Ashley's 23rd Birthday!

Yesterday was Ashley's 23rd Birthday, and her sweet husband, Ian, set up a surprise dinner for her!

A little about Ashley (read more HERE and HERE and HERE):
Ash and I have been friends for 17 years.  Wow.  That's a long time when you type it out.  She moved to Arkansas from Kentucky in the 1st grade and we were placed in the same first grade class!  We instantly become best friends... however you do that when you're 6.  Sadly, I moved away in the second grade, but we continued to be friends.  We would write letters and send each other birthday gifts.  I remember for one birthday she sent me a "Hallelujah Hop" c.d.  I thought it was so cool!  Every time we would go back to Arkansas to visit family, Ash and I would always get to play together and we would pick up right where we left off!

In the 5th grade, my family moved back to Arkansas, and our moms arranged for us to be on the same team in middle school.  All throughout middle school, junior high, and high school we were as close as can be.  After our senior year of high school, Ash decided to go to ASU whereas I decided to go to Belmont in Nashville, TN.  Luckily, we both decided our hearts were at the U of A and moved there the following year.

Of course we've had our share of fights and disputes, but through it all we've remained great friends, and I'm so lucky to have Ash in my life.  She's quite possibly the funniest person you will ever meet.  Just ask her to tell you a joke, and 20 minutes later when she's finally spit out the joke you'll be crying from laughing so hard.  We have a dance named after Ash called the "finger dance" and well... that's another post in itself.  Let's just say Ash wasn't gifted in the rhythm department, but she was a heck of a cheerleader!
She's the type of person that will tell it like it is, whether you want to hear it or not.  She's incredibly sweet too, and has a total heart for children.  She wants to be an elementary teacher.  Oh, and her hubby's not too bad either!

Soooo.... Happy Birthday Ash!!!

***All the pictures came from Ashley's mom***

Dear Macbook

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love my macbook, or really any apple product in general.  In my opinion, Macs are just so much simpler than PCs.  Yet, regardless of how much I love my mac, it has been on my bad side these past several weeks.

It all started when I was trying to run my updates for my computer.  It wouldn't let me update Itunes because it said I didn't have the latest version of OSX (Apple's  version of Windows).  No big deal, I though, I don't need the new version of itunes any way.  WRONG.  Now my iphone won't connect to my computer because of my old version of itunes.  Also, I can't download any new software because of my old version of OSX.

So after doing research, I realized that I just needed the new version of OSX and I would be set to go.  It's only $30, so I didn't really mind.  I ordered the software and it came in last week.  When it arrived on my doorstep, I excitedly brought it in to install on my handy dandy macbook.

Oh wait.

It won't.

Seems I don't have enough RAM to install it.  The Apple people never bothered to tell me I might need more ram.

So off I venture to MegaByte, our apple care provider here in NWA.  Me and the people at MegaByte are on a first name basis by now, as often as I've been there.

Still not complaining, I love my mac.  I'm loyal.

So they install 3x the amount of RAM on my computer for a little under $100.  Ok... getting more pricey here, but still not so bad.

I get home, once again anxious to install my new software.


It won't work.  It makes my computer make funny noises and freeze.

So I eject the software and resume using my old outdated version of OSX hoping maybe today I might be able to install it.

Side note...  Last night we went out to dinner for a surprise Birthday party for one of my best friends, Ashley.  As I was getting ready I had my pandora set to Nelly (my favorite getting ready station haha).  As I was leaving, I simply shut my computer.

So I get to school this morning, open up my macbook ready to instruct my students, and it BLASTS Ludacris.  Frantically I try to hit the volume button (dosen't work), I try to close the computer.... it's still blaring "bend over to front, touch your toes".  My face is growing redder by the minute.  I turn the computer off.... Ahhh... silence.

I turn the computer back on..... it BLARES "we want a lady in the street but a freak in the sheets".

Dear Macbook.... we might have to break up.


Chicken and Rice

My roommate calls me Queen of the Crockpot.

It's true.  I have a love affair with my crockpots.   I have two of them.  The new addition was given to me this Christmas by my sister, also Queen of the Crockpots.  So now I have a big crockpot perfect for large meals, and a small one for when I'm making smaller portions of meals.

Let me share with you one of my favorite recipes.

It's so dang easy you will want to go home and make it tomorrow.  Tomorrow, because, well crockpots do take a long time to cook things.

Go out and get these ingrediants:

Frozen Chicken Breasts (anywhere from 2-4 depending on how many you want to feed, 1 breast per person)
1 can Cream of Mushroom
1 can Cream of Chicken
Mushrooms (real or canned, if you wish)
Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Here's what you do:
Put the frozen chicken in your crockpot.  Turn it on high.  Mix together the cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, onion soup mix, and mushrooms if you wish.  Pour this over the chicken.

Leave it alone.  All day.

When you get home at night from your busy life, cook some brown rice.

Serve over the rice.


I already have some cooking tonight...  Maybe I'll post a picture later, because, well I don't like cooking things I can't see a picture of beforehand.


Today Was a Good Day

  • I picked up my cap and gown, ordered graduation invitations, and received a discount to order the frames for my diploma.
  • I received an awesome score on my FINAL (woohoo) pathwise evaluation!
  • I got lots accomplished in the area of job applications... (yet still have lots to do!)
  • I had lunch at my favorite lunch destination-Hamontrees-with my favorite fellow interns.
  • I received information on my mock interviews!
  • I completed day 2 of my new ab workout.  Swimsuit season, I'm gonna kick your butt this year!
  • I discovered the joy that is the Chick-Fil-A fruit cup.
  • I planned a weekend for my parents to visit!
Very good day indeed... Bring on Tuesday


Reading List

I've slightly slowed down on my reading in order to dive into my Biology book so I can stay ahead of my students.  Here is what I'm currently reading, though, for two of my masters classes.

I'm beginning to create a classroom library, and am also previewing books that I might do a unit on next year for one of my sections.  Since I teach science, I'm looking into a large range of science books my students might find interesting.  This one has just enough real-life drama, blood, and guts to keep them entertained.

I'm reading this for my Multicultural class.  I don't know what it is, but I'm intrigued by Middle Eastern culture.  


Saturday Afternoon

Best songs for a Saturday Afternoon...

Simple as it Should Be- Tristan Pettyman

Many the Miles - Sara Bareilles

Electric - Tristan Pettyman

One of those Days - Joy Williams

New Shoes - Paolo Nutini

What Is - Anna Vandas

And a picture...


Arkansas' Finest

I'm linking up with Kelly today, and instead of telling about my Alma Mater (which I still go to...) I just thought I'd post what our parents have approximately $50,000 sending us to college for.

Introducing Arkansas' finest....

Gotta love guys who aren't afraid to have a little fun!


I should win the award for eating the most spoiled food.  Seriously.

I.  Never.  Learn.

I'm pretty good at cleaning out our refrigerator, you know once every couple weeks.  And I try to always throw out anything that has expired.  Still, I have taken one too many mouth fulls of spoiled milk (yuck) to think I would learn to become better.

Our pantry, however, is a different story.  I thought things in the pantry lasted long time.  Evidently they do not.

The story begins several months ago when I grab a Sunny D out of the refrigerator.  Back when I had moved back to Fayetteville when my leg was still broken, my parents took great efforts in buying all my drinks pre-packaged so I wouldn't have any problem carrying them around.  This is where Sunny D came into play.  Well... that was a LONG time ago.

Nevertheless, I still thought my Sunny D in the fridge was ok.  In my mind, pre-packaged = never expires.

I began to drink it, and noticed it tasted a bit too tangy, I still drank it anyways.  As I was throwing away the carton I saw the expiration date.   Oops.  It was over a year expired.  My stomach felt funny afterwards.

Moving on...

If there's one thing I hate the most in this world, it's popcorn.  Hate it.  Despise it.  Can't even stand the smell.  Well, my roommate loves popcorn, so I put up with it.  The other night, she popped a bag of popcorn and it burned. She threw it out and popped another bag.  Burned again.  Hmm...  She popped another bag.  Burn.  By this point our apartment is reeking of burned popcorn smell.  She pops another bag, and another.  Evidently, popcorn expires and when it expires, it burns.

Last but not least.

You know those fruit snacks you used to buy in high school from the concession stand?  Ok, maybe YOU don't because you didn't go to my high school, but they were the thing to buy at lunch.  They're basically fruity flavored gummies and they're really good.  Well, you can buy them at Sams, and a while ago I bought a container of them.  I gladly packed some in my lunch today and was looking forward to the fruity, chewy goodness that awaited me.  I put one in my mouth, and noticed it tasted a little funny.  I checked the back of the bad... Expired March 28, 2010.

Looks like I'll be cleaning my pantry out this weekend.


Motherhood from My Sister's Perspective

My sister has a photosharing website of pictures of Heelyn.  I would post it, but she might get mad at me.  On her website she also blogs occasionally.  For those of you who don't know my sister, she is quite possibly one of the funniest people in the world.  She would probably say that I'm way funnier, but I think it's because we think/say/do the same stuff.

So I've taken the liberty of re-posting a blog she wrote on her take on the world of mothering.  She wrote this right before Christmas, so little Heely was just shy of 2 months.

"Over the past 7 weeks i have learned that being a mommy contradicts basic rules that you would normally apply in life.

For instance...

-Applauding a burp or other bodily function happens on a daily basis.
-Showering is no longer relaxing time...it is more like a drive through car wash...hop in, walk thru do a quick 180 add a little soap if your lucky, rinse and go. This all happens in 2 minutes flat...if your lucky.
-I always said i would never be "one of those parents", you know the ones that think their kid does things quicker, or learns faster , is cuter then the other babies...etc.....guess what...I'm one of those parents... i have little or no control of it.
-Pre-Baby...or we can just say P.B. anyway PB i would have died if i would have been thrown up on, tootied on or had any other form of nastiness on me...now when this happens...A. im either happy she finally did something regardless of where it ended up or B. contemplating if i have time to even change out of my now dirty clothes into new ones. or C....too tired to even care where it ended up.
-A clean house is actually not a priority to baby..... she does not care how much laundry you have, how many dishes are piling up or what is growing in the bathroom sink....
-Paper plates have become my best friend...a round of applause for the man that invented them.
-I have officially become the multitasking queen...thats right...you can go ahead and give me my crown... i can now cook dinner, unload dishwasher, start some much needed laundry all while pushing heelyns bouncer  up and down with my foot...
-Bouncer=Life Saver...I mean really life saver...that little thing seems to migrate with Heelyn & I no matter what room we are in.
-Swing=Sanity Saver...the swing is like a baby hammock for heelyn...what sane person would not enjoy rocking back and forth all day...As i am typing she is kicking away and squealing while in her swing watching tv (Dont Tell Daddy )...
-"Quick Trips" as I formally use to call them...these "adventures" as I will call them now are no longer quick..PB (Dont forget Pre Baby) I could have ran in Target shopped, tried clothes on, made a quick round thru the shoe department, the house decorating and maybe even browsed through the magazine book section in a maximum of 10 minutes...My now quick trips are....30 minutes of packing and preparing Heelyn for this trip...(packing the diaper bag, getting heelyn ready and loaded in her car seat, getting heelyn in the car and buckled in) once we get to our destination we then either search for a parking place super close to the door or we find a parking place that has an abandoned shopping cart to put heelyn's carrier in (It is much easier to push the shopping cart from the middle of the parking lot then carry the baby carrier) when we have finally arrived inside our destination we can then start shopping....most isles in stores or at mall stores are not shopping cart and baby stroller friendly. One would think since women are the major consumer the dang isles and stores would be stroller friendly...yes i am talking about you Gymboree and Baby Gap!
-Being a mom has calmed my attitude down a couple notches...by saying this I will give you an example. Heelyn and I were at target yesterday, we walk in and their are 2 shopping carts available. Gotta love christmas time when everyone is out shopping! So the first available shopping cart is snatched up by a lady and her small toddler...that is understandable...the last available shopping cart is taken by a guy that has to be close to my age (26ish) by himself, no bag, no child...nothing....ummmmmm HELLO im right behind you holding a small infant in a child carrier....Let me say PB(pre baby) I would have chased this joker down and brought to his attention that their was someone else in need of the cart that he would be able to find one further into the store....Sigh...maybe being a mom hasnt calmed me down its the simple fact that i could not chase the joker down with me carrying the diaper bag...the carrier with baby and my drink...RUDE...Needless to say i stood there standing in the empty shopping cart corral and stared at the back of this guys head until he was out of sight...This man should consider himself lucky..if looks could kill lol.
-30 minutes of consistent sleep is actuallly considered a good nights sleep... 2 hours is nothing short of a miracle.. If i get over an hour and a half of consistent sleep I now consider myself "well rested"
-I have never been more aware of people coughing, sneezing or any other bodily function that may carry germs... you people and your germy sneezes stay away from my baby! Oh and dont even think about coming close to the baby...I will turn into momma bear before you have even made the conscious decision to come our way.
-Because i am nursing i now contemplate how badly i want to drink a coke...are the consequences of an all nighter from the caffeine that heelyn will intake from me worth that little bitty 12 ounces of heaven...this is the war i have with myself on a daily basis.

Last i have to say that ive learned that the majority of the human race is just plain retarded...my favorite question is "Boy or Girl?"....ummmm seriously? Heelyns decked out in all pink...with a pink blanket.... pink hair bow...hot pink diaper bag if they had pink diapers she would be rocking those as well...Do we really need to ask the gender question?"

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, I was seriously laughing out loud.


Apartment Style: My Living Room and Kitchen

I love to decorate, and love seeing how everyone fixes up their "first" homes or apartments.  I've been meaning to do a post on my apartment, but I just now got around to taking pics to put on here!

Here's the lovely abode Tressa and I call home...
(Click on Tressa's name to visit her blog and see what she's up to!)

Couch, Chair & Ottoman, and Zebra Ottoman:  Ashley's Furniture
Curtains: JcPenny
Zebra Pillows: Ashley's Furniture
Flower and Leather Pillows:  Garden Ridge
End Tables, Tray:  Target
Painting: Store in NLR that's no longer open.
Candle Holders: Kirklands
Vase:  IO Metro
Arrangement in Vase:  Arty Crafty & Hobby Lobby

I'm a very lucky (probably slightly spoiled) girl.  All the furniture was a gift from my parents for graduation last year.  I'm slightly obsessed with my couch and chair.  I love, love the color and can't wait to put them in a room thats not white. haha.

Amazingly the zebra ottoman has not had anything spilled on it yet *knock on wood*.  My roommate and I are pretty OCD about it.  I love the large tray.  It holds all our magazines that we are waiting to read, plus drinks, snacks, and anything else.

I'm also obsessed with my entertainment center.  It was also a gift from my parents.  We had purchased the center piece a couple of years ago with the intention of adding pieces to it.  Well, they retired the style before I could purchase the other pieces and I was so sad.  One day, I happened to be walking through Furniture Row and low and behold they had my other matching pieces.  I called my parents right then and they ordered them for my birthday!  I love the way the finished product looks!

My mom helped me decorate the top and bookcases.  She's amazing at decorating!

Entertainment Center:  Furniture Row
Decorations:  Various places such as Arty Crafty, TJ Max, Riffraff etc.
On to the kitchen...

My favorite thing about our kitchen is the marble looking counter tops and our raised bar.  It's the perfect place to sit and chat or do homework, while the other is in the kitchen.  Right now our counter tops are a little crowded due to my roommate and I's disagreement over the best coffee maker, so we just have two out.

My favorite candy jars from The Container Store house a variety of granola bars and special K bars.  Perfect for grabbing on the way out the door.

Top of fridge.  We like wine here.  The sign came from nowhere else but Fayetteville's very own Riffraff.  The BEST home decor store, if you haven't been there click on the link and go there now!  They ship to anywhere and have the best prices!! The wine glasses also came from there, but as I am typing this Tressa just dropped the white/red wine glass.  My mom got me that cute wine holder from Kirklands a while back.

More wine, a little Don Perignon, and cute sign from Riffraff.

My mom helped me decorate the top of my cabinets.  Most of the decor came from Arty Crafty, but the plates I found at a little antique store last summer.

Part of our entry hallway.  A friend helped me paint the canvas several years ago, it's my favorite verse from the Bible.

Now you know where I spend the majority of my time!


Beauty Secrets

Today I'm linking up with Kelly for Show Us Your Life: Beauty Secrets.

Warning:  I'm a total beauty product junky, and I am a total believer in using the expensive stuff (unfortunately).

HAIR:  Recently, my beloved CHI went out on me, so I ventured to our new amazing beauty supply store, ULTA, to replace it.  I had planned on getting the same exact CHI, but lately my CHI has been really drying/frying my hair.  So, I asked the girl there what the best new straightener is, and she pointed me to this lovely little thing.

It's a BabyBliss straightener.  Now, I was a bit skeptical.  I've always only used CHIs for as long as straigteners have existed.  The girl assured me that I would love it, but told me I could take it back if I didn't.  I LOVE IT!  There are several settings depending on how you want to do your hair, I use the second lowest one for straightening and one of the higher ones for curling my hair.  It doesn't fry my hair either, and doesn't have the stinky smell that CHIs sometimes get.  Love, love, love.

Next, my favorite brand of dry shampoo.  Rockaholic Dirty Secret.  I'm not one of those girls who can go without washing their hair, unless I'm wearing it in a pony tail.  So what you ask do I use this for?  Well, for starters it provides GREAT texture when I'm doing a style that needs a lot of it.  Also, it is an amazing root coverer for when you need to get to the salon but haven't had the time.  I can extend the life of my color for a couple weeks with this stuff!

A long time ago, my hairdresser introduced me to Catwalk Camera Ready when I was doing pageants, and I haven't stopped using it ever since.  My hair has a very coarse texture, and therefore I'm lacking in the "shiny, healthy hair" department.  This spray makes up for that!  It creates a pretty shine, without adding extra oil.

My favorite hairspray.  Bead Head Hard Head.  It has amazing hold but is super easy to wash out!  

SKINCARE:  Ever since college, I've always had difficulties with my skin.  As soon as one product would start to work, my skin would get used to it.  Now though, I've fallen in love with Philosophy's Skin Care line.  It's amazing, and very simple to use (because I don't like I skin care regimen that has a million steps).

My main products are On a Clear Day.  Very simple to use, and leaves your skin feeling super clean.

I use the purity face wash to remove my makeup before cleansing, and these disposable towelettes are perfect to stash in my gym bag, for removing makeup before working out.

Finally, this is the miracle worker.  It's expensive, but worth every penny!  I use the microdelivery peel once a week and it creates such a difference in my skin.

MAKEUP:  I use a lot of different makeup lines, but my two favorite are Bobby Brown, and MAC.  They just get it right. 

Bobbi Brown has the best bronzers and eye shadow compacts.  She's reasonably priced too.

Everything MAC sales is great.  I'm addicted to their foundation, and eye shadow primer.  They also have some of the best colors in eye shadow and they're cheap (only $16).  Plus, if you bring in 4 used makeup containers, they give you a free lipstick!

Hope you enjoyed seeing all my little beauty must haves!


On such a cold day, she'll warm up your heart anytime!


Snow, Snow Go Away

We have been out of school for 3 days, and tomorrow has been canceled as well...   Don't get me wrong, I love a good snow day, or two.  But FOUR days cooped up in my little apartment, is not good for my well being.  My mom and sister keep calling me to make sure I'm still mentally sane.

I am, for now.

BUT... if we get anymore snow I just might have to cry.  Seriously.  I don't live in Alaska for a reason.  I love my mild winters graced by a few "light" snow falls.

And they're calling for more snow.

I'm supposed to be heading to Central, AR on Monday evening for some quality time with family while I'm on my "work week" from that MAT.  If anything prevents me from doing that, I will NOT be a happy girl.

So... Snow, Snow Go Away.