Thursday, December 30, 2010

Being a Maid of Honor... fun, wonderful, amazing, exciting, exhilarating, exhausting, stressful.... and well... an honor. 
Hanging up

Such cute shoes!

Seriously love these shoes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 26th - the saddest day of the year.

At the beginning of the month I made a goal that I would truly embrace the holiday season this year and love every moment of Christmas. I am happy to report that I succeeded with gusto! Christmas is wonderful and I can't believe I spent so many years of my life being such a Scrooge. The very first Christmas that Jonathan and I spent together he had said to me that "December 26th is the saddest day of the year because it means Christmas is over" up until this year I thought he was crazy. But now I agree 100%. It is so sad to see such a wonderful day come and go so quickly.

Here is a small recap of our wonderful Christmas celebrations. Both Christmas and Christmas Eve are very very busy for us. On Christmas Eve we go to three different parties. First we go to the Mullens. The Mullens have been Jonathan's neighbors since he was born. We stop there and visit with their family and spend some time with his bestfriend Katie. Then after a few hours of snacking and drinking there we head to his grandparents house where we take part in a HUGE Yankee Swap (28 this year) for all the adults and "big kids". Me and Jonathan left with the same gifts we came with, but it was still a score because we liked our gifts. 

Looks like a fun time to me - wine and Cranium!
 Then we headed over to my brother's girlfriend's family's house because they have a huge X-Mas Eve party every year. Unfortunately we didn't get there until 930ish and one brother was already asleep and the other was a little quite tipsy :). From there we went on home to find this: 

My cousin and her fiance were given a very important secretive job to do that night. They added their own fun twist to it. So an awesome new office chair isn't the only surprise Jonathan (and I for that matter) got on x-mas eve.
Christmas Day was fantastic. I woke Jonathan up at 8AM like a little kid, literally jumping on him in the bed and trying to shake him awake because I was SO excited to open my Christmas presents. I had every right to be excited since he got me a marvelous and thoughtful present

And this super cool pink jacket that has a built in book light!
 Then we went to his parents house for a Christmas morning breakfast and to open our presents. We got Google TV which so cool I can't even begin to explain it and Jonathan's mom gave me this gorgeous bracelet: 
She coined it as the "gift that keeps on giving" because now people need to buy me charms!
 From there we were off to Jonathan's grandparents to visit with all the kids and see them open their presents. We missed all the present opening, but the kids enjoyed the presents we bought for them. We hung out for a while and played with the kids and more importantly the kid's cool toys! Everyone also enjoyed all of my homemade treats! So glad I thought to be all cheery and make candy for all the amazing people in our lives :) 

Here is one example of the goodies I gave away. The fudge is hiding underneath.
We also stopped by and visited with my Grammy and Aunt Sandy for an hour or so. Some of my cousins were there as well so I got to see them too. My Grammy was very excited to see us, so I'm glad we made the trip over there too. I wish everyone would take the time to go and visit with her... The woman is amazing and deserves much more than some people give her.

Then we went home, set up or Google TV, played Epic Mickey, ate Chinese Food and relaxed! So I stand by what I said on Christmas - despite who you spend your holidays with - it's important to realize that the people who really matter are the people that will call and take the time to make the day special with you. I'm grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The main reason I haven't blogged in a week

I have been meaning to update for the past week, but last week started off badly. This is what Jonathan found on Monday morning when he got up to go to work: 
Yes - to answer your question. That is his car, on milk crates, with no tires. 
 So this event sent me into a whirlwind rage. Now - first let me tell you this. THIS is not the first time something has happened to Jonathan's car. Last year around this time (Januaryish), his car was broken into. The driver's side window was smashed and his airbags were stolen, yes airbags. Fortunately, Jonathan is fantastic in crisis. He has been so calm through all of this bullshit which has been great. Unfortunately... his car is still in our driveway, with no tires, covered in snow :( 

Anyways... as pissed off as I was about the car and that low-life people would actually do something like this to someone... I was almost just as pissed off at the reactions some people had to this. Most friends/family were very sympathetic which is greatly appreciated, some people made jokes* (which is fine too... jokes are needed in times like these!) Some things that irritated me - were the comments about us having to move or Lowell being a shitty place to live, or our apartment complex sucking. The reason this annoyed me... is: 
  1. We don't live in Lowell, we live in Dracut. 
  2. Despite where we live.. it doesn't matter. Like I said this happened before and the kids were caught and they were from Lawrence! 
  3. Yes - I agree that we live in a huge apartment complex and MAYBE there should be more security... but when you live in an apartment... security is almost considered in amenity. We could live in a gated community... but unfortunately we don't have that kind of money. Overall this complex is very nice and over the past year we have dealt with different matters, such as the bed bug incident and a mouse in our wall, that maintenance and management has responded to in such a great manner.
  4. But again - this kind of shit doesn't matter... He drives a Civic SI. That's why this shit happens. Period. 
So anyways... when shitty things happen to someone. They don't need to be lectured and they certainly don't need to hear about how hard your day has been or how difficult your life is. Really, last week... all we/he needed was for people to say "dude, that sucks... I'm sorry man". The advice, the recommendations, and the complaints were unnecessary. So thank-you to all of our thoughtful friends and family who truly know how to be supportive. It's appreciated. :) 

Had I written this blog last week when I was still very pissed off about it all ... I would have been much bitchier and angrier... hence the reason why I waited. If this still came off as bitchy - then maybe you at least understand my frustration a little bit. And keep in mind sometimes a blog is meant for venting.

*Some of the jokes were absolutely fantastic. The one that topped them all was the x-mas eve prank. Stay tuned....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Blog World!!! I hope everyone out there was able to enjoy a relaxing day with friends, family, and all the people that matter in life.

My day was fabulous and even though I do not have the most traditional time spent with family... I still have some pretty amazing people in my life. I couldn't ask for a sweeter boyfriend with such a loving family that makes me feel at home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

As promised...

A quick tutorial on delicious fudge:

In a glass bowl (that is safe for the microwave) dump in 1/2 stick of butter, 3 cups of milk chocolate chips, and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (do not lick your finger if you get some on it....ugh gross... it resembles something white and sticky and probably tastes worse). Put all this in the microwave for about 3 to 5 minutes. I took it out about every minute or so and stirred... it only took my microwave 3 minutes to cook it perfectly and it looked delicious and smooth.

Next dump it all into an 8x8 glass pan preferably lined with aluminum foil that was sprayed with non-stick spray. It will make your life much easier, I promise.

Let it harden in the fridge for about an hour or so... Keep in mind this fudge is creamier and not as grainy as "traditional fudge" so it doesn't get super hard (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID).

After an hour or so take the fudge out and dump it out of the glass pan onto a cutting board. It will slide right out. Then you can start cutting. I cut mine into small cubes because it is so rich. It makes a lot. I have two containers that look like this: 

Since I have two containers of this size Jonathan will be bringing one to work tomorrow. When he messaged a co-worker to let him know he would be bringing in some fudge; his co-worker appropriately responded with "so you'll be packing fudge?"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Candy Creations for Dummies

Candy Creations... for dummies! Why I say dummies you ask? Because it was so utterly simple!!! Anyone who is looking for simple, easy gift ideas I'm telling you - Make some fudge and some delicious Saltine Toffee!  Today AC came over and we made a wonderful creation.  This was a very successful test run :)

Step One - Go to the grocery store and buy these 4 ingredients. 
  1. Box of Saltine Crackers
  2. Butter*
  3. Milk Chocolate Chips
  4. Brown Sugar (if you have brown sugar in your cabinet, please check it prior to going to the grocery store. Or else this may lead to a second trip since the brown sugar was hard as a rock) 
 Step Two - Go back to the grocery store to buy the ingredients you had - that you did not check first ;)

Step Three - Yay! The actual cooking!
1.      Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
2.      Arrange crackers in a layer on a greased baking sheet.** 
3.      In a small sauce pan heat 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 stick of butter. To a rolling boil.***

4.      This step was scary – pour the BOILING sugar liquid onto the saltine crackers (without burning yourself – I’m happy to say I was successful)
5.      At this step I got slightly confused because it did not spread very easily or coat all the crackers. HOWEVER – the recipe does not lie! It will spread out in the oven. So….
6.      ....Bake in the oven for 5 minutes....and....
7.      ....Be amazed that the toffee is actually moving over all of the crackers in the oven!
8.      Carefully take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
9.      Watch the crackers mysteriously move on the pan.****
10.  Drop chocolate chips onto crackers.
11.  Let chocolate melt and then spread - it spreads very easily and smoothly. 
12.  Sprinkle extra crumbled up cracker bits on top!

Step Four: Place in the fridge to cool for a ½ hour

Step Five: Smash into smaller pieces – Perhaps using a safer method than I choose to use.

Step Six: ENJOY!!! 

QUESTIONS?? I came across:
*Does it matter if the butter is salted or unsalted?  This was one of the many questions I asked today.
**My second question - does it matter if the top or bottom of the saltine cracker  is face up?? I decided to have the top facing up. It seemed scientifically correct when I thought about it real hard.
*** Question #3 – What exactly is a rolling boil?? I learned that it is when the butter and sugar gets very very bubbly.
****Did that REALLY just happen??? How did those crackers move on their own? The force of toffee is a strong one yes?
  • AC also had the question - who knew that toffee was actually just brown sugar and butter melted?? Hmm? Not us - that's for sure. 

You think this is easy – wait to you hear about the amazing fudge recipe that involves a microwave and a refrigerator.....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Being Cheerful

So I have to say that I am definitely doing a good job "decking the halls". I think this is the first time ever that I really am truly embracing the holiday season. I've gotten about 1/2 of my shopping done, I sent out 33 Christmas cards, I decorated the tree with Jonathan and I even bought some cute Christmas hand towels. Today I wrapped all the Christmas presents that I have bought so far.  And I have been patiently hoping and wanting the first snow fall to happen!! It's nuts... I don't know where this cheer has come from, but it does make the holidays oh so much more fun! I haven't gone as far as to listen to Christmas music in my car alone... however when I'm in Jonathan's car I'm not only listening - but often singing along!

To top it all off on Wednesday I volunteered to go into my work (the Parker House Grille) on my day off and voluntarily decorate for 3 hours (I was there from 830 till 11). Me, the manager Billy and one of our regular customers, Jules decked out the entire dining room and lounge with Christmas decorations. We hung up garland and lights on all the borders using a hot glue gun (I burnt myself 2 dozen times!) and then we put up about 40 bows and bulbs all around the garland (Sp?). It actually was a lot more fun than it sounds... other than the fact that I was annoyed that me and a customer were doing this while two employees (who shall remain nameless) sat at the bar and drank.* How nice. I also got free food and drinks... and I didn't even abuse the privilege like those said employees totally would have. I only had two drinks and an appetizer.

Today I printed out a few recipes to get started on testing out what types of fun candies I want to make for treats for everyone. I have landed on a Simple Fudge recipe and  Saltine Toffee. Both recipes sound delicious and simple. Post to follow on the process and on whether it is indeed simple :)

Any-who - I feel very accomplished when it comes to my "embrace the holiday season" goal. With that said - please refrain from asking how the "exercise more" goal is coming :) 

*Need less to say - the people I work with piss me off quite frequently.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today felt like a long day

First of all - let me start off by stating for the record that I LOVED second grade when I taught it... Today I substituted in a 3rd grade classroom. It was one of the most challenging classes I think I have ever worked with for a variety of reasons. I will not list all these reasons, but I will state that I am SO glad that the job I landed is in 5th grade. 5th graders are soo much more independent I definitely think they are more my speed these days. :) Now - I understand as a substitute teacher I don't get nearly as much respect as the regular classroom teacher... and I expect that going in. I expect that I will need to put my foot down from the very start of the day otherwise the day could be a total nightmare... But I felt as if these third graders never learned the concept of raising there hands and don't seem to understand how rude it is to A) - Interrupt the teacher and B) - Talk while she is talking. Those are the basics in school! It was utter chaos.... Funny thing is though - I did have someone come in the room at one point and say "wow, they are never this quiet for a substitute!"... so even though I felt like it was complete chaos I guess I didn't do half bad with this particular group of kiddos. Maybe I just have high expectations for proper behavior in school... with that said....  I can not wait for subbing to be over and to be in my "own" classroom for at least 12 weeks!!! :)

Hopefully this will be how my fifth graders behave!

Need less to say I was exhausted when I got home. I relaxed and watched soap-net for a while. Yeah I'm lame, but I love OTH and 90120 (old school) repeats. I did however get myself up and out the door to go and get in some cardio and do yoga! Take THAT exercise goal! My cardio was pathetic though. I could clearly tell I hadn't worked out recently. I had no stamina! AND can I ask the question - WHY DO PEOPLE WATCH THE FOOD NETWORK WHILE WORKING OUT? How BAD of an idea is that!?  Oh well - tomorrow I will go to the gym again! (and the food network better not be on!)

Tomorrow I will:

1) Go to the post office to buy stamps so I can mail the Christmas cards
2) I will go shopping for more Christmas gifts
3) I will clean the apartment
4) I WILL go to the gym
5) I might have lunch with Amy :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Failing goals... :(

Okay... so it's December 6th and I'm already failing goals. 

Goal # 1 - Blog more. Given that this is the first blog since writing that goal... I consider that sad, maybe not quite a failure, but sad. 

Goal #2 - Exercise more. I went to yoga last week and I plan to go tomorrow - does that count? Yea... I didn't think so either. Where the hell did my motivation go??? I promise to be better.

Goal #3 - Embrace the holiday season! YAY To sticking to this goal! We have a tree up and decorated and I bought a festive table clothe and festive hand towels for the kitchen! AND I did some Christmas shopping today AND we got 1/2 of our cards written to send out in the mail this week! At least I can be successful at being cheerful :)

With all this failing I must now mention something so extremely positive! I have accomplished one of my long term goals! Today I was informed that I was hired for the 5th grade position that I interviewed for in Reading :) It's only 12 weeks, but hey it's a job! AND I can really teach again :) So that's huge excitement.