Monday, December 29, 2014

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 25

Thursday: December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! 

Today was a wonderful day! 

My whole family slept in until 11 am and I woke up to the smell of pancakes and bacon. 

Usually my mom makes pancakes every Sunday but Christmas is the perfect excuse to make pancakes during the week. 

After breakfast, it was time to open presents!

It's funny because now that we are older, the presents under the tree look different. It's not big boxes full of you sets, DVD players, tvs or sterios. 

And some Christmases are different than others. In the past it's looked empty under the tree, but this Christmas is the first in a long time that we've had gifts spilling out from both sides. 

Regardless, it's never about the presents! It's about the company. 

So we spent about an hour opening ll our gifts. 

My parents got me a MacBook Pro (which doubled for a graduation gift too)

My brother and his girlfriend got me a Vera Bradley curling wand holder and a coach name tag lanyard. I also got tons of chocolate and little stalking stuffers. 

There was wrapping paper, bags and fissure paper everywhere, but this picture doesn't do it justice. 

After opening presents, the cleaning started. 

Some houses do spring cleaning, but my house does Christmas cleaning. 

And guess who actually cleaned the whole house; vacuuming, mopping and dusting included? ME? Because my parents were in the kitchen cooking for 4 hours. And, that's because we had company coming over for dinner... Brendan and my brother's girlfriend. 

My family consists of me, my brother and my mom and dad. The one aunt and one uncle I have living in the United States (actually both within 15 minutes from my house) my dad doesn't talk to. Besides that, all my relatives, ALL of them, live in Portugal. 

I guess you could say that my parents, specifically more my dad, have a hard time letting other people into my family. The fact that my dad came up to me this past weekend and asked me to invite my boyfriend to Christmas dinner really meant a lot! I'm not the type to invite my boyfriend either without my parents being fully excepting of it. 

So, I was excited! 

Brendan was too! He knows how closed off and reserved my family can be. He's so understanding too. He knows it's not him, it's just the way my parents are. When I told him he was invited to Christmas dinner he was ecstatic!

He came over around 4:30 and we were eating by 5:30. 

We enjoyed honey ham and seafood casserole. 

There was also asparagus and baked potatoes. 

Brendan's personal favorite was my dad's rice. I think he could have eaten the whole pot!

Then after dinner we dug right into dessert! 

Completely 100% home made, my mom made a three tiered desserts. Yellow egg custard on the bottom with Portuguese cookie crumbles sprinkled on top. Then chocolate mousse is added to make the middle later. Finally whipped cream is the too layer. Usually we roast some almond shaving and sprinkle them all over but because Brendan has a tree nut allergy, we substituted almonds for chocolate shavings.  

This Christmas was wonderful. I spent it with both my family and Brendan and I couldn't be any happier! 

The rest if the evening, I fooled around with my brand new Cannon T5.
Here are some of the pictures :-) 

Until next time,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 24

Wednesday: December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve!

Want to guess how I started my day? 

... Going to the local mall with my mom! 

My mom has an extremely sensitive stomache, IBS, and krones so petty much all December, when she gets home from work she can't do anything. I've been doing most if the Christmas shopping for her. 

Today she was finally feeling better so she decided that we should go out together and finish our Christmas shopping. 

We went out for about an hour and I have to say we were extremely successful. There weren't too many people out surprisingly so that was even better!

After we came home, I finished wrapping everything! 

Then went into the kitchen to make my moms mousse. I made the chocolate mousse totally from scratch and as soon as I put it in the fridge, I ran upstairs and showered. 

I was having Christmas Eve for the third year in a row at Brendan's house with his mom and dad so I needed to get myself ready. 

His family opens presents and has their big dinner on Christmas Eve while my family opens presents and cooks a big dinner on Christmas. I love this because it doesn't make us have to divide our time on the same day. 

I went over at 6 pm and his parents had appetizers waiting on the table. I brought over all my presents for Brendan and his mom and dad, which we would eventually open after dinner. We also sipped on a Portuguese cocktail drik which I had brought them this past summer from my vacation in Portugal. 

We watched Christmas Vacation and at 8 o'clock had dinner; fillet mignon and mashed potatoes with corn and asparagus! So delicious!

After dinner, that's when the present opening began!

His parents got me the Harry Potter Books box set, something I've always wanted but haven't been able to afford. They also bought some shore excursions for us to do on our cruise in January. 

Some of the things Brendan got me in life a Canon EOS T5, a Coach Watch and the new Louboutin nailpolish. Smaller items like giftcard sand a coffee mug were in my stocking and he also bought me a massage at a really nice spa!

After opening gifts, we enjoyed the chocolate mousse and each other company. 

This Christmas I was more than spoiled! 

It wasn't about all the lovely gifts I got. Instead it was about the thoughtfulness behind each of those gifts. 

I know that Brendan and his family love me; I can feel it. 

I just hope that they know just how much I love them too!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Until next time,

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 23

Tuesday: December 23, 2014


Today was the last day of my student teaching placement. 

I laughed, hugged, cried and smiled. 

The kids had a holiday party today. Parent volunteers came in and helped with the sock snowman craft, which turned out super cute! 

What I was really surprised about was that I got a class gift presented by the parents. It really made me feel included and even more a part of the classroom. It also made it harder to say goodbye. 

At the end of the day, my classroom teacher and the aid, as well as the kids, presented me with a huge bag of books. 

They are the start if my own classroom library. It was the sweetest thing that they could have done! The bag is signed and decorated by each child. 

The other two first grade teachers also have me a small stack of books that they picked out, too. 

The sweet messages written inside and their generosity brought me to tears!

What you he's me most was something my classroom teacher said to me after all the children were gone. 

I made friends for life. Anything I need or any time I want to get dinner or visit, I just need to text. 

My teacher and aid have been the most wonderful me it's and people I've come across in my entire experience working for public schools. 

It warms my heart to know that being with them isn't permanently over. 

After an emotional dismissal, once again I headed to work. 

They were watching a movie when I got there so it was a pretty lazy afternoon. At that point I just wanted to go home. I was so emotionally drained I didn't want to be there. 

When I got home, I ate and went back out to shop. 

I made sure all my gifts were wrapped, and found Willie sleeping under the tree. 

I also made sure Brendan's gifts were ready to go. 

Later tonight, I hung out with Brendan and just relaxed in his arms. I'm so happy to finally be done! 

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve so I'm going to be going to Brendan's house to open gifts and eat dinner with his parents. 

Should be a great night! 

Until next time, 

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 22

Monday: December 22, 2014

Hello world!

Today started off as a bitter sweet day. 

This morning I woke up and headed to my last 'week' at my student teaching classroom. I used quotes because they go on vacation tomorrow, so it's not a full week. 

A couple students brought in thoughtful gifts, which included really sweet messages. 

It's nice to feel appreciated sometimes!

It's sad for me to think that tomorrow is my last day in that classroom. It's been the most amazing semester if my life! 

Well, the day was he give because we did a lot if finishing up old work and cleaning up the classroom to prep for vacation. 

I was able to get away during my lunch break. I left the school, got some fresh air and mailed the last of our Christmas cards. 

I got back and it was absolute chaos. The kids have totally lost it. With Christmas literally around the corner, their excitement has taken over and their focus has taken a time out. 

After my morning with them, I stopped at home. What should have only been 5 minutes turned into 20. We have a pug puppy who hasn't been sold yet so I decided I needed some puppy therapy. 

Can you handle this face? His, not mine!

The sweetness! The cuteness! Ah! :-)

Pug butt!

After hanging out with this little guy, I was off to work. Nothing was too eventful and I was just counting down the time til we were all done. I had to go out and shop more!

Brendan joined me after work and we went to a few Marshall's and the tj maxx. 

When we were done we got Wendy's, ate then made goody bags. One of our stops tonight was the dollar store (teacher's best friend) so that I could make each child a goodbye treat bag. 

Brendan has been so wonderful and not once complained about my diva-ness. He has however been reminding me to take it slower and stop stressing so much. Super helpful! 

Now that I'm finally home, I can't wait to get in my bed!

Nighty night!!

Until next time, 

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 21

Sunday: December 21, 2014

Hi there all!

I'm so dead!

Another day full of shopping!

Not only was I shopping for people on my list, I was also shopping for people on my mom and dad's lists too! 

I ended up dragging my but all over town hunting for things in everyone's lists. 

After spending the morning shopping for people by myself, I came home to eat with my family and then we all went to the mall. 

For Christmas my parents decided to buy me a macbook so we drove up to New Hampshire since they have no taxes and I got to pick out the one I wanted. 

We did a few other things and then headed home. 

I haven't had my own laptop for 5 years so I'm excited to finally get one. 

5 years you ask? Well I'm not the type to ever ask for things. Plus both my parents have laptops so I would just use theirs. It was never a problem. 

My personal goal is to try not to use it until Christmas Day. Honestly I think it'll be easy because I'm so use to not having a laptop. 

I finished the night by wrapping all of Brendan's Christmas gifts. 

There's a couple things I'm waiting on to come in the mail tomorrow, but other than that, I'm done with his gifts! I'm super excited to give them to him :-)

Well, hope you all had a great night! 

Until next time, 

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 20

Saturday: December 20, 2014


Can we just talk about how exhausted I am !!

I spent the entire morning shopping at the local plaza and mall. I feel like that's all I've been doing the last few days. 

Not only was I trying to get some Christmas shopping done but I was also trying to finish my gift for Yankee swap. 

Eventually I succeeded and came home to make chocolate mousse. The Yankee swap was also a pot luck. 

I helped my mom clean some of the house and I wrapped a lot of gifts! 

7pm rolled around and off I went down the street to my friends house. The Yankee swap was between my close hometown girlfriends; the ones I went to middle school and high school with (one I've known since first grade). 

It's funny because even though it was a Yankee swap, no one swapped. We all loved what we opened up. I got the most beautiful scarf and the game racko!

I felt bad because tonight was Taylor's birthday celebration out at a bar in Boston. Yesterday at the holiday party at her mom's I said I'd probably make it. I didn't expect my hometown friends to be out so late. 

Well no one was leaving so I felt bad ditching. I texted Taylor to let her know I couldn't make it. I felt bad about that too. 

I know I can't please everyone, but I was really looking forward to celebrating her birthday. She was totally understanding and I had told her days before that I had the Yankee swap, but still. 

Anyways, now I'm home, full and exhausted! The good was all so good and it felt great seeing more friends I've neglected over this semester. 

Until next time,

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 19

Friday: December 19, 2014

Hi Friends!

I woke up this morning so happy it was Friday! I was ready for the weekend! 

But first, I had to go to Christmas Breakfast with all of my afterschool coworkers. 

Doris picked me up and we met everyone at the local breakfast diner. Christmas breakfast has been a tradition with my coworkers since I started working afterschool 5 years ago. It's when we exchange secret Santa gifts too!

My secret Santa got me the absolute cutest pink wallet! 

I got my person a tea set. Originally I was hesitant because my person was the newest employee, so I didn't know a lot about her. But she loved it! 

After breakfast, I went to the dentist and then to work. 

Because of breakfast this morning I couldn't go to my student teaching classroom again. 

Anyways, after work I quickly ran to the liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine to give to the hosts of a Christmas party I went to tonight. 

I headed home, showered and got ready and Brendan picked me up at 8. 

One of my best girl friends, who I met through my dance team, invited Brendan and me to her mim's holiday party. The invite said everyone had to be 18+ which ment that it was an adult only party. 

It's funny because me and Brendan were super excited! We'd never been to an adult halloween party with real mingling and adult conversations with strangers. 

Well we had fun! Lots of martini drinking and lots of gossiping. 

We left around 11 and went back to Brendan's for a little before I went home. 

Today was just what I needed. Time with friends. All semester I feel like I've been running around, stressed out and short with friends. I've been anti social, lazy and bearly see anyone. So, it was so nice to have a day dedicated entirely to seeing friends who I've totally neglected.  


Until next time,

Sunday, December 21, 2014

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 18

Thursday: December 18, 2014

Hi guys,

Boy, today was a long day.

I woke up this morning, made myself a cup of coffee, and headed over to my student teaching classroom.

Do you remember a couple weeks ago I was telling you about how my classroom teacher was out for a week and a half with pneumonia? Well the thing with pneumonia is you have it for about a week but because it's so physically draining, you're pretty much bedridden for three weeks. She still hasn't fully recovered.

Well, now she has a major sinus infection, so she wasn't in today. 

She is such a wonderful person and loves what she does so much that I feel awful for her. It's one thing after another and she can't shake any of them off.

Anyways, the highlight of my day was coming in the morning and seeing a pink decorated box where I usually keep all of my belongings. It was from one of the girls in my classroom. She made me an ornament and tied it to to a candy came.  She even wrote me a little card. The sweetest part was that her family will be a really nice message inside of the card too. 

To respect the family's privacy I've omitted their names.

I gave her a huge hug when I read everything and I opened my ornament and I told her that when I hung it on my tree I would make sure to take a picture and show it to her on. 

As soon as I got home I hung it on my tree. 

It fits in perfectly!! I can't wait to show her on Monday since I won't be there tomorrow.

After dismissal I headed over to work. It was a relatively easy afternoon at work until about 4:30. 

We kept all the younger children in one room so that my boss and a couple of the older kids could set up in the room next-door to the parent potluck. I'm so happy that I handed out reminder fires yesterday in English Spanish and Portuguese because the turnout tonight was absolutely amazing.

All the staff also got their Christmas gifts for our really big bosses over at central office. Usually they get us a water bottle of some sort but this year we got sweatshirts, which are so soft and warm. Awesome gift!

After work, I headed to tj maxx to shop for my secret Santa. In the morning all my coworkers are going out for our annual Christmas breakfast and exchanging gifts. 

I think I did pretty well. 

Stay warm! 

Until next time, 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

25 Days of BlogMas | Day 17

Wednesday: Devember 17, 2014

Keep reading to find out more about this picture...

Waking up this morning was hell!

My alarm went off at 6 am (a whole hour earlier than normal) and I was out the door by 7:15 to pick up my coworker Connor. 

I couldn't go to my student teaching because I had a training for my real job. 

I had SPARK Training at the YMCA with some of my coworkers and other staff from the other after school programs. There were about 40 of us and we were in the gym for 5 out if the 6 hours. 

It was a great training but we were all dead by the end. I also couldn't take a lot of pictures. The training focused on getting children active in the afterschool setting and taught us the curriculum to have that happen. 

So what's the best way to learn how to do something? Practice? So we practiced all the gym games. 

By the end, my knees hated me. 

We all got to work at 2:15 dead. When the kids walked into the afterschool room at 2:35, we just sat there. There was low interaction from all of us but thankfully the kids were low maintenance today. 

I'm surprised that when I got home, I had time, energy and desire to string lights on my Christmas tree! 

So that's exactly what I did, right after I poured myself a well deserved glass of wine. 

Willie retuned to his special spot under the tree where he continued to judge me. 

I sat on the floor with my wine and untangled all the lights. It took forever but eventually I did it. 

I have to say, I'm so happy about how the tree came out!

Of course Willie made himself right at home... 

Now that the lights are on, let's see how long it takes to put up the ornaments, because that's something I'm definitely not going to do tonight. 

Until next time,