Monday, October 31, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesday, 42nd edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Tickle Me Tuesdays, where we all share what's been tickling our fancy!

If you'd like to participate (and you know you do!!), here are the rules:
1. Write a short post with anywhere from one to five items that have been tickling your fancy recently. Please include pictures and links :)

2. Make sure to link back to the party in your blog post (you can grab the button or include a text link)

3. Come back here and link up your blog post!  

4. Visit some other links and HAVE FUN!

(I ordered and got these last week - they're fabulous!)

Now it's your turn! What's been tickling your fancy?

Missionary Kid Monday: The Hardest Thing

Without question, the hardest thing for me as a child when we were living in France came around on October 31st.

Because the French don't celebrate Halloween*.

I already had a few Halloweens in California under my belt so I knew EXACTLY what I was missing. (My mom dressed me up as Marilyn Monroe when I was five - complete with a blonde wig!) And my sweet tooth protested.

Sure, my mom had actually packed and brought our Halloween decorations (!!!) so the house felt festive. But..... the candy was missing.

And even if we could have gone trick-or-treating at the neighbors' houses, we would have gotten French candy.

There's nothing wrong with French candy.

But my grass-is-greener cravings started young: when I was in France, I CRAVED American candy that you couldn't get (at the time) in France. The good stuff like Reeses, Oreos, Butterfingers, Twizzlers, Laffy Taffy, Starbursts, and Hershey's. And when I was in America, I would crave French candy like Haribo, Carambar, and Kinder eggs.

Between the ages of 7 and 11, my dad kept a bowl of loose change by the door ("centimes" back when the French franc was the unit of currency). Us kids were allowed to help ourselves on the way out the door as we walked the quarter mile to school. And do you know what was on my path to school? A boulangerie (bakery). With bins of candy. And it only cost centimes to buy a small handful!

It's a miracle I'm not enormous!

All this to say that even with the availability of fine French bon-bons, I surely felt like I was indeed SUFFERING FOR THE LORD every October 31st.

The first time we flew back to California after living for four straight years in France, my family and I walked into a CVS. There, right in front of my face, was alllllllll that American candy I had been craving for so long. I may have even teared up between all of that jumping up and down!

So... is there any candy you're addicted to?


*It's starting to catch on a tiny bit over there. But it's by and large an American tradition!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just for you!

In honor of Halloween, I'd like to offer you a special coupon code good for anything in my shop!

Enter SPOOKY20 for 20% off your order (expires 11/6)! The holidays are right around the corner... 

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Negligent Housewife

Negligent with household chores? Yep, that's me!

I'll be honest: once a week I do the very minimum. I sweep the floors and wipe down the kitchen. Bathrooms and laundry every other week.

The other stuff? Forget it! And the other stuff (like the awful piles of dust on the ceiling fan blades) is easy to ignore.... UNTIL. Until my parents and my sister come for a week long stay. And then I'm all: We need to scrub the cat snot off of that wall! Quick! Put away the camping gear we set out to dry on the back porch two months ago! And the windows! Scrub them so we can see through them again!

Please tell me I'm not the only one like this.

Anyway. My family is coming for a week during my Thanksgiving break. Why am I freaking out about it now? Because if they want to unpack their suitcase, we'll have to reorganize all the closets. Plus all that other stuff in italics up there.

I would very much like to stay on top of this cleaning business. I found some organizational tools that might be useful via this lovely site.

And then there's the Fly Lady who walks you through to a clean house in manageable baby steps. (I've heard good things!).

What about you? How do you manage the mess of daily living?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Make Ahead Quinoa Goodness

So I have this aversion to homemade sandwiches (with the exception of grilled cheese). I don't want to bring them to school for my lunch. I would bring leftovers, but I'd rather save those for dinner!

That's why Gussy's prompt this week is so timely: RECIPES. It's the perfect opportunity for me to share the healthy lunch I make ahead of time - it takes about two hours to prepare on a Saturday and it gives me three weeks worth of lunches!!

(Do you know how awesome it is to grab my lunch out of the freezer every morning with nary a thought or worry about it? Done, and done!)

So here it is:

Quinoa Goodness 

(if you've never tried Quinoa before, it's kinda like rice - this is a good recipe to start out with!)
Disclaimer: recipe is adapted from here and quadrupled to make a lot of lunches!

4 cups quinoa (cook according to directions-easy!)
4 cans (15.5 oz) chickpeas (aka: garbanzo beans)
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 can of corn
4 chopped/halved zucchini (or yellow squash)
1 red onion, diced
2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup lime juice
1 cup olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp. dried parsley
Salt to taste


Cook quinoa as directed. Chop zucchini and red onion and cook in some olive oil. Drain tomatoes. Throw quinoa, zucchini, red onion, and tomatoes in the biggest bowl you own. Dump in the seasonings.


If you're feeding an army, let it chill for an hour or two (this tastes best cold or at room temperature). 

If you're making 3 weeks of lunches, scoop out 1.5 cups of quinoa goodness and freeze in a ziploc bag. Then all you need to do is grab a piece of fruit and a cookie in the morning and you're all set to go! (I keep a bowl and a spoon at work.)

Enjoy :)

<a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!" height="125" width="125" title="Gussy Sews" border="0" src="" alt="Gussy" /></a>

PS: Are you looking to boost traffic and sales to your shop this holiday season? You can count on me to ACTIVELY promote my sponsors! Check out the details here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Star Sponsor: Tahnie from A Happy Girl

Meet Tahnie!

At 16 months, I was diagnosed with a rare (less than 500 in the U.S. and only about 7 patients exist in my home state of Utah) fatal disease called Cystinosis. To heavily over simplify; basically every organ in my body is slowly crystallizing until they can no longer function. This facet of my story has been a blessing in many ways. I wasn't supposed to live to see my 9th birthday and today I am 28, living my days with the love of my life and our miracle daughter. Life is beautiful like that. To quote my favorite fortune cookie message of all tme: "Life is not a struggle, it's a wiggle."

Did you know that Tahnie is a Stella and Dot stylist? Check out all of their fabulous jewelry!!

Star Sponsor: Tell Your Girlfriends Designs

Meet Cilla!

Cilla Watkins is the designer behind the online shop called Tell Your Girlfriends. You can find one of a kind handmade jewelry at
Cilla is happy to hear your requests and create something special for you or your gift giving needs. Cilla is offering our readers this month a special coupon.

Use the code Teacher20 to received 20% off your order. Just in time for your holiday shopping! Shipping is worldwide!

Star Sponsor: Laura from Along for the Ride

Meet Laura!

Hi there! I'm Laura and I'm along for the ride. No really, I am.

Along For the Ride isn't just the name of my handmade shop and my blog, but it's how I see my walk with the Lord. I am along for the ride He has planned for me, and what a glorious ride it is!

During the day (and lots of times at night) I spend my time running a residence hall on a college campus. My husband and I live in the hall and our neighbors are 400 loud, silly, messy, wonderful college students. We have a kitty baby named Jupiter that shares our little apartment.

When I'm not working in the hall, I spend my time with a glue gun in hand, making lovely things for my shop. My motto is "keep is simple" and I try to make simple accessories that aren't too dramatic or fussy, but add just a pretty touch of whimsy to an already beautiful you.

"Keep it simple" is my motto for my life as well and I blog a lot about the simple, little, imperfect things that make life sweet.

I can also be found on twitter and Facebook!

Laura is generously offering 20% off your purchase with coupon code TEACHER20 ! Happy Shopping!

Star Sponsor: Rags to Stitches

Hi, my name is Alissa, aka "The Snuggie Girl." I blog over at Rags to Stitches and I have a little shop filled with Snuggies that are guaranteed to keep your iPad, E-Readers and Laptops all warm and well... Snuggly. hehe. I'm married to the love of my life and we've been together for almost 7 years. In that time we've had our fair share of adventures and I'm so excited for the many more to come. My career began as an elementary and middle school teacher and shifted after the birth of our beautiful baby girl Katelyn in 2008. Katelyn is now three and is one of the most precious joys of our lives. Her smile and laughter can brighten anyone's day. In late 2009 we were blessed with another bundle of joy, who we lovingly refer to as Buddy. He is my sensitive, cuddle bug and already looks up to his sister. Being 17 months apart, I'm not going to lie, they keep me on my toes, but I'd rather dance around on my toes all day, then miss a single moment with them. I love meeting new people and I hope you'll pop by my blog and say hello.

Alissa makes the most beautiful snuggies! Check out this laptop snuggie:
And lucky you! You can get 10% off your order with coupon code RAGSTOSTITCHES! Happy Shopping!

Star Sponsor and Giveaway: Patty from The Junquerie

Meet Patty!

I am the stay at home mom to four boys - I have been creating for as long as I can remember. I adore romantic sentimental Victorian jewelry, charm bracelets, colored pearls, birds,vintage hearts, padlocks and lockets. I also have a more Bohemian side which loves Czech glass, silk and bright colors. Creating jewelry to make you feel pretty and a little reminiscent of the past. Here is my little corner of the web - come in and stay for a bit. I enjoy blogging about jewelrymaking, decorating on the cheap and lifes small funny moments. 
Patty has a delightful blog, and creates beautiful jewelry for her shop! Take a peek:

Get FREE shipping on your order with coupon code YESFREESHIP

Patty is giving away this fabulous necklace:


Hop on over to The Junquerie and leave a comment with your favorite item. Be sure to leave a way that I can contact you if you win!

EXTRA ENTRIES (optional):

+1 Follow Patty's blog
+1 Follow my blog
+1 Like her on Facebook
+1 Share this giveaway on twitter, facebook, or your blog (1 each)
(Sample tweet: Are you a queen bee? Enter to win this fabulous necklace from The Junquerie over on @yes_teacher 's blog! )
Giveaway open internationally! Giveaway will close Tuesday, 11/1 at 11:59 PM. Winner will be notified via email as well as announced here. Good luck!

Star Sponsor and Giveaway: Caroline from Cotton Lane

Meet Caroline!

My name is Caroline and I am the crazy person behind the shop Cotton Lane and author of the blog Good Times Never Seem Sew Good. When I'm not blogging about my new life as a newlywed, DIYs, fashion (sort of), and other tid bits, I am either busy creating fresh goodies for my handmade shop or working non-stop at a local fabric store. Are you tired yet? :)
Get 15% off your order with coupon code YESTEACHER
Caroline is giving away a $15 gift certificate to her shop! Lucky you!!
Head on over to Cotton Lane and leave me a comment with your favorite item! Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win!
EXTRA ENTRIES (optional):
+1 Follow Caroline's blog
+1 Follow my blog
+1 Follow Caroline on Twitter
+1 Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or your blog (1 entry each)
(Sample tweet: Score some SWEET stuff with a $15 gift certificate to @cotton_lane via @yes_teacher ! )
Open internationally. Giveaway will close Tuesday 11/1 at 11:59 PM and the winner will be notified via email and announced on my blog. Good luck!

Star Sponsor and Giveaway: Seek First

Hello! My name is Lauren and I love Jesus more than anything else. I also love my husband who I married last December. During the day I do cancer research, and truley love where I am. I blog over at Seek First, where you will find me talking all about Houston, my husband, our day to day stuff, and issues that pull on my heart. The blog is called Seek First because I strive to seek His kingdom in all I do-and the rest is just a bonus! I started my etsy shop as a creative outlet and as a way to pay for going back to school.

Isn't she adorable?! She creates fantastic rosette jewelry! Take a peek:

Enter TEACHER for a whopping 30% off your order!

Want to win some pretty accessories? Lauren is offering a $10 gift certificate to her shop!

Visit Seek First and leave a comment here with your favorite item. Make sure you include some way for me to contact you!


+1 Follow Lauren's blog
+1 Heart her etsy shop
+1 Follow her on Twitter
+1 Share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook (once daily)
(Sample tweet: You can score a gift certificate for some lovely rosette jewelry from @seek_first ! Enter on @yes_teacher 's blog: )

Giveaway ends Tuesday 11/1 at 11:59 PM. Open to US residents only. Winner will be announced here as well as notified by email. Good luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesday, 41st edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Tickle Me Tuesdays, where we all share what's been tickling our fancy!

If you'd like to participate (and you know you do!!), here are the rules:
1. Write a short post with anywhere from one to five items that have been tickling your fancy recently. Please include pictures and links :)

2. Make sure to link back to the party in your blog post (you can grab the button or include a text link)

3. Come back here and link up your blog post!  

4. Visit some other links and HAVE FUN!

Now it's your turn! What's been tickling your fancy?

Missionary Kid Monday: Language School

{For more on this series, click here}

It was Year One on the mission field for us: Language School. We lived in a sort of compound with all the other families who were learning French for missionary work. While the grown-ups were sweating it out, learning to be fluent in a second language, my siblings and I (along with all the other kids on the compound) were sent to the local public school. It was my second grade year.

The language school was in Albertville (in the southeast of France)

In the mornings, we gathered in a special classroom where we were explicitly taught French. My teacher knew precisely two words in English: "shut" and "up". I wish to goodness I remembered how they taught us French. I vaguely remember picture slides of various scenes, then the teacher telling us stories about the slides. Then we wrote the stories down in a notebook.

In the early days, I remember playing outside at recess and trying to have a conversation with some French girls. I was getting increasingly frustrated because I didn't know how to say a specific word. My friends were being so helpful: guessing random words and asking me "Is it this? This? This? This?" Not surprisingly, they never did figure it out.

In the afternoons, we were mainstreamed into the regular French classrooms for math. Because, duh, everyone speaks numbers and there surely isn't any need to understand the words around the numbers. I was confused and embarrassed when the teacher jumped right into subtraction WITH BORROWING. And I had never seen that before and had no concept of what the heck borrowing was. And since they do their math all funny in France, it wasn't until I was in the States for college that I understood about hundreds, tens, and ones.


But I survived the trauma and I magically spoke French pretty fluently by the end of that school year. In fact, it had become so natural to speak it that I would start using it around the house with my sister and brother. Sometimes it would be come "Frenglish".

My parents tried to outlaw French at home.... they claimed they were worried we would lose our English. But I think maybe they were just jealous of our flawless accents!

{For more, tune in next Monday!}

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fun while it lasted

A while back, the hubby and I went to Game 1 of the Rangers-Tigers series. We were in hostile territory, rooting for the Tigers at Arlington stadium! (Max grew up in Michigan and he informed me that you are "born into a team").

I'll happily follow his rules.... just give me the FOOD:

Ahhh. The series was fun while it lasted - and now we truly don't care who wins the World Series!

I didn't grow up going to baseball games, but I find them to be quite fun as an adult! What about you?

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Self-Centered Alphabet

A. Age: 29

B. Bed size: Full - hubby and I love this size!

C. Chore that you hate:  scrubbing the shower and tub

D. Dogs: Barney is our fur baby

E. Essential start to your day:  Black tea and devotions

F. Favourite color: Right now? Rusty orange

G. Gold or Silver: Silver

H. Height: 5'4

I. Instruments you play:  I used to "play" the piano. It was my 17th birthday present to quit!!

J. Job title: Special Education teacher to the Deaf/Hearing Impaired

K. Kids: Maybe someday!

L. Live: currently in DFW area in Texas

M. Mother’s name: Jan, but I call her "mom" haha.

N. Nicknames: when I was in France, it was "L'Americaine", in the States it was "Frenchie"

O. Overnight hospital stays: None thank goodness!

P. Pet peeve: stepping in something wet when I'm wearing socks

Q. Quote from a movie:  No favorite quotes but my favorite movie is Newsies

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: A younger sister and a younger brother

T. Time you wake up: 5:15 AM unless I'm on summer vacation!

U. Underwear: umm yes. always.

V. Vegetable you hate: brussel sprouts
W. What makes you run late: checking too many blogs in the morning!

X. X-Rays you’ve had: knee
Y. Yummy food that you make: Pumpkin cheesecake
Z. Zoo animal: Elephants

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Contain Your Pretties

Gussy's prompt this week is all about ACCESSORIES! I don't know about you, but I love me some pretty accessories! The trouble is.... they can get out of hand - fast!

Here are some organizers (some for purchase, some DIY) to help you contain all your pretties:

How do you organize your jewelry?

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

PS: The winner of the Threes 4 Me giveaway is Lauren from Seek First!

PPS: Ready to boost traffic to your shop? November sponsorships are now available!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bookshelf Envy

I've been dreaming about bookshelves lately. There are just so many creative ways to display your books! Check out some of these practical and inspirational bookshelves:

Arrange your books by color:

Create a book case out of salvaged drawers:

Paint your bookshelf:

Decorate your books:

Create shelf out of books:

Organize with lots of fun baskets and boxes:

Go round:

Wallpaper your bookshelf:

 I think I like the wallpaper idea best :) Which one's your favorite?