Prime Day Picks

Today is the day.... Amazon Prime Day! I love a good deal and between the Nordstrom sale and the Amazon deals popping up, my wallet is taking a hurtin'. Here is a list of my top pics... some items are things that we have already and some are on my wish list. Happy shopping!

Books

Amazon

I have heard so many good things about this book so I was excited to scoop this up today. Certain books are an extra 50% off at checkout so it brought the price down to $5! Go get this now before it sells out!

Amazon

This was a favorite book of mine from last year. If you haven't read it yet, then do it now! It's also on super sale!

Amazon

Such a cute book! I love this story and have several copies in my classroom. Scoop this up to read to your kiddos or teacher friends, get it for your class!

Amazon

This is on my "to-read" list so I am contemplating getting it today too. It's a lightning deal so only available for a short period of time. I've heard it's great though!

Kitchen

amazon

We bought an espresso machine several years ago but haven't used it much because of the mediocre quality in general and the milk frother isn't great either.  I really just love a good frothy coffee without the espresso so want to pick up this little guy, plus it's so inexpensive! 

Amazon

I am still on the fence about the Instant Pot but everyone raves about them! This one is on sale so I might pull the trigger and just get one. Do you have one? How do you like it??

Amazon
This is another item that I have been eyeing for awhile. It cooks your meat perfectly while keeping it tender and delicious! I might just have to add this to my cart. 

Amazon
These battery-operated salt and pepper grinders are awesome! They are super inexpensive too!

Random

Amazon
We are debating between a ring doorbell or investing in a keyless entry with a camera included. Any advice between the two? My parents have a ring doorbell and really like it. I would just like one with the keyless entry included as well.

Amazon
Here is the other option.

Hope you find some goodies! 

My Educational "To-Read" List

I have been on quite the reading kick this summer and it's been wonderful! Reading is one of my favorite things to do and summer time means I actually have time to make some progress on my list. I have tons of books I want to read and quite a few professional books too. I asked on Instagram and most of you want to hear about those too so here we go.

1. The Wild Card

Amazon

The book I am the most excited about is the Wild Card by Hope & Wade King. I follow them both on Instagram and LOVE everything they do. The book is all about student engagement which is something I know I could be better at and these two are the experts. Can't wait to start this one!

2. The Google Infused Classroom

Amazon

I started this book a few months ago but just couldn't devote the time to reading it. Professional books  just aren't as exciting as my fictional choices to they take more concentration. :) I actually attended a session by Holly Clark (the author) while I was at FETC. She is a great speaker and really is an OG when it comes to using technology in the classroom. I am hoping to pull out some great ideas for next year.

3. Shake Up Learning

Amazon

This is another book I tried to start a a few months ago but didn't have time to finish it. I listen to Kasey Bell's podcast and love her ideas about infusing technology into the classroom and how to change our teaching into something truly dynamic and engaging for the students. When you purchase her book you also gain access to her digital resources. This is what I am most excited to look at because they contain templates and tons of other ideas to implement in the classroom. 

4. Reading Strategies Book

Amazon

I have had my eye on this one for awhile. I've heard so many good things and I know this can help beef up my reading instruction. There is a writing strategies book that has also been sitting in my Amazon cart forever. I just need to click "buy" but it's hard to justify when I have so many books right now lol! Has anyone else read it?? What do you think of it? 

5. A Boy Called Bat

Amazon
So this isn't really a professional book but it's for my class so I am adding it here haha! I have been looking into the Global Read Aloud and I'm excited to join in this year. The book for my grade level is  called A Boy Called Bat. I want to read it this summer so I have a good idea of how to use the book in my classroom and it's always good to make sure there are no surprises that I need to know about! 

Six Year Anniversary


Friday was our six year anniversary. I seriously can't believe it because time has flown by. I know people always say that but that's really how it felt this year. In the last year, things have dramatically changed for the Bradford fam. We have experienced a cross-country move, purchased our first home, and both of us started new jobs. It has been a very interesting year for sure but we survived! :)

I am so thankful for this man and the journey we are on together. He is so loving and affectionate but at the same time such a good protector and provider. He makes me belly laugh and we have an absolute blast together. Plus have you seen his wood working skills?? There is no one I would rather spend time with and I seriously won the marriage jackpot.

We had dinner together on Friday night at one of our favorite sushi places and then had a drink at the Cavalier. The views were pretty amazing! We had to call is an early night because I had to be up at 1:00 am to drive up to Bethesda, MD. So tired! Last year we were moving on our anniversary, fun times lol. One year we won't have five million things going on during our anniversary and we can take a trip. :) It was still a great night! I love you Mark!!

First Week of Summer Recap 2018

Hey everyone! Happy Monday :) This past week has been such a whirlwind with being out of town for a wedding, doctor's appointments, the digital summit, and then to see friends in DC. Holy moly!

First up was Emily and Jordan's wedding. It was at a beautiful manor in North Carolina and we had a blast!



The next day we headed home for a quick nap before having to continue the drive up to D.C. Ugh that traffic is never fun! We went to my doctor's appointment the next day and then stayed with Carly and Joey for the night. We had a great time checking out a German beer garden, meeting Doc and Beth, and then having dinner together.

Later on in the week I had the Digital Summit for my school district. It was nice to get some ideas for next year but it was so hard to focus when I feel like we JUST finally started summer. Hopefully after things calm down next month I'll be able to dive in a little deeper.

On Friday we went over to the Labonte's house and had a great time eating pizza and just talking. It's always so relaxing over there and I always feel like I can be myself :) We never get any pictures though!

Saturday morning we headed out again for D.C. but this time we brought the pups to meet Carly and Joey's girls. The dogs were so funny together and they got along pretty well. It was basically madness with 4 little dogs but I think we did okay :) Carly is the best dog mom and they had lots of yummy treats! That night we went to Bar Charley (sooooo good!!) and to a couple bars. What a blast!

Mark and Joey had their own special date night lol
On Sunday we headed home pretty early. Then we had a date night at Il Giardino and went to see Ocean's 8. I loved the other Oceans movies so I was excited to see this one too. It was pretty good but I kept waiting for the conflict in the story. There just didn't seem to be one because everything worked out for them.... oh well!

all tuckered out from playing with their girlfriends and the drive

It was a great first week of summer and today we are hitting the ground running with last minute things before Mark leaves. Never a dull moment! :)

Weekend Recap: Monterey Wedding

I’m really behind on my updates but a couple weeks ago we returned from a quick trip to Monterey, CA to see some of our closest friends get hitched. The trip was a whirlwind but so much fun!

I flew out on Thursday night and met Mark in San Jose. We made the drive to Monterey and then immediately passed out. Traveling really took it out of us!


The next morning we got an early start and headed to Fisherman's Wharf for breakfast. We didn't want to waste a minute of our trip! Breakfast was delicious and the views were gorgeous. Afterwards, we met up with Carly and Joey in Pebble Beach to have lunch at Stillwater. Carly raved about this place and it did not disappoint. It was so yummy and holy moly those views!



Later on, we headed back to get ready for the wedding and then met up with some friends to make our way there. The ceremony and reception were so beautiful and the bride and groom looked so happy! Plus their pup Atlas was up there with them looking like a stud! We danced the night away (as much as I could on crutches) and ate delicious food! Such a good wedding!




The next morning we met up with a bunch of people to explore the downtown area. We stopped at several restaurants/ bars and had the best time. It was so fun catching up with my sorority sisters and it was the perfect end to the weekend. We headed back to the hotel around 8 because we had to be up at 3:30 am to drive back to San Jose and catch our flight. It was a pretty rough day of travel because the airports were nuts but we made it home safe and sound. I'm still wishing the weekend wasn't over because we had such a great time. Thanks for hosting such an amazing wedding weekend TJ and Ashley!


My Summer Reading List 2018

It's almost that time of year... the time of year where I actually have down time and can really dive into some books. I do try to consistently read all year long because it's just good for my sanity but there is something about summer that just makes me want to pull out all this beach reads and dive into something lighter. I have quite a few books on my reading list this summer but I will try and narrow them down to a better list for you all.

Currently Reading:

Get it here

I just started the 4th book in the Red Rising series, Iron Gold. I have been waiting for awhile to get this one from the library so I'm excited that it's finally in my hands. The first 50 pages or so have been hard to get into but I am hoping it gets better. Mark says that it starts to pick up :) If you haven't started the series yet, do it now! So good!

The High Tide Club

Get it here

I love Mary Kay Andrews books because they are usually really light, have lots of drama, and are based in the south. Great combo right?? If you are looking for complexity and depth, this isn't the read for you lol but if you want a light read, grab this one! I am excited to dive in.

The Husband Hour

Get it here

This has been on a ton of other must read lists for the summer so I had to add it to mine too. I usually don't read very many books about people who have been widowed by a husband in the military because it just hits too close to home. This sounds pretty light, despite the death, so I'll add it to my list.
Update: Downloaded this audiobook for my LOOOONG car ride this week and it's really good! Not a thriller but keeps you wondering what happened. Also, it's based more on the husband's hockey career than military. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Get it here

My friend Kayla recommended this and said she LOVED it. I am so excited about this one! I've liked pretty much everything I've read by Taylor Jenkins Reid so I hope this one is the same. Buzzfeed says "...it's one of the most captivating reads of 2017," so that has me sold. 

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Get it here

This book is more on the suspenseful side but I can't read light books all summer right?? I have really liked Ruth Ware's other books so I'm excited to see if this one lives up to the hype. The description on Amazon doesn't provide much info which is a good thing. I hate when they give too much away!

The Perfect Couple

Get it here

It wouldn't be a summer reading list without an Elin Hilderbrand book. As most of you know by now, I have a big obsession with Nantucket. It's on the top of my bucket list and I can't wait to visit one day. This book isn't out yet but I preordered a copy for the end of June. 

Legendary

Get it here

I read the first book in this series, Caraval, last year and LOVED it. The book is technically categorized as YA, which isn't normally my jam, but I was sucked into the storyline from the very beginning. It's also in the fantasy genre which isn't usually up my alley either but the writer does a great job of keeping you wanting more. Check out the first book if you haven't read it yet. 

I also have quite a few teacher reads on my list. Any teachers out there interested to hear what I am reading??

Culinary Curiosities: Civil Libation


I haven't done a culinary curiosity post in forever so I'm excited to bring this back. We just recently went to a new restaurant in our area called Civil Libation. We were super excited about something new opening up and this place has a really cute vibe. We ventured in for some appetizers and to check out their craft cocktail list. I'm more of a beer and wine girl myself but it's always fun to try something new.


I had the Friends with Benefits and it was super yummy! I would highly recommend it! We also tried the Civil Zozzler but I wasn't a fan. It needed ice because it was room temperature. :(


We also tried a few appetizers that piqued our interest including Tapenade, Faming Hot Mac and Cheetos, Hawaiian Tuna Tower, and Steak Rolls. My favorite was the Tuna Tower. The tuna tasted really fresh and I loved the wonton chips. The Tapenade was pretty good too but Mark wasn't a fan. His fave was the Flaming Hot Mac & Cheeto. It's basically Mac and cheese with Cheetos on top lol but it was interesting.





I think they have a few kinks to work out but overall we were happy with the experience. I'm excited to go back and try some new dishes. If you are in the area, give it a chance and stop by!

Weekend Recap: Grad Time


Hey everyone! This is coming a little late but I wanted to share about our weekend. We had a super short trip to Richmond for my cousin Sawyer's college graduation. Sawyer is about 9 years younger than me and we grew up across the country from each other. We probably saw each other once every other year or every few years so we didn't spend a ton of time together. I feel like I am just getting to know him as an adult now and it's so fun to see a different side of him. We had a blast celebrating his success and hanging out with the fam.

Our first year living in VA has been tough (for a few reasons) but the main one is that we are so far from our family. A huge blessing is that we have extended family that live pretty close and I am so thankful that we can take advantage of the short distance to see them.

How fun is this??? 

Richmond is such a cute city and I want to go back and explore more. My friend Carly sent me a list of places to go visit so maybe a summer trip is in store to see more of our new state!



SO proud of you Sawyer and so excited for your big boy job starting soon!

FriYAY: Currently


Hey everyone! Happy Friday! I am exhausted so this will be quick one but I wanted to check in with a few things I am reading, listening to, etc. Here we go!

Listening:

The Dais podcast by Rachel Hollis. I just LOVE her and this podcast is awesome. So inspiring and such great nuggest for your everyday life. If you're a mom, I think you will love her even more. 

Following: 

Be Well By Kelly on Instagram. I listened to her as a guest on Rachel Hollis' podcast and fell in love. I love her approach to food and her wealth of knowledge is pretty incredible. I just ordered her book Body Love and I can't wait to learn more.

Reading: 

Still Me by Jojo Moyes. This is the third book in the series and I'm only about 50 pages in. I'm excited to get into the meat of the plot and see if this is as good as the other two. 

Watching:

The Handmaid's Tale- Mark hasn't seen the first season so I am rewatching that with him but I can't wait to check out the new season that just released. 

Looking forward:

Seeing some of my family next weekend for my cousin's graduation!

Missing:

Bug free nights! I get eaten alive by mosquitos! Any good mosquito spray and/or band recommendations? I've tried oils and they don't work for me :( I'm not exaggerating... I get destroyed by these bugs. 

Have a great weekend!!

Spring Stock Up

First of all, I want to thank you all so much for the sweet words of encouragement, prayers, and just reaching out to me after my last infertility post. Like I've said before, I am pretty open about all of this but putting so much of myself out there (especially on the internet) is scary. You guys sure know how to make a girl feel loved!

Spring is finally here and I LOVE it! I am trying to soak up every moment before it gets hot, humid, and the bugs are out in full force. I have purchased some new spring items lately since things aren't quite fitting like they did last season. Gotta love winter weight and then being injured and not able to work out :(

Fit & Flare Dress

Old Navy

I love Old Navy's dresses. They are comfy and easy to throw on for work with a jean jacket on top. Can't wait to wear this one!

Striped Dress

Old Navy

Another adorable dress with the cutest nautical stripes. I love it!

Vacation Vibes

Old Navy

I love a good cold shoulder top. The fun colors in this one have me feeling vacation vibes. Can't wait to wear this!

Yellow Crops

These aren't the exact pair I got but they are close.

I found these yellow cropped jeans at the Loft and had to have them. They change up the normal jean look and are so fun for spring. Plus they are super comfy! These aren't the exact pair that I found but they are close. Mine are true jean material, not chinos. Here is a similar pair in plus size. 


Shoulder Cut Out Tank

the Loft

I am always on the hunt for cute tanks to throw on with jeans or shorts in the summer. I think the small cut out detail on this tank is a little something different to make it a step up from a basic. Plus I just love stripes lol.