Thursday, December 30, 2010

Farewell to 2010

Dear 2010,

You were a year of risk-taking. While 2009 can claim life-altering events like our move to Texas, buying our first house, and getting our first puppy, you were a rather ho-hum year, which was the perfect time to take a few leaps of faith.

First, I got a sewing machine and taught myself how to make some stuff. I made my first baby hats (with little ears) and got addicted to the taste of triumph!

Then I held my breath and jumped in with both feet: I opened my etsy shop and turned my card-making hobby into something with some potential for profit!

Oh yeah, and the blog. You were a big year for me in terms of connecting with others and joining the crafting and blogging community at large!

And let's not forget that novel I finally started writing. I pick away at it just a bit at a time, but I'm gonna get there!

I'm glad you were here, 2010. I'm especially glad I ignored all of those inside voices that said I couldn't do it, that I wasn't good enough, and who did I think I was?

So now I can finish off the year feeling proud of myself and my "big" risks. Thanks, 2010. You've been great!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Taste Test

I've been eating my little heart out here in France and taking advantage of all the food and dishes that I don't get in the States! Tartiflette, rosti, tarte flambee, and raclette (pictures forthcoming). Yesterday I had a REAL pain au chocolat. And I'm not talking about the kind you can get in the states at "La Madeleine" restaurants. No... I'm talking about a pain au chocolat that leaves your fingers covered in BUTTER. Yum.

Ahem... I'll be avoiding the bathroom scale for a few months, I can already tell.

But here's some tasty goodness from Etsy that won't go straight to your thighs: The Etsy Taste Test.

Have you heard of it? It's like a mini quiz you take, and then they compile a bunch of items for you to browse through. A personal window shopper, if you will. My results are here.

Here are some of my faves within my recommendations:

Let me know if you've taken the taste test or decide to take it - I'd love to browse through your results!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mondays with Jack, 21st edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Mondays with Jack! If you want to know what this weekly feature is all about, see here.

"Better not take a dog on the space shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you're coming home his face might burn up." -- Jack Handey

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas markets

In my parents' little corner of the world (Alsace, France), Christmas markets are a big thing. Charming little booths are set up in the town's square and people sell everything from handmade pens to candles, to gingerbread, to jewelry, to ornaments. Oh, and food! There's always lots of good cheese, sausages, crepes, and chocolate treats. I'm putting on weight just thinking about it!

I'm having loads of fun with my family, and I hope you're all enjoying the holidays with your loved ones too!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mondays with Jack, 20th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Mondays with Jack! If you want to know what this weekly feature is all about, see here.
Private Bahama Beach Fine Art Print by Goofy Dog Photography

 "Instead of studying for finals, what about just going to the Bahamas and catching some rays? Maybe you'll flunk, but you might have flunked anyway; that's my point." -- Jack Handey

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fun in France

I'm finally home in France with my parents (and my sister and brother-in-law too!!). Other than recovering from the seven hours of time difference and the ensuing jet lag, here's what we've been up to:

Eating French pastries

Exploring the local towns

Taking hikes in the vineyards behind my parents' house

What have you been up to this holiday season?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Tonight I'll be hopping on a plane (ahem... more like going through some stressful hassles at the airport) to go see my parents for Christmas. My parents live in France -- see #1 here if you want to know why -- and I haven't seen them in thirteen months. That's a long time! My sister and her husband will also be there for the holidays, so I'm doubly excited!

My parents live in the Alsace, a part of France that's just on the border with Germany (in fact it changed hands back and forth a few times between those two countries during the World Wars). The houses there have a very distinct style. Here's my parent's house:
And yes, that's a working vineyard in the backyard (belonging to the landlord).

Even though they've only been in this particular region of France for a few years, it still feels like home!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

**CLOSED** Orglamix Organic Mineral Makeup Review & Giveaway

Hello, friends! Today I'm excited to tell you about Orglamix mineral makeup, and even give you a chance to win some of your very own!

I had the chance to try out the Menthe Color Corrector, the Carnelian Glow, the Sugar Loaf Blush, and the Green Tea Eyeshadow.

I was most excited to try the Menthe Color Corrector, as I do have some blemishes and redness leftover from my teen years. I've been using it for a while now, and I love this concealer! It's lightweight and has a really smooth finish. It markedly reduced the appearance of redness!

I've used the Carnelian Glow both as blush and even as eyeshadow. It's a really subtle color with some shine to it. I loved the final look; it was so feminine and PRETTY!

The Sugar Loaf Blush is truly wonderful. It packs so much color and goes on so smoothly -- the finished look is SO polished and professional!

The Green Tea Eyeshadow literally made me oooh and aaah! Even my husband noticed how pretty my eyes were! It stays on all day without losing its' shine or color. What more could a girl ask for?

Using Orglamix products overall, I look more professional, polished, and well... pretty! And I can feel good knowing that I'm NOT putting any synthetic ingredients, chemicals, or dyes on my face.

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for..... a GIVEAWAY!

Cheri has very generously offered one winner the choice of any THREE colors from the following formulas: Pure Organic Mineral Eye, Blush, Glow, Foundation or Color Corrector. (Limited edition shades are not included.)

Mandatory entry: 

Go to Orglamix and tell me which product you would for sure want to get if you were the lucky winner!

Extra entries:

+1 follow my blog (or tell me if you already do!)
+1 follow the Orglamix blog
+1 Like Orglamix on Facebook
+1 follow Orglamix on Twitter
+1 follow me on Twitter
+1 Tweet this giveaway (or share on Facebook) - can be done once daily 

You can say something like this:
Enter to win 3 #Orglamix makeup products of your choice via @yes_teacher  #giveaway

This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on Sunday, January 2nd. The winner will be notified and announced on Monday, January 3rd. Good luck!!

The fine print:
This giveaway is open only to individuals who are 18 years of age or older. Those involved in the production, development or implementation of giveaways, any agents acting for, or on behalf of the above entities, their respective parent companies, affiliates, licensees, and any other person or entity associated with Orglamix are not eligible. One Orglamix win per four month period. Void where prohibited by law.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blog Swap - A Hasty Life

Hello Yes, Teacher Readers!

My name is Ashley, Sarah and I are switching blogs for the day, you can find her at my blog: A Hasty Life. I’m so happy to be posting here. Guest posting is such a wonderful way to meet new bloggers and share new ideas! I’m excited to see what new relationships blossom through this guest post (for both Sarah and myself!) Sarah and I thought we’d share how we met our husbands. Here is how I met the man who turned my life into A Hasty Life!

I had just broken up with an old boyfriend. I was NOT looking for someone to date again. I was happy to be single and free. J An old friend of mine invited me to dinner back home. It was Spring Break, so I was headed home from college for the week. I was in sweatpants and a t-shirt; I hadn’t showered that day because I was moving stuff in an out of my dorm room. We were meeting for a casual dinner, so I figured it didn’t matter how I looked. When I arrived, however, I realized the dinner that was supposedly just my friend and me turned out to be a dinner with my friend, his girlfriend, his two best friends (one with his fiancĂ© and brother.) They were strategically situated so that I would sit next to Eric, the only single one of the bunch.

Now, I had heard of Eric before. I was pretty sure I had met him before at my friend’s house and I wasn’t too fond of him. I thought he was kind of arrogant and full of himself. My friend had been wanting to set me up with him for quite some time and I figured if this guy still didn’t have a girlfriend after all this time, I certainly didn’t want to be his girlfriend.

Anyway, we ate dinner. Conversation was good, everyone was polite, Eric seemed nice enough, but I had no intention of ever seeing him again. For one, I didn’t think he would be interested in me; and two, I was not interested in dating (as I said before.) I heard from him the very next day. We hung out almost every day over the break and we’ve pretty much been inseparable ever since. It turns out Eric was not arrogant in the least (I had him confused with a different guy.) He is the most caring and loving man I know.

We were married about two years later on March 29, 2008.

Thanks everyone! It was a pleasure posting for you! I look forward to seeing you around the blog world again!

Ashley {A Hasty Life}

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mondays with Jack, 19th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Mondays with Jack! If you want to know what this weekly feature is all about, see here.

"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -- Jack Handey

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Time is ticking

This is just a quick reminder that Wednesday, December 15th will be the last day that I'll be taking orders, as the shop will be closed from the 16th to January 3rd for the holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate traditions

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the chocolate tree.

Every year, my mom puts up two Christmas trees: the real one, with all of the ornaments we've had forever (including ones I made when I was little), and the fake one, decorated entirely with chocolate ornaments.

Have you ever heard of chocolate ornaments? It's a normal thing in Europe (where I grew up, see #1 here if you're confused) but it's just starting to show up here in the States.

They're foil wrapped chocolates that include a string so you can hang them on the tree. You can find them at Aldi or at World Market. Or online here:

And throughout the holiday season, we munch on the chocolate ornaments, and then my mom will refill the tree every so often. It's a very exciting time for my sweet tooth!

What's your favorite Christmas tradition?

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The day is finally here! The winner of the $35 to CSN stores is......

Hiyaluv! Who said: "i follow you on twitter luv:) @hiyaluv gina"


If you didn't win this time, keep you eye out for another fabulous giveaway next week!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Guest blogging!

Hi everyone! I'm guest blogging a FABULOUS (and easy!) tutorial over at Momomod today. You can  check it out here. Please do go leave me some comment love over there :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mondays with Jack, 18th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Mondays with Jack! If you want to know what this weekly feature is all about, see here.

"Instead of having 'answers' on a math test, they should just call them 'impressions,' and if you got a different 'impression,' so what, can't we all be brothers?" -- Jack Handey

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'd like to thank the Academy...

And I'd also like to thank Ashley from A Hasty Life for passing on this lovely award to little ol' me.

Instead of accepting this award with a speech, the rules state that I must share seven things about myself, then bestow the award onto 15 more bloggers.

7 things you were dying to know about me:

1. My parents are missionaries in France. We moved there when I was seven back in 1989 (just to save you the math, that makes me 28). They still live there and I love to visit as often as I can! 

2. I've been married for 8 years to The Best Guy in the World. We have three cats and a dog :).

3. I teach first graders who are deaf/hard-of-hearing. This doesn't involve any sign language: they all wear either hearing aids or cochlear implants and my job is language and reading remediation!

4. I love to shop at thrift stores!

5. I could eat ice cream for every meal of the day.

6. I drink black tea every morning. I used to drink coffee, but I was making it so strong that it was starting to give me headaches. And what's the point of drinking coffee if it doesn't look like mud?

7. This is what I look like:

And now, to spread the love to 15 other stylish bloggers:

Positively Splendid
Yesterday on Tuesday
erban: a random blog
My Tru Life
Vita Nostra
Sweet Harvey
Silver Rose Sewing
The Hairy Peach
Allora Handmade
From the Aisle to Aloha
Eager Hands
Something Monumental
My Life Under the Bus

Thanks for being such lovely bloggers! Go forth and spread this award :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Treat yourself

One day, when my mom picked me up from Kindergarten, she told me we were going to get a little treat before we went home. I was thrilled to discover that the treat was going to Thrifty's drugstore for an ice cream cone. I chose mint chip. (I'm still a sucker for good mint chip!)

Unfortunately for my mother, every day after that when she came to pick me up from school, I asked her: "Are we going to get a treat?". I think this went on for weeks, if not months. I wonder if she ever regretted that first treat? Haha.

Well, I'm in my twenties now and I still love a special treat now and again. Yesterday, I went to Starbucks during my lunch period for a gingerbread latte. I hardly ever leave the school like that but I was having a caffeine emergency and it had been several weeks since my last Starbucks splurge..... and it was SOOOO worth it.

For my next treat (or maybe from Santa?), I'd love these ADORABLE fingerless gloves from rumstadt:

What have you treated yourself to lately?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giveaway: $35 to CSN stores **CLOSED**

How would a free thirty-five dollars sound to you? How about a $35 gift certificate to any one of CSN's 200+ online stores?

If you haven't yet heard of CSN, they sell everything from children's backpacks to cookware, to furniture! There is literally something for everyone on your Christmas list (or hog it all to yourself, I promise I won't tell!).

Here are just a few of my favorite things that you can get for under $35 at CSN:

Drooling yet? Here's how you can enter:

Please leave a separate comment for each entry! And please include your email address in your comment!


You must be a follower of this blog! And..... tell me the best Christmas gift (or Hanukkah gift!) you've ever received!

Extra entries:

+2 Subscribe to this blog via email (upper right hand corner)

+1 Follow me on Twitter

+1 Follow CSN stores on Twitter

+1 Tweet this giveaway (or share on Facebook) using one of the "share" buttons below this post, or you can say something like this:

Enter for a chance to win $35 to CSN stores via @yes_teacher  #giveaway

You can tweet/share this giveaway once daily and leave a comment with the link!

The fine print:
*This giveaway ends Wednesday, Dec. 8th at 11:59 PM. Winner will be drawn and notified via email on Thursday 12/9.
*There may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mondays with Jack, 17th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Mondays with Jack! If you want to know what this weekly feature is all about, see here.

"Here's a good thing to do if you go to a party and you don't know anybody: First take out the garbage. Then go around and collect any extra garbage that people might have, like a crumpled napkin, and take that out too. Pretty soon people will want to meet the busy garbage guy." --  Jack Handey

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advent Calendars

Are you like me? Do you procrastinate? "Oh, December first is a million miles away; I can think about advent calendars later!"

Well guess what?! It's right around the corner! Below, I've featured some printable advent calendars for all of the other procrastinators out there:

Now we can all enjoy some last minute Advent beauty!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Sale!

Just wanted to let you know that you can use the code BLACKFRIDAYSPREE to get 20% off my entire store! Offer valid until Saturday, 11/27 at 11:59 PM, so hurry!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to observe Thanksgiving

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count yoru joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth.

-Author unknown

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To die for

That's what this recipe is: TO DIE FOR! Once you taste this pumpkin cheesecake, you'll never want to go  back to plain ol' pumpkin pie.
picture borrowed from All Recipes

You can find the recipe here. I highly recommend the following changes, though:
  1. 1 tsp of vanilla instead of just 1/2
  2. generous pinch of the spices
  3. an extra 2Tbs sugar
  4. take 1 cup and 1/3 cup of the cheesecake mix for the bottom layer instead of just 1 cup
Oh, and a homemade graham cracker crust is really easy and tastes much better than store-bought (although I'll never judge you, either way!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mondays with Jack, 16th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Mondays with Jack! If you want to know what this weekly feature is all about, see here.

"As the light changed from red to green to 
yellow and back to red again, I sat there 
thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a 
bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it 
seemed that way." -- Jack Handey

Sunday, November 21, 2010

On the road again

Today we'll be making the loooooong drive up to Michigan. It'll take about 22 hours and my crazy husband likes to drive straight through. I can hardly complain though, since he does about 98% of the driving. And I'll be totally excited to see my husband's side of the family once we get there!

I just hope that I don't bite into a Skittle and lose a crown like I did the last time we made this drive. I don't want to look like a hillbilly again!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Have a Bad Day

Today is Have a Bad Day Day. Yes, there is such a thing! Apparently it started when people got too fed up with shopkeepers saying a superficial "Have a good day!" as customers walk out the door.

Sadly, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, Have a Bad Day Day often gets overlooked by all those.... thankful people. [I hope you can hear the sarcasm!]

So I'm here to give it its' proper due! Below, some etsy-inspired Bad Day finds:

I probably should wish you a Bad Day now, but I'm just not that mean!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Craft show

I've never done a craft show before, have you? I would like to at some point in the future, but I think there's a lot I need to do beforehand (can you tell I like to plan ahead?).

First, I need to make sure I have enough products. Then, I need to research how best to display my cards, etc. Those are the things that come immediately to mind, but I'm guessing there are a whole bunch of other variables to consider.

So even though I've never been a seller at a craft show before, I have been a SHOPPER at one. And that doesn't take much talent at all!

I'm really excited about the upcoming Jingle Bash put on by Dallas-based Etsy artists. I went to one last spring and had a ball. There's just something about perusing the works of dozens and dozens talented artists that sets my heart a flutter. 
Plus, the holidays are right around the corner and I'm totally in shopping mode, aren't you?!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fingers crossed!

Did you know there's a MEGA giveaway going on at the rikrak studio?

Five amazing prize packs totalling $800 in value are up for grabs. My fingers (and my toes!) are crossed! What are you waiting for? Go enter here!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mondays with Jack, 15th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Mondays with Jack! If you want to know what this weekly feature is all about, see here.

"I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they chose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas."
-- Jack Handey

Friday, November 12, 2010

Handmade with kids

There are a few times a year where teachers are expected to help the children make gifts for their parents. I'm thinking specifically of Christmas and Mother's Day.

Every year, I feel a bit of pressure. What did last year's teacher do? What is easy, inexpensive, and not totally lame?

Thankfully, since I work with special needs kids, I only have six kids to worry about. And fortunately, there are fantastic people like AmberLee Fawson to help me with ideas. She's put together this fantastic Giver's Log for anyone you want to give a handmade gift to, old or young.

I've decided that I'm going to have my kids make these super cute personalized soap bottles pictured here:
You can find the tutorial here.

I think mom and dad will be pleased, don't you?