Saturday, April 30, 2011

Zero to Zed

Wow, I can hardly believe I made it! 26 posts for the 26 letters of the alphabet, all in the month of April. :) 

This little blog of mine truly is such a baby... my first post was November 2010, a short 6 months ago. The month of April really brought so many "new-to-me" things in the blogger world. I was so excited to do my first guest post, was graced with a few blogger awards, and managed to trek it ALL THE WAY through A to Z challenge.

Through the challenge, I "met" so many other amazing writers and bloggers that I will look forward to reading long after the challenge is over. I was also lucky enough to more than double my followers... I am so grateful there are people out there who care to read my ramblings! ;)

I am definitely looking forward to participating in the A to Z challenge every year, and finding other ways to stretch my creativity in writing/blogging. This has been so much fun, and I am glad I decided to participate!

To wrap up this goodbye to the A to Z challenge, here is a clip from last week's episode of The Office. It is so awesome, I promise. :) We'll miss you, Michael Scott.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Yvonne! :)

Y is for Yvonne... well, why not?

I've always loved my name, even though it was always difficult to do those name acrostics in school. Adjectives that begin with Y and V aren't all that common!

Vivacious (I always used this word, even when I wasn't sure what it meant)

There, that looks about like something I would have written in elementary school. 

So now, in honor of the letter Y (and the almost-end of the A to Z challenge!!), here are some of Yvonne's (little ole me) random musings, photos, and maybe even a video clip. All little things that have been on my mind lately. ;)

I swear, my nephew is the cutest thing ever! Being that my man is the hottest thing ever, especially with a baby in his lap, those 2 things together make this picture epic. I love it so much. :)

It was soooo nice spending time with family over Easter weekend... except it makes me want babies even more!! :)

D and I love BBC's Planet Earth series. I am especially in love with Blue Planet, Seas of Life since it's all about water and ocean life. I find those particularly interesting. We were watching the end of an episode before we headed to bed the other night, and they were showing us a particular fish that feeds on the harder corals at night. They chew off chunks of the coral and it comes out of them as fine grains of sand. The scene then cuts to the beach, where the narrator says something about how "this fish's excrement is what makes up our beautiful, sandy beaches that we all love." Haha, I am sure I have learned this in the past, but for some reason right then it struck me as funny. 
Sand is fish poop. giggle.

Here are a few cute pictures of our Daphne and Dexter 
from the other day. They are so stinkin' cute. 
They make me smile all day long. :)

Yesterday, instead of cleaning the bathroom, I watched Jeopardy. Sometimes you just don't feel like scrubbing toilets. Yes, that means I will spend Saturday morning cleaning my house for my jewelry party on Sunday... but yesterday I wanted to watch Jeopardy. I had several episodes stacked up in the DVR. I can clean the kitchen, cook, and do laundry while still watching Jeopardy, so the day wasn't a total waste. But toilets are for another day.

This video clip just might be the best thing ever. ;) It's, at the very least, one of the best commercials I've seen. I have the sound bite on my phone and it just cracks me up every. single. time. :)

Soooooooo 'kay, bye! ;)


Thursday, April 28, 2011

X-rated A&A?

Okay, so it's not really x-rated. Seriously, though, what else am I going to do with the letter "x"? ;) That little cartoon was my best shot, and I am looking forward to what all our fellow A to Z bloggers come up with! Despite all of my online searching, I simply could not find an "x" or even an "ex" word for awkward, so I am just going straight into Awkward and Awesome. Even it's a little bit of a cop-out for A to Z. ;)


-Sitting with my 2nd graders for the day while the other team teacher holds a 10-minute lecture with them... entirely in Spanish. The counselor had come in to do a quick 20-minute lesson, and this team teacher had a few things to add. What mostly made it awkward was that I had no idea what she was even talking about. I just kinda sat there and twiddled my thumbs until my kids got up and got in line. I didn't even recognize her telling them to line up. I need to learn more Spanish.

-Hitting my hand somehow and managing to bruise almost my entire left hand. Purple knuckles, tender palm, and everything. A) I bruise far too easily and B) of course it had to be the hand I do everything with. Ouch.

-I had such a blast over Easter weekend with my mom! :) But, let's face it... in the kitchen, it was a Comedy of Errors. ;) Despite how well we normally are in the kitchen, apparently Mom and I can't socialize and cook at the same time. 
So what happened was: Friday night, the cookies had too much flour and tasted more like a stale bread than a cookie... Saturday morning, she asked me to measure out a cup of flour for her pound cake. She thought I measured and  added it. Silly me measured it out, set it on the counter, and got in the shower. She discovered it after the cake had been in the oven 15 minutes. Oops. Re-do! Then on Saturday night, the casserole got pulled out of the oven too early, but it was forgotten when we put it back in to finish cooking. Cornbread casserole doesn't taste quite as good when the cornbread is burnt. ;)

Needless to say, next time I hang out with my mom after a long time apart, I think we will let someone else do the cooking so we can focus on each other. ;0)


-I just finished my May menu. :) :) This is my third month of menu planning... you know I love it! Still sifting through my cookbooks and finding new meals... I can't believe I've never utilized these things until now! I will find a way to post or link up my menu eventually... I need to get my honey to help me with that.

-Sitting outside on our covered patio, on the new furniture, listening to the rain. When my hubby got home the other night, we took the pups and a blanket out there after dinner and all snuggled up on the loveseat. It was perfect. :)

-This may be a little bit awkward, but I consider it an awesome. It means my honey is rubbing off on me, and I am okay with that. ;) So, he goes out of town for the day and his flight is super delayed... he won't be home until midnight. I can watch whatever I please on the TV, and what do I spend my evening doing? Watching basketball playoffs and the History channel. ;) The History Channel (along with Discover Science) USED to be my go-to NAP channels. ;) Whenever D put it on, I was sure to doze on the couch or get caught up on my laptop. I was mesmerized by Mounted in Alaska and that new Restoration show. The reason I loved Mounted in Alaska was because of the animals it showed. Of course, I would  rather to see the animals alive and in the wild, but these are some animals I have never even heard of and it was soverycool. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Easter Weekend

Jackson Thomas :), my sweet nephew


I think Dexter was ready to go home. ;)

My Mr. teaching his sis how to play her birthday present!

I am linking up with Java at Never Growing Old and her weekly Wordless Wednesday post!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vibrant Voices

Today's letter V brings to you some of my favorite "vibrant voices". Artists that can really belt out a few of my particular favorites, or songs that gives me chills every time I hear them.  I pride myself in the fact that I can appreciate all different types of music, and sometimes hearing a crooner that's not exactly my favorite really let go and belt out a tune can really stick with me. Here are a few of my latest favs!

My newest love, Adele. Thanks to my MIL and my twin sister, I am hooked on her unique voice...this girl can sing!!

Chris Cornell has always been a favorite of mine. His live shows are always so amazing, and he's pretty easy on the eyes as well! ;) I adore this song as it is, but his version is so amazing. I love the contemporary, rocker feel while still staying true to the original song. His vocals are sooooo amazing. I walked down the aisle to a version of "Ave Maria", and I so badly wanted to use this one... but I guess it just wasn't quite appropriate for the occasion. 

Of course, I turned on some Chris Cornell while typing this post, and I cannot talk about him without also adding this song, Seasons. I live for the acoustic guitar and it is SO gorgeous paired with his stellar vocals in this song.

Most people that know about Regina Spektor, in my experience, either vehemently despise her music or absolutely love it. I believe the piano is a highly under-used instrument in modern music, and she plays it beautifully. She has a very different-sounding voice, which I adore, but it often rubs listeners the wrong way. Her music takes me to a different place, and I love just closing my eyes and getting lost in her Begin to Hope album.

I must end this with some Norah. :) I'm telling you, there's something special about a woman that can SANG (yes, SANG!) and play the piano. She owns it, people. Her entire Come Away With Me album reminds me of the early dating years for me and my hubby... it was our favorite CD to take Sunday afternoon naps to! :) Ladies and gentleman, Norah Jones...


Monday, April 25, 2011

Usual Undertakings

...better known as "Menu Monday" and "Meet Me on Monday". These aren't "usual" posts just yet, but they will be... starting this week! Check back every Monday for both!
Meet Me on Monday is taking a short break for the Easter holiday, but expect me to be back each week with new MMOM questions to answer!

When I first started blogging regularly, I did a weekly post called "Home Cookin" that shared our meals for the week. This was an attempt to hold myself accountable not only for cooking, but for cooking with healthy, more natural ingredients versus processed foods. I only kept up with that post for a few weeks, but I haven't relented on my original goals - healthy and natural cooking! Now that I am really into the swing of menu planning, I figured I would give this weekly menu post another shot. I feel like I ramble on about my meals for the majority of the week and I don't even know that my readers wanna hear that much about what we eat!! ;) So, in an attempt to get all my "food talk" out of the way and still share my lovely meals with all of you, I will do a post every Monday about our meals from the previous week, complete with pictures! I'll share my opinion of how it turned out, and any modifications I made to the recipe. Please let me know with a comment if there are any recipes you would like! Starting next week, I will link up any of the recipes that can be found online for your personal enjoyment!!

Last week:

Sunday: Italian Beef sandwiches

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Homemade sausage and veggie pizza

Wednesday: Southwestern Pasta Bake

Thursday: Beef and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

Friday: Kung Pao Chicken (we ate at my parent's - my dad used the wok D and I got him for Christmas to cook for us!!

 On the menu for next week: Spinach, Artichoke, and Tortellini Soup, Chicken w/ Asparagus, and Tettrazini! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Talented Teachers!

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up soon; in the first week of May! Everyday, I am surrounded by teachers who constantly give more than asked of them and always strive to give their students an environment in which they can learn and grow. A place where their strengths are celebrated and their weaknesses are fostered and focused on until they are weaknesses no more. These are the people I look up to, the ones who help me remember that, even as a substitute, I CAN make a difference. They are the teachers that show me, with their everyday actions, the kind of teacher that I hope to be someday (you know, whenever the economy stops sucking the life out of school districts). Us substitutes get the short end of the stick when it comes to Teacher Appreciation Week, but I guess I am okay with that. ;) This week is a time for, you, as a parent, and your children to really stop and thank these people who mold your children into logical thinkers and big dreamers.

With the way the economy is handling the education system right now, you'd think teachers weren't appreciated at all. Please take the time during this special week to do what teachers deserve to hear everyday... say, "Thanks." Thanks for not giving up on my kid when they were slower to grasp a concept. Thanks for looking past their mischievous and goofy behavior and addressing their real needs. Thanks for challenging them and preparing them for life in the real world. Teachers work hard, and they really, really love these kids. Trust me, they deserve a million "thank yous", and not only during Teacher Appreciation week.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation week, here are a couple of sources for easy, quick, and cheap gift ideas!

eighteen25 has a list of cute labels you can print to attach to small gifts... too sweet!

baltimore mommies is doing a blog roundup where people can link-up their Teacher Appreciation ideas... lots of ideas here!!

skiptomylou also has a list of other blogs linking up with ideas. She does a post like this every year with awesome ideas - check out her 2007 post.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Sportsmania!

While I can appreciate some nice competition, I don't think I would necessarily consider myself a "sports fan". Except, of course, when it comes to football. I am a huge NFL fan and fall season (if there is one!) just can't come soon enough! Mine and D's favorite thing to do on football Sundays is to head to our favorite local pub. They have big screens all over so we can keep tabs of every single game! That's super important if you're fantasy football players like we are!

But, I digress. While I don't really enjoy watching sports other than football, attending the games and seeing them live is a completely different experience! It's not something we get to do very often, but apparently Spring 2011 is the season of live events for D and I!

We started our "live game streak" over Spring Break. My in-laws bought hockey tickets for themselves, all of their kiddos (and significant others), and their grandkids. All 10 of us jumped on the Dart rail and headed to the AAC... that was quite the adventure on it's own! The Stars played the LA Kings... and hubby's family is from California. We were a small group of purple and gold surrounded by green. :) The mood leaving the arena was pretty sour... we beat the Stars! 

Cut to this week; Tuesday night. My MIL won 4 free tickets through a raffle for a Mavs playoff game! How exciting... back to the AAC we go! :) Again, our team won (Go Mavs!). I asked my FIL, "So you mean we are going to a sports game in Dallas and actually cheering for the home team?" That never happens! It was such a high energy game - the lead kept going back and forth, but the Mavs pulled it out in the end!

What I am super excited about, though, are our Rangers games coming up! First, we will be going to see the Rangers vs. Angels on May 15th with David's entire family again. Here's another example of us going to a game and cheering for the other team... the in-laws are Angels fans! I don't know about that one - I am pretty sure we will be a house-divided on that day! We also have plans to see another Ranger game with friends on May 28th, and tickets to go with D's co-workers on June 8th! The work game will be fun... we always bring washer boards, ladder golf, and snacks so we can set up and tailgate for awhile before the game!

Now if we could somehow score NFL tickets without putting down cash equivalent to a mortgage payment, we would be all set! ;)

Speaking of sports... any local horse-racing fans out there? This Saturday, April 23rd is Dollar Day at Lonestar Park in Grand Prairie. Free parking, $1 programs, $1 hot dogs, $1 popcorn, $1 sno-cones, and $1 adult beverages. :) D and I usually go every year - it is SOOOOOO much fun! I am unable to attend this one, but I am looking forward to June 10th when they do it again!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rotten and Rad

Time for another slightly strange edition of Awkward and Awesome - this time with cheesy "R" words. ;) Next Thursday's letter is "X", I believe. Ruh-roh. Since A&A is the only "regular" post I really do, I wanted to do my best to incorporate it into the A to Z challenge! It's probably an epic fail due to the cheese factor and not being able to find words that were true synonyms for "awkward", but I gave it my best shot! So, here's to this week's Rotten and Rad?? ;)

-Walking into our normal Sunday morning bowling and watching a small family stand at the door and inhale bananas because of the "No Outside Food or Beverage" sign. It was serious business, and I just walk right past them with my water, travel coffee mug, and my breakfast shake. Come on, people, it's okay to break some rules. ;)

-Having a different family bowl next to us with the most annoying children EVER! They were like 10 or 11 and the girl was sitting ON the ball return kicking the sides over and over. I am holding my ball, about to approach, and I just turned and stared at her. Straight on, scary teacher stare. It took everything in me not to yell, "No thank you! Walk away until you can behave properly in a bowling alley!!" Needless to say, by their 3rd frame my nerves were SHOT and I was ready to go!

-Wearing my "teacher sweater" last night to the Mavs game. It's the sweater I usually carry with me whenever I sub just in case the classroom I am in is chilly. I thought there might be a chance the arena would be cold, so I grabbed it off the chair on my way out. With 3 minutes left in the game, the people behind me accidentally spilled their "adult beverage" all down my back. Uck. They were more caught up in losing their drink, and I smelled like a bar. Let's just say I did NOT bring that sweater with me to school today. Ugh, gross.

-D and I have been on the hunt for some patio furniture (the "Verniture" has seen it's final days) and we spotted the PERFECT set walking out of Kroger the other day. It was the last one, and it was so perfectly "us" and our style that we purchased it on the spot. I pull my little Honda Civic around front, pop the trunk, and there are our bowling balls from that morning and our washer boards. There is no way we are getting this patio loveseat, table, and 2 gliders in this car... even empty!! We sooo did not think this through! It was an ORDEAL getting it home! I threw all the cushions in my car and left David sitting with all the frames while I ran home to unload and start knocking on our neighbor's doors for help. Our friend saved the day by bringing his parent's truck, but not until D had been sitting outside of Kroger for a ridiculous amount of time. We DID manage to get the table in my car but couldn't get it back out once we were home! Our buddy had to remove the passenger seat of my car to get the table out!


-Between my sister's new jewelry business and the Pretty Little Lovelies Club, I have aquired some FAB accessories lately. This means I was on the major hunt for a jewelry box that would hold everything and keep it in better condition than my current one. I found a few online, but the price ranged from $100 - $200, and I just can't see spending that money on something I cannot hold or see first. I finally found what I was looking for at Target... for $60! It's perfect for what I need, AND there's a photo collage on the front for me to put wedding pics and photos of our pups. I haven't done that just yet, so no photo of the outside.

-Here's a couple of shots of our new patio furniture; I love it SO much! :) I love that the table has a little shelf under it, even though I am not sure what I will store there. I adore that the pillows and cushions are the same as our wedding colors. One of my favorite features is that the 2 chairs are little rockers/gliders! SO nice!

-We also landed a small deep freeze for our garage for a very cheap price. Some friends of ours were selling it in a garage sale.... DIBS!!! :) I still need to clean it up a little, but our kitchen freezer will be very happy for the breathing room!!

-We scored some free playoff tickets and got to go to the Mavs game last night, sweet! They won, even better! Personally, though, I think one of the coolest things about the evening was the National Anthem. A saxophone player performed it last night, and it was SO neat! No offense, but it was MUCH better than hearing some woman butcher the high notes. Plus, it was different, which I like!

-For dinner last night before the game, I made some extra tasty homemade pizza! My honey went to Jimmy's downtown and bought some fresh dough for me, and I piled it high with yummy veggies! I used italian sausage, mushrooms, thinly sliced red onions, and a little of spinach that I steamed and squeezed the water out of. I also had some skim milk ricotta leftover from another meal, so I dotted that throughout the pizza. Before putting the mozzarella and throwing it into the oven, I sprayed a little bit of light butter on the edges on the crust then sprinkled garlic over that.... yummy, garlic bread crust!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Question Quotables

"Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers" -Voltaire

"If you want a wise answer, ask a reasonable question." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(better known as: ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer, haha!)

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question is a fool forever." -Chinese Proverb

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions." -Naguib Mahfouz


Speaking of a question, I have one. Why does Texas weather have to mess with us so badly??? It's been 85 degrees, hot, and humid for the past few weeks. Yes. I know it's only April, but I am used to an early summer around here. The real issue for me here is the m.o.n.s.o.o.n.  we had late afternoon. I don't go many other places other than work during the week, and the one  night we are venturing out... I have to deal with wet feet. :( I really can't complain, we got free basketball playoff tickets and the in-laws picked us up... but forget sandals or cute flats. It was unbearably  hot, but instead of capris and breathable shoes, I opted for jeans, socks, and tennies. I was sooo grateful I did, even if it meant I was a little warm. All those people at the AA center... and all the parking lot puddles... *shudder*... if you know me, you know how much feet in general gross me out. Wet and/or dirty feet... on no, please don't. ;) Haha, even my MIL giggled at me and mentioned my tennis shoes first thing getting out of the car. Yes, I know I am a little crazy, but trust me, no one wants to hear me whine about my feet all night. ;) The Mavs won, and when we got home around midnight (WAY too late for a weeknight, if you ask me!! Still fun though, and worth the adventure) my feet were clean and dry. :) Dry, clean feet = happy yvonne = happy david = curling up on the couch for a little Glee before turning in. Sure do love my life. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Playful Poetry

As an avid reader and a lit major, I am an absolute lover of words! Poetry is one of my favorite forms of writing. One of my earliest favorite authors as a child was Shel Silverstein. I couldn't get enough of Where the Sidewalk Ends, Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. To this day, The Giving Tree is one of my absolute favorites. In honor of Mr. Silverstein and his way with prose and poetry, here are a few of his poems!

Do you have any Shel Silverstein favorites?
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