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Happy New Year

31 Dec

As it is the last day of 2010 (as well as my friend Megan’s birthday), I am refraining from a post about getting happy or doing good. Instead, lets reflect on this year, shall we?

2010 was probably one of the more turbulent of the 24 years I have been on this earth. So, here’s to hoping 2011 is not a repeat. 🙂

What follows are purely my opinions and recommendations for this year: music, movie, and memories (obviously my own). The ranking is in no particular order, just as they popped into my head.

MUSIC (singles + cds)

  1. Bruno Mars, Doo-woops and Hooligans: standout songs- “Grenade” and “The Other Side” (which features Cee-Lo and B.o.B.)
  2. Drake, So Far Gone & Thank Me Later : let’s be in agreement that Drake has been everywhere this past year and half. Favorite songs: “Show Me A Good Time”, “Houstatlantavegas” and “Fireworks” (with Alicia Keys)
  3. Rihanna, Loud: this girl got her thing on and recovered quite well from the publicized incident with C-breezy (Chris Brown).  Her cd is quite the grown-up tone (sex, drinking, killing a guy) but its catchy. Standouts: “Love the Way you Lie Pt. II”, “Fading”, and “Cheers (drink to that)”.
  4. Taylor Swift, Speak Now: If I could be friends with Taylor, I would be pretty happy. Plain and simple, I just think she is amazing. After Shay burned me this cd, it was in heavy rotation in my car and on my computer. It is hard to choose a couple songs but they are: “Long Live”, “Haunted”, and “Enchanted”.
  5. Glee Christmas cd: clear standout on here is “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
  6. Diddy-Dirty Money and Skylar Grey, “Coming Home”. Absolutely love, love, love this song.
  7. Katy Perry, “Firework”. Just motivational and inspirational. 🙂
  8. Pink, “Glitter”. Pink is just amazing- whether  it is a ballady song or rock-esque song.


  1. Toy Story 3 (plain and simple…its a classic)
  2. The Town (literally on the edge of my seat the entire time)
  3. The Social Network (funny, intense, dramatic…who knew facebook was so interesting?!)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  (minus that odd Harry/Hermione scene)
  5. Valentines Day (super cheesy, yes, but also super cute)


2010 was exciting as I skiied for the first time (terrible), made two trips back to Pittsburgh, and went to a Pumpkin Patch in Las Vegas. 🙂 Below are some of my favorite images from the year.

*huge margs with Megs in Breckenridge

*at Daydream pool

…and lunch break from skiing

*spy on vegas night with some pals

…and back at home with some of my friends

*Elle and Laur came to visit. 

*My wonderful TFA Sped Cohort with the best PD ever…

Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful (safe) evening & that 2011 is a blessed, joyful, and fun year!

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
– Anne Frank


#683 pick up a friend from the airport

28 Nov

I am what I like to call the Las Vegas airport expert. Over the past few years, I have driven my friends to and from the airport numerous times. Earlier flights, late flights, it doesn’t matter. If a friend needs a ride there, or a ride home, I am there.

I’ve heard a quote that a true friend is someone who will pick you up from the airport at 3 am. I would do that for any of my friends and I hope they would do the same.

So, anytime a friend or family member, heck even a neighbor or co-worker needs to get to the airport or come home, do it! I find it exciting manuevering my way in and out of lanes, past the taxis, and crossing the bump before the pedestrians get a chance to cross (hahaha). Cece (who I am picking up tonight) once gave me a nice compliment “Pange, you should be a taxi driver during the summer.” Granted, I don’t know if she meant it as a compliment, but that is how I took it! 🙂 

“A friend is one who walks in when others walk out”
-Walter Winchell

#685 write a friend a letter of appreciation

7 Nov

Happy Fall Back! Hope everyone enjoyed the extra hour of sleep…Also, happy welcome back to the blogging world. I know I was MIA for a little over a week but I had friends in town and was busy with school and stressing about the doctors…all the ususal things! 🙂

I have been extremely blessed with some amazing friends, whom I took the time to appreciate the other week. Even though I actually did the deed a week or so ago, I didn’t want to blog about it until I knew my friends got the cards.

I like to do this deed often anyway, but the other week I saw the CUTEST cards at Target- they had little elephants and tigers and other creatures on them. Adorable really. I decided to send them to my friends who had moved away and two of my best friends here in the LVV. 

I sent a letter of appreciation to Shay who was one of my original roomies when we first moved here and one of my first best friends too. She is still here in the LVV. We do fun things like spend all our money at target, eat at spicy pickle, and commiserate over special ed. 🙂

Hello Kristin and Megan. Kristin and I share the same birthday and we have really grown a lot closer this year, which makes me really happy. She is an awesome listener + voice of reason. Megs! Another original roomie and best friend from LVV. Megan was really there for me a lot last year with various personal issues and I am so grateful to her for that. I reallly miss her in the LVV, but am heading to Denver over Thanksgiving to visit her and I cannot wait.

Erin attacking me with a piece of seaweed on one of the beaches in Cali. Erin is from Pittsburgh and taught the first two years at Mojave with me. Really, it was like fate that we would become best friends! It was so awesome to have Erin be at school with me, we really leaned on each other A LOT. It’s not the same without her, she too moved to Denver!

I also sent letters to Becca (my amazing TFA PD who was there for me anytime I called, texted, or emailed her and was crying about any and she lives in Chi-town), Skoglind (my closest friend from AE #782, who has lived in AZ for way too many years but is still there for me!), Carinne (my locker partner and pal from high school, who now rocks it on the jersey shore), and my mom (cause she’s my mom).

More letters are on their way soon….so keep an eye on your mailboxes!!! I love telling my friends how much I appreciate and love them, because I truly do. Until next time….

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

#439 support your local film festival

24 Oct

So this deed is reflected by the adventures of yesterday…and it will be twinged too. 🙂

Instead of supporting the local film festival, I supported a local orchard and then a local music/food festival. The day started with meeting Shay and grabbing some Starbucks for breakfast. We then ventured our way northwest to Gilcrease Orchards ( to pick our pumpkins! Gilcrease was a HUGE land mass where you could pick pumpkins, corn, squash, apples, tomatoes, okra, and zuccini. Shay and I stuck with pumpkins but agreed we would like to come back and get veggies/fruits. We saw girl scout and boy scout troops, couples, and families. It was a great reminder of memories from when I was younger and went to pumpkin patches/corn mazes/hayrides with my family. 🙂  

Shay and I with our pumpkins…maybe we should have taken them out of the bags! Cool photo by Shay (quite the photographer huh?)

Later on we met up and went to Bite of Las Vegas. This has been a local event that we have wanted to attend since we moved here three years ago. Finally we were able to go! We met up with our fellow friends Hilary, Danny, Josh, Brian, Kristin and her bf Pat- who was in town to visit. 🙂 There were tents from local restaurants that were selling small portions of popular items (Zabas, Hash House, Stripburger, House of Blues, Panda Express, Mac Shack, Tropical Smoothie, just to name a few), tons of kids running around (even a lost little one I tried to help before he ran away and ran right past his parents who didn’t even notice), teenage boys in skinny jeans, and just general happiness! At 6:45, one of my favorite singers went on stage- Sara Bareilles. She was simply wonderful and even performed her cover of “Single Ladies” , which I must say rivaled Beyonce. It was a wonderful time to be with friends, hear live music, and support local restaurants (Shay and I dabbled in Stripburger- a cheeseburger slider and fries combo for 3 bucks! and then some chips and queso from Zabas courtesy of Danny). 

mmm…delicous combo with delicious golden wheat beer!

So wherever you are, find a local festival or orchard. Go alone or with a friend. Support the community around you. Check out Shay’s blog for her perspective on our adeventures and see more of her photos ( ) Until tomorrow..

“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.”


#304 part II: domestic violence awareness

9 Oct

Teen Mom is a good show. No matter what anyone says, I like it.  It’s real because it deals with actual real life situations that everyday people would face: not necessarily being a teen (or young) mom BUT relationships. Not just couples but the dynamics among families and friends. 

If you have ever seen the show, or even a preview, there is a girl named Amber and her sometimes-boyfriend Gary. Amber is usually flying off the handle, screaming and/or hitting Gary. On the episodes when this happens, MTV puts up a little PSA about domestic violence and asks you to check out a website ( .

Coming out of a relationship that became abusive at points, I really felt for Gary and I really wanted to check out the website. When I looked at it, I was surprised to find that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month- that’s another cause the NFL should be supporting this month and raising awareness. Remember domestic violence is not always physical- it can be emotional/verbal, and/or sexual. It tends to be a taboo issue, especially if the male is experiencing the abuse. Raise awareness for yourself and then educate your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to speak up- your friend will appreciate it. Promise. Until tomorrow…

“”Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
-St. Augustine

#649 build a support network

29 Sep

The past few weeks have been pretty rough. I’ve been pretty tired, stressed, and exhasuted from the multitude of things going on. A lot of different things have been occupying my mind: my ex-Jose, my former student Tony who was shot, bills, tutoring geometry on the fly, plus not to mention everything going on at school.

Luckily for me, I have a great support network. I have amazing friends and family who support me through everything! 🙂 It’s important that everyone have at least one person they can call when times are rough- or even when times are going good! Even the strongest person in the world needs a support network. Today my mom surprised me with a card, jellybeans, and jewelry package in the mail. It really made my day and put a smile on my face- thanks Mom!  

Make a list of the first five people you would call with a problem and thank them- maybe a little personal note or email.

Then, make a list of five more people you would call and thank them- maybe a phone call or text.

It’s nice to have a support system- and at the same time, it’s nice to feel appreciated! Until tomorrow…

“”A friend is one who walks in when others walk out”
-Walter Winchell

#912 be appreciative

21 Sep

appreciation (noun): gratitude, thankful recognition

10 Things I appreciate (in no particular order):

1. being able to read books and magazines at Borders, with never having to actually buy something.

2. thunderstorms and the subsequent smell of rain (especially in Vegas when it’s so far and few between)

3. the love and support of my friends and family

4. a good book

5. pens that write nicely/sharpies

6. the excitement that comes with football season (STEELERS)

7. the fact that all my hard work and dedication have paid off

8. good manners

9. the sheer joy that little kids have in life and their surroundings

10. you, for reading my blog! 🙂

What do you appreciate? It’s good to think back and count our blessings. The quote I found below is really true; think about it! Until tomorrow…

“We have no right to ask when a sorrow comes, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way.”