Thursday, October 27, 2011

On the Road Again

My earliest memory is sitting on my big girl bed with my back against the wall.  My legs outstretched, not even close to reaching the edge of the bed.  I sat, grasping in my tiny  little hands a book full of beautiful pictures and even more beautiful to me, full of words.  I was four years old and in love with storytelling.  My preschool teacher, Mimi, was so great at sharing wonderful places and she took me to those places with books.  She would gather us around her on the big colorful carpet and we would all sit eagerly awaiting to be taken on the next exciting adventure.  I decided I too wanted to be able to go on adventures no matter where I was.

The first book I read

I would sit there in my spot on the bed and practice my storytelling, reading aloud; anxious to see whether or not Janet would get those new shoes she had been wanting.  My parents were busy doing things around the house.  When I came upon a word I did not know I would stop one of them as they were whizzing by my bedroom door, point to a word in the book and ask what the word was, they would say it aloud and be on their way.  I would repeat it and continue on with my story.  By the time I was ready to start kindergarten I could read that book.  I did not just memorize the story, but could read the words on the page.  I was so excited about what I could now do; enter new places all on my own.  My kindergarten teacher recognized my newfound love for reading and allowed me to read a book to my kindergarten class.  I earned a certificate for reading a book aloud and to this day it is one of the things I am most proud of. 

I say all this to say that I just realized I should have listened to my four-year-old self all along to figure out what career would suit me best.  Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, I feel that there is some act of fate that plays a part in our lives.  Fate sets us out on a main pathway and allows us the freedom to take detours every once in a while; providing opportunities to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them, take risks and hopefully benefit from them.  After following my path for the last 29 years and taking detours here and there, I finally feel as though I am back on my main road.  For the first time in my life I feel excited and hopeful about where I want to be in regards to my career and that's teaching others how reading analytically and writing well can transform their lives. It's been a while, but I sure am glad to be back on the main road.

What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want and are fully determined not to quit until you find it."        - Alexander Graham Bell

Peace, Love, & Nerdy Stuff


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Alluring Addictions

If we're all really honest with ourselves, we can all acknowledge there is something or many things in our lives for which we possess addictions.  We have these compulsions for habits or substances that can be harmful to our lives.  When they begin to significantly interfere with our productivity in our home life, career, and/or health, it's time to acknowledge these vices and begin to make the changes that are necessary to regain control over our here goes nothing.

I have a confession to name is Crystal and I'm both a caffeineaholic and televisionoholic.  I have this propensity to reach for dark, syrupy, sugar laden drinks that consume an excessive amount of my daily calories that should instead be filled with something that's leafy, green, and full of vitamins.  I usually only have one 12oz. caffeinated beverage daily and that's one too many.  Fortunately I haven't gotten this deep in the world of caffeine junkies...

Check your diabetes at the door.

... but I don't want to take any chances.  I am making efforts to improve the overall health of my life for my self, my fiancĂ©, and the family we hope to have some day.  Working full-time, soon-to-be starting school full-time, and planning a wedding, you think I would be quick to have an IV of pure unadulterated caffeine pumping through my veins around the clock!

I also have a strong affinity for watching hours of mind numbing television because my brain is consumed with all the thoughts that come with working full-time, starting school full-time, and planning a wedding.  I can't get enough of reality t.v....which we all know is not much of reality at all, but it's this drivel that helps me wash away the stress of the day.  Biz wasn't much of a T.V. guy before he and I got together, but I was slowly, unintentionally of course, persuading him over to the dark side.  Before I knew it, I was contemplating fashioning an iPhone into one of these bad boys to get my fix... not really, but it was getting out of control. loving fiancĂ© helped snap me back to reality, our reality...not the manufactured mess that is Bravo reality (which I absolutely LOVE!).  We have both begun to make changes to make sure we maintain a productive and more healthy lifestyle.  A few weeks ago we decided to put our cable on pause for the next few months and  have begun working out pretty consistently since the beginning of the summer.  I have never, EVER, in my life lived without television and was concerned that I would go Ramotional...but so far, I have managed to stay composed.  We compromised and I have a HULU account so that I don't have to go cold turkey.  I've also made an effort, although not consistent, on drinking more water over cans of carbonated caffeine.  I'm hoping these new changes will help keep us productive and healthy.  I guess only time will tell.

I'm hoping that sharing this with all of you will help keep me accountable in my mission. that we're all well acquainted with my vices, anyone else feeling the need to share and make some changes?

Peace, Love, & Nerdy Stuff

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rolly Good Lasagna

So...remember when I decided to create a list of things to accomplish this summer? As you can see, I am slowly but surely making my way through them...although the great t.v. line-ups of summer have been very distracting. One of my list items included cooking something new once a week. Now I haven't exactly stuck to the once a week part of my summer resolution, but I have been trying some new things out. A while back I tried making an easy version of lasagna and was extremely happy. Biz absolutely enjoyed this recipe! (I can't exactly remember where I found this recipe, but there are quite a few online).

You'll Need:

12 lasagna noodles
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach (stems removed)
2 cups (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
4 cups of pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

To Begin:

1. Boil 12 lasagna noodles so that they're a little undercooked (approximately 8 minutes) and drain.

2. While noodles cool down enough for you to handle, mix the next six ingredients in a medium bowl. (You can also add anything else you think might taste good that's not too messy, i.e. tofu or shredded chicken).

3. Pour about cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread it around.

4. Spread the mixture onto your noodles and roll them up

5. Place your rolls, seam down, side by side in the baking dish.

6. Pour the remainder of the sauce on top of the rolls until they're covered. I absolutely love World Classics' Vodka sauce! I tried it for the first time with this recipe and its the perfect balance of tomato and cream. I've only ever seen it at check there if you want to try it out.

7. Cover your dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

8. At the 40 minute mark, remove the foil and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and bake for another 15 minutes and....


You have the most delicious and easiest lasagna ever! This freezes extremely well so I've essentially cooked two dinners in one night. I look forward to pulling the other half of these out of the freezer in a few weeks :)

Let me know if you make it and/or change it up a bit...I'm always looking for great ideas.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

I have to admit one of my guilty pleasures is keeping up on celebrity news/gossip, but what girl doesn't? (Please don't tell me if you're one of them)
I came across a headline on yahoo blogs "Gwyneth Paltrow Recommends Fans get $18,000 worth of Spring Clothes" and I just had to read what it was all about. On her blog, GOOP, she recommends outfits for spring. I do love getting inspiration from the rich and famous. However, some celebs out there tend to give their advice to us regular people on how we can be fabulous like them, but they fail to remember that we have incomes that are 1/1,000,000 of what they earn. So thanks to this wonderful blog I stumbled upon, I was introduced to an awesome and fun website that allows you to dream and play dress up for free! It's called Polyvore and it rocks!

Anywhoo...I am a frugal fiend and super excited when I can buy sale items. I was able to create a similar look for her "Dressed Up" option for around $200, versus the roughly $5,000 original, with most of these great finds on sale! These pieces are also very versatile and can be used to mix and match to create so many more outfits.

Dressed Up for Less

  • Beaded Bracelet - Macy's = $30
  • Braided Chain Necklace - Guess = $10
I know you can do better...Give it a shot!

School's Out for Summer!

School is finally over! For the semester anyway. I've been looking forward to having more time to spend with Biz and completing some overdue projects. I have compiled a list of things (in no particular order) I plan to do this summer and I'm telling you all so I can hold myself accountable! I will probably add to this list as the summer progresses. I'll keep you all updated on my progress!

1. Sand and paint shelves for office

2. Organize craft materials

3. Read at least 10 books (2/10 Completed)

4. Make scrapbook of 2010 road trip

5. Sort through bins and boxes in the garage (Completed 06/05/11)

6. Finish yarn wreath I began making

7. Hang picture gallery (Completed 06/19/11)

8. Begin making beaded head bands

9. Start making greeting cards again

10. Cook a new dish at least once a week

11. Begin outfit catalog (I will explain this one later)


I know not all of you are on a school schedule like I am, but everyone looks forward to summer fun right?! Do you have any "to-do's" for this summer?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lovely Letters

I absolutely have to have this! It's relatively inexpensive and has so many options! Eek!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello There!

“Don’t let your happenings destroy your happiness”

– JoJo Simmons

I and my reality TV, but it was a great show! I know it seems like a strange place to get your motto from, but it works for me. It's something I always try to remind myself when things get rough and tough. More often than not, it manages to to turn my frown upside down...and when it doesn't, that's when I use my other trusty go-to.

Recently I recognized that I have had no time lately to curb my cravings for creativity with all the reading of the novels and writing of the papers to earn another degree and all. It's bananas, but I love it. I can't easily find the time to make crafty stuff. It wouldn't be sane to lug around loads of paper, a hot glue gun, a paper trimmer and buttons to whip out and get crafty when you're waiting around to have your oil changed now would it. One way I can satiate my creative appetite is to make time for blogging again and make all of you read my wonderful musings...Mwah-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha.

Anyhoo...hope you enjoy!