BOOKS, Healthy Lifestyle, recipes

Saturday Safes/Save 2.28.15

Happy End of February

(Good Riddens! Brrr)

I can not believe February has come and gone. What happened!?

I am excited for March and hoping for some warmth (I can not handle anymore cold, ice, snow, brrrrr)

It has been a crazy, hectic week!

Conferences……… Enough said

This is the week I feel like i live, eat, sleep, breathe work.  I survived. Its over, I feel productive, happy and good! 🙂


Favorite Relief:

I am Conference FREE 🙂  That makes me feel relieved. Plus, its the weekend. Time to let go, leave it behind and transition into “weekend mode”

Favorite Acceptance:

I am finally beginning to accept who I am and embrace it, instead of change it.  This is huge for me.  I like and enjoy doing things alone.  I am not sad, lonely or depressed. I really do enjoy it.

Favorite Books:

The Lovely Bones

I am listening to this on audio book.  At first, I absolutely HATED the author (and readers) voice.  She sounded so …..depressed.  It is a depressing/sad story, and I was hoping for someone a little less….monotone?

Regardless. This week was tough. I had difficulty focusing. I realized I was more than half way through the book and had NO IDEA what was going on.  I was listening, but “NOT REALLY” listening. I tend to do this a lot when my anxiety comes into play. I have difficulty unwinding and focusing on one thing.  This instance the story.
I asked myself “What is the point of reading/listening if I am not enjoying it or hearing it?”

It became another obsession (which I am so good at!). Just finishing the book. Quick, quick, quick.   I had to take a step back, re-evaluate myself and ……..start the book over from the beginning. This time. I am really hearing it, really listening. Guess what????

The book is GOOD~ actually its excellent. I am really enjoying it and the voice is growing on me. I am excited to see how things turn out ❤

We Are Called To Rise

This book is SO good. I am actually physically reading it and it is keeping me engaged! I am able to get through a few chapters before falling asleep which is major progress for me!  I am actually looking forward to snuggling up and reading more of it this weekend

Book fail:  House Of Leaves

This was recommended by a friend. I tried. I really really did. I just could not do it. The words were a blur, the book was too deep and intense for me. Just not my type of reading. I had to abandon it. Something that is difficult for me but it is also not worth my time. I am pretty sure the book will not change much as it goes along. So I let it go

I ❤ this so much I put the

whole article here:

Ever find yourself repeatedly having the same argument with your spouse/partner/boss/child/friend? Well, unfortunately, it means you’re stuck.

Let me repeat: You are stuck. (Not the other person.) You haven’t learned what it is you want to know, embraced what it is you want to embrace or changed what it is you want to change about yourself.

People will continue to press every button, until:

  1. We learn what it is we want to know about ourselves.
  2. We embrace what we want to embrace about ourselves.
  3. We change what we want to change about ourselves.

This is good news! Placing blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless. But placing blame on yourself also takes away your power. So let’s forget about blame.

The healthiest course of action is to take personal responsibility, which gives you the ability to transform your experience in a positive direction.

You can take personal responsibility by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What do I want the other person to do?
  2. How do I want the other person to act?
  3. What do I want the other person to know about himself?
  4. What do I want the other person to know about me?

Then, take your own advice. Next time you find yourself about to have the same old fight, do these things instead:

  1. Do what you want them to do.
  2. Act how you want them to act.
  3. Acknowledge the qualities in you that you see in them.
  4. Acknowledge the qualities in them that you want them to see in you.

When you look closely, you’ll discover what you want to know about yourself — you’ll find what’s really been driving you crazy! When you stop blaming other people and instead take personal responsibility, you’re free to love the people in your life as they are. Which frees you to accept in them (and yourself) what you want to accept.

This is how you stop the same-old-argument-cycle once and for all.

Photo Credit: Stocksy


Safe! Idea

30 days of thank yous

I love this idea and perfect way to show my gratitude. In March I will write a thank you note to a different person from my life past, present and future.   Some I may send others I may keep to myself

I am going to make march pretty special for myself ( and others) Plus I get to remember some people from my past that made lasting impressions! I am excited ❤


Safe! Read!

Why I chose not to be a mom

Lovely article.  Non judgmental approach why everyone has the right to makt their own decisions.   What’s good for you may not be for others. It’s ok.  Move on.

Safe! Read!


Looking forward to warmer weather

Lately with the cold I  have no desire to wear anything but oversized warm comfy sweaters

In my closet sit numerous professional,adorable, even sexy skirts and dresses that I refuse to put on this winter

The idea of  fabric stockings and heels makes me cringe more than  anyone will ever know

I always loved wearing skirts and dresses however this winter it really took it’s toll on me

I am really looking forward to warmer weather so that I can bring some style back into my life it always makes me feel better it makes me feel colorful and more alive


Safe! Recipes!

Ummmmm.  Totally making this.  This weekend.  Maybe tonight.

Beef and Broccoli

Spiralized Shanghai Beef and Broccoli

Chicken and shrimp jambalaya



Book lovers!


Whether you are a teacher, parent, grandparent. We can all relate. How to “reset” when the kids are having a bad day


Feeling crappy today 😦 Sad, miserable, depressed, tired. I feel like I have a “hangover” headache, yet it has been months since I even had a sip of wine. Guess its just one of those days. I will accept it and move on. I just feel like I am “going through the motions” today. I hate feeling this way, I know its up to me to resolve it, but sometimes, I just do not know how.

Tomorrow will be better ❤


Happy weekend!

Healthy Lifestyle

Un-Manic Monday 2.23.15

My Monday was pretty Manic, so its time to unwind and make it UN-Manic 🙂

First, WHY was it manic?

Well for starters. It was Monday.  Any time there is a transition (from week to weekend, weekend to week…) I tend to have an “off day” So my Monday’s and Friday’s are typically OFF. I just tend to have a lot of anxiety. I anticipate everything I need, want, must, would like to do….I need to take a STEP back, unwind and make it Un-Manic

Un-Manic:  Some of my favorite Oscar picks!

(I admit I did NOT watch, I was exhausted and fell asleep pretty early BUT I did browse the pictures online )

Anna Kendrick

I love everything about this….the color, the flow y style, the easy. Very pretty and very feminine! 

<p> 	2015 Oscars Red Carpet</p>

Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of RED!)

Zoe Saldana

Un-Manic :  “Love is in the…………cabinet?”

My friend, Beata, has the fortune of being able to see HEARTS and ❤ everywhere. I think its because of her own big heart. So when I opened up my cabinet and saw this, I just had to take a shot. My chipped china 🙂


Un-Manic :  “Yum-lette”

Holy moly this omelette was fabulous!! Great little diner, everything looked amazing (The table next to me ordered French Toast, it smelled incredible, the vanilla scent quickly made its way over to my table….droooooollllll




Un-Manic:  Dirty Dancing @ The Kimmel Center

Weeeeeeeeee just a little bit excited for this one. I MUST see this!!! Dirty Dancing was an all time favorite. I think I know all the lines “I carried a watermelon”, “Nobody puts baby in the corner”….

Un-Manic:  Chocolate and Orange….oh my

So this has been something I have been recently craving. Not quite sure how I will accomodate that craving.  The two things I compare the “taste” to are:

1)  This polish candy. The chocolate. The Orange. The YUM. Polish (and European) chocolate is so different AND the orange is a unique orange. Not like the fruity, fake, sugary stuff we have here

This is like an orange gelatin covered in dark chocolate…

"Jutrzenka", Mella, Galaretka, Jelly in Chocolate, Chocolate-Coated Orange Jelly, 6.7oz/197g, Product of Poland

2. Starbucks Chocolate Orange Frappucino (I had this last summer and it is incredible!)

Here are a few recipes I may try :

Chocolate Clemintine Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Orange Smoothie

Hazelnut Chocolate Orange Milkshake


1.  What was your favorite Oscar pick?

2.  Do you take “signs” seriously? Do you think there is a hidden message?

3.  Do you have a favored “flavored” combination you have been craving lately?

Healthy Lifestyle

The Cookie Monster

I thought the title of this post was fitting for how I feel about my eating disorder today. It is a monster, but a Cookie Monster which isn’t so bad. I know I can over come the “Cookie Monster”  and be free 🙂  He can’t be all that bad and powerful ❤

This weekend is tough for me. It’s a change from my ordinary typical weekend. I am traveling. I feel nervous, excited, sad, emotional, happy…..everything balled up into…

My irrational fears and “monster” awakes when I am anxious. I think I try to avoid the things I am really scared of by focusing on……food. Ta da! I got it! Now how do I fix it?

Lately I am having a very difficult time again with making sense of WHY I need to eat. I am no longer over exercising, In fact things have been so crazy lately I barely have had time for yoga or a walk. Something I try to do daily because it makes me feel better. Now I am barely getting the things I need to get done let alone have “extra” time for exercise. At one point, I MADE it my priority. I put OTHER things aside and made sure I went for my run or something. Now I am finding it is more important to do what NEEDS to be done. There WILL be time for exercise when things slow down again……and when it starts getting warmer 🙂   Life once again got in the way

Balance is so difficult for me. I have things I need to take care of but do not want to because they require me to……sit down

Somewhere in my head the Cookie Monster tells me “if you sit you are fat and lazy“.

So I have tried to find ways around it. Refusing to often sit at my desk at work, going for long walks while my brains runs in overdrive about the numerous things I need to do, problem is if I am walking around I can not get them done. Lesson plans , filling out grad school application, making lists , planning , writing goals and objectives , journaling,blogging. All require sitting.

Something productive and NEEDED makes me feel lazy.  What is wrong with my brain.

I am going to keep working towards balance. I will have my good days and bad. I will be able to exercise some days, not others. I have to take life as it is. I’m only here temporarily. I need to stop being silly and START living!



BYE BYE Cookie Monster! I have better things to do ❤  Maybe I’ll bake some cookies later…..



Healthy Lifestyle

Thankful Thursday

Can you keep a secret?

After work I stopped by my cousins to work on a “secret” project with the girls.




I asked “L” if she knew the importance of keeping a secret. We even practiced various scenarios to see if she would “break” and spill the beans (this included promises of jelly jeans and cash).

She did not break. She stood her ground :).

Secrets are tough. We all have them. Most times it feels good to tell someone else. It elimates much of the guilt and shame that may (or may not?) come from your secret. For me, personally, it always feels amazing it get this off my chest. I like being an open book. I enjoy being honest with others because it forces me to be honest with myself. Something I was never really good at. I get this is not for everyone though. I respect that.

It was always easier to just “run”. It was easier to take on “others” problems, try to solve their problems. It was easier to feel strong and powerful and special by not eating and/or over exercising.

Honesty is tough. Secrets are tougher

When someone asks you to keep a secret, do you follow though with their wish? I am trying to make the best decisions. When someone asks for my silence I will try to give them their wish because that is showing respect. Unless the “secret” is causing harm to themselves or others (use your judgement). If the person is important to you, it is important to keep their secret. They are confiding in you. Maybe you will have the opportunity to encourage them to tell more people. There is never anything wrong with how you feel because……that’s just who you are. Accept it and others will follow

When you spill someone else’s secret you are losing their trust as well as showing that you are not ready to face your own shame. You would rather discuss and gossip about someone else and their problems than deal with your own

In the end all that matters is that you are good to yourself. In order to be good to yourself you will also need to be good towards others.

Life is hard. We worry so much about being judged so let’s just stop judging others AND ourselves.

Are you ready to share one of your secrets with the world? What about just one other person? What about just yourself? Write it down. It feels good!
Can YOU keep a secret?

NOT a secret, BUT look what came in the mail today! MY planner! Weeeeeeee I ❤ it!



Seriously, Steve…..First the girl scout cookies, NOW this! You are just too sweet.  I dropped off a few books to a friend and LOOK what he came out with , for me. He is so thoughtful!! Chocolate and 5 hour energy. This will most definitely help with the long road trip! ❤


Healthy Lifestyle

Ten For Tuesday (In my head)

So this post is more “therapeutic” to me than anything else. Its my way of using my “word vomit” to get out what is inside. This always smacks me down, but the next day I get some clarity and begin to feel better. So in place of my regular journal, I am putting it here. This is me. This is my head.

1.  Food.

I have struggled so long and so much with food. It is FINALLY becoming better for me.  I recently took my mom shopping with me and showed her some of my favorite things. I normally would feel ashamed of my choices, because they are “weird”, “healthy” and what I like. I fear so much being judged. I do NOT want my choices to make me LOOK like I have an eating disorder. I feel LABELED. I feel like my every move is being judged, but I have to 1) get over it 2) realize it is probably not true.

SO today, I have the opposite struggle, instead of hunger. I feel full. I thought I would be happy about that, but once again my ALL OR NOTHING thinking comes into play (Evil ED!)  I start thinking “What if I never feel hungry again? What if the “full” feeling never goes away?”

STOP. It will. It does. I just need to move on with life and stop letting FOOD run my life.  I would be able to enjoy so much more if I could just stop this all or nothing thinking.

***UPDATE**** I was hungry for dinner!! In fact, I was ravenous 🙂

2.  Friends.

I realize how hard it is for me to have friends. How difficult it is to feel like a GOOD friend. I am still trying to sort out things.  Do I prefer doing things alone , or if I am just uncomfortable with others? ALL OR NOTHING. (as usual) Why can’t I accept it can be something in between????. Some days I MAY feel like being with others, other days I may want to be alone. I just feel like if I can not be the type of friend someone wants, then I am not a good person or a good friend. This is just me. I have to accept it and I guess the world does too. The truth is, I am in introvert. I like being with myself, doing my own thing, I like YOU too, but I need more down time than most people. Some won’t understand, but I have to accept it. This is who I am. It does not make me weird, or un-normal. This just makes me, ME.

I have never really had any true friends, besides family.  I was always in a relationship so my friendships suffered, because I became completely immersed in my spouse/boyfriend.   I became them and their problems. I became invisible.  I am finding my likes and dislikes now. Some that really surprise me.

3.  Autism

I have always been completely fascinated with autism.  My brother opened my eyes to this world. He will always be my motivation and inspiration.


The (silly) thing is. I feel like I was MEANT for this. Something is happening to me. I am having clarity. I am able to understand my students. I am able to help them cope and get through their anxiety filled days. Partly because I can relate, partly because I feel like I have something special inside me, helping me. Maybe its Matthew 🙂

I want to make people see what I can see , I will continue to research, write, read and test different things 🙂  I love it, I enjoy it. Its my passion.

4.  Jounalism

I love writing. I love researching. I love finding interesting topics to talk about. I love, love , love interviewing people. its a passion and a hobby. It makes me happy and excited

Do not be surprised to find me asking YOU questions 🙂 Random, odd, you never know whats going on in this brain ❤

5. Feeling I hate

Tiredness. I hate, hate hate feeling tired. There is too much I want to do, see, explore. When I am tired I am miserable. I fight it and continue to push myself. I wish I could just accept the feeling of tiredness and begin to allow myself to enjoy the rest.

6.  Less coffee

I have been drinking less coffee and feel SO MUCH BETTER. I realized how unhealthy it became for me. As soon as I felt “tired” I would grab a cup. I have switched to tea now which is better and not as obtrusive on my tummy ❤  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still drink a lot of coffee, just not nearly as much as I did before.

7.  Great finds

So I am thrilled that my NEW Lorac Eye pallet arrived today.

Seriously, you can NOT beat this for $15!



Also, over the weekend I tried a new razor! If you know me (mom!!) you know my legs are usually cut up, knicked, a bloody mess. I shave every day. I love the closeness of it and how smooth my legs feel, yes it is partially OCD, ok maybe ALL ocd, but whatever….

I love this new razor. I received it through buzz campaign, a site that sends me products to try in return for my HONEST review. You can read it here on amazon, and try one for yourself. I will be switching to these for sure!

8. Good Ol’ times

I love the coloring books that came in for my parents. I dropped them off today and let them test them out, just to make sure. Dad was upset there was only ONE set of colored pencils. GGEEEEEEZZZZ , ill grab another box next time  I am out 🙂




Yes. I want to be confident in making my own decisions. However, I also want to be confident and comfortable hearing OTHERS thoughts and ideas and realizing the decision is STILL my own to make. No one can ever take that from me.  I can accept feedback without doubting myself.

Today my cousin helped me solve a little problem.  It was just something so simple that I would have NEVER thought of if I did not ask for her opinion. With her smarts and my stubbornnesss I have made a decision that I feel good about

Its wonderful to be confident and sure of yourself, but its also ok to ask others for their opinions. It does NOT have to be all or nothing, black or white. There can be a happy medium.

Thanks!! ❤

10.  I want to be invisible.

Some days I feel invisible , some days I don’t.  I LIKE feeling invisible. Its easy. Here’s the odd part. Why I feel invisible……

In the morning, I feel like I look my worst. Messy hair, sleepies in my eyes, mascara runs, mismatched clothes….

me in the morning

Then I shower, put on a little make up, dry my hair and voila, improvement. I am by no means high maintenence. In fact it takes me 25 minutes to shower, dress and get out the door.  However I feel like NO ONE see’s me unless I am dressed up with heels, make up, lipstick, to the nine’s.  When I am at my worst, I feel like no one see’s me. I am the invisible girl.

Me after shower


I feel like I am day and night. Although more likely it is not much of a difference to the world.  I feel like I am unrecognizable in either state. I feel like I am two people and that I would never recognize myself in the OTHER state.  Wow, talk about black or white. I am sure the world would recognize me as being me with or without a little lipstick.  This just proves one thing to me…..

I NEED TO STOP CARING WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT ME.  I am me. I am who I am. That is good enough 🙂 ❤

Healthy Lifestyle

Knitting and a little bit of Germany

Yesterday I learned two things:

1. How to arm knit
2. That I want to go to Germany and eat real German cheesecake

I have been wanting to learn how to arm knit for what seems like ages now. So, being happily single and reservation free for Valentines Day,  I had a date with Ulka! She was absolutely fabulous. Michael’s offers a variety of arts and crafts classes and it just so happens Arm Knitting was on schedule THIS Valentines Day.

I have been wanting to make something special for my mom because I know she likes things like this, AND it makes me feel GOOD to be able to make something. Its much more meaningful and personal than buying something.

My mom loves red, So I decided to go with a pretty, soft red Bernat Yarn Mega Bulky yarn. I bought two balls (they are currently on sale buy one get one 50% off!!)

I tried to DIY and spent numerous hours on youtube trying to “teach” myself , but THIS teach needs hands on! That is how I learn best

Heres the link to the online YouTube instructional video, that I attempted, but got “tied up” 🙂  Maybe YOU will have better luck.  (P.S. I love this girls hair and voice!! <3)

Ulka gave me a one on one class , and I’m thrilled because I…….needed the attention. I’ll be honest I bound myself pretty well at one point I started to have a panic attack that I would not be able to free myself. It’s basically like tying up your own wrists……with the end result of a lovely scarf

I DID go to see Fifty Shades Of Grey on Sunday………perhaps this gave me inspiration?? 🙂

Ulka was so patient with me. It took me several attempts to get it. It finally clicked and almost became natural to me.

And here is the final product ❤



So that left time for asking some questions. We ended up talking about Germany where Ulka was from.

She shared stories of growing up there, special customs and foods, and I even told her a lot of the similar polish ways and dishes. We both agreed European food (and chocolate) is so much better that our food.

I asked her what her specialty is and she named several (goulash included) and then remembered her winning golden ticket. German cheesecake. She described it and it made my mouth water. She informed me it is very different from our traditional cheesecakes , and has much more of a cake like consistency , unlike ours that is almost pure cheese. Germans use a special cheese called quark. It is very difficult to get here in the states so she rarely makes it for this reason. The quark makes it. She said there are substitutes but nothing quite like it. On occasion she has come across it at specialty German deli’s in Philly (quite like the polish ones I am familiar with), but even that is rare. I asked if she tried Whole Foods and Wegmans, She assured me they did not have it.

:(. So sad

So I had to do my research. I investigated the recipes and now am dying to try this. I will be on the search for quark!

Some pictures of the fabulous looking German Cheesecake



(The one Ulka described had a Cherry topping, REAL cherry NOT our imitation candied can stuff)







All this thinking about cheese cake made me remember an old favorite of mine. I believe my moms friend, Tenka, introduced it to us.  I recall on parties and family get togethers opening the fridge and seeing THIS


oh my, my mouth began to water. It looks gross, sure. Its looks “ghetto”, but I assure it, it is pretty fabulous

Jello on top of cheesecake. YUM, something about the textures and the combination, it just “gels” (lololol)



Oh, and the crust!! The sweet graham cracker crust!

In my search for cheesecake I came across this pretty photo and just wanted to share, because it just makes me happy and smile. I know, ‘Cheesy” right?  🙂


Your Turn

1.  Have you ever really “interviewed” someone? Its fun! What did you lea





Healthy Lifestyle

The Story Of …………Me <3

Happy Valentines Day everyone!  I thought I would do something a little different and special THIS Valentine’s day.

Get ready for a true Love Story. A story that took 37 years to build and grow. Here is

The Story Of Me ❤

Driving in the car one day, listening to my audio book, it struck me. I had NO clue about HOW my parents met. Sure I knew little bits and pieces, but I had no true idea of how their little love story began, unfolded and grew. Resulting in ………Me.

I asked my parents if they were up for a few questions. Mom was excited, dad was……..meh.  I asked the where they’d feel most comfortable. They picked the couch downstairs. They sat on the same couch and when I asked my dad “Why did you sit there” He said “Because its Valentine’s Day”

HOW ROMANTIC (((((eye roll)))))

We were off to a shaky start. My father is very impatient, so I did not see this going quite as I had so perfectly planned in my head.

I began by asking my father to recall the first time he met my mother. He responded by saying “In a car, I picked her up”.  Ok, maybe I needed to be a BIT clearer. I wanted to know his initial thoughts when he saw her for the first time….Ok, now we are getting somewhere.

My dad


“I was dating her friend Zita, she introduced me to your mom.  We were going out on a double date, actually there was 5 of us in all. We went out to a club and dancing, it was an after hours club so we did not leave until close to 4 am (wow, go crazy kids you!!)  We were driving home and Zita, told me to take your mom home FIRST so that her and I could have some time together, but I told her NO, I was going to take HER home first, and I did”. He dropped his date off first, then the 2 other guys that were with him and my mom and him decided to …….GO OUT FOR BREAKFAST!  🙂  How sweet!  Almost as sweet as the pancakes and sausage my mom recalls ordering (dad could not remember what he had ordered)  After breakfast, they went to the park and walked around.

My parents NYE


I asked my dad what his initial thoughts were when he saw my mother that evening. He said “She is MINE”  He described her as “beautiful and really really nice, nice personality”.  My father said he was dating Zita off an on and dating other girls as well (well, a real cassa nova, huh!?)

 He said he had NO interest or desire in getting married. He always thought he would remain single…….until that day, that moment. He KNEW he had finally met the girl he was going to marry.  8 months later, he did 🙂 My mother was supposed to be on a date with another man (Pictured below) however she said that my dad was the “Cutest and best looking guy in the entire place”. So obviously the had other intentions. Neither of them dealing with Zita or my “Could have been daddy”

That is the guy that “Could have been” my daddy


When I asked my mother her side, surprisingly she recalls pretty much of the same. They surprisingly agree on the events of that night. I say surprisingly, because after 37 years of marriage, they LOVE to argue and prove each other wrong…..just an observance on my part ❤

I am a bit shocked by all of this because my dad does NOT seem like the type to remember this sort of stuff, according to mom he nailed it 🙂

I asked if either one of them felt “guilty” for liking each other when my father was dating my moms friend, and my mom was friends with “Z”.  My mom said initially she felt a little guilt, and she admits that my father did as well, although he denies it.  My mother said that “Z” really liked my father and she recalls numerous stories of this “mystery man”.  Who knew that fate had other plans for Zita.

I sensed there was some slight guilt or embarrassment on both their parts, with the admittance that dad would hide from “Z” on numerous occasions. I think he was a bit scared…….She was NOT happy

If I can’t have you NOBODY will

I understand being hurt, but I do not understand chasing after someone that CLEARLY is not interested in you. Do you really want to date someone under false presumptions like that? It would not be a choice of mine.

Things faded among-st the friends. New friends (some life long ones) were made after that.

My mother and father were BOTH born in Poland. I always thought they initially met and spoke to each other in Polish. I was wrong.  They said they only spoke to each other in English at first.  Wow.  My mom recalls his thick accent, which I can imagine is pretty much the same as it is today.  She thought to herself “Oh my god, what am I thinking.”

 After that night, things began to get pretty serious, pretty fast.  My father called my moms house to ask for another date. He was greeted by my grandmother, in which he gracefully asked a few questions like “Does she have a boyfriend, is she dating, etc” Babcia (my grandmom) told him that Yes she was dating here and there but nothing serious.  I can see the SMILE on dads face now 🙂

He asked Babcia if it would be ok to take my mother out again (this conversation was in Polish)  She agreed. Which I thought was very nice, but wasnt that my mothers decision?? haha

Their 2nd date was set.  They went to a Seafood and Clam bar, afterwards they went to club Roxy, as my father recalls. They both said it was very nice and enjoyable. I did not press for details, because they still ARE my parents…..ewww


So as things progressed, I was interested in what my mother and fathers perspective was on the Other’s family.  My father said that he really liked my mother’s family right from the beginning. He recalls my grandfather was a “real talker”. They would talk and discuss the news, politics, etc.  He also recalls playing card games with my Uncle John and he thoroughly recalls everything being wonderful AS LONG as my uncle won…..if he didn’t there would be endless tears (Thank you Uncle John for passing this quality on to me! )  Do I sense a sore looser?

The cry baby my uncle is on the left 🙂

Most of my father’s family was still in Poland. His father had passed, so the only person my mother got to meet was his mother.  She recalls her first impression of her as “Being very nice, but she had dark circles under her eyes…..she reminded me of that animal, what is it, the one with the circles? OH, a raccoon. Yes she reminded me of a raccoon”

Ok, so my father thought my mothers family was really nice and my mother thought his looked like raccoon’s. Glad we are all clear ❤

Mom and Babcia ❤


My mother thought that her future mother in law was NOT too crazy of their relationship. She believes that she tried to tell my father to go back with “Z”. Although my father denies this. I guess at the time, my grandmother was very traditional and old school. My father did not love “Z”. He was in love with my mom. I give them BOTH so much credit for staying true to themselves and not giving up on what they both wanted…..each other ❤

Mom and Dads wedding day ❤


First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes……Matthew and Diana in a baby carriage.


Matthew was born first. My dad describes my mom looking so beautiful while pregnant. He said he loves a pregnant woman because “I know there is life inside her”.  They were both ESTACTIC when they found out they were pregnant! They both went to the first doctors appointment together. My mother had sadly encountered a miscarriage earlier, so I am sure it was a bit scary for her this time. I asked if their relationship changed at all after Matthew was born. My dad says “No we were so happy”. My mom disagrees. She admits to being a little stressed, sleep deprived and a bit chaotic. They both recall how difficult Matthew was as a baby. He would scream and cry and carry on. At times they did not know how to comfort him.  They had no clue that 9 months later Matthew would be diagnosed with autism. The doctors really had no real knowledge, advice or reassurance for them.  He did advise them that Matthew would probably just be “a little slow, but would still have a family, finish school, etc”.  Just shows you how much things have progressed in the world of special ed, but I digress….

After Matthew there was me 🙂  A family of four. A crazy, loving family of four.


I asked them both to recall a favorite  trip together. My dad chose Poland. He recalled how fun it was to travel together, explore, meet each others families (many for the first time) and to just be together. He recalls me wearing a little white dress and dancing with him at a wedding we attended…..I recall falling off a wagon and getting cuts all over my belly, but of course I would remember that 🙂  (Don’t worry, I was ok, nothing a little “powder” couldn’t solve)




My mothers was the Bahamas……..Hey, wait a minute…..the kids were left at HOME for the Bahamas trip….Ahhhh, I see 🙂

Bahamas (minus the kids)


I wanted to see how WELL they knew each other. So I began with something simple:

“Dad, what is moms favorite color?”

Hmmmm, he says, I think red.  BINGO! He is correct!

“Mom, what is dad’s favorite color?”
I would say blue, since that is what I buy him most of (how perfect of an answer, because my mother WOULD know my fathers favorite color better than him! )

I asked what each  others favorite meals were, they were both SPOT on. My dad answered with “Pasta” and mom answered with “Meat and potatoes” . 2 points each!

After 37 years, I knew there were some things they LOVED about each other, and…………things that irked the crap out of them.  Lets start off sweet.  My mom says she loves what a hard worker my father was and still is. She also thinks he is a wonderful gardener. My fathers response……”SEX…..”

Ok, errr, awkward…..

“Ok, dad, something ELSE, besides that”

He admits that she has a good heart and she is a great cook.  (My face is a little less red now)

As far as those irky qualities?  My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My father says that my mother constantly repeats the same things, over and over again.

My mother says that her biggest gripe with my father is that he SMOKES IN THE HOUSE. Ugh, yuck, gross!

I am a bit shocked, because I could have sworn it would be his smelly feet?!

I ended by asking them WHAT they feel is the most important thing to a lasting marriage and relationship. They both say

I agree. Completely.

Without trust you have nothing. Sure, you argue, have pet peeves, act childish, but if you have trust

You have EVERYTHING in the world

There you have it. The story of me ❤

Mom and Dad’s Engagement party 


Healthy Lifestyle

Wednesday Wants 2.11.15

I really WANT to say what a fabulous, fantastic and eye opening experience the past week has been for me.  This is work related, but SO much more.  I am so fortunate to have a student teacher………wow. I totally GET why this is SUCH an amazing opportunity for you, the student teacher AND the students. Everyone benefits.

My situation is a bit different, but none the less , it is turning out to be a pretty amazing experience.  WHY?


For the students……

THEY are getting so much! They are getting the attention of two caring teachers, they are getting exposure to two creative minds, they are getting new ideas, new aspects, new methods. They are getting patience. They are getting life experiences. They are getting an experience of a life time.

For the student teacher..…..

she has the opportunity to try new things out! She has the power and control to GET through to the students. She has the chance to allow her students to REACH her. She has the opportunity to ask for help or advice when she feels lost. She has the opportunity to feel safe and confident.

For ME…………

wow. Well where do I begin.   First of all, teaching is a passion. It is my love. It is also a lot of work.  This experience has made me realize JUST how much work.  It also has made me realize how constraining and ineffective our education system is.  We all have to work really hard to make it the best possible experience for our students. Its difficult when we have outside influences that hinder our personal goals for student growth.  As a teacher, you easily burn out, loose patience and loose that “fire” that you once had.  Its easy to loose that when you are consumed with paper work, rules, new tests, new systems, new evaluation systems. It is difficult to balance work, school, the students, life skills, academics, the big picture, behavior, etc, etc, etc.  It is HARD.

This experience has let me let go a bit and allow someone else to hold the reigns while I sit back and actually ENJOY my students. I get to SEE them in action. I get to see what works for them and what does not. I get to see what their strengths are, and where their weaknesses lie. I get to see what makes them happy and smile. I get to see what makes them sad and anxious.

I often times miss these amazing opportunities because I am consumed with testing, learning new programs, dealing with behaviors, making sure I accomplished all goals for the day, ensuring my students got what I anticipated out of the day/lesson, personal expectations, planning, revising, reflecting……

It is nice to give my brain a break.  I feel like a boulder has been lifted from my shoulders. I think my students see and feel it too ❤


Healthy Lifestyle

Ten For Tuesday (Why I journal and why YOU should too!)

 Journal-ing DOES help.



I have started a new routine of journal-ing either in the morning when I wake up, or right before bed. Good old fashioned pen and notebook kind of journaling. Wow. It really is so theraputic and helpful! It feels great to get it all OUT and clear my head.

I love to write. I love to review things. However, if I can not remember the experience, what use is it? I love having a notebook handy.  I have one on my nightstand for before I go to bed, or when I wake, I have a notebook for school/work, so I can jot down things to are on my mind, or that I see.  I also keep a notebook in my purse, in case I am out to a fabulous restaurant, or an idea pops up while I am at the store…….YOU NEVER KNOW!

  Break it down.

I always break things down for my students and recently have starting breaking things down for MYSELF. It is so helpful, here is how I stay focused and GET IT DONE 🙂

 Here are my top ten ways to get it done this Tuesday

1)  set one personal goal and one work goal and STICK to it, complete it.  Just ONE!

  • ex:  Personal goal – listen to my book during “down time” like driving, cooking, cleaning, etc. Work goal- create a writing plan for my students for the month of March.

2)  Write it down! Somewhere, anywhere!  Some people prefer their iPad or iPhone, others (like me!) prefer to good old pen and paper approach. Regardless , download the latest app, or buy yourself a cute new notebook and WRITE IT DOWN!

3)  Force yourself to only think about that one thought. Put all of your energy and focus into completing it.

  • every time my mind begins to wander, I force myself to go back to my original goal.

3)  do not allow your mind to wander, panic or create anxiety over OTHER things you can or should be doing.

  • bring yourself back each time your mind wanders. reassure yourself of the satisfaction you will feel when one thing is thoroughly complete!

4)  Redirect

It is easy to redirect yourself. Hopefully the more you do it, the more natural it will become (these are my hopes anyway!)

5) Take a break.  Stand up, walk around, get a drink, have a snack. Do something for YOURSELF. Refresh your mind and body, then go back to what you are working on.

6)  remember. IT WILL GET DONE.

  • It is OK if it takes longer than expected. That is life. Remember you have the power to do anything and complete anything, no matter how long it takes.

7)  Keep it simple. This is my go to motto lately. Simple is better. really, trust me!

  • I have finally learned that it is OK to accept help. It is OK for things to be easy. It is OK for things to be enjoyable!

8)  Allow yourself to feel great when you complete something fully and successfully! Live it up! Relinquish it! soak it up!

  • ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh 🙂

9)  Let it go. You did it. You finished! You feel great. Now, let it go.  You deserve to stop thinking about your success. Give your brain (and self) a break!

10)  prepare for tomorrow.  Remind yourself that today was a success because you kept it simple. Tomorrow can and WILL be the same ❤


Book review!

Beautifully Damaged by LA Fiore

Beautifully Damaged (Beautifully Damaged, #1)

Meet Ember and Trace. Ember is still learning about herself. She never really saw herself as someone beautiful or good hearted , but others see BOTH things in her ❤  Ember reminds me a lot of myself. Very unsure, but coming to terms with who she is and accepting it.   She will finally come to accept this but not without plenty of ups and downs. Her best friend is jealous of her and not really a friend at all. (Haven’t we all had these people in our lives?)Ember does eventually realize this and stops allowing herself to get walked on.

One night Ember goes out with her “so called” friend to a night club. Her “friend” ends up ditching her and going home with her new boyfriend, whom she obviously cares much more about than her own best friend (this is apparent several times, if not ALL times during the book). This is where Ember first runs into (and fall for )…….. Trace. Ember does NOT take crap and knocks out a guy that is a slobbering drunk and trying to put his hands on her.  Her knock out immediately draws Trace to her. He is there in an instant. Like……….spider man 🙂  . Trace is definitely a ladies man. Not to mention stunning (in fact I want there to be a movie JUST so I can get a glimpse of this sexy 6’4 tattooed bad boy with a big heart (deep down there somewhere)

He comes off as quite the ladies man, sex crazed, a real “love ’em and leave ’em” type. At first Ember thinks she has no chance. That he is way out if her league. Turns out they may just be what the other needed.  His low self esteem and her determination are a perfect match!

Filled with kitschy 80s and 90s love song references (like U2 and Bryan Adams) this alone made me chuckle quite a few times. Partially at how corny it was. Partially how sweet it would be to have someone think of you while those songs play. What can I say. I am a big romantic at heart

Ember takes a lot from Trace. I am not sure anyone in their right mind would stay or fight for a guy in the various situations he deliberately put himself in (making out with and practically having sex with other gorgeous women right in front of Ember’s eyes) hurtful words, anger issues. Not sure I’d stick around! No matter how hot!?

Beautifully damaged is a fun, light read with a bit suspense and mystery, which is a nice change of pace from the many hot and steamy sex romps.

I really enjoy books like this because it gives me hope that LOVE can and does exist and it’s nice to get away from my world and get involved in someone else’s.  Being able to judge a character from a book does not leave me feeling quite as guilty as judging in real life , which is something I try to refrain from. 🙂

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars