Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Letters: June

Love Linking up with Taz and Belly for the Little Letters series.  It's where, for a little while, I can feel like Jimmy Fallon writing his thank you notes!

So I give you my own Little Letters for June 2017

Dear Summer're so close but still so far away!!  Just get here already.  I can't wait for the summer days of sleeping in and laying out!  Hurry on up, would you please!?!? #10moredays

To My 8th Grade Friends,
I know we joke all the time and I've had a countdown going til your graduation, since maybe November (just kidding!!) but I might miss you most of all!  My kindergarten loves I know I'll see again!  Thanks for all the laughs (even when we shouldn't have been!) and the kind words about my fashion and style!  HA!  There were no high fives or fists bumps from me all year, but as you go off to high school, high fives and fist bumps all around!!

Dear Main Street,
Loving that you've added retail to our little town.  I love shopping your boutiques and cute shops that no other town has!!  I look forward to a summer of fun and scavenger hunting in town.

Dear Connor,
You are a stinker!  And I enjoyed every {short} minute I got to spend with you!

Dear Jet Blue,
Please have a flash sale so I can head to NC this summer...the Brew Tour MUST HAPPEN!!

Dear JCrew Factory,
Thanks for having my go-to shorts on sale every summer!  AND cheaper than Target!!  LOL

Dear Air Conditioning,
I love having you in the library and lab on these 90 days!  It's so pleasant!!  And everyone's jealous!! LOL  Having to have my door shut all day, ain't half bad either!

Dear Nashville and the Preds,
I love you, your town, and your sportsmanship.  Thanks for combining my love of country music with my newfound love of the team.   Playoff hockey is THE BEST and this was the first final I've watched in years. Thanks for making it a fun one.  I was rooting for you every step of the way...and so was everyone not in Pittsburgh, I think!
@predsnhl on Insta

Thanks for stopping by friends!!  Have a fabulous week!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Longest Tuesday Ever!!

This started out as a Teacher Tuesday post...the same Teacher Tuesday post I've had in draft since the first Tuesday back after Easter Vacation.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  I wanted to have another Teacher Tuesday up before the school year was out for the summer, but quite honestly I don't know what I'd say!  You see, I'm looking forward to the summer vacation, probably more than the students are.

I have hit that wall....I am over it all!!  It shows... and I know it. I think it might be a really bad thing when you always have a smile on your face!  Because when you don''s quite obvious to everyone!  LOL  Even to my students.  And that's just awful...I know.

Yesterday was not a good day!  And a student took out a book called, A Bad, Bad Day and I told the class that, I should read that book because I was having a very bad, bad day!  And then you know what they did?  Asked me why!  And I didn't want to burden them with anything and realized I shouldn't have even told them that, because good teachers...great teachers are ON... ALL. THE. TIME!  So I laughed, put that smile on my face, and told them, that it was a bad, bad day but now that they were all here, it's turned my whole day around!  And ya know was the truth!

Then I went home and went to bed...early.  So I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning!  And after an hour of trying to get back to sleep, with no luck, I got my ass out of bed and decided to get things done!  Ran the dishwasher, put clothes away that had been sitting in the basket since I got home from my trips, got my boxes ready for UPS and actually enjoyed my first cup of coffee so much that I decided to have a second!!

That was a mistake!  Because as I was taping up my UPS box, I hit my FULL cup of coffee and it went crashing to the floor.  Splashing across the entire kitchen, shattering into a million pieces and taking a huge chunk of tile with it. I was everywhere!!  I was so mad!!  I may have yelled a few unsavory, inappropriate words for so early in the morning!!  I didn't even know at first what I had hit when it was was like slo-mo.

So needless to say after being ready so early.  All my extra time was spen cleaning the kitchen floor and getting changed and ready all over again.

Day two of NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!  And of course my co-worker friends noticed!!
 But I realized something as the day went on... I needed to get out of my slump and focus on the positive!!

A few years ago, after seeing it mentioned on a blog, I think, I started keeping a gratitude journal, documenting three or five positive things about the day!!  I kept it going , then as with most things in my life, I didn't keep up with it!  But today I'm bringing it back!  ON THE BLOG!!  If nothing else, my blog is my journal, and today as the day comes to close, I'm sharing my I hope you don't mind!!

Things that made me laugh and smile today...when all I really wanted to do was cry!!

  • Well there's this...not a bad way to start the day!  A sweet teacher friend knows and supports my love of pretzels, so when she saw this eye mask, she thought I just had to have it!  We laughed and laughed and laughed some more...DAY MADE!!
  • One of my most favorite Pre-K friends, turning to me in the lab and saying "Look Miss Mitch, I'm a DJ!"  (Because the headphones he's wearing are about as big as his head!)
  • Listening to the sound of first graders reading to one another during Library Buddy Reads
  • Surprise pancakes that my fave kindergartners shared with me!  They used pancakes to learn about the states of matter!
  • Packages at my doorstep when I got home!
  • two pairs of flip flops that my neighbor friend shared with me, leftover from her wedding.  I enjoyed the few minutes we spent chatting about the wedding too. and chatting about her wedding, too!!  Navy flips are always a welcome edition to any summer.
    the beautiful bride and I on her wedding day Sunday
  • Unexpected text exchanges with one of my favorite people.  Who knew I could laugh so hard over texts?  The only thing better would've been if we were laughing together...not miles apart!
  • And Finally...Going all Grey's Anatomy on this day and dancing it out!  To Despacito in my kitchen...the same kitchen that 14 hours ago was covered in coffee and shards of glass...c'mon that's funny!!!

Thanks for letting me share...vent...bitch..moan...complain...I'm off to bed with a good book!

Hope you were able to find a few bright spots in your day! Let me know in the comments below!!

Monday, June 5, 2017

May in Numbers!!

EEEKKKK It's June!!  I am so excited that the end of school is near but kinda can't believe it's here!  How are we almost half way through 2017 already?

Linking up today to share a rewind of May in Numbers with world traveler and fellow Blended Blogger, Deena I always have a fun time going through my month this way.  I'm sometimes surprised and other times I cringe, but  find it fun nonetheless!  Onward...

I had two goals this month- to drink less coffee and drink less wine!  I am happy to say I succeeded at both.  Most week days I kept it to one cup of coffee a day and didn't drink wine on too many week nights.  Except Red Nose Day, but I had a day off and that's a reason to celebrate!!  BUT I'll be honest here...may have overdid it on the margaritas on Cinco de Mayo and on the wine at the Memorial Day Family BBQ {Thanks, Mom for pointing THAT out!}.  Even when I was away I didn't drink that was good!!

With the exception of my trip to Toronto, I hit my daily water goals too!  I like the way I felt when I drank more water and less I'm going to keep it up!!

Once again the weather this month SUCKED!!!!  It rained almost on the DAILY!! And ended up on the nicer side of things just three days!! There was one good day here at home...but I was away in chilly Toronto so I didn't get to enjoy it.  I was so happy though that it did fall on my school's WALK-A-THON day, so they were able to enjoy a beautiful walk and a day at the park-85 and sunny!!

Speaking of traveling....
I went on two trips and traveled over 1600 miles.
Spent 5{ish} glorious days  in Florida.  Well really 3, because we got there super late on Friday night and after 103 days of no rain, we brought the rain!  Saturday was a washout!  But the rest of our time was 90 and sunny!!  Came back with a tan so that's a success in my book!!  Our trip to Florida for Mother's day is an annual tradition!
Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Met the ladies of The Blended Blog for the first time in Toronto and spent 4 fun days with them.
We traveled 135 kilometers (that's about 84 miles for us American folk!) from Toronto to Niagara Falls on a bus tours with  4 stops in between!

The following day we walked over 24,000 steps around Toronto, clocked hours shopping where I swiped my credit card twice and came home with 5 new items from 2 Canadian-only stores!
Then I ended my day with a beer as big as my head...a stein weighing in at 34 ounces! Oopps!!
Read more about my trip here and here!!

The last days of May were uneventful as I got back into the swing of things with work.  All my traveling amounted to 4 sick days for me and 2 school days off,  so I only spent 16 days in school with the kiddos!  It also meant that the countdown to Summer Vacation is ON!!  15 more days!!  WOO HOO!!  Can't wait!!

There were 0 books read this month.  Thanks to one day on my couch (see that little Cinco de Mayo snippet above!)  and all the season finales in May, I watched a lot more TV...about 40 hours catching up on all the things on my DVR and binge watching Married at First Sight!  That show stresses me out!! LOL  I'll be better with the books this summer!!  It's five days into June and I've already finished one, so I'm on the right track!!  Oh but I did review one book this month for The Blended Blog's Virtual Book Club, which you can find here.

I feel like I always mention how much I eat out in town on the blog! LOL  I didn't eat out too too much this month!  Being away a week though, it was slim pickins in my cabinets when I got home, but I only ate out in town 4 times, once trying a new taco place, which was yummy!! I will return! Other times I had nice home cooked meals (made by someone else of course!) and I may have had way more than my fair share of pizza!  6 slices to be exact!  And perhaps too many crackers with peanut butter and jelly to count!

May on the Blog!!
Only 10 posts.  But what I did post, I loved!!
The most viewed post of the month- Friday Loves
Sad to say I've pretty much gotten away from posting my daily photos on insta!! I was just so terrible at it in May!  I did more life and less documenting!!  Follow me on Insta @solitarylife101

That's all for now I suppose!  Thanks for visiting today!!  Do you keep track of your month this way!  Link up with Deena too, here!

And don't forget to head on over to The Blended Blog now for a fun announcement!!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer Faves!

16 more school days til FREEDOM!!  LOL  I can't wait!!

Earlier this week my buddies at The Blended Blog shared their summer plans!!  I'm hopping on board today to share mine!! It's not a long fabulous list, as I really have no set plans on the horizon, no trips planned (I did those in May!) and none of my annual concert fun going on!

 Along with the usual antics with family and friends, it's going to be a summer filled with ordinary, everyday favorites!!

 This summer I really just hope to be...

Laying out on the Postage Stamp Patio DAILY!


Spending a few Fridays on the beach!!

Enjoying all the drinks!!

Spending some time with my Boyfriend... RALPH!!!  :)

What are your plans for the Summer of 2017?  Let me know in the comments below and head on over to The Blended Blog to link up with us!!

Linking up with Erika and the girls for Friday Favorites and Tif and the girls for High Five for Friday, too!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Magnolia Story: A Review

Today I'm linking up with The Blended Blog's Virtual Book Club to share a review of one of our May picks, The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines.  As a fan of the HGTV show Fixer Upper, I was excited to read this book.  And was even more excited to find out that one of our book clubbers, Valerie, picked it!  Especially since I actually read it!

I had been seeing this book around the blogs for awhile and finally requested it at my library.  When it came in, I read the first chapter right off the bat and was instantly drawn into the story of Chip and Joanna.  Joanna's primarily the one telling the stories of their life together and all of Chips antics!
It was recommended to me that I also pick up the audio version of this since the two stars tell the story themselves.  I did and think for me, this added to the fun of the story.

Without giving too much away, I will say that it's the story of the couple's humble beginnings and their rise to fame, how they overcome the obstacles they faced, leaning on each other and their strong faith in God.

The book is billed and categorized under the Christian/Faith window, which I didn't really realize when I got it but was able to recognize as I read.  Because of what I read in the story, I examined my own faith.  Chip and Joanna were constantly hitting snags in their plans but getting big breaks.  Was this luck, as I thought, or the work of God, as they believed? It got me to thinking and praying on things in my own life.

Reviews of this were mixed in the club's Slack discussions but I will say that because I was a fan of the show, I liked this story that much more. Are you a big Fixer Upper fan?  Have you read the book? I want to hear your thoughts!  Let me know in the comments below.

What did you read in May?  Head to The Blended Blog and link up your book reviews with us HERE!  And it's never to late to join the fun that is the TBB Book Club.  Register here and read with us this summer!

Looking for more good reads?  Check out my reviews of past book club picks here!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fashion Under Construction!

The thing about hanging out with a bunch of fashion bloggers is...they make you wanna up your game!!  And you want ALL the clothes!!

It has been FOREVER and a day since I posted any really fashiony post on the blog!  For the longest time, I didn't feel like dressing up, or pretty even!  I hadn't bought anything new and spent much of the winter in my leggings and boots...and then spring in my leggings and rain boots!  HA!

But in Toronto, I was surrounded by fun ladies in fun clothes!  And we shopped, and shopped some more!  I can't even remember the last time I was in an actual mall before then  but guess what...the Eaton Centre has my heart!!

Then I came home and took full advantage of the Memorial Day Weekend Sales!
So this June on the blog, I'll be showcasing the things I bought, both in Toronto and here at home!!

So I hope you'll come back to take a peek.  For now though, go link up and get some fashion inspiration with the ladies of TBB!  It's the last day for our Fashion Files and we have big plans for this summer's link-ups!!

Head {here} to find out all the details!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Loves!

This week wasn't too bad!  After basically being off all last week with my trips, it's been back to reality and knee deep in reorganizing, laundry, and school. ( have no idea why I thought reorganizing the library right now was a good idea)!!  I may be counting down the days til summer vacation!!  The week went fairly fast and was not without a few faves along the way, so I wanna share today!!

TBB in Toronto Recaps!!
This week on the blog I recounted my trip to Toronto with the fabulous ladies of The Blended Blog!  It was a whirlwind of fun, laughter, and shopping!!  You can read about it here and here!!  And head here to find the links to everyone's recap posts, as their words are much more eloquent than mine.  Love these ladies!!

A New Bag!
When you spend the weekend with fashion bloggers, there is shopping involved.  I was super excited when I made this last minute purchase on Sunday at the Nordstrom at the Eaton Centre.  I LOVE it.  I have yet to use it because...ya know, it's too nice (and it's been raining ALL week)!!  But am really excited to soon!!

A Splurge
Another thing you do when you spend the weekend with fashion bloggers? Covet all the clothing!! After seeing Whitney in this cute coral jacket this weekend and then seeing a link to it in one of her posts...and seeing that it was still available in my size, AND ON SALE to boot, I figured it was meant to be that I have it too.  So I picked it up and it's already on its way to me!! So mad I forget to use ebates on it...and 6% damn!!

Love Actually reboot!
Yesterday was Red Nose Day and a huge part of the big telecast, was the reboot of Love Actually.  Overall, I was underwhelmed (wish they would have just played it straight through) but I LOVED Hugh Grant dancing to Hotline Bling!! Unfortunately this is just a preview but hopefully you were able to catch it last night!!

Wonder Trailer!
I was so happy to see this come up on my Facebook feed this week!  Wonder is my favorite book and I'm really hope the movie does it the justice it deserves! I sobbed through the trailer,  so I think it's off to a great start!!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
Linking up today with
The Blended Blog for Friday Loves
  Andrea and Narci for Friday Favorites
Tiff and the girls for High Five for Friday

Thursday, May 25, 2017

TBB Takes Toronto: A recap! Part 2

Yesterday I shared a Toronto Day 1 Recap.  I honestly wasn't intending it to be just day one, but then I sorta got going and couldn't stop myself. So today I'm treating you to the rest of the trip!!

When we last left off, our sweet Lana was still flying while most of us had gone to bed.  But we had a Niagara Bus Tour planned for all day Friday, so it was up and at 'em early!  When we got to breakfast Lana was there.  Lana is a really cool and funny chick, who I'm not quite sure knows she's as cool and fun as she is.

After a quick breakfast, we headed into the lobby for a photo shoot and to meet up with our bus driver and tour guide for the day.  I don't think when I got on that bus at 8:30 is the morning I had any idea what was going to happen, other than I was headed to a Winery and the Falls.
Our First Group Photo!

But the 11 of us boarded the bus. When we got on the road (an hour later) with thirty more people in tow, and already three bathroom breaks in, we stopped at the mall, did a random drive through a Catholic School, a few loops a round a traffic circle,  and got too our first destination-- hours later

Our first stop was a super cute little town, the name of which I don''t recall at the moment but I do know we were only there for a short time.  Enough for some to grab and ice cream and others to get a coffee!

This little town was also a great place to take photos of our sneaks!

When Fashion bloggers untie!

As we walked back to the bus I was so happy to get to know and talk to Lisa some more.  I am in awe of her.  She lives closest to  Andrea and Whitney but has been to The Parsons School in New York City and is working on her own fashion line.  I can't wait to buy one of her tops or jackets when they're available.  When she talked about Parsons, all I could think about was Project Runway...and how Lisa could totally be Heidi Klum!!

After sightseeing, we were next headed to a winery.  I liked this stop, but again, it was too short.  Not enough wine tasting IMO!  HA!

But I did get to try Canada's ice wine.  This is what I thought of it....

It wasn't for me.  More of a dessert wine...very sweet.  I did like our driver Jay's idea to throw it over some ice cream though.  How could I have forgotten to talk about Jay!!  He was our guide for the day and only actually told us his name about 7 hours in.  But boy did he give us an education on that bus!! Stories, jokes, facts and figures of his beloved Canada...he was the real deal and totally worth the trip!!

Oh wait...seeing the Falls up close from a boat was worth the trip!!!  The amount of water that flows and falls is really ridiculous but the whole thing is really freaking cool.

Things I failed to mention....our nice lunch and a trip into another little town before boarding the bus yet again for the long trek home!!
Christy and I...bus buddies!!!

Friday night we headed to dinner in The Distillery District.  I was super excited to go to this Mexican place, because I absolutely love Mexican food.  We ordered the 7 course tapas, so we all got to try a little bit of everything.

Wished I had the big purse for these glasses...hehe!!

While at dinner  we had a little baby shower for Shaunacey, whose due with baby number three in October.  It was a lot of fun!!  Great minds think and two others got her onsies with this sentiment...ha!!

Saturday was our walking tour of Toronto!  And boy did we walk, and walk and WALK some more!  But I loved it.  And was happy I got to chat some more with Lisa!  (Thanks for hanging with me Liss!)  As we walked and explored, we discussed how Toronto reminded us of a smaller scale New York City.

Why do I not have a picture with Lisa?!?  Here she is in front of her Spirit House!!

We headed to the coolest place called Graffiti Alley.  Where we took lots of photos.

And our resident professional  photographer (and blogging soulmate), Nicole took head shots of everybody!  I was really embarrassed to have my photo taken, but I actually don't think it came out half bad!!  Thanks Nicole. Seriously, all the photos she took on the trip are amazing.  I wish I could post them all!!

We also enjoyed a great lunch at Lakeview Diner where I tried poutine and had my first beer and clam!!  I am officially Canadian now!!

 Thanks for introducing me to Poutine and Beer and Clam Deena!!

After that, SHOPPING!!  The group split into two and some of us headed to the food court to rest our tired feet and get geleto!  YUM!!  Then it was off to do some shopping.  Everything thing I purchased, I got from stores I knew we didn't have here.  And Nicole and Shaunacey were great shopping guides for us!!  I don't have an pics of anything I bought yet, but you can bet that'll I finally be linking up for TBB Fashion Files to show it all off soon!!

Before heading back to the hotel on Saturday, we did dinner at a place called Pickle Barrel.  And I think this was my favorite.  Not because it was the best meal, but because we were all together.  At most of the places we went to eat, we were split into two groups.  And even when they accommodated our large group of 11 on Friday night, the table was so big, the other half of the group felt MILES AWAY!!  At Pickle Barrel it was more intimate!!  We chatted and talked about TBB and I unknowingly order a beer as big as my head.  I hear special, I say OK!
Sarah's the Queen of Selfies!!  

It was a long day that ended with us all on the rooftop for a dip in the hot tub for more chit chat and fun!

Sunday I woke up not quite believing that the weekend was coming to an end!  The group lost three of our tribe by 8:30 and the rest of us headed out to the mall for more shopping.  And Nicole's first ever trip to Nordstrom!! After more shopping we headed back to the hotel to say quick goodbyes to Shaunacey and Nicole and the rest of us headed to the airport.  I ended the trip, the way it began, with Alison and Sarah.  I was the last to leave!

While I alone in the airport on Sunday night,  I reflected on the trip and what it means to me. There are some things I wish I'd said and done, some girls I wish I had more time with but I still can't believe that I'm part of this fabulous, fun, diverse group of ladies. "The Blended Blog Squad" as Andrea's dubbed us!
How cute are these tanks?!?  Thanks Andrea!!

I am grateful!  My heart is full...and until I get to see them all again, that exactly where I will keep all of them!!  And don't be surprised if they and more about this trip pops up on the blog from time to time!!

Thanks ladies for your kindness, and a weekend I'll never forget!

And thanks too, for sharing your photos! :)

Whew....that was fun to relive!!