Archive | October, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – 10/30/13

30 Oct

Sometimes the biggest hugs come from the smallest arms! ❤

Best day at work…EVER!

19 Oct

Have you ever had one of those days where you were really excited to go to work? Yes? No? Possibly??

Well I totally had that experience on Friday! I work in the Public Relations department for a hospital, and I can honestly say that while healthcare is not where my passion is or where I feel I’ll make a lifetime career, I can say that I enjoy my job because I work with some of the best women you’ll ever meet. Most days we are laughing and singing and sharing stories (most of which revolve around my coworkers husbands and/or kids….sometimes it stinks being the youngest with no kids or hubby of my own) across the office. But back to my point…

As a PR professional, it’s not uncommon for us to go to community events, health fairs, seminars or expos to handout information and giveaways. So when I was asked to go to the Active Adult Expo all day Friday, I knew what it would be like because I had been there last year. It was being put on by one of the local radio stations and was being held in the plaza of one of the grocery stores.

On my way to the expo I was starving, and lucky for me, it was being held right next to a Panera Bread!

Once at the expo, I, thankfully, only had to make three trips back and forth from my car to bring everything in. Doesn’t it look great all set up?
20131020-191724.jpg Finally, it was time to enjoy my breakfast while I waited for the expo to start…20131020-092808.jpg Best way to start the morning! A breakfast energy sandwich and hot chocolate. I highly recommend you try both from Panera Monday morning.

This expo, unlike the others we go to, was rather small, with people coming by only now and again, with big lags in time to fill. When someone did come by, they had a paper like a bingo game card that the venders had to put stickers in to say the person had stopped at each table. When the card was completely filled out, it was returned to the radio station personnel and the person was entered into the drawing to win the bigger giveaways the venders donated. For example, I brought from the hospital a white canvas bag filled with a t-shirt, breast cancer awareness baseball hat, pedometer, little first aid kit, night light, hand sanitizer, pens, a blanket, other small nicknacks and we also had an umbrella with our logo on it. So, really nice giveaway stuff could be won ONLY if the completed cards were turned back in.

And there lies the problem. Most of the people only cared about that sticker and not the information I had on my table. Well, with the exception of the 5 or so people who felt the need to share their medical history with me, a complete and total stranger. (Unfortunately I couldn’t offer much help or advice other than call this department or that department at the hospital because I’M NOT CLINICAL!!)

Well, the expo was to run from 10AM – 3PM and as I mentioned, I learned my lesson last year and brought a book with me this year to pass the time. I wanted something that I could get into quickly and would be entertaining, so I went with “Shadow Music” by Julie Garwood.

The other thing I love about this expo, was the voucher for free lunch from Grinders, a really delicious sit down restaurant there in the plaza. I already knew what I was going to order for lunch before I got to the expo that morning! 20131020-194121.jpg Let me be the first to introduce you to the best potato skins and chocolate and peanut butter milkshake in the land!

Oh and you can’t forget the delicious desert Grinders had sitting out for the expo…20131020-194437.jpg This little chocolate brownie with peanut butter frosting was to die for!

I promise, that’s the last food picture! (Am I making you hungry yet?!) During the expo there were roughly 60 people who came by my table, but most of the time, this was my view:20131020-194959.jpg Yes, my table was located across from the local library branch which gave some of the venders sitting next to me the misconception that I had popped over there and check out a book. Sorry to disappoint them, I told them I’d brought it from home and they wished they’d had my foresight. I think they ended up playing a lot of Candy Crush.

5 hours and 130 odd pages later, it was time to pack up and call it a day! And honestly, who could have asked for a nicer Friday?!

(Side note: I finished my book early this afternoon. It wouldn’t have taken me so long, but on Friday I went to my sister’s last home football game/Senior Night to watch her cheer and dance during halftime. We won 56 – 0, then I went to visit with my cousin after the game and to play with her adorable little baby boy. Saturday was spent looking at cars with my dad, going out to eat with my family and hanging out with my best friend swapping stories. And this morning I went to church. So as you can see, it was a busy weekend with little time for reading until this afternoon! And in case you were wondering, I loved the story and would recommend it! Takes place in the medieval Scottish highlands if that’s your cup of tea as it is mine! And if it’s not, still give it a try, you may find it very entertaining!)

Wordless Wednesday – 10/16/13

16 Oct

Walmart thinks Christmas is coming soon….


Wordless Wednesday – 10/9/13

9 Oct

“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”


DIY Paint Chip City Silhouettes

5 Oct

**Hello from the past, I’m writing this post on July 31, 2013, but have decided not to post it until October as what I have made today is a birthday surprise for someone special (who I will FINALLY see in person for the first time in 6 months when this finally posts for you to read in 65 days!!)

It’s been a very long time since I’ve A.) been on Pinterest and B.) felt like doing anything crafty. But that all changed today. For a few days now I have been trying to come up with a birthday gift for the special guy in my life when I remembered a pin I had found a few months ago and decided it was worth a try!

So here we go, it was actually pretty easy!

What you’ll need:

  • Paint chips — any color will do! (HIS favorite color is blue and Green is mine, so it was an obvious choice for me!)
  • Picture frame (I choose 8 inches X 10 inches)
  • Print out of the silhouette of the city of your choice — HE’S from Chicago, again obvious choice
  • Tape
  • Paper for the background
  • Scissors
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Glue/Photo splits

Paint chip Skylines1. Start off by taping the paint chips together. For my size frame, it took 5 paint samples across.

IMG_6445aPaint chip Skylines 2. Cut out your skyline and lightly trace it onto the front of your paint chips.

Paint chip Skylines 3. Carefully cut out your paint chip skyline. I had to switch to use very small scissors so I could get some of the details. I also added the Chicago scrip to add some green and a special hidden Mickey (look at the dot on the i)! Then glue it all down onto a solid color background.

IMG_6450a4. Place your new masterpiece into its frame and enjoy!

Paint chip Skylines In all, I really liked how this turned out! And it didn’t take long at all, about an hour total — I probably could have worked faster if I hadn’t also been watching ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars from last night!

This is a project I could see myself recreating many, many times! Many next time I’ll try something with Disney or some of the different places I’ve traveled to on vacation. The possibilities are endless and the paint samples are many!

Happy crafting my friends! Let me know if you decide to make a paint chip skyline of your own, I’d love to know how it turns out!





Teachers – changing the world one student at a time

4 Oct

I have had many teachers in my lifetime, and many more to come should I ever decide to attend grad school in the future. It’s amazing how some of the most bizarre details of these individuals, the people we spent five days a week for seven or so hours a day, listening to and observing as if they were on display at the local zoo, stick out to us years after we were their students.

Some of my earliest memories of my teachers are details of how they looked. Take my first through third grade science teacher, Mrs. Bloor, for example. She had white-blonde curly old lady hair (you know, like a grandma!), she would draw on her eyebrows and had the kindest smile. I found my old yearbook to double check this and lo and behold, I remembered her perfectly!
And then there are the odds and ends I remember about the music teacher from the same grades, Mrs. Miles. She had two, big, black poodles she loved talking about! my family and I also would bike past her house when the weather was nice, so I saw them in person a few times, too. I loved her class because she introduced us to music from around the world. One of my favorite memories is that of her dancing around the room holding a rain stick while tribal music played on the speakers. She was teaching the class a chant or something, but that part is hazy. I’ve always had a love of music and I think her class taught me at a very young age to appreciate and enjoy all kinds of music.

There are two teachers from this school I have seen periodically over the years, who surprisingly remember me. Most recently I saw my kindergarten teacher, Miss Cobbs (she has gotten married and changed her name since I was her student all those years ago), at the first high school football game of this season. I moved school districts when I was going into the fourth grade and for the opening game this year, the school I graduated from was playing the school district I use to attend and she was at the game. I could tell you it’s a small world running into her, but my mom is a teacher in this district as well and they keep in touch at district wide meetings and whatnot. I would also like to point out that I’m as tall as she is, not that that’s saying much as I stand a barely respectable five feet, four inches tall. She also couldn’t believe I was 25, honestly, where has the time gone?!

The other elementary teacher I have seen from time to time over the years was my reading teacher, Mrs. Searfoss. If my mother hadn’t ingrained a love of reading in me from such a young age, I feel I still would have developed it in her class. I can remember reading and writing poems, short stories and her bubbly, infectious laughter. When I moved schools, she mailed me a letter and a book. I came across them just a few months ago tucked neatly away in a box hidden in the back of my closet, which means that at this moment when I’d like to take a photo of them, they are nowhere to be seen.

I’ve had dozens of teachers over the years, but none has had as great an impact on my life outside of school as that of my seventh and eighth grade language arts teacher, Mr. Lawrence.

I remember the first day of his class as if it were yesterday. There we were, all sitting there with the deer-in-the-headlights look as we waited for our names to be called. (Was I the only one who breathed a sigh of relief afterwards because I was in the right room on the first try? I always felt bad for the kid who read their schedule wrong for whatever reason.) Anyways, I was in class with my two best friends at the time, Sarah and Kris, her last name came before mine and his after, as my last name fell near the middle of the roster for the class. Finally I knew mine was to (should) be the next name called based on the students sitting around me, but it wasn’t my last name he called. “Mariah Monkey.”

WHAT?! [Looks at best friends completely confused.] Again he says, “Mariah Monkey.” This time in a tiny, shy voice I speak up, “I’m Mariah, but that’s not my last name.” To which he responded something to the effect of “I know that. But your last name is a species of monkey.” [Collective class ah-ha as it all makes since.] And after that, the nickname stuck. My friends and I started calling each other by nicknames based off our last names. (Sarah became “Birdie,” Kris became “Directions,” and I of course was “Monkey.”) I even adopted the nickname on the soccer field and put it on the back of my team hoodie. And the year I was very sick, it was monkeys that filled my hospital room. On a Saturday morning during soccer games, Mr. Lawrence learned from my parents that I was 1. Very sick and 2. He was the reason behind all my new monkey companions. He made a special trip to visit me in the burn unit and when he came into my room he had the biggest Curious George monkey I’d ever seen. (I named him Taco, but that’s a story for another time.)

While the story of how I got my nickname is interesting to tell, it’s not the true reason why Mr. Lawrence is mentioned in this particular post. I chose to include and publicly thank him because he was the first teacher to recognize that I was a writer.

Growing up I always enjoyed writing. I began keeping a detailed journal at age 10 and I was constantly making up stories and writing poems. And finally, someone outside my family recognized that talent in me as well.

Now don’t get me wrong. There were days when I wondered if I’d ever write something “good enough.” Mr. Lawrence was tough on me, but that taught me to sharpen my skills. He made me ask questions of my writing “are there details that need more explanation, eliminated because it clutters the flow? Have you told the best story you can? Have you conveyed your meaning as clearly as possible? Who is your target audience? Are you using words and language appropriate to them?”

Mariah, yes you still have “it.” But I must warn you, however,that if you ever figure out what “it” is, you won’t have it anymore. The only way to become a true writer is to write. There are no shortcuts. P.S. It’s comforting to know I may have a small part in touching the world through you. -Mr. Lawrence, October 27, 2006

Many times he told me that writing was going to be important in my future and he was right. I spend my days using the skills he taught me at work to write press releases, blog posts and other various projects. And in my free time I am journaling and blogging. And I am happy to say I have still yet to figure out what “it” is, and honestly I think that’s why writing is still so effortless and enjoyable to me. And that is something I hope never changes.

Wordless Wednesday – 10/2/13

2 Oct

Is it time yet?!20131002-225941.jpg