Thursday, February 27, 2014

{Favorite Blogs}

It's hard to believe it is already Thursday, almost Friday. Praise the Lord!! I haven't done Bailey's blog challenge in a few days for a variety of reasons - it was a rough transition from going back to school after a week off, a four day week, and a three day week. Seriously can't remember the last time we had a full week of school thanks to snow. Plus, some of the topics I had no idea what to write about!!

But I love the one for today. Favorite blogs. One of my favorite things about blogging is discovering new blogs and "meeting" people through their words....seeing how we connect! Here's some of my favorites and why:

Everything Beautiful - I think this might have been one of the first blogs I stumbled upon. I don't have a clue how but as I read the posts, I just loved this family. This blog is written by a sweet mom who probably has the BIGGEST heart for her family out of anyone I have ever met or read a blog by. So sweet. She has three daughters and has since adopted FIVE precious little ones from China (3 girls and 2 boys). Exciting news? They are bringing home a 6th, another little girl, hopefully this summer! This is one of my favorite blogs because I love how big her heart is, how positive she looks at life and she has really sealed the deal for me that I definitely want to adopt in the future. I have always wanted to after I had my own kids. I am excited to read their new journey as they bring home China baby #6 this summer (hopefully!)!

Life with the Leakeys (formerly Southern Simplicity): Again, not sure how I stumbled upon this blog. Possibly through another link up. One of my favorite things about this sweet blogger Jaime is she lives in Georgia!!! That is probably my favorite state (weird?). Jaime is also an aunt, like me, and I love how she takes so many photos of her niece. I do the same. Her blog recently had a makeover and now is called Life with the Leakeys since she is a newlywed. Love how she shares her passion for teaching and faith.

Bloom: Nicole is probably one of the most inspiring people. I don't think I have ever found a blog where the blogger just pours her (or his) soul so eloquently into words to express her faith. Nicole sharing her faith has made me go deeper in my soul and regain my faith.

I Wore Yoga Pants to Work: I love her sense of humor. Seriously. Again, discovered this gem through the beauty of another blog.

Kristin's Knook: What is not to love that she has the name name as me and spells it the same way?! (Side note: it irks me when people spell my name EN). She is a fellow teacher and I enjoy reading about her different traveling (moving from Alaska, etc) plus her adorable dog Scout.

I could go on and on but these are my top favorites! What are yours? Which ones should I go check out?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

{Day 23 - The Joys of Blogging}

Today's prompt in Bailey's blogging challenge is the joys of blogging. What a fantastic prompt! I really like this because it allows me to reflect on why and  how I started blogging. This is what I am sharing with you:

{1} A creative outlet:  Years ago, I had a blog on livejournal. Or would that be more of a journal? Whatever. I started this blog over three years ago. I remember I stumbled upon some blogs about families adopting from China when I was at home recovering from surgery and wasn't allowed to work. I figured I would start my own (clearly I am not adopting...any time soon ;)) and see where it took me. I really enjoy blogging as a creative outlet because I can just let the words flow and be my true self. I am not putting on a fake front. I also like it because it is a memory keepsake. I am probably never going to blog and turn it into a blog book (and if you do that, I am soo not making fun of you) but I do enjoy going back, reading some of my blog posts and remembering those days!).

{2} Meeting new people: I have not met anyone in person from blogging...yet! One of these days I would love to do a blogger meet up somewhere (however, I hope I do not chicken out at the last second haha). It is nice to meet people from all walks of life, all areas of the world and connect over certain things. It is refreshing in this day and age.

{3} Opportunities: Blogging allows you to meet new people (see #2). Blogging allows you to attend conferences and it also provides you opportunities for sponsorships. You can review products that companies send you (I would so love to do this) and allows you to explore a whole new side of you.

Looking at this now, I realize many of my positives are similar to Bailey's. I think the biggest joy I love about blogging aside from connecting with new people is having a virtual scrapbook. I love taking photos to look back on memories so having a blog is a great place to have it!

{Sunday Social}

Link up with Ashley 

{1} What is your favorite breakfast food?
I have never been a big breakfast person but either a bagel with cream cheese or oatmeal does me good!

{2} What is the best way to spend a free day?
SLEEP IN to start!! I slept in until 9:30 this morning and it felt glorious! Then stay in bed and watch tv/movies/catch up on the DVR or go shopping!

{3} If you had an airline ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Tough choice!!!  Probably Paris, France. It's the one place I wish (among many) I had gone when I was abroad and I would love to practice using my French there.

{4} You can only leave the house with one thing...what is it?
Probably my cell phone. Sad, but true. I feel "naked" when it is not with me. If it was an emergency, my dog!

{5} How do you take your coffee?
I like my coffee LIGHT & SWEET. I do not enjoy it being dark and there is no way in the world I could drink it black. That is probably an acquired taste. I like creamer (French Vanilla or Hazelnut) and some splenda. I love my coffee!!


Friday, February 21, 2014

{5 on Friday y'all!}

It has been awhile since I did this linkup with the lovely ladies who host it each Friday! As Lily (my sweet puppy) naps on the couch right now, I figure what better time to do it!

I am the worst person when it comes to buying shoes. Infact, I hate shoe shopping. However, being on my feet all day at school and then serving at night = sore feet. So I went shoe shopping on Tuesday and bought myself two pairs of MK flats. The black ones felt like HEAVEN on my feet! I never usually spend that much on shoes (hello Target) so hopefully it was worth the money.

{2} One of the teachers I work with is going to Disney and doing a Disney cruise for her 10 year anniversary with her husband. Both of us are such dorks because we love Disney a lot so during our off periods, we plan. It makes me want to go for a week SO SO BAD!!! That one day I go in April with my BFF April is going to be such a tease.

Having this past week off from school has been a blessing, although the week before we had a snow day and the week before that we had TWO snow days. I can't remember the last time we had a full week of school. This week is needed because in March we have NO breaks and it is surely going to be the LONGEST MONTH EVER!

My friend Jeannette is currently in Disney to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon this weekend. I am so jealous. She is with a few of her friends from school and they're all dressed up as various Disney princesses (Jeannette is Snow White!). It is one of my goals to be able to run a 5K and eventually progress to a half marathon. I just need that motivation to get gym membership is wasting away and that is $20 I could be saving.

I have been on a country kick lately in my car listening as I drive around to work and run errands. Specifically Luke Bryan and Keith Urban. This makes me SO SO EXCITED for the Luke Bryan concert in September @ MSG with Amanda, Shannon and Brittany. I wish it wasn't so far away!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I'm The Kind of Girl

(Love me some guacamole!)

I stumbled upon this fun little link up with Holly called "I'm the kinda girl...".

I'm the kinda girl who...

~ cannot function without at LEAST a cup of coffee a day. It's not a pretty sight.

~ prefers chick flicks or comedies over sci-fi movies any day of the week.

~ loves Disney probably as much as the average 4 year old. Not sorry.

~ gets along with her co-workers so well at school we call each other "Pooper Scooper" "Turd Head" "Hairy Patoot". We're real mature in the language department. :)

~ still has trouble opening a bottle of wine at tables when they order them. #firstworldproblems

~ gets nervous calling people on the phone.

~ snorts when she laughs. My students even know this.

~ would rather buy purses than shoes. Hence why I don't have enough space to put my purses away!

~ cannot parallel park to save her life. thank god I don't live in the city.

~ loves to travel.

~ would rather be in warm weather than cold weather.

~ gets bored by some sports (I love watching the Yankees though!)

~is geographically challenged. Never Eat Soggy Waffles, yo. That's how I learned it in elementary school.

~ curses when she drives at times because she has road rage.

~can't really cook. Sorry future husband.

~ is SO SO SO excited for my friend Olivia to get married. LOVE weddings!

~cannot get on the bandwagon of health shakes. Kale = not my thing.

~ is definitely a night owl and NOT a morning person.

~ spoils her nieces & nephew any chance she gets.

~ has a guilty pleasure of watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

~can cry at anything. emotional basketcase.

~wears flipflops whenever she can....I hate wearing high heels.

What kind of girl are you?!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{Little Tidbits About Me}

Wow, it's day 19 of this blogging challenge! Kudos to be for doing it every single day but one. I really enjoy it and getting to read about other bloggers. Blogging is a great community and a fun way to meet people!

Today's prompt is little known facts.

1. Little Sister's Books.  Remember Ann Martin, author of The Babysitter's Club books? She was my favorite author growing up. I read every single one of her book's and read all the ones about Kristy's little sister, Karen, aka The Little Sister's books. I had an idea for a book and wrote to Ann Martin. She ended up making it into a book and made me as a character!

2. Olsen Twins. When I was younger, I looked A LOT like the Olsen Twins. People used to confuse me for them all the time...especially when I was by myself which was strange.

3. Viva Spain! I lived in Spain for four months when I studied abroad. BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!! It gave me the travel bug.

4. Languages are my thang. Yes, I just said thang. I know Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. I am trying to teach myself Italian thanks to the DuoLingo app.

5. My belly button is pierced and has been since I was a sophomore in college.

6. I had a 9cm benign tumor removed from my left breast three years ago. I had no idea it was in there until the doctor discovered it. That was the first time I ever had surgery.

7. I donated my hair to Locks of Love the day after my prom.

8. I played the flute from 5th grade to 9th grade. And I also played the violin.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

{My Style}

Day 18: Describe your style.

My style? Or maybe the lack of it? Ha! I guess you could describe my style as "casual & comfortable." I am not one to spend $100 on a shirt (now a purse...THAT is a different story) and I absolutely HATE shopping for shoes.

I really like to be comfortable. A good majority of the clothes I wear to school come from NY & CO  (although I need to get my pants all hemmed because the hems keep falling down on me...too long!) or The Loft. I find a lot of my clothes from The Loft at the outlet so I end up getting 3 or 4 pieces for the price of 1 normally.

If I am not in "school clothes" as I call them (we pretty much wear whatever we want where I work), I have to wear jeans and a button down "earth tone" colored dress shirt for my restaurant job. My jeans usually come from Old Navy because they are comfortable, THEY FIT ME IN THE WAIST (my biggest problem) and they're affordable. However, I have gotten a few pairs at The Loft recently (one sale) so it makes me happy!

My go to bag is Vera Bradley tote for school and lately my MK tote. I have this one (with the matching wallet) and love how it goes well with an outfit dressed up or dressed down: 

Where do I usually shop? The Loft, NY & Co, Ann Taylor sometimes, Kohls, Old Navy, J.Crew outlet, sometimes White House Black Market. Now that I am in my late 20's (wait...did I seriously just write that? WAAAAHHHH!!!), I want my style to "evolve" more and be more grown up. 

I don't do anything special with my hair. It is either in a pony tail for when I am serving (or even at school) or down. I can get it pretty straight when I blow it out. I consider myself to be pretty low maintenance. 

But if I could evolve my style into outfits like this, I would be one happy camper!

 Jennifer Aniston is always so casually dressed but pulls it off SO WELL!! I want to do that.

Monday, February 17, 2014

{5 favorites!}

It was super hard to choose 5 FAVORITE things of mine. Seriously, why do I have to limit it? But here we go:

{1} Jennifer Aniston

Hands down, she is my favorite actress!! I watch every movie she has been in. I just really have enjoyed watching her in FRIENDS. My favorite movie of her's is The Good Girl and also We're The Millers. So funny. I just find her to be a beautiful woman and if I look like her when I am 45, than thank the lord!

{2} Disney World
 I always say that if you don't like Disney World, there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with you. It is the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!! I went three times in the span of 14 months...June 2010 with my best friend to celebrate our college graduations, January 2011 with my college friends for just fun and August 2011 with my brother when he took his kids for the first time. I am ITCHING to go back. I am visiting my best friend April for a few days in April on my spring break and we are going to go to Disney for a day. I wish it could be longer but with her job as a court reporter, she can't get away for super long. I am hoping to go back for longer this summer.

 These kids. My nephew Steven, my niece Emma and my niece/goddaughter Sara. I love these kids more than anything. It is such a JOY to be their aunt. I have fun spoiling them. I can't wait to spoil Emma for her birthday in April with Frozen goodies! My mom tells me it is her new favorite movie. I can't believe she is going to be 5!!!

Puppies! I just love them so much because I could cuddle all day with them. Specifically mine when she isn't being a brat. this is her when we first got her:

Coffee. Because without it, I would not function!

Link up with Bailey!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

{A hard lesson learned}

I have really enjoyed linking up with Bailey so far almost everyday in February (I only missed last Saturday because I worked all day at work but I couldn't even figure out what to write on that topic!). Today's prompt is a hard lesson learned. Boy...what a deep and loaded prompt.

I would have to say the hardest lesson I have learned so far in my 27 years of life is to let go of someone, no matter how much it hurts. I have only dated one guy in my life. We met 2 months after I graduated college at a 4th of July picnic (my best friend was dating one of his best friends and she invited me & another friend). We dated for 7 months the first time around. I ended up breaking up with him after 7 months.

Time elapses and I began to miss him. In August 2010 (6 months after we broke up), I heard from my friend that he still had feelings for I did for him. We tried to see if things would come back but then it didn't end up coming that way until April/May 2011 and we made it official that July. Things were great. We went on a cruise to Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and the Bahamas. We saw The Lion King on Broadway together. We met each other's family. We celebrated a year of dating by going out East on Long Island to Montauk and then a nice dinner.

Then, in September 2012, I was offered my first job in a school as a teaching assistant. He was super excited for me and I loved that. He was supportive. I was tutoring part time, working at the school AND working at a restaurant. When I had a day off to BREATHE, all I wanted to do was sleep (BTW, my schedule is STILL like that...haha!). Then Hurricane Sandy hit and I broke up with him that week. It was totally sudden and something he was not expecting but I had to do it. I felt like we were at two different forks in the road; he was going one way and me another. I knew what I wanted from my future and I just felt he was complacent. He treated me like royalty the whole time we were together so it wasn't like "he wasn't paying attention to me." I just felt like we were at two different spots in life. It takes a lot to say "I love you, but I am not IN love with you anymore. I want you to be happy and find someone."

Instantly, I had regret but as the days went on, it got easier. I knew I made the right decision for myself. Did it suck to be single? Yes. Did it suck to watch your best friends be happy in their relationships while you were alone and wish you had what they had? Yes. I just had to be happy with my decision. I needed me time.

It's been over a year since we broke up and he is in a new relationship. Was I a tad jealous at first that it was him and not me? Maybe a little but I was happy for him. I am focusing on me and I know that when the time is right, someone who just "clicks" with me will come along my way. They will accept me for who I am, what I bring to the table and love me for everything there is...not wanting to change. I am enjoying my single time now but this was definitely something I learned from!

{Sunday Social}

Link up with

This is one of my favorite link ups! Here are this week's questions:

1. What are your favorite things to do on a lazy day?
I love staying in my pajamas and in bed watching movies or catching up on the DVR. Or watching DVDs of Gilmore Girls, Law & Order Svu, FRIENDS, etc. Taking a nap never hurts either. :)

2. What is your TV guilty pleasure?
Definitely The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Probably the only "reality" TV show I watch. Oh, and Dance Moms!

3. What is your favorite road trip music?
Honestly, I love blasting 90's stuff and stuff we would always hear when we went out in college (I have been out of college for almost 5 years now!). When I went with my friends to Atlantic City two years ago, I made the most eclectic mix of music...and when "Who Let the Dogs Out?" came on, everyone was dying in laughter. It's fun to reminisce.

4. What are your favorite magazines or books to read by the pool or laying around?
I love reading People magazine, Cosmo (definitely guilty pleasure). As for books, I enjoy anything by Jodi Picoult, Emily Giffin (so excited for her new one to come out in May), Nicholas Sparks and my ultimate guilty reading pleasure....50 Shades of Grey.

5. What is your favorite snack?
Salt & Vinegar potato chips. I could eat an entire bag in ONE sitting.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

{I Have a Dream}

A big dream. What a loaded prompt in today's blogging challenge. We all have dreams, don't we? Whether they be big or small, they are dreams!

I have a dream one day to expand my family through the beauty of adoption. I have said it for a long time but ideally, I would like to have at least four children of my own (God willing there are no problems). Then, I want to pursue adoption. There are SO many children in foster care here in the United States and orphanages in foreign countries who may never know the true feeling of what it feels like to be loved until someone opens their arms, heart and home to them.

I would love to adopt from China. I find myself fascinated by the culture and always reading adoption blogs of families who are adopting from China. One of my FAVORITE blogs that I discovered way back when I was on bedrest after surgery over 3 years ago was Everything Beautiful. This family has 3 daughters of their own and have since adopted 3 little girls and 2 little boys from China!! They are waiting to bring their 6th child home from China!!! I am simply blown away by them and how big their hearts are. They are an inspiration!

I also love reading about the adoptions from this blog, First a Pearl Then Three Rubies. They have adopted three little girls from China. Some people might wonder how can you love someone who you didn't give birth to and I think it has to do with an indescribable feeling. I hope I can give a child (or two) that I adopt the love, security, and support of a family.

I dream of this. I dream of my dream becoming a reality. I hope I can find a man who supports me in my dreams (whether it be this one, another, or some crazy one I have) and joins in on the dreams. Adoption is close to my heart and I hope to make it part of my life one day.

Belated Valentine's Day

Oops, I am a day behind on the Valentine's Day prompt for the blog challenge over at Anchored in Love! That is what I get for procrastinating.

I spent my Valentine's Day working. What is better than having a two hour delay on the last day of school before break with shortened periods and having a week's vacation to follow? Nothing!! I also worked last night serving and made good $$!

Soon I hope to have that special someone to spend Valentine's Day with and make special memories. I bought myself a Valentine's Day gift. It is an Alex & Ani heart bangle. The proceeds (or a part of them) go to heart disease awareness foundation. I figured what better month than the month of love and heart disease awareness month to get it than now. Plus, with all the issues my mom has had lately surrounding her heart, I figured it was a perfect choice! I love it.

Hope everyone had a wonderful time with their Valentine's! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A favorite quote

Well happy snow day #4 to me!! I woke up at the normal time, waiting for them to make the call of either a 2 hour delay or we were closed. At 5:35, we had a 2 hour delay meaning first period didn't start until 9:20 as opposed to 7:20. I came down, took the dog out and was all dressed to go outside to clean my car off. Then we changed to closed!! Goodbye memorial day vacation and April 22nd. Nice knowing we had those days off and not anymore.

Today's prompt in the blog challenge over at Bailey's blog is favorite quote. Oh how I love this topic! I have a document on my computer that is just pages long of quotes. I even have a board on Pinterest dedicated to quotes. And this even comes after we did positive, uplifting quotes for PBIS at school.

This quote was the one that I included as my senior quote in my high school yearbook. It just so happens to be by my favorite actress, Jennifer Aniston.

"There are no regrets in life, just lessons." - Jennifer Aniston.

Fitting for life, right? I try to live life to the fullest with no regrets. After all, you get one life to live and you want to enjoy it because you never know when your card might be up. You could do something drastic like pick up your life and move across country and say you regret it. But why? You never know how good or how bad something can turn out unless you're willing to take a risk.

I consider this to be my life's motto because if I do something and it doesn't turn out the way I had hoped, I don't regret it. I just take it as one of life's lessons and learn from it. I ask myself how can I do things differently next time or what I learned from it.  I want to enjoy life and try new things. I can't regret everything I do in life otherwise it is no fun.

What is your favorite quote?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Purse Lady {Blog Challenge}

Today's topic in Bailey's #blogeverdayinFebruary challenge is RIGHT up my alley!! It's about what is in your purse. You know how some girls love shoes? I, for one, hate hate hate shoe shopping. If I could live in flipflops year round, I would. I can't walk properly in heels and I am always afraid I will trip and land flat on my face!

I would rather buy purses over shoes because well, purses are necessary! At least to me. I totally blame my purse problem on my Aunt Betsy. My graduation gift from high school was a Dooney & Bourke bag (black with the colored heartS) that I still have. From there, I got a Coach bag one year and she gave me the bag that started the Vera Bradley obsession.

Right now I am using a Coach beige bag I got on clearance plus an additional 60% off at the outlets. I may switch it up soon since I have so many purses...and have purse ADD. Here's whats inside now:

Coach glasses case for when I wear my contacts and want to bring my glasses
my checkbook for work (aka where I write orders)
my name tag for work (they are minii chaokers
Vaseline Lip Therapy chapstick
2 lotions, Jingletini from B&BW and a Victoria's Secret one
my Michael Kors wallet
a random tea from work that I think I brought home a few weeks later
my Coach sunglasses (the case is somewhere else!)

I also carry my iPhone and iPad when theres not 23520492643963 things going on

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stamps in my Passport

Ever since 8th grade when I knew I wanted to become a Spanish teacher, I had a desire to travel abroad. My middle school Spanish teacher, Mrs. Reith (SO thrilled I had her for 3 years! best teacher!), is the one that inspired me to take two languages in high school. When she talked about the time she lived abroad, it made me excited for when I would get to go abroad.

So for today's little story in the #blogeverydayinFebruary challenge, I am reflecting upon the best decision of my life: Spring 2008 semester abroad in Seville, Spain. I came home broke, wishing I had traveled to more cities but honestly, hands down best decision! Originally, I wanted to only go for a summer session which is essentially a month. Then my advisor in college convinced me to do a semester abroad (she was pushing for a year but I don't know if I could have handled it...or afforded it!). I chose Seville because it was a program offered through my school, it was in the South (warmer than the North of Spain!) and my friend Bethany had done it.

I was able to visit beautiful cities like Granada and see La Alhambra. Indescribable.

Could be a post card picture!

I even went to a resort in Marbella which overlooked the coast of Africa. So cool!

One weekend, my roommates and I went to Barcelona. I loved walking down Las Ramblas and going to Parque Guell where America's Next Top Model was one season.

My mom came to visit me for two weeks and we went to London, England!
Outside Buckingham Palace

When in London! 

Outside St.Paul's

At Madam Tussaud's in London with The Beatles (And I look super tan here....WAAHHH!!)

Then I went to Dublin, Ireland and the Netherlands with my roommates Sam, Jessie and Stacy who was in our program.

Went to the Guinness Factory for a tour!

At Trinity College in Dublin

Ann Frank Museum where she was hidden with her family

At the I amsterdam sign!

I also went to Cordoba for a group field trip
My entire program group in Cordoba! We had our program director Miguel and our tour guide Luis there.

Who can forget getting sunburned in Cadiz?! (I AM SO TAN HERE!! I WANT TO GO BACK!!)

Almost two years ago I went on a tropical cruise with my now ex. I love getting to explore new cities. I love being able to see things I have learned about for years. I love getting to use the language. I wish I could have gone to more cities and/or countries when I was in Spain studying abroad. Mainly France and Italy (almost went to France when my mom was coming to visit). 

On my travel bucket list is Paris, Italy, Greece, Madrid (I only saw the airport!), other cities in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, etc. I want to also visit every single Spanish speaking country.....well, the safe ones. 

Where have you traveled? Where do you want stamps in your passport?! 

Link up with the lovely Bailey today!