Friday, October 29, 2010


I've been tagged!
Leigh Anne @The Newlywed Swarbricks asked me these 8 fun questions! I'll write my questions and pass the game on to 4 more people with 8 new questions for them!

1. What is your most favorite thing about fall?
Wearing sweatshirts and watching the leaves change colors.

2. How would you spend your perfect Saturday?
Sleep in until about 9 am. Drink coffee and enjoy a asiago cheese bagel with veggie cream cheese on the back patio while watching my dog play and reading a good magazine. Head down to the lakehouse. Enjoy some time talking with family and floating on a raft in the cove. Get out and throw the ball with Sophie while talking with family. A huge lunch/dinner (we do both together) with the family. Take a long boat ride and anchor by the dam for awhile. Enjoy a beer while floating around with the family. Head back to Indianapolis and hang out with some friends for the night.

3. What is something you've learned recently?
I've learned that sometimes life just isn't fair. I have to trust that there is a reason for everything, but that is a very difficult thing for me to do at times.

4. Do you like the seasonal drinks at Starbucks or stick to your year-round favorite?
Pumpkin spice lattes are my absolute favorite. I like most of the seasonal stuff they make so I tend to go with that.

5. What is your favorite meal to make?
I loved making my first Thanksgiving meal last year. It was wonderful to have everyone enjoy the awesome food and the holiday together. My favorite meal to make regularly is chicken tacos.

6. How do you spend your evenings?
I spend most weeknights at the house, cooking dinner and watching tv or reading. On the weekends, I'm normally hanging out with friends or family. On Sundays I'm playing soccer.

7. Are you passionate about anything? Why?
I don't know many things in my life I'm not passionate about. Teaching, coaching, special education students, alternative education, making a difference, football, my life. I figure if it's in my life, I better be passionate about it or it probably doesn't deserve my extra time and effort.

8. If you were given $20 to spend on anything, what would you spend it on?
I'd honestly probably save it. I'm not much of an impulse buyer so I think I'd save it for a rainy day or maybe go for dinner out with friends or family.

So here it goes! Here are my questions:
1. What big plans do you have for your life over the next year?
2. What movie is most like your life? Why?
3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
4. If you had to choose between a wonderful romantic relationship that would end after only a year, or a so-so relationship that would last your entire life, which one would you choose?
5. What problem or concern in America would you work on first if you were President?
6. If you were a color, what color would you be and why?
7. What is your favorite season and why?
8. What is something on your life "bucket list"?

I'm tagging...
Cait @ theblessedlife
Nicole @ Art to the Extreme
Shanon @ Modern meets Traditional
Natalie @ Extraordinary Love

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

So it's been a long time since I shared a Works for Me Wednesday! I've had lots of ideas of posts in my darling little head (as my mother refers to it), but alas we've gone work free for far too long. Today will be short and sweet, but hopefully helpful none the less.

I like things to be clean and decluttered. For those of you who knew me prior to becoming a special education teacher, you might be choking on your drink after reading this. I think it started when I bought my house. For me, part of taking pride in my home is keeping it clean. I shared over the summer my daily cleaning routine. As much as I would love to admit it, I can't stick to it when school going on. I'm just dead on some days and have a ton of energy on others. Here is what I do to maintain my home's cleanliness.
Dance and Clean---I made a 5 song playlist on iTunes and loaded it onto my iPod. I plug it into my iHome and get out the cleaning supplies and go at it. I get as much done as I can during the playlist then I am done. Do this once every day during the week or a few times over the weekend depending on how much you need it. I do this once every other day most weeks and it keeps things in order for the most part. Here is my playlist...adjust as necessary!

All I Want to Do-Sugarland
Bombs Over Baghdad-Outkast
All at Once-The Fray
Breathe-Michelle Branch
Lookin' For A Good Time-Lady Antebellum

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Break Shopping

It's fall break which means we all get a much needed break now 9 (long) weeks into the school year. I spent the first day of fall break shopping at the outlet mall in Edinburg, IN with my best friend and godson. It was so much fun! Here are some of the awesome deals I managed to find while at the outlet mall.

3 cardigan sweaters (black, brown, gray) $11.99 each-10% discount from Edinburg coupon book=$10.79 each

1 white wrap cardigan $17.99-10% discount=$16.20

Long sleeve blue strip t-shirt $5.99-10% discount=$5.39

V neck blue sweater $34.99-50% discount-additional 10% discount=$15.74

Gray ballet flat shoes $15-10% discount=$13.50

VF outlet

2 pairs of Lee No gap waist band dress pants- $21 each

1 pair of dark wash Lee wide leg jeans- $21


One pair of platform sandals in brown-$14.88

Yesterday my mom and I hit up Super Target where the deals kept coming! I was fortunate to receive an awesome coupon booklet from Target in the mail. I have no idea why they sent it to me, but it was filled with fantastic produce and food coupons. My normal coupon collection along with some coupons printed from the Target website made for a great trip.

Head of lettuce $1.29-$1 off produce coupon from website=$.29

Bananas (2.18 lbs) $1.04-$1 off fruit coupon from booklet=$.04

French bread $1.49-$1 off bakery coupon from website=$.49

Whole chicken (3.8 lbs) $3.49-$1 off meat coupon from booklet=$2.49

Dannon Activia $1.42-$1 MF coupon=$.42

2 packages of Caesar dog treats $2.99 each- (2) $2 off MF coupon=$.99 each

Chef Michael's wet meal $.75-Get it free Target coupon=Free

Campbell's V8 soup $2.29-$1 off MF coupon=$1.29

Herbal Essence travel size shampoo $.97-$1 MF coupon=Free

2 Merona Sweaters $15 each -(2) $3 off Target web coupon=$12 each

6 Xhiliration panties marked down to $1.98 per pair

Not pictured:

Gallon of skim milk $2.00

Oscar Meier Deli Creations $2-$1 off MF coupon=$1

The best part of the whole fall break has to be that after working all day today refereeing, I have made enough money to pay for all my fall break purchases, my garage door repair last week, and a tall pumpkin spice latte. You sure can't beat it when it isn't even putting a dent on the monthly budget :)

What awesome deals have you found lately?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It never hurts to ask...

Maybe it was the fact that it was Columbus Day this week or maybe my brain is finally working again, but this week led to a huge discovery. No not a new world...unfortunately. I found a way to save over $2,200 a year for the next 8 years! I am a teacher in a low income (Title I) school and I teach special education at the secondary level. One insanely wonderful thing about doing this job that exhausts me and moves me to my core daily is that I get federal loan forgiveness after my 5th year of teaching. I attended Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. Although I was fortunate to get boatloads of scholarship money, I did have to take out some loans to pay for school. I knew I would be able to get the loan forgiveness in a few years so I definitely didn't rush to pay off the money. I did make a substantial discovery when doing a little research on the website of my loan provider this week. I am able to apply yearly for forbearance on these loans until my years of service are up. It was granted no problem because my loan amounts are fairly low and will all be forgiven in 2 1/2 more years. That means that instead of paying $185 a month for the next 8 years, I will be putting that money toward savings (and possibly a special education fund set aside for my masters/doctorate programs).

So I guess my advice is to do research on things and never be afraid to ask. If the worst answer is no, it certainly won't hurt. After all it can turn into a large money saving possibility for you! As I reworked my monthly budget tonight, I couldn't believe how much more I was putting into my savings each month and what extra flexibility it would lead to in the long run. Over 10 years, that's a whooping $17,600! All you teachers out there....check with your loan providers to see if you qualify as well :) Sounds good to me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Challenges worth overcoming

Here we are on the first lovely day of October. Life has been pretty busy here in my little home. I think amongst the hustle and bustle of everything, I've learned a few very valuable lessons. I just wanted to share a few of these with fantastic readers.

1. I'm learning to be very mindful of the impact of my words. I am a sarcastic person by nature so this can sometimes be taken in the wrong context. It is my goal everyday to think faster and speak slower. I've had far too many times where I am being too quick witted instead of reflecting before I talk. My words can be far more powerful than even I am aware.

2. Being positive is key to all things in life. I have been around far too many negative people this year. I am trying to stay positive despite this, but it can sometimes be a very steep uphill battle. When I find myself start to focus on the negatives, I think of how blessed I am to have loving people in my life, a home, and a job I am passionate about.

3. Today I rewarded my students with an incentive since they have recuperated 10 credits in 6 weeks in my alternative program. Only one student said thank you. I know this shouldn't bother me, but they were constantly complaining that they didn't have coke or that the paper plates were too thin or something else. I have to admit that it upset me a lot more than it normally would. I am trying so hard to get them on the right track, but there are days when my frustration gets the best of me. It is at these times that I read a wonderful letter written to me by a student last year. She constantly thanks me for helping her get on the right track and for caring enough to set up boundaries for her. I have to focus on these situations. I know I cannot change every single child that comes into my program. I have to focus on the fact that I am changing a few of them. These are the most challenging students in our school. Most teachers kick these students out on a daily basis. I get them to work. Maybe not the whole entire time they are with me, but they DO what I ASK them to DO. It might be behaviorally or academically, but they are improving. That in itself is a success. Find the baby steps to successes in your life.

What challenges are you currently facing that you have learned life lessons from?