tangled with Tess

today, i picked up Tess.tula from the vet.
she went from here.. .

.to here

to finally here 

in under four minutes. 

this car montage reminded me of a great.  ..and i mean great, 
sarcasticly, classic video - i fell in love with a whole long time ago.

it's the reason i made my family see Tangled this summer over vacation. 
which they had already seen. .. and yes, it's Uhhh.Amazing.ly great too. 

Who doesn't like having fun in the car?

only losers
Big losers with turdy pants. 

Here's to a brand new HAPPY Year. 


téa and me.

.i've always had a thing for Téa Leoni
i think it was ever since the Family Man.
a C+/B- contemporary version of A Christmas Carol with Nicholas Cage whom I'm not particularly a fan.

Recently, I discovered Madam Secretary.
I've watched all of the episodes via OnDemand within the last week.
i'm addicted.

It's nice having her back in my life.

and from Pandora. it's scary how well it knows me.


Erasing Life's Wrinkles

i can't tell you how many times i've read this book.
tonight's passage slapped me across the face. 
her books often do that. good pain. 

Cold Tangerines
Shauna Niequist

"For me, what God said when he made the world is a prayer: 
It is good. 

This world, it is good. 
The beauty of a perfect green apple is good. 
The first steps of a child are good. .. 
I have to remind myself that it is good. 
I have to create hope in my life, because there's something inside me that has radar for the bad parts of life. 
I walk into the kitchen and all I can see are crumbs on the counter, and I look in the mirror 
and don't even see my face, i just see all the potential wrinkles forming. 
I have a dark, worst-case scenario sensor, and it takes over. 
It's all true. 
There are crumbs on the counter. 
I am definitely getting wrinkles. 

I just don't want to live in only that reality. 
Because there is another reality. A better one. Hope and redemption and change are real, 
and they're happening all around me. 
So I choose to act out of that reality, because the other one makes life too hard, day after day. Life is painful, and we carry with us so much disappointment and heartbreak. 
But I'm fighting to save some space inside me where I can create hope. 
I can't live there in disappointment anymore. 
I've missed whole seasons of my life. I look back and all i remember is pain. ..

It's rebellious, in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. 
It's much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can do to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love."


God made the ugly fruit too

a whole lot i like about this song 
the lyrics to this hymn i've always loved.
Let thy grace, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, 
O take and seal it for thy courts above.

but this version .. . 

there's some funky offbeat going on. 
i'm sure that's not how to technically - musically - describe it. 
but You know exactly what i'm talking about. 

i'm a fan of all things like that. 
.out of the ordinary

give me navy and black any day
stripes and polka dots.
even the cat scratches all over the edging of my wooden furniture i'm starting to be a fan of, Jayden's weathered it. 

regular - or what may seem like "perfection"  - is plain ole boring. 

i actually just stumbled upon this ad campaign when i turned on my computer now.
via NPR. [great homepage] 

i'll link it below and you can do your own research. 
all i'm going to say is it is Uhhhhh.amazing. 
No white bread - ho hum - walk the liner came up with that. 

Original, creative .. . offbeat thinking. 


raindrops and roses and Christmas cards from the mailman

these are a few of my favorite things
[you were singing that weren't you?] 

1. this Christmas card from my mailman!
Yes.. Brian apparently is his name.
this made me seriously happy

2. The Convos with my 2-year old WebSeries

I have been watching these for the past week or so.
Leaves me cackling.
Can't wait to show a few to my students.
ones without grown men in underwear though. no worries.

3. on repeat this week.


thank you, NPR

not going to say anything to ruin this for you. 
Missing? Found? .. . either way - boy, do i wish i had been on that boat. 


via NPR

can't sleep

might as well stay up at this point


The Last Chapter

it's December in fifteen minutes. 

found this on Instagram

i liked this idea of The Book of 2014
An encapsulated year that .when it's done.
there's a new brand new book, 
sometimes a sequel. 

always new characters and problems
all story elements are there.

Cross that word

the bane of human existence - this constant, sometimes unconscious search for perfection.
nothing ever is. 
and as the years pass -and these Books are written
 that lesson is learned over and over. 
so why does the word even exist? 

... . ...

You have one month to finish the Book of 2014. 
Make the last chapter worth reading. 


11:29 pm

a sleeping .puppy girl
a snoring cat

and this newly discovered band.
quite lovely.


four years later

i wasn't even looking
but you were there.
.peering out at me
two wheels hanging over the edge of the matchcar stand in the middle of the CVS check.out line.

the pink cadillac.
Could you have been more obvious today?
you talked about that car so much.

your face isn't clear in my mind four years later.
that makes me sad.
my heart. hurts.

but it wasn't your face that made me feel so loved.
it was all the other parts.

the ones unseen.

when i try real hard and even in moments when i don't, you sneak up on me
.your presence right beside me.

even four years later.


the Line leader

Today, an epiphany occurred in this brain of mine.

I was dealing with adult stupidity, for which i've lost all patience. 
My patience is almost endless when it comes to the kids.. . almost.

So when it comes time to deal with adults, i expect somewhat mature 
- wait, not mature [that'd be boring] - cross that .. .
responsible behavior. 

but someone who decides they are going to give me a hard time about the safety in my home. 
wrath delivered. 

.back to this grand epiphany. 

my second graders and i we were on our way to gym. 
i sent them to the corner in the hallway, where they wait for us all to line up. 
The stragglers finally joined the line. stumbling out of the classroom with the aide at their side.  

and i started off down the hall, my mind racing.
here's what i'm going to do. 
here's what i'm going to say. 

the kids followed along dutifully, several falling out of place as if blown by the wind. 
But the first young lady in line.. . I could feel her presence beside me. 
I could see she had her shoulders back, her head held high. 
She was proud to be first.
In that moment, she was untouchable. 

Now remember - I'm still enraged about the above situation. 
The ridiculous adult with whom i've been overly patient.
Who i've asked to help keep my home safe and he has waved me aside like a bystander in my own life. 

What would I want this young girl to do?
What message would I want to be sending her? 
What would my advice be -  if she was in my place?
What role model will i choose to be in this situation? 

So when i dropped them off, I immediately came back to my room and sent off several texts relating my expectations. 
Shoulders rolled back, head held high. 
Don't mess with me. .. 
My second graders got my back. 

today's repeat. 

.my camera roll lately.

i'm embracing the holidays like i've been told by this lovely amazing woman.

pomegranate in piles. back at the grocery story. 
i've missed you. 

at target - found this cheesy, fake tree on sale. 
only $20. how can you resist? 
once it's covered in ornaments. 
i'm golden. 

my next project. found on instagram. 
who's going to help? 


white lights in the .young oceans

i'm in bed next to a snoring dog.
i'll admit i kinda don't mind it. 
i kind of like it.
.her breath is warming my arm
she keeps me cozy 
this girl o' mine. 

but.. . i am stuck awake. 
stupid headache. 
stupid 11:30. 
stupid excedrin. 
so here's what's happening 

with each passing day 
it's nearing Christmas. 

I'm not such a fan. 
all the stores seem to forget that Thanksgiving is next
.. . not the December holiday. 

so this [pictured to the left] 
is how i'm adjusting 

.tossing up some white lights in my bedroom. 
total ghetto style.

when December does finally roll around, I won't be so shell shocked. 
we'll see how well this works. 

colored lights in a week or so, if needed. 
but i'm thinking that's just crazy talk. 


Two reasons this hit my heart. 

1.  Love the way he describes the class. 
     .the discussion. 
     .the thoughtful back and forth. 
     .the questioning 
     .it is a snapshot into my daily life. 

2. the first This ______________ .. .watch it. 


Young Oceans
give them a .Listen


The .Power of Red

i've fallen in love with this lipstick. 
it's the real deal, no normal everyday nude. 

wore it to work this morning.. . reapplied it when my kids were in computers.. 
When I picked them up a student asked, "Do you have lipstick on, Miss Anastasio?"
. . followed by an echo of little girls complimenting me.

who would have thought kids would recognize the power of a little red lipstick? 

towels in the background = super classy

i was scrolling though my playlists and discovered this song.

if you see some crazy thirty-something wearing bright red lipstick, going mad crazy 
singing on the top of her lungs
 .. that .Would. Be .Me. 
these lyrics. the chorus.

but you're not gonna break my soul.
this is the part of me, that your never gonna ever take away from me. 

that was then and this is .Now. 

yes. yes and Yes.


via: GPS

i'm thinking this should just say - A Person's Behavior is an Iceberg. 
Does it really only apply to kids? 


Just Dancin', that's all.

i could have watched them do this all morning.
but it was only a five minute brain break
absolutely. ..Precious. 
they've got my heart, indeed.
nope - not you, One Direction.


hot water happiness

i may not have hot water for the fifth time this month  .. but i'm still a happy girl. 

here are five simple reasons. 

1. today a sizeable box waited for me patiently on my doorstep. 
Full of BOOKS. Read.Alouds.. . writing books and of course, books about food -  glorious food. 

2. this month, i got a lot of sister.. . family. time. 
Surprise 70th for my dad and then a family wedding this past weekend in Ohio. 

gif maker

in the city @Eataly..  pure food heaven

.all senses come alive when you step through the doors

Could Aidan, my nephew be any cuter? 
Writing his well wishes to the bride and groom.
i love him to bits, pieces.. . little dustlets.

3.   my hair hitting my collarbone. 
      year after year.
      cut it, grow it, cut it, dark, light, dark.. . back and forth.  
      my hairdresser won't be seeing me any time soon. 
      i'm enjoying this growing season.

4.  this sound 
     these words. 

You were waiting at the door. 
I let you in. 


constant change

This weekend i saw these girls 
My college girlfriends 
Hearts. connected

According to one of them, we look the same. 
haven't changed at all. i'm thinking. No. 
Pictured above - these are baby faces.

Two husbands, seven babies later [none of those mine] we look more.. . more mature.
Nothing stays the same. Certainly not the way we look. 
It's just the way it goes. year to year, month to month, day to day. 
as i looked through the albums, i couldn't help but notice so many different things 
that i've been reflecting upon. 

We had such a fun time those four years. .. 
and not the drunk, falling all over each other, skipping classes type. 
It was silly pranks, chalking, embarrassing each other, dressing up in department stores. 
All ridiculous. 
.fantastically ridiculous.
In almost all the pictures, we were laughing or trying to be ever so serious 
- as a joke of course. 
Not a care in the world. 

Things are indeed different 
but i still saw the same girl i am now in the photos. 
yes - the 36 year old girl
and that makes my heart itchy and fuzzy inside. 
i may have dark and gloomy days but that silliness, that happiness - it glows.
i can feel it on good days and on bad days it tries its hardest to burst through.

i'm blessed that i have people in my life that bring that on and make it shine brighter. 
things do change, people get older and move far away. 
but there are some things that remain constant. 
and for that i am lucky. 

my current repeat.. 
.You are CONSTANT.


heard through the walls of unit 48

this Hymn is beautiful
.all versions 
i'm currently a fan of this one Pandora uncovered for me. 

My favorite verse:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be.
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Luckily, Optimum decided to slap DIY network back onto their channel lineup. 
It must have been my complaining to the customer hotline.
I've been watching back to back episodes of my favorite, Salvage Dawgs from the DVR. 
Check it out - it's worth some television binging. 


the ninth month, the eighth day

Here's a snapshot. 
life as of 9.8.14


One of the many times I feel blessed to live in new jersey. 
Yes..  blessed by the Sloppy Joe.


on my Kindle
I've started carrying it in my purse.. .Now that I've started using more than just a wallet. 
It easily slips right in and i'm out the door. 

Listening to:

Wearing:: : and REwearing.

Old brown Target cargos. 
The fabric is so thin and cozy I wish I could wear them to work. 
and like every other piece of clothing i own.. . they have a small hole in them. 
Makes me feel vintage chic. 

I could paint my nails with this color : Opi - A Man in Every Port-ugal

without THIS happening. The right hand is always a beast.

Thankful for:
The 15th pay day that is appearing JUST around the corner. 
My bank account will soon be back in business. 


Sade in aisle two

When you're in CVS and stopped in your tracks by a cheesy.. but wonderfully wonderful song from a decade ago. 
good stuff. 

nothing like some serious Sade.


not my will but .Yours be done

hebrews 11:39 - 12:3 
These were all commended for their faith, 
yet none of them received what had been promised, 
since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us 
would they be made perfect. 
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. 
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and the perfecter of faith. 
For the joy set before him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.