Wednesday, October 30, 2013

(His) These People Took it Too Far

I had another blog post planned but what I found on my door this afternoon infuriated me and I decided to share this with you. I don't normally like to get involved in political discussions but I am making an exception for today.


When I came home I found this flyer hanging on the door -

Side of flyer facing the street
Back of door hanger

I was really bothered by this because I do not think it's right that this group goes around and singles out those who have not voted recently. Voting is not compulsory in America and whether a person chooses to vote or not is a personal and confidential decision. If I choose to share with others whether I vote and who I support that should be my decision and definitely not broadcasted by a special interest group looking for more votes. This flyer was directed at me, as Amanda votes in every election.  I was highly offended!

I emailed the group the following to let them know how I felt. This is what I said -

Good afternoon,

     I received one of your door hangers today and I am highly offended that you chose to use such dirty tactics to get people to vote for your candidates. You have no right to hang a notice saying that I don't vote and, in my opinion, it is a form of discrimination. The sad part is that the rest of your flyer is great and has worthwhile information, but you went too far by trying to expose and shame people in front of their neighbours. If you had bothered to check your records you would find that I have never voted since I am a legal immigrant and am not eligible to register to vote. I do believe in voting as I come from a country where that is held in high esteem and once I gain citizenship I do plan to register. I have been undecided as to who to vote for when the time comes but after your little stunt I will likely be voting for your opponents in every election as they don't resort to the dirty shame game like you people. I also plan to contact the local media outlets to let them know what shady tactics you are using, and that the people like myself do not appreciate it. I hope you look at your tactics in future mailings and concentrate on educating the public rather than pointing fingers and shaming those who choose not to or are unable to vote. Thank you for your time.

I will let you know if I hear back from them. Would you you be upset if this happened to you or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Monday, October 28, 2013

His and Her Weekend Shenanigans

It's Monday so that means its time to link up for the weekend Shenanigans. Normally Amanda and I do this post together but since she was out of town over the weekend I am posting for us both.

We both got up early and I took Amanda to meet her parents for the drive down to South Carolina. Our niece turned one last week and they were driving down to celebrate her birthday and dedication. I had to stay behind to look after the dog and also because I used all of my vacation time this summer when we went to Australia. Amanda and her parents spent most of the day driving as it about an 8 hour drive and I headed off to work.

Amanda went to Bennett's birthday party. They had lots of fun and Bennett got lots of really nice gifts. They also had a hay ride and other things to do as well. Amanda will blog about this in more detail when she gets back.

I went to play in a disc golf event nearby. It was Halloween themed and had both a round during the day and a round at night. Playing at night is a totally different experience as you can't see the trees and its hard to judge the distance. Even though I didn't place I had a great time and look forward to playing night disc golf again soon.

Amanda went to Bennett's dedication ceremony at church. Lots of the family and friends were there to support them which was nice. After the service they headed out to lunch then back to the house to hang out and play with Bennett.
 I didn't get home till after midnight which is not normal for me. I was super tired on Sunday so I chose to relax and be lazy for the majority of the day. I put it off as long as possible but after several hours watching Netflix and a nap or two I forced myself to get dressed and go grocery shopping. I didn't want to go but since I had nothing in the house to cook I had little choice but to go.

We will both be back for next week's Weekend Shenanigans. What did you get up to over the weekend?

Friday, October 25, 2013

His and Her Happies and Crappies (Week 41)

It's Friday so let's recap our week's --
The Vintage Modern Wife: Happies and Crappies Link Up

**For those who are new to our blog - WELCOME - purple is Amanda, red is Sean, blue is for both of us. We hope it helps make it less confusing for our readers to know who is talking and sharing. :) **

Shopping is fun -- shopping for our niece's 1st birthday is amazing!!! :) :)

I am heading to South Carolina today with my parents to celebrate our niece's 1st birthday. 

I got to go into work later than normal so I was able to stop at Chick-Fil-A and get chicken biscuits for the crew at work.
Got to play disc golf on Wednesday for the first time in a few weeks. Glad to get a practice round in before the tournament tomorrow.

Two words - sub plans! Ick!!!

I can't go with Amanda and her parents to South Carolina because someone has to stay with the puppy. Sad!

Well that's about it for this week. What was good and bad for you this week?



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Her October Birchbox

I got a pretty awesome Birchbox this month. Here's what was in it --

From left to right - 

POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer 
     A British make-up pro created this sheer gloss, which plumps and hydrates with jojoba oil.

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation
     Oil-free, weightless coverage that improves skin thanks to a patented antioxidant cocktail.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polise Hot Cloth Cleanser and Cloth
     UK Favorite that uses a two-step ritual to purify and exfoliate with a pure muslin cloth, which gently polishes skin.

     Hydration Lock (8 hour moisture)

Overall, I would give this box
Though I loved this Birchbox, it will be my last one, at least for a little while. I just don't find myself using the samples that are being sent my way. I have good intentions each month but the boxes are piling up and the samples are collecting dust. There is a monthly subscription that I want to look in to that sends knitting patterns, yarn, and fun extras. For now, I'm going to consider that and let Birchbox go.

Did I get any of the same samples as you did in your Birchbox?

Happy Sampling,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

His: Living in America - The Cost of Shopping in Oz

Price of Oz the Great and powerful in Australia.
 One of the biggest changes I noticed when I was in Australia this summer was how expensive many things were. Some items cost about the same as they do in America but many items were much more expensive. The exchange rate was about even (once you took the conversion fee into account) at the time we were there so it makes comparing the prices easier. Below is just a sampling of items we saw that were far more expensive down under. To make things fair we took prices from Big W which is a similar store to Walmart.

DVD Movies:
Not only do a lot of movies get released in Australia later than in the U.S, the price can be over double what US consumers pay. In America a DVD copy of "Oz: the Great and Powerful" was selling in most stores for around $20. The same movie was selling for $44. Although it would be tempting to simply buy the movie in the U.S and ship it to Australia to save a few dollars, it's not advisable as the movie would not work unless you had a multi region DVD player.

Price of dishwasher tablets in Australia

Finish Dishwasher Tabs:
This one stopped me in my tracks as I walked through my local Big W. I bought this product a lot at my local grocery store in America and paid about $8 for a pack of 40. I saw the exact same package in Big W for $26. I even checked the barcodes and description to make sure it wasn't sitting on the wrong spot. This was one of the biggest differences we found at over triple the cost of the same item in America.
 Soft Drink/Soda
 Looking to quench your thirst? Soft drinks/sodas cost about $8 for 24 cans in America and even cheaper if on sale. In Australia they were $17.38 for 24 cans. No matter how hard I looked this was about the cheapest price I could find for a name brand soft drink anywhere. Even the single bottles were more expensive A 600ml/20oz bottle of Coke from Big W was $3.08 compared to about $1.69 at most locations in the U.S.

      Shopping in America can get expensive. In a future post I will discuss the prices of meals when eating out and even reveal a few places where eating out is cheaper in Australia. 

 What item have you seen abroad that is far more expensive than at home?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

His and Her Never, Ever, Ever (Week 21)

It's Tuesday!! Why are we so excited? Because it is not Monday!! :) :) It's also time to play --

The Vintage Modern Wife: Never Ever Ever Link Up

**For those who are new to our blog - WELCOME - purple is Amanda, red is Sean, blue is for both of us. We hope it helps make it less confusing for our readers to know who is talking and sharing. :) **

Our theme for this week is household chores.

Amanda will never, ever, ever...
-want to dust. It always messes with me because of my allergies and I get a really bad headache.

-like cleaning bathrooms. I will clean any other room of the house if I don't have to clean the bathrooms.

-love anything more than having a clean house. It is such a good feeling to know that the house is clean and shiny. I love that!!

Sean will never, ever, ever...
- want to be around when someone else is vacuuming. I hate the noise of it going by and would rather do it myself.

- be allowed to wash anything that is not mine in the washing machine. I ruined some of Amanda's clothes some years ago and have been banished from washing anything of Amanda's since.
Who else has done this? - Source
- think that the sink will stay empty for more than 10 minutes. It seems like I wash dishes and then moments later the sink is full once again.

What are your favorite and least favorite household chores?

Happy Cleaning,

Monday, October 21, 2013

His and Her Weekend Shenanigans

A little relaxing, a little shopping --- all part of our --

Sami's Shenanigans

**For those who are new to our blog - WELCOME - purple is Amanda, red is Sean, blue is for both of us. We hope it helps make it less confusing for our readers to know who is talking and sharing. :) **

I was able to plan during my planning time on Friday -- I know, crazy concept right, planning during planning?? haha -- so I was able to leave a little earlier than I have been. We spent the night chilling out and relaxing. We both went to bed early because we were so tired from a long week.

It is so hard for me to believe that our niece is turning 1 this week. Sean and I went out shopping for her presents on Saturday. We got some cute stuff and it is all wrapped and ready to go to South Carolina later this week. YAY!!
We also went to some other shops that we don't get to that often and bought some things for us.  Sean got Ginger Beer (he's going to explain what this is below) and I got some new coffee flavors from Fresh Market. The Tiramisu was good; I could taste the chocolate and caramel but it wasn't overpowering. The Molten Chocolate was horrible. I threw it out. My favorite was the Vanilla Maple. I would drink that each and every morning.
I went shopping with Amanda to buy our niece's birthday present and a few other errands. We had lunch at one of my favourite restaurants called Zaxby's. My sister-in-law Jenn took me there once and I am now a huge fan. I love it just as much as I like Chick-Fil-A. It's nice that there is a new location that is just 30 minutes away, rather than having to drive an hour to Williamsburg to get my Zaxby's fix.

My fav at Zaxby's - Source
After running other errands we stopped at World Market where I got some Australian Ginger Beer. I drank this stuff growing up and I was excited when I found they stocked it here a couple of years ago. Ginger Beer is a non alcoholic soda that is similar to ginger ale but is not nearly as carbonated and has a much more distinct ginger taste. 
Yummy Ginger Beer! - Source

Lazy Sunday morning - blogging and checking Facebook. Busy Sunday afternoon - grading papers (including essays) and getting things organized for this week.
If grading papers was only this easy! - Source
The only interesting thing that happened today is that I went grocery shopping early then realized that I was missing an ingredient for tonight's dinner so I had to run back out again to get that. Am I the only one who does this??
This is me on this past Sunday! - Source

What was your favorite moment from this past weekend?

Happy Monday,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

His and Her Never, Ever, Ever (Week 20)

It's Tuesday and we want to play a game. How about a fun and rousing game of --

The Vintage Modern Wife: Never Ever Ever Link Up

**For those who are new to our blog - WELCOME - purple is Amanda, red is Sean, blue is for both of us. We hope it helps make it less confusing for our readers to know who is talking and sharing. :) **

Our theme for this week is travel. After days and days of rain and craziness at work, getting away is a nice idea right about now. :)

 Amanda will never, ever, ever...
-love packing. I wish there were elves that could do this for me. The whole process is tedious, plus I always leave behind at least one important item.

-be able to pack lightly. Everything + the kitchen sink + a backup sink in case something happens to the first one is my motto.
This is both Sean and Amanda's luggage
-love any city that I travel to more than I love Sydney, Australia. You can read more about that here.
Sydney Harbour at night
 Sean will never, ever, ever...
- Spend more than $100-$150 per night for a hotel room unless absolutely necessary. I still like a decent room but with some flexibility in location and using the right website I have not been unsuccessful yet.

- Love flying long hauls. It is wonderful to be able to travel to any point in the world in around 2 days but being cooped up in an aluminium can with wings for 10+ hours at a time is one of my least favourite things. Perhaps if I could get a seat in business or first class I wouldn't hate it so much.

Our plane from SF to Sydney this summer
- Sit around at a destination and just relax for days on end. I like to immerse myself in the city and do as much as possible. Sometimes I need a few days to recover after I get back because we are so busy.
Vegas strip at night
What are your travel never, evers?

Happy Tuesday,

Monday, October 14, 2013

Her (and His) Monday Made-It

It feels like that for as long as I have been reading blogs, I have seen the Monday Made-It button floating around. This is a link-up hosted by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics. You can join so long as you made something - it does not have to be something for the classroom either. Just anything you made that you want to share with the blogging world. 


I wanted to have a way of better organizing my students' exit slips and then along came this post from Teach-A-Roo. I'm not sure why I waited so long to create this.

The original pin:
Teach-A-Roo: Ticket Out the Door! 
 And the link that goes with it -- Click here!

Here is my version. My room's theme is bright colors (mostly purple and pink) and zebra print. Hey - I'm a girlie girl, so I need a girlie girl room. So far, the middle school boys have not complained. ;)

The Washi tape was a huge help for this project. If a line of tape went down crooked, we could just peel it up and try again. No stress, no fuss - no tearing of the posterboard. Loving some washi tape this year!

My students are assigned numbers anyway for turning in papers (easy alphabetizing which means easier entry into the gradebook) and for using laptop computers (so if something happens, I know who to blame, I mean question). Now as they complete their exit slip, they will put it on their box and away they go. I can then go back through and tell who knows the material, who needs a little more help, and who is completely lost. 
All that is left to do is add the numbers (still deciding if I want small numbers in the corner or large numbers that fill the box) and laminate.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that Sean did most of the work for this project. I am HORRIBLE at math - with a capital #epicfail - so after a few moments of me struggling with the measurements, he said "Just let me do it!" I love that he is so willing to save me the headache of trying to do math. He's a keeper!

Have you made anything recently that is a great addition to your classroom? Please share!

Happy Crafting,

His and Her Weekend Shenanigans

We had a crazy busy weekend so without further ado, here are our -- 

Sami's Shenanigans

**For those who are new to our blog - WELCOME - purple is Amanda, red is Sean, blue is for both of us. We hope it helps make it less confusing for our readers to know who is talking and sharing. :) **

I worked on Friday until almost 5:30 trying to get lesson plans ready for next week. I really do hate planning at home because inevitably I leave something at school that I need. So, I stuck around working and realized that the high school Homecoming Parade was going by the school. I stood on the front steps and waved at my former students, blew kisses to the girls on homecoming court, and said "hi" to some teachers I know. For the first Friday all year, I was really glad I worked late. :)

I KNIT A HAT!!! Hats are a step up in difficulty level for me because they require knitting in the round. I hadn't done that before. Also, the finishing required a set of double pointed needles which I have been afraid of since I started knitting. A knitting friend, Jen, had some and she stopped her knitting for about 45 minutes to coach me through using them for the first time. I am so grateful because it made me feel a little more at ease. I was still super nervous and anxious that I was going to screw something up right at the end. All that is behind me now though because I KNIT A HAT!!!!
One of our friends was moving house and they needed some help lifting some of the heavier appliances. I am not a huge fan of moving but they needed help and offered a free dinner, so Amanda and I went out to help out. It wasn't as hard as I expected so that was a bonus. The rest of their stuff is pretty light so its good to know that the big heavy stuff is done.

When we checked the mail on Sunday (Saturday was super busy), I found my invitation to my favorite baby's 1st birthday party. I don't know how it has been a year but I cannot wait to celebrate with my sis, bro-in-law, and niece. :) Isn't she adorable?

 I got up early to go donate platelets at the Red Cross. I go every 2-3 weeks to donate and it has been part of my routine for about 15 months now. The platelets are only good for 5 days so that its important that I, along with others, go regularly to replenish the supply. They use platelets for cancer patients which is a cause dear to me and I hope that I am making some sort of difference for someone.

What was your most memorable moment of the weekend?

Happy Monday,

Friday, October 11, 2013

His and Her Happies and Crappies (Week 39)

TGIF!!!!!!!! Time for -
The Vintage Modern Wife: Happies and Crappies Link Up

**For those who are new to our blog - WELCOME - purple is Amanda, red is Sean, blue is for both of us. We hope it helps make it less confusing for our readers to know who is talking and sharing. :) **

Spirit Week!!!

Tuesday was "Tacky Tourist Day". This was my favorite day!! :)

My students seem to be grasping the English concepts I have been teaching. That is such a good feeling! Here's hoping it sticks!

Knitting night at Panera on Wednesday was so fun. I love those nights of putting aside all the drama at school and just having fun with friends. (The grilled cheese sandwich and potato soup were amazing also!)

We were able to return to our church Community Group last night after missing last week. It was nice to see everyone and enjoy their company while diving a little further into the lesson from this week's sermon.

I took an hour and a half nap today. :)

(Read the backstory about the doggie here.) We found out Tuesday that the dog we attempted to rescue was unable to be saved. Animal Control humanely euthanized her due to her excessive illnesses and injuries on Tuesday.
Bright Note: On Sunday, we stopped at the grooming center of PetSmart first because we didn't know where to go for help. The girls there were so nice that Amanda made brownies for them. Sean delivered them on Monday and they asked him to wait to see the store manager. She told him that the girls were so touched by our kindness to the poor doggie that they told her the story first thing that morning. The manager agreed with them and wanted to thank us for being so thoughtful. She gave us some of Alex's favorite treats (and of course he has expensive taste) --- a bucket worth $23.

We are both over all of the rain. It poured down rain Wednesday and Thursday. It has been drizzly today. If we wanted this kind of weather, we would move to Seattle or England. Where is the sun??

How was your week?

Happy Friday!!
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