May 28, 2013



I have always loved surveys.  I was that girl in high school that would always forward the chain surveys or favorites lists to all of my friends and hope to get some back.  I not only loved thinking about what my favorites were, but also reading about what my friends were in to.

Well, I read one like this the other day on one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers, and thought I would do the same.  So fun to see how my interests are constantly changing!



I haven’t had much time to read lately and am usually so whipped by the end of a day teaching 23 1st graders and then coming home to a 3 1/2 month old that I can’t even keep my eyes open, BUT,  these are the books that are currently taking up space on my bedside table. 

I love the TV show Duck Dynasty and am totally enjoying the books written by the stars of the show.  I love reading about their trials and tribulations as a family and how they pulled through it all (while making millions).  Easy read, but very inspirational.





One of my current faves is Phillip Phillips.  I think the last time I actually watched American Idol was the year that Carrie Underwood won, and I didn’t even know what this guy looked like until I did a Google search, but…I love his music.

I fell in love with his song Home while I was pregnant with Everett.  It was kind of my “I’m going to be a mom” anthem:

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home.

Then, the other day as I was listing to the radio I kept hearing this great song but didn’t know the artist.  Well, after looking it up, it of course was Phillip Phillips with the song Gone, Gone, Gone.  I’m diggin’ this guy.




Guilty Pleasure:

Letting clutter build up around the house while resting on the couch after putting Everett to bed.  I think my body is still catching up on rest from the first six weeks.



Nail Color:

Although I rarely treat myself to a mani/pedi I must say that I am loving nude nails right now.  They just look so clean and crisp.  I’m thinking that a manicure might be my next “to me, from me” gift to myself soon!  These would be perfect for the start of summer break!





I used to LOVE Barnie’s Coffee Coolers when I was younger.  I guess I didn’t realize until just recently how easy it actually is to make iced coffee.

I always just make an extra cup or two in the morning, pour it in a mason jar and put it in the fridge for later – perfect after a long day at work!




Chopped Salads.  I used to HATE making salads at home.  I loved ordering them out and somehow they always tasted better somewhere else if somebody else made it (my mom feels the same way about tuna fish).

Well, after trying to incorporate more salads into our weekly menus I decided that if I chopped everything up relatively the same size, added it to the bowl at one time and mixed it all with my dressing before putting it into the bowl I loved it.  I know, not rocket science, but it made all the difference for me.




TV Show:

I am in love with the TV show Bates Motel on A&E.  This is so out of my usual realm of TV shows, but I am hooked.  It is juuuust scary enough without giving me bad dreams and has the psychological twist that I love.  Although the season finale just aired, I can’t wait for next season!




Wish List:

I must say that if someone asked me, “Well, what do you want for ________ (insert any holiday/birthday)?” I would have to say anything from Etsy.

These are some of my current favorites, but what I love about Etsy also is that it also gets my DIY juices flowing!





 Losing the baby weight.  I know everybody goes through it, but it just stinks when it is you.  I was very successful a couple of years ago with Weight Watchers losing about 70 pounds, and I actually just rejoined a few weeks ago.  So far so good, I’m already down about 10 pounds…20 more to go!

Sometimes you just need that little jump start.






 New running shoes and a baby pool for the backyard this summer.




I just can’t quite decide!  LOL.



Sleeping in 15 minutes later than my alarm.  It’s the little things!




Only 4 more days of work until SUMMER BREAK!  I am so excited to spend the next two months with my little dude watching him grow each and every day and seeing the world through his eyes.




These guys.  Period.

May 27, 2013

Menu Monday


Happy Memorial Monday everybody!


(Long) Weekend Highlights-


  • BBQ at Jenny and Jeremy’s house!  Everett got to see his buddy Nathaniel again and his favorite madras twin, Aunt Lynnie!

Photo: Best buds.

Photo: Madras twins.


  • Gransie was in town all weekend!  Since we will be busy for the next couple of weekends and she couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing her sweet E for another second longer, my mom came down for the weekend.  Such a nice visit with lots of smiles and laughs from the little dude!


  • Mike and I got to go on a nice 8 mile bike ride in preparation/training for his “surprise” birthday present/event. I opted to sign us up for an athletic event rather than get him a gift and he was totally up for it.   He kind of knows what it is, but he won’t let me tell him until his actual birthday this Saturday.  More on that to come!




  • Other than that and a quick trip to IKEA (Everett loved it about as much as his daddy…which is not much, lol) we were just hangin’ out with this guy!

Photo: Chillin.




As for this week – there are all sorts of things to be excited about!  I only have 1 1/2 more days with my students and 4 days total until summer break!  Friday is our last day!  We have also picked a daycare for Everett and I am turning in all of the paperwork tomorrow – I CAN’T WAIT to get that checked off my list and… my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their adorable daughter Remy fly in on Wednesday!!!  We haven’t seen Remy since Christmas and they have never met Everett.  We can’t wait for the cousins to meet!

We will be heading to Cocoa Beach to celebrate Mike’s birthday this coming weekend and getting in some quality fam time before Mark, Sara and Remy head back to Wisconsin.  So many fun things!

In the mean time, here is what will be on our dinner plates:


M:  Baked Ravioli w/ Broccoli

T: Hot Dogs w/ Carrot Sticks (this has been on the menu for the last 2 weeks and we still haven’t gotten to it!)

W:  Chicken Stir-Fry w/ Fried Rice

Th:  Corn Chowder

F:  Meatloaf w/ Boiled and Pressed Potatoes (new recipe)

Sa:  Cocoa Beach!

Su:  Low-Fat Chicken Pot Pie


Have a great week and

Happy Memorial Day!

May 20, 2013

Menu Monday


Happy Monday!



Weekend Highlights:

Everett made his debut at the beach this weekend!  We headed to New Smyrna Beach around 9am on Saturday morning and after a few stops for food and drink we met up with our friends around 10:30.  Not knowing how he would do we left our leave time up in the air and decided to play it by ear. 

Well, the little dude was a trooper.  We ended up leaving the beach around 5:30 and didn’t stop there.  We headed to our friends Lynn and Tuller’s for a cookout.  Luckily, we brought his bath necessities and pajamas and kept his nighttime schedule somewhat routine and put him down at his normal time at Lynn’s. The planner and worrier in me was nervous that he wouldn’t take the change well, but he proved me wrong.  He was a champ!


EJA - Month 32


Exhausted after a long day at he beach!


  • Once at Lynn’s we assembled the most delicious kebabs and feasted on grilled corn on the cob and yellow rice accompanied by Pinot Grigio (a fave!).




  • Sunday was packed full of even more fun – Everett got to meet his Grandpa Terry (my dad) and his wife Vicki. They made the trek down from Gainesville and treated us to lunch while hanging out with our little man.  Everett gave them tons of smiles and coos which I know melted their hearts.  I think they were in love right away.


  • After a family nap in the afternoon we had a little more playtime before it was time to get ready for Monday (my last one of the school year!).




Our menu isn’t very creative this week, but I’m sure it will still be tasty!


M:  Hot Dogs and Carrot Sticks

T:  Baked Potato Soup

W: Girls Night at Kamrin’s!

Th: Grilled Chicken w/ Tomato Chutney and Balsamic Mushrooms and Pressed Potatoes (new recipe)

F:  Pesto Pizza

Sa:  Ham, Cheese and Broccoli Baked Potatoes

Su:  Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad


Have a great week!

May 14, 2013

The It List–Baby Showers


If you’re tired of buying the same old, same old for every baby shower and wonder what a cool but useful gift might be, here are some great ideas.  I would love any and all of these!


1.  Wee Gallery – Art Cards for Baby


Wee Gallery animals are made of high-contrast repeating patterns to stimulate visual development in infants.

The animals on these cards are designed to interest a baby differently at different stages.  At birth he or she is fascinated by the details of the design and as he or she grows older he can point out the animal by name.

I fell in love with the swirly designs and can’t wait to get some for E!








2.  Jellycat Stuffed Animals


I found out about Jellycat stuffed animals from my friend Kamrin whose daughter Keltin fell in love with one of the lions when she was teeny tiny. 

Everett just got his first Jellycat (see below) and we call him Lyle the Crocodile.  They are all SUPER SOFT and the company deems them the world’s “most sophisticated soft toys”.  I just might agree.  They are not only the softest around, but they offer the coolest types of animals; aardvarks, ostriches, and even flamingoes.






3.  Waterproof Stickers

Waterproof nametag stickers are a must when you have a baby; especially when your itty bitty starts daycare!  Obviously, if you don’t know the baby’s name before they are born this wouldn’t be a great shower gift, but this would be a great “Welcome to the World” gift for any new mom.

They are perfect for bottles and sippy cups and the round ones can even fit on a pacifier.  Genius!


Mini Kids Labels - Chevron (Pick Your Colors) - 36 Labels

Small Round Kids Labels - Solid (Pick Your Colors) - 48 Labels



Everett’s came just the other day and we love them!  We ordered ours from this Etsy shop and love the polka dots!





4.  Citrus Lane

Give a gift that keeps on giving!  Citrus Lane is a company that offers monthly gift boxes to little ones tailored to your baby’s age and stage.  You can give one box, get a 3 month or 6 month gift “subscription”.

Every product that is included in each gift box has been recommended and reviewed by the Citrus Lane advisory board and community. No marketing gimmicks, no paid placements -- just real recommendations from real parents for products that solve real problems.







5.  Personalized Board Book

With a lot of our family living so far away (Wisconsin) I fell in love with the idea of making a personalized board book for Everett to recognize family faces that weren’t nearby.  When I started researching this possibility I found two different companies that seemed pretty worthwhile.



I haven’t started my own yet, but love the fact that My Custom Story offers gift certificates.  Perfect for a mom-to-be to save for later!






May 13, 2013

Menu Monday

Happy Monday everybody!

Weekend highlights:

  • This weekend we headed to my mom's house for our first "roadtrip" with Everett.  With Mike's mom in tow, we packed the car to the brim and headed two hours northeast to Gransie's.  Besides a blow out diaper half way up there and a quick change E did a great job in the car for that long.  We figure the more we cab get him used to getting up and going, the more we can get up and go!

  • Everett met my mom's dog Hurley for the first time.  It was so funny watching him watch Hurley.  He has seen dogs before, but he was so little that he didn't pay any attention.  This time he kept watching Hurley everywhere he went.  He coudn't quite figure out what he was!

  • Mike got a yours truly!  If you know my husband, you know he can be quite frugal (which I do love about him), but for Christmas he asked his mom to get us a set of hair clippers so I could start cutting his hair instead of paying for someone else to do it.  Sidenote - I had NEVER cut hair before and was so nervous the first two times.  Well, this was the third time and I must say, although it isn't is MUCH better than the first two attempts.  Thank goodness for youtube videos!

  • We spent all day yesterday on my mom's riverside porch.  The weather was beautiful and the breeze was amazing.  We even put E in the Baby Bjorn for some more practice at baby wearing while we explored the yard.  He defintiely likes seeing out instead of being smooshed against my chest.  He's already very inquisitive.

  • I bought myself a "to me from me" Mother's Day gift - the two Duck Dynasty books.  I love the show and am intrigued by their family.  These books are are a funny and easy read so far!  I also got the sweetest cards and gifts from my boys.  Mike got me my first Chewbead necklace (love the color) and Everett picked out an adorable book called "Mommy Kisses".  Yes, I was in tears - so sweet.

  • Best of all, we got to spend Mother's Day with both of our favorite laides - our moms.  We couldn't be more blessed to have such amazing role models.  Thank you both for loving us (and Everett) so much!

As for this week, back to the grind.  Only 3 more weeks of school left for me (yay!) and our friend Noelle is starting her 3 week stint at being Everett's nanny.  We are so excited to have "Nanny NoMo" at our house every day and can't wait to hear the stories she will have for us when we get home!

M:  Taco Salad
T:  Black Bean Soup and Chopped Salad
W:  Hawaiin Steak Kebabs w/ Veggies and Corn on the Cob
Th:  Chicken and Veggie Fried Rice
F:  Veggie Omelettes w/ Hashbrowns
Sa:  Baked Potato Soup
Su:  Leftovers

Have a great week!

May 6, 2013

Menu Monday


Hi everybody and Happy Monday!


Weekend highlights:

  • Grandma Pam is here from Wisconsin!  Mike and Everett picked her up Friday from the airport and E has been smitten ever since (I think the feeling is mutual – she fell in love right away). 




  • We went on a walk and Grandma even got to “walk him” with her scooter.  It was awesome!  I can’t wait to show him this when he’s older – he will think it is so cool!







  • We also headed to the Winter Garden Harvest Festival (put on by our friend John) on Saturday.  The weather was a little dreary, as was I, still sick from the day before, but we wanted to check it out and support John.  There seemed to be a great turnout and despite the rain, there were plenty of people there milling about.  Pam loved the town of Winter Garden and I think Mike and I will definitely be back to their Farmer’s Market – such great looking produce!










  • Everett celebrated 3 months!  Part of me can’t believe it and part of me is thinking…it’s only been 3 months?!?  So funny how time can fly but stay still at he same time.




  • Other than that, we did a lot of the same old, same old with our little time waster.  Hearing him “talk” never gets old…nor does walking into his room and seeing this face in his crib.  My heart turns to mush every time.






  • We were supposed to head to Palatka this past weekend to visit my mom and family, but I unfortunately was sick and they were inundated with rain.  Fortunately I’m feeling better and we’re heading up this weekend instead for Mother’s Day.  I can’t wait to spend my first Mother’s Day with all of the important ladies in my life – it should be a blast!


As far as this week goes, it’s somewhat normal.  Grandma Pam is watching E for us during the weekdays (she’s so excited to have him all to herself), while I’m still on the hunt for the best daycare center around our area.  I have toured two so far with positive results and am going to see a few more before we make our final decision.  August will be here before you know it and I will be so relieved when we finally decide! 

We might even fit in a date night this week thanks to GP.  Here’s what will be on our plates, I hope you’re having something tasty as well!  Have a great week!


M:  Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potatoes

T:  Pasta e Fagiole (possible Date Night!)

W:  Steak w/ Sautéed Mushrooms and Sweet Potato Fries

Th:  Baked Spaghetti

F:  Pesto Chicken Pizza

Sa:  Palatka

Su:  Brinner – Pancakes w/ Eggs and Turkey Sausage