Camp Walden For Girls

We all have specific movies from our childhood that bring back bucket loads of fond memories. For me it's films like It Takes Two, Back to the FutureLook Who's Talking, Grease, Fern Gully and of course, The Parent Trap. Nowadays I hardly have time to sit down and enjoy the new movies coming out, let alone reminisce about the good ol' ones. So, when the disgusting rainy English weather kept the hubs and I housebound this afternoon, I perused through the channels and was tickled pink to find a few little gems that sparked those wonderful childhood memories.

My first movie-moment-of-glory happened early this afternoon and provoked a screech of excitement, which was immediately followed by the bellowing of the Oompa Loompa song. You guessed it folks, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the old and BEST one, not that crappy new Johnny Depp thing) had made an appearance on our TV Guide Menu. I was totally content as I sat with my cup of tea laughing at Augustus Gloop as his bubble butt got stuck in the pipe of the chocolate river...that was, until I accidentally sat on the remote and, with my bubble butt, changed the channel to Wheel of Fortune. As I'm not 50 years old, I impatiently pressed numerous buttons in order to get back to the TV Guide and search for the channel with Mr. Wonka again. It was this second time around that I spotted another gem, the only Lindsay Lohan film I can stand...The Parent Trap. And though I tried to stay committed to Mr. Wonka and little Charlie Bucket, I just couldn't help myself. The lush green forest, glistening lake and log cabins of Camp Walden For Girls beckoned the little girl inside of me and I just had to check it out...for old times sake.
And wouldn't you know... it was at my very favorite part. The revenge scene at Camp Walden. (I'm aware that this video has weird subtitles...but for my sake you'll pretend they're not there. Right? K, thanks).

 As I sat giggling at the water balloons, shaving cream and feathers falling like snow, (Oh, and realizing for the very first time that one of the camp counsellor's is the same woman who plays Janice in F.R.I.E.N.D.S), I was immediately brought back to the sweet sweet summertime of 1998, when a 10 year old Amanda and 9 year old Sonya watched this movie for the very first time, desperately wishing we could, like Hallie and Annie, go to Camp Walden too.
As a child I never got to experience a summer camp. Living in such a rural state, each summer I waved goodbye to oodles and oodles of friends who enjoyed their summer months at Girl Scout camp, and even my sister went away for the summer to an Asthma camp one year. I, however, enjoyed each summer vacation with our next door neighbor Mrs. Pawul (aka Mom) learning how to make lattice out of pie crust on top of my Strawberry Rhubarb pies, or angel food cake. While I'm definitely NOT complaining - if you've read my memoirs I've posted about Mrs. P, you'll know how much I adored my time with that special woman - I do feel ever so slightly sad that I missed out on that very American summer experience. And even now, as a married woman who is CLEARLY too old to attend (trust me, I even checked the real Camp Walden's website. HA! Don't judge!) I wish I could turn back the hands of time and go, even if for just one summer - to an old summer camp deep in the words, alongside a lake, like Hallie and Annie did in The Parent Trap.

I have the I wanna go to summer camp feeling burning in my belly once again.

As a teacher, I'm lucky in that I have the summer months free to embark on new adventures. Amd while I'm one of those people who dream big - I've already set my goal as running a small pre-school from my house over the summer months (in a couple of years, when Carl and I have children of our own), I really think I've found something else I'd love to do. Regardless of the sea sickness I experience when kayaking, my hatred for mosquito bites, and the pain in the butt associated with clothes smelling of camp fire, I really would love to embark on the whole camp counsellor experience at some point in my life. Who knows, maybe next year? I think it's only fair that at some point, and in some way, I experience the summer camp fun I've craved for so long. Even if it is in the form of looking after the girls rather than being one - I'd still like to give it a go myself.

Have any of you experienced the joys of summer camp as a child? Were they as wonderful as Hallie and Annie make out? Did I really miss that much? Please share your stories, as I'd love to live vicariously through you ;)

I hope you've all enjoyed a lazy Sunday, and maybe even found an old movie to spark childhood memories as well.

Thanks for reading, guys.
Lots of love, love, love,


Friday's Letters

Today, while catching up with some of the posts from my fav bloggers, I found a new unbelievably adorable link-up that tickles my fancy so much I'm joining in the fun too. The wonderful Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds hosts the 'Friday's Letters' link-up each Friday, where you take a moment to write short snip-it's to those in your life. It's super cute and I loved the way that Brandy did it so much that I just had to give it a go myself. So, without further adieu, I give you my first ever Friday's Letters. May you bask in all of it's glory.

Dear Kindergarten Students,
I totally understand that the world is a vibrant, new, exciting and wonderful place for you to explore... however, next week could you please refrain from throwing sawdust from our 'investigation' box in the air like it's effin confetti? Spending 20 minutes at the end of the day trying to sweep it all back up isn't my idea of fun. In addition to that, I'm sure your mothers don't appreciate you coming home with so much of the stuff in your hair that it looks like you've got the world's worst case of dandruff. 
Thank you, hugs and cuddles,
Mrs. Anderson

Dear Husband,
Thank you for the beautiful flowers you got me on Wednesday. Thank you for doing that stupid (truly horrible) dance tonight in the kitchen as we made dinner together. Thank you for rubbing my back as I fall asleep each night. Thank you for tickling my tummy to the point of me falling off the couch backwards laughing.  Thank you for making me cups of tea. Thank you for watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. with me every night before bed. Thank you for talking about the missing pieces of a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle in your sleep. (BAHA) Thank you for finally agreeing (even though you haven't) that I love you more and I win. 
Elephant shoes, you're the bestest,
Your Bean Bean xxxx
P.S. If you leave a wet towel on the bed ONE MORE TIME I'll have to thump you. Mwah.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for such a lovely Skype chat this week. As I sat there talking with you (while you told me to lay off my beloved chocolate milk treat and yogurt for breakfast because they'll only make the ridiculous amount of snot in my head worse), it finally dawned on me how I don't just view you as my Mom anymore...you're one of my best friends. I've looked forward to the day we'd reach that kind of a relationship, and now that it's here I feel truly blessed. Thank you for being the best Momma in the whole wide world, I can't wait until I'm back home  so we can enjoy each other's company on a regular basis :) Love you the mostest (times infinity) xoxo

Dear Daddy-O,
I'm sorry your shoulder is still causing you so much pain, every time we talk I wish there was something I could do to help you. I hope your visit with the specialist next week is a success and provides you with a much needed positive outlook for the future. I know it's hard, but try to stay positive. And remember what I said about trying to use this unfortunate injury as a learning curve. Patience, Papa, patience. (See, look, this is what happens when you encourage me to be responsible all throughout my life. You've turned me into a mini you). I love you lots and I miss your hugs that smell like sawdust and Old Spice. Keep smiling, kick butt at your poker games and try not to throttle poor Uncle Frank and Grandpa :) xoxo

Dear Smokers,
Stop blowing your DISGUSTING cigarette smoke in my face on a daily basis. You may want to suck in all of that lung cancer, I however, do not. Stop being so bloody inconsiderate all the time, and for the love of God turn your head away from people like me before you vigorously spew a stream of smoke into other's faces. Consider yourselves warned, because next time one of you do it I'm gonna open a can of whoop ass like you've never seen in your life. That is all.

Dear 4-Month-Long Cold,
I'm going to say this once and for all... Piss off and get out of my life. We're through and it's over. Capisce? Now go. Go and find someone else to harass, because to put it bluntly, I hate you.

Dear Baby Sheester,
I know you're going through a bit of a rough patch right now and you're SO ready to be finished with college. Trust me, I know how that feels. Just try to remember that in 3 weeks you'll be walking down that aisle wearing your cap and a gown - and after that, you're free. It makes me unbelievably sad that I can't be there to 'WHOOP! WHOOP!' you as you collect your diploma on stage, but just know that I'm there in spirit, just like you were at mine last year. I'm so proud of you that I can't even express it with words. Keep that head held high, look forward to the future, and realize that in order to get what you really want in life, you have to bust your ass and be patient. Don't worry, in time that perfect job will come, as will that log cabin you dream of, the wedding and babies. Keep reaching for those goals, I'm here to support you every single step along the way. 
Lots of love, 
Dear Self,
I'm so proud of you for sticking with your diet. You've lost another 4lbs this past week, meaning you've lost 12lbs since the end of this past January. Since you started to make healthy changes back on the 1st of Jan LAST year, you've officially lost 39 lbs!! High five for sticking to that New Years resolution! You go girl! Be proud of the progress you've made! You're less than 10 lbs away from your goal weight. Stick with it, I know you can do it! 


Stop and Smell the Roses: Week 9

Happy Wednesday, you beautiful people!

Well as you know, it's that time of the week again! The day where I link up with the beautiful Mandy for the Stop and Smell the Roses Vlog Link-Up! I absolutely LOVE coming home from a busy day knowing I can enjoy a big cuppa tea and watch all of the other videos. It's seriously on par with a great chick-flick. Super duper awesomesauce. I officially heart Wednesday's.
This week, although I tried hard not to ramble on...I did. I'm sorry I'm still slightly over the 4 minute mark, but it's a vast improvement on last weeks. Haha. In order to keep the time shorter I've refrained from telling the story of how today on the train I blew a bubble while talking to my friend Laura. So I shall do that now. Yep, you read that correctly. I actually managed to blow a bubble people (which clearly must have been made out of spit as my Mom hasn't washed soap out of my mouth since I was 7 years old...) How DISGUSTING but altogether HILARIOUS is that, please? This is no joke, I'm for cereal. Have you EVER seen someone blow a tiny bubble (while pronouncing the word this) that floated out of their mouth during an entirely serious conversation? Laura and I laughed so hard we nearly peed our pants. How the heck am I sculpting young minds when I blow spit bubbles as I talk? EW! Haaaahaha.  Anyway...now that you're all appalled by my behavior, and I've shared something with the world that is entirely inappropriate, I'll leave you to watch this weeks video :)

HAHA! How attractive is this thumb nail?! I look like a serial killer. I blame my sickness. 

If you're interested in finding out more information about the two products I've mentioned, click the links below:
(there is an American site for the dry shampoo, so you will be able to get it back in the states! Yay!)

Thanks so much for stopping by, guys! Wherever you are, I hope you have a lovely Wednesday!

Lots of love, love, love,


Sometimes and Always #2

Sometimes: I set my alarm clock 20 minutes early with the good intention of showering, getting dressed, painting my face and packing my bag so far in advance that I have time to enjoy a relaxed cup of tea and piece of toast while watching the morning news before catching my train.

Always: I hit the snooze button even more than ever and end up running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I never get the tea and I never get the piece of toast. Worst part: my paranoia and hatred of being late means that I get to the station 20 minutes before my train arrives anyway, and end up standing on the platform stewing about how I could have had that tea and toast after all.

Sometimes: I feel inspired to try out new perfumes.

Always: Almost instantaneously I revert back to my 4 favorites: Coco Mademoiselle by ChanelHeavenly by Victoria's Secret, Egyptian Goddess by Auric Blends and Alien by Thierry Mugler. Never fails.

Sometimes: I plan to take a warm, relaxing, candle lit bubble bath upon my arrival back home after a long day. 

Always: I get consumed in dinner, dishes, laundry, packing lunch and lesson planning. I haven't seen a bath since 2011. For cereal, people. 

Sometimes: I fool myself into believing I've seen The Notebook enough times now that I won't cry.

Always: I sob uncontrollably, demolish an entire box of Kleenex and end up with a chick-flick-bawlathon-headache. Ever.Single.Time. 

Sometimes:  I give the dreaded straight up peanut butter another go.

Always: I spit it back out, gagging. It always tastes just like gooey dirt. Blugh. Every time I'm reminded of how I only do peanut butter if it's in the form of frosting, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, or my cousin Deano's fudge. 

Sometimes: I think I want to dye my hair blonde.

Always: I realize how DISGUSTING I would look. 

Sometimes: I wish I'd have become a wedding planner. 

Always: I'm reminded of how much I love children and teaching. Every day my students inspire me and confirm that teaching is what I'm meant to do. 

Sometimes: I switch the TV on and search for an entirely intellectual and thought provoking 'grown-up' news program. 

Always: I'm drawn to the "Lifestyle" tab like a moth to a flame. Food Network, TLC, Home and Health, Discovery, Wedding TV...never fails. Seriously. 

What are your 'Sometimes and Always'? Link up with us here and share! 

Thanks for reading, guys!
Lots of love, love, love,


The weekend I spent with Giants...

This weekend was a perfect example of why I've loved living in a big city - Liverpool, to be exact. In the 20 years I spent in my little Vermont town, I never once got to experience GIANT marionette's roaming the streets. Sure I've enjoyed the pleasure of tons of smelly skunks, bounding deer (mostly in front of my fricken car!) roaring camp fires and mooing cows, yes, but certainly no Giants. 

Over the past 3 days the city of Liverpool welcomed Royal De Luxe, an unbelievably talented and unique French street theatre company, to perform their Sea Odyssey Giant Spectacular. It was truly one of the most amazing performances I've ever seen and something I honestly won't forget for a very long time. I mean seriously, how often do you get to watch 90 ft Giant puppet wearing a diving suit walk past you, sit on a cargo box full of letters, fall asleep and snore? Come on, people. This was awesomesauce at it's finest.

Now, in case you're confused as to why exactly Giants randomly pranced around Liverpool City Centre (as I was at first) allow me to enlighten you. In order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Titanic's sinking (everyone knows the link between Liverpool and the Titanic) Royal De Luxe created a storyline surrounding their Little Girl Giant and her Uncle (I believe the story changes depending on the city/country they're performing in). But in order to understand the movies/pictures below, you first need to know Liverpool's story. It is as follows:
The Sea of Liverpool has swallowed up so many sailors, travellers and adventurers that you would think it was a cannibal.

Icebergs are boat hunters and Liverpudlians are huge children with eyes full of hope and rebellion.

For the unsinkable Titanic, her first voyage was also to be her last.

But let's move right away to the story of one stowaway: loaded on board during the night, unnoticed - a thirty foot tall Giant capable of travelling through time, on his way to another continent to meet his daughter, the Little Giant.

Giants don't grow old, don't grow up, they just stay the age they are for eternity - that is, if they don't die. Disaster struck in the Atlantic Ocean; everyone knows the details of the accident. The ocean liner was the pride of Liverpool, and many different Liverpudlian tradesmen were recruited, mainly to maintain the ship and to look after the passengers.

But let's return to our gigantic passenger trapped in one of the holds. He feels the full force of the iceberg's blade. The sea rushes into the ship so fiercely that he is unable to move. 

He is a prisoner and plummets 12,000 feet with the Titanic. We believe that, knowing he would soon die, he took his last underwater lift ride before coming to rest in a cloud of dust on the ocean bed.

Above, petrified with fear, survivors hoped for miracles - some were rescued, that too is known.

When the Little Giant heard the news, she sought out her uncle, the Great Giant's brother. While listening to her, the uncle made a decision that was to take him a century to carry out.

First, he would make himself a diving suit. Then he would scour the ocean floor for the shipwreck. After that, he would bury his brother in the deep-sea bed. Most importantly, he would come back with the letter the Great Giant had written to the Little Giant Girl. This is why he walked for many long years across the ocean floor, pulling the Titanic's mail trunk to bring back the post to Liverpool.

Such tragedies do not affect the Little Giant's morale who bravely decided to come to the reunion. While reading magazines before leaving, she discovered that there are another two famed legends in Liverpool - The Beatles music, and the sheer madness for football of the rebel City.

Before setting up her first camp in Stanley Park, between the two football stadiums north of the city, she decides she will go on a cruise through the town on a road-sailing boat. A few hours before her arrival, as if by magic, a geyser shoots up from the ground in the city centre, to herald her arrival.

Written By Jean-Luc Courcoult

Author, Artistic Director and Founder, Royal De Luxe.

As Carl and I live in the City Centre, we were lucky enouch to see both giants (well, the Little Girl Giant has a 9 ft dog who runs, drools, wags his tail and pees - so technically there were 3) on multiple occasion - and two of those times we were in our PJ's looking through binoculars from our living room window, Ha! The wonderful thing was that each time we watched them we were just as excited as the last. Like a pair of 5 year olds at Christmas. It never became boring and throughout the entire weekend we continued to marvel over how real and life-like these Giants were. They blinked, took breaths, moved their mouths, waved, and even snored during their naps. It was 100% adorable! They stole my heart.

As you can imagine, my camera was doing over-time, so much so that I drained the batteries within 40 mins (how totally out of character...cough cough...) So I have an abundance of pictures to share. I will, however, refrain from sending you batty/boring you to death with the 150ish that there are... instead I'll only show a select few. And, as it's much more fun to actually see the giants in motion, I've uploaded some of my videos (and stolen some from YouTube as well).

So without further adieu...I give you The Little Girl Giant, her dog Xolo, and her long lost Uncle.

Friday afternoon she decided she'd had enough of riding around and stood up right in front of us...

Saturday Morning she manoeuvred through the city on her road-boat (wearing her raincoat, of course).  However, soon after this she decided she'd ride her scooter the rest of the way to the Pier Head.
On the way to her deck chair! (SO cute!)

(This picture isn't mine - but it's a FAR better quality - so you can see her scooter better. I  LOVE it! Cracks me right up!)
She was tuckered out from all of that scooter-ing (ha!) and headed to her GIANT deck chair for a nap.
Her dog, Xolo, joined her for the entire journey.

 I found this video online that's more stable than the one I took (this bit lasted 15 minutes, and I was without a tripod so my video looks like we're experiencing this in the middle of an 8.9 earthquake). Make sure you watch though, Xolo is ADORABLE!

Asleep with her radio (she snores too! Haaha!)

Xolo fell asleep also (looooook, he has a blanket on!)
I found this picture online and LOVE it. That building in the background is the Liver Building, Liverpool's most historic/famous/prominent building. Carl's Granddad actually used to work in there! The two birds on the top are the Liver birds - and because Wikipedia can explain their significance much better (and quicker) than I can,  I'm going to copy and paste that bit of info now:
 This prominent display of two liver birds rekindled the idea that the liver was a mythical bird that once haunted the local shoreline. According to popular legend, they are a male and female pair, the female looking out to sea, (watching for the seamen to return safely home) whilst the male looks towards the city (making sure the pubs are open). An alternative version says that the male bird is looking in to watch over and protect the families of the seamen. Local legend also holds that the birds face away from each other as, if were they to mate and fly away, the city would cease to exist. In fact, they were indeed designed to watch the City (Our People) and the Sea (Our Prosperity).
The Uncle in his diving suit, getting ready to sit down for a quick nap after an entire day of walking through the city.

I took this picture for my students - they LOVE Philippe Mario (I use him to teach them phonics Ha!)

his foot is bigger than I am!
removing his diving helmet...
and holding it...

After their naps...they continued their journeys through the city where they finally met up for the very first time...
I found this video of the moment when they meet. They hug and then she dances. SO CUTE! (Oh and the band is a fab live band that goes around with them. Carl has been ranting and raving about them the whole weekend). After a busy and emotional day, the giants cuddled as they slept last night.
This pictures is sweet.

This afternoon the Little Girl Giant, her Uncle and Xolo waved goodbye to all of us in Liverpool from a boat as they headed down the River Mersey. Obviously I'm well aware that these aren't actually real people (I'm not that sad), but as Carl and I walked home we both said the very same thing: "I'm sad they're gone. Now I feel blah." It's weird, but for the past 3 days - well, week actually (the kids and I have talked about them in class tons) my life has been consumed by these ginormous marionettes. And maybe it's because of the story, the link to Titanic or the fact that The Little Girl Giant who rides a scooter is so stinkin cute, but in some stupid silly way I've grown attached to them and life seems so mundane and boring now that they're gone. I'm just so thankful I got to be a part of something so special, it's not often you see things like this. So thank you, Liverpool, for providing me with another amazing memory I won't forget. 

Thanks for reading, guys!
Lots of love, love, love,


Stop and Smell the Roses: Week 8

Well you lovely lot, I'm back for my second week of Stop and Smell the Roses Vlog Link-Up! I had an absolute ball last week and was super excited all day today to come home and watch all of yours! Thank you, Mandy, for giving me another reason to look forward to Wednesdays! Ha! :)
Because I could talk for England...and America, I'll hush up now and let you watch my long winded vlog! (I'm so sorry I blabbed for so long, guys! I've always been this way, ask my Mom! But, I promise I'll sort myself out in time for next week! Ha!)
(I'm not entirely sure why I look like my face is glowing, clearly my web cam hates natural light. Urgh!)

If you're interested in checking out ghd Hair Straighteners, click the link. I promise you won't be disappointed. I've had LOTS of hair straighteners over the years, and it's my all time favorite. I know tons of other girls who swear by them too, you'll absolutely love them! Oh, and I forgot to say that they come with a  LIFETIME GUARANTEE! So if anything ever happens to your beloved straightener, ghd will replace it with a new one. How many other companies actually do that these days?! 

You can also click here to learn more about Maybelline Superstay 24 Color. They're awesomesauce, and that's no joke! I've even got the Mama-in-law using them! Haha!


Sometimes and Always

About a week ago I stumbled across and fell in love with another absolutely adorable blog. I LOVE when I find a new blog to follow. It's seriously on par with buying a new pair of killer heels (is that sad?). Little miss Megan over at Mackey Maddness is as cute as a button and it makes me happy that I've found another person who I share similar interests with and can relate to. Yay! While perusing Megan's blog, I noticed that every Tuesday she hosts an adorable link-up called Sometimes and Always where other bloggers can join in the light hearted fun of contemplating and reflecting on the crazy habits we have. After reading some of the other Sometimes and Always posts, I decided I'd join in the fun this Tuesday (and those in the future) and give it a go! So, without further adieu, I  give you my very first Sometime and Always post! (Sorry I'm 21 behind, Megan! Ha! Story of my life!)
Sometimes: I spend 45 minutes perfectly painting my nails a pretty vibrant color, daydreaming of how their gorgeousness will give me an extra girly boost and rake in the complements.  

Always: The paint chips away within 5 minutes and I'm left with glaringly fugly finger nails. In the end I feel like a scruffbag rather than a girly girl, and spend the entire time I attack my hand with nail polish remover wishing I'd have just gone and got a gel set. 
Sometimes: I leave the house without my hair done or any make-up. 

Always: I bump into someone I haven't seen in donkeys years and convince myself they're thinking "Good God! She's really let herself go!" Or, I end up standing in line next to Scarlett Johansson and Julia Roberts...feeling like Nanny McPhee. 
Sometimes: I get brave and convince myself to try a slice of fresh tomato in my Subway veggie delight sandwich. The logic behind this is usually something along the lines of: Amanda, get a grip and eat a damn tomato! You could drink ketchup by the bucket load, it's one of your favorite soups and you LOVE every other vegetable - aside from brussel sprouts of course . Just try it again, your taste buds have probably changed! 

Always: I find out what I already know: I hate tomatoes, just the same now as I have the previous 24 years. Nevertheless, I force myself to eat an entire slice, then pick the remaining ones off and vow I'll never taint another perfectly good sandwich again.

Sometimes: I leave the pillows just tossed on the bed and the throw blankets unfolded on the couch.

Always: I cave after 5 minutes and arrange the pillows in their perfectly color coordinated rows and drape the completely semetrical blankets over the back of the couch (100% straight, NOT crooked). 
Sometimes: I buy outrageously high heels. In the store I naively coax myself with some crud along the lines of: "you'll totally be able to walk all around town in these bad boys all night! If anything, it'll give your calf muscles a good work out and you'll look bad ass-ish!"

Always: I curse the day I was born, and within an hour have blisters forming the size of Brazil. By the end of the night I'm positive I've caused permanent damage to my feet...yet keep them in my closet and wear them again...

Sometimes: I convince myself that Carl and I don't really need to have our big dream wedding back home where my sister is my maid of honor, I wear a real wedding dress, bubbles follow us down the aisle, we finally have our (first) first dance, a polka-dot wedding cake and a honeymoon.

Always: I snap into reality and realize that I'd regret it for the rest of my life if we didn't. Call me shallow and pig headed, but I need our big dream wedding back home. I need my sister as my maid of honor, I need to wear my perfect wedding dress, I need to have a first dance, I need a polka-dot wedding cake and I certainly need a honeymoon. I've been dreaming of these things since I was 5 years old and I deserve to have them just like everybody else, regardless of how silly it may seem to other people. In having a long distance relationship for 5 of the nearly 10 years we've been together, Carl and I have had to sacrifice a lot and miss out on a lot of special things that other couples take for granted. I don't think our dream wedding day should have to be one of those things.

What are you Sometimes and Always? Link up with us here and share! :)


Just Another Manic Monday

The last couple of days have been eventful, enjoyable, funny, relaxing, sleep deprived, full of laughs, confusing, overwhelming and stressful...in essence they've been everything wrapped all into one. 

I enjoyed a wonderful relaxing weekend at the in-laws with the hubby, which was shortly followed by a rather chaotic, hectic, migraine provoking yet, in some corrupt way, fun first day back to school. I kid you not when I say these children were bouncing off the wall. Now, occasionally it's fun to have craziness surround you...other times it's overwhelming and a detriment to your sanity. I can guarantee you that if by Friday things haven't calmed down I'll be away with the fairies. SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE!  Don't get me wrong, I love teaching and the absolute madness that comes with it has become the norm, but  77 screaming, laughing, coughing, crying, booger-filled, hug crazy Kindergarteners can and will send you absolutely potty if you're not careful. I'm fearful that this week just might be the one where I finally go off the deep end. Especially as my entire 2 weeks of planning (surrounding Jack and the Beanstalk) was postponed last minute by the Head Teacher (Principle to you fellow American's) in order to, for a week, embrace the Reggio Emilia Approach (aka an adaptable learning environment with a curriculum based primarily on the interest of the children. i.e.. The children decide when, how, and what they want to learn about. To find out more about this appraoch, click the link. Definitely worth your time!) In addition to that, the Head and Deputy Head will be going on a 'Learning Walk' through the school mid-week in order to observe the children's investigatory learning skills - i.e. how the children take it upon themselves to find interest in a specific thing, and with support, take it upon themselves to broadening their knowledge through investigation, questioning, contemplation etc. Now while I'm all for the Reggio Emilia Approach and Investigatory Learning (Totally not being sarcastic here. I think it's a wonderful philosophy) it's especially hard, as a student teacher in my last placement with forms and lesson evaluations coming out my ears, to completely TRASH my lesson plans - which literally took hours to do - and 'wing it' as the Head and Deputy Head observe. Oh, and I forgot to mention that while we were on Easter break my classroom was turned into a Giant's room (totally awesome, but such BAD timing!) so on top of the kid's returning to school absolutely full of piss and vinegar after 2 weeks vacation... some are bouncing off the walls and giggling in anticipation of maaaaybe seeing this mysterious Giant who's taken over our classroom, while other's are bawling hysterically afraid he's going to pop out of somewhere and eat them. Lord almighty. To say it's been a long day is an understatement. Nevertheless, I refuse to be defeated. I'm popping some Excedrin and remaining open and optimistic about what the rest of the week holds. I'm excited to see where this whole Giant journey leads us, especially as it's TOTALLY up to the kids. Wish us luck!

As I shut the laptop in order to chug gargantuan amounts of water and bury my head in the couch, I leave you with photos of the past 3 day's events...
Early Saturday Afternoon Carl, Papa Garry and I headed to the pub to watch the Semi-Finals between the two Liverpool football (soccer) teams, Liverpool FC and Everton. The rivalry between these two teams of this city is unbelievable. It's like the Red Sox and Yankees or Steelers and Eagles. The Anderson household supports our Boys in Blue, Everton! Unfortunately we were downright robbed that day, and smelly Liverpool FC went through to the Final against Chelsea.
This photo was clearly taken after we'd scored the first goal, and before Liverpool got lucky. Ha!
After the football match, we excitedly dug our betting slips out of our pockets (this is the first and only thing I bet on so it's super exciting) to witness this year's Grand National. This famous horse race happens every single year at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool and is one of the most anticipated and unpredictable races of the year. Like the Kentucky Derby to us American's, Liverpudlians get all dolled up in their suits, gowns and fancy hats and (if you've got the extra cash to splash) head to the race course to watch the big race. It genuinely makes me want to cry that I've never got to experience what it's like to go to the races (I've wanted to go all 4 years I've been here, but with flights back home costing an arm and a leg I've never had the extra mulah to attend. SOB). But I make lemons out of lemonade and pick 4  horses to cheer on. This year I chose Seabass and Organisedconfusion because they were the only two  horses with women jockey's (girl power!!) Chicago Grey because of the USA reference, and Shakalakaboomboom because the name made me laugh. Ha
Mama Lynne and I crossed our fingers and hoped our horses would be lucky...
And they're off!
The race was one of the closest in years. In the end, Although Seabass came in 3rd (again I say Girl Power!!) the grey horse on the bottom, Neptune Collonges, won. As you may have noticed, that horse wasn't on mine and Carl's betting slips (or Lynne and Garry's) ...

So, we all decided to drink our sorrows away with a bit of Pina Colata. Ha!
Sunday morning Carl and I went for a nice walk around Formby. I admired how Spring is in the air.
beautiful cherry blossoms

This is one of my favorite houses near Carl's parents. An adorable thatched roof cottage.  I think Snow White lives here.

Sunday night I decided to embark on an Olive Oil and Avocado Hair Treatment as recommended by the beautiful Nina!
In addition to the olive oil and avocados, I read that adding  a TBL of honey to the treatment can make your dry and damaged hair even softer as it offers addition conditioning. Plus, it smells good! 
It looked like baby puked when I mixed it up...
and Alien puke when it was in my hair... (As you can see I couldn't be bothered mushing every single lump of avocado)
But once I washed it out, my hair was SO shiny and super soft.  The hubby approved! (Thanks, Nina! You're a doll!)
The Very Friendly Giant stopped by our  classroom today...
Mrs. Anderson had to have a picture in his chair...Ha! Well, all the kids were doing it...
he left us some of his GIANT Jam sandwich and tub of Jello to eat...
The White Queen sent the Giant an invitation to her Jubilee Picnic on Friday...we opened it and...
sent the Giant a letter asking if we could come to the picnic also! 
Then, before we went home we wrote letters to our Mum's and Dad's telling them what happened in school today...
This was little Noah's letter. For those of you who aren't used to 5 year old writing it says:

To Mum and Dad,
In school there is a big chair and a cheese cake with jelly.

Then Noah beautifully drew a picture of the Giant who is saying "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum!"
It's adorable little letters like this that melt my heart and make manic Monday's, like today, well worth it. I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful weekend surrounded by your beautiful family and friends. Only 4 more days until you can do it all again! 

Thanks for reading, guys!
Lots of love, love, love,