Thursday, December 29, 2016

& There Goes Another Year, Round 2...

I did a post similar to this one last year, and it was so fun to look back on all of the things I did during 2015. So, let's take a trip down memory lane and see what 2016 was like!

Honestly, January wasn't that exciting of a month. I have very few blog posts from January. Apparently, I was boring.

Told someone about the blog! That person was Janell and shortly after she started her own blog! So that was pretty cool! :)

Finally got my Kate Spade bag that I wanted forever, as a graduation present from my awesome momma! We also went to Hawaii for Spring Break, which is slowly becoming a family tradition that I love!

Went to a few job fairs, went to a few interviews, and stressed a lot about whether or not I would get a job for the upcoming year. 

So many things happened in May! I shared my testimony for the first time, got a job, and started planning for my classroom.

Uh, I graduated from flipping COLLEGE!

Procrastinated, and worked at science camp!

I was boring again. Sorry. :) 

Got Tuff (our puppy!) 

Did some major classroom work!

Continued teaching
Started coaching
Drank lots of coffee
Started getting my nails done monthly.

Two year with Ry!

Turned 23
Became a crazy Christmas person
Shopped way too much
Got ready for the new year! ;) 

What was the highlight of your year?
Hopes for 2017?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Apparently, I Had #goals for 2016...

I was browsing my posts from December of last year looking for inspiration for this year, and found this post detailing the goals I had for 2016... oops. Definitely left those in December of 2015.

So, let's see how I did.. just for funsies!

Blog Goals

1. Post at least once a week. - 
2. Spend time reading others' blogs and commenting!
3. Sponsor/Interact

Well, these definitely didn't go as planned. #1 was a solid fail. I would say that I definitely did post once a month at least, but that weekly goal wasn't happening. I'm hoping now that things have calmed down I'l get back into more of a consistent blogging schedule.

I did really try this year to spend time reading others blogs, but I only commented about 50% of the time. Sometimes this was because I was busy, but I definitely want to start putting effort into leaving thoughtful comments for others. If I read their blog, I want them to know!

Lastly, I did sponsor once or twice, but I don't even remember what year it was... does anyone have any recommendations for this? Good bloggers to work with? Send them my wayyyy. I consider myself to fall into the education/lifestyle corner of the blogosphere.

Personal Goals

1. Focus on the positive
2. Have some sort of a plan lined up for next year
3.Have some sort of 'yay you survived college' celebration planned

I did better here! I definitely feel like I've been more positive this year, especially lately. And how could I not be when life is so great? Hopefully things continue!

Obviously I figured out a plan for this year! I'm living in the same house, with great roommates, and have a full-time job in the field I graduated from. Woo!

I haven't had a 'yay you survived college' celebration as extravagant as I'd originally planned, but I did go to the coast with my family after graduating (it was a surprise) and that was fun! Also, we're most likely going to Hawaii again for spring break, so I'll count that ;) 

How did you do on your goals this year?
Any ideas for next year's goals list? 

Friday, December 23, 2016

My Favorite Part of the Holidays

I love the holidays. I don't know if being a Christmas-aholic is a thing, but if so- I am definitely one. I love everything about Christmas: the decorations, the lights, the emotions, the joy everyone seems to exude, being around family, my birthday being in the same month - everything! Today I'm linking up with Erika for Friday Favorites!

But, my favorite part of the holidays is seeing my mom transform our house into an even more beautiful place to go on breaks. My mom always goes all out in everything that she does, and the house at Christmastime is no different.

  • We have matching throw blankets for every holiday
  • Our tree always touches the ceiling. It's a rule. Our old house had low low ceilings and in this house my mom wanted to be able to use up that extra ceiling space!

  • Our stockings (which you can't see super clearly, sorry) are sweater knit and have our initials on them. Always in the same order (dad, mom, me, broski)
  • That burlap let it snow banner is from a local boutique and is still one of my favorite decorations
  • Our Christmas tree is always snowman and snowflake themed
  • All of our presents have corresponding ribbon. And I wrap them all. Even my own!

By far the coolest part though is our holiday table. My mom's side of the family is huge and for the last few years we've had the holiday dinner at our house and its so cool to all fit around one table that stretches out of the dining room and into the kitchen.

Each napkin is folded by my brother and I before silverware is put on, and each plate is tied with a 'Ho Ho Ho' ribbon into a bow. I used to have some close ups of the table but I'm not sure what happened to them. I'll post the updated pictures from this year soon.

How do you decorate for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Clearly, I am not excited about winter break at all. I posted yesterday about what we did on our snow days, and now I'm full on discussing Christmas shenanigans from the classroom. HA! I'm a teacher. Being excited about winter break is what we do! I mean, that and teach... This post will basically be a hodgepodge compilation of all of the things I've done in the last week or so to prepare (or not prepare...) for winter break!

Teaching first and second grade is so fun because they're super into Santa. My school is very supportive of this. We have a Christmas tree in the hallway, the custodian spends a whole day dressed up as Santa Claus handing out gifts- the works. I love it, and added to that Christmas cheer this year by pulling up this video on my SmartBoard and putting their stockings and presents around. They flipped. It was crazy because they ate all of the sweets and got tons of presents from everyone the best day of the year

Another super exciting part of being a teacher is Christmas outfits! I only took one picture this week, but it was the best outfit all week so that's good! The kids thought I was the coolest (or at least I'd like to think so), and that's all that matters! :) 

Earrings // made by a ridiculously awesome co-worker. This lady is the best!
Sweater // Christmas present from mom, last year!
Necklace // Get this, this thing lights up in three different patterns!  From J's momma!
Leggings // Good ol' Walmart! Love these things! And only $5!

For the most part, our last week of school before Christmas was fun and exciting, but we did have some rough times. Full disclosure, this is not my truck. Although I do love it. My truck is currently being fixed because a few weeks ago (when it was snowing and under 30 degrees all week...) my alternator was showing signs of going out. So, my dad encouraged me not to use my heat, radio, etc. because I needed this darn alternator to last through the week of rough weather (J drives a Jetta and I'm not about to drive in this crazy weather in that ice cube) My dad usually swaps vehicles with me when things like this happen, but they had rough weather too their way and it didn't make sense for us to try and drive the long distances for that at the time.

Finally (after four days of freezing!) we were able to make a swap and I started driving my brother's truck (since he's in Florida until Christmas... long story) I was jazzed, I love the truck, everything was fine and dandy. 

Last Monday morning (my first day driving the thing to work, and with J) we left the house at our normal time and headed to school. The drive was completely normal until we made a turn onto a fairly busy highway. I slid a little on a bridge and we were both like "Woah, it was 39 degrees at home, why is there ice?" I slowed down to 35-40, and we turned onto the last road we take before getting to school.


Not five minutes later we were fishtailing all over the highway in both lanes. Janell wasn't saying or doing anything (not that she could've done anything anyway...haha) while I yelled "JANELL! WHAT DO I DOOOOO?!" approximately 537 times. It only lasted a few seconds, but if felt like forever. All I remember is crazy fishtailing and seeing the ditch and feeling the truck slide toward it. I honestly thought we were going to roll the truck. But, we didn't. By some miracle (thank you, Jesus) the truck straightened out and we were off, pointing in the right direction. I was so anxious and thankfully the rest of the drive was uneventful.

However, when we got to school we found out that a few minutes behind us, at the exact same spot, a co-worker had been in a pretty signifant accident. Both of the parties involved are okay, but still. Scary stuff. Stay safe out there, folks. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Walkin' (and driving) In A Winter Wonderland

We have had snow and ice all over the place out here, people. While I love snow, I really dislike ice. I'm over the ice part. Take the ice away and send me flurries, darn it! I guess I should be a little okay with the ice though, after all it did earn us a few days off of work on Thursday and Friday. 

If you've read my blog at all, ever, you probably know that Janell of 3 Arrows is my roommate, co-worker, friend, co-coach, etc. We spent our days off doing a bunch of errands, blogging, walking to nearby shops, wrapping Christmas presents, and delivering pies. It was a whirlwind of Christmas errands I tell ya. So, if you wanna know what a small town snow day looks like... feel free to keep scrolling!


Snow dayyyy!

Shopping at our favorite local stores. I only bought some Christmas leggings (see awkward mirror selfie below) but no regrets- these are the most comfortable leggings I have ever seen. 

Janell was ridiculously proud of this gift bag she bought, and many people commented on it. I've never heard so many compliments over a paper bag in my life.


On Friday Janell stopped being a wimp we got a little bit braver and decided to drive out to work and pick up some pies we'd ordered for ourselves and friends from some of the kiddos at school's fundraiser. We work in the town over from where we live and surprisingly while we had snow and ice on our roads, the roads where work and been cancelled were just fine! It did take five-ever to scrape the ice off of my brother's truck with a Fred Meyer gift card though... ice scraper for Christmas, I think yes. 

Is it really a snow day without a selfie? Nah. But, we didn't like the first one... so we took a better one! :) 

Side note: if you're in the market for a great stocking stuffer, Amazon is selling these Carhartt beanies for $9.99. They're technically a mens beanie, but they have every color under the sun. I have this beanie in coal heather, teal, and coral. I'm seriously considering buying the port one too because it's one of my favorite colors right now and they're seriously so warm. I almost always have one in my purse, and Ry has even been known to steal the gray one on occasion. 

Remember that awkward mirror selfie I talked about above? This is it. I bought these leggings at a local shop form the sweetest lady ever. They are super soft and were only $15! Steal. My mom approved and officially labeled them as her favorite Christmas leggings of mine. Definitely proud of this purchase.

And with that, our snow days are coming to an end. The ice is starting to melt outside and I'll be back at my parents house by Monday to start decorating for Christmas. 

How do you spend your snow days?
Do you have snow where you live?
Know anywhere I can get even more Christmas leggings?

If you're freezing in this winter wonderland too, don't forget about our socks & scarves swap! :)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Socks & Scarves Swap!

Hey there! Janell and I have both made it a goal for the new year to put more energy and focus into our blogs. We had a long conversation about how both of us love swaps and have decided to start a swap to occur over the New Year! The theme of the swap will be socks and scarves as the beginning of the year is still cold (unlike your hearts! :))

Note: This swap will be limited to bloggers/readers in the US. We hope to find success with this swap and be able to host another in the future once we have more information about international shipping, etc. 

The Details:

1. Sign up below! There will be a limit of 15 people for this swap (first come, first added) and you will not be swapping with the same person you are gifting to, that way you can make two new friends (and be surprised!) The sign up deadline is January 4, 2017!

2. Once we hit our max amount of people or reach the sign up deadline we will send everyone an email with their swap buddy's info

3. Minimum Amount: $20, we really liked that in Mattie and Olya's most recent swap they reminded their participants that they were welcome to spend more than this amount, but to remember they could not be paired with someone who spent over the $20 minimum. 

4. When you are ready to ship your package, ship it! You are required to email the tracking code to Janell and I. We will notify your partner that a surprise is on its way

5. When you've received your swap package, post it online! Let the world see that beautifulness! Please share photos with the hashtag #SocksandScarves2017

6. If you do not send a gift you will not be able to participate in future swaps. We will send reminder emails prior to the shipping deadline, and we will notify you when we have received a tracking number and your partner has shipped your package! 

Swap Topic: Socks, Scarves, & Other Fun Things!
Sign-Up Deadline: January 4, 2017
Match Assignment: January 6, 2017
Mailed By: January 13, 2017
Link Up: January 20, 2017

We're really looking forward to getting to know some new friends through this swap, and adding some more scarves and socks to our lives! 

When you sign up, spread the word by sharing our swap photo!

Happy Holidays!
-Sammy & Janell

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Christmas Swap Story!

I participated in Mattie and Olya's Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange this year and it was so fun! This exchange was different than others I've participated in, in that I gave a gift to someone different than who I received from. The person I gave a gift to was actually Janell my roommate! I thought that  was hilarious and it was so hard to hide who I had from her! She didn't figure it out though, so I'm pretty proud of that!
I received a gift from Jenn, and guys- it was perfect! I haven't had the best luck with swaps in the past (mainly because I enthusiastically send things to people that I love and want to keep for myself and then find myself receiving things I'll never use) I honestly was questioning why I even swap anymore. But then...  this. 

I love baking. Especially pies. And this box couldn't have been more perfect. I found this contraption, that I'd never even hear of (but am SO excited to use) that lets you stamp the crust of your pie with a pretty wreath design...

An organic pie crust mix (yay for easiness during the busy holiday times) 
And a pie cookbook! 

I'm so thankful for the gift and so excited to use these new fun things to make a pie for the holidays. Thank you Jean, and thank you Mattie & Olya for a super fun swap!

Today I've linked up with Mattie from Northwest Native and Amy from the Farmers Wife

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

23 Is A Great Age To Be

I just realized (a whole week later...) that I never posted about my birthday! I turned 23 last Thursday, and since then have felt prettyyyyy old. I know that sounds ridiculous, but young me always had such big plans and a long list of things I wanted to complete before 23. 

On Wednesday night Ryan surprised me with THIS dutch oven and I love it already. 

Ignore how terrible I look in this picture, and just look at the kitchen ware! 

Ryan's roommates are super sweet, and one of them (and his girlfriend) gave me a Dutch cup, the love I have for that place is no secret, and K-cups for my Keurig. I'm jazzed. I've used both many times already.

We also busted open the ninja bread men box that we'd been super excited to try out. We were super eager to decorate and were talking about it for a few days before we actually baked them. Ya know those Pinterest baking fails you see everywhere? We became one. My mom literally cried because she found this so hilarious. Sigh.

On Thursday morning, I found out that our two hour delay had been changed to a... 

Then, Janell gave me this super cute little box full of chocolate, perfume, and a new eyeshadow palette! (My favorite one had to be tossed when I got an eye infection this year... and I was so sad!

My other roommate also left me flowers and balloons. I love friends. :) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

FIVE Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday Week!

First of all, happy birthday to YOU! Obviously if you're reading this it's because you want to have a killer birthday week (now or sometime in the future) My birthday is in December, so some of these are themed more toward the winter. Forgive me if your birthday is smack dab in the middle of August. Adjust accordingly.

1. Get Your Nails Done!

First of all, shoutout to the Jamba Juice floor/wall. Lately I've been getting my nails done like crazy!I'm all about shellac lately. It stays. It doesn't chip. My nails are literally longer than EVER. It's pretty cool. I just recently noticed each time (except for that one time when I had the worst experience ever and got my nails re-done the next day... ahem, middle pic...) they've been some shade of red. Oh whale! 

Exhibit A, B, and C below. 

 2. Go to your FAVE event!

I'm a Christmas fanatic. My classroom has been decorated for Christmas since November 29th because we only have four day weeks and that means ONLY EIGHT SCHOOL DAYS IN DECEMBER. Sorry for the all caps and bold, I'm just not really sure how I feel about that yet. I mean, yay for vacation but BOO for no December activities.

Anyway, my favorite December event is the tree lighting at the university I don't even go to anymore. nearby. So, Ry and I went there last week. It was a blast, and I had tons of fun. As always.

3. HAVE A SNOW DAY (almost).

Again, sorry if your birthday is in July or something... but this week I had my first EVER teacher snow day! On Monday during school it snowed quite a bit. There's nothing better as a teacher than watching twenty littles squealing and begging to stare out the window and watch the snow. And we did. A lot. 

Our schedule was super cool (haha, get it?) and I would re-live school snow day every day if possible. I mean, we worked on reading and math as per usual in the morning but that afternoon was chock full of snowman story books, snowman art, Christmas coloring pages and carols, silent (snow)ball. It was a blast. 

Anyway, on Tuesday I woke up to texts from a coworker saying that due to ice and snow all night long we were on a two-hour delay. Uh, SCORE! Heck yes I will stay in my pajamas and rest for two hours, thankyouverymuch. 

Fingers crossed for a full blown cancellation Wednesday since the low is 25... brr.

4. Buy your favorite coffee (or get it for free!). 

Fingers crossed that Dutch doesn't disappoint (like they did Ry...) and I'l'l get my free birthday Dutch! Woo! So jazzed.Do other places do this? Can I just make the rounds? Asking for a friend, obviously.

5. Spend it with your FAVORITE people.

1. My family (late celebration, but I'll still get to celebrate!)
2. Ryan (he has plans, I just don't know what they are... yet...)
3. My friends (shoutout to J and coworker friends who will get to see me all day... hehe)
4. My class! They're so cute and have been asking how many days until my birthday all week. I love those kidlets.

What do you do on your birthday?

During your birthday week?