Five Friday Faves

Despite the fact that this week has kicked my butt, I definitely wasn't running short on favorite things!  The weekend is finally in sight, and aside from my hair appointment, we have no plans at all which will be joyous.  I can't wait to relax with CAhusband and enjoy some of the beautiful weather we've been having. 

Here are five of my favorite things this Friday....
1. Silk Boat Blouse from J.Crew
This is definitely my favorite new purchase of the season!  I love the color and the cut, and absolutely cannot wait to wear it here in a few weeks once the temps allow it.  If you can still find it in stock, I highly recommend you grab this blouse, it's perfection!

2. Favorite New Blog
Puttin' on the GRITS tweeted about this fantastic blog earlier this week, and I'm so glad she did.  I'm in love with absolutely everything on Life in Grace, and simply can't stop drooling over her awesome home.  It's bright and cheerful, and full of the most perfect details.  I'm tempted to pin every picture, but think I'll just continue to stalk her blog instead. 
3. Halloween
Although we aren't attending any parties this year, and our decor was seriously lacking, I love a good excuse to celebrate.  The kiddos have a special dress day at school today, which is always entertaining, and we'll have an afternoon full of fun Halloween activities.  Plus, who doesn't love a holiday that gives you a good excuse to stock up on candy?

4. Honeycrisp Apples
These apples are definitely one of my favorite things about fall.  We've been buying them by the dozen at Costco, and are snacking on them constantly.  I hate that the season for them is so short (at least around here), but I'll definitely be enjoying them as much as I can until then!

5. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer
I have insane dark circles, so concealer is definitely my best friend.  I tried every brand out there, but my newest find, might also be my favorite.  It's applies so easily and has great coverage.  Plus, you can get it at the drug store, which means it's nice and inexpensive! 

What are your favorite things this Friday?

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Wednesday Morning Ramblings

So that blogging rut doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon....  I do have a few ramblings that might be worth sharing though.

This Madewell Melodymaker Dress is currently at the tip-top of my wish list.  I absolutely love the color, and am currently using up all of my willpower to not purchase it.  Isn't it perfect?

My hair appointment is Saturday, and although I'm tempted to go both shorter and darker, I have a strong feeling that I'm going to chicken out and only do one of the two.  I feel like my hair could use a serious break from the damaging highlights, so I'm thinking that going darker with just a normal trim might win out... I'll let you know!

I'm currently loving these adorable pumpkins my kiddos created for their Trick-or-Treat book reports.  This at home project was a huge hit with their families, and the end result was great.  Telling your kids that they get to decorate a pumpkin resembling the book character after they completed their book report was a huge bonus for them!  (FYI for you teachers: I purchased Hope King's project on TPT for ideas and then tweaked it to fit the needs of my students. I highly recommend this project.)

CAhusband's current project at work has him working nights this week.  I hate that we've only briefly seen each other in passing this week, but most of all I hate that our dogs will not sleep through the night without him here.  They are definitely being great guard dogs, and I suppose it's cute that they're being a little overprotective since he's gone, but ..... IT.IS.GETTING.OLD!

I hate that I've been reading the same book since school started, and am nowhere near finishing it.  At this point I'll be lucky to finish it by the end of Christmas break!  I hate that school and new TV have derailed my frequent reading.

It's less than a week until Halloween and I never added to our holiday decor or painted the pumpkins I wanted to.... maybe next year I'll do a little better, time definitely got away from me this year.

I have recorded every single episode of The Chew since it premiered because I want that goat cheese and rosemary mac and cheese recipe that Carla mentioned in the teasers over the summer.  They haven't showed it yet, and I'm starting to think the recipe just doesn't really exist! 

All of this Jessica Simpson baby bump news really makes me long for the Newlyweds days.  Someone on Twitter (I can't remember who) said they secretly hope she's carrying Nick Lachey's baby, and I couldn't agree more.  Even though they split forever ago, I still miss them together.  Also, she's clearly preggo, so I don't know why the announcement hasn't come out yet.  She's not fooling anyone!

We'll be home in Indiana for Thanksgiving 4 weeks from today, and Christmas is now less than 2 months away.  Let the countdowns begin!

Again, I apologize for the blogging rut, but thanks so much for sticking with me! 
I hope you're all having a great week!

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Our Reilly Painting

For CAhusband's birthday in August I got him a custom dog painting of our beloved boxer, Reilly! 

When we were in Indiana last July, we stumbled across an art showing that featured several local artists that do custom pet paintings, and grabbed the business cards of our favorites.  Our goal was to one day get one for Piper and Reilly.

Our walls are completely bare, and CAhusband didn't have much on his birthday wish list, so I decided this would be the perfect gift.  I don't think I know anyone who loves their dog like CAhusband loves Piper and Reilly, so I knew this was a gift he would appreciate.

I dug out all of the cards we'd saved, and decided on Mad Lab Studios out of Indianapolis.  I sent over several pictures of Reilly so he could get a good idea of her personality and features, and Jim, the artist, responded with a request to use this picture as his inspiration.

When we first moved to California, Reilly was fascinated with the swimming pool in my parents back yard.  We spend many weekends at their house, and Reilly was constantly in the water.  She would jump in from all sides, and would even swim under water to get a toy.  CAhusband would put these goggles on Reilly quite frequently for fun, and this is definitely one of my favorite pictures of her! 

I was thrilled when Jim chose this picture, and CAhusband loved the idea of using it as the inspiration because we will never forget how much Reilly loved to swim!

Our 12 x 12 painting arrived this week, and we are in love with it!  It turned out perfectly, and we couldn't be happier that I chose Jim of Mad Lab Studios!  CAhusband absolutely loves it, and can't wait to place an order for Piper's painting soon.
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A Day in the Life

Although this isn't exactly riveting blog material, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of a day in my life!  I have a feeling that one day I'll look back and this and will probably laugh about how silly I once was when I thought my life was busy.

Anyway, here's how my Monday went....

5:00 AM Alarm Goes Off... SNOOZE!

5:10 AM My alarm goes off again, and I actually get up. I hop in the shower, which happened to be freezing cold this morning... not good!

5:30 AM After my shower, I got dressed.  I then fed the dogs, ate my breakfast, and then browsed the Internet while watching the news. This morning I had Apple Jacks... YUM!  This is definitely my favorite part of the morning. 

5:50 AM I blow dry my hair... this would be my least favorite part of my morning!

6:00 AM CAhusband and I walked the dogs together.  I love this time where we can just chat about our upcoming day.  Unfortunately, Piper got off her leash this morning and gave us quite a scare.  It definitely didn't make for a relaxing morning walk.

6:15 AM CAhusband leaves for work, and I finish getting ready!  I straighten and curl my hair and do my makeup.  Yup, that's another summery outfit you spy.... it was 100+ AGAIN! 

6:45 AM I tidy up around the house and pack my lunch for the day.  I usually take left-overs or a Lean Cuisine, plus some fruit.  I like to either have a cheese stick or granola bar for a snack, so I keep those stocked at school! 

7:00 AM I put Piper in her kennel, give the dogs their treats, and head out the door for work!  I take no less than 3 bags to school each day: the orange leopard one is insulated for my lunch, my purse, and my school bag that I take papers to grade back and forth in.

7:30 AM I arrive at work!  I check my school email, and prep for my day. 

7:55 AM The school day starts with our Morning Assembly in the gym!

7:55 AM-12:00 PM Morning with My 2nd Graders
-Monday mornings we have Chapel! 
-We then covered reading, grammar, word work, and math throughout the morning.
-I get a short 15 minute break while the students have recess each morning.

12:00-12:50 PM  Lunch! Today I had Lean Cuisine spaghetti, and just enjoyed relaxing with my colleagues! 

12:50-3:00 PM  Afternoon with My 2nd Graders
-I read aloud from a chapter book to my class after lunch.
-We made our October tasty treat of Spider Pudding Pies, and then wrote about them.  This is a great idea I found from Sunny Days in Second Grade, you can buy her Tasty Tuesday Writing Program here.
-We then covered the next lesson in our Social Studies chapter.

3:00 PM The school day ends, and the kiddos go home! 

3:15 PM I got some work done around the classroom.  I hung some artwork and writing in the hallway and responded to some emails.

4:00 PM I left school, and head home!

4:30 PM I got home!  The first order of business is always changing into come comfy clothes!  Yoga pants and a t-shirt, followed by a ponytail, and washing off my make-up is always the first thing I do!  I then finished watching the RHNJ finale from Sunday while working around the house a bit.

5:15 PM I fed the dogs dinner and then relaxed on the couch to watch The Good Wife and browse the Internet!

6:00 PM CAhusband gets home and I get back to work.  I sorted and filed some mail, paid a few bills, and printed off some recipes to file in my Recipe Binders
6:30 PM I popped an already made casserole in the oven, then CAhusband and I took the dogs for their evening walk while it cooked. 

7:00 PM We ate dinner while we watched the nightly news.  Yes, I admit, we rarely eat dinner at the table.  Tonight we had Blue Eyed Bride's Bow Tie Fiesta!

7:30 PM We quickly cleaned up dinner, and then caught up on some DVR while I graded some papers. I attempted to make a dent in the pretty large pile of papers I'd accumulated since I avoided grading all weekend.

9:00 PM I pick up around the house, and then get all ready for bed. 

9:30 PM  Lights out, time for bed!  We go to bed super early because our early wake up comes way too quickly, and we both require a FULL night of sleep!  I fall asleep quickly, and we'll be up tomorrow at 5 AM to do it all over again!

So, there you have it, there's a little sampling of what my typical day looks like. 
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Odds and Ends

I've pretty much got nothin' when it comes to blogging material these days, but I was able to pull together a few odds and ends to share with you! 

-Adele's Someone Like You has to be one of the most heartbreaking songs I've heard in a long time.  I absolutely love the song, but it also makes me sad every time I hear it. 

-Is it weird that I look forward to some of my Bravo shows ending even though I love them?  I really need to free up my DVR a bit, so the fact that the end of Most Eligible Dallas and RHNJ are ending oddly makes me kind of happy.

-Speaking of RHNJ, how awful did this season make Teresa look?  I used to actually kind of like her, but she's just a mess.  I'm so glad that Carolyn and Jacqueline are finally seeing her for her true self, just like we are.  I would have never guessed that I would end up liking Joe and Melissa, but I really did. 

-I can't seem to find a good fall candle that isn't way too strong! I had a delicious pumpkin cheesecake candle last year that was perfect without being too much, but can't find it anywhere this year. If you have any yummy fall-like candles, please pass your recs my way!

-My hair has been permanently stuck at shoulder length for about 3 years now despite my best efforts to grow it long!  Now that it's fall, I've had it and am really tempted to chop it and go a little darker.  I'm thinking about taking 2-3 inches off, and going back to my roots with just a few highlights.  This Olivia Palermo photo is what I'm thinking for my color inspiration.

-I'm thrilled that I already have my Christmas cards purchased, but the problem about getting an acceptable photo is definitely starting to cause me stress.  I've found a local photographer for super cheap that is willing to literally come just until we get one acceptable photo, but I feel like that's a very weird thing to do for the 2 of us with our dogs.  I just know that using our point and shoot camera on a timer will be disastrous, but also know my husband will hate the idea of having someone come take it.

-I want to get some pumpkins to decorate our mantle with this weekend.  I really want some white ones, but there aren't any pumpkin patches very close by, and I haven't seen any at the store.  I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that I can maybe find some at the Farmer's Market this weekend. 

-I love this printable I found on Pinterest!  I have the perfect white lacquered frame for it, and can't wait to add it to my pretty sparse Halloween decor!

-Tomorrow is Thursday, which means it is the most glorious day of my work week!  I have an insane amount of prep time on Thursdays, which usually allows me to get all of my planning and copying done for the entire week ahead.  I always feel so accomplished on Thursday afternoons, and the rest of the week is a piece of cake.  YAY!

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!

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Five Friday Favorites

I'm finally back with my Five Friday Faves!  I must say, blogging definitely hasn't been my strong suit lately, but I'm really trying to get back into the swing of things.

Here are my five favorite things this Friday....

1. Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine
This song has been planned for FFF for weeks now, but I just never got around to finishing my posts.  Luckily, I'm still obsessed with this song.  No matter how many times I hear it, it doesn't get old.  The video for this song could definitely benefit from some more Adam Levine eye candy, but the song is still perfection.

2. It's Below 100 Degrees!
Yesterday I got to wear a complete fall outfit: long sleeves, jeans, close toed flats, and..... A JACKET!!!  We've been below 100 degrees since Tuesday and it is glorious!  It's been sunny with a breeze these last few days with a temp in the low 80's. It's warming up into the 90's this weekend, but as long as it stays under 100 degrees, I'm thrilled! Given that we don't have humidity, it actually feels like fall.  YAY!

3. Apple Cider
It's finally apple cider season.... one of my favorites!  I've always loved to drink juice, but apple cider is the absolute best.  I hate it hot, but love a small glass of apple cider once a day.  YUM!

4. Pottery Barn Mercury Glass Pumpkins
I don't have a whole lot of fall decorations for around our house, but I bought 2 small PB mercury glass pumpkins last year, and a large one this year.  I love how they look, and have gotten several compliments on them.  I love that they aren't too Halloween-like, so they can definitely stay out until I switch to Christmas after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately I can't provide the link because they're sold out online!

5. 3-Day Weekend!
Although my weeks have been flying by pretty quickly, I'm thrilled that I've got a 3-day weekend this week!  I plan to get a ton done today, so that CAhusband and I can relax and have fun together the rest of the weekend.

What are your 5 favorite things this Friday?  Any fun plans this weekend?
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Who Made the Cut?

My enthusiasm for TV is nothing new on this blog, and I've already shared the 5 shows whose return I was the most excited about.  I'm now feeling compelled to share some of the new shows that made the cut and are set to record for the season!

I didn't have high hopes for this show, but recorded it because I've loved Emily VanCamp since her days on Everwood.  I'm absolutely in love with this show, and can't wait to keep watching.  If you haven't watched this show yet, I highly recommend you give it a chance.  The story is wonderful, and the mystery is definitely intriguing.  If you missed the first few episodes, I'm pretty sure you can watch them OnDemand or online!

Although I thought this show would be funny, I don't really like Will Arnett and can find Maya Rudolph to be a little much sometimes.  Given my issues with a few of the actors I really wasn't sure if I would be able to stick with it but, 3 weeks in I've loved every episode and definitely laugh our loud!  Maya Rudolph's character of Ava is still pretty annoying to me, but everything else makes up for it!

Such a cute show!  I love seeing how glamorous the airline business was back them, and am definitely intrigued by the 60's!  This show is no where near as slow as Mad Men, and definitely has me hooked!  I didn't see myself loving Christina Ricci nearly as much as I do, and the whole cast is just darling.

I'm still on the fence about New Girl, Ringer, and Hart of Dixie

I love Zooey Deschanel, and am thrilled that New Girl was picked up for a whole season, but I just think they're taking her character one step too far and she borders on annoying.  I'm going to stick with it, but hope they can keep the story entertaining.

I'm absolutely embarrassed to admit that I've watched Ringer and Hart of Dixie.  To be honest I just wanted to see what they were like and was certain I would hate them... wrong!  These shows aren't winning any awards, but the story lines have me hooked.  I'm going to watch a few more episodes to see how they go, but can't decide if they're really worth watching.  Please tell me I'm not the only person who is watching these CW shows??!?!

What new shows are you loving and hating this fall?

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This October

Is it just me, or did October just completely sneak up on us.  How in the world did September go so quickly?

I must say that I'm quite relieved that October is finally here!  We will now finally start to enjoy some cooler temperatures, and I'll get to embrace a few more pieces of my fall wardrobe. October also means a few more weeks of school under my belt, which equals less stress! 

Overall our month is actually pretty sparse, but I'm okay with that. I'm looking forward to the first full month of fall!

This October I/we will...
  • Try to root for our pathetic Purdue Boilermakers and Indianapolis Colts as much as I can!  Lord help them, they're both pretty awful.
  • Decorate pumpkins! I'm not a huge fan of carving them, but would like to paint some this year.
  • Enjoy CAhusband's company barbecue with friends/co-workers.
  • Hopefully go see The Ides of March!  I think this movie looks so good!
  • Find an apple orchard and go apple picking. 
  • Take some weekend bike rides!
  • Be jealous of everyone who gets to experience gorgeous fall leaves.
  • Drink insane amounts of apple cider.  I only like it cold, not hot!
  • Survive the week of Halloween at school!  This week rivals the craziness of few other weeks at throughout the year, and will require all of my patience.
  • Find a dress for a wedding in November.  I have a picture in my head of what I want, I'm just not sure it exists!
  • Clean out and organize our garage.
  • Use our pool a few more times before it gets too cool.
  • Try not to eat all of the Halloween candy before the trick-or-treaters come!
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Saying Goodbye Stinks!

6 weeks ago, I was absolutely ecstatic about my mom moving in with us.  My parents were moving to Virginia, and my dad had to go in August while my mom needed to stay here a little longer to get things taken care of.  I was thrilled that she was going to get to stay with us, but I had no idea how wonderful it would truly be.

I've had a heavy heart all week because I knew with each passing day, I was getting one day closer to my mom leaving.  I know this isn't fair, and I'm beyond excited for my parents and their new life in Virginia, but I can't adequately explain how close I've become to my mom over these past few years. 

Our farewell dinner last night!

Since we moved to CA a little over 2 years ago, we have lived within 5 minutes of my parents.  Aside from one of us being out of town, I don't think we've ever gone a week without seeing each other.  Although I know we will still both make the effort to visit each other, I will miss being able to call her at a moments notice to stop by.  I will miss walking the dogs together after school, working on our tans in the pool, my go-to movie partner for all chick flicks, and Sunday night family dinners at their house.

I know that I'm a big girl, and I can survive without my mom and dad right down the street.  I'm lucky to have a wonderful husband who does a fabulous job of taking care of me.  I'm just going to miss grabbing a drink with them on a Friday night, and our casual cook outs while watching football.

I've also decided that it's a must to have my mom visit during the first few weeks of the school year from this point forward.  As the year goes on, I become must less stressed, but long hours during the first month of school are a must.  Having my mom here was such a huge source of support during this stressful and hectic time of the year.  She walked the dogs for me each morning so I could sleep in a little longer, made countless yummy dinners, helped me clean the house, and was there to help me at night when I needed to cut out numerous game pieces for a spelling game.

More than anything I'm so thankful that I had my parents so close by for the last 2 years.  It has been wonderful to be able to spend so much time with them, and I know that's not something everyone can have.  I hope my parents both know how much I have truly cherished every spontaneous gathering.  I will never forget the years when my parents were our go-to friends for a fun night, they truly were our best friends here in the desert.

I know we'll all do a great job of staying in touch, but Virginia is just about as far from California as you can get, and that makes me sad.  I'm dreading the fact that now our absolute closest family members live in Indiana, when we'd gotten used to having someone just blocks away.  I am going to miss my mom and dad more than I can adequately express.

My mom and mother-in-law (who happen to be great friends) left this morning, and are currently driving cross country so my mom can finally reunite with my dad in their gorgeous new home.  I know it will be a wonderful new adventure for them, but I'm already counting down the days until I get to see them at Thanksgiving.

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