Well, crap!

Okay so I am happy to admit that I am on top of my life – work is good, school is good, home life/family are good. Knock on wood, my mom’s health issues have disappeared which is a great relief.

I admit a little sheepishly that this blog isn’t exactly priority number one to me anymore. Doesn’t even score top five. So, no offense, dear readers (all half dozen of you) but don’t be on the edge of your seat waiting for an update from me! You are honestly better off following me on Instagram – username meghtini :) 

So what have I been up to since January? Well, started back to school. Two classes- one online, one on campus. Realized I am only 3-ish courses and a practicum away from a Master’s in Special Education. Just gotta get my ducks in a row, take an MTEL, line up a practicum (somehow haha) and apply for licensure. But feels pretty good I must say. 

Celebrated at my BFF’s baby shower last weekend – all sorts of craft and food goodness ensued! It was so nice to see her, her family and meet some new peeps as well! So excited for the little nugget’s arrival!

I turned 28 at the beginning of March, meaning the crunch is on to get a few things accomplished by 30. I say that half-joking, but gotta get the Master’s before trying for babies, and ideally be at least in the process of getting a home at that time. I can’t imagine having more than just an infant at our current apartment (which we love and will be sad to leave but…) I’ve always been a very goal oriented person, setting guidelines and mini-goals. It’s good but I’m trying to modulate it a bit. Get the job done but also pump new and exciting experiences and places into it as well. 

Sig-O and I recently made a pact that we are going to have more fun. It sounds silly but really, we had some fun in our early relationship but then unfortunately things got pretty heavy with us getting engaged (good heavy!) his dad passing away (bad heavy) and trying to plan our wedding (stress heavy). We went to Portland for Valentines’ Day which is always a great time, and we are taking a road trip to my other BFF’s house in Florida over April vacation which I am soooo looking forward to. Been swimsuit shopping which is a whole other issue but hey, sacrifices must be made! Plus I did find a super cute high waisted swimsuit bottom on Etsy that I plan on snagging. Side note: Sig-O wants to go zip lining and ride dirtbikes. I’m open minded and I will keep you posted on those developments haha. 

I currently have the streptacoccus (sounds like a type of dinosaur if you didn’t know any better!) – felt lousy yesterday, stayed home today and hit the Minute Clinic at CVS. Great in a pinch when you don’t want to worry about getting in at the doc. Strep test was done in 6 minutes – tested positive (doc even said my throat looked really ANGRY lol), so I am on penicillin for 10 days and considered contagious for the next 24 hours. So no work today or tomorrow which is a bummer, but it is MCAS season which means not a lot of kiddos to actually SEE anyways since they are all testing. So, good timing, immune system!

Did some MCAS coverage early yesterday at the middle school which is one site I don’t work at – so got to see my kiddos from last year and the year before. They were all pumped to see me which felt so nice, staff too that I don’t see much anymore. Felt all warm and fuzzy, got lots of hugs. Possibly where the strep came from but hey – what can ya do!

Little man kitty is snoozing on the bed as I type away. Official first day of Spring, and with temps in the high 40s here in good ole Taunton, Massachusetts and no visible signs of snow or snow leftovers…I think we are finally on our way to actually experiencing spring! Got my seeds all ready to go, gotta prep my tomatoes and peppers indoors then transfer outside … gonna get some window boxes and plastic buckets and godammit, we are gonna have some fresh veggies, strawberries and flowers this year! 

Happy happy happy!

 

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Holy Moly Batman!

Well, so much for regularly updating! To be honest, I’ve had other things come up. Here is a quick update/Happy New Year post.

- my mom is having some health issues that we are trying to get to the bottom of. I don’t want to get into detail on here but any positive thoughts, prayers, whatever, sent her way would be much appreciated. 

- closet slimdown … kinda hit a wall haha. I did toss two huge bags of clothes, and plan to go back through my closet again since I still get up in the morning and look at it like I have nothing to wear.

- got my hair chopped! I took the plunge and got it chopped into a Carey Mulligan inspired ‘do. I am very happy with the result, the only downside is I have to take a quick rinse in the AM before getting started since it gets mushed and pushed overnight sleeping and  I look like a crazy person first thing if I don’t. I feel very chic, semi-French and I feel like it suits my emerging wardrobe (mostly classic with some bold prints etc) much better. 

- Thanksgiving and Christmas were good. I got some great gifts for Christmas. Sig-O got me The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, seasons 01-current, so I have been going directly to that for recipes rather than Googling them. I am requesting the Smitten Kitchen and Budget Bytes cookbooks for my berfday coming up in March. Made homemade potstickers and orange chicken for New Years’, and am planning on making Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguinon next week! I’d say, stay tuned but can’t promise I’ll update here in a timely fashion :/ You’re best bet is to follow me on Instagram @meghtini since I tend to photograph everything I cook/bake and of course, Mr. Seabee, our kitty.

-my bestie is expecting a baby girl sometime in late April which is uber exciting :) have been doing some homework about that as well!

 

All in all, can’t complain. Looking forward to what 2014 brings!

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Chasing Time

In years past, I always complained about daylight savings time, especially in the fall. 

“It makes the day go by SOOOO slow” … and those kinds of comments.

Not anymore my friends, not anymore! I am thankful to have this extra hour, especially this weekend. Did I tell you I am selling pies? Well if I did not, I have been selling pies since September, through work and family and friends. Must admit, it does eat up a fair chunk of my weekend but the $ and the self-satisfaction make up for it. Three pies this weekend folks, a shoo fly Pennsylvania Dutch pie, an apple ginger crumb pie and a French Silk Pie. I also made two buttermilk pies for a benefit for my sister-in-law the other night. Next on the docket? Making my own pasta. Wanted to try that out this weekend but just ran out of time, NBD, next weekend I shall follow through.

Speaking of, Sig-O and I have been flooded with family members and friends being sick, and in/out of the hospital. My mom, my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law’s mom, my BFF’s mom; and I just found out a great aunt of mine has lung cancer. And what can we really do for them besides be supportive (and in my case, bake my little heart out). It is just a sucky situation all around and I struggle sometimes to not let the suckyness, well, suck the life out of me. I find I have to seek out a little bit of straight up happiness related to something several times a day to perk me up, because a sad Meg is not a very productive or happy Meg, and really the people I love and care for (and myself of course) deserve to get the best Meg possible, as much as possible. Not to say I’m Sally Sunshine because to be honest, people like that drive me buggy, (“turn that frown upside down!” *insert image of me running away and screaming*)… but ya know what I mean? To be the best, most supportive, helpful, kind, whatever person – it’s necessary to take a moment, or several moments a day to recharge and perk yourself back up, instead of running yourself ragged. There is no shame or selfishness in that.

Update on my closet makeover/slimdown: have two stuffed garbage bags FULL of clothing that for the most part, has been barely worn and mostly is stuff that fits awkwardly or is too large. Debating trying to pawn some off on my similar sized friends, or just taking it and dumping it at my local Salvation Army. Thoughts? 

I did some thrifting the other day, with a goal in mind. Pants. I have the hardest time finding pants/capris etc. that fit because

A.) I’m tall

B.) but I’m not ridiculously tall

C.) Like many other women I’m sure, I have a somewhat unique shape. I generally have to get a size 12-14-even 16 sometimes to get the pants up over my butt/hips/thigh area, but then my waist is smaller so I am constantly playing the PULL UP MY PANTS game which is no fun. Belt you say? Ughhhhh. I think I have sensory issues because I can’t tolerate wearing a belt for more than an hour or so.

D.) I am just straight up picky about pants. I don’t do wide legs anymore, but I don’t want to feel like a stuffed sausage in slim cut pants. 

Really I need to find a good tailor, but I won’t stop the search for perfect pants! I went to my local Salvation Army after work the other day and JUST looked for pants. Must have brought in 30 pairs to the dressing room with me, all good brands like GAP, NY &CO, Banana Republic, Talbots etc. Ended up with two pairs that fit, one a slim cut pair of magenta colored dressy jeans, of a no name brand go figure, and a pair of beauteous grey slim boot-cut Banana Republic dress pants. Originally in store probably well over $50. For me, originally $12.99 and yellow tags were half off, so I got them for SIX FITTY. BOO YAH. 

I also used some coupons before they expired at JCP and got two Joe Fresh sweaters and a pair of slim cut black pants. For $25. YEE HAW. 

I am trying very hard to avoid prints and colors that won’t mix and match with other stuff, and instead stick to classic colors, specifically a lot more neutrals. I work in Deaf Education as a speech therapist so I don’t have to adhere to the neutral colors that my interpreter friends do (for ease of visual, light skinned terps wear dark colors, dark skinned terps vice versa) … sometimes I give my Deaf and Hard of Hearing co-workers headaches with the bright colors and prints I wear.

I also am going to invest in a full length mirror so I can take photos of days where I put together an outfit I really like and that I am comfortable and confident in. I know a lot of friends on InstaGram who #ootd or #wiwt, so I think I am going to jump on that bandwagon once I get a full length mirror. Which I should have around anyways. 

Anyhoo, off to deliver some pies! Toodle loo. 

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Closet Purge – for real!

I have far too many clothes. Correction – far too many clothes that I NEVER wear. Now that I no longer have a bureau, all my clothes and shoes and accessories are disseminated into half a large closet that Sig-O and I share. It started off pretty neat and tidy but it has raged out of control and it is finally time to purge!

I’ve done clothing purges before. But this time is different. I like to think I have a style; I tend to go for classic pieces and clean lines, cardigans, pencil skirts, and the like. However, I also like a fair amount of funk in my clothing choices i.e., offbeat colors and prints. I also have a fair amount of clothing that just plain does not fit and I hang onto it in hopes of getting to a tailor. 

The result is me feeling both under and overwhelmed every time I open my closet to get dressed in the morning. I have a few staple outfits from season to season but I need to re-evaluate big time…lately I have felt very schlumpy and not put together like I normally do.

So, goals!

- purge as much clothing as possible, and donate what is salvageable (a lot of it!) If I haven’t worn it in the past year, IT GOES. 

- put a bag together of TAILOR items, mostly pants and bottoms and ACTUALLY follow through on bringing it to a tailor!

- STOP BUYING CHEAP CRAP CLOTHING. The cheap crap clothing fits once and never fits right again.

- Go thrifting and replenish closet with QUALITY LABEL BASICS, tees, pants for work and play,

- AGAIN I REITERATE STOP BUYING CHEAP CRAP. When shopping, stick to basics that will work in multiple settings and climates … buy the occasional trendy item but don’t overspend. 

- STOP BUYING HEELS. I rarely wear them. 

Keira at A Pretty Penny, one of my favorite blogs, recently purged her closet with great success. She says it makes getting dressed in the AM much easier. She also put herself on a very realistic budget for spending on clothing etc. I have the opposite problem; I need to stop underspending and actually spend the money and get quality stuff. Still can get a great deal but need to spend the money!

 

…TTFN ta ta for now. Will keep you posted on how this whole thing goes! 

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On The Cusp

It is time to shit or get off the pot.

What a way to begin a post huh? Most of you know I am enrolled in a graduate program to get my Master’s in Special Education. That is all well and good but I am coming close to hitting a wall with the program because I am required to do a practicum. Problem is, said practicum means me taking a 8 week or more sabbatical from my current full time job. I am working on trying to be able to get it done within my regular work day, but it boils down to me not currently teaching, but doing speech pathology. The two are not mutually exclusive. Hence the wall.

I’m debating whether or not to even continue the program. Do I even want to be a Special Education teacher? I’m not sure. Could I do it and do it well? – Yes. But do I want to stare at the same four walls for 8-10 hours every day? Not really. Part of my job right now that I like, most days anyway, is that I travel between schools and sites.

In high school I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a court reporter/stenographer. I am looking into it again for several reasons.

- essentially an Associate’s degree

- I could complete it on-line

- there is a local community college where I could get certified to do C-Print which would open up job opportunities working with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

- still requires a practicum but a seemingly more manageable one

I’m still checking into it and seeing if it is even realistic that I follow through with it. I’m scared but being scared is good. I can’t stay at my current job forever, and Sig-O and I want to have kids in the next 3-5 years, so it is time to make a decision and get in line with a job that I could see myself doing for a long time. I’ve been about 5 years in at my current position and I already feel burnt out some days. Becoming a teacher might just be going from the pot into the fire.

We shall see…my sister in law keeps telling me I should open up my own bakery but I am just paranoid of doing so and failing miserably. I know I make good stuff but the rate I see bakeries going out of business nowadays…not so sure.

SIGH – I still don’t feel like a grown up!!!

 

UPDATE:

Moment of clarity? When I saw how much a 2 year degree to become a court reporter would run me about $30,000 depending on which online school I chose. Decision made: sticking with Master’s in Special Education. Excellent job prospects, great pay, perks of having vacations and summers off, long weekends etc…and let’s face it – I do like working with children (most days :P) Maybe a book nook/bakery down the line a ways … :)

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Eeeep!

Over a month since my last post, yikes! Apologies are in order. 

Obviously the past month has been chock full of “getting back in the swing of things”. Back to work, back to a daily routine, scheduling (insert photo of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” here), mingling with other staff yada yada yada. Sig-O’s cousin’s wedding was fabulous. Too lazy to post pics, however you can see pretty much my day to day doings via my Instagram, but warning: it’s mostly photos of SeaBee or my cooking/baking. 

Speaking of, I officially filled two pie orders! One pecan, one apple. Both orders came from staff I work with. It felt good to present them with a beautiful pie (and get some cashola in return!) Not a huge money maker, but proof to myself that I can do something well enough to get paid for it (insert not a prostitute joke here).

Side note, I can’t believe it’s been 12 years since 9/11. It blew me away that the sixth grade classroom next door to my office was watching a kids appropriate 9/11 video every period this past Wednesday and the teacher kept reiterating that all the kids were either little babies, or hadn’t even been born yet. Crikey I suddenly feel old! I remember I was passing between classes sophomore year of high school and some acquaintance told me the WTC in NYC had been hit by planes. I told him he was full of shit, f*ck off, and went on my not-so-merry-teenage-angst way to my next class. Happy little camper I was…not! Truth be told, said acquaintance drove me crazy so that did not help. Found out at lunch that it was indeed true. This past Wednesday I stayed up watching all the horrible media on the History Channel. It was like a car wreck; I wanted to shut it off but I just couldn’t. 

Soapbox for a moment: Syria. WTF. Let’s clear up the crap in our own country before we keep sticking our nose in other countries’ BS. I know there are people suffering there, but there are people suffering EVERYWHERE and we can’t possibly help everybody, especially when we are basically in a pit ourselves. As Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I got to say about that.”

Exciting News: My bestie Trista over at Soil Under My Nails is prego! She went public a few days ago…I am so excited! A little nugget to fawn over … we’re not blood sisters obviously but I am so pumped to be an “auntie”! Found a DIY for burp cloths, which is perfect since I have a ton of leftover fabric from the wedding and doing some decorating in our new digs. Perfect use :)

Travel news: Went to Portland last weekend. Was fantastic. Ate all my favorites, and found some new faves as well! Hopefully Sig-O and I can make it up there Veterans’ Day weekend before the weather turns. It will be nice and empty, that’s for sure!

Speaking of Sig-O, he is on route home with delicious Jersey Mike’s subs. Until we meet again! (hopefully not too long this time!)

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Instagram Junkie

I have a problem. Upon entering the wondrous world of Instagram – I’ve gone a little nutty. I take photos of everything and really enjoy flipping through the filters. I photograph Seabee, baking/cooking tangents, drinks, flowers, scenery … you name it – I’ve at least thought about taking a picture of it. So if you are following me, I apologize. If there is such a thing as Instagram etiquette, or really, any pointers for hashtagging etc… don’t be shy.

Sig-O’s cousin is getting married in approximately two weeks. I have a closet full of casual, appropriate for work/going out dresses, but not really anything that a.) screams at me to wear it and b.) is appropriate for a nighttime summer wedding. I guarantee a lot of people will show up in capris and go casual, but it will be the first big social occasion with Sig-O and I stepping out as husband and wife, and the first time a lot of extended family will meet me … so selfish moment here: I want to look good. Not outshine the bride of course, but I want to look good. My mom came by today and made quick work of demanding to see what I had in my closet, and confirming that only 1-2 dresses would work for my purposes. She also poo poo-ed my idea of wearing separates; i.e. a nice top and pencil skirt combo. We cruised dresses online, JCP, Macy’s, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, and a few other websites with no luck until giving Lord & Taylor a go. Surprisingly, I found a couple options that fit my picky tastes (AKA I like classic pieces that don’t leave my goods all hanging out!) and budget. Two dresses are en route to me as we speak. If neither works, I’ll most likely end up going the separates route. (Sorry, Ma!) I’ll be sure to post a pic of each once they arrive.

If I neglected to mention, Sig-O and I are both in our close friends’, Dave & Anna’s wedding in October. They live in Washington State now, and are getting married here in Mass so it has been quite the undertaking, never mind the fact that Dave is in the military and was stationed earlier this year, and Anna still held down a job in Boston so they lived apart for quite a few months. Dave is a longtime close friend of Sig-O, and Anna has been a great addition to my small but QUALITY circle of friends, so we are thrilled to be included in theirs :) So to tie in to my previous paragraph, if I can get a few nice dresses under my belt, they won’t go to waste since I will have to find things to wear to her bridal shower, bachelorette and rehearsal dinner. 

 

PS – Watch for more Instagram photos. We have a BBQ pizza en route, and I picked up Shipyard Brewery’s Smashed Pumpkin yesterday. Oh! and our lovely photographer sent us our 400 something photos on a CD … need to get them up in my Walgreens online album for selected parties to view.

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