Saturday, January 7, 2012

52 Week Home Organizing Challenge: Project 1!

I decided to start out simple... I knew that we really wanted to have a better place to put mail, other than our table in the entryway. It looked tacky, always got too cluttered, and we continually lost mail that way. SO, I decided to look around Pinterest a little bit to find something that would work well on our little wall. Here's what I came up with! :)


And after!:

I put up two cheapo baskets (that I got on clearance from BB&B), added some labels and design, and then put up some fun decorations around it. Here's a close-up of the baskets (one labeled "junk mail" and one labeled "bills/immediate"):

I saw this really cute little framed "I love you because..." on Pinterest, so I added one of those in also. :) Use dry-erase markers... they really do rub off completely!

Fun fun!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bits o Pieces


I had to get that out there. That's sad.

Making this blog, I told myself it would be a great way for me to be writing on a normal basis, while getting to share the activities and projects in the Zuroeveste home.


After this many *failed* attempts... I'm determined. I've become recently inspired by Pinterest. If you're into crafts, hobbies, and the like... this is your new home. I'm addicted! It's terrible, too, because I find myself pinning a whole bunch of really cool projects and ideas, when I know they will probably just sit on my board idle.


I'm utterly panicked at the thought that I will continue in this "ho-hum" approach to crafts. This "wanna-be" list of things. I'm going to do them! My husband always is supporting me, and I have a wonderful house now (that we're renting, don't get too excited ;). I mean, there's zero excuse to be lazy. (Other than the full-time job, desired social life, and the occasional do-nothing days.) I need to live life! Right, Rodney? Just like you keep telling me?


I'm going to start updating this again. Hopefully with pictures of some projects I'm going to start. I've dedicated this year's resolutions to two things:

1. Keep better in touch with family and friends. (Yes, Traci, Holly, Kathryn, Katie, Eric, Justin, etc. etc... it will happen.) I will respond to phone calls. I will text back. I will be a good person. ;)
2. A 52-week home organizing challenge.

This #2 option is a bit scarier. Especially since I've not been much for knowing how to take advantage of bargains and good deals (like my good friend Kathryn... geez, how do you buy 50 different items from the grocery store for 50 cents? Ridiculous. Teach me.) We don't have the money to spend on cool organizing tools, like shelving units and floating orbs that carry your mail to you, sort it, shred the necessary items, and kiss you goodbye.


I will do it. I need to carry out my ideas - DO the things I keep thinking are "so adorable!" And, I'm not a "home organizing" type of person typically. I have the cleaning skills of a 2 year old. No, some two year olds can actually put things away. A 6 month old. This is why I'm going to document my changes! They won't be great, I promise you. But this way, I'm holding myself accountable. It's going to happen!

Do you believe me? I understand...

Rejuvinated! Super excited! Thank you Pinterest!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update for our fourth week back :]

Hello everyone!

We, of course, are madly missing people from Boise already. It was sooooo nice to get back and see family and friends again. (The added bonus of me being able to teach my own English class again was a wonderful gift as well!)

We've got some updates: some on trips, some on job-related info, and some on future plans!

Since we've been back, I've been working-- a LOT. I work about 35-40 hours a week, which is exactly what I hoped for. I knew we majorly needed the money, and I've been having a great time getting to know my coworkers even more. It's been a big blessing, considering the fact that I was worried so much about not being worked very often when I got back. Because of the work schedule, it's hard to find times to do anything outside of Amherst, but we've been able to squeeze in a couple trips.
Our first trip was to Andover/Boston last week. We left this past Wednesday afternoon and stayed until Friday. It was great! When we got in town, we delivered Hillary's beautiful hope chest that grandpa made (it was amazing!), and then went to Richardson's for some mini golf and ice cream. When we got there, it was pretty packed in mini-golf, so we took a walk around the dairy farm instead, and had some fun seeing the cuuute animals (pictures soon to come). The next morning, we went into Boston by train for New England Aquarium and seafood chowder (Rodney's craving) at the No Name Restaurant. The New England Aquarium was beautiful, as was expected, and it was a really nice day to be in Boston. It wasn't too busy, and the weather was great. We walked everywhere once we were off the train, so we got some nice exercise with it. :) It was really nice finally getting a chance to spend some more time in Boston. Our next Boston adventure: Freedom Trail! Soon to come, hopefully.
Our second trip was with our current roomie, Mat Schumer (the other saxophone grad assistant). Mat's letting us stay in his house until our lease becomes available for our new apartment September 1st. We took a trip down to Brockton (about 20 minutes south of Boston) on Sunday to see his upcoming roommate (and fellow clarinet player!), Mike. We had a great time there-- went bowling at a great bowling alley (my first time scoring over 100!), had some sushi (which wasn't as bad as I remembered it), played Monopoly, went swimming in his pool, hottubbing, etc. etc. It was great, and another great opportunity to get out of Amherst for a breather.
Now: jobs.
As you all know, I've been searching for a good fit for me this year in the job world. Ideally, I would have an English teaching job, but those are so few and far between (and far-stretched, with a large amount of the current applicants being high-quality teachers waiting to receive jobs back after being let go due to budget cuts). I just interviewed today for a part-time teaching position for 8th grade (and what a great job it would be!), but I know my chances are slim to none. I spoke with the man interviewing after me-- very smart, just got his Master's, has a few years of teaching experience, etc etc. The lady after him was well-known in the office, so probably was a district transfer. You know, heavy competition. So, my new theory is this: I will try my absolute hardest to get a job, and will do everything I can do. That way, if I don't get a job, I won't have any regrets, or feelings of "well, dang, I probably could've applied to more teaching jobs..." False. I've applied to everything that has appeared. Then, I can say that I really did do EVERYTHING that I could to get a job.
So, currently, I will probably be doing substituting again to start the year. Maybe something will come up, like last year, but it's not looking promising at the moment. I would really love to be doing something else; substituting is something I've come to realize is just not my thing. I enjoy the kids, a LOT, but I desperately miss having my own classroom, teaching my own kids, coming up with my own plans. Setting up my own policies, activities, projects... argh. My head aches when I think about it too hard.
I will also be posting another job opportunity that has been presented to me later, once I get more details. Right now, it's a bit under construction, so I will post about it later. :)
We are VERY excited, because we are going to be going on the 29th and 30th to New York City with Mat to see some great concerts (paid for by his wonderful parents!) and to see the city. Once it gets closer, I'll know the names of the artists we're seeing, so I'll update you later on that as well.
That just about wraps up the latest news-- hope everything is going well for everyone! Miss you all.

Ang and Rodney

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back in Amherst!

Well, we are back in Amherst, MA. :)

We got back in town two Saturdays ago, and have been settling into a routine. Because we can't move into our new apartment until September 1st, we're staying with a friend (and Rodney's fellow grad assistant) Mat Schumer, and his roommate. It's been really fun, definitely a funny experience as I feel totally outnumbered-- the one girl in a house of four people! It's been really great, though, because we get along really well with Mat, he's a great friend, and we've been keeping busy.

Since I got back, I've been working at my part-time job at American Eagle every day. I'm at 40 hours a week, and I've really been liking the job. There's been a ton of drama at the store since I've been gone, though, a lot of drama in the management, but otherwise everything is going really well.

Rodney and I have been doing some fun things since we've been back in town, but nothing really special yet-- we've both been going to the gym together, going on walks in some AMAZING areas (it's soooo beautiful where we've been walking, just totally out in the woods along walking trails, no man-made anything, just gorgeous scenery), went to see a movie, coffee, etc. etc. We're trying to do something new every day, and looking into some fun things coming up. Fall is also coming... soooo excited! :)

Not much to update past that, I'll be better about posting. (I know, I know, you've heard that before, but I really will this time.) :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rodney's performance

Hey everyone!

Rodney recently played a piece for a saxophone masterclass called "Caprice en Forme de Valse" by Paul Bonneau. He sounds great on it! You would just click this link and then type password "rodney1".



Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 24th-- an update!

Wow, I can't believe it's already been 2 months since we visited Boise! It seems like it was just yesterday!

Rodney and I have been keeping busy lately, which has been great. For a while, I was feeling very... stale-- I'm used to a VERY busy life, and so when I was realizing how much free time I was having (with not much to fill it in), it was getting pretty boring. Substituting was nice, but it only went until 2:20, and then I had the entire rest of the day to do... well, nothing! (haha!) Rodney's gone all the time at school doing classwork, ensembles, practicing, or work for his assistantship so I don't get to see him much. :( We've luckily come up with a bit of a better schedule so that we can see each other more, but it was pretty hard for a while. Now that more things have been happening lately, I can update you all. :)

First of all, I have some updates on my job(s)! When I was substituting one day at the middle school, human resources called me down to talk to me about a position that opened that they would like me to take-- a paraprofessional at an elementary school (Wildwood Elementary). They told me all of the benefits and asked me to think about it, and I really did have to. The $$ was slightly less per day (I was making $85/day substituting and this job is $80/day), but it comes with benefits and a steady schedule. Plus, some of my substituting jobs would be subbing for assistant teachers, where I would only make $60/day, so I did an approximate schedule for the rest of the year, factoring in only substituting and then only the paraprofessional job to see which one would end up being better for Rodney and me financially. What I found out is that they made almost the EXACT same amount at the end of the school year, so I decided to take it! A paraprofessional is basically there as an instructional assistant for the students and the teacher, and usually is "geared" toward one or two kids specifically in a class, depending on the behavioral needs. I'm focusing primarily on one student who is a smart kid, but has focusing and behavior problems in class. I'm also in an advanced class, all-around, so I'm able to provide more support/enrichment to students in the class. It's a fun job-- the kids (3rd graders) are absolutely ADORABLE, and I'm really having a nice time working in a job that is consistent and -- well, in one place (where I was moving around a LOT with substituting).

I ALSO got a second job to keep me busy after school- at American Eagle Outfitters. My "first day" was Tuesday, but it really was more of a 3 hour orientation with paperwork, some training, and showing me around. It seems like it will be a REALLY fun job, with some great people to work with, and GREAT discounts on clothes :) (Although I won't be able to buy anything... for a while at least). :) This job will allow me to have something to do after school, and give us some much-needed help with our financial... struggles.

We've also had a lot more opportunities to get together with friends out here lately. Last week, we did something almost every night with different people, and had a great weekend of game nights, Saratoga Springs NY with a friend, and recitals. I also went to stay with Aunt Robin, Hillary, and Andrew in their condo up at Sugarloaf, Maine and did some skiing last week, which was REALLY great. As many of you know, I've really really missed having people to hang out with (which was brought to my attention MORE when we went back to Boise for Christmas), so this has been much better lately.

Rodney has been doing REALLY well at school. The other saxophone players seem to really like him, and he's doing well with his academics too. He had a performance today for the masterclass (the saxophone studio was the audience), and it went really well. Mr. Klock has been challenging him with lots of difficult pieces and keeping him really busy with quartet things, performances, and other various jobs. He's gone most of the day (usually wakes up at around 6am, gets to school by 7:30, and is there until about 7 or 8, depending on the day). The work seems to be really paying off, he's just doing so well. I couldn't be more proud of him!

Well, there's an update-- finally! I hope everything is going well for everyone in Boise. Love you guys, and miss you!

-Ang and Rodney

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finally an update!

Wow, it has been a long time! I need to be more consistent.

Since November, quite a bit has happened! Thanksgiving we spent in Boston with my aunt, cousins, and grandparents. It was really fun, and really nice being around family for Thanksgiving (since we weren't originally sure what we were going to do). We also sold our car! My goodness so much drama there-- the transmission went out about 3 months ago (because someone filled our transmission with ENGINE OIL instead of transmission fluid!-- probably at a oil change place), we also had to get the radiator fixed, and then a month later the ENGINE went out. Basically, it was having lots of problems that was costing Rodney and me more and more money. It's a great car, that just had an incredibly unlucky spell that we just decided to sell to trade it in for a newer car with less miles. We love our new car-- it's a 2002 Honda Civic EX, blue. Pictures attached. :) My uncle actually let us borrow his company car, which was really very nice considering how long we had to use it in transition of getting a new one, and it was a SMART car! :) So much fun to drive.

Here's the car we drove while looking for a car:

And here's our new car!!! :)

For Christmas, we went home for the holidays! :) It was truly amazing. Seeing family and friends again, and just being back in Boise was incredible. We love it here in Massachusetts, with how new everything is and exciting new places to see, but we realized when we went to Boise just how much we really miss it. We kind of made a decision that Boise is really where we want to end up. We love the adventure of going places for school and such, but not to live. After Rodney graduates with his master's, we'll be definitely moving back to Idaho (unless Rodney gets an incredible offer somewhere else). I'll get a job when we move back, and Rodney will work on developing a saxophone studio again, substituting in the area for a couple of years, and then going and getting his doctorate. He eventually wants to end up developing an enormous studio in a "saxophone-under-developed" town (like Boise), ranging from college-age to beginners where he can work with all ages, host studio classes, and create studio recitals. He's thinking about also doing a saxophone methods book, one which works for the beginner saxophone player that gets them to learn all of the really essential things he feels are missing from the current method books. Exciting stuff!

Since we've been back, a couple things are new. I was lucky enough to get a lot of new things for Christmas that give me things to do in my spare time, such as scrapbooking supplies and knitting supplies. I've already started knitting a scarf! I also decided to take a second job, so I've applied at various places. I already have an interview set up on the 28th of this month for American Eagle. This will give me more to do during the week and weekends, and Rodney and I could definitely use the money. Subbing has been nice, but it doesn't give me the same motivation and it doesn't keep me busy like having another job would.

Well, there's an update for now. More pictures to come!