Friday Favorites – 3/16/18


We made it!! It’s Friday! I am linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share my list of favorites and I love each and every one!

Favorite 1 – Friendships! A few of my college roommates came to visit last weekend and it was an enormous favorite! Spending four years living within 20 feet of these ladies was one of the best things that happened to me in college.  We had the best time doing just about nothing. We laughed, and laughed, and then laughed some more. We stayed up late like we were in college, hello 2:30 am, and it was wonderful! I shared a little more about our weekend on Monday. I miss them already and can’t wait to get together again!


Cheers to 20 years of friendship!


After our final exams senior year

Favorite 2 – Dino Readers! I started a school-wide book club at my school 3 years ago and it is one of my favorite things. Every family gets a copy of a book and a reading guide with discussion questions for each chapter. This year I picked The Mouse and The Motorcycle and we loved it! Our ending celebration is tonight and we are watching Runaway Ralph and discussing the book. I’ve already started thinking about a book for next year. We have already read The World According to Humphrey and Charlotte’s Web Any suggestions?


Favorite 3 – Training With Friends! Our Maryland weather has not been so conducive to a fair weather outside runner, but I have been hitting the treadmill hard. I am remembering what a commitment training for a half-marathon is and it is so much better with a friend or 4. I trained for my first 1/2 with a friend, my 2nd pretty much alone, and now my 3rd with 4 friends. Our texts and knowing that someone else is out there running makes it so much better.


Favorite 4 – Spring Shoes! Seeing spring shoes online means that spring has to be here soon right??? That’s what I am telling myself as I hope for one last snow day next week. 🙂 I found these Sperrys on Zappos and Macys and they are both so cute and comfy.


The navy ones are Zappos and the gray ones are Macy’s. 😍

Favorite 5 – March Madness! We are a March Madness family! We all fill out brackets, watch as much as we can, and are slightly competitive about it.  The boys “play” the games on their basketball hoop and determine who wins their bracket. It is definite basketball madness around here for the next few weeks.


That’s it for this week. I hope everyone had a great week! I am looking forward to our St. Patrick’s Day celebration with friends and a weekend filled with sports. The boys have baseball practices, soccer practice, swim practice, and a soccer game.  I’m looking forward to some sunshine and reading time too!


Currently Reading:

Personal: The Island House by Nancy Thayer

School: Pax by Sara Pennypacker


Hello Monday – 3/12/18

What a wonderful weekend I had! I’m linking up with Johannah, Heather, and Lindsay to say, “Hello Monday!”

ECFBE064-E498-4957-9726-E36E15EF11D8The weekend started with an early dismissal day for kids, but teachers stayed for professional development.  We had a tasty lunch and lots of good conversations.  My mom had the boys for the early dismissal day and agreed to keep them overnight because…


Can you tell I was just a little excited?? I haven’t seen any of my roommates in over a year and I couldn’t wait to see them.  Seven of us still keep in touch, but only three girls could make the trip this weekend.  We missed the others, but catching up with a few friends is better than catching up with zero friends. The girls weren’t arriving until 8 and 11 pm so I had a little time. I decided to take a little nap that turned into an 90 minute total snooze fest.  It was wonderful!! After I woke up, it was time to open my Spring Seasonal Surprise Box from Erin Condren.  It wasn’t my favorite, but more on that in another post.

Fast forward to 8:02 pm, I was glued to the window waiting for the girls to arrive. When they did, there was a bunch of hugs and “it is so good to see you” and the laughs began.  We had delicious mimosas (they’re not just for breakfast anymore) and yummy pizza and started to catch up.  Then we headed to the airport to pick up one more friend at 11 pm.  That night we parked it on this couch and talked and laughed until 2:30 am.


The next morning we slept in a bit and then I got my run in.  My training plan called for a 5K which was perfect.


When you are up until 2:30 am, wake up and run happens around 9:45.

Then we decided to go to a local bagel shop/cafe for breakfast and it was delicious.  They had great bagels, good soda, and yummy coffee too.  After breakfast we broke into the pictures. The girls had never seen my wedding album so that was first.  12 years ago, I hauled them, in a limo, around Westminster taking pictures at the playground, playing basketball, and to a beautiful old house that had been converted into a retirement home.  They finally wanted to see how those pictures turned out.  They were totally worth it, in case you were wondering!


A very fancy basketball game at the playground


My mom brought the boys home around lunch and they got to catch up with their “aunts”.  My boys love these girls and they love my boys right back.  It makes my heart happy!

Luke had his last indoor soccer game so we headed to the game together. Laughs continued and Luke scored 3 goals in the 1st half before playing goalie for the 2nd half.  He was pretty proud of himself!


We headed out to a new-to-me restaurant in town and they had the BEST Maryland crab cakes around! All lump meat, no filler, and delicious!


After dinner it was back to comfy clothes and the couch. I pulled out all of my picture albums from college and we had the best time pouring over them.


These albums had us giggling, reminiscing, gasping, and sighing. So much fun!

Here are some gems of the whole group of us.


After our freshman year


After our freshman year


After our senior year


After our senior year

This morning we Skyped with another college roommate and her adorable baby before the girls had to hit the road. I have to say, my heart is full and my soul is replenished.  Girlfriend time is so good and I wouldn’t trade my friendship with these girls for anything!

Here’s to a great week! We have Spring Soccer meetings, swim team, our school-wide book club night, baseball practice, and hopefully some sunshine!!


Currently Reading:

Personal: The Bookshop on The Corner by Jenny Colgan (almost finished)

School: Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Friday Favorites – 3/9/18

It’s FRIDAY!! We made it everyone!! I am joining Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share my favorite things from this week. Enjoy!


Favorite 1 – Authors at School. We had Chris Barton at my school this week.  It was the first time I’ve had an author at school all day without the guidance from Debbie at my local bookstore or the author’s publicist.  It was an amazing success! He did 3 presentations (4th/5th grades, Pre-K/Kinderegarten/1st grades, and 2nd/3rd grades) and they were each perfect for the audiences.  Chris also ate lunch with some of our students that entered a local author contest. He inspired our students to read, write, and find the answers to their questions!! I love bringing published authors into my school!


Favorite 2 – Advanced Reader Book. I was so excited to open the mail on Tuesday and find an advanced reader copy of the book How Hard Can It Be?. I am so excited to start reading it.  New authors are always a favorite. I haven’t read anything by Allison Pearson and I cannot wait to read this one.  When I find an author I like, I typically read everything they have written.  I am hoping that I love Allison Pearson as much as I think am going to!  I’ll let you know what I think soon!


Favorite 3 – Sunshine. We had some sunshine this week and the boys headed outside to play golf.  They love being outside and I love it too! We put a golf hole in the back yard and Jack has created a full 18 hole course across our and our neighbor’s backyard.


Favorite 4 – Sneak Peeks of My Kiddos. As you may know, I work at my kids’ school.  I feel pretty lucky that I usually get to see them bopping down the hallway a few times a week. This week I happened upon a grade-wide DEAR time for Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration. Look at this sweet reader!


Favorite 5 – Basketball. I do love to watch our kids play basketball. They have so much fun playing and they love that Jeff is their coach.  I love that it is never freezing cold or windy or rainy in a basketball game.  Jack’s season ended a few weeks ago and Luke’s season just ended last night.IMG_5442FE96F74F-25F3-42D7-9127-B202494176A5

That’s it for the week. We have a half-day at school tomorrow and the boys are looking forward to time with my mom and dad. Some of my college roommates are coming into town this week and I cannot wait to spend some time visiting with them!


Currently reading:

Personal: The Bookshop on The Corner by Jenny Colgan

School: Pax by Sara Pennypacker


Confessions – 3/8/18o

I am joining Amanda for her Confessions series.

My confession is that I have absolutely no idea how to use hair tools! My naturally curly hair is so easy to wash, add a little product, and go that I have never taken the time to figure it out.

I do own a hair dryer. I bought it when I’d cut my hair and thought I could blow it out because it was a little shorter. As my kids would say, ” EPIC FAIL”!! It was a laughable disaster!

I own not one, but two flat irons. I bought those because I was sure it would be easy to straighten my hair with those. Again, EPIC FAIL!! I ended up with straight-ish, flat hair. It was not pretty! It was so bad that I washed it again and went back to curly hair!

Curling iron & wand, are you even kidding me? No way. I couldn’t use one of those successfully if my life depended on it.

I’ll be honest, I LOVE when I get my hair cut or styled because Bobbi, my stylist, is amazing! I’m actually convinced she’s part magician. Her blowouts last for days, even when I’m running! I like my hair straight with a ton of volume, and the ends flipped out. I pretend I’m from Texas in the 80’s, the higher the hair, the closer to God.

I also love my curly hair! You never know how it’s going to turn out, so it’s always a fun surprise.

Here are the products I use for my hair.

Shampoo & Conditioner: I am loving Suave Coconut Oil shampoo and conditioner. They keep my hair soft and smell wonderful. They also keep it hydrated after I dye it.

Lotion/BB Cream: I love this Pantene BB cream for hair, but I can seem to find it anymore. I’ve started using this curl defining lotion and it seems to be doing the trick. I put this on my hair and scrunch it around.

Then I leave it for about 5 minutes before running a very wide tooth comb through my hair.

Mousse: I have tried a ton of different mousses and I keep coming back to this one. Tresseme doesn’t make my hair too crunchy, unless it’s the very end of the can, and it gives my hair good curly style. I like curls with some volume on top! I shake the can, squirt some in my hand, turn my head over, and scrunch it into my hair.

And then I am out the door. Sometimes I head out with wet hair, but it dries pretty quickly if I turn the heat up on the car or open the windows.

So there you have it. My confession. I have no idea how to wield a hair tool.


Currently Reading:

Personal: The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

School: Pax by Sara Pennypacker


How Hard Can It Be – 3/7/18

I had another post planned for today, but it hasn’t arrived in the mail. But guess what did…

My first advanced reader copy of a book did arrive in the mail!! I am SO EXCITED!!! When I started writing this blog, I was planning on a big part being book reviews because I love to read. I’m still working on the format and schedule for how I want to share my reviews.

That surprise piece of mail today is a good reminder to figure that out!

I can’t wait to read How Hard Can It Be? this week! Be on the lookout for some upcoming reviews from me!

Even though I am so ready for spring (summer, really☀️📚😎), our skylight looked like this on Tuesday night:

Snowcovered. We are probably going to have a snow day today and now I have even more incentive to finish The Bookshop on the Corner.

So my possible To Do List for Wednesday looks like this:

1 – Finish The Bookshop on the Corner

2 – Run 4 miles for my 1/2 marathon training

3 – Start How Hard Can It Be?

4 – Read chapter 8 of The Mouse and The Motorcycle together for our school-wide book club.

All while having some fun with Jack & Luke!


Nuts, not as much reading time. However, by not using a snow day, our summer break is 1 day longer .☀️☀️

Looks like a great Wednesday to me!! I hope your day is great too!!



Friday Favorites – 3/2/18

I am so thankful that it is Friday! Friday is my favorite work day!!


I am joining Erika, Narci, and Andrea today to share some favorites! Here they are…

Favorite 1 – A Likely Story. This is my local bookstore that celebrated their 12th anniversary last night with author Laura Lippman. Debbie, the owner, is doing such amazing things for the literary community in our area! She brings amazing authors to the bookstore! She teams up with local schools to bring authors into schools FOR FREE! In my three years at my school, Debbie has partnered with me to bring 7 inspiring authors to my students! I have a nook, but I just can’t make the total leap to ebooks.


The wonderful Laura Lippman to discuss her new book Sunburn on A Likely Story’s 12th anniversary

Favorite 2 – Sunshine. The sun started shining on Monday evening and it was glorious!! The sun kept on shining Tuesday and Wednesday and warmed the temperature up to the 60’s.  The sunshine on my cheeks brightened my spirits in a wonderful way! The neighborhood kids were all outside and that warms my heart!  Jack and Luke played tons of basketball and rode bikes for hours.


Jeff was home in time for me to go out for a sunset run! It was fabulous!


Favorite 3 – Girlfriends. A few girlfriends and I booked an Airbnb in Frederick, Maryland Saturday night and we had the best time.  It was super cute and we brought some yummy snacks for Saturday afternoon/evening. Then we headed out to La Paz Mexican restaurant! The tacos and margaritas were divine!  Our waiter recommended The Cellar Door for good dancing later that night.  The Cellar Door did not disappoint.  We shared our fabulous dance moves with Frederick and had a total blast!


The Cellar Door did not disappoint. We managed to get a table giving us plenty of room to dance!


Favorite 4 – Groovy Science Night. Our PTA hosts Groovy Science Night annually and it is one of my favorite events.  The kids have a great time with their friends. There are over a dozen stations with different science concepts, experiments, computer coding, and opportunities to learn about robotics. The grown ups have a great time with their friends too! They stations are all manned with adult and middle/high school volunteers, making it pretty independent for the kiddos.  This year they added a Science Teller, story teller that uses science to tell the story.  He was super entertaining and educational – a big favorite!

Favorite 5 – A Day Off.  I took Thursday off this week for an afternoon appointment.  It was wonderful to get my long run in outside this morning before the rain. I went out to breakfast and ran some errands all by myself.  I love to have the boys with me, but an occasional day to myself is always a favorite!


8 miles later I proved that yes, /black/ flower, I am a force to be recokoned with.

Favorite 6 – Running Mail. I found these on my front porch Saturday afternoon.  This hoodie from Fellow Flowers is so cozy and soft that it is an instant favorite.  March’s Fun Run Box challenge looks like it is going to be a good one too.  I love finding a package on my front porch, even when I know exactly what it is.


Fellow Flowers AND Fun Run Box mail

Favorite 7 – High School Sports. Even though my kiddos are still in elementary school, I love going to high school games, especially basketball games.  Our local high school, Go Lions!, played their first playoff game on Monday. They happened to be playing their local rival so that made it extra exciting! The game was close until the last few minutes and the Lions came away with a win!


Jack and his buddies were totally into the game!


Luke and I had a blast cheering on the Lions!!

Favorite 8 – Nail Polish. Now that I am taking a long break from gel manicures, I am back to painting my nails every few days. I love being able to change the colors frequently, but I do not love the chipping.  This is a new to me color, Meet Me On The Star Ferry by OPI, and I love the shimmer and color. I always use Essie Gel Setter as a top coat to extend the life of regular polish. This is a great color for March when I am ready for spring colors but it isn’t quite time yet.


Favorite 9 – Dino Readers. This is our school-wide book club. We are reading The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary this year. I love the conversations that we have at school and at home. Overhearing students talk about their favorite part or questions they have throughout the day is a definite favorite!!

That’s it for the week. I hope everyone has a great weekend! We have swim practice, a soccer tournament, and a basketball game. I am looking forward to some sunshine this weekend even if its a little chilly.


Currently Reading:

Personal: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng   I am also most finished and loving it!

School: The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, Drama by Raina Telgemeir, and Pax by Sara Pennypacker


What’s Up Wednesday – 2/28/18


It’s the last Wednesday of the month so I am joining Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel for What’s Up Wednesday.  Each week in February has seemed long, but this month flew by!  Here are the questions I’ll be answering.


What we’re eating this week…

Sunday – We went out to a local Japanese steakhouse to celebrate great report cards, Monday – Meatballs, Tuesday – Leftovers from Sunday, Wednesday – Tacos, Thursday – Scrambled Eggs & Omelets, Friday – Popcorn Shrimp, Saturday – Eating Out

What I’m reminiscing about…

I am reminiscing about the winter of 2009-2010 when we had 3 blizzards here in Maryland.  3 blizzards was a bit much, but we haven’t had any decent snowstorms this winter.  I would love one more snow day so that we can go sledding and play in the snow all day.

What I’m loving…

I am loving the quality time I have been able to carve out lately.  I had one on one time with both boys, girlfriends night, my parents over, and a good bit of solo time with Jeff.  It is so good for the soul to spend time with the people that you love.

And, I am loving all of the Olympics coverage!

What we’ve been up to…

I have been increasing my running miles as I get on track with my half-marathon training. The miles seem to go by so much quicker when I am watching the Olympics on the treadmill!  We have been hustling between soccer games, basketball practices, basketball games, swim practices, and baseball practices.  Magically there hasn’t been much over lap, but it has made for a busy family.

We went to our local high school (Go Lions!) playoff basketball game against their big rival.  The Lions played a great game and won!  Jack had a bunch of buddies there and had a blast! Luke had a few buddies there too and enjoyed the game.

Our PTA held the annual Groovy Science Night on Friday.  It is one of my favorite events at school.  There are stations for kids to do science experiements, learn about different science topics, coding, robotics, and a Science Teller (story teller who uses science concepts/demonstrations).  This was the first year for the Science Teller and he was absolutely amazing! Every kid and parent was totally into the presentation and learned a lot as he told a story about two kids that snuck onto a pirate ship.

What I’m dreading…

I am totally dreading more rain. I feel like we haven’t had a week that wasn’t mostly rainy in forever.  We need some sunshine, warm breezes, and lots of backyard/driveway time around here. I always say, “outside Parsons are happy Parsons”.

What I’m working on…

I have been planning our school-wide book club and preparing for another author to visit our school. Our wonderful PTA buys one copy of the book for each family and staff member. Families read one chapter per night together and I create some discussion questions or topics to go along with it. I also make announcements about it in the morning and we discuss it in my media classes. This year we are reading The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. We read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney. After reading it we have an evening celebration at school. It is definitely a school favorite.

What I’m excited about…

I am excited to have some author book talks on my calendar.  My local bookstore, A Likely Story, does the best job of bringing in some of my favorite authors.  Laura Lippman is coming on March 1st and the bookstore is teaming up with the library to bring Ben Hatke, Beth Fantaskey, and Jordan Sonnenblick to our area.  I am excited to bring Chris Barton to my school next week.  I love hearing what authors have to say about their books.  I think I enjoy their books more after meeting them because I have an insight into their personalities.  Look for an authors I’ve met post to be coming next month.

What I’m watching/reading…

I haven’t watched anything but the Olympics recently.  Now that the Olympics are over, I haven’t really turned the TV on. I’m pretty sure I am going through Olympics withdrawal. Only 877 days until Tokyo 2020, in case you weren’t already keeping track.

I haven’t been reading my adult book (Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng) very quickly, but I have been reading a ton of kids books. Right now we are reading The Mouse and The Motorcycle for our school-wide book club and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as a family.  At school, I have been reading a ton of Chris Barton’s books because he is coming to my school next week for an all day author visit.  I have also been reading a bunch of Jan Brett books with my students. I’m currently reading Drama by Raina Telgemeir and Hi-Lo by Judd Winick. Next up for school is Pax by Sara Pennypacker.

What I’m listening to…

I have been loving XM 24 Radio Margaritaville. The beachy music make me smile on these chilly, rainy days.

What I’m wearing…

I have been wearing a lot of red, white, and blue for my Olympic and USA spirit.  I love this sweater and check out that awesome eagle logo!!

I just got these comfy Under Armour pants with an adorable light blue hooded top. I love that they come to just above my ankle. Perfect for sneakers and flip flops.


I picked up these jeans after Sheaffer recommended them. They are my first pair of distressed, frayed hem jeans and they could not have been comfier!


What I’m doing this weekend…

This weekend Jack has an outdoor soccer tournament (brrr) and Luke has a basketball game.  So my plan is to stay warm and dry between games while I cheer on my athletes.  I need to find a way to squeeze in 8 miles between all those games.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Next month is Jack’s birthday! We are planning his birthday celebration and getting ready to have a 9 year old!  I’m not sure how the past 9 years flew by so fast, but they did.


Sweet baby Jack! Only 2 days old here.


This was the boys’ first Orioles game. It was so much fun, but hot hot hot!!

I am also looking forward to some Orioles Magic! Opening day is March 29th at Camden Yards and I can’t wait!!

What else is new…

We are starting to eat more gluten/wheat free because we are pretty sure Jeff is allergic. Does anyone have any tried and true gluten free recipes that their family loves?? Please share in the comments.

Bonus Question: Favorite Spring Break destination

It’s time for a little truth telling – I have only been on one Spring Break trip. I went to Fort Lauderdale in college. It was heavenly! Sunshine and beach time in March = pure joy for Sarah!! Growing up our schools didn’t have a true Spring Break. We only got Good Friday and Easter Monday off.  And that is what the kids and I still have off.  So, we don’t really do Spring Break vacations.  I would love to go to Jacksonville to see my sister and enjoy her warm Florida weather.  Four days, including Easter, just isn’t enough time to make it work.  That being said, I do love having the time at home without any commitments outside of our family stuff.  Practices are usually cancelled and we can just hang out at home.

Have a great day!!!