Congrats Melissa & Bill!

Wedding Graphics

Our friends from Scranton got engaged yesterday! Best Wishes to you both!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween marks the first year that we have lived in our home (well, at least since we signed on the dotted line). So far, the day has brought antique shopping, a visit with Mom, and lots of candy as we await the trick-or-treaters. It seems like there aren't that many children out this year. Nonetheless, we are determined to enjoy the fall's big holiday (other than Thanksgiving).

Fall in NYC

I'm sure I've said it before, and I certainly will say it again.


I love everything about it.
I love the cool, crisp weather.
I love the changing leaves.
I love the warm sweaters and hooded sweatshirts.

Today was a bit warmer than the average Fall day. But, it made the trip to Central Park Zoo with the kids that much better.

They were excited to be there.
The animals were active.
The leaves were changing.

Nice, short week

This week is a really short work week for me. We have regular classes today and tomorrow. Then, on Wednesday, we go to Hershey, PA. It will be a well deserved, much needed break.

To get ready for the massive amounts of chocolate I will be eating over the next few days, I went to the gym and bought Chewy Chips Ahoy. (I figure one will counteract the other.)

The plan right now is to work a regular day tomorrow. Pack and go to the gym. Wake up regular time. Go to the gym. Leave with the rest of the faculty [hopefully] in our brand new van!

The van came to visit us on the day of the Walk-A-Thon but, it hasn't been delivered yet.

Things That Make Me Smile

We had a lazy Sunday due to the fact that I still have a cold.

While cruising through the blog-o-sphere, I discovered that having a cold
is not such a big deal.

I am quite lucky to be sitting in my home, with my husband with a stuffy nose and a cough
because this will pass.

Life will go on.

I will continue to live, laugh, and love.

One of my favorite magazines, Southern Living, featured this BEAUTIFUL kitchen on their website. Wouldn't this be great to entertain in?

I love the beautiful cobalt mosaic backsplash, the gorgeous chandelier, and blue island. !

Blue Island Kitchen
Southern Living

I love my Irish heritage. I also love Willow Tree!
This would be a fantastic addition to my collection!
Willow Tree
Irish Charm Figurine

How cute are these two?
First Love

We had two little Madame Alexander dolls sitting at the foot of our wedding cake.
These remind me of a less formal version of those two!

Sibling Saturday

The boys with the tickets!

Despite my cold, the hubby and I got together with my brothers at Fordham University. It is parents weekend and unfortunately, my parents are at a wedding in Delaware. They took the little guy to dinner and show last night. And, they will take him to brunch and church tomorrow.

We had a good time playing proud parents with my other brother. (He came up from DC for the day.) We had such a good time at the game. Afterwards, the hubby and I took the little guy to dinner at a restaurant on Arthur Ave. We even got good parking and Fordham won!

Brothers watching the game.

The mascots assisting the cheerleaders with their pushups.
(Each time the team scores the cheerleaders do pushups for the total number of points the team has.)

Fordham won!
Traditionally, the team rings the victory bell outside the gym and then poses for pictures.


So, I woke up this morning with my first cold of the school year.

I hope my cold goes away soon so I can enjoy spending the day with by hubby and two of my brothers tomorrow. We are headed to the Fordham University Parents Weekend to watch the football game and possibly dinner.

After checking on me, the hubby went to a work event and came home with a yummy Cookies and Cream milkshake. Now, we are in the process of trying to pick a movie to watch. More than likely, I will fall asleep again.

On Wednesday, the faculty is headed to Hershey for the famed ECLEC conference. We get to go every three years. The last time we went we had a great time. I hope I'm feeling up to it! We have been looking forward to it since we came back three years ago. This year we are taking the new school van that the kids did the fundraising for. It will be our party bus!

Here's hoping all of these vitamins and Nyquil help!

Our Apartment!

Our apartment is featured on Nautical by Nature today! Check us out!

Wordless Wednesday

I spent 97% of my energy on my students today. Unfortunately, they did not spent as much energy on their work. By the end of the day, I was frustrated and disappointed in my students.

Despite the frustration, several good things happened today.

-One of my freshman girls realized that others may perceive her as a bully because of how she reacts to others.

Today people wore purple to stop bullying and harassment. This was in response to the recent suicides as a result of bullying. Earlier this week, the PE teacher gave a survey to the 9th and 10th grade students. Apparently, there was discussion about it last night on Facebook, E-mail, and text messaging. I was greeted at the door to my classroom by this student who wanted to talk about what people wrote about her. I was incredibly impressed by her maturity with regard to this situation.

-A wonderful woman by the name of Amal Wahid called me regarding my student from Alexandria, Egypt. We were able to talk about some resources that might be able to help him.

As a graduate student, I was required to take a course in diversity. One of our assignments was to visit a local mosque. As a class, we went to the Long Island Islamic Cultural Center. Due to the nature of the building, women were required to wear the hijab and dress modestly. The members of the cultural center were incredibly gracious and wanted us to feel comfortable there. We were able to ask questions without fear that we would be judged.

When my student began to express concern about his difficulty with the English language, I did not hesitate to contact them once again through their website. I sent a general inquiry about community resources for a teenage, male who recently came to the U.S. This afternoon on my way home from work, I received a call from Amal Wahid who also came from Egypt but, she arrived many years ago and has a wonderful command of the English language. She pointed me in the direction of a cultural center in my neighborhood as well as the Arab American Center in Brooklyn, NY. She gave me her phone number and e-mail to pass along to the student in case he wanted to speak with her. She was incredibly easy to talk to. I am so grateful got back to me with such kind, useful information.

-Another one of my students realized that being prepared for his class by having a calculator and asking questions, will certainly help his grade in my class.

He was the last student standing at the end of 1 hr 15 min of extra help after school. His perseverance was amazing. He kept asking questions. It was wonderful to watch his confidence grow as he was working through each problem. I hope he does well on his quiz tomorrow. He deserves it!

Newlywed Life: An Update

People often ask, " Is it different now that you are married?" The answer is not really. We get to spend more time together which is fabulous. I still enjoy cooking for the two of us. We still have adventures together.

When we took the FOCUS "test" during our PreCana class, we received a perfect score on the problem solving section. We put those skills to a test on Sunday. En route to the Have a Chance Walk, we discovered that the directions on the website were incorrect. Several subways were under construction. At least, one subway was re-routed. We managed to navigate our way to Battery Park in a little over an hour, before the start of the walk. We didn't fight once and were successful in our endeavor. GO US!

On Monday, we had a little bit of a tiff due to the fact that the hubby has very long work hours and I like a schedule. So as usual he told me he'd be home around 6. Well, six came and went . He called and told me the fax machine wasn't working so he'd be home definitely by 6:30. You guessed it! Six thirty came and went. He called to say that he would be home by 7 at the latest. By now, I was fit to be tied. I decided that sitting silently and copping an attitude was a good idea. NOT! My darling hubby knows me better than I know myself therefore, he knew I was annoyed. We made a new rule. If you don't know when you are coming home, simply say I don't know and it will be accepted by the other party.

Tonight, I got a window. 7-7:30. So far so good. DInner is almost ready. Yum!

Have A Chance

On Sunday, October 17th, the hubby, Carolyn, and I participated in the Have A Chance Walk to benefit brain tumor research. We walked in honor of our friend Tim. Read more about Tim, Jenn, and Emmanuella's story.

1/4 Year Anniversary!

Today is our 1/4 year wedding anniversary! Mom G. sent us a card to celebrate. It was actually the card she bought for our wedding but couldn't find until recently. It was an absolutely beautiful surprise complete with Swarovski crystals on it! (Just like my wedding dress!)

The End of the Week...Finally!

So the end of the work week is finally here. It was cut short for me this time around, due to commitments outside the office and the holiday. Next Monday looks to be pretty busy, and I'll be running around for most of the morning/early afternoon.

That means plenty of rest and relaxation for this weekend. Hopefully the weather will improve, but if not, the cold air is perfect for hot chocolate, chili, soup and all kinds of cold weather food. Maybe we will add some tortillas into the mix, too.

Speaking of which, is it almost time for dinner?

Busy Busy Busy

This has been a week to end all weeks. Luckily, I didn't work on Monday because of Columbus Day. Tuesday was spent preparing for Wednesday. Wednesday was my day to do all that I do for the school. First thing was the Freshmen Assembly Day. Basically, I plan a day that will help orient the Freshmen to the building. My friend/co-worker Sara helps me execute it. (She is such a patient person!) This year we played BINGO and then did a career inventory with them. After that they met their mentors (another program I put together this year). Six teachers agreed to be mentors to small groups of Freshmen. They will encourage them academically and socially. After the Freshmen assembly, we had a faculty meeting. This year we are going through MSA self-study to renew our accreditation. I am facilitating the completion of the report. At the meeting, the faculty completed a survey and began working in their subcommittees. By the end of the day, I was exhausted! Today was a regular day of school. Tomorrow is Walk-A-Thon. We have three periods of classes then the kids begin walking. This year they are walking to raise money for a new van for the school. We have a van but, it is really old and falling apart. It would nice to have a safe vehicle to transport the students to athletic events and school trips. I hope the impending nor'easter doesn't put a kink in our plans. If it rains we will be walking inside.

Tomorrow our apartment/blog will be featured on Nautical by Nature. I love decorating our apartment with nautical accessories. I was so excited when I found out we would be on that blog!

Making Tortillas

I love fresh tortillas and fresh cheese. I had never had a fresh tortilla until the hubby's aunt made them for us. Now, Mom T learned how to make them. After dinner,it was my turn to learn how to make the tortillas.

We started with Ma Se Ca (instant corn flour mix) and water. We rolled it into balls, bigger then the size of a cookie and smaller then the size of a meatball. Then we took each ball and flattened the dough using a cut up ziploc bag and a plate. Once they were flattened, we tossed them into a hot, dry frying pan.

I enjoyed this process because it was relaxing doing the same process over and over again. Of course, the best part was eating the warm tortillas! I can't wait to try to make them at home.

An Extra Day of Weekend

As you may have read, we had a lot of fun today in St. Michaels. After a quiet evening at home, with a tasty pasta dinner, we are settling in and getting ready for a rare treat: the third day of a three-day weekend. On deck for tomorrow: sleeping in, packing and more. We'll see how the day goes, but I hope we make the most of our "extra day."

St. Michaels, Maryland - "the heart and soul of the Chesapeake Bay"

We took off to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We visited the Queenstown outlets. We didn't do much shopping.

My favorite part of the drive is when we are on route 50 and we go over the Bay Bridge. It is absolutely beautiful. Today, there were a million boats out. The sun was shining on the water and it was gorgeous!

When we made it to St. Michaels, we went to lunch at Carpenter Saloon. The food was great! There was soo much crab in the soup, on the burger, and in the salad. The service was a bit slow and laid back but, as long as you have time it is a nice place to eat. The place mats have some historical facts about the Chesapeake Bay. Apparently, the tavern attached to the restaurant was "THE" place to watch the Ravens game.

After lunch, we walked around town and went to the many cute shops. Almost all of them have nautical home goods and accessories. Serveral stores had Vineyard Vines clothing. The Broken Rudder had a great deal on St. Michaels t-shirts. Of course, I got a nice green one! At the Christmas Shop, the hubby and I picked up a cute wall nautical wall hanging for the door in the apartment. There were so many fun things! I wish I had a huge house to decorate!

Creative Crafting

My mother in law is very creative. She sews. She makes wreaths and centerpieces. Recently, she made two centerpieces using my favorite things: seashells. The one centerpiece is Fall themed with a scarecrow and various colored leaves sitting in a wagon. The wagon has clam shells on it and a starfish worked into the leaves. Mom T also made us some wall hangings for Christmas time so, we'll be all set when the winter finally rolls around.

One of the other things that Mom T is really good at is sewing. She's made us our curtains in our living room, tablecloths, table runners, and blankets. After spending a weekend with her a few years ago, I learned how to use a sewing machine. I can sew basic things but, nothing like she does. Her latest creation is quilted bags, just like Vera Bradley! She made me a wonderful make up bag with purple quilted fabric. I love it!

Columbus Day Weekend!

Columbus Day weekend has finally arrived!! I have been waiting for this glorious weekend since Labor Day weekend!

We left last night for Maryland to visit the hubby's parents for the weekend. Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone else had the same idea so, we spent a lot of time sitting in traffic. We left Astoria around 4:30 PM and made it there by 10:30 PM. Of course Mom and Dad T were happy to see us.

The hubby was greeted with freshly baked brownies and I was greeted with tortillas and black beans. On one of the trips down here early in our relationship Mom T taught me how to make black bean dip. I pretty much love anything related to black beans but, this simple dip is just so wonderful. When she comes to visit us in NY, she brings me a few of her special cans of beans. (I still can't find them in stores in NY.)

Hopefully, one of these days I'll learn to make tortillas! Mom T just learned a month or two ago. We usually eagerly wait the arrival of Mati (the hubby's aunt) to make them for us.

Anyway, the hubby is at Mom T's dental office getting a cleaning. I'm enjoying my time to just sit and relax. (Apparently, I look tired.)

This week has felt extraordinarily. On Thursday, several members of the faculty went to the funeral for a student's parent. The trip took us to an area of Brooklyn we had never been to. I find it interesting to see the neighborhoods where our students come from. As a result of the time I spend in the counseling office, I often find it interesting that these kids make it to school everyday. I hope my students enjoy this long weekend as much as the faculty will.

Planet Fitness

I decided to join Planet Fitness in Astoria since the weather has been pretty terrible. In the summer, I’d been running and/or walking just about everyday. But, when it was hot out, I didn’t want to run. I told this to my doctor and she told me to join a gym. Of course, I told her it was too expensive and it wouldn’t be open when I was available. Then, she suggested Planet Fitness. I did my research. (By research, I mean I went on Yelp!) I read that the gym near my apartment was open 24/7, Monday-Friday but, it was very crowded. Sometimes you had to wait for a machine. Well, there you have it. I decided it would be too crowded.

During the past few weeks, we have had awful weather. Lots of rain = absolutely no motivation to go for a walk/run. I thought about what my doctor had said and decided to revisit the issue joining a gym. I went to the gym at 8 pm to see what they had to offer. I simply said I wanted what the commercial promised.:24/7 fitness for $10. The guy at the desk was great. He wasn’t pushy he told me what I needed to know but, didn’t try to sell me anything. As a result, I decided to join.

I went for the first time today, after work. It was nice and anonymous. I hate seeing people I know while I am working out. Crowded but, not so much so that I had to wait for anything. I liked it! Hopefully, I will get back there tomorrow.

City Life

I have lived in New York for most of my life. I had never witnessed public urination or theft until this week.

On Saturday night, the hubby and I were headed to bed and heard a strange noise outside the builind. When we went to the window there was a man outside trying to pry this bicycle off the no parking sign. He was being very loud and obvious about trying to take this bicycle so, I thought it may his bicycle and he just lost the key. Unfortunately, while the hubby and I were looking for the nonemergency number for the local precinct, he left. The good new was that it was without the bike. However, the next morning when we woke up we looked outside, the bike was gone but the piece of metal he was using along with the bike lock were on the ground.

Then, on Tuesday morning, I got up for work as I usually do and I heard people talking outside the building. (Typically, there is no one else up when I leave for work.) This talking was so loud that the hubby woke up too. When we went to the window, there was a man urinating on the front of the building. Seriously?! Who does that?! Interestingly, we were not the only people who were woken up by this as, when I left the building there was a swarm of other people leaving because they were waiting for the loud talkers to leave.

Seriously?! I think I need to move to the country.

Has it really been a year?

I've lived in the apartment for nearly a year's time. Wow.

In the last twelve months, we've really gotten used to our neighborhood. In fact, we spent much of the last weekend hanging around the apartment instead of taking a day trip anywhere. As you can see from the wife's post, brunch was great on Sunday - lots of tasty, rich French food and a good waitress, despite some of the negative reviews we read. We decided to try the place after months of walking by and never going in. It's nice to be able to say that we've made the area "home" and that we have the chance to do that type of thing in our own backyard.

Guess what? It's finally fall, temperature-wise. It was pretty chilly yesterday and this morning I brought out corduroys for the first time since last autumn. While part of me is sad that the year is drawing to a close, so much has happened in the year since we've lived in Astoria (well, since we've had the apartment, anyway).

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming year. I remember looking at the empty apartment a year ago. Now it's the home of a happily-married couple (I hope!) You never know what the coming months will bring, but I'm exciting to find out just the same.

Week in Review

Clearly, the internet issues haven't resolved themselves. I am currently at the hubby's office updating our blog!

I was so excited that I finally got to speak to a dear friend from college. I'm not sure when the last time was that we actually had a conversation but, its been awhile. I realized that since December 2009 a lot has changed. In December, Jenn, Eliz, Amber, and I got together to celebrate Christmas in Scranton. It was just us girls! Now, Jenn has a daughter and I am married. I wonder what the rest of the year will bring. I wonder if we will get together in Scranton again this winter.

This week was filled with rain, rain, and more rain. Unfortunately, this made the week seem inordinately long.

Tuesday night was volleyball. Thursday night was back to school night at work. Due to the threat of another tornado we only had 50ish parents there. Generally, the parents that came were not the parents that needed to come.

I am glad to finally get to the weekend. It was wonderfully refreshing to sleep 10 1/2 hours and wake up to sunshine and cool weather. The hubby and I decided to hang around Astoria instead of going to Dutchess or Montauk. Perhaps in the coming weeks, we will make it to either location.

I introduced the hubby to the pumpkin latte at Dunkin' Donuts. YUM!! Unfortunately, he wasn't as excited about it as I was. After perusing some of our favorite shops, we made it to evening Mass at St. Joseph's. It appears that I can't escape the Lutherans as today's sermon was about a Lutheran Pastor who was killed by the Nazi's at a concentration camp for his faith. Oh one of my coworkers stated earlier in the week, I am Lutheran by proxy.

I am excited to enjoy brunch with my parents tomorrow at Pomme Cafe. They have a $14 dollar brunch deal that includes Bellinis!