Thursday, February 28, 2013

How I Manage to be Superwoman

By now, if you read my blog, you have probably figured out that my day job happens to be teaching. And trust me, if I wasn't a teacher now, I'd be blogging about all the crazy shit that happens at our school on the regular. Usually, Andrew can't wait to hear what I have to say about my day. I text him throughout the day with little hints like, "Hey, remind me to tell you about the backpack incident when you get home." I know. You're all dying to know about the backpack incident at this point in time, and trust me, it is pretty much insane. However, for now, I'll have to save that story for later when I'm not longer teaching.

Most of you also know that I own my small business making cards and stationery. This small business has become my night job. I've had a lot of people ask me exactly how I'm able to get all of this done and quite frankly, I'm not really sure how I do it. I recently had a friend tell me that I must be superwoman. So, I decided to document one of my days just so I could realize how much I do every day. I mean obviously, I need to shove that in my face since I'm not overwhelmed or anything like that. Ever. Nope, not at all.

I have to start my day with coffee. 1) I like coffee. And by like, I mean love. 2) Coffee not only tastes good, but it keeps me awake. 3) I wish there was a such thing as a coffee IV. But then I guess I wouldn't be able to taste its delicious taste.

So, yeah. Boom. 8:00am. Coffee.
8:25am. Grab my orders from the night before to drop in the blue box around the corner.
8:30am. Get in the car and make the 6 minute drive to school. Yes. 6 minutes. I love it. When we bought our house, it cut my drive to school in half. I am obsessed. Be jealous.
8:45am. After heading to the main office to sign in, stopping to chat with the janitor for a few, and stumbling through a crowd of kids that I am not awake enough to deal with yet, I arrive at my room.
8:50am. I start working on last minute prep for the day. Thankfully, I have a planning period first thing in the morning. I finish typing up some notes for my U.S. History class and copy a political cartoon for a primary source analysis activity.
9:15am. I start grading U.S. History tests from the day before. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of essays.
9:45am. I have to pick my 7th graders up from gym class. Who thought it was a good idea to put a bunch of stinky teenagers in a gym class first thing in the morning and then ship their sweaty bodies to my room immediately after? I don't know, but I can think of many things I'd rather do that deal with that stench. Just sayin'.
9:50am-11:15am. I teach. Seventh grade geography.
11:20am. I've finished dropping my students off a lunch and head to the bathroom (I spared you the photo), quickly check my email, and finish screening a section of The Last of the Mohicans that I'll be using for my 8th grade U.S. History class after lunch.
11:40am. I pick my students up from lunch and I teach for 3 hours and 15 minutes straight. No break. Three classes. One seventh grade geography and two U.S. History classes. Today in U.S. History we're analyzing clips of The Last of the Mohicans in connection to what I'm teaching about the French and Indian War.
3:00pm. Planning period number two of the day. This day is different since it's the Thursday before we headed to Syracuse for our long weekend. I need to finish making sub plans for Friday. I have to make copies, staple a bunch of stuff, and then I keep working on more of that grading. I also finish my lesson plans for Monday. Planning periods = working like mad as if I'm trying to survive something insane.


4:45pm. I finally get home. Lilah wants to go outside.
4:46pm. Finn follows me around everywhere and wants cuddles.
4:49pm. I'm starved. I didn't have enough time during our 25 minute lunch to eat. That's most days. I've still not gotten used to it and I hate that there's not enough time to eat during my lunch. Leftover pizza it is.
5:03pm. I scarf down the pizza and head up to my studio to start getting work done, but I decide to catch up on a few blogs first instead. I have less work to do tonight since it I left my school work at school for the long weekend so I decide to enjoy a little blog reading.
5:26pm. I finally decide to change out of my work clothes into something more comfortable.
5:33pm. I'm still hungry. I make some coffee and get some mixed nuts to snack on.
5:46pm. It's time to start writing my blog post for the day.
6:15pm. Andrew gets home. He goes on a walk with Lilah while I finish blogging. At this point, I forgot to keep taking my photos. 

After Andrew gets home, we cook and eat. Dinner is usually ready around 8. We like to eat late and always have. It's time for us to catch up and I look forward to this every day. At around 8:30, I start in on my card orders and I work until I am done. Sometimes that's only an hour with an hour to spare to relax on the couch before bed or a bit of time to design instead. Sometimes that means until 1 or 2 in the morning. On days when I haven't been able to get as much grading done at school as I'd like to, my schedule gets adjusted and I might have to kick blogging to the curb in order to get everything done.

And that, my friends is my sort of typical day. And then I go to sleep and wake up. And do it all over again. That is how I manage to be superwoman.

Phew. I'm tired.






Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sponsor in March


It's hard to believe that February is already almost over! Each year it flies by so quickly! If you're looking to grow your blog or business, I'd love to have you sponsor this month! I've made a few changes to my ads that I think will help increase exposure. I'm offering a limited number of large feature ads that will have an opportunity for a giveaway and individual feature. In addition, I have a small ad option which includes a group giveaway option. Giveaways always seem to drive the most amount of traffic, so this is an affordable ad option with a chance for extra exposure. Both options come with lots of social media love as well. Feel free to head over to my sponsor page for more info! As always, all of the ad revenue goes right back into sponsoring other blogs which in turn brings more traffic back to you full circle. I'm looking forward to another awesome month on my blog and hope that you'll join me! :)

Shop Update

It's been a while since I've shared some of my new cards with you all. I have a lot of new designs that have made their way into the shop and I wanted to share some of them with you as I often do. My recent design projects have been focused on upcoming spring holidays-- Saint Patrick's Day and Easter.




I also finally added the much awaited butthead card that I wrote about a while back.

And after missing some cute butts, I decided to whip up this anniversary version.
Don't worry, I know you all missed my cute butt just as much as I did.

Ok. That was awkward. I know. But also funny.

Either way, I'm super glad to be back to designing and adding new items to the shop. It's been a lot of fun! I have a few more Saint Patrick's Day and Easter cards here in my shop if you'd like to check out the rest, and don't forget about the taco card! (You know you all love that one the most!)

What have you been up to lately in your shop-- if you have one, that is?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend in Syracuse

Every year we go back to Syracuse to meet up with friends, go to a basketball game, and visit old campus haunts. This year's game was especially exciting with a sold out crowd and record breaking attendance for any college basketball game in history at 35,012. We were playing Georgetown, a long time rival, and it was the last game in Syracuse between the two teams as Syracuse is leaving the Big East conference next season. In addition, Carmelo Anthony was in attendance and his jersey was retired during halftime. This event was especially awesome for us since he led Syracuse to the National Championship our freshman year.

We enjoyed pizza at Varsity, the oldest standing establishment on campus.
Walked about campus and checked out the Hall of Languages. The Hall of Languages is Syracuse University's iconic building, happened to be the building in which most of my classes were in, and is recognizable from the Addams Family.
We enjoyed walking through the Quad rather than trudging through in knee deep snow as it usually seemed to be the case while we attended.
And of course, the Dome. Dome, sweet Dome. This year we headed there a little early so that we could catch the team during their pre-game warmup.
video
We were even lucky enough to get our photo taken at court side during warmups, thanks to a super nice usher that was willing to let us in for a photo op.
Our seats were pretty bad and the game was pretty bad, but it was still fun to be in attendance at such a historical game for Syracuse.
Aside from the outcome of the game, the weekend was just what we needed. Catching up with friends, eating lots and lots of food, sleeping in until 9:30 two days straight, free omelets every morning at the hotel, brews and fish tacos from Empire Brewing Company, coffee from Freedom of Espresso-- all around a good time was had. Can't wait to do it all over again next year.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Have a Problem

I have a problem. Some of you may know about this already, and others may not. I am addicted to tacos. This is not something that just recently developed. This is a lifetime addiction. When I was little I would ask to go to Don Pablos for my birthday. Now I can happily say I have upgraded my personal taste in tacos and prefer local joints instead of the chains.

A few summers ago, one of my college roommates came to visit. We decided that we needed to have a taco party. The next summer, her wedding rehearsal dinner was a taco party at her favorite restaurant. I am pretty glad I got to attend that dinner for more than one reason, I have to admit.

My favorite restaurants in college both served tacos. The Mission and Alto Cinco. We made special trips to these places on the regular because we needed tacos or something similar to tacos. And I still need to go to one or the other when we go back to Syracuse (which we're actually doing this weekend!).

Let me be clear here. I love tacos very much, but when I say tacos, I allow all of those other amazing things like enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, and such to be encompassed within the same group. I love it all! And guacamole? Yes, please!

I'm so obsessed, I even made a card about tacos.

Still don't believe me? Here's how last week panned out:

Wednesday-- soft tacos were what we made for dinner.

Thursday (Valentine's Day)-- I gave Andrew a card that said, "I love you more than tacos." (Though that may be questionable..... just kidding, Andrew). Then I contemplated telling Andrew I wanted to go out for tacos. Just as I was about to tell him, he started making spring rolls instead-- the Asian taco? Maybe. You be the judge.

Friday-- we went to one of our favorite local places, Geckos, since going out for tacos failed the night before. I got fajitas.

Saturday-- ok, no tacos. You win.

Sunday-- no tacos either, but while having friends over for a dinner party, we discussed meeting up at Holy Frijoles for tacos-- my fave!

Monday-- we talked all day about making tacos and then decided to go with nachos instead. Nachos for us = tortilla chips covered in a black bean, ground beef, cheese, tomato, green pepper, sour cream, guacamole concoction. Basically tacos.

Tuesday-- while at school late, Andrew and I texted each other about making tacos for dinner. We ended up eating leftover pizza from the school event.

Last night-- we planned on tacos, but realized we were out of salsa (again) and decided to make black beans and rice instead. Basically taco filling on top of rice.

Tonight-- Andrew says we should have some sort of vacation-y meal since we are officially on a three day vacation weekend what with heading up to Syracuse tomorrow. I don't know about you, but that translates into tacos if you ask me.

And now, my friends, you fully understand. I truly am obsessed. I've got tacos on the brain big time.

What about you? Do you love tacos as much as I do, or is there another food that is after your heart?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lately

Warning: This post will 1) possibly be boring, 2) have no photos, and 3) be completely awesome just because I'm completely awesome. Ok, just kidding about that last part.

It's been a while since I posted, but I'm ok with that. Lately I've felt a bit disconnected from the blogging world and I think that's an ok thing. I spent my time away these past few days doing a lot of stuff that I wasn't able to do for about a month and a half due to my shop being so busy.

On Valentine's Day, Andrew and I cooked dinner and then passed out on the couch while watching tv. That's how we do things. We followed that up by going out for tacos and margaritas at one of our favorite local places on Friday night (Woohoo! Getting a little crazy and not passing out on the couch! Oh yeaaaaah!) Saturday was spent running errands that included a giant dinnerware debacle that will have to saved for a later date, followed by Syracuse basketball watching with a friend at the Baltimore Syracuse bar. Sunday was a relaxing morning followed by preparations for a fondue dinner party. We had six of our amazing friends over to enjoy cheese and chocolate fondue. Monday was a lazy morning and afternoon with a lot of designing thrown in there (more to come at the end of this post).

And finally, Tuesday. Oh Tuesday, you were ridiculously long. You started nice and early with a faculty meeting an hour before school starts, continued with some crazy student stories (which I will one day write about when I am no longer a teacher), stuck around even longer with an after school event that lasted until 7:30, and ended with Andrew and I stuffing our faces with leftover pizza from such said event and passing out on the couch while watching Storage Wars. Oh Tuesday, you were not kind at all.

And now here we are at Wednesday. And I am almost positive you may have stopped reading because I am also fairly positive that I may have bored you in those first few paragraphs. Let's just say that it was kind of nice to live a little.

P.S. The winner of the Oh, Nostalgia giveaway is Beth! Beth, I'll be in touch with you shortly about your prize! :)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

he | she


he is an extrovert | she is an introvert

he likes the mountains | she likes the ocean

he likes to wing it | she likes to have a plan

he roots for the Browns | she roots for the Steelers

he is a dog person | she is a cat person

he drinks his coffee black | she drinks her coffee with cream

he likes dark chocolate | she likes white chocolate

he designs buildings | she builds minds


Despite all of the differences in our lives, we always find so many things in common that keep us ticking. And sometimes, those things that are very different only help to make life a little more interesting. Quite honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way! 


Happy Valentine's Day to my favorite dude! 

P.S. Thanks to Erika for the blog post idea. She's pretty awesome if you ask me! I wanted to do this post for a while and thought saving it for Valentine's Day would be a sweet idea.






Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

I have to say that I'm a pretty lucky girl this month because I have some pretty amazing sponsors. I had big plans for my blog this month, but in the beginning week, I fell short due to lack of time. There just really weren't enough hours in the day to get anything done. One of those people that has joined me this month is Gayle.
I'm pretty sure that after one look at Gayle's blog I was an instant reader. Maybe it was the fact that her cat is just pretty much awesome (yeah, I'm becoming more and more of a cat lady over here) or maybe it's just that she seems so true to herself when she writes. I mean, it takes guts to write from the heart-- that's courage and determination that I definitely admire. I do hope you wander over and get to meet her!

But today Gayle is saving my butt from another day that I ran out of time and she's put together the perfect gift guide for that lovely little holiday just two days away. Trust me, I know that some of you haven't figured out what you're going to get your favorite people for this Valentine's Day. I know because you're not alone while others are still scrambling to get their Valentine's Day card orders in to my shop (cross your fingers that they make it there on time!). So I'll be leaving you all in very good hands with Gayle and her spectacular gift guide!

------------------------

Well, Valentine's Day is upon us!  Again!  Are you ready?  Are you scrambling to figure out what to give your honey?

What about your best friend?
Or your mom?
Sister?
Coworker?
Second cousin?
Or . . . yourself?!

What, you don't give Valentine's Day presents to everyone you know?  Oh.  Well, you should!  And, I'm here to help!

Hi y'all, I'm Gayle, and I blog over at Grace for Gayle.  I'm so excited that Heidi asked me to come over and tell y'all about some of the V-Day gifts I'm either coveting, or really wish I had a reason to buy!  {Sans sweetie this year, I am.}  But, I love online shopping, I love giving gifts, I love finding fun and funky new things, and I love spending other people's money!  {Yours!}

So, I've put together a fun list of just a few items that should help get you through yet another Valentine's Day!

{Catch My Heart and Together in Love pillowcases}
V-Day falls on a Thursday this year, which is sorta unfortunate.  It would be the best thing ever to lie in bed with your hubby {or wifey, depending on who is reading} allllll morning long, and these pillows are the perfect thing to accompany you!  I'm not usually one for printed sheets and such, but these are soooo adorable, and totally worth putting on your bed for just one day!

{Desk Daisy Paperclip Holder}
Who doesn't love getting flowers?  How about a pretty flower arrangement?  And flowers that won't wilt, don't need water, and are also functional?  Surprise your favorite coworker with some beautiful paperclip flowers for V-Day!

{Ted Baker Wallet}
Okay, let alone that it's red.  Let alone that it's Ted Baker.  But it's red, Ted, and SHINY!  So cute.  If you buy me one, I will be your best friend FOR.EV.ER.  Mmmmmkay?

{Diesel Watch}
This watch is sure to get some attention!  It's probably one of the most unique watches I've seen, that isn't tooooo weird {I have conservative taste}.  I love the detail and lack of detail.  This would be great with a red sweater, oui?

{Custom Stuffed Dog}
Okay.  Wait wait wait wait wait.  Seriously?  This exists?

If you have a dog, don't have a dog, love dogs, or hate dogs . . . Is this not THE cutest and coolest thing you've ever seen?!  This company makes a felt, quality stuffed animal out of a photo of your dog.  There are more examples here, which I highly recommend looking through!  I might have to just go ahead and buy one for myself.  Regardless, stuffed animals obviously go hand in hand with V-Day, so this is perfect!  You might need more lead time, but hey!  You're already ahead for next year!

{Couples 99 Problems Ain't 1}
Are you a cutesy couple?  Or, maybe you know a cutesy couple.  You know, the kind who make you wanna hurl your slushie at them know their secret?  This is for them.

{Relationship Status Sweater}
For you single chickadees out there, like me, hey!  There is no shame in staying home and chowing down on chocolatey-goodness, watching 17 episodes of Law & Order, while snuggling with your cats.  No shame at all.  At least you'll have a relevant shirt!

{Pink Heart Cutout Dress}
MEN:  Go buy this.  For her.  Now.
LADIES:  Slyly leave the website open to this dress.  Or, if he doesn't take hints well, just tell him.  You need this.  The end.

{Pomegranate Whipped Soap}
Does this not look like heaven in a jar?  I mean, it's soap, and looks like ice cream, but this stuff looks uh-mayyyy-zing.  Don't you want to try it?  I do.  This is perfect for the woman who has tried every B&BW product out there, and is kind of tired of the same-ol'-same-ol'.  It just looks FUN!

{Love Bookends}
If there is a lady in your life {mom, sister, bestie, cousin . . . } who loves to read, these are so cute, dontchathink?  Great gift for the book worms in your life!  {As an aside, I think I'm going to stop saying book worm, that phrase has always bothered me.  Can I be a book butterfly?}

{Loaded Question Laptop Case}
This would make a super-cute and fun gift for the teen in your life.  Well, unless . . . do they even know what handwritten notebook paper notes are anymore?  Or would this need to look like a cell phone screen and texting?  I don't even know anymore.  It's still awesome.

{Helen Keller Ring}
I envision this to be a really great gift for you and your man.  It's pretty gender-neutral, as there is only writing on one side of the band.  It's a beautiful quote, that I am sure means a lot to those who are married.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” {Mark 10:7-9}
"All that we love deeply becomes a part us us." -- Helen Keller

{I Chose You - Journal}
If you know someone who loves to write or scrapbook, write poems or print out snapshots, or even draw, this is for them.  You can select from a couple different kinds of paper {line or unlined} inside, so the options are endless.  The sentiment behind it is great, too -- and is guaranteed to be very meaningful, whether given blank or filled in.

{unless it's you, in which case, when I see you I'll say, "Twinsies!"}
This is just flat out funny.  This is an awesome gift for your single friends who have a sense of humor about it!

{The Most Magical Bouquet}
If all else fails, you can always get that "hard to shop for" person on your list a bouquet of stuffed unicorns.
Did you know a herd of unicorns is called a "miracle"?  I'd like to be a mystical creature-namer as my next job, how do I get to do that?!

So, Heidi's readers and friends, that concludes my gift list for you to prepare you for Valentine's Day 2013.  I hope this is helpful!  And with that, Happy Greeting Card Day, thanks for having me!

xoxo,
Gayle

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