Monday, September 15, 2014

The 3rd Annual Great Pumpkin Swap

Oh friends, we are well on our way to fall, and that means that it's time for The 3rd Annual Great Pumpkin Swap!!

My friend, Kristin from Kristin's kNook, and I are teaming up again this year to host this super fun fall swap!  I LOVE doing swaps.  Thanks to this swap, I've met some great ladies: Casey from Everyday Adventures and Rachel from The Ross Family.  I can't wait to "meet" someone else this year!!

So here's how this will work:

1. Fill out the form to sign up for the swap!  (Sign-ups end at 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, September 20th).
2. By Monday, September 22nd, you will get an e-mail from me with your swap partner.
3. Once you know your partner, please make contact within 48 hours (by Wednesday, September 24th) to get to know a bit more about each other!
4. Spend $15-$20 (plus shipping) to put together a fun package for your partner.
5. Mail your package on or before Friday, October 3rd.
6. Link up with us on Friday, October 17th to share your swap goodies!

Easy!  And SUPER fun!!  I hope you'll join us! :)  Just fill out the form below!
(And you do need to scroll in the form to get to the submit button.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

This is officially the last book I was able to read on my summer vacation.  :(  It's tragic.  I still have quite a long list of books I want to read, and I hope that I can do a better job of finding time to read during this school year!

Here's the synopsis from

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

The Fault in Our Stars

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. I actually finished it in a couple of days. The Fault in Our Stars brought tears to my eyes. I feel that an author has done his or her job when your emotions flow! I was able to connect with Hazel and follow her on her journey. 

I bought this book with the intention of adding it to my classroom library because I had heard students talk about it in the past. I will NOT be adding it, though, there is content that I do not find appropriate for 6th grade students, and I will leave those decisions up to their parents. 

I did find that Hazel and Augustus are perhaps too smart or wise for their years. They do seem like adult versions of teenagers, quoting difficult material, and being almost philosophic. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just saying it's not quite like any teenagers that I've even known! 

I would certainly recommend this book, though, and I would like to see the movie! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Music Monday: Birthday Edition

Happy Labor Day!!

Tomorrow is my birthday!

A couple weeks ago, I shared the Top 5 hits from the year I started Kindergarten.  Today, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my birthday by sharing the Top 5 hits from the year I was born: 1982.

Ugh.  If you're doing your math, that means that I will be 32 tomorrow.

#5 "Centerfold" by J. Geils Band

#4 "Ebony and Ivory" by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

#3 "I Love Rock N' Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

#2 "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor

# "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John

Those are definitely some good songs from 1982! :)

What song was #1 the year YOU were born??

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Review

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend, and that you get to also enjoy a day off tomorrow!  I can't believe it's the last day of August already.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Here is the summary from

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, but I can't say that I loved it. I did have a few quiet chuckling moments, and I'm glad I read it. I definitely liked Mindy's voice and humor in her writing. I'm thinking I might have given this 4 stars if I knew more about Mindy beforehand and/or watched "The Office".

View all my reviews

I will also note that I bought both this book AND Bossy Pants with the intention to read and sell.  If I had really truly loved either of them, I would probably keep them to read again.  To me, neither of these are books I will reread (though, I would listen to the Bossy Pants audio book).  This one sold on Amazon pretty quickly.  Bossy Pants is still listed if you're interested.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stuff & Things- Slow Cooker Edition

I really do like making slow cooker meals.  Whether I'm using my Crock Pot or my Bean Pot, I find that slow cooked meals come out so well!  They're also usually incredibly easy.  You just throw everything in, turn it on, and let it go.

I've decided that I need to make up some crock pot meals to keep in the freezer for easy access.  With the school year under way, I plan to adhere to a good schedule.  It is my goal to go to work and then go straight to the gym.  Two nights a week, I will be giving voice lessons after work, and I will go to the gym after those.  I am thinking that those nights will be perfect for slow cooker meals.  I can toss them in before I go to work, and there will be food when I get home.  (This will be especially good for when Scott works nights because there's no way I'd be home in time to make him anything decent for dinner.)

Of course, Pinterest, has been a big help for me to "research" this a bit.  I found a few pins with many meals listed:

Here's my plan:

1. Find at least 10 crock pot recipes that I already love or want to try.
2. Shop for any ingredients I need.
3. Spend an afternoon preparing the meals to put in the freezer.

Have any of you prepared and frozen crock pot meals?  Are there any recipes you really love??  I'd love to hear your favorites.  You can share in the comments or e-mail me at  Since this is a long weekend, I'm going to take advantage of it to get some meals ready. :)

I will definitely share my experience with you all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I'm Watching Wednesday

There are pretty much only two shows that I can't get enough of right now: Gossip Girl and Big Brother.

Thanks to Kristin, I started watching Gossip Girl on Netflix this summer.  Oh, the drama!  I have been totally and completely sucked in, and I just can't get enough.  I'm bordering on obsessed.  In fact, the other night, I'm pretty sure these characters invaded my dreams.

While falling asleep one evening, I was actually trying to think about all of the different dating combinations of these characters.  It's pretty complicated.  I considered making a chart.  I realized that this would be 1) almost impossible 2) a sign that I have some kind of problem.

I'm currently on season three, and there are a total of six seasons.  When all of my other shows kick back in this fall, I don't know how I'll manage it

Before I met Scott, I thought that Big Brother was so stupid.  I just didn't get the idea of why anyone would want to watch a bunch of people that had to live in a house together.  Why would that be exciting?

Little did I know what it entailed.  And just in case you don't, here's how it works.  A bunch of people (16 this season) are selected to live in isolation in the Big Brother house.  Each week, they compete to become the Head of Household (or HOH).  The HOH nominates two other house guests to be evicted.  The nominated house guests, the HOH, and three other house guests get a chance to compete for the Power of Veto (POV).  Anyone who wins the veto can take someone off "the block" (aka remove a nominee) or keep the nominations the same.  Once the final nominations are set, the house guests vote someone out.  The last two house guests left at the end receive votes from a jury of evicted house guests.  One will win the grand prize of $500,000, and the other wins $50,000.

They are doing the HOH a little differently this season.  They compete for two HOH spots.  Each HOH nominates two house guests, and their nominees compete in the Battle of the Block competition.  Whichever team wins, dethrones the HOH who nominated them, and they are no longer nominees.  Things then proceed to the veto as described above.

I don't know why I love it so much, but I do.  It's especially fun because it gives me some sort of TV to look forward to three nights a week.

What are you watching this summer??

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