August 23, 2019

5 on Friday.

Hey, let's actually get this post up on Friday.
I've had a terrible habit of starting and never finishing posts lately, especially at the end of the week.

1.  This week we've been watching The Great British Baking Show. It's been two years since I saw the first few seasons on Netflix. We watched "collection 6" on Netflix, but then went back and watched "collection 5". There was also a blurb on the description saying that new episodes are coming out August 30th on Netflix. Cheers to that. I love this show so much and I love that we can watch it together.

We've also been watching The Boys. It's really messed up. Scott started it on Sunday when a friend was here for the weekend and it was okay but there's just something about it that's so unrealistic and so amusing and so weird at the same time. So I half-watch.

We finished The Enemy Within last week, which I mentioned in a previous post, and it was really well done. It was of great disappointment to learn that there is no second season. Of course. Of all the crappy shows that get a second season (This Is Us and Designated Survivor), I'm pretty annoyed that this did not.

2. I bought a new water bottle. I'd been using my Hydroflask almost exclusively for the last two years but it's just so heavy and I feel like it's really getting beat up and/or beating other things up because it's so heavy. Plus, I lost the straw a year and a half ago and never bothered to replace it. I wanted something lighter and a bit smaller.
This one from Target seems to fit that description.
(This is the most exciting thing I've done this week, btw.)

3. Oh, maybe not. I put this together in my extra shadowbox frame this week. His onesie and the hat and mitts he wore in the hospital and home from the hospital.

4. In case you missed it...

I posted about my Teachers Pay Teachers store on Wednesday. This is something I'm realllllllly attempting to dedicate time to each day and it definitely doesn't always happen. A little is better than nothing, though.

5. BIP.

*There might be some spoilers below. I don't consider BIP spoilers "spoilers" because there's different outcomes and multiple storylines, not just one big spoiler.*

The Demi drama is just drama. She's a scam artist. Go read Reality Steve. I spent a naptime deep-diving into all the BIP spoilers last week (the best possible use of 90 minutes, no doubt) and she's doing all of this on purpose. If she wanted to get back together with someone she had a previous relationship with and if BIP wanted to bring her on the show, they should've gotten together, proven their point that they are all #LGBTQFRIENDLY to one-up other reality shows, and then Demi and Kristian should've left. There was no need to for them to hang out, as they do for the next week or whatever.

I am not a Tanner fan, but I agree that this is a double-standard AND as they so aptly said on Here to Make Friends, they don't care if it's a double-standard. They want a double-standard in this case because "unfair" or something. Yeah, it's realllllll unfair that Demi gets to make a boatload of money and Derek is treated to the bad end of the double-standard (no one cared about him or even checked on him because they were too busy cheering Demi on...not usually the way heartbreak works on Paradise). Way to show your cards, Here to Make Friends.

Nicole is the worst. She wanted two guys to physically fight over her. So that kind of happened and then she was all "well, I didn't want that". Plus, no one should be allowed to serenade anyone else, ever. I couldn't even watch.

Those are really my only thoughts this week. Also, I found myself LOLing at I Hate Green Beans' podcast because when they talk about soccer star Christian, they play Ricky Martin music. 


We have two busy weekends ahead and I feel like I'm in a run out the clock situation until fall.

Anyone else?

August 21, 2019

Finally Fourth: A Teachers Pay Teachers Store

I've discovered I'm a Type B teacher. I wrote a post about this long ago.

The thought jumped back into my head when a former coworker posted another Type B teacher article that really made me relate.

This is applicable, currently, because I've been working on a Teachers Pay Teachers store for the last 9 or 10 months, and I just named it last week. I still need a good profile picture.

Type B, for sure.

I'm also positive that I would be head over heels diving into this type of project in a way that I stay up all night perfecting resources and writing descriptions and uploading fonts and researching better ways to do it all...if I were Type A.

Instead, I started created resources last fall, at night, between baby feedings, when I should've been asleep.

I used Powerpoint and Google Docs and my PicMonkey membership and free downloaded fonts to create better versions (i.e. cuter versions) of resources I not only used in my actual classroom, but relied on day to day.

I still have a drawer of papers and resources I plan on re-making and uploading and selling. Guess how many I've created since we've been in Pittsburgh?

One. In 7 months.

Definitely Type B.

Currently, I'm working on writing PDFs of ideas. I'm giving them away for free, actually.

I am 100% more concerned with getting my ideas out onto the internet and trying to help other teachers than I am with making money. I've written a lot of blog posts about teaching as well, if you're interested. So most of my resources, unless I spent hours creating from scratch and they're large files, are free.

Click HERE to see the store!

If you are a teacher getting ready to start the school year, the one thing you absolutely must have is a Beginning of the Year Packet. They're all over the internet, so you can find them just about anywhere. This is the version I used for the last several years. 

August 19, 2019

Summer Weekend #...9?

I think. This is why I don't keep track of things.

I posted a catch-up on last week on Saturday, in case you don't read blogs on Saturday.

Wells and I were kind of on our own this weekend. It was miserably hot too.

I had a dentist appointment so Wells had his first experience with a real babysitter: the neighbor. She just adores him so they played together for about an hour. I bought him this bucket because he loves putting toys in and taking them back out.

Then we went to Hobby Lobby because I wanted to pick up something I needed to make...maybe I'll share that later this week, since I'm on a "craft" (used loosely) kick. 

I had huge plans to highlight my hair. I had just put the cap on and pulled all my hair through and Wells was napping...when another neighbor rang the doorbell. And then I had to take the cap off so as not to look like too much of an insane person and then Wells woke up (from the doorbell) and so I had to highlight my hair with him awake and crawling around which was lots of fun. 

When it's just me and Wells on a weekend day, I take him to the nice Target because they have more of a selection than the one down the street. 
Very exciting.
There were lots of screaming/crying/yelling elementary school-aged children so going the weekend before school starts here likely wasn't the best choice. 

My hair did get highlighted. Not too bad for $11. 

And then I bought myself a new Longchamp last week. The motivation here was that my other larger one was 6+ years old and the pocket inside wasn't big enough to hold a modern-day cell phone and the straps were pretty worn. As well as, the small Longchamp I have has actual holes in it from being used so much. It's also 6 years old. I suppose I can't complain a ton about that because I got a lot of use out of it. 
I put the felt purse organizer in this one and it holds its shape well. 

If you're starting school this week, have fun!

August 17, 2019

5 on Saturday.

1. It's been a week. Monday was not our day. To start, I spilled water on my keyboard. I flipped it upside and everything seems to be still working normally, but I majorly anticipated a trip to the Apple store. I have a protection plan but figure it'd at least cost us $200 because just because you have a plan doesn't mean it's free. Again, it *seems* to be working normally so fingers crossed that I just got lucky.

Then Scott spilled gasoline all over himself because a gas pump malfunctioned and I had to take him new clothes, 30 minutes there and 45 minutes back, with a hungry baby who had to be woken up from his nap and ate lunch a little late because of the drive (again, this is like 14 miles, but #Pittsburgh).

Unrelated: We got these orchids for $3 each. You water them once a week with 3 ice cubes each. 

2. Wells was sick on Thursday and had a low fever all day Friday that was around 99. He was just quieter and sleepier than usual and I fed him a lot of crackers and tried to get him to drink Pedialyte because milk doesn't seem like the best thing to drink with a fever. However, he seems better today. I'll have to do a sleep update on Instagram but, basically, he's slept through the night for the last week and this morning, because he was a little congested, I caved when he cried at 6am and I rocked him back to sleep (he slept til 7:30 then in his crib). A baby he played with the other day had HFM a two weeks ago and the mom swore she wasn't contagious (this mom is vigilant too, I've noticed) so I'm watching for a rash but haven't seen one.

Anyway, I'm the awful one who still took him to swimming lessons to get out of the house because he wasn't actively sick and just seemed tired.

Messy, wet hair. I've been meaning to highlight for weeks now. I have the kit. I just need a 90 minute window of "free" time. 

3.    It's halfway through August and I haven't glanced back at my August goals (and I'm not going to) for fear of impending failure. However, I had some time the other day, so I pulled out the baby calendar and started putting in pictures and adding some finishing touches. Moreso just to get the pile of artifacts for "baby book" off of my desk.

4. In case you missed it, I shared books last Tuesday and I'm highlighting this because I made a particularly crazy effort to work through my library holds list in July... and guess how much I've read since last weekend?

Zero. I don't actually if I'll finish this book that is due tomorrow. I'll probably at least try because it's not terrible.

Also, a craft.

5. BIP.

I thought Dean came back as a great example of "least desirable person ever" because he lives in a van and bathes in lakes and now he looks like his dad.

Obviously Caelynn was excited to see him.

She's the worst. That's what I learned this week. Also, Hannah G. is likely the most passive and sneaky out of all of the cast.

That's all off the top of my head...actually, let me look for my notes because, sadly (so, so sadly), I did jot a few things down...

Caelynn- the worst
Cam- ugh. He's the male Annaliese, but Annaliese is at least smart enough to glom onto someone else in time for a rose...usually.
Chris B. and Katie- <3 p="">Kristina- move on
Hannah G.- complicit just like Caelynn
Dylan- clingy but still...Hannah is complicit in causing her own problems

As well as...Demi is in this for attention and fame 100% and Nicole is fine but her storyline isn't as interesting as she wants it to be.

And that's pretty much it.

Here's to Monday.

August 14, 2019

DIY Framed License Plate

I don't even know if that's a good title for this, but the picture speaks for itself.

Many military families keep their home state residency and keep their vehicles registered in that home state. Scott went all in with Alaska and I did too, I suppose. It wasn't permanent but it was our life. We've pretty much adopted the lifestyle and community of wherever we've lived. We've never actually lived on an army base. We just rent or buy off-post and kind of dig in to wherever we happen to be. I found this was especially true for me when it came to working and being a part of the local school district.

So when we moved to Alaska, we became Alaska residents and registered our vehicles with the state of Alaska. When we moved to Missouri and bought a new car and truck, we registered them with Missouri. When we moved to Colorado, we re-registered them with Colorado. When we sold the truck and bought a bigger truck in Wyoming, it was a Wyoming truck.

This means, basically, that we have a collection of license plates in a box and I'm going to do something crafty with them one day. Especially because Alaska has a multitude of different plates/designs/colors, so I have like three different ones from just there.

We bought our truck in Laramie in March 2018 and, did you know, that they register every single truck in that county with a number and our number was 867. Meaning, it was truck number #867 in Albany County.

In fact, when we tried to renew it, they wouldn't let us because we don't have active duty military orders to Wyoming any longer. They also asked if we could send the plates back. I'm pretty sure Scott told them where to go. Of course, Colorado wouldn't let us renew our trailers there either so it's probably not just a Wyoming policy.

So, we registered our truck with Alaska since we are residents there, and plan on also registering our SUV there when the time comes next year.

When Wells was born (at the only hospital) in Laramie, I asked how many babies they deliver each year (because I was pretty sure Ft. Carson was like 12 a day). They told me 250-300. Which means, there's probably less than a 1,000 babies born in Wyoming a year, I would guess. They are the state with the lowest population, after all.

I figured him having this Wyoming license plate was pretty unique, and it's a pretty unique-looking plate to begin with. I decided to craft it into something for his room.

(We actually have another plate too, because most states have a front and back plate, so we have doubles for our collection when I actually get around to displaying it.)

I googled "how to frame a license plate".

I bought a shadowbox frame and they were buy-one-get-one-free so now I need to make something else. 11x14 is the best bet for this dimension. I had to google "dimensions of license plate" when I was in Michael's and they're 6 x 12 inches, FYI.

I hot-glued the license plate to the back. This Wyoming plate was super light compared to other states' plates, so a basic craft hot glue gun might not work on every license plate.

Let it dry, maybe putting something heavy on top to seal it down for a few minutes.

The little circular mark is from the push pin it had in it originally. I'm hoping it just goes away. I was able to cover the other one with the plate.  

Put it back together.

For some reason, I thought this would be a lot more difficult than it was!

While this won't work for every military kid (you know, if you don't have a license plate), it's kind of a fun idea to pay a homage in some way to the state where they happened to be born.

 I feel like I'm going to be spending a lot of time collecting Wyoming-ish things for Wells!

August 13, 2019

Books in 2019 (#6)

I'm doing something a little different this month. I'm pulling my IG stories into this post, just to show what I thought of the books in real time. If you want to follow in real time, find me here!

Basically, reading for me this year has been up and down: some months I am overly-motivated and some months I barely make it through a book.

July was a motivated month.

BUT since this month's SUYB link-up is pretty much in the middle of the month, I'm going to just include what I've read in the beginning of August as well.

And I'm feel particularly unmotivated when it comes to reading at the moment. I'm in the middle of a pretty good book but it's the last in my current library stack and it's not due until 8/20 and it's verrrrry possible that I'll drag it out til then.

TL; DR: A Hundred Summers was probably my favorite.

Also, if you are new here, I DNF books a lot and I almost never feel bad about it. So for the amount of books I completely in the last month, 4 DNFs is about right.

And all of these books came from the local library, one half mile from my house, except for the NetGalley ARC.

The Wife by Alafair Burke

I enjoyed it. It was better than "passed the time just fine" but not quite where I couldn't put it down.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Looking back, I felt bored. I skimmed a lot. It was a good story (so, 3 stars), it was well-written (3 stars), but it just didn't flow or make for easy, enjoyable reading. I can't really describe it better than that. It tried too hard to be literary? 
And oh my gosh, the baseball. I don't do well with books that focus on sports. I'm positive this is why I didn't like Beartown (I don't care what you say: it WAS about hockey). 

The Forgotten Hours by Katrin Schumann

I DNF'd this a month ago-ish and I barely remember what it's about. I do remember the Goodreads reviews saying a lot about how the main character was really unlikeable. 

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Circe by Madeline Miller

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

I loved The Last Mrs. Parrish. I couldn't put it down. It was so twisty.
With this book, I kept thinking, Surely this is so boring because there's going to be a twist. I will keep going.
There was no twist. It was just boring. Kate was privileged and unlikeable. So was Blaire. I cannot believe that the same sisters who wrote Mrs. Parrish also wrote this. It was awful.

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson (Netgalley ARC)

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I couldn't get on board. As you'll see below, I've had it with "quirky girl" characters and the main character's trope of always having bad luck while having a twin who had all the good luck was just eh. Also, as I say for another book below, if it's a romance and I'm not on board with the characters immediately, I don't care about the story. I felt like this story was a plot constructed of 3 or 4 misunderstandings just waiting to collapse on each other. 

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary


What was the best book you've read lately?

Linking up with Jana and Steph!

August 12, 2019

Summer Weekend #8

Consider me the world's worst documenter, though I have 9 years of blogging to show for it, because I hardly took any pictures this weekend. It was hot (though not really, I'm just ready for fall), we were outside, and I was in a mood. I can't even describe it, really.

But anyway, Saturday we went for a walk with the dogs and then to the zoo.

I accidentally dressed him in all Denver Broncos' colors. In Colorado, I'd have been horrified. Here, I realize it doesn't matter.

Against my better judgment, I ended up at Walmart because the list of things we needed on Sunday morning could only mean a trip to Walmart. I'll go somewhere else to grab some produce this week. All of their salads were going bad. 
Also, I got there at 9am and it was nice and quiet. By 9:30, the general population had made their way into the store. 
Next time, I'll go at 8:00. 

Since the weather was low 80s with no humidity, we went for a hike-ish kind of walk along some trail that's 70 miles long, but we only did a few miles. 

Honestly, this is the Pennsylvania I remember. It can be really beautiful as soon as you get away from the gobs of people in the cities. 

We stopped for ice cream because apparently this place is just "the best", but I wasn't overly impressed. Not much will replace Culver's Mint Oreo Concrete for me. 

He was verrrrrry upset when I stopped feeding him and we got in the car to go home. 

Oh, now I remember Friday night: we tried to grill pizza on the new grill and it didn't work and then we tried to grill naan and it caught on fire. 
We're trying steaks tonight. Fingers crossed.

August 9, 2019

5 on Friday.

I *meant* to have a craft post for you all yesterday because I did something crafty over the weekend but I didn't get around to taking pictures, so here we are: 5 things from this week.

1. Mostly, I've been so overtaken with sleep training the baby that I can't focus on anything else. It's been a process and I know it's going to take more time than just this week. I've been posting updates on IG stories, mainly for my own reference so I have it archived.

I think I changed his diaper at this point, hoping he'd just go back to sleep and I believe he did but only for an hour. I ended up rocking him for a bit. I know that sounds like I'm backsliding but his true comfort is a bottle and I know his teeth were bothering him, so rocking and patting was my compromise. 
Anything to avoid a bottle between 7pm and 7am!

2.  I made granola twice this week and a taco casserole that I thought was really tasty. I put queso on mine and ate nachos for dinner two nights in a row. I also used a brown rice/lentil mix that I had, so they were extra healthy. Also, I put corn tortillas on top instead of crushed chips just because I had them.


Speaking of food, I admit I have a lot of fun coming up with Wells' meals. I might do a post on this. 

4.  I was stuck at a standstill (like, some cars in park) yesterday so I snapped a picture.

This is Pittsburgh traffic. It's a clusterf*%$ free-for-all. There are no rules. If you just glanced at this from above, you'd probably assume it was that scene in TheWalking Dead where everyone was trying to get out of Atlanta.

In this particular spot, 3 lanes plus one merging lane are required to move into 1-2 lanes and there's a stoplight about 1/4 a mile ahead where two more lanes merge in from the left.

I don't recommend this place.

5. As for BIP...I have a lot more respect for Blake now that I know his IG handle is @balockaye.h . A sense of humor is totally appreciated. Also, we have a friend named Blake and that's what we call him. (True story: I had a student named Aaron one year and another kid called him A-A-ron and it led to a playground fight.)

And maybe Caelynn is a villain here? Did you read the texts? Or at least, as guilty as Blake? I've been deep-diving into Reality Steve's last few weeks of posts and it seems like this is an actual misunderstanding of language and intentions.  As well as, this is the prime example of why hook-up culture is so bad and awful for everyone involved.

As in, this all could have been avoided.

Also, Kristina: I used to really like her. It's unfortunate that she's become such a sell-out. I loved it when Cam asked her when she was from and she said Kentucky and he asked if she lived there now and she said she lives in Los Angeles and he said Of course you do. LOLOLOL

I like Cam.

Also, if my kid is going to share a name with anyone from this franchise, I'm glad it's the voice of reason:

August 7, 2019

Currently...August 2019

Ordering... new sippy cups. Exciting. I'm trying to cut off an almost-13-month-old when it comes to the bottle. While he's not particularly attached to a bottle and isn't one of those babies who refuses to fall asleep without one, he prefers to drink laying down. Actually, he only drinks milk laying down. He likes to do it himself but he only ever drinks his water (from the Munchkin 360) in his highchair. So in an effort to get rid of the bottle, I'm attempting to find the most bottle-ish sippy cups out there.

If you have ANY advice for bottle-weaning, I will take it!

Watching... The Enemy Within. It's on Hulu. It's actually pretty interesting and not *quite* as tropey as a lot of government/crime shows, and it has Deb from Dexter so we're giving it a shot.

Also, the BIP trainwreck of trash.

I don't actually watch at night because I hate commercials. 

Cooking.... last week, I put off grocery shopping for a few days because it's a hassle and I didn't have any potatoes to make my usual sheet pan dinner. Instead of potatoes, I used zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and gnocchi with the chicken sausage. I obviously could've done without a starch but I just kind of don't believe in no-carb meals. I didn't know if you could bake gnocchi, but since we have a pretty efficient gas oven, I figured now was the time to try. I don't know if it'd work in an electric oven, to be honest. Our electric oven in Laramie never roasted anything the way I wanted it to.

I roasted the cauliflower at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, then I added the sausage, broccoli, and zucchini for another 15 minutes and then I added the gnocchi with another drizzle of olive oil and tossed it around. 15 minutes later, it ended up crisping nicely. I covered it all in shaved parmesan and broiled it for a few minutes to finish it off.

Wondering... I'm actually wondering many, many things and couldn't even come up with a clear answer to this prompt. However, I wonder why people don't see this:

Savoring... I know 90% of the answers to this sentence starter will probably be along the lines of "savoring the rest of summer". Personally, I'm ready for summer to be over but winter in Pittsburgh is a special kind of hell, as I discovered during January and February...and March and April. Maybe it can just stay October for awhile.

But I AM savoring the fact that Wells is still in a 6-12 month playgroup and, though he's technically aged out since he's 12+ months, he's still a calm baby and not walking/running (i.e. destructive and traumatizing to the 8 month olds) so he gets to stay for a bit longer. Soon, it will be off to Toddler Time, but I'm not taking him there until he's fully able to walk and steady on his feet. Because they will plow him over, just like the did when he first joined this playgroup in February when he was 7 months and they were 11-12 months.

Linking up with Anne!