Friday, February 28, 2014

February Review

Today is the last day of February!  This month has been crazy with all the winter weather we had here in Pennsylvania.  We had all kinds of two-hour delays and snow days.  Then we had a bit of a warm up (in the mid 40's and maybe low 50's in some places), and then plunged back down to the 20's.  March doesn't seem like it will be off to a great start, BUT at least we're one step closer to spring!!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014


I've been a bit MIA this week.  I sort of have things to write about, but I'm mostly just feeling blah.  Read the rest of this post at your own risk.  I'm in the mood to vent.  I've been thinking about this post for a couple of days.  I want you to know that things aren't always glamorous and lovely over here at Rebeckann's Random Thoughts.

First of all, let's go back to the same thing I've been whining about since December.

It's cold.  It's REALLY FREAKING COLD.  And I'm SICK to death of snow.  And dark.  I want sunlight, 75 degrees.  I just want to take my garbage to the cold without freezing my butt off, and not have to worry about being late for work because my stupid windshield won't defrost.

Excuse the language, but seriously, this sums me up perfectly about now.
Winter is not about to let up any time soon.  It's highly likely that Sunday into Monday night we're in for another huge snow storm.

Where I live is in that "lovely" pink area. GRRR
I'm tired.  I just want to sleep, but mostly during the day.  Night time comes around, and I'm on the computer or my iPad.  Sadly, my job kind of gets in the way of this schedule.

I'm also angry.  Pretty much all of the time.

In general, I really do love my job.  I like teaching 6th grade reading, and (quite surprisingly) I love teaching my math class.  It's the brightest moment of my teaching day.  Unfortunately, it's first period so my day goes downhill after that.

BUT I'm so angry.

I am sick and tired of how disrespectful these kids are!  I'm angry that parents are raising kids who do not respect their teachers and other adults.  I'm angry that people are not placing a higher priority on their children's education, and I'm even angrier that these kids brag about their FAILING grades!!!  Very rarely have I heard a student shout out, "I got a 100!!" after I pass back a test.  What I usually get is, "HAHA!  I failed!" or "I got a 30! HAHAHA!"  I always hand back tests--good or bad---upside down so that students can keep their grades private.  There's no REASON for these kids to "brag" about their bad grades.  No one has to know!  I just don't get it.  I was HORRIFIED when I got B's on tests.  I would never have announced to my whole class that I failed. 

Even worse than that is always feeling like it's MY fault when the students aren't doing well.  But they don't care.  They don't try.  And if you DO get a parent who shows an interest, they insist that it's my fault.

The other problem is that consequences just don't seem to bother these kids!  I had a student in ISS for a half day today.  He slammed his cafeteria tray against the (PLASTIC) garbage can so hard, that he broke the tray.  Then he LAUGHED about it.  He was not even phased when he came in this morning and I told him.  This same kid has over 11bench times for our field trip in May! (Bench time is time that they must sit out from our field trip to a local amusement park.  Each bench time is 15 minutes.  Our field trip is about 4 hours.  Right now, he has already lost 2 hours and 45 minutes.


I'm stuck in this terrible rut.  I weigh more now that I ever have in my entire life.  While I really do love wearing leggings, I wear them almost all of the time because I only have 1 pair of dress pants that fit.  Most of my jeans are pretty questionable right now, too.

I know that I should be working out.  I WANT to work out, but I'm just so tired.  And I just want to eat....

I don't like how my body looks right now, and I honestly know that I feel better when I do work out.  But I just can't get off of the couch.

Finally, my house is a disaster. I want to clean. I NEED to clean. Have I mentioned that I'm tired?

I hope I still have some of you with me.  If  you stuck around with me until the end of this post, thank you.  I'm sorry for being a Debbie Downer.  I just needed to get this out, and I hope I'm right in thinking that most of you will understand!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


About a week ago my friend and sponsor, Kristin, did a post about what was playing on her iTunes when she put it on shuffle.

I was in need of inspiration and decided to take a page from her book today!

I started by playing the first song in my library "Across the Universe" by The Beatles.  Here are the 10 that followed:

1. "Like that's a Bad Thing" ~Danny Gokey
2. "Cold Hearted Snake" ~Paula Abdul
3. "Baby's in Black" ~The Beatles
4. "Last Dance" ~Donna Summer
5. "I Second that Emotion" ~Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
6. "Little White Church" ~Little Big Town (LOVE this song!!  In fact, I'll share the video.)

7. "Silly Love Songs" ~Paul McCartney & Wings
8. "I'm Yours" ~Jason Mraz
9. "Sexy and I Know It" ~LMFAO
10. "Ring of Fire" ~Joaquin Phoenix from the Walk the Line Soundtrack

I'd say that's a pretty wide variety of songs there.

What would your first 10 songs be?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Music Monday: Musicals I Love (Part II)

A couple of weeks ago, I shared two of my favorite musicals!  I promised that I would share my favorite musicals I've performed in, but last week, I just HAD TO SHARE about The Beatles special that aired on CBS on February 9th.

I LOVE performing in shows, and I miss it so incredibly much.  I started performing in Christmas musicals at my church when I was a kid, and I've gotten to be a in a few musicals over the years in middle/high school and college.

Middle/High School
6th grade- Annie
7th grade- Damn Yankees
9th grade- West Side Story: "Francesca"
10th grade- Fiddler on the Roof
11th grade- My Fair Lady

Children of Eden: "Yonah"
In the Beginning: "Mavis"

That used to sound like so many.  I can't believe I haven't been in a musical since my senior year of college....


I can say that I truly loved performing in each and every one of those shows, but I definitely have my favorites:

4. West Side Story

My director pretty much made up the name "Francesca" for me.  He wanted me to be a part of the "I Feel Pretty" scene, and so he created a name for my character.  This was the first time I felt somewhat important in a musical!  So it was very exciting for me!

3. My Fair Lady

I will admit, this did NOT start out as being one of my favorite shows.  There were three of us who had to keep singing and reading and singing and reading for the part of Eliza.  The director really had a difficult time making his decision.  I will never forget the day when he announced the parts during chorus.  I was totally and completely devastated that I didn't get to be Eliza.  I must have cried off and on for the rest of the day.  In the end, though, I had SO much fun.  I was in every scene that was not just the three main characters.  I had quite a few different costumes from a maid's costume for the Servants' Chorus to a fancy dress for the horse races.  I literally had to do costume changes so fast, I had girls waiting for me after certain scenes to help me change!  While I still don't think I could say that I'm glad I didn't get the role I wanted, I can definitely say that I had a great time!

This is still one of my most favorite songs from a musical...even though it's much harder to hit that high note at the end than it used to be, but as one of the maids, I got to be in this scene with Eliza.

2. In the Beginning

This is not a very well-know show.  In fact, I'm lucky that I even found this image on Google!  I couldn't even find any of the songs on YouTube, but it was so much fun!  It was the musical my senior year of college, and I had one of the leading roles.

1. Children of Eden

You may not have heard of this show either, but it holds an incredibly special place in my heart.  (This show was written by Stephen Schwartz who also wrote Wicked.)  I had a rough start to college.  My freshman year, I was placed into an "overflow triple" (aka my college accepted too many students, didn't have space for all of us, and I was roomed with two other girls in a room the size of a closet).  After about a month, these girls HATED me for reasons that I still don't understand.  My boyfriend and I broke up that year, and it turned out that I also hated being a music education major. I was SO ready for a new start my sophomore year.  While it was going better, most of my friends had auditioned for and were accepted into the prestigious choir on campus.  I was terrified of the director and was under the impression that everyone was boycotting the choir and staying in the chorale.  I was clearly wrong.

I was encouraged to audition for this show, and landed a leading role for the first time ever.  I made and grew some amazing friendships, and the choir director asked ME to audition for the choir after seeing my performance.  So many things changed for me because of this show, and I honestly do not think that any show will ever bump this out of my top slot.....unless, of course, I ever get to be Sandy in Grease or Elphaba in Wicked.

This video is a little long, but it features my two most favorite songs from the show: "Stranger to the Rain" and "In Whatever Time We Have".  

Do you have a favorite performance??

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I pretty much hate lots of things right now.

Like snow.

And winter.

And snow.

So I thought it might be a good idea to think up some things that I'm loving to try to help me forget how much I hate this season and its weather.

1. This guy:

We just celebrated our 4th Marriage Anniversary!  He never fails to make me laugh, and I love spending time with him.  :)

2. I'm a bit obsessed with this game:

You buy pens, animals, and grow crops.  Then you can complete orders that are delivered by truck or by boat.  Honestly?  I don't know why I like it so much, but when I woke up in the middle of the night recently, I checked on some products that I was producing to fill a boat order on time.  I might have a problem.

3. These people:

New Year's Eve 2013

We have the greatest group of friends!  We all have such a good time together, and I just love being around them.  (Which is saying a lot for someone like me who prefers to stay at home with her iPad....)

4. Leggings.  I can't get enough.  I wear them almost every day.

I was going to share pictures of some outfits with leggings, but for some reason, Blogger doesn't want to embed my Instagram pics.  SO if you're really curious....head over to my Instagram to check out my legging problem outfits.

What are you loving right now?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: Gregor & the Prophecy of Bane

I started reading The Underland Chronicles series by Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games Trilogy, in case you've been living under a rock. ;) ).  I recently reviewed the first book in the series Gregor the Overlander.

Last week, I finished reading Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane.

Here's the summary from

The action and adventure continue for Gregor in this stunning fantasy from a rising literary star.

Gregor learns of his role in another Underland prophecy, yet he swears he will never return to that place. But his vow crumbles when his little sister, Boots, is snatched. Gregor knows it is a ploy to lure him to the subterranean world, but he gives in and heads back underground, where he is reunited with his bat, Ares, the princess Luxa, and new allies. Together, they descend into the deadly Waterway in search of an ominous rat known as Bane. But Gregor must face the possibility of his greatest loss yet, and make life and death choices that will determine the future of the Underland.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this second book in Suzanne Collins' Underland Chronicles. It's exciting to watch Gregor grow and accept his role in the prophecies of the underland. Collins continues to describe this underland world with great detail. The book is filled with action and excitement. It is easy to identify with Gregor and to root for him as the protagonist.

As with most books in a series, I definitely recommend reading the first book (Gregor the Overlander) before picking up the second!

View all my reviews

Monday, February 17, 2014

Music Monday: The Beatles

Yes, again.

At least, the last time, I tricked you with the title "The Greatest Band Ever" (Part 1 & Part 2).

But seriously, I HAVE to talk about The Beatles again because last Sunday (February 9th), CBS aired "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America- A Grammy Salute."  This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the British Invasion, and on February 9, 1964, The Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show!

This is just a short clip:

The CBS broadcast was so popular that they aired it again on Wednesday, February 12th.  The only reason I didn't watch it the second time was that it's still saved on my DVR.

So anyway, the show featured some of today's artists performing Beatles hits.  

Some of MY favorites were Maroon 5 with "Ticket to Ride":

Katy Perry with "Yesterday":

Ed Sheeran with "In My Life":

and Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison (George Harrison's son) with "Something":

They also showed clips of David Letterman interviewing Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on his set which used to be the stage for The Ed Sullivan Show.  And then....


Ringo performed solo.


Paul performed solo.



This video gets cut off before the end, but it starts with Paul performing "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and all of a sudden, I realized what was about to happen. Just like the recording, they sing, "Billy Shears" and.....out came Ringo! Then the video show most of "With a Little Help from My Friends."

My cousin, Jaime is also a HUGE Beatles fan, and this conversation happened on Facebook (between Jaime, me, and my aunt & uncle):

Just started watching The Beatles Grammy tribute from last night, and I'm already crying! What's wrong with us?? And MAROON 5 to start out the tributes?!  KILLING ME (in a good way!)!! lol
Like ·  · February 10 at 7:30pm  · Edited · 
  • Becky  Also, by watching this, I discovered that if I had ever seen The Beatles play live, I would not have been one of those silly, ridiculous screaming girls. I would've been one of those girls who was bawling her eyes out, not able to speak...which is what I did from the moment Ringo hit the stage and it got worse the longer it went on. Haha! That was an awesome tribute! 
  • Jaime I understand. I was like, "Good Lord, why am I crying?" Was I crying because of what will never be?
  • Joe  My parents actually let me stay up and watch the Ed Sullivan show, and I still have there first album called Meet the Beatles. it is up in the attic. I played it to death..
  • Vickie  I loved the way Ringo got into it. Paul seemed pleased as well but Ringo was having the time of his life. You could see it on his face!
  • Becky Dougherty
Love, love love!
Love is all you need!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happies & Crappies 2/14

Thank goodness it's Friday again!  Not only is it my favorite day of the week, but it's also time to link up with Amber and Steph for Happies & Crappies!

~Scott and I went grocery shopping yesterday!  We have tons of food, and it feels good to know we can have just about anything we want to make!
~There are a few odds and ends we didn't pick up yesterday, but Scott is going to stop at the grocery store on his way home from work to get them!
~It's Valentine's Day, and our marriage anniversary is tomorrow!  :)  We don't typically do anything special, but it's just nice that these days are here.  I am blessed to have a marriage anniversary (in February) and a wedding anniversary (in August).  Since there are so many new people around here, please check out our love story.  A year ago today (and tomorrow), I wrote post explaing why I get to have both!  Our Story and Our Story Part 2

~I have a new sponsor on my sidebar!  Stop by and say, "Hi!" to my friend Kristin from Life's an Adventure!
~There is SO. MUCH. SNOW.  It's supposed to snow more tonight.
~I got my car stuck trying to pull into my parking space in front of my house.  I had to shovel myself out, and THEN I had to shovel snow out of the way to actually get into my spot.  <sarcasm>Thanks so much to the borough for plowing my space after I went to work.<end: sarcasm>
~My arms and back hurt from all of that shoveling.
~My students really got on my nerves today.  We had our Valentine's Day party, and truthfully, those 6th graders had worse behavior than my first graders EVER did at their parties.  Sheesh.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sweetheart Swap Reveal

Sweetheart Swap

Back in January, I signed up for another swap!  Swaps are so fun to do!  You get to "meet" and know another blogger, and then you get a box of awesome goodies!

A big thanks to Kristin and Meg for hosting!

I was paired up with Celia from the Houck Diaries.  It's been great getting to know her through all of our social media sites!

These photos were actually taken with my iPhone 4S, and they don't look terrible! :)

Loved the pretty tissue paper, and the cute card!
I got such great gifts in my package!!  I'm sure you'll all be surprised to know that I did NOT immediately devour that Reese's heart.  I'm saving it for this weekend.  :)
There's also a yummy smelling candle in vanilla biscotti, a cute "love" mug from Pier I, this adorable little note pad with birds on the front (they each have a speech bubble that says "tweet"), and this great pad for meal planning!
Celia was certainly doing her research on me.  She totally hit the nail on the head with everything in my box, and she even worked in some purple with that tissue paper!  :)
The funniest part is that she included that meal planning sheet in my package that was mailed DAYS before I posted this tweet:
She must have been reading my mind.  Scott and I desperately need to go grocery shopping.  I'm not sure how we always end up doing this to ourselves.  We somehow end up waiting until we have practically no food before we go.  It's something we like doing together, and inevitably, we always need to go on a weekend when Scott is working.  :-p  ANYWAY, I'll be certain to start using this right away!

Thanks for all of my awesome goodies, Celia!! :)

Have you ever participated in a swap before?  What's the best gift you've ever gotten in a swap?

I'm also linking up today for Live & Learn Thursday because I learned what was in my Sweetheart Swap package!  (See what I did there?? ;) )
Your Gotta Have Hart

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Love Blogging! {A Giveaway}

Happy Wednesday, everyone!! 

I know I've been sharing a lot of giveaways lately, but so many amazing bloggers have been offering great opportunities, and I just had to jump on board!  I just love all the ladies that I've been working with on these giveaways, and who doesn't like winning stuff??

Today, I'm teaming up with Jane from Pursuit of Poppiness and her other sponsors for an amazing PayPal Giveaway!

Also, before I let you check out all of that awesomeness, there's still a little time left to enter MY giveaway to win a set of mini casseroles from Celebrating Home!  (Plus, if you haven't seen the recipe for my buffalo chicken dip, you need to check it out!)


$110 PayPal Cash Giveaway | Kara Ramblings of a Marine Wife | Alex Radiating Sunshine

Becky Rebeckann's Random Thoughts | Katie Going Coastal | Elizabeth The Young Retiree

Jen Beebeebelly | Rhea Rhea Et Cetera | Kari This, Too

Stephanie Army Crafter | Sue As It Seems | Jane Poppiness

So what would you do with $110?? 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Style Challenge

In January, I was contacted by a representative from a company called Brilliant Earth and asked to participate in a Style Challenge.  (The company uses ethically sourced diamonds and they also specialize in engagement rings.)  Unfortunately, I got busy, and I was unable to create a design, but luckily, they were having one for Valentine's Day, too!

I was sent a few pictures of their beautiful pieces to choose from, and here's what I came up with!

I'm such a girly girl, and I've always been a sucker for heart-shaped jewelry.  Right away, I was drawn to the heart pieces from Brilliant Earth.  These earrings are the 18K White Gold Pave Heart Diamond Stud Earrings.  I also chose the Silver Heart Pendant with a Pink Sapphire. 

I went with a classic little black dress.  I'm pretty sure that you can never go wrong with a LBD.  I just used Google to search for images of a little black dress, and I saw this one. I loved the look of the material, and I especially love the sweet heart neckline!  They are so flattering, and I also think it fits my heart theme.  Finally, the shoes.  Ohhhh, the shoes.  These shoes actually came up in my showroom for the month of February.  They are also available in a light pink.  Frankly, I want both.  I keep arguing with myself about buying or not buying them, and I can't decided which pair I want more if I do get them.  I already have red heels.  #firstworldproblems

If Scott didn't have to work, and if it weren't insanely cold here in PA, I would love to wear this for Valentine's Day! 

What do you think??

Monday, February 10, 2014

Music Monday: Musicals I Love

One of the things I miss the most about being in high school and college is performing in musicals.  I had so much fun doing shows, and it practically kills me to go see them sometimes because I miss being a part of them so much!!

Today, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite shows with you!


I fell in love with the movie Grease when I was pretty young, and it is still one of my favorites to this day.  Of course, I was only allowed to see the TV version for a long time.  In high school, I bought an anniversary edition on VHS.  It had a mini copy of the script and the "Grease Mega Mix" CD with it.  THAT was when I saw the full version for the first time.

Years later, NBC hosted a show called You're the One that I Want.  It was a competition to cast Danny and Sandy for a revival of Grease on Broadway.  I was very happy with the winners, and we went to New York to see the show when it opened! 

This is probably not surprising, but here's my one of my favorite songs from the show:  "Hopelessly Devoted to You" sung by Olivia Newton-John as Sandy.

One of my other favorites is sung by Stockard Channing who played Rizzo--"There are Worse Things I could Do."

One of my other favorite musicals is Wicked.  This show debuted when I was in college.  We "music people" were (and still are) in love with it. 

Two of my favorite songs from the show are "Defying Gravity" and "For Good".

I believe that this video is from Kristin Chenoweth's last performance, which explains all the emotion in it (as if it's not an emotional enough song). 
I was also fortunate enough to see this show on Broadway!  I saw this one with my college roomie, Diane, when we took a bus trip to NYC from our school.

What are some of your favorite musicals?  Have you seen them live?

Next week, I'm going to share some of my favorite shows that I've BEEN in!  :)

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