Monday, January 28, 2013

5 for Five---4 for 5!!

It feels good to be back in the loop with 5 for Five with Jessica and Jen and the gang!!

I have some new follower-YAY!! HI friends!! I'm so glad you're here! Join us for this fun blog hop! 

So, I want to reintroduce this fun hop I do every week. It keeps me accountable for what I do (and don't do) each week!!
*Every Monday you post 5 goals that you want to accomplish by the end of the week. On the following Monday, you see if you accomplished them, or if you did not (this happens to me a lot!). Then state what new goals you want to do for the following week. If it sounds confusing, it's not at all!! Take a look below!! Join in!! 

(reminder- red = I did not do it, orange = kinda or half-way did it, and green = completed, CHECK!)
Now here were my last week’s goals: 

Finish everything in my pantry and fridge before I go buy ANYTHING else.
a. I completed this easily! I made chicken and veggies (from my freezer) and even finished the 2 beers I had leftover from when The Boy visited in October! 

Look into the Paleo Diet.
a. The more I looked into it, (and good advice from Elle- love her) it just doesn’t fit my current life style. I’m hoping in the future or when I have more free time I can try this because I love the whole concept and who knows, maybe it’d cure my stomach issues.

Get more than half way through the book I’m currently reading.
a. Love it with every page I turn! I was consumed in this book all of Saturday and Sunday! Go read it, I highly recommend it! (Emily Giffin, Where the Heart Belongs)

 Get 2 important errands done with! 1.) Send out my packages and 2.) go to GoodWill and donate some old books and nick nacks.
a. Got all my Valentine’s Day cards/boxes in the mail. Don’t worry, I put, “Do NOT open until February 14th!”  And I went to GoodWill one day after school- SCORE a free and open trunk for moving!!

 Start planning my friend’s baby shower that’s in March!
a. We e-mailed our Principal and have a date set. Now, it’s time to get e-vites out, decorations planned and baked goods/snacks planned!

YAHOO!!! I don’t think in ALL of the 5 for Fives I’ve participated in, I have EVER succeeded! GO ME! Now… onto this week. It’s going to be a rough week, I can tell already: I’m moving, it’s my birthday, it’s our first full week back at school (we’ve had rain/ice days off & MLK Day), and I get my observation date from my Principal...yikes!

New Goals:
1. Get more than ¾ of the way through with my book.
2. Continue to finish my food at home.
3. Get unpacked and semi organized at Mrs. D’s.
4. Start working out again- FULL FORCE!! No more excuses.
5. Find a nice, easy-to-work-with blog designer, that won’t cost this teacher an arm and a leg. (Read this to see what else I’m seeking advice for)

Bring it on Monday!! Thank goodness for my best friend from home, Al! She sent me a Starbucks gift card and card for my birthday, so you know damn well that I will be using it this week. Cm’on, I hafta---it’s my birthday week!! :) 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Social!!!

Sunday Social here I come!!!

Sunday Social

This week’s questions are very intriguing. I can’t wait to read everyone’s answers. Be patient with me, as some of these answers might change as I read everyone’s. lol!!

  • What is your ideal way to relax?
    •  Ideally, in a perfect world, I would be in a hot bath (that never gets cold) reading a good book with a Starbucks in my hand. Realistically, laying in bed while listening to calming music (ex: Fast Car by, Tracy Chapman) and drinking tea. {Now, that sounds awesome…I haven’t done that in YEARS!}

  • Where is your favorite place to be?
    • Of all time? This one is easy. Ocean Isle Beach, NC. My family and I have been going there for YEARS (since I was a baby) and some of my fondest memories are in those beach houses with family and friends! Oh, how I wish I can go back soon! 

  • Who do you consider your biggest role model?
    • Hmmm…It would be my parents and my Grandpa Dick. (is it ok to have 3 role models? lol) All for pretty much the same reasons; dedicated, honorable, trustworthy and family oriented.

  • What does your life look like in 3 years?
    • Ideally, teaching somewhere in Illinois, owning a house, keeping up with this blog beauty (it’ll have a face-lift by then), engaged with another fur baby!!! Realistically, still living at home (yes, with my parents-to save more $$), hopefully maybe engaged, teaching somewhere in IL and still keeping up with this blog. I can’t wait to look back in 3 years and see where I’ll REALLY be!

  • If you could go back and change one decision, what would it be?
    • This is a hard one. It would probably be to not continue a toxic relationship for so long. I know that’s not really a decision, but I’m pretty confident in all my choices so far in my life. If I had to go back and change on decision, who knows where I’d be today. And (besides being away from my family and The Boy) I am pretty damn content with my life right now!

  • What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?
    •  Another hard question but a thought provoking one. I would say graduating college and landing a full-time teaching job right out of college. This would then lead me to my next big accomplishment, moving to a brand new town I’ve never heard of, on my own.

Loved those questions. Can’t wait to read everyone else’s. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I need some blog design and camera help. I'm looking for advice!!!

I’ll also be linking up tomorrow with Jessica and Jen for 5 for Five because I’m pretty proud of myself this week…hey, it’s lil’ steps people!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Random Catching Up Time

This is the last week I will be without internet!! I've gotten a lot done; reading my book, packing, getting Valentine's Day gifts in the mail. I am definitely ahead of the game here!

My birthday is next week as well and I have no idea what to say when my family asks, "Kristen, what do you want for your birthday?" Now, I usually say I have no idea. And up until this morning, I really had NO idea what I wanted. 

But first, I want an Erin Condren Planner. The only problem. I want the 2013-2014 planner and that's not coming out until summer. BOO!! Look how pretty this is and it can be all mine!!

I'm obsessed with all things organization. Now, one that comes into my apartment might argue, but I know where everything is in my apartment, classroom, get the picture! I tried using the iCal app on my phone, but something about having a paper planner, seeing it all laid out and being able to write in it with PRETTY pens, excites me! :)

This is the Canon EOS Rebel T1i

Now, with this one, I've been thinking about this a lot and I want a nice, 'professional' camera. I want to learn to take nice photos, but something easy to use. I even went to BestBuy and asked some camera expert their opinion. Now, I know they're expensive, that's why I want to become educated on it and take classes to get the most out of a nice camera. Now, camera people, which one should I look into AND do I NEED photoshop as well? I hear so many great things about it, but it's soooooo expensive!! 

If not this year, I'll buy one myself after some sort of accomplishment. Now, I have to make some sort of deal or goal and if I achieve it, I will have an excuse to buy myself this lil' gem! ::insert happy-face here::

On another note, I have continued to read all your lovely blogs on my phone these past few weeks and decided I think I want a blog makeover or face lift. I don't have a button, signature, or social media buttons and I want NOW! 

My lovely friend Sarah (bless her heart) tried to tell me how to make my own button and even gave me the link and URL code and... I just couldn't do it. I didn't know how to use Gimp (a photo application and I've tried PhotoBucket, but my images weren't loading onto the website) and on top of that, when I kinda not really at all figured it out, I had no idea what I wanted my button to look like. Umph!

So, I've come to the conclusion that I want to invest in someone ELSE redesigning my blog. I've made the decision that I want to have this blog for years and years down the road. For me, spending hours upon hours trying to get a picture uploaded for a 'button', or getting frustrated because my URL won't cooperate, just does not sound fun to me.

Now, my wonderful bloggy friends, who do you recommend? 
I want something simple, but classy and with all the bells and whistles. I want someone who will be willing to be flexible and willing to change the name of my blog, once I get married. (Yes, I already know my new blog name once I tie the knot...wierd? Go ahead and judge me, oh well!) :)

I've done some lookin' around, but there are too many to choose from. I thought asking around and getting personal recommendations would be easier. Once I decide, I'll let the designer know that you sent me over. :)

My life in a picture- Starbucks and weekly lesson plans

Now onto what I've been up to. It's not a lot, so I'll keep it short.

  • Packing up the rest of my apartment because I'm moving into Mrs. D's house this week!!
  • I've been reading A LOT. I simply cannot put down the book, Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.
  • Today, here in Northern Tennessee, schools have been canceled because of an ice storm we had over night. I woke up at 5 am (like I usually do) and was getting ready when I got the call at 5:20 that all schools were cancelled! SCORE! Went back to sleep for another 4 hours!
  • Had a hard week at work. I'll just keep it at that. 
  • Making the rest of my meals for the week, so I can pack up my kitchen.
  • 29 more days until my Mom and Dad come to visit me down here!! :)
  • 53 days until Spring Break and I can go see The Boy and my family at home.

That's about it. Sorry, it was a long post, but it was building up. I hope everyone had a great weekend and I'll see y'all on Sunday for the Sunday Social!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Skin Story- pt. II

(You can read part I here)

Now let me back up here.
(My friend S and I at the beach in NC, 2005?)

 I’ve had skin problems and a few scares since I was 10 years old with 2 different dermatologists. The first dermatologist I went to was cutting into my skin every time I visited her to remove any moles or freckles she thought even looked weird or abnormal. My parents wanted a second opinion to make sure all of these procedures were necessary. That’s when I went to the leading doctor for skin cancer in Illinois and was officially diagnosed with dysplastic nevus syndrome. I have had 7 removed surgically and 3 of those came back positive for atypical cells, which meant they had cancerous cells in them, but nothing more than that. My doctor had to go back in and cut out those 3 surrounding areas of the moles to make sure the bad and cancerous cells did not spread.
(Self tanner used in this picture-I'm on the far left)

Many people ask me how has your life been changed or different since your diagnosis? And honestly, my life since my diagnosis hasn’t been all that different, other than I’ve eliminated the tanning salon from my life. When I visited my (now) second doctor she asked, “how many times I’ve been tanning in a tanning bed?” I laughed and asked her, “do you want an exact number?” She’s sternly said, “yes, exact!” I had to look to my mom like, are you kidding me? I was that high school girl who went tanning before EVERY dance, every time there was a ‘big party’ or just when I felt pale in general. So, for my dermatologist to ask me for a specific number, I had to be honest and say, “at least 100 times.” The look on her face petrified me. I did tell her however, that since the removal of a big mole scare, I have not gone. When my doctor told me about my diagnoses, I was shocked, sad and upset. I was shocked because I had the mentality that it would never happen to me. Sad because I know how serious this is and upset at myself for being so na├»ve and thinking I was invincible. 
(Another self-tanner picture this past Christmas. My sister and I (on the left))

It has been difficult hearing the comments like, “Geez, Kristen do you get out in the sun much?” or, “Have you ever seen the sun? You need color!” I end up telling them I can’t go tanning and they usually pipe down, but nonetheless, it still hurts because I can’t do anything about the color of, or lack there of, my skin. I use sunless tanner, occasionally, but it smells bad, stains my clothes or runs down my face when I work out.
I would tell the younger me that being tan may be what’s popular or cute, but it’s not worth it. Sunless tanner does the same thing, without the dangers. When the leading doctor in skin cancer told me how serious my condition is and how careful I have to be, it really made me think how stupid I was to go tanning all those years. I wish I had embraced my pale skin and not be listen to what people said about me. It took me a long time (and many dermatologist appointments) to be comfortable in my own skin.
My dermatologist told me once, that I would also tell other people is that the chances of developing melanoma or dysplastic nevus syndrome goes up 40% just by going tanning once. Think about it…

5 for Five: I'm BACK!

Only temporarily though. I still don't have internet, and because most teachers have off today, I'm sitting in my apartment clubhouse using the internet. I promise I will be a better blogger come Feb. 1st, when I get internet back in my life. :)

Anyways, I don't have last week's goals, so I'm just going to start new!!! (It's always good to do once in awhile) 


My goals for this week are:
1. Finish everything in my pantry and fridge before I go buy ANYTHING else. (I want to start fresh when I move at the end of the month)
2. Look into the Paleo Diet. (I've done a little research on this and I like the way it works actually. No gimmicks or tough juicing kick. Has anyone else heard of this?) This is also the same as eating healthier.

3. Get more than half way through the book I'm currently reading. It's by Emily Giffin called, Where We Belong. So far, so GOOD! (I need more recommendations after I'm done with this one!)

4. Get 2 IMPORTANT errands done with! 1.) Send out my packages, I have put together for Valentine's Day. (yes, I know...but if I don't do it now, I'll never do it!). And 2.) Go to GoodWill and donate the old (kid) books in my trunk, along with some nick backs I've found while cleaning my apartment out. 
5. Start planning my friend's baby shower that's in March!! (or atleast e-mail our Principal about a date after one of our Professional Development days and start looking at CHEAP invites!) She's not due until April 14th!! 

I think these are pretty reasonable for me! Let's hope! Can't wait to read everyone else's goals. For everyone else who has the day off, enjoy it. I know I will! Have a great day y'all!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Social- In 3's!!

I'm joining the Sunday Social today with Neely and the gang!

This Week’s Questions: All about 3′s
Top 3 Favorite Kinds of Food: Mac & Cheese, ice cream and banana with peanut butter (yes, I'm weird)!!

First 3 Things you do in the morning: Brush my teeth, turn the TV on, get dressed
Last 3 Things you do at night: Check my phone, turn on FRIENDS (and then put TV on sleep for 30 mins) and take my socks off.
3 TV shows you NEVER miss: Teen Mom, American Idol, Biggest Loser
3 Places you want to visit: Italy, Fiji, and England
3 People you can always count on: My Parents & Sister (they count as one-lol), The Boy and my best friend, Al. 

 **I can't wait for next week's Sunday Social!! I hope everyone has a great Sunday and my teacher friends who have off tomorrow, ENJOY IT! I know I will! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Skin Story- part I

Lately, I've been compelled to tell this story of mine. Nothing big happened, just thinking about getting a dermatologist appointment set up, has me wanting to share my story. 

(Me at Prom. I stopped tanning about 6 months before this)

When I was younger, I wish I were more confident in myself. Like all teenagers, I wanted to fit in. Throughout Junior High I was bouncing back and forth between groups. My best friend had moved away in 8th grade and I had to learn to be social by myself. Being a teenager is hard. I wanted to fit in and be like all the other girls my age. Which leads me into, what I like to call it, my skin story. 

(My friend S and I in high school- I'm on the left. If you look closely, you can see my tanning heart on my right hip)

The first time I went tanning I was in 7th grade. It was after a comment was made towards me from a teacher on how pale I was. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was in the cafeteria with my group of friends eating. We were talking with one of the teachers that was supervising the lunch room. He told me he was going to start calling me Elmer, because I was as white as Elmer’s Glue. I just laughed because being in 7th grade, I never thought it was a big deal that I was pale… I didn’t know what else to do. I don’t remember anything after that, really. I guess you can say that was the beginning of me being self-conscious of my pale skin. I remember my mom taking me to the tanning salon in 7th grade because I probably begged her to.

(This is my freshmen year of college. I'm on the right looking mighty tan-for me!)

By the time my freshmen year of high school came around, I remember my girlfriends and I would go to the tanning salon rather than out to lunch (like normal people do- ha!). I wish I knew back then, what I know now. Fast-forward; through one toxic relationship gone bad, going off to and then graduating from college, finding the perfect guy, and during those 9 years, I was tanning on a regular basis! The tanning salon employees knew my name. However, About 3 years ago, June 2010 to be exact, I was medically diagnosed with dysplastic nevus syndrome, which is a skin condition, which can be passed down genetically, or be brought on by over exposure to tanning or the sun. Light skin and light eyed people are more likely to get it. Dysplastic nevus syndrome is where the majority of the moles and freckles on your body are more likely to (but not automatically) turn into cancerous moles. Once diagnosed with this condition, I have to be closely monitored almost every month. If I’m clean of abnormal moles, I can skip the next month. With each appointment comes a full body check, which includes looking for irregular looking moles and/or freckles. Depending how severe the mole looks, it can just be monitored closely, or it must come off by surgery. Surgery involves removing the mole and sending it to a lab. That’s when they test it for atypical cells, which cause cancer, or more specific melanoma.
My friend J and I last summer in the Dominican Republic. (I'm on the right)

pt. II coming next...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Hey it's ok" Thursdays

Its Ok Thursdays

I haven't done one of these in awhile and I think this is the perfect time to do it!

It's OK...
 ...that I'm blogging at school because I have no internet at home.
...that I still watch (depending on the day) Boy Meets World or Full House in the mornings when I'm getting ready and eating breakfast.
...that I sometimes have no clue what I'm teaching until about 5 minutes before. wake up every house throughout the night, because you think you've over slept. have some sort of dessert after lunch and dinner. (That's what hersey kisses are for!)
...that I am not even close to being all packed up for my move at the end of the month. It'll happen...eventually. be in bed by 7:30 most nights!
...that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the whole season 4 of FRIENDS on Sunday, while eating cereal. miss home.
...that I think about my future way too much.

That's it until next week! I'm loving that we had a day off yesterday for 'bad weather'! Ohhhh The South, you make me giggle!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Social: Blog Edition

Here's to my first Sunday Social of 2013!!

Now, before I get to it, I want to say that I'm currently sitting at Panera eating my pumpkin muffie and hot tea (bought with a gift card!) reading blog posts from weeks ago from some of my favorite/usual blogs. If you're asking why I'm not sitting at the comfort of my own home...well I don't have internet and won't have it again until February 1st. 

But, for someone like me, who wants to blog on a daily basis AND wants to READ my favorite blogs... it's not the greatest situation.

So here we go:

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging? 
The name of my blog is The Very Unofficial Adult and I've been blogging (hold on let me check my stats) October 21st, 2010! HOLY COW! This is my first post.
2. Why do you blog? 
I blog as an outlet. It's like my journal. I've never been one to talk very articulate or discuss how I'm feeling (which I'm working on), but you give me a pen and paper (or in this case, a blank screen and keyboard) I can write anything and everything. I also blog to educate myself on things I'm not to familiar with (crafting, religion, relationships, etc.). I love the relationships I've formed and reading stories or situations that are similar to mine.
3. What is the first blog you ever followed? 
My good friend, Erin over at Life As It Is. Some of my firsts were Hanna at Bouffee e bambini and Jessica at Fantastically Average. I've been following both of these ladies for so long that if we were to meet face-to-face I think we'd have a lot to chat about!
4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2012? 
Ohhh, this is a hard one. (Let me go back and check real fast)---This post about running my first 1/2 marathon. My I Betcha didn't know post. And my first ever blog award!! 
5. What are your blogging goals for 2013? 
My top goals for my blog this year is to get a 'button', a 'signature' and to possibly go to a blogging convention!! Have any of you gone to one? If so, what did you learn? Would you recommend it? 
6. Top 3 favorite blogs to follow?
I have more than 3. But I'll try...
Michelle @ The Vintage Apple

I can't wait to hop around all these blogs!! I hope everyone has a fabulous Sunday!!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

5 for 2013: Goals!!!

I know I'm a little late, but today has really been the first day since the New Year that I've had time to just sit and blog. And boy, it feels nice!

I wanted to join in Jessica and Jen for this fun edition of 5 for Five 2013. Today, instead of sharing five goals for the week, set five goals that you hope to accomplish in the new year!  

1. Adopt a cleaner life style. 
And (like Jessica) just be more 'clean' with my eating. Meal planning has been helping me a lot and I just want to continue that. This also includes working out/running again. I've kinda hit a realization that this will probably be the best shape I will ever be in my life, so why not prolong it and try to stay healthy as long as I can?
**Any good healthy recipe suggestions?? I'm all ears!

2. Figure out more about this blog thing. 
I have no idea how to get a button or signature. How do I get ad spaces? Even though I've been blogging for close to 3 years, I'm still clueless on a lot of this stuff. Any help or suggestions? Would going to a blogging convention or 'boot camp' educate me on this stuff? 

3. Be more in the moment. 
Just in general. I need to stop worrying about the future and live in present day. I'm having a hard time currently with the situation I'm in. Just being away from my life in Chicago. But, I look on the bright side; I have a job here and people I now consider good friends, that like to drink wine!! 
I also need to work on being patient with my students and really listen to them if they have something to say.

4. Grow more in my relationship with the ones closest to me. 
This includes my family, The Boy and the few good friends I have left. It never hurts to talk about serious issues and concerns. In a way I feel like talking about difficult things can bring 2 people closer together and definitely doesn't hurt to talk about the future either! ;)

5. Save money. 
Hands down the one I want to succeed in so badly. This means that I want to be financially independent without my parents help. Yes, I'm almost 24 and yes, my mom pays for my phone bill (it's a family plan) and yes, they still pay for my car insurance, but I'm hoping to start paying for both of those this year. (By the way, I do have the best parents in the world!!) This also means that I have to realize I don't NEED that Starbucks in the morning or that Panera on weekends. While I am moving into Mrs. D's house in a few weeks (which will save me money and I couldn't be more excited), that doesn't mean that I can now afford the Starbucks or Panera (unless I have giftcards!!). I want to instead put that money aside for bigger and better things!
I know within the next couple years, I will be having a lot of big expenses headed my way and I want to be as financially independent and responsible as I can be.

The Boy and I on NYE in Chicago.

I'm excited to read everyone else's 2013 goals. I have a feeling 2013 will be a great year!!! :)

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Technology Flub

We (or atleast I) rely on it way too much! I forgot my Internet hub at home back in Chicago, so I don't have Internet access on my computer.

However, I do on my phone. As those of you who know how annoying it is to blog on your iPhone, you'll understand when I say, I'll be MIA on my scheduled posts.

But, I will be going to Panera Bread tomorrow (with computer in hand) for some soup, salad and blogging!!

Until then, I'll be finishing this book and starting a new one. (I'll take more book suggestions if you have any!!)

Hope everyone is having a great start to the new year!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy Holiday/NYE....catch up!

I apologize I've been MIA these past 2 weeks. I havne't been completely MIA  I have so many posts planed about this upcoming year, I'm excited. This is what I've been up to here in Chicago: Picture Edition...

My family + A (The Boy's best friend-lol)

 Ugly Sweater Train Crawl


So, needless to say, I had a great time with great friends, family, my fur babies and good food! I leave tomorrow back to reality. It's a bittersweet feeling. But, I can't wait to see my kids. I miss them!! 
This is us the day before break in our Christmas hats. :)

My grandpa's grave decorated for the holidays. My aunt and cousin went there a few days after christmas! :) Love you and miss you Grandpa. RIP!

NYE resolutions and goals coming soon....