes: 
Mr. Wonderful's famous baked mac-and-cheese and my sweet meatballs
Mr. Wonderful grilled hot dogs and hamburgers while I set up a burger station inside. 
For desert I made a layered jello cake and brownie, marshmallow and strawberry skewers (pinterest fail: the brownies kept falling off the skewers..won't be making those again)
We had s'mores outside by the fire pit, and I learned that Geniece loves 
burnt marshmallows. I don't mean a little toasty. She likes them completely charred black. Yum.

My best friend, Heather, and her little guy Styler took part in the festivities. They even came over the day before to help prep. Isn't Styler just the cutest thing? I just love him!

While the girls were outside enjoying s'mores, the boys were inside doing what they do best...drinking. Whenever the boys get together they take shots of henny. It's kind of like a tradition.

The afternoon was full of good friends, good food and good fun.

 We love to play games, so we brought out Mad Gab and Battle of the Sexes after everyone had eaten.
Mr. Wonderful's family gets so wrapped up in the passion of the game that they practically yell at each other. They are always loud, but it hits an extreme when they are playing a game together. This is just one of the ways that me and Mr. Wonderful are completely different. But I guess they say opposites attract.

Did you notice Styler in the corner with his ear covered?
 That's because Mr. Wonderful's family is so LOUD. 

We had a great time on Labor Day. What did you do?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

School days

So my first week back at school with the kiddos it officially over and I'm exhausted! During the week of pre-planning, I decided to give my desk a little makeover. I've been wanting some of these cute organizers that are everywhere. 
Problem was they are a little pricey for what they are and money at the end of summer is always tight! It was a want, not a need, so I decided to just update the one I've had. Here is what it looked like before.
(actually, there wasn't any black paint along the top...I got so excited to start the project I started painting before I remembered to take a pic)

I painted the top edges and the inside of the compartments black. Then I cut paper to fit along the outer edges and Modge Podged (If that's even a word?) my paper pieces on there. 

I used the same paper I used to make my post-it note holder (the one I made at my friends pinterest party), so now my desk is cute and coordinated. I also made a matching clipboard, but it was a pinterest fail and I'm too embarrassed to show you how horrible it is.

I heart modge podge.

Something else I love is my job. Somedays I hate it, but over all I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else. One of the things I love most about teaching (besides summer vacation) is that it's one of the few jobs where you can begin new year after year. I get a new group of kiddos and parents. I can re-do my room. I can get rid of things that didn't work so well for me last year, and try new things this year. Every year, I make a few new "school year" resolutions. Here are my goals for this school year. Some are school related and some aren't.

  • become a master at teaching science (each year I pick a subject area to really focus on...I hate science, so it is the last area to get picked)
  • get in the habit of picking out my outfits for the week on Sunday to eliminate that morning stress of what can I wear? nothing fits! I have no clothes! Hopefully it will speed up my morning routine too since I wont be trying on 100 outfits every morning. Which brings me to my next goal...
  • get to school earlier. No more rolling in the parking lot at 7:26 when I need to be in my room by 7:30
  • make time to get to the gym
  • cook more home made meals. Less take-out and cereal for dinner. 
  • share/collaborate more with my team
  • put more school related pinterest ideas into action. I have tons of great ideas pinned. I'm determined to start using them this year.
  • and my last goal is to not lock myself (and my kids) out of our classroom...which has happend more times than I'd like to admit. We have a new rule where the doors must stayed locked at all times. Well this poses a problem when your keys are always lost. I finally broke down and bought this lanyard to wear daily, so that I won't leave my key in the room anymore. 

I like it because it kind of looks like a necklace.You can see it in my first day of school pic.

The last thing I'm loving right now are my new school supplies (nerdy I know). Just like the kids, every year I get a few new things to start the year out right. I have plenty of dry-erase markers and pencils, but these are my absolute favorite! It's just something about writing with a brand new marker that makes me happy.
My friend Heather over at Heather Runs Fast did a fun throwback school related post. Just thinking of trapper keepers and rocking the backpack with one shoulder strap just brought me back. Be sure to check it out!

What are some things you're loving right now?
What's you're favorite school supply?

Thank you so much for stopping by!! I hope you have a wonderful week!!

You can find me at these awesome parties:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Laundry Room Reveal!

One of the things on my summer to-do list was to paint the laundry room. It's finally done!

Here is what it looked like before
Pretty awful right?!?! Besides all the clutter, that ugly water heater was a horrible eyesore. I knew we had to hide it, but how? I didn't want to completely close it off because if it needs repair or has to be replaced one day we'd need access. I've see people hide them behind curtains, but that wouldn't work for us with the high shelving that is sooo useful. I've also seen them hidden inside large cabinet doors. I liked that idea but it was WAY too expensive, so I sat down and drew up a plan to build a partition that would look similar to a cabinet, but would be removable if need be.  
You can see that the piece on the left and the front piece are attached to each other, but are free standing. The "wall" on the right is permanent because it holds up 3 shelves that are lower and hold the things we use regularly. This project only cost about $30 dollars because I found the plywood for FREE on craigslist. Best part was it was in the neighborhood right next to mine, so I didn't have to drive far at all. The most expensive part was the beadboard.
We painted wide stripes to make the narrow space feel larger. More about how to we painted the stripes coming soon. We tried the alternating flat and gloss paint in similar shades. I'm happy with how it turned out. Pinterest win!
I decided to hang our mop and broom, so they would be out of the way and wouldn't collect dust balls around the bottoms. I found a 4 pack of hooks at Ikea for $5. We attached them to a piece of 2x4 that was leftover. I had Mr. Wonderful pry them open a little wider so they would hold everything.
My steam mop's handle is in the wrong direction to hang, so I was having trouble, but I finally figured it out...hang it upside down! I used 2 hooks and rested the cleaning pad between them. 
I hung the key holder my best friend gave me (over 6 months ago) and my "Loads of Fun" sign I brought to my friend Cassie's pinterest party. Here are the thinks I made that night.
I also found a grapevine waste basket on the swap and shop and pulled out a shelf from the garage.
Now we have a "launching station"! Keys, bags, shoes and dog treats now all have a place. They will no longer be taking over the ottoman in the living room.

The Laundry room ins't completely finished. There are still a few projects I'd like to do. I have left over beadboard and plywood, so this DIY drying rack is on the list of my someday projects. I also want to make a runner for the floor. I'm thinking of making a custom one using fabric and a rubber mat. I want to paint the shelf white too, but that can wait for now. What is on your list of someday projects?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I've Had Some Good Luck

I had a lot of luck this weekend! I often get up Saturday mornings and hit up a few garage sales. Sometimes my mom goes with me, and other times I drag Mr Wonderful along. I ended up going alone this weekend (which is rare). I did well. Here is what I got:
This vanity stool. The base is in really good condition. It was only $5 and the hard part of removing the upholstery has already been done. I'm trying to decide what color/pattern material to cover it with. Not sure where I'm going to put it. I'm thinking either the laundry room or the foyer. Decisions, decisions.
A picture for the dining room for $1. The frame has a few dings and it is missing the glass, but it will do for now. I paid $6 for a 5ft ladder. Not sure what the plan for this is, but I'm considering making it into shelves and putting it in the front bathroom.

And my favorite find of the weekend was this vintage steamer trunk. It's far from perfect condition- there is a crack in the top, both handles are broken along with the lock, it needs a good cleaning and the inside needs to be redone, but at $15 how could I pass it up. It's going to be the coffee table in our sunroom. The lady I got it from said she was going to send it to the dump. Can you believe that?!

Have you found anything good lately?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Fun-Day

Mr. Wonderful's friends like to get together on Sundays. Sometimes they play football or go golfing, but last week they decided to ride go karts to celebrate Justin's birthday.

The original plan was to go to Orlando, but because of the weather (This is the wettest summer we've had in a long time) we ended up at an indoor place in Clearwater. It was called Tampa Bay Grand Prix.

The go karts were electric, so there weren't any stink fumes. Each race is 14 laps around the track. We did 3 different races. Gus won 2 out of the 3 races with Mr. Wonderful as a close second. The first time the go karts started out really slow. Everyone was looking at each other thinking the same thing- We did not just pay all this money to ride kiddie speed go karts! Then suddenly someone flipped a switch and we were off.  Those suckers are fast! I think they top out at 45mph. I wasn't sure I was going to like it (the boys can be so competitive), but I had a lot of fun. Totally going back.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Black Thumb Is Turning Green

The other day on my way to my mom's house I saw a garage sale. Just as we were about to pass it, I spotted a wheelbarrow, so I made Mr Wonderful turn in. The wheelbarrow was rusty, had cement inside the tub, weathered wood handles, and a bum wheel, but it was perfect for what I needed and only five dollars!
I've been looking for a wheelbarrow for a while now. I didn't want it new and I didn't want to spend much on it because my plan was to turn it into a planter. Those of you who know me are probably like "Pam? Plants?" Those are 2 words that don't really belong together. I'm not very good with plants. Once I killed this bamboo plant one of my students gave to me. It was bamboo; you'd think that would be simple to care for. Not for me. It was all brown in a matter of months.

I recruited my sister to help me pick out my plants. She is amazing with plants. We tease that she is an old lady because she loves her plants so much. We headed to Lowes (I chose them instead of a nursery because they will replace my plants if I kill them) to find some hardy, drought-tolerant Florida plants. Hardy=hard to kill and drought- tolerant=if I forget to water them, they will be okay for a while. We ended up with 2 crotons, 6 begonias and a green and white leafy plant that I don't know the name of for a total of $20...I also got a few succulents. (I'm obsessed with them)
Before I put the plants in, I drilled holes in the bottom of the tub for drainage. I used a 3/4in bit meant to be used on concrete. It cut through the fiberglass tub beautifully.
I then arranged my plants how my sister advised. She gave me some of her potato vine to transplant. She says it grows fast and is easy to care for. The goal is for it to hang over the sides.  Its that limp purple thing in the front. Not so sure the transplant was successful.
I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Now all I have to do is keep them alive. (fingers crossed) I worry that there isn't enough drainage. We'll see how they do. I am sure to get a few calls from my sister reminding me to water my plants.

Are you good with plants? Do you have any tips or tricks?