Daily Life

Summer Bucket List Revisited

Somehow my summer has come and gone (seemingly, in the blink of an eye, I might say!).

You may remember my post last Friday about the five favorite memories I have from this summer. Today, I’m revisiting that summer bucket list that I made right after school ended in May. As usual, I had high goals for myself, and while it was a wonderful summer, I didn’t quite achieve all of them like I was hoping.


1. Go to Maine.

  • Check! Little did I know that this would be my favorite trip I’ve ever taken! You can read about our time in Bar Harbor, Maine here.

2. Finish painting the exterior of our house and get some front door decor so it looks more inviting.

  • Travis knocked this one out of the park by painting our entire house exterior this summer and installing our new windows. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect front door decor though.

3. Paint our upstairs guest bathroom.

  • My mom and I tackled this one in just one afternoon. You can read about it here.

4. Strip and stain our guest bedroom furniture.

  • So…this one was a fail.  It was too hot most days for me to want to strip furniture so this is going onto my fall “to-do” list!

5. Be able to run 3 miles (and run more consistently).

  • While I didn’t shoot for the moon like I’d hoped, I did run more frequently than before. I still have a ways to go. Maybe I just need to sign up for a 5K to motivate myself to get in gear?! 🙂

6. Have a garage sale.

  • Our weekends seemed like they filled up fast so this one didn’t happen either. I’m now planning to either have a garage sale this fall or will wait until our annual  neighborhood sale next spring.

7. Go boating at least twice.

  • Remember how I said our weekends seemed to fill up? This one didn’t happen which makes me sad. Next year I’ll be more proactive about it since our house projects will be done then!

8. Work on decorating upstairs guest bedroom (art, pillows, nightstands).

  • This is a work in progress! I still have some more that I want to do in our upstairs guest bedroom before I’m ready to share it, but I am happy with the progress! It’s so light and bright and cheery in there!

9. Blog every weekday.

  • Wheh, finally one that I can say I achieved! When I started this blog a few months ago, my intention was honestly just to make myself write every day. Even if writing is a “talent” for someone, you still have to treat it like a skill and practice to hone it in. While these blog posts may be random, I really enjoy documenting fun moments in my life. As I start this next school year, I know that I will not be able to blog everyday (because #fulltimejob), but I’m hoping to post around 2-3 times per week! Stay tuned for more Middle School Mayhem posts!

10. Plant some succulents!

  • I got so close to buying succulents probably ten times this summer, and I don’t know why I didn’t. Womp. Womp. There’s no excuse for that. 😦

Though I didn’t check off many of the items on my summer bucket list, I still had a blast this summer and made such good memories!

Now, onto the best season ever…Fall!!!

Have a super day!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you are proud of accomplishing this summer?

Daily Life

Just Put on the Gloves!

Hello and happy Tuesday!

Between me talking about the full-body rash I got from sun poisoning and my fear of vomit, you’re really going to think I’ve got issues after today’s post. 😉 But…this one was too funny of a story so I have to share. I have no shame!

Last week, I have planned to make Skinnytaste’s Charred Corn and Crab Tacos for dinner one night. One step in the recipe was grilling ears of corn and whole jalapenos to dice up in the tacos.

Travis has been working so hard on all of our home improvement projects this summer (Bless him!), but that also means that lately we have been eating dinner so late.

He always wants to get to a good stopping point, and in the words of Rachel Lindsey (Any other Bachelorette fans?!), “I’m fine until I’m not,” meaning I am cool with him completing a project, until I realize that I’m ravenous and just want to eat. Being hangry is a real thing, believe me.

That night, we were finally getting dinner together around 8:30 p.m. I was measuring the sauce ingredients and Travis was grilling the corn and jalapenos.

When he brought them in, I grabbed the jalapenos (without a second thought) and began removing the seeds and dicing them…like the recipe called for.

Later, as we were enjoying said delicious tacos, I wiped my nose…and the burn began.

My nostril felt like the ring of fire, ablaze in fury.

We laughed about my misfortune (as I had tears running down my face from the heat) and decided to go swim and see if that would take my mind off of the pepper burn in my nose.

After coming back home from swimming and taking a quick shower, it’s like it all hit me.

All of my fingers felt like I had stuck them deep inside a bonfire.

The pain was real.

Travis kind of laughed at me and said, “The seeds from the jalapenos are what make it hurt, the oils that they have.”

That would have been great information to have reminded me of, oh, I don’t know…while you watched me cut the jalapenos, maybe?!!!

I then googled remedies to make the jalapeno burn cease.

First up, soak hands in vegetable oil.

Didn’t work.

Next try, soak hands in milk.

Again, nothing. My hands were still burnin’.

Third try, soak them in rubbing alcohol.

This one provided a little relief, but alas, the burn still won.

Final try, which was claimed to be the end-all, best trick, was making a paste of baking soda and water.

I stuck my hands in, and almost immediately felt relief!

I wanted to pat myself on the back (but, you know, my hands were a little covered) so I just smiled to myself and thought, finally.

Soon though, the burn was back.

No matter how long I tried each of the remedies, they quit working after a certain point.

Determined to not stay up all night with my hands in a bowl, I headed up to bed.

My best move out of all of this was sleeping in my contacts that night. That would have been a sad sight if I tried to take them out with my flaming fingers. Can you imagine??

I tossed and turned, laid on my hands, put them under the covers, put them above the covers…nothing was helping, and all my mind could focus on was the burn.

As some point, I did fall asleep. I was never so happy as I was upon waking up the next morning and realizing that the jalapeno burn was gone!

I called my mom that afternoon and told her about my eventful night.

Her response?

“Well, don’t you wear gloves when you are cutting jalapenos?”

Well….duh, Laura.

That would have been a thought.

That would have saved me a lot of time, pain, and…sanity.

Next time…I’ll just put on the gloves.

Question of the Day: Have you ever had the “pepper burn?” What remedies did you find to help?

Daily Life · Friday

Friday Favorites- Summer Memories 2017

Happy Friday!

I don’t know if it’s because this was my last full week of summer or what, but the week flew by!

My week has been full of all the school stuff and baking (and reading and cleaning and laundry), so today’s Friday Favorites is going to look a little different.

Today, here are my five favorite memories from this summer.

one. Our trip to Maine. I’m sure everyone saw this one coming, but it really was the best. Travis and I loved Maine even more than our honeymoon, which was in Turks and Caicos, aka voted some of the best beaches in the world. (Our honeymoon was fabulous, don’t get me wrong. Maine was just even more fabulous. 🙂 ). There was just a feeling we had in Maine. It is so quaint and cozy yet overwhelming too with how beautiful and vast the ocean and forests are.

We have since added a return trip to Bar Harbor onto our bucket lists. 🙂


two. Girl’s trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Another shocker on the list, right? 😉 I honestly didn’t know how this trip was going to go. It was a long time to be in a car and the forecast originally called for rain everyday. (Thankfully that forecast was wrong!)

This trip was like a mini-reunion though for my girlfriends and I. We breezed through the car rides by talking and picked right back up from where we left off (even though we all hadn’t been together in about a year).

My favorite memory from the trip was when we did wine tastings at four different wineries downtown. Jessica and I walked to the last one, while the rest of the girls grabbed the car, and let’s just say…we had a little too much fun. 🙂


three. Playing on our softball team. This one is the biggest shock for me that I actually enjoyed it. We met the best group of people who are now friends to us. They are all so laid back and fun and “on our level” (meaning most of them too are in the married (or at least dating) stage with no kids yet). I think I enjoyed hanging out after the softball games with them more than the actual games though!


four. Goofing with mom. I always enjoy when my mom comes to visit. Whether we are painting, shopping, or drinking wine, we always have a blast! This summer we only painted the upstairs guest bathroom. Last summer, we painted the upstairs stair area and the entire basement. I’m kind of glad that we’re running out of rooms to paint! More time to goof!


five. House improvements. I need to do a post about all of the house projects that Travis completed this summer. He likes to do things himself, instead of hiring work out, which saved us so much money and kept Travis busy (which keeps him happy! 🙂 ). Many times when he was painting the house, I sat outside and kept him company. I love the slow pace of summer to get more quality time together!


Enjoy your weekend!

Question of the Day: What are two of your favorites memories from this summer?

Daily Life

Currently (August 2017)

Can I just take a minute and say HOW is it August already?!

I have so many things that I’ve wanted to do this summer…and somehow haven’t. Yet, I’m excited to be back in the routine of school and have something that challenges me again.

Today I’m talking about life currently and what’s happening, etc.

Watching: I’ve convinced Travis to start watching “Last Man Standing” with me from the beginning. I’ve seen most of the episodes from the later seasons, but I want to see them all the way through. (Of course, it doesn’t take much convincing on Travis’ part when I say, let’s eat ice cream and watch. He’s sold after the ice cream 😉 ) I’m also watching The Bachelorette and dying to see the finale next week. I think I know how it’s going to turn out, and let’s just say, “No me gusta Bryan.”

Listening To: I went in yesterday to school to work on my classroom again and my Creedence Clearwater Revival station on Pandora helped me get through four hours of work. I never get sick of the oldies! (Sidenote: I play a lot of oldies during the school year for my students, and I’m always pleasantly surprised by how many of them know the songs! Parenting done right!! Let’s hope this year’s kids don’t let me down 😉 ).

Shopping For: I got my shopping fix when my mom was here last (Hello new shoes and clothes!). Now, I’m trying to fight any other shopping urges since we have spent so much money on new windows, paint, and stain for our house this summer.

Wearing: I loved getting to wear some of my new shoes to the wedding this past weekend. One of Travis’ fraternity brothers came up to me at the rehearsal dinner and commented on my shoes, saying he noticed them from across the room. I thought Trav told him to say that, but it turns out that he just really did like them. (Bless you, Logan 🙂 ). Other than that, I’m soaking up these final days of wearing lounge clothes (with my hair in a ponytail) before school starts.

Loving: All of my free time at home during the summer allows me to spend lots of time in the kitchen! I’ve been experimenting with many new breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, as well as baked goods too. Sometimes it feels like I spend my whole day in the kitchen, but lucky for me, that’s a good feeling! I know that once school starts, there will be plenty of days where I dread cooking because I’m so tired… so, I’m living it up now!

Looking Forward To: I know you’re all probably sick of me talking about school, but..as I worked on my classroom this week, I realized that I really am looking forward to starting the year and getting into the swing of things. I changed a lot of the decor and layout in my room, and I feel like it’s going to be the best year yet! I’m finally starting out organized! It only took three years, but I finally feel like I know what I’m doing with my job- haha!

Have a super day!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you are looking forward to?

Daily Life

I’ve Diagnosed Myself…

Did the title pique your interest?

If you remember from this post when I shared 20 Things about myself, number 16 was all about my fear of people throwing up.

My friends and family are nodding their heads right now.

If you don’t know me well, you may wonder why I am utterly terrified of vomit. And to that, my answer is… I have no clue. (Helpful, huh?) It’s not like I’ve ever had some horrific childhood encounter or been super sick myself. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I have actually thrown up (*Knock on wood* I’m fine with that small number!!!)

Well, a week or two ago, I was reading through some blogs, as I usually do when I’m eating breakfast, and I came across the word “emetophobia” as one of the writer’s fears. Having never heard of that word, I googled it, and thus began one of the biggest “Aha!” moments I’ve had.

In simple terms, emetophobia is defined as: the fear of vomiting.

In longer terms, emetophobia is the fear of yourself vomiting, the fear of seeing vomit, fear of seeing others vomit, etc.

Just typing the word “vomit” that many times is making my heart race and my stomach start to feel queasy.

I quickly read through a list of symptoms, realizing that more of them applied to me than didn’t.

Basically, emetophobia means that you try to avoid any situations related to vomit and anything that could lead to someone vomiting. It’s not just that you don’t like vomit (because who does?). It’s more that you can’t deal with it. It terrifies you.

Check and check.

Later that night, I shared my news with Travis, who thought I was being a little too dramatic, as usual. I read him the list of symptoms, and while he was trying to dismiss the idea, even he had to agree that I fit many of them:

*Sidenote: This is just a few of the mild symptoms. There are probably three times as many extreme symptoms that I do not identify with. I’m not actually diagnosing myself. Read with a hint of satire.*

  • You close your eyes during vomiting scenes on television or in movies.
    • We had to stop watching Tosh.0 so much because of the many vomiting videos he showed.
  • You smell and check food excessively, as you don’t want it to make you sick.
  • You fear others’ coughing, burping, touching their stomachs, looking pale, saying they don’t feel well.
    • My friends and my students can attest for this. I am the first person to shun the “sickie” and I move as far away from them as possible.
  • You take your temperature excessively or monitor your body for other signs of illness.
    • I always check in with how I’m feeling and freak if I’m feeling nauseous. I realize that thinking about it so much is what probably causes me to feel sick. It’s a vicious cycle- haha.
  • When encountering vomit, they will:
    • Panic immediately (My heart starts racing)
    • Start to feel nauseous themselves (Yes- it’s that vicious cycle I was talking about.)
    • Try to run from the situation (I send ill students out of my classroom before they can even finish their sentence of “I feel sick.”)
    • Refuse to remain in the same area as the sick person (I remember not going back in my house all day as a child when my dad and brother had the stomach flu.)
    • If trapped, close their eyes and plug their ears sometimes for an entire night (I’m embarrassed to admit that I have done this when friends have been sick after partying. The thought of hearing it is just too much. Bleh.)
  • (This one just made me laugh) Have anger, frustration and despair at not being understood, believed or supported – especially about the severity of the feelings of terror and horror.
    • My friends always laugh at me that I can’t handle it, and I never understand why they are okay with it.

And this is the point where I say, I hope you are taking this with a grain of salt. While I do find similarities with it for myself, I am not an extreme case, many of whom require therapy, and it does not upset my normal daily life.

If you google emetophobia, there are many, many severe symptoms and behaviors that I do not identify with. Many people with emetophobia say they would rather die than vomit, have panic attacks from vomit, cannot live a normal life, and become superstitious with OCD tendencies to avoid vomit, etc.

That is not me.

I don’t spend every second of every day worrying about someone vomiting.

I just have more of a fear of vomit than the average person.

I hope you read this with a note of humor. I’m not a basket case. Just don’t be weirded out if I plug my ears the second someone says, “I’m going to be sick.” 🙂

Question of the Day: Anyone else have a fear of vomiting or am I the only strange one?

Daily Life · Family

Unofficial Mom’s Day(s) 2017

Some of my favorite times with my parents in college were the Dad’s Days and Mom’s Days that we attended together through my sorority.

Even though college is over, the fun hasn’t stopped, and my mom usually comes down to hang out at least a couple times each summer.

You may remember me mentioning her trip in June to help me paint a bathroom. Well, this time, she came back with a full list of things to get done, though none of them required us to pick up a paintbrush! Hallelujah!

She left yesterday afternoon, and we had a great time on her latest visit (and we covered a lot of ground in Manhattan).

From the moment my mom got to my house on Monday morning, we hit the ground running.

We decided to start with a little shopping (because who wouldn’t?!). My mom is as big of a fan of Target and Marshalls as I am, so I was a happy camper. (Sorry Trav, but it’s just not the same going there with you 😉 ).

She wanted to try Tallgrass Taphouse so we met up with Travis there for lunch. He was shocked to walk in and find us with a flight of beer as we were waiting. We shared a flight and tried all of the fruity ones: Carhop, Midwest Berry Crunch, Blueberry Jam, and Key Lime Pie. Our favorite by far was the Carhop, a Berliner Weisse with notes of cherry and lime.


Thankfully mom is a fan of splitting meals, just like I am, so we shared the Gala Apple & Spiced Walnut Salad and the Smoked Turkey Avocado Sandwich.

We were blown away by the portion sizes! We each got this amount and questioned our server several times to make sure these were the half-sizes! (Somehow, they were.)


After Travis headed back to work, we shopped a little more. We had full stomachs and were ready for round two!

Both of our favorite finds of the day were at Dillards. Mom found some great dresses and I found some cheap shoes. I love shopping Dillards’ shoe section at the end of the season when many pairs are marked wayyy down. I ended up finding some Sperry tennis shoes, and two pairs of Gianni Bini cut-out booties, all for over 65% off.

I’m usually not a big shoes girl, but these had me excited! I told Travis we need to go somewhere nice so I can wear them out. 😉

After shopping, we decided to cross another “must-do” off of mom’s list and go to the Oz Winery for some wine tasting. (I mean…if we have to, right?! 🙂 ).

We got to the winery about an hour before it closed and as we sat, drinking our flight, we were shocked by the amount of people that came through. They are not hurting for business!


We got home and regrouped for awhile before our late dinner.

This gave Travis plenty of time to serve us the oysters that he had bought from Dillon’s on Sunday. He had found two and half pounds of oysters for under $2.50 and put them in our cart faster than I could say, “Are you sure?” I was a little skeptical of oysters from a grocery store, but mom and Travis assured me they would be fine.

We got out the cocktail sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, and saltines and had some oysters on the half shell. (If you think that sounds fancy, just wait. We didn’t have an oyster knife so Travis had to pry them open with a screwdriver..womp, womp, womp.)


Another biggie on mom’s list was to eat at Bourbon and Baker for dinner. It’s always been packed when I have eaten there so it was nice to go and get seated right away (It helped that it was a Monday night in the summer). We even saw Pat Bosco!


Everything that we ordered was divine. I love the small plate idea because I would rather try a little bit of many things than have a lot of just one thing. It’s my kind of place!


We tried shrimp & grits, chicken & waffles, smoked salmon, and red beans & rice. Delicious!


When we got home around 9 p.m., we saw that the pool was empty, so we quickly changed and walked back up there. The water felt like bath water and was even warmer than the air outside by that point. We talked and swam for about thirty minutes before heading back home.

Our night ended with some ice cream on our screened-in porch: perfection! (Thank you $0.99 ice cream sale at Dillons! We bought four gallons and I’m not even ashamed!).

The next morning, we woke up bright and early (for me, at least!) to get to the Konza before it became too hot (another item on mom’s list). She had never been before, and we hardly saw any other people. It stayed pretty overcast for most of our walk, thank goodness!


After that, we enjoyed some coffee and banana bread on the porch before deciding we needed to get a move on it. We got ready and then hit a few more stops before meeting Travis again for lunch, this time at Powercat Sports Grill.

Mom and I again shared two dishes: the Aspen Turkey Wrap and a Cobb Salad. The Taphouse the day before was so good that we weren’t too impressed with either of our dishes here. Travis was pretty happy with his foot long chili cheese coney though. 🙂

We finished the last of our stops after lunch and drove back to my house to pack up mom’s things.

Though we didn’t get to zipline (the biggest item on mom’s list) during this trip, that just gives us a reason for another girls’ day in the near future! I can’t wait! Love you mom!

Question of the Day: Are you a fan of sharing dishes or would you rather just order your own?

Daily Life

Four Facts Survey

Good morning! My mom is still here today, and we have a busy, exciting day planned so let’s get right to it!

I have another survey for you today, again from Julie at the Peanut Butter Fingers blog.

Four Facts Survey

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  1. Laur
  2. Lars
  3. Pounds (<– for my initials LBS)
  4. Ladybug (<– My grandpa always used to call me this!)


Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Babysitter
  2. Data Entry Intern at RCI
  3. Customer Service Help at Kansas State University Global Campus
  4. Sixth Grade Language Arts Teacher at WMS
Lanaya and I trying to stay warm at RCI.
My homebase kids during my first year of teaching!


Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. You’ve Got Mail (<– One of my all-time favorites!!)
  2. Couples Retreat (<– Let’s be honest- I partly love it so much because it’s set in Bora Bora!)
  3. Just Friends (<– My girlfriends and I could collectively quote this whole movie.)
  4. 13 Going on 30 (<– Another classic from my middle school days!)


Four books I’d recommend:

*It’s SOOOO hard to narrow this down to four.

  1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  2. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (<– It’s a tearjerker, be warned!)
  3. The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer
  4. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (<– Talk about some workout motivation!!)


Four places I’ve lived:

(Tricky when I’ve basically lived in just two towns- ha!)

  1. Robinson, KS
  2. Ford Hall in Manhattan, KS
  3. Alpha Xi Delta in Manhattan, KS
  4. Timbercreek II in Manhattan, KS
Good ‘ole roomies in Ford Hall! Me, Sabrina, and Nicki.
Our first house!


Four places I’ve visited:

  1. San Salvador, Bahamas (<– Biology Club Senior Trip)
  2. Walt Disney World- Florida (<– High School Band Trip)
  3. Turks and Caicos (<– Honeymoon)
  4. Bar Harbor, Maine (<– Just for Fun Trip)
Our senior group in the Bahamas!


Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. Tablerock Lake (<– One of my favorite vacation spots!)
  2. Hanging out with my family in Brown County
  3. Having another wine tasting day with my girlfriends
  4. Snow skiing in Colorado (<– With my family and the Gernon family)
Matching shirts for the BFFs in Colorado.


Four things I prefer not to eat:

  1. Pop (<– I’ve never been a pop fan.)
  2. Lamb (<– It just tastes “off” to me.)
  3. Gummy Candy (<– Bleh. Give me all the chocolate.)
  4. Mayonnaise (<– I grew up eating butter on my sandwiches because I hated mayo so much. I’ve gotten better, but I still think it’s pretty gross.)


Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Roasted sweet potatoes
  2. Chicken Curry
  3. Peanut Butter
  4. Grouper Fish (<– If it’s on the menu at a restaurant, I’m going to order it!)
Red Coconut Curry Grouper on our honeymoon!


Four TV shows I watch:

  1. My 600-lb. Life (<– Travis and I are too entertained by this show. Ironically, we’re usually eating dinner or snacking while we watch it.)
  2. Last Man Standing
  3. Little People Big World (<– I’m probably the only person out there who still watches this!)
  4. The Bachelorette (<– I used to think this was so dumb, but my friend Jessica got me hooked!)


Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1. Float Trip with friends in August
  2. Tailgating season! (<– Ok, and just fall time in general!)
  3. Our 2-year Anniversary- November 14th
  4. Christmas with family (<– It’s always the best part of the year!)
Bring on football season!


Four things I’m always saying:

  1. “Voices off. Eyes up here.” (<– In my Mrs. Snyder teacher voice.)
  2. “Let me just finish this chapter.” (<– Always reading.)
  3. “Is it too early for wine?” (<– The answer is always no, go ahead! Ok…and usually I am the one answering this question for myself too. 😉 )
  4. Do you want to go to Marshalls? (<– That store is addicting!)


Question of the Day: Play along and answer one of the prompts in the comment section:

  • Four names people call you other than your real name
  • Four movies you’ve watched more than once
  • Four foods you prefer not to eat
  • Four of your favorite foods