Sunday, December 22, 2013

BIG Changes and BIG Deals

First...look what happened December 8th, 2013!!!

YES!!! The Boy and I are engaged and we couldn't be happier. 

How he did "it": He put a red note on Bronx's (our dog) collar and The Boy told me to go get Bronx from outside and I noticed the red tag and I was asking The Boy why he had it on him. I finally got Bronx to get the tag off and on the front it said "To: Mommy" and I opened it and it said, "Will you be my mommy...forever?" I freaked out threw the cards in the snow and turned around and he was on one knee...and you know what happens after that!

Let the wedding planning begin. Any good websites or advice? I'm all ears! Ahhh.... I still can't believe it! I'm sooooo happy!!

Another big deal news, although not AS big of a deal as the engagement, we started our business and partnership with a great local team here in the Northwest Suburbs. 

The FiancĂ© (that'll be his new name) and I are driving business online to small and large corporations. We are partners with the Amway corporation. They have 3 exclusive products lines; an all natural vitamin and supplement line called Nutrilite, a top of the line make-up and skincare line called Artistry, and an all organic, safe and natural cleaning product Legacy of Clean. We are so excited to start this venture in our life. 

Check out our business page here. More on demonstrations, giveaways, and testimonials from friends and family. Please let me know if you'd like me to send you some free sample products based on a product line that looks most appealing to you in exchange for your honest reviews of the products.

Well, it's football Sunday around here. That means while The FiancĂ© watches screams and swears at the football games, I'm looking at Pinterest for wedding ideas and meal planning for the week and making my to-do lists for the week.

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday week full of laughter, family, friends and fun!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Finally...Turkey Day!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey day! I had parent/teacher conferences Monday and Tuesday. My family drove to Virginia last Saturday morning and so I flew out Tuesday night to meet them in Roanoke. This is the e-mail I compiled to my mom midair from Chicago to Charlotte. ((Let me remind you, I needed to get into Roanoke, VA...)) 


So far, into this hour flight...

1.) there has been continuous baby crying/screaming… they are not stopping to breath either. Continuous, no joke! (oh and did I mention there are now 4 babies on board)

2.) my phone died right after I got off the phone with you (good thing I have my phone charger—hopefully I can find an outlet somewhere in the Charlotte airport…but the way today is going, I’m not counting on it)

3.) a man was getting his jacket out of the overhead bin and the jacket and a small man purse dropped on me….which in turn, made my diet coke spill all over me, oh and did I mention….I was working on all my lesson plans for the next 3 weeks. FML! 

4.) Oh and i figured out Mickey (my pup) peed on my black leggings I have on when I was home (I obviously didn’t realize it) and now I’m smelling it. (these strangers smell just as bad, so I’m not too worried about it)

5.) I found out my flight to Lynchburg is delayed 2 hours!!!

6.) I havent eaten anything except fruit snacks since 11:30 AM...

….can you tell I’m going a tad crazy????

I need a tall glass of wine waiting for me in the car.

Well, I hope everyone has a great turkey day. I'm thankful that I'm finally here and I'm currently in a house that smells great. 
Last year, Black Wednesday

Last year, Thanksgiving with The Boy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

How Do You Know?

How do you know you're ready for the next step...

in your career?

moving out and the whole renting vs. buying?

in your relationship?

These 3 questions have been keeping me up at night. NO JOKE! I just can't figure it out. Everyone says, you'll know when the time is right...I don't believe them. Let me explain further...

How do I know if I'm ready to take out another loan to put myself through grad school? I'm still $15,000+ in debt from my undergrad. :::sigh::: However, (side note and to make the long story short: I was a terrible not so good student when I was growing up. It wasn't until I went to college that I really "got it"---sad? Maybe. But oh well) it has always been a dream of mine to earn my Masters degree in the field of education. I haven't decided in what or where, but I know I want to pursue it and accomplish that. So, you might ask, why don't you? It's a little green papery thing called money. Ya, don't have that. But if I don't have it now, when will I have it? Certainly NOT when I'm ready to buy a house, nor when I'm getting married and certainly not when I'm ready to have kids because all 3 of those come slightly before my Masters degree. Therefore, when is the right time to go back to school?

How do I know when to move out? I'm currently living back at home with my parents (and more recently my little sister also moved back home---one big happy family AGAIN lol) not paying rent. Since I've moved back home, I have been paying off more on my student loans per month. The Boy (yes, we're still together) is still living at home as well, since he did go back to school and works on the nights he doesn't have class. He only lives literally 4 minutes away. So, neither of us are paying rent and instead, we're paying off as much on our loans as we can. We're ready to move in together (and I'm ready to by on our own) but it's a matter of being educated on the whole real estate world. We don't want to waste money renting an apartment and with a dog (and wanting many more), it's not the most ideal. So we're willing to stay in our homes until we figure that out. On top of everything, we don't know where to start looking because we don't know where we want to live. It really depends on where ever The Boy gets a job and we won't know that until January. Would we even qualify for a pre-approval or mortgage with all of our student loan debt? Who knows?!

How do I know (100%) if I'm ready to take the next step in my relationship with The Boy? I mean we're talking about FOREVER!!! That's not something I take lightly. I feel like we've talked about our future a lot lately, but I'm not sure if we've talked about the BIG things. For example; how would we pay for a wedding? We come from different family dynamics, so how would that play a part of OUR future together? Would he resent me if I couldn't have kids? Who would take care of the financial stuff? Are we willing to move somewhere else if jobs are lacking here (for both of us)? Are we willing to split different 'chores' around the house? And just long term goals. Forever is a scary thought. Any pivotal questions or conversations you needed to have before 'forever'?

I know everything will happen the way it's suppose to, so for that reason, I'm not all too worried about it. I know I will get my masters someday, when I'm married to my best friend in our new house. :::insert a sign of relief)

Back to blogging again and man, that felt good to write!

Monday, September 09, 2013


Hi long lost blog friends! Woah---let me tell you, the beginning of the school year is never easy or smooth. I've been at school practically 24/7.

Anyways, I was approached by Smile Makers awhile ago to do a post about anything on their website. I picked an awesome treasure box for my kiddos (aka my students) for the behavior incentive I do in my class.
Look at how big it is!!! (Excuse my mess of a desk)
The first day I brought it to school, I put it above my file cabinet trying to hide it...silly Kristen, the kids spotted it the moment they walked in. Duhhh!!

The kids couldn't wait to fill up their hole punch card to see what was in the box. The anticipation was killing them!

When my first group of kids filled up their punch card, they all lined up behind my desk to take their first look...and all the "ohhhhh's and ahhhhh's" were great!!

Look at all these goodies! It was just right for 1st graders. There are little stuffed animals, kitten slap bracelets, bugs, silly putty, puzzles and so much more.

3 weeks into school and my kids are still finding new things in there every time they get to go in there again.

Please go take a look at the great website and all they have to offer!

About SmileMakers

  • SmileMakers has been helping teachers to create smiles for over 35 years.  You can count on us to make a difference in your classroom.  
  • We have what you need!  We bring you products you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Our product safety testing meets or exceed Consumer Products Safety standards.
  • We offer quick, easy, hassle-free ordering online and on the phone.
  • Same day shipping means most orders are received within 1-5 business days.
  • Everyday low prices on a wide selection of giveaways.  Plus get great sale offers when you sign up for emails.
  • Everything at SmileMakers is backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - If your order doesn’t meet your expectations, just call us to exchange or return for a full refund.  We’ll even pay the return freight.
  • SmileMakers is based in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • SmileMakers is a business unit of Quill Corporation, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Staples, Inc.
    You can benefit too:
    1. SmileMakers offers Teacher Perks, added savings, just for teachers. Teachers will receive free shipping with any order of $49 or more or $4.99 flat rate shipping with any order of $48.99 or less. Teachers will also get special private sales & free gift offers!
    Here’s a special, limited-time code for bloggers to put on their sites for teachers to use as the school year gets started:  To receive 10% off, no minimum order required, plus FREE Shipping with any order of $29 or more use promo code SMILE25 at checkout.  Free Standard Shipping valid in the contiguous United States and Canada.  Offer expires 9/27/13.

    Thank you so much SmileMakers for helping a teacher out.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm sad

I'm sad because I haven't had time to catch up on blogs, write some of my own or get any computer time at all.

You know the school year has begun when you're at school more than you're at home.

This will be my second year teaching, but first year in a new school back here in Chicago.

My first day of school was today and I have 22 precious kids. I can tell this is going to be a great, fun year.

For now, my focus is on getting the school year off to a great start, so I'm taking a little blogging hiatus.

I hope you understand. In a few weeks, I'll be back with many stories, I'm sure.

I hope everyone is getting back in the school routine.

If there is one thing I learned this summer it's that I do not function very well without a daily schedule. I like to know where I have to be, when, how long and more importantly, what time I'm going to bed and waking up in the morning.

I leave you with one of my favorite Pins that explains how today went perfectly.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday!

This is my first Five on Friday link up, so I'm pretty stoked. 

This week I've been wanting to write a lot. There is so much on my mind lately and I just find it hard to find the time to write about it. So here are all the short versions: 

1. Cancer has snuck out of it's evil hole full force recently and it sucks. I know 2 women right now that are suffering from cancer. The Boy's grandma has lung cancer. She is such an independently strong woman that she's having a very hard time with her diagnosis. The other women is a great family friend (my parent's best friends) and she has been having an on-going battle with a glioblastoma tumor (which is in the brain) for the passed couple of months. Oh, and she is a breast cancer survivor, which is has about 7 years ago. Watching these strong women go through such a vicious disease, really makes me realize that I cannot take my health for granted and that with one doctor's appointment, everything can change. 

2. School is approaching and I'm still a tad frustrated. My mom is coming to help me in my classroom Monday, so I hope to get a lot done there. I'm such a planner, that not knowing the first week's schedule or spelling words is driving me B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!!!

3. The future. And everything that comes with it. It's a little scary. How do I know if I'm ready to get married? Buy a house? Move out (or in) with The Boy. Any suggestions?? I sometimes still feel 18 even though I get told I still look it all the time. Speaking of The Boy, in November (we think) we will have been together for 4 years!! That's a frickin' long ass time. That's crazy!!! Longer than any of my other relationships and frankly, longer than I ever thought we'd last, but I'm so thankful that it has. He is one very lucky guy (as I say) and The Boy says I am one very lucky girl. Safe to say, I think we're meant for each other. What are some 'big' questions you wished you would have talked about before moving in together or getting married? The Boy doesn't like to have conversations about serious things (though we've had some), so I know we need to work on communicating about (money, the future, etc.) those things better. However, communication is something I feel can always be improved.

4. I've been really thinking about going gluten free lately. Has anyone read Wheat Belly? I'm still having stomach issues and I'm not buying the whole "you just have IBS" business. The only thing with this is that it'll take time and planning on my part. I would have to research things I can and cannot eat and make a meal calendar, so I know what I'm eating when, so I don't cheat. I'm not sure how long I'll do this for, but I want to try it at least for a month. Is any gluten-free and if so, what are some of your favorite recipes and resources for it?

5. I need a vacation. I haven't been on one in I can't even remember and that's not a good sign a very long time. I've been looking on Groupon Getaways page, Living Social Escapes page and my new favorite vacation deal spot, Jetsetter. I wanted to go somewhere this summer, but with school starting in 2 weeks, it's not going to happen, so I'm hoping spring break time? I'm crossing my fingers! 
Turks and Caicos
 Turks and Caicos
Take me there now!!!

I'm looking forward to reading some of y'alls Five on Friday topics and possibly meeting some new friends!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My first EVER SWW!

I'm linking up with Shannon for my first ever (or first in a long, long time) So What Wednesday! It's been one of those weeks days.

Today I'm saying "So what"...

-If I had a donut for breakfast this morning. I don't even feel bad about it.

-If I am addicted to throughly enjoy reality TV.

-If I haven't worked out in 2 weeks. I'll get to it, I swear!

-If I haven't written a blog posts in a few's a work in progress!!

-If I've been looking at houses on Zillow. Not that I can afford anything right now, but it's nice to know what you want when that time comes.

-If I'm already a little aggravated at my new school. No spelling curriculum yet and don't have any pacing guides for any subjects....ugh!

-If I'm going to say I'm 'trying' out a new gym, when really, I just want the 1st trial month free. This way, I can start getting in the groove before school starts.

I hope everyone has a good Wednesday. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

5 Things I Was Terrible at as a Kid

I totally stole this idea from Stephanie at Bourbon and Glitter, but I loved it so much I wanted to do one as well.
I'm on the right. Sister's on the left. 

1. Sharing. Enough said. 
2. Trying new foods. I could have won 'pickiest child in america' gold medal when I was little. Not much has changed now. I know what I like and don't like.
3. Reading. I hated it because I was not good at it and never understood what I was reading.
4. Sports. My sister was the athletic one (and when on to play volleyball in college) in the family. Although, I loved all the sports I participated in, I never won a state medal, nor was I the best in my school. I was just an average jane that tried to play softball, gymnastics and diving. HA!
5. Waking up.  I remember my mom would come wake me up for school and I'd just yell at her, roll over and be late for school. No, not high school, more like elementary school and Jr. High. I was horrible! There were numerous time where my mom made me walk to school or call a neighbor to come pick me up because I was a selfish 6th grader. 

What were you terrible at as a kid? 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Any Takers?

Hi Friends---long time to blog!

This week I'll be taking a little break from bloggy land to get some major work done in my classroom. Teachers, you understand, the earlier you can get into your room...the better, I hope right? 

I want to see if anyone would like to do a guest post for me? It can be about anything and everything! I'm excited about this because I think it'll be fun to get a new perspective on here. Let me know if you're interested!

I have many blog posts schedule for the following week, so I'm working on those as well! :)

One of the posts I'm working on is a Q & A post. I've seen (and participated) in many blogger Q & A's posts and find them so interesting and a fun way to get to know each other...even more! So, if there is anything you want to know. just ask!! You can ask me anything. I'm an open book!

Until then, these are some things I'm currently doing:

Thinking about: Everything I still have to do in this classroom of mine.
The iPhone 5 takes panorama views! How neat!

Reading: Gone Girl by: Gillian Flynn. Oh-Em-Gee...I've sat outside every night for an hour just reading this great book. I just got to a very intense part!

Planning: In my new Erin Condren Life Planner! It finally arrived and I'm super duper excited!

Drinking: Iced creamer coffee with a dash of this deliciousness!

Dreaming: Of the next time I get to go to Ocean Isle Beach, NC. It's only 17 hours from me. Now too bad, right?

Loving: This little guy! He did so well at doggie training this week. I'm one proud fur mama!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Finally.... OHP & What I've Been Up To

I haven't done one of these since I got my blog 'facelift', so I'm pumped!

Link up and join us

Lately, all I can think about is school and my classroom, so these first few pins are for school.

Now, onto random pins that I also love! :)

I would love to have this one day!!

Now, onto pictures. It was a long, but fun filled weekend full of all things weddings!!! I was in one of my good girlfriend's wedding on July 6th, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. I love you Cait and so happy for your new adventure with your Mr.
Rehearsal Dinner

 Getting ready the morning of the wedding. Bride in the middle.
 "The" dress
 Mid hair :)
 The gorgeous bride and I
 My friend, Al and I
 The Boy and Al's boyfriend went golfing that morning while we were getting all pretty. This is an 'after golf/getting a drink' pic. 

 After a long night of dancing, drinking and food....can you tell?? ;)

I hope everyone had a fantastic long weekend!! Happy Wednesday! 

Thursday, July 04, 2013


My twitter friends, you know what this means, right?

If you haven't already joined the twitter band wagon, don't worry, I'll fill you in.

The '#' sign means that it's a popular word or saying among the Twitter world.

So, the 'tbt' means Throw Back Thursday. Hence, #tbt means that many people on twitter are posting old pictures of themselves, friends or family on twitter. And I have been a frequent tweet-er when it's Thursday strictly because of #tbt days! (My fellow twitter friends, you get what I mean, right?) 

Well, I'm dedicating this post to the recent pictures I've found in our basement. Let the fun begin!!

My dad teaching my little sister and I how to play golf. 


My precious little sister at Ocean Isle Beach, NC back in 1994?

 Our good family friends and us at the beach house (once again at Ocean Isle).

 My 7th (or 8th) birthday party. It was a dance party :)

 And the best for last....don't ask. I have no idea where we learned this and neither do my parents!

Oh, and by the way, follow me on twitter @kl3iva .  Happy Thursday!!!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Tio Says Don't Forget...

To follow me on BlogLovin'!!!
Tio thinks you should follow me on BlogLovin'. Don't forget!
I haven't lost GoogleReader yet, but I'm already on BlogLovin' and already "lovin'" it.

I wanted to do a quick update on my puppy, Tio. Well, he's not a puppy anymore, but he acts like one.

My sister works for a minor league baseball team here in one of the suburbs of Chicago and a couple weeks ago, the field hosted a Bark in the Park game night. So, everyone brought their dogs into the stadium and had a great night.

Me, Tio and my sister before Tio's First Fetch!!

And Coop (the mascot) wanted in on the picture too!

...still waiting for the first fetch! 

I threw the tennis ball across home plate...

...and he caught it! Makes this fur mama proud! 

Of course, Tio would only look at the tennis ball, not the camera.

Me, Coop, my sister and Tio!

My dad, Tio and I watching the baseball game!

I highly encourage you to look up dog outings in your area! If you live in the Chicagoland area, I highly suggest you head out to the Schaumburg Boomers. They have another Bark in the Park in August--look it up! :)