Office Project 2014 Part I

I’m proud to say that my absence has not be due to overwhelming amounts of research/writing/editing for a masters course or hampering bodily damage due to an over-exercised ugly cry reflex during “The Fault in Our Stars” viewings, but because I have been spending the first four weeks of my summer vacation both enjoying the Florida sun with my family and revamping my home office.

Beach Collage

My sisters brought their beautiful daughters down to Florida for a vacation to the beach and Dan and I were more than happy to accommodate their every wish to spend time at the beach and our pool.  All four girls had a wonderful time, and I’m convinced that my sisters, along with all caretakers of small children, deserve both a Medal for Bravery and sainthood.  It was a mere four-day visit, but I am still reeling over the amount of energy that was expended, both mentally and physically, to keep up with my nieces.

Office Project 2014

What started off as a desire to add more shelving to the accordion-doored closet in my office turned into a complete upgrade.  I am saddened to say that I did not do a very good job of taking before pictures of the office in general, but I will do my best to demonstrate the Before and Afters.

Office Before

Closet Before

I had a vision in my mind as to what I wanted this closet to look like and its functionality capabilities.  After sketching out a few ideas, I shared them with my dad, a licensed contractor in his previous life in Michigan, and we headed off to Home Depot for our necessary supplies.  In addition to paint, rollers, and screws, we would need to buy the lumber that would be turned into shelves.



Growing up with a father who owned a pole barn that, to a five year old, dwarfed our house, filled up multiple-purposed saws, drills, and other power tools, made this project something that was familiar, but my role in it was new.  I had helped my dad in the past with various stages of projects depending upon both my abilities and the probability of me cutting off body parts if left up to my own devices.  My dad is a very patient teacher, and I am still learning, but I am proud to say that I found a niche in wood working.

After painting the inside of the closet and the Home Depot-cut shelves, it was time for installation.  This proved to be a bit tricky because I requested that they be the full length of the closet.  In addition to having to be finessed into place, the sheer length of the shelves would require a support to be added underneath.  I chose a wooden curtain rod that was cut into appropriately sized pieces and installed them once the shelves were in place.  All that was needed now were the possessions to fill the shelves.

Closet After 3

Closet Upgrade Collage

I’m extremely proud of this project and I cannot wait to share with you the second phase to the upgrade!


How I Plan to Use my Extra Time

If you’re reading this post then that means one of two things.  Either A.) I’ve decided that sleeping is overrated and I much prefer blogging what the voices in my head are telling me, or B.) I have completed all my major assignments/projects for my last two masters classes.  Because I don’t want to give off the wrong impression after working for the past three years to build up your trust in me, I’m announcing that I have exactly seven days left in my post graduate program!  No offense, Cincinnati; it’s been real, but I can’t wait to say GOODBYE!


I’ve estimated that I’ve spent an additional 5-10 hours a week, per class, maintaining a solid 4.0 average on my assignments and projects for the past 3.34 years, including moving from Alaska to Michigan, Michigan to Jacksonville House #1, House #1 to House #2, teaching English I to English III, Creative Writing, and AP Lang.  I’d say I’m due for a strong…vacation.

Amanda Carnival Dream

Oh yes!  Let’s do THAT again!!!


Oh.  Right.  A girl can dream, can’t she?!?!

Since I’m a Booker on a Budget, I immediately headed online to create a book list to kickstart my Bookation – AKA The Summer I Reunited with the Library.  I found an intriguing list of books that I have committed myself to, meaning that I’ve already checked out four books on the list.


100 Books That Will Make You More Interesting, More Attractive, and Sound Smart Even If You Aren’t (Yet)

(Some hefty promises here, but at this point I’ll try anything)

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These are only some of the titles, but I really liked the layout, so I printed off the PDF and pasted it into my Erin Condren Life Planner.

100 Book List One

photo 3

Because I have recently read some of these books (anything within one year) I will swap the title for another written by the same author.  Case in point: I read Slaughterhouse Five with the English III classes in March, so instead I’ll be reading Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut.

My goal is to read at least twenty-five to thirty of the books on the list by the end of the summer when we return to our in-service days, August 6th.  That gives me 114 days, averaging 4-5 days per book.  I’d say that’s a reasonable goal.

In Other News…

I started a second blog for the Project Genius Hour that I completed during the 1st semester of the school year.  I am going to be continuing with Genius Hour, but I do not want to split my posting time between two different blogs.  Therefore, I am going to be shutting down “Road to Genius” and asking all of those followers to transition to Forever Within the Numbered Pages.

You can also find my over at Bloglovin:


July Wrap Up and August Goals

Happy August 1st – AKA Run Around the House Changing Calendars Day!

It’s that special time in the Blog-o-Sphere where we take a moment to assess our abilities to follow through on preset goals, apply pats on the backs and/or slaps to the noggins, and develop new goals that will make us stronger, better, more organized, and closer to the Pinterest goddesses that we know we are truly meant to be.

Let’s take a look at what my goals were for the month of July 2012:

  • Become a real person – HA!  I love it.  Well, on this front I have purchased and mailed out birthday and anniversary cards, which for me is huge because I’m not with it enough most of the time to remember these dates until Facebook reminds me.  That’s a soul-sucking way to live, BTW.  Also, I’ve started to plan out our meals about three days in advance, making smaller and more frequent trips to the grocery store.  I’ve also cut back on some “luxury” items to save up some cash.  Big girl decision:  Do you really need to have access to reruns of Six Feet Under and unedited Sopranos?  Sorry, HBO.
  • Begin researching homes and the home purchasing schtick - 
  • As it turns out, I’m actually right on pace here.  Dear Hubby and I have been scouting the area for suitable neighborhoods, talked with our new friends at our credit union and mortgage department, and have some exciting plans to view some homes in the near future!

  • Reestablish the art of the Date Night with my husband – while I don’t know that we have a specific day of the week picked out, we have been really enjoying making something special out of each day/night.  For example, for the Olympics opening ceremony, we made dinner together including some delicious oatmeal raisin cookies!  Not bad for some dudes on a budget!  Also, we’ve made some friends and have a trivia night at a local watering hole.  I’m sure that once the school year starts, we’ll have a more traditional style date night, but for now this is great.
  • Start a “Dining Room Table” fund – I don’t know how soon we are going to actually be purchasing a dining room set, but we do have some cash for it when we’re ready.  Our old bedroom set was sold just after we moved to FL, so as soon as we have a dining room in a house, we’ll be ready to buy.
  • Register for classes for the Fall semester through the University of Cincinnati. - Ummmm…yea, as far as this goes, because our priority has changed to housing, we are going to put a pin in my masters program.
  • Run 130 miles in July - I actually ended up with 142.33  miles while my goal was 130
  • Devote myself to putting in quality weights routine - I have made a concentrated effort to make sure that I am not slacking on the strength training department.  I have seen some amazing results in my body since taking the extra time to get in two to three quality sets of effective workouts.  With the addition of Snap Fitness and their amazing equipment, I have been able to blast through this goal.
  • Look into local running clubs in Jacksonville. - I did investigate the running clubs, and I believe that I will be trying out some of the weekend groups soon.  Many of the running areas are just far enough away that a morning run may be out, but once the afternoon weather starts to cool off as we get into the Fall months, I will look into evening runs.
  • Reading: I have the following books on my list that HAFTA get done this month:
  • Illustrated Man – Ralph Ellison
  •   Heaven – Angela Johnson
  •   Living Up the Street – Gary Soto
  •   The Red Pony – John Steinbeck
  •   The Time Machine – H.G. Wells


July Highlights

Dear Hubby and I moved to Florida!!!!

We bought a zoo joined a gym!


I signed up for the St. Augustine Half Marathon and Jacksonville 5k Stadium Challenge

We visited some friends


Made some changes to our lifestyle of the rich and famous and spent a lot of time at the beach

August Highlights

  • Setting up shop and kicking off a new school year!!!!!!  I’ve been spending more and more time planning out my classroom and curriculum (on Pinterest and Donald Trump’s bank account)
  • My sister-in-law, Jeannie, will be here in two days to visit us!


Weird how Dear Hubby and his sister look nothing alike, right????

I am very excited to have her come to FL and show her around.  This will be the first time that Dear Hubby and I will have a guest, one that’s been invited at least.

  • The start of the 2012 football season!!!!  The past two years in Alaska, without any other football fanatics, have taken their toll on Dear Hubby.  I love football, more than the average wife I’d say, but you have no idea the depths of passion and commitment that this man has for the sport and his teams:

Being in a new state, a totally new divisions and conferences means that we’ll have a new perspective on the games.  We are a Big Ten family; we know our rivalries of interest to be Michigan State vs Michigan & Ohio State vs Michigan.  Now I’m going to have to learn about the Southeastern Conference, SEC, and who the hello to root for in this jumble:

I can tell you that I had a pair of pajama pants made out of Florida Gator material when I was in middle school, so I guess I’ll go with that.

Also, we are about twenty minutes away from the Jacksonville Jaguars and their stadium, although I don’t know how much support they’ll get from us.

We’ve spent our entire lives waiting for the Detroit Lions to make the kind of progress that they’ve been making in the past five years; I don’t know if I can start over from the ground floor with a team that I don’t have a vested interest in.  Any excuse to tailgate I suppose.

August 2012 Goals:


  1. Setup a successful and engaging classroom, designed to facilitate learning from a star-shining curriculum.
  2. Meet and greet all my new co-workers and students; lay the ground work for productive and meaningful relationships.

Home Front:

  1. Save, save, save.  Budget, Budget, Budget.  Constantly ask myself: “At the end of the month, will I be glad I made this purchase?”
  2. Narrow down our “Must Haves” and “Deal Breakers” for our future home.
  3. Preplan meals for the upcoming week and make shopping lists for them.
  4. Use more coupons and help from this blog.


  1. Run 135 miles in August.
  2. Continue to preplan my workouts in my calendar.
  3. Not die at the 5k Stadium Challenge.
  4. Read the following books:


The Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Sold by Patricia McCormick

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak