Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Catholic School's Week Humor :)

My mom sent me this and I just had to share!  I went to Catholic school from K-12th and then my undergrad was also a Catholic University.  Catholic School's Week has always been a fun time and this email made me laugh so hard I almost cried! 

1+ 2 = 3

Until a child tells you what they are thinking, we can't even begin to imagine how their mind is working....

Little Zachary was doing very badly in math.
His parents had tried everything...tutors, mentors,
flash cards, special learning centers.
In short, everything they could think of to help his math.

Finally, in a last ditch effort, they took Zachary down and enrolled him in the local Catholic school.. After the first day, little Zachary came home with a very serious look on his face. He didn't even kiss his mother hello. Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying.

Books and papers were spread out all over the room and little Zachary was hard at work. His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner.

To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back hitting the books as hard as before.

This went on for some time, day after day, while the mother tried to understand what made all the difference.

Finally, little Zachary brought home his report Card. He quietly laid it on the table, went up to his room and hit the books. With great trepidation, His Mom looked at it and to her great surprise, Little Zachary got an 'A' in math.
She could no longer hold her curiosity.. She went to his room and said, 'Son, what was it? Was it the nuns?' Little Zachary looked at her and shook his head, no.. 'Well, then,' she replied, Was it the books, the discipline, the structure, the uniforms? WHAT WAS IT?'

Little Zachary looked at her and said,

'Well, on the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around.'

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fun Times!

Life has been busy lately and not necessarily busy with what matters.  I’ve been working a lot, running out in the evenings or various events and cleaning in my spare time. Those things do not equal fun for me or for the kiddo, so this weekend I decided that I was going to put cleaning on the back burner and little man on the front burner.  Granted, this is my intention every weekend, but things always come up and the weekend becomes far from relaxing and fun.  Well, this weekend I succeeded with flying colors at making it a fun, kind friendly weekend! 

On Saturday, we had a relaxing morning of sleeping in, making breakfast, watching documentaries and then headed to Michael’s to find the perfect frame and matting for Jared’s WWII plane print!  This was #1 on his list of things to do this weekend!  He did a wonderful job at picking out the frame and the matting!  And the bonus was that everything was on sale!  $15 dollars later he had the perfect frame for his awesome print!  Just look at that face!  Pure joy!

This was my special present to him for Christmas, but we forgot to bring it to my parent’s house, so he received it late…really late because I had every intention of framing it, but looking back, I am really glad that I let him choose the frame.  It was a big thing for him!

After Michael’s, Jared, Lira and I headed to the local state park!  I already blogged about our little hike here, but overall, it was the perfect day to watch little rascals run through the woods, play Indian and chase each other!  I just hung back and took pictures.  It was perfect for me.  My heart swelled and is still swollen from that short time in the woods. 

Saturday afternoon I made little man’s favorite soup…tomato soup!  He was in hog heaven and kept saying, this is soooo good!  I soaked it all in because I don’t cook that often anymore given that I work longer hours than my husband.  Weekends are my time to shine and I did with my tomato soup on Saturday evening!  Heck yea!  After dinner, we headed to Mass and attempted to go bowling, but it was soo crowed (every single time we attempt to go bowling, the wait is over an hour and we end up leaving).  Instead of bowling, we went home and watching The Dark Knight Rises with some friends while eating ice cream!  It was a really great movie!  I know, I am way behind the times when it comes to movies. 

Sunday was nice!  It was a true family day.  We slept in a bit, brewed a nice pot of coffee, I made breakfast and we all went to the aquarium.  The original plan was to see an iMax, but we arrive a few minutes too late, so we decided to visit the aquarium instead and it was a blessing in disguise!  A) I love aquariums! B) We were on our feet as oppose to sitting. C) It was a beautiful day and being outside for part of the experience was amazing!  The sharks and turtles were super active!  Sadly I didn’t have my camera because the plan was to see an iMax.  Luckily the iPhone does a fine job at capturing moments.  Sometimes I am oddly happy to not have my camera because I live more in the moment as opposed to trying to capture a shot. 



After the aquarium, we headed to Pi Pizza for lunch!  Amazing pizza to say the least and a freakin sweet name!!!  Nerd alert! I love π, like really love 22/7, 3.1428571…you get the drift!  Math is fun people!  The natural question to ask any child at Pi Pizza is if they know what Pi means…he had an idea, but nothing too clear.   I am proud to say that he knows now.  While having this discussion, we tossed around a play piece of pizza dough!  Super nasty for me, super fun for him!

Sunday afternoon…the San Francisco 49ers won.  Husband is happy.  I had two friends over and we crafted…well, I crafted and they chatted with me!  I’m making burp cloths and a baby mobile for an expecting friend…the one I took photos of a week or so ago!  Here’s the work in progress…


Yup, this lucky lady had off on Monday!  Thank you MLK!  I love long weekends, like really love them!  Husband golfed in the morning, so Jared and I went to the Military Aviation Museum!  This child loves WWII planes and knows his stuff!  The 80+ year old veteran that toured us around kept telling me how impressed he was with his knowledge and interest in the planes.  It was a proud moment for me.  When Jared sees planes, his eyes light up!  This was a big event for him and one he really, really enjoyed!  I’m glad we were able to share another moment this weekend!  

Jared and our "Antique" tour guide chatting about planes!

Jared and his P-40 (this is the model plane he received for Christmas).

Now that's a real smile!!
Hanging out in an old Jaguar!  
After the museum, we headed to Flip Flops Bar & Chill…yes Chill, not Grill…to meet up with Ryan and his golfing buddy for lunch.  It’s a place that was featured on Triple D and since we were near it, we figured we’d try it out.  Super success! I had a rare tuna sandwich that was amazing! 

That afternoon, I finished some crafting, went food shopping, did some laundry and then got ready for a girl’s night!  It’s restaurant week here, so a few of my favorite local ladies and I went out to dinner!  Oh my heavens, it was amazing!  I ate out a lot this weekend…not good for my waistline… Being surrounded by girl friends that are like sisters, chatting about pregnancy (because two are preggers), our husbands, moving around, work, and just life was so nice.  These ladies are smart cookies with big hearts!  I love them dearly and will miss them terribly when they move away. 

After dinner, we watched the Bachelor.  Yes, I am a faithful follower.  Never missed a season.  Never will. It’s my guilty pleasure.

Much love.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Time In the Woods

Today was absolutely gorgeous!  I mean perfect!  You know when you wake up and see the sun streaming through your window and you just know that you have to be outside?  Yea, it was one of those days today.  Mother Nature was calling my name and I answered!  Little man, Lir-Lir puppy and I headed to the local park and explored the trails less traveled.  Oh it was a gem of a day.  The path less traveled is always worth the journey.  Little man said today was the best day at the park!  That made my heart swell!  Love him to pieces!  

Here's our day through photos!  They truly tell a story of our little journey, but I'll be sure to add my thoughts throughout. 

Our adorable puppy was in "sniffing" heaven.  Oh the scents were strong today and she was happy to be prancing around in the woods!  Little man walked logs, found "perfect" sticks for arrows and talked about the book James and the Giant Peach.  I am so happy that he enjoyed both the book and movie!  I'm the stickler who makes him read the book before watching the movie because the book is sooo much better and because a promise of a movie night is a great tool to get him to read a book fast!

They were a little team today!  We took Lira's leash off and let her roam freely!  She loved it and was really good at staying with us.  Jared was really good with her too!  She was his little sister today.  I really enjoyed watching them interact while taking pictures.  We only saw one person while hiking which is exactly how I like it.  Being one with nature on such a beautiful day was exactly what my soul needed.  

Look at those sweet faces.  I just want to hug them!  Oh wait, I can and I do often!  They were having a blast today.

Happy Weekend to you!
Much love.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Coffee Talk: Music!

Yo Baby!  It’s Coffee Talk Time with Nat again!  Happy Thursday!  One more day and then a LONG weekend!  I’m thrilled about that little fact because my weekends tend to disappear and I have big craft plans, a family day, football and several other missions to accomplish this weekend!

This week’s topic is Music. OH how I adore good tunes!  I even enjoy bad tunes at times.  All depends on my mood.  Music speaks my language.  It stirs emotions, generates movement within the body and impacts spirits.  I love music.  This post does not for one second let you know just how much I love music because I am less of the Music Video, Mix Tape kind of girl and more of the Pandora, listen top everything and enjoy it for the art behind it kind of girl.

1. Compile your best music mix tape!
Africa by Toto
Blame It On the Girls by Mika
Blackbird by The Beatles
Man on Fire by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Call Me Maybe by Carley Rae Jepsen
The Lighthouse's Tale By Nickel Creek
Live and Learn by The Cardigans
Hallelujah by k.d. lang
The Show by Lenka
Leave the Light On by Priscilla Ann
Think of You by A Fine Frenzy
Rehab by Amy Winehouse
Ingrid Michealson
In Spite of Ourselves by John Prine & Patsy Cline (Hilarious song!! Listen to it!)
A Daisy In December – it’s a waltz & a beautiful waltz at that
Testify to Love by Wynonna
La Isla Bonita by Madonna
Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine
Crazy Girl by Eli Young Band
Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones
Miss Me by Andy Grammer
Put the Gun Down by ZZ Ward

2. Biggie or 2Pac?
2Pac.  I have very little reasoning for my answer, so if you disagree, don’t try to argue with me.  I’m an Eminem girl.  He’s just one talented dude. 

3. Best music video ever made.
OK, I don't know many music videos so I brainstormed with my husband and I decided that the most touching one is "When I'm Gone" by Three Doors Down.  Holy tears batman.

While browsing, I chuckled at how accurate this portrays a teenage girl smitten over a boy...

4. Put together your best outfit of your favorite singer/band in polyvore.com
Didn't have time to complete it...It involved and black and white striped short dress, royal blue heels and a yellow purse.

5. What music is your guilty pleasure?
Oh heavens, my guilty pleasure…gotta be pop like NSYNC, Back Street Boys, Bieber, Miley Cyrus, T. Swift….yea, I’m that girl.

6. Quote your favorite lyric from a song.
“Only one desire
That's left in me
I want the whole damn world
To come dance with me”

Man on Fire by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Much love. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review #1

The Digital Photography Book: Volume 1
by: Scott Kelby
The Digital Photography Book: The Step-by-step Secrets for How to Make Your Photos Look Like the Pros'!
The first book that I read this year was a photography book, so it will only be of interest to those who enjoy the technicalities of photography.  It was volume 1 and you get bet your booty that I will be reading volume 2-8 as well.  They will not all count towards my goal of 24 books in a year because they aren’t long and they are more of a “workbook” i.e. read and play with your camera to make sure you understand what Kelby is taking about.

His writing style is quite humorous in the beginning of each chapter which helps to keep the reader captivated.  He is also very clear and concise in his instructions.  In the first chapter he tells you that the book is written as if the reader were out shooting photographs with him and I think that is the best explanation.  His writing is as if he is talking you through the process.  I think it is a wonderful book for beginner photographers like myself.  I am a far cry from talented, especially when it comes to indoor photography.  I lot of my photography is “luck.”  I know the theory behind my camera, but achieving the shots I am hoping for rarely happens.  Until I know how to get capture the shot I want without a million tries, I will not consider myself anything more than a girl that thoroughly enjoys taking pictures.

I also learned that editing is a huge part of photography.  I always knew that, but I tended to classify those that had to edit every picture as a weak photographer.  I was WRONG.  Being a strong photographer and taking a sharp photo is vital, but editing is an important step in the process.  There is an art to editing.  It takes a certain eye, attention to detail and a great deal of patience to master an editing program and adjust every picture to its maximum potential. 

I absolutely adore learning and since I am not in school at the moment, this is perfect for me! My husband thinks I am insane, but if my brain isn't being challenged, I am one fidgety lady and that can be really annoying.  Luckily with 7 more books and lots of practicing, my brain will be quite occupied.  

I'd like to thank Marjorie over at The Blog of M.J. for recommending the book!

Much love.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Maternity Photo Shoot

On Saturday, I was given the honor of taking photos for a friend who is due next month!
She looks absolutely amazing!

These pictures are far from perfect, but they taught me a lot.
The appreciation I have for friends and family being models for me is immense.  
Without them, I would be at a loss.

Yes, that is a pregnant mug :)


Thank you so much pretty mama-to-be!
I am so excited to meet baby Calvin!

Much love. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coffee Talk #16: Randomocity

It's Coffee Talk Time with Nat at 23Seventeen!  Happy Thursday!  One more day and this first full work week in a few weeks will finally be over.  Praise the Lord! 

Would you rather have a pen pal or an email pal?
Mmm…there are benefits to both.

Email Pals have a quick response time and are much more conversational, but…

Photo taken and edited by Chloe Sherman Pepe
I adore the anticipation of receiving a handwritten and decorated letter in the mail.  The time and creativity put into pen pal letters are treasures.  Everyone’s handwriting is different…it tells a story.  I write letters often and enjoy it, so I am going to have to say that pen pals are my favorite!!

When my husband was deployed, he wrote me a letter a day.  Were they all mushy, gushy amazingness, heck no!  Were they all from the heart and with good intent, heck yea!  Now I have them to hold and to smell and to cherish forever!

What are you wearing at this exact moment?

Bluish-Purple turtle neck shirt from Banana Republic
Brown button-up sweater
Brown pencil skirt
Nude stockings
Brown heels
I’m at work…  

When you are sick, how do you handle it?

Leave me alone.
I like to sleep and handle my illness by myself. 
If you make me hot tea, I will accept it.
Oh and if you want to massage my feet, I will accept that as well.
Cuddling and all that isn’t my sick style.
I fear infecting others.


to be a better person.
to be happier.
to be creative.
to be true to myself.
to be confident who I am.
to reconnect with the me I love....the me pictured below.

Photo taken and edited by Chloe Sherman Pepe

Movie you are excited to see this year????

These are all from 2012 because I don’t know what movies are coming out in 2013.  Oops.  I just saw Les Mis (and it was A-Mazing), so my list now includes Lincoln, Breaking Dawn Part II, and the Hobbit.

Much love.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm that Girl...

That goes to the bathroom a million times a day…literally.
That talks to her puppy like she’s a human.
That blares the radio while driving.
That wears legwarmers and short shorts all winter long
That eats nuts and berries for lunch.
That can’t quote a movie for the life of her.
That adores a love story.
That loves the sky…morning, noon and night.  Love it.
That mows her lawn in shorts and cowboy boots.
That has a green thumb thanks to her mama & papa.
That cries far too easily.
That laughs at corny jokes.
That works at a coffee company….not Starbucks…they are competition. Boo.
That is a Daddy’s girl to a T.
That loves to drive with the sunroof open and the heat blasting in the middle of winter.
That has really dry skin in the winter.
That cleans to stay calm.
That eats peanut butter from the jar.
That craves foot massages on an hourly basis.
That loves to tickle people.  Seriously, I have a problem.
(I actually gave up tickling my husband for New Years.  He’s happy.  I’m struggling.)
That escapes into a different world when she dances.
That hands down loves being a student & learning & the world of academia.
That cares what others think of her.
That strives to make others happy.
That speed walks all the time.
That plans, plans, plans, plans, plans.
That can forget everything when she reads a good book.
That cries when the good book is over.
That loves Philadelphia.
That dreams of traveling the world and having abs…anything’s possible in a dream.
That loves her family unconditionally.
That sings out loud to store music.

I’m that girl.

What girl (or boy) are you?
I saw this on Wifestyles blog  and loved it! 
Much love.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekend through Instagram

 {Thursday Evening}
Trivia night with the gang and this little cutie!
Yes, we bring babies to bars.
Well, restaurants with bars.
This little one loves all the attention she gets from her adopted aunties!

We give her lemons to watch her face go all crazy.
And she always goes back for me!
Crazy kiddo!
I worked.
Then I danced the night away.
It was glorious!
The dancing part.
It was a mock NYE party.
I wore my purple and diamond dress.
It was awesome!!
We went to the park as a family!
It was a bit chilly, but sunny!
I'll take crisp and sunny any day over the overcast.
Little man loves the monkey bars.
And he rocks them.
It's quite impressive.
There is goes!
This little lady is a cutie!
Saturday Afternoon I wore this snazzy shirt to the movies.
Yes, I went to the movies.
Not just any movie theater.
The Cinebistro
It's been over a year.
Julia and I saw Les Mis.

I slept in.
It was glorious.
Once I got my lazy booty out of bed...
I took down the Christmas decorations.

What doesn't belong in that picture?
The little black fluffy puppy that is curled up with the ornaments.
She has to be by me at all times.
Love her!
Sunday afternoon was filled with books and walks.
Barnes & Noble was visited.
The lake was visited.
Sunday evening we went to Church.
Little man collected all the books after Mass.
Then we went to dinner.
Afterwards, we watched Once Upon at Time.
Family time rocks!
Yup! We are cool!

Friday, January 4, 2013

{24 Books in a Year}

One of my New Year’s Resolutions, or goals, is to read 24 books in a year…24 real books.  While this may seem easy for some, it will be quite challenging for me.  Holding a fulltime and fairly demanding job, being a good wife and mother, maintaining focus and advancement in my dance, practicing my photography skills, and just living life, adds to the challenge on completing all 24 books.  I am quite optimistic though!  I think I can do it and I think it will force me to slow down a little earlier in the evenings.  Plus, I love to read and think this will be a great jumpstart to getting back into the routine!   

2013 Book List…so far 

Dragon Fly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
I already read the first book of The Outlander Series, so I am starting with book two of seven. These books were recommended by my co-worker and a few other friends.  

Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon 

Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon 

The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon 

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon 

Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon 

Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek
Recommended by my father. 

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Recommended by Michal, a good college friend. 

The Food -Mood Solution: All-Natural Ways to Banish Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Stress, Overeating, and Alcohol and Drug Problems—And Feel Good Again by Jack Challem
Recommended by my friend, Kelly.  

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Recommended by a co-worker. 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed 

What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love by: Carole Radziwill 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne 

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrueht 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 

The Lotus Eaters: A Novel by Tatjana Soli

Generation Kill by Evan Wright 

A Piece of My Heart: The Stories of 26 American Women Who Served in Vietnam by Keith Walker

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

1984 by George Orwell 
Ok, here’s where I am hoping you can help me…
Need a suggestion for a Photography book to read.
I want one that focuses on lighting if possible.
I don’t want to have to edit my pictures much,
But I want to have cool lighting effects…Help! 

Need a suggestion for a personal account with a disability.
I’ve read books about Down Syndrome and Aspergers and enjoyed them.
I love to learn the human day to day side of disabilities.
The scientific/technical side is interesting as well,
But I really like to see the person, not the disability.
We are all different and beautiful!  Let’s embrace it!

I’ve already read the Grey series, the Hunger Games series, and the Twilight series.  I am debating about adding the Girl with a Dragon Tattoo series to my list, but I don’t know if I will be able to get through them.  I definitely want to have some backup books in case these aren’t available at the library or heaven forbid I just can’t get into one of the books listed.   Here are some of my backups: The Innocent by David Baldacci and books by Jodi Picoult or Maeve Binchy (Circle of Friends).

If you have any suggestions that fit those last two or any books that you think I should definitely add to my list, PLEASE let me know!!  I love to hear about the books you have been reading and/or plan to read!  I will be sure to post my reviews about each and every book once they are complete.  That will help me stay on track and possibly inspire others to read the books I am reading!

Happy FRIDAY!!

Much love.