Saturday, August 20, 2011

On Monday...

...the new 2011-2012 school year begins!!  I am so excited.  I have the wonderful blessing of moving up with my students this year.  You see, I taught 3rd grade for four years.  Then last year, I was asked to move to 2nd grade.  Then at the end of last year, I was asked to move back to 3rd.  Yay!  I love both so much and am so excited about spending another year with my students (plus some more) from last year.  I have 23 kids (and counting...) so far which is more than I have ever had.  There are so many desks in my room!  It will surely be an adventure.

The summer was great, but some thins are about to change, like...

1.  Sorry everyone, but the traffic is about to return to normal - packed by 7am on I-10.

2.  My alarm goes off in the 4am hour.  I get up in the 5am hour.  I'm out the door sometime in the 6am hour.  Wow.  Shock to the system.  Although Polly and Carlos love it because they get fed earlier.

3.  Surprisingly, I actually cook more.  I am not naturally super organized.  I need routine and consistency to keep on top of things.  And cooking is not one of my favorite things to do.  Therefore, during the summer, in the spirit of taking a break, not as much quality cooking happens.  I look forward to getting back into that.

4.  Packing lunches!  This year, Ben is going to start bringing his lunch.  I made it all last week for him and this week, I'll start making it every night for the two of us.  I'm going to try this great technique I found on this awesome organizing blog of making bags of food at the beginning of the week and then you just have to grab the bags, put them in your lunch and go!  I just need some tubs.

5.  No more lunch dates.  Lunch is now 25 minutes (on a good day) and spent with my team.  I enjoy the time though and once you get used to it, its really plenty of time.

6. I have 23 little lives in my life again!  They are precious, they crack me up, and they add so much joy to my work.  I honestly don't know how you people go to work with adults all day.  I spend my day with children, and I love it.

Happy new school year!  What is your favorite new school supplies to buy?  I think mine is new markers and pens - sharpies, crayolas, glitter gel pens (with metallic ink!).  Love them.

Monday, August 15, 2011


One of my most recent sewing projects has been pillows.  Pillows add color and interest to most areas - chairs, couches, floors, and beds.  I have learned a little bit of sewing knowledge on each pillow. 

For the yellow (the first one) pillow, I used this tutorial for a flap pillow case.  This site actually gives you 3 ways to make a pillow case.  And for the second pillow, I used the Jones Design Company (one of my most favorite blogs right now!) tutorial for a ruffle pillow.   I just used 3 ruffles because the pillow was a little big for so many ruffles. 

And on the couch...

This next pillow is also from Jones Design Company.  I followed the tutorial for the gathered flower and then made the flap pillow cover.  

And here with new favorite chair (and Carlos's too!).  This chair was my grandmothers who gave it to my sister, who had it recovered, who gave it to me.  Love. It.  This is in my kitchen.  Carlos is in Heaven in this chair.  Yesterday, we came home from church and both kitties were snuggled up together in it.  Precious.

And finally, the ruffle pillow!  Made from the previous link of course.  I gave this to my mom for her birthday. 

Happy pillow making!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Part 3 - San Fran: the City

Part 3 of our vacation takes us to the downtown area of San Francisco and some other fun sights to see.

We rode the ferry in from the Marin area and were on foot the entire day in actual San Fran.  It was a little windy on the ferry.

Pier 39 - Seals basking in the sun 

China town - here, we went to a fortune cookie factory that made fresh fortune cookies 

This the crazy curvy street.  We just looked up the hill at it, but we can say we were there! 

OMG - 3 story Forever 21.  So awesome.  You can tell that man in the picture agrees. 

Later, we went to Muir Woods in the Marin area which was a forest with the large Redwood trees.

Look how the tree dwarfs me! 

And again...I feel so small! 

I love these self-taken pictures.  We take one at almost every location.  Behind us is the Muir Woods. 

That night, we drove over to Stinson Beach.  To get to it, you have to drive this windy up and down road for about 20 minutes.  My stomach HATED that.  But it was mostly worth it in the end.  The fog was crazy and makes you feel like you're in a cloud.  I think that Ben is contemplating life in this picture.

 Enjoying dinner at a local beach restaurant 

This is how I feel about beaches in Norther California.  But those little people way out there behind me are playing in the freezing water!  It was this sweet dad and his kids.  Anything for waves and sand castles I guess.  

This is a different night in Saucelito.

This was the gorgeous view of dark clouds and the blue water that we could see from our seats at the Spinnaker restaurant.  Amazing! 

And that concludes San Fran.  I recommend to anyone to go there and especially during the brutal hot Houston heat.  It was literally a breath of cool, fresh air.

Friday, August 5, 2011

San Fran part 2 - Napa

Part 2 of our trip takes us to Napa, California.  Beautiful hills filled with vineyards and beautiful gardens. 

Winery #1: Cakebread, just a tasting

Winery #2: Pride Mountain

Barrels in Caves! 

 Winery #3: Del Dotto - a tasting tour through the caves

Winery #4: Jordan - beautiful grounds 

Winery #5: Ferrari Carano

The best part about this one was the beautiful gardens. 

Driving around Napa was gorgeous - beautiful views and beautiful vineyards 

 It started to get warmer and so I took my sweater off.  And I never saw it again.  It is lost somewhere in Napa forever. 

We stayed at the Calistoga Garden Inn in Calistoga during our stay in Napa.  It was an amazing little Inn with breakfast and a sweet little one room cottage. 

And Winery #6 (last one): Silverado - up in the hills/mountains and a gorgeous view 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

San Fran Part One - The Wedding

Last week, we traveled to the great state of California.  I look at this trip in 3 parts that will constitute a 3 part blog series.  I don't know if I've ever had a series!  Wow, this is big.  Anyways, part one is Lindsey and Ben  A's wedding.  That was the original reason we went to San Francisco before we decided to make a vacation of it.  
The bouquets - we put these together as well as the boutonnieres 

The rehearsal dinner - beautiful location at the Old Homestead near San Fran

She used empty wine bottles with flowers and these swirly stick things as decorations on the tables.  Also, she hung clear glass ornaments in the trees.  They looked like bubbles.   

A beautiful outside July wedding - only possible (comfortably at least!) in Northern California.  I actually had goosebumps standing up there.

Mr. and Mrs. Adkins...and Random Dude

This is the bridesmaid's dress.  It was from Anthropologie and the wonderful yellow shoes that you can't really see were Lindsey's gift to us.   

Lindsey and {her} Ben  leaving to a shower of balloons 

It was a beautiful, creative, and cool outside wedding.

Part 2 - Napa