Take Me Away..

So, as I wind down from a week well-spent in Montana, I have developed a really tough case of the TRAVEL BUG.  I am DYING to go somewhere new.  Cast your vote…I want to travel to any (and all) of these places!  Anyone in?

Edinburgh, Scotland

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Anywhere in Ireland

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St. Petersburg, Russia

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Ecuador

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Pompeii, Italy

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Okay but really…I am dying, here.  I love experiencing new things, and I am so much looking forward to learning about new cultures.  Anyone want to head across the big pond with me?

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A Week in the Wilderness

Hey y’all!  I have had such an exciting week!  Cole and I spent the week in Glacier National Park with seven of my Natural Resources students.  We had such a great experience!

On Monday, we flew out of RDU.  Some of the students had never been on a plane, so that was an adventure in itself.

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On Tuesday, the group hiked 6 miles up and around Cyclone Mountain, located in the Whitefish mountain range.  The hike elevated us a little over six thousand feet, but rewarded us with some jaw-dropping views. Look how happy these boys are!

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On Wednesday, we headed deep into the park and completed a seemingly-short three mile hike towards Avalanche Lake.  Sometimes, it felt like we were in a jungle!

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On Thursday, we changed it up a bit, hiking a snow-covered 3 miles to Hidden Lake Overlook.  Crazy thing about Montana- it can be snowy, but warm, all the way through July! We even got to see a silly Mountain Goat with his tongue sticking out!

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Overall, the experience was extraordinary.  The kids seemed to have a blast, and I had a great time.  I highly recommend getting out there.  GNP is a treasure, that’s for sure.

A big thanks to the Glacier Institute, specifically the Big Creek Education Center.  The staff were awesome, and made the whole experience so fluid.

For now, I am going to go sleep.  For days.

xo

A

Our Engagement Party

While I haven’t received all of the Engagement Party pictures yet, I HAD to post the few that I had taken. Our party was fabulous…low-country boil, steamed oysters, and all of our wedding party in one place. Just a glimpse at the rainy Saturday soirée:

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Long time!

Hey y’all! So sorry I have been MIA for so long now. As a teacher, my job definitely doesn’t end when the kids get out.

What I’ve done this week:

Carted around 40+ FFA members in downtown Raleigh
Watched my kids win 5 (yes, that says F-I-V-E) state Career Development Events
Cheered for my student, Haley Lohr, who was elected to a North Carolina FFA State Officer position

My life is awesome. Over the past year I have had times when I questioned my career as an Agriculture Educator. This week, once agin, again, reminded me that my calling is this:

Making a positive difference in the lives of students, by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

I never thought it would be hard to say goodbye to Southern Alamance, and most of you who know me, know why. The past few days have discounted any assumptions I have made about the lack of emotion I thought I’d have. My students are beautiful. My teaching partners, though difficult at times, are phenomenal, and I am genuinely going to miss this place.

While change is always necessary, and one never stops growing, no one said it would be easy. The place I am going will have a beautiful group of students, and I will continue to be blessed.

But no one ever said it would be easy.

Wedding Wednesday!

Well, folks…we have 318 days til our wedding!  Seems like a lot, but it will be here before we know it.  I have to say, I am pretty proud of all the planning that I have accomplished since December 16.  Just to recap what has been done (and the various things left on my to-do list), here ya go!

Book Venue

Book DJ/Lighting Service

Book Photographer

Take Engagement Portraits

Book Videographer

Book Caterer

Decide Menu (Cocktail Hour/Dinner)

Decide Alcohol Choices

Book Baker (halfway there)

Decide Cake Flavors

Book Cake Tree

Book Table/Chair Rentals

Book Lounge Area Rentals

Book Linen/China Rentals

Book Officiant

Marriage Counseling

Purchase Wedding Gown

Wedding Gown Fittings (I might not even need to!  The dress fit PERFECTLY in store!)

Purchase Veil and Accessories

Pick Bridesmaids Dresses (Fingers crossed for our August 10th appointment!)

Pick Flower Girl Dress

Pick MOG Dress

Pick Tuxedos

Organize Tuxedo Rentals

Choose Flowers/Arrangements

Order Flowers

Organize Block of Hotel Rooms (One of three has been reserved!)

Book Hotel Rooms (Bride Night Before, Groom Night Before, Wedding Night)

Book Honeymoon

Book Honeymoon Flights

Purchase MOG/FOG Gifts

Purchase BM Gifts

Purchase FG/JrBM Gifts

Hire Makeup/Hair Artist (halfway there, also!)

Choose Stationer

Choose Invitation Design

Order Invitations

Order Save The Dates

Send Save The Dates

Choose Program Design

Order Programs

Hire Calligrapher

Choose Dates for Bridal Luncheon, Bridal Showers, Bachelorette Party, etc.

Organize Rehearsal Dinner

Purchase Bride Wedding Band

Purchase Groom Wedding Band

Purchase Ceremony Gust Book Bible

Purchase Cake Knife

Figure Out Altar

Order Koozies

Order Sparklers

Finalize Ceremony Music

Finalize Reception Music

Photographer Must-Have-Photo List

Make Wedding-Day Timeline

Make Seating Chart

Collect Pictures of Family Members

Purchase Bathroom Essentials

Okay so, maybe I don’t have as much done as I’d thought…but hey!  I have the big, gets-booked-fast things out of the way.  With about ten months left until the big day, the majority of the tough things are over with, and we are totally free to relax!  For those of you recently engaged or soon-to-be engaged, I highly recommend working hard in the beginning to cross the super-important things off your list.  I can speak from experience- things get booked up quickly, especially those great vendors you are dying to secure!

xo,
A

Chair Reupholstering

Hey y’all!  I apologize for not posting in a few days.  This past weekend, my future brother-in-law graduated from high school, as a teacher I had to attend my school’s graduation, and after that- Seth’s graduation party!  Busy weekend to say the least!

Yesterday, as I sat at my desk for six hours (seriously- who needs FOUR teacher workdays?!)  I decided I wanted to update some of my furniture before the big move this summer.  Projects #1 and #2 are going to be tedious reupholstery jobs , but I have two awesome seating peices in need of a MAJOR makeover. 

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See what I mean?  While I am not too opposed to the golden-rod color, the fabric is itchy, it coordinates poorly with my preffered interior colors, and it’s lumpy, saggy, uncomfortable….you get the idea.  I also have a sofa that I intend to update.  Surprisingly, it shares the same mustard color in it’s slipcover, but I am not a fan of said slipcovers, nor am I a fan of the terrible baroque/striped pattern that it sports (seriously, it’s green and red and blue and AWFUL.) The chair was a tidbit leftover when my mom purchased a 150-year old home in Eastern North Carolina.  The sofa cost a whopping $25 at the local Goodwill in Hillsborough.  Talk about cheap finds! 

You’ll have to excuse the poor-quality photo (and the strange ghost-spot smack dab in the middle of the fabric), but the print I have chosen is an ivory, textured one from Loomcraft Fabrics in Burlington (great deals, y’all!)photo2

As you can see, it is lovingly being carted around in the back of my car.  Busy life, y’all!  Anyways, hopefully I will have this thing done this week, and God-willing, it will look great!  If anyone has any wisdom to impart about the process of reupholstering furniture, send it my way! 

xo,
A

Fab FIVEday!

Alright, y’all! Here’s to my first Fab FIVEday post! Today, and most Fridays, I will post five of my favorite products, things or ideas. Today’s Fab Five revolves around taking the best care of acne-prone, sensitive skin (annoying, right?) My skin has always given me trouble, and it’s tough to maintain. In the summer, it’s oily, bumpy and sensitive, and in the cold months, it’s dry, itchy and uneven. The pimples I do get are nasty, mean cystic ones…those ones that are red and inflamed and hurt like the Dickens!

Anyways, after 21 years, I think I have finally got the magic formula for dealing with my skin (in the heat of Summer, anyways!) The following products are ones that I LOVE!

1) Arbonne Cosmetics Natural Radiance Mineral Foundation with Broad Spectrum SPF 15
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Like I said, my skin gets fairly oily in the summer months. This foundation blurs away all traces of oil, and leaves my skin light and natural-looking. I typically apply with a foundation brush. I swirl the bristles in the powder, tap off any excess, and apply in a circular motion. That circular motion is vital to having an airbrushed finish! Pay special attention to oil-prone areas, under the eyes and around the nose.

2) Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Serum (what a mouthful!)

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This stuff is awesome! Retinol is very important when treating skin that is dry, uneven and blemished. Basically, Retinol works by increasing cell turnover. When it is applied to the skin, it encourages the removal of gross, dead cells and replenishes skin to form new, healthy cells. I apply this after washing my face every evening. I pay special attention to areas that are dry, or uneven in color.

3) Tea Tree Oil

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Tea Tree Oil is a miracle worker on pimples. It acts as an antiseptic, reducing the bacteria that cause pimples in the first place. I use TTO in two different ways. First, I dilute with water (about 50/50) and use it as a toner. The liquid is incredibly potent, and can actually hurt your skin if you aren’t using it correctly! Make sure you dilute it, if it’s not treating one specific pimple! As a toner, I use it BEFORE applying the Retinol serum each night. I also use TTO as a zit-zapper. Dab a Q-Tip in some of the oil, and press it into the pimple. It’s an awesome, natural alternative to all the creepy chemical creams out there to treat breakouts!

4) The Zeno Hot Spot
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Okay, y’all. I was SUPER skeptical about this thing, at first! Now, I love it! It uses gentle heat to kill bacteria in pimples. I typically only use the Zeno when I have a really bad pimple, or when I need one cleared up in a really short timeframe. Of course, it’s gentle heat, but I am a pansy and it’s hot, to me! Love it, nonetheless!

5) Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing+Makeup Remover with Neutrogena Wave Sonic
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The Neutrogena Naturals line of skincare is designed to be gentle on skin, which is very important to my sensitive face! I use the Fresh Cleansing+Makeup Remover, as it cuts through all traces of makeup, leaving my skin super clean. To enhance it, some, I use the Neutrogena Wave Sonic tool with Gentle Exfoliating pads to pump up the cleansing action!

Okay, so there you have it!  I have annoying skin, yes, but this works for me!  What products do you use to ensure that your delicate skin is acne-free?

xo,

A