Sunday, May 13, 2012

11 Things You May Not Know About Me...And More!

So awhile back...a long while back...my blog friend Allison, over at A Little Blueberry, and sGreenJuice tagged me in a "11 Random Things About Me post" and I'm finally ready to post my answers to the questions they posed to me. Better late than never right?! ( :
The Rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the post you were tagged in.
4. Create 11 new questions for your tagees to answer.
5. Tag them on Twitter, Facebook or your blog.

So to get us started, here are 11 random things you may not know about me...

1. The first thing I do every morning is to open up all the blinds in my house and let in the light. It energizes me, and brightens up our whole house.

My living room after all the blinds have been opened...ahhh.



2. I love organization, order, and labels. "A place for everything, and everything in it's place."

Being a gluten-free baker means you use tons of different
flours. I finally got tired of the mess of all the bags, and went
to using jars with labels.  Love it!

Then I went on a jar labeling spree all around my pantry!

3. I get bit by mosquitoes really easily and they swell up huge...kind of like when I got tested for allergies a few years ago.  Maybe I'm allergic to mosquitoes, anyone else do this?

My back after skin prick allergy testing...which kind of
looks like what happens when I get bit by mosquitoes!
4. I love music, I constantly have it going in my house, car, and classroom. I use it in my classroom to help with transitions, so when it's time for snack we listen to "Eat It" (re-make of "Beat It") by Weird Al, "Soak Up the Sun" by Sheryl Crow for recess, "Who Let the Dogs Out" when it's time to go home. On top of this, I've found a song for every day of the week, month of the year, all the primary colors, 11 shapes, and most types of weather. I truly think my preschoolers learn best when you put things to a song, so in my room we do a lot of dancing, and singing while we learn.

5. I collect Buddhas. They are peaceful, beautiful and calming to me. They remind me to live in the present moment...among other things.

One of my favorite Buddha statues
that I've collected over the years.

6. I like to question everything...be a rebel...do my own thing.

source


7. I have two younger brothers.
They don't look younger! Austin is 21 (left) and
Andrew is 24 (right).

8. I'm always thinking. Sometimes it's simple thoughts like what am I going to have for dinner tonight, how can I create a vegan pop-tart, or how could I change that lesson so my students would get more out of it.  And then I often end up in deep thought like "Does everything happen for a reason?" or "In the end, will this really matter?" Sometimes all this thinking pays off and I end up with really, creative ideas but other times it just keeps me up at night. Luckily, since Avery's been born the sheer exhaustion I feel at the end of the day is strong enough that I fall asleep pretty quickly and make this "thinking brain" of mine stop. But still, during the day I spend a lot of time just thinking. I'm a worrier at heart so I'm sure I can attribute some of it to that.  Lately though I've been trying to use it to my advantage and instead of just letting ideas float around in my head I write them down and see them through. So if I have an idea for a recipe or blog post, I write it down and then follow through with it in any way I can, as soon as I can.  Anyone else feel like this from time to time?

9. I workout every, single day. I go crazy if I can't.

Workouts were a must even during my pregnancy.

10. Documentaries are my favorite type of movie. You can see all my favorites here, but here's my current favorite: Forks Over Knives, which makes the argument that by adopting a plant-based diet, individuals can reverse and prevent most degenerative diseases.  Go vegan!




11. I only read non-fiction books, I love learning things...this feeds my part-scientist brain.

source

12. A bonus one: Although you wouldn't guess it, I've done two adventurous things in my life (I'm sure there's been more, but these two things really pushed me beyond my comfort zone!)... sky-diving and riding a zip line!
I surprised Brandon for our 1st wedding anniversary and we
both went sky-diving (that's not him in the picture, that's
the pro that actually knew what he was doing!).

And we rode a zip-line when we were in Vegas for our 2nd
wedding anniversary.

You might be wondering what we did to follow those two adventurous stunts for our 3rd wedding anniversary. Well, we started trying to get pregnant with the girl you all know and love...Avery! ( :

Okay, now onto the 11 questions, Allison posed for me:

1. What is one of your favorite quotes?  This is such a difficult question! I love so many quotes and in  fact I finally did something with all those quotes I kept pinning on Pinterest...I made a quote board by simply copying and pasting all the quote pictures into a Microsoft Word document, printed them, and then taped them to a piece of poster board.
My "quote board".
My quote board is placed on the wall I look at while running on the treadmill. Sure beats a boring plain wall, right? Usually during each workout, I'll read over the quotes and find one that really resonates with me that day, or at that moment and I carry it in my mind throughout th day. The next day I may come back and find another, this board gives me a lot to choose from.

I'm quite the fan of vision boards, and actually I have 5 spread out throughout my house right now. I have a gratitude board (pictures of things I'm grateful for), "big dreams" board (for that beach house and mountain getaway I'll have someday...wink wink), "I'm awesome" board for days when I'm feeling down, law of attraction board (with people that inspire me and pictures of things and feelings I want to attract), an idea board (Pinterest crafts, photo shoot ideas, etc.), and this quote board. I even made one for my pregnancy and labor, and it was really helpful for me to look at on a daily basis and focus on the positive. Needless to say I go through a lot of color ink and poster board with this vision board hobby of mine. But I love my vision boards, they inspire me, remind me to be grateful, to dream big, and to follow through on my ideas.

Do you have a vision board or quote board in your home?

To really answer the question about my favorite quote, I'd have to say it's a tie between these two:

"What you think about, you bring about."

"Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together."

2. What chore do you absolutely hate doing and why? Cleaning my tub and shower, even after all the scrubbing it never looks sparkly clean...grrr. I always put this one off. I do love cleaning counters though! It's my favorite chore to do! Here's a recipe for my favorite homemade multi-surface cleaner.

I could clean counters until the sun goes
down, (heck I even did it when I was
pregnant as you see above). But have
me clean our bathtub or shower...
no thanks!
3. What songs would be included on the soundtrack of your life?  "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. My favorite quote to this song is at the very end when he says, "You can do anything you put your mind to." I've used this song to get me through some challenging times, from passing big tests, going on job interviews, and oddly enough in my preparations to give birth to Avery at home. Each time this song has given me the strength and mental mindset to go out there and get what it is I want.



4. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be and why? 27...the age I am right now. I have no desire to go back to high school, or to my college years. I feel liked I've worked so hard to be where I'm at right now doing a job I love, with my amazing family, and healthy daughter...I wouldn't want to I can't imagine going back in time to a time when I didn't have those people in my life.

5. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Fulfill all my green dreams! Buy a hybrid car, install solar panels on my house, get all Energy Star appliances, a tank-less water heater, new insulation, you name it! Get this house "greened" to the max! 

6. If you got to pick your name, what would it be? I'm actually pretty happy with the name I have now. I have a few other favs, but I'm saving those for if there happen to be any more "green babies"!  ( :

7. If you could know the answer to any question (beside "the meaning of life") what would it be? Why can't my mornings be more peaceful? Does anyone with children or one child have a happy peaceful morning as you get ready for work? Like one of those commercials when they're all sitting around eating breakfast, just happy as can be. Well, that's not quite my reality. As much of a planner as I am, you'd think I'd have it down. But despite how much I try to get ready the night before, it seems like once Avery wakes up, which is only about 30 minutes before it's time to go...things get crazy! I always leave my house wondering what I could have done to make our morning more calm, peaceful, and less stressed! This is one of my goals for next year...

8. What would you name your Autobiography and why? "Going the Green Way: Ashley's Story" Ha! Kind of corny, but fitting.

9. What is the hardest thing you've ever done? Give birth to my daughter Avery, naturally here at home. It was the first time in my life where I realized I no longer had control. Granted there are many things in life that I don't have control over, but while I was in labor I came up against the feeling of just wanting to get away...to take a break, and then come back to it later, but that wasn't an option. Pushing through that and learning to just surrender to what I was going through was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

My home/water birth.

10. What is something new you learned in the last week? How to decrease the size and resolution of the pictures I want to upload to my blog here so that I don't run out of room in my Blogger photo storage (like I already did!). I learned about this thanks to this blog post over at Texas Chicks Blogs & Pics.

11. If you had 30 minutes of free time, all to yourself with nothing to do, what would you do? Some type of project. It would be nice to get the laundry done, vacuum the floors, or even take a nap. But truly what I get some of the most enjoyment out of is completing a project.  Something where I can be creative, make a space look more inviting, or just see what I'm capable of creating if I put my mind to it (painting and sewing...yikes!) is a great feeling. Now if I could actually get it done in the 30 minutes the question suggested!
Here's the yarn wreath I made for Christmas,
and although it took longer than 30 minutes
it felt good to do this project since it was my
first time ever making a wreath!

Now for the 11 Questions from sGreenJuice...

1. How much time do you spend blogging per week? 6-10 hours on a week where I get 2 posts in, sometimes I get one post in so it's more like 3-4 hours. I usually have several posts going at once and I add and I work on them if I have a spare minute on my lunch break, when Avery is napping or my most common time, after everyone goes to sleep!


2. Are you a student? Working? A stay at home caregiver? I work full-time as an early childhood special education teacher (the students I teach are between 3-5 years old).



3. Can you speak another language? No...does Baby Sign count?! ( :

4. Do you prefer winter or summer? Winter...Fall is actually kind of my favorite too here in the Midwest because the weather is just perfectly comfortable, not to hot, not to cold.

5. What is your greatest accomplishment of which you are most proud? Getting my Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education, my Master's Degree in Education, and 45 additional continuing education graduate hours on top of that.

6. Do you prefer reading or watching tv/a movie? What is your favourite book/movie/tv show? During different times of day I feel like doing different things. When I'm on the treadmill, I read books (odd I know). My favorite book is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. After a long day, I love a good TV show or movie. My favorite TV show right now would have to be Parks & Recreation (or any older episodes of The Office) and of course The Bachelor/The Bachelorette shows which I get together with my family each week to watch when they are on.

7. Do you tweet? Not really.

8. How many hours per week do you spend on the computer? Do you want to spend more or less time on the computer? I'm on the computer all day, nearly every day. You wouldn't think a preschool teacher would be on the computer a lot, but a lot of my student's day is on the interactive white board in our room (or SMART Board as it's called) so I'm always doing things with that. On top of that, checking emails here at school and then when I get home I'm often editing pictures, reading other blogs, or preparing future blog posts. So yeah, I'm on the computer a lot. Avery's kind of helped to decrease my computer time because she is pretty involved. There's not much time to be working on the computer when your playing on the floor with her, pushing her in the swing, or changing her diaper. I think my eyes have thanked me for these breaks.

9. How important are dreams? Do you find them symbolically meaningful/relevant to your life? I've tried to keep a dream journal in the past, but haven't kept with it much. My dreams always seem so much for vivid and crazy around the time of my period, and I can always tell if I'm working through an issue based on what goes on in my dreams. I'd love to pay more attention to them.

10. Are you a vegetarian/vegan/confused omnivore...what do you eat and what dictates what you choose to eat? I'm a vegan. Read my reasons here.

"Yeah guys, we don't eat animals."

11. Did you enjoy doing this tag?! Yes, thanks to the ladies that tagged me. I hope this gives my readers a chance to get to know me a little better.
 
So there you have it, 11 random facts about me, along with my answers to 22 questions to give you some more insight in my funny, quirky, and green life.

Although I'm supposed to tag some more bloggers to take part in the "11 questions" post, most of the bloggers I follow have recently done something similar, so I'm going to break the chain (sorry!) and just pose some questions to you all. Feel free to reply to as many as you would like in the comment section below...

1. What's your favorite form of exercise that feels like it's just right for you?
2. What's your favorite yoga position, if you do yoga?
3. What's your go-to song that you find yourself listening to nearly every time your in your car?
4. If you were to have people over, what dish would you serve to just "wow" them?
5. Okay so this is a repeat, but still, what's your favorite quote or quote picture?
6. What's something new you would like to learn how to do in the next year?
7. What's your favorite TV show that people wouldn't guess that you would like?
8. What's your favorite time of the day?
9. Who's someone that inspires you?
10. What's something that if you run out of it, you freak out and have to get to the store ASAP to buy?
11. If you could donate $5,000 to a charity what charitable organization/cause would you choose?

Thanks for playing along, and I look forward to learning more about you all!

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