Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teacher Wife Life

This time of the year is bittersweet. Sweet because we finally have beautiful weather and long sunny days. Bitter because life doesn't stop in the summer time. At least mine doesn't.



You may already know that my husband is a teacher. Which means a number of things. He gets to sleep in til the time I take my lunch, he gets to stay up late, he gets to devote hours upon hours on his hobbies, he gets to be outside as much as he wants. The list goes on and on.

So this is a little complain-y post from yours truly. Because the first little bit of July is always hard for me. Because I'm jealous. And that's hard for me to say. I think the hardest part is dragging myself out of bed knowing that he still has hours of sleep ahead of him. I love my sleep.

But the reality is that I didn't choose to be a teacher. I don't think teaching is for me. And I like my job! But I am surrounded by teachers. Many of my family members and friends have the summers off and it's hard to ignore that. It is a little bit of a running joke that I am the only one that works during the summer.

To combat this, I have taken a few days off from work this week to enjoy the beginning of summer with Mike. Having a vacation to look forward to really helps keep my spirits up. We have a little something exiting planned that involves lots and lots of fireworks! We will be celebrating two great countries this week! The other great thing is that my job offers shorter hours during the summer. I have been around long enough to know that is a huge blessing. I am so grateful for this!

I am calling all those that work normal year-round schedules. I know that there's lots of us! I refuse to be (too) mopey these next couple of weeks.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekending

We spent Friday evening at Mike's softball game. He swung for the fences and I admired the gorgeous sunset.



The rest of our weekend looked like this:


Rain, rain, and more rain. It rained like woah. We were really hoping on clocking some outdoor time on this first official weekend of the summer. My brother came over with his soccer ball and scooter, both of which didn't get used at all. And now that the warmer temps have been here for a while, I pretty much completely forgot how to entertain a ten year old indoors. I didn't grow up with fancy games but I remember my mom always played Battleship with me on paper. Anyone else do this?


Today is my half birthday which I am embarrassingly excited about. If you didn't already do the math, my actual birthday is on December 29th. Kind of a sucky date. As a kid, I wished my birthday was in the summer so that I can have fun outdoor parties. Nowadays I just wish it wasn't right after the craziness of Christmas. Can I adopt June 29th as a birthday? Any other December babies out there that get their gifts wrapped in Christmas paper lol?

Hope ya'll had a wonderful weekend! We have a short week coming up and I'm.So.Excited!!

~
Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Guys Behind The Blog - June

I am so excited to be linking up to this series! Once a month, Betsy at Heavens To Betsy hosts a series that spotlights the amazing men in our lives. I have been waiting all month for this post! I talk to Mike all the time about my blogging and he has been such a great supporter of my new hobby. 



So let's give him some airtime.

Q: What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
A: Oh man, that is a tough one. I’ve been to so many wonderful places both with Evelina and my family like New York City, Miami, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Poland to name a few, but my favourite vacation was this past December to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a huge UNC basketball fan but for whatever reason I was never able to convince my family to visit North Carolina. I’m guessing it’s probably because we went on most of our trips during the summer and there’s no college basketball or college football going on then. If you’ve never been to Chapel Hill, the entire town is about the University. There are so many little stores dedicated to UNC along Franklin Street (the main street), and so many restaurants have UNC memorabilia hanging - even the fire trucks are Carolina Blue! I was in heaven. I’d love to live there, but alas, I’ll have to settle for visiting as often as I can.



Q: If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
A: Without any restrictions to question 2, I’d have to say I’d go to Chapel Hill, but I don’t think that’s in the spirit of the question. If I could go anywhere that I haven’t yet been, I’d go to California. I’d love to drive up and down the coast from San Diego to San Francisco and see Los Angeles and everything in between. Of course, baseball games in San Diego, Anaheim, LA, San Francisco, and Oakland would be a must. Somehow I don’t think my ideal vacation is the same as Evelina’s, but I’d make sure to find plenty of Kardashian and celeb related sites to make this trip palatable for her.

Q: Are there any summer traditions that you have or would like to start? (think things like big picnics, summer activities, bonfires, or day trips!)
A: One summer tradition that Evelina and I have is making a road trip on our wedding anniversary of August 4th. On our first anniversary we went to Niagara Falls, and last year we took a quick road trip to Cleveland and toured the city and saw the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We’re fortunate to have a lot of places within a reasonable driving distance, and this has been a good excuse to get out and see them.



Q: The 4th of July is coming up…what’s a must-have picnic or BBQ food for you?
A: My must-have food for a cookout is hot dogs. They are such a staple for events like this, and there has to be a reason for that, right? But I am a little picky about my hot dogs – they have to be good jumbo sized hot dogs, not the little tiny ones! I don’t like mustard or ketchup, just diced onions and tomatoes. If those aren’t available, then I’m taking them plain (I know, how boring!).

Q: Think about your ideal vacation…are you in a cozy cabin, camping in a tent, or hanging in a hotel?
A: I am probably the prissiest traveler person you will ever meet. I need all my first-world amenities like a shower, a nice TV, and a comfortable bed. I hate to get dirty and I hate bugs. The idea of camping and sleeping in a tent sounds more like hell than a vacation to me. Give me a hotel (minimum three stars!) and I’m a happy camper (no pun intended!).

So that's who's sitting beside me on the couch. I love this man so so much. He's the best and everything you just read is 100% true. He loves his Tar Heels! When we went on that trip to North Carolina, we saw 4 basketball games in 8 days! He was in heaven. He has been talking about going back ever since. He already has our next visit 99% planned haha! 



Thanks for participating, Babe! I think we will have to do this again next month! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

To Do List: Summer 2015

Summer is officially here as of this weekend and I couldn't be more thrilled! Mike recently pointed out to me that I do a really good job embracing each season. I really think each season has it's advantages and we should appreciate each one. Summer brings with it longer days, warm weather, and shorter work hours -- which means more time to do things around the house! Don't worry. We still make sure to hit up the beach and do plenty of FUN summary things.

But that's not what this post is about. It's about holding myself accountable for the less-than-fun things that I need to get done.

To recap, here's my spring list. 
  1. make trellis for climbing flowers (rose + clematis) out of fishing line
  2. paint kitchen
  3. paint dining room
  4. paint living room
  5. paint hallway + stairway
  6. wash all windows
  7. fix up front garden
  8. clean BBQ
  9. get rid of dead bush in backyard
  10. reorganize front hall closet (put away winter gear)
  11. replace cream vents with white ones
  12. clean kitchen appliances
  13. wash couch slipcovers
  14. wash garage floor
  15. clean inside both cars
  16. put down fresh mulch
  17. reseed the lawns
  18. reorganize "receipt drawer"
  19. reorganize pots + pans cupboard
  20. hang pictures around vanity desk 
I'm embarrassed. I had such high hopes of getting everything on that list done and sadly, it didn't. And I have zero excuses. 

So let's stick the uncrossed items on this season's list and hope for the best.



1. wash all windows
2. clean BBQ
3. clean kitchen appliances
4. wash garage floor
5. clean inside both cars
6. paint upstairs stairway (we painted the lower half already!)
7. put down fresh mulch
8. reorganize "receipt drawer"
9. reorganize pots + pans cupboard
10. hang pictures around vanity desk
11. take + hang anniversary photo
12. print wedding photo for bedroom frame
13. fix stairs in front of house
14. paint front door
15. water grass regularly
16. fix loose kitchen sink
17. fix Mike's dresser drawer
18. fix faucet in garage
19. fix faucet in backyard
20. art for living room frames

What am I missing? 

These lists really help us stay accountable and be semi-good home owners. I'm really lucky because Mike is a teacher and is off all summer... and we all know what that means. 

#honeydolist  (Love you babe!)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekending

Oh heyyy. Thanks as always for coming back!

Friday 
This weekend was pretty low key. We did a couple things here and there, but I have to admit that the majority of my down time was spent binge-watching Southern Charm. I'm a little addicted to the show and almost caught up. Does anyone know if it was renewed for a third season? That was pretty much my entire Friday evening. Thrilling, I know.

Saturday
We had the pleasure of seeing our little nephew for the first time via 3D ultrasound on Saturday morning. He is set to join us in the outside world this August and I can't wait to meet him! 


Sunday
Mike had a softball game and as always, I managed to clock some quality time with my girlfriends and their little ones. This little guy has my heart. He loved enjoying watching his daddy play ball on Father's Day.


After the game, we took my father-in-law out for dinner to celebrate him a little bit. We got him tickets to a baseball game that we will be taking him to in a few days. He's such an amazing man and totally deserves to be spoiled all the time. He is so selfless, funny, intelligent, and a great role model overall.


On a little bit of a Debbie Downer note, Sunday was the longest day of the year. Which means the days are getting shorter and shorter until December 21st. This makes me :(

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

~
Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favourite: Stuff You Should Know

Fri-yay!!!

This Friday Favourite we're going to get down and nerdy. I love knowing random facts about random things and this podcast is right up my alley. 


Stuff You Should Know is by two guys that pick a random topic and tell you all about it. Some of my favourite episodes are 
- how amnesia works
- how handwriting analysis works
- how royalty works
- how marriage works
- how tipping works
- how urban planning works

The list goes on and on. There is literally a podcast on everything you can think of. And I'm obsessed. 

~

Linking up with some of my fave mama bloggers for their Can't Live Without It linkup! Check out their blogs below and make sure to send them some love:



Happy weekend!! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Blonde Ambition

I have naturally dirty blonde hair that, in my opinion, is pretty colourless. I used to have much lighter hair when I was younger but it sadly darkened and now I have to fake it. I have been getting blonder highlights since I was allowed to start colouring my hair in 9th grade. So a pretty long time. Minus a one year period that I thought it would be fun to live life as a brunette. I found the upkeep unmanageable so I returned to my blonde roots (literally).

This equals countless hours in a salon chair. If you have ever gotten highlights done, you know it's at least a three hour commitment. Three hours times four times a year times thirteen years equals almost 160 hours in the chair in total. Wow. That (very approximate) math is mindblowing. Anyway, over time I have picked up a few tips from various hairdressers on how to maintain the best colour until my next visit.


- First of all, I strongly don't recommend DIYing a lighter hue. I have never tried it but I have seen my friends try it on their own and they were never pleased with the results. I say, leave the chemicals to the professionals. Working with bleach and toner is serious stuff and I think it's left to experienced, professional, educated hands. It may be a little bit more expensive, but it's so worth it.

- Figure out what shade works best for you. There are so many options when it comes to blonde. From platinum to honey and everything in between. My best advice here is to find celebs with the same skin tone as you and see what works best on them.

- Depending on the shade you're going for, you may need toner. Toner helps get rid of the brassy tones. This time around I got a longer toner treatment done to accomplish more of an ashy rather than yellowish colour. Toner also helps to add shine and seals your hair to help your colour last longer.

- Use shampoo specific for blondes. I use the John Freida purple shampoo once a week after I get fresh colour done and then amp it up to a couple times a week closer to my next appointment. Because purple is opposite yellow on the colour wheel, it combats the yellow and helps maintain your salon colour.

- It's no secret that bleach is somewhat harmful to your hair. Make sure to get regular trims to keep those ends happy and healthy!

- Don't be drastic. As I mentioned, I went dark for a little while and when I wanted to go back to blonde, I had to do it very gradually. It's important to take things slow to not shock your hair. Try to go only a few shades lighter at a time to avoid shocking and damaging your hair.



I am in no way an expert, just thought I would share some of the things I learned over the years. Having a trusting relationship with your hair stylist is the best thing you can have. He or she will hopefully steer you in the right direction and tell you what is best for your hair.

Are you blonde? Got any more tips on the subject? Got any blonde jokes? Just kidding. Blonde jokes make me mad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Father's Day Gift Guide

I have always struggled with gift ideas for the men in my life. Guys are just super hard to shop for! But I dug deep and tried to think of a few things that could show how much dads are appreciated.


  1. Tickets to a ball game: The men in my life love sports. Specifically baseball. We have been taking my father-in-law to a baseball game for a few years now on Father's Day and he loves it. He has pretty much everything he could want, so we use this opportunity to spend quality time and make memories with him. 
  2. Boxed DVD set: Everyone has their favourite show and I'm sure they would appreciate some down time to just sit back and watch. DVDs are great because they have all the extra stuff like deleted scenes, bloopers, etc. that TV and Netflix don't offer.
  3. Cologne: Figure out what his favourite scent is and top up his cologne stash. 
  4. Wireless headphones: These have been all the rage lately. And I can see why! Long wires can be annoying when working out. It seems like every guy I know is lusting over them!
  5. Coffee gift card: Tim Hortons now offers custom reloadable gift cards. Upload a picture of your little ones or the whole family to remind him how loved he is. 
  6. Cornhole boards: I have to be honest and say that I have never played cornhole but I really want to! It seems like such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family. Etsy has some great options. 
  7. Team apparel: Does he have a favourite team? My husband is all about the UNC Tar Heels and loves to flaunt it! This site has a great selection and almost always free shipping!
Do you know what you're getting the dad in your life for Father's Day this year? Are you all about the experiences like we are? 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekending

Howwwww is it Monday already? The weekend flew by with lots of rain and family time. 

Friday
Friday Mike had another softball game but the weather didn't exactly come out to play. It wasn't bad enough to cancel the game, but it was bad enough to get the bottom of your pants wet. I hate that. You don't know if the umbrella needs to come out because it's just annoying mist.


Saturday
I can't really complain about Saturday. It was a lovely day. I had a hair appointment at 9 in the morning. It always seems like a good idea to book things for the morning but then when it comes time to wake up I always regret it. I just went in to touch up my highlights and get rid of the dead ends. 


It takes forever but it's so worth it. Hair Appointment Day is right up there with New Mascara Day. So good. Please forgive the Instagram repost:


Afterwards, my brother came over to hang with his sister and brother in law. Since we haven't seen the sun much these days, we really wanted to take advantage of it and spend some quality time outside. We dug up an old frisbee and threw it around at a nearby park. I seriously didn't know how tiring it can be! Way more running than I anticipated but it got us outdoors and we all had a great time. 



After dinner Mike was really excited to introduce my brother to the world of sports sticker books. Mike told me he has great memories of getting packs of stickers and learning about the players as a kid. We got Philip a baseball book and a couple packs to get him started. It was so cute to watch them bond over this and for Mike to teach Philip a little bit more about the sport. I can really see that he's going to be a great dad to our kids one day. 


Sunday
Sunday had another early start with another softball game starting at 9am. We drove all the way over, despite the pouring rain because it had not been cancelled yet. I wasn't in the mood to get drenched so I hung out in the car. They played half an inning and then it got shut down. 

There was another basketball playoff game Sunday night so I had to find something else to do while Mike was occupied. I have heard so much about the show Southern Charm so I decided to check it out. I didn't realize it's a reality show but I think I like it so far. Should I keep watching? 

And that's all for today folks. Exciting stuff, huh?

~
Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Favourite: Lounge Pants

Happy Friday! I seriously can not wait for the weekend to start. We don't have anything special planned but I am just excited to be off of work for two days and enjoy some R&R.

Before we all sign off for the weekend, I am linking up with some of my favourite bloggers for their "Can't Live Without It" series. They are taking a mini break from it but I am going to hold down the fort.

And I just have to tell you all about these pants.


I ordered them from oldnavy.com a couple of weeks ago and have been pretty much living in them ever since. If you can believe it, they are even more comfortable than yoga pants. They are made out of a very lightwight fabric and are perfect for lounging around the house. The best part: they are long enough for me. Pants like this are always too short on me but the sweet folks at Old Navy made these available in a Tall length. YES Thank you!


I can't wait to see what you guys can't live without! This might be one of the best ways to find awesome products.
~

Linking up with some of my fave mama bloggers for their Can't Live Without It linkup! Check out their blogs below and make sure to send them some love:



Happy weekend!! 


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Reading Lately: Room

Room by Emma Donoghue is one of my favourite books. I first read it a few years ago and reread it very recently.

I mainly love it because it is written from the perspective of a 5 year old boy. You can see his innocence, inexperience and naivety in his thoughts. But he's so sweet and loving. The different perspective is something so different and interesting than the majority of books out there.


Summary from Wikipedia:

Jack lives with his Ma in Room, a secured single-room outbuilding containing a small kitchen, a bathtub, a wardrobe, a bed, and a TV set. Since it is all he has ever known, Jack believes that only Room and the things it contains (including himself and Ma) are "real." Ma, unwilling to disappoint Jack with a life she cannot give him, allows Jack to believe that the rest of the world exists only on television. Ma tries her best to keep Jack healthy and happy via both physical and mental exercises, keeping a healthy diet, limiting TV-watching time, and strict body and oral hygiene. The only other person Jack has ever seen is Old Nick, who visits Room at night while Jack sleeps hidden in a wardrobe. Old Nick brings them food and necessities. Jack is unaware that Old Nick kidnapped Ma when she was nineteen years old and has kept her imprisoned in Room for the past seven years; Jack is the product of Old Nick's rape of Ma.

Jack is living in a very blissful world. He knows nothing different from his existing, confined life. It's so hard to imagine what he is experiencing but the author does a great job of describing it. Overall this is an eerie book that covers a really dark situation. It me a while to figure out what was happening the first time around but once I did, I was on the edge of my seat for the rest. It's so scary to think that this story is based on multiple actual events.


The first time I read it, I was thinking about it for weeks. I couldn't get it out of my head. And now reading it again, I am looking at it more from a mother's perspective. What it must have been like for Jack's mother to raise him in a tiny room and try to make his life as "normal" as possible. This quote sums it up perfectly: "When it’s over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days" Yup.


I highly recommend this book. It's so eerie, different and interesting. And SO very well written. I will definitely be reading it again. 


And I just found out it's being adapted into a movie later this year. Hurray! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Maxi Love

Maxis are basically my uniform in the spring and summer. They are so comfortable, easy and pretty!

I bought a few maxis recently to add to my wardrobe, mainly from Old Navy and Forever21. Their prices and sales just can't be beat.


{1}  .  {2}  .  {3}

I think I might need to work on a new pose for some variety. And maybe mix in some colour. Ha!

The most important factor in a maxi for me is length. I am pretty tall and maxis are often too short for me. I like it when they almost skim the ground. And I also like having the option of wearing them with wedges.

To style them, I like to add a dainty necklace and some arm candy. I'll often pair them with a gladiator sandal for comfort and sometimes a cardigan or jean jacket for warmth. I love how versatile maxi dresses are. They are so easy to dress up for a bridal/baby shower or dinner date too!

Some other maxis that I am loving lately:

{1}  .  {2}  .  {3}


{1}  .  {2}  .  {3}



{1}  .  {2}  .  {3}

I am loving Pink Blush dresses! They have such cute things and an amazing maternity line too! I found a 30% off coupon code online: LIKE30. All Old Navy dresses are up to 40% off right now. And use coupon code BONUS for 15% off your online order.

Are you loving this trend as much as I am? Where else can I find nice maxi dresses? 


Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekending

Friday
More softball!! And that means another Mike swinging the bat picture :)


Saturday
We went to a Ribfest Festival with some friends on Saturday. The weather was beautiful and the company was great.



The only bad thing that happened was they ran out of ribs. Well, the supplier for the whole Ribfest apparently screwed up and so there were no ribs for quite a while. People were pissed! But luck for us, we were there for the pulled pork sandwiches and corn so we were not affected.


Sunday
Mike had another softball game but this time my girlfriends brought their little ones so there was extra entertainment. And I can always count on my brother to cheer his brother-in-law on!


I love being able to spend so much outdoor time these days. We sprinkled in some chores, gardening, and even a scenic drive among all the other activities.


Hope you all had a great weekend!
~
Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Goodbye Work, Hello Weekend

Happy Friday!!


Things have been Crazy with a capital C for me at work. It's so busy right now and I have had no time to do anything. When I come home, I am either doing more work or passed out on the couch.


So I'm taking a break from my Friday Favourite posts to catch up and wish you all a very happy weekend!

See you on Monday!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

No More Green Fingers!

We all know money doesn't grow on trees. And we can't have everything. Or at least the best of everything. It's a sad fact, really. 

While I would love for all my jewelry to be 24 karat gold, that's just not realistic. I'm sure most of you have a few pieces of not-so-real jewelry. I definitely do and I love it. I love how cheap it is, I love how I don't need to worry too much if I lose it or wreck it, and I love that I can buy lots of it. 


But I don't love that it turns my skin green. Green skin is just not a look I'm into right now. This happens because of the reaction between the metals in the costume jewelry and your skin. They just don't like each other. 

I have been using a trick to combat this issue! And I am here today to share it with the world. It's not exactly a secret so some of you may already know: Clear nail polish. 


I put a coat of clear nail polish on the inside of the jewelry. Not only does this trick prevent you looking oddly green, it also prevents your jewelry from tarnishing. After a few wears, the cheap stuff has a tendency to lose it's shine and sparkle. The clear nail polish acts as a varnish to keep it from dulling. AND! If you have any little crystals embedded in the jewelry, the nail polish seals it in so they won't fall out.


I find this is most necessary on rings as they sit close to your skin for long periods of time. Necklaces and bracelets usually move around and are less likely to leave you with a green hue. But it's so good to keep the shine and colour of the item when you first buy it. 

If you try this trick, make sure to reapply the polish once in a while as it wears over time. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Weekending

Thursday
I am including Thursday because even though I went to work on Friday, Thursday contained weekend activities. AKA a ball game. And for once the evening was nice and warm! My brother, mom and mom's friend came to keep me company in the stands.



Friday 
A week just isn't a normal week without a trip across the border. We went to our mailbox to pick up a few packages we ordered online and then had dinner at Applebees. Applebees is so good, great prices, and free wifi!


It feels like Christmas morning when online shipments arrive. I bought mostly clothes and I think I will be keeping everything! Win!

Big Brother Canada just ended last week and the whole cast was in Niagara Falls. We kept our eyes peeled for someone familiar while we were driving through but had no luck. I was trying to find out details on their social media accounts to hopefully see them. I would loved to have gotten a picture with Kevin and Pili! #showmance #BBCAN3


Saturday
Saturday I visited one of my girlfriends and her adorable daughter. Her fiance is a pilot and is often away so I am so happy to visit and hang out with them a little bit! We didn't do anything exciting other than just talk. Sometimes us girls just need to have girl talk, amiright??

Sunday
Mike had a doubleheader scheduled starting at 9am on Sunday. We woke up to pouring rain but since the games are in a different city about half an hour away, we didn't know if it was raining there too. So we got in the car at around 8am and found out the games were cancelled when we were 5 minutes away. Doesn't it always happen like that?

We made the most of it and visited my mom and brother who lives nearby. We had a yummy lunch, played cards, video games, and chatted with my grandparents via Skype.


And just like that it's Monday. And June!

This week (and the next couple of months) will be nuts at work. We are entering a very busy period and I think I'm prepared for it all! Fingers crossed!

Hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend! Tell me how it went!

~
Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!