Wednesday, February 14, 2018


In August of 2016, I got a sewing machine. This wasn't just any sewing machine though. We got it from Craigslist and it was a pretty old machine. The manual that came with it says 1962 on it!! And it came with a nice table that has 3 drawers for storage and some more storage underneath where the machine sits and where the pedal to make it work is.

Here are some projects I made. It's been a while since I made anything, so quite honestly these projects may be the only things I've ever made. Actually, I did make Big E a skirt to wear at the kiddos' birthday party last year and using the same fabric I made Little E something to sew on a onesie for him. But other than that I can't think of anything else that I've made.

While I have enjoyed making those items and I still use a lot of those items today, I have decided that I am going to give up sewing and sell my machine and all my fabric that I never used. I just don't have the time to sew anymore and I don't have the skill to make the projects that I wish I could make. Yes I know, practice would make me better, but it just doesn't give me joy like it used to.

My aunt was telling me recently that she got a Cricut for Christmas and she has just started using it and she loves it! I have seen Cricuts before and have always wanted one but now I really want one because it would allow me to create so much more than I would be able to do with sewing. I already have a secret Pinterest board of projects I want to make!! And I've been watching some videos from the Cricut website!! I want to be prepared for when I eventually get one!! Oh and when I have my own classroom someday, imagine all the projects I can make then!! So what about you, do you like crafting and if so, what do you like to do?

Monday, February 12, 2018

I love to read!

I love to read! I always have and I always will. When I was in school, I was one of those students that was almost always reading! When I found a book I loved (which was almost every book I've read), I just couldn't put it down. I read about half of the Harry Potter series (I stopped reading them once I got into American Idol, check out this post to read about my Idol obsession) and all of Twilight. Some of my other favorites I've read are: Marley and Me, The Last Song, Eat, Pray, Love, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and The Best of Me. I could write more but the list would go on and on.

I use the app Goodreads to keep track of the books I've read, am reading, and want to read. They have a feature on the app where you can set a goal of how many books you want to read during the year. I set my goal for this to 18. Last year I only read 13 books so I set my goal for this year a little higher. So far I've read 3 books!! (2 of the books I actually started in the middle of December, but I'm still counting them for have read them this year)

I'm actually thinking I might up my goal a little bit because I Think I may actually get to read more this year. If I keep at the pace I'm going with 3 books a month, that will give me a grand total of 36 books this year!

So now why do I love reading so much? I just love being able to escape from the real world for a little bit. Not that I don't love the real world because I definitely do, but it is great to just forget the things going on in your life for even a few minutes at a time and dive into a different world!! I love when I find a book that I can't put down, which like I said is almost all the time!! I am definitely hoping my kiddos enjoy reading as much as I do! My hubby doesn't like reading, in fact the only reading he does is on the internet or at work. But I'm definitely hoping that his dislike for reading doesn't rub off on them.

Here is my currently reading list:

Nicole's bookshelf: currently-reading

Can You Keep a Secret?
tagged: currently-reading
I really need to finish reading that first one because I've been reading it since May of last year! Again, I didn't start it this year, but I'm going to count it towards the number of books I've read this year. Well, that is if I actually finish it this year!! And the 3rd book I'm really enjoying so far even though I'm not that far into it. I'm reading it for a book club with other people that are doing Young Living as a business. We are going to be reading one book a month up until June, so that will be a guaranteed 5 books going towards my total books read for 2018.
So far since I signed up for Goodreads in March of 2011, I've read 51 books. There may be some on there that I've missed because I actually didn't start tracking them on the app until 2013. I'm going to go through books in the app and mark them at read so I can get a kind of close estimate of how many books I've ever read! With the books I've added so far I'm up to 90!!
Leave me some comments telling me some of your favorite books that you would recommend for me to read!!

I also want to know whether you like to read a physical book or ebooks. I prefer ebooks because I think they are easier to read. I can take them anywhere easily which is great! But I like reading physical books every now and then as well. I just recently found the book See Me by Nicholas Sparks at Ollie's for $2.99!! I definitely couldn't pass up that awesome deal!!! As for ebooks, I get a lot of them through the Overdrive app where you sign in using your library card and then can borrow books for 2 weeks at a time! This allows me to read almost any book I want without having to spend any money!!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Luau with the Princesses!

Yesterday our local YWCA, they had a Luau with the Disney Princesses!!

There was Prince Charming, Cinderella, Snow White, Anna, Elsa, Ariel, Mulan, Aurora, Meridia, Jasmine, and the guest of honor, Moana! I didn't tell Big E that we were going to this event until I got her up from her nap to leave. She was super excited when I told her we were going to see the Princesses and even more excited when we got there!

I asked what Princess dress she wanted to wear and of course she chose her new Moana one! She wears that dress almost all the time when she's at home!!!

They played Disney music (of course) and the Disney princesses were out on the dance floor dancing with the kids. Emma loved this!! She especially loved dancing with Elsa and Moana, which didn't surprise me at all. She wanted them all to herself!!!

I love this picture of her and Moana!!! This was during the "How Far I'll Go" sing along! She was holding Moana's hand during the entire song!!! The group holding the event had a photographer taking pictures and I know she got some during this moment, so I can't wait to see those!!

The event may have only lasted an hour, but I know I had a great time and I think she did, too!! I love getting to spend time with both of my kids together but this was one of the few times that it's just been Big E and I alone. I think it is definitely important when you have multiple children for each child to get some alone time every now and then with each child. I'll be looking for more opportunities like this in the future!!

Friday, February 9, 2018

National Pizza Day

Happy National Pizza Day!!! We are celebrating by, how else, eating pizza for dinner!! Do you love pizza? If so, what is your favorite topping? And what brand of pizza do you like best? I love Digiorno pizza!!! I also love me a good Papa John's pizza!!! Enjoy these fun facts about pizza. My favorite topping is the least popular topping according to a survey taken: pineapple!! I love a Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple, so good!!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Meal planning

For years I have loved meal planning because I'm a big planner!! I love knowing what is coming next and having a schedule to stick to. While I was in college and living with my husband (fiance at the time), I was also working nights and weekends. I would write out the list of meals that I was going to be making for the upcoming 2 weeks, while keeping in mind the nights that I wouldn't have to cook due to having leftovers or working. Then I would plan my grocery list based on what I needed to make those meals and would make a big shopping trip once every 2 weeks. I would have to shop for small things like eggs, bread, or milk before my big trip, but it was nice to just have to make one huge trip.

I continued this routine for quite a while. Even when Big E was born I was still doing this but not as often as I used to. Then last year I found a printable cleaning schedule. It had one page for each week of the year and on the bottom part of it there was a meal planning section. I used this sometimes, but as the year went on I used it less and less.

Recently I started a bullet journal and it has been great for me!! One of the spreads I make each week is a meal planning page and a shopping list page. I've found it easier to just shop for meals once a week. We just got a Sam's Club near us this past fall and to say we love shopping there is an understatement! We get 2 gallons of milk each week along with some produce and other various things. We have also been trying to go to Aldi to get the things we don't need to get in bulk. And then there's Walmart, we do some of our grocery shopping there as well.

Here is my current spread that I just started and am filling in with our meals for this coming week. My hubby will be away for work and I have a 5 day work week, so I'm definitely going to be planning some easy meals.

And here is one from 2 weeks ago. You can see how I made some changes to it and then I can just take my whole journal with me and cross out each item as I add it to my cart.

How do you plan out what you are making for dinner each week? Leave me some comments!

Saturday, February 3, 2018 American Idol!

For those of you that personally know me, you will know that I used to be obsessed with American Idol!!! Like seriously, it was my life!!! I watched it every week, voted, cut out pictures and magazine articles of the contestants, recorded TV appearances that my favorite Idols were on. I didn't start watching the show from the very beginning though. I had heard about the show right before the finale of the first season and instantly became a fan of Kelly Clarkson! Then I heard the show was coming back for a 2nd season so I watched the first episode and immediately became hooked!!

I watched every season up until season 11. After that, I can't even tell you the names of the winners from seasons 12-15. I did try to watch some of season 15 since it was the last season, but it just wasn't the same as seasons 2-11. I stopped watching because as I got older I got into other things and had more important things going on. Plus, there just weren't any people on the show that I felt connected to. Each season there were always at least 1 or 2 people that I found that I really liked!! Season 2 it was Julia DeMato. She is a hairdresser from Connecticut that I'm actually friends with on Facebook. She has an awesome singing voice! Season 3 I really liked Amy Adams!! I just loved her personality and her great voice!! Season 4 it was Anthony Fedorov!! I thought he was just so cute and loved his voice!! Season 5 was Kellie Pickler!! It was because of her that I wanted to get a job at Sonic Drive-In. She used to work there before she went on Idol and it was around the same time that they showed her audition on the show that we were getting a Sonic near where I lived. How ironic is that? She's just so bubbly and cute!! Season 6 was Blake Lewis, another contestant that I thought was cute! And the following season had yet another guy I thought was cute, David Archuleta! Danny Gokey was my favorite from season 8 and Aaron Kelly was my favorite from season 9. Season 10 I went back to having a girl as a favorite, Lauren Alaina and then season 11 I honestly didn't have a favorite contestant.

Of course there are a ton of other contestants from the show that I love now!! Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Jordin Sparks, and Kellie Pickler would definitely, hands-down have to be my favorites!!!

I'm so excited that the show is coming back!! Yes it is going to be a lot different now not only because it is on a different network but because I'm a lot older watching it now than I was the last time it was on. I'm excited that I get to introduce my kids to the show! They would have heard about it eventually, but now I get to watch it with them! I'm sure Little E probably won't care about it and maybe Big E won't care either, but I think she will at least watch a little more of it than Little E. She loves music so I'm sure she'll watch some of it!!

I've recently been on a Kelly Clarkson kick because I love her new album that came out and am looking forward to hopefully seeing her in concert this summer!! The other day at lunch, I heard Big E singing part of a Kelly Clarkson song!! I can tell I've been playing a lot of her music recently and my little sponge is taking it all in!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I've been slacking again...

To keep up with my teaching certification, I need a certain amount of professional development credits by a certain date. I am currently in need of 106 hours and have 1 year and 5 months to finish up those credits. I'm not exactly sure what happens if I don't get all my needed credits before time is up, but I don't want to find out. Luckily I'm able to take free classes online that get me anywhere between 5 and 15 hours of credit, it just depends on the class. And all I need to do for them is some reading and writing. I'm actually enjoying it because I've written a few lesson plans already. Most teachers would probably say that they dislike writing lesson plans, but I actually like it!!

For each course you have about 90 days to finish it and I currently have one that I'm enrolled in that I have 1 month to finish. All I need to do is create a lesson plan and then come up with an authentic assessment to go with it. I've got an idea of what I want to do so now I just need to get to it and write!

I divided it out and figured out that i need to get an average of 6 hours of credit per month in order to reach my 106 hours needed. If I take one class that is worth 10 hours or 2 that are worth 5 per month, I will definitely reach that!! If I can, I'm going to see if I can get more than 6 hours of credit per month just so I can get it out of the way!

This is where my bullet journal is going to come in handy!! I need to start making a daily spread for each week so I can look at my schedule for the week and plan when I'm going to work on my class work. If that means there is less time to play video games, then that's what I'm going to have to do. If it means of my days off of subbing that I don't take a nap while the kiddos nap, then so be it. I need to stop being lazy and get my class work done so I can finish my credits!! I know it will be a lot easier to keep up with my professional development when I get a full-time job, but until then I just need to take as many of these free classes as I can!!