What I'm Loving (Leap Day) Wednesday

I'm loving that it's a leap day! A whole extra day, just for us!

I'm loving this Cork Pops wine opener! Max calls it a pneumatic bottle opener. I say that the opener has a needle that pushes the cork out with gas pressure. We both say it's super exciting and very fancy to use.

The Cork Pops was a sweet gift from these awesome newlyweds who came out to visit last month! : ) Thanks, Brad and Chandler!!

I'm loving the cane sugar Coke (hecho en Mexico!) we picked up from Costco last weekend. The taste is cleaner and not as sharp as the U.S. cola, and quite simply just delicious.

I'm loving that, when I cut into our one lemon from our tree, it was just as perfect on the inside as it was on the outside!

I'm loving our Oxo containers. I had heard they were awesome, so I sprang for them (they're a bit pricey) back when I was organizing the pantry. But honestly, they way surpassed my expectations. This is the desert, and I'm used to things drying out overnight. So imagine my surprise that everything I stored in the containers weeks ago is still nice and fresh. Yes, a happy dance is going on over here.

Finally, I'm loving this orange gerber daisy in my classroom:

You see, it's really an air freshener sent from my sweet mom in California!

Smiles from my flowery fresh classroom!

2.5 Years as Dr. and Mrs. : )

Since February 29th comes only once every four years, so does our half-anniversary! So on this leap day, I get to say Happy Two and a Half to my sweet engineer of a hubby. It's been 2.5 years since this...

Our "symbols of love and commitment":

Our forever friends:

Our wonderful family:

And the beginning of our married life together:

2.5 and counting!


Desert Blooms

I was so captivated by the desert blooms that have been popping up everywhere that as soon as I came home from school this afternoon, I grabbed my 40D and Max's 50mm prime lens and ran out to the backyard to snap a few photos of the prettiness.

Bougainvillea in the backyard:

Tiny rosemary buds by the pool:

Aloe in the front yard:

Side yard beauties:

And then, out of nowhere, as I turned a corner... THIS!

One, completely perfect and huge LEMON! Our lemon tree got the worst of last year's freeze and produced not a single flower this past year... or so we had thought. We weren't terribly worried as we'd heard that after a year, trees affected by freeze start to produce fruit again. I have no idea, though, how we missed this guy growing! It was honestly such a surprise to find it (and it looked so goofy there all by itself) that I started laughing out loud.

Our tangelo tree faired much better and is currently bearing its fair share:

What got me most excited were the wee little purple buds you can spot on the left in this lemon tree shot. I'm thinking by this time next year we'll have plenty of lemons. Yipee!


My friend, French Cannes Cannes

A couple weeks ago, my sweet friend French Cannes Cannes did a blog entry about her favorite reads. And who made the list??? Moi! She called me a little ray of sunshine : ) I'll take that any day!

It just so happens that French Cannes Cannes is on my list of favorites as well. You see, she's an American girl in Paris, just like Carrie Bradshaw in the last episodes of Sex and the City. Except French Cannes Cannes speaks French. Oh, and she has lived in France since college so she now has dual citizenship officially making her a Frenchy. So I suppose she's actually not at all like Carrie Bradshaw, except for the fact that she probably runs around in fabulous ensembles and and enjoys pain au chocolat.

Anyway, the blog is extremely entertaining. FCC is witty and funny. I sometimes read the entries out loud to my husband. I might love it so much because we lead such polar opposite lives...

Me: House and yard in Scottsdale (we need a humidifier)
FCC: Apartment in Paris (she uses a dehumidifier)

Me: Cacti, havelina, the desert in general
FCC: Only one of the most famous and exciting cities in the world

Me: I drive a car
FCC: The Vélib! (Kind of like Zip Cars but with bikes!)

Me: My Texan husband
FCC: Her French Copain (boyfriend)

It's just so incredible to think of how lives can unfold in such different ways! I definitely recommend reading French Cannes Cannes if you'd like a glimpse of life on the other side of the Atlantic : )

Happy Campers

Why so happy? Well, this area in which we're sitting (in our den) used to look like this:

Eek! I still remember the day. We had just taken possession of the house, and not twelve hours later, we were hammering holes in the wall to make space for an aquarium. In our heads, the finished space will look something like this (built into the wall, however we're thinking more moulding and cabinetry around it):

But back to Day 1. We inherited a somewhat dated wet bar. The already-there plumbing made it an easy choice for the future aquarium! Here I am ripping into our new house.

And there's the wet bar in the background before we "expanded" : )

He also had to relocate some of the studs so we would end up with a nice rectangular space.

Next came lighting.

And drywall!

Then FRP on the inside for protection from water, and drywall on the outside (Max is spackling over it right here).

Finally, it was time for texture and paint!

I have to say, I was very impressed with the hubby's work! I kept insisting we needed help, and looking back I can't believe he did it all himself : )

This past weekend, Max made the stand on which the aquarium will sit. He didn't like the stand that came with the tank, so he decided to make a more sturdy one to hold all 2,000+ pounds that the tank will weigh once filled. Here we are bringing it in. I'm not so great as the "muscle help" - all I had to do was carry one side of the stand, but I kept asking for breaks every three or so feet. In my defense, the stand was bigger than I was (and I'm sure it weighed more, too!). I told Max this was a "picture break" (but really I was just resting my arms again!).

Max sealed the stand with an outdoor protectant as it's sure to get saltwater on it at some point. The stand of course will be hidden with cabinetry and the facade that will go around the area, but I have to give props to my husband that it was very well built!

Here's Max showing how long the aquarium will be. Yep, we're pretty excited!


I'm loving that the countdowns have started: one month until spring break and three months until summer break! How did that happen?!? First signs of spring in our backyard... so pretty!

I'm loving this teacher dress, my one (and only) Jason Wu for Target purchase:
His line debuted on February 5th, and after missing out on the Missoni for Target last fall, I figured if I headed over in the morning on the 5th, there would be plenty Jason Wu to choose from. Um, no. I walked in around 9:30am to the first Target, which had nothing left. On to the second Target, which had exactly one pice of clothing in my size out of the entire collection. Apparently, all the Targets in the area had women lined up before the stores even opened!

I'm loving this carry-all that one of my sweet classroom families gave me. I seriously carry it to and from work every single day.

What can I say? I grade a lot of papers : )

I'm loving that I finally got to bring this little guy out:
I found the blackboard last year after St. Patrick's Day. The best part? It was from a Target end-cap! Score!

Finally, I'm loving this new app:

It lets you make sweet cards to send via text and email, and you can even add photos to them all on your phone! It's also free! In my (over) three years with an iPhone, I have yet to actually pay for any app, although I'm sure it will happen one day!

V-Day 2012 : )

Valentine's Day is the best day to be a teacher! This year, we ran special Valentine's Day centers during reading time, did candy heart math, and of course exchanged valentines. I got this idea from my sweet colleague Amy to post all the valentines my firsties gifted me. They loved coming up to it and finding the ones they gave : )

I also had some help from Pinterest for the big day. I found these adorable valentines here:

And made the more adult (Crystal Light vs. Hawaiian Punch) version for my first grade teammates and our school secretaries.

I found this idea on Pinterest as well:

The idea was to tie a memory on to a balloon for each year together and have your sweetheart wake up to them. Well, my sweetheart is a light sleeper and caught me bringing the balloons in!

I still loved writing the memories, though, and reading them together was such a great start to the day!

The hubs was sweet in his own way with roses of my favorite color : )

I gifted him his very first article of pink clothing, which he wore to dinner.

Dinner was our third annual Petite Maison feast. This was course three, Filet with Béarnaise and Pommes Robuchon- delish. Pictured is the sweet gold double-heart necklace Max surprised me with before dinner that I love, love, love.

Our dinner was on the patio this year. Last year it was beautiful, and we decided that the next year we should reserve an outside table. However this year, it threatened to rain! Luckily it was clear as a bell, and they brought out space heaters and blankets for the chill (which was nonexistent thanks to the heaters). Here's our perfect end to a wonderful day of love:
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