Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Courtesy of Heather
Reading: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Honestly, if you never read another book again make this your last. It is one of the best books I have ever read and I'm not even half way through it. PLUS! It's a nonfiction book. I am not a huge biography fan but this book is just so good and so hard to put down. I kept thinking about this book all day at work and couldn't wait to get home and start reading again. What he went through is completely amazing!

Watching: Top Gear (U.K.). I love this show. I am not a car person at all, but I love the British humor and it is so entertaining. I finished watching all the Mad Men episodes on Netflix so I had to start a new show. By the way, if you haven't seen Mad Men you need to start it! 

Working on: Putting together my interview binder. I actually haven't started, but I did take a baby step last night and looked up a good website where I can rewrite my teaching philosophy. My view on the kind of teacher I want to be and what I understand teaching to be has completely changed since I wrote my first philosophy my junior year of college. I also need to organize some lessons I created and other minor details. Finally, I would like to write out ever detail of how I want my classroom to run, from what the room will look like when students enter to how I want papers passed back. It might not seem like a big deal, especially if you have never been trained as a teacher, but every little thing matters in the classroom.

Thinking about: One of the residents at work who passed away today. I recently moved to the 4th floor to work full time and on that floor the residents are more independent and "with it." This means that I interact with the residents more and get to talk to them. The one who passed away was so funny. His birthday was the day before mine! I don't know why I took it so hard. I wanted to cry at work today when I found out during the lunch service. I don't do well with death and I think that because he was a WWII vet and I am reading a book about WWII it just hit me that people who have experienced such an incredible amount of hatred cannot escape death.

Anticipating: My sister's graduation in about a week and a half! I cannot believe she is graduating. I also can't believe that my brother will be a junior in college next year! It seems like just yesterday we were all playing outside in the yard with the neighbors.

Listening to: I haven't really listened to anything new. At work I always play oldies because I hate everything else on the radio and who hates a good classic hit? I have always loved oldies. They remind me of being younger and my dad. He would always play oldies in the car and around the house. Whenever Cats in the Cradle or Brown-eyed Girl*  plays on the radio I can't help but think about my dad! (*My dad would always play this song for my sister because they both are the only ones in the family with brown eyes).

Eating: Nothing at the moment. I just finished a cheese burger my dad made that I took back with me. My dad makes the best burgers! I'm also thinking about eating the dichotomy popcorn I bought at Westside Market this past weekend.

Wishing: I would get a teaching job for next year. I have such a passion for teaching and I really hope a school district will see that! I guess I can also rename this praying because I really need to start praying about it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cleveland for the Weekend

I went home this weekend for no particular reason. I even had a debate with myself up until Friday on whether or not I wanted to go. I'm so glad I did. It was such a great choice and it was a very nice weekend.

Friday, April 20: I left Cincinnati around 4 because I had to work. Bad choice. I arrived in Columbus just in time for rush hour. Plus, if you haven't driven through Columbus there is so much construction. I made it home to the Cleveland area around 8. Every time I come home I get hit with an overwhelming feeling, especially with the green trees and seeing a park next to my house. I don't really appreciate things until they are gone. When I got home I got to see this beautiful girl. I missed her so much.
So, I was completely confused when I got home. For some reason I read every single text my mom sent me about her working on Friday wrong. I thought she was off but apparently she was working. I was kind of sad because I wanted to spend time with her but she ended up working all weekend. So, because I got in late, I didn't feel like doing anything. I just watched some tv (which I haven't done in a while since I don't have cable) and applied for jobs.

Saturday, April 21: Saturday was such a fun day. Every time I go home I want to go to downtown Cleveland. I really wanted to go to Westside Markethttp://www.westsidemarket.org/ because I haven't been there in a long time. I went with my friends, Becky and Paul. We just walked around and saw everything. If you are from Cincinnati Westside Market is a lot like Findlay Market but much bigger. I ended up buying a bag of dichotomy popcorn (cheese and caramel popcorn!) and Paul and I got teas!
Afterwards we went to Tower City to walk around. We didn't do much but walk. There is a tunnel that goes from Tower City to the Q (where the Cavs play) so we walked that too.
Later on Saturday I went over my grandma's house. I don't know if I have ever mentioned it on here but my grandma is like my best friend. I always hang out at her house when I go home. She is also the most hilarious lady I have ever met and used to look like Mrs. Doubtfire. She fed me a lot of food and we talked. Her neighbors also came over and hung out. My grandma's house turned into the dog hotel. All my grandma's friends have dogs and they always end up together so I had fun taking pictures of them too.

Sunday, April 22: I didn't do much on Sunday. I just hung out and got ready to leave. My mom and I went up to the Verizon store to see what could be done about my phone since the camera has black specks all over it. Then my dad made hamburgers for dinner. I have been craving burgers and my dad makes the best! That was worth the drive home alone! I then headed left around 2:30. I stopped by my grandma's to say good-bye and then was on my way back to Cincinnati!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Throw a Titanic Themed Party

I am obsessed with Titanic and I love history. I also like throwing parties although that rarely ever happens. For my 22nd birthday I threw a Titanic-themed birthday. I wish I had more money because then I would have had a more elaborate party. I should probably re-title this "How to Throw a Titanic Themed Party on a Poor College Person's Budget" because I was/am a poor college person.
What is the  best way to feed people who attend your party? Make it a pot luck. That way everyone brings a dish and everyone gets to eat plenty of food! I tried to offer ideas about what they might eat on the Titanic, but that was kind of hard. Above is a picture of the punch my two friends made. They put a paper boat on it with a picture of me and Leo on the ship like the scene in the movie.
For the entertainment, besides hanging out, I played Titanic and we played an identity game that I saw them playing on Marie Antoinette. Everyone gets a blank card then you have a theme. Everyone needs to write a person or character name on the card. The cards get shuffled and passed back out but no one can see who they have. Then everyone needs to tape the card to their forehead so everyone else can see the card but the person with it. Then everyone takes a turn trying to guess their card. They ask questions to the group and the group answers 'yes' or 'no.' I wanted to do it so that we could only use people in history from 1912 and earlier, but my friends kindly reminded me that I was the history major and they were not. We ended up playing as Disney characters.
Now for the outfits. It wouldn't be a Titanic party if people didn't come dressed in their Titanic best! This is how I split up the Titanic passengers:
  • If your birthday is between January and April come dressed as a first class passenger
  • If your birthday is between May and August come dressed as a second class passenger.
  • If your birthday is between September and December come dressed as a third class passenger.
  • However, if you are a girl coming with a boy then you must dress in his class! Sorry, this is a male dominated society. So, if your birthday is in April, but his birthday is in August you’ll have to come as second class.
  • But if you are a guy coming alone you can dress as a crew member.
Lastly, everyone who was a first class passenger got first choice of seating. Second class, second and third class last.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Birthday Week

The past week was filled with Titanic, birthdays, tea, family, and friends. I am not complaining at all! I love all those things.
On Tuesday Mandy, my friend, and I went and saw Titanic 3D in Newport. We wanted to go to the 7 o'clock showing but they cancelled it so we went for the 8 o'clock one. To kill time we got some Starbucks and sat and talked where we met a boy who had just moved here from England. It was interesting. The picture above is our attempt to be emo. I tried taking another one, but it kept saying processing and it turns out it didn't work which I didn't find out until I got home that night.
I was offered a full time position at work. I took it because I really need to money, but I do not want to end up there for the rest of my life. I found this treasure in the closet. I was so excited because I love Titanic, but I was beginning to feel like the Titanic was stalking me! :)
I finally got my infuser mugs that I ordered from Fab.com. I used one for breakfast on Saturday with the green tea Tom gave me!
I decided to get my Kentucky teaching license. I filled out the paper work and sent it all in. Now all I need to do is take another Praxis test which I am NOT looking forward to.
Finally, yesterday I picked up my brother from Dayton and we went to Toledo where we met our parents, grandma and sister. My sister is a theater major at the University of Toledo and was one of the leads in the play! I was a really funny play, kind of awkward, but good!
It was supposed to be set in Victorian times, so I was obsessed with the staging!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 13 2012

I had a wonderful birthday and wonderful friends who celebrated it with me. This is just a small recap of the day. I first went to visit my mentor teacher and students from my fall student teaching experience. Then I met my friend Haley for lunch. We got McDonalds and headed to Eden Park to eat it. At Eden Park we walked through the Presidential grove where I saw Thomas Jefferson's tree. I had to take a picture by it because it was his birthday too! I finished my day by celebrating at Cancun Mexican restaurant with a lot of friends. I felt so loved and appreciated that day. 
Tom got me loose leaf tea and a loose leaf tea pot. He knows me too well. He told me he went in and bought the brightest thing he could find which is definitely an easy way to shop for me because I love colors and patterns. He also knew I collect tea pots. :) I also woke up that morning and saw I had an e-mail for UO. I'm signed up for their mailing list and so I was about to delete this e-mail when I saw something about a gift card. I clicked on the e-mail and saw my mom had sent me a gift card! She also knows me too well!

Friday, April 13, 2012

23 Before 24

Today is the day, my 23rd birthday! I feel so old, but I'm so excited to spend my special day celebrating with awesome people!

I've seen this done on several blogs (specifically here and here) and I decided I wanted to give it a go. It's a list of 23 things I want to do before I turn 24 and what better way to display it than on my 23 birthday. It is kind of like a bucket list but with things I can do in a year. I feel like this will get my motivated to actually enjoy life instead of just sitting around and letting the days pass by. I will continue marking off things I have done during the next year here.

1. Watch some of the London Olympics
2. Get a stamp in my passport
3. Visit a history museum
4. Make homemade Indian food
5. Complete my New Years Resolution of reading 20 books
6. Hand make cards and send them to friends
7. Make something I found on Pinterest
8. Go camping
9. Buy a bike (and ride it!)
10. Consolidate my bank accounts and have at least $1000 in my savings account
11. Find a church
12. Learn more about tea
13. Get an adult job!!!
14. Walk (or exercise) more
15. Learn to sew
17. Have a Leonardo DiCaprio movie watching day
18. Build a fort out of blankets
19. Wash my car
20. Spend more time at parks
21. Learn to walk in heels
22. Go on an impromptu weekend trip
23. Go stargazing (especially December 21)

I have the link for this post in the bar above. I will cross out and update the page as I complete my list.

Monday, April 9, 2012


It has been so hard for me to keep up with this. Mostly because nothing is going on in my life. All I have been doing is watching Mad Men and applying for jobs, and a most of times doing both at the same time. But I want to update you on my Easter.

I worked this weekend which was a bummer. I couldn't go home, and we didn't even get holiday pay. Luckily, I'm going home this weekend, so hopefully I can have some fun Cleveland update.

First, I can now eat desserts! Lent started off really really well, but then it got a lot harder to skip the dessert. However, I did better than I thought I would. I started off Easter with a few macaroon cookies. They are the best. I'm seriously addicted and can't stop eating them once I start.

I was a little sad because I didn't know if I was going to have plans for Easter. Luckily, my friend, Tom, agreed to put up with me for the evening. I made ham, scalloped potatoes, and asparagus. It was my mom's idea for me to make ham because I couldn't remember what a typical Easter meal was (besides eating lamb). I always knew scalloped potatoes and asparagus were a good pair to a ham dinner.
We ate pretty early for dinner, so we decided to go out for dessert. We went to Sidewinder's in Northside. We both got teas and Tom ordered a pistachio cheesecake, which I took a few bites of. I had a Monkey King tea. It was organic jasmine green and it smelled and tasted delicious. 
We decided to drink it out in the patio out back where we saw this little guy hopping around. Don't worry! He wasn't a wild rabbit. He was so adorable and soft. There was also a cat that came by and started watching it from the wall. I was afraid the cat was going to kill the rabbit. I had forgotten that it was aster for a while but then got excited that I got to see the Easter bunny!

I had a pretty good Easter, and I am thankful for people willing to spend it with me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Canvas Board Word Art

I've been doing this project for friends for about three years now. It actually came to me in a dream, which isn't even the first time inspiration for a project came to me. I have always done Bible verses and given to friends as gifts and encouragement. My friend, Mackenzie, even asked me to make her one to use at her reception which I was completely happy to do! However, for the demonstration I used a song lyric. I chose a line from Neutral Milk Hotel's "In an Aeroplane Over the Sea." I chose it for three reasons:
  1. I love the song!
  2. The whole album is based on Anne Frank's diary, and I love history.
  3. It is a good line to think about.
Before I begin I think of a good Bible verse (or song lyric in this case) that I think a friend would like or that I would like to see as a reminder in my home.

I bought a bunch of foam letters that I have been reusing. I also usually use 12x14 canvas board, but this time I used 12x12. You can usually find canvas boards in cheap packages at Michaels. When I see them on sale I tend to buy them because sometimes they can be very expensive.
I then line the letters up before I stick them down to see how I want it. When I am pleased I peel the backs off one by one and place them down. One thing I like about foam letters is that if you mess up you can easily pick them up and fix them.
I then tape magazine pages or newspapers along the edges so that the spray paint won't mess up the sides. If you want the edges spray painted then you don't have to worry about this step.
Because I have been making these for a while I have reused all the E's which means that they have lost their stickiness. It's an easy fix. All you need is to use a little spray adhesive on the back and press it down until it sticks!
I then take it outside to spray paint. I usually do two big coats and let dry in between. You need to check your spray paint to see how long it takes to dry in order to do your second coat. Also, even if it isn't windy make sure you use rocks or something heavy to keep the pages down. Somehow wind always finds a way onto your wet spray paint. Also, sometimes you'll find that there are circles on your canvas board with the first coat. Don't worry about this. I usually just spray extra coats to get rid of them.
Then I let it dry for a while, sometimes over night. Make sure you don't take off the news papers or letters off too soon because you don't want to mess up the spray paint.
Then start taking off the letters. Depending on the canvas board you use the letters will sometimes stick harder leaving behind outlines or seeped through spray paint. Sometimes it makes it look really cool and rustic. I usually touch it up with white paint also. For some reason, this project was being really awesome and I didn't need to do that at all.
Then you're done! If you want to take it a step further you can add anything extra to your piece. I usually use  bird silhouettes on mine. My sister drew the bird and then I just traced it onto some fabric. I then used spray adhesive (like the kind I used to spray the E) and placed it on the dry board.

Gifts for Guys

I don't know about you, but I am TERRIBLE at finding gifts for guys. Not that I ever really needed to, but still. I've never had a boyfriend (probably never will) so I have never really needed to find gifts for guys apart from my dad and my brother. They don't count though. I basically just ask my brother what he wants and I usually just get my dad something with Gilligan's Island, Bob Dylan, or beer. Easy enough.

This week I found myself at a loss of what to get for my friend because he has done a lot for me lately so I thought it was time to repay him. His birthday was yesterday, but I spent the past couple of days trying to figure out what to get a guy I really have nothing in common with. I wanted to take him to Columbus, but then I realized that was impractical for such short notice. Eventually I found myself looking around Pnterest and came across this post. Out of all the cheap DIY stuff I saw this looked the most classy and fun!

That is what started the inspiration for the gift. One thing I realized was that things will start coming to you when you walk around a store. I thought I was done with the gift when I went into Barnes and Noble to pass time and ended up walking out with two books for him. If you don't know what to get a guy my biggest piece of advice is to listen to him. When I was in Barnes and Noble I started remembering conversations we had which led to the gifts I bought.

For his birthday gift I hand made the card. I usually don't buy cards unless I am in a hurry or, to be honest, we aren't that close, or if it is for something specific. What I mean about something specific is that I will usually buy wedding cards or I always buy cards for my friend, Haruna, in Japan because I like sending American holiday cards to her. I made the card out of two index cards put them together with string and then used a clothes pin to keep it attached to the bag.

I then made him oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because those are my specialty. Also, he LOVES cookies. I also remember he mentioning he wanted a flask, so I bought him one. The one I liked was at Pottery Barn, but they must only have them online so I ended up buying the one below from Things Remembered. I wanted to buy him whisky (or rum) but I am terrible at knowing what is good because I don't drink it that often. So I ended up just buying a six pack of Moerlein. I bought him Crime and Punishment because he is Russian and was telling me I should know about all the great Russian writers (and blah blah blah). I come to find out even he hasn't read the book after I gave him this gift, but I really liked the cover so I bought it. I also bought him the first Hunger Games book because he told me he couldn't decide if he wanted to read it. It probably isn't something he will like (he's pretty picky), but I told him he could give it back to me if he absolutely hated it. ;)

Sorry for the pictures in my car! You can tell I did this all last minute! While I was buying his gifts I realized that I can never have a boyfriend or kids because I'll just spoil them too much! I love putting together gifts for people. It allows me to be crafty but also allows me to give to others.

By the way, my birthday is April 13 (that is 11 days away)... ;)
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