Five on Friday

Happy Friday, love bugs! 

This is my second post within the space of an hour. Why? Because I'm a putz and forgot to 5 it up on Friday (I blame my progress report teacher brain. It's overworked like the dough when I attempt to make scones). Nevertheless, if you have children and are looking for something cheap and fun to do with them, find out why I heart Magic Milk.
I love love love Pharrell (seriously, if you haven't seen this video of him crying during his interview with Oprah, you're missing out on some tummy butterflies. And then he went ahead and did another emosh repeat on Ellen the other day. For cereal boy, you're killing my pmsing self. I've shed so many 'happy' tears I've wasted half a tube of mascara). With all of that said...If I have to see that g-d Smokey the Bear hat one more time...
I saw Carla Bruni (only one of the worlds top models and former first lady of France. No biggie.) for the first time on the Today show yesterday. I've been listening to her on repeat since. I don't even care that I can't understand a word of her songs because the only French I know is je m'appelle Amanda and merci beaucoup. Her music is rustic, graceful and charming. It reminds me of my time in Paris and how badly I want to go back. 
I'm glad Easter is over because I've eaten far more than the recommended daily amount of Robins Eggs every day since Sunday. In more exciting news, I'm on my 2nd week of T25 and last time I checked I'd lost 4+ inches and 2lbs. I'm feeling the burn in places I didn't know existed. Also, it's revolutionizing my square butt and helping my running pace. Which, by the way is still slightly embarrassing. How many official 5ks have I run this year? None. How many had I run this time last year? 4.
Hi. My name is Amanda and I'm addicted to cheddar ale soup. 

Magic Milk

Parents, teachers, grandparents, babysitters and normal adults who have far too much time on your hands.

If you're looking for something inexpensive, simple, fun, interactive and educational to do with your Frozen obsessed children who are no doubt bouncing off the walls like a pack of rabid raccoon's with Spring fever; search no longer. Because I am here - like a shirtless Matthew McConaughey emerging from the fog- a smiling pina colada loving guardian angel who is saving your ass by sharing with you something awesome. Something that will stop the screaming and crying and running feet where there should be walking feet. Something that will hush any child whining "I'm bored." Something that will allow you 2 minutes of the day where Let it Go is not being belted at an entirely inappropriate volume.

I found this video on YouTube while searching 'science experiments to do with kids' and was transfixed. If a 25 year old woman like myself can sit watching this with an open mouth, so will your kids.

Best part? All you need is whole milk, food coloring, dish liquid and a q-tip.
Make Bill Nye the Science Guy proud. Conduct an experiment. Play with your food. Make magic.


You've Got Mail

"The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino." -Joe F-o-x
I'm sure I've confessed my undying love of Tom Hanks (my official birthday buddy), Meg Ryan and of course their 1998 hit, better known as one of the most fantastic movies ever made (in my humble chick-flick-loving opinion), but who cares. You can never talk too much about a good thing.

So, this morning as I was uploading this photo of Bobbi Jo cuddling at the foot of the bed with me as we settled in to watch You've Got Mail for the 804,756th time together, I could only smile. Smile because it dawned on me how much I have in common with this film. Smile because it's my go-to whenever I'm feeling crummy or irritable. Smile because it's the movie I quote the most, the movie from which Carl and I will name our dog, the movie that caused me to go on an eBay hunt-a-thon for the very same Limited Edition Hallmark Ruby Red Slippers ornament that Kathleen Kelly hangs on her shop Christmas tree.  

 I relate to it on so many levels. It is practically my bible.
"Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one! It got on at 42nd and off at 59th, where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake, as almost all hats are."
One of my all time favorite smells in the entire world is Scotch Tape. I'm famous for putting a piece of the tape on the end of my nose just so I can continuously sniff it. If there were a Scotch Tape perfume I'd wear it all day, every day.

Of all the countries and cities I've been to around the world, NYC is still my all time favorite. I make sure to visit it at least once a year. The Big Apple has a special place in my heart.
"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."
If you've known me for any length of time you'll already know that if there were a place in the world where Fall happened all year round, I'd buy a house and paint it the color of Pumpkin Pie Spice.
"When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does."
I ADORE children's books, my book shelves are, and always have been, overflowing with them. And I'd quite happily be a squatter at Barnes and Noble if it weren't illegal. Book stores are heaven to me - especially the children's sections. I'd rather sip coffee leaned against a shelf in any book store than take shots of tequila in the middle of a rave in a club. 

"What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you." 

For the first 5 years of our relationship, Carl and I talked primarily through instant messages and email. I completely understand the butterflies you get when you log on to find messages from the one you want to hear from most in the whole entire world. 

You've Got Mail. My 'Hollywood' bible. What's yours? 



This years Easter was relatively laid back and relaxed.

 Brunch with my parents, sister, bro-in-law, grandmother, cousins and uncle. Followed by my littlest 2 year old cousin Christpher's very own Easter egg hunt in the back yard (where some of the eggs he collected were empty as my father felt is was only fair he foraged the 60+ neon gems for his favorite - mini 3 Muskateer bars). My sister unknowingly taught Christopher how to use a Wiffle bat as a weapon, Carl accidentally pelted me in the back with his soccer ball - causing my iPhone to go corralling into the pavement of the driveway, and my father harassed every living creature (cat and dog included) within a 3 mile radius using little girl's pink and purple princess toy fishing pole with pink rubber crown projectile on the end.

In the afternoon Grandpa Cousino popped by (who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is currently overcoming a nasty case of Shingles). He was his usual self - full of piss and vinegar, giggling his goofy grandpa laugh and endlessly picking and prodding at his wife Sandy; who perfectly matched his green checked shirt with her own green outfit -complete with green dangly earrings - and constantly gave grandpa the stink eye for his smart ass comments. Their visit was just as hilariously entertaining as always. After Grandpa and Sandy headed home, hubby and I took the family dog, Tempi, for a walk in the gorgeous 70 degree Spring sunshine, Skype'd with Mama Lynne and Papa Garry back in England, and smiled as we watched videos of a happier healthier Nana who - in my eyes - is still as cute as a button and the Queens long lost twin sister.
The day consisted entirely of family, wicker egg shaped baskets, good food, good stories, pets, pastels, sunshine, laughs and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. 

What more could a girl ask for?

Easter was, as it always is, just another reminder of how truly lucky I am to have all of these people I love in my life. People who make my life more full, rich and wonderfully unpredictable. People I cherish and can't wait to continue to make memories with. My loved ones. My wonderful family.



This made me cry happy tears. I hope it'll make you cry happy tears too.

P.S. Pharrell is a true gem.

Enjoy your Tuesday, love bugs! Keep smiling!


Five on Friday

It's finally Friday, friends! Bust out the margaritas and chocolate chip cookies!

And while there's an abundance of excitement bubbling in my belly because of the fabulous Spring weather we're having (hello 70s this weekend!) I'm also super excited to be participating in a new link-up I stumbled across last week when stalking April's adorable pregnancy posts. 
Welcome 5 on Friday.
This latest shenanigans is where I can be sure to collaborate all of my weekly randoms into a nicely packaged post with a ribbon on top. I've been looking for a way to do this (naming all of my theme-less posts 'Lately' was getting a wee bit old) so I'm really looking forward to not only feeling more organized, but joining in the fun! 

Let's get this party started.

{One} I cried when I opened my email yesterday morning. Why, you ask? Because of this:
I'm finally a Licensed VT Teacher! The amount of hard work and dedication (both here and abroad) over the past 5 years that has gone into this is unbelievable and I am beyond thankful to actually have my 'official' documents. Hard work pays off. Boom-chicka-wow-wow!

{Two} - I (along with my Momma) joined a Zumba class two weeks ago. My best friend has been going to them for weeks and loved them so I though I'd give it a go too. I've always wondered if I had to coordination to bust out some of those moves (I'm that girl who breaks a toe or two falling up the stairs). Turns out I'm not so bad at shakin' what my Momma gave me (while my Momma shakes what Grandma gave her right beside me). It's actually the same class that bff goes to, so above all else I'm burning a ton of calories (um nearly 750 the first class. I know, right?! Why am I running 7 miles when all I need to do is wiggle my ass and shimmy my shoulders for an hour?) while I spend time with her. It's a win win. Aaaand I'm still waiting for my butt and boobs to shrink. It's commin'. I know it.

{Three} - Last weekend Carl and I joined my parents, god parents, sister, bro-in-law and friends for a charity casino night. You pay $10 for your tickets and get plastic chips to play with in return. At the end of the night, whatever chips you have left translate into the number of tickets you get to put into about 30 different tubs for a variety of different prizes. Carl and I left with a really nice maple cutting board, a $170 value nights stay at a local bed and breakfast, $20 to a local canvas printing shop, $50 to a local clock shop, $25 to a men's clothing shop and a $25 gift certificate to to a really nice local restaurant (which we ended up giving to the bestie and her bf because I felt so bad she'd put all of her tickets in that one tub and I'd only put about 2 in and won haha). I've never been so lucky in my life! And I'd be lying if I said it wasn't the bees knees. Per usual, Mom and Dad also won an abundance of stuff (seriously they must have 4 leaf clovers shoved down their pockets). But aside from the prizes, it was so nice to relax and enjoy an evening of yummy food, drinks and laughs with those I love.
{Four} -  I can't stop drinking DD's Butter Pecan Iced Coffee's since I discovered they were out again last week. It's a true problem of mine. If there were a Butter Pecanaholics Anonnymous group, I'd be there right now. It's just too good to deny.

{Five} - I'm finding the older we get the more hubby and I look forward to watching the Discovery Channel. Somewhere along the line our nightly routine of watching The Office has morphed into Netflix binge watching Treasure Quest. Oy vey.


World Autism Awareness Day

April is finally here. And alongside the warmer Spring weather, shimmering sunshine and budding trees, there's something infinitely more significant and special happening over the next 30 days.
It's Autism Awareness month! 
And more specifically, April 2nd - tomorrow - is World Autism Awareness Day
Tomorrow is the day we light it up blue

Since I began teaching, 3 out of the 4 classrooms I've taught in have had children on the Autism Spectrum. And during my time as a Behavioral Interventionist, I spent the majority of every week as a 1 on 1 for an Autistic kiddo I absolutely adore. Autism is something that I'm passionate about. Not only am I passionate about fighting for the unwavering support, educational specifications and early behavioral intervention so critical for every single child with ASD, but I'm passionate about finding out where it begins and what we can do to better understand it. Children/adults with Autism do not deserve to be outcast, or labeled as 'weird' or 'freaks'. They deserve to be listened to, loved, nurtured, encouraged and guided. They deserve to live in a society where they are just as important and valued as you or I. They deserve to be accepted and given every opportunity to succeed in life. 
So whether you change a white bulb in your home to one colored blue for the month of April, "wear it blue" and dress from head to toe in blue tomorrow and take a group photo (like I will be), make a donation by clicking this link or texting Autism to 25383, or simply spread awareness by sharing articles or educational websites on social media; please find it in your heart to light it up blue. 
So many are relying on you to help spread the word.
"Autism speaks. It's time to listen."

For more information about Autism, visit www.autismspeaks.org.