Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh July

As we approach the end of July, I’ve been awash with emotions.  The summer is half over.  My students will be returning soon for a new semester.  I’m going into my seventh year in my job and am really, really hoping for new growth experiences.  My colleague won’t be returning due to some health problems.  So much is in flux, which could be good.  But I don’t know how much will be changing about my role and I’m hoping for good, new challenges on the horizon. 

A short upcoming trip to Buffalo means time with the family.  But it never seems enough.  I guess that’s one of the challenges of living away from your hometown.  I love Philadelphia but wish there was more opportunity to spend time with those so dear.  I just need to grasp on to that time – precious moments with my mom, Rosy and me in the backyard, funny extended family members being their unique selves, and spending time with a stepfamily that is so real and genuine I feel as though they have always been part of my life. 

I have curriculum to write both for work and a volunteer job.  I really need to carve out some time in Panera to sit, listen to my music (Joshua Bell is awesome for curriculum development!) and write.  I feel like I haven’t been able to put enough time aside for this passion this summer. 

So much of my life is not changing as I would wish but I am surrounded by blessings: Strong, compassionate friends.  A loving family.  A partner I believe in and love. A happy and good dog. A job that provides a roof over my head and food on my table.  The ability to create.  Calling a city I love home.  Many reasons to smile.  Truly, my own personal kind of sunshine. 

What sunshine in lighting your world lately?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cherry Red

The kitchen chairs are finished!  And wow, do they add an awesome pop to my kitchen!!  Four chairs, all different but united in cherry red.  I love them.  And my table with them.  A perfect little rehab for about $40 in  sandpaper, primer, paint and brushes. 

What have you been changing in your life?

Saturday, July 28, 2012


My friend Katie and I at sunset. 
 As promised, here's a little overview of my trip to Ocean City, Maryland.  We were there for 4 days.  The first full day, we spent most of our time at the beach.  Thank goodness for sun umbrellas, SPF 55 and a close Wawa for snacks!  After about 4 hours, I headed back to the condo for a bit of relaxation. We closed out the day with a swim in the pool, ice cream and trip to the bay to catch the sunset. 
Day 2 we greeted the sun on the beach!  Seriously, it was so worth getting up at 5 AM to be able to be on the beach with the sun coming up, only about 20 other people and the feel of sand beneath my feet. 
After a quick nap, we headed out to visit Assateague Island.  With a little driving around and a few short walks, we managed to see 22 horses.  They keep the herd at between 80-100 by delivering a sort of birth control hormone to the mares.  We were pretty excited to have seen about 20-25% of the horses.  I love horses so!  And I also learned that wild horses - at least among the females - have a hierarchy with one as the alpha and everyone else ranking in below. 
This pretty mare is most likely the beta of her herd according to the National Park ranger I spoke with.  
 We closed out our last full day with a trip to the boardwalk.  A bit of a walk, a little window shopping and some boardwalk food of lemonade and funnel cake = perfection. 
Boardwalk treats
I'm so grateful for the chance to get away, relax a bit, have sand between my toes and eat crab everyday.  Yep, that's blessed folks! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Getaway

Sand graffiti might be the best kind
 I'm just back from the beach.  A couple of friends and I went to Ocean City, MD for a couple of days.  It was wonderful to get away, put my feet in the sand and just relax.  I promise more of an update soon on some of what we did.  Right now, I need to catch up on laundry, head out for a pedicure and get ready for my Olympic Opening Ceremony gathering tonight! 
Sunrise on July 25th, 120th Street Beach, Ocean City, MD

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Been Away!

I've been away, being silly with friends, wearing crazy press-on eyeliner and being doing my hair big (as big as it cane be!).  We were in Houston, although it was for a convention so I didn't really see any of the city.  Regardless, it was a great trip with lots of friends. But then any time you get to be goofy and see friends, it's probably going to be awesome right? 

I will say I'm making good progress on painting the chairs for my kitchen.  The last one is just about done.  I am so glad I bought cherry red, as it's really popping.  I'll share photos soon, when my kitchen is put back together.

I'm also planning a small party for the Olympics opening ceremony.  I love planning events like this but goodness, I need to come up with some good "tour the world" foods to serve.  I'm thinking tacos for dinner but otherwise I'm up in the air.  Any ideas?  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Prime Time

The last kitchen chair is sanded and primed.  I put the first coat of red paint on last night.  Oh, it's such a good feeling to have this project almost done. For many reasons really.... 1.) because it's transforming my kitchen slightly, 2.) because I'll be able to put my living room back together, with no work station and most importantly 3.) because I hate sanding.  I'm tired of the dust.  I'm tired of keeping the paint thinner out and having it dry my hands.  I'm looking forward to Swiffering my floors clean and painting my fingernails again!  But most of all, I'm looking forward to seeing the diverse crew of chair I have unified under the same uniform of paint.  And seeing how great my kitchen comes together with the pop of red.  More to come soon folks.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I finished these mug rugs for my friend Jenny this past weekend.  She saw the one I made for myself and asked for a set of four. 
I used different fabric on the backs of each of them, so every one is a bit different.  I like how they came out. I hope Jenny likes them too! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Let Them Eat...

...tres leches! 

This weekend I made this yummy cake, based on the recipe from Amber. My friend Katie and I have had tres leches numerous times at a restaurant in my neighborhood.  The last time I was there, it was no longer on the menu.  I don't know if that is a temporary thing or forever but the recipe dropped in my lap when reading Amber's blog last week. 
It looked relatively easy and I figured it couldn't hurt to try it!  Overall, I would say it was pretty good.  I didn't make the topping, as I think it is sweet enough without it.  As for recipe modifications, when I make it again I might put in more condensed milk so the cake is just a little more saturated.  And if I can find a slightly denser cake, I might alter that as well.  Lastly, I'd also make sure to make it at least a day before serving.  It was definitely better on day two!!  That said, I'll definitely be making this again sometime.  Delicious!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wedding Bliss!

A little over a week ago my nephew got married.  It was a beautiful day for the lovely couple - plenty of family and friends, sunshine, and love.  I'm so glad I got to dress up, do some fancy hair, spend time with family and celebrate their love.  Yep, a blessed life!