Monday, April 30, 2012

Blogging Coach...

that's me! A blogging coach.  Jessica #2 (yes, I live with two Jessica' never run into two Gentry's, ever)  Anway, she just mentioned to me that she'd like to start a blog and would like my help.  You can only imagine how giddy I got at the thought of helping someone else express themselves via blog.   Lately I've become very excited about blogging and allowing people near and far (ok- mostly family & very dedicated friends) to keep up to date on the silly, randomness of my life.  Several of my friends would rather do the whole twitter thing and don't see the advantages to blogging, so clearly I was very happy to offer any help to a new blogger ready to set loose on the open Internet.  So coach I shall.  In honor of coaching, I'll include some of my basic blogging rules.

#1 Keep smiley faces :) to a minimum...they get annoying (this is actually Jana's rule, but I'm in full support)
#2 Try to include a picture in every post to keep readers interested (see below)
#3 Keep complaining & "negative nancy" tendencies to a minimum (my own personal goal...)
#4 Proof read!!!! (Nothing drives this English teacher more crazy than spelling & grammatical errors)
#5 Don't overuse the exclamation point !!!! (Broke that in rule #4, but was necessary)
#6 Keep posts short & sweet unless they're absolutely hilarious. 

I'll now be abiding by my rule #6 and peacin' out till next time.  I'll definitely link Jessica's blog when she's up and rolling.

Must have a picture...must be excited for summer.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Girls Night Out

I'm playing catch up from January on this post.  Jessica came across these pics on her camera and we thought they were blog worthy.  Three of the four of the roomies, (I'd insert the house name here if we had one, but we don't....sad) enjoyed a night out together when we first moved into the new place.  Jessica had a groupon for appetizers at Oeno, a very sophisticated wine bar here in Wichita.  Said place is also home to fantastic flavored mojitos (and I'm not a "go out & have drinks" kind of person, so they must be good!) 

We decided to split their spinache artichoke dip and a yummy strawberry shortcake dessert.  So good!  Seriously, even as I type this three months later, my mouth begins to water at the thought of their artichoke dip.  Gotta put that place back on the list to go in the near future. We also enjoyed some sort of raspberry, orange mojito.  Tasty.

Ignore the fact that we're all leaning a bit strange :)
 The next weekend we're all around, let's do it again, girls!  (That could be months from now...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Summer Plans

Come May 24th if you were to stop by my house you'd find me doing something along the lines of this....

Sorry, please tilt your head to the right.  Couldn't get it figured out.
Now, of course I'll be outside catching some rays, but you get the point.  I'm relaxing in my new early birthday present that my mom and I picked up last time she was in town.  The good thing about early birthday gifts is that you get to enjoy them for longer.  I've already spent several days out on our back patio reading in this bad boy and my birthday is still  15 days away.  (hint, hint)  These lounge chairs are the big rave right now.  Every store I go to has their own version of them and various prices.  We spotted our deal at Wal-Mart of all places!  Complete with comfy pillow. Here's to some relaxing days full of rays!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sleep Diva

 For the past couple of weeks I have had some trouble sleeping.  And by trouble I mean, tossing and turning wide awake till at least 2:00am some nights.  Keep in mind I get up around 5:45, ok 6am.  My goal is always 5:45.  Needless to say, Miss Sauder has had some very cranky tired school days.  I should probably also mention that I've always been that kid who requires a decent amount of sleep.  Let me give ya some background to my "sleeping diva-ness". 

Ever since college, I've slept with an eyemask to perfect the must of a pitch dark room.  You'd also always be able to find a set of earplugs in my pillowcase for those noisy nights.   Now somehow I survived the walls of a sorority house and sharing a room with at least two other people at a time, so I can't be that much of a sleep diva, right? To be determined.

I spent the summer of 2008 in Brazil and had an amazing time despite eigth weeks of terrible sleep.  I'm talking up in the middle of the night reading because I can't fall asleep.  I've got the mental toughness of a crazy person.  Once I get it in my mind that I can't fall asleep, I hit this cycle of near insomnia.  Terrible.

Needless to say, since moving to our new place, I've fixated on every single sound possible and prevented myself from getting good sleep.  Traffic outside, the hum of our fridge that backs up to my room (crazy, I know), the buzz of Jessica's fan below my room, you name it I've heard it. 

Here's a running tab of what I've spent lately towards trying to sleep:

New earplugs- $4.99
Sleep Aid (off brand pill to ease sleep...non-habit forming, don't wory) $4.50
Unisom (name brand pill when Sleep Aid was a crock) $10.85

But here's the best thing I've put my money toward lately- Dohm Sound Machine  At this point I was willing to spend a lot of money to get sleep, so $60 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond was totally worth it.  And let me tell you, I've been sleeping like a champ ever since.  I kid you not, if you're having trouble sleeping (which according to google, millions of people do) then this bad boy could save you.  So in a nutshell, my future husband better beware for this sleep diva!  (and hopefully he won't snore....)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm On Board!

As a Language Arts teacher, I probably shouldn't admit that I've never read a single Harry Potter book (seen most of the movies) and have only read the first Twilight book (refuse to see the movies).  So when the Hunger Games series came out, I decided this would be my thing.  I'm totally on board with Katniss, Peeta, and the gang!

 I began reading the series last year during my lovely and quite frequent snow days from school.  We had five* and it was awesome.  I'd usually get the automated call the night before that we'd be out the next day and I'd then stay up late into the night flipping the pages of the adventures of the games.  There were even moments when I gasped out loud during the first book.  The Hunger Games was by far my favorite of the three and I've already seen the movie twice.  I'm now rereading Catching Fire and I'm sure I'll make my way back through Mocking Jay.  It's the huge craze with my students and we talk about our favorite parts and things that surprised us in the movie.  I don't think I've ever known a book series to hit such a large spectrum of people.  Kids, adults, boys, girls, even those stubborn students of mine who convince themselves they hate reading have been caught with it under their binders.  Love it.  I've always thought it would be so cool to write a book.  Maybe someday.  I have no idea what I'd possibly write about; that was the main reason I started blogging, to be able to share my random thoughts and hope that at least family members would read it.  Anyway, I guess until I hit it big with my best seller that hits the big screen, I'll enjoy what's already out there. 

*In honor of having no snow days this school year :( my district has named Friday, April 27th a school holiday and we will be given the day off.  Have I mentioned I love my profession lately?

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Voice

For the past couple of months Monday nights around our place have been filled with sitting around the TV watching The Voice.  Now don't get me started on Christina's bleach blonde hair and risque outfit choices, instead let's talk about my favorite coach, Mr. Adam Levine. 

First of all, I'm not a fan of how the show has dragged on forever and there is plenty of unnecessary banter between the judges, but they're finally starting to give people the boot and get things moving.  I've even been ok with the people they've kept.  Except for crazy rocker Juliet Simms who everyone loves and I can't stand.  But back to why Adam Levin is my favorite coach.  Look at the guy.  I've decided he's my "bad boy" (bb) crush.  I'm not usually one for tattoos, especially huge ones covering the arms, but somehow I'm highly satisfied with bb's.  On the show, he seems to be the judge with the most sincere comments to not only his team members, but all contestants.  He also comes across as having the most musical knowledge (aside from Christina possibly) and does a good job of encouraging the singers.  Now don't get me wrong, I'd venture to guess he and I have some differing views and opinions on a lot of things about life, but as far as the show goes he's convinced me I'd want to be on Team Adam, hands down. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Going to the Chapel and She's Gonna Get Married.....

Remember my cute bff, Chyla?  Her big wedding day is now less than a month away!  Two words. Super. Pumped.  We've enjoyed ourselves at a couple of showers for her and here are some pics.

Her mom threw the first one with yummy food!

The 2nd was in KC.  Here's our food spread.

I ordered the cupcakes from Billy Vanilly in Topeka.  So tasty!! If you're needing any kind of cakes or cupcakes for special events and are near T-town, it's worth it.  There are so many creative flavor choices; we had Reece's Peanut Butter cup, strawberry, oreo, red velvet, and birthday cake.  Yum!

Karin Brownlee making the punch.

So many dear college friends in this pic.

Looking forward to the big day! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easy Dinner Surprise

So remember when I was having so much success with my crock pot recipes?? I hit a bit of a road block when I chose "Easy Dinner Surprise" the other night.  The name alone should have tipped me off that this would not be good.  It sounds like it should be served at either a nursing home or a school cafeteria.  Surely we all remember the school days when you'd see "Cook's Choice" on the lunch menu.  Please, that's code for random leftovers.  Anyway, the good thing was it was definitely easy; however, should I sacrifice taste for ease??  Not so sure....  Here's the recipe.  By all means, try it!  You might just love it.

Easy Dinner Surprise

1 lb. stewing meat, cubed
Can of cream of mushroom soup
Can of cream of celery soup
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
4 oz. can of mushroom pieces

1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot.
2. Cover.  Cook on Low 8-10 hours.
3. Serve over rice or baked potatoes.
I ate mine over rice and it was decent enough the first time around.  Cooking for one allows a TON of leftovers, so I probably could have made at least three or four more meals out of this, but I was dreading the thought of eating it everyday.  I finally made myself pack it for a lunch one day because then I'd have to eat it at school and I thought I might actually feel like it by the time lunch rolled around.  I was wrong.  Just thinking about it made me want to gag.  I'm that person who looks forward to what she brought for lunch, so Easy Dinner Surprise made for a very anti-climactic day.  I hate to waste food so I thought about just forcing myself to eat the rest of it, but needless to say, I put it down the garbage disposal last night. Cross that off the list.