Monday, July 21, 2014

Taking the Resort Approach

Last week my husband and I were blessed to be able to escape to Cabo for a week. We had an AMAZING vacation! While we were there we "unplugged" from our daily lives; however, we plugged in to our environment. We certainly enjoyed some rest and relaxation, but we also engaged in lots of conversations with those around us and participated in various fun activities led by the resort staff. It wasn't until we were on the flight home that I was struck by an Aha! moment: There were people from all over the world staying at our resort, but we were all united as one resort family. When we walked by others, eye contact was made, greetings exchanged, and conversations took place amongst perfect strangers. 

Other than the beautiful scenery, what brought us together? It started with the resort's activities staff. They quickly learned the names of and a little about the guests who were staying at the resort. Then, when it was time for an activity, they first created a comfortable environment where guests felt safe trying something new like water polo or karaoke. The activity staff were essentially the leaders of the resort. In the world of education we can certainly learn from and implement this style of leadership, starting with getting to know those we serve (teachers, students, parents, etc.) and creating a safe environment for teachers to take risks in their classrooms. In everyday life we can apply the "resort mentality" by "plugging in" to our surroundings and not our devices; taking the time to make eye contact and taking risks to have conversations with those we don't know. This week as I returned back to work and attended a technology conference held over an hour away from my home, I tried out this resort mentality and initiated conversations with other educators (complete strangers -  gasp!). It was well worth the risk as I met some amazing people! Take the resort approach in your life and reach out to others virtually and face to face. You'll be glad you did! 

I started this Adventures and Gadgets blog back in 2008 and only updated it periodically through the summer of 2010. However, I am currently reading Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times by Eric Sheninger and I am inspired to try my hand at blogging again. So while all posts prior to this one are old and random, I hope to post on a more consistent basis from this point forward. It's time to get back in the blogging saddle! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertiiiimmmeeee!

Summertime for some means HOTter days and LLLOOONNNGGGer nights, but for me it means sleeping later and spending more time with my daughter! One might also assume that since I'm off work for the summer, I could post more on my blog. Ahhuumm, well I've been busy: sleeping, driving my daughter to her morning trainings {EVERY} week day, watching TV with my daughter, enjoying my couch, catching up on movies, going to my daughter's soccer practices and games, sleeping, playing soccer, trying to get a work-out in here and there, sleeping, hanging out my hubby, and catching up with friends. Whew! I think I need to rest just thinking about all of the sleeping, um work! ;-) Oh, and I'm addicted to playing "Words with Friends" on my new iPhone4!

Anywhoo, just thought I'd drop in and check on all of the blogs I stalk (though, I've been lacking in the stalking area also!).

Check out this mini video about my *exciting* summer. Summertime Fun
PS - the last pic is a screen shot of my "Words with Friends" game. You can't see it, but I scored 135 points for ONE move! AWESOMEness!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Long time, no talk!

It seems as though I've fallen off the blogosphere, again. However, this time the culprit: a virus-infected laptop. But thanks to the generous husband of a dear friend, my computer is back up and running better than new! Can't beat that! So, hopefully I'll get back on the blogging saddle and you'll hear a lot more from me in the near future.

In the meantime, here's a mini video of some recent fun times with the family. I created the video using one of my favorite programs, Animoto. (You too can create 30 second videos for FREE! and it's as easy as pie to use!!!)

Oh, and last week while at a technology workshop for school, I learned that you can post on your blog from your cell phone, like this post here. (There are two easy ways to do this; via an email or a text both made directly from your cell phone.) Wish I had learned that sooner!
Create your own video slideshow at

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My hubby (on the right) and his friend are true WARRIORS! This is after they completed the Warrior Dash, a 5k obstacle course and mud run. Way to go boys!

Sent from April's iPhone

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Creature of Habit Explores New Shell!

Are you a creature of habit? I certainly am, especially when it comes to cooking dinner. {Of course, I'm more in the habit of picking up dinner!} When I do cook dinner, I typically cook the same meals or at least use similar ingredients in most of my recipes. Rotel and Cream of Chicken soup are staples in my pantry! =)

Well tonight, I crawled out of my shell and tried something new. As my husband and daughter were headed out the door for soccer practice {Yes, my husband's awesome like that! He'll take Kailey to practice so that I can get things done at home.}, my daughter says "Mom, can you make spaghetti for dinner?" Now, spaghetti is one of my daughter's FAVORITE foods; however, it is NOT anywhere near my list of favorites. But remember, this is a time when I was feeling bold and was willing to experiment.

So, I called my parents and invited them over for dinner to test out my experiment. I just wouldn't be satisfied with feedback from my husband and daugher alone, I would need someone a little more critical. That taste-tester would be my father. He LoVes to cook, so I knew he'd give me his real opinion.

Here's the menu:
Stuffed Manicotti: I sauteed garlic, mushrooms, and onions. Then added boneless, skinless chicken tenders and seasoned it all with some crushed red peppers. {I LoVe anything and everything spicy!} While the chicken was cooking, I cooked the manicotti noodles. After draining the noodles, I stuffed each manicotti noodle with a spoonful of cottage cheese and a cooked chicken tender. Using just a bit of some spaghetti sauce I lined my casserole dish to prevent the noodles from sticking. Then placed the stuffed manicotti in, covered them with the remaining sauce and the remaining mushrooms and onion. I topped it off with some feta cheese crumbs.

Salad: Mixed spinach and greens, tomatoes, bell peppers (red, yellow, & orange), jalepenos, onions, feta cheese, and a Greek dressing

Bread: crescent rolls

It turned out deeeee-lish!!! We all LoVed it, including my biggest food critic. Guess I can add it into my mix of usual meals that I always fall back on when cooking dinner! As for my daughter's request, it's not spaghetti but it was pasta with an Italian theme. AND she inhaled it all the same!

Have you crawled out of your shell lately? You should, there's sunshine out there!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Suggestions NEEDED!

I've mentioned before that one of my responsibilities at school is to do the morning announcements on the school PA system. Yep, that's right! I start off everyone's school day  with a quick musical intro and then a daily dose of what's goin' on in and around our school. (I really don't mind it. It's kind of fun!)

So last school year we started a tradition of hosting a spring Father-Daughter dance. Every successful dance has a rockin' DJ, right? Well, guess who my principal recommended to the PTO moms as the DJ? Oh yeah, your's truly! {Do you think listing "school DJ" on a resume would help me land a job later on in life? Hahaha!}

Well I survived our first dance last school year -- it went very well I might add. Lots of F-U-N!!! It's now time for that darling dance again and here's where you come in to play. I would LoVe to hear suggestions from you about songs that are a MUST to play at the dance. I've been going through my VERY large list of iTunes music trying to build a playlist with a variety of fun songs and sweet songs, but want to make sure I'm not missing anything. Plus, I just thought it would be fun to see what you come up with!

What songs do YOU think I should play?
This is my hubby and sweet girl at last year's dance. Unfortunately, they won't be there this year because my baby *sniff* girl *sniff, sniff* is too big for my school. *tears roll down my cheeks*

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Just Another Manic Monday"

Really, it was! A MANIC MONDAY!!! While I wasn't really ready for my Spring Break to be over, I certainly did not wish to start my week back to work in Manic Madness!

Has this ever happened to you??? ...

You go to bed late, wake up a time or two in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, and then the next thing you know you open your eyes, look over at the clock, and ...
[Image from WikiMedia Commons]
Scream! That's right, you scream because the clock says 7:25 and you are supposed to be at work in 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes! 5 MINUTES!!!!!

Even if I didn't have to take a shower, dry my hair, get dressed, put on some make-up, grab some breakfast, pack my lunch, and run out the door. I still couldn't make it to work in 5 minutes. It takes me 15 minutes just to drive to work! You do the math on that one!

So, I called school to let them know I would be late and then hit the floor like a
{My husband says I should take a shower that fast all of the time. Hmph!}

Let me tell you, ladies and geezermen, I DID take a shower, dry my hair, get dressed, put on some make-up, grab some breakfast, pack my lunch, run out the door, AND fly drive to work all in a matter of 45 minutes! That's right, I made it to work by 8:10. Remember it takes me 15 minutes just to drive to work. Not to mention the few minutes I took to call work. How fast did I get ready for work on this Manic Monday? -- you do the math!

Oh, and of course I had to allow some time to growl at my husband for setting the alarm clock for 5:55pm! This is the reason behind all of my Manic Madness in the first place! Grr! But the hubster says I should be thanking him for getting me that extra hour and a half of sleep - I. DON'T. THINK. SO. I'll be double checking his alarm setting skills tonight! I will make sure it's set for a.m.

However, at the end of the day, I survived and I still LoVe my husband! {By the way, thankfully my daugher spent the night at my parents' last night. She made it to school on time, thanks to my mother!}
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