Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Highlights and Goals Recap

January is already over and I'm left feeling like I almost always do, it went by fast in some ways, and slow it others. The highlights of my month were definitely my two trips to Katie's house at the Cape, first with Eric and Adam and then our girls weekend. Even though the weather went from 60 degrees and sunny to snowbound between the two trips, the feeling of complete and total relaxation was the same on both trips. I love you Cape Cod.


This year I decided to do monthly instead of yearly goals! :) Here is a look at how I did with my January goals:

1. Read 4 books. Check! I actually read 5 books this month, wahoo! I was very into a couple of my books which helped and also Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas I literally read in 2 weeknights, which is pretty much unheard of in my world. Here is a list of books I read in January:

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

How to be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

I recommend all of these books, but my favorite was Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I loved CeeCee and the characters she met. Also cool, the author, Beth Hoffman, commented on my blog to thank me for recommending her book. Officially star struck.

2. Get to yoga 4 times. Nope. But I got to yoga 3 times, so it's not a total fail. I actually was right on a roll with one time per week until I lost all motivation last week because I realized my pass never expires and then it seemed like the less I went to yoga the less I would have to pay for a new pass. Irrational, I know.

3. Run outside at least once a week. Check. Well, as long as you allow that I ran outside every week except one, but then made up for it by running twice the next week? Sorry, I'm a fair weather runner, I admit it. I'll never be as hardcore as Amber...

4. Donate 2 full bags of clothes to Good Will. Check Plus. This month I donated FOUR trash bags filled with clothes to Good Will as well as a pretty large box of books. I'm already loving life without the extra clutter and I'm sure my tax refund next year will thank me as well. I did have to part with some sentimental value clothing, but it was definitely worn! Still sad though...



Okay fine, I have the Australia one in another color that I kept... and haven't worn in several years once I learned how washing it makes it fall apart. I swear I'm not a hoarder.

5. Clean the inside of my car. Check. I cleaned my car a few weeks ago and I've managed to keep things relatively clean since that. The only major mess incident occurred coming out of tutoring one morning. I was carrying a plastic box that I keep lots of tutoring supplies in like pencils, glue, scissors, bingo chips, sound cards and picture cards and BAM the whole thing just exploded open and went all over the sidewalk on an extremely windy day. I managed to get up most of the stuff before it blew away but in my rush to get OUT OF THERE and get to work I did throw a lot of it aimlessly into my car. I think most of it is back in the original plastic box though. Thank goodness. Yes, this is something you would've laughed at had you witnessed it. Don't lie.

6. Try something new. Check. Well, I have to admit my plan was to do something really COOL and new this month, but instead I ended up trying 3 new restaurants. I do love me a good restaurant, so I can't complain. I tried a Mexican restaurant in the Cape called Anejo. I got pretty awesome lobster spring rolls. It was like Cape Cod seafood with a Mexican twist. I also tried an offshoot of my favorite restaurant from Burlington VT called Flatbread Company in Burlington, MA! They serve local beer and delicious pizzas, what more could you ask for?


Well, you could ask for an amazing brunch spot, also in the suburbs! Eric and I tried a restaurant called Tryst in Arlington for brunch one random Sunday morning. It was a little awkward to eat at a bar at 11 am on a Sunday (we should've made a reservation) but one bite of this french toast and I was over it. Trying new things is the best.


January was a pretty sweet month. I hope the rest of 2012 is even better. I'll be back tomorrow with my February goals.

Did you try anything new in January? How about meet any goals?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peapod Delivery: The Pros and Cons

Early in January a little surprise arrived in our mailbox:


60 days of free grocery delivery and $20 off my groceries!? For those of you who don't know, Peapod is a grocery delivery service that is part of Stop and Shop. Eric and I have considered using it before but decided we didn't want to pay the delivery fee when we are perfectly capable of going to the grocery store on our own. Enter free delivery and we are sold on trying it!

I thought I'd blog about the pros and cons of my experience in case any of you are considering the world of grocery delivery. I was not asked to do this by Peapod or compensated in any way, just FYI.


Time Saved. It probably goes without saying that grocery delivery will save you time. Eric and I always create a list every week, so we use that time to create our order. Since we have a Stop and Shop card our order is saved from week to week so unless we are buying something completely new, it's a pretty quick process to order. Eric can do it on his phone so we don't even have to be at a computer to do it. We usually have our order delivered on Sunday in a 2 hour window. You can actually save money by choosing a large time window but we haven't done that yet because we are still on free delivery. We have now had groceries delivered 4 times, and 3/4 times they have come in the first hour of the two hour window, once they were late because of snow but we were called ahead of time.

Grocery Dread Gone. Oh, so I'm the only one who dreads the grocery store? Well, I do! When Eric and I can manage to get there after dinner on a Friday or Saturday it's not too terrible, but otherwise we basically always have to go at prime time and that means navigating your cart around just about everyone else in the world. I am just not a fan of this hour of my week and I'm happy to have it back.

Money Saved. Even if we were paying the delivery fee, Eric and I have saved a lot of money ordering online. There are two major reasons why Peadpod can actually save you money. The first is that it completely eliminates any impulse purchases since you really have no choice but to stick to the list! The other reason is that you can actually see how much you are spending before you buy it. This means you could potentially notice you are way over budget and get rid of things you don't really need. I haven't had to do this yet but I have had many trips to the actual grocery store where I probably would've done this if given the option. Eric and I have probably saved about an average of $15-20 per trip, depending on how much we needed that week. Even this week we got Olive Oil which is probably the most expensive thing we buy, and our order was still cheaper than usual.

Coupons. You can still use coupons when you order with Peapod and I personally think it is easier. I am usually shuffling through my purse frantically looking for coupons during the trip so that I can see if I need to buy 3 boxes of Cheerios or 4 and then again at the register so I can actually use the coupons. So much easier to do in the comforts of my home and then I can just give the coupons at delivery and they credit your account.

Gas Points: One of the major reasons Eric and I stop at Stop and Shop is because we get gas points that allow Eric to get really good deals at Shell gas stations. Peapod orders count for gas points, so it's another easy way to save money.


Produce Risk: One of our fears about Peapod was that we would not be able to pick out our own produce. Our first experience with Peapod left us with a pretty ridiculous red pepper that made us think our fears were right on target! Luckily since then, most of our produce has been great. Still there is something to be said for picking out your own produce, since no one will ever care quite as much as you do.

Delivery Fee: When you don't have free delivery, it does cost $6.95 for delivery. Plus I always feel obligated to give the guy some sort of tip...

Selection: During our first order we ordered a couple of things that we buy weekly in our local Stop and Shop but they did not have in the Peapod warehouse including low sodium taco seasoning and low sodium chicken broth. For the taco seasoning they gave us a different brand with regular sodium and for the chicken broth we were given no replacement. We later learned that you can set up your preferences for out of stock items, but regardless you are still ending up without what you need, or with something different you may or may not want. Like many of the glitches this is something Eric and I have basically solved by ordering different brands or having a replacement selection available that we like as much. Still though, it can be annoying if it comes as a surprise and you were planning to make tacos that night and bam, there is no taco seasoning. Of course if you are at the grocery store they also may be out of stock but since you are there you can either decide to change your meal completely or choose a replacement you actually want. I personally think that they should tell you at the time of your order if it's an item they don't typically stock, or send you a text message while you can still make updates to your order. That's probably a lot to ask though :)

So, will Eric and I continue to use Peapod after our free delivery runs out?

I actually think we probably will. Even with the delivery fee and tip, we are still saving a couple of dollars a week and we are saving time, which of course equals money. Plus, Eric and I are exposed to a lot of germs in the winter as it is, so not going to the grocery store is probably appreciated by our immune system. Plus, sometimes I just feel like my life is taken over by errands and it's nice to have one done for me.

We do have a grocery store near us that sells many items for cheaper than Stop and Shop. I always avoid it because it is a CRAZY busy place that puts me in an immediate bad mood. However, I am hoping if I can avoid a weekly trip, I can maybe do a monthly trip to the dreaded grocery store for a few items like paper towels, greek yogurt etc that are significantly cheaper there. This will hopefully save us even more on our weekly orders.

Have you ever tried grocery delivery? Would you?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wine and Love

It's Thursday and time for a little wine and love :)



1. I failed at making time for blogging or reading this week. I don't like when that happens.

2. My blog has been spacing all my posts really weird and I don't like it.

3. I really wish I had normal sleeping ability and did not decide to think about five year olds, or anything else at 3:00 in the morning.


1. This week was the 90th day of school, which means halfway through the year. This means mid-year assessment time which usually is a big fat wine. This year though I'm really proud of my kids and I'm having fun looking at all the progress they have made.

2. I am getting better at using my gift cards ever since I confessed to my ridiculous number that I hoard. Last week I got a free dinner and ice cream, free frozen yogurt on Sunday and a free dinner tonight. We will just not mention that tonight I forgot the paper and had to actually come home at the end of the meal to grab it (luckily the restaurant in 2 minutes away but still).

3. I ate well this week. Last night we went to dinner at my mom and dad's and my mom tried out a new delicious recipe. Then today, one of my student's mom's made me Vietnamese Egg Rolls for the Asian New Year. This is the second time this school year I have had authentic Chinese/Vietnamese food made for me, I could easily get used to this.

Maybe not the most eventful week, but a good one still. I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxation in these parts! What are you guys up to?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let It Snow- Cape Cod Style

Two weeks ago I was at the Cape running without a jacket on, and this weekend was a bit different.


This weekend some of my college roommates turned adult best friends came to visit. I had 5 roommates senior year of college and we now live in Massachusetts (me + Katie), Cincinnati (Ashley), Chicago (Gerry), New York (Cristina) and Linda (Washington DC). I feel lucky that since college I don't think one single year has gone by that I have not seen their lovely faces at least once for a reunion, football game, or wedding related activity. The last time we were all together was at my wedding :) Here we are with our whole college "group."

kelly_eric 0933.jpg

This weekend ended up being a reunion for only 4 of us, but we were all "together" via Skype on Saturday afternoon. The weekend was low key and relaxing. We were snowed in a bit on Saturday, I think we got about 10 inches of snow at the Cape!





Many great conversations were had, Dawson's Creek episodes watched and delicious food eaten. I love weekends.

Time to get back into gear for the week. We are doing lots of mid-year assessments at work this week, yikes! I'm just thankful that the Patriots are now going to the Superbowl so I can turn all activities into football related and win over my boys-boys once and for all. I'm going to be happy these boys turn everything into a race/competition when we have to put on snow gear for recess yet again tomorrow. First one to be ready for recess wins the Snow Superbowl! Ready... GO!

How often do you see friends from college? Do you live close to each other?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Secret Hoarders

Thank you for your comments on my baby fears post. I'm glad to hear that #1- I am not alone and #2- people who are pregnant/have kids still have the same fears and manage to overcome. Wahoo. Someday I will be one of you. But not soon. For now, I will hold on to my sleep, among other things.

Let's shift gears a bit to talk about another one of my many issues. Ha, I kid, I have no issues. Other than maybe obsessive travel planning... oh and the fact that it snowed last night and it took my students a full 20 minutes just to get ready for recess today. Recess is supposed to be 15 minutes, but we all know I don't part with recess. So math it was. Sorry first grade teachers! I blame it on the parents who buy their child tie boots. Whoever invented (and purchased) those obviously hated teachers. The feeling is mutual oh boot-makers.

Anyway, back to hoarding. I am really not a hoarder. I kind of hate having a lot of stuff because when I do it means I have to clean/organize it, which I don't like. I just donated 3 + bags of clothes to Goodwill this weekend, hoarders don't do that, right? But there are a few things I definitely hoard. They are:

Gift cards




Ghirardelli Peppermint Chocolate


Fine, maybe I have some issues. The thing is I LOVE all three of these things. That is what makes me hoard them. The fear that one day I will really want a Ghiradelli chocolate and they will be gone, NOOOOOOOO. The gift card problem is particularly absurd. I have probably 3 Starbucks cards in that pile, but what do I do when I go get a passion tea for Eric and I on Sunday mornings? Obviously hand over my debit card. Apparently I think that one Sunday morning I am not going to have the $2 to pay for my tea and the gift card is going to come to the rescue? Wow Kelly.

Alright, spill the beans. What do YOU hoard?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baby Fever or Baby Fears?

As you probably know, I love kids. The last six years of teaching kids have brought me so much joy and laughter. Those children have made me so proud of their accomplishments and so happy for their happiness. However, those same children have also brought me stress, sleepless nights and challenges I sometimes felt I could never solve. In the next few years it will come time to have my own kids, and this really, truly scares me. Teaching is hard, and I know that being a parent will be so much harder. There are no vacations or long weekends from parenting. There is no saying goodbye to responsibilities at night, there are no lunch breaks. There is no saying goodbye at the end of a school year. From the minute I have that baby, there will be no break from being a mom for the rest of my life. I realize people take this plunge every minute somewhere on earth and that I am probably more prepared than some of those people to do this. But I still really, really fear it. There is a brief list of my baby related fears...

1. Sleep. I need it. I'm cranky and I get sick easily when I don't have it. Kids take it away. If it's not a crying and hungry infant, it's a sick and throwing up seven year old. If it isn't a "got in trouble at school today" fourth grader, it's a staying out way too late teenager.

2. Marriage. I once "joked" to Eric in a restaurant in Hawaii that kids ruin relationships, much to the evil eyes of the family next to us, oops. But in all honesty, Eric and I are really happy right now and I do worry that when we start losing sleep and having more responsibilities and less alone time, we will take it out on each other.

3. Work. I have had the pleasure of watching some wonderful teachers at my school become moms, and getting to know some already-mom teachers. I know it can be done and as far as full time jobs go, it's probably a good one to have with kids. But even still I worry about not being as good of a teacher, or as good of a mom. I worry about how I will react to dropping a baby off god-knows-where on my way to work. I worry even more about deciding not to work and surviving both financially and mentally as a stay-at-home mom.

4. Friends. I know it's unrealistic to expect to have as much time to devote to friends when you have kids and I'm okay with that. But I still worry, what if I can't maintain my friendships at all? What if my only friends become my kid's friend's moms? Or worse yet, what if I don't like any of my kid's friend's moms?

5. Kids. It goes without saying that the child itself is a huge fear of mine. Sure, I don't have any idea how to feed a baby, or really anything to do with a baby but I assume I will figure that out (aka ask my mom). I also don't really know what I'll do when my first grader's teacher calls, or my teenager lies to me. I truly believe I'd be able to figure out and manage all these "typical" situations, but what about the atypical? What if my child is born or acquires a real sickness? What if my child has a serious, serious behavior problem or autism or a delay? OR... what if my kid hates me? The possibilities are endless people...plus have I mentioned I am not good with throwing up? Kids always throw up... never in the toilet.

6. Tragedy.
I'm not going to go here. I'm sure you can use your imagination. This scares me more than 1-5 put together.

I won't even get into my pregnancy fears.... but they definitely involve throwing up in the middle of teaching my students...

Wow, why do people do this again?

Anyone with me!?!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

On Books

One of my goals for 2012 is to read 40 books. My favorite, favorite part of my job is teaching kids to read. I love reading myself and I want my kids to love reading just as much. Here are some random thoughts I have on books and reading... Please chime in with your thoughts in the comments.

On love for books:
Most who know me know that I am not a big movie person. I enjoy TV shows, but movies are often too long for my attention span. I like some, but I am definitely more of a book person. What I love about books is how much is left up to my own imagination. There have been so many times I have pictured a character looking 100% different than someone else has. I also love how much more you learn about a character by reading about their inner thoughts, which often cannot be portrayed in movies as well. Usually how much I like the characters = how much I like the book.

On love for talking about books: I love getting book recommendations from friends, and then discussing what we liked/didn't like about the book. This is why I love participating in our Blogger Book Club, and also why I'm obsessed with good reads. A lot of my friends enjoy reading books as much as I do. Last year two of my friends and I read The Help and Water for Elephants and then saw the movies together.

On e-readers:
Since I first wrote my post on the Kindle Pros and Cons I now own a Kindle and am pretty much in love. The cons I wrote about, particularly about having yet another cord/thing I need to charge are still a problem, but for the most part I would say the Pros of the Kindle far outweigh the cons for me. Still, although I love my Kindle I really, really fear what e-readers will do to books. I am particularly nervous about children's books being taken over by the e-reader. I can't imagine in 10-15 years only reading books to kids on a big projector! I don't even want to imagine...

On classics: While I have come pretty far from my days of Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High and chick lit after chick lit title, I am still not a fan of "the classics." I have often wondered if this was because I was forced to read many of these so-called classics at a time in my life (middle school/high school) when I simply was not ready to understand or appreciate them. I know I should give them another chance now, but so far my small attempts have been unsuccessful. In some ways I blame these books for wasting precious time in high school that I could've been reading some of the great young adult books that I now realize are out there. All that work I do in kindergarten getting kids to love reading and bam... high school English teachers go and ruin it.

On bookstores: Yet another fear about e-readers and Amazon in general is how quickly they seem to be putting bookstores out of business. Noooo! I love bookstores. Seriously, Eric and I can easily spend an hour or two in a bookstore without any effort. I love looking through travel books, teaching books, kids books and books for me. Plus, what is better than the feel of a brand new book? The only way to make bookstores better for me would be if they happened to open a frozen yogurt shop inside instead of a coffee shop.

On book recommendations: The past few weeks I've read some good, mostly quick read books. I highly recommend The Midwive's Confession and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I also really liked Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas and State of Wonder.

What are your thoughts on books? Have you read any good ones lately?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kelly's Confessions

One of the kiddos I tutor on Tuesdays is making his First Communion this year. Last week was his first experience with Catholic Confession. I enjoy talking to kids about what they say in confession (yeah I know it's supposed to be confidential, oops) because they always come up with the funniest things. This particular child had an awesome list that included stealing his own Halloween candy, bringing his "in class" work home to finish so he wouldn't have to do it during recess and pretending a video game was broken so his sister couldn't play it. I wish I had been more creative when I was in CCD- I think I just said I was mean to my brother and sister every time. I swear I was actually a pretty nice sister overall but frankly I was young and really didn't do *that* much wrong to speak of! I don't really do the Confession thing any more... but I do have some random blog-worthy Confessions for you...

1. I am a little obsessed with Siri, my iPhone personal assistant. Today on the way home from yoga, she helped me change my dinner reservations for this weekend, text my mom to tell her about that change and text Eric back about what the heck we were having for dinner tonight. All this without looking at my phone at all. Once, I told Siri I loved her. She said I was the wind beneath her wings.

2. If it was socially acceptable I would live in yoga pants, leggings, flip flops and Uggs for the rest of my life.

3. Eric can easily convince me to do things I don't want to do if he casually mentions this annoyance is close to one of my favorite restaurants and promises we can go there after. I'm easily manipulated.

4. Even though I am a kindergarten teacher who holds my students to high expectations, I am a terrible student myself. I constantly check my phone, write notes to people around me and get other work done while the teacher is talking. I know, I hate myself sometimes.

5. IBS is the best excuse to never eat a single salad again. I hate salad and luckily, so does my stomach! It seems to love delicious sour dough and/or french bread though... seriously IBS is not all bad.

Do you have any confessions for me today? My lips are sealed :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to Plan the Best Trip- Kelly Style

If you know me at all, you know that I love a good trip. In my ideal world, I would probably go on 5 or 6 big trips a year. But alas, I do not have endless time and money. So when I plan a big trip, I really plan it. I think the trip planning obsession began with Eric and my fantastic Europe trip in 2006. Amber requested a post on how I plan a trip, so here it is :)

1. Decide on a general budget. Unless you already know where you want to go, you'll want to start with a budget. If your budget is $2000 it will be difficult to take a trip to China or even Europe because the airfare will cost close to or more than you want to spend on the whole trip. Also, decide what kind of things you want to spend money on. Are you okay with most of your budget going to airfare and then staying at hostels and eating Ramen noodles when you arrive? Would you prefer to go somewhere closer and then stay at a more luxury hotel or eat at nice restaurants? I also have some money saving tips and if you have no real budget at all, you can always be a tourist at home!

2. Decide where to go. For me this is the #1 hardest part. The problem is I love everything from small town Sedona to the big cities of Paris and London. I love the Irish countryside and the Hawaiian Islands. There are very few places in the world I don't want to visit. I do think it's important to determine what kind of vacation you want. Would you prefer to lay on the beaches at an all inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic or sprint around Rome taking in every possible ruin?


3. Talk to people you know. One of my favorite places on earth is Sedona and I found it because when I posted on my blog that I was going to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon, I received multiple comments telling me to go to Sedona. When I first started planning my trip to Seattle and Vancouver this summer, I e-mailed my friend who lives in Seattle and talked to my friend who has been to Seattle multiple times. The people you know are the best source of information about how long you should stay, where you should stay and what you should do.

4. Get some travel books. I have to admit I love travel books, particularly the Eyewitness books because they show you lots of great pictures. You can take these out of the library or buy them, it's up to you. My dad just introduced me to Eyewitness Top 10 books which I really love because they narrow down the top 10 things to do in an area overall, and then by neighborhood etc.


5. Book Your Flight. Usually the first thing you need to do is book a flight to your location. I recommend checking out several different websites to get the best deal. Sometimes the airline's website has the best deal. Bing Travel offers a price predictor for certain flights where it tells you whether your flight is likely to go up in price or down if you wait. It can also be useful to check a few days before and after your approximate date of departure because flight prices can vary a lot just by day. I've also heard rumors that flight prices are cheapest on Tuesdays and most expensive on the weekend. It's also possible it's all a crap shoot!

6. Visit TripAdvisor. I truly love this website and credit it for most of the success I have when planning vacations. I always start by using TripAdvisor to plan where I will stay on my trip. It has fantastic hotel reviews from real people. They even have a specialty lodging section which means you can read reviews on houses or apartment for rent. This can be an awesome way to save money especially if you plan to stay in one place for at least a few nights. You can also use TripAdvisor to determine if you will need to rent a car, and there are forums where you can ask questions. Also, revisit TripAdvisor often when you are planning what you will actually do when you arrive on your trip.

7. Bring your Laptop or Smart Phone. As much as I enjoy planning trips, I have trouble planning every detail until I am really on the trip. I like to decide each day based on my mood what I will do that day. This is why I find it SO essential to have my computer or smart phone available so I can use TripAdvisor or regular google searches to get ideas for places I want to see, hikes or walks I want to go on, restaurants I want to eat at etc. I also love the Yelp app on my phone which allows me to search restaurants by my current location. This way I can see reviews of nearby restaurants and make educated decisions about where I want to eat.

Happy Trip Planning! Do you have any exciting trips planned in the near future? If not, what is one great trip you have done in the past?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wine and Love

It's been awhile since I last participated in Nora's Wine and Love. What better way to start off the first week of 2012? I'll tell you what made me need the glass of wine this week and what I loved. Feel free to play along too in the comments :)



1. Um, going back to work? Need I say more. It's been REALLY dark in the morning.

2. Cold. It was 7 degrees this morning on my way to work. Dislike.

3. Shutterfly sold me a calendar in November of 2011 for 2011... didn't realize this til yesterday because I gave it to Eric's mom for Christmas. REALLY SHUTTERFLY? Who wants a calendar for that year in NOVEMBER? Yes... being a detail person would be useful sometimes.

4. I have this thing where I like to get the super busyness over early in the week and just go to work and relax Thursday and Friday. That didn't happen this week because I have class today and tutoring tomorrow morning. Wah.

Clearly this week was pretty good overall though, as these are all minor complaints!


1. Friends. This week I got to see Tiff for coffee/tea on Monday and Katie for pre-quilting class (hers, to clarify) dinner. I love when I get to see friends in the middle of the work week, though technically Monday was not a work day.

2. Yoga. I started towards my goal of 4 yoga classes this month by going to a class. It was awesome for a couple of reasons. #1- Caroline went with me! She was back in Boston mid-week and I got to benefit! #2- It was warm. See wines. #3- It was a class to music and the music was actually good, all Michael Jackson! I'm not a crazy fan of Michael Jackson but I enjoyed the Jackson Five and Michael mix as it was better than the weird yoga music they usually play :)

3. Reading. I told you I'm obsessed with reading lately? I finished Saving CeeCee Honeycutt last night and absolutely loved it. I just started Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, recommended by Lisa. I wish I could just hang out and read all day. Is that a choice?

4. Fine, the kiddos were pretty cute this week. I do love them. Really. I just wish I could teach them maybe... 2-3 hours per day? and then have the rest of the day to do whatever I want. Three day weekends wouldn't be bad either. Too much to ask?

What is your wine and love this week?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Will 2012 Be?

2011 was a great year, starting with Uncle Jessie and ending with fireworks on South Beach! In between, I had a lot of fun but what I didn't do was really meet too many of my "goals" for the year. I completed one out of four...oops!

The funny thing is, many of my goals for 2011 just aren't even on my radar anymore. Even the one goal I did complete, getting back into running, was done in a way I didn't think it would be. I thought I'd be conquering new distances and running lots of races. In reality, I only did one race and I didn't conquer any new distances. After awhile I decided I really just didn't care and what I did care about was being able to run in beautiful places without worrying about injuries and that is what I had.

That being said, this year I am not going to make too many full year goals. Instead I am going to focus on monthly goals, which are much better for my short attention span. I am a firm believer in smaller goals that are manageable. It is still possible to meet bigger goals this way, they just need to be divided up into goals that can reasonably be completed in a month. So here are my January goals:

1. Read 4 books. In 2011 I managed to read 35 books. This year I set the goal to read 40 books! I know this is going to be hard for me as I think I did A LOT of reading in 2011 to get to 35 books. In order to do this I need to read 3.3 books a month. Since I'm already halfway through a book I started on vacation, I am going to try to read 4 books this month.

2. Get to yoga 4 times. I know this seems like a small goal, but considering I haven't attended a yoga class since sometime last summer, this will be a lot for me. I hope I can do it!

3. Run outside at least once a week. I admit I am terrible at cold weather running and it's about this time every year that I take a long winter break from running. Not going to do that this year, especially with my new winter running gear compliments of Santa.

4. Donate 2 full bags of clothes to Good Will. Though I really very rarely shop I still seem to be overflowing 2 closets with clothes (true story). I really do not have room for my new Christmas clothes. I mean, I could MAKE room but that is a bad idea. Must stop the hoarding cycle now!

5. Clean the inside of my car. I have a bad habit of living out of my car. It is currently filled with tutoring stuff, shoes and coats/sweatshirts. Sure, occasionally having all this crap in my car comes in handy, but usually it's just something to move out of the way when I want people in my car. So let's clean it out.

6. Try something new. I'm not sure what yet, I'll let you know when I do it!

I know that's a lot of goals, but I feel like they are all manageable. Here's to hoping I do better with these month-long goals than I did with my 2011 goals!

What are your goals for this month or this year?

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Miami Style

As you may or may not have known, I spent the last week after Christmas soaking up the sun in Miami with my parents, brother and Eric. I was really looking forward to the vacation since December is a bit of a rough time in the world of teaching and I was fighting with a bad cough. Sadly, the vacation did not make it better (but Mucinex did!), but I did get in a lot of the relaxation I was craving so much.

Eric and I are usually big tourists when we travel, but most of this week was spent going for runs and walks, reading, eating amazing food and just enjoying the fact that Miami doesn't see the kind of winter that we do in Boston. We did enjoy a bit of what Miami has to offer though including seeing Million Dollar Quartet, which was really good! We also went on a fantastic sightseeing boat ride around Miami that helped us get a sense of where everything was, and of course see the beautiful oceanfront mansions of many famous people!


The views of the city of Miami from the boat were also beautiful.


Cities on the ocean will always have my heart. The best way to see them is from a boat.

Spending New Year's Eve in Miami was also wonderful. I mean, it's hard to beat eating outside and hanging out outside on December 31st when you are used to snowy cold. We started off our night by heading over to Smith and Wolensky for a drink at their waterfront bar. It's the perfect place to watch the sunset.



Every New Years South Beach closes down Ocean Blvd. and the restaurants put their tables outside on the street. My family and I walked down the street and found a nice Italian restaurant to eat at. After dinner, we headed back to our hotel. We figured my parents balcony would be the best place to see the fireworks and we were definitely right! There was also a beach club next door to us that was celebrating the new year and they even had their own ball to drop. In college, one of my friends went to MIT and we used to watch the New Years and 4th of July fireworks in Boston from the roof of his dorm. This was great because you could have your own party, see the fireworks and not deal with the crowds. This was just like this except much closer, and gorgeous weather. Basically heaven.

While we waited for it to be midnight we decided to play Catch Phrase. If you don't know this game you really should, it's the best. We didn't have the real game with us, but we found a website to generate words for us and passed around Eric's phone. At midnight we had the best view of fireworks I have probably ever had...




I also really enjoyed having a camera that can actually capture fireworks. I only wished that Caroline was there! :)

Yesterday we headed home and now I've got a mess of a house (that's what happens when you have people over for Christmas and then leave the next day) and a long, long to do list before it's back to work tomorrow.

How did you spend your New Year's? Do you prefer to do something big or have a more low key night?