Sunday, July 31, 2011

Classroom Inspiration

Tonight, hubs and I are EXHAUSTED. We shanghaied my baby sister into staying with us from Sunday to Thursday. We had a BLAST, like I mentioned in my last post. What I failed to mention was that we then kept my baby brother from Friday to Sunday. So, the last few hours have been the calmest, most serene hours we've had in over a week! Granted, we had the best time hanging out with some younguns; it's just tiring having to be aware of someone dependent on you. Little preview to future happenings, I guess. :) We wouldn't have traded it for the world. It was SO much fun. But now, we're all cozy in bed. Josh is trying to convince his piece of junk computer PC to look like a Mac while I tap away on my lovely black Macbook (*brushes shoulder off). To top it all off, there is beautiful thunder rumbling in the background! I may want to snuggle under the covers before I finish this post- alas, I will try to hold back.

This evening's post is to share my excitement in the realization that I get to decorate a NEW classroom!!!! And guys- it is BEAUTIFUL! A science teacher's dream! I CANNOT WAIT to show you all pictures. It's very amazing. I made my realization tonight while playing around on Pinterest. If you like to look at stuff online for ideas and inspiration, you need to get on Pinterest!! So anyways, it all of a sudden hit me- I can be just as crafty and gung ho about DIY in my classroom as I can in my home! YESSSSS!!!!!! So, this led me to lots of inspiration- some of which I already had. And now, you lucky readers, get to share in a sneak peek of the awesome ideas I have for my new classroom! *insert looks of anticipation and admiration*

To begin- my initial "a-ha!" moment hit when I saw this bulletin board border:
SO CUTE, right?! I kind of love gray and yellow a lot.
Then, I kept looking and came across these letters that will look GREAT with my black bulletin board backgrounds and the super cute daisy border:
Also, I had snagged some yellow and white paper lanterns like these from my younger sister's wedding this past July:
 In addition to those super cute ideas, here are two more that I would hope bring smiles to my students' faces!

Cutie pa-tootie pencil vase with sunflowers!

PERFECT for hormonal teenagers who need a pick me up!

And just for kicks (pun totally intended :P ), I'd like to add that I absolutely <3 these socks-

 So, there you have it! This makes me get the 'teacher tingles'; kind of like butterflies, but not nervous- excited! God has graciously blessed me with a completely new start- new district, new school, new grade level, and I can't wait to jump in and give my all doing what I am so certain He has gifted me to do. The thunderstorm is on its way out, so I'm going to sign off and spend my last few moments before sleep snuggling with my sweet hubby and thinking of more ideas for school!! Goodnight all!

Until next time,

Thursday, July 28, 2011


The past 7 days have been SO busy! I apologize for the lack of posts... between traveling to see my best friends and traveling home and hanging out with my baby sister this week and tackling more projects I've been totally EXHAUSTED! However, I must say that I have been so blessed by God. A trip home to my mom and stepdad's humble abode sent us home with lots of goodies to help decorate our home as well as some delicious, garden grown vegetables!!!!! We got squash, cucumbers, zucchini, hot peppers, and some green tomatoes. I must also say that the week before we were blessed with blackberries, blueberries, and home grown tomatoes from my dad and stepmom as well. There is NOTHING like farm fresh produce! Josh and I can't wait to one day have our own garden in our backyard; but until then, we are content to mooch off of our loving families! :)

Since I am waaaay too tired to bore you with more explanations of my recent projects and activities, I'll just share in pictures some of the things I've been up to lately.

This GORGEOUS TV stand is a wedding gift from some of my closest friends!! They are precious to me. :)

My baby sister Anna came to stay for a few days. In the midst of hanging out and teaching her to crochet, she helped me paint the kitchen. She took a break here from painting the wall while sitting on top of the refrigerator to say hello to Kina and Scooby hanging out in the living room.
Those farm fresh veggies I was telling you about!
Finally got another leaf put into our table and a few place settings (another awesome wedding gift!!!) done. :)
Our Heavenly Father never promised life would be easy. I have found this in my own life to be so true; and this truth does not end just because you get married. However, when you marry someone and sincerely make a lifelong commitment to support and love that person with all your heart as you both serve God, it is amazing how God provides and guides the way. We have been blessed with a bounty of love, provision, laughter, challenges, opportunities to brag on our glorious God, and of course yummy veggies!! What bounty is in your life that you may not have thought about lately?

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Busy Bees

Good afternoon! I'm so glad I finally have a few minutes to take a break and breathe. This has been a very busy week; and will continue to involve early mornings and lots of driving. All for good reasons, though. :)

Josh and I are FINALLY seeing some progress on the painting of our walls. I have been feeling kind of yucky lately and he is completely unmotivated tired from work when he gets home, so the painting had gotten pretty slack. HOWEVER! Last Saturday Josh promised to complete a short, sweet honey do list. Well, with my help he got #1 and #2 completed. I love my husband to the ends of the earth and back, but the man just does not like handy work. UGH! My trick around this is to start a project- whenever I start something, he feels compelled to help. Ha! Take that!

So pictures will be coming soon of the new wall (hopefully with chair railing up super soon!) that will frame our dining table, the living room finished, and my new little crafty craft I came up with all by myself! Yes, I'm super proud and excited. Plus, all I had to buy to complete it was Plaster of Paris! I'm working on it right now as we speak. Oh the suspense!!

Summer for me is beginning to wind down (boo!) and I'm beginning to really feel the pressure to get my house together. Hopefully hubs will begin to feel that pressure too and we can put down the TV remote and Guitar Hero long enough to finish setting up our little nest. We chuckle because the house we live in is bigger than the houses we each grew up in. I think part of our problem is having no idea what to do with all this space!!

Talk of babies has begun. I'm sure some of you who read my blog may have had similar questions. The short answer is that we are basically leaving the decision up to God. I started out with a "prevention" mind set. God has begun to change my heart and as Josh and I have begun praying together every morning and communicating better spiritually, I have come to realize that He is calling us to surrender to His plan. I'm not saying our decision is one everyone should make; we are listening to what He is telling us to do to honor Him. It's a little scary because we have JUST gotten married, but if I've learned anything lately it's that God's plans are SO much sweeter and more perfect than our own. So, the pitter patter of little feet? Right now it's only the pitter patter of Scooby and Kina's little paws (our fur babies we would do ANYTHING for). But who's to say there won't be a little baby dust floating around a little ways down the road? Only the good Lord knows. :)

Much love to you all as I spend my evening enjoying my husband cooking me supper for my birthday!

Until next time,

Friday, July 15, 2011


So, I wish I could've come up with a catchy-er title, but I've been SO inspired and done SO many projects this week I had to be kind of general. :) This post is going to be a long one, but there will be lots of pictures for you to admire, so don't worry!

Project #1- Nom!
During Thanksgiving of 2010, my family was AMAZED that after everyone was finished eating, my sweet Josh was still chowing down; and he continued to eat for another 30 minutes after. :) This is a great blessing for me because I LOVE to cook and bake treats. I think it has something to do with me being a science nerd and loving to 'experiment'. We bought some blueberries, but they weren't getting eaten very quickly. I've been dying to make some cobbler this summer (I had attempted strawberry cobbler at my old rental house... let's just say it didn't go very well.) So, without further adieu, my delicious (albeit a little too sweet for my taste, perfect for Josh) blueberry cobbler!

It was SO good!
I was also excited to use some of my new bake ware!
I got the recipe for this cobbler off of (if you ever need recipe ideas or variations, check this site out!! It's awesome!). It is as follows-
You need:
1 stick butter (1/4 lb)
1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk---> This is what the website says, but I had to use a whole cup. I guess eyeball it. :)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Note: If self-rising flour is not on hand, combine 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt with 1 cup all purpose flour).

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt butter (in oven) in a large, deep dish baking pan.
In a saucepan, combine blueberries, lemon juice, water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
For the batter, combine remaining ingredients, mixing until smooth. Pour this over the melted butter in the baking pan. Top with the blueberry mixture.
Bake until top is golden brown and crusty for about 25-30 minutes. --> I had to cook mine about 40.

You can try this recipe with any fruit! I'm going to try it with strawberries and peaches before the summer is out hopefully! I knew this recipe was a success because at first hubby said "I only eat strawberry cobbler. I never eat others"; well, lemme tell you this stuff only last about 3 days!

Project #2- Picture Frame Tray!
For our wedding, some good friends gave us a tray with picture frames in the bottom. The hardest part of this project was deciding a) what pictures to put in the frame and b) how to arrange them. After coming across one of the photos from our honeymoon I knew exactly what I was going to do!
The picture that decided it for me was the one in the middle. On our honeymoon, I nice motorcyclist took this picture of us at one of the overlooks in the  Blue Ridge Parkway. Look at our shirts! Yes! Clemson and Carolina. I decided to print that picture in color and let the rest of the pictures be some of my favorites- some special moments- and do those in black and white. Whatcha think?

Project #3- Baby Blanket!
It's a deep purple and key lime green.
Baby blankets are nothing new to me. One of my best friends taught me how to make them (and taught me how to crochet) when we were in college. This blanket is for a little girl who's just over a week old. I'm a little behind! Haha.

Project #4- Coffee Filter Lampshade!
For this project, I used Merita coffee filters in the 'natural' color. (They're a paper bag color) I took one, lifted the sides and scrunched the bottom to create a small flat part to put glue on. Then, I took a hot glue gun and put a little glue on the bottom and attached it to the lampshade, like so:
Be careful! You will burn your fingers at least once!

Now, just continue this (I would buy at least 200 filters) until it is full and the lampshade is completely covered. Almost finished:
Now, when I finished I took a pair of scissors and just trimmed around to even out the shape. And voila!
I may trim it more to make it smaller, but I love it! You can use white coffee filters too and it's just as beautiful!

Project #5- Skinny Window Makeover!
Okay, we have a skinny window next to our front door. Since I moved in I've been trying to figure out how to find a way to make the window private where people can't see in without keeping the light out.
Here's the 'before'-
Now, I taped off the window to create some stripes and variation because Josh wanted to still be able to see who was outside if someone knocks (a good idea, I guess). So I did a light coat with some frosted glass spray paint (got it at wally world for around 4 bucks) and then I striped it:

Now, I made a big boo boo. Frosted glass spray paint is a lot different than normal spray paint. You CANNOT spray it point blank. It makes what you're spraying blotchy. You have to move constantly back and forth in smooth strokes. I learned this the hard way (as I do most things). I became really upset because the top 6 inches of the window became really blotchy. I tried to scrape it off and redo it, but to no avail. Rather than panic, ... Okay fine- In addition to panicking, I put my thinking cap on and came up with a great idea. Paint over the mistake! So, I picked up the can of paint we're painting the living room with and set to work. Forty bajillion coats of it later, we were in business. But it wasn't perfect, because frosted glass isn't meant to be painted over. So, I blew the dust of my stepmom's Cricut machine I had brutally used for wedding stuff, and set to work with some vinyl. I love the pattern on the coasters we have in the living room. They are a cream color with a black 'A' and a fleur de lis. So, I cut out two little border strips and a fleur de lis, presto chango, fixed, gorgeous, living room skinny window:
I know, it surprised me too how good it was! :)
Whole entry. :)
Finally, Project #6 (I think)- Puppy Personalization
Out of sheer boredom, or maybe just because I love my dogs this much, but I kept the Cricut out for a few extra minutes and completed this little project for where the pups eat:
So, that concludes my project extravaganza!! I hope you've enjoyed this peek into what I've been doing to make the unpacking and organizing a little less tedious. :) What have you been working on to make your space your own?

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Holdin' Down the Homestead

You'd think as an official, married, "grown up" I would realize that things never go as planned. Wrong. I don't know about you, but when I get a 'plan' for something in my head I always picture the outcome. When I first moved into this house, I thought for sure by this time everything would be glittering, pictures on the walls, sparkling, put in place, walls painted, angels singing, etc., etc. However, here we are, just 4 weeks shy of me starting school again. It makes me a little stressed out. You may be thinking "But Andrea, you're a teacher- you have the ENTIRE summer to get things done!" Well, I spent the first 2 weeks of my summer preparing for my wedding and going on my honeymoon. I've been home for 2 weeks and have gotten 3 1/2 rooms unpacked and uncluttered. I've still got 3 1/2 more to go! But that doesn't include all the painting/decorating projects I'd like to complete as well.

So, I guess I shouldn't beat myself up too much for not being finished yet. I, of course, had to learn this the hard way. If you know anything about me, you know how incredibly emotional I can be. Well, maybe you don't; I tend to save that side of me for those I'm super close to. Josh has handled these emotions like a champ. I had to do some soul searching today and realized I'm way too hard on him about being romantic. I wasn't paying attention to the ways he tries to do things for me that he sees as romantic; I was too busy looking at the ways he wasn't being romantic in my eyes. So, I've been praying to see my husband the way God sees him. God loves each and every one of us dearly, and I've found that when I have a problem with someone, praying to see them through God's eyes is a very humbling experience. He shows you how much he cherishes each one of His creations, and none is favored more than another. I have every intention of explaining this to Josh, but this evening he beat me to the punch by surprising me with a Chik-Fil-A peach milkshake (that he knows I LOVE!). So our little conversation will have to wait till bedtime.

So after lots of sobbing, yelling, and discovering more gray hairs, I have deduced a few things:
*I am only making my life shorter and more miserable by stressing over everything
*Praying with my husband before he goes to work starts our day off better than anything else possibly could
*Checklists are awesome!
*Getting my house together is not a half hour HGTV show; and I need to be okay with that
*Home decorating blogs are GREAT for inspiration and cheap design ideas!
*The decision to be a dog owner was the commitment to vacuum more than any human ever should, and I need to be okay with that too.
*Dishes and laundry are never going to end, and I need to embrace them before I have children.

So there you have it. Before I close this post out, though, I want to share a song that has meant A LOT to me. It has really helped get me through the struggle trying to stabilize our new life. Check it out. :)

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Home Improvement

It's hard to believe it's already been almost 3 weeks since the day we said 'I Do'. Some days it feels like it was just yesterday. Some days we've felt like it's been 3 years! However, up or down each day has its own little blessings that make these new steps we are taking as a married couple so sweet.

It is my firm belief that I have been blessed with the best set of in-laws anyone could ever hope for. They blessed Josh and me with an amazing wedding gift: a new bedroom suit!!!

I promised pictures and now that life has slowed down a tad I've been able to get our room and life organized and de-cluttered enough to show off such a priceless present!

I am so thankful and blessed to have such a beautiful bedroom!

The decal says "Loved you yesterday, Love you still. Always have, always will." So true. :)

Josh's nightstand- On the right is my garter and the buck and doe on his groom's cake. :)
My nightstand- We got the lampshades for $3 on clearance at Target!
The dresser!!! My favorite part. It's so pretty!

Of course I couldn't take pics without a few munchkins wanting to say hello:

Scooby and Kina say hello to all their adoring friends!

 So friends, that's about all I've got for tonight. Soon I'll be posting some more pictures as things around the house finish getting painted and put together! This is such a sweet and exciting time in our lives and as we enjoy each day together we look forward to what God has in store for us next!

Much love!
-A & J