Thursday, September 22, 2011

hello and goodbye

In some ways, I can't wait for the next month to fly by and be over!! In others, I wish I could hold onto them for just a while longer.

I never expected to feel remorse about leaving the great state of North Carolina. I kept telling myself not to get too involved, not to make great friends, and to be ready to leave at any point. Of course, that didn't happen.

I'm so excited to make this huge change that moving to Japan will bring. I can't wait to meet my new class and my new coworkers. I really can't wait to experience all the culture that is just waiting to be explored!

But I have to say that I will miss it here. Not that I will miss Fayetteville by any means. I will, however, miss the amazing people I work with (and often play with!!) I will miss several of the families I have had the privilege of getting to know while teaching their children. I will miss several aspects of living in the south. (Though, I won't miss the insects and the humidity!!) I will miss only having a three hour time difference between us and home. For all of you who made my time in NC not only bearable, but amazing, thank you. You, I will miss.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

new, fun things

I've discovered some really cool, new products in the last few months, and thought I'd share a few of them with anyone who is into new, cool products!

The first thing I want to tout is my new website!!
I really did love the old one, but upon my lurking on Blu Domain's blog, I realized their birthday was coming up. They always have some amazing prizes, giveaways, and sales around their birthday month, and I was ready to take advantage of it! I searched every single new website they had put out to find the one I would eventually fall in love with, purchased it for HALF OFF, and then, voila. Magic was in the air. I love the unique features you can add to their websites to make them as individual as the people and businesses who run them, but they are simple enough so that even those with no html/graphic/coding skills can still manage them. If you're on the lookout for a great way to advertise your business, I'd definitely recommend them.

Another great product I recently (and it's recent, because it's NEW) discovered and played with is Totally Rad's new RadLab. It is designed to be used with Photoshop (I think they may have a Lightroom version in the works). I've used their actions before, and have always loved them, so all the hype they were putting out about this new RadLab intrigued me. The more I read about it, the more I wanted it, and I have to say that I was not disappointed. As someone who has learned quite a bit about Photoshop, I am loving the shortcuts into making my photos look amazing!! The nice thing, and something you don't see with too many actions packages, is that it's completely customizable. You can go in and change the opacity and intensity every step of the way, and you can pile several of the "stylets" on top of each other for a unique look. And if you find that you want to get rid of the first stylet you applied? You don't have to go all the way back in your history and redo everything just delete it. This program is great for Photoshop beginners, and it's a godsend for those who know Photoshop but don't have the time to go in and do everything manually.

I recently decided to jump on the bandwagon and try out Groupon and now, I wonder how I got on without it. What a fun way to save money on things we do all the time, and a cheap way to try things we've never done! For example, we got a movie deal at this great theater near us. We got two tickets (any time), popcorn, candy, and two drinks for the same price two matinee tickets would have cost us. Then there's the new adventures. Next week, we're going to MollysMud to try our hand at painting. I'm sure that our paintings will be completely awful, but we've already set aside some wall space in our office to hang our very own paintings so that we can remember how much fun we had creating them. It's something I never would have thought to spend money on until I found the Groupon for it and realized we could afford to try it!

I'll keep you posted on any other fun findings...'till then...

Friday, September 16, 2011


Just found out that we are moving!! I got a first grade teaching position at Misawa Air Base in JAPAN!!!

It seemed like this moment would never come - we have been trying to prepare our families (and ourselves) for this for nearly two years...and it just seems so surreal. Will write more later as we find out more details about the how's, when's, and all the important info!