Friday, July 10, 2015

Flagstaff or Bust


A few weekends ago, George and I had a weekend getaway to Flagstaff.  It served several purposes and was exactly what we needed.  My mother passed away around 8 months ago and her birthday was on June 27th.  Needless to say, I knew I needed to get out of town and have be distracted. We also needed to desperately escape the Phoenix heat and have some quiet alone time just the two of us.

We booked a cute little vintage trailer to stay in through Airbnb and it took every bit of strength I had not to hitch that thing on the back of our car and take it with us! It was *sigh* completely adorable.  I need to get a vintage trailer stat.


The mornings were definitely my favorite. Waking up lazily taking our time with no internet, TV, or cell phone service to interrupt.


We took one day to venture to La Posada in Winslow, Arizona. I have a HUGE crush on this place. It is absolutely beautiful and, honestly, my pictures don't do it justice. If you are within a 500 mile radius of La Posada just go to it and you will thank me.  Read more about it here. :)


We ate in the Turquoise Room in the La Posada hotel and it was un-freaking-believable. I can't even talk - I am having a moment here.


Here's a few other random snap shots from the trip including the rodeo with my lovely friend Maria and spending some time downtown shopping and eating.


It was the best medicine anyone could prescribe for what we needed and I know I will never forget our lovely weekend in our little trailer.





Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4th of July Fun


It's hard to be motivated to celebrate a predominately outside holiday in the middle of July in Phoenix, but we tried to pretend like it wasn't 109 degrees outside and enjoy it with much gusto!  Our celebration was pretty low-key, but it was perfect and just what we needed.


I had seen this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess and wanted to try it out with my Nikon J2. It was super fun! I only wish that I had thought ahead of time of some cooler patterns to do because when the time came I felt myself a little stunted for inspiration.

According to the tutorial, you slow your shutter speed to a 10 second exposure. After wrestling with my camera manual for a time longer than I am going to admit to you, I finally got the hang of it. You definitely need a chair or tripod to steady the camera other wise it turns into a blurry mess. Unless you have strongman arms then I am super impressed.


Here are some smoke bombs, just because it feels right. Who doesn't love a good smoke bomb?


I also made this strawberry poke cake.  I was a little hesitant about this, apparently it's a big thing and I have never heard of it.  It was pretty tasty! I didn't hate it. Sorry for the poorly lit picture.


What did you all do to celebrate July 4th?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Currently July

Linking up with Farley's July Currently!


All of mine kind of go together, but we are moving this weekend and I am so excited and nervous all at the same time. If you have read my blog, you know that my husband and I have been living with my mother in law for a few months.  I am so excited to just see my things - it's funny how attached you get to your "stuff" when it's been in storage for months.

We are moving into a significantly smaller home (about 850 square feet, yikes!).  I actually wanted to go small in hopes that it would force us to purge our junk and focus on living more simplistically yet meaningfully.   It might end up exploding in my face and meaning that we live like hoarders for a few years, but hopefully we can embrace the challenge ahead!  I've had this book in my library queue for FOREVER, but I heard that it is total inspiration for decluttering.


Has anyone read it??

Tonight I am making tostadas so we will see how they taste. I had eaten them at a friend's house before so I am hoping that I can replicate their righteous tastiness. Haha, yes you read that correctly! Righteous... ;)




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

While I Was Housesitting...

I have been housesitting over the past week(ish). I love housesitting for people! First of all, it feels like a staycation. Am I right? Think about it  - you are in a new environment, you don't have a lot of the responsibility that you do at your own house, you can eat what you want, sleep in, read, and have some alone time!
My friend went out of town and it worked out perfectly that she needed someone to watch the dog and I needed some much needed alone time.  Today is my last day so I thought I would update you all on my fantastically not so active week(ish).

I read... a lot. And it was glorious.
All of them were great, but I am taking so long on Outlander. I can't seem to get into it - am I the only one? Everyone seems to love it. What gives?



I perfected the art of making Pita Pizzas from 100 Days of Read Food.



I swam many many times. Did I mention I live in Phoenix and it's was 115 degrees today?!  The second I get to this house from teaching summer school I practically go straight from the garage to the pool.



I found the perfect solution to being a coffee drinker staying in a non-coffee drinker's house. It is so delicious! Good ole Trader Joe's.


I watched an entire season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Why haven't I seen this sooner?


I know nothing here is Earth shattering, but they all made me happy! What would you do if you were housesitting?


Thursday, June 4, 2015

a bloggy realization

Tonight, I googled my blog which is something I hadn't done for a while and it got me thinking...

I love blogging, I really do. Even though my activity on the blog doesn't necessarily show it. I always think ooo I could blog about this, but then there is a little voice in my head that says "No, Heather, that's stupid, no one wants to read about that..." I keep forgetting that this blog is supposed to be about me and FOR me. 

My life right now is a mess... I know everyone says that and we all know no one's life is perfect, but if you look at my life on a timeline, I am definitely at a low dip right now.  My husband and I have faced numerous problems together and separately over the past 10 months and without boring any one with too many tedious details, let's just say that *hopefully* things can only get better from here. 

Right now we are living with my mother in law temporarily and I feel like I am in such a creative slump. Usually I do things like cooking (my mother in law cooks for us the majority of the time), decorating (my husband and I have crammed a few of our belongings living in a small room), craft (no room to craft), or vintage shop (no space to put anything so I can't buy anything) to make me happy and creatively content.   Needless to say, this blog might be an outlet for me in more ways than one. 

Here are some things that make me happy right now:

Iris Apfel
This lady is incredible. I saw her documentary in the movie theater a few weeks ago and fell in love with her all over again. She is such a fashion icon and I wish I was as bold and fabulous as she is.



Library Books
Having no space means having no books. This sounds kind of silly, but I had forgotten how much I enjoy holding a book while reading. Between Kindles, iPads, Nooks, it's been so long since I read an ACTUAL, physical book for pleasure. 
I love Elise's recommendations and am always adding her suggestions on to my book lists. 


Sparkling Water
I used to hate sparkling water. I remember when I was little, my grandparents would have it in their house and after trying it one time I promptly decided that the water had gone bad and should never be touched again! I held true to my word for about 20 years.  I discovered this water at Target and am totally obsessed with it. I should probably purchase stock in Target for how many cases of this stuff I have bought and plan on continuing to buy in the future. Get it, you'll love it. 

My Husband Starting a New Job
My husband recently lost his job (see intro, third section down...) so we were very excited for him to get a new job obviously. Even though this job pays significantly less than his last, I am hoping it is a step in the right direction for him and us. I am not going to lie I still have concerns about our newly limited income, but I know this is the happiest I have ever seen him and if he is happy that makes me happy and the rest will sort itself out. 





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Legos!


LEGOS!
My friend went to a conference a few years ago where she learned about Legos being used in the classroom as non-linguistic representations.  Loved that idea so much I decided to create my own set to use!

So the first step you need to do is go to the Lego store and get their $15 buckets and fill them to the brim with a variety of bricks.  The thing about making your  classroom set is that all of the tubs have to have the same exact Legos in them.  That's why you can't just go to town on Craigslist and hope for the best.  If your tubs aren't all the same, the kids will fight over that one container that has the wheels in it.

Stack your legos so that you can really cram 'em in!


Now that you have brought home a ridiculous amount of Legos, it is time to enlist your trusty husband or family member to help you sort through all of this nonsense...


You may (like me) start cursing at your packing method which at the time seemed like a great idea which quickly evolved into something that looks a little like a murder scene. In order to separate these tightly compacted bricks, you need a rather large sharp knife and a handy dandy little Lego plastic separator.  I used the knife just to start the separation and the used the plastic wedge (around $2.50 at the Lego store) to fully separate the bricks.


You could use Legos for so much in the classroom and even though it is an investment (I spent around $65 for everything), you won't need to purchase them again. I used to use party favor sized Playdoh a lot for non-linguistic representations and still like to use them, but they dry out so quickly and the students are somewhat limited in what they can do.

Just be sure to write your name on the buckets in case you lend them out and number them that way you can hold your students accountable.


I plan to use these in a professional development coming up as well as in classrooms to model lessons.  I can picture these being used to represent their understanding of a concept, definitions to vocabulary words, metaphors, fractions, probability, you name it!

What would you use Legos for in the classroom?