Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Winter Wonderland Weekend

There is something magical about NYC at Christmas. It's cold, the decorations are beautiful, and Rockefeller Center looks like a winter wonderland. The hustle and bustle of NYC gets a little crazy and you feel like you are on a roller coaster most of the time, but it's always so much fun.
As I sit here and write this on my last day here in NY/NJ, I think back on the past few days I have had here in this wonderful place.

Last night I went to see the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Not to mention that across the street was the Red Carpet premiere of Mission Impossible 2: Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes walked the red carpet and the paparazzi were all over the place. I just wanted to get into Radio City.
When the show started, it felt like I was dreaming. Was I really sitting inside Radio City watching this show?? Some people dream of the day they can do this, and I have the opportunity to enjoy all these great things now. Thank you God for all these things you have given me.
Besides seeing the Rockettes, my favorite thing we did this past weekend was go into FAO Schwarz. What an awesome place. Real toy soldiers greeting you as you walk in the door, stuffed animals galore, and every Madame Alexander doll you would want.

I will miss NYC, because this past weekend definitely has been a Winter Wonderland...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rosie the Elf

The Elf on the Shelf. The most amazing Christmas behavior plan and cutest idea ever invented. I have introduced this Elf to many families this year, I've held "Elf How-To" mini courses and given many ideas on where this Elf hides each night when it comes back from the North Pole.
Last night was one of the cutest experiences I have had with the Elf on the Shelf. This family has two kids, a boy and a girl, who are over the age of 7. They still believe in Santa, and really are in to this Elf. I introduced the Elf to them a few days ago, telling them that there is an Elf you can adopt from the North Pole, and the Elf watches over you during the day and then reports to Santa each night. When he comes back to your house before you wake up in the morning, the Elf is sitting somewhere in your house and it's your job to find him. BUT...don't touch him or he will lose his magic!
They were so excited to find two of their very own elves in the seats of the car when they went to school yesterday morning.
Last night, the kids and I named the Elves and "registered" them online through the North Pole. After they were officially adopted, I told them that they must carefully place the box they came in on the couch, opened, and the Elf would come out of it's box once they were asleep and report to the North Pole. I have never seen these kids go to bed faster in my life.
Their dad also bought a special skirt for the little girls Elf. I sure hope that Elf remembered to put it on...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pilates is the New Gymnastics

I am so excited to be starting Pilates! One of the moms I babysit for has been going to Pilates for years and has been trying to get me involved. I have seen Pilates done before back in my gymnastics days, and know I will be able to do a lot of the skills, but I was still not so sure. I have been out of gymnastics for years and my flexibility is far from what it used to be!
I have been putting it off for awhile now because not only will I have to find time for it in my already packed schedule, but I do not like trying new things alone. So what a perfect opportunity it was for me to go to their Christmas party and get a great look into what it is all about! While having a glass of wine, nibbling on tasty hor'dourves, watching demos, and mingling amongst the instructors and clients, I felt a lot more comfortable after seeing Pilates in action.
After the night was winding down, I signed up for my first private lesson! I can't wait...and I know I will now become addicted to this world known as Pilates!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Love One Another

I remember when I used to teach Sunday school to a class of little toddlers. And a few years later, I moved to the infant room and sang songs about Jesus to these crying and smiling babies. I wasn't a good singer, but they didn't know this :)

Today I begin a new venture at church. I have been hired to be on the support team for the Special Friends ministry, a ministry of the church that guides children with special needs.
When I first started my job at The First Academy, I had no idea how my life would change. The doors that have been opened for me have been some of the best. And I thank God everyday for First Hope and the rewards it brings. So now, each Sunday morning I will teach bible lessons to children who just need a little extra care. "Love one another, as I have loved you" John. 13:34

Monday, October 24, 2011

A New Beginning...

It's almost time for the big move! I am so excited to have my own house, well I don't actually own it, but It's mine for the time-being!
Having all this extra room is great, and I am looking forward to making the little house in the backyard into a gym for me and my friends to work out for FREE! How cool is that?! I also have an extra bedroom for all of my scrapbooking stuff, and also a place for friends & family to stay over.
The kitchen is now over there and finished up, I planned on packing my clothes and bringing them over yesterday, but with this sickness that popped up out of no where, it didn't happen. So I guess it will all have to get done Friday. Saturday, everyone is coming over to help with the big furniture (the hard part) and then I am in for good! I will be so close to downtown, and so much closer to everything else that I do, including work. What a relief!
This weekend is going to be crazy. I am taking Friday off of work so I can get a head start with the moving, Saturday is the rest of it, Sunday is the CKF kids party all day and then another event that night, phew! I think I am ready for this...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone?

It's been a while since I've been blogging. It's always nice to get back into it. Lately I have been so busy with everything going on..trying to pack for the move in 2 weeks, teaching, babysitting, tutoring, hanging with friends, doing my own school work for grad studies, and watching too many episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
I need to do this more often though, because it is pretty theraputic, and from what I hear, people seem to read it!
Right now I'm babysitting the Georgoudiou kids, I can't believe how much Miller has grown. I still remember him as a little 3 year old who was always anxious and only wanted Miss. Mallory around. Not so much now, I am not the cool one anymore :)

I move in 2 weeks! I can't believe it and am so very thankful to the Krantz's for this house! I will have so much more room and able to have people over...and a nice kitchen! You take things for granted when you live in a house, and when you wind up in a small apartment, you realize it! I can't wait to make the little house in the backyard into a Gym. But that will happen in time.
That's all for now, check back soon!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Full Bucket

Each year at our school, our principal has a "Book of the Year". This year, our book theme is "How Full is Your Bucket?". You are probably wondering what I am talking about and every time I mention this to a non- co worker they look at me oddly. It is simple...

How many times a day do you feel down? Is it because of a situation with work? or a situation with a certain person in your life? How many times a day does someone come up to you and want to talk out their problems? And then the problem feels like your own? These situations are draining your "bucket". Don't get me wrong, I love talking to people and helping them. Many people tell me I am a great listener :)


Do you ever get friendly notes or encouragement? A facebook post that made you smile? a phone call or text that brightened your day? This is all "filling" your bucket. I know with me, each day I feel drained at times and it is important that we help each other by giving encouragement or just giving them something to smile about. My hope is that whoever is reading this thinks about their "bucket". What does it feel like right now? Has anyone done anything to fill yours this week? Think about it, and do something in return for that person.

Here are the people that filled my bucket so far this week:
Tiffaney, Ryan, Kathy, Joe, Michelle, Erika, Johnny, Amna, Mamaw, and Dad.
I am thankful for each of you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When Summer Comes Around

Wow, what a summer it has been. I can't believe it is already time to go back into the classroom after a wonderful 2 months off. For the first time in forever I was able to take a few vacations. Going to New York City was so much fun! I can't wait to get back to that city, what an awesome place it is. Thank you Anna for everything and all our adventures for the few days I was up there :)
Last week, I went up to Nashville to see my dad and family. We also drove to Atlanta to see my aunt, uncle and cousins. It was so nice to get to hug on my sister and TRY to put bows in her hair...this is what she will always remember of me, a sister who bothered her to fix her hair and clothes! haha I sure do miss Michael and Cathryn, and of course my dad too. I hope it won't be too long until I get to see them again. But until then, it's time to re-group and get ready for the start of another school year...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Big Apple Adventure

This week I am teaching Vacation Bible School at Delaney. The theme this year is the Big Apple Adventure, New York City!
It's bittersweet as I am there with a lot of my old co-workers, parents and students. I am having so much fun teaching these children about Jesus and the kids are great. We have a group of children from Restore Hope Orlando who are coming to VBS and I have about 10 of them in my class. They are in a program for underprivileged children in the downtown area of Orlando. These children come from homes in one of the worst areas in our city. What a joy it is to see these children find hope in God's word as they sing and memorize their Bible verses. We all are having an awesome time!
Snack and recreation time! Today the kids enjoyed NYC taxi cabs made out of cake and candy!

Taylor and Theron. Taylor has grown up so much since being in my class over a year ago!

My Amanda. She is a chatty little thing, and has kept me on my toes since the day she walked through my classroom door. Not much has changed since :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sugar is Sweet

This past week I babysat ALOT. So when Friday came around, we wanted to do something fun while the boys were off at baseball. We found this candy making kit in one of the bedrooms while we were on a quest to cure the boredom. I never knew how fun it would be! We started by asking everyone in the house what kind of candy they wanted from our "Candy Factory". We got all of our ingredients together while I boiled the corn syrup and water to make lollipops, melted the gelatin powder for gummy bears and mixed together some sour powder candy!

Corn syrup and water is all it takes to make lollipops, the key is getting it to the right temperature to mold into the right form. This process took the longest.

All of the ingredients were ready and in the cups! Watermelon, Grape and Raspberry flavoring, Citric Acid, Gelatin, and Sugar.

Prepping the lollipop ingredients was tricky because of the thick and gooey corn syrup. We had a sticky mess! The end result was definitely impressive. I had never made lollipops before from scratch and it sure is a lot fun! Let's just say they didn't last too long...dad ate them all :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Adventures of Summer!

I am so glad summer has arrived. I am definitely in need of a break, even though I'm not really getting a break from anything but my actual workplace for 2 months! I am still babysitting everyday and I am on the go almost 24/7. Now begins a summer adventure of being on the go! Yesterday the kids and I tackled the Florida heat and headed to Downtown Disney to have lunch at TREX. This restaurant has the same owners as Rainforest Cafe, so they are very similar. TREX is just filled with dinosaurs and they have much better food! We dug for fossils, found a great crystal making science experiment, and the kids snacked on dino chicken nuggets :) It was a fun filled day.
I sit here now in a hotel at Disney chatting with a 5 year old about her day at disney while her brother ignores us as he plays his DS. She is in awe of the glitter all over my eyebrows and my unattractive purple painted fingernails. I guess the makeover I had earlier in the day was a hit!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eating Around the World!

So my friend Amy and I have been on a quest to "Eat around the world"...Epcot style! We started this ongoing adventure each time she visits Florida, which is quite often.
Our first stop was San Angel Inn, in lovely Mexico! We had enchiladas, and some yummy chips and salsa. Our second trip was to Rose and Crown in England for fish and chips. We stayed clear of the "mushy peas" that were offered as an appetizer, no thank you.

Last night, we made it to Japan! Teppan Edo is pretty hard to get into within a normal time slot, so when I saw they had an opening, I was excited. This hibachi style restaurant is similar to Kobe's without 5 lbs of food being put on your plate, and I always love getting their edamame for an appetizer :)
Who knows where we will end up next. I hear France calling...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not Your Average Boring Fish

So each time I make this scrumptious dinner, I get requests on how I make it. So here it is! My favorite Tequila Lime Tilapia...

I shop at Whole Foods for all my seafood and meat. So while browsing the fish counter one day, I see this array of spices by Bill Barron's All Natural. The guy behind the counter was telling me how awesome the Tequila Lime one was, so after putting a few in my cart, I added this one too. Well he was right on! This stuff is YUM! Especially on fish and chicken.

I like to buy fish fresh, not frozen, and then I come home and freeze it myself until I need it, which is usually only a couple of days. This is All Natural Tilapia from Whole Foods fish counter.

Before putting your fish in the skillet, use olive oil for non sticking. I use both of these

Evenly sprinkle the Tequila Lime seasoning all over the fish, on both sides. Set the skillet to medium high and as soon as its hot, put in the fish. Turn the temp down to medium and cook 3 minutes on each side

and Viola! It's done! I like to have yellow rice with this but your side items are up to you :) Happy Eating...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fighting the Coupon Battle

This past weekend, I was able to attend my friend Hayley's coupon class. She started this whole coupon thing about a year ago, and I am amazed how much money she saves. Now, I don't want to be an extreme couponer like the people on that show, who buy 60 bottles of mustard and then empty the candy bar shelf because they get it for free. Who uses all that mustard or needs all that candy?? I also have a VERY hard time couponing because of the way I eat. There are RARELY coupons for organic products or healthy foods in general. I have found some, but it's not going to save me that much money. I am listing below some foods I buy on a regular basis, and if you have any suggestions on how to coupon these items, I would love to hear it!
I grocery shop weekly, and go to both Publix and Whole Foods.

At Whole Foods I buy all my meat and most dairy. I buy organic meat/milk on a regular basis:
Fresh Fish (Tilapia)
Fresh Chicken
Fresh Shrimp
Horizon fat free organic milk
Rudy's Bakery organic bread
Annie's Homegrown mac and cheese
365 organic butter
Stoneyfield Farm organic yogurt
Whole Foods Market whole wheat pasta
Lucinda pasta sauce
365 organic frozen vegetables
*I also buy most of my snacks here, I try my best to stay away from hydrogenated oils. It's very hard to do that when trying to find snack foods at Publix, because most everything has hydrogenated oils in it. Back to Nature, Annie's Homegrown and Late July are a few of my favorite natural/organic brands.

So, here you see my problem I have with being able to coupon! But that's ok, because I love where I shop and the food that I eat :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's Almost Summertime!

It's been a while since I've blogged. I need to get back in the groove of this, because blogging makes me happy!
What a whirlwind these past few months have been, from teaching to tutoring full time, I haven't had time to do much of anything! Now that the kiddos have flown off to Vegas, I have my first "break" this week, no more reading over and over and doing multiplication and division facts for hours with two grumpy children :)
This is our last week of school at First Hope until we are out for the summer. It's such a strange feeling not to be planning summer camp for Delaney like I have been the past 4 years. I will actually have a summer break besides some babysitting I'll be doing. I can't believe this school year is already over...Time sure does fly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Now, Always and Forever

Well It's been awhile since I have written. Not much has changed here besides I'm too busy to even think straight! I am sitting here listening to a song that I have had on repeat for 2 days. I'm not sure why I can't stop listening to it, but I find it comforting and peaceful. Hallelujah by Heather Williams. I can listen to this song over and over and am fascinated by how much peace God brings to my life. I want to share a part of this song that really speaks to me-

On my knees here I fall
in spite of it all
And though it seems hard
I'm still trusting you Lord

I will always trust Him. Now, always and forever.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Little Thoughts

Whole Living magazine is one of my favorites. I love their articles on healthy whole foods and supplements. They also have a feature in each issue, 10 Thoughts on Whole Living. I love reading these little positive thoughts, they just make you feel good. Here are a some of my favorites from the current issue:

Make this the year you follow through

Other people may have opinions about where your life is headed, but only you have the power to prove them wrong.

Seek out foods that sustain, nourish, and warm you.

Creativity goes beyond sheer artistry, it takes courage to express your feelings.

An ending doesn't have to be sad. It's the only way to begin something new.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 In a Nutshell

In 2010...

I made new friends, broke my precious macbook, bought a new macbook, helped friends make a better life for themselves, moved out of home, went to the funeral of my Aunt, watched my cousins cry in pain from losing their mother, started graduate school, My friend Anna moved across country to California, had a broken heart, left a job that I absolutely loved to begin my real teaching career, missed my Delaney friends terribly, began teaching at The First Academy, turned 26, babysat A LOT, learned that change is very hard, spent the month of October in Halloween chaos, started selling Thirty One Gifts, became more obsessed with monogramming, and the list goes on...

Let's just say 2010 was a hard year. A lot of change and heartache made me stronger. I am looking forward to what 2011 has to bring, and what God has planned for me this year!