Friday, January 13, 2017

Things in my House Thursday ~The Little Things that Make Me Smile ~~My Valentine Tree

 
My Valentine Ornaments...

When the Christmas decor is put away, 
the house always seems so bare.

I love my little tree on the vanity in my bathroom...
it's the nightlight that guides my way when
I get up in the night!


It cheers me up when I am getting ready 
on these dark and chilly mornings.

Here's sending a little love and cheer your way!

Take care,
~Natalie

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday ~Staying Warm

The weather is the main topic of conversation around here.

Here's why...
You can see we are in a Wind Chill Advisory.

This forecast is a little more specific...
I am so thankful that I have an inside job!

It's a good time to take down the Christmas decorations...

to cook a pot roast in the oven...

and to spend some time in the sewing studio.

And, it is not letting up anytime soon.
This is the forecast for Friday morning.
Twenty three below...

We've already had one 'late-start' this week.
Let's see what happens to the rest of our week?!

As much as I'd love to have a day at home...
having a snow day really messes up the lesson plan!

Stay safe and warm.
Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy Weekend ~Where the Week Went

It was a short work week for us...
however, it was packed full, and it was exhausting!

It started with one of my favorite holiday traditions...
watching the Rose Parade.

The Air Force band was quite impressive.

Since Monday was the last day of vacation,
I took the opportunity to relax with my favorite quilt,
a Hallmark movie, and Lucy.

(yes, we have an ironing board set up in our bedroom...
hubby and I press our clothing every single morning)

Tuesday was Back to School with Inservice Day.
Large Group Sessions.
Small Group Break-out Sessions.

So much to do...so little time.

We were happy to hear that the Christmas gifts 
that we sent across the pond
finally reached their destination.

Grades were due.

Who else remembers when report cards were written out by hand?
Yes, when I first started teaching, we teachers would make time before school, after school, and during our planning period to go to the office conference room and sort through the file box to write each student's grade on their report card.

Imagine how time consuming that was?!

Now, in our on-line gradebook, 
we just need to hit "POST GRADES".

With the beginning of a new term,
I met 113 new students.

Of course, there will be some challenges,
but I think I am going to like this group.

Hubby and I enjoyed our Friday night out with friends.
Yes, I ordered the shrimp!

Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, January 5, 2017

When on Vacation ~Our Tour of Hoover Dam ~~Check this off Hubby's Bucket List

We have been to Vegas for vacation a couple of times.
Hubby has always expressed the desire to take a side trip to Hoover Dam.
It takes less than an hour to drive from the Strip out to this site.

Nick was busy with end-of-course assignments,
so we were happy to spend this time with Amy.




It was most impressive and well worth our time.


It was chilly and windy...
(notice our winter wool coats,
and my hair blowing in the wind)

...but I still have warm memories of our vacation time 
spent with Amy and Nick, and family.

Take care,
~Natalie

Was Santa Good to You? Here's What Was Under our Christmas Tree

This special gift bag came from our daughter 
and son-in-law on the east coast...
It was quite tempting to open that drawstring and peek,
 while it was under our tree!

Inside...this delicious smelling coffee scrub...
Almost good enough to eat?!

Across the pond,
our oldest daughter had visited the Christmas Markets in Germany.
She sent these mini beer steins for hubby's collection.

And, this darling little insense smoker 
that fits right in with my Santa collection!

Also from the Christmas Markets,
Clotted Cream Fudge...
reminiscent of the clotted cream we enjoyed at
Tea when we visted the English countryside.

Santa knows I like Dunkin' Donuts coffee!
And much-needed today on our
First Day Back to School...

Santa also knew how much I liked my little Fitbit Zip,
sadly, it had fallen off my waistband 
when we were downtown a few weeks ago.
So, Santa took the opportunity to  spoil me with an upgrade.

Today, I took 12,553 steps, which is 5.16 miles.

Thank you to my family for these gifts chosen especially for me.
But of course, spending time with friends and family
is the most precious gift of all.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Break,

Take care,
~Natalie

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We ate some delicious food in Vegas...would you like to see what we had for dinner?

Pumpkin Soup
with a pomegranate seed garnish...
such a beautiful presentation.

The first evening, Amy and I enjoyed some pretty special 
Mother/Daughter time at Giada's.
We shared a coupe of small plates.
This one was the Roasted Sweet Peppers.

Everything there, from the decor to the food,
was beautiful.

The next night we were captivated by 

The Kettle Chip Nachos...

...and Mini Pub Sliders were both perfect for sharing.

Night #3
The whole group gathered at Battista's Hole in the Wall
for the finest Italian in Vegas.
Hubby ordered the Mussels...

...and I, the Shrimp with Garlic Butter on Pasta.

The fourth and final night was the formal banquet.

As you know, it is pretty awkward to take pictures of your plate,
especially when you don't know everyone at your table.

So, I don't have a photo of our fabulous meal, 
(there was a dignitary seated at our table),
but here is the sweet dessert.

Our holiday festivities are now a memory.
I hope everyone is rested 
and rejuvenated for a new year.

Have a good week, everyone.

Take care,
~Natalie

Monday, January 2, 2017

Out with the Old, In with the New ~Here's How We Celebrated the Holiday

This is not the first time that we stayed in 
to celebrate New Years Eve.
Our newest holiday tradition is to treat ourselves to lobster.
Hubby has perfected his process...
he pours a half a bottle of a stout beer 
in with the water in the bottom of our steamer.
The Lobster Tails are delicious.

I prepared the Hasselback Potatoes and a salad.

We did, however, celebrate with friends the evening before.
I thought you might enjoy seeing some of their lovely Christmas decorations.

This handmade wreath was created by our hostess.
What a great way to use those wine bottle corks 
that you all have been saving!

And then on their tree, Wendy has a 
delightful collection of birds.



This one is so much fun!

We enjoyed great conversation...

good pizza from Roma Ristorante Italiano.

and a little glass of bubbly to end the evening.


Whether you were out and about,
or relaxing at home,
I hope you had a great start to 
2017


Take care,
~Natalie