Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Year-in-Review

2015 Year-in-Review
This year flew by, at least the second half of the year.  January to May were the longest months EVER and August to December have just slipped by.  As January 1st is quickly approaching it is time to get nostalgic over the events that happened in 2015.  So, enjoy my 2015 Year-in-Review.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
This year Peter and I went to the Bahamas for our anniversary.  My in-laws were extremely generous in watching the boys while we took a cruise.  Delicious food, great ocean views, sticking our feet in the ocean, a bicycle tour through Key West were just a few highlights of our adventure. 

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't know if I actually made resolutions this year.  I tried to do 101 in a 1001 but they weren't really resolutions.  I'll update that though to see what I've crossed off that list.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
NOPE.  Not this least not yet.  My sister-in-law is about to pop!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The Chick-Fil-A incident of 2015.  Ugh, I won't go in to details but it was a tough time.  More worries from the neighbor about the cats.  Getting a new job and having Ezra in my school!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
 Gosh, I don't know if I have a "big" achievement this year. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Biggest failure?  Not losing as much weight as I had hoped.  20 pounds is a good start, but I'm ready to knock a lot more off.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just a few colds here and there but nothing truly bad or life altering.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
An organizer for my classroom!  Ok, I didn't buy it completely outright but a portion of it was funded by Sonic's Limeades for Learning and I covered the rest of it.  I can't wait to organize it all with the classroom instruments and have the kids see it when they get back from Christmas break!  Also, tickets to Broadway shows!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Student loans!  We did the envelope approach and paid off Peter's student loan.  Yay!  We still have mine but whew, what a nice thing to have off our shoulders.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Traveling!  We did a road trip to Florida for the cruise and got to see family members along the way as well as six new-to-me states.  I also went to NYC with my Mom to see some amazing shows!

14. What song will always remind you of 2014?
 The "Whip and Nae Nae" song.  I don't even know if that is how you spell it or if that is even the title of the song, but my students were OBSESSED with that song.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
--happier or sadder?  Happier
--thinner or fatter? A tad thinner, but just a tad.
--richer or poorer? I guess a little richer in that we have one loan paid off but still it is about the same

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercise, spend more time outside with my family, and sing.  I miss singing :(

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spend countless hours on Facebook and spend countless hours in front of the TV.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas at home.  We all slept in the living room and after everyone was awake we looked through our new stockings and opened presents.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
The Goldbergs, Heroes Reborn, Grey's Anatomy, The Middle.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I can't recall a single book that I read.  I know I read at least five, but I can't remember the titles.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
No idea!  There wasn't a particular one that I just couldn't get enough of.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
If I didn't say Star Wars Peter would probably disown me.  It was pretty good though.  Inside Out and Home were the top for the family.  Antman was pretty darn funny.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 and I can't remember what I actually did for my birthday.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
That's a hard one.  Life is pretty good.  I have my basic needs covered.  My family is healthy.  I guess if I had to pick something, I would say having my student loan paid off would make the year more satisfying :)  We finished Peter's this year and mine will hopefully be done this next year.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Since I'm at a new school I can no longer wear jeans to school (except for Fridays...noooooo!).  It has been a challenge since I'm constantly on the floor with my students.  So, slacks and a blouse.  Easy to move around and sit on the floor.

26. What kept you sane?
Peter, Ezra, Henry, and TiVo.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
 Enjoy the little moments because they go by so fast.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Father's Day?

Let me preface with the point that I don't have a dad.  I have a father.  I had a dad for maybe two years of my life.  I'm not exactly sure if he was even a dad for that much of the time that my parents were together.  I have had a father for approximately 31 years of my life.  Of those 31 years I will say that I did get to see my father when I lived in the same town as him...well, I saw him for whatever the court appointed time was.  When my brother turned 18 and went to college, well, that was the end of the monthly visits.  When I went to college I do remember having my father make the drive to see me in a show and my senior recital.  After that, in the last ten years, was wedding, meeting first child, first child's first birthday, meeting second child, and then I scheduled a visit when we were driving through town.  With all of that in mind let me say that I love my father.  I do.  I wish I had a better relationship but it really just won't happen.  There isn't anything that will change that.  
(I also realize that others out there have much more difficult relationships...this is not a sob story contest becuase I know I would lose.  This is just a little history on me.)

So, Father's Day is tomorrow.  What does that mean?  Last minute shopping for gifts and elbowing one another in the card aisle to find the best card that describes your relationship with your father.  There are the cute ones from the kids or the semi-crude ones about passing gas or passing a beer.  There are the sweet cards with little monsters and their dads and there are the endearing cards that make you tear up.  The underlying theme of all of these cards though is that there is a father actual present in your life.   

Row after row of cards to show your love and appreciation to the "dad who has always been there."  Cards for "the best DADDY ever."  Cards for "Toad-ally awesome dads."  There are even cards for your uncle, your brother, your "Bro," and for that special someone that has taken on the role of dad.

Where are the cards for the "missing father" in your life?  Where are the cards for "the man who sometimes sends you cards on your birthday and even though you are over 30 it hurts when you don't get anything in the mail?"  Where are the cards for "I really want my kids to know that they have another grandpa out there in the world instead of them saying, 'I didn't think you had a dad'"?  Where are the cards that simply just say, "Happy Father's Day"?  Nothing else, no cute pictures, no endearing quote about a relationship between a father and child, just three words. 

Come on card companies.  If you are going to make a Father's Day card for single moms surely you can make cards for the father that just wasn't there.  For the father that missed out on the thousands of small memories and moments of your life.

Friday, February 6, 2015

No7 Protect & Perfect Serum from Influenster

I received the No7 Protect & Perfect Serum complimentary through Influesnter for testing purposes.  What are my thoughts about it?  I don't really know!  The sample they gave was tiny!  I get it, you want to get people interested so that they will actually buy your product but when the sample is so small you can't try it more than once, you don't know if you really need to but it because you can't see an immediate result. 

This was NOT the size of the sample...just a stock photo I found.

So, will I buy it?  Eh, we'll see.  When I am out of my current product I may consider trying it out.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Celestial Seasonings

Thanks to Influenster I have been introduced to some great products over the year.  I've tried new products, tried and true products, and everything in between.  This time around I had the chance to taste Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Green Tea.  I was given this complimentary through the Influenster program. 

Let me start out with the fact that I am not typically a tea drinker.  Give me hot chocolate or give me death.  I did go ahead and try it but it just wasn't my cup of tea (get it?...hehe).  The peppermint smell was great, perfect for the holidays, but the green tea just didn't do it for me.  I felt like it lacked something in the flavor profile.

I didn't doctor up the tea itself but I did enjoy it with some Christmas cookies! 

I'll probably stick with my  hot chocolate next time around.


Rimmel London Products

Thanks to Influenster I have been introduced to some great Rimmel London products.  This time around I was given two, count it TWO products to try for free.  They go hand-in-hand. 
The first product is the Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner.  I don't typically wear eyeliner and when I do it is usually light brown; something very neutral.  Perhaps I do that because my hands are not steady and putting on eyeliner seems like a chore.  Plus, I'm the one who always has this gap between where the eyeliner winds up on my eye and where it should go.  Come on, you know what I'm talking about :)  So, seeing this eyeliner I was a tad intimidated.  Especially seeing how dark this liner is.  I took the plunge though.  The first time was a mess.  The second time my eyes were still a mess.  The third time I slowly started to get the hang of it and even my son said my eyes looked different.  The fourth time I was able to glide it on without any problems.  Of course, I'm still working on it but this formula truly does glide on so easily.  PLUS if I make a mistake....I can use the hand make up remover that I also received.
 So when I did make a mistake I was able to use the makeup remover to help clean things up a bit.  I am also notorious for wearing my mascara several days and then having to deal with the raccoon eyes.  One quick swipe with this remove and my raccoon eyes are gone!  I specifically like how the bottle is designed.  It has a small little hole, unlike my other remover, that I can squirt out just enough on a cotton ball or cotton swab.
Here is my fourth attempt.  Not too shabby.
Overall, I am a big fan of these products.  I'm so glad that Influenster and Rimmel London gave me these products to try complimentary.  Thanks!!!

Influenster Frosty Vox Box

So I got my Influenster Frosty Vox Box at the end of December and it was filled with great goodies to try out for free.  Interested in vying for your own box of goodies?  Check out Influesnter here.  Curious to see my vox box items on YouTube?  Click here!

Here are the items in my box this time around.

I don't use Thyme very often.  It isn't a staple in my pantry
but it will be nice to try something different.

Make up remover. 
Great for removing waterproof mascara.  This product worked amazingly well. 
Love the design of the top.  It was perfect to put q-tips in to clean up eyeliner and mascar quickly.

Never heard of this company can't wait to try it.

I love NYC makeup and this color is the perfect neutral. 
I don't typically wear lipstick but this truly is the perfect color for me.

A deep, rich eyeliner.  I don't wear eyeliner much.  It took a while to get use to putting the eyeliner on and not have
a huge gap on my lid.  Once I got the hang of it though, it looked nice.  Even my son noticed a difference.
Red Vines, Cherry.  I don't like them.  Sorry.  My husband, however, devoured the entire bag in one sitting.
Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Tea.  I tried this when I was sick.  For startesr, I am not a tea fan. 
The smell was delicious but the taste did not appeal to me.  I have the other bag to a friend and she absolutely loved it.

Eco Tools Barrel Brush.  I was a little worried about a barrel brush with my hair but I was impressed.
I never had to worry about detangling my hair.  I think it will take a bit of work to style with this brush but more
because I'm not used to using this type of brush, not because of the brush itself.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

101 in 1001...yep I'm jumping on the bandwagon

Have you heard of this before?  The 101 in a 1001?  While looking up some recipe on Pinterest I stumbled upon this and then realized it was a pretty fad-ish thing.  So, of course I'm a follower :)  Not really, but I thought it would give me something to do.  I copied the rules from someone else, so here goes.

The mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e., no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e., represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 days?: Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

I've tried to categorize them into areas of life. I'll add to this list as things get completed.  Italicized means I'm working on it.  Crossed off means it is completed!  Highlighted yellow and crossed off...yep, that means I dropped the ball and won't actually get to complete it.

Start Date:  January 11, 2015
End Date:  October 8, 2017

Current tally (as of 12/28/15)
In Process:  18/101
Completed:  15/101
Off the table:  1

1. Finish creating a list of 101 things
2. Read 25 books (5/25)
3. Consistently write in the five year journal for at least one of the years
4. Trash/Donate 1001 things (500/1001)
5. Read the Bible all the way through
6. Update blog on a monthly basis with how the goals are coming (6/34) (COMPLETELY OFF THE TABLE.  I already failed on this one :(
7. Get family pictures taken
8. Make a list of 101 positive things about myself
9. Get a new haircut (It was okay.  The problem with my hair is that it looks great for one day and then back to the normal mess.)
10. Get a massage (Thanks to a Christmas present I can officially cross this off my list now!)

Family and Relationships
11. Invite a friend over for dinner (Boom.  Got this done.  Hawaiian Luau at the Purin house!)
12. See all living family members at least once (Mom, Dad, Michael and his family, Mother and   Father-in-law, Britt and Jessica, Carrie and her family, Christie and her family, Beth and Jamie, Grandma, and Oma and Grandad.)
13. Make a family time capsule
14. Have at least 25 dates with my hubby (1/25   #1 - Thunder Game!, #2 - Radium Girls @ OBU, #3 - #6 Our Cruise! #7 - Anniversary dinner)
15. Have 10 Mommy/Ezra dates
16. Have 10 Mommy/Henry dates
17. Finish "Mom" book for the boys
18. Have the family watch a sunset
19. Have the family watch a sunrise
20. Have the family watch the stars one night

Fitness & Health
21. Run a 5K without stopping
22. Lose 10 pounds
23. Lose 10 pounds
24. Lose 10 pounds
25. Lose 10 pounds
26. Lose 10 pounds
27. Drink my recommended water intake for the body weight/ounces challenge for one week
28. Work out whether at the gym or not at least three times per week for a minimum of three months
29. Complete the 30-day challenge for abs
30. Complete the 30-day challenge for squats
31. Complete the distance between Shawnee, OK to NYC

32. Make pasta from scratch
33. Go to an orchard of berry farm and pick fresh fruit
34. Learn how to poach an egg
35. Learn how to can something....anything!
36. Find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe (Attempt #1 - I found one that I really like, but doesn't quite fit Peter's idea of "perfect" so back to the drawing board. Attempt #2 - Okay folks, this may be it!  I need to make a few more times just to be sure but this may be the winner.)
37. Plant a garden and eat at least one item from it
38. Make bread from scratch
39. Make home-made ice cream
40. Go one week without having any food waste

41. Clear out my inbox and keep only essential emails
42. Clean up the attic
43. Organize all photos
44. Get my Dropbox all organized
45. Clean up my classroom file system

Financial and Future
46. Start an IRA or Roth IRA
47. Have three months saved
48. Pay off Peter's student loans (Oh.My.Gosh.  We are almost there.  The light is at the end of the tunnel.  I can see it.)
49. Pay off the car loan
50. Update will
51. Keep up with the envelope system for at least six months (6/6)
52. Put something in to the boys college savings accounts.

53. Update website
54. Update theatre resume
55. Update education resume
56. Get new headshots
57. Submit children's book
58. Have at least 10 items for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers
59. Have an item funded on Donor's Choose or with the Limeades for Learning Project
60. Research and possibly apply for graduate school
61. Attend at least 5 workshops or webinars to further my teaching (4/5 - #1 Drumming, #2 John Jacobson #3 Special Needs #4 OCDA workshop)

62. Enter Ezra's quilt in the state fair
63. Finish Hawaii scrapbook
64. Finish Disney World scrapbook
65. Take a pottery class
66. Learn more about my DSLR
67. Finish Christmas Wall Hanging
68. Finish Christmas Stockings
69. Finish Alphabet Project
70. Get Ezra's Baby book to current status
71. Get Henry's Baby book to current status
72. Complete five Pinterest craft projects
73. Find a pattern for a blanket for Henry

Entertainment & Restaurants
74. Attend a Thunder game (Yay! We had our date night at one!)
75. Attend an OKC Dodgers game
76. Attend a Broadway musical or a touring production of a Broadway show
77. Purchase a lottery ticket...and hopefully win big!
78. Go to a corn maze
79. Go to a drive-in
80. Perform in a show
81. Hit all the major parks in Shawnee with the boys
82. Visit the Science Museum (We bought a museum pass to use in the summer and we got to cross this one off last week.  What a fun museum.  Too much to see in one day but now that we have our pass we can check it out again.)
83. Ride the Water Taxi in Bricktown (Happy Mother's Day to me...a week late because of the weather, but we did it.  The boys loved it.)
84. Visit the OKC Memorial
85. Visit the Oklahoma State Capitol Building
86. Take the boys to Andy's Alligator Park
87. Eat at Sunny Side Up
88. Take the boys out for chocolate at the Melting Pot
89. Try Big Truck Tacos

91. Go camping
92. Visit 5 new-to-me states (We hammered this one out in a long-distance drive: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.)
93. Visit 2 national parks
94. Visit a new-to-me museum (Science Museum counts!)
95. Go on a cruise (Peter and I went to the Bahamas to celebrate out 10 year anniversary.)
96. Stop randomly at some drive-by attraction
97. Take a car trip with over 1001 miles (See number 92.  We cleared 1001 miles easily.)

98. Catch a cat
99. Get rid of all the unmatched socks
100. Do something 101 times (55/101)
101. Not make another list of 101 things to do.  (I say this because EVERY ONE I've seen always puts "to make a new list."  Well, I'm bucking the system folks and NOT doing it.  This is a one shot deal folks. 

That's it.  Let's see how it goes.