Monday, June 28, 2010

Bucket List update.

This is a re-post with a couple new additions to the bucket list.

A while back I was inspired by Kathy Griffin* to write a Bucket List.  In a wonderfully hilarious episode of "My Life on the D List" in which Kathy gets her mom to write a Bucket List, I figured I should make my own.  Through all of our moving, I have of course misplaced my written Bucket List.  I figured I'd publish what I remember and chronicle along the way as I mark things off.


  • Return to Cambodia with MPK:   My sister, MPK, is adopted from Cambodia.  My entire family ventured there the summer before my senior year in high school.  It was a life changing experience and I can't wait for the day that I get to take MPK back there and share that experience with her. 
 This is an older pic of MPK, she's now 9 years old!
  • Visit Columbia with MGK:  My other sister, MGK is adopted from Columbia.  She was adopted while I was in college and I didn't get to venture down for that two month trip.  I want to do the same for MGK and see where she was born.
 MGK in 2008; she is now about to be 7.
  • Visit California wine country:  D and I have never been to California at all.  We've heard wonderful things about wine country and are dying to go.  I mean what could be better than drinking wine all day?
  • Eat in one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants:  That's right.  D and I are big fans of Kicthen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, and other mildly entertaining Ramsay shows.  I have to eat at one of his restaurants before I die.
  • Travel to New Zealand
  • Travel to NYC  (I obviously have lots of places I want to travel)
  • Meet Lady Gaga:  I'm trying to put things on my list that are mostly attainable.  This may never happen, but I at least have to try.  I think about the influence Gaga has had on me over the past year, and I know she is someone I want to meet in person. to make this happen?
 One of my favorite Gaga pictures; Elle January 2010 photo spread
  • Own a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes: Just so I can sort of feel like I was once a character from Sex and the City.  Yes, they cost probably more than half of my wonderfully small teachers salary.  One day I will have a fabulous pair of heels that I will have nowhere to wear them to...

  • Buy a house:  Where?  Who knows.  When?  Who knows (except all I know is that I can't wait to upgrade from this little house).  We will though.  
  • See a Broadway show
  • Travel to every continent:  Well...I've marked off Europe, South America, and Asia.  I'd love to go back to South America and Asia with D.  So maybe I should amend this bullet to include "with D."
  • Run a half marathon:  Maybe I can eventually amend this to whole marathon...but let's don't get too far ahead of myself.
  • Become a teacher:  Working on this one.  I'm not technically going to cross it off until I am officially certified as a REAL teacher
  • Be in the audience for a taping of Ellen:  I love Ellen and her show.  I need to make this on a priority since you never know when shows will be pulled off the air.

  • Ride in a hot air balloon:  I am pretty afraid of heights.  I think I'd be totally scared doing this, but I think it would be  so special.  Hot air ballooning over Cali wine country?

  • Eat another Belgian waffle in Bruges, Belgium:  This was one of my favorite memories from our Europe trip.  I HAVE to go back and do it again.
 [My actual Belgian waffle...most amazing snack EVER.]
  • Volunteer in an orphanage:  I think that people can never really understand the extreme poverty and situations people live in in other countries unless they see it.  I want to see and experience this again.

  • Backpack Europe: Check.  June/July 2009.  And got engaged :)
  • Move out of Georgia: Check. March 2010.  ABOUT TIME.
...To be continued.

*I used to be a hater of Kathy.  After watching "My Life on the D List, I seriously could not get enough of her.  She is a lover of the GLBT community, her mother, Maggie, and all things related to being an attention whore.  Love her.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My two cents :: Weddings.

I tell my friends (and so D tells me), I have LOTS and LOTS of opinions.  Of course my opinions don't always mean much to anyone other than me.  I don't really care.  I would like to think that my friends know me well enough to take my opinions for what they are worth and listen to my blabbing.  They'll project their opinions just like I do, and it leads to a fun night...hopefully :)

So on to my opinions on...getting married.  Close friends reading this should already know these opinions.  I'm going to be blunt here.  If you don't feel like hearing them again...STOP READING.  I know so many people getting married right now, it is sort of ridiculous.  What's more ridiculous are the ones who have been married and are moving on to baby making (don't even get my started on that right now).  You should all know that D and I eloped.  Never ever ever would I change what we did.  Ever.  Now I get the whole deal about weddings.  You dream of them since you're little...blah's the one day about YOU...blah blah blah.  Here is what I know/think about weddings that I don't think brides-to-be get:

  • It's not a day all about YOU.  It can be all about you and your hubby-to-be if you elope.  But if you're going to throw some big fucking thing with 10 bridesmaids, it will NEVER be all about you.  No one tells this to little girls as they fantasize this "perfect" day.
  • It will not go perfectly.  No matter how much you plan, how much you pay someone to plan, nothing ever goes perfectly.
  • The whole ordeal is DRAMA.  Everyone thinks they know best.  Your family wants this, his family wants that.  You can't pick your own bridal parties because everyone wants his/her brother, sister, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, cousin, cousin's girlfriend, etc. in the party.'s not all about you.
  • It costs a lot of money.  A lot more than you think.  That "perfect" wedding you've envisioned probably costs $100,000.  Props to you if you're parents give you that budget.  Props to you if your parents can give you anything at all.  For the record, I maintain that if I would have had a larger budget from my parents I would have still opted to elope (maybe just been a bit more elaborate and went somewhere different).  Don't forget about all the wedding showers everyone has to bridal luncheons, brunches, rehearsal dinner, etc. etc. 
  • It is way more stressful than you thought.  I only planned a party and that was stressful.
  • It ends up being more socialization than partying.  Now, this is speaking from experience.  BUT this is not to say every wedding is like this.  I ended up spending the majority of my time talking to family and friends I had not seen in a bit.
  • Don't expect everyone to give up massive amounts of money and time (including days off work) just for you.  It doesn't show if they are a "true" friend or not...some of us gotta make that dough (and keep it)!
  • 95% of brides I've spoken to say they wish they would have eloped (after it's all said and done)...but no one could have convinced them prior.
  • At the end of the're going to be married!  Don't stress about the small stuff or planning everything down to a perfect tee.  
Everyone is different.  For us, it was much better to not rack up a ton of credit card debt to throw a party.  We were confident in reading our vows to each other in a more private setting.  Some people want to declare their love in front of others...that's ok.  Some people don't mind spending their or their parents' money on a one day event.  To each her own.  Eloping worked for us...and I get it doesn't work (or no bride dare wants to hear that) for everyone.  It just seems to me that most brides don't know what they are getting into when they decide to start planning an actual wedding.  They should refer to my list and life would be easier for brides and bridesmaids everywhere ;)

I can say with confidence that my day WAS perfect and I would never take a "real" wedding instead.

Click to zoom :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trying to occupy my mind.

D has been out of town again this week.  One thing that sucks when he leaves is that I tend to let myself go.  I've been working really hard to lose weight again.  Somehow I got back up (almost) to my dreaded weight.  It's actually pretty frustrating.  I haven't been eating the best, but I've been adding in working out.  That should have done something.  Anyway, I don't want to drone on about this (because I've been doing it a lot lately).  I'm back to strictly counting my calories (but last night out of boredom I ate an additional two bowls of cereal...gah!).  So I'm blogging in an effort to occupy my mind. 

I was pointed to The B.E.T.H. Approach by another blogger I follow.  She is an amazing story of weight loss, dedication, and confidence!  Her approach is a little to strict for me, but I still like her blog.  She recently posted a blog about some awesome things about losing weight.  For the record she has lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight.  I'm not aiming for a hundred by any means!  These are a couple of the cool things she mentioned:

2. Having fun and being daring with fashion. I'm wearing things that I wouldn't have thought possible a year ago.
5. Getting checked out and/or hit on. This happened when I weighed more, but not nearly as often as it does now. I'm not gonna lie. It's fun and an ego booster.
7. Feeling confident in a swimsuit.

These are certainly some motivators for losing weight.   I want to be able to look good in the rompers (I 'em or hate 'em) that are in!  And come on!  We all know there is no bigger ego boost than someone hitting on us (and then I get the pleasure of flashing the wedding ring!).  Don't get me wrong, of course that's not WHY I want to lose weight.  It's just a perk ;)  I definitely have not been feeling confident this swimsuit season.  I am committed (obv not that much with the two bowls of cereal??) to looking better in a swim suit.  Let's get this going!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer love.

My friends KD and CAP are coming this weekend to visit me in Raleigh!  I'm so excited!  I get to show them my new city and hang out.  I haven't seen either of them since the wedding celebration at the end of March.  I think we're going to make a day trip to the beach on Saturday.  We're all on a bit of a low budget and need cheap stuff to do.  Beach trips are cheap!  All you need is a $5 footlong, beer from the house (or cheap lite beer you can drink all day), sunscreen, and towels.  This may be one of the last times we really get to get together, just the three of us for a while.  CAP is planning her wedding in October and moving to Atlanta soon.  KD is getting ready to move, start a new job, and get married in Birmingham...almost 10 hours away from me in Raleigh :(  I'm glad we're going to get this last pow-wow.  I only wish they could stay longer...

[I think I'm going to take them to Kure Beach, NC]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beat the heat.

It's going to get hot this summer.  I think the high for today was in the 90s up in Raleigh.  I spent last Saturday at a local public pool...I know you cringe a bit.  Being the thrifty single lady (for the weekend since D is out of town all the time these days) I am, I packed up a bag with some towels, a Subway sandwich, magazines, and iPod.  I drowned out the squealing kids easily.  I had a fabulous Saturday relaxing, laying out, and cooling off in the pool.  And since I'm not down to my ideal swimsuit weight, I'd rather be surrounded by kids and moms than college kids judging me.  It got me thinking about what kind of swim suit I was to reward myself with after I shed some pounds.  I was checking out Antropologie and drooled over the majority of the suits.  I honestly can not pick just one of them that I want.

Designed by Mara Hoffman for Anthro.  Die.  Love this.  Realistically will not work on my body though with that tiny strap on top and likely unlined boob cups.  But LOVE the colors on this.  Ps. $98/piece...yikes.

So cute!  I die over the one shoulder.  And I love the bottoms...they fold down.  Same problem with the unlined tube-esque top...doubt it would work.

This on the other hand would most definitely support my boobs!  Not that I want to reward myself with a one piece...but if I was just throwing away money, I'd get 2 suits :)  Designed by Rachel Pally for Anthro

J crew suits on the other hand are probably more in my price and support range.  I got a couple of awesome suits from them last summer and love them.  They've one upped themselves this year with this

I think they designed it with me in mind!  OMG!  Underwire bandeau!  Love. Love. Love.  I HAVE TO HAVE THIS.  I'm fine with solids.  I need this suit!

I love the details on this one.  And it's tulle!

I've been dying for bottoms with a ruffle.

And while I'm laying out getting some sun...I want to have a couple of these in the freezer to keep me cool

Check out Design*Sponge for some delish Popsicle recipes to cool you off this hot summer :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


When we were planning our wedding party, I looked at so many ideas.  This is one of the cutest favor ideas I've seen:

Love.  We didn't have enough money to really do flowers at our party, but I'm loving all the bright flowers!  This was a "greenhouse wedding."  It was adorable.  Here's some more pics, but all the pics and story can be checked out at Design*Sponge

I love unique, patterned bridesmaids dresses!  I also LOVE the brides dress and how she totally made it unique with the black tights.  So cute.

What a cool cake!  And the minis.  The spread looks delicious.  I wish I could have been at this wedding!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

House I'm adoring.

I've mentioned before that D and I have been speculating buying a house within the next year or so.  We get these emails from a realty company now with houses in the Raleigh area that "match our search."  Sometimes I look at them, sometimes I don't.  It's almost become depressing due to the fact that we'd ideally like to live/stay in "central" Raleigh.  We picked up a flyer from a house for sale in our area the other day "just to see."  Holy shit...the listing was for $600,000.  Whoa.  Central Raleigh will not be happening for us with prices like that. 

Anyway...this house was on one of my emails today.

 I'm in love.  Check out the other pictures.

 Ah!  It has a finished basement, screened porch, adorable kitchen, hardwoods upstairs, a huge backyard.  I'm in love.  It's more northern Raleigh and probably a bit out of our price range, but I adore it.  You know, taking into consideration that I actually have not seen it in person.  That yard and screen porch totally sold me.  I could just see us adding on a deck and fencing in the yard ;)  I know...getting quite a bit ahead of myself.  We may not even be able to afford it and it may be way too far away from where we want to be.  It's definitely one of the best places I've seen thus far though.  Looking for houses can be fun ;)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer lovin...sweaters, blazers, and shoes.

Since I'm going to be broke this summer, I'm going to be recycling a lot of my clothes.  With everything we've had going on within the past year (Europe, eloping, wedding celebration, moving, etc.), I've been REALLY LOW on funds.  I feel like it's been forever since I've bought any fabulous new pieces for my wardrobe...including shoes.  When I get paid again in late August I'm not going to be able to go crazy since we're saving for more vacays and a house, but I've definitely got some wants.  Now that I'm a teacher, my wardrobe has to be primarily conservative and wearable for day and night since I'm on a budget.

Even though I control the temperature in my classroom, the kids are always complaining.  Since I stay cold, sweaters and cardis are necessities for school.  Love this neutral linen cardy by DKNY, $195.

I've been DYING for a blazer for about a year or so now.  Still have yet to invest in one.  I really want a one to layer.  They go with anything!  It's a perfect way to dress up skinny jeans and a tee.  More reasonably prices Bop Basics (shopbop), $198.  Oh and by more reasonably, I mean compared to this Smythe blazer at $555.

I die for these.  Since I stand and walk all day, flats are practically the most important necessity for teacher fashion.  I adore the summer suede and neutral color (maybe I need more color in my life?).  I imagine pairing them with a bright, casual dress like this:

Dress: T-Bags, $172; Shoes: KORS Michael Kors, $165

Now I LOVE Tory Burch ($150).  These are freaking adorable.  I doubt there is any chance they will ever be available come late August (shopbop only had size 8 and 9 left as of now).  But I want these SO BAD.  These are probably my favorite wants.  Since I doubt they'll be available, I'm hoping to try my hand with a pair of these Toms:

Cheaper at $69 and wedges so a bit more fun.  I need someone to tell me if they are comfy or not.  They'll selling out quick, but I figure they're more likely to restock than Tory.  I also think these green ones...

...would be super cute with a chic pair of jeans.

I'm hoping to be down in pound by the end of the summer so I can invest in some smaller sizes as well :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blogs I'm diggin.

Since I don't have the mind span to blog about life right now, I wanted to share some blogs that I've been loving lately.  I always look forward to posts on these blogs.  When I see a post from these blogs on my reader, I immediately click on them. 

Jen Loves Kev.

Jen is so fashion savy and adorable!  She posts practically daily, which I adore reading during my lunch breaks at school.  She posts her [almost] daily style files and is renowed in the fashion and blogging world.  Jen is now pregnant and is still rocking her awesome fashion!  I love how she blogs about fashion, food, and design.  She also has a cool etsy shop.

Pribbles and Prabbles

I love Emily's witty stories of bike riding, losing weight, and generally being awesome.  I look up to her because she rides her bike to work everyday, she loves to eat, and she's super in point:



I posted this pic so you can note Sarah's AWESOME tattoo.  Adore.  Her blog is the perfect combo of fashion, decor/design, food, and all things just beautiful (see: lots of gorg pics).  Her eye for all things creative inspires me.  Oh and her love for her doggie :)

Check these ladies out :)  They're awesome.

Friday, June 4, 2010

School's out...almost.

I've been thinking about how I write a lot about the bad days at school.  It's not often that I write about my students, why I love teaching, and general relfections.   It has been a difficult couple of months, and I've let the negative, hard days outweigh the rewards of teaching.  It's unfortunate.  I will really miss [some of] these students next year.  I've been reading a couple of teaching blogs, and of course a great amount of literature for my college courses.  I think a large aspect of my struggles this year can be contributed to the fact that some of the students lost respect for me.  It was so hard coming into the school year mid-way and then trying to teach the students how/what to study for the standardized test but not knowing it myself.  Since I didn't teach them the entire year and don't have educational backgrounds in math or language arts, I struggled.  I also, part unintentionally, part giving up, let them get away with so much.  Due to these and other reasons, I haven't really had the breakthroughs I may have hoped for.

BUT I'm not giving up!  I know these students and myself can be a team and be successful.  I've been brainstorming about how I can do things differently next year.  I've been thinking up activities to kickstart the year.  I want to really instill LEARNING in my students...not just memorizing for a test.  I want to incorporate how we can relate the subjects to real world life and jobs.  I'm in somewhat of a weird position being a new "lateral entry" teacher.  I really hope I'm offered the ability to have my own classroom and not co-teach with another teacher.  I hope that I have the opportunity to continue teaching Language Arts and hopefully Math.  I struggled with Math this year, but I have some great ideas about making it better next year. 

I've been thinking a lot about teaching high school.  I think if we move and/or I ever start looking for another teaching opportunity, I would be much more open to the idea of teaching in a high school.  Here's to the summer, but here's to a new beginning! 

TGIFuck you Friday.

Sorry for the explicit title...but not really? Today was the first
day I had a moment of just hating being in a new place really without
any friends. D has been out of town and it's starting to take it's
toll on me. It's been an extremely stressful week and I feel like
I've had no one to vent to. I get to look forward to chaperoning an
8th grade dance and doing school work this weekend. My kids beat me
up emotionally today. I'm beating myself up emotionally. I can't
keep complaining if I don't change things for myself. I control my
own destiny. But I'm allowed to have a really down day, right?

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yummy desserts.

I haven't posted about my amazing, relaxing, long Memorial weekend.  I suck the most at taking pictures.  I didn't get many, but I'll try to remember to tell about that later.  What I do want to tell about are how I am loving making easy desserts recently.  I know, I know...that is terrible for healthy eating for D and I.  I can't help it!  I'm not really a baker, so I take the easy way out.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried my hand at this dessert from the blog, A Year of Slow Cooking.  If you're too lazy to check out the link, it's a Peanut Butter Cup cake cooked in the Crock Pot.  Omg.  This was one of the easiest, fully homemade, desserts ever.  It was absolutely delcious.  I'm too lazy/short on time to type up the recipe here.  Click the link and it'll take you.  You probably have most of the ingredients on hand, even if you aren't a baker.  Try it!

 Then Ladybird posted this recipe for Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding!  Whoa.  I haven't tried it yet, but it looks delicious.  The recipe is ridiculously easy.  It sounds like a perfect dessert to bring to a friend's dinner party.  I am thinking I'll try this recipe out this summer when I'm done with school and spending my days around the house. 

I know that neither of these are really summery treats.  I wish we had an ice cream maker...

Little devils.

Yesterday was a day from hell.  The kids were awful.  It's getting to that point that they complain even when I give them free time. 

Anyway, D went out of town and will be gone until Saturday.  He did mention yesterday that his co-workers wanted him to go to Philly for a bit.  That wouldn't put him getting back home until next Wed :(  I don't mind when D goes out of town, and I have the house to my self.  The only problem is that it has gotten to the point that I needlessly indulge and slack on the gym when he's gone.  I did pretty good yesterday.  I hit up the gym and did strength training and 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I have been scared to weigh myself recently.  I think I weighed the middle of last week and went up.  I mentioned that I was going to Tampa and probably going to indulge in food and such.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't think my one session at the gym would take off 5 pounds.  When I weighed this morning, I was up by another 6 oz.  Disappointing, but I probably shouldn't be surprised.  We did drink lighter beer since we were hanging by the beach the majority of the time.  I've got to turn things around.  I need to be more comfortable in swimsuits since I'm planning to make the beach a regular hangout this summer. 

I keep talking about it, but now it's time.  I have to start tracking my calorie intake and not drinking beer during the week.  I'm going to go to Pilates today at the Y (hopefully I can make it on time after I go to the post office after work).  Then I want to head to the grocery store and stock up on some healthy meals.  A major problem of mine is cooking.  I'm so lazy; it is actually pathetic.  I'm cooking for one this week as well.  I'm thinking omelets?  I need quick and easy meals!  Maybe some hummus wraps?  After I get home from my commute, the gym, and errands...I'm usually pretty hungry and don't feel like cooking.  I'll check in in a week to see if I've shed a pound.  It's a little frustrating because I feel like I always eat sparingly during the day and have been drinking at least 32 ounces of water (it's hard to drink more since I have to pee constantly and only have the opportunity to go between some classes). 

I've never gone to Pilates before, so I hope it's not too hard!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

THE finale.

So KD and I finally watched the Gossip Girl finale last night.  We watched together via gchat so our little fingers wouldn't get tired of texting.  The episode was epic.  There was so much ridiculous shit going on in the ep, KD and I were practically left speechless.  I won't spoil anything just in case you haven't watched.  I crave GG style.  I could never afford or look near as good as Blair and Serena pulling the clothes off.  Needless to mention the fact that I would never dress up as much as these girls do to go anywhere.

Here are a few of my fav outfits:

I just adore this dress and the necklace!  It would be a perfect New Years dress. 

Blair's dress here is super simple and cute.  She does pair it with some NEON yellow heels which I'm not in love with for such a chic dress.  I can't wait to see what happens next season!


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