Tuesday, August 30, 2011

don't hate

I know. It's been a long time since I've posted. It's just so hard!

Which is why I may be taking a blogging break. But that's because I am jumping on the tumblr bandwagon! I really like the idea of being able to post short things - photos, videos, stories, links, etc. Every time I blog, I feel like I have to write something long and involved and detailed. And let's be honest, I just don't have the patience for that! Or the time. Plus, the tumblr interface and concept is a little more user-friendly and quicker. So yeah. Don't hate me. Love me! And love my tumblr.

Here is the link, so you have NO EXCUSE not to read and follow and love.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dangers of Owning A Dog (or Two)

Warning: this is a graphic post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

For those of you who don't like to hear graphic stories about the horrors of what I do for my dogs, here is a little story to fill up some space so you can leave the blog without accidentally reading part of the story about my lovely afternoon.

Everyone should visit Painting With A Twist in Charlotte. I went last night for a great friend's birthday (where more than one of us may or may not have drank an entire bottle of wine by our individual selves - guess how good that was for my low-carb diet) and we made peacocks! See for yourselves:
That's the birthday girl - Sara - up front on the left!
And here's a closeup of my masterpiece.
Okay, time for the nitty gritty dirty tale. First off, I would like to warn all female dog owners: SHUT YOUR BATHROOM DOOR. That's right - we're about to go down that road.

Lately, Preston's favorite pasttime has been to pull everything out of the bathroom trash can and spread it around. He doesn't eat any of it, he just likes to share the joy of dirty tissues and tags off of clothes. Well, today I had replaced the trash bag, so there were only two things in it - a cardboard toilet paper roll and a panty liner. (Yep, told you we were going down that road.)

I decided to watch some Netflix and I dozed off, only to wake up to Sensei lying on the floor eating the aforementioned TP roll. Initially, I was just annoyed at having to pick up 249018743 pieces of cardboard, until I realized I needed to check the rest of the trash can. I rushed upstairs to find this:
As you can see, one of my babies has discovered the beauty of the eating straight off the roll! And yes, as you may have suspected, the trash can was empty - the panty liner was missing. Someone ate it. I searched the house high and low - the only place left was in one of my pooch's stomach.

After some Googling - where I read everything from "the sticky part will block their intestines and they'll die if you don't take them to the vet ASAP" to "my dog ate a whole diaper and he was fine!" - and texting Bill, I called our wonderful vet at Animal Ark. After some awkward confusion on the part of the receptionist (resulting in my explaining what panty liner in fact is), I discovered that I needed to make my dogs throw up. Barf. Puke. Vomit. In order to do so, I would have to get them to drink about a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.

And I did. I went outside with Sensei, armed with a bottle of H2O2 and a shovel. He drank it out of the spoon without any problems, and right away I could tell he did not like it. He kept baring his teeth and licking his mouth. I felt like a horrible person. He probably thought he was getting some awesome treat, and I gave him the nastiest stuff imaginable. (Seriously, I gargle with this - I can't imagine drinking it!) I put him on his leash and walked him around in the backyard in order to expedite the process and to keep my eye on him. After about ten minutes, he puked twice. The first time was huge, and you better believe there was a lot of chewed-up mess and a chunk of an undigested panty liner. I used the shovel to throw it over the fence so he wouldn't go back and eat it again later, and then I washed the shovel and called Michelle to share my disgust and warn her to never let Booth near a bathroom.

The good news is that I didn't have to force Preston to throw up, as it was pretty obvious that Sensei was the culprit this time around. And it's been about an hour now, and Sensei no longer appears to hate me, so maybe things will go back to normal around here for a while...

Yeah, right.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cheater.

That's me. I cheated.

On summer.

I'm just so tired of the 95 degree weather and the sweaty foreheads and the holiday-less days that I gave in. I searched Pinterest for Christmas and made a Christmas craft.

I took inspiration from this:

 

And substituted in paint markers and a blank canvas I had on hand.

Excuse my cell phone photo. Once I have my much-desired iPhone (which won't be for months...), these blog pics will be much better!
It looks great, it's festive, and I love it.

Only 146 more days to go until my favorite holiday of the year...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The End of an Era...

I wrote this post Friday, but our internet was out, but it's finally up now!


As I’m sure most of you have heard, Borders is sadly closing its doors. Borders is one of my favorite stores – regardless of the fact I’m a Rewards Plus member, so I get an extra 10% off everything – because I just love books! I love book stores in general – it’s related to my love of libraries. I can remember, growing up, I would visit my aunt in Charlotte a few times a year, and she would always take me to Barnes & Noble. We could spend a whole afternoon in there, and she would buy me a book before we left, as a souvenir of my weekend with her. It’s not like we didn’t have bookstores back home… it was just a thing we did. And it shows you what a nerd I was growing up, that I’d pick a book as my souvenir every time I went on a trip!

Anyways, the one silver lining to this cloud is the going-out-of-business sale happening right now in Winston. When the Greensboro location closed, I was able to pick up Planet Earth on BluRay for cheap. I’m talking $30-cheap. In hopes of finding some similar deals, I hit up the sale at the Thruway store yesterday. Most of what I wanted is only 20% off right now (plus my 10%), so I tried to limit myself. But I bought some really cool stuff for my future classroom! Theoretically, if all goes well, that is only a year away (WHOA), and I need to stock up! All the Melissa & Doug materials were on sale, and they are one of my absolute favorite companies for kids’ work. Everything is wooden – super durable and safe – and I basically want to own everything they make. I can’t wait to go back when all of the stuff at Borders is a little more on sale and stock up from that shelf.

Yesterday I limited myself to a kitchen set of food groups from Melissa & Doug, which are so cool. I did buy several books, including an awesome BrainQuest Preschool book, which is full of worksheets on phonics, 123s, ABCs, toys, and the self. Does anyone remember BrainQuest? I had a ton of their products when I was younger! I also got some really neat Dr. Suess concept cards on the alphabet and opposites. Seriously, I am getting so excited about being able to use these materials in a classroom of my own. Or with my own kids, but that is much farther off.

Speaking of my own classroom, today was my last day at OCCS for the summer (I think). The end of another era! I go back to UNCG on August 15, and I’m not on the schedule at OCCS for the next two weeks. It is so sad! I absolutely love that school, and I have seen some real changes in myself over the course of this summer. I have really connected with some students, and I believe that a lot of progress was made in terms of how I worked with and handled certain situations. Some days were very challenging – as were some students – but I can honestly say I loved that whole class I worked with. How am I going to do this when I am a teacher – say goodbye to a whole group of children I love every year? I guess the rewards of working with them outweighs the sadness of sending them on at the end of the school year. “Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all,” right? Do you think that was written with teachers in mind?

Me neither.

Edit: Found out I am on the schedule to work this week - yay! Five more days with my kids!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Very Happy Birthday to You...

Today is a very special day - Michelle's birthday!

So let's all join together in wishing her a happy birthday!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Michelle,
Happy birthday to you!

We have had a lot of great times over the years... remember the time you made me stand on a chair at 2am in high school, fanning the smoke alarm so it wouldn't wake up your parents? Or what about when you helped me cut off that part of my wedding dress laces that fell in the toilet before the ceremony last September? Or how about that time I went on a honking spree at Concord Mills while you discovered that Sequoia is in fact a tree and not an Indian tribe? Or what about the time we were so unsuccessful at moving your mattress that a UPS man had to pull over and help us? And remember when we watched some accidentally inappropriate shows at the Brenner Children's ER? Or how about all the exciting times we had as roomies in Cobb 412 - dressing up as one another, learning to make balloon animals, sneaking in the Smirnoff Ice, staying up way too late watching TV, skipping class to get LocoPops (only happened once, if you are a parent!), and so many other memories?  So happy, happy birthday, dear friend - looking forward to another year of fun!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Crafty-McCrafterson

In light of the fact that I did not have to work the last week, I decided to use put some of my energy toward crafting. Not only did it give me something to do (and get some birthday gifts made!), but it took my mind off of my poor crippled pup. Who is still limping on random legs occasionally, but he is spending the majority of his time running and jumping, which he is supposed to not do. We have been able to limit the amount of time he and Sensei spend roughhousing together, but it is so hard. Sometimes, Sensei sits outside on the deck by the glass door, and Preston sits inside next to the door, and they just stare at each other. It is by far the saddest and most pitiful thing I have ever seen my sweet pooches do.

Speaking of my sweet pooches...


A couple pictures I (literally) just snapped to share with you all. This is what they do when I am not paying attention to them. They sit at my feet and stare and make me feel guilty that I do anything besides throw balls for them to fetch and rub their bellies.

But anyways. The topic of this post is crafting. And cooking. I'll throw that in, since I've had time for that, too. Let me say, first off, that Pinterest is the greatest thing to have graced the internet since bonjovi.com. I am able to rip off my own DIY projects off tons of other people, all in one place!

For instance, take this Etsy wreath.

Too cute, right? Unfortunately, that $40 + shipping price tag was not so cute. So I made my own - one for me, and one for my mom's birthday tomorrow. And as far as pricing goes, I will say that between what I already owned, and what I bought, I spent less than $12 and had some leftover materials. $12. FOR TWO WREATHS. Although they did take several hours, so maybe that's really what the steep $40 is for. Here's my mama's - and don't worry, there's no way she'll be reading this before she opens her gifts tomorrow!


The one I made for our front door is exactly the same, but it's blue and green rather than pink and purple.

 After my success with the wreaths, I turned to ceramic coasters. It truly is amazing what you can do with some Mod Podge and Acrylic spray paint. Please act surprised if any of you receive these as a housewarming gift in the future... This was a good project for me to start with, and I am looking forward to getting more creative with these in the future. I saw some really cool stuff online, with people using cutouts, stencils, etc...


I also made this really great birthday gift for someone later this fall, but it's going to have to wait to share. All I have to say is, it is cool! I want to make one for myself. And I also want to say that the point of this post is not for me to brag about the stuff I've done (or to lament over the fact that semi-unemployment is giving me WAY too much free time). Rather, I want to sing the praises of all those DIYers out there on the internet who come up with great craft ideas that even I can do!

Finally, I want to share some low-carb ice cream I made for Bill and I. Yes, we are still doing that diet. And yes, I have lost 7-8 pounds (I'll admit, I have not been as strict as I should be...), but my skin is SO clear from cutting out so much sugar! It really is amazing how much I was eating every day! But anyways. Check this recipe out. It is low-carb, vegan, gluten-free, whatever you need. Only three ingredients: bananas. peanut butter. cocoa powder. Heaven in a Kitchen-Aid ice cream maker. Warning: I would advise you to make the ice cream in a food processor, and then use an ice cream maker to freeze it and churn it all together into the delicious treat that it is! So that's actually all for right now, except for a little shout-out to my favorite cat-lovin', fellow Twilight-obsessed gal pal Caroline, who got engaged to her boyfriend Andrew last night! Yippee - love is in the air, people!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crisis Averted...

Or so we thought.

Preston had his x-rays yesterday morning, which showed mild hip dysplasia in his back left leg. Nothing warranting major hip surgery - yet. Basically, they told us to keep him on the glucosamine he's taking (which stimulates cartilage growth and joint health), and to bring him back in 2-4 months for another evaluation. They said young dogs like him can grow out of the hip dysplasia problems, but we can count on the fact that it will be back when he is older (which means that hip replacement surgery may happen later on down the road). If things are still bad in a few months, we may be looking at a minor surgery to help with the friction between the bones.

Not too bad, right? We were really expecting the worst, so to know that he may be able to grow out of it for the time being was awesome.

Unfortunately, around 10:30 last night, we noticed Preston limping on his FRONT leg. He was barely letting his front left leg touch the ground, and it was sticking out at a weird angle. This was definitely a WTF moment for us both, and we obviously jumped to the conclusion that action needed to be taken as soon as possible. We took him to the emergency animal clinic in Winston, where they took him back for more x-rays. Around midnight, the doctor called us back to tell us all the different things that could be wrong with Preston, since the x-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary.

He could have some kind of lameness that travels between legs. He could have panosteitis, which is an inflammation of the bones. He could have one of several kinds of arthritis. He could have some tick-borne illness (we found a tick on him several weeks ago - hello, Frontline purchase!).

The doctor then did a blood test to check his platelets, which apparently is a sign of some tick-borne diseases. I really was not completely following what was happening at this point - it was very late at night, and she was talking really loudly and using a lot of big words. They did the blood test, nothing came back abnormal, so she sent us home with a mild pain medication to have on hand. He had been on Deramaxx, which is a pretty rough drug, so she gave us one that they use on really old and fragile dogs. Fine by me, just fix my baby.

So now we wait. We are supposed to observe and keep a journal on him - is he lethargic, is he limping on different legs, is he eating, etc, etc. And - here's the worst part - we are supposed to keep him from running, jumping, or playing with Sensei. Only leash activity. For FIVE DAYS. If you have met Preston, you understand what a task this is going to be. I get his leash out, and he is literally jumping into the air (all four feet off the ground, yes), with excitement. And poor Sensei. Preston was at the vet all day yesterday, and Sensei just moped around the house. It was pitiful. And made me kind of sad. But hopefully this is all for the best - maybe a few days of taking it easy will help Preston back to normal. I know he is just a dog, but this is all really overwhelming me! What if something is seriously wrong? He seems to be doing alright this morning, so maybe that's a sign he's on the road to recovery...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where to begin?

It's only been five days since I last posted, and a lot has happened.

Really fun things have happened. Bill and I and the pooches spent the weekend at Lake Norman, getting in some serious quality time with the world's cutest niece (that would be our's), who loved Uncle Bill more than anyone else this weekend. I even let her pee on me, but she still liked Bill best! It was so relaxing - there was pool time, board game time, delicious food time, homemade ice cream time, and my sister-in-law and I may or may not have stayed up until almost midnight ooohing and ahhing over all the cool things we found on Pinterest.

I also have gotten to see some great friends, even one that I haven't seen since OCTOBER.

Meet Sara.

Okay, she probably won't like that last one. Meet Sara, take 2.
We are only an hour and a half apart, but it seems whenever we make it to the other one's town, they are busy or not home. Luckily, the stars aligned Sunday night, and Bill and I were able to grab a nice, long dinner with Sara and her boyfriend Jeramie. Please not I would not have survived college, nor would it have been as much fun, without Sara.

I was also able to meet up with my friends from work - Q, Tiff, and Sara. This blog is not meant to be a recap of my social life, but these are big ticket news items in my world right now. It has been really hard this summer for me, because most of my friends are not here. And there is only so much for a 23-year-old to do in this tiny town. Not that I'm complaining, I love living here, but it is such a treat for me when I get to see my friends from out-of-town!

I have also begun a few crafts, inspired by Pinterest. I am a little hesitant to blog about them, though, because one is for a birthday later this year (I am just trying to get it done before school starts back), and that someone may or may not be related to someone else who reads the blog. I hope this doesn't give anything away. But a couple crafts are home-related, so I will post those ASAP. And if anyone is wondering, Michaels is having a really great sale right now on some of the basic craft supplies that I like to just have stocked.

Finally, I'd like to share with all the bloggees out there a little situation we're having at the Fischer household. But first, a little back story. The past few weeks, Preston has been having some troubles. If he's been laying down and stands up, he often has to sit back down because his back legs give out. And when he does walk, he limps. Bill and I attributed it to his legs falling asleep, but we thought it was a little weird because 1) it only started happening recently, and 2) it's never happened to Sensei. I brought it up with the vet last Thursday, and it turns out he might have hip dysplasia. (Please note: if your dogs butt wiggles when he walks, or he bunny hops when he runs, these are two signs of hip dysplasia! Preston does both, but Bill and I had no idea it was a sign of anything being wrong). We are taking him in for X-rays tomorrow morning, and we should find out exactly what's going on. If it turns out to be serious enough, we will be looking at hip replacement surgery. This is not supposed to happen to my baby - he isn't even 18 months old yet!I will keep everyone updated, so please send your thoughts/prayers/positive vibes our way - whatever you've got, we'll take.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

update

Is it sad I am making a blog update about my nails? Yes? Well, I'm okay with that. That's what happens when you're living the life of the semi-unemployed and your day started way too early, with picking up your dogs' poo in order to have a sample for the vet this afternoon.

Oh wait. Is that unappropriate to write about on here?

Anyways, I decided to redo some of my nails that turned out less-than-perfect yesterday. And today's result was much better. Ignore the fact that there is still nail polish on my skin in the following photos.




Nice, right? Maybe it'll be my new thing. Or feather hair extensions. Does anyone else - besides Emily - love those as much as I do? Or should they be relegated to the likes of Miley Cyrus and other tweens?

In other news, a basement makeover is slowly in progress. Here's some before shots.



Anyone see the doggie?
It's dark - a lot of very dark wood paneling and not a lot of light. and has carpet reminiscent of a pool table. Hopefully, it's nothing a lamp or two, a crowbar and a few coats of paint can't fix. At least temporarily. In the long run, we'd like to do a lot. Some of this may not make since if you haven't been to our house (and I am a slack blogger and didn't take pictures of the whole room). Here's our dream basement redo list:
  • Create a frame wall, a la Casa Petersik. (This project is actually already in motion - woohoo!)
  • Replace the carpet
  • Tear out the fireplace (not the whole brick wall, just the hideous gold fireplace front that kind of falls away from the wall whenever you pull the doors open)  
  • Replace said fireplace front
  • Turn the door to the bar into a half wall, with a large window looking from the basement into the bar
  • Tear a door from the hallway into the bar
  • Find a more suitable place for our workout equipment
There's also an  office and a two-car garage in our basement. Again, in our dream world, we'd like to finish part of the garage and add a bathroom downstairs. And maybe even some space for the elliptical and that tall weight machine that I have no idea what it is called.

So far, all that has taken place is me prying some of those planks off the walls, and then cursing as I accidentally created a hole in the wall, and then a little more cursing when I realized that big X is not coming off without making a giant mess. But more on that later, when it actually gets done!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jumping on the bandwagon

So, I have been hearing for a few months about how great Pinterest is. I went once, it overwhelmed me, and that was it. But I have the week off this week, and after a day of recovery from the beach + 4th of July, I was a little restless. I headed over to Pinterest, and realized that it would be very easy for me to waste hours there.

Except, oh wait. You can't just sign up. You have to request an invitation. I think that is so stupid, but I shut my mouth and requested one. And I'm still waiting. I'll let you all know how long it takes.

In the meanwhile, I've still been able to browse the site. I'm hesitant to do so, though, because I can't "pin" anything, and I don't want to bookmark fifty things I think are cool. I did find a quick little beauty DIY that I tried today.

Not my nails.
The first nail turned out perfect. It went downhill from there, but I am still pretty satisfied with the result. I have a feeling that you should really change the water in the bowl after at least every two nails, but I was feeling lazy and just wanted to get it over with. I did read a great tip elsewhere online that you should put scotch tape around your nails, in order to keep your fingers clean(ish) and that worked well.

And that's how I spent one hour of my afternoon. So far this day has entailed breakfast at Panera (REALLY hard to do when you are eating low-carb), a car inspection, some play time with the doggies, stalking Mal's pictures on FB, and a semi-successful nail painting session. Next up: class at PetSmart tonight! Hope everyone is having a great week so far :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

What's white and brown and red all over?

Me! I went to the beach this weekend for a few days of fun, sun, and some quality reunion time with some UNC girls. All in honor of our favorite bachelorette Meredith.

Unfortunately, my body put the emphasis on the sun. My stomach is really sunburnt, but there was also a lot of emphasis on the fun this weekend, so it was well worth it. Sadly, I had a little brain lapse and forgot to pack my camera for the trip! But Mallorie never lets me down, so I'll be sure to steal some photos from her facebook soon.

To hold you over, here are some pictures from google images of Wrightsville Beach!


Saturday night, we ventured over to Wilmington for a great celebratory dinner (with Mer in bachelorette sash, no less) at Elijah's. I had never been before, and while it's mostly a seafood restaurant (which I mostly can't eat), I had a fantastic meal. Everyone loved their's, too; Elijah's is also set on the riverwalk in Wilmington, so we spent some time walking around on that afterwards.


The rest of the weekend was a lot of beach time, a little pool time, a lot of sitting around talking about our weird adult lives, weddings and men (here's looking at you, grooms and future grooms of the girls there!), and a little more. But, as my souvenir cup says - "what happens at the bachelorette party, stays at the bachelorette party."

Disclaimer: nothing that wild actually took place. But we gotta keep some mystery, right?!

To end this post, I'll leave you with a little gem that a few of us may or may not have watched and rocked out to late one night this weekend... Nick Carter, I still love you.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm Free

I'm Free.

Free from summer school. Free from spending three nights a week on the computer in class. Free from student teaching (which would be sad, except they hired me as a sub! So I still get to see my kids - no sad goodbyes. In fact, I get to be with them three days this coming week!). And when I say "I'm Free," I want you to imagine me saying it in the voice of the Roger Daltrey. Minus the fringe.



So, a lot has happened in the past couple of weeks.

Chopped my hair off.

Discovered why my eyes burn/water when I wear contacts - I'm allergic to them! (Yes, that's possible.) But I found a great new eye doctor, who is helping me. I wore contacts yesterday for about 8 hours, and I didn't suffer today!

Bill and I started a low-carb diet together. We've been on it for officially a week now, and I've lost about 3 pounds. It was SO hard at first. I tell you, carbs are in everything. I had no idea. I've had to cut out cereal, bread, crackers, granola, most drinks (including milk and OJ!), ice cream, chocolate, the list goes on. But we found some great bisquik-like lowcarb subsitute, and it hasn't been too awful. I'll be blogging about that journey over the next few weeks...

Bill and I also went to our first nerd convention - ConCarolinas! Yes, it's exactly what you think. We went to a Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog Sing-Along, and a talk by the Ghostbusters, and I came in second place in a Harry Potter trivia contest, and Bill wants to join the Mandelorian Mercs, and there was Klingon Karaoke, but we missed that. There's always next year, though!

I went to a restaurant shaped like a pirate ship in Elkin, NC for father's day with my grandfather. Look it up - hilarious.

Bill and I went on a WONDERFUL Memorial Weekend trip to Boone. I know, that's more than a month ago, but I have really been slacking on the blog front! We went to Hebron, which was slightly scary, but it was a lot of fun.

Lots more plants have made their way into our home, and there are big plans to transplant some wild lilies (there are at least two different kinds in our backyard) up front, as long as the dogs don't eat them first :)

Okay. That's it for now. It may only be 10 at night, but I just started "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" (shoutout to Elise, she also just started it, independently of me - can't wait to compare notes next weekend!) and I'd like to spend some time reading before sleep - provided I can pull myself away from The Marriage Ref. Has anyone watched this? I've never seen it before, but it just started, and these people look nuts!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why my student teaching placement is awesome...

I know. I haven't posted in a really long time. You'll have to forgive me, though - summer school is taking up a lot of time. And what time I am not crawling around with 22 (that's right, we have 22 kids in our class this week!) 3- to 6-year-olds, or sitting on my computer in class or writing activity plans, I am trying to get some sleep and spend at least a little time having a social life. So the blog has consequently been neglected.

I was just thinking on my way home today about how great my student teaching placement is. This school is really neat - check it out here. The teachers are so supportive and encouraging - and helpful! The kids are so engaged and interesting and full of personality. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the past few weeks...

-My "warm fuzzy" (nice notes we write each other) from a little girl in my class. It read:
Dear Courtney, I love you. I am so happy you are in this class. You really need to wash those stinky dogs. Love, *****"
-I have several students with special needs, and it has been so rewarding to learn to work with all of them. One particular child has his own "language" - he speaks a few words and has several sign language gestures that are his own. The first time he pointed at me (his way of saying "I love you"), I about melted!
-A 3-year-old had on a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt (along with a pink bow in her hair, rainbows on her pants, and several sparkly necklaces) the other day. I asked her who was on her shirt, and she said "Jimi! I love Jimi!"
-I have one little boy whose mom has sewed velcro on the shoulders of several of his shirts. He has a superman cape, and a batman cape, and one of those is attached to his shirt every day.
-My supervisor from UNCG was observing me via webcam one day, and she videotaped my activity. While watching it later, I realized that one particular girl continually danced back and forth across the screen, watching herself, multiple times throughout the 20 minutes!
-One little boy's mother (who I knew before student teaching began) has curly hair. She came in one morning and told me that her son had tried to pull her hair straight when it was wet the night before. When she asked him why, he said it was because famous people have straight hair. When she asked him who he knew that was famous, he said me!(Funny, because he called me "Kelsey" or "Chelsea" for the first week and a half!) I guess I'm famous since I know his mother?

There are so many fun stories, but I should really be doing some work right now... Plus, I am in class - oops :) We are planning on a field trip Friday, which should be full of some more exciting stories! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 30

Day 30: Your Favorite Song at This Time Last Year

Okay, okay. It took me 39 days to finish this song challenge. Still not too shabby, in my opinion. You can blame my lack of posting yesterday on the fact that I finally got the new Sookie Stackhouse book yesterday afternoon(it was released Tuesday!), and I couldn't wait to read it!

Anyways, I have no idea what my favorite song was last year. Honestly. I can't even tell you my favorite song from last month - it changes all the time. One song that I did love, though, was "My Name" by Anoop Desai. It actually isn't a very good song, but:

1. The lyrics are hysterical. (For instance - "girl, you poppin' like a toaster")
2. He's a UNC alum.
3. He was on American Idol.
4. Did I mention the lyrics are hysterical?



In fact, Sara and I were such big fans of the song, we ventured out to a GAA exam break - complete with free food and drinks - just to see him perform. We even acted as his backup singers from the crowd, which I'm not too sure he appreciated. Regardless, he smiled for a picture afterwards.


And so concludes the 30 Day Song Challenge!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 29

Day 29: A Song From Your Childhood

First, before I start today's response, I would like to forewarn all your readers that tomorrow is the last song challenge post (if I remember to do it). I started this March 30, which means that it will have taken me 38 days to do the 30 Day Song Challenge. Not bad, when you consider my blogging record.

Anyways, this song is one I can remember listening to with my dad when I was in elementary. He had this great mix tape (throwback!) that had this song, some Everclear, Dada, Cracker... it was great. Any time I hear this song, I am instantly taken back to riding shotgun in the Subaru with Dad, jammin' out. (It doesn't hurt that there's a little homage given to Bad Company in the song, either. Must be why I love it so much... ) So the song I choose is "Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States of America. Classic. Hope yall enjoy the song - even if this video is a little ridiculous.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 28

Day 28: Song That Should Have Been a Single

I've mentioned this song  and this band before (see here, on Day 23) - "Octopus' Garden," by the Beatles. It is by far one of their best songs, regardless of the fact they may not have thought so - it was never released as a single. There really isn't a good version of them singing it, anywhere on the internet, that doesn't have a cartoon cast or live footage of a real octopus. Therefore, sadly, I had to sacrifice visuals to make sure yall get some quality audio for this song. Afterall, that's what's most important. So just feel free to hit play and then stop watching. It's a very happy song!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 27

Day 27: A Song That Reminds You of Drunk/Party Times

Well, any song from Guitar Hero could apply to this one. But one song that really stands out to me when I think on this prompt (besides, "Livin' On A Prayer," because that one shows up at just about every bar every time I go out), is "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol. Last summer, my wonderful sisters-in-law and mother-in-law planned a great girls' night, that included my best friends and I, a fondue dinner, a limo, a scavenger hunt in downtown Charlotte, a stop at a bar where I had to kiss a  State boy - thank goodness Bill was there as a surprise!- and a little trip to an 80s club. At said club, there was a Billy Idol impersonator who climbed up on a little platform and performed the song. One word: hysterical. He had the hair, the leather outfit, the sneer, and the dance moves. Hopefully this video will either (1) bring back some fond memories if you were there that night, or (2) make you laugh. Or both!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 26

Day 26: A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere

A few things before I address today's answer.

1. Sorry for the lack of posts the past few days. Between my Michelle marathon (which included hours of the Royal Wedding, an almost-midnight cookout run, a little trip to the hospital to see a friend - no worries, all is well, Pushing Daisies, a horrible Hilary Duff movie, a sleepover, almost ruining the candy bar of a wedding, and a visit to AARF where we only fell in love with about 248905 puppies), and my first big movie role (aka, I was an extra in an NCSA student director's film), things have been a little nuts around here. And blogging took a backseat.

2. Originally, this was Day 6, but I somehow skipped over it, so I am finally getting back to it.

For today's song, I picked "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me?" by Keith Urban. Bill and I travel to the mountains of North Carolina fairly often and this song always makes me think of cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Maybe it's the part about no money in my pockets (ha!), or the part about the winding road and the shining sun, or the part about riding with my baby or the fact it's on our Blue Ridge Road Trip mix. Any way you put it, this song makes me long for summer!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 25

Day 25: Most-played Song on Your iTunes

My favorite part about today's challenge? The fact it took no thinking. All I had to do was open iTunes and take a look. My #1 most-played song on iTunes - clocking in at 37 plays - is "Looking for a Love," a duet with Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave fame) and Jon Bon Jovi. Sadly, this does not appear to be a very popular tune, so I had a limited choice of videos to embed here. And by limited, I mean just one. I highly recommend this song - I could listen to it over and over (obviously)!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kitchen Update

I posted this on facebook a while ago, but I neglected to mention it on the blog. Bill and I are finally fixing the kitchen. And by fixing, I mean painting over that hideous wallpaper. Red, white and blue plaid, with a black border that has country houses on it. Yes, it's as ugly as it sounds. Yes, my mother loves it. Yes, we tried to tear it down, gave up in a fit of tears (well, at least one of us was), painted over it with two coats of primer and then did nothing for several months.

The horror. This is before we moved in, so none of that stuff is ours.

However, as part of my birthday present, Bill decided to kick it in high gear and start the project. It has been going on for two weeks, and we still are not close to being done. Granted, we've been out of town for five days in those two weeks, and the end of the semester is nuts, but a lot of progress has still been made. We painted on two coats of Valspar's Silver Leaf (the same glorious color seen here in our dining room, back in August. With the kitchen's black/white/gray flooring, and the fact it leads into the dining room, we felt going with the same color was a good match - both visually and in terms of flow between rooms), stood back, and realized we had some problems.


 The seams were pretty visible in some places, as were some weird indentations in the walls. Maybe that's why the previous owners picked such a chaotic wallpaper - to hide imperfections in the walls' surfaces. So out came the drywall compound, sandpaper, and Bill's knife - is it a putty knife? taping knife? drywall knife? I don't know the official name, so here's a picture of one:

 
That took a couple of days - it's a pretty time consuming process, since you have to let the joint compound dry before you sand it. Then we painted another coat of gray, this time painting above the cabinets.

Which is pain in the butt. Especially that one in the picture above. This is how I finally figured out how to reach up there:


Also, please ignore the mess you see around my feet. Everything has been pulled off the open shelves and away from the wall. This is what our dining room looks like right now.


Needless to say, there's been a lot of eating on TV trays lately. Anyways, after this last coat of paint, we realized another layer of joint compound was desparately needed. After debating - do we give in, fix the walls and then start painting again? Which is such a pain? Or do we keep painting, and learn to ignore the dents? We decided we better just bite the bullet and mud/sand the walls again. And by we, I mean Bill. Bill does all the mudding and sanding, and trim work, while I roll the walls and risk my life painting above the cabinets and behind the refrigerator. Here's a little timeline in photos of where we're at now:

Primer.
Two coats of paint.
First time mudding.
Close-up.
Second round of paint, including the trim. No pictures of the second time mudding, as it really looks the same as the first.
So Bill completed that yesterday, and we will paint again either tonight or this weekend. It depends on how productive we feel, but that's how it stands right now. I hope you've enjoyed this little house update!

And now, because no good update is complete without a doggie story or two, I'd like to tell you about the Sunday Preston had. The dogs have these treats called Bully Sticks (this stuff is like CRACK for them, seriously), which we really only give them when we desperately want them to leave us alone, like when we're eating, or when they're being especially good. Those things are expensive! Anyways, Preston came into my office Sunday while I was doing homework and he was chewing one of these. It turns out he had gotten it off the top of Sensei's crate (no big deal, it's next to the couch, where he easily could have climbed to and gotten it). I later took a shower, and he was laying on my spot on the bed chewing it, when I came out of the bathroom. This may seem random, but I promise that fact comes into play later on in the story.

Later that afternoon, Bill and I were ignoring the dogs, and we eventually found Preston chewing on one of these things in the living room. (We had recently bought a two-pack.) Funny thing is, we did not give it to him - he had gotten it off the kitchen counter. Let me remind you, Preston is the chunky monkey with short little legs. What the heck?! We searched the house high and low for the second bully stick, and guess where we finally found it? In Preston's crate, under his bed. Really, the only term that comes to mind is "that little rascal." We laughed it off, called him crazy, and put the bully stick away. Sadly though, we later realized he had a little mishap with the bully stick on the bed earlier that day, that ended with us throwing away a sheet. See?




So that's my crazy dog story for the week. It didn't include any pictures of the pooches, which I know you're all disappointed about, so I'll leave you with a few of our exciting afternoon with the sprinkler hose and a storage container/makeshift puppy pool. Enjoy!







Song Challenge, Day 24

Day 24: A Song You Want Played at Your Funeral

Today's choice is a little morbid, maybe, but I knew immediately what my answer would be - "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones. This video should explain it all:



And in case my family is totally against that, I would be happy with "Livin' On A Prayer." That seems appropriate, too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 23

Day 23: A Song You Want Played At Your Wedding

Well, seeing as how our wedding has happened already, I'll tell you a little story about a song that was played at the wedding.

Growing up, I listened to a lot of music. It was such a big part of my family's life, despite the fact that none of us were musically inclined. At all. Really. One certain member of my family - who shall remain unnamed - can't even clap on beat. And it was a pretty wide range of music: my mom played Elvis, the Supremes, beach and shag music, a lot of fun tunes from the 50s and 60s, and even some of that 80s pop I so love, like Hall and Oates.

Dad, on the other hand, made sure my favorite song at the age of 6 was by Everclear ("Santa Monica" is so good!) He also shared with me U2, the Who, Pink Floyd, Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin - the classics. And then there was the music Paul and I discovered on our own, or got from our friends and pop radio. I learned to love (almost) everything, and one fateful day in 2000, I bought my first Bon Jovi CD and never looked back.

As Bill and I dated, we shared our tastes with each other. I had to listen to nerd music (MC Frontalot or Jonathan Coulton, anyone?) and some hardcore stuff I didn't really enjoy (Rage Against the Machine), and I was introduced to some bands I had previously never paid attention to, but now I love (Dispatch, Guster, Ben Harper). In return, I forced Bon Jovi down his throat (but to no avail - he can't stand Jon's beautiful voice) and enlightened him as to the joys of all the music I love. The list really goes on forever. And some music he didn't really like (He heard "Stairway to Heaven" on Pandora and called it crap until he realized it was Zeppelin) and some he really got into - the Format, the 88, Kaiser Chiefs. And of course, there's the music we discovered together - Dr. Horrible, Jason Mraz, Lifehouse. But one band that we both love is the Beatles. They've always been one of my favorites, and now Bill loves them, too!

We knew that for our wedding, we didn't want traditional music. No Canon in D for us. After a lot of debate, we decided that a Beatles song certainly needed to be included in the mix. We chose "I Will" because it is so sweet, and I wanted to walk down the aisle to it. Luckily for us, my amazing friend Mallorie agreed to sing it, and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. And then on our honeymoon, we saw "LOVE," which is the Beatles' Cirque du Soleil show, which solidified the connection between our marriage and the Beatles, at least in my mind. (And it's Bill's ringtone in my phone, so I'm reminded of it almost everyday!)

And if anyone is wondering, we are obsessed with "Octopus' Garden." If you watch 500 Days of Summer, you'll notice that Summer says it is the Beatles' best song, and Bill and I were so excited someone agreed with us!

This post is making me sappy, so here's a little wrap-up: I love music. I love the Beatles. I love Bill.



Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to I will

For if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will, I will

Monday, April 25, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 22

Day 22: A Song You Listen to When You're Sad

Well, this one came to me pretty quickly. It's based on a sad day I had back in the 4th grade, when I turned off the lights in my room, laid on my bed and listened to the Titanic soundtrack. I know, I was so pitiful. So of course, today I had to choose "My Heart Will Go On."

Anyways, I am slightly obsessed with the film Titanic. I love it. I cry every time, but it never gets old. Also - and this is something I don't share often - I am a huge Celine Dion fan. She is one of my ultimate guilty pleasures. I love to turn up my radio and belt out her lyrics as if I am as amazing a diva as she is - regardless of whether or not I am in the car alone. I was once in the car with some girl friends, and we were all singing our hearts out to this song, and Tiffany says "Don't you always think you sound just like her when you're singing along? Like you're actually really good?" And it's true. Does this happen to anyone else? I know that when I sing along to music, I think I actually sound pretty good. And then I turn down the volume and my mind is quickly changed.

I hope you enjoy today's video  - please don't be sad!

Update: This was Romeo's guilty pleasure song on DWTS tonight!



Friday, April 22, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 21

Day 21: A Song You Listen to When You're Happy

There are two things that can always make me feel better when I am down: 1. My puppies. 2. Mika. (okay, there are more than two things, but these are two of the most effective!) Mika is a phenomenal artist. I could really go on about him all day, and how I love his flamboyancy, and how he doesn't care what anyone things, and how his music makes me want to move my booty, and how we played this particular song at the our wedding reception when the bridal party was walking in. I won't, though. Instead, I'll leave you with two things: 1. This video to "Love Today." 2. The command to go listen to Mika all day long - you won't be sorry!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 20

Day 20: A Song You Listen to When You're Angry

I don't really get angry. I get upset more often than angry. And then when I do get angry, I don't really listen to angry music. So I just tried to think of an angry song I like. One that I like to turn up loud, yell out the lyrics, and pretend that I am telling off some jerk who cut me off on I-40. And here's what I came up with:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 19

Day 19: A Song From Your Favorite Album

Surprise! Today, I'm picking a Bon Jovi song. You can pretty much assume that if the day's challenge has "favorite" in the title, I'll probably pick a Bon Jovi song. My favorite album of all time is Bon Jovi's Keep The Faith, released in 1992. I love just about every song on it (and I mean love). It's even the album where my favorite song from all time comes from, so you know it's good.


I was having some trouble choosing a song from the album, so I had Bill pick a number between 1-12. But then I didn't want to use that song, so I decided to go with the last song on the record - "Little Bit of Soul." Sadly, no music video was made, so this is just a link to the music.



If you're like me, though, and need to see Jon's beautiful face to get the full effect, you can find some live versions on youtube. I hope you love his early 90s haircut as much as I do...

I love him, but thank goodness this fashion era is over.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bragging Rights

I'm going to take a minute to brag on the world's best husband.

That would be mine.

Look what he got me for my birthday:

A charm necklace from Lisa Leonard designs. I love her stuff, and Bill picked this one out just for me! How great is it? And how sweet is he? And (last question, I promise!) how well does he know me? A camera, a heart, our initials, jewelry - all of my favorite things!

Song Challenge, Day 18

Day 18: A Song You Wished You Heard on the Radio

Actually, on the original song challenge, today was "your romantic/sex song" but I thought that was a bit too awkward. But then the alternate song challenge listed "a song you wished you heard on the radio," so here we are. This question seemed a little silly to me, because obviously I wish every radio station would play all my favorite music all the time. Which means there are hundreds of songs I wish I heard on the radio. And in that perfect world, there would be no Nickelback, Taylor Swift, or Nirvana. But that's another post.

In order to narrow down today's answer, I decided to pick a song I hear on the television (thank you, Target and Sears commercials), but never the radio. What song is this? "Coming Home" by The 88. You will probably recognize this song from those commercials, but they also sing the theme song for NBC's "Community." (Don't watch this show? You should.) I have loved these guys for several years now, but they just haven't made it big quite yet. If you like this song, then I really encourage you to go buy their CDs, or download some of their songs.

The video is really cute, and I love this song! I hope you do, too!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 17

Day 17: A Song You Hear on the Radio That You Love

Firstly, I would like to ask for your forgiveness for the little hiatus I just took. I was out of town for the weekend (Thunder Over Louisville!) and I was both computer-less and internet-less. But I am back, and I want to tell you a song I hear on the radio that I love.

Typically, I listen to older radio stations, that play mostly 70s/80s rock. But I do occasionally flip to the pop stations, and consequently, I fell in love several months ago with Bruno Mars. So today, I choose "Grenade." I literally cannot get enough of this song. And this man's voice.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 16

Day 16: A Song You Used to Love but Now Hate

I'll jump right into it today - "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" by Kenny Chesney. I went through a weird country phase in middle school, and for some reason, this was one of my favorites. Now I gag a little whenever I hear Kenny Chesney's voice coming through my car speakers while flipping stations. I can handle country music (I even like some of it!), but this is one song that I probably won't ever be able to listen to again...



I won't be watching this video, but I know some of you country fans love it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Song Challenge, Day 15

Day 15 - A Song That Describes You

This was really difficult for me. There are songs I can identify with, and songs I like, but none that I would say really describe me. So, instead, I am going to pick one that someone else has said reminds them of me. That song is "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N Roses.
My dad has always said this song makes him think of me - it came out right around the time I was born and let's be honest, I'm the sweetest child he has. (love ya, bro!) We even danced to an acoustic version of the song for our Daddy-Daughter dance at my wedding. I've included the original rockin' version of the song, as well as the one from the wedding below. This post makes me want to hang out with my parents, now!









Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A post with a lot of pictures

Excuse my lack of a creative title. I thought this one was honest, and well, I hoped it might pull you in since I know everyone loves pictures!

First up is a little trip back to last Tuesday, when I tried out a second recipe from my new cupcake book. I decided on the Sticky Buns cupcakes, mainly because Bill said I should. And who am I to say no to a mix of brown sugar, maple syrup and pecans? I tried to be better about taking pictures during the process, and I am happy to say I succeeded. Of course, last time I only took a picture of the finished project, so anything would have been an improvement. Here we go!

A shot of the recipe. I decided to make large cupcakes, rather than minis, for a number of reasons. Including the fact that I did not want, yet again, 96 mini cupcakes, and I was out of mini-liners.

Ingredients! Creme fraiche (this stuff rocks!), 3 eggs, ground almonds, brown sugar, flower, salt, and cinnamon.

Butter was an ingredient, too, but I always let it soften in the bowl, so I couldn't include it in the shot above.

My favorite thing about this recipe? Besides eating it, you mean? It only dirtied two measuring cups!

Since I made the standard size cupcakes, I wasn't really sure of the ratio in terms of how many pecans/how much syrup to put into each cup. So I guessed. Most tasted great, one or two were way too syrupy. Also, see those silicone liners? (The bottom two rows...) Those. are. awesome. I only have six, but I am in love!

The finished product. They were more like bread than cake (though I expected that - the batter was pretty thick!), but they were delicious, nonetheless.
Next up, some gratuitous shots of my pups!

Okay, so I'm in this one. Aren't my babies so cute, though? And yes, this is how Sensei sits. He does it on the steps inside the house, as well.
Being attacked by Preston.

Obviously, this is the calm, sweet one.

Muddy Preston, sleeping in the car.
Finally, a little update on our flowers. I don't have any pictures of this, though. Don't be upset! The poppies and wallflowers are doing great! There are so many blooms on them - one poppy plant has NINE flowers right now! And, I am happy to report that the daisies appear to be alive. The leaves are all green, and I think some new buds have appeared. So I'll have to keep my eye on that one...

I may not have pictures of those plants, but I did take some shots in the backyard. I am slowly learning the names of all these cool trees we have!

Can someone tell me what this is? It smells so good!

Wisteria. Bill says it smells like licorice. I am still undecided on that issue, but the sprig we have in our kitchen smells like heaven!

It's a little odd-looking from far away. Apparently it will grow like crazy, all over everything if we let it. And we might, it makes our whole backyard smell great when the wind blows.

Red bud tree. Excuse the weird bird house - we recently pulled that out from next to the fence, and have yet to decide what we are going to do with it. (AKA, it won't fit in our trash can.) Can you spot a doggy in the background?
In other news, my birthday is in three days, and I have already been shown some major love from family members! My parents got me a zoom lens for my DSLR and it is SO COOL. If you sit under the window in our living room, you can see all the way down through the house to the wall in our bedroom that is the end of the house. And, obviously, I've been taking pictures with both my lens to compare. And this 200mm is awesome. Seriously, I cannot convey my excitement. It's going to be perfect for this weekend! (And, a little shoutout to my bro, who gave me my new favorite purse! Yippee!) I did not mean for this last paragraph to come across as bragging. I am just so grateful to my family for being so good to me!

Finally, a little note about books. I (finally) finished The Codex Alera last week. All six books. I've been reading this series since Christmas break! (They're all  500 - 800 pages long.) It was really good. I don't know what genre it is exactly - maybe fantasy? But more than that. There's mystery, fantasy, romance, war, betrayal,  and so much more. Bill received the first book as a Christmas gift, read it, loved it, and bugged me to read it. I read it, loved it, and over the next three months, bought, read and loved the other five! (Please note, Bill has yet to read another one - silly Star Wars books getting in the way.) Anyways, I was really sad about the series ending. For three months, I lived and breathed Tavi and his world in Alera.

My sadness soon ended, though, when I realized that I had a new series to start - The Hunger Games! My sister-in-law Sonja has been telling me about these books, and how much I would enjoy them, and I downloaded the first one onto my Kobo recently, when I noticed it was only $5 on borders.com. I thought it would be nice to have a book ready when I finally finished First Lord's Fury - that particular book took almost a month to read. The books are really dense, and sometimes I could read for two hours without stopping, and sometimes just a couple chapters was enough for one day. Wow, nice tangent. Back to The Hunger Games. I read the first one in just 24 hours. I had the day off Friday, and I spent all afternoon on the back deck reading. Thank you, self, for having a productive morning, and thank you, sunshine, for being so warm on Friday! The book was great, and I am about a third of the way through the second one. I already read the Wikipedia entries about all the books, so I know what happens, but I do that with most books. I still can't wait to read them, though!

Oddly enough, when I logged on to check Michelle's blog today, she had read the entire series - this weekend! Could we be any more similar? Seriously. It's a little freaky sometimes.