Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Keeping up with the resolutions...

Last month, I participated in Kaitlyn's Carabox project. It's this awesome swap where you really try and get to know other bloggers and send them a box of goodies.

This month's Carabox theme was RESOLUTIONS. We were to send our partner items that would help them with their resolutions. I got to know the awesome Heather over at Lawless Life. Head over there to check out the goodies I picked out for her!

My person in charge of sending to me was Brenda at Totally Brenda. Brenda is one of the sweetest bloggers I have ever met, and it was so much fun getting to know her. She sent me some wonderful and thoughtful items.

I opened up the package to find everything wrapped up so pretty! In my favorite color too!

Sorry it's blurry! My cat ran into me as I took the picture!

Brenda knows that I am getting married in July so she sent me a cute little jar labeled ER kit and a sewing kit. The ER kit has bandages and some mints. I will definitely keep these babies close by on my wedding day!

I'm trying to stay more organized, so she sent me fun post-it notes. I can never have too many post it notes!

I also told her I want to try working out more. She sent me a fun jingly sash to wear while I Zumba. Also in my favorite color!

Finally (and I don't have a picture because I've been using it so much!) she sent me a super cute teal water bottle. It's slim enough to fit in my work bag and sturdy enough that it doesn't leak. I've received a lot of compliments on it!

So thanks Brenda! And thanks Kaitlyn for hosting such an amazing swap. Click on the button below to learn more about it!

Cara Box

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why hello Friday!

Didn't I just see you a few days ago? Four day weeks FLY by when you have a Monday off. Overall, while this was a mad busy week (hello two different family nights!) it was a pretty great one too. Let's get to it!

1. I completed my kiddos' mid year reading assessment and they ALL grew! My little one that knows no English, knew all his letter names and most of the sounds and TWO sight words. AMAZING! SO proud of them.

2. I received my Carabox from the fabulous Brenda, over at Totally Brenda. I can't wait to share the contents with all of you!

3. Stuck to my eating healthy lunch goal by making these fun but simple DIY lunchables. Got the inspiration off of Pinterest!

Best part? Combined with my yogurt, it kept me full until my snack on the ride home. SCORE!

4. My wedding photographer posted the pictures of the engagement session that she did the night before mine which means.... my engagement session photos should be ready ANY day now. So ready to see how they turned out!

5. Thanks to having to stay for a family night, I finished my lesson plans for next week. Which means a weekend of being completely LAZY. Yes!!!

someecards.com - I think I'll lesson plan at home today, and by lesson plan, I mean watch the Ellen Show and browse Pinterest in my comfy clothes.

See? I get to do all of that without feeling guilty. 

Hope all you have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend. Hello to any new followers stopping by from Lipgloss and Crayons!

Linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Things always happen for a reason...

Now I never ever post about my faith on here. It's something that has always been so up and down for me. Plus I find it to be an extremely personal thing. But yesterday was such an interesting day, I felt the need to record it.

J has been trying to get me to go to Mass for weeks now. I've always come up with an excuse as to why I can't. Even though, I know I SHOULD go, since you know I'm getting married in the Catholic Church and all.

Finally this morning, J convinced me to go. I don't really know how or why, but I got out of bed and got ready and waited for him to come and get me. In a way, I was excited because we were going to Mass at the parish we are getting married in, and he had never seen the inside of my church. Which I think is absolutely beautiful (but really what church isn't?)

I always preview the day's readings, just to get a feel for the morning. I gasped when I realized that the Gospel that day was going to be the story of  how Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. I thought to myself "WEIRD! Out of all the days to come to Mass, we come on the day when the reading is the wedding story. What a coincidence." I didn't think much of it after that.

As the Mass went on, other things occurred  The Psalm readings were all about giving yourself to the Lord and not worrying if you've made mistakes. My priest's sermon was all about how it's never too late to change your thoughts and to allow the Lord a place in your life. That the Cana story teaches us about Jesus's flexibility and how things can always change for the better if you believe. One of the songs we sang was asking the Lord to help us open our eyes, ears, and hearts.

It's the most touched I've ever been at Mass. I felt at peace when I left, something I haven't felt all week. I've always fought my faith (if that makes any sense) and today I didn't feel like I had to.

So I don't think it was a coincidence that this was the first Mass I chose to go to in a long while. And it just cements my belief that everything always happens for a reason.

Funny how that happens isn't it?

Linking up with Carly and Molly for YOLOMondays. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Deciding to be more positive...

It's been a rough few days at work. My new principal seems great, but being through this before, I'm having a hard time accepting that it's truly his intent and not a show.That makes me feel AWFUL, because he doesn't deserve that.

I'm also having a hard time being nice to the people at work that are causing drama. Causing my VP to be upset. She's a great person and I hate seeing her that way.

In my year end wrap up post, I wrote that I hope 2013 is as great as 2012 was for me. I can't let that goal go to waste. I let things get to me and that's not right or fair.

So starting today, I'm going to begin my positive journal again. It's helped in the past, and I hope it will help now.

The steps for my positive journal are pretty simple:

  • buy a super cute journal or even make one. I feel it makes it more fun!
  • think of three good things that happened that day. They can be little or big, superficial or deep, it doesn't matter. Just as long as they were good!
  • Write them down! It's neat to look back and see what made me smile. 
It's a challenge some days, but it's really worth it. Can't wait to share what positive things this helps me discover!

Amazing quote right? So much harder to do than say, but still completely true. Happy Saturday to all!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm happy but sad at the same time

Guys, I'm happy. My life is going really well. But at the same time I'm sad. Why? Because my new school that I love has become this pool of drama.

I don't get it. I mean, wait a second I do. Teachers are predominately female and we ladies tend to be a wee bit dramatic at times.

It just bugs me when I see people purposely causing drama. I just don't see how you can find joy in that. Joy in other people's pain. It makes me sad when I see my bubbly assistant principal not be bubbly or be warned not to tell people something because they may use it against you.

It's all making me really sad right now. But then I think of the good things in my life and I perk up. It's a roller coaster ride and I hate it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Free is always up my alley...

I'm picky and I get bored easily. Two really bad things when it comes to glasses. Why? Prescription glasses are EXPENSIVE. I use to be able to switch around styles easily back when I had a flexible spending account with my health care plan. But now that I don't have that? Not so easy to switch.

So I was super excited when I was contacted by Firmoo to do a review for them. I had seen all the super cute glasses on all different bloggers and couldn't wait to try a new pair. Ironically, I had just gone for my yearly eye check up the day before I received the email. It was just meant to be!

Firmoo is an awesome online optical store. They have different styles of glasses to choose from. From classic styles to more trendy ones, you are sure to find a pair. While it took me forever to decide on a pair (there's just so many!) I decided to step outside my comfort zone and get this nerdy-chic pair:

I wore these for the first time last week, and I got quite a few compliments on my glasses. My kiddos thought they were cool and my teammates thought they were fun! This particular style is being phased out (glad I got them before then!) but this pair is really close if you want a similar style! They are made of this lightweight plastic, so they are by far one of the more comfortable pairs that I own.

Anyways, Firmoo is currently offering a First Pair Free Program. All you need to do is pay the cost for shipping! You can virtually try on your pair, easily submit your prescription if you have one, or order a fun pair just to have. The glasses were shipped quickly and came with a great case and a little screwdriver to tighten your glasses. I always have issues with my glasses falling off my face, so I'm glad I have that screwdriver now!

So what are you waiting for? GO! You won't be sorry that you tried Firmoo. Any glasses I need in the future, will DEFINITELY be coming from them.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wedding-ful weekend

I meant to post this earlier today, but this morning was super hectic. I try not to just do a recap, but when I realized that everything this weekend had to do with the wedding, I figured why not? This blog is about my life right? Well this wedding is currently a key part of it!

It kicked off Friday afternoon with our engagement session. J had a connection that was able to get us into Everbank Field!

I cannot tell you how COOL it was to have the whole stadium to ourselves! (well us, our fantastic photographer Rachel, and J's friend's wife Nikki!) I'm super excited to see how the pictures turn out. We even took some pictures while throwing the football in front of Touchdown. Touchdown is the jaguar statue in front of the stadium. I had no idea he had a name!

After that, we traveled down to St Augustine to complete the second half of our session. I adore St. Augustine. I went to college there and the town just has a special place in my heart. The town is currently decorated for Nights of Lights, their annual holiday light decorations. We took pictures in front of this awesome place:

Gorgeous right?? We even took some pictures at the entrance to Flagler. I seriously cannot wait to see how they turned out!!!

Saturday, we registered for gifts. At first J was being silly, but then he got into it. We went to Target and I think we picked out some great things. Only negative? The Target AC was set to freezing. I kid you not. I even debated buying a cardigan just to stay warm!

My mom and I ventured out the biggest wedding expo in Jacksonville, the Ultimate Bridal Fantasy, on Sunday. It was pretty intense, especially since we had all of the major vendors we needed. I did get to eat a lot of tasty food and even won my dad a free tux, so it was worth it. Plus spending time with my mom is never a bad thing.

I hope everyone else's weekends went swell! Welcome to any new readers. I hit 200 followers today!! How cool is that???

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Yummy in my tummy

So despite the fact that the high today is 80 (CRAZY), earlier this week that was not the case. Welcome to Florida, home of the weather that can't make up it's mind! On Tuesday, it was drizzly and chilly, so I decided to whip up a batch of my yummy Cheddar Potato Soup.

This recipe is super simple. I don't even remember where I originally found it; I've tweaked it so many times that I really feel it's my own.

Cheddar Potato Soup

Serves 2


What you will need is:
  • one tablespoon of butter or margarine
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • one tablespoon of flour (not pictured because at the time I left it in my car!)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • one vegetable bouillon cube
  • one large potato OR two medium sized potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • one cup of cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste. 

1. Add the butter to a pot on medium heat. Let the butter melt. 
2. Add the onions to the butter. Let them cook for about five minutes, until clear.

3. Add the tablespoon of flour. Cover the onions in the flour.
4. Quickly add the water. Add the vegetable bouillon cube. Bring the heat up to high to get the water boiling.
5. Once the water boils, add the potatoes. Let the water get back to boiling.
6. Once the water boils, lower the heat to medium. Cook the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes (this is all about how soft or hard you want your potatoes to be.

7. Ladle about a cup of the soup into a blender. Make sure the lid is on TIGHT. Blend the potatoes using the pulse feature on your blender. (Note: Be REALLY careful with this step. I once burned my hand because my blender cup was broken!)

8. Pour the blended soup back into the pot. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes that are left.
9. Add the cup of cheese (I add a little more but I love CHEESE).
10. Season with salt and black pepper. 

And voila! You have "the best cheddar potato soup ever!" (Quote courtesy of J.)

The soup makes about two servings. I've doubled it before and even tripled it before to bring to a comfort food potluck! I usually serve it with a salad or a sandwich, but on Tuesday it was the perfect sized meal for J and me. 

Let me know if any of you decide to make it!

Friday, January 11, 2013

High Five for Friday...

Yay for a day off! Granted it's partially because I have a follow up for my wisdom teeth extraction, but still! Woot.

This has been a pretty fantastic week, so let's get to it!

1. New principal seems good... so far. I've been through this enough to know that the first week is not always the best picture, but so far he had a meet and greet for parents, sent teachers a survey asking for our input, and didn't force us to have a boring meeting on his first early release day.  All positives!

2. Completed my first Pinterest inspired mani:

 Bonus: It actually lasted MOST of the week. I will be getting a new mani and pedi today though because:

3. I take my ENGAGEMENT pictures today! We are going to Everbank Field and then St. Augustine! The weather's pretty phenomenal (it's going to be 80 degrees today!) so it should be fun!

4. Thanks to Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals, I'm only 4 followers away from 200! I hope you all stick around.

5. I made my awesome cheddar potato soup! It was the perfect recipe for the dreary weather on Tuesday. I'll post the recipe soon!

So off I go to run errands, go to my check up and get ready for this afternoon! Have a wonderful Friday everyone!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Maybe you'll be lucky!

I never win things. Once, in middle school, I won a boombox and an alarm clock within a week of each other. I was such a baller! LOL

But I'm hoping you'll be luckier! I'm joining Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals in an AMAZING giveaway:

Nope, no trick here.

I'm for reals - This is a giveaway for a Wii U.

Was the Wii U on your Christmas list and you just didn't get it?
Do you want to get fit for the new year in the comfort of your own home?
Maybe you just like intense super mario matches against your significant other...

Whatever the case is, you can have the Wii U in the picture above for free (:
I'm teaming up with these lovely ladies to bring you this amazing giveaway:
1// Kaitlyn  2// Marquis  3// Ashley  4// Samantha  5// Ashley
6// Nilda  7// Kaitlin  8// Janna  9// Clara  10// Alexandria
11// Stephanie  12// tookies  13// Casey  14// Kristin  15// Melissa
16// Hallie  17// Alli  18// Gayle  19// Brandi  20// Brittany
All you gotta do is use the Rafflecopter below to your heart's delight.
This giveaway will run from 8:00am (EST), Monday, January 7  -  11:59pm (EST), Thursday, January 10.

1// Giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS only

2// Winner will be notified via email on Friday 1/11/13. You will have 48 hours from the timestamp on the email to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.

3// WINNER WILL BE VERIFIED. If you claim to have done a task you did not - a new winner will be chosen!!!

4// View the Terms & Conditions listed on the Rafflecopter below

Now why don't you enter and win yourself a Wii U (:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So what are you waiting for?? Enter this awesome thing!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"So how's the wedding planning going?"

My answer to this question is that I could get married tomorrow! I mean, we still have little things to take care of but I've checked off the big things!

  • Dress. Obviously J reads my blog. Can't tell you specifics but I can tell you it'scompletely different from what I imagined, but I LOVE IT. I got to see the sample again when I went bridesmaid shopping and it made me smile so much!
  • Location. I posted here about my locations. The reception is going to be goregeous and classic at the same time.Plus I'm excited to get married in my childhood church. 
  • DJ. I found Skip Kelly through wedding reviews. Everyone told me he's fabulous but when I met him in person, I felt at ease and realized his personality is going to be a great fit. 
  • Colors. My colors are teal and yellow. I was partially inspired by the board below and the fact that they are my favorite colors:

Source: google.com via Nilda on Pinterest

  • Florist: I found Anything with Plants and Flowers after a really long search for florists who will work with your budget. What's crazy is that as soon as Pam started showing me her proposal, I realized they matched all my ideas I pinned on Pinterest! Below are some of the ideas she's going for:

Bridesmaids' bouqets

Centerpieces will be alrger cylinders with gerber daisies. 

  • Bridesmaids' dresses: I fell in love with the dress below and luckily it looked great on my girls! I think the yellow flowers will really pop!

Alfred Angelo

  • Wedding shoes! I love them. The teal matches and they are the perfect height.
  • Photography: We are going with Rachel from Fox Fotography. Rachel is a sweetheart and she and I went to high school together. Our engagement session is this Friday. Eeek!
  • Honeymoon. J and I will be spending a wonderful week relaxing on the Carnival Dream. Aahhh I can taste the strawberry daiquiris now. 
  • Completed Pre-Cana. Long but something that was needed. 
  • J has already created our household budget for when we will be married. It's pretty great and I'm glad we balance each other on the money front. I told you, we are on top of things!
  • We are planning on sending Save the Dates by the end of the week! Aren't they pretty?

So told ya! We have things together. I'm really hoping we can register this weekend. I'm glad that J and I aren't stressing and just enjoying this process. It's funny, I feel closer to him than ever. Which I know is a good thing!

What do ya'll think of my wedding plans so far??

Friday, January 4, 2013

So, there goes normal

Guys, I've never been known as a positive person. But in the last year or so, I've tried really hard to be one. And things have really worked out in my favor. And I felt that it stemmed from the positivity (is that even a word? because blogger doesn't think so!) that I added to my life.

I was so excited to head back to work. To see my kids and hear about their Christmas. To have a para to help me deal with the crazyness of 23 first graders. To talk with my team and my principal and vice principal.

First day back went great! Second day the whole school gets called into a meeting with district big wigs and I realized quickly something was up. We get told we have a new principal. Say WHAT?? Since the meeting, reasons have come out but I just don't know what to think.

So now I don't know what to expect. And I HATE the unknown. To make matters worse, this is the THIRD time this has happened to me; an administrator leaving or getting removed in the middle of the year. I'm on my 6th principal in 6 years (eight if you count the two interim ones!). I love my new school and I have a new love for my job, so I'm hoping that our new school leader helps that love to continue. Just hard to shake that feeling of dejavu you know?

I'm trying SO hard to be positive. I don't want to go back to my cloud of negativity. Life is better when you see things half full. But this year has been full of surprises, good ones and crazy ones. I know this is test a for me, and I really hope I pass.

Send good thoughts my way please?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goals, everyone has them!

Happy New Year! Can't believe 2013! On a sadder note, I go back to work tomorrow... boo. But I am excited to see my kiddos so yay?

Everyone makes goals around this time of the year. I usually DON'T. I tend to make my "new year" resolutions at the beginning of a new SCHOOL year. I don't think in terms of calendar years, I think in school calendar terms. What can I say? Life of a teacher I suppose.

But 2013 is going to be a BIG year for me. I get married in 6 months (WOWZA!!). So when I heard that Paige and Kaitlyn were doing a 13 in 2013 link-up, I decided to give it a go. So without further adieu, here are Nilda's goals for 2013

1. Get my cluttering under control. J is somewhat of a neat freak, and while I am not dirty, I can be messy. I'm going to try to make sure when I get home, shoes go in the closet, jacket gets hung on the coat rack and clothes get put away ASAP. This even extends to my classroom. My desk area looks like a tornado hit it every single day.

2. Eat better. I'm fairly healthy eater. I don't really drink much soda, but I definitely need to drink more water. I need to eat healthier snacks to and keep better snacks in my classroom. Finally, J and i need to start eating healthier so we can look our best for our wedding day and after!!

3. Go to the gym at least three days a week. I'm paying for it, might as well use it right? Besides, I need my upper body to look great in my dress!

4. Choose a master's program. I know what I want to get a master's in; now just finding the right program.

5. Keep up my new acne regimen. I do really well and then I slack off. Can't do that!

Source: etsy.com via Kelsa on Pinterest

6. I haven't really stressed about the wedding at all. But I know when it gets closer I will. I just want to enjoy that day and then start the rest of my life with J. I know the first year will be tough but wonderful.

7. This goes with some of my other goals, but I really want to complete a 5k. I think that will help with my exercise goal. Plus I can do this with J. :)

8. Blog more. Sponsor at least two blogs a month. I want to grow this little corner of the blog world. I think it's a wonderful way to meet new people and learn new things.

Source: tumblr.com via Nilda on Pinterest

9. Keep the friendships that matter to me close. Whether it's by sending a card or a package or just text to let them know I am thinking of them, I want to let my friends know I care.

Source: indulgy.com via Biagi on Pinterest

10. Keep my clothes shopping to a minimum. I want to start mixing up my outfits more with clothes I have and the accessories I have. I want to even do a few fashion posts and try and recreate so many of the cute outfits I see on Pinterest. I tend to shop just to shop which isn't good for the bank account.

11. Pay off my credit cards. I have two major ones left. This may take longer than a year, but I'm hoping if I do it right it won't!

12. Use my date night jar with J! The really nice Barnes and Noble manager gave me good advice: Continue to date your fiance. Spend time where you don't talk about the wedding and after spend time together doing something fun.

13. This goal is one I have every single year... let go of things. Don't overthink things. Take things as they are. Every year, I've gotten better at it, so why not keep at it!

Whew. I think I'll be able to do all of these things. I hope this blog will keep me motivated to share when I do complete a goal!

Link up! What are your goals for 2013? Do we have any of the same ones?