Thursday, June 30, 2011

Look where the sun is finally shining..

Last year when we bought our house, we were just smitten with it. While we thought everything about the house was perfect and move-in ready, we also still had a list of things we wanted to do to make it more "ours". Well, one of the things on our to-do list was to remove the shrubs in the front of the house because they were kind of huge and ugly. In all honesty, I didn't really think this would happen because my gardening skills are a bit questionable.

Exhibit A: This is a bamboo plant from one of my students last year. While this has lived for over a year, it was actually doing much better until I messed with it. When I removed some of the dying pieces, the rest of it turned yellow. You may also notice the dead shrub in our back yard. Go figure.

Exhibit B: Again, this plant looked great until I touched it. I may or may not have waited over a year to repot this plant.

These are the vines that used to have leaves on them. Sadly, the leaves were recently vaccummed from my guest room carpet.

Exhibit C: This is an empty pot. It used to contain a plant. Do you need a better explanation?

The sad thing is that my sweet mama painted and decorated these adorable pots and surprised me with them on my first day of school ever. I wish I could find the pics of the original plants. She has a green thumb and I obviously did not inherit those genes.

One of the only plants that is thriving in my care is the last thing I need in front of my house. You can take a look for yourself.

Yes. That's really what you think it is. We had a big, huge, boy part in front of our house. I would like to know who decided that this was a smart landscaping move. It certainly was not us.

I don't know if a normal eye would catch this from afar, but it was all we could see.

If the neighbors weren't already talking about us, I'm sure they started when Jeff asked the Homeowner's Association if he could remove the bush in front of our house that looked like male genitalia. Lovely.

Get one last look at it, because it's gone now.

I decided that hydrangeas would offer a bit more curb appeal and be a lot more lady like. Hydrangeas are so Cape Cod to me and I just needed them in front of my house. Although, a dandelion patch would have been easier on the eye than "the" bush.

We Jeff started ripping out the shrubs. Love that man!

Had to take a quick break to disperse some of this.

We enjoyed a bit of this after all of the obscenity.

Disclaimer:I may have also been enjoying some Sangria while my sweet boy worked his tail off. I did bring him gatorade, as seen in the purple Nalgene bottle, stage right.

And now, we have these!

Surprise, surprise. They're droopy. They were even worse the first few days. My mother says they're in shock. I think I just suck at keeping things alive. We also put lime in the soil because that's how they get their blue color and Jeff insists that our plants are hurting because they have acid reflux. :) Poor babies.

I will keep tending to these until I kill them until they bloom!

I am also pleased to announce that our curb appeal is now rated G.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm linking up with Jamie again for WILW because I am absolutely LOVING this Wednesday.

I'm loving that SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER! I was channeling Alice Cooper as the kiddos made their way out the door and visions of margaritas danced in my head.

I'm loving that my first class of fifth graders graduated 8th grade this week. It is amazing to watch it all come full circle. If I'm picking favorites, which I always do, they were my favorite class.

I'm loving that my current students made me a book of love poems to display at my wedding. My co-teacher has been planning this for a while and it was such an amazing surprise. One of my favorites so far.. "Love. It's crazy. It's like a stroke of paint or wind that hits you right in the face but you like it. Or some new pair of socks that feel very good, but it really feels like a beautiful butterfly." That seriously cracked me up!

I'm loving that we ripped out the terribly awful shrubs in front of the house (seen below) and put in hydrangeas!! They're a bit wilty and haven't bloomed yet but I know they will be grand.

Bye, bye ginormous jungle bushes! (If you spy, what I spied in that picture, you get 100 points. Stay tuned if you want to find out!)

I'm also loving that we're having a rainy day, even on the second official day of summer, because our hydrangeas seriously need some water!

I'm loving that season 3 of Teen Mom is starting back up in a couple of weeks. I love these original girls and I love that I can stay up late to watch during the summer. I also have a serious addiction to reality TV. It's almost embarassing.

I'm loving that I got my second non-IRL friend comment on my blog! I'm always wondering if anyone is reading and that makes me feel happy! Leave some lovin' if you come by & leave a comment or start following! :)

Happy Wednesday & Happy Summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

If life gives you limes, you're in luck because I have a great recipe for Limegria

This weekend, I really had myself a time.

One of my besties is getting married in September and her bridesmaids threw her a shower this weekend. It was lovely. The games were actually fun, the prizes great, and the company even better.

The part that wasn't lovely was that the MOH insisted that I buy 30 limes to slice up and put inside the centerpieces that we had a florist put together. She also wanted to scatter candy on the tables so that people "had something to munch on", even though the adorable favors were wine glasses filled with candy. I was a bit confused by this but she wanted it anyways and I was hoping that I would understand her vision when I got there; so I bought 30 limes and 4 family-size bags of candy. I wondered if I was allowed to return food if we didn't use these items but tried not to think too much of it.

Well, wouldn't you know it, she decided that the limes probably wouldn't be necessary afterall and that we would only open the candy if we needed to. I love her sister and thought all of the details were adorable but I was now left trying to think of ways to use up 30 limes.

Enter "Limegria".

Some my fave girlies, 2/4 of Fab 4, to be exact, decided to come over after the shower, and I suggested making Sangria. As I drove back to my house, I realized that I didn't really have what I needed for Sangria. We had a bottle of red wine that was a leftover prize and limes. Lots of limes.

I have a delish Sangria recipe (that I will post another time) but I was improvising here. Since we had 4,009 limes, I squeezed a bunch of them for some fresh juice. Then, I cut them and threw the pieces in. Except< I really need a better knife set than the ones I keep buying at The Christmas Tree Shop, so my limes were a wreck. I also only had seltzer water to mix in, when I prefer ginger ale. Wouldn't you know it that the only type of seltzer that I had was LIME seltzer. Yup. My original recipe also calls for frozen lemonade concentrate, so guess what I did. I poured lemonade into a cake pan and froze it! I had to open a new bottle of lemonade though, bc the one I had open was freakin limeade! This mix was serious. You know what else is serious? 3 gals on a Saturday afternoon with a pitcher of Limegria & a bajillion pieces of candy.

I also remembered that I wanted to take a pic for the blog when we were almost finished with the pitcher!

The fact that we finished the pitcher and made another, is probably why my table also looked like this.

I am one hell of a hostess. No shame in my game!

The best part about the Limegria was that I got to spend some QT with this girl:

and this girl:

I haven't laughed as hard as I did on Saturday, in a long time. I love those girls with my whole heart and I couldn't think of a better way to share 30 limes and 4 family-size bags of candy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Here's what I'm loving today..

I'm loving that we've grilled our dinner every night this week!
Summer is here :)

I'm loving that there are only 9 and a half more days of school.
Can I get a hallelujah?!

I'm also loving that the air conditioner in my classroom started working again! When it gets steamy in there, those middle schoolers are ripe!

I'm loving my gel manicure.. I got a french manicure two weeks ago and it still looks fab! I spent a weekend swimming up at the lake, did dishes, did a bunch of science labs, and they're still going strong. I'm obsessed!

I had to get the bling bc it was so shiny from just doing the dishes that didn't ruin my nails :)

I'm ALWAYS loving this guy..

Link up with Jamie at This Kind of Love to play along!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The right stuff

Warning: This post is full of teeny-bopper nonsense coming from every angle, brace yourself. Oh, and don't judge the grainy pics. We were super far away and I desperately need a new camera.

All that I needed was you, in my life, you're so right. And all that I wanted was you, you made all.. every one of my dreams come true. For real, the New Kids STILL got the right stuff.

This weekend, the hometown boys were back in the bean with the Backstreet Boys, teaming up for what is probably the next best combo after Joey and I getting married NKOTB & N'SYNC. The boys were as glorious as ever. The girls, still swooning.

While my sore throat indicates my active engagement with the show, my cousin & I had some pretty weird seats. We were literally behind the people in the last row balcony, which I thought were the furthest back you could go, but we were higher up in our own kind of loft. With a counter, a real folding chair that wasn't attached to the ground and this lovely USB cable, you know, in case we brought our lap tops instead of our original mega-pins from the late 80's (which we totally did).

There was a hot dog stand that sold beer and our own bathroom, but it was totally odd. I thought for sure, Donnie would surprise us and upgrade our seats but no dice. For a New Kid lover, it was fine by me if it meant we had space to do the New Kids dance without hitting anyone around us. Still, we were most definitely hangin' tough.

Flashback to 1989.. I was in Kindergarten, rocking a side pony-tail, for sure, LOVING the New Kids on the Block. When I say loving, I mean, my Barbies ALWAYS married one of the New Kid dolls, preferrably Joey. I always slept on the side of the pillow case that had Joey's face on it, even if it wasn't the cold side. My mother made curtains for my bedroom out of the sheet. So I had the sheets, comforter, dolls, bracelets, and CURTAINS. What was wrong with my 5 year old self?!? At least I didn't make this gem, like my cousin did.

I was wicked jealous.

I know there were plenty of girls crazier than that, but I was in Kindergarten for crying out loud.

Flashforward to 2011.. The concert was seriously insane. In true Bostonian fashion, it was wicked awesome. I went to their reunion concert a year or two back but this does not compare. Maybe it was that I got to listen to Nick Carter and Joey McIntyre on the same stage. Let me wipe the drool from my keyboard.

I'm a Boston girl all the way and I love how genuine their hometown pride is and it shined through in everything they did. Donnie was really killin' it on the stage, he had all the right stuff. It's so weird that I was a Joey girl my whole life but Donnie is really working his magic on me now. Especially when he held his hand over his heart and said "This heart will always be yours" (the fans, but I know he was totally talking to me). He actually had a serious moment with tears in his eyes because the crowd WOULD NOT stop screaming for him. The Boston Globe said the screams lasted two minutes while he just stood there beaming. That's a long time to just stand at a concert, but I was too busy screaming to notice.

Joey had my heart going when he belted out "Please Don't Go Girl".
I nearly died.

Then, they just appeared in the audience. I was so stinkin' jealous, I almost jumped right over my counter to get in on that action. My heart seriously hurt. Jordan and Danny never really did much for me but they were definitely lighting up that stage in their sleeveless leather jackets.

By the end, Jonathan looked like he wasn't having the best time, but he is getting older, I'll give him that. It was hard enough for me to stay up during the whole thing after a long work week.

The concert was a two and a half hour love fest, but the best part? The finale. All the boys, in Bruins jerseys singing "Hangin' Tough". Which was supposedly written with the intention of being the song that the Celtics came out to. Last year, the boys came out in Celtics jerseys with Paul freaking Pierce holding the NBA Championship Trophy. This year, the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup, enter NKOTBSB in Bruins jerseys. Either their timing is impecccable or they just plain rock.

So SO jealous that I will not be seeing them at Fenway this weekend.

Be still my beating heart.. Until we meet again.

Sidenote: I'm now aware of how many times I used the word "totally" and "for sure". It must have been the late 80's, early 90's talking.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Show us your life: Appetizers

It's been a busy week with a wedding, a prom, a graduation, and wedding planning! Needless to say, grocery shopping didn't happen until Thursday and cooking has fallen to the wayside. So I'm SO excited to link up with Kelly for Show us your life: Appetizers.

I love everything about appetizers. I love just nibbling a bit here and there, especially if there's cheese involved. Every time I go to a party, I almost always bring an app. It saddens me if there is any left over and wasted at a party, so when there are going to be lots of apps, I save a fourth or a half for home. I always say that I will freeze half of that for later, but they never last that long.

My all time favorite, and fan favorite, is Buffalo Chicken Dip. It is so easy and to die for. I can't even remember where I got the original recipe, but I have changed it so many times that what I'm making now is entirely mine, and entirely delicious. The best part is that this is naturally gluten free! Always check your labels, though.

Buffalo Chicken Dip


3 chicken breasts
Frank's Red Hot sauce
1 stick of butter
8 oz. cream cheese (1/3 reduced fat or regular)
2 cups monterey jack or mozzerella cheese
9 inch baking dish or pie dish

1. Boil the chicken breasts about 20 minutes, until fully cooked.

2. Melt butter in the microwave and set aside. Take cream cheese out of the fridge to soften. Preheat oven to 350* when chicken is done.

3. Shred the chicken in a food processor or with a fork, which was how we used to do it before the discovery of the Magic Bullet!

4. Pour melted butter over the shredded chicken and mix with as much Frank's Red Hot Sauce as your heart desires.

5. Spread all of the cream cheese on the bottom of the dish.

6. Pour chicken mixture over the cream cheese.

7. Top with 2 cups of cheese.

8. Bake uncovered at 350* for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

9. Devour it. Serve with tortilla chips and share with others.

If you want to make half and save half, like we usually do, use half of the cream cheese and half of the mixture, we keep the amount of cheese the same. You can make this lighter by using reduced fat cream cheese, I just would not recommend using the fat-free. I've found that you lose a lot of the flavor because the cream cheese isn't mixed with anything so you will taste it. Also, reduced fat cheese for the top can be used. I'm sure you can eliminate the butter or cut it in half but we love the buttah!

And because I couldn't just pick one, my other favorite is Spinach Artichoke Dip. This is my second most-requested dip and is usually the one that the girls stick to once the boys have inhaled the buf chic dip. Maybe it's healthier ;) This recipe has also been changed and tried so many times that the recipe is now my original. This recipe can be gluten free, if you use regular spinach instead of the creamed. Unless you can find creamed spinach somewhere that is gluten free, in which case BRING ME SOME! No seriously, CONTACT ME! If it's creamy, cheesy, or buttery, I'm all over it. That doesn't sound good, but it's the truth. I always use low-fat in dips unless you can taste the difference.

Spinach Artichoke Dip


2 packages of frozen, creamed spinach (regular spinach for gluten free)
1 package frozen artichoke hearts, or canned
1/2 cup mayo (light)
1/2 cup sour cream (fat free)
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus some to sprinkle on top
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
9 inch baking dish or pie dish

Preheat oven to 350*

1. Defrost the spinach and artichokes in the microwave.

2. Chop the artichoke hearts into bite-sized pieces.

3. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

4. Pour desired amount or all of dip into dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.

5. Bake uncovered at 350* for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

6. Serve with tortilla chips or bread. If you want to be super fancy, you can even serve it in a sourdough bread bowl.

Besides being an absolute treat to the taste buds, both of these dips can be made in any type of oven safe baking dish, depending on how much of the dip you use. They can be made in advance and covered in the fridge for a couple of days. And they freeze well, if you have better self-control than I do.

(I'm not sure where the pics are that I have taken of these recipes in the past, so I used Google images and came up with one from and

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Is it already Wednesday? Here's what I'm loving today..

I'm loving that the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals. I love being a Bostonian all the time, but these are the times that I love it the most.

I'm loving Chipotle burritos.. 'nuff said.

I'm loving that my baby brother has his senior prom and high school graduation this week.

I'm loving that we are 2/3 of the way through our wedding photographer appointments. Can't wait to get this checked off the list!

I'm up way too late! Happy almost Thursday!