God Bless America. Today is a day for BBQing, sitting poolside, watching fireworks, and spending time with family & friends. Most importantly, today is a day to remember & thank all of the brave men & women who put their lives on the line everyday for our freedom. So while you are celebrating today take a moment to remember our troops overseas and all the others, both past and present, who have served. Happy 4th of July!!!
Happy Birthday to the most amazing woman in my life!! I’m so blessed to be able to call this woman my mom.
Excitement & Anticipation. In two months, I will be in a new apartment in a new area of town. To say that I’m excited would be an understatement. For the past 4 years, I’ve lived on the southeast side of Houston. I moved down here to be closer to friends & to be closer to my job, but this is not and has never felt like my home. I grew up on the north side of town. That is home. Whenever I go there it makes me feel safe. The familiarity of the area is comforting, and I miss that feeling. I realize that moving from one side of town to the other may not sound like a big change, but in a city like Houston, where it can take anywhere from an hour to two hours to get from point A to point B depending on traffic, it is a HUGE change. I’ve already made a checklist of things to be done in the next two months, and I’ve mentally decorated & redecorated the new place about a hundred times since I signed the lease. I’m looking forward to a fresh start. It’s going to be a good thing. I can just feel it.
Productivity. This weekend was all about getting things done for me. I may not have gone out and had a grand ol’ time, but it’s funny how great being productive can make you feel. There’s something that feels so good about checking things off what can seem like a never-ending to-do list. This weekend I:
- Bathed the puppies
- Cleaned out my closet
- Donated the cast-offs from the closet purge
- Shredded two years worth of papers & reciepts
- Took a huge stack of books to Half-Priced Books
- Completed 3 homework assignments for grad school
- Did 4 loads of laundry (I even folded and put everything away immediately. That never happens!)
- Did a little grocery shopping & only bought what was on my list. (No extras!! What?!?)
- And… put in my 60 day notice to my apartment complex. After 3 years here, I’m making a change. I’m excited and nervous. Moving is a daunting task, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end!! Two months and counting…
Dinner & Drinks. Last night I went on a date with one of my favorite gals. Despite us both being teachers and having summers off, we have barely seen each other since school let out. It was a much needed catch up session over delicious coconut lemon cocktails! And after being stuck home doing homework the past few days, I was dying to wear something other than a t-shirt & yoga pants. I started doing my hair like this last week while I was at camp just to get it off my neck and out of the way, but I loved it so much that I can’t stop doing it now! It’s easy & fun! The perfect summer style. I might be addicted… to a hair style. And the rest of the outfit was picked purely on its ability to compliment the hair;)
Summer Continued. Obviously, I love summer because it means I get to spend a couple months away from my job, but I love it even more because I get to hang out with the people I love the most ALL THE TIME! It makes me happy! This summer has been incredible so far.
A week spent in my favorite place in the world, the Texas Hill Country. An annual visit to one of my favorite winerys with my favorite winery employees (This was only our 2nd annual trip & they already remembered us! Is that good or bad?). Quality time spent with one of my best friends & my little sister. Lazy mornings in bed with the pups enjoying lots of coffee & a few Eggos (I couldn’t resist a box on my last grocery trip. Childhood was calling!). Having the opportunity to renew my beliefs & my faith. Perfecting our incredible hula hooping skills with one of my favorites. Being called ‘Aunt Cara’ by my favorite kids in the world & not one of them is really my niece or nephew. Champagne just because. Red lipstick, tattoos showing, and nose ring in all day, everyday.
So far, I can’t complain about my summer. It’s been fabulous, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better. I already have a movie night lined up with one of my favorites and her three adorable little ones on Friday night & a trip to Dallas next week to celebrate Mama’s birthday. Life is good at the moment & I’m cherishing every moment.
Summer, so far. Being a teacher can be a stressful and tiring career, but when summer rolls around we get to relax & recharge. This year was a tough one, probably my toughest since I started teaching, so to say I was looking forward to summer would be a huge understatement! It’s been less than a week since school let out, and I am already taking full advantage of my time:
Coffee in bed with sweet puppies. Lazy days lounging by the pool. A much needed night out with a good friend. And spending time with sweet babies with even sweeter faces.
If this is less than a week in, I think it’s safe to say that this summer will be exactly what I need!
Life Lately. It’s been a while. Things have been busy. The best kind of busy, but busy nevertheless. There have been weddings, graduations, birthdays, and the start of summer! I put away the jeans and boots and brought out the sun dresses and sandals. I’ve spent my weekends with the people I love, and the rest of my time doing homework that I don’t love quite so much. I’ve been learning to balance it all, but with summer here to stay for the next couple months, I get to take some time to relax. I’m looking forward to the change of pace. How have y’all been?
It’s Bailey’s birthday!!! She’s a big 4 year old now!
Quiet. I’ve been quiet for a couple of weeks now. There’s been so much going on, and I felt like I needed to take a step back from this space. Lately, I’ve been struggling. Struggling with all kinds of things: work, grad school, my priorities, my friendships. I’ve also been struggling with this blog, and questioning how much I want to continue to share here. This community has been a wonderful addition to my life, but I also realize that anyone in the world could stumble across my blog and have a peek at my life. Now first of all, I don’t think I’m all that interesting for people from all over the world to care what I’m posting. Secondly, I realize how silly it may sound to suddenly be aware that anyone could read my blog. Of course when you post online to a public forum anyone can access it. I’ve always known that, but I think I just recently started to really think about what that means. It’s something to think about and consider. But while I’m working on me, figuring out where I want to be & what-not, I might be a little less present in this space.
Friday. This week has been a long one, but a good one. Work has been great. I did some of my favorite lessons of the year with the kids, finally set up a retirement plan, and planned my lessons for the rest of the school year! On the grad school front, I’m currently ahead of the game and hoping to stay that way. And as far as home goes, I’ve had a couple of deliveries that brightened my week including some Stella & Dot goodies. I just can’t get enough of their packaging! It’s almost [I said almost] better than what’s inside! I’ve also successfully resisted the urge to eat out this week. I may have had breakfast for dinner twice, but that’s okay. As long as I saved money and stayed in, that’s all that matters! I’m also happy to say that I am still keeping up with my daily gratitude journal. Three months in and still going strong! It’s a great way to end my day, and I only wish that I would have started it two years ago when my cousin gifted me the journal. And after attempting to curl my short hair over Spring Break, I am obsessed. It’s not as easy to curl the short hair as it was when it was long, but it’s worth it. It’s a nice change from the same straight hair everyday. So that’s a glimpse of my week, and now on to the weekend!!! Happy Friday, y’all!
Peanut Butter Pie. Every couple of months we have a food day at work which is basically just a pot luck. All the staff signs up to bring certain items & this time I signed up for dessert. So, last night I whipped up a peanut butter pie and I can’t wait to get a piece of it later. It is one of the easiest pies to make & it’s delicious. I found the recipe on pinterest & it’s officially one of my favorite go-to recipes now. I decided to share the recipe with all of you, and I promise you that you will LOVE it!!!
For the pie:
1 chocolate graham cracker crust
1 cup peanut butter
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 tub (12 ounces) Cool Whip, divided
1 jar (11.75 ounces) hot fudge topping, divided
½ cup sugar
For the topping:
2 tablespoons hot fudge
2 tablespoons peanut butter
6 crumbled Reese’s Peanut butter Cups
• In large bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar until creamy. Fold in 3 cups Cool Whip. Spoon mixture into crust and smooth to edges.
• Remove 2 tablespoons hot fudge from jar and reserve in zip-loc plastic baggie for later. Heat remaining hot fudge according to package directions. Spread on top of peanut butter layer. Refrigerate pie until serving time.
• Knead hot fudge in baggie with hands; cut tiny hole in corner of baggie and pipe over pie. Repeat with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and pipe on pie in opposite direction. [This part is up to you. I have topped the pie with the hot fudge & peanut butter piping, but this time I just used crumbled reese’s peanut butter cups. The crumbled reese’s are much quicker, but it does look really pretty with the piping]
• Serve chilled.
[Disclaimer: This is not my recipe. I found the recipe via pinterest. The original source can be found here.]