Thursday, October 6, 2016

Stuff and Things 10/6

Stuff, Things, etc.

Fall is truly in full swing.

I can't decide if it's because it was such a hot summer or if it really is this chilly.

I feel like we went from hot, humid, and miserable to gee, it's cold.

I will take this moment to remind you to join Kristin and I for The 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap!  Sign ups end TOMORROW (at 11:59 P,M. EST)!  If you haven't signed up yet, come join us!  It's so much fun!  (Click the swap link to fill out the sign up form.)

In other news, I've decided that I want a new handbag.  When my showroom updated for October, I thought I'd actually check out their handbags for a change.

I didn't like the ones in my showroom, so I decided to browse the shop.  I went ahead and filtered by color and selected brown and black.

Can I admit, though, that I'm not really a brown and blag hand bag person?  I know that it's certainly more practical to have a handbag in one of these colors, but I'm just drawn to bags in other colors....

I used to do direct sales with Celebrating Home (a company that has since closed its doors), and they had a line of handbags and accessories called Penelope Ann.  There was one bag I particularly like and ended up with it in three colors: black, red, and turquoise.  My black one ripped inside after lots of use.  And now I'm left with just the two colors.

But I digress...I came across this bag from Shoedazzle:

Amir handbag- ShoeDazzle
I actually do like this color, but then I saw this....

Amir Handbag- Shoedazzle
I mean, purple is my color.

And, of course, it's sold out in this color.

I also feel like this is a great handbag color for fall.

Alas, I skipped the month for my VIP account.  I'll keep an eye out for this bag to come back.  Because I really think I need it.

Anyone else have an aversion to neutral colored handbags?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Books

As expected, my reading progress slowed a bit this month with the start of school.  *sigh*  

Work gets in the way of my life.

Anyway, here's what I read this month:
Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After SerialAdnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since I'm pretty much obsessed with Adnon's case thanks to Serial and Undisclosed, I knew I needed to read Rabia's book, too. I even preordered the book from Amazon! Adnon's Story did not disappoint. While the book, of course, covers parts of the case that we already know from the above podcasts, I did discover some new aspects of the case.

It was nice to see things laid out in print. The book also included pictures of documents related to the case and, most interestingly, Adnon's own words and descriptions of things that occurred from the time Hae Min Lee disappeared and through his time in prison. The story itself goes up through Adnon's PCR hearing that took place in February of 2016.

I really enjoyed getting a more "hands on" look at the case by finally having a print copy of the information I've been hearing for so long. If you are interested in True Crime or are also obsessed with this case, I definitely recommend this book!

The Lake HouseThe Lake House by Kate Morton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finally settled on a 3 star rating for this book for a few reasons.

1) While I liked it, I didn't love it.
2) It was an interesting story and a mystery that kept me guessing, but it was very confusing at times. It jumped back and forth between the past and present a lot. And while the book starts out making you think it will only tell the story about Alice in the past and present, and Sadie in the present, the story starts to focus on other characters. While they're not really in their point of view, the narrator tells the story about a character and shares his/her thoughts and feelings.
3) Because of all of this jumping around and changing perspectives, sometimes I forgot what the cliffhanger was from the last time they left off.

I was very surprised by the end since I didn't see it coming, and I found the characters to be very likable. I found the ending to be satisfying, and I was actually a little sad that it was over.

View all my reviews

Also, have you signed up to join Kristin and I for The 5th Annual Pumpkin Swap yet??  Sign ups end on Friday, October 7th.  Come join us for the fun!  (Click on the swap link to sign up!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What I'm Watching Wednesday

Something else I'm pretty sure that I love about fall is the premiere of new seasons of TV shows!

Here's what I've been watching lately:

Michael Weatherly left NCIS at the end of last season to pursue other career opportunities.  Apparently, Bull was this opportunity.  I love him and his character, Tony DiNozzo, so I had to check out his new show.  After seeing the first show, I definitely want to watch more.  I enjoyed seeing him in a different kind of role, and I'm interested to see where it goes from here, and how Dr. Bull develops as a character.

I started watching Dancing with the Stars last season since Jodi Sweetin (from Full House and now, Fuller House) was one of the contestants.  I fell in love with the show!  Unlike singing shows that make me furious and are sometimes painful to my ears, this is a fun, low-stress show for me because I know diddly squat about dancing.  There's definitely a great cast this season including some of my favorites: Maureen McCormick ("Marcia Brady") and Gold medal Olympian, Laurie Hernandez.

Did anyone else watch this 2-Part mini series??  I was in middle school when JonBenet was murdered, and so I obviously remember hearing about this all of the time.  I thought it was a really intriguing, well-done documentary.

I've always liked Kevin James, and I loved him as Doug on King of Queens.  So I thought I should check out the debut of his new sitcom.  I liked the first episode, but I don't know if I'm going to love it.  The hard part about sitcoms is they have less than 30 minutes to make you fall in love.  It will probably take a few more tries for me to form a solid opinion.

This show is an exception to my list in that it just wrapped up its season instead of starting it.  Big Brother 18 was a great season!

SPOILER ALERT (In case you for some reason have still not caught up on the finale.)  Highlight the text to continue reading as I've done it in white to avoid ruining any one's day:   Big Brother 16 Veteran contestant, Nicole, and one of my personal favorite players, WON BIG BROTHER 18!!  I literally screamed when she won (and scared my poor cat off the bed)!  Not only has it been years since a female contestant won Big Brother, but Nicole also made Big Brother history by becoming the first female contestant to win when up against a male contestant in the final two.

While I would have ultimately been happy with any of the final six contestants winning, I was supremely happy with the outcome.

SO that's what I've been watching lately!

Still on the DVR:
-NCIS Season 14 Premiere
-Blue Bloods Season 7 Premiere
-"Once Upon a Time: Evil Reigns Once More" & Season 6 Premiere
-NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Premiere

What I hear that I should probably watch:
This is Us

What have you been watching this Premiere Season??

Also, have you signed up for The 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap yet?  Click the link to join us!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap

Fall is here, and it's time again for a swap!!

Once again, Kristin and I are hosting the Great Pumpkin Swap!  It's insane that this is the 5th year for the swap!  I have been so fortunate to connect with some great people across the country through this swap, and I really look forward to it each year.

Remember, you don't have to have a BLOG to swap with us!  You can share your swap goodies via any social media platforms you use, and/or your partner can share for you on her blog!

Here's the timeline for this year's swap:

1. Fill out the form to sign up for the swap! Sign-ups end on Friday, October 7th at 11:59 PM (EST)
2. By Monday, October 10th, you will get an e-mail from me with your swap partner.
3. Once you know your partner, please make contact within 48 hours (by Wednesday, October 12th) to get to know a bit more about each other.
4. Spend $15-$20 (excluding shipping) to put together a fun fall themed package for your partner.
5. Mail your package on or before Tuesday, October 25th.
6. Link up with us on Tuesday, November 8th to share your swap goodies!

I can't wait to start shopping for my partner!  I hope you'll join us!  You can fill out the form with the link in the timeline OR right below:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Stuff and Things 9/22

Stuff, Things, etc.

Have I mentioned that I love that this link up is back?  It gives me a purpose to at least blog once a week.

*Starting the school year has been rough.  I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon.  Right now, I'm just plain exhausted.

*I can't decide if I should be angry that Big Brother is doing a fall season, but it's exclusively on CBS All Access.  I'm a fan, but I'm NOT paying extra money just to get stressed out about finding time to watch another show.

*Tomorrow, two of my fellow September birthday friends and I are heading out for a birthday dinner and to a local high school football game.  My Alma Mater and the school in which I teach are playing each other!  There may or may not be a bet involved.  But luckily, it's pretty low stakes...loser has to display the score as their FB cover photo for the week and buy the winner a drink the next time we go out.

*It's cooled off here lately, and it was a welcome change.  While I don't like being cold, I find that it's WAY easier to add clothing to warm up than it is to take off clothing when you're too hot.  As an educator, there's a limit to how little clothing I'm allowed to be wearing.  HAHA

*If you haven't joined The Balanced Life Sisterhood with Robin yet, you totally should.  The September work out is tough but amazing!  I feel so great when I'm done with it.  And I love that most days, I only need to find 10 minutes (or less) to work out!

*Tune in on MONDAY to sign up for The 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap with Kristin and me!  I can't wait to see who joins us!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stuff and Things: Currently

Stuff, Things, etc.


...waiting for my regular shows to start their new seasons.  Seriously, what is everyone waiting for??  I'm going to be picking up a new show this year, too.  Michael Weatherly left NCIS at the end of last season, and he's going to be starring in a new CBS show this fall, Bull.  I'm basically in love with him, so I need to watch this show.

...listening to The Lake House by Kate Morton.  It's one of three audio books I downloaded from Audible at the end of August.

...wishing for cooler weather.  I want to wear boots.  And sweaters.  I'm pretty sure I talked about this last week.  Don't get me wrong.  I DON'T want winter, and I DON'T want it to be cold.  I'm just over this heat.

...glad that my parents got me an Old Navy gift card for my birthday.  I got another great haul of stuff for an amazing deal.  Between my Super Cash and the gift card, I was super excited to shop.

...loving my CrockPot.  I've decided to make at least one meal in the CrockPot each week.  It really makes my life so much easier.  My parents got us a nice one for Christmas last year that has a timer so we don't have to over cook our food on our long, long days.  I also got smart last week.  I have a tendency to want to throw everything in the pot itself the night before, but it doesn't fit well in our fridge.  So last week, I chopped up the potatoes and veggies I needed for my roast and threw them in a gallon Ziplock baggie.  Then I just dumped them in and added the roast in the morning, and it only took a couple minutes.  Why didn't I think of this before??

...excited about The 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap!  I can't wait to see who's going to join up with Kristin and I to swap fall packages this year!  Stay tuned for details!

What stuff and things are currently happening with you this week?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Teacher Thoughts: Return to Work

While I run the risk of getting berated for complaining sharing what it's like returning to work after a summer off, I'm going to do it anyway.

Going back to work after a summer off is not for the faint of heart.

Imagine that you are going to run a marathon.  Most people put in months and months of training to build up to that big race.

Going back to teaching after a summer off is like running that marathon without training.

I'm not joking.

I'm perpetually exhausted.

You're going from 0 to 60 in seconds, and it's a hard readjustment.

Things that I must do now that I don't do all (or most of) summer:
*Set an alarm
*Get out of bed without lazing for an hour or so
*Pack a lunch
*Wear real clothes
*Put on makeup, do hair, and generally attempt to look presentable
*Be on my feet for most of my day
*Talk almost all day long
*Know the date, time, and day of the week


And on top of that, there's all of the daily home chores that still need to be done.


I also always forget that it takes FOREVER to accomplish tasks at the beginning of the school year.  Lessons take twice as long to present and for students to DO because I forget that my expectations and processes need to be explained before each new task.  And if I'm trying something new (which I almost always am), we're ALL figuring it out together.

I've made a mental note to stop having my first two weeks of plans done.  I had to rewrite last week's plans anyway.

But alas, there's nothing that I can do to stop time and keep my summer suspended indefinitely.  So we'll just keep chipping away at the days on the calendar instead.

173 to go....

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