Friday, May 9, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

Today I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker over at Surprised by Motherhood for Five Minute Friday. 

Five Minute Friday

For Five Minute Friday, the goal is just to write for five minutes straight. No hyper-editing, or revising, just writing. Put your thoughts on paper, and that's it! Stop on by Lisa Jo's blog and check out all the other amazing people and their writing for her Five Minute Friday link-up! 

This week's topic is Grateful.


I Am Grateful Because

I am grateful because I had my dad for 26 amazing years.

I am grateful because I can still remember his smell.

I am grateful because I can still hear his voice and his laugh.

I am grateful because I can still feel his hug and see his smile while he squeezes me tight.

I am grateful because I am married to the most amazing man.

I am grateful because he promised my dad he’d take care of me.

I am grateful because he’s known me since I was a teenager.

I’m grateful because he gets me, even when I haven’t said a word.

I am grateful because I have a mom who loves me unconditionally.

I am grateful because she would stand in front of me while the storm is raging.

I am grateful because I have fun loving, crazy sisters.

I am grateful because they are there for me through thick and thin.

I am grateful because I teach amazing kids who make me want to be the best I can be.

I am grateful because I love to learn, to read, and to write my life in a book.

I am grateful because I have friends who get me, who accept and love me.

I am grateful because I just want to make this world a little happier.

I am grateful because I have a body that can dance. 

I am grateful because I am not afraid to put myself out there.

I am grateful because I have this one life.

I am grateful because I have time to figure it all out.

I am grateful because I never give up.

I am grateful because I am.


Thanks for stopping by!

What are you grateful for?

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tried It Tuesday

Howdy Doody, y'all! It's time for another Tried It Tuesday, where I give y'all some insight into a fun new smorgasbord of items that I've thoroughly enjoyed over the past week (or two!) in hopes that it will help you find happy in trying something new in your every day life.

And from that intro, if you have never read my blog and think I live in the South, I apologize; I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. However, I am a linguist! Just playin' around with a little dialect. You know what I'm sayin'? (It's seriously late for me y'all!)

And off we go!

Beauty/Bath Products/Oils

Yep, this category was difficult to name! My friend Lisa gave me some of this next item to try out. It helps you to relax, which in turn can help get rid of my headaches. They are also fantastic for all over relaxation and sinus issues and might I add, rather addicting.

Shower Tabs

Lisa gave me two different kinds of shower tabs that you place in your bathtub under the running shower water. One smells like eucalyptus, and the other smells like peppermint. The brand of the shower tabs is Aura Cacia Pure Essential Oils.

First of all, they smell divine. Secondly, they are perfect if you've had a rough day and need to relax (great for my tension headaches). Thirdly, the peppermint ones really clear out your sinuses! I have been having some serious sinus issues with this Ohio weather lately. Anyone else? 

These shower tabs are A.MA.ZING. Seriously! You have to try them! You can buy them on Amazon, or here is a link to their company's website.

Eucalyptus  Oil

I am also loving Eucalyptus oil at the moment. Eucalyptus oil, as according to my massage therapist, can work just as well as peppermint as opening up your sinuses. It is, however, (or can be) very strong. 

I went in for a massage for my migraines and couldn't breathe because the weather kept changing like crazy. My masseuse went and got some eucalyptus oil, put a few drops on a tissue under the blanket next to me, and continued with my massage. By the time the hour was up, my nasal passages felt more open, and I could breathe! She said to put a few drops on a washcloth too and hang it over the curtain rod in the shower with hot water running. It's relaxing and really opens up the sinuses.That is an awesome tip too!

Aura Cacia also sells Eucalyptus oil. I bought mine at Fresh Market. I was going to see if Fresh Market or Whole Foods also sold the shower tabs too. It's worth a shot, I think!

Eucalyptus, Globulus Essential Oil Eucalyptus globulus

Blueberry Yogurt Pretzels

Another Fresh Market find that I had forgotten about for a long time is their blueberry pretzels. These pretzels are so addicting! I love them! They are blueberry yogurt covered pretzels. They also have strawberry, but blueberry's my favorite. I picked up a bag last week and have been snacking on them ever since! You can find them in the bulk bin section. You can scoop your own, or they already have them prepackaged for you.

Oops! I just saw the calories on a search for a picture! Don't eat a ton in one sitting! Seven pretzels is a serving, but they can be a special treat!

Social Media


I have never been a big Twitter person, but I made a goal for myself to get on and tweet more, even if it was just to get more exposure for my blog. Well, now that I've started tweeting (does anyone else think that it such a weird word?!), I have met some awesome people and bloggers, and I really love it! That's all I have to say about that! If you tweet, you can follow me @findingfreude. 



A few weeks ago I wrote about how much I love the husband and wife duo Johnnyswim. They recently put out a new album, and I am obsessed! I had heard their new song "Diamonds" before and loved it! I couldn't wait for the rest of the album to come out. So far, I've only played their EP and album Diamonds in the car to and from work this week and everywhere I went this weekend! Here's their new song "Diamonds":

Love, Love, Love, Love!!!

I have also been listening to this song: "Battery Kinzie" by Fleet Foxes:

And lastly, I have been loving Birdy and her song "Young Blood":

News Radio


Driving home last week, I listened to an interesting story/interview about what it is like to live in today's society as a transgender person. I am very interested in learning about people's life stories and their unique experiences in this world. 

I searched NPR for similar stories and found more based on the lives of transgender people. Here is what I've found. I have loved reading and listening to these stories. It is so interesting to get a different perspective on life and to hear about another's person's life through their voice.

Picture Books

I recently found three cute picture books that I want to use in different ways in my ESL classroom next year. 

The first one is a picture book about two sisters' relationship. It also deals with one of the sisters feeling different because her mom's cultural expectations are different than those of her American friends. It's called Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. One of our first ESL units deals with different cultures and exploring character.

The second book is Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson. The paintings in this book are amazing! One unit in my 6th grade ESL class is about freedom, and we talk about apartheid. I thought this would be a good addition to the unit. The kids really loved talking and learning about Nelson Mandela. 

And lastly, the book Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold talks about an African-American family whose father has trouble finding work because he is not allowed to be a part of a union. It has some beautiful language, similes, metaphors, and symbolism.

That's what I've got for tonight! Have a great week!

Have you tried anything new lately?

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ladies, Get 'Em Measured!

Recently, I went to get measured for a new bra. I was tired of pulling my bra up during the day, coming home with red marks under my armpits, and feeling uncomfortable in my bras all day. On a recent day off, I went to get measured. I also ended up purchasing two new bras because I was wearing the wrong size! Forever. I was, seriously, wearing the wrong size forever!

I went in thinking that I must need a bigger band size, since I was getting those awful red marks around my armpits. Well, nope! I was totally wrong! I needed a whole bigger cup size! Eek! I have always worn an A cup since high school, college, grad school, my first years teaching, and so on and so on. Can you tell it's been a long time since I've been measured? Oops!

Did you know that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size?  Wearing the right size bra can make a huge difference in the way you look and feel! So... KEEP CALM AND GET FITTED! #keep #calm #shopbloomers

So, needless to say, I needed a new bra! I ended up buying two new ones for now. I got a strapless convertible one that I can wear with pretty much anything and another bra without removable straps. 

I also told my sister that if I was wearing the wrong bra, then she definitely was! (She has a lot more going on with her tatas if you know what I mean.) I took her to get her bra size checked. Wait for it...she was two cups sizes too small! Hello wrong bra size! She was shocked! 


Signs You're Wearing the Wrong Bra:

1. Your bra should not be leaving marks on your skin.

2. The cups are bumpy, and the material is not laying flat on your body.

3. The straps either slide off your shoulders or dig into your skin.

4. The center of your bra doesn't rest against your skin.

5. The band isn't parallel to the ground. Many times, it pulls upwards in in arched shape.

6. The cups of your bra are overflowing (eehhem...sis!).

7. The underwire does not lie flat on your body.

7. Your bra feels extremely uncomfortable, or it hurts!

If you think you are in need of a bra fitting, but just haven't gone and done it yet, just go for it! It made me feel so much better! It was my happy of the week! No more red marks and pulling my bra up the whole day!

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Friday, May 2, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Mess

It's time for another Five Minute Friday! I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker to write for 5 Minutes straight. No planning, no worrying, no hyper-editing--just writing! There are so many wonderful people who link up to share their writing on Lisa-Jo's blog. You should check it out!

Five Minute Friday

This week's topic is mess. Here's what I came up with:


Honestly, my life is a big, hot mess.

A big, fat mess of headaches, headaches that cause anxiety, emotions, exhaustion, stagnancy.

Springtime is not my happy.

This time of year always brings me down.

Another school year over, drained and needing some down-time.

Relief from migraines.

Time to process grief that has not yet passed.

For some reason, this year, I feel a little more down.

Not necessarily cry-my-eyes-out sad.

Just can't-get-up-and-moving-just-make-it-through-the-day sad.

Pushed to my limits emotionally, I want to crawl into bed and sleep,

but the show must go on.


Keep repeating over and over (I'm good at this):

And this too shall pass.


Thanks for stopping by! I needed to write tonight. Happy weekend everyone :)

Love and happiness <3 Holly