Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tweet this

So about 7 months ago I decided to scope out this thing called "Twitter." I'd read an article about how it saved a guy's life when he was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia or somewhere over there (yeah - I'm a Geography teacher) and he just tweeted and his friends saved him. I decided in the case that I was stuffed in a trunk somewhere and needed help, I would need a twitter so I could tweet "save me - car heading down Southern Ave towards Cooper" and someone could intercept me.

In reality, I figured if Oprah and Martha (Winfrey and Stewart, respectively) could do it, I could too. My first tweet was March 30th ("so new to this") and since then I have had 121 tweets, follow 132 people and have 78 followers. I've gotten sucked in. I've even reigned in a few other friends to join the "twitterverse."

I found this hilarious post on another blog called the "46 Stages of Twitter" and just had to repost because for anyone who is on twitter, this totally rings true:

The list is courtesy of

the 46 stages of Twitter

1. Hear the word Twitter. Scoff.
2. Hear it again from someone else. Scoff again.
3. Hear about famous celebrity who is apparently "On Twitter." Scoff, but make mental note to check it out.
4. Log into Facebook to comfort self.
5. Sign up for Twitter.
6. Give up because it seems dumb.
7. Loudly criticize others on Twitter.
8. Follow @johncmayer, @aplusk, @rainnwilson, @wilw, @mrskutcher, @oprah, and one other person you actually know.
9. Post tweet that is a variant of: "Trying out this Twitter thing."
10. Attempt to dig a little deeper into Twitter.
11. Notice rampant usage of words: "Tweet," "Twitter," "Twitterverse," "Tweetie," "Tweetdeck," and something called "RT."
12. Scoff again, this time in confusion.
13. Tell friends you "tried that Twitter thing, but didn't get it and it's stupid anyway."
14. Log into Facebook because that site at least makes sense.
15. Read story about Twitter somewhere.
16. Log back into Twitter.
17. Try to avoid saying Tweet, Twitter, Twitterverse, Tweetie, Tweetdeck, and ReTweet.
18. Respond to @rainnwilson.
19. Curse self for fanning out.
20. Log off for 4 months.
21. Come back, just to see.
22. Post something relatively funny.
23. Get RT'd.
24. Discover that RT means ReTweet.
25. Make it your life mission to get RT'd.
26. Install Twitter app on your phone.
27. No longer ashamed to say "I've gotta Twitter that."
28. Attend events with the sole intention of "Tweeting" them.
29. Pray to get RT'd.
30. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.
31. Close computer.
32. Open computer. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.
33. Think in 140 character sentences.
34. Compulsively check phone all day every day.
35. Tweet that you compulsively check phone all day every day.
36. Alienate actual people in your life in an attempt to impress ones you don't know.
37. Lose weight because you forget to eat.
38. Place phone by bed so you can check first thing in the morning.
39. Defend Twitter to the death from detractors.
40. Hear self, and vaguely recognize that you have become "That Guy."
41. Feel like, and start to behave like River Tam.
42. Vow to quit Twitter to preserve sanity.
43. Read this and change mind.
44. Think to self, "I should twitter that."
45. Recognize irony.
46. Twitter it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My dream classroom

As you all know, perhaps, based on my posts, I am a teacher. If you want to see my classroom, go here. Last night, I couldn't fall asleep. I was thinking about a lot of things - the test I should have written this weekend, the color of our new bedroom, the fact that I couldn't breathe out of my nose... As I was trying to fall asleep, a scene popped into my head. I had been thinking about a class discussion my honors kids had last week. I was troubled because I knew we were behind coming into this week because we spent 45 minutes last week discussing current events and didn't get all the notes taken for Weather, meaning we were taking them to day and they wouldn't be able to all present their projects today. This troubled me because I like to be able to control every bit of the classroom (one article I read said that teachers chose their profession because they are control freaks) and controlling our timeline definitely falls under that.

As I was thinking about this discussion, the scene that came into my head was what I'd classify as my ideal classroom. In this scene, there were about 20 kids and their desks were in a circle. I was sitting on top of a desk in the circle, cross legged (my favorite way to sit in the classroom because I'm comfortable, higher than everyone, but look like I'm relating to my kids).

We were discussing current events but were relating it back to geography and history. I wasn't lecturing, I wasn't even leading the discussion - they had been given a topic, a few articles to read, and were talking about it as a group. I was asking pressing questions to stimulate the discussion at times but mostly was taking notes on who was saying what. The kids were really into it and enjoyed it.

The reason I share this is because I feel that my vision of my classroom is how I ultimately want to teach. I know it isn't feasible right now - the kids I teach need structure, they don't have the materials to research topics on their own, and we are so standards based that I can't take a day to teach current events every so often. BUT ultimately, I'd like to incorporate this style of teaching into my toolkit because it is student lead and really puts the responsibility in their hands. There is a class called "Contemporary Issues" at school that I would really like to teach. I think my background is well suited for this course. Maybe I could try that technique there if I taught the class?

Monday, September 21, 2009


(not to be confused with potions.. sorry HP fans)

So, I have a serious ice cream addiction. I love it. My problem is portion size. I am trying to listen to years of my mother saying "only 2 scoops - remember, the bowls are large" because yes, our bowls are large. And if I filled the bowl with ice cream, I'd be eating about 1000 calories.

The problem is that the big bowl is so enticing. And those two small scoops look so lonely. My parents have these cute parfait glasses that help the problem but we don't have those. So tonight, my solution?

Ramekins. We've got tons of them for some reason and they are really useful. We've got white, lime green, and turquoise ones. Target has them in their dollar area right now - that is where we got the green and blue ones.

Ramekins are the perfect ice cream portion solution because you get just the right amount of ice cream and you're forced to keep it at that. I was looking at the "perfect portion" ice cream containers yesterday (they are about the size of my thumb - I think 1/2 a cup of ice cream?) and each container was something like 1.50$ while a gallon tub was $4. It didn't make sense to spend extra money when I could create my own "perfect portion" at home. And I did....

It is Edy's French Silk (a little melted because I had trouble finding my camera). I satisfied my ice cream craving but didn't overindulge. Yum.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fabric Fun

A church friend tipped me off to a fabric store in Fayetteville, TN called Sir's Fabric. It is a huge store that seems to have great prices on all sorts of fabrics. Some of them are posted online at and I've been browsing for ideas. IF/When we get our house, we're going to keep the living/dining area beeswax like it is now here but I want to make the den this color:

I call it pumpkin spice, my mom calls it terra cotta, Dutch Boy calls it "toasty warm" - at any rate, I took this picture from another blog that was pondering the same idea of an orange room. The den currently has wood panelling and so painting is a must. This could look great with the beeswax color next to it (scroll down to my Sheffeild's post to see our living room color) and would convey the warm welcoming tones we want.

With the "pumpkin spice" idea in mind, I've been looking for fabric to coordinate the tones. We'll have the couch of our couch/loveseat set in there and it is a wheat color. We'll have one other chair most likely - maybe my glider rocker from my grandmother or maybe (if he loves me enough) my dad's chair that my grandfather brought back over from Germany. Either way, we'll reupholster. Luckily, neither have too much fabric so it won't cost too much. We've got some other things that need upholstering as well so we'll need to take it a bit at a time.

I found this fabric at Sir's Fabric. It is called Regal Rebecca and apparently is a 'folk Jacobean bird tapestry', whatever that is.


Lawler for Mayor?

We're pretty decidely AC Wharton supporters over here but this morning during Jake's weekly man breakfast at Bryants, Jerry Lawler showed up to campaign for Memphis Mayor. The guys were pretty impressed with his knowledge of the city and decided in addition to wrestling, he has some pretty sweet political moves too. Here's Lawler with Travis in a headlock. Welcome to Memphis, Travis!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eating on the cheap, again.

Jake and I have a new goal: when we go out to eat other than our one sanctioned "big meal" every two weeks (our friends like to go to Bosco's and we rack up a big bill there sometimes - I love the garlic Parmesan fries and pizzas), we want to spend 18$ or less pre tip/tax. I know that doesn't seem like a big goal but when two people are eating out on one person's salary and you're going out to eat several times a week, it adds up. We doubled our eat out budget this month. We're caught between wanting to be social and enjoy time with friends and being fiscally conscious.

We've had some big successes this week and last, though.

1) During house hunting, we visited the neighborhood Italian grill, Dino's. I've gone there since I was little and love it. I got a kid's spaghetti with meat sauce and a small Italian salad. Jake got spaghetti with meat balls. We got water and it came with garlic bread - we had a feast for very little money. I could barely eat the whole kid's portion and Jake took his leftovers for lunch.

2) At Bosco's the other night, Jake and I got an order of garlic-parm fries and a buffalo chicken pizza and split both between us. It was the perfect amount of food and probably still not great on calories but the price was nice - 15$.

3) I was sick this week and craving chicken noodle soup. Monday we went to Carraba's and each got a bowl of chicken noodle soup (one of their big pasta sized bowls - HUGE). I also got a side of my favorite pasta and Jake got the calamari appetizer. With waters and bread, we were more than full. I ate my leftovers Wednesday night. We ended up right at 18$ pre-tax/tip. We could have probably spent less by getting two soups and one regular order of the pasta to split and been fine.

We're also all about hitting up some specials. Our friends Heather and Ed told us about an Early Bird Special at Paulette's (my favorite fancy restaurant) from 4-6 every night. You bet Jake and I will be showing up to that. I love eating at 5 (I'm old at heart) and especially love a good bargain.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Big News

We've taken a big step towards our adult lives - as I've alluded to on the facebook.... we have a contract on a house! Nothing is official but here's what we've potentially signed our lives away to:

The front of the house

The backyard for the dogs
One of three bedrooms - you can see the back bedroom from this one.

Our first project - the kitchen. We want to take this breakfast room and incorporate and extend the kitchen all the way down to add room, and open up to the den.

One of two full baths - they are in great condition.

The dining room, taken standing in the living room -the den is straight ahead, bedrooms to the left and kitchen to the right. *the den and living room have hardwood under the carpet so we'll be ripping that sucker up!

The living room, taken standing in the front door area.

I've always been a fan of houses. I find it extremely fun to look at the online Multiple Listing Service (MLS) just to see what is out there, how much it is, and what it looks like. I think part of it is a love of houses, part of it is a love of researching things I like, and part of it is being incredibly nosy. Over the years, I've been able to decide how much house you can get for what amount of money, what neighborhoods are desirable, and what I want in a house.

While Jake and I live in an absolutely wonderful side of my parents' duplex, the fiscally responsible thing became evident this year - we need to invest in a house. With interest rates down in the 5-5.25 range and the first time homebuyers tax credit, plus a nice little pot of money from my college fund (thanks Mom and Dad), things just kind of fell together to make the climate perfect for buying.

We began looking around, realizing that our little amount of money was not going to get us far. As we looked, we found several interesting things and actually put an offer on a foreclosure in the Evergreen area. Yet last week when a 1947 ranch style house sitting in the midst of cute bungalows came on the market, I somehow knew this was it. It wasn't our style, it needed some updating, and yet it spoke to me (yes - cheesy). We made an appointment to see it and within two days had decided we wanted it. We put in a low ball offer, just to see what they'd respond with. We were out for a bargain, after all.

So, just before my birthday, the sellars wrote a counter offer that we agreed on and today it was official - we signed their offer. It won't be legally official until a home inspection and closing of course (closing is Oct 15th) but I can't help but be excited none the less. We've got our own little piece of the 1950's thanks to a dear old woman who moved to the Parkview Residence (an elderly home) and with a little paint and decoration, it will be a wonderful home. It has hardwood, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a lot of closet space, and one thing we really wanted - both a living room and a den. Our first project is the kitchen, which is definitely dated and dark. We'll put that tax credit to work right away. The rest will have to come little by little - we have a whole list: columns on the front, shutters on the front window, crown molding, new doors, new bathroom counters, closing in some bedroom doors (the middle bedroom has 3 doors that lead to it), adding a deck and french doors - you get the point. But we'll have to do it all over time.

I've included some pictures so you can see the "Before". These are from the realtor's website. We'll move in late October. At that point, our side of my parents' duplex will be available (probably Nov 1st move in) so if anyone is looking for a 2br/1ba rental, let me know because it is very nice - granite and stainless in the kitchen, hardwood, closet organization systems, new Central Heat and Air, new light fixtures, new electrical, new washer/dryer, great deck. Seriously - it is pimped out. It is on South Holmes which is a really cute street where people are always out walking their dogs. My parents are good landlords and I really want someone good to move in after us because we've loved it so much.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A day with the girls

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with two of my favorite people - Ellen and Elise. We went out to Sheffield's antique mall - Ellen and Elise's friend Martha had gone and they were inspired to schlep out there themselves. I'd already had success there earlier this year, after a trip with Beth while out getting my wedding dress fitted, and got an awesome entry chair using some money that Jake's sweet aunt and uncle gave us:

So, having been inspired, we set out with an agenda - to haul ourselves to Collierville (quite a feat considering we are Midtown girls) and find Elise a headboard and a mirror for her room, while sacrificing as little moolah as possible. Additionally, with my birthday this weekend, I was scoping out potential presents my mom could get me.

Since the drive is a good 30 minutes, we decided to make a day of it - I'm so glad we did, too. We had so much fun... We started out the day by lunching at the Silver Caboose, which is off the main square in Collierville. Here is the train that runs around the restaurant:

It was a great find. We each got a veggie plate and shared the fried pickles. I do love my fried pickles. It was reasonably priced and was excellent food. Afterwards, we had a quick photo op (awk of Elle, sorry!) before making our way over to the site of our pilgrimage.

Once in Sheffields, I notified the ladies of my "game plan." See, Sheffields is HUGE and I wanted to see every single thing. There are aisles with booths that people rent out and so each booth has a little different flair to it. We found our favorite booth right off - cute painted pieces in greens, pinks, and blues. Clearly they had us in mind. They had these great antique shutters that were painted and I thought they would be good with hooks for necklaces on them. They also had an AWESOME huge mirror (probably 5 feet tall) that was painted green and had some beadwork on the wooden frame for only $59. Elise decided that was "the" mirror and we hid it so we could come back to it. We ventured through the rest of the store, finding many things to ooh and all over and a few things to put on "the list" for my birthday, including this cabinet and chair:

On the way out, we scoped out the jewelry. If you're interested in fun, cheap costume jewelry and a little bit of really nice estate jewelry, this is the place. Here's Elise trying on some (fake) pearls:

After playing for a while, we moved on. We hadn't found a bed frame for Elise so we decided to go with Plan B, which was to use Young House Love's advice and make one! With that in mind, we headed over to JoAnn's - my new favorite source for fabric. Here's Elise in the back of the car with her new mirror:

En route to JoAnn's, I remembered my favorite ice cream place was ahead (besides Baskin Robbins, of course) - Bruster's! I have many fond memories of it with Beth and Eric in Knoxville. It is way out east in Memphis so I never go (probably a good thing) and so we HAD to stop.

After being recharged by milkshakes, we tackled the fabric and batting section of JoAnn's. Ellen and I played HGTV hosts helping Elise pick out the ideal headboard fabric and here's the result (courtesy of Elle). You can't tell but it has a bit of a textured pattern to it - subtle but cute. The best part is that Elise did it herself!!! This is a picture of Elise, our friend Jackie who was in town for the weekend, and the final product:

All in all, I'd say we had a great day and a successful labor day weekend. I'm going back to Sheffields tomorrow for my birthday so I might just have to post my findings and purchases!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Football time in Tennessee!

Once upon a time, in a world pre-Jake, I was not a football fan. I actually was pretty oblivious to the game and had no idea what really happened on the field. As Jake and I started dating, that changed pretty quickly. I learned what "downs" were, how to tell who was on offense and who was on defense, and what got what score.

My first year at UT, I got my first taste of Tennessee football. While I still cared little about the game itself, the traditions that make UT football legendary soon became part of my life as a UT student. As I spent my fall Saturdays gearing up in orange and heading over to Neyland, I came to love everything Tennessee football.

This is my second football season away from Neyland. Last year, the pain was dulled by a miserable season on Rocky Top. I had the LSU Tigers to distract me from the depression that was Fulmer's last season. Yet this year we've got a new coach, and thus a new lease on life. Watching Tennessee football on TV, seeing everyone's pictures on facebook, and reading status updates on Twitter make me home sick for Rocky Top.

One of the things I miss the most about Tennessee football is the routine Jake and I fell into our last years on Rocky Top. We'd start the morning by watching GameDay on Espn. We'd then head over to OCI for cheese bings - walking down the strip and taking in all the sights and sounds. Walking back towards campus, we'd walk off those bings by trapsing all over the campus visiting our friends' tailgates. We'd tailgate hop, visiting with friends, until about 30 minutes before kick off, when we had to go on into the stadium. Getting to experience UT football with Jake and making those memories with him is so important to me and I am so glad to have done it.

I didn't start out college thinking I'd get homesick for UT every time I felt a slight chill in the air, heard a marching band practicing, or ate rotel but now I can't help myself. I'm a VOL through and through and even appreciate the technique of football a bit now!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good Food, Great Friends

We love having people over. Last Saturday we got to have Elise and Ellen over for dinner and it was so much fun. We cooked for them, got to catch up on life, and mostly just be silly. Jake got to be the grillmeister and I made the side items (for the most part).

We got kabobs at Fresh Market (the steak are pictured but there were chicken too) and they were definitely worth the money - great ingredients, marinated, AND we didn't have to make them! For our sides I went spicy with my favorite spicy mac and the spicy green beans. It was delish.

Overall, good food, good times, great friends.


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