September 27, 2011

Wow! Crochet School!

Hey hey... remember when I introduced you to Craftyminx over the summer? Yep, she's the lady behind the Granny-A-Day project (that is oh so inspiring). Now she's hosting a fabulous Crochet School! It's absolutely free, and knowing this lady, there will be no stitch left unturned ;).

Announcement1

Go check out the details on her blog and let the stitchin' begin!

xo, Liz

Book List

Because the next few days are crazy busy for me after school (Meet the Teacher night, training, getting ready for my show this weekend, etc.), I decided to invite Cory on a little date tonight. I cooked baked ziti and paired it with red wine for when he got home and then we headed straight to the bookstore to pick up our new Book Club book.

Book Club? Yep. Cory and I decided when we first started dating that every few months (usually once or twice a year) we'll read the same book. We alternate turns choosing--but our tastes are so similar that it's never that hard.

We each pick up a copy and once we finish it, one will take their copy to school or donate it to Good Will or give it to a friend, and then we'll keep the other copy. Sure, it's frivolous spending. Seriously though--there's not much else we could do for just $16 per person that involves such rich discussion and time together. Right?

So our current Book Club book is... drum roll please...


One of the major rules we have about the Book Club is that the book needs to be published in paperback. Franzen's best-seller from 2010, Freedom, was finally published in paperback today, so the timing of this special date was perfect :)

While we were picking our our books, I noticed a few that I'm totally adding to my birthday/holiday wish list. If you happen to own them or have seen them and have any comments, please share! I'd love to hear what you thought about:


Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations

What's on your Book List?

xo,
Liz

September 26, 2011

I'm obsessed.

Since Cory and I don't have cable TV we've really become hooked on Netflix. When Netflix changed their subscription services, we nixed the discs and have stayed with streaming. After all, we use the streaming nearly every day, whereas the discs just sit around (or get lost) and collect dust.

I've been around the block a time or two with TV series on Netflix and definitely have my favorites (Cosby Show, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights), but recently I have been revisiting a show from my past: Felicity.


I was just in high school when Felicity came on the air and was definitely obsessed with Dawson's Creek, so I didn't give it much attention. Now, as an adult and a college graduate, this show resinates so wholly with me it's unbelievable.

Wanting to break away from her parents' plans for her, Felicity follows a high school crush to New York City to attend NYU and being a new life. The first season has Felicity go through various ups and downs of normal freshman-in-college life. Many crushes, one true love, trying to fit in, keeping up with classes, etc. It definitely sucked me when at the end she was forced to choose between two special gentlemen. It was like watching Carrie choose between Aiden and Mr. Big all over again!

So now that I'm in season 2 (and yes... I'm making big plans to barrel through the series as I usually do), I am beyond hooked. The plots are growing thicker and my love for the character, Ben, is driving me mad, I say! Here are some of my favorite Felicity snapshots to share with you :)

 

September 25, 2011

Movie Reviews: Moneyball & Bill Cunningham New York

This weekend has been full of movies around our house and to be honest, it's been kind of perfect.

I was desperate for a sushi and movie night, so after work on Friday Cory and I headed to one of the local sushi joints before heading out to see Moneyball. I know not all my readers are huge sports fans, but I was actually really excited to hear that Moneyball was being produced into a feature film as I read the book (written by Michael Lewis, the same guy who wrote The Blind Side) when it was first published while I was in college.


 Essentially, Billy Beane, a baseball hopeful in the early 90s, is the General Manager of the failing Oakland A's in the early 2000s. Long story short, desperate to make a change, Bean brings on a staffer to turn baseball into a mathematical science. Now, you definitely know I am not a math person--but this intrigued me so that I finished the full text in nearly 3 days. That's pretty fast for an English major enrolled in college full time (to put it mildly... we have a lot of reading for homework).

The film had been given rave reviews from the New York Times (that never seems to give any film rave reviews), so I was eager to see it! I thought Brad Pitt did an exceptional job as Billy Beane, but felt as if the screenwriter/producer didn't use Pitt's acting abilities to their fullest. Beane is/was a complex man when he was actively playing Major League Baseball and still today as part of the A's organization. While they did leave a lot of room for the audience to make their own conclusions, there was more Pitt could've done if given the appropriate agency. I truly believe most of my opinion is rooted in reading the book first. If you're even close to being a sports fan or if you have a mate who is, I would see the movie. It's charming and witty in all the right ways.

This evening Cory was reading his Sunday issue of the New York Times and instantly grabbed the Wii remote to click on Netflix. Without really understanding what he was doing, he immediately turned to a documentary that I had wanted to see a few months ago, but had completely forgotten about. (I love when that happens!)

Bill Cunningham New York is a fabulous documentary that follows photographer extrordinaire Bill Cunningham. If you're a Sunday reader of the Times, Cunnhingham compiles a collection of recent photographs of various trends and statements he sees flooding the New York streets. He often notices trends and styles much before the Anna Wintours of the world are aware. I mean, that's incredible!




For all you fashion bloggers, fashion lovers, or New York enthusiasts, go forward to thee Netflix account and instantly stream this film. It's perfect, quirky, and absolutely wonderful. As I was watching this adorable gentleman photograph lovely fashions it made me excited to get dressed in the morning! Wonderful inspiration for the season to come, that's for sure!

What have you been watching? :)

xo, Liz




September 24, 2011

Oxford Comma: It's so important.


Just a little musing from your trusty English teacher ;).

xo, liz

September 19, 2011

Learning the Ropes

My name is Liz, I'm 25 yrs old, and I taught myself how to use a lighter today.

If you have been poking around on Twitter, you may have seen that I taught myself how to make potato soup, molasses cookies, and how to roast a chicken all from scratch this weekend. I know! I'm not entirely sure where this motivation is coming from, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the "experimental" stage that I'm going through right now.

I really enjoy spending time learning something new, so long as it is on my own volition. I like being in the kitchen and adding new recipes to our rotation, just like I like coming up with new crochet patterns.

Although I always understood how the mechanism worked, I never... ever... until about 25 minutes ago was able to operate a lighter. That's right. Having never been a smoker and always resourcing to matches to light candles (I think they're sophisticated, don't ask), I never took the time to operate a lighter (and it always sort of hurt my thumb.. ouch!). So that's what I'm adding to my list today... working a ligther. ha!

This fall is all about learning something new. Finding a new way to do simple tasks or a new way to do old tasks. Either way, it feels good.

September 18, 2011

...A little Gatsby update



Remember over the summer I held a mini Gatsby book club? John Green finally posted a follow-up video! Enjoy :)

September 17, 2011

A little "hooker" humor for you..


I saw this cutie over at Craftzine's blog via Obey Crochet and wanted to share it with you :) obey-crochet-drawings_page_4.jpg

September 16, 2011

The Best Thing(s) About Teaching Seniors

The Best Thing(s) about Teaching Seniors in the Fall:
  • They are still motivated to do well in school. Once that first spring breeze floats by, that motivation is out the window!
  • They truly want to become a good writer so they are successful in college.
  • As the teacher, I get to coach them when making pretty hefty decisions regarding to ACT/SAT and the college admissions process.
  • My high expectations translate into: "She's treating me like an adult."
  • When they turn in a paper, they have put 12 years of education into focus. Seriously. They busted their butts this week and this is what I face... (proudly)...
I have some papers to grade.

A huge stack of Personal Statement essays.
These will be fun because they will tell me so much about my students. Yay!

September 15, 2011

A great gift for the crocheter or wannabe crocheter in your life!

Martha Stewart Crafts Lion Brand Yarn Knit & Weave Loom Kit (Image1)  Whenever I meet a newbie to needlearts, they always ask the best way to get started.

Of course, I direct them to my favorite stitch references and hooks; however, it can be overwhelming for some who don't just want to "jump in." The next best option is a loom kit. My yarn-brand crush, Lion Brand Yarn, recently teamed with good 'ole Martha Stewart and the end result is this trusty Knit & Weave Loom kit! Perfect!

The best part of a loom set is that it allows you to see and understand how yarn works together to create the multitude of "knots" when stitching. It's really neat and anyone, of any age, can get into it. Once they master the loom, the process of knitting or crocheting will actually be much easier for the newbie to understand each process.

Now, here's the thing. Everyone needs a release. So maybe you have someone special in your life that just needs something to keep them occupied or help them relieve a little stress after work. This is the best gift. Sit down with them (you and your friend can loom at the same time, there are so many peices) and learn it together. It will offer you some quality time and probably build their confidence as well ;).

Martha Stewart Crafts Lion Brand Yarn Knit & Weave Loom Kit (Image3)



What happens when you gift this special loom and sit down with your special pal? No direction? No where to go? Guess what, LBY has you covered. There are brand new (and super chic) patterns available on their website absolutely free for your use! You could even print them out and make a litte book as a supplemental gift!


I can already count on my fingers and toes how many looms I am buying for family and friends this season. I know for a fact they will love them and be excited about the concept of taking their stress-energy and turning it into a product! Isn't that what it's all about?

xo,
Liz

Our Weekend Menu!

Earlier this week I posted about mint-chocolate chip cookies and it really got me thinking. I had a nice little convo with myself (per usual) and it went something like this:

"Self, you should really reserve this weekend as a stay-in-to-cook-and-crochet-all-day weekend."
And I replied... "You are absolutely right, self."

I immediately looked at the weather forecast (I think the current temperature truly effects your diet). It's calling for low 70s, upper 60s all weekend. Perfect! My next step was to start searching around for new fall recipes that I haven't tried. I'm really into soups these days, plus all those pumpkin-y treats that are so a-la fall. So as I was searching around I stumbled across Annie's Eats and instantly fell in love. What a great food blog!

Here is my entire weekend menu straight to you. Maybe you'll be inspired to try something new! ;)

Saturday Morning:


Saturday Lunch:

Roasted Garlic-Potato Soup Recipe

Saturday Dinner:


Sunday Breakfast:


Sunday Lunch:
*repurpose some of the chicken from last night's dinner*


Sunday Dinner
*Perfect for lunch the next day!*another re-purpose meal*

What's on your menu this weekend?

'Tis the Season to Organize your Cookie Cutters!


I tell you what, I have a problem keeping my kitchen organized. Sure, everything has a drawer or a cabinet, but how it is stored within those drawers or cabinets is your best guess. It's driving me crazy. I have been thinking about an excess of cookie cutters that I have (I obviously need shapes for every major holiday and season... right?) and decided to look around for a little DIY help. Lo and behold.. we have a winner!

I just found Annie's Eats blog and am pretty much in love. It's really great and you know.. you should check it out too.

I was going scrolling through her recent posts and HEY! What's that? Cookie Cutter Organization!? You're my girl, Annie!

This is the perfect it-only-takes-an-hour pantry project! score!


Do you have a good idea to keep your kitchen stuff organized (and have it stay organized)? Do tell! My husband and I are very interested ;). xo, Liz

September 14, 2011

Autumn Decorating DIY Projects

I've been looking for bits and pieces of inspiration around the web in hopes of finally bringing the decorating process of our home to an end. We have gigantic walls. Seriously. 15 feet high in some areas. As a result, I'm taking my good, sweet time deciding what will be there to stay. These are my favorite pieces of inspiration and most of them are DIY projects that seam easy peasy! Hooray! 





If you know of a DIY or photo that you think would fit right in with these, please leave a link in the comments! I'm really trying to make a few final decisions this weekend! :)

xo,
Liz

September 13, 2011

Chic Crochet

I just stumbled across this incredible pattern from Stitchdiva and had to share it with you immediately! It's only $7.00 and serves as an instant download (ie: no waiting!).

Check out this gorgeous Endless Crochet Cardi Shawl! So chic!

Crochet Pattern - Endless Crochet Cardi Shawl

What a great gift to make for your sister or mother for the upcoming holiday season!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies!


I love mint and chocolate combined. When I'm feeling like I need a special treat to take the edge off, don't be surprised if I'm stopping by the local icecream shoppe and indulging in mint chocolate chip icecream with a drizzle of hot fudge on top. It's my favorite comfort treat!

So when I saw this snack hit the web, I instantly added it to my baking list for this coming weekend (I think I'm due for a solid weekend of home cooking :))! It's a Betty Crocker original, so you know it's going to be yummy!


Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

 
DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.
2. Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

I would pair this with a glass of milk and good book on a chilly Saturday afternoon, absolutely! :)

Time to update the calendar!



Just wanted to pop in and give you a few calendar updates!

11/5: 2 Hands Market (morning/early afternoon)

I guess it's time to hit the hooks ;)

xo,
Liz

September 7, 2011

my sentiments exactly.


The last weeks of August were surprisingly chilly in Maryland. September has been very temperate so far, and we have a few peeks of color changes on our trees! yay!

Now that I've been back to school for a while I'm realizing that life this time of year is just so good. It's sooo good.

Warmth and richness, I love it all.

xo, Liz

September 6, 2011

Auburn inspiration!

This Thursday Cory and I are packing up our car and joining up with our two close friends, Rich and Beth for our 2nd annual trip to Auburn, Alabama! I am so excited!

The weather is supposed to be absolutely beautiful in Auburn and I am ready to wear my orange and blue! Since navy and orange were our wedding colors and two of my favorite colors, I thought I would share with you some inspiration!









To me, navy and orange are perfect for summer into fall.

What is your favorite color combo for this time of year?

Pumpkin Spice Lattes hit Starbucks TODAY!


That's right! Head to Starbucks and sip on the goodness :)

September 4, 2011

our week coming up..


Every Sunday I do my best to sit down with a cup of coffee, read the New York Times (my wedding gift to Cory was a lifetime subscription for the weekends), and think about what is coming my way for the week.

Here's what I'm looking forward to:

Today I'm heading to a surprise birthday dinner party for a teacher at my school. Cory and I are excited to get to know some of my fellow teachers a little better.

Tomorrow will be nothing but a day of school work. I have a massive stack of essays (for some reason I thought it was a great idea to collect an essay from EVERY class I teach on Friday... boo!) and planning to do.

Tuesday commences the beginning of Pumpkin Spice Lattes being sold at Starbucks! While I was grading papers at my local SB yesterday, I asked if they could make me one and the manager said "not until Tuesday..." so there's that! yum yum.

We're both working fairly long days on Tuesday and Wednesday in order to scoot out the door right at 3:30 on Thursday! That's right, Cory and I are heading out of town for our first fall adventure! We're meeting up with our good friends Rich and Beth for a weekend in Auburn, Alabama. You may remember we did the same trip last year and had such a blast. I'm really looking forward to some time in the car and a lovely weekend in the south! Nothing says goodbye to summer like the beginning of football season!

What does your week look like?

xo, Liz


September 3, 2011

A day in the life...


I'm back to school and couldn't be happier (or more tired..). Since blogging has obviously been put on the back burner until I can manage my time a bit better, I wanted to share with you what a typical day is like for me at my new school!

I wake up promptly at 6:15 a.m. and hit the shower. Once I'm clean and dressed, I wake up Cory so he can hop in. While he's getting ready, I fix us both a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee. Depending on the day, we'll either eat together at home, or take it on the road.


I take a gorgeous backroad all the way to school. It's a windy road that cuts through a mountain and runs right beside a state park where there are waterfalls! It's such a zen experience traveling through a serene element twice a day. So calming and perfect! I'm so excited for the trees to be bright yellow and orange!


I'm usually at work by 7:30-7:40 and jump right in to a mental To-Do list to make sure I'm ready for the day. I check my work email, take a look at my lesson plans, touch up any final handouts or task sheets, and head straight to the copier. I try to get everything copied before the line gets too long ;).

By the time I return, my office-mate and friend, Jess has arrived and we catch up on our good morning's and stories from the night before. Usually we're both pretty sleepy, so we just focus on waking up for our teenagers!

By 8:30, the hallways are pretty full and the last buses are dropping off students.


I have my planning period first thing, so I work on lessons for the week and any miscellaneous paperwork that comes my way (usually for Yearbook).

By 10:10, I'm heading to my classroom for mod 2. Oh! I may not have told you! When I moved to my new school, I agreed to not have a classroom for at least a year. It's actually sort of cool to walk around all day. I have noticed I burn A LOT of extra calories because I'm up and moving so, so much more! Sounds like a win-win to me :)

Mod 2 begins at 10:15 and for me, that means teaching juniors and seniors how to write well. I'm beginning to love this class. It's a large class of sweethearts. I'm not entirely confident in the subject matter, but I'm learning A LOT as I research and prepare lessons.

Mod 3 is the exact same class, but it's a bit smaller and has A LOT of football players. It was pretty fun to see everyone dressed in their jerseys yesterday! Fortunately, this class is split in two sections, before lunch and after lunch. Either way--it's a good time.

Mod 4 is like a quick dip in the pool: Freshman Honors. We have a split mod of just 43 minutes, but I will have this class all year long. I'm really excited about this class, because I will be able to dive into two of my favorite pieces of literature: Of Mice and Men, Ethan Frome. Yay!

Mod 8 rolls around by 2:45 and is another split class that I teach for just 43 minutes, but all year. This is yearbook! This class is turning out to be a good time, but of course, it's a lot of front loading. Right now, I'm dedicating a bit of my weekend to looking through our ladder and making sure our pages are exactly how they should be. I have a lot of work to do, but the kids seem really great :).

The great thing about this schedule is that it forces the day to speed by so quickly. Before I know it, the day is done. I'm usually pretty sleepy after school, but stick around until 4 or 4:30 to finalize some work for the next day or tackle some grading. Cory doesn't finish his school day until 4:30, so I'm not in a huge rush to get home.

I'm usually walking through the door by 5:15 every evening. I'll figure out what we're doing for dinner and what I need to accomplish that night. This week has been filled with a lot of lesson planning and family events in the evening.


By 9:30 or 10, I'm so worn out and ready for bed, I can't even formulate proper sentences. I'm usually giggling a lot and rubbing my eyes like a typical 3 year old. So, I head to bed, read a few pages of my current book, and drift off to sleep to wake up and do it all over again!

What is your typical day like?