If you haven't already, go vote today. It's your civic duty to vote. If you don't vote, you can't complain later.


10 things that made my week

finding my halloween costume, finally
my students did fantastic work all week
finally getting over my illnesses
the third ward, downtown milwaukee
stepping on crunchy leaves
pumpkin spiced-everything
family parties
emails from friends abroad
seeing halloween decorations everywhere
my sister and brother-in-law are in town from new york

{image via weheartit}



wine corks

I decided for my next table centerpiece, I want a giant basket filled with corks from bottles of wine I've drank. Unfortunately, I never saved these before I made this decision. So, needless to say, I've been buying a lot of wine lately, but that's perfectly fine with me and my friends. More excuses for wine and movies. I wonder how long it's going to take to fill a big basket.

{image via weheartit}




I'm sorry I've been neglecting this little blog lately. I've been ridiculously busy with work and school and then, because of those two things, I've been pretty sick lately. But I PROMISE to update this little blog more often from now on. I have missed it.


missing my books

i have been so overwhelmed by school lately that my reading for enjoyment time has taken a hit. when i only had to worry about working full time, i averaged about one book a week. but now that i work full time and go to school full time, i've seriously been slacking on the reading. i've been working on the same book {An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina who inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda} for about two or three weeks now. it's incredibly upsetting.

i'm sure that i could find twenty minutes here or there to read, but it's just not the same. i can't wait until i have a break from reading assignments, papers, observation hours, lesson plans and presentations to read again.

i have a few books waiting for me...

Lie My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

... to name a few.


corn maze at midnight

last night i had my first official fall experience... i got lost in a corn maze. my friend ashley's parents own a pumpkin farm and for her golden birthday we had a party at the farm. yep, totally a wisconsin thing to do.

that was the first time that i've ever been in a corn maze. we went out at midnight with only the moon to light our way. and, of course, friends jumping out of the corn stalks to scare me, but that actually made it more fun. so gripping my best friend's hand for dear life, i ran through the maze and after an hour finally made it out. it was so much fun. and just a little terrifying.

it was a fun night, only thing that was missing was apple bobbing... but i find that a little gross anyway.

{image via weheartit}


If historical events had Facebook

I found this online and thought it was so funny that I had to share. I love that someone spent the time to think through these events and I would love to read more. Can you imagine them?

Read more posts here.


Love for Fall

It's been a bit chilly lately and I LOVE it. I'm tired of the heat and humidity of summer already. Why I wish it was fall:

I love cardigans.
I'm tired of a/c and sweating.
Crisp, cool weather.
Hot apple cider.
Pumpkin spice lattes.
I have a mustard yellow purse I'm dying to use.
Leaves change colors.
School is in session.
Jeans. All the time.
Pumpkin patches.
College football.
Candy corn and caramel apples.

{image via weheartit}


Remembering 9/11

September 11th, a day that will live in infamy. This is the "John F. Kennedy assassination moment" of my generation. Everyone my age will look back on that sad day nine years ago and remember exactly where they were and how they felt at that moment. For me, it's like it was yesterday. I was a junior sitting in Mr. Ramey's office as a teacher assistant when a friend poked his head in to tell us a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I had the same initial reaction as my teacher: it must have been a small one-pilot plane that flew off course. We quickly saw how wrong we were.

It wasn't until I saw the Towers fall that I actually understood the gravity of the day. I spent the rest of the school day watching the news of the event, unsure of what it meant for our country and the millions of people it personally affected. I remember my history teacher said she bet Osama bin Laden had a part in the tragedy. It was the first time I heard his name, but definitely not the last.

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” -President George W. Bush

Where were you when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers?

Soda or Pop? or Coke??

I saw this on the
LAist and I just had to share it. What do you call those carbonated beverages you drink? I'm definitely a "pop" girl, which seems to be a little odd based on this map. I still don't understand why the South refers to any soda or pop as "Coke" though. It just doesn't make sense. And what would the "other" category say??


Fantasy Team

My friends and I held our fantasy football draft just a few days ago and overall, I'm happy with my team.

Aaron Rodgers QB
Rashard Mendenhall RB
Reggie Wayne WR
Pierre Thomas RB
Dallas Clark TE
Chad Ochocinco WR
Matt Forte RB
Clinton Portis RB
Ricky Williams RB
Santana Moss WR
Carson Palmer QB
Owen Daniels TE
Steelers D/ST D/ST
Nate Kaeding K
Devery Henderson WR
David Garrard QB
Steve Breaston WR

I drafted Aaron Rodgers #1 in our draft. {I got a lot of flak for that, but I decided to pick him over Chris Johnson. It was a tough choice.} My friends were actually teasing me later that I was trying to pick all Green Bay Packers. {I was to some extent.} Now I just have to remember to check when players have byes and replace them. I don't have a good history of doing that.


Remembering Katrina

A few days ago, thousands of people were brought back to the day five years ago when Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast. Thousands and thousands of lives were turned upside down. I can't imagine how difficult it must still be for those people. All of the remembrance news specials bring back a lot of memories for me as well. {And so I was sucked in to watching most of them.}

Almost five years ago, during the spring break after Katrina, I boarded a bus for New Orleans along with hundreds of other UW students as part of John Edwards' program Opportunity Rocks. We didn't know what to expect when we reached New Orleans, but anything we could have ever imagines wouldn't even compare. As we drove across bridges and down long, straight roads, it was difficult to discern where water was supposed to be and where it hadn't receded yet.

We saw boats docked on front lawns, fridges laying on their sides in the middle of roads, swimming pools black with debris, deer antlers mounted on roofs and everything else. After finally finding out cots after a long day traveling {we had problems with FEMA locating our cots}, we found out our assignment. We were to remove debris and gut houses to their students inSt.Bernard Parish, just outside of New Orleans. Our training included lessons on how to spot and kill poisonous snakes and spiders. {Talk about intimidating.}

The block we worked on not only experienced the levee breach, which left 5-12 feet of standing water, but an oil tanker also spilled it's contents on doorsteps. So we pulled on head to toe white jumpsuits, laced up our steel toed work boots, slipped on our gloves, covered our faces with goggles and face masks and got to work. We drudged through about 1-2 feet of oil sludge as we worked to empty the house.

I had never moved anyone from a home, so this as a first experience was definitely odd. There were mice hiding beneath furniture, black mold covering walls and a fridge toppled over spilling water and food remains. It took us about a week just to clean out the one house, but with the rest of the Opportunity Rocks volunteers, we cleaned up most of the block. I wish I could have done so much more.

During the nights, we were able to visit downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter. Most of the French Quarter seemed alive and doing fine, but there were still areas with boarded up windows.

It was an experience that I will never forget.


so there's a goat in the garage...

a few days ago, my friend pete came home to find this in his garage:

his old roommate zach "borrowed" a goat from someone on craigslist.com and surprised him after work one night. i really wish i was there to see the look on pete's face when he found her. hilarious.


back to school

i have my backpack, my laptop, notebooks, pens and my books all ready. but i'm not.

i start classes today to earn my teacher certification. you think i'd be used to school now {i just earned my masters at northwestern after four years at the university of wisconsin}, but i'm really nervous. i think it will go well, especially since i finally figured out that this is what i want to do with the rest of my life. {i wish i knew that years ago as an undergrad. life would be a lot easier; and cheaper.}

so eventually i hope to teach history, sociology and political science to high schoolers. wish me luck.


fantasy football

are you ready for some... fantasy football? it's that time of the year again. for the past three years, the same group of friends and i have created a fantasy football league. it's pretty fun, though i only did really well one of those years. {i blame that i don't put winning first, like everyone else does. but more on that later.}

some of the guys in the league take it very seriously. to them fantasy football means bets, trash-talking, watching every game and lots and lots of studying before the draft. my way of preparing for the draft is slightly different than them though. yes, i read the charts and compare players based on basic athletic ability, but when i comes down to it, i pick the players i like the most. {sometimes regardless of football skills.}

for example, as a die-hard green bay packer fan, i would never ever draft a current or former minnesota viking. {i HATE the vikings more than any other professional sports team.} also, players like randy moss, tom brady or jeremy shockey wouldn't make my team because i just don't like them. {just because you're a professional athlete it doesn't mean you have to be arrogant or a jerk.}

i'm glad some of my favorite players are ranked pretty high- like aaron rodgers- and would actually help my fantasy scores. in an ideal world though, my team would be all packers {and maybe a few former packers} and i would win my league because the players are so good that they also won the superbowl. in an ideal world.

well, i should start looking a bit at those charts.


Samuel Nyal

Congratulations to my friends Nikki and Kevin who just welcomed their second baby and first son, Samuel Nyal. Sam was born at 4:24 pm today weighing 8lbs 4oz and is 21 inches long. Mom and baby are both doing great. Their little family is growing quickly and is SO adorable.


technology woes

i have the worst luck with technology. last week, my iPod started on fire and this week my computer decided it wanted to follow suit and stopped working. {i can't even begin to explain the problems i have with computers.} i brought it in to best buy, by the geek squad can't figure out the problem. they have to send it to their main geek headquarters for further testing.

so... i'm without a computer for at least two more weeks. maybe four. this is going to be brutal. {i have no iPod and now no computer, which means no music.}

i may be a little short on blogging since i don't have a computer available. let's hope i get it back soon.

my birthday

this past friday i celebrated my 25th birthday. i am officially a quarter century old. my friends and i are putting off the celebration for a bit as we're all busy with moving, graduation and bachelorette parties and lots of other summer activities. but at this point, i really don't care to celebrate. i'm actually a bit upset that i've hit 25. nothing good happens after this one except my car insure went down 30 bucks, yippie.

i've decided that i'm done celebrating birthdays. i think i'm just going to stay 25 for a good 5 or 10 years.

{image via weheartit}



to the barista {baristo?} at common grounds for knowing me so well that i now get the occasionally enjoy the employee perk of free coffee. 5 points. {because everything involving coffee deserves lots of points}

to everyone at work who celebrated a birthday this week by bringing in delicious cake. 2 points.

to spiced vanilla chais. you are the one thing that got me through this week. 3 points.

to the cast of greendale community theatre's production of hairspray. you were all phenomenal. i was amazed. 5 points.

to my uncle david for talking cars with me before i bought one. i'm so completely clueless about them, i'm incredibly thankful for your help. 3 points.

{image via flickr}


Chasing Gracie

A few days ago, I got to spend a great night with my friends' adorable 1 year old daughter, Grace. I spent most of the night chasing her back and forth on the couch, listening to her musical abilities, reading a Dr. Seuss book about feet {at least a half dozen times} and wearing a silly combination of bunny ears and 2008 New Years glasses.

I really don't know how my 8-month-pregnant friend keeps up with her. Thank god for helpful husbands, huh? I had so much fun hanging out with Grace. I can't wait for her parents to spend another night out so I can chase her around again. Actually, I'm trying to talk them into it. With another baby on the way, they need to get out as much as they can while they can.

What a sweet little girl. She even tried to help me put my camera away.

But then she decided it was more fun to run away with my lens cap. Silly.


flaming disaster

the craziest thing happened the other night. i was asleep, it was about 4am, when i saw a flash of light in my bedroom. half-awake, i gazed around my room and saw that on the table at the foot of my bed, my iPod was a little ball of flames.

in my sleepy state, lacking all logic, i put out the flames. unfortunately, while doing so, i burned a hole in my comforter and got burn blisters on my fingers. {i had to smother my hand with neosporin and cover it with gauze pads before attempting to go back to sleep.} isn't that crazy, though? who ever heard of an iPod that transforms into a fire ball?

i'm really upset about all of this though. {and my hand hurts.} i'm just glad i was at home when this occurred. what would have happened if i was in the other room or out of town when this happened? i wouldn't have had a home anymore.

i think apple should at least replace my iPod, but i doubt that is part of their customer service policy.

Big. Fat. Hit.

Greendale Community Theatre closed their regional premiere of Broadway's Hairspray with a toe-tapping, hips-wiggling, heart-jumping bang. I went to their final showing on Saturday night and it was absolutely amazing. {But, I may be slightly biased as my cousin Laura starred as Penny Pingleton and she was utterly hilarious.}

The choreography was intricate and executed perfectly, the songs were strong and fabulous and the acting was incredible. It honestly was so great. I was especially impressed by how well they used the stage for the different scenes. I knew it would be used well as soon as the cast walked on stage holding flattened houses on boards above their heads during the opening number 'Good Morning Baltimore.'

A few other numbers that I especially enjoyed, were: 'The Nicest Kids in Town,' 'You're Timeless to Me' and 'You Can't Stop the Beat.' {They had so much emotion and energy for every song, especially the last one! I even was about to dance out of my seat.}

Though all were great, my favorite song, by far, was 'I Can Hear the Bells.' Brittany Radocha as Tracy Turnblad was amazing throughout, but the execution of that song was perfectly hilarious. Link Larken and the cast froze in comical poses to the beat, the company boys drew bells from behind their backs and Penny Pingleton wandered the stage, confused. My stomach hurt I was laughing so hard.

This is the second show I've seen at GCT- the first being the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, another hilarious show- but this was so much better than I could have ever expected. Bravo.

Director Brian Bzdawka and everyone else involved in the production did a great job! I can't wait to see what they'll do next.

{poster via GTC}


Off to another wedding

I'm off to another wedding today! My friends from college, Lindsey and Dan, are getting married this afternoon. Let's hope the rain holds out, though I've heard it's good luck to rain on your wedding day.

I just got a few pictures from the photographer of my other friend's wedding and I really like how a few turned out, so I thought I'd share.

{all photos via}


coffee with inspiration

it's a very rare occurrence that a coffee cup lead the conversation. but that's exactly what happened on my most recent trip to caribou coffee. my cup, tattooed with words of inspiration, had my attention and thoughts. starbucks red cup holiday campaign, i thought, was and always will be one of the best non-marketing marketing campaigns, but this comes pretty close, in my mind. caribou coffee asks, what do you stay awake for?

i must have spent at least twenty minutes reading my cup and pondering the words marked over my {absolutely delicious} turtle mocha. it was an added perk to my caffeine intake.

a few favorites of mine:
  • be the first to enter and the last to leave the dance floor
  • dare to adventure
  • step 1: rake leaves step 2: jump
  • have a favorite charity
  • learn to say thank you in ten languages
  • you'll only be your current age once

i definitely recommend stopping by a caribou coffee and checking purchasing a little inspiration. {see, amazing marketing.}


Stressful wedding fashion

Ever notice how women always stress over weddings? You know why? It's all about the dress.

My friend got married last weekend in a beautiful {but stressful wedding for all involved}. But as a bridesmaid, I didn't have to worry about what I was going to wear. I have another wedding to go to next weekend that I have no idea what I'm going to wear. I'm not a dress girl so I don't have options in the closet and my recent shopping trips have resulted in nothing wearable. See what I'm talking about when I say stress?

I wish I could just call up a stylist like a Hollywood starlet. Life would be so much easier.

{images via nytimes}

little notes

dear maggie & patrick.
i'm so glad i got to spend a great weekend with you. it was so much fun, i wish you didn't live all the way on the east coast. i will miss you a ton and can't wait to see you again.

dear the nook.
your coffee is strong, your hummus plate delicious and your atmosphere the perfect cross of cozy and edgy. you will be seeing me again very soon.

dear madison girls.
thanks for an amazing night out at our old college haunts. also, and even more, thank you for showing me that while i miss the undergrad lifestyle, it is much better left in the past.

dear craig.
i'm glad we got a chance to hang out during your leave. enjoy your time in north carolina and be safe in iraq.

dear agatha christie.
you write amazing mysteries full of surprising twists and interesting characters. and one day, i will solve a murder before hercule poirot.

{image via weheartit}


bye bye weekend

sometimes weekends are just bittersweet. they're so completely perfect that it's sad to see them pass. while this is the case for most weekends, this time monday hit just a bit harder.

this amazing weekend was chock-full of friends, family, picnics, a trip back to college days, embarrassing stories of childhood, the most delicious fish fry EVER, a debate over miller lite vs. bud light, visitors from out of state, long conversations during even longer car rides, intense volleyball games, a graduation party and little sleep. a-maz-ing.

while i always need time to recover, i enjoy these busy weekends. now, it's back to the grind of work. can't wait for next weekend, i have big plans.

{image via dustfromheaven}


Adelyn Rose

My cousin Katie and her husband welcomed a beautiful daughter into their little family three weeks ago. Big brother Carson is loving his baby sister, though, he said, she's not very exciting yet. It's so cute, he's already trying to play baseball with her, but she's not very good so far. I'm sure he will be a loving big brother and teach her some day. Congratulations Katie and Matt!

Isn't she just the cutest little peanut? I mean, all babies are cute, but she's just a bit more.


Wedding Bells

Congratulations to Marisha and Bobby!

They were married this Saturday in a beautiful ceremony at the zoo with a ridiculously fun reception to follow. I'm so happy that I was able to stand up next to Mish and share such an important day. Love you and wish you all the best in the future!

{This amazing photograph was courtesy of Kevin at Optic Light Photography}

Brewers vs. Giants

My family and I went to Miller Park for a Brewers game a few nights ago. They were slaughtered by the Giants, the score was something like 15 to 4, but it was still a great night.

My favorite part during games at Miller Park, the racing sausages:

I swear Hart was looking directly at me for this one. Weird.


Visiting from New York

In just about two weeks, my big sister and her husband are flying in from New York to spend the weekend. I'm excited to finally see them both again. It's been over four months since I helped them move into their new place in Poughkeepsie. That's so long. Phone calls and text messages have been great, but it's just not the same. I miss sitting at the coffee shop talking with Maggie or going out to dinner with the two of them. I know they're really enjoying their time out east, but I miss them dearly.

And so does everyone else. They're going to be ridiculously busy trying to visit all their friends and family in such a short time, but I'm sure it will all be worth the exhaustion.

Two weeks! I can't wait!


Zoo Trip

I was lucky enough to get an extended holiday weekend and I wanted to make sure I didn't waste one bit of it. Friday, I collected my family from their various lives and we all headed to the zoo. With our busy and much different schedules, we haven't been able to do that in years. It was great, but made me somewhat nostalgic for past trips.

Besides some minor sunburn, it turned out to be close to a perfect afternoon. The sun was shining, the animals playful, the zoo busy but not crowded and the ice cream delicious. If it weren't for the necessary smells, it would have been perfect.


Happy Fourth of July

I hope everyone enjoys a fantastic and safe holiday!

Today, I'm headed to the 20-something annual family golf outing, the city parade and a few picnics. I hope there's plenty of watermelon, beer, hot dogs and silly costumes.

{image via}
Blog Widget by LinkWithin