Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - My favorite posts

Top Ten {Tuesday}

What factors affect cryptocurrency price?

For this last Top Ten Tuesday of 2010, I wanted to share with you my favorite posts of the year. (AKA - the lazy blogger's answer to a new TTT post :)

1. Rhythm. Not Balance
Always a great reminder that instead of trying to balance everything in our life, we need to get in the right rhythm.

2. Gander's Generosity
When horrors were happening in the USA on September 11, a wealth of generosity was happening in Gander, Canada. This will revive your hope in humanity.

3. Teacher Gifts
Bookmark this post! As a teacher of almost 10 years, these are tried and true!

4. Alternative Easter Egg Hunts
Another one you'll want to bookmark for Easter in a few months. Use my ideas (and leave me some ideas in the comments!) to spice up your traditional egg hunts.

5. Jesus is on His way
Great reminder that whatever you may be waiting on, Jesus hasn't forgotten about you.

6. Garage Sale Tips
I can't even think about garage sales yet as we have snow in Atlanta! But this is another one you may want to bookmark for when the weather warms up and you're wanting to get rid of some "treasures".

7. Dating Diaries
One of my many tales from the dating world.

8. Fractured Fairy Tales
If you're life hasn't been the fairy tale you've hoped it would be, I hope this offers you some encouragement.

9. Mail
This was one of my favorite ideas, but it flopped. I'd still be happy to do it if anyone's interested. Who doesn't love getting mail?!

10. Saving for Christmas
Please, do this starting now! It will save you so much headache and worry when it comes around to Christmas next year. This has been one of the smartest things I've ever done!

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, visit Oh Amanda.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

THE gift

In our children's church Christmas Eve service, one of the activities was a version of Memory.  You know the game, right?  You have all the tiles face down and turn them over one at a time trying to make a match.

This version, though, had an extra tile that didn't have a match.  It was Jesus.  The point was that Jesus is the "unmatched gift".  There is nothing like Him and Christmas is all about Him.

I know I will more than likely get caught up in all of the gifts today, but I pray that in that moment I'll be reminded that Jesus is THE gift, the unmatched gift this Christmas.  There is nothing, no one like Him.  He and He alone is the only reason to celebrate not just in today, but every day.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What It's All About

I can't decide which is better about being a teacher this time of year...



or this?

I'm thinking THIS is what it's all about.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Stumbles

The majority of what I stumbled this week is food.

Go figure.

But these are all Christmas sweets! Prepare to salivate:

Red Velvet Cheesecake from Beantown Baker
Brown family prepare yourself, because this one WILL be making an appearance at Christmas dinner this year!

Peppermint Sugar from Pip & Ebby
What a super clever idea! If you like peppermint flavoring, then this is for you!
Photo from Pip & Ebby

Homemade marshmallows
from Denver Bargains
As an avid hot chocolate drinker, this has always been on my to-do list but hasn't quite made it over to the "done" list.

Simple Christmas Treats from Polwig
What a cheap, easy Christmas gift! Put them on a cute plate and you've got a simple Christmas gift.

This post is linked to Saturday Stumbles at It's Come to This.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ice Day

It's 10:40 a.m. on a Thursday...and I'm at home.

Not because I'm sick.

Not because I have something else to do.

But because we have ICE, BABY!

So, on any given day at this time, I would be in 4th period teaching earth science to my 6th graders.  I would also be telling A to get back to his seat, R to stop talking, and trying my hardest to not lose my patience with K.  I would also be getting ready to go to lunch...yep, I eat lunch at 10:50 a.m.

I hear my stomach calling!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Tour

Welcome to my home!

I absolutely love decorating, but decorating for Christmas is a whole 'nother level! Here are my some of my favorite decorating touches:

1. My tree
Fake and pre-lit all the way...and I don't even feel guilty about it! I love my tree! This year, I went with red and silver.

2. Tea light holder
This normally holds tea lights, so I took them out and hung some plain Christmas ornaments.  It's just a cute little touch.

3. Vintage Christmas cards
Growing up, my mom threw away everything.  My dad used to joke that if it wasn't nailed down, it wouldn't stay around long.  But for some reason, she has saved every single Christmas, Easter, Birthday, Halloween, etc. cards.  I guess that comes with being the first born and all.  In looking back through these cards, it's clear that they just "don't make 'em like that anymore" and I wanted to display them in some way.  So here's what I came up with.

4. Wreath
I got several of these plain little wreaths at Target after Christmas last year.  All I did was put the red ribbon around it and tacked it behind the mirror.  Simple but cute.

5. Christmas Card Scrapbook
One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the Christmas cards!  I hated, though, that they just sit in a box year after year, so I've decided to make a page for each year that holds that year's cards.  All I did was attach a rectangular piece at the bottom to be a pocket.  It's fun to look back and see how all my friends (and their kids!) have changed.

6. Willow Tree Nativity
I have wanted this set for as long as I can remember...and now I have it!  It's taken me several years and waiting on coupons, getting them as gifts from mom and dad, getting them from complete strangers (!) to collect the set, but I just love it!  It's one of the things I look forward to most when I put up my decorations.

7. My Christmas Duvet cover
Yep, I even decorate my bedroom!  I couldn't resist this duvet cover from Crate & Barrell that I got a couple years ago after Christmas.  It was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up.  I just love the way it looks against my green walls, too!  (I realize I could've [should've] made up my bed, but wanted to be real with normally looks like this!)

8. My bedroom tree
Oh yeah...there's a tree in my room!  Another after Christmas find from Jo-Ann's.

9. Kitchen table
Glass vases are so versatile and deserve a post all their own.  I have filled my with pillow stuffing (don't know what the technical name is!) and put a few ornaments on top.

10. Little books
These little Christmas books were just too much to pass up. 

This post is linked to Oh Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday & Kelly's Korner Christmas Tour of Homes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - Black Friday Tips

Top Ten {Tuesday}

It gets bigger and bigger every year!   While I COULD be referring to my rear end, I'm talking about Black Friday!

Yes, I am one of those nuts that shop all night after Thanksgiving dinner.  My first year was quite an induction into midnight shopping.  Last year, I went with my friend Becky and we hit up the outlet malls, Kohls, Target, Walmart...and I can't think of where all else we went!  They kind of all ran together.

In all honesty, it's not really about the incredible deals, although there definitely are some, it's more about the experience and spending time with friends.

So I am looking forward to it again this year too, but today I want to share with you my top ten tips for a successful Black Friday experience:

1. Make a list
This is NOT the time to leisurely browse in the stores. You need to have an idea of what you're looking for.

2. Dress in layers
This is especially true if you'll be going in and out of stores. What I found is that it may be cold(or downright freezing!) outside, but most stores had the heat blasting inside. You'll be glad you can peel off those layers!

3. Bring a water bottle
[See above about the heat]

4. Bring snacks
You will no doubt be standing in a long line at some point. That long line could just be waiting to get into the store! Regardless, that turkey dinner will not last as you're hustling and bustling around town. You'll want a little something to snack on.

5. Go with a group
As mentioned before, there are lots of long lines. (And you thought your local amusement park was bad!) Here's a little trick that works well if the lines are extremely long. When you enter the store, have one member in your party immediately go stand in line. Then you can go do your shopping. This will maximize your time. Instead of spending time shopping THEN time waiting in line, you'll be ready to pay once you've done your shopping!

6. Don't take kids
The number of people that had kids with them was disturbing! I can kind of see having a small infant. I mean, they sleep most of the time and wake up every couple of hours. It was the toddlers and older kids that bothered me. One-kids should be in bed at 3 A.M.!!! Two-they're gonna see the gifts you're buying for them! Please, please, please...leave the kids at home!

7. Downsize
If you're like me, you carry a large purse. This is NOT the time you want to be lugging around your giant purse. Take the bare necessities and choose a smaller purse or small back pack. But please, no fanny packs!

8. Bring your patience
This one should go without saying. Not everyone is in it for the pure experience of it and some of those people take it seriously! A little too serious if you ask me. Just don't get too involved in the drama.

9. Do your research
Scope out your circular ads about the stores around you and what times they'll be open. Plan your route so you can maximize your shopping time. Some of the major department stores (Kohls is one I know for sure) offer an online personalized shopping list where you can click and drag your items to a shopping list that you can print off and bring with you. Most of them also have store maps. Handy dandy convenience!

10. Pre plan your Friday.
When you're done with your midnight shopping and are coming home Friday morning, the first thing you want to do is crash. You will kick yourself if you have activities planned or kids to deal with Friday. While the rest of the world has been sleeping, you've been shopping like mad. Plan to do nothing (if you have that luxury) or something very low key that day. Don't plan to put up Christmas'll be too tired. Pawn the kids off on grandma and'll
thank yourself. Pre planning will ensure that you'll want to do it again next year!!

...and one extra tip...

11. Stockpile
Pick up super cheap items to use as gifts throughout the year or to giveaway to charities. Our school adopted families through the North Fulton Community Charities organization. I was able to pick up a crockpot for our family for $3! This is a great time to help out others!

What are your Black Friday tips?? I'd love to hear what works (or doesn't work!) for you!

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, go visit Oh Amanda!
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