Friday, April 25, 2014

Before 30 Bucket List: April Progress

1. Run a 5K race.
 I'm re-assessing this. I maybe should have said something like "start working out" or "join a gym."

2. Make my office/scrapbook space perfect.
I have been working in the office the past two nights, but otherwise, I haven't been in there much lately. It's mostly in the clean up/reorganization stage right now.

3. Pass the Middle Grades Social Studies GACE.
Planning to take this in June -- if I don't decide to take a different test instead!

4. Re-do/refresh our bedroom, including paint.
There is a sample swatch of Valspar Bamboo Shoot (light green) taped to the wall. I found a couple new decorating items, and I'm actively searching for a new duvet cover.

5. Make curtains for the guest room.
Hoping to finish this one over the weekend! I'm going to wash, dry, and iron the fabric tonight, and hopefully pull out the sewing machine tomorrow! The curtain rod is already up, so it's just waiting for curtains.

6. Make curtains for the living room/kitchen.
Fabric choices are picked out, but I need to get Trevor to come along and help me decide which fabrics to use!

7. Finish A Clash of Kings, the second book in the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire series.
I'm on about page 350 of 900+. At the beginning of the week, I was at page 70. Proctoring the CRCT definitely helped me make a dent this week!

8. Complete our wedding scrapbook.
Ha. Ha. Ha ha ha. I haven't been in the scrapbook room enough to clean it up, let alone do any actual scrapbooking.

9. Reduce my wardrobe.
I cleaned out one drawer. One.

10. Finish my home management binder.
I've made a little progress, mostly in the calendar section, and mostly out of necessity!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five for Friday: Beauty

Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite beauty supplies with you. I have been thinking about this post for a long time, so I'm really excited to finally have it ready for you all!

1. People always tell me I have incredible eyelashes. I really don't. It's all Lash Blast Volume from Covergirl. It makes my eyelashes look longer and fuller, and it has the added benefit of making my eyes look bigger. I've been using this mascara for probably seven years now, and I've never even considered switching to something else.

2. Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Almond Pure Castile Soap - Trevor calls it hippie soap. I call it magic soap. This stuff smells like frosting, and it is all natural. It doesn't have any acne fighting chemicals that dry out my skin, but there's nothing in it that makes me break out, either. You can also mix it with sugar and oil for a really awesome exfoliating scrub, too. You can use it to wash your clothes or dishes, and some people actually use it to brush their teeth! 

3. C.O. Bigelow Mentha Vitamin Body Wash - This minty body wash helps me during allergy season. The mint helps clear my sinuses, and in the heat of summer, it's a nice way to cool off, too.

4. Coconut Oil - I just the Trader Joe's brand because it's a bigger, cheaper jar than I can get anywhere else. I mix this with sugar and Dr. Bronner's for a scrub, I use it in place of Vaseline, and sometimes, I rub it on my hands for intense moisturizing. I have friends who rub it in their kids' hair to smooth away frizz without adding chemicals to their kids' hair. The added bonus to coconut oil is that is actually smells like coconut, too!

5. Suave Keratin Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner - My hair has never been smoother than it is right now. I've been using this combination for about a year and a half. I really love how well this works on my hair, and I honestly don't believe a more expensive brand would work any  better on my hair. 

Trevor will be coming back from his Initial Officer Experience trip tomorrow afternoon. We will be staying put for Easter this year, as usual. I have to work the day after, and we really don't know yet when Trevor will return to work (likely around May 1, though). We haven't planned anything at all for Easter year. Neither of our families really placed a lot of emphasis on the holiday growing up, so I think we both tend to forget about planning anything until the last minute. I *did* go out and get some things for Trevor's Easter basket, though! He said he will be doing my shopping when he gets back this weekend - here's hoping he gets something good for me! ;)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday - April 11, 2014

1. Real eye shadow brushes - I got sick of those sponges breaking off my freebies that come with my eye shadow palettes. I am really impressed with the results.

2. Pandora's "Let It Go" station. It's like a mash up of all my favorite Disney and Broadway songs together in one station. There's everything from "Bye, Bye Birdie" to "Hakuna Matata" included. So much fun!

3. 31's April special: The All-Pro Tote for $25 when you spend $35. This is one of my favorite bag designs from 31. Yes, I am a consultant, but I would probably be sharing this with you anyway! The bright pops of color, the pockets, and the shoe compartment are awesome. There's also a fun little jewelry clip inside, too, complete with holes for your earrings.

4. Cosmos: Totally loving this series right now. I wish there were more educational programs on network television during prime time. 

5. How Great Thou Art by the Crossroads Newnan worship team. This was the opening for the 25th anniversary services on March 29 & 30, 2014. This was the weekend we sat in the front row with our friends, Jessica and Anthony Bridges. It was definitely the right weekend to be up front and center!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

One Little Word 2014 - First Quarter Update

I think I have been more true to this word than I have any previous OLW. I have stuck with it for three whole months, and I have repeatedly asked myself, "How can I have more joy in my life?" I kept finding myself coming back to one phrase.

Let it go.

Let go of the negative emotions, the grudges, the hurt feelings. Just let it out and let it go.

The funny thing about this is that this realization had nothing to do with the song, but once I heard the song, I knew it was perfect for me. It is kind of my anthem for the first part of 2014. 

I ended up letting go of my usual morning radio station this winter. I had listened to and loved a local contemporary Christian station for the past few years, but I found there to be a little too much silly chatter about The Bachelor and other pointless reality shows simply because they had featured or were featuring participants who were Christian. I'm probably in the minority here, but hearing that there is a Christian participant on those shows just disappoints me - it does not make me want to hear it recapped the following morning when I'm expecting to hear uplifting music!

I'm also in the process of letting go of a lot of junk that is in our house. I'm throwing away clothes that are too worn out to wear to school, I'm donating gently used items, and I'm making room for more people in our house. We are in a position where we may have house guests frequently over the summer and fall, and I'm just so determined to get rid of the clutter and be able to say that no room in this house is off limits to our guests. My spring break project will be finishing up a lot of this uncluttering work and dropping off donations at thrift stores in town. 

Overall, I feel like what I've been doing with the first few months of 2014 has been simply laying the ground work to have joy for the rest of the year. I am energized to clean out my house and unclutter. I'm excited to have less stuff. I'm starting off my morning with radio I actually like listening to again, and I'm not holding grudges or hurt feelings. 

2014, let's do this.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brittany's 30th Birthday Card

I am totally in love with Lori Whitlock's A2 box cards. This card came together in a snap! I used my September 2013 Studio Calico card kit with a few extra pieces added in, and I loved how this turned out! I definitely plan on making more of these cards in the near future!

I am SO excited for spring break! I am free for 9 days beginning at 3:30 on Friday. This week is really kicking my butt at school, but I am being very productive at home, so maybe that means I'll be able to enjoy my break instead of working on a hundred different cleaning projects!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What we're up to - April 2014 Edition

Trevor passed his final evaluation at Spirit Airlines, so he is done with training! He has been home for almost a week. He will start actually flying very soon. We won't see his April schedule until later this week.

Something interesting happened while he was gone. Crookshanks became a snuggler. At first, it was just with me, on the sofa. Then, he started sitting with me at the breakfast bar, and eventually, in my office chair. Pretty soon, he started doing the same for Trevor. Last night, Crookshanks slept behind my knees all night. He has only slept next to me once before, so this was an amazing development. He has come a long way since his first days with us in September.

Minerva is thrilled to have Trevor here again. She is so totally in love with him. I'm a little nervous about Trevor going back to work later this month! Minerva has a tendency to puke when he's gone. :(

I am looking forward to spring break and doing some projects I've been considering for awhile (like actually planning blog posts and queuing them in advance). Three work days after today...I think I can do this!

I'm also exploring the possibilities for next school year. My principal said I was over qualified for my current position, and everyone assumes I'm looking for my own classroom, so there would be no hard feelings over me leaving. I just want to stay at my school! It was always my favorite school when I was a sub, so I can't imagine fitting in as well somewhere else. I am mostly planning on being back in my same role next year, but I am also considering taking tests to be certified in other subjects to increase my chances of having my own classroom. 

We picked up some paint chips at Lowe's this weekend. We are thinking it's finally time to get rid of the builder grade paint and add some color to our house! My plan is to tape them up in our bedroom tonight to see how they look, and maybe get some small samples later this week before tackling the actual painting during spring break next week.

Last night, we started on a couple projects I've been planning for over a year. Trevor finished off the spray painting and hardware while I was at school today. There is another step I want to add to the clementine crate, but it will probably have to wait for spring break (AKA ProjectPalooza).

I'll be back again soon with some cards to share and other updates.