Saturday, April 26, 2014

Whew! Has It Been a Week, or What?!?

First of all, let me start by announcing the winner of my Arm Candy giveaway! Maja from Kooky Kinders is the winner! Maja, your bracelets should be in your hands on Monday! Congrats! Here's a link to the winner and giveaway page.

Seriously...this week has been unexpected, fun, and exciting. I have been MIA on the blog for the last week, and I wanted to write a post about some of the happy that I've had this week! I've had a tiring, but happy week, but here it goes! 

For this post, I decided to write an update about The Love Life Project. To read more about this project, you can head on over to Jenny Fish's blog Wonderfully Complex! I've been part of the challenge for a few months now, and I love it!

I love taking pictures of the things that make me happy each day, and I love looking back from week to week and smiling at my pictures of little joys. I was even thinking of making a little photo album of some of my favorite happy pictures and call it "Life's Little Joys." That way, I can look back at those pictures whenever I feel like it! :)

So here are the last two weeks in pictures of the little things in my life that mean so much!

April 15th

I woke up one day to find it had snowed! That's crazy Ohio weather for you! April and May weather are so unpredictable here. I seriously didn't believe the weather forecasters when they said it would snow before I went to bed. But sure enough, I woke up, and it looked like this!

Here's a look at the snow from a window at school. By the time I left school, it was pretty much all melted!

Belting out Brian McKnight on the way home from work. Stuck in traffic. Let me tell you, Brian McKnight can definitely get you through some serious traffic jams!

April 16th

My 6th grade students learn about parts of plant and animal cells and then as a project, make a model of one of them. One of my students made an edible model. It's so pretty!

April 17th

I saw this and had to send it to my sister, Rachael! This cat looks just like our cat Ginger (Ginger Rogers) that we had growing up! She's currently 17 years old and lives with Rach!

This is too cute!


April 18th

On Good Friday, Bjorn and I headed down the dealership where we bought our car. There was something wrong with the technology in the lock on the driver's side door, so we went down to get it fixed. On the way, this truck passed us! I snapped a picture and sent it to my mom. She's from Missouri:

After getting the car fixed, we stopped to have a nice lunch downtown at Nada. Delicious!

I got a cactus flower margarita. It was a little sweet, but delicious! I could not have had another. I also had fish tacos. Their fish tacos are fantastic!

Thank goodness for a day off of school during the week! I got to cross something off of my to do list! Bjorn and I went to Batsakes to look at hats! He has been wanting to go there forever, but they don't have weekend hours. They also don't like you taking pictures inside, so I took one of the outside. And here's Bjorn in his hat:

April 19th

Here's  the biggest news of last week! Bjorn and I adopted a new dog! His name is Remy. He's three years old. He was taken care of by an awesome foster family, and he's so sweet! I can't believe we have three dogs! We have been talking about getting another dog for awhile. We thought we'd look for another pup in the summer, but we saw Remy and couldn't leave the little guy! Isn't he adorable?!?

He likes to be held like a baby.

He likes to sleep under the blankets just like Thor!

Here are all the babies together. Thor is still working on being completely comfortable around Remy. Thor gets a little jealous when Remy wants me to hold him :).

This is how he looks out the window.

He's so cute!

They're getting better!

April 20th

Bjorn and I made a homemade dinner of City Chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, and green beans! It was soooo good! My mom made city chicken when I was little, and I haven't had it in forever! Bjorn also made his famous homemade gravy. To.die.for.

April 21st

It was my sister Ashley's birthday! I sent her a box of goodies ;) Since she's closer to Ohio now, her box got to her way faster (on her actual birthday!). Happy birthday, sis! Love you!

Me, Ashley, Rachael

April 23rd

On Wednesday after a doctor's appointment, I stopped by the thrift store to look for a few inexpensive baskets to continue to organize my kitchen pantry. Hanging on the end of a rack, I saw this lovely silk jacket! It was 50% off day, so I picked it up for $3.50. I knew the name brand and was interested in looking up how much this vintage blazer would go for on eBay. I found it going for $80! I considered that my deal of the day! I also found a few baskets for .50 cents.

April 24th

I found these hanging baskets on Instagram for sale and it gave me an idea to keep an eye out at the thrift store for some of these to help organize my tiny kitchen!

April 25th

On Fridays, my students turn in their spelling homework. There is a section where the kiddos have to show me that they understand the meaning of each word. I can't wait to see their adorable drawings on Fridays! Here are a few of my favorites!

There were a few highlights of my week of happy!

To read more of my Love Life Project posts, you can go here and here

Leave a comment and let me know what made you happy this past week!

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How To Be Happy #2: Do Something Unexpected

A  few years ago, I realized that I wasn't actively working towards finding my happy in my everyday life. I was too tired, in too much pain (from migraines), to anxious to do anything. I realized that sometimes I need to put more of an effort into trying to put a little "pep in my step"--a little happy in my life.

Over the past few months, I have had a lot going on with my health. My headaches have gotten worse, a new medication that I was taking gave me horrible side effects, and I was completely dreading going to my annual visit to the OB/GYN (sorry if that's TMI!). I recently went to my doctor after trying this new migraine medication for months and not feeling myself for long enough. I've since stopped it and am already starting to feel a little better. I also went to my lady doctor for a visit after getting some suspect results on my annual Pap last year. My doctor told me not to worry. It was most likely a false-positive result, and we'd check it again this year. But--that is not how OCD works. 

My mom had Stage 1 Cervical cancer when I was in college, and, as you can imagine, that sent my OCD into a downward tailspin, spiraling quickly towards earth. At any minute I was ready to crash and have things blow up into the worse-case-scenario possible. I have been a little more sensitive towards illness with my OCD since my dad passed away from a glioblastoma (aggressive brain tumor). In the back of my mind, my OCD pecks, If it could happen to Dad, it could definitely happen to me. It's hard to ignore--that OCD voice. It's not easy, but it's possible.

Long story short, I went back to the doctor, she reassured me that my results were most likely a false positive. We redid the test because of my abnormal results last year. I will get my results next week. I feel much better.

So instead of sitting around and worrying and instead of letting my OCD get the best of my life, I did something different yesterday. My husband called me last night and said that he needed to do something fun. He had a long week and wanted to go out to dinner. My typical OCD self would say, "It's a Wednesday. You can't go out. You need to finish grading. You need to do x, y, and z. Forget it." 

Instead, I didn't think. I just said, "Yes." I wanted to have some fun and go out to dinner.

Grading could wait. I had two huge weights lifted off my shoulder--I was hopefully going to start getting my energy back from stopping my most recent migraine medicine, and I was no longer worried about going to see my doctor. 

So we went out.

So excited to go out with my hubby. I even wore my crab sweater! It makes me happy :)

On the way to dinner, we stopped for these cuties to cross the street! Loved it!

We had a great night at Cooper Hawk's Winery and Restaurant in Kenwood. I've been once before with my sister. It is delicious! The restaurant has a great atmosphere, great wine, food, and service. Bjorn and I enjoyed drinks and great food and just enjoyed each other's company. And not once during dinner did I think about getting something else done. I didn't let my OCD allow me to feel guilty for enjoying myself. 

I totally ordered that delicious Bloody Mary!

Here is my drink of the night complete with local draft beer sidecar. I had eaten the sharp cheddar cheese and blue cheese olive by the time I had taken the picture! Sooo good!

Talk about delicious! These pork belly tostadas were my favorite! They were fresh, salty, and had a nice crunch from the radish and nice creaminess from the avocado. Must try!

After dinner, we decided to stop by Half Price Books since it's right next door. I decided to make our trip a little more interesting, so I created a challenge for us! I decided that we each had to find a movie that the other person hadn't seen. It had to be a movie each of us liked and we each wanted the other person to watch. Then the other person would have to watch the movie of your choice, no complaining!!

There was one small problem that I found with this challenge: Bjorn and I have been together for 15 years. We love watching movies. We have watched so many movies together that we couldn't find any movies that we hadn't seen together!! Hahaha! We were cracking each other up! So we had to stretch our brains way back to our childhoods to finish this challenge! We weren't giving up! So here's what we found:

I had never seen Willow.

And Bjorn had never seen Anchors Away. Hello Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra!

Can't wait to watch these movies together!

Moral of our night out: have more fun nights out. Don't let OCD control my happy. I had so much fun. I need to have more fun.

Suggestions for future challenges and fun nights out are welcome! Leave a comment below! It's hard sometimes to stump each other!

To read my first How To Be Happy Post about music and dancing, click here.

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tried It Tuesday :)

Why, hello there! It's Tuesday, and time for another Tried It Tuesday! So here are some of my fun finds from the past week! Hope you enjoy!!


Miso Instant Soup Packets

I picked these up when Bjorn wasn't feeling too well, and tried the leftover packet one morning with my breakfast last week. It was delicious and so easy! Just heat up some water and stir in the mix with the tofu and veggies! I found mine at Fresh Market.

Frozen Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas

Chocolate covered bananas are one of my all-time favorite snacks/treats! I found these at Kroger in the frozen section yesterday and had to try them! They are soooo good!! They also have them available with almonds too. The plain dark chocolate bananas are 100 calories per pack, and one satisfies my sweet tooth! Love these!

Redd's Strawberry Ale

Bjorn and I wanted something different to drink this past weekend. He picked up a Shandy. I picked this up. Rachael and I taste-tested it for everyone, and it is delicious! It's not too sweet, and it has great strawberry and apple flavors :)

Thrifted Instagram Find

I bought this dress from Katie @thriftyourheartoutshop on Instagram. I love her Vlogs (Thriftyourheartout). I scored this thrifted dress for $11.25! I seriously love it!



I just started Legend on Sunday, and man, am I hooked!! The story alternates between two different characters and their points of view. Day is wanted by the government, and June grew up as a privileged member of society. It takes place in a dystopian society that was once the western United States. This new Republic is constantly at war with its neighbors and is covering up secrets from its citizens. It's action packed and full of suspense! I'm hooked!


My 5th graders study a huge historical fiction unit on civil rights, and this movie made think of all the books they've been reading and the stories they've been writing! I picked it up at Target last week, and I can't wait to watch it! It's about an unlikely friendship that's born out of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

TV Show

I am loving the TV show Fast N' Loud. It's about these guys who buy and rebuild hot rods. I seriously love this show!! The guy's shop (notice how I don't know their names) is called Gas Monkey Garage. I just find it so interesting and funny!! It airs on Discovery Channel Mondays @ 9.


I love Ray LaMontagne. I love this cover. It's amazing. Please sell this cover on iTunes. Thank you much!

"Crazy" (CeeLo Green cover)
Ray LaMontagne

Old School: I totally refound my Brain McKnight CDs. I'm loving this one!
"6, 8, 10"

John Legend is amazing. There is nothing more to say.

I put this CD back on my phone and play it on repeat.

"All of Me"

That's all for this week's Tried It Tuesday!! 

What have you tried this past week?

Leave a comment below!

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Saturday, April 12, 2014

March SlantBox Reveal!

I love participating in the SlantBox exchange that the fabulous Jameson over at Lessons with Coffee has put together! 
The SLANT Box Exchange

It's a great way to get to know other educators or people in a teaching-related field. You get matched with a partner for the month, email back and forth to get to know each other, and then at the end of the month, send each other a box of goodies based on a theme. 

This past March was the fourth time that I participated in the SlantBox exchange. It was so much fun! I was paired up with Maja from Kooky Kinders. You have to go check out her blog! It is adorable! She is the coolest kindergarten teacher ever! She dresses up for her students, makes cool food crafts, and her students always look like they are having a blast! On her blog she writes about the fun happenings in her class. You need to check it out!

I loved getting to know Maja! We have so much in common! I feel like I've known her forever! She seems like an old friend, who I just haven't talk to in awhile. We both love our students and teaching, thrifting and antiquing, and our puppy boys!! I would love to go antiquing with her! I think we'd have a blast!! :) I love that I've met a new friend that I will have forever! I am so happy I met you Maja! 

Here is a peek at the amazing box she sent me!

There were these Big Softie letters in Cincinnati Bearcats colors! I can't wait to use them in my art journaling and a new little display I'm making at school ;)

Aren't these stickers the cutest? I love them! I mean, those squirrels, right?!

I love this little journal! The pattern on the cover and the inside paper is adorable! I can't wait to write blog ideas inside! I've been wanting a place to write down random ideas that I have for new blog posts. I've already got it in my purse ready to go! If an idea ever pops up when I'm out and about, I have a perfect place to jot down ideas! It's the perfect travel size!

Last year Bjorn and I landscaped our front yard, and I love the way everything is growing in this spring! I can't wait to go out and put flowers on my porch and start making it look even more beautiful now that the weather is getting nicer! I know just the perfect place to hang this outside! And I am so glad Maja sent this :) I'll have something in my garden to always remind me of her!

This pencil sharper is perfect! I already took it to school, and my students are obsessed with it! They have a waiting line to use it, so we have to take turns while they're working to use it! There are holes across the entire head of the pencil sharpener that allows for 7 pencils to be held and you can sharpen them too!

I love this little guy! He is symbol of luck, and I am always going to keep him with me as such. I can't wait to find a little chain for him and wear him! He's too stinkin' cute!!

And the last two things that I got in my box were chocolate!! I did eat the chocolate, however, before I managed to take pictures of it! Oops! It was so good! Maja sent me these two to enjoy:

Maja, thank you so much for my box! It is awesome! I love it! 

I am so glad I got to meet Maja and make such a sweet friend!

Happy SlantBox!

Love and happiness <3 Holly