Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Via Instagram

I can't believe that January is ending already.  The first month of the New Year flew right by us.  It has been a busy month for me as far as work is concerned.  We are busy completing IGPs (Individual Graduation Plans) and getting all 8th graders registered for high school.  We have 345 students between the three of us to complete this task.  Can you imagine how many meetings I've had with parents this month?   Now you can understand when I say I'm tired.  It can be mentally draining to have six hour-long meetings each day.  In the long run, it is all worth it.  It's why I do what I do.  It's all for my students and helping them to be the best they can be.

So, how has your January been?  Take a look at how I spent mine, outside of work.

A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on

Many people do not set resolutions, but choose a word to focus on for the year.  Be sure to read all about mine here
Did you choose a word for the year?

I absolutely love Julep's beauty products!  It's one of the few subscription boxes I still subscribe to.  Their nail polish
is long lasting and really strengthens your nails.  They also come in an endless array of colors.
You can check it out for yourself through this link.
A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on
I purchase this bottle from a personal wine tasting a friend hosted on her birthday and I saved it for my family's
 annual Christmas gathering.  Isn't the bottle just fitting for the occasion?

A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on
I love the beautiful paintings that are created in the sky.  This one captured my attention one morning before work.

A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on
Okay, sometimes you need to unwind after a hard day of work and that is exactly what me and my friends did.
Senor Tequila has the best food and they always aim to please!

Relaxing with some coffee on this cold Monday morning.  Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King for all you did and
sacrificed to make the world a better place.

I am now a huge fan of Biltmore's Cabernet.  It is absolutely delicious and goes well with a side of Ben!  :)

No, I do not have a problem and do not need to see anyone for help.  I did, however, win this nice prize pack through
a giveaway offered by our very own Cocktail Bandits.  These are two, young ladies from the Charleston area who
have really made a name for themselves in the beverage industry.  They are spirit enthusiasts who host cocktail
related events in the Charleston area.  Call them to cater your next event.

A video posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on
I was up early to meet my seventh graders that were taking the SAT as part of the Duke TIP talent search program.
This is actually a video so be sure to click on it to view.

So, I guess by now you can tell I love wine.  And, I know I'm not the only wine lover out there.  I have never been one
to subscribe to a wine club, but Club W is definitely one to consider.  Why don't you check it out and receive a
complimentary bottle on me!  (Please highlight the link and press open in new tab or go to in order to receive your discount.) 

So how did you spend your January?  Share with me below.

Please visit my Linking Up page to see where I'm sharing this post.  

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sip This: Club W

I just received my first box of wine from Club W  and I'm in LOVE!!!  A monthly subscription box with wine selected specifically for my palate, what's not to love?
I received an invitation to enjoy wine at a great price.  So I was curious.  No obligation to buy; that's totally up to me.  I can order now, and skip any month I want; cancellation at anytime.  So I took a quick survey to set up my profile, received my results and voila I was impressed with the results.

OK, now I'm being enticed with quite an extensive list of suggestions with eye catching designs to satisfy not only my visual senses, but my sense of taste as well.  The visual appeal of the website drew me in, while the descriptive video details from expert wine connoisseurs appealed to my listening ears as I visualized how I might enjoy the wine itself.

So they got me. I'm sold! I couldn't hit the selection buttons quick enough.  I completed my purchase and smiled for a while.  The best part about all of this is delivery only takes 2 days!!  Two days people and you can have your senses tantalized just like mine.  Just think, if it's cold out or if you have a gathering planned and you just don't have time to make it to the store. You can order a few bottles from Club W, starting at $13/bottle, and it'll be hand delivered to you in no time.

Each bottle comes paired with a recipe card and a fact card with suggestions of when and how to serve it.

If you're a wine lover like me (and I know you are) take advantage of this special offer and get some for yourself to stock up from your holiday depletion.  Your first bottle is on me and you won't be disappointed! 

 (Please highlight the link and press open in new tab or go to in order to receive your discount.)  Thanks for understanding.  This magical little link will earn you a free bottle of wine, compliments of me!   

If you would like to learn more about how it all works, click on the video below.  

So what are you waiting for? Click the link and start enjoying new flavors with me just in time for Super Bowl Sunday and/or Valentine's Day (Please highlight the link and press open in new tab or go to in order to receive your discount.)  Thanks for understanding.  

This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Simply Me January

Welcome to another edition of the Simply Me series hosted by Liz of Sundays with Sophie...wait there's been a name change.  So be sure to check us out at J for Joiner and read more about the reason behind the name change.  

Each month, Liz presents us with a list a questions so you can learn more about us.  If you missed out on my previous posts you can read about them my Christmas Traditions and all about my firsts so you can catch up on all things me.

This month, of course, is all about the New Year so let’s get started.

We're at the end of January, and while I'm not a big fan of new year, new me, because I strive to make myself better every are those new year resolutions going?  I am not one for making resolutions, but have started finding a word for the year.  I wrote about it in my first post for 2016 so instead of writing about it all over again, check it out for yourself. 

What are the big plans for this year?   I plan to start eating healthier and getting in shape...slowly getting there.  I am going on a cruise this summer and I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't taken a real vacation in years.  I have gone on field trips through school that would serve as my vacations or when I would go visit family and friends out of town, those were consider vacations as well.  This summer’s plans are a real vacation and I'm truly looking forward to it.  

This was a great vacation and we took a one day excursion to Morocco.  Yes, hanging out on the shores of Morocco. 

Are you where you wanted to be in life in 2016?  I am not fully where I would like to be in life, but I'm definitely working on it.  This one's a little personal so I'm going to leave it at that :)

While I like to look forward in life, let's jump back in 2015 for a moment, what was the best moment in 2015?  If I had to choose a best moment, it would have to be celebrating the 21st birthday of my twin boys. We are so close as a family and they are the joys of my life.  Take a look back at their birthday post to join in on the fun. 

Overall, I would like to say that 2015 had its fair share of ups and downs.  One thing that I'm happy to mention is that I've become more comfortable in my own skin.  I've opened up more and I'm learning to trust more.  This only helps me to be more positive and share positivity with others.

And lastly, what would be the best advice you'd like to give us for this New Year?  

Life is always full of surprises, some good and some bad.  Stay rooted with your values and pray.  Stay true to yourself because your happiness depends on it.  No one else can do you better than you, so why try to be something you're not.  

How is your year going so far?  Do you have an big plans?
Check out my Linking Up page to see where I'm sharing this post.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Currently January Vol. 2

Monday was set aside in observance for Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday.  As an educator, it was a school holiday which means a day off from work.  I didn't plan any special activities and after viewing the news, I realized I missed the annual parade.  I will have to check it out next year because it looked really entertaining.

I did have a few errands to run which kept me occupied all day.  It was pretty busy and I thought I'd share it with you.


Stocking Up:  I made a trip to Sam's Club and stocked up on some goodies.  Sam's offers a lot for a little.  I love to get my toiletries from there because they last for months.  Who likes running to the store every week or two just to buy toilet paper?  As you can see, I picked up some yummy goodies as well.

Shopping:  I hit up one of my favorite stores...Marshalls!  I went in to look for a gift for a friend and walked out with three shirts for myself.  Got a great deal also.

Getting Pampered:  Decided to get my nails done.  Enjoying the massage chair while my feet soaked.

Watching:  Well, The Bachelor, of course!  Are you not watching Ben with all his gorgeousness?!?!  If I was young and single, wait...I am single, just not young.  Lol, if I was young I would be trying to grab his attention, too.  Just not on a show like this.  Too much drama when this amount of girls are involved.  But that's what keeps everyone watching, I guess.

Tasting:  Some truly, delicious wine!  Last weekend, I took my son back to Winthrop and we went shopping at...where else...Sam's!  :)  As we were stocking up on food for him and his roommate, I spotted this beautiful bottle.

 I felt tonight would be a good night to enjoy it as I watched all the juicy drama of The Bachelor.  In the voice of Chef Emeril...BAM!!! It had me at the first taste. The flavors really tantalized my senses.  This is all I'm going to share for now, but I'll be writing about it in my February Wino Wednesday post.  So be sure to check back.

Eating:  Some really really good seafood lasagna.  It is muy delicioso!  You should try it. 

If you hadn't noticed, everything mentioned above happened in one day.  I do have one more thing to share and this is from Tuesday.

Surprising:  I've been waiting for the best day to do this and today was the day.  It was cold enough for me to surprise my team of teachers with some hot cocoa.  Nothing major.  Just some cocoa with marshmallows.  And, speaking of marshmallows...when I opened the bag and popped one in my mouth, I instantly had a flashback to when I was younger.  I used to love marshmallows and my mom used to buy them for me all the time.  The memory of me eating them as a child was so vivid, I had to call my mom and share it with her.  I totally forgot how much I used to eat marshmallows as I have so many things from my past.  Its funny how such a little thing triggered such a special memory.  Love it!  :)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Sunday Photo: Wintery Sky

I woke up Tuesday morning around 3 am and I couldn't go back to sleep.  I felt I was in for a long and tiring day.  I took some time that morning to read a few blogs, enjoy some coffee, and just simply relax.  As I opened my blinds before leaving for work, I noticed how beautiful the sky looked.  I had to go out and snap a picture.  A wintery sunrise.  This picture doesn't do it any justice, you really had to be there to take in its pure essence.  As I stood outside, I noticed there was frost on the ground as well.  You  wouldn't be able to tell from the pictures I took so I decided to only focus on the sky for this post.  I hope you enjoy it's peacefulness as much as I did.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thank You Notes: Nominations and Other Little Tidbits

Hi everyone!  How is your Friday going? Can you believe that we are halfway through the first month of the New Year?  Where does the time go?

In my last thank you notes, I shared my appreciation for bloggers who have supported me along the way.  A few weeks prior, I shared some personal joys.  If you missed them, you really missed a treat and I hope you clicked the links to catch up with all I had to share.  

Now that you're all caught up, take a look at what I'm thankful for this week.

Thank you Mary, of Mary-andering Creatively, for nominating me for not one, but two blogging awards.  Mary and I crossed paths a few months ago when she came across a post of mine on one of the many link parties we participate with.  She saw my post and invited me to come over to a link party that she and a few others host called Literacy Musing Mondays.  If you have a literacy related post, then you should considered linking up with Mary and the rest of us whenever you get a chance.  J

Thanks to everyone who helps to keep our school squeaky clean.  Look at how shiny these floors are.  Your hard work does not go unnoticed.  
Thank you students for going above and beyond to help others without a second thought.  You never know when someone is looking.  Your unselfish acts of kindness do not go unnoticed and look how many of you have made it to our wall of fame.  Now go out there and get your friends involved! 
Thanks to my friend and neighbor for my cute and delicious Christmas gift.  This was just perfect for the cold weather we're finally receiving.  Ummhh, ummhh, Good!  This really satisfied my chocolate craving.
Thank you, Julep, for providing me with the endless number of beautiful, colored polishes to choose from to make my nails look spectacular.

Thank you Senor Tequila for always affording us the opportunity to fellowship with friends.  Great food as always!  :)

As you can see, sometimes you have to seek out the little things to be thankful for, but they matter just as much as the rest.  What are you thankful for this week?

See where I'm sharing this on my Linking Up page.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Currently January


Replying: I'm finally catching up on all the great comments that people have posted on my blog.  Thank you so much for stopping by and paying me a visit and for taking the time to say hello.

Thinking:  Of how I'm going to miss my boys now that they are returning to school.  We had a great 3 weeks together and I really didn't want it to end.

Recuperating:  From my first week back at work from the break.  We are in the mist of registering 8th graders for high school and I have been meeting with parents all week.  Talk about emotional fatigue.

Trying:  A new wine that came at the recommendation of a friend.  Michelle posted about it here and I can't wait to let you know what I think.

Focusing:  My word for the year...FOCUS. You can read more about it here.  I must say my first week of the New Year is going well and focusing as not been an issue.  I'm paying close attention to details and not allowing myself to get off task.

Hope your week is going well.  What are you currently up to?
Check out my linking up page to see where I'm sharing this post.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wino Wednesday ~ Joy Cellars 2013 Malvasia

It's all about the holidays.

Celebrations and family.

Joy...The Savior's birth.

Hope your Christmas was a great one.  I can definitely say mine was.  My family and I spent Christmas eve together for our annual, family, game night gathering. We were small in number this year (17 of us) but we had a grand ole time nonetheless. 

I love spending time with family and we love a good wine.  Remember the reds I introduced in my last Wino Wednesday post? Yep, I'm with the same group of cousins.  This Christmas, I brought along a new wine that I tried at a friend's private tasting.  The bottle itself seemed so fitting for the occasion. 

Joy Cellars 2013 Malvasia, even the colors are festival.  I must say it's like a party in a bottle. 

My cousins and I enjoyed a glass while we caught up with everyone's lives since we last met.

The taste was such a unique blend that I found it hard to describe.  It reminded me of various spiced fruit, if that makes any sense.  Its light bodied and semi-dry, but with an intense fruity taste.  I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it to others.  Although, it is priced at $21.00, it is certainly worth every penny.

The bottle itself didn't have any winemaker's notes, but online it states:

"Our Joy Cellars 2013 San Bernabe Malvasia was produced in the vineyards of San Bernabe in Monterey County. This Malvasia has some intense fruit flavors like peach, mango, passion fruit, guava and Meyer lemon. There is a nice kick of acidity and citrus flavors in the attack. The body is pleasant, fluid and almost sweet, a total display of what this varietal can offer. The finish is off-dry, mineral with pineapple, lemon and orange aromas. As Malvasia ages, the wine tends to take on more nutty aromas.  Enjoy it with baked poultry, baked seafood, fish with white sauce and creamy pasta dishes.  Cheeses such as Monterey, Cheddar, or Swiss also pair well with this wine." 

Well I don't know about you, but writing this post  got me all warm and fuzzy inside OR maybe it's the fact I was having another glass as I was writing this.  :)  Well we are still celebrating and I know that you are too and by the time you read this, it will be CHEERS!!!  And, Happy New Year!  

Do you have a favorite wine you would like to share?  Join us monthly and link up by clicking the button below.  I always love recommendations.  Share with me in the comments below.

See where I'm sharing this post by visiting my Linking Up Page.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Top Post of 2015

2015 was a year of ups and downs. 

I grew my blog.
I made new friends.
I struggled with the negativity in my life.

I'm sure this may be a common theme for many people, but through all the ups and downs...I made it through! I made it through to another year where I can put a backseat on the negativity and move on with more positive living.  

I noticed a lot of bloggers were sharing their top posts for the year and I thought it would be nice to see what my top post were.  I was quite surprised with some that made the list and very confident of others.  So I present to you my top ten viewed post of the year.

Thank you for your support, your visits, and your comments.  Those little rays of sunshine really feed my soul.  I look forward to bringing you even more in the years to come.  Happy New Year!

Visit my Linking Up page to see where I am sharing this with others.

December Via Instagram

Happy New Year!  I was so busy last month that I didn't get a chance to create my November Via Instagram post, but I could not let the year come to an end without allow December to have it's chance to shine.

I don't know if you've been experiencing the same difficulties that I have, but Instagram isn't saving all of my photos as they should.  Some of the best photos I've taken are not save in the perfect little square outline that they create and trying to re size them to fit the way I would like in this post is getting way time consuming.  So I've decided to embed the photos instead.

As we bid 2015 farewell, spend some time with me as I share how I spent the last month of the year.

The picture above is actually a video, so please click on it to hear his angelic voice!

A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on

A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on

A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on

A photo posted by sunshineandelephants (@sunshine.and.elephants) on

Thank you for allowing me to share these moments with you.  It's 2016...A new year with new adventures!  Be present each day with gratitude!  Happy New Year!!

Visit my Linking Up page to see where I'm sharing this post.