Saturday, December 29, 2012

30 by 30

One of my college roommates started a bucket list challenge recently. She has 30 things she wants to accomplish by the time she turns 30.  I was completely inspired by Jessica's list, so I decided to do the same. 
In the leadership class I took my senior year of high school, I was given an assignment to creat a life list.  I still have that list and added some things while in college.  There are 56 things on the original list; nineteen of which I have already accomplished.  I composed a new list of 30 things to do in the next seventeen months.  Only four of the things on my 30 by 30 are on the original list- mostly because there are a lot of travel related things that aren't financially feasible for me to do in less than two years.
So here it is.  My 30 by 30:

 1.          Complete a 5k*
  2.         Run the 5k Turkey Trot
  3.         Promote to 31 Senior Consultant
  4.         Go to California
  5.         Take a multi-state road trip spanning 1+ week
  6.         Weigh what I weighed when I graduated high school
  7.         Get my ESOL endorsement
  8.         Adopt a Middie Blythe
  9.         Do the Color Run
10.         Knit a pair of socks
11.         Pay off CC debt
12.         Pay off car
13.         Re-root Roslyn (ADG Blythe)
14.         Buy a DSLR
15.         Learn photoshop and/or illustrator
16.         Create my own “printables”
17.         Swim in the Pacific*
18.         Go vegan for a month
19.         Plant a fairy garden
20.         Read 18 banned books
21.         Tailgate at a football game
22.         Watch the top 20 AFI movies
23.         Do a 30 day “mile a day” challenge
24.         Finally take Matt parasailing*
25.         List something on Teachers Pay Teachers or Etsy*
26.         Take and pass the GK and Prof. Exams
27.         Attend a music festival
28.         HP movie marathon weekend (all 8 in 48 hrs)
29.         Make  a “fun” money savings plan/bank
30.         Update my blog more frequently (30+ times)

I actually started composing this list back in November.  I've already accomplished #21 and I will write another post about that. I also have various others in the works.  The four with asterisks are the things on my original list. 
My 30th birthday is Thursday, May 29, 2014. So in exactly seventeen months, I have high hopes to accomplish all of these things!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

good news

So continuing where I left off yesterday, it's been a rough year and not just financially.  BUT things are starting to look up.  On June 15, I accepted a teaching position for a third grade class at the school I already work at.  I start on July 25 for pre-planning and the first day of school is August 8.  This is a HUGE financial blessing which may seem crazy given the bad rap teaching salaries get, but it'll be more than double what I currently make.  Isn't that awful?  Teaching assistants make less than half of what teachers make in my county. :(

Anyway, I am beyond thrilled to have a class of my own and have been going Pinterest crazy with planning.  Now that there is only a week and a half until I start, I need to get into real planning mode.  I am hoping I can get into my classroom this week or at least pop into school to laminate some things.  I have a ton of lamination to do and then it all needs to be cut out.

I think right now I am equally excited and scared out of my mind.  I'm trying not to stress out, but I'm sure it'll get worse before it gets better. ;)

Friday, July 13, 2012

steady my heart

This past year has been more difficult than I ever could have imagined. When I quit Starbucks last summer to be a Paraprofessional, I hadn't taken into account the financial struggle I was about to face.  You see, I was going to be making the same hourly rate so everything should have been peachy, right? No, not at all.  At Starbucks, I put in a lot of overtime and made very good tips (we were a rockin' store). As a Para, I was only working 35 hours a week and my pay was being stretched to keep the checks coming in in the summer when I wouldn't be working at all.  I was often full of doubt and insecurities beyond measure regarding my financial situation.

I don't know how I would have survived without my family.  My brother let me work part time at his dive shop, so I could make some extra money.  He could have hired someone way more qualified than me or even someone who was more interested/passionate in the sport.  But he didn't.  He was looking out for his little sister.
My sister and her husband often let me stay at their house during the week, so I didn't have to commute as far because I couldn't afford the fuel.  They fed me meals and even took me on a weekend vacation.  It was like they had inherited a grown up child.  They loaned me money so I could pay my bills.  It was rough.
I hit a breaking point in March, around the time of my last blog post.  The financial struggle and despair had overtaken me.  I had been trying to keep it all hidden from my mother, who is also my landlord.  My sister couldn't help me anymore and I had to admit how bad the situation was- to my sister, to my mother and to myself.  I expected my mother to be disappointed and angry with me and I definitely didn't expect her to bail me out.  I was wrong. She was disappointed, but understanding.  She also rescued me financially.  Now instead of racking up more interest and late fees, I'm working to repay my mother.  And let me tell you having your mother as your creditor is much nicer than a big corporation.

 Whenever I was feeling low, worthless and losing hope, I would force myself to remember that I have a Savior who died for me and provides for me. I needed to keep my hope and faith.  Things would turn out alright.   I don't know why I struggle so much with this.  Why do I need to force myself to remember? Why do I have to force myself to turn to God for help?  Why don't I just ask for help from the beginning? Why do I think I can do things on my own? I am nothing without Jesus.  I need to remember that. I am thankful for a loving and merciful God who has put people in my life to care for me and look out for me when I can't seem to handle life by myself.

I hadn't intended this post to turn out this way. At all.  It was going to be a "hey, it's been a rough year, but things are looking up" kind of post.  But somewhere along the way that changed.  I'll post the "looking up" part tomorrow.  I think both parts need to have their own space, so one doesn't overshadow the other.
While I've been writing I came across a post on Facebook where an old friend posted this video.  I had never heard this song before, but it greatly impacted me this afternoon.  My hope for you is that this song comforts you, if you need it.  It came into my life when I needed it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Zesty Coconut Dressing

So easy to make and so yummy...vegan, too!

Zesty Coconut Dressing

Recipe from Coco Lopez:
½ cup Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 (0.7-ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix
In small jar with tight-fitting lid or bowl, combine ingredients; mix well. Chill to blend flavors. Stir before serving.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I've been wanting to make granola bars for awhile.  When I came across this recipe on Pinterest, I decided to try it out.

Homemade Granola Bars

I substituted agave nectar for the honey and used only 3 tbs of margarine instead of butter.  They are still very crumbly, but otherwise delicious!  Next time, I think I will use peanut butter or almond butter instead of the butter/margarine and see if that helps hold them together any better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You're Just "Write"!

My sister came over this afternoon and brought her Cricut.  We had a heart cutting party and I cut out approx. 60 red hearts!  Thirty-six of them were used for this for each of my students.   I can't wait to give them to the kiddos on Tuesday!

Thing A Day (12)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Knit Key Cozy

This was a super fun and quick pattern! I used to have a little plastic monkey on my house key, but it was pretty gross so I trashed it. I was excited when I came across this pattern last night on Ravelry.

Thing A Day (6) Knit Key Cozy

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I went out of town this weekend, so I haven’t been able to post. But I did make things 3, 4, and 5. :)

Day 3 was Energy Bites. I love these things. I make them a little different each time. They were the perfect road trip snack!

Thing A Day (3)

Day 4, I finished the hexi I started knitting on day 1. I decided to leave it unstuffed and will continue to make hexiflats from here on out. This is the start of my Beekeeper’s Quilt.

Thing A Day (4)

Day 5, I knit another hexiflat. I love how this yarn is sparkly.

Thing A Day (5)

I think a lot of my “things” will end up being hexiflats!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Days 1 & 2

I decided to join Thing A Day late in the evening on Jan. 31. So I hadn’t thought out a plan on what to do exactly. This resulted in Day 1 being pretty pathetic. I knit all of four rows of a hexi for my Beekeeper’s Quilt…but at least I did something!

Thing A Day (1)

Day 2, I was a little more productive! I made one of my favorite recipes for Banana Bread. I modified it by adding coconut and chocolate chips. I’ll be bringing this with me to Rachel’s house on Saturday.

Thing A Day (2)

Day 3 will most likely be more baking or knitting!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I did it!  These weren't always the best pictures, but I did follow the theme each day and never missed a day.  Also, something that was kind of fun was that each picture was taken with my cell phone with the exception of Day 1.

Photo-A-Day January 2012

Now that Photo-A-Day is over, I have decided to challenge myself to Thing-A-Day.  For every day in February, Thing-A-Day participants create something new and share it.  I have plans to knit some hexipuffs, a lemon and lime, and work on some embroidery and sewing projects!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Microwaveable Heaven in a Mug

Yeah, that's what I called it to my sister on the phone tonight!  But really it's a Nutella Mug Cake.  I took this recipe and made it my own. I don't eat eggs or cow's milk*. I also don't have self rising flour and thought it called for way too much oil.

Nutella Mug Cake

 Nutella Mug Cake aka Microwaveable Heaven in a Mug

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons flour
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Baking Powder
4 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Nutella
3 tablespoons soy milk (I used plain)
1 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine flax seeds and water in a large mug (a soup mug works great), then add remaining ingredients.  Mix well with a fork.  Microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Enjoy!

Nutella Mug Cake.

Seriously, it's that easy!  I topped mine with a scoop of Hazelnut Cappuccino Gelato from Poco Loco.  This is quite a large serving. There's plenty to share or save some for later.  I'm thinking it may be breakfast tomorrow!

*I'm not vegan and this is not a vegan recipe, but it easily could be. Just leave the Nutella out and you'll have a chocolate mug cake.  I don't eat eggs, because I don't like them and I avoid cow's milk, because I'm lactose intolerant.  So, yes, I should be vegan, but I'm not.  I like cheese too much.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

username fun!

My Flickr friend, knitting barista did this today and encouraged me to do the same.  You should do it, too!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

To kick off the year, I've decided to do another photography challenge.  It's just for the month of January with a different theme each day.

Photo A Day Challenge January 2012

Day 1 is a self portrait. I took this just minutes after midnight on the Tomorrowland Bridge at Magic Kingdom. It was complete chaos at the park (max capacity), but the fireworks show was incredible- probably the best I've ever seen! It was a great experience, but not one that I'm in a rush to do again!

1:31 Self Portrait

Here's a link to my entire photography challenge set, if you are interested in seeing the rest of the pictures as the challenge progresses.

Happy New Year!