Monday, July 2, 2018

TBB Asks: Vacation Edition

Monday Monday!!  And July?!?  Summer please slow down!  Back to blogging today, Linking up with my fellow blended bloggers for TBB Asks!  This time around we're talking VACATIONS!  Sadly this summer I don't have one planned, but I'm still doing some fun things here at home.  Today they I'm glad to just reminisce about vacations of yester-years!




1- Will you go on vacation this year?  
Nope!  But I am dog-sitting my sister's dog for almost two weeks...at her house, where there's a pool, so I'm just going to pretend it's a resort!

2- Do nothing but relax or pack it all in?
If I'm being honest, relaxing is my preferred getaway!  But depending on the destination, sometimes ya gotta do the tourist thing.

3- What month do you like to vacation?
Typically August!  My family went to the Outer Bank for years in August.  Kids down there are back in school and prices for vacation rentals drop a bit because of that...so it works in our favor.  Same with all the cruises I used to take.  Well, prices drop because of that in late August because you're sailing during hurricane season!  HA!

4- Cruise...YES of NO?
I've been on I think 8 at this point, so I'm a YES!

5- Favorite Vacation Tradition?
Trips to the Outer Banks with my family!

6- Most Memorable vacation? 
That's really hard!  I';d say each vacation I take is memorable in it's own way.  Maybe last Summer in the Outer Banks because my sister got married!

7- Pack Light or Pack it All?
Again, it depends...if I'm flying I try to pack light!  But if it's to a drive-able destination I pack it all!!

8- Hotel, Condo or House?
Mostly houses, but I do enjoy a good hotel.  I am never disappointed with a hotel bed!

9- Favorite thing to eat on vacation?
Does anything and everything count??  Because, like...it's vacation!!  Woo Hoo!!

10- Warm or Cold Destinations?
HANDS DOWN...WARM!!  Give me all the beaches!!

So much fun!! Now I really do want to go on vacation this summer!!   Can't wait to read everyone's answers, so link on up!!



Thursday, June 14, 2018

Throwback Thursday...20 years in the making!

Tomorrow night at my school is the 8th Grade Graduation Cerremony.  I'm a bit sad because I've really enjoyed this class.  I had a number of them in my 2nd grade homeroom before I moved over to teach Library and Tech the following year.  They have a big piece of my heart.  I chaperoned the first ever overnight 8th grade trip to HersheyPark with them and over the years we've had a ton of laughs.

All over Facebook these days I'm seeing pictures of high school graduations....many of my former students!  It got me thinking of my own graduation from high school...which I realized was exactly 20 years ago!!  WHAT?! How could it have been that long ago? How am I even old enough for such a milestone??  Most days, I still only feel (and act!) about 25!

So today I thought I'd share a fun throwback post...of me in high school!!  EEEKKKKK

Enjoy!!

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 This is gonna be hard because I have THE WORST memory!!!! But I can pinpoint some great times!  {And maybe some not so great times...but I'm just gonna skip right over those!!}

My high school memories are contained this box that sits on the top shelf of my closet!




I went to a very small, all-girls high school!  We were sometimes dubbed the country club of high schools.  It was a private Catholic School with grades Pre-K through 12.  Actually my bestie Mel went there all her life.  I just went to the high school.  Numerous times throughout my four years I heard "I can't believe you go to my school Kate"!

 The high school was small.  My sisters all went to a huge school with over 500 kids in each class.  That was not for me!!

Mine was an elite school, steeped in tradition.
Like the sophomore sleepover {which I didn't attend...thanks Ker!} The Junior-Senior Supper, the Senior Stairs and the Junior Moose Room! We had classes like Humanities, PBM, and Christian Family Living. We had Stations, not Homerooms and Mods, instead of Periods!

over 200 acres of beauty and hallowed halls

I graduated with just 53 girls.  So everyone knew everyone!  And we were all friends, but groups still formed.  Many of the girls I still keep in touch with via Facebook, and am enjoying seeing where they are in their lives right now, but mostly I just keep in constant contact and see Mel and Kerri regularly. Good thing they're blog-approved!!  :)


In high school I didn't do sports (obviously!) but was on the yearbook my Senior Year and was a Regina Teen.  My school was the Academy of St. Joseph...run by the Sisters of St. Joseph.  Our campus housed a nursing home for retired nuns, and the Regina Teens were basically Candy Stripers at the home after school.  So I did that a few years.  I was traumatized I think.  But sometimes it was cute.  I was also part of Play Crew, Spirit Week committees, photography club for a short time and a member of Student Service.

Some highlights of high school...wish I knew where more pictures were!!

Dances, Sweet Sixteens, and Proms
 Father-Daughter Dances (we always went to the diner after!) ,Winter Formals, Random Friday Night Dances with boys from the all-boy schools.  The Cotton-Eyed Joe!!  It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right!  I went to big elaborate Sweet Sixteens and others that were just fun sleepovers like my own!  And had a great time at them all!!


Just for Fun...This was the invitation to my Sweet Sixteen!

I had a better time at the Junior Prom than I did at the Senior Prom.  I went with a friend's brother, and my friend went with her brother's friend.  But she kind of ditched him...so I like to say that I had two dates!  HA!  And I had the best time with the two of them.

Mel and I at Junior Prom!

Christian Family Living.  During this course we went and played with our  Pre-Kindergarten buddies. I think this is what cemented me wanting to be a teacher.  I loved my buddy!  SCOTT...two T's are better than one!! (the lower school was co-ed!) Oh and we played with lummi sticks!!!  We LOVED that!!

Off-Campus Days were fun too!  That's when we went into New York City and saw Broadway shows.  I saw Miss Saigon, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and Rent.  Rent was my fave.  We met Wilson Cruz after the show.  He was on My So-Called Life which was big during that time and one of my fave shows!





That's his autograph!!  HA!













Senior Year we went to Grad Night in Disney World.  This is when they closed down the park and graduating classes from all over the U.S. have the park to themselves overnight.  The flight home was the most memorable of the trip.  Our plane dropped 10,000 feet in mid-air (in a split second!) and I thought perhaps I might die!  Pretty much a real-life Tower of Terror scenario!!


Spirit Weeks each year were a lot of fun! Filled with skits and dance routines...I remember being part of the freshman year skit.  Our song was If I was a Rich Girl...nananahahahahahnaa


Some of my favorite assignments: Does including this make me a geek!?!
The Wedding Project for CFL.  We had to plan our wedding from soup to nuts! Like guest list, song list...everything! And present it to the class.  I'd be married to Jonathan Jackson (Lucky on General Hospital at the time- Avery Barkley on Nashville now!) by now if my dream wedding came true!  LOL...clearly it was an all-girls school!! And apparently my wedding song would be "I Finally Found Someone" by Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams from the movie The Mirror has Two Faces. (I don't even remember ever seeing that movie!)  If I ever do get married I might have to keep that!!  HA!!

Precis of Wall Street: We watched the movie with Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas and totally analyzed every bit of it!  Then we wrote about it.  The last line of my precis said...the Mo' Money you come across, the Mo' problems you see!  I think I got an A-  I was a big Biggie Fan! {R.I.P}

Another favorite project was a final religion project we did where we had to talk about five things we valued, five favorite quotes and five favorite bible verses. All put together in a tiny little marble notebook. I still have it!!  I also loved going to mass in our beautiful chapel.

I'll never forget losing a friend and classmate the summer before our Junior year!  It really bonded us as a class and let us all know how fast life can change! {Just a few months ago we lost another high school friend quite suddenly, and it was another shock.  It was actually during this time that I was told that a few other girls from our class passed away as well.  It's sad to think that our small class has gotten even smaller!}

Random Fun Facts:

  • In high school I probably watched Clueless 150 times, saw 100 Lifetime movies and ate buckets of raw cookie dough. 
  • I was still a Girl Scout. 
  • During our 4 years, a nun went from a Sr. to a Miss :)
  • Our lockers were big...we would all sit in them every morning and do HW before heading up to class!  
  • I discovered that I hated cigarettes (thank God!!)
  • I was obsessed with *NSYNC. and saw them in concert twice in one week the summer of Senior Year.
  • My love of country music began.  
  • I feel like we bowled a lot! 
  • I never dated!  
  • I got such a low score on my first try at the SAT's my dad told me to have a great time at community college!  hahahahahaha (I laughed then too...don't worry!!  And I went AWAY to college!)  
  • My Chem teacher called me at home to tell me I passed the regents! She was a lovely lady!!
  • My math teacher? NOTSOMUCH....I asked her once if I failed a test and she said "of course you did!" I am not ashamed to admit I cried! And that chick was a NUN!!!  
  • The school song is forever in my memory!!


My senior picture and quote from the yearbook:
This picture...ugh!!  It was an ugly 4 years!!  I am thinner now than I ever was in high school...THANK GOD!!  Last summer I actually saw a friend from high school for the first time since the 10 year reunion and she told me I looked hot....It made me laugh for the rest of the night but it secretly made my summer!

My page from my family in the yearbook senior year!


Sadly our school has now closed it's doors!  But I was able to go to the final celebration in 2009.  And was so glad I did!!  For a school that operated since 1856, it was extremely bittersweet.
Kerri, Me and Mel on Graduation Day on the Senior Stairs! We only wore the typical cap and gown for the Graduation Mass.  Graduation Day each girl wore a floor-length white gown and white gloves, and walked down the aisle carrying roses. {I remember being SO sick at graduation with a fever and the shakes! Booooo...}

On the Senior Stairs one last time!
2009 right before the school shut its doors.

I'm so glad I decided to do this!  But I'm also glad these days are in the past!!






Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Meet Erin!


A while back, we ladies at The Blended Blog put out a call to fellow bloggers for guest posts on our individual blogs.  One of my favorites who answered the call was Erin from Our Little Life.  I love following Erin and her sweet family, both on her blog and IG. 



This post has been a long time in the making, but I thought it was so relevant to share today due do the current climate.  All people should be able to feel that they are WORTH it. Below Erin talks about gratitude.  I am grateful to have found her through the blogging world and I'm glad she's here today!  Thank you Erin!!

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In the world of social media and celebrity obsession, it can be really easy to get sucked into silly comparisons and negative thoughts.  The illusion of perfection is everywhere we look! I've been known to be way too hard on myself at times, which I feel is probably all too common with women in general these days.  When I need a boost in confidence and to help keep a positive sense of self,  I have found that some of the following steps have helped me. 

1. Remind yourself that you can't be everything to everyone!  If you're  anything like me, you can be a bit of a people-pleaser and/or sometimes take on too much.  Know that it is not possible to make everyone happy all the time. And that is OK! 

2. Gratitude- Just look around. Take a step back and start naming things in your life for which you're grateful. Whether you have a gratitude journal or you simply just take a minute to think about it, this is a great way to change your perspective.  Focusing on the positives in your life will make you feel pretty darn good. 

3. Affirmations. Take a few seconds (or minutes) and make some positive statements about yourself. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am confident. I am enough.  Say them out loud, even.  If you're into yoga or meditation, this is a great addition to that.  You'll be surprised at the impact this can have, especially if this is how you start your day and make it a habit.  

4. Pray. Talk to the Lord. Take your frustrations or worries to Him. Pray for strength. Pray for joy. 

5. Listen to a positive, or upbeat song or podcast.  Sometimes a little Hawk Nelson can really change my mood for the better.  Their song, Live Like You're Loved, has a great message. 


6.  Encourage others.  Post a positive comment, send a note, or go talk to a friend and give them a genuine compliment.  We, as women, should be intentional about building each other up.  Showing a little kindness will have a ripple effect and will hopefully nudge others into sharing the love and positivity.  What goes around comes around.  

It can be easy to let life get you down, but sometimes just taking a little minute to consciously shift your thinking has a big impact.

What else would you add to this list?  How do you boost your confidence when life gets you down?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Summers of the Past

Summer is Coming!!  And I can't wait...ten more days til freedom.  Today I'm reminiscing about Summers' Past with The Blended Blog.

Family Vacations to North Carolina:
For years and years and years, every summer my family vacationed in North Carolina.  It all stared way back in 1988 when we were still just a family of 6.  My family started renting a beach house on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina at a place called Emerald Isle.  It was pure heaven!!!  Back then it was not too well known, and not very crowded.  Pretty perfect! Each year, our crowd got bigger and it made it that much more fun.  For the past few years we've gone to the Outer Banks.  It's about three hours closer. (Still a 10 hour drive, but that's better than 13!  Ha!!) With everyone grown up and having families of their own, the shorter trip is better for all the kids. These days just my family alone fills up the house and it's not an every year thing anymore.  Last year, though we did return to the OBX where my sister was married!  So it was an exciting time and certainly a trip to remember!




Caribbean Cruising:
I've been on lots of cruises. I started going on cruises the summer after college.  They were affordable on my measly catholic school teacher salary (especially when you go during hurricane season!) and lots of fun.  Ironically, my favorite days cruising are the super relaxing days at sea!  It's really hard to beat a beautiful day, laying out on the top deck, looking out and seeing nothing but beautiful, blue water. But I've done lots of awesome excursions too!  Swam with dolphins, para-sailed, swam with sea otters, zip-lined in Belize.  Even took a Mexican cooking class (where the margs flowed like water!). Such awesome stuff!!   Actually one of my best vacations was when I went on the Mexican Rivera cruise out of Cali!  We broke the bank that trip!!  Went out to California a few days before the ship set sail! Stayed in West Hollywood and toured Hollywood Blvd in a red convertible, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Disneyland...the whole nine!! So fun!!

High above Labadee!


These days, thanks mostly to home ownership, I don't travel often!  My summers are spent on the Postage Stamp Patio, at my sisters' pools or on the beach.  And that's ok.  Because each days a blast regardless...and I'm not working! HA!

My big event each summer now is mainly the Kenny Chesney concert.  A day of tailgating, country music, and good people!  Read more about my Summer Love, A.K.A. Kenny Chesney here!


Make it a good Monday!  And don't forget to link up your Summer Memories with us below.  No blog? No problem...share a fun pic and blurb from a summer gone by on your IG and FB pages!!



Monday, June 4, 2018

TBB Asks: June!

Summer!!  In three weeks I'll officially be on summer vacation.  I sure home the weather starts feeling like summer soon.  A few days here and there it's been warm but lots of days it's been feeling more like April.  Boo!  But to get me in the Summer spirit today, I'm joining The Blended Blog for TBB Asks!  This month all the questions have a summer theme.


1- Since I literally walk everywhere, I'd have to say walk!

2- Since I can't remember a time I actually picnic'ed, I'm just gonna say what I'd make for a picnic.  Does PB&J count?

3- Definitely pool!


4- Chocolate is definitely my favorite flavor of ice cream, with Mint chocolate chip a super close second! 

5-I'll take ice cream anyway I can get it!!

6- I'd say flip flops over slides but I like fun sandals!

7- Jean shorts all the way!  I went all out this summer and got myself a pair of short overalls...hoping a can pull them off!!

8- I don't really have a favorite summer fruit....I'm the fat girl in the corner eating all the ice cream instead!

9- Definitely love the corn on the cob...with lots of butter and salt.  What I do not like is how much gets stuck in my teeth!  But I east it every single time!

10- Summertime!!  By My Kenny!!



11- Laying out and reading for pleasure are two of my favorite things to do in the summer.  If they don't illustrate Solitary Life, I don't know what does!  HA!

12- Strawberries are my favorite.  I only like Raspberries in my vodka! 

13- Bikinis, tankinis or one pieces?  Honestly, all the the above.  And the it's the activity I'm doing that dictates which I wear.  Ya gotta know your audience!  I once wore a bikini bottom my sister dubbed to "cheeky" to a family day at the beach and I have NEVER lived it down!

14- I like both dresses and maxi skirts for summer time.  Quick and easy!!


15- One word to describe summer....FREEDOM!!  LOL  I love what I do but I think I look forward to summer vacation more than my students do!!!


Here's to hoping I blog more this summer!!!  Head to TBB and link up your answers to these q's or share across your social media platforms and play along with us!! 

Have a great week!!

Monday, May 14, 2018

My Picks: All things Entertainment!


Linking up again this week with the ladies of The Blended Blog to share my recommendations on movies, tv, and books!  With Summer fast approaching, it's the perfect time to share!! Summer reading anyone??  Movies and tv show to binge watch on those dreaded rainy days?

I tend to watch way more TV than I do movies, but I just recently saw The Greatest Showman and can't recommend it enough!!  I LOVED it!  I rented on cable and had it for 48 hours...I may or may not have watched it five times!!  LOL  I laughed, cried, I cheered, I sang along!!  Get the whole family together and grab the popcorn...you're gonna love it.



Another movie I just, just saw is Tully.  I can't say I recommend it, but I wanted to share it here to see if anyone else saw it and what your thoughts are?  I didn't hate, hate it...but I didn't like it either.  And it was just weird...so I can't even really describe it.

I'm more of a TV girl!!  And since summer is coming, I'm going to recommend my Summer Shows!  One of them is Younger.


But mostly I just love me some Peter Hermann!!


Younger is about a woman in her 40's who lies about her age to get a job in publishing, and the antics that ensue because of this!  Not a very good description really...but just watch!!  It's on TV Land and returns on June 5th!!  Binge watch now to catch up!

Suits on USA used to be a summer show, but this season, got all screwed up due to the Royal Wedding.  Meghan Markle is a star in the show.  I've been watching since season one and love it.   It's kind of another show about mistaken identity (I guess that's my thing!), all centered around lawyers at a big NYC firm.



More than movies and TV, in the summer I read the most.  Probably because during the school year, I don't get to as much.  My book quota though is pretty up there this year thanks to audio books.  My top for the year though have got to be, The Wife Between Us (read more about it here!), and  Something Like Happy (here!) I've been trying to find the happy in every day this year!!





















I am currently reading and enjoying The Address by Fiona Davis and Girl  Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.  Check back for my reviews!!

These link-ups are always so fun!!  Can't wait to get great movie, tv and book recommendations!!

Head to The Blended Blog now to Link-up with us!!






Monday, May 7, 2018

TBB Asks: Entertainment

It's been a while since I've last blogged, but it's always TBB Asks that pulls me back in.  And today might be my most favorite topic!!  We're talking all things entertainment.



1. Comedy or Drama?  I like them both equally, honestly, but I tend to do more drama!

2. Fiction or Nonfiction?  Nine times outta ten, it's fiction.  But just on Friday a nonfiction title, The Paradox of Choice, was recommended to be and I totally intend on picking it up!


3. Movies in the Theater or at home.  I tend to watch more at home, but I do like to go to my town's little theater every few months.

4.  Musical or Play?  Definitely MUSICAL.  I recently saw Once and totally and completely loved it!



5. Which Meal of the Day is your Favorite to Eat Out?
Can I say any and all?  I am not really much of a cook, and hardly ever go food shopping so I eat out...A LOT!


6. Favorite Book Ever: WONDER... I've blogged about it lots!  {herehere, and here!}



7. Game Night?  HELL YES!!!  Usually at my house! So much fun!!  Always lots of laughs!


8. Favorite Outdoor Game to Play?
I don't really have one.  I like to just lay out in the sun reading my book or listening to music, while everyone else around me plays.

9.  Favorite TV Series Ever?
That's so HARD!!  Ever, Ever??  The adult in me wants to say Parenthood and the teen in my want to say Dawson's Creek!  HA!!  Favorite Sitcom: The Office!



10.Sitcoms Now or Sitcoms then?
I was a big fan of sitcoms when I was growing up.  Totally a TGIF fan, and Growing Pains and Webster, And Diffe'rent Strokes and Valerie's Family.  I even watched the Golden Girls and Empty Nest on Saturday nights with my Nana.  I don't really watch to many sitcoms today, I lean more toward the drama, but I am actually really liking the Roseanne reboot and I LOVE, LOVE LOVE Splitting Up Together!!

11. Miniature Golf or Bowling?
I'm absolutely awful at both!  I haven't played miniature golf in years and years, but I remember it being lots of fun.

12.  Favorite movie theater candy?  Definitely Reese's Pieces!  YUM!

13.  How do you like your popcorn? Lightly salted and lightly buttered.

14. 3D Movies?  Nah

15.  Favorite Genre of Books to Read?  Any type of fiction!
One of my most faves I've read this year!

I love these posts.  And so enjoy reading all the responses!  Head to The Blended Blog to link up with us!!


Make your Monday a great one!  And plan to link up with all us all month long as we talk all aspects of entertaining!!!!