Wednesday, August 29

Ten ways...& a new blog design!

Hey peeps!
I got a new blog design...hooray! Thanks to Lindsey at Designer Blogs for this cute new look. I stumbled upon her website one night & her designs are incredible & super fun!

Something else I stumbled upon one night...THIS.

Do you agree? I do, with everything except #10. I haven't joined the pinterest world yet (gasp!). I hear that people are just obsessed with it, and I really like to be obsessed with things. Like the Twilight books, OPI nail polish, wearing the same Phi Mu sweatshirt to bed every night, or my latest obsession - coconut flavored coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. Like whoa. Good thing it doesn't have any calories or I would be in T-R-O-U-B-L-E. But pinterest? It hasn't been written in my obsession book yet. If I want to know how to do or make something, I just search online. So, someone show me your pinterest secrets so I can become obsessed too!

Use one of these ten ways & make your day GREAT & your Labor Day weekend as well! I will definitely be doing #1, #5, & #8. And DC? He will be working on #7...and that is getting my Fall things down from storage.

It's time for this bad boy to make an appearance.

Later gators.

Thursday, August 23

How to have a date night in.

Enter a drawing for a free dinner cooked by a personal chef.

Win the drawing.

Come home from the gym (hot pink tennis shoes required).

Poor some wine.

Light some candles.

Add in jazz.

Watch him cook.


clean your plate.

end it with this.

Happy almost Friday, date nighters.
Thursday nights are the best. And Friday nights.
And all summer nights.
~ abs

Monday, August 20

I'm the last person on earth...

still burning cds.

Crazy confession, I know. I love music...all types. On the way to school at 6:00 in the morning, I like mellow peeps: John Mayer, The Fray, the occasional Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson. When I get to school it's my jazz friends: Michael Buble (also a Christmas must), my boy bands, and MJ. After school, my playas come out: Nelly, Jay-Z, Snoop, Britney...and MJ. Notice anything in common? MJ. RIP, MJ. His music is perfect for any mood you might be in. Need a calm, soothing song? Man in the Mirror. Something fun? Beat It. In the mood for love? I just can't stop loving you. Ahhh MJ, how I miss you. I loved you for years. I was in Florida vacationing when I heard the fateful news. My phone immediately started blowing up with texts from friends & family saying how sorry they were for me. I've got some fierce friends. I locked myself in our condo bedroom, cried, and then had a proper service for him at sea. Followed by a week of wearing black in mourning.

When I find a genie in a bottle one day, I will wish for him to bring MJ back so I can watch him dance.
I will also ask the genie for an unlimited supply of pumpkin spice lattes.
I have MAJOR Fall fever.

Back to the cds. I love making burnt cds. I do not love labeling my burnt cds, so they are all blank. And, I cruise with about 20-30 in my center console at all times. It's about options, people. Even though I consider myself an organized person, there is no organization what-so-ever (is that really a word? I never know..) when it comes to burning a cds. No specific playlist, nothing. I might feel like listening to Justin Timberlake, Kenny Chesney & ACDC one day, so I will burn a cd accordingly. Some cds have 3 songs, some 20 songs. And because they are not labeled, I never know what I'm going to get when I pop one in - it's a fun surprise every time! This drives Devin nuts for several reasons. Sorry, DC. :)

Do you have a new favorite song? Do share. I will add it to an unidentified playlist on one of my random cds. Maybe one day I will hook up my iphone & listen that way, but right now I'm perfectly happy jamming out Abs style.

Have a great week, internet friendskis! I'll be back soon to blog about a hopefully-fun night Dev & I are having tomorrow. We won a personal chef for the night & he is coming tomorrow to cook for us! Yay for free food & free cooking!

Now, remember MJ's words..."If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself & make a change."
Also remember, "You rock my world, you know you do..."

You're singing - I know it!
~ abs

Thursday, August 16

I like nice people.

HAPPY almost Friday! Don't you just love waking up on Friday mornings? I do! You have the whole weekend of ahead of you, more pep in your step, a bigger you're ready to take on the world!

I love Fridays. And nice people. Which is what I am trying to be more of...nice. This summer, I did a weekly "bucket list" of 3-4 things I wanted to accomplish each week. They were simple & fun, my kind of list. A couple of things that made the mini-bucket list cut: go on a date-night bike ride, try a new recipe every night, call my grandparents, make a stranger happy.

My favorite "make a stranger happy" project was making these gas station tags on our road trip to Florida. I got the idea from one of my favorite blogger's of ALL time...Kelle Hampton. She is an amazing, positive person, & just an incredible lover of life.
Every time we stopped for gas, I tied one of these babies on. Easy & fun.

Here are few more things that are sure to brighten anyone's weekend...try them out!
You will find that doing these things will make you happy too - double yay.

Pay for someone's coffee.
Write a handwritten appreciation note to a friend or family member.
Bake a yummy treat for a neighbor.
Compliment a mama on how well-behaved her children are.
Leave a book note.

I am super excited about this last one & I'm going to try it out this weekend.
Type up a little note, head to your local bookstore & stick it in a random book.
Instant happiness when the person opens their new book to read.

happy weekend to you.
may you find yourself surrounded by niceness!
~ abs

pay for someone's coffee
book notes
appreciation card
bake for your neighbors
compliment a mom on their child

Sunday, August 12

Dear Hanover,

Dear Hanover College,
You are pretty. You are small. And, you are pretty small. But, even though your campus was only about a mile long,
I still drove to class everyday.

Dear Hanover College President,
Thank you for letting me park at your house when I couldn't find a spot. Wait, you didn't know I parked there?
Maybe my 1997 Acura blended in too well, then.

Dear Hanover College,
Thank you for giving me this boy.
And this girl.
And these girls.

Thank you for introducing me to theme parties, because there was nothing else to do on campus.
I like to live my life by theme now, Hanover.

Thank you for teaching me to be a teacher. I love teaching, Hanover.

Thank you for teaching me to dance, Hanover.
Oh, nevermind...I learned how to dance a long time ago.

I wish I could go back for just one more day, Hanover.
Or four more years.
~ abs

Friday, August 10

kiss the cook

I know I said earlier that I was going to post about this dude next...but I'm not quite done with it yet.
It's kind of hard to sum up 13 years of fun in one post.

On to one of my newest loves though - healthy cooking. I never thought we would go together, but we kinda do & I like it. In college, every Sunday was Big Mac Sunday. My friends & I would wake up early, and head to the golden arches for Big Macs, fries, and cokes. EVERY Sunday. Then, we would be complete slugs all day long. I wonder why. So, sorry McDonald's...I've moved on. I won't come visit for Big Macs anymore. Well, maybe once a year. Your special sauce is so good. But, I will still visit you every week for a diet coke, in a foam cup, with extra ice.
Thanks, McDonald's.

I've always considered myself a leader (see previous post), but I'm a follower too. The latest shoe fashion...I have to have a pair. A popular reality tv's on my DVR. And lately, it seems like the newest rage is healthy eating: gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan cooking, etc.
I'm embracing it all.

This summer I read The Skinny Rules, written by Bob Harper (Biggest Loser Bob). I love me some Bob.
He lays out 20 rules that promise to make you skinny, feel great, & look good.
A few of his rules: no carbs after lunch, get rid of ALL fast food & fried foods, go to bed hungry, no more white potatoes, don't drink your calories, eat a real breakfast, etc. He goes through each rule explaining why he follows it.
And, let's face it - the man looks amazing so I believe him.
Next up, three of my favorite healthy eating websites. These ladies are incredible & I stalk them everyday. I think I made something new this summer 3-4 times a WEEK! I love recipes that are easy, inexpensive, and now...healthy. All of these websites meet the criteria. A friend from school introduced me to Gina. She's a gem. And, wow. Here are a few of my faves from Gina: Philly cheesesteak sandwiches (she has a great tip on what to do with the bread to make it "skinny", yogurt cheesecake cups, overnight oats in a jar). My other ST faves: mini-meatloaves, bison burgers, zucchini tots & chicken divan (I don't have pictures because all of these dinners were gobbled up before I could pop off the lens cap.)

Eat Yourself Another adorable healthy-cook-person...Kelly. She introduced me to kale chips. If you haven't tried these bad boys, then ya better recognize...ya heard? Lisa is great & her recipes have fun names. I am a huge oatmeal person & eat it almost every morning. Her growing oatmeal bowl is the best. Nothing fancy, but she invented a way to take a regular serving & magically make it grow...just by doubling the water/milk & doubling the time you boil it. Pure genius. Other HG faves: eggs in mugs, mexican pizza, italian frittata & whole wheat cheesecake pancakes. Word. my newest stalking victim. And yet again, an absolute doll. What is WITH these cute healthy cooks?! However, she was in charge of causing my internal organs to fail from an overload of pure bliss.
Meet her pumpkin pie protein "milkshake."

When I hear the word pumpkin, a trigger goes off in my brain that causes automatic happiness. Pumpkin & Abigail go together like pb&j, coffee & cream, and steak & ketchup. Ok, those only go together in my world. And, my dad's. I got it from him. Back to the pumpkin. Katie's "milkshakes" are made with cottage cheese, not ice cream. Sounds gross, but I like everything so I thought I would give it a try. They are all low-fat, low-calorie & low-carb. Triple threat. And I have tried them all now. I love a good milkshake. Like Chick-Fil-A's cookies & cream one. It's amazingly good, and amazingly awful for you. But, don't worry Chick-Fil-A, we aren't broken up yet. I will still come visit you for your diet lemonade, just not your milkshakes anymore.
I might come back every once in a while for your chicken mini's too, Chick-Fil-A. We'll see.

I have to say, I like this healthy-eating thing so far. At least until the next big thing comes around (maybe cupcakes as a staple for breakfast?). Devin's hot bod agrees. He recently declared he is at his lowest weight since high school. Yeah, boy. I'm not saying that it's all because of eating better...but he hasn't had fast food or real dr. pepper in awhile (see Bob's rules above!).

If you have any great healthy recipes or websites that you use, please share! Now I'm off to clean my blender & stock up on cottage cheese.

happy weekend eating to you.

~ abs

Thursday, August 9

mrs. carter...& my home away from home tour.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. Well, for a short time - a dolphin trainer/marine biologist too. Just like every other little girl in America. But, that was only for a short time, folks. When my friends were out riding their bikes, I was making my brother play school. I couldn't have ridden a bike anyway...I didn't learn how to until 6th grade (another post for another day). When my friends were getting Barbie Dreamhouses for Christmas, I was getting a real teacher desk and gradebook. The obsession started early.

This pretty lady is my mom. She is on her 33rd or 34th year (sorry Mom, can't remember the exact year) of teaching special education. Um, can you say - free ticket into Heaven? Now, I know that can't happen, but if it did she would be first in line. She is an AMAZING teacher. And, hopefully the teacher genes passed on to me.

When I was first hired, I couldn't believe that I was in charge of teaching these little 5 year olds how to read, write, spell and count. And not pick their nose. I remember crying when my room was finished and ready for my very first class. I told my mom that I already loved them so much. And, I still do. My first class walked down the aisle in my wedding and they will forever have a place in my heart. It's been almost seven years now, and they are in junior high. Don't forget about good 'ol Mrs. Carter, kids!

I truly believe teaching is what I was meant to do. For life. I'm really good at bossing people around, so this profession is perfect for me. And Donald Trump - just kidding. His hair would scare them away!

I love...
* hearing my students in the beginning stages of reading. Their faces literally light up.
* hugs that only reach up to your knees.
* notes & cards & drawings...times infinite. I wish I could keep them all.

* my team. kindergarten rules, everyone else drools. we have so much fun together & it's great to work with people who care about their students just as much as you do. it's also great when they come dressed as gangsta's for your birthday party.

* my kids' parents. also fabulous. Anything I ask, need, want...done.
A fabulous Carter Mom secretly had my entire class over to her home to stamp their feet on this banner for me. It was my good luck charm before running 13.1 miles.
Maybe if I had 200 banners I would have come in 1st place. Doubt it.

* the dull moments. Oh wait, there aren't any. Whether someone is asking me to ride the bus home with them, or tying themselves to a chair with their shoelaces, there is always something exciting or hilarious going on.
* unconditional love. It doesn't matter what I'm wearing, how my hair looks, or the type of day I'm having, my kids love me. And, I love them. I want them to succeed, strive to be better people, and of course - learn everything there is to learn.

Come on a little tour of Mrs. Carter's classroom with me. It's all ready for a new group of buckaroos.

I know there are a lot of things going on in the world of education right now...good & bad. But, as long as I keep doing what I know is right for my students then everything will be just fine.
Hip Hip Hooray for teachers...and summer breaks. :)
~ abs

I'll be back soon for a post dedicated to this playa. Holla back, y'all.

Tuesday, August 7


5878...where I live. We moved from 4132 last year. It was a great house & we had a lot of happy times there, but we wanted something roomier for adding Carter kids into the mix someday. We said goodbye to 4132 a year ago, and 5878 is starting to feel like home now. Lots of pictures, candles, comfy couches & huge beds help. Definitely huge beds. Best money we ever spent, in my opinion.
It's fun to sleep in different zip codes!

Now, let me tell you a story about my first week at 5878. It was a hot summer day last July & I was on my way to our new neighborhood pool. I live for pools. And good deals at TJ Maxx. I stepped outside quickly (in my bikini, I was in a hurry) to let Libby go to the bathroom. The door locked behind me. Instant panic. No one was around, I had no key, no garage door opener...nothing. And, I'm still in my bikini, barefoot, with a black ball of fur running around crazy because now she is hot. After standing frozen in panic for 10 minutes, I walk across the street and start knocking on random people's doors. Nothing. More panic. Finally, my 20-something single neighbor opens his door and there I am. Don't forget - bikini clad. I blurt out something like "Locked out, no phone, dog crazy, help me." He proceeds to get his phone, which does not help in any way because 0 family members answer. Great. I then blurt out something like, "Can you open it with a credit card? And, hi I'm Abigail. I just moved in." So, my 20-something new neighbor (very nice, might I add), my bikini clad-barefoot self & my hot ball of fur (who now has managed to entangle me in her leash) walk across the street with a credit card in hand. Magic! The door opens, out comes a "thank you soooo much, I'm so sorry, I usually don't look this bad" and slam the door. Whew. Stressful first week at 5878. Then it took me 3 months to show my face again.

Below are some of my favorite spots in 5878. Now, if it would magically clean itself the world would be complete...

I'll be back soon to give you a tour of my other beach house! Oh wait, I don't have a beach house. Boo. One can dream though. Tell me, what are YOUR favorite house spots?

On a random note, I made cocoa peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast and it was divine. I may or may not have eaten it straight from the pan. It's from & I'm obsessed. This girl is straight up adorable & makes delicious, low-fat, low-carb things. Double bonus. I can't wait to stalk her everyday.

Now go give someone a hug.
~ abs