Friday, July 2, 2010

Italy in 3...2...1

My lists saw me through and I am about 90% packed for Italy :) A car is picking us up at 2p.m. today to take us to the airport and our flight leaves at 5:30 p.m. It is an overnight flight, so hopefully I get some sleep. We should arrive in Rome at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. I am bringing my MAC and will be blogging from Italy. The villa we are staying in has internet, I am just not sure how fast it will be :P

Yesterday was spent running around everywhere getting what we needed for the trip. Derek didn't have a suitcase so I used some of the money we made at the engagement party and bought him a piece of luggage. I figured it was a necessity! I also bought all the toiletries we will need, plus a pair of shoes or two for me :)

My day started with Trader Joe's wheat waffles topped with organic whipped butter and maple syrup. An orange on the side.

After breakfast I ran a quick 4 miles... it was the perfect day to run! Not to hot, with a tiny breeze. It felt great, especially because I downloaded some new music on my ipod. I tend to neglect my ipod and hardly feed it new music, so when I do, it's a big deal!

I also cleaned out our frig yesterday because I don't want anything smelly in there when we get back from our trip. We did a pretty good job of eating almost everything in our frig that was perishable except for these vegetables from TJ's.

I HATE wasting food, so I decided to use these to make lunch. I just mixed the potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower with evoo, salt, pepper, oregano,  garlic, and hot pepper flakes. Then I roasted them for about 20 minutes and......... lunch was born...YUM!

 I just wanted to show you these Bride & Groom cookbooks Derek and I got as gifts at the engagement party. They have some cute entertaining ideas in them. Maybe I'll make some of the recipes when I get back :)

Most of the running around was done solo because Derek had to work yesterday. But once he got home we ran to the mall to pick him up a few things and we grabbed dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. I haven't been to a CPK in years! It is decent food- nothing fabulous- but good.

We started with the hummus and pita appetizer, and the sesame ginger dumpling appetizer. The sauce on the dumplings was great. I think I liked it because it was sweet and tangy- great combo in my book. The hummus had too strong of a lemon flavor.

As my main course I got the tricolor salad pizza. It was one of their thin crust pizzas topped with salad, Parmesan cheese shavings, tomatoes, and vinaigrette. This was very light and refreshing, I liked it a lot. I ate about three slices and packed the rest to take home.

As I write this post this morning, I am enjoying a cup of coffee and some toast w/ two oranges on the side. Yes two! because I don't want t throw them out :)

Time to finish packing and head to my moms. The car will be picking us up there. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

List Maker

I am in the midst of making lists. Lots of lists. When I don't know what to do first - I make lists. I leave for Italy tomorrow and not one thing is packed. But no worries, my lists will see me through!

Yesterday was my last day with the students, it was more emotional than I thought it would be. This class will always hold a special place in my heart because they were my first class. Sometimes, I get lost in seeing how much of an impact I as a teacher have on them. At the end of the day yesterday, I told them how I was honored to be their teacher this year and that I will miss them. The tears that followed were unexpected. Seeing all those six year old tears made me burst into tears... let's just say it wasn't pretty.

It is amazing how as a teacher your students teach you just as much as you teach them. Because of them this year I have grown not only as a teacher, but as a person. Seeing my student's reactions yesterday at the fact that I will no longer be their teacher was one of the most rewarding days of my life. I was expecting more of the "YES! Summer Vacation" attitude. I mean I know they are little and only 1st graders and if I taught 5th grade it might be different, but it still was rewarding.

It was just one of those eye-opening days were you realize what is actually important in life. That you do have the power to make a difference and impact someone's life. I left work yesterday feeling good knowing that even if some of those student's left my class still struggling with writing and reading, they at least knew they were loved by their 1st grade teacher <3

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bug Bites

My legs are covered in bug bites. I am not sure if it's because of all the excitement over the weekend that I didn't notice them on Sunday... but now as the dust settles, I cannot stop scratching!!! I think I counted 11 bug bites in total on my feet, ankle, and calves. Anyone have suggestions on how to make them stop itching? I am using this Benadryl cream, but it doesn't work :(

How is the week starting out for you? Yesterday was the fastest Monday I have had in a while. I had a half day with my students and then the teachers stayed until 3 to have a chance to clean their classrooms and pack up. The same will go for today and then tomorrow is my last day of school :) It will be bittersweet. I love that summer is starting for me, but I will miss my kids to no end!

My stomach hurt when I woke up yesterday so I didn't eat breakfast. But since my lunch time is 10:45 a.m. I wasn't worried because I knew I would be eating soon. Once lunch time rolled around, I had a piece of leftover broccoli pizza.

After spending the day boxing up my classroom I ran to Hallmark to buy thank you cards to send out to everyone who came to the party on Saturday. I love Hallmark, they have some of the cutest knick knack items in that store. I stopped at the Starbucks next door and got a vivanno to help me plow through the afternoon.

Then I unpacked and cleaned the apartment! I think so much clearer when my apartment is clean!

We leave for Italy on Friday, so when Derek got home from work we headed to my moms to do laundry for the trip. Unfortunately, we don't have a washer & dryer in our apartment and it is a huge hassle. In our next place it is a must!

At my moms I used some leftovers to make a yummy dinner. I used the left over vegetables to make a refreshing salad with carrot ginger dressing. Then I reheated some Cuban slow-roasted pork and put it on  whole wheat ciabatta bread to make a delicious sandwich.

Dessert was an orange :P

Question: I plan to go to Best Buy after work today and invest in a new camera. Does anyone have any recommendations for a point and shoot? With the blog and my upcoming trip to Italy, my current camera is just not cutting it. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Engagement Party Recap

This weekend flew by, but we enjoyed every second of it. The engagement party was a huge success and it was so nice to have all of our families come together for the first time. Everyone got along extremely well and I couldn't believe how fast it flew by! It was like a dream. Now I know what people mean when they tell you to make sure you enjoy the moment... because the moment is exactly just that... one moment. I felt bad I couldn't get around to everyone to talk to them because everyone wanted a piece of me or a picture with me & Derek. It was NUTS!!!! I guess that's what happens when your not used to being the center of attention. :P

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better day with  better family, friends, and fiance! It was a day I will never ever forget in my life.

Here is a photo recap.


The colors were a hot green and orange to match the invitations. We did this party very bright and modern (It is the opposite of the actual wedding which will be very vintage and muted).

The beautiful collage that my youngest sister surprised Derek and I with. 

Below are my homemade centerpieces. I saw a picture of centerpieces made with fruit in the vase online and thought to myself, "I can make something like that!". So I decided to save some money and do it myself. I cut up oranges into slices and filled the centerpiece vases with them. Then put one green hydranga in each, and finally, poked in one orange lily. I loved how they came out!!!

My parents backyard was the perfect setting for the party. We had great weather too which I was very thankful for.


 Now I must admit, the day of the party I was sooo nervous I did not eat much at all! But no worries, I spent Sunday making up for it eating leftovers all day as I helped clean my mom's house up! 

My family is a mix of cultures. My mom is Italian and Brazilian and my Dad is Cuban. Derek's parents are Italian and Ukrainian. For the food, we decided to incorporate the mix of cultures. We had two places cater the food, an Italian/American caterer and my uncle's Cuban restaurant. Everyone raved about the food and how the mix was such a fun add in to the party. 

 Asparagus and tomato quiche and sausage and mushroom quiche. Delicious & light! 

 Grilled vegetable skewers and pesto dip. 

 Chicken and beef empanadas. 

 Jonah crab claws. 

For dinner we had Cuban pork, rice & beans, sweet plantains, crab cakes, chicken parm, penne vodka, meatballs. fillet mignon, mixed green salad, tomato & mozz salad, and bread :) 

Dessert was my favorite part. We got the cake made to match the invitation exactly, it was adorable! Inside it was vanilla cake with two layers of filling, a dark chocolate layer and a hazelnut layer.

Our favors were a big hit too. Everyone loved reading the lyrics and trying to figure out which one could be our wedding song :P


 Me & my Godmother

Derek & I 

 Calling up our wedding party... 

With my maid-of-honors (My sisters) 

Our wedding party... below making my bridesmaids read a "Bridesmaid Contract" I created .... it was so funny.

 With my mom... 

At night the Cuban side took over and the salsa dancing started :) 

And that's all folks.... by the end of the night we all felt like this..... 

Have a Happy Monday! Be back later to normal blogging ;)