Friday, November 7, 2014

A Year in the Making

It's been forever since I have typed into this little ole blog of mine. In the next few weeks I am going to attempt catch everyone up on what's going on in my crazy life these days. There have been a lot of changes and there are a lot more to come.

This post however is a fun post about my Halloween costume this year.

For the last 2 1/2 years I was a nanny. I loved my job so much. The kids were great, and my bosses were amazing. Every Halloween I was in charge of getting on the internet to help the kids buy their costumes and making sure that everything was put together for the big night. My bosses would get off of work early and go over a friends house who lived in an actual neighborhood and eat dinner with them and then they would all go trick or treating. After I got off of work it usually just meant me going home and ordering a pizza and watching a movie with my friends.

I watch a lot of TV, it's basically my guilty pleasure. Because of my said obsession with TV I also really love TV commercials. I can quote so many off the top of my head and usually do in conversation when people talk about a specific brand. Well as Halloween was approaching last year I was watching TV and then it hit me what I wanted to be....Flo from Progressive. It was going to be perfect. An easy costume to assemble and I had the brown hair to match! The problem, I didn't have any plans!! I was going to be nannying all day and then would just go home. I wasn't going to allow myself to waste my perfect idea on a day where I had nothing planned. So I just stuck it in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to this year. I am currently teaching, which I love so so much. When you are teaching Halloween takes on a whole new meaning. Usually it means dressing up with your coworkers as some story book characters and then watching the students parade around in their story book characters as well. Not at a private school! Our principal is so much fun and likes to make sure that the staff and the students have just as much fun. We were told to dress up for Halloween, and it could be whatever we wanted. Immediately, I knew that I had to be Flo. Finally my dreams were coming true. I would have an entire work day full of children dressed up and to top it off, my future roomie invited me to a Halloween party....double whammy!

I got a white collared shirt and some white pants from Goodwill and then went to JoAnns and got a white apron. I already had the blue headband and blue Ked shoes I planned on wearing, and borrowed some red lipstick from my roommate. All in all I spent maybe $15 and I was totally ok with that.

I obviously waited until the night before Halloween to make this all happen and was scrambling at 10:00pm. Eventually I got my apron all finished and posted this picture as a tease on my Instagram.

The next day I got up and was filled with so much excitement. I got dressed, did my hair and makeup and bounded out the door. When I got to school it was amazing. People everywhere were dressed up and so excited about Halloween. I proudly got out my selfie stick and started snapping away!

I stayed close to the doors that morning and ooh'd and ahh'd as the kids came in. They were all adorable and in the Halloween spirit, you cant be anything but happy! Then during assembly one of our teachers came in dressed as President Obama and a lot of the other teachers were his secret service. It was great.
In the morning one of my admins told me that she was sure they had an extra price scanner from the uniform room and told me I could carry it around and make it my Progressive Price Scanner. Once the building manager got in, he found it for me and told me it was broken so cut off the cord and I got to carry it around all day. It was so much fun, every time the kids would ask me a question I would pretend to scan them to get the answer.
All in all the day at school was a ton of fun and I realized how much fun it was to have co workers again and to be in a school atmosphere.
After school I went home and watched some TV and took a nap to get ready for the evening festivities. Finally my friends showed up and we got ready again to go out.

These next set of pictures show the progression of not being able to click the picture button just right to snap a picture.
First confusion.
Then violent laughter.
Finally a good shot.
We left for the party which was a ton of fun. It was a total college party and the last time I had set foot in one of those was definitely 4 years ago so it was a little weird. But none the less I had such a blast, there was a DJ and lots of dancing, complete with strobe lights and black lights.

We danced the night away and then went to a house and watched Edward Scissor hands (but I fell asleep obviously).
Halloween this year was such a success. From the costume to work to the late night party I had so much fun!
Life is crazy right now but I am loving every minute of it. I can't wait to see what next year's Halloween looks like, or what costume idea I will come up with.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Continual Growth

I am realizing as I get older how much more I notice things.

I notice the way the sun rises in the morning on my drive to work. I notice how moms interact with the children they delight so much in. I notice the way people react to situations which are exciting as well as those which pain or anger them.

It can be so easy to judge someone based on their actions. I know that I, for one, am someone who is quick to judge when someone hurts me or when someone acts a way I would never in my life act. With that though I realize that when I judge them I need to take a hard look at the mirror because in those moments, I myself am acting the way I am judging them for. What do I feel when the realization hits and I look in the mirror, shame, and sadness. Luckily, that feeling doesn't last long as God grabs a hold of my heart and speaks grace and understanding to me.

We will always fall short. No one is perfect and that includes me, a constant reminder I need to hear every day.

Last week I accepted a job at a Private Project Based Learning school here in the area to start in July. I will be ending my 2 1/2 year run with my nanny family and take on a new role as Inclusion Teacher for the entire school. Most of my job will be made of up listening to teachers, parents, students, and my own intuition to help create goals and plans for children who need just a little extra help. Along with all the listening there will be an open mind required to understand all angles and not just my own. If I were to be the only person observing a child to create a plan I would miss out on about 98% of what the child does regularly throughout the day. It is imperative that I take into account what the parents and teachers tell me to come to the best conclusion of what we need to do to ensure growth in the child.

This same principal can be applied to my own every day life. If I look at someone and how they treated me in one situation on specific day, then I do them and myself a disservice. What about the events that led up to the situation? What about the news they received earlier in the day? I would hope that in an instance when I act out of turn that someone would show me the grace I would need to make it through the situation. It is imperative that I show the same amount of grace.

Every one is growing, constantly. If not we would all just be babies needing someone to do everything for us. That's not the case. We are out there learning how to handle situations, and for me, how to make sure at the end of the day God gets the most glory. I have to allow people to grow as I am growing as well, which means understanding that the one time they have offended me is only 1% of their story. A measly blip on the time line of life.

My goal is to make sure that I am seeing them for more then that 1%, I want to be a person who encourages and is life giving, and not life draining.

I think we all need a little bit of that.


Friday, May 2, 2014

High 5 for Friday!

Joining Lauren Elizabeth today for High Five for Friday!
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We only have 3 more weeks until summer time and the kids and I are sooo excited to actually get to spend time together doing what we do best, which is having fun and creating memories.
1. The roomie and I are going to sign a lease tomorrow for a new place, after much debate (really not so much) we have decided to stay here in Kennesaw, and will just be moving to another apartment complex that is more in our budget.
2. I mentioned earlier this week that I am taking control of my finances and am doing Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps, well I am also putting myself on a budget and am using the envelope system. He has this awesome wallet that helps with that and it came in the mail last night, just before I get paid. I am so excited to use it and help keep me in check while I battle my way out of debt!

3. Since the roomie and I will be moving in a couple of weeks, I am starting to pack up all my things which basically means shuffling items from one side of my room to the other and stopping often occasionally to browse at pictures, like this one.


4. I am really excited about the T Shirt Quilt Along I am doing, it is really keeping me accountable in finishing the quilt, which I need to be because my sister's birthday is about a month away. If you are interested in joining along please click over to here.

5. I am an avid Grey's Anatomy watcher. I have watched it since it aired on a Sunday night at 10pm right after Desperate Housewives. It is a family affair for me as well as both of my sisters watch it. Usually, right as the show is about to start we are sending each other texts of support and love, and then during the show texts of anger or happiness or shock. Well last night was the 2nd episode in a series of episodes that are saying goodbye to Cristina Yang, one of the lead characters. One of my other favorite things to do is go on twitter and like everyone's tweet with the hash tag #greysanatomy, it's just a thing. If you watch the show and watched last night you will understand this picture I found and loved. It's coming all full circle. Shonda Rhimes is a genius.

That's All Folks!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tom and Chee Review

Sooo one of my little known obsessions is the show Shark Tank. I think part of the reason I love it so much is the person inside of me who loves to cheer on people and their products/ideas and another reason is that I like to be ahead of trends like that. The basis of the show have you not seen it is basically hopeful entrepreneurs go on the show in front of 5 gazillion dollar investors and try to get money and a partnership to grow their business/product.

A whole ago there were two guys on the show with their restaurant Tom and Chee, a gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant. They wanted to grow and expand their restaurant all over the states. They are really known for their signature doughnut grilled cheese. They got struck a deal with two of the sharks and I was so excited for them. The only disappointing thing was that they were based out of Indiana(?) I think, so I wouldn't be trying any of that goodness anytime soon.

Then a miracle happened and I found our that they were going to be building their first ever one here in the south, low and behold they were building in my town of Kennesaw, Georgia. To say I was excited is an understatement. My friend Madison and I bond over Shark Tank and especially over Tom and Chee. Once we knew they were coming we started following their Facebook page to get updates on when it was going to open. The official opening day was last Wednesday, April 9. We were unable to go that day so we planned on the 10th. 

The day finally arrived and we had looked at the menu online and were so ready to get some of that goodness. Once we got there we stood in awe at the menu board and just the fact that something we watched happen on TV was right in front of us, we were in a way star strucked. 

The menu was full of so many options. I was tempted to get one of the dessert like doughnut grilled cheeses but since we were there for dinner I decided to get a regular grilled cheese. After going back and forth I finally decided on the Flying Pig, a sandwhich on white bread with turkey, bacon, pickles, and Gouda. I added a perfect sized tomato and basil creamy soup dipper and some chips and a drink. Let me talk about that dipper, it's only like a dollar fifty and it really is perfect for dipping that sandwhich. I am not the biggest fan of tomato soup but this enabled me to have some without too much. Brilliance.

It was a little busy in there but it was only the second day and we were willing to wait for the goodness. Finally my food was placed before me. 

As you can see I was a little excited and bit right in before I even took the picture. It was heavenly!!! Everything was so warm and the cheese was melted perfectly. I could taste the butter on the outside of the bread, and dipping in that Little Dipper was just icing on the cake! 

I took one of the to-go menus with me just so I could stare at the options and am planning to take a trip back soon. I really want to try one of those doughnut grilled cheeses for sure! 

Over all, it was awesome. I would recommend it to anyone.

T Shirt Quilt Along Part 2

Welcome back to the T Shirt Quilt Along, by now I hope you have hopped over to this post here and have all of your shirts gathered and cut and ready to go. If not, no big deal, hop on over and make it happen and then head back on over here for the next step.

This week's part of the quilt along is getting all of those t shirts into rows to make it easier to attach to each other. It's fairly simple as long as you have the right tools. I believe I mentioned how I use a Jelly Roll just to make my life easier. They are strips of fabric, that are pre-cut 2 1/2 inches by width of the fabric. I usually get mine at JoAnns and use my handy dandy coupon to get a good deal. You can also find them on Etsy or on sites that sell fabric.

They usually look like this:

When you unroll it you get all these neat fabric strips.

The next step that I do is basically a lay out. We are using 30 shirts so I am doing 5 across the top and 6 down the side. Now this is the place you can move stuff around and decide where you want shirts. It's entirely up to you. I don't like all the white shirts to be in section and all the blue in another, I like to be somewhat spread out all over the quilt. It's up to you, lay them out and have some fun. (I end up keeping this photo on hand to remind me which shirts go where because I often forget.)
**Not pictured - usually after I lay them out I start at the left and stack the shirts in order based on their row and then fold them in half, it helps me to keep them organized.
Now comes the sewing. Grab your first shirt and one of your fabric strips. Then you will put them together right sides facing together along the right side, and place that in your machine. It's up to you on what size seem you want to use I just always use the second line on my machine as my guide, you can as well or whatever else you decide to use.

Give that pedal some gas and let it go making sure that your fabrics are still matching up and not sliding back and forth on you. (Yes, you can use some straight pins if it will help you, but the shirts are not that long so I don't use them until later in the project)

** Your fabric strip will most likely be longer then your shirt, I just leave it on there until I am done sewing to the end of the shirt.

Sew all along the length of the shirt and make sure you give a little back and forth motion on that sewing to give you some insurance so that strip doesn't decide to disconnect from your shirt.

You can see my little insurance down at the bottom where the string is a little thicker.

Then I flip that shirt over so that it is on top and I can see a direct line to cut off the remaining strip.
Take those fancy (or not so much) scissors and cut it off. (If you don't already I highly recommend owning a good pair of fabric scissors and guard them with your life. They are such a good investment and will be a life saver when it comes to cutting fabric as long as they are not used for other things.)

There you have it, keep that extra strip we will use it!

Then get that iron and ironing board ready. (Apartment living with limited space means, ironing on the kitchen counter. One day I will own a craft room...)


Basically, all you are going to do is press that seem so its flat and not trying to curve away. Just go along the seem and press as you go.

Keep going to make sure and get the entire length of the seem.

Now we are going to attach the next shirt. Lay down your first shirt with the strip attached right side up and the next shirt in your row next to it right side up as well.

Then flip the new shirt over so that the shirts are facing with right sides together and line them up along the right side again.
With your same seem sew down the entire length of the shirt. (or in my case as long as the shorter shirt, my cutting might not all be even, but hey we mentioned this wasn't going to be perfect!)

Take that joker back over to your ironing board and now you are going to press that seem the entire length again.
From here you are going to attach the next three shirts in that row. Start with another strip and then add another shirt until your last shirt. Making sure you line up right sides facing, sew, and press, and repeat. Once you have attached your 5th and last shirt in the row then you don't need to add another strip. The row should look like this when you are done.

I also like to alternate my strips of fabric but it's entirely up to you, let your creativity be your guide.
Continue with this until you have all 6 rows finished.
You can also grab a sewing buddy, or in my case, my roommates dog, Milo who loves to sit right at my feet under the table as I sew.
Next week we are going to be attaching all of those rows together to get the front of your quilt.
See you then!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Not So Quick Catch Up

I don't think I have done a catch up post in a long time. Not that it's really even a thing, just basically letting whoever wants to know what's going on in my life. There are a few major things so I am going to try and break it up into those things and go from there.

Living Situation - My roomie Lindsey is getting married come December (you can see her awesome proposal story here). It really is an exciting time and I am so pumped for her and Braden. We moved up here two years ago and found a great apartment, then when that lease was up we moved closer to friends and community, well now the time has come that our lease is up yet again. We love where we live and would like to stay, but the prices are gong up $200 and that's just something we are not able to budget.

The situation is crazy considering she will be moving out in December so people keep asking me what I am going to do and what the plan is. Luckily at our amazing church we have met some awesome people, and one is this awesome girl named Holly. Her lease is up in June and she was looking into maybe getting some roommates. We really want to live in the Marietta area and we really wanted to be in a house. After looking at a ton of houses and attempting to call people who never call you back we finally decided it probably wouldn't be in the cards for us. The up front costs of moving into a rented house are also nuts considering they need one whole month on top of paying for that first month's rent. Who wants to drop $1000??...not Jenny. After many a discussion the best thing that seemed to be possible was to find an apartment.

That is the place we are at now, looking at apartments in the area that works for all three of us (who work in three different parts of Atlanta) and making sure they will take two dogs. It's stressful but in about a month when I am sitting in my new apartment and all of it is over with, it's not going to be a blip on my radar. I just have to remember to take one day at a time and know that in the end stressing out causes nothing but bad things and negativity, and I don't want to live in that state. This is the week we will most likely decide and sign some papers, so please be in prayer with us as we move ahead.

Job / School - Soooo on this subject...if you have been following along you know that I had decided to completely change my career from Teaching to being a Child Life Specialist. I took my GRE and attempted to get my masters, ended up not getting into the program I applied to, was totally ok with that, decided that it was cheaper to do it another route, applied to University of Alabama to do long distant learning, got accepted, and was planning to start taking classes in the fall...well yeah that's changed yet again.

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with my friend Jennie who goes to my church, we were going to have lunch and then go to her kids school and pick them up early and take them to get ice cream. Her husband Chris also works at that school. I was fascinated walking the halls because it was a private, project based learning school and I was loving what I see. I jokingly said I would love to teach in a place like this, but I wasn't going to be teaching anytime soon. Jennie said she could so see me there and that I should look into it. So I did. I researched so much and fell in the love with the school. I decided to go ahead and apply and see what would happen. I was extended an interview and ended up not getting the job. It was a great experience and if anything it brought me back to a place where I realized that teaching is still a passion I have.

Luckily, I am so honored to get to walk around people who are so wise and speak into my life and helped me as I mulled over not going back to school and jumping into the teaching field here in Georgia. I was learning that my biggest issue was my pride, after telling everyone I was going to change careers and not teach, I was having a hard time taking that back and thinking that others would think I was so wishy washy. But I realized that I am only 24, it's ok to change my mind, I have a while to figure it all out, in the end it's all about what gives God the most glory. So where does that leave me? Well I am still nannying for now, but the goal is to take the GACE which is the teaching test here and then get certified here in Georgia. I am giving myself a goal of getting my act together to start teaching next fall at the latest, possibly sooner should the opportunity arise.

Finances - Growing up I remember a few things about finances. I remember when my parents were completely out of debt and it being a big deal. Other then that, I don't remember too much. I had my first tax paying job at 12 when I delivered papers with my mom every morning for a year and half. From that day on, I would babysit or have some sort of job to pay for things that I wanted. I loved being able to buy things (and I still do). Moving up to Georgia and getting an 8-6 job where I was making salary was a big change. In college I got a couple of credit cards and a ton of student debt. I worked in college but that paid for rent and other expenses and still left me in a heap of debt.

After I graduated everything was put into my name. A phone plan, insurance, rent, utilities, car maintenance, everything. I was completely independent and that's the way it needed to be. For the first few months of me working full time I was just spending money because I was making way more then I ever did in college and wasn't really keeping track of my finances. I would just attempt to make sure I wasn't late on my bills and would overdraft my account about once a month. Finally I started writing down a "budget" and that's what I have been doing for the past year. I say budget loosely because often it was changed around because of stupid things I would buy or spend my money on.

Then I was reading my emails and one talked about how Dave Ramsey had one of his books for a free download, so I decided I would download and read it. As I read it, things started to click and I really loved the way he talked about money and getting out of debt. Finally the wheels started turning and I realized I needed to get my finances on crack down ASAP. So I printed out a couple of his budgeting sheets which talk about getting every dollar a job, and then I ordered another one of his books that should be coming soon. I also took a major step and cut up all my credit cards. I had cut one up last year and so it was finally time to cut up the other two. He talks about his baby steps and the first one is to put $1000 in an emergency savings account before tackling debt. So that's where I sit now, shoveling any and all extra money into an account and then getting ready to start tackling debt. I love math and numbers and so I sat down and crunched numbers and realized if I stick with my budget, I will be credit card debt free September of next year at the latest! That would leave me with just student loan debt left and I will be ready to tackle that.

So anyways, that is kind of where I am at in life. Lot of big changes and I am ready to buckle down and make it happen.

Happy Monday,


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Preparing for Summer

Well the Summer is fast approaching for this nanny, and that means it is time to kick it into hyper drive and get my stuff together. This year has been a major adjustment for me because my youngest, W went to Kindergarten. That meant some major changes for this nanny, but not really. I still work 8-6 but I don't get my kids until they get off the bus at 3:00 and then it's the million after school activities we have until I leave and do it all again the next day. The one thing I really miss is having my kiddos home and having time to do arts and crafts and go on adventures. But in one short month they will be home for a while and we will get to pack in as much stuff as possible.

Last year I attempted themed weeks which worked for about half of the time but then with life and camps, and vacations kind of fell off at the end. The kids asked if we were going to do the same thing this year and we were really pumped about it, so of course I said yes and let the pinning and planning begin.

The first weekend of summer I happen to be spending with the kids so mom and dad can take a romantic getaway for their birthdays. I am so excited and the kids are as well! We haven't made any plans yet but I am sure there will be many a talk about all the fun adventures we will have in the solid 48 hours I spend with them. Luckily, that Monday afterwards is Memorial Day so I will get to rest before gearing up for the first week of summer.

I printed out my calendars on paper so that I could have something to carry around and make me feel more organized. I also printed out weekly pages with slots for me to write exactly what we are doing each day and the supplies we will need.

The other main thing I plan on utilizing this summer is our bulletin board. It sat upstairs in the hallway for about 2 years before I changed it out right before Thanksgiving.  I have decided it is going to be the place where I put what our plans are for each week and then also put up pictures and our summer bucket list, which we are going to be working on soon.

I made this amateur drawing on PowerPoint and printed it out to execute. 

This is the final product! 

Consists of 3 main areas. 

1. The Bucket List- I got these cute tags on sale at JoAnns and the kids and I will write things we must do this summer and as we do them we will take them down.

2. The Theme and Activities, every Monday my plan is to come in and post the weeks theme and some of the activities we plan on doing. 

3. Pictures - the kids mom loves pictures and so do I and the kids. We will pick a few pictures every week to put in this area. (Yes I know that pictures is spelled wrong...but I fixed it haha) 

I have big plans for this board, so get ready to see a lot of it this summer.